14 April 2013

Sunday Ollie-isms

Sitting in the chapel before the meeting started, whispering to each other about what it means to be reverent, I asked Oliver to tell me what the meeting was for and why we needed to be reverent and he said to me,

"Mama, it's time for the SNACKrament!"

Last weekend, during conference, when President Uchdtorf conducted the first session, I told Oliver his name and that he liked airplanes a lot.

"Yep. Deiter F. Uchdorf likes airplanes!" Ollie repeated.

When president Monson spoke, I told Oliver his name and that he was the our prophet.

Ollie nodded and said "Yeah, Dieter F. Uchtdorf likes airplanes and Thomas S. Monson likes cars!"

11 April 2013

The Tidal Basin in Full Bloom

I had pretty much given up hope of seeing any Cherry Blossoms this year... there were just too many conflicts, and this one car business was making it difficult to manage necessary tasks and responsibilities, let alone frivolous day trips. So you can imagine my surprise and elation when I got home last night and Jesse informed me that I would indeed be able to go to Washington D.C. today to see those glorious pink blossoms. He's pretty fantastic.
So Oliver and I dropped Jesse off with his carpool buddy Rose (who is kind of a saint), made preparations for our day trip, and headed to Greenbelt to catch a train...er...commuter rail.

I'll have you know that I successfully navigated the Metro and D.C. without any trouble ALL BY MYSELF today.Which may not seem like a lot, but the thought of it gives me great anxiety.  The ticket machines...and the train transfers between lines, and feeling disoriented every time I exit a building in the city... I did it all anyway!

Also, I bought a Smart Trip fare card...so I'm pretty much legit now.

But here's the best part:

Just after Oliver and I had extricated ourselves from the hoard of picture taking people near the entrance to the basin, we plopped down on a shady bit of grass somewhere between Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin D. Roosevelt to bask in majesty of the Tidal Basin in full bloom.

We munched on cookies, and every once in a while, I managed to snap a photo without 87 thousand people in it. We enjoyed the view of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial all dressed up in soft pink, and breathed in the scent of cherry blossoms as it danced past our noses on the wind...

...and we got a phone call from our mutual friend Jesse! He informed us that classes had been canceled for the afternoon, and since he was at a metro station in Bethesda ANYWAY, he would be joining our little escapade in no time at all.

So we ate some more cookies, sipped some more water, snapped some more pictures and enjoyed ourselves until Jesse got there and then we carried on.

Jesse totally made me pose for this photo. I felt super awkward, but he was pretty pleased with the outcome. "Just do it" he said. "It'll turn out to be your favorite picture." He said...

It was just another magical day in Washington D.C.

09 April 2013

Happiness is singing the Chicken Song...

Yesterday was a long, hard day for all of us.

We got up at five so that I could drop Jesse off for his carpool over to Bethesda. Then I dropped Ollie at a friends house so I could go to school and meet some fifth graders. We worked (or played, in Oliver's case) all day long. After dinner we went on a rather intense grocery shopping adventure to bulk up our food storage.

On our way home from Sam's Club and Walmart, Jesse and I were crashing, but from the back seat, Ollie called out, "I want to listen to the Chickens!"

Which means "Forget You" by Camilla and the Chickens, from the Muppet Movie.

We turned the music up loud so Ollie could hear it, but he insisted that everyone sing!

So there we were, flying down the road, cluck cluck clucking as loud as we could while Oliver held my hand from the back seat and sang the harmonizing clucks, and it hit me...

I am so happy!

Sure, life is enormously difficult right now, and it gets me down, way down...much more often than I care to admit to anyone.

However sometimes, in quiet moments...or in noisy, chicken moments, little glimpses of how happy my life really is catch me off guard, and I am reminded that, despite the currently overwhelming bad, my life is good and so full of joy.

My life right now won't be my life forever. In fact, a year from now, everything will have changed. Hopefully for the better...maybe not.

But I'm so extraordinarily lucky, because when you get right down to it, I have the  most important things.

I've had them all along.

05 April 2013

Dreaming of Over Sized Art...

Today I looked at that empty piece of the wall that smacks me in the face every time i walk up the stairs and  was annoyed for the 80 billionth time. I thought about Jordan at Oh Happy Day's recent blog series about her 500 sq foot San Francisco apartment... and how it has had me dreaming of over sized art for days!

"I need to put something bold and beautiful and...BIG there," I told myself.

I've been having a decorating crisis for a while...I love my living room, but it follows a theme a little too closely, so I am nervous to introduce anything too different. The kitchen and stairway are pretty bare, but I've left them that way because a.) I used everything that I had on hand in the living room, and b.) I can't decide if I should mimic the emerging theme to make the rooms blend together well, or try to introduce something new and try to find a way to make it all work.
So I went looking... I was thinking I would finally add some flair, or color, or even a bold print to my house full of old looking stuff....but my interweb travels brought me to these:

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...no flair. no bold prints. old looking. And yet, I've sort of fallen in love. I think I'll keep looking, but it's entirely possible that I could end up with the van Gogh. I think we would be very happy together.

04 April 2013


According to Oliver, M-O-S-E-S can spell:
Mickey Mouse

The other day I heard his fire truck and dump truck talking to each other from the other side of the couch...

One would say, in Oliver's deepest voice "M-O-S-E-S spells dump truck"

and the other would say in a more growly voice "Yeah! and M-O-S-E-S spells firetruck too!"

and then they continued driving along happily.

Apparently, M-O-S-E-S can spell anything you want it to...

The most accurate word that M-O-S-E-S has spelled to date:

Little Moses

01 April 2013

Chocolate Easter Bunny Pie

One of my favorite Easter treats is Chocolate Easter Bunny Pie. My parents found the recipe on the back of our Worlds Finest Chocolate Easter Bunnies when I was younger. 

I remember being so appalled when they took our prized chocolate bunnies and turned them into pie. The worst part was that we didn't get our own pie made from our stolen chocolate bunny. Oh no. We had to share.

I was never very good at sharing.

World's Finest Chocolate Easter Bunny Pie

1 6 oz Chocolate Bunny
18 large marshmallows (cut in half) or 180 mini marshmallows
1/4 cup milk
16 oz unsweetened whipping cream
1 prepared graham cracker crust. (I actually prefer Oreo)

Save a small piece of the bunny to shave on top for decoration.

Melt Chocolate bunny and marshmallows in milk in a double boiler. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Let cool completely. Whip cream until stiff. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into pie crust and chill until firm. (At least two to three hours.)

Warning: don't make this pie if you are going to be home alone with it all the next day. All it will do is call to you relentlessly from the fridge, "Eat me! Eat me! Eat me!" 


We colored eggs with Oliver J. for the first time this year. It was really fun, apart from my constant anxiety that someone's elbow was going to knock Easter egg dye on our cream colored carpet. That carpet gives me more anxiety than almost anything...