Sunday, January 30, 2011

little house tour

So I thought I'd take some pictures of my home on Saturday (oh the things I will do to avoid having to work on my thesis). If I was smart I'd break this up into a few days of posting but I won't be able to post this week since I'll be spending all of my time working on nailing this job audition thing. These pictures aren't staged or anything fancy and they are just with a regular non-fancy camera but since I always love to see people's homes and I've had a few requests, hopefully you enjoy them.

First up, here is my living room (and the picture above obviously):

One of my favorite things about this room is this big comfy chair which can fit both me and Doug (picture below). We got it for a steal because it didn't have the back cushion so we just improvised with a big pillow.

I also love this little vintage suitcase I got at a second hand store. Its just a little detail in the room and very few people ever notice it. I love to have places to store unsightly things and this little suitcase fits the bill with old man style, so of course I love it.

But probably the first thing anyone ever notices is the giant picture of our cat on the wall. And then they always comment on the mustache we put on her picture during our mustache bash and never took down. Its nice to let people know right off the bat they we are strange folks.

My least favorite thing about this room is that I don't have a coat closet. So in the winter time it looks like this:

Here is the view into the dining room.

This is my favorite part of the dining room. Doug uncovered the brick chimney in the room and I love its quirky prominence in the room.

I would've taken more picture of the dining room but my husband was working at the table, so here is a view for afar:

I like our kitchen. I would definitely upgrade some things if we were going to live here for a long time but since we aren't, I love what we've been able to do to it on the cheap. There are two things in this kitchen that I am grateful for almost everyday. The first is having a curved faucet. This was a inexpensive faucet (about $30) but having a tall curved faucet that pans can fit beneath makes a big difference for me (and the sink is deep which I also love).

The second was some under cabinet lighting my dad put in when he was here last. They are just plug in cheap things but they make a world of difference. If I knew what a difference they make I would've had them put in a long time ago.

I also love the little things that make my kitchen special to me, like this little sugar bowl. It was my grandmothers and so was the blue recipe box in the background. I love having things I use each day that remind me of my heritage.

Oh and the radio in the window sill of course. My dad listens to football games on the AM while he does dishes when he's here (he never uses the dishwasher - I'm not sure if he knows how, to be honest). I don't use the transistor because, well, I'm not actually eighty years old, but I like having it there for now. I'll probably move it soon and put some plants in the sill. I also want to get a bigger kitchen rug...

This is the guest bedroom. Its a bit of a work in progress but its comfortable.

This is a drawing that commissioned one of the girls that I oversee in the youth program at church to make for me. I was her first paying customer. :) Isn't it incredible? She is only 14! I will cherish this piece forever.

And here is the other side of the bed and the galley wall of uterus death (inside joke for long time blog followers)

I don't have all the pictures in yet but you can see a few here (and if you're curious is was the largest picture frame on the far left with the picture of a church in Florence that tried to kill me). I love how they turned out. They are all pictures we took on our Europe trip last year.

One of my favorite things in this room (besides the beautiful drawing and personal Europe photos) is this chest that I use as a side table. It was my great (or maybe great great) Grandfather Hallock's war chest. My father gave it to me and its an incredible piece.

Here is our bedroom. I didn't do big pictures of the room because its still in progress but here is Doug's side of the bed. I like how his side is so rustic and manly. He found this stump in our favorite apple orchard. He brought it home and sanded down the top. I wish it was taller but it works.

This is the top of our dresser. I want to get a nice runner for the top but I like having our change in a fancy glass sugar dish. It makes me feel rich putting, even when I'm just putting pennies in it.

I also LOVE the original doors in our house. Doug hates them because the handles don't work but I love the look so much that it never bothers me. They are about 110 years old.

Here is my side of the bed. I love this lamp and I love having flowers on my nightstand. This is in black and white because it looked better and because the nightstand is currently a hideous blue that I need to re-paint but haven't gotten around to it.

Here is our bathroom. I've posted it before but I've made a few changes so I thought I'd post it again. I changed out the yellow numbers for some framed antique book pages. These are bird and flower prints and the center one is a plate of various bird eggs found in America.

We redid this bathroom on the cheap. The only thing we really splurged on were these faucets which were about $75 or so a piece. Shah! But I really like having the extra space beneath that a tall curved faucet provides.

My favorite thing about the bathroom though is the honeycomb tile. We got such a great deal on this tile and I just love it.

Here is the main bathroom. I like this bathroom a lot too. I sort of wish I would've gone with a different tile but oh well. This bathroom was redone on the cheap too so it was a budget decision.

My two favorite things in this bathroom are the original plumbers placard that you can see attached to the window sill in the above picture (its the dark little rainbow shaped thing) and the tray on the little console. It has a lovely deer on it. Its nice.

Here is the former office turned sorta second guest room to perhaps someday turn into a nursery when we have kids.

So thats the tour. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope I didn't come off as bragging either. I get requests to post the finished product of things, like the paint color of our room or the galley wall and such, so I thought I'd just show where everything is at for now. And also I am totally procrastinating my paper. So.... back to work.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

some serious some funny

(This picture had nothing to do with anything. I just like it. It makes me wish I could keep plants alive. It also makes me wish it wasn't totally tacky to keep fake plants in the kitchen window. Cuz I would do it. I'd even put real dirt in the pot to make it look real. I'm tricky like that....if I had fake plants I would be anyway...)

A brief follow up:
Miscarriage is hard and weird. It also bothers me that its so taboo. Its been a difficult thing but I had so much support that I was all but forced to be okay through it all. I've also experience real and deep and serious heartache when I placed my daughter for adoption years ago. I hope I will never go through as much pain as I did during that experience. Losing a fetus is difficult but handing your beautiful new born baby to someone else is a pain that nearly kills. And to this day it simultaneously causes me the most joy and the most pain that I experience in my life. So maybe God knew I could get through this experience and that I would learn something from it. If nothing else, every loss I ever feel makes me appreciate that much more God's sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. We always focus on Christ's sacrifice, but God's sacrifice (John 3:16) to me, at times, feels even greater.

Anyway, that is all a little heavy and its Friday for goodness sakes! So lets switch gears.

Shakin' it off.

OK. Good?

Here are some funny Friday things for you (lots of which are cat things because I'm slowly becoming the creepy old cat lady) :

get it? cat in a cat box? hahahahaha

I don't care what you say, I don' think its photoshopped. I think its a genius cat.

a video that always makes me laugh

a lie that my husband sent me a little while ago

another funny but wrong thing my husband sent me a while ago (little hard to see but try - its worth it)


my personal favorite

Have a great weekend! I love you all very much and I appreciate your helpful comments!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

whirly winds and roller coasters

(warning this is going to be a long post- I'm just feeling it today)

Well its been a whirl wind since I posted last. I'm a little overwhelmed at how well things are going right now. Sometimes I'm confused at blessings. Does that ever happen to you? Where you ask yourself, Gosh - what in the world did I do to get this? And you realize its just that we have a gracious God. That's how I'm feeling.

So it happened like this:
In December we visited family in Texas. We got back late on a Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning I discovered I was pregnant. Yeah. Pregnant with a "P". All day I was in a state of shock and I hardly knew what to do with myself. Doug got home and I wrapped up the test and gave it to him as a belated Christmas present. We cried and sat on the floor in the kitchen and talked for hours about how scared we were. The next morning I was bleeding very badly. I wasn't sure how much blood was normal for implantation bleeding so I went in to the midwife clinic. They confirmed I was pregnant and then had me go over to the hospital to get an ultrasound. They couldn't find anything so they told me I had probably miscarried. I was very sad and though I hadn't gotten to the point where I was truly excited about the pregnancy, or had pictured the baby or clothes or names or any of that, I still felt sad. Then on our way home they called and said I had to come back immediately.

I had an ectopic pregnancy outside of the uterus. They did a bunch of tests and discovered that my HCG levels were low enough that my body was getting rid of the fetus on its own. So I went back every other day to get tests done to confirm that my hcg levels were going down and the fetus was being expelled by my body. Sunday of that week was the biggest drop in HCG and I could feel it hormonally. I couldn't stop crying. I only lasted an hour at church. I didn't want the girls that I oversee to see me like that so I left.

Doug was such a champion throughout it all. I was incredibly sad and everything seemed to remind me that I was a failure at making a baby. We went to WalMart one night and the cashier, with bra straps hanging down past each shoulder, told me all about having babies and how when I have a baby this and that and pregnancy this and my first baby and my sixth baby and I just started to cry. Doug just gave me a giant hug and held me as I cried in the car. I do not struggle with fertility and this was just sort of a fluke thing, but I felt for weeks one small iota of what it might feel like to struggle with that. Let me tell you- it sucked. I have an empathy I never had before for women with fertility challenges. It changed my perspective about how I will talk about motherhood and pregnancy in the future.

The new year began and I went back to work. Shortly after that the semester started back up. And while I struggled to decide on whether to pursue having a family to fill the void I was feeling from the miscarriage, my career sorta took off. I feel like I received blessing after blessing. I had a meeting with the one of the founders of my company, the CEO and the Executive VP where I presented my career plan for the next one, five, and ten years. And you know what? Rather than laugh at it, they actually embraced it wholeheartedly.

Friends, we are talking huge things! My pie-in-the-sky 10 year plan involves me becoming the executive director of Influencer Institute, the non-profit that the founders of my company have asked me to help get off the ground (and which I'm currently spending most of my waking hours working on). Let me explain further - Influencer Institute is a non-profit dedicated to solving a variety of difficult social issues by applying smart and strategic six source social influence theories to complex problems. Think the Gates Foundation but with a scientific model to attack social conundrums. This means essentially I receive about five million dollars (to start) to go strategically solve whatever problems me and the founders choose. Are you kidding me? Imagine someone telling you, I'm going to give you a starting budget of 5 million dollars and some of the smartest people on the planet to go solve some key social dilemmas. I feel a little like I get to be the President of the US but without all the political hula hoops.

But it still leaves me in a rough spot with lots of un-answered questions. Like:
When do we start a family?
Is it irresponsible to get pregnant shortly after starting a new position?
How are we going to make my career aspirations work with a family?
How are we going to make my career aspirations and my husband's career aspirations both work?
How am I going to make this all work when we move out of the state?
What if I have another ectopic pregnancy?
Should I feel guilty that I wasn't totally ecstatic when I found out I was pregnant?
Can I have an incredible career getting to do exactly what I want and still have an incredible marriage and fabulous children?

Hopefully I'm not putting the cart before the horse. A large part of my big 10 year plan is the first step, which involves me getting a job that I haven't been offered yet and which I'm mostly unqualified for (but am totally perfect for). The up and ups are all for me getting that position but they actually don't make the decision (though I think they will try to influence it a bit in my favor). There is a woman who is not my biggest fan who makes the final decision. So lets all pray that she gives me a stamp of approval. I have a meeting on Friday but ultimately my 'audition' if you will, will be next Friday on the 4th. I will likely find out a few weeks after that.


Thats my life right now. Any words of wisdom for me besides hold on to my dang hat?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

sharing is caring

Just a few quick things to share today that I'm diggin' ...liiike this random picture of an old man from the sartorialist that I stole years ago because I have a strange affinity with old men...not in a weird creepy way. I'd like to think its in a sweet, admiring, and curious way perhaps - hence why I always try to dress like them. (Case in point - I own suspenders, flannel shirts, and polyester pants.)

funny side note -
One time my company was recording a video to send to one of our presenters to tell them how much we love them because they have a hard job being on the road all the time. They asked me to say a few words about my favorite presenter who was an old man named Stacy. I told them a story about how great he was and then mentioned how I have a crush on him. I meant that I had an old man crush on him but I couldn't really say that because maybe its rude to call him old. I felt myself digging my own hole and as I was on camera I tried my best to roll with it. Sooo when his team saw the tape they thought it was so funny that they kept it in and Stacy apparently got pretty embarrassed (as any cute old man would) and was super awkward around me for years. I think he thought I was trying to get all up in that. ew. gross. Anyway, for nearly 4 years my team and the training team have made fun of me about my old man fetish. Moral of the story - its okay to have secret crushes on old men but never non-secret crushes on old men. Also you have to be quite explicit about what 'crush' means. Just an fyi.

First, check out this cool new series by the BBC called Human Planet. Cooool!

Second, listen to these two songs that I love by Mumford and Sons (who I've got on repeat most days of my life right now)

this one -

and this one -

ok and I love this one too but it drops the f*** bomb so be prepared if you've got virgin ears. i think there is a version they did for a late night show that is a made for network tv with no cursin'...

Lastly, my work puts out a weekly newsletter where people write in and one of the authors addresses their question using principles we teach through our content. This week's was about career advancement and I think its good and worthy of sharing. You can check it out here if you're interested.

Hope you all are having a fabulous Wednesday. I have a presidency meeting tonight with three women that I love to death. I hate meetings generally but I actually look forward to this one. They are so great to work alongside. Woohoo for awesome people!

Friday, January 14, 2011

pretty friday

Well its been a long week. I feel a bit tired. I'm trying to wind down from the stress of the week so I can enjoy this weekend from the moment it starts. I'm using this song to help me -

I think it is a beautiful song and a beautiful video.

And if you want to read a cool article about a photographer and a baby whale, check this out.

Lastly, I've been having a hard time explaining why I love where I work and who I work for. Just about every week one of the authors/founders of the company I work for has an article published. Much of the time I don't even check them out, but I decided to look at one of them from this week. Its not an award winning article or anything but I think its good nonetheless. And when I get to show people that these people, these great 'think tank' men, are the people I get to learn from and work for - well I just feel so happy about it. If you want to read a short article about influence by Joseph Grenny, you can check it out here.
I think I will post things from work more often. Not because I'm trying to sell anyone on anything, but because I use this blog as a sort of reflection of myself and my work is so much a part of who I am now.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

winter wonderland

On Saturday Doug and I went snow shoeing. Look at me crossing off 2 of my 30 before thirty goals within 2 days of each other. Woot! (I had a goal for us to do some sort of snow activity while we live in Utah). Its amazing we've lived here for this long and we've mostly tried to ignore the snow. We had a fabulous time! It was so beautiful. Our dear friend Brandon took us. We only hiked a few miles but it felt like we hiked twenty. I wasn't prepared for how physically exhausting it was going to be. Here are some pictures of our adventure -

getting started (check out my cool look-sorta-like-jeans-snowpants!)

what a studly snowshoe guy (Doug here below, but Brandon above is studly too)

This is where the road ends and the snowshoeing begins. This road actually goes through those trees up to Cascade Springs and Timpanogos Cave (both places we went to this past summer) but they only plow it to this point.

All of that snow is from plowing the road but the snow depth on the trail is level with what you can see here.
and off we go

me and doug snowshoeing under a tree in the ravine

we took a short break at the first lookout so I could eat some string cheese :)

brandon squinting into the sun and me pretending to be a teapot or something strange as usual

not a bad view though, eh?

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend too!