Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out of the mouth of babes...

So I was watching a pretty new little baby boy today during sacrament meeting for a sweet sister who was giving a talk.

I was holding him wrapped in a blanket when Jenna's family arrived at church and came and sat in our row. Her little boy Tyler took one look at me, gasped loudly in delight and with a twinkle in his eye said...

What did you name him?

I almost pee'd myself laughing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Silence is golden...

Every day I have the great pleasure of bringing these four kids home from school... A typical ride home on a typical day... Mike and his friend Josh, DeAnna and her friend Kayla. They usually roll down the windows... I usually wear sunglasses and pray to heaven that no-one will recognize me... The crossing guards near our home get a great kick out of it and have actually started waving. I guess life could be worse...

(Yes, you do have to press play...)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful...

For the first time in three years, we got to have the U.S. branch of my side of the family all together for Thanksgiving. The best part of today? Knowing that this will be happening for many more years to come. I am FINALLY allowed to say that my Mum & Dad have decided to sell their house in Maryland and relocate to Utah this summer after their mission is complete. Obviously, we could not be more happy! :)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In All Things Give Thanks...

If you ever take note of the times that I post, you will know that quite frequently I post very late at night. I work 40 hours a week outside of the home as well as trying to keep on top of things inside the home, so often I do not get to blog until later in the evening. Sometimes I will sit in bed and draft several blogs at once so I can just go on and post them whenever... so even if it says I posted in the afternoon or morning, chances are I was up writing at midnight.

I have a laptop, which is handy, because I can sit in bed and blog while Mike is catching up on sports or just watching his favorite TV show. However, I absolutely hate having the laptop on my lap... not only do I feel restricted and get very uncomfortable very quickly, but the thing gets pretty dang hot after a while!

So my very thoughtful family bought me the best gift this week... anyone who blogs should have one! It is a computer stand that slides over my bed... kind of like a hospital table! (Heavenly.) It is a bloggers dream... it even tilts. I may never leave my bed again!!!!!



I am not a big fan of my own birthday. It is embarrassing to me to get attention and lets face it, I am not getting any younger, but a lot of people went out of their way to do very nice things for me this week and I just wanted to say thanks... you made this week very special. There are many things I have had to be thankful for. Here are a few...



  • Arriving to work Monday morning at 6am to a desk that had been decorated, (understatement), by my family who had snuck out over the weekend to desecrate it... (yes, that is confetti all over the desk.)

  • Recorded messages on my phone from family & friends...even some of my young women... singing to me. (Even if some of them couldn't hold a tune to save their life, LOL.) This was just awesome!!!! :)

  • A visit from my very busy parents who traveled over an hour just to get to our house, then turned around and traveled an hour back.

  • Estee Lauder Pleasures Intense... My FAVORITE perfume... finally, I can smell like something other than soap or deodorant :)

  • A huge (about 3 feet around) sponge bob balloon that sings Happy Birthday. (My co-workers had good fun flicking pennies at it to get it to go off ALL DAY LONG!)

  • A personalized pie plate that has my NAME etched in it... never again will my pie plate go missing after a social event!

  • Massive sized chocolate bars.

  • Rice Krispie Treats... WITH EXTRA BUTTER!

  • Cafe Rio Lunch, (mmmmm), & Flowers

  • A trip to the movies! (I haven't seen Twilight yet!)

  • Packages and emails from family and friends in Maryland who somehow remembered.

  • Facebook Birthday wishes from friends I haven't seen in years.

I know that as women we are often very hard on ourselves. Have you ever had times that you question if there is anyone that could possibly even like you, never mind love you? I do. Frequently. But this week has not been one of them. I only hope I can return the favor to my family and friends SOON!!!!

Love you guys, and THANK YOU!!! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

There's no cure for old age...

So yesterday I was browsing in a store when a young clerk came up to me and said... "Can I help you with something ma'am????"

MA'AM????? Please, somebody tell me I do not look that old!!! (Sob, sob, sob.)

Some other signs that you might be aging...

  • Your mom starts buying you wrinkle cream
  • You can't empty the dishwasher without pulling a muscle
  • Just watching someone exercising makes you tired
  • You've been to the doctor more this year than you have the entire rest of your life
  • You are suddenly earning all kinds of store credits for "new or transferred prescriptions"... and the pharmacists all know you by name
  • High heels hurt your feet
  • You have to set off your car alarm to find your car
  • You can't remember what you need at the store unless you have a list
  • Metamucil is on that list
  • So is hair color... for those who have "hard to cover grey"
  • Your birthday cake just set off the fire sprinklers

"Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are a cheese." -Billie Burke

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Laugh and the world laughs with you...

So it has become a joke to my Hot Hubby to pack my lunches in the BIGGEST dish he can find. One day when he called me at work, I innocently said, "Thanks for the lovely lunch, but could you have packed it in a bigger dish?" Apparently he could have.

He has now taken to sometimes sending me with these enormous tupperwares, usually full to the brim with food. I don't know until I get there what I have because I am in such a rush in the morning and he hands me a closed bag with all kinds of things in it including heavy bottles of water. However, I really dread to think what the guy whose refrigerator I store my lunch in thinks about the size of the bowl. I am thinking it goes something like this... "good grief... no wonder that girl is so fat! And how rude of her to use a whole shelf of my mini-fridge!"

I have tried to explain to Hot Hubby how embarrassing it is to carry a container that big as I walk through the office to heat it in the microwave, but to no avail. He calls me at lunch smirking... "did you like your GREAT BIG LUNCH, hahaha?" And I have to answer, "Yes I enjoyed it sweetie, but so did the trash can because as usual it got to eat half of it." (It can't be reheated.) Then there is the guilt trip when I get home with a full bag of all the extra things he packed me that I didn't eat. "Aw, I spent all that time packing you stuff and you didn't eat it?". "Well honey, I ate half of what was in this HUGE container, but then I felt so ill for the rest of the day that I couldn't eat another thing! But thank you all the same :)"

I know some of you may be thinking... What a waste! (Throwing out food is not frugal at all!!!) But hey, what is the cost of a good giggle anyway? (My entire dept gets quite a laugh at my expense almost daily!) And I have to say that he is still the sweetest husband I know for packing my lunch every morning :) Although it is only for 16 more days... (Do you see the ticker??? We are almost there!) Then he will actually be taking the earlier shift for work! Dang it... does that mean I have to start packing his lunch?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Love is...

...bringing home flowers when
he knows you've had a hard day :)


(Thank you!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more...

I was listening to a talk show on the radio the other day and the host said that due to our nations economy, this was gonna be "the worst holiday season ever." It stopped me in my tracks to hear that... I actually turned and looked at the radio in disgust. (As if whoever was on the other side of that thing could see me!) The worst holiday season ever??? That's a bit extreme isn't it? What is it that constitutes the best and worst holiday seasons?

It got me to thinking... now I know that we are in tough economic times and I suppose that to some, the thought of less presents and fewer holiday trimmings could be depressing... but really, is it the presents and the trimmings that truly make the holiday?

Personally, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays... why? Because it is in no way commercial. Thanksgiving is all about being together with family & friends, eating a ton of food, playing games, watching football and loving every second of it!

Now, Christmas on the other hand has become very commercialized in our culture. How many people do you personally buy Christmas presents for? Think about it... we start shopping for Christmas way before Thanksgiving... and I bet if your list is as long as mine, that it puts a decent size hole in your bank account... especially when your kids are in school and have seven favorite teachers EACH. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE giving presents... it is absolutely awesome to see my kids (all three of them) open presents on Christmas day, but give me a break. It is not going to be "the worst holiday season ever" if I don't get anything!

Presents Shmesents. It is the Spirit of Christmas that I can't live without. Nothing warms my heart like seeing the Christmas lights strung up through the neighborhoods or nativity scenes in homes. I bask in putting up our little tree with the homemade ornaments I made the first year of our marriage along with all the ornaments we have been given from family and friends through the years. I get up and dance when I hear Mariah Carey singing "All I want for Christmas" or "Joy to the World" and I get teary eyed to hear Celine Dion sing "Oh Holy Night" or Sarah McLachlan sing "Silent Night". I thrive on baking cookies or making fudge with my kids to deliver to neighbors. I live for reading a different Christmas scripture or story every day from the book my sister Carole made me a few years ago. Most of all, I just want to be with the people I love... ALL of them, all month long. Good family, good friends, good times... that is seriously what it is all about.

Remember the story of the Grinch? He went in to Whoville and took every present, ornament, crumb of food... EVERYTHING the Who's had, hoping to steal Christmas from them. But in the end, he could not take their spirit... and dang it Mr. Radio Talk Show Host... you aren't taking mine either!

"Maybe Christmas," he thought,

"doesn't come from a store."


"Maybe Christmas... perhaps...

means a little bit more!"

I don't care if I don't get the latest Ipod or a touch screen phone. Perhaps Christmas NEEDS to be downsized a bit. Perhaps we need to concentrate less on the size and value of the presents we give and receive, and focus more on the Spirit in which they were given. Our nations economy isn't gonna make this Christmas "the worst holiday season ever" for me or anyone around me because I plan on spreading the joy dude! (Starting with a Christmas play list on my blog! That's right folks... I am giving in to help save the season!)

After all, Christmas is all about a little baby who was born in a stable... honestly, what more do we need than him?

Friday, November 14, 2008

I believe she can fly...

Last Friday I received a call from one of DeAnna's teachers telling me that she was receiving the "Falcon of the Quarter" award this week. They asked me to write a little bit about her and then to come Thursday morning to the school for the presentation and a little reception afterwards. It was to be a big secret (Great... I am just FANTASTIC at keeping secrets.) Anyway, this week I had to severely watch my mouth, (so hard when you are so excited), and even be little sneaky... especially when various people from the school kept calling... (DeAnna is so nosey. She mutes the TV when the phone rings to try and hear! Makes it right difficult to have a conversation.)

The hardest part of the whole thing was the fact that I usually go in to work at 6am, but since this was at 8, I decided to take a half day and just go in afterwards. However, I would have to come up with a good reason for being home, because this is something I NEVER do, and the kids would get suspicious. So I told them that since I have to change my schedule in a few weeks when Dad starts working, I had arranged to do a test run Thursday morning with me getting them to early morning seminary and school to see how long everything would take me. (I know, lame excuse, but it was all I could come up with.)

Can I tell you, my house is completely out of control in the morning! (I am not usually there to witness it!) But that is another story all together...

After a very chaotic morning, I made it to the assembly. Unfortunately Hot Hubby could not make it because he is in clinicals and you can't miss those for ANYTHING! However, Auntie Jenna came with me and it turned out to be a really fun morning... DeAnna even got a plaque to hang on her wall.

This video is for all the family who couldn't be there. It is an awful video, but you can hear ok. If they had told me that the family would be sitting near the back, I would have brought my 10x zoom camera!!!! However, this is better than nothing. (Yes, as usual, you do have to press play!)


Congratulations DeAnna!

I am so proud of you!!! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You're never too old to learn...

This week is Mike Jr's football banquet. Yes, the end of the season is here! Football has pretty much ruled our life since the beginning of August with practice three times a week (every day for the first month), and games every Saturday.

All in all Mike had a really good time while getting physically more fit and making tons of new friends in the process. I, (who had originally anticipated sitting and reading a book during the games), became an overexcited, cheering, camera happy parent on the sideline, (though I could never hold a candle to sous-coach who I still say is just plain obnoxious.) Hot Hubby became an expert at holding the first down markers, (though unfortunately even this job did not stop him from yelling at the top of his lungs to the boys), and even DeAnna got in to it all! (Though I am pretty sure her eyes swayed over to the older boys in the next field quite frequently!)

So the big question is... after all is said and done,

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED

THIS SEASON?
  • Football does not get cancelled for rain, (no matter how torrential), thunder, lightning, (it's a good idea to leave the metal camp chairs in the car in this situation), or snow.

  • Because of the above, it is generally just not worth putting a lot of effort in to your hair on game days.

  • You can work your butt off for the fund raiser and sell 35 sets of the cups at work, but not a penny of it goes towards the boat load of money you have to pay for your son to play... all the money goes to "the league."

  • Don't let your son eat pasta alfredo less than an hour before practice... more than likely you will see it again.

  • If one of the ref's goes up and hugs the coach on the other team right before the game, it is generally not a good sign.

  • If the other team marches on the field stepping in time with matching gear, (including bags and water bottles), again... it is generally not a good sign. (They are 11 year olds people... Get a grip!)

  • If you bring your parents to a game, your husband will generally be 100 decibels quieter :) (Too bad I didn't learn this till the last game of the season.)

  • The ice maker cannot possibly make enough ice for what you need in a week when he is filling up a gallon sized water cooler every couple of days... just get used to drinking warm water. (Yuck.)

  • The coach is always right and knows much more than I do about anything and everything. (At least according to my son.)

Can't wait to see what happens in Junior Jazz! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's in a name...

So DeAnna and I had an argument on Saturday... I was telling Jenna that I got Levi jeans for DeAnna really cheap at Ross, ($10.99 a pair... a good deal in my books), and DeAnna pipes in out of nowhere with "those aren't Levi Jeans mom!"

Me: "yes they are!"

DeAnna: "no, they aren't."

Me: "DeAnna, they ARE Levi's... I checked specifically to make sure all three pairs were the same style."

DeAnna: "Mom, I PROMISE you they aren't Levi's."

Me: "Would you like to make a bet?"

DeAnna: "No, but they aren't Levi's."

Well, by the time we had gotten home I had forgotten all about the conversation, but this afternoon after getting home from school, DeAnna comes through to me with her jeans in her hands.

"I wish I HAD bet you mom... look, I told you these jeans AREN'T Levi's..." (big pause as she shows me the label), "they are Lori Strauss!"


Monday, November 10, 2008

You know you live at high altitude when...

...the clouds are so low they make
it look like the mountain is on fire!



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Change is constant...

Ok, ok... I KNOW it is not Christmas yet, but I have been having a ton of fun in photo shop learning to make my own backgrounds and I finally made one I actually like.

So what that it has a Christmas tree in it and we haven't even gotten through Thanksgiving yet... if I have to listen to all your Christmas music on your blogs, you can deal with my Christmasy background! ;)

And I'm not promising this will be the last one either!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I think, therefore I am...

I am not generally a very sappy person (as you can tell by my sarcastic nature in most of my posts), but something about November and Thanksgiving turns my heart and mind a little more heavenward...

When I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday about Mike getting the job he really wanted, she said something that made me think and think and think. She said... "I wonder if you would have ever moved to Utah if we hadn't come on a mission here?"

Now Mike and I had always talked about moving to Utah... or Georgia (I have always been fascinated with the town of Peachtree because everyone there owns golf carts, and that is how they get around the town... there are miles of golf cart road all over the place... quirky I know, but it seemed endearing to me), but I have to admit, we have both always been home bodies living just a couple of miles from each of our parents... we both severely hate change... and I really do wonder, would we have ever made the move without a little push?

I do know with all my heart that we are where we belong. God works in mysterious ways.

It was nothing short of a miracle how Mike got in to the SLCC PTA program when we got here. The program was at full capacity when he went in to register and we were told that he would have to wait a year which was very discouraging since back east he had only had one year left. Still, with his chin up, he started looking for temporary employment. But on the very first day of school, someone dropped out of the program and he received a telephone call that morning to let him know that there was a space for him.

It was nothing short of a miracle how we got into this home. It was one of the first homes I saw when I arrived with the kids in Utah. I felt strongly when I saw it that it would be the place we lived. We looked at many other homes, but waited 6 days (because of the pioneer day holiday and weekend) to hear back from the property rental company only to find out that someone else had just put in an application for it. I was devastated! Not only had I had my heart set on it, but we had let several other homes go that we liked and now we had to return the truck in a couple of days, we had no home to put our stuff in, and we were back to square one. I am not exaggerating when I say that within 20 mins after the rental company called to tell us the home was not available, we received a second call from them letting us know that the person had just walked in their office and withdrawn the application. Needless to say we flew straight down to the office and the rest is history. As it turns out, we have fallen deeply in love with our ward, the schools, the people and the area where we live.

Now, it is not to say we have not had trials. The first few months for the kids were heart wrenching for me. I had to fight back tears on the first day of school when DeAnna came home and told me she had eaten lunch by herself. Both of them shed many tears for their old friends and familiar faces & places. They asked us many times why we had moved away and pleaded with us to take them home. I sat in Relief Society several weeks feeling like I didn't have a friend in the world. We struggled to keep our heads above water for the first few months after using most of our savings to move and buy major appliances that we had never owned. I cried on Mike's shoulder wondering how we would be able to afford any Christmas gifts for the kids... and then there were other very personal trials that humbled me to the dust... more than I had ever been humbled before.

Everything worked out OK though. Money seemed to stretch a little further before Christmas allowing us to purchase some gifts as well as anonymous gifts arriving on our doorstep (which really stumped me because we didn't share our financial struggles with anyone... thank you to whoever it was who thought of us last year). The kids made wonderful friends in the neighborhood as well as at school. There were a couple of dear sisters in Relief Society (who I will never forget) who came and sat by me and took the time to talk to me... they have become two very special friends. (Thank you Ruthanne & Krista... you have no idea how much that meant to me.) We budgeted and saved to get a little cushion back in the bank and personally, eventually I was able to pull myself most of the way out of the dirt. In hindsight, I do believe that things happened the way they did so that we would be able to recognize His hand in all of our blessings.

Anyway, I know this is where we are supposed to be for now. Both Mike & I love serving in the youth program again. (Isn't it funny that you can move across an entire country and still end up working in the same callings you once held in your previous ward?) This time though, both our kids are in it too, so it has become a family affair. :) Mike & I have even made some friends and have been a bit more social than we ever were back East. I have just gotten a raise at work and Mike starts work in 5 weeks. Life is pretty dang good... we have no reason to complain.

Now that does not mean that there will not be trials in our future that might rock our faith... I have witnessed friends and family go through much harder trials than me where I honestly wondered how they survived. But for now I just have to hold on to this little bit of faith that God knows me and he will help me through whatever comes.

And things don't always go exactly how we plan. There is a perfect house that we absolutely love with the perfect neighbors in the perfect location in our current ward. However, the owners are not in a position to be able to negotiate any of their terms so we have to just let it go. Funny thing is, I am uncharacteristically OK with it. It is like there is a little voice in my heart telling me not to worry, there is a house out there somewhere where we are supposed to be with our name on it! :)

So take a little time this Thanksgiving month to ponder God & His love for you. He is not able to stop every horrible thing from happening to us, but he does give us a lot of blessings and he will be there to help us through the hard times if we open our hearts and let him in. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life is what you make it...

My hot hubby has had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG journey in school. It all started about... 5 years ago?? If you didn't already know, he had originally gone to technical school to be an HVAC tech. He then secured a job at the apartment complex where we lived as an apartment engineer which provided free rent, etc. allowing me to stay home full time with our kids. There he learned all kinds of handy stuff... seriously, the man can fix just about anything!

However, after both the kids were in school full time, he decided he didn't want to do that for the rest of his life and decided to go to college. He had to take a lot of prerequisite courses at night, then all the general courses... again, at night, then finally he applied and got into the PTA program at Montgomery College. At this point he had to quit his job as apartment engineer so that he could go to the full day program. After finally completing a year of the program we moved out here to Utah, but to our dismay, he had to start the actual program courses out here from the very beginning because their program was a little different from MC's. So for the last year and a half (including summer semester), he has been working his butt off to get through this program.

So here we are, 33 days away from graduation, (if you didn't notice my little ticker on the side there), and today I could not be prouder of him. He has been offered a couple of positions the past couple of months for when he graduates, but last week he decided to apply for a position at TOSH working for IHC. It is a state of the art facility that treats all kinds of different injuries with all the latest equipment, a pool, (he loves aqua-therapy), and they pay well, but they also have fantastic benefits which was important to us. It was a long shot and we both knew it... still, it is where he wanted to eventually end up... his dream job so to speak, so he applied anyway.

He actually got a call for an interview, (which was exciting), and arranged to interview yesterday at 6am so that he could be at his clinical on time. (Lucky for us he is a morning person;)) Well, they called back and this morning at about 7:45am he accepted the position.

Do you know what that means???? MY HUBBY IS EMPLOYED!!!! (Starting Dec 15th, obviously contingent on him graduating on the 9th ;)

CONGRATULATIONS SWEETIE!!!

Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Boooooooooootiful evening...

What a defrrrrrightful night! All of the kids looked awesome in their Halloween costumes and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Yes, my kids still love to trick or treat, (if one more person asks them if they are too old for it, they are likely to screeeeeeeam), but this year was a little sad as I realized... they have really outgrown needing Mike and I to chaperone them. (I know, I know, they are 12 & 15... but they are still my babies.)

Nevertheless they took off with a vengeance as soon as we walked out the door and Mike & I ended up walking around the block and chatting with anyone we ran in to.

One thing that I LOVE about Utah, is that when you trick or treat in the neighborhood, you literally run into half your ward. Check out some of characters we met along the way...