Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is How We Roll

A typical trip to the grocery store goes something like this:

Step 1: Forget the reusable grocery bags you were so proud you bought. They stay in the trunk of your car.

Step 2: Get all of the kids in the cart. Sammie and Luke insist on the car cart even though they are stuffed in there like sardines.

Step 3: Hit the bakery where your kids get free cookies. The lady will only give you two and you ask for a third for the baby. She looks at you skeptically. She then asks if you want a small one for him. Say no and take a large one. He eats the whole thing.

Step 4: Let the kids peruse the cake book. This is very important. They need to discuss what cake they will order for their birthday even if it is months away.

Step 5: Stumble upon these little beauties. Buy one with the intention of eating it a little at a time over the next few days. (Take it home and eat it like an apple in one sitting.)

Step 6: Load up the cart with milk, eggs, cookies and candy. (When you get home you will wonder why you have nothing to make for dinner.)

Step 7: Let the kids run though the front of the store while you check-out. Act like you don't know whose they are--hence no pictures.

Step 8: Head to the car. When you get home, leave the groceries in the car for at least three hours until you remember they are there.

The end.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Week in My Life

It's been one of those weeks. I didn't get any of my to-do list done. Here's what I did do:

On Monday, I got a make-over from my friend Andrea. She is now selling Mary Kay and she did an awesome job. I promised her I would start wearing lipstick...sometimes...okay--once in a long while. Andrea is one of the hippest, cutest girls I know and the make up is really cool--definately not the pink-cadillac Mary Kay image I had in mind. Here is a picture of the new me. Forgive me for the blatant glamour-shot look of this photo and for the fact that I'm too lazy to crop it.

On Tuesday, I had a birthday dinner at Nordstrom with my neighborhood friends. My friend Lori (who also had a March b-day) and I chose to go to Nordstrom cafe. Great company, great bisque, great shoes purchased during the excursion--and great warning from my friend Marni about dating older men--just in case I ever find myself in that situation! This photo is actually from my friend Kristen's b-day dinner because I didn't have my camera that night.

On Wednesday, I volunteered at Luke's school. He's only in kindergarten and he's already ashamed of me. I wave at him and he looks away. Yet, he still loves it when I come. It is so weird to see him as a "real person" at school interacting with other kids.

I already told you how I hate the dentist. On Thursday I had to get a crown--one of the worst experiences of my life. I dry-heaved twice with his hands in my mouth. As the hour progressed I got more and more ticked that I was sitting there, with him hurting me. As I was leaving, I said to him, "I don't know why they send people to prison--they should just send them to the dentist everyday." I wasn't joking when I said it and now I feel bad. Should I apologize? The best is I got to pay $700 bones on my way out and come back in three weeks--thanks for the good time!

Thurday night I went to activity days. Friday morning I had my kids Easter pictures taken (I will share those soon!) Friday afternoon I went to the mall and did a bunch of returns and bought this stuff at Janie and Jack: (Much like the pink and brown at Gymboree, I like to choose one line and just ride it.)

This is all in addition to my "normal activities"--ballet for Sammie, soccer for Luke, carpool, preschool, etc. Sam is so tired of my evening activites. I'm now on house arrest. but aren't those sandals to die for?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Trip to Washington D.C.

First, thanks to everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes. I spent a great birthday weekend with Sam in Washington, D.C. Sam was there for business and I was there for pleasure. My only requirement for a vacation was met--no kids. I could go to Beaver, Utah and it would still be a vacation if I didn't have my kids with me. Anyway, I digress.

One thing you should know about Sam is that he hates to ask people to take our picture. So he tries to hold the camera out as far as possible for a self-portrait, hence the Washington monument coming out of his head.

One thing you should know about me is that I am an eater. I love to eat and I hate to waste even one meal on a vacation. I am very nervous about ordering badly, which I have a knack for. Luckily, I have a husband who takes pity on me and will always switch me plates so I'm not sad. The best food we had was at a Mexican restaurant in Ballston, Virginia called The Rio Grande Cafe.

While in Washington, we visited the American History Smithsonian (my favorite) and Sam was able to get this photo with his idol, Stephen Colbert.

We also went visited the Mall (not a shopping destination, to my dismay) and the white house.

We went to Arlington National Cemetary. The cherry blossom were just beginning to bloom and it was gorgeous.

We also took in a matinee ("Taken") and I did some shopping while Sam attended meetings. Among other things, I picked up this little beauty at Macys. (Mine is white!)

The highlight of the trip was seeing a older, well-dressed lady wearing open toed boots on the metro. I kid you not people. It was one of those moments where I thought "She looks nice" and my eyes traveled down until I got to her boots. They were very 80s. Then I saw the peep toes. I couldn't believe it. Is this out there being done? Say it isn't so.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sam's Birthday Tribute (Roast) to Me

Brooke asked me to provide the contents of a blog post for her birthday. The assignment was to write 32 things about her since she is turning 32. I asked her if it had to be touchy-feely? She said no. Could it be sarcastic? Sure. Could I have a little fun and talk about how she has clogged toilets in six different States and the District of Columbia? No. Even though I recognized the assignment as the proverbial bear trap that it is, I agreed to her request—as I always do. So here it goes.

32. She firmly believes that Adam fell that Eve might shop; and Eve shops, that she might have joy.

31. She hates being tickled, so I tickle her often and when she least expects it.

30. She loves trashy television. Real Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, The Bachelor, etc. I have never seen her watch a documentary of any kind.

29. She loves her kids more than anything. I wish I could say I was in second place. I am probably in the top ten behind Oreos, Diet Coke on ice, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s eggs, blogging, Thin Mints, the minivan and shopping.

28. In a moment of quiet honesty, she will admit to being the source of Sammie’s “sweet” personality.

27. She is closest to her little sister, Ashley, and in the right frame of mind could beat up her brothers, Rex and Cam. At the same time or separately. She has unusually sharp nails and a strong kick.

26. She is passive aggressive. Once in Granite furniture in Orem, Utah, a salesperson told her that she could not have food in the store. Brooke was eating frozen yogurt from a paper cup. She kindly thanked the salesperson for the information, turned the corner, made sure she was out of sight, and discarded the cup and spoon onto some of Granite’s finest furniture.

25. She would voluntarily cut off a hand before eating regular full fat/calorie butter, sour cream or ice cream. But she would eat a sleeve of Oreos without any guilt or hesitation.

24. At restaurants, she always take a bite (or two) of my meal. She will often try to justify her conduct by offering a bite of her entrée. I never accept the invitation with the hope that it will have a chilling effect on her future conduct. It has not.

23. Despite my complaints, she is very generous toward neighbors, friends, and ward members, cooking meals, doing errands, baby-sitting kids, etc.

22. She believes that she is the creative genius behind our Christmas card. This is the source of much contention.

21. I do not think she will ever get over the idea that we have a subpar wedding video. About four years ago, I thought she had made her peace with it, but the issue resurfaces like Lochness from the deep every time a sibling weds.

20. She is the world’s biggest anti-morning person. Regardless of when she goes to bed, she is exhausted every morning and can never get up. She also “gets hit” with fatigue while driving and flying. When we drove cross-country in 2002, she would sleep all day in the passenger seat.

19. Associated with #20 (above), she often naps on the weekend and will always under-sell the time of her nap with statements like “I tossed and turned…” and “I never got comfortable…” She should outlive me by twenty years based upon our sleep differential.

18. She takes great pleasure in purchasing, assembling and accessorizing our children’s clothing. We have dozens of large containers in our basement packed with children’s clothes.

17. She routinely milks her birthday for at least a week of special treatment and favors. Similarly, she purchases presents for herself in advance, usually about six months out.

16. She and I can no longer engage in certain activities at the temple due to a laughing incident in 2003 that almost got us kicked out. (I cannot disclose the specifics…not because they are a secret, but because they are sacred).

15. She will never forgive me for not dropping her off at the hospital entrance when she was in labor with Samantha. For some inexplicable reason, I just pulled into the parking garage at LDS Hospital, and we walked in together. She never complained at the time, and it seemed logical.

14. She could be a great con artist, having mastered deception and misdirection at a young age.

13. She has expensive taste. Not a complaint, just an observation. I had to get creative to pay for her wedding ring. I would explain but I don’t know if the statute of limitations has run. (Corbet, from Fortier at Fashion Place Mall, if you are reading, thanks!)

12. She is the person whom Billy Joel was thinking about when he penned the following lyrics:

And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me

11. She always gets emotional about her maternal grandmother, Kathleen Poole, whom she was named after. She is close to all of her grandparents and feels guilty for not seeing them more often.

10. She struggles to pronounce the following words differently: “pool,” “pole,” “pull,” and “pulled.” Ask her sometime.

9. She graduated from law school the year ahead of me, worked as a prosecutor, retired when Luke was born and has never looked back. I am confident that she will never again practice law. I wish I could say that.

8. She is sometimes confrontational with strangers and family—never afraid to mix things up—but she usually plays nice.

7. She is a great mom and puts the kids needs before her own. They will have fond memories of their childhoods and will be better people as the result of her influence.

6. She is easily offended in situations involving customer service. If wronged, she will devote countless hours until she is made whole and enjoys speaking to management. Hell hath no fury like Brooke scorned.

5. She is an advocate for sunless tanning. Instead of obtaining a tan from the sun, she applies a tan from a bottle/can. Although this protects against skin cancer, it has been known to stain sheets and have orange undertones.

4. She never drinks calories with a few exceptions: (a) homemade smoothie; (b) milk with cookies/dessert; and, (3) low calorie punch.

3. Regardless of when she puts a new post on her blog, she always makes me check my phone before going to bed to see if there are any new comments. She lives and dies with each post.

2. She has always been a magnet for older men. Whenever we visit her home ward, the old men line up after the meeting to give her a hug.

1. She is the cheese to my macaroni.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Help is So Hard to Find

In my quest to find good jeans, I was reminded how much I appreciate good customer service. I have an inherent need to return things. I inherited this trait from my mother. Nothing is worse than a store with a bad return policy or rude salespeople. Here are my best and worst stores when it comes to customer service:


Nordstrom--the gold standard. The employees are always professional, helpful and bend over backwards to make sure you're happy. I love that you don't need to have a receipt for your returns because they keep track of your purchase on their computer.

The Buckle--I have to give an honorable mention to The Buckle as well. I visited three different Buckle stores in the last week and I had excellent help at all three. Maybe a little too much help (gay guy in my dressing room telling me the lines under my bum would disappear when the jeans stretched out a bit!) I ended up loving my jeans from the Buckle and the returns were easy as well.

Costco--I should have listed this as #1. I can return anything and get cash! They don't require a receipt, they don't care if the product is half-eaten--they take it back.

Janie and Jack/Gymboree--Most of Sammie's clothes come from these two stores. There are cute, friendly ladies working, good deals, they are willing to call other stores for merchandise, easy returns.

McDonalds--The other day, I went through the drive-thru and ordered 5 hamburgers--one for me, one for Sammie and her 3 friends. I wolfed mine down in the car. When we got home there were only 3 more in the bag. So I called McD's and complained. I got an apology letter in the mail and two free coupons for extra value meals. Nice.


Target--I love Target as much as the next gal but I hate their return policy. I can only return three things a year without a receipt and I only have three months to return with a receipt. I know this sounds crazy but I think it is too stringent.

Walmart--I used to love Walmart for their return policy. Now they've gone Nazi on us. Their policy is as bad as Target's. Walmart is dead to me.

Gap/Old Navy--I love to shop at these stores for my sons but I hate the return policy. Now if you return something without a receipt (I lose receipts all the time--that's why this is such a big deal to me) you have to get store credit mailed to you. Ridiculous!

Taipan Imports and Down East--two of my favorite stores. The bad news--they only give you store credit with returns.

Now what are your best and worst stores for customer service?

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Hate the Dentist; I Love My Kids

I should clarify--I don't hate my dentist--I hate going to the dentist. I went today for a cleaning. When I walked into the waiting room, I could already hear the drill and it gave me the willies. Even cleanings are bad for me. My teeth are very sensitive and I always jump when the hygenist hits a nerve. I loathe sitting there not being able to talk--the whole thing is uncomfortable (and expensive!) Worse yet, I have a crown that needs to be replaced.

So as I was lying there in the chair telling the hygenist about how hard my kids are right now (I still try to talk even while she's cleaning--I can't shut up!) She stopped cleaning my teeth and told me about a dream she had about a week ago. She has grown children. In the dream, her grown children were young again. Her son, who is now 30, was about five years old in the dream--she said his hair was cut the exact way it was all those years ago and he was talking to her. She started crying telling me how wonderful it was to be transported back to when her kids were small. She said, "I just took his face in my hands while he was talking to me" then she couldn't finish because she started crying. She told me "they grow up so fast. I always knew they would grow up, I just didn't know it would happen so fast. Just grab your kids and kiss on them right now while they are little."

I started crying right there in the chair with the ugly goggles on. I came home and grabbed my Lukers who is my "big kid" and who I don't mug on enough. He is so cute and loves to snuggle. I am going to grab him more and snuggle and kiss him everyday before he grows up.

Just as a side note, I was volunteering at Luke's school the other day. I was taking down valentines that the children had made off a a bulletin board. Most of the valentines said "I love mom" or "I love dad." I was bracing myself to find "I love dad" on Luke's since he is such a daddy's boy lately. Then I came across this one:

I knew immediately whose it was. I just started laughing. He is all boy and he loves his toys.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Great and Spacious Building

This blog is becoming really high-brow.

I went to the brand-spankin' new Nordstrom today at Fashion Place Mall and it is gorgeous. The floors shined, the merchandise was stocked, the displays were beautiful, the help was plentiful--in short, I felt like a better person.

Last post I discussed my quest for a new pair of jeans. I don't know why I wasted my time going all over town, within 10 minutes of walking into Nordstrom, (with the help of a very knowledgeable girl in t.b.d.) I found the perfect pair--high waist Citizens. They are not even high--just not totally low rise--they're perfect. Now I'm returning all the others.

Sammie then insisted we eat at the Bistro in Nordstrom. It was so yummy. I got the crab bisque. Sam and I always go to Nordstrom Cafe in San Francisco just for the crab bisque and now we have it here. It is to die for!

Don't even get me started on the shoe department! You must go.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Forever in Blue Jeans

I'm not the type of girl that has a closet full of jeans. I usually only own two pairs at a time and I wear them constantly. That is why I can justify buying pricey jeans.

Both of my pairs got holes in them this week. So I've been out frantically looking for new jeans. I've had to haul Ryan with me everytime and sometimes Luke and Sammie too. What a nightmare--they cry, they crawl under the dressing room door, and my favorite, Luke makes running commentary about what I look like in my underwear while I try on pair after pair.

I usually just roll into Nordstrom and buy a pair and get on with my life. This time Nordstrom's selection is low because they are opening their new store right away. So I've been looking at the Buckle and Macys as well. I have five pairs of jeans in my possession right now. Sam, don't check the account balance--you don't want to know! Three pairs will go back. Since I've been thinking about jeans, here are my rules for buying jeans:

1. Buy them tight--obscenely tight--they will stretch out and be perfect.

2. High quality costs money--they are worth it. Don't flinch at spending 150 bones or more for a nice pair.

3. I believe the darker the better (for slimming purposes.)

4. I think you need one pair hemmed longer for evenings (to wear heals or boots) and one pair hemmed shorter for everyday (to wear flats.)

5. Try on a bazillion pairs--you never know what is going to look good.

Pretty simple, right? Now, tell me your secrets for finding jeans. I expect Nic and my cousin Lindsay to weigh in on this--you are both jean experts.

The 80s Called--They Want Their Vest Back

I can forgive Jason for what he did to Melissa but not for this get-up. What is he wearing? On another note, I saw Jason and Molly on the cover of People magazine tonight on the newstand and I didn't recognize Molly without the eye-liner.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jason Mesnick is a Mess

Okay so the people have spoken. They want a post about the Bachelor. I don't have anything funny or insightful to say, just some random thoughts. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Jason should never have proposed to Melissa if he felt that terrible about dumping Molly.

2. I think he got back to "real life" without the helicopter rides and dream dates and life got boring with Melissa. I think the producers had a big part in what happened as well.

3. Just like Melissa said, he wasn't willing to work on their relationship because it is easier to run (probably what happened with his ex-wife--pure speculation.)

4. I have a gut feeling he spoke with Molly before the "After the final Rose" segment and made sure she was on board. She faked the surprise well though.

5. Jason is a small man and not that cute. He is no Brad Womack. There is no reason either of those women should be fauning over him.

6. He fake cries a lot.

7. Of course Jason fell in love with two women. I could probably fall in love with 10 hot men given the opportunity (hi Sam!). He was in heat with two women.

8. I don't think Jason and Molly will last. But I'm not a hater.

9. I bet Ty is one confused little kid right now.

10. Moral of the story: You can get away with murder if you "follow your heart."

ps. Jillian is darling. I'm glad she is the next bachelorette. I think women like her more than men do though.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Weekend Report

Friday afternoon:

Ryan got his first haircut:

He instantly became a little boy:
Friday Evening: We went to dinner at our favorite pizza joint. We ran into my parents, brother Rex and his family and brother Cam and wife Katie. My kids loved seeing their cousins who were visiting from California. Ryan came home and enjoyed an Oreo in his highchair:

Saturday afternoon:

Sammie modeled the princess dress that she wore on GTU again in a fashion show at La Caille. It was a fundraiser tea and they were auctioning the dresses. She only cried three different times and threatened to back out once. Luckily, a quick bribe (a trip to Target to buy ANYTHING she wanted) did the trick and the show went on. Here is a photo of her when her dress was being auctioned. She had removed her crown at this point:

She got to wear her own princess dress to the tea and she chose to go as Snow White:

Even though the food was excellent, Sammie only ate cucumbers dipped in ranch dressing:

Saturday Evening:

Ryan had his first birthday party:

We always let the birthday baby eat their own mini cake with their hands:

He was spoiled by all of his grandparents:

Sunday afternoon:
We took part of the top off the jeep for a Sunday drive:

Sam is ecstatic about me posting this photo:

Sunday Late Afternoon:

Our house when we returned from our drive. It looked like a bomb went off and this is only the kitchen:
I seriously have no dignity posting this photo and my mother will just die. This is what happens when you are too tired to clean up after the party Saturday night and you just go to bed. The mess grows on Sunday. It is now clean and I'm buried in laundry.