Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter in Review

I was going to post pictures from the last 2 months of our comings and goings, but our internet has been SOOOOOO slow the last few days so there is no way in Hades I'll even be able to get pictures up here. (I can't even get the "Add Image" page to load.) Not if I want to go to bed before 2am. Which I do. Because I'm sick. Cough, cough.
But trust me, they are great pictures. Christmas parties. Christmas presents. A trip to St. George with cousins. Funny dress-ups. Their first snow. John's first haircut at a barbershop. A bridal shower trip. Dancing, dancing, and more dancing. Did I mention my kids like to dance? Oh, how they love to dance.
I'm sure I would think of more witty things to say, but I'm sick. Cough, cough. And Michael is working late so I have no one to cuddle me to sleep. I've been threatening for years to replace him with a body pillow (oh, especially when i'm pregnant...how i want a body pillow!) but I'm afraid it will be too cozy & cuddly & snuggly & sleep-inducing and I'll never be able to leave home without it. So instead I'll cuddle with a book and dream about not coughing again (which is ironic because the coughing is probably what will wake me up in a few hours-- that and the fire searing through my throat). Happy end of 2009!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bitter Sweet

As a book lover, I was incredibly saddened to read this piece of news in a Publishers Weekly article. Kirkus Reviews is one of my most trusted resources in recommending books. They have nearly always been spot-on in their descriptions and reviews and if they give something the green light I know that I have to put it on my must-read list. Obviously with the advent of computers things have been changing for the last few decades in the publishing industry--including the upsetting trend of library and bookstore closures--but this one seemed to hit particularly close to home simply because it is a personal preference of mine among book resources. Please take a moment of silence to honor our world changing at a frighteningly rapid pace. Thank you.

On to other more happy moments, I had particularly memorable one today. While attempting to encourage John to take a nap on our couch, I sat on the floor next to him and lay my head on the couch cushions next to his head. After about two minutes I think he decided that I was asleep and he threw part of his blanket over my entire head and whispered, "Here, mom, you can sleep with me." I tried to murmur quietly, "Thanks buddy, I love you," to which he replied, "I love you, too, mom" and kissed me on the forehead. Life seriously doesn't get much better than that.
Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season so far and taking time to enjoy the small moments.

Friday, November 20, 2009

happy november!

in honor of this wonderful month wherein i am allowed to start putting up christmas decorations next week, we decided it was time for new family pictures. okay, that's not why we had them taken but that doesn't change the fact that i am still ridiculously excited. michael can usually only stand having things put up the day after thanksgiving, but i think i might cheat and just get the lights out a few days early. there's nothing quite so wonderful as christmas lights inside at night while snow is falling outside. (mostly because it is WARM inside. it's not as fun looking at christmas lights while standing OUTSIDE. i am most assuredly NOT a fan of cold this year.)

anyhoo, that was a long way of saying that november seems to be a good time to post new family pictures. here's our photo from last year:

and here's the new one from this year:

and next year we'll have another bambino with us! (ok, technically he's already there in the bulge protruding from my abdomen, but he's hiding behind my clothes in this particular picture. anyway he'll be cuter when we can actually see his face and fingers and toes in the picture. for now you'll just have to use your imagination.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

party of 5

Yesterday I was glancing at a registration card Michael had filled out for a computer product he had bought, and one of the questions it asked for demographic purposes was about the number of people in his household. Next to that question he had written the number "5"...my initial reaction was something like, "Five?? Why would he put five? Is he trying to mess with their statistical data or something?" Until it finally dawned on me that, although the child in my womb doesn't technically count under that statistic, for all intents and purposes we do have 5 people living in our house. It was lucky I was standing next to a chair because I had to sit down. Just a few years ago (5, actually) we were getting married and it was just the 2 of us. And just barely before that I was a party of one, living a missionary life. And before that I was part of a large household, but no one I was related to because they were roommates in college. And just a few years before that I was living in my own household with my parents and we were a family of seven. SEVEN. That was a full-fledged, full-of-bodies, sometimes-too-many-people household, from my point of view as a child. And suddenly within 5 years of marriage I find myself TWO PEOPLE AWAY from that demographic!

I think I need to go lie down with a cold rag on my head. Please wake me in 30 years when they're all grown up.

*(Although I've learned more in the last few months that a parent's work is NEVER done, you don't ever stop worrying about or doing things for your children, and sometimes you find the need to sacrifice things for them, even when they are adults. Sorry, mom & dad, if you didn't know what you were getting yourselves into when you started having kids 40 years ago. Thanks for sticking with all of us anyway. We love you.)

But I'm afraid that before I know it, my family will have gone from something like this: (the Snows, circa 20 years ago)

To something like this: (the Snows, 3 years ago)


Bring it on.

Monday, November 02, 2009

out this week

I have plans this week. Big plans. I need to go buy this book.

And then I'm going to...*squeal*...have it signed. I'm so excited to be a groupie.
(This is a snapshot of part of PioneerWoman's BOOK TOUR. Be there or be square.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

some perspectives on snow

-The last time we experienced temperatures close to 25 degrees, it was in Celsius.

-Three year old boy response to playing in snow for the first time: I am so happy! I am so happy!

-One year old girl response to seeing fat flakes of snow for the first time in her life: (In terrified voice) Pick up please! Pick up please!

-Mom (a Utah native) response after seeing snow for the first time after 3 years: How soon can I fly to the beach?

-Least favorite thing: cold, wet clothes.

-Favorite thing: the quiet.

-Saddest thing: putting away sandals.

-Funniest thing: kids will play outside by themselves because they think dogs don't like snow (they're terrified of dogs).

This is going to be an interesting winter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

more to come...

A neighbor of ours is trying to build up her photography portfolio so we went out with her this week and took some pics of the kids outside. They turned out GREAT! Here are just a few, but I'll post more soon.

(it was BEAUTIFUL outside and the sky made for the most perfect blue backdrop)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fun stuff around the web

We have come across some fun finds on the internet lately and, since I currently can think of nothing original to say, thought I'd share the wealth.
First, this is probably best for Utah-dwellers, but I am fascinated by the "vinyl decorating" industry boom from a few years ago and the fact that it still alive and well. However, most of the producers seem to WAAAAAYY overcharge, in my humble opinion. But I stumbled upon this gem of a place with a sizable collection and reasonable prices.


Personally my favorite feature is the "Create Your Own" center that is awfully fun to play with. I sent a request for an additional design on something I created and, even though it was about 8pm, got a reply immediately and felt so good about the exchange and service I received that I'm happy to refer them to anybody. Plus, check out those Christmas countdown blocks and tell me you don't want one.

OK, next is a youtube video that has become a staple as basic as water around our house. In fact, it is REQUIRED that we watch it every morning before anyone has eaten or changed clothes or gone to the bathroom, or Emily will have a serious fit. We're usually happy to comply--it keeps them occupied while I make breakfast. My friend Lisa introduced me to it and if you have young kids you've probably seen it (it's had 1.2 million views, after all) but I'm posting it anyway. If your little kids have NOT seen it...you're welcome. Also, I'm sorry.

Finally, since I spend all of my time with tiny ankle-biters, here are two more kids' sites that my children love and I highly recommend.

STARFALL.COM -- this is absolutely what taught John his ABC's (also taught him how to navigate on the computer with a finger/track pad when we was barely 2 years old...what is the world coming to???)

UP TO TEN -- this has stuff for kids of all ages, but the balloon labelled "Boowa & Kwala" has the most resources for activities for my children. Just under that one option are literally HUNDREDS of pages of activities, games, music, etc. The character accents can be a little strange at first but other than that I have no complaints and haven't tired of doing these pages yet with my little goobers.

There are a few more online gems we've found (like the "Glee" videos of the mash-ups from last weeks episodes) that have been playing non-stop at our house, but I should save some for later. Being pregnant is killing my brains cells and I am quite sure as the months go by that I'll continue to be devoid of inspiration and need fodder for the blog.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a...

BOY!!!!!! (New blog background changed in honor of the little squirt.)

I guess a mother's intuition IS right. I've been expecting a boy for months already. Time to get out all of John's old baby clothes and start washing. This momma bird is ready to nest.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Terrifying stuff that makes you laugh later

I finally loaded the pictures from my camera on to the computer and realized that some of them have been sitting there since June. Whoops. I think I just assumed our life wasn't interesting anymore since we are living in Utah and not tropical Southeast Asia but I came upon this picture that reminded me of a terrifying/ridiculously funny story I never blogged about.

We had just moved back and the kids were adjusting to a lot of "new"...new climate, new clothes, new people, new food, new house...John even got a new bed. (Actually for the first few weeks he slept on a pad on the floor and thought it was awesome since we told him it was like camping. How long before he won't buy outright lies like that anymore?) But as soon as he got a new little bed we put the two kids into the same room to sleep and crossed our fingers that it would work. The first few nights were a little rough-- a lot of crying and wanting the other to be quiet and wanting/not wanting a light on, etc. Finally it seemed things were going smoothly. We'd put the kids to sleep in the basement and creep upstairs for reading, watching TV and general grown-up time.

So one night not very long after John had started sleeping in his bed, I was watching TV but losing consciousness fast, so I started closing things down and getting ready to crash for the night. Before going to sleep I always check on the kids, make sure they're asleep, cover them back up (they have inevitably worked their way out of the blankets), and give them final kisses goodnight. It was dark when I went into the kids room and John's bed looked...funny, somehow. I groped around in the dark to figure out what he'd done to the blankets and found that his body wasn't on the bed. Shoot, he's fallen out, was my first thought and I craned my head to the other side to look for him as the first wave of small panic hit. He wasn't there. He wasn't in bed. He wasn't on the floor. He wasn't in the room at all.

I quietly ran to the other room where he had slept on the pad and turned on a light. A quick glance around there showed no sign of a little boy anywhere. Still panicking slightly but trying to keep calm I ran upstairs to tell Michael. John's not in his bed. I can't find him. So now we're BOTH a little panicked. We start looking in some of his favorite hiding spots: the coat closet, behind the bathroom door...all the while calmly but deliberately calling his name. "John? John! Where are you buddy? You need to answer mommy RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I'M GETTING NERVOUS HERE, BIG GUY...(big breath)...ok, John? John!..." You get the picture. By this time Michael had gone back downstairs to do another basement search and I had discovered that we hadn't yet locked the front door for the night. A horrible thought hit me. I had heard kids playing outside at the neighbor's house about an hour previous and it occurred to me that the never-fail Pied Piper call for any kid is to hear other kids playing. What if he had snuck upstairs and outside to find the kids? It was pitch black out now. We were in a new neighborhood and he didn't know his way around. What if he was lost outside? When Michael came up empty-handed he could see horror on my face and as I told him my thought he immediately rushed out the front door and asked me to check out back.

I flipped on the outside lights and called out the back door. No luck. Not even a neighbor kid in sight. Shaking slightly, I went back to an armchair behind me in the living room and knelt down for an extremely quick but fervent prayer. Please let us find him. Please let him be safe. Not knowing what to do but wait for Michael I stayed on my knees, thinking. I had a flash of 2 memories simultaneously that lasted less than a tenth of a second.

The first memory was of my mother losing her retainer and gathering Jared & I around an armchair just like this in our old living room and praying to be able to find it. Immediately after the prayer, we lifted up the couch cushion and there it was. Flashes of inspiration.

The second memory was more recent. John had discovered he could fit his whole body underneath these armchairs where I was praying (there are 4 of them) with flaps on the sides running down to the floor so that he was completely covered. He hid under there a few times when playing Hide & Seek. Laying on my stomach and moving to each chair I pushed those flaps up and under the LAST one, this is what I found:

Well, this isn't EXACTLY what I found. I did find a little boy curled up under the armchair, sweating like crazy and fast asleep, but I actually opened it on the other side and found that not only had he curled up and gone to sleep, but he had taken off his pants and his pull-up so as I stuck my head down to peer under this last chair I was greeted with a naked bum in my face. It was such a shock/relief/hilarious event all in one that I let it out in short, shaky, hiccup-like giggles while the knots that had been wrapping themselves around my heart and lungs over the previous 15 minutes slid off like they'd been tapped with a magic wand and lay in a slithering pool in my stomach. I wanted to vomit a little bit but decided some deep breaths and "thank-yous" to the Almighty would suffice. I ran to the still open front door and called to Michael who thankfully had stayed in the area, looking in bushes and on front porches, and I tearfully told him John was just fine. We of COURSE had to document the experience with pictures and I took one of the BACK view that I initially received but decided against posting it online. I'm sure you understand.

He stayed asleep while we transported him, put his pull-up and pants back on and slipped him back into bed. And we learned our lesson to lock the doors immediately after bedtime. I also learned, just as I did when praying with my mom for her retainer, that the first place you always look is under the chair.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

erin recommends...

It was my sweetheart's birthday today! I want to write a wonderful, glowing sonnet of his masculine qualities, embarrass him with memories of things that make me love him, and tell him how enamored I am with him and am so lucky to have him. And maybe I will...tomorrow. But right now my stomach is speaking louder than my heart. So I wanted to write about...food. (Give me a break, I'm pregnant.)

In honor of the big day (which I'm sure he wanted to ignore but his doting wife and children won't let him) my mom graciously agreed to watch the kids so he and I could go out to eat. Mealtimes are so much more pleasant for mommy & daddy when we don't have 2 other (soon to be three! eek!!) mouths to feed.

"I spilled!"
"Bite, please!"
"Can I have some more water?"
"I don't want to eat this."
"After we eat this can I have a treat?"

None of those comments peppered out dinner this evening, which made it all the more enjoyable. Having said that, I think even a screaming baby through the entire meal could not have put a damper on this wonderful feast. We found the most AMAZING Indian restaurant in...a strip mall, of all places. Squeezed in between an embroidery store and a hair salon. Here is a picture of their awesome sign.

(Picture taken from the GANESH website).

Don't let any tacky signage or bizarre location fool you, Michael and I agree it is comparable (and even possibly better) than some of the Indian food we had in Malaysia, and that is really saying something. I honestly can't remember having ever eaten better Chicken Tikka Masala and I'm already drooling over the leftovers I'll eat tomorrow that I wanted to shovel down my throat tonight but couldn't in good conscience since I was already rolling out of my seat.

I recommend looking at their site to check out the weird hours (only open for dinner on Mondays) but we showed up 20 minutes before they opened and with no one else in sight they gladly turned on the lights and the fans for us. We also had the pleasure of speaking to our host who, when asked, showed us the lentils that are used in the kitchen, basically gave us the recipe to the vegetable curry of the day, and even told us where they bought their spices and mangoes and encouraged us to go check it out. (We certainly couldn't have enjoyed that conversation with kids there, so thanks again mom!!!!!) Now, if I could just learn how to make that stuff myself, I'd be one fat, happy momma.

Anyway, if you're looking for some good eats this week, I HIGHLY recommend it. Here's the info:

777 E. Fort Union Blvd.
(Don't be thrown for a loop if you call, just be prepared to speak with STRONGLY accented workers. I didn't ask but I assume they're all from the same Indian family. They're very sweet and patient but just be ready to listen carefully.)

(ps- you can check out their ENTIRE menu online. you know you wanna.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


My kids are such wonderful reminders to me of how to be grateful. John was praying last night and took time to make specific mention of how he was thankful for the suckers we got at the bank..."a strawberry one for me and a bubble gum one for emily"... and requested that we get to go there again soon for more suckers. Come to think of it, that prayer was answered because today I had to go again for something else. I wonder if tonight he'll be thankful for "the tangerine sucker for me and the cherry sucker for emily." Note to self: it never hurts to be more specific in prayers. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

stranger things

Most surreal night ever. We had our friends over tonight to play games after our kids went to bed. They are expecting their first child and are excited and of course there was baby talk about my deliveries, how things are going with her pregnancy (her due date is in about 2 weeks), and the nature of parenting. We had hardly started our game when the mother-to-be excused herself to the restroom (job hazard of being pregnant--needing to pee every 40 minutes or so). She poked her head out a minute later and announced to the unassuming crowd in the room that her water had just broken. Seriously. There was about 3 seconds of tomb-like, unbelieving silence, then Michael & I started clapping, saying congratulations and hurrying the deer-in-the-headlights expecting parents out the door and on the way to the hospital. (By the way, I hope you enjoy the waterfall image to tie in with the story. You're welcome.)

Honestly, I think it's the coolest thing ever that it happened at my house and now we can be a part of someone else's birth story. That was a few hours ago so I'm going to call them before hitting the sack and see what the progress is. How crazy that one minute you can think you're settling in for a nice night of game-playing and suddenly you have a new baby to take care of and your life is changed forever. I think I will go hug my kids now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

sunbeams all around!

Happiest thing on earth: my toddler making me sing at least 17 times a day, "Jesus wants me for a sun-BEEP!"

Happy summer...while it lasts!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I spent the weekend on the most awesomest trip ever to Seattle with a bunch of my friends from high school. Four days spent laughing, shopping, eating, sleeping, and doing whatever we wanted (including ordering pizza and watching in-room movies at night--I'm 30 years old and have never done that before, how is that possible?) and having no responsibility whatsoever. I had the misfortune to LOSE MY CAMERA CHARGER so I couldn't take any pictures...but I'll try to steal a couple from someone's Facebook page.

(Oh, look, found some! Not sure what is going on with my hair but everyone else looks fab.)

(Aaaaaand, a lovely open-mouth shot. Best seafood bisque I've EVER had.)

On another note, Michael and I just celebrated our FIFTH anniversary. It's hard to believe two people could pack so much into 5 short years. We have 2 (and a half) kids, we lived overseas for 2 years, we've lived in 5 different places of residence, we're on something like our 5th job (some of those were simultaneous), and we still enjoy being together! :) We decided we'd make our anniversary day a 'Happy Birthday to Our Family' party. So we took the kids out to dinner and celebrated our family's 5th birthday! Then we can go out this weekend with just the 2 of us. I can't find anything wrong with celebrating something twice, just means more cake. :)

I love you, sweetheart, and I hope the next 5 are just as adventurous!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday Inspirations

Today my cousin Wendy taught our Relief Society lesson and it was about...well, Relief Society. You know, the usual bit about its organization, how it works, what the purpose is, etc. It's a great lesson to have and I love hearing about it cause I love Relief Society, I really do. But here's the kicker. I've heard a thousand times about how the whole thing started because of women who wanted to help with work on the Nauvoo Temple. They started sewing shirts for the men, started getting organized, turned to Joseph Smith...and voila, the Lord turns around and thanks them for their efforts by sanctioning an official women's organization. OK, I knew that part. But for some reason the thing that stood out to me today was the fact that the WHOLE entire was started by two women. TWO. One woman and her seamstress decided to help out, they got some other women to help, and apparently it snowballed from there because the Relief Society is often touted as the largest women's organization in the world today.

It was so inspiring to me to think that two women with some determination and desire to serve could make such a world-changing difference for good. I wonder what change for good I will make in the world.

Friday, August 07, 2009

a moment of silence...

I was listening to the oldies station in the car the other day and was mortified to hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. On the OLDIES station.

Wait, did you hear that sound? In case you missed it that was the sound of my adolescence crashing and burning unnoticed by the side of the road. It was a relatively quick and painless death, but it is dead, nonetheless.

But to make me feel better I got a wicked awesome haircut today. So there is balance in the universe.

Friday, July 31, 2009


...we are unexpectedly expecting! Surprised but still excited. Baby #3 is due to make an appearance at the beginning of next year. That is all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My night: Lying in a peaceful, exhausted semi-coma on the couch while my little boy ran around with only a shirt on, his boy bits and naked bottom bouncing around the room with him, and occasional shrieks from my little girl as she was chased by said brother and tackled to the floor. Then fell asleep on same couch while hubby took care of bath time. Now getting ready to watch Burn Notice and fall asleep with my clothes on. Happy 24th to you too.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

coming soon...

We moved into a new house and are thus without internet for about 10 days (gasp! whatever will we do?!!!) I'll tell you what we'll do, we'll piggyback off our neighbor's unsecured connection because what they don't know won't hurt them. But we talked to the cable guys today and they can't get here for another WEEK so web-time will be sporadic at best. But then we will return to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you for your support.

Friday, June 26, 2009

seeing the opposite of "green" (what's that? red???)

(rare political vent on our family blog. if it bores you, feel free to skip. if the governing rule of this country concerns you, feel free to chime in about it here or write something on your own blog. get the word out, copy it and send it to your congressman, do whatever it takes, but make sure you keep the power with the people and not the management.)

Michael & I were fairly disheartened to see the most recent energy bill pass in Congress today. (You can read about it HERE or do a Google search for "energy bill" and I'm sure you'll find plenty of other news coverage). Of course the reps. from our Republican-dominated state voted against the bill (Michael did his civic duty today and called them to make sure they knew where he stood) but as I read some of the news coverage about the passing of this bill I couldn't help but shake my head in wonder at how out-of-touch most of the politicians in this country are. They are swayed by powerful contributors, they are swayed by powerful leaders (from other members of congress to the President himself), they are swayed by news reports, they are even swayed by whatever recent scientific trend has reared its ugly head. They get their cushy payrolls and their expanding expense accounts, living the high life (as long as they keep receipts that they can write off as "part of the job") but they don't know anything about who they work for. The people. You know, the citizens of this country. Politicians are voted for by people who expect them to REPRESENT them and their interests. If you live in a farm state, you expect your representatives to vote for bills and push ideas that support your farm or agriculture business. If you live in lower-income areas you expect your representatives to pass literacy initiatives and keep job production on the agenda.

The main issue behind this bill at first glance appears to be carbon emissions. And really, in the midst of the tanking economy, the failing joke of a "stimulus" package, the rapid job loss and the declining health care affordability, what average-joe American gives a hoot about carbon emissions??? But really, reading between the lines, that's not the point of this bill at all. The world in general has developed an ominously unhealthy opinion of the United States in the last decade. People blame it on George Bush, but whatever the reason I have found myself in recent years, when visiting other countries, almost cringing at the prospect of answering the question "Where are you from?" (although, sometimes for safety reasons, it's best just to say Canada. Thanks for being there for me, Canada.) What I do notice is that some of the points made in the news reports show how proud the supporters are that the US will now be a world leader on climate change. It looks like the Obama administration is using this energy bill as the new "face" of America for the world to see and ultimately respect once again. Will it work? It hardly seems likely. Probably for the more environment-conscience European countries, but for major exporters like, oh, I don't know, say CHINA? They couldn't possibly care less about the environment. They care about their bottom line. And for the bill to include language saying we won't import from countries (like China) if they aren't compliant to our energy bill??? What a joke. Check the labels on EVERYTHING in your house. If at least 70% of them don't say "Made in China" (or Vietnam or Bangladesh or some other Asian country with a government that only cares about its high rollers and not the real people) I'll eat my own head. I think if this administration is hoping for a makeover, they've only gambled on the jobs and the income of the average American against putting Obama and the US back in the limelight. And I'm afraid they've made a losing bet.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

fathers & stuff

I had fun with John during church today. A couple of times he put his head on my lap for a few minutes and actually listened to the speakers but he would only recognize phrases here and there, not the entire message. But it was fun to see his eyes light up when he recognized something and he had to repeat it. So there was my little parrot in my lap, excitedly squawking out words like "missionary!" and "temple!" and "Nephi!" At least it got him to pay attention for a few minutes.

I had a thought on my way home from church. I realized what a great tool prayer is to teach my kids about the nature of God. Even from the age of 2 or 3 there's no need to attempt vague, indefinable explanations about a supreme being and where He is or what He's like because they develop their own ideas and images as they talk to Him several times a day! Utilizing the principles we use in prayers I can teach my children about God, Jesus, our relationship to deity, the creation of the world, an endless supply of teaching points to reference based on the simple conversations we have every day with a Heavenly Father. Today I feel thankful for prayer.

Another thing I'm thankful for, that should go without saying, is fathers. My own father has been pivotal in my own development and I feel utterly incapable of expressing my gratitude for having been born to my goodly parents. That is a fact I have been aware of and grateful for since before high school and my appreciation for them has only grown in the intervening years.
And I would be completely remiss if I didn't express my love and appreciation for the father of my own children. I can't even begin to count how much he does. I can hardly list the number of chores he assumes on a regular basis in addition to the rigors of working to provide for our family. Most of what he does would stress me out beyond capacity but he does it without complaint and still makes it look easy. I fall in love him more every day when I see how much our kids adore him and how much they love spending time with him. You are the best thing in my life, sweetheart. Happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I can't remember if I've linked to this site before, but it is absolutely one of my very favorite things on the planet.

A couple of warnings:
1) Do NOT click on the link below if you are hungry. It's like grocery shopping right before a meal. Bad idea.
2) You have never even imagined how many websites there are devoted only to food. It might blow your mind a little bit.
3) Your calendar may become completely booked for the next 6 solid weeks if you have ever felt the slightest urge to make a recipe you've seen online.
4) The pictures only make it worse.

That being said...you're welcome.


Monday, June 15, 2009

secret time

I have a few secrets I need to get off my chest.

There are couple of things...

...that I love more than anything else on the planet.

And I can't believe that someday I will look like this...

at my own kid's graduation.

Congrats Mac (and also Sean & Min)...hope the next 18 years go a little slower...

(Secret #2: it was nearly 8 pm today when i realized i'd been wearing socks from 2 different pairs all day. i like to ensure that i am always at the cutting edge of fashion. poor emily, she doesn't stand a chance.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

of interest

Interesting thing #1: this is one of the coolest photo groups I have ever seen. I am mesmerized with watching the slide show and would love to do something similar with some old photos of my grandparents around St. George.


Interesting #2: My little 3 year old boy (like just turned 3 a few months ago) can eat an entire Costco hot dog by himself. Have you seen those dogs? Those suckers are freaking enormous. I'm going to start saving now for when he's a teenager. Heaven help us.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

may in review

Nothing better than running through the sprinklers.
Am I really going to post pics of my little boy in his underpants? Too late.

Going to see Thomas in Heber with G&G.

Chillin with my peeps.

Feeding sheep & goats at Thanksgiving Point. I'm so proud of him for not freaking out about this. Trying to get him to do this on previous occasions has proved...upsetting.

Going on a "hay ride" with buddies. Although there was no hay. And really all we could see were the new developments of townhomes going up around the farm. But we were on a wagon being pulled by a horse, so that's cool, right?

And it was a long day for everyone.

Of course no end-of-spring would be complete without a summer 'do! Here John is sporting his own handiwork with the clippers when daddy left him unsupervised for a few seconds.

So we buzzed it all off and now he looks like my adorable little cueball.

Friday, June 05, 2009

life lessons i learned in college

Whenever John & I go to the grocery store alone (like we did today...sick baby was at home with daddy sleeping for 5 HOURS. seriously.) he insists that I "run really fast" with him in the cart and we both go "wheeee!!!" and inevitably at some point I will jump up holding onto the handlebar and coast with my feet in the air for a few seconds. And every time I do that I am reminded of a story...

Once there was a college girl who worked at OfficeMax. Her boyfriend got her the job because she wanted some spending money and that way they could spend more time together. (aahhh, ain't that sweet?) But this job was INCREDIBLY slow and equally as boring. To pass the time she and her co-workers would occasionally have races down the aisles using the shopping carts. These carts were incredibly sturdy (office supplies can get really heavy) and so, even using a completely empty cart, these fun-loving college students could run full tilt, jump up on the handlebar, and lock their arms, leaving their legs to dangle and using only upper body strength while they coasted to a victorious finish line.

But let's say that one day this silly college girl was out playing with some friends who were visiting from out of town. Let's say that after putting their names on a ridiculously long list at Pizza Factory they decided to stroll over to Food4Less grocery store while they waited. And let's say that this certain girl had picked up a few items and put them in her cart. Now you must sympathize that as she walked down an aisle, instinct sort of took over and without thinking twice she began hurtling toward the end at full speed. And then just imagine that she was in familiar territory, back at good old OfficeMax and the wind was flying through her hair and she wanted to feel the exhilaration of coasting and so impulsively she pushed herself up, feet off the ground, wheels spinning excitedly beneath her. Silly girl. She didn't realize that the carts at the two stores weren't weighted the same. And that would explain why her friends saw her running in one moment and slammed down onto the floor in the next. And then came that crux each person experiences when witnessing the agony of defeat, deciding whether to be worried or to laugh. And, as often goes with good friends, of course the laughing completely won over. Especially as they watched the nearby patrons running wildly in the opposite direction pretending not to have seen anything.

Poor, silly college girl. Her knees were never the same after that day (they had taken the brunt of the fall) and, to this day, she can never run down a store aisle with a grocery cart, her little boy telling her to "run fast! run fast!" without experiencing some minor trauma and ghost pain in her knees. But she learned 2 important lessons that day. 1) the carts at Macy's are COMPLETELY INFERIOR to the carts at OfficeMax. 2) when choosing friends, make sure they will laugh WITH you when you fall down in the grocery store so you don't feel like a complete arse.

Mom & dad, aren't you glad you sent me to college? See how much I learned???

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

slanted reporting

Upon seeing the giant purple bruise above John's right eye (it looks like he's wearing 80's eyeliner...I keep expecting him to turn around and be wearing apple red lipstick with it) one might ask the question: What happened to John's eye?

Mom's Answer: I was pulling the sheets off the bed and he was playing and stuck his head right next to my body at the exact moment I was yanking a tucked-in sheet out from under the mattress and my elbow went right into the side of his face.

John's Answer: Mommy punched me in the eye.

Like my parent's always said to our teachers growing up: We won't believe half of what they say about you if you won't believe half of what they say about us.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

baking with cake mixes

I've hardly begun on my scathing health care article, but since it's already 2 pages in Word that's probably a bit much for a forum like Blogger, so I'll have to find somewhere else I can send it. Like the state legislature. Or the president. So instead you get this...

On Memorial Day I made THIS cake from allrecipes.com (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that site) and I wanted to share it with you. I adjusted a little, but this is basically how to make it. (By the way, FIRST time I've ever made a layered cake where you slice and put a filling in the middle and I was extremely proud, thank you very much...but it's actually super easy so you have to try it.)

1 package yellow cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 (8 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant coconut cream pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

OK, first thing: Drain both the fruits and reserve juices of both, mixing them together! You can use the juice to make the cake! Just make cake according to box directions (baking in two 8 or 9 inch pans) but use half water/half fruit juice. (I also may have used applesauce instead of oil, but I honestly can't remember. Either one will work.) While it's baking, whip up the frosting. As follows:

Whip cream cheese and add confectioners sugar. Stir in drained fruits and slowly add a little of the juice. Blend in pudding mix really well, keep adding juice as necessary. Will be fairly runny. Fold in whipped topping. You can still add more juice, or if it's too runny stick it in the fridge for a few minutes while you finish with the cake. The pudding mix should make it thicken up.

Once the cakes are cooled, slice them in half horizontally (kind of hard for me but even though I am challenged by my cutting/slicing/scissor/knife abilities I still did it--and so can you!) and then start layering the cakes: cake, frosting, cake, frosting, cake, frosting, cake--then spread frosting over all. Whoa, it's a lot of frosting. Oh, yeah, save a few mandarin oranges to place decoratively on top.

But I gotta' tell you even a week later of being stored in the fridge it's still super moist and I munch on it every night. John & Michael aren't real big fans but the girls of the house love it! If you try it, let me know what you think!

Monday, June 01, 2009

witching hour

I was all set to sit down and write out my scathing comments on the condition of the health care industry in this country when I got a delightful, serendipitous call from my friend Miow Lin and spent a good part of the evening chatting with her about the good things in our life and now I'm way too uplifted to get upset about politics right now (ugh, except the fact that health care & politics are even in the same sentence is getting under my skin right now)...phew! So I'm not going to think about it because I want to end the night on this euphoric high that I caught talking with a woman in love. Ooops! Did I just say that?!! Sorry, Miow Lin, I outed you. You didn't even have to say it, it's written all over your face and in your voice. I'm looking forward to finding out if this certain someone is the man of her dreams. I've written about Miow Lin before on this blog, so I'm sorry fellas, it looks like you lost your chance. Which is a shame because she's definitely one of the coolest people on this planet. Oh, well, you snooze, you loose...

Anyway, on a MUCH lighter (and extremely polar opposite) note, Michael & I found what is possibly our new favorite show on television.

I'm not even sure which channel it plays on (possibly TLC??) but it's called "Operation: REPO" and it's basically this family/business that does vehicle reposessions and they re-enact actual reposession confrontations. Hoo boy! People are VERY attached to their stuff! And they throw a fit/scream/shove/shoot/threaten and throw stuff when someone tries to take that stuff away!!! And in true trash-TV fashion, most of the dialog is indecipherable because the ratio of bleeping versus actual words definitely favors the former.
OK, here's a quick lesson for those paying debt on any personal property, it's really important so pay close attention: IF YOU HAVEN'T FULLY PAID FOR SOMETHING IT'S NOT FULLY YOURS. UNTIL YOU FINISH PAYING IT OFF IT BELONGS TO A BANK OR CREDIT UNION OR LENDER. IF YOU MISS ONE OF THOSE PAYMENTS THEY CAN (and probably WILL) TAKE IT BACK. And they might possibly send a 400 lb. Puerto Rican like the dude on this show and you do NOT want to mess with him. Normally I despise ridiculous reality-type shows and I feel uncomfortable watching people in embarrassing situations, but somehow this feels different to me. If you're dumb enough to treat something as your own property that is not paid for (which makes it NOT your property) you deserve to look like an ass on national television when it is repo'ed. Especially if you're going to climb on top of your car or scream at your husband and chase it down the road. It's gone lady. Just give it up. Oh, and PAY THE BLASTED BILLS.

That is all. Thank you.

Oh, and happy June.

Monday, May 18, 2009

News & news

I just have to state how much I love reading The Asia Times online. It makes me grateful that I have access to a journal that makes me feel intelligent rather than speaking down to me like I'm in 5th grade. (No offense to 5th graders, but you'll feel the same way when you're 30 years old.) At the same time I happen to agree profoundly with everything this particular journalist has to say in his article. I'm afraid I feel rather strongly about the Obama administration and some things they appear to be doing to our country, and I find myself slightly afraid for the future stability of the USofA. But I'm glad to know other people feel the same way.


In other, unrelated news, I now have a genius one year old who is starting to repeat every word we say and has now added to her repertoire the following:

(notice how the first are all foods? yeah, that's my girl.)
grandma (sounds like "bama")
grandpa (sounds like "bapa"
stroller (sounds like "RORO!" this one is always shouted.)

Stay tuned for more exciting toddler developments.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


i've been feeling somewhat downtrodden in the blogging department lately. i mean, i live in Utah, of all places, and my life just seems downright...ordinary. let's see, this week we saw 'Star Trek' (it's AWESOME, you must go immediately), took kids to pet animals at Thanksgiving Point, ate burgers & fries at "Five Guys" (also AWESOME and you must go immediately), went on walks, read books, wore socks & still froze our booties off at night...really riveting stuff, i know. i love seeing my friends that i've missed, i love having good diapers for my baby, i love having family close by...but i'm still missing our exotic life and our good friends in malaysia. i miss the wet market (man, that place smells like a sewer but there are some GOOD deals to be made), i miss the food, i miss being warm, i miss hanging with anne all day while we swap recipes/share local deals we've found at stores/swap child-rearing advice, i miss singing with my girls from church, i miss our ENORMOUS house and our awesome house-help, heck, i even miss the geckos. what do i have that i can blog about now??? taking a walk to the grandparent's house?? so maybe it will just be a while before i feel like our life is really interesting and we actually have something to write about. (no one wants to hear people complain about their stress about money, house, insurance, job, car, etc...and that's sort of my life right now...that sounds really interesting, huh?) :)

HOWEVER, that have been a few funny things that we've witnessed as we help the kids adjust to the new life, climate, food & culture. my favorite one so far has been with john and the television. we never had one in malaysia and he really only watched movies on our laptop, so he was excited to find we could watch cartoons on grandma & grandpa's one television in the house! i left him in there one morning while i fed emily some breakfast and he came out to me complaining, "mommy, i don't have any cartoons." i came in to help him turn the channel and just started laughing when i realized it was still in the middle of the show, but i had to explain to him what commercials are! he still doesn't get it and that complaint is regularly elicited from his mouth. "mommy, i don't have any cartoons!"

heh-heh, silly boy, how i love you. ok, so that wasn't really interesting. if i can't get out of this funk i think i may have to stop blogging all together. this is just too depressing. anyone else have this problem? something that you use to get yourself out of a blogging funk? suggestions would be appreciated by the management. thank you for your support.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

There & Back

So we made our journey from Malaysia less than a week ago and somehow we survived the ordeal. It took 2 overnight flights, a day's rest at a dayroom in the Tokyo Narita Airport, some grumpy tantrums, some uncomfortable sleeping positions and some majorly cold weather.

Packing up. (I didn't take any pictures of the empty house, or of our last day with friends because it was too depressing. I try not to think about it so I don't start crying.)

Our dayroom...

...at Tokyo Narita! Such a cool airport, makes me want to visit Tokyo. (Notice the shorts, sandals & t-shirts...it will be a while before we see that combination again.)

One of the many shuttles we took over the course of 3 flights.

Our little ones were such a troopers.

Although the jet-lag did us in at our final destination.

Aaaaaand THIS is what greeted us the morning after our arrival. Nothing says welcome home like fog in May.

My little ones look SO different in jackets/pants/tights/socks/shoes that aren't sandals/etc.

But hanging with the cousins makes everything right with the world.

I would write more about the transition of an international move, leaving friends, finding old friends, remembering how much I hate having cold feet when I go to bed or being cold when I get out of the shower or needing to wear a jacket in my house because it's so COLD (sensing a pattern here?) but I am still in somewhat of a fog and can hardly seem to create a coherent sentence. I'm not even going to proofread my post for errors or complete nonsensical sentences (say that 5 times fast). Hopefully I'll feel back to my bloggy self soon.

*Well wishes for the day: Wherever you are, may you always have warm feet.*

Monday, April 27, 2009

happy birthday to me

This is the face of a happy girl on her 30th birthday. And although slightly bittersweet because of the upcoming goodbyes it was one of the best birthdays ever. There was Royal Masala pizza from Pizza Hut, there were 3 kinds of cake, there was karaoke, there was watermelon, there was a slumber party-type rendition of 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' and there were lots of laughs. I got to dance with my sweet husband, sing with my beautiful little boy and spend time with people that I love. It just doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I never met a chocolate I didn't like.

Trying to keep things as normal as possible (hard to do while half of our things have been either thrown away or packed into boxes or sold) earlier this month we did some finger painting. I don't have finger paints, so we used chocolate pudding! (Thanks, mom, for the idea, it was a huge hit!)

Here we are getting them set up-- just dump a little into a bowl and go nuts.

Or, if you're my baby girl, you find a better use for that chocolate on your paper...

That's right, get it ALL off...

...oh, wait, you missed a spot.

That's my girl.