31 March 2010

My Favorite

This is a controversial post.

I am going to tell you about my favorite.

It might shock people to know that I do have a favorite.

It's not very PC to admit having a favorite.

Some people think you should love them all equally. And if you don't love them all equally you at least have to pretend to love them all equally.

Well, I don't subscribe to that particular philosophy.

I am going to highlight my absolute favorite. There will be no question which one I love more by the end of this post.

So, if you don't think you can handle my having a favorite, please just navigate away from this blog and visit some other time when I am addressing easier, less controversial things.

Thank you.

(I think I am officially a little dorky for that disclaimer.)

(Just so you know.)

If you would like to see my favorite, you can use a link. And here it is.

What do you think?

Are you surprised? Were you expecting something else?

Yep, I have a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. And I love it. It is, in fact, my favorite thing in my kitchen. Adam surprised me with it in January when the kids and I returned from our California visit. I was speechless when I discovered it.

I had wanted one for years. It's the machine that my mom swears by. She used hers to bake warm, delicious, homemade bread. Bread that is soft and chewy, with a texture that is just magical. There are not many things in this world that are better than a slice of my mom's bread fresh out of the oven - with just a bit of butter...

(Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard....)

As I was saying, my mom swears by her's and the delicious bread that she produces was enough to make me a believer. Not having my own Bosch was the one thing that stopped me from trying to bake my own warm, delicious, homemade bread - because when I tried to bake bread by hand it never quite turned out like my mom's. And that was always disappointing, especially after all the time it took to make it literally "by hand". So I baked everything else in the world you can think of but not bread. It was just too intimidating.

Not anymore.

And I give the credit where the credit is due: to My Bosch. It has changed our world. Now I make bread all of the time: from my mom's roll recipe - which is perfect for making cinnamon rolls or classic dinner rolls - to my sister's incredible 100% whole wheat bread, to Pioneer Woman's pizza dough, I am keeping My Bosch busy.

And we are busy enjoying all of the deliciousness.

(If I do say so myself.)

23 March 2010

Nap Cheeks

One of my favorite, favorite things about Luke is his cheeks. They are magical. I love kissing them, and blowing little "raspberries" on them. They are irresistible, I tell you!

And one of my favorite, favorite things about Luke's cheeks is how they get so rosy when he sleeps. No matter how warm or cool the temperature, no matter how long the sleep is - from a short nap, to a long nap, to sleeping through the night, to a short doze - his cheeks turn a lovely shade of pink that is so cute. I call them Nap Cheeks and I love them!

Luke: mid-nap after church on Sunday.

And here he is (and there they are) just a few minutes after waking from a nap a couple of days ago:

I hope he never grows out of it because it is so endearing.

20 March 2010


One of Audrey's favorite things to do is watch videos of herself. Seriously. It's not just that she loves videos in general. It's that she loves, loves, LOVES videos of herself. If we land on a video that stars Luke, for instance, she has a mini fit until you change it to one starring her. And if you take too long changing it, the mini fit quickly turns into an actual fit. The girl just loves watching herself.

I'm not sure what that is about. I don't know if there is a deeper, underlying meaning to it or if there will be any dire ramifications later on in her life. I just know she loves her videos.

She has a few favorites.

And her most favorite videos all have one thing in common – Talea. Her cousin. Her BFF. Her sidekick. Talea was born two months and one day before Audrey. They have been tight since birth.

This is the first time they met - Talea is a little over two months old and Audrey is just about 10 days old here:

My sister, Dawnette, came to visit about ten days after I gave birth to Audrey. She stayed at our house for a couple of days helping me with the adjustment and staying off my feet and cooking for me. And she brought her little Talea along and that's when Audrey and Talea first hit it off. They even took a little nap together:

So cute! (And we didn't even set it up, they just both dozed off together.)

Since that first meeting, there have been many days peppered here and there where our girls get to see each other and play.

Here they are together - Talea is about seven months and Audrey is five months:

Again, just a few months later:

This one was just after Luke was born, at the beginning of August, 2009 - so Talea was about 22 months and Audrey, 20 months:

Too cute!

...and a few months later:

...and a few months after that:

Talea is Audrey's favorite person. And she loves watching videos of the two of them playing together. She says “MyAudgieTalea” when she wants to watch a video that they are both in. She says it just like that too – like it's one word. “MyAudgieTalea” - like they are so close she considers them one. It's pretty cute. But then again, so are they.

I'm so glad that Audrey has a cousin that is near her age, that is close enough to visit regularly - it is so fun to see how excited she gets to see her Talea. I hope they will be close friends for the rest of their lives.

18 March 2010

"I loved this night."

The last two nights Adam has come home early from POST. This is a rare treat – usually Adam's at work until 3:30 or 4:00pm and then he goes to POST from 5pm-9:30pm. So he only has about an hour at home with me and the kids – because they are usually in bed by the time he gets home. (Or at least they should be!)

Well, the last two nights he had a shortened schedule and he has been home by 6:45pm! So to celebrate we left Luke with Grammy and took Audrey to the playground of the elementary school that is just around the block from our house. (I can't wait until Luke is a little older so he can play too. But since it was a little chilly and we wouldn't be able to stay too long we decided to leave him to fun time with Grammy at home.)

Audrey definitely had fun at the playground. She loves slides.

She really went crazy for them!

We had so much fun watching her get so excited running to the stairs, climbing over steps,

crawling through the tunnels,

walking over the bridge, and sliding down all of the slides.

And she really liked it when Adam or I slid down with her. There was one part of the play area where two small slides are right next to each other so we had races and she loved it!

It was such a nice treat to have Daddy home early enough to play and run and laugh with – we are so looking forward to Adam finishing POST so we can have more nights like that!

As we walked home together, swinging Audrey around and making her (and ourselves) dizzy, Adam said "I loved this night. I really loved this night."

And Audrey and I couldn't agree more.

17 March 2010

The Mysterious Case of the Electrosol Tablet

A few days ago I was doing the dishes.

This is not news.

This is not noteworthy.

This is mundane.

This is the life of any mother.

And I'm ok with it. No, really I am. Seriously. It's all good.

Especially since we have a dishwasher – it's so much nicer than doing them all by hand (even though I rinse and mostly-wash everything before it goes in anyway... but oh well. On a side note, does anyone else mostly-wash their dishes before loading them into the dishwasher? Or am I the only one?)




Anyway, as I finished loading the dishes, I opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink, reached into the Electrosol box, grabbed one of the individually wrapped tabs:

And went to open it.

But, wait! “What the?! This is not right!” I thought.

This is what it looked like:

The corner of the package was already open! Not only that but the corner of the actual tab inside was missing. Inexplicably. I instantly thought of Audrey. Maybe she thought it was candy – it's not a stretch: it's in crinkly, see-through packaging, it looks an awful lot like the powdery candy she likes – like Smarties and SweeTarts.

But I had been in the kitchen the whole time she had been. And she is never in the kitchen alone. If it had been Audrey it had to have happened on some other day. I was confused. I couldn't think of a logical explanation. I really wanted to know what had happened to the tab. Had the packaging just ripped inside the box and then with the shifting, the corner worn down?

Horrified, I asked Audrey if she knew what happened to the tab. She looked at it with a confused expression. There was no sign of guilt or recognition on her face. She seemed curious about it but that was all.

So I set the offending tab aside, hoping that one day I'll figure out what happened. For now, Audrey has been her usual playful, adorable, willful, silly, happy self.

No strange symptoms or anything out of the ordinary.

It's been a few days since that instance and I still have no idea what happened to the Electrosol tab. No idea. It might always be a mystery.

I will let you know if there are any developments.

14 March 2010

Channeling James Dean

image courtesy of photobucket

This is James Dean. You've probably heard of him. He was a great actor - in the 60s. He was handsome. In a mysterious, young, and talented way. And squinty too. He was very handsome when he squinted. He died very young and tragically.

I'm not sure what it is, but lately a slight change has come over Luke. It's like he's channeling James Dean.

Here he is with his cousin, Talea. He's got the James Dean squint down - and the furrowed brow too.

He can even pull it off with a binky in his mouth.

Do you see it?

13 March 2010

Blog Training Wheels

We have been participants and contributors in this crazy blog-o-sphere for about nine months. And when I say we I really just mean me. I have. Because, as you may (or may not) have noticed, Adam has said not one peep. Which is funny because it was his idea to start this blog in the first place. He was the one who wanted to do it. He was the one who pushed for it. And he may (or may not) contribute in the future. Only time will tell.

It's possible.

But maybe not.

No promises.

It has been fun, this blogging thing. I've been surprised at how much I have enjoyed writing about different situations or random thoughts – there are lots of times just in the course of a day when something will happen and I will think, I should blog about this so I never forget it, so that my family and friends can be a part of it too, so that this moment is acknowledged and preserved. Looking back at the number of posts from the last nine months has made me want to set a goal to post a little more frequently. Because there are many moments that I have not shared.

One thing that you may (or may not) have noticed is we changed our color palate. Yay! That was exciting. You may (or may not) remember that I am not super-savvy when it comes to technology. I can manage fairly well with very basic programs, but anything that is just beyond basic, just beyond common knowledge is unfortunately just beyond me. So I was excited when I was investigating some of the customizable tools on our “dashboard”.

I'm really digging the lighter hues. They make me happy.

I also made the font bigger in a few places. That makes me happy too.
Ah, the simple things in life.

But that's not all.

Not even close!

You may (or may not) have noticed that we have changed a few things on the column to the right of our posts, specifically:

1. I moved the archive list to the top,
2. added a place for a list of blogs that we frequent,
3. added a spot for movies that we've recently seen, and
4. added a list of books that we've (ahem, I have) read recently.

The thing I wanted to mention about these changes is this: we've instigated a system to also rate the movies that we've watched and I wanted to explain a little about our system – just in case ya'll were wonderin'.

It's pretty simple. After much deliberation, and soul searching, and meditation, we decided on a five star rating system. And here's what each rating means:

1 star means that we really did not like the movie. Hate might be a strong word. But it might also be the perfect word, like hate is the word that best describes our feelings about the movie. It's the feeling that you have after watching a movie, just after the credits start to roll and you are staring at the screen thinking, “That's it? That's the whole movie? That's the end? They're really not going to try to salvage anything that may have been redeeming about it? It's over? I can't believe I just wasted 2 hours of my life! I can't believe I just wasted $20 of my hard-earned money! (Or even $1 if you redbox-ed it!) That sucked!! I never want to hear the name of that movie again.” That's what 1 star means. Ish.

2 stars means that we didn't really like it. We didn't hate it. But we didn't like it either. It's the feeling that you have after watching a movie and you are not enraged but you are not happy; you are disappointed. Like, maybe there were short moments of the movie that you really liked,
or there were certain aspects of the movie (the music, cinematography, special effects, etc.) that went well but as a whole they just didn't get it right. You are left wishing it had been better. You do not want to ever see this movie again. Ever. EVER.

3 stars means that we liked it. We did not love it. It was good; not great. It's the feeling you have when you are not upset but you are also not elated. You are a luke-warm happy. You don't feel like it was a waste of time/money but it's not a movie that you would buy to have in your personal collection to watch over and over and over again. It was entertaining, you are glad you saw it, and you might even like it enough to see it again... sometime... if the opportunity presented itself... but it wouldn't be the worst thing if you never got around to it. Once might have been enough.

4 stars means that we really liked it. It was a great movie. It's the feeling you have when you really appreciate what the movie was – you have a big smile on your face as the credits roll. You are glad that you saw the movie and you can easily imagine seeing it again. You feel like it fulfilled your expectations of what you wanted it to be. There are only a few things that you would change about it. It will likely be a movie that you would like to have a copy of that you can watch anytime the mood strikes. It's one that you would not tire of easily.

And lastly,

5 stars means that we loved it. It was excellent. You feel great, elated even, as you watch the credits. It was probably a movie that taught you something important, that inspired you, or one whose story was really important to you and it surpassed your expectations. There are very few things that you would change about it – all of the little details came together beautifully (the casting, the acting quality, the cinematography, the script, the plot, the music, the effects, everything complemented everything else). It's a movie that you can't wait to see again. You will definitely want to buy a copy for your DVD library. It is one you could watch over and over and over again – one which you will quote in your everyday conversations. A classic.

Now, you may (or may not) have noticed that not all of our ratings fall within those particular parameters. We have a few fractions thrown in there – but we'll just trust your abilities to distinguish what would fall between two numbers.

We believe in you.

And your reasoning abilities.

One of the reasons we added this was to make our blog a little more interesting, a little more of a reflection of who we are and what we do. I have a specific vision to add some pictures. But I'm just not sure how. I will have to consult my sister's husband (who is pretty much a genius in a lot of ways, but especially with computers and web design) to see if he can help me make my vision a reality.

What else would you suggest we add? Any requests? Suggestions?

One day it may look like we've taken the training wheels off. For now, we're comfortable with our amateur status.

And on another (related) note: if you've seen any great movies or read any great books lately, we'd love to hear about it! Pass on your recommendations!

10 March 2010

A Lasting Obsession

This morning I am not feeling too good. The last couple of days I've had quite a bit of sinus pressure and a little nasal congestion, accompanied by headaches. And it would seem that some time between last night and this morning some of my sinus issues decided to take a trip to my ears to wreak havoc. It doesn't help that something went wrong at the dentist the other day and in the area where they worked my gums are inflamed and really tender and sore (to which they suggested I gargle with warm water and salt a few times a day - which doesn't seem to do anything... except make my hurting mouth taste gross and it also makes me feel really thirsty but I can't drink anything because I just gargled the salt water and that would be counterproductive). But I digress.

Basically my whole head hurts:
Headache? Check.
Sinus pressure? Check.
Congestion? Check.
Ear ache/infection? Check.
Mouth hurts? Check.

Nothing's wrong with my eyes though, so that's good.

Anyway, it's not fun. So I've been trying to lay low a bit so the various infections floating around in my head don't get worse. The kids and I were hanging out in our room this morning playing. I was sitting on our bed with Luke playing with some of his toys and singing songs with him, and Audrey was sitting on the floor with her toy laptop typing letters and repeating them. There was a moment when she looked up at me and Luke so I invited her to come play with us. To which she responded by giving me crusties and sticking her thumb in her mouth. Not sure what I did to earn that reaction, but no matter. I held out my arms and asked her to come to me. Then she walked out of the room and into her room. I called her name. No response.

I called her name again. No response. I called and I called. No response. Oh, except her closing her bedroom door.

That is, officially, me told.

I sat thinking of what I could do to lure her back into the room and me back into her good graces.

Then I had a stroke of genius inspiration.

The one thing that Audrey simply cannot resist.

I got my laptop – which was sitting on my bedside dresser – turned it on and went to you tube. I typed in the letters: “bey” and the automatic suggestion list appeared. I selected the one I wanted and made sure the volume was high enough that Audrey would be able to hear it behind the closed door of her room; the instant the opening notes of the song started I heard the jiggle of her door knob. The next second Audrey was racing into my bedroom with a huge smile on her face. (And not a stitch of clothes on, I might add. She went into her room with a dress, pants, and diaper on. She came out with absolutely nothing. No clothes. No diaper. The kid just loves to be naked.) She came over to me and immediately started to do her version of Beyonce's dance – with just as much sass and attitude as her idol.

That's right - when all else fails, Beyonce does not. Her Single Ladies video is Audrey's bad mood Kryptonite. And has been for a very long time.

How did this begin? You ask.

Well, I'll tell you.

Audrey first saw it one night after Justin Timberlake helped SNL parody Beyonce's video - Adam and I looked it up on you tube and thought it was so funny. (My personal opinion is that as funny as the dancers are, Paul Rudd is even better with his comments - "Don't worry about the other dancers, B Town." "Beyonce that was B-rilliant." "What's the beef BK?" If you haven't seen it, you must. Embedding was disabled on this video, so you'll have to use this link:


Audrey seemed to like it too. But since neither of us had seen the actual video that the parody was based on we looked up the original.

Audrey was mesmerized. Absolutely entranced by it. Have you seen it? (That's a pretty silly question given that it has something like 80 million views and won Beyonce all sorts of awards... but in case you haven't, here it is:)

After that ONE time of seeing it, Audrey began to ask to see it by saying "Uh-oh" (because that's in the chorus). She was only one year old.

This is Audrey when she was one - in fact, this was taken on her birthday. She wasn't even walking yet but she knew how to ask to see Beyonce's Single Ladies video.
It was her very first little obsession. Before Little Mermaid and Cinderella and Mary Poppins and Bolt Audrey loved Beyonce. And she still does. Only now she can say "Beyonce" and she can dance along too.

This is what it looks like when she's watching Beyonce - no break in her concentration, nothing will deter her from trying to memorize all of the dance moves. Not even her mom calling her name, making funny noises, or flailing her arms everywhere to get her to look over. It's a tough dance, but Audrey's up to the challenge.

And I'm just glad I have my bad mood Kryptonite.

On another note: Don't you think this phrase would look lovely cross-stitched on a pillow?

When all else fails, Beyonce does not.

Catchy, no?

08 March 2010

This Time I Mean It

This may be stupid.

It may be silly.

It may be trivial.

And it certainly may be mundane.


that doesn't change the fact that I want to share something with you.

I have a goal that I haven't been able to achieve. I have promised myself before. I have sworn to myself that I would do everything in my power to achieve this goal.

To no avail.

I have broken that promise. Many, many times.

Well, I've set this goal again. I've made the promise again.

But this time I mean it.

And in thinking about how to make this time the time that I actually follow through - I thought that maybe if I make a public statement, I will hold myself to a higher standard. Maybe if I blog about it, I will have a better chance of achieving it.


We'll see.

Are you curious what the goal is? Prepare yourself for the stupid, silly, trivial and mundane...

Because I've promised myself this many, many, many, many times and I have not been able to keep that promise for over 13 years. 13 years! And I need your help. I am enlisting your help.

Drum roll, please...

I have a goal to grow out my hair.

And I have very little patience with this particular area in my life. Here's the proof:

It all started when I was about 12 years old - that's me on the right and the cute girl on the left is one of my best childhood friends, Anjenelle. I decided around this time that I would grow my hair long. Which lasted about a year before I lost patience and cut it:

I'm the one in the BYU Basketball shirt. After I cut it I decided I wanted to grow it out and this time I had the most patience of my life. I grew it for about 3 years. This is how long it got:

This picture was taken on my 17th birthday (which is in April). I didn't cut my hair again until later that year in the summer, but this was the last picture I could find before I did this:

And it was only a few months after this picture was taken, that I did this:

This picture was taken right before a jazz dance at my high school. My hair was a very short pixie. I was a Senior. I was almost 18. And I decided that, even though I really liked my pixie cut, I really wanted long hair. So I grew it out:

It was about this time - I was just barely able to pin it behind my ears - that I decided that it didn't make sense to grow my hair long when I really liked it short:

This is me and my sister on January 1, 1999. So naturally, my resolution was to... you guessed it, grow my hair long! I really focused for a couple of years and got it to here:

This was taken in April of 2002. This was the runner-up picture for my wedding announcement to Adam. And it was only a few months after we got married that I cut my hair. Again.

And it was pretty much immediately after I cut it that I promised myself that I would actually grow my hair out. But then during the process I really started to like it mid length - about chin length - and kept that for a few years. But then I got motivated to really grow it out. Again.

This picture was taken in December 2007. Audrey was a month old. And that was the first time my hair had touched my shoulders in over a decade! It was exciting. It was magical. It was great. Until...

Yep, I cut it again. This is me and Audrey in April 2008. I kept it short for a few months and then started to grow it out.

I made it until March 2009. This picture was taken on my sister's birthday in February - my mom was in town so we celebrated together. And then I cut my hair. Again.

And then I decided to grow it out. Again. This was taken last June. And it was pretty much right after this that I decided that i really want to experience long hair at least once in my adult life. And this time I mean it.

No, seriously. This time, THIS TIME, is going to be different.


How is it going to be different? You ask.

I am going to set a specific, objectifyable goal. Instead of just having a goal to grow it out or grow it long, my goal is to grow it until I can hold onto it by reaching my hand around my back... basically, grow it until it is well past my shoulders, mid-back length. And I am going to do it. I am determined.

And to bring us full-circle... well, more like full-spiral (we've been here many, many, many times before): this is where I am today:

It's just barely to the point where I can pin it behind my ears. I realize this will be a long process, but this time I will do it. And with the whole world (or at least the whole "web") as my witness, how can I fail?!

06 March 2010

We're Still Here

Don't worry.

Don't let the absence of any new posts make you think something awful has happened.

We are still here.

Just busy.

Mostly because of this:

And this:

And these:

Oh, and these too:

We hope you understand!