Friday, July 29, 2016

Yard Makeover

We have spent the past year totally overhauling our yard. You can't tell from the pictures (only sort of) how BAD the yard was when we moved in. It was just awful. A hilly, weedy, thorny, mess.

Here's the before....

And here's the after. We finished the retaining wall, leveled the entire yard, put in new sod, planted trees, bushes, ground cover, etc, added a growbox, put in gravel and pavers on the side of the house where the garbage cans are, put in edging and mulch all around the flowerbeds. It's so nice to have a yard that we can actually enjoy.

I guess I should have taken the after pictures when the shade wasn't covering most of the yard. But you get an idea. It really looks 500 times better.

Emmy's 6th Birthday Party

Our Emmy turned 6! For her birthday she had a fun party with some friends from school. We set up the sprinkler under the trampoline and a slip-n-slide at the bottom of the slide on the swingset. We'll probably get hunted down by the drought police but they had a ball!

Pretend City

We went to this darling place called Pretend City. It really was like a miniature city. The kids got "time cards" ad could go work in the grocery store, doctor's office, post office, library, mechanic shop, police station, art studio, restaurant farm, etc. They could get stamps on their time card and turn it in at the end at the ATM for play money. It was super cute.

California ruins lives

If you're thinking of moving to California, just don't. You life will be ruined. Here is what you can expect....

When you are looking to buy a house, there will not be any homes that you love. They'll all need work and they'll all be expensive. Also, don't expect sellers to do dishes or vacuum before a showing. They just won't clean the house before you look at it. And you'll have to settle for something you don't love and that is a fixer-upper.

When you buy said fixer-upper and move in, there will be a bunch of junk in your house that the sellers have left behind. It will also be filthy. You will have to replace everything inside because it's gross or it has broken and you will have to completely redo the yard because it's a giant weedhole hill and it's just a complete disaster. This will cost you hours of time and a buttload of money.

The movers will damage half your stuff in transport. They will not pay the full amount to replace the damaged items. So you're stuck with broken stuff.

Everyone will treat you like you're an annoyance to them. Especially service providers who are supposed to be trying to earn your business. This includes home repair people, contractors, landscapers, doctors, store clerks, etc. It will also take an extremely long time to get anything done or get an appointment anywhere. You are not a priority to anyone.

You will be lonely. No one in your neighborhood will ever be home. Your kids will not have any friends to play with. Even if they have friends at school, no one will be able to play ever because they all go to daycare. You will go insane from having to be a 24/7 playmate (among all your other roles in life) and having to play Shopkins or Barbies or whatever. You just cannot replace other kids in your child's life. You will speak to an adult who is not your husband maybe once a month. And if you do finally make a friend after a year, they will move away. I repeat, lonely. For you and your kids.

Your family will get sick. You will get skin cancer from the sun. Your husband will break his hand, your daughter will wind up in a horrible hospital for a week with some crazy illness and eventually have to get a surgery, and your son will get diagnosed with autism by a crazy neurologist. This will all cost you more money and take away more of your sanity.

Once you get your house fixed up, things will begin breaking again and you start over. You will also get robbed and your back door will be smashed in and all your jewelry and your peace of mind will be gone forever. You will spend more money to get a security system, alarm and cameras.

Most of your friends and family you have moved away from will forget about you. When you come to visit, most will be too busy to spend time with you. People will say they will come visit you, but few people actually will. Your parents and your best friend will be the only ones who really will. If anyone else comes to California, it will be mostly to visit the beach or Disneyland or something. Most won't even tell you they're nearby.

You will be all alone and expected to do everything by yourself. You will have no help. You will rarely go out because getting a babysitter is nearly impossible. You will never get a break. If you do mention this to anyone, they will tell you to just get a maid and a nanny like the rest of Californians. Yeah right, like that is a realistic possibility.

You will realize that going anywhere takes at least an hour. And that's if there's no traffic, which there almost always will be. You will become an angry driver because of all the crap you have to deal with on the roads.

You will gain 20 pounds from all this stress and become a mean, angry, ugly, insane, untrusting person who is stuck in California. The nice, pleasant, creative, active, involved, helpful, sane, strong person you once knew will be gone. So do yourself a favor and don't ever move to California. And pray for us to be able to get out soon.


Of course we had to go boating with the Livelys too. Emmy loved it. She wanted to swim and ride the tube all day long. She also thought it was hilarious that we told her she could pee in the lake. She kept shouting out when she was going. Haha!

Hiking and sliding

We went on a hike to Donut Falls. The kids did great and it was gorgeous! We also went to Park City with Nathan and his family and rode the Alpine Slide. The kids loved it and wanted to do it again. Too bad it's ridiculously expensive. It was so fun though. Emmy also did the zipline and the ropes course. Such a fun day!

Granny's Party

We were there for Granny Lawana's annual cousin party. Zach keeps asking when we can go back to Uncle Pauls. They had a ball!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Of course when we were in Utah we had to go to the cabin. We had a great time 4-wheeling, rope swinging, hiking, throwing rocks in the river, scavenger hunting, flower salad making, hammock relaxing, and not sleeping. Ha!