Monday, December 26, 2011


I absolutely love the holiday season. It is magical and beautiful and amid the stress and craziness it brings promises of happiness and love and family.

Thanksgiving was spent at my parents home and we stuffed ourselves with a delicious meal surrounded by family and old friends.

As we compared our food babies, we began our rousing annual bingo competition.

Pretty soon the little ones dropped out one by one and were drawn in by my wonderful cousin Brian. It was so adorable hearing their little voices calling out the numbers.

We hit the Festival of Trees. Twice. In shifts.

Both times were super fun.

The first time Luke, Liam, and I along with my sister and her girls and my sister in law went Thursday morning and there was hardly anyone there. We decided to try the Kids Corner for the first time ever since it was virtually empty.

They went fishing, got candy, made some crafts, and Liam was eaten by a huge bubble.

Then we perused the gingerbread masterpieces and the fun trees. I made a mistake of reading some of stories associated with the trees and choked back tears numerous times. I feel so lucky right now that my entire family is happy and healthy.

The second time Nick and Justin joined us and next year Nick wants us to decorate a gingerbread house and donate it to the cause. It may be sorry looking but we will give it a try.

We also decorated our tree...

...made North Pole cupcakes...

...Liam had his Christmas program and showed off his dance moves...

...we "elfed" a couple families in our neighborhood...

...and made some reindeer cupcakes.

It has been a wonderful start to this most wonderful of seasons.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

*goings on*

Things have been hopping lately. What with Christmas quickly approaching it is easy to let the little moments slip by without so much as a glance.

Andrew finished phase 1 of his orthodontic treatment and got his braces off! This is code for "I will be paying for the orthodontist's trip to Barbados this summer when phase 2 rolls around" but it truly is worth it seeing his smile transform.

My darling niece just turned two. Read about her party here. My sister is pretty. darn. creative.

Nick was sporting a nasty stache so one morning before church Justin helped him shave it off.

Liam had a super cute Thanksgiving feast with his class. They each brought a food that they would like to share and he chose mac and cheese. The parent volunteers would go around the table and ask if they would like the different foods and they would need to use their manners replying with "Yes, please" or "No, thank you." It was absolutely adorable.

Luke started basketball. His team is terrible and it is quite painful to go watch his games but he loves it. The last game they had they started getting the hang of it so maybe there is hope we will maybe win one game this season. Or just not be behind by double digits.

We had two football banquets.

And Liam finally lost that pesky wiggly tooth that had been plaguing him for weeks. He got a whole dollar from the tooth fairy. Lucky fellow, I remember getting the going rate of a quarter when I was his age.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

*birthday dinner*

At 13 I think that friend birthday parties should be put on hold. Not indefinately, but maybe until the big 1-6 rolls around.

So we opted to invite the grandparents to go to dinner. I think Nick was more excited about that than if I had planned for his friends to come along.

We went to Pat's barbeque. We had to plan the night way in advance due to the schedule that football carved out for us this fall so Nick chose the venue weeks before and couldn't wait until the day to come. The time seemed to take forever because the thought of their delicious grub tantalized my taste buds and made me salivate. A lot.

I had never been when they have had live music playing. It was super cute because the boys would move to the music as they were eating. There was not a whole lot of conversation around the table because the music was so loud but there was visiting in little groups throughout the evening and it was quite delightful.

My boys are lucky to have two sets of fabulous grandparents. Grandparents that are supportive and loving and help Justin and I raise our brood. They exercise just enough extra parenting to help guide them (and us) through tough spots. And the coolest thing about their parenting is that my boys don't even know what hit them because it was done on the sly. By someone other than their parents. It is great to have that secret backup ammunition.

We love you Nick. I am proud for the choices you are making in your life and hope that you continue on the path that you are on. You have good friends and have a mature head on your shoulders that has helped you see a bit into the future to help you make good decisions now. You want to go to college so you want (and are getting) straight A's. You want to go on a mission so you go to church and sometimes read your scriptures. I wish that you could see that your brothers are most likely going to be bigger than you one day so you would stop picking on them. I guess you will learn that one the hard way.

Happy, happy birthday love.

Monday, December 5, 2011

*until next year*

Championship games baby.

It was frigid cold. The uncomfortable cold that bites and goes all the way through the body and rattles your bones. I am so happy that I decided to bring a million blankets.

Yes, Liam is in this pile somewhere. Everyone kept asking where he was and couldn't believe that he was holed up in his little cave. He totally fell asleep. It was awesome.

And the game was SO worth the agony of exposing ourselves to the bitter elements. Just to recap, we played against Stansbury. During the regular season we had tie game of 0-0 for the entire time of regulation and then we scored during overtime and held them for the win.

This game was intense. I was so worried that it was going to come down to a second overtime duel between the two teams. To be honest, I don't think my heart could have handled it.

Herriman scored first and played an incredible game of defense. Nick had a very good game including catching 4 passes. One of Nick's friends, also named Nick, deflected two passes forcing Stansbury to their fourth down and giving us the ball with under two minutes to go in the game. But on the punt, it hit one of our players which awarded Grantsville the automatic first down at their own 5 yard line.

I felt sick. I wanted the boys to win so bad and I felt all hope was lost to get out of this game without going into overtime. And who knows what can happen then.

But you know what? Our defense held them inside the 5 yard line with less than a minute left for four downs. They really didn't even come close.

I am totally lying because I really bit all my nails off and almost peed my pants but it was so amazing to watch our guys hold their ground and come away champions.

Yes, champions. They earned the right to wave their one pointer finger in the air and
jump up and down and hug and yell their little hearts out.

Herriman 6. Stansbury 0. What else is amazing is that for the entire season, Herriman's defense only allowed 49 points to be scored and the offense scored 217 points. Pretty. freaking. awesome.

During Andrew's game I had to keep imagining that I lived on a tropical island and that it was insanely hot outside. The weather was even more miserable than Nick's game if that is even possible. And just to add insult to injury, the snack shack ran out of hot cocoa. That should be a felony.

Seeing my cute niece visiting from D.C. helped warm my spirits a bit though.

Although the spectators suffered, thankfully the team had a little hut set up with multiple heaters to keep them warm.

Andrew and his team played well. They had barely lost to this Alta team during the regular season by only one point so it was a fair matchup. Herriman scored first and had the lead at halftime.

Alta rarely ran the ball down Andrew's side because he has established himself as a tough defender. I am so proud of Andrew and all he has learned in his first year.

It was a high scoring game and in the end we lost 27-22.

Second place is pretty darn awesome though and Andrew was excited about finishing out the season so well.

Here is to free Saturdays. At least until basketball starts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have a 13 year old.

It is a little crazy to wrap my head around this fact.

I remember thinking that my parents looked so mature and put together when I was 13 and I don't feel anywhere near as mature or put together as they seemed.

He welcomed his birthday in grand fashion at football practice. I guess the tradition for the team is to have the birthday boy crawl under everyone's legs and receive a birthday spanking.

I think it is weird but whatever. Those football players. Any excuse to smack a butt.

Then he came home to his birthday dinner and presents. He also thought he needed to parade around without his shirt on so I tried to post pictures that didn't show him so exposed.

Sheesh. Teenagers.

He also requested a carrot cake for his decadent dessert. I made one--from scratch--and despite its unfortunate looking appearance, it tasted, if I do say so myself, amazing.

Click here is the recipe.

He is almost as tall as I am and he has passed up my mom and my mother in law. He has bigger feet than I do. He is determined and serious and helpful and annoying and does show his fun side every once in a while. He is a tad OCD. He is kind to others and is nice to his brothers when he wants to be.

A typical teenager.

I love him with all my heart.