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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Pirate Baby was sick over the weekend with a sore throat and cough. He has passed it on to me now, so I've been sick today.

He was being extra silly, playing with his blankie, and he kept making me laugh. I grabbed the camera so I could share how cute it was.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wedding Season

We have two weddings in our family this year - less than a month apart from each other. The 2nd one I mentioned recently - my father-in-law's wedding next month.

Last night though, was the wedding for Surfer Pirate's "surrogate" brother - the one who talked us into moving to Northern Middle of Nowhere, ND. He and his fiancee made it official last night in a beautiful ceremony.

It reminded me that I'm a big sap.

The last wedding I went to was for some friends of mine in Montana - just days after my first miscarriage. I was there because I loved them and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. But I was sad and very focused on my own problem while putting on a happy face for them. Before that, the last wedding I had attended was... Mine. So this was the first chance I'd had to relive the love and sentiment of a wedding.

I cried little happy tears a LOT this weekend!

Surfer Pirate was a groomsman, so I sat without him during the ceremony and the dinner, but that didn't change the emotion of the whole thing. The pastor did a wonderful job talking about how marriage means that you put the other person's needs and wants before your own (something I know he personally does - his wife is a friend of mine). I sat in the church looking at my sweet husband (or rather, the back of his head), thinking about how well he takes care of me and what a good man he is. I thought back to our wedding day and how Surfer Pirate looked at me that day and how much in love we were. I thought about how much we still love each other and the great life we've made together. And I thought about our two friends and how far they've come together and how happy and peaceful their wedding felt.

But my two favorite parts of the wedding were seeing Surfer Pirate in his tux, and the dancing with him after dinner.

I really wish I could show you how good he looked in his tux, complete with PINK tie and vest! If you knew him in person, you would know how insanely opposite that is for him. But he loves his surrogate brother and was willing to put aside his own issues with being that dressed up (and wearing pink) for him. It was very selfless and sweet and OH MY GOODNESS did he look amazing! (My facebook friends have probably already seen the pictures, and B, I'll email you some pictures so you can see too.)

And the dance! I had looked forward to dancing with my hubby. We haven't had a date night in forever, and there aren't many options of places to go around our little town. The first dance was, of course, the bride and groom, then they had a wedding party dance that was hysterical! There were 3 flower girls and 3 ring bearers, but two of them had already gone home - all day of pictures and preparation + no naps = crabby children. But the remaining 4 stole the show - especially the boys! One of the boys had already introduced everyone to his special Stomp Dance* earlier, and the whole bridal party participated for the first part of the song. Then, the kids took over the floor, the boys doing fun break-dancing and there were even cartwheels! Soon, we were dragged out to the floor for the Chicken Dance (which I've never actually done before) and the Hokey Pokey. Normally, I wouldn't have been a part of either of those, but Surfer Pirate's surrogate dad is so incredibly funny and everyone was having so much fun that it was easy to let go of your own embarrassment and just have a great time!

*aka: jumping up and down really hard

We needed to leave early because Pirate Baby is coming down with a cold and Surfer Pirate had some things he needed to take care of for his health, so our surrogate sister arranged for the dj to play Our Song (it's also her song with her hubby). So I got to slow dance with my gorgeous husband and then we even ended up staying on the floor for the Anniversary Dance. They let us dance to that song briefly, and then asked everyone who had been married more than 5 years to continue dancing while the rest of us left the floor. Then they kept adding time until there were only 3 couples left. The one couple had been married for 33 years (I think - might have been 34), and the other two couples had both been married for 36 years!

It was all a very sweet and romantic night. I was reminded of how wonderful my marriage is and how grateful I am for the life I live with my wonderful family (both related and non-related).

And I also found out that our local baker makes AMAZING cake. Mmmmmm... cake...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I make homemade pizza fairly often. I can make them in about the same time it takes to heat up a decent quality frozen pizza, so why not? Plus, every member of their family gets their own personal pizza with their own choice of toppings.

Pirate Baby has already shown a love for the pizzas - devouring the first one I made for him.

I made more last night, but he didn't quite finish all of it. That meant he got to have it for lunch today. So we sat at the table eating our leftover pizza together. Every. Single. Bite. that he took, he looked up at me with big eyes and nodded. It was so cute I had to grab the camera.


Friday, March 16, 2012

More Progress!

When I was online house hunting from my living room in Montana, I had seen our house on the listings. I thought it was an interesting looking house, but it was listed as a 3 bedroom, so I didn't think it was the house for us. But then Surfer Pirate got talked into looking at it and knew it was the house for us. He told the sellers we wanted to buy it before I'd even seen it!

Good thing I trust his judgement.

When I said to him "But it's a 3 bedroom, we need a 4 bedroom", he told me that there are two adjoining rooms. There were doors that separated the rooms, but the sellers didn't need 4 bedrooms. They had opened it up and used it as one big room.

The doors have been sitting in my basement ever since. I've been meaning to put them up all this time, but there were always excuses why I wasn't getting the job done. My guest room and nursery have been open to each other for going on two years now.

This morning, I was awake at 3am for who knows what reason, and then I couldn't go back to sleep. My mind was plagued by the realization that I have guests coming next month and my guest room was a disaster! Trying to straighten it and get it ready was tough because there were piles of books all over the room for my pre-bookshelf sorting project. Pirate Baby couldn't be in the room with me while I worked on it because he could get hurt. And I couldn't work on it during his naps because he's not the heaviest sleeper anymore.

One way or another, I had to get the doors put up - the sooner the better.

So this morning, after everyone had eaten breakfast, I went to work. Lots of heavy lifting to get one of the doors upstairs (I'd already moved one up a few weeks ago) and into place. They don't need hinges, they just wedge in next to each other nice and tight. I went to work with my hammer and a stray board (so I wouldn't damage the gorgeous wood) and knocked those puppies into place!

They still need the molding put back in around them for a little extra security and to cut off the little bits of light that leak around the edges. But for now, they're in, they're pretty, and I've already had the chance to work on the guest room a little while Pirate Baby was taking his naps today!

So here's Pirate Baby's bedroom with the new door/walls:
And I can't post pictures of stuff in my house without doing them tour-style. The cradle above was built by my dad when my sister was a baby. He refinished it for me before Pirate Baby was born, along with the two rocking chairs in that picture. (I LOVE that they all match - and that they look so good with my woodwork!) The child-sized rocking chair was my cousin's and then my sister's.
Pirate Baby's crib (obviously). It was a gift from a dear friend in Montana who had decided she didn't need it anymore now that her kids were growing up. The dresser/shelf in the picture below came with the crib.

On to our bedroom. The picture above the bed was a challenge for many years for me. I bought it completely matted for only $5. But framing this large piece would have been well over $100. I finally just made my own frame - much cheaper, and I made many more frames after that. (This frame was my first real building job.) The small dresser was in pieces in my dad's house when he bought it. He eventually put it together, finished it - replacing several missing drawer pulls, and gave it to me.

And of course, Captain Kitty is being a camera hog.
This dresser and mirror used to belong to my grandparents. Interestingly enough, it's the same finish and drawer pulls as the one on the other side of my room (my dad gave me the other one first. I was stunned when I saw how perfectly this one matched!) The painting above it is one I did in high school, and I made the frame for it as well. And if anyone wants to buy me a flatscreen tv to replace the old-school beast on the dresser, I wouldn't complain.
We have a cute little cherub who sits in the corner and brings love to our bedroom.
And of course, our pirate flag. Some people would find it creepy to sleep with those red eyes staring at us, but we love him.
And I have to show off my heart quilt that I made many years ago. I have another one just like it that I did in purple and green.
Shoot. I just realized I didn't take a good picture of the stained glass window in this room. I'll have to do that another day.

Meanwhile, on my last "house tour" post, I left a little teaser about the... um... interesting features on my house.

Above the bay windows in the dining room and master bedroom, there are two little overhangs on the roofline. They also have a little extra detail hanging from them.

Why yes, my house DOES have two flesh colored penile details.

Fertility symbol? The world may never know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You know you live with a small child when...

There are toys all over your floor

Projects sit unfinished all over your house

Dishes from last night still aren't put away, and more wait to be done

Your child has been "reorganizing" your dvd rack

Toilet paper bought 2 days ago hasn't made it to the bathroom yet, but is already open!

Your cell phone goes missing for hours on end
(this is after I found it, obviously)

And by mid-day, your son is still in his pj's but he's enjoying his first grilled cheese sandwich.

Life is good.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Sweet image found here.

My father-in-law is getting married.

That's probably not terribly exciting news to the rest of the world, but to our family, that's incredibly significant.

You see, my father-in-law has a very prominent tattoo on one of his biceps that says "Never Again". The tattoo has been a reminder to him that marriage wasn't a good thing, and it's not something he wanted to repeat. My mother-in-law has a lot of issues, and she made his life very difficult many years ago.

So you can imagine our surprise when he announced that he was getting married now - decades after ending his first marriage! He's truly, utterly and completely in love! To listen to him talk about his fiancee, you would think he was a twitterpated 16 year old kid!

The wedding plans have been progressing and we received the announcement in the mail last week. I went online to find out on Google Maps where the church and open house are going to be. They're in my hometown, but not in an area I know very well. I was surprised to find that the open house is being held just blocks away from where Surfer Pirate was living when we were first dating. That has brought up a lot of sweet memories from those early days when WE were the twitterpated couple who used to make everyone gag with how in love we were.

I was snuggling with Surfer Pirate this morning telling him my thoughts on the subject and thinking about years from now, being the old couple (like the one in the picture up there) holding hands and still being so much in love.

Those sweet thoughts of love have been floating around in my head all day, and it reminded me of another memory from when we were a brand new couple.

Twice a year, my church holds a General Conference. It's a series of church meetings held over a Saturday and Sunday that's broadcast on tv (and the internet now) for our members all over the world to be able to watch. I've always looked forward to it because of the great spiritual lift it gives me, as well as the fact that twice a year I get to "attend" church in my pajamas! In April 2008, when Surfer Pirate and I were dating, we had just undergone a change in our church presidency because our prophet Gordon B. Hinckley had died. Our new president Thomas S. Monson gave the sweetest talk at that conference, and it was a great opportunity to show Surfer Pirate who the new leader of my church was in a memorable and entertaining way.

* To give you an idea of what a fun talk it was, he told the story of how during a time when his wife had to be in the hospital, she left a note for their children that said "Dear Children, Do not let Daddy touch the microwave, or the stove, or the dishwasher, or the dryer..."

Anytime since then, if I've needed to clarify to Surfer Pirate something about President Monson, I just remind him of that talk. He will usually smile because he knows exactly what I'm talking about. And even though he has no interest in my church, he's always been very supportive of my church attendance and activities. I know that watching President Monson's talk has helped shape his opinion of what a good thing it is for me.

Anyway, with all the memories of that sweet time at the beginning of our romance floating around in my head today, I decided to look for that talk on Youtube. I highly recommend that people watch it. I know a lot of my readers aren't members of my church and may not care at all about what those beliefs are, but I recommend watching it because of the way he talks about his wife. You don't have to share my beliefs in order to see how very important she is to him. Just months after this talk, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and it's such a sweet story of how deeply they still love each other after all that time.

You can see the video here.
(Anyone want to teach me how to post a video from Youtube on here so I don't have to link everything? I can't figure it out.)

If Surfer Pirate and I are blessed to both still be alive in 57 years, I want us to be like that.

...of course, we'll also be the ones sitting on our front porch in our matching rocking chairs holding hands with a rifle next to each of us so we can threaten kids to stay off our lawn.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In the Air

I could be doing Stupid Criminal Saturday today, but I'm just not interested.

... because today feels like SPRING!!!

It's still only in the 30's, but the sun is out and snow is starting to melt. We took advantage of the sunshine and warmer air and went outside to play today. Pirate Baby was excited to run around in his walker with his bare little feet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feeling Spoiled

This kitty heaven really is someone's house! I've been a fan for years! Check out their website here.

When I grew up, most of my family lived several states away from us. But I did have one aunt and uncle who lived just minutes away from us.

My aunt wanted a little girl more than anything.

She had a boy. And then another boy. And another boy. And another.

No girls.

So my sister and I were her girls.

(She's also a fellow kitty lover, so that picture above is really appropriate.)

For our birthdays, she started a really fun tradition. She would take us out for some one-on-one shopping time. I know there was a price limit to our shopping trip, but I don't remember her ever saying how much. In my head, it was hundreds. Obviously, it wasn't that much in reality. I would get to buy anything I wanted and look as long as I wanted in different stores. Sometimes, we'd go to the mall. After shopping, we would eat on the upstairs level of our mall's McDonald's (yes, our McDonald's had two levels). Sometimes, we would go to - my favorite - our big downtown department store. Wherever we went, the best part was getting to be the center of attention for that day.

When I was 16 years old, my aunt received the best news! She was pregnant with a girl!! I was so excited, you would think it was MY baby! Ironically, they moved out of state when my sweet little girl cousin was only a few months old. It was really sad, and I've missed them terribly.

And then I became an adult, started my own family, and life moved on.

Then, this December, shortly before Christmas, I got a surprise present!

In it were several beautiful things from my aunt! She had sent me some pirate theme things and some dragon theme things. (How she has remembered I was born in the Year of the Dragon, I have no idea!)

I got this really cool Pirate Ship necklace

And this gorgeous sun-catcher

And this amazing Dragon pin with Pirate elements

There was also a really nice guardian angel pin, but I couldn't get a decent picture of it.

Monday was my birthday. I've been very spoiled by my family, but I knew about everything I was getting.

Except for the two packages that showed up in my mailbox by surprise that day! My aunt sent me more stuff!!

This adorable baby dragon necklace

This fun pirate pin

And this book*

So I feel exceptionally loved and spoiled by one of my very favorite aunts. I kind of feel like that young girl again - going on special shopping trips with my aunt.

*And no, Aunt L, I've never seen this book! I'm excited to read one that you love. Thank you so much for the sweet gifts! I love you, and miss you and I can't wait to have your newest grandbaby join me as a fellow Dragon Baby!