Sunday, August 31, 2008


I have had this awful need to eat a lot of sugar lately, and the only thing I could think of that would satiate this need was homemade powdered sugar donuts. The only problem with these is that I can't stop eating them! I finally allowed myself to make them last weekend (twice!) and I had to make them again this weekend (twice!) I have a serious problem. So I am announcing on my blog that I will not eat another powdered sugar donut for the rest of the year...hopefully by doing so, this will keep me honest. Feel free to physically restrain me if you see me eating them! Here are some pictures in memory of my sinful treats!
Before they are deep fried and coated in powdered sugar!

My handsome sous chef!

Ah, the sinful finished project!

Thoroughly appreciating them!

Zoo Fun!

Friday afternoon, my awesome sister in law, Mandy, and I took our kids to the zoo. This was Gavin's first time there and he LOVED it! He is fascinated by animals and was thrilled to see all of the different kinds. I was pretty proud that he seems to finally stop thinking every animals says "Woof!" I don't think he had a particular favorite, but he was very pleasant and enjoyed being with his cousins and Aunt Mandy.
Train ride!

I feel like he's saying, "Uh, mom, where the heck is the gorilla?"

Checking out the monkeysCarousel Ride

Discussing this snake they were fascinated by

I don't think he cared too much about this cat!

The highlight was this water thing.....they all LOVED it and it was when we were leaving so they got a little wet :)


A couple of weeks ago I took Gavin and 2 of my sisters the the aquarium and totally forgot about these pictures. I thought I would post a few because I know my sisters would love to see them on my blog. They are my most dedicated readers! Unfortunately, Tristin wasn't able to join us, but she was starting middle school, so I guess we will overlook it! Taylor and Logan stayed for 2 days and then my dad came to get them and took me and Gavin out to dinner. We sure had a fun visit with the girls. They are always such a big help to me and I was very impressed with how grown up they are getting. Gavin loves his aunts and really enjoys being with them. I love you girls (you too, Tris!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Staying Busy

All in one week I have had 4 announcement jobs to do! I know what you're thinking, "Here she goes bragging about her digital stuff again!" Oh well, you chose to read this post :) Good thing I love doing them I suppose. First was a birth announcement for my brand new BEAUTIFUL niece! I love how this turned out! Any announcement looks better when the people in them are cute (and you use a really good photographer, i.e. my dad, who didn't happen to do any of these pictures, but still....)

Next I have been designing some options for my step-dad's brother and his fiancee. Here are my 2 favs from their options....

This one doesn't look like much, but it looks fabulous printed.

I like the colors on this picture

3rd was the most fun so best friend Torie's sister, Steph, is getting married next month in Vegas and they wanted a fun invite for their reception when they get back home....

And last, but I LOVE how these turned out, are Britt's sister in law's. They are so cute and have cute little boys! Here are their options:

If they choose this last one I think I need to center the wording to not

cover up the picture so much.


If I let Gavin live outside, he would be the happiest child in the world. He wants to be out there from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. He has even learned to say "outside"! He says it really fast and over and over (sounds like he's hyperventilating) and points at the backdoor. If I say no, he freak out, so then I usually end up saying yes. Keith has informed me that I need to stop giving him everything he wants, but it's so much easier for my sanity! Anyway, first thing this morning he wanted to go out again. He loves cereal but he only took 2 bites of it and kept informing me that he really wanted to go outside. So, rather than getting him dressed while and making him wait, I just let him go out in his jammies. I know, I know, I'm pathetically weak! I took some cute pictures of him on the trampoline, but it was backed up in the corner so the background is our pretty (haha) trailer. Go ahead and ignore that.

Also, we have been getting a few tomatoes here and there and they are really starting to take off this week! I love having fresh stuff from the garden and as you can see, next week I will be doing nothing but picking and canning green beans! Gavin really enjoys helping me in the garden every night, which consists of him covering himself in dirt. I have yet to get a picture of this because I never remember to bring my camera out and don't dare go back in for it and risk my mud-caked son following me into the house unchaperoned! I'll try and remember tonight to bring it out ahead of time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Well, I did it. I finally picked up a book (and finished it) that did not contain a character named Edward. It was rough, I'll admit it, but I persevered and I am proud of my accomplishment.

The title of my blog, however, does not imply that doing so was a talent. Although it was difficult, what I mean to say is talented is my dear Auntie Marcia. It was one of her books that I read and am pleased to inform you all of this very talented woman I am related to!

Marcia Lynn McClure is fabulous and writes wonderful romance novels for those prefering to read books without all the smut. Don't get me wrong, they've got just enough of what any girl is looking for, but quoting from one of her books they are for those..."who longed for a breath of the past and missed the romace of bygone eras; friends searching for moments of distraction from the stressful, demanding times in which we live." Doesn't that sound appealing?

If you are interested in reading I do own a couple. You can learn more about Marcia here. She's fantastically HILARIOUS. I have a magnet on my fridge from her that says, "I wish I were a glow worm, a glow worm's never glum. How can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" And a personal favorite funny from my dear Auntie was the time she gave me my membership in the "Dishtowel of the month club". Without fail I received a dish towel and newletter from her each month for an entire year. I even had my own personal membership card!

So dear Auntie, thank you for letting me know that I can live again after Edward. For reaffirming my faith in men, not just sexy, perfect vampires, and giving me just a little "distraction." I love you!

Marcia's daughter, my FABULOUS cousin, took the picture for the newest Marcia Lynn McClure ebook. Isn't she fabulous? I would invite you to view her awesome photography, but her blog is private!

Happy Happy Birthday to a very special gal...

My baby sister is not so baby anymore! She just turned a big 6 years old and is growing up fast! I just wanted to post and say how much I love her. Here's a couple of reasons why:

She always makes me laugh.

She is very smart.

She knows the difference between right and'd better not say a swear word, she has a list of all the bad words and will give you what for if you use them :)

She loves horses.

She is a great aunt to Gavin.

She always gives good hugs!

We love you, Logan!
(Tris and Tay, make sure you show this post to Logan when you read it!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Three Best Friends

Warning....this is one of the posts that's probably really something I needed and might be a little long and wordy, but in my opinion, totally worth your time to know that these people exist.

I blogged the other day about how much I loved Carlie and decided that I was doing a disservice to the 3 ladies that had the most influence on shaping my character as a teenager. I grew up in Iowa, for those of you who do not know, and was very lucky to find these 3 friends. Many circumstances in my life had to happen so that I was in the right place at the right time to meet them.

Torie and I were friends the longest. We met in 8th grade and neither one of us liked the other. She didn't like me because I "went out" with the boy she liked. Remember in 8th grade "going out" with someone means avoiding eachother at all costs and it lasts a whole 3 days. The irony in this story is that our sisters were best friends! One night I was so bored and Britt was going to a movie with Torie's sister Steph. I told Britt ot have Steph ask her sister what she was doing and we ended up going to see "My Best Friends Wedding." After that we were inseperable. We have shared so many great times as best friends, so many memories. Torie loved to shop and I hated it but we did it anyway. It was in her blood and I remember always going to the mall with her and her mom and the farmers market and garage saleing. I will never forget how she ALWAYS wanted a strawberry and pineapple shake but the "one girl" at Sonic was the only one who made it right. Or the time she couldn't stop laughing in art class because her blood sugar was so high. When she finally calmed down a friend looked at her and said, "THE" and she lost it again! I remember when her mom died after I had moved out here, and aching for my friend in a way I didn't know was possible. Last year I was able to go to Iowa for Torie's wedding and see her happily married to a wonderful guy who makes her incredibly happy. Just recently I introduced her to Edward, and now we're able to share out very fond thoughts on him! I'm so proud of her and the woman she has become. I'm proud to call her my best friend.

Kristina and I met next. I always remember the first time I met her. I thought she was a total snob. (Can you see how I tend to be indifferent to the people I now term my best friends?) She was the new girl and very shy, so naturally I just assumed she was a snob and wouldn't want to be my friends. I finally decided maybe she just needed someone to talk to her and started asking her all of these dorky questions (so like me!) such as, "What's your favorite color?" It's a wonder that she even kept on talking to me. I will never forget late night show choir bus chats, dancing to N'sync and Cher late at night, or eating...we liked that! Kristina sure did like to sleep...she was always the only one who could sleep the whole time on the show choir bus, and I think she was always the one to sleep in the latest. I will never forget the time that I rode to work with her just because her car was turning 200,000 miles. We used to lay out by my pool and then watch Passions (the dumbest soap opera ever, though I think they are all dumb!). Kristina was always someone to count on and a great listener. She could alwasy make you feel happy, and always told you the matter how much it would hurt. We still keep in contact, though sporadically, and I know we will always remain friends. I miss her a lot, and wish we were closer to share more memories. I'm proud of her and I think she is so strong. She's not one for sentimentality so I don't want to get too sappy, but I love ya girl!

Last, but most definitely not least, Courtney. I honestly don't know what high school would have been like without her. The first memory I have of her is in study hall our Freshman year when I thought she had a pager. Not a big deal, but I coulnd't figure out why she thought she could walk around school with it. (That was back in the day when you weren't even supposed to have your cell phone at school and texting was non existent!) It was really just her insulin pump. (Can you tell I also seem to attract diabetics?) We didn't really become friends until our sophomore year when we got to know eachother in show choir. That's when I learned just how crazy she was! I will never foget the time we almost drowned in her car because we drove into a flood, or the time when I turned the wrong way out of Perkins into oncoming traffic. Needless to say, anytime we were driving together was an event! One of the dumbest things we did was drive in the middle of nowhere while it was dark to try and scare ourselves. We found an old cemetery, but couldn't work up the nerve to go into it because a car appeared out of nowhere behind us. Bowling was also a HUGE highlight of our friendship. We founded the Friday Night Bowling Crew and made up random bowling names for eachother. Courtney is also one of the strongest people I know and have the most respect for. I don't think she knew then or now how much stronger she is than me. I am proud to call her my friend.

These 3 women have probably impacted me in more ways that they will ever know. This blog in no way can explain the feelings I have for them. I will forever be indebted to them for their friendship and can only hope that I gave half to them of what they gave to me.

Me, Courtney, Kristina, Torie in '05

Friday, August 22, 2008


Tonight I had my little recipe club thing. A bunch of us get together and we rotate host each month. There is a theme and then each person is assigned something...i.e. appetizer, dessert, paper products, etc. Lucky for me it was my turn for the paper products! But that's not what this whole blog is about.

Driving to pick up Gavin from his grandma's I was thinking...scary I know. I felt so guilty because I was thinking about how fun it would be to not have to go home and be responsible. My sister in law was with me and I really just wanted to go play and not have to think about my messy house, or putting someone to bed, or what needed to get done. Honestly, I was really struggling with those feelings. It's really hard for me to admit on here that I struggle, but my sister in law assured me that we all do. I kept asking myself why being "just a mom" didn't seem to be enough.

As soon as I walked into my in-laws, I knew all I wanted was to be "just a mom." Gavin was sitting in a kitchen chair with his sippy cup and some cheerios all by himself watching TV. He looked like he'd grown about 4 inches in the 3 hours I was gone and my whole body honestly and truly ached until I finally reached him and held him in my arms. I can't even described the intense emotion I was feeling although I am sure any mother, or father for that matter, knows exactely what I mean. How I had missed him and everything about him. How grateful I am that I have everyday to spend with him. How grateful I am that he constantly wants to be with me and follow me around. How grateful I am that he wants me when he is hurt or sad. How grateful I am that he belongs to me and is my responsibility. How grateful I am to take care of him and tuck him into bed at night. I can't imagine missing those things. I know I am not "just a mom" but so much more. I am Gavin's mom.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Top 10 reasons why I love Carlie Martin

My dearest best friend Carlie requested that I blog about something today since she's bored and needs some entertainment. Little did she know she'd have to read all about the reasons why I love her! She's a fantastic friend and I don't know what I would do without her. I remember the first time I met Carlie, I thought she was actually her sister Dani. Finally I figured out who was who and I pretty much thougth Carlie was too cool to be my friend. We worked together for Jiffy Lube (you know, changing oil and what not) and as soon as she stopped being too cool for me, we hit it off fast! Now I couldn't live without her and here are just 10 of the 5 million reasons why....

10. She's an awesome mom, who loves her children so completely. I try every day to be more like her as a mom.

9. She always makes me feel important. She never hesitates to compliment me, and most of the times I worry that I don't make her feel that way because she's always being too kind to me.

8. She can quote Napolean Dynamite ALMOST as good as me

7. She's the BEST cook I've ever met. It must stem from the HOURS she spends watching the food network...

6. My husband likes her husband....that might sound like a stupid reason to like her, but it sure makes it a lot easier to hang out with her when Keith and Nick are so excited to see eachother....

5. She loves Edward AS MUCH as me...I have to be fair on that one because I'm sure we both love him the same

4. She likes to eat the food I like to eat. Probably sounds like another dumb reason to you, but when we were both pregnant and all we wanted was Bajio Chicken and Green Chile Salads at work...well, that seemed really important at the time!!!

3. She loves Gavin. If you're a mom you get that one.

2. She lets me complain and joins right in with me. I don't think she's ever told me how stupid what I was complaining about was...although I'm sure she's thought it a few times, she knows when to keep her mouth shut :)

1. She's always there when I need her. She never pressures me to talk if I don't want to, she never blows me off for other things, and she always trys her hardest to be the best friend she possible could.

Thanks, Carlie! I love you! P.S. I stole this picture from your blog............

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sometimes our son is just, well, weird....

Gavin does a lot of things that are really cute, and a lot of things that are, well, weird! This was a couple of weeks ago and I forgot that I had taken these pictures. He loves to play outside so I have blocked off the stairs to my deck and he can play out there while I am in the kitchen. It had rained and was wet outside, but I figured he was already a mess so what's a little rain water? Well, I'm making dinner and I go check on him and he's laying in the puddle that gathered on the deck trying to drink the water!!! As gross and it is, it was hilarious! He sometimes just decides he doesn't want to use his hands and does this with food, but I hadn't ever seen him do it with water! He really likes dogs...maybe he picked it up from watching them???

And back to him being really independent, he decided he just had to have the whole box of Trix...this speaks for itself...

So big....and very independent!

Lately Gavin has decided that feeding himself is the way to go. He's always know what to do with a fork or spoon, but now he actually really tries to use it. It's really cute unless we are somewhere that I can't just strip him down and he screams until I give in and let him do it all by himself. Anyway, here are a few pictures of him trying (note the haircut in the pictures as well). I'm so proud of him and the things that he learns each day. He always amazes me with something new he learned. I can't believe how fast he has grown and how quickly he learns.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Statement Retraction...

The time has come that I must admit that I lied in a previous post....when I said I wasn't big on the Olympics, I was apparently kidding. I have now termed myself an "Olympic Couch Potato" (how's that for irony) and cannot seem to get enough of the events! I never knew they could be so fascinating! I think I mostly enjoy watching them because these athletes are amazing. I watch and think, how could someone be in such amazing physical shape, or train that hard for something? Maybe I am more interested this year with my new found sense of wanting to be healthy. These people are inspiring. So, I have now joined the ranks and I am eagerly anticipating Michael Phelps getting all 8 gold medals with the rest of you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

08.08.08 Random Rantings

I suppose this year wouldn't be complete without a blog post from 8/8/08. Besides, it's been a week since my last post. Honestly, there was probably a lot to blog about this week, but I didn't take pictures of any of it. I finished reading "Breaking Dawn" but I would rather not say my feelings on it until I am sure more people are done reading it. I don't want to spoil anything!!! Gavin got his second haircut the other day...he's cute as ever. We went to lil' miss Ella Jo's big 1 year old bash! Carlie put together a great little party and it is always fun to see them and their family. I went boating yesterday with a bunch of my family and really enjoyed having a babysitter and playing! I felt a little selfish, but I suppose it's okay every once in awhile.

So seriously... I really haven't had that much experience getting hyped up over these "once-in-a-lifetime" date appearances. My sister in law was insistent that she have her baby on 05/06/07...she even found a Dr. who would induce her on a Sunday so she could. I guess that would be a cool thing to say that was your birthday. Honestly, that doesn't do it for me. On 07/07/07 my brother in law surprised his wife and made it her "Lucky" day. He had arranged a whole day planned with things she liked to do. I thought that was cute...and left me feeling a bit jealous that this paticular Smith brother seems to have gotten all of the creativity....! (KIDDING and VERY creative. Sometimes more than you should be) Needless to say these dates have never particulary fascinated or interested me.

I read on MSN that Clay Aiken had a baby...with someone that he is not romantically involved with who underwent the process of artificial insemenation. He's like 20 something, she's 50 something, but they want to raise this child together. Anyway, they had the baby today at 8:08 on 8/8/08...that had to have been a planned c-section. I guess if that's really some important thing to them.....but I don't get it. The whole situation is weird if you ask me.

And today marks the start of the 2008 Beijing Olymics. Not a huge fan of the olympics and I'm really wondering if today wouldn't have been this magical date, if they would have started today. I suppose for lack of something else to do while Keith is not home, I will watch the opening ceremonies.

I was reading something else about today's date that says "It is also a day where many couples get married to be reminded of this unique date for the rest of their lives." Seriously people, can you not remember something like 4/26/03 just as well? Is my wedding date any less special because it doesn't have some rhytmic, matching tone to it??? that I have documented my feeling on this very "magical" date (very cynically, I might add) I doubt there are any of you left reading...........

Friday, August 1, 2008


I'm going to take just a moment and blog about something for myself. I am so incredibly stoked for the "Breaking Dawn" release tonight. (I can't believe I just said stoked.) Yes, I am a nerd and I will be getting my book at 12:01 am. I will not, however, be dressing up like my favorite character or attending some release party. I will draw the line somewhere! I just want to get my book and get home to read it. I can't help that I have such a fascination with romantic vampires...and honestly, that's not me. I don't typically go for really "out-there" themes in books, but we all saw that theory disappear when I first picked up a Harry Potter, years after the series began. I've discovered I really have a hard time separating fact from fiction when I read, and somewhere inside of me keeps hoping for a world where incredibly sexy vampires do exist. Lucky for me, I have Keith, who is real :) Anyway, I will be reading all night long, enjoying that freedom you get when you throw yourself completely into a book and everything comes to life. So for tonight, and tonight only, vampires will exist and I will ask you all to refer to me as Bella.....

2 peas in a pod...

Gavin and his cousin Kenna are best friends! Okay, Gavin likes to be best friends with everyone, but he loves Kenna. Or maybe he just loves Kenna's MOM! Gavin absolutely adores my sister, Brittani. I don't know how he got so attached, but if she is around, forget about me! She came up to my house today with Kenna and watched Gav while I ran some errands. She took these funny pictures and videos I wanted to share. I'm so greatful for my sister. She is such a good friend to me and she is so loving to Gavin. I couldn't ask for more! Lucky for me, I have 3 more sisters who I feel the same way about!