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Friday, August 31, 2007

sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging.

the little munchkins are sick... which leaves me little time for anything else. however, i can't stop my mind from dreaming up projects. i've had a hankering to make a bag. not just any bag, an amy butler bag. however, i'm a bit intimidated and a little scared that i might be in over my head. (heck, zippers are involved!) so maybe i'll start with THIS quick and easy bag i found thanks to martha... i can always count on her!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

feeling lucky?

i don't know about you but i never seem to win anything. so if i can't get my hands on some free goodies, the least i can do is hook YOU up. if you're lucky, maybe i'll be sending my latest apron creation your way!
so here are the rules of the game:
* you have until midnight PST on sunday, september 2nd to enter.
* simply make a comment on THIS post to enter.
* anonymous comments will be ignored unless accompanied by an email address.
* please, just one entry per person.
* the winner will be randomly picked & announced monday.

maybe it's the child within me...

but i want to learn to tap dance. i think it would be a blast... not to mention how great my legs would look! do you think i could find old lady tap dance classes? i don't think the 6 year old girls would want me in their class.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

did i drink too much when i was prego?

i think i need to acknowledge that my family (me and the boys that is) have a slight addiction... to coke. (actually my order of preference is cherry coke, then dr. pepper & finally coke, but that's beside the point.) anyway, it appears that my boys have inherited this fine quality. gavin has been sipping on my drinks ever since he could suck out of straw. one of his first words was coke & he recognizes the symbol everywhere we go (which can often make life a bit difficult. he sees a coke sign & suddenly he has to have one.) i realized how serious the situation was on our trip this past summer... one evening a waiter asked if we would like anything to drink. gavin immediately raised his hand & said "coke." seriously?! how many 2 year olds do you know ordering their own coke? another time, all the restaurant had was pepsi. no big deal, or so i thought. gavin took one sip & then looked up at me and asked "coke?", and then refused to drink any more. how in the world did he know?

well i thought, or at least hoped, that this slight genetic flaw might have skipped owen... unfortunately, this isn't the case. any time i have a coke he cries & cries until i share. maybe it's time i wean them off the bubbly.

found something to keep me busy.

i like quilting, but i'm not very good, so i don't know what possessed me to make a quilt for my king size bed. well, actually i know what possessed me... amy butler's incredible fabrics. this should definitely keep me busy for a while.

Monday, August 27, 2007

10 months!

O is no longer a baby... he's practically a kid! he is all over the place. he crawls, walks around furniture, loves the stairs & boy can he eat! as long as you stick food in front of him he's a happy little camper. he and gavin have started to actually "play" together which is fun to watch. he babbles all day long & definitely loves his momma. but, still no teeth! i'm wondering if they are ever going to come in... but then again, i love his toothless grin!

i'm such a copycat.

a couple of weeks ago i had never heard of the twilight series of books. and then suddenly, everywhere i went, every blog i read, every person i knew was talking about it. seriously, vampires?! but then i found myself in the book store searching for it. hey if EVERYONE is reading it, i didn't want to miss the bandwagon.

so i've finished all three, and i have to say, i've got kind of mixed emotions. i liked the books, but i didn't LOVE them. maybe it was just too much hype? did i expect too much? but the kicker is... i definitely don't understand everyone's obseesion with edward! sure he's beautiful, rich & intelligent. but why would you want him? i'd much rather crush on jacob!

back to school...

get your kids excited for the new school year by surprising them with this fun cake! find the the directions HERE.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

no desire.

i have all these ideas.
i have a zillion projects swirling in my head. i have mounds of fabric & miles of yarn. and yet, i can't bring myself to craft or create ANYTHING. do you think it's a disease? is it serious? should i call a doctor? maybe if i stare at these fat quartes long enough, something will come to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i feel like i fought 10 rounds.

i woke up this morning to my eyes swollen shut. thanks to my new tattoo i look like i was in a fight. lucky for me, i didn't have to start school today... unlike kerry. mom's tattoo seems to faring nicely... the angel wings with dad's name was a good choice & a nice tribute. if you know my mom, i'm sure you'd agree. pictures are coming soon, i promise! as soon as the swelling goes down.

today i'm craving...

chocolate brownie trifle
1 big pkg. fudge brownie mix
2 big pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
8 heath bars, crushed or 2 bags of skor chips
1+ container whipped topping (i love cool whip, so i tend to go heavy)
chocolate curls (optional)

prepare brownie mix, bake per directions in 9x13 inch pan. Let cool and then crumble. prepare pudding per the package directions, chilling for 5-10 minutes. place a layer of crumbled brownies in bottom of 3-quart trifle dish (or any bowl), top with a layer of the pudding, crushed candy bars and whipped topping. repeat layers, ending with the whipped topping. garnish with chocolate curls. chill 8 hours (or as long as you have... it gets better the longer you chill, but i've eaten it right away too.)

this always gets rave reviews & it is so simple to make. plus, you can keep on the ingredients on hand (in the cupboard or freezer) so it's great at the last minute. short on time? need to make it even faster? instead of actually baking brownies, just buy the pre-made brownie bites in your grocers bakery!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

salt lake ink

so we've been a little busy lately. late sunday night we packed up the car (1 motorcycle, 2 mountain bikes, and enough clothes for an indefinite stay), buckled the kids up & headed to salt lake, utah. lucky for me, both kids slept the entire trip, and jeff drove nearly the whole way. no big plans for our stay... just helping all the kids (russy & kerry) get ready for school.

today was fun though, we did something very exciting... mom, kerry & i got tattoos! for kerry & me it was a definite first. once in austria, i had contemplated getting a tattoo... however, i wimped out, knowing my mom would die when she found out. i never would have guessed that she would be the one to talk me into getting it done. i was so jealous of her last year, so when she announced she was getting tattooed again, i knew i had to do it too! now i never have to put on eyeliner again! (yep, i'm still pretty much a wimp... i just had my eyeliner tattooed on. hope i didn't disappoint you!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

boys love their toys!

jeff & gavin had lots of fun with some new toys this weekend. unfortunately for both jeff & gavin the motorcycle isn't ours. it belongs to my little brother russy. he loved his scooter so much, he thought he'd get the real deal. so, if you live anywhere near salt lake, watch out! here comes russy!

back in the saddle again.

i've posted before about my recent affair. with all of our traveling this summer i thought that the attraction would maybe fade. but actually the opposite occured... i came back almost craving to ride. little O is finally big enough to ride in a trailer, so now the kids can come along. this means i get to actually ride OUTSIDE on the pavement, instead of inside on a trainer! can't wait!

Friday, August 17, 2007

just me & my nano

usually i run with a friend, but lately the craziness of summer has been getting in the way of our plans. that leaves me running all by myself... that is if you don't count the two crazy boys & one wild pup i drag along with me! not a big deal though, it just means i get to spend a little quality time my little friend nano. (maybe i'll even figure out how to work the nikeplus gizmo i bought ages ago.) anyway, today i realized i'm totally bored with my playlist & i definitely need to change it up a bit. here are a couple of songs that get me moving:

Madonna, "Hung Up"
Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"
Justin Timberlake, "Sexy Back"
Hot Rod Circuit, "Sorry About Tomorrow"
Michael Jackson, "Beat It"
OutKast, "The Way You Move"
Fall Out Boy, "Dance, Dance"
Christina Aguilera, "Fighter"
Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows"
Ashlee Simpson, "La La"
Flogging Molly, "Drunken Lullabies"
Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl"
Hot Hot Heat, "No, Not Now"
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"
The Postal Service, "Such Great Heights"

what's your favorite playlist? what songs get your blood pumping?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

the perfect summer activity.

in the words of martha

wet, wild, and, yes, a little messy, tie-dyeing is the perfect way to keep kids entertained on a summer day. even adults will appreciate that moment of anticipation just before the unraveling of rubber bands reveals their own vibrant creations. it's no wonder tie-dyeing never goes out of fashion... i'd forgotten how simple the technique is. it requires minimal equipment and supplies that are available at any supermarket or hardware store. we set out bowls of rubber bands, clothespins, and marbles and experimented with many expressive patterns. the kids were thrilled with the results -- and the youngsters in your life will be as well.
for ideas & tips on creating your own masterpieces, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

in my oven right now!

grandma june's old fashioned rice pudding

6 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 cup cream
2 cups milk
3-5 cups cooked rice

mix everything together in a bowl (except rice). after everything is mixed add rice. (i tend to sprinkle extra cinnamon & sugar on top prior to baking.) bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes in a 2 quart casserole. serve warm and top with even more cinnamon & sugar if you like.

we eat this for breakfast, dessert, basically any time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

i'm almost off the soap box.

i've been up on the soap box alot lately. i don't know, maybe you hadn't even noticed. but, i feel like i've been doing a lot of ranting & speculating on life. i think i'm almost done, at least for the time being. but i've got all of these thoughts, swimming inside my head, and this is one of the few places i can let it all out. which is exactly what i need to do today.

usually i am like an emotional fortress, i try very hard, to not let anything phase me. it's kind of a sad joke in our family actually... we tell people we don't have emotions. in fact, when jeff met me, his private nick name for me was the "ice princess." i don't do it on purpose. actually, that's a total lie. i do do it on purpose. in my experience it tends to be easier for me to keep my feelings and emotions tied up neatly inside, rather than wear them on my sleeve for the world to see. but yesterday, that brick wall that i have so patiently built up around myself cracked. there i was, standing at a microphone in front of hundreds of people, speaking... generally i am very well composed person. generally i can talk in front of large groups without much issue. generally i am very comfortable in situations like this. yet yesterday, i immediately broke down in tears. i don't know why. okay, that's another lie. i do know why, but i hate the reason. this was the second time in my short life (remember we have already established several posts ago how young i am!) that i have had to stand and speak at a funeral. trust me, it is definitely not my favorite thing in the world. and although it was a wonderful forum to celebrate the wonderful and incredible life of my uncle bug, i can't help but be angry that yet another person i love has been taken from this earth. okay, okay, you caught me again! that's another lie. he wasn't really "taken from this earth," he has simply joined my dad on that annoyingly long business trip that has prevented him from coming home for weddings, birhthdays and christmas over the last several years.

all i can do now is focus on the amazing life uncle bug led. he was the type of person that you could meet just once, yet he would leave an impression that would last a lifetime. he was adventurous and fun loving. always loved a good joke or prank & he was probably one of the greatest BSers that ever lived. he was also incredibly kind, loving and compassionate. he was one of the most generous people i have ever known & would literally give you the shirt off his back. he lived his life by the simple motto "life's too short." and so today i challenge you, to really look at your life. make a mental note of the person you want to be and the life you want to live and go after it. in the words of alred souza:

Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.
you better get going... remember, life's too short!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

wedded bliss.

six years ago today i made the best decision ever... i married my best friend. sometimes i look back and can't believe it's only been six years, i can't imagine my life without jeff. together we've done it all... feed the sharks in bora bora, saw britney spears in concert, survived the wilds of austrailia, had two darling little boys & a pup named gigi, sailed the spanish coast, remodeled our entire house - ourselves, got lost in italy, went to the winter olympics, surfed in hawaii, cheered for the angels more times than i can count, snowboarded beneath the shadows of the matterhorn, made it out of canada alive, practically lived at disneyland - we've been so many times, graduated law school, kissed the blarney stone, finished my MBA program, scootered around greece.

we are living proof that you can find a happy ending anywhere...
even a crummy job at sundance.

Friday, August 10, 2007

pay it forward.

it seems to be spreading like wild fire throughout the blogoshpere, and thanks to clare, i'm in! it's called the pay it forward craft exchange (PIF), here's how it works...

I will send a handmade gift to the first three (3) people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

i can't wait! i love swaps & good mail... this combines the two!
help me pay it forward by signing up!

don't forget...

to sign up for marta's newest swap. it promises to be as fun & exciting as the last! hurry though... sign ups close on monday, august 13,2007. check it out HERE!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

cheaper than therapy...

throughout my entire life, but especially lately, i am reminded how precious this life is. often times my happiness seems to get caught up in the "whens" and "ifs" of life: i will be happy when..., or my life will be complete if... on such occasions i like to remember the words of gordon b. hinckley:

anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. the fact is that most putts don't drop. most beef is tough. most children grow up to be just ordinary people. most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration.most jobs are more often dull than otherwise...

life is like an old-time rail journey - delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. the trick is the thank the lord for letting you have the ride.

what i need to do, what we all need to do, is really ENJOY the ride. i want to stop worrying about the little things in life and start living as though everyday were a special occasion... i want to use my good china for no reason, get gussied up to go to the grocery store, forget about the laundry to spend a little more time with the kids & live with no regrets. i want to remember that:
life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.

now you probably didn't need to hear any of this, but i needed to express it. i needed to take stock of my life, my situation, and be grateful. i needed to remember that every day, every hour, every minute we have here is special.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

heat up the bbq baby!

another recipe from my mom... definitely a crowd pleaser!

sizzling country ribs

4 lbs pork loin country style ribs (boneless ribs)
cook ribs in a pot with water covering meat for 1-2 hours

after cooking marinate ribs in the following sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder

prior to serving, reheat ribs on bbq (you could also broil them if necessary)

oh what do you do in the summer time?

we like to invite a few friends over & bbq... tonight's menu tasted so good! my tummy is definitely satisfied! although, i think i couldn't definitely go for seconds!

chips & guac
chopped fruit
green salad
mom's patio beans (always a hit!)
sizzling country ribs

and for the big finale

the ultimate coconut cake (which was heavenly. not to coconutty, just a hint... but ohhh! so good. absolutely to die for!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

so, exactly how old do i look?

if you were to ask, which you haven't, but i'll tell you anyways, i think i look young. probably because i am young, or at least i think i'm young, but also because i feel young and because i dress young - i dress pretty similar to my 18-year old sister. (i still haven't decided if that is a good thing or a bad thing.) anyway, on with my story. so last week i was feeling pretty good about myself. on 2 separate occasions i was told how young i look and that i definitely don't look like i have 2 kids! the first person was the cashier at the gas station... he swore he knew me from high school. we were chatting and he kept asking me if i was sure i didn't know him. finally he asked how old i was, when i replied "29" he was blown away. nice little confidence booster. the second time i was in the bike shop looking for a trailer. the sales girl, who was probably about 18 herself, and i were discussing the different trailers. i told her i needed one that would hold two kids, and she just stared. kinda stuttering she repeated me: "two kids?" then she said "there is no way you have 2 kids. how old are you? i would have sworn you were 20." let's just say i left that store very happy & with a very nice bike trailer.

so that was saturday. the next day at church i was feeling pretty good. i had a cute outfit going, my hair was looking good and i was feeling young! i was talking to another gal who is home for the summer. she and her hubby live in Provo while he finishes up his last little bit of school. she's a couple of years younger than me, but definitely no more than 5. after i walked away a little girl (who is probably about 11) came up to me and asked "is she your daughter?" totally stunned, it was my turn to stare. pointing to my friend i asked the little girl "you want to know if she's MY daughter?" of course she replied "yes, she looks just like you." i just kinda laughed and walked away.

i realize she is like 11 years old. i also realize that she probably thought she was my daughter because we are both blonde... but seriously, do i really look old enough to have a 25 year daughter?

Monday, August 6, 2007

oh the frustrations!

just a little rant, to let off some steam... you know the old saying "today is the first day of the rest of your life." anyway, new schedule, new plan of action, new me. first on the list: exercise. i had this brilliant idea... wake up early and go to the 5:30 am spin class. after hitting the snooze 3 times, i finally drag myself out of bed & get to the gym. big smiles for the guy at the front because i'm pretty thrilled with myself... it's 5:30 am and i've actually made it to the gym. he scans my card and i pleasantly ask if i need a number for the class. "nope" he replies, "it's all full up." what? people other than me actually get up at 5:30 to go to a spin class. i slowly walk back to the locker room in a daze. what i should do now? no problem... i'll just run on the tread mill, or ride a bike. it's not until i get to the locker room that i realize neither of those things would be happening. i had worn my flip flops to the gym with every intention on changing into my cycling shoes. i can't run in flip flops & the normal exercise bikes don't have clips. now feeling totally dumb, and a bit embarrassed, i realize i still have to leave. hopefully the guy at the desk didn't notice me slipping out the door. now the question is, how early do i have to get up to get a place in the class.

design miracle needed.

i have this itty bitty room that needs to be so many different things: a library, sewing room, sitting room, gym, computer room, guest room, craft room & office, just to name a few. okay, so it isn't exactly "itty bitty", it's your normal 8' x 10'... but let me you, these days it feels itty bitty. lately, i just haven't been loving this room. unfortunately i spend more time in it, than any other room in the house. it definitely needs some work... just a little design here, some organization there, a bit of pixie dust & we'd be all set! in my dreams, the fabulous mother daughter duo: marty & marta would show up on my door step and pull my room together in a jiffy. but alas! they are so very far away! so, it looks like i'm on my own in this design endeavor. i don't really think i can put the furniture in any different configurations. it's kinda of a hodge podge of stuff, that doesn't quite fit, but it will have to do. is this too much to ask? total room makeover without even moving the furniture? i'm thinking a drastic change in what's on the walls, could mean the world of difference. but i'm not quite sure what to do. take everything off the walls so it's not so cluttered? maybe a really big letter bin like THIS ONE to keep my papers off the desk. a magnet board & some shelves? heavens! i'm just confusing myself even more! now i know from experience that blog-land is filled with incredibly creative & talented persons... someone must have an idea, or two for me!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

oh so comfortable!

first i have to admit that i'm not jessica simpson's biggest fan. to be honest, i didn't even want to try on the shoes because they had her name on them. but the sales guy just kept pushing and i finally gave in. boy i'm a glad i did! i absolutely love THESE!
my feet have never been happier!

happy birthday kerry june!

i can't believe the baby of the family is turning 18,
has graduated high school & is going off the college!
happy happy birthday!

Friday, August 3, 2007

confession time...

cook books totally intimidate me. i know, it sounds crazy... on one hand i love cook books. the possibility of a new recipe, the promise of good food... but then, on the other hand, they totally scare me. i'm not very good at reading cook books & actually picking out recipes, it's just too much for me to handle!

in an effort to get a better grip on life, i thought it might helpful to come up with 6 weeks worth of menus. maybe i'm crazy? but this way i know what were eating, i don't have to put much thought into it & i know we are going to like it (because i'm purposely picking recipes i know). but, i'm only planning 4 meals a week, that way i can leave room to try new recipes... hence, my trolling through cook books. but let me tell you, i'm not having much success in that department. as i said before, cooks books intimidate me. they makes me nervous, trying out a recipe that i've never tasted previously, or had someone tell me to make? yikes! i really got to get over this fear. but in the mean time, anyone have a good recipe for me?

can't wait!

i'm a little late... the season premiere was a couple of weeks ago, but i've been gone... luckily my tivo was here, recording every hilarious moment. i can't wait to see the new episode of one the funniest shows on television: psych. if you haven't seen it yet, check it out... it's too funny to miss!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

the ultimate coconut cake

doesn't this look incredibly mouth watering? YUM! martha stewart featured the recipe on her show recently & i was licking my lips. want to make one for yourself? go HERE for the recipe & video. is it too hot to bake, but you'd really like a slice? then purchase your very own coconut cake HERE.

so how do you manage your time?

lately i've felt a bit like the rabbit in alice in wonderland... always late, with never quite enough time on my hands! cooking, cleaning, crafting, exercising, working & simply living seems to have overwhelmed me. i'm not very good with schedules, but i think that is exactly what i need... a system and some definite organization. i'm a flybaby flunkie, but maybe i just need to give it another try!

how do organize your life? how do you stay on top of everything so that it doesn't consume you? how do you manage to do the zillions of things required of you without going crazy?

happy birthday wilbur!

you're a great brother, every girl should be so lucky... hope you have a wonderful day. wish we were with you to celebrate.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

sleeping like a baby?

poor little owen... i think he is going to have the hardest time of any of us, adjusting back to life at home. after 3 weeks of sleeping with mom and dad, he has to go back to sleeping in his own bed, all alone & he isn't happy about it either. any suggestions on helping make his transition easier? i'm just hoping he goes back to sleeping through the night!