Dave just returned a few days ago from a long trip to the other side of the world. It’s strange how much more I miss him when he’s fourteen hours ahead of me…not being able to just pick up the phone and call or text because he’s probably sound asleep while I’m running kids all over creation. It is just plain weird.

I don’t like that so many details of life I want to share with him slip through the cracks when he’s gone. I forget to tell him things like how good Lucy was at the doctor or how Grace cracked me up with some funny joke. He misses the minutia of life here and that makes me sad for him. And it makes me sad for me that I don’t get to share it with him.

Here are some of the things he missed:

1) We practically tore the whole house apart when we got the carpets cleaned and I pulled off all the slipcovers from the couches at the same time to wash them. We’re trying to rid ourselves of what’s causing us to sneeze uncontrollably around here.It made me wish we had white couches. I love that look.

Then I caught a glimpse of my dear childrens’ bare feet…they were practically black on the bottom.

I quickly reconsidered.

2) Elle dropped her violin on the floor. Yep, just went ahead and dropped it. It got squashed. Luckily she was able to borrow one for her big concert. And a very nice man whose house was pungent with cigarette smoke was able to fix it beautifully. It may smell like smoke for a few months but it sure looks great.

Elle’s that one in that dark, back corner, glowing with that cute little smile.
(Max was at b-ball and yes, those are Claire’s shoes Lu is wearing…we somehow got there without hers…but that’s no surprise for our family.)

We saw this sunset on the way to the concert:Grace took pictures because it was so gorgeous none of us could hardly stand it.

3) Max had his final basketball tournament.
He played ball for SIX hours. Yes, six. Six games all in one day, four of them back to back. They were practically crawling on the ground by the last one but they came in second place. (Another thing for that Tiger Mother to wag her finger at us for, but man alive, Max’s team is fun to watch win or lose.)

4) In between b-ball games I had to practically do my own crawling over to check myself into urgent care because my allergies hit an all-time-horrible level. You know it’s bad when I go to the doctor…I generally reserve doctors for my children. But I could hardly breathe. All week I felt like I was under water in a fog because of all the different medicine I was taking to try to combat it. They gave me a shot and all kinds of medicine but those darn symptoms stuck around all week long.

Dave and I have this on-going debate about what you should do when you get sick. He says get rest and drink water. I say keep going full speed and it’ll work it’s way out of your system. My theory was proven wrong as I ran around and just kept getting sicker and sicker through the week. My poor kids had to really pick up the slack and help out since I was a single parent. Not so fun. I just hope I made some semblance of sense with those I had meetings with, etc.

I did have a pretty sweet dream about Tom Hanks when I was in my allergy fog: I ran into he and his wife in the mall and then got to interview them in their penthouse NY studio apartment that was furnished completely with IKEA furnishings…

5) Elle had her tennis tournament.

6) I stole Max away from school for a lunch date.

We haven’t done this since he started Jr. High when we found out it’s much trickier to steal your children away from there than it is from elementary school.
I must say he was pretty darn excited…so was I…

…especially since he chose something other than McDonalds. Hallelujah.

7) I got to be the “mystery reader” in Claire’s class.8) I had a slew of new doctor appointments for Lucy, one of which was so frustrating…more on that later…

9) I took Elle to the high school orchestra concert (the one I wrote about here) to watch some of our talented Young Women.

10) I got to read in Lucy’s classroom for Dr. Seuss’s birthday:As you can tell, I think I was way more excited about it than the kids. I love Dr. Seuss.

11) Claire was invited to try out for a more advanced “team” at her gym. And she made it. Many more thoughts on that later too…

But amongst the myriad of things we did while Dave was gone, the biggest, most exciting thing we did was follow through on Max and Elle’s Christmas gift: to switch around their bedrooms. They’ve both been begging to switch forever. Finally we gave in.

Max’s room went from this:
to this:
to this: (we’re going to paint that desk)
Elle is the proud new resident.

And Elle’s room went from this:
to this:
Well yeah, we have a LOT of work to do on both of them, especially this one. The trouble is I can’t for the life of me find boy teenage-looking-but-fit-for-guests-when-they-come-to-town-to-take-over-his-room bedding. Or cool beds. I found a couple but I can’t seem to pull the trigger…

The kids kicked in and did some SERIOUS helping (even though they were a little sad they didn’t get to help paint like they did when we did Grace’s room). It was a LOT of work…most of which was done in a fog of allergies for me.

None of us slept much for ten days.

We are so happy to have Dave home, safe and sound.

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  1. My children climb into the car without shoes on all the time. I find myself asking, five minutes down the road, almost every time we are going somewhere… "Shoes! Are there shoes on everyone's feet?"

    Sometimes, we've been lucky and like you did, managed to find an extra pair in the car. And sometimes, we've been stuck and had to turn around and go back home to get shoes. And maybe once or twice, I've gone shopping with a barefoot toddler. (Should I hide after admitting that? I promise it wasn't cold outside when it happened…)

    Love all the pictures, and happy your husband is home safe and sound.

  2. Happy to hear Dave made it home safely. Did he feel any of the affects of the earth quake from Japan?
    Sorry, I'm going to have to agree with Dave on the sickness remedy. Lots of rest and plenty of liquids. That is some cut rate medical advice for ya. Allergies are miserable, ours don't hit until summer.
    Okay, I notice that Lucy always wears dresses. Is she particular to dresses? My niece REFUSES to wear anything other than dresses and skirts….go figure.
    I think I've asked this before, but I can't remember. Did you paint the woodwork in your house white, or did it come that way? I've planned out my summer painting job for the interior. All woodwork is going to be painted white.

  3. Dang! I just wrote a comment and when I left for two seconds to wipe off Charlottes black, ink covered fingers, Henry deleted everything. So, too lazy to re- comment all my thoughts, but I must know, what is the paint color in Elle's new room?! I LOVE it. So, so beautiful and exactly what I am looking for. Lucky girl! And Max's old bed is pretty amazing, too.

  4. what a beautiful family you have! I've enjoyed reading your blog the last few weeks (found it through your profile on mormon.org). Anyways . . .
    -that sunset is a-mazing.
    -and, I was wondering what paint colors you used in both of the bedrooms? One looks grey and the other kinda taupe? Or maybe they're both grey now. Hard to tell through pictures.
    -oh, and I loved the link to your 7 motherhood ideas. We do a friday movie night too. Well, actually it's a Wipeout night, but it counts the same. The kids and the parents love it. 🙂

  5. Love how the new rooms are taking shape! I am an Interior Designer (that is actually my "real" job) so if you need help finding that bed I can do it from Oklahoma! 🙂
    I am also curious what the "W" means on the piece of art in Elle's room.
    I never sleep when Donnie is out of town either. I am glad he is home safe and you are all good!

  6. Been to the same stinky house to get my violins fixed. Were there lots of cats too? Looks like you had a fun time while Dave was away.

  7. Ok, here are my answers to questions:

    Luckily Dave was gone before the earthquake occured…we are so sad for all those people affected so much by that!

    Lucy wears dresses mostly because sadly she can't fit into anything else. We are pretty limited on clothing for that girl.

    Yes, our woodwork has always been white. Good luck with your summer paint project, Susan!

    Julie, how in the world are you!?? Miss you.

    The paint color in both rooms is Dunn Edwards "Foggy Day" made 50% darker. I LOVE it. And I'm excited to get the colorful picture frames and canvases we have planned out up on the walls…some day…

    The "W" in Elle's room is for Wellesley which is Elle's full name, and Robyn, I'll take any decorating advice you're willing to send!

    I'm really debating on painting the desk. Elle wants to (She was a little confused when I brought home an old desk from an antique store, but I love it….I'll have to take pictures of the legs, very cute.)

  8. Hi, you don't know me, but I found your blog through your "I'm a Mormon" video. 🙂 …I am in complete awe over how gorgeous Elle is. She is just completely breathtaking, my goodness… 🙂

  9. Hi: I enjoy reading your blog and just wanted to tell you to try a Netti Pot or NelliMed for your allergies. I finally gave in and did it after my 5th sinus infection and it is making a world of difference. How's that for a random comment from a stranger? I feel kinda silly…of all the things to comment on. But really, try it.

  10. wow. i am exhausted just reading that and knowing that you did it all riding solo, and unwell! (hope you fee better by the way – I am with Dave – rest and fluids)

    love Elle's new room! I really like the way you have decorated her bed. Still so feminine and yet no pinks or purples!! (how did you manage that!?!)

    Can i ask where your children do homework? Is it in another area of the house? I just see that their rooms are so neat and appear to be free of all the 'cluuter' and 'stuff' that my kids seem to accumulate and then cover their desks and bedsides with ..
    would love to hear your way of doing the homework, room cleaning and toy/personal items storage thing at your place. when you have time, of course, and only after you've rested! thanks Shawni.

    (your parents may or may not have covered these topics in one of their books? they are hard to come by in Australia)

  11. hi there. so i'm an avid blogger and my husband, knowing that, shared your mormon video with me for FHE tonight. he said, "i haven't watched the whole thing yet, but i know you'll love it." well he was right. i did. and now i've been on your blog for nearly 2 hours. i don't know much about your family, but i'm already loving them. thanks for being a great example to me already and helping my outlook on my future mommy-hood exciting. -caley

  12. Allergies? You probably don't want unsolicited advice, but here goes. I live in south Texas, and mountain cedar makes this area one of the very worst places for allergies in the country so unfortunately I've had some experience….here's what I've learned this year which was considered one of the worst cedar seasons in years, and I had one of my best as far as health goes.

    1. No windows or doors left open…my husband has been dying to paint…I've told him he has to wait!

    2. HEPA air purifiers…I bought a Holmes allergen remover from Target for each of the main living areas of our house this year and my bedroom…absolutely incredible!!! expensive? Yes, but it has made a world of difference. When I went to change my heating/cooling filters (which is also good to do), I couldn't believe how clean they were simply from running a few air purifiers in the house.

    3. Allergen casings for mattresses and pillows.

    4. Do not spend time outside if you can at all help it, especially during the peak times. Don't exercise outside most of all. Shower and change clothes after spending time outside. Yes, it's a pain, but you just want to get that stuff off of you.

    5.Sleep, sleep, sleep. And, vitamin D too (like at least 2000 I.U. of it).

    You have such a lovely blog and gorgeous family. Sorry to throw out so much advice, but it has saved me from collapsing with my annual bronchitis/pneumonia deal.

  13. I love reading your blog. Makes me feel like my family may actually be normal. Love Lu in her big sisters shoes. We actually have family pictures from when we were trying to rush to meet a photographer for pics and my youngest left the house with no shoes on! Of course we didn't know until we got to the location. Gotta love it.

  14. Try this for guests, buy a queen comforter (i like the down alternative, because it is machine washable) and duvet (i bought mine in white so it can go to diff. rooms) and keep it just for guests. You can store in those gigantic zip lock bags, so you are always ready for guests with a fresh comforter and duvet. I bought both at Target recently for under $60. You certainly accomplished a lot while your hubby was gone!

    For sinus issues, I really like the Simply Saline products (you can get them anywhere). It really helps keep the sinuses clear.

    I have to go take a nap. I am exhausted from reading your last few posts!! hugs, Cathy

  15. Please, Please, Please, tell me where you got Elle's bedding and that chair. My daughter saw this post and LOVED it. I promised her bedding for her birthday, so it would be perfect to surprise her.

    BTW, I absolutely love your blog and I still love Lucy! And, now, I'm reading your sisters' blogs and your family is just such an inspiration and all of you are so down to earth and funny. My SIL met your parents and Charity and your brother and his wife in India when they were working with Rising Star. What a treat.

    Anyhoo, I would love your secret shopping info if you could send it to salindamaxey@gmail.com that would be great.

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