Friday, September 19, 2014


Will she be musical like the aunt for whom she was named?  Will she be tall?  Funny?  Athletic?  Sensitive?  Who will she be?  Even at two it's happening--a personality forming, a little person evolving.   It's so wonderful to watch and wait and let it all unfold.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Garden Journal

Oh this poor neglected garden of ours.  It actually is really pretty and so welcoming.  It just hasn't really blessed us with much to enjoy in the form of food.  I think we've been so focused on projects this summer inside and out that we've just not taken time to nurture our garden.  Even the garden shed itself took priority over the garden this year.  I hope that next year I'll be able to put that shed to good use and have something to show for it.

Zaichik, our bunny is certainly enjoying the fruits of our garden more than we are.  She gets the old beans that we neglect to pick in time, the dandelions and other weeds that we eventually pull from the garden and volunteer radishes from years ago that no one liked in addition to any carrots or parsley or nasturtiums that the kids generously share with her.

Still, we're having fun with the little bits of produce we do bring in.  Byrdie was delighted to find these carrots intertwined such that they form a heart puzzle.  I appreciate children who can show us the beauty in such small things.  Another great discovery is that a grape vine that appeared on the fence near the apricot tree a couple of years ago is really taking off.  There aren't many grapes on it this year, but the vine is growing and spreading and really giving me the incentive I need to once and for all rip down the Virginia Creeper and replace it with grape vines.  The grapes from our found vine have seeds--not the variety I'd choose, but they are plump and juicy and it's nice to already have a project already started.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ogden Historic Home Tour

Every year the Weber County Heritage Foundation hosts a tour of some of Ogden's historic homes.  It's a day I always look forward to.  I've attended many of the home tours in the twelve years we've lived here.  It's such a great opportunity to see inside some of the cool old homes from this old railroad junction city.

I really do love old houses.  Nate and I were pretty unified in our decision to move to Ogden when he was laid off in Denver after 911.  He wanted to live in Ogden because it boasted the only kayak play park in UT at the time.  I was glad to live here because of all of the old, unique and historic houses (at prices much lower than Salt Lake).  So we flew out one weekend to find us a house.  We had looked online back in Denver and had several that we wanted to walk through.  My they were beautiful with their fat moldings and spiral staircases, leaded glass windows and coffered ceilings.  Then our agent drove us on a few more streets where we hadn't been looking and we passed our current house.  I pointed and said "that's it."  Things fell into place really pretty well considering our offer was accepted even before Nate had found a job out here in Utah.  We moved in the day before Oliver was born--well, we moved our stuff in and then headed to the hospital where I gave birth the next day.  Oliver's first night sleeping in the house was also our first night here.  He didn't have a crib.  We barely had a bed.  The refrigerator hadn't been delivered yet.  Family helped us set up a table and brought in Chinese food the day we came home.  It was pretty crazy, but also beautiful.  It was the beginning of a new life for us.

Now we have five children in our home.  It's a bit of a tight fit though it's working for now.  Things are sometimes chaotic and messy and full, yes very full.  Full of noise, full of backpacks, full of school papers and books, full of toys and board games, full of artwork, full of vintage furniture and teapots and mismatched dishes and fabric and stories and laughter and shoes and fingerprints.  So I was a bit nervous when I heard a message on the voice mail from the Weber County Heritage Foundation asking if we'd be willing to open our home to the public for the historic home tour this year.  When I talked to the woman in charge I explained that I go to these tours regularly and our house is not grand like the ones I've seen in past tours.  It's not nearly so cool or historic.  She assured me, however, that this year the homes were not really large.  They were looking in our neighborhood to show examples of bungalows, craftsman homes and foursquares.  Ours would be perfect for this "walking" tour of this area of Ogden.  Nate and I agreed to do the tour.

We've spent the past month or so on projects in and around the home.  There are really too many projects to name, but at a certain point I just got really excited as I told Nate, this tour is really for us. I'm not doing these projects for all these people, I'm doing them for my satisfaction and enjoyment.  Our deck is now finally repaired, stained and sealed.  Our patio table finished, our bedroom painted and furniture moved to where I can wake up in the morning and look out the window at the changing leaves.  Windows that have been broken since we moved in are repaired, ceilings with chipping paint are mudded and painted.  And last but not least, the house was cleaned top to bottom.  Thanks to the help of a dear dear friend, the floors were hand mopped, the dust cleared away from window and door moldings, hand (and foot) prints wiped from walls and windows and mirrors cleaned. Thank you thank you Syrina.  The older children were sent away to friends' homes so that they couldn't undo all that work in five minutes.  The twins were entertained in the basement until the tour began.

Throughout the day as we toured the other homes we were stopped by strangers and heard many nice compliments about our home.  I think it went well.  And now we get to enjoy it.  I had to take some pictures because I don't know when our house will ever be this clean again.

Friday, September 12, 2014


There's nothing like 100+ people walking through your home to motivate you to tackle those unfinished projects.

If something left an impression on you, feel free to share it here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Time for Time

Last week I was on the phone with a friend and in the background I could hear her gathering supplies to make some sidewalk paint for her four year old.  She explained that he had wanted to paint on the sidewalk.  I was impressed with her devotion to her child and helping him do just what he wanted to do.  I confessed that I would have just told my child that sidewalk chalk is already out there and I'm not making anything special.

Well, not a day later one of the twins came to me and in her two year old language said that she wanted to paint outside.  It seamed kind of funny to me that she'd come up with something that she had never done or seen done before.  But as I had some of my own painting to do outside (a hutch I had stripped and needed to paint) I thought that it might not be a bad idea.  I also had learned from my friend that sidewalk paint isn't a big deal to make.

I looked up a recipe (one part water to one part cornstarch and add food coloring).  I grabbed a muffin tin and we made ourselves a variety of sidewalk paint colors.  Although I think I need to buy some larger paint brushes for this type of activity, it entertained the twins for a good chunk of time.  Long enough for me to easily do some of the painting that I needed to do without babies pulling on me and demanding my attention.  And it was nice to know that the mess they were making would be washed away with the next rain storm (unlike the neosporin on the upholstered recliner or the marker on the couch).

My friend was right in taking the time to help her son instead of dismissing his wants.  It was a good reminder to me that sometimes in order to get a little bit of time to yourself as a mom, you have to first put in some good quality time with your kids.  I do find that when I sit and read or play with the twins early on in the day, there's less crying and clinging later on and I'm more free to do some of what I need to do.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Bringing it in, storing it up; I love autumn.

If something left an impression  on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Salmon at Causey Reservoir

Sorry to overwhelm you with so many pictures.  I couldn't help myself.  I risked taking my camera in a canoe with six people including two two year olds because I knew It would drive me crazy not to have it with me while watching the salmon run at Causey reservoir this year.  I'm glad I took the risk.

We shared this magical experience with two other families.  It was amazing.  Right as we got out of the boats where the reservoir meets the stream we stepped into a steady flow of salmon coming directly toward us, hitting our ankles just before depositing themselves back into the reservoir after laying their eggs.  The kids couldn't resist reaching down and picking them up--they were slow, getting ready to die after doing their part in the circle of life.  The twins were surprisingly unafraid of touching and holding a live fish.  They were actually quite excited and relayed that with their squeals and laughter.

It was incredible to see so many salmon.  The water was spotted with their red bodies the whole way up the stream.  It was a beautiful thing to witness.  The canoe ride was also great--an adventure all on its own.  Every year at this time Nate is moved to check the classifieds for cheap canoes.  There's nothing ever cheap enough though--we rented one from Weber State this year which is probably the best way to go.  And of course after watching the salmon the kids--both regular and adult versions are always up for some cliff jumping.  (Please, and thank you, Syrina)  It's no wonder this is one tradition that Nate is completely in favor of.  Who ever thought that Labor Day would be someone's favorite holiday.