Monday, December 31, 2007

Yay! Twilight Zone Marathon!

This has been something I have looked forward to for years. There's always a marathon on New Years ever/New Years day on the Sci-Fi Channel. I've seen many of the episodes, but for some reason this morning almost all of them are ones I've never seen. They always wig me out a little and that's why I like them. Jake has been known to tivo them in the past, so I hope we does it again. Then again, I can always watch the ones I miss next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Reminiscing

On Friday night we were invited to play some games with some friends. We played a rousing few rounds of Pit, which I love. We had a little challenge and played a few silent round due to a sleepy baby, but I thought it made it more fun and less of a headache. Anyhow, we then moved onto Clue. I was excited to play and then realized it had been probably more than 10 years since I played it. I totally reminded me of a Christmas way back when Drew got it from "Santa". We played over and over. I didn't even come close to winning this time, but it made me remember that it is one of my faves. It's amazing all the strategies you don't see as a kids. With adults it's a whole new game. And we had a great talking about and quoting the movie.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And we're back

WARNING: This will be long and contain exuberant amounts of pictures. This it what happens when I go home to Utah. Carry on if you wish.

We made it home after an okay flight, and as hard as it is to leave all the ones I love, it's nice to come to where your life is. All of our many many (too many) gifts made it home intact and it was like Christmas again opening the box and suitcases to find then. KC and I didn't exchange many gifts in Utah (except a rubix cube and a stapler) because we were waiting on our delivery here at home. I now am a proud owner of a Canon Digital Rebel XT 8 MP SLR camera. Maybe later I will use it to not only have a reason to play with it, but to also show some of the fun gifts we received. Our Sony compact has served us well, but in the excitement of Christmas tree decorating, I dropped it and the ldc has given out. Matt, our camera guru, helped us pick out this one and I already love it. He also gave us some nice accessories he had lying around.I'm going to read up on all the manuals to assure KC this was the right decision. I was jumping up and down with excitement when we was opening the box. Merry Christmas to us!



So I want to use my schedule as a way to add details to our fun trip so I don't leave anything out. Picture can be viewed below.

I'll start by saying that the night before we left, we hung out with the Turpins a little to give the boys a little present. I think they liked Their ice cream ball a lot.

Thursday 12/20

-Fly out of BWI 12:10 pm, arrive in Utah 5:50 pm, picked up by Grahams:I wrote about our crazy flight before, but the layover took about 45 minutes to rearrange some luggage before we took off. It was pretty annoying.
-Go to dinner at about 8:30 (because of the delay with our flight and the crazy snow) at Los Hermanos with family
: Lili, Jeff, Melody, Amber, Todd, Mom, Dad, and Mom R all made it. It was so nice of them to still come since it was so late because of our delayed flight and the snow. A huge plate of nachos is a great way to start a fun week. After we went home to hear a wonderful duet performed by the engaged couple (Lili and Jeff if you haven't heard). Boy can they sing. And he has quite a talent on the piano as well I hear. It's was great to get to know him a little. I tried to break him in as quickly as possible. My little sister REALLY likes him.
-Sleep at Melody's:
We were pretty tired at this point.

Friday 12/21
-9:00 appointment for Mom and me to have our spider veins removed. (You may think this is silly, but it's true. I have them and I want them gone.): Yes I did this procedure and am so glad I did. The veins are disappearing before my eyes. Thanks mom! I so very much appreciate it.
-Last minute Christmas shopping, find out whose stockings we have from the Robinsons
: We actually had a few bouts of last minute shopping, but it did get done nevertheless. We hope Casey and Nicole liked their stockings. We even managed to get an electronic dart board with the provided stocking budget.
-Amber and Melody's preschool program. 6:00 pm: This is always so fun. Especially since Allyson was in it this year. Amber and Melody go above and beyond with this preschool and I love watching the kids sing their hearts out.
-Sleep at Melody's: I LOVED waking up to Julia every morning (well I suppose she woke up to me since I was a little jet lagged). She is the happiest, funniest, most adorable baby and I'm sad she's not in my lap right now.

Saturday 12/22
-Annual get-together with Melody, Marianne, and Jill in the morning:
I've only missed this twice in 8(or something) years. I don't know why we started it, but I am so glad we did. It started out as Chinese food for lunch the day before Christmas Eve. This year we did breakfast at Kneaders. The french toast is to die for! I like the change.
-Make cookies with nieces and nephews at Amber's:
I wanted to bond with the little ones and what is a better way than baking. I loved all of their different decorating techniques. We had a blast.
-Emily's family party at Frisby's at 4:00:
This a great way to see everyone at once. People came from high and low to this party and it was a great time. I especially loved seeing The Grandparents. They are such great friends of mine. I miss them so much being so far away. -Go to Robinson's at 6:00: Here we watched a pretty intense BYU game. I slept through most of it, but woke up at the most exciting parts due to outbursts from the fans. It's a great way to watch a game.
-Sleep at Graham's:
Again, very tired.

Sunday 12/23
-Church with Robinsons, 11:00
-Eat with Robinsons: Janice made some very delicious tomato soup and rolls. Perfect for a cold and snowy day. We relaxed a little and chatted with everyone. We got to see Alicia and Dustin, KC's cousin and spouse who are probably in labor right now. If not, it's close.
-Annual Fondue at Graham's: This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember. We were dipping rosemary, and french breads, cauliflower, and broccoli, ham, and little smokies, apples and I'm sure there is something I forgot. It was extremely delicious. And I must not forget the festive nog. We opened our traditional pajamas, which were robes for the girls and blankets for the boys for a change this year. We love them!
-Movie sleepover/ping pong tournament/Monoploy game at Graham's, where we will most definitely watch Pee-wee's Christmas special:
And we did all of those things. The Monopoly wasn't until after I slept but I heard it was a doosy and Elise took it all. I played a couple rounds of ping pong, but mostly watched. We have some great players. We watched Love Actually, Elf, and clips of Pee-wee, and Muppets. We pulled all the matresses off the beds and pilled them into the living room where most of us slept (or at least tried to) through the night. I counted 9 adults and five kids in one house. It was quite a party. We missed the Turpins a lot so we had to watch them dancing on Cami's blog.

Monday 12/24

-Recover from Sleepover: Noboby slept very long or very well, so we were all a little groggy -Visit Grandmother: We met up with the Rejholecs at Grandmother's. It's always such a delight to see her. She was busy in the kitchen and let us taste some some of her treats.
-Big dinner with Robinsons (Rejholecs are coming too!): We had a meal complete with ham, Janice's rolls, mustard green beans, pretzel jello, salad, a funeral potatoes (aka potato nasty at my house) and a nice assortment of cookies for dessert. We played the chimes, sang carols and then with Nicole's dilligence in finding it, we watched Elf. I will never tire of that movie, EVER!
-Sleep at Robinson's


Tuesday 12/25

-CHRISTMAS!!: I woke up pretty early, as you might have read previously. At about 9:30, we ate the delicious breakfast casserole, and cinnamon rolls that Janice makes every year, and them started the gift extravaganza. It had snowed overnight and was so beautiful outside.
-I'm sure we'll do some giving and receiving of presents at some point: The Robinsons are always so generous with their gifts. We are always so gratful for how thoughtful they are. We absolutely love all of our gifts. We then went to the Grahams for more food and gift exchanging. It was so fun to see all the children and their new gadgets. The girls were doused in new pink attire, bags, purses, a even ipods and accessories for the ipods. Times have sure changed. We also received many heart felt gifts here. We are very blessed to have such great families. We ate some traditional pull aparts as well as the usuals (ham, potatoes, etc.) We watched Hairspray and laughed very hard. It was a nice day.
-Make sure to check into SWA to get in the A group:
KC checked us in just in time. -Maybe a movie: We finally watched the Simpsons movie with the Robinsons. That was a long time coming and it was pretty funny.
-Sleep at Robinson's: It was qutie an accomplishment to pack everything we got in only the luggage we brought, but we did it.

Wednesday 12/26

-Leave SLC at 10:10 am, arrive in Maryland 7:00 pm. Bummer. Actually it won't be so bad because we'll have the cruise to look forward to! Hooray!:
I'm always sad to leave everyone, but we we know we will see them again at the weddings in the summer. We love and miss everyone so much. Thanks for making Christmas so special to us. It is always nice to have my love to come home with me. He has been such an amazing husband and it was only 2 years ago on Christmas day that he proposed. I have been the luckiest and happiest girl during those years and I can't wait for more to come. And yes, the Cruise it coming up very soon and we can't even wait!


A side note: I got into a bad habit this year of stating many times that I in fact hate Christmas. As much as I dislike the stress of traveling, shopping, crowds, and lines, I had no reason to say this. That would be saying that I hate the reason for this Holiday that is Christ's birth and his life. These things mean more to me than anything else and I wish I would've thought twice before letting those dumb words exit my mouth. I don't hate the season either, I just have a way of exagerating my feelings. I'm working on it.

I've already done my bargain hunting, and got some great stuff. Now I just need to get this place back to normal. Unpacking is never fun. Happy New Year! ( If you made it to the bottom, you deserve a big prize)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

So I am awake hours before our breakfast is to be eaten, and presents are to be opened, just as I suspected. I've actually come to appreciate and count on this time I have in the morning that I wake up before anyone else. When I occasionally "sleep in" I feel behind and rushed, so this is my time to get myself together.

It's been such a wonderful Christmas visit here in Utah. I have enjoyed seeing everyone so much. All our hosts have been so hospitable, and we are so sad to be leavening tomorrow. For my own record, I'll make notes about everything on the schedule later so that I can remember all the fun details. There has been a little stress involved, but that is to be expected and it could've been much worse. Special thanks to Jonny for letting us pratically have his car while we were here. It was a lifesaver. I know it's not over, and the whole reason we are here hasn't even happened yet, but I just wanted to get a few notes down. We really have missed the Turpins and Drew. We did get to talk to both of the yesterday, and KC and I will be sure to show our videos and pictures around when we get home. It's always amazing how much the kids grow when we don't see them. Here are a couple pictures to tide them over. The kiddies and I had a cookie party and they all made the cutest cookies!Julia is so cute and photogenic, she doesn't even need explanation.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas schedule updated once again

Well, a few adjustments have been made, but I am happy to make them. We are trying so hard to see everyone and do so many things. I hope we are able to make it all work. Everyone is being so patient (especially KC) with the craziness going on. Melody and Jonny have been nice to let us use their car to finally finish our Christmas Shopping and I consider that a HUGE accomplishment. We have been having the most wonderful time bonding with Julia and the Rejholecs and taking countless pictures, and we can't wait to see everyone else. This schedule can always be moved around, but I have to have it just to remember what is going on. Thanks for everyone's patience.



I am making this schedule to keep myself on track for the very few days we will be in Utah. There is always so much to do and it's hard to keep track of all of it, so this will be updated every time something is added/changed.

Thursday 12/20
-Fly out of BWI 12:10 pm, arrive in Utah 5:50 pm, picked up by Grahams.
-Go to dinner at about 8:30 (because of the delay with our flight and the crazy snow) at Los Hermanos with family.
-Sleep at Melody's.

Friday 12/21
-9:00 appointment for Mom and me to have our spider veins removed. (You may think this is silly, but it's true. I have them and I want them gone.)
-Last minute Christmas shopping, find out whose stockings we have from the Robinsons.
-Amber and Melody's preschool program. 6:00 pm.
-Sleep at Melody's

Saturday 12/22
-Annual get-together with Melody, Marianne, and Jill in the morning.
-Make cookies with nieces and nephews at Amber's.
-Emily's family party at Frisby's at 4:00.
-Go to Robinson's at 6:00.
-Sleep at Graham's

Sunday 12/23
-Church with Robinsons, 11:00.
-Eat with Robinsons.
-Annual Fondue at Graham's.
-Movie sleepover at Graham's, where we will most definitely watch Pee-wee's Christmas special.

Monday 12/24
-Recover from Sleepover.
-Visit Grandmother
-Big dinner with Robinsons (Rejholecs are coming too!)
- Sleep at Robinson's

Tuesday 12/25
-CHRISTMAS!!
-Maybe a movie.
-Make sure to check into SWA to get in the A group.
-I'm sure we'll do some giving and receiving of presents at some point.
-Sleep at Robinson's

Wednesday 12/26
-Leave SLC at 10:10 am, arrive in Maryland 7:00 pm. Bummer. Actually it won't be so bad because we'll have the cruise to look forward to! Hooray!


As you can see there is much to be added and conversations with the in-laws to be had before this is completed as this is mostly only the plans for my side, but it will just keep appearing until it is complete, and then it will be a great journal of all the happenings. If anyone on this schedule has a question or complaint, know that this is just an outline and a few things can be altered. I will be happy to make any necessary changes if possible. And I will desperately try to fit Cafe Rio and Purple Turtle in there somewhere.

We'll miss you TURPINS!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Almost home

Well, we are here at the Denver International Airport awaiting our flight in about an hour and a half. Luckily that have this free WiFi for everyone to use and it's been quite a nice way to use up the time. Actually, before I left home, I kept Matty's 100 things page open so when we were on the flight I could read it with out connecting. It has kept me with something to read while this slow connection tries to find everything I ask it to. Thanks Matt. Anyway, it was a semi-uneventful flight which is good. Quite a lot of turbulence and I was seriously afraid someone around me would puke. But no one did to my knowledge. Our shuttle driver from the parking lot was a character. In five minutes we learned how many years he has been married, how old he was when we got married (he was 19 and his wife was 16), how old he is now, how many kids/grandkids/great-grand kids he has and how he spends his time with them. One of his sons is a recovering alcoholic, so he drinks with his 28 year old grand son. More than you wanted to know? Me too. Anyway, he seemed to be filled with holiday cheer so it was alright. We almost volunteered to switch flight for a 100 dollar each voucher to put toward our next flight and get refunded for this flight, but a mean man stepped right in front of me and pushed his weight around taking one of the last two spaces they needed vacated. Anyway, we are almost home so all if fine and good. I had to take a few deep breaths and stop saying that I hoped that guy missed his flight, but now I'm fine. I stopped for a moment today in the midst of the long cramped and stuffy flight to realize hoe amazing it really is that this machine can carry hundreds of people every day across the country (to see our great families) in a matter of hours. It's easy to get caught up in the annoyances of it all, but I really am so grateful for the amazing resources me have.

I'm very hungry and looking forward to our big mexican feast with everyone that can make it (see schedule). We can't wait to see you everyone!. Here is a picture of us awaiting our flight. Don't we look excited. . . (We really are, even in the picture doesn't show it. We just want to get this flying over with.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thanks

Well, I suppose this is a fix to my annoying blog annoyances. But, thanks to Hannah, my picture is nicely color corrected. She voluntarily made a few different versions of the picture (this one has darkened edges). I might switch them up. Thanks Hannah!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I thought it was obvious

In our Christmas card we put this picture of us in the live nativity at the Washington DC temple when we participated last year. Apparently no one really knows it is us. So if you got a card, just know that that is not just any picture of Mary, Joseph, but it is in fact US playing them. Costco.com only let us print a certain number of characters, and I was too lazy to write individual notes. So now you know. Please pass the word along. Here is a link to the rest of the KCmatronics, as Matt calls them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grrrrrrrr!

For some reason Blogger has decided to do some weird thing and shrink my header photo. KC and I have been tweaking the html code left and right, and we are thinking it might take a while to figure this thing out. How obnoxious! KC likes it. He thinks it's mysterious. But I think you are missing out on very important elements of the picture, like the little boats perfectly placed in the picture, and our feet in the sand. One of these days we'll work it out. I guess at this busy time it's hard to dedicate hours to such a silly task. Until then, here is the ever-lovin photo.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Carrollton Ward Christmas Party

We had a splendid time at our ward Christmas party last night. We just got a new activities committee and they put together a great last minute gathering that I think everyone was happy to have attended. I got to the church at about 2 pm to help my friend with all the food. Janine is an awesome chef. She actually works in the food industry so she always knows what to do. She makes the best, non-typically Mormon food at all the parties so I was happy to help. She had several people make turkeys and we threw together some potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and all the rest. We had a huge dessert buffet that various people contributed to and everyone had plenty of food. I had to lead the music to the congregation, and the primary. Since we just had our program last week, we haven't had much time to practice any song for Christmas, but they did their best and that is good enough for me. There were presentations of different countries and how they celebrate Christmas time. And then we had a live nativity in Which KC and Andrew were Shepherds, and our friends the Murphys made a very cute Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and angel. Now it really feels like it's coming down to the wire with this whole Christmas thing and I hope I'm ready. I'm trying to not turn into a scrooge, but sometime I understand why the character exists. The stress can really get to you.


If you'll note, I added Cafe Rio, Purple Turtle, and Pee-wee's Christmas Special to my schedule. There has to be time to fit in those necessities somewhere.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Almost done

So I gave my notice for my photography job a while ago. I work at two different hospitals and today was my last day at one of them. It's a pretty easy job that requires very few hours. I have enjoyed it very much, learned a little Spanish due to the location of the hospital and have learned a little about photography. It's just time to be done and move one. It's been about a year and a half and such a great opportunity for me. It's weird to think it's been that long. I'll miss a lot about it. The convenience, the flexible hours, the commute (remember how I walk to my main hospital) and seeing the happy (most of the time) families everyday. I have some other plans for the start of the new year so this is it for pictures. Only two more days next week and I'm finished.

Another funny note, I for the first time, played Wii at the Drapers and have been sore ever since. I guess it's pretty good exersize and I actually had a good time playing it. I suppose not all video games are terrible wastes of time.

One more thing. WE WILL BE IN UTAH IN 6 DAYS! Just thought I'd add that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bright lights, big city

Who can name the movie?So we ventured to see the annual DC temple lights last weekend. We were with two other couples. One was married, and the other was on a blind date. The married girl set the single girl up with one of her friends and it actually seemed to go very well. We had Mexican food for dinner which is always fine by me, and then headed to the temple. They have concerts of some kind every night during the holiday season. This night it was an adult choir from Alexandria, VA. They were all so cheery-faced with their black turtle necks under their festive sweaters. The music was...okay...but the best part was picking out your favorite people to watch and let them entertain you the whole time. They used their (very decorated) music folders as props for actions in songs to add a dancing feature, and would add jovial chatter between songs to give a relaxed feel. You could just see the inside jokes oozing out of them any time the director would say something funny. They even informed us that they are going to be performing again next week in their pajamas if we want to come. AND they they are hold auditions soon. Now, they were on pitch for the most part, but it didn't seem like you'd stand in line to audition. They did all seem happy and filled with holiday cheer, so it was fun and made for great conversation.

Well the lights were of course amazing. I don't particularly love the bright fluorescent purple, but the LED lights look pretty cool. We looked at a display of Nativity sets from all over the worlds and this one from India caught seemed to stand out a little. Compare the size of the baby Jesus to the rest of the pieces. I guess the maker was a little obvious about where they want your focal point to be. It's kind of freaky. We were laughing pretty hard. Now, we'll see if this night turns this blind date into something more.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I think I have a problem

Last night I needed a sweet fix. I needed one bad. It wasn't just any sweet fix. This is the problem I was talking about. It had to be a specific texture, temperature, and mouth feel to satisfy the need I had for something sweet. It is very unusal that we don't have something to quickly grab after dinner but right now it's really true. It was really cold last night and I had no desire to leave the house so I whipped something up. I call this Wassail Cake.Now, I am not a huge fan of cake mixes, but even I know the value of convenience in times of need so I decided to use one in this circumstance. It was late, and I didn't feel like rummaging in the cupboards for all the ingredients. So, KC has a book called The Cake Mix Doctor. A lot of you may have heard of it. The Festive Cran-Orange Cake sounded like what I wanted and I had all the ingredients. But I mostly used it as a guideline. Here is the original recipe, and my changes in parenthesis:

Cake:
1 yellow cake mix with pudding (I used white)
1 cup fresh orange juice (when my only orange didn't yield enough juice, and I didn't feel like defrosting a concentrate, I decided to use the cold wassail in my fridge)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c granulated sugar (I cut back on this a little since I knew the wassail was so sweet)
4 eggs (I only had three left and it was fine)
1 cup chopped dried cranberries (I only had fresh so I made a compote my cooking them with sugar a little water, and cinnamon until they were juicy, and sweet, and thick)

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons OJ ( I used wassail again)
orange zest for garnish ( I put this into the cake itself, and used sliced almonds for the garnish)

Some quick instructions:
Turn oven to 350. Spray and flour a bundt pan. Mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, wassail, and sugar for a couple minutes in the mixer just like your friendly cake mix suggests. Pour half the mix in the pan, drop spoonfulls of the cranberry compote on the batter and slightly swirl to make sure all batter is covered. Pour the rest of the mix on top and bake for 40 minutes. When it's done, wait a couple minutes and then tap out of the pan onto a cooling rack. I needed mine asap so I didn't wait too long for it to cool. Glaze the cake and them top with almonds and a nice dusting of the good old powdered sugar. This should be done when it's fully cooled, but again, I couldn't wait. If you like wassail, you will love this. I know I did. In fact, I think I'll have some for breakfast right now.

I know I have a whole blog dedicated to food, but this was a special occasion.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

For crying out loud

First thing I heard when I turned on the news this morning was of the schools that are either closing early, or are completely closed today. Now, the only thing that is making this happen in the threat of snow. There might be some dust in the air, right now, but that's all. And, they are only expecting 1-2 inched accumulation all day. This would never happen in Utah. But maybe it's for the best since when I was watching the traffic report, many major roads are backed up with crashes from the light dusting. Come on, people! I'm excited for a little wintery snow to fall on us, but I'm not looking forward to the people that freak out and get in accidents in the freeway. I know all kids must be excited. I think I had one snow day growing up, and it was 2 feet or something like that.

Monday, December 03, 2007

When I reached in my purse...

...for a pair of sunglasses for my walk to work, I found all of these:Now, I only purchased one of these. The others were gifts, or found in our car when we bought it (and whiped with alcohol before being worn). I try to keep one in each car, and one in my church bag, and purse, but I always walk inside forgetting they are still on my face. So if you are ever with you you can count on me having some for you to borrow.

Sad day

Well, I don't want to sound too dramatic about something so trivial, but I was very sad when this happened. On Wednesday night I was relaxing on my bed when I heard the terrible sound of one of my prized dessert stands sliding off the shelf onto the slate tiled floor. I was yelling "NO!" as it almost seemed like slow motion when we both just watched it fall and crash into a million little pieces. I had placed a heavy platter behind it against the wall, and it slid down pushing the stand with it. I have several stands, but this was has sentimental value. When I worked at Just Cakes, I would eye this one everyday. The ladies I work with really wanted to get it for me for my wedding so they told me not to buy it. So they did give it to me and I've displayed it in my home ever since admiring it every time I see it. I have broken 3 important things in the last few weeks and this was just the last straw. I didn't even look the whole time KC was cleaning. There were tears involved. I felt bad to keep talking about it to my very understanding husband so I called my mom, and my dad answered so he got to hear all about it. Poor dad. He was very sympathetic too. What a guy. It is silly to get to upset, so I wrote this to move on. Here are the remains. The cute little top knob even broke into pieces. Sigh...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A sweet song

I'm probably behind and everyone has been hearing this song for quite a while, but I only recently heard it and I really like it. I mostly listen to the news, my cds or am on the phone in my car. I rarely listen to the hip stations because I just don't love the music that is playing on them anymore (with the exception of Chritsmas music now. I do listen to that). But Every now and then there is something that catches my ear. I have never heard of this girl before, but I like how the lyrics makes me feel. It's probably a song my friends and I would've LOVED in high school since it describes puppy love so perfectly. It's so sweet and innocent. What girl doesn't love to be kissed on the nose. I Hope you love it too. I'd be interested to hear the rest of her songs. I like her style.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pampered Chef Party

For a while, a few of us around here have mentioned that we have wanted someone to host a Pampered Chef party. So I finally bit the bullet and hosted one. I didn't think it was possible in my apartment at first, but with a little imagination, and rearranging, it worked out pretty well. KC and I moved everything except the couch into the bedroom the night before. We lined up chairs like a classroom and easily fit about 13 fun ladies, consisting of church friends, neighbors, and a sister, two of which had babies with them, in this small space. Everyone was very kind about being so tightly fitted together, and I think we all had a great time. Stacy, the consultant and I got to know each other pretty well. She came an hour before the party began to set up and prepare some food. She made delicious caramel pecan cakes and a microwave barbecue pork tenderloin. It was very delicious and it only took 15 minutes for 2 lbs. of meat. I made some whole wheat rolls to go with the pork for sandwiches, along with mini pumpkin tarts, beet and sweet potato chips with a roasted onion dip, and a lemon curd fruit dip with pears and grapes. There was wassail on the stove, but it was little warm so only a few wanted it. So there was plenty of food to be had, and lots of fun stuff to buy. Now, I was expecting a little bit of a discount for hosting, but not nearly the deal I got. A lot of free, 60% off, 50% off, and 25% off items. I still haven't made my decisions on exactly what to order, but I think I'll have fun doing it. Also, two of my girls booked parties, so I get a deal of two 60% off items at their parties as well. They really hook you coming out with new products all the time. Now, I'll just have to find room for all my new gadgets, whatever they may be. Thanks for coming ladies. I enjoyed having you. It was definitely worth the rearranging, and it helped us discover a better way to layout our living room. It feels a lot bigger and more opened up. I like this no restrictions rule I've given myself. It's very liberating.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We've been Christmasified

The longer we live in this tiny space, the more we like to stretch the boundaries we thought were so tight when we moved in. We seriously thought there was hardly space for a couch and I have managed to add a bookshelf or two, a keyboard, an elliptical, and some other odds and ends. And we have somehow managed to squeeze yet another relatively large item. When Christmas came last year, we faced the facts thata sizable Christmas tree was out of the question since there really seemed like no possible place to put one. We ended up getting a 3 foot tree or something, and I didn't want to buy ornaments since we wouldn't be home for the actual holiday, so I used candy canes and ribbons and called it good. Well this year is different. I am tired of restrictions and so I'm breaking away from our pre-conceived notions of our little space. We have successfully placed a great smelling, 6 foot Balsam Fir tree in our apartment and I am so proud. I thought I was crazy thinking we could fit a real tree in here, but I'm so glad we did it anyway. I stocked up on some fun ornaments courtesy IKEA, and voila! It's officially Christmas! KC is in charge of the lights, and I place the ornaments. It makes me feel like a real grown up when I do grown up things like buying and decorating our very own tree.
Now I might actually be crazy thinking I can fit 15 or so ladies here for a Pampered Chef party I'm having on Thursday. There will be some major rearranging involved.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Suggestion

If you, like me, are already tired of the same old Christmas music that is now thoroughly played on the usual stations, here is something that might help. I have recently been listening to Christian rock stations. Now just hear me out before you judge. I think it started when I was scanning the radio in the car to set my pre-set stations. I stopped for a while on one of these stations and liked the tunes. When I realized what they were singing, I was reluctant to stay since it just seemed a little hokey. But I was pretty impressed since I thought this kind of music had a stereotype that wasn't really my style at all. So I started to listen on Sundays. They are all about family values and God's love, so I liked the change for my drive to church. However, I could immediately tell who were the popular singers, and what songs got played over and over which is how it is with any genre. It's funny to think that there are so many types of music out there that I have no idea about. There are fan clubs for this music that I have just discovered, and it just makes me laugh.

Anyway, to my point. Even if you are not a fan of five different versions Amazing Grace, you can still appreciate a little variation in the Christmas songs we all know and love. Sometimes the variations are a little much for me, but I'll take anything over hearing Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, or Christmas Shoes again. If you are here in Maryland and you dare, try 91.9, or 105.1 I think.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm thankful for water, and KC, and the turkey...

That was part of Jefferson's prayer at Thanksgiving and it keeps making me giggle when I think about it. It was nice low-key Thanksgiving at the Turpin's and I have to say it's always a relief when it is over even though we look forward to it so much. Cami gave a few details so I'll just add on to what she said. I already told about my unfortunate croissant experience, but the food was very delicious despite any imperfections. We had the regulars, including yummy cheese ball, ham asparagas wrap appetizers. We also added spiced, roasted acorn squash, fried onions, rosemary mashed potatoes, and everything else Cami has mentioned. I said before I liked to add a twist to old favorites, so instead of making plain pumpkin pie, I made pumpkin mascarpone tarts with a gingerbread crust and pistachio brittle. I had more gingerbread crust left, so I went ahead and made a pumpkin ice cream pie with the rest. The recipe will be in the sidebar very soon. If you've never made it, you will want to soon. It was a nice change, but still had the traditional flavors. We were stuffed until we couldn't eat another bite, after the three rounds of eating thoughout the day. We also watched Evan Almighty which was very entertaining. It was funny to see how the little boys fought over who got to sit by KC. But Jeffy also had to sit as far as possible from the strawberry pretzel jello since he didn't like strawberries. So he eventually sat in the spot that suited him. He all had a good laugh about that. We got home pretty early, and did a little cleaning, but mostly just wanted to fall into bed.



I had to wake up early for various appointments, and didn't feel quite right, and was pretty shaky, but knew I couldn't just skip out of work and my appointment, so I went anyway. But the time I got to work at about 8:30, I was feeling the nausea pretty bad, but thought it would pass and started taking baby pictures anyway. Not smart. I knew the only other photograpers were out of town, so my work ethic must have been stronger than the sick feeling, but it soon took over. I called KC to come pick me up and I was about to call and apologize to the new moms giving them an option of coming back another time. Even that seemed like a task big enough to make me heave. Soon enough they started coming making a line at the studio. I took the pictures, talking to them in a quiet and pretty trembly voice hoping they wouldn't expect anything even though I could feel the waves of nausea every second. There was a time that I said excuse me, with a smile, and ran to the bathroom thinking that was it. After a few moments it passed and I was able to finish the appointment, write a note to the next moms that were to arrive, and leave as soon as KC came. He was so sweet to be there for me so quickly, and boy did he come at the right time. Good thing I told him to bring bags for the car because that is precisely where I needed them. But I sure felt better for a while. I took an anti-nausea pill given to me at my last Utah flu episode. It took a while to kick in, but I slept, or was at least lying down the rest of the day. But I did feel better when I woke up and was able to carry on as normal today and even eat some leftovers. KC took wonderful care of me though it all, and I am just glad it wasn't on Thanksgiving day itself. I'm pretty sure it was due to some medication I was taking so, whew, it wasn't the food. Don't you love when holiday memories are mixed with sick memories.

Hooray, it is now Christmas time and the decorations are coming out today! If I get around to it, that is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Whoopsy

Well since I was paying too much attention to the fried onions and turkey, I let the croissants rise too long, and mixed with the 75 degree weather, the butter decided to melt out of the ever loving rolls resulting in a flat buttery, bread-like substance. Still tasty, but not up to my standards. I'm trying to get past it, but the only way is to make them again, correctly, very soon. I guess I have to give them my undivided attention. Pitiful. Luckily I'm with a crowd that is easy to please.n This is a picture of what they looked like in school. Quite a difference, eh?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Craziness

Check this out. It might make you feel a little better about having an extra piece of pie tomorrow You can just take a picture and photoshop out the weight you just gained. Go to the portfolio link and click on the celebrities to see the before and after. I found it very entertaining, and a little sad that they can't just be themselves. Go's to show that no one looks like a magazine cover portrays... and more people have freckles than you think.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving prep

I said it last year, and I'll say it again. Thanksgiving is an out-of-work chef's favorite holiday. Well, in my opinion anyway. An excuse to cook and bake to your hearts content, and it's not for anyone else but the one's you love. At the bakeries, I was baking dozens of pies and roulades for people I didn't know, and it just wasn't the same.

I always like to try new things at Thanksgiving. It's all about tradition with a twist for me. Last year we started a new tradition, fried turkey. The twist--Cajun fried Turkey. I think we'll throw a bloomin' onion in the gallons of oil while we're at it. I'm going to like that tradition.
So, rolls of course are a main staple at the table at almost every holiday meal. The twist--Croissants. I know, nothing special, but this pastry holds a special place in my heart. I don't think I've made this since I was in school, but since I took such avid notes, it was like it was yesterday I was rolling up that dough exactly 3 1/2- 4 turns for the first time. Yep, they were that strict about the authenticity of how we made them. You see, Croissants are as French as pastries come, and they have a way of doing things over there that can't be messed with. My school specialized in French cuisine, and being that the founder was from that very country, we were taught strictly in the way. Croissants are truly an art. They are the classic French pastry and if done properly they take many steps, requiring many timers, precise temperatures, and even have to be placed a certain way on the baking sheet. And they require two different temperatures. Sometimes, when I am trying something new, or bringing out an old recipe, I'll bypass what I think are minute details, only to wish I'd followed the instructions. Of course some recipes have room for creativity which I gladly use, but not these babies. I have made my fair share of bad croissants, and don't plan on doing it again. I like to make them exactly as I was taught. These will be frozen, to be thawed, egg washed, and baked on turkey day. I have been wanting to have a reason to make these, and this was the perfect occasion. I was a little rusty, but I think the technique will always stay with me. The reason why these are so special to me is not only that it takes me back to school when my whole life changed, but I always remember how proud my chef was of me when we saw my tray of croissants. He told me they would be a good advertisement for the school and what we learn. Remember when I told you how picky they are about technique? This is a huge compliment, and I was honored to have it given to me. It just made me even more confident in my decision to pursue this career--which has now turned into a lifelong hobby I suppose. I love my friend, the croissant. Oh, and they are completely delicious. Especially with chocolate or frangipane inside. Next time. Oh how I love getting elbow deep in flour and dough. It won't be long until I get the itch again.

That was weird that I went on a long rant about a flimsy piece of dough, but that's my life for you, and I can't help it. With this Thursday being the big day, my mind is racing trying to keep everything together despite lists, and conversations with Cami (the Thanksgiving host), as I'm sure every one's is. I have a few new twists in mind, so we'll see how everything turns out. Some say not to try new recipes for a big occasion, but I like the challenge.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cheverly farmer's market

On Saturday I made plans to go to the Cheverly farmers market. It is only a short walk away, and I heard that last time they had it, they very quickly sold out of all vegetables, cheeses, soaps, and everything else they were selling. I agreed to babysit one of the girls I normally do for that day, so she kept me company as we walked to the city building. It was quite delightful and very crowded. I bought a few things including graham flour, buckwheat pancake mix, a couple delicious pastries, and some amazing orange, passion fruit jam. All are locally made and so fresh ( I guess that is what defines a farmer's market). The two of us really enjoyed the crisp morning air and I couldn't resist getting a picture of this great tree. By the way Tracie, if you are reading this, I was really wanting to call you and tell you to come with me. (she used to be my neighbor until she picked up and moved.) The little one isn't much for adult conversation. Oh and for those who don't know, my maiden name is Graham, and my 5th great uncle, Sylvester Graham came up with the graham flour to promote healthy lifestyles or something like that. Nope, I didn't get a discount, nor have I ever been able to take a box of Graham Crackers without paying, even though he is responsible for those too. I get that question a lot when I tell people we are related.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hummmmmmmmmmmmm...

Leave it to KC to harmonize to the hum of my Sonicare toothbrush. This has happened on many occasions and I don't think he thinks I am paying attention. But I totally am, and I love it every time he does it. He kind of does it subconsciously while he's doing whatever he is doing. He does a different combination of notes each time, all very in tune. He has very good pitch. He really likes odd harmonizations. This is one of the many quirks I love about my guy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vacation Plans!!

Well, thanks to Cami and Jake, we are now booked for a Disney Cruise in January!! We are so excited. We could really use a vacation right now, so the timing is impeccable. We are really looking forward to spending some quality time with the Turpins-young and old-er. I think the little one's are looking forward to it too. See Cami's blog. We are so blessed to have family here and have the opportunity to do such fun family things together. So,we have to get down to business and book excursions and things. Is it okay if I start packing today?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Late birthday present.

It's funny how birthdays sometimes seem to go on and on. This week I was still getting gifts. My generous husband told me on the actual day that something else was coming in the mail. After a while, there was a cancellation from the first order, and then a re-order, but I finally received my stainless steel mixing bowl set with lids. I had actually guessed that is what the mysterious gift would be. I love them, and who doesn't love a late birthday gift. Funny how I am so excited about these, but they are certainly a good purchase. Durable, attractive, and very funtional with the tight pitting lids. These will get put to good use. Thanks honey. He knows me so well (or he was just listening the 20 times I mentioned that I wanted them.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making a list, and checking it twice

The chill that is obviously in the air now makes me a little giddy as I have mentioned before. I am excited so finally be able to pull out the pea coats, sweaters, and boots, a very welcomed change. And I think the holiday season has a way of making us all a little chipper. But there is something that is taking that feeling down a notch. I always get into this anxiety near October about Christmas shopping. The list making beings and I can't stop. I've seriously made dozens of lists with names, gift ideas, places to possibly get those gifts, websites to try. I can't stop. I like to get the shopping done before December even starts so I can actually enjoy the season. It's silly to keep making lists that all pretty much say the same thing. But if I can't, at the moment I have another idea, see the list I have previously made, I feel like I have to write another just to make sure I had it all down on the first one. I feel a little coo-coo sometimes. I don't know why I get so worked up so early. It's not what the season is about after all, but I suppose that's why it's good to get it done before the season begins. So that we can really concentrate on the true meaning behind this beloved holiday. I said it here first. I'll be done Christmas shopping by December 1.

Monday, November 05, 2007

35mm

KC and I both have automatic cameras that we can't seem to let go of. Even though, to me, there is no better way to take pictures besides digital. We just think they are going to be cool to show our kids someday. Everyone is digital now and I am a fan for sure. You see, we have been trying to finish a roll of film that was in KC's camera for a while to get it developed. He wasn't sure what was on it so we were excited to see. We took some here and there, until we finally heard that winding sound that used to be so familiar. We excitedly took it to get developed. I haven't dropped a roll of film in one of those envelopes for a long time. I went back a few days later pick it up. What a process it used to be. And all to see pictures not even knowing how they turned out. I would've taken 50 % of them again on a digital. How funny that this is how we used to photograph. Another inconvenience is all the space they take up. If I had to developed all the pictures I wanted to take, I'd not only be spending a fortune on film and developing, but it would take over my house. Now we have to use up the film in my camera. I'm pretty sure I used it a lot right when I moved here. Weird that only three and a half years ago, that was pretty normal to still be using an automatic camera. I'm always interested to see what they will come up with next in the world or technology. I am a fan of the new age technology, but I'm not saying that we should forget all about film. It's an art and the pictures are very good quality. Some people have a talent and should keep using the old, or I should just say, different way. I'll stick to what's convenient.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What? November!?

I can't believe it. The year goes by so much faster as an adult. Last holiday season seems like yesterday. Well, I'm not complaining. Bring on Christmas is what I say. But before we do that I'd better blog our Halloween fun. We started celebrating this holiday a couple weeks ago with a party with our friends, so this week seemed a little anticlimactic, but we managed to be festive. Last Saturday our friends Ben and Nikki invited us to a How to Host a Murder party. We got our character descriptions in advance so we could look the part. I was a spoiled and stuck up perfume company heiress, and KC was a war bomber pilot,. The setting was on a train in the 1940s. There were three other couples filling the other parts. We had a wonderful dinner and met some great people. We had fun finding out who the murderer was and occasionally getting into our given characters and accents. I tried to do my hair in the 1940's style. Man, no wonder the styles have changed. It's pretty tricky. I had never been to this kind of party before, so it was quite entertaining.

During the week sometime I was browsing the channels for something Halloweenish to watch. I came across The Blair Witch Project on Fox (edited) and couldn't help but watch a few minutes. I remember the buzz this movie made when it came out and the closest I ever came to watching it was The Blair Thumb:



That is just a clip of the greatness. Thanks to Lili, we have learned about all these ridiculous yet hilarious parodies of movies (there are many Thumb movies), made with thumbs as the faces of the characters. Before I knew anything about the Blair Witch, I had seen and quoted the Blair Thumb for years. Seeing clips of the Blair Witch Project, which was supposed to be crazy scary when it came out, only made me laugh like crazy. The thumbs were spot on the actual characters. It didn't have time to watch it all, but I am really needing to go to Cami's so I can see it on her Clear Play. It was quite amusing.



I also made some Halloween cookies with my little baking buddy. He is quite an artist. I was happy to put the cutters to good use. We had a lot sugary fun.




To finish out the fun, We went downtown for dinner and a Capital Hauntings ghost walk. We picked up some previously ordered Ruben and Pastrami sandwiches at Old Ebbitt Grill, a local favorite. There you go Cami and Mel. They were so greasy, but so delicious. We ate on a bench by the street. Much better than sitting in a loud crowded restaurant. Then we went on our walking tour that started in McPherson Square, near the White house. A guide took the 65 of us that showed up on a short walk, but long tour (a little over 2 hours) around Lafayette Square. She animatedly told stories about ghosts and spirits that have been seen, felt, or smelled (she said sometimes that how you can tell they are present) and the stories that led to their deaths. There were stories of affairs, missing heads, piano music coming from houses with no pianos, and on. I'm not really a ghost believer, but it was still cool to hear about the stories about the people in that very spot so long ago. It was eerie to think that they lived and died right there. I
t made me think about the past and how there were horses and carriages right where I stood. It was amazing to hear a little history about the area, and get bonus ghost stories. We ended with the White House and heard about many sightings of Abraham Lincoln's ghost. I would recommend it to anyone. It seemed like a lot of people were on first dates. It was funny to hear a little of their conversations, talking about general likes and dislikes, majors, and a lot of awkward silences. I think I even witnessed a little first pda for one of the couples. It is a good place to hold hands. I think the guy planned that. Clever. It was such a beautiful night and I was happy that the kids trick-or-treating didn't have to cover up their cute costumes with bulky coats.


Anyway, I am happy to say that we made the most out of Halloween. At least compared to last year. Now we can at least start dusting off the Christmas stuff, right?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was lucky

Yesterday I did some major grocery shopping.I am attempting to start our food storage. It's really been getting to me lately. We have very limited space here, so I am trying to figure it out. Anyway, I went to Aldi to stock up on some things, plus the regular shopping I haven't done in a while. If you've been to Alid, you know that they don't give you bags. It is a discount grocery store. I try to remember my laundry baskets to help carry the loads in, but I usually forget any carrying devices. So I had a trunk full of groceries (that amazingly at Aldi never costs as much as you think it will). I backed into my landlord's driveway to make the unload a little easier. After a few trips inside I tried to start the car to move it back on to the street where I park. It was acting funny and wouldn't start, so tried again... and again, and again and again with no luck. Just a lot of clicking noises and the lights flashing on and off. I called the landlord to let her know why I was in her parking space and luckily she wasn't coming home that night (She stays at her boyfriend's sometimes). When KC got home, we tried the jumper cables, and no-go. We didn't think it was the battery because all the lights would come on inside, but we gave it a try anyway. We were planning on calling a tow truck first thing in the morning since we couldn't roll it to the right spot on the street with our little muscles. We tried to forget about our woes, and play some games with the Murphys. During game playing we eventually brought up the car and they ironically had the exact thing happen with their car a while ago. They tried a couple things and what worked for them was switching the battery, even though the gauge said it still had power. KC woke up and when straight to Wal-mart where they luckily had one in the back straight off the truck. He installed it and, voila! It runs. Thanks to the Murphys for their trial and error that led to the right answer, and saving us a lot of money. I felt so blessed that it decided to quit at my home instead of in the parking lot of Aldi with a trunk full of perishables.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now their gone...gone...gone, whoa-oo-whoa-oa-oa

Title hint: Righteous Brothers. KC needed help, I thought others might too.

Well now the parents are gone too. I understand this happened a few days ago, but like I said before, I don't like to dwell on things as they happen. It makes me sadder. Instead, I wait until it's far enough removed that I can dwell on the fun things that went on. We had a smashing time together. The came over on Wednesday and planned to sleep over for their last night here in MD. Mom and I did some serious shopping. I have the best luck with her. For some reason, every time she is with me, I not only find a lot of things I love, but also in my price range. This is not an easy task. I refuse to buy things full price, or even half. We hit the jack pot when at a shoe store where we both found purses, there were two boxes with a clearance sigh saying $14.00 on top. Being a bargain shopper I had to look inside awaiting something hideous since nothing in this store was that cheap. To my excitement it was two pairs of beautiful size 7 cowboy, I guess cowgirl boots. We snatched those boxes right up without hesitation and made our purchases. Now that, my friends, is a steal. If you know me, you know my love of boots, particularly cowboys boots, and a bargain so I was in heaven. Okay, the boots are distracting me from why I am writing.

We decided to take them somewhere fun to eat that they wouldn't find back west. We love this Indian place called Tandoori Nights. I was introduced to it by a friend who I worked at the Hyatt with a few years ago. Her husband was one of the managers. We love it and use it as our special occasion type place. Or whenever we want good Indian food. It's in Virginia, and with the messed up DC roads, mixed with the drizzling rain, dad did a great job to get us there, with a little help from Garmin, his GPS unit. Dad has got from aggressive driving skills up his sleeve.

After a very satisfying meal in our own private room, we went home to watch an Alfred Hitchcock Mom and Dad had from Netflix, Notorious. I fell asleep in the fist 20 minutes, as usual, but finished it later and it is pretty good. I love any Hitchcock, especially on a rainy afternoon, which was the circumstance when I finished it.

Mom and Dad flew to Dallas for a conference and I am so proud of them for working so hard and doing all of this traveling for such a good cause. They have started a foundation a while ago promoting moral and family values that seem to disappear more and more each second. They work so hard at researching and doing all they can to help these values continue to exist in the world. I am so grateful to them and those who believe like them so when I have children, there might still be a world safe enough to come into. Thanks for being such good teachers and examples, Mom and Dad. We'll miss you.

By the way, the pic of dad is him with some White Castle burgers I gave him for his birthday. A little inside joke from our road trip to Maryland.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

23 years old!



I've been hesitant to write this post because it means my birthday is really over, which also means Melody and the baby have really already come and gone. I have been looking forward to it for so long, it's hard to believe it's over. I guess I should dwell on the positive which is that we had such a fantastically fun time. Julia is an absolute delight. I even liked her few bouts of crying because it reminded me that they were really here to be with us. So Let's see if I can recall all the fun.

I went to meet everyone at the airport on Thursday evening. We went to Cami's to introduce the Turpin boys to their little cousin/niece. The little one's were so excited as you'll see in the pictures. Cami wrote more about their new friendship on her blog. We ordered Chinese for dinner and then Melody the baby and I headed to my apartment. The baby wasn't having it. She decided to cry louder than Melody claims she has ever heard. We made it home after a feeding stop in a grocery store parking lot where I purchased our traditional birthday cereal while the baby ate. The cereal has been a tradition as long as I can remember. My parents would let us kids pick out any cereal in the whole grocery store that we wanted. No need to look at the price or anything. This was very exciting since we ate a lot of oatmeal and cream of wheat, or store brand bagged cereal. A box of Lucky Charms or Trix was such a treat. We have come a long way from the younger days when Alpha-Bits was our birthday choice. Now I'd much rather have the ones we chose this year (see pic), or any hot cereal compared to any of those gross sugary ones.

So on Friday, the actually birthday we got up earlier than we thought (baby's decision) and got right to eating our cereal and getting ready for the day. We gave Julia a bath in my tiny bathroom sink, It was hilarious and she was a great sport. And even though we told each other no presents, we each had a small token to give each other. We went to pick up Lili who was staying at Cami's for lunch and a little shopping. Cami generously offered to babysit (her kids were home from school so she couldn't come along) and we went to Silver Spring to eat at one of my faves, Lebanese Taverna. We had a nice lunch of Mediterranean cuisine, shared a Jamba, when to a little market that I love and had a great time. Mom and Dad were at a conference until late in the night so we were going to save any family celebrations for the next night. We headed home and made a huge plate of nachos for dinner. What is more appropriate for my birthday. We were going to go to Ritas for a gelati, but Julia was not having fun in the car so KC, by his suggestion, when to get a couple of pints of Haagan Dazs for us to share. I LOVE the pineapple coconut, and KC prefers Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was such a beautiful night, Melody and I just sat on the patio and talked while we waited for KC to return. It was so fun to just relax and chat.



We went to sleep and when I woke up around 7:00 I was so happy to hear the Melody and Julia were both still sleeping. They didn't get much the night before. At about 8:40 they work up and we started on our birthday desserts for Sunday. We made a flourless chocolate cake with a ganache glaze, a Pithiver (pronounced pi-tiv-yay) with red wine poached apples and pistachio frangipane (shhh, we used wine and coffee in my kitchen that day). We decided we would make it a dessert buffet and also use the delicious fruits of the forest pie Molly gave me. These things have to be done in stages, so we finished what we could and went to Cami's to hang out with everyone. We went on a beautiful walk and then headed to dinner with the fam. That night we all went to Carrabas, one of my favorite places (it might be the fact that it's the place where I realized I liked KC, but the food just happens to be SO SO SO GOOD). Melody and I even each got a huge bowl of delicious ice cream with sugared pecans. What a fun night. We badly missed the family who wasn't there. That would have made it that much better.

On Sunday, Melody came with us to church, where I had hardly any kids to sing with. The baby was a hit though. I had a great time showing her off. We made some more progress on the desserts then all got much needed Sunday afternoon naps. We than did our finishing touches and headed to Cami's for dinner. We all ate way too much dessert. And Molly, if you are reading this, everyone was raving about the pie and I had to keep reminding them I didn't make it. Sarah Lee has secrets I just don't know. We played a couple rounds of Wakee Six, and Lili came home with us since I was driving to the airport in the morning. We had one final sleep over, and took the inevitable drive. I was trying not to think about them leaving until it actually came. It made me so sad to come home and see the pack-and-play still assembled. I can't wait to see them again (that includes you Lili, even though I have been talking about M&J the hole time). I'm glad Mom and Dad are still here to ease the separation a little. We had a fun time shopping yesterday and I'm sure there is more fun to come.

I love being with Melody. With out even trying, she has a way of making me want to be a better person. She helps me remember what is important and how I can improve. She's one of the kindest people I know. Someday we WILL live by each other and I can feel this happy all the time.

Many thanks to everyone for all the gifts, cards, and phone calls. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family. If you are still reading, you are a real trooper. This is slowly taking the place of my hand-written journal so I like to add a lot a details. Here's a cute video of Julia's cute voice and smiles. I've already watched it a few times and can't get enough. We love you guys!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Childhood memories

I just got babysitting where I took a nice walk. It is such a beautiful day today and I couldn't resist. Plus, I felt like I could use the exercise. So we went to a fun little park enclosed in tall trees. It had one of those turny platform things, which I love. It completely relaxes me, and the little one loved it too. Then I tried the monkey bars for the first time in probably 12 years, and I think I'll be sorry tomorrow. Those are so hard. I don't remember it being that hard when I was younger. There were more parts to the park that I remember from the playground in elementary school that I played on at every recess. I was so peaceful and quiet and fun at the park it really made me reminisce. Childhood was great, and I'm finally to the age where I really think about it as a time of joy. Until now, I think I've just been too preoccupied trying to get to an age where I am comfortable and settled to think about the past. I guess that's where I am now. I'm missing the days when my biggest disappointment was that my friend couldn't have a sleep over. And something as simple as going to get a Slurpee at the gas station made my day. I want to be like a child again for those reasons. I think that's the first time I've said that since all I've wanted to do was grow up. I remember begging my mom to let my shave my legs when I was 10 or something crazy. She let me beg for a while before giving in. I'm glad she prolonged my childhood as long as she did. I can't wait to relive it through my own kids.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A new fave

When I elipticize, I like to watch my online shows so I don't have to deal with changing channels, or moving the machine too far. The laptop can come wherever I want it. So, yesterday, I had caught up on all the shows I usually watch so I tried a new one I have been curious about, Pushing Daisies. I am totally hooked after only two episodes. It's so different from all these dramas that are so trendy. It's almost like you are reading a storybook with the exaggerated colors and clothing. Kind of like Series of Unfortunate Events, or Big Fish. There's even a nice sounding narrator. It's so entertaining and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's also probably the cleanest of the primetimes shows out there, so far. If you haven't seen it and want to catch up, you can watch it here, or the previous link. The acting is fantastic. It's not too corny, and not too overdone either. I love the chemistry they all have. It's so nice to see some new faces. And Kristin Chenoweth is on it and even sings! I love her voice. She is a great character for these types of shows. I hope this one lasts. With all the new shows, you never know what will get the boot. I think this is a keeper. Here is a picture to peak your interest.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ahh...Monday

I usually don't like Mondays that much since they are the very beginning of a new week, but for some reason, maybe the fact that I'm done with work and it's only 11:00, or that this is the week my family is coming, or that it just means that last week is over, I'm okay that Monday is here. It was pretty busy week and it's nice to start a fresh new one. Here is a re-cap of last weeks happenings:

I babysat from Tuesday-Saturday, all for the same kids except Wednesday which was Jeffy and Ethan. I have been trying to find new ways to have fun with these kids I am watching regularly. It is two families combined. They are best friends so one brings her daughter to the other's house. Two of them are toddlers and just like to run around and steal toys from each other, but the other is a 5 year old boy, and he is always asking me for things to do. I asked him if he wanted to make cookies so we make banana cookies with frosting. He had a great time. The best part was when we were mashing the bananas with our hand he had to make sure to put on his plastic knight's helmet in case banana would squirt in his eye. So ever since then, he asks to bake every time. I was hesitant to start as I knew this would happen. His mom encouraged me to do it with him as much as I wanted. She doesn't min at all. So turns out this will be a regular activity which makes it much more interesting for him and me. The next time we made chocolate frosting for Graham Cracker sandwiches, and the time after that, blueberry lemon scones. He loves it. He even sits in front of the oven to watch them bake. We also had a fun time at the park. with a picnic. I tell you, pushing a two year old, and a five year old up a long, graduated hill in a stroller is no fun, but a great work out. They also helped me clean out my pumpkin and make the cake for the party.

Also, the other day it was raining really hard all of the sudden and I had a sudden urge to just go for a ride in the rain. I didn't have anywhere to go, I just love the rain. On the way to the car, even under the umbrella we got soaked, and 2 minutes later it stopped. So we decided we needed to stop at the bank, which is close to Ross. I actually felt like looking through the rack and found a couple things I liked. Sometimes I can't stay in there for 5 minutes without getting a headache. I just wanted to document my whim to take a ride in the rain and thank KC for going with it.
So, my friend Molly is due any day now and she loves Halloween. She decided to have a party before the little one arrives so she threw one last Saturday. It was fun to get dressed up. It has been years. I bought this cowgirl dress a couple years ago and have finally used it and gotten it out of my system. I even tried to get my hair to stay all big and curly like the Utah rodeo queens. They must use TONS of Harispray. KC hadn't been thinking about a costume much, so I gave him some chef gear and we called it a day. Of course after bobbing for apples, all my bright eye shadow and hair was messed up, but I was happy to be done with it anyway. We at a lot of food, had a pumpkin carving relay, had a caramel apple bar, and played Mafia. I made a pumpkin cake, phyllo ghosts (didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped), and wassail. Molly made some of her delicious traditional Chilly and pigs in a blanket that looked like fingers (the ketchup is the blood) and one friend even made "vomit fudge". It was quite tasty. I forgot to get a picture. It was a great time. Anyway, it now feels even more like the fall, and that just makes me excited.



KC was called to be the next Elders Quorum President. We have known for a while, but now it is all official. We has some great counselors that are two of our good friends. So I invited them and their wives over for dinner last night. We ate outside and it was lovely. This ward has it's fair share of challenges so I hope he's up for the task. I think KC and I will learn a lot from this calling and with the challenges will also be a lot of blessings. It is a little scary, though, that the last two bishops were the EQP prior. I think we'll move before that happens.

So that is our eventful week. I just want to add that I love slide shows. it makes posting lots of pictures so much easier.