Friday, August 29, 2008

1st REAL Hair Cut

The Before
The After
Sawyer's hair has been really scraggly lately, so today after we went to the little birthday party/playdate my high school friends threw for me & Jill, we went to Great Clips or something like that. She was really, really good and the stylist was really cute with her.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

At long last.... Alaska

There are waaaay too many pictures to choose from, we took 887. Literally. I wish blogger would come up with an easier way to upload photos. How do I do those slideshow things with captions? Anyway, here is a visual summary of our lovely Alaskan Cruise. (thanks Susie, you rock!)When the trip starts out with Ryan letting Matt draw a pencil mustache on him ... with a Sharpie, you know it's gonna be good.
The group, minus Scott & Kim.
Raspberries at Pike's Place Market. Always unbelievable.
This guy's hair. Also unbelievable. What's funny is that Matt & I both took pictures of this guy for each other at separate times.
I love this picture. Stacey is cute as a button, Ryan is insane and Susie is trying not to laugh. Pretty typical.
Seriously, how hot is my husband? I love his hat, no idea where he got it, but it's soo cute!
Ryan doing candle shots. At. every. single. dinner.
This is my best picture of a whale. I really wanted to see one do a full breach, but it just wasn't happening.
It almost looks tropical doesn't it? Well, minus the huge amount of pine trees. We were really lucky and had awesome weather 90% of the time. I think the most impressive thing about Alaska was the sheer immensity of it. There we are, surrounded by huge mountains and just vast amounts of space, and then you look at a map of where we were going and it's like 2% of the land mass of Alaska. It was unbelievable.
We took a helicopter excursion out over Taku & Norris glaciers. I stupidly expected them to be all pristine & stuff, but they are very dirty on the surface. I guess that's what happens when you push your way slowly across miles & miles of forest. Standing on the glacier though, I totally felt like I was on Mars or something; it's just totally alien. Very cool.We were so lucky that our helicopter ride just happened to be later in the day & we were able to see the sunset as we cruised around. It feels like you are a hummingbird, I loved it!In Skagway we took a train ride up the Yukon Pass, it was really my favorite thing we did for a few reasons: 1) it was crazy pretty, 2) I was able to read & read & read Breaking Dawn (LOVED it!) and 3) Ryan was on an absolute tear! You would not believe how funny this guy is. There were people 3 rows in front & in back of us just wiping tears from their eyes laughing so hard. I can't even remember what he was talking about, but for like a half hour he had everyone in our car in stitches. For the first little bit, they were trying to pretend that they weren't eavesdropping, but it was just too good. Love him!
Just look at that face. He is hilarious.
Matt looks like a movie star. Yes, he's doing something funny with his mouth, but dang, he's hot!
I think this is Mendenhall glacier, not sure. But Glacier Bay was amazing. Just so still & quiet & ancient. Actually it isn't ancient at all, it's constantly changing. Crazy.It was cold but not so cold that you couldn't come up on the deck drenched in sweat and not die. I am proud to say that I did work out every single day. (well except the Sundays of course.) That doesn't mean that I didn't not gain weight. Just not as much as I would have if I hadn't exercised.
And this is our black bear. I guess they're kind of pests in Ketchikan, like raccoons or something. I wish we could have gotten closer, I'm totally abusing my zoom here, but it turned out okay.

And here we are. I had so much fun with Matt on this cruise. It was nice to just have a break from the real world. I love that we can take time away from each other and not have to entertain each other constantly. He let me read & work out & go to the spa & sleep and I let him play insane amounts of cribbage with Ryan & Becky. Then we have even more fun when we are together. I am such a lucky girl. Greatest husband who came with the greatest in-laws. I am still afraid that someone upstairs is going to realize that there was an error in my favor that must be rectified.

Too many pies, not enough fingers

I promise, I'm trying to get my life organized so that I have time to blog about it and post all the fantastic pictures I took on my new fancy camera! But, I got trapped into hanging out with my sisters for a few days when I went up to pick up Sawyer.... totally unwillingly. ;) It was so fun to talk to Jozet, Mandy & Kristy, and to see Sawyer and how much her cousins and aunts & uncles love her! They are some special ladies those sisters of mine. I always leave them feeling a funny mix of inadequacy & inspiration.
While we were gone our fridge kinda crapped out on us. We were stuck with a bunch of smelly food and thought we would have to buy a whole new fridge, but the repairman just left and we are all set with a new compressor! Yeah for warrantees! And yeah for the To Do list burning a whole in my cranium. There just is not enough time in the day.... I want to finish so many projects. So instead I find myself just working on little bits of everything and not actually accomplishing ANYTHING!!!! :) For my birthday I want a clone. I think together we might be able to get something done around here. At the very least I could get a nap while she piddled around with her fingers in too many pies. I had a dream that my parents came home for exactly 12 minutes before they left on another mission. It was no good. But I do have lots of homegrown tomatoes, Dad. I think I'll post a picture of them to tempt you. These DO NOT taste like cardboard. I guess I just really miss those parents of mine lately.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I guess that was kinda ambiguous, but my birthday is actually Friday. The comments on my last entry make feel incredibly loved, but you'll all have to wish me happy birthday again in a few days. Just got home from picking Sawyer up in Idaho, from my AMAZING sisters who smothered her with love while we were on our Alaskan cruise. Which was also amazing, but I will post about after I get some sleep.

Friday, August 15, 2008


So Tuesday night I went up to girls camp at Bear Lake, and stayed until midnight Wednesday. A few of the girls up there had been getting this really quick, yet extremely crappy flu. It only lasted about 12 hours, but was pretty intense during that time. So, guess what I've been doing today? Yep, wanting to die. I could feel it coming on last night & so I started chugging Emergen-C, but to no avail. This morning was the worst, I literally was crawling around the house, trying to feed my daughter, because when I stood up, I felt like simultaneously throwing up and passing out. I had visions of myself passing out and hitting my head on something and laying there in my own blood & throw up with my poor daughter looking on, wishing I would get up and butter her waffles. Anyway, it was pretty miserable. But, I just had a bath & a lortab & things are looking up. It is amazing how much we take our health for granted, isn't it? Anyway, when Matt got home from work, he made my day in a few different ways:
1) just being Matt. I love him. He is wonderful.
2) doing the dishes.
3) feeding Sawyer, poor girl with the half dead mom.
4) playing with Sawyer, as opposed to plunking her down in front of the TV like her half dead mom did all day.
5) GIVING ME AN EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!!!! THE NIKON D80!!!!!! I am so intimidated by this camera, I can't even tell you. It is amazing. I'm so excited to learn how to use it & take pictures in Alaska! I have all sorts of lenses I don't know what to do with and buttons that I have no idea what they do. I have no idea how to use this thing. But I'm SOOOOO excited to learn. Help me, 911 Jessica!!! I will post more about girls camp later; I'm trying to switch over from using my half-dead laptop to the Apple G5 that Susie gave us; just one more thing that I have no idea how to use. If anyone knows an easy way to transfer all my music, docs & pictures over from a PC to a Mac, let me know.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The cake that almost wasn't

This one will NOT be posted on my Tiers of Joy blog, but it was too funny to not post here. I have taken August off from cakes, with the intention of painting and decorating Sawyer's new "big-girl" room as well as a whole schload of other house projects and a few vacations. But our friends Natalie & Sid needed a quick little 2nd birthday cake for their adorable little Heather, so I decided to let one little tiny cake slide into August. The cake we decided to do was one that came out of a cookbook I have, the one that I stole my favorite buttercream recipe from, but they have two buttercream recipes; the good one and then one that I've never tried. But it did say that If you want to tint it with bright, true colors, then you should use the one with part shortening (yuk) instead of all butter, so I thought, heck, whatever, I'll try the colorful one. BAD IDEA!!! As I was putting the finishing touches on the decorating, I noticed that things were starting to go schlump a bit, so I kept putting it back into the fridge for a while in between working on it. However, on the drive there, with my car's delightful air conditioner cranked all the way to like 60 degrees, it just kept schlumping more and more until it ended up like this.It was a complete joke. I couldn't believe someone who actually has a fantastic cookbook, would include this recipe. Craziness. Needless to say I just went to Smith's & bought a crappy grocery store cake because the party was supposedly in a hour. Got to the house & no one is home. Called their cells & no one answers. Left the cake at a neighbors with a very apologetic note and an offer for a free cake if they would give me another shot. On my way home, Natalie called & said that their niece had decided on Wednesday that she was getting married on Saturday, so they had to run up to Tremonton for the wedding and were postponing the party until Sunday! So, yeah! And after much scraping and making of new, good buttercream, this is what we ended up with. I'm just so glad I tried out that recipe with my friend's cake instead of a bride's. And that, my friends, is why I always leave like a half day of leeway before I have to deliver any wedding cake. (and yes, this cake is supposed to be tilted, it's one of those mad-hatter cakes. These pictures don't really look like it though, they just look kind of wierd.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

the rant I've been holding in

Amen to this article. Please make it stop.

Good Times Had By All

sorry, the picture is out of focus. New camera, please. (my birthday is in 24 days)

A few weeks ago we went to see John Mayer with Kirsten & Dave. Kirsten's adorable cousin Brooke and her husband were a few rows behind us, which was fantastic. And so was John. Matt & I saw him last July at Red Rocks in Colorado, which was great, but we were very annoyed at the opening band, Ben Folds Five who liked one particular "F" word most of all. Colbie Callet was a much better choice as an opening act if for no other reason than she did not once use that particular word. But John was, is and will always be great. It is such a turn-on to me to see someone who is THAT good at what they do, doing what they do. Technically John Mayer is not an overly attractive man, but I am fascinated by his love life in the tabloids because it seems like every woman that he has ever been with is still in love with him on some level. He's very charismatic, I'll give him that. And pretty funny, but the problem is, he knows it, and was a bit arrogant about it. Just a bit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

oh, blessed blog fodder raining down on me like manna from heaven.

There was just no end to it this weekend. We went two hours north to Lava Hot Springs for my family reunion. Do you see where the problems arise already? We have two problems with that last sentence, don't we? One, any driving in a northern direction over an hour will put us in Idaho; and two, family reunion. So yeah, it was an.... let's just say....interesting weekend. My darling sister Kristy was wonderful enough to take time out from having nine, count 'em, NINE kids as well as being a 4.0 student at BYU Idaho, to plan our family reunion. It was really fun to see everyone and she did a great job picking the place & activities, but I made the mistake of thinking that given the option of camping or staying in a motel, my family would probably enjoy the motel more. Under normal circumstances, that would probably be true, and I hope I don't offend Kristy here, but this motel was the single most loathsome place that I have ever, EVER been, let alone slept in, in my entire life.

Let me interrupt myself here and remind you that I am a complete spoiled brat. The epitome of the "youngest" of the family and I was really not at my best this weekend, bratty-wise.

Bless my poor husband's heart for putting up with me. The Ranch Inn Motel & Campground is one of those places that doesn't have an Internet presence. For a reason. I have thought about making a website for them, one that would provide unsuspecting travelers with more information to make their Lava lodging decisions. I will have to preface this website with a warning that the following information does not apply to the campsites, which looked to be just fine, as far as camping goes. But the motel portion of the property was absolutely laughable. Which is what we did when we first pulled up and entered our room. It was the stuff of movies; just as disgusting and tasteless as a motel room can be. All of the "linens" were either saved from the 1970s or purchased at DI, and there was not a matching set to be had in the joint. (There were joints to be had in the joint, but that's a post for another day.)

I seriously regret that I didn't take detailed pictures of our rooms for examples because it was pretty unbelievable that someone would have the gall to charge people to stay in this ramshackle place. Literally everything that could have been was homemade or old as the hills and patched up. Our only shelving in the bathroom- made out of two by fours and screwed into the cinder block wall. The towel rack in the bathroom- two coat hooks with a cut off broomstick laid across them. My sister's room had a second room off the back, that was completely made of MDF and all the wiring was just tucked into the cracks between the ceiling and the wall. Oh, and all the window coverings were old towels just hung on curtain rods. Freaking rad. But they did have DishNetwork, so that's at least better than I would have expected by the looks of the place. That and VCRS, so we were all set.

But you know what? As fun as it is to bag on the motel, the weekend was really about getting together with my family and that part got an A+. The pools there are awesome, Sawyer had such a great time with her cousins, completely snubbing me in favor of Marianne, Shari, Lizzy, Rachel, or the ever-enteratining Robert & Spencer. I do regret letting myself get so bratty about the room that I didn't spend as much time enjoying my family as I should have. Pretty embarrassed about that part. I just got so anxious to get out of there that I wasn't really living in the moment. It was totally my fault and just shows me how much I have to work on. My sisters are all so stinking humble and kind and they just go with the flow and are so much less self-involved than I am, so I think sometimes when I'm with them it becomes glaringly apparent that I am the brat/baby/youngest. I'd like to break out of that role. In the meantime I'll enjoy the pleasures of the Marriott, thank you very much. At anyrate, here are some pics. It is scary to me how gorgeous this girl is going to be.
Sawyer enjoying her lolly outside our deluxe suite at the Ranch Inn Motel. (Note the sweet window air conditioning unit that not only made a racket, but also froze over and dripped all over the carpet.)
duh duh duh duh.
Sawyer preferred sleeping on Charlie's dog bed to the sketchy bed. She said the bed made her think of Ocean's 13 where the hotel reviewer checks the bed sheets for mites and..... um, other things. Oh, wait that was me.