i love the sound of: the goofy laugh my nephew shared with us last night.

i love the sight of: summer haircuts and hair-dos.

i love the taste of: no bake cookies. definitely a classic.

i love the smell of: freshly mowed grass. i smelled it once last week, before it decided to snow today.

i love the feel of: security.



family vay-cay: day six and a half to day nine.

(this is a continuation of this post.)

after our lovely stay in arizona, we headed back for a few relaxing days in the city that never sleeps...vegas. but, of course, we did sleep. we pretty much spent the rest of the time hanging out with family and relaxing. kristen and i did make it to the strip to see the fountains in front of the bellagio. we wanted to feel like tourists for a minute. it was good fun.

so, here are more pictures. i'll describe them as we go. nothing too exciting, but enjoy.

there is that desert again.
i love the mountains, but i don't quite appreciate the desert yet.
maybe it will grow on me.

uncle mike was a good sport and played with jesse and malcolm.
jesse was getting a ride from uncle mike and malcolm did not want to be left out.
they wore mike out, that is for sure.

just taking pictures of ourselves, like we usually do.
i love that he doesn't keep his eyes open cause he hates the flash.
even better is that when the flash isn't even going to go off, he still closes his eyes.

half-closed eyes with grandma.
i love that they both have the same look...like they are stoned.

lillie and kristen.
lillie is to die for, even though she didn't want to be my friend on the trip.
she is growing to love me, though.

it was my mom's birthday on march 27th.
even though i told her i wouldn't post this picture, i'm going to anyway.
she'll still love me.

we all went to the elephant bar at green valley ranch for lunch.
a cute family picture.
lillie is my favorite in this one.

jesse and his mask.

malcolm and his mask.
these masks only entertained for a short period of time.
it wouldn't have been so bad, but the service was horrible.
we waited forever for our food.
oh well, i guess. what do you do?

kris and i in front of the bellagio and fountains.
we caught the end of one show on the back side, so we walked around to the front and watched another from the far end and decided we wanted to see one from the middle.
it's a good thing we waited because the final show we watched was elton john's "your song."
i love me some elton john. and kristen even sang. it was great.

here is the video for your enjoyment.

and here is a still shot of the fountains.

this is the view of the strip from out by my parent's house.
not a bad view, not bad at all.

this is jesse.
he was eating his favorite (or i should say, his mom's favorite), chocolate crack...
...aka cadbury mini eggs.

lillie and kris had a photo shoot while i was showering.
good times.

and this is jesse and grandpa (or dad).
fittingly enough, we left him sitting on the porch, one of his favorite places.

and that is the end of family vay-cay 2008. hope you enjoyed it as much as i did.

it's just getting worse.

this is the updated weather forecast.
so freaking sick of it.
i might die.
i'm that sick of it.

{image from ksl}



pretty kitty.

pretty kitty has been neglected lately. here is pretty kitting riding in the car. she's so fun.


so over it.

i am so sick and tired of the weather here.
when is spring going to arrive?
it snowed yesterday.
yep, that's right...snow.
and check this out...

since when does it go from fifty degrees to seventy degrees and then back to fifty degrees and snow?
snow in a week?
you've got to be kidding me.
so o-v-e-r it.

but who knows...maybe they'll be wrong.
i guess we will just have to wait and see.

{report via ksl}

new car, to me.

it finally happened. the car finally conked out. i mean, i think i could probably try to drive it around the block again, but the billow of smoke trailing me would be a little too much. i am half tempted to just start driving it to see how far it would go, but then i don't want to have to deal with having to have it towed from the side of the road, so it has been sitting in the driveway for over a month. i am planning on donating it, but i have to clean it out first and that is just a pain.

anyway, so the demise of the grand prix meant that i had to look for a new car and i found the perfect car, at the perfect place and got the perfect deal. i couldn't be more pleased, to be quite honest.

so, my new car...a 2007 ford focus. i know, i never thought i would drive a ford, but i do. and i'm okay with it. it's a fun little car. and i don't live in fear of breaking down during the 1.7 mile drive to or from work. and i have heat now. it's lovely.

and most importantly, i can now leave the 2 square miles i was restricted to with a broken vehicle. oh, the freedom.

so, here is what it looks like, minus the spoiler. same color and all. it's not half bad. i can't complain.

i can cook.

i found this recipe in a magazine a couple of years ago and it has been a favorite ever since. the first time i made it, i couldn't find the soba noodles (because i live in northern utah...'nuff said), so i used a pasta instead.

i have since made this with the soba noodles and i prefer the pasta. i'm not sure, but i think it might be a texture thing. i also have never microwaved the chicken because i don't like to eat rubber. that's a given, so i just sauté it in a pan. and, the first time i made it, we ate it warm and i do believe that it is much better warm than it is cold, although, it is still good cold.

so, there you go...try it out and let me know what you think.

1 8.8-ounce bag japanese buckwheat soba noodles, such as eden foods brand
5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
5 scallions, green and white parts, very thinly sliced
1 medium mango, sliced

cook noodles according to package directions. in a large bowl whisk together next 6 ingredients to make dressing. set aside.

wrap chicken loosely in microwave-proof plastic wrap. microwave on high for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. let stand until cool enough to handle. shred and add to peanut mixture. add drained soba noodles, scallions and mango and toss until combined.

store sesame noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

{photo and recipe via shape.}


family vay-cay: day two and a half to day six.

(sorry, i'm a slacker. this is a continuation of this post.)

we arrived in phoenix on saturday afternoon. we were beyond excited to finally be there...but then there was the whole drive to chandler. it was a bit like torture.

we got to laurie's house, only to turn around and go to their friend's house for an easter egg hunt/picnic. i will admit that i was annoyed that we had to go (mostly because i just wanted to get the heck out of the car), but once we got there, it was good times. they had this whole set up with those huge inflatable toys for kids, like the really huge kind, like a slide and stuff. and the food was very delicious, too. we did miss the actual egg hunt, but that's okay.

we hung out at the friend's house for a bit and then headed back to laurie's. some shopping occurred...i opted out, so i babysat, sorta. laurie was going to go to costco, but then decided that she wasn't going to make it before they closed, so she came back and hung out with me. we made cookies for the blessing and just spent time together.

sunday was easter. we went to church and then after church, we went to the same house where the easter party was the day before. laur and bren decided not to have logan's blessing at church, so they asked to have it at their friend's home instead. (laurie and bren have very good friends who are very gracious hosts. it was super nice of them to have us in their home for such a special occassion, especially on easter sunday.)

after the blessing, we headed back to laurie's and had a wonderful easter dinner with brennan's mom and her husband, his brother, sister-in-law and their family and us. it was super fun.

monday, all the girls (minus kaylie and lillie, plus logan) went to lunch at the cheesecake factory. my mom's birthday was later that week, so it was sort of a birthday lunch for my mom. we did a little, tiny bit of shopping and then headed home.

my mom and dad left to go back to vegas that afternoon and the rest of us headed to laurie's friend's house for a little pool time. some of us had more pool time than others, but it was fun all the same. laurie has some pretty funny friends and we mostly just laughed and laughed. and we learned some new things, too. kristen and i would both move to arizona just to hangout with laurie's friends...but it's too damn hot.

tuesday was a chillaxin' kind of day. we hung out with the kids. drank lots of soda. ate lots of food. watched a movie (well, some of us watched it...others napped.) mostly just spent some good quality time together.

wednesday morning, we packed up and headed out. i was sad to go, but i was okay with leaving the heat. it was just too hot for me. mid-march shouldn't be that warm (but it shouldn't be as cold as it has been in utah in april...what gives). it was so fun to spend time with family and especially with the newest member. can't wait for july (yes, we know it will be a thousand times hotter...but what do you do), for the next chapter of our arizona vacations, this time for adam's baptism.

any-who. here are some pictures. kind of random, but some of my faves.

i caught malcolm doing this little trick.
he would put his hand on the side of his face and then press against the inside of his cheek, towards his hand. it was so funny, like he discovered the coolest thing ever.
i can't remember exactly what he did, but he was doing something similar with my face and his hand just the other day.
i love that kid.

this is how bored i was as we were driving through phoenix...i was taking pictures of other drivers.
this guy was the best, though. he was stylin' in this pimp car. and the best part, he didn't have a shirt on.
i am pretty sure that he saw me taking pictures of him. oh well.

this is the first picture i took of little logan.
isn't he to die for? those cheeks are killer.
i am so in love with him.
this was at the easter picnic/party. and that's my mom holding him.

this is laurie and her way-too-cute-for-her-own-good niece.
she is the tiniest little thing and she is a cuddler. she even cuddled with me at one point.
i'd steal her if i wanted to steal a kid. hahaha.

my beautiful niece, kaylie.
don't you want her eyes? they are gorgeous.
her dad is in for the long haul when she gets older.

kaylie and jesse on our way to church.
what you don't see is their "sidekicks."
adam made each of them their own "sidekicks" out of paper. he even drew the screen and keypads. he is a bright and creative kid.
anyway, the whole way to church, they were both taking pictures of me with their "sidekicks."

laurie and logan at the blessing.
all three of their kids were blessed in that gown.
very cool, i think.

this is everyone who participated in the blessing.
the best part of this picture, though, is malcolm at the bottom right.
seriously, love him.

the whole family.
laurie, logan, brennan, kaylie and adam.
kind of like the perfect little family.
okay, they are the perfect little family.
luckily, i'm the better third. hahahaha.
(that's an inside joke, so don't strain too hard to understand.)

kristen and lillie on easter sunday.
lillie wasn't too fond of me on the trip. as long as one of her parents was holding her, she would laugh at me and talk to me, but i couldn't hold her...no way. but don't worry, we bonded a little this week and i think we have made progress.

adam and malcolm just before easter dinner.
malcolm was giving adam a hug and wouldn't let go. it was so funny.

adam and malcolm, again.
i can't believe that adam is going to be eight this year. man, does time fly.
i remember when he was the only one and got all of our attention.
i wonder if he feels a little neglected. hahaha.

smiling little logan.
we were shopping after lunch on monday and i was pushing the stroller and he started smiling at me, so i had to stop and take pictures.

so, here is the proof that some of us had more pool time than others.
malcolm had wandered to the deep end of the pool and tried to reach the water feature on the pool, but it was just too far away. he ended up face planting into the pool, leaving his little hat floating on the top of the water.
laurie calmly told kristen that malcolm had just fallen in the pool. kristen walked around to the end and realized she wasn't going to be able to reach him from the edge, so she jumped right in, shoes and all. that is why she is a good mom.
i don't have kids because my first thought was "well, he has six minutes until brain damage occurs." i would be a bad mom.
unfortunately, kristen didn't realize that one of the teenagers that was there jumped in the pool at the same time. oh well. it made for a really good story though. and she will probably hate me for posting this picture, but this is why i took it, so i could blog about it.

malcolm was a little traumatized by the incident, so he stayed out of the water for awhile.
by the end of the day, though, i had him talked back into the water, just not the deep water.

and logan was unfazed.
just a little milk drunk.

and this is kristen and lillie, during the movie.
she just gets real tired, especially during movies and while watching tv.
just like our mom. hahahaha.

adam stayed home from school on wednesday with flu-like symptoms.
luckily, the rest of us didn't get ill.
anyway, he was too busy playing video games and he wouldn't pose for a picture before we left...thus, this picture.

logan and i in our first self-portrait.
i want to squish him. too cute.

i couldn't resist posting this picture of the two adorable babies, lillie and logan. too bad lucie wasn't there.
i joked with laurie that if she had a girl, she was going to have to name her lola, so there would be lillie, lucie and lola.
when she told me she was having a boy, i knew lola was out. but then they named him logan and all was well.
lillie, lucie and logan. love it.

to be continued.
coming next...vegas, baby.


sunday scribblings.

prompt #106: fearless.

it's been quite awhile since i have done some sunday scribbling, so i decided to join in this week.

i have been thinking about the word fearless all day, trying to figure out what i could write about fearless and what it means to me and i decided that i just don't like the word fearless. let me tell you why.

in my own life, i am not fearless. i feel that i lack the capacity to be fearless. and i think that it is okay. it keeps me humble. it keeps me safe. i am aware of consequences and the effects that they can have on me. i respect what life can throw at me.

my inability to be fearless doesn't mean that i am a pansy or that i live my life in fear of the things around me or the things that can happen. i feel that my inability to be fearless does quite the opposite.

if i didn't fear the uncertainty of life, what enjoyment would i have when good things happen to me? if i didn't fear failing, how much would i enjoy succeeding?

i guess what i am trying to say is that a healthy dose of fear is good for the soul. fear shouldn't paralyze us or make us afraid to try new things or venture out. fear should just remind us that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that sometimes, despite our best efforts, things won't go our way.

and so for me, getting up after you fall and moving on is what being fearless is all about.



i love the sound of: silence. sometimes i just like it when there is silence.

i love the sight of: my family all together, or mostly together.

i love the taste of: original corn nuts. for some reason, i am addicted to these this week.

i love the smell of: clean laundry. i did laundry today and i couldn't get over how good it smelled.

i love the feel of: spring. too bad it is still winter here, though. hahaha.


family vay-cay: day two.

day two was also known as the longest day in a car, ever. i mean, it was only five or six hours in the car, but it was the longest six hours ever. we drove from vegas to chandler, arizona, to my sister's house. i think that we had had enough of the car from the previous day, so day two in the car was no fun. this is me and kris, obviously before the fourth hour of the drive. we were still in a good mood at this point. hahaha.

we rode in a caravan with my parents, us following them. jesse rode with them until we made a stop in wickenburg. he decided that riding with grandpa wasn't that fun...no dvd player.

we decided the next time we head down to arizona via vehicle, we are going to spend some time in wickenburg to see what it's all about.

anyway, this is a picture of the 'rents and lake mead. we decided to take the scenic route and crossed hoover dam. (more pictures of that to come.)

while we were winding our way through the scenic hoover dam area, we happened upon this vehicle with this license plate. kristen and i thought it was the funniest thing ever. we kept saying "two-dollar-yo" after everything we said and we would laugh and laugh and laugh. we made fun of the guy who was driving the "two-dollar-yo" car, trying to figure out why he would ever put "2dlr yo" on his license plate.

turns out, the joke was on us. being the naive (that's laughable) utahans that we are, we didn't know that this all had something to do with the great betting game of craps. of course, brennan did, but that is another story for another day. so, it turns out the hilarity of "two dollar yo" only lasted for that day. but we did teach it to malcolm, so that was fun and funny.

this is the stop we had to make by the side of the road for the four-year-old to go potty. yep, his dad made him pee on the tire. good stuff. there was a bathroom incident that involved an empty plastic bottle, but i will spare you the details.

and this is why day two is also known as the longest day in the car. the desert scenery is not my favorite. i grew up with mountains and trees. not deserts and cacti. i slept in the car on this day. i couldn't handle it. i just wanted to be there, already.

to be continued.
coming next...baby logan.

family vay-cay: day one.

this post, or i should say, these posts have been a long time coming. so sorry that it has taken me so long to post about my vacation to the land of the warm, home of the sun. (unfortunately, this is much truer this week than before. it snowed in logan today. that's right, snow. i wish i could go on vacation again.)

so, i left the valley of cache early friday morning, after working a lovely graveyard shift. i was very excited to get to slc, to get in the van and to sleep. anyway, this is what i left. (and i returned to this, too. oh well.)

when i got to slc, i was greeted by these two crazy kids. jesse (on the left) decided to climb on top of their car and, of course, malcolm (right) had to follow. and because i am an aunt who is highly concerned with their safety, i promptly had them pose for pictures and then demanded that they get off of the car.

i wasn't sure how a road trip with the kiddies would be, but it went surprisingly well. luckily, they have a dvd player in the car. it probably wouldn't have gone as well, without one. i'm not sure how we ever survived as kids going on road trips. we were so deprived. hahaha. malcolm really likes to watch monsters inc. and he likes to watch it "nooow." not sure what the appeal was, but i liked hearing him ask to watch it. gotta love two-year-olds.

one day, lillie might hate that i took so many pictures of her adorable "lazy" eye, but i couldn't help it. she is a doll. and even though she wasn't real fond of me for the majority of the vacation, i still wanted to squish the cuteness right out of her.

the first day wasn't so bad of a drive. we made it to las vegas by six-thirty or so. i surprisingly didn't sleep a wink during the drive. kristen and i spent the majority of the drive sharing our deepest and darkest secrets. i'm not sure how that all started, but it was good times. nothing like a trip down memory lane to make the drive go fast.

and this is the first impression photo of my parent's new house. they have lived in this house since december, but this was my first visit "home." it's nice to have somewhere to call home, now that logan isn't where home is.

malcolm's second birthday was the day before we went to vegas, so grandma and grandpa had balloons and a cake for him. my brother, sister-in-law and their two kids came over and we had pizza and celebrated the birthday and being together as a family.

to be continued.
coming next...the longest car ride ever.