Friday, November 30, 2007

My Other Cougar

My sister, Karrie found out yesterday that she was accepted to BYU. (Steven actually calls it The BYU - not just BYU). I think Steven is more excited than I am. It's like he feels like he converted one of my family members to his religion.
Living in Provo was such a great experience. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we had to move away; BYU didn't offer a PA program. Here's a couple of pictures of one of my favorite cities. It holds more dear memories than almost anywhere else I've ever been.

This is the campus with Mt. Timpanogos looming in the background.

Here's the bell tower with the Provo Temple in the background.

Provo library; originally Brigham Young Academy - the first version of the BYU. The "Y" is in the background.

For those of you that have lived there, I bet right now you're sighing and thinking I hope I can go back soon and visit. Maybe take my kids one day and show them all the stuff I did. Well, that's what I'm thinking. There was always SO MUCH STUFF YOU COULD DO! Living in Texas has greatly diminished our options of outdoor activities. It's kind of a bummer. Then again, people in Utah have been scraping snow off their windshields since October and last night we played outside until dark in our t-shirts. I guess you can't have it all.

Congratulations, Karrie!
We're going to celebrate in your honor tonight. We always need an excuse to celebrate.

Now someone needs to let her know about Elder "Swicket" (SWKT).

Photos from

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I know I have a recipe blog and all, but it's not like I'm making nightly homemade gourmet meals, or nightly homemade meals, ... or any sort of meal for that matter. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. This is why I have a stocked freezer. Or on those really bad nights, I have a nearby restaurant. In fact, Bradley's weekly gymnastics lesson has given us a reason (or rationalization) to eat out every Tuesday night, not to mention the other occasions during the week that merit (in my mind) a trip to a restaurant. You know, like the occasional date night, or getting lunch in the middle of those long days running countless errands, or like when I have a bad hair day (which is lots, lately).

Well, since my little Olivia has been eating solids lately, it's been reminding me of all the parenting books and pediatricians that tell parents that when their children begin to eat solids - that once they learn to gum food down - they should be eating table food. Specifically, whatever the family eats we should cut it up or blend it up so my monkey can eat it.


Let's say, for time's sake, that we didn't eat out. I'm not sure if giving my baby frozen pizza and corndogs is the best idea. Whoever is telling me to "just feed your baby from the table" should take a glimpse at what we eat. Emmy's eating habits are so screwed up that I've vowed to do things differently with Liv.

Luckily people like me have Gerber. And lucky for me Olivia gobbles up every last drop of anything I've given her. I don't have a good messy-face picture of her, yet, so here's a delicious one of Emmy to hold you over until I do.

Once upon a time she ate green foods.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Helping Hand

I'm afraid my hand is healed.

I know that sounds like a good thing, but it still feels pretty sore. Here are some things I don't take for granted anymore:

  • Shaking hands without cringing - I'm afraid it might break again if I meet "Mr/Ms Power Handshake".
  • Wringing out a sponge - I was finally able to to it again last week.
  • Straightening my fingers (well, almost). Bradley actually got the giggles in church yesterday just by looking at my hand.
  • Writing - I can now pen my own constitution??? No, but I can finally make a legible grocery list.

Still can't do and afraid I won't ever again:
  • Make a fist - for self defense reasons, I'm always fighting off paparazzi.
  • Putting weight on the back of my hand. Like the use of my knuckles when I do my push-ups everyday, real bummer.
  • Wear a ring on my right ring finger, making Steven sigh with relief while my sister, Kristen, tears up.
At least it's mostly past me. With the weather being wet and cold, I was curious to see how my arthritis would be. I am happy to say that it hasn't bothered me like I thought it would. I'm just thankful to Britney V* and Faustin S* for talking me into going to the doctor. I would have always wondered.

I'm going to go try my hand (pardon the terrible pun) at wrapping presents.

Let me know what you want, I mean, besides the Christmas Card.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's slowly (I mean S L O W L Y) getting chillier here in Texas. And though it is not winter yet (well, it's never truly winter here - only technically), I thought I'd change my blog's color scheme. I was growing weary of its colors. Because I'm changing the look of my house tomorrow (YES, I decided to go through with my decorating plans), I thought I'd change my blog today.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Decoration Dilemma

When to decorate?

November began on a Thursday making Thanksgiving come at its earliest possible date. I follow the usual "decorate-the-weekend-after-Thanksgiving rule" when it comes to putting up our tree and stockings. My one exception is when we go out of town for Thanksgiving. I'll put it up the day before we leave because once we return it seems that I'm unpacking and doing laundry for days (especially when we go to the ranch). Plus Bradley will be out of school the day before Thanksgiving and he loves decorating our house more than I do.

My dilemma is:

Will Wednesday be
too early to put up my tree?

I mean, it'll only be the 21st! I hate it bad enough that retail and department stores gloss over Thanksgiving like its a mere inconvenience, but isn't that exactly what I'll be doing?
I just * L O V E * Christmas.

What do you think?

Should I wait a week and a half - until the 1st? Or should I go with my holiday instincts and forge on with my decorating plans?

Does it make a difference if we think we'll be out of town for Christmas?

What are you doing? or should I say, "when are you doing?"

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I've mumbled this word several dozen times this morning.

I'm home today sick. I went to church with all the best intentions, and left in the middle of sacrament meeting because I couldn't sit up straight. I decided that it was likely that Olivia would nap along with me, so Steven strapped her back into her car seat and the little lady and I left.

Beads of sweat were forming on my brow, and I couldn't keep my eyes open, it was making me nauseated; all due to some pain. I pulled over once thinking I don't want this mess in my car, but nothing happened. I drove about 22 mph (something VERY hard for me) all to avoid jarring my body or using any unnecessary muscles when I turned corners.

I have endometriosis. It's a plaguing little thing that gives me grief every, oh, I don't know, 28 days or so. I can't function when I'm in this much pain. All I can compare it to is child labor except it lasts for about two hours instead of on again off again for 4-5 hours (until I get an epidural). I'm not sure which is worse. Wait, I can tell you what it worse: when you can't have your drug of choice (ibuprofen) because 8 years ago, your body decided that it was allergic to it. I'd take an epidural every month, but I can' find an anesthesiologist that will comply.

Olivia is not cooperating as I had hoped, so I'm braking a family rule and watching my tivo'ed episode of Project Runway (shhh, don't tell). It's definitely making me feel better.

Thanks, Stacey, for teaching my little ones in nursery! I owe you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Family of Carnies

Cue circus music...

Mmmm, Much Better

So, when things get stuck in the garbage disposal, I usually wait until Steven comes home so he can fish the thing out. It's usually just a water bottle lid or a baby spoon, but still. Why is it that as an educated adult woman, it still freaks the living daylights out of me to stick my hand down there? As if the disposal might become its own thinking entity and will turn on just to get back at me for all the weird things I put down there.

Give me a break, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep.

It used to be like this with grills. I used to think that if I touched the propane tank on a grill incorrectly or opened it wrong, it just might explode with a fury leaving my children with no mother (and, after teaching a grilling class to about 40 women, I learned I wasn't alone). If I can get past that, I can surely get past a garbage disposal!

Well, besides needing some obvious therapy, I've solved the stinky sink problem. I had to overcome some fears and clean the underside of the black rubber that keeps the water and stuff from flying back in your face. That, along with some Kaboom (that purple cleaner the really loud & obnoxious guy sells on TV) to get rid of all the hard water, I'm not smelling anything. Thanks for all the advice, everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sink Stink

I have this problem. It's been going on for a while now. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. Right?

My sink stinks.

Something is alive in my sink. It smells a little like musty dirt. I know, not the most terrible smell, but it's not what I want my kitchen to smell like. It's living somewhere in my garbage disposal. It may have relocated from my dishwasher. I don't know, maybe it's commuting, but I need help to destroy it. Remember, this is doing a lot to my self esteem as a homemaker to seek out advice like this.
So I ask you: any ideas for stinky sinks?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Please think before you insult me by offering ideas like vinegar, lemon peels and Clorox bleach products. I'm not quite that incapable (almost, not quite). I need some secret, underground, black market, chemical that your Uncle Sal sells in Jersey to oil rigs in the Gulf. Maybe someone has a brother in college who's majoring in Chemistry who can hook me up with his latest project. Better yet, hook me up with the brother that was kicked out of school for his latest project.

I'm getting weary of wasting money on cleaning products or worse, candles that just mask the odor. Somebody, please HELP!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Food Talk

Occasionally when one of the kids is eating by themselves (usually when said child has slept in, or are eating a special treat), I'll over hear them personifying their food by saying things like:

"AUGH! I'm going to die!" Then into the mouth the cereal goes and the chomping (killing) begins. This line is usually from Bradley. Morbid, I know.

Or sometimes Emmy will say something like, "Buh-bye food, we'll see you later." Munch, munch, crunch. I can't help but think this is from reality shows like Man vs. Wild or Fear Factor where they actually eat live food.

This morning, as she spoke to her food, she took her spoon, laid it across her bowl and said, "Look, Mom, now they have a bridge to Terabithia." When I spotted these bowls, I thought of her and her food looking for its imminent death.

Are my kids crazy?

Do your kids talk to there food?

Better yet, do you?

Bowl found at

Friday, November 09, 2007

Makeshift Bedside Table

Steven and I have never bought any furniture for our room save our mattress. The desk that is in our room was free (though it wouldn't even be in our room if we had a den/extra room), and the cedar chest in there was a gift when I graduated from high school.

Our room is ridiculously big. So the three pieces of furniture are up against three of the four walls to fill a little of the space. We have nothing next to the bed to be a "bedside table". So to accommodate, I sometimes put things in my pillowcase. I have a miniature alarm clock (it's about the size of a credit card) that is usually in there. Occasionally there's a small piece of paper and pen for those lying in bed "to-do" items that come to mind or those middle-of-the-night millionaire ideas (somehow they must not get written down). But last week I had a cough and runny nose; there was a couple of cough drops in there along with some clean tissues. I realize this is sounding weird. Just go with me on this.

Anyhoo, Emmy and Bradley were so kindly waking me up one morning and as I got out of bed, Bradley picked up my pillow to begin a pillow fight. Out flew a bunch of random things. His eyes got wide, Emmy looked excited, and they both eagerly asked, "What else is in there?!" While Steven was wondering, 'how do you sleep on all that stuff?'

Now they periodically check my pillow case for candy (that's what they thought the cough drops were) little surprises, and toys.

I think it's time to get a bedside table.

...And maybe a cute lamp to go on top.

I'll need a charming candle
to add some ambiance.

It would be nice to have
a matching bedside table on the other side.

What if I could get a great
head and foot board to go with it.

We'd really need curtains.

But now the desk
wouldn't match the other stuff.

And the Queen Anne legs on the cedar chest
would surely look out of place.

We would need another room
to put those pieces of furniture.

I guess we should buy a bigger house.

...and this is why Steven
doesn't like it when I shop.

But if I did, this is where I'd start.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lovely Weekend

Weekends are great all by themselves.

Then you add two great friends to the mix, and it's even better.

But what beats all is the ending of Daylight Savings Time.

I'm still finding clocks around the house that still need to be changed.

John & Lee Lee, thanks again for the visit! We love it when you come.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I'm going to have to get this off my chest sooner or later.

This is bound to offend a lot of people. But it may limit the forwarded emails I'll receive in the future.

I'm tired of missing persons emails, fixed pictures, get rich quick scams, etc, etc. This phenomenon of forwarding erroneous emails is worse than gossip. One little click can let everyone in your contacts know any number of falsehoods. It's like people are working for the Inquirer's circulation staff. My last favorite was an email claiming the government had new coin in circulation that had the phrase "In God We Trust" removed. Not true.

Here's a little hint, folks. All it takes is a little time of your own (gasp!), check out the email you get at SNOPES.COM. It's likely to save our relationship.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


My little sister, Holly, received her mission call yesterday. I'm pretty sure I called about 15 times to check if the mail had arrived. I was very anxious and had butterflies every time I thought about it. My brother, Ryan who lives in Arizona, and I are the only ones who couldn't be there to watch her open it. So I did a little three-way phone call so we could all share in the news.

It was (and is) very exciting.

All the letter had written on it was a 1-800 number.

Okay, only a few people will get that joke.

She's going to be serving the Hartford, Connecticut English speaking mission.

First thoughts: History, New England, the Atlantic, Yale, Hockey, Wealth

Graham and Annie, you are the only people I know that have lived in Connecticut. I'd love to hear what you think.

Just so everyone is clear, I won the pool. I predicted a New England mission destination from the beginning. Pay up folks.

Congratulations, Holly!
We are excited for you and proud of you.

I Want to Hear From You!