Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter Part Deux

We have officialy survived our second winter storm. Brigham and Hunter don't know they're supposed to be miserable. They have gone outside to play every chance they've gotten. I really don't know where they get that. Not from me. It's just a kid thing I guess.

This homely little snowman was sitting on the front porch when I got back from running errands yesterday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Puffs Plus Indeed

It's been awhile since I posted any pictures of The Cutest Baby on the Planet. I'm guessing you've been missing him. Last night I was looking at The Cutest Baby on the Planet's most adorable profile and my sister made an observation.

Look at these pictures, then click on the link to watch a commercial:

So cute from the front too:

Isn't that amazing?! The Cutest Baby on the Planet looks just like the little Puffs Plus people!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Five Favorites

I was tagged by my friend Shandolynne to post five of my favorite things. Just assume my boys, my family and my friends top the list. The five I'm sharing are of the less-obvious variety.

1. This actually combines two favorites, paper arts and the color pink. I love to have my hands busy and need to be creative or my brain gets mushy feeling, not to mention grouchy. I also love the color pink, and I've noticed over the years that the more males there are in my life, the more I love pink.

2.Edamame. Love it! That makes me sound like a bit of a granola cruncher, and you all know I am so NOT a granola cruncher, but I do love edamame. Cheesecake Factory has an edamame appetizer that can't be beat: it's really good and it's only about $4.50.

3. Diamonds. Might as well be oxygen to me. You know that part of Wall-e where the robot finds the box, takes out the ring, tosses it into the rubbish and keeps the box? I cry every time and then make my family back up the movie to right before he tosses the ring so I can be happy again. (Not really... but I think about it.) This is my dream ring. Has been for years. It's a Tiffany round brilliant with two pear shaped side stones in platinum. It's not too showy, you could wear it everyday and it's timeless, not to mentioned remarkably affordable: the 2 carat one starts at a very reasonable $35,500.

4. M&Ms. I was potty trained using M&Ms and I have often wondered over the years if I potty trained well because I love M&Ms so much or if I love M&Ms so much because at a very early age good behavior was rewarded with them. (Which came first, the chicken or the egg...?)
I always have M&Ms on hand. In high school my friends could ask me for some at any given time and I could usually pull at least two kinds out of my backpack. I have recently discovered that I really like refrigerated plain M&Ms. I discovered this because the M&Ms I had in my car froze.

5. Matt's curly black hair and green eyes. Absolutely stunning. This combination will forever be one of my all time favorite things. I loved his eyes from the very beginning, while the crazy curly hair was a surprise. He didn't grow his hair out long enough to curl until we'd been married about 3 years or so. Playing with that hair is one of the things I miss the most about Matt.

Sami, Ryan H., Jeana, Cami and Brooke, consider yourselves tagged.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cupcakeanator

Yesterday was an emotional eating day. Don't judge. You've all done it yourselves and I've only had about four days of emotional eating in the past almost 5 months, which is hardly something to make an issue about, right?

So yesterday I was angry. Really angry. Like if I had a cinder block wall, all the dishes would have been smashed against it kind of angry. Not having a cinder block wall, or my own dishes for that matter, I settled for junk food. After eating almost an entire Hershey's with almonds bar (the really big kind you find in the candy aisle, not the pansy ones in the checkout lane) and Fritos and bean dip, I decided to class up my emotional eating with some gourmet cupcakes.

Last week at the airport I bought this month's MS Living, which is devoted to cupcakes--a personal favorite of mine.

The recipe for Brown Sugar Pound Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Glaze caught my eye.

Braving the approaching ice storm, I inched along behind a sand truck, past an 8-car accident, across an icy bridge to the grocery store for the necessary ingredients. I tell you that so you understand how intent I was on making these very cupcakes.

Let me just say that the batter was superb. Fluffy, creamy, smooth and tasty...I could have eaten the whole bowl. And I probably should have. I put the cupcakes in the oven and spent the next 25 minutes planning my move into the world of gourmet cupcakes. A posh and trendy cupcake bakery where I would make world-renowned cupcakes for all to enjoy and eat emotionally...In my head I was drafting the blog post where we would have a contest to name said bakery.

No need. While out of sight in the oven that perfectly fluffy, creamy, smooth and tasty batter turned into absolutely nothing special. I don't know how it happened, I just know that it did. Right at this moment there is a whole platter of them on the counter in the kitchen and I am having to exercise not even an ounce of control to keep from eating them. So sad. And slightly tragic. And definitely not a very indulgent way to cap off a day of emotional eating...Now where's the rest of that candy bar?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Read My Lips

I read in a magazine a long time ago that there is a shade of red lipstick for everyone. I'm typically a play-up-the-eyes-go-subtle-on-the-lips person, but I decided yesterday that, considering how often lately I'm without makeup completely, it might be fun to go with bare eyes and bold red lips. So last night after I was sure I was home for the night, I put on what I was hoping would be my perfect shade of bold red lipstick. It wasn't perfect, but it earned a nod from Hunter nonetheless: "Hey, cool lips!" he said.

(Incidentally, both Brigham and Hunter went to sleep last night with a pair of red lips in the middle of their foreheads. Brigham just noticed his. "Uh, mom, I noticed you left a red mark on my head last night...")

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baby Boomerang

I like my attorneys. How many people can say that, that their attorneys aren't just good attorneys but they're likeable people as well? Last week I spent 6 hours straight in a conference room with them and I still like them. One of them, Mark, is not only my attorney but is also an independent film maker. His film Baby Boomerang has been chosen for the 2009 LDS Film Festival .

Many of my friends and family have wanted to know what they can do for me since Matt died. Well, I'm calling in a favor: all you friends and family in Utah, please go see Mark's movie! It's showing Saturday Jan. 24th at noon at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem. It's only $4.00 to get in. If you've been to the movies lately you know that's a bargain. He needs the theater to be filled. So I mean it, GO!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strictly Confidential

This is a cute kid. I don't feel like this is a matter of me expressing my opinion, I really feel like it's more a statement of an indisputable fact.
Brigham was really embarrassed by the story I'm about to post, and he tried to make me promise not to tell anyone, but I wouldn't. Do try to keep it on the DL though, would ya?

When I picked Brigham up from school yesterday he was looking particularly cherubic. As we settled into the car he poked his head up front by me. I said "Oh my goodness you're cute!" He looked closely in the rear-view mirror and said, "Oh I AM!"
It's amazing to me how confident little kids can be. It makes me sad to think about how that will undoubtedly change over their lives. We're all born with the confidence that we are awesome and that we can do great things. Think about your childhood dreams and ambitions. You probably wanted to be an astronaut or a pro athlete or a senator from Rhode Island. (Okay, that was me. It's a small state. I thought it would be relatively easy to get elected in a small state.) Even when a kid aspires to be a garbage man, it's because they think the garbage man is really cool, not because they think that's the only job they're capable of getting.
Then somewhere between 12 and adulthood, our trains pull in to reality station and we figure out that for the most part we're all just average people destined to have pretty average lives. Maybe I'm feeling particularly average today because none of my plans for something more interesting are working out right now. I wonder if it's because I haven't formulated the right plan yet. Maybe I should revisit my childhood dream of being a senator from Rhode Island.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I have returned from the valley of the sun. It's cold here. I have to admit it was nice to be away for a bit, though the trip didn't exactly yield the results I was hoping for: more negotiations for life reclaiming have been scheduled for March and I skipped flossing 3 times while I was gone. Oh the agony. I'm back on the wagon though, so it's all good.

I found this cute note from Brigham on the door as I came home from the airport last night. I couldn't get a picture that didn't include my reflection. It's artistic--has underlying meaning. Not really.

Then when I came in, this was rolled up on the floor. It's a picture of me and Brigham and Hunter hugging. Either baby Seth isn't capable of hugging or he didn't miss me enough to make it into the picture.

Amid squeals of "Mom came back to live with us!" from Hunter, the boys showed me a cake they made (with much help from Aunt Ami) for me. It was explained to Hunter several times that it was a welcome home cake, not a birthday cake, but he never caught on. He's still saying "We finished your birthday!" and "We made you a birthday!"

Thanks for the party, boys!

Friday, January 16, 2009


For those of you who don't know, I am currently on hiatus until Monday evening. I may post, I may not, but more than likely you're in re-runs until then.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

8th Anniversary

Yesterday should have been my 8th wedding anniversary. My mom asked me last week what I was going to do for my upcoming anniversary and honestly I thought she had lost her mind. (Sorry, Mom.) When your husband isn't around to celebrate it with you, what exactly are you supposed to do? But she thought I ought to do something so I grabbed New Friend Becky (Remember her? She's around my age and her husband died from cancer 2 months ago. We're now kindred spirits, or peas in a pod, or whatever you want to refer to our commonalities as...) and we went out for pedicures and Hideaway Pizza. She recently posted the following recipe on her blog (I think it originally came from Paula Dean). We both agreed it would cap off my "girls only" anniversary to make a pan of it. This is the result:

I don't know what you think about the picture, but they're even better than they look. So I had to cut and paste the recipe for you all. (Thanks Becky!)

Chocolate Chip Turtle Bars

1 (16.5 oz) roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 c butterscotch morsels
1 c chopped pecans
1/2 c butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel ice-cream topping
1 c quick oats
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
(I also added some milk chocolate chips with the semisweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil, letting edges of foil hang over sides of pan. Spray foil with nonstick spray. Press cookie dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan, completely covering foil. Sprinkle evenly with butterscotch chips and pecans. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar and caramel. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in oats. Pour butter mixtures evenly over pecans. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until edges are golden brown; cool completely. Cut into bars and enjoy!
I didn't do the foil thing, just greased an aluminum pan. I used an 8 x 12, so I had to bake it a little longer, about 35 minutes. My mom says they're not worth the guilt, but I assure you that my sister and I are about half way through the pan and we have felt absolutely no guilt.
When I got home from my outing with Becky there was a beautiful flower delivery waiting for me. I don't know who sent them, but thank you! That was incredibly sweet of you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Thinker

Yesterday was a cloudy day. the sun just peeked through the clouds every now and then as Brigham and I drove to school. As we drove along Brigham asked, "What do you think it will look like when Jesus comes to the earth again?" I employed my favorite redirectional technique, the one I use when I don't know the answer to a kid question: "That's a great question. What do you think?"

He pointed up at the sky in front of us where the sun was again peeking through the clouds. "I think it will look like that."

Maybe, huh? Sweet kid.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blackberry Schmlackberry

This morning on the way to school, I had a cute moment in the car with Brigham. I wanted to take a picture of something to illustrate this cute moment so I could come home and post it on the blog for today. Not having my camera, I used my phone, assuming that I could transfer the pic from my phone to my laptop where I would be able to access it for the post.

I have now spent the better part of the day trying to get that picture from my phone onto my laptop. I finally realized that I needed to install some software to my laptop and I would be good to go. Imagine my excitement at the prospect of being able to solve my problem myself! I dug through my boxes in the garage, found my Blackberry box and retrieved the disk. By this time I was really feeling good about my ability to be self-sufficient. I stuck the disk in and began the installation process.

Hours of my life that I will never get back have since gone by. The software is installed, but it doesn't work. (I know it's not the software as much as it is the installer.) I have spent the bulk of my day trying to solve this problem and 7 1/2 hours after the picture was taken, it remains on my phone where it began. So no cute moment post for the blog today and I am incredibly frustrated. I GIVE UP! Forget the Blackberry, just give me a tin can with a string hanging out.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Recipe for a Dang Cute Baby

1. Start with one pair of Baby Legs. They are a must-have for newborns. (Any product of the '80s may be tempted to call them leg warmers...don't do it.) Paired with a long sleeve onesie, they allow the ease of diaper changing with just a onesie, but whole body coverage to beat the chill. I bought this pair before Seth was even born. I love the quirky color combo, however aqua and orange are tricky colors to coordinate for a whole outfit, so until today he's never worn them.


2. Brew over medium heat: one plain white long-sleeve onesie, 1 box of RIT dye in Sunshine Orange, and hot water. Stir constantly until desired color is achieved. Rinse until water runs clear and launder. (Can you believe I couldn't find an orange onesie anywhere? Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. )
3. Mix together newly dyed onesie with Baby Legs. Add baby. The recipe turns out better when the baby is already pretty cute to begin with.

4. Serve warm and enjoy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's a Girl to Do?

Yesterday I read an article in this month's issue of Glamour magazine (yes, serious literature...) called "50 Little Health Tips Every Woman Should Know". Here's an excerpt from Dr. Kevin Wandler:

"If you think you look fat one day but were fine the
day before, remember that your reaction to what you see
in the mirror may be about emotions, not reality." (p. 194)
I have a problem now. If what we see when we look in the mirror is influenced by the emotions we're feeling at the time, and the camera adds 10 pounds, how are we ever supposed to know what we really look like?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just laugh. It's funny.

Have you ever googled your own name?

You don't have to admit it, but I will. I have googled my name before. It's fascinating what comes up sometimes. (Except for the news footage of me talking about the accident. That is not fascinating, it is horrifying. No matter what someone else tells you, NEVER do news spots when you are 8 months pregnant with a large baby and you don't have any eye makeup on. You will regret it for the rest of your life, I promise.) Yesterday was the 4 month mark since Matt died. I like to keep up on what's being said about him out there, so I googled his name. Now before I elaborate at all about what I found, please keep in mind that in that accident 4 months ago I lost my husband, not my sense of humor.

This is what I found:

You're probably wondering why it's funny. I would be happy to tell you. It's funny because it's plagiarized! Mayor Berman (or an assistant perhaps? Let's hope?) took half of what he put in this post word for word from the obituary my brother in law wrote for Matt! Now, my dear friends, please don't go getting all up in Mayor Berman's face about it. Just laugh. In a wide-eyed-are-you-kidding-me sort of way, It's funny.

But really. Isn't there a Gilbert mayoral election coming up soon?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Eyes Have It

I am an eye person. Typically they are the first things I notice about a person. There's not much of a chance that I would ever get tired of looking at someone with nice eyes.

A British poet once said, "The EYES have one language everywhere. " Isn't that so true? I've been studying my little people's eyes.



Not a bloodshot eye among them. (That's why I didn't include a picture of my eyes. I couldn't get one that didn't show how pathetically bloodshot they are. Once I asked Hunter what color his dad's eyes were. He studied them closely and declared them pink!) Fun, huh? Have you looked at your people's eyes lately?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cool Cat

The weather here was absolutely beautiful yesterday-in the seventies-so we spent some time outside enjoying it. Seth was really not happy about how bright it was, so I put his sunglasses on.

Taking one look at him, my sister got these lyrics stuck in her head:

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I'm wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs,
gonna meet you on the rooftop
I'm not really sure how one thing lead to another, but "Cool cat looking for a kitty" inspired us to put Seth in the tree. For those tempted to call CPS, I was holding on to him from behind while Ami took the pictures. He's not actually sitting in the tree unattended.

Is this the coolest baby or what?! He's totally Matt's kid.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Random Holiday Pics

Today I am posting some miscellaneous pictures from Christmas and New Years, then I am declaring the 2008/2009 holiday season finito.

This is what constitutes "happy holidays" for Brigham:

Hunter's version of the Nativity Story:

Hunter greeted Christmas Eve carolers by licking the window by the front door. Brigham was quick to join in:

Brigham and Hunter were asleep by 7:30 pm. Seth rang in the New Year with the grands. Don't mind the nasty bib, his face was just too cute to not post:

Ami's friend Cara, Ami and I rang in the New Year with a midnight 5k run along the river downtown. That shine on my face is frozen sweat. It was 26 degrees.

Brigham, Hunter and Seth. Great kids and they're not bad looking, either.

Happy 2009! My motto for the year is "It couldn't be worse than 2008." Catchy, no?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Wonderful Life

On Christmas Eve last week my family watched the classic, It's a Wonderful Life. I was only half paying attention until a comment from Clarence the angel caught my ear and made me think of Matt. Our hero George Bailey is at the end of his rope, standing in the middle of the bridge working up the courage to jump off, and he says, "I wish I had never been born at all." To which Clarence replies:

"Each man's life touches so many others. And when he's gone it leaves an awful hole."
That's the part that made me think of Matt. (But you probably figured that out already.) George Bailey is then given the gift of seeing exactly how life would have been different for those he knew and loved if he had never been born at all. After seeing the differences he made in the lives of others, he again finds himself in the middle of the bridge. This time he pleads, "I want to live again. I want to live again. Please God, let me live again."
I don't know if Matt's been given the opportunity to see what life would have been like if he'd never been born. I can sure tell you what the hole looks like without him. In my darker moments I let my mind linger on all the things I lost when Matt died: my husband, my best friend, the father of my children, my provider, my home, my security, my goals and aspirations, inside jokes and common memories, my know I could go on and on.
During the brighter times I think of all that I have because Matt lived in the first place: three amazing little men, each of whom reminds me in so many ways of the wonderful father who loved them, eight action-packed and fun-filled years of stories and experiences together, a sense of adventure, an increased spirit of gratitude, a heightened awareness of the vast possibilities life holds for each of us, a greater appreciation for the talents and gifts of others, a stronger desire to achieve the true desires of my heart, a broader (sometimes inappropriate) sense of humor, the ability to let more of the unimportant stuff roll off my back, a feeling of urgency to live a full life, a quickness to laugh and a quickness to give the benefit of the doubt, an understanding that we are each given challenges in life, the knowledge that we can't compare our challenges with the challenges of others, an assurance that I can do hard things... you know I could still go on and on.
I have never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. Maybe because I know I won't keep them. (Except for that time when I was 12. I resolved not to watch TV for an entire year and I actually did that.) Matt, on the other hand, ALWAYS made New Year's Resolutions and they were always resolutions he knew he could keep: eat more red meat, exercise less, drink more soda...
For several months now, since Matt's death, I have felt like my life is on hold. Like I'm living in limbo. This year I think I will make a New Year's resolution. And in memory of my Matty, I think I'll make one I know I can keep. I think back to George Bailey's desperate plea, "I want to live again. I want to live again. Please God, let me live again."
Are you ready for it? Here it is: In 2009, I am reclaiming my life.
That, and I'll floss daily.