Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Misadventures in Home Improvement #1

The walls in our master bedroom suck.

Excuse my language.

Our house was a repo when we bought it, so the bank replaced most of this:

with beige.  Lots and lots of beige.

(They left the pool tile and the kitchen linoleum that was done in these colors, however.  Yes, they were amazing!)

There had been wallpaper in the master bedroom.  The texture underneath the wallpaper was terrible—flaky and peeling.  The wallpaper was removed and the walls were painted, but no texture correction was done first.

In one of my earliest bouts of home improvement (we’ve lived in our home nearly 17 years), Jeff and I re-wallpapered the bedroom in an attempt to cover the bad texture.

It was a heavy wallpaper, adding texture and a subtle color to the walls.  I loved it.

However, over time, the seams started pulling away and we couldn’t seem to get them to stick down because the wallpaper was so heavy and the edges started curling.

In a desperate moment I might have used some glue to try to salvage the situation.

And, maybe it wasn’t wallpaper glue.

Don’t judge.

So, down came the wallpaper.   It was time to finally deal with the original problem:  the texture.

I got some bids.

I felt really good about the first bid I got, but it was a couple hundred over what I wanted to spend.  Name brand company, I thought maybe it was priced a little high for that reason.

Then I found a local contractor through the paper who did small jobs on the side.  Eh, he seemed fine for this job and the price was definitely more in line with what I was thinking.


Fast forward to the result:

I really really hate extra-strongly dislike that guy.

Seriously, I would smack him upside the head if I knew where to find him, or remembered what his name was.

Just kidding.

Ok, not kidding.  At all.


I had started getting all of the wallpaper paste off the walls.  It was a big job, so I asked him if I needed to get the rest of it off the walls before he came.  He said no, the texture would cover it.

I asked him about the miscellaneous adherants (spell check says that isn’t a word, but I’m gonna stick with it) that “SOMEONE” might have used on those pesky seams, especially around the doors and corners.

He said, no problem, he’d take care of it.

(this isn’t him)

I was distressed when I first saw the uneven texture—where you could see the ghost of the old wallpaper texture.

I was even more distressed when I saw the lumpy results around the doors and in the corners.  No prep had been done by him AT ALL.

I had him come back to fix a few of the most glaring problems, but he made it very obvious I was being unreasonable and inconveniencing him.  Clearly, I hadn’t paid enough to warrant a GOOD job.  I was done with him too by this time so I just sent him away.

I hope he doesn’t expect a positive YELP review.

Not that I knew what Yelp was then.

So, to punish his shoddy workmanship, and to wallow in the economy of saving a couple of dollars, I left the walls just like that.

No touch up.

No paint.

For two years.

Boy oh boy, I showed him!

Next up:  what finally pushed me to paint the bedroom after so long and my thoughts on this question:

Why doesn’t the universe want me to have a pretty bedroom?

Of course, it might be another two months until I write that post.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wedding Reception

DSC_4467Maybe I should finish the wedding posts before they hit their anniversary! 

(I’m so easily distracted…)


It was held at the home of Tori’s parents and  all was decorated so prettily.

DSC_4508There was a lot of meeting and

DSC_4517greeting and



It meant a lot to see these guys—football compadres who had starring roles in helping Justin become the person he is today. 


There was dancing.  Notice I’m taking a picture of this moment.  It may never come again.  Justin doesn’t go in much for dancing, but he promised he would.  Just this once.

I’m sure he’ll change his mind when his daughter gets married.  Who can resist the chance to hang on for even one more minute to our now grown up little ones?


There was cake eating.


Very civilized and sweet.  That’s how grown ups do it.  Real men.  No cake smashing here.


There was bouquet tossing.

DSC_4585Check out this catch while holding a niece! 

DSC_4586I suspect a set up…


Then, of course, the ever-popular garter toss.



Here are the eligible bachelors watching it drop unceremoniously to the floor.


In the end, I think the loser of paper-rock-scissors got it.


Girls!  This handsome man is eligible!  And, I know how to reach him.  Message meWinking smile


Photo credit:  Heather Gibbons Photography

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who Is This Dashing Gent?

Last Friday, Bryce took this cute Jenny girl to the prom…


Of course the evening begins with the traditional exchange of floral adornments:


How about the teeth on that kid?

Oh ya, baby.  That smile was 5 years in the making.




These two are photogenic even when they’re goofing around.



Still this momma’s boy!


Meeting up with friends, waiting for the bus.

And by the way, this was no ordinary prom

Several regions in our church have banded together to create a fun and safe alternative to school proms

  • Top flight venues.  This year was at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles
  • Yummy dinners and desserts.
  • Clean music and dancing.
  • Several activities available in addition to dancing.  All the museum exhibits are open to the participants during the night.  In addition, caricature artists, karaoke, photo booths, and other activities are available.  Last year we were at the Long Beach Aquarium and they got to go on harbor cruises.
  • Dress standards that are actually enforced.
  • Well chaperoned.  Of course it goes without saying that drugs and alcohol are not allowed.
  • Parents often host breakfasts after the youth get home.
  • Less expensive than area school proms without sacrificing quality.

We had over 850 youth participate in this fun event last Friday.  It has been an annual event in our area for at least the last 8 years and has only grown in popularity.  In fact, we have increasing numbers of youth who are not members of our church attending this event.  I truly believe that many (dare I hope, most?) young people sincerely desire to have a fun time at a formal dance without the pressures of drugs, alcohol, and sex. 

That’s not just a “Mormon thing”.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hanging With My Sistahs

If Bryce were reading this he’d look at that title and say, “Never use that word again”. He hates when I try to be all current and cool by using slang when it’s very obvious that I’m pretty much the opposite of that.  I figure I’m using it ironically and implicitly mocking my own vanilla self.  Anyways…

IMG_20140501_080921_414Jeff felt the urge to go help his dad with a home improvement project and convinced me that I should take the opportunity to attend the Women’s Conference held annually at BYU.  I’ve attended in previous years with friends, but this year none of them could attend.  Luckily, somehow we were able to assemble a pretty illustrious group of Peacock (and previously Peacock) women!


So, while the boys were proving thatIMG_20140503_114852_063 those muscles weren’t all for show, the girls were receiving some spiritual enlightenment with 15,000 of our closest friends. 







Stephanie Nielson was one of the presenters.  She’s a popular blogger that I have followed for several years.  She is an LDS mother who was in a terrible plane crash 5 years ago and had to fight back from near death. She took a picture during the session which appeared blog the next day:


So, I’m pretty much famous.  No bigs.  (Bryce wouldn’t like that word either.)


You don’t see me?

Clearly, I’m right here:


Closer still.  I’m SO easy to spot!


Do you see me now?


Yes.  I’m pretty proud.

She talked about bearing her testimony through the use of social media. She shared some of the hateful comments, emails and other communications she gets on a regular basis.  But she also shared a letter from a family whose lives were changed because she mentioned God in an article in a popular magazine.  That led them to Google her, find her blog and request a Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon led to the missionaries and later to conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But social media isn’t for sissies.

We’re in a new frontier.  We have an unparalleled platform to speak about things we think and believe.  Things that are important to us.  But you have to be pretty resilient to then allow people to also publicly react to the things you think and believe.  Many such comments devolve into ugliness written so easily and nearly anonymously.  

I wonder sometimes if this will eventually lead to a breaking down of barriers where people will feel increasingly safe in saying mean and hate-filled things to people in person.  I think it happens a lot already.

A previous President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley wrote a book entitled Standing for Something.  It’s one of my favorite books.  He lists “Our Fading Civility” as one of the 10 neglected virtues and says this:

Civility is the root of the world civilization.  It carries with it the essence of courtesy, politeness, and consideration of others.  How very much of it we have lost in our contemporary society!  All of the education and accomplishments in the world will not count for much unless they are accompanied by the marks of gentility, of respect for others, of going the extra mile, of serving as a good Samaritan, of being men and women who look beyond our own selfish interests to the good of others.  Only as we do so will we find fulfillment. (pp. 53-54)

But good can win.  I believe that.  I believe good is stronger than bad.  So I need to add my voice to the discussion more frequently.  That was my takeaway from the conference. 

I can be afraid and be silent.  I have justified this stance in the past by thinking I was just being tolerant of others’ opinions, but in truth, I probably just didn’t want to put myself in a position to receive the ugliness I’ve seen others bombarded with. 

Alternatively, I can stand for something and join the conversation.  I will try to do so thoughtfully, but do not guarantee I won’t stumble!  We are all seeking truth and staggering through life the best we can(each of us making plenty of mistakes to be sure—do we need to point out each and every one in OTHERS?).  I think I can be tolerant and compassionate to others while still speaking up for truth as I understand it.  Consideration, thoughtfulness and civility is my goal.

Later that day, my sister-in-law (sistah- for Bryce) Michelle and I actually met Stephanie and her husband at a book signing.

Book signing with Stephanie Nielson May 1 2014 BYU Womens Conference

I never know what to say in these situations.  So of course, I mumbled something awkward.  Whatever.  It’s strange meeting someone that you know so much about through their writings.  I wanted to ask how the construction on the new house was, like we were friends or something.  Of course she doesn’t know me, but I feel like I know her just a teensy bit.  While her face and body bears considerable scars from her accident, when I looked her in the eye and spoke with her, I didn’t notice it at all.