Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

2011 Has been a dramatic shift from our typical mundane, hum-drum, run of the mill years we’ve collected so far; turn on some background music and get comfy-- we’ll tell you the few parts that make us sound cool.

Jack had an occupational change in January: he is now a judge. You’ve got to admit that’s pretty darn impressive for someone his age, right? Not a traditional judge, mind you. Jack works in the Quality department and judges his co-workers for a living, but let’s not nit-pick the jargon—a judge is a judge.

Dayna continues to be a constant at Westmore Elementary School where she is the most desired Title One Teacher’s Aide. In fact, both her and Jack are so valuable that their businesses are paying 200% the rate of half of what they got a year ago.

Dayna also continues to thrive in an industry of tax dodging, back door dealing, crafty-types known as crafters. She has been able to get quite a following based on her performance at the annual Holly Fair, and that keeps her busy almost year round doing custom orders for a hefty fee. She also accepts money in exchange for nothing.

On one boring afternoon, Dayna started worrying that we perhaps were running low on debt. Since everyone is worried about the housing market and economy, we decided to give our money to the people who need it the most: large banks. After looking at approximately 3,189 houses in Utah County, we still lived in an apartment in a neighborhood that Charlie Sheen once called, “Trashy.”

We toured dozens of houses formerly lived in by families of cats who clearly work in the meth production industry. “The ceiling is collapsing in the living room, and the basement ceilings are six feet tall in this one.” Jack said. “All we’ll need is nice crown molding.” Dayna would say, her unblinking, blood-shot eyes scaring even our new realtor, and this guy was a survivor.

On the brink of losing hope, Jack agreed to submit an offer on one of the least gross places they had looked at. Immediately after faxing in the paper work, Dayna got a call from competent realtor man (should we do another code name? Why not? His name is now Phil.) Phil called and said that the house which she and Jack had desired the most had accepted their initial offer. Dayna responded with a high pitched noise that most likely reward Phil with a hearing aid later in life. Jack felt the same way as Dayna though, but expressed it through much lower pitched, manly noises.

With a new house around the corner, the reality of hairy animal living with us—something we all dream of-- was about to come to fruition. There was a hitch in the plan, though. Earlier in the year—before the reality of actually getting a house had fully set in—we had purchased tickets to go to Disneyland.

The dates we would be in “The Happiest Place on Earth” (Editor’s note: what if you got the flu there? Wouldn’t be the happiest place, obviously) took place about two weeks after we moved into our new house. This meant we would need to, as responsible adults, wait until after our California trip before purchasing a puppy. JK, we bought her right away.

Anne (named after the character from Arrested Development) is our little Pomeranian, who isn’t spoiled. She never barks, is potty trained, loves everyone and won’t bite even if you stole food from inside her mouth. You may think that you’re detecting some sarcasm here, but she’s genuinely a great dog and we’re really grateful we got such a sweet puppy. I wish there was something funny to say about her, but she’s just adorable and we love her. Hopefully from the very pained expression on her face from our included picture will bring you your own holiday LOL; she really hated that outfit.

Our new house was not as dreamy as we had imagined it right away, but soon after doing several months of exhaustive renovations, we felt like all new home owners do; we don’t know where the previous owners are, but we sure hope that they’re homeless and sad now. They’ve earned it.

We are less fat than a year ago. We realize this is blatant bragging, but last year things were looking a little bleak for us. While asking for donations during a fund raiser last year, we actually had someone say, “Hey, Jabba. Look, I was just on my way to pay you back, but I got a little sidetracked! It's not my fault...” Although we did immediately refer to that person as “Bantha Fodder,” I should also note that this story is completely made up and just a lame excuse to include fat jokes, Star Wars references and back door bragging in our Christmas letter. Between the two of us we’ve lost over 100 pounds, or the weight of two dead Ewoks. We look so pretty now.

Also notable this year: Dayna directed and co-starred in a yet to be released Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Jack secretly dated Country Superstar Taylor Swift while pretending to be Taylor Lautner (which involved a lot of hunching, unnecessary shirtless time and terrible, terrible acting) and our dog Anne released Miley Cyrus’ new album, which Rolling Stone called, “substantially better than her other stuff.”

So as the year winds down we are pretty grateful for our boring lives, and those of you who continually help to keep them that way. We hope this Christmas finds you all safe, happy, healthy and living far enough away to not cause any serious damage.

Merry Christmas!

Jack, Dayna and Anne

Friday, September 2, 2011

Crafting Stuff

Working for the school district offers MANY perks. One of them being summer. I usually look for a summer job but this year I procrastinated too long and I ended up just staying home and not working. Oh how I love not working. I used the summer months to get a head start on my craft fair (November 4-5th, mark your calendar). I have a ton of fun stuff ready to sell but I decided I needed 1 craft project that could be all for me!

When we moved into this house one of my most favorite things was that we had a peep hole in the front door. Now I can successfully ignore everyone while still knowing who came to my house. Score! So there was no way I was hanging my wreath on my door (it covered my peep hole). I ended up using a hook on my house but every few weeks it would fall off and I would have to go buy another one. I finally decided I needed a stand on my porch. Something adorable but I was too cheap to buy one. I used scrap wood and a hook I had and spent $1.75 at the DI for a base and the corner piece and whiped up this beauty. I am SO happy with the results. Did I mention I spent $1.75?

Friday, July 22, 2011

7 peaks stuff

Last summer I was spoiled because my sister lived here. We spent almost every day together and we had so much fun. I miss having someone to cook for and someone who cleaned my house and entertained me when I needed it. I miss her! Luckily she's come out to visit a couple times. I think she secretly misses me more than I miss her.

A few weeks ago she came out to visit and we drug her to 7 peaks with us. We had SO much fun!
I love when she visits.

Jack is the tiny person ON the slide. This slide is way too scary for me. I've had bad experiences on slides like this. haha

In a nutshell... I love sister time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Backyard Camping

Jack loves the idea of camping. The food, the games, the tent, the fire, everything. Unforuntately he is completely convinced that the minute the sun goes down bears are circling his tent and planning their next meal. We've been camping a few times together and both times we ended up sleeping in our car. He honestly can't handle it. So a few weeks ago we decided to camp in our backyard. We have a fire pit so we could still enjoy s'mores and we could still eat camping food-- we'd just avoid the bears.

Jack's idea of camping food is a tinfoil dinner filled with steak, potatoes, corn and LOTS of butter. Delicious. I'm more of a hot dog kind of girl. We both got what we wanted and enjoyed it immensely.

Even Anne got to sleep in the tent with us.

Jack hates playing cards but since we were camping I convinced him it was a must.

Backyard camping is the way to go! It started sprinkling on us in the middle of the night so we ended up sleeping inside BUT this is the camping style we can enjoy all summer long.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Disneyland Stuff

Every spring Jack and I try to go on a vacation. Since I work for the school district it works out perfectly over spring break. This year we decided to go to Disneyland. Jack had been once as a kid but got sick and was only able to go on a few rides. It broke my heart that this 27 year old man had never enjoyed Disneyland before! We bought 3 day hopper passes and off we went.

The first ride we went on was Indiana Jones. This is one of the rides Jack had never been on and he said as a kid he was so jealous when his brothers got back and told him all about it. It was a must. We waited in line (we hadn't discovered fast pass tickets yet) for what seemed like hours, but it was so worth the wait. I think it was more fun for me just being with someone who was that excited.

They had a Tron section in California Adventure. We had to stop and capture this picture. haha it turned out perfect.

I told Jack at the beginning of our trip that we had to get a picture with a character. He was less than enthusiastic. On our last evening there I realized I had no character pictures so we hunted around the park and Pluto was the only one we found. Not the best pic but I got what I went there for.

We planned on getting up early one morning to get in before the park opened, unfortunately the fire alarm at our hotel went off in the middle of the night. We ended up sleeping in. We did show up right when it opened one morning and waited in line with the rest of the crazy people. We got on a lot of the kiddie rides that morning though (the lines for those rides are CRAZY!).

No Disneyland trip would be complete without the Mickey head picture. This vacation was absolutely perfect. We always have so much fun together.

Outside Stuff

When we moved in the yard/outside was the worst on the block. Granted it was just barely spring and the previous owners hadn't had the time/desire to do anything with the yard so we got stuck with it. Our culdesac has EMACULATE yards. Lots of trees, flowers and perfect grass. Unforuntately I am not a gardner. We settled for a few flowers in the front and wood chips in the rest of the flower gardens. It will do for now. We'll get around to landscaping next year.

I really wanted to paint my front door. Initially I wanted to paint it black. I love black and I would still have loved it that color but everyone I asked said RED. I faintly remember telling my friend that I would NEVER have a red door. I hated it. And that's what I ended up with. I absolutely love it. It's the pop of color the house needed and I couldn't be happier.

Bedroom Stuff

The last room in the house was our Bedroom/Bathroom. It got neglected until the very end because it's huge. I was just really tired of painting by this point. I knew I wanted it done though so one week we hauled out the paint and tackled the last project. The walls were gross white. Lots of marks on the walls and in desperate need of an update.

We painted the bed/vanity/bath rooms (they are all connected) a dark tan and accented with Browns and Whites and pops of Teal. It's similar to the living room but more white.

I love it.

Man/Craft/Den/Cave Stuff

Like I said before, there were only 2 rooms the previous owners had painted. The yellow living room and this childrens room. I think they had us in mind when they decided to paint the ENTIRE room in blue (including the ceiling) with puffy white clouds. The knew how much we would hate them for it. It was awful. Painting the ceiling was the worst part. I will NEVER do that to any future owners.

We turned that room into our Man/Craft/Den/Cave. A mix of everything Jack and I needed a room for. We painted the walls a brownish gray and accented with white. I LOVE this room. I've seen the concept done on home decor blogs and I knew I had to recreate it. This room is just a limbo room while we finish the basement. Once that is done Jack will move his Man Den to a room downstairs and the rooms will shuffle. For that reason I didn't go all out with the decor like I would have wanted. It's fine for now. We like it.

We created Hers and His sides of the room. It was a cute touch.

Perfect crafting/computering room.

Living Room Stuff

There were only 2 rooms in the house that the previous owners had painted. The living room happened to be one of them. I love yellow but the yellow on these walls was not a pretty site. The owners had used screws to hang stuff on the walls so there were huge holes all over. It was not good. This was another room we finished while my mom was out for the weekend. It took most of our time but it is BY FAR my favorite room in the entire house. I love it.

We painted the walls a light tan/dark cream. I really wanted a vintage look with browns and creams and pops of teal. We decorated with old cupboard doors, shutters, and lots of re purposed DI treasures. (I LOVE the DI)

I could spend all of my time in this room. It turned out better than I ever imagined. Could it be any more perfect. I think not.