good things to come

i watched this video last week (thanks jamie). and cried.

i don't know if it was the leak that had us cut out a wall, or the broken water heater, or the car that has bald tires or the ac unit that isn't withstanding the heat, or the hole in my heart that misses my friends and my roses that i left behind. but this really helped me.

like, a lot.


new motto

we are living in a house that we plan on owning the rest of our lives. 

this is not a "temporary" house or a "starter home". 

this is it.

and let me tell you something, that makes a HUGE difference in how i make and look at decisions for, oh, everything. paint colors, trim colors, furniture choices, fabric choices. even kitchen utensils. not like i'm making a lot of choices right now. we are still trying to get the hallways painted and get all the freaking baseboard back in place. argh.

so my mom texted me yesterday. "do you want the green couch in reno? because i'm getting a uhaul"

and at first i thought, heck yeah! because right now we have three rattan chairs in our family room that we all sit on thanks to the sanderson family in provo. miss all of them. i'd love to walk over in my apron and borrow 1/2 cup of oats again. i really, really would.

anyways, so free big green couch.

and ty asks, "do you love it?"

"well, it's nice. and we need a couch"

"do you love it?" (i'd say that he said "annie" but ty actually hardly ever says my name. curious)

he asked me this because a while back i read this quote, and it has stuck with us ever since.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris
so ty and i have made a pact, to only buy things that we really, truly, absolutely find beautiful. and that we love. even if that means sitting on rattan chairs for the next year so we can save up for whatever that may be. so if you stop by our house, and notice there are hardly any furnishings or decorations. it's because we are in the process. i expect in 20 years we might be there. if not, it's cool.

couches are a no brainer because they hit requirement #1 on the head. USEFUL. but beautiful? no offense mom, but dark green has never been my thing.  so i'm searching for BEAUTIFUL. and this is what i've found so far.
this is the couch that i LOVE right now.
side note: ty thinks it is hideous.

but this normal mormon mommy couch is half the price. but it's not even close to being snazzy (insert jazz hands). or daring. i love daring-but always afraid in 10 years it won't be daring anymore. just outdated. like those woven owls from the 70's that hang on the wall. we had one growing up and i thought it was hideous. was it in your room danna?
oh wait, those are back in. woops.
could they be more opposite of each other? i've always been afraid of getting schizophrenia in my old age. maybe it's starting sooner. i don't even know why i'm looking as the soft water man stole my hopes of a sofa for a good while.
but if i did have the option of buying: which one do you LOVE?


things i like to wish for:

magical cleaning snapping fingers like mary poppins

to have my dancing body back.

to be male, but only on camping trips.

to stay in better contact with friends.

to be african american, so i could be cool.

to be more efficient during the day.

to go to europe next time my sister goes. she left yesterday. LOSER.

but most importantly, i want to squeeze and hug my new little niece megan ann. i bet she's changing every day. even without her auntie annie around.  i wish flying were free and fun. i would so be there.


squirrel nutkin

we inherited this little guy with the house. every day i'd drive down to work on the house and he would be in a different spot. at first i was going to chuck him-but i've kind of grown attached. i wonder who bought him and how old he really is? anyone else have stuff like this roaming around?
and this morning lucy found the legs to a garden gnome in the tree house. but just the legs. hmmm.

the visit with steph and paul was perfect (except for being so short). lucy, abby and their luke and liam played and played and played and played and played for hours in the tree house. i can't believe the kittens survived because at one point liam was chasing them around while swinging a metal pipe. glad i don't have boys. haha.

we loved having them and they survived staying overnight at our house.

so who's next? expect to wake up to hot german pancakes with maple syrup, fresh canteloupe, strawberries and lots of laughs.

any takers? : )


did i stutter?

this post a few days ago seemed awfully familiar to me. then i remembered that is almost exactly the same advice i gave myself awhile back here.

the post seemed off. not like me. i even had some very thoughtful phone calls and emails checking in on me. thanks for that. really really nice.

well, little did i know. there was a reason i was feeling so freaking blue AND craving chocolate chip cookie dough at the same time. or to quote my favorite movie: " Of course, l know now l was suffering
from premenstrual syndrome." say that with a southern drawl and three cheers goes to the winner who guesses the flick.

and joshlyn and i have way too much fun at water aerobics. we're pretty sure we are scarring those little teenager lifeguards. it's awesome.

in other news: cousin steph and family are coming to stay tonight. that makes me THIS happy:

{photo by chelsea greaves}


seen and heard

scene: breakfast table, 8am

lucy: i'm pooped! while rubbing her eyes and a massive case of bed head.

abby: what?! you pooped?!! hahahaha! abby is bright and perky as usual. even at 6am.

lucy: NO! abby! i'm pooped. you know insert hand gesture, i'm bummed out.

abby: hey! i can stick my bum out too! stands up on chair and protrudes her butt while laughing.

lucy: ugh! that's not what i meant abby. geez.  

by now abby is head deep into her granola and isn't listening anymore.  

ty and i have decided that she is, so far, the family comedian.


a little perspective goes a long way

 me, at 2 o'clock. no make up. bed isn't made. no plans for dinner...yet.

a word of advice, actually the only advice my mother gave me, the day before i married. "don't let yourself go" she said, "always take care of yourself, no matter how poor you are, buy that color lipstick or special lotion, always".  and yes, i am so 1950's deep in my soul that i took it to heart. to always take care of myself. to always look nice. because i'm not going to be that frump a lump mom. not me. my husband will be proud to come home (however anti-feminist that sounds, that's what matters to me). and so, ever since marriage i have gave a valiant effort to take care of myself. and taking care of myself to me is being happy. and i'm happy when i'm healthy, in shape and always learning. so i exercise, try to eat well (good gracious, it is hard), wear nice clothes, read good books. etc. etc. whatever i could to feel beautiful. which includes for me having a nice clean home and cooking awesome food.

and just the other day the repairman came to look at my washer and dryer. after he left i walked into the bathroom, the only room in the house with a mirror (thank goodness). and there i was, this frumpy, muffin-top, scraggly hair, crow's feet, gray hairs, spit-up on shirt, stay at home mom. i looked spent. used up. like i was ready for the compost pile. "when did this happen?" i thought. when did i let myself go? why hasn't anyone said anything?  yes, i get fancied up for church on sunday and date nights on the weekend. but when on earth did i start walking around like this during the day?

i think i might be depressed. that's my only solution. why else would i consider painted on jeans and a too tight shirt that is stained to go visit jess today? with no make-up.  i didn't even brush my hair. i've been holding on for dear life since we've moved. literally some days by teeth and nails. and at night after i read to the girls, and we all say prayers and tuck them in. walk all the way down the hall, sit down on a chair. start to exhale and WHAM we hear a little girl whining or running down the hall, i need more water! she won't share a book!" bawahwahwahwahwahwah (think charlie brown's teacher). and that's when  i kind of lose it. "GET IN BED!" i scream. yes, lately i have been screaming. this is when i know it's time for a little "me" time. annie needs a break. especially since phoebe has turned into a "mommy must hold me and entertain me all hours of the day unless i'm sleeping or eating" kind of baby. and lucy is biting her fingers down to little bloody nubs and abby is crapping in her pull-up every night that she has a diaper rash.

and no, i'm not saying that i need a "vacay" as people put it. blech. i don't need pampering or a massage or a pedicure (though that would be nice for my newly cracked desert feet). i don't need people to tell me i'm doing a great bang up job (because actually two nice women did tell me that this past week and i'm still walking around like a zombie).

i need to just start taking care of MYSELF too. you know, like in the airplane last month. the flight attendant walked down the aisle after giving the "how to" instructions in case we totally biff it and nose dive to death. she stopped only to talk to me, the one with the baby. "you need to give yourself the air first" she said as she jabbed the face mask in my direction. "ok" i nodded up and down and mouthed because phoebe was being quiet for that millisecond.  and yes, i know people use this analogy all the time but it hit me. i'm a mom, i'm in charge of three human beings 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. i don't get lunch breaks (although nap time is awesome, it's not the same) or have my workday end at 5 or weekends off or maternity leave for crying out loud. i don't get bonuses or christmas break or petty cash drawers. and i'm not complaining. i love my job. i wanted this job. it is what i've always wanted. i sacrificed many things to get this position. but the key point of all this bantering (and i salute anyone who's still reading) is this: i'm a boss with one of the hardest jobs of them all. the consequences of if i do a crappy job are innumerable. and, this is the kicker, my girls will end up being JUST LIKE ME. so it is more than imperative that i have to take care of myself first. if i'm not gettin' oxygen, everyone else will suffocate also. or as my mom says, "if mom isn't happy, nobody is happy". amen.

and so, tonight,  i'll don my speedo swimming suit on and bob up and down in the water in an attempt to work out in the heat. and then i'll try and find my workout videos in one of the 100 boxes still in my house. i read about how a family friend moved into their house and unpacked everything the first day. i'm still in awe at that. i'll shower and put make-up on, not that that is what is required to take care of yourself, but it is for me. i'll wear a shirt, without stains that fits. that is, if i can find one. i'll be more consistent with my scripture reading in the afternoon.  and i'll finish reading this book. because i love it. but i feel overwhelmed reading it, like how can i do all this on top of everything else? but it's ok. baby steps. baby steps to moving into my house. baby steps to taking better care of myself. baby steps to not screaming at my children. baby steps out of the elevator.

i love what about bob. best movie ever.


oh we've been busy alright

life is pretty fast paced over here at our house. i've learned that living in a fixer upper with little kids=nothing ever gets done. so i threw in the towel and am doing things a little at a time. and in the meantime cooking some good food to keep me happy and distracted. like:

whole wheat pizzas and grilled broccoli
cooking up some bacon ends to to cook my brussel sprouts in. yes, brussel sprouts cooked in bacon grease IS good. thank you colton soelberg. thank you.
even my kids will eat it...sometimes.
don't mind the hole in the wall- we just had a tiny leak that soaked, oh, everything.
we've also been busy eating the food after a swim
and playing dress ups in an empty pool while harassing  kittens. why not?
i love that abby's leo is on inside out.
and yes, she's trying to wrap it up in a paper towel 
planting some flowers. i know they'll probably die in this heat. but like i told jessica, "i have to have hope that i can grow something beautiful." 
and staining hardwood floors. they're gawgeous!

and no, that is not an over sized bra on the floor. just ty's knee pads : )


reality bites

november 1998

i look at old pictures like this and laugh 
we were so young.
we were so enamored with each other.
we were so stupid.

oh wait...we still are.

i wish i had the other photo of this night scanned
- when ty was checking out my butt. priceless.


i'm stalling by stalling

this move last month was awful. i don't think i've ever written about how absolutely horrible it was, and if it wasn't for all the help we received from friends and families, it would have been oh so many times more horrible. i shudder to think about it.
why was it so horrible? because i was unprepared. when we moved up to school- i was an organizing queen bee. boxes packed, taped, labeled, color coordinated, numbered! maybe it was the anti-depressants i was on, but i was on the ball baby. and this move? well, i pretty much just stuck my head in the sand and refused to believe i had to go. it's not that i didn't want to live where we live now. i do! i do! and it isn't that i didn't want to live closer to family. i did! i did! but i was a selfish little girl and wanted everything all at once. i wanted to live close to all my bosom friends and beautiful mountains AND live on our property here and close to family and a steady job for tyson. is that too much to ask?
but the denial was evident all around me, but not until moving day. i saw the sympathetic looks in my friends' eyes when they saw the mountains of stuff still lying all over. in my head i thought, "oh, i'll just move that tomorrow", or "take the beds down in the morning", or "throw that in a box first thing". which added up to a monumental disaster. ty's poor family sweated away all day moving furniture, throwing stuff in boxes and taking down curtains and furniture, and spraying down the mouse poop in the basement. i think mouse poop in the basement is worse than snakes on a plane.
i remember standing there with my sister and saying, "well, apparently i've been blogging instead of packing". and it was true. sometimes, (shh, don't tell anyone else although i'm sure they already know because most of my super efficient and go getter friends don't blog half as much as  i do) i blog instead of getting things done. LIKE RIGHT NOW. phoebe is screeching because she's done with 'that' toy and i'm still typing. ok, i took care of it.
but really, last night i was thinking about writing on the blog and it struck me. i'm doing it again. blogging instead of doing. i have trim to paint and curtains to hang and food to cook and errands to run and i keep putting it off.
like the list is so long that it will never get finished, so why start? silly me, it will get done. and luckily all the projects will patiently wait for me and not go anywhere. and i should add, that the girls and i are having a bang up time playing with the kitties and taking walks to count all the bunnies and baby quails (baby quails i heart). and in that grand scheme of things, i am VERY lucky right now. if these are my problems du jour than i will take them thank you very much. there is so much pain and sorrow and heartache and disappointment in the world, who am i to complain about digging up flower beds?
so here's to a new day. a day of turning off the computer till after bedtime, because those emails can wait, because my babies want to play with me, and because life is more important than facebook status'.

and sorry provo- but the view from my back porch was never as amazing as this one


figs and hard wood floors

ty has been hard at work sanding our hardwood floors. he started in his office because, and i quote, "i should practice in there first before doing the living room". mmmhmmm. sure.

anyways, we live right next door to great grandma and grandpa leavitt (funners!) and yesterday after church she said. "Do you like figs? Cause the tree is ripe and ready." ooh baby. nothing gets me more excited than free fruit. well, free pie maybe. after snacks the girls and i walked over in our church dresses with a sack and picked as many as could fit in our bags. some were a little too ripe for my liking (yucks) but the rest we plopped in the fridge. so of course i start looking for good fig recipes because the only thing i can think of is figgy pudding. from the christmas song. is there even such a thing as figgy pudding? because i think oh we'll all have some.

 after some great facebook suggestions of grilling them with honey drizzled on top, which i will try tomorrow night. i also found this recipe here. and subsituted the figs for the dates. and, um, my tummy is killing me because i ate WAY TOO MUCH. a great recipe. you should buy some figs, or pick some for free (the better option) and cook this.

i had to post a picture- because if yours turns out to look a steaming pile of nutty poop, congratulations! you did it right!

*i doubled the recipe and cooked it a wee too long in the end-hence why mine is so brown (pluse lucy did the ginger snaps a little too large). but it was still delish.
**note too self- don't get lazy and not FINELY grate the last pieces of ginger. because kapow! those bites will really pack a punch.
***serve with fresh whipped cream-not healthy yogurt like suggested. duh!

  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 4 figs, ends cut off and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 Macoun apples (i used fuji-no macoun apples here in the sticks), peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 9 gingersnap cookies, finely crumbled (3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup thick unsweetened yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, grated ginger, cinnamon, orange zest, and dates. Add apples and toss to combine. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine gingersnaps with pecans, remaining sugar, oats, and remaining butter. Using your fingertips, work mixture to form a crumble topping. Distribute topping over apples. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until fruit mixture is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until topping has browned and apples are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving with yogurt.

kitty cats

we graciously gave the girls some kitties on saturday (thanks amy!). we intended for them to just be our outdoor mice patrol. little did we know they would become the most amazing babysitters in the world. the girls have spent 98.9% of their days outside on the porch "watching" the kitties. and when i say "watching" i mean squeezing, hugging, pulling, tugging, and as abby says "making them fly!".
hey, who am i to judge? i'm a former cat killer myself. it's been 24 years since my last "incident", but still.

so the new additions to our family, and back porch, that have lighted up our home are as follows:

1.  pickles, a female, pictured here with lucy.
2. willy, a crazy boy who acts like he's on crack.
3. wonka, willy's twin. i can't tell them apart by features except that wonka doesn't act like he's on crack.
4. and pat!. we can't tell if pat is female or male. so we just call it, "it's pat!". hahahaha. someday i'll let the girls watch the snl clip and then they will roll over laughing.


today i was mobbed by the soft water man

 moving day
may 18th, 2010

today while putting phoebe down to bed i was envious. i too, would like a binky, a silky blanky and a nice big crib to go to sleep in. FOR FOREVER. i want my mommy to rock me and sing to me and tell me everything is going to be alright.

as far as i'm concerned- being an adult is highly overrated. i've concluded a few things these past 6 days of home ownership.

1. people with large houses are CRAZY. i can't believe how much i walk around now. and yes, 2,000 square feet is huge to us coming from 900. oh, and how do you clean them also? 8th wonder of the world there.

2. i HATE decision making. and spending money. and somehow everyday this week i have had to do both things several times. blech.

3. i also dislike hard water. and the water in southern nevada aint just hard baby, it's rock solid hardness. i could feel it in my fingers and toes and hair and clothes. after 6 days my brand new washer had little hard water ring spots. and knock knock knock at the door. the soft water salesman. i told ty i felt like i was raped. pardon my french but it really did. you know those "this deal is ending on monday and you will have to pay 3 times as much money after this" and you are "saving money by spending money". totally reminds me of one of my favorite movies- moonstruck- when the dad says, "it costs money yes. but it costs money because it SAVES money." and the couple just stand there doe-eyed and nod. that was so me today. and now, we are in debt over a soft water system. double blech.

4. i need cute pj's. the windows on our doors reflect my blah pj bottoms and mismatched modbe shirts every morning. and i don't like it.

5. i miss my friends in provo. i miss the neighborhood. i miss living under the safety net that is byu student life. but the other day, i was feeling especially homesick for provo, and i put on the scriptures on audio found here. and wouldn't you know it? the reader for the old testament in Genesis sounds a lot like brother meyer from our ward. it was awesome. i felt like i was sitting in sunday school on locust lane again.

6. i'm done writing about things. if i haven't commented on your blog it's because i checked the "all read" and started from scratch. there is no way i'll ever catch up.

peace out.


my google reader has 643 unread messages

greetings from the leavitt family.

we are still currently unplugged (i'm at the in-laws right now) from the false world (internet, tv, blogs,facebook) and neck deep in the real world (weeds, paint, shelves, washing machine problems, dishwasher problems, air conditioning problems, trash companies, phone companies, internet companies, tv companies, bills bills bills.).

ty comes home from work- we say hello- and then we all keep working. we work and work and work and work. and the boxes don't seem to be thinning out. the list of things needed is a mile long and my list of things i want to make it feel like home could reach the moon and back. honestly, it really could.

and so, another boring non-photo post. pictures coming soon.


we've got clearance clarence

we did it! we are in!

internet is non existent along with phone lines- so until then enjoy this little clip.
it is almost word for word on the phone company's part:


a conversation at breakfast

abby, this cereal can make you lose 6 12 libs in only two weeks!
 the box says, if you eat this cereal you lose all the fats!
 oh! watch! i'm getting fat! (slurping of spoonfuls of special k)  see i'm fat!
no, it doesn't make you fat abby! you lose fats!
mmm, ok! look, i'm losing fats! (again, slupring up spoonfuls of special k cereal)
hahahahah! mmm, no more fats! (scarf, scarf, scarf)
hahahahha- 6 libs of fat!
i'm eating fats!
no abby! losing fats!
i'm losing fats!!  no more fats!  (in unison) ha ha ha ha giggle giggle giggle

this is by far the funniest moment in the house since lucy started reading.

the downfall to having a reader? i can't skip words, paragraphs or pages at bedtime when i'm tired. DRATS.

lucy and her friend eve on our last day in provo

we move in today! (hopefully) 
fingers crossed i sleep in my own bed tonight


how i suck at flying-part two

so after graduation ceremony we went out to eat and had a lot of fun watching phoebe drop her banana jar and have it shatter all over the ground and splash bananas on bill's back. and grab a drink and spill it. and grab my to go box and spill it. and scream at the top of her lungs. the waiter gave me the "crappiest mother of the year" look. i didn't take offense as he looked to be about 19. pshaw.

the next day was our sabbath. which was glorious. church. naps. bill's homemade smoked brisket sp?. chocolate waffles.emily's birthday celebration. need i say more?

monday we took advantage of the cleared freeways and visited bill at his work. it was cool to see him all gussied up in his digs. fyi-doctors look like jedis in my opinion. light saber tool belt and all.

the flight home ok.phoebe only slept 20 minutes. the plane smelled like vomit. i almost vomited. i have a bag with no wheels that my dad lugged a mile to the car. phoebe pooped 5 times that day. 5 TIMES.  we couldn't figure it out? fyi again-planes have changing tables in the bathrooms. who knew?

the pooping culprit- note the PLUS FIBER subtitle. gagh! phoebe is not a baby that needs EXTRA fiber if you know what i mean.


how i suck at flying-part one

the night before we  flew to texas my parents asked if i had "checked in" already. um....say what again? the last i flew was to NYC with Ty almost 2 years ago. i had know clue you could check in on advance. or that family's with babies get LESS privileges as they used to. yes, it's true, i live in the dark ages apparently.

but i did remember one thing: i get sick on planes. yuck.yuck.yuck. luckily with some deep kung fu breathing techniques and staring straight ahead at the headrest in front of me i avoided any public upchuckage. which i am very grateful for. there and back.

we had an awesome visit. it was hard to be away from ty and the girls-but so great to see my brother and his family. we usually only get to see them once a year, so twice in 6 months is more than a treat.

phoebe rocked the party that rocks the party. she held on through 4 days of almost NO naps, late bedtimes, sleeping in bathrooms and hotel rooms and being head butted by cousin matthew 800 times like a champ.

i'm exhausted. this morning my mom said, "you look tired". i said, "get used to it". i'm pretty sure i'm going to be tired for the next 20 years at least.

photos of our trip now:

phoebe and grandpa curtis on the plane. how lucky our flights were the same there AND back.
my brother- willy j. the dr. dr.

bill and his family. poor matchew.
this is what we all felt like after a 3 hour long graduation ceremony.

bill and his daughter emily

aha! i found one of matthew smiling. he's my official buddy now.
we did the bonding.
bill and his 3 crazy sisters.
it kind of looks like we took a picture and some med grad stood in the background no?
bill and my mom and dad
more on the trip tomorrow.
i'm hitting the hay.
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