Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life With A Basement

I honestly can't remember where we put everything before moving to Colorado. Our house's basement in Castle Rock was 2,000 square feet.....about the size of our home in Texas. We set the bounce house up in it. Carter and Trysten rode bikes in there! It was used for storage more than anything.

The Brighton house's was smaller, but filled to the brim. We have an inordinate amount of furniture, which isn't exactly convenient for relocations, but it's helped us with the varied houses we've lived in. Different houses with different built ins and such.....it has always been advantageous to hold onto that armoire or pub table.....we've used it all. Totes of clothes saved from Carter for Jack......over a dozen holiday boxes.....ski equipment......camping gear......the list is long.

So, after moving in, we avoided the basement and finally broke down to sort through it a few days ago. Some before pictures:

There were small aisles working through the masses so that we could at least grab something if it was needed.

Notice Blake's hand to the right......after he started losing patience with my direction......very nice, honey.

Basements have creepy parts, too......hot water heaters and pipes and weird industrial things....usually hidden from us in homes without basements.

Lots of nice furniture stacked high. With boxes and stuff in between! Also included in this mess is about 2/3 of our clothes (only one season can fit in our closets) and a TON of household items, decor and accessories. This 30 year old home has required us to live with less in reach due to smaller closets, smaller bedrooms and a tiny kitchen. Surprisingly, it hasn't bothered us. We just need a place to put it all!

After sorting through the contents, I labeled the boxes according to if they held an immediate interest for us and if not, with specifics for where they'd land when we buy a house next spring.

Blake thought he was a funny guy......after reaching a very delirious state.....sometime around 1:00am.

And, started labeling them like this. "Mom never did listen to Dad" is the last part of that sweet little note.

Now, it looks like this. Not pretty. But, it makes sense and I can easily reach what I need. Holiday, crafts and the like is to the right.....just after you walk in.

Fall clothes, ski equipment, coats to the left.....camping gear and luggage straight ahead.

Makes me happy to see some resemblance of organization......even if you can't see it.

And, my favorite part........our tacky plastic Santa......every basement (and house) should have one. Lainey hugged him this morning while helping me with the laundry.


But, oh so cute.

I'm still not sure where she came from.....those big eyes and her itty bitty 24 pound frame and gorgeous, soft curls. But, we're keeping her.

Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Things

You might not know about me:

1. I go to the movies by myself often. Usually once a week. Unless I'm with a sister, I actually prefer it this way!

2. I saw the second to last Grateful Dead show in St. Louis, Missouri in July of 1995 - just before Jerry Garcia died. Drove there with great friends, camping gear, very little money and no tickets. Stood on the highway with the true hippies and found our way in. Gave away a "miracle". 2 unbelievable shows. As expected...the best concert experience ever.

3. I love living in an area with seasons - 4 of them. Fall is my favorite, by far.

4. I believe I'm a really good mom, but know I raise my voice too often with our children. Working on that.

5. I have a Blackberry and love it, but think it's pretty silly that I do. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I really don't need to be this accessible. Actually considering turning it off.

6. I'm anxious to work again.....a part time job that would allow me a couple of nights and a weekend day to do something I enjoy and have something for myself. Not the money I'd make for myself.....but the time.

7. I'm about to cut all of my hair off. Blake prefers it super short.

8. I'm a proud Catholic. Yes, we're old school and do some kooky stuff. But, the traditions and rituals feel like home to me.

9. I love taking kids to theme parks...day trips....the zoo....big outings....what most moms dread. It's the challenge that draws me, I believe - and, of course, the rewards.

10. I would love to live in the northeast. Have enjoyed traveling there. Hope to have an opportunity one day to experience a genuine New England lifestyle.

Dee tagged me. Thanks!

Now, I tag:

Mommy to Brown Eyed Girls
Carrie.....oh, wait.

Can't wait to learn more about you all. It's been a while since we've passed some tags around. So, do yours and share the love!

Question Of The Week

I have lots of mixed emotions about the passing of Michael Jackson. A fantastic entertainer, a lost soul with questionable behavior, perhaps a clear example of the price of fame.

We'll likely never know the truth behind his life. And, without turning a blind eye to the reality of who he was (and those he allegedly damaged), there is no question that he leaves behind an amazing collection of music. My favorite? Thriller. No doubt.

***What are your thoughts on who he was and what will you remember? Favorite song?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Concerts

There seem to be a plethora of outdoor music venues to choose from around here. We're loving it. They bring people together.....they're always in beautiful settings......they're free!

We've enjoyed this option the most.....and the jazz was excellent.

I'll take one of each.

I wised up by the second concert outing and came prepared. All sorts of bubble toys, child-friendly lanterns, and a ball for the boys to share with brand new friends.

These $1 bubble wands are their favorites. And, see? We can skip dinner for Lainey when we bring them.

Pace yourself, honey.

Jack is a bubble gun toting fool.

I love to see our 3 playing together. Makes a mama happy.

My big boys.

Sweet Carter hauled Jack back to the blanket after he cruised over to the bounce houses.

Punkin Laine, playing peek-a-boo. I'm loving the simple life right now. Outdoor fun, bubbles and good music under the stars. Sign me up!

Summer Lovin'

One plus of this miserable heat......lovely, lush plants and flowers. I will take that part of summer and be happy.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This is what happens when you take an 8 year old to a children's museum.

And, this is the most exciting thing he saw that day.

Every exhibit became an opportunity to find props. Maybe it's time to start planning separate destinations for the kids?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

National Champs

They did it again......the mighty LSU Tigers. 3 great games....ending well with another title!

And, as soon as this excitement slightly fades, let's bring it right back and think about what lies ahead.

LSU football.

There is no stadium like it on earth. Can't wait to go back one day!

Britney Visit Wrap Up, Part II

Hope you got a good night's sleep because here we go again!

Wednesday brought our usual trip to the Farmer's Market in downtown Overland Park and then out to the Kansas City Zoo. We cruised pretty quickly through the fruits and veggies. 5 kids in a crowded place can get stressful!

The zoo was ridiculously hot, so we didn't stay as long as planned. Got several pics from our short visit, however. And, I'm saying short......Britney probably thought it was PLENTY of time.

Found a quiet deck on the lake in Africa for our picnic lunch. How cool is that? Love this zoo!

These guys are such good friends. They behave like brothers.....absolutely adore each other and then have their fights, too. Before the movie the previous night, they had quarreled about something......then, as we were driving to the theater, I heard Carter lean over and ask quietly, "We're still buddies, right?" Trysten - "Yeah, of course."

Maci and Trysten...

Thursday morning included a visit to the Deanna Rose Farmstead. Will post more about this later on.....such a fantastic place for children.

Feeding the goats.

Old fashioned water fountain.

Lunch time in the barn.

The boys study animal x-rays while enjoying their PB&J's.

Trysten and Lainey.

My sweet punkin Jack.

Walked back to the tee pee and Jack learned how to grind corn into meal.

Such lovely grounds....

"Tractor bikes!", as the little ones call them.

Pool visit Thursday evening......Jack claimed most of the floaty gear, obviously.

Hannibal Lector made an appearance as well. Looks nice with the tutu, don't you think?

Watermelon for the girls.

Daddy, too. (lookin' like a fox here, babe)

Maci enjoyed the cool summer treat!

All of it!

Jack's looking so grown up these days.

Trysten and Carter.....a little sweetness to finish my recap. Had a great time and can't wait to see everyone again!