Search This Blog

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Broken Appliance Syndrome

I’m not sure about you, but at my house when something breaks it doesn’t just end there.  At my house, things seem to brake in pairs? 

Let me explain that the counselor and I are not fixer-upper kind of people.  We are not blessed with such a gift. If anything, we tend to have the opposite affect on things that are broken - as in our efforts only make matters worse.  I tell the counselor he can fix a failing marriage, but he can't fix a leaky toilet.  And what about me?  I can make cookies in 10-minutes flat, do up a mean French braid, but don’t ask me to fix a broken cabinet door or creaky ceiling fan.  I can’t fix it and either can the Mr.

So, a few weeks ago my dishwasher broke.  I knew it was on its last leg (or peg leg), but when my kitchen sink backed up too, I was in a hurry to get everything fixed.  I tried, like a city girl in high-heals tries to fix her car that won't start, but I knew before I took anything apart it was a lost cause. 

It took a few days to schedule a plumber to come out, so I started doing research on purchasing a new dishwasher.  I love shopping, but dishwasher shopping isn't quite what I have in mind for a fun day out.  I shopped around a bit online and was discouraged to realize the BOSCH dishwasher I wanted was $600.
Yes, the joys of home-ownership!

So, on a whim I did a craigslist search for a BOSCH dishwasher.  Wouldn’t you know it, several were available.  I called on a $200 used BOSCH, but it was a ways from my home.  Plus, could I really spend $200 on a used dishwasher.  What if I got it home and it didn’t work properly? 

Well, the next day, I did another BOSCH search and for $25 (and just a few miles away) I found one and in about ½ hour, I was the proud new owner.  The person who sold it to me said it worked fine, he just wanted to trade out his appliances for stainless steal.

The plumber fixed the sink and traded out the broken dishwasher for the new one . . . and then . . .
my refrigerator broke.

Chandler was the first one to notice the milk was warm and spoiled; curds and all.

I didn’t even consider purchasing a new one.  I immediately did a craigslist search for refrigerators and found another person trading out appliances for stainless steal.  That’s when I wondered if there was something wrong with me because I seem to be the only person in my city who doesn’t mind having non-stainless steal appliances.

I quickly got past that, because my "new to me, but used" two-year old immaculate Amana refrigerator, with working ice maker included was $280.  I looked my model up online and it runs around $1200.
So there you have it.  I may not have the trendiest kitchen (do bisque and black really go together?), but I was able to get everything updated on a tight little budget.

And Chandler informed me last night the dryer doesn’t turn on.  Here I go again.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Sometimes I wish I had a bigger house to accommodate all this amazing trash I find.
I would have totally kept this buffet if I had the room.
See how the sunlight is shining down on it, like God Himself loves this cute piece of vintage beauty too.  Maybe it's the butterfly fixtures that make it so special.  
This Ethan Allen dresser and French dresser would've been precious in Eden's room, but she already has beautiful furniture in there.
These two pieces were not purchased as a set, but somehow the both ended up pink.
Thank heavens I have two shops to keep my addiction fed; one at Qcumberz in Phoenix and the other at Antique Plaza in Mesa, both booth #52.
Here's a few more beauties I had to sadly depart with.
I was just dying to paint something bright red.
This piece was painted with a paprika.
Even experimenting with color is a blast.
It's like I develop a relationship and then turn around and say goodbye.
I'm sure they are going to happy homes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Birthdays

I have five beautiful children, three of which were born in the month of April.

Happy Birthday Mayer
Kind, sensitive, affectionate; this is my boy who probably wishes he was an only child.  Mayer is my thoughtful risk-taker, much different from a dare devil or show-off.  

He’s calculated in his choices (thank heavens because he loves skateboarding) and incredibly social.  He loves his friends.  He’s my only child when dropped off at a friend’s house will forget to kiss me good-bye.  There are times he comes to me and shares an experience he’s had with prayer or feeling the love of God in his life.  His independence can get him in trouble because he thinks he can do things better then his big brothers, or even his mom and dad. 

Happy Birthday Eden
Little miss sunshine informed me today she’s no longer a baby. Excuse me?  Don’t I have a say in that?  She is as girly as they come.  If it has glitter, princesses or anything baby doll, she wants it.  My make up has already been altered by little fingers, including missing make-up brushes.  I found her putting eye shadow on her baby doll the other day.  
Nail polish applications are as necessary as eating and drinking.  Too many tutu’s to count, imaginary princess friends and now, I’m afraid to step into Target lest we get stuck in the toy aisles.  We were at the pet store and she cried for a good ten minutes when I made her put back the doggy tutu's.

Happy Birthday Payson
Now this child is my dare devil.  I compare him to Dash from the movie The Incredibles.  He’s incredibly coordinated, athletically gifted and fiercely competitive.  Can anyone say pro-athlete!  His sense of humor is contagious, has a knack for drawing comics and always has a friend close by.  He grows more and more handsome each day and has always loved fixing his hair.  When he was younger he wanted gum and hand sanitizer for his birthday.  This year he’s asking for a $250 pro-scooter.  Well see about that.    

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Spiritual Journey to Weight Loss

We've all seen the cover stories on tabloid magazines showcasing perfect bodies with the headline “How I lost x-amount pounds” or “How I got my body back.”  The celebrity is sporting some string bikini or skin-tight dress, showcasing her glamorized thin body. That’s how society celebrates weight loss.  It’s something to be put on display. 

I've thought long and hard about sharing my current weight lost journey.  If it was a number’s game, it wouldn't be worth documenting, but my experience was somewhat different. 

Mine was a spiritual journey of loving myself and trusting in God.

Let me give you a brief summary of my battle with self-image and weight.  I was a chubby girl, heavier and taller then others my age.  I had a very heavy grandmother and always felt I was destined to inherit such genes.  I struggled with feeling fat and didn’t feel like I fit in with the pretty girls.  I started sports in jr. high and thinned out a bit, but still feel like I was different.  As a young adult, I maintained a healthy weight, but struggled with my self image and losing those last 10 pounds.  I think we all want to be thinner, prettier and more likable.  Even on my wedding day, I was worried about if I was thin enough; pretty silly when looking at the big picture of life.  Fast forward to having five kids in 10 years and I hadn't lost the weight associated with pregnancy.  I had a serious problem.  Sure, I tried eating less and working out more, but the scale wouldn’t budge.  I seemed stuck.

I remember thinking about a year ago “So, this is what it’s like getting older.”  I couldn’t run as fast, jumping on the trampoline with my kids was something I enjoyed any longer and nothing in my closet wanted to fit.  Should I settle?  Did I have a choice?

Then, one day while reading the scriptures I came across this Bible verse.

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
1 Corinthains 15:32
This scripture is also found in the Book of Mormon; Another testament of Jesus Christ.
 2 Nephi 28:7
Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.

I’ve heard this scripture my entire life and always thought it pertained to those struggling with addition like drugs or alcohol, but this time when I read it, it seemed to speak to me.  Suddenly, I realized it pertained to me and my personal struggles.
What was I putting off in my own life, saying “Oh, I’ll get to that later, when I have more time, better resources, more money or more self discipline?”  In other words, what was I procrastinating in my own life?

How many times had I put off starting on a healthier eating plan because tomorrow would always come?

That’s when I realized today was the day.

A friend of mine had recently lost weight on the medi-fast program, so I found a weight-loss coach and ordered the food.  It started out simple enough with eating less and making better food choices when on the 4th day I said to the counselor “I’m so hungry I think I could eat off my right arm.”  I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  It was too hard.  Was it really worth it?  Should I believe the choices I make today were insignificant because I always had tomorrow to try again?  I had a critical choice to make.  Was today really the day I was going to make sacrifices?  I repeated the scripture again in my mind, over and over again, remembering how it had impacted me and really thought about what God would want of me.  What about people who are facing a serious addictions?  How difficult it must be for them to give up their substance.  I had such sympathy for them when it occurred to me food is an addition.  This was a very personal experience, especially when I recognized how my weight had influenced my self-image.  Did I want another day, another month, another year feeling like I wasn’t good enough?  The weight needed to come off for my personal growth.

I weighed in a week later and lost more weight then I’d expected.  Seeing such fast results made a huge impact.   It was still difficult, every day, every hour, sometimes every minute because I had to make conscious choices about what I could or could not put into my mouth.  I kept the scripture out where I could read it whenever I needed encouragement.  I went the entire Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas season making the necessary food choices to help me reach my goal.  Some days I cried; I was mad and it didn't seem fair.  I had cravings that left me dizzy.  I prayed and drank lots of herbal tea.  Other days I floated; I was sustained and felt like the luckiest girl in the world.  Food was losing control over me. I have never been into diet soda, but some days it was what I needed to get over the hump.

I remember about a month into the program, running down the street to my mom’s house when I noticed how easy it was to run.  I couldn’t believe how free I felt.  My legs were so easy to pick up and my body moved with less effort than before.  This was another motivating experience that kept me going.

I lasted on the program for 8 weeks before I pooped out.  The weight-loss process is mentally exhausting, but medi-fast rocks.  I couldn’t have lost the weight any faster.  I still have a bit more to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am so happy where I’m at.  Everyday I thank Heavenly Father for giving me such a gift and when I am tempted to eat something that could compromise my success; I remember my scripture that kept me on track.   

Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.

So, now that I've been through it what would I say to my pre weight-loss self?

There are many things I learned from my experience that I wish I’d known all those years I’d struggled.  
First of all, find a program that works specifically for you.  That way all your effort and dedication isn’t for nothing.  I spent a lot of time for decades doing things half-way.  I didn’t realize I needed to be 100% committed.  Did that cookie or extra bite really make a difference?  The answer is yes.  I never knew that. 

Second, there is a true start and stop date to dieting.  There is an end in sight.  I didn’t realize this, even while I was on the program and that would have helped.  I guess even while doing it I still didn’t really believe it was possible.  If I could have said “Eight weeks, Laura give it eight weeks,” I think I wouldn’t have felt so frustrated at times.  

Third, reward yourself with beautiful experiences, early morning walks, plant flowers, take pictures to document your process to see how far you’ve come and buy new clothes.  I started buying new outfits for date night and couldn’t believe when I started wearing smaller sizes. 

Lastly, don’t beat yourself up.  This process is difficult, but it’s worth it.  Celebrate even the smallest success.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Easiest Question I Ever Had To Answer

Almost 16 years ago, I was asked a question by the sweetest person I know.
He asked if I would marry him.
After the Easter pageant at the Mesa Temple, he showed the kids where and how he asked me to marry him all those years ago.  I think my kids were paying attention because later Chandler said "That's where I'm going to propose to my wife some day," and he pointed out a beautiful bench near a flower garden.
My heart still melts for this man I married.

This Easter weekend was wonderful with two Easter egg hunts on Saturday and two on Sunday.
What is it about Easter candy?
It just ends up everywhere, like that awful plastic Easter grass.  Let's just say, there's random jelly beans on the living room floor and those left over candy pieces in the kids baskets have been picked over.

My dishwasher has been on the outs, so I did a quick scan to see what was out there.  There was a used BOSCH dishwasher for $200.  The owner said it was in her mother's home and her mother had just been moved into a retirement community.  It sounded like a great deal (considering they sell new for around $750), but I couldn't get down to Chandler before it sold (about 25 miles away).  Well, a few hours later I did another craigslist search and found a used BOSCH dishwasher for $25 just down the street from me.  The guy said he'd just purchased a home and was replacing all the appliances with stainless steal.  My brother Sam picked it up.  It's installed and works great.  Thank you and thanks to the missionaries who came by just as I was taking the used dishwasher out to my car.  Yep, they volunteered to help with the heavy load.
I was able to finish up a beautiful mint green dresser last week and it already sold at Antique Plaza.
Hope you had a beautiful weekend.
Here's a peak at my new ring tone; a gorgeous song by Brandon Heath called I'm Not Who I Was.  Whenever someone calls, I don't want to answer because I love to be inspired by this beautiful message.