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December 24, 2006

The True Meaning of Christmas?

Ah, Christmas! Yesterday I spent the day scurrying around getting last minute gifts and stocking stuffers. My sister and I went to at least 10 different stores, each buying one or two things at each location. Why? Actually, I have no idea why. We kept saying "Oh, we can get that when we go to Albertsons." or "Oh, Dick's has WAY better produce than Target does....". And for the Saturday before Christmas in Utah, I was expecting Target to be absolutely pure insane madness. But it totally wasn't. In fact, had there not been elevator Christmas music playing, you wouldn't have known it was mere hours away. We were marveling at the low amount of last-minute shoppers (ohmigosh...did they all finally decide to get it done AHEAD of time? Why in the world can't I DO that?!?!) until we headed into the towns favorite grocery store - Dick's. Our first indication that maybe it might be insane inside, was the amount of double parkers. The fact that there were no parking spaces whatsoever. We drove around a bit, snatched up a spot, and headed into the abyss.

Now first let me remind you all that I have at least 40 relatives on ONE side of my family all living in the same town. You're bound to run into each other.

We walked in and were immediately sucked into this throng of moving people. More like cattle really, mooing their hello's and how are you's, excuse me's, can you scoot over three inches so I can reach the Dijon? We saw my Dad, who did NOT come in the car with us, we ran into one of my best friend's Dad and his sister, we saw three people from our church, ran into two of my aunts and my brother and sister in law.

Let me just paint a picture of exactly what it was like, okay? So I'm standing next to the start of an isle, talking over three old ladies to my aunt standing in line at the check out, who could probably have won the prize for The Most Items in Her Shopping Cart. Literally, her cart ranneth over. As my sister and I were half-shouting to her, I was nearly run over by my brother in law giving me a hug, probably because it was the safest way to get out of the main isle. While we were chatting I shifted my weight slightly to the left. If it weren't for my sister's quick action, I would have been run over by a crazed woman scrambling to pick up the last garlic bread or whatever. I was shoved in three different directions by three different people in 2 seconds. It's a wonder I left there will all my limbs in tact. Don't be messin' with mom's and their groceries. They mean business.

We grabbed enough items to qualify us for the "Express Checkout Lane". Except Express meant "Please head to the back of the line, halfway down that isle...yes...thank you." I was standing behind a woman that realized she'd forgotten 3 items on her list, but refused to leave her son in the line for fear he'd be trampled or something. "There's not enough time!! I'm next to check out!" Hopefully she survived without her bread and pineapple. I sent my sister to get one more stocking stuffer we'd forgotten, and nearly had a heart attack fearing that she'd not make it and have to head to the back of the line, now nearing the meat section in the back of the store.

It's all so worth it though, right? Isn't it? I's Christmas! That's what Christmas is all about!

Now I must nestle all snug in my bed...with visions of Clark Griswold dancing in my head....

December 21, 2006

Tradition....Tradition! (A La Fiddler on the Roof...)

So.......I've been absent. In the Internet World, that is. In "real" life? I've been quite busy bread baking, cookie making, candy molding, present wrapping, house cleaning, dog shaving, dog bathing, dinner making, laundry folding...and...yeah. That about sums it up. Oh, and thoroughly enjoying my friend's little baby Owen. :) Need to get me one of those sometime...

We've been busily trying to get ready for our trek home, which is tomorrow. As in, mere hours from right now! I'm super excited to get home for all the usual reasons, but also because I want to FEEL Christmas. This is our first Christmas in California and I don't know if it's just California, or where we live or what, but it just hasn't felt like Christmas this year, despite all of our preparations. No snow, we've hardly seen any lights or decorations. We don't know anyone so there have been no parties, no goodies delivered, no caroling.

So for this reason, among others, I am excited to get home to family and friends. And The Traditions!

1. My Grandma & Grandpa have always come up to our house on Christmas morning. We could dive into our stockings, but had to wait until they arrived to open any presents. Which as a child was AGONIZING. Santa had left us PRESENTS. And they were RIGHT THERE. Inches from our tiny little trembling fingers. And you know how it goes when you open your stocking. You pull out every single thing, hardly looking at it, and then reach your little arm all the way to the bottom, JUST to make sure you hadn't missed anything. And by now it's already been one whole minute since you tore down the stairs, and they STILL aren't here! Not that I didn't love them coming up. :) I still do. Can't wait Grandma!

2. Every year since I was born my mother has bought an ornament for me. This year there will be 23 ornaments of mine on the Christmas tree, and every year I love to find them and remember what it was like each time I received them. What I'd asked for, what I was excited for. I've started this with Caleb and myself, and I look forward to continuing it with our future children as well. My mother also always bought an ornament for her tree from the vacations she went on, and now we have several ornaments from around the US and Europe, and I hope to be able to have that tradition as well! And collect LOTS of ornaments.... :)

3. What would Christmas be without all the candies and cookies and other holiday goodies? My Grandma makes English Toffee and Slush, a family favorite, my great Aunt makes FABULOUS homemade caramels, and my mother makes a great ham, egg, & cheese breakfast casserole on Christmas morning.

4. Every year starting...oh....Thanksgiving family pulls out our two favorite Christmas movies. The new "Grinch" movie, and the all time classic, "Christmas Vacation". I just can't make it a year without watching Cousin Eddy emptying his "crapper"into Clarke Griswold's gutter, or watch the Grinch give out jury duty notices. It starts at Thanksgiving, and finishes on Christmas Eve, and no, we don't get sick of it. :)

5. The best part about Christmas is family, of course. And our family knows how to throw a good party. My Dad's side is getting so big, we've had to rent out our local church to hold us all. Which works, because after it's all cleaned up we play a few rowdy rounds of....Dodge ball. Everyone in. But besides just throwing a small hard ball at each other, we love to sit around, talk, eat, and tease each other mercilessly. I love it. And love them. Again, with the family and the food. :) There's something special about it though!

Merry Christmas, and safe travels everyone. I hope to not have any stories about snow drifts and chains on the tires.....

December 18, 2006


Hello World. It's me. I've decided that something needs to be done about our driving signals. People are cuttin' people off, buttin' in, nearly running others off the road, screeching to a halt...It happens to the best of us, right?
What I don't understand is how we react to them. I mean, we've all been there. You accidentally cut someone off and then they ALWAYS have to drive past you, right? And you always have to kinda look over sheepishly and hope they know that you TOTALLY know how to drive, you're just uh, not "on your game" tonight or something. Right? And you want them to know you're sorry! So what do you do? You kinda wave at 'em...."Hi dude!!! I just cut you off! Have a GREAT day!!!!!!" It's insulting, right?!? We need to come up with some sign that appropriately conveys our depth of sorry-ness. Throwing your hands up in the air like "Eh?", just isn't gonna cut it.

And while we're on the subject, how do you say thank you to people for letting you butt in? You wave. What's up with that?! The Wave can't mean both "Thanks dude!" AND "Sorry I'm an idiot!". How do people know which one you mean?

Something needs to be done World. Our very LIVES are at stake! Road rage is getting out of hand, and I certainly don't want to be on the receiving end of someone who's misinterpreted my "thank you" for an "I so TOTALLY shouldn't have done that!".

So the "thanks" wave can stay, right? It's not so far off. But the "sorry" wave? Gotta go. What about switching it for a thumbs-down sign? Like "BAD FORM!". But maybe that would further tick them off? What about this?

The official signal in football for the "personal foul". A chop to the back of your hand above your head. Not that I knew that, I had to look it up. I might think the person was threatening to chop off my hand though. All Arabia-like.

What about this one for "Illegal Motion"? A sweeping of your arm, like "Get away - I'm dangerous". Mm? Well, okay, maybe not.

Maybe we'll try another sport. Basketball. This one for "Personal Foul" is fairly understood, right?

Hand clenched above your head? Like you can say it with conviction - "I. Am. An. Idiot".

Maybe this one for "technical foul". Hands formed to a "T".

Kinda hard to do when you're driving. Maybe just the good old fashioned "Loser" sign on your own forehead. That's pretty universal, right?

Just tryin' to make the world a better hand signal at a time. Cause that's just who I am.....

December 16, 2006

Santa Cruz Saturday

Today Caleb and I decided to do a little exploring and ended up in Santa Cruz, which happens to be only a short 30 minutes away, and the drive is spectacular. Super green, it could rival Oregon. We made our way down to the wharf and took a nice little stroll down the pier. And of course, stopped for a few photos. :)

Not the best of days, but it's still gorgeous, isn't it? If you look close you can see dozens of tiny little dots in the water. Those would be the insane surfers who braved the frigid air and water.

This was all his idea......

At the end of the pier you could see tons of sea lions swimming around. There were also several perched on rafters underneath where we stood, but they were at least 4 or 5 feet above the water! We could only figure that they waited until high tide, and then spent the day snoozing!

Couldn't leave without one of the two of us. In the back round you can see one of the last amusement parks left on the California coast. However, it doesn't run during the winter but for a few days during the Christmas weekend. So let it be known, we'll be back!

Next we drove out to the official Surfer's Museum. I swear, it exists. It was small, but quaint. They had the actual surfboard that one man was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark. And let me just say that any desire I once had to learn to surf, is now entirely gone. I think I'll just enjoy the ocean from the nice, warm, not-infested-with-sharks - sand.

See that TEENY TINY little hole in the rocks in the far left? When it's not absolutely freezing, I'm going to go there. Looks much smaller than it actually was, and I believe there are some great tide pools! I love sticking my fingers in the little red and purple anemones - it feels like your finger is made of velcro. Going to the tide pools was my favorite thing to do on the coast in Oregon, and I can only imagine what it would be like here where it's WARM at the beach. :)

Next we went to check out what downtown Santa Cruz had to say for itself. And? It had a lot to say. LOTS of fun little trinket shops, candy shops, book shops, clothing stores etc. etc. etc. My favorite was "Best of Everything". SUCH fun things for your home and lots of little odds and ends. I think my favorites were the fun stationary sets and the gorgeous baby stroller blankets. Oh, and the funky toasters! And the little chocolate sets! Alright, so I'm going to have to go back... It was bustling, and I can't imagine what it would be like in the summer.

We finished off the night by finally biting the bullet (literally...) and trying out a restaurant we've been eyeing since we got here. It's called Zafran's, and it's Pakistani / Indian food. We've been hesitant because it seems like whenever we decide to eat out we're STARVING, and were both worried we wouldn't like what we ordered, and have to go find something else. :) Trying new foods is both exciting and scary for me. I love to be adventurous.....but tend to draw the line at freaky foods. It's like what I always say about "Fear Factor" - I could do ANY of the stunts, no problem. But give me some dead tarantula or 200 year old duck eggs to eat, and I'm out. Screw the $50,000, I'm not TOUCHING the stuff!!! Anyway, we actually both really enjoyed it. I loved the flavor of....whatever it was that I got....but it was pretty spicy. I'm sure not by your typical standards, but for me? Super spicy...made pretty obvious by my constant jabbering about how nice ice cream would be after....mmm....coating the throat with thick ice-creaminess......

Instead I just downed my water. And made a mental note to ask for the MILD curry next time...

December 15, 2006

Cause when you gotta go.....

Today Caleb and I had to get some tire chains for our imminent drive to Utah for Christmas. We were standing in line and saw the best product in the entire world. Monumental. Best thing I've seen in a long time. For real. Brought tears to my eyes. It's called the "TravelJohn". The disposable urinal for men, women, and children! "A civilized solution!".

I LOVE the picture! How classic! The entire family "holding it in"!!! How precious. With little sweat beads flying everywhere..... Let me just tell you about the product features, shall I?

"TravelJohn disposable urinal is convenient, sanitary, discrete, and compact. The key ingredient is Liqsorb, a combination of an exclusive biodegradable non-woven fabric pouch containing a biodegradable polymer substance that immobilizes bacterial growth quickly - absorbs the liquid waste and turns it into an odorless, spill-proof gel bag that is non toxic and waste disposable safe. The unisex adapter makes it easy for anyone and everyone to use while sitting or standing, and a spill guard prevents back flow (lovely mental picture...) during use."

And guess what else folks?! It's "Reusable until it is full"!!! Holds 28 oz! A little more than two Coke cans. Just in case you were wondering.

What other selling tactics do companies use? Testimonials you say? Well...I've got some right here!

I just wanted to let you know that (TravelJohn!) came in handy in my car last evening when my daughter "really had to go!!!" These are the greatest inventions! Thank you!


I just came back from a 2 week adventure in Mongolia. The #1 TravelJohn saved me (+3 friends). Picture, if you will, us in a nomadic tent with 200-300 goats + sheep between us and our "toilet"...Thank you. Thank you. For such an easy to use, clean GREAT product. thanks....rather not picture....did he say 3 friends?! With sheep?!

and another classic...

When I found the TravelJohn I was never more excited (never more?) Now at 4 am when I'm all snug in my tent and it's raining hard outside, I'm ready to "go" with my TravelJohn!! Thanks for making a #1 product. I can't camp without it now!

Because nothing says camping like peeing in your very own tent.

And guys, if you're not sold on it yet, check out the website. The pictures speak for themselves. Oh! Oh! And go read the other testimonials! If you only have time for one, check out the airplane one. You won't be sorry.

December 14, 2006

Because "What's Up My Chica?" Should Not Be Forgotten....

I just spent the last hour and a half riffling through old journals. Ah, the nostalgia! I was all set to write about how nice it would be to head back to the old high school days for a bit, but uh, I think this is MUCH better. I was reading all about the drama when something caught my eye. Or rather, a word caught my eye. Several times. On several pages. I actually used the word "spiffage" in my every day life. Talk about taking you back! If I remember right it was an adaption my friends and I made of the newly-cool word "spiffy". As in, "I got a VCR for Christmas! SPIFFAGE!!!!" or, "Ohmigosh, I got 2 gerbils this weekend, and they are SO spiffage..."

And people? I found a fabulous website with all of our favorite 90's phrases and slang. Some are a little colorful, and others I never heard or used (maybe cause I was living in a predominantly white community in Utah?! Maybe?) but they're all classic. Very very classic.

Some of my personal favorites include yoink, dude (which, to be honest? Is still used with wild abandon....), chica (are your insides cringing?!? Mine are!), the ever-popular "all that and a bag of chips" and "off the heasy".

No spiffage though.........That's like, so totally shady!

December 13, 2006

Recipe #2 - Mmm....Omega 3's!!

So I didn't USED to love salmon. It used to be on my List of Foods I Hate, along with sauerkraut and beans of any kind. Then one day I decided I needed to like salmon. It's good for you. So I ordered it at a restaurant, and ate it. And liked it. Nay, thoroughly enjoyed it! My stipulations are that it must be fresh, and it can't have that fishy taste. It must be sorta crispy-ish. And it must NEVER be raw. Ever. I will never eat anything raw. Hear me Cabe?!?! No sushi. I will not pay for food that isn't cooked. ANYWAY. Salmon. Back to the salmon. So when we got married I decided that we needed to eat healthy, and the only way to do that, would be to uh, cook healthy food. So here's my secret for good salmon....go to their fillet of salmon for like, $20. When you come home immediately cut it up into as many servings as you can get and put them in the freezer. One fillet usually feeds us....4 or 5 times. CHEAP folks. And another tip for thawing meat? Do it in a Ziploc bag. In your sink. With hot water. But watch it, you don't want to cook it! Not yet at least. :) And now for my made-up SUPER easy healthy recipe......

Kim's Non-Fishy Oh-So-Delicious Salmon

2 salmon fillets (or per person people!!! Share the love!!)
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice
Garlic Salt
Dried Dill Weed
2 small pats of butter (or, in our case, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)

Thaw salmon, and place it in an oven-safe dish. Pour lemon and lime juice over salmon. Yummy.....sprinkle with seasoning, as much as you prefer. I like to sprinkle it on slowly, cause um, I think it's pretty. Especially the dill weed.....but I'm weird like that. Place pat of butter on fish, and place in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!!!!

I usually serve this with a rice or vegetable....cooked carrots are good, and I've got a few fabulous recipes for those as well. More to come! Enjoy the Omega-3's!!! Cause they enjoy you!!

December 12, 2006


Tonight it's all about my husband. We are celebrating the accomplishment of the goal he and his business partner set one year ago, to increase their franchise by 100%. Today they got the numbers, and they did it! I am so proud of them for their hard work this past year. It hasn't been easy, but they did it. I am so blessed to have a husband who works so hard for us, and blessed that he enjoys it. He loves it, and I love that he does. He does a fabulous job.

He's also incredible to me. It is as they say, I do not deserve such a loving, caring, kind husband. He knows when to work, and when to "come home". He makes me laugh every day. Multiple times. He does this thing....whenever I need to be cheered's called "The Chicken". And if you can ever convince him to do it for you, you won't be let down. :) I can promise you that. He helps out a lot with the laundry, and even cooks dinner for us! A lot! And breakfast! And lunch! And we haven't died yet. :) I love watching him play with his nieces and nephews, he has so much fun. I think sometimes he has more fun than the kids do. :) Last week when we were watching his nieces and nephews, he was playing with these big plastic....things....that you put on your hand and then hit the other person with. SUCH a boy game....I have no idea what I'm going to do if we get boys... Anyway, he was playing with one of the smaller boys, Miles. Miles ran up to Caleb and they hit their little bopper things, but Miles kept going, and sunk his little teeth right into Caleb's forehead. :) He's still got a mark........When he's not rough-housing, he does really well with the girls and babies, and it's so fun to watch him with them as well. It makes me feel SO good about us having kids later. :) I've always worried for some reason that my husband wouldn't like kids...the horror! If the way he loves his dog is any indication of how much he'll love his kids, I think our kids'll be spoiled. :)

Caleb's vast knowledge of trivia is something I'll never understand. I'm constantly asking him "How do you know that?". He either answers that he doesn't know, or that "As a guy, there are just certain things you just know..." or something crazy like that. He loves playing along with Jeopardy, and everyone always wants him on their team during trivia-type games.

He loves beautiful things. He loves photography, and can always makes something beautiful out of nothing. A stick on the ground, a crossing of wires, old rusted machinery. Our home is dotted with his work, and we got hundreds more stowed away. If I suddenly won $1,300 (it can totally happen....) I'd buy him THIS, so that he wouldn't have to deal with our duct-taped monstrosity.

Caleb is much more romantic than I am, and is constantly doing sweet things for me. Throwing me a surprise party for my birthday, buying me gorgeous flowers "just because", writing sweet notes, and is always telling me I'm beautiful and that he loves me.

I could go on and on and on, but's getting late. :) Just rest assured that he is an amazing guy, and I love him so much. :) Cabe? I love you. I am so lucky.

December 11, 2006

Excuse me, miss? Tina Turner called. She wants her hair back.

I decided today that my hair has to go. I kept it short, sorta funky, all throughout high school, and after THAT was over....I decided to grow it out. A new me. And now? I want the old me. Or the old hairstyle at least. Well, maybe. I can't decide. See, I had so MANY different hairstyles. I had the cutter? Is there a better word? Hair STYLIST. There we go. Anyway. He is the best. For real. Gay guy, working in a funky salon in the avenues of Salt Lake. Anyone living in the area? Want to experience hair bliss? Check out Dayvid Crook. I believe he's still at Imaj Design. AUGH! I'm giving away hair secrets people!!!! My favorite part about Dayvid was that I could totally trust him. The first time he cut my hair it was fairly long, and I said "I want you to do whatever you want." I of course gave him a FEW new color, no shaving or Mohawk or whatever. I did this every time I went in. Sometimes it was a different style, sometimes the same. But it always looked great. So there you go. Dayvid? Are you out there? I'm coming to see you during this Christmas break.........I think. Oh, to spend $40 on a haircut...can I DO that now?!?! Maybe......I've been holding out on cutting my hair. My loving husband has been oh so subtle about his desire for me to cut it again....and I've wanted to....but uh....I've sorta had a reason to keep it long. Wanna know how lame I am? Cause I'm about to tell you. So I had my hair short all through high school. Mentioned that. And next year? Is my supposed 5 year reunion. And I SORTA wanted to have it all long and flowy-like. I don't exactly know why. Just in case they didn't think I could grow hair? I don't know. LAME. That's what it is. Thankfully I'm past that now. Mostly. Enough to start seriously thinking. So I started looking up hairstyles of celebrities that I've liked, and just tonight went through some old pictures. And while I was browsing, found a very priceless one. Not exactly the hairstyle I was going for.....but I think you might enjoy it. Apparently I'd decided to put my shortish hair up in pin curls for dance practice. Probably did it wet and slept with it. And when I took it out? The result...

And then we have the oh-so-popular rocker pose. Cause it's a MUST with this hair.

I decided I better post these now and avoid the possible blackmail charges later. This is me, hear me roar.

December 9, 2006

...And to All a Good Night! remember the whole "gonna bake my cookies and watch Bedknobs & Broomsticks" bit from last night? You wanna know what I did INSTEAD?!?!?!? I know you do. But before you do, please pull your feet off the floor NOW. That's right, tuck them in. Trust me.

I mentioned that we'd watched our relatives (niece and nephews actually) kids yesterday. After my brother and sister in law got home, we took the boys to the park with our dog so the boys could play fetch with him. At one point, the ball went into the bushes. He had to retrieve it. Remember that....

So Caleb and I are both sitting on the couch, cuddled up watching...something...with Cabe absentmindedly petting the dog who is, of course, at our side on the floor. Let me point out that this is several HOURS after the park.....anyway. So we're watchin' tv and Cabe says "I think Bear's got something on him. It's like...a hernia or something." So I sigh and get up and we go over to the light and make him roll over so we can check out this "hernia" on his inner leg. What we find is a little piece of what looks to be skin, that's kinda...poking out, all flappy like. I squint and lean a little closer as Cabe's moving around the "skin". And then I see it. 6 tiny little black legs. LEGS PEOPLE. Without taking my eyes off of it, I mutter "Go get the tweezers."


"I said...go....get...the tweezers!!"

It was a tick. A TICK. ON MY DOG. A soft-bodied tick actually, which I didn't know existed. After we successfully ripped the little bugger out of the dog (and what a fight it put up!) I immediately went on the Internet and spent the rest of the night absolutely positively freaking myself out. I am now a tick expert, people. Soft ticks latch on for no more than a day, and then fall off. Ours was lovingly engorged with our dog's blood. The hard ticks can stay inside of you for days. Both carry several diseases, including the well known Lyme disease. Of course we inspected every single inch of that dog. Twice (at my request...after I'd done all my research...). What was so scary, was that I only found one picture that looked like the same kind of tick we'd found. And they didn't even really know what kind of tick it was, just that it was a soft one. Great. So not only does my dog have TICKS, but completely UNKNOWN ones. Lovely. Luckily we didn't find any more, but um, yeah. I was officially wigging out. I vacuumed. At midnight. Every square inch of my house. Because um, the dog? He'd been alone, in the house, for several hours. He'd been in my car. He could have been on the couch!!!!!!!!!! When we finally got in bed, I lay awake forever, imagining every itch I had to be a tick. I dreamed about ticks. I woke up at 4 am, and thought ohmigosh, that itch? On my leg? It MUST be a tick!!!! I went into the bathroom, inspected, and finding nothing? Doused the area with hydrogen peroxide, just for good measure. Now that it's a full day after the dreaded event, I'm a little better. I feel okay with my feet on the floor. I haven't pet him much today though.......we can't be too hasty, right? And now you know the depth of my OCD.

On a happier note? We had a great day today, full of hustling and bustling, and Christmas carols and the always popular Christmas food - um..Italian. Right. We witnessed the San Jose Flea Market. As we walked in we saw one of those old photo booths. You know the kind? You take four silly pictures and rush off to buy friendship bracelets and Dippin' Dots? We thought "Hey! This could be fun!" and got in, making the silliest faces we could.When we got out, it asked us to pic ONE pose, and it would print it out as an 8 x 10. Lovely. But the best part? Yet to come. Then we were asked to pick a border...and yeah, you can imagine the fun choices we had. So we picked the cheesiest, and waited for our picture to print. And print it did...on normal paper.

And now we have this lovely memento to always remember our first visit to the San Jose Flea Market.....luckily it only cost $1.

We also went to Target. We went to my new favorite store, the World Market. I could live there. I'd eat Swedish chocolate and shortbread from England. And sleep on beds imported from India, and eat on Asian plates. Read cookbooks about how to cook Thai food. I found some of my favorite cookies that they had in Australia. And a KEG of ROOT BEER. And Japanese candy. How can you not feel at one with the world?! I. Love. It.

Oh. And it's official. After many days of force-feeding the Christmas music, Caleb is officially feeling the holiday spirit. And he showed me by making this for breakfast this morning:

That would be an omelet, with cinnamon, and sleigh and snowman cut out toast. Isn't he cute? Cabe's the official Egg-Maker at our house, but this one...well. It was just plain FESTIVE! And holiday-inspired! And the mood stayed with us the entire day. He cleaned up breakfast while I sent out Christmas cards, he brought the car up to the store when it was pouring rain, he walked around with the umbrella to my side of the car, and even gave me a piggy-back ride into Target. Because flip flops, even if they are cute and woolly, are NOT the best shoes for the rain. Let it be known. I just happen to have an insanely sweet husband. That I love.

And I don't even have to beg for the Christmas music.

December 8, 2006

Living Life...In the Slow Lane?

So you spend your day watching your relatives children. You slowly crawl along the freeway home, trying to make it to your church's Christmas dinner. You make a late entrance, enjoy the mass cooked ham, funeral potatoes (with real live Cornflakes people!) and store-bought cookies. You chat about the weather, the lovely performance put on by the children, and head home at the oh-so-late hour of 8:30. With nothing else to do but sit and watch old re-runs and game shows.

No, this is not a day in the life of your grandma. This is MY life. This was my day.

And? I'm feeling a we should be taking advantage of this lovely opportunity we have of living in the Bay Area. But we're not. I'm blogging, and Cabe is watching....America's Funniest Home Videos. And yes, we are fully aware of the fact that we should be living up our youth. Enjoying our fun, fancy-free nights as a childless couple. Cause I KNOW all you mothers out there are like "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!??! DON'T THEY KNOW THAT THIS IS IT?! THAT THESE ARE THE LAST FEW YEARS OF ALONENESS FOREVER?!?!" I know. Believe me! I've been told a thousand times.

And yet, here we are. In our pajamas at 8:30 on a Friday night.

So this is going to be a post begging for ideas. We're in the thick of this ginormous area, but we have no idea what to do! Or rather, I should say, no idea what to do ON A BUDGET. I know that there are a zillion malls nearby, and some great restaurants (but see my previous comment about the ham and Cornflaked-potatoes) and even a few good movies playing. And maybe that's all there is to do at night. We certainly can't take advantage of the museums at this hour. I think I just need to do a little research, right? Maybe meet a few people. :) Befriend a local.

But tonight? I'll think I'll bake the cookie dough I made up this morning. Maybe I'll finally be able to get Caleb to watch "Bedknobs & Broomsticks" with me. Ah, childhood....

December 7, 2006

Because You Need More Proof of My Insanity

So here I am again, posting at the very last second. :) It counts though right! Even though this Holidailies thing isn't as strict or promising-of-rewards, I'm trying to keep this whole blog every day thing up. And also? I just upgraded to the new Blogger. And kinda trying to figure it out. So yeah. Fun stuff.

So I was getting a little...bored of my entries...and decided to spice things up a bit. Used my lovely book from Miss Margaret, and took her suggestion to check out Platial. And set myself up an account. And started a map of all the places I've vacationed. And then? I got retarded. I added like....TONS of other places to my map (alright, not tons...but more than you'll see right now!), but of course Internet Explorer (ugh! Time for a new browser!) decided it needed to put itself to bed. Twice. And I lost several of them. So go check it out, get a feel for it...and I PROMISE I will add more. I think it's kinda fun, and intend to check out the site a little more. Figure it out. Become a Platial Master, if you will.

Right now I'm going to continue to work on my Christmas newsletter. I do these kinds of things to myself all the time. Become obsessed over every little detail of it. Too much? Not enough? Not colorful? Too colorful? Too...cheesy? Not enough feeling? Too wordy? Not wordy enough? More pics? Less? It's enough to make even the craziest OCD go nuts.

December 6, 2006

Recipe #1 - Indoor Smores

I love to cook. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I do. I enjoy making something out of lots of little things. It's so satisfying, and always amazing to me that all these little ingredients can create something so different, so blended. I especially love when just one ingredient can make such a difference in the final product. Another part of cooking that I love, is eating it. Of course, right? But not just eating it, enjoying it, preferably with family and friends. I truly believe that having a meal together as a family (even a family as little as the two of us!) makes a big difference in the overall happiness of the family. It's time together, where everyone can sit down, enjoy good food, and keep up with each other's busy schedules. It may be just the two of us now, but I think it's important to establish this good habit, so that when our lives DO become crazy with several kids and their own schedules, family dinner will always be a given.

With that said........I thought it might be fun to start posting some recipes. I'll include the recipe itself, instructions, and my thoughts. Or little alterations. Cause sometimes? I don't always follow the recipe. MOST of the time, it turns out fine. Other times? Well...not so much. So here we go!

Indoor Smores

(*I LOVE this dessert, and thought that EVERYONE knew about it until I made it for a little get together and everyone kept asking me for the recipe, and where I'd got here it is!!)

8 cups Golden Grahams
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
5 c. Mini Marshmellows
5 T. margarine
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 t. vanilla

Melt the chocolate chips, 5 cups of marshmellows (keep the rest handy!) and margarine in a pan. Take off the heat and add the vanilla. Then pour the cereal in a bowl and add the chocolate mixture, mixing until well coated. Add a cup or two of marshmellows and mix in. Transfer to a cookie sheet and allow to cool completely. Cut and serve!

(*Instead of a cookie sheet, I usually use a 13 x 9 in. casserole dish. That way they're a little thicker. I also like to throw it in the fridge for a little while to harden it up.*)

Be prepared, this doesn't last long. At least around me.

December 5, 2006

The Good the Bad,and the Ugly....

My two cents on the uh, current events.........

So I was all pumped up to watch the Billboard Awards last night, excited for the performances, the guest appearances....what a let down. I actually got so bored I didn't even finish it. First off, what happened to Nelly Furtado? You know, the "Torn" girl? So funky, angry, yet sweet and innocent....alright, so the song spoke to me. Now? Now she's totally caved to that whole slutty scene. But it wasn't just the change in genre's that bothered me, it was her acceptance speech! "Oh!!!!!" In the classic high-pitched cheerleader voice. I say, um, next please!

I loved the interchange between all the rap kiddies. So....improvised. Last minute. Forget your lines kinda thing.

Gwen Stefani's performance? Actually okay. I was a little weirded out by the whole yodeling lederhosen sheep thing, but it was fun. Different, for sure.

Let's more on to the next disaster - Fergie. What can you say? Next time you're going to perform for one of the top music award shows? Maybe run through your song lines a bit, hm? You know, I don't even KNOW the song, so if she would have acted NORMAL, I probably would have had no clue that she'd flubbed them, but she was so stiff and noticeably nervous. Total give away. I'm sure it can't be easy to sing in front of a crowd, but it's your JOB. And you've done it plenty of times. I'm sortof off the Fergie train, bytheway. If you can't tell.

And um......around this point I totally gave up. Oh goll, except for that whole lame exchange between Carmen Electra and what'shisface. Lame. So after that? Gave up. Click! Changed the channel. Or went to bed. I don't even remember.

And if you want further proof of how lame I am, I was super excited for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show tonight - and totally was NOT disappointed. Fabulous. How can something make me feel so inadequate, while at the same time give such encouragement?! I think, hey, if I pushed myself just a LITTLE more, I could totally look like that right? I could do that. Walk in 4 inch heels on a runway with glitter. In next to nothing. I love it. It makes me want to pull out my big rollers and shimmer powder.

Now I'm going to go to bed and dream of million dollar bras and crunches.......

December 4, 2006

Dog's Day

I was going along, minding my own business today ( I was checking Fussy's site to see who won...for the 8th time today...) and holycrapola. Me?! I won something?! I NEVER win anything. I started jumping all over the house, driving Caleb crazy as he was trying to talk to some important colleague. That of course got the dog wound up and he started jumping right along with me. Tender moment!
(Wait - I won something last year. I was driving back to the office after working out for lunch (doesn't that sound dedicated? I was only half dedicated. You can't exactly work up a sweat at lunch! Not when you have to go back to work! People might see that I SWEAT!!!!!) and some radio station asked who People Magazine was saying was the hottest actor from a tv series or something. And me? I knew the answer. Why? Because I'd been uh, taking a break at work...checking up on People. I didn't even know his REAL name, but it was Sawyer, from Lost. I think I only remembered it because I thought that Jack should TOTALLY have won. Sawyer?! Whatever. )
Anyway..............where was I? Oh yes, winning. It's more like a Lose / Win situation. I won because my dog puked on my carpet. Twice. Triple Chocolate Chunk brownie mix from Costco puke. It wasn't pretty. I believe my prize is an entire pound of gourmet doggy treats from Emily. It's only fitting I guess! Thankfully Bear won't realize he's being rewarded for puking on my carpet (that's all I'd need, another excuse for him to make brownies!). She also said she'd throw in some "human" treats. :) So thanks Emily! We are both looking forward to it!! I'm also having alot of fun reading all the winning posts and the other fun doggy posts...instead of diligently looking for a job.........hey! I applied at several places today! I totally deserve a break!

A shot of the REAL winner....for without his weak stomach and mischevious ways, this would not have been possible....doesn't he look ECSTATIC?!?

Note to self: Productivity doesn't include watching "Waterworld" on tv...Or Oprah...or The Food Network....

December 2, 2006

Golden Gate

We decided to take the picture that we're going to use for our Christmas card (three cheers for Costco - SUCH a great deal...) and so we headed off to the Golden Gate Bridge. Or, to some unknown grassy knoll NEAR the Golden Gate bridge. I'd seen a picture somewhere, and had decided that THAT was where we were going to take our picture. We had no idea what, or where...just that you could see the bridge in the backround. Right..........................So we packed up the dog, and his ball, and some food for him, bowl for water, a water bottle with water in it, a towel in case he got wet or dirty, a large blanket for the back seat...Come on! What are we?! PARENTS?!?!?! We practically packed a diaper bag! Anyway. We got lost in San Francisco, typical right? This kind of lost however, was a GOOD lost. We got lost on Mission Ave. The center of it all! I saw a Red Envelope store! I had NO idea they had a store, and I made a mental note to return. We also saw a GINORMOUS Bloomingdales. A Titanic Artifact exhibit, the Academy of Art, several funky restaurants and shops, and LOTS of cars. I think both Caleb and I felt overwhelmed by it all. SO much to see, even more to do. I absolutely LOVED it, and can't wait to go back. And stop somewhere. I can't imagine living downtown, though we saw several apartment complexes. There were so many shops and restaurants, but uh....where do you park? Anyone? I'd love to know.

We finally made it to the bridge, and wow. What a view! We stopped just across the bridge and took some pictures, and then headed off to find The Place. The one in my head? Well...we didn't exactly find it. BUT. We did find another great place. We just sorta overshot it, and had to walk up the INSANELY STEEP one way road. Now, I'm not by any means marathon ready, but I think I'm pretty physically fit. I exercise, I eat healthy. That hill KILLED me. Next time? We're parking UP, and walking DOWN. It was a crazy view, off the side of the road...down the steep hill...I totally shouldn't have worn my nice boots. Anyway. Here's a few pics that didn't quite make it to the Christmas card. Gorgeous. If I can't live in Utah with my family? I'm okay living here for now.

Incredible, isn't it? Well, of course him, but the view!

How great is 70 degrees in December?! REALLY great. Trust me.

December 1, 2006

Attack of the Killer Furballs

Ah, Friday. How we love thee. A little bit of sleepy-innie, a little bit of lounging....late showers, late breakfast...late lunch (scrumptious leftovers from last night's African Beef Curry...)....and a GINORMOUS amount of dog fur. COPIOUS amounts. I-don't-know-where-it-all-came-from amounts. So yesterday I decided that our newly washed dog was in dire need of another shave. And remember? I do them myself now. Only.......this time I only got about, oh, 4 good swipes on his back before the thing died on me. it didn't really die. I SORTA dropped it right before we started. And it sorta didn't work very well on the first swipe. Totally beside the point though.......the POINT, is that he had a reverse-mohawk, and the shaver-doobie was all out of juice. And since I'd been to the grocery store like, an hour before that, I was definitely not going to drive ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STREET to the Petco. Where the pets go. But ya know? I think he liked it. I think he felt cool. Hip, like he could TOTALLY walk around this apartment complex with confidence. Sorta like the fauxhawk, right? For real. So.....back to today. We went to Petco (Where the pets go - I can't say that without the tag's catchy, good job Petco....Where the pets go....) and bought ourselves a super expensive shaver. The most expensive one there. Even then? It would still pay for itself after one and a half shaves. Right, I know, on with the story. I begin shaving, and quickly discover that A.) this dog's fur is like....NOT how it's ever been. All piecey, and...individual-like. Not at all like the nice clumps from before, and B.) This dog lost a LOT more weight at the "Pet Retreat" than we'd originally thought. The furr was EVERYWHERE. Stuck to everything. Tiny pieces of hair, all over my arms, hands, fingers, elbows, ALL over my pants, feet, face, IN MY NOSE......I'm not even going to tell you how I knew they were there. Believe me, it wasn't pretty. It looked like I'd shaved a Chow-Chow. And now we have a skeleton-dog.

He wasn't too happy about having it documented for all to see. He's raising his back a bit, but it allows you to see the nice line of pearls he's got.......and the little hip bones jutting out. We're feeding him a bit more than normal to get him back to his ideal weight, but other than being a little bit more excited than normal at mealtime, he's acting....happy. His energy level is at ludicrous-speed, and he's jumping as high as Cabe's HEAD to get his frisbee. So yeah. I think we should plump him up..... :) If only for few seconds of peace before the ball / frisbee / kong is once again shoved in our faces.

On another note, we ate at a FABULOUS restaurant tonight. Fabulous. Authentic, delicious, and not at all expensive. It's called Pasta Pomodoro and yes, you should definitely give it a try, if you haven't already. If you live in Cali or Arizona. If not? Hey! Even more reason to come out here! Delizioso!