Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Advisory...

I was just in the car listening to the radio...apparently we have a winter storm warning tomorrow afternoon and evening; blizzard/whiteout.   Looks like I'll be staying close to home.  The d.j. continued...there's also a wind chill advisory (making temperatures drop -20 to -30).  Sounds serious.  At this announcement I knew for sure there was no way I would be leaving the home.  To add insult to injury...there's also a high wind advisory 35-45 mph. hmmm....the jury is now out whether or not I will even get out of bed tomorrow.  Looks promising.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Hinckley...


I just had a friend call and let me know that President Hinckley had passed away...It was a moment I was clearly unprepared for, and a little taken back. I had every expectation to hear him speak in 3 months at Conference, forgetting that he was 97 years old, and each and every day that he was allowed to live longer was just a blessing. I'm sure 97 is a little high on the life expectancy scale. I can remember when he was sustained a prophet, which being so young at the time seems like ages ago. But like most people my age, he has really been the only prophet I truly know and recall. I'm most grateful for his dedication and special spirit which he has shared with a world full of people. I will never forget as a student at BYU-Idaho I had the opportunity to hear President Hinckley speak for a building dedication in his name. I remember sitting their fascinated at the thought that he was speaking to me at that time. So I filed that talk away and I've read it many times since then. Here is an excerpt from it.

"First, I want to tell you that I love you. I love you kids, you wonderful young people of this Church. I love you. I believe you are the best generation this Church has ever had. No generation which has gone before measures up to the stature to which you measure up. You are better educated. I think you have greater faith I think you have shown that faith and are showing that faith than any other previous generation. I am so thankful for you. I thank you for your strength; for your willingness to do the right thing; for your desire to serve the Lord; for your capacity to help build the kingdom; for the fact that you get on your knees and say your prayers, as I know you do; for the fact that you pray to the Lord to help you, to guide you in the things you do, as I know you do...

I wish for you nothing but the best. You are so choice and so wonderful and the future is so great that you can't afford to betray yourselves in anyway or to do anything less than that which each of you is capable of accomplishing. You don't have to be a genius. You don't have to be a straight-A student. You just have to do your very best with all the capability you have. You have to do your very best. And somehow, if you do that, God will open the way before you and the sun will shine, and your lives will be fruitful and you will accomplish great good in the world in which you take a part. I couldn't wish for you anything better as I look into your faces this day.

May heaven smile upon you. May you be blessed. May you be happy. May you have joy in your lives. May your tears be few and your smiles many as you go forward with your lives."
October 22, 2002

Battle Wounds...

Hallie has been battling an ear infection lately, which has been a somewhat miserable experience for the whole household in general. More than anything I just want her to sleep again. I'm not sure how she's functioning on such little sleep and then skipping naps, I know it's taking its toll on me! My productivity level has greatly decreased this week due to no nap time. I'm just praying this isn't the beginning of the end for naps. Along with lack of sleep, I think somehow her balance/equilibrium has been affected by this ear infection. I'm not kidding, this girl has been falling all over the place and having some serious injuries. Just the other day we were in the office, I asked her to go get something for me, so she turns around and starts walking out and she catches the corner of the desk, causing the large mark running down her face in the pictures. So of course I take some pictures, that's what good moms do, and moments later she was trying to get into my purse, so I put it on top of the entertainment center. Thinking she's pretty smart, she walks over to the TV to grab my purse and she completely gouges her lip with the corner of the stand. Of course causing blood to rush from her mouth, on her shirt and carpet. I didn't have the heart on this one to grab the camera. Two hours later she was shutting the bathroom door, and I'm not sure how it happened, but it came back and caught her in the back of the head. I couldn't believe it! This poor child should not have got out of bed this morning, clearly. And those are just the falls that left battle wounds, I'm not sure how many times she came walking around the corner and just didn't see the wall in front of her as she slammed into it...multiple times. The thought crossed my mind to wrap her in bubble wrap, then I thought of the possible ramifications of suffocation and opted for my better judgment. I'm happy to report that after 12 days of sickness with that child, I think we have it under control.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Poor Hallie...

Last week Hallie got sick. She was miserable, which in turn made us all miserable. She got pink eye in both eyes. So I take her to the doctor and they give us these Barbie size prescription eye drops which cost more than a trip to the gas station. The next day she starts complaining about the ears, which mind you looked great the day before according to the doctor. So I call the doctor, and she recommends tylenol. Sure enough the next day she's feeling better, her eyes look better and life is looking on the up and up. Life continues as normal. Normal...meaning both Steve and I get sick with colds leaving us with a lazy Saturday and Sunday. Hallie's pink eye surfaces again on Sunday and starts with the runny nose. We just can't seem to kick this in our household! Hallie seemed okay but still wasn't sleeping well which could be a number of things. Wednesday she had a very high fever , which meant we were back at the doctor...with nothing else but a serious ear infection! Which resulted in medication/antibiotics, as well as the tylenol and the eye drops again. She sees the syringe and immediately starts freaking out. This morning I had the brilliant idea to mix her medicine and tylenol in her oatmeal and it went down like butta'! My favorite part is the fact that when I take her temperature with an ear thermometer she calls it her "ear medicine". As of now it's the only medicine she seems to be liking. I think Hallie views me as the bad guy now because I'm always the one giving the medicine. It's a good thing we have "Dolly" around to be her friend and constant support. One of these days its going to be summer and I'm going to forget how miserable life can be in the bitter winter of Wisconsin when you have a two year old who seems to get any and all virus/bacteria that another kid is carrying.

Winter Wonderland...Part 15...

I feel like I've used this title 15 times before, which just goes to show just how long this winter is shaping up to be. Once again- we have snow. And this is all new snow. It melts just enough to tease my spring senses then before I know it there's another dumping of snow. We're looking at some bitter cold temperatures these days. I will rearrange my whole schedule to go outside the least amount as possible, even giving up trips to Gap with friends, which many of you know is a huge sacrifice for me!! Sometimes I think I can justify a trip, braving the cold, if I tell myself I need another hat and scarf...which I've collected quite a few of lately. But not this particular morning, it's definitely a snuggle up in a blanket and sit on the couch kind of day...and if I was that type of person, I just might have done that!!

Brownie time...

Steve had the great idea the other night to make brownies. So we put Hallie on the counter, gave her a bowl full of chocolate batter and let her "stir". She did a great job... well as good as a two year old can be at this, which consists of taking the spoon and picking it up and putting it in the batter and repeating the process, never truly accomplishing the goal. So Hallie and I took turns so we made sure to get all the lumps out. She was in heaven when we showed her how to successfully clean the bowl.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We're in Packer country...

When we moved to Wisconsin we didn't fully understand Packer-mania. In fact I can't say I knew more than one player (the only one I did know, Favre was only because he was always in the news...is he going to retire, is he not...back and forth, back and forth!) After a year and a half of living here I'm not sure I understand the hysteria around the Packers anymore but it sure is fun to watch and it blows my mind how crazy these people are. For starters. Yesterday it was 1 degree. Just one. With windchill it was a breathtaking -17 at one o'clock in the afternoon. In fact, there was windchill advisory for the whole state, if it wasn't necessary to go outside, stay at home. But gauranteed the game today, regardless of absolutely frigid temperatures, that game is going to be a packed house. It's almost as if the city just shuts down during game time. If you ever want to go shopping and not deal with the crowds, game time is the time to go. I worked last Saturday and my shift ended at 3 p.m., gametime at 3:30 and sure enough, 2/2:30 rolls around and the store starts clearing out, the mall was a ghost town when I was leaving. Everywhere you looked yesterday was a sea of green and gold. I asked one older man, who was so proudly displaying a GB Turtleneck, matching sweatshirt, coat, and hat, "If you're wearing all this Packer gear today, what are you going to wear tomorrow?" He looked at me and laughed. He said, "Honey, I wear this stuff every day of the week." And he was completely serious. Packer gear is a brand of clothing here. It's like Gap, or Ralph Lauren.

The local news has been a riot here lately. I think their instruction was to take every story and somewhat tie it back to the Packers. "Mother gives birth to baby in route to the hospital, we're told she thought she was going to give birth last week while watching the Packer game...speaking of the Packers..." (announcer trails into some story about Brett Favre) or what about "Senator Obama leading in local polls, Packer win could have positive effect for Obama in polls." Okay those two were made up, but no joke that's how it is every night. Take one completely independent situation and somehow it comes back to Packers. What I can't stand is when the news announces that Lambeau field is accepting volunteers to clear ice/snow from the stadium seats. No joke. Hundreds and hundreds of people show up for this. And lately it has been an every week ordeal. No where, and I mean no where else would a Stadium take volunteers to do the work that a normal stadium would pay grounds crew to do. But not here. They know there's enough Packer idiots to do the work for free, why pay someone.Can you imagine, your sitting at a PHX Suns game (I only use them because Steve is in love with them) Its the fourth quarter and over the intercom you hear, "For anyone willing to help clean popcorn off the floor of the arena after the game, please meet in section 214." It just wouldn't happen. I don't like shoveling my own driveway, let alone shovel the seat for someone else's rear end.

So today is the big day. All the madness could be over today. However, the Packers are at an advantage because there's not many teams used to playing in below zero temperatures. That is a true blue (or green I guess) fan who will stand outside and cheer on a team in those conditions. If I was given tickets free of charge, you couldn' t pay enough to go to the game today. Nope, not me. Instead I might, or might not, sit and watch from the comfort of my own home. I might throw on a scarf just to be festive.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It snowed again...

Just when I thought the snow was gone, it reappeared. Here I was feeling pretty good about life. I was beginning to see my plants and green grass again and I thought, wow spring is closer than I thought. Then one night it hits again. Another four inches. Then I look at the calendar and realize it's only the beginning of January...it snowed 8 inches on April 6th last year. It just seemed with all the snow already that winter had come and gone, unfortunately, it came back.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Busy...busy...

I'm not really sure what I do all day (okay that's not entirely true) but I sure remain busy. Steve comes home from work and asks what I did...I think to myself...I know I cleaned and made the bed, but it never equals the 10 hours he was gone. So the story of my life. Half the time I say I played with Hallie- we go over her colors, we play baby (all the time) and of course she loves cooking me meals in her "kitchen". Which takes a lot of time, yet I still get the blank stare from Steve wondering, "Yes, but what else". Don't misunderstand me, he's not at all trying to keep tabs on my day. I think he wonders what it would be like to stay home all day every day, think of the football games you could watch! Little does he know...

Anyway this last weekend was a good one. We are friends with a local high school basketball coach, so we always make an effort to go to at least one game each season, and we picked a good one. Rival high schools, the opposing team had 5 players over 6'2" one of which was 6'7". I don't know where you're from, but I'm from Idaho, and we didn't grow boys that tall. It was a great game to watch and it was fun to see how much Hallie and Steve got into it, even though we didn't know anyone on the team. We enjoyed it so much, we want to go to a couple more. We went to some friends' house afterwards for victory steaks (they were absolutely delicious.)

Saturday, Steve got tickets to the Admirals game (hockey). I had not been to a hockey game before so this was fun. We left Hallie with a friend, and enjoyed a night out together. The best part about it, wasn't the hockey at all. They had a pre-game concert by the Goo Goo Dolls. I may be old school in saying this, but they were awesome, they have a ton of songs I can sing every word too. Plus one of the band members was pretty entertaining. He had dreds, wore what appeared to be women's skinny jeans and he walked around stage with his socks, with his pants just long enough to kind of curl around the heel of his feet. He was dancing all over the place.


Steve and I saw them this summer but we were pretty far away, so it was great to see them again. We had fantastic seats, 14 rows back. The hockey game started an hour later. It's official, I know nothing of hockey. In the first couple minutes this fight breaks out and I watch in awe as the refs just stand there holding the other players back. CRAZY! It was fun and I hope we can get back to watch another game. We did leave early. We couldn't stand to wait for the zambino...or whatever you call that ginormous machine, to go over the ice one more time!

Sunday we started our new church schedule, 1 pm. Although we will be more than on time to church, (which isn't any different than when we went earlier) but now I'm fighting a child whose nap time is 12:30. I'm convinced each and every nursery leader is going to be exalted for their good works in their calling. We get home by 4:30 at the earliest which doesn't give enough time for a nap before bed time. Which leaves us with an absolutely exhausted two year old who is past the stage of tired and has reach the point of tornado in a dress, destructing everything and everybody in her path. By 6 p.m. I just had to say, "Okay, I quit. You win. Eat all the ice cream, and fruit snacks your little heart desires, then go into that room and rip absolutely everything off your bookcase and take every item of clothing and shoe that you have and throw it against the wall. You win." That's when both Steve and I started feeling better about ourselves. Sundays used to be such a peaceful day....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Four years...

Well, I think Steve and I have officially beat the odds...divorce rates are startling at over 50 percent and most divorces take place in the first three to four years. Yeah, we're ahead of the game and who knows we might just make it to ten years! We'll show them... I married Steve four years ago December 20, 2003. I don't want to think how young I was, not that I'm probably any more mature now...It was the perfect day. Five days before Christmas, weather was beautiful. After an hour outside I did have to put on a cape. We didn't have a reception that night. Just a family and close friends dinner at the JS building. I'm so grateful for Steve, he is everything to me and he continues to teach me things every day. We learn and grow together and that's what makes life so fun for us. I would go back and do it again...of course to Steve that is! I knew it was right then and every day it is confirmed. We were in Denver on our anniversary, but we had already celebrated it two months earlier. Steve being the thoughtful one he is wanted to surprise me so he planned this super secret super elaborate day a while back and I couldn't ask for anything more. It seems with Christmas and my birthday, our anniversary gets a little lost, so I'm glad he recognized that and planned accordingly. I love that man!

My sister...

We took some senior pictures while we were in Denver, here are a few...





Nails...

Hallie and Kinlie were having a great time doing Grandpa's nails. I'm not sure how Hallie would have any idea how to do that seeing as though she hasn't seen it in our home. She must have picked it up from Kinlie who loves having her nails done by her mom. Anyway Kinlie would paint a nail, stick the brush in her mouth, paint another nail, lick the brush...you get the idea, it was the funniest thing.

Christmas...

My favorite part of Christmas really came in the wee hours of the morning 12:15. My mom had gone to bed, my dad had fallen asleep in the living room and the rest of us had just finished our last preparations before going to bed. We were just getting situated in the living room to play a quick game of Catch phrase when we started talking, and figured we'd do that instead of playing a game. My dad woke up and was making his way upstairs when we walked by us, noticed us talking and took a seat next to us. We started asking him questions about Christmas' he remembered as a kid. What traditions they had, what his parents were like during the holidays and my dad just talked. I loved it. I wish I could've had a recorder so I could capture his stories. It's always fun to get insight into my parents lives when they were younger.

We were waken up at 7:30 the next morning, my sister-in-law had been up for a while and couldn't take it anymore. So we got up and to our surprise, it was snowing and hard. Which worried all of us because we had flights that night. We did the stocking thing and opened presents. Steve gets a gold star this year, I've got to give him credit he is very creative. There's no denying that I'm a shopper and if there's something I really want I tend to buy it (awful habit, clearly a resolution for next year!) which doesn't leave a whole lot for Steve to buy come Christmas/Birthday time. But Steve pulled through, he always does. I opened my gift and it was a travel itinerary...but it wasn't an itinerary for me, it was for my good friend/roommate Stacey. So I was a little confused, I looked at the ticket longer and realized Steve had bought a ticket for her to come out and visit! It was the best, I am so excited. He had already called her, booked the ticket and had ideas of what we could do. She'll fly out with her son who will be 8 months old and Steve is going to be our babysitter while we have a blast. I can't wait...February 20th, I'll keep you posted! Steve is seriously the best, I can't believe some of the things he comes up with. After present we feasted on a scrumptious breakfast, including my cinnamon pull aparts which I make two times a year, Thanksgiving breakfast and Christmas breakfast. We spent Christmas cleaning up, packing, wondering how in the world we were going to fit everything (I did more shopping there than I realized.) and watching the weather, flights were already being canceled and delayed. We got to the airport in time for our flight of course it was delayed...then delayed some more. Luckily my parents were delayed too so we could spend some time with them. We ended up leaving the gate at 11:30 pm. As you can imagine, Hallie was a beast and had not slept at all. The poor people on our plane she cried for a good amount of time before falling into a light sleep. We arrived in Chicago at 3:00 am with another 2 hour drive home. My brother called two days later to let me know we were a part of history...That Christmas Denver received more snow than any previous Christmas. It was fun for Steve, coming from Arizona, this was his first official white Christmas.






It was a great trip, I'm so grateful my brother and his wife Jandi (Jandi did most the work) opened their home to us and that my parents and brother and sister were able to make it as well. It was great, the only thing that would've made it better is if my older brother Derrick and his family could've been there as well. Thanks for the great time Jandi- We loved spending time with you guys!

Christmas Eve...

We had beautiful weather on Christmas Eve, in fact my brothers went out and played tennis and both said they still got warm. The girls went out shopping that morning, but not because we had to, we wanted to. We were all leaving the next day (Christmas) so it was our last excursion together. I was amazed to see how many guys were out shopping. I felt like we needed to put a sign on our forehead which read, "We've completed our Christmas shopping, we're recreational shopping" just to clear up any confusion that we might have waited until the last minute...I start Christmas shopping in July, there's no way I'm a last minute shopper! We had a nice dinner...songs...Christmas PJs...making cookies for santa...and leaving food (oats) for the reindeer. Kyler was the perfect age for all of it, I got excited just watching him get excited.

Best of Friends...Worst of Enemies....

We stayed with my brother and his wife as well as their two children. Kyler is 5 years old and just a riot, he has this imagination that never stops, he's very entertaining to listen to. His younger sister, Kinlie, is just four months older than Hallie. I know two year olds have a hard time sharing...I understand this. But these two fought like no other. It didn't matter what it was about, they just liked to push one another's buttons. As if a whole house full of toys isn't enough, they want the same toy (which probably came from a happy meal) at the same exact time. They were classic for fighting over the vacuum. Never fail, as soon as one of them had it, the other was running over to rip it out of their hands. Hallie experienced more timeouts this trip than probably all of her two years combined. It wasn't the fighting over the toys that was bad, it was the retaliation after one took the toy. Towards the end I was just ready to have them fight it out...last one standing gets to play with the vacuum. The problem was, Hallie just wanted a toy to call her own, but none of them were, so when she said a toy was hers Kinlie was there to defend what was rightfully hers. I'm hoping the next time we spend time with them there won't be bad blood between these two.

Amazing Jakes

We hit up Amazing Jakes while we were in Denver. It's basically a glorified Chuck E. Cheese, and really quite fun. They had an all you can eat buffet with quite a few options, definitely more food than necessary (which of course is the American way!) We got our fill of food, Hallie had a hay day with the ice cream and then we headed over to the game room for a little friendly competition. My brother Nathan...he's very animated, I love it.

My younger brother Cameron.

I got worked in air hockey, which stinks because that's usually one of my strong points, I could tell I was going to have an off night. I was decent at the basketball hoops, but Steve I think got the best of all of us. The best part...the tickets. You know what I'm talking about: The carnival looking tickets which at the end you go to the "store" and buy goods with your loot. Like I said before, Steve was a stallion at the hoops so we had a decent amount of tickets to buy things with. It was a toss up on what to get, there was the bouncy ball that looked like an eight ball, the fun dip (what two year old wouldn't just love a fun dip), or the little army dude with the parachute, the kind you use once and then the parachute rips to shred from the large resistance of dropping it off the edge of a chair. Really quality products as you can see. As I pondered what Hallie would want the most, and would make the least mess I came across this princess crown, we had just enough tickets. We bought it knowing within two hours it would be gone, and we were okay with that. My sister also wracked up a large sum of tickets and she thought it would be fun if Hallie's cousin Kinlie had a matching crown. There you have it. I have to say it's been two weeks and yes Hallie still has her crown and she loves to wear it. I can already see the monster we're creating!
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