30 December 2011

Ollie has a habit...

Instead of soothing himself by sucking his thumb, tickling a blanket, or cuddling a toy, he rubs his hair.

It is pretty adorable, but he ends up with big knots on the back of his head after long car rides and restless nights.

I've been combing them out for months because I love his long curls, however, this morning I declared ENOUGH.

I got brave, plopped him in the bath tub and pulled out the scissors and a comb.

It couldn't have gone much worse and it could look a hundred times better, but it's done.

Besides, he doesn't care what it looks like as long as he can reach it.

In the words of my mom "Goodbye baby, Hello little boy!"

29 December 2011

Dirty Laundry

My washer quit washing today...

I guess I'll be handwashing my clothes in the kitchen sink until further notice.

I'm ok with that...for now.

28 December 2011

Happy to be Home

Seven hours in the car from Blanding to Malad is absolutely, positively, NO fun!

Today we were grateful for a delicious breakfast from Jesse's mom to get us started, and a wonderful dinner from my mom to help us make it through the home stretch.

We had a terrific week with our families,

But we are really happy to be home.

Oliver J.'s "Happy Face" Christmas Eve, 2011

27 December 2011

Ask Me What I Did Today!

Hang on there chickadees, I'll tell you!

Today I demonstrated a pretty sound argument as to why I should not be allowed to play with snowmobiles...

Yikes, Right?

I think I'll retire.

26 December 2011

Della's 2011 Christmas Season Favorite

Cleaning up the Christmas Eve feast with my cousins!

R to L: Dad, Me, Shayla, Alicia, Andre

And don't worry...there was caroling involved, which delighted my sweet Grandma...she told me so.

24 December 2011

Jesse's 2011 Christmas Season Favorite:

Teasing me about how much I hate "The Little Drummer Boy"

23 December 2011

The Story of Jesse's Life: Grinching

Last night I was in the basement puttering around in the storage room (you know me, I was trying to find something to throw away) when I heard Jesse frantically calling,

"Della, turn out the lights! Hurry!!!"

So I complied and then slowly...carefully...it was really dark...went to find him. When I asked why we were sitting in darkness, Jesse told me that he had seen carolers across the street...

Good Grief!

As we sat on the stairs in the dark a few minute listening for the sounds of singing, Jesse asked,

"Does this make you feel like a Grinch, or what?"

Oh boy! We sure know how to be merry around here.

22 December 2011

Our Early Christmas

We opened our gifts to and from each other early to avoid carting them all throughout the state of Utah as we travel over the holiday...

That was the rationale...and it was true!

But mostly, we couldn't convince ourselves to wait to play Lego Harry Potter 2 for one more second!

Sadly, poor planning on my part allowed only one photograph before the camera went caput...

21 December 2011

Ollie's 2011 Christmas Season Favorite

So far, Oliver J.'s favorite aspect of the Christmas Season has been the empty wrapping paper tubes...

20 December 2011

This is What Happens When Oliver Gets Into the Laundry Basket:

Yes...Those are my nylons...Thankfully, they made it through the ordeal unscathed 

14 December 2011

Wow. I think I need an attitude check...

12 December 2011

The Things I'm Throwing Away

As you might know, I LOVE to throw junk out/donate to DI...

Today I dropped an old pair of pants into the trash...they had that worn out look when I bought them, and now, three years later they have too much flair to be in style, their worn spots are much, much worse and I know for a fact that there are some new pants coming my way for Christmas from Jesse...because I picked em!

And gosh, it felt good to get rid of something...I'll be on the look out for other things I won't be needing...

08 December 2011

Today's Accomplishment

I finished a class today!
I feel pretty good about that.

Now I can focus some attention on practice for the Praxis (say that 5 times fast) on saturday.

Confession: I have not been a dutiful Praxis practicer...this may not end well. Some would say I'll be fine, and others would pronounce doom and gloom on my head...which might be deserved.

I'm crossing my fingers anyway!

06 December 2011

The Story of Jesse's Life: Coloring Contests

Jesse had to help judge a children's coloring contest today at work...

He wanted to give them all credit for doing their best and being creative, but alas, there could only be one winner...

He felt a little bit horrible when he was done. He wanted to pick them all.

The Bug

Yesterday I had the flu...or something like unto it because, if you'll remember, I did get a flu shot.

It was awful.

Caring for a baby while I'm sick is my worst nightmare...just the thought of it terrifies me...so you can imagine how I felt when I woke up feeling ill and realized that Jesse was headed to work.

I had no energy, I was so nauseous, and every time I threw up, I had to rub Oliver's belly because he was so disturbed by it. Luckily, Ollivander kept his manners about him, took both naps, and didn't get into too much trouble when I fell asleep on the couch. Jesse fed him breakfast and lunch, and I watched movies all day.

I have so much respect for any woman who has ever felt the way I did yesterday and managed motherhood with any sort of grace.

01 December 2011

Welcome December!

Now we are free to listen to all the holiday music we can find and sport our festive Christmas attire!

I do love the Holiday Season! I can't get enough of the lights twinkling on my tree. I love to read stories about this time of year (my favorite has always been The Gift of the Magi...for obvious reasons). I la la la love to sing Christmas songs while I'm cooking in my kitchen. I find peace in the quiet that the snow brings when it transforms the world into a winter wonderland...I'm excited to see Malad all covered in white. I love to celebrate the birth of my Savior.

Mostly I just love to get all wrapped up in the magic and excitement of the season.

And yes, I still believe in Santa Clause.

30 November 2011

Sometimes I Feel Like Selling Ollivander to the Gypsies...

Especially on his cranky days...like today!

...but I'm usually glad that I didn't. He's pretty nice to have around most of the time.

29 November 2011

Ollie's Stank Face

to let you know when he is less than pleased...

28 November 2011

I Really Have to Stop Leaving Jesse Home Alone for so Long

Sure, he does awesome things like cleaning the house for me...

But he also does silly things like growing facial hair and getting attached to it.

I am not all about facial hair.

22 November 2011

I fixed a Thanksigiving feast yesterday...

I made WAY too much food for the three of us to put away, but it was so delicious!
We had:
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Magical Yams (Ollie loved 'em!)
Cranberry Jelly
and some Pumpkin Pie topped with an inch of Whipped Cream

My turkey gave me trouble...just like the last one. But don't blame the turkey. I think it was my approach. I just need more practice.

We ate on china and drank from crystal. I think Thanksgiving tastes better that way.

I thought about dressing up in my brand new D.I. dress, which, trust me, would have been a TREAT...but after a day of slaving in my kitchen, I decided that casual clothes with a dishtowel around my waist would have to be acceptable.

The dinner dishes are still waiting to be washed...

I'll get right on that...

Now all that's left is the real deal at Grandma's house on Thursday.


21 November 2011

My Mom Jeans

The other day I was monologuing to Ashley Beatrice about how stylish I used to be, and how I used to have friends to play with, and how my music library was always up to date with my current favorite songs and artists, and so on and so forth...

She wouldn't hear it. Do you know what she said?

"Go put on your mom jeans and get to work!"
That's why I love her.

She's right you know...I may not have everything I used to, but I'm pretty lucky to have the things I have.

That's what we call wisdom.

She also said "Do you realize that we live in different states and neither of those states is Utah? That's crazy."

I'm gonna agree with her...that is COMPLETELY out of control.

20 November 2011

Like a Faucet


Sister Hansen's wonderful sharing time lesson about sacred places...

Sister Moyle's perfect singing lesson including "I Love to See the Temple," "Scripture Power," and my new favorite, "The Family is of God"...

Our new Christmas book "The Spirit of Christmas" by Nancy Tillman...

and the ten pound bag of onions I diced for freezing today...

I could have filled a bucket!

17 November 2011


This topic has been occupying my mind lately and taking up all the space in my brain that is usually reserved for fun alliterations and witty remarks.

I really don't like decorating...(I'm always so unsure of how to achieve what I'm looking for)...but I love living in a space that is aesthetically pleasing to me.

That's why I am going to transform this apartment with a layout that I love into a space that I love to look at...even if it kills me!

I will fill it with things that I love. I will not be afraid of bright colors and bold prints (in moderation) and I will not refrain from buying whimsical things that I LOVE just because I don't want to have to pack them away when I move.

For this endeavor, I am especially grateful for D.I., Pinterest and people named Annie...

13 November 2011

Did you know that I really really REALLY love to cook?

I especially love preparing delicious meals for the people I care about...

In fact, that happens to be my favorite way to say,
"I love you."

I think it's probably something I learned from a Grandma or two that I know.

Actually, if you're reading this, chances are that I have missed you immensely and would like nothing more than to sit you down at my kitchen table and stuff you with food!

Just so you know how I feel...

And you shouldn't fret if we're not super tight. I also use treats to let people know that I'd really love to have them as my friend...

11 November 2011

09 November 2011

Hooray for husbands who wash the dishes when wives have had it with homework and housework!

07 November 2011

The Story of Jesse's Life: Scones

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the couch...trying to decide if I would rather watch unending episodes of Medium, or write my paper on Cognitive Development
(Piaget and Vygotsky have been my best friends this week...wait? Didn't I already take Human Development AND Early Childhood? Alas, I am there again, but it could be worse...Anywho),   
Jesse came in and made a speech, complete with hand gestures, about how delicious a scone covered with butter and homemade strawberry jam might be.

I shrugged my shoulders and pretended not to be interested while he rummaged through the kitchen for my roll dough recipe...
that's right, lovelies, I now have a roll dough recipe because sometimes, every now and again, I like to make rolls...from scratch...in the bread machine. Hey, it counts!
I had to pretend I didn't want any for a while in order to avoid helping...
yes...sometimes I am just that lazy.
When the scone making process started to look fun, I got up and joined Jesse...and would you believe he started bossing me around...
"You need more flour" and "let that rise for a minute" and "Why did you use the pizza cutter to make a squiggly line in my dough?"

I thought it was a little bit funny that our kitchen roles had been so completely reversed...I mean, I'm usually the one bossing people around in my kitchen, so I teased,

"Since when did you get to be such a scone expert, huh?"
His reply,

"Since I just got off the phone with my mom."
And it was TRUE! They were, quite possibly, the BEST SCONES I HAD EVER TASTED! That Jacque sure knows a thing or two about scones...among many other things.

They were so good that I made him *pinky promise with his left hand (That means it was legit!) that he would make them for our family every Fast Sunday from now through eternity...

It is totally happening. My kids can thank me later.

*Thank you, ShaNeil, for making this family tradition possible by teaching me about pink promises with left hands...

06 November 2011

The Story of Jesse's Life: Triple Dipping

Thank you for sharing your chips and salsa with our son...Try not to mind his multiple dips...

05 November 2011

Welcome Winter!

I know it sounds like a lot to ask but...
Please provide snow on Christmas and my birthday...and please, pretty please, make room for spring in March... 

04 November 2011


Jesse's trip to Philadelphia has come and gone.

He said it was great,

And that the roads are CRAZY,
But the drivers were so nice.

He also thinks that he impressed his interviewer.

Would you like to know something a little bit silly???

Jesse was invited to interview a couple of months ago (I'm thinking august?)...but we couldn't really afford to send him then, so Jesse called the school and asked what the interview window was. When told he had plenty of time, he asked if there would be a penalty for waiting and was told no. Well, there was. The school had already sent acceptance letters to enough people to fill the program.

Jesse was told, however, not worry because the roll over rate on the wait list is pretty high since most people who get accepted to programs, get accepted to more than one...we'll keep our fingers crossed.

What did we learn?

It is all one big game!

And that's fine.

We like to play games.

30 October 2011

Our Biggest Bites

"Open your mouth...Wider! Bigger! Now take a bite!"

We were stalling. The kids wanted to play outside, but it was lunch time in July, and Jesse and I were not interested in the heat. So I invented a game...it was called:

L to R: Jesse, Allen, Nicole, Natalie

They totally fell for it! And check out their Biggest Bites!


29 October 2011

In Which Oliver J. Loves Goats

I took Ollie to Logan so we could get an oil change, and get some things to help decorate our bare walls, buy some milk for under $3, see Becca and Chance, and let's face it...get out of Malad!

We went to the Heritage Center to see Becca and Chance at work later that evening and Ollie couldn't get enough! 

We let him in the goat pen and he walked right in and started hugging any that he could get close enough to.

 We loved getting out of town for the day, seeing Becca and Chance, and going shopping! We missed Jesse though! He would have loved playing with Ollie and the goats, and I would have loved holding his hand.

Kelly and Lisa, You're next!

28 October 2011

Good News of the Day:

Last week Jesse received an email with news that the University of Utah would be delighted to have him on their waiting list for the PA program...we fully expected to be ignored by the U because of Jesse's less-than-diverse demographics, so he graciously took his place on their list. Today he called to tell me that he had discovered a new email asking him to please come to Salt Lake and interview instead...How grand is that?

I got a scholarship! A little bitty one, but every bit counts!

Ollivander got a whole box of apples from our gardening neighbor and has been infatuated with them all day long...his baby friend Drew taught him to eat apples last time we were in Blanding, and now Ollie is only too happy to eat/play with them.

It is officially the weekend, and we are all going to relax and get over our colds. Plus Jesse is on call, so he is getting paid for every lazy second.

27 October 2011

Spook o Grams

We found some fun in our mailbox today from Grandma Min and Grandpa Than!

 One for Jesse and me...

and one just for Oliver.

It is ALWAYS fun to check the mailbox and find something from someone we love. Thanks for sending us a taste of excitement to brighten our day!

25 October 2011

Mother, May I?

Nicole, Taylor, and Natalie playing mother may I with me one summer day after my math class.

24 October 2011

{Where I'm From}

I am from the maroon bedroom carpet, summer road trips, and ballet lessons.

I am from warm red brick and four windows on a busy street.

I am from snowy winters, daffodils that bloom too soon, and mountains, Oh the Mountains!

I am from blue eyes, long legs, tuna fish gravy on toast, and five people with one bathroom.

I am from Miriam and Nathaniel, but call me Than...not Nathan or Nate, and dearest friends who have become family.

From John and Lucy Ann: Adventure South, a dead ox, the Ajax Underground Store, a green pioneer bench, and "You are a great Brain."

I'm from Sunday Dinners, Christmas Eves, Whipping Cream, and beautiful china table settings.

From Donald and Lucille: Grandmother to everyone, fresh peas from the garden, a farm with a crooked gate, rainbow noodles, paper dolls, and the descendant of a shoebox.

I am from temples, family history, testimonies, and the blessings of tithing.

I am from making memories, saying Thank Yous, and "Don't sell that at the yard sale."

Inspiration at Metropolitan Mama
Original writing prompt found here.
Photo by Bree

23 October 2011

{What Did Delaware, Boys?}

My friend Jesse was invited east for another PA school interview...

Jesse: "Hey Della, that school I thought was in New York...It's actually in Maryland."

Me: "What? Maryland? That's right next to DELAWARE!"

Do you know how much FUN I would have living in Maryland??? I would be *THIS CLOSE* to all kinds of monuments and museums that I have been wanting to visit for a long time!

And how would it be to live RIGHT SMACK DAB in the middle of the Eastern Coast...

Oh man...can you tell that I'm getting my hopes up?

But don't get me wrong, Pennsylvania would be great too.

PS...{She wore her New Jersey}

22 October 2011

I'm so lucky today!

My PARENTS are coming to visit me!!!


They are on their way right now! And they are bringing me butter! Hooray!

Now I have to decide what yummy food I can feed them!

I was thinking soup, but I STILL don't have a big enough pot...my last pot was thrown out in Cedar City when the teflon started flaking, and I've been too cheap to replace it.

Oh! I hope they are bringing Andre!

And I hope they hurry up and get here soon!

21 October 2011

In Which I Find Myself Hilarious...

I'd love to stay and write a legitimate blog post, but I really...


20 October 2011

Something I love about Malad...

This week, Jesse filled the Mazda's gas tank...

...for the first time since I drove it up here on August 9th!

18 October 2011

It's official

After a few months of making excuses and dragging my feet, I will finally be starting a program to obtain my bachelors degree on the 1st of November through Western Governors University...

I've heard a lot of good things about WGU from people I know, it is fully accredited, and...let's face it, with the closest traditional University campuses an hour away in either direction, and a possible move to another state within the next two years, online is the only reasonable option.

I'm a little excited and a lot nervous... However, I have the time and if I don't do it now, then I probably never will.

So here goes!

I've got nothing to lose and plenty of knowledge to gain...

17 October 2011

Stuffing My Face

Eric and Charlene got married last month and boy was it a blast!

Charlene just posted a whole wedding album to her Facebook profile, so naturally, I clicked through it thinking...

"Oh, I looked pretty cute that day, maybe I will find something I can crop into a new profile picture..."

('cause its all about me, right?)

Well, my little chickens, feast your eyes on this!

And the other photograph with me in it was like unto this one.

Nice, right?

I thought so too.

I'll be sticking with my mustache birthday party profile picture (which I still love)...And when Becca's wedding rolls around, I will be adhering to a strict "NO CUPCAKES" rule...and hopefully Kara from Illuminated Moments (who is almost certain to be Becca's wedding photographer), will be a little more forgiving when it comes to the candid shots. 

16 October 2011

We May or May Not Be Rednecks...

Yesterday our home teacher stopped by for a visit and shared some of his wisdom...Most of it was of a more spiritual nature, but we heard some Jeff Foxworthy when he was sure we could take a joke...
"You might be a redneck if your working TV sits on top of your nonworking TV"
Guilty as charged!

P.S. I lived through my first sharing time today!

15 October 2011

Brown Feet

Can you see Ashley's Cherokee feet in the doorway?

If I recall correctly, this photo was taken on the day that those feet tackled me.

And then Spendy, who was usually pretty subdued, got up from counting Beatrice's change and held me down while the Indian made off with most of the clothes in my closet!

I'll admit that it was for my own good...I had this habit of changing my clothes throughout the day...like 5 or 6 times...so they were conducting an intervention of sorts.

I think it cured me...

I really need to send that letter I wrote to Kaylee last April...

14 October 2011


We just spent a night out on the town!

OK, so we just walked around the block to the video rental store and drive in, but that's about what "on the town" means around here...and "night" can be loosely defined as some-time-before-the-conservative-hour-at-which-the-whole-town-shuts-down.

Good News: The drive in has Piccadillies!
(But ask for "Chips")

And Thursdays are dollar video rental days!
(There isn't a redbox within 30 minutes of us)


On our walk back home, Ollivander spotted a cat walking our way and reached for it. Jesse and I saw his interest and started making cat noises, like silly parents do, to see if he would mimick us.

The cat got closer and I exclaimed, rather dramatically, "Watch out, that thing looks rabid!"

"Rabid?" Jesse asked. "Rabid...really? That cat is not rabid."

"I know," I replied. "I was making a joke...I thought I was funny." (which is generally the case)

"Oh," said Jesse. Then he sorta laughed and went back to meowing at Ollie.

Apparently I've been a little too serious lately...

*I just heard Jesse from the other room laugh about Ollie drooling and licking him...now who's rabid?

13 October 2011

It's my little red wagon and I've got to pull it...

Lately I have been keeping a running tally of how much things are costing me, and it kind of makes me ill. In June, we increased our income by 100% and still feels like money is flying out the window faster than I can count it.

We've also got some pretty huge expenses coming up:
  • Jesse's student loan grace period is ending.
  • He is also taking a trip to Pennsylvania in November.
  • I'm hoping to start school in November which will cost me exorbitant amounts of money AND time.
  • I want to fit another miniature Moses in at some point in the next two years or so.
  • Not to mention the rest of the monthly bills
We'll be OK...I'm not necessarily worried about how to pay for it all...just annoyed that I have to (gee, that doesn't sound entitled does it?). Life just costs money and that's that. There are a lot of things that families can do to cut expenses...we try to stay informed, and we do what we can. Believe me, I'm pro at "needs versus wants." My angst about it is really just something I think I have to learn to deal with.

I truly am grateful for good advice from close friends and family, help from our loved ones who have graciously accepted our requests for favors to help save us a little (or a lot) of money while we live wwwwway out in the middle of nowhere, and the Lord's infinite tender mercies on our behalf.

And really, when it comes right down to it, I have more than most, and just because I don't have money to throw at everything I think I might like to have, there is MUCH to be thankful for.

I just wonder if there will ever be a time when I won't be worried about money... Probably not.

At least I've got Jesse and Oliver J. to make things fun, regardless of how rich or poor we are...

12 October 2011

Oliver Was Here:

I made some little baby bread loaves yesterday and set them on the kitchen table to cool.

About an hour later, I was in another room talking to Jesse when Oliver strutted in and sat down on the floor next to me, all the while smacking his lips around something in his mouth. I couldn't think of what it might be so when Oliver got up, I gave him a head start and then followed him into the dining room where I caught him in the act of using his monkey arms to pick at my bread!

I didn't even think that little goon could see the bread on the table, let alone reach it from the floor!

10 October 2011

Me: "So how's the hunger games?"

Beatrice: "Hahaha! I just picked it up when my phone vibrated!"

That was my text exchange with Ashley Bea today...stuff like that happens between us more than you would believe...

We used to have a holiday called "Lucky Shirt Day." We both had the same giraffe shirt and just happened to wear it on the same day at least three times a season (never planned). On those days, magical things happened to us...

I'm talking about getting the best parking spot in the Taylorsville Walmart parking lot, and Ashley finding the missing pearl from her ring in a shoe...MAGIC I tell you!

We no longer wear the giraffe shirts...well I don't anyway, but I still love days like today when magical things happen to us...however insignificant they may seem to anyone else.

She is one of my top 10 favorite nouns...That's for sure!

And not just because she gave me a gorilla for my birthday...but that sure helped!

09 October 2011

Today was a wonderful Sabbath day!

I'd love to tell you about the things that made today great...like how Ollie only pulled at my red dahlia broach once...and how I wore my cardigan closed without the buttons bulging along with a skirt that hasn't fit for over a year and a half...and about my new calling in the ward Primary presidency...and how my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father was strengthened...and would you believe that all of the members of the ward in attendance today stood out on the steps of the chapel and posed for a ward picture...how fun is that?

Mostly though, I just love how crazy long that sentence was.

07 October 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba

This is Oliverito's Yo Gabba Gabba face:

He was GLUED.

His favorite part? Well, if you know Oliver, then you will also know that he is all about the Dancey Dance!

06 October 2011

I thought I'd be all fancy and write a post everyday this month, but I find that I'm not feeling very eloquent tonight...so you get this instead:

I closed my windows for the first time since we moved in...it was c-c-c-cold outside...but we didn't get snow like just about everyone north and south of us.

Ollie wore new clothes because the weather changed...I'm so grateful to my mom for sending us home with a whole big bag full of fall/winter clothes. Did you know that she has almost single handedly clothed that boy...

The power went out all over the city. I waited FOREVER (I'm talking hours) to eat lunch because I didn't want to brave the cold to fight with the grill. I finally did and ran inside to grab the hot dogs only to find that the power had come back on. Splendid!

I went to the first meeting held for my new church calling. Ollie charmed the socks off everyone else there when he sat in one spot and entertained himself for an hour...

I got my flu shot because Jesse mentioned it... When I said "Heck no, Techno," he reminded me about last year when I told him the same thing...and then got the flu in January.

I thought about all the productive things I should be doing and then took a nap.

I Served spaghetti for dinner tonight...That's right, the leftover spaghetti from dinner last night with zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic and Italian sausage in the sauce... Yeah, it was as delicious as it sounds. But it tasted better the second time around... What's up with that?

Jesse and I cleaned up the kitchen while Oliver J. emptied the drawers behind us.

Then we all sat down on the couch for some family "My Name Is Earl"/laugh-at-Ollie's-ridiculous-antics time.

Now, here I am, telling you all of the mundane pieces to my day and realizing that I loved every minute of it.

I know I've lived in Malad for two months already, but it's really starting to grow on me.

I think I'm gonna like it here!

(please tell me you thought of Little Orphan Annie when you read that last line...)

05 October 2011

Some days, I feel especially grown up...

Like today when Jesse and I bought our first 5 gallon buckets along with the flour and sugar to fill them with.

...Hey, I think that's sort of a big deal!

Ollie really liked them...he had his hands in that bucket of flour so fast we hardly knew what was happening...I guess we should know by now to expect everything from him.

04 October 2011

Blustery Day

The wind, thunder, and water tapping at my windows are all working together to tell me that today will be the perfect Soup Weather Day that I have been wishing for.

I'm thinking...stew?


03 October 2011

{Lemon} Party Cheesecake

I was working on a new recipe called "Lemon Party Cheesecake" for a potluck BBQ, and I was on a roll.

I zipped through all the mixing steps and tossed the dessert into the oven to bake for an hour.

I had just started to tackle the kitchen mess when, low and behold, I saw a 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice just hangin' out on the counter waiting to be added to the cheesecake...


Turns out I only made "Party Cheesecake."

Don't worry though. Most people won't turn their noses up to plain cheesecake...and when I plopped my jar of homemade strawberry freezer jam onto the table next to the cheesecake squares, we had a winner!

02 October 2011


I have a friend whose name is Annie. Annie has a husband named Jeremy, who is also my friend. And we are all friends with Jesse and Oliver. That's why it was so great that they came to our house this weekend to stay with us!

 We did all sorts of fun things...
  • We made strawberry freezer jam, homemade rolls, stuffed mushrooms and 3 delicious meals.
  • Annie gave me wonderful decorating advice.
  • We scrubbed the couches and now they practically SPARKLE!
  • Everyone laughed at all my goofy jokes.
  • We enjoyed uplifting words from our prophet and the general authorities.
  • We gabbed about everything under the sun.
  • Annie ate a bunch of my lime otter pops because they are her favorite and absolutely not mine.
  • And we did LOTS of dishes.
They stayed for two whole days and it was stupendous!

I tried to convince them to stay longer, but they seemed to think that their jobs were pretty important. I guess they're right about that.

Annie is one of my favorite people on the face of the earth. She really knows what it is to be a supportive, loving, and consistent friend. We are sure lucky to have her.

Jeremy is pretty awesome too.

01 October 2011

12 More Sleeps

This was another draft of a post that I found from months ago, July 28th to be exact. I think when I wrote it I was afraid that maybe it was too personal? Or too sappy? Or too something. But I read it today and realized that it was just right, and needed to be recorded where I wouldn't forget it.

In May, Jesse and I made a plan for the summer:

He would go to work way up north, I would stay in Cedar City to take my classes, Oliver would stay with me, and we would meet every other weekend in Salt Lake to be a family for a couple of days.

If you had asked how I felt about it I would have told you I was afraid.

Terrified of starting school again. Anxious about the responsibility of being the only parent available to provide for the needs of my child. Concerned that my baby might forget his father. Afraid of missing Jesse too much, and worse, frightened that my constant need for independence might not allow me to miss him at all.

June 5th came and our plan was set in motion. It soon became apparent that math and I would be fast friends, there were plenty of people willing to help me be a successful single parent to Oliver, and Jesse was still Oliver J.'s very favorite noun (besides his bottle at bedtime). Though I wasn't crying myself to sleep every night pining for Jesse, I sure wasn't going to miss a Friday night date if I could help it, and so it was that visits to Salt Lake were bumped up to every weekend. 

Should you ask me how I feel about it now, with only 12 more sleeps until Malad, I would say that I am grateful.

Grateful for support from those who love me most, lessons learned, and the chance for a new start.

Looking back, I can see so much more than the trial. Though I would never choose to do it again, I would also never want to give back the things I learned.

I now have a real relationship with Cami and Megan, my sisters in law...not just a, "well, we're related."  I feel so much love, trust, respect, and appreciation for them. I'm genuinely going to miss living so close to them and spending time with them regularly.

With so much time apart from Jesse, I've had plenty of opportunities to reflect.

Before Jesse left, things were good, but there was so much room for improvement... So many ways to practice more patience, show more love, and have more fun. There was so much that I couldn't see because I allowed myself to become too serious, too busy, and overcomplicated. 

Our relationship was swell, our parenting was fine, and our life was pleasant, but I want my life to be so much better than 'good'. I want motherhood, marriage, and life to be exquisite.

How blessed I am to have had the opportunity to see that.

30 September 2011

Ollie-Pop Ollie-Pop Oh Ollie Ollie-Pop!

I found this post in my drafts from July...I can't believe I never published it. I think I was waiting for pictures or something. Anyway, it may be late, but it has to be posted.

July 16th was Oliver's 1st birthday!

Six months ago, I had big plans for fancy decorations and yummy foods and all that cute stuff you see on the creative mommy blogs out there, but I since I've been sort of homeless and overwhelmed by the events of the summer, we made do with whatever was at Grandma Min's house...

...including the pink frosted cupcakes...

He was showered with gifts, spent the day in his "Birthday Suit," and happily devoured his first cupcake.

It was everything I dreamed it would be even if there weren't elaborate decorations and his cupcakes were the wrong color.

I couldn't believe the joy I felt that day...it wasn't just Ollie's day. Secretly, it was my day too. It was the day that changed my life...rocked my world...made me a mother. I wonder if all of my children's birthdays will feel that way.

 Jesse and I love that little monkey more than we ever thought possible. It was so fun to be able to play with Ollie all day and to celebrate a year ago when he first joined our family and all of our memories since.  

Many thanks to my mom for asking me what I wanted, and then making it happen. Thanks also to everyone who gave a gift or has loved and supported us in the last year.

29 September 2011



I was listening to that playlist I never tire of...

You know, the one with Ingrid, Florence, Edward Sharpe and those crazy Magnetic Zeros, Dashboard, Muse, Cake, and Mister Joel...to name a few

(I can listen to playlists now, since my granddad shared his spiffy blue Ipod with me...)


My friend, Regina (Spektor of course...We're tight), was singin' her heart out to "On the Radio" and I was reminded of just how much I love her.

Mostly she just sings a lot of nonsense and rhymes a bunch, but it's OK because she has a beautiful voice set to fun music, and we all know she's quirky like that..

Often times, though, she pops out some extraordinary words of wisdom. If you know what I'm saying.

I have loved this particular bit since...well, forever. I used to have it written in dry erase marker on my bedroom mirror in high school for those days when I needed to be reminded of how complicated life really isn't (which was everyday...I was in high school for crying in a bucket)

Don't worry, I'll share:

"This is how it works:
You're young until you're not,
You love until you don't,
You try until you can't,
You laugh until you cry,
You cry until you laugh,
And everyone must breathe until their dying breath.

No, this is how it works:
You peer inside yourself.
You take the things you like,
And try to love the things you took.
And then you take that love you made,
And stick into someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood.
And walkin' arm in arm, you hope it don't get harmed,
But even if it does, you just do it all again."

Makes everything seem so simple doesn't it?

I think so.

An aside:

One of my favorite facebook days was when Ashley Beatrice chose that little passage to be her facebook status...

I like to think she was speaking in code to me...making sure I knew she didn't forget me even though now I live in Malad and she lives in Vegas and we NEVER see each other. Ever...which is not how best friends are supposed to live, but we make do...

Like when I remind her that I know what she sounds like on the phone when she's ignoring people, so she should stop ignoring me.

And she laughs because it's true.

I like her.

Another aside:

Whenever I say "an aside" I think of Jim Brandt, my Math 2010 teacher, who (at least once a lecture), paused in the middle of talking about whatever boring math subject was on the syllabus for the day to tell us about the history of a particular tidbit of mathematics...

Like how negative integers originated in China and were not accepted in Europe until around 1700 AD...This was because the Greek traditionally used numbers to represent length, and China was more business oriented, so they needed numbers to represent assets and debts.

Fascinating right?

27 September 2011


*photo and nickname by Kiana Don

20 September 2011

It's a Start...

I made a new friend today...Rebecca.

At least I hope we will find enough in common to be friends.

She and her husband have 5 young kids and live in a one bedroom house. They have lived in Malad for two months. She was very personable.

We are going to story time at the library next Tuesday...and I am getting myself a library card!

Gee it will be nice to get out of this house and have something to do in town...and a friend in town to do it with.

19 September 2011


Should you wish for a slobbery, open mouthed, baby kiss from my little friend Oliver J. all you need do is ask...he LOVES to give them.

However, ask for a "kiss" and you will certainly be ignored...but ask for a "hug" and you shall surely be rewarded.

He's a little backwards like that for now...and I kinda like it.

16 September 2011

My Funny Boy

Oliver likes to climb inside things and sit for awhile...big or small.

Like this empty otter pop box:

I wish I had a picture of the time he pulled my Pyrex pie dish out of the cupboard and sat down in it with his legs crossed...

15 September 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

These days Oliver J. wakes up before the sun.

Usually he whines until we arrive to pluck him out of bed, and then he screams and throws himself down on the mattress just to show his indignation...we've seen it before, so we roll over and cover our ears with the pillow, hoping to get three more minutes of sleep.

On this lovely morning, we heard Ollie Pop laughing in his crib. After a couple of minutes we heard him say, "Mama? Daddy?" And Jesse was so excited he couldn't get out of bed fast enough...

I sure hope Ollie makes a habit of this.

13 September 2011

To Honor the Bravest Popcorn Kernels in the Bunch...

Last night, Jesse and I pulled down our *new to us* air popper that we bought for a dollar at the Oneida County Hospital's yard sale for some popping corn.

Since we had never used an air popper together, I taught him the most respectful approach...

First you prepare the melted butter in a small container, turn on the air popper, and dump in the kernels...then you wait.

Now, everyone knows that the best pieces of popcorn are the ones DRENCHED in butter, and it is every kernels greatest ambition to be that perfect piece, but there are two kernels that are braver than all the rest:

The first one in the bowl is considered remarkably brave because he leads the way and checks out the bowl to make sure it is safe for everyone else to come.

The last one into the bowl is considered brave because he stayed behind and made sure that all the other kernels made it out OK.

Out of the utmost respect for these two courageous kernels, you pick them out as soon as you identify them, dip them straight into the melted butter that you prepared ahead of time, and eat them all by themselves.

In doing this, you are ensuring that their dream to be the greatest piece of popcorn is achieved and you reward them for their immense bravery shown on your behalf.

After this, as we were preparing the rest of the popcorn for consumption, Jesse said, "Your dad taught you that didn't he?"

I answered him affirmatively and made sure it was clear that the tradition was to be continued...

Then we cuddled up on our fluffy new couches and snarfed down our popcorn while we watched Hearts in Atlantis, which I thought was very strange.

01 August 2011

4:37 pm

I was just sitting here at Cami's computer and reading some of my old blog posts (because hey, I'll do anything to avoid my math homework,) and I couldn't believe how funny I used to be.

I think my sense of humor is broken. It's like I was a whole different person.

I could find all kinds of things to blame my Boring on, but I won't go there. Instead, I think I'll just buck up and try to get back to seeing the brighter side of life.

And eat more of ShaNeil's delectable taco soup...

28 July 2011

Boasting on a Thursday

I thought everyone should know that I experienced some math magic this week. I got my test score back from Tuesday's chapter test and found that I had earned myself 100%.

I was ecstatic because that's pretty much a big deal for me...

I'm happy to be doing so well in my math classes this summer...especially since they were the one thing keeping me here instead of in Salt Lake/Idaho with Jesse...it's sort of a tender mercy, really.

27 July 2011

Went to pick up my mail yesterday at the Cedar City apartment and found that the "For Rent" sign had been taken down...After a quick chat with the Rowleys it was confirmed, there is a new couple lined up to take our place...and, she was quick to toss in, she won't be charging me for cleaning. I think she feels bad about her shenanigans from earlier this month...maybe not, but it sure makes me feel better to imagine that she does.

Thankfully, after I turn in our keys later this week, the Cedar City apartment that was supposed to be perfect, with the landlords who were supposed to be so nice...(neither statement turned out to be true...it is such a long story) will be history and I can look forward with somewhat wary eyes to the new apartment we will be renting in Malad.

One day, I will buy a house...Hopefully that day will be sooner than later.

But it won't be a humongous house because today I cleaned at least 400 square feet of bathroom (I am SO not exaggerating)...and I don't plan to do THAT for the rest of my life.

26 July 2011

Paper Chains

Usually, if something very exciting is coming up, I think of making a paper chain at least once, though I never end up actually making one because after I go to the effort of measuring and cutting, I can count on the glue to be missing and then I end up with strips of paper that sit around waiting to be chained together until long after the event that I'm looking forward to...

Anyway, sure enough, last night I was thinking about how much Ollie and I miss living with Jesse and I found myself wondering how many links on a paper chain it would take to make a countdown...


That's a whole lot less than I thought it was. It's going to go by faster than I think, just like the rest of the summer has.

That makes me a happy girl.

25 July 2011

A Love Note to my Indian friend...Hola!

I have a brown friend named Kiana.

We met in Human Development, but didn't talk until that blessed semester when I took bowling and early childhood...bet you can't guess who was in both of those classes? 

The Indian. 

She may have been the only person I knew at the time who actually liked my Moses friend...

After she left Snow College, she visited me in Ephraim more than anyone else I know. 

We may or may not have had a falling out because of how I let her find out about my pregnancy, but she was the first to say "I'm sorry" and show up on my doorstep with wild sunflowers from the roadside to grace my kitchen after Oliver J. was born (In fact, she was the first person ever to call him Oliver J.)...

She truly is the best house guest... 

Oh! And she loves to send cards.

And run errands...which makes hanging out effortless. 

And she made calling people and inanimate objects "Ninja" cool...yeah, I stole that from her. 

And she was the person who first introduced me to the blogosphere.

Now we are pretty tight...at least I think so because we mention each other on our blogs sort of regularly...who doesn't love a good shout out?

It has to be said that seeing Kiana every weekday morning for Math 2020 with Jana is seriously keeping me sane through this LONG, Single mom summer during which I have been so desperate the company of almost everyone else that I love.

Anyway, three years ago today we sat on a curb in downtown Salt Lake, watched the parade, saw the prophet, and celebrated our fine friendship.  This morning she texted me a "Happy Anniversary" in honor of the first of many Kiana and Della Days.

If I had my own computer at my disposal, I would post the goofy picture of me, Kiana, and Kiana's umbrella hat at the parade...for now you'll have to just imagine it.

If you are perhaps interested in Kiana's side of the story, or those silly pictures I mentioned, check here. And let's all be thankful that my sweet indian friend took the time to edit those pictures before she placed them on the interweb. Seriously, she's one of the best! 

08 July 2011

Kiana and Della Day

Today was a Kiana, Della, and Oliver day spent exploring some of the boutiques and consignment stores in Cedar City (one of my favorite activities)

02 July 2011

My dear friends Jesse and Oliver J. are on their way to Cedar City RIGHT NOW!

I am so happy about this that I can hardly stand it.

The very best part is that, due to the holiday, Jesse gets to stay until Wednesday

...And he will hold my hand...and tell me how good I look...and grill me tasty steaks...and lift heavy things for me...

for five.whole.days.

Callooh! Callay!

22 June 2011

A New Tooth For OlliePop

Ollie's Grandma Jacque found a new tooth hangin' out in his mouth yesterday... The best part about this? I had absolutely no idea Oliver J. was even teething!

What a blessing it is to have such an easy going little boy this summer...