Sunday, December 30, 2007


We had a wonderful Christmas, despite the sickness that affected half of the household (Sawyer started the epidemic - the kid is like a petri dish.) Granddad and Sue-Sue went way overboard with gifts for the little ones, and they had a blast. Sawyer got so many toys from them that we weren't able to bring them all back home with us, even with the extra large duffel bag we bought. His favorite things were a tricycle that looks like a John Deere tractor, and a train set. I got lots of cool stuff too - several books (always my favorite), DVDs (Flight of the Conchords, both seasons of Extras, and Lost season 3), a beautiful Fossil watch from Eric (which I'm returning, but only because I don't like to wear watches - Eric thought that I don't wear one just because I don't have one), a spendy telephoto lens for my camera (also from Eric - he rocks!), and a hefty gift card to TJ Maxx so I can buy new clothes when I'm done with Biggest Loser 3 (more on that later.)

Before leaving town, I got to have lunch with some of my girls from Venus (thanks everyone!) and have a great visit with my old mission comps Becky and Haily - it was so fun to see them and meet their adorable kids.

Most of all, it was wonderful to spend time with my family. It was a bit chaotic having all of us in the same house, but well worth it. I miss them all!

Sawyer with his train.

A dance session breaks out, with Caroline on keyboards.

Aunt Erin joins in...

and Tori and Tanne too.

The latest dance craze: dropping your pants (it's Britney's fault!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

At Sue-Sue's House

We're having a wonderful time at Sue-Sue and Granddad's house. It's incredibly cold and snowy here, so we're spending a lot of time indoors, reading by the fire. Combined with watching the little ones play and enjoying my mom's cooking, it's not a bad way to live.

Caroline and Sawyer are getting along pretty well considering that they're both two. Caroline tends to be a bit bossy, but Sawyer takes it well: he listens to her and then proceeds to do exactly what he wants to. He must be learning from his dad. We're all excited to see these two on Christmas morning. This is the first year that it's all about the little kids, which is fun (although I hope I still get presents too!)

Friday, December 21, 2007


So, let's move on from that last controversial post (which I did not intend to be controversial, although I should have known.)

We're in Utah at my parents' house now. We flew to Salt Lake City on Sunday and drove straight to Blackfoot Idaho to spend some time with Eric's grandparents. We hadn't seen them for over two years, so it was nice to visit with them and let them get to know Sawyer. And they really got to know him - our first night there he threw up at the dinner table right as we were starting the meal. We had just given him Nyquil (he's had a bad cold for a few days) so he left a lovely red stain on their pristine carpet that no amount of scrubbing could lift entirely. We also had a leaky-diaper-in-bed incident, as well as a few tantrums and lots of getting into great-Grandma's fragile knick-knacks. They got a very real dose of life with a two year old. To their credit, they seemed to like him anyway. Sawyer had a great time at their house, and especially took to great-Grandpa. It usually takes him a while to warm up to people he doesn't know, but as soon as we arrived at the house he ran out of the car up to him and yelled "Pa Pa!"

We had several inches of snow while we were there, and since he's such a nice guy Eric offered to shovel the walk and driveway. Sawyer went along to help and no one could have predicted his enthusiasm for watching his dad shovel. He was fascinated by the whole process and thought it was hilarious to see the snow thrown into the yard.

After a few days in Blackfoot we drove back down to Utah and arrived at my parents' house. They built a new house this year so it's our first time staying with them at their new place. It's beautiful and Sawyer and Caroline are having a great time running around. Everyone's doing last minute shopping (which for my parents is the only kind there is) and planning ski trips and sledding outings. We've had several inches of snow since we got here. It looks like we're going to have a white Christmas. And I'll enjoy it from inside.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Things I Hate

In honor of the post over at FMH, I now present my very own List of Things I Hate.

-Having to get in my car and *drive* to the grocery store that I can see from my house, because there aren't any sidewalks along the roads.
-The exorbitant cost of housing where we live
-Yo Gabba Gabba
-Adults wearing Disney character clothing/memorabilia
-Names that are spelled strangely to make them "unique". Like Mikol instead of Michael, or Allyson instead of Allison. People, it's the SAME name! All you're doing is making it hard for people to spell your kid's name, and ensuring that they will forever have to explain to people how to spell and/or pronounce it. If you want your child's name to be unique, give them a name that actually *is* unique.
-Stepping in wetness when I'm wearing socks. The mere thought makes me shudder.
-That one person who doesn't merge when the sign says to merge, but drives up as far as they can go, then cuts someone off to get back in. You know who I'm talking about, there's always one.
-People who think their job is way more important than it actually is. The Michael Scotts of the world. There are lots of these in the DC area.
-The WGA strike.
-Menstrual cramps. Actually, menstrual anything.
-Babywise and the people who follow it like it's a religion
-Talking about immigration laws with my husband. Because we both get so, so angry.
-Misinformation about breastfeeding - it is so pervasive in our culture, and we wonder why so many women have trouble? (see above about Babywise)
-The fact that I can't speak French anymore. By the time I left my mission, people couldn't tell I was American because I spoke so well (they could tell I wasn't French - I wasn't that good - but they couldn't pinpoint where I was from - most people guessed Spain.) Last time we were there, a cab driver laughed at me because my accent was so bad. Very sad.
-Hot dogs

What do you hate?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...


We woke up this morning to the first snowfall of the season. It's the first time Sawyer remembers seeing snow, and he keeps saying "It's raining!" We're working on the word "snowing". There's about 1/2 an inch on the ground now, so of course all the major roads are completely jammed with traffic and schools are closing early in surrounding counties. I love snow in Virginia!

When Sawyer saw the snow he immediately and fearlessly ran out the door, clad in only his pajamas. At least he wasn't barefoot.

To further aid us getting into the holiday spirit, we had our ward Christmas party on Saturday. There was food, music, and pictures with Santa! Sawyer was so excited to see Santa Claus...right up until the second when I handed him over, and then he screamed bloody murder. (I can't blame him; I'm told I was always terrified of Santa as a small child.) So they took a picture with all of us around Santa instead. We haven't received it back from the photographer yet, but here are some more pictures I took.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

XM Christmas

I've had XM radio in my car for a couple of years now. At first I didn't really care about it one way or the other - it was just included in the car I wanted. Now that I've had it for a while though, I would hate to go without it. In fact, I hate driving Eric's Durango because he doesn't have XM and regular radio is just awful by comparison. My favorite music stations are Starbucks Cafe (the kind of eclectic mix you hear at Starbucks), The Verge (new and somewhat edgy artists), and The Village (folk). I also listen to a lot of talk radio (which I used to hate. I think staying home with a baby makes me hungry for adult conversation) like channel 155, which airs Broadminded and Dr. Laura, and of course, channel 156, Oprah and Friends (the exception to this one is the Gayle King Show. She seems like a very nice person, but her show drives. Me. Crazy.)

Now that it's the Christmas season, I've found a new favorite - channel 106, A Classical Christmas. I do like fun, pop Christmas music (à la 'N Sync, Mariah Carey, and Jewel), but when I really want to get into the Christmas spirit, I like traditional carols. A good mix of the two is Josh Groban's new album, Noel. Although I'm not generally a huge fan of his stuff, I do like the way he brings a more contemporary feel to classical music, and he does a great job with this album. His version of "Little Drummer Boy" achieves what no other rendition ever has by not completely annoying me. There's even an appearance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you're looking for some new Christmas music, I recommend it.

Back to XM - Classical Christmas plays all the greats - the Choir of King's College, Tallis Scholars, Chanticleer, the Vienna Boys' Choir, and of course MoTab, just to name a few of my favorites - and they also throw in a good mix of performers and songs that are less well-known. I've heard many that I haven't heard for years, like "Adam Lay Ybounden" (I performed this one in a morality play in high school - we had quite an unconventional choir director), "Les Anges dans Nos Campagnes" ("Angels We Have Heard on High" - much better in the original French than in translation), and "Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle" ("Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" - also much better in its original language). I've also heard a few songs that were totally new to me. Today it was "Sweet Was The Song The Virgin Sang," a traditional 17th century carol:

Sweet was the song the Virgin sang
When she to Bethlehem Judah came
And was delivered of a son
That blessed Jesus hath to name
Lullaby, sweet babe sang she

S. Solo:
My son and eke a Savior born
Who hath vouchsafed from on high
To visit us that were forlorn

Lullaby, sweet babe sang she
And rocked him sweetly on her knee
Lullaby, lullaby sang she
And rocked him sweetly on her knee

You can hear a clip of it here (scroll down to the track listings and click on number 2.)

Thank you XM for helping me get in the Christmas spirit. And for doing it with no commercials!

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