Pictures for Dad

houseBlake_Tonya Blake_Tonya2Following pictures for Dad’s Calendar:

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We’ve Been Bugged!

Since the folks down the street at the new NSA facility may allegedly be looking in on this blog I thought I’d make it extra cute for their perusing pleasure!

After pinky swearing with Blake one morning last week that we’d never get another puppy, I went right out that very afternoon and got one! I miss my Beijo, the Boston Terrier, very much. He was such a cuddly fun companion that would nap with me. I miss his tiny size and absolute devotion. I needed something to hold in my arms yet put in the laundry room at night and not worry about until the next morning, no matter how loudly it cried!

The boys and I had been looking and thinking about Buggs (Boston Terrier/Pug mix) since we lost Beijo last December. The Bugg is a recognized designer breed by the American Kennel Hybrid Club, even though my vet just calls it a mixed-breed mutt. Buggs should have the best traits of both dog breeds and weed out some of the recessive health issues.

Bree, as the boys have named her, is 9 weeks old. She weighs 3 ½ lbs. She is very easy to step on and hard to see in the dark. Her dark coat will lighten up a bit with brindle stripes.

Mae, the female dog, and Asher, the male cat, are good parents, as always!

We are thoroughly Bugged and loving it!

Point Well Taken

Okay, LOL! The joke is on me! The very night I posted the preceding blog this article appeared on I am duly chastised. After all the cool things I’ve accomplished in my life and the well-rounded (no pun intended) person I’ve become, I still place undo weight (again, no pun!) on the perceived shortcomings of my physical appearance. I am tired of making unfair comparisons with others. I become frustrated when I miss aspects of myself that I wish still existed. But that discounts all the wonderful stuff that has happened.

Ageing is a hard process. It takes a lot of strength to let go of the ideal. Middle age is a funny place.

Fairy Tales

Life gets the best of most of us. And most of us aren’t left at our best.

That is why I have to be careful of dwelling on the past for too long. I’ve thrown away a lot of pictures from my past because the memories are too painful. I ran across a box of photos in Blake’s office the other day that had somehow survived the purge. As sad as I am now about the changes I’ve gone through, it was nice for a moment to remember some of the best of who I have been. Blake *did* marry a princess. By a cruel twist of fate she succumbed to the evil spell of a wicked witch and transmogrified into Mother Gothel. But she did exist once, in the past, in another dimension.

Since it is wedding season and Blake and I have an anniversary coming up in June, I thought I’d post some pictures of the long-lost princess and her still-handsome, knight-in-shining-armor prince! Cyber space is the only place where this evidence may survive…

Wedding and honeymoon – June 1995

The following picture was taken on my 30th birthday in 1997, six weeks after delivering Jordan…

Halloween costumes 2000 (yin-yang symbol)…

Christmas 2001 in the old house…

Christmas 2002 in the new house…

The princess disappeared roughly a decade ago and she is missed. The fairy tale has had a bumpy ride with a disabled child. Sometimes hearts get broken. Endings aren’t always happy. But this funny couple that is now firmly rooted in reality will survive. They will continue to look for the rainbow’s end together. Who knows? They may even find the princess again along the way…


Beautiful Machines

I turn 50 this year. Among other things it means I’m old enough to ride a bike. Not a pedal bike, but a real motorcycle. Last year Tonya bought herself a motorcycle. Truth be told, she hawked her wedding ring to pay for it. That’s not entirely true, but it is enough true that I enjoy telling it to people.

Tonya blogged about her motorcycle here.

She would go on a ride while I waited at home. Then I would go on a ride while she waited at home. Then we would say ‘That was fun, we should go together sometime’ and then we would hunt down where the children had wandered off to. I’m becoming convinced that 50 is too old to be a parent.

As Tonya has only been married one time, she only had one wedding ring to hawk for a motorcycle, so we began to save pennies. My wedding band is nice, but it is not ‘motorcycle’ nice.

This Spring Tonya bought this motorcycle from a very nice gentleman in Pleasant Grove.

The man in the picture is not the nice gentleman from Pleasant Grove, but me trying my darnedest to look ‘biker cool’. It’s an acquired look and will take time.

I can say these bikes are beautiful because Tonya picked them out. She hunted them down, contacted the sellers and negotiated the price. She is the ‘buyer’ in the family, and she is very good.

This is the present for my 50th birthday, which isn’t officially until August. But who wants to wait until the end of summer for a motorcycle.  We are officially having a ball with them.

A big thanks to Tonya, and to my family who contributed to accessorizing. I love you all.  (Thank you, thank you!  ~ tlc)

And yes, Tonya has a lovely new home for her engagement stone. You should see it some time.


Jackson did it!! He beat the 8th grader today to become the Lehi Junior High spelling bee champion!

He can’t remember his first word, but the 8th grader stumbled on the second word, “hawkeye”. Jackson was given the opportunity to spell that word out, which he did correctly, then given his own winning word of “miserable”. I asked Jackson how he knew how to spell hawkeye. He said it was from watching the movie “The Avengers”. Now I have no excuse to not let my kids watch mindless action flicks! (I would have known the Hawkeye spelling from M*A*S*H but that betrays my age…!)

This spelling bee is part of the Scripps-Howard run-up to the national spelling bee in May. Jackson has been invited to participate in the Utah Valley Spelling Bee at UVU on March 2. That is the district spelling bee and he’d go on to the regional level were he to win at this level.  He thinks he’s got what it takes to win at district.  We have not prepped him at all, mostly ‘cuz we had no idea it was happening!

We are very proud of and excited for Jackson. I cried today when he texted me he’d won. This is not at all something we expected out of a kid who can still barely write legibly. Apparently he soaks in the words he sees. We’ll just enjoy this ride as far as it takes him!

(For the record, I was the junior high spelling bee champ in 8th grade for my school, back in the day when M*A*S*H was still on the air. I went to the district level and missed on my second-round word, “righteous”. Maybe it’s in the genes… I hope Jackson has better fortune!)



This past summer we took on an almost complete remodel of our second floor. We began by ripping out the rest of the disgusting ten-year-old carpet from the upper two stories of the house. We’ve gone all hard surfaces. I will never go back to carpet. We placed cork flooring throughout the upstairs and in my main floor office. The cork is warm and cushiony to the touch. It’s great in the bedrooms and playroom.

We replaced the stair covering with a pre-finished engineered hickory step to match the front room floor.

The playroom was the biggest project to tackle. After ten years in the house it is now how we envisioned it from the beginning. We felt a bit of sorrow removing Jordan’s swings, but the space is much more cozy and useable now. Our contractor and his subs did a *fabulous* job!

We absolutely love the finished product!

After the contractors’ dust had settled Blake and I replaced all the baseboards in the upstairs and added a chair rail in the bedrooms before repainting them completely. The boys got to choose the colors in their bedrooms. It was *a lot* of work but we actually had a blast doing it. I am ready to tackle some other rooms but Blake wants a long rest!

Britt’s room:

Jack’s space:

Jack’s ball python, Monty:

The “Bug” room:

These pictures do not do the vibrant colors justice! And then there’s the redo of my office… Maybe I’ll throw up a pic of that sometime! The basement and second floor are now done to our specifications. Some day we will tackle the main floor with the visions we had when we built!