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Friday, July 29, 2011

Poof! One Day - Laura Lofgreen vs. Emma Morley

I recently finished a booked called One Day.  
I’ll try not to give too much away, as I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone else who plans on reading it.
One Day was a fun read, full of witty writing and specifically two interesting characters; Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew.
One Day wasn't life changing, like other books I’ve read this summer (The Help or Sarah’s Key), but it was worth the journey in many ways.
I laughed, I cried and know more about London then I did before.
One Day follows the relationship of Emma and Dexter, from just after their college graduation all the way into their forties.
There are highs and lows, bad jobs and even worse hair cuts, lovers and heartbreaks, but around the age of 35, Emma’s dreams come true.  She publishes a young adult book and every writer’s dream, writes sequels.  Next come the movie rights and merchandising. 
And I was jealous, of a fictional character mind you named Emma Morley, because I want to be published like her.
I actually mopped around, feeling sorry for myself, talking to my husband about it, until I took a step back and really compared my life to Emma Morley.
Emma, this non-real/non-person who’s never taken a human breath, is married in the book at the age of 38.
I’m 38.
And I wondered, where would my life be if I just married?
If I’d been single all these years.

Laura life before meeting Derek.

I loved college, thrived on higher education and was prepared to start a Master’s Degree after receiving my bachelor’s in communication from ASU.  
I loved running.  I ran everyday, up Camelback Mountain, around Papago Park, on the canal out to Red Mountain, around the track at ASU.  I ran at least an hour every day.  I always had index note cards in my hands when I ran; memorizing notes I needed for my advanced public speaking classes and other course work. 
I was a nerd in running shorts and a highlighter pen!
I think I was happy, although I do remember feeling lonely often, wondering if I’d ever find love.
A few years earlier at the age of 17, I'd read a book called Diet for a New America.  It changed how I looked at food. I became a vegetarian and wouldn’t eat meat for another 10 years. 
I loved children and was a professional nanny.  Actually, I was a professional at playing house in very expensive homes.  I played, traveled around the country and drove every type of Mercedes and Volvo with childproof locks.  I loved to cook, learning as I went, and was happy to do all the grocery shopping.  I cooked gourmet meals for the families I worked for; stuffed peppers with goat cheese, lentil soups with curry chicken, eggplant parmesan and homemade cheesecakes with glazed peaches. 
But at night, when I was at home in my apartment eating raw carrots and tofu, I remember feeling lonely. 
I wanted someone to love with all my heart, but how would I ever find him?
I never thought love would happen to me.  I knew I was different.  I didn’t have many friends.  Socially, I felt awkward, plus I was Mormon, which means not drinking, no sleeping around, dressing modestly and attending church on Sunday, very much not like Emma Morley.
I worked full-time and went to school full-time.  
Most my clothes were from the thrift store, vintage and hippie with a conservative edge.  
I rode my bike to school because I could not afford to pay for student parking.  
My bagged lunch was most often a brown rice sandwich; really it was quite good with lettuce and mustard.  
I was on a full-ride academic scholarship and worked a part-time internship.  
The night I met Derek I had no idea what was about to happen to me, that very soon I would be in love with this 6’5 beautiful person.  That I would have more happiness then I ever imagined, that he would change my entire world.
We meet in the parking lot at ASU, (hey, better then a dark alley) and talked about our goals for the upcoming new year.

The year was 1998.
We were friends for four months.  
Derek called and asked me out.  I told him I was too busy and didn’t want a boyfriend, but asked if he’d like to help me plant a garden in the small patch of dirt on the edge of my back patio.  He obliged and afterwards, I made him whole wheat pancakes with real maple syrup.  
I told him we could be friends, but he persisted with flowers left on my door step and red balloons tied to the handlebars of my bike.  He wrote poetry and mailed it to my apartment.  He had cookies delivered and invited me to the movies or out to dinner.
Until I finally said yes.
We dated for four weeks when he proposed and we were married three months later.
I was married 2 weeks before my 26th birthday in a borrowed dress and a handmade veil to the very best person I’ve ever known. 
At 26, Emma Morley was working as the manager of a cheesy, and I do mean lots of cheese, Mexican restaurant, wondering if she should date the new guy just hired to wash dishes.
Emma’s life is not exaggerated by author David Nicholls and I appreciate that, it just takes her a long time to figure out what’s best for her.  There’s no Derek to sweep her off her feet.
Personally, I would not have been friends with Dexter Mayhew.  He is toxic Emma and drags her down for way too long.  When I was single, I knew men like Dexter Mayhew.  Rich, arrogant, searching for the meaning of life in a bottle of beer; I could never be with this type of man.  I would be a very different person if Dexter Mayhew kept showing up in my life; confused, strung out, depressed, lonely.
I needed someone quiet, but strong, smart, but humble.  I needed someone to teach me what love was by how he loved me in return.
I needed someone who thought I was beautiful and would run 5 miles with me, which he did once.
Of course, I didn’t know all this when I married Derek.  I just knew I loved him with all my heart.
So, would I be a published author  like Emma Morley, traveling to Paris and taking a couple years off work to study my art? 
What if I wasn’t married with 5 kids?
Would I be a famous author?
My life is full of miracles; six to be exact.
My husband and five children like precious gems built into my heart.
I can’t be sure exactly, but without the love of my family I’d still be searching, hoping love would find me.  I wouldn’t be complete.  I’d still have only half my heart. 
Sometimes I say to Derek, "I can't believe you found me."
I'm so grateful he recognized me and saw something in me I'd never seen before.
Still, the desire to write burns inside me and I can’t put it away. 
So, I guess reading One Day did impact me more then I realized.  It made me look at my life differently and isn’t that the best thing about a gifted writer and the written word.  
So, here’s to unfinished novels, unsolicited queries and unedited manuscripts.  
Here’s to dirty dishes, dirty diapers and dirty socks and here’s to you, Emma Mayhew, for getting published and finding love in Dexter along the way.  
I’m not jealous of Emma anymore, alright, maybe just a little bit, but hopefully my time will come.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Two Desks of Summer

I can’t believe it’s almost over.
Just two weeks before school starts and the summer’s been great.
My older children have helped the younger children and I’ve watched them both grow so much.  
We’ve done projects at home, but trying to keep this house clean is a full-time job.  We swim every day, make smoothies and clean out the car whenever I get home from thrifting.
Seriously, it seems like every time I need to be somewhere in a hurry, this is the scenario I face.
Running Chandler out to guitar lessons, taking Payson to basketball, etc . . . but wait!  I’ve got to clean out the car!
Cleaning out the car of all my trash and wiping off thrift-store price tags.
What is it with these tags?  Why are they so difficult to remove?  They must use rocket glue to paste these things on.
I was out garaging and found this little trunk with a detachable pedestal.  I picked it up for $3.00 and listed it on craigslist for $25.00.  I had at least a dozen calls on it.
I had no idea a little trunk was wanted by so many people.
Eden’s been so busy.
The price tag still not removed from her bike.
Rocket glue, people!

She loves her two thrift-store bikes.
And I love my two desks of summer.
This first desk I found out garaging.  
The garage sale was a benefit Girl Scout sale and at 11:00am, the ladies were already wrapping things up, packing up boxes to donate to the thrift store.  Even the best of cause can only stand so much heat.  At first glance, there seemed little hope for this desk, but when it was offered to me for $5.00, I knew I had to bring it home.  It’s amazing, super sturdy, built solid with dovetailed drawers.  Would you’ve taken it for $5.00?
I found this $30 antique desk thrifting and see so much potential?
Both are for resale?
Which desk do you like best?
Which one should I paint first?
What do you think I should sell them for?

This Week's Garaging Finds

With all of our estate sales lately, I haven't been able to get out and garage! This weekend, though, Mr. Right and I were able to sneek out for a few hours on Saturday and Although it's over 110 here in Arizona we did find a few treasures...This little rocker made tackling the heat totally worth it!
The ceiling tin style mirror was just .50 (I recently sold this same one in the shop for $9.50- so that will be where this one goes)
This vintage child's rocker is so much sweeter in person. It's only 21 inches tall and has the greatest patina. I picked this up for $4. I'll probably hang on to this for a while- but if I can't find the perfect spot in my home, it will be available at our space in Qcumberz. How'd you do this weekend? Post your favorite find in the comments section. Love, Kelly.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Perfect Anniversary!

Mr. Right and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary, July 14. Last year, we had an amazing meal at Elements at the Sanctuary Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
It's a beautiful spa resort nestled in camelback mountain. The food was so memorable that we decided to visit for our anniversary again this year. Here's a little peek at the inside.
Our reservation was for 7:30, a little late for us since we usually have dinner at 5:15, but the perfect time to see the sunset. Elements provides the most amazing views- with a complete wall of windows.
Each meal looks like a work of art and tastes incredible. The prices are what you'd expect for this type of venue (okay it's crazy expensive) but we did have two waiters and an unforgettable time. Meanwhile, our girls we're trying to plan something special for our anniversary, but apparently having an estate sale scheduled for the morning after "messed things up"- so they let us know they rescheduled for this week and warned us not to make any plans Thursday night. Last night at 5:oopm we were told to pack an overnight bag and prepare for further instruction. After packing we were handed a letter with driving instructions. It didn't take long for us to realize we were heading straight to The Sanctuary! Not for dinner, but to stay the night! When we arrived at our "Mountain Casitas" This is how it looked...
Amazing. Our girls had visited the room earlier in the day and had left some personal touches- Red roses with petals sprinkled through-out the room, chocolate covered strawberries, a special nighty for me, all of our favorite snacks (bottled rootbeer, almond joys, loft sugar cookies) and a picnic dinner (sub sandwiches, homemade potato salad, fruit kabobs, and BBQ chips) It was truly a heavenly sight. We spent hours eating, watching the sunset and just relaxing. The next morning we visited the pool...
The largest infinity pool in Arizona. Imagine our surprise when we ran in to friends who live just a few houses away from us. After fun conversation it was time for Mr. Right and I to pack up and go home. I'm so grateful to our girls who were so thoughtful to give us what we're always asking for, "Peace and Quiet" It's been an unforgettable 21 years with Mr. Right- can't wait to see what's to come.
Boy, Do I love that Man! Love, Kelly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No big deal dresser re-make, NOT!

Last month, I found this amazing buffet dresser at the thrift store and it was love at first sight.
It’s so stately.  
It looked expensive, with cherry wood and all the ornate wood work.  The price was right, but what about the doors.
The buffet doors appeared to be water-damaged, with the wood bubbled and cracking at certain points.
Somewhat overly confident and optimistic, I decided to buy it anyway.
Sure, I could fix it!
No big deal, right.
This thing barely fit in my car and weighed a ton, but I got it home, certain I’d find the time to fix it up for resale.
But, that’s not what happened.
It sat in my garage, day in/day out until my friend Lillian came for a visit.
Lillian purchased the telephone table from me. 
Remember this beautiful thing?
Full of a million furniture staples.
Up-doing the telephone table accompanied my tale of getting kicked off eBay.
This telephone table was a big project, getting kicked off eBay was a huge slam, but I digress.
Originally, I’d painted the telephone table white, but Lillian liked it better black.
I just love it.
Back to the buffet sitting in my garage, Lillian asked “What else do you have that I might like?”
We walked into my garage and it was love at first sight again, this time for Lillian.
“I want that,” she said pointing to the buffet, warped doors and all.  “Can you paint it black for me?”
“Sure,” I said, with a bit too much confidence and way too much optimism.  “No big deal.”

Five reasons why I didn’t start on this buffet right away.

1.  It was 115 degrees.
2.  The next day it was 114 degrees.
3.  The next day it 112 degrees.
4.  The next day it was 111 degrees and we had a wind storm.
5.  The next day is was 112 degrees.

But still, there it sat.  I had to prove to myself I could do it, sweltering heat or not.
I started with the electric sander, grinding away at the warped wood.
What I thought would sand off like butter was more like trying to cut through a frozen fruit cake.  It wasn’t going anywhere.  I was really sweating at this point.
After what felt like hours, I decided to use some wood putty.
I lathered it up and scraped it on with a spatula.
That’s a little bit better, NOT!
This time, I watered the putty down a bit, almost painting the putty on and it created a thin coat of goodness.
I sanded it down again and painted over it.
I couldn’t believe how great it cleaned up.
Here she is, in all her glory, fixed up in Lillian’s house.
And I'm glad I did it!
Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trash To Cash Wednesday and A "Comment" Party!

Evidently, my trial period for "Linky" expired- so I thought I'd do a comment party to find out if you want us to continue- Just list your link to your project, trash to cash, revamp, etc. in the comments section. If we get more than 8 comments and entries I'll go ahead and get the linky going again for next time. It's hard to know what the readers of my dear trash enjoy- so if you like "Trash to Cash" and the Linky- leave us a comment and let us know. I had a great trash to cash week! I sold my first RV and the estate sale was excellent. Here's my top ebay sellers for the week...
I had to share this orange polyester suit with you. I picked it up for $1.00- didn't recognize the brand, but since it was new with tags I took a chance. Women's NWT Metrostyle Size 14 Orange Pant Suit sold for $9.99
Women's American Eagle Size 0 Blue Eyelet Cotton Dress 11.02
Women's Gap Size M Denim Jacket 12.05
Women's Levis Size 9 Too Superlow 524 Red Shorts $15.11
Women's Ann Taylor Size 6 Mint Green Linen Dress 16.50. I made a little over $300 on ebay this week with only 25 new items listed- can't complain about that! Please let us know how you're doing, we love to hear from you. Love, Kelly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Not A Box; A Love Story

I’ve been following the blog My Spoiled Eggs, a blog on infertility and the road to adoption. 
Watching Ashlee and Collin with this little guy is pure love.  He’s the angel they’ve been waiting for.
Here’s his little mug shot.
I had a chance to meet Nolan at the baby shower.
I’d never heard of the book Not a Box.  
I remember playing in boxes when I was little.  My parent's purchased a large upright freezer and the box it came in was the best.  Not a Box is a fun little story, 
and an inventive theme for a baby shower.
The decorations are made out of boxes; recycled boxes!
What a great use of trash.
Trash inspires and so does love.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raising my daughter like my mom raised me.

I’ve been the mother of a daughter for just over a year and have had a lot of time to contemplate while rocking my little girl at night.
It’s been one of the most angelic times of my life.
(Eden playing on her favorite toy - a $5.00 rocking horse I found at a garage sale)
Me . . . with this angel; hair like blonde feathers, white porcelain skin, the face of a little doll and I would do anything for her.
Everyday, I strive to be better because I’m the mother of Eden.
Having a daughter makes me look at the world differently.
Having a daughter has made me realize what a scary place the world really is.  There are so many things to protect her from.
I see injustices thrown at woman; the sexual put-downs, the expectations of body and appearance, the unrealistic ideals of what beauty is (to name a few) and I pray, as a mother of a daughter, I can not just protect her from these experiences, but I can raise her to rise above them.
I see my mom almost everyday.
She’s amazing.
Last week, when I wasn’t expecting her, she walked into my kitchen . . .
And I was taken back.
My mother.
She’s beautiful.
I looked at her as a person, not just as my mother and I saw this beautiful woman whom I’m privileged to spend so much of my life with.
And to think this woman, my mother, loves me the way I love my new baby daughter made me stand a little taller.
I just never realized.
It took having a daughter to see how my own mother must see me; how she must love me like nothing else in the world.
How she wants all my dreams to come true, she wants me to slow down and get more sleep and she wants to make sure I'm taking time for myself.
When I’m sick or feeling down, I call my mom.
She usually brings me something homeopathic.
Like tea or vitamins.
She introduced me to apple cider vinegar, a natural supplement that kicks my chronic bronchial asthma before it turns into phenomena.
She checks up on me.
She prays for me.
She worries about me.
She’s always right there when I need her.
And the best part is when I do the slightest thing that's somewhat neat or even minimal; like make cookies for a neighbor or French braid my hair or reach out to a family member who’s struggling or write a blog, she thinks I’m amazing. 
My mom is constantly handing me compliments; sincere, heartfelt words that build me up until I’m floating.
The older I get, the more I realize how important relationships are and that my parents won’t be there forever.
Today and forever is my day to cherish them.
If my mom loves me like I love Eden, why would I ever doubt myself, think I’m not good enough or let others intimidate me?
I don’t fully grasp the magnitude of it, but I’m starting to understand a mother's love.