Archive for the ‘15th Anniversary’ Category

Why Do I Love My Dyson?

October 21, 2009
Let me count the ways.

  1. No bags. Minimal Mess. This is a good thing for 30-something women as well as favorite vacuums! In fact maybe if I use my new vacuum often enough I can get rid of the under arm flappy bags… now THAT would be an awesome vacuum!
  2. Totally easy to take apart: Snap, Click, Open, DONE. From dumping the contents, to removing the brush head.
  3. Which brings me to: Easy to clean the brush head. I pulled out a quarter, opened the latch, pulled out the brush… and removed all the icky hair… (yeah, it’s a mom job).
  4. LOVE the ease of switching to the hand held telescoping vacuum arm. Upholstery? Check. Ceiling vents…oh yeah. Crack, Crevices, Stairs? All over it baby.
  5. IT AUTO TURNS OFF the brush head when (ahem…) I accidentaly suck up the corner of my kids’s favorite blanket! (ask me how I know)… The vacuum is still on but the brush has stopped turning… you know? That awful smell a vacuum makes when you suck up a shoe string or a plastic bag?? NOT this masterpiece. Kids can work it with no fear! (Moms love that.)
  6. Also there is a manual turn off for that same brush head, when switching to a hard floor from my hallway to my bathroom. Voilá, like magic! LOVE that! It also turns off the brush when you place it in it’s upright position.
  7. UNDER THE BED. Let me repeat. UNDER THE BED! I used the thing several times before I realized while using the extended arm with the really flat attachment, that DUH! If you turn the handle sideways the whole thing stays flat and will fit UNDER BEDS! Heck under my night stand! Dust Bunnies… be gone.

  8. Easily reach high places. Ceiling vents. And Cobwebs. And lighting fans. And dead flies. And anything else gross hanging out above eyesight!
  9. Kids can use it. Even better? MY KIDS do use it! Worth it right there.
  10. This thing is a BALL to use. Literally, there’s a ball on it to swivel around corners. Easy on my shoulders, and so far little stress on my back… I definitely don’t feel like it is knocking all my corners and cabinets either.

goodncrazy blue dots

I have racked my very clean carpet and brain… but honestly I can’t come up with anything I don’t love about the DC25 Blueprint?

The color? Nope. I love that mine is white and clear and like you want to match a vacuum to decor anyway??

The size? Nope. It’s lightweight and easy to carry up and down stairs.

I’ve got it! The extension coils on the telescoping arm are kind of tight… maybe like they need to stretch out a bit… but sheesh it’s so dang long I’m able to reach from the top to the bottom of my stairs enough that I don’t care about the tightness!

Next week… a few more things I’ve gone without in my 15 years of marriage. What have you gone without?

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15 Years Is Long Enough…

October 5, 2009

This is from Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State… I had scan fail when I tried to scan a 15yrold photo from our wedding day… next week’s installment for SURE!

  • Long enough to not own a single piece of bedroom furniture.
  • Long enough to pay off the equivalent of a mortgage in law-loans.
  • Long enough to own 3 children ages: 11, 8 and 5.
  • Long enough to live in 4 states, but never more than 4 years at once.
  • Long enough to use the same dang vacuum all those years!

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I have a vacuum story.
{Doesn’t everyone?} We sorta kinda bought a vacuum for our own wedding present…

Huh? When you live in a teeny tiny town, the traditions are a little off kilter.

The local hardware store (I know—I told you it was weird) was the only wedding registry in town. And friends and family purchased items from our ‘list’. The store wrapped it up pretty in silvery paper and delivered it to our reception.

And then they came and took it all back!

Crazy huh? They totaled the loot and gave us a store credit invoice instead…
Can you guess what we bought with our exchanged oven mitts, toasters, wrenches and spatulas?

A brand new vacuum.

And not to dis it or anything. I mean 15 years is a long time. But it’s seen better days. It wasn’t a fancy model, and it worked hard and tried it’s best to do it’s job. It also traveled across the country and back again… We tried very hard to follow the whole use it up, wear it out thing… and I think we did.

I’m afraid my old friend needs to be put out to pasture.

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I’ve been looking for a new vacuum for 2 years. I researched online, I watched commercials, I even tried out a few of my neighbor’s suckers!

Last year my mom and my sister both got a Dyson Upright. And color me jealous. I test drove it. I vacuumed my mom’s new hardwood kitchen floor, and reached easily to clean her carpeted stairs! I fell in suction love.

I made my decision. I want a Dyson too. But dang… there are a lot to choose from?

Uprights with balls…

Handhelds that really suck

Cannisters with rockin’ names like Turbinehead

I have 3 kids (AKA walking tornadoes)!
One cat…
One husband… (AKA my tidy-er half).
And currently live in what feels like the dustiest part of Southern Oregon?
I have plenty of carpeted spaces, and all the normal hard spaces too…

I’m really excited to announce… that a Dyson DC25 Limited Edition Blueprint is in my family’s (much cleaner carpet) future!

Disclosure: Dyson is providing the vacuum. I’m providing the dirt.

Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge

September 23, 2009

When you have a new camera to play with…
And you have quite possibly one of the most breathtaking sights you’ve ever seen.
And your husband has surprised you with an anniversary suprise like THIS.

What do you do?

Enjoy Every Second.

Snoqualmie falls, Washington

I think I enjoyed editing these images every bit as much as taking the shots in the first place. Welcome to Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. Outside of Seattle by about 30 minutes. The AH-mazing Salish Lodge is perched at the tippy top of the falls. Apparently Twin Peaks was filmed here… any guess why?! The falls are nearly 300 Feet HIGH.

Footbridge, snoqualmie falls Salish Lodge

Which one do you like better… the real life with a bit of color popping?
Or the hint of Sepia…?

Footbridge, snoqualmie falls Salish Lodge b&w

snoqualmie falls water plant color

I loved this image of the water plant outside our hotel room. I played with it and honestly couldn’t decide which I liked better. The Black&White gives off creepy vibe? But the color is so striking?

snoqualmie falls water plant

We walked down the foot path to the bottom of the falls, and this covered part was waiting for us. Doesn’t it look like fairies live here? Yes I tweaked the colors completely.

Do Fairies Live there?

Vancouver, British Columbia

September 18, 2009

What would a trip to Vancouver be without a couple of Mountie Sightings?

While on our 15th Anniversary Reunion Tour to Seattle. We took one day and a night and drove to Vancouver, BC. Home of the upcoming Winter Olympics, The Inukshuk Mascot, Stanley Park, Gorgeous Scenery and Rogers Chocolates (who knew we’re so famous!?)!

A photo Journey:

The view outside our hotel window harborview, and the same harbor from the other side of the pond.

Stanley Park Gardens! Is that straight out of a magazine or what? And the famous Gastown Steam powered clock. (The first ever it turns out.. I thought, WOW it must be REALLY REALLY old.. guess how old? 1970s.. huh??) Oh well.. it’s such a fabulous part of the city, walking streets and shopping and cobblestone sidewalks…

I’m completing my collection of flags. I couldn’t resist and have about 100 shots just like this one!
And Ohmygosh… the money! I’m such a geek I know but I love playing with the Canadian money, the 20 with the Queen on it is funny to me for some reason. And don’t even get me started on the whole Looney and Twooney business!

Next up….to complete the big anniversary tour… That Gigantic Surprise… I was going to stick it in this post… but I have a LOT of photos…!

Seattle Honeymoon: Revisited

September 4, 2009
Fifteen years ago we flipped a coin.


What were we deciding?
Our honeymoon.
It was down to Santa Fe Vs. Seattle.
(Both were cheap flights for us from Salt Lake City).
Both seemed interesting, and not the usual honeymoon spot…
I know? Most people dream of Hawaii or even a secluded lodge near a beautiful waterfall.. (Stay tuned for more on that part…) But we were young, still in college… and well, poor.

We chose Seattle.
And we loved it!

For our 15th anniversary, we decided to head back and see what had changed..?
The thing is.. I think WE were the part that changed the most! (I’ll have to go dig some of our first year pictures out before this anniversary series is over…huh?)

We stayed in a picturesque hotel on the waterfront. (Instead of the beat up skanky one the first time around.)

We enjoyed our dinners out instead of stressing about every nickel spent. We enjoyed the slow pace of the Bainbridge Island Ferry. I even sneaked in a quick day spa afternoon! And.. this time… we missed our three kids!

Wow did I have fun with my new camera.. here’s the story… on our first trip to Seattle our little point and shoot (real film.. ohmyheck!) died on us half way.. so how fitting that my birth/anniv/mother’s day camera-gift was given to me here!

Can’t visit Seattle and not see the Space Needle huh?


Some shots while walking around Seattle… Starbucks, surprise suprise!

And this whole trip I was totally in love with flags. I kept seeing them everywhere. These were on the building right next to our hotel so I saw them every morning…


I mentioned that we missed our kids.. well, now that we live within a day’s worth of driving distance.. here are the things we want to do when we return WITH our kids:

The Seattle Aquarium
Cruise The Locks (we were such lovers of Sleepless in Seattle!)
See the Top of the Space Needle
Walk the Pioneer Square Underground Tour
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle Children’s Museum
Catch A STORM WNBA Game

What else am I missing?

Next installment.. our overnight drive and stay in Vancouver, BC and the surprise my husband planned!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Chris

My New Camera. My New View On Life.

August 11, 2009

Nikon: Luv At First Shot, First Snap, First Zoom… You get the picture…!


You know how a digital camera if used pretty heavily (like mine is) kind of poops out at about the 2 year mark? Well my Kodak Point and Shoot is well over 4 years old. But how well loved is this camera?! How I have pushed it to it’s limit! How it’s battery runs out so quickly!
A Kodak Z7590:

5megapixels (more than enough for a point and shoot)
Plenty of custom modes: like flower, fireworks, nighttime portrait to name a few of my favorites
Fabulous Optical Zoom (although the digital “extra” zoom was useless)
Easy control of flash: off, fill-flash, red-eye, auto
Video Camera: great for catching those hard to catch moments

Bottom line, I’ll be keeping my Kodak: it’s big enough to do the job and small enough to fit in my purse and not worry too much about it. (Plus the hubster says he might try figuring it out a bit more.. so there!)

The Nikon Love Story Unfolds….

I’ve been researching Digital SLR cameras for a long time now. (2 years!) The ability to press the shutter and have it TAKE the picture right then! I don’t think I can say enough about how much I’ve been ready for that! Yes I want more megapixels.. who doesn’t! But even more, I’m ready for a camera that I can control the zoom and focus point. I’m all about using the macro (little flower icon) mode lately, and choosing to focus on a blade of grass or my niece’s face is where it’s at!

My Dad got a Nikon D60 for Christmas, and when he was in town I played and played with it. I’m no expert and figuring out how to set all the manual settings proved to be too much for me.. I don’t have the patience to set the F-stop and the shutter speed and all that?? I still need some serious help there… plus it has no video camera, and you can’t use the LCD screen to take pictures, and there were only a couple built in camera modes, but it did have the macro mode? And oh my joy it takes the most beautiful pictures!

Every time I saw a friend with either a Canon or a Nikon I’d beg them to let me shoot with it. And I’m afraid I was suffering from the sin of ‘I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT THAT’.

Over Mother’s Day we marched into a Costco while on vacation in Phoenix. We had every intent to buy the Nikon D60. But… we decided 1) the box was huge and we had to fly home with it and 2) there is no sales tax in Oregon saving us over $50 buying at our own Costco.

Only.. the next time we got to Costco, THEY didn’t have it?? What?? I’m THIS close and they DON’T have it!? I looked online. Nope. No Nikon Luv for me. And worse? It was decided that my daughter needed her first installment in the orthodontic breakthebank/we-have-no-ortho insurance/palate expander. The exact same cost as the camera. Que the sad music. It’s a very nice metal piece in her mouth, but not really satifying to take pictures with, maybe as a radio antenna?

Fast forward a few months. We are at the family reunion. My dad has a Nikon. My sister has a Nikon, even my BIL has NIKON! I picked up my sister’s camera and after talking to her realized she knows absolutely nothing about the thing!? HUH? She’s so not worthy of it’s majesty. I took some shots with it, and then some more, and… then I filled her whole memory card! Babies, cousins, grandma’s flowers, 4wheelin’, river raftin’ (no not ON the river with it! give me some credit!). And I was getting pretty good with it. The main thing I couldn’t figure out was how to turn the fill flash on so it will fire regardless of light?

Anyway… this longer than we’ve ever been on a family vacation, was about 2/3rds over. And the mom and the dad left the kids with the grandparents (oh how grateful we were to them!) to fly off to Seattle and celebrate their 15th anniversary, (yes we’re THAT happy together!). How cute is this? We spent our honeymoon in Seattle, so this was like our reunion tour… except.. this time we could afford to stay in a nicer hotel, one that didn’t have a pocket door for a bathroom, didn’t have bugs and didn’t smell. Why am I telling you all this?

Because there was a package waiting for us at the hotel upon check-in?? Huh? You’re kidding me, the hubby had his office ship out some of his documents and such so he could work on them while on our Second Honeymoon?! Well, no. Turns out, he made ME open the box. And in it.. was a wrapped gift. With an anniversary card on it. And.. it was wrapped a second time. With a Mother’s day card on it. And… it was wrapped a THIRD time! With a birthday card on it…

You already know don’t you?

THIS was inside.

A Nikon!
A Nikon D5000.
Huh? Haven’t I been blubbering over the D60?

The D5000 has a live view screen!
The D5000 has a video camera!
The D5000 has 12(freakin’)MEGApixels!
The D5000 has EXTRA shooting modes!
The D5000 has…

a really large price tag…!

Ahhhhh, now I get it. This gift.. ?
Is my birthday/mother’s day/anniversary present for the next 15 years!

I say. It’s a deal! Worth my new view on life! Thanks to my husband of 15 years. For all the fun, worth taking pictures. For all the crazy, DEFINITELY worth taking pictures. For all the Luv, and all that’s still to come.

Here’s to 15 more!

(Vancouver Stanley Park.. is this amazing.. taken from a trolley bus!)

Mileage Calculator Anyone??

August 5, 2009

The Wheels On The MomVan Go Round And Round…
and round and round and…


I am not kidding. I totally lost count of hours logged on our mega super family road trip… 40 hours? or was it 50?!

  • Oregon to Utah: 10 hours (unless you run into cows on the road, and extra long Saturday breakfast wait times at the teeny tiny diner in the teeny tiny town on the long long drive, and construction on I-80 in the dreariest part of northern Nevada…!) then it’s more like 12 hours.
  • Running around along the Wasatch Front from Draper to Tremonton to Sandy to Draper… (But wait till I show you all the fun people and pictures from the Women Who Make It conference!)
  • Driving from SLC to Vernal (3 hour trip) not once… but THREE separate times.. and back again.. three separate times… are you beginning to get the picture here…??
  • After a totally SHORT flight to Seattle from SLC.. for our anniversary trip… and after a couple nights in Seattle down by the waterfront (yes I have amazing pics!) We then drove to Vancouver and back again… how many hours is this so far? Do you have a calculator?
  • Finally after spending the entire last day at the Lagoon Theme Park (and by entire I mean we stayed til the park closed at 11PM FOLKS!)… We got up at 6AM to make the last leg of the longest road trip in our family’s history..

….I promise..
coming up…

Great pictures. Funny stories. And one Fabulous. Wonderous. I Can Hardly Stand it I’m So Happy… NEW CAMERA!!

This is the first part of getting back into Oregon from Northern Nevada… This cliff of a road has NO GAURD RAILS… mostly I just close my eyes during this part and chant.. there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…