Saturday, December 16, 2006

Eragon Review

Eragon, the most highly advertised movie in a long while, opened yesterday. Brandon and I had the day off so we went to a nearly empty theatre for the 12:30 show, an Orange Julius in hand (pina colada with banana actually).
Overall I give the movie a B rating. Fortunately I haven't read the book yet, so I was saved any disappointment on that account. It is an entertaining fantasy film, appropriate for older children, but a bit too scary for younger ones.
Let me first tell you the good things. Good storyline, great special effects, really bad badguy, good acting, cool dragon, good chemistry between characters, good characters (though many were underdeveloped). Sadly, the film was less than 2 hours long and it left something to be desired. You wanted to see more development of the boy, more of his training, more of his mentor, more development of his dark friend, more of his learning fighting, the elvish language, and magic, etc.
The biggest problem with this film can be described in one word, "formulaic." Even if I spelled that wrong, it is an accurate description. They took what appeared to be a great story, cut it too short and Hollywooded it too much. Some pretty poor scriptwriting and some cliche lines and predictable happenings made it kind of weak.
All that said, I still recommend it and think most of you will enjoy it. We did.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Truth About Santa Claus

(I got this story as a forward from my Grandma Aggie today. I is a story I hope I never forget.)

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" She snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car. "Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends , my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care....And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

30 Weeks

I think it's a combination of the angle of the shot and the way I am standing, but I look HUGE here. But that's okay with me, I'm really not very uncomfortable AND I'm 3/4 of the way thru my pregnancy now. Only 10 weeks to go! Brandon says I look like I swallowed a basketball.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Snowed In

Unlike in Utah, where it would take about 3 feet of snow to shut anything down, here in Oklahoma it's a whole different story. We get snow about 5 times a year. It always begins with freezing rain, then sleet, then snow (or would it be than?). That means there's a nice, thick sheet of black ice under the snow and roads are extremely treacherous. Snow in Utah is very soft, big, fluffy, and wet. OK snow is dry and crunchy and it usually kind of hurts, small ice chunks more than flakes a lot of the time. We actually got some soft flakes on Thursday.

So we woke up Thursday morning with freezing rain but very little snow on the ground after reports on Wednesday of the worst storm Oklahoma has seen in years on every news station. Well, it ended up being a pretty good storm and the roads were really bad on Thursday, but I think people got overly excited because it was the first snow of the year and such. Thursday all the schools were closed, which meant I didn't have to work and Brandon didn't either. We really enjoyed our day inside watching the snow fall, watching tv, baking, snuggling, eating, etc.

I made one of my favorite (and extremely easy) recipes. It had been almost a year since I last made it, what a shame. I got this recipe from my friend Ann from Hawaii a few years ago.

Great Grandma's Banana Bread
5 large bananas
4 eggs
1 c. shortening (I use butter or marg. or both)
2 c. sugar
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Beat all together and add to three greased loaf pans. Test for doneness before removing from oven. Bake 45-60 mins. at 325 degrees. Delicious!!

Been enjoying that bread for 3 days. I especially liked it this morning accompanied by hot chocolate.

Silly enough, all the schools closed again yesterday. We were a little stir crazy and went and wandered around Walmart for awhile in the afternoon. Then watched the rest of our My Name is Earl dvd (best show around) that we'd rented from Netflix (I don't understand why everyone doesn't join). Last night we decorated our little 3 ft. tree. It looks great! Brandon is a little disappointed that we didn't get a bigger and/or real tree this year, but we leave out of town on the 21st so I just didn't want to. We put lights up all over the dining room and a few other decorations out too. The cats haven't eaten any ornaments yet, so that's good. We've also been enjoying a lot of Christmas music. Our favorites have always been Bing Crosby, but we also really like the Charlie Brown soundtrack, the Nutcracker ballet soundtrack, and the Harry Connick Jr. cds. Yesterday at Walmart we bought an excellent Elvis Christmas cd and Christmas with the Rat Pack which is also quite good.

Hope you are enjoying the first few days of December! Love you.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Holiday Weekend

Here we are on Thanksgiving; The McBride Family. We were missing B's big sister Dr. Andy and her hubby Coach Matich but we managed to have a great time without them anyway. I'm so lucky to have great in-laws. Their neighborhood has all these weird fence laws, so what your seeing is us on their swing with the neighbor's house behind. Their yard with its swing, patio, furniture, landscaping and grill, is the envy of the block.

Spend the weekend cooking, eating, relaxing, watching movies (I'd recommend Muppets in Space), playing frisbee, playing Halo, doing Dance Dance Revolution, board games, and talking. I enjoyed every minute!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Casino Royale

Even though I found the new Bond to be unattractive I decided to see the movie anyway. I was not disappointed (neither were any of the professional reviewers). I think we may have found our best Bond and Bond girl ever. Definitely my favorite Bond film, even better than the Sean Connery days. No, it wasn't perfect, but yes, it was excellent. I may have to see it again this weekend. And if you like amazing physical stunts, not just car chases and things blowing up, the first 20 minutes (a foot chase thru a city in Madagascar) will delight you in a Jackie Chan-type way. A-. Go see it!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Giving Thanks

I am still basking in the glow of the holiday. I sit here at a computer in the home of my mother-in-law and her family. We arrived here in Illinios on Wednesday evening. Thursday was a fun family day of cooking and play and eating. Friday I did some shopping, got everything for Brandon's Christmas. Today I'm doing not much of anything but a little bit of helping Tori prepare for her 11th birthday party tonight. Tori is my youngest sister-in-law.
I'm thankful for:
1) A wonderful, loving, crazy family
2) Great in-laws
3) Fantastic friends
4) Good health
5) Modern medicine
6) A baby in my belly
7) A good education
8) Never going without the necessities in life
9) Delicious food
10) The ability to travel the country quickly and comfortably (unlike generations past)
11) Being able to keep in touch with loved ones online
12) The gospel of Jesus Christ
13) Online shopping
14) Holiday cheer
15) Good movies
16) Christmas music
17) A reliable car
18) A comfortable home
19) A talented, loving, ambitious husband and his enthusiasm for fatherhood
20) A great pregnancy

Thanks for reading. I'm thankful for you!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In Memorium

Yesterday we said goodbye to Uncle Danny.
At only 55, he suffered a brain aneurysm, probably from heavy smoking for years.

He leaves behind a wonderful wife and three Florida panthers (and I believe 2 dogs).
He had a wonderful sense of humor and was a good, kind man. He was a great storyteller. If that is hereditary, than he passed it on to my brother, Adam. Oh, and what stories he had to tell! I wish I could have heard them all. He will be greatly missed.

My poor grandparents, have lost 4 of their 8 children. Please pray especially for them and for my aunt Bonnie, but also for my mom and the other surviving 3 siblings.

I love you Uncle Danny and I am sorry that you never got to meet my better half, he would have loved you too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What is that smell?

Last night we noticed a bad odor in the kitchen. It wasn't the diswasher, it wasn't the disposal. There were hardly any dirty dishes, so it wasn't old food in/on them. It didn't seem to be the fridge or the trash.
This morning we discovered it was a rotten potato in a small bag of potatoes on the counter. Rotten potatoes rank up there with old flower water on my list of worst smells. It had leaked its oozy liquid out onto my counter. I cleaned it up and disinfected, but the smell has dispursed throughout the house. I have two candles lit right now. What I'm concerned about is that some of the liquid has probably leaked down the side of the counter on to the floor next to/under the fridge. The crack between the fridge and the counter is a scary place. It is too thin to get a broom into and it is full of lint and cat hair and probably a few magnents, etc. I know for a fact there is a postcard and a dehydrated (by now) cherry tomato down there. If the potato stench isn't gone in an hour I will loose my mind. How do I get in there to clean?!

Monday, November 13, 2006

6 months along

As of yesterday, my wedding ring no longer fits. I think I may size it up a quarter size, as Brandon always swore it was too tight anyway. If it gets too tight again, I'll buy a bigger size cz ring and wear the fake one til the pregnancy is over. I just don't know if I want to wear my ring on a chain around my neck for the next three months. What do you all think? I'm okay not wearing a ring at all, but someone mentioned that they always look at pregnant women's hands for a ring and then feel sorry for those who don't have one. Weird. And though I shouldn't care what people think, maybe I kind of do. But maybe I just like an excuse to buy jewelry.

Oh, and my baby kicks back when you press on him now instead of moving away. That's his new thing as of today. So fun!

Learned a new Oklahoma word yesterday: mudding. You can probably guess what it is. In Wyoming it's called, "diggin'." In Utah it is called, "four-wheeling." Lacey says my Utah phraseology is boring.

A guy at the gym today said, "You look like you're about to pop." I said, "far from it." I bet with that kind of finesse he gets a lot of dates.

I told a friend today that we are probably going to name the baby Jonah Charles. She said (very unenthusiastically), "Jonah is good. I like Jonah." Listen babe, I wasn't asking for your approval or your opinion. Then she said (very distastefully), "Why Charles? Tell me that's a family name." Well yes, it actually is a family name but could you be any more bitchy? I didn't say that though, but hey, if you happen to read this, that is what I was thinking. Those who speak without thinking are the reason we considered keeping the name a secret. But actually, I don't think I've had any other negative comments on the name. But strangers treat you like some kind of freak if you tell them you haven't decided on a name. Sometimes they'll even press you, "Well, which names do you like? Are you trying to decide between two?" Are they just dying to hand out their unasked for opinion?? People are strange.

Last, and most fun, bit of news. This weekend we went to the Blue Man Group concert.
It was excellent!
Brandon called me the day the Oklahoma concert tickets went on sale, sounding a little bit frantic. Fortunately it was my morning off and I had an hour til the tickets went on sale. I didn't really know that much about the group, and I only learned a little more before going to see them. They are musicians and performers; great entertainers. This photo is of them with one of their instruments. Very creative. It is the only concert I've ever been to where I feel pretty confident saying that ANYone would enjoy their show. I would take a 5 year old, I would take my parents. If you ever get the chance to see them, do it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cocoa Butter?

Last night, while laying in bed looking at my belly, Brandon discovered a stretch mark! It's my first pregnancy stretch mark. It doesn't really look stretchy, although it is low enough that I can hardly see it, even in the mirror. It is dark reddish and looks more like a hickey or a bruise than anything, only it is pretty much a short straight line.
My mom gave birth to nine children and only has one belly stretch mark. My older sister got hundreds of stretch marks during her first pregnancy. Hopefully I've got good elastin (or is it collagen?) and more of Mom's genes. Most of my stretching will happen over the next 3 months so I will probably get more, but let's hope for the best.
I've been using an anti-stretch mark cream whenever I get out of the shower, but I'm almost out of it. I know genetics play a much bigger role than anything else, but does any body have any favorite belly creams they'd like to recommend?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

List Lady requests your assistance

Attention all Mothers:
I would love you to email me a list of "new mom/baby essentials". If you are a stranger and want to participate, that is fine. You can email me thru my other webpage at: by clicking on the "send message" button under my main photo. Can't wait to hear from all you mommies.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Baby Showers!

My wonderful, sweet sister Robin called me this morning to tell me she wants to throw me a baby shower while I'm in Arizona after Christmas. Thank you Robin! I only have a couple friends in AZ but I've got lots of relatives there and it will be nice to have an excuse to see all the female ones at once! And Robin knows how to throw a great shower (just check out her most recent blog if you don't believe me).
I'd really like to have a Utah shower because I have lots of friends there plus relatives and Brandon has tons of relatives there. The real barrier is that I am only going to be there during the week of Christmas. Nobody wants to feel like they have to buy another gift right at Christmastime, do they? And worse, Saturdays seem to be the day for showers and the only Saturday I'm going to be in town is the 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve. Ah, well.
As for an Oklahoma baby shower, that is yet to be determined. I have had several people ask about it but there are no plans. Hannah, my former co-worker from Foley's, has offered to throw one for me in January, after the madness of the holidays has passed. She doesn't know many of my friends, but I don't suppose that really matters. Right now she's my only offer for a shower, so you Okies will have to wait til January to give me baby clothes and you'll get to meet my negative, yet very sweet, 50-something, kookie former co-worker.
Fortunately, since we'll more than likely be moving out of state when the baby is less than 5 months old, we'll hold off on getting some of the big baby items for now. We're going to get a Pack n' Play (bassinet on a playpen) instead of a crib, no dresser or changing table, no fancy nursery decor or anything like that. I just want clothes, books, and the necessities (you mom's will have to let me know what all that includes). I have, of course, started an amazon baby wishlist . I just couldn't help myself. I love amazon!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween, etc.

Coach B with his little witch wife.
So last week I made the mash potatoes again on Wednesday. Still a little pastey and this time a bit lumpy too, but again, extremely delicious. I love potatoes. I think maybe I'm using too much/many liquids. I highly recommend the Klondike Golddust potatoes I've been getting from Target.
Thursday was combined Enrichment activity for the ladies from church. I think there were 8 people there, some knitting, some tying a quilt and some of us sharing scrapbooking ideas. Mostly we were talking and eating. It was fun.
Friday night Lacey and I hung out. She got a fondue pot she wanted to try out. Hers is electric and has the best non-stick coating. We made cheese fondue first; half swiss, half something else, a little wine, a pinch of ground mustard, and a pinch of nutmeg. So heavenly! We dipped apples, cooked mini-potatoes, french bread, sausage, and tomatoes. I've been craving more ever since. Then we made up a chocolate dessert fondue and dipped pound cake, raspberries, dried sweetened cranberries (our favorite), marshmellows (my unexpected next favorite), mini oreos, and bananas (another excellent choice). It was a great girl's date night! Can't wait to fondue again!! If I had room in my kitchen I'd probably have my own fondue pot by now.
Saturday night was Halloween party night. We decided to skip on the church party as it was out of the way and catering to people with kids. Then we went to Jamon & Alisha's party where we had the most delicious black bean soup (Alisha- I still need that recipe!). Mmm! Ham, lime, cilantro, sour cream.... Can you tell that my life is focused around food??
Oh, and whenever I eat now my right ribs hurt. It feels lots better when I lift my arm up though. My baby is getting big. They say he's about 2 lbs now. I had a check-up yesterday and everything still looks great. I gained four pounds in the past four weeks and my baby is very wiggly.
Back to the parties. We were the only couple there without kids but we had tons of fun. I had a small witch and a tiny bumble bee that really buddied up with me at the park. Cute kids! Brandon enjoyed playing football with the other guys at the party, I think they were all dental students. We had a great time. My favorite costume was the fat, bald Dracula with his (fake) gut hanging out under his cummerbun (sp?).
Next we stopped in at Victoria's annual Halloween bash. It was fun. We had a good time chatting with Jenny, Shaun, Victoria, and Rachel. We saw some really good costumes. My favorites were Nacho Libre, Wonder Woman, a she-devil and Michael Meyers. There were other good ones too but I can't remember.
Studying the Renaissance this week for school has been fun. Trying to condense it all hasn't been as much fun.
Tomorrow and Saturday I work 8 hour days giving makeovers at Dillards. I was excited for it a couple weeks ago but now it just sounds exhausting. I will make it fun though so that the days go by quickly. I want it to be Christmas break so I can just sit around at relatives houses being lazy. I desperately need to do laundry, etc. here but I have no motivation. Ah, well. Life is good. Write soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Last night my mashed potatoes turned out a little more paste-y rather than fluffy. Anyone know what I did wrong? Well, I know what I did right- the flavor. I think they were the best tasting potatoes I've ever had!! I used golden (I tossed the package so I'm not sure which variety) potatoes, milk, butter, salt, chicken broth, evaporated milk. Oh so good!!!
Oh, and my baby has been kicking, dancing, swimming, moving pretty much non-stop since about a week ago. It is so fun. Not as much fun when he seems to wedge himself under my right rib. You can feel him from the outside now. Feel free to touch my belly next time you see me, he'll probably promptly kick you.
Had my two 5th graders do a word scramble during the last five minutes of tutoring instead of the regular hangman. It was a hit. Here try your luck, the topic is history:

Monday, October 23, 2006


Today was my first day back at work in a week and a half. (Last week our school district has Thurs and Fri for "Fall Break"). I can't tell you how therapeutic (sp?) it was to spend time with my mom. I didn't realize how starved I was for family-time. I miss my siblings and my parents, maybe even more now that I'm pregnant. It sucks not to be able to see them every week and to be low on cellphone minutes so I can't even talk to all of them. I should have called them all over the weekend, especially Robin, but somehow I wasn't in a talking mood on Sunday. I did try calling Sarah several times in the past week, but I can't ever get ahold of her. Please keep her in your prayers as she is having severe medical problems.
Anyway, back to today. It's been a good day. I slept in, checked my email, did the dishes, and looked good for work. English and History went well with my high schoolers and tutuoring with my elementary kids was less frustrating than usual. I must have needed that break from them. We are on to the Middle Ages in history and that should be fun to research and teach.
I have a turkey roast in the oven and I'm making real mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas to go with it. Or I could do cooked carrots, or salad... but peas would be easy and good. Brandon gets home from The Good Shepherd Clinic around 8:00, so we will eat a late dinner while watching Heroes, my current favorite show. Have you seen it? You've got to. Brandon even watches it every week and I don't know if he's EVER followed a show before.
Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite authors, writes a weekly column on his website ( called OSC Reviews Everything. I don't read it very often, but I love it. He talks about the Fall TV season and said this about Heroes, "Since the actor playing Hiro, Masi Oka, may be the most infectiously enthusiastic human ever to appear on television, he alone would be reason to watch this show. But he's not alone. " My sentiments exactly.

Off to whip some potatoes! (I'm gonna have to have a sampling of those before B gets home).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pregnant Traveler

Here's me and Mom on Boston's Freedom Trail. Some of it is a red brick line like you see here (this part at the beginning had these cute ground markers) and some of it is a red paint line on the sidewalk/road. It is about 2 1/2 miles long and goes past a lot of historical sites, like Paul Revere's home built in the 1600s, the site of the Old North Church where they hung the "one if by land" lantern, and the building where the Declaration of Independence was written, etc. Very cool walk.
This one is in front of the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship the first Pilgrims came over on. My ancestor, William Bradford, rode on the original.

New England

Well, we stayed in Massachusetts the entire trip except for a night in New Hampshire, where the leaves were admittedly even better colors than in Mass. My favorite places in eastern Mass? Here's photos of each.

Nantucket Island. Here's the harbor.

Lexington was a quick stop but it was lovely and full of history.

Plymouth was adorable.

Concord was stunning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To my loyal readers

Thank you for the comments and emails. It's good to know that people are still reading this. Just got home 2 hours ago from my vacation. Here is my favorite picture of me from the trip. It's at a flooded cranberry bog in Nantucket. Mom and I had a great time!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quick Update

Even though it appears that nobody is still reading my blog from the lack of comments. Robin and Jill care, so this is for you two (Have you seen the Sonic commercial about the guy's blog that only his mom reads?).
On the 19th my cousin Jill, a flight attendant, had an overnight layover in Oklahoma City. I haven't seen her in probably 5 years, she is 3 years younger than me and we've never been very close. Well, we are good friends now! I picked her up at her hotel and she took me out to dinner as a birthday gift. We pigged out at the Spagetti Warehouse and then I showed her around Bricktown and the OKC Bombing Memorial. We talked a lot. It's amazing how having dad's that are brothers (with similar personalities and tempraments) gives you plenty in common. Love you Jill!
More recently:
Just finished teaching the Chinese Dynasties for history to my two high school students. Teaching history is SO fun, more fun than English lately.
Last Friday Brandon got to go down to Dallas with his cousin Jamon. They met up with Alan (B's dad) there and had a blast golfing the day away. The next day they went to the OU vs. University of Texas game. It's the big rivalry in this region of the country. There tickets were $300 each. Good thing Alan was paying. Too bad OU lost. Brandon hasn't been to a single OU game since he started going to school here three years ago. Alan decided to make his senior year memorable. They all had a GREAT time!
This past Saturday I went to my friend Jenny's wedding. It was held outdoors at a B&B in Norman. Lovely setting! There were only about 40 guests and I felt privledged to be there . I've known Jenny less than two years, but we really enjoy eachother's company. It was a beautiful ceremony and a very delicious reception.
Saturday evening, our friend Ryan, a pilot, had an overnight layover in OKC. I spent 1 1/2 hours chatting with him and two of his co-workers at the Cajun Kitchen. It was great to see him. Maybe some pregnancy hormones will have transfered to him, he and his wife Elaine, my dear friend, have been trying for a baby even longer than us. I'm glad he got to see my belly cause I don't know if he'll get another chance.
Sunday I taught in Relief Society. The lesson went really well, I ended on time, and I didn't get as nervous as last time (no sweaty armpits) and I made it thru the lesson without crying but still had the spirit there. I hope it's always that good.
Pregnancy update: my belly is steadily growing, my baby is fairly active. I've had two horrible charlie horses so far and two recent days of outrageous hormones. Overall, everything is fantastic.
Well, I gotta run pack for my New England trip. More when I get home. (Can't get photos to upload ANY way right now, sorry).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Slide Show

I made my first slide show on, very easy. I posted it on my myspace page. I will do one for on here later. Go check it out at:
I also suggesting hitting the play button on the screen twice to hear my profile song (I don't know how to make it play automatically). It is performed by my second-cousin-in-laws, two cute BYU students with a lot of talent.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Just some ramblings

I miss my long hair. Right now my hair is at that really ugly middle stage as I try to grow it out. My pregnancy and prenatals seems to have no effect on my hair (color, thickness, or growing rate). These pictures are from last September when my hair was still long. Boo hoo.

I also must make mention of birthday season which is upon me. August was two of my sister's birthdays and one of my sister-in-laws.September was my birthday and two of my brother's. October is Grandma Donna's (pictured above), Dad's, a sister, and a brother-in-law. November is my other 3 sister-in-law's birthdays and a brother and my anniversary and Thanksgiving. Wow!

Lastly I must mention upcoming trips: New England, Illinois, Utah, and Arizona. Mom has agreed to be my travel companion for my final vacation (not a trip to see family) before I have children. We went to New York in October of 2003 and always talk about making a tradition of taking fall trips. I guess we'll plan to go again in October 2009. We are spending 5 glorious days traveling around the Boston area. Pictures and stories when I return on the 18th.

We will be spending Thanksgiving in Illinois with Brandon's mom's family. We will probably drive since the flight prices are ridiculous. Hopefully we'll get to spend a day in Milwalkee or Chicago while we're there. Grandma emailed me that all her kids will be in Mesa for Thanksgiving. Wish I'd known that a few months ago, I'd love to see my extended family!

Christmas will be spent in Utah. We will probably hole up for several days in Heber at my father-in-law's enormous cabin there. I wonder if I can snowmobile really slowly at 33 weeks pregnant? We will be spending Dec. 28- Jan. 1st in Mesa with my family. Can't wait to show off my huge belly!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Halfway Through!

My pregnancy is halfway over! I can't believe it. Here's my belly at 21 weeks. As of last week I had gained 10 lbs. How will I be able to carry 15-20 more?! I love my belly. I like the size bigger boobs too. Things have been pretty easy up to this point, let's hope they continue that way.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


For those of you who asked about my birthday.

I had an absolutely fantastic birthday this year. It started about a month ago really. I'd told people I was shopping for a new blender. My mother-in-law told me she loved hers and that she would get me one just like it for my birthday. About a week later I got a blender, a mortal & pestal, a Led Zeppelin cd, and a dvd in the mail from amazon. She said it was much easier to do it in August than to wait til the beginning of the school year when she would be swamped. Thanks McBrides!!

Last week I decided I wanted a birthday party. I haven't had a party in a couple years and I wanted one. I decided to do a girl's night, just good food and games (It's my birthday and I'll do what I want, nobody came up with anything more appealing and I'm a geek and a homebody). I invited my five best Oklahoma girlfriends, several gals from church that I've been wanting to get to know better and about 3 other friends. I posted an invitation on evite and didn't have to do much else.

Wednesday was my actual birthday. Friday I received a great birthday package from my best friend, Jen, in Utah. Tuesday I received a birthday card and spending money from my parents, a cd from my sister Robin, and a big box from my husband's dad's wife, Linda. Wednesday morning I didn't have to work and B didn't have to be at school. We slept in late, had waffles for breakfast, and enjoyed a lazy morning. I opened my package from the Jensens and was thrilled that it was stuffed full of new maternity clothes and a few other treats. I taught all afternoon and when I got home Brandon took me to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, a Hibachi grill place where they cook your meal right in front of you. It was highly entertaining and very tasty. He got me an amazon gift certificate (which I already ordered a dvd and cd with) and a camelbak:) I got phone calls all day from my loved ones and several seranades of the Happy Birthday song. It was a GREAT day.

Last night was my little party. Eight people (my favorite party guest #) showed up (Lacey, Megan, Alisha, Jennifer, Victoria, Jenny, Rachel, and Sandra), all my favorites, and we had a great time. There was great conversation and food (especially Alisha's from scratch chocolate cake) and we never even bothered with the games. Three of my guests were over til about 2 am! That's a late night for any of us. The birthday is finally over and I am completely satisfied. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Best Day

Yesterday Brandon and I went in for my sonogram. We both agree that it was truly the most fun, exciting thing that has ever happened to us. It is indescribably miraculous to get to see the baby inside your uterus moving around and to see the organs and bones and experience the wonder of life inside yourself.

Our little boy has 10 fingers and 10 toes, a working liver, 2 kidneys, bladder, healthy spine and tailbone. He is very wiggly.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Some Perspective

My 19 year old brother is currently serving a full-time mission for our church. He is living in Madagascar. Here is some perspective from people halfway around the world in a developing country. This is a blurb from his last email that I found extremely interesting:

"kids here have some of the most ridiculous games. 1)little girls are always playing the rock game. they take a few fist sized rocks and make a family and talk in different voices for them, and when one is talking to another they hit the one listening with the one thats talking in rythm. funny. 2)boys play karate fight. not just wrassling, but taking karate stances and making chinese sounds when they kick or stomp and roundhouse kicking all the time. 3)playing soccer with balls that are so worn out it would definitely have been trash in the states , or with balls made of plastice bags smushed together and held with string or rubber.
funny experiences---walking around people always say "good morning" to us in english (even if it is 8 at night ) and every now and then they want to try to talk more english so they stop and either say the normal hello how are you doing stuff or just random english. but they slur alot together and we cant tell what they are saying so we are like, "what? i dont understand" very slowly and clearly for them and like 3 times this week teenage guys have just been like "yes. i am not very good speak english" and then just walk away without saying anything else. its pretty funny and sad too, cuz you can tell they thought they were pretty good, but im pretty sure the teachers are the problem. we have 2 former investigators that taught english classes that were horrible at english. haha and all the teenage guys sound like kermit the frog when they switch to english, but just normal in malagasy. nice people.
---another story. the other day we went to an investigators and talked with his family and the mom had the funniest things to say. she asked where we were from and we told her Amerika and she was all, "Oh, from Paradise" (which is just paradisa in malagasy ) so that was pretty funny, then we talked about why its not exactly paradise and her argument was "Well, there arent any poor people in America" and when we explained that there were she was so gaga, or astonished or baffled, and then said, "Well there aren't any ugly people in America." pretty much how they know about america is through big films and music videos, especially pop and rap ones. so its a little one sided. its kind of a joke with malagasy's that all they do is eat rice, pray, and sleep. haha. rice is their life essence. i love it. oh, alot of malagasy's are blown away when they find out that Amerikans eat rice too. haha alot dont know that you can get it in amerika. haha. i love their simple minds. anyways, then the mom was talking about our eyes and she thought that all blue eyes could see perfectly and elder blaylock said "That not true. I'm blind almost" they all laughed like it was the funniest thing ever until he started explaining about contacts. man, she was seriously blown away by that. by that time she was pretty much yelling everything just cuz she was so amazed and then after we explained them i took one of mine out and showed her and she threw her hands up and just held her head for a sec, then pretty much yelled, "AMERIKANS ARE SO SMART. THATS GENIOUS. THEY ARE SO ADVANCED. GLASSES IN THEIR EYES." then she was asking if we could still see off to the sides and she was just so amazed. that was probly the funniest night ever since i have been out here. plus it just makes it that much funner to understand her in a foreign language and to see her face, and in malagasy the word for glasses means literally "eye replacements". somehow in the context that just made me laugh harder too. whoo-wee."

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Sniffled 2 or 3 times yesterday. Last night my throat started really hurting. This morning I woke up miserable! My head aches, my throat hurts, snot is dripping, my body aches... It's my own fault, I've stayed up late too many nights in the past two weeks and that always does it to me. I just had a bowl of cream of wheat and a cup of hot mint tea. The humidifier is on in my bedroom and I'm heading back to bed after I take some benedryl. My boss says I shouldn't, but if, after I've rested and been drugged, I feel any better, I want to go to school for my 2 high school kids and give them the Romeo & Juliet tests I worked so hard on. They each get their own. ANYway...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photo Shoot

In six days we will find out the sex of our baby. We are SO excited!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Four Months Along

Today I am at my 18 week mark in my pregnancy. Everyone comments on my belly now. I like to rub it and poke at it and talk to it. Tomorrow I will schedule my sonogram for sometime in the next 3 weeks.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Wish List

I used to have a huge 200-and-something item ongoing wishlist on Amazon. It felt like retail therapy just to put things on the list and imagine having all of them. Now I keep my list down to 25 items, in case someone actually wants to shop from it, which my in-laws often do. Whenever I want to add something to the list, I make myself either remove something else from the list or not add it.
Here are 15 items off my current list. I think people's desired possessions are revealing into their personality. What's on your "wishlist"?

Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection ~ Stevie Wonder

Screen Adaptation: A Scriptwriting Handbook, Second Edition by Kenneth Portnoy

Hoover U5269-900 EmPower Bagless Upright Vacuum Offered by Allergy Be GoneHoover

Wives and Daughters DVD ~ Nicholas Renton

Extraordinary Machine ~ Fiona Apple

Frommer's New England's Best-Loved Driving Tours (Best Loved Driving Tours)

Thankful ~ Kelly Clarkson

Art of Homemaking by Daryl Hoole

Arrested Development - Season Two DVD ~ Jason Bateman $19.88

Pafuera TelaraƱas ~ Bebe $9.99

Prokofiev: Greatest Hits ~ Dimitri Mitropoulos $9.98

Rock of Ages: 30 Favorite Hymns ~ Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White

Men Fake Foreplay ... And Other Lies That Are True by Mike Dugan

Greatest Hits ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers

Friday, September 01, 2006

Unique Gifts

I stole this idea for this blog from Robin. I also have a friend who makes wonderful and unique gifts. This is the picture of the bracelet and earring set I bought last week. It was handmade by my talented friend, Sara Jane. You can find her website at: it also has a link to her e-bay shop. My favorite pair of earrings is also something I bought from Sara Jane. I am planning to use her for gifts in the future. It will be nice to give people something one-of-a-kind.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

17 Weeks

Today I felt my baby move! Yep, there was definitely something weird going on in my stomach area, something I'd never felt before (though similar to gas pains) and then suddenly there was a shifting of weight to the right side of my body. It actually felt harder on the left then on the right for a few minutes. Several minutes later I felt it again. Today's belly movements are big excitement in my life. Now I will top off my evening with a gigantic bowl of Taco Rice, which I will probably have to eat in two sittings an hour apart, because my stomach seems to have shrunk (though my belly size is considerably un-shrunk).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fhqwhgads, etc.

(Photo courtesty of )
All sorts of thoughts in my head tonight and things I want to blog about. Seems like everyone blogged today, all my relatives here on blogspot and a bunch of my friends on myspace. When you comment on people's blogs and it has you type in that "code" of a jumbled bunch of letters, it always makes me think of "fhqwhgads." If you have not heard the word, fhqwhgads (pronounced fhuwgods) before, then you haven't browsed the homestar runner webpage enough. Click on my link to "Strongbad emails" which actually takes you to the Homestar homepage. Then click on "toons" at the bottom, followed by "Powered by The Cheat", and finally click on "Everybody to the Limit." Be prepared for some complete nonsense, silliness, and surprisingly, a bit of entertainment.
Second: I went maternity shopping on Saturday. Got some great stuff (on sale) at Target. Also bought a few shirts off e-bay and some pants from
Also went into TJ Maxx and discovered they have no maternity clothes but do have great Halloween and fall decorations. I snatched up some cute mini-lantern lights to go in one of my windows. Halloween decorations go up at our home promptly on September 1st as to take advantage of two full months of spookiness. I don't have nearly enough Halloween decor, but I also don't have many places to PUT decorations. I would like to put spiderwebs up somewhere this year. We'll see... Fortunately on Saturday the girl I was shopping with (we'll call her "Lacey", cause her name IS Lacey) shared my glee over holiday decorations. We decided to make one final stop on our shopping trip. We popped in at Hobby Lobby just to enjoy the aisles and aisles of "harvest" decor:) Oh joy!
And lastly, I'd like to mention that stretching Romeo and Juliet out to 22 one and a half hour lessons is a lot of work. And it is to that work that I head again now.

Friday, August 25, 2006


If I have this baby at the beginning of February, that means we'll only be in the apartment for 4 or 5 months before moving. I don't think we'll really convert the den into a nursery. I think we'll just have the baby in our bedroom. Should we get a crib or just a basinet before we move? What other furniture items are necessities in the beginning? If it's a girl I want bedding, etc. to be light purple and green. When we have a nursery I want to decorate it with fairies. If it's a boy I want to do green. Maybe dragons or frogs. What do you think?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quick Update

I still get to teach high school this year!! It's just an hour and a half a day now, but I love it. I am the Literature (English, writing, grammar...) teacher to two students. So now my weird schedule is 7 hours a week at the preschool, 8 hours a week at the high school, and 8 hours a week tutoring (all my kids are elementary age there so far). It's part-time, but I think I'm just going to be okay with that and get used to being poor for awhile. We've begun with Romeo & Juliet. We watched the Baz Luhrman film first and we'll be reading it beginning next week. Lots of work for me to do. The kids are at two very different levels and this may be the only work we are reading together. Anyway, I'm excited.
Today: taught in the preschool, had a veggie burger for lunch, had a sealant done at the dental school, returned books to the library, rescheduled my physical therapy appointments, ran to Petsmart, fiddled around online. I'm off to make some dinner and take Brandon to see X-Men 3 at the dollar theaters (I already saw it once awhile back, it's great).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Past Two Weeks

So much has happened in the past two weeks I hardly know where to start. I left for Utah the afternoon of the 10th. I had layover in Phoenix where my sisters Sarah, Robin, Karen, my brother Mark, 3 of my nephews and my tiny neice Charlotte all met up with me. Sarah cried a little when she announced that, "There's a bump!" and indeed there is. She brought me a bag of maternity clothes and books. Yippee! We sat and talked and ate cookies for a glorious hour and a half. Jackson, 3, fearlessly walked up to any stranger in uniform to introduce himself and make a new friend. Tucker, also 3, oohed and awed over the airplanes and cried when his mom wouldn't get him a ticket to go on one. It was great to see my family!
Friday, August 11th began hanging out with Brandon's family. For lunch Brandon, his 16 year old sister Katie, and Kathy (a cousin of sorts), and I went to have my favorite burritos in the world at La Puente. Delicious! Later that afternoon the four of us, plus Brandon's dad Alan, his wife Linda, and two dogs all drove up Parley's Canyon headed for the family reunion. We joined up with Alan's two brothers, his sister, and various other relatives for an evening of food, fire, and fun (s'mores too). The next day around noon, Alan, Brandon, and B's cousin Jamon took off farther into the Uintas for a 4 day backpacking trip. The rest of us stayed and enjoyed our little campsite and a short, lovely hike up to another lake with most of the family.

More tales of my trip to Utah to come...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

February 6th

February 6, 2007- that's my due date. That's right, you are reading my official pregnancy announcement! As of today I am 14 weeks along. After 3 years of trying, with several complications and setbacks, we are finally having a baby!!! And wouldn't you if you're husband was this cute as a kid?

My first trimester wasn't bad. I was nauseated a lot but only threw up twice. If I ate, the nausea usually went away. It isn't over yet, but I hope it won't be long now.

All of my pants and skirts got tight last week when I gained my first two pounds. I'm excited to look pregnant and to get maternity clothes.

Answers to your questions: I have known I was pregnant since I was 4 weeks along. We didn't share the news with our families or anybody until I was 12 weeks (because of my miscarraige last summer). It was really hard to keep the secret to myself when I was SO excited! We won't know what sex the baby is until about 20 weeks. That is also about the same time I should start to feel the baby moving. The baby is currently about 3 inches long and has all of its major organs, etc. We have a few name ideas but we are not sharing them, so don't ask. I don't care if it's a boy or a girl (Brandon already calls it, "my boy" though. Not that he really cares either).

Well, that's all I can think to share at the moment. Feel free to ask questions. Love you all!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Saturday Night

Saturday night we did something rare; a double date. We had our friends Jennifer and Andy over. I made "waikiki" meatballs and rice. Brandon made the salad. Dinner was a hit. After dinner we decided to play games. We began with Rook (of course). We had never played with four people before (only 2 or 3) and it was fun. You have to have partners. Then we moved on to Hoopla, one of my favorites. Then we played True Colors (my favorite in high school and still great). Then we played Bop It Extreme, don't laugh. To end our evening we showed each other our favorite funny videos online (on You Tube, etc.). Jokes of the evening: "Beat 'em up and take their shit" (a quote Andy had heard earlier in the week from a military guy/judge) and "It's 7:45." Apparently, Jennifer gets tired as soon as she hears it's after 8pm (mental conditioning?) and starts yawning/dozing, so Andy never let her look at a clock and all night it was 7:45, even though they didn't actually leave until 1:15! Well, that's it, fun at the Jensen's place.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mac n' Cheese

Isn't it funny how when you're in the mood it's the best food in the world? When you're not in the mood, you're NOT in the mood. Brandon will eat them as leftovers the next day and I won't touch it then- yuck. And is it just me or do they make the boxes practically unopenable?! I have to scratch and tear at the top and side to finally claw my way into the noodles. "To Open Push Here", HA, what a joke!
They recently released Supermac & Cheese with whole grains. The first time I tried it I didn't like it as much, but the second time I really loved it. Yeah, extra grains for me. I like the cartoon shaped noodles the best, not just because they're fun, but because they somehow hold the cheese better and just taste better, I swear. Sponge Bob noodles are a regular at our house (and we have no kids). Brandon loves Mac n' Cheese even more than me, sometimes he binges on it and often we buy it in bulk at Sam's Club.
I like how you can add almost anything to Kraft's mac n' cheese and it all goes. Brandon likes red pepper flakes. I used to like mustard. We both like throwing in a can of chili or some frozen vegtables (brocolli, cauliflour, corn and peas are all good).
This week I tried a very fancy mac n' cheese at a nice restaurant. It had asiago cheese, leeks, and tomatoes. Very good, though not enough tomatoes.
My mom used to love the kind you buy frozen and bake in the oven. I should buy that sometime, I haven't had it in YEARS.
Well, I'm off to eat lunch. You'll never guess what I'm having. It has spiderman noodles.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I'm in a bad mood, so deal with it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


I grew up very close to my dad's side of the family, The Brimleys. He has four brothers and one living sister. When I was a child they all lived close-by. All (except for the youngest) began their families in Mesa, AZ. I have lots of memories of the cousins up to 8 years younger than me (those younger I barely know). We celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easters together every year. We had waffle dinners at my grandparents house almost every Sunday. I moved away when I was almost 11, but we were still "home" at least once a year (usually Christmas) every year until my family moved back to Mesa when I was 18 (I didn't join them).
A common family activity among the adults was the playing of Six-Handed Rook. The kids always played Life, Dominos, Connect Four, Checkers, Monopoly, or SkipBo. I remember as I got older wishing I could join in the "adult" game. I can only remember actually playing once. Our family got scattered and the whole group is rarely together anymore. We still like to play SkipBo and Rook though.
This past Christmas my Grandma Brimley gave my husband and I a deck of Rook cards and the instructions for the Brimley version of Six-Handed Rook. We have only been able to play the Two-Handed version so far, but we are loving it. In the past week we must have played 15 times, which is especially great because Brandon and I don't play games together all that often and I LOVE games. Thank you, Grandma. We are keeping the tradition alive!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


In May I began my dream job. I spent the month student teaching at a high school of eight students. Four of them graduated at the end of the month. At best, we hoped for an enrollment of 5 or 6 for fall. Lately it looked like we were only going to have 3 or 4, weird, but still cool. Today I found out that one student is going to juvenille detention, one has decided to try public school again, and one has to go to a public school or she can't get her driver's licence. That leaves me with MAYBE two students, maybe none. So basically, at the end of August I don't really have a job anymore, let alone the job I've been looking forward to and heavily preparing for all summer.

Brandon thinks I should just stay on as a part-time preschool teacher and part-time tutor, much like I've been doing all summer. I really had my heart set on working with teenagers next year, but it's probably too late for me to do that for a different private school or any of the public schools. I don't even have my temporary teaching certificate yet cause I didn't need it for this school. I'm bummed. Another possibility is advertising as a private tutor. I could work 8-12 hours a week from home at $20+ an hour doing that, IF I could find enough students. Two of my principal's daughters do that and they get plenty of work. I like that idea, only I wish I could work daytime hours and not afterschool hours. Oh well, I have a lot to think about.

My boss was really sweet and encouraging. She also gave me one of the greatest compliments. She said she interviews a lot of people, they often know more about teaching and education than I do, they know lots about english and reading and writing. But she said nobody she's ever talked to knew books like I do. She loves that I have such a broad knowledge of books and could talk about so many specific books in such detail. She was very complimentary. She loves my enthusiasm for teaching and learning and reading and kids. It made me feel good. It made me feel marketable. She said I am professional and personable and made me feel reassured about my ability to teach.

Anyway, I'll keep you all updated as I figure things out. I'm feeling frustrated by my inability to be better housekeeper, scrapbooker, cook, reader, etc. I have no motivation as of late. All I want to do is sit in front of the TV and yet, I don't really want to do that. I want more.


Continuing with Robin's idea of posting a blog about each of our siblings. I began mine with my post about Sarah, which you can find at . I will continue the rest of them here.
Adam is the 2nd of my parent's nine children and is almost 2 years older than me. It was both good and bad growing up with a big brother.
Until about age 10 I shadowed Adam whenever possible. I loved playing legos and running around the neighborhood building forts, etc. At the age of four I confided in him that I had a crush on Robert Ellingson who was a year or two older than me and had very cute dimples. Adam then forced me to confess my feelings to Robert in front of several other boys. It was very embarassing! My other early memory with Adam is "dancing" around Sarah's Spiderman record player while listening to Barry Manilow.
When we were young Adam and I used "tickle" each other's backs before bed. In high school when we were no longer friends (Don't feel bad Robin, Adam also claimed that me and my friends were the biggest losers alive) I remember one night running into eachother in the kitchen. We stayed up late chatting and snacking, friendlier than we'd been in years, we decided to tickle eachothers backs that night before going to bed. It was a nice feeling knowing he didn't really despise me.
Adam has always been a huge tease. He tormented each of the siblings, he had a talent for finding what were our biggest irritations or the things we were self conscious about. When I was little he used to make fun of the way I cried, he told me that I'd stop crying if I ever just looked in the mirror while I was doing it cause I'd start laughing at how funny I looked (it didn't work).
I remember in high school him asking why I didn't work out, "Don't you want to be buff like this?" he asked as he flexed (senior year I took weight lifting and did get pretty buff).
Adam was a state champion wrestler in high school. I remember his gross techniques for losing weight which sometimes included an all-carrot diet. All my friends in high school (and beyond) thought my big brother was so hot. I told them that they were beneath his notice because they chose to associate with me. He also made it clear that his friends were not worthy of me, I was surprised at his protectiveness but found it cute and flattering. I told him if they weren't good enough for me than maybe he shouldn't be hanging out with them either (which was true cause most of them were potheads).
I think Adam's passion for cooking and food began as a teenager. I remember him making himself German pancakes regularly and buying himself a juicer. He really wanted a dehydrator! He is a health nut and knows as much about nutrition as a dietician. He loves his olive oil spritzer, his "green juice", and his Ezekial bread.
Adam is a great story teller and just the other day my husband said that Adam is one of the funniest people he's ever known. Adam loves to sing along to music and he is very uninhibited. Adam has always loved babies and children, not just more than most men, but more than most people. He is great with kids. He married a wonderful woman who had two sons of her own and took up the father role almost immediately after meeting her. He is a bit of a perfectionist (think temper tantrums during piano practice as a kid) and a fairly strict disciplinarian. He is now also the father of a beautiful daughter.
Love you, brother!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Best Movies You've Never Seen

Wives and Daughters- If you love the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice, you'll love this too. I actually like this even more!

The 10th Kingdom- originally a made for TV movie series. It's 7 hours long and fun every minute. No, the acting isn't the best and the trolls are ridiculous, but I guarantee that you'll laugh, a lot. Magical.

Cold Comfort Farm - Kate Beckensdale and Ian McLellan (sp?) in a little known British gem of a film. Kate also did a version of Emma that is very good and her character in this movie is very similar (I can't spell).

Darby O'Gill and the Little People - Do you like leprechauns? Me too. I believe this was Sean Connery's first movie. I love the part with the Ban-shee.

Horatio Hornblower (Any or all 8 movies) - the perfect man. A truly noble hero. I love him.

Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Grommit - all three are great! Better than the wererabbit.

Legend - Why haven't people seen this? I think it was Tom Cruise's first movie. The ultimate Good vs. Evil. Tim Curry is unrecognizable as the devil and oh, so scary! The heroine is the gal from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Noises Off - Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Nicolette Sheridan, John Ritter, Michael Caine... an all-star cast. SOOOOO funny! If you've ever been in a play, this should be mandatory for you to see.

Why Didn't They Ask Evans - An Agatha Christie murder mystery. Very British, loved it.

Any Miss Marple movie (starring Joan Hicks, not the other ones) - I can't get enough of this knitting old lady detective. Another Agatha Christie creation.

The Thin Man (or any of its sequels) - The funniest, cutest couple you'll ever see on-screen. Murder, intrigue, and a clever dog.

Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 version) - Again, I'm scandalized if you haven't seen this. This is one of Brandon's all-time favorites (mine too). If you like The Count of Monte Cristo, you'll like this too. French revolution, British fops, Ian McLellan, Jane Seymore, lots of laughs and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Village of the Damned - black & white, classic horror, horror is really too strong of a word. Suspense/Mystery is closer. Either way, it's facinating.

The Manchurian Candidate (original) - Angela Lansbury as the villian! I mean come on, just knowing that should make you want to watch. She's evil.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Free Advertising

Who doesn't want to be a photographer? I mean really, it's a dream job. Strangely enough, most of my friends in California actually ARE photographers. All of them extremely talented.
I believe I've known Annie since 2nd grade. She is a truly fantastic photographer. I remember being jealous of the telephoto lens she got her senior year in high school to take pictures of the football games, etc. She did nearly all the pictures for our yearbook that year plus layout, etc. Annie is currently based in San Francisco.
One of Brandon and my best friends from BYU-Hawaii. He worked tirelessly for the campus newspaper. He also took great shots of us at parties, the beach, dances, etc. Love his work. He takes great surfing shots too. Nathan works out of San Diego but will travel.
One of my little sister, Robin's oldest friends. I was truly blown away by the shots on her website when I first saw it. When Robin had her baby in December, Amelia visited her shortly after and as a baby gift gave her a wonderful photo shoot and lots of fabulous pictures of her beautiful baby girl, alone and with the family. Amy is based in Orange County.
Steph is another friend from Hawaii. Recently she'd gotten pretty into photography as a hobby and then it seemed that overnight she had opened her own studio in San Diego. What a bold move! I hope it turns out to be very profitable. She has always especially liked pregnancy shots. I remember she and I talking about how gorgeous Demi Moore's nude photos of her big and pregnant were and how we'd love shots that wonderful of us with big bellies.

There is a link on here to "friend Alicia", she is an ameteur photographer with a great camera. We hired her to take pictures of our family in Arizona in March and she got some great candid shots:) Thanks again.

Is it weird if I end this post with no pictures? I could post one of (me with) each photographer or one good one that each had taken or one they had taken for me. I dunno. I'm just going to give the world the links to their websites.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I've always been an X-files fan, unfortunately I never really got to watch it all that much when it was on. In 1998 I watched fairly regularly, but that was really the only time. About three years ago I joined Netflix, an online movie rental club, which I highly recommend, even over the Blockbuster one. At that point I began renting the X-files episodes beginning with season one and finally started watching the show regularly. Brandon and I rent a disc of 4 episodes about every other week. It has taken us three years to get to season seven, disc one. At it was there, at the end of the fourth episode, Millenium, where I finally got the satisfaction I'd been craving. Upon the stroke of midnight, the beginning of the year 2000, after the ball dropped in Times Square and the people there on the TV kissed under the streaming confetti, Fox Mulder, ever so casually leaned over and kissed Dana Scully. And she kissed him back. It was the perfect on-screen first kiss. I was over joyed, it was LONG overdue. It would be fine with me if the show ended there. I still have the rest of season 7 to watch and after that, Fox leaves the show. I've decided to watch seasons 8 and 9 anyway, despite having protested them the first time around. I hear the new guy is pretty great, despite not being David Duchovney, whom I adore. Well, anyway, a truly satisfying episode and overall X-files experience.


I had a restless night with lots of intense dreams. I woke up at about 4 needing to pee. I had been dreaming about pizza. As I fell back asleep I was wondering if there was ANYway I would be able to find somewhere serving pizza during breakfast hours. I dreamt more about pizza. Intense, cheesy, saucy, mushroomy dreams. I awoke at 8:20, I have to leave for work at 8:30 (AHHH!). I hate being rushed in the mornings. But I made it to work on-time, looking lovely. No seriously. I actually put on a little makeup, forgoing breakfast. I had chocolate milk for breakfast instead of pizza. I wasn't even craving pizza when I woke up, but I had vague recollections of several dreams, most of them centering on pizza. On my way home from work at lunchtime, I stopped at Dominos. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Went miniature golfing last night with Brandon and Lacey. I can't even remember the last time I did that! It's been YEARS. Tons of fun. Also, Brandon made me rent Flash Gordon after hearing the theme song on my Queen cd. If you have seen this movie, I must know. It is a 70s sci-fi movie that's SO bad, it's almost good. Hysterical actually. Elements of both Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. Definitely a cult classic.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Church Calling

It's what I've been waiting for! Today I popped by the bishop's office to let him know that I have been feeling really burnt out on Primary. I'd already let the new Relief Society and Primary presidents know about two weeks ago, but hadn't been able to speak with the bishop yet. He said he'd already penciled me in in a new area. Then said, "While you're here, let's have a little chat..." So, I've been called as a teacher in the Relief Society. I've always thought that was an ideal calling because I love teaching, plus it's a once a month assignment instead of every week. I am so looking forward to getting to know the sisters in my ward again!

Another good thing at church today, I met a new friend. A gal about my age who just moved into my apartment complex and is married to a non-member. We instantly bonded as we sat and whispered to each other during sacrament meeting after she bore her testimony. I look forward to getting to know her better. I believe she said she is from Nigeria and she is married to a military guy and she graduated recently with a degree in Biology. She was baptised at age 18.

Well, I'm off to cook dinner and tidy up the house. Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 26, 2006

My place in the Ward

I've been serving in the Primary (children's area) of my ward (parrish) for about a year and a half. Last year I taught the 4-5 year olds and loved it. Since January I have been teaching the 6-7 year olds and it's not nearly as much fun. Plus, I am now teaching Preschool 4 days a week and I'd love some consistent adult interaction on the weekends. Also, my 3 best friends at church have all moved out of the boundaries since I started in Primary and are either living in another state or across town. I feel very isolated at church, having nobody to consistently sit with during the first hour and then being with children for the last two hours. I know church's purpose isn't socializing, but I should get to do some of that too. The women's group does not have regular monthly meetings anymore and two weeks ago the geographical boundaries of the ward were changed, so a lot of the people I knew now attend a different ward.
I only have a year left to live in Oklahoma and I want to enjoy it to the fullest. I going to suggest (not ask) to the bishop that I be released from my calling in the Primary. I have already let the Relief Society (women's organization) President and Primary President know that I'm feeling burnt out and ready for something new.
The good news from church? Brandon's cousin Jamon and his wife Alisha and year old daughter Joselyn have been brought into my ward with the boundary change. Yeah! Now I have family in the ward, people to sit with in Sacrament meeting, and extra incentive for Brandon to go to ward activities. Yippee!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

In Wonderland?

For as long as I can remember there have been two fictional characters that I felt deeply connected to: Alice in Wonderland and Anne Shirley (of Anne of Green Gables, etc.). I'm not entirely sure why. Could it be that I am extremely talkative, curious, opinionated, I like to explore? It could be a lot of things. But, ever since childhood I've felt a kinship to these girls. I still think of myself as a girl, and though I've changed a lot and I am definitely an adult now, some things don't change.