i have a new boyfriend.
his name is griffin.
don't you love it?


holiday cheer.

i got to spend the last couple of days with my sister and her family. i always have an enjoyable time with them, regardless of what we do. ninety-nine percent of the time, what we plan and what we do are polar opposites. that is most of the fun...all the uncertainty. during the time i spent with them, i kept thinking that i would have to make a top five or ten list of the best parts from the short amount of time. and now, as i sit here, ready to write...i can't remember all the things i thought could go on that list. oh well. i will give it a go and see where it takes us.

number one: we (as in my sister and i) were discussing with jesse (my nephew) all of the names he could go by. you see, jesse is his middle name. so he could use his first name, his initials or what he goes by now. and then, out of nowhere, he said, "or columbus." like it was totally normal to want to be called columbus. that kid is a riot and a half, i tell ya.

number two: malcolm (yes, in the middle) was watching me as i was getting ready. i was putting on make-up and he was watching (this is a little ritual we have had since he was a wee-little-lad). most of the time, he thinks it's funny when i run the brush across his cheek, but this time, he knew that make-up was for girls and not for boys. he picked up some eye shadow and asked what it was and i told him it was for my eyes and he asked if he could have some. i reminded him of what he pointed out earlier, that make-up was for girls. he then promptly set down the shadow and ran upstairs. a couple of minutes later, he showed up with his little sister, insisting that she wanted "some of the eye stuff" on her eyes. i couldn't help but giggle.

number three: in-n-out. last summer (2008), my family took a vacation to scottsdale, arizona. the resort that we stayed at was right near an in-n-out burger. during that trip, a tradition was started...the tradition is this--if there is an in-n-out nearby, we must abuse our ability to drive there, order food, eat it and repeat. like...i'm not even kidding. abuse. anyway, recently, an in-n-out opened up near my sister's house in the salt lake valley and you better believe that we ate there. but now we show greater restraint. we only ate there once. and it was amazing.

number four: taking the kids to wal-mart during a pretty busy time. mind you, the middle child had not taken a nap and is a gru-uh-mpy bear without one. i ran to grab some a couple of things and was going to meet back up with my sister and the kids. as i was walking to find her, i could hear this horrible crying/screaming and couldn't help but giggle. i knew it was little malcolm having a melt down. i was again separated from the group and proceeded to find them by listening for malcolm crying...and it worked. not that i think it's funny that he had a melt down at wal-mart...i just think it's funny that we were "that family."

number five: while i was drying my hair, malcolm came in and saw that i was listening to my ipod. he insisted that he get to listen, too. he held the little ear bud to his ear and started bopping his head. he then held the ear bud to his sister's ear, but he wouldn't let her listen long. i tried to change the song to something a little more upbeat and he asked me to change it back...wanna know what we were listening to? what he wanted me to change it back to? jay nash. that kid has some taste. (i'm gonna train one of them...i don't care which one...to love the music i love--if it's the last thing i do.)

number six: getting to help with being a "room mother" for jesse's class. we did holiday relays with his first grade class. and, while it was fun and funny, i was reminded why i chose not to be a teacher. especially an elementary teacher.

number seven: malcolm was sitting on my lap and for some reason, he started biting my fingers and hand. at first it was funny and i was messing around with him, letting him bite me and then i would shove my hand into his mouth so he couldn't really bite. i knew this wasn't going to end well, and well...it didn't. he then turned and bit my upper arm and it hurt...like really hurt. my natural reaction was to smack his back, which caused some crying. i had to apologize to him and we discussed the situation. turns out, he bit me harder than i thought...i have two lovely (and very black and blue) bruises in the shape of teeth on my arm. no more play biting, i guess.

well...that's all, i guess.
here is a picture for good measure.

me and my babies.


for today.

for today: december 17, 2009.

outside my window: it is getting dark. earlier today, it was sunny and a bit warmer than usual. yesterday was miserable because of the inversion. i love seasons and even though i don't love the cold, i don't mind winter. but, man...i am not looking forward to the northern utah inversions. blah.

i am thinking: about how much i feel like i have to do...but in reality, i don't really have anything to do. there are things that i wish i could do, but my work schedule sucks. oh well. such is life.

i am thankful for: lots of things. lots and lots of things. but right now, i am super thankful for diet mt. dew. it'll get me through this day of work like a champ.

from the kitchen: (at work) we got the greasiest garlic bread in the history of man. i had to use three napkins to dab away the gross. it was okay bread after that. guess what i learned today...there is such a thing as too much butter.

i am wearing: shoes. i hate shoes. i wish i could wear flip flops.

i am creating: stuff for other people. i sure wish i could motivate myself to create something for myself.

i am going: to survive this day. just like i survive all the others.

i am reading: the same book that i have been reading for a long time now. i sure wish i could get back to reading on a regular basis. i miss it.

i am hoping: for lots of things.

i am hearing: nothing really. the keyboard. distant voices. sniffling. coughing. oh, and a baby crying.

around the house: there are sure signs of christmas. my favorite, though, is the huge snowman in front of the house.

one of my favorite things: is christmas. lucky for me, i get to spend it with the juvenile delinquents. it'll be entertaining. but it will definitely not be where i really want to be. work so gets in the way of my life.

a few plans for the rest of the week: definitely include some surprises...like work. i know, who would've thought i'd go to work. hahaha. laundry is again on the list. hopefully i can get some of the stuff done that i really feel like i need to get done. whatevs.

here is a picture thought i am sharing:

bestie and cutie.


more music. i know you are over it, but get over it.

i went to an amazing concert the other night in salt lake. uh-mazing. actually, that doesn't even do the show justice. let's just say that my already-exceedingly-high expectations were blown way out of the water. and with that said, here are the top five reasons this show was so stellar:

one. it was in a shack. literally. i know you think i am kidding, but i am not. okay, maybe it wasn't a "real" shack. i mean, it felt like a shack, but it was a little bigger. it was a little joint called kilby court. i found this picture here to help you get an idea:

two. i went with people who really appreciate music. after the show, we went to eat and fully discussed our favorite artists. we talked about why we liked them best. and then we talked about botox and lipo, but that is another story for another day. point is, we all enjoyed the show equally. maybe our reasons for liking the show were different, but our appreciation was all the same. i just love sharing musical experiences with people.

three. ks rhoads. his performance alone made the show (besides the fact that he was, by far, the hottest). and he plays a plethora of instruments. i am definitely going to be following him now...hoping he hits a location near me on any upcoming tour. (this video is ks rhoads at a show just days before we saw him in slc. his freestyle is relevant to his location...so, this session was just a bit different, but you get the gist.)

four. the nine other artists that performed. and the many instruments that they played. yes, there were ten artists...well, and the drummer. so eleven. they are called ten out of tenn. they are all solo artists that up and decided to start a tour together. i think they said they have toured for four years together. i "found" this group through a friend that had blogged about seeing katie herzig (btw--if you go to katie's website, you can download a free album.) i became a quick fan of katie and when i saw she was coming to utah with this group, i couldn't pass up the opportunity. and the very best part was tickets were just ten bucks. that's right, just one buck per artist. cheapest show ever. well, besides free. but you know what i mean. here is a photo i found here:

(although, the guy on the left--griffin house--was not on this tour.
instead, we got to see andrew belle.)

five. it was a christmas concert. kinda. each artist would perform one of their own songs with the assistance of the other nine (or so) and then they each performed a christmas song of their choice. some original, some traditional. loved the mix. and the one thing better than live music is live christmas music. these are my four favorite christmas songs that were performed at the show. again, these videos are not from the kilby court show (remember...it was a shack and the stage was about an eighth the size of this one...hahaha).

this is katie herzig.
and this is one of my most favorite christmas songs, too.

this is an original song by butterfly boucher.
yes, that is her name.

this is andy davis.
at the slc show, he started the song by saying that he thought he could do a better job than mariah carey.
it was funny.
maybe you had to be there.
(btw...you can go to his website right now and get some free music.)

this was the final song of the show with everyone performing...including the audience.

aaannd...that's all.
oh, and merry christmas!


melt your face.

its not an unknown fact that i love dance. and i especially love to watch professionals dance. so, i had to share with you the sickest (in a good way) dance that i have ever seen. it was on sytycd this week and i was blown away. it was so sick, it will melt your face off. enjoy.

see. i told you.
melt. your. face. off.
and, they have a pretty cool name...the legion of extraordinary dancers.
or the lxd.


hangin' with the cows.

a few weeks ago, i was lucky enough to attend a day of "calf-shipping" with my friend, sara. (her parents are the ones that own my favorite vacation destination.) calf shipping is a long, long process. we were up at the crack of dawn and we worked hard until the early evening. granted, the trucks were all late, but still...it was a long day. anyway, without further ado here are the pictures. note that these photos are not in any specific order.
these guys were the ones who got to do real "cowboy shit." i mean, we all did cowboy stuff, but riding a horse trumps everything else.

sara and fergie. fergie is the funniest dog. she tries to be human. but you kinda have to be there. anyway.

just bill. and his horse. at the crack of dawn.

one mighty hefty scale. we would load about 15 to 20 calves on the scale...and they weigh about 500 pounds each. mighty hefty, i tell ya.

sara and her dad's pride and joy...it's a pretty sweet rig. i think it used to be red, though. i like the blue better.

this is where i spent a good portion of the day. i would count calves as they came off the scale and herd them into another pen. good times.

not a real good picture of the calves penned up. they were screaming and bellowing. this is the first time they are away from their mothers. it really is a traumatic day for them. but such is life.

just a random picture of the alley. these are sara's brothers...bud on the left and bill on the right. but like it matters. i realize it is the back of their heads. get over it. gosh.

kallie (sara's sister-in-law and bride at the best wedding ever) and fergie, the friendly dog.

just a picture of the guys separating calves. they separate them by size/weight (not actual size and weight...just a total judgment call) into several pens and then they are sold and shipped by size/weight. like i said...shipping calves is a long, long process.

tim, on the right, is the man in charge of this operation. he is one funny guy, but he runs a tight ship. he is a man who knows what he wants and how he wants it done. a trait he passed on to his oldest boy, sonny...but that's another story for another day. let's just say, my work day ended when sonny let me know how he wanted things done.

oh, and no...that's not kenny rogers on the right. hahaha.

just more separation.

a view of the whole operation.

sara with the cattle prod. i'd say that using that thing was 75% of the fun. don't judge.

why yes, that is cow poop on my face. and yes, i did patiently wait for a photo to be snapped before wiping said poop off my face.

it was quite eventful. a highlight of the fall, for sure. i love doing manual labor once a year. that's plenty enough for me. that manual labor stuff is for the birds, but i'll step up...just once a year, though.

that's all.



i love the sound of: my niece and nephews fighting over the phone...i love that they all want to talk to me.

i love the sight of: amazing halloween costumes. saw some really good ones this year. saw some really bad ones, too.

i love the taste of: tootsie rolls. they are my most favorite candy ever. seriously.

i love the smell of: bon fires. i love a good bon fire. sobe bombs and all.

i love the feel of: the holidays. not so much halloween, but the holidays after halloween.


for today.

for today: october 11, 2009.

outside my window: it is cloudy. it rained all night and morning, but now it is just dreary. i love it.

i am thinking: how tired i am. and i'm thinking about what i can do to remedy the problem. too bad caffeine does nothing for me.

i am thankful for: good friends. even though i am "anti-social" because of my lame work schedule, i still have incredible friends.

from the kitchen: we are probably getting corn dogs or chicken nuggets. typical sunday dinner at the youth center. yum. not.

i am wearing: the clothes that i put on. plus my jacket. it's cold in here..

i am creating: a surprise. an amazing birthday surprise. and i'm pretty proud of myself for it. it is going to be awesome.

i am going: to have to figure out a way to not be tired. maybe if it was at home with absolutely nothing to do and bored out of my mind i wouldn't be tired. isn't that how it goes? i guess it could be worse.

i am reading: a teen novel. don't ask. i just like them...sometimes.

i am hoping: that more people will participate in my fun surprise project.

i am hearing: lame cartoons on the tv. i hate cartoons. but i'm forced to watch them on a regular basis.

around the house: the leaves are changing...and falling. cause it's fall. get it?

one of my favorite things: is music. duh. you should check out this band, good old war. they are quickly becoming a new favorite. right behind keaton simons.

a few plans for the rest of the week: include finishing up the surprise project, work, work and more work. plus a little laundry. maybe some cleaning. who knows, i may even check facebook.

here is a picture thought i am sharing:


some assistance, please.

i have decided that i am going to go all out for halloween this year. i am going to put more than one day of thought into my costume. i am actually going to wear a costume. i may even consider investing some money in a costume.

but the problem is...i'm super not creative. i can't think of anything. this is where you come in...i need ideas. any ideas. good ideas, bad ideas, crazy ideas...the more ideas, the better. just leave your ideas in the comments.

thank you very much for your assistance in this matter...and i will let you know what i decide and i might even post some pictures.

that's all.


i know, i know...i've said this before.

i know you are probably over my "i heart/love music" posts, but i'm not. because, guess what, i love music. i do. and i'm not ashamed to admit it. and i know i have said that i love all kinds of music...cause i do...but to me, there is nothing better than a voice and a guitar. acoustic guitar makes me swoon. literally. my brother-in-law has a friend, matt harding (no, not that matt harding--a different one), that is a musician. i only had to hear him play once and was in love. well, if love equals obsessed. his voice melts me and his handling of a guitar is impressive, to say the least.

i knew that i always loved simpler music, but i hadn't ever figured out why...until i made these few observations about myself and my life. and so i am going to share.

first, i attribute my love of guitar and acoustic music to my dad and the fact that he introduced me to folk music at a very early age. my dad also played guitar and when i was a little older, he and his best friend got together (after they both retired) and started a little duo of sorts. they mostly play kingston trio tunes, but that was okay. it's what we came to expect from them.

second, in high school, when i was 16, i was introduced to simon & garfunkel. i have pinpointed this as the quintessential musical discovery of my life. (there is a really long, interesting story that accompanies this discovery, but i will spare you.) i am certain that this musical discovery changed my musical tastes and changed what i appreciate in music.

finally, throughout high school and my early twenties, i discovered the singer/songwriter. and i was in love. i fell in love with the singer/songwriters of the seventies. and i fell madly in love with james taylor. forever and always, he will be my favorite...and he has influenced so, so many extremely talented musicians.

it was during this same time, that i also discovered that not all mind-blowing musicians get played on the radio. not all superbly talented musicians have record deals. i also discovered that some of the most amazing musicians i'll ever know are probably my friends. and they will only ever play their songs for me or others in their basement. and they will play britney spears' songs like they were meant to be rocked out.

so my point. i know i have one. let me see if i can remember it...oh yeah...

when people ask me what kind of music i like i always say that i love everything, because that is true. but i mostly only answer that because i feel that if i answer with "folk-seventies-singer-songwriter-independent-acoustic," no one would get it and no one would appreciate. and then i would have to give examples of what i was talking about and most people would have no clue who i was talking about.

and this leads me to the real reason for this post...

a few years back, adriane introduced me to a musician named jay nash. she had seen him at a random show in slc and liked him so much that she kept going back. i think that maybe she introduced me to his tunes so i would possibly go to a show with her...it was a quick sell. i was super impressed and i really, really liked what i heard. he was the epitomy of singer-songwriter-folk-acoustic and i was an instant fan. and if i'm being honest, i became a little obsessed. but who isn't obsessed over a way hot dude who sings and plays guitar, right? right.

since first being introduced, i've been able to attend a couple of jay nash's shows in slc and just a few months ago i was able to see him at a very intimate venue in park city. i figured out a while back that jay nash usually comes to utah approximately a couple of times a year, so you will understand my excitement when i learned that he was coming to utah only a couple of months after the special park city show. and based on that excitement, you will then understand the total ecstatic freak-out i had when i learned that, not only was he coming to utah, but that he was coming to logan, utah. my quaint, small, very small hometown.

after a series of unfortunate events, i was able to make my way to the show (which was at the smallest music venue in logan, and quite possibly the smallest in the united states). i "conned" my friend, lindsey, into meeting me there and at the last minute, my friend jaime decided to accompany us. i was a little bit of a freak when we first pulled up...so stoked for the show. i know that jaime and lindsey didn't fully understand why i was so excited. i knew they would enjoy the show...because really, who doesn't enjoy live music...but i wanted them to love it. i was just hoping that they would love it.

jay nash was on this particular tour (the evening of the feeling song tour) with a dude named tony lucca and another dude named matt duke. when we first got to the venue, jay was standing outside and after a short convo (which included him recognizing me from somewhere...oh yeah, his other shows), he informed us that we were going to love the other two guys with him. i just thought to myself that maybe they would be okay, but they couldn't be nearly as good as jay. in short, i was wrong.

the best part about the show was that all three guys...tony, jay and matt...played together. wanna know what is better than one singer/songwriter and his guitar? i will tell you. three singer/songwriters and their guitars. it was fantastic. and i am now a fan of both tony and matt. stellar, stellar musicians. of the folk-singer-songwriter-independent-acoustic genre.

at this point, i will probably just start rambling...it was everything i could have asked for in a show. jaime, lindsey and amy (who joined us later) all loved jay and tony and matt. before the show, tony asked us if we could record parts of the show with his flip...super entertaining. here is the fruits of lindsey and amy's camera work. (fyi...tony has been making short videos of their tour. logan made video #4. the rest are highly entertaining, but be warned, there are bad words.)

the very, very best part of the whole show was after the show. my favorite jay nash song (prior to this show) was a ditty named saturday. i really wanted him to play it, but he didn't. after the show jaime, amy and i were just chatting with tony and jay and i told him he didn't play my favorite...so, he pulled out his guitar and serenaded us. and tony harmonized while he was putting his merchandise away. highlight of my musical life...for sure...well, that and one other incident.

for exactly six days after the show i had this jay nash song in my head (not the best video of this song...but the harmonies were part of what was in my head...you needed the full effect):

and for the next four days, i had this matt duke song in my head:

incredible music. an amazing experience to see them live. can't wait to see them all again. man, i love music. and now you know that i especially love folk-seventies-singer-songwriter-independent-acoustic music.

ps. tony lucca, although not familiar to me, is quite "famous." he happened to be a mousketeer on the new mickey mouse club circa early-90s. yes, the same mickey mouse club that produced britney, justin, jc and christina (plus many, many more). so, so glad tony took the route less traveled and didn't join a boy band. good on ya, tony. (he sings the lead in this video...and, if we would have had the disney channel at the time, he quite possibly could have been my "celebrity" crush.)

it talks like a pirate.

did you know today is talk like a pirate day? well, it is. i'm not sure how popular this holiday is in the rest of the world, but for a few years i have been quite aware of this grand day.

a few years back, some friends decided to celebrate this day with a stellar costume party which was strictly enforced. my friend, adriane, dressed as captain hook. her costume was fantastic. and the costume was completed with a bicycle, circa 1982...banana seat and all. the coat of the costume became a little tight when she held onto the handle bar. oh, geez...the visual...i can't stop laughing. (so, so wish i had some pictures.)

two other friends, dave and andy, dressed as peter pan. they found kid costumes at the store. yes, you read that right. two adult males bought little kid peter pan costumes. i can't even begin to tell you how hysterical yet amazing they looked. there is a picture, but i'm not the owner. i wish i could get my hands on that. it's a gem. (update: i've been thinking that i may be wrong...they weren't peter pan costumes, although i'm 100% certain there was green somewhere on the costumes. i do know for sure, for sure that they were little kid costumes, though. i guess what kind doesn't really matter after that.)

the whole party was amazing. at the time, i thought they were making this holiday up. but, alas, they were not. this morning i heard it announced on the national news. maybe it's turning into a real holiday. here's hoping to another state holiday...no school or work. how sweet would that be? very, very.

anyway, in the spirit of the day, i'd like to introduce my pirate name.

My pirate name is:

Bloody Ethel Rackham

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.

update about updates.

so, i have been a horrible blogger as of late. i have so many things that i could blog about and that i want to blog about, but i have let them "pile up" and now i don't know where i should start. i'm just going to pick one and go from there. i just thought i would give you the heads up that there are a plethora of posts to come. hopefully. hahaha. that's all.


fantasy football.

because most people like to learn something new every day, i'm going to teach you something new about me today...i love football. i do. and i can't remember a time when i didn't.

growing up, my dad would take me and my siblings to utah state football games (back when they were somewhat decent--let's hope for those days again)...it seemed like every saturday they played at home, we were there. really, who knows how many games we actually went to, but it seemed like we were there every saturday. and when we were kids, we weren't like a lot of the other kids that went to the games. we didn't go to socialize or to hang out with our friends...we were there to watch football. (well, and the cheerleaders...but can you blame us...we were little girls.)

and mixed in with the local college games, my oldest brother played little league and high school football. i don't really remember going to little league games, but i remember plenty of high school games. and when i was in high school, if you needed to find me on a friday night you could bet your last dollar i was singing the fight song at a football game...home or away...i went to them all.

and i'm sure you are wondering about monday nights? the night of family home evening for members of the lds church? at my house, monday nights were consumed by monday night football. the formal fhe was a rarity at our house...my dad always used to say that we were a family and we were at home and it was evening as we watched the game of the week. i can't argue with logic.

and then there were sundays. enough said, right? i mean, you get the gist.

so yeah...i love football. when i started working at my current job, it was an obvious fact that all the dudes liked sports, especially football. (it's another story for another day, but many of them even still play, or have played, for the cache valley bears.) i didn't realize how into sports these guys all were until i got invited by one of them to be in their fantasy football league. i was stoked. a little apprehensive because i didn't know anything about fantasy football, but excited all the same. mostly because i was a chick that they were inviting into their male-ritual-bonding-blah-blah-blah something or other.

but, before i got a chance to get my team set up or anything...i was kicked out. yes, i got kicked out of a fantasy football league. they (and they know who they are) told me it was because they didn't want girls to be in the league...but i later found out that one of my female co-workers was in that very "no girls" league. i was so pissed. and a little let down.

i mean, let's get real...my girlfriends and i aren't going to set up a fantasy league. my girlfriends and i don't even really talk about football, if we're being real. the extent of my football conversations with my girlfriends involves what super bowl party we are attending. basically, my let down was that if these dudes weren't going to let me "talk" football with them and let me be part of their fantasy league, then where was i going to get this experience? because, dangit, i wanted that experience.

luckily, last year "they" redeemed themselves and invited me to participate in fantasy football. not the "serious" league (that costs money), but fantasy football all the same. i faired pretty well. until the playoffs. i ended up with a good quarterback, which made all the difference. mind you, i had no clue what i was doing.

this year i was invited again...and i'm even more excited because i get it now. and just today, i found this awesome blog written by someone who perfectly understand how a girl who loves football feels. and now i can't wait for the season to officially start.

go patriots!
go longhorns!


new favorite song.

i'm not sure how i was introduced to this one man band, m.ward. but i was introduced and now i am in love. i even became a little obsessed yesterday and read as much as i could about him on the internet. love, i tell ya. and because i am so in love, i had to share my favorite song.

and just a little side note...m.ward is also in a little duo called she&him with zooey deschanel. i love zooey, too. i especially, and most recently, loved her in (500) days of summer. i highly recommend it. and the soundtrack is amazing. just a little fyi.

oh, oh...and i was just introduced to this little ditty. quickly falling in love with it. man, i do love me some tunes.



i love the sound of: new music. new music from old favorites and new music from new finds. i love music.

i love the sight of: sunshine, but i would love a summer storm about now.

i love the taste of: rice pudding. recently found some "snack packs" that are delicious, but i want to try and make it myself. if anyone has a good recipe, i could use it.

i love the smell of: my conditioner. it brings back a flood of memories from the summer of 1997.

i love the feel of: accomplishment...getting tasks done that you have been trying to get done for a long time.



(btw--i don't trust government run health care...not even in the very least. but i had to share. i thought it was ironic.)


for today.

for today: august 9, 2009.

outside my window: the sun is barely starting to come up. i'm wondering why i agreed to work this shift, but i will be glad when i am done at 2:00 pm.

i am thinking: that this might be a rough morning. sometimes i get bored at work...especially when i'm by myself.

i am thankful for: the entertainment that is my life.

from the kitchen: there is nothing. i don't really have a kitchen anymore. it's a long story. it was a little touchy, but now it's funny. thus, the entertainment that is my life.

i am wearing: a jacket. it was a little chilly this morning.

i am creating: a little of this and a little of that.

i am going: to spend time away from my house today.

i am reading: a book called tweak. it's an autobiography about a meth addict. pretty crazy.

i am hoping: for a lot of things, but nothing in particular.

i am hearing: a blast from the past song.

around the house: there is a family.

one of my favorite things: is summer tv. big brother 11. so you think you can dance.

a few plans for the rest of the week: include work and more work.

here is a picture thought i am sharing:



it's been a long time since my last dinner group post. i usually forget to take pictures at dinner group, so this past time, i made a special effort to get as many pictures as i could. and now you get to enjoy them. you are welcome.

these are all the members...starting at the top left, going clockwise: jaime, ether, jenni, moi, baugh (trust me, it's an awesome picture of her) and sara.

ether was our host and it was an asian themed dinner. we started with some miso soup.

then we had these spring roll thingys...they are amazingly delicious. this is the second (or maybe third) time that ether has made these for dinner group, but this was the first time i had them. i missed out, that is for sure.

for dessert, ether made bubble tea. it was mango flavored and then there are these ginormous tapioca in the bottom of the cup. the straws are super huge...it's a way fun treat.

after dinner, we all sat around on ether's new sofa, watching youtube videos. we were specifically watching air supply videos. it was super fun.

after a little while, we trekked outside to see if we could see the lunar eclipse. i think we caught a little portion of it...

...but i was more interested in how cool the complex looked against the sunset backdrop.

and then it was play time. this little contraption is supposedly part of an exercise circuit located in the complex. hours of fun.

and it brought simple pleasure to our dinner group host. priceless.


i can cook.

last week, my friend and i had to make a trip over the mountain to brigham city. we decided to have lunch at a fantastic little joint called maddox. afterwards, we headed across the street to a little farmer's market/produce stand. i got plenty of fruits, making sure not to get anything that i can get from my grandma's yard. (hahaha.) because brigham city is known for it's peaches, i definitely loaded up on peaches...specifically to make this peach, mozzarella and basil salad.

and it was amazing. maybe i will not add as much basil next time and i'd probably chop it instead of just tearing it like the recipe says. and i added a little extra oil because i didn't think there would be enough and that was totally unnecessary. so, to sum up: absolutely delicious, less basil that is more finely chopped, only add the oil it calls for.

peach, mozzarella and basil salad
serves 4

3 ripe peaches (peeled, if desired)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper

cut each peach into 6 to 8 wedges, then cut each wedge in half crosswise. in a large bowl, combine the peaches, basil, and mozzarella. drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss. (you can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to several hours.) serve cold or at room temperature.

ps. the beans are from my grandma and the rolls are from maddox. it was an amazing dinner, seriously. i love fresh fruits and vegetables.

recipe from here.


don't be jealous.

i just wanted to let you all know (the three of you that read this) that i am going to see this concert tonight.

and it is going to be amazing. but don't worry...i will let you know just how amazing it is right here...sometime this weekend...after i bask in the glory of the show.

i know you can't wait...and neither can i.

i'm stoked.

seriously, don't be jealous.

that's all.



this is pretty sweet. thought i'd share.



(i stole this from my fb...i laughed at myself, so i'm sharing it here.)

and so now, in no particular order (except for the fact that they are numbered), here are 25 fun filled facts about moi.

1. i secretly (although, now it is not a secret) wish that i had the skills to be in musical theater. i would have set out to make it on broadway. but, since i don't have the skills, i will just settle with being a patron of musical theater. i just really, really like musicals. maybe almost too much...if there is such a thing as liking musical theater too much...but i don't think there is.

2. my ultimate career goal is independent wealth. i realize this is not a "career," but i would make it one. i am just having a hard time figuring out where the wealth will come from. it certainly will not come from my social work job with the state.

3. in all reality my ultimate career goal is "stay-at-home" anything. who wouldn't want to stay at home and work. i'd wear pajamas everyday and only shower every couple of days and i would never wear make-up. but i wouldn't leave the house like that. jk. i would totally leave the house.

4. i love music. all kinds of music. and when i say all kinds, i mean all kinds. i just got done listening to opera--luciano pavarotti--and now i am listening to kiss. i have music from 78 genres on my itunes.

5. i'm a grammar snob. and a spelling snob. probably more of a spelling snob, though. i just have to say this...it's called spell check, people. and it's real, real easy to use. red, squiggly lines mean you are wrong. fix it. it really is not that hard.

6. i live with eight dudes. i used to live with ten dudes. the weird part is that it's not really that weird anymore. it might be time to move.

7. i hate moving more than anything in the world. one of the worst days of my entire life involved moving. and just to give you a glimpse into why it was the worst day ever, the day started with me finding that my car had been towed. awesome. i wanted to kill someone. worst. day. ever.

8. i've been driving my new car for almost a year and i still don't feel like it's my car. i am still mad at my old car. stupid car. died, like it was old or something.

9. i can remember names of random people but i can't memorize the lyrics of songs i listen to regularly to save my life. i'm guessing knowing someone's name isn't going to save my life, but i will know your name like we are bffs. sometimes i pretend that i don't know people's names because it's embarrassing that i can remember them...i think it might seem creepy.

10. i do know all the lyrics to two of the most amazing songs ever written: making love out of nothing at all by air supply and bohemian rhapsody by queen. see number 4.

11. even though i can't memorize lyrics, you can recite lyrics to me and i can tell you what song it is. i just can't retain that information in my brain. i also can't memorize movie quotes. but dish me a movie quote and i'll tell you what movie it is from.

12. i truly wish i would have been a teenager in the seventies. sometimes i really think i was born in the wrong decade. but then i'd be old now, so maybe it's okay that i was only just born in the seventies.

13. i have a weird, weird obsession with surfing. i've never been surfing. and chances are that i probably won't ever go surfing (i know--never say never), but i still have a strange obsession. not sure where it started, but i love it. and, just because, i think the funniest thing about surfing is that hawaii is considered it's own "country." you can be from the united states, from australia, from france or from hawaii. apparently, when it comes to surfing, hawaii is "better" than the mainland.

14. when i was little, my uncle told me i was from another planet and that i would grow a tail when i turned 12. i believed him for a long time. i tried to tell my nephew he was from another planet and he didn't believe me. i was such a stupid kid.

15. one time, when i was little, my friend called to see if i wanted to go play at her house. i went to ask my mom if i could go and got sidetracked. i never asked and i didn't go back to the phone. we didn't realize the phone was off the hook for a few hours. i still feel guilty that i left my friend hanging.

16. i can't stand to sleep with anything on my feet, including blankets and sheets. except when my feet are cold. but it doesn't take long for them to warm up. and as soon as they are warm, i uncover them.

17. i'm ridiculously ticklish. thanks to my mother. who is far more ticklish than i.

18. sometimes i think that my life has been boring, but then i have a memory flash and realize that my life has been pretty awesome...thanks to an awesome family and incredible friends. especially incredibly funny friends.

19. i have a pretty sketchy past. i mean, not the crazy-been-arrested-crack-dealer kind of sketchy way...just in the lots-of-life-experiences kind of sketchy way.

20. when i was in first grade, my older brother was in fourth. we would ride the bus together in the morning, but i would get out before him and so i would have to ride the bus home alone. i didn't like this, so i lied to my teacher (who was my aunt's best friend) and told her that my mom got a job as a checker at smith's and so i had to wait for my brother to get out of school so i wouldn't be alone at home. i totally got busted at parent teacher conferences. i was in first grade. making up ridiculous lies. man, if i would have gotten away with that...i would have lied a lot more. good thing i got busted.

21. in third grade i got glasses but i was embarrassed, so i would wear them when i left my house and i took them off on the bus. i would put them back on after school, on the bus ride home. i totally got busted at parent teacher conferences. i had to wear them to the conference because i was with my mom and my teacher thought i got them that day. my mom wasn't real excited that i hadn't been wearing them. (btw--that parent teacher conference was the same day that the challenger shuttle exploded.)

22. i hated parent teacher conferences in elementary school.

23. i like to laugh. and i like to laugh a lot. but sometimes i am embarrassed because i know my laugh is loud and maybe a little annoying. but i still laugh, so i'm not too worried about it.

24. i used to think my mom was so weird because she only listened to talk radio. i am turning into my mother. i listen to talk radio all the time.

25. it took me way longer to write this list than i thought it would. i didn't want to repeat anything on my one hundred list on my blog, but i think that i may have. oh well.

phew. i'm glad that is over.


and this is why i love it.

i've loved dance since i was a wee-little one of about five or six. my mom put me and my sisters in a dance class and i loved going. i still remember some of the dances (especially our patriotic number to neil diamond's coming to america...with pom-poms, of course). my parents have some stellar pictures of us in our costumes, thankfully. i didn't continue to dance formally after elementary school (minus that year or so in middle school). but, my sisters and i would make up routines on our back porch to paula abdul and salt'n'pepa songs (thanks for the tapes, kris). we used lots and lots of jazz hands (laurie might be laughing-uncontrollably-right now...she is the one that used to make fun of my jazz hands). later, we branched out and made up skating routines on our roller skates. so, you see, i've always had an appreciation.

i spent many june evenings in the logan high auditorium, watching my sisters, and then later, just the one sister (a fine dancer, she was/is). several saturday mornings were spent at dance competitions. and then there were half-time performances and performances at the fireworks. and i liked going and watching. maybe not so much the competitions, but still...i love watching dance.

and that is why my favorite tv show is so you think you can dance. despite my lack of blogging about it this summer, this is the best season by far...for reals. and this week's performance by melissa and ade shot to the top of the best sytycd performances ever. and i was moved.

and i know that this is just a dance routine, but the grace and strength that the dancers display in this piece remind me of my aunt mary...enjoy, and be moved.

i was moved enough that i felt like i needed to dedicate this to my aunt mary. she is an angel on earth, fighting cancer with such grace and strength. she is an inspiration to me and to the rest of my family and to everyone that knows her. i love you, aunt mary...you are in my thoughts and prayers every hour of every day. thank you for showing us and teaching us all how to be graceful fighters. we love you, we love you, we love you!



this is my niece, lillie. she is hysterical. my favorite thing that she says is "why?" only because it's not annoying. i think she says it cause her brothers say it. and even better than the question is when you say please to her, like you are begging...she thinks that is the funniest thing ever. can't help but want to squish this one...she is adorable, super cuddly and super funny. yes, she is soooo funny.


turn up the radio.

a couple of christmases ago, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a car stereo. at the time, i had a car that was falling to pieces, so i didn't want to invest the time and energy installing that stereo into that car. so, at the time, i put the stereo into storage and completely forgot about it. a few weeks ago, i was reminded that i had it. i wasn't sure if i even cared enough to get it installed, but in the last couple of months, via sara, i've acquired a friend that is handy with cars and the likes...and the likes includes the ability to install car stereos. and so, today, because he is amazingly nice, said friend installed my stereo. and i'm pretty psyched about it.

this is the stock stereo that my lovely ford came with...blah, right?

i've never really thought about how it all goes together, but this is said friend pulling it all apart. pretty interesting, really.

luckily, he really does know how to install car stereos, otherwise, i would have been left with this gaping hole. well, probably not...i'm sure his dad, who was present during the installation, would have fixed it. hahaha.

my friend, sara, is on vacation in thailand and so i have been babysitting her child, roo. he hung out with us while said friend installed the stereo. he was pretty bored...can you tell? jk. he wasn't, really. he's pretty funny. gotta love roo-roo.

and this was the finished product. pretty pimpin'. i haven't fully tested it, but it is already way better than the stock stereo...obviously. there is one annoying thing about it and i haven't figured out why it does it, but i will...trust me, i will. and if i can't, said friend is probably fully capable of figuring it out.

it's good to have friends that are capable of doing tasks/projects that you are not. yes, this said friend is a keeper.

that's all.



i know i have talked about my love of music before, but it's an ever evolving love (so i will probably always talk about it). and i probably love music so much because it is ever evolving. the thing that i am most aware of right now, regarding music is that it truly can change your mood. for awhile now, i have been listening to country music, which is probably my most favorite. there is a song that plays a lot on country radio that makes me smile. i hear the first few notes and i have to smile. the tune and beat of the song are so cheerful to me, but the message of the song is what i love the most about it. here it is for your listening pleasure:

for me, the message is that we shouldn't take everything so seriously. "this, too, shall pass" comes to mind when i hear this song, but that may just be me. also, take it day by day. live for the now. i guess you can interpret the song how you'd like, but this is what i think when i hear it...and in turn, my mood changes. life is hard, but do-able. so be happy. and seriously, people really are crazy.

well, the other night on my way home from work, i heard a song that i've heard plenty of times before, but this time i actually listened to the words and i was moved. the message is similar to the above message, but maybe not so happy-go-lucky. here it is:

so, that's what i've been thinking.
just thought i'd share.
that's all.


i can cook.

sometimes i get a little crazy and want to try recipes that are a little more difficult or somewhat over the top. when i found this recipe, i knew it was a stretch, but it didn't seem overly ambitious. i decided to try it out with my friend, sara, hoping that it would turn out alright. i cannot explain to you in words how freaking amazing it actually turned out. so much so, i made it for my dinner group. and trust, the pizza part was delicious, but if you only take one thing away from this post, please-please-please make the basil vinaigrette. it is from heaven. i promise.
this is sara, enjoying the pizza

grilled pizza with hot sausage, grilled peppers and onions and oregano ricotta
(courtesy bobby flay)

prep time: 35 minutes
cook time: 40 minutes
serves: 4

½ pound italian hot sausage
1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
2 large yellow peppers, cored, seeded and quartered
2 large red peppers, cored, seeded and quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 recipe favorite pizza dough, rolled into four 6-inch rounds
½ pound grated fontina cheese (i used gruyere because i couldn't find the fontina the first time i made it, but i did find some fontina at macey's the second time...for those of you where i live.)
1 cup sheep’s milk ricotta (obviously, if i can't find fontina, i'm not gonna find sheep's milk ricotta...so i just used regular ricotta. i'm not sure what the difference would be anyway.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
basil vinaigrette

grill the sausage on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes per side. brush onions and peppers with the oil and season with salt and pepper. grill the onions and peppers until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. remove the sausage from the grill and slice into ¼-inch thick slices. remove the onions, separate into rings and roughly chop. remove the peppers and slice into ⅛-inch thick slices.

heat grill to high. brush dough with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until gold brown. turn over and grill for 1 to 2 minutes. remove from the grill and place on a flat surface.

divide the fontina cheese among the four pizza rounds. divide the sausage, onions and peppers over the cheese. place the pizza on the grill, close the cover and grill until the cheese has melted, about 3 to 4 minutes. to finish in the over, preheat the oven to 450°. place the pizza on sheet pans and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes.

mix together the ricotta, extra-virgin olive oil, and oregano in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. remove the pizzas from the oven/grill and drizzle with basil vinaigrette. top with dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture and let rest for 5 minutes. slice and serve.

we used a makeshift pizza dough, so our rounds were waaaay smaller than they were supposed to be...so, they look overloaded, but they are not...just small.

basil vinaigrette

½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil

combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

this is the tasty goodness that is basil vinaigrette. i'm not kidding when i say that it is amazingly delicious.

grilled chicken salad

because we had some dressing leftover, we decided to make salads the next night...to die for. they were very plain with just lettuce, tomatoes, some feta, a few sunflower seeds and the dressing...but it was straight restaurant quality.


i am.

i am: so over being at work today.

i feel: like i have lots of stuff to do, but i really don't. i don't really have anything to do at all.

i need: to take advantage of the fact that i have so much time on my hands.

i love: spending time with my niece and nephews.

i want: to stop yawning. i'm not tired...just super bored.

i am: ready to go home. i know i mentioned it, but seriously, i'm so over being at work.


my mommy.

so, this is what i meant to post for mother's day...so very long ago. better late than never.

this is my mom...

...and i love her more than words. and i'm glad that she is my mommy. she is super talented (beyond words talented, to be honest). she is fun to tease (because she is super gullible). she was always there when we needed her...nothing like having a stay-at-home mom (thanks dad, for making that happen). she is deathly ticklish. she never goes anywhere without lipstick. she never takes sides (which can be extremely frustrating). she always listens and gives stellar advice. she introduced me to talk radio (which i love). she dislikes yardwork as much as i do. and she always told us to go outside and play...but to not get dirty (that's my favorite).

thanks, mommy, for being such an awesome mom. i love you.

ps. again, sorry that it took me so long to post this.


happy father's day.

i was blessed with the most amazing father. i can't even express in words how much he means to me. i am very grateful everyday for all that he has done and does for me and my family, especially my mom. thanks dad, for being the best. i love you so very, very much! happy father's day, dad.

also, happy father's day to the other fathers in my life...my brother and brother-in-laws are pretty amazing dads and i'm sure that someday, their kids will feel about them the way i feel about my own dad. happy father's day, guys.

this video is pretty funny. you'd probably not find my dad doing this with us girls, but i vividly remember him letting us do his hair...barrettes and all. my brother-in-laws might do this though...hopefully.

again, happy father's day!



a couple of months ago, as i was blog stalking, i was checking out one of the "regular" blogs i read and the author had written about how she had been recording old episodes of friends on her dvr and that she watches them whenever she has nothing else to do or watch, or while she is doing other things.

well, seeing as how friends is my most favorite tv show ever, i stole her idea and i have been recording as many episodes of friends as i can find. jk. i just record what they show on tbs. luckily, when i started recording the episodes, they were at the very beginning of the series and so i have been able to enjoy my favorite show all over again. just a few days ago, i was blessed with my most favorite episode of friends...ever.

and this is my favorite scene from my favorite episode.

this episode contains so much goodness and quite a few one-liners. but by far, "...in prison" is my most favorite one-liner from friends. and, even to this day, i will occasionally throw it out there. granted, no one knows what i am talking about, but i do and that is all that matters.

once, though, right after this episode aired (way, way back in the nineties), i used the "...in prison" line and it was spot on. one of my finer moments, if i do say so myself. i would give the low-down on my usage, but it's more of a "you had to be there" story...so i will spare you.

anyway, that's all. just thought i'd share.

ps. here is the second greatest scene from friends. it starts at 3:19 and ends at 5:33. and the second greatest one-liner is at 5:03.


because you care.

so, remember how i said i hadn't abandoned my blog? well, i know it seems like i lied, but i have a really good excuse. i had another small camera mishap and it is currently being repaired to it's full glory. i'll try to post what i can without the pictures, but i can't promise too much without pictures. just thought you'd want to know.


i love the sight of: freshly mowed lawns and freshly planted flowers.

i love the sound of: sprinklers running in the early evening.

i love the smell of: mowed grass.

i love the taste of: basil vinaigrette. don't worry, i'm planning on sharing the recipe. it's to die for.

i love the feel of: summer just around the corner.


i'm just sayin'.

contrary to popular belief, i have not abandoned my blog. even though i know it may seem like it, i am here to tell you that that is just not true. to be honest, i have a million (more like ten or so) post ideas swimming in my brain, but i can't even begin to get them down...thus the feeling of abandonment. oh, and then there was the whole no internet fiasco. obviously, that has since been overcome--and frankly, it only lasted a few days...so, totally not a viable excuse. anyway, i'm still alive. the blog still lives. bear with me. and in the meantime, enjoy this little ditty from one of my faves.



for today.

for today: april 18, 2009.

outside my window: the grass is turning green. love green grass...except for when i have to mow it.

i am thinking: about how i'm getting sick for the umpteenth time in the last six months. my immune system sucks this year.

i am thankful for: modern medicine and things like antibiotics, ear drops and pain killers.

from the kitchen: there is cleanliness. meaning, someone cleaned today. it will be a mess by tomorrow...but it's clean today.

i am wearing: what i am going to wear to work.

i am creating: this lovely blog post.

i am going: to be utterly annoyed if this ear ache doesn't subside quickly.

i am reading: the same thing i was reading last time. i know...get on with it already, huh?

i am hoping: that this bug goes away quickly.

i am hearing: great music, but it sounds weird and "tinny" because of my ear. i know, i'm a complainer...oh well.

around the house: there is silence. they have all disappeared. i'm assuming they will appear again later.

one of my favorite things: is britain's got talent. too bad i can't catch it on tv here. i guess highlights on youtube will have to do.

a few plans for the rest of the week: consist of getting rid of this bug and lots of work.

here is a picture thought i am sharing: