Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So I complained, and things turned around. Maybe I should complain more? We had an awesome Christmas. Our families and Santa totally spoiled us. At 6:30 am on Christmas morning we were all fast asleep when the doorbell rang about 10 times and someone pounded on the door. It freaked me out. I jumped right up. Taylor rolled over. I tried to get him to go get the door, but when he's out, he's out. There was no rousing him (maybe it was because we had only gone to sleep about three hours before then?). So I opened the door and peaked out. There on the doorstep was the biggest present I have ever seen. I quickly closed the door as I knew I could NEVER get it in the house alone.

I had to wake Taylor, then we both went down to check it out. At this point we realized that it was not only abnormally huge, it was abnormally heavy. And I'm a wimp. But it was Christmas, and I wasn't about to let the giant mystery box sit on my porch, so I mustered up some strength and we got it in the door with about 1/4 inch clearance. We decided to wait for the kids to open it---and I doubled check to make sure it didn't bark or moo---and we went back to bed. Well, Taylor did. I'd been coughing non-stop since Tuesday, so I got ready for the day then laid in bed coughing.

Kyle came in about 8:00 and Claire about 8:15. We went downstairs, saw what santa brought, opened some presents, then got the the big present. We were amazed to find a Power Wheels Tough Talking Jeep inside. And presents for Taylor and me---jackets for each of us. Then when we opened up the Jeep's hood we were astounded to find $100 earmarked for a date for the two of us. We don't know who brought it or why, but we are very grateful. If you've ever spent time with Claire, you'd know that she's wanted a power wheels for about two years. It's her fondest dream. Yet somehow she knew it had little hope of coming true. Although we aren't destitute, we certainly don't have the cash to justify getting her one. We do look at DI and kid-t0-kid and craigslist occasionally, but nothing has panned out. And since this year wasn't a white Christmas (glad, for the first time every it wasn't), she and Kyle were able to go out and take a spin. Kyle's a little freaked out. Claire is over-confident, but they'll even out soon.

Like I said, we have no idea who did this. And about 30 guesses as to who it could be. I guess that's one of the best parts of the day---we've thought a lot of nice things about a lot of nice people.

And to round out my excellent Christmas, on Christmas Eve, before we went to bed at 3am, I checked my email (not really sure why) and found out that I won tickets to Jim Brickman on New Year's Eve! I won them in a giveaway to piano teachers from Alfred music publishing company. Jim played in SLC on my wedding day. And I really tried to make it work so that I could attend his concert between the ceremony and reception (no one would go for it). We saw him a couple years ago and were crazy about him and his violin accompanist, so we're thrilled to be there again.

Oh, and the broken camera? We took it back to Best Buy to see if they could repair it. They just replaced it---and it was on sale that day, so they gave us $50 store credit. Awesome.

Good times. Pictures to follow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crappy day

You know how things kind of pile up? Today was that day for us. It started with an email that Taylor’s grandpa was in the ER overnight and admitted to the hospital and very sick. Kyle and I drove to Clearfield to drop Claire off at preschool, but we didn’t go home because Harvey was finally getting fixed and needed to be picked up in two hours, and if we drove home we’d just leave in a half hour again. So we hit some stores and returned stuff not needed from Black Friday. KMart overcharged me for a couple items and refused to make good on it, so that wasn’t good and I’m out ten bucks.

When we went to pick up Harvey we got bad news. (You’ll remember that getting him fixed has been a process. First Taylor stood in line forever only to be the first one turned down from the Big Fix. The next time the fix came around he got there bright and early and checked in. Only I got a call later that day saying that they couldn’t fix him because he had an undescended testicle.) Well this little testicle caused quite the problem apparently. It was so far retained that the vet made three separate 2-3 inch incisions up his stomach to retrieve it. I guess she just kept thinking that it would be in a certain place and kept guessing wrong. (Plus, he had one removed the normal way.) She finally got it, and it was tangled up in muscle or whatever. His whole bottom side  is shaved. He has stitches and staples inside and out. They have to be removed after Christmas. Oh, and it cost $40 more because of this problem.

Then Taylor called to say his car broke down and was parked on the side of the rode on Riverdale. Not the best place or thing to happen.

Then we got home, got Harvey settled and I got and IBS attack. I haven’t had it in months. I haven’t missed it. I’m totally bummed because they come in groups too.

So I went upstairs. While I was otherwise occupied my children got a hold of my new camera. Sticky fingers all over it. And the lens part won’t open.

And Kyle got into my only tube of mascara and applied it TO HIS LIPS and inside his mouth. Thus making the tube unusable by my standards (I only have one eye, gotta be careful). I wanted to take a picture of it, and that was how I found out that the camera was broken.

Bedtime is in 50 minutes. Can’t wait.

Tomorrow is another, hopefully better, day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We took a dessert to Taylor's work party last night. It was a hit. It's always a hit---but if you don't love peanut butter you won't love it. Everyone wanted the recipe, so I thought I'd share it here too. It's certainly a crowd pleaser---you ought to try it. And if you're coming to my Miss America party in January, you'll be trying it there!

Peanutty Perfection:
35 Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 pkg (8 oz) Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp cold milk, divided
1 tub (8 oz) cool whip thawed, divided
2 packages (4-serving size each) Jell-o Vanilla Flavor Instant pudding and pie filling
1/3 cup peanut butter

Place cookies in food processor. Process to form fine crumbs.Transfer to medium bowl. Add butter; mix well. Press firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate 10 min. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar and 2 Tbsp of the milk in separate bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add 1 1/4 cups of the whipped topping. Mix well. Spread over crust.

Pour remaining 3 cups milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat wtih wire whisk 2 min or until well blended. Add peanut butter; mix well. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 min or until thickened. Top with remaining whipped topping; cover.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting into pieces to serve. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

I usually put a bit more peanut butter in---I like peanut butter. Also, be sure to allow time for your cool whip to thaw; it takes 4 or more hours to thaw in the fridge, so I usually try to buy the ingredients the night before so that it's ready the next day. I've also messed up and bought the cooking kind of jell-o instead of instant, so watch that. I also use low-fat oreos, cream cheese, and cool whip---and it's just fine.