Sunday, December 13, 2009

Best Weekend Ever

This weekend was just about as perfect as it could be. On Friday we picked Brayden up from school and came home and made a gingerbread house. Em and Brayden had so much fun. Emily piled most of the candy at the base of the house, but I think it turned out pretty well. I am all about buying gingerbread kits, the frosting works, the gingerbread is flat, and you are done when all the candy is gone!

Saturday we went to Lowes and built Christmas tree ornaments (thanks Viv). This time there were no embarrassing bloody noses and the day was incident free. Em was so excited to "bam on it" (also known as hammering nails). Then we went to South Town mall and rode the train. It was AWESOME both Chloe and Emily LOVED it. The conductor was so cute with the kids and it was a long ride all around the whole mall for $3. Then on our way to see Santa we stopped at the piercing pagoda and pierced both girls ears. They are SO cute and I was surprised at how little crying was involved. A stop at the Hello Kitty store next door was enough to take Emily's mind off of her ears and Chloe just needed a sucker. Then we rode the carousel and saw Santa. There was no way we were going to get the girls to wait in line and I am certain Chloe would FREAK if we tried to get her to sit on Santa's lap, so we just waved at him and the girls were thrilled. To top off the mall visit we got to ride the "alligator" (elevator) three or four times, which is very exciting for Emily. I was surprised at how entertaining the mall could be. I even snuck into a couple of stores (Crazy 8 is having some GREAT sales). The only thing that I was sad about was forgetting my camera.

On Sunday both girls woke up with runny noses and I think they are getting the cold I had last week, so we stayed home from church. I watched the Christmas concert on Music and the Spoken Word, and it was EXCELLENT! Around noon Ry decided we needed to go out and build a snowman (probably not the best for a cold, but Em was SO happy). The snow could not have been better for snowman building. We ended up with a 7 foot tall snowman! Then we came inside and Emily dictated her letter to Santa. It was HILARIOUS it said "Dear Santa, Please bring me candy, presents for me and Chlo Bug, and Grandma and Scooter and Kai Lan, and stars on my belly and back." Where does she come up with this stuff and where am I going to find stars for her belly and back? Sorry for the travel log, it was just a very entertaining weekend and now that my shopping is done, decorations are up, and after the weekend's festivities I am now feeling the holiday spirit! I LOVE Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Again I have been remiss in the posting. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. George with lots of family. I will post photos as soon as I get to them. In the mean time I have some of the girls. We have been able to spend a few days at home together and we have had so much fun. I love to hear the girls giggle and play together (something that is happening more often these days). Emily is so funny. Most days I just watch her and laugh, she is such a little mimic. Last weekend we took her for her first hair cut (an experience her dad still regrets). Chloe is getting so big and will be walking any day now. She has started to stand on her own pretty regularly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How the Other Half Live

So I have never really understood why you would pay hundreds of dollars for one meal, until last night. My dad has been working on the St. Regis Hotel in Park City and today it is officially open. The restaurant has been holding trials all week and last night we got to go! It setting is beautiful, the hotel is grand, you get to ride the "funicular" a little private tram up the mountain to get to the restaurant. The service was phenomenal, the General Manager came out and talked to us, our waiter told us about all of our food, a waitress stood ready to refill our water (they don't even serve soda, just signature drinks and cocktails). But it was all about the food! First we started with black truffle pizza. Everyone talks about black truffles on the Food Netword and on Top Chef, but I have never even been somewhere where it was on the menu. It was in fact all it was cracked up to be. It was earthy and delicious. Then I had giant shrimp wrapped in bacon over avocado with a very potent sweet and spicy sauce drizzled around the plate, the flavors were bold and deep and left a warmth in your mouth without feeling hot. Pretty much the best shrimp EVER! Next I had lamb chops over melt in your mouth veggies. The chops were stacked up in the center of my plate and looked like a work of art. I didn't even know I liked lamb, but wow it melted in my mouth and the chili glaze sauce was sweet and spicy and I have been fantasizing about it for the past 12 hours. If I think really hard I think I can still taste it. The meal ended with chocolate cake with fudge sauce in the middle and vanilla bean ice cream over some crumbly pieces of heaven. The cake was very light and the fudge sauce inside was perfect! I am not sure how I can go back to Chili's! Next time you have a few hundred dollars that you don't know what to do with, I HIGHLY recommend the J&S Grill.

Kate and Grandpa saved some balloons for the girls Emily LOVED them. She had to sleep with them last night and the girls have been playing with them since they woke up. Thanks for thinking of us Kate and dad.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cutest Girls Ever

So I may be biased, but I think that I have the cutest girls ever. My friend Viv took some photos of the girls the other day. I am so happy with the way they turned out. I plan to print some for grandparents for Christmas. My sister asked if I was going to use the photos for Christmas cards. To which I replied that I haven't done Christmas cards in the last 10 years. To which she disgustedly responded "you don't sent Christmas cards." Her response made it sound like I had just told her that I spit in the soup we were eating for dinner (sort of like the blueberry muffin response I previously discussed). So I am trying to decide if I feel enough shame to actually send Christmas cards this year. If you want one leave me a comment and I will see what I can come up with. I will assume if there are no comments no one really cares and do what I do every year. I was mostly resigned to that course of action anyway. Ok so here are photos, that is what you want to see anyway. You may be able to tell Chloe was more cooperative than Emily, resulting in more pictures of Chloe than Emily.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Much Fun

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! I have been working 35-40 hours a week, Emily got a power wheels tractor from grandma and grandpa, we went to Disney Princesses on Ice, and it has been getting cold and snowy. Here are some of the highlights.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Princess Indoctrination

Disney Princesses on Ice are coming to town. A bunch of my friends are taking their little girls and asked if I wanted to go. At first I declined remembering the last time that I tried to get Emily to sit through the bird show at the zoo or through church. Ultimately I decided that it would be a fun mother daughter night (I hope) and bought tickets. Once I bought tickets I realized that we also needed the dress, then I realized that I don't think Emily has even seen any of the Disney Princesses. SOOO I bought a couple of princess books on Amazon, have been telling fractured "once upon a time" stories for days, bought a full princess dress from Sam's Club, and have even resorted to games, stories and movies from Hopefully she will be as excited as I am. I still am a little hesitant about buying into the whole commercial princess deal, but hey it's all in the name of fun, right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Fun!

Here are the latest activities that we have been up to! Halloween was fantastic. The girls are totally wiped out from all the parties!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meet Arthur

The other night Emily brought me this big ball of string and said “look mom, my Arthur.” Since that evening Arthur has become part of our lives. Arthur gets ready for bed with us, Arthur plays games with us, Arthur is sometimes “sorta silly” when he comes unwound. My mom thinks she was trying to say “look mom, my art work,” but now it seems that the ball of string has become a friend.

I love, love, love fall. I love the weather, I love the leaves, I love the look taste and smell of pumpkins, I love the decorations, I love the holidays, but most of all I LOVE FOOTBALL!!! This year has been madness and I have not devoted the time that I would like to hay rides, pumpkin patches, fruit picking, apple dipping, and other fantastic fall activities. This weekend we tried to remedy that with a trip to the Mayan (a theme restaurant set in the jungle), a trip to the pumpkin patch, a trunk-or-treat party, and a heart-stopping football game. Overall it was a fantastic weekend. These photos are from the Mayan. Em and Chloe were a little scared at first, but after meeting one of the cliff divers Emily was much more excited. Chloe was just happy I let her have some of my dinner.

Can you believe how big she is getting? I think she gets cuter every day. She is so happy and smiley all the time. She finds so much wonder in the world.
More to come soon! We took some new photos for Grandma Hales.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Many of you know that for the past couple of months I have been working on a document at work. It has been pretty all consuming, in the last 8 days I have worked 80 hours. This morning the document was submitted to the client!!!!! I can't tell you how nice it was to spend the day laughing with my girls and catching up on house work that DESPERATELY needed to be done. The laundry far exceeded piles and was more like MOUNDS. The washer has been running non stop for the past 8 hours and I have lots more to go. The dishwasher was empty, not because someone had emptied it but because we had used all the clean dishes out of it. Yeah it was gross. The good news is that things are going to get less crazy from here. I had big fall plans for the week, we are talking hay rides, neighborhood parties, Carmel apples, the works; however, Em seems to have a runny nose and a cough :-( To be safe we spent the day indoors, hopefully she will be up for some fall adventures later in the week. Fall is my favorite time of year and I have been so sad to miss many of my favorite activities. It has been quite an adrenaline rush at work, but I am ready for a few quiet weeks.

Here are some new photos of the girls. Chloe is pulling herself up on EVERYTHING and is never content to be on the floor. She is such a happy little bird!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Problem with a Plan

So I am always coming up with crafty little projects, the problem is that once I conceive them they are often more difficult to implement because finding the perfect materials is nearly impossible. I think I went to every fabric store in the valley to find Chloe's bedding material (thank you Hobby Lobby and mom for finally making my vision a reality). Anyway I have a new project and I need your help...I am making a easel for Emily for Christmas, but I want to make it with an old mirror or picture frame something that would hold a 17x21 inch photo. The more ornate the better. I want to paint it and make it the frame for the easel. I am looking for something for less than $25. If you see anything please let me know!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dear Grandma and Grandpa Hales, and Anyone Else Who Reads This Blog

Sorry I have been so bad about uploading photos and videos. The days have turned into weeks and some how the summer is over and I fear with the recent change in the weather I may have missed the fall too. The girls are growing like weeds and become more adorable every day. Our recent days have been filled with LOTS and LOTS of work; LOTS and LOTS of canning (peaches, pears, plum jam, salsa and italian tomatoes) I have been doing lots of "squirrel stuff" and am mostly saved up for the long winter, a few fall crafts, a saturday project a Lowes building a drum (that resulted in a massive bloody nose when Emily tripped and an even bigger scene), a Saturday trip to Lehi Aquatic Center where both girls spent the afternoon "fwimmin," dinner at Harvest (one of my most favorite resturants), a Friday night date to see Jim Gaffagan (yes he is actually more funny in person), a trip to the zoo to see the baby animals (a new elephant that is ADORABLE, a giraffe, some monkeys, a snow lepord, and two baby tigers), a day at Hollywood Connection with daddy (it is pretty ghetto, but Emily loved the rides), a day with Brayden at the Classic Skating bounce house, a trip with Brayden to Boondocks, lots of sewing (I actually finished 3 dresses and have plans for 2 more), the stomach flu (Yuck), a gas leak that resulted in us being evacuated from our house (good thing we were not home, if it were not for my neighbor I'm not sure I even would have known), 2 teeth for Chloe, and lots of routine stuff that I can't think of. Now you are all caught up. Too bad I have taken almost no photos the last few months. Promise I will get better.

Below is video of Chloe crawling. I can't believe how big she is getting!

Here are some photos from last week, the weather has been so yucky since this morning.

Here is Em's new do. She cut her bangs herself and was quite pleased with the will grow back, at least I keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Already?

So last night was the first real fall evening and this morning we woke up to a real chill in the air. I love love love fall. Love the weather, love the holidays, love the change in the scenery, love the sunflowers that are growing everywhere, love that I get to dress the girls in a whole new wardrobe. I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by.

Chloe is getting so big and so cute! She has started crawling I have had a hard time capturing the exact moment she started crawling because it has sort of evolved over the last month or so. Emily didn't crawl and then one day she saw Ryan's dinner across the room and she crawled to it, that was it, she was a crawler. For Chloe crawling has been more of a evolution, each day becoming a little stronger and more coordinated until she has become a crawling fool. She is pretty fast now and is starting to be into everything. I don't remember Emily putting EVERYTHING in her mouth, I'm sure she did, I just have blocked the memory. Chloe now trolls the floor looking for things left behind that she can devour. As of Sunday she also has her first tooth, and it looks like 2,3, and 4 are not far behind. She is still skinny (16 lbs last time I weighed her), but LOVES to eat solid food, hopefully she will be bulking up now that she can sit and put Cheerios in her mouth for an hour at a time. She is starting to pull up on things, part of me wants to put her back on the floor and tell her "you're too little for that" (I may have once or twice) but I guess I have to let her grow up. She is seriously soooooo happy these days, she has become quite angelic now that she can roam around and play with what ever strikes her fancy. Although she still has many very dramatic moments every day, whenever something is not as it should be in the world. Emily has a hard time with the concept of sharing and usually can be found taking away Chloe's new found treasure. Chloe doesn't mind too much usually and is just happy Emily is paying attention to her. Chloe will give anyone who pays attention a giant smile and a big open mouth slobbery kiss, that feels more like you are being attacked. Chloe is getting more verbal all the time, she used to growl all the time, I really wish I would have caught it on video because it was hilarious. Currently she is more of a squealer, and is starting to babble a little. I have video, but it is at my mom's house so I will have to post more later. Just didn't want the memories to slip away as life passes us by.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wish I Would Have Know that 20 Years Ago

Those of you that have seen my childhood photos know that I have fought a long hard fight with my hair. I have done everything it has ever asked of me including providing it with expensive shampoos, gels, sprays, conditioners...yet the last few weeks we have still been fighting. I really have given it everything, once I spent $50 for a 9 oz bottle of shampoo that was imported from Europe, I have had cuts by stylists that have been published in about every beauty magazine published (they felt that I should pay the same price as Brittney Spears, and grudgingly I obliged), and this came in the Ramen eating days when my hair care costs roughly equalled my rent (well maybe that is an exaggeration). Typically I stock pile shampoo never wanting to deprive my hair of the product it craves. However, this week I ran totally out of shampoo for the first time in memory. I was forced to use Ryan's shampoo that we pick up at Walmart by the cartload for $1.99 a bottle. I was sure my hair would revolt and maybe even fall out. Imagine my shock when in fact the last two days have been the best hair days in weeks...humm I feel kind of foolish. Watch out hair Suave it is for you!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sledding in August

So I don't want to even discuss the amount of time I have been spending at work lately or that when I get home all I want to do is lay on the couch and pass out. Yesterday I didn't have to go into the office, so I was determined to spend some quality mommy time with my poor abandoned peanuts (thankfully my mom is watching them and not some random stranger). After checking the mail Em and I discovered that my most recent Ebay purchase had arrived. We opened it up and found Emily's snowsuit. She got very excited and wanted to put it on and go "fwimmin." I explained it was a snowsuit not a swimsuit, but did manage to avoid tears by asking her if she wanted to go sledding. She was pretty excited about the idea, so we spent the next hour or so "sledding" in the house, which consists of me pulling her around the kitchen on a blanket and her telling Aunt Bicky to "hold on tight." Aunt Bicky is the elephant. Aunt Vicky gave it to her for her birthday and she instantly was in LOVE with it. We asked her what she wanted to name it and she said "Aunt Bicky" so we went with it. She decided that it was "kinda warm" to be wearing a coat in the house so let Aunt Bicky wear it for the ride.


Somehow my baby is old enough to be eating Cheerios, sitting by herself, and crawling. Wasn't I pregnant with her like 5 minutes ago? She is such a cute little bug though. She loves playing with anything new. Yesterday she started attacking Emily's raisins that she left on the floor, so I decided to give her some captain crunch in her Bumbo chair. She loved it and sat there in heaven for about 20 minutes. This morning she got Cheerios. I was not aware that dry cereal could be that messy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can I Please Get Off the Boat, Mr. Wonka?

Last night was reminiscent of the scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder version), where they are in the magical chocolate paradise and get on a boat to tour the chocolate river, everything seems like a wonderful dream until they go into the cave. Suddenly it becomes dark and terrible images start flashing before them. The dream is transformed into a nightmare and everyone wishes they had never gotten on the boat. So last night Emily went to bed with no complaint and no crying (magical chocolate paradise), then we entered the cave about 11:00 pm the FIRST time she woke up. I sat with her until she fell asleep. Then the bad images started to flash before my eyes at about 1:00 am when she woke up screaming AGAIN. I decided not to fight it and just put her in bed with me. After laying in bed with her for 3 hours while neither of us slept I decided to put her in her own bed. That is when things got really bad. She screamed at the top of her lungs for 2 hours! About 15 minutes into it I wondered why I didn't just let her sleep with me, but then it was too late, I was on the boat and just had to see it through to the conclusion...2 hours later she finally fell asleep! With Emily I have learned the hard way that you can never give in when it comes to sleep stuff, if you do, it will just be that much worse next time. I am so not good at picking my battles!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

This summer while my sister was here I was in the mood for blueberry muffins. I asked her to stop at the store and grab some muffin mix on her way to my house. She responded like I had just asked her to eat a booger. Then she informed that mix is not necessary to make muffins, imagine my surprise. She then referred me to the muffin mix recipe that she had given me about five years ago for Christmas. Since then I have made muffins several times without a mix and surprisingly they are pretty good (this morning I made Cherry muffins, yum). Typically my culinary inspiration comes less from The Barefoot Contessa and more from Betty Crocker, Sarah Lee, and Marie Callendar. If it comes from a box, bag, tray, or can count me in!

Along these lines, I am embarrassed to admit that I have never actually sewn an item of clothing entirely by myself. Typically I buy the stuff, cut it out, and wait for my mom to get frustrated enough to finish it for me. Today I saw a tutorial on how to make a girls dress out of a shirt. I scoured my closet, found an old shirt and here are the results.

Emily was not in the mood to model, so this is the best photo I got. I used the cuffs of the shirt to make the bodice (that was my own little invention). I pretty much love the results. Emily is not so sure, but maybe she will be in a better mood later. I am thinking of making a little flower clip to put on the front.

Friday, August 21, 2009

On a Happier Note

Sorry I left my grumpy rant as the last post for so long. Things have been crazy. It was Ry's birthday and Chloe is working on getting mobile. Here are some pages to document the fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

I have been working more than usual lately and I have a bunch of deadlines coming up (thankfully Tiff is coming back part time next week!) Yesterday Rick (my boss) asked if I was coming in tomorrow (meaning today), I told him I would, but I didn't have a babysitter. Then he said too bad we can't just pay someone to come to the office and babysit the kids here. Then I said, wait aren't your girls out of school, maybe Marli could come in and watch the girls while I work. It all seemed like a good plan...Holy #@!# (fill in your own expletive here) was I wrong. It was Chloe's nap time so she was having a fit because it seems she can only fall asleep in the car or in her crib. Emily was also having a major melt down, after two hours of massive embarrassment and several phone calls with my kids screaming as background noise I decided that we needed to go home and that we will not be coming into the office again for quite some time. I hate feeling like I am never where I should be; when I am at work I feel like I should be with my kids, when I am home I feel like I should be at work. The lesson of the day, deal with the guilt and DON'T combine the two activities! It was cute that Emily kept calling Marli "Curly" (Marli has very straight hair so it was pretty amusing). She also was also holding her phone up to her ear with her shoulder and multi tasking with her hands just like mommy, I was amused.

I have discovered Chloe's favorite thing in the whole world, she LOVES Otter Pops. She had a fever the other day and I gave her one to cool her down, now every time she sees them she gets so excited, she can hardly wait for me to cut the top off. She also loves playing in the sink/tub after she is done. She LOVES water. She is growing up so fast I am often surprised by the things she knows/recognizes and by the things she can do, I just don't expect her to grow up this fast.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Branching Out

So I am an avid reader of Cheesy Mormon Romance novels. They are very formulaic: girl and boy meet, girl is beautiful (usually blonde and skinny); oy is handsome, smart, and sensitive; girl and boy face some sort of challenge (don't like each other, some one is trying to kill them, they have had some sort of spiritual or financial or medical or family crisis); this challenge is keeping them apart; they pray; they overcome said challenge, and everyone lives happily ever after. One day they can't stand the sight of each other and the next day they are discussing their future children's eye color. Typically this satisfies me. But after consuming hundreds of these novels I feel like I have eaten a whole bag of Cheetos before bed and I am up all night with a grumbly tummy wondering why I ate the whole bag (not that I have done that, but um I can imagine what it would feel like...). Anyway, I am looking to branch out. So far I have not had resounding success with my typical method of finding books. Usually I just go to the library and randomly pick books off the shelves. When looking for Cheesy Mormon Romance novels just look for anything published by Covenant and be sure not to read the summary on the back cover or it will spoil the first half of the book. I have read so many of these using this method that sometimes I check the same book out a second time only realizing I have read it before about 10 pages in. Typically I check out 5 or 6 of these and consume them before the due date.
While attempting to branch out into new genres I HAVE discovered that you SHOULD NOT read anything on the NY Times Best Seller's list, typically this just means the book is trashy. So I am looking for some advice on what I should read next. Hopefully something that will provoke thought, something that can be read in more than one sitting, and something that will not bore me to tears. Remember this is my first real foray into the literary world since college and War and Peace seems a little daunting, but I would be up for some Zora Neal Hurston.

I have a little eye candy as well. Here are a couple of pages I have been working on. I have kicked poor Ry off the computer and have been scrapping away.