Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr. K

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He’s 9 months old. He has two teeth. He’s got the quickest wounded soldier crawl you’ve ever seen. He pulls to a kneel. He is still chubs and I love it. His eyes seem bigger and brighter than before. He devours crackers. His hair is getting lighter every day. He adores his brother. He says “mama” and “dada.” He is oh so grabby. His cheeks get warm and super rosy sometimes and I love to press them against mine. He doesn’t like toys too much. He prefers cords, keys, strings and necklaces. He is sweet. He is squirmy. His strength when arching his back is incredible. He’s growing like a weed (21 lb 4 oz, 29 in). He’s a whimperer. Except when he’s really mad, then he has a LOUD cry. He loves being tossed and tickled. He is easy going. He is happy. He makes me SO happy.

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Last Saturday things were unusually slow at our house. All four of us snuggled the morning away in our bed. When Harley and Anderson got non-snuggly I kicked them out and Max and I did this.

DSC_0028-1We both fell asleep. Me and my 9 month old who is normally way too busy and squirm wormy to cuddle, let alone sleep on me, slept together. For an entire hour. It was a dream.

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The next day (his actual 9 month mark) I decided to do a little photo shoot. It was pretty spontaneous, but I’m learning sometimes (most times?) that’s the best way to go.DSC_0163

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Oh how we love him.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tour de Jour: Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom is finally 100% unpacked, organized and decorated. Hallelujah! It only took me seven months.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Much of our bedroom is the same and has been for almost 8 years. Let’s focus on what is new to the master. Love my Crate & Barrel book case which until now has always been in our living room.

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I scored this dresser for $25 at a yard sale last September. DSC_0216

It looked like this when I picked it up.

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The Divas are in a frame right there with my jewelry because their fashion and accessorizing (even when humorous) inspires me. We’ve been lugging around and never using a set of playing card dishes since I bought them for uber cheap at a Restoration Hardware sale years ago. I’ve almost gotten rid of them many times and I’m glad I didn’t. The Ace of Diamonds is now my jewelry catchall. Too bad it’s not the Queen of Diamonds, right?

DSC_0265The Ace of Spades is there for us when Harley’s pockets explode every night.

DSC_0225Speaking of trying to keep Harley organized, look how beautiful I made his closet two months ago. I guess if I can’t stop the orange shoes at least I can create a place of order for them. Does his closet still look like this? Of course it doesn’t.

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Here is my closet. That’s right we have TWO closets. I love it. I juuuust wish it was walk-in. Does my closet still look like this? Of course it does.

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And my jewelry drawer looks like this.

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Before my closet looked like that I purged. Big time. 82 items donated to the Vietnam Vets of America big time.

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In case you are wondering, this is how Anderson entertained himself while I worked on the closets. Rowing up hangers.

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We have a master bathroom. We’ve never had a master bathroom. We’ve never had more than one bathroom. We now have (and clean, ugh) FOUR. Our master bathroom has two sinks. This is the life people.

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Now for what I’m especially excited about/the most recent addition/that which took “finally finishing the master” forever. The wall diagonal from our bed, next to the door used to look like this.

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Harley had the great idea to hang his guitar on the wall. I spent hours looking at big canvases, picture frames and other art to pair with it. Nothing really spoke to me. I’m a believer art should speak to you and not be just a space filler. I was stumped. To make matters more challenging big beautiful art (that did speak to me) doesn’t come cheap. I liked the idea of a fine art theme. Then it hit me: (well, it didn’t so much hit me as I remembered seeing it in my friend’s guest room long ago) a playbill wall! I have so many playbills! I saved them all! My mom just told me she wants me to clean through my stuff when I visited! Personal, original, affordable ($3 frames at Walmart). And it speaks to me alright. Going through all my old playbills brought back the best kinds of warm, fuzzy memories.

I limited myself to playbills that were Broadway or Broadway touring companies. Certain chunks of my life are scrapbooked (I’m mostly looking at you London study abroad). Those playbills are taped away in books forever and couldn’t come out to play here. This means some of my favorites (hello Blood Brothers) aren’t featured on my wall. There are a handful of others I left out for various reasons, but pretty much these sum up my top theater experiences (again, minus London).

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Hanging and perfectly spacing 16 frames was a beast. Props to Harley on that one.

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Need more views of the playbill wall? Thought so.

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Don’t you just want to sit on that bench (which holds costumes and props. Kidding! My sweaters are in there.), play the guitar and sing show tunes? I do! Every morning.

My two favorite playbills are these bad boys. Of course I will tell you their stories.

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Les Miserables. This playbill is 20 years old. Can you believe I still have it? Because I can’t. Actually I can. Attending this production 20 years ago changed my life. I always loved theater, but when my dad’s cousin, Leigh, and her brother’s girlfriend (who became his wife), Heather, visited us in Iowa and last minute invited me to Chicago to see Les Mis… and I went… well, that’s when I really, really knew I loved theater. I was 11 years old. I was moved to tears when Fantine sang “I Dreamed a Dream.” My soul stirred when Jean Valjean belted out “2-4-6-oh-oooonnnneeeee!” and turned himself in. I was embarrassed when Leigh and Heather tried to delicately explain the “Lovely Ladies.” It was my first real Broadway (like I said, traveling company counts) experience. I bought the program. I read the unabridged book. I memorized the songs and learned to play them on the piano. I saved my playbill. And I swore I’d star on Broadway someday. I’ve seen Les Mis about a half dozen times since, but for me, Chicago summer of 1991 will always be the stand out performance of this great musical.

City of Joseph. This is far from Broadway (my one non-Broadway exception) but as close to my heart as Les Mis. My family performed in the City of Joseph pageant in Nauvoo, Illinois every summer for five years. I wore a hoop skirt, gobs of make-up and sang the cheesiest love song ever written. Allison flew through the air and dropped 20 feet into the arms of six buff guys. I gained a testimony of the restoration of the church. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Oh, and that I recreate City of Joseph dance team stunt moves with Anderson daily. Which he loves.

So there’s our Master of the House. (Couldn’t resist.) Stay tuned. I’m finally tackling our basement/playroom/office/craft room/guest room. That’s all one big room, by the way. Speaking of big rooms, I’m pretty sure this master with bathroom is equal to 75% of our entire apartment back in the ghetto. And it’s done. And I’m happy!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here’s Proof

I have to brag for a minute. About my friend Brooks Dame. He. Is. Awesome. 168778_487466946826_628081826_5747233_6428270_nThe first time I met him I thought, “Brooks. Huh, that’s a weird name.” That was the only time I thought anything other than 100% positiveness about this guy. Harley and I play this game where we talk about the top 5 most amazing people we met at BYU. Brooks Dame tops my list.

We met while in the same ward at BYU. I don’t remember much about the first time I met him (other than the whole “is that a girl’s name?” crossed my mind) but the second time we met it involved me yanking off my breakaway ski pants to reveal BRIGHT PURPLE LEGGINGS. That’s another story for another time dear friends.

Back in our BYU heyday I knew Brooks to do some cool stuff. He donated bone marrow to a complete stranger. His face was plastered on a billboard because of it.

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He collected thousands of shoes and donated them to children in El Salvador. And he hosted the best darn Unforum that side of P-town. (Written, produced and directed by yours truly thankyouverymuch.) Oh if only I had digital pictures of this great affair.

He’s funny. And he has a stellar personality.

Plus he shares his birthday with my firstborn. Which just happens to be the same date Brooks (and I) rocked BYU campus with our aforementioned Unforum.

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He made this for my second born. Because when he’s not busy saving the world he designs baby clothes and wall decor.

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I’m tired just knowing him. I’m also inspired just knowing him.

I think I have a bit of a crush on Brooks. Don’t worry, it’s cool, because Harley does too. (He even admits it.) Brooks is that fabulous. And we’re not fabulous, because every time we travel to Idaho to visit family we promise we’re going to visit the Dames, then we cancel. Every time. But here we are in a random picture in Arizona in 2006.

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Here’s what I really want to brag about: Proof. The latest and greatest from Brooks. He’s started a company that makes wood sunglasses. Check them out: iwantproof.com.

proof-sunglasses-2 They’re cool looking, right? Pretty sure I’m going to rock this pair very soon.

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It wouldn’t be Brooks if it didn’t help someone in need. That’s just how he rolls. When you buy a pair of Proof sunglasses a large portion of your sale goes to provide a sight-giving surgery to someone in India. You can sport your shades knowing you helped someone see. Proof also has this great recycling program. Mail your old Proofs back and Proof turns them into fuel pellets to heat homes. And you get a discount on your next pair of shades. Fabulous, right? That’s just the beginning of their do-gooding. Read more here.

It gets better. This week only Brooks is taking ALL PROFITS from Proof sales and donating them to disaster relief in Japan. You get a stylin’ new pair of shades. Japan receives aid. Now through Wednesday (midnight MST). ALL PROFITS.

Told you he’s awesome.

Did I mention their tag line? Look Good, Do Good. Yep, I think so.

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P.S. His wife is an outstanding photographer. Check her out here.

P.P.S. His sister-in-law is a crazy talented musician. Check out her interview with MTV here.