Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


I just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I wish we had this holiday a few times a year. We are so blessed, but sometimes we decide we want more and we only think about the things we're grateful for one day a year.

Our family is spending this wonderful holiday in Sheridan, WY with Michael's parents. This morning, I ran the Turkey Trot with Michael. Michael's brother, Drew, ran it. The entry fee is three cans of food and instead of racing against everyone else, you race against yourself. You have to guess the time that you'll finish and the one who gets closest to his guessed time wins. I was glad that I was able to run it.







I'll have many more pictures and videos to come, but for now, everyone enjoy the rest of the day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The snorting gene gets passed on...

As many people know, I snort when I'm laughing really hard. I'm not ashamed to admit it. My mom snorts occasionally and my younger sister does as well. I always wondered if snorting was a genetic trait passed on from mother to daughter. I'm now convinced that it is. My own daughter who is not yet two years old had her first laughing attack in which she snorted several times. I was holding the video camera while this was going on and trying not to snort myself while attempting to hold the camera steady. I only wish you could hear Annabelle's snorts more clearly; however, they are there and you can certainly her most of them.

video

This second video actually took place just prior to the snorting video. Annabelle loves to jump on the bed in her room. She can jump pretty high and has fallen off the bed several times, but always climbs back up on the bed and jumps some more. She is very coordinated for her age and just shows how fearless she is.

video

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heartbreak

After BYU's heartbreaking and sad loss against Utah, I was not in the mood to post anything about it. I was so disappointed that my beloved Cougars were not able to play better than they did. I have cooled off a bit and will post what was going on during the watching of the game rather than what was happening in it.

Our home was only one of two in the ward that would be getting the game. Word of this spread and Michael and I were not sure how many people would show up to watch it. We spent all day cleaning and even had a backup plan to move the piano out of the living room and into the kitchen to make more room. We had a variety of snacks and figured we were about as prepared as we could be.

In the end, we had two families, and three guys come over. We had just enough seats for everyone and fortunately, some of the guests brought pizza so we had plenty of food. One guy even brought over his big screen tv to allow better viewing of the game. The number of kids totaled 6. Our house couldn't have fit much more.

It was fun to have friends over and I'm sure if it had just been our family, some of the items in our living room would have been lost as casualties.

The kids watching Ratatouille upstairs in our room on our bed,


or jumping on the smaller bed.


The spectators, one of whom is behind Michael and not visible. (Might I had that we had two Utah fans in our midst.)


Game food.


Michael's homemade Little Smokies- they were really quite delicious.


The borrowed big screen.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stickers

Several months ago, I saw a book of stickers was on sale and decided to purchase it. Annabelle loves getting stickers from stores and I thought she would enjoy lots of her very own stickers. I was right. She loves to stick them everywhere and I often times, I have to remove several from the carpet.

A few weeks ago, Annabelle and I were playing with the stickers and it kind of got out of control. We started out by sticking them on paper, but then that wasn't enough and we switched to our cheeks, stomachs, and belly buttons. We were quite a sight to see.




I took this video a few weeks ago, and finally decided to post it on my blog.
video

Thursday, November 20, 2008

3D

Last weekend, after Michael had returned from Dallas, we rented the movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth. We knew that it had some 3-D effects, but imagine our surprise when we opened the DVD and found 3-D glasses to wear while watching the movie.


We out them on and watched the first few minutes of the show with the glasses on, but decided that we could enjoy the movie better watching the non-3D version with no glasses. Don't we look smoking awesome with our BYU shirts on and 3D glasses?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New do

I've been thinking about getting my hair cut for the last month, but finally decided to stop thinking about it and do it. My hair has always bothered me. It is straight and heavy. Curls don't usually last and my hair does nothing but just hang.



Here are some of the things I used to be able to do with my hair before I cut it:





This is me now (notice not only the shortness, but also the sweep away BANGS!):



I like the new style, but it's going to take some getting used to and I'll have to learn how to style it. Because there wasn't too much I could do to style it when it was long, I usually didn't do anything but let it hang or put it in a ponytail. Now I get to experiment and see if I can really dress it up. Yea!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Counting with Annabelle

Annabelle has known the number three for a long time. Anytime Michael or I am playing with her, we would count, saying "one, two"... and wait for Annabelle to say three. She learned that she had to say three in order for the fun to continue. We were surprised to learn that without much prompting from us, she can now count to three by herself. She doesn't quite understand that when we say, "count" it means start with one. Usually, we have to say count and then say one so she knows what we're talking about. But then, she just starts at two because we've already said one. It's quite difficult to get her to count starting at one, but it has happened and here's the video to prove it. The second half of the clip shows what a struggle it is to get her to start at one.

video

Since we have been away from home a week, I was in the mood to bake in my own kitchen. So, the other day I made some banana bread. Now I have a great recipe, but I struggle with knowing the right time to take the bread out of the oven so it's not still doughy in the middle but it's not burnt. I am happy to say that these to loaves of bread turned out perfectly. I think they're my best ever. I took a picture, but it doesn't really capture how good they look and taste. If anyone wants to come to my house, I'd be happy to share some with you. =)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More of Utah trip

We did a lot of fun things in Utah and I have tons of videos and pictures and am not sure where to start. First of all, I was so proud of myself because I got up at 6:30 in the morning on Monday to go running in the rain. I had to go that early because Marv and Ellen were heading out for the morning I needed someone to stay home with Annabelle

One of the highlights of the trip was attending my cousin's high school musical, called Seussical. She was a main lead playing the part of the Cat in the Hat. She did wonderfully and I was very impressed with the production.

One activity that we did was dance to a couple songs, one of them being the Hokey Pokey.
video

Another song we danced to is called "Chicken Fat".
video

Annabelle's favorite things to play with were an old kitchen set with plastic food, plates, forks, cups, teapots, and so on.


video

Here she is observing how the record player works with Marv.


And who could resist the beautiful new baby grand piano.


Michael's trimphant return

So, while I spent a few days in Utah, Michael was sitting through five days of what can only be described as class. He attended a Continuing Legal Education conference in Dallas, TX. Every day, the class would start 8:30 and go until noon; he would have an hour lunch break, continue with the afternoon session, and end at 5 PM. Most nights, he stayed in his hotel room and worked, one night staying up very late in order to meet a deadline the next day. Needless to say, by the time the conference was over and he was getting ready to fly back home, his brain was pretty frazzled. In fact, he had two very un-Michael like experiences that proved how out of it he was. And now, I'll let Michael take over and tell of these events himself because only he would be able to do these stories justice. Take it away, Michael.

On the fifth of five days of legal seminars in Dallas, it became clear to me that sitting for seemingly interminable hours listening to lecturers explain esoteric concepts like “hanging Crummey powers” and “trust decanting” was beginning to take its toll on me. I began making mistakes…costly and embarrassing mistakes. When I returned from my sojourn in Dallas, I recounted to Lindsey two incidents that occurred on the fifth day. Apparently amused, Lindsey invited me to share these incidents in a special appearance on her blog.

Incident #1

At noon each day of the seminar, I bought lunch on the ground floor of a high-rise office building from a “Fresh Market Café.” Although the portions were smaller than I would have liked, the food was decent, and there were few other viable options for lunch when we only had about an hour allotted for the break. The café was basically a la carte format. Immediately before paying a cashier for their food, patrons pass by two tall refrigeration units offering an assortment of beverages for purchase. By the fifth day of the seminar, my beverage consumption was equally divided between healthy and unhealt…less healthy beverages (root beer). Since I am determined not to become overweight due to the sedentary nature of my profession, I decided that on the fifth day I would select an apple juice, as I had done three days before.

I paid for my turkey sandwich and apple juice and made my way to a table in the atrium area of the office building. I have this strange habit of eating an entire meal before even sipping my beverage once. I followed this habit on this particular day. After polishing off the turkey sandwich, I was ready to savor the taste of my Mott’s apple juice. I twisted the cap just enough to break the safety seal, and then, for some reason, I spontaneously decided to examine the label of my apple juice. As I examined, I made the horrific realization that what I was holding was not apple juice at all. It was Mott’s Vegetable Blend. Basically, it was Mott’s version of V8 juice! I had mistaken the tomato for a red apple (If you could see the two labels, you might understand why I made the mistake. Every other flavor of drink had its own color, but for some reason, both the apple juice and the Vegetable Blend had green writing on the labels. I was a victim!) Among my initial thoughts were, “Why did I wait to examine the label until immediately after breaking the safety seal!?! They will never allow me to exchange it now!” and “Of all the possible varieties I could have inadvertently grabbed!”

At this point, I had a difficult choice to make. Generally, I am an extremely frugal person who does not believe in wasting anything, but I had never before faced a situation in which waste seemed so clearly to be the superior choice. I only eat two vegetables – carrots and green beans (I eat potatoes, but I am told they are actually a tuber). Thus, the prospect of drinking a refrigerated blend of the most offensive of Mother Nature’s “gifts” to us was more than I could bear. As I prepared to discard the Vegetable Blend in disgust, I began thinking about what my wife and mother in-law would say to me if I ever told them of this unfortunate incident (My mother long ago gave up the crusade to convince me to eat vegetables.). Surely I would be told how unreasonable I had been and that I should have at least tried it. In anticipation of their chiding if I did not act otherwise, I decided that I would take just one sip so that I could tell them that my discarding the drink was based on compelling empirical data.

I raised the loathsome Vegetable Blend to my lips and took a sip. What followed was the most adverse response my palette has ever produced. That Vegetable Blend was the most repulsive taste that I have ever experienced in my nearly 29 years, and I have eaten a cockroach (on a dare for which I was to be compensated 100 rubles) and drunk unpasteurized goat’s milk from a Russian goat! I feel that simply saying it was the most repulsive taste I have ever experienced inadequately describes my feelings, so let me state it alternatively: That Vegetable Blend was so thoroughly disgusting that I wanted to force myself throw up so that I could rinse the taste of the Vegetable Blend out of my mouth with my own vomit! Fortunately, self-induced vomiting was unnecessary as I quickly found a drinking fountain where I cleansed…rather detoxified my stained palette as well as possible.

Incident #2

After the seminar concluded, I took a shuttle to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport where I was to fly to Idaho Falls via Denver. I decided I should eat dinner in the airport before the two flights. Since I am a borderline obsessive-compulsive germaphobe, I began looking for a restroom in which to wash my hands prior to my meal. I located a sign indicating that there were men’s and women’s restrooms two or three gates ahead. As I approached the restroom area, something a TSA agent was doing as he screened a passenger caught my attention. Convinced the passenger’s civil rights were not being violated, I somewhat absentmindedly sauntered into the restroom.

Upon entering the restroom I scanned for the lengthy row of urinals one is accustomed to seeing in a large airport’s restroom. Strangely, there were no urinals, only stalls. I concluded that this restroom must be one of those restrooms in which there is a long corridor of stalls adjacent to a similarly long corridor of urinals. Assuming such was the case, I walked over to the next corridor. More stalls! As my pulse quickened, I began scanning the room for confirmatory evidence of my growing suspicion. A changing station! Sure, there are changing stations in men’s restrooms in Rexburg, Idaho because Rexburg is, after all, “America’s Family Community,” and every Rexburg father worth his salt takes a turn changing the baby’s diaper in public every once in a while. But this was not Rexburg…and I suddenly heard a toilet flush in one of the stalls next to which I was standing…then I heard more activity…the kind of activity that often precedes a patron’s egress from the stall!!! At this point I decided no more sleuthing was necessary and quickly darted to the restroom exit.

As I emerged from the restroom, I saw a man sitting in one of those lovely airport chairs, and he was laughing…and looking directly at me. Sensing what was serving as the impetus for his laughter, I sheepishly raised my eyes to the sign next to the door from which I had emerged. Yep. I had just wandered into and out of the women’s restroom. Miraculously, not a single person outside the restroom, aside from the laughing guy, saw me. More miraculously, not a single woman inside the restroom saw me either, and we are talking about the fourth busiest airport in the United States (according to Wikipedia at least)! Now, up until this point I am sure I had looked pretty foolish, but I have to hand it to myself – I handled the situation pretty well after I realized I had errantly entered the ladies’ room. I looked directly at the guy laughing at me. I smiled confidently at him and slightly nodded my head as if to say, “Yeah, so I walked in to a ladies’ restroom, but no one aside from you even saw it and I wasn’t arrested by an air marshal (or one of those pesky TSA agents).” I could see the wind being taken right out of his sales as I strode away from the scene of Incident #2.

Fortunately, I arrived safely in Idaho without further incident. I think in the future I will avoid the five-consecutive-days-of-continuing-legal-education situations. Oh, and it is simply delightful to be back home with Miss Lindsey. (Women readers, feel free to dab at your eyes.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Utah trip...

Annabelle and I arrived back in Rexburg yesterday afternoon after spending about 5 days in Utah. Michael is in Dallas, Texas and returns tomorrow night. We have two laptops and he has the one that can upload videos. So, I'll start with the beginning of the trip where there are no videos and ask you to tune back in this weekend when I'll be able to upload some silly videos. (For those of you that are family members, if you remember the song "Chicken fat", you'll get a kick out of the videos. Grandma went wild during that song.)

We were lucky enough to get tickets to the BYU- San Diego State game on Saturday, but it was scheduled right during Annabelle's nap. So, Michael found a friend to go with him to the game and I watched the game at my brother's apartment while Annabelle napped. My brother recently purchased a scooter and he was kind enough to offer to give me a ride on it. It was pretty sweet. I even got to drive it for a few minutes. It was much easier than I thought it would be. The turning was pretty scary though. You can't just turn the handles. You have to lean your body too. I felt like I might lean too far and fall off. Fortunately, there were no accidents and we made home safely.

Don't worry- I did wear a helmet.


Annabelle napped on Joel's bed and when she woke up, he went in to get her. I took a picture, but it's not quite centered. I was trying to get a good picture, but I couldn't let Annabelle see me or she wouldn't have stayed with Joel.


My grandma wanted to buy Annabelle some pajamas that actually fit her for Christmas, so we went shopping and found the cutest pj's. We bought them a size big, but she is growing so fast that I have no doubt she'll fit into them soon. She is so cute in them that I had to get some pictures.



"Let's see... Friday night? Sure I'll go on a date with you, but I have to home by 8 pm. That's my bedtime."

Congratulations!


My niece was born last week. Baby Adrienne is very cute and both she and my sister are doing well. Congratulations to the new Mom and Dad!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Over the river and through the woods...

We have a pretty fun-filled weekend planned. We are heading to Utah to attend the BYU football game tomorrow and will get to spend time with my grandparents. Michael is flying to Dallas, TX for work on Sunday and won't be back until late Friday night. Annabelle and I will chill in Salt Lake until Wednesday. We will be able to see both my grandparents and Michael's grandparents and we are excited. I'll have pictures and stories of our trip when we get back.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Running....really

On a sudden whim, I decided that I am going to run in the annual Turkey Trot that is held on Thanksgiving Day in Sheridan, WY. It's a 5K and so I've started a running routine through Thanksgiving. It's been pretty nice in Rexburg, which surprises me. I have been expecting lots of snow since October. Well, yesterday I got my wish. This was what I ran in:


I guess it's a good thing that weather conditions aren't great because there's no guarantee that on the day of the race the weather will be good. Sheridan has really cold winters so I'm training in the right climate at least.



I had to include a picture of Annabelle. Isn't she so cute?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Amber!



I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baby shower

Yesterday was the day I threw a baby shower for my friend and, boy, let me tell you, it was pretty stressful at times. I prepared everything for the games on Friday and Saturday was devoted to making the food and decorating the clubhouse that was just built. I was supposed to get started at a certain time, but didn't actually get going until about an hour later. The first item I was going to make was a fruit pizza. I have never made this before, but it sounded easy enough. Well after only a few minutes in the oven, the sugar cookie dough expanded and started to run off the pizza pan and onto the bottom of the stove. Suddenly, the house smelled like something was really burning and there was thick smoke coming out of the oven. Then, the smoke alarm went off and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. To add to that, while I was standing on the chair trying to turn the alarm off, Annabelle was over by the open oven trying to explore the smoke. I finally got the alarm off, opened all the windows and turned on the ceiling fan, but the alarm still proceeded to go off two more times. I went from looking forward to what my beautiful masterpiece of a fruit pizza was going to look like to being very stressed and just wanting to throw my pizza out the window. Michael fortunately came downstairs at that point and kept Annabelle occupied while I cleaned up the stove and got myself under control. I did eventually finished preparing that first pizza and even made another one. The other main dish was a 7-layer bean dip. Overall, they turned out very well and I got many compliments on the food and also on my homemade lemonade.



Around the time that I was packing up the car to bring all the food and other party supplies to the clubhouse, I sent Michael on an errand to pick up some balloons and on his way, stop at the clubhouse and put the pizzas in the fridge. Since the clubhouse is not completely ready yet, there is only one person who has a key. I knew someone who knew the person with the key and I asked him to make sure that the clubhouse was unlocked for our party. Michael called me when he reached the clubhouse to inform me that the door was indeed locked. I panicked. I was already running late. I ran to my neighbor's house and knocked on the door to ask him to ask the person with the key to open the clubhouse, but he wasn't home, nor was he answering his phone. It was almost a disaster. We did eventually get it open and I did get everything set up in time. The shower turned out to be a huge success. I think everyone that came had a good time and the mom-to-be looked pretty happy.


The party went well. Everyone loved the food and the games were fairly entertaining as well. And the great news was I even had a few leftover pieces of pizza and a little dip. Once I came back home, Annabelle went crazy with the helium balloons. It was pretty fun to watch.


"What's she looking at?"


The balloons, of course. Her favorite thing to do was let the balloons one by one float to the top of our 15 foot ceiling.


"You ROCK!"