crazy jar lady

My mom is obsessed with mason jars. It's true. Her fridge is stacked full of them, she carries one in her purse, it's like borderline I'm-going-to-submit-her-to-some-TV-show. (They're not empty, mind you...that would be much, much weirder). 

When she came to visit, she brought the jars- well, bought them actually (for me!). She cuts up all her veggies after she buys them and stores them in the jars. She makes oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast and stores them in jars. She stores leftover omlets in jars. ...I think they've just replaced Tupperware completely for her. 

But, she's actually on to something. It totally works. She did it when she was here and I loved it! Everything stayed fresher for MUCH longer, and it was already washed/cut up so eating everything before it went bad wasn't such a hassle and it cuts meal prep time in half! And since they're in jars, they don't get smashed under other produce (which tends to happen in my produce fridge drawer).

Apparently it awoke some kind of jar beast inside of me, because I'm totally on the crazy jar train (though, I haven't started carrying one around in my purse...)

Fresh veggies! 

Finally got my indoor herb garden going.

Kitchen spoon holder (held together with twine).  

Jars, jars, jars, jjjaaaaaarrrrsssssss! 

By the way, I'm also obsessed with these Martha Stewart reusable adhesive chalkboard and dry erase labels. They are heavenly. A teacher's and OCD organizer's best friend forever.
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holy #$)(!*#$~!

Nothing good comes from girl's nights...you usually end up with a crazy idea by the end of it. 

It started as a regular night- The Bachelorette, Cafe Rio, a nasty dessert...and then the way most of our girl's nights end up: talking "married girl" talk. 

One of my friends started talking about how she gets waxed- all the way- the whole enchilada- the mother of all waxes- the Brazilian. I think our next conversation must be like when a bunch of guys together when they're about to try something really stupid...
"Okay...I'll do it if you do it.." "You will?" "K let's do it!" 
It pretty much went like that. "Let's all go get WAXED!" 
Well, two of the girls couldn't end up making it the day of, so it was Jen and myself. I made her go first. What a champ. Hardly flinched. 

My turn.

Nothing like "dropping trow" to a stranger. I was so nervous my body was literally shaking (more about the future pain I was about to put my body through than the fact this girl was staring at my uncovered crotch). 

On goes the wax, RIP goes the paper, SCREAM goes the Whitney. Not so much of a scream as a yelp. What sucks is that once you start, you can't really just stop in the middle. Can't go all asymmetrical style..weird. 

About 30 RIPS later, I felt like I was riding a horse, bareback, and the saddle was on fire. They should provide you with that burn relief spray you get after you have a baby. Better yet, when you're having a baby (epidural style), you should get a complimentary wax. Because THEN you wouldn't be able to feel it. What a great idea.

Hopefully I don't run into anyone I know tomorrow. They'll be like..."Why are you waddling?" And I'll be like, "Well, I went horse riding. Naked. And the saddle was on fire." "Why did you do that?" "Because my girlfriends said it would be a good idea...duh."
And then they'll look at me the way you would look at a guy who just did something really stupid because he said, "Well, everyone else was doing it.."

Dear Jillian (1 year)

Dear Jillian,

WE MADE IT! Your Dad and I have managed to keep you alive, thriving, and mostly happy for an entire 12 months. In the words of a comedian your Dad heard once, "I know a hamster, bird, and a fish that wouldn't be very happy if they found out." 

It's amazing to me how much you have changed not only in one year's time, but especially in the last few months. You're definitely growing out of the "baby" stage...something that makes me happy and sad all at the same time.

You talk SO much. Not always in words that we can actually understand, but you definitely know what you're talking about- especially when you pretend to read books, it's probably my favorite thing that you do. The REAL words you say are: mama, dada, shoes, snack, night-night, hi, juice, uh-oh, no, stairs ("strs"), and cheese ("chs"). You also say the phrase "who is it?" a bajillion times a day- any time you see a picture or hear a phone ring. It's pretty cute. You TRY to say lots of other words too. Today I said "delicious" and you said "is-us". Good effort, kid. More than anything it surprises me how much you understand. You know when I tell you to go to the stairs, to your high chair, the bathtub, where someone is, if we're going outside, and other stuff like that. 

You're definitely in no hurry to walk by yourself. You're still too afraid to balance. Although we were at a pond with your cousins the other day and you let go of my hand and stood there for a solid 5 seconds by yourself, which is the first and only time you've done that. But you definitely cruise around the house using furniture and walls to help you out. You'll get there soon enough. You've always been further along intellectually than physically. :-) It's all of those books you've been reading...The Hungry Caterpillar teaches a lot...

What little hair you have is FINALLY long enough to put into two teeny tiny pig-tails! The front is still pretty short though, so we work with what we have. Most days you rock the piggies with a skinny headband. I think you'll have a full head of hair...when you're 3. 

I'm not sure where you learned to be so dramatic, but you've learned to throw quite the tantrum when you want to. It only happens when I take something away from you that you shouldn't have or move you away from something. You either arch your back and scream, or throw your face down to the floor and bury your head in your hands, and scream. I'm not sure how to tell you that me not letting you play with the light socket is actually a good thing. You just don't believe me. (Oh, and we have those safety plugs, but you've learned to pull them out). 

You LOVE being around other kids. It's funny because you think you're one of them and try so hard to keep up with them (but the whole not walking thing kind of gets in your way). It's so fun to watch you around your cousins Milly and Eliza. You even tried to say "Milly" today! I hope you girls stay close as you grow up.

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You hate being fed. You'd much rather do it yourself. Lately you chew everything and spit it out, so most of your meal ends up on your bib or back on your tray. It's not because you don't like the food (I think), I think you just try to chew it with all of your teeth in the front and it just slips right on outta there. Speaking of teeth, I think your 1 year-old molars are coming in because you are a drool factory! 

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It's been one of the hardest, yet best years of our lives. You've helped me grow and learn so much and I can only imagine that you'll continue to help me do that (especially when you get to those teenage years!) You are one of the greatest blessings and we just adore you!

I love you!


birthday redo

Saturday was Jillian's official first birthday, so we decided we'd try the whole cake thing again, hopefully getting a better reaction than vomit.

Apparently she just doesn't like the Happy Birthday song:

But she does really like sugar loaded store bought birthday cake:

Happy Birthday, Jillian! Glad today went much better for you. :-) 


put..the cookie...down

I have no self-control when it comes to cookies. Seriously. Sometimes I think I'm literally inhaling them when they are present (which is why I don't make them lately). 

Well, lucky for me, last night I made weight watchers chocolate chip cookies that are only 1 point each! Cookies for one point?! *inhale

Weight watchers? Si. I signed up! Me and Jennifer Hudson will be rockin' out on the next commercial they produce so watch out ;-) I've done it once before, to lose the 37 pounds I put on during pregnancy (yes, thirtyfreakingseven). Well, technically I didn't have to lose that much because I lost 17 pounds the day Jillian was born (and she weighed 7 pounds...so...10 pounds of "other stuff" came out with her..gross!). 

Anyway, I liked it a lot and it worked really well. I was working on dropping a few lb's before I got pregnant, was 9 pounds away from my goal, then got pregnant, and grew to the size of a small planet. So I feel like I'm picking up where I left off (sort of...I gained 3 pounds the week my family was visiting. Blergh.).  

Time to get back on the horse though (and not break the horse while I'm on it). So my new goal is 18 pounds away. I'm shooting reach it by Christmas time, which should be very doable. 

Anyway, back to these cookies. I made them last night. I told my sister they were only 1 point and she said, "that means absolutely nothing to me." I told her it was like right next to zero, and celery is zero, so that's good. Well, because of my cookie problem, like 8 cookies later she said, "Hey Whitney, 8 is not close to 0, it's close to 10." Oops.

So if some random cookies show up on your doorstep sometime in the future, know that instead of exercising some self-restraint I'm avoiding it all together and letting you do it instead.  

Here's to the next 6 months of weight watchers cookies.


celebrating jillian's 1st birthday

Since my family was in town, we decided to celebrate Jillian's first birthday when they would all be here! 

(I just noticed the phrase on the invitation "and see the big mess i make" would take on an entirely new meaning...keep reading)

A lot of thought and pinteresting went into the planning of this party. Everything turned out exactly the way I had planned. 

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(Shout out to my adorable friend Danielle for making the cute dessert labels!!!)
Except...except that Jillian woke up sick on Saturday morning. She most definitely caught a bug from Uncle Spud who spent Friday night at the cabin throwing up into the sink. She barfed once that morning and once right before the party started, but since everything was already into the works of happening, we decided to party on. 

This is where Murphy's law meets Newton's law. Murphy's law: what can go wrong, will go wrong. 

Jillian was holding it together quite well up to party time, but to play it safe, we decided to sing to her first and get that out of the way. I forewarned the crowd of her fear of loud noises, and despite their hushed singing, she still wasn't putting the "happy" in "happy birthday":

 (James was holding her because she didn't even want to be put in her high chair). 

Enter in Newton's law: Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it.

In this case, the "external force" would be that little taste of frosting that James put into Jillian's mouth, thus disrupting her state of "rest". About two seconds after the video stopped recording, Jillian spewed a most awful spew all over James, her birthday outfit, and the floor. Naturally, when all eyes were on her. So the whole "watch the baby make a mess of the cake and be cute" thing didn't happen, at all. She had no interest in any of it.  But, like I've said before, if there is anything that I've learned in one year of having a child, it is this: expect the unexpected.  

Oh, and I've also learned I probably shouldn't put SO much time/effort/money into planning a child's party, because she'll probably just throw up during her shining moment and spend the rest of the party asleep upstairs in her bed. :-)

At first I found myself disappointed in how things went, but I quickly realized 1) there was no room to be disappointed when I had a sick baby to take care of, 2) it'll make a pretty good story for later, and 3) in a disgusting/ironic kind of way, it was kind of funny.

It was still fun being with everyone there, though. We've decided we'll do another "cake smashing" party on her real birthday, the 21st, with probably just us. Then she probably won't cry, and maybe won't even barf! 

We DID manage to capture a few smiles though:

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hang time

There's this place in Provo called Hang Time, that is essentially a giant warehouse filled with trampoline floors and foam pits. So we decided to check it out, naturally. 

It. Was. Awesome. I wasn't sure how Jillian would do, but she even liked crawling around on the bouncy floors! 

I tried taking a picture of Mich doing a toe touch...none of them turned out...but the tries were even more hilarious: 

What I learned: jumping that long is incredibly exhausting, foam pits are ridiculously hard to get out of, and I'm too much of a wuss to try flipping- even on a trampoline.

4th with the family

Soo for some reason, unbeknownst to myself, my family wanted to fly out to Utah this summer for our family vacation. ...Utah? But it's so HOT and WATERLESS (and yet...I still live here?). Anyway, just not what I had in mind for a typical Shannon family vacation.

However, it ended up being way fun. Even though it lacked water and did not lack heat. 

On the 4th, we all (minus Spencer) did the Provo Freedom Run. This is the second time my family has spontaneously decided to participate in a city run. I'm not sure why we all of the sudden pretend like we're all great runners, but we do. We woke up at the freaking butt crack of dawn, got geared up in our super fly matchy-matchy shirts and drove to P-town, where we were actually....late. The race had already started. "Crap!! But how will I know what my true time will be?!" I sarcastically thought. We still did it anyway..just kinda jumped on in there. 


Because we're not the previously mentioned "great runners," we just did the 1 mile race. I think my time was somewhere around 9 minutes, which, for not being a runner I was pretty darn proud of. My brother and sister-in-law are a little more into running and showed us all up with their 5k skills. But, we still got the same shirt, water bottle, and even a medal, so I felt just as accomplished. ;-)

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We celebrated our attempts at athleticism by scarfing down delicious crepes and waffles at the Awful Waffle. We were justified...right?

The rest of the day we hung out at mi casa, watched the little girls swim in Jillian's kiddie pool, and indulged in a Mexican fiesta (also not sure why we had tacos on a day where we should've been eating tons of hamburgers and hotdogs...another weird family quirk).  

Unfortunately, fireworks were not in our plans...you see, there are certain things you just know you have to give up when you have a small kid, namely one who freaks out at the slightest bit of loud noise, fireworks is definitely most certainly one of them. Fortunately, since we live in a valley, we got a pretty good glimpse of like 6 different firework shows as we were driving up to the cabin we were renting for the next few days.

I didn't know I had a fear of bears until we were driving to said cabin. Especially when we got on the little back dirt roads in the middle of who freaking knows where in the pitch black dark of scary Utah wilderness night.  I kept picturing us driving past an angry bear who would then chase our car down, pull us out one by one and eat us all up. Eek! 

It was fun all being together at the cabin for a few days.

Jillian & Nana playing peek-a-boo

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We rode the Heber Creeper, which did just that...creep. I think my nieces loved it though. My Dad fell asleep. 

My Dad signed us all up for a "high adventure" excursion while my Mom played Nana to the grandbabies all day. We rode these things up and down the side of mountains:

And consequently feared for our lives. I may or may not have peed my pants a little. There were times when the trail was literally only big enough for the ATV, and if you looked over the side (of the freaking cliff), you probably would've screamed like a little girl.

The "high adventure" included kayaking down the Provo River. I suck at kayaking. Also, the Provo River is frigid and next time I'm taking a freaking wet suit. My arms were definitely feeling the burn...and because I forgot to slather up my legs with SPF 15, so were my legs. Oops. Pasty girl problems. 

Driving up to the cabin at Strawberry Reservoir did help me realize that not all of Utah is a dry, ugly wasteland. There are actually some very pretty things to see! Maybe I should get out more...as long as there won't be bears...