Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 1795... LOVE

I have never been a fan of Valentine's Day.
I think the biggest issue I have with it is that I feel like you should show love everyday and not just 1 day a year.
and I was probably burned somewhere along the road of life by love.
Or at least what I thought was love...

So growing up my tradition was Taco Bell every Valentine's whether or not I was dating someone,
and even after I got married.

Then I had kids.

And 1 of those kids LOVES Valentine's Day.
She just thinks it is great.
Best day ever!!!
I don't know why.
I definitely know that I never encouraged or swayed that opinion.
But I do know that as a parent,
my goal is to love and support my children regardless in everything that they do and that they love.
So I guess that means,
in a round about way,
that I now love Valentine's Day too?
I don't like that very much at all.
But I do love Aniston,
so I can fake it for her.
I would do anything for her!

Love is an interesting word.
It means something different to everyone.
Some people use it all the time,
while others hesitate to add it to their vocabulary.

Every love is different.
Mom love is different than wife love.
Sister love is different than daughter love.
Friend love is different than sibling love.
It's all so different.
It kind of blows my mind.

I think that the biggest,
most important experience I have ever had with love,
was when Benson was born.

When you have a baby, 
and they place that baby on your chest for the first time,
the love that you feel is insanity!
I had never experienced anything like that before.
It's overwhelming and powerful.
It's the most amazing thing ever!

When I was pregnant with Benson,
I thought that there was no way in the world,
that I would ever be able to love him the same way,
or as much as I love Aniston.
Because I have never loved anyone the way I love Aniston.
I honestly did not think that is was possible to love 2 people that much.

But when they placed Benson on my chest for the first time,
all my fears just disappeared. 
I was astonished at the identical love I felt for him and for Aniston.

I was sure I was going to be that parent who had a favorite child.
Someone please tell me that the Duggar's don't have a favorite out of 19 kids.....
But I don't have a favorite.
Aniston and Benson are the most amazing humans ever!
Although there are days when I want to lock myself in the bathroom (I may or may not have already done this multiple times a week or this week),
to escape the insanity,
my heart just explodes with the love I feel for them every day.

They remind me everyday that love is powerful,
that love is strong,
that love is a life changer.
Love makes my family better.

Watching my children,
and witnessing the love that they have for one another is also AMAZING!
We have been blessed because Aniston has been obsessed with Benson since day 1.
She fights for him,
she loves on him,
she would do anything for him.
And that makes my life pretty great!

I am thankful for love,
even though I dislike pretty much everything about Valentine's Day,
except for the fact that it means I get Taco Bell.

Without love,
I wouldn't be a mom.

Without love,
I wouldn't be a wife.

Without love,
I wouldn't be me.

Can we also take a quick moment and appreciate the fact that Benson has the same views as I do when it comes to Valentine's Day???
Either that or he hates having his picture taken...

Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY... Dining Room Table

Never again...
I love to revamp old furniture,
and honestly I still have plans for a couple more pieces that we currently own,
but seriously...
Dining room tables,
scratch that,
dining room chairs,
are so difficult!!!
Borderline not worth it.
I definitely underestimated the amount of time and effort that this project would take.

When my parents gave Spencer and I the dining room table that they had had for 18 years,
that I grew up with,
that my boyfriends sat with my family at,
that I got grounded too many times to count at,
that I had my prom hair done at,
that my family and I quoted Boy Meets World at,
that we laughed and loved at,
that had so many AMAZING memories,
I was thrilled!

It is a beautiful table,
that is strong,
and big,
and very expensive.

It is perfect.
And they gave it to us for free!!!
Such a wonderful gift!

But there was one problem...
I hated the color of the wood.
I knew that I eventually wanted to revamp (I am using this word because I cannot for the life of me think of the word that I want to use.... if that makes sense) the table,
but I really didn't know where to start or what I really wanted.

Since I have an insane obsession with gray and white,
Spencer and I settled on a design that we both liked and went to work.

We definitely made quite a few mistakes.

1. We started during check-in week. 1 of the most busiest weeks work wise for us. I don't even know what we were thinking.
2. We started in the middle of winter, and we don't have a garage, and we live in Rexburg, Idaho. This was one of the coldest winters we have had in a long time. I mean it was -33 at one point.. No garage, plus not being able to work outside... See mistake 3. 
3. We did everything, including sanding, inside our home. Palm meet face.
4. We seriously underestimated the insanity of sanding and painting 8 chairs.

It was a lot of work!
And it basically took us 5 weeks from beginning to end.
It should never take that long. 
Chip and Joanna can remodel an entire house,
inside and out,
in that amount of time!

We stapled up some plastic sheets to protect the house from sawdust while sanding.
It was very dark and Dexter like.

And it honestly didn't even really work all that well.
Major fail.
So much cleaning!
Everything was basically covered in sawdust.

We had an error in choosing the stain for the top of the table,
but we ended up finding the perfect color,
and our perfect color just happened to be on clearance!!!!

We finished the actual table pretty early on.
That was the easy part.
Spencer did most of that work.
He was a champ!

Then came the chairs...
the chairs were the worst!
All of the curves in the chairs and the number of chairs...
It was really tough.
you can't just paint chairs.
You have to prime them first.
So basically you had to paint the most difficult part like 3-4 times.
That's a lot of Netflix and a lot of time.
And let's be honest...
A lot of whining from Jenn.

Don't look to closely because we are still planning on giving everything 1 more coat,
after we move,
because things always get banged up while moving.

We also sealed the table and chairs once they were completely dry.

I LOVE the way that it turned out!
I know that in several years I will probably want to redo it again,
but for right now,
it's perfect!
Except for the fact that I'm terrified to eat at it because I don't want to ruin a thing about it.

We also decided that it was time for the entire dining room to get a face lift while we were at it.
A new rug will happen once we move.

I am obsessed with the way it turned out.
If you ask me why we did it right before moving...
I don't have an answer for that.
But we did.
And it's done.
And it's so nice to finally be sitting at the dining room table again instead of couch eating.

I have had a couple people ask about what products we used,
so here they are!
The white paint and the primer we bought from the Sherwin Williams store. 
The white is "extra white" and semi-gloss.
The best apart about it?
It cleans up so sticking good!!!!
Thank goodness for that!
Why we paint anything white,
wear anything white,
or even teach the color white when there are kids involved is beyond me.
White does not exist when you have kids.
The stain we just got from Walmart.
We used 1 coat,
wiped it off,
then put on another coat without wiping it off.
I love that we got a good coat of color,
but that you can still see the wood grain through the paint.
We had originally used the "weathered oak" color for the first stain,
it is looked exactly like what was on the table before.
Super frustrating.

Spencer picked up this sealer at Ace.
It was recommended by a friend,
and so far so good!

these little suckers were AMAZING for sanding in between the chair railings.
They were miracle workers!

We just love the way it looks and turned out!
Such a HUGE difference!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DAY 1792... Dance Season


Watching Aniston dance is one of my FAVORITE things to do!
I love getting her dressed,
doing her hair,
putting on her makeup (even though I suck terribly at it),
and practicing her dances with her.

I am so thankful that we found such an amazing dance studio so close to our home!
The best teachers and atmosphere!
She works really hard during dance class,
and she loves it.
I have a little bit lot of anxiety about finding a new studio in Utah for her.
The price,
 and everything about this one has been AMAZING for Aniston for the past 2 years.

I have seen so much improvement in her from last year.
She is picking up on the dance moves faster,
and can remember everything so much better.
And she is so confident!!! 
So much more confident!
I love how dancing and gymnastics has helped her with her self esteem!
I worry daily about her inheriting my weak self-esteem and insane self-doubt,
but she is so confident,
and I think that participating in dance has helped her build a positive self esteem.
Such a huge blessing!

These are the moments that I waited so many years for.
The moments when I was in high school,
I couldn't wait to share with my children.
To just watch them doing what they loved and being so proud of them!

I am so proud of Aniston and her amazing attitude and her fearlessness so go out and dance.
I love you Aniston Kate!
Thank you for giving me a reason to smile every single day!!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Everything You Missed... January 2017 Edition

you all missed a lot in January because I never posted!
It was a super busy and rough month.
Hopefully I can get my act together and start posting again.
We have some super exciting things coming up in the next couple of months,
so I should have plenty to talk about.

January was good!
It was super cold...
but it was good!

Ani is continuing to bring the sass in 2017!

Changing church times have this kid napping at the weirdest times.

I love her big bows!

He was not happy to be eating out...

Spencer started his final semester before graduation!!!

Aniston did the puzzle all by herself!

 Playtime in the bath.

Benson is totally into eating everything right now.
Not fun for Mom.

We didn't want to wake him to shop,
so we made it work.

Aniston ordered fish and chips and loved it!
I was shocked, 
but she talked for days about how yummy that fish was.

Benson had a string of sick days which meant I got lots of cuddles.

Benson also got his first black eye.

Sassy pants.

Handsome boy.

Sometimes Benson likes to rock a tiara.

The kids got matching ADIDAS outfits and they are adorable in them!
Benson also got his alfalfa trimmed right after this picture...

They LOVE each other!

We finally found the real Waldo in the land of Waldo's.

Just Face-timing with the smartest person I know.

Aniston is always asking me to take pictures for her.
I spy our half done dining room table redo in the background....

LOVE them!

And they absolutely love each other!

Not quite tall enough to see sister practicing.

Benson LOVES potato head toys.
Spencer and I do not love him pretending to be one.

More picture requests.

She is a cat lover...
I hate all pets.

We had our parking lot scrapped and there was legit 5 inches of ice.

Hey bro!

Ani got to judge at Uncle Ryan's Speech and Debate tournament. 

They have children judge the retold stories and it was darling!

Burrito Ani getting loved on.

Benson is really struggling with nap time lately.

So much fun at JCPenny!
We seriously go there and tell our kids we're at Disneyland.

I don't even know where she learns these things...

Snow ball fight!

Benson is crazy smart... and really strong.

My kids LOVE I know an old lady who swallowed a fly!

I love how he says Batman!

I am also obsessed with his little lisp!

She has a thousand secrets but won't tell me any of them!

They love this old cheer!

What did I tell you???

I do plan on talking about my Golden Birthday that happened last week,
or rather my Rose Gold birthday because Rose Gold is way better than regular golf,
but I have to get through the next two days and then my life will somewhat calm down.