Monday, June 25, 2012


My three friends Francine, Kristen, and Kaitlyn came to visit me last week for a couple days. Last time I saw them was at the baby shower they threw for me two years ago. It felt so natural seeing them again, as if it hadn't been two years.

The first day we went shopping at Chandler Fashion Center. I found a great pair of dark-wash jean bermuda shorts at New York & Company, my favorite store whose latest fan is Kaitlyn. I don't even remember the last time I went clothes shopping with girls! Justin is a great shopping partner, but it was refreshing being with other ladies.

We had dinner at a cute restuarant called The Landmark. It had an old-fashioned Southern vibe to it. The ambiance was great, though there were mostly elderly people there. The food was delicious and we had a fun time trying to be well mannered. We failed miserably, laughing our way through dinner.

Afterward, we walked around San Tan Village. At Charming Charlie's, Kaitlyn jokingly came up with the idea of getting friendship rings, an idea the rest of us took seriously. We were there well after the doors closed deciding on the right ones to buy (they have many complementary rings sold in groups of 3 to 5). We finally settled on these:

The next day they got to meet Caden. The only one who had ever met him before was Francine when he was four months old. They could not get over how cute and smart he is. (What can I say? Look at his mother! jk) Francine brought toys to play with him (though the photo shows otherwise, haha), and Kristen got him a little set of golf clubs, which he (and Justin) loves.

It was a relaxing day of chatting and playing with hair. We had dinner on our fancy table, like we did for Valentine's Day, and then the girls took me bra shopping. I needed to go a long time ago, but now I'm glad I waited because Kristen is a bra expert and was truly helpful.

Afterward, we said goodbye for nearly two hours. Every time we hugged and were ready to leave, someone would bring up another forgotten memory that would launch us into more reminiscing. Finally I said I really had to go because my feet were killing me from standing so long.

I didn't realize how much I needed their company and time with girls that are not other Mormon mothers until the next day, when it went so smoothly with Caden because I was happier and thus more patient. I also didn't realize how much I missed Kristen, the one I keep in contact with the least even though we go back the farthest. Each one of those ladies fills a special need in my life. I love them so much and am so grateful for their willingness to always visit me!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day & New Recipe

For Father's Day, we let Justin sleep in, woke up him for a waffle breakfast, sang to him and gave him a card, and then let him go back to sleep. At church the men got apple pie or brownies and ice cream. For Mother's Day, we got a package of cheap microwave popcorn. So not fair. Anyway, we invited Adam and Kirsten over for dinner and I tried a new recipe. It was a hit! The original is called "Veggie Lovers Baked Ziti" by Hunt's. Here is how I made it:

Pasta & Veggie Casserole

  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow zucchini, sliced (I only used half of one because it was really big)
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz. bag of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen vegetables, any kind (I used carrots)
  • 1 (26 oz.) can Hunt's spaghetti sauce (I used mushroom)
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (16 oz.) box of pasta (I used rotini)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • No-stick cooking spray
  1. Make pasta according to package directions. While it's cooking, cook squash in oil until it begins to look opaque. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add spinach and frozen vegetables and cook until spinach wilts.
  3. Pour in the spaghetti and alfredo sauces and blend together. Toss in cooked pasta and 1 cup of the cheese.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the mix into the dish and top with the remaning cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
Next time we are going to add Italian sausage!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


My friend Andrea introduced me to spooning my freshman year of college. Naturally, I've always been the small spoon. I would tell Justin I was getting the better end of the bargain, being protected and cuddled by my big, strong husband. I didn't understand how he thought I was cuddly.

But co-sleeping with a toddler changed my mind. Being the big spoon is better! It feels so nice to wrap my arms around my baby and pull him in close to me, kissing his head and squeezing him tight like a teddy bear. (Well, when he was a few months younger; now he wriggles free. Sad day.)

Do you like being the little spoon or big spoon?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Today is Justin's 27th birthday. He forgot it was his birthday (how can you forget your own birthday?) and scheduled himself a double shift today, so we celebrated over the weekend. Saturday night we went to dinner at Benihana.

We sat with another small family. An older couple was about to be seated with us, but as soon as they saw two children at the table, they stopped and asked for an "adult-only table." Funny, since the two children were better behaved than many adults I've seen at restaurants! The other dad was offended, but I was happy to have a less-crowded table.

Our waiter looked like Shia LaBeouf and was really nice--he didn't charge us for a side of rice for Caden. Our chef was great too. The staff all sang to Justin and gave him free ice cream, which he shared with Caden of course. Caden did really well, and when the staff started singing, he thought it was for him! Haha.

Sunday night I made German chocolate cake and invited Adam, Kirsten, and our friends the Ballifs to help us eat it. (The cake has some white frosting on it since I didn't think the kids would like coconut pecan frosting.)

Caden had been waiting all afternoon for that cake! So cute to see him clapping for his daddy!

It was a very enjoyable evening. Happy birthday, Justin!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Father's Day Jokes


Pop Vs. Pup While flying from Denver to Kansas City, Kansas, my mother was sitting across the aisle from a woman and her eight-year-old son. Mom couldn’t help laughing as they neared their destination and she heard the mother say to the boy, “Now remember — run to Dad first, then the dog.” – Submitted by Karla J. Kasper

Paternal Payback On the day I received my learner’s permit, my father agreed to take me out for a driving lesson. With a big grin, he hopped in behind the driver’s seat. “Why aren’t you sitting up front on the passenger’s side?” I asked.
“Kirsten, I’ve been waiting for this ever since you were a little girl,” Dad replied. “Now it’s my turn to sit back here and kick the seat.” – Submitted by Kirsten Wiley


Letters between son and dad Dear Dad,
$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.
Your $on

Dear Son,
I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.

From Aha! Jokes (updated by me):

Fathers Then & Now
In 1900, a father's horsepower meant his horses.
Today, it's his car.

In 1900, if a father put a roof over his family's head, he was a success.
Today, it takes a roof, deck, pool, and 4-car garage. And that's just the vacation home.

In 1900, a father waited for the doctor to tell him when the baby arrived.
Today, a father must wear a smock, know how to breathe, and make sure the video camera is charged.

In 1900, fathers passed on clothing to their sons.
Today, kids wouldn't touch Dad's clothes if they were sliding naked down an icicle.

In 1900, fathers pined for old country Romania, Italy, or Russia.
Today, fathers pine for old country Hank Williams.

In 1900, a father smoked a pipe.
Today, he gets sent outside after a lecture on lip cancer.

In 1900, a father came home from work to find his wife and children at the supper table.
Today, a father comes home to a note: "Jimmy's at baseball, Cindy's at gymnastics, I'm at adult-Ed. Pizza in fridge."

In 1900, fathers and sons would have heart-to-heart conversations while fishing in a stream.
Today, fathers pluck the headphones off their sons' ears and shout, "WHEN YOU HAVE A MINUTE."

In 1900, if a father had breakfast in bed, it was eggs and bacon and ham and potatoes.
Today, it's Special K, soy milk, dry toast, and a lecture on cholesterol.

In 1900, a Father's Day gift would be a hand tool.
Today, he'll get an iPad.

In 1900, a happy meal was when Father shared funny stories around the table.
Today, a happy meal is what Dad buys at McDonald's.

In 1900, when fathers entered the room, children often rose to attention.
Today, kids glance up and grunt, "Dad, you're invading my space."

In 1900, fathers threatened their daughters' suitors with shotguns if the girl came home late.
Today, fathers break the ice by saying, "So, how long have you had that earring?"

In 1900, fathers pined for the old school, which meant a one-room, red-brick building.
Today, fathers pine for the old school, which means Dr. J and Mickey Mantle.

In 1900, fathers were never truly appreciated.
In 2012, fathers are never truly appreciated.

Friday, June 8, 2012


The super lucky winner of the 16-prize LDS Etsy Team giveaway is comment #198 by Dana. Woohoo! Enjoy your prizes! Thanks to all who entered and showed support to our team. We appreciate you so much! Remember, you can use the coupon codes listed in the giveaway to buy something you liked from the featured shops.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Funny Food Photos with Caden

Even Batman eats his veggies.

We were watching a movie and eating chips. Next thing we know, Caden had moved the chip bag right next to his seat.

He saw a whole tomato in the fridge and asked to eat it.

He ate about half of it! So did his clothes.

He fell asleep holding his cookie. It dropped right before I took the photo.

The shirt says it all.
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