Monday, August 17, 2009

The Amazing Husband Award

The winner is BLAKE!!!!

Blake spent the entire summer refinishing our huge deck. It took him about 12 1/2 weeks to water pressure it, power sand it, remove the vines, remove the lattice, remove the yellow jacket hives, remove the mold, stain it and attach new lattice. He spent every Saturday and week night that he had available working on the deck, unless it was raining. (It rained almost the entire month of June so it took longer to finish the deck and the deck grew mold). I think he deserves the award for all the hard work he put into the deck and now it looks beautiful.


This is the picture that was on the website when we were looking to buy the house. The deck reaches past the house on the left and is in line with the end of the house on the right. There are three levels and an entry way from our bedroom and the kitchen. It is pretty much amazing and one of the main reasons why we bought the house. The view is amazing too. We can see most of Utah county from the top level.

This is our swing on the top level. It's hard to tell in this picture, but there are two different kinds of stain. A reddish orange on the spokes and vertical surfaces and a maroon purple color on the horizontal surfaces. The person that stained the horizontal maroon didn't sand off the reddish color first so the maroon started to peel off.

This view is from the top level looking down on the roof of the bottom level. We had to cut all the vines down in order to stain all the wood.

The right half of the deck. All the vines are gone now, but will probably grow back in a couple years. I love the shade the vines provide.

The left half of the deck. The sprinklers made the support beams fade over time.

This view is looking down the stairs. The picture is rotated. You can tell that the railing is a different color than the steps. At the bottom you can see it fading.


Tiffany was my model for most of these pictures. This is after product of the lower level of the deck. It is a darker reddish color stain.

The spokes and the floor boards are all the same color now.

The lower level of the deck. Blake removed all the vines and the deck looks a little bare without them.

The left side of the deck. Notice how dark the support beams look now.

The right side of the deck. I really like the darker red stain.

The underneath part of the deck wasn't stained before, but we did it this time. It looks so much nicer now.

Underneath the deck. Notice the yellow jacket trap? We found multiple hives under the deck while working on it.

Looking up to the third level.

The view down the stairs without the vines. I like the stairs better without the vines. They are very steep and narrow and when the leaves grew we had a hard time walking up and down them.

The third level.

The second level. That door enters into our bedroom. It's great.

Blake attached new lattice when we finished the deck. The person that built the deck installed the lattice before he stained the deck and all the lattice had stain marks on them.

Tiffany posing for the camera at the top of the stairs.

Blake worked really hard on this deck and I don't think I could ask for a better husband. He did such a great job! We will be able to enjoy this deck for quite a few years. (Maybe we'll move before we have to refinish it again). Sometimes I felt bad for not helping on the deck, but someone had to keep Tiffany company.

Thanks Blake for all of your hard work. I LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Backpacking Trip

At the end of July, Blake and I went on a backpacking trip to Allegator Lake in the Unita Mountains. We had me, Blake's father, his brother Dave plus 3 kids, his brother John plus 3 kids, and his brother Adam plus 2 kids. The hike from the parking lot to Allegator Lake was about 3miles, but with the youngest being 8 years old it was the perfect length.

The two of us before we started on the hike.

The entire group that went.

The view on the hike. It was beautiful!

I'm not sure how it happened but Blake and I ended up being the adults in charge of hiking with the kids. I didn't mind, I just thought it was funny. Those kids were troopers on the hike because we pushed them to go faster than they wanted.

I loved the trees! They were everywhere.

A handful of kids that were with us.

Resting on the rock. My back was pretty sore when we were done. It took about 3 hours to hike 2.5 miles.

The lake by where we camped. We were the only group camping on our side of the lake. There was another group on the other side that showed up the next day. It was nice that we had the place to ourselves. (it made peeing behind a tree more private).

This was such a pretty to be. The only problem was the mosquitos. Between Blake and myself, we had over a hundred mosquito bites. (Blake had more).

John fishing at the lake. We didnt' catch a single fish.

This is me getting out of the tent in the morning. Our tent was the closest to the fire so everyone joked that if a bear came to our camp it would eat us first and give everyone else time to run.

Blake and I went on a walk around the lake and it started to rain.

I decided to sport this lovely poncho.

Blake by the lake.

Hiking back to the cars. Again, we hiked with kids. Since it was raining we made them hike pretty fast. At some points a couple of them had to jog to keep up but they did it without complaing. It took about 3 hours to hike in and just under 2 to hike out.

Me hiking.

Me with the kids.

More resting. We all needed it.

Blake's dad and brothers hiking out.

All finished and getting ready to drive home.
I was really excited to go on the trip and had a blast. Blake was impressed that I did the hike without complaining even though my back was killing me. I enjoyed boiling our water over a small stove to eat our freeze dried meals. I didn't mind finding rocks to go to the bathroom under. The best part of the trip was being able to spend time with Blake.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Ants understand death. This is what I know:

Tiffany's favorite food is hot dogs. She could eat them all day every day if I let her. The only problem is that she can never finish the entire hot dog. She will have one bit left over and then throw it on the floor to let me know that she is done. Being a little lazy I left the piece of hot dog that landed under her high chair on the floor knowing that I would get it the next time I swept the floor. (The hot dog fell on Sunday and I planned on sweeping on Monday)

The next morning I found the hot dog covered in many tiny ants and they were taking little pieces at a time to their hole in the ground. The ant covered hot dog was under Tiffany's high chair and I was feeding her breakfast, so I picked up the hot dog and threw it outside. (Later when I searched for it, I couldn't find it so I wonder if they took it in their home). If an ant bites me I swell up (golf ball size lumps) so my determination to kill all the ants directly under the hairchair is completely justified. There was still a large number of ants in a line coming from the wall towards what use to be hot dog, but I didn't kill those. I watched as those ants would discover the large pile of dead ants on the floor, run around in circles for a while and then start back towards the hole they came in. Some ants picked up a few pieces of the other food left on the floor before they left through the hole.

After breakfast, Blake and I headed to Home Despot to buy a new dishwasher (that's another story if you're interested). When I got home ALL of the ants were gone. Well, maybe not all. I think I swept up two or three later that day. I now understand that ants understand death. One might think that they left because the food was gone, but there was a large amount of food still on my kitchen floor (I really should sweep more than once a week) for them to choose from and they left it alone and got their little butts to safety.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Birthday Birthday

This past Tuesday, July 28th, was my 23rd Birthday. For the most part, it felt like any other day except for a few special things.


10. Blake stayed home from work in the morning. He needed to get rid of the stain on our deck and Tuesday morning was the best time for him to do it before we start staining this weekend. I don't care the reason, I was just happy to have him home a little longer in the morning.

9. Blake bought me great presents. I got "If Life Were Easy It Wouldn't Be Hard" by Sheri Dew and tickets to see "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Little Shop of Horrors" at Hale Center Theater.

8. Blake shaved because it was my birthday. Well, he always shaves on Tuesdays, but told me it was because of my birthday.

7. My Dad called 5 times on my birthday. The first 3 times because I wasn't near my cell phone when he called. The 4th time to sing me happy birthday. The 5th time to tell me the name of the town he was driving through at the time. (Don't remember the name though).

6. Tiffany got me a pound of skittles. I'm sure some of her motivation for that present was me sharing them with her.

5. At my flute lesson I made some improvements on my breathing that I have been wanting to make for years.

4. Blake and I went to dinner at Tucanos in Provo. It's an all you can eat Brazilian restaurant that gives a "buy one get one free" dinner coupon for birthdays.

3. I was able to convince Blake to come food storage shopping with me. He hates grocery shopping so it was a big deal that he came with.

2. Kim, the babysitter for the evening, offered to babysit for free because it was my birthday. She is wonderful.

1. Blake got us a two day, one night reservation at a resort in Sundance. This includes a 700 sq. foot suite, bbq dinner, outdoor play and my most favorite, mountain biking. He really knows how to make me feel special.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Does it ever end?

Does Tiffany feeling the need to poop while taking a bath ever end? I am not kidding...this girl of mine only knows how to poop in the tub full of water and all of her toys. Yuck.

I am sick of rushing her from the tub to the toilet when I recognize her famous pooping face.
I am sick of holding her down on the toilet while she's screams her head off because I don't want poop on my floor too. (I usually fail at the 'not getting poop on my floor' part).
I am sick of cleaning the poop out of the tub and off the floor.
I am sick of having to sanitize her bath toys once again. (Which makes me wonder why I even give her any).

Most of all...I AM SICK OF POOP!!!

Some of my frustration today is also contributed to Tiffany peeing on the floor and bath mat before her bath even started. It was only seconds from when I took her diaper off to when I got her into the tub and sure enough she peed.

The moral of my story is...when you buy a toddler toilet for your daughter and have this feeling that you should put it in the tub because someone suggested as an idea to keep your daughter from pooping in the tub...LISTEN!!!! She loves sitting on her new little potty, this would have been the perfect opportunity to teach her what the purpose of the new toy is.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

American Fork Steele Days

American Fork Steele Days is the best. Today we took Tiffany down to the carnival (which was just a couple miles from our house) and took her on a few rides. Tiffany had a blast! Blake and I had fun watching Tiffany ride on some of the rides by herself. We felt like proud parents watching our little girl grow up.

This is me with Tiffany on the Merry-Go-Round. I sat on the horse with her because she was scared of being on such a strange horse. Before we got around once I heard her say, "weee." We know she was having fun then.

Pointing to the train that we were in line for. She's never been on a rides before but for some reason she knew the rides would be fun.
We found out that adults are not allowed on the train too. We put Tiffany in the seat with a stranger and watch from the sidelines. We were sure that she would cry when we left her in a strange place alone. She was all smiles.
Every time she came around she was smiling and waving and having a good time.
Tiffany loved the train ride.
The next ride Tiffany went on was little ducks going around in a circle. Another 'no parents allowed' ride. We never thought that Tiffany was grown up enough to go on these rides alone but she proved us wrong. She even knew she was suppose to turn the steering wheel to the right.
Just relaxing in the duck ride.

Getting ready to go on the Merry-Go-Round again with dad.
She sat on the horse all by herself this time.

At the end of the day. You can tell that she got a little sun burned. Lesson learned, put the sunscreen you bring on her. She's back to normal now.