Friday, August 29, 2008

The harvest

As I mentioned, I had the pleasure of picking peaches and raspberries earlier this week with some girlfriends and their kids. I was babysitting that day, but I thought the kids would like it too. They did great until it was past lunch and nap time and they hadn't had sufficient amounts of either. But we did get our fill of fruit, both while we were picking, and to take home. I'm definitely going back next week to get some of those grapefruit sized tomatoes I saw people picking, and some blackberries that are also in season.

Today, we girls are going to have a jam session-the kind you put on your toast. We decided it would be better to get one kitchen sticky instead of five. I think I'll mix the fruits and make peach-raspberry jam. I'm also going to save some for some fresh peach ice cream KC is planning on making for our Labor Day fun.

Family History on the Today Show

I'm watching the Today show right now and they just mentioned our church's website in reference to doing your genealogy. Pretty cool, eh?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fresh fruit

I went with Cami and some friend to pick our own fruit at a great farm. We picked ripe, juicy peaches, and golden and red raspberries. I realized I left my camera in the car that KC took to work, so I'll write more about it later. Until then, you can at least see what I had for breakfast this morning (taken with my mediocre/broken camera). I could get used to having buckets of freshly-picked, great-priced fruit.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I gave in

Yes, I have joined a book group with a few of my friends. This isn't really my style, but I decided it would be a good discipline system for me, and I'm sure it will be intellectually enlightening as well. We had our first meeting last night. Molly hosted and chose the book this month, and it was held at my house. She is really the founder and we are all glad she finally got us going on a great productive way for us to get together besides the usual games, movies, toenail-painting, etc.

Molly chose
The Importance of Being Earnest, a witty and comedic play by Oscar Wilde that I think we unanimously loved. Molly had a couple activities (prizes for winners included) to test our memories of the characters. She also included a variety of lovely treats that we ate while we watched the hilarious movie made with an all-star cast that had us constantly laughing. She really set the bar high for the rest of the meetings. But we must remember that she was a elementary school teacher for a couple years, so little games and activities come natually for her. We all thought it was a delightful start to what we hope lasts a long time.Christina is next and chose Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. I know Cami will be proud. I'm actually pretty excited to get started. This is a side of me I've never seen before. I hope I don't lose my momentum.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Request

My friend Hannah, you know the wonderful talented girl that designed our website, entered this darling picture into a photo contest. It's so easy to go and vote for her. Just go to her blog for the links, and instructions. Good luck Hannah!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Teddy Bear Tea Party

I was privileged to be invited to Iris's birthday party last Thursday. It was adorable with the mini tea party set up for the little girls. Jan also set our a gorgeous spread of tea food-quiche, biscuits, scones, muffins, clotted cream, a jam assortments strawberry feta spinach salad, fruit, chocolate banana bread champagne, orange juice, sparkling water, and tea among other things. It was a lovely time with some great ladies, some of which I already knew, and other I was glad to have met. It's so nice to have friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood. I told Jan I'd be happy to make a cake for Iris. The sweet 3 year old only had a couple requests: pink and flowers. So I pulled out my rusty flower skills, that I was never really good at anyway, and made a lemon cake with raspberry filling. It was fun getting all my tools out again. I've never been an exact sort of person. I like things free-form and rustic. But it's also good to have a few easy tricks to fake around with. When she was opening presents, mine happened to fall last out of the bunch. When I saw this gift, I knew it might be a huge problem (for me as a babysitter, and her parents). She opened her gumball machine and the kids went ballistic. I told Jan sorry in advance for the possibility of having gum all over the house and that they'll ask for it ever five seconds, but she loved it assured me that they are responsible with gum, and they will use it as a reward system if it gets out of hand. I said I'd be happy to brink a box of KIX cereal or something to refill it next time. Wade was especially thankful for this gift. I think he even used the the word "love" when describing his feelings about it. The party went really well and all the little ones had a great time as well as the adults. Iris was her little princess self the whole time. That includes a little whine every now and then, in true 3 year old style. I have loved babysitting this family for the past year and watching them grow. I was so grateful that she wanted me there for her special day. Happy Birthday IJ (Iris Jane)!
Yeah, she was posing for the camera. She kept saying, "Now look at this, Emily!" How could I resist.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

His days are done

Yes, I am talking about my little fish (recently named Popeye, referring to a prior post, since I never really had a name for him) swam his last swim yesterday. I knew this day was coming, but it was still sad to see him go. The biggest inkling, besides the eye condition, fading of his vibrant color, and lethargy, was that yesterday morning when I was trying to feed him, I tapped the bowl loudly and shook it a little to get his attention. He swam like an crazy fish all sideways and upside down for a couple seconds and then just drifted down and landed on a leaf of one of the plastic plants. I seriously looked like he had a stroke or something. It was so crazy, and pretty dramatic. So maybe he died right then, but I didn't notice until I was giving his night feeding and couldn't find him. He blended in with the rocks on the bottom of the bowl. I know this is gross, but I didn't have time to clean out the bowl yesterday, so I was going to do it first thing this morning. I seriously had a restless night as I kept dreaming about the dead fish in my entry way. In some dreams, I was about to flush him and he was alive. I think there were several other dreams (since I kept waking up and falling back to sleep) where I finally flushed him and it was over. Then I'd wake up and it hadn't been done yet and I was disappointed because I just wanted to sleep! So finally at 5:30 I woke up and did the job. The once very rambunctious fish, was lifeless and dull in color. I'm sure he is happy where he is now. It was a little strange not feeding him on my way out this morning. I might get another fish, but it might be nice to not have to clean out the bowl for a while. I'll have to put a picture up on the wall where he was so it won't look like an empty space. Maybe I'll frame a picture of him and put it up there.

Here's to all the betas that have been good, quiet, well-behaved pets. (And probably the only kind of pet I'll ever own.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fondest Dream

So, we are pleased and grateful to announce that we now have a website (also linked on the sidebar) all about our adoption quest. My great friend Hannah, well the sister of one of my best friends Sarah (but we also knew each other in high school, so I know her really well), designed this beautiful website to help our cause. We couldn't be more grateful to have such thoughtful and helpful friends during this time that can be so overwhelming and confusing. Hannah is an amazing graphic designer. Her blog is always so creative, interesting, and fun. I know she does freelance projects so don't hesitate to go to her for your graphic design needs. I have loved all of her work that I've seen.On the subject of adoption, we attended a Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) conference last weekend (Fri/Sat) to help us get our feet on the ground in this world we just entered. FSA is affiliated with LDS family services. I was a little hesitant to go being a little timid about learning too many new things too fast. And although we came away from it with our heads hurting due to cramming way to much info into them, we were so glad we went. We feel a lot more confident and excited to carry-out all the processes we need to. The food was also catered and amazing, I thought I'd add. When we sat down with a table full of strangers, it was a little awkward since we knew we all had something in common, but we're quite sure how to start any conversation. Soon enough we were chatting up a storm about everything from fertility treatments (it was so weird to be able exchange conversation in the language I've been using for the past year and actually understand each other), to what part of the adoption process they were in. People were anywhere from just thinking about adopting, to working on their third successful adoption, so there were a lot of stories to tell. The strangest thing about this process is that most of us were coming from fertility problems and seemingly endless evasive treatments that are really not something that is brought up in regular conversation. It's more of a private process (though it doesn't seem that way compared to natural conception. You have to be pretty open about your body to let strangers do all the tests they have to do). But adoption is completely different. They told us that if we want our adoption to happen quickly, we have to be completely immersed in the process. To tell, and give our card, or magnet, or anything with our information on it (seriously, they said to make t-shirts and pens if we wanted to), to every person we see-stranger or friend. It took me a while to get used to this idea. We only had a handful of people in the know with our infertility, and now we are supposed to tell the world? I suppose it the sacrifice we must be willing to make. We are pacing ourselves, but feel the website is a great start here in the beginning, and we are going to work on more projects in the future. Things are really coming together and we really have faith that we will have a family soon.

By the way, the title of our new website was inspired by a hymn that has really been close to my heart during this process. This verse in particular:

I believe in Christ; He stands supreme! With him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may, With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again To rule among the sons of men.

I don't think so.

Do the beach volleyball Olympic uniforms for the women really have to be that skimpy? Maybe there's a science to it that I'm not aware of.

This is the first year, however, that I have actually gotten into the Olympic hype, and I think it's pretty incredible.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I don't know what came over me, but in the past few days I have bought 7 cartons of ice cream. Partly because I haven't allowed it in our house for a while to halt the constant craving I had for it every night after dinner. And also because it was on a major sale. I think we have also been boycotting it lately because of all the companies thinking they can make their cartons smaller and smaller while the prices stay they same or go up. Did they think we wouldn't notice? Anyway, Turkey Hill is a brand here that we love and when all there varieties (frozen yogurt, duetto gelati, low sugar, light recipe, and regular old full-fat, etc.) are staring at me at a price of $1.99, what is a girl to do? I can't possibly limit my choices to one or two. I must say, we are pretty strict about our portion sizes (thanks to pampered chef for your perfectly sized prep bowls), but we are so used to it, we feel no deprivation eating this amount of ice cream ever night or so. And besides, most of the flavors I got are very low in calories and fat. My favorites are Mint Cookies and Cream frozen yogurt (only 1.5 grams of fat per serving) and Mango Venice Ice with Vanilla Gelati. I might be willing to share.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pop Eye

And I'm not talking about the "I am what I am" sailor man. I am talking about a condition my poor little fishy friend has. Tonight as I was practically force feeding him (jiggling and tapping the bowl to get the little guy to notice the food since he always just lays there), I happened to notice that one of his usually black eyes, was completely clearish/white and a little bulgy. It was quite freaky and I keep feeling like if I go over there, he'll jump out of the water at me and kill me or something. I seriously might have nightmares. I googled around and found out what it is. Of course there is a whole cocktail of additives I could add to his water to help him get through it, but I'm not sure he's going to make it much longer anyway. I think his time is coming, and I don't like watching it happen. I really need to change the water, but I'm kind of afraid he won't make it through that. It is quite a ride for him to switch from bowl to bowl as I'm cleaning it. I never thought I'd really have any feelings toward a fish, but he has become quite a little part of our family, and it's that whole watching him suffer part that's disturbing. I won't include a picture, because I don't want you to get the same scare that I did. It's only a matter of time for my little friend.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I should probably mention

We participated in the ward lip-sync/talent show last weekend. It was a pleasant evening full of a variety of talents. KC signed up to do "a little ditty" on the sign up sheet. He asked Andrew Miller to play a ukulele duet with him. They lived near each other in Hawaii, so it was fitting. They sang and played one together and then Molly Miller, who also lived in Hawaii during college, joined in to do a little hula on the next song. It was very cute and Hawaiian. I also wanted to sing a little song with KC called "You Belong to Me" while he played. I also had to help the young women come up with something. We leaders had to practically beg them to think of something to support the organizers. We gave them some ideas and it came together quite well. We did a little cooking show skit named "The Iron Rod Chef." I came up with the name but I don't know if that's really something to be bragging about. I even added at the end, "Your straight and narrow path to good food." I know, pathetic. But that's what ward talent shows are for. Making a fool of yourself and not thinking another thought about it. So the girls had a cooking competition where they paired up, one of them being the arms, and the other being the face. It was hilarious watching them try to put the ingredients to no-bake cookies together with the one the could see the ingredients was trying the tell the arms where to get it. The girls that played the arms were blindfolded so they completely relied on the girls in front to tell them what to do. Needless to say, we made a huge mess, but when we pretended to take the cookies (ingredients splattered on the sheet pans) to the "fridge to cool", we brought out perfectly placed, no bake cookies on the same sheet pans. We asked Judge Bishop Stromsdorfer to come taste, and he concluded that they were both good. It was good and chaotic time had by all. I'm slightly disappointed that although I managed to get both a video and pictures of KC's event (enlisting the help of a friend), he only managed to get a video of mine. he assured me we can get still shots off the camera, though I don't think it's worth that much trouble just for the blog. One of these days you just might be graced with a lovely picture of young women donned in chef jackets covered in peanut butter and cocoa powder.

My little helper

While organizing our office/multipurpose room that has been staring at us for weeks (will the organizing ever end), I was going through a small stack of notes/letters/birthday cards that I've been keeping around. I decided it was time to sort through and read the throw-aways one last time, and find a permanent place for the keepers.

It was very nostalgic to read through notes from friends and family, but what was most delightful was finding KC's notes that he wrote to me during our friendship/courtship. Here is one that was particularly charming. I'll let you in on this since it doesn't seem too intimate to share. I found it on my windshield one morning.
I had been complaining that I was going to work a whole shift by myself. While I loved that sometimes, it seemed daunting that day with so much work to do, so luckily I had this little guy to help me out. Funny boyfriend I had. I wanted to get this documented in case it gets lost in a move or something in the future.

He was always leaving things on my car after I went to sleep. I had an early bed time since I had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning when I worked at the hotel.The note above reminded me of another funny one. He knew I had to pay a meter so once he left a note made of coins for me to use. The R is not my real middle initial. My co-workers thought I just had to have a middle name, and they chose Reese for some reason. It was just an inside joke during that year.I believe it was these little perks that helped me make it through those torturous 2:30 AM alarms.