Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Texas Christmas

As the title of the post suggests, we were able to spend Christmas in Texas with the Lansfords this year.

Some of our non-Christmas related highlights included:
  • Lunch date with high school besty, Hanna
  • Shopping at every mall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area
  • A tour of the New Dallas Cowboy Stadium
  • Decent wins @ Bowl Games for both Mountain West schools
  • Four wheeling around "the track"
  • Shopping for Conner/Cannon/Parker/Logan/Liam with Grandma Lansford
  • and so much more...

The hour plus-long walking tour of the New Cowboy Stadium was a bit of a struggle for this prego, but we are sure glad we went. "Jerry World" as we lovingly refer to the new billion dollar stadium is quite the facility and pretty much worth every penny of the tour ticket. Did you know the Jonas brothers paid 8 grand to play halo on the stadium's big screen the day of their Dallas concert?

Not to be outdone, Texas surprised us with a white Christmas this year. It started snowing the evening before Christmas Eve day and 3-4 inches of snow stuck with us through the end of the holiday. Christmas at the Lansfords also means days and days of good meals, football, movies, games and quality time with the extended family.

We are so incredibly grateful for the time we got to spend with the family. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Feel of Carpet between Our Toes

Oh glorious carpet!

Yesterday we installed carpet in our basement family room, guest room and hallway. Cole and I wasted no time enlisting a friend to help us drag in our TV and couch. "Lie to Me" (DVR'ed) was never quite so enjoyable. I look forward to vacuuming it again tonight, just because I can.

Feast your eyes on our flecked beige carpet, perfectly butted with our now-finished baseboards and trim. We are itching to entertain our Thanksgiving guests with our comfy new floors.

Movie Night Anyone?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Celebrating Halloween in Style

Cole's office decided to throw a Halloween party for employee's kids this afternoon and were, of course, encouraged to dress up in costumes. After bouncing around every possible idea, including dressing up like the gang from Jon and Kate plus 8, his team settled on a "Christmas" theme.

Enjoy the photos below of his clan in their ugly grandma sweaters, amid holiday decorations, ready to pass out their candy canes.

Their boss, Teddi, was out of the office today, so they dressed up the little bear to "represent"...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

If you were taking the voting seriously, majority rules. Our ultrasound yesterday confirms we are having a BOY!

Ultrasounds to follow. Now to figure out this scanner...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Up on the Countertops and Dance!

Ok. No worries about that happening here, but we were really excited to see our counter tops installed this week. Our contractor worked with North Salt Lake Marble/Granite and we are really pleased with how they turned out.

See below for a few befores and afters. The plumber will follow later this week to put in our final plumbing and faucet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is "Baby Bump" a Boy or Girl?

It's that time folks. Today's doctor's appointment should let us know if we are expecting a boy or girl this March. If not, we have a second ultrasound scheduled in a week that should definitely clinch it.

Cole and I have affectionately taken to referring to the child as "the bump" or "the baby bump" and are both hoping that knowing the gender will make this whole experience seem a little less surreal. Plus it'll be fun to start thinking about nurseries and baby names!

Stealing an idea from a similar post by a friend, here are our personal predictions:

This mommy-to-be feels like a big slacker. I have no idea what the gender of our baby will be. However, I am a huge sucker for those flower bows the size of your baby girl's head and the idea of a big sister. Although, who wouldn't want a mini-me version of Coleman?

Lets get real. I am the second oldest in my family. The oldest is my sister Baylee. Maura as well is the second oldest and has an older sister. Maura's older sister, Nicole, just had her first child and its a girl...see a pattern? Well, I think its about time the pattern is broken. My prediction is a boy to buck the trend. Our families are due for a boy to be the first.

Our officially, not official poll is located to the right. What do you think it will be?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Work Weekends 6, 7 & 8

Despite the lack of posts on the topic, we are still very busy working on the house.

In the last couple weekends we added all new windows (separate post to follow), finished tiling and sealing the grout for the basement bathroom, installed all of our closet doors and trimmed out the entire main level. Cole has also been busy trimming trees, moving rocks and generally clearing all the little areas of stuff around the yard.

In addition to the planned efforts, we had a few surprises. Our roof has a little leak, our furnace is original to the house-not three years old, and our mortgage was sold to another lender which delayed getting some of our cash to work on the bigger projects.

That being said, we are rolling right along. We love sitting back and looking at a part of a room that is almost there. In these tired moments we get a glimpse of how worthwhile all of this will be.

Since budgets (and FHA) dictate this handrail must stay, Cole gave it a good sanding, two coats of black spray paint and a beautiful matte finish.

Please expand larger. Please ohhh, please ahhh!

As previously mentioned, in 1961 there was no such thing as "standard pre hung doors." Rather, folks used their own handy skills at cutting door holes and filling them with semi-custom doors in sizes that don't exist any more. As years went by, people continued to paint and reuse the same doors until the poor doors looked something like this.

Luckily, my dad is a genius and was able to frame out all the doors to an almost standard size, we found a door place that didn't charge an arm and leg to help us mark and cut special doors, and this weekend we hung some doors.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Snow is a good reminder

that at some point Cole and I needed get the furnace checked out.

When I was scouting out a good price for a furnace tune up this morning I came across this Utah Diva Deal.

$50.00=cleaning, lubricating, replacing filter, carbon check, green sticker and the peace of mind that heating our house this month won't result in burning down our new home.

The few companies I called this morning were quoting me upwards of 100 bucks, so check it out.

You just have to schedule an appointment before EOD tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Labor Day in the Mile High City!

Over Labor Day weekend, Cole and I opted to escape all labors and visit our friends, Jarad and Ashley, in Colorado. Jarad had vowed to run a marathon before his 30th birthday next month and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to support him and have an awesome weekend with friends. We started the weekend with golf/girl chats in Loveland and then shopping and eating in Estes Park.

The next day we headed into Denver for a very full day of the Denver Art Museum, the Taste of Denver, yummy lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and shopping at the Outlet Mall in Castlerock.

On Monday, we were up bright and early to support Jarad as he ran the American Discovery Trail marathon. So much fun!

We had a great weekend! Thanks, guys.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Camping in a New-to-You House

So...Cole and I decided to move into our house this weekend!

No, we are not done but we are 100 percent ready to be troopers and make things work for a "couple of weeks." That being said we are without a fully functioning kitchen and as a result, are enlisting your help.

We do have:
basement refrigerator
rice cooker
crock pot

Any ideas on how I can keep us feed quickly, easily and without a lot of fast food? (P.S. Our only running water is in the bathroom so extra points if your meal ideas use very few dishes!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Projects of WW 5

Work Weekend 5 has been a beautiful continuation of work week 5.

During the Week:

Baseboards and Casings - Our pre-primed baseboards and casings were delivered to our driveway on Tuesday afternoon. Cole and I were able to spend every evening this week painting these babies so they would be ready for my dad this weekend.
(Too much painting; no time for photos)

Kitchen Cabinets - The cabinet guys arrived from Idaho on Thursday afternoon with our java colored kitchen cabinets and bench. By noon on Friday morning, you could kind of get an idea of what the room is going to look like.

Weekend Projects:
Basement Baseboards and Casings - Where to start? If you are following this process, then you are aware that our house may not have a single square corner, level floor or straight door jam. Despite that, my dad was able to make really good progress hanging door casings and baseboards in the basement. This project will span the next week or so, but it felt good to get so much done downstairs.

Basement Bathroom Tile - When we first toured our house, the basement bathroom really stuck out as an oddity to us. The basement bathroom is almost the exact same size as the upstairs bathroom but had only a sink and a toilet. The last of which was positioned almost in the middle of room.

We immediately decided to add a tub and replace the linoleum with tile. After recommendations from parents, contractor and plumber we re-opted for an over-sized shower.

With rough in plumbing and sheetrock done, mom and I decided to get started on that tile. Photos taken about 10:30 p.m.

Entryway stairs - A seemingly small project that has spanned the last several weeks. The area quickly lost the nasty carpet, but upon removal we discovered more than four layers of paint separated us from the beautiful pine floors. We have lost count of the number of layers of paint stripper, the hours of chiseling, scraping and orbital sanding, not to mention the number of people who have braved this chore. To everyone, thanks. We are finally ready for some stain.

After all the projects, I am so grateful for a quiet Sunday of relaxing!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Adventures of Tiling a Kitchen

This weekend we were able to prep and lay all the tile for our new kitchen floor. With cabinets on the way this week, we knew we would have to get this one done quickly and right so's not to hold anyone up.

We spent the previous weekend combing about seven different tile/flooring stores in SLC and settled on five or six finalists that made it back to the house for final judging. On Thursday night we laid them all out in the kitchen. Using our counter and cabinet samples, we systematically eliminated tiles based on color (too dark, too red, too wrong) and finish (too shiny, too many grooves, too wrong) until we landed on the undeniable winner.

We also spent Thursday sweeping, vacuuming, and swiffering every square inch of the floor, a week of drywallers will leave you with loads of dust.

Snap shot of floors, in all their tar and felt glory, prepped and ready for the next step.

Given the nature of the original surface and that fact that floors in old homes are rarely level and walls are almost never really straight, our next order of business was to lay backer board to help even the playing field.

Because we settled on a diamond pattern for the floor, we knew that we would need several half and quarter tiles for around the edges. Janice anticipated this and only had to cut two more tiles last minute.

Then the process became chalk the line, line one up, spread the mastic, place the tile, adjust the tile, add the spacers, grab a "second set of eyes," and continue. Cole, a tile-laying virgin, was a model student and within a few tiles was laying them like a champ. Randy was amazing too.

Lest you think Janice and I were slacking on the job, we were busy priming and painting the kitchen walls, moving the sprinklers every 30 minutes, handing spacers and prepping next week's work space...

But until then, there is a looksy at the kitchen tiles ready for grout on Monday.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Work Weekends 1 & 2

What a busy two weeks we have had! Cole was out out of town in NY for work, I was here with a trade show down at the Salt Palace and somehow, with a massive amount of help from my fam, we still managed to accomplish so much on the house!

Weekend #1 consisted of a lot of demo. My dad and brother pulled out all the ugly old 2-inch tall baseboards and moldings around the doors and the five humanly-removable layers of kitchen floor. Mom and I stayed busy cleaning everything in view, patching and sanding walls, removing porcelain tile window sills, and prepping and painting ceilings. There we are in action....

During the week, my amazing mother painted pretty much the entire house. Thank heavens for the borrowed paint sprayer! Plus, the contractor came and demoed the entire kitchen, so at this point, we really have to do this thing.

During the last two days, we pulled up all the carpet and got to sanding the wood floors beneath. I have to be honest, we were pretty scared about the condition of the floors (see nasty oil stain below) and the fact that none of us had ever refinished floors before. Regardless, hours of sanding, bleaching, vacuuming and repairing later, we are so excited to get some stain on the floors this next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


our new house!

As many of you know, Cole and I have been trying to buy a 1960's brick split-level in Cottonwood for just over 2.5 months. Drama aside, we now own the place and are hard at work cleaning this baby up. She has had a number of renters over the last 40, yes, we just found out, 40 years so we are ready to fix her up and make her feel like home. Welcome to our official "before" pictures of the interior! Exterior to follow shortly.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Nights

Last month we were able to rope Katie and Scott into coming up to Salt Lake City for a Bees Game. With a mid-game rain delay, we were also able to hit up Red Rock for some yummy dinner before heading back to the game.

The Bees made a valet effort (only losing 5 to 8), but our real entertainment was this intoxicated Bee's fan in the upper deck. He had a very vocal opinion about every player of the field and warming up in the bullpen. At one point he was so out of it that he dropped his phone below and had to stubble down to find it.

Gotta love summer nights at the ball game!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Murray Park Pavilion 1 provided the backdrop for Cole's super fab Graduation BBQ last week. Cole and Wes fired up the little pits that the park provided and cooked us up some very tasty grub. We had a good mix of family and friends join us to enjoy the food, cake and the volleyball pit. Thanks to everyone who came, especially those who brought food.

Utah Man Am I

Because of my less-than-stellar blogging efforts lately, this post is a bit of old news. However, I am still very proud of Cole and had to post a few photos from his commencement last week. We opted to just attend the Business School program (lots of "name calling"-very few speakers/musical numbers). As you can see from the photos, Cole's parents flew in from Texas for a few days and we loved hogging every minute of their time here. We were also joined by my parents and Nicole, Scott and baby Jones-to-be. Thanks for all of your support. We are finally legit! Hurray!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Graduation here we come...

Even though Cole official graduated in Dec., I was able to con him into walking in the formal Spring graduation taking place next week. I just think that it is emotionally necessary to do. I mean, if you never walk, did it really happen?!?

Walking next week could mean avoiding long, sleepless nights, waking up in a cold sweat after a dream of your employer firing you for falsifying your education. OR....

It could just be a great excuse to get his family up here to visit and and have a party with all of our friends.

Hopefully, if you read this blog you are our friend and not some crazy person. To all the friends, you are officially invited to our party!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Salt Lake Marathon 5K

Yesterday, Cole and I completed our first 5K with the Salt Lake Marathon. In preparation I followed the Couch to 5K training program and Cole, true to form, simply showed up and had no problem keeping up with my slow, but steady, pace.

Contrary to the lie I told my boss earlier last week, I had never run further than 2.5 miles prior to Saturday. This 5K was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Our finishing time was 39:16, so we ran a 12:38 minute mile. For a girl who was laughed off the middle school track team (I learned the hard way that hurdles are a beast) and got a B in a college fitness class (for failing to run a 15 minute mile), I have to admit I am really proud of myself. We are not runners by any stretch of the imagination but we ran the entire race and are looking forward to a possible 10K later this summer.

Note: Please excuse the lack of makeup and the cherry red faces. We forgot that the "before" pictures would be much better looking. Gotta love the thrill of the finish line!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monuments and Memorials

While we were in DC we were able to see the
We loved all the monuments and memorials (it gave us a bug to re-watch the National Treasure(s)) but I think our very favorite was Arlington Cemetery. There was such a peace and reverence everywhere. As we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and listened to the soldier play TAPS, I couldn't help but feel the calm reassurance that we are all known and not lost to our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wedding Bells for the Pixtons

Casey and Allie Pixton's wedding was the perfect excuse to take an extended weekend trip to DC. On Saturday morning we were privileged to attend their sealing in the Washington, D.C. temple. Later that afternoon we met up with the rest of the wedding party at the Cosmos Club for pictures and final preparations. The ring ceremony was beautiful and it was really sweet to hear some of the couple's personal promises to each other. Cocktail hour and the full blown reception rounded out the day. Cole and I spent a lot of the evening drooling over the beautiful building but also managed to fit in dancing, over eating and getting to know the couple's friends and family.

As a side note: Cole bought me this silk dress especially for the trip and while it was beautiful, it was incredible light weight. Through out the entire day and evening, I had a really hard time keeping this dress in line. Just imagine with me going in and out of the subway system with the ever changing up and down drafts. Then imagine me walking several blocks with the city buses whizzing past. Lets just say, we both had a hilarious and creative time keeping me G-rated. Oh, the memories...

Great Falls National Park and Dam

While staying in V.A., Cole and I were able to sneak out to Great Falls National Park for a few hours. We hiked along the edge of the dam and river, even doing a little trail running towards the end. We had slightly chilly but beautiful weather, none the less.

Mount Vernon

After arriving at the Ronald Regan National Airport, with nothing of great importance pulling at our first few hours in DC, we passed a sign on the side of George Washington Parkway that read, Mount Vernon-11.5 miles.

We looked at each other, smiled and headed in the direction of George Washington's (GW) former estate.

Once a parking spot was secured, Cole and I made our way through a jam-packed visitor's center and headed towards the grounds. Divided into multiple areas, each area of the estate is complete with detailed descriptions, clothing and furniture of the times. We were floored by the number of slaves that were packed into one-room structures, were properly impressed by the large windows in the gardener's cabin and a little grossed out by the underground areas used to store the salted meats.

The main house itself was amazing. The tour included beautiful art work, detailed moldings, exquisite dishes, hand-made furniture and a peek at the very bed GW died in.

My favorite part of the entire tour came as we were filing through GW's study, the last room on the tour. The woman in front of us paused with the most confused look on her face and blurted out "So where were the bathrooms in this place? " to the nearest tour guide.


Gotta love it, people, gotta love it.

Spring Fling to D.C.

Last week, Cole and I were able to steal a few days away from work to visit Washington D.C. We managed to see everything we wanted to, plus squeeze in a wedding for one of our good friends from Cole's mission and BYU-I. The next several posts will be about our adventures in V.A.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ode to Cole

So today is Cole's 25th b-day and....

Obviously as his wife, I think he is totally wonderful and amazing but I thought his special day would be a good excuse to let him know some of the things his family loves most about him too.

1. "I would say that one of Cole's best qualities is that he is very easy going. It takes a lot to get Cole ruffled and in a dramatic family like ours...that's a great quality to have. He doesn't get upset easily and that makes him easy to be around and talk to. We love that he is friendly, mild mannered and just really easy to be around! There are not enough people in our life like this!"

-Nicole, sister-in-law

2. "So right when I got back from my mission, I wasn’t very good at handling social situations and I was determined to maintain my Spanish that I had learned. Well, a week after I got home we went to Angie Graves’ wedding reception. I was definitely out of my comfort zone. However I remember talking to Cole in Spanish quite a bit. Spanish was something that I loved and being able to talk to him in Spanish put me right back into my comfort zone.

I think another good memory is when we were all up at the cabin a few years ago. We all decided to have a race in the lake from the dock to the floating trampoline. I totally thought I was going to dominate because I was in better shape than all my brother’s-in-law. Well I started out fine but I quickly realized that I was not a swimmer. Needless to say, I didn’t win. Even though Cole “The Fish” Lansford did win, it was still pretty fun."

-Ben, brother-in-law

3. "His hair - - I love to play with his hair - - it’s thick and glossy…and he is so good natured, that he will lay there with his head on my lap and let me play with his hair for hours…


-Gail, aunt

4. " The thing I love most about Cole is that he has always been black and white, he has always had a testimony. I remember driving along one day, Cole was about 12. I said Cole do you have a testimony? He looked at me first really confused and then with so much conviction in his eyes and very matter of fact “Yes I do” And proceeded to bare his testimony. And then he said “Mom, why do you ask?” He has always been really good, very sweet. When he was 5 he was the only kid in primary that had all the Articles of Faith memorized. Going on a mission was never a question for him. He had one of those badges that said “Future Missionary” He always had to wear it to Primary.

When he was three or four we were driving playing the opposite game. After we had been playing for a while I said to him, trying to trip him up “What is the opposite of trees?” He thought for a minute and said “NO trees” He has always been black and white, never gray with him. I am so proud of the man that he has become. I have truly never had to worry about Cole I knew he would take care of the people and things he loves. He treats people with respect. He has integrity."

-Stacy, mum

5. "What can I say? I loved you the first time I met you. (even though I'd met you before :)) One of the things I most appreciate about you is how positive you are and how you always improve any situation with your great personality, your kind words, and your acceptance of others. Every time you're around, life is a little more fun. Thanks for being you and for making me smile."

-Janice, mother-in-law

6. "What do I love most about Cole - His brilliant Shirt/Tie combinations.

What is his best quality - His thick goatee."

-Scott, brother-in-law

7. "We love Cole because he is so nice and happy all the time.
He has been a great example to his cousins and we are so glad he is in UTAH!!!!!!!
He will eat anything I fix and say thank you for it as well.
We love him."

Cynthia, aunt

"His best quality is you! "
-Wes, dad

"One of things I love about Cole is his ability to make everyone he's around feel accepted and comfortable. His interest in others is part of that but I think it is one of his gifts of the spirit."

-Randy, father-in-law

10. "The thing I love best about Cole is that he is always happy and ready to have a good time. It is not hard to make him laugh or smile, and he makes you feel like you are exactly the person he wants to be hanging out with at that time. What a great guy!"
Alyssa, sister-in-law

Happy b-day, hon! We all love you!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Workin' 9-to-5 (ok, 8-to-6)

This week Cole started his first post-college "grown-up" job as an analysis with the operations office of Goldman Sachs here in Salt Lake. We are really excited for this opportunity but believe me, it wasn't a quick process...

Cole did an internship with GS and L-O-V-E-D it.

Cole was offered a full time position for January (and accepted it, of course).

Maura and Cole feel pretty comfy during Cole's last semester of school.

Maura and Cole wonder why he hasn't received a start date for January.

The first of the month comes and goes, Maura starts to think maybe, February 1?

Month begins and Cole gets an email saying March 2.

February (one week in):
Cole gets another email saying July 16. (With the economy being what it is, we were excited to still have an offer but honestly bummed that Cole would have to wait so long to get started.)

Then, three weeks ago Cole gets a call asking if there is any chance he can start in just 10 days...

We respond, Heck Ya!

Pictured: Cole on his way out the door with water bottle and brown bag lunch in hand.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Want a free meal on T.G.I Fridays? Take your sweetie on a date before Sunday. I know I am!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love is in the Air

Given a busy Saturday morning schedule with family in town, Cole and I celebrated our day of love on Friday evening instead of Saturday. In loo of some exciting Valentines gifts, we decided to forgo a busy and expensive dinner out on the town and instead stay in.

We made the agreement that I would handle dinner if Cole would cover desert. I found this was easier said than done given the fact that I had never cooked a piece of red meat in my life. Lucky for me, I married a hero who volunteered at the last minute to handle the fillets. I turned my attention to the super creamy mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus and store- bought rolls.

As if saving me from the meat wasn't wonderful enough- Cole agreed to watch All the President's Men (one of my all time favorites) with me. Despite falling asleep half way through, he was able to stay awake long enough to unveil his exciting desert, Winger's Asphalt Pie. Unbenounced to me, this is what Cole remembers as our first desert together. Beyond feeling a little guilty at forgetting this detail, him remembering was sweet enough for me.

Our point and shoot camera (pictured on the end of the table) was completely dead so please enjoy the slightly grainy camera-phone photo below.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Don't Be Stupid...

And try to honk at the jerk cutting off your neighbor in traffic and forget to look at the car in front of you. You will inevitably rear end a Windstar mini in your Kia Spectra.

Word to the wise, the van's bumper will win.

However, at least you will be pushed into the parking lot of the ever-classy Del Taco on Minuteman Drive while all of 5 o'clock traffic drives by thinking, "Bummer, but I'm glad that isn't me."

All drama aside, while I was sad to see the car of my college (and postcollege) years bite the dust, Cole and I are having fun looking for a gently-used replacement.

Farewell, Kiosk, Farewell.

Winning Windstar Bumper

Friday, January 30, 2009

Local's Version of a Sick Day

After a very busy and stressful week of trade show work, my boss volunteered to treat interested members of the team and spouses to a ski day at Snowbird. Cole and I have season passes there this year, so gratefully this beginner was on her home turf.

As you can see from above, I had to work hard to keep up with the more experienced veterans, but boy, was it a fun day.

Below is a picture of my co-worker, Liz. She started the day on this pair of skis that her parents had picked up at a rummage sale many moons ago. They served her well until after lunch when she went to clip in, we all heard an ominous snap...needless to say, they had skied their last run. We left them in the snow where we knew they would have wanted to remain.

Never fear though, Liz did get seriously hooked up with a pair of demo skis (pictured below).

Thanks, guys. We all deserved this local's version of a sick day...