Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I guess it's time....

Taj's favorite Christmas present was my mom's present. I don't know, but I think Taj may be just a little bit like his dad.
This is Taj demonstrating the proper technique for lip gloss application: swipe from one end of your face to the other and repeat the words "mmmm, priddy!"

A little up the nose always helps too.

There you have it: five dollars worth of cherry flavored lip gloss properly applied by a two year old.

Everybody needs that classic picture with grandpa right? Especially when grandpa is wearing a t-shirt that says, "Old Fart." That way no one will be confused as to whether or not it is actually grandpa in the photo.

My lovely sister modeling the latest in Snuggie blanket wear. Aren't you all jealous?
This is sheer genius, is it not? This says Cake Boss all over it...although one should never try to eat a gingerbread house or the candy that comes with it. I'm pretty sure I chipped my tooth trying to eat one of those little round candies.

Only Marci and Easton were brave enough to attempt to out-do my decorating skills. It's a messy, dirty business I tell you!

ripping off the wrapping paper was a lot more fun than seeing what was inside

Everyone made their own "hand made" stocking this year, super fun Christmas family activity!
I could easily get 50 cents a piece for these...they're brilliant and they only took me like two hours and 20 hot glue burns to make!

I love this picture. Taj's little friend is on the look out for hot girls and Taj is already giving me that teenage smirk!
So I suppose it's finally time that I do the traditional "Christmas" post. I always procrastinate posting big events: holidays, birthdays, milestones achieved, etc. For some reason I feel like it's an assignent and if I don't post a certain amount of pictures with at least 1000 words that I won't get full credit. I still have nightmares about college. It's always the same dream: I've signed up for too many classes and I find out in the middle of the semester that I've been forgetting to show up to the most important one and then I proceed to beg the professor for extra credit work to make up for the lost time. Dreams like that are horrific for those who tend to be perfectionists or for those who may or may not have a nervous disorder (take a look at my nails if you ever see me).
Christmas this year was grand. In fact, it is my opinion that everyone in my family was beyond spoiled, especially my little two year old. I honestly think that after opening all those presents, Taj liked playing in the leftover boxes the most. Go figure that! All a child really needs is a good imagination and whatever happens to be lying around at the moment. This year I tried to focus more on what Christmas is really about instead of making presents the big focus. I really did have a lot more fun giving to others this year. For once I didn't feel sad Christmas morning when all the presents were opened because I finally understand that what makes Christmas is spending time with loved ones and bringing joy to those in need. Christmas is sooo commercial now, don't you think? It's become too stressful! I think the biggest thing we can do to honor Jesus's birth is to give the gift of service and love and to spend time with those who matter most in our lives. I had a wonderful Christmas this year! I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends. I hope you all had an awesome Christmas and got to spend time with your families!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Invisible Splinter

Okay, I know this is slightly weird and even more random, but do you ever feel like you have a splinter in your pant leg? Like today I put on my favorite pair of jeans complete with a new blouse and new shoes from Christmas and I was feeling pretty good until a sharp prick nearly put me out of my misery. What makes this worse is that whatever is poking me is on the inside of my upper thigh, not exactly a place you can pull a splinter from in public if you know what I mean. I think I spent nearly an hour in my room squinting at the inside of my pants trying desperately to find the said splinter....still no luck. So if you ever see me hobbling with one stiff leg doing the turkey trot with a grimace on my face, you'll know that the invisible splinter is attacking the inside of my leg while I try to remain stoic and poised for the public eye. "Why not just wear a different pair of jeans?" you say? Well if I didn't wear this particular pair of jeans with this particular blouse and pair of shoes, the entire concept of my outfit that I want others besides myself to perceive would be dashed and I'd probably end up on TLC's What Not to Wear. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but this pair of jeans is the only pair that doesn't give me a wedgie because they're too tight. The invisible splinter may have won this time, but next time the tweezers are coming out and I WILL be victorious!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Taj hard at work erasing daddy's elaborate spreadsheets. Looks like hard work...he had to break out the chocolate!

Have you ever tried even wearing two pairs of glasses at the same time? I have and I can't manage looking down without having one pair flop down on my teeth. This takes skill. It's true talent I tell you!

Temple Square

These are all the pictures we took at Temple Square before we got hit by the firetruck. If you're looking for a nice family home evening activity, this is it (looking at the lights, not getting hit by a truck). If you get the chance, I would definitely check out the lights this year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dessert for Dinner

These crepes with cream cheese filling are absolutely delicious! The other sweet thing about them is that anyone can make them too! I found the recipe online and this is the second time I've cooked them for dinner. They really are like eating dessert for dinner, so you may want to cook something to go with them to counter the sweetness, for all you sugar high wimps like me...or you could just make them for dessert!

Here's the recipe:
Ingredients: Crepes
*1 1/4 cups of flour
*2 Tbls. sugar
*pinch of salt
*3 eggs
*1 tsp. lemon extract (I use almond instead)
*1 1/2 cups milk
*2 Tbls. butter melted

I mix all the dry ingredients first and in a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, butter, and lemon extract. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Batter shouldn't be that lumpy, stir until smooth. To cook the crepes you can use cooking spray or butter to coat your griddle or pan. I pour between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup of batter for each crepe. Cook each side until lightly browned. Watch out, they cook fast!

Ingredients: Cream Cheese Filling
*one 8 oz. package cream cheese
*1 1/4 cup confectionery sugar
*1 1/2 cups Cool Whip

I soften the cream cheese in the microwave before mixing it with the other ingredients. The end result turns out smoother and it's a lot easier to mix. Mix the cream cheese and sugar first. I do this with a hand mixer, quicker and smoother! Then fold in the whipped cream and beat with mixer until smooth. Wa la! You are done! Fill the cooked crepes with the filling and fresh fruit. If you want the crepes to look fancy then add a dollop of filling on top of the crepes and top it with a fresh piece of fruit. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Early Christmas

Taj hates being bundled up and he hates it even more when I try to take his picture and he's in the middle of a fit. It kind of ruins the theatrics of the moment for him I guess...
One night while I was downstairs watching a movie with Taj, Brannon came barrelling down the stairs and I freaked out when I saw him. He was covered in red stuff all over his hands, his pants, shirt, and shoes. I thought he was bleeding, but when he motioned me upstairs, I soon found out it wasn't blood, but wax. I thought I would never have this happen unless Taj figured out how to climb on the countertops (which probably won't be long). No it wasn't Taj who made this mess, it was my ADULT husband. While talking on his phone, Brannon noticed the Scentsy warmer looked a little "crooked," so to fix that he unplugged it and turned it upside down to inspect the reason behind this "crookedness" and dumped hot Cozy Fire wax all over the counter, himself, and the floor. I'm sure the clothes are a loss as he filled up one of his pants pockets with wax, coating his wallet and whatever else he keeps in there. I told him I would beat his rear-end if he ever did that again. It took me almost an hour to scrape the wax off the counter and floor and I'm still finding wax bits here and there all over my house! So now not only is Taj not allowed to touch the Scentsy, neither is Brannon!
This is Taj's early Christmas present, well his whole Christmas. Brannon's been dead set on getting Taj a Power Wheels for Christmas because he "wanted one when I was a kid and never got one." I suppose that I could say the same about fantasizing about having my very own Barbie car to run to the pharmacy to buy penny candy when I was a little girl. Brannon spent hours researching which Power Wheels to get and comparing prices and the result was always the same: The one we wanted was the most expensive model and it didn't really vary in price from store to store. We were going to settle for a cheaper model, but Brannon was combing KSL one day and found this Jeep, the one we've been wanting. We snagged this for a mere $180.00 versus the $450.00 price tag on a new one. We LOVE KSL! His legs aren't long enough to reach the pedal yet, but hopefully by spring he'll have grown another inch or two. Taj scored for Christmas this year, the lucky duck!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Um...good luck with that!

I found this in the local newspaper. I don't think they'll find it anytime soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Redneck Rig

Our bumper lying on the street at Temple Square
You can't really see the wires and things poking out everywhere in this picture. Our car looks worse in daylight.

After enjoying a pleasant Saturday afternoon tying up some loose ends with our Christmas shopping and visiting Temple Square to show Taj the lights, we stopped at 7-Eleven in Salt Lake for "Coke in the Bottle." Brannon said he'd been craving it all day, so I figured I might as well get a Redbox movie while we were there to make a perfect end to a perfect day. I guess that's where our "perfect day" stopped being so perfect. We were weaving our way through downtown Salt Lake City traffic, two stop lights away from being on the road to home, sipping our Coke out of glass bottles like a couple of big city yuppies when we found ourselves waiting to turn right at a red light. While we were waiting a HUGE fire truck pulled up rather closely beside us, in a lane that also turned right. Red light turned to green and both we and the fire truck ventured to make the right turn when all of a sudden Brannon hit the brakes and I screamed as I watched and felt us get hit by the back end of the fire truck. The fire truck kept right on driving and Brannon made to pursue them when we heard this awful scraping of metal sound. Brannon pulled over and we got out to find our bumper was literally hanging by a thread. A single touch from Brannon sent the whole thing bouncing across the pavement. Then out of nowhere a nice man who saw the accident happen was coming towards us with another piece of our car in his arms. All I could do was laugh at that point and breath a sigh of relief when I saw the fire truck had pulled over just up the road. The driver of the truck was like "Man we didn't even know we hit you until we looked in our mirrors and saw your bumper flying off!" Yeah well, we didn't know our bumper was flying off until we heard it dragging on the blacktop. I think I took it better than Brannon did. Those nerves of his kicked in and he was buzzing around from firefighter to police officer for the entire 2 1/2 hours it took for them to take pictures and do their reports on the accident. Basically I was trapped in the car with Taj the two-year-old for almost three hours. At least the firefighters were kind enough to give me a break and show Taj the fire truck and let him try on their helmets. They even bought us some hot chocolate. I'm telling you people, getting hit by a state owned vehicle is a big no-no, especially if you have plans to watch that Redbox movie. Turns out because a state vehicle was involved in the accident not only did we have to wait for the fire department to investigate, we had to wait for a city police officer, a crime scene unit, and an independent police party to investigate as well. It was almost midnight when we got home. At least Taj fell asleep on the way! It looks like I'm driving a redneck rig, given the missing bumper and driver's side wheelwell. Brannon couldn't believe that I actually drove it to the post office today. Hey, I'm not embarrassed in the least...redneck blood runs deep in my veins. At least people clear out of my way when they see me coming. They figure I'm the one who made the bumper come off and they don't want me knocking theirs off too! Don't worry people, it's not me you have to look out for, it's those fire trucks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Project #2

For the first time since we've been married, we actually put up a REAL tree this year. We drove all the way down to the tree lot by the local Walgreens and paid $35 bucks for this beauty("$35 bucks!" you say "why not buy a permit and hike for three hours in waist deep snow, hack down your own scrawny and asymmetrical tree with a rusty old hand saw, and sustain frostbite for a third of the price!"). While I do enjoy such fond family Christmas tree hunting memories, I (we) decided to take the short-cut this year and just buy one that somebody else went all the trouble to get. I don't regret it one single bit, even if my floor is covered in pine needles. It may be a little short, but it's very full and it smells like heaven. I love love love it! I was just sooo thankful that I (yes I said "I" Brannon always disappears when it's time to put up the tree, typical male holiday behavior I suppose) didn't have to reassemble our fake Christmas tree. Let me just give you the stats on our fake tree: It's only about 9 feet tall and about 10 feet wide. You want to talk about a "full" tree, well this is it. Not only does it take up half of the living room, but it smells like dust and leaves everyone with a tickle in their nose. The best part about this tree is that one must assemble every single branch using a color code system that would't even give the color blind a chance. After inserting every single branch into the appropriate groove, one must then bend and shape EVERY SINGLE BRANCH to make it look like a "real" tree. I'm telling you, by the time you get done assembling the dang thing, your hair is infested with dust termites and your hands smell like you've been playing in your grandma's dusty old mothball trunk. I now see why my grandma was more than happy to gift the tree to us when we got married. Behind those gold-rimmed glasses and sweet smile I know what she was thinking, "Ha Ha Suckas! Good riddance!"

This is my second home beautifying project: a family picture collage. I think painting was the first project, so this then is #2, just to clarify, in case you were wondering. I bought the frames from the D.I. (I love that place!), painted and sanded them, then added our family pics. It really did liven up the room. Our house is feeling more "homey" with every project!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Days in AZ

Obviously I didn't pack shorts, but it was fun sitting poolside anyway with my mom and sister:)
Taj was able to con his uncle Brian into some swim time in the deep end of the kiddie pond:)
This is Brian and Easton making the most of that rock.

Now THAT is helmet hair!

My sister would kill me if she saw this!
Taj was a true road warrior. He didn't make a peep so long as the movies kept rolling:)
We got to play on a white, sandy beach. It was at the pool, but who cares? It was sand and it was warm!

This is me telling my mom to hurry up and take the flippin picture because Taj was pulling my hair and trying to throw himself backwards, typical....

No we don't have a Great Dane, we have walnuts, which are almost as bad as cleaning up dog bombs. We decided we'd better get them cleaned up before the snow set in.
Brannon's one of those guys that you always see out in the yard picking up stray leaves and obsessing about the design the lawn mower makes in the least no one would ever accuse us of being rednecks by looking at our lawn!

First let me start by thanking all of you for your advice on our little "situation" with Taj. I think that we are going to break down and face our fears and try potty training. If it works it works and if it doesn't....well, we'll resort to plan B: duct tape.
On a happier note, I got to bum a ride to Arizona with my parents to see my sister and her husband. I still hadn't approved their dwelling, so naturally it was worth the nearly 24 hours of driving to do it. Plus, a huge PLUS, the weather was absolutely perfect while we were there. I'm talking 80 degree weather. I only complained of being hot like twice, which is huge for me. It felt like summer and for once I thought that I could live in Arizona, minus the 100+ degree hot weather months of the year. It was sooo much fun that I think a spring trip is in order to get me through winter (since I came back to record cold temperatures!).
You will all be proud to know that I was brave enough to let my sister's pet chameleon Leonard eat a nasty, creepy crawly worm out of my hand. Trust me, you would know that I was brave if you'd felt the worm's little legs crawling across the palm of your hand and seen a yucky, long , sticky pink tongue dart out to scoop it up. For some reason Taj associated the lizard with a cat and every time he saw it he was like, "Kitty, Nooo (meow)." No Taj, that is definitely NOT a kitty!
The drive down was beautiful and I think next summer we'll take a road trip on Route 66! Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!