Monday, February 25, 2008

This blog...

Please make sure, if you check this blog regularly, you bookmark it or add it to your blog reader. I am going to 'unlink' it from my profile page and would hate to lose any of my three faithful readers :)


Friday, February 22, 2008

Vote for Paul!

Caught by a surprise fall storm.
Copyright, Paul Ekstrand

As many of you know my Dad is a photographer - he'd say that he's an amateur photographer but some of his work is more than mere 'dabbling'.

He recently entered a contest through Outdoor Photographer. The contest is in the People Choice voting come on people, let's vote!

Click here to see his picture (which is also above). Below it is a link to vote for his picture. Look around at the others too!

(If the above link doesn't work, go to:, scroll to the bottom of the page where you''ll see 'Winter Photo Contest', follow that link. His photo is on page 216 of the Winter Photo Contest Gallery.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Highlights and tags....

I've started a new routine of getting up every morning at 5:30 or 6:00 - just so that I can get my blogging and blog reading out the way. I love it because the house is quiet and I can spend as much time as I want commenting, reading, and surfing. Some days I don't even log-on...and just sit and read, or hit the treadmill. I am remembering how much I love mornings!

Still, I find myself on days like today spending more time on other blogs than writing on my own! And there is so much to catch-up on. So I am going to have to do the Reader's Digest version since it's 6:30 and the boys have been up for a while. Here are some highlights from my last week:

* Spending Valentine's Day in a therapy session with Eric. (Yes, we do therapy. Yes, I am proud of it. I think everyone needs a therapist and every couple could use a therapist. Even if just for a little while. Enough promoting...) I told the therapist, when we made the session, that is was the best gift that we could give each other. Still I was apprehensive about doing a session and then trying to have a Valentine's celebration. It was a really good session - hard, but good. And in true E&S form we sat in the car for 45 minutes talking about it, and then went to dinner and had a wonderful time!

* Having both boys count down the days until we went to the Chinese New Year parade and then watching them be utterly gleeful to be back in Chinatown! (Check our family blog for cute pictures!!)

* My Grandma flying into town. Being able to talk with her about my Grandpa - still a tender subject for both of us.

* Pretending to be a school teacher so I could attend a Nancy Fetzer workshop on child literacy development and learning! Cannot wait to try some things with the boys...

* Getting to talk to my best friend for more than 15 minutes straight, my cousin Sarah for 15 minutes last night, and a handful of others who I needed to reconnect with.

* Hosting our annual Chinese New Year party on Saturday night. Being so thrilled with both the buzz of energy from being around the people (I'm such an extrovert) and watching everyone have a good time. The food was delicious honey. (I am a little sad because, purely out of mommybrainess, I failed to invite some people that I would have loved to have come....)

* Will and Walker trying to use chopsticks. Walker thinking the red bean cake was a birthday cake and not being too thrilled when it wasn't.

* Celebrating Eric's bonus! Congrats again babe!

* Realizing that the boys make fantastic helpers when it comes to chores. I see washing walls as a boring task, they see it as fun! It made this week's house cleaning a whole new adventure for me and reminded me of the joy children seen in the world.

* Making my very first fortune cookies - and gluten-free!

* Paying off a car loan. That's right. I own, for the first time in my life, my own car! Ok, Eric and I both own it. Still, writing out that last check for $300 and knowing that (for better or worse) the car is now ours is pretty exciting.

* Making my very first friend at church. Potty training talks always lead to friendship :)

And now, since it is officially time for me to wake up my sleepy heads, I'll end with a tag. My good friend Melissa tagged me to do this last week. I had typed it up but failed to post here goes:

A: The rules of the game are posted at the beginning. B: Each player answers the questions about themselves. C: At the end of the post, the player then tags 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

I was a mature (smile) 19 year-old. I was utterly in lust with a certain young man and am not sure I thought about much beyond that. Had just started working for Kaplan (almost to the day). I was living with my friend Shelly and my cousin Leslie. Loved life!


1. Sign Walker up for a dance class. (check!)
2. Go grocery shopping. (no check...)
3. Send in taxes and car registration renewal. (check!)
4. Update family blog. (check!)
5. Spend time with Grandma and get Patti's blog set-up. (check, check!)


1. Blogging (both writing and reading)
2. Reading (ah...I LOVE reading)
3. Playtime. Whether it's Trivial Pursuit with Eric or giving airplane rides to the boys.
4. Laughing. I take laughter any way it comes...even at my own expense.
5. Friends.


1. Pay off debt.
2. Move internationally.
3. Start a non-profit.
4. Hire a personal trainer.
5. Make lots of donations (including an iPod for Eric)


1. I don't take compliments very well.
2. Pulling on my eyebrows.
3. I love to channel surf and not just during commercial breaks :)


1. G-town, California
2. Avenues, Salt Lake City, Utah
3. Huckelhoven, Germany
4. U of U, Salt Lake City
5. Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah


1. Waitress at Pinnacle Peak (yeehaw!)
2. Client Services for an employment agency
3. Area Director for Kaplan Test Prep
4. front desk at a dry cleaning business
5. Client Services for People Helping People


1. For most of my adolescent years I wanted to grow up and be a lawyer.
2. Quitting work and staying home with the kids has been one of the hardest (and best) things I've ever done. Both for myself and my family.
3. I cut my really long hair once after breaking up with a boy. He had loved my long hair.
4. My best friend and I planned my 'surprise' 16th birthday party. My mom still hasn't forgiven both of us for that.
5. I secretly wish I had been a heartbreaker. I dated several guys but did not break any hearts...and kind of wish I had!

3 PEOPLE I TAG seems the people I tag never do it which leads to great disappointment and depression on my end**...sooo....

ANYONE can do this tag. Just let me know you did it so I can check it out.

**sarcasm in case you missed it**

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweet things...

For my boys:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The other side of the fence...

One of my favorite blogs to read is Scott W's. He's one of those people on the blogosphere that I'd like to meet in real life. His blog provides daily refreshment to my reality driven mind. He blogs, in very short bursts, of things he is grateful for, hence the name 'Attitude of Gratitude'.

It is easy for me to be focused so much on what did not happen, what I failed to do, and what is left to do. Reading through his simple treasures always reminds me of what I was given during the day that I easily forget. But this isn't even the best part of his blog. The best part is that he always has incredible quotes. This one has been on my mind all week:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
but remember that what you now have was once among
the things you only hoped for.

I have found myself driving by homes with 'for sale' and 'for rent' signs quite a bit lately. And with that house lusting I have been yearning to be in a different place than we are. Moving back home with my own family to live with my parents has been much harder than I anticipated.

Not in the physical sense. My parents are incredibly busy, very respectful of space, supportive of our parentings ways, and always up for a good chat or a game. Very few people could live with their parents for any length of time (even just for a holiday) and enjoy the experience.

For me the hard part comes in regards to my pride. And also in regards to where I thought I'd be at this part of my life. Every time someone asks if I am STILL living at home I feel a flake of self-esteem shedding away. Even if they do not mean it with emphasis on the 'still'. Each time I reflect on where we are and what we are doing it seems I am quick to blame someone other than myself. Then I remember that, while the specifics are maybe not what I hoped for, the desire for this change was mine:

I wanted out of Utah. Desperately.

I needed E to engage in a career that was healthy for him and for our bank account.

We wanted to explore a new chapter in our life.

We agreed that I should be home with the kids and that Eric should be working towards an international adventure.

When I start picking apart the pieces of what I had hoped for, it all makes sense that it led us here. That flip in thinking, of starting with what had been desired and wished, and then looking at how it blossomed, is so helpful. Instead of feeling trapped by my circumstances I realize how fortunate I am to have all of those desires come true.

It always reasserts that the power is in my hands and has always been.

I am at home with the boys. If I wanted to I could get a full-time job we could move out. It would be quick and easy. But what was my choice?

We really want to have our international living adventure. The company he now works for has room for growth that direction, more than we have experienced with any of his companies before. The company is also actively preparing him for that direction too. Sweet!

He also loves his job and is incredibly good at it. With only nine months of employment he's been promoted, given a raise, and a delicious bonus.

Wish...check! Wish...check! Wish....check!

At work we used to talk (borrowing from Steven Covey) about working on what is in our 'sphere of influence'. I'm such a visual person that this phrase is solid for me. I used to imagine, when a problem came walking my way, what part of it I could work through and what part I couldn't. It helped me manage student emotions and expectations, distraught teachers, advisers and parents with unrealistic expectations. It just never translated, I never translated it, to my personal life.

I know a lot of people who are discontent in their life. Some own up to the choices they made (or are making) that contribute to that. Others seems determined to not only place the blame on others but to make their continued unhappiness known to anyone who will listen.

I wonder why as humans, because I know I am not the only one, it is easy to focus on the things outside of our control. To wish for what we don't complain about the things we admire the other side of the lose hope.

I'm stealing from Scott again (but they are soooo good!):

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just
show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
You wait and watch and work: You don't give up.
~Anne Lamott~

Friday, February 01, 2008

Martha Stewart & Gluten-Free?

Many of you know I have a secret obsession with Martha Stewart. Or with anything and anyone organized for that matter.

Our friends over at Celiac Chicks and Gluten-Free Goddess both blogged about a project competition that Martha is having in choosing a new venture. And we can vote for what it is!

She had her staff submit proposals and out of the 40 she chose 7. One of the seven Big Ideas is a new Martha Stewart publication that focuses on food allergies and will include recipes! The project creator, Alexis, is a staff member for Martha Stewart and has Celiac Disease.

There are a few food allergy magazines out there - and even some gluten-free ones. I love our subscription to Gluten-Free Living. Having a Martha Stewart empire magazine would be an added bonus! Getting her kitchen team behind recipe creating would mean delicious recipes! Added to that would be the readable, clear format that all of her magazines are styled in. It would just be delicious!

So I'm hoping that those of you who read this will got and vote. You don't have to vote for Alexis' project...but I won't be your friend anymore if you don't! Just teasing. Read through each proposal and vote!

Go here to read the proposals and vote.