Wednesday, January 30, 2019

KSL Article-How the other woman became a friend

My article about my incredible friend.

How the 'other woman' became a friend

By Kate Rose Lee, Contributor | Posted - Jun 11th, 2014 @ 8:01am


SALT LAKE CITY — A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking at an event celebrating women. It was there that I met Sara. Her story of forgiveness and love is so rare that I felt it had to be shared. She was gracious enough to allow me the honor.
The first time Sara met Lindsey she fretted and worried. What would her ex-husband's new wife think of her? What would she look like? Was she nice? Would they get along? And most importantly: how would she handle another woman in the lives of her three kids? Sara had been given plenty of advice from others.
"Stand your ground."
"Make sure she knows that you are the mom and that you always will be."
"You make the decisions where your kids are concerned-not her."
But after Sara met Lindsey all she could think was "if she had been someone I had met on the street, I would have loved her."
In the beginning, Sara felt she had to compete. Lindsey was not only beautiful and smart, she was also very talented.


One night after her older children were asleep, Sara sat rocking her baby. She looked down at his face. He was so innocent, yet he had been born into a situation of turmoil.
As a pre-school teacher Sara had taught many children from divorce. She thought of the many things she had witnessed these tiny little ones say and do.
"My mom hates my other mom."
"I need two report cards because my parents don't talk to each other."
Perhaps the most heartbreaking, was a 4-year-old girl who was making a Mother's Day card. This little girl looked almost fearful as she quickly rushed to Sara, "Please don't tell my Mommy that I made one for my step-mom too."
Sara understood that most of these children loved both parents; it was the parents that did not get along.
As Sara continued to rock her baby, she realized she never wanted him to feel like those children did. She wanted her kids to see love, not hatred.
Sara, like many moms, had always said that she would do anything for her kids. Suddenly she realized that she could. Sara made a difficult decision: She would try to love Lindsey for their sakes.
Lindsey and Sara discovered that the children were a common ground and they spoke often about them. Over the next months, Sara and Lindsey's conversations went from a sentence, to a minute, to minutes and then to hours. Somehow Sara and Lindsey had actually become friends.

In divorce we are always looking for where to place the blame. When we simply forgive we allow ourselves and those around us to become better. This didn't happen overnight, it was a process.


"The more I got to know Lindsey, the more I truly loved her," Sara said. "I then began to see her amazing qualities and how they would not only bless my life but the lives of our three children. Lindsey is a great woman. In divorce we are always looking for where to place the blame. When we simply forgive we allow ourselves and those around us to become better. This didn't happen overnight, it was a process. I knew what I wanted and I was willing to put my pride and any hurt I may have had aside for my children. That's what mothers do. We put our children's needs before our own."
"Incidentally, that's also what most step-mothers do as well," she continued. "They put another's child's needs above their own. Lindsey not only was willing to take on my three children, but she legitimately treats them like they are her own. She loves them and they love her as a second mom. That is something that should be celebrated, not hated. All it would have taken was for me not to allow that for my children, for all of us to be miserable. Allowing my children to love her has taken nothing away from me."
Because of her choice, Sara's children never have to choose which set of parents they sit by at events. They all sit together. Their kids make two Mother's Day cards. They are also held accountable if they say something to one mother about the other that is rude or untrue. The parents are solid in their commitment to each other and to their children, and their children are happy and don't see their situation as a difficult one.
Sara's decision has not only healed her own family, but it has begun to heal others as well.
A friend of mine who also happens to be a step-mother, attended the event where Sara and I both spoke. Sara's story of forgiveness and love made such an impact on my friend that at the recent graduation of her step-son, when her husband's ex walked in the door, my friend did something she nor her husband's ex had ever done in the entire time they had known each other. My friend bravely stood and motioned for her to come sit with them. She did, and for the first time in a decade all of them sat together as a whole family.

Remodel Laundry room and adjacent half Bath


 We had a friend of ours put slate tile in a fun herringbone pattern.

I painted a light grey blue, added a small shelf, some knick knacks, a couple rugs and some hooks.


Travis let me pick a fun/different tile for the Half Bath.  I also painted it a black color, which is dramatic and cool looking.  We had leftover counter top from our kitchen and our cabinet guy made us a bathroom vanity. I added a mirror from World Market and a few other inexpensive items and accented the black with gold. I love how it turned out. 

House Updates-Downstairs and Cameron's new room

Pink rag painted walls, with a small wallpaper border at the top and bright pink carpet, not only in the basement, but in the bathroom as well.  There is also a sweet step that goes down into this room. I couldn't wait to do this room. Even though it is now mostly finished, Travis and the kids still refer to it as the "Red Room" much to my chagrin.


Those fold out doors, lead to a massive vanity, which lead to a large walk-in closet.

Vanity up-close

Master closet

 There she is and here we go.

You can kind of see the fireplace behind Reg and Rhett.  The door in the wall went to the vanity and the master closet. The vanity was about 8 feet long.  One day, Trav and I decided to break a hole behind the vanity and we discovered there was about 3 feet of wasted space. We knew then that that room could become a nice little bedroom for Cameron.

Thus began the remodel. This one was pretty big, we had to do a lot of gutting and some re-framing to create a hallway for the bathroom, a closet for Cam's new room and a door to the new bathroom as well as Cameron's room.

The first thing we did was remove all the baseboards. We then repainted the room and ceiling in the living room. Then it was on to Cameron's room. This closet/ part bathroom (only the vanity was in that room - so one would exit the toilet, bath and shower area, step down to where the vanity and master closet were) had enough room to create a bedroom. As a plus, the bathroom had room where we could add a small vanity and eliminate the monstrosity in the other room, so that's what we did. We had to add windows since there were none in this new space we were about to create. Once we removed the vanity, there was space to do so.

Cameron's new room from outside.  This is where we had a mason add windows to create a bedroom.

AFTER everything was torn out and THEY ADDED THE WINDOWS

Because this room is underneath the upstairs living room-bay windows, the windows underneath created a bay downstairs as well.

Above is an image of Cameron's new room, once framed. On the left is the new closet. One the right is the door to his room, across from the existing bathroom.

We ordered custom windows and the day they arrived, Travis installed one, which promptly fell over and smashed.  He was not pleased as you can tell in the picture.  We had to wait for the replacement to arrive. We had a hole in our house for a week. Moral of the story, pay a couple hundred bucks to have the windows installed by the professional, if only he'd had a wife who'd suggested that. . .in his defense, he can do anything so really, I get it. 

Next Travis framed underneath the windows to prepare for drywall to be hung.

After the drywall was hung, we had a wonderful guy come and mud and tape the room 

From these two images, you can see into the bathroom across the hall.  It was so fun to see the room come together once it was mud and taped. The light created from the windows made the room so bright. We didn't want to do too much to this room, because it's not very big, but we did want to put our mark on it. We opted to do our signature "grid wall" in white and paint the rest of the room in a neutral warm grey.

Above; before the grid wall was painted. Below; after and once baseboards were added.

NEXT it was back out to the new Family Room and old Red Room to do some wood work on the walls out there. 

We opted for the same paint color as Cam's room and decided to add some more modern bead board, with wider slats. A thick piece of trim at the top and a wide baseboard, completed the look. 

Trav cut outside while I cut holes in the beadboard where the light switches and outlets would go.

NEXT it was time to address the fireplace. We opted for a simple white Arabesque tile. It took a bit of time to clean up the fireplace and remove the old tile, but we were happy we did, the new tile gave the room an updated, fresh look.
Once we had it all tiled, we let it dry for a few days why we continued on with the wood work.


We added a nice neutral grey carpet, and the room was done. . . mostly. 

Eventually we will create some shelving for movies and games, but for now, it's way better than it was and that's good enough for us.


Cameron needed some nightstands since the room isn't quite large enough for a dresser. I found two of these for a great deal and decided to paint them with leftover paint from our upstairs living room. I added some new globe nobs and the result was great. 

 With a bed that was given to us from my sister Tammy, some new bedding that I got for a killer deal ($7 for a Pottery Barn duvet at Down East) and pillows and curtains from IKEA, it didn't take much to finish the room off.

 I got these fun Star Wars prints at TJ Maxx and added those to the wall.

Done and Done

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jr. High Akward

I used to substitute teach for all subjects. Math was the most dicey. Anything above Algebra, and you'd better leave a video for me to show. If it involves radians or Greek letters, I'm out. I started every class the same way:

Me: "Look, Math is my worst subject."
Stupid kid in the front row: "Then why are you here? Don't you get paid for this?"
Me: "Yes, a whopping eight bucks an hour."
Stupid kid's friend: "Does that mean we don't have to do anything?"
Me: "No, It means, I don't have to do anything."
Two stupids in unison: "That's not fair."
Me looking around. "I'm sorry am I subbing Kindergarten again? I thought I specifically told them I wouldn't do elementary after the last time when the kindergartners wouldn't quit talking or poking me."

Me: "OK take our your notes. Let me take this moment to teach you the most important thing you will learn in Jr. High."

Writing on the board now:
1-Kids in Jr. High are not funny.
2-You're all awkward.
3-I don't care if you've taken the liberty to toss each other into certain groups. Those groups don't exist so don't feel bad if you aren't in the "cool group". News flash; There is no cool group in Jr. High-there 's only "awkward" and you all made it in. Congrats."

Kid in back: "Hey you can't say that."
Me: "Of course I can. Someone needs to. Don't feel bad. I was in that group too. I'm doing all of your teachers a huge favor right now."

Me: "Anyway As I was saying, I don't know why any of you people bully each other. Here's a piece of advice. Next time you get your feelings hurt by another kid here, or you think you aren't as good as they are, watch them for a bit and you'll start to see they're the moron. Everyone's a moron in Jr. High. Write that down."

Pause while they write.

Dirty Little Secrets

My kids sit up at the kitchen counter kicking the breakfast bar over and over while singing the theme song to SpongeBob SquarePants on repeat, only pausing to yell things like, "Mom she's touching me!!" And "He's breathing my air!!!"
Really Ricki, I'm supposed to be shocked here? I might have been before I had kids and didn't have a clue that your own kids will annoy you at times, but not now. Come on, I'm a mom. We're in the same secret society.
I was so disappointed. I thought we were going to hear some real dirty little secrets. The following are a few of mine.
1-My son is always wiping his boogers on things in the house, to teach him a lesson, I wiped one on him.
2-My son can be super annoying at times. Especailly when he yells "boo" at the top of his lungs randomally thoroughout the day, regardelss if he is hiding or not. So sometimes I hide in dark rooms and scare the crap out of him. It usually ends in tears.
3-Sometimes I offer my kids outings like, movies, going for ice cream or even Disneyland, if they clean up their rooms within ten minutes and then when they don't do it, I say, "Oh that's too bad. I guess we can't go." It works out well. I wasn't really planning on taking them. They know I mean business, and I get credit for almost taking them to Disneyland.
4-I threaten my kids that they will have to go live with their mean aunt and uncle who used to have 6 kids, but now only have 5 because they ate one of them. They ate him because he randomly yelled, "boo" at a stranger in the grocery store-almost giving the old man a heart attack.
Let's be honest. Of course you don't like your kids sometimes. No one's blameing you. Shake it off. You're normal.

Halloween Party

My brother, Jon’s, family showed up in biker outfits, each with a different casualty depicting Jeff’s recent bike wreck. All of my brothers enjoy road biking. They each have a road bike and are actually really good. Jon has won quite a few races. Because they’re fast, at some point each of them has wrecked. Some of the wrecks have been minor, while others have been pretty bad. Jon was hit by a car once and suffered a dislocated shoulder and banged up knee. Eric dislocated his shoulder after a bad fall off his bike. The worst of the wrecks was Jeff’s, who while riding at a good speed, took a hard fall and hit his head. The impact caused his helmet to break completely in two.
            Jeff was in the hospital for a week with a skull fracture. He was lucky to be alive. With bleeding on his brain he was especially lucky not to have suffered any brain damage. We all went to see him while he was in intensive care.  Jeff who had not been coherent and was in and out of sleep would mumble things off and on. At one point he kept telling us to get the dog off of his leg and the squirrel off his shoulder. We all laughed in spite of the severity of the situation. The only time Jeff seemed to be his normal self was when he rolled onto his side. Tammy was sitting at the base of Jeff’s bed and he flashed her. He then said, “Sorry Tammy. Your loss.” We were all grateful Jeff was “back.”
            When Jon and his wife Kori showed up to the Halloween party in costume it took a minute for us to finally figure out that they and their two kids had each dressed as one of my brothers following their accidents. Jon came as himself with knee and shoulder’s bandaged, his two girls came depicting my Dad and Eric’s injury. The best, though, was Kori who showed up as Jeff, with her head bandaged, a stuffed dog attached to her leg and a fake squirrel taped to her shoulder.