Brennan turned 8 in September and was baptized in October a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So proud of Brennan for making this important decision. It was a special day and am thankful for family and friends that were there to support Brennan on his special day. My mom came up from California and Ed's brother & his wife, John and Donna came up from Arizona. I know Brennan felt so loved.
Ryan entered the PTA Relections Contest in the Photography category. You can read more about the the Relections Contest by clicking here. The theme of the submission is "Together We Can". He won 1st place in his category at school. He got really great feedback. One of the judges was a BYU professor that was really impressed with Ryan's submission. Ryan moves on to the next level of competion. We don't know how far he will go, but if feels good to us as parents to have Ryan recognized for his talents. I can't post a pic, because I don't have one and am concerned about someone stealing Ryan's photo. Good job Ryan, we are so proud of you for taking a risk!
Brennan turned 8 this month and was excited to become a Cub Scout. His first Pack Meeting happened to be the Pinewood Derby and he was very excited to build a car. With Ed's help they built a winning car. Brennan was the fastest car in his Wolf Den and also had the fastest car in the Pack resulting in Brennan becoming the Pack Winner! We were really excited for him. We could tell that he was so nervous throughout the night. But we were really happy to see that he was a gracious winner as well.
Another big event for October was my 40th Birthday. I have actually been looking forward to my 40th birthday, it feels so grown up to say you are 40. Now, I'm not saying it has been easy to get to 40, I've had a rough time getting here. But I feel like I have grown up a lot in the last few years and getting to 40 feels like a success. Can't wait to get to 50, I will be so much smarter and wiser (well I am hoping). I had a great birthday, it started out with a great card from my oldest friend from high school that had some very kind thoughtful words that I needed to hear. Ed got me a massage, facial and pedicure. So I felt very pampered. Unfortunately, I had to go to work. When I got home from work, this was on my garage door. You can't see it well on the picture, but it said, "So what!!! You're Another Year Older....Don't get Your Panties In a Bunch!!!!" There was a string of panties on my garage. When I got into the house, the house was covered in confetti, balloons, streamers and banners (courtesy of my friends and neighbors, the Jardines).
That evening, my besties, Nissa and Christine took me out to a yummy dinner. I was so nice to spend time with these gals. Over the years, they have cried with me and laughed with me. I really rely on these gals and I hope I can do the same for them.
When we got home, I had cake with family and friends. Then I went out to a movie with my friend Christine. I received dozens of birthday wishes, calls, cards, texts and emails from many friends and family. The start of 40 is great!
I am finally posting Ryan's Bedroom Re-Do. Click here for the original post. Here are the before pics again. The pictures are not that great, but basically it's the original paint, the room has not changed since we moved into the house 4 years ago. BEFORE:
Drum Roll ....... I call it modern minimalist-cool chic. AFTER:
I started out by clearing out the entire room. It is so much easier to work in the space if you clear everything out. Then we started taping. Because of Ed's back, I didn't get any help from him, but Ryan stepped up to the plate and he taped everything. He did an awesome job. Then there was some debate on whether to do the horizontal stripe around the room. That took about 1 day of thought (I do a lot of thinking, before actually doing it). I painted the room in Behr Premium Plus in Anonymous which is a gray. After it dried, I taped for the horizontal stripe. I bought a laser level because I thought it would help, but found it more frustrating than helpful.
I painted the horizontal stripe in Behr Premium Plus in Stealth which is on the same color card as the Anonymous. There were some mishaps with the stripe (we recovered). Half way through I was trying to justify in my head, how I could get away with just doing 2 walls and not go all the way around, but I prevailed. We really loved the way it turned out. I was concerned that it would be too dark, but it turned out great. I really like the contrast of the colors with the white mouldings.
We had already bought some other bedding, but I happened to be browsing at Wal-Mart and found this Microfiber bedding set which I thought would go so much better, so I had Ryan choose and he chose the Wal-Mart set. The picture frame above the bed is from IKEA. We were actually there to buy a different picture, then saw this one on clearance for under $30....AMAZING....the original picture I was going in there to buy was over $100. The pic is black and gray hues, with a red pop of color, just like the pillow on the bed. The smoke colored curtains are from IKEA , 2 panels for under $20!!! I swapped the dresser from Brennan's room for Ryan's old nightstand. I left space above the dresser for a future wall mounted TV...way down the road! I re-purposed some frames that I had in storage. I didn't want to put a night stand back in because it is a magnet for clutter. So I helped Ryan de-clutter, sort, organize and store and put in these floating shelves. Tah-dah! Now Brennan is jealous and wants a redo in his room. I need to recover from this one first.
Sunday after church we headed for the Bonneville Salt Flats and Speedway. Ryan had been wanting to go all Summer and do some photography and we just couldn't squeeze it in until last weekend. We packed a dinner and drove out there for the evening for some good photography lighting. We had great family time, which I think we don't get enough of. I love hanging with my boys and having them all to myself. I highly recommend the Flats, it's like you are on another planet. We got on the Speedway and Ed drove pretty fast, no land records were broken, but it was pretty exhilirating. Ryan practiced his photography and driving. Brennan and I walked around and did some reading. On our way out from the Speedway, we stopped at the entrance to eat our dinner and ran across a biker couple with their "hogs" who were having some mechanical problems. Ed asked if they needed help and they said they were okay, but I encouraged Ed to wait and finish our dinner and make sure they got off okay because it was getting dark and the speedway had pretty much cleared out. After about 45 minutes, they couldn't get their bike started so we offered to push start. Because of Ed's back he couldn't help, but Ryan and I threw on our running shoes (Ed always throws in a pair of extra shoes for us) and we got the bike going. It feels so good to help people. The Salt Flats are called the "Salt Flats" for a reason. It is Salty. Because Ryan was laying down on the ground for some of his shots, the ground is moist and he was soaked and salty. His clothes were hard when they dried. The inside of the car was packed with salt from our shoes. When we got a look at the car the next day the wheel wells of the car were packed with salt that looked like snow and outside of the car had a thick coating of salt. Needless to say, a serious car wash was in order Monday morning.
Ed has been having some major lower back issues over the past several months. His back pain is a major source of conversation in our household. The other morning, I woke up to find this on the floor outside my bedroom door.
Dad this can help you with your back!!!!!!!! $39.95 Call 1-800-617-6086
Apparently, Brennan had been up early that morning watching TV and saw a commercial for some kind of back remedy. We're still not sure what it is. But we thought it was so cute that he was thinking about Ed, wrote down all the information and didn't wake us up.
The boys started school last week. Yahoo! I am not one of those parents that cries when their kids start school. I love it! I am so excited to have everyone back on a schedule, including myself! The only thing I don't like is homework, their homework means homework for me too!
I love me some Chris Isaak. I got to see Chris again at Red Butte Gardens this year. Because I saw him last year, I knew he could be coming out to the audience and I knew if he did, what the possible route would be and I would be there waiting for him like the stalker that I am. Sure enough I was standing 2 feet from him. I was trying to take a picture but I was so "twitterpated" that I think I took a picture of my feet and random people. I just adore his voice, sense of humor and unrequited love ballads.
I know I am way behind the times and probably the only person in American who had never seen SYTYCD. This issue was discussed with my SIL and niece this summer at Lake Powell and I was put to task to watch it this season. I watched and I loved it! Even Ed became a fan and got a bit bent out of shape if I watched without him. But we had an unexpected fan in our midst, we discovered Brennan became a fan of the show and big fan of Jose. Check out Brennan's dance "stylings".
I am tackling another home project while I am also working on my craft room. I am also working on a redo of Ryan's room. I wanted to surprise him with the room completed while he was on his 5 day Scout high adventure trip, but I couldn't pull it off. I really wanted to do a more traditional look with a chair rail and a burgundy color to match his current bedding to save some moolah, but as I was thinking about it, I realized it was more my want and not necessarily a reflection of what Ryan would like. So I put on my Ryan hat and started trying to think of what he would like. I came up with a more modern, contemporary look to reflect his artistic sensibilities. I presented my idea to him and he really liked it and is super excited about it. Last week we picked new bedding, paint color and some accessories. I am hoping that it looks great and that he will be happy with his space. I will post the after pictures once I get the room completed.
Here are some of the before pics:
The closet doors (above) take up almost an entire wall. If I had money, know-how and "manpower", I would make the closet half the size, by knocking down the left hand side wall, reframing the closet, which would create a niche for a desk....maybe in another life.
The room is very small, so there is not a whole lot of furniture. I will probably not be putting this super old (it really is not that old, but you know how technology advances) TV back in the room. You can't tell from the pics, but there are about 5 speakers that go with his CD Player/Tuner. When you walk into the room, all you see are wires behind the TV, soooooo not sexy. I am excited to get rid of the tangled web of wires. I would love to get him a small flat screen TV to mount on the wall. Again, maybe in another life.
I am going to be changing out the bedding and curtains to a more contemporary, minimalist look. Currently the comforter and shams are traditional from Nautica. The curtains, bedskirt and pillows are denim. I still really like them, but the "boy" has grown up and outgrown this look. I am going to be repurposing the shelf above the bed. I am planning on painting it and putting it in the craft room during my craftroom redo, click here. Still not sure what I will do about the nightstand. His current nightstand will not go with my idea, however, he needs a nightstand for his clock/radio, but that nightstand is a magnet for clutter. If I end of using it, I may repaint it. Decisions, decisions.....
I just read this quote in one of the yoga blogs I read. Food for thought!
The problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself...it doesn't want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up. - A.H. Almaas
Since we got our basement finished a while back, I have been so excited to have a craft room for all my doings. I feel pretty lucky to have a room all to myself, it feels pretty decadent! Well, it has NOT looked decadent, nor do I really do anything in there because it is so uninspiring. It is a disaster zone in there. So I made the decision a couple weeks ago, to start working in there and start getting it organized and decorated. It's a work in progress, but I am excited to get this part of home and life sorted out. Here are my before pictures:
Here are my attempts to start sorting. I will admit, I kind of am a pack rat, an organized pack rat, but a pack rat none-the-less. I keep lots of things. Here's the kind of things I got in that room: receipts and instruction books for every major purchase we have ever made (if we still own it), every single letter and card that Ed has ever given me in the past 20 years, my report cards starting from kindergarten, the boys report cards, school work, awards, art work, geneology and who knows what else I haven't uncovered yet. First order of business is sorting all the papers and junk.
Notice the hole in the wall, it's an access panel to some kind of pipe. I think I have been harassing Ed on a monthly basis to get that covered and fixed. May need to come up with a better way to ask him to do that.
Late last week, my partner in crime, Christine and I took the kids on a 4-wheelin desert adventure to hunt for geodes. We heard about it, googled it, filled up the gas tank, packed the car with water, snacks, kids and digging equipment, stopped for some $1 Cokes at McDonalds and away we went on our adventure out to Dugway. On our way there we saw lots of Antelope. This little guy, just sat and stared at us as we stared back.
We stopped at the one of the historic Pony Express Stations at Simpson Springs and the gang posed for a picture.
After about 50 miles of gravel roads and no other cars on the road, we arrived at the Geode beds. We had no idea exactly what we were doing, we had done the research, but it is a different story from reading about it to the literal applications of it. So when we got to the beds, we finally saw two people on the side of a hill digging. So I stopped to talk to them and get the "skinny" and the "411" on the geode situation. They were very nice and told me they were novices themselves, but did give me some information on what a geode sounds like when you hit it against a rock, they do have distinctive sounds. So away we went to find our own locale to dig.
So we drove around the area a bit. Found a place to park, set up our day camp with umbrellas, chairs, drinks and snacks. And away we go to digging and exploring. Christine, Ky and Brennan got right to it finding geodes ( I am sure Christine will be thrilled by the butt shot).
Rylan had to work really hard digging out a really big geode.
It was pretty stinkin hot, in the mid 90's, so we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. Here is Ky and Brennan contemplating their next dig site.
There were some puddles of water and Brennan brought his net and was able to find some toads that he was able to catch and bring home.
Christine and Emmy trying to keep cool under the shade.
Emmy is such a crack up, she is such a "ham", I just love this kid!
These are some of Brennan's finds.
We had some much fun on our adventure. On our way home we got a little crazy by 4-wheelin over some big hills and hitting some of the mud puddles pretty fast and seeing how high we could get the mud to go. The kids had so much fun, it sounded like rollercoaster screams some of the time. Can't wait to go on our next adventure.
So Wednesday morning, I was in a mood (PMS may have played a factor). I had to get up early to roll the trash can out to the curb because I was pretty sure Ed had not done it when he got home late the night before. I had to gather up some trash that was in the garage as well, you know, the kind that you sit out there in hopes that someone else will notice it and carry out to the bin, but it can sit there for days because it takes on "invisible" qualities. Only I seem to see it, smell it and trip over it, but curiously, it becomes "invisible" to everyone else, so odd ;-) I digress... on to the story.
While in the garage gathering trash, I look around, and the garage is a freakin' mess (I lie, no, I didn't just notice it, I notice it all the time. The garage is the bain of my existence. I am always harassing someone to clean up the garage). Garage cleaning is on the repertoire of my monthly cleaning activities. I clean, someone else does this:
This is Ryan's "project" table:
Curiously, I had had a conversation with Ed on Saturday about what a mess the garage was. I impressed how tired I was of the mess and how we can't even park a car in the garage. Not to mention the holes in the drywall caused by an "experimental" dowel shooting gun and the holes caused by BB's. I reminded Ed of Ryan's failure to comply with some basic rules, 1. No fire in the garage. 2. No shooting of any kind in the garage. 3. Clean up after yourself. 4. No property damage. (From the evidence in the garage, Ryan had violated 3 out of 4 rules). Ed calmed me down, cause I was pretty worked up, he assured me that he and Ryan would work on cleaning the garage and he would talk to Ryan about the rules.
Fast forward to Wednesday, back to my story. So I look around and it is clear to see that my conversation with Ed on Saturday has done nothing for the garage. So now I start to feel my blood slowly starting to boil. I start moving things around, sweeping, trying to put things away, I am starting to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster in there. Besides the fact that it is 7 am, I am in my pajamas, the garage is like 90 degrees. I remember my plea for a call to action from Ed on Saturday and my blood starts to boil hotter. This enrages me more, so I really start to get in there and move stuff around. Finally I am overcome by the thought that I am sweating my guts out and I am cleaning the garage in my favorite pajamas..... whoa...what's wrong with me?!?!
I go back inside, throw my pajamas in the laundry room and head to the closet to change. Ed is in the shower getting ready for work. I sit on the edge of the tub contemplating my strategy. Should I give Ed the silent treatment? Tempting.... and my standard protocol, but after 2 years of therapy, I have moved beyond that, but it does tempt me and beckon me to rejoin the dark side. Then it occurs to me that I was upset about something else (not important to anyone else but myself) that had been eating at me since the night before. The mess in the garage triggered an emotional reaction and my action to clean it, is kind of a coping mechanism. Not a healthy one. Sure it gets the garage cleaned, but what it does is it gives me more "justification" to be madder. Not a good thing. Essentially, I am creating more reasons for me to be mad and be victimized. Lightbulb moment!!!! So you know how I was just saying that old habits die hard, that we are tempted to keep doing our bad behavior and go back to the dark side? Boy is it hard, because just as I was sitting there having my "lightbulb moment", I am sitting there looking at the baseboard in the bathroom that I have been asking Ed to paint for about 3 years, then I start looking around at the nail hole on the door frame, that hasn't been filled and I start thinking about the small section of unfinished moulding that I can only see when I am in the shower....and slowly my blood begins to boil again and there I am again, looking and finding more reasons to be mad. Uh, "lightbulb" moment a-gain!
So what's my new and improved modus operandi? Just talking about it. I told Ed about my frustration(s). Then told him about the "lightbulb" moment(s), he laughed with me and said I was very "self-aware". He apologized about the garage (I have a feeling, I am still going to end up cleaning it, that's how we roll in this family, but at least it will be because I want to).
Before I go, this is what "my side" of the garage looks like:
The above picture describes what my month of July has looked like! Quick story about this picture: I was driving down Geneva Rd somewhere between Orem and Lindon and I saw this mess on the side of the road. I had to turn around and take the picture because it totally reminded me of what my life feels like sometimes. It really made me chuckle! So, on to my mess on the side of the road. Busy month and no time to blog, I thought summer was suppose to slow things down, not for me, I have been super busy, trying to balance life, work, the boys, relationships.......Here's the breakdown:
Work - has been very busy, covering for some of my co-workers this month has kept me busy working some extra hours. I don't mind it at all, but it does get me a little stressed about spending less time with the boys. Having this job is really a big blessing in my life, can't complain.
The Boys - well, it's summer and they are mostly bored. Ryan is busy working his odd jobs around the neighborhood. So proud that he earns his own money. It has made him more conscientious about what we spend money on. Brennan watches way too much tv and spends way too much time playing video games. I am feeling a lot of guilt about it. So the past 1 1/2 weeks I have stepped it up by trying to get him out of the house and spend more time doing things. We've gone to the pool twice, played legos, gone to lunch, gone out for donuts, window shopped, Chuck E. Cheese, we have a couple more activities planned in the next few days. Ryan is off at Scout High Adventure Camp, climbing King's Peak this week. He was not thrilled, but I am glad he went. Ed and I are putting out positive vibes that he has a good time.
Ed - has been a dear lately. He has had a lot of stress at work as of late and is suffering from a bad back that is going on two month now. He is in quite a bit of pain, but is trying to stay positive. Last week, he was suppose to take some time off of work, but various crisis at work prevented him from doing so. He hardly ever takes time off and has been working some extra long hours. Case in point, last Saturday he worked from 8 am to midnite. On Sunday, he had to go in from 6 pm to midnite and yesterday he left here at 7:30 am and didn't get home until midnite (oh, and he doesn't get paid overtime).
Myself - I have been feeling quite a bit of anxiety lately. Trying to pin down the source, but nothing specific yet. Things that may be contributing to it, not getting enough exercise. I have been quite a exercise slacker lately. I just wanted to take a few days off that has turned into probably 3 weeks. The good news is, my knees feel FANTASTIC! The bad news is, I'm still a slacker, dreading restarting exercising and the muscle pain. This is how bad it's been..... I have not even been to Yoga (and if you know me, you know I don't miss yoga for nobody), so I am NOT feeling "one with the universe", (could definitely be a contributor to the anxiety). Have had some interesting moments of self-awareness, I will try to share those more often. I will post one tomorrow that happened to me this morning, but I am losing steam.
I have been so negligent in my blogging lately. Life gets a hold of me and sucks me into the ebbs and flows of life, but here I am a little further downstream. June has been very busy, hectic, fun and amazing.
Scrabble with Natalie, Brennan, Simone, Chad and Sabrina
Sabrina, Donna and Natalie
June started out with our yearly trip to Lake Powell. It was most amazing because this year we were joined by the other Callahan Clan, Ed's brother and his family. We had a great time, lots of laughs, food, fun and sun. The top 5 things I want to remember about the trip are:
1. Spending time with my sis-in-law Donna. She rocks!
2. Spending time with my niece Natalie. She makes me feel important.
3. Brennan studying fish, reading about fish, catching fish and torturing everyone else with fish facts. My nephew, Chad was the most incredible patient fishing assistant to Brennan ever. Thanks Chad!
4. Cliff jumping - NEVER tell Donna and Yolanda that they are NO fun! We will prove you wrong, even if that means jumping off cliffs.
5. Playing Scrabble with the girls and having the biggest laugh of the weekend about the spelling of "jive/give". Sabrina and Simone, just thinking about you two gives me the biggest smile.
This month, I also had the most amazing reunion with some very important women in my life. Their importance became more apparent to me over the weekend I spent with them in June. We were brought together in 1988 in Palm Desert, California, at a crossroads in all our lives, and we have been bound by some very incredible and magical events (no time to blog about it now). In June, we got together because Carolyn's daughter got married. it was a wonderful reunion, reminiscing about old times, having the time honored tradition, "schmut" night, have some great laughs and also sharing our burdens. Being with these women was surprisingly an answer to a silent prayer I had in my heart for quite some time. I am so excited to reconnect with them and continue our friendships for another 22 years.
Team 186-Holy Crap, I didn't get my training done!
Ragnar Relay/Wasatch Back has come and gone and I survived my 2nd relay. I seriously had my doubts, due to a bum knee that I have been trying to nurse for the past 6 months. As always, super fun! A little different than last time since we had a coed team, but a blast just the same.
The top 5 highlights for me of the relay:
1. Me being in the middle of a Cheryl and Christine sandwich while we slept in the back of the Excursion. People, let me tell you.... it is possible to sleep 4 people in the back. It's not the most comfortable, but when you have only slept 3 hours the night before and you are physically exhausted from running, laying down flat with your best buddies keeping you warm and making you laugh with "fart talk" is the best feeling.
2. Ryan running the Relay with us was so cool. Ryan is a super duper super hero in my book. He had the longest distances to run and he was a champ. On his second leg, he developed a serious blister that covered half the bottom of his foot. I could tell he was in so much pain. The next morning, he put moleskins and duct tape on and ran his final leg. I do have to admit that it was a little stressful for me to have him with us, that maternal instinct kicks in and it gets you a little stressed about their comfort and safety. The jury is still out on whether he had fun, he still has not given me a definitive answer.
3. Meeting Christine at the top of a hill she just ran, she has her headphones on, so she has no idea how loud she is and she says this: "That hill was a bitch". Complete strangers were laughing, good thing there were no children present, well except for Ryan and he thought it was pretty funny.
4. This may make no sense to anyone else, except to Christine and myself, but after catching a little shut eye, it was so cold in the morning and Christine and I were sitting in the back of the car trying to stay warm and wake up. Scott is trying to load the seat we had removed from the car back into place. He asked for our help...he didn't get any except for a bunch of delirious laughing from Christine and myself.
5. Cheryl. Need I say more? I don't know anyone who has more energy, is more helpful, positive, can make you a sandwich or grab something out of the ice chest for you without any hesitation.
6. Ok, I lied, I have 6 items. Last,but not least...The amazing, kick a$$ chicks in Van #2. These girls are hardcore, most amazing athletic chicks. They made us look like sissies!
I do have an admission to make. As I lay down trying to sleep after my 2nd leg, and after feeling something snap and come undone in the back of my knee, I thought, "I am never doing this again. I am recanting on my commitment of saying that I am doing the Vegas Relay in October. It is not happening!" Well, it's happening.... I am all signed up to run my LAST and FINAL Ragnar Relay in October. I mean it, it's my last Ragnar!
It's that time again for Ragnar Relay....188 miles of fun and torture. I am actually feeling very scared. There is no way I trained anywhere close to what I should have this time. I have been suffering from a knee injury for the past 4 months, so I tried to take it easy in hopes that it would get better. I stopped running and started biking in order to give my knee a rest. I realized I really like spin class, but I am nervous because the running has not happened and I am 2 weeks away from go time. I don't have doubts that I can do it, it just won't be pretty. My knee is still hurting a bit, but I am just going to run through the pain and gave a fun time with my family and friends.
I am trying to update my profile on my blog. It is so BORING!!
I want it to be a little quirky, describe my situation in life, my challenges, my triumphs...yada yada.... I want it to be real, not some crap about how wonderful my life is...cause let's face it...it's been the $#&@s for the past 3 years! More to come....