Sunday, November 30, 2008

3 Saturdays and A Sunday (kind of)

I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned we've just had 4 Saturdays in a row. I haven't known what day it is as we laze around, eat, decorate for Christmas (while watching the snow fall peacefully outside - it couldn't be more perfect!), do fun family activities and just enjoy life. Then today at church they'd had trouble with the heater earlier in the day, so the Bishop sent us all home after Sacrament Meeting. They thought the classrooms would be too cold, but I went in all of them to collect the trash (apparently that is part of the job description of Young Women's President in this Stake) and they weren't cold at all. After all the lazing and being somewhat cooped up, I had been looking forward to 2 hours of adult time sans kids, but everyone else seemed really happy to go home. So today has ended up feeling like the rest of the days of this long weekend. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, after 4 Saturdays in a row, I'm not dreading Monday as much as usual.

We loved having Uncle Andrew come visit us from BYU this week. He is such a fun-loving, easy-going, helpful, happy guy, who is so easy to have around. Harrison greatly anticipated his arrival and has been really missing him since he left this morning. He even requested to call Andrew a few minutes after he left because he, "forgot to tell him Happy Thanksgiving." So we did. It was sweet. Here are a few pictures from T-Day. We had our friend Tiffany and her darling daughters over, plus another sweet family from the ward and our neighbor Dave (whose daughters are in our ward, he goes to another ward). The kids mostly ran around like crazy the whole time. Notice the Spiderman "wallet" that Harrison is holding in every picture. He got it at Chuck E. Cheese's on Weds. and hasn't put it down since. He sleeps with it every night. I guess is was worth the 300 tickets it cost. Seriously, 300? That seemed high to me (listen to me talking like an expert on Chuck E. Cheese prizes).
Apparently Harrison has entered the "creating things from junk" stage that I have observed other children his age go through. He is loving the tape, tin foil, paper etc. Here's one of his creations he made on Thanksgiving morning.
Harrison had been begging to go bowling for days, so we finally went on Friday. After a little training from Dad, he got the idea, and didn't have to use the ramp like he had in the past. His strategy was, what I like to call drop and ditch. He would simply drop the ball, turn around and run away. Why bother watching to see what the ball does? The bumpers are going to guarantee you get some pins down and everyone is going to praise you no matter what.
I am sad to report that after countless bowling dates with Nate in high school and an entire semester of a bowling class at BYU, I only beat my 4 year old by about 12 points. I did get 2 strikes and was happy to find out that our old tradition of getting a kiss for every strike was still in effect. (PDA is hard to come by from Nathan). Unfortunately, the kisses were not nearly as thrilling as when I was a teenager, but hey, it was still fun!

Yesterday we went sledding/snowboarding. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and went for one ride on the sled. (I don't like risky activities where I feel out of control). I screamed most of the way down,
and was grateful when I realized I could use my hands as breaks to slow down. Andrew was carefree as usual. This was a much bigger hill than what Harrison was used to, so Nate held on to him most of the way down. He is showing so much improvement each time he does it and seems to like it more and more as well.
Here are Rew and Elizabeth watching them go down.I have also spent a fair amount of time playing nurse to each of my family members the last few days. WARNING - The next few pictures are kind of graphic!
Harrison got a bloody nose right when we sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Elizabeth fell off the bed and hit her head on a spare printer that was on the floor. She spilt her scalp open.
It looked pretty bad, but it wasn't bleeding much, and after the initial crying, she was totally fine. So I took my usual route of avoiding the ER like the plague. We peroxided it and super glued it up ourselves. She was SO cooperative and she's seemed fine since. Even if it leaves an ugly scar, it won't matter, because it's in her hair.
Last Thursday, Nate got this removed.
It's a scar from a birthmark he had removed in high school. It seemed to be coming back and looked kind of suspicious, so he finally got it looked at. The doctor didn't think it was cancerous, but thought it would be a good idea to remove it anyway and said he could make it look better. Does this look like it's going to look better to you? It seriously looks like a pre-schooler or extremely intoxicated individual stitched this thing up. It makes me so upset every time I look at it. In hindsight, I realize that we totally rushed into this surgery without really thinking it through. It probably didn't even need to be done. He is missing out on most of his usual activities because he is supposed to take it easy, it's going to cost who knows how much, he's going to have a worse scar, and I have clean the nasty thing out and redress it every night. Here is all the equipment used in the nightly ritual.
I could really use a nurse myself. I have developed a serious pain in the neck. It has been bothering me on and off for over a week now, but today is the worst. It hurt so bad this morning, I felt like throwing up. It hurts down into my shoulder and gives me a headache. I'm probably going try going to a chiropractor tomorrow, but they make me nervous. It is the exact same neck pain/headache that I get in the 2nd trimester of my pregnancies. But I don't get the reward of a cute little baby this time. And I don't have the comfort of knowing that it will go away in a month or two. I am nervous that it is going to bother me for the rest of my life. Enough complaining, though.
So that's what we've been up to these 3 Saturdays and a Sunday (kind of). Whew, that was a long post!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Firsts - Updated

I DID IT!!! As you probably remember, I took up running in July. I WAS NOT a runner, I HATED running and I HAD NO DESIRE to become a runner. But my friend, Jenni, talked me into trying it and was such a huge inspiration and a great motivator. I started with a tenth of a mile at a time (yes, that's about one minute's worth). I set a goal to run the Turkey Day 5K and 4 1/2 months later, I just did it! Notice how happy we look. That's because we had just barely started running!

So I had actually done several practice runs that were 3.1 miles just to make sure I could do it and even ran 4 miles the other night. So I was pretty confident. I was only worried about running it outside because of hills and cold. We had practiced running outside, but not in a while. The first half of it was uphill and I really wanted to quit, but wouldn't let myself, of course. The 2nd half was mostly downhill, so that was really nice. There were a few little hills at the end.

Knowing Nate and the kids were waiting for me at the finish really helped keep me going. I feel really great that my kids know that I take care of myself and that I can set that example for them. It was so nice to hear Nate and Harrison both say how proud they were of me. Nate really was impressed, because he of all people knows how absolutely out of character that was for me. I guess I am a runner now, but I still don't really love it. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment and knowing that I am healthy enough to do it. I don't hate every minute of it like I used to. Who knows if I'll ever really love it, but I think I'm going to keep it up for now.
Here's a not very cute action shot!

I was worried that I would hold Jenni back because she pushes herself much more than I do. So we had said we wanted to do it in under 33 minutes. My fastest I'd done it on the treadmill was 32.24 and hers was 29 something, but her fastest in a race was 32.30. So we were shooting for around there. I am happy to say we did it in 31.06!!! We said we'd love to do one under 30 next time. We'll see about that! So now that I've got that out of the way, I need to conquer another first today. . .my first turkey! Somehow I've gotten out of making the turkey every one of my 29 years. Even the one other year I hosted. So today's the day. After talking to lots of people and doing research on-line I decided to try brining it in vegetable stock, apple juice, garlic, water, salt, brown sugar and a few other herbs and spices. Hopefully it will be as successful as the 5K. And hopefully I'll make it through the holiday without throwing up like I have the past two years. No, these were not bulimia induced episodes, although the thought crosses my mind each year. One was pregnancy related and one was stomach flu. On that appetizing note, I'm going to go start cooking! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that I get to keep in touch with through this blog! (And a number of other things, but that's another post!)

So, it's later tonight. I just looked up my race results. We actually ran it in 31.04 (2 seconds faster than I thought). I was 535rd place in the race (out of about 2000), 188th place for women and 51st place in my division (female 20-29). I wish I knew how many women there were and how many were in my division, because otherwise, those numbers don't mean much.

As for the turkey. . .not as successful as I hoped it would be. It just seemed like a lot of effort that didn't pay off. It didn't taste any better than any other turkey I've ever had. In fact, it was probably some of my least favorite I've ever had. But that was probably because I had my hopes up that it would be amazing. Also, I took it out when the meat thermometer said it was ready, but then when I went to cut it, it was still not all the way cooked in the middle. That grossed me out/frustrated me because everyone was waiting and hungry, so it probably contributed to why I didn't like it much. Thankfully, all the side dishes were great. It was so nice that our guests contributed so much, and that what they brought was so good too. We also enjoyed their company! So overall, it was a great Thanksgiving. I guess it would have been too much to ask to have beginners luck in both of my Thanksgiving Firsts!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh, Edward!

We just went to see Twilight and I have been bitten by the bug all over again. All the feelings I had when I read it 2 1/2 years ago came rushing back and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! It is just so fun to live vicariously through the characters, namely the 17 year old girl who is swept off her feet by a gorgeous, practically perfect guy. I seriously felt my heart go pitter-patter several times and thought, if I were a teenage girl, I would probably keel over and die right now. Thankfully, I am a happily married woman who can take these giddy feelings home to her husband! TMI?
So here's my review for anyone who wants it: I have to say that when they cast that guy from Harry Potter as Edward I was EXTREMELY disappointed. He was just not beautiful enough. But once I saw him in the movie, my feelings changed. He definitely cut the mustard, so to speak. There were a handful of parts that were pretty awkward (like when he first caught Bella's scent and looked like he was having a sudden attack of explosive diarreah). The special effects were distractingly low budget and some of the characters were totally not right (Rosalie and Jasper -- could finding gorgeous blondes in Hollywood really be that difficult?) I couldn't believe they left out the blood typing scene and the part where he kisses her in her hospital bed and her heart rate monitor starts beeping (or all the other kissing parts for that matter -- come on, 2 kissing parts simply wasn't enough). But overall, I was very pleasantly surprised. I did not have very high expectations, because I loved the book so much and didn't think the movie could measure up. The book is definitely better, but I did enjoy the movie. Quite. A. Bit. (as Stephenie would write it).
So here are some pictures of the big event. Since this summer, I had been planning on buying fangs and getting a group together to go see it. (I know they don't really have fangs, but the idea was too fun to pass up for literary integrity). So, I bought two packs of fangs at Halloween and have been saving them ever since. I invited all the girls from our ward and got a good sized group together. Everyone who came got one of these.
Nate (knowing there is usually a method to my madness) asked what the Red Vines symbolized. I said I just wanted something red, blood red. But the Hot Tamales definitely symbolized Edward's hotness.
Here we all are in the theater sporting our fangs.
Here we are after the movie. We stood right outside the theater and discussed for quite a while. Then we went to Costa Vida, which I must say was a bit sub par tonight. The sweet pork was not very sweet. Oh well, I still stuffed my face. I guess I really worked up an appetite waiting an hour an half for them to finally kiss.
Lastly, here is my sweet friend, Aujelle, and I. She didn't read the books until the last few weeks, so her obsession is still very new and very intense. She and I had special shirts. Hers was really fancy with diamonds and said, "Dazzled by Edward." Mine was very homemade and said, "Bite Me." (I stole the idea from my sister, Laura - I found it to be quite funny and hope that no one thought less of me for it). It was much easier to read in person. So that was our night. It really was fun. I'm looking forward to three more fun girls' nights outs for the next three movies and some sweet dreams tonight!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy Colorado Weather

So we finally got our first snow of the season on Friday. It snowed for a few hours and had melted a few hours after it stopped. Nathan was home, so he took Harrison to the neighbor's hill to practice snowboarding. Harrison had improved a lot since last winter. I have pictures to post, but our computer is being weird, so I'll just put up this video for now. I love how Nate is the human version of a chair lift. He did it over and over. That's a father's love for you (of his child and snowboarding).

Here's a shorter clip of him doing it even better.

So, the crazy thing about the weather is that 4 days after it snowed, we had a record high of 78 yesterday and then tomorrow it's supposed to be 35! I actually love the variety and how it keeps things interesting. Unfortunately, I think the up and down has messed with my body, I feel like I'm coming down with something.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quirks Tag

Warning: This post is long, self-centered, opinionated at times, and will most likely be considered lame by my husband (he gives his unsolicited two cents on my posts).

So I got my first tag a while ago and I started this post. I was supposed to talk about 6 things, but I keep thinking about these quirks posts I had read and so I'm going to do that instead. And I came up with more than 6, so I guess that means I'm pretty quirky.

1) I cannot get over the matchy matchy 80's. I love matching my accessories, makeup and on a good day, shoes to my outfits (when I wear make-up and accessories, which happens less and less these days). At least I'm not still wearing two pairs of colored socks with Keds. I've thought about why I get such a kick out of matching and I am going to blame it on my 6th grade teacher. Her daily uniform was an assortment of mix and match essentials. Solid colored tee shirts, with solid colored pants, jeans or jean skirts. Then she had all these thick gross-grain ribbons she used as belts with a big bow tied in the front and matching Sam & Libby shoes (various colored flats with a bow at the front, Mervyn's had the knock off brand Jeff & Kristies -- those were the ones I had in black and cream). Anyway, I thought she had the cutest sense of style and loved how everything coordinated, so I wrote down what she was wearing every single day in the back of my journal. Crazy, I know. Especially because there really wasn't that much variety. Now that I think about it, maybe she's to blame for my boring daily uniform of a solid colored shirt with solid pants. At least there is usually some cute matching jewelry to go with it, and eyeshadow on a good day! -- I also LOVE themes and matching for parties, lessons, decorating, etc.

2) I am a picky dishwasher. I need rubber gloves. I got that from my mom. It does save your hands, especially in dry Colorado weather. It's also a lot less disgusting when it comes to touching dirty dishes. I must have one of those scrubbing wands with the soap in it and the sponge on the end. When I'm at other people's houses and they don't have one of those I just don't even know where to begin. And I am anal about what gets put into the dishwasher. Everything I put in there is pretty much clean already, because I don't trust it to get the gunk off, so I do it myself. And none of the prep. dishes get put in. I always wash big bowls, knives, spatulas, cutting boards, pans, measuring cups, etc. by hand. I know I'll need them again before it gets run. I have thought that if I put all that stuff in, I'd run it more, so then it might be clean if I need it, but I still can't do it. I hate needing something and realizing it's dirty in the dishwasher, so I just wash it by hand so it's ready for the next time. We only run our dishwasher about twice a week. And I am an air-dry kind of girl. I know lots of people think it still looks like your dishes aren't done if they are sitting out air drying, but that's how I grew up and it doesn't bother me at all. I know they're clean.

3) Bad grammar/spelling, strong Utah accents and improper praying practices really get to me. Not to say I'm perfect at grammar, but I can't handle blatant things like, "It's broke," "acrost" (instead of across - seriously people where is this t coming from? It's not a past tense verb), "we was," pluralizing things that shouldn't be, like "the girlses room" instead of the girls' room, "exspecially," "supposebly," etc. Also, I just do not understand how all the vowels in Utah got assigned new sounds. A long "a" became a short "e", and a long "e" became a short "i". For instance, "I got a great deal at the sale," would be pronounced, "I got a great dill at the sell." There is also this strange, almost British sounding "a" sound that tends to come from people in Southern Utah County, in words like ham and plan. I'm sorry to all my Utah friends. I still love you, and I don't know why I find other accents to be so much more endearing than the Utah accent.

Now, about the praying. I hope I don't get struck down for being so critical, but here goes. First of all, I don't like it when people ask for volunteers to pray. My dad told me the handbook or a general authority said that you're not supposed to do that. No matter what, it always makes for an awkward, guilt-filled silence in which someone finally reluctantly says, "I'll do it." Just ask someone to say it. Usually, people are more than happy to pray, if you just ask. Although, Nate now assigns the prayers for sacrament meeting and I have been surprised how many people don't want to do it. I guess some people get really nervous. I'd rather they just admit that then come up with the crazy excuses he's gotten. For me, praying in public is really no big deal, so I'm not very sympathetic. I also don't like it when people assign prayers as a form of punishment. "Well, Jane was late for class, so she gets to say the prayer." Seriously, since when is praying a bad thing that we have to do?

Sorry, I'm almost done on this rant. When praying for a group, you're supposed to use plurals. And people need to teach their kids the proper lingo. It's "we thank thee" or "we're thankful for", not "thank you" or "we're thankthee for." And lastly, only end "in the name of thy son" if you are praying. Otherwise, you're not talking to Heavenly Father, and Christ isn't the son of whoever you are talking to. Plus, then I'll have to listen to my husband lean over and whisper, "He's not my son," for the thousandth time.

4) I am not a good driver. I hate driving and usually let someone else drive (even if it's my car) whenever possible. I have lots of nightmares about driving and I am convinced a car wreck will be the death of me (but I need to quit saying that or it's going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy). I especially have an intense fear of turning left when I'm driving. It stems from getting in an accident doing that maneuver when I was practicing the night before I was supposed to go take my driving test. Really busy streets are the worst. If I know I'm going to one of those places sometimes I get nervous hours in advance. I've been known to pray about it, wait forever, or go way out of my way and do a u-turn.

5) Some of my senses are abnormally strong. I have a very sensitive sense of smell. I think this also contributes to my super sensitive and discerning palate. I can pick flavors out of things like nobody's business. Also, if I've been asleep and then I get awoken, then I have what Nate and I have named, "super-sonic hearing." I can fall asleep with the TV on, wake up 10 minutes later and it seems like it is totally blaring. I am known to get upset and sometimes yell in these situations.

6)I love to sing LOUD in sacrament meeting. Especially if my voice sounds good that day. More than once people have turned around and looked at me. I just feel like I'm getting more out of my worship if I sing loud, plus, I hate it when the congregation doesn't sound loud, so I just do my part!

7) When eating multi-colored candies, I have a system. First, I set aside one of each color and save them for last. Then I even the rest out in an orderly fashion (so if there are 5 blues, 4 reds, 2 yellows and 1 green, I'd eat the blue down to 4, then the blue and red down to 2, then all of them down to 1). Then when I'm left with one of each color, I eat them in order of my least favorite color to my favorite color, saving the best for last (or flavor, if the flavors are different). I also eat around a sandwich, piece of pizza, cake, cookie, etc, saving the best bite for last. But most people do that, right?

So now you know WAY more than you probably ever wanted to about the inner workings of my mind. I'm sure there are many more quirks that I just didn't think of. I would love to hear the quirks of anyone who reads this. Consider yourself tagged.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween Family Day of Fun

Halloween was one of Nate's Fridays off, so we had a full family day of fun. We started at the Denver Children's Museum's Trick or Treat Street. We have a pass to the museum, so it was a fun thing to do that didn't cost anything extra. Harrison was a little freaked out about going up to the little houses to trick or treat. Elizabeth didn't feel that great, so she was a little out of it, but still into the trick or treating. There were pumpkins lying around and I took it upon myself to pile them up so we could get our traditional "piles of pumpkins" pictures. Definitely not the same as Avila Barn, but better than nothing.

Like I said, Elizabeth was a little out of sorts, so we couldn't get her to focus on anything but that leaf. After trying for a LONG time, we got one smile out of her.

Harrison had been looking forward to "cutting" the pumpkin for a few days. He wanted a jack-o-lantern with three teeth, like the one on his treat bucket. We did it in a rush at the last minute. Unfortunately, that's how we do a lot of things!

Notice above and below how they are never both looking and smiling at the same time!

Elizabeth was much more into her costume this time around because she decided it was a duck, instead of a chick, and then she loved it. She still brings it to me and says, "Duck on. Hat on. Quack Quack." While trying to take the above pictures, she kept squatting down. We think she was trying to lay an egg.

Here they are with all their loot. They couldn't keep their eyes or hands off it long enough for a good picture!

Then I made them wait even longer while I sorted it all out. I used love sorting my candy as a child, but I took it a step further this year and decided to make a bar graph of sorts this year. There was by far the most candy with yellow wrappers. (I fear Nathan's statistical side is wearing off on me. Only I don't do useful things like car prices, I just do Halloween candy.)

So, then I sorted it again into stuff for me (smallest amount), stuff for the kids (medium) and stuff for Nate to hide or take to work (largest amount). My resolve has since weakened, so I have spent a fair amount of time the last few days searching for that hidden booty. I know he didn't take it to work, and I am going insane trying to find it. My long lost Kit Kats, where are you???