Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great genes.


As we grow older we learn lessons. (Well that would certainly be the hope anyway RIGHT?!) One of the lessons I have learned is that some people are just more genetically blessed than others. And that it's okay.

As a child growing up we don't really get this. We have a problem with the fact that someone else might be prettier than we are, or have better hair than we do, or better skin, or is naturally skinny. Or their teeth are perfectly straight and white without ever having braces. And all of these things can weigh heavy on your young little child mind and get a bit overwhelming at times.

Then as we grow up a little bit, we come to terms with the fact that we are what we are and so we try to do the most with what we have. Whether that is trying to lose weight so we look like that skinny girl we envied in school ... or we buy into the infomercial for ProActive and hope it helps our acne ... or we color our hair because the natural mousy brown just isn't working for us anymore. We might buy better clothes because now that we're older and have a job, we can. We might join a gym and hope to improve our problem areas. And we also come to terms with the fact that if we are not athletically inclined, have no sense of rhythm, or are tone deaf, NO amount of lessons or money can change that.

But then there are some people who get really, really lucky in the gene pool and have no idea how nice that is because that's all they've known - good genes. Like Cindy Crawford. And George Clooney. And Jennifer Lopez. And Jacquelyn Smith.

And then there is someone like Carrie Underwood who surpasses the good gene pool and was catapulted into the great gene pool. And completely unbeknownst to her parents when they first got together - their genes, combined, would produce someone practically genetically perfect like their daugher, Carrie. It just happened.

Now I have no idea if she is a nice person or if she is fun to be with, or kind to the less fortunate. But this post is strictly about how genetically fortunate she is.

And the difference with me being older and wiser now, is that I can truly appreciate how darling she is. I don't have to be jealous or sad or wish I was her ... but rather I can look at her and admire (or maybe more appropriately said, be astonished by) her perfect skin and teeth, and hair, and incredible little tiny legs, and her smile and her voice and all the while think how fortunate she is that her mom and dad got together - because she had very little to do with any of it.

I bought Carrie Underwood's last CD before I went on a trip down to Cedar City. It's about a three hour drive so on my way out of town I stopped at Target and got it. And I love it. And it's a little weird because I'm not a huge country music fan in general. I like it, but only certain artists.

Carrie's CDs have become a staple on a road trip for me ... and thus, by default, my girls'. (Elliott won't have it - he listens to his own music on his ipod - poor guy.) This new one sounds a lot like the old one and maybe a little like the one before that, but that's why I like it. I know some people complain that certain artist's songs sound too much a like and then they get tried of them: Barry Manilow, Rascal Flatts ... but for me, that just means you won't be disappointed - 'cause you already know what you're going to get! :)

When Carrie Underwood was on American Idol I liked her, but I was still rooting for Bo Bice until the final minute when Ryan read Carrie's name and the confetti dropped.

But that girl has truly emerged as a super star. And I am a fan. And she's really, really lucky to have such great genes! At least I think so - could you tell?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Alice in Wonderland.


I had a dream last night about Johnny Depp. In the dream, Elliott, Sophie and I were walking uphill through a neighborhood one night. Johnny Depp was coming down the sidewalk toward us and when he realized who it was he said, "Hey Polly!"

I thought, How does he know me?

So I said, "Hey! Hi Johnny. How are you?" Then I asked him if we could take some pictures since I was with my kids (and that would be very cool for them) so we all got out our cell phones to take photos with him.

Johnny put his arms around my kids, they all did some cheesy posing, and I couldn't get any of the cameras to work. Really??? (Elliott asked if I had my regular camera back in the car - I didn't.)

Johnny took a look at our cell phones. Elliott tried to figure something out. The pictures we did get were too dark because no one's flash would work. I'm not sure how long we spent trying - but we spent most of the night together because as the sun was coming up Johnny said, "I really need to get going. I'll see you guys later." And he walked away, through a gathering crowd now, and he didn't stop for anyone else.

And I just had to watch him go ... as he walked away. We had just spent hours with Johnny Depp and we didn't get one decent picture. What a tragedy. Sigh.

So I thought about Johnny Depp all day, and decided it was time to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie. Everyone I know who has seen it loved it ... except for one friend of mine. She will remain nameless, but she said she hated it. With a strong emphasis on HATED IT - because she said it twice in a row.

I went and saw it tonight and I really, really liked it. I can see how some people might not love it, but hate it? I didn't hate it at all. (Although I think they should have made Anne Hathaway's White Queen character much prettier. Like Glinda in the Wizard of Oz ... good witches should be pretty as should good queens. And I almost always like a movie that has such a beautiful setting. It was so Jane Austen-esque.)

Now I have only seen one each of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter so I may be a little out of touch, but I thought the effects in Alice were absolutely amazing. It all looked pretty darn real to me (except one time when the Red Queen's tall, skinny, scar faced assistant got on his horse.)

I adored those little frogs in the red coats who were like the Queen's doormen ... and how the one was giving the Queen the eye roll to "out" his peer who had eaten the tarts? Too cute.

I LOVED the Red Queen's dress and how it flowed, and her castle! It was stunning. I loved how she dressed up the white rabbit and the little mouse in their fancy attire too. And her HEAD? Seriously. How did they do that?

I loved Mia Masikowska as Alice. I loved her character in this movie too. She was smart and brave and endearing. I loved that she stood up for herself when she wasn't in love with the "Lord" (I don't remember his name now) and wasn't going to settle just because everyone else thought she should. And she spoke her mind ... protecting those she loved.

So, see! There really were a lot of things to like about this movie ... like the Chesire Cat who wasn't as obnoxious as the original pink and purple one and did very cool disappearing acts. Along with the ever so cool Blue Caterpillar (played by a Jane Austen movie favorite, Alan Rickman). And the precious reunion of Bayard's family (the puppies)! COME ON - how cute was that?

If I was reviewing this movie - which I pretty much just did - I would give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 4! (Because some parts were a little creepy. But then the whole premise of the Lewis Carroll book of Alice is a little creepy when you think about it. The movie did the story some justice.)

I think I got a strong affinity for Alice in Wonderland way back as a little girl visiting Disneyland for the first time. I loved the doll shops and wanted an Alice doll so much! Then when I had my own little "Alice" I dressed her up and gave her a white rabbit. And my Alice had a very hard time keeping up with her running, running, running white rabbit too!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter is coming.


Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way. And one of the things I LOVE about Easter is the candy. I am so crazy about Easter candy it is ridiculous. My very favorites are the Cadbury caramel eggs and the Dove's truffle eggs. And the Snickers eggs too ... and the Butterfinger eggs. I do love the Butterfinger eggs ... oh, and the Nestle's crunch eggs. (Who could have guessed that just changing the shape makes them taste so much better?)

All three of my sisters are completely obsessed with the Cadbury mini eggs. And I know they are not alone. Those mini eggs just might be the all time, number one Easter candy obsession. They usually sell out of those pretty fast - at least around here - and I think it is because my sisters make the rounds at all of the local stores and buy them out. I really do. (I think they are as cute as all get out, but they just don't do it for me treat-wise.)

Cute does carry a lot of weight at Easter time though, I will admit. C'mon, the bunnies, the lambs, the little chicks, the white patent leather shoes and socks with lace ruffles!

Easter Sunday is a happy day - you dress up, you eat up, and you get to indulge in chocolate ... hmmm, I guess that isn't too different than a normal day for me. (Have I mentioned how much I love chocolate? Oh, yeah, I did, here.)

And I always make sure to stop by The Chocolate Cottage for some of their deviled eggs. But they aren't really deviled eggs, they are really white chocolate in disguise ... how adorable are they?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Um ... well ... ?

Patricia Arquette Pictures, Images and Photos

I was chatting with McCall today about my blog. We were both making comments about the fact that sometimes it isn't that easy to maintain your blog. I am so impressed with people who take the time to do daily posts. It really is like a hobby. And sometimes hobbies can be time consuming - and sometimes hobbies can be hard when you don't have the right equipment. Which would be my trouble of late ... my home computer is extremely temperamental. Or is it the home internet connection? Either way - I don't have access at home now and it makes it really hard to maintain this hobby.

This morning one of the radio shows was interviewing Allison DuBois. She is the character who plays the psychic on the TV show, "Medium." (But she said she doesn't like to be called a psychic. She prefers the term medium because it seems more credible. She said she has a degree and carries a brief case and wants to be taken seriously. Who knew?)

I had no idea that show was based on a real person's life - but it is! I only recently started watching reruns and I kinda like it. Patricia Arquette is such an interesting actress. And I totally love the guy who plays her husband. I guess I mostly love how his character is on the show. I want one like him.

Anyway, about psychics and computers - Allison mentioned that there are spirits all around us, which I have heard before but don't really consider that in a literal sense most of the time. She said that they have the ability to interfere with electronics: radios, TVs, computers, phones, etc. (Sorry, Libby, if you are reading this as part of your gramma's "get to know me" book and it's scaring you. Have your mommy skip this part.)

I must have an anti-computer spirit at my house, only I've always known it as a virus - but it really enjoys time at our computer. And then today at work all kinds of crazy things were going on with my work computer!!!! I can't like it. And it made me nervous.

I would go and see Allison DuBois when she comes to Salt Lake next month and ask her, but tickets are $90 and up. Really. I don't know if I want to pay that much to ask her if she thinks my computer woes are spirits trying to relay a message, or just my own unfortunate luck with them.

Although this post isn't really too much of a happy little thing - I do like the show "Medium" and I am a little happy that I did another post today!

And McCall will be happy about that too. (Huh, Bug?)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Road trips.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that Haley had moved to Tennessee. She auditioned for the summer musicals at the Tuacahn theater in St George, but instead was "recruited" for a show Mic Thompson was choreographing in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Pigeon Forge? Seriously? I called it Pigeon Toe at least the first five times I referred to it.

What we were told about the job was that it was a song and dance variety show and she was being hired as a dancer/back up singer. Her contract would be for one year, they would house her, give her 50% off of meals at the hotel and pay her very well. (And not just in contrast to what she makes at her salon ... pretty much "well" in general for a 23 year old.)

Hmmm ... really?

But call after call came in from the show's producer and from Mic saying how excited they were to have her and how soon could she get the signed contract back?

Well ...? It sounded great! We loaded up her car (and I DO NOT say that lightly - we loaded up her car) and off we went into the wild blue yonder ... or in this case, the wild bluish grey yonder for most of the three days it took us to get there.

Now I really do like road trips in general. You stop at your neighborhood gas station to fill up first - with gas and drinks and road trip food: chips, peanuts, pretzels, candy bars (all sorts of chocolate in various ways/shapes/ and forms), mike and ikes, starburst, etc. etc. (What's not to like about that? It's treats and music for hours on end.)

Haley's ipod was loaded with a favorites playlist ... she told me it was all the songs she knew I would like. I think that meant songs that I would approve of. I asked her how many songs she had on her ipod and she said somewhere around 3,600. But I think we started to repeat sometime during that first day of driving. That's not good. 'Cause did that mean there were only a few hours worth of songs I would approve of?

Our second stop for gas was somewhere in Wyoming. When Haley pulled up to the pumps she circled the islands looking for the one with the least amount of water around the muddy pumps.

I said, "Welcome to rural America, sweetie."

We saw rural America for the next 12 hours that day, and all of the next day, and pretty much all of the day after that.

We saw lots of these: which I really liked.

And lots of these: which Haley really liked.

And here is what we saw the most of along the way (in no particular order):

1. Fireworks Super Stores
2. Big Rig Trucks
3. Subways ($5 footlongs all along the way)
4. Cracker Barrel Restaurants (everywhere)
5. Colleges and Universities (good to know there are higher education opportunities all across the USA)
6. Lots of space
7. Lots of "road kill"

Yes, it was that exciting.

But we really did enjoy each other's company so much. And we enjoyed eating all day long even when we felt completely sick from the sugar overdose (and still ate more because we could - and what else is there to do on a road trip that lasts for several days?)

We especially loved our comfy Hampton Inn beds each night. And we only got lost once, on our way to Route 64. It was tricky. I don't think we were the only ones who ever got lost there:

And we were especially happy when we saw this:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

She's here ...


Oh how I love this little shop ... do you remember what it is?
(Psst, you can click here if you forgot.)

It opened in Draper today.

I went.

I ate.

It was delicious.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Hee.


This is my second baby ... Haley. Today she turned 23 years old.

I saw a picture of Haley today over on her sister's facebook page ... but as her sister's profile picture. What? Maybe it is Chloe's "tribute" to Haley since today is her birthday.

Personally - no facebook page for me yet, although now that Haley and Chloe have moved to Tennessee, I think I am going to have to set up a facebook page. I have fought it as long as I can. I am going to have to join the masses to keep in closer touch with my girls.

I had a friend from my high school days send Haley a message on facebook asking if she was my daughter. She said she looked just like me (well, that and she figured she was related since my brother and sister were both her "friends" on facebook). I took that as a compliment since I think Haley is pretty cute - and SO full of energy! I wish she could lend some of that to her mama.

I find it so interesting how children are born with their own little personalities. Ever since Haley was a tiny little girl she has been a bundle of energy. Anxiously engaged in all things possible. She recently auditioned for the summer theater shows at the Tuacahn in St. George and one of the choreographers pulled her aside and said he was casting a stage show in Tennessee and she would be a perfect dancer for the show.

She jumped on it - and I think she will be the perfect dancer for the show.

I miss her ... already. She and I took a road trip to Tennessee together. I decided I would blog about it. (Are you so excited?)

But that will be another day. Today is just a shout out to my Hee to wish her a Happy Birthday. I am sure happy that she is mine. Love.

(Haley has many looks ... she's a hair stylist.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

100 posts.

I can't believe that this is my 100th blog post. I never would have guessed! But I thought it would be fun to celebrate and have a little party with you. (All 5 of you - intimate gatherings are nice.) So come and enjoy my virtual online celebration!

This is where I would have the party -

We could sit and have wonderful, meaningful conversations -

We could eat until we felt full, and then eat some more -

We could look at this and say it is way too cute to eat! Then eat it anyway -

And when it was time to go, this is how we would feel -

Thanks so much for coming!

I enjoy having you here ... I really do.

(All images found at marthastewart.com)

Monday, March 8, 2010

This baby and that puppy.




Git him, hold him, squeeze him!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Puppy love.


You know, there really is something special about a man and his dog. And this puppy isn't even mine. I know I've blogged about Cooper before, but this post is my segway into tomorrow's. (I'm leaving town for a few days so I am trying to schedule posts ahead of time, since I won't be near a computer - we'll see if it works. If it does, this one should be showing up on Sunday at 1:00 pm ... I'll cross my fingers.)

Cooper was an only "child" for over two years until Libby came along 6 months ago. We were all a little nervous about how he would handle having a baby around.

When she first came home from the hospital he didn't pay much attention to her. In fact he didn't really pay any attention at all - and it was a bit of a relief. She didn't seem to disrupt his routine one bit. Cooper would just look at her, sniff her, and go on about his business.

I think once he realized that she wasn't going anywhere Cooper took more notice. He started to keep an eye on Libby. When McCall would bring her in or out of the car and set her seat down, he made sure she was in the seat and then could walk away.

One morning McCall dropped Libby off at our house to be tended. She was asleep in her car seat downstairs and I was getting ready for work upstairs. After awhile Cooper came upstairs to me and started whimpering. I said, "What's up Coop?"

He ran to the top of the stairs. I came out of my room and he ran down the stairs. When I walked away, he immediately tromped back up to my room and whimpered again ... he kept it up until I went downstairs and he guided me to Libby's car seat. She had woken up and I needed to know. He had stayed by her because no one else was!

When Libby would be laying on the floor flapping her little arms Cooper would come over and start licking her hands. She would hold them still, not quite sure what was up, and he would keep on licking ... and she didn't seem to mind.

But that was a few months ago. Now Libby knows how to reach and grab and pull at things.

Payback. And now Cooper doesn't seem to mind.

He's such a good puppy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Laughing at babies.


Chloe came home from SUU last weekend and had a little fun with Libby. Now Chloe is my musical comedy daughter with an emphasis on comedy. It's just in her.

I have been working on a quilt for this adorable little cherub and had my pin cushion sitting on the kitchen table. Chloe grabbed it and attached it to Libby's headband ... I don't even know how she got it on there but it was hilarious.

Poor little babies - the things we do to them for a laugh. We were all cracking up at her ... and not with her, it was at her. And she was none the wiser.

I LOVE that baby!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Snow in March ... and April ... May?



It snowed last night. Not just a little. Kind of a lot. Snow makes me happy. I really do love it. I know most everyone else is ready for Spring, but I'm always just a tiny bit sad to see winter go.

Luckily for me, in Utah we continue to get random bouts of blustery weather in March and April and sometimes May.

The first season we moved to Utah, my sister Leslie told me not to plant flowers until after Mother's day. She said that often times there comes a frost in May and your new little growths won't make it. She was right ... lots of times a frost has come. So now I wait until after Mother's day even though I really, REALLY want to plant sooner since the nursery's have such a fabulous array of color waiting to brighten my yard.

I think I would do well in Seattle. I hear there are lots of blustery days in Seattle. Blustery days make me feel productive. Maybe that's because I know staying inside is a better option on days like that. Of course, if I had a fireplace I might just want to start a cozy fire and watch movies all day.

Some days that would be okay, I think. If I didn't work. Darn it. But I do.

And I do like sitting in my office watching the snowflakes fall on blustery days ... I really do like blustery days.

Yep ... I do!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunday dinner.



Instructions: Place the pile pictured in top photo into the crock pot pictured below. Cook on high for approximately 5 hours for some pure deliciousness.

When I was a young mother of four, (I think I can still refer to myself as young at that time. Because first, you're a new mom. Then you're a fairly new mom. Followed by being a young mom. Then pretty much just a tired mom. And then maybe you would be considered an experienced mom - while also still being a tired mom because I think that actually is a given in front of the word mom every time. Then you get to be a grandma while still being a tired, experienced mom ... and then you just get old and your kids don't ever remember you being anything else.)

Anyway, when I was a young mother of four, a tired experienced mom invited our family over to their house for Sunday dinner. I remember walking into their house and thinking it smelled absolutely divine. The table was set nicely with a tablecloth and fine china.

Our little family (not little by numbers, I suppose, just in size/height) sat down and joined their family of four for a yummy pot roast meal.

I had never made a pot roast meal and frankly, to me at that time, it looked a bit overwhelming to fix. I remember thinking, How in the world did she have enough food for us as well when it was a last minute invite?

I was impressed. I told myself that when I "grew up" I was going to fix a yummy pot roast meal and invite people over from church one day too.

When I did make my first pot roast meal I could NOT believe how easy it was. Seriously easy. I should have started way before I did because I love coming home after church to a yummy smelling house and knowing that meat and potatoes await me in moments.

Jared and McCall joined us this past Sunday. We had yummy Rhodes rolls too, the kind that taste homemade but you didn't have to take the time to make the dough yourself. And I make those the easy way too - put two rolls in each cupcake holder, let rise for 3 to 5 hours, and bake for 15 minutes or until brown. They were so, so good! Jared took a look at them and said, "What's up with the bum rolls?"

Funny, funny boy! (I had thought the same thing.)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

These two.


I had a lull in my posts once before since starting my blog, and my sister Spring asked, "What's up with your blog Peeps? Have you already run out of happy little things to write about?"

I laughed when she said that, but this past lull ... truth be told, it has been a tough week and frankly I didn't have happy little things frolicking in my mind. But that's life ... and life when you have an ex who makes you crazy gives you weeks like that sometimes (and I can say that because this is my blog and he really, REALLY does.) So after dealing with that for days on end, I decided it was probably time to post again.

I'm working on getting everything in my house orgainized. I told my kids that the plan is to organize everything in the house first: rooms, closets, shelves, drawers and the infamous paper piles - which is truly my biggest nemisis. The next step will then be to CLEAN the entire house (washing walls and everything) and then attack all the projects. Things like repainting rooms, replacing flooring, new fixtures, any and all repairs, etc. etc.

SO! As I was going through piles of paper work (you know, the piles that you gather up just before company is coming and you put it all in a bag to go through when you have more time? Then another bag joins that one, and another one, and sometimes even one after that? Nemesis, I tell you! And then when you actually do sit down and pull out the papers you wonder how in the world can any of those really matter when you haven't looked at them in months ... until you find the vehicle registration that was due in September and it is February? Yeah, that one mattered. Oops.) Yes, as I was going through those piles, I came across these pictures of my two youngest. I vaguely remember ever seeing them. Not in black and white anyway, and it has been a few years.

Boy they change so quickly, don't they?

I loved finding these pictures. They made me happy in that moment. I love their faces.

Further down the stack (sigh) I found some birthday cards to Elliott. Sophie had given him one that said:

Happy Birthday Brother!
I know there have been times when I bugged you,
teased you, and pestered you,
but on this Special Day, I just want you to know ...

I plan to continue.

And inside the card she wrote:

Happy Birthday Elliott! :)
I know most of the time I bug you but I want you to know
I love you & hope you have the best, bomb Birthday ever!

Love, Sophie

P.S. I don't mean to bug you as much as I do & I have fun
playing the Wii with you!

I shed a little tear.

I love that they are mine.

And isn't that part of the measure of creation of a little sister???