Friday, November 18, 2011

hair like snakes

This week is Avery's half birthday!
I can't believe it has been six months since all of this.
I can't believe in six more months we'll do it all again. 
I can't believe that a few short months after that she will be in Kindergarten. 
Wow, my heart stopped for just a second when I wrote that. 
Here is her Pre-K school picture. She loves going to school and I am grateful every day for the great teachers and kids at her school! 
I might die (just a little) inside when she heads off to real live big kid school, though. 
Don't worry. 
I'll try to be brave.

Monday, November 14, 2011

the horn

In case you're interested, you should check out the cake I made for K's birthday last month on my new food blog! I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything...
but Toot Toot!!!
I mean, look at this thing! 

this, our town of Halloween

 Have I mentioned yet that somewhere in the middle of the month of October Avery watched The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time and subsequently became obsessed with said nightmare?
Well, that happened.
 So, days before Halloween, she decided that instead of being a SuperHeroLadybugAvery she had to be Jack, the Pumpkin King. 
For only spending $4 on the costume (we had a long-sleeved black shirt and black pants for her already- we picked up a little boy's suit vest at DI for $2 and spent another $2 on the sparkly black ribbon for her bow tie) I think she looks pretty incredible. Laura did the face paint!
 Carter was our little warm Cupcake again, and K pulled out his old bull-rider costume from our college days. Classy, right?
 I was incredibly sick on Halloween with the worst head cold I have had in a really long time, AND, just to add some spice to our lives, we decided to undertake a big project in the house with our contractor on Halloween. You know, for fun.
They tore down the wall surrounding our stairway (a mother-of-a-toddler's nightmare) and began the process of reinforcing walls and putting in a banister. The finished product is wonderful! More on that to come. But they were at our house until 9:30pm, the poor guys. ...though I think they DID have some fun with the wood saw and creating sound effects when trick-or-treaters would ring the doorbell. 
 Even though I was feeling sick I just couldn't miss out on some trick or treating with my little ghouls. So I phoned it in with a Dodger's Fan costume (an easy find in my closet) and a little black face paint. I only look like I am in slight pain in this picture, so I guess it was a successful night! ...though I can't really remember that well. I was on some pretty fun cold meds.
I think the Oogey Boogey Man would have approved of our Halloween had there been more bugs and less cuteness, but who cares? That guy is a jerk anyway.

gossip folks

 Did you know that in the middle of the forest, just north of Ashton, that there is a Haunted Forest, Hay Ride and Trick or Treating? Oh, did I mention that it's free (just bring a can of food per person for the food bank!! ...okay, so it's practically free.)!? 
 Every year Harriman State Park employees and volunteers go all out to decorate cabins and the surrounding forest with spooky and fun sights and sounds! There is trick or treating at every turn, games, prizes, hot cocoa and cookies... did I mention the hay ride?! 
We missed our ward's Trunk or Treat to head up to the park for all of this fun, but I can't bring myself to regret it. In fact, I am pretty sure this was a tradition in the making.
(We dressed the big kiddies as kittens since my great friend, Laura, gave them all those cute headbands. We figured they could still be cute but stay warm since it is QUITE chilly up in the mountains at the end of October. Carter went as a cupcake, a cute and very fleece-y warm costume my mom got her at Old Navy. See her cherry on top!?)

Monday, November 7, 2011


 I have this weird, obnoxious issue. I have a love-hate relationship with MegaMarts. WalMart, Target, Sam's Club, WinCo. They all give me the best deal on most everything from Huggies and Hagen-Daz, but even though I frequent each of these stores, I resent them. When I feel I have a choice (and extra cash- it really is expensive to be anti-establishment!) I choose Melaleuca over Proctor & Gamble. Scotty's Drive In over McDonalds. And now Some Random House on a Country Road over The U-Pick Red Barn.
Can you believe it!? I know. The audacity.
Instead of delving into the psychology of why my brain works this way and how long I am going to admit that I have a problem and do absolutely nothing about, especially when it comes to my new Pumpkin Patch discovery. In this case hitting up the little guy is WAY cheaper than going to the PumpkinMegaMart, and we had a wonderful time!!
My mom was here for the weekend, The U-Pick Red Barn was PACKED on the Saturday two weeks before Halloween, and we knew that someone else must be selling pumpkins somewhere! We were right.
I can't give you directions because I have no idea where we were, but K does, and I can't wait to go back next year! There was a "Haunted Forest", a "Bloody Pumpkin Patch" and oodles of beautiful gourds to choose from!
Sometimes I love living in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

happy happy joy joy

I love myself some Disneyland. Yeah, that's right. I said it.
There is something about approaching the Happiest Place on Earth with my kiddies that activates a really bizarre and more than slightly giddy kind of glee inside of me. It is then that I just know despite the gobs of people and crazy lines and overpriced everything that we are about to have a fantastic time and make some really terrific memories!
I know that is so cheesy. Go ahead. Judge away.
 On Monday, a couple of days after my disaster of a race, we caravaned with my mom, Mallory and Sir Giles to California to hit up Haunted Disneyland, complete with a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted Mansion. This detail is important when I get to our Halloween post, so stay tuned for that! Space Mountain was also super spooked out, and Captain Eo is back, people!! So rad.
 It was a warm and beautiful day and we were able to get on just about every ride that we wanted to!
 The bad news about Monday was that as we pulled into the Disneyland parking garage my mom's car started freaking out and she had to take it to the shop. She missed half of the day's festivities!! She is so awesome. She made us all go on without her while she put it in the shop, and we all stayed at this (gross!) hotel near the shop because it wasn't done until the next morning. You're such a trooper, Mom!! World's Best Grandma.
 Meeting Mickey. Carter was not pleased.
 Mally and GiGi. She's such a great mom, you guys!!
 Carter ate way too much sugar (ahem Grandma ahem) and puked right before we went in to see Captain Eo, so I got her a sweet old fashioned Eo shirt!! I make her wear it all of the time.
 She was soo tired at the end of the day!
 ...okay. There is really no excuse for this pic. I'm just here, geeking out in front of a pink castle. Nothing to see here. Move along.
 Such a great day!!

tri tragedy

 It started out well. 
See how happy and hopeful I look?
I thought I was prepared. The weekend before the race I even biked all of the way up to the windmills on Ammon Mountain!!! Seriously, I did!! 
This race promised 12 whole miles of uphill on the bike, and I showed up ready to kick some butt.
Unfortunately... well, we'll get to that.

My third triathlon was the PumpkinMan Race on October 15th in Las Vegas, NV. 
The swim for the race was the exact same as the swim for my first triathlon, and I was excited to get another crack at it, since the first time didn't go so well.
 And I must say, I exacted my revenge on Lake Mead in a big way! In fact, my swim was my best time yet!! I killed it for sure and it felt so good. 
...until I got on my bike.
 Now I have mentioned many times my love affair with my bike. But things started off really rocky this go around, and it wasn't my bike's fault. It was mine. 
You see, I didn't check to see what gear my bike was in before the race began, so when I hopped on and locked my shoes in, I tried to start pedaling. And hit a wall instead. 
Not literally, it's just that my bike was in the highest gear. And I couldn't push forward. 
Stupid Ammon Mountain.
I fell over. 
Like a tree.
No joke. 
So horribly embarrassing. PLUS I got a nice big cut on my knee and elbow for good measure.
Then I proceeded to get up, fix my chain (which came off during the fall), fix my gear and bike up 12 miles of baking hot desert hills. 
But I couldn't seem to get my head back into it. 
In fact, about 10 miles in I had to stop. 
To puke. 
I'm sorry to say that my run wasn't much better. About a mile and a half in there was a water station with a bunch of high school kids volunteering. One of the girls had a big Gatorade cooler thing and asked me if I wanted cold water dumped on me (it is really hot in that stupid desert!!). I said, "Sure!" ...I got water dumped on me as I ran by... but I also got a big knot on my head. Yep, the girl beaned me in the head with the cooler as she tipped it upside down. 
No big deal, but just goes to show you how ummm fun this race was? 
My family was there and they were all so supportive as I came in half an hour after my estimated finish time.
At least I wasn't last, right?
So, what does this mean for my future in racing? 
It means that next year, PumpkinMan, your gourd is mine!!!

water war

I just love going home to Las Vegas to visit! We went on October 13th to hang out and have some fun before my big race, and boy did we! Meeting Grandma for lunch and heading over to Town Square for some play time in the water shooty thing!! Too much fun. Like everything with Carter, she took a few minutes to warm up to the idea of water bursting out of the ground, but man, once she did she was so into it!! And Avery, as usual, was a wild woman. Both kiddos got completely soaked! It's a good thing their smart (beautiful, talented) mom brought a change of clothes!! (Yes, I did just compliment myself. It's been a hard week. Just give me this one.)
The last picture is of my sweet nephew, Giles. Isn't he a doll!?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Before we went on our epic trip, my friend Laura and I decided to start canning the fruits of our labors from our garden... and every other fruit or vegetable that anyone would give us! It turns out that lots of people had things to donate: roughly 5 buckets full of grapes, 2 of tomatoes and 50 (might be a slight exaggeration) of apples!

Those things along with the tomatillos, corn, herbs and tomatoes from our own garden and we were able to put up quite a bit! Including tons of grape juice, tomato sauce, red and green salsa, and apple sauce! My house was a nightmare for two days, but it was so worth it and so much fun!
Our timing couldn't have been better, either. The day we started Idaho Falls had a freak blizzard. It snowed all day long!
My favorite part (besides hanging with Laura!) was using this crazy steam juicer that Laura's grandmother let us borrow. Look at this thing!! It's incredible! You just put the fruit into the basket, water underneath and watch it shoot out tons of fresh and delicious fruit juice!

I am so grateful for all of the new skills I have acquired this year in growing my own garden and learning how to home can things. I can't wait for next year!!

hard hat

Holy cow has it been a long time!! 
I think you will forgive me when I tell you that my house has looked like this for nearly a month now...

New carpet for my entire house comes on Wednesday and I am so excited!! ...of course, between now and then we still have to cut and paint all of the trim for the house, put in a banister along the stairwell, paint the ceiling in the girls' new room and the stair entryway and probably one million other things, but I know that soon we will be done and I am ecstatic!! Also exhausted. And extremely sick with the world's meanest head cold. And emphatically sure that I never want to embark on another home improvement project. Ever. Again.
Stay tuned for a month's worth of catch up posts! Even though we have been living in a mess we have still had lots of adventures and I can't wait to share!