Archive for the ‘Random Stuff’ category

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…

September 12, 2011

Held Captive

July 22, 2011

Last year when organizing our shelves in the family room, I got sort of overwhelmed with all of my cd’s. I probably should have taken them out of their jewel cases and put them in folders right then, but I was in a hurry, so they all got put in a storage container and shoved in the storage shed.

Fast forward to the present. Before I put them in storage, there were a lot of these cd’s that I hadn’t gotten around to transferring to my iTouch, and I got sick of not having them available. Wanting to unearth these lost albums PLUS looking for a book for a friend inspired me to clean out the storage shed to find these lost items AND get it more organized.

I got the shed cleaned, found the book and the cd’s, and have spent the last couple of days transferring cd’s to my computer. HOLY BORING! It’s not like I can load ‘er up and walk away… it’s essentially a babysitting job that’s kept me tied to this dang laptop for hours. 45 discs down and about 15 to go… there is light at the end of the tunnel.

All of this forced computer time leads a person to sites that they might not otherwise discover. Introducing my favorite new blog:

Knowing my audience, I am sure there are a few of you who don’t entirely appreciate the name of this website, but get over yourself, quit being a sissy/baby, and check it out! Other than the “D” word (which doesn’t bother me, but I’m rebellious like that), this blog is hilarious AND something I wouldn’t have any problem showing to my kids.

Oh look, it’s time to switch my cd… again. On the menu for today: Swimming lessons for girls, then a swim party with the ladies and their kids. Woo hoo! I’m looking forward to this holiday weekend with the fam, and hope to shortly leave my cd’s and computer and join the world :).

Mr. Sensitivity

February 6, 2011

Cooper: “Mom, Jake thinks he’s ugly. It’s sad.”

Me: “Why do you think that?”

Cooper: “Because he looked in the mirror, put his head down, and walked away. But he’s not ugly! I think he’s cute!.”

Then he whispers to the dog, “Jake, it’s OK. You’re not ugly, you’re very cute”.

Cute indeed.

Movies This Month

January 20, 2011

If there is blame to be had, you can put it all on my parents… especially my dad.

Growing up, my parents were (and still are) big movie goers. Not only did they hit the theater to quench their entertainment thirst, but it happened at home as well. We were one of the first families I knew to own a VCR, and when DVD’s came out, it was the same story. As a family we went to the movie theater often… at least a few times per month, and we rented movies every weekend. Yes, we did many other things as well, but the point is, movies have always been a big part of my life. I’m a movie lover. Drama, horror, comedy, documentary, thriller, romance, etc. Whatever the genre, I’m game.

In addition to my It’s Gotta Go Wednesday, once a month I’m going to discuss some of the highlights (and in some cases, the low-lights) of my movie experiences for the month.

Greg and I have seen a handful of movies this month, 4 at the theater and a few at home. Seeing as we’re only half way through the month, that’s something. Luckily our taste in movies is very similar, as is our love of them. Yippy!

The Fighter – Who doesn’t love Mark Wahlberg, besides the husbands of women who REALLY love Marky Mark. Not bad to look at AND an amazing actor. Christian Bale was not as great to look at, especially in this film, but his portrayal of the drug addicted brother and trainer of boxer Micky Ward was awesome. I really enjoyed this film… it gets a 4.5 out of 5 in my book.

True Grit – What an amazing remake of this classic John W. movie. All of the reviews I read guided me into making this the first movie I saw in 2011. It lived up to every bit of hype. I loved it. Jeff Bridges was unforgettable, as was newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. Matt Damon, one of my favs, was excellent as always. LOVE IT! Definitely a 5 out of 5 for me.

Black Swan – The previews looked awesome. Intense, a little twisted, and right up my ally. Verdict: What a disappointment. I truly don’t get what all of the talk is about. Natalie Portman was great, but the plot and execution of the film… BLAH. Hence my 2.5 out of a 5 rating.

The Kings Speech – I’ve saved the best for last. I absolutely loved everything about this film. The acting was superb, and the story was inspiring. It’s not often when I movie can evoke so many different emotions in me, but this one was one of those rare flicks. I went from laughing to having my heart ache for King George, played by Colin Firth. I have a feeling this movie will be at the top of my list when the end of the year comes. It is a 5 out of 5, and in my opinion, a must see.

ON VIDEO: I think we saw this next video in December, but it was good enough to warrant a mention. The Secret in Their Eyes. It’s a foreign film, and a mix between a thriller and drama, with some romance. It’s very good… a 4 out of a 5. If you’re an avid Netflixer like we are, get it.

Get off of your butt, out of the house, head to the theater, and sit on your butt while enjoying a great flick.

Maui – Part 2

July 15, 2010

Thursday, while waiting in line for heaven, aka breakfast, I was talking to my friend Cynthia. She had planned to scuba dive both Friday AND Saturday, and was planning on going solo. I happen to be certified (which I did when I was about 19). I had NEVER been in open water since my certification, and I’m not sure that Blue Lake, located in beautiful Wendover, really counts as open water. After chatting about it a little bit I decided that I would join her for Fridays dive.

The next morning I was nervous but excited, and pretty tired after some serious jet lag and having to wake up at 5 am. But my sleep deprivation was a non-issue when we got on the boat. Diving in an ocean is a WHOLE different ball game than what I had previously experienced… pathetic in comparison. I could fill up 10 posts with all of the details, but to sum it up… it was one of the coolest things I have ever done! Amazing. Life-changing. Something I am sooooo glad I did. Here are some photos of the dive:

After our phenomenal dive, we headed back to the hotel for some poolside relaxation. I was still lobster red from the day before, so I put on my spf 50 and just enjoyed the warmth of the sun while I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which about 234 other people at the hotel were reading :).  The rest of the girls joined us and then we headed into town for another delicious meal, statue harassment, toad catching (just me… the ladies looked and scremed), and laughs before bed.

Saturday some of us decided to hit our favorite breakfast spot again, which I forgot to mention is called The Gazebo Restaurant, while others decided to do the rip line, and 2 others did a volcano bike ride, where at 2 am they left to bike down a volcano, watch the sunrise (the pictures I’ve seen are amazing), and bike down some more. I spent the morning/afternoon enjoying the beach with my friend Strawberri (yes, that is her real name), and then met up with everyone else later on. Carlie, Tammi, and I entered a water slide competition where speed was the goal. Our “heat” was  for adults only. We were the only women that entered and were competing against about 5 young men (around 18-24 yrs old). I totally expected the men to win but… FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD!!! YAHOO! We were so excited to kick butt and take names, and we also won free shaved ice :).

The first day in Hawaii we made reservations for Saturday night at a place that we were told was the best entertainment on the island, Warren and Annabelle’s magic show. It was SO much fun. I really didn’t know what to expect, but everyone we spoke to beforehand raved about it, and it did not fail to deliver. Strawberri ended up being chosen to assist one of the magicians. FUN FUN!

Sunday morning we headed to, yes, you guessed it, the Gazebo for our favorite pancakes and rice. We then headed back to our room to pack, check out, load all of our crap in 2 of our friends room (who had their room until Monday morning), get in our suits and head down to the pool to swim, walk on the beach, and try to soak in as much sun and fun we could before we had to leave for a dinner reservation followed by a flight home.

While I was out at the pool, I noticed this cute little lizard. About 4 feet away a much larger lizard came out of the bushes. I loved it, because I happen to be one of those crazy people who love animals… all animals. The big lizard started running across the walkway and I thought, “oh, how cute. He’s running over to say hi to his little friend”. If cute means that the little guy was lunch. The bigger lizard ran up to the little guy and grabbed him in his mouth. I quickly poked the big lizard and he let the little one go. Pretty exciting stuff :).Here’s a picture of before the “attack”.

The night we left ee ate at the famous Mama’s Fish House, where we had made reservations even before we left on our trip. Ummmm, HOLY CRUD BALLS it was good. As in the best Ahi Tuna steak I’ve ever had. And the view and setting was absolutely breathtaking. The whole experience was surreal.

The plane home was a little rough. Our flight left 45 minutes late, 10:40 Hawaii time, and I couldn’t sleep AT ALL during the 5 hour flight, mostly because I could not get comfortable. I was tempted but didn’t put a plastic bag over my head ;). We then had a short layover in L.A., and had a 2 hour flight home to Salt Lake City.

I missed my hubby and kids a lot, and was ready to get home to them, but the end of the trip was bittersweet. We all had a wonderful time and were a little sad to say goodbye and end our awesome time together. But all good things must come to an end and it was nice to be home again to sleep in my own bed and in the arms of Mr. N.

I’m so incredibly grateful to my amazing friend Maree who made this trip possible. I’m not sure I’m worthy of such generous and great people in my life, but as long as they’ll have me, I’m theirs :). This group of friends/women made the trip what it was… unforgettable and what I needed. It was nothing short of amazing!

I appreciate everyone who helped out with the kids (Mom & Dad, Celeste & Patrick, and Carla, for being willing to watch the twins even though plans changed). And a huge thanks to Greg who handled everything at home and made it so I could relax while I was away and not worry about what was happening at home.


I’ll Get Offa My Soap Box Now

April 25, 2010

Shortly after I married my now ex, a friend of ours got married and at the reception they didn’t have a traditional cake like I (everyone?) is used to. They had a tower of fruit. FRUIT?! What the hell was up with the fruit!? Come to find out the bride didn’t eat sugar, and our friend, the groom, was following suit. Now this was the type of couple that never used birth control (even though they had 3 kids and a 2 bedroom apartment), probably knitted their own clothing from bark they harvested off of the tree next to their parking lot, and for all I know, she’s still probably breastfeeding her now 10-year-old. OK, maybe not the last, but they were always a little too “au natural” for my taste, albeit very nice, and always were preaching about why they practiced what I thought was kind of, well, weird.

I’ve always sort of done an internal eye roll at people who were super gung-ho over ANYTHING. Or at least super verbal and pushy about it. Especially when it comes to food. Sugar free, Atkins, only organic, etc. I was once trapped for 30 minutes in a kitchen being lectured about how I was evil because I didn’t feed my children organic only food. But as I’ve gotten older, wiser, and more decrepit, I’ve become more aware of my health and what I put into my body. I blogged a few months ago how I’ve gone sugar-free (including honey, molasses, AND chemical sugar supplements, like Splenda) as well as nixing all refined or processed food (like white flour), potatoes and corn products. Kind of ironic seeing as I’ve almost become the person I rolled my eyes at. Although I don’t “preach” (or volunteer) my beliefs about food and diet, so I can still tolerate myself just fine.

It’s been a process that has evolved through months of reading, research, and some trial and error. There are times that I want to just say “screw it” and eat whatever I want without having to read labels or think about it. But I feel SO much better in every way, I know it’s not worth it. I am less tired each day, I sleep better at night, my skin is clear, and mentally and physically I just feel better. Plus, I can pretty much eat anything I can think of. I may have to make substitutions and tweak recipes so they are “legal”, but I’m excited about the prospect of new things, finding new recipes, and learning more about nutrition each day.

This weekend for a dinner with friends I prepared one of these sugar-free/refined ingredients free desserts. It’s a lemon cheesecake and although I’m not sure the Mr. is convinced, my kids absolutely LOVED it (and I was rather fond of it myself). And it tasted even better today, a day later. SIDE NOTE: Speaking of food, I have to mention the amazingly delicious fresh tuna we had for our dinner party. Greg prepared it outside on the BBQ on a wooden grilling plank and it was heaven! It was even better with the butter wasabi sauce.

ONE funny “side effect” of eating this way is that I feel like I taste the flavor of my food better. Foods taste sweater, deeper, brighter, I dunno… they just come through more clearly I guess. Hopefully feeling good will be motivation enough to keep on keeping on (because I do have my moments). If you’ve got any great recipes or menu ideas that would work, send them my way. Anything from salads, main courses and meat, and dessert is welcome. I’ll be your lab rat :).


February 18, 2010

Every day I keep thinking that I need to post an update on what’s happening in my world. But as the days fly by, it all gets away from me, and then I find myself thinking “so much has happened, where do I begin and what do I even say?”.

One step at a time, right?

OK, Arizona (yeah, I know it was almost 2 weeks ago). It was BEEEE-UTIFUL! The weather, the resort, our awesome room, the wonderful spa… everything. It was wonderful being able to get away with the Mr. and to have some time to ourselves all while enjoying a nice change in climate and surroundings. Not only the was the “vacation” portion of the trip awesome, the “business” part went better than I expected. I’m on the board of a foundation who (among other things) gives money to various organizations and charities. MY cause (which I am very passionate about) got an unheard of amount of money (at least relative to what they usually give)… the full amount I requested. Maybe it was my embarrassing and very unexpected and unwelcome blubbering. Maybe I’m the master of public speaking (not). Whatever it was, it worked and I am thrilled to be able to be a part of something that help children and their families and literally change lives. Woo hoo! It made my week. I still get excited when I think about it.

Valentine’s Day weekend was splendid as well. I LOVE the kids – they are my life – but I really appreciate the few nights a month Greg and I get to spend alone. We never got any kind of “honeymoon” period because we were thrust into parenting not our usual 2 and 3, but a whooping 5 kids, full-time. The weekend was not only romantic but we also got TONS done. We cleaned, organized, made trips to our storage unit, and just in general kicked ass AND took names. It was great at the end of the day to look at all of the great progress we made. I love the feeling of a productive day, and BONUS… we got to do it together!

Tuesday was my monthly “date with one of my kids” night. I know I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love and look forward to this! This month was Ian’s turn. We decided to get some dinner and then catch the new movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. He was in the mood for a burger and fries, and since we were tight on time, we headed to the burger joint, SNAPPY’S, inside Jordan Commons. Ian seemed to really enjoy the food, especially the Oreo shake :). The movie was what I expected (not wonderful, not bad, somewhat entertaining), but Ian liked it and that was all that mattered. I had a lot of fun getting to spend that time alone with him. I adore that kid!

At the end of each week I go into the next hoping that it’ll be a little less chaotic, that I’ll have a little more down time, that I’ll have to put up with less crap that is redonkulous, and that I’ll actually get 8 hours of sleep. Rarely does any of it actually happen, and there are some days that the demands on me make it feel like I’m getting dragged into quicksand and on the verge of going under. But the truth is, even with all stress and strain and  running around trying to get everyone where they need to be and everything done that needs to get done, I love my life. I love my friends, my dog, my children and family, and my husband. I’m so very grateful that I have the choice and ability to stay home with our 5 children, volunteer at their school A LOT, arrange play dates, run them to all of their various activities, and cook dinner every night. I’m thankful to be married to a man that keeps his commitments and takes pride in working hard to provide for all of us. I’m one lucky woman.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my brothers death. There isn’t an edge to the pain like there used to be years ago, but this DAY has sort of loomed over my head and created a shadow all week. I’ve lived longer without him than I did with him, but even after 22 years, I still miss him. I wonder what kind of man he would have been. Would he have been a husband and father? The next Einstein? I’ll never know, and I guess that is what’s hardest for me. What I wouldn’t give to know him now. At some point, I think I will have that opportunity. Until then, I love you bro!

Awesome and Not-So-Awesome

December 17, 2009

AWESOME: Getting together with a gaggle of friends for a “Christmas Cookie Exchange” party. What is a Christmas cookie exchange party you ask? It’s a bunch of women getting together to visit, catch up, laugh and just enjoy each other’s company. But we don’t come empty handed. Oh no. We show up with 6 dozen cookies that we’ve made, and then all share the bootie. Cute snowman platters were provided by our wonderful hostess, and we filled our huge plates with cookies to bring home and, if desired, share. It was great!
NOT-SO-AWESOME: Having a dog, Jake, whom I love, eat the ENTIRE f’ing platter of cookies when  I went to pick the kids up from school the day after the cookie shin-dig. THE. WHOLE. PLATTER. We’re talking about 40-50 cookies. Maybe 5 lbs. of cookies. When I saw what he had done, I quickly went from pissed to terrified. Because what goes in MUST come out, and I didn’t know how, where, or in what form the “out” would rear it’s ugly (and potentially disgusting and vomit inducing) head. He spent the good part of the afternoon outside, and luckily there were no accidents. However, there was some serious air polution infractions. When I opened my daughters bedroom door this morning (which is where Jake sleeps), it was obvious that his digestive system had been doing some serious work through the night. Yuck.

AWESOME: Having amazing medical coverage is worth more than it’s weight in colostomy bags. My shoulder surgery cost me absolutely nothing. Having lived through some serious medical insurance nightmares, I am extremely grateful to have such great insurance. Sweet!
NOT-SO-AWESOME: Having a state “program” designed to protect and cover children who’ve been dumped by other insurance companies DUMP those same kids because of a confusion over paper work. AND then not do anything about it. That is my tax dollars at work.

NOT-SO-AWESOME: My hubby being out of town for the week :(.
AWESOME: Being married to not only my best friend, but having that man be the most thoughtful and sweet man alive. Every morning that he’s been gone, I’ve gotten a text telling me where I can find my next hidden gift. That’s right… he hid little presents for me around the house, one for every day he’s gone (although yesterday was “bonus” day and I got two 🙂 ). Seriously, how cute is that!?! It’s been hard having him gone and I miss him terribly, but I am excited to get to see him tomorrow and looking forward to our weekend alone.

And It Continues

September 27, 2009

For all of the home improvement projects I’ve gotten myself into over the years, and for every time I tell myself that I will take BEFORE photos, I find it annoying and stupid odd that it is something I rarely actually accomplish. Grrr.

We’re still elbow deep in redo’s and renovations. After a lot of thought, Mr. N and I decided to go ahead with gutting the shower in the master bathroom and putting in a tub/shower. Reasons? Let me count the ways. First and foremost, the size of the shower is a definite issue. It is possible for me to shave my legs, as long as sit down and extend my leg above my head. I’m not kidding. And while standing under the running water, there is about a foot between your face and the wall. The second issue is that the tile was not overly attractive… a lovely green, probably installed when the house was built in the late 70’s. Not quite the impression we’re trying to make. And lastly, we are getting ready to put the house on the market. My thinking is that I’ve always wanted a tub in the bathroom, so if the house doesn’t sell (or doesn’t sell quickly), then I’ll have the tub I’ve wanted. Otherwise having a full tub in the master will help it show better and improve the value. SO I figure we can’t lose. We’re doing most of the work ourselves, so with only a relatively little money and a lot of time and work invested, it’ll all be worth it. The only annoying thing (besides living is some SERIOUS dust) is that we’re finally doing the stuff we’ve wanted to have done BUT with the prospect of not really getting to enjoy it all that much. Such is life.

Until the bathroom is done and ready to use (which I think/hope will be in about 5 days), and between doing the tiling in the tub/shower, I’m going to attempt to tackle some of the de-cluttering in the storage room as well as depersonalizing the house. Oh the joy of selling a home.

It’s True What They Say

September 1, 2009

The infamous “they” say that it’s a small world. Well, I’m here to confirm that it really is.

It’s always interesting to find and figure out the connections between various seemingly unconnected and random people in your life. And those occasional “OMG, how would he/she know them” moments are the best. Sometimes this situation can be a little awkward, but more often than not it’s nothing less than entertaining.

Personally, I’m all for this small world stuff because frankly, it makes for the most interesting conversation.