Thursday, January 27, 2011

LP sightings.

I CRACKED up when I saw this license plate ... and not just because it says "too many kids!"  Notice the license plate frame too.  Kind of like this one:

I named my second "princess" Haley because I LOVED the movie Pollyanna, and I love Hayley Mills in Pollyanna.  But I was laying in my hospital bed, having just given birth, and had no idea how the actress spelled her name.  And since that was long before laptops and google and wikipedia, I took a guess.  I was mistaken. 

I have seen Haley spelled SO many different ways since then too.  With a Y, with an I, with a double E, etc.  I really did want to spell it the same way Hayley Mills did, but it's okay.  I like Haley spelled with an h-a-l-e-y too.

When I told my Haley (a.k.a. Hee) that I saw this plate at the DMV she said, "Can you get it for me?!?!?!?" 

"No sweetie.  It was in the parking lot of the DMV.  It is taken."  But if my Haley did have this plate, she would  NEVER allow it to be this dirty - she is pretty particular about her car.

And speaking of my Hee, she wants this one too ...  (I think it belongs to the owner of The Sweet Tooth Fairy.)

Last Friday night, McCall (a.k.a. Bug) and I were going to meet at a McDonald's and then drive together to the movies.  I was sitting at a light and just as it turned green, I noticed that the car in the lane next to mine had the lisence plate:  BUGSCAR.  Now surely you must have gathered by now that I was absolutely going to want a picture of that one.  So doing my best not to be a tail gater, I followed that car and just snapped away through my windshield.  They had to have wondered what the heck was going on in the car behind them.  (I should probably get a dash-cam installed if I am going to continue my license plate stalking, don't you think?)

The car got off at the next off ramp ... so did I.  Not to follow them though, I really did need to get off too, but this is the best shot I could get.  I think they were trying to get away from me or something.   ;)

Oh, and speaking of McDonald's ....

"I'm lovin' it."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Kisses.

"Perfecting our New Year's kiss after the accident was odd, awkward, and it hurt.
Now it's adorable."    (Stephanie Nielson)

I remember sitting in a movie theater with a friend watching a chick-flick several years ago.  A really romantic, amazing first kiss had just taken place between two really attractive movie stars. (You know the kind where there was so much anticipation built up that it was almost all you could do not to jump up out of your seat and yell,  Kiss her already!!!  But you knew that would totally ruin the moment, so you didn't. Instead you just sat there with a little smile on your face, and maybe some tears welling up in your eyes ... and maybe with your friend grabbing your arm 'cause she was dying that that kiss was finally happening because the chemistry between those two actors was off the charts?  Yeah, that's the kind I'm talking about.) 

Anyway, we both just sighed and looked at each other with that little pout in our lips and hand over our chest and thought ... we'll never have that first kiss again.  There is just something so exciting about the anticipation of that first kiss with someone. 

Well, I have LONG since learned, never say never.  Because we are both divorced now and have actually had a few more of those first kisses.  (And as a disclaimer, I am certainly not pro-divorce, and for the record I really do hate the whole process of dating, it's just that those first kisses are one of the unexpected perks.)

I had "a first kiss" on my original happy little things list to blog about but just haven't done it yet.  Then last night when I was watching TV, one of the shows mentioned a survey - saying that the average person will have 25 first kisses in their lifetime and it reminded me.

And I am sure that it was because of that little segment I saw, as well as watching the rest of Monday night's Bachelor where LOTS of kissing was going on, that caused my dream last night where I was in my garage and got a first kiss from someone.  (I don't normally dream about that kind of stuff either - except for one other time when I was with Jon Bon Jovi and he kissed me in his truck ... which was super cool.)  But in my dream last night, I was really happy and really looking forward to a second kiss with the mystery man.

(So did you count up your first kisses yet?  I bet you will ... I haven't, but I am thinking I might.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Garrett and Leighton.

Last week I got a text message from Spring that said:  This is your new happy little thing.  Go to YouTube "Leighton Meester featuring Garrett Hedlund - Give in to Me - official music video."  He makes me happy.

What was so coincidental about that is that I had just met McCall at Costco during our lunch hours and she had given me a CD she made for me featuring music from the movie Country Strong and that song was on it.  And I had just gotten back into my car to pop that CD in the disc player when the text message came from Spring!  (I do love a good coincidence.)

McCall and I saw Country Strong last weekend and although I did NOT like the ending, I did like the movie.  Mostly because I love Gwyneth Paltrow, I loved the music in it, and I love Garrett Hedlund, who I had never taken notice of before.  What a doll.

I don't watch Gossip Girl so I didn't know who Leighton Meester was either.  (That is so not like me.  I am usually up on who's who in Hollywood.)  I thought that Garrett and Leighton were so adorable together and rumor has it, after filming this movie together they are dating in real life too.

Here is what Leighton had to say about him in an interview ... you can decide:

"I just finished making a movie called Country Strong which comes out in December.  I worked with a guy name Garrett Hedlund who is wonderful ... he's very different ... really, really talented and cool ... and very cute ... all together it was one of the best experiences of my entire life."

There is nooooo denying their chemistry ... click here to see.

(Garrett is in TRON too, but I like him WAY better as a cowboy!)

Friday, January 21, 2011


When I was at my sister Leslie's house a few days ago I noticed the framed silhouettes that hung on her living room wall of her, me, and my brother.  We were probably about 6, 8, and 10 years old in the pictures.  I wondered (for a second) how is it that Leslie got that picture from mom?  But then I figured it was most likely because when mom was offering it up, noone else said they wanted it.  That was WAY before silhouettes came back into fashion.

A couple of years ago, my sister Courtney had made silhouettes of all of her children and even their family dog.  All of us sisters went a little nuts when we saw them and asked her, What? When? How in the world?  Courtney said, "Oh it was so easy ... Martha Stewart."  Sigh. (Easy for her maybe.)

Well a couple of days ago I got one of thee cutest birth announcements I think I have ever seen from a good family friend, Tammy.  Tammy has exquisite taste to begin with, but when it comes to anything "paper-ish" she is a genius.  (In fact, I think she used to have her own paper company.  Then along came some kids and then some more kids and I think the paper company went on haitus.) 

One of the first creative Christmas cards I got from Tammy was way back when she and her husband only had one little girl.  It was a picture of the three of them, with a blue and white hue, cut in a circle with a hook on it ... like an ornament.  I still hang that "card" on my tree every year.

Each of Tammy's birth announcements has been incredible, but this time, I think she really out did herself ... who thinks of this?

She had a silhouette of each member of the family on the card with their own birth information on one side and then a current picture of them on the other.  There was also a picture of the whole family together too.  The card was folded accordian style.  Here are mom and dad with their adorable baby, Spring. (Yup, Spring.  Cool, huh?)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


My second favorite thing to have for lunch is a soup and salad.  (Is there even a question of what my first favorite thing is?)  And one of my favorite places to get a great soup and salad is at Zupa's ... especially on a cold winter's day.  (Which today is not, but still.)

I was at Zupa's once with my girls and Chloe ordered a Wisconsin cauliflower soup.  Really?  I don't think I had even heard of cauliflower soup before and questioned why in the world she would get that.

She said, "Oh Mom, if you have never had it you have to get it.  It is sooooo good."

It was.  And now that is all I ever get when I go there. 

And I don't think there is anything better with great soup than great bread.  And Zupa's bread has GOT to be the best bread around ... really ... no, really ... it is!  Sometimes I go there just to pick up a loaf of their bread because it is THAT good.

It sure hit the spot today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy horses.

I love horses.  They scare me just a little bit, but I think they are such beautiful animals.

When I was growing up in California, I went to girls camp every year as a teen in the Tehachapi mountains.  I thought it was the best camp ever.  The cabins were three sided structures with cement floors and bunks, so it felt like you were outside "camping" but you also felt a little less vulnerable to the elements.

Camp Tehachapi had a mess hall with pretty good food, a camp store where we could buy treats after lunch and dinner, an enormous swimming pool where we had tons of water activities and races, a big structure (again, the word structure ... what else do you call cement floored areas with roofs and picnic tables?) where we did all sorts of crafts.  They had an archery area which I only actually remember going to one year though.  And what I do remember about that year was pulling back the bow, releasing it, and then having that doggone thing rip into my arm and cut into my skin!  I didn't like archery after that.

And then there was my horse incident.  Yes, they had horse back riding at camp Tehachapi as well.  I think it was one of my first years there, so I was probably about 12 or 13.  Our group went out with the guide ... we were in a single file line ... I was loving being on horseback ... and then, my horse got spooked.  That thing took off like nobody's business with me hanging on for dear life!!!!  It went off the beaten path and was running full speed ahead down a hill and right toward a tree.  The horse ducked its head under a big branch of the tree and thank heavens I thought to do the same thing or I would have been knocked off the back of that horse and who knows what would have happened!  I was absolutely scared out of my mind.

I was at the back of the line so no one saw my horse take off, but my screams got the attention of the guide and she finally did race to my rescue and calm the horse down.  I can't even remember now if I have ever been horseback riding since.  Not that that experience has scarred me for life or anything - I just have never gone out of my way to ride horses again.

But ... I live in Draper now.  Horses are all over town and I do have an appreciation for their majesty.  (That was a total sidetrack story to the point of this post.)

I sometimes feel sorry for them though.  When I pass by the same horses everyday and they are just standing there.  24/7, they just stand there.  It seems so boring.  Do you think horses care?  Like, are they thinking, Whatever owner!  Get me out of this coral and let's go for a walk.  This is so mundane and I'm sick of it.  I need to RUN!  I need some sugar cubes!  I need some attention here!  (If I see one laying down ...  forget about it! It makes me so nervous because I think that surely something must be wrong.) 

Well, the other morning I was on my way to work and passed a group of horses who were galavanting around their coral, chasing each other, and I got the BIGGEST kick of it.   By the time I pulled the car over to take a closer look, one of the horses was on the ground rolling around in the snow (something I had wanted to do about three times already that morning to ward off the discomfort of my hot flashes) ... and then he jaunted on over to his friends for some breakfast.  They all had their little coats on (it has been exceptionally cold the last several weeks) and it made me happy - 'cause these guys seemed like the spoiled horses in town.  I would like to think that if I had horses I would spoil them too.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Friday night McCall and I went to see Elliott and Sophie in their high school's "Glee" concert.  It didn't (quite) measure up to the talent on the real Glee TV show, but it was rather entertaining, nonetheless.

The concert featured some soloists, some really corny but cute choreography, an extremely impressive jazz band, and that really cute teacher I would have had a crush on if I were any of these girls in the show.  (McCall and I got a kick out of the fact that he wasn't really conducting the band like he did at the Christmas concert.  Instead he would just pop his arms at them every once in a while as he stood in front of them and got his groove on ... it was adorable.)

I was snapping quite a few pictures throughout the show, not necessarily just of my kids.  After one of those pictures, the guy I was sitting next to asked, "So is one of your kids in this choir?"

I said, "No.  I am just taking pictures of the girl I want my son to take to the prom."

He laughed and said, "Isn't it funny how we do that?  I have set three of my kids up with their spouses and they are all happily married." 

Well, how cool would that be?  To hand pick your children's spouses.  And here I was just hoping to encourage my son to ask a cute girl to the prom.   :)

We picked one we liked for Sophie too ... 

The kids all really enjoyed themselves and you could totally tell ... that makes it all the more fun!

I'd say this license plate I saw in the parking lot that night sums up the night pretty well!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Being sweet.

Yesterday I got a Happy New Year card from my high school friend, Corinne.  She included a letter about all of the happenings and updates on her family for 2010.  Here is what she wrote about her little girl, Mia who has down's syndrome:

Mia is in kindergarten!  She is fully included in a general education class without an aid!  She and Cobi go to the same school, and it is a realization of a desire we've had since the day Mia was born.  She is making all kinds of friends in and out of the classroom.  In fact, Mia might be the most popular girl at the school!  As Mia leaves school each day there are always goodbyes coming from different directions.  It makes us happy to know that having Mia attend a school where there are all "typical" students is a win-win for everyone. 

She is benefitting academically, verbally and socially and the other students are benefitting as well.  Her teacher has told us that her students are not only more helpful and caring to Mia but she has also seen a difference in how they treat each other.  She has said her whole class is just overall more tolerant and helpful.  It is so heartwarming to see the loving nature of children first hand - as a little girl asks Mia on the very first day of school if she would like to sit by her at lunch and continues to be her best friend today, or when a little boy helps Mia put her shoes back on, or upon Mia leaving school for the day another boy in the class gives her a hug goodbye.  We continue to love and learn from Mia each day; she is truly a gift!

As I think about my friends, my family, my children ... and all that we have going on in our lives, I can't help but think maybe each one of us has a "special need" inside of us.  Ours may not be as noticable to the people around us like Mia's is, but I think we would all benefit from a little more tolerance, patience and kindness from those around us.  I decided I am going to add that to my things I would like to be better at this year:  being just a little bit more tolerant and patient and sweet to the people around me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sounds of the season.

I am STILL having a hard time listening to the radio since they stopped playing Christmas music.  I am pretty sure that that is the thing I have the hardest time letting go of after the holidays are over.  Hearing Christmas music totally sets the tone for me ... I can't even listen to regular music in my car during the entire month of December.  I have stacks of Christmas CDs that really do make me so happy.  I usually buy at least one or two new CDs every year to add to my collection.

One of my Christmas music highlights this season was going to the Alta High School Christmas concert.  I was BLOWN away at (firstly) the amount of students who were in the orchestra and choirs and (secondly) how amazing they all sounded.  My mom and dad were here from New York so they came with me, and my mom couldn't believe it either.  Now it is a pretty big high school so there are a lot of students to pool from, but my mom made the comment that "Only in Utah would you find this many boys playing the strings, and this much Christmas music being played in a school."  (Apparently a lot of Christmas music is no longer allowed to be played in most schools ... such a tragedy, if you ask me.)

Anyway, Elliott and Sophie had both joined the men's chorus and the womens' chorus, respectively, and it was so much fun to watch them perform.  (Especially Elliott - he gets pretty into it ... so cute.)  I can't even remember the last time I attended a concert like that at school and I thoroughly enjoyed  it.  I ADORED their orchestra leader too.  He reminded me so much of Richard Dreyfus in Mr. Holland's Opus.  I totally would have had a crush on him if he was my teacher in high school.

But the hottest, most coveted ticket in town for a Christmas concert this year was this one:

... and I was lucky enough to get FOUR of them and it was SO fabulous.  Seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live is a wonderful treat in and of itself, especially at Christmastime, but add that talented young man from American Idol fame, and it was the cherry on top of my concert season sundae. 

David Archuleta was just as adorable and charming as he could be.  McCall and I got a big kick out of him waving to the audience about every four steps he took.  T.O.O. C.U.T.E.

(No cameras were allowed, but everyone was sneaking a cell phone photo afterwards ... shhhh.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


McCall (age 26):  "Mom, watch me twirl!  I didn't know my skirt could twirl so high!"

  Now THAT is a happy little thing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas afternoon.

It was icy cold and snowy white up at Sundance ... perfect for Christmas day.

Inside, it was toasty warm ...

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care ...

And brown paper packages were everywhere ...

(Not really. Just going for a little rhyme.  The packages were anything "but" brown paper, actually ...)

I am going to guess that it was ....... oh ...... I'd say about ...... hmmm, maybe 15 years ago that all of us siblings showed up at our parents' house in San Juan Capistrano, California one Christmas and went a little crazy for their Christmas decorations.

That was the first year my mother had gathered up all of her Santas she had collected and had them all across the mantel instead of in various places throughout the house.  It was also the first year she had gathered stockings for all of the grandchildren, which at that time was also 15. 

We walked into their living room and all thought it was one of the cutest things we had EVER seen.  That's when all five of us siblings decided to start collecting our own Santas.  And although my mom's collection of Santas stopped growing shortly after that, her collection of grandchildren's stockings didn't.  She has 29 now (and 6 greats) ... and seeing all of those stockings lined up is still one of our favorite things at their house.

We had a wonderful dinner, lots of yummy treats, a really fun talent show and then a Nativity.  There have always been lots of children around to play the parts but I think this year we might have had our sweetest little Mary and baby Jesus yet ....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas morning.

My thought:  Are you really going to do a post about Christmas morning Polly?  Isn't it a little late for that?

Answering myself:  Well, I was thinking that it was way too late, but then McCall sent me an email this morning saying,   "It’s January and peeps are still posting about Christmas. I’m waiting patiently for your Christmas Day post…it’s not too late." 

My thought:  I really did want to do a few more Christmas posts but there was so much going on and so many of us were sick, it just didn't happen ... frown.  I really do blog for posterity and since McCall is my posterity ... what could it hurt, right?

Answering myself:  I have actually seen lots of Christmas posts around the blogosphere in the last couple of days.  And I have read that lots of other people have had sickness floating around their homes and maybe that's why they are late in posting about Christmas too.

My thought:  Or maybe they took a little break from blogging to enjoy their Christmas holiday.

Answering myself:  We can go with that.  So here is my post about us enjoying the Christmas holiday!

I am sure I'm not the only one who takes the "before" picture of everyone in front of the tree (my tiny little table tree this year) prior to any opening of presents or peeking into stockings.  We were such a small group this year without Haley and Chloe ... it was a little surreal actually.  It was our first Christmas that all the kids weren't here together and it just wasn't the same. 

I slept in until about 9:00.  Elliott until about 10:00.  And at around 11:00, McCall called us to say that they were on the way over from the in-laws house so to wake Sophie up.  (She made the right assumption, Sophie was still asleep.)

I opened the box of See's ....

And then the morning became all about Libby!

Even Sophie made the comment about how Christmas is so much more for the "little ones."  And we all had so much fun just watching her.

Libby is 110% girl too.  She got some jewelry and a bow and a new little coat and she wanted them ALL on!

But her favorite thing of the day?  The sharpie pen that she found on the floor.  She did not want that out of her hands.  (I'm tellin' ya - that little girl had more fun at my house when we were living in chaos, with all the piles of stuff laying around from the basement renovation.  She would pick things up, find other places to put them, pick more stuff up, find a bag to put them in and around and around that process went for HOURS!  Who needs toys when you have household items to play with???)

Libby was one of us who was a little bit sick though ... runny nose, cough.  At times during the morning she clearly was wheezing and having a hard time breathing - you know that loud, hacky kind of breathing?  So she and her mommy and daddy spent the rest of the afternoon in the ER where Libby was treated for croup, and then they had a quiet rest of the day at home.  (A very different Wood family Christmas this year all the way around.)

Elliott, Sophie and I headed on up to Sundance  ....

(to be continued)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goals? Resolutions?

Haley and Chloe came home from Tennesse yesterday!  YAY!!!  Not for good though, just for a break.  We have them for 10 whole days.  They told all of their friends that when they got home they were just going to hang out at home, sit on the couch, and do a lot of nothing so if they wanted to see them, they would have to come to our house to see them.  

Here are all of my chicklets ... sitting on the couch ... which lasted all of about 4 hours and then those girls were OFF!  (McCall and I were NOT happy about that.  We liked the first plan better.)

One of the things we were excited to show them (Elliott in particular) was the dance game on XBOX Kinect.  My kids had so much fun with Dance Dance Revolution when it first came out with Nintendo, we knew Haley and Chloe would love it.  (Sidenote:  I am one of those people who thinks that technology really should have just stopped already.  Like cell phones are great - but do we really need the internet on our cell phones now?  That kind of stuff.)

HAVE YOU SEEN XBOX KINECT and what you can do with that?  Their dance game makes Dance Dance Revolution seem slightly archaic. I heard that "you are the controller" but I really didn't pay much attention until yesterday.  I don't even know how to explain it.  It's one of those things that you have to see to believe.  You just wave your hand ... and your choices of songs and levels and characters are unbelievable. 

The kids talked me into trying a dance.  Oh boy.  They picked the song for me ... something like "Sexy Mama" and I picked the level ... EASY. 

"Mom!  You did pretty good." 

My points were somewhere just over 184,000.  It said my correctness level (or something like that) was around 59%.  That isn't too good if you compare it with Elliott's correctness level of 96% and his points being over 1,000,000.  A MILLION???  On the hardest level???

I added another goal for 2011 though:

Love more.
Laugh more.
Give more.

Master a dance on XBOX Kinect on the hardest level.
(Oh ... and lose fifteen pounds!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's 2011!!!!!