Journey

Happiness is a Journey, not a destination.


Namaste.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Perfect Dress

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to go and help my sister select a dress for her upcoming wedding. It was funny how events conspired to make it possible for me to be there...I got called off from work Monday night. Tuesday morning, my mom had car trouble, so she was behind schedule, so Heidi was able to get hold of me and I was not tired or still sleeping, and my mom was able to pick me up. We drove to SLC to meet up with Heidi...we found her gown at the first(and only) store we visited. This dress was the second one she tried on.


We thought it was the one...until this one came along....



Which one should she choose? They are both so perfect for her. With her coloring, the cream/ivory color looks so good on her, and she wasn't concerned that she can't wear it in the temple...the bretheren are discouraging wearing the Actual wedding dress during the sealing anyway. She looks so beautiful...
The slight difference in the design details finally swayed her (and us) towards the second one....the Jacket will be specially made to her exact specifications, and in the exact fabric to match the dress (the jacket she has on is just a sample, to "get an idea") The dress was even on Sale...we completely lucked out.
The back view....

What a beautiful Bride to be she is...on her wedding day, she'll be stunning. (well, she always is stunning, but you know what I mean!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Bloggiversary to ME!!

And (another) Merry Christmas to me as well, because I spent this afternoon spending a good portion of the Christmas money given to me by my In-Laws, and my grandparents. I'm really excited about my "score". I actually got the Cricut Cartridge yesterday (yes, I know, on Sunday, but there is a reason)...I saw the Michael's ad online Saturday night while I was working, and the solutions carts were on sale for $29.95. I wanted to get there and get the 2 I wanted at that price...Indie Art and Stone Script. By the time I got there (I slept in after working), they were already out of Stone Script...but they gave me a raincheck!!! So, Indie Art is here, and I'll be getting the other soon...I'm really excited, as I plan to make a little sign for my front door..."Naptime is daily from 12pm to 3pm. Please do not disturb us by ringing the doorbell or knocking during this time". Or something to that effect. So, this afternoon...I got called off, and Cole wanted to go spend his Chrismas money...pics to come of that tomorrow. After we picked up his, we headed to the mall. I really was only looking at purses, and found what I wanted. I love purple, and have looked for an amethyst/slightly irridescent purse since the deep purples came back into style this season. I love purses, but I'm picky about them...they have to have pockets in all the right places for all the right things, and the straps have to be the right length...all with a look that I love!. I found it in this one...my only complaint was that this line was the only line of purses NOT on Sale at Macy's! Oh, well, it was the last one in that beautiful color. As I wandered the mall, Cole went off to buy mannequins from Mervyns, and I ended up at Famous Footwear...and found the shoes on Clearance. I had a coupon too, so I got them for a KILLER deal for Sketchers. I saw them before, and thought they were cute, but I didn't want to pay $60 for them. I'm thrilled with my stuff... So, what's wrong with this picture? This is our next door neighbor (their backyard borders our side yard). This house is owned by someone who lives out of state, their son lives here with roommates while going to school. They all left for winter break, and these icicles have just grown and grown. I really hope they don't take the raingutters with them when they start to break.... This icicle wraps all the way around the car...I couldn't get a very good shot of it from my angle. Apparently, their other next door neighbor called the owners, and even emailed pictures of the problem, but they live in Washington state and either don't realize what a problem it might be, or don't care.

video
Isn't it funny to watch a cat play fetch?

As I've thought about my year in blogging, I've become very introspective. This year has been a good journey, and now it's time to focus on the the coming year. Stay tuned....

Friday, December 26, 2008

In the Aftermath....



Ah, Christmas...it hardly seems like it should be over, December just flew by for me. I took 166 pictures from Christmas Eve to Christmas Night. So, the slideshow is 35 pics long...but it's the most I could limit it down.
Our family had an amazing Christmas. We are Truly Blessed. It started early on Christmas Eve...Cole cooked a breakfast for his side of our family at our house. Those who were able to come enjoyed it very much. I had worked the night before, so I slept in, then went to the salon for a much needed cut and color. I got home, and preparations for my side of our family's Christmas Eve party. I wanted to do something fun and special...We decided to have a Pajama party...We had a lot of fun!



I got out my fine china and crystal...I haven't used it even once since we moved in to this house, so it was really fun. We had our traditional Ham, Cheese potatoes, and rolls...with a fruit salad contributed by my mom and green bean casserole contributed by Brenda. The family decorated cookies for Santa, we had all the kids perform some kind of Christmas song...Alec was soooooooo funny. He is such a drama boy, and he performed "The 12 Days of Christmas", including the actions he picked up from watching Kyle perform it with the choir twice. It was so funny. He has no fear of performing, and if we laughed, he tried to make it even more funny. While they were all singing Jingle Bells together, Santa rang the doorbell, and when they went to get it, there was a sack of presents! They all enjoyed their gifts.

My kids went to bed very well...Cole played the playstation for awhile to wind down, and I layed and watched him...when we finally went to bed, I was exhausted.
Cole woke me at 7 the next morning, and then we woke the kids(we had to, in order to be to my parent's by 10:30). We all loved our gifts...we let the boys eat breakfast while playing "Little Big Planet", a really fun video game they've been wanting since we rented it around Thanksgiving. We all got ready, put on new clothes (I'm really glad my boys like getting clothes...and of course Talia loves clothes!), and headed out to my parents. The boys could hardly wait to get home and play "Guitar Hero III and World Tour", both of which they received from my parents. Talia loved her 360 scooter thing...

After a quick break at home for lunch and Guitar Hero, we headed to my Grandparents to open presents. After that, we headed out to my in-laws for dinner...it was really good, and pretty relaxing. Kyle and my nephew Hunter huddled together on the couch playing Kyle's DS, my 12 year old niece Alyssa kept Talia happy and occupied, and we relaxed with Cole's family.

It was a long and busy day, and I was completely wiped out. So was Talia..she'd only had 15 min total nap time all day, and fell asleep in the car on the way home. We fed the kids that were hungry, and laid around for the rest of the night. We put the kids to bed as soon as we could, and then we went to bed too.

It was a great Christmas, I couldn't have asked for better. My kids behaved perfectly, and liked everything they received. They were also grateful for their gifts.

P.S. Mindy...I loved the gift, and so did Cole. Thanks.
P.S.S. Julie...Cole tasted your carmel corn...let out a moan of pleasure, and then proceeded to DEVOUR half the pan. I did get some too, though...it was delish.
P.S.S.S. Christie, both sets of bows were perfect for the clothes she got for Christmas...I'll be bringing some more over to match soon.

Wishing everyone a restful week before the new year...and since I think it's my 1 year bloggiversary tomorrow.. Happy Bloggiversary to ME!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Kyle...Part 2!!!

From December 2008

So, I'm having a little bit of an emotional breakdown as I'm typing, so forgive me. Yesterday night, we had Kyle's family birthday party. It was the first time in a really long time that EVERYONE was able to come (it's a busy time of year). Our family room/kitchen, which is perfect sized for us, and even a small gathering, was PACKED with our wonderful families.
From December 2008

It was really chaotic, but fun. Just in the nick of time, I managed to nag my husband into getting the rest of our living room "stuff" up on the walls...meaning a picture and my shelves. I'm so happy with how they look....
From December 2008

I made mom's homemade cake and frosting, and although I'm not Mindy in the cake decorating department, I think it turned out ok.
From December 2008

It was delicious though, and that's all that matters.

I also finished the Birthday Countdown on Saturday...just in the nick of time. I planned to have it done BEFORE he started putting his pieces on the days, but I didn't have any paper(in the massive amounts of paper that I own) that matched well enough...I found the rainbow paper at Michaels, and was excited about how it looked.
From December 2008

SO, a little flashback of my own...10 years ago tonight, I was grumpy. I had just taken my last final the day before, and the night of the 21st my mom(she was the choir director for her school at that point) had a choir concert. I went to see her kids perform, and after, Mom made sure that my Dad walked me to the car. She didn't want me slipping on the ice. My dad was teasing me, telling me, "you could slip on the ice, it still wouldn't put you into labor. Your mom went way over with you, and we tried everything. Your doctor will be inducing you when he gets home from his vacation." My Due date was January 1st, my Doctor was in Hawaii for Christmas, and was coming home on January 2nd. So, back to the 22nd...I was grumpy. I was craving KFC, and nothing seemed to come together so I could get it..it was back in the days where they were trialing a delivery service, but they couldn't deliver to us that night. Finally, since nothing else sounded good, we drove down and got it. We ate, and went to bed, because Cole had to be up at 4. It was his last day of work before his plant shut down for the Holidays. We joked...it'd be great if I went into labor, and he'd get to miss work. Well, he got up and left for work..he kissed me goodbye(he always did in those days...those wonderful days when I was still able to fall back asleep after he kissed me goodbye), and I got up to go to the bathroom. I went back to bed, got comfortable, and was just starting to fall asleep again...when I felt a little wetness. I got up to go back to the bathroom, and I felt the GUSH of fluid pouring out of me...I ran for the bathroom, and managed not to get any of the amniotic fluid on our carpet...it all collected on the bath towel Cole had left on the bathroom floor. (He doesn't leave his towel on the floor very often...it was odd that it just happened to be there.). So, of course, I called him at work. I had never done that before...the company he was working for at the time was really strict about phone calls. So, when he got on the phone, I told him my water had broken. He said (I kid you not)"It's ok, I'm already at work, I'll just finish out the day." "No, I'm not kidding, it really did break, you have to come home!". It took him a few minutes to truly believe me. He came home, and took me to the hospital. We got there around 6, we called our families around 7:30...and My Parents, sister, Grandparents, and MIL came to join us. The female members of my family spent most of my labor trying to convince me that we needed to name our baby Christian, because he was a Christmas baby. But he was always my Kyle. At 12:03pm, after 1 1/2 hours of pushing, and the vacuum popping off his head because he had sooooo much hair...out face up came my First Son. 7lbs, 1 oz, 19 1/2 inches. Lots of black hair. Perfect. Each baby born is special, but there's something about becoming a mother for that first time. Having my husband lay our son in my arms. Knowing that your life has significantly changed, mostly for the better, but also knowing that there will be trials and heartaches that come along with it. Happy Birthday to my precious Firstborn.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If you're in need of encouragement of any kind, check out TiGi's Windfalls for writers, linked in the "Interesting reading" section of my blog. We all need encouragment sometimes....

Happy Birthday to Kyle....Part 1


Yesterday was Kyle's friend birthday party at Classic Fun Center in Layton. I have never been so glad that I decided to have someone else do the birthday for me...it was SUCH a good experience. I bought the unlimited package, which was a per person charge for unlimited access to most the activities(they only got one game of Laser tag, and the rock wall was extra). They had so much fun...we arrived shortly before 2, went in, and right away the "party coordinator" connected with me...they already had our "birthday tables" all set up, with tablecloth, balloons, place settings, etc all set up. We got our wristbands, and the kids went to play. As additional kids showed up, I just hooked them up with a wristband, and sent them to find their friends. I sat at the table, read a book, kept an eye out (another nice thing was that because it was a weekday, we almost had the place all to ourselves. It was great). The kids all got about 20 tokens to spend, and most of them tried to win tickets to spend. Classic provided us with 2 choices of soda with unlimited refills, and ice cream cups. I brought cupcakes (the only outside food or drink they allow is you bring your own cake). It was really relaxed for me, until the craziness of closing and watching for everyone's parents. 2 kids actually left without me seeing, and I looked everywhere to make sure they weren't still there before I left. All the kids seemed to have a great time.




Kyle spins the "Birthday Wheel"


I did drink my 16 oz Sugarfree Redbull right before the party. The energy lasted the entire party...but as I was fighting Layton traffic on my way home, I felt the energy leaking out of me...and by the time I got home, I was exhausted and starving. My wonderful husband took over the rest of the night. It was great to be able to provide such a great birthday experience for my son. I HIGHLY recommend Classic for parties. They were highly organized, and made my life extremely easy.

A side note on mammograms...I had my first one yesterday morning. I've heard many things..ranging from "just a bit of discomfort" to "extremely, extremely painful."
From my perspective, if you can get over the "gentle manhandling" technique that is necessary to posistion you on the machine, it's really just mildly annoying, and a bit pinching at times. It really only lasts for a second, and then it's done. Don't put off getting one if you need one...it can save your life.

P.S. Thanks for delivering my prize Mindy...sorry I didn't have a chance to call last night and thank you...they're so Cute!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chaos...

That's what my life is. Starting yesterday, my life is one big chaotic event after another. If I can just last til Christmas without going crazy or collapsing from exhaustion, I will be so incredibly grateful.

Yesterday (Monday), started early. I got up and made cinnamon twists for Kyle and Talia, and PB toast for Alec's breakfast. I got the boys off to school, and Talia and I hurried and got ready. We were out the door by 9:30, to finish our Christmas shopping. It took us 3 hours, she ate lunch and snacks in the car, and whined at me the entire last hour, but IT'S DONE!!!!! I've been worried about finishing, so it's a relief. We went home, I put Tali down for her nap, and I......

FINALLY!!!!! got to play with my new cricut. I cut out a bunch of vinyl, played with a few of the creative features, and it was very, very fun. Most of what I cut out is for gifts for some very important people in my life, so I'm not going to post the pics until after I've delivered them. However, I did make this cute gift bag just to see how it would work. I can't wait to find some 12x24 paper and try some longer cuts....and of course Cole wants to know how he can manipulate my new machine into making Halloween cr**...I mean stuff....(I did tell him I would be nice and share).
From December 2008

Last night was Kyle's first choir concert. It was so fun, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even got the...opportunity...to go up on stage and dance the hula. Kyle did a great job, I'm really proud of him.
From December 2008

(front row, just to the right of the microphone)
Tuesday started early...like 4 am. I didn't sleep well last night, was restless after Cole got up, and was out of bed at 7. I drove the boys to school, and Talia and I headed to Albertsons to get cupcakes and a fruit plate. I had a lunch party today with a group of friends, picked up the boys from school, left the kids and headed to work. It's been slow, but I'm tired and it's only 10:30. I usually take a nap before work, but I couldn't miss a chance to connect with the girls.

Tomorrow, I have my mammogram/ultrasound in the morning(and thanks again, Grandma and Grandpa for watching Talia), and then Kyle's birthday party at Classic Fun Center right after school. I'm really excited about the party...but since I'll be on 3 hours of sleep, I'll be running on adrenaline (and caffeine, I've already got my 16 oz Sugarfree Red Bull all ready). Classic is great, they take care of everything for you, so I'll be able to take pictures and watch the boys have a good time. (and thanks to Aunt Brenda for watching Talia and Alec during this event).

Thursday and Friday are work....Saturday starts the prep for Kyle's Family party. He's also supposed to have an indoor soccer game, but we haven't heard back from his coach.....
Sunday is church and the family party. Monday I have to get everthing ready for Christmas Eve that I possibly can get done ahead of time.

Tuesday my oldest baby turns 10 for real. It's their last day of school before the break, and I have to work. I'm hoping to be called off though...the Chapel of Flowers is doing luminaries on the graves, and Cole wants to take the kids.

This Year, Cole is hosting a Christmas Eve breakfast for his family at our house, then I'm getting my hair done, and then we're hosting my family's Christmas Eve party. I'm excited to host, we're all wearing jammies and probably eating on my fine china that I don't get to break out often...I can't wait.

I don't know how much blog posting I'll get done in the next week (Dad..sorry :))
Since you won't get to read a daily update, at least let me brag about your amazing abilities with Christmas lights...MY Dad's Christmas Light Display ROCKS!!!!!
From December 2008

If I go insane, and they take me away, I promise to think of you all while bouncing around my padded cell....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Milestones and Indulgences....

So, yesterday, my daughter learned one of the MOST important words for a woman to know. That word is.....CHOCOLATE! She now knows the difference between regular candy and chocolate. As a chocoholic myself, it was a very proud moment. It all started with these....



I've really been dying to try these, but they are a little on the expensive side. I had a pretty good coupon for them, so I decided to try them. These are the triple chocolate ones, and I must say...they are AMAZING!!!!! We were driving home from Target, and I was trying to keep her awake, so I gave her one, specifically telling her it was chocolate. It was like it clicked...all of a sudden, she was asking me for more chocolate, and when we asked her later if she wanted candy, she said "Cawcat"? It's really cute. She also started saying "Beautiful" in the correct context. It's so fun, she's saying new things all the time. She wants "colors" (crayons) all the time, and she just likes to pull them out of the box, look at their "beautiful" colors, and put them back in. Simple joys....

As for indulgences...I found a new/old one this week. I really wanted Hot Chocolate Monday morning when it snowed. I am out of my fav, Stephen's Belgian Dark Chocolate flavor, and I haven't been able to find it in stock anywhere. I took the boys to school, and had to run up to my Gran's house, so I stopped at Starbucks. I got their "Signature" Hot Chocolate, and honestly, it was heaven in a cup. It was so rich and smooth, it was almost like drinking melted really good quality chocolate. So many Calories....between 600 and 700 depending...but it's soooooooooo good.

We're busy at our house...Cole's into his Christmas Cooking insanity, and I'm working. Next week, we have Kyle's choir concert and Kyle's friend birthday party, I finally scheduled my baseline mammogram that I was supposed to get last year, plus a christmas party and working thrown in....If I can make it through this week, and get everything done that I need to, I will be very grateful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Pictures!



Merry Christmas!

Our weekend was really good...Cole and I got all the christmas shopping for the children done. Talia is feeling much better..her ear infection and cold have mostly cleared up. I got to go to relief society for the first time in 4 years this week, and really enjoyed it. We had to have the "We believe in Santa in our house" talk with Kyle. I (finally) played with the software that came with my camera, and was able to edit the Christmas pics so that there wasn't any red-eye. I know, I can't believe I've never used it, it was really easy. I wish it had been as easy to actually take the picture...it took us probably 20 shots to get one where they're all smiling and looking at the right place. Kids....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I want in...

On the Christmas questions!!!

So, here goes....

Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely Hot Chocolate...Steven's Dark Chocolate flavor, with Whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa AND Mrs Claus wrap most everything, unless something is too big to wrap.

Colored lights on tree/house or white? Well, I prefer white. However, Alec specifically asked for colored lights outside last year, so now the outside has colored lights and the tree has white lights with Gold and Silver decorations.

Do you hang mistletoe? No...I don't have anywhere to hang it. Besides, I don't need an excuse to kiss my honey, and I hope he feels the same!

When do you put up your decorations? It depends on when I'm working. Cole usually gets the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. If I'm not working, we decorate the tree over the weekend sometime. This year, I worked the entire weekend, so I put up the house decorations on the 1st while the boys were in school, and we decorated the tree that night.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Hmm...there are so many good ones. The first one to come to mind was the year my Dad bought my Mom a new diamond ring..and hid it in the slippers he had wrapped for her. He encouraged her to try them on, and so did I (not knowing what was in them). Her face was priceless...so surprised and pleased and a little bit guilty. It taught me a great lesson though...sometimes giving is better than receiving. My Dad's enjoyment of surprising my Mom is etched in my memory.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I became responsible for continuing the tradition with my own kids? Seriously, though, Santa is still real to me, because of the spirit of giving that Santa embraces.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We've always opened a gift from Santa at our family Christmas Eve party(courtesy of Santa doing a ring and run, and leaving a sack of presents on the doorstep), but last year I wanted to start the "opening PJ's on Christmas Eve" tradition with my kids. They don't have to match, but I try to at least get them to coordinate.

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Since I already covered the colors, I'll go through the process...we start with the small gold balls that we've had since before our children were born. I start at the top, and once I get enough on the high branches, the kids get to start putting them on lower branches. After all the gold balls are on the tree, Cole just hands us ornaments, and we let the boys do what they will...gently helping them if they put things too close together.
It's been hard for me to let them help as they've gotten older...but I'm always glad that I do.

Can you ice skate? Yes, but I don't often have the opportunity.

Do you remember your favorite gift? Yes...as a child, it was a Cabbage Patch Doll, the year they were almost impossible to get. I wanted one, but I didn't think I would get one...but somehow, my Granny managed to get one for each of her female grandkids. I still have it...
As a teenager, it was the year I got a TV...it was completely unexpected, and that made it that much more sweet.

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? It's all about family, and making sure there's a balance between the commercial and spiritual meanings of Christmas.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Homemade Mudpie. YUM!

What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love that Santa does a Ring and Run, leaving a sack of presents on the doorstep at our Christmas Eve party. He's done it every year since I was a toddler, and I love to see the reactions my children have. The wonder never stops.

What tops your tree? Nothing...I've never found anything I love enough to put up there.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I have to choose?

What is your favorite Christmas Song? Carol of the Bells, when performed by the TranSiberian Orchestra, or O Holy Night when performed by almost anyone.

Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized? Yes. I really wish the commercial part of the season didn't start so soon....and that the spiritual side lasted the whole year through.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I suppose it had to happen eventually....

Well, Talia has her first ear infection. Considering that Kyle had constant ear infections from 10 months old, and tubes at 1 year, and Alec had tubes at 6 months, 10 months, and 2 years, I guess we should feel lucky we've made it 20 months.

The backstory...
Talia's had a cold for about 10 days. She's been whiny, which I find irritating. Today was no different...until after our shower. She started crying at the end of our shower, and pretty much didn't stop. It was almost noon, so I thought she was tired and hungry. She ate well, and I laid her down for a nap...15 minutes later she started screaming. I tried to comfort her, and get her to go to sleep...no luck. Finally, I brought her out of her room, and sat holding her. She was sobbing, and started saying Owie, Owie, over and over. I asked her where it hurt, and she pointed to her right ear. She would try lay her head against me on that side, and then would cry harder. So, I gave her motrin, but something told me I should call the doctor. I was glad I called when I did...they'd just had a cancellation for 2:15. If I hadn't called when I did, I probably would have had to go to instacare and pay a bigger copay. Her left ear is fine, her right ear definitely has an infection, so I felt justfied in taking her in. Cole's picking up her amoxicillin as we speak...

This was supposed to be MY day...I planned to stay in my jammies all day, let my hair air dry, no makeup, and while Talia was napping I was going to play with my new Cricut Expression...and scrapbook a bit. Unfortunately, none of that happened. Hopefully, though, she will feel better tomorrow. And thank heaven for Motrin.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Give Away!



If you're wondering why there's a whole bunch of fish "flying" above my kitchen table, I'll give you the scoop. I'm giving away this "mobile". It's from Pottery Barn Kids, and has never been used. I originally intended to hang it in Alec's room when we moved him downstairs, but even with adjusting the strings it's just too big...the ceiling in his basement bedroom is just too low. So, it's up for grabs.
Leave me a comment if you're interested, and I'll do a drawing this weekend.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!!

I started a 3 day stretch of days off yesterday, so I was thrilled to start putting up Christmas yesterday. First thing after the boys left for school, I put up my Autumn decor, and got out my favorite thing...my Willow Tree Nativity.
From December 2008

It never ceases to peacefully remind me of the Spiritual implications of the season. I can't even describe the emotions that go through me every time I look at it...Talia was so cute, she asked me "What's is it?", and when I told her "Jesus", she just kept looking at it and saying "Jesus" over and over. She's talking a lot right now, parroting everything we say. I do think she's learning a lot of it though....

I started the morning by making homemade Turkey noodle soup. Well, I started the process, it really took me most of the day, after boiling the bones, letting them cool, separating the meat, cooking the noodles, and then letting it simmer for awhile. As I was boiling the bones, I got out my mini tree, and decorated it. Then I fought with the garland for the banister. It was a huge pain, and my hands are covered with little micro cuts, but the effect of it is worth it.

Last night, after a yummy dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (for me, Talia, and Cole anyway...the boys had regular sandwiches and no soup) we decorated the tree. The boys really are getting very good at putting ornaments on so that everything looks balanced. Talia loved her job of sitting on Daddys' lap and handing everyone the ornaments. Cosette was her typical self...came to monitor the progress occasionally. Indy was a stinker, of course, jumping at the ornaments, trying to "bat" at them, and knocking them off the tree at times. He got squirted with the spray bottle, and seems to be leaving the tree alone...for now. There were no broken ornaments this morning, anyway.
From December 2008

From December 2008

From December 2008

From December 2008

From December 2008

From December 2008

I have a few more decorations to get out, and I need to organize the front room now that we've moved furniture all over. Christmas is on the way...now we just need SNOW!!!!

'Tis the Season!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

BLACK FRIDAY!!!

So, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday...ours turned out VERY well, despite the fact that I had to work at 3pm. Our family met at my brother's house and had a nice, relatively relaxing dinner before I had to leave for work. It was very nice.

Work was busy, but in our small amounts of downtime, we were all scouring the Black Friday ads(as we always do!). Originally, Cole and I had not found anything we particularly were looking for. However, I didn't get through all the ads at home, and while looking through them at work I found the 1 thing I HAD to go after...
From Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

I've been trying to justify buying the Cricut Expression for a long time...I've wanted it ever since it came out. The $300+ price tag was just more than I could justify spending. However, Walmart had it for $199.00. It was just too good a deal to pass up. And then, a friend wanted to me to get some Cabbage Patch Kids for her girls. (and thank you, by the way, I don't know if I would have gone after them just for 1 doll for my princess, but getting some for you made it easy for me to get one for Talia too). So, my wonderful husband got to Walmart at 3 am to wait for my Cricut. I came over straight after work at 3:30, and decided that he would stay by the Cricut, and I would stay by the CPK's. We waited at our separate stations, and as always, traded stories with the people around us. Sometime around 4:40 (the sale wasn't supposed to start until 5), a bell went off somewhere by mistake, a ROAR went up, and we went at it. I grabbed the number of dolls I needed, and then I was able to pick through the pile, trading for the colors and features I wanted (Talia's has brown hair and green eyes, just like she does).
Cole had an interesting experience with the Cricut...there were only 12 of them. Of course, he got one pretty easily, given his size,strength and proximity. However, when he left that area to meet me, 3 women were wrestling over the last machine. Cole said that they all had their arms wrapped around it, none of them were giving up or letting go.
We were done and in line by 4:50, and were out pretty quickly(thank goodness, because Walmart's checkouts crashed shortly thereafter we found out). We headed over to Target to check out the $3-$5 DVD selection. We stood in line over there for an hour, then were able to get the things we wanted. We left Target, went to breakfast, and then got home before the little kids were awake (Kyle was awake). By that time, I was ready to drop, since I'd been up 22 hours. Cole headed out to Kmart, and I went to bed.


This afternoon, Cole and the boys put up Christmas in the yard.
Welcome to our "Winter Wonderland"...just add snow!
From Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

From Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

From Thanksgiving Weekend 2008


Jack will make an appearance when he's done being fixed. I'm off to play with my Cricut Expression now....

Oh, and a little note for Rachael H...I realize you've gone private, but is there any way I could get an invite? To your main blog and your recipe blog? Jgil081095@aol.com.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Called Off!!! :)

I got a wonderful surprise today...I was supposed to work. We usually staff 3 RT's, but we've been busy enough to need 4 at times lately. I didn't realize it, but because of the holiday schedule this week, there were 4 RT's scheduled. Tonight, they only needed the 3, and it was my turn to be called off. I was really, really surprised, but very pleased. Especially because Kyle and I are going to the Nutcracker tomorrow with my Mom, and I wasn't going to get more than 3 hours of sleep. Now I will be rested and able to enjoy the show!

Cole and I took advantage, and went running a few errands. Later, I got to watch "The Biggest Loser"(I work most Tuesdays, so I usually Tivo it). While I was watching, I finished up a couple of projects...

Talia was THRILLED with her hat...she insisted on wearing it the rest of the night and to bed...

I also managed to finish this scarf...for me.

I actually started it while I was pregnant with Talia, but it got put away at some point, and I had forgotten about it until I got my looms back out this year to make everyone new stuff. I really wanted to get it finished in time to wear it on Black Friday, since Cole and I are meeting after I get off work to do the shopping thing...we LOVE Black Friday. So, any of my buddies out there...if there's a deal you want, and you can't get out, and we can get there...give me a call. It's definitely an advantage to have a big strong guy out there to keep the crazies from trampling you. The year I was pregnant with Talia, a few people at Target were EXTREMELY rude...to the point that one guy took a swing at Cole for trying to keep me (his 20 week pregnant wife) from being shoved around. The guy ended up being body slammed into the shopping carts for his trouble, and no one else dared mess with us. Ah...the good memories.

The funniest Black Friday memory I have is 3 or 4 years ago at Walmart...the $10 Cabbage Patch Babies. I laughed so hard...dolls were literally Flying, being thrown over the heads of the crowd to people with carts on the outside...and the women fighting so hard to get theirs. I didn't need one, I was helping people from work, so I was able to look on it with perspective. Dang, it was funny...

So, on to Thanksgiving, and the shopping madness that follows!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Breakfast in Bed....


Since we weren't able to go away for our 13th Anniversary this summer, I decided to surprise my husband with a night away in SLC over the weekend. It all began back in October...I overheard some of my friends at work talking about going to a play. It was "Into the Woods", one of Cole's favorite plays. He had never seen it live, and had always wanted to. I got to see it this summer with my mom, and he was a bit envious. When I heard it was playing, I looked at my schedule and bought tickets that night. I've been keeping it a secret for a month or so...
Then, I got the idea that if I could find someone to watch the kids, maybe we could spend Saturday night in SLC. My brother and SIL were wonderful to take all 3 of my kids for the night, so I booked the "Sultan's Palace" room at the Anniversary Inn. My surprise was all set....
Cole did find out about staying overnight about 5 days in advance. I didn't really think I could pack up us AND the kids without him guessing anyway. However, he did realize I had SOMETHING going on, but didn't press me about what. He was surprised and pleased to be going to the play.

The play was excellent. We are actually considering getting season tickets. The theater (Hale Centre Theatre) is right across the street from the E center, and is beautiful. It's not a huge theater, but the stage is right in the center, so all the seats are good. We actually had 3rd row seats, and it seemed like we were right in the middle of the play. We had a great time.
We spent a lovely romantic night in Salt Lake, and picked up our kids Sunday morning, only to find out my Dad was in the ER. As the day progressed, my dad was admitted because he is in kidney failure, and his blood electrolytes and a few other things are at serious levels. My dad has been sick, and throwing up ALOT...so we're hoping that he just got so dehydrated that his kidneys stopped working. I spend most of Sunday at the hospital with my mom and dad. Dad seemed to be doing much better yesterday, so we're having faith that everything is going to be fine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Autumn!!



Happy Autumn! I LOVE this time of year. I love the cool tempuratures, wearing warmer clothes, seeing the leaves fall, and even seeing the winds blow the leaves all over the place. I especially love the colors of November...the Yellows, Oranges, and browns are colors that I can't wear because of my fair skin, so I only get to enjoy them in a decorative setting...which means I really only get to enjoy them in October/November.

So, I got my hair cut and colored last night, and my stylist just moved to this great salon in Layton, Salon Tantrum. While I was out there, I dropped by Hobby Lobby to buy the teal pumpkin I talked about in a post a couple of weeks ago. I was SOOOOO glad I stopped...all their fall stuff was 80% off, and they only had a couple of what I wanted left. The bigger one was too big for my mantel, so I went with the smaller one, and a couple of irridescent orange ones to go beside it...thus the pic of my now complete Autumn mantel. The best part (besides how much I like the way it looks) is that it only cost me $5.37.

Talia has a little bit of a cold, and has been VERY grumpy the last couple of days. I'm grumpy because I have to go into work today for a class...and still work 3 shifts this week. I hate to work extra hours...the $ isn't worth the time away from my family. The boys are great, and Cole is grudgingly working on Christmas...although he keeps trying to run ideas for next halloween by me, and I have to remind him that he can't ask me that until AFTER December 25th.

Enjoy the wind and the weather...I will be!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

8's....

I was tagged by Misty...

8

Places I like to eat:
Chili's
Olive Garden
Kasbah Grill
Bombay House
Timbermine
Prairie Schooner
Grand America (Sunday Buffet)
In my own Kitchen, when I didn't have to cook!

Show's I watch on Tv

Bones
The Biggest Loser
House
Boston Legal
CSI
Without a Trace
The Fox 13 News (morning, noon, and night...I love the news)
Criminal Minds

Things that happened yesterday

Admitted 2 babies to the NICU
Ran about 100 blood samples.
Changed about 20 diapers (including at home and at work)
Ate a delicious dip made of chocolate chips, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar
Made a home lunch for Alec, because it was a day he wouldn't have eaten school lunch.
Washed my work clothes
Cleaned the kitchen
Continued re-reading Twilight

Things I love about Fall
Cool Days, cooler nights
watching the leaves turn, then fall.
The smell in the air....
Halloween....
Sweaters, jeans and hoodies again!
Fuzzy socks
Thanksgiving
Snuggling in a cocoon of blankets in my bed...with my sweetie....

Things on my wish list(in no particular order)
New Kitchen
Paint the bathroom
Paint the staircase (the walls lining the staircase, actually)
Expand the house
My sister to find her soul mate
Learn some more crafty skills
Clothes of all kinds...for both me and the rest of my fam....
1 day to ski this winter.

People I'm tagging
Mindy
Christie
Cami A
Sherri V
Brenda
Rachael H
Lisa P
Judith

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blog Following....

So, the lovely little "Follow this Blog" link on the side of everyone's blog has been on my mind this past week. When the option was first available, my thought was..."Well, if they're linked on my blog, it's probably OBVIOUS that I follow their blog.". However, I have 4 or 5 blogs in my Favorites list that are not on my blog link list...specifically because I don't have the permission of those people to put up a link. I, personally, don't care if you link to my blog from yours, but I know several people who do, so I've just decided that I will get permission before linking. Just so you know, though, if you link my blog from yours, you're fair game to be on my blog link list :). Back to blog following, however...I've been kind of ignoring it. This week, however, I clicked on mine, and was surprised to see who was following my blog(and very, very pleased, I might add). Because I clicked on it, I was able to reconnect with a friend I haven't seen in about 10 years. A friend I have missed very much. So...the jury's still out on blog following for me, but you may find I've clicked on your link in the near future.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Warning...this is going to be a loooooooonnng one....

I've been really busy, I can hardly believe it's been a whole week since I posted! I guess since I knew my Dad was on a golfing vacation, and not looking forward to reading about my life every day, I felt like I could slack a little on my blog. Now, however, I have 2 tags and a bunch of catch up stuff to do....

Last Saturday, we had a family wedding shower for my cousin who's getting married in January. It was with the "Coop" side of the family...my maternal grandmother's family. We always have so much fun together...it went really well, and my cousin got a ton of really neat stuff...it made me think I should really think about upgrading some of my kitchen pans and appliances...but of course, I won't until I don't have another choice.
From November 2008

Me and my cute sister and cute sister in law...

Monday, I was on call at work, but we had very little food left in the house. So, I rushed to get my grocery shopping done Monday morning. Later, I didn't get called into work, so I went shoe shopping with my Mom and Talia...we had so much fun! My mom got 2 really cute pairs of boots, plus 3 pair of pants and 2 tops...she did really good and looked really cute in all her stuff. I wasn't really planning on buying myself anything...but I've been looking for a new winter coat. I love my old one, it's a deep purple color and so warm...but it's HUGE on me now :(. The only sad thing about all the weight I've lost is the clothes that I LOVE that no longer fit. So, I've been looking, but I'm really picky, and I wasn't going to get anything until I found exactly what I wanted. At Dillards, I saw this coat...
From November 2008

..and I had to have it. I'm really excited about it...I love jewel tones, and emerald is one of my favorite colors. I also got a cute sweater, but I think it's going to end up being one of my Christmas presents from Cole.

Tuesday I worked, and was really distracted by a new book series...The Black Dagger Brother hood by J.R. Ward. It's another Vampire Series, but I'll warn you..it's very graphic..both in language and in smut. The story is excellent, and I devoured the first 4 books in the series in 2 1/2 days...and I can't find the 5th book anywhere, but if I can't find it, a friend here at work will bring it to me on Wednesday.
Speaking of Vampire series, Wednesday this came in the Mail...
From November 2008

I was excited, but there is a story here...I never bought any of the books in the series, I borrowed them. I had a really hard time not buying Breaking Dawn, because I really, really liked it. But when I heard that there was going to be a boxed set of all 4 hardbacks coming out in October for a great price ($50), I decided I could wait. So, last week, I was at Barnes and Noble, and saw the boxed set, and grabbed it. When they rang up my purchases, I couldn't believe it...it was $83.00!!!! I knew I had seen it on Amazon for much less...I bought it anyway, thinking it might be a s&h difference. I looked on Amazon, and the $50 was INCLUDING shipping...I ordered it on Amazon and took the other set back to Barnes and Noble. I really felt I was being ripped off....$33 is a HUGE difference.
Wednesday I also watched my Niece and Nephews...it was a little Chaotic, having 6 kids running around the house, 2 of them under 2, but it was fun and the kids were really good. It's fun to see how well they all play together as they get older.

Thursday, I spent the day clearing the clutter. I keep my house clean, but I am a clutter bug, and no matter how hard I try to change it, I collect clutter. So does my husband, which makes it doubly hard..so, I plowed through the clutter spots in my house yesterday, then I got some more decorations back out...I felt really good about everything I accomplished. I'm dying to get my Christmas stuff out, but I need to wait until after Thanksgiving...I do have some Thanksgiving stuff out.

I've also finished a couple of hats, and most of a scarf I found in my yarn supply that was left about 1/3 done...
Now were to today...I'm here at work for the weekend.

Now for the Tag....6 quirky things about me....

1. I HATE green vegetables. They all taste very bitter and like grass. YUCK!
2. I read 2000+ words a minute. I guess I really don't read books, I inhale them.
3. I'm a perfectionist. I've relaxed a little,(having kids will do that to you) but I still want some things just so, and it's frustrating when it doesn't work that way..
4. My hair is COMPLETLEY gray/white. At 32 years old.
5. I still really want to gut a deer. I never had the opportunity, but I'd still like to someday.
6. I love Bruce Willis. I know it's strange, but there you have it.

I tag Michele W, Misty V, Judith W, Christy J...

Oh, and I'm saving Misty's tag for tomorrow!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feeling Crafty and Domestic...

It must be in the air, I've been feeling especially crafty this week. I could hardly wait for yesterday, my only non-sleep deprived day off. I decided to hit the ground running...
Talia and I were showered, dressed and out of the house by 9:30. We headed up to Hobby Lobby, because I'd already searched Michaels and Joann's here in Riverdale. I was looking for some very specific charms. And I found them...plus Yarn for a couple of other projects. Just a review on Hobby Lobby...their beading selection was mediocre, but their selection of charms was the best I've seen in my sphere of travel. Their christmas stuff is out, and they have an amazing selection. And I had to really talk myself out of a beautiful turquoise porcelain pumpking for Thanksgiving...I really didn't have anywhere safe to put it(I do have a climbing toddler), but it was beautiful. Also the wire cornucopia...I may have to go back after I get paid.
After Hobby Lobby, we hit the Layton Mall. The main reason being...I only have 2 pair of pants that actually fit. So, walked through the mall...found sweats and a thermal shirt at American Eagle, Earrings and DKNY Jeans at Macy's...on SALE! (I love nice jeans, but I have a hard time paying more than $30 for them...) A new bra at Victoria's Secret(again, I had a $10 off coupon)...A productive day. Talia and I had Lunch in the food court, then headed home.

I laid my sleeping sweetheart in her bed for a nap, and got out all my beading stuff...

I made...


The top one is A "Bridal Bracelet" for my cousin who's getting married...her bridal shower is tomorrow. It's in her wedding colors (black, white and burgundy), with the cool bridal charms I was looking for...
The middle is a bracelet for Talia...to match some of her fall outfits.
The bottome one is for me....

I also finished up a bunch of baby bracelets for a friend of mine who had a baby girl...


The Hat is for Alec, to match his coat. I also got about 1/2 finished with a hat for Kyle, and have plans to make them for all of us.

The Domestic side came in...I fixed a scrumptious dinner of Roast Beef, Mashed potatoes,and gravy...and another review here. I decided to try the new OreIda "Steam and Mash" potatoes. You put them (straight from the freezer) in the microwave for 10 min then mash as you would normally. They tasted just like I'd done all the work of boiling, peeling, etc all by myself, and were much easier to clean up. High marks...I will probably switch to those on a regular basis.

Then, Cole and I caught up on episodes of Fringe, while intermittently checking the score of the Utes game...we ended up watching the last 8 min of the game, so excited when the Utes pulled out a win!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election and Tag...

So, first of all, I hope EVERYONE voted today. NO MATTER what your decision is, I really, really feel it's so important to let your voice be heard. So, Talia and I braved the snow this morning after I dropped the boys at school. It was fine, it didn't take long, and my voice was heard.

Anyway, this week's been all about taking down Halloween, and getting everything into storage.

My friend Judith Tagged me a few days ago....

I am--a gemini, a wife, a mommy, and sometimes, The Lords instrument in saving lives.

I think--Constantly, I feel like my brain never shuts up.

Everything in Life--has a plan and a purpose. Sometimes it's hard to accept that.

I want--to find a way to get rid of the clutter, more time with my family, to be able to do full pigeon pose someday...

I have--handsome sons, a gorgeous daughter, my soul mate, wonderful parents and In-laws, great siblings/in-laws...and many other things.

I dislike--backbiting, backstabbing, negative gossip, phony people. Can't we all grow up and get out of that High School mentality?

I miss--Grandma Ruth, Staci S, and Julianne C

I fear--that my sons will have to go to war, that my husband will die young, that my daughter will have the same trials I did, and that my grandpa won't be with us much longer.(I know I shouldn't fear the last, but I'm not ready to let him go, and it scares me to see how quickly he's deteriorating).

I feel--lucky to have a husband who understands me, Tired much of the time(but it's worth it for my kids).

I hear--alarms all night at work and sometimes in my dreams.

I smell--too much, my nose is far to sensitive, especially when I'm pregnant or hormonal.

I crave--lately, graham crackers with homemade vanilla frosting. Colored pink.

I cry--when we lose a baby at work, when we help a mom hold her preemie for the first time, when it hits me that my kids are growing so fast...and a lot of other times too...I'm an emotional crier for all the emotions.

I search--the internet for people I've lost track of, the house for an extra binkie or Talia's shoes(she's always running off with someone's shoes),

I wonder--about the future of our country, the economy, and Cole's job.

I regret--nothing major. There are all kinds of little regrets, I suppose. None that I can think of right now.

I wish--Cole's car would last us one more year...then my car will be paid off and we'll only have 1 car payment when we get him a new one...

I love--My husband, my children, my Family...the primary kids, "My" young women....the sisters I serve with.

I care--about the babies whose lives I save, their parents and families.

I always--wash my face and brush my teeth before I go to bed. Tell my kids I love them when they leave for school.

I am not--high strung with my family. I try to be a little more laid back.

I remember--that 5th and 6th grade were awful, that the first quarter of 10th grade was psycho and gave me headaches, and the night I fell in love with my husband. OH, and the births of each of my children.

I believe--That my church is true. And that you can't judge a church by how the people in it behave. That God is loving and forgiving.

I sing--everything. Lullabies to my babies. In the Car. In the shower. To my ipod as I'm cleaning. At the top of my lungs when I'm alone, and more normal tones when I have company. At work, if music is on. And sometimes when it's not.

I don't always--remember to change the sheets on my kids beds as often as I should. Or to put clothes in the dryer from the washer.

I argue--not often. It's not usually worth my stress.

I write--whatever I want. Especially in my blog...it's public because I make it so, but it's most of all for ME.

I win--not often. My fantasy football season proves that...I had a 1-7 record until this week when my team mangaged to win. I figure I already won everything I want and need with my husband and kids.

I lose--sleep every time I work. It's Ok, though...my children won't be little forever, and it's worth it to me to work mostly while they're asleep. I'll have plenty of time to sleep when they don't need me as much anymore.

I listen--to everyone's side of the story. And usually try to stay neutral. I also keep everyone's secrets. If you confide in me, no matter what happens, it stays locked away.

I don't understand--why Heavenly Father makes good couples infertile, and allows young and/or drug addict mothers to birth multiple babies into terrible environments. I don't understand why so many of the above population keeps babies that they obviously can't care for properly. And I will never understand how anyone can harm a child in any way.

I can usually be found--At mom's pool in the summer, Cleaning the kitchen first thing in the morning, and in my bed at Talia's naptime.

I am happy--most of the time.

Whew...that was a long one. I tag (if you have the time)...Mindy P, Cami A, Christie J, Sherri V...and if you've already done this tag, sorry...I can't keep track.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween!

So, another year of Halloween is finally over, and I must say it's a little bittersweet. I think it really was our best one ever...especially from the comments I have heard. So, thanks to everyone who came over and supported Cole's creative efforts!!

So, first things first....

For school, Kyle was a Mercenary (You'd have to know my 3 men, especially the father figure...it all stems from a couple of video/computer games)

From October 2008

Alec, after much changing of his mind, decided to be Iron Man....

From October 2008


Pumpking carving was fun, Kyle got to use a real knife for the first time, and both boys did all the carving and design of their pumpkins...they did a great job!

From October 2008


Then, on the 30th, we had a little "Test Run" to test lighting, fog machines, and make sure everything was working properly. We had a little Donut and Hot chocolate party for anyone who wanted to come....

From October 2008


Then, Halloween itself. Now, every year I get the question,"Do you dress up?" and when the answer is "NO!", I get asked, "Why not?". Well, it's really because I don't enjoy being dressed up, walking around trick or treating, and having to worry about being in costume AND running after my kids. I prefer to be comfy, in jeans and a hoodie, on halloween. It makes it more fun for me. This year, however, I decided to play around with my makeup, and came up with a rather dramatic look that got pretty good reviews. Cole actually compared me favorably with Elizabeth Taylor in "Cleopatra", and said if he'd known I was going to "dress up", He would have bought me some accessories. I had a lot of dark blue eyeliner, diamond sparkles, etc...and no, my skin is not really that pale, it's actually paler...I have blush on to give me some color!

My favorite pics...

Talia was the most gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood EVER!
From October 2008

Kyle my Head Hunter...and Alec my Iron Man
From October 2008

Family Portrait
From October 2008


Me and the Kids
From October 2008

From October 2008

From October 2008

And of course, I can't forget the Man I LOVE!
From October 2008

I made that beaded necklace he's wearing...and I will NEVER work with hemp again..it was a HUGE pain...but it turned out cool.

Now, on to MY time of the year...Thanksgiving and Christmas....Have YOU started your Christmas Shopping yet?