Friday, December 12, 2008

A couple of laughs for the day....

Here are a couple of Awww.......cute video clips for your viewing pleasure!

Aren't dad's great?  

*****The video that was previously posted here was removed by the author when she realized that it had some quite scuzzy links attached to the end of the clip. They were questionable enough to make even the author herself blush.....a little. For those interested in viewing the original clip of the "I'm her....daddy" is the link to it on youtube, where you are on your own.....*****

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sidney's Sweet Sixteen

Exactly 16 years ago today I was experiencing the most exciting moment of my life.  I was at the hospital giving birth to Sidney.  I had been waiting for this moment since I was 14 (ok--let me clarify....I wasn't hoping to give birth at 14.....eww......that was just when my mom explained to me in clinical terms just why we would not be having any more children in our family, thus beginning in my mind the anticipation of having my own children.)  Sidney was everything I could have hoped for, and still is the most amazing young woman I know.  I scoured my very organized photo collection (pfffttt!)  and amassed a compilation of Sidney from birth to now.  Mostly in the form of school photos 'cause who doesn't love those, with a few snapshots and fun portraits thrown in.  Let us (me) reminisce....

Sidney at 2 weeks old

six weeks old

six months old

one year old

two years old

three years old

four years old

five years old


first grade

second grade

third grade

fourth grade

fifth grade

sixth grade

7th grade

8th grade

9th grade

10th grade

Erin photos
('cause if you've got 'em, you should flaunt 'em!)

So that's my Sid.  Sometimes I wonder how she came from me, but I'm certainly not complaining!!   In celebration of her 16th, I made a list:

To Sid:
Sixteen Things I Love About You

1. You are smart--not only academically, but you just have a ton of common sense, which usually counts for more than book smarts.

2. You are responsible--don't think I don't appreciate how you wake up yourself, get ready for school, and keep up on all your homework.  That is so cool!

3.  You are hilarious!  Watching you be you is so entertaining--I love, love love your wit!

4.  You are picky about your friends--People, if Sidney chooses you as a friend, just know that it's for real.  And that you must be a good person, 'cause she's just not interested in anything but!

5.  You are loyal--Again people, Sidney picks her friends for good, you can count on the fact that she will not give up on you unless you break her heart.

6.  You have an appreciation for babies and children.  I watch you with kids and love that you are going to appreciate being a mom.

7.  You are confidant--I know you will probably say "what is she thinking?"  because I hear you profess your lack of this trait, but then I see you move right on in scary situations and usually conquer, so I say your actions speak louder than your words sometimes!

8.  You let me in your life.  I know this is a rare thing, and I am so grateful for it.  Watching you grow and experience your life and getting to be a part of it means more than I can say.  Once again I refer to your hilarious approach to things.  I really get a kick out of watching you and your friends.  

9. You are not afraid of work.  Wether homework, housework, or job opportunities, you just plow right in.  I hope you realize how valuable this is!

10.  You are about as far from a brat as it gets.  You just don't have bratty qualities.  Or whiny ones.  Thank You!!

11. You have good values and a sense of justice.  The things you think are important are very worthwhile things: Family, friends, school, team, church (yeah, I know that you know that even when it isn't fun, it is still important!) your faith and your future.  You really have your head on pretty straight!

12.  You are creative and talented.  You can make anything look good, and you appreciate beauty.  You play beautiful violin and are really conquering the swimming!

13.  You are frugal.  Yeah, this I totally appreciate.  I am always amazed at how you can stretch a buck!  And you understand the realities of life in this economy.  Thanks for not making us feel like we deprive you of the "necessities" of life!  I know you appreciate what you have!

14.  Frugal, yet generous.  You aren't afraid to invest in what you feel is important.  

15. You are honest.  You exhibit this trait in many ways and expect this from people around you.  It's a valuable thing!

16.  Part of me hesitates to put this last one:  You can date.  Aside from the fact that this phrase still gives me a little heart attack, I really am looking forward to watching you have all that fun!  Considering all the above qualities, I'm not super worried about all the pitfalls of this next adventure because I trust you.  You hear me?!  I. Trust. You.  So have fun!  Be Good.  And tell me all about it when you get home!

Okay.  So there are just sixteen of the things I find wonderful about you.  Truthfully, I could go on and on, but we'll save that for another time.  I hope you have a fabulous birthday, Sidney.  I've had a blast watching you grow to this point, and will continue to, I'm sure.  I love you tons, my beautiful daughter.  

Love, Mom

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yeah.....If this photo does not keep you from hoppin' to the next blog on your stalker list, there is something seriously WRONG with you! These bad boys were brought into my home last night by my favorite footballer, Bryce, along with about 8 other perfect pastries that did not make it 'till morning.....apparently, homemade doughnuts are a tradition at the Viking Football Linemen parties. Somebody's blessed mother makes several dozen for the boys to feast on. We have been the beneficiaries of said doughnuts before, but since the doughnut-makers son is a senior, and the football season is over, you are looking at the tail end of a soon to be extinct species of dessert. Sad, huh? Let's take a closer look....Since you are there, and the doughnuts are here, you will have to just take my word for it that these are the best doughnuts I have ever tasted. And if such a thing is possible, I dare say that they are even better the next morning. I should know because I ate two.....okay, five. I ate five. I'm not even going to pretend that I ate less than that and I am NOT ashamed! It went a little something like this:MMMMM.....CHOMP......OOHHHH.......YUMMM

OOOPS! I knocked them Kellie, have one. No, have TWO so I can have another one!! MUNCH,MUNCH......SMACK........NUM, NUM, NUM........



I apologize for that gluttonous display of gastronomic engorgement. Just like I had to apologize to Sidney for eating 47% of the doughnuts. Sorry Sidney. I hope all the examples of onomatopoeia made up for it........

Friday, November 07, 2008

1.2 seconds.......

Wow. I just experienced a true emotional roller coaster ride. Jason & I spent the latter bit of our afternoon as two of the many Pleasant Grove Viking football team spectators. After a great 9-1 season, unbeaten (9-0) in their region, and a sweet victory over Brighton last week in their first playoff game, they faced Syracuse today. Tribal pre-game ritual

The game started off with a nice little field goal to take us up 3-0. Then things started to get a little iffy.... A little traffic back-up

We missed several opportunities to move the ball down the field and get back into field goal range. We entered half time down 3-14, if I remember correctly. Then, after losing our possession at the beginning of the second half, Syracuse scored another 7 points to go up 21-3. It looked pretty dismal, but our boys RALLIED with 2 touchdowns and a 2 point conversion to put us at 18-21. A field goal would tie us up and a touchdown would put us out of range unless they could somehow manage a touchdown. NO FEAR

Well, by skill and determination, with only about two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vikings let fly and we witnessed a spectacular catch in the end zone by Marshall Nielson. This and an extra point meant the almost better-than-you-could-hope-for situation of being ahead 25-21, with little time on the clock. I have to say, I think our team did an amazing job of trying to hold the Titans back. I could swear I was going to have a panic attack as I watched Syracuse inch down the field, utilizing every second they had to their advantage. Until it came down to this: 1.2 seconds left. Syracuse on their own 8 yard line. Our defense was pumped as high as they could go. The crowd as into the game as they could be.....knowing that the outcome of the final play of the game was going to be based on an even balance of skill and luck...on both sides.

It seemed almost too easy. Our eyes could not be believed.

As Syracuse drilled a pass straight into the end zone to win by two points.

I was on the phone with Sid when it ended. Giving her the final outcome of a game she hated to miss. Wishing that the words coming out of my mouth were not real. 1.2 seconds. I hope the boys don't beat themselves up for too long. They had an amazing season and when I shove the depressing ending of this final game out of my mind, I just feel proud. Football is pretty fun when it's people you care about.

Shout out to Bryce...
I could tell he wished he had been on the field every minute of the game, the way he paced the sidelines. He seems to be the only one on the team who can't just stand there and watch. It was fun watching you play.

To the whole team: Congratulations on a season to be proud of.

Seasons are changing....

I feel like the dead part of fall came pretty suddenly this year. We were rewarded with some really great warm weather, but I think for the most part it's gone for good. I very much appreciate each season as it comes, however. Seeing everything die back and take a rest seems wholly fitting to me. After all, don't we all need to wind down now and then?

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's a mystery....

What do you get when you cross a few dozen teenagers, a very committed mother, a boy turning sixteen and a murder? A birthday party that turned out to be a total blast! Sidney and Megan were invited to a friends sixteenth murder mystery b-day bash. Sid wasn't sure if she wanted to go or not, but ended up being really glad she did. Here are a few shots of the sizzling hot sistas!

Hahaha!! I don't remember going to anything like this when I was Sid's age....thank's, Erin for the emergency costume "rental"!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My not so secret obsession (Megan...this one's for you!)

For those of you who don't know, I love crayons. I'm not talking about a passing fad-inspired infatuation, I mean I love, as in weakness for, delight in, serious enjoyment of, real, long-lasting love. This love almost equals my desire for sparkly things. That is how serious we are talking here. I remember being very young and obsessed with a particular fluorescent pink crayon. The fluorescent crayons created quite a sensation and were the hot item in my kindergarten class. They didn't come in the regular pack that we got in class, I had to beg & plead for the special package containing the vividly colorful collection. I remember using those Ultra Pink, Yellow & Blue crayons until they were beyond nubbins. I carried around a special container with tiny specks of these extra special colors until there just was nothing left! Just reminiscing makes me feel like someone from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. Oh, the frugality! I can still feel the waxy smoothness between my fingertips.........Anywho--suffice it to say, to me, crayons are magical. And I have to disclose here and now: I am a crayon snob. Not that there is anything wrong with the Roseart brand of art supplies, 'cause there aint. They just aren't Crayola.

Those Binney and Smith babies are the bomb! I cannot begin to describe the feeling I get when I encounter a pristine box of unused Crayolas. Something about seeing them all lined up in nice, orderly rows......such pretty, colorful rows. The identically-sized rows.

It fills such a need for perfection in me. I cannot I buy.....I must have virgin boxes of Crayola crayons in my posession. I think this is where we cross over into the fetish category. If I have a box with flaws at all, it is relegated to the kids crayon box and I go buy myself a new box. If I find a limited edition box, I keep it far out of reach lest it be mistaken for crayons that are intended for actual coloring, heaven forbid! And just in case you think me odd, let me point out that I am not alone. There are serious crayon collectors out there. These particular crayons just sold for $21.00 on Ebay. I wish it had been me. No, wait, I wish I had purloined that pack of Macaroni Grill crayons myself when I had the chance! A crayon called Portobello for heavens sake!! Which leads me to the less conventional side of my obsession. The first thing I do when I see crayons is to bring them up to my nose as if i were a wine taster checking bouquet. I then take a very indelicate SNIFF!!! Breathing the waxy goodness deep into my lungs! I know, I know!! It's not normal!! But don't knock it until you've tried it. It rates right up there, just a spot above wet cement for me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peaches, Almonds, and Frosted Flakes

Last Friday, Connor and I drove up to the South Town Expo center to be part of the audience watching the Utah's Best Chef competition. (Audience included Jason's boss, Kendall Wimmer, and Thanksgiving Point's Director of Catering, Molina Welcker, whom I must thank for pictures of the event. Thanks Molina!)

This would normally just be a mildly entertaining way to spend my afternoon, however; this was not your normal competition. For me anyway. Jason happened to be one of the four chefs invited to compete! That made it an incredibly exciting way to spend my afternoon!!
Hosted by Angie Larsen of Good Things Utah fame, the event was run Iron Chef style. The teams were able to bring their own equipment and seasoning ingredients. Then they all had access to a pantry of foods to utilize in their dishes. The meat provided was a whole chicken, and of course, there was a mystery box of ingredients that they were not allowed to see until right before the 60 minute time period began. One of the judges was Kelsey Nixon, from The Next Food Network Star season 4, who is a Utah Girl. The other's were Chef Brian Woolley from KUTV news, and two restaurant critics whose names escape me. Kelsey said that on the real Iron Chef, the teams actually get to see the mystery ingredients beforehand. Cheaters. Anyway, the items in the box were:
1. Peaches. Easy Peasy
2. Almonds. Easier Peasier
3. Organic Fosted Flakes. What?!??!! The teams had to work all three ingredients into both an entree and a dessert!! How could you incorporate frosted flakes into an entree without, well, tasting gross??

I'll tell you how:

First you create a puff pastry tart filled with a bit of lemon cream cheese. Layer it with your fresh peaches and top with a crumble of almonds, sugar, butter and, viola--frosted flakes. Ladle some Grand Marnier Creme Anglaise underneath and don't forget the caramelized peach to lay alongside the pastry. (It was gorgeous. As beautiful a garnish as it was a part of the dessert.)

Then you make a sliced sweet potato latke to place under your entree. Saute yourself some fresh green beans for the side and continue on to your chicken creation.



Jason tells me this was a last minute stroke of genius. OK, he didn't use the word genius, that was me.

Now, whilst your chicken is merrily baking away in the beautiful $11,000 Thermadore oven/stove combination that I can only fantasize about having in my kitchen some day, you need to fashion a sauce. Using the peaches, some onions and PINEAPPLE VINEGAR, (honestly, did ANY of the other teams even THINK of bringing PINEAPPLE VINEGAR with them?? I doubt it.) create a lovely, sweet, yet tart, accompaniment to your perfectible poultry.

Then, with mere minutes left, arrange your culinary works of art on beautiful orange dishes and present them to the judges.

Let's review:

Stuffed Chicken breast with sweet potato Pommes Anna, topped with a sweet and sour pineapple peach sauce, accompanied by fresh green beans and tomatoes

A lemon cream cheese, peach tart paired with a caramelized peach and served with a Grand Marnier creme anglaise

(see the cool caramel coming off the peach in the background? It looks like a duck. And you'd NEVER KNOW there were frosted flakes in the chicken if I hadn't told you)

Jason and Rand, his sous chef for the contest, did a great job. (On a side note, Rand is Kristen Shumway's brother) The other three teams were tough competition, but in the end, I think it was the use of the pineapple vinegar and the beautiful peach tartlet that put my man over the top. YES!! I AM THE WINNER!!! er...I mean JASON & RAND are THE WINNERS!!

The judges were even overheard saying how unfortunate it was that there wasn't more dessert to indulge in!!

Here is the prize:

How sweet is that? Jason and Rand split it and I say it was well deserved! Truth be told, I really am the winner because I am married to such a wonderful, good-looking, multi-talented guy! GOOD JOB JASON AND RAND! You just proved what I already knew!!!

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