Friday, December 21, 2012

Best of Christmas 2012

I can't believe how quickly December flew by. Remember how November just dragged? Christmas is upon us. Thank goodness I have the entire day to myself tomorrow to get 'er done. I give you the Best of Christmas 2012:

Best Girls' Night Out: Gourmet Dinner Night at my home.

This is getting its own post.

Best Proud Mama Moment: Watching Ryan in his preschool program and dying at how cute my big boy is.

He is the biggest in the class and the sweetest child I have ever met.

Best Moment for Sammie: Having a gingerbread house party for five of her closest friends.

Guess which house is hers? (She loves pink!)

Best Moment for Luke: Having me help at his class party (I am in the top right corner in Ryan's reindeer antlers.) 

At one point I said to Luke "no, you cannot sit on my lap!" And all of his friends laughed. 

Best Moment for Mitchell: Going sledding with Grandma (photos coming!)

Best Moment for Ryan: Our annual tradition of riding the trolley at Thanksgiving Point and getting ice-cream in the malt shop afterwards. (flashed out pic with my super crappy camera):

Ryan was sick as a dog but refused to miss it.

Best Funny Photo:  my two lil' couch potatoes:

Best Break from the Madness:  Weekend trip to Vegas with John. 

Best Birthday Party: My mom turned 60 and for once, we really did it up right!

Best Christmas Miracle: Passing my eye exam at the DMV
Yesterday morning, I went to renew my driver's license at the DMV and failed the eye exam. I knew I needed to go home and get my contacts into my eyes or I would not be able to pass the test and get a new license. I first stopped at Walgreen's to see if I could get a pair of "readers" to get me through the test..but they didn't help.) I went on home. Miraculously, after 15 mins, I got the contacts into my eyes, drove back to the DMV and passed the test (I won't tell you how long it took me to get the contacts back out of my eyes last night!)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finding Hope this Christmas Season

I have so many things I want to blog about right now (Gourmet Dinner Night for starters) but my heart is heavy and I just can't bring myself to blog about the silly right now.

I have to admit that I have cried on and off several times over the last two days thinking about the families in Connecticut who lost their dear children.  I can't seem to shake the sadness in my heart thinking of them burying their children at Christmas time.  Then, tonight, I came across this video called "An Unexpected Gift" on my friend Marta's blog.  When I watched this video, I lost it.  It took me back to how I felt two years ago with the events in my own life.  While the circumstances were different, I still felt completely shocked and had the same experience of having to act like nothing was wrong for awhile.   I totally relate to the woman's experience of feeling held by Christ and carried through her ordeal.  Watch the clip here:

Last year, it was Christmas time when Sam and I made the final decision to end our marriage.  I remember sitting in front of our Christmas tree telling the kids that Mom and Dad had decided to get divorced.  They cried in my lap and I cried with them.  Yet, I was able to share with them that the Savior understood and would help us get through it.  We talked about faith and hope and that Jesus came to earth not only to pay for our sins but to learn how to comfort us and carry us when we are in our darkest hour.

I have always been grateful that it was Christmas time when we were at our lowest point.  It gave my kids something else that was fun and happy to focus on.  But, more importantly, they learned why Jesus Christ came to earth.   The Savior made good on his promise--He has carried us ever since.  Here we are a year later..doing so well.  My children are happy.  Ryan still asks me questions about why we got divorced and what that means exactly.  I don't have all the answers but I can tell him that Heavenly Father and Jesus love him just like his earthly parents love him and that everything will be okay. I hope that the families in Connecticut who lost their precious children can be comforted the same way as I was that Christmas.

May the peace and love of our Savior bring each of you hope this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This and That--December Edition

I have waited a good week to publish this post just so I could call it "This and That--December Edition"  Was anyone else in a November time warp?  It felt like it would never end. I was sick for most of November and it was the world's longest month.  Welcome December!!!

Here are a few things going on in my life:

1. I am a fan of Ann Taylor again. Sarah from Ann Taylor Corporate formally apologized to me over the phone for the rude manager at the Fashion Place Location. She also sent me a letter apologizing with a 40% off coupon and a $25.00 gift card for my troubles. I guess I can forgive them. I do love saying to someone at Corporate, "I know that if I were in your shoes, I would want to know if one of my employees was out of line." I act like I am doing them a favor!

2.  It must be the time of year for apologies because I also got an apology out of the blue from a guy who stood me up months ago at Cheesecake Factory.  I have never met him in person and I thought I would never hear from him again after I gave him a piece of my mind via text.  Lo and behold, he apologized yesterday.  I forgave him and told him I was over it and have moved on.  Here is a pic of me moving on with John at Temple Square seeing the lights:

2. My friend Sara texted me to say "Who gets a medium soft drink at McD's?"  Apparently she was behind a person in line doing just that.  Yeah, seriously. That is offensive. It is the same price as the large. None of you better be doing that!

3. I saw an article on MSN (where I get all my news) yesterday about a guy who is actually trying to colonize Mars. He is putting together space shuttles to take people there and DROP THEM OFF in these pods they will live in and they have to pay $500,000.00 to take the space shuttle there. I got nauseous reading about it. Seriously, have you seen Mars?

4. I put up a new garland on my banister. It is pretty freakin' adorable. I have to thank Ashley for it since she bought me the lit garlands after Christmas last year at Michael's for $1.50 each and the balls at Land of Nod on clearance as well. The big polka dot balls and candy canes picks are from Taipan and last time I checked, they still have them. The garland might have too much stuff on it but since I have no man living in my house to complain about it, I am going with it.

5. Along those same lines, I also added some new balls to my Christmas tree and put balls in these two containers. Pretty dang proud of my crafty self:

6. I am hosting Gourmet Dinner Night at my home in December. I should be panicking and cooking like a mad woman to find recipes. I'm not. I've done nothing. Odds are good that I will end up buying dessert and probably most of the dinner. GDN gals, you've been warned. On second thought, maybe you are rejoicing right now after the last time I hosted!

7. I took my kids to the BYU game last Saturday night in Provo. We ate at Brick Oven beforehand and Santa came around to visit each table. I love this (flashed out) picture of the boys:

8. I got this darling workout jacket at Target. It was still 40 bones but compared to the Lululemon was a steal. They have knock-off Lululemon pants there too. Sometimes Target really gets it right. Mine is in hot pink and I wear it everywhere..not just the gym:

9. My saintly neighbor Doug installed the lights on my home again this year, and raked every.single.leaf off my lawn. I don't have a single rogue leaf out there, people! He comes over every other day or so to change out lights that are out. Jealous? My yard and house have never looked so good. I may never remarry just so he can always do my yard--it looks so good!

10. I have a new favorite make-up product.  I still love everything Tarte makes but this is a product by Benefit called Watt's up!  I got it at Ulta and it is an highlighter for your face.  I put it above my cheekbones.  It is perfect for holiday parties or just any day when you need a little oomph to make your skin glow (love Buster in this photo.  He is in zombie mode):

11.  (Because this random post goes to 11!)  My Christmas Elf hasn't shown up yet.  He might not make it this year.  How is that for lazy mom 101?  When you don't have the energy to hide the elf every night--you know you have given up!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today I am thankful for:

The most wonderful parents:

The greatest siblings and spouses:

The sweetest boy:

The sassiest girl:

The funniest little guys:

The nicest ex:

The sweetest friends:

and the coolest boyfriend (first time going public!):

The older I get, the more I realize that the only thing in life that really matters are people.  The rest is just stuff (and I know I just did a Dear Santa post..forgive me!)

I also know how hard it is to say goodbye to people in your life who mean a lot to you.  People who were there for you in your darkest hour and will always have a special place in your heart.  I'm grateful for those people too.

Most of all, I am grateful for my Savior, who doesn't just pat us on the back and say "it's going to be okay."  He has literally felt our pain.  All of it.  He knows what it feels like to be alone, to be uncertain of the future, to be heartbroken when your children are sad.  He has descended below all of it and yet has risen again triumphant so that we can too.  I am so grateful to be able to celebrate His birth and life this coming Christmas season.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear Santa, I Want it All

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good pretty good girl. At a minimum, I am a single mom doing a half-ass job raising four really good kids. That's gotta count for something right? Since, I have no husband in the picture, I am counting on you to bring me something awesome this Christmas. If money were no object, I would love any of the following:

Disclaimer:  This is not a veiled attempt to get anyone out there to buy me anything.  This is what I would buy myself if I had the means...carry on.

1. iphone (in white).  Part of the gift would be that I would not have to physically enter the Apple store or phone store and deal with the dudes in there to buy the thing. I have heard the 4S is good. I have no idea. I am currently operating with a dinosaur phone with no internet. I know, I know. And we thought the pioneers had it rough!

2. New bedding from Pottery Barn. Remember, I said we are pretending price was no object. I can currently see through my comforter. It has been through the war. I want to do a duvet and duvet cover this time.  There is no rush on this. As long as I get new bedding when I remarry..I am good.

3. If I were to get said bedding, I would need some neat art for the wall in back of my bed. These are ridiculously over priced. But something similar would be awesome.

4.  GPS navigator from Costco.  Right now, I really have no need for this bad boy.  But if I ever move, or go on a roadie, I am going to NEED this.  I get lost driving to Suncrest--Gourmet Dinner Night friends can attest.

5.  Panini maker.  It doesn't have to be anything special..the Sunbeam one at Target will do.  Now that Hagermann's is gone from my life, I have a need for a turkey pomodoro sandwich with jalepeno jelly about once a week.  The only thing that keeps me from buying a panini maker is my history with appliances.  There was a time about 4 years ago, when I decided I needed a breadmaker.  I had visions of the scent of fresh bread wafting through my home.  Sam gave me a very nice one for Christmas.  It got used exactly once....when Sam made a loaf of wheat bread.  I am debating selling it on KSL.  So, naturally, I have a fear of bringing another guilt-producing appliance into my life.

6.  Gift cards to any girlie lunch places..Zupas, Rumbi, Blue Lemon, In n Out..what you say? In N Out ain't girly?  It is. 

7.  Gift Card to Sanctuary Day spa.  There is a dude there who gives the best massages on the planet.  I am not exagerating.  They are a combination sports/relaxation massage.  He stretches you while he massages.  A-MAZ-ING.

8.  Bike Rack for my car.  This one is called the Saris bones and it holds three bikes and would work on my mini van.

But at the end of the day, I would just be happy if I get to spend Christmas with the people I love most, my family.  but the iphone wouldn't hurt.

                                                                                                                             Yours Truly,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Sick as a Dog

Is there anything less interesting than hearing someone talk about how sick they are?  Indulge me for just a second.  I have been sick for the last three weeks.  Two weeks of a nasty cold.  Then after a friend gave me a Z Pack, I made a quick recovery for a weekend trip to Arizona.  Then I came home and promptly came down with the flu. 

In this season of gratitude, I am grateful for AMAZING friends and family who have taken care of me.  I have had the following over the last 48 hrs:

7 layer dip and chips dropped off
Lunch from Corner Bakery with a huge Diet Coke (delivered by Corner bakery themselves!)
A blessing from my dad
A box of Andes mint cookies (I was even able to suck these down despite my extremely sore throat)
Another huge Diet Coke today on my doorstep
A friend going to the pharmacy to get my prescription.

You would think I was on my death bed.  I feel very loved.

My mom came and got my kids this morning and I didn't see them all day..The greatest gift of all. 

In other news, I read this book and it is the funniest thing I have ever read.  (Even funnier than Bossypants!)  I may or may not be giving it to all my friends for Christmas.  Please, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Call Off the Dogs!

This remote is back in the arms of his loving family.  He was missing for nearly a week. You would think we had lost a child the way we rejoiced when I found this bad boy.  I guess it pays to make your bed.  He was under the decorative pillows that spend 95% of their time on the floor.  Hallelujah!

The Last Thing You Want to See

...more Halloween pics. But I had a special request to post pics of Buster in his costume. Buster hated every second he was in the fireman get-up. But I still forced him to wear it.  Halloween ain't about him being's about me getting the money shot and getting props from other moms.  Our Traditional Halloween fare=Papa John's Pizza, salad, donuts and lots of candy...washed down with soda.  Here is our spooky night in pictures:

I ate my weight in candy today.  I hate Halloween.  Bring on Christmas!