Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Having children that are older this time around is pretty interesting when it comes to breast-feeding. Jake was too little when Sam was born to care. Now, they are all sorts of intruiged by this crazy concept.

There's no such thing as privacy in my house so the whole blanket for modesty thing didn't last very long. They were always trying to sneak peeks like I was hiding Christmas presents under there or something. Course then after they found out EXACTLY how Emily ate, I was (and still am) peppered with questions on the subject. Like, "Why doesn't she just drink the milk out of the fridge like we do?" "She can go a whole year on just breast-milk? How? Doesn't she get hungry?"

Sam just the other day during breakfast, voiced his concern that I didn't drink enough milk. Ya know, so that I would have enough in my body to feed the baby? This was before I explained to him that my body works like a cow converting food to milk. His face, after that bombshell of information sank in, was priceless. Like I was magic! Now when he comes to sit by me while feeding Emily he quietly muses to himself what she's eating. Roast and potatoes? Cereal?

Also, tonight Jake out of the blue asked me if my breast milk comes in different flavors..... Chocolate? Strawberry? Like they see in the stores.

I have one breast that is slightly larger than the other. When it's full of milk and the other one isn't, the size difference is pretty drastic. It's been affectionately nicknamed "The Big Gulp."

This is all so new and weird for me having my kids ask such funny questions. I am the youngest of my family so I never watched my mom take care of another baby. It's hard for me to gauge how much is too much information to give siblings. I just hope they don't end up freaked out about boobs cause they know what they are used for when a baby comes. I guess a good rule of thumb in the end would be don't tell them anything I don't want anyone else to know. Cause if kids are good at one thing, it's hangn' all your dirty breast-milk stained laundry out to dry!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Letter To Emily


Tonight you sat with me in the kitchen in your swing while I made Alfredo for the boys.
You were not happy about the swing.
I put on some music and scooped you up.
The snow fell outside,
the noodles boiled over.
Snuggly wool socks on a hardwood floor,
I whispered in your ear how much I love you and we danced.
.....It was magical.

I hope we do this often as you grow older.

All my love,

PS- The song was Will.i.am's "What I am"- courtesy of Aunt Jamie's blog.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


30 more days. Thats all that stands between me and being able to see my toes again. Just 30 more days!!! I was so proud of myself just last week for really being cool with how pregnant I was and not wanting to rush things to get the baby out. But now....I'm just about ready to reach in there and grab her myself! I'm so ready to be DOOONNEE!

Here are the top 10 things (not in order of importance) that I day dream about constantly:

1. Being able to hold her, of course.
2. Being able to walk without waddling.
3. Being under 150 lbs again.
4. Being able to run a mile! aaawww, how I long to just hop on a treadmill and RUN!
5. Waking up without back pain or leg cramps.
6. Being able to roughhouse with my boys again.
7. The first snowfall.
8. Having my family here for the baby blessing and the holidays.
9. SLEEP! Sleeping again for 8 consecutive, uninterrupted hours (although I know I've got a looong time before that one comes).
10. Dressing my baby up in all her new cute outfits and doing her hair. ...I wonder if she'll have hair.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saltwater Taffy

Today was just one of those days. One of those days where I woke up grumpy from lack of consistent sleep. One of those days where I just felt uncomfortable in my pregnant skin. One of those days where friends came over and my kids acted TOTALLY insane thus encouraging everyone to use condoms or practice strict abstinence. Just one of those days.

Of course when these days come, which they do to all, it seems inevitably to infect everyone around you, which only makes the situation worse. So, by 5pm not only was I having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day….so was the rest of my family. My house was a mess, my kids were unruly, and my husband was grumpy because I was grumpy. I decided to go for a walk. It was raining and cold but I knew I just had to get out and get some space to gain some perspective on the situation.

I walked up the sidewalk and around the block which lead me to the front door of an elderly woman in my church who has an extreme case of scoliosis. I often stop in to see her when I have things to drop off or apples to pick form her abundant trees but today, I had nothing so, I walked on.

Something inside me though told me to turn back. I’ve ignored these kinds of promptings before and it never ends well when I do that. Course when I get these feelings I immediately jump to negative conclusions like “what if I’m being prompted to go in there because she’s fallen and she can’t get up?” or “what if she’s feeling blue today and really needs someone to talk to?“ or “what if she’s being held hostage?!” …I have an active imagination. Maybe that’s good cause it made me go back and give a little knock at the front door.

Her great granddaughter answered and I immediately saw that all of my ideas where wrong, of course. But I came in anyway admitting blatantly that I had no good reason for being there. She kindly put her television show I’d interrupted on pause and about 2 minutes into our easy conversation I realized that I was prompted to stop there not for her but, for me. Her house was warm and cozy with a fire crackling peacefully. Her smile was soft and sincere. And she fed me saltwater taffy while we just enjoyed each others company.

By the time I left 10 minutes later I was a totally different person. I thought as I walked home through the rain how grateful I was for the atmosphere Sis Posey kept about her and in her home. I thought with renewed energy about how my house was crazy right now but that it would eventually become more silent than I want it and sooner than I want it to.

I went home and took the boys and the dogs for another walk in the rain with me. Then we had a snack and read a story out of the Friend magazine. We talked for several minutes about prayer and they actually sat and listened to me! I brushed their teeth, sang them a song and put them to bed. And now, my house is silent.

I’m feeling keenly aware that the evening could have ended a lot differently. Thank goodness for a little rain, a warm fire, a kind smile and saltwater taffy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bragging Rights

My hubs is always teasing me about what a penny pincher I am. It can be bad sometimes, I'll admit. I'm like the lady you see bargaining down the poor Tijuana kids selling Chicklets Gum. ....alright, so you've never seen that unless you've been shopping in Mexico with me.

I actually remember on a summer trip once to Mexico, with some collage friends, bargaining with a dirty middle-aged man about a swimsuit. I distinctly remember, after haggling for a good 20 minutes, saying "Common! You're cutting off my right arm here!" He looked at me with the most disgusted, insulted face like I'd mocked his one armed crippled child. I felt bad and immediately left the shop. That may have been taking it a little too far considering we were only discussing a difference of $10 or so.

I can't help it though! Garage sales especially. Once you've found your very first awesome garage sale deal, it's addicting. You never want to pay full price for anything ever again. Besides, certain baby equipment is essential and EXPENSIVE! .....Maybe this is why my friends want to throw a shower for me, cause they are afraid my baby will end up sleeping on used, soiled garage sale sheets. :) I normally only go for equipment though ...and from wholesome looking non-crackheads.

You should see some of the great things I've scored so far this season! It's turning out to be the ONLY good thing I've noticed about being pregnant in the summer.

Take for instance these 4 items:
Simple Wooden Snap Assemble Crib
Bought New: $115
I paid: $10
(Comforter and bumper homemade which also saved a few extra $$....and don't worry, sheets bought new from Target.)
Pink Baby Bouncer with Vibrating Seat
Bought New: $19.99
I paid: $7
Fisher Price Take Along Swing
Bought New: $70
I Paid: $10
Graco Infant Car Seat
Bought New: $89.99
I Paid: $1 ...ONE DOLLAR!
That car seat was definitely one of the best deals I've found. Granted it's the wrong color but it had zero stains and came with a base. If it really ends up bothering me that it's blue I'll just get a new cover. The lady just didn't want to put it back in storage and I was happy to help her out. :)

New is definitely best but when you're a growing family on a budget, used is sometimes your only option. If you start early though and bide your time you can find almost as good as new items. I love hearing about steals that other people have gotten so why don't you share one of you best!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Tonight I'm sitting on my couch watching the tube. Nothing good is on so I do what everyone does…keep watching. I flip to America’s Got Talent where there seemed to be an abnormal influx of old people on the show. I mean like 75 yrs and up. Genuine time-fighters that all the sudden saw Susan Boyle, went to their closet, dusted off the old belly-dancing outfit and decided it was time to follow their life long dream. You think I’m kidding but believe me people…there are just some things that can’t be unseen.

It really wasn’t too bad at first, until a woman by the name of Mary Ellen came on the stage. Let me just start off by saying that there could be a 10 year old boy hiding under all that make-up and hair and we would not be the wiser. Ascetics and personal hygiene aside though, her actual “talent”….. I don’t want to be mean here but …I’d rather dig my own eardrums out with a spoon than EVER listen to her again. You think I’m being harsh but just you wait…..

I’m just literally dumfounded as to exactly when during that ….thing……that those idiotic judges sat back and said “yeah, ya know, I think this woman should represent the kind of talent that America has.” Makes me actually NOT proud to be an American. Not really because the judges cut her waaaaay too much slack but because Americans actually voted for her to stay!!! She made it to the third round. THE THIRD ROUND!!! And who knows how much longer if America, and her pacemaker, allows it!

I shut off the TV in a huff and came straight to my computer to rally the troops! This madness must stop! I’m staging a march on their set in Hollywood tonight where we will put a stop to this misrepresentation of our nation! …This is the part where I remember I can’t go cause I’m broke…and super prego. In fact I’m probably only feeling so enraged about this because of some crazy pregnancy hormone. Blame it on the belly.

But really, for all our sakes America, before we go digging for that long lost twirling baton or old pair of tap shoes, lets just take a moment to realize that maybe some dreams aren’t meant to come true. ….aaaaand should be buried deep underground, close to the earth’s core, never to be discovered...ever.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

You know I always love to post the latest and greatest from LDS.org. Lately when I do though only half the video is visible, so click this link instead:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Never Again

Matt and I spent the past week and a good chunk of change on a trip to California. I distinctly remember thinking to myself as I bought the tickets a few weeks prior “oh, I am so spoiled! Getting to go to Vegas and Disneyland and the beaches of San Diego!” But oh boy, did I get that backwards! By the time I got back I was ready to kiss the cow dunged Montana ground!

We started out by landing in Vegas where it was 115 degrees. It felt exactly like walking into an oven. Now, imagine that….and then imagine that almost 7 months pregers. Sooooo ....not.... enjoyable. Every second spent in between air-conditioned buildings was absolute HELL. Literally! If I had to imagine what temperature hell would be, it would be 115 Vegas heat. I don’t know how people work/live there. I guess most of the people might as well get used to it since that whole place is gonna burn come Jesus.

Anyway, once we got in the rental car and got outta there the trip got better. We spent the night in LA gearing up for a full day of Disneyland. Oh and now would be a good time to mention that, as you know, we’ve been endeavoring to sell our house to get into a better neighborhood. HA! Driving down the NICE part of LA made my place look like suburbia heaven! Bars on all the windows, children running amuck taking candy from gagsters parked on porches getting high and yelling in Spanish. Matt kept on almost losing it driving around down there and I had to keep reminding him to stop eye-balling the black people. I try not to be racist but I was literally afraid of getting shot for no good reason.

At one point I told Matt I had to pee and he pulled into a liquor store parking lot that had bars encasing the whole store except the entrance where there was a nice group of thugs hanging out. I looked over and him with a face that said “really?” In his defense, he realized it wasn’t a good idea about the same time I opened my mouth to question his sanity.

Moving on. I’ll skip over Disneyland saying only that it really wasn’t as magical as I remember…or as big. It was hot, long and CROWED. I think the kids had a great time which is what we were aiming for but I’ve never had to see my husband exercise so much self control. He HATES crowds. Great thing we decided to go during peak season when everyone and their Mexican mama would be there!

I will say that things really did get a lot better once we got to San Diego. I really enjoyed being able to spend so much time with family that I hadn’t seen in so long. It honestly made the whole trip worth it. The only thing I love more than hanging with the Zauss/Madsen side is watching my husband and kids enjoying their company just as much as I do. We also 100% loved the beaches. Especially the tide pools over at La Jolla.

Unfortunately we had to leave things on a sour note by spending our last night in Vegas. Bla. Back to Hades in the ghetto Excalibur hotel that we thought would be fun but ended up smelling like cigarettes wherever you went and whose pool closes at 7pm. What kind of hotel closes it’s pool at 7pm???? We ended up drowning our sorrows eating waaaaay too much at the Caesar’s Palace Buffet, the most delicious and most expensive buffet I’ve EVER had. Every glutinous bite was worth it though.

Sooooo, other than those little tid bits and the fact that the water from the tap everywhere we went tasted like it’d been poured though Juan’s dirty field-worked sock first, that was our trip in a nutshell!

I came back more grateful than I’d ever been to live next to the hud in Helena, Mt. At least when I drive down the road I have 100 times more likelihood of seeing this:

Instead of this:

Course, you know that 10 years down the road, I'm going to forget all this and take the exact same trip NOT pregnant and completely enjoy myself.

ps- I know I just cracked a whole bunch on Mexicans just now but I must add that I had the best rolled tacos while I was down there. I'd almost drive through LA again to get more....almost.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Great Reminder

After finally consenting that the idea of traveling all the way from montana to california by car was not a good one while 7 months pregnant, I was so sad last night. Sad that I would miss out on the family reunion, sad to miss the beach, sad that my kids would not experience Disneyland ("yet" I said). But I must say that not for one minute did I feel resentful for the reason why. I love this little girl and these other things can wait. I'd rather secure her health and safety first. Disneyland will still be there tomorrow.

I felt even better this morning as I thought about this and saw this new Mormon Message about mothers. Totally cried.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good Crack

Summer is in full swing, finally, and it only took us one full day in the 80s (after complaining for 3 weeks about the rain) for us to start complaining that it is sooooo hot. I have never been pregnant in the summertime and let me tell you, Matt’s not coming anywhere near me with massage oils and Barry White between the months of November to June ever again! Just kidding, he’s not that cheesy…no massage oils.

We decided recently to put our house on the market, which only adds to my insanity. Matt promised it wouldn’t be that bad (as I look at him with that “you don’t know what your talking about” face). But, I agreed to it after a good round of Garth Brooks who sings incessantly of not taking the easy road. ….That and statutory rape (“That Summer”). Anyway, our awesome realtor also is super flexible and promised to let us out of the whole shebang the moment I start to feel like I can’t take it, or the baby is too close to coming.

Speaking of baby, my poor little feet aren’t used to carrying around so much weight in this blistering heat. My toes look like little sausages. It hasn’t spread to my ankles yet, thankfully. Every night after dinner though I’m just done done done with the day. I turn on the sprinkler for the kids in the backyard and watch them from my bedroom window with the fan on, feet propped up, and ice on top and bottom. Bliss.

It all makes for a very short-tempered mama though. Today I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from telling some fat stranger lady not to lean over my fence to pet my dogs. It really bothers me when people I don’t know try and get friendly with my security system. Course, it doesn’t help that my dogs go from rabid barking to tail wagging poodles in a slit second. Traitors. My tongue still hurts.

There are highlights though like popsicles, cold showers and this picture I snapped of Jake getting out of the back of the bike buggy. Nothing like a little bit of good crack to make you smile.

(Lets not even begin to discuss how the "grass is greener on the other side" phrase rings painfully true in this particular shot. Two dogs make it impossible to have anything nice.)

Only moments before, both boys where squeezed into that tiny space of which I’ve only been able to fit about 3 gallons of milk. Sammy looks like he's been hot boxn' the back of that buggy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Make Yogurt in a Crockpot!

Not kidding people! I got this idea from my friend Adele's website. Thanks Adele, your cooking site continutes to inspire! However, when I went to find the link again, I couldn't but HERE is one similar, so click on that for the actual instructions. It's a great idea and it tastes oh so good!

Here are some of the pics from my own process to prove that it actually worked!

You can actually eat it the way it come out of the crockpot but it's a bit soupy. Not bad, just a little. But I like my yogurt really thick (like the thick style yoplait) so I used Adelle's suggestion of disposable coffee strainers. They only had small ones available so I had to do about 8 of these cups simultaneously. I used simple paperclips to keep it suspended.

About 5 hours later....

Because I like it so thick, the cost in comparison to store bought was about the same: about 36 ounces for $3. Except for the fact that the homemade kind was smoother and creamier. Better quality all around. But if you like it a little thinner then you could really save some money.

This morning I enjoyed it with fresh strawberries, bananas and a little bit of maple syrup (which gives it that great maple flavor of brown sugar without the graininess). I was totally amazed. The average person can make yogurt!

Monday, May 31, 2010

From the Trenches

A few years ago I started these "memory books" for each of my kids. It's basically just stories about them that I want to have written down so they can look back on them later. On this Memorial Day, I've chosen one out of Jake's memory book to share with you.

"Jake, when you were about 2 ½ you and I took Papa (your dad) to the airport to say goodbye before he left on his first deployment over seas with the military. It was Sunday, September 2nd , 2005. Sammy was born at the time, but we left him with Grandma Stott cause we wanted to spend special time with just you. Your father asked the lady at the check-in counter if we could come back to the gate with him so that you could see the airplanes and be there to send him off. Back then, you were really into airplanes. You use to LOVE to have Dad pick you up and swing you around in the air with your arms out like YOU were an airplane! Anyway, when we got up to the gate, you went straight over to the big glass windows that overlooked the airfield and there was a huge airliner that was right by the window who had just finished unloading some passengers. You stood there and just look and looked at that plane and were so enthralled!

Eventually it pulled away and a new plane pulled up. It looked just like the first plane but this time, by some miracle, the pilot saw you in the window and started to wave to you! We tried to get you to see him but you were so little and the pilot’s windows were so small and tinted that it was hard for you to see what we were talking about. The pilot, seeing our frustration, then opened up his window, stuck his head and arm out so you could see him plainly and gave you a HUGE wave. You stood there on that airport seat and waved back with the biggest smile on you face! You thought it was the coolest thing ever!

That was a special day to me because it was pretty tough having to say goodbye to your dad. He was leaving for so long and I knew how much you and I were going to miss him. It was just nice to have someone we didn’t even know take time out of his day to do something special for my little boy, especially during such a hard time. That pilot never knew what we were facing that day, but I’m sure the Spirit prompted him to do a little something extra like wave to a little boy in the terminals, not ever knowing the impact it would have on our family. We needed something to cheer us up, and he did that for us. Make sure you always take the time to listen to the Sprit when it tells you to do something. You never know how even the smallest thing might help someone else in need."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trials of Faith

I had a great time in Gospel Doctrine today (a class offered to adults during the second hour of church). We have a great new teacher, who happens to be one of my greatest friends. She does a wonderful job guiding our discussions. I just love coming to her class.

Anyway, just wanted to share a thought or two I gained from attending today. We were studying the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Most people will already know this story, but to give some background…. Joshua is basically the next prophet to follow after the great and mighty Moses (almost everyone knows the story of Moses and the wonderful miracles he performed). Needless to say, Joshua was stepping into some pretty big shoes but, whom the Lord calls he qualifies and it was no different for Joshua.

In this one specific part of the story that caught my attention, Joshua tells the Israelites that they have to cross the river Jordan. A very substantial river…..like the kind I’d imagine you’d look at and say “Yeeeah, um Josh, we’re gonna need a boat or something here.”

But as the story goes in verses 15 and 16 of chapter 3 (King James version) it says

“And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.” On dry ground I might add.

….Ummm, sound familiar? Maybe something about a red sea parting? And dry ground? To me, this was basically a demonstration of the Lord that the mantle had been passed. Joshua was now the prophet, directly connected to God and doing His work. No one, not even the rushing waters of Jordan were gonna stop him now!

But the special part in this story that I want to point out is that the people entered the water, BEFORE they knew what for sure was going to happen. What an amazing amount of faith that must have taken. Joshua comes and tells them how this is all going to happen and they believe him and in the Lord because they stepped into the water BEFORE the miracle had begun.

We went on discuss how hard it is for us in our own lives to show such displays of faith. How many of us want to see the end from the beginning? So many times the way our faith increases is by walking as far as the light will shine and then taking a few blind steps into the darkness.

I had such a wonderful time discussing this in class, I didn’t want it to end! So, I would like to hear some stories from you of when you have strived to follow God’s promptings based on faith alone. A time when you couldn’t see the end from the beginning but you followed the Spirit and did it anyway and were blessed. These are always some of the best stories, especially if you may have looked a little crazy doing it. J

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I know I talk a lot about my kids on this blog but.....they're my life!

I was inspired by Nei's blog, as usual, and decided to post my favorite lullaby (currently playing).

To my husband and children: "You should always know, where ever you may go, no matter where you are....I never will be far away.

Inside this ancient heart, you'll always be apart of me."

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Good Woman

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a good woman.

The whole process of evaluating myself in this reminds me somehow of Spring cleaning at my house. You see, I've moved so often in the past that I never really got the hang of Spring cleaning cause I was constantly going through my stuff in preparation to move. But now that I've been in the same house for a few consecutive years I'm finding this is more than a little foreign.

What I mean to say with this analogy is that I've gone through so many ups and downs in my life (emotionally, physically, spiritually) that it's taken a while to feel like life has really smoothed out into something somewhat consistent. I'm much better now in many ways than I was years ago but now I'm finding this increasing internal urging to be a little better...to lift the bar so to speak for myself.

This is where I start to think about what it truly means to be a good woman. I kid you not, no sooner had I formed the question in my mind when Sister Beck got up to speak at conference last week. I loved what she had to say and feel so much encouragement from her words. (You have to scroll to the right once to see her name and hear her talk.)

I want so much to be able to keep my life going at a smooth and steady pace yet allow myself to feel the need to improve the kind of time I spend with my boys, the kind of wife I am to my husband, and most definitely improve the way I keep house. :) These areas are just a few of many.

Maybe I feel this way because I'm almost 99% sure this baby is a girl. It makes me SO aware of the kind of woman I am, the choices I make and the way I react to every situation. As a major influence in her life I want to be someone she can look up to. Someone she can trust. Someone who is consistent in word and deed. Someone who is just plain consistent.

I know my boys see me everyday but somehow in my mind I think they follow their dad more because one day they will be men just like him. I know thats not true and they look at me just as much if not more because I am with them more. But the thought of having a girl that may grow up to be....just like me....puts me in hyper-improvement mode.

It's all so very interesting and thought provoking.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A World Of Mommies

(Happy Mama)

Today Matt and I just sat back in awe of this tremendous out pouring of love and help we've received since I've been sick.

It all started last week when my visiting teachers (the "angels" I spoke of earlier) came over with a huge container of chicken soup, homemade rolls and Matt's favorite poppyseed cake. This wonderful woman who makes this "said" cake also brought us dinner when Sammy was born which is when we fell in love with it. My very good friend Jeanine brought me over a big ol' bag of mint herbal tea a few days later, just the way I like it. Fresh and out of the tea bags so I can brew it myself.

People call my phone all the time, but I'm just not up to talking a whole lot so most the time I don't answer (sorry). That was not enough for Rozla who, when I didn't answer came over to my house to see what she could do to help. And later that night my very good friends Marie and Brittany cooked us a gigantic pot of yumminess with chicken and potatoes along with some rolls. Matt's already eaten about half and even I've been able to keep down a potato or two.

All these and endless offers for people to take Sam for a few hours so I can rest!

It's just all these mommies that love to be mommies, you can tell. The way they care for not only their own families but families around them. They love to care and to nurture and feed and comfort. I have felt so blessed these past few weeks being flat on my back and nauseous as all get out, sick to the bone and totally grateful for these wonderful women who've taken care of us and made my life so much easier. I simply cannot explain what it feels like to go to bed at night and feel so... supported, in a way that feels like these other people are holding you up and keeping you together. I am so, so thankful.


Also, special shout out to my husband who wouldn't like it very much if I classified him as a "mommy." But he still does so much for me. In fact, I'm finding he does a lot of my jobs better than I do, like vacuuming for instance. He still brings me everything I need, rubs my feet, brushes my hair, even mops the the kitchen floor and sanitizes the bathroom while I sit downstairs gagging from the chemical smells, but grateful. Amongst all this he also makes sure our boys are getting all the love and attention they need. I tell you all the day long but, thank you my darling, thank you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Angel

Today someone left a huge container of soup on my front porch. How amazing is that? It was perfect too because just looking at most foods makes me nauseous, let alone preparing something for my family. In fact, whoever it was probably thought I was a little off my rocker cause I had a crockpot going on my front porch. See, I thought, slow cooking is the easiest. Just throw it in the pot and forget about it. But I couldn't stand smelling it all day long, so I put it out on the porch to cook. haha.

Anyway, there wasn't a note but, whoever you are, thank you so very much. I was just last night feeling so far away from my family and wished I lived closer to them during times like these. Your small gift not only will fill our bellies, but made me feel a little home, away from home.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear General Authorities

As a child, the best things I can remember about conference weekend were great, gigantic breakfasts that seemed to last all day with lots of family over and not having to go to church. I also remember it being long and finding it hard to stay awake. :) And now, why does it feel like the more fervently I listen to General Conference, the more I feel twice a year is not enough?

I look forward to hearing your stories and counsel on the first week of April. I wish it were sooner. Until then, this is one of my favorite stories, similar to some we hear at Conference time.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Morning Sickness Blaa

The past couple days I've been REALLY sick. Super super nauseous all the time. I don't remember being this way with the boys, which means that either a.) I have a horrible memory or b.) I might be pregnant with a girl this time. Both are totally plausible.

Yesterday was the worst yet. The only things I could stand to eat for most the day was 1 hard boiled egg and a few bites of oatmeal. I hate oatmeal by the way, but the last time I threw up it was so acidic that it burned my throat raw and seared my lips so they are cracked and bleeding today. I definitely was afraid to eat anything with any kind of citric acid so, oatmeal it was.

I called up my OB office finally at about 4 to beg the nurse to put me out of my misery. She told me (in her over upbeat voice) that I should try some soda and crackers. HA! Thanks Copernicus! The 1940's called, they want their top of the line advice back. She did tell me that I wasn't drinking enough though and that if I threw up that much acid again that I should go to the ER and get an IV. So, needless to say (even though it's not appealing at all) I've been suckn down the liquids like crazy today and I do feel a bit better. This morning for breakfast I had handful of Chex cereal and a grape popsicle.

My wonderful heaven sent has been my husband who yesterday let me lay in bed and on the couch and brought me everything I wanted. He fed the kids dinner and gave them a bath and even went to Home Depot to fix the stair ledge. This morning, he blew dry my hair in bed so that I wouldn't get cold. He is, in a word.... my Superman.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stupid Keys, Stupid Dog, Stupid Wings

At first I wasn’t sure, but now I KNOW I have definitely been having cravings! Cravings for really really spicy foods and then really sour foods. In fact, I couldn’t find anything around the house spicy enough to satisfy my taste buds. Not even the tapatillo on EVERYTHING was doing it’s usual trick. So I jammed on over to the new Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch with Sam and got the second hottest wings they serve, called ”wild,” to go. Sam had parmesan garlic wings.

We ate them on the way over to Jake’s school to enjoy the first grade “Celebrate America” program. I don’t have any kids in the first grade but I love to go because a large amount of kids under the age of 7 in the spotlight is just begging for some good entertainment. Public nose picking, outrageous outfits, funky hair. I love it.

Anyway, about halfway through the program my tummy starts to rumble and I feel sick. I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna upchuck quite yet but as I make my move to find an exit (just to be safe), my keys fall off my lap and down under the bleachers. We were sitting at the very top. Greeeeat. So I concentrate on breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth til the show is over. Sammy crawls under and snags the keys for me. Monkey children can be so useful.

We are on our way back out to the car when all the sudden Jake tells me he has to “go.” He has to go REALLY bad. Now, I don’t know if most of you know this but my first born takes an unusually long time to poo. It’s so bad that we try and plan our outings AROUND his poop schedule just so we don’t wind up standing in a public bathroom for half an hour. But I’m still feeling nauseous so I take a chance that he can hold it and zoom home.

But that puts me back in the car where the left over wings are and the desire to puke gets even stronger with the smell lingering. The second we get home I tell Jake just to run inside. In his haste though, he leaves the gate open and what happens? Da da da daaa da daaaaaa! Out runs Rincon!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Rincon comes to me when I call, but at times like this it would be nice if he were more obedient to ANYONE else! In fact, it would be nice if he had enough brain cells to learn to just stay inside the fence, like Molly does. But, can’t teach an old dog new tricks and he’s already too far away to hear me so, back in the car I go!

I had just gotten enough fresh air in my lungs that the smell of wings hit me full force again and I almost lost it. Dry heaving all the way until I find Rincon and hop him inside the car.

I made it home just in time to spend the rest of the evening clinging to porcelain. Just in case you’re wondering, “wild” wings burn just as much coming back up as they do going down. Needless to say, my cravings for the spicy are COMPLETELY gone.

ps- Rincon just came to snuggle my cold feet while I type so I guess I have to forgive him.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Baby,

Dear Baby,

I just wanted to tell you, that even though you are still so small, I love you.

If you could have only seen the look on your father’s face when I told him I was carrying you, then you would know just how much you are loved. I have never seen him as happy as when I tell him I’m pregnant. When he speaks of you, a small light glows about him. It reminds me of the day we were married.

Your brothers talk to you all the time. They whisper funny jokes to you that make no sense and then laugh hysterically. They tell you what their favorite dinosaurs are and hope that you will like to play dinos too. They always make sure to be soft with mommy now so as not to hurt you. I don’t know if I’d expect as much when you get out… but you’ll learn to like roughhousing.

Until then, rest peacefully. Safe and warm, knowing that love and happiness surround you.

All my love,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crash and Burn

I decided that I would try cross-country skiing today. So, I went to the sporting goods store, rented me some skis, boots and poles and gave it a shot out at the local golf course (which is a popular cross-country skiing place in the winter).

Things I learned:

Cross-country skiing is hard. J

Things I didn’t expect:

Falling down. I never imagined this would be a problem. I mean, how hard can it be? Just step and glide right? Apparently not so easy for me. And it always happened on the downhill which is supposed to be the funnest part!

Overheating. I wore waaay too many layers and it got hot, fast!

The smell. Although skiing next to the iced over ponds can be scenic, you're basically smooshing over a thick layer of snow covered goose poop. Yuck!

Things I did well:

1. ….ummm, choosing not to ski on the path close to the road so that people wouldn’t see that I looked like a doofus?

Overall consensus:

I've been watching too much Olympics.

Anyway, on a better note, I came home after my cross-country experience and made something new. Fiesta Raviolis! Mmmmmm! Soooo good! Inspired by the sister’s caf√© (my old roomie from college). Except I deep fried my raviolis and finished them off with taco toppings.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shane Koyczen

I absolutely love that they found this guy on YOUTUBE. How amazing was his presentation? So much heart and depth to his words. Loved it!

Here was my most favorite excerpt:

"Because we believe in generations beyond our own

Knowing now that so many of us have grown past what we used to be

We can stand here today, filled with all the hope people have when they say things like 'someday'

Because we are more than just a laundry list of things to do and places to see


We are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can’t wait"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Don't Know Me, But I Love You

This month's Valentine goes out to my beloved Stephanie Nielson, who doesn't even have a clue who I am but I love her so much. Her most recent note of inspiration as she was headed out for yet another painful doctor visit concluded with "ps- If you carry on, I will too."

How ...whats the word I'm looking for? Generous? Thoughtful? Simple? Profound? Kind? She knows we all keep tabs on her and often have her in our prayers on a daily basis, yet here she is STILL thinking of ways to help US! Finding ways to make the pain of her situation count for even more by showing us how to properly appreciate life.

I sat and thought for a moment what I have to "carry on" through. It made me think how trivial my last post was. Granted the humor of it was meant to be expressed through my complaints but really, how bad is it to go to a simple gyno check up? At least I didn't have my entire epidermis burned off and replaced!

This also makes me think of my son, Jacob, who is absolutely terrified of blood. When he gets hurt he normally cups his hand over the injury and comes running to mommy. He'll look away if he thinks it's truly bad and will ask, "how bad is it mom, really?" After I can pry his tiny fingers away I can see how miniscule it seems to me. Nothing a band-aid won't fix generally.

I often wonder if this is how Heavenly Father looks at our so called "catastrophes." Jacob's cuts seem small to me because I've seen a lot worse. I've had a lot worse. How insignificant our complaints must seem to Him because, He's seen a lot worse. He's had a lot worse. Yet He still deals with us with MORE tenderness and patience than I would my own Jacob.

So maybe next time we face something difficult we could all take a moment to ask ourselves.....How bad is it, really?

Humm. Perspective.

I truly love you Nie and pray for you and your comfort, strength and family all the time. But, mostly, they are prayers of thanks for you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gyno Visits, Booo!

The things we do in the name of health! I had to go to the gyno today for a check-up. Talk about a pain in the ….. (no pun intended). Men complain about having to turn their head and cough. I don’t mean to belittle your discomfort men but, pleeeeease! That lasts all of 2 seconds. At least you don’t have to put your legs in stirrups and have an enormous heat lamp lighting up your whoo hoo for deep inspection!

First thing I noticed is that it must have been a while since my last check up cause I felt super uncomfortable. Course I was wearing an entire outfit made out of paper but I still don’t remember feeling this shy before. Seriously, it’s a miracle women don’t have to go through some sort of therapy after an in-depth gyno visit. Talk about being exposed and violated! I tried to be tough about the whole thing but I walked out of there feeling like I just needed a hug.

Not that she was ever rough or unprofessional about it. I do actually remember at one point noticing how soft her hands were while she performed the breast exam. Nothing sexual mind you. After you’ve breastfed a child or two it’s easy to mentally switch from boobs being something intimate to public property when in a hospital setting. I wanted to remark on it and maybe ask her what kind of hand lotion she used but decided that was creepy and not the right moment.

The whole thing reminded me of going to see my last doctor (same office building) who use to talk my ear off about cloth diapers and how his wife still breastfed their 4 year old. I always would walk straight out of those appointments wanting to eat red meat and throw trash on the ground just to reassure myself that I would never be that Hippi-ish! Nooo thank you. I’m into disposable velcro and kicking my kid to the curb after a year. When they can unbutton the shirt FOR you, there’s something wrong. …Very wrong. *shiver*

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creamy Possibilities

I've been trying lots of new things lately. My personality is such that I have to keep occupied with lots of new and exciting things to keep me sane. And, what can be more exciting than making your own cream cheese!? Real nail biter huh?

Alright so not all THAT exciting, but definitely new! I got the recipe out of this do it yourself preparedness book from Jamie and Rich for christmas. I'm not sure that I'll ever be forced into a situation that requires me to know this for self preservation, but you never know, cream cheese factory workers could go on strike at any moment and then what will we do?!

Well, if you have a dairy cow near by, you'll be ok. Next best thing for me was cream from the dairy isle. Right next to the cream cheese ironically which was on sale in abundance for $1 a brick, but who wants to do things the easy way?

Heres the process as printed in the book:

Now, you'll notice in the description that it says to suspend the cream in a clean "cloth." In hindsight, even though they didn't specify (and I had no idea what I was doing) I'm pretty sure they meant cheese cloth. But looking at the stuff, you'd have to use a lot of layers of cheese cloth because it's woven pretty lose and the cream would just drain within seconds instead of hours. Anyway, for this I craftily used a pillowcase which I washed by machine and then by hand and then boiled in water just to be safe. Still don't know if that was the best idea, but I liked that it was already in "sack" form and was easy to pour liquid into. Personally, I thought it was genius!
The book recommended to hang the cream for 24 hours (longer if needed) but when the 24 hours was up, it was still pretty liquidy. So, I hung it for an additional 24 hours. The cheese eventually coagulated to the sides of the cloth and came out looking like this:
In this picture I am draining off the remaining liquid in actual cheese cloth that I discovered at the Hippie store (The Real Food Market). Turns out 2 cups of cream yeilds about 3/4 cup of cheese. You'll have to excuse these last pictures. I couldn't find the camera and had to use my phone so they are blurry. But you can see how nicely it turned out once you stir it around.
It was a little more bland than regular cream cheese but the texture was what really threw me. At first it was exactly the same texture as store bought cream cheese, but then it just kinda melted in your mouth. Very butter like in that sense. Little weird, but good. Given these properties, I decided to make my tiny morsel into chocolate cream cheese frosting by adding a little salt, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. It was the BEST chocolate frosting I've ever had!
The most interesting part of the whole process was just learning how to do it. I was surprised to see how easy it was and that I didn't need any crazy machinery. I don't know that I would use this knowledge on a consistent basis though because store bought cream cheese is much more inexpensive. It was however, very educational.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dating Tragedies

My SIL Jamie posted the most hilarious story about her worst date ever. I just about laughed my bum off! She thought it would be funny if we all shared a story of our own too. So, here goes.

It was senior year….Prom. I capitalize the the P in prom cuz it's the most important and pinnacle time in a high school girl’s life. I mean this is THE MOMENT. Girls do crazy stuff for this night like wear 100 bobbie pins in their hair and give up their virginity. It’s like high school celeb night. I think our theme might have even had something to do with “the red carpet!” Everyone is gussied up in overpriced clothing that they’ll NEVER wear again, arriving in cars that aren’t theirs, painted and hair sprayed to the max! Unfortunately, I had just broken up with my long distance boyfriend (and date) and was in desperate need of someone to escort me.

Queue Ryan.

Ryan was a beautiful boy with a tinge of a “bad boy” persona. He even had a motorcycle! In high school! Who has a motorcycle in high school? He attended my church every once in a while with his inactive mother and brother (which just adds to his appeal don't you think, pulling up to CHURCH on a motorcycle!? Oh yeah.) He had to travel 45 minutes from another town to attend, which meant that he didn’t go to my high school and was therefore not coupled up already. I asked him to go and he said yes. Perfect!

Now maybe I should preface this by explaining that I grew up with a father who gave me a “talking to” every time I tried to open a door for myself. Call me pampered and antifeminist, but I have no problem with chivalry. In fact, I expected it. Which is probably where my problem began…

Since it was MY prom that we were going to, I offered to buy the bid (price of dinner and admission to the dance). In those days that amounted to two weeks worth of work at a 50s diner I was employed at in town. Thats two weeks of scrubbing deep fried crap off the floor and asking "you want fries with that?"

Still I felt I should tell him I would pay since I asked him. THAT conversation was definitely what I call a “no reach” moment. Ya know, when a guy goes to pay the bill at the end of the meal and the girl makes a reach for the check and he says “no no, I got this, but thanks for the reach.” Like I said, with Ryan there wasn’t even a twitch of the hand. But he was driving us to the dance in his dad’s sports car and he had big arms and a nice smile, so I forgave him.

Day of the Prom comes. My hairstylist step mom just finished perfecting my hair and make up and I’m dressed to impress. He pulls up to my house NOT in...

as promised. But in....

minus the surf board, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. …yeeeah. I don’t think he was seeing this night like I was. Most important night and not only were we going to be late now that we had to wait for him to get READY, but my hair was going to go from


Alright I say to myself. It’s gonna be ok. He goes in to change. Comes back out and we get ready to take a few pics for the whole boutonni√®re corsage thing. ….Only, he didn’t get me a corsage. All the men in my house just shake their heads in disappointment and look at me like “where did you find this loser?”

Somehow, we make it to the Prom, but it only took about half way through dinner for me to see that he was beautiful ,without a brain. Conversation was lacking….considerably. In fact, it as like learning a whole new meaning to the term “meathead.” I spent the rest of the meal silently chiding myself for not discovering this earlier. I must have been blinded by his good looks which, so far, were turning out to be his only strong point.

I might had been able to find solace in the comfort of my friends but unfortunately it was on this night I discovered just how much we had grown apart with all the time I had recently spent visiting my ex-boyfriend, dad, and sister who all lived in other towns. Plus they didn’t know my date and we already established that he was incapable of an intelligent exchange.

I’m feeling used, alone and bored in the middle of a slow dance on what should be the best night of my life and all the sudden, Ryan tries to kiss me!! Now, he may have been a fine-looking boy and I may have been a hormonal teenage girl interested in the opposite sex, but I certainly wasn’t THAT horney! I pulled the whole head-turn thing and he planted one on my check. I'm very proud of that moment but I was still feeling like I could identify with this girl..

I don't know who she is, but I LIKE her!

Finally we headed home and except for him trying to bum a dollar for soda and a few more kisses off me on the way, it didn’t get much worse.

The only highlight of that entire night was coming home and finding a corsage left for me on my pillow by my sister’s boyfriend who was one of the men to witness the horrible way that whole evening started.

So there you have it! The most horrible date I ever had. It could have been a lot worse, but it was bad enough for me. Lets hear one of yours!

ps- When I typed the word "prom" in google images, I got this picture:

Really? I mean REALLY? What is the world coming to?! I don't know whether to take her to the local brothel or return her to the gypsies! Common parents! Put your man pants on and tell your daughter to get dressed! Ain't no way I'd let her out of the house like that! Much less to Prom. This is one of the biggest reasons why chivalry is dead in the first place. Why would men work to get the hamburger when they can get the whole cow for free? See what I'm sayn?

Welp, look at the bright side though, if she hurrys on down to the corner she can earn a little gas money for her date!