Monday, August 31, 2009

A Little Tub Time for Eleanor's Fan CLub

Just a snippet of E for all the Grandparents out there, or anyone that misses our sweetie.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Yeeaaahh. Hmm. So I guess I did remove the sides. See, it just kept raining and raining, and I just kept sitting and sitting, and the dresser did not get brought in. So I took baby E to Home Depot and we bought wood to replace the sides. I will keep you posted on how it is going, as I know you are on the edge of your seats here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Durrr. It always looks so easy on HGTV.

Being the laziest person on the planet has it's perks. Those are obvious. What are not obvious are some of the down-sides. For example. I have been stripping a dresser so I can paint it. For a while. It's been on the back porch all week. What else has been happening all week? Rain. Should I bring it inside? Nah- let's let the rain and dresser fight it out. Wondering who won?

Ya- the wood has buckled on the sides. And being the laziest person on the planet, I kinda don't care anymore. Too hard. I peeled off a bunch that was too buckled, but there is a certain part that will have to just stay that way, or I will have to replace the whole side. And we all know that's not happening. So I am continuing to strip it, and will paint it. But suffice it to say, it wont exactly end up being a family heirloom. It's still out there getting sprinkled on. I sure hope the drawers eventually fit back in. Ugh. So instead, I finished Eleanor's bookshelf. Something I also wanted to have done before she was born. Ha. But now it's done! And it's kind of cute. I started with an old cheap bookshelf that I had for ages. Bought some cheap trim at Michael's. Cut it to fit with my nifty little saw and nailed it on. Filled the seams and painted the trim white.
Then I painted the back blue and voila! I love it. It's so cheery and sweet. I can't wait to load in all of her books. (We brought em'. Two heavy boxes of them.)
By the way. Lest you think I am cool, we are not finished unpacking yet. Not by a long shot. This is how I roll. Something urgent to do? Let's do something entirely different! In my family we reference it like this: Making the beds when your house is burning. Eleanor's clothes are in pretty little piles on her floor until I can find her hangers. But do I have time for that? No! I've got bookshelves to paint. But projects are way, way more satisfying. Having somewhere to put my socks might be nice also, but too bad. Poor Clayton.

And because it wouldn't be my blog without a shot of sweet E.
That is her new lamb we bought brand new at a yard sale. I picked it up to show her and she started squealing and spazzing out with happiness. Best quarter I ever spent.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tender Mercies

Remember Bednar's talk about Tender Mercies of the Lord? Well, maybe these are too trivial to count as tender mercies, but each of these small things has brightened my outlook about our move. I could also make a ginourmous list of things I am painfully missing about Provo, or the hideous spiders I keep seeing, but I am trying to look on the bright side. Just a small list. I will do more later.

1- Fireflies! Would you believe that in all of my travels I have never seen them? Well I hadn't. And now they are all over. They are so cool! Except they are rather ugly in the light of day, I think I killed a few not realizing what they were. Oh well.

2- Our sink has a sprayer attachment. I love those! (Our last place didn't.) (We've traded it for our dishwasher or disposal, but hey.)

3- Jack's Special Salsa. I found this the last month I was in Utah at Costco. It is my all time favorite store bought salsa. I was sad to even leave an inch of it in the jar when we left Provo. Well hooray, they sell it here too! And not at Costco- the nearest Costco is about an hour away.

4- I found a really cool radio station. They play stuff like Regina Spektor, Rilo Kiley and Interpol. The kinds of bands that never get played on the radio. And then they play a few Christian songs too. It's such a bizarre combination, but I really like it.

5- We just got our cable and internet hooked up.... and we have BRAVO! I love this channel! Top Chef! Project Runway! (Ok, I know that they've moved to Lifetime, but reruns. Hello.) Top Design, Rachel Zoe Project! And other such goodness. We also get like thirty music channels that actually play music videos. You know, like MTV and VH1 used to. So happy.

6- Have I mentioned how awesome our ward and neighbors are? Awesome.

7-It's bonus time at Clinique here. Just in time! I needed new foundation. I love free presents for buying something I would've bought anyway.

8- Joanne's and Michael's are less than three miles away. Happiness.

9- Lake Lansing. It is less than five miles from our house. It's this tiny beautiful lake that has a lovely park right next to it. And on Friday nights in the summer there are free concerts there. We went with our neighbors last Friday night. And there were Fireflies.

10- I can't think of a tenth thing, but I can't end on nine. Oh hey- we finally got a dresser and desk. I put up a wanted ad on Craigslist explaining that they would have to deliver as well, and voila! For eighty bucks we are set. I am stripping the dresser as we speak so I can paint it a cute color or something. And if you know me, you know that having a project like that makes my life.

So we are a bunch of happy campers. We miss our friends and family sooo much, but are doing ok. I'm just super glad that we live in the day and age of blogs, cell phones and Facebook.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eleanor's Sweet Room

So this is what else made me cry that I referenced in my last blog post.

As we were packing up our old house, in a storm of boxes and awfulness, Clayton asked if we were ready to roll through Eleanor's room. That did it. That was when I couldn't keep it together. I had dreamed of Eleanor's nursery all through my pregnancy. With a color palette of robin's egg blue, white and red accents and with a scalloped lace trim painted around the top. Sadly and happily, once she was here I never found the time to finish it. So all her fairy tale pictures never got put up, the curtains never finished and I still need to top stitch her crib quilt. But it was almost there. So to appease my lunacy, we stopped packing, cleaned the room out a little and had a little photo shoot. Here are the shots of Eleanor's first nursery.

Come on in!

It was such a sweet little room and I hope we can recreate a bit of it here in Michigan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Complaining and Counting Our Blessings

We are happily and safely here in East Lansing, Michigan. My wonderful parents drove out with us to help with the baby and to haul the U-Haul with my dad's truck. We had an uneventful drive and are happy with our house. Of course a move brings lots of emotions to the surface, but we are getting used to our new surroundings. Being a fan of lists I thought I'd share a few with you. Negatives, To Do, Blessings etc...

What Scared Me at First:

Not the best picture. You can't see the van seat very well, or the cooler/smoking table so tastefully set next to it. But I was too chicken to take a good picture so I took this from my car as I was backing out. Here is a better shot of it. My folks took this right before they left.
I look extra sassy due to a day of moving and crying right before this was taken.)
And This:
Note the four cars jam packed in the driveway? There are always four, and oddly enough, most of them work . So, why so many? There are often one or two more cars parked on the street too. Meth lab? Kidding. But it's like a non-stop party next door. Beer bottles on the lawn to cement that idea. And there are also usually seventeen kid bikes. But I kind of like that.
They shout all the time to get some one's attention in the house. They also have a 200 lb dog that seems to mark up the entire back yard. Ugh. Shouldn't scooper laws apply everywhere? On our first day here I opened my big mouth by asking if the dog "goes all over" to the neighbor's boyfriend. I ask this in a horrified voice to sound real neighborly. He replies that the dog only goes on their side, but at that moment the dog was making a "present" not three feet from our door. My reply? "But we have a baby!" Um, ya. That's not a response, nor a reasonable argument. Luckily we, um I, have been more polite and have found that they are really sweet people. I could do without the smoking, as the smell spreads far and wide, but all in all they are good neighbors.

Finding my way around at first is always intimidating.
I was terrified of the U-Haul being stolen on the trip.
Our car started acting wonky the second my parents left (My dad would've been able to diagnose), to the point that we couldn't drive it anywhere unnecessary.
Spiders, I sprayed first thing, but I think they are coming.
A giant diseased apple tree drops apples all over the yard making it smell like apple cider vinegar.
Our laundry room. It's in the spooky, dark, unfinished part of the basement.
I'm worried the neighbor dog might eat Eleanor.
Boo hoo, oh wait, that's the next section.

What Has Made Me Cry:
Her fan club is all through correspondence now.And this:
What will I do without my Jenni? How will we spend our Sundays?
P.S. Bismark?!? Could we get a more boring U-Haul vignette?

Little Allie will get older and more advanced without us! What a sad sight.So tiny! No dishwasher!
I'll explain this one later. Next blog post. But it made me cry. This started it all really.
The news about Jed Mingo and his brother and father.
Realizing that my favorite people are going through so much grief so far away from us.
And I cut my finger on a potato peeler. Ok, so maybe that one doesn't rank.

What I like or Blessings:

Walks to local parks. E loves being outside and the neighborhoods are gorgeous. It's like everyone is in a giant Best Lawn competition. The East Lansing area is a bit like the Avenues or Sugarhouse in SLC. And look at her. Can you be sad for long with her looking at you with that face? No.
She also seems to like the messy mess of unpacking.
The campus is amazing! The old buildings are beautiful, and the new law building is awesome. Look at their cool moot court room. I want a moot room.
Michigan has given E her first taste of pickles. Or the new Law Student picnic did. She chewed on it for a few minutes.
First day I found Joanne's and Michael's. Fabric and Crafts, I should be ok. Thanks mom!
I've also found WalMart, Target, a mall and a good grocery store. I can function.
I finally got unpacked enough and enough groceries to make a batch of cookies.
The church is only a two minute drive from our house. As close as our Provo building was to us!
The ward is amazing! We have been welcomed in so warmly.
There is a blog for the local moms to keep everyone up to date on playgroups, sales, activities etc... It's what you dream of as far as making new friends and staying in the loop.
Here is a link:
We've been able to "borrow" internet until ours gets set up in about forever. Ok,
Friday. Whoever AmyRenee is, we owe her a batch of cookies.
We found a really awesome place to fix our car. They were honest and fast and even gave me a ride to and from the shop! Thanks East Lansing Automotive Repair. Tell your friends!

To Do:

Keep unpacking. Once you find a few necessities, you sort of slow down.
Find a desk and dresser and a way to get them to our place.
Arrange furniture.
Hang pictures.
Deal with insurance boringness.
Maybe paint.
Blog... hey!
Rake up all of the apples.
Buy dog biscuits.

Wasn't that long? That's what happens when it's late and there are too many things to blog about and none of them fascinating. Thanks for reading!

P.S. Price of dressers at the thrift store I visited today? $109.00 to $149.00! What the?!?! It's a charity store! Icky, old, super-used dressers people!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A plea for our poor little Kirsten

Just a heads up for those that know my niece Kirsten. This past weekend she lost her unofficial fiance, Jed, in a plane crash that also took the lives of his brother and father. We are beyond devastated to learn this news. Please keep her and the Mingo family in your prayers, and for those of you that are close to Kir, please help her in any way you can.

We learned the news yesterday as we were in the middle of driving to Michigan. We are moving and are dragging all of our possessions in a U-Haul, and school starts for Clayton in a week. Otherwise we would turn right around to go help. My parents are with us and we all feel so helpless to be so far away from her during this challenge.

We've known Jed for years and I can honestly say that there was never a more genuine person on the planet. He and Kirsten met at Dixie college in St. George and dated for a few years. They reconnected last year after a few years apart and it was like a romance out of a movie. When they first got back together we all went out to dinner together in SLC. After dinner I spent the rest of the night gushing about how much I loved Jed. I had forgotten what a sweetheart he was. He is one of the best listeners on the planet, he would give you his full attention whenever talking. He was so kind and generous and earnest and lovely. And he was hot, I know that sounds trite, but he really was just an incredibly beautiful man inside and out.

Since their reunion he has been begging her to "just marry him already" and all of us have joked about their need to go make us some beautiful babies. Kirsten had begun "unofficially" planning for their wedding and we were so hopeful that it would happen sooner rather than later.

This is such a tragic, tragic loss for Kirsten and of course everyone else. His brother left behind a wife and three young children. And of course Jed's mom has lost more than any of us can imagine bearing. The only other thing I can ask of all of my friends is to go hug your children, spouse, parent, nephew, niece, friend... Go show someone some extra love in memory of these men. Thanks.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Logan and Island Park

Warning: Seriously picture heavy.

Last Sunday we drove up to Logan to spend an evening with Clayton's family one last time before we move. We had a lovely dinner and a great night of card games. We got to spend the night at Clint & Alison's and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When leaving, little Autumn made sure we took some pictures so we would "remember us". I'm not sure if she meant we'd forget them or vice versa.

Here is Jonah, Autumn, Eleanor and Micah. Gabe was a little under the weather, so he didn't make the shot.

Then on Monday we drove to Island Park Idaho where our friends Shane & Heidi have a family cabin. It was a great last gathering of "The Boys" before we all head our separate ways for a few years for school and work. The Boys are all from Blackfoot Idaho and consist of Clayton, Shane Polatis, Matt Cannon, Brodie Hanni and Mark Turpin. Sadly Mark and his wife Sarah couldn't make it. While they were sorely missed, we still had a wonderful few days on Bills Island.

We had a bit of a baby fest. While Matt's girls Ashley and Gracie couldn't make it and of course little Boyce Turpin wasn't there, we still had our hands full with the youngest three of the tribe.

Introducing Brodie & Ashley's beautiful two month old daughter Olivia.
Here is Shane & Heidi's six month old son Colson.
(I have to apologize, I stole this picture from their blog because it might be the cutest picture ever taken of someone that isn't Eleanor. I don't know who the photographer is, but would love to give them credit and or remove this. Thanks!)
And you all know Eleanor.Eleanor really liked Colson, and even though he is older, I don't think he minds the extra pounds Eleanor has on him. And on all babies it seems.
Isn't Colson the cutest little elf of a man?
Here he is with his two "girlfriends". We also called this shot "Small, medium and large". Our daughter is going to have an eating disorder if we don't knock off all the joking about her weight. For the record, we love every teeny, tiny, buttery inch of her.
Being the pimp that he is, he first makes the moves on Liv.
Although I guess they do have a history together. More history.
However it wasn't long before he got a little sugar from E. What a mack! (That was the term when I was in college. Does anyone say that anymore? No? Ok.)
P.S. I do have to mention that we didn't pose these shots, well, aside from putting our immobile infants on the ground in ascending order. But we didn't make them hold hands, that was all smooth little Colson.
Aside from observing sessy, sessy love triangles, we did a whole lot of other things at the cabin. Like play a ridiculous amount of cards and eat ridiculous amounts of food. Here are Clayton and I after a rousing game of Nerts. Best game ever.
On our first night there we bundled up all the babies to take an evening boat ride. Bills Island, where Shane's family cabin is, is in the middle of Island Park Reservoir. It is incredibly beautiful up there.
It was Eleanor's first boat ride. It might have been a bit too windy for her liking at first. She started with her pout face.
But it got better.

Here is a snippet of us cruising on the lake so you can get an idea of the magic that we enjoyed. Sun has set, friends abound and our babies are being snuggled tightly while we glide along a glass lake listening to Arcade Fire and Shout Out Louds. Heaven.

Little E had a great first night on the lake.
I said it was beautiful.
The next day we ate a ton more, boated a bunch and enjoyed the perfect weather.
I really heart Sea-Doos. In fact we plan to buy some one day when all this law-school business is over. We will let you ride them.
Clayton goes a lot faster than Marianne.
Daddy and E.
Eleanor liked the boat a whole lot better on day two. She even took a nap out on the water. Back at the dock I took a minute to get some shots of her in the boat.
Legs a-poppin'.
I mean, come on! How can you not nibble her alive?
And because we are on an island in woods, we of course had a visitor from the wildlife sector. I looked out the window at dinner to see a moose and her baby munching away on some shrubbery about two feet away from the cabin. Awesome! Here is a little bit that I was able to get on camera, not my best work. My pictures were worse. We were safely on the second story balcony. The babies weren't as excited as we wanted them to be. Look! A boxen of moosen!

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