Friday, February 27, 2009

Button Up Your Overcoat

I believe I've mentioned before that I'm now part of a local singing group, the Keynotes. There are 10 of us, usually 3 per part and 1 pianist, though we do switch it up depending on the song (the pianist comes and sings with us if it's a capella, we do rearranging if it's 4 parts, that kind of thing). It's a really fun group of women. I'm the youngest by, oh, at least 20 years, but I really enjoy it. And Julia has finally warmed up enough that she can sit and play while we rehearse.

But. The first week we practiced, I was a bit worried. Because we got our music, and this is one of the pieces we are singing:

Um, wow. These people are really excited to be singing this song. Especially this girl:

She's practically jumping out of her suspenders, she's so excited. And while we're talking about suspenders (and looking at big hair) let me just take a moment to express my strong opinion that fashion in the 80's never looked good on anyone and should not, by any means, be coming back. If you are one of those whippersnappers who thinks that big hair (including monster bangs and a perm), suspenders, leg warmers, leggings, high waisted pants, vests, and especially tapered jeans are cute, I strongly urge you to look at the pictures. Seriously, just look at the above photo. And then go look through your sister's/brother's/mom's/dad's yearbooks and photo albums. NOBODY LOOKED GOOD. For like an entire decade. And then the hideousness spilled over into the early 90's. Just back away from the ruffles. And also, the handbag hat. Not 80's, but still shouldn't be done.

That was quite the tangent. ANYWAY. You can see why I was a bit nervous about joining this group, no? But don't worry, the song isn't nearly so bad as the cover makes it out to be. A little cheesy at times, sure, but at no point in time will there be jazz hands involved. Or suspenders. I'm a little hung up on the suspenders, can you tell?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Burst of Creativity

I've been a pretty lazy blogger lately. I'm going with the excuse that I've just been sooo busy creating cute things for the house. It's not entirely true (dude, I'm not that creative, 3-4 ideas and then I'm spent), but I'll just go with it.

So here's a look at what I've been creating:

Our plant shelves are becoming less barren! I love the jars of beans. I got the idea from the Parade of Homes. Thank you, Tai Pan Trading, for having cheap glass jars! We've got peas, white beans, and black beans. I guess we could even call that food storage, no? (except that no one in this house eats peas, not even little Julia)
The oranges and limes were another Parade of Homes idea. I found this vase that we rarely use and filled it up. I think it would have worked better with a round vase, but you use what you've got. And I thought it looked nice next to our lemonade pitcher.

And then we have Julia's room. I finally put her blanket up on the wall. It was up in the apartment, but it never made it back on the wall when we moved. Julia LOVES her ladybugs. She points to it every time she wakes up, and we have to go over and touch each ladybug. And then she shows me how soft she can be, because the blanket is soft. It's delightful.
At one of my baby showers (you know, a year ago), they had these cute ladybugs as decorations. I snagged a couple of them, along with a flower, with every intention of putting them on the wall in the baby's room. Time passed, and I just didn't know how to get them on the wall, as they are simply too thick to fit in a regular frame. Well, I decided enough was enough, and I asked for some advice from Jenn M. She advised me to get an open backed frame. I went, and looked, and was about to give up due to high costs, when I found this beauty of a frame. Open back, but it has glass, so I stuck those ladybugs on there, and voila! Cuteness.

So there you have it. That's what I've been up to. Enjoy it now, because I'm pretty sure I won't be creating anything else for like a year (much to the joy of our budget).

Weekly Quote 2/24/09

Wow, I totally forgot to do a quote at all last week. Lame.

"I bring you love."

This was from The Simpsons. And this week's quote is in honor of the many many birthdays in the month of February.

Friday, February 20, 2009

For Melissa. . .

This picture is for Melissa:

Those are the box tops from my shopping trip this week. I'm so glad I have someone to give them to, now!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baby Steps. . . Baby Steps. . .

Today, Julia is 10 months old. Time really does fly by so fast, I can't believe it. But, that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to share a most delightful video documenting Julia's newest skill:


The video is from yesterday, and she does pretty well, if I do say so myself. She got lots of practice in this weekend with Grandpa and Grandma Blockburger (and Aunt Jessica). We're pretty proud of her!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New 'Do

I cut my hair a couple of weeks ago, and even took a picture, and then I never posted it. I've got short hair again and I love it. And I like to pretend that I don't wear glasses anymore, but it's all a big lie.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Are you feeling the love?

We are.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weird Weather

When I left my humble abode in search of a new picture frame (I'll post pictures of that project when it's complete - it's gonna be cute!), it was a sunny day, I barely needed my jacket. I even thought to myself, "Oh, it's so nice outside, I don't know why I'm wearing this." But when I left the store, it had started snowing. Yeah, that's right: SNOW. Well, kind of a combination of snow and hail. Very blustery indeed. Here is what our yard looked like within minutes:
But don't worry. Within the hour we were back to sunshine and dry sidewalks. Utah weather. Never a dull moment.

Tudo Bem

Clark gave a very thorough review of the new Brazilian restaurant in town (Made in Brazil), but I felt I should add a couple of my own thoughts on the subject.
  1. Mandioca Frita (fried yucca) is my new best friend.
  2. Having been a vegetable hater for most of my life, I'd never had the grilled vegetables at one of these places. But hello, when they brought around a huge skewer of my most beloved SUMMER SQUASH, how could I say no? Overall, it was good. They were soaked in Italian Dressing, I could have done without that, but they were still tasty.
  3. Julia liked the sweet potatoes and loved the three cheese mashed potatoes. I gave her a little taste, and she couldn't get enough of the stuff. I had to go back for more just for her. Apparently she likes garlic. Is that bad? That I fed her garlic-y potatoes?
  4. Grilled Pineapple is every bit as good as I remembered it.
  5. Good heavens, we haven't even gotten to the meat yet! The meats were good. I don't really love rare meat, so I had to steer clear of those, but for the most part what I got I enjoyed. Chicken wrapped in bacon is by far the favorite.
  6. I did indeed eat a small part of a chicken heart. Well, they are small to begin with, so I probably ate about 1/3 of a heart. Oh dear. The taste was just fine, it tasted like meat, but man alive, the texture. . . . oh the texture. I took one bite and memories of the anatomy lab came flooding back. "I am eating a chewy, somewhat rubbery heart, that tastes exactly like a heart would taste." EW! I'm gagging just thinking about it. I know it's completely a mental thing, but I don't think I'll ever eat one of those again.
So there you go. The staff is excellent as well - very friendly, very helpful. I would highly recommend it to anyone willing to fork over the $19 for dinner. It's worth it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chocolate Giveaway

She's at it again.

$5 Dinner Mom is having a Valentine's Chocolate Giveaway! Because everyone needs more chocolate in their lives. Go check it out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clarky Dear

me me me meeee
me me me meeee
*cough* *cough*

"Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy BIIIIRth-DAAAAAy dear Clarky!
Haaaaaaaaaappy Birthday to you!"

It is my dearest husbands birthday this fine February day. Let's take a look at some pictures from the past year:
As it turns out, most pictures of Clark involve Julia. To be fair, most pictures of me involve Julia as well. And we love it.

I think you all should wish Clark a happy birthday. Either email him, or leave a comment on his blog, or something. Even if you don't know him that well. Because everyone likes comments or emails on their birthday!

Happy Birthday, Clark. You're an old man. ("I am not an old man!" "You are too, it's absolutely revolting!" [name that movie]) I love you!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Women's Conference

Thursday evening, we had our Stake Women's Conference, and we were blessed to have Ardeth G. Kapp as our guest speaker. I was so excited to hear her speak, because one of her talks, Just the Two of Us - for Now, touched me quite deeply, and helped me have perspective when dealing with infertility. After reading that talk (which my dear friend Alex sent to me, thank you Alex, you blessed my life immensely by sending it), Sister Kapp became one of my heroes from afar. So it was delightful to hear her speak on Thursday. And she was every bit as lovely as I imagined. She gave a wonderful talk about the power of women, how we shouldn't demean ourselves, how the Savior offers peace unto each one of us, and how we can make a difference in the world, and in fact are making a difference just by living our lives in accordance with the gospel. Her talk was full of gems, like the idea that the scriptures are "letters from home," and the truth that a group of women working together for a cause is a force to be reckoned with. I also really enjoyed her story of a missionary who always remembered when he was 4 years old and bonked his head on the edge of a table, and his mother enfolded him in her arms and said, "There, there." It's such a simple thing, and it's a scene that plays out all day long over here, but he remembered it all these years later, and it gave him comfort after a long day of missionary work. I especially liked when she said, "Do you think that mother wrote in her journal that night, 'Today I comforted my little boy and taught him what our Heavenly Father's love feels like. He'll remember this when he is on a mission.' Of course not!" Such a glorious thought, to remember that our work is important, even if it seems insignificant. I think the meeting touched me even more than it normally would have because Thursday had been one of those days. I was just feeling like I wasn't being a good mother, and what a boring life, and Julia wasn't being a good sleeper, yadda yadda yadda. It was less than wonderful. But after the meeting I felt so rejuvenated, so ready to tackle all the sleepless nights and bumped heads with a smile on my face, because I am a daughter of God! I have worth! And I am involved in a marvelous work!

There was also some beautiful music, and I got to be a part of that. I sang a solo as part of the prelude, and I was amazed at the number of women who told me how beautiful it was. Seriously, someone came up to me at church yesterday from the other ward to tell me that she enjoyed it. What a self-esteem booster! But honestly, I'm certain that most of the beauty was in the song and the spirit of the meeting, which is exactly how it should be.

Weekly Quote 2/9/09

"That's right, woodchuck-chuckers, it's. . .

What an excellent movie (Groundhog Day). I only saw the last 5 minutes this year, while I was at the gym. And the last 5 minutes are not nearly as good as the first 95. Oh well. New quote up!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Julia and the Window

I haven't been the greatest blogger as of late. I blame it on two things: being busy, and being boring. I've been busily boring. Boringly busy. Julia is the exciting one, and she's been learning LOTS of new things. She says, "Bye Bye," she gives kisses, she finds her nose, her tummy, Mama's nose, Daddy's nose, Albert's nose (our Albert Einstein doll). She'll look for things (she's become pretty good at finding Albert). And she loves it when I ask if we should sing a song. We've got 2 songs with actions that she does along with me: Popcorn Popping (she does the popping, and sometimes the popcorn ball), and Daddy's Homecoming (she claps her hands, pats his cheeks, and gives a great big kiss). It's hard to get video of these things because she sees the camera and is instantly drawn to it. So you'll just have to trust me. It's cute.

But I did get a couple videos of her beloved window. It's kind of long, so I won't be offended if you don't watch it. It's really for those diehard Julia fans (like Auntie Kim). The first one is from sometime during the week, and the second one is from last night.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Slow food is good food.

Last week I finally bought a crock-pot.

I know what you're thinking: "What is wrong with this girl, and how on earth has she survived without a) knowing how to steam veggies, and b) owning a crock-pot?" It's pretty ridiculous, I'll confess. To be fair, we do own a crock-pot, it's just very small, 1.5 quarts I believe. I think someone gave it to us for our wedding thinking, "There are only two of them, this is the perfect size!" But they didn't take into account that I don't cook for 2, I cook for 2 + leftovers. So for the last 5 years, I've found numerous recipes that look so easy and so tasty, and I've passed them over because we don't have a big enough crock-pot.

But no more!

On Wednesday I finally said to Clark, "Guess what, we're getting a crock-pot." Because they really aren't expensive, and I really think we'll use it often.

I've already used it twice, and I love it. I love that it has a removable inner stoneware pot that is dishwasher safe, which is LOADS better than the Mr Tiny, which you cannot immerse in water. And I love that we went to church yesterday, and came home to find dinner all ready for us. I know, this isn't "new" news to anyone, everyone has a crock-pot, but I was so excited for it.

As a side note, both times I used it, I also used Millar recipes. Those Millars have got some excellent recipes, and they are so easy!

Weekly Quote 2/2/09

"Get out your feathers
Your patent leathers
Your beads and buckles and bows
For there's no blue Monday in your Sunday clothes!"

Wall-E, Hello Dolly, take your pick! Both excellent shows. New quote up.