Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why are boys so weird?

Okay, I'll admit it. I like boys. I even love many of them. But they're weird. Especially little ones. Today I met Tyler at Chili's for lunch and we were enjoying ourselves (and by that I mean we hadn't had to chase Brock all over the restaurant, nobody had spilled their drink, and had been able to have a discussion about Oprah [Tyler loved that part].) Brevin was eating his corndog minus the corn breading and being pretty self entertained when Tyler asked him what he was doing. He was kind of slumped down in his chair and from where I was sitting, across the table, it looked like he was looking at something on his stomach. Tyler says, "What are you doing? Is that food? Brevin, look at me and tell me the truth. Is that food? Did you put that there?" Brevin is NOT making any eye contact which is a dead giveaway for naughtiness. I asked what it was and Tyler said it looked like he had food smushed down in his belly button. I KNOW! HOW GROSS IS THAT???? So I think, surely it's built-up lint or something that Tyler is now trying to pick out with a spare fork. I'm sure the neighboring customers are about to puke up their baby back ribs and chicken crispers, but Tyler is serious about getting whatever it is out. Sure enough he pulls out a chunk of this stuff and wipes it on a napkin. Then we have to analyze it because Brevin is not giving us anything until Tyler threatens him with a timeout on his bed when we get home. FINALLY he confesses that it's the corndog breading. GROSS! Why would he do that? Not two minutes later he asked for a chip which he promptly smashed into miniscule pieces and then tried pinching up the chip crumbs to eat. I'm thinking, the girls just eat the whole chip! Lastly as we're walking out to the car Brevin refuses to put on his jacket, but since he's cold he puts it over his head. Of course he can't see and BOOM! runs into the door we're walking out of. WEIRD! I tell ya. Boys!

*As a total side note. I was going to post a picture of a belly button, but a belly button picture search turned up some weird stuff!

To-Do Tuesday #2

So it being Tuesday and all, I thought I'd post a picture of this big 'ol beauty. Another to-do checked off the list and it feels good (especially after a couple-hour snooze on the couch this afternoon.)

And here are some things you probably can't tell from the picture:

A) This board is used for the Northeast Region of CCSD for a pilot program of open enrollment in part of our district.

B) I stayed up until 5am this morning finishing this beaut!

C) The letters are all cut out (thanks to the Cricut) and backed in a different color (thanks to me!)

D) The pictures were all scanned, shrunk, and printed at about 9pm last night cuz I am all about the procrastination.

E) I've had this stuff for a week and schlepped most of it to St. George, but then I schlepped it back without touching it.

F) This to-do project took me 12 hours to finish since I was too nervous to do it anything but 100% for fear it would be "poopy."

G) MY favorite part is the little paper dolls dressed in Standard Student Attire

H) Doesn't this board make you want to take your kids to the 'hood (I-15 and Lake Mead?) cuz it's so stinkin' cute?

I) I literally sewed that shirt onto the board since I didn't have a stapler long enough to reach the middle of the honkin' board.

J) Tyler had to get the kids ready for school cuz I was completely useless this morning. Thanks Babe! He's pretty much the best.

*Hope your day was productive :) *

Monday, January 28, 2008

ScrapFest 2008

Alright, so for those of you who don't really know me, you may be wondering what exactly ScrapFest is and why I keep mentioning it. Well, a couple years ago some friends and I were talking about getting out of town to scrapbook. I figured why not invite a bunch of people, since the more is definitely the merrier, and voila! ScrapFest 2007 was created. My friend Shauna and I figured what we'd need to get a space and a few giveaways and with my super friend Chris' help we had more than enough to throw an awesome weekend of scrappin' and socializin' with some of the most awesome women EVER.

Of course, after a success like last year's and after figuring out a few kinks, I knew it had to be an annual thing. Plus, have I mentioned I like to organize things? Well, I do. I get a kick out of the details, I like to have a plan, I like to think about the plan, and then redo the plan. Basically it's a cathartic, busy process for me, but I totally enjoy it. This year we increased our numbers by 54 newbies. That's right, we had 76 of the most amazing women join us for ScrapFest '08. We do it in St. George so us Vegas gals can get a break and enjoy some different shopping, time away, etc. And this weekend is totally good for my soul. Really, the only pressure I have felt is to do all I can so other wonderful women can have a time to come and relax, enjoy others' company, and forget all their worries. It seems so unfair sometimes that we work so hard as women at being good moms, wives, sisters, friends, daughters, and/or professionals without any time to be indulgent and self-focused. I really feel stongly that ScrapFest should be a place where women (scrapping afficianatos or not) can come and work on something THEY want to work on and/or work on nothing at all. The bonus for me is being influenced and surrounded by so many neat women. That's another injustice, kinda. With life being so busy and heavy and crazy, we can't seem to find enough time just to sit and chat and be and feed each other's souls and hearts. I just really enjoyed the whole process from start to finish and I think it was a pretty good success.

The feedback has been good enough to plan on another ScrapFest (maybe 2) in 2009. I'm sure with baby #5 by then I will be ready to cut loose and paste some paper :) I just want to thank all the fab women who came and were able to take advantage of my vision. . . it really is so selfish on my part to enjoy the happiness of the ScrapFesters. It was so fun to have so many new people, but bittersweet to think of those who didn't make it this year. You really were missed!

And now, a little video. As with all real Scrappers, I didn't get any pictures of my fun table/roommates, so I want to give a huge shout out to Patty and Amy. Seriously, girls, your made the weekend a billion times better and I am SO glad you put up with me, my spaciness, late nights, and my incessant talking. You are a couple of THE best friends I have ever made and I am grateful for both of you.

View this montage created at One True Media

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reporting for Duty!

I didn't get much of a chance to blog last week as I was prepping for this past weekend's SCRAPFEST, and tonight I am still decompressing from the good times. I'll post more info and details about it tomorrow (once I find my camera cord. Seriously, not to digress, but how can something so important just go missing? I imagine it didn't sprout legs and walk away; it being used for some tow cord in the toy room car bin is more likely, but searching for it has really frustrated me . . . and by searching I mean I have looked in the two places it normally is, so I'll be really getting a serious search on tomorrow.)

Anyway tonight I was at choir practice for The Savior of the World production our neighboring stake is putting on (in April) and a guy came in to tell us President Hinckley had passed away about an hour before.

At first I was a little put off by the abrupt way the guy told us, not that he was rude or anything, it was just a shocking little bombshell. There was an audible gasp of surprise. Although within a moment I was overcome by emotion as the Spirit reassured me that it was a good thing and that the feeling of loss was a reflection to all the guidance and leadership that President Hinckley has contributed to my life. To believe in modern prophets of God is a blessing in my life and I know I have been lead to good things by listening to his counsel. Go figure, right?! What a beautiful thing to know and believe in a gospel plan that prepares us for life AND death AND the ever-after. And how can I be truly sad when I belive that President Hinckley and his darling wife are reunited?
For more information on President Hinckley this article gives a recap of his life and contributions to our church and the millions in the world (not just to those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) who have been affected by his world-wide leadership and service. What a great thing to have lived at the same time where he led and guided!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Brother

Pretty Much Rocks the Universe TOO!

This has been a great week for our family on the job front! Just want to give my hard-core bro a shout out for being accepted into the NORTH LAS VEGAS academy starting in February! He's pretty great and so's his wife. I'm pretty thrilled for them AND they make cute babies, which doesn't have anything to do with his job, but I can't pass up a chance to say how cute my nieces and nephews are!
I'm off to ScrapFest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Dad


CONGRATS TO MR. GARRARD (aka THE greatest dad of all times AND super-grandpa) FOR BEING NAMED THE NEW PRINCIPAL AT HELEN HURR ELEMENTARY. The Sky Hawks will never be in better hands than yours, Dad! I screamed, I whooped, I cried, and I am SO proud of you. Way to work hard and be SUCH a wonderful influence on SO many kids and staff. THIS is AWESOME.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kicked out of my own caucus!

Okay, considering the back and forth with Tyler last week, this post will ring of irony. See, as I see myself, I've tried to be very supportive of the caucus. Soo, I read my flyers, listened to the phone calls, and watched this morning's coverage on channel 8 (WHICH was conveniently showing at the nail salon when I was getting my nails done.) The announcers on channel 8 were wrapping up the Republican caucus report (way to go Mitt Romney!) and announcing the Democrat rules WHICH included doors shutting at noon. I figured I had time to kill and would get to Charlotte Hill Elementary at a prompt 11:30am. Now, if you know me, that's prompt if we don't have to be there until noon . . . I mean, downright early for me. As I am walking up to the door this young gal (she was probably barely 18 decked out in Clinton garb) starts hollaring, "If you're gonna caucus you have to be in here before I shut the doors." I said to her, "the news just announced and I thought we had until noon." She looks at me all weird and like I don't know what I am talking about. Instead of telling her how well-informed I was AND that I had a personal phone call from Kate Walsh (yeah, as in the movie actress who WAS on Grey's Anatomy but who is now on her own show, in person, for real, no recording, for about 10 minutes. We're friends now, she might call back just to chat) I scurried inside.

Alright, so I am thinking, a relatively new political process will have signage for what we're supposed to be doing and where we're supposed to go, right? Ugh, no. I tried asking the young Clinton chick what I was supposed to do and spent a minute or two looking around. There were signs EVERYWHERE, but silly me not getting caught up in slogans I couldn't figure what sign was indicating the Clinton side and which was for O'bama. I saw people sitting in two different directions, people standing around, and these two lines. So I step into one of the lines to wait my turn to sign in? ask what the line is about? or something, I don't know when this guy stands up and yells, "If you are in the line after the people with the yellow papers you are too late to register." So I'm thinking, surely he means register to vote and since that's done, I stood there for a minute. Then I turn back to this lady who came in after me and said, "Is he talking about register to caucus or to vote?" She's shrugs her shoulders and the Clinton chick is looking around all lost and confused. Since she was calling people inside I assume she had some role in directing things and asked her if I was going to be able to participate. She's looking all confused when the dude stands again and about YELLS, "According to the National Democratic Rules if you weren't in line by 11:30 then you cannot participate! This young lady [she's one person in front of me] and this gentleman were given a yellow piece of paper and if you are in line after them you cannot participate in the caucus." (From now on I will call him Dick because, well, it fits his attitude and it's appropriate at a caucus!) So I turned to the Clinton chick and said, "Didn't you say if I wanted to caucus I had to be in before you shut the door?" Then she looks MORE confused and afraid of Dick and shrugs her shoulders. I said, "Perhaps you should really shut the doors so more people don't keep coming in here if that dude [Dick] is saying we can't participate." By this point there are probably 12 people who came in after me through the shut doors. She says, "Well, I am sure you can stay and watch, but you can't caucus." ????? WHAT? Whatever. I had been in there for a whole, fat 5 minutes and thought, "no thanks" so we (me and some of the other people) left. I got in my car at 11:35 (my clock is 4 minutes fast!) and was home at 11:40 after getting kicked out of my own caucus. I emailed Channel 8 news AND the Nevada's Democratic Party, but I doubt I'll hear back from them. Crazy, huh?

So, the moral here is take my own advice. Despite all my caucus rah-rah I was kicked in the pants by the whole process. I am thinking I will need to be more proactive in being in charge of SIGNAGE and PUBLICITY for any future caucuses for the Democratic party. And maybe I could give Dick some lessons in being a little more caucus friendly. He totally turned me off of the caucus . . . GOOOO Primary!

Kind of Interesting

This was interesting, and JUST to hold you over until I get a chance to explain how I was kicked out of my caucus! SERIOUSLY . . . Promise that you'll love it Tyler!


There are 93people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quit complaining about your caucus!

I have really enjoyed politics ever since Mrs. See's Senior Government class when a lot of the politcial processes finally started to make sense. I even ran, I think, as the Democratic representative in our class's mock election and I am pretty sure we beat Aaron Cohen's Republican race, but maybe my memory is a little fuzzy in that memory.

Every time election time rolls around, I try to inform myself of the issues and I really like listening to both sides of the issues. Trust me, as the lone registered Democrat in an in-law family of Republicans, I get an earful of the other side of the coin. I appreciate it, though, and makes me think about things. I don't, however, like the political propaganda emails that get sent around. It kinda makes me laugh/kinda gets on my nerves when I get an email from a well-intentioned family member or friend trying to persuade me that my political affiliation aligns me with the devil. I really have to question the intelligence of the sender of the emails that slam EVERY democrat EVER because of the failure of the Social Security program [Don't even get me started on that one!] or the ones that seek to defame and defile the Democratic national candidates by calling them terrorists or racists or whatever. I hope that everyone takes the time to think those emails through and REALLY only send them to me because they're so obviously thick with propoganda and spin that they can't be all true.

This year Nevada has a chance to caucus. We're the second state in the nation to have this kind of event and it's really meant to share our thoughts and feelings with others of our own political party in order to REALLY support one candidate for our individual parties. I didn't really know what it was to caucus, and when I talked to my good-government-teacher friend Patty we shared our ignorant excitement. She said, a caucus is hard to explain and usually it was something she didn't focus on when teaching high school students since it's a pretty open definition and awkward to say around teenagers. Then she reminded me of the student who asked her (when explained that a caucus is a group of people who get together to decide on their candidates) if black caucuses were bigger than white caucuses (I KNOW that is a little naughty, but also a true glimpse into what teaching high schoolers is like! and we both laughed at how uncomfortable a position that put her in as the teacher who tries to seriously answer the question about a legitimate process with a horrible name!) This is something I found online that made sense about what a caucus is all about:

What is a caucus?
A caucus is a gathering of neighbors who meet to discuss grassroots politics. Democrats [and Republicans] will join with others in their precinct to pledge their support for their favorite presidential candidate and thereby award delegates to the candidates.

Caucuses are different than primaries because caucus participants do more than just support a candidate for president – they also participate in other party business such as electing delegates to the county convention and submitting resolutions to the party platform to be considered by the platform committee at the county convention.

SO, I am going to caucus on Saturday. Yes, I know the caucus has some down-sides to it (like causing contention within one's own party with lawsuits [because the Democratic party has placed precincts at several casinoes which is likely to assist the O'Bama-supporting-culinary union in participating on one of their busiest work days while the Clinton-supporting-teachers' union thinks they're being slighted . . . even though teachers can go WHEREVER they want to caucus because they have Saturday off] and excluding those who can't get off work or have small kids to consider, etc. But it gives Nevadans a chance to really have their voices heard in a national forum.

My cousin Tyler was pretty amped about the issue, so you can read more about his position on his blog, but this was my response to his blog. Just in case y'all still want to know some more of what I think:

FIRSTLY, let me share this with all the love and devotion of my most closest cousin EVER! But, you asked for it. . .

Okay, I've been thinking a lot about this since your post (and before) and I've been listening to some people complain and some people be excited for the caucus. While I respect your stance on the "screwed up political process" I have to REALLY disagree with you about it being screwed up. I think the caucus process is a really interesting way to encourage Nevada voters to be a little more proactive. Now, that's difficult when you have to work and can't go share your voice with your neighbors (which is another reason why the caucus is being called a good thing), but the caucus is a small part of a big picture (as is the primary election - no matter when it is held.) From my understanding, the decision to caucus along with the August primary was to be able to have Nevadans voice heard earlier so it would count for something. Both the national parties agreed it would be a good thing, so I'm thinking this is one more situation when the general public would rather complain about the process and call it "screwed up" instead of actually actively participating in those kinds of decisions. If there were more people involved with their political parties when the "to-caucus-or-not-to-caucus" issue came up in early 2007 [or maybe even before that] then those opposed to the process could have said, "UH, I have to work a 12 hour shift that day and would rather not have any Nevadans voices heard as opposed to just those voters who have Saturday off and/or who don't have work and/or who have found a babysitter." This caucus on Saturday is a real chance to have an impact on choosing the parties' delegates and as one who is a little undecided on which candidate I prefer, I'm looking forward to going and deciding which candidate I think will be viable on a national level.

As far as your feelings about those running being so much more successful financially and thus unable to relate to us common folk. . .I think THANK GOODNESS we have intelligent people who make wise decisions who WANT to be involved in this crazy process and who WANT to make some sort of change. Granted, there may be some narcissitic personalities who are in politics for the wrong reason, but THANK GOODNESS we, as the ones who sit at home and hope for better OR who are content with the status quo OR who are cynical about the entire future of our country have the opportunity to see the good people and VOTE for them. I do believe a lot of the candidates who get involved with civic service DO understand what it's like to come from less-than-rich backgrounds BECAUSE of their parents hardships and lessons. It doesn't mean that by the time they are running for President of the country that they haven't been successful in other areas of their life and that may be fiscally. There are plenty of politicians that made a correction officers salary or a teacher's salary before they went in to public office, but yeah, some of them were successful lawyers and businessmen. Let's not waste time lamenting about their successes when they're throwing themselves into the possibly the most difficult job ever.

So, the benefit of a caucus is to get your feelings out and work through some issues with your party to be heard. Even though you can't go, though, you've done a good job of sharing here. Really, I like to think this stuff through, so it's all good :) What would you say/share if you WERE at the caucus? Which candidate would you support? Or would you be on that middle line waiting to be swayed to one of your party's candidates or the other?

Anyhow, basically I am thankful to be able to be involved. I own what I believe, what I don't believe, and what I am trying to figure out. I know what I am hoping for as far as our country goes and I'm really praying we can, as an American people, get some perspective and DO something by either participating in the caucus and/or voting. It's really a blessing to have the opportunity just to be a part of it on any level, right?!

Tuesday To-Do List

I think it's fun when blogs have a reason for a post on a specific day. My friend Taralee has "Fortunate Friday" and my other friend, Jenn, has started a "I totally recommend . . . " She also had Haiku Monday, which I loved, but haven't seen lately. Anyhow, I think on Tuesdays I will try to post the progress of a project I have been working on. My to-do list is a mile long with projects I make up that, then, I NEED to get done. These projects usually don't have anything to do with our health or happiness or actual needs, but they help me with my sanity. So, without further ado, here's this Tuesday's To-Do:

Christmas Cards
I am a pack rat! I can't help it; it's in my blood. I have not been able to part with the darling Christmas cards and letters we've received over the past many years. Usually I make a scrapbook page pocket and put everything in there and then nobody knows what the huge lump in my scrapbook is. Well, my UBER creative and organized friend Angela had out this Christmas album one year at her house. Angela started taking her families' and friends' cards and pictures and every year she compiles them into one album for that specific purpose. She swore it was easy (all the cute photos and cards make up the decorations) and cathartic (because I can finally get rid of a lot of the paper and just cut out what I like.) Well, I like the pictures, crafty homemade cards, and particularly clever letters in Christmas cards, so I desginated a favorite for the year. Also, because of the ever popular photo card, I picked one of those, too, as one of my favorites. Then, I cut out the pictures and tagged them with the name of the family and where the family was living that particular year. It was funny to notice the senders' changes over the three years that I scrapped and some similarities. For example, my friend Leslie has done two of her cards (in the past three years) in hues of blue and brown and while it it not the traditional Christmas colors, her pictures ALWAYS look perfect (the other year they were at Disneyland.) I think the Marshall boys have changed the most the past few years (talk about grown up this year!), my cousin Tyler always has his picture at a foreign location (Yellowstone, Norway, and the Angels game), and my other cousin Greg's family always have their photo taken outside with the changing fall colors. I went from an entire box of paper to 17 cute scrapbook pages in a matter of hours. I still need to label the album (that I have yet to buy) by the year and I'll be able to pull it out with the other Christmas crap each year. YAY. Anyway, I wanted to share the awesome results and I am so thrilled to CHECK this one off the to-do list. Here's some close ups of 2007's page.

(Disclaimer: I didn't include our pool company's photo card, even though it's darling and they send us one of their family each year OR our financial planner's. I thought that was weird. My favorite letter this year was Jer's, but she needs to give me another copy of it and I'll slide it behind that ribbon with the tag that says "Fave Letter 2007". Also, some of the late "holiday" cards [cough, cough, Chris] and Annilee's will be on a page I have yet to do. Cool, huh!)

Gus! Gus!

There are a few things that make me happy; things I look forward to no matter what. Giving birth is one of them. Not even just my own births, but the births of those I love. The anticipation of meeting the new soul sent to our crazy family is one of my favorite feelings. Even the panic and confusion I felt when delivering Makenzie (au natural) was replaced by the complete euphoria and excitement of the whole process when she was born. FORTUNATELY I have been blessed with pretty much the cutest nieces and nephews and cousins EVER (sorry for the rest of y'alls second-place cuties [lol]), so meeting them and watching them grow is a real blessing in my life.

Of course, as my sister-in-law Stacy's pregnancy has progressed, I've been excited for her and Nate and Zoee. She's such a beautiful woman and great mother and to know she'll be raising another one of my nephew's makes me very happy. My dad said once, and it's so true, that when Nate scored, we all scored. I'm grateful, even though their route may not have been so conventional, that they're together and happy and having a baby GUS! As the first sister-in-law in our family, I imagine the transition of two new sisters has been hard. Luckily, Stacy's been SO patient and loving and SOOO stinkin' fun and willing to hang out with us. Erin and I couldn't wait to be part of Stacy's party when she was laboring with Gus. It was awesome!

Stacy and Nate went to the hospital to be induced at 7:30pm Sunday evening. Like a true Garrard sister, she was already dialated, so they hooked her up to all the tubes and with all the paperwork and fixed her on the pit. Stac's mom and Zoee were able to hang out for a bit Sunday night and Mom, Erin, and I got up there between 9 and 10 to do the support thing. Dave stopped by later than that, but the dude cannot hang, and after passing out on the floor, left about 1:30am to go home. Here's the happy Mama:

Stacy's contractions were fairly consistent (thank you pitosin), but when the nurse finally checked her, she hadn't dialated much. The contractions were intense enough that they gave her some rockin' IV antibiotics, and by rockin' I mean Stacy was full-on Lindsey Lohan-ing it just moments after the Staydol hit her system. She was totally looping and slurring and then pretty much out of it. The rest was good (I mean it WAS the middle of the night by now), and I was hopeful that she'd wake up in an hour and be at a 6 or 7. The reality of being the support system was starting to wear on me as I knew I had to still be mom on Monday morning, and so by 4:00am when they had broken her water, gotten her an epidural, and she was at 4 cm, I figured it was time to give up the ghost and go home for a few hours sleep. Nate and Stacy, both, luckily, were ready and able to rest a little bit. Stac did say that the bells and whistles kept her from really zonkin' out, but I think for the most part they were able to rest up for the big show.

All day Monday we were like vultures all over our phones and Nate's blog. How cool is it that St. Rose Sienna now has internet capabilities from the hospital bed in the delivery room??? It totally made me excited for my delivery in May. Tyler is already predicting too much blogging and not enough pushing. Anyway their blog kept us pretty updated and we were hunkered down for slow, but steady improvements. Sure enough, at 3:23am baby GUS HOWARD GARRARD was born at 8 lbs. 11 oz. (SO BIG to me!) and 20.5 inches long. He has a head full of curly, dark hair and is really adorable. And I'm not just saying that because ALL my nephews are cute . . . HE IS A DOLL! He as these round chubby cheeks, great skin, and is just the right size to make all the newborn outfits look perfectly sweet. He came out of the shoot crying and I think he's gonna be able to communicate quite effectively. The family all came back to the hospital last night around 7:30pm and he cried whenever he was moved from his warm snuggly position to a take-a-picture pose. See, here's my cousin Jerolyn, sister Erin, Me, and Gus:
So, you can't tell on THAT picture how cute he is (from so far away and with the beaming family and all), but my mom's blog has some good shots. Of course, Nate and Stacy were beaming too, so I want to include a shout out and huge HIGH FIVE to the momma and the poppa! We're so proud of y'all and thrilled for the Garrard foursome!

Happy Birthday our little Gus, Gus!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tagged, Your It!

This is fun, quick, and easy enough to do in five minutes before the news reports the weather. So, thanks Chris. I tag, specifically: Jerolyn, Jennifer, Erin, Annilee, and Alexis. I do think it's fun for everyone.

What's his name? Tyler

How long have you been together? 11 years married

How long did you date? 6 months

How old is he? 33

Who eats more? Usually Tyler, but I've been known to give him a run for his money.

Who said I love you first? It was me. Shocker, huh!

Who is taller? Tyler (I couldn't have handled marrying someone shorter than me, and I wanted to be able to wear heels even though I'm already 5'10.)

Who is smarter? We're pretty balanced. He does the numbers while I would rather read and write. Neither of us like science (ask Mackenzie who we try to bribe to NOT participate in the optional science fair each year.)

Who does laundry? I do unless he's desperate for clean underwear, then he'll start a load of undies.

Who does the dishes? I do mostly, but he'll do a load once in a while. Mackenzie has started loading the dishes and ALL the kids help unload (I REALLY hate to unload while loading involves some mad organization skills for maximum dish-washing possibilities, which is a little exciting to me. Weird, huh. I've been known to unload what Tyler's loaded to make it look better and be more full.)

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If the kids were standing at the foot of our bed looking up at us, Tyler would be on the right side. That'll change, though, when the baby comes. We're not so stuck in that rut that we can't shake it up every now and then.

Who pays the bills? Tyler took it over a couple years ago. One of the best choices we made!

Who mows the lawn? You mean our rock grooming? Uh, that would be the lawn service we pay.

Who cooks dinner? Mostly me, but Tyler is a great cook and I LOVE it when he takes the reigns and shops AND cooks. Kindof interesting, Tyler does most of our grocery shopping willingly. I love him!

Who drives when you are together? Sometimes me, but mostly him. I don't think he's that good at parking my big car, BUT he hasn't banged and scratched any of our vehicles, so I try not to complain about his skills.

Who is more stubborn? We're both stubborn, I guess, but I think Tyler sticks to his stubborness more than me (which I guess proves that the real answer is that HE is more stubborn; I'm too tired/lazy to hold my ground.)

Who kissed who first? He kissed me FINALLY, but I sure kissed back!

Who asked out who first? Techinically HE asked me out first, but I pretty much threw myself at his feet by making him a plate of cookies and a cheesy note attached to a blown-up photo. I guess TECHNICALLY, our very first date (the Thanksgiving before) was due to his dad, so Bruce gets the credit on this one.

Who proposed? Tyler did. We had a very honest conversation (or two or three), so we knew we were going to get married, and had picked out the ring together. He took me to Sunset Park (where we'd gone a lot while we were dating to walk around the lake), but the Renaissance Fair was in full swing, so we ended up in a ball field.

WHo has more siblings? We're tied; his side has one more in-law than mine, though.

Who wears the pants in the family? We do better, in general, to be in the same pair of pants.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Curse of Knocking on Wood

It seems during the winter season we always get hit with some major bug that leads into a minor bug which ends in time for the major bug to reappear, or something like that. But this year, I've already knocked on wood, we've escaped major health issues. I'm fairly cynical about our kids and the odds that if their is a flu or cold around one of us/them will bring it home and infect the rest of us. Luckily, though, this year we've been fairly healthy. Last night we went over to Noel and Jill's for game night (WAY fun, and Tyler didn't complain once about going. I think he loves the Thompsons a lot as the lack of moaning about game night obviously shows AND that he bought Noel Macayo's enchiladas and smooth salsa.) Anyhow when we got home my cousin Katy, who was babysitting, said Caylee had been complaining of a sore throat and coughing and sure enough, who's at the bedside at 2am? Caylee with this gnarly cough action. So, since I was struck with a migraine (I think the result of two late nights in a row or too much salsa) Tyler got up and gave her some medicine. We didn't want to expose the other kids at church to her cough, so I am staying home from church right now to tend to her and my hang-over headache.

SOOO . . . it's an hour into church and I've checked all the blogs, Caylee has coughed maybe five times since Tyler took the other three to church (I think this is just a little cold exasberated by playing outside in the cold yesterday evening with no jacket and shoes), and I am resisting urges to power clean (it is the Sabbath and all) and/or start munching on junk food. Caylee is rocking out to her girlie CDs and playing a fabulous set-up of Barbies. I'm bored.

On the good front, my SIL Stacy is supposed to be induced tonight and I am so stinkin' excited! I'm sure I'll post more about that later, but the whole labor process is SUCH an amazing and exciting process. I love that Nate and Stacy will be making that transition to loving one more person and growing their family together. It's GREAT!

Alright I am off to do a little laundry and some scrapfest prep work. Later!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Snowball Effect

A few hours after my sister came home from a weekend away and I was called out for not posting. Fair enough (but in all fairness I am not as bad as DANIEL who hasn't posted in FOREVER!) I have explained before how I have a tendency to start one project only to interrupt myself with another project before the first is completed. With the new year beginning and moving over the hump of my pregnancy hitting about the week of Christmas, I decided we were going to do a major overhaul of our house. Tyler and I have often had the conversation about bigger homes vs. smaller homes; wants vs. needs; too much junk vs. too little space. We've come to the conclusion that we have a great home with plenty of space and it would FEEL more spacious if we got rid of some of our junk and utilized our space better. For example, that lovely, prerequisite 3-car garage we HAD to have when we bought this house DOES NOT fit either of our honkin' cars (trust me I tried and [remember from the previous post] scratched the back of my car), yet it's not used to the best of it's spacious capacity. Sure, it houses a butt-load (sorry for the crass-ness of the expression, but it's starting to feel like it's coming from every crevice!) of holiday crafts, camp equipment, out-grown clothes bins, bikes/wagons/scooters, and bulk paper products, but it has been a ground cover for long enough. SO, last Wednesday, as part of the overhaul last week I hired my brother to put together some garage shelving units and get some of the garage junk up off the floor, unstacked, and accessible. Well, that's where the snowball begins. Once we got the shelves, we needed space to put them together, so we had to move the section of the couch that had been hanging out in the garage BACK into the toyroom. Well, of course, to do that we had to move the computer out of the toyroom which meant we first had to unhook the plethora of cords and haul out all the equipment to shimmy the computer cabinet out of the toyroom. Once I realized that I had unhooked our internet AND phone service, I had to call Cox Communications to get them to come hook up a new cable outlet in the living room where we were going to relocate the computer. [So OBVIOUSLY I COULDN'T BLOG!] They were coming on Thursday afternoon, so I was feeling like the snowball was growing a little larger. Before the computer could be relocated, we had to move my sewing machine cabinet to my room and a big book shelf in its place. I have been SO annoyed with the little cabinet we had our computer in for some time, especially once I got my honkin' wide printer and I couldn't really access it to change ink, rear feed paper, etc. Imagine Tyler's eye-rolling when I explain the need for a new desk pronto in order for our computer to sit on something once the Cox guy showed up. But, like the great money machine he is (J/K) we stopped at Office Max Wednesday night and found a smokin' deal on a desk/hutch combo. So, we brought home two heavy boxes and then I was really feelin' the snowballin' anxiety to get it all put together. Luckily, I have another HANDY brother and he and his wonderful little family came over Thursday to put together my new desk. A HUGE THANK YOU to Nate, Stacy, and Zoee for spending the day with me and working on my snowball! The Cox guy came that afternoon and other than being a total pud and annoying the crap out of me with his smoker-smell, we were pleased to get the cable line hooked up. I was glad to have those two days over.

Anyhow, the snowball has yet to stop, but I did get back online (obviously). Of course, the rearranging has yet to be completed. I want to move some book shelves and food storage out of the boys' room to make room for a crib and another dresser. I've gotta move the food storage into the girls' closet THUS move another book shelf into the toyroom from their closet. With the full couch and two bookshelves in the toyroom, I want to move the toy shelves out into the garage. To move those, I need to continue to clean out the garage camping and clothing storage and put back all the Christmas. I also need to find THE perfect TV armoire that I can lock up when the kids lose their TV priviledges (it's pretty much THE worst punishment we can dole out.) OH! and because our ancient computer was starting to crash regularly when the kids wanted to play on it and the moniter is so big, Tyler ended up at Best Buy on Saturday with a new computer purchase. To say this overhaul has turned expensive would be a mild understatement, but I am confident that in a couple weeks the peace of mind will be worth it. Thank heavens my in-laws are having a garage sale on Saturday. We'll be de-junking FO SHO!

Have I mentioned that in the midst of all this stuff, I was taking down Christmas? and that I had another ultrasound (still a boy, by the way!)? and we changed phone services since I neglected to notice in my snowballing that we have no phone outlet in the living room? and I've been dealing with our home warranty company since our pool pump broke again!? and I've been trying to keep ScrapFest organized? and I've been working on my Christmas scrapbook?

So, yes, that's why I haven't blogged (and, like Dylan mentioned on his blog, I do feel like I have to explain WHY I've been so busy.) We're building rollin', honkin' snowballs over here! Happy January :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Questions that make you go Hmmmm

Alright, I've been thinking about some way to blog about the coming year/past year, and since I am avoiding putting away all the Christmas crap, I thought this list of questions that I found on my friend Jeannie's blog was good. We had a nice New Year's Eve with some friends from our ward, and I'll be posting pictures soon, but for tonight here are some thoughts on 2007-2008.

What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
S - went to Mexico and France
T - Fished in New Mexico

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
S - I made good progress. I'll have the same ones this year, probably.
T - I didn't make any

Did anyone close to you give birth?
S - Lexi, Moana, Nancee, Leanne, Steph, Kourtney, Christina . . . I think I'm gonna feel like a jerk because I am SURE there's been more babies born this year.
T - my sister

Did anyone close to you die?
S - No
T - No

What countries did you visit?
S - Mexico and France
T - France

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
S - More patience
T - Another kid

What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
S - I'm bad about dates, but I'll remember France [especially sleeping in the airport one night] and Mexico with the Smiths for Mackenzie's b-day, Kenzie's baptism, ScrapFest, and more!
T - WHAT? This is dumb! I don't remember dates.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
S - Not messing up or losing any of my kids :)
T - Finishing the 50 miler hike with our ward's young men [which was actually 54 miles since we got lost one day and had to back-track].

What was your biggest failure?
S - Not becoming a runner.
T - I don't focus on anything like that.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
S -sub-chorianic bleed (near miscarriage)
T - No.

What was the best thing you bought?
S -my wide-format printer (for those large 12x12 scrapbooking pages)
T - Sage 4-weight rod

Where did most of your money go?
S- To Target and Sam's Club
T - To my family

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
S - Trips out of town
T - Going to France

What song will always remind you of 2007?
S - "Get your head in the Game" from HSM and our dance for the stake dance festival
T - Can't think of one.

Compared to this time last year, are you: much happier, richer, nicer?
S - Yes, because of Tyler, and probably not
T - All three

What do you wish you'd done more of?
S - Been relaxed around my kids more.
T - Fish

What do you wish you'd done less of?
S - Eat; Drink Soda
T - Work

How did you spend Christmas?
S - Playing Santa, visiting with family, unwrapping and untwisting toys from their packages, eating shrimp dip (YUM!)
T - Doing whatever Sarah did.

Did you fall in love in 2007?
S - Yes, with Mexico and France
T - I was already in love

What was your favorite TV program?
S - JUST ONE? Pa-lease! Here's a list I've narrowed down: Grey's, The Office, Bravo Reality (Top Model, Top Chef, Top Design, Housewives), Friday Night Lights, Oprah, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor (JUST for the company of our Bachelor parties), Survivor, and The Biggest Loser.
T - Monster Quest

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
S - No; hate is really strong. I do get perturbed at rude parents at my kids' schools during pick-up and drop-off times.
T - That's kinda rude; No.

What was the best book you read this year?
S - The best of this year was probably Harry Potter, but I've enjoyed a lot of other ones.
T - I didn't

What was your greatest musical discovery?
S -Wicked
T - Blue October

What did you want and get?
S - A lot; I'm pretty spoiled, but the trip to France takes the cake.
T - A 4-weight rod

What were your favorite films of this year?
S - I liked a lot of movies this year, but can't think of any of them that stuck with me to name as a favorite
T - Blades of Glory

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
S - I had a rad birthday party at my friend's house with a band to celebrate my big 3-0!
T - I was on the hike; I turned 33.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
S - If I had become converted to running. I'm gonna try again this year.
T - More camping trips

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
S - Boring and mommy-ish; hopefully clean, but that was no guarantee.
T - Dry-wicking-y

What kept you sane?
S - lunch dates with my sister and brothers, weekend dates with my hubby, trips out of town
T - chips and salsa or peanuts

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
S - Probably Oprah . . . I'm so into her cult!
T - The guy from Survivorman

What political issue stirred you the most?
S - Still the stupid war we're stuck in which makes this upcoming election REALLY interesting to me.
T - Alternative fuels and the conspiracy of large oil companies

Who did you miss?
S - My Grandma and Aunt Dode (still)
T - nobody

Who was the best new person (people) you met?
S - The fun people at ScrapFest 2007
T - I can't think of anyone

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
S - Life does not get easier the older you get.
T - We ALL have issues.

What are you most excited for in 2008?
S - To not be pregnant anymore (which is nicer to say, "The new baby!")
T - The new baby!

What are you least excited for in 2008?
S - Engorged and sore boobs.
T - Having to work.