Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Fun

A couple weeks back it was super windy but Callie wanted to go play outside, so out we went. She loved the wind. Whenever a big gust would come she would start running around yelling. It was hilarious. So I grabbed the camera and captured a few of my new favorite shots.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the last 28 months (note Callie is only 21 months old), Callie has been the proud owner of at least 2 BYU shirts.

So to make things a little more even and to celebrate unity among the MWC, I made Callie a Utah shirt. This is a gift to celebrate the start of college football TONIGHT!!!
Don't worry for the BYU-Utah game, we plan on a compromise and she can support our high school by sporting some purple.

Until then, GO DEEP and GO MWC!!!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mother Nature's Diet

It turns out that after last weeks fretting over what to eat and how much to exercise, Mother Nature had another plan for my weight loss goals.

All it took was 2.5 days of stomach flu, and I am nearly at my goal weight. I don't recommend the method, but it if you would like to try it come on over and we might be able to find you some germy love to take home and share with your friends and family.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Cost To Be Thin

The last 5 days or so, Jeff and I have been doing the South Beach Diet. It is a diet that my doctor recommended when I was trying to get pregnant with Callie, so since we would like to have another baby, I decided to make the diet a first defense instead of the last resort.

The basic concept of the diet is that in the first two weeks you eat no bread, no fruit and limited dairy. You have to eat protein with every meal (and snacks too), and at least a 1/2 cup of veggies with breakfast, 2 cups with lunch and 2 with dinner.

I am pleased to report that after 5 days, Jeff and I have each lost about 5 lbs. Yep, it feels good! I would love to keep losing weight this quickly, and when I have just finished a "no sugar added" fudgesicle I think it is possible. Then I look at what I have left to cook for dinner... not too much. Then I think about I will have the pleasure of eating for breakfast tomorrow--eggs (bleh), while I serve Callie my favorite, cereal. Then I see recipes like this, and I want nothing more than to be a glutton.

Since Monday I have spent about twice as much $$ on groceries as normal, and we are running out of approved food. My time spent in the kitchen has about quadrupled, and Jeff's has increased infinitely (as he has COOKED his own breakfast two days in a row).

Can you infer where I'm going with this.

I am wimping out. I have lots of excuses. And they are all good ones. I want to be thin, but I think I gotta find a new way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

I had a little blog that I posted to every once in a while. Then my computer got a sad, sad virus. And when ever I would try to blog I would get sad because my pictures were all on discs, far away from my hard drive.

But now our computer has been reprogrammed and one day I will have it set up the way I like once again. Until then, I give you a couple pictures from our vacation. Which may or may not be where I left off when the computer fell victim to the horrible packed.200.generic virus...
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 1, 2009


A few years back I took the picture below when I was in San Francisco. The poor tourist was just trying to look a little darker for her vacation. I had a good laugh over her fool hardy ways. I even pointed (behind her back) and laughed with my sisters and took a picture that I have often looked back at and giggled about.
This is what happens when you point at laugh at someone's spray tan and then think the same thing won't happen to you.

Now Jeff understands why I was so self conscious over my weird blotchy feet all week. In the end I decided the cute toenails would maybe distract from the overall ickiness of the spray tan.

Note to self: Just because something costs more doesn't guarantee better results.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Highlights

This wasn't the best part of my Mother's Day by any stretch of the imagination... it was just one of the highlights.

While driving to church we noticed it, a toilet in the middle of a dirt/gravel lot. It wasn't just any toilet though. This throne had a brown bowl and a pink tank with a palm tree. Because when I see a palm tree painted on a toilet, well, it just makes me think of tropical vacations and exotic getaways to faraway lands.

**If you are in the Modesto area and looking for a beauty such as this, don't hesitate to swing on over to the corner of Encina and ElVista to pick this bad boy up, pretty sure you can take the five finger discount and no one will miss it (except me next week while driving to church).
Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 1, 2009

Little by Little

In my last post I mentioned my new camera lens and Robin asked about my other lenses. I only have one other lens and it is the kit lens (18-55mm) that came with my now somewhat out of date Canon Digital Rebel. When we bought our SLR I knew nothing about photography except that it was annoying when using a digital camera that had a delay in taking the picture. So I tried to find a camera with the shortest delay possible. In reading on a few websites and Consumer Reports a lot of people said to truly get no delay you had to have an SLR. I also figured we could afford it while I was still working and I would never be able to justify it once I was not gainfully employed (because I still work--like, A LOT!).

So the point of all that is basically that I bought way more camera than I knew what to do with. In time I thought I would figure it out and then maybe I could stop using that little green square that was the auto setting. And in trying to learn there is a lot to tackle and if you try to do it all at once it will make your head spin. So I read somewhere that shooting in RAW file format is what the pros do. So I decided I wanted to be cool like them so I should shoot RAW too. The thing is RAW files are about 5x the size of regular jpegs. But if you are still reading this boring post you probably already know that. The thing is though, it was an easy thing I could do to give me some cred.

The problem is, I didn't know what the point of all those huge files was. I knew I could change stuff about the pictures, but I was confused because I was still saving the images as jpegs too and the jpegs always looked a bit better than the RAW versions, so why would I waste all that extra space for poor pics.

Now I am figuring things out. Not everything, just a few things. This is a pic I shot a couple weeks back. Pretty bad, way over exposed, and I think it looks a little on the cool side. But with a few clicks, it gets better.

Here's the jpeg.

Here's the RAW version (and I realize now this is probably a bad example because the RAW version actually looks better than the jpeg in this case).
First, I warmed it up a bit by changing the white balance to flash.
Then the real magic happened when I hit the auto button to fix the exposure/recovery.
For the final touch, I cropped it a bit (I could have cropped a regular jpeg too).
It isn't perfect by any means, but it is way better, and I am starting to understand, just a little bit why shooting in RAW is cool.

**I haven't had a chance to play with the sharpening yet, but I owe the little bit I know about RAW to Digital Photography for Moms. This looks like a great blog that can give me (and you) lots of great tips.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was scrolling through the Picasa pics and Callie looked up at the computer and said, "Me!"

So I had to post it!

Posted by Picasa

A Buzz




The lemon tree is in bloom right now and when I go out into the backyard I can hear it buzzing from several feet away with all the bees doing all their pollination.

I have also been playing around with my new 50mm F1.8 lens and I have taken a huge pile of bad pics. With some cropping I thought these were kind of cool.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ghost


I have recently started playing around with some of the manual settings on my camera, but I don't always check to see how things are turning out, so I end up with a lot of pics to delete. Anyway, today when I uploaded pictures I found this one of Alyson. This is the straight out of camera shot. Kind of eery.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where Credit Is Due

Today I was blog surfing and ran across a recipe that looked very familiar. I remembered where I saw it before and compared the two. They were almost exactly the same. I first saw this recipe on Good Eats on Food Network and today it was on a random girl's blog. Maybe it is a common enough recipe, but when I did a google search for it, there were several recipes out there (in the first 30 finds) and the only ones that were close to Alton's gave him credit.

I don't know why this is troubling me so much. Did random blogger chick mean to plagiarize his recipe? Did she really plagiarize it, because she did change three sentences (everything else is copy and pasted)? How much do you have to change for it to not be plagerized?

I also find myself annoyed with the person who linked to her. I know the linker probably had no clue that this girl is a dirty rotten thief, but it is her fault I am mad at random chick. I am also mad at the post because I would like to leave a comment noting her plagiarism but she doesn't have comments open.

So wise internets, do I call her out and email her to see if she fixes it. Do I look at other recipes, find out where she stole them from (a few have sources noted, but some do not) and then call her out on all her recipes, when I find where she stole them from? Or am I getting myself all worked up for no good reason? (I know in the grand scheme of things it isn't really important, I am just mad. But seriously, should I email her and call her out? I don't know her, so is it presumptuous of me to even suggest that she is a no good, dirty rotten, pig thief?)

Updated Again: I am going to take down the links and email her, to see what happens. If nothing happens, it is okay because Jamie is right, the world will go on.

Updated Yet Again: She did go back and add that the recipe was originally by Alton Brown at Food Network. So I basically got upset for nothing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For Real This Time

We had a good run at breastfeeding. Callie will be 16 months old tomorrow and we are officially done nursing. I know I threatened being done about a month ago, but this time I mean it.

This is a picture of my delicious baby when she was just 5 days old. Mmm, I love that drunken passed out look. I also love that she had a milk mustache. I had talked to the lactation consultant earlier that day and she asked if my milk had come in, she was concerned because we used a nipple shield. After our conversation, I worried I wouldn't have enough milk, but looking back at this picture it seems like she was doing okay, and I worried for no good reason.

You can't tell from this picture but she was still on the bilirubin blanket at this time and we were nursing every 2 hours. I remember thinking at 4 in the morning that day I was going to be spending hours and hours and hours in that chair, with the boppy, for what felt like forever. Now I can't believe how quickly the last 16 months have passed.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rock The Vote

We once again pause our regularly scheduled blog (because you know around these parts, whenever I get around to it, is considered regularly scheduled) to tell you to vote for one of my friends in the Rachael Ray March Menu Mania contest being held by UsaToday.

Carla's recipe is for Italian Chicken Sliders and is in the final four. If she makes it through this round, she will get to go to New York for a feature on the Rachael Ray show and she will have a chance of winning $5000 worth of groceries!

Hurry up and vote, you only have until March 27.

*Sidenote: I have not had a chance to try her recipe yet, but I have heard from her cousin that it is awesome, and besides she is up against chili and that isn't very original.

**Elections are really just a popularity contest and she was "like, totally popular" when we were in high school. So you should go vote for her because she is cool and if you vote for her you will be cool too.

***That last part was actually kind of a lie, she was only cool because she was a senior when I was a freshman and she was "like, totally cool," by a band/colorguard definition.

UPDATE: She didn't win. Darn. She was disappointed (especially because she found out on her birthday), but I think she will use this as a jumping off point to do something else food related.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Self Portraits

In looking at the millions of pictures amassed since Callie's birth there are approximately 42 that include me. Most of those include a nursing baby and/or me asleep with my hair in a state of disarray that was not even possible before I had a child (thus giving up daily brushing).

Back before the days of the digital camera the self portraits were the ones I took at the end of the roll just so I could get it developed, and they were usually placed in the trashcan upon viewing. But in today's world of the digital trash can (which is so much more convenient, not to mention cheaper) I can click to my hearts content and occasionally one might turn out that is cute enough to share with the world.

Do you have any self photos that you love, or any tips I might use for improving my own?
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Self Conscious

Right now my nose is so stuffy, it hurts to blow it. I can deal with that.

I can deal with the headache.

And the sore throat.

And even the achy muscles.

What bothers me, I have no sense of smell.

Before I had Callie, when I was sick, it was a given there would be no sense of smell and really, I could care less. Now I have no way to inspect for messy diapers.

Nor do I get the friendly reminder if I may have forgotten to shower. Because I might not have showered after I went on a walk/jog at 8 this morning, and now it is 6:51 PM and I don't recall if I put on deodorant before or after the workout.

So if you happen to pass me on the street and notice a strange odor, please alert me so I can take care of it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Photoshoot

For Mom's Birthday we headed out to Cowboy Country to the House of Beef. Yes, it was a meat and potato lovers dream. To celebrate a birthday they bring out this nifty hat and sing you their song. Better than their singing is you get to take the hat (and matching scarf) home! For some reason no one else wanted the hat so I didn't have to fight for it or anything.

After returning home I decided to post a pic or two on the blog of my new stylish hat, and what ensued was somewhat comical, so I thought I would share it with ya'all (sorry, being in the country does that to me).

The first pic Jeff took but the timer was on the camera and when I went to show him how to turn it off, we have the first lovely.

Then Callie had to be held and Jeff took this picture while sitting on the couch. After previewing this one I reminded him that taking a photo from that angle adds a double chin, he would have been shot (again, look what being in the country does to me) if he reminded me of the 15 extra lbs giving me the second chin.

There, Jeff is standing up, now Callie look at the camera and stop messing with the hat.

Now, maybe Callie smile while looking at the camera? You don't want to smile? That is okay I will smile big enough for both of us, or maybe if I open my mouth just a bit wider I will be able to swallow your entire head.

What's that you didn't realize one of my eyes is bigger than the other one, well it is, and Callie still does not believe in smiling.

Callie informs me that even though she requested to be held just over 30 seconds prior, she would prefer to be put back down.

Giving her the hat appeased her for approximately 2 seconds, then she got tangled in the tie. I freed her from the cords which held her bound, dropped the hat on her head and told Jeff to hurry up and take the "ding, dang" picture.

This shot does a great job of taking away the one eye bigger than the other one problem, but it would have been nice if Callie didn't have the "oh my gosh, what are my parents on," look.

Photoshoot, nearly over, baby approaching breaking point.

And that's it she's done.

Monday, March 9, 2009

So Many Sicknesses, So Little Time

Callie healed from the stomach bug in time for a taco dinner on Friday, but was sick again by Sunday morning. This time with a different ugly bug that kept her home from church and awake most of last night. With the new bug, she has a sore throat, runny nose, and an occassional fever. The worst part of the illness is sneezing. She always cries afterwards. So sad.

**You can go ahead and disregard that post from Saturday about weaning. On Sunday when I was rocking her poor sick little body I caved and gave in. I can't take away the booby when she is sick. That would just be cruel.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Miss It Already

Today, for the first time in more than 700 days, my body only nourished itself.

I thought it would be freeing, and in a way it is. I went to a movie tonight and I didn't make it home in time to nurse. That part was freeing.

But I missed my "boo" cuddly time right before bed. And for that reason, I know I will never really be free.

And that makes me happy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chaos on the homefront too

Callie has a stomach bug. When she was just a wee little boo we both had the stomach flu, but this was her first time with throwing up real food.

It was disgusting.

I knew it would be, but all those people who said it would be easier when I had a child lied. I put up with more, like showering with her while she screamed at 4 am, drying and getting her dressed without putting her down so I could so much as get a towel, and then rocking her even when her breath stunk to high heaven.

As bad as I make it sound though, I wouldn't trade it to help my poor sick baby. I wish I could take all the pain away. There is nothing that makes me feel so inadequate as a mother as dealing with a sick baby.

The chaos ensued today when I was changing Callie's diaper and taking her temp. Alyson decided to try to suck on the diaper pail. Callie took my distraction as a chance to try to escape. I moved the diaper pail and assumed all was well with the child on the floor, not realizing that in Callie's escape attempt she had knocked the Vaseline off the changing table. Since Aly couldn't suck on the diaper pail she decided to play in the Vaseline instead.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

aka Chaos Day

Last night I went to church for my semi-monthly meetings with the 8-11 year old girls. These are a group of top notch girls with a lot of energy. Most of the girls are VERY outgoing. I am fairly certain, in each of their classes at school they are natural leaders. But sometimes I just don't know how to deal with all their excitement and helpfulness.

For example, we were having a moderately complicated relay race*. I had to explain the process approximately twelve times (and there were only 7 girls) because they would interrupt and reexplain the process to me, you know so I could make sure they really understood it. Then someone else would want to do a demonstration, who would then explain it to someone else and the other person would get confused. It was like a huge loud game of telephone (you know the one where you whisper a message around a circle and it is totally messed up by the time it makes it back to the beginning).

I struggle with how structured I want our group to be. I want it to flow smoothly but I don't want it to be too formal, because this is an optional activity and should be fun. There are times when I take a stand, because, really, a nine year old knows better than hiding under the table during prayer. I have also found that when I take a stand on certain things they usually comply and don't make a big fuss about it, but sometimes it feels so out of control, and I am freaked out that if one of the parents or the primary president were to walk in, I would most certainly be released the following Sunday.

So what is the balance? Will the girls be upset if I make more structured rules? Do I just let the chaos ensue? How long before one of the more quiet girls feelings gets hurt because I am not paying as much attention to them?

Or am I worrying for nothing, because after all they are 8-11 year old girls and chaos is the norm at these things?

*Even if the teams are unequal, leader should not participate in the seal crawl relay race, especially if her pants can be pulled down without unbuttoning, because she might stop to pull them up and lose the race for her team.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Good Excuse To Blog

From my humble point of view, my life can be pretty boring. Pretty much the same ol', same ol' day in and out. And I sometimes forget that there was life before messy diapers, worrying about naptime, cheerios, and making sure the child gets more fruit into her diet, if you know what I mean.

So it kind of seems like my life is boring. My blog has no specific niche, besides wherever my thoughts take me. Which means I will likely attract only readers who are like me or who are impressed and/or entertained by my my not so stellar writing abilities.

But the other day, I went back and reread some of my old blog posts. When I did not post often my posts were boring, thus making the blog boring. I expected to read some really boring drivel in the months where I blogged everyday, when in fact quite the opposite was true. It was like the act of writing really did improve my skill. Who would have thought?

I planned on blogging everyday for February, but then the first was on a Sunday, so I forgot. Then the same thing happened in March and I realized I just need to start writing everyday (even if I did start this post on Monday, and it isn't going up until today)...

I am recommitting to my blog for daily posts. The posts will still be my own mindless drivel, because I refuse to box myself in with a niche (because I have a hard enough time finding something to post as it is), but for the next while (who knows how long) I will post something daily that you can distract yourself from chores you are avoiding be entertained by.

PS My stellar writing abilities have left me clueless for how to fix the above sentence. I don't think you are supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but I can't figure out how to fix it. Give me a few months of posting regularly and maybe I will remember.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Year Ago

A year ago today Alyson was born. She displayed her excitement for her birthday party by using her ceral bowl (Cheerios topped with cows milk for the first time!) as a party hat. The bowl fell off, but you can see the evidence left behind, milk in her hair.

Callie decided to begin the festivities well before Alyson got here this morning, by waking up at 5:45. Grr. I was totally ecstatic to get the call last year at that time that Alyson had been born, so I guess Callie was just trying to help me relive those feelings... Yeah, it didn't work.
Posted by Picasa