Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays

We are so grateful for our friends and families this holiday season. We are grateful for good health and a beautiful, happy and growing little boy. We are grateful for jobs, a roof over our heads, kindness, opportunities to serve and grow. Most of all were grateful for the atonement and the Savior's sacrifice for each and every one of us.   

I copied this from my sister's blog who chose not to tag anyone, but invited anyone who wanted to, to play. The invitation is extended to you... Copy and paste into your blog. Highlight the things you've done.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars (Nights on the trampoline as a kid -- good times!)
3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown my own vegetables - this year I promise
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 
20. Slept on an overnight train - through Mexico in unairconditioned trains & in Italy under better circumstances
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping 
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (a yacht does that count?)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language 
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted 
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar or escargot

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating -- the turkey on pioneer trek -- not fun.

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (no but Matt does quiet often does that count)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous. Yes when I lived in LA as a nanny I met many famous people and their children and nannies.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Been to a foreign country

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I miss Chicago at Christmas

This is our second Christmas living here in Phoenix. While I love the temperatures - I just can't get over how much I love Chicago during Christmas time. Chicago has so much culture, excitement and great shopping too!!Every year we lived there we went to the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Daley Plaza, the traditional German Christmas Mart and visited the Macy's Christmas windows. Chicago lent itself to fun Christmas traditions, we haven't created any new ones here in Phoenix yet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I love this age

I wanted to write down a few of my favorite things about this toddler age. Jax is so much fun now! He understands a lot and interacts with me more than ever before. It is fun having a little budy to enjoy my days with. Ever since his friend Will was in town he started to become much more verbal. His favorite words are:
  • "DADDDY" over-emphasizing the "DDD"
  • Cars - every car in the parking lot, not missing one "cars, cars, cars, cars," he wants to make sure I see every one.
  • Doggy and "woof, woof" He loves dogs. He holds out his hand to let the dog smell him and lick him and then barely touches their fur before getting a little scared.
  • Juice. Matt got him hooked on orange juice and he loves it.
  • HOT. Everything that he hasn't tasted he asks "hot?" I guess he is cautious. 
  • Baby. He loves babies and loves to point out every one.
  • Shoe. He loves to get his shoes on and get ready to go.
  • Choo, choo. loves trains
He is very independent. Despite the tantrums and the opinions about everything I love this age! I love how much personality he has. I love that he is a little more manageable than at 18-months and I love that he is growing up to be a wonderful little boy.

Our home - before and after

A year ago at this time we were negotiating offers on a lovely old home in the North Central neighborhood of Phoenix. A year later, we are here enjoying the approaching holidays in our warm, beautiful home. This is our first Thanksgiving/Christmas where we aren't headed to Salt Lake or hosting people here. I have to admit I miss the chaos and excitement of entertaining.

The extremely talented photographer who took the "after" picks for my website is Maggie Holmes.

kitchen/dining before
dining after
kitchen before

kitchen after

living room before
living room after

bedroom before
bedroom after

Jax's room before
Jax's room after

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

I thought we pulled off the dub-T pretty well. 

Jax did not want to wear his dog costume so we changed his into a mini-dub-T rocker child. He loved it. He was the life of the block party. He loved the twin girls sitting by the candy bowl. He was flirting with both of them all night. Can you say ladies man!

Walmart Parking Lot

This was a bumper sticker on a car in the Walmart parking lot. I wish the "Right to VOTE," could be taken away from certain ignorant people. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dwell Home Staging

I passed the state and national salesperson real estate exam. Whoo! This means, I'm on schedule to launch Dwell Home Staging by the end of the month. 

Below are elements of Dwell's identity system. I had the opportunity to work with Susan Fireside an extremely talented designer and friend of mine whom I met through working at HBG, the branding agency in Chicago.

Below is the website's  homepage design. I've been working with another talented designer Drew Taylor. Check out just the design at

The website is not live, but I wanted to pass it on to all of you for feedback. PLEASE provide me with any thoughts, opinions or ideas. The more input the better. 

Also, if you have any ideas for the official launch, that would be helpful too!

Halloween Themes

I love the holidays, but something doesn't seem right pulling out the fall/Halloween decorations when it is still 100 degrees outside.

We're having a block party for Halloween this year. For years, I've anticipated the time when our family can dress up as a "theme." I've been envious of my sisters' ability to sew creative costumes for their children and then get their husbands and children to dress according to the "theme." Well, I finally found a theme that would work with my, often reluctant husband and my child who's new favorite words are "woof, woof."

Here's what we're thinking... 

Jax can be a little dog.

Matt can be Duane "The Big Dog Bounty Hunter" Chapman 

and I will be his white trash wife Beth with an almost matching mullet

Bring on the dub-T!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

a few more of colorado

My sister 

does it get any better?


blog world oh how i miss you

Hello long lost blog buddies. I've been MIA for 2 months - and for good reason. I'm in the process of starting my own business, dwell home staging. I've been busy with real estate classes, working on a business plan, brand strategy, copy, design, website and much more. The process has been so much fun. I've been excited to combine my two favorite things (outside my 2 men of course) real estate and home design. 

What I missed...a few photos of our trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beach Boys

I love this picture. Are they not the two best buds you've ever seen?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer BBQ

Temps soaring well past the hundreds called for a summer BBQ with plenty of cold water and swimming. We had some friends over for the first annual backyard BBQ in our new house. It was a hit. The kids loved it and the adults did too.

the kids enjoying the pool
Jax & I
the adults enjoying the pool (Jared & Heidi, Maury & Me)

the adults enjoying the AC (Lindsey, Jodi & Baer)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


During our years in Chicago we made great friends that we'll never forget nor let go -Reagan & Luke Hayes, Wendy & Brandon Labrum, John & Jenava Tait and Cameron & Jack Schwieger. The best kind of friends... Sunday afternoon pajamas and movies, date nights, game nights, movies and fun restaurants. Over the years we all grew extremely close through various church callings, pregnancy, child births and other life changes. The hardest part about leaving Chicago was leaving our best friends and family. We love all of them and are so glad to have them in our lives.

the girls and kiddos

the boys and kiddos

the girls

Since leaving Chicago we've all had children and our little families are growing (some a quicker than others). Despite missing John & Jenava, we had a blast with the reunion of our Chicago bunch. We spent the week in Destin, Florida where Luke and Reagan so graciously hosted us in Reagan's parents gorgeous condo. Despite the fear of our active and curious toddler destroying the condo, we had the best time and so many memories to cherish until next year.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Swimming

Between swim lessons and water parks we can't get enough water to cool us off from this summer HEAT. 

We had such a great time in Florida last week. We spent a lot of time in the pool, by the beach and the playground.  Our trip was amazing, I'll post more pics later.

He loved his floaties

My little boy is growing up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Farm @ South Mountain

My mom, Jax and I enjoyed lunch and the afternoon at the organic farm in Tempe.
Jax admiring the flowers & more importantly, the dirt!
Loving the hormone-free, happy, healthy free-range chickens!

Admiring all the healthy, organic vegetables, fruits & herbs
My Mom and Jax