Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shop for a Cure

So I haven't done a real post in a really long time, but this is a great way to get back in the habbit.  Cancer is very real and it really sucks.  My amazing friend Karen is doing something to help fight back.  Check out her blog here and help her in her efforts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Almost Ready!!

Here are a few pictures of our house.  We could be signing papers at the end of next week!!  So what are your plans for Spring Break?  Wanna help the Olson's move?!

This is a picture of the boxed ceiling in our office/den.  It was one of a few little surprises Kevin had up his sleeve that I didn't know about until after it was done.  I LOVE it!!  Moving into white walls is gonna drive me nuts, though.  I'm gonna have to start painting the walls first thing.

This is another little addition of Kevin's.  Beautiful wainscotting down the entry way hall.

The wainscotting continues up the stairs.

Ta da!!  The exterior.  I love it!!  We love the huge driveway and very spacious back yard.  Looking forward to dwelling within these walls.

All the tile work gets finnished this week.  The appliances got delivered yesterday, I think.  Next comes carpet and finishing up the electrical and hvac.  These workers are so good and move so fast.  We are hoping to be moving in the first week of April.  You'll have to stop by and say hello and maybe bring in a box or two;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

34 & Feelin' Fabulous

Today it is my birthday and I sing to let you know, that I will be Queen for the WEEK, whatever I say goes!!

Yeah, I totally stole that line from Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses.  I sing it to my girls every year on their birthdays, but today I will sing it to myself.  Hopefully this won't make me seem self-absorbed or self-centered, but I feel like I never toot my own horn and today I feel like tootin' it!!

I am 34 years old today and I am loving every second of it.  Nothing miraculous has happened today.  Nothing has changed since yesterday.  I've talk to some amazing friends on the phone, received some early morning texts, and through the social network power of Face book, I 've been made feel so special.  All of this is fabulous.  I am having dinner tonight with my family, dinner tomorrow night just me & my hubby (I think), and a lunch with the most amazing women in my life on Thursday.    Thursday night I get to watch on television WSU vs UW in the PAC 10 basketball tournament in LA that my sister just happens to be cheering at.  How cool is that?! 

Does it get much better than this?  That's what I realized when I woke up this morning.  Life is good.  All previous birthdays have led me to this one today and I am SO happy.  I have the best husband ever, really great kids and friends that keep me feeling like I'm 18 not 34.  I don't know what I thought 34 would feel like,but it feels good.  I'm thankful to all those individuals who've help mold me to this 34 year old woman that I am today.  I like me and I like where I am in my life.  Here are a few things about me you may not know.  Fun facts and thoughts from the 34 year old me.

  • I LOVE chocolate.  Like truly.  I want something chocolate after EVERY meal.  Chocolate in any form.  With or without nuts.  Crunchy or chewy.  Melted or solid.  Milk or dark.  Doesn't matter I love it, I want it.
  • I am a sports FAN-atic.  I truly enjoy watching sports on television or in person with my husband.  I love to compete.  I love to see athletes excel at their best.  I hate that there has to be a loser and I always feel bad for the team that doesn't win, but when my team wins its an elated, exuberant feeling.  I love to trash talk, to the television of course and I love to yell at the refs/umps when they get a call wrong.
  • I love music.  ALL music.  From Garth brooks and Taylor Swift to Black Eyed Peas and Chris Brown.  Broadway hits and Michael Buble.  Ingrid Michelson and Metallica.  Mercy River and Mindy Gledhill.  I love a good Tejano Cumbia or a country line dance.  Music and dancing make me happy.  I am not even ashamed to admit that I still love to listen to music from the 80's and 90's like, oh, I don't know, The New Kids on the Block.  Yeah, I said it.  You read that right.  I'm still a block head after all these years and am ubber excited about my VIP & Meet-n-Greet passes that my cousin and I scored for their concert coming in July.  Don't judge me and don't hate on me.  You know you are jealous.  Did I mention the Back Street Boys will be there, too?  Yeah, you're jealous.
  • We belong.  Last month as we sat in Stake conference with the rest of the Pasco Stake awaiting the changes we were about to receive I felt pure excitement.  As our new stake boundaries were announced and I learned that we were a part of the new Pasco North Stake, I had a calm, comforting feeling come over me.  I looked at Kevin and while fighting back tears I said to him, "This is where we are suppose to be.  I know it.  I fee it."  He did too.  He smiled and nodded.  That was a huge testimony to me.  For so many months we felt displaced and like we were wandering.  We found our permanent new ward boundaries and our new home in the Pasco North Stake and we couldn't be happier.  We are surrounded by so many friends that we love and even those friends who aren't in our new stake are just across the freeway.  We are settling in to our new callings and we feel like we are home again.  Like we belong.
  • I have become a Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss junkie.  I LOVE Buddy Velastro.  I watch every episode.  Even it its one Ive already seen, I'll watch it anyway.  I want him to make be a cake, Hoboken style baby!!  I tried some of his recipes from Kitchen Boss and they are all fabulous.  Kevin did not complain one bit when I made chicken cutlets over spaghetti with Buddy's Sunday gravy (marinara/spaghetti sauce).  It. Was. D. Licious.  I need to go to New Jersey and visit Carlos' Bakery.
  • I love musicals and plays.  I've only been to a few in person and they were magnificent.  I dream of watching some shows on Broadway some day.  Les Mis, Phantom, Lion King, Chicago, Wicked.  Oh to watch them all live.  It seems like every time a show has come close to me I have not been able to attend for one reason or another.  I wish I had the talent to be in a show.  How fun would that be?  They lucky thing for me is that as much as I love watching sports, Kevin enjoys watching musicals with me.  Hopefully very soon we get to go watch a show in person together. 
Wow, look at that list of completely random stuff.  That's me.  Well, some of me.  Hmmm.... I wonder what the next 34 years has in store?  Bring it on.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

**  Kevin is delivering the doors to our new house as we speak!!  Hooray!!  Doors and windows will be installed by the end of the day and framing will be all done!!  Next up exterior siding and electrical!!

**  BodyFlow this morning was intense.  Who said Yoga was for sissy's?  SO not true.  I did back to back BodyJam and Zumba classes last night so that may be why I was feeling more stiff than usual this morning, but I was feeling excellent when class was over this morning.  The scale only reflects  a pound or two but I feel stronger and more flexible.  Yay me!!

**  We laid down the law.  Last night for our FHE we had a kind of Family Meeting.  I have been feeling our of sync and out of control ever since we sold our house back in June.  We now have a place in a ward family again witch feels amazing but in our own home things are still out of whack.  Bedtimes have been lazed as has homework time, chores, scripture reading, EVERYTHING!!  It's just so hard with the limited amount of space we have and the lack of individual space for the kids.  Or maybe I'm just making excuses.  Jacob is the King of leaving his homework for the last minute and Kayla HATES doing for reading at nights.  We honestly haven't really pushed or encouraged them much I think because even we have felt unmotivated.  That all changed last night.  We reinstated some old rules that had not been followed and added a few new ones, such as going back to our allotted homework times and bedtimes and chores lists.  Hopefully we can keep it up and not drop the ball.  I can honestly say the television has not been turned on since after the Superbowl on Sunday. 

**  Kelsie told me after school today that she didn't like it when I called her baby.  I always address her as my baby in some form.  She is my baby.  Tough noogies Kelsie.  I will still call you my baby, just maybe to myself and not directly to you.

**  I'm getting our rental ready for showing because my friend/landlord is trying to sell it and is having an open house on Sunday.  If you know of anyone interested in a great starter home for a young couple or a cozy cottage for the young at heart send them this way.

**  I should probably get started on our taxes.  Bleh!

**  I am planning a baby shower for my sister Lisa who is due at the end of April with her first baby, and it's a girl.  It's not till mid March but am feeling a little nervous about pulling it off.  The guest list number is 160. Yikes!!  Wish me luck.

**  Also feeling nervous about the upcoming Candy Bar Bingo Night I am planning for Kayla's school at the beginning of March.  I've never planned an event like this before.  What was I thinking.  What if people hate it?  What if it flops?  What if no one shows up?  How many should I plan for?  Just breathe . . . . .

**  Is it Friday yet?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I told myself that this year I would do better at keeping up my blog.  Well, that didn't work.  But here I sit reading your blogs so I thought, let's throw down some thoughts for you to read, if you are still reading.

**     I drive down Pamplona EVERYDAY.  We have been given an April 8 move in date.  I am beyond excited and everyone tells me, "It'll go by SO fast."  Thing is I'm impatient.  Not a patient bone in my body.  I want it NOW!!  Driving by the progress everyday just makes it worse.  They have it all framed up now and the roof is going on tomorrow.  Windows and siding on Tuesday.  SO close yet SO far away.  We took the framers some pizza today to warm up their cold, hugary bones and also because I am NOT above bribery.  They really appreciated it, hopefully enough to get a move on my house faster than the one next door;)

**     We joined the gym this month.  As a family we made a resolution to be a healthier more active family.  So far so good.  I try to make it there at least 4-5 times a week.  The kids love climbing the rock wall and Kevin and Jacob enjoy playing basketball together.  I feel healthier on the inside, I just wish it would reflect faster on the outside and on the scale.  Remember I am not patient, I want results now not a month from now.  We've even been eating healthier.  Jacob has even started measuring out his snacks.  Instead of sitting at the table with a whole bag of chex mix, he'll measure out the 1/2 cup suggested serving, finish that off and be done.  It's been hard for me not to snack.  I LOVE snacking.  I also love baking and cooking.  I haven't been doing much of either on of those lately because I will eat it all.  For the rest of my life I will have to watch every item I put into my mouth and have a "healthy diet" unless I want to be 5'1" and 250 lbs.  Not a pretty mental image.

**     We are very excited about the Stake boundaries changes that were made this last week.  I can 't believe how much this stake has grown since we moved to Pasco in April of 2003.  The new house is being built in 1st Wards boundaries so that is were we will be attending, and we couldn't be happier.  There are so many amazing families in this ward.  Not to mention, some of my bestest friends ever will be in our ward, too.  Honestly, all of the new boundaries are pretty sweet and there are some amazing wards.  No matter where you go, the Church is true and the people ROCK! It'll be nice to feel like we belong to a ward family again and receive some new callings that'll test and try us and help us grow.  Did I really just say that? 

**     Jacob.  He's a funny boy.  At Christmas time he received and Axe body kit.  At first he was like, what is this?  I didn't ask for this?!  Then he used it the first time.  Deodorant, body wash, shampoo and body spray.  Both of my sisters were like. "Wow Jake.  You smell so nice!"  I think the bells went off in his head.  Every morning we are knocked over with the scent of Axe coming from the bathroom.  It's so funny to me because he is still me baby boy.  At least he doesn't stink like b.o.  He's playing basketball right now and I think he is going through a stage where he is still trying to get comfortable in his own skin.  It's so funny to watch him run.  He's not very quick, but he tries to be.  He runs flat footed so you can here him coming down the court.  He is looking forward to baseball season for sure.  He is also doing D.I. (Destination Imagination) again.  This year I am not one of the team mom's so I feel less stress because I am not in charge but also a little anxious because I know how things are suppose to go and how the process works and it's hard for me not to put in my 2 cents about how far along I think they should be at this point.  Last year they got 1st at regionals and 3rd at state, we shall see how things turn out this year.

**     Kayla.  My toothless little gymnast.  She has pulled out three teeth in the past 6 months.  Unfortunately, they haven't grown in yet.  She loves gymnastics to no end.  I have tried on many occasion to get her to try ballet or dance but she refuses.  Earlier this month she finally learned how to do a back-hand spring all on her own.  She was so excited.  I could tell by the look on her face that she was thrilled and terrified at the same time.  She also is playing basketball.  Last year she wanted to play SO bad and wasn't old enough.  So this year when sign-ups came around she said that indeed she did want to play.  Kayla is a very coachable girl.  If her coaches or instructors tell her to do something, by golly she tried her best to do what they ask.  I don't know if basketball will be her thing though.  She's way too nice.  I keep trying to tell her to be scrappy and aggressive but it's just not in her nature.  If she ever gets the ball at the same time as another girl, she'll gladly let go and hand it over to the other girl.  I ask her if she wanted to play fast pitch this year and I was shocked when she said she wasn't sure.  WHAT?  I always envisioned her playing softball.  I have always played softball.  I LOVE softball.  Hopefully she will decide to try it again this year but if not, it'll be okay.  At least I can look forward to playing on a team, myself, in the summer.

**     Kelsie, Kelsie, Kelsie.  Where to begin.  This girl keeps us on our toes.  She is a sponge and absorbs every funny joke or song she hears.  She loves to sing.  She loves to dance.  I LOVE watching her sing and dance to the song Tik Tok when she plays Just Dance 2 on the Wii.  That girls' got skill!!  She gets it from me.  She can shake that little booty like nobodies business.  She also is our self-proclaimed artist.  She loves to paint and draw and color and does a really good job for a 4 year old.  I can't tell you enough how much she absolutely LOVED preschool.  Her teachers are so AMAZING.  I can't express enough how much I appreciate them and all that Kelsie has learned from them.  She is always walking around the house singing, "You're a Grand Old Flag".  Who does that?  My chipmunk does.  Speaking of chipmunks, that is her favorite movie.  Alvin & the Chipmunks.  She can watch it 24/7.  She knows all of the songs and lines.  She says that she is Theodore which is hilarious because she is a skinny little bean pole.  She also says that Jacob is Simon and Kayla is Alvin. 

**  Kevin.  I have to brag a little here because he is too modest and won't do it himself.  Earlier this month, Kevin went to a dinner in Seattle for work where he was presented with the "Top Gun Sales" award for he region.  He sold over $1 million dollars of product all on his own.  I am so proud of him.  This is huge for those of you who knew Kevin as a child.  Kevin was the shy quiet one who never brought attention to himself.  Never in a million years did anyone think that he would end up a salesman that had to schmooze with contractors and make big time sales.  He started out in the door shop sanding doors about 14 years ago and worked his way up the ladder.  Way to go flaco!!  Kevins' love of sports has been well fed this month.  We were able to go watch WSU take on UW in mens basketball.  That was such a rush.  Being in Beasley coliseum as the Cougs smoked the huskies was so thrilling!!  Not to mention we were able to watch Ashley cheer and she was in a Sports Center highlights reel and the students stormed the court after the win.  So cool! Kevin will never miss a good basketball game on television.  Lucky him, I don't mind one bit.  We love to sit on the couch with our game snacks and watch a good game of hoops, or baseball, or football, whatever!  We love sports- both watching and playing.

**  Me.  Besides my goal to get fit and be healthy this year, I have decided to take on one more new adventure.  School.  I am going back to school in the fall.  I'll be taking on-line courses and finishing up my degree and trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I am looking forward to finishing.    Our computer crashed earlier this month and it was such a nightmare.  I missed my computer so much!!  Luckily, they computer gods were able to recover about 90% of my pictures!!  Yay!!

Whew!! Once I got started I just couldn't stop!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"So, how's the house coming?"

The THING that consumed us since July of 2010.
The question that was asked by all we came in contact with.
The question we knew would be asked every week on Sunday or anytime we saw someone we hadn't seen in a couple weeks.
The question we dreaded. We'd secretly roll our eyes and give a short, vague answer and smile.
It wasn't anybodies fault. We have so many really great friends and family who just wanted to know, as did we, what was going on with the house stuff. And, we love you all. I know there are a couple of you out there who listened to me pour my heart out in heartbreak and mourning and had just the right words to say when I truly needed them. I am so extremely thankful for you, and you know who you are.

So. What really IS going on with the house stuff? Well, now I have ALL of the answers, and now I can tell you.

When I last posted, you read my "Tuesday Letters". To continue on from there, builder #2 NEVER called back. To this day. Disappeared. Then I met with a realtor at a new development where a TON of my friends are building. She was great. She showed me around and I saw the floor plans. They were really great. I took all of the information with me and told her I'd probably be back with my husband later in the week. Don;t get me wrong, the houses were awesome, it just didn't feel like that was where we were suppose to be.  I still wasn't ready to give up on our dream of owning a little more land with lots of room to grow and play.
Our last efforts to build on that piece of land went to looking at having a builder do it for us instead of trying to do it all ourselves. I have been a fan of this NEW builder (#3, for those of you keeping track) for many years. I really love his floor plans and he and his company are super great. Kevin took him down to the land and he said that, yes, he could build it. We had to take the plan we had, which was his plan just modified to begin with, and make it smaller. That was fine but also hard. The house had no options, no bells and whistles, but I thought, "No big deal. We can add those later." We were able to make all of the adjustments and things seemed to be working out. We got all of the final numbers. Contracts were drawn up. Things were looking good. It was Monday, December 6, and we had an appointment with a really great mortgage guy at the bank. Our loan had been approved and all we had to do was sign. Boy were we excited!! Then, we looked at the final number of what our monthly mortgage would be for the next 30 years. Talk about feeling like the wind had just been let out of your sails. It was $400 MORE than we were originally told by the Big Banks. What?! Mr. Nice Mortgage guy went through all the numbers with us and it all made sense. Someone somewhere had given us wrong information about what the monthly payment on a house that costs "X" amount of dollars would be. Kevin and I stared at each other. Silent. For. Ever. I think we made Mr. Nice Mortgage guy uncomfortable. We knew without speaking, there was No Way this was going to work.
All we had to do was sign. We were approved. We could get started. But what would that mean for our family? I might have to go back to work, which isn't a bad thing seeing as how our kids are older. But me going back to work right now wasn't in our plan just yet. We could change the house again. Make a smaller house on a nice big piece of land. But we really need a bigger house. That's why we sold our in the first place.
We both stood up and thanked Mr. Mortgage guy and told him we'd let him know in the morning. What a LONG night that was. We knew what the answer was. We knew what we had to do. But it was hard to finally admit to it. For months now we had gone down every avenue we could think of to make this work. We were trying to force it to work however we could. We wanted that rural atmosphere, like where we grew up, with the convenience of the city. There was no sleeping for either one of us that night. As much as it broke my husbands heart, he made the call the next morning that we were in fact walking away from the land and the house. I literally mourned that whole day-week actually.
So now what? Where do we go from here? We need a house! I am feeling claustrophobic in my cozy little rental.
It's Thursday, December 9, and my favorite builder calls us and says we should go down to the office and discuss our options. At this point, I am still mourning and being very stubborn. We go down to meet with him and he tells us that he can build that same house plan for us with all of the bells and whistles and options that we want on one of his available lots for LOTS less money. We're listening. We go through the options and I'm getting excited just thinking about all of these cool options in the house. He tells us to go look at the available lots, so we do. Here comes stubborn Amy again. I start to pout and say things like, "It doesn't matter, just pick one!" I know, so mature of me. So we choose a lot that's really nice. It's close to the huge neighborhood park, we have friends within walking distance, the lot is bigger than our old house was on, it's in a nice neighborhood, we are near my parents which is great for babysitting, we will be in a great church ward where there are tons of friends and people we know.
Everything is great. So what's my problem? I think I just needed time to mourn my dream. My dream of acreage and that country feel. My dream of a nice big shop for my husband to tinker in and tons of land for my children to run and have a dog. It's a nice dream. A dream I still have.
Everything just feel into place in two days. The plans were finalized. The loans were approved. Permits requested. It all happened so fast and so smoothly. Like it was meant to be. I can honestly say this. My mourning is over and I am totally and completely excited for our new home to be built on the great lot that we chose in an awesome neighborhood. We drive by it every day. We talk about it every day. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a smile in my heart and on my face. I don't look at it as settling for something at all. I look at it as finally listening to what my Heavenly Father had been trying to tell me for months. There was a reason that all of our other plans fell through. A reason it was so hard. All of that lead us to here, and this is where we are suppose to be. We will have a great house and I won't have to go back to work sooner than planned and we can still have our same comfortable lifestyle. Sounds like my own perfect piece of heaven to me.

From now on you can all bet that you will see lots of pictures and updates like the one below.

Day 1.  Estimated Date of Completion: End of March 2011

Yaaaayy us!