Monday, June 22, 2009

Gathering Ideas

Well, nothing much is happening here as far as construction goes. The downstairs bath is still torn apart and the upstairs isn't much better. We've been getting bids to re-do the beautiful pink one on our main floor but they are much higher than we expected. If you see me asking for drywall advice you'll know that we have decided to do it ourselves.

In the meanitime I though I would show you a few of the items we are thinking of using in the main bathroom...

I can't decide which one of these I like better...

What do you have in your bathroom that you love?

Friday, June 19, 2009

ATC's for Alisa

Sadly we lost a Studio Calico friend, Alisa, last month. Emily came up with the idea of making ATC cards out of her message board posts, that will be made into a ATC Spinner filled with love and advice for the two young daughters, step-sons and husband she leaves behind. These are the cards I've made using her goals for the year...

Alisa's passing has made me remember to be grateful for each day and to be more present in the moment.

Treasure today,

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Yosemite Layout

We had the best time on our horseback ride in Yosemite and it's been fun to hear Coley describe it to his grandparent's on the phone! I wanted to capture his version of the trip so I had him tell me about it and used his words as the journaling. It reads: "We went on a really fun horseback ride in Yosemite to Mirror Lake. Edith was my mule and she was very well behaved, sometimes she tried to eat but not all the time. My Mom's mule, Oliver, thought it was an all you can eat buffet. My Dad's mule was named Twitch. The Corral Boss, Katie, said that Edith could probably do the trail with her eyes shut,. Edith was very tall and I was nervous at first but I felt better after the Katie took me walking around the corral on Edith. We saw a rattlesnake, that was in a swampy part, just laying there, and luckily he didn't rattle with his tail... it was sort of scary and when we came across it I patted Edith softly on the neck so she wouldn't look at it. There were crazy French hikers who ran through the brush and spooked my Mom's mule and another ladies mule and they started running... luckily my Mom knew how to ride! We couldn't go all the way to the end of the trail because there was a rock slide in March and it was blocked off. I'm really glad that I went on the ride." Coleman, Age 8, 6/09

We are off to the pool, have a great Monday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yosemite Valley at 7am - May 30, 2009

Just a picture post today, I wanted to share with you the magic of Yosemite Valley waking up!
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Time Out for A Rant

Taking a break from our trip to just rant... seriously I just need to RANT...

Before you go any farther, please know that this is not aimed at anyone in particular, this is a sore spot for me and comes at me from all directions. Don't feel like you need to comment, you don't have to, I just really needed to get this off my chest and out of my heart before the anger becomes too much.

I have one child, that's a huge blessing, HE is a huge blessing.

I know that it looks like smooth sailing with just one... only one to load into the car, only one kiddo's schedule to look after, only one to get bathed... but guess what it's not always easy...

When you only have one you get the brunt of what a sibling would get, more arguments, more questions, more need to be entertained. You also have to detox them when they come home from Grandma's because she's let him do whatever he wanted, because he is the only one... know what that also means?... it means that HE doesn't have anyone to share those fun times with, no one to go over the memories with when he's all grown up. When we go, he'll be the one picking up the pieces, alone. I know because I'm an only too.

What I'm trying to say is... Don't tell me how you don't have time for things because you have two kids, or more. Don't constantly mention that it's so different when you have more than one kiddo. Don't say, "Oh you only have one, you wouldn't understand." IT HURTS, deep down inside, where I don't let most people go.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Road Trip Recap... Day 2... Vegas Baby


10. Smoking is allowed everywhere, even in the ELEVATOR!!!

*Personal Experience* The Venetian is the only hotel we encountered where they pump some type of air freshener through the vents to cover the odor of smoke.
Oh and those people hacking in the casinos, don't worry they don't have TB, it's just that they've been smoking while gambling away their children's inheritance!

9. The four acre pool at the hotel will be filled within half an hour of opening, if you want a free chair, get in line early.

*Lounge Chair Tip* The chairs that do not cost $100 - $800 a pop are filled immediately... cop a squat in the sand and then start scanning the ten rows around you, wait until you see someone who is putting on their shoes and then pounce! This can take a bit but the relief your rear will feel when it's out of the scorching sand is worth it!

*Pool Time Tip #2* You can book an $800 cabana online, with a special pool package in the summers, for about $50-$100 more than your room fee. Look at it like you are really saving $700, and severe stress... trust me that little bit of money is worth it, I was kicking myself, with hot sandy feet, for not doing it!

8. Just because there are 6 elevators designated for floors 18-34, don't expect them all to work!

*Elevator Savvy* Get on the first one that opens, it doesn't matter which way it's going, just ride until you get to your floor. This is the only way you will ever survive the mobs you meet at the elevators every time. Wave at those who didn't figure that out as you go past them again!

7. The hotels never look as good in person.

The angle of the camera used in shooting promotional photos is key!

6. Just because it's an attraction aimed at kids don't expect it to be smut free.

*WARNING* It may be the size of a baseball card, but that nude woman on the front isn't a short stop! Yes that's right they have stripper trading cards in Vegas and people leave them EVERYWHERE!

5. Take no notice of the Chef's name in the restaurant title... they all serve the same five entrees, with only a slight variation on the original.

*Savvy Dining Tip* Go to the place with the longest line, there is a reason for it... we discovered The Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes and it was truly the best food we had in Vegas.

4. Art can be found anywhere... even on The Strip.

***Don't Miss the Luxor's Titanic Exhibit or the masterpieces at the Bellagio***

5. Always check where the monorail you are riding goes!

*Person Experience* We boarded the monorail that took you from Mandalay Bay to The Luxor and Excalibur, as we jumped on a man yelled "Next stop Treasure Island" he was still riding when we got back on an hour later! Luckily for him there was a woman carrying a giant box of Krispy Kreme donuts who was also still on the monorail when we got back on, so he won't starve! Seriously, it only had three stops, didn't they notice?!

4. Don't expect to win big... it's not going to happen... aim to break even.

*Insider's Gambling Tip* The only place you'll make money is the penny slots... I am now $8 richer!

3. Just because your hotel room is beautifully decorated don't expect everything to work!

*WARNING* The great little flat screen you can see from the tub, it doesn't work, don't get out when wet and try to mess with it, you'll be in for a shock!

2. It's called "Sin City" for a reason.

Three things that proved this...

Women in full head covering gambling away in the High Roller Room.

Amish people driving a pick-up truck with a horse buggy in the back! No I'm not kidding.

A man regaling his friend with his tales of infidelity at the wave pool... thank God the kiddo was in the pool and not by the chairs where they were.

1. Keep your expectations low.

Remember this was all made by man, it doesn't hold a candle to the beautiful creations of God you'll see on the drive there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day One... On The Road

Pack 'em up, move 'em out... and praise God that Starbucks is open bright and early and they have a drive-thru, seriously, thank you God for whomever created the drive-thru Starbucks. (Most of you know I'm not a pretty sight without my caffeine fix ;)

We left on Sunday morning and were able to drive through the Rockies on a beautiful sunny day. Perfect for spotting the six big horn sheep that we saw... of course they were right on the side of the road next to the car so it wasn't that hard to see them! That is the thing about these animals, they are never up on the rocky mountainside like you expect, they are eating the grass along the side of the road, so it's like... "Look Big Horn Sheep." you turn your head and in an instant you see them and then they're gone... you can't stop to take a photo or anything because you're whizzing down the interstate at 80mph and the giant trucks would mangle you and the sheep if you stopped. PSA to Big Horn Sheep... MOVE off the shoulder of the road up onto the mountainsides, you're going to get hit and no one can get a good picture! Although I was thrilled to see such a large number of them all together, it was amazing to think they live right here just a few miles from home.

Next we descended into the Western Slope of Colorado, beautiful wine country, yep we grow grapes for wine here in Colorado, really it's not all shoot 'em up at the OK Corral all the time... we can be refined too ;) We stopped at a "50's Diner"... the inside was very authentic, but the fact that it was in a strip mall sort of threw me off. They did however have really good hashbrowns and for me that's what breakfast is really all about... the carbs.

This is the part where Coleman shook up a Sprite, "to get the fizz out" (he is totally his Mama not liking the fizzy bite of soda just the sweet syrupy part). We had to pull over to change his clothes, and talk about our need to buy a carpet and upholstery shampooer.

After all that excitement we drove into the canyons of Utah. Amazing, truly, every five miles or so they change color and it's a dramatic landscape unlike any you have ever seen before. My favorite was the dark maroon red cliffs, truly breathtaking, God is an artist!

We continued on stopping at the strangest gas stations and Burger King you could ever imagine. Sadly there were no more Starbucks to be found. We drove through places like Beaver, Utah... silly name pretty place, on our way into Las Vegas.

Twelve and a half hours after leaving home we saw the towering hotels of Vegas rise from the desert ahead of us. Of course it took another half hour to actually arrive at our hotel, but I'll save the rest for tomorrow. It will be a sort of top ten list if you will.

Thanks for lasting this long, see you on The Strip in the morning.