Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another way to share your "power"...

It is very apparent these days that we can use Facebook and other social media to not only reconnect with loved ones, but to make a difference in the world. It doesn't take much, just a few seconds and a click or two, and we can all work together for positive change!

I don't know how many people are still reading this blog, because I'm totally a lame blogger in the summer, but if you are reading this, please take a few minutes to vote for the following charities. It won't take much time but can truly help others.

RETT SYNDROME RESEARCH-Vote every day until July 31st! (3 days left!)


Click here - and the gray button, then click on Central (orange circle) and then vote for San Marcos YSB. You have to like APX alarm at the top of the page, but then after that it's easy!

Thanks so much guys!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do Some Good...

I know it's been a million years since I posted, and I'm just taking a break from my summer hiatus to ask for your support... if you're even still reading! :)

Some of the schools I write grants for are entering a Kohl's sweepstakes, which is nationwide, but if they receive the top 12 number of votes on Facebook, they'll win $500,000. So, it only takes a minute, and if you help them by voting, you're helping ME keep my job! :)

So, just click on the link, "Like" Kohl's, and then vote for Hawthorn Academy in West Jordan UT. It gives you 20 votes, but you can only give 5 to each school. So, if you're feeling extra generous with your time, you can also vote for:
-Odyssey Charter School in American Fork, UT
-Early Light Academy in South Jordan, UT
-Excelsior Academy in Tooele, UT


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blah, blah, blog

So, I'm feeling really indifferent about this blog, and blogs in general. I used to get lost in cyberspace, reading all about my friends and catching up with long lost roomates and such. I still do that occasionally, but I've been too busy and otherwise occupied with darling Ella that I don't make much time for it anymore. And I think it's a good thing.

And while I've never been super inclined to blog on a regular basis, now it is really suffering. And I don't think I really care! I've been working out more, gardening, and working on fun projects - and I like this off-line version of myself. I would rather live my life than take the time to write about it. I don't know if this is a general feeling among folks, or if I'm the only one who is stricken with cyber overload, but I need a break. I will still facebook on a semi-regular basis, only because it is on my phone, but I'm even tempted to delete that app because I just need to be in the moment, in reality, and not constantly checking my wall or blog for comments. (As I write this, cute Ella is pawing at my leg, begging me to play with her... so off I go!)

So, this is a post to make you aware of my cyber sabbatical. Do not worry, I am still alive. And chances are that if you are a part of my regular life, you'll probably see more of me, so this will not be a big loss! I hope you all have a great summer!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Bean!

Happy First Birthday, sweet Ella Grace! We love you more than words can express. You have learned so much and grown so quickly. Thanks for putting up with us as your parents! Here's to another fun, crazy, exciting year!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Rolls

A Vietnamese friend of ours taught us how to make spring rolls and they are SO easy and SOOO good! I thought I would share since they were such a fun time!

Here is what I used :
-Round rice paper wrappers
-Lettuce leaves with the tough middle part removed
-Shrimp sauteed in garlic and soy sauce (you can use chicken, tuna, whatever!)
-Shredded carrots and sliced celery (I prefer cucumbers, but we didn't have any)
-Vermicelli rice noodles (you buy them in a package, then soak them in warm water until they soften)
-Peanut dipping sauce (made from peanut butter and Hoisin sauce and water)
-Hot chili and garlic sauce

You need a few things from the Asian market, and if you live in Salt Lake, there's one on 90th south and just east of the freeway. I bought the rice paper wrappers and sauces there, as well as the noodles.

You just soak the rice paper for a few seconds in hot water and put it on your plate. It becomes stretchy like saran wrap. Then layer lettuce, noodles, shrimp, veggies, and sauces, and wrap it up like a burrito. Voila!Ella enjoyed the vermicelli noodles... yum!
(If anyone wants the actual recipe, I can definitely email it to you! Just let me know!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Garden Update

Well, our garden box is in place and filled with what is supposedly the best soil for planting a garden... we'll see! Next we need to screw on the pickets and plant some veggies!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Me Moment

Today is my first mother's day, so I decided to take a little moment for myself last night and get a pedicure. I was so excited to just sit for a minute with no one climbing on me or crying, but after all the day's adventures and laundry and dishes and yard work, I didn't showered and get out the door until 8 pm. Shoot.

The first place I tried was closed. The second, as well, so I gave up and decided to go grocery shopping at walmart instead. But to my surprise their nail salon was open! It's a mothers day miracle! I asked the girl if they had time to do my toes, and she ushered me back, saying "We never close, never close."

I couldn't tell if she was saying that to assure me it was okay to be there at 8:20 pm, or if she was saying it in a resentful way... So I didn't push the issue, since she was the one with the sharp tools!

I enjoyed a relaxing few moments reading fashion magazines and catching up on facebook, then as she was finishing, the boss lady told me I had to pay in cash, since she just closed the register. What? Who carries cash anymore?!? But I told her I could walk down to the ATM once my toes were dry... No biggie.

Turns out, as usual, that nothing is simple for me! I walked to the ATM and supposedly put in the wrong PIN, and the machine ate my card!! So I tried a different card, and it didn't even let me type anything... It just beeped and told me to contact the bank during normal operating hours. Grrrrrr!

So, I bought my few groceries ad paid with a credit card, hoping they would let me get cash back... But strike three, I'm out. So I headed back to the salon and told her I had no way of paying, fearing I would have to go in the back and sanitize foot tubs or nail implements, but the nice lady said I could bring my money on Monday. I thanked her profusely, thinking the whole time, "this could have all been avoided if you just let me pay with my dang debit card!!"

Oh well, my toes look fabulous and I did get a little me time, so I guess it was all worth it! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wealth of knowledge

Have you ever been to the website I stumbled across it tonight while trying to figure out how to sew a zipper fly. That proved to be much more difficult than I thought, so instead of continuing my sewing project, I clicked on the "surprise me" button at the top of the page. And who doesn't like a good surprise?!

I was pleasantly "surprised" to find myself perusing pages about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING known to man. In fact, in the last hour, instead of sleeping, I have learned how to avoid fire ant stings, how to do a a correct handstand, how to create a Halo 3 montage, how to create a classic wardrobe, and how to apply goth makeup. (I think the last two go especially well together!) I can't stop myself!

Check it out and share what you learned!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A little progress...

My dream of a garden is a bit closer this week!

It started as a pile of wood, bolts, and nuts.

Then we cut, screwed, and painted pickets. Jovi is overseeing the demise of her tyrannical reign!Jon cut posts and 2x8s for the box. It is going to be bigger than I thought!
Ella loves being outside! (How toxic is west bench dirt?)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Fever!

This is my first spring without a "job", so I didn't think I'd get the travel/gardening/play outside bug as bad as I did when I was surrounded by 25 wiggly little kids, but I've been bitten and it looks like another case of the fever.

The past week or so i just haven't been able to stay inside, so i have been busy with gardening chores: fill window wells with rocks, keep Ella out of the mud, scoop poop, redirect the baby away from the dog's bowl, de-grass the flower beds, stop the kid from eating rocks, wash off and arrange patio furniture, give in and let the monkey get muddy, take BBQ outside, hose off the child, mow and edge lawn, play with dog (yes, that's a chore), clean out garage, cheer for slowly budding tulips, etc.

But now I'm ready for some FUN projects, so here is my latest inspiration, taken from DIY magazine:

In spite of the last two failed attempts, I am going to try a garden. I may have a psycho vegetarian dog and the worst soil on the planet, but this year I laugh in the face of my opposition. I WILL HAVE A GARDEN! Unfortunately I didn't take a "before" picture. Just picture a minefield in Bosnia. Give me a week or so and I will have some pics to post of my (hopefully) awesome garden. And if it doesn't turn out, at least I will have gotten a good workout and some extra sun time!

Does anyone have any tips to help me out?

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I just love my Ella girl. I love her so much it makes me want to squish her and love her and hug her every second of every day. I love how she crawls like a maniac and is addicted to her toothbrush. I love how she squishes up her nose and makes the cutest noises and words. She makes my life whole and meaningful and amazing. She is almost one year old and I can't believe it. Thanks, Caity, for the beautiful picture. It's my favorite!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beautiful Girl

My sister Candace had her baby today! Her name is Josie Heward, and she was born at 12:02 today. 6 lbs, 8 oz, and 20 in. long. She is absolutely beautiful!! Hold on Candace and Grant, you're in for an exciting ride! You are going to be such good parents!

Monday, April 19, 2010


So maybe it's because it's Monday. Or maybe it's just "that time of the month." But today I woke up feeling frustrated. I have been fighting a weight-loss battle for 3 and a half months, and I'm at a standstill. I lost the first 20 lbs in the first 2 months, and now for all of March and April so far I have only lost 3 lbs and they yo-yo up 2 down 3, up 3 down 2.

I know I havent been super diligent every day; we traveled a lot and there are always those dang Sunday dinners! (BTW- thanks for the brownie last night, Heather... It was delish!) I just go through these cycles that never end: super good eating on Mon thru Thyrs. Then the weekends get progressively worse.

So, this isn't just a venting session (though I thank you for putting up with it). I am just telling you all that I am recommitting to my awesome habits I know I can maintain. I have just gotten lazy and I'm asking you to help me! If you see me eating a brownie after dinner or trying to be lazy and not cook a good dinner, just remind me that I have 40 lbs left to go...

I can do this (with your help)!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Breaks 2010!

We have had a wild spring so far! As noted in the last post, we went down to Moab so Jon could work and we could play. Then we flew to California and drove up to Southern Oregon for a family funeral. Then, last minute, Jon decided that for his actual Spring Break he wanted to go to New York, so off we went! Here are some of the highlights:


Hiking to Delicate Arch was breathtaking! Definitely one of my favorite Utah hikes!
You can see by Ella's expression how much she LOVES the outdoors... we're working on it!
Our buddies Caity and Bob came with us and we had so much fun! (Thanks Caity, for all the pictures!)

California and Oregon
Jon's aunt, uncle, and grandma live in Vacaville, CA, so we flew in to the Oakland Airport and stayed with them for a couple of nights. They gave us a beautiful tour of Napa Valley and we spent a lot of time just catching up... so fun.

We stopped by the Oakland Temple on the way to Vacaville - it was a beautiful day!

We went to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield - pretty interesting!
This is what some talented fellow tour-goer took of us in line. Nice... It's one of those awkward times where they're like, "Is it okay?" and you're thinking, "Gee, not really, but if you think it's sort-of okay, then we don't need your help anymore!"

We took a gorgeous drive up to Oregon that included olive tasting and scenic views, and a lot of baby pit stops!Jon's Aunt Jean, Uncle Pat, and Cousin Shawn met up with us for ice cream in Oregon. So fun!Ella loves her Auntie Kim!
Ella and I met Jon's grandpa for the first time - he is so sweet!

This is the cabin that Jon's dad built with his family before he passed away. It was a touching moment to be there and talk about memories of him.

Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon, is one of my new favoritest places in the world. It was absolutely fabulous! We would move there if it wasn't so far away!

These photos are of a roller derby - a full-on Medford, OR, beat down on wheels. Jon's cousin is the star (player?) on her team and she ROCKED. I wish I could be that cool. Even Ella loved hanging out there with Grandma!

New York
I just realized that my photos from NY aren't uploaded yet... oops! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fun in Moab

Jon works in Moab every once in a while, so we took advantage of his time there to play with our friends Caity and Bob. It was a blast! Apparently the only photos I have on my crappy camera are of the pool and how much Ella LOVED it.

The trip also involved many laughs, sketchy eggs, dual queen beds, lots of licorice and taffy, beautiful blue skies and snow, red mud, warm walks down main street, a psycho tree-hugger who I wish I could go back and punch in the teeth, delicious fish tacos, no trespassing signs, a baby who is not so sure about hiking in the rain, a tad bit of racism :), and some absolutely beautiful scenery.

Unfortunately you will have to go to Caity's blog to see the pictures taken at her skilled hand, until I steal them from her...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We celebrated one of my favorite holidays a few days early by inviting some neighbors over for traditional Irish fare - Corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread. The green sugar cookies were a fun touch, too. Thanks to our buddies for being patient with my Irish-ness... and cooking!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh yeah!

You can tell how awesome your weekend was by the color and amount of dirt on your shoes! Thank you, Moab, for a fabulous weekend! (More pics will follow once I charge my camera!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

What did you just say??!?

"Screw me once, shame on me. Screw me twice, shame on you..." What???

"The security system is completely ATOMIC of the rest of the school's technology."

Jon has a knack for throwing common sayings and words into his everyday conversations. The only problem is that he sometimes mis-quotes them but has no idea. When I tell him that he's mistaken, It's kind of like finding out that your mom's potato salad (or other family favorite) isn't the only way to make that dish, and in fact is really disgusting compared to other ways people make it.

First, you deny it. Then you cave in and taste the other kind and it blows your mind. Finally, you really have to work hard to change your current way of thinking to make room for this new, fabulous discovery.

In Jon's case, he tells me there's no way I'm right because that's how "EVERYONE" says it... Then we do a random poll or google search and he realizes his error. Then I go into "teacher mode" and help him see how his way doesn't make much sense... And he finally accepts it and changes his mind.

It's at least a weekly occurance... And I think he's getting sick of me! But I know he's not the only one out there! Help him out - what are some common sayings you (or a loved one) messed up until someone helped you out?

(Oh, and by the way... MY mom's potato salad is absolutely the best. No one will ever convince me otherwise!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

"This is the first generation of kids expected to live a shorter life than their parents..." Wow. Read it again. Thus begins the trailer for a show on ABC that I'm very excited about. Jamie Oliver, a British chef, and star of the show "The Naked Chef" is doing a very noble and important thing - he's teaching America how to eat.

That first line really hit me, and I think it needs to hit us all. It's pretty sad that we are so far-removed from what healthy eating means, that we need a man from a country known for it's fried fish and chips and greasy "English Breakfasts" to re-educate us how to eat and feed our children well. Not only is his show going to make eating well seem "cool," but he is also forming a petition to take to the White House that will help politicians and industry leaders see the importance of healthy food in schools. Go Jamie!

Click Here to go to Jamie's website and sign the petition yourself. And tune in on March 26 for the show's premiere!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dress Ups

Is it Spring yet???

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


What would you do with a few extra dollars? (Or a few hundred, or even a few thousand??) Since becoming a mother without a second income, the money situation isn't as easy as it used to be, and given the current economic situation of our country, I have a feeling I'm not the only one. So, the other day Jon and I were daydreaming about how nice it would be to just have a bit of extra money. The problem is, that because we have a family now, all my thoughts for extra money go to practical things like college savings or food storage or diapers. It's actually very difficult for me to dream of something that would truly be a splurge.

I would love to travel. Go to Macchu Pichu and Tonga and Italy and on a Carribbean Cruise. Just disappear for like 3 months. And buy fabulous shoes that are comfortable yet fashionable (I haven't found them yet... maybe I could pay a designer...) And I would decorate my whole house in Ethan Allen and Pottery Barn. I absolutely love those stores.

So, I want to get you all dreaming and hear your ideas. Pretend we don't have a scary economy or bills or disasters to plan for. What would you completely pamper yourself or your family with? It can't be anything practical. Just dive off the selfish and silly deep end and share your thoughts!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Well, it's taken about 6 months to lose it, but I've finally broken the 20 pound mark. Man, it feels good!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What do you DO all day?

Have you ever felt like everything you do in a day doesn't really matter because you just have to do it all over again the next day? (Dishes, laundry, picking up the house, etc.) I guess it didn't really bother me until I became a "stay-at-homer," but I was feeling a little bit like a robot.

So what was my solution? I just stopped doing it. Everything. No laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning up little messes, NOTHING. It wsn't exactly by choice, like I was sitting back eating bon bons and watching the dust bunnies collect under the couch. (What exactly is a bon bon? It sounds good...)

For the last two weeks I've been CRAMMING to get a major grant application done for 3 schools. Lots of phone calls, meetings, emails, interviews ... and not a lot of time to be a housewife. (Or a stellar mommy - you can see how Ella feels about my job.) So what was the result?? Let me put it this way: I took pictures to make this blog post more interesting, and was disgusted by even the pictures, so consider yourself lucky that only the office made the cut.

I really got the hint when my mom came over to visit and just randomly started wiping and scrubbing things... Then I woke up two days ago ready to head down to another morning of work before the baby woke up, and couldn't find ANY clean unders or even see kitchen sink to get a drink. Sick. So, fearing DCFS or the camera crew for Hoarders would show up, I cleaned the house for 2 hours and now I can function like a relatively-normal human being again.

So, what did I learn? No, not that I should keep up on my chores. I realized that, although not very sanitary, doing two hours of cleaning only once every two weeks is sure a lot easier than doing the same things all day everyday to maintain a clean house. Maybe I'll keep this up! (Or, Jon, can you get another wife somewhere??)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Big Nine Months!

Little Miss Ella reached a new level of awesome today... She's been around for three-fourths of a year! And every month I can't believe she's grown so much or gotten so dang cute.

This month was a big one. She has two teeth, can now CRAWL, and can say ba-ba when she wants one... A good skill to possess! She also says the word "hi" and waves like a hummingbird on crack, and just today she figured out how to clap, but she turns one hand upside down so it looks like she's slapping the back of her own hand. Gotta give her creative points for that one! She may look just like daddy, but it looks like she inherited her mama's "unique" way of doing things just a little differently than they're normally done. Hopefully she'll learn her lesson before any helmets get involved...