Golden Arches

It's a rare opportunity we have, living right next to the busiest McDonald's in the state.*

We get the extra traffic by the house during mealtimes - at all times, really - fast food garbage dumped on our lawn, greasy smells wafting through the neighborhood, thumping music at all hours from the cars in the drive-thru, random cars parked in our back lot because there's not enough parking next to the building.  (Not for long!  They're tearing down the house across the street to put in more parking!)

Last night was the biggest treat.  Slice and I woke up around 3:00 this morning because our dog was barking incessantly.  We listened for a while before Slice went out to investigate.
I kept hearing a honking sound, and then Hagen would start up barking furiously again.  I wondered if there was someone in our back lot with a duck call or something, pestering the dog.

After a while Slice returned to report that there was a car parked in the McDonald's drive-thru.  He couldn't see it at first because the building was closed for the night, the lights off.  Whoever was in the car had a bike horn that they were honking at my dog.  To make him bark.  At 3:00 in the morning.

Seriously, people?  You don't have something better to do?

*Not an exaggeration.  It's fairly well-known that our McD's is the top-grossing in Utah.  That's what happens when you have no other fast food choices within 25 miles.


Easy as Cake

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.

Every time I plan an event that involves food (and don't they all?), I decide to try a new recipe.
Every time, something goes wrong.

Yesterday I decided to take the bull by the horns and make this cake I've been drooling over for months.  (Don't click the link unless you're prepared for some droolage.)  It was my birthday!  I needed an awesome cake!

Here are some things that should have - but didn't - cross my mind beforehand.

1. I do not own a KitchenAid.  Or a Bosch.  Still using a hand mixer, baby!  Not good for a cake that ends up weighing FIVE POUNDS.

2. I do not have enough brown sugar.

3. I have to refill the flour canister, which will require opening a new bag of flour which is downstairs in the closet under the stairs which I hate.

4. Slice decides to take a phone survey.  It lasts half an hour.  In the meantime Liam is "helping" me, which means he is sticking his fingers in the bowl repeatedly for "tastes" and pouting when I tell him to stop.  MG is hungry in her high chair.

5. A lady is coming to buy something from me.  She stands at the the door knocking/ringing while I am running the hand mixer, MG is fussing, Liam is pouting in his room, and Slice is downstairs on the phone.

6. My bundt cake pan is (apparently ...?) smaller than normal. I split the batter between two pans thinking that will be sufficient, because the recipe says she filled a few cupcakes in addition to her bundt.
After 20 minutes of baking, I open the oven to find BOTH pans spilling over.  A lot.
An hour later I open the oven again and see this.



Growing Girl

Last weekend I went to a bunch of yard sales around town.
(I would say I went "yardsaling" but I hate that phrase even though everyone uses it, and is there a correct way to spell it?  Is it even a word?  Does anyone else care?)

Here's the thing: MG is eating herself out of all her clothes.  Seriously, that girl can eat.  She treats every meal as if it were her last. We can't keep up with it, and neither can the onesies.

So I've been checking yard sales, online and off.  Everyone knows you can get baby girl clothes in great condition at yard sales, because everyone goes overboard buying tonsssss of clothes for their girls, because little girl clothes are just so darn cute.  Then the clothes hardly get used, if in fact they are used at all.

But here's the other thing: every other baby in the world is a girl MG's age.
Okay, not really.  It just seems like it because at every yard sale I frequented, the 6-9 month clothes were the only ones gone.  Same story online!  All 6-9 month girl clothes are snatched up the instant they are offered, and I've had a crazy time trying to find anything.

Finally I caught someone BEFORE she offered the clothes up to the internet, and I went to her house before the others could get there, and I got a bunch of cute stuff (too much?) for cheap.
Which is good, because MG will probably outgrow it all in no time.


I cursed the LMC position

It's been a long time since I talked about the LMC (for you newer readers, the Library Media Center) at Union High School.   I haven't worked there for two years, so it hasn't been on my mind too much.

HOWEVER.  I'm pretty sure I cursed the library aide position.  The lady I replaced was there for years, maybe decades.  I worked there for two years.  After quitting full-time but staying after the position was cut in half, I left for a month to Japan, then came back to tell everyone that I was pregnant.  (Pregnancy worked out perfectly though - I finished the end of the school year, Liam was born three days later.)  I tried to work a couple weeks in August with Liam at home with my sister, then quit for good.

The person who replaced me (also in my ward) was a repeat.  She got pregnant during the school year, had a baby in July, and decided not to go back to work.

The lady who replaced her was the mom of one my high school friends.  Not likely to get pregnant.  However, she did accept a 4th grade teaching position and quit the LMC job at the end of the year.

The position was open once again.

I know the lady who filled it this time, another mom-of-older-kids.  I don't think she knows who I am, but I'll be watching with great interest to see what happens at the end of this new school year.  Mwahahahaha.

(Also - poor Bill, having to train a new library aide 5 times in 6 years!)


How to get your man to cook more, in three easy steps

Step 1: Buy a grill.
It doesn't have to be super fancy.  In fact, if you can find one on display outside Walmart, and it's the last one and is dirty and/or a little banged-up (and it's almost the end of grill season), the Walmart manager just might give you a discount of, say, 20%.  Maybe even more.

Step 2: Buy food.  

Steak, chicken, peppers, burgers, pineapple.  The men usually go for the meat, but you can probably slip some fruit and veggies in there.  You might also want to buy some grill accessories like tongs, a spatula, a fork, and a scrubber.  They're not necessary but they make the whole "grilling experience" more complete, and that's what we're going for here.

Step 3: Enjoy your meals. 

Compliment your man on how great his grilling skills are.  You know how men like to be complimented, it encourages them.  You might be eating off the grill every night!  That means your man is cooking every night!  And this, my friends, is a very good thing.

That's all it takes guys!
Awesome, right?



Once upon a time I was seven years old and the new girl in the Glenmoor neighborhood.  I was also maybe a little bit crazy.

In the afternoons I would ride my bike up and down the circle we had moved into, getting accustomed to the houses, showing my face to all the new neighbors.

At one house I passed, there lived a redheaded boy who was usually out shooting hoops in the driveway.  I looked for him every time I made my rounds.  He was pretty cute, and pretty good at basketball, so naturally, I thought we had a promising future together.  We waved at each other as I rode by.

It was only a matter of weeks before my parents invited the boy's family over for dinner. I was excited and then incredibly mortified, when I learned that "my boy" was actually a girl with a short haircut, just two years older than me.  She was nice, and I was ridiculous.  We ended up in Young Womens together.

Seven years later, my family moved away.  "My boy" went on to be a high school basketball star and, later, a sister missionary ... in the same mission as my high school sweetheart.

Isn't life strange?


The Crib

MG is eight months old today.  And how about this - I just finished her crib bedding.  Today.

Nine months ago I was pondering on cribs in my nesting frenzy.  We ended up buying a mini crib, and in case you're wondering, I am now going to recommend it to everyone that I know.  The mini crib is perfect.  Perfect, I tell you!  We simply loooooove it.

I never bought a bumper for the mini crib, because 1) I'm cheap, 2) I never found one that I loved and could use again, and 3) They apparently increase the risk of SIDS.  I looked into the breathable ones, just couldn't commit.  We probably would have gone bumper-free if MG hadn't gotten her limbs stuck in the crib slats more than once.

Enter: Pinterest.  I pinned this months ago, and when I saw my friend's take on it, I finally got to work.  The green suede fabric came from Home Fabrics in Orem, the grosgrain ribbon from Walmart (because there is NOWHERE IN ROOSEVELT where one can buy wide white ribbon, trust me on this).  I actually threaded the ribbon through the fabric strips for just a little more padding.

Et ... voila!  I love the crib even more now.
I'm gushing.


the 5k

Let's talk about running.

Let's talk about how some people love running, and other people hate it.  Some are naturally gifted to run, some aren't.  Some people are out of their minds .... the rest of us aren't.

Let's talk about how in 10th grade I tried to run a mile in 15 minutes - twice - and failed.  And since it was a requirement to pass the class, in order to save my grade I had to "walk" three miles in 45 minutes instead, while the rest of the class (including my running-gifted best friend, who passed the first try) played softball.

Let's talk about all the years in high school and college when I tried to jog, but never really got into a groove.   I haven't gone jogging more than a few times in the past three years, despite the gifts of workout clothes, shoes, iPod shuffle, etc. from my husband who tries very hard to encourage me to exercise.

Let's talk about how you can TALK ME INTO ANYTHING, even if it's a 5k race and I've never even run 5 consecutive kilometers in my life, and I haven't trained because the one time I tried two weeks ago I got shin splints right before Aspen Grove.

Let's talk about how I woke up 6:00 yesterday morning and did a 5k with all my sisters and my Aunt Lana.
I had to stop and walk a few times, but Heather jogged the whole way and we finished it together.
(And we weren't last.)

Angie and Lana look identical in this picture??

Let's talk about how I kinda want to do it again, although it hurts to even move my legs right now.



One of my favorite Bible stories is the parable of the prodigal son.  
The younger son demands his inheritance and squanders it in riotous living.  Then it all catches up with him.* Far from home, starving, having "spent all", he finds himself wishing he could eat the husks he's feeding to pigs.

Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

There are so many wonderful lessons to learn from this parable, but one line that I keep coming back to lately is this: he came to himself.
Has that ever happened to you?

I can think of several times in my life when I've had to "come to myself."  When I've started losing perspective and making bad decisions; gotten caught up in various wars of words and opinions and emotions; forgotten to do some of the things that make me ME.   From the life-changing awakenings to the trivial triggers, I've been reminded and awakened and recommitted.

Most recently this happened while I was hiking with Slice, my two older sisters and their husbands at Aspen Grove.  As we trekked through some of my favorite scenery in this world, I wondered HOW it's been over four years since I've even been on a hike. Four years! I'm no crazy outdoorswoman (you know who you are), but I spent my first 20 years going on multiple hikes every summer - why haven't Slice and I ever hiked together?

I don't know, but I'll tell you, it won't happen again.  
Until we're old and tired and need hip replacements, that is.

*This is why I love the Bible.  Real consequences for real jerks.