Monday, December 27, 2010

After the dust has settled

I wasn't going to do this. I was going to be in control. I had a plan. I had a budget. So, why, oh why am I afraid to log into my and face how very RED my Christmas budget bar will be? January is a time for resolutions. A time for change. and Thank the heavens, because oh my gosh...ikea blew my budget out of the WATER!

I became obsessed with the idea Chris had of changing his office into the playroom as a way for the kids to find Christmas morning. I stayed up until 4am on the 23rd and 24th to get everything perfect. It was worth it? It was worth it! I love it. It's adorable. I slept almost all of Sunday afternoon. Getting 4 hours of sleep over the coarse of 2 days, whilst battling a horrible, never ending 6 week cold, is a really really bad plan. But now, oh yes, now...we have a space for a movie room. We could have you over for movies. Or games. Or whatever, because now, you don't have to sit on the floor. Ok, technically you do still, because the couch doesn't come until the 8th.Isn't it lovely?! I have had my eye on this for over a year. It dropped during Christmas from $1199.95--hello NUTS, to $595 and I jumped. When we went into the store, the sign said $895 and my heart sank. I mentioned how on KSL, it was listed for $300 less. I pulled up the ad on KSL and he honored it. It still knocked the air out of me to drop that much on something, but considering it means 1. I can have friends over and 2. I don't have to lie on my basement floor anymore, I'm excited.

So now, it's back to being sane. I have daycare to pay for this year. *talk about the air being knocked out of you* $50/day since I have Simon and Ava going.

Pictures of Christmas as well as commentary to follow when I get home. Magical.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Work out buddy.

Qualifications--that's right, I have standards ;)

*must be motivated on days that I am not, so that I will actually move.

*must have a sense of humor about jiggly flab. because I come with a lot of it, and hate to laugh alone

*slightly to moderately to all out competitive. I need to be challenged

*positive attitude. i don't mean you have to be fakely happy all the time. but i have enough negativity in my own mind. No cut downs on yourself. It leads to pity parties-which kill workouts.

all resumes may be sent directly to me. Workouts start January 4th. So cram those cream puffs and swallow all the carbs you can handle before then. As of January, it's back to low carb life.

3am party

Simon took a 4 hour nap this afternoon, which at the time I thought "good, he really needs the sleep." He has a sinus infection, and hasn't been feeling well due to teething new molars.

3am hits, and BAM the kid is ready for action. It's been an hour, and he's not slowing down. So, of course, I am running our recent images Dec 16-current through DXO and have downloaded a trial version of Lightroom 3, because Lightroom 2 doesn't support our new camera. Also, DxO does not have our favorite lens as an option yet, so it can't read any image captured with the D7000 and the 35 mm. The downfall of getting a camera hot off the presses.

All I want is to give people the images they are asking for. 300 updates and installs later...ugh. sometimes I wonder if this photography gig is really for me. I just want to take fun pictures. I need some serious formal education on these editing programs though. I feel so completely out of my element in them sometimes, and the user manuals...I may as well study the Japanese section, because the English is just as clear to me.

I'm going to attempt to convince Simon that it's time for the party to end and sleep to begin

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Last Five Years

It's a littler surreal. Today is our 5th anniversary. I don't remember much of the day at all, but here are the flashes I can recall.

-Getting to Kira's at 9am to get my hair done, only to realize the hairspray is missing. Sent my parents--who had no idea where they were--to the store to get some. An hour later they return. Rush much?

--Stopping for Arby's on the way, because I was starving.

--Realizing I had forgotten my temple bag. Relieved that Chris hadn't left yet, so they could grab it for me.

--Sitting in the waiting room, being told by a cute little old man, not to worry. The he was sure my fiance would show up. It turns out Chris's family drove past the exit the first time around and almost made it to Salt Lake before realizing it.

--Chris stepping on my dress as we exited the elevator, and ripping my train.

--Hirschi-pronounced like Hershey Chocolate-was the name of our sealer.

--Never being so incredibly sure of anything in my entire life.

--Wondering why I decided I thought I'd be able to do my own makeup, and begging someone to go find Johannah.

--HOURS of photography, that by the way, we never ordered prints of. Seriously 900 pictures? Who can sit through that and decide?

--Wow! Chris's family really IS huge!

--JSMB flowers everywhere. Wondering if I was elegant enough to match the room.

Amazing food. Amazing friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Things I need to accomplish in the next hour

In a completely random order

-2 loads of Laundry--washed, dried, and put away.
-Load dishwasher-and get it sloshing away.
-Make beds
-Dress Ava and do her hair
-Gather miscellaneous crap from every room and put where it belongs.
-Operation Clorox wipe-down. Ava usually loves to help with this.
-Tame my "I forgot to brush my hair right after a shower" crazy hair
-Dress for work
-Pack up kiddos and their bags
-Drop off at Layton Bravo Arts Academy for all Ages
-head into the office until 4:30.

p.s I'm craving funeral potatoes and have all the ingredients. I dare not make it myself, as the last time I did was a horrible HORRIBLE turn out. Maybe you'll make them for me?! Eh? Eh?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

D7000 and Rockwell Love

As a Nikon enthusiast, I have come to rely on Ken Rockwell and his incredibly detailed and entertaining reviews for anything camera related. I have to say, however, that no review has ever had me so captured as that of Nikon's newest DSLR the D7000

Chris has been so obsessed with this camera since news of its release a few months ago. Salivating over each and every update. He received a generous Christmas bonus, and had some extra fundage he'd been saving for something special, and today went into the Nikon store hidden in the Farr's jewlery in Ogden (go figure) and bought one. He even worked out a deal, that got him a $200 discount if he purchased a lens with the body. He opted for the 55-300 VR. It is a lens to be reckoned with.

Ladies and Gents, we are ready to be your photographer.

Should you want a good laugh, and education on some cameras, lenses, flashes, etc...check out his site by either clicking on my links above or doing a search on his site

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


OOOOOOOOOOOh Winter and your every 20 day illness cycle. Seriously. Today I had a sneeze stuck for what seemed forever, it was a few hours. Since there's no sun to be had in this grey grey Wasatch Front December day, I had no choice but to keep staring up at my lights, hoping it would help the sneeze. Nothing. So I finally walked away from the tissue box, resolved that this sneeze would never come and then BAM
three head bangingly HUGE sneezes right in a row. Simon laughed so hard. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. It about knocked me off my feet. I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands, unaware that my sneezing fit was only beginning. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachooooo forehead colliding with the faucet. 3 more followed. So, it appears, the stuck sneeze was so immensely irritating, because it was, in reality, a slew of sneezes. I'm lucky that I didn't knock myself out when I sneezed in the bathroom. I literally have no control of my body spasms when it comes to sneezing. In grade school, they called me Little Sneezer after the Tiny Toon mouse that would sneeze so loud and so hard things would blow away or explode.
The worst part about this cold, is that Simon has it. I mean, I'm used to Ava being sick. She's my little allergy girl. She's on her nebulizer every other week or so, due to gross dirty air, and whatever seems to be pollinating at the time. Simon, on the other hand, has never had anything but bad ear infections. This is his first time dealing with a croupy cough. It's so so sad. He's being a great patient though. He's super snuggley and doesn't fight too much when it comes to medicine time.

I'm fighting hard to not let this cold ruin my clean house routine. Seriously...I'm not sure who's winning right or the cold. It might be a tie at the moment. I keep popping pills to make the congestion go away, but then I'm so fuzzy and dizzy from the meds, that I kind of walk around in circles. So, for those of you that manage to keep things in order when you feel like crap, what are some trade secrets? Come on! I'm back to work full time, long story...not really. Just boring actually. and I refuse to let my house go back to what it was. I love having no stress about laundry and dishes and etc. I guess you just buck up and do it anyway. You'll feel crappy lying down, why not feel crappy while loading the dishes? I have gone crazy with the Clorox wipes, and am wiping things constantly. And have gone through a bottle of sanitizer. NO MORE SICKNESS! conclusion...please remember,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For Ben--your family at Cousin Cookie Day

Dear Ben,
We know that you are especially homesick lately. We have some fun pictures that were taken today at our cousin cookie day. We were super excited to have your fun family with us this year. The only thing that could have made it even more awesome, is you! We hope you're doing well. We know you're counting the hours until you're back home with your family for Christmas--and together again under the same roof soon. We've sent a special Christmas present your way to help your family remember us while you're in CHILE, and the fun times we had today as cousins.

See how unimpressed Joshua is with his lame elf getting him something he already haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas. Just kidding. He gave big hugs and said thank you for his presents.
I'll have Chris send you the link to the rest of the photos on our Rezzen server! We love you! Have a safe, and very LONG plane ride home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

my thoughts on this bitter morning...

Today is day 3 of 'part time.' I am happy to report that my home is still clean!!!

so this is likely due to the fact that my kids are at someone else's house from 12:30-5. That makes a big impact on a home staying clean.

I was offered my full time position back yesterday. I decided to turn it down. I realized that I love love LOVE having the mornings be about being a mom and housewife. I know it sounds slightly 50s, but I like having the time to make the house a home. A safe, clean enviornment. it feeeeeeeeeels soooo much better. I may cry when the payday comes that shows my first decrease in pay, but hey--my 'chocolate' budget could stand a little rationing.

Chris is nearing the end of the semester. I can't believe we've made it. These two classes have been SO intense. Work at Inwest has picked up, and some times he's gone 6am to 11pm. He's been SO diligent to be 100% at work and with his classes. I'm incredibly proud of him. I've set up a day at the spa for him this Saturday to help ease his anxiety about finals week coming up Monday. I hope that it helps. If anything, it'll be a few hours that he isn't being needed by anyone. I know there are days that's my number one wish. just go somewhere and not be needed. Other days being needed is the only thing I want. but that's what makes me woman I guess ;)

May I take this moment to put in a plug for sudaphed. I woke up so incredibly foggy this morning with sinus pressure like I couldn't even believe. 2 little red pills and an hour later, and I was back to feeling human. Modern Medicine ladies and gents. I was not made for another time where it didn't exist. I was made for the easy to access pain meds generation. ;)

I have 99% of my Christmas shopping done...I say that because I never really feel done. Anyone with me on this? Right now, my mind is racing with more ideas. Charlie Brown, save me from this commercialism. ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

part timer

Today was my first official 'part time' day.

I have been full time mom and full time marketer for 4 years. (marketer for over 5.) The past 3.5 years I've been working from home 'telecommuting' is what the hip kids call it. My job share buddy-Eric-is officially trained. And officially doing requests in the morning and marketing in the afternoons.

How I spent my first morning being 'just mom.'

Simon was up at 5. At 5:25, I finally woke Chris to see what time it was. Wasn't too shocked seeing as how this has been his favorite wake up time for almost a month. Seriously kid. you're killing me.

About 6, I went downstairs to get him a new diaper and made Chris and Simon scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs are Simon's new favorite food. EVER. he'll eat every.single.drop. Chris is also a big fan of eggs in the morning.

I then let Chris take over and went back to sleep. *I'm soooooooooo not a morning person*

About 8ish I heard Simon crying. He was trying to get a diaper out of the package. He'd pooped. So, I put him in the shower with me. and his wheat thin box. Seriously, he bashed his head off the shower floor--purposely--until I allowed him to bring the cardboard box of crackers into the shower.

I decided at that point that I needed something to do. Clearly, he wasn't going to be napping....he had made his decision clear on that subject. So, I started cleaning. I laundered. Washing. Wiped. Vacuumed. Folded. Put Away.

I started a casserole. I was super proud that it was cooked and in the fridge waiting a reheat before 11:30. However, it was super super gross when dinner time came. so BOO to this.

By 12:30, the upstairs bedrooms were clean and all the laundry that had been washed had also been put away. I grant myself a gold star for that--because I HATE putting laundry away. My kids bathtoys were in a bleaching treatment, and the main floor was neat and scrubbed with dishes sloshing in the dishwasher water.

I got home about 5, and picked up my kids from my lovely Angie. *Major Plug here for Ang. She's watching my kids 4 hours a day. 4 days a week. AMAZING!* Her kids came over while she headed to work. If we don't both lose a good 10 pounds from our crazy'll be..........well just cruel really.

I've been up and down and down and up my 26 stairs more times than I can count. I now understand how Hilary is so freaking thin.

Special thanks here to Hilary and Angie and all my other friends who keep a clean house. You inspire me. Seriously. Sure, I know it's not perfect all the time. I've seen some days that kids have won the battle---but you really have shown me that a mom can win now and then...and more often than not, as long as I stay hydrated.

I hope to keep this up. I love having a clean house--although you wouldn't have known it the last year or so. I feel so much better in a clean house, and I swear everyone is happier too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 4.

Every day, the loss...the grief, it grows. Every. Day. I wondered, at first, why so many people were so immensely sad. The doctors were very clear. Nothing I did caused this. Nothing I could do would have stopped it. The baby wasn't developing right. This scenario is the best for the circumstances. I believed it. Truly.

When the baby was born, I cried for the first time. I was then so exhausted that all I could do was sleep for all of Saturday, most of Sunday...and then yesterday I kept myself busy with the kids. Running from here to do. Anything to not think. To not feel. And when the kids had fallen asleep, and the house fell hit. It hit hard.

I couldn't push it back. I couldn't hold it in. And I was completely overcome by sorrow. Guilt. Anger. more Guilt. Wondering all the irrational wonders of how and why and knowing there are no real answers to those questions.

It's greater today. It's deeper. I wonder to myself why it gets more intense with each day. When will it reach the pinnacle? When will it fade? Will it ever? I now understand why each mother that has had this experience has such pain when they hear of my case. Does it still ache years later?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Did Halloween Get So Fancy? - Other -

You've GOT to read this. SO hilarious.

By Jon Acuff

When did Halloween get so fancy? Did we vote on that? Was there some sort of meeting I missed? In general, I do my best to avoid attending meetings, so it’s possible that everyone got together and decided that Halloween would become some sort of fancy, expensive holiday without telling me.

When I was a kid, only the weird guy in our neighborhood “decorated” for Halloween. He put out some homemade gravestones and fake spider webs and played the inevitable “Monster Mash” over a cassette tape. We all smiled at his curious decorations, but inside, we thought he was kind of strange and probably smelled like pickles.

Now, though? Everyone is decorating for Halloween. There are inflatable pumpkins, giant spiders, zombies, and hay bales with witches cackling on them. There is literally a cornucopia of expensive ways you can trick out your yard for Halloween. In celebration of—I’m not even sure—free candy, maybe? Is that what we’re celebrating each October 31?

Speaking of candy, that got all fancy, too. When I was a kid, 50% of the houses on my street gave out “homemade candy.” And by “homemade candy,” I of course mean “apples.” People gave out apples and the most flavorless popcorn balls you can imagine. They were like eating yellow attic insulation. But that’s what we did. We didn’t get all fancy with our candy or put out bowls with little signs that said, “Please only take one piece per person.” (Which is adorable, by the way. There’s not a kid on the planet who only takes one piece in that situation. Their hands are like little cranes.)

And somewhere down the road, we started to bag the candy. Instead of just dropping a single pack of Milk Duds® in a bag, we actually put three different kinds of candy in a plastic bag and give them that. Some houses even give out full-size candy bars!

The bags are another issue. When I was young, I had to carry my candy in a plastic pumpkin that held approximately 14 pieces of candy. Now, kids carry pillowcases. You can fit 57 pounds of candy in there! Unbelievable.

The costumes have gotten crazy, too. For about five years running, my parents made me be a drifter or a hobo. Which basically meant they forgot to get me a legitimate costume. So, three hours before Halloween, they put me in some of my dad’s old clothes, rubbed some charcoal on my face, and gave me an old fedora to wear. Ghosts were also a popular option, since that costume only involved a sheet and a pair of scissors. Whole thing cost about a nickel. Now, though, kids get crazy, complicated Spider-Man outfits that actually shoot out web. Or Star Wars costumes with real working light sabers.

What happened to the clowns and the ghosts and the hoboes?

Where did it all go wrong?

How did we all get so fancy?

And most importantly, is Flag Day next? Will that be the next holiday that gets expensive and complicated and covered in Spider-Man webbing?

I’m not ready for that, and hopefully you aren’t either.

Stay sane this Halloween. Stay on budget. And stay away from popcorn balls. Those things are awful.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Be it ever so humble...

This weekend was amazing. Chris and I dropped the kids at my parents about 6pm on Friday night and started our weekend away. We drove down to Casa del Cope in St. George.

We were both up at 6:30am Saturday, hahahahaha oh yeay for habits. I made pancakes, and we sat out on the back deck and watched the sun rise over snow canyon. PHENOMENAL. We spent about an hour or so navigating St. George in the S2000 around the St. George marathon, and stopped for lunch at Pancho and Leftys. From there, we headed back to the house for a little siesta. OH NAPS-how glorious ye be. We headed for Vegas about 4pm. Due to the time change--which I had totally forgotten about--we had about 2 hours to kill in town before val's flight came in. So, we headed to the outlets to find Chris some new VANS. He hasn't had VANS for about 3 years, and decided since his NB are about shot, that he was ready to go back to the super comfy ever lasting VANS. We found the coolest pair that are like a turquoise teal/black. They rock. We also got him a new belt, since he's lost about 6 inches on his waist in the last year. We scored a reversable leather belt at Wilson Leather outlet and a new coat for me. Originally it was $140, I got it for $30. HOLY CRAP. It is bright yellow and adorable. I love it. We had so much fun just walking around and snacking on AUNTIE ANNE'S PRETZELS---oh how I've missed you. Please come to Utah ASAP.
Due to my awesome navigating abilities, we got a bit lost on the way to the airport by taking a left that should have been a right. Eventually, we found our way to VAL!!!!!! I ended up booking a hotel that was about 5 miles off the strip--ooooooooops. But it was cheap and nice. We dropped our gear and braved the drive back to the strip to show Val the sights. Chris and I rode the rollercoaster at NY NY--so-much-FUN! We were STARVING and most of the places were closed so we ended up eating at a cafe in one of the hotels. Our waitress was 65 and stoned or something. SO WEIRD. The food We walked around until about 2am when we all decided I was way too grumpy to put up with. My bedtime is 10pm.
Sunday morning we hit the breakfast buffet, and then drove down to the Stratosphere and went to the top. Chris was totally wanting to do the 900 ft free fall, but just as we got there, they closed it due to high winds and rain. CRAP! We went up though, and man it was high. I am a bit relieved that he didn't jump. I don't think I can witness my husband jumping off a 900 foot building. Even if he is harnessed. NO THANKS!
We drove back up to St. George and showed Val around Snow Canyon. We spent about an hour hiking. She was in love. Who wouldn't be? We didn't have much time, as it was about 4pm when we got back to that area, so we headed back to northern Utah about 6pm. We got to my folks house just before 11pm to pick up our sleeping kiddos. I swear they had grown 3" each. I realized as we loaded them up that I had really really missed them.
We are so happy to be home--thanks to a dear friend, I walked into a 100% perfect house. I about fainted. Everything was so beautiful. Thank you to my angel. I was happy to sleep in my bed with my whole family home, and Val downstairs.
I woke up this morning to Ava knocking on the bathroom door--Chris had just finished his shower.
"I NEED IN THE SHOWER--I JUST TOTALLY POOPED" oh it's good to be home! :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

my perfect weekend is about to begin...

My folks are taking the kids this weekend. I'm dropping them off today. Chris and I are headed down to St. George, and on Saturday.....We are picking up VAL!!!!!!!!!! in Vegas. We may even stay at Treasure Island. Sunday, we'll show her Snow Canyon, and the Entrada and fill her brain with so much Red Rock madness, she won't be able to stay away. We'll head back up here Sunday night, and she'll hang up in our place Monday and Tuesday and fly out Wed. Many adventures are to be had, and I cannot express how extremely excited I am to have a weekend with Chris and to see my VAL!

Monday, September 27, 2010


So, here's the deal. We are not in charge. We have agency. If you choose to forgo the birth control even once, you're giving God the opportunity to mess with your time line. For instance, our plan was to start for #3 in Chris's last semester so she'd come a good 2 years from now. God's plan was for her to come now.

We are pregnant.

If you ask Ava-she's100% positive that it's a girl. And her name is Ka-la-a-ka. Not sure if that name will stick but hey. It's a place to start. Sandi asked Ava if she's excited

"Yes. She's my sister. And I will hold her. and love her. and we will be best friends"

"But what if it's a boy? Will you still love him?"-and her reply was "Granni, I said, it's a sister."

There you have it. I am not sure how far along I am. My next appt is October 12. I'll know then when they do the ultrasound and measure the babe. So, here's to scary adventures.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

1st day of preschool

Ava loves this horse shirt. She picked out her own outfit this morning, telling me the one I had put out was "a bit crazy."

Ava's bff filling her in on the WAY FUN time she'll have with her teacher.

So, we were 10 minutes late, but I thought we'd be 5 minutes early. HAHA let's hope she has Chris's brain.
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

do you know the muffin man

Today, Simon and Ava played dress up. Simon decided that the bakery costume is the coolest as it comes with a hat. I think it looks SO cute! Ava got this for Christmas from my friend Lissa last year.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Monkey Around

I'm here to tell you, that I'm the only one in the family that cannot do monkey bars. Photos taken Easter weekend. I know so far out of date, but I can't sleep, so why not blog?!?! Yeay for Becca, Dad, and Chris.

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Kaylie's Shower Continued

It's only letting me do like 3-4 photos at a time. Sorry for multiple posts. Here are more photos of the decorations and fab food we did.

kaylie bridal shower

Hilary and I hosted a bridal shower for Kaylie. We had a great turn out! We did an open house brunch on a lovely WINDY saturday morning from 9:30-11:30. Here are some photos of the PINAPPLE explosion and other yummy food and decorations we had. It was the first bridal shower that I've been actively involved in planning and such. She's was so great to work with me and so awesome. I'm not sure I love the stress of putting these events together, but with a partner like Hil, I could probably get suckered into other events...oh wait, I already have ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2010 summer.

The kiddos makin a splash Summer of 2010.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My thumb is THROBBING. I sliced through it on Monday when I was helping my in-laws can tomatoes. I have been fired from knife duty for the rest of the year. The cut is pretty deep, and doesn't seem to be healing badly, just slowly. I'm letting it air out for a few moments before doing my Hydrogen peroxide treatment and re-bandaging.

We are officially out of underwriting and our closing date has been set for Tuesday, 7th. It will be in the afternoon. I'm so excited.

Our hearts go out to Toni. Her brother died unexpectedly yesterday. He was in his 40s and it has come as a total shock to her and her family. I'm grateful for the gospel and the teachings of forever families.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ava's BFF starts Kindergarten

When Chris and I moved into the neighborhood, Madison was 16 months old. Now she's starting kindergarten. Here's Mads and Ava on her first day!

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