Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So far we are having a great Christmas Eve.  We went sledding today at the forest.  Austin is still not too crazy about playing in the snow, but seems to enjoy it more every time we go.  Tonight we had grilled shrimp for dinner, and it was so yummy.  We gave Austin his bath and put him in PJs, then we loaded up in the pickup and drove around looking at Christmas lights.  Austin was wide awake the whole time and really made it fun when he would proclaim "Wow!"  Tomorrow we are openning presents, heading to Church, then having lunch/dinner in the afternoon with friends.  I am so very blessed!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More from the cookie party

I'm sitting here watching a Christmas Story so I thought I would share more photos from the cookie baking party.



Who knew, frosting makes great hair gel!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa visit

Poor Austin, he has been not feeling well this week and fighting a fever since yesterday so I think that factored into his mood today, but our visit with Santa did not go well.  He cried the whole time I set him on Santa's lap.  From a distance he was good though, he would smile and wave to Santa.  He just wanted no part of being away from me. 

Friday, December 17, 2010


Tonight we were supposed to go to my employers community Christmas party where Austin was going to see Santa, but when I got home from work he was not feeling good, did not take a nap all day, and was running a mild fever.  If he is up for it tomorrow Santa is going to be at our local grocery store so hopefully we will get a good photo there.

I am all done with Christmas gifts!  I ordered the Grandparents photo gifts today and that was the end.  It feels so good to have that done and now I can get back to focusing on other things. 

Today at work they announced that we all got Christmas bonuses!  I wasn't expecting it this year because of the current politics, but an extra $200 was a nice surprise!

Grandma Doris

Blank Project Collage Mug
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Still here!

Man, Christmas is a week and a half away!  And it's been crazy here so I have not had a chance to post. 

Last week Austin had a puking tummy bug that he got from daycare.  Everyone assured me it was a 24 hour bug, and he first puked on Thursday night, well probably Friday morning at about 2:00am in the crib.  He seemed fine on Friday and Saturday so I did not cancel my cookie party, but warned everyone who came that he had it and they were here at their own risk.  Mostly everyone else said they already had it, this is a small community and bugs make the rounds. 

The party was fun and I had my boss and 4 ladies from Dustin's office attend as well at the twin daughters of one of Dustin's coworkers.  I have mentioned the girls before in my posts as Austin goes to daycare with the girls and Mer is absolutely in love with him.  Usually when I drop him off at daycare Mer comes for her hugs and Austin gets mad and cries, but at the party he played nice with her and even gave her a hug. 

So I figured Austin was over the "24 hour" bug, but sure enough Saturday night, well again technically Sunday morning he threw up again in the crib.  We originally planned to go Christmas shopping on Sunday, we live 75 miles from the closest mall, stores and Walmart so it's a major trip.  Since Austin puked again we decided that Dustin would stay home with Austin and I would go do the shopping marathon alone this year.  It actually was not bad since the city I went to is predominately Mormon and they don't go out on Sundays so there really were not crowds and I was able to knock it out pretty quickly.  I went to Costco, Sportsman's Warehouse, JC Penney, Dillards, Sears, Bath and Body Works, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and finished up at Walmart.  I got all but two gifts that I decided I could get here locally at a gift shop. 

So Monday rolls around and I was getting breakfast going for Austin and I hear the front door open. Dustin came home and was feeling sick.  He now had the stomach bug.  When it was time to take Austin to daycare Dustin was sure he was staying home from work for the rest of the day.  I went to work, but started feeling yucky too.  I went and picked up Austin at 5 and came home.  I made chicken soup in the crock pot that day and when I lifted the lid to add noodles the smell filled my nose, and off the the bathroom I was!  Thank goodness Austin was actually tired that night and went to bed right after dinner because Dustin and I were in no condition to keep up with a toddler. 

Luckily when we woke up on Tuesday both of us were feeling much better and able to keep down a small bland diet for the day.  Today I feel totally back to normal and so happy and thankful to have good health again. Now I need to catch up on all my to-do list. I have to wrap and box up all the gifts, I got a bunch of blackberries from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday that I need to make jam out of, and all my other general household stuff.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Handmade Christmas Gift Exchange

I mentioned a few posts back that I participated in a handmade gift exchange for Christmas.

My partner was Jaime from California.  She said "I like color, and cupcakes, and polka dots! You already saw my blog, and I have an Etsy shop as well:  We just sold our house and are moving next month, so I'm excited to do some new decorating in the next house."  So I came up with these crochet doilies which I made while we traveled to and from Colorado on our Thanksgiving trip:

She can decorate a table in her new house, or use them to display her cupcakes. 

Today in the mail I received her cool gift:

Appliqued gingerbread man potholders.  They are super thick and nice, very well crafted and will be awesome at my cookie baking party this weekend!  Thanks a bunch Jaime!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Details, details...

I am getting so excited for my cookie baking party.  I have been thinking a lot about the foods that I will serve.  I am definitely doing crostini with tapenade as I got two big jars of olives, green and kalmata, when I was in Cali and can't wait to open them.  I always do a smokey cheese ball, it's notorious and everyone would be deeply disappointed if I didn't make one!  I am also thinking about getting some summer sausage and slicing it up to go with the cheese and crackers.  I want to do a homemade bread bowl with spinach dip and serve it with crudites.  I can't decide if I should do one more or not.  So far 5 people have RSVPed on Facebook and 1 RSVPed over the phone today and she will be bringing her two girls.  I always serve hot apple cider in the crock pot and then have a cooler of sodas and beer.  I have also had wine available, but mostly no one has ever wanted to drink it. 

I want to try the cookies with color windows this year.  You take Jolly Ranchers and crush them up.  Then you cut little holes in the sugar cookies and put the candy in them and bake it so that it melts and makes a transparent candy window.  Hopefully they turn out.  I also want to use my new Pampered Chef cookie press that my sister gave me.  I need to find a good spritz recipe for that. 

Ah, details, details!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving wrap

I have been meaning to share about our Thanksgiving trip, but I knew it would take a while.  In general it was good, I am so thankful for the time spent with family.  We made it out all in one day on Friday which was about 11 hours.  Austin did great, he watched his cartoons and vegged out for the long ride.  We wanted to find a park to let him burn some energy, but it was pretty chilly so we settled for the McDonald's Playplace in Fruita, CO.  Saturday Dustin and I went to the Border War, which I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT, and that's all I have to say about that!  We did see my sorority friend Robyn and sat with Dustin's fraternity buddy Dave.  We went to our favorite Laramie restaurant, Altitudes, afterwards for an incredible meal before heading back to my Mom's.  I had filet that came with mashed potatoes with carmelized onions, it's making my mouth water to think about it!

Dustin's parents got in that day and stayed until Tuesday.  I think all in all it went well and I got along good with them.  On that, I have been working on my relationship with them.  We are just different and they make me uncomfortable at times as I'm sure I do to them.  After I had Austin my hormones were out of control and I was not the nicest person to them pretty much until I stopped breastfeeding and got back to my old happy self.  I try to be on my nicest, best behavior to make up for it now, and as I said I think this trip was good.  On Monday we went to the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver and it was a lot of fun.

Then on Wednesday my brother George and family came in and stayed until Friday.  My sister Cathy was there too. It was great to have so much family together, but 11 people in my Mom's small home was tight.  I was completely frustrated by Thanskgiving dinner, I bought a 21 lb turkey on Monday an put in the fridge to thaw.  It seemed to be thawed to me when I stuffed him and put him in the oven, but when it was time to eat I started spooning out the stuffing and it was definitely not cooked.  The outside part of the turkey was perfect, but the inside was undercooked, so it must have still been a bit frozen in the core.  We carved off the done part and microwaved it to make sure that it was all up to temperature.  The rest of the meal was good, and I really can't complain because it was a blessing to have that many of us together.  Although I am a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and take pride in the meals I prepare, so it was extremely dissapointing to me. 

We headed home on Friday, but only got as far as Green River, Utah.  We had all had it with being in the truck since we had been gone all week so we stopped for the night.  Saturday morning we pushed home, and man was it good to be home and sleep in our own bed that night. 

Now it's time to get ready for Christmas!

Cookie time!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A quick post

Just had to share a cute story.  Tonight after Austin's bath we were hanging out in the living room.  Austin goes over to his diaper bag and gets the box of wipes out.  He pulls out a wipe walks over to me, wipes my nose, then walks to the kitchen, pulls open the sliding trash can, throws the wipe away and closes the trash.  He cracks me up, I guess he's seen that one a time or two!

Also he amazes me because he can do somersaults.  We are guessing he learned it at daycare.  Most of the attempts he ends up falling over part way through, but he can definitely do a full on somersault every once and a while. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is a fun way to make new bloggy friends. Ask a simple question on your blog then go to An Island Life to leave your link, then make sure to visit other participants and answer their questions.

My question:

What color is the outside of your home? 

Today I finally got to help my husband paint our house.  He has worked so hard on it and got 3 of the 4 walls done before today.  Today he was working on the front and was getting tired of it so since I had the day off work, but our daycare was open I dropped Austin off and came home and painted with him.  Now our house is all blue.  Over the weekend we will go over the white trim with a fresh coat and our house will be good as new.  We also had a new roof put on two months ago.  The best part was we got a lot of time to just talk while we painted and it was so nice!  It's sad that in this day and age with our busy lives that we often don't take the time to have a heart to heart conversation. Aloha!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gift Exchange

I saw on Brandi's blog that she is participating in a handmade Christmas Gift Exchange and it looked like fun so I signed up.  Today is the last day, but if you are interested here is the link:

You get the name and address of another participant and you exchange handmade Christmas gifts by November 30th.  Now I have to get going on my new project!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cold weather is here...

...and that means it's time to wrap up in a blanket and enjoy a nice hot cup of cider.

My Mother-in-laws yummy recipe:
  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 TBSP whole cloves
Bring to boil, simmer in a crock pot.

I love to make this for parties.  I have found though that I like to use a strainer for the cloves, or remove them before serving because once someone swallowed one. 

In a Nutshell

Ok, so I have had a bit of blog block lately.  I have plenty of things to write about, but I haven't taken the time to sit and do it so I am going to do a bullet list of updates to get all my thoughts down:

  • We are heading to Colorado a week from Friday and I am SO EXCITED!  We are going to the Border War, the football game between my Alma mater Colorado State University and my hubby's Alma mater University of Wyoming.  It the oldest continuous interstate football rivalry west of the Mississippi.  Unfortunately it is in Laramie this year so it will be chilly!  The prize is the coveted Bronze Boot Trophy, it's a boot that was literally worn by a CSU ROTC instructor in the Vietnam War and they bronzed it and mounted it to a pedestal. 
  • My in laws are meeting us in Colorado for a few days.  They were going to come out here this week, but my FIL had a health issue so they were unable to make it.  They are coming in to be there Saturday so they can spend time with Austin while we are at the game.
  • We will not be moving to Grand Junction.  When Dustin got the notice about the job it listed the guy they hired for the position so Dustin googled his name and found out that the guy is taking a demotion for the job, so he must really want to live in Grand Junction.  I can't say I blame him as he is currently stationed in Vernal, UT and I can totally understand not wanting to live in a small Utah town. Please keep your fingers crossed that something else comes along soon for us.
  • This weekend Austin mastered "MINE" and "MY".  So now when he wants something that is what he will yell. 
  • Our house is 3/4ths blue now.  Since we have Thursday off we hope to finish painting the front of the house and get started on the white trim.  It is a bright blue, but I think if you aren't focused on the color then it looks fine.  At any rate it's better than the old grungy faded yellow that it was.
  • I bought my first Christmas gift today.  I wasn't even planning on it, but it just presented itself.  It's for my sister and I don't know if she reads my blog, so I can't divulge what it is, but I was really excited!  She is one of my moderately hard to shop for family members, so it's good to have that one figured out.
  • Christmas gift buying is getting easier for us this year, Dustin's family has pretty much all said they don't want to do gifts anymore.  Last Christmas his siblings did not get us gifts and his Mom just told me that they don't want a gift, which is ok with me!  He still wants to give his nephews gifts even though they are both in college now, but he said cash for all.  Nice and EASY!
  • I found out today that my employer is thinking about having our employee Christmas Party locally this year.  Usually it is a 1.5-2 hour drive away so I figured we wouldn't even bother, but if it's here then I am all for getting a sitter so we can go.  Last year we took Austin with us, but he was a little baby then.  Now he's mobile and loud and I think he would be annoying for those who want it to be a grown up party.
  • I tried Skype this weekend for the first time.  My sister was at my Mom's house and logged them on.  They loved getting to see and talk to Austin and he was digging it too.  The technology we have today is amazing!
I think that is most of what has been on my mind lately. I hope I didn't bore you too much.  I hope to get back to blogging more regularly, but don't hold your breath!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

In our little community we celebrated Halloween last night.  We had 5 trick-or-treaters before we took Austin out and we left the bowl of candy on the porch with the light on.  When we got home there were actually 4 candy bars left in the bowl so I was impressed that the kids were honest and only took a piece or two.  Austin trick-or-treated at two houses of friends of ours.  Before we left I gave him a mini crunch bar at home.  After we trick-or-treated he had his bucket on the way to the party we went to and he chewed through the package of one of the candy bars and had chocolate all over his face and costume!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I love my Mom!

On my way to work today I picked up our mail that we haven't gotten since our week long vacation and I had a package. It was from my Mom who usually tells me when she is sending something, but didn't this time so it was a total surprise. I of course had to open it right away and inside was my all time favorite childhood book.

I asked her about it a long time ago because I could not remember the title, but wanted to read it to Austin. I know that when I was little I would want it read over and over and that eventually I practically had it memorized and could recite it even though I couldn't read yet. My Mom saves a lot of stuff so I knew that she would still have it, but she did not know where it was. When I pulled it out of the envelop it totally made my day!

So tonight before bed I read Austin Timmy Mouse and he sat there and listened to the whole book.  He seemed to love the pictures.  When I was done he wanted me to read it again, but I told him we could read it again tomorrow.  It's so great to share that little bit of my childhood with him!

California Adventure

We took a week long vacation last week to California.  I had a conference in San Francisco and Dustin and Austin came along.  We flew in on Tuesday.  We got to the hotel, the Parc 55 at about 6:30pm so we were tired and hungry so we ordered room service for dinner.  It was expensive, but so worth being able to stay in and kick back.  My conference started Wednesday and I went to the morning sessions.  Since the afternoon sessions were the same old stuff that they do every year I skipped and we went to the California Academy of Sciences. Austin LOVED the aquarium part.

That night we took a cab down to Pier 39 where we had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  We saw the sea lions and looked at Alcatraz.
Thursday I spent the whole day at my confernce.  Dustin took Austin to Moscone Park.
That night we took the cable car down to Fisherman's Warf.  We had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack and then went to Ghiradelli Square for ice cream.  It was so cute, we ordered waffle cones for us, mine was chocolate chip cookie dough and Dustin's was chocolate.  For Austin we ordered a cake cone and vanilla ice cream.  They served them on their sides in a dish so we picked ours up like a normal cone.  Austin wanted to pick his up too, but was messing around with it and nocked off the ice cream.  Luckily I saw this coming and grabbed it and put it back in the dish.  Austin licked the little bit of ice cream that was left on his cake cone.  Then he wanted to try mine and I gave him a lick.  Then he tried Dustin's.  He looked at both of our cones then grabbed Dustin's and handed him his empty cake cone.  Dustin was not amused!

Friday I went to the last sessions of my conference while the boys went back to the airport to get a rental car.  We drove up to Vina, California to see our friends from college Amber and her brother Grant.

Saturday we drove to Rohnert Park.  It was dumping rain by that point so after we rested a bit we went to Chuckie Cheese's.  It was a bit overwhelming for Austin since there were tons of people there trying to get out of the rain.

Sumday we made a big sight seeing loop.  We drove up to Guerneville to see Armstrong Redwood Park and Austin Creek State Park.  It was pooring rain the whole day so we briefly got out for quick pictures.
We continued on to the coast and drove down to Bodega Bay.  We had lunch there overlooking the bay, then drove back up to the first beach just north of there.  It was super cold and rainy so we only were out there briefly too, but Austin loved playing in the sand and did not want to leave.

Monday morning we got up early and headed back to San Francisco.  We stopped by Muir Woods National Park so we could check it out and get Austin's National Parks Passport stamped, but Austin fell asleep in the car and traffic was a little sticky so we wanted to pretty much get back on the road to make our flight.  I ran up to the visitor center to get the passport stamped and it was 8:50am, but they did not open until 9:00am.  I knew we needed to be moving so I did not wait, which is fine since Austin didn't really see any of it.

Our flight back was pretty uneventful as well as the drive home from the airport.  It was a fun trip and we are happy to be home now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

8 Little Questions and 8 Little Answers

I got this blog idea from Jen @ A Tale of Two Coins.  She was pregnant around the time that I was pregnant with Austin and I came to know her through the WebMD pregnancy support boards.  Her world came crashing down though when her husband suddenly passed away at age 32 from a heart attack.  Then about month later she also lost her sweet baby.  I read her blog at the time and checked in on her from her from time to time to follow her amazing recovery.  She is very strong and inspiring, so if you would like to read more about her incredible story head on over there. 

1. What is the best vacation you have ever taken/ favorite vacation spot?

I love to travel and have been to a lot of great places.  I really loved Maui, it is so beautiful there.  St. John in the Carribean was also very nice.  I also loved Sanibel Island, Florida and would love to go back there someday. 

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be/why? (Money isn't an object)
This one is easy, my heart is always in Colorado.  I am crossing my fingers that fate will take me home soon!

3. What is your "go-to" outfit? or your favorite outfit?
I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  I love that my office is laid back and I can really wear pretty casual attire to work.  It's rare that I put on a dress or skirt!

4. What are you most thankful for in your life?
This one is hard for me because God has blessed me so much.  I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and son and especially that all three of us are healthy.  I am thankful that we have good jobs, a great home, nice vehicles and can live comfortably.  I am so thankful for my Mom, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  Like I said, I am very blessed!

5. What is one piece of advice you would give other women?
Live everyday to the fullest and take nothing for granted!

6. What is one thing you plan to accomplish before the end of this year?
I would really like to finish Austin's quilt, there I said it, it's out there and now I have to fulfill it.  I had better get off the computer and get to it!

7. What is your favorite purchase you have made in the past month?
I'm not much of a shopper since I live in the middle of nowhere.  I did go to Phoenix for my birthday last weekend and we went shopping at the Arizona Mills mall.  I got a couple of shirts, an outfit for Austin and at Baby Depot they had a sale on kids bedding so I bought a Cars toddler bedding set.

8. Do you save money for things? What are you saving for? If not, what would you like to save you money up for?
Right now we are saving up money in case my husband gets a job in Colorado and we need moving money.  I say that, but we are also preparing to go to California and that trip is already eating up a lot of the money we have now.  On the job, he applied for a job in Grand Junction and the announcement closes today so say a prayer for us and cross your fingers that we get this job.  I would so love to be closer to family!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday.  We are heading to Phoenix so I won't be blogging and thought I would share some thoughts tonight.  My Mom asked me if I was excited about my birthday, but I said at this point birthdays really aren't that exciting for me.  Not that I dread them or hate them like some people, but it's kind of just another day anymore.  I am excited though that we will be seeing my brother, who I share the birthday with, and his kids and my sister is flying in from Colorado.  The one downer is I think Austin has a cold and that I am getting it too, but hopefully it doesn't get bad. 

I usually don't do a whole lot of deep thoughts on my blog, but I have been reflecting on my age and have some thoughts.  I don't intend for this to seem morbid, I really am ok with my age.  I remember when I moved down here almost 6 years ago my boss was in her mid forties and when we were chatting one day I referred to her as middle aged.  Well that totally set her back, and she reminds me that I called her that several times since.  I think she was 43 or 44, so if you double that it's 86-88, so to me that seems like a typical American life expectancy, so is it really that far off by saying that she was middle aged?  So if you double my age tomorrow you get 64 and I thought about it and I really know a lot of people who were not fortunate enough to make it to that age.  So does that possibly make me middle aged?

So I mentioned that I share my birthday with my brother, I was born on his 19th birthday.  My parents had four kids within a few years of each other.  In 1977 my two eldest brothers were in Iowa working for the summer when a lady fell asleep at the wheel and hit them head on.  It killed the oldest Kenny instantly, and severely injured my brother Doug.  A year and a half later I was born, so I like to believe that I was God's way of letting my family know that they had to move on from the grief and get on with life. 

Tomorrow Doug and I will celebrate another year.  I continue to enjoy my life and take each day as the gift from God that it is.  Maybe I am middle aged, but maybe I'm third-aged and have another 64 great years ahead of me.  All I think about that is if I live to be a hundred years I hope that I am able bodied and have a sharp mind still.  My Mom has a friend who was 77 and she went out on a Saturday night dancing with her husband, went home and went to bed.  She died in her sleep lying there next to her best friend.  That seems perfect to me, but is that bad for me to think about and wish for a simple death?  Oh well, at any rate I hope that day is a long time from now!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Fifth

 Our fifth wedding anniversary was last Friday.  It's hard to believe it has been 5 years, it has gone by so fast!  On Friday I had to work late, but when I got home we got Austin bathed and put to bed then went out and had a candlelight dinner on the back porch with champagne.  Saturday we had a date since I traded babysitting with some friends of ours.  We went to St. George, UT which is 80 miles away so the majority of our date was travel, but we did have dinner at Texas Roadhouse and went to Lowes to buy paint for our house.  The family that watched Austin said he did great so that was good to hear.  In two more weeks we are also going to go to California as a family which is also in honor of our anniversary.

Blessing the rings.

The wedding party from L to R- friend Amber, Nephew Jake (ring bearer), friend Jens, friend Amanda, Niece Becky (flower girl), Nephew JC (candle lighter), friend Craig, Sister Cathy, friend Mark, and Niece Heather (candle lighter).

The family

I tip my hat to the keep of the stars!

How can a Ram marry a Cowboy?

I had to share one of my #1 blog fan Brandi!