dear santa.

dearest santa:

i know it's been awhile since you have received correspondence from me. i figured that since i haven't been receiving all the things i have asked for or wanted in recent years, it wouldn't hurt to remind you what i am wanting this year. i am very grateful for all the things that you do for all the kids in the world, and please remember that i, too, am just a kid...even if it is only at heart.

first and foremost, i would really like this ipod nano. i really want it so that i can track my running progress. it would be fun and helpful all at the same time.

if the nano isn't available, then i would settle for the 160gb ipod classic. santa, you know i have a lot of music, and this would be the perfect place for me to store it. think about it.

i really would like these knives. i know that you might fear me trying to use them to harm my roommates, but i promise i won't. i won't let them near the knives. i would take very good care of them.

santa, my mom is going to take her mixer away from me soon, so i need one of my own. i don't even care what color. just as long as i have one.

i know you have heard about my car. i would settle for any car, but if you are gonna get me a car, you might as well get me this one.

santa, i don't think i am asking for too much. and really, i would be happy with just one item on my list (preferably the car). if you have questions, i am just an email or blog comment away. again, thanks for all you do.




sunday scribblings.

prompt #86: misspent youth.

i was a good kid growing up. seriously, a real good kid. i didn't break the law in high school. i didn't toilet paper or egg any houses. i didn't do drugs. i didn't drink. i was a good kid.

i had great friends. i attribute my straight-and-narrow path to them. and even my friends who were doing those things, they were accepting of me. and i was accepting of them.

and of course, i have amazing parents, who taught me right from wrong, but how to have fun. and even when i did the things they taught me not to do, they were still loving parents. maybe disappointed, but they still loved me and still wanted what was best for me.

i will fully admit that i took advantage of the fact that i had amazing parents who were concerned about me and about my well being. i also took advantage of friends who were good examples. looking back, i will be forever grateful to them for being a part of my life.

working in youth corrections has made a huge impact on me. i've always known that good family and good friends are important, but now i actually get to see that, in fact, good family and good friends are saving graces.

people always ask me why kids end up in the system and i have to respond, unequivocally, that the majority of kids we see in our programs are there because they lack the family structure and good family examples. the impact that bad family examples have on these kids is astounding.

so, i will never again take advantage of the fact that i was surrounded by an amazing family, who were and are incredible examples to me. and the same goes for my friends. what a difference we can all make in each other's lives. let's not misspend any of our time and if we do, let's learn from it.


i can cook.

i made a thanksgiving dessert and it was so yummy, i decided to share.

praline pumpkin dessert
12 servings

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin—not pumpkin pie mix
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 box golden vanilla cake mix
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
¾ cup butter, melted
whipped cream, if desired
additional pumpkin pie spice, if desired

heat oven to 350° f (325° f for dark or nonstick pan). grease or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan. in a medium bowl, beat pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice with wire whisk until smooth. pour into pan.

sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. sprinkle with pecans. pour melted butter evenly over top.

bake 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. cool 30 minutes.

to serve, cut dessert into 4 rows by 3 rows. serve warm or chilled with dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. store covered in refrigerator.



i love the sound of: christmas music. i love christmas music. i own so much christmas music, but i refuse to listen to it before thanksgiving and after new year's day. so, thanksgiving night, i go crazy and i will probably listen to it non-stop until the end of the year. i love it.

i love the sight of: family and friends celebrating their gratitude together.

i love the taste of: yummy thanksgiving treats and desserts. i made a special pumpkin dessert and it was delicious.

i love the smell of: thanksgiving dinner. definitely smells that trigger memories.

i love the feel of: cuddling up in warm, fuzzy blankets and watching christmas movies, especially my favorite, miracle on 34th street.


happy thanksgiving.

i hope you all had a fantastic day with your family and/or friends. and i hope your hearts are filled with gratitude and your bellies full of turkey. much love.


breaking news.

i'm not in love with the bachelor anymore. what does he expect or want? perfection. good luck, buddy.

a day at the salon.

my friend, sara, is a hairstylist. one of the best around. she is so good, my sisters and my mom travel to have her cut their hair. (well, my mom just schedules when she comes to visit, as does my sister, laurie. kristen and julie come up from slc just for sara.) when kristen and julie have appointments, i become the designated babysitter and i love it.

on tuesday, kristen had a hair appointment, as did jesse and malcolm. since my mom was visiting from sin city, she decided to come with them to see me and she brought jake with her, so that julie could have a relaxing day alone with lucie. and i hope she did, because, as it turns out, taking three little boys to the salon is quite hectic.

here is jesse getting his hair cut. he has always been really good at sitting still. surprising, since he can't hold still to save his life outside of sara's chair.

malcolm doesn't like getting his hair cut as much. he won't sit in the chair on his own. the last time he had it cut, he wouldn't even wear the cape. this time, he wore the cape, so we are making progress. he is a shy little thing, but i noticed during this visit that he is starting to grow out of that. he's still shy, but he doesn't need to be with his mom at all times.

jake was very intrigued by the whole process. he didn't get his hair cut this time. he was a little (read a lot) rambunctious. i was sitting on the waiting area sofa with malcolm and jake and they were jumping around and being little devils. i told them that they had new nicknames, "birth" and "control." jake thought that was hilarious. he kept repeating it over and over. i hope that he repeats it to his parents. they will hate me. not really. i'm sure they will laugh.

mom got the good job. she got to feed lillie and then cuddle with her. that girl is too cute. lillie, too.

this is how cute lillie is. i just want to eat her.

i love my babies. i can't believe how stinking cute they all are. i mean, i didn't think that they would be ugly or not cute, but i never imagined that they would all be this cute.



i love the sound of: my nephew praying over our lunch. he blessed that he could not want sugar coated candy and doughnuts. and if that wasn't enough, he blessed that if he got lost from his parents, that someone would help him find them. i couldn't help but laugh through the whole prayer. as did my sister and mom.

i love the sight of: my mom. she came to help my sister out with baby lucie and came to see me (more of that to follow). i miss her, and every time i see her, i realize how much i do miss having her around.

i love the taste of: freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. i was craving them at work the other night, so i decided to make some when i got home. i was ready to bake away, but when i walked into the kitchen, i about died. my boy roommates are so messy and never clean up after themselves. i spent a hour and a half scrubbing the kitchen before i baked cookies. i'm neurotic, i know. but they were really good cookies.

i love the smell of: my baby niece, lillie. well, before she has her gas sessions and then poops. she is such a grumpy pea, but she is so dang cute and she does smell good, most of the time.

i love the feel of: having good friends. i am blessed with incredible friends who are amazing examples to me, and i hope that i can be the same for them.


sunday scribblings.

prompt #85: i carry.

many days have passed
filled with thoughts of you
but sometimes i have to remind myself
to remember you

and when i think i have forgotten you
because i didn’t think of you
i have to remind myself
that i carry you

i carry you in my mind
i carry you in my heart
i carry you in my soul
i carry you

and if i didn’t think of you
because today was too busy
i promise i can’t forget you
i carry you with me always


chocolate pumpkin cupcakes.

this morning, i ran into an old friend. i love it when that happens. i hadn't see him in a little while, so it was random. we were chatting for a bit and i knew that i was making dinner tonight, so i invited him to join us. and since i knew that the dinner part was going to be easy, i decided to "impress" him with dessert. i'm not sure if i did, but he did eat two cupcakes at my house and took a plate full home.

now, this dessert wasn't as easy as i thought it was going to be, but it worked out all the same. i think it would have been easier had i not been worrying about getting dinner ready at the same time.

chocolate pumpkin cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes (approximately)

2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good-quality cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon fresh grated-nutmeg (i didn’t use fresh, so i added 1 teaspoon of the ground variety.)
¾ cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups pumpkin purée (i used canned pumpkin, so i ended up adding an additional ¼ cup buttermilk because the batter was a little thick.)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs

heat oven to 375° f. sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. combine the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins. and fill each with ¼ cup of batter. bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. let cool.

orange cream cheese frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon orange food coloring (i made my own orange with a little red and yellow food coloring.)

blend the cream cheese, butter, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth. add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy, about three more minutes. add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. chill the frosting until ready to ice the cupcakes. chill iced cupcakes until ready to serve.



we had another fun nanatsu dinner tonight. it was mine and mel's turn to make the meal. i was set on making pumpkin soup, so we planned the rest of the meal around that. i named our meal a "festive fall feast." and, oh boy, was it.

this is jenni and sara.i'm not sure what sara's face is saying, but i know her belly was pleased with the delicious food.

we started with this.this is pumpkin soup.
i know that it looks a little like gross-ness, but i promise you, it was divine.
i even had to pat myself on the back.
i did good.

mel put this chicken together.it is maple glazed chicken.
not so much glazed, but i think it was because there was too much sauce.
it is supposed to be grilled, but since we didn't want to be grillin', we baked it instead.
i added the pecans as an after thought.
we had roasted sweet potatoes and regular roasted potatoes.
and a fall blend salad with cranberries, almonds and an apple cider vinaigrette.
good job on the salad, mel.

and then we sort of took the easy road on dessert. thanks pillsbury.

ether bailed on us this week. jerk. he will have to make it up to us, that is guaranteed. nothing else to exciting happened. just good food and good friends. that's what it is all about.

ps. recipes are available upon request.


my one hundred.

in honor of my 100th blog post, here are 100 things about me. enjoy.

1. i genuinely love the fact that i am content with being on my own.

2. i hope that one day i can have a family of my own.

3. i am grateful for my parents and the examples they are as parents and as a married couple.

4. i love and hate that i have naturally curly hair.

5. i think that i chose to work in youth corrections because i don’t want to have to “grow-up.”

6. i know that everyone thinks that their nieces and nephews are the cutest, but i truly believe that mine literally are the cutest.

7. when i was 18, i went and worked in jackson hole for the summer and when the summer was over, i was adamant about staying and working there for the winter. i’m glad my parents didn’t let me do that. that would have been a train wreck.

8. when i decided one random thursday that i wanted to move to boston, i’m glad that my parents were supportive, including financially. i will never be able to repay them for the actual experience. (maybe one day i can repay them for the financial support.)

9. i haven’t had a job for longer than three and a half years. next year will be three years at my current job and i wonder if i will have the itch to find a new job or if i will feel that i am truly where i am supposed to be.

10. sometimes i feel like my co-workers and i are a bunch of “kids” running a “grown-up” facility and we are just pretending to be “grown-up” and professional. i know this doesn’t make sense to you, but in my head it does.

11. i never thought that i would be living with five boys in the house that i grew up in, but i am grateful for the experience all the same. one day i’m gonna make a great wife…my tolerance level has increased exponentially.

12. i love to cook. you wouldn’t really have known that in the past, but i really have gotten into it recently.

13. although there are a lot of things i wish i wouldn’t have done in my past, i am grateful for the lessons that i learned about life and about myself because i chose to do those things.

14. i try not to be a judgmental person, but sometimes i catch myself being embarrassingly judgmental.

15. i’m a very nosy/curious person. i want to know everything that is going on with everyone at all times.

16. i am the worst procrastinator in the world. seriously. it’s embarrassing.

17. i wish that i had an eighth of the talent that my mother possesses. maybe if i tried a little, i could develop some talent, but then there is that whole procrastination thing.

18. i wish that i would have practiced the piano more when i was taking lessons. i will forever regret not “finishing” piano.

19. i also wish that i would have stayed in the orchestra and continued to play the violin. i decided to drop that class so that i could be in the computer/typing class. everyone cool was in that class and i wanted to be a part of it. at least i have excellent typing skills and computing skills, but i would trade those skills for the ability to play the violin in half a heartbeat.

20. one christmas, because of weather issues, i missed my connection in a mid-western city and had to spend the night there. i was provided with a room and a meal voucher. i was in a hurry to catch the van from the hotel to the airport, so i neglected to tip the waitress at breakfast. to this day, i still feel guilty about that and have never not tipped a server since.

21. i have always thought that i have a low tolerance for pain, but when i look back, i think that i have a higher pain tolerance than most.

22. i am afraid of losing a family member. i’m not sure how i would handle it.

23. i have only ever had three “real” crushes in my life. one when i was 18, one when i was 19 and one when i was 27. i wonder why there weren’t any during those eight years.

24. i always hated that my dad could be called away from us at any moment because of his job. many holidays and special occasions were spent without my dad.

25. but, i love how much my dad loves what he does for work and how much the people he works with love him.

26. i have a sick obsession with music. i have disgusting amounts of it. but i love it all.

27. i still consider my best friend from high school my best friend. even though we haven’t spoken in several years. i know that if and when we do talk, it will be like we haven’t skipped a beat, even though our whole lives have changed drastically. i guess that’s why she is my best friend.

28. i cannot stand chicken-in-a-biscuit crackers and fanta red cream soda together. the thought makes me want to vomit. i ate them everyday for lunch when i was in eighth grade. we were morons.

29. i have a type-a personality. i like things my way and even if i teach you how to do it my way, you still won’t be able to do it right. i am the only person that can do it right.

30. i have “directional dyslexia.” i often confuse my left for my right and my right for my left. sometimes, i have to make an “l” with my hands just to make sure that i am choosing the right hand or the right direction.

31. i think that i have “man hands,” despite my very best effort to make them feminine with acrylic nails.

32. i hate infomercials. but i always get sucked into watching them. especially the knife show.

33. my favorite color changes all the time. so i guess i don’t really have a true favorite color.

34. i wish that i skied more. i wish that i wasn’t such a scaredy baby and was more gutsy on the slopes.

35. even though i chose to throw shot-put and javelin in high school as a way to get out of having to take a real class during fifth hour, i am glad that i did. some of my best memories of high school come from meets at other schools and the bus rides to and from.

36. i believe that i have some sort of adult onset attention deficit something or another. no lie.

37. i pretended to really like phil collins in high school because a boy i liked was a fan. i don’t really like phil collins and i never really have.

38. i went to far too many funerals between the ages of 18 and 25. and they were all for people younger than me or my age.

39. i am an emotional eater.

40. i hate cilantro. i think it tastes like dirty dishwater. not that i have ever tasted dirty dishwater, but i imagine that cilantro tastes like what dirty dishwater would taste like. but if a recipe calls for cilantro, i will add it. just not as much. actually, i add way less than what is called for.

41. i don’t really like rap/hip-hop music. i don’t really get it.

42. i would way rather be cold than hot. it is so much easier to layer than it is to remove. plus, who doesn’t love to bundle up?

43. i lived in boston for two years, but i wish i could have lived there for longer. and i wish i would have taken advantage of living in such an awesome city.

44. i am a television junkie. i don’t have just one favorite show. and if you made me pick my favorite, i don’t think that i could. although, the office would be right at the top if i did have to choose.

45. i want to be able to call myself a runner one day. i try, but i don’t feel like i can call myself that right now. but one day. i’m working on it.

46. i bought an xbox because i wanted to learn how to play halo…but now i don’t really like to play halo.

47. i have very dry skin. during the winter, my hands get cracked and raw if i don’t keep them properly moisturized.

48. i have worn glasses/contacts since i was in the third grade. when i first got my glasses, i didn’t wear them to school because i was embarrassed. i would put them in my book bag on the bus to school and then put them back on when i was on the bus home. i got busted at a parent-teacher conference, though.

49. that parent-teacher conference was the same day that the challenger shuttle exploded. i remember standing in our family room watching it on tv right before we left to go to the school.

50. i really like make-up. not because i think that it improves the way that i look. i like that you can be artistic with it. i’m not artistic with it, but i have friends that are incredible “make-up artists.”

51. i hate to shave my legs. last winter i think i only shaved them once, maybe twice. i might go for the record this year. just kidding.

52. i love to sleep. sometimes i can sleep for disgusting amounts of time. i blame it on my crazy work schedule, but really, it’s just because i love to sleep.

53. i can’t sleep with my feet covered. i have to be able to stick them out the side of my sheets.

54. i love flip-flops. i really do wish that i could wear them all year long. unfortunately, i choose to live where snowy winters exist, so i can’t wear them all year.

55. at work, i correct other people’s typing errors. we have to write daily logs and i edit them because the green and red squiggly lines bother me.

56. i love mail. i love to get mail, especially greeting cards. i love to send them, too.

57. when i floss, i like to make my gums a little sore. it makes me feel like i am getting all the gunk out. i’m sure it’s not good for me, but at least i floss.

58. i have been watching general hospital regularly since 1996. i really like it. sometimes i wish that i could marry a mobster because of sonny corinthos and jason morgan.

59. my type-a personality interferes with my ability to enjoy doing crafts. if i can’t do it perfect, then i don’t want to do it at all. i am going to try and change that.

60. i think that james taylor is one of the most attractive musicians i know. especially back in the seventies.

61. i believe that i was born in the wrong decade. i wish i could have been a teenager/young adult in the mid-seventies.

62. i know there are way more than one hundred things about me, but i am finding it somewhat difficult to put this list together.

63. i am oddly obsessed with surfing. i have never been surfing, nor do i know anyone that actually surfs, but i want to. i am so obsessed that i actually subscribe to a surfing magazine. i keep up on the standings and how it all works.

64. i know even more about the prca. that’s the professional rodeo cowboy association. and one day i hope to go to the nfr in las vegas.

65. i have a great love for acoustic guitar. i attribute this to the fact that my dad plays the guitar and i grew up listening to a lot of folk music.

66. i know that some people find it odd that i grew up a mortician’s daughter, but to me, it is completely normal. i even think it is normal that we played games in the mortuary when we were younger.

67. i think that my grandpa (my mom’s dad) was the most amazing person i have ever known. he was extremely talented and beyond extremely humble. i hope to one day find someone who has his silent strength and talent and humility. good luck to me.

68. stargazing is the most relaxing thing that i can think to do, even on cold nights. i love the stars. when i was 19, i was going to get a tattoo of a shooting star. i didn’t get that tattoo, but if i had to get one, that’s still probably what i’d get. or a star of some sort.

69. when i was about ten, maybe eleven, i stole some chocolate chips from our pantry. they were of the semi-sweet variety. i ate so many of them, i made myself sick. to this day, i hate semi-sweet/dark chocolate.

70. i wanted to be my older sister when she was in high school. she had very “cool” friends and i hoped to one day be like her. she is the reason that i took drama classes in high school. i didn’t get to into it, but i tried.

71. i love hoodies more than is probably legal. i wear them all the time. i need to outgrow this “phase,” but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

72. i was, at times, an ungrateful child. i share my birthday month with two of my sisters and two of my cousins. (my sisters and cousins are all the same age.) i remember one year, they all got “better” gifts than i got and i threw a tantrum. i also threw a tantrum at a christmas party, too. i think we stopped doing gift exchanges after that year.

73. when i was a sophomore in high school, my sister and i were the biggest snots on christmas day. we were both completely upset with every single gift we received. i still believe i had a legitimate reason to be upset about one of my gifts, but i am learning to let it go. jk. i have let it go, but i like to bring it up every now and again because we acted so ridiculous.

74. when i was in high school, we added on to our home. i cried when they had to cut the trees down to lay the new foundation. i guess it’s because i am so sentimental.

75. when my grandma had one of the trees ripped down this year, i didn’t have the same sentimental reaction. i was very angry instead. sometimes she does things that anger me or annoy me. i need to work on understanding her better.

76. as much as i am not proud of some of the things i have done in the past, i will fully admit that i had some good times. some really great times.

77. after years of adamantly stating that i will never have children, i now do not feel that way. even though it is still weird to have a person growing inside of you, i think it is, overall, a pretty incredible experience.

78. i contemplated serving a mission for my church on several occasions. i don’t know what stopped me every time, but i wonder how different my life would be if i had gone.

79. i love the mountains. when i lived in boston, i missed the mountains almost as much as i missed my family

80. i know how to rope. as in “ropin’ calves” rope. i even own my own rope. a friend gave it to me for christmas and she taught me how to use it, too. i have skills.

81. i have a lot of friends that i have lost contact with over the last couple of years and it kind of makes me a little sad. i hear about their whereabouts occasionally through other friends and on myspace (of course), but i wish i was still in contact with them.

82. i considered joining the peace corps a few years ago. i was quite afraid of being sent to a random jungle somewhere, so i decided not to do it. plus, two years is a long time.

83. when my friend jason actually joined the peace corps and moved away to romania, i was a little jealous that he had the guts to follow through.

84. most of the time, i am all talk.

85. i broke my tailbone falling down my stairs this past summer. a few weeks after that fall, i fell again. i think i have done permanent damage to my tailbone.

86. the only broken bones, besides my tailbone, that i have had are a broken ankle and a broken wrist. i broke my ankle playing soccer in ninth grade. i broke my wrist only a couple of years ago, when i fell off of a horse. i didn’t get bucked off, i fell off. and i had my dad and my friend cut my cast off for me…a few days before it was supposed to come off. i was sick of the cast. my wrist hurt worse when the cast came off than when i actually fell and broke it.

87. i love a campfire just as much as the next guy, but i can’t stand the smell of campfire on other people. not too long ago, at work, a young man came in who reeked of campfire and i almost threw up.

88. when i was 18, there was this boy that my sister knew who was annoying and a bit of a jerk. one of my friends and i would regularly egg his house just because he was supposedly annoying (i think i only ever met him once). and we liked the way the eggs sounded when they hit his garage doors. i’m surprised we were never caught by the police. seriously, we did it on a regular basis. mostly when we were bored.

89. if i knew i wouldn’t get caught, i would go toilet-papering or egging tonight.

90. i actually thank my lucky stars daily that i never got in trouble with the law. heaven knows i probably should have several times along the way.

91. i hate going to the dentist. i hate the smells and the sounds. but i really like my dentist.

92. i fully support the second amendment, but i don’t own a gun and i don’t foresee myself going out and purchasing one. i do like the fact that i could if i wanted to, though.

93. i get little warm fuzzies when my dad calls me his “goldilocks.”

94. i worked for a summer as a fuel dock attendant at lake powell. it was one of my most favorite jobs. i worked with a bunch of pot-heads, but i didn’t know that they were at the time. i was a little naïve then.

95. my favorite part of the sunday paper are the sale ads.

96. i love pens. i like to buy all different kinds. right now, my favorite is a brown pilot g-2 07.

97. i love slurpees from 7-eleven. my favorite kind is banana. it reminds me of when i was little and my dad would take us to get slurpees after doing yard work on saturdays.

98. when i was maybe seven or eight, i threw a tantrum for some reason or another and my dad left me at home with my mom and he took my brothers and sisters to get treats. they didn’t even bring anything home for me. it still hurts my feelings a little bit.

99. i love to read. i will read just about anything. i hate to read out loud, though.

100. i have the best family in the world. my parents are incredible (see #3). my sisters are all exceptionally amazing women and i strive everyday to be more like them. my brothers are great examples to me. i love my in-laws very much. i love my nieces and nephews even more. they are my babies. i can’t live without a single one of them. i love that we can have a good time together, doing nothing but visiting. i am truly blessed beyond belief.

sunday scribblings.

prompt #84: left & right.

i believe that i have directional dyslexia. i know that i made this term up, but it explains my inability to distinguish my left from my right without quite a bit of thought. let me explain.

when i took my driving test, i had to stick my thumb and forefinger out to make an "l." i had discovered that the left hand makes a true "l," but the right hand makes a backwards "l." so, while being given directions during my driving test, i would discreetly stick my fingers out so i could figure out exactly what direction i should go.

i am constantly being told "your other left" or "your other right." when i am at work and i am trying to figure out what arm or hand or leg one of the kids has a marking on, i have to, in my head, turn my body around so i am facing the same way they are and then i make the "l."

sometimes, i can just pretend to hold a pencil or a pen in my hand. i am right handed, so if it feels comfortable, then i know it is my right hand.

i haven't deduced why i have this issue, but it definitely keeps me on my toes. i am assuming that the reason i transpose letters and numbers all the time might have something to do with this, too. who knows. maybe the left and right sides of my brain are at war with each other. yeah, that's what it is. there is a war in my head that i am unaware of, but that i am forced to live with.

man, i crack myself up.


pretty kitty and other tuesday events.

on tuesday, my roommate, melanie and i took a drive to clearfield/layton to go to tai pan trading to check out the holiday gear and to eat dinner at the training table. since my friend, rebbekah, lives nearby, i let her know we were going to be "in town" and i invited her to join us. i was very glad that she was able to.

at tai pan, we saw this special kitty and i told bek that i would display it in my home if she bought it for me. i was joking, obviously. well, little did i know, but bek had been carrying that kitty around the store for quite sometime before i realized that she had it. she had tucked it into a lovely basket she was going to purchase to use as a bread basket. she wanted to get some glasses, but when she tried to pick them up to carry them, she realized she needed to put the kitty back. this made for an obvious photo-op.

i'm surprised the picture actually turned out. we were laughing so hard. i guess you had to be there.

i think the last time i ate at the training table was at least ten years ago. the best part about the training table is that you get to be your own server. you seat yourself, go over the menu and pick up the phone at your table to order. when your order is up, they ring you to let you know it is ready. then you go and get it and serve yourself. it's a good idea, ya know. they are saving lots and lots of money by not paying servers.

that's mel and i. bek got a hold of the camera and was snapping away.

dinner turned out to be a good photo-op, too. here i am, ordering our food. i like that i am pointing to the menu, like the person that is taking the order can see what i'm pointing at.

bek was on a roll. this is the funniest face i've seen her pull. she didn't eat with us because she made homemade chili and ate it before she met us at tai pan. don't you think it's rude she didn't invite us over? i take that back. she did give us caramel apples and a slice of banana cream pie when we went to her house after.

and don't worry, we devoured ever last drop of food. de-lish.

i truly am blessed with awesome friends. and more than anything, i love the fact that we can act like we are in high school, but then not, all at the same time. i know that doesn't make sense, but you know what i mean mel and bek, right? that's what i thought.



i love the sound of: my roommates doing dishes. i know, it is a rare experience, but every now and again they pull through and take responsibility for themselves.

i love the sight of: pretty babies. i got a birth announcement from an old friend and she has the most beautiful little girl. and then i thought about the new, little, pretty babies in my family, too.

i love the taste of: pumpkin cornbread. i attempted a recipe last sunday and it was a wreck. seriously horrible. i tried again on monday and it turned out awesome. i took the recipe that was a wreck and tweaked it to my liking. it was fun "making up" my own recipe. and it was even more fun when it turned out good.

i love the smell of: new candles. my friend brought a catalog and samples for scentsy candles to work the other night. i am in love and i am getting some fresh scents up in here. especially for the down stairs. boys smell weird, so i am going to try and alleviate that problem.

i love the feel of: accomplishment.



the challenge: if liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. --aristotle this is a gentle reminder that tuesday, november 6th, is election day here in the u.s. and while it's not a presidential election, i'm sure there are some very important issues on your local and state ballots.

i am a dedicated voter. i don't think that i have missed an election since i turned 18. in fact, i know i haven't. and sometimes i know that it is a bit of a pain to haul yourself to the polls and to cast your vote, but i do it because i value my rights as a citizen. even if my vote really doesn't make a difference, i now have the right to complain because i voted.

i grew up in a family that values the political process and the ability to make your voice heard. back in the day, before you could register to vote when you got your license, my mom was in charge (or something like that) of helping people register to vote. we would have strangers show up at our house for a few days a year looking to register to vote. she also served as a judge on election day. we could pretty much guarantee that she would be gone the first tuesday of every november, but we could always find her at the polls.

i remember when i was little, i would go with my grandma to local "republican women" events. that same grandma recently conned me into being a delegate for our local voting precinct, as well. last year, i spent the day before voting making phone calls to registered voters to encourage them to vote for a candidate that my grandma was supporting. i was supporting him, too...but she always seems to take her support to the next level. (luckily, i got out of doing that this year.)

my dad was once on the city council. my grandpa (my dad's dad), was involved in politics when my dad was growing up, too.

dinner conversations about political events and views were not rare. we were always aware of what was going on in the world and in our community. i didn't realize how unusual all of that was until i got out into the world.

i guess what i am getting at is that i would be disowned if i didn't vote. just kidding. but i would be very upset with myself if i didn't vote. i am grateful for my right to be heard, however insignificant that may be at times.

so i'm proud to say, i voted.

in love.

how can you not be in love with this guy? he's too hot. and i might have a bit of a crush. okay, it's a huge crush, but can you blame a girl. hmmm...dream on.


not just any given sunday.

my patriots pulled off the greatest win since...well, who knows when. i mean, this win may be one of the most significant since the 1972 dophins' undefeated season. okay, it may not be that significant, but the pats are well on their way to breaking that thirty-five year record. and if you don't believe me, just read this.

it sure is a great year for boston sports. gotta love it.

sunday scribblings.

i have been "stalking" this blog for awhile now, and i have thought every week that i would jump in the mix and start to scribble on sunday. and then i never did...until now. i may not decide to participate every week, so don't hope for more next week. for now, just enjoy this.

prompt #83: money.

what is that they say? money is the root of all evil? or is it money makes the world go round?

isn't it interesting that both of these statements ring true? i can't imagine what my life would be like without the money that i earn. and i can imagine how i could get caught up in having lots money if i ever happened to make more.

good thing i chose to work in social services. i will never be rich and i am okay with that. when i decided that i wanted to work in corrections and then youth corrections, i succumbed to the fact that i will never have more than i need. i'm not going to lie, it would be nice to have more and to be able to do more. but at the same time, i am blessed and fortunate to get by and not stress out too much about money.

i love my job so much that the money doesn't matter all that much to me. i know that i can advance in my career and get raises and promotions, but ultimately i am doing this job because i love what i do and i can't imagine doing anything else.

yes, money does make the world go round and it can be the root of some evil. but wise management and the realization that there are more important things in life have helped me to realize that money is just that, money.



harvest pound cake.

somehow, i turned this:

into this:

using this:

harvest pound cake
serves 16

for the cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
1 cup chopped nuts

for the caramel glaze:
½ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk

heat oven to 350° f. grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. in large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, salt and baking soda until smooth. stir in apples and nuts. pour into pan. bake 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. cool 20 minutes. remove from pan to cooling rack. in 2-quart saucepan, heat all glaze ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally. boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. spoon glaze over warm cake.

which ended up looking kind of like this:

it's magic, i tell ya. sweet, delicious magic.

ps. i would sort of recommend maybe kinda using some sort of spice. it was very delicious, but kinda lacked something. i'm not sure what, so just experiment. also, if you don't want to make your own glaze, you can just buy caramel topping. warm it up and pour it over the cake.


another new baby.

little lucie kay was born on october 31, 2007 at 5:22 pm. she was 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long. good thing she was early. she's kinda not small, considering.

little jake is her big brother and i am so excited for him and for my sister, julie and brother-in-law, jared.

congrats you guys! i can't wait to meet her! and when i do, i promise i will take lots of pictures to share.


i love the sound of: my nephews, jake and malcolm, discussing the bugs in the windowsill at my sister's house and overhearing jake (the older of the two) telling malcolm to eat the bug. and then malcolm telling me that he did eat the bug.

i love the sight of: my niece, awake and not crying or fussing. it's not a huge feat, but she is a little bit of an ornery bug, so when she is calm, it is a blessed sight.

i love the taste of: tootsie rolls. i am a little but addicted to them right now. they are a classic.

i love the smell of: baking cake. it smells like "home" which isn't a smell that regularly resides in a house with five boys. (trust me, boys smell weird.)

i love the feel of: camaraderie and friendship. knowing that there are people you can count on that aren't family.