Oh, to be thankful.

Thanksgiving warms my soul. I love that Holiday - cooking and eating all day? I don't see how anyone can lose. Not to mention leading UP to said Holiday is always filled with visits and lunches and naps.

I should probably touch on the fact that last week there was talk of a blizzard that would shut down the state. I jest not - people were stocking up on groceries and supplies like it was our last night on Earth. Universities shut down, stores closed early, flights were cancelled, news anchors warned us to stay indoors, the storm is coming!! I must admit, it was a bit exciting. Cody brought in some extra fire wood and we checked the sky every two minutes hoping to see the blizzard start. Around 7:30pm it got super windy and started to snow sideways. "Here we go!" I thought. About 30 minutes later, the storm of the century was over (which I think is sort of an unfair title...we're only 10 years in, how do we know? Shouldn't that be awarded in about 95 years?). We hardly got any snow, a wee skiff. The next morning the skies were clear and blue and the sun melted the skiff. Yep. Big storm.

Wednesday afternoon I was able to lunch with Rhonda (luckily her flight wasn't cancelled due to that pesky blizzard of blizzards) at Los Hermanos, our favorite place. We only had an hour or so, but it's always great to see her when she comes into town!

Thanksgiving! Cody was working that day, so I took the boys down to my parents where Marty and Jess joined us for lunch. My Mom had everything set so lovely, look at our table!
The pretty pink goblets belonged to my Grandmother.
My wonderful, incredible, awesome, beautiful parents.
It wasn't as hectic as some Thanksgivings, we got everything cooked in time and didn't burn anything. The food was SO totally delicious, my Mother's turkey is second to none. My Dad and Marty weren't eating for 10 minutes before they had to be excused for a nap. I'm not even kidding - they cleared off their plates and barely made it to a bed before going unconscious. The kids played all afternoon and we talked and lazed about. That evening I went to the station for dessert with Cody and his crew and their wives. It was SO fun. A wonderful Thanksgiving.

I was super excited for Friday because I was lunching with my dear friend, Spencer. I haven't seen him in YEARS and when I found out he would be here for the Holiday, we quickly planned a lunch. It was so good to see him! We caught up and chatted for hours, I love him. I didn't take a single picture because I'm lame, but you get the idea...

"The Scarlet Pimpernel" was playing at the Hale in Orem, were you able to see it? My dearest Tanya was in it and I had every intention on going to see her...but EVERY single performance was sold out. It was crazy! They were adding shows like crazy and still tickets were impossible. My friend Celine and I got standby tickets for Saturday morning at 11:00 and we were so hopeful...only to be denied. We went to the box office and pleaded our case, but it looked grim. It was closing day, did I mention? This was our only shot. Celine's son Gabriel was with us and he wanted to see the show so badly, he was pretty heartbroken. The women in the office took pity and allowed us to take some seats where the ticket holders hadn't shown up. WIN! We only missed two songs and the seats were so great. I am so glad I got to see it! And seeing it with Celine was so fun, we both share a weakness for 17th century men (who doesn't?). It was marvy and the costumes were to die for...

Percy was so fabulous...
Tanya! Isn't she gorgeous?

Oh friends, how I love theater. I thought I would take a break after my last show but I find myself wanting to audition for a Spring production. Oh, man.

The Christmas season has started, but I am still waxing thankful. I'm so thankful for my amazing husband who I love so very much, my darling boys who are my world, wonderful friends, my parents and inlaws, my brothers and sisters, the Gospel, our home...I am flooded with blessings. Hope your Thanksgiving was the berries!



GREAT news, friends! Santa has arrived early this year and we are getting our wood floors sanded, stained and sealed on Dec. 6th!!! It should only take a few days, but do you know what that means? I'll tell you - it means we can put in our other cabinets! We can install our sink, stove and dishwasher! We can install our countertops and most importantly? I can make Christmas dinner!! It's a Christmas miracle, I'm SO excited! The floors are a major boost, a huge turning point. I mean, once they are done we can just race towards the finish line.

In the few weeks before the floors get done, we have to finish everything else so that the rest of the remodel goes smoothly. We need to paint our new baseboards, paint the ceiling, paint the living room and entryway. A project I'm super excited about is my buffet. A few months ago I blogged about a buffet I found on ksl.com. Look familiar?
She was a good sport, this little piece. I had plans to paint it and make it look snappy, but for some reason I wasn't over the moon about. Part of that could be that Cody and I got in a little fight the day we went to pick it up, so it held a small, gloomy memory. Our fights are always so stupid. Not to mention it wasn't in the best of shape, I wasn't crazy about the design on the doors (although I'm pretty sure I said I was crazy about them...). Anyway, after holding on to it for some weeks, I finally decided to sell it and hopefully find something else. Something better. This little gem was in Highland, was less than the first buffet and ten times the awesome! Check it out!!
I know, she looks a little rough. It's being stored in the wood shop and is covered in saw dust.
The doors and drawers are most simple than the first one, but it's way more solid.
All the details, the scroll work on the bottom, I love the fat round feet. The woman we bought it from bought the buffet back in Boston years ago and while she was sad to see it go, they were moving and didn't have a place for it in their new home. I instantly fell in love with it and we loaded it up. It wasn't until we got it home that I noticed the label on the back.
I can't read most of it, but the date reads August 18, 1937. I did some research and read up on the Hanover Cabinet Company. There are a few people who have posted online and inquired about their value, but the only response I found was that they weren't that high in price.

It's in great shape, but the finish is pretty bad. I want to paint it. Am I crazy?? I hear differing opinions - some say that it will lose all it's value if I paint it, others say it might gain value if it's painted, some say I should just refinish the wood, etc. What color am I thinking of, you ask?

Totally Teal.
Yeah. I don't care, I love it. I had wanted teal originally, but then opted for a rich, dark purple. However, just a few days ago I changed my mind back. Teal it is. I might give it a lacquer finish so it's super glossy and durable, but rest assured that I won't be touching the original label on the back. I'm also keeping all the hardware and leaving the insides of the drawers and cabinets untouched.

Another find? This darling little desk. $50. Thank you ksl!

It looks teal in the picture but it's more of a dark, forest green (pass). I'm going to paint it a glossy black and put it in the family room. Can't wait to see it all done!

I will be posting a Kitchen update, soon - but now I have to find some paintbrushes.


What I'm Loving Wednesday

What am I loving? An email I got from my sister-in-law, Randi:

"Oh hello Ju Ju!!

Christmas time is fast approaching. We would love for you to tell us your desires for
Christmas presents. If you do not tell us, it is likely, you will not get any Christmas presents. None at all. Then how would you feel come Christmas mornings? You would feel sombers. So please. Tell us. This year, we are your Santa.





Holiday Rush

Cache said this to me the other day...

"Mom, how will Santa find us if our living room isn't done?"

"Oh, honey - Santa will still find us."

"Does he know everything?"


"Even more than you?"

"Yes, even more than me."

"So...even though we don't have a living room...Santa will still find us for Christmas?"

"Yes, honey. I promise. Santa will find us."

My heart totally broke. Then and there I swore to get our house finished for Christmas. I don't know that it will be done done, but my goodness we have to try. I was ok not really decorating for Halloween, but my kids are expecting Christmas - they deserve a festive house. Cody and I sat down and talked about what we need to do to get the house ready (or ready enough) and finished. The past few nights we've stayed up late trying to finish the wood floors. We've used all the old wood we can and only have a small patch left to fill in. We've bought some paint and finished drywall. The progress is small, but it's progress.

It's hard, I will admit. Not being able to decorate. Everyone is talking about listening to Bing Crosby and taking out all their holiday decor and baking cookies. We still have dust everywhere and power tools littering the floor. But I remain optimistic. Even if I can't bake any cookies this year, I will still do all that I can to make this house festive and Christmas-y for my boys. We have a lot of work to do, so wish us luck!


What I'm Loving Wednesday

What am I loving?

Gold tinsel Christmas trees...

I saw one of these on clearance at Target last year and I could kick myself for not buying it. So festive and sparkly! Is it wrong that I'm already thinking about Christmas stuff? I didn't think so.



Ahhh, Fall. So much to do to get ready for Winter. We've had a busy couple of days taking advantage of the glorious warm weather. Remember all the firewood we cut a few weeks ago? Cody has been chopping it up whenever he can. The pile has dwindled down quite a bit, but there's still a pretty good amount left. This past weekend we started stacking the logs...we have quite the supply!

Those stacks in front of the shed are a little bit taller than Cody. The other side of the shed might have a stack that high when we're done...looks like we'll have many roaring fires this year! I'm thinking of giving away fire logs for Christmas presents...like a yule log. Is that lame? "Merry Christmas! Here's some wood."

Just after Halloween, Cache was named 'Star Student' for the week at his school. He was asked to make a poster board to showcase some of his favorite things...which basically meant I had to make it. Late Sunday night I got started so it would be ready for Cache to take to school Monday morning. We woke up early so he could color in the pictures and the dinosaur. He loved being 'line leader' and got to take a special show and tell item every day. He now has his poster hanging on his door.

The weather has been SO nice! Halloween night was cold and rainy, but the first week of November was down-right balmy. Sunny days and warm temps, just marvy. We even had a BBQ! It was nice grilling chicken and smelling the charcoal smoke (Mmm, I love it). We removed the jack-o-lanterns from the porch but as promised, here's my Autumnal entrance:

All those pumpkins have been great sports, they've been out there for weeks. We have so many! I love it.

There is a big tree in our neighbor's yard that turns the most gorgeous orange color every Fall. It peeks over our fence so we get a few leaves that the boys love to play in. Since the weather has been so nice and warm, they're out there every day in their leaf pile.

The weather finally turned yesterday - it was FREEZING. I think it's supposed to snow this week! Sounds like we need to get a fire going in our stove...


What I'm Loving Wednesday

What am I loving? Too many fashion wants...

Yes - we are back to shallow, worldly wants for this installment of WILW. But I ask you, is anything better than Fall fashion? Layering, boots, sweater, scarves...love it all. Then there's the gloriousness of a 'holiday' line. Like we all need something sparkly and shiny to wear to the myriad of holiday parties we attend, right? I get sucked into that every time.

This mustard coat is so super cute...the ruffles? The seams? And that high neck? Me wanty.

I don't know what it is about these boots that makes me covet them so. The two-tone leather, perhaps? Or the faux laces? What is it!? Who cares, they have my heart.
Ok, and on to the Holiday wants. I was thinking how great it would be to have a Christmas dress. Like 4 year-old's have. Yes, a special dress you wear to Church on Christmas. And....oh my this just fits the bill.
With a matching shrug?? It's reversible, did I mention? So if I'm not feeling the black velvet side, I can flip it over to reveal a lovely green satin side that matches the dress. Win.

Oooh, friends. I have been digging booties lately. I also love gold. And glitter. And ruffles. I have no idea where I would wear these, but with some opaque tights I'm pretty sure I would wear them everywhere. Man...so lovely.

Something a bit more practical (perhaps), these metallic flats. SO cute with skinny jeans! And I love that mauvy/gray color.
So there you have it! Some fashion wants that my closet would love to have. Sigh...I must find a way to make them mine.



Phew, what a crazy weekend! Halloween is always so much fun around here...while it was jam-packed this year, I always feel like I missed some things. There's always next year, right?

Saturday evening we got the boys all ready to go trick-or-treating! They were SO very excited, even though it was freezing and raining they could not be stopped.

My wee dragons...

Cody donned his normal attire, for some reason people thought he purposely dressed up as a cowboy. Huh. Albeit a very cute cowboy.
We didn't have too many trick-or-treaters, so I gave out handfuls of candy. Those poor kids! It was so cold and wet! I should have been handing out hot chocolate and snuggies. Again, there's always next year.

Once Cody got back with the boys I headed over to a neighborhood Halloween bash to say hello to some dear friends, then I was off to my parents house. My sister came up from Vegas and we teamed up with my Mom to go see 'Dracula' at the Castle Theater. It was SO fun! We parked at the bottom of a huge hill and walked up to the theater...it was a perfect Fall evening! The rain had stopped and it didn't feel as cold.
The show was like a live radio broadcast...each character had their own microphone and the did sound effects and music and everything...so very cool.

On Halloween night I took the boys back over to my parents house for a yummy dinner. Check out the gorgeous sunset! All the kids ended up playing downstairs...but not before we had a dance party. Andrea brought 'Just Dance', a game for her wii. Have you played this? If not, may I ask why?? It's a party, people! We had an absolute blast. You just mimic the dancer you see on the screen and rock out to some fantastic tunes ('Rasputin' by Boney M...catchy to the max).
We had planned on watching a Halloween movie with treats and such..but we couldn't stop playing the game! We were all laughing hysterically and dancing until we got overheated. I must get me one! "Dear Santa..."

I must address how utterly fantastic my Mother's home looks at this time of year...and she didn't even go all out like she normally does! Yeah, her version and my version of "I only decorated a little" are totally different. Pardon the blurriness of the pictures...

Her chandy looked AMAZING. Covered in garlands and vintage postcards and a banner that read 'Happy Halloween'...only my Mother can pull that off.

Mmm, that gorgeous stacked stone will be in my house one day.
She even read the grandkids "The Spider and the Fly" before we left...if you do not have this book yet, you must. It's a Halloween staple.
A marvelous Halloween holiday, if you ask me. It's always over too soon, but at least I don't have that many decorations to take down! Next year my house will be decked to the max....there's always next year.