Apr 25, 2009

For the Love of Vinyl!

I love vinyl lettering! I think I still do anyway. The bug started when I got this made for our kitchen (pictured below). Maybe it's confusing since many people have said upon reading it "You guys didn't move here in 2004?". Oh well. Then I got a couple things for the kids rooms. A couple of girls from church have a business and were having a sale one morning so I came home with a couple things. I talked to my sister on the phone when I got home and told her I found such a cute little saying to put up in Mason's room and read it to her over the phone. Leigh said "How did they spell 'no buddy'?" and so I said "n-o space b-u-d-d-y......why?......OH!!!!!" the play-on-words had JUST occured to me.
Then I got a quote for Elizabeth's room. Let me tell you, applying this quote was the single most frustrating experience of my life.
Firstly, vinyl can be kind of tricky to apply, especially if it comes in as long of a strip as this one did. When I started to remove the paper side (I guess people who've done this before will know what I'm talking about) the word strip got all magled up like a piece of scotch tape does if you aren't careful while tearing off a long piece from the roll. I'm not sure how long I spent trying to fix my mistake - I just know that it took about as long as it did for Mason to finally cry himself to sleep in the next room for his nap. The more I worked, the more it seemed to tangle and stick. I was reaching the point of furious and was completely frustrated that my good money might just as well have been thrown down the drain. As I worked and grew more frustrated, Elizabeth was keeping herself amused behind me by dismantling and reassembling her humidifier, over and over. With the impossible sticky vinyl mess, combined with the clunck clunck clunck of humidifier parts crashing together, I felt a scream about to launch out of my throat. So even though Mason had JUST cried himself into deep sleep and Morgan was also napping in our room down the hall, I let out a huge shriek. Consequently, Mason woke up briefly though Morgan didn't stir....not surprising I guess.
Secondly, after I finally had the thing untangled, I put it on the wrong wall. How could I make such a huge mistake you might ask? Elizabeth has two walls in a light lilac and two walls in a medium lilac. I asked for the word strip in white, thinking it would go well on the darker lilac - though in my slightly-not-thinking-straight head I was also imagining it would go well above her window (which is NOT on the darker lilac), like in Mason's room. When all was said and done and I had applied it above her window and peeled the baking away to look at my finsihed product - I could barely see it on the wall. In my fury to detangle I hadn't thought it through. White vinyl letters on a nearly-white/lilac wall doesn't work! So - I had to get up on a chair, take off each letter individuall and apply it the darker wall. My neck was aching from looking up while I peeled off each letter from above the window and I was starting to sweat and get really hot. Once I had all the letters peeled and applied by hand I stood back to look at my work.
Thirdly, since I am obviously too stuborn and frustrated at this point to go all the way to the basement to get a ruler or a level, the words weren't centered or leveled properly which at this point you'd think wouldn't be a big deal, as long is it was DONE, though I knew if I left it like it was it would annoy me forever. So, I put another half an hour of my time into straightening out the words until they were just right. In the end I ended up making the quote into two lines - and even now it's not quite centered beneath the pictures, but I figure it would easier to move the pictures than to try again.......
So in the end, I am thankful for a little girl who has so much enthusiasm. Even though she watched me work on these letters all afternoon yesterday, when I went in her room this morning to say good morning she was pointing at the letters and saying " OOOOOOHHHHH WOOOOOOOOOOW!".
SO worth it.

Apr 22, 2009

Yay for Visitors!

We've had the pleasure of much company in the last month of so! Some of our family and friends have stopped in for a welcomed visit! My cousin Steve spent a couple days with us while he worked at the Calgary Auto Show this spring. He graciously gave us free tickets to the show which we enjoyed! At the show, Elizabeth and Morg enjoyed cruising in the flashy cars while Mason and I enjoyed cruising all the contest entry booths. We didn't win anything....yet. Morgan's cousin Darren stopped in for a night on his way to a committment in Calgary early the next morning. Pictured below is Darren and Elizabeth shopping on their knees together. It's WAY more fun that way!
Darren and Elizabeth having dessert.
Okay so Venus wasn't visiting Calgary since she lives here...but she was visiting us in Airdrie!
Our high school friend Ben and his girlfriend Lyndsay were visiting from Ottawa this week. They are so fun, I wish we still lived in the same city. We had a great time talking about Morg's police stories, Ben's teaching stories, and Lyndsay's nursing stories from the labour and delivery unit, over bbq-ed steak from our sweet new grill. This is us being normal.
This is us being silly! Elizabeth is doing the Austin Power's "mwuhaha" with her pinky finger. Mason is wondering what kind of strange family he was born into.
It's always a blast having friends and family visit from out of town. I think after Ben and Lyndsay left last night we both had a moment of home sickness! I guess it's always nice to have such familiar faces visit us!

Apr 5, 2009

This One's For You Edward

So. I've confessed to my husband. I have feelings for another man. His name is Edward. He is perfect. I love him. Is this wrong???? Probably. I'm not sure how she did it, but Stephenie Meyers created the most perfect love story of all time! Okay, okay, so it's kind of lame to think a vampire love story is epic - don't judge me. Unless you've read the books, you wouldn't understand. The movie was truly satisfying. Despite the overload of white make up, the terrible acting and embarassing special effects, it completely delivered (again, you'd have to read the books to understand...). I don't remember feeling this obssessed since the Backstreet Boys. It's kind of pathetic. Oh well it's fun and for some reason my husband supports my continuing to read these books. Maybe he likes the romantic mood they put me in.

The Cheap Toy Doll

So, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind. Morg and I were totally mentally exhausted by the end of it! We almost bought another house - though in the end we knew it wasn't the right decision. Our friends were selling their 4 bedroom home that backs onto a canal, just a few blocks from us. It was beautiful, with hardwood and dark stained cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a mudroom, a deck, fenced, partially finished basement. It was perfect. We thought we could keep our townhome and rent it out as an investment. It all sounded ideal - we were financially approved for this plan with our mortgage broker, and in the end we would sell the townhome and cash in on our equity! Perfect. But all week something just didn't feel right. We knew we'de have to live REALLY tightly in the new house - as in hardly ANY money for anything other than food, mortgage and bills! We thought and thought and thought ALL week about it, but something just didn't feel right about it. We went through every possible scenario, including selling our townhome (which involved me acting on a whim, running over to my renting neighbours' house who are currently looking to buy something and offering them our home for a"good deal" - in hindsight that might have seemed SLIGHTLY desperate and strange....) or renting it out until we would try to sell it next spring, or renting it out indefinately. We thought about me taking on a couple kids part time doing day care to make things a bit more comfortable. We thought about me looking for a different part time job that would only take a few hours a week just to bring in a bit extra cash. Every morning for over a week, Morg and I woke up feeling like we needed to buy the house and that it was such a great investment - though by the end of the day we weren't comfortable with the idea anymore. If we could just live really tightly for a couple years, if we could always count on having renters in the townhome, and if we could guarantee that the Calgary housing market wasn't going to take any further hits, it would be the perfect plan - but we couldn't trust that any or all of these conditions were possible, so in the end I had to make the dreaded phone call to our friends and tell them that we couldn't buy their house. A day or two later the house ended up selling and Morgan said it was a relief almost since we didn't have to think about it anymore. The thought of buying this house had consumed our lives for a week. Morgan said at one point: "This is the hardest decision we've ever had to make. Getting married? Not hard. Having kids? Not hard. Picking up and moving to Calgary? Not hard. But buying this house - I have no idea." So since our decision, we've been thinking a lot about how much we appreciate our humble 1100 square foot home. It is our HOME. We already have so many memories in it. Morgan works four days on, four days off, so we get to spend loads of time together and so having a small day care, even if only one of two days a week, would take away from our family time together. So, in the end, we realized we will move when we feel comfortable and excited (not worried) to do so! Where does the cheap toy doll come in, you might ask? During this whole thought process - I often looked at our kids and felt a bit sad. I felt like I was being ungrateful for the things we have. I would watch Elizabeth play and talk to herself and her toys and I would think about how little it takes to make her happy. I would get really annoyed at myself for letting this whole "bigger house" idea consume my life, when I had two beautiful kids who were ready to play and have fun right NOW. One day Elizabeth was playing with a really cheap, tiny doll that came from a little princess set from the dollar store. She played with it ALL day. She washed her in the sink, she bathed her in a bowl of water, she brought her to bed with her. It was probably the smallest, most boring and ugly little doll that she owns, but she was thrilled with it!!! I just reminded me that we don't necessarily need a whole lot in our lives, as long as we appreicate what we do have. So this is my corny blog post to look back on and remember how much we've been blessed with! This is a picture of Elizabeth's doll. I took it next to her lamp to give a perspective of how teeny it is. A close up - the paint is chipping off her face.
Doll getting a shower.