Tuesday, September 29, 2009

about to fall

I have been meaning to make a Will and Trust for my family ever since Avery was born, and I never had the time/money (okay, I really just never thought about it unless I was on a plane with turbulence or something). But on athriftymom.com today (I love this blog!) there was a deal for a free Will and Trust kit from suzeorman.com. I've been on this website for the last hour filling out forms and choosing executors and all of that junk, but feeling a teensy bit more prepared for the unthinkable is a good thing. The deal goes until October 3rd so I thought I'd share! Check it out here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

no chance for fate

Here are some pics from last weekend. I had the best time throwing an outdoor birthday party for Nathan Chandler. He is the coolest and I had to throw him a little shin dig for turning 18. The fact that he survived that long in the Chandler house is a miracle. hahajkdc.:) We watched X-Men Beginnings: Wovlverine and, afterward, Twilight on the big screen (aka my garage) while eating 12 layer cake and popcorn and ice cream. I think that everyone who stayed to watch Twilight with Ashley, Stacy, Nathan and I regretted it later, but we had a great time so I'm not really worried about it.

Then on Sunday night we helped to throw a party for one of Klayton's best friends, Glen. He turned 27 and we had a bash for him in Rexburg. I made the chocolate trifle!! Check it out. We are so lucky to have such good friends and a very busy but nice weekend.

I also threw into the collage a couple of pictures of Avery playing with Rocky and waiting for swim lessons to start. She is such a fish!! She asks me about 8 times per day "We going swimming tonight?" I wish it was every night and so does she. I just love how excitedly she screams and kicks when we pull into the Aquatic Center parking lot. Speaking of... we better be off! Swim lessons start in 10!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

they're overdue

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 5 of 5 starsOne of the few books that I didn't hesistate a moment to give it all 5 stars. Truly wonderful from start to finish. Comprised completely of letters, telegraphs and journal entries, this book follows a writer in London just coming out of WWII. Juliet recieves a letter from a man living on the small island of Guernsey, which had been occupied by German soldiers during the war. From an inquiry he poses to her about an author they form an aquaintance and then a friendship as she learns about the book club that formed from dire circumstances and kept its members sane in wartime.
Charming, interesting, and so real I felt like I was reading real letters from real people. I couldn't put this book down. The main character, Juliet, is witty and sweet and cutting, especially when it comes to her own faults, and the people on the island of Guernsey are so lovable and palpable that I want to go there and visit them. This book is filled with places and people that I want to return to again and again.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/788935-mandy">View all my reviews >>

Friday, September 18, 2009

i'm just trying to change the color on your mood ring

Today I am obsessing over...Homemade Chicken Stew with Biscuits. Mmmm Thanks for this recipe, Barefoot Contessa. I'm so excited for Fall! Soup and sweaters and scarves and sssstuff. Sorry- had an S theme going. Muse. Their new album, The Resistance. Their hair. Their voices. Their Britishness. Their morning-breath (okay, haven't experienced this one, just trying to paint a picture here). Pretty much everything about them. Whether I have officially switched sides for New Moon. The way they styled Rob with his blazers and his lame hair coupled with the fact that Rob himself is acting super douchey lately makes me wonder... Okay, the fact that this Taylor kid is super sweet and cute and pretty much half-naked the entire movie MAAAAAAY have something to do with it, too. I'll never stop loving MY Edward (you know, the one that only exists in books/my head who is the perfect, headboard breaking man of every girl's dreams), but movie Edward is not doing so hot in the polls (you know, the poll that consists entirely of my opinion) right now. These two. Aren't they the cutest? Klayton calls Avery his little Joey Ramone when her hair is all in her face like this.Whether or not to murder our new puppy. Okay, sorry- that's a little harsh. But seriously, if he poops on the floor one more time after he was JUST outside I think he's going to go "live on a farm", if you know what I'm saying.

...I mentioned Muse already, didn't I? Shoot. Sorry bout that.

This book. I picked it up at the library last weekend and Avery is crazy for it! She calls it "Wocket in Pocket" because There's a Wocket in my Pocket is the only Dr. Seuss book we own and she loves it, too. She has had me read this to her about 3 times per day every day for the last week, though and I don't mind a bit. It's fun to read and I love how mesmerised she is by it, though I doubt she has picked up on the deeper meaning (if there is one. I love how people give this book as a graduation gift and things- truly about 99% of it is nonsense. Brilliant nonsense, but nonsense none the less.) and I'm quite surprised she's not weirded out by the odd, acid trip quality of the pictures in the book. Hmm. Oh well.

Tomorrow night I'm throwing a birthday party for a friend of mine in our backyard and we are going to project a movie onto the side of our garage. Yes, we tried doing this on the 4th of July and got my father-in-law's projector stolen while we were watching fireworks. No, we will not be letting the projector out of our sight this time. But I'm super excited! I love doing stuff outside on beautiful Summer nights (just because I'm excited for Fall doesn't mean it's here yet. I made that chicken stew in 90 degree heat yesterday) and I hope Nathan is excited for his 18th Birthday bash!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

another promise, another scene

I love our small little town! There's always fun stuff going on. Last week was "Babes in the Zoo" week. No, the Hawaiian Tropic swimsuit model bus wasn't in town- if you brought a kid in a stroller to the zoo (they're free) then you got an adult admission free! Yay for free stuff! So I took Avery on Friday morning and we had a great time! She loves animals. At every cage she went through the same thought process. First she would get excited: "PEGUINS!!!!" Then she would think about it for a second and say, "I want to touch it." or "I want to get in." I would laugh (she's so cute!!) and say, "No, we can't get in. We're just here to say hi." or (at the lion enclosure) "No way, Jose. That lion is a nice guy, but he would eat you up if we went in there. Let's just say HI! from here, okay?" Then she would shout "HI LION!!!" or whatever. If an animal was sleeping she'd whisper, "He's sleeping, mommy!" and if something looked odd to her (camels, red panda bear, flamingos, etc.) she'd see them and say, again, after a moment of thought, "FLAMINGO! (repeating after me)... He's nice, mommy." haha.

She's been doing that so often lately- she assigns everything (especially inanimate objects) emotions and types. The other day we were at the park playing on those plastic animals on springs that you can rock back and forth on. You know what I'm talking about? Anyway, she was riding the dolphin (saying, "Giddyup, Dolphin!!"), she climbed off and went right up to its little face, looked at it and said, "She's sad, mommy." Then she gave it a hug and a kiss and said, "AWWW SHE'S HAPPY MOMMY!!" Or she'll see the alligator at the zoo and say, "DRAGON!!He's scary." with a little shudder. I'll say, "Yeah, he looks a little like a dragon, but that's an alligator and he's nice." Then she'll say, "Oh. Alligator. He's nice." haha. It's amazing to watch her mind work. She's so smart and sweet. Lately she's taken to hugging (and even kissing) everyone before we leave somewhere, whether it's her cousins or our neighbors. We were at the Chandlers on Sunday evening for a few minutes and she went in a circle around the living room hugging everyone and saying, "Bye! See ya!"

Then on Saturday evening the Idaho Falls Symphony held a free(!!) concert on the river in Freeman Park. It was a really nice, perfect evening. We brought a picnic dinner of things that Avery and I purchased at the Farmer's Market that morning; Artisan bread, Gruyere cheese, ham, blackberries and fudge (Amish Sour Cream- sounds weird but it was SUPER yummy). Mandy and Troy and their kiddos joined us and we all had a great time laying around on blankets, listening to the music and chatting and eating. Avery is just obsessed with her cousins, especially Milo. Those two become 10 times more mischevious when they are together, and they love to play and giggle. It's so fun to watch. Rocky came with us as well, and he was so excited and hyper and crazy that when we got home around 7:30pm he passed right out for the night!

rainy day photos

It was raining yesterday (yay! I love Fall!) and Avery begged me to put on her boots and raincoat so she could play. I decided (since she looked so darn cute in all of her gear) to make an ANTM moment out of it. Even Rocky joined in!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Having such a bad day. I don't even think chocolate chip cookies, a visit from my mommy and a sneak peek at New Moon could make this day better. Sorry to whine, but ugh! It's silly to worry about my own problems when I have been so blessed, but it's almost (note that I said ALMOST) funny to me the way the grass always looks greener in someone else's yard.

I look at all of these mothers who have no problem getting pregnant, no problem with delivery, and have done it over and over again. It's hard to wonder what that would be like and not be jealous. And I go from feeling sorry for myself to ENRAGED when I hear about people who irresponsibly reproduce and the messed up lives they create for their children. Or worse yet, speaking to anyone who believes that people should have the right to choose to abort their babies. That's like saying that I have the right, consequence free, to murder someone! If you think that a little fetus doesn't count as a person then I hope that you never have to suffer a miscarriage (that'll change your mind). Either that or I hope you enjoy your luxury suite in hell (am I being harsh? NO!... Okay, maybe a little.). Anyway, I believe that you are free to choose- but your freedom stops at this decision: To have sex or not? After that, you need to own up. There is birth control and abstinence and a whole host of other ways NOT to get pregnant (playing tennis, riding a bike, keeping your legs together, etc.)- Abortion is wrong. And not only do we have a President in office who has condoned partial-birth abortion (see here- the sixth paragraph down will make you want to vomit), but this Health-Care bill would FUND abortions (see here)!! It's INSANITY! I swear I'm constantly on the edge of my seat just waiting for the fire and brimstone to rain down.

Anyway, all of that political stuff doesn't have much to do with my glum day. Just feels good to rant every once in a while. But I should be struck by lightning just for whining. I have Avery. She is so perfect and wonderful and I love her so much, and I am so lucky 1) to have her- so many good people who would be great parents aren't able to have kids and 2) that she is alive and healthy and just so so so perfect- with the way she started out in life things could have wound up so different for her. So... I am going to think of how lucky I am to have her, my wonderful hubby, and about what a busy week we have lined up (swim lessons start this week! Plus I have signed up for a class at a local college and I'm super excited!) and forget about my despair that I don't always get everything I want.

you knew it was coming

But did you expect it to be THIS good!? Me neither. Ah-ma-zing. I think I switched to Team Jacob and back to Edward again about 8 times during this preview. Klayton asks me, "Wait, is there still a Team Jacob? He lost."
Just watch this preview and you tell me. I say Team Jacob is alive and well! But maybe that's just because I'm sick of seeing Edward in that sport coat and seeing real life Robward being such a grungy tool with his plaid shirts and chain smoking. Still love him, though! Love it all!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I will never forget

I will never forget 8 years ago today, when our country was attacked, when our nation was shaken and we all stood up together. Since then sometimes I think that everything has gone to hell, and that we've all forgotten the way we came together on this day. I know that is cheesy or cliched or whatever. I don't care. I really believe that we are still a great nation, and I love our country so much. Whatever our differences, I like to think that we still have this strength in us, the strength and unity that we showed on September 11, 2001. God bless America. -

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We went to the Eastern Idaho State Fair today! Boy do I love that place. I would tell you about all of the fun that we had, about the animals and the food and the rides and the booths, but I think this picture pretty much sums up the Back-woods Fantasyland that is our State Fair. Jealous?

dude. sweet.

Here's some video of Avery first at Chili's last night with Chocolate Lava cake all over her face, then at the Fair today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

she can fly she can fly she can fly

The other day Avery and I are walking into Sams Club. She points up to the store's sign on the front of the building and says "Birds!"
I look up, and, sure enough, there are 5 or 6 pigeons hanging out up there. I say, "Yeah! Look at those birds!"
Avery then says (very matter-of-factly, I might add) "I want to touch it."
I laugh and say, "You can't touch the birds. They are too high."
She thinks about it for a second and then says, "Fly."
"Yes, they can fly!" I say, super proud of my lil girl (the smartest child in the Universe).

"No, I fly."

Time to stop watching Peter Pan or one day soon I might catch her trying to jump off of the roof with a teddy bear and a top hat.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

out of it

Here's a not-so-funny story for you.
It's a beautiful September day. I'm at home baking a peach galette (see pictured- THIS is what it looks like when you are nice to me.) for a neighbor who was really vocal during my first-ever Gospel Doctrine class (I'm the teacher now! Craziness but I'm actually sort of enjoying it. So far.) when everyone else was sitting quietly, content to let me sweat it out.

Anyway, the galette-deserving lady is actually my bishop's wife and she lives down the street. So I am going to drive the galette down to her because I have to then run to Sam's Club to get diapers (I had two left. I need to work on my diaper food storage or something. Annoying.), then across town to B&N to meet Mandy and hang out for a bit. K had been driving the car all morning running errands and then he biked up to the school for his French Lit class so I could do my stuff. Well, I pull into the bishop's driveway, grab the galette, leave the car running, tell Avery I'll be right back (she has fruit leather and is completely sticky and in heaven so I take the Please Do Not Disturb approach), ring the doorbell and chat with Sister Hathaway for a bit in her doorway.

When I turn back around to head to the car, I feel like something is off. Don't worry- Avery is fine. The car, however, is not. Klayton had forgotten to fill it up all morning, and apparently the Empty light had been on since the day before, so... Yep. I'm outta gas. And the car is dead. In my bishop's driveway. Now, for those of you who have known your bishop for 10 years and he's your BF and/or you have no shame, you would have just knocked on the door again and asked for a gas can. I've only spoken to the bishop's wife, like, once before (hey, I've been in Young Women's) and I'm SO not comfortable doing that (Side note- They totally would have helped me. They are great people. I just couldn't handle the embarrassment. I'm a wuss). So I grab Avery and trudge up the street to my house (yes, I trudged. It was hot out and I was embarrassed ["Please don't look out your window. Please don't hear me desperately trying to gun my car to life." etc.] and super mad at Klayton [oh, he got an angry mid-French-class phone call, alright]) to get our gas can. Which is EMPTY as well. Of course it is. At this point Avery tells me, "I scared, Mommy." because I am grumbling quite a bit under my breath.

So, I do the only thing I can think of. I call my home away from home. The Chandlers. They live right across the street from the bishop and they have saved me before (I called them when a stock pot decided to assault my face and Klayton was across town showing a vacancy, and they rushed right over and watched Avery while I went to emergency care. I called them when I needed a place to put all of the food I made for Avery's birthday party and they brought me a big, long table 10 minutes later. I called them 5 minutes after that when I realized that our yard looked awful and they let Klayton come down to borrow weed whacker. Etc. Pretty much they should wear capes and spandex 24/7.). Ashley doesn't answer her phone or my text so I just walk back down the hill and knock on their door. Her phone is broken. It's good to know that I'm not the only one having an annoying afternoon. Anyway, Brother Chandler had just filled up their cars and gas can the night before!! I think he was listening to a prompting. So Ashley helped me dump their gas into my car and get it started. And she did it with minimal teasing, too!
So yesterday I got my car and two gas cans filled up, returned one to the Chandlers with my gratitude, ran to Sam's, cancelled with Mandy (she and the kids came by to meet Rocky for a minute before they headed home. Love them!), let Klayton grovel for quite a while , did a good deed for a neighbor, and let a neighbor do (yet another) good deed for me! Lessons learned: A) Klayton is good for bringing pizza home for dinner when he's in the dog house (The really yummy kind from Papa John's- Spinach Alfredo Chicken Tomato. Mmmmm). B) Check the gas gauge more often, even when K says he'll take care of it. C) Don't do nice things. It just bites you in the bum. D) Which reminds me, must bake the Chandlers something ASAP.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

it's catching

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins comes out today! If you haven't heard of The Hunger Games by the same author; 1) Where do you live? Under a rock!? How are you even reading this post right now!? Is someone transmitting it to your cave using Morse Code? 2) Go out right now. Buy/rent/steal (just kidding about the stealing part... mostly) The Hunger Games immediately, read it, and send off your thank you note (if you need my address you can email me) and/or the written promise of giving me your firstborn in gratitude. Then I am sure you will know why I am so excited that Catching Fire, the sequel to Hunger Games, is out! If you are wary of book recommendations by me because you weren't too into Twilight (all two of you that exist in the entire universe), this book is nothing like that (except that they are both amazing). And everyone I have forced to read it so far has loved it.

Yes, you may consider this a challenge to disagree with me over the awesomeness of this book. The gauntlet has been thrown down. I dare you. I double dog dare you (gasp!! I messed with dare protocol and skipped straight to the DOUBLE DOG DARE! That's right! What!?).
And now the sequel has come out!! Yay!! Wait... what am I doing talking to you about it? I have some reading to do. Excuse me.

Here's what I had to say about The Hunger Games on goodreads.com:
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Hunger Games is amazing. I can't believe I'm actually going to type this, but when I finished I was hungry for more! haha. Written in first person perspective in the present tense, I have never read a book where I felt more involved from the first chapter, even though I have practically nothing in common with the heroine of the story. Katniss is a young girl who lives in a dystopian society where the government's oppression is somewhat remnicent of 1984's "Big Brother". To save her little sister she chooses to participate in the bloody, last-man-standing battle between Districts held every year called The Hunger Games. This book is riveting and if you haven't picked it up yet, do. Now.

I just read this book again, this time aloud to Klayton. Now that I was familiar with the story, the characters came more alive than ever, especially Katniss and Peeta and their twisted relationship. I quite literally cannot wait for Catching Fire to come out in a couple of months!