Has it really been 2 1/2 months since I last posted? Oh my.
• We had our 14th anniversary. We went out for Costa Vida and I got increasingly disgusted with election results. Hooray. You know, one of these years we're going to actually have to GO somewhere together, hint hint, Hawaii, or a cruise, or NYC....
• I got super depressed because the idiot got re-elected. No, I take that back, he's not the idiot, everyone who voted for him is an idiot, or else way too entitled/comfortable with all the government handouts. It's not really a surprise at all - who's going to beat Santa Claus in an election? Nobody.
• I got super stressed out because our renters decided that they couldn't afford the house anymore. Of course, they didn't bother to tell us until halfway through November, after rent was late and countless phone calls to try and reach them, so I footed the bill for November and December. Awesome! Just in time for Christmas!
• We spent Thanksgiving in Scottsdale with all the Carters. Then bits and pieces of my family were in the valley for various reasons that weekend too, so we got to hang out with Safford peeps, as well as Colorado peeps. Fun.
• Renters finally moved out on December 2nd. I spent a week going over to Phoenix every day cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more. On the surface it looked like they had left the place in good shape - but once I got in there I realized how absolutely disgusting it was. I literally burned up my vacuum with all of the hair left behind. All in all we 1) Bought a fridge - that was quite the feat moving it over there 2) Hooked up water to the fridge (because of course the renters took all the lines, awesome) (Did I mention my husband is NOT a plumber??) 3) Ordered and replaced an $80 part on the microwave 4) Bought new hinges for the dishwasher 5) Fixed the garbage disposal that wasn't working 6) Hired a landscaper to do the yard and take out a dead tree 7) Had the carpets and tile cleaned 8) Spent hours dusting, scrubbing, mopping 9) Repainted walls in two rooms 10) Touched up paint everywhere else 11) Replaced almost all the lightbulbs in the house because they were all burned out (?) 12) Kicked myself that we didn't collect a cleaning deposit from them when they moved in!!! 13) etc, etc, etc.
• I just wasn't feeling Christmas-cardy this year. Not only was I stressed with the no-renters-thing, but my horribly awkward growing-out-my-hair inbetween-ness is still nowhere near ready for a family picture. So I apologize if you were expecting one from us. I think this is the first year out of our 14 years of marriage I haven't sent anything out!
• We spent a weekend at the cabin in November. It became a work trip because Grandma and Poppy went too. Excited to see that new room get finished, hopefully, the next time we're there.
• I had to speak in church. Worst. Day. Ever.
• I only ended up doing one vendor show for my vinyl business in December, that being the SRP Christmas party. With M in synchronized swimming practice on Saturdays and N working almost every Saturday, there wasn't really an option to do any more! Luckily I was too busy with orders for the rest of the month to worry about it too much.
• We refinanced our house (again) and were able to skip December and January payments. This is the only thing that got us through not having renters. Total blessing.
• My 38th birthday came and went. Celebrated by jumping and flipping around on trampolines and riding a mechanical bull at Jumpstreet with a couple of friends. Total blast. I love that place. Shhh, don't tell our kids we went without them.
• Went to tithing settlement to discover that I was $1400 behind where I thought we were for the year. UGH, that was a hard check to write. IN OTHER NEWS, we got a surprise $1439 check in January from our old escrow account that we didn't have any idea was coming. Ummm, coincidence? Heavenly Father truly looks after us.
• Tried to keep Christmas pretty simple. Didn't get our fam picture done. Didn't get cards sent out. Gave goodies to a few neighbors and called it done. Didn't get any presents for any friends, because I'm lame like that. N had all of two presents to open, and one of those had socks in it. The other was an ASU shirt that was supposed to be returned to the stadium shop months earlier, but never made it there, so Merry Christmas! lol. A got a kindle (that we'd had for months), M got roller skates, and J got a new bike (that had been in a box in our garage for 1 1/2 years). Santa also brought us a family membership to the Science Center, which has been great already. We got spoiled by Grandma and Poppy of course, with lots of things including a great TETHERBALL set. Fun.
• Went to Safford the day after Christmas to hang out with Sam & Brie and everyone. Went to play in the snow while we were there, but it was bitter cold and the snow was ice hard, so not as fun as last year. We have yet to find a great sledding place on Mt. Graham. I stayed up really late for a couple of nights playing games with the Scotts.
• Went to a car dealership while in Safford and fell in L.O.V.E. with the brand new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. Now, if we could remember where we planted that money tree we'd go buy one.
• We had a friend party a few days after Christmas with appetizers, desserts, minute-to-win-it games and some pretty amazing white elephant gifts. Man, I so need that party every year just to be able to laugh that hard.
• New years? Did that happen? I was out at the Phoenix house painting all day on NYE, so I didn't really notice. To add insult to injury, J's scooter got stolen from the neighborhood playground while we were there. Awesome. At least the new renters showed up with $$, and signed papers that night. Whew.
• School resumed! HOORAY! I just get so tired of the fighting around here, I need my solitude!
• Small redos in one bathroom have led to me making bigger changes in all three bathrooms. All at the same time. I know, I'm awesome. Hired our handyman to move electrical boxes for new lights to go in in the kids' bathroom. Bought new mirrors for the master bathroom, but decided they look better in the kids' bathroom, so I'm on the hunt again for the perfect 30"x42" dark cherry, or mahogany, or walnut, framed mirrors for my master bath. Once I find just the right ones we can patch the current holes in the drywall, move the electrical boxes up a few inches, and install two new light fixtures in there. Sheesh! In the meantime, I found the perfect glass mosaic tiles that I want for the master bathroom - - but because I want that to flow with the not-yet-tiled-shower and tub surround (neither of which will happen for years to come) I went ahead and bought about 20 extra tiles, lol. I seriously need to find a contractor ASAP to at least help me design it, so I know if I need more of these accent tiles or not, because I won't be able to buy them ever again.....!!! I'm good at making my life and house projects complicated/expensive... As of last weekend our downstairs bathroom has new wall paint, new ceiling paint, new light fixture and hardware. Looks a million times better. Someday that bathtub and molded plastic (gag) surround will come out and the whole thing will get tiled too.
• My dear Amberly got me to a Crossfit workout a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to give it a try for at least one 6-week session. It's motivating because 1) I don't know what I'm going to be doing once I get there each time - kind of like I'd rather listen to the radio so I don't know what's coming next..... lol and 2) I'm for sure going to go every single time because I already paid for it! I couldn't walk for three days after my first time there. Now I've been there for two weeks. And looking forward to the next workout.
• I've been reading a LOT lately. Just made my way through the "I am number four" series by Pittacus Lore (ps.) just to realize it's NOT OVER! Ugh, next book doesn't come out til fall 2013, and then after that fall of 2014! I know, my big ol' nerd problems.
• J is so grown up lately. Love that boy. He is doing pretty well in school (except for behavior!) and in music class (though he's the most hyper one in there) and he just started soccer a couple of weeks ago with 6 other kids from his primary class. He's the cutest little Red Rocket on the team! Last week after the game, all the parents made a tunnel for the kids to run through... J couldn't go through without stopping to hug my legs (love him) which then in turn made him trip the kids behind him... too funny. He has lots of friends in the neighborhood and ends up having them over a couple times a week. He has to recite "Little Bo Peep" next week in his school class, and has it down! He has come a long way, since the first poem he was assigned at the beginning of the year he was too shy to say it, at ALL. : )
• M is still in synchro. Her first big meet is tomorrow morning. I have spent a small fortune getting all the makeup and gear ready for this thing. I think she now owns more makeup than I do. Also have to RENT a ROUTINE SUIT for $35. SHEESH! And I thought synchro was cheaper than gymnastics! Ha! She practices on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. I've almost pulled her out MULTIPLE times simply because she's so exhausted on Thursdays that she can't handle it, but she loves it so much! Glad it's only 1 school night a week. She's doing awesome in school. Still a great helper around home, but strangely she's in a phase of a very messy bedroom ALL THE TIME. She used to be the neatest in the house, not so much anymore. Let's just hope it's a phase anyway. She's not a fan of the piano lately at all, it's a struggle to get her to practice.
• A is a preteen and makes me crazy daily, whether it be her defiance about mealtime, brushing her hair, going to bed, washing her face, practicing piano, getting off a device... however her room is staying mighty clean lately at least!
• N is still working like crazy. Including lots of late nights, lots of Saturdays, and lots of time on his Blackberry while at home. He still insists on playing basketball 4-5 times a week in the early mornings, so he's thoroughly exhausted all the time.
Time to get some dinner going! Ta ta for now...