Memorial Day

If Jillian had it her way, we'd be outside 24/7. Fortunately, since we'll be in sunny Florida for the next week, she'll get her wish. 

Today was a little a sneak preview. We went up to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon with Jen, Joey, and little Brynlee for a picnic. I'm not really the hikey-outdoorsy type of girl, but I can do a picnic on a blanket.

The girls loved it. Jillian was crawling EVERYWHERE and wanted to go in the grass so badly (but couldn't because of the nearby dog poo...why we didn't just move our blankets away I don't know...). Her personality is getting more and more wild and energetic every day...makes me nervous. 

I was hoping they would interact a little bit more, but when Jillian sat still long enough next to Brynlee, she just grabbed all of her hair...she must be jealous.

It was a fun day off! It definitely made it feel like summer. Aaahhhhh summer...

Florida here we come! 
(SO NERVOUS about Jillian+5 hours on a plane...wish us luck!)



Things I am ridiculously excited for as of 11:31am tomorrow, when it is officially summer. 


Dear Jillian (10 months)

Dear Jillian,

Are you really only two months away from your first birthday? How come 10 months of pregnancy couldn't go by this fast? 

The school year is almost over and I am SO excited to spend ALL SUMMER with you! Although I will miss how excited you get when I get home everyday and how you start shrieking and crawling towards the door.

You love being chased! If someone says, "I'm gonna getcha!" You start crawling away and screaming. It's the cutest. Can't help but chase after you! 

Speaking of crawling, you also cruise! You walk along all of the furniture and pull yourself up on everything. This means we have to baby proof things even MORE. 

You mimic a lot of sounds we make. You're not saying real words yet, (except sometimes I SWEAR you say "mama") but we'll say something to you and you'll babble back to us in the same tone. I think it will freak me out when an actual word comes out of your mouth. I can tell you're starting to understand us though. When we ask you where your binky is, you start looking around you for it. When we ask you to come here, you do! 

For some reason lately you HATE diaper changes and getting dressed. Anytime we lay you down you start freaking out! If only you realized that a clean diaper/clean clothes feels MUCH better than dirty ones! 

I've started singing "10 little monkeys jumpin' on the bed" to you lately, and at the end you'll start waving your hand and pointing your finger like you're singing the last line "no more monkeys jumpin' on the bed!" I love it. 

You love being outside. You almost always prefer it to being inside. I'm hoping you love being in the pool, because we have lots of summer play dates planned with your friends Brynlee and Bentlee. 

                                    Photobucket Photobucket

There is a even a little more hair on your head! ...in the back. Unfortunately much isn't growing on top- mullet style. 

I think you're going to be a future nerd (which is completely okay with your father, by the way). More than any toy you have, you love looking at books. You'll sit there and turn the pages FOREVER and just quietly talk to yourself like you're reading it. 

Your Dad likes to do this:


You're getting really good at eating by yourself. I think your favorite food is what we call "baby cheetos," which is really a "baked corn snack with cheddar." Much to your dismay, you're only allowed a few of those at a time. I'm having fun making your baby food though! This week I made a beef, pasta, and veggie mix and you ate it right up! 

There are a lot of plans in the works for your 1st birthday party! Your WHOLE family will be in town for it, so we're pretty excited! 

Love you!


5 days and counting.

It is the LAST week of school people. We have arrived (no less than a divine miracle, I'm sure). 
Here's what this week is about:

 balloon pop countdown 

black glue & water color art project
(get the instructions here)

picnic with parents...I mean..."picnick"

Oh, and movies. Lots of movies.

I also received the "Pride of Westridge" award today as voted on by the students and parents! Definitely the highlight of my day.

And almost $500 worth of gift cards?! HELLO!!! They know how to make a teacher happy. And to think before I started my internship there I was disappointed about working at the school...tisk, tisk. Wouldn't change it now for the world! 


Summer...so close I can TASTE it!

Summer is FIVE SCHOOL DAYS away. FIVE!!! That's the number of fingers on ONE hand! Good thing too, mostly because the kids are acting like wild banshees at this point. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The last week has been the opposite of productive. And who doesn't care? This girl. 

My summer to-do list includes baking a TON of recipes I've pinned (mostly desserts), getting the rest of my house in order (aka the basement), and going to the pool more than frequently. I made the PERFECT summer dessert tonight. Light, refreshing, AND delicious. 

Frozen Strawberry Crumble
(From Get Off Your Butt and Bake. Click here for the recipe.)

Also exciting? Jillian, Michaela and I are going to Florida in 9 days!!!! I'm so excited to get Jillian in her little swimsuit! Can't say the same about this bod...anyone know how I can lose 10 pounds in 9 days?...without chopping off my arm? :-)


Moms- fake it til you make it.

There were only two times my mom truly ever scared the crap out of me. Once when I was little and sassed my Grandma. Can we say...spankings? The second time I was much older, 16-17 maybe and she had had enough (I can't even remember why now). She stopped what she was doing and in her very "mom" voice yelled, "I HAVE HAD IT!" I think everyone stopped dead in their tracks and literally feared for their lives. 

These two instances put just enough fear into me to never, ever cross my mother. She always jokingly would say, "I brought you into this world and I can take you right back out." I believe her. 

Love that woman. People who know her might not actually believe the stories above, because she is truly one of the greatest women to ever walk the planet. She will do anything for anybody at anytime, no questions asked. Can there be a greater mother than that?

I still don't feel like I fit into this category. "Mother." A mother is MY mom. She knows everything, how to do everything (well), how to play the part of everything- with little to no formal training. I cannot possibly be in this category.

But, given the fact there is a beautiful little girl upstairs curled up in the tiniest corner of her crib with her bum up for all to see, I suppose I've made my way into this crowd. 

 I'm still in foreign territory when it comes to being all things "mom." I learn things through trial and error, right along with my clumsy 9 month old, most times. Everything is just as new for me as it is for her. Hopefully she'll remember that when she's 16 and hormonal. I'll tell her "No, I don't actually know what I'm doing. And neither do you." Maybe my second kid will actually get some experienced parenting. 

I clearly remember the day I earned my new title, like it was yesterday. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the first contraction thinking, "that felt different...could it be?" I remember deciding that trying to put on mascara between contractions was a really dumb idea in the few minutes before we left to the hospital (a choice I would actually later regret after seeing post-birth pictures). I remember my doctor telling a story about his son on a church mission in between my pushes. I remember bringing her home, sleeping in her car seat, thinking "oh crap...don't wake up...I don't know what to do with you when you wake up." (Sometimes I still think that..)

I wonder if my mom ever thinks that about any of us? "I don't know what to do with you when..." She sure doesn't show it. Perhaps that is when you know you've really joined the exclusive and privileged club of motherhood...you've mastered the art of fakery and have a highly developed poker face.


I totally just violated that chicken...

Ever made a whole chicken? Well, "made"...cooked would be more accurate.



I saw this recipe for rosemary lemon chicken and had to try. I mean, my mom does it, how hard can it be? (Mistake number one)

So last week I buy my whole chicken. The bag split after going down the grocery runway in the checkout line and I got chicken juice over most of my produce (=not a good combo). I overlooked, got over, and sanitized that situation and got to cookin'. 

So I pull it of the fridge tonight, cut open the bag, pull out the chicken...and I think my eyes widened to the size of silver dollars. 

THERE IS STUFF INSIDE?!?!?! Not just stuff...the same stuff that is in our insides...INSIDES! You have to PULL them out of the BUTT! I begin doing that and instantly almost passed out at the sound of cracking bones. I always thought I could be a doctor or something in the medical field, because I have a pretty strong stomach. Looking at blood and guts has never bothered me...little did I know, touching them was an entirely different situation.

So I manage to scrape out the dead, cold, partially frozen chicken organs. In between my gasps and whines were things like, "Oh I think this is the heart...yeah...that's a liver...kidneys? OHMYGGAAHHH.."

I made it up to that part. Then I decide I need to rinse out the empty chicken body. Just felt right. This was BY FAR the nastiest part of the whole endeavor. I rinse out the inside and flip it over to let the water drain out (of it's butt) and the little tail flap just flapped right over my hand. I wanted to cry it was so horrible. Holding the chicken over the sink felt like holding a cold, wet baby. *Shudders

I managed to pull myself together enough to get it into the dish and stuffed with the flavor goodness (so after taking all that crap out, now I'm shoving stuff back in). 

I think I washed my hands with soap and water 25 times during this half hour.

It finally got in the oven to bake, where it stayed for quite some time. When I pulled it out and pulled out the flavoring stuff from the butt (again), I saw it's little spine all exposed and disgusting. They have vertebrae! I have those! Oh for the love...now I have to eat this?! I totally don't mean that in a PETA "save the animals" kind of way...I mean that in a THAT'S TOTALLY DISGUSTING AND REALISTIC kind of way. I'm all for eating animals, clearly. 

Well. It got eaten. It was delicious. But I don't think I'll EVER do that again. From now on it's frozen chicken boobies all the way.