Friday, July 22, 2011

My Own Brand of Mangy

My sister recently did a post where she made the point that a mangy baby is the sign of a good summer.

If that is the case, I must be having a good summer:

Barefoot, mangy Buster and I shared a hot dog at Costco tonight for dinner. I think I did earn some points for being at Costco.

And if a mangy baby is the sign of a good summer, a mangy kid is the sign of a great summer:

And if a mangy kid is the sign of a great summer, a mangy husband is the sign of a totally awesome summer:

Sam in all of his mangy glory while we took the kids to visit my friend's cats. That's how we roll folks.

May summer never end...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meet the Family

My entire family came into town over the Fourth of July weekend. It was so nice to have everyone here for Luke's baptism and to participate in the parade with us. We had Jill take pictures of the whole clan while we were all together.

I've been told in the past that I never talk about my brothers on the blog. Some have even questioned their existence. Let me introduce you.

Rex is my older brother (by 15 months) but he has always sort of felt like my younger brother if you know what I mean. Rex used to beat the crap out of me growing up but has mellowed a bit in recent years. He is an FBI agent in southern Califoria. He packs heat so I wouldn't mess with him. Rex likes to tease and is known for his kool-aid stunt with Ashley and leaving hilarious comments on my blog. Here is Rex and his family:

You all know Ashley. She is a regular around these parts. She is the smartest one in our family (and that includes you dad!) Ashley is a retired attorney and if she has it her way, she will never work again. She lives in the bay area and she and her husband Tyler make red headed boys:

My little brother Cam is the one you probably don't know. He is a law student at BYU and his wife Katie is the best thing that has ever happened to our family (along with Rex's wife Sarah.) Cam and Katie are the favorite aunt and uncle for many reasons. Cam and I have had some pretty sweet fights as adults and it's good to know I can still take him.

My parents Paul and Linda. You all know my mom as the best grandma on the planet. I used to not use that term for fear of offending others but lets call a spade a spade. She is. As I type this, she is at Cowabunga Bay going down water slides with Luke and Sammie. God bless her. My dad is awesome too. I have really relied on him a lot over the years and I appreciate him more every year.

My family (enjoy it because you will see this same picture on the Christmas card!)

Just because I know you are all clamoring for more, here you go:

If you want Jill's contact information, you can go to her website here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hometown Dates

The hometown dates episode is always my favorite episode of the season. Last night, I went up to my mom's to watch on the big screen. My mom and I are so similar. We agree on everything about the show. We both can't stand Constantine. We both cried during Ben's date and we both feel so bad for Ames.

Let's start with Constantine. Nothing wrong with his big Greek family. They were as nice as could be. I loved watching Ashley in the restaurant and I thought it was pretty funny how all the waitresses were spying on Ashley and Constantine. I just don't like Constantine. He isn't funny. He isn't handsome. He isn't really all that nice. Send him packing Ashley! He is the original caveman.

Ames. Poor poor Ames. My mom and I both agree that he was born a century too late. He is sooo polite, so nice, such a gentleman. He is so smart and classy and I think that is why I am still drawn to him even though he is so cheesy. I loved his older sister. I knew he was going home though. Ashley always described Ames as "unique" and "amazing" but never said she was "smitten with him" like she said about J.P.

By the way, I hate the word "amazing." It is the new "sweet spirit." If you don't want to date someone and they aren't cute or sexy or whatever, they are "amazing." just a fact folks.

Just to make us all feel better (or maybe I'm the only one who cares.) Ames is now dating Jackie from Brad Womack's season. She was the smart, outspoken brunette. Apparently, they met on Bachelor Pad 2. She is perfect for Ames:

My friend Mandee made a very wise comment. She said Ames is Creme Brulee and Ashley is Baskin Robbins. So true.

Onto Ben. First, I loved his mom's house. How cute was the outside with the white fence and red front door? Ben's mom and sister were so classy and nice. Ben's sister was really pretty. Unfortunately, Ben's mom looks like a caveman in a blond wig. I'm horrible.

I did cry through the whole date hearing Ben talk about his father. I just don't see Ashley picking Ben in the end but he is definitely my second choice. That caveman has grown on me.

Let's talk about the only guy who matters at this point. J.P. He's got it in the bag and he knows it. She is so head over heals for him and I love them together. I don't love small men but I'm a sucker for a guy with dimples. I thought his mom was so cute and I laughed out loud when she brought out the Bar Mitzvah picture. The only thing I'm worried about with J.P. is that he may still live at home. I swear he said "I've spent all 33 of my years in this house." Um, 33 and living with mom...not a good sign.

Now, the 25,000 dollar question. WHO COMES BACK? My mom and I rewound the DVR three times to try to figure it out. Ashley says "You flew to Fiji?" So we know it isn't one of the three who are already there. The producers clearly want us to think it is J.P. that she sends home and then he comes back but I don't think so. Mandee says it could be Brad Womack. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best of San Diego

Sam and I returned Sunday evening from a trip to beautiful San Diego. The Utah Bar conference was there this year instead of Sun Valley. Sam and I decided to make it a real vacation and leave the kids home. I love San Diego. I lived there for five years when I was a kid and if money was no object, Sam and I would move back tomorrow. Here are the best things from our trip:

Best Meal: Blue Ribbon Pizzeria in Encinitas. Sam and I were driving up PCH on Sunday before going to the airport and found this pizzeria. They do the most divine artisan pizzas. Everything is organic (which is very important to me (wink) and they have the best bruschetta I've ever eaten:

Best Dessert: Ghiradelli's malt. Sam is not one to go light on desserts. My cousin told me about a place called Extraordinary desserts that we also hit hard, but we both liked good old Ghiradelli better. We ordered a malt and a brownie sundae but the malt was the best. We went to a movie after eating both desserts and I felt so sick the entire time. I've got to stop eating to the point of complete illness--I did it at least three times on this trip.

Best Company for a Meal: My aunt and uncle and cousin Kelly, and my parents. My cousin Kelly is one year younger than me and we grew up together. She is hilarious and my aunt Pandy and uncle Mark and like second parents to me. I love them!

Best Pool: Marriott Marquis downtown San Diego. This one seems obvious since there was only one pool on the trip. But this pool was the nicest pool I've ever been to in my life, even nicer than our pool in Hawaii...palm trees everywhere, shade, waiters bringing me fruity drinks at the snap of my fingers...I don't know why I came home.

As a side note, I felt very mom-ish in my tankini. I honestly think I was the only woman out there not in a bikini. Young, old, big, small, everyone had on a bikini. Which leads me to...

Best Awkward Moment: There were two extremely beautiful, blond, tan teenage girls (from somewhere in Europe) directly in front of us by the pool. (I referred to them as the Swedish bikini team). They both removed their tops and were sunbathing lying on their stomachs. At one point, they both sat up and veeerrrrry slowly put their tops back on (exposing their breasts for what seemed like an eternity.) I looked over at Sam, who was locked on, mouth slightly agape, making no attempt to avert his gaze. No, I did not get a picture.

Best Book: Tiny Fey's Bossy Pants. I think Tiny Few is sooooo funny. Sometimes I would laugh so hard I had to put the book down. Do yourself a favor and buy it today.

Best Shopping: Horton Plaza (only because it was within walking distance from the hotel.) I did some serious damage at Nordstrom and Gap--40% off sale stuff plus I had a coupon for an additional 25% off. Think how much I saved!! Two of the outfits I purchased for Sammie:

Best Shopping Companions: Paul and Linda Warner. My parents were at the same conference. When Sam would go on his four hour bike rides, I would go shopping with my mom and dad. I totally felt like I was back in high school, with mom showing me all the "really amazing" bathrooms, and my dad paying for lunch. He has the patience of Job when it comes to my mom's shopping. The man can follow her for hours and not say one word.

When we were at Horton Plaza, my dad and I got laughing about when we were there on a trip when I was in high school. I was in the Jessica McClintock store trying on Homecoming dresses (they were the rage in 1994) and I left my jean jacket (also the rage) in the dressing room. We came back an hour later and it had been stolen. That was a tough day for my teenage self.

Mom and Dad in front of "the Del"

Best Fast Food: La Salsa. I ate lunch here two days in a row with the 'rents. They love it. The shrimp tacos are really good.

Best Binge Meal: El Torrito in La Jolla. Fajitas, excellent salsa and gigantic Diet Cokes. What more could a hungry girl ask for?

Best Tourist Trap: Seaport Village. I love their Christmas shop "Mistletoe." They also had this restaurant that made me miss my little Chubby:

Best Laugh: Finding Spanx for men at Nordstrom. There is justice in the world!

Best Celebrity Meeting: CJane in the San Diego airport. I promise I will never bring it up again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

CJane says I am a Tall, Luminous, Blonde

so you know it must be true. I feel pretty awesome right now. See the post here. Sam and I were at the airport in San Diego getting ready to come home from a very fun vacation (that post coming.) I rue the day I didn't have Sam take a picture of me with CJane. Quite honestly, she had her hands full with her kids and I just couldn't ask. But she was as nice as she could be and it is the closest I've ever come to meeting a celebrity. I did touch Kenny Loggins once....

I am hosting a shower at my house tomorrow night for 60 ladies (you better believe it is open house style!) and if you could see my house right now, you would not believe I would let my own mother in here tomorrow. But here I am still giving you a Bachelorette post people!

Tonight I watched the Bachelorette while I "helped" Sam recover the seat cushions on our kitchen chairs. All the while, I was texting Mandee and loading up my Old Navy virtual cart with school uniforms only to discover an hour later that the 35% off code I was using didn't apply to unis...what the?

So here is the extremely quick and dirty on Bachelorette in Taiwan:

Ashley looked really cute in the white jeans but holy crap girl--can you find a shirt with a back? I especially loved it when she went to the temple with Ryan backless! It didn't seem right.

I texted Mandee at the beginning of Ashley's date with Ryan and said he is going home at the end of their date. Told you so!!

I felt bad for Ry Ry (that's what we call our Ryan.) It is hard to see someone who is ALWAYS happy sad. He is sweet and will be a great dad. Please please Mr. Fleiss, don't make him our next bachelor (Jake Pavelka part deux!) I would rather watch a caveman and I already swore I wouldn't do that.

Speaking of the cavemen, Ben is growing on me. It started last week but I had too much pride to admit it. I still don't want him to win but he is alright. Constantine still sucks.

I loved Ames in the baby blue tux. He is so cute when he doesn't talk. He is so cheesy but I still like him. Sue me.

Emily should totally be our next Bachelorette. Love her. Why oh why can't she and Brad make it work? Is he crazy? Tell me please people!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic Pirates

Ahoy matey! This year for the Fourth of July, my mom built a pirate ship float for all of the grand kids to ride on in the annual East Millcreek parade.

Actually, Sam built the ship, Ashley's husband Tyler sewed and rigged up the sails and my mom did everything else. She really is a creative genius. We thought we might actually have a chance to win this year but once again, no dice. We lost to a very sub-par covered wagon float.

Every year, Sam grumbles about having to do the parade, but honestly, it is so fun and my kids looooove it. This year, the three oldest grand kids walked and threw candy:

The four little boys rode in the float:

and the three babies got pushed in decorated strollers:

All of the kids wore pirate costumes and me and my sister, sisters-in-law and my mom wore these red and white striped shirts I bought on Ebay...of course, my smart aleck brother Rex had to give us a hard time about wearing horizontal stripes:

The back of the float was the only thing I was responsible for. I ordered vinyl lettering and called it a day. It was a four man job getting it on straight.

Because I know you are dying for more, here are some action shots from the parade:

Of course, we finished off the morning at Kneaders eating their chunky french toast and strawberries 'n cream. I'm not much of a breakfast eater but it is DELICIOUS! I may or may not have finished every one's plate:

The rest of the day was low key and I actually got a nap while Sam took the older three kids to Kung Fu Panda 2. I needed the sleep after the crazy weekend we had--it has been Warner-Palooza with tons of activities and dinners and a family picture and Luke's baptism. I will report on that later!

Happy Fourth everyone!