Big Sister

This post is a tribute to my older sister, Andrea.  Her Birthday was on Monday and while I told myself that I would do a Birthday post for each of my siblings on their special day, I also neglected to showcase my older brother Marty who's Birthday was a few weeks ago!   What can one do but make amends?  I will start with Andrea and turn this into a Happy-Birthday-my-sister-is-great-and-I'm-blogging-about-her-just-because post.  Marty?  Yours will come in time...I swear.

Andrea and I are stupid-close.  All the Patch kids are.  We just LOVE each other and love to spend time together.  Growing up?  Not so much.  Andrea and I shared a room and we rarely got along.  We had our moments of throwing things at each other or making the other one cry, but there were also hours of playing with our barbies (once for 3 days straight.  Seriously.  It happened.  Look it up), staying up late talking and her letting me borrow her cool clothes so I would look cute at school for a boy.

She has taught me so many things.  I call her all the time for the most random reasons -  a question about kids or what the best cupcake recipe is, she always seems to know.  We also call each other as soon as Halloween decorations are out, or when we're shopping and need a fashion sounding board (I should mention that I call her more for that).  She is hilarious, brilliant, beautiful and strong.  She's also totally unaware of how amazing she is.  She has a handsome husband who worships the ground she walks on and has 3 incredible kids who adore her.  

Andrea doesn't like lots of attention, but whatevs - it's my blog and I can do what I want.  Here is just a sampling of the trillions of things I love about Andrea.

- When Andrea was engaged, I told her that I got really sad when I realized that I wouldn't be her only sister anymore (Scott has two).  On her wedding day, she gave me a little gift with a note that said, "You'll always be my only sister".  

- We plan our Halloween parties together every year.

- We have a SERIOUS weakness for 18th century men.  Scarlet Pimpernel?  Phantom? (ok, 19th century, too), Count of Monte Cristo?  Hello?  D. Licious.

- She is healthy and fit and encourages me to be the same (I love/hate her for that).

- Creative much?  Andrea schools me in this department and she always down-plays it.  Every time I gush about how clever she is, her usual response is, "Oh, whatever...".  (I love/hate her for that).

- She makes me laugh SO hard.  

- The day that Cody and I went through the Temple, she was the one who packed my Temple bag.  She wanted to be sure that I had everything I needed.

- She can acquire any skill.  She tackles projects like nobody's business and she masters it like a pro.

- We love to quote 'Clueless' and 'Legally Blonde', along with a plethora of other movies.

- She has always looked out for me.  I remember many times when I was younger, she would include me with her friends and make sure I wasn't being left out.

- She is a master planner.  If you are EVER going somewhere new, you want Andrea on your team.  We went to New York together a few years ago and she had the subway system down in about 20 minutes.  She also planned my wedding.  No big deal.

It's easy to see that I love my sister with every fiber of my being.  My brothers and I look to her more than she will ever know.  And I already know that when she reads this, she will dismiss all her greatness and say lots of  "whatevers" and "that's only because..." and I will have none of it!  So!  To my beautiful, creative, amazing sister - I love you, my bestie.  Happy Birthday!!


Master Bath

When you have to clean your house, where do you start? Do you have a point of origin? For a good deep cleaning, I have to start in my Master Bathroom.
It's in the upstairs corner of our house, so naturally I feel that this is a good place to start. Now, I only wish that this is what my MB actually looked like, salmon ceramic and all (well, maybe not, but I do adore that anchor rug). Sadly, our bathroom is quite tiny, not much to see. But this is how my mind works - I clean the bathroom, then on to our bedroom, then the boys' rooms, guest bath, kitchen, ending up in the Family Room. A path to cleanliness, my own little adventure in cleaning travels.

This little plan of mine has it's drawbacks. Obviously, I don't always get to take the time to clean every room in my house in one go. I have to settle on cleaning the main living areas of the house - the Kitchen, Family Room, etc. I sincerely hope that I'm not the only woman who feels like she doesn't travel the cleaning highway as much as she would like. I do try! Life gets in the way and our fairytale schedules go out the window. And it affects everything! I will get inspired to go create something, but my crafting dreams get cut short when I think about all the other things that should be done first and I ALWAYS end up at the Master Bathroom. Everything comes down to that. Create = clean off art table = clean up basement = clean house = start in the Master Bathroom.

So what am I doing about it? I am doing a deep clean of my house and I am at the starting line. I cleaned out my bathroom drawers today, a daunting task that involved some high-pitched, "Oh, I do have a nail file!" and "why do I have so many bobby pins?". I have much more to do (Cole is napping, thus I am taking a blogging break), but it's official - I am on a mission to get my house in order. I will whip this house into shape so that when I have the desire to go down to my art table and create something, I can actually produce something! Not just a sparkling clean Master Bathroom.


Cry Wolf

Cache loves to play games on our cell phones.  Most of the time he will ask us first if he can play a game on our phone, but he also has a habit of just taking our phones and finding the game himself.   Normally this isn't a problem, but sometimes when I set my phone down I lock it so that the boys can't push tons of buttons and mess up my applications.  Safety first!  Turns out that if your phone is locked and you try to push a plethora of buttons, it calls 911.  Awesome.  I found this out a few weeks ago when Cache accidentally called dispatch once on my phone and Cody's phone.  We take the phone from Cache and humbly explain that there is no emergency, we are fine, confirm our address and wish the irritated dispatcher a pleasant evening.  About 10 days later he was messing with Cody's phone and did it again.  This time, however, it was my friend Whitney who called back from dispatch to make sure we were ok!  Whit and I had a laugh about Cache calling the Police Department, but not before verifying all the necessary info.

Yesterday my son called dispatch 4 times.  Four.  Times.  The first time she was really nice and understanding as I hurriedly explained the situation.   Later that evening Cache handed me my phone just as he had hung up on Dispatch.  "Cache!  You have got to stop playing with my phone!"  2 seconds later Dispatch calls and she was all kinds of unhappy with me.  "Hi, your phone has called us 3 times, are you alright??"  "Yes, I'm sorry, my son got a hold of my phone."  blah, blah, blah.  She was feisty with me and she had every right to be.  Cache got a talking to and I hoped that was the last of it.

Nope.  This morning in my groggy early morning state, I hear Cache coming up the stairs with my phone to his ear saying, "I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to call the Police..."  I grab the phone and explain the situation AGAIN.  She was extremely nice while she asked for my info.  We talked to Cache again and now know we can't leave our phones unattended.  Ever.  Hopefully I never have a reason to call 911, but if I do?  I sincerely hope the Dispatcher doesn't say, "Yeah, yeah.  You call us all the time and it's never an emergency..."


PGFD Year End Party

Monday night Cody and I went to the year end party for the Fire Department.  I LOVE this party - usually the FD events include the City Departments as well and while those gatherings are fun, it's nice to get together with just the FD.  I'm selfish like that.  I'm not a huge fan of this picture, but it's the only one of Cody and I, so whatevs.  Apparently the flash was too much for us.  We got to sit with the crew and we ate and laughed, got to see and catch up with everyone, it was a blast.  After dinner we got to watch a cinematic snack - Cody and his crew made a movie called "The Station Tour" that poked fun at every shift and it was SO hilarious!  We were laughing so hard, everyone loved it and copies are being requested.

Chase, Natalie, Jake and Cecily watching the movie...

The final hurrah of the evening is a HUGE white elephant game.  We all selected a gift and sat in a huge circle.  My friend Mindi said that I would want to end up with the gift she had brought.  As fate would have it, it ended up in Cody's lap!  I eagerly helped him rip open the paper, and what to my wondering eyes should appear...

My own dapper Edward!  To have and to hold!  Fantastic.  I kept him close to me for the rest of the evening and soon he will be gracing my bedroom wall.  Or ceiling.  

After the party we headed over to Chase and Natalie's for some Rock Band.  Quite possibly the funniest night ever.  Sadly, I don't have many pictures of us rocking out, but as soon as I get my hands on them they will be posted.  Here is Chase acting like a true lead singer.

C-shift girls!  Cecily, me, and Linsy with baby Gage.  Natalie opted to take the picture..
The girls and boys played separately and while the boys got higher scores, the girls were WAY more entertaining!  We were dancing like pros while I busted out "Livin' on a Prayer".  Although I will admit that Cody had some impressive scissor kicks... 

...while Chase swung the mic around like a pro.
It was a great night, we'll have to dual again and SOON.  Rock on.


Happy Birthday, Cache!

My little man is 4 today!  He is the greatest kid in the world and I just adore him.  Yesterday we spent the day getting things for his party and it was so much fun.  We went and bought him some Birthday shoes.  He was very particular in picking the shoes he wanted and insisted on wearing them out of the store.  He even wanted to carry his bag to the car.

Then we went to the party store to get things for his party.  As I was looking at the WALL.E stuff he would say, "We have to have wall.e plates" and "if we are celebrating, we need wall.e cups."  If we are celebrating?!?  He is so hilarious, his vocabulary is amazing.  Once we were done he said, "Ok, I think we have everything we need!" and he said it just like I would say it.  Love him. 

Cody's family came over last night for a party and Cache had so much fun playing with his cousins!  Here is his cake. 

The Eve cupcakes looked way better in my head, they turned out looking like blue-eyed ninjas, but whatevs - the kids loved them. It was fun having the family over - we ate pizza and watched WALL.E, we talked and sang to Cache.  It was low-key which was nice since Cody and I aren't entirely over our colds just yet.  Ugh.

Today we are having lunch with family and doing some shopping with my Mom.  I think tonight we'll go have dinner up at the Fire Station with Cody and the crew.  I am so thankful for my little guy, I love him so much.  In honor of his Birthday, here are some things that I love about Cache!

1 - That he can dress himself, and he actually dresses pretty well!
2 - How smart he is.  The kid is so clever, he'll out-wit me before I know it.
3 - He loves to play with Cole.  He looks out for him and includes him (most of the time).  He's a great big brother.
4 - That he loves Primary.  The first day I took him in he was SO excited and sat very reverently on his chair.  I walked out of the room and completely lost it - I totally started to cry.  He's not my baby, anymore!  

And finally, some Cache Quotes.  A few months ago, Cody and I decided to keep track of some of the clever things Cache says...

Laying on our bed with his head in his hand.
M: "What are you doing, bud?"
C: "Oh, just solving a problem..."

M: "Do you need any help?"
C: "No, I think I can handle it."

D: "Do you want me to make you some dinner?"
C: "Yeah, but mommy has to make it because she is the good maker."
D: "I'm a good maker, too."
C: "No, you're the good driver."

M: "Thanks, honey"
C: "Oh, it was nothing!" or "Anytime, sweetie"

After I told him to share is toy truck with Cole, 
"But if he chews on it, it will be lunch!"

Cache put his arm up on the table one morning, looked me straight in the eye, tilted his head up like a player and said
"So...how's it goin'?"

Happy Birthday, dude!  We love you!


Winter Warm

Are you familiar with that song?  It's on a car commercial - it's all retro sounding and the man sings, "The snow may fall, but I don't mind at all.  With you, I'm always winter warm..."  I have always loved it, it's so catchy!  And it has that 40's sound which I can't seem to get sick of.  Finally last night I got on iTunes to see if I could find it and find it I did!  There are some great songs on this album (which I could not find a picture of to save my life, let me know if you're interested and I'll send you the info), very posh 'Holiday Party' sounding.  The only problem is that now I want to throw a 1950's Christmas Party next year.  You heard me.  Have everyone dress up and serve cheese and crackers.  Don't worry, you'll be invited.

I am finally getting a wee bit better.  I still have a cough and my voice isn't all the way back, but I have energy and am feeling on the up and up!  Cody has been letting me take it easy and it's been SO nice to just rest.  Tonight we have a PGFD party that I'm really looking forward to!  What else does this week entail?  Tomorrow night we're having a party for Cache's Birthday and he'll be turning 4 on Wednesday!!  What?  4?  Since when?  Ahhh, cliche', but it goes by so fast.  He's coming with me tomorrow to pick up some party supplies, just him and me.  I'm excited to spend some time with my little man.  He wants a Wall-e party.  Yay, me.

The rest of the week seems pretty basic, but it's only Monday so what do I know.  I still have the Spring Cleaning bug and I'm excited to start some projects.  Cody and I even talked about putting an apron sink in the kitchen!  That would probably mean new countertops.  Cool ones.  Like cement ones. 


Home Work

My crazy life has caught up with me.  I am sick.  Burning the midnight oil no more!  It's not too bad, just a cold, but still I'm pretty worn out and I sound like a dude.  Awesome.

I don't know what it is when I get sick, but I always get super ambitious...and I can't do anything about it!  Maybe it's because I just lay there...looking around my house in a fuzzy-head stupor.  Naturally my mind wanders and I start getting ideas, I start thinking about how I want to redecorate my house.  Yikes.  See, we still don't know if we will keep the house on the market or refinance, but that doesn't stop me from coming up with all these plans to make this house wicked awesome.  It's already pretty great and there are things about it that I love.  I'm happy with the paint colors so thankfully there is NO painting in my plans.  But furniture, fixtures, art...that's what I want to change

Our poor bedroom is neglected.  We painted it last Spring and we have loved it, but we still need to polish it up.  We need bedroom furniture (touchy subject, lets move on), stuff on the walls, etc.  I have a mirror for my 'one day' vanity and one thing I am hoping to get/make is a tufted headboard.  I LOVE the look of them, so glam and classy.  

Then there's my poor sad Living Room that needs art, my Family Room that needs new pillows (I'm thinking something lime green...), my Kitchen that needs...something.  An apron sink perhaps?  Oooh, I LOVE those.  Am I the only one feeling this Spring Cleaning/Decorating urge?  And it's only January!  Alas, I can't do anything until I get well, so until then I shall have to indulge in some HGTV.


Create or Bust

It's been forever since I've crafted anything and I am SO ready to make things for Valentines Day!  What a fun Holiday.  I know lots of people hate it, but whatevs - I'm a fan.  I have some cool fabric I bought last year in hopes to make some cute V-day onesies and the like.  Being crafty helps my soul, I love to sit and create things.  It's therapeutic, in a way.  I need to have a good, long crafting session.  Oooh, maybe I should make a night of it!  You want to join me?

Little update on the house predicament - on Saturday we had 2 more people come see our home!!  Yeah, turns out my instincts are way off.  It has given us renewed hope about selling our home, so keep your fingers crossed for us!!


Should we stay or should we go?

What to do, what to do.  Our home has been on the market for 9 months.  9.  months.  We've had lots of people come through it, lots of people love it, but an offer has yet to be made.  Now we find ourselves at a crossroad - what do we do?  Do we, a). Leave it on the market and just ride it out?  See what happens?  b). Take it off the market for a few months and then relist it?  Or c). Take it off, refinance and then put it back on the market next year.  

What am I leaning towards?  Option c.  Lower interest rate, lower monthly payment.  That also allows us to finish some projects (and have the money to do so) over the next year.  Cody has worked so hard on our backyard, but there are still some things left to do.  We need to finish the pergola, do some cement work, and then there's the end-nowhere-in-sight bedroom furniture.  Obviously, we want to settle in PG, but we've been looking at homes up there for roughly 3 years and have yet to find a house that we are madly in love with.  There are homes we like and get excited about, but nothing has really felt like 'our house'.  Maybe it never will, I don't know.  

Then on Tuesday we had 2 appointments for people to come look at our house.  Wha??  That was out of the blue!  One of them LOVES our home, it's their favorite.  Top of their list.  Um.  Still no offer.  Not sure what they want to do, but Cody and I are thinking, "if nothing happens, lets pull it off and refinance".  

But...is that really what we're supposed to do?  I'm really ok staying here another year.  I feel that we haven't sold for a reason.  We may never know why, but we're being watched over and we feel at peace with whatever we should do.  We just don't KNOW what to do!  I know that ultimately it's up to Cody and I, but that doesn't stop me from asking everyone I know their opinion.  So tell me...should we stay or should we go?


The Best Christmas

No lie.  I SO wish I could post short, simple highlights about the Holiday weeks.  Just a snippit here and there, a picture or two.  Alas!  Being's that this is a quasi journal, I shall elaborate for the benefit of forthcoming generations.  Who may or may not be grateful for random tidbits of trivial information I generally post on my blog.  But never fear, what follows are witty remarks and an amazing Christmas story.  I promise.  Grab some wassail, settle in and lets get started...

Christmas was awesome.  After the Jolley Christmas party on Christmas Eve, Cody and I came home, put the kids to bed and got busy wrapping many a gift for the boys.  Our friend Tracy came over and hung out while we watched Christmas Specials and listened to Christmas music.  It was great to see him!  He left in the wee hours and Cody and I were still wrapping...memo to me:  NEVER put off wrapping again.  Ever.  We were up until almost Dawn getting everything ready for the big reveal the next morning.  We got maybe 3 hours of sleep and awoke to the sounds of Cache playing with some toys that he got in his stocking.  Once Cole was up we put off breakfast and got right down to opening gifts.  The boys made quite the haul!  A roaring dinosaur from the Jolley Grandparents, a siren-blaring fire engine and a tent/tunnel fort that is set up (and currently taking up all of the space) in Cache's room.  The boys love it, they are like gerbils on Holiday in that thing.

After the mounds of wrapping paper were disposed of, I got busy making Christmas dinner for  my family.  I made a delicious turkey, my Mom brought mashed potatoes, we had rolls, vegetables...mmmm, it was so tasty.  After dinner we opened some gifts from the parents - they gave us food storage!  I know, it sort of sounds lame, but seriously?  Awesome.  We got 22 boxes of food.  It's a big relief to have a chunk of that taken care of.  And Cody's parents got us a fancy wheat grinder - we are set!  I was excited to give my parents some seasons from 'Moonlighting'.  Do you remember that show?  We used to watch it growing up, it'll be fun to see them again.

And NOW.  The piece de resistance.  The gift of gifts.  I was able to find (with loads of help from my rad Dad)  a video game that my brothers grew up playing.  My Dad bought it in...1984 or something for $100.00.  These were revolutionary at the time.  The game was kept in my brothers room for years, we all played it.  We had a house fire in 1993 and the majority of the damage was in my brothers room.  Sadly, the Vectrex fell prey to the heat of the fire and the poor game was melted like a cube of butter.  We took a picture of the warped machine for insurance...it was such a sad little photo!  When I told my Dad that I wanted to find a Vectrex for my brothers, he told me that I would have to pay quite the much to get one - probably around $250.  And that wouldn't even be for a complete system.  Steep!  I showed him a system I had found on eBay and he said he would do some searching, too.  A few days later I went up to the house and he called me into the study.  He showed me a Vectrex system he found.  It.  Was. Perfect.  The game was in mint condition, still in it's original box, came with all 17 games and an extra controller.  I can't even begin to describe how amazing it was - it was unreal to see a complete Vectrex system in such perfect condition.  I scrolled through the pictures in awe...just amazing.  My Dad told me that the price was $500, but he had emailed the seller and said, "My kids grew up playing this game.  We lost ours in a fire and my children are grown, I would love them to have this system again."  He offered $415.  So I asked, "Have you heard from him yet?"  My Dad said nothing, but scrolled to the top of the auction where it read, "Your bid of $415 has been accepted!  You are the winner!"  Aaaaahhh!  I jumped out of my chair and starting crying and hugging my Dad saying, "You got it!  You got it!!"  I was beyond ecstatic.  I was so happy, I can't even describe.  I couldn't wait to give it to Marty and Rich.

So, fast forward to post Christmas dinner at my house...I had wrapped the second controller and the actual Vectrex separately.  I had Rich open the controller first.  He started to tear off the paper and when he read 'Vectrex' he looked up at me and said, "no...way...is this for real!?  No...way...".  Then I told Marty that he could open his, but first he had to look on the top of the box.  I had my Mom make a copy of the melted Vectrex picture and I stuck that to the top of the present.  Marty looked at it and said, "Oh my gosh, no way!!  Really?!?!"  He tore open the paper and Marty and Rich kept saying, "No way, no way, oh my gosh, no way..."  It was SO FUN!!  This is what Christmas is about, people!!  While their mouths were open, I went and got the biggest box which was full of all the games.  They went through each game and exchanged memories and tips for each one.  They did that for 20 minutes.  Rich asked, "how in the world did you find this?"  I told them the story and again, burst into tears.  Rich was misty-eyed and said, "I am floored....I am just floored.  This is epic".  

After everyone had gone home and things had been put away, my Dad called.  He said, "I just had to call you so you could listen to the sounds of your brothers playing the Vectrex.  They have been playing for 2 hours straight, they have played every game..." In the background I could hear them hooting and laughing.  That made my Christmas.  And as far as I'm concerned?  Best Christmas ever.

The past few weeks we've been recovering from a glorious Holiday.  New Years Eve was simple but a complete blast.  We had the Fire Crew over and we talked and laughed for hours and kissed our spouses when the ball dropped.  They are such good people, we love them.  The next day Cody and I were able to go to lunch with Brad and Katie who were visiting from California.  It was so good to see them!  They are doing so well and we talked and laughed for a good two hours.  We promised that we would go down and see them this Summer - road trip!

Andrea and Scott were in town, but we hardly got to see them.  By the time we were actually able to hang out I don't think I was much fun - I was exhausted and burned out.  We went to dinner as a family and then went to see 'Yes, Man'.  On Friday we went to the Patch Family Lunch that we have every week.  It was great to see my Grandmother and all the little cousins ran around and got to hang out.

So, what now?  What to do after the glorious craziness that is Christmas?  I took down our tree yesterday...not too happy about that.   My house always looks so sad when Christmas is taken down, but it must be done.  There is more to talk about, but I think I've said enough for now.  It's amazing how much can happen in just a few weeks - hope you had a happy Holiday!