June 29, 2012

Weekly Top Ten

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I have so many favorites in the world.  I thought it would be fun to do a Weekly Top 10.  Who knows what sort of crazy top ten lists I can get into?!?  I will start easy on everyone, with movies.  I'm not classifying these as 10 is the least fave and 1 is the all time fave...these are just 10 of my can't-live-without-watching-a-bazillion-times-a-year favorites:


1.  Pride and Prejudice (Both versions count.  I love them both)
2.  You've Got Mail
3.  Phantom of the Opera

4.  Harry Potter (all 8 movies count - it's one story to me!)
5.  The Princess Bride  (I don't own this on DVD.  I'm headed over to amazon.com as I type to order...shame!)
6.  Tangled (I LOVE THIS MOVIE)

7.  RENT
8.  Lord of the Rings (again all of them, it's one story to me)
9.  Breakfast at Tiffanys (anything Audrey really, it's a tough choice!)

10.  Titanic

It's so hard to whittle this list to 10!!  There are so many other movies I just adore, and I feel like I am forgetting some important ones, but these are ultimately my favorites.  I really wanted to fit Julie & Julia on there because I luuuurve that movie, but I just couldn't bump anything else.  Yes, yes, yes, I do love Star Wars and The Little Mermaid and Twister and Mama Mia and Gone with the Wind (etc) but when I compare each to my 10, they do not make me want to change any of them.  It's just me and what I like though, everyone's top 10s are different which is why they are so fun!  Let's get some other movie ideas!  Tell me what you think I am missing, either here or on FB!!

Oh, and yes I do love the Twilight movies, but not nearly enough to be on my top 10.  My top 10 books, however...we'll go to that.  The movies are way to cheese ball for me...but I do enjoy seeing my beloved characters come to life, no matter how intense or weird;)

Freakin Fun Friday!!

Step to it - Part 1

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It did not really take me a long time to get used to being a step parent.  Maybe because I've known Ashley since she was 2, or maybe because mine and Dave's relationship was so S-L-O-W moving (in a good way) or maybe because we spent a lot of time together before the whole marriage thing, or maybe just because?

The point is, I am a step parent.  A stepmother.  Which means everyday of my life I ask myself, "OMG am I an evil stepmother?!?"  Sometimes maybe I am.  The majority of the time I hope I am not.  Usually I think of myself as her same age, because I totes act like it (Carly Rae anyone?  Dancing crazy to One Direction?  No?  Adults don't do that?!)  Sorry Ash, I probs embarrass you to heck and back!  Honestly, though, it could be worse.  See?  I even talk like a teen, how weird.  Most stepmothers have a reeeeeally bad reputation, like Cinderella's...yikes.

Here she is now with Dave.  She's 13.

Here she is with me, many moons ago.  I think she is 7 here!

Here she is at 5...where did the time go??

I've never been a mother before.  Well, except to Frodo, but he is a cat.  I have no base to compare being a mom to being a step mom.  It's amusing to me that I will have raised a teenager before I have raised a toddler, but, like most parents of newborns, I have no clue what I am doing.  Only it's with a 13 year old.  I do find that I am leaning on how my parents raised me a lot.  I find myself saying things like, "1 or 2 C's is acceptable, but no more than that..." and I hear my father.  Or, "Did you really clean that bathroom floor?  Because I still see dirt..." and my mothers face and all-knowing look comes to mind.  It's sort of hilarious!  It's definitely a fun job, and it is rewarding.  I can only imagine what more kids will do to me, and her too, but hopefully we will all adjust nicely!

Ashley is at that age though where we are constantly wondering what is going on in that head of hers.  Is she happy, does she hate us yet, does she ever have questions and just not ask us, does she fight with friends?  Recently I've thought about what got me through my teen years and to be honest, I think it was my friends and tv/movies and books and really just living life and figuring it all out one crazy day at a time.  Ashley's situation is so different than mine.  She has two homes, two rooms, two sets of parents, two sets of families on both sides...she's split in so many ways.  She is luckier than most kids I think though, because she has so many adults in her life that love and care about her.

As she travels through what can be described as the most stormy-but-fun-wild-and-crazy time of her life, I wanted to get her a few books to help her through.  She doesn't ask a lot of questions (really, you could though!) or talk about a lot of her friendship situations (again, you could!) so Dave & I don't know if she has questions or needs advice or wants to talk or whatever.  Although, I remember being that way too.  As a teen, you don't realize that your parents/step parents have been through most situations before, and probably have a good bit of advice for you.  As a teen, you also don't want your parents advice, lol, because parents are lame and embarassing, and really don't know a thing (it's not true though!!  We are totally awesome!)  Anyways, one book my mom got me as a teenager was this one:

Yes it is super cool and so 80's or 90's!  But I loved this book, I read every juicy morsel about growing up and being a girl!  So I guess my mom know a thing or two about a thing or two, because I think that book helped me a ton, when someone at school that was more "worldly" than I was and said something I really didn't know about or understand, I'd make a mental note to see if it was talked about in this book.  It was.  I never sat and read it cover to cover, I flipped through it as I needed to know more about boobs or fights with friends or periods or whatever.  I never knew really how much it taught me until now though...

...because I bought the same book for Ashley!  It's new and improved and has been updated a few times.  I actually read it almost cover to cover tonight and laughed out loud at how much of it I had memorized, or I got to parts of the book where I'd say, "Oh that is where I read about that or that is why I say that!"  It was a fun trip to the past.  I think it's a great book for girls, and it's written for 11 to 18 year old girls so it covers a really great array of topics.

I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.  I've been looking for books for her to read over the summer, we sort of have a routine down for her to read and do some school work over these few months to keep her brain active.  Because if we don't, it'll turn to mush with TV and cell phones.  When I was her age, I was still out playing with friends, running around the neighborhood or splashing around in the creek in our woodsy area.  Being active, being creative, choosing to read for fun, etc. Teens today don't do that stuff anymore, FYI.  They are home bodies and techy savvy.  If we didn't make her look up from the tv/laptop/cell phone screen, I am not sure she would!  So hopefully this book will entice her to read;)

This whole thing just makes me feel like a parent.  I've always known that I AM a step parent, but knowing I am and feeling like one are a little different.  Ashley has 2 perfectly great parents, her dad and her mom.  I sorta fit in the background, not replacing either one ever, but not just another adult in her life either.  It's a comfortable position, for all of us I think.  When I read through this book though, I kept thinking...this is so "parenty" of me!  LOL!  With her being a teenager now, and the woman in our household, I know my role is important.  Teens...they watch everything, they learn, they base their decisions and their actions off our lives.  That is really scary to me!  I'm such a nut case!!  So, at least when I am not the best role model, or can't answer a question, or she doesn't want to ask (let's face it, most of the stuff teens what to know and ask they would never ask us because it's 100% embarassing) she has a place to go to that can give her a straight answer and be good enough to get her through.

My only issue with this book?  The author isn't a Christian.  So, some of our very important views on very important and serious topics are not the same.  I went through and added some scripture and notes in those parts, just because I think it's important for Ashley to know where we stand and where we hope she stands too one day.  Overall I think it was a good choice for her summer reading plan.

Look at me?  Being all parenty!  I guess it's good for me, since we are thinking about having more, soon.  But that is a whole other topic...

See?  We are all so goofy, it's hard to tell who the teenager is?  ;)

June 27, 2012

A few updates!

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It's been over 2 months since I did all that hard work in my kitchen!  I still love my color choices and the cabinets and everything is looking great still.  I do have to wipe down the cabinets every few weeks to keep them from looking gross, but honestly everyone should be doing that because if you don't have white cabinets, the grossness is there but you can see it!  Lesson learned from cleaning these cabinets before I painted them, they were covered...COVERED...in grime that we never wipe off.  Yuck!

When last I posted about the kitchen, it looked like this....

You can see that I hadn't installed the two small cabs above the fridge yet, and you can see the really awful, hideous florescent lamp situation that begged to be changed.

Fast forward 2 months and I really hadn't gotten to any of that yet.  The last weeks of school were so hectic, with all the activities and planning/hosting a Career Day and all that jazz.  Home stuff, including DIY, blogging and heck, even cleaning, was put on the back burner.  Come to think of it, I've been "out" of school for 2 weeks and all that stuff was still on that burner, I've been so busy!

See?  Still nothing up there.  So I decided I needed to just bite the bullet and do it!  The cabinets were already painted, I just needed to install them.  The light fixture...well I was scared of that part.  I had never uninstalled a florescent light before, so it was an unknown anomaly.  It wasn't so bad.  Honestly, I forgot to take pictures of Dave & I taking it down and putting the new one up!  Here it is all installed, and the ceiling is halfway painted around i (there was a ugly light shaped piece of ceiling, ew)

The fixture is from Lowes, I paid about $60 for it.  It's ORB around the rim and on the nip.  Oh right...Dave & I lovingly call fixtures like this "boob lamps" because really...they look like big boob, right?  Anyways, it was the best choice for our small kitchen.  We have the chandelier hanging in the dining room about 7 feet away so another dangling option would've been way too much.  We loved this one!

The fire lit under my butt to get stuff done took about a week, with buying the light, installing it, and putting up the cabinets.  Now, however, it's all done.  Here are the small cab doors installed...don't mind the messy kitchen.  I still have to clean this house from top to bottom.  It's so dirty.  I've had no time!!  Well, I have had some time but I chose to use it elsewhere;)  Can someone say "Tinas-brother-has-a-pool?"

Here is the kitchen from afar with the light fixture and the cab doors installed.  Sorry about the dark pic, I'm still learning the best way to take pictures of bright light with my camera...

The pics with the light on tend to look like this:

Glare-a-riffic!!  I'll acquaint myself with the ways of a fancy came;)

We've had fun taking some great pics though, see??

 Ash & Dave on a walk...
 Ash took this at my parents, pretty flower!
 Our sweet little townhouse at Not So Bland...
 Our "why-are-you-doing-this-to-me" Frodo-kitty...
A teenager-like pic taken in the bathroom of me and my new appendage.  Seriously, I have the camera in my hands about 88% of the time now!

So that is what's happening around our home lately.  I have tons of projects planned for the summer, which I'll post up in a day or so.  Who knows if those projects will get done though, we have our Europe trip coming up in 2 weeks and that is taking up a lot of my time prepping and planning and packing:)

Happy Summer!