Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well I would have never in a million years imagined that I'd fall in love with a vampire novel! Pretty much everyone I know has read "Twilight" and been so into it that they read it in a few days, so after Melea and some family members told me how much they loved it too, I decided to spend the $8 and get it.

I started it Monday night and finished it yesterday - Wednesday. I could not put it down!! I love to read, but I've never read a book that sucked me in from the very first page...until "Twilight". If you're a cynic, as was I, take a chance on this one! I promise you that you won't be disappointed!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peacock, anyone?

Well, of all the weird things to ever happen to me, I think tonight might top the list. I was driving home from a quick trip to Roberts (a craft/scrapbook supply store) - keep in mind that it's 9:00 and pretty dark outside - when all of a sudden I see A PEACOCK on the road right in front of my car. I was on the freeway going 70 with a semi in the lane to the right of me, and nowhere really to swerve. I swerved just a tad to the left, causing the poor bird to go under my tire, which ended up being a good thing for my car. No damage. Not such a good thing for the bird. I contributed to pushing the peacock species closer to endangerment.

But seriously, why on earth is there a peacock roaming free in SAINT GEORGE, UTAH? I mean come on! On the freeway? So strange.

So anyhow, the best part happened when I pulled over to make sure the bumper of my new car was okay (and that there weren't any bird parts hanging off the undercarriage). Some nice guy stopped to make sure I didn't need any help, and when I told him what happened he looked at me like I was on drugs. He was like, "You hit a what?"
Me: "Yeah, mister. You heard correctly. I hit a peacock. I'm fine. My car's fine. Thanks for stopping."

Anyway, I guess I shouldn't complain about how mundane and boring my days can be, or I might hit a rhino next time I go for a drive in the outback of St. George!

Hangin' Tough

I'm not quite sure how to write about this topic in a way that will allow others to feel the strange sense of nostalgia that I'm feeling, so I won't even attempt to cater to others' feelings. This is about me!

Most people who know me well know that I never quite got over my love for New Kids On The Block. It goes way back to 1988 or 1989 (maybe earlier). I very clearly remember an entire day of anticipation - I was in the 5th grade, and NKOTB was coming out with their new video. I was so upset that it was premiering while I was in school, but was way excited and surprised when I got home and my dad announced that he had recorded it for my sister Jenn and I.

We went to the NKOTB concert in Columbia, SC when I was probably 10 years old. I'm pretty sure it was 5th or 6th grade. I screamed the ENTIRE concert, and I haven't stopped since then! haha okay, maybe that's a little extreme, but I'm still a super fan. I wish I still had all my tshirts, buttons, pins, nightshirts, and Joey McIntyre doll! Oh - and don't forget all the cassette tapes. Boo yeah.

I proudly admit that I now own their Greatest Hits CD, and it's even on my iPod for my listening convenience (and those on the road around me when I roll down my windows and proclaim my devotion to NKOTB through my blaring speakers).

This morning on the Today Show they had their first concert in 15 years. It was so cool!! All the fans there were around my age, and it was great to see the loyalty. Fans are so excited about their reunion that the past two concerts to go on sale have sold out in less than 10 minutes (Toronto sold out in 4 minutes). They just posted new tour dates on their website and announced a show in Salt Lake City!! I seriously could not be more excited!

I WILL BE THERE!!! Why? Because I'm "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh hangin' tough"!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Games, anyone?

Last week, Mason discovered that he's strong enough to open all the magnetic cabinet doors...JOY! He's obsessed with the game cabinet. He pulls out the Jenga game, any card games he can find, and the dominoes and just dumps them all over the floor. We already had to take the handle off the DVD cabinet - looks like it's time to babyproof the game cabinet too!

Swim time!

We started Mason's "Mom & Tot" swimming lessons last week, and today's our last day. It's been so much fun! He's a little fish - just loves the water. He's learned to jump in and go under (holding his breath under water), kick his feet, allow me to help him swim on his back and tummy, and blow bubbles.

His favorite part of swim class though is free time. The final 15 minutes each day is free time where we can go play in the big part of the pool where all the cool water features are. Mason loves to walk and throw himself under the water. He holds his breath until I pick him up, then he does it again! He's crazy - I'm really gonna have to keep an extra close eye on him around the pool when we go to my parents' house in El Paso.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Today my thoughts and prayers are with my cousin Steven, his family, and his dear wife who is battling a vicious form of cancer. At this moment I can't help but see my life with a little bit more clarity and perspective. Life is a precious gift given to us by our Creator, and we need to savor and cherish every single second that He chooses to give us here with those we love and those who love us in return.

A few minutes ago as I put Mason down for his afternoon nap, he looked up at me and said "mama", then blew me kisses and grinned real big. He very rarely says mama, and never blows kisses - his sweet little spirit must know that I'm a little bit emotional today. So I took him out of his crib and decided to rock him for a little while. As I sang to him, he gave his stuffed dog a huge, wet kiss and then pushed it up toward me, wanting me to give it kisses too. So I did, then he hugged it tight, snuggled in close to me (very rare), and closed his eyes. What a special little moment I was allowed to share with my sweet Mason today.

The lyrics of the Martina McBride song "Blessed" came into my head while Mason snuggled with me, so I thought I'd share them. I love you all!

I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Across a crowded room
I know you know what I'm thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we're lying in the quiet
And no words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

When I'm singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


After putting on my favorite pair of jeans yesterday and having a minor case of "muffin top" (translation: side fat spilling over the sides of the jeans), I decided that I'm cutting all crappy food out of my diet! None of this "I can only have sweets on the weekends" stuff. I'm only allowing myself a treat during special occasions, and even then I'm only allowing myself to have one thing. Period. My body doesn't need that stuff.

SO the first major step was taken tonight. We had a very healthy dinner - chicken and veggie/fruit kabobs! Here are the ingredients and instructions if you're interested! WE LOVED IT!! And it made 12 very full kabobs, so if you're feeding a small family, you'll probably have leftovers, which is never a bad thing, right?!

1 whole pineapple
1 large green pepper (add a red and yellow pepper for more color IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT! Peppers are so expensive now!)
1 large zucchini squash
Mushrooms (I bought the little package of pre-cut mushrooms. Much easier)
3 boneless chicken breasts

Marinade for veggies:
1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (could even reduce to 1/8 cup if you want)
1/2 tbsp garlic powder (more or less depending on personal preference)
Hand-ground black pepper (amount also depending on preference)

Marinade for chicken:
Zesty Italian salad dressing (I buy generic)

Cut up the pineapple and set aside - don't marinate it (don't get rid of the pineapple juice on the cutting board. Just cut your veggies on top of the juice). Cut up all the veggies and put them in the veggie marinade, then add the pineapple juice that was left on the cutting board. I let the veggies marinate in a gallon size ziplock baggie for 4 hours.

Cut up the chicken into large cubes (i like mine pretty big), then put in a separate gallon size baggie with as much Zesty Italian dressing as you want. Let it marinate as long as you let the veggies marinate.

Stack it all on skewers and grill! We actually don't have a grill, so we used the broiler pan in our oven and set the oven on "broil - high" for 14 minutes - 7 minutes on each side.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I always knew there was a reason I hated laundry...

And now I know what that reason is!

Yesterday, while going about my usual housewife duties (none of which I despise, by the way, except for the laundry) - it came time to fold the clothes in the dryer. I bent down, opened the dryer door, and before I even pulled anything out, a little scream escaped my mouth!

The entire dryer drum was splotched and streaked with blue ink!! "Just breathe," I told myself as I pulled the first article of clothing out (my brand-spankin-new shirt that I got last week). As I looked it over, I started to cry. Yes, I'm a baby, but I rarely get to by myself something new, and this shirt was just the perfect shirt. It was casual enough to wear with jeans or shorts, but nice enough to wear it with a skirt to church too. Well, after one look at it, I realized that I'd never be wearing it with anything - it was covered in blue ink. Spots, streaks, little evil smiley faces laughing at was hopeless.

As I pulled more clothes out, I realized that every single one of Mason's new summer shirts appeared to be ruined too. I mean, ink explosions in the washer are one thing - the stains haven't been set by the heat of the dryer yet. But these had been washed AND dried. I cried some more.

After I pulled all the clothes out, I found the 2 empty, broken ball point pens in the bottom. If my nightmare could have been turned into an animated moment, I'm sure they would have been laughing at me too.

I never have anything in my pockets, so I knew the pens weren't mine. Jeff always has ink pens in the pockets of his work pants, so it was easy to figure out where they came from.

Question: Is it my fault for not checking the pockets before I put them in the washer, or is it fair for me to be upset with Jeff for not emptying out his pockets before he threw his pants into the hamper, causing me 4 hours of scrubbing, washing, then more scrubbing & washing?

Conclusion: My job is to be a housewife and mother, since I'm staying home and am not out working. Jeff has told me before that he never remembers to check the pockets, so I'm going to have to swallow my pride (after reminding him each evening to empty his pockets) and check them myself. Give and take - isn't that what a good marriage is made up of?

Anyhow, thank you Mom Donnelson for helping me get the stains out of the clothes! It worked! For anyone else who might ever run into this problem, here's what she told me to do: (in this order!)
1. Spray the stain with ZOUT
2. Apply liquid Wisk detergent over the ZOUT - I applied it with a toothbrush and rubbed it in a little (she recommends the red bottle with blue cap)
3. Put OxyClean powder on top of that, and rub it in (i just used my finger)
4. Let it sit overnight if possible, then wash it in the hottest water the fabric can tolerate. I added 3 small scoops of OxyClean to the water in the washer.

To remove the ink from the inside of the dryer, on the dryer drum, we tried a few things, and only one of them worked.
1. DID NOT WORK: a product called Goof Off. It actually made Jeff high and sick to his stomach.
2. DID WORK (YAAAY!!): We soaked a bunch of old rags and towels in bleach water (LOTS of bleach), then put them in the dryer sopping wet and ran it for an hour at a time. After each hour, we re-soaked the towels and ran it again. We did this 3 times (total of 3 hours), and it worked!! The inside is clean as a whistle!

Anyhow, as much as I felt like I was in one of the dimensions of Hell yesterday, it's nice to feel relief today as I look at my spot-free clothing and dryer. :) Thanks for all the advice!