Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I have been wanting to do adventures.  I have been wanting to enjoy the oncoming of summer.  I have been wanting to be easy-goin' and chip-chip-chipper, but I've been THWARTED....obstacle after obstacle, tripping me up. 

Kitchen.  I spend so much time in the kitchen.  It's a source of peace for me.  It's a mess.  And, the remaining remodeling tunnel is LONG.  Must keep going.  The chaos has almost become a new normal.  Not cool.  I have this odd makeshift kitchen set-up on the fireplace bench....microwave, waffle maker, toaster, (that just broke, figures) and griddle (gotta have eggs).  A dresser for utensils.  Kitchen table for countertop.  A pile of cutting boards.  A big bowl for a sink (dirty dish pile). 

Water heater broke the day before yesterday.  Somehow. luxuries here.   No range, no kitchen sink, no dishwasher, and now, NO HOT WATER.  AND....NO HEAT!!! Because we had to turn the gas off. to Grandma's for warmth, mac and cheese, and baths.  THANK YOU!!!  And yes, it's rainy and cold today.  Ofcourse. 

Knee injury.  It's pretty stupid to be reading an inspiring running book, when you can't run.  It's so frustrating.  The perfect summer was ahead with races and new trails.  No HIIT either.  Too rough on the knees.  That was my morning jolt.  Well, it will force me cross-train.  Learn something new.  But really, I want my faves. : ( 

Always another project.  Sheet rock comes out.  4 loads to the dump.  New drywall goes in.  Prime before bed.  Paint early.  Paint again.  Needs another coat.  Patch another part.  Do the same thing.  Stay up late putting in cabinets.  Well, Chad and friend worked on cabinets.  I watched 5 kids in a tiny bedroom.  Oh, it's the weekend?  Even more work!   

Keep up with the joke of a garden.  I feel so lost.  SO many things aren't growing.  So, I planted more.  Will those grow?  Who knows.  Then I look at all the work for two rows of lettuce and I think....what is that gonna make?  One big bowl of salad....that only I eat?!  I mean, I'll love it, but I just think I did the layout wrong or something.  How did people ever live off their own garden?!  I guess, I started from scratch.  I made long mounds, rotated, tilled (with a hand-tiller thingy), mixed in compost....all so I could plant the seeds and have them be really healthy.  So i thought.  But next year, there will be much less work.  A lot of the work has just been researching and trying to learn how to do it right.  I did start with some questionable seeds, so that doesn't help.  No LCC seed swap next year.  I'll preserve my own seeds this year.  But, there is another thing to research, learn, and do.

Then today, I had plans for getting lots of things done, but they involved the truck and dry weather.  No dry weather.  No chores done.  Dogs still couped-up.  Plans thwarted.   

Used the gym for the first time in ages, so I could use their shower.  Used the elliptical too.  It was nice to get some cardio.  It's been awhile.

Chad has longer hours for the next two weeks too.  Hurrah!  

But hey, none of us are sick!  Our family is great.  Aijah has learned to stand on her own.  Jet says great prayers.  Really, they are very entertaining and sweet, and quite long.  lol.  I've stayed in my sweats all day, but at least I'm clean, even my hair.  We'll pretend I didn't hoover crappy carbs all morning out of stress.  yikes.  My wonderful father-in-law came over to help me with the water heater guy.  Thank goodness.  I got to watch the last 1/3 of Wreck-it Ralph with Jet, snuggling on the couch w/a fluffy blanket.  At that moment, I just silently thanked the people who make happy movies, because it's just what we needed to chase the stresses away.

Perhaps I should have put this in a more personal journal?  I wonder sometimes.  Ol' well.  "Publish"

Well, how about a theme song for the rest of the day?

"Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no, I've got to keep on movin'."

What are a few boulders down a path, but a few detours to make the trip interesting?  Nay? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Crazy Kitchen Lady

I really should get some cleaning done, but I'm going to do some mental cleaning instead.  That's what journaling and/or blogging is for me.  It just helps me sort my thoughts and find my mojo, like going for a run.  It's actually become a little afternoon routine for me.  Love it.  Though it normally ends with a baby waking up, and a torn feeling of, I should have gotten something else done, but I really needed that.  Normally, I drink tea too, but with the state of our kitchen, making a cup of tea involves 4 different rooms (bathroom for water, kitchen for cup, garage for fridge (need cream!) and living room for microwave).  Tea is in, sanity!  Not sanitary tea....haha.  Decaf and herbal....alright....I'm kicking out some regular chai soon.  Honestly, I haven't bought any for a long time, and won't anymore.  I'm doing good.

Mental spew of BOOs (negative things)

-no sink, range, or dishwasher
-running injury that keeps lingering
-messy house
-precious seedlings getting eaten by slugs
-10% of seeds planted actually growing!!!  ug!  I suck at this!
-drywall guy bailing
-feeling like I have a limb cut off because I don't really have a kitchen.  I'm pretending we're camping.
-Having to go to my parents to cook a big batch of meatballs for the week.  Annoying my dad with a cranky baby, and loud dogs barking in the back of the truck (and the neighborhood, for that matter, oi)
-Doing dishes in the bathtub
-Working on ANOTHER load to the dump, because we took down two more walls of sheet-rock, thanks to the drywall guy who bailed.  
-I have eating issues and think about food way too much

HURRAHs (positive things)

-Getting a new kitchen...I really need to focus on WHY we are going through all this.  It will be worth it!  Really, it's not that bad.  Wah!!! Jessica, Wah!  You still have food and electricity and water.  Shut yo' yappa!
-Beautiful weather
-Lunch w/Jet on the deck, under the new umbrella.  I love eating lunch w/that boy.  So fun.  Today, he tried his first caper.
-ricotta has been rocking my world lately....and peanut butter.  and pesto.  Not together.  Well, the first and last
-Dean Karnazes books (Ultramarathon man)  So inspiring.  This guy makes you rethink some basic beliefs of pushing the limits.  Right now, I'm applying the principles to the kitchen, and not running.  haha.  "One step at a time....will eventually get you to run 150 miles."  "Pain is the body's way of ridding sissiness."  Those aren't real quotes from the book. 

Alright, let's cut to the chase.  The real reason I'm feeling like I'm running amok is because of the kitchen.  That's all.  It's bound to happen.  SO....I'm going to cut my self some slack, realize it's gonna be a bit chaotic 'round here, and go with it.  No big deal.  If I'm feeling off, I'm blaming it on the kitchen.  That darn kitchen.  Makes peoples get all crazies!  Cheese and Crackahs! Watch out for the crazy lady, she's kitchenless!  Bah!!!!

Let's ignore the house.

I'm so silly.  The other day I read a quote by Thoreau, basically saying that the less one has, the more free one is.  I remember learning that lesson when Chad was unemployed and we were living at his parents.  Stuff takes time and energy.  Caring for it, maintaining it, storing it, organizing it, etc etc etc.  Stuff can be such a waste of time.  So much of it is fluff, and not really important.  The kitchen will be wonderful, but really, it's stuff.  It's not that important.  The best part will be the new layout....being able to be WITH the family when I'm cooking, and having everything be open.  THAT, is a life changer.  Getting new cabinets? Nah.  It will also be wonderful to have people come over and spend time together.  THAT will be awesome.   

I want to simplify.  So much stuff.  Sometimes, it's a burden.  I want to purge.  Get rid of it!  Focus on relationships and living.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father, my family, my bigger family.  Family is the best.  Don't you love that quote in that mormon message, "Children are what God gave you time for."  What is life for?  To make it back with our families.  I love my family so much.  They are the joy of my life.  They are the hug, literally and figuratively, at the end of the day.  I love the brightness in Jet's eyes, Aijah's innocent excitement at the smallest things, Chad's willingness to listen to everything I have to say, even when it's silly, and still truly care about it. 

What's a few weeks of kitchen catastrophe?  Meh.....nothin'.  Bring it.

Heads on straight.  Isn't writing great? just woke up.  Whudya know? 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Life During a Kitchen Remodel

We're in the thick of it.  Luckily, we're just hackin' away at a steady pace. 

Really, so far, it's been a series of tearing down various things (walls, cabinets, moldings, ceiling), cleaning up the mess (loads to the dump), and cleaning up all the debris to make the house livable, and then cleaning it more so a baby can actually crawl around safely.  Emptying cabinets.  Finding temporary places for all the stuff that was in the cabinets.  Sell this to make room for this.  Call this guy for this.  When will he be here? 

New fridge is the garage.  Luckily, still have all the other appliances in the house.  So many trips to the garage, especially for us food divas.   

Using our table as a kitchen island, a bookcase as a cupboard, and a hallway dresser for drawers. 

Always various 2 by 4s exposed somewhere.  Center wall, back wall, the whole center of the house. 

Temporary beam wasn't holding up the ceiling enough, and had an emergency beam install.  All is well. 

Accidentally chopped a wire.  No electricity in our bedroom and Jet's room for the past week and half. 

I have learned that I feel like a stud taking loads to the dump, just me and the kids.  I can heft huge pieces of wood and sheet-rock into the truck, and later throw them into a big pit.  It's a fun, vigorous, and makes me say, RAR! and flex my muscles...when I get home.  lol.  Who needs to wait for Chad for help?  I got this.

But honestly, I already love our kitchen so much better because of the open layout.  Life changing!  Tonight, Chad was watching NBA playoffs, and I was chopping some produce (my zen activity....I love to chop) and we were hanging out together.  He was feet away, and not behind a wall!  We could easily converse about the day.  No yelling, can you bring me this?!  More like, hand that to me, at a normal volume.  ok, no prob.  So, what was your fave part of the day?  Right now.  I know, this is so nice! 

Scared to be sinkless soon.  Yikes.  tehe 

A Weekend in Portland, parte dos

Alrighty, a week later.

Let's sum this vacay up!

Race...yay!  (PS, half marathons DO NOT have to be painful.  You can very well have a pleasant 1/2, it just depends on how hard you want to race.  You can do it way more leisurely.  I don't want anyone to be discouraged about doing a race because they think it's miserable.  It is what you make it, and I decided to see just how fast I could go.)

-Hung out with fam, reveling in our gloriousness
-Back to hotel.  SHOWER!  Jet and Chad went in the outdoor pool.  Had a blast.  It was fun hearing them play from the room while I was getting dressed.  Well, I really wanted to jump in too....but why the heck didn't I?  I don't remember.  What an idiot!  I think I may have felt guilty about being sweaty.  Doh!
-Stroll down Alberta St.  SO INSPIRING!  So many cool, urban, hip, funky eateries...honestly, I could go there every morning after a workout, pick-up a little nibble from a diff place every day, and sit in their cute little vignettes, and be in a perfect state of bliss.  Food carts, plant nurseries, tea houses, cool upcycled art.  We ate at a biscuit place, next to a pure white juice cart.  I got some loose teas at the store, we got ice cream from Salt and Straw.  Visiting this street has been fuelling my motivation to work on the house.  I've got a fever!  In a good way!  I want to live on Alberta St.  : )
-Hooked up with Suz and Kara and kids to finally see Suz's apartment in downtown.  17th floor?  27th floor?  Anyway, crazy view from the balcony.  Always wonderful being w/family.
-Checked into a diff hotel.  It was more posh.  Good deal on Expedia.  Clear elevator.  SOooooorelaxing.  Soft bed and pillows, everything FEELING so crisp and fresh.  Floor to ceiling windows, w/a view of downtown.  Chilled out.  Aaaaaaaaaaah.  So nice.
-Caught up w/Kara and the kids to stroll northern downtown shops.  So fun just browsing, found sweet pirate ship chandeliers, pilot goggles, pretty papers for Aijah's rooms, and got 3 fancy desserts to take back to the hotel.
-Dinner at Huber's, the oldest restaurant in Portland....opened around 1897.  Still has a lot of original architecture etc.  Very cool. 
-Hotel veg time.  I put all the boxed dessert delicacies on the bed, and ate bite after bite, savoring all the silkiness, velvetiness, rich chocolate, airy cheesecake.  It was such a perfect moment...ultimate vacation indulgence.  And, I was in my fave pajamas.  Luxury, a bit of gluttony, ultimate comfort and a touch of silliness.  Ah ha ha.
-Goodnight.  Sleep tight.

-All woke up at the same convenient. 
-Hit the zoo, 10 minutes after it opened.  THE PERFECT ZOO TRIP.  It was practically deserted, and the animals were active and close.  We were feet away from cheetahs, cougars, the orangutan, alligator, polar bear, and so many more.
-Downtown food cart block, probably over 25 food carts.  Got Greek food.  Wow!  Gyros!  We likey.
-Toy shop.  Got a fun volcano experimenting kit for Jet, and some planet stuff.  I liked looking at all the girly stuff...haha.  So excited for Aijah to have a kitchen w/fake food someday.  It's so cute!
-Lunch at Kara's.  Hung out and played.  
-Drive home.  Pick up the dogs from the kennel.  

It was such a great vacation!  Oh my goodness.  I'm still inspired from that vacation...and it was really just a weekend.  It actually helped me get out of a slump.  Nothin' major, but it really just kicked that funk right out of me, and replaced it with AWESOMENESS!

I love seeing new places and exploring.  I love enjoying people's creativity with architecture, design, and food.  I love spending time together.  The cool thing is, I honestly feel like I can incorporate a vacation vibe, into my every day life, and do.  But, it's always nice to get work done.  There has to be a balance.  Work hard, play hard, and then relax a bit.