Friday, January 26, 2018

Finished Room Friday: Living Room

I'm trying to get back in the habit of doing a Friday post on my blog - Finished Room Friday, Five on Friday, or Flashback Friday depending on my mood each week... I took most of these pictures 3 weeks ago on a Thursday with the intention of posting them the next day and of course you can see how well that went. But here they are now, better late than never!

The living room took forever to finish because I had to wait for Rog to finish the built-in cabinets on either side of the fireplace. It only took a year from the time we moved in to when they were officially done. I really don't understand why the builder didn't just put them in to begin with! Rog (with A LOT of help from his uncle) saved us thousands of dollars on this project, so I really can't complain too much. Here's a before picture.

Now that they've been in for awhile, I kind of forgot how terrible it looked before they were in. Especially that pile of electronics on the left side. Thank goodness that is now behind closed doors!

I don't think I've gone into much detail about these cabinets before and it needs to be documented, so here we go. When we first moved in Rog and his uncle, Ron, went to work almost immediately on the fence to enclose our backyard. That was a safety issue and that project was done quickly.

The other project we needed Ron's help on was these shelves. They were a much bigger undertaking and after the fence was in, it took us forever to get Ron moving on them. He had other projects he was working on and our shelves weren't his top priority. And then when they did get started on them, it was somewhat difficult to find times that worked for his schedule and our schedule. They built them in Ron's wood workshop (way out in Sandy, a 30-35 minute drive each way). Since each trip included at least an hour of driving, it was hard for Rog to get out there too often to work on them.

They finally got them all built and ready to install in March. We were all so excited to get them in and have the project done. But unfortunately when they went to put them in, they discovered that our walls are not even (and they had only measured at chest level), so they were about a half inch too big in some places. They would not go in no matter what they tried. That was a frustrating day!

So they took them back to the workshop and tore them apart, cut them down, and reassembled them. Fortunately Rog didn't need Ron as much for that, so he was able to go work on them even if Ron wasn't available. And we really just wanted to get them in, so we made sacrifices and we were able to find more time for him to go work on them. Memorial Day weekend they finally were in and Rog just had to do the finishing touches (much easier because he could work on those at night after the kids were in bed).

After he finished those up, all that was left was for me to fill them with our books and decorate them. That also meant I could finally finish unpacking! We had about 5-10 boxes upstairs in the guest bedroom filled with books, DVDs, puzzles, games, and other things that I couldn't unpack because I knew they were going in the cabinets. 

I had been working on little projects for the cabinets for months. You can see in that picture above that the mantle was jammed full! It looks much better with them spread out!

With that background on the cabinets out of the way, we'll do a tour of the entire room. Starting with our back to the fireplace, there's our kitchen and dining room in the background. We bought that couch from IKEA when we first moved into our townhome in Spanish Fork. Everyone said we would regret it being off white with kids, but since we can wash the covers, we really haven't! Square pillows are from Target and the light mint ones are from IKEA (way back when we bought this couch and the matching armchair).

This shadow box was one of the first projects I did when we moved in. It was beige in Spanish Fork, but that didn't work with the wall color here, so I painted it white.

We got rid of the big coffee table we had in Spanish Fork and replaced it with these side tables. I have to clean the glass way too often, but other than that, they're great. The gray and white bins are from Target and they're perfect for storing our blankets.

I love the big windows in this room. I took these pictures on a rainy day, but those big windows bring in all the light (even through our cloudy, rainy winter). I saw the curtains at Target when we moved here and thought they would be perfect for these windows. The green is a slightly different shade (a little more aqua), but you can't tell most of the time. 

Here's a close up of the left cabinet. I'll go through each shelf individually.

That wedding picture is actually the personalized puzzle I gave to Rog for our 10 year anniversary. And that little family picture is from the Ririe family photo shoot we did at Christmas in 2016. We were wearing red, black, and gray, so a black-and-white picture was necessary! 

We've had the "love lives here" sign since our very first apartment in Provo. It's a little beat up on the corners, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. The picture of me and Rog is also from that same Ririe family photo shoot. Vase and fake plant from IKEA. FHE board made for Super Saturday (more on that in a post coming soon).

We've also had these 3 framed pictures from our wedding day since our first apartment in Provo. The little mason jar cube is from the Wood Connection (not available anymore). After my canning activity (in August), I made that chalkboard print as a reminder about working for something worth sealing in our marriages.

Hiding in the cabinets under this shelf is all our DVDs and a huge mess of cords and electronics!

Sorry to blind you with the flash in the TV!

Family picture by Jake Egbert, temple from the Wood Connection, candle holder from IKEA, Portland Temple picture by Scott Jarvie (our friend, Mariah's cousin). I made that "home is where your family is" sign to hide the plug under the TV since our TV isn't big enough to cover it, but it has ended up being one of my favorite signs of all the ones I've made! We've had that Willow Tree couple from the beginning and I should note that both the man and the woman's heads are glued back on from when Corbyn beheaded them when he was a toddler. 😱 Someday we'll get Rog a bigger TV and I'll have to move most of these things off the mantle. That will be a sad day! 

Onto the right cabinet...

More family pictures and a Mason Jar Trio from the Wood Connection. Behind these is a shelf full of Harry Potter books and audio books!

That President Monson plague. 😢 I'm debating whether or not I should make a President Nelson version, but either way, President Monson will stay up. He's been my favorite apostle since I was a little girl. I always wanted to make a Living Christ with pictures as the border, but never got around to it. When we moved into the Sunnyside ward, the Relief Society brought this one to me. They had made them at an activity earlier that year and made extra to give to new sisters. I actually changed out the pictures they had on it since I had bought a set of Greg Olsen pictures at some point years ago to make one. That only took me a half hour or so since everything else was already done. Another vase from IKEA (came in a set of 3 with the green one on the other side and a pink one that I gave away). And I already talked about that USA frame (and the US National Parks print on the shelf below) here.

My brother actually lived in Oregon the summer before we moved here while he did an internship with Intel. His apartment complex gave each apartment an Oregon-shaped wood cutting board. When we were moving to Oregon, he asked if I wanted it and I thought I could use it for something. Painted it green, added a heart in the Portland area, and it was perfect for these shelves! The home is from the Wood Connection.

Hiding under this shelf is our board game collection, puzzles, and Corbyn's Legos. I found they weren't getting much use up in his room, so I moved them down here and they get a lot more play time.

A Greg Olsen picture of Christ (that you really can't see very well with the glare), more giant windows, and the (knock off) love sac that I got for a birthday in high school. (It's had a few different covers over the years.)

 And finally the chair that started it all. This was the first mint green thing we bought for our townhome in Spanish Fork. Who knew it would go on to inspire green walls in two different states, a green mixer, green barstools, and so much more?! It's getting pretty faded (especially on the arm rests) and I'm sure at some point, we'll replace it, but not anytime soon. I wish they still sold that color! That green pillow has been with us from the beginning as well. (It used to be part of a set, but the other one died at some point.)

I love how this room is a mix of stuff we've had since we first got married, stuff we added in Spanish Fork, and new stuff we got here. And now that I've blogged about it, I can officially say this room is done! Hooray!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018 Goals


*Finish 18 projects in 2018. (Most of these are projects that I have started, but not finished.)
*Read 24 books including 12 from Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2018 Reading Challenge.
*Read 21 Days Closer to Christ.
*Have a baby. 


*Get promoted to Lead Project Manager.
*Run Hood to Coast.


*Run a 5K.
*Be baptized.
*Learn to play catch.


*Run a 5K.
*Learn to tie her shoes.


*Learn to talk.
*Move to a big boy bed.
*Learn to go to the bathroom in the toilet.
*Learn to ride a tricycle.

Our family goals:

*Finally finish our wills once and for all!
*Go to the temple and go on a date at least once a month.
*Visit Crater Lake this summer.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2017 Goals

Here is a review of our 2017 goals.


*Read 24 books including 12 from Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 Reading Challenge (the fun one). Done.

*Finish reading Jesus the Christ and 21 Days Closer to Christ. I finished Jesus the Christ, but not 21 Days Closer to Christ.

*Run a marathon. Done.

*Get caught up on my blog/budget and stay caught up! The blog obviously didn't happen, but I'm not throwing in the towel. I did got caught up on the budget and then I let myself get behind again in the fourth quarter, but I'm close to being caught up again.

*Finish 3 quilts and 2 puzzles. I finished 2 quilts (and 2 pillows) and 1 puzzle. I got about half of the blocks made for that 3rd quilt and finished that 2nd puzzle just a couple days ago.


*Ride his bike to KPB (the Kaiser in downtown Portland where he works a few days a week) at least once (but hopefully more). He was working towards this goal, but then summer ended and the rain came. And then he got a cold/flu that turned into pneumonia and it was all over. He did hike 50 miles with the scouts though, so that's something!

*Learn something new (possibly Spanish or the guitar). He got the Spanish Rosetta Stone and I'd often come home from tap to find him working on it.

*Get halfway through the Old Testament. Nope. He did do a lot of scripture study though.


*Learn to tie his shoes. Done.

*Run a marathon. Done.


*Learn to read. Done.

*Run a marathon. Done.


*Learn to talk in sentences. He has a few sentences he says, but I wouldn't call this one done. Fingers crossed for 2018!
*Learn to ride a tricycle. He couldn't quite reach the pedals on the tricycle we got him, but he sure "rode" it around a lot. He can pretty much reach the pedals now, so that's another thing he can officially cross off in 2018.

Our family goals:

*Go on at least two hikes a month May through September. We didn't do our first hike until Memorial Day and we didn't continue hiking in September, but we did get out and hike a lot in June, July, and August. 

*Go camping at least once. Nope.

*Plant a garden. Done.

*Make our wills. Rog started in January and then he got to a hard part and didn't do anything about it until this January when our Legal Zoom subscription was about to run out. All we have left is to sign them and get them notarized, so I can confidently say this will happen in 2018!

*Add clothing/supplies to our 72 hour kits. Nope.

*Go to the temple and go on a date at least once a month. I know we missed the temple (and very likely date night) in November, but I'm pretty sure we got all the other months (if you count going to the Visitors' Center with the kids in July).

It was a pretty great year even though we didn't accomplish all of our goals!

Fourth Quarter Reading

I could have read so many books while I was traveling, but for whatever reason I just really wasn't in the mood to read on my trip (and a lot of this quarter). That being said I did finish a respectable number of books this quarter.


1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. After Macy's dad dies of a heart attack (in the middle of a run), she attempts to control the rest of her life. She becomes a perfect student and starts dating a perfect boyfriend. Then her boyfriend leaves for the summer and tells her they should take a break and her perfect life suddenly falls apart. This may be my favorite Sarah Dessen book yet. It's not significantly different from any of her other books that I've read (they're all great!), but something about this one just resonated with me.

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Just as Harry is packing his bags to go back to Hogwarts at the end of the summer, a house elf named Dobby shows up and warns him not to return. Sure enough, terrible things start happening and no one knows who or what is responsible. All of the Harry Potter books are excellent on their own, but the illustrations by Jim Kay just make them that much more enjoyable. Plus I'm loving seeing them through fresh eyes as Corbyn listens to them for the first time.

3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. August has never attended public school because of his severe facial abnormalities. He is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep and wants nothing more than to be treated like everyone else, but most of his classmates (and some of their parents) can't get past his extraordinary face. This was a book club book that I decided to listen to in the car with the kids. We started it before my trip and the kids were extremely patient to wait until I got home to finish it with me. We loved it!


4. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen. Louna works for her mom's wedding planner business, but has been cynical about happily-ever-afters ever since her first love ended very tragically. Will Ambrose be the guy to change her mind? This is Sarah Dessen's latest book and while I didn't love it as much as The Truth About Forever, it was definitely worth reading.

5. Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. Franny is a struggling young actress trying to make it in New York City. She only has six months left of her three-year deadline to make something of her career and she's starting to panic. After finishing Once and For All on my first flight (of eleven) of my trip, I carried this book around and didn't even crack the cover until after I got home. I'd been wanting to read it since I read about it in Lauren Graham's memoir, so I don't know why it took me so long to start. It was fun to read this book and think about how it was probably pretty accurate being written by an actress who struggled at first to get her career going. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was worth reading.

6. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. After graduating at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. Soon after beginning her apprenticeship, she must face (and defeat) a dark magician to save her teacher's life. Originally this book intrigued me because of the author's last name. Turns out it was written by the sister-in-law of the missionary I was writing when I met Rog, Elder Reed Holmberg. I later came across it again and actually read what the book was about and thought it sounded interesting (and Disney had just bought the rights for it, so there's that). I really enjoyed the story although the writing didn't flow well for me and I didn't feel like I could read it quickly. (It was her first novel, so maybe this improves in her subsequent books.) I kind of slogged through it, but I really loved how it ended and was glad I persevered.


7. The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl. A little girl with a magic finger turns her neighbors into birds when their hunting exploits makes her angry. This book, like Esio Trot, is a short story published as a book. Not my favorite of Dahl's books, but not terrible either.

And again not counting these toward my total, but here are the books I read with Peyton this quarter.

Samantha Saves the Day and Changes for Samantha by Valerie Tripp. The last 2 Samantha books (of the original 6). So fun to read these with my little girl!

Samantha Saves the Wedding, Samantha and the Missing Pearls, and Samantha's Special Talent by Valerie Tripp and Sarah Masters Buckey. 3 new (to me anyway) short stories about Samantha.

My 7 books this quarter brings my total for the year to 28. That's 4 more than my goal of 24! I also completed Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 (Reading For Fun) Reading Challenge.

A book you chose for the cover: That Summer by Sarah Dessen (Third Quarter). I knew I wanted to read one of Sarah Dessen's books and I ultimately grabbed this one because I liked its cover best (of her books on the shelf at the library that day).

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (First Quarter). I only know one person who didn't like this book. It's definitely one that's hard to put down after you start reading it.

A book set somewhere you've never been but would like to visit: Paris for One by Jojo Moyes (First Quarter). I've always loved France because of my love for ballet. It kills me that I can now say I've been to Europe, but I haven't been to Paris!

A book you've already read: My Story by Elizabeth Smart (Third Quarter). This was my third time reading this book (and surely not my last).

A juicy memoir: Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham (Second Quarter). I'm so glad this challenge led me to this book. I heart Lauren Graham!

A book about books or reading: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Third Quarter). This was my original pick for "a book you chose for the cover" because the cover is absolutely beautiful, but it's the only book I read about books (without stretching it to put Matilda in this category). I tried to read the Book Thief, but couldn't get through it.

A book in a genre you usually avoid: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (Third Quarter). I'm not actually sure what genre this book is from, but it definitely wasn't a book I would have picked for myself. I might be stretching it, but in my mind that means it must have been in a genre I usually avoid.

A book you don't want to admit you're dying to read: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (Fourth Quarter). I initially resisted reading this book because of my background with the author's brother-in-law, but really genuinely thought it sounded like an interesting story.

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author: Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (Fourth Quarter). I wanted to read this book after reading Lauren Graham's memoir. (I also could have picked any of Sarah Dessen's books I read this year for this category.)

A book recommended by someone with great taste: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (First Quarter). I have such great success reading books Janssen suggests and she was spot on about this book.

A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven't read yet: Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Third Quarter). Oh how I loved this book (especially the audio version), but my oh my it took me a long time to get through it!

A book about a topic or subject you already love: Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (Third Quarter). I didn't know what book I could read for this category and then it hit me. Duh, a book about the gospel!

I'd say it was a pretty good year of reading for me - especially the first and third quarters!

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 was the year that...

Rog went SNOWCAVING and hiked 50 MILES with the scouts...

And survived PNEUMONIA!

I ran a MARATHON...


Donated my HAIR...

And cruised GREECE AND ITALY with my Mom, Dad, and Sister!

Corbyn lost his 1ST TOOTH, played T-BALL...

Went to TRACK CAMP, and played a TOY SOLDIER in Oregon Trail Elementary's NUTCRACKER!

Peyton learned to READstarted KINDERGARTEN...

Went to PRINCESS DANCE CAMP, and perfected her HEADSTAND!

Logan learned to climb IN AND OUT of his CRIB...

Continued his love for MICKEY...

And developed a love for BUZZ!

Rog and I celebrated 10 YEARS with a weekend together in SEATTLE...

Corbyn and Peyton ran a KIDS MARATHON together...

And Peyton and I danced in a RECITAL together!

We explored the GORGE...

And dressed up as SUPER MARIO as a family for HALLOWEEN!

Grandma Lori beat BREAST CANCER for the 2ND TIME and we welcomed another NEPHEW (Leo Taylor Phillips)!

We ended the year with the disappointment of a PREGNANCY LOSS, but with HOPE for a NEW BABY in 2018.

2017 was a year of UPS AND DOWNS, but mostly WONDERFUL MEMORIES made together!