Monday, January 31, 2011

What is Beauty?

I really don't ever usually do link things.  I guess I'm just not much of a "team" player.  But, one of my favorite real life friends AND bloggers Jen over at Denton Sanitorium posed a really thought provoking question and asked all to "play along.  I had to ponder on this and decided I wanted to join in.  Besides, she's TOTALLY way more popular in the bloggy world than me, and I'm SURE it's because she plays linky games all the time. hehehe

Anyway, the question/link is this:

We as women are bombarded with images of what perfection should look like. And, if you're anything like me, it doesn't appear when looking in the mirror.

I spent a good ten minutes staring in the mirror, trying to look past all the flaws and imperfections and issues I wrestle with every day. I wanted to really SEE myself. It took me close to five minutes to decide on one facial feature that I consider quite beautiful.

Straight after a shower or after you've washed your face, take some time to really look at that woman in the mirror. What do you see that's beautiful? Ignore or re-evaluate those things that have always bugged or challenged you. What is your singular, personal element of beauty? Is it skin, ears, hair? Is it wisdom or humor or understanding in your eyes? We all have one thing that not only makes us individuals. That one thing makes us beautiful. What is yours and why?

Oh my, my, my, my...this is a can of worms ready to explode!  Stare at yourself in the mirror and look PAST your flaws?  Is this even possible?

Whoa people, we are dealing with a girl who has had a lifetime of fat girl syndrome.  WHAT is it that is "beautiful" about me?

I see the acne scarred skin, the many freckles, the bad teeth that were permanantly "stained" when I was on pennicillin for a year, during which time I lost my teeth and they came back in (I was 6).  So, the lines in my teeth are deeply in the enamel.  There is NOTHING that can be done about those lines or the color of my teeth.  Of course I see the scars, the stretchmarks, the flab.  BUT, that isn't the exercise here.  The JOB at hand is to find what IS beautiful?

After a great deal of consideration I came up with one thing physical and one thing internal.

Someone once told me that I have "eyes that could stop the world."  Whatever that means.  I think they were just trying to say....your eyes are beautiful.

I like that freckle (the pie shaped brown spot) in my eye.  It is unique to me, and it's cool. (let us NOT judge the severe need for some eyebrow waxing, let's just NOT go there)

I was blessed with BIG, round eyes.  My Mom constantly points this out, because she was NOT so blessed.  They are good for expressing many emotions.  They work great in performing.  AND, whenever I may be feeling down on other aspects of my appearance, I can usually look at my eyes and think they look ok.



I truly believe the BEST feature I have is my humor.  My wit and my snark.  I love to laugh, but I really LOVE to MAKE people laugh.  I'm grateful to have the gift of humor.  'Cause there are those in this world who don't have it, they just don't GET it.  And for them....I'm sad.  Laughter really does cure a lot of what ails ya.

Too bad I couldn't find ANY pictures of me laughing, or even really smiling big.  But then again, probably better, since then you'd be seeing my teeth that I'm not a fan of.  Ah what the heck, just go back and look at my "pretty" eyes.

And, since I'm me and I can't quit while I'm ahead.  I will say that the last thing that I think is "beautiful" about me is:

Being a Mother to these beautiful kids!
Nothing makes me laugh more than them and the ridiculous things they come up with to say and do.
Yeah, being a Mother is definitely beautiful.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One year older and "wiser" too?


Well, it happened.  It showed up.  My freaking birthday.  Which means....I'm another year older.

Thirty Eight to be exact.


It's been a pisser of a day so far, I can't lie to you.  So, I've decided to just give a photo retrospective.  Thirty eight years (give or take a few) of my ever lovin life.
Bet you're all excited now.

Let us watch as my hair evolved, devolved, exploded, imploded, zits came and went, fat got fatter, then smaller.   Throw in a mission, a wedding, some kids and voila......there she blows, all THIRTY EIGHT years o' my life.  I know I keep repeating it, but that's cause I have to in order to really grasp that somehow I got this old already.  When my parents were this age they were so much more "mature" than me.  They had 7 kids, careers, houses, vacations, one daughter in college.  I mean really, it's ridiculous.  Therefore, due to me only having 2 babies and a husband in school (he is 5 years younger than me), I'm pretty sure it earns me some age reduction points, and frankly, I'm no more than 27.  Well, that's the lifestyle I'm a livin, so it makes me feel better to pretend.

Happy Birthday to me....
PHOTOPALOOZA about to commence.  But the good news...hardly any words. This post will be a breeze.

1 year

3 years
and don't even pretend you're not in love with my wierd mullett

5 years

6 years

7 years

8 years

9 years

10 years

11 years

12 years

13 years

14 years

15 years

17 years

19 years


22 years

23 years

25 years

29 years

our engagement picture

The wedding

before gastric

mid losing from gastric

9 mos. pregnant with Maggie

Maggies blessing day

9 mos. pregnant with Max

My actual 36th Birthday IN Disneyland.
Best birthday ever.

Competing in my first Triathlon


My actual 37th birthday out with my Daddy who I SHARE this great birthday with.

Here is hoping that 38 brings new and exciting things. And perhaps a little wisdom.  PLEASE!?

Thanks for wading through all the pics.  You're real troopers and clearly better friends than I gave you credit for. hehehe

Birthdays aren't for sissies,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bargain of the YEAR!!!

You GUYS!  YOU GUYS!  I'm so excited, I'm sort of peeing my pants here on the DEAL I found today.

So, there I was just meandering through the aisles (the very, very SMALL aisles) of Kohls in a random back wall area.  I was just minding my own business really.  Killing time, if you will.  When there it was, BA-BAM!  I look down at this pile of little leather ottomans and thought, "those are cute, practical with their storage and such, but I'm sure they're more than I'd want to pay."  and then, THEN this price tag pracitally SUH-LAPPED me in the face.


Ok sorry, I'm calm now.  Phew, calmed down.  But seriously....eight dollars.  Can you even STAND it?  They were orginally forty bucks a piece.  I snatched up 4 of them for cheaper than the original price of one.  HELLO! 

Just what am I gonna do with them?  I don't know.  I don't care, they were EIGHT DOLLARS!  I mean, they will make great little toy boxes and can go in the kids room, where they like to sit on their current "boxes" and smoosh the crap out of them.  Or, they can line up beautifully here, and create much needed extra seating in my living room (Zach, next time you come, totally seat to sit on, instead of the floor).

And storage:


I can just turn around and sell them on Craigslist for 20 bucks.  Oh the possibilities are endless here.  Whatever the case, I'm just thrilled.

quite possibly the most hideous picture of me!!!

Since I know you're wondering....Jeres financial aide FINALLY came in.  Deep sigh of relief.  Rent paid, bills paid, books bought AND money for amazing bargainous shopping at Kohls.  Happiness abounds.

If i were a good blogger, I'd just stop right here and now and save this other stuff for another post.  But, I'm just NOT a good blogger and I shall forge forward.

Remember awhile back when I said I wanted to redo my bedroom and I sold all the stuff out of said bedroom, and some other stuff?  Well, all that money went to things Jere needed, and I'm in a total STALL mode.  I have more stuff to sell on Craigslist, but noone is buying my great crib.  BOO!   So.....

This is as far as I've gotten.
At least I've picked some colors.

The thing is...I have SUCH amazing visions in my head.  I can see this room, and it is so beautiful.  I have cool ideas for this wall behind my bed....SO COOL!  Just need to get some money and time, and the real hutzpah to actually paint that nightstand and my dresser.  And huge king size bed looks oddly small in this pic.

So anyway....awesome bargains, stalled decorating plans, financial aide, it's allllllllll good.

I'd also like to report....
**stye in the eye GONE!
**sick kids....mostly 100% better
**I have now cleverly replaced that with my own hideous cough that makes me want to poke hot daggers in my eyes.  Whatever.

And lastly, I swear, LASTLY...go find "My Fair Wedding" on WE station.  It's so FUN!!

Hot deals and giddy me,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think she's got a "real" Future?

Well, since we're on the topic of Maggie...might as well share a few SHORT clips of her and her singing progress.

She regularly spends her "naptime" as vocal practice and concert giving to her dolls.  Today was no exception.  When she was allowed out of her room, she rather purposely walked down the hall, radio in hand, plugged it in, pushed play and just began singing.  No introduction, no asking, just DID it.  Never mind that Julie was watching something, and I wasn't paying attention.  She had a concert to give dammit, and give it she DID!

Of course all I had was my crappy cell phone video, so they're 29 seconds long and not great quality.  And I'm also the worlds worst at getting the best moments.  I'm always a day late and a dollar short there.

So, the first clip is actually of Maggie at around 18 mos. sitting at the piano in our old apartment.  She would do this almost every day, especially if I'd just taught some lessons.

Next clip is of her singing some song about jelly wiggling.  I don't know...this CD has reallllly random stuff.  But, you get her fabulous last note, and a little choreography.  Please note that just after it starts, she sticks her hand out in a STOP motion.  This is how she puts us in our place if ever we try to sing with her or help her.  This girl wants to do it HERSELF, thankyouverymuch! (tragically I picked the wrong one, and it's not as much of her singing)

And finally...apparently she's taken up a little lyrical dance as well.  This was completely spontaneous and just cracked me up way too much.  Just ignore me singing along to the song.

I chose not to include the one where she finishes the Humpty Dumpty song and then sings "I don't know these songssssssssss."

It's just so hard, because we have to act like we're really not paying much attention, or caring that much about it.  Otherwise, she'll stop and give us dirty looks and not "perform."  I wish I could bust out the real video camera, but alas, she is like the Lochness Monster and gets camera shy.

Anyway, I love this girl.  She's just a total hoot, and she makes me happy.

Oh, and for the record, apparently Max has been totes holding out on us.  That kid knows the lyrics to everything.  Last night, he busted out perfectly all the lyrics to Angels We Have heard on High.  Nevermind that he does them monologue style, he at least knows them.  And he will now sing along to I Am  A Child of God, which makes my heart happy.

Never fear......I shall continue to coach and groom her until she's ready for her turn on Toddlers and Tiaras.  I will FORCE her to be a star if it's the last thing I do. Bwahahahahahahahahaha  And then she'll flip me off and call me a poop face butt and all will be well again.

Impromptu concerts and bad footage,


Culinary Adventures

Once upon a time, about a million (or 16 years ago) I was a missionary in Indiana.  My very first companion and I lived on nachos and bean burritos when left to our own devices.  But one night, she whipped a delightful little treat she called a German pancake.  It was the one and ONLY time I've ever had that.

Fast forward 16 years and a lifetime and here we were.  It was a Monday night and I had no idea what to make for dinner.  When suddenly, I just HAD to have a German pancake.  I hopped on ye old Google and typed it in.  The recipes were plentiful.  I couldn't even decide, it took awhile, but I finally chose one and went with it.

What is a German pancake you ask?  Why it's just like a really thick crepe.  It's curvy and curly and baked and delicious!

We enjoyed ourselves a delightful German pancake, or Dutch baby, whatever you prefer.

SO, come Friday morning when we had Jayce as our overnight guest...I decided to bust out the fun new pancake again.  I felt so gourmet,  hehehehe.  And wouldn't ya know, Jayce the ever picky eater ate it all.

See, fluffy, curvy, curly, YUM!

Why thank you Ikea for making our breakfast colorful.
I served it with a little powdered sugar and syrup.

Yes, Maggie did insist on the Pj pants and polka dots, why do you ask?

Now, because I care about you, and I KNOW you're all dying to get your hands on some of this goodness, I am going to give you the recipe I liked BEST, with pictures of THEIR pancakes, which look way prettier than mine.  I know, I know, I'm such a giver like that.  Now, don't ever say I didn't give you anything.

Yield 2 9-inch pancakes.

4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons soft butter

Heat oven to 400°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans well ( put a TBSP of butter in each pan and stuck them in the oven while it preheated). Put eggs in blender (i used a hand mixer) container, cover and process at “stir” until light yellow in color. Push “mix” button, remove cover and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 10 minutes. Serve with lemon slices, powdered sugar and butter if you follow recipes to the letter, raspberry syrup if you’re my mom or maple syrup and fresh berries if you're us.  OR if you're MVP's just plain powdered sugar and or some syrup.

Picture and recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen
And hers is WAY prettier than mine.
Bon Apetit!!

Or should I say  Besitzen!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Tender Moment....

Maggie is a "tester."  She likes to push as FAR as she possibly can before I lose it completely.

She is very strong willed.  She has a definite opinion of things.  She wants things done HER way.

She likes to give me reallllllly dirty looks (no, for real, they're dirrrty and mean), and stomp around in anger.  She likes to fight me on EVERYTHING, and tell me or Max, or Brooklyn that she's right, we're WRONG!

I'm fairly sure she gets some sick pleasure in seeing me completely lose my cool, after I've asked her and or told her at least 20 times NICELY to do something, or NOT do something.


Maggie also loves to tell me she LOVES me A LOT.
She loves to give hugs and kisses.
She LOVES to "help" me (on her own terms of course).
She loves all her cousins and Aunts and Uncles so much.
She draws me sweet pictures and "writes" me love notes.

In spite of her "fire", she is a good girl, she really is.

As we were driving down the road this morning Maggie said something that triggered a memory that was too special not to share.

A week or so ago, (just after Maggies billion dollar visit to the doctor and anti biotic) Max woke up with his tonsils swollen shut and a slight fever.  I called the doctor and made a same day appointment.  After hanging up with them, I started talking to Jere about the situation.  Maggie and Max were both sitting on the bed with us as I lamented to Jere about how I didn't know what to do.  We just didn't have any money to take him to the doctor, and I couldn't bare the thought of going, spending it and having the doc say, it's a cold.  Or whatever. 

At that I mentioned having no money, my sweet little Maggie chimed in:

 "Mommy, I have some money in my piggy bank you can use."

At which point I just burst out crying.  She really meant it.  She was so willing to give me ALL that she had, because she could tell I needed it.  Ya know, for all her sass and attitude, there really is the tenderest and sweetest little girl.  Her comment caught me so off guard and just melted my heart into a puddle of goo.

I really am thankful for her and all her "poo poo headed", "Poo butt", "do my hair and I'll die, or scream you to death", "I hate you", "I love yous", "You're the BEST", song singing, magic hug giving ways.

Thanks Miss Sassy Pants for being so willing to share with your Mama.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


An ENTIRE week, SEVEN DAYS since I've written anything.  Bah!

Day after day after day I get on, I read all of your blogs, sometimes I stalk other random blogs, I dabble about on facebook and check e-mails and yet, I write NOTHING.  I WANT to write something, I really do.  But there is nothing there.  My brain is on strike.  Yep, STEE-RIKE!!  I got nothin.

Well, I have Maggie on a heavy antibiotic and then delightfully starting a cough to end all coughs.  The kind that keeps her, us and our neighboring county awake all FREAKING night long.  Hot mess.  Add to that a random and charming 101 fever yesterday.  Max with his own barky cough, fevers on and off and the good times keep on a rollin.  Thankfully, no fevers today...just super awesome coughing.

Oh, and good news, I totally got a stye in my right eye.  That is about 1000 shades of AWESOME.  BUT my zits are clearing up, so at least there is that. I got a FAT blister on my left heel after working out, which made working out the next couple days NOT happen.  My throat is scratchy and maybe I'm coughing a little too.  Whatever!  Jeres financial aide STILL has not been dispersed to us, so I'm fuh-reaking out, in a totally reserved, hold it all in sort of way.  Seriously, I know I shouldn't be crying cause I've got LOTS of other blessings, but WTF?  I might need you to call me JOB pretty soon. I kid, I kid.  Just call me JO.  And let's hope I NEVER earn that last B.

Thursday I brought my sweet little Jayce nephew home from school with Brooklyn and had him stay the night.  He was the most delightful addition to our world for 24 hours.  The girls were so pleased with new blood that the playing was civil, happy and completely outside for hours.  HEAVEN!  And there may have been some couples dancing in the bedroom.  Maggie ASKED Jayce to dance with her to their Christmas program music.  I don't know where she learned this, but she put her arm up on his shoulder and the other around his waist and swayed like a pro.  It ranked right up there with THE CUTEST MOMENT EVER!  Followed closely by the moment that Brooklyn threw hot, HOT daggers with her eyes at them and stomped out of the room bawling because SHE wanted a turn to dance.  Man, you just can't script stuff like that.  Oh, and I had him spend the night because the rest of his family was just performing for the U.N. Delegates.  Yeah, my family is all bad A like that.

Speaking my four ridiculously talented nephews came and sang in my ward.  They are just amazing, and their ability to bring the spirit is phenom.  And not only did they sing, but I totes hooked one of my cute 16 yr. old twin nephews up with a super cute girl in my ward for our big PJ Bunko party. 
Suh-WEET!! is what else I've done whilst in blogging coma.

Watched a lot of TV:

Oh you guys.  If you didn't watch this, then I insist that you watch it this Monday.  It is laugh out loud, maybe shed a tear, FUNNY! No really, I INSIST!

You silly chefs, why do I lurve to watch you create freakish cuisine so SO much?

No words. NO WORDS!
This just might be the most brilliant piece of television ever created.  We spent one evening over at Danas watching part of season One.  "Moon Landing" had us crying it was so funny. In fact, Jere just told me, he "moon landed" the shower door the other day.  And this last weeks episode with the kids walking in on the parentals....CLASSIC!

So, thanks for the laughs and entertainment TV.  Thanks for that.

I'd also like to report...Max has added the ever so beloved "stupid" word to his vocab.  It just popped out today in the car.  "My shoe is STOOpid."  UGH!  Maggie properly put him in his place, that that was a potty word.  And then promptly said "My cough is STUPID."  And told me it was OK for her to say it, because well, her cough WAS stupid!  I seriously don't have a chance.

Max is also totally schizophrenic, because he likes to talk like this:
"Mommy...I WUV you.  I hate you Mommy.  I don't hate you Mommy, I WUV you.  Mommy, I wike you.  I don't hate you."
No really, it happens just like that.  Or like this:
"I hate bawoons, I don't hate bawoons.  I yike bawoons."

What?  My head is spinning all the time.  What is it KID?  Make up your bleepity bleep mind.

There is ONE thing of which he's completely sure.
I HATE binegar Mommy.  Hate binegar. 

Phew, glad we're clear on THAT!

Anyway, also finished...Jeres run of Midsummer Nights Dream.  It was hilar, and a great experience for him.  Now he's on to teching a show, then rehearsals begin for his show at ASU, AND he's in rehearsals for Spelling Bee which he's directing.  So, my point is...we're not gonna be seeing much of the ol' Daddio around here.  Le Sigh.

There it is.
I'm alive.

Barky coughs and medicine troughs,