chew on this

Just because summer is almost over, doesn't mean I can't still look hot. No, not that kind of "hot"...the sweaty-faced-jeans-are-sticking-to-my-legs kind of hot.

today's lows:
-having nothing but donuts and sugar in my stomach since last thursday (when life got even crazier than usual).
-having the air conditioning in my house stop working.
-trying to clean up my explosion of a house after the fundraiser in a stuffy 89 degrees
-the 11 loads of laundry (not exaggerating) waiting to be folded heaped on my bed.

...yet its redeeming qualities:

-Elyott came home from school with DRY pants.

-Adam is making dinner without being asked (wait, what?)

-I am officially done cleaning up the garage sale stuff (thank you MISTI!) YEE HAW!!!!


Shop it like it's hot!

And it was hot!  Thankfully, deliriousness and the one inch thick layer of grime coated on my skin protected me from feeling just about everything except for pure elation at the turnout of this event!
I chose to do a garage sale because in this tough economy many find it hard to just hand out their money, even in the face of an amazing cause.  I wanted to find a completely justifiable way for anyone to feel they could spend money on things they want to buy/need.  There are so many people who needed a way to help but couldn't figure out they could!  Also...I am a huge thrift store girl, so i can appreciate a good find :)
Set up was nuts!  We were literally up to our neck in mounds of stuff to organize, clean, spray paint, and price. Can i just say how much i LOVE LOVE LOVE all of my friends (old and brand new) that worked countless hours two nights straight (into the wee hours)to bust out this sale.
And oh the treasures we found! Some highlights: granny panties that could have fit two people, you already saw the doll that could have come alive and killed any one of us in our sleep (if we had gone to sleep) a box full of creepy porcelain masks that one woman purchased all together (she should have won a prize for being so brave, bless her heart)  a plethora of awesome Huxtable family sweaters, and various bags of children's clothes smelling of feces (which we threw away, no worries.)  We even ignored the child labor laws and put our babies to work :) No minute was spared, we were in the zz-zz-zone.
If you weren't there in the first hour you have no idea how much stuff we had for sale, and the amazing transformation that clubhouse made.  Here are some pictures of before and afters to get a small idea of what we were up against (keep in mind none of these show the stuff that completely wrapped around the entire clubhouse patio areas outside)...
I set out with a goal to raise a humble 5 hundred dollars, and in the end we raised a little over $5000!!!!!
Basically i love everyone who was a part of the this. Kara i love your perfectly stated post that i hope you don't mind me pasting here...
chaos into calm
willing hands to work
cast-offs into treasures
time (a lot of it) into money
money for nie
sleep deprived and happy i write to nie,
i don't know you, but i will forever be touched by your fervor in this life.
i've been blessed to be a part of this event in your honor.
as you know, there are so many rooting for you.
i am certainly one of them.
my service was a drop in the bucket, i know.
i am just happy to have been a part.
Look at all my beautiful friends/slaves (many not pictured) A GINORMOUS thanks to Jolleen (my saving grace and kindred spirit :) Bert (my sister from another mutha and huge help for weeks prior), Stephanie and Lisa (my actual, very pregnant and amazingly artistic sisters), Emily (joleen's actual sister/slave, and our eye candy in the wee hours of the night ;), Kara (for slaving away on her birthday weekend and being willing to wear the smallest shirt :), Kami (for being the sweetest at taking orders and not leaving me alone Thursday night) Summer (who wins the award for all her fabulous ideas, calm presence and inappropriately stylish worker shoes), Courtney (for some of the cutest donations, cutest two year old and for laughing at all my stupid wanna be jokes),  Debra (two words: cinnamon rolls, and more pregnant help...okay that's six words:) my neglected and very supportive husband Adam, and let us not forget good old "FANNY".
And thanks, of course, to all other various donators and helpers and those who helped spread the word: Courtney (CJane) and  Reachel Bagley (as always!) and Lynda Hammond (the Garage Sale Gal) . Also Liz (for dealing with counting money at checkout when none of us sleepless girls could speak english, let alone add or spell), Misti P, Misti T, the clarks, Rodney, Rachel (Earl Photography) , Lisa and her homemade/canned good amazingness, Vanessa (Sashay jewelry) , Gordon Biersch , Z Tejas , Philosophy, Summer (yoga), Emily Heap(hair cut), Lisa Ebner(haircut), Carabbas , Neds Krazy Subs , Anna (babysitter and thankless clothes folder!) 
aaaaaand our bakers: Kari, Ann, Lisa B's cinnamon roll recipe, Amy, and Michelle V. who baked on her birthday!! And to all others who baked, bought, and made anonymous donations that i couldn't keep track of! Am i forgetting anyone?? sorry if your not listed...(The music is staring to play on my boring drawn out acceptance speech, so i'll stop) 
***Also, keep checking our blog for info on the Mesa Garage sale that Jolleen Hansen will be hosting in a couple of weeks.  We can't stop....we are crazed women on a mission. We challenge Mesa to a raise off!   



Are we all dying of suspense!!!!

How much money did we raise??????

Not so fast! Be patient, like this worlds scariest doll (just yearing to be purchased).  

Let me first give my family (and feet) a little TLC and post a few good pics.  
(FYI: I lost my battle to sleep for a couple hours, FINALLY! I literally fell asleep face down on the floor mid conversation :)

Soon enough my friends...real soon.


map shmap!

Something that i should be ashamed of but, regardless, am going to post riiiight here...

The other day Adam sauntered into my office with a crooked grin, and right away i knew this it was going to be bad or humiliating in one way or another...
ADAM: "Hey, can you tell me where Milwaukee is?"
(Awww crap...i thought, knowing that my skills of geography left much to be desired, but the competitor in me wasn't going to give up so soon)

ME: "I know that they have a team there called the Brewers" (hopeful this might impress him enough to let me off the hook). 

ADAM: "Yes, but what state do they play for?" (still with his antagonistic smile) 

(long pause......) 

ME: In a desperate attempt..."Okay, uuuuuuuuh, Vermont, no!....Philadelphia!!" i blubbered out.  
Needless to say, Adam got the laugh he was craving . For not only did i not know the final guess was, in fact, another CITY (he tells me i'm "funny" but i am now certain that what he really means is: I'm funny when i'm dumb. He does love me FYI) Stupid Milwaukee, who lives there anyway??

But, now i know all i'll ever need to know about Milwaukee: they refer to their soft drinks appropriately as "soda" (instead of the nails on a chalkboard "pop") and the average high in September is a very non-arizona 73 degrees. Okay, so maybe it's not so stupid after all...'aina?' (a common phrase used there)...Okay nope, it's still pretty dumb.

Did you know the answer?? (besides you silly Wisconsin natives)

*also: at the time of "9.11" i thought the Pentagon (in Washington D.C.) was on the west coast...yikes! We all have weaknesses, geography is most definitely one of mine.


build-a-"boo" (trick or treat 2005)

Sheamus clearly still holding a grudge on the doctor 
who snipped his ding dong mere weeks before.
(where do you find a costume for a newborn?? 
Build-a-Bear, of course...and that is the only thing that scary place is good for)

and speaking of SCARY...

....ironically this baby was calm when comforted by his flesh eating grandma 
(who couldn't figure out why the older children were terrified of her "silly" clown costume)  

"Its fine kids, blood thirsty grandma ate before she came, see!"  

Elyott wasn't buying it.
(can you blame her?)


crapper's delight

What is it with kids and expressing their sentiments while on the pot?  Or, if you can't relate, what is with my kid expressing her sentiments while on the pot?? Aside from finding out women occasionally poop during labor (wait, what!), it is the one of the weirdest most unexpected things of becoming a mother.  Once a day, elyott reaches her moment of clarity and/or is "lovestruck" where momentarily all is right with the world. Bear with me here folks...

-Elyott: (yelling from bathroom across the house) "Hey mom, can people make poop even when they don't have to?"
-Mom: "Not usually"
-Elyott: "huh, well i can! ...(pause)....i guess that just makes me a magical kid!!" (so true my dear:)
-Once on an outing, elyott had an emergency call of nature, and wanted me in the tiny stall with her of course.  Feeling sick and grouchy, she asked me ot do something funny to cheer her up. Ummmmm....naturally I chose a broadway kick while singing in my jazziest Liza Minnelli-ish voice "I'VE GOT BULLET PROOF LEGS, I'VE GOT BULLET PROOF LEGS" which she thought was mildly funny but mostly weird (as usual). Then a moment of silence...."i love you mom" then insisted i give her a kiss (still on the toilet, mind you) and with one final push grunted "this day is just SO magical!"
I like to think that instead of pure confusion mixed with disgust, the lady in the stall next to us was rather just smiling at the extra close bond between a mother and daughter...(sigh)

*(also, never talk to me while i'm in the bathroom)

.....and sorry so many of my posts mention poop. It's fine, don't worry about it.


fresh paint (and why i'm called odd jobs)

As the Nie Sale draws near, i find myself in the most "oddjob" state that i've been since i was pregnant with Sheamus. My morning starts: I walk to the "junk" cupboard for the umteenth time to try and find some chocolate "fuel", thinking that maybe in the last 10 minutes a king size snickers bar will have miraculously appeared amidst the picked over contents of pocorn and jello pudding mix (only now what i want is that straight instantly gratifying chocolate injected into my veins). On the way i see the stack of frames i scored at the closing hour of an estate sale last saturday with Bert ( i can spruce those up for NIE i think...ill take 'em.... fill a box for $1! HOLLA).  So i think i'll go look at the spray paint i have, and into the laundry room i go, where i see the NIE sign i painted last week (you are starting to get a idea of what my house has been like lately...paint on the floor, flyers on the counter, spraypaint by my hamper, emails up the wazoo, etc.) So i go to take it (the large YELLOW wooden sign) to the garage, clearly a more sensible storage place.

I open the garage to greeted by bags, signs, boxes, and furniture staring at me practically begging me to spray them first. My thumbs quiver at the memory of the 15 spray cans lined up in the laundry room. The frames can wait, i think, until i find some inspired artwork to fill them with, right? I pull out a pair of old wooden chairs (that i began and abandoned sanding in a fit of "oddjob craze" months ago) and start to tediously scrape the remanants of flaking paint in the crevices that were no match for my sander. 

 It is 11:30am. I take turns with one hand pitching "screwy" and batting with "darlin'" (aka. playing baseball with Sheamus), simultaneously and precariously scraping flaky paint with an old steak knife in the other. I then pull out the white spray can and let loose. As the first coat dries, i spot the wicker chair beckoning me from a dark corner ("me next!")...

...about 8 cans of spray paint, 5 hours , my 2 now practically bloody thumbs (who will likely strangle me in my sleep if these chairs don't sell for a million dollars) 4 diet pepsis, and about 6 neighbors who see me braless later (remember this was a spontaneous morning task) i look up, discouraged to find about thirty more things that also need my "special attention". I spend a while chatting with a good friend who brought some items to donate, and realize only after i go inside, that not only was indecently clad in my pajamas and covered in paint chips, but have a black mustache clinging to the peach fuzz on my upper lip! Glorious.

What will tomorrow bring?? more spray cans i presume...and hopefully good news from CJane's blog. That's right, there is a reason for this madness...6 very specific reasons: Nie, Christian, Claire, Jane, Ollie and Giggs to be exact. After a long day of toxic fumes and way too much caffiene, my sweet husband runs to fetch a woozy me some "emergency" tacos from my fav mexican dive, kisses my thumbs, and resists his urge to tease me for the random impulsive sequence of my day. He tells me i look beautiful in my cutoff jeans shorts (what else?) and now sunburned forehead. 

I think of Nie and her Mr. Nielson and how much they are fighting to be home again doing such random things (and would probably give anything for merely sore thumbs), their kids doing their best to have hope while missing their sweet parents, and amazing CJANE for all her incredibly generous accounts of her experiences loving those same cute kids. I am then reminded that even though this event may yeild a mere drop in the bucket of funding, and though none of this will bring them home any sooner, people need a way to be involved, to love thy neighbor as so many of you have for this family. I only wish (rather fantasize) i could inspire one person like the Nielsons and Co. have inspired so many to act out of love for a stranger. Tonight i will pray for NIE, and tomorrow you can bet i will be in my garage, spraying away...

...but this time i'll put on a bra ;)


trick or treat '04

(i'm pretty sure i was one of only two adults in full costume at our new ward's trunk or treat...i felt awesome.)

Don't you want to suck on her little rosy cheeks off ??  She still wears striped red and white knee high socks (from this costume) with her pink capri pants to classic elyott fashion, of course.


good 'n' plenty?

What happened to the days when I used my Visa with a smile? When I made fun of people who gawked at gas prices. Justin Timberlake had just brought sexy back, and i was strutting into IKEA like it wasn't no thang.
Don't say!

Let's face it. We're screwed.  Just when online shopping and i were moving past that annoyingly awkward "acquaintance" phase...sigh. To our sad basement that i had such glorious plans for: i am sorry.  No worries though, getting a pedicure and a bimonthly house cleaner is SO last year (you mean, i have to scrub poop off the what?) And I know better than to even think about stepping foot into target (and their stupid genius marketing). 

Now as I forge ahead into the giving season, since now is as good a time as any, i will resist my urge to splurge, and instead get in touch with my inner sewer/quilter.  My dusty Viking machine and vintage fabric will unite at last! (Flashback: to the atrocious hankerchief shirt i forced my one year old daughter to wear before she could enforce her own good opinion) This ought to be interesting, but homemade gifts are the most thoughtful, right? 

"Dignity for recession proof presents!" (declared in unison)...they are the new ipod. 

In the mean time: let us swallow our pride and be find the joy in what we do have. As long as i have my family and my faith, i am okay with cleaning a few of my own toilets...okay...aaaand eating my food storage ;)

**On a serious note: Please don't misunderstand my sarcasm for complaining. I am truly blessed in so many ways, and realize there are much more serious struggles in this cruel world. I pray for it's relief daily.


seeing double

1. visit scary rundown cabin in the middle of an ancient forest road: check
2. see if Michael Jackson is still rocking the window sil: check
3. have family sign visitor wall: check
4. make daughter sit in spooky old bucket: chiggitty check!
The confusion in Elyott's face is priceless (don't worry about it, we shook all the spider skeletons out first...sick)  It's crazy I used to stay there (bathing in buckets, floating down rivers, jumping off stumps, holding in my poop for days...aww memories) I dream it will be useable again someday...
*also, sorry for the "blog neglect" (crazy with NIE garage sale stuff...It's gonna be great!!)


going once, going twice...

Angie and Matt Sloan of Sloan Photographers are hosting their own online auction of a few photo sessions (wedding, engagement, etc.) to benefit the Nielson Recovery fund. This could be an opportunity to score a smokin' deal on some fantastic artistry.  To bid visit here.
**We still need donations for the "hpe for NIE" (sale scheduled for Sept 27th) Don't be shy!! Email me: Thanks to those who have already offered your stuff and helping hands. We have a few sweet things that have been donated to auction off too. So you should at least come to the NIE sale. Here are a few things up for grabs so far...
Earl photography family session
Earl photography child session
Yoga classes w/ Summer
...also don't forget all the deliciousness that will be there too!
(and hopefully more to come!!)
...Like Sheamus, I just may be "obsessed" (for lack of a better term). If i had an full outfit to support this fam you bet your booty i'd be wearing it now ;)


Go ahead and take a wild guess at what Sheamus is watching at this moment.  what? you don't know (aaand you don't care!?) Well, here's a teensy hint anyway...

you've got to love how a two year old thinks ;)


NIE Charity garage and bake sale!!!

updates.... **find details for Hpe for Nie Charity yard sale round 2 here.  **read why I'm doing the sale here. **find results of 1st amazing Nie Sale here.
What is cool even in the AZ summer heat??....wearing your heart on your sleeve! 
Admit it: you like to help, and (perhaps even more) you like to buy stuff.  Why not do both! Donate to a good cause (and purge your dust ridden household items) for the: "hpe for Nie" Nielson charity garage sale!
who: anyone who likes to give things or buy stuff
what: baked goods, furniture, silent auctions, crafts/art, and nick knacks
where: Agritopia community center
when: 7 am to 1pm sat sept 27th
(I will be accepting donations of sell-able non "trash" items (*very important!) between now through Sept 25th to put up for sale in this community effort!!  I'll store it in my garage just for you!...good for your husband, bad for mine ;) 
why: because weNie!
We will also be selling some of Stephanie's famous favorite baked good recipes (and some fresh cinnamon rolls!!).  If you are interested in donating/volunteering your stuff, creations, time, entertainment (??) or if you just have mad baking skills please email me at
Get involved....sept 27th!!!


I know you are all wondering how my daughters "not peeing her pants at school everyday" progress is's a little picture that speaks for itself:
It's brilliantly clear how much she doesn't care that she came home from school yesterday in some random old high water little boy spiderman sweatpants that were also on backward...oh ya, and some mystery underwear that also weren't hers :) I think we can all learn a little from her carefree sprit, can we not?  If anyone can rock old sweatpants its her. How did she get so awesome?? "if peeing your pants is cool...consider me Miles Davis!"


Nie Yoga!

Last night I went to Stephanie Nielson's Yoga class now lovingly taught by, her best friend and Blissful Living Studios co-worker, Reachel. In her honor and in efforts to supplement her recovery fund, they are donating the proceeds of the class directly to her family.  I have never done yoga, but decided this cause was a good enough reason to try it out.  It is $15 per class (or $85 for the whole month) Mondays and Thursdays...and i most definitely recommend it!  
So even if you're broke, and especially if your just "cheap", we all need to relax, we all could use more exercise, and we all can give a little love for Nie. I will be going Thursday @7:00 pm if anyone would like to join :)
*(i posted the info for the class above. A bigger version of this, as well as more on her story, can also be found here)
♥making connections is oxygen for life...Live beautifully like nie!

scary baby in '03

Authenticity has always been important to just in time for her first halloween she pulled a heavy stool down on the bridge of her nose, "festively" scaring the crap out of her mom and did make for a creepy carebear!  


sweet talks

: "mom do you like rain?" Mom: "oooh, i love rain!"
Elyott: "me too, i wish it would rain" (long pause)....."rain is a gift!"
Elyott: "mom what are these things for?"pointing to her nipples.
Mom: "those are to feed your babies when you become a mommy....kinda silly huh?" (...thinking this might freak her out)
Elyott:"No mom, that's beautiful!"
*(In the mean time, she prefers her nipples to show when she wears her halter dress, making for an extra fancy tea time!...Like mother like daughter, eh? ;)


trick or treat "1991 style"

*only two years later....again I am, you guessed it, Pippy Longstocking!  how lazy is that??

trick or treat "1989 style"

What was cool to be for Halloween in 1989 according to the Yegge girls?? A Gypsy, Pippy Longstocking, and a Burglar...(but only in the sorry-made-from-fabric-scraps-and-old-clothes-five-minutes-before trick-or-treating "home made" kind of way).

*i love that "burglar" remembered to put on her blush before her night of crime ;)

keeping "mum"

My beautiful mother had a birthday this week.  And since i didn't get to see her on her birthDAY, i will pay tribute to all her years of being such an awesome style.  

Born in England, you enthusiastically sang us the always bizarre, but nevertheless catchy, nursery rhymes that are forever branded into my memory (Ging Gang Goo, Eenie Meanie Macarack, Oh 'carolyn' you are a funion, etc.)  As a little girl I loved your flowing Farrah Fawcet hair, the way you'd push the breaks to the beat of the music at a stop light, your snow white song voice.  And I indirectly thank you for the things you taught us by default: organization skills and cleanliness (when we'd have to clean your bedroom or the linen closet for punishment ;) and responsibility (taping oprah for you everyday after school).  p.s. i forgive you for thinking i was a lesbian in junior high (in your defense i did dress like one).

I still love the way: you laugh at everything your kids say, are the biggest "line crosser" i know, your beautiful smile, how much you love my kids, the lengths you go to to get everyone on family trips, the way you love games even though you suck at most of them, your love for all things "bejeweled", the way you are so easily impressed by your childrens' creativity, your loyalty, your acceptance, that you let your cheapskate children organize your house as your "present", how easy you are to be around, and never to forget my thanks for birthing me, even though you gained 80 lbs during pregnancy!!

(grandma's amazing glasses)

Adorable on your wedding day. So wishing you still had that dress (and again loving grandma's white girl afro)

Happy Birthday mommy dearest, i love love love you!

*(also: thank you for never beating us with wire hangers :)
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