Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gluttons for Punishment...

Yep, that's us; Gluttons for punishment. At least that's what my Brother-in-law Ryan kindly pointed out to us when he saw our new home sweet home. Okay, Ryan's not the only one to tactfully tell us our house is a fixer upper. Other phrases I've heard people utter are are:
"loaded with potential" (a nicer way of pointing out all the hard work.)
"Oh Boy." (a noncommittal response.)
Or just plain silence. (If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.)

To be fair, most of these I heard coming from Shane or myself.

Yea, Shane and I weren't oblivious to the shape of the house when we bought. We decided we were up to the challenge because we're hoping to add a lot of equity with our reno projects. Speaking of our reno projects, would you like to see our to-do list?

Total kitchen gut
Major landscaping projects that will require the use of a bulldozer
Refinishing hardwood floors
Adding two bedrooms, a bathroom and a family room to the unfinished basement .
Carport conversion
New windows throughout the whole house

Oh look at the happy family. Will they still be smiling in a few months? Who can say.

The silver lining to the house is that the existing 1.5 baths are REALLY beautiful. I love them. Here is the .5 bath in the master bedroom.

And here's the full bath. I love this slate tile!

We also love that there is not a stitch of carpet in this house. It has the original hardwood floors throughout the home. The back room in this picture is an addition. It will be impossible to exactly match the hardwood floors without spending a small fortune, so we will be putting down travertine tiles in that room.

This kitchen no longer exists. All the cabinets have been ripped out (and saved for the laundry and storage rooms.) They needed to go; it was the right thing to do. Our new cabinets should be arriving any day now!

As you can see, the exterior could use some major curb appeal.

Oh boy, we are gluttons for punishment. At least the house has potential. Right....right? Anybody there?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My new love: Goody bags

My sister-in-law Anna, aka super runner,(Really, she came in fourth overall) managed the impossible today...

She convinced me to run a 5K.

I see that the above picture mentions a 5K walk, so I would just like to take this time to clear any confusion and say that I DID run. Thank you.

Below is Tracy, (Anna's sister-in-law) me, and co. at the finish line with our mini pumpkins they handed out instead of trophy's. I'd take a mini pumpkin anyday.

It was definitly worth it for the grab bag: TWO running shirts, pedometer, Hale Center Theater tickets and chap stick. Now that I know 5K's really aren't that scary, maybe I'll run a few more.

On the way home Shane you can run a 10K!!! YEAH RIGHT is all I have to say.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shampoo Free

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. My problems are no volume and too greasy. I found this blog on treating your hair in a natural way and I think I might give it a try. It's really fascinating and informative. My mom has told me for years and years that baking soda and Vinegar are the best ingredients for your hair, and this blogger has researched why they are so great for your hair and gives other ideas like honey, herbs, avacado and more. If you want to save money or are like me and need hair help, check out this's really informative:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back Roads Montana

I realize I post a lot about Montana, but I just wanted to get another post in. Shane was on a Montana tourism site a few days ago and found this picture:

It's tiny I know, but that's as big as it would go without losing all the beautiful detail. The reason I think it's neat enough to post about, is because we took a picture in the exact same spot last last summer and the summer before as well. It's in Glacier National Park on Lake Mcdonald.

Below is our version of the same spot. We rode our bikes on a trail called Apgar and found this gorgeous landscape to take pictures. Apparantly we weren't the only ones with the idea.

The cast of characters is Aunt Amy, Cousin Kesler (center), Cousin Bridger and Avery.

Right now, our computer's screen saver is of the same picture, but with our family.
Just thought I'd share!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huckleberries 101

I just love saying Huckleberry.....Huck-le-ber-ry. Rolls right off the tongue. I also love eating them like in pies, shakes, cream cheese and doughnut topping or over crepes, which is all the ways Shane and I had Huckleberries on our recent 2 week vacation to Montana. In August Huckleberries are in full swing and we took full advantage

Here are some interesting facts about Blueberry's little-known close cousin.

*Huckleberries are very similar to blueberries except smaller and a little more tart. They also have more antioxidents than Blueberries.

*Huckleberries are almost exclusively grown in the wild, they're pretty spoiled that way. They need the right altitude, moisture, cool temperature or else they refuse to grow. So...if you ever find yourself in a nursery asking for a Huckleberry bush, and they sell you one; know that you more than likely taking home a Blueberry bush.

*Huckleberries grow in the Northwest like Montana, Washington, and parts of Canada. Shane says he's had some on the Tetons and we heard from Grandma and Grandpa Hughes that they found some in Russia.

*The going rate for a gallon of Huckleberries is $39. Why are they worth so much? Because you have to fight the bears for them! That's right, bears love Huckleberries so watch out and have your bear spray close by. The pictures represent $117.00, or three gallons of Huckleberries. (please nobody check my math.) We hiked a mile or so up a mountain in the beautiful Jewel Basin and spent 4 hours picking huckleberries and we did not sell any of them! They are in my freezer as we speak, just sitting there being delicious and healthy... waiting to be made into a pie.

You can always tell a Huckleberry picker by their purple hands. Or in Shane's case, a purple tongue.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beautiful You Makeup.

My talented sister-in-law, Cali, is striking up her own career as a make-up artist. She does a very beautiful job so I thought I'd giver her a shout-out. Also, if you click on her web address, and click on "before and after," you might recognize a couple of people.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Short update

We sold our condo a few weeks ago and have moved in with my mom and dad for the time being. I think this also means I will be putting my blog on hold until we can set up our own computer and get our own internet. I guess I can post a few random updates, but it's just not the same without pictures, and I'm pretty sure my parents don't want all my pics downloaded onto their computer... I mean they love me and all, but I thinking moving in with them is where they draw the line:) I will still be looking at all my wonderful friends and families blogs however.

Happy Summer everyone.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Calf Creek

We spent last weekend at one of our family's favorite vacation spots in Utah. We love it so much because of a beautiful hike that takes nearly all day but leads you to two really beautiful waterfalls. The picture above is of our feet just after the hike. Avery was a real trooper on this hike...and let me tell you, it's not all that child friendly in many parts, but she did exceptionally well, as did my niece and nephew Emma and Eli who are also 4 and 5.

Here's Emma and Avery taking in the view of what we just hiked and thinking "I can't believe we just did that...we're awesome!"

I still have not figured out how to put pictures in order, so this has nothing to do with the hike. This was taken after 3 days without showering (TMI- I know) and my hair had been in braids for 24 hours. I kept trying to convince my family I looked like Taylor Swift, but they weren't really buyin' it.

Alright, back to the hike. These are the little ones bragging (with encouragement from me) about how tough they are for making the hike.

Casey, Lynley, and me. Lynley completely surprised us by driving from Washington to come on this trip with us. That's how incredible it is people! I'm so glad she and Eli came. It wouldn't have been the same without them.

What you can't see from this picture is me screaming. The water is ridiculously cold, so I wanted a picture close to the water, but not actually in it. As I stood there posing, the entire water fall moved over and soaked me to the bone. It felt like sheets of ice pouring on my head. Meanwhile my husband and family just laughed! The nerve.
Shane to the rescue!

Here's the before picture (again out of order) just so you know I'm not lying. If you notice, I'm standing in the same place, but the water fall actually moved in a very malicious way.

There were soooo many beautiful wild flowers. I just love Southern Utah. We are lucky to live so close to such an incredible place on the planet.

Here we are at the top of a water fall that's about 3 miles down stream from the previous waterfall. I wish this picture could actually capture how high it is. It was fun to wave to the people below.

The hike between the upper and lower falls is full of surprises. At times it's almost like a nature-made water park. Here's Emma and Avery sliding down a mossy slope.

The day before we hiked to the bottom of the falls that we were standing on top of in two photos previous. (Am I making any sense?) We had such a good time, and I'm sure we'll go again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Shane ended up making it to church today after all. He arrived from his fishing trip in Idaho at 2am and made it up in time to come to church. The kids did pretty well, except for Sage randomly shouting "Mama!" when he'd remember I was sitting on the stand. Of course I loved it.

Here are a few of the thoughts I about mothers I shared in church today.

"Sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less to give to others, and even to your children." Elder Ballard, April '08 conference.

"Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God and true happiness. One of Satan's most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. This is an attack at the very heart of God's plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support. Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, not can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home." Elder Richard G. Scott

"The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make...I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of my three children sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."
Author Anna Quindlen

"Your success as a family...our success as a nation depends not on what happens inside the White House, but what happens inside your house." Barbara Bush

Thank you for all your helpful suggestions, and Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I need your help family and friends!

This Sunday (Mother's Day) I have to give a talk in church about the role of motherhood. (gulp)
And not only that but I have to sing in the choir. (double gulp)
And to top it all off Shane won't be at church on Sunday which means my 2 children will be sitting on the church pew unattended! (triple gulp)

If anyone out there in cyber world has any great -or even just mediocre- Mother's day thoughts, quotes, poems, short stories, recitations, skits, novels, or television programs...please send them my way. Leave it in the comments section, so all can 10 people who read this can bask in the glorious thoughts about mothers, or email me at I don't know when, and I don't know how, (name that song.) but I promise I will make it up to you somehow.

Thank you and have a good day.

Disclaimer: In no way shape of form would the author of this blog ever leave her children to fend for themselves on a church pew, or anywhere else for that matter. (That is what young women are for.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is where we live.

We officially have our condo up for sale. This is a leap of faith for the Hughes family because we don't actually have anywhere to move to. Despite that minor detail, something has to be done so we're taking matters into our hands. Since our house is decluttered and clean for the first time in three years, I thought I'd post the pictures of our beautifully remodeled, move-in ready, 2bdrm 1bathrm 1060sq ft with lots of storage and a beautiful view condo.

You know, just in case you might know someone.

Shane's brother has a real estate license and because he is a good big brother and also astutely interested in the well fare of his niece and nephew, has offered is expertise in selling places to sell our place.

View from our private balcony. Yes, those are tennis courts and basketball courts you're looking at, not a prison yard. Repeat, tennis and bball courts, not prison yard.

We put a lot of work into this kitchen. And by we, I think we all know I mean Shane. The slate floors look really beautiful although you can't really appreciate them in this picture.

These are my famous turquoise walls. Either you luv em' or you hate em'. I luv em'.

Dining room. Yes I'll throw in the vase of Tulips if buy this place!! So you better hurry before they die.

Shane' s favorite piece of furniture in the whole house! wink, wink. He hates this couch, but in my defense it makes the room look enormous.

See the armoire, I'm sitting there right this moment typing this very word. The art work above the fireplace is my favorite accessory in the house. It says, "It'll cost nothing to dream, and everything not to." with a tall glass of iced lemonade. The artwork above the sofa in the previous photo says, "Share a random moment." with a picture of two cups of coffee. (Sorry if the coffee offends anyone. Well, not really.)

Here is the spare bedroom, which in our case is the master bedroom. It's just too small for our two kids to sleep and play, so they got the "actual" master bedroom. (Feel free to nominate us for parents of the year.)

Here's the kid's/"actual" master bedroom. You would think that giant sized bunny on Avery's be would scare my kids, but it doesn't.

Last, but most important, El Bano.
I know that this doesn't look like the place of someone who has an associates degree in Interior Design, but one day, when I get over my obsessive compulsive behavior to save money rather than spend it (which some people confuse with being "cheap") I will have the home of my dreams. At which point you may still think it does not look like the home of someone with an associates degree in interior design.
Thank you and have a lovely day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Snow Canyon and Zions pictures

I love Snow Canyon. You're surrounded by 360 degrees of red rock. Here's our camp ground.

This is more of Angel's landing:

It's hard to take a bad shot in Southern Utah.

Oops...How did this get in here. That's awkward.

I just can't handle the cuteness

Are there any Mothers out there who can relate?

These switchbacks are called Walter's Wiggles. I just love that name.

This little contraption allows us to go on better bike rides. We got a lot of rubber neckers while we were out riding.

Even his grumpy face is adorable.

More cuteness that I just can't handle. These next pictures were taken at the sand dunes in Snow Canyon. The sand was so soft and wonderful, I wanted to bury my hands and feet in it all day. It felt like a manicure and foot massage.

What's a day at the sand dunes if you can't dig a large hole. Go ahead and try NOT to do it. I dare you.

Please consider this next photo your Christmas card. We are all doing very well. Merry Christmas.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Avery and Shane's Bedtime Conversation Last Night.

Before bedtime last night Shane was explaining the reason he hadn't been able to play with Avery that night.

Shane: I'm sorry I couldn't play with you tonight. I was working on some things on the computer so we can have enough money in the future. (he was setting up a retirement account.)

Avery: So you can send me to college?

Shane: Ummm...yeah.

Avery: So I can become the next president of the United States?

Watch out Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and Mit Romney! She is definitely sassy enough.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Avery took these pictures.

The world according to a four year old:
Author's note: I'm not usually this cheesy in photographs, but Avery was really cranky after hiking 2 miles uphill and I was trying my hardest to cheer her up. Thank you.

On her next photography lesson, I'll teach her about not cutting the tops of heads off.

Oh wait, she's doing better already.

Okay maybe not. Here's me trying to be cool...but not really succeeding.

We had a lot of fun and I'll post more photos of Snow Canyon and our hike up Angels Landing at a later date. (For those of you who have hiked Angel's Landing and are freaking out about taking 4 and 2 year old children on such a dangerous hike, don't worry, we stopped before the death defying steep stuff.)