Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i am not a crier

the older i get, the more my heart and tear ducts have turned to stone. not kidding. even if i START to get emotional, i SHUT IT DOWN. for some reason i have decided crying is a weakness and irritation and i can't be bothered. (i'm sure i have some deep seeded problem, but we're not going to address that today.)
that being said, very few things seem to touch me. lots of things touch me, i just don't go crying about it like everyone else. pregnancy makes me a bit more softy, but only on the rare occassion.
like for some reason, this video make me get choked up. (i did not cry, not even close, i just had to take a weird gulp of air, which is my heartless way of being emotional.) it's an old video, so many of you may have seen it, but i like it anyway.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


definition of pregnancy:

physical state where wife craves cookies, waits for someone to make her cookies. if no one does, she will break down and make her own, then being so tired, expects someone else to clean up. if someone else cleans up, she eats all the cookies. if no one else cleans up, she eats all the cookies.

poor brad.
(although this is not quite true, he got a couple.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Who knew?

- over 4 years ago I moved into a room to be shared with a perfect stranger. Who knew that marriages and babies later I would still go to that same apartment to hang out, decompress, and eat lunch? We pull up to the complex and Faye starts to shout "COCO! BABIES!" She is a big fav around here. Love you, Coco.
- that 20 months would be the funnest yet? I did not particularly enjoy the infant stage, but the toddler stage is THE BEST. Everything Faye says is hilarious. All her mannerisms cute. All the things she is learning make me so proud!
- I could cook! I have REALLY improved in the last 20 months- thanks to some coaching from Rina, and necessity being the mother of invention. I rarely use a recipe. Actually, almost never. I brought dinner to someone last night & they even told me it was DELICIOUS. BOOYAH! Who needs recipes!?

conclusion: improvement and enjoyment are always possible with good friends, delicious food, a little bit of confidence and super cute babies.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


it's like our office has been hit by a snowstorm of tragedies recently and it is starting to wear on me. there are only 5 people in the office. and in LESS than one calendar year (11 months) the following have taken place:

- my husband lost his job & was unemployed for months
- my sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer
- my 4 year old niece was diagnosed with leukemia
- my grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer
- b was in a serious car accident
- b's son was killed in another car accident
- b's daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer
- k's husband has a heart attack
- k's husband lost his job & was unemployed for months
- j's wife had a super scary parasite that made her lose 40 pounds and be on the verge of death
- a's father was diagnosed with liver cancer

i mean, REALLY??? COME ONE, KARMA. leave us alone, PLEASE. we are NICE PEOPLE, alright????

it's all starting to wear on me mentally, it's definitely caused problems & stress in the office & it's been awful. every part of it, start to finish. it's tiring. life is full of terrible things and hard issues and physical challenges.

i feel like i got off easy. and i'm grateful.

but seriously, if something else happens we might all fall apart. just to put it out there. the end.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Hero

This picture makes me want to tell you about one of my FAVORITE PEOPLE in the whole world: My babysitter, Rina. 

I went back to work when Faye was 5 weeks old. I was tired, stressed, depressed and it was HARD. The one solace, consolation, and peace to my mind was that Faye was being taken care of by THE BEST person EVER. I would drop Faye off every morning and not even worry for a SINGLE SECOND about her. I truly believe that was a tender mercy and finding Rina was a HUGE ANSWER to a prayer. I don't know what we would have done without her!!

Rina is my hero. She is productive, kind, generous, thrifty and loving. Faye is her third little blonde baby. She LOVES HER. She has been her "other mother" her WHOLE LIFE. She sneaks her treats, puts her in time out when she is naughty, and hugs and kisses til Faye just giggles out of control. She is from the Philippines and has taught my baby to eat rice with reckless abandon (even for breakfast!) and I'm 100% positive if Faye talked there would be English mixed with Visayan! She has fed me (and Brad) numerous meals, taken time to teach me to cook meals, and babysat Faye for us even on weekends & overnights.
Rina's two girls are Faye's two older Filipina "sisters" and they play and fight and love like sisters. They hug and kiss and hit each other like they are all related. I love it. We all think it's hilarious.

Right now Rina has a friend living at her house who has a daughter, plus 2 other girls whose parents are on vacation, plus my baby, plus being 7 months pregnant and her own 2 kids! This picture is them all heading out the door to the park or storytime. She piles them all in her Suburban (which she just got THIS YEAR- she'd never had a car or had to drive before!!) and just gets all over town. 
(We always tease Faye bc "one of these things is not like the other"- she is the little white blonde kid in a sea of dark Filipinas!)

She is INCREDIBLE and I love her. It's impossible to NOT love someone as amazing and wonderful as she. So thankful for wonderful people in my life!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I have a two thoughts today:

1. I'm not being snarky, I really want to know what my liberal friends think about the"you didn't build that" quote from President Obama. I really would like to hear a non aggressive, non attacking, non judgmental, HONEST response. I've listened to the WHOLE SPEECH, so i'm not just going off what people are saying on Facebook. (If you haven't listened to the whole thing, please don't tell me what you think bc it is not an informed response, just an opinion.) 
I understand that it takes a community to build a business, and I completely agree that banks, private lending firms and people, teachers/friends/family, all help in the process. BUT I really am disappointed in the choice of language our president used. I really feel as a man who has never built a business, that his speech's wording belittled the work, effort and ingenuity of the individual, especially those who have the drive, courage and dedication to start and own their own business. I feel the intent was foolish and ignorant (and a terrible thing to believe), not to mention really bad politics and press.. I mean, don't people get paid to write/read these speeches ahead of time? (and plus, we all have to agree, the backlash has been hilarious!) your thoughts?

2. Maxi dresses are awesome in theory. They are comfy, leisurely, fashionable and bright, fun colors and patterns.... but they do not let air to your legs when it is 80 degrees out. Problematic.

Friday, June 29, 2012

an editorial on protecting our homes

warning: ranting ahead. also probably graphic or TMI. im sure i will offend half of you but i don't care.

the world is a crappy, scary, angering, EVIL place. why people would PURPOSEFULLY bring crap into their homes & marriages is BEYOND ME. it makes me angry & upset.

you know what i see around me? women who are more concerned with nails, how perfect their kids' hair and fashionable their clothes are. they sit around crying bc their life is SOOO HARD.

YES, DUH. LIFE IS HARD. was this a new revelation after you had children or got married?? i mean, you NEVER looked around and thought "this is not going to be a piece of cake." ??? did you REALLY think that to keep up your ridiculous lifestyle that your husband wouldn't have to WORK MORE? oh no, you are going to be one of 1 in a million who's husband works 4 hours a day and make bukoo bucks, right?

AND THEN to top it off, you cry about your testimony and your life and your relationship with your husband. you tell everyone details of your sex life. and then in the same sentence spouting off about how great Jesus is,  you also mention how great 50 shades of grey is.

you know what i think of you?

i think you don't know enough people whose homes and lives have been COMPLETELY RUINED by porn. i think you are an ignorant idiot. i can't believe that you think that bringing crap like that into your home is PREFERABLE.

i know TOO MANY people whose lives, homes, childhoods have been DAMAGED, most beyond repair, by people who thought it was "okay" to bring porn and ANY LEVEL of porn into their homes. it's damaging. it's sad. it's terrible. and it's what SATAN WANTS FOR YOU.

it's no big deal, my husband has a dallas cowboys cheerleader calendar. it's funny.
romance novels don't hurt anyone, they're just exciting.
sex in tv, movies, commercials isn't bad, it's just life, we all know about it.
the morals of that show are soo bad, but it's so funny.
my kid doesn't like kid movies, so they watch PG13/ R movies with us.
dirty jokes are the funniest.
if it's between me & my husband it's ok.

well let me tell you, I DISAGREE.
i'm currently watching at least 1 marriage fall apart RIGHT NOW bc someone thought it wasn't a big deal. she only got a boob job bc he wanted it. bc suddenly SHE WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH. and it only kept becoming more & more "not good enough."

i think the moment you allow and ENCOURAGE that crap in your home you have KISSED YOUR LIFE GOODBYE. and satan is doing a jig. you are endangering the spirit of your home, the futures of your precious innocent children. you are showing them what you REALLY think is most important.

that's what makes me the most sad & angry- your poor sweet children. in 10 years they will have divorced parents and think that only the most fashionable car & perfect body make them worth anything. and don't say i'm being too harsh or exaggerating- i'm not- this is REALITY. like i said, if you think i'm being too harsh- you don't know enough people who this has happened to.

i am just so irritated with people today. i feel sorry that they beds they are making today they will have to lie in later. it's going to be terrible to watch. and sad.

life is hard. it's full of disappointment, grief and hardships- WHY would you create more? how can buying into satan's CRAP make anything in life seem better? accuse me of being prude, close-minded, overprotective, but i don't let my husband stay up on the internet after i've gone to bed and i don't let faye watch TV unless its baby shows. i would rather be all those things than expose the people i love the most to temptations, content and challenges that are AVOIDABLE.

i'm glad i love my family enough to protect them vehemently. to tell satan to BACK OFF. to risk the disapproval of the world, and friends and do WHATEVER I CAN to protect my home and keep it as a safe place. to treat my relationship with my husband as sacred and NOT PUBLIC INFO. holy crap, people, keep it to yourself.

i've just been feeling so strongly about this lately, i figured i better say something. to write it down. to remember that people who are AGAINST the world also have a voice. that no matter the pressure to keep quiet, i shouldn't. i should share opinions that are different from the world. that's what wins the war against satan- those who are willing to step up and say- THIS IS NOT OKAY. so think what you will, but i'm speaking up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


turkey on wheat
extra lettuce, tomatoes
banana peppers, pickles
hot mustard
pepperjack cheese

heart burn? perhaps.
regrets? none.
delicious and relatively inexpensive? indubitably.

Monday, June 11, 2012


This weekend Faye got to meet her Barttels cousins for the first time! Josh and Judy (and Jessica, Michael and Nathan) live in Virginia, so this is their first chance to see her! (Last time we saw them I was sick and pregnant!)
They have been so cute with her...seriously, I love it! Jessica is 14 tomorrow so she is a little mother, and I can't even believe how much Faye LOVES THE BOYS. They let her play leggos with them, follow them around, play outside, they fight over who gets to sit next to her in the car, and they have been taking turns pulling her in the wagon. If all the kids are outside, she just sits in the wagon until someone notices and pulls her around-it's adorable!!  All three have been so attentive and she just loves them back-it's like she knows by instinct they are her own. I need to take more pictures of them together-the only grandkids on this side so far.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New furniture

when I started working from home I bought a new filing cabinet. the box of said cabinet instantly became a hit, and a new permanent piece of furniture in my living room! sometimes I am tempted to get rid of it, but then today with a little bum sticking out of the entrance, I know I'm never going to. It's her little hideaway and it's hilarious, however unsightly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I never thought that would be the title of a blogpost.

Yesterday my 4 year old niece, Rachel, was diagnosed with leukemia.

Monday they took her to doctor at 9 AM. By 4 PM she was diagnosed and admitted to hospital with her first blood transfusion. Today she had surgery and a permanent port was put in her chest 10:30 AM and her first rounds of chemo started as well as a spinal tap.

She's FOUR. 4. four.

I've cried off and on. But mostly it all just feels numb. I'm in helper OVERdrive. Driving, cleaning, cuddling, holding, feeding. I cancelled my plan ticket. I'm staying a few extra days. In order to not feel helpless I am doing all I possibly can. And I would be SO HAPPY to be doing 100% more.

What really got me tonight was the iodine on her little back all around the bandaid where the spinal tap was. And the tiny baby in the room next door crying. A little boy, younger than Faye, sitting in a highchair in the doorway so he can watch the nurse's station and the people going by. I almost had a breakdown right then and there.

I will write more thoughts as they come, but I just called Brad tonight and told him over and over how much I love him, and how much I love our baby. How our Heavenly Father DIRECTED me to come this week instead of next week. I felt I should REALLY go to Vegas and stay for a week (which I NEVER do, but bc I work from home it was a possibility) and that it should be this week, not NEXT even tho Brad would be able to stay longer bc of the holiday.

I am so so so blessed to be here. To help. To cry. To be in the house so my dear mother is not here alone.

I am sad, but hopeful. Numb, but confident. A.L.L. is treatable, curable, very high success and even more so in girls. I'm scared, but feeling overwhelming love and support from my Father in Heaven. I feel like our family has been truly blessed with the ability to be calm and to face it all head-on.

Mothers, go kiss those babies of yours. I hope they are all healthy. I had to resist the temptation to just squeeze the life out of Faye today. But somehow... she knew. She went around hugging everyone's leg today unprovoked. Such a sweetheart.

Things are hard, but they can be overcome. Still in shock, but the ball is already rolling- roll with it and trust the Lord is directing.

I'm going to go kiss Faye before I try to sleep.

Monday, May 14, 2012

working from home- early thoughts

1. faye plays by herself SO WELL. she literally will run round playing with blocks, toys and sit in a corner "hiding" for about an hour everyday. i hear her in her room banging blocks together and talking and singing to herself.
2. she is a napping champion most of the time. her morning nap is CLOCKWORK. 60 -75 minutes everyday. no fail. no fuss.  i give my sitter, Rina, all the credit for this, since she has been putting her down for her morning nap... basically her whole life.
3. afternoon nap- usually 2 hours 2PM-4PM. if we somehow miss this window (like daddy is home and is trying to give me a "break" she will fuss and cry and get him to say uncle. then she is a monster bc she has taken no nap- happy mother's day!)
4. brad's schedule is early shift- he works with people on East Coast, so he is usually home by 4:30-5 at latest.

the combination of these things allows me to get in my hours of work. so far, halfway through day 3, we are on roll. i know it CAN'T be this easy all the time, but really I'm soo lucky. i love being home with Faye, i like taking her on errands, and playing together, eating lunch and going on walks. it's nice to feel like i'm her mom completely.
the first day she is a hellion and i can't work at all, i'll let you know ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work at Home Mama!

I start working from home tomorrow. This has been in the works for many weeks now, and it FINALLY is happening. I am excited to be able to see Faye more, to save money, and to not have to be in the office everyday! I'm not sure which of those three things I am most excited about... it's probably best to say I'm most excited about Faye, so all that judging about my mothering can cease, but it's probably the not going in the office.

I am excited to figure out how to make our whole lives change. All the habits, schedules are going to be turned upside down. We are pretty awesome at our schedule at this point. It's going to be a rocky transition, but I anticipate the change with gladness! I have the hope to turn our home from a well-oiled machine... into a better, different well-oiled machine!

Any tips from work-at-home mamas? Things I should think about that I haven't already? (Yes, I've thought of how NOT fun it's going to be somedays to try and work with Faye needing attention.)

Here's to TOMORROW!

Friday, May 4, 2012

random thought

names are funny.

you don't want to be named after someone who is a loser. or a terrible person. you just don't go around naming kids adolf anymore. but really at the end of the day, it's your parents' decision & you are stuck.

but what about people named after YOU? what if you have a namesake who turns out to be a complete idiot? what do you say then?? they are going around telling everyone they are named after YOU and their weird/ridiculous behavior somehow gets pinned back to you. like you had anything to do with it. that's the worst.

just a thought.

im not named after anyone, nor is anyone named after me. but if there was, you bet i would be kicking them in the pants if they were taking my name down with 'em. :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

a few random things

1. sometimes people are so stinkin' nice. aynsley campbell, i'm talking to you.

2. anyone else seen the "own it" ads on youtube with adam levine from maroon5 talking about adhd? i have a thought- has anyone thought that maybe they have normal attention spans and we all just have abnormally long ones? and maybe society is making even "normal" people have attention problems? i bet like 50/100 people stopped reading this blog post at this point. it's 5 sentences, people!

3. if you ARE still reading, watch this video. it's my new favorite song. yes, i am back in my yearly latina phase- i've been listening to 93.9 exitos for weeks straight. you're welcome. you don't know the words, but you understand everything. beauty of music.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

color run!!

after 15 miles running with strangers- i decided to walk a run run with friends!
3.1 miles were spent walking/jogging and getting colored with coco & lacey! 

 cute ladies

just a bit proud of my ragnar still
after some color
cleaning off with leaf blowers... hilarious

 so much fun!! brad and i were both worried than i signed up for 2 races 3 days in a row... but it ended up being JUST the ticket. one intense long run with strangers, followed by a short fun, walk/jog with friends. 

18 miles

this weekend i ran 18 miles.

i ran my first ragnar relay this weekend. i loved it. despite the fact i was the odd man out on my team (they all knew each other & are from AZ) and i probably had very little in common with them, they were nice, we all got along and we had a great time! 12 runners, 2 vans and 203 miles later we made it!
this time around i had average length runs.
5.5 miles at 3 PM- in sweltering, beating, no shade, 92 degree weather. mostly uphill. HORRIFIC. i ran like an 11:30 minute mile. so bad. so hot. everyone on every team had to slow down and take it easy- not worth the heat stroke.
3.9 miles at 4 AM- 34 minutes baby! i SMOKED IT. i really think i could have ran it faster, i just didn't want to pull muscles or anything and have some juice left for another run. i felt SOOOO good. no, i mean, SOO good. the music on my ipod came at perfect times, it was cool, dark, uphill and downhill, i ran passed tons of people (and since i am competitive that felt good) and it was basically the biggest runners high i've ever had!! i could not have been happier.
4.9 miles at 4 PM- another amazing run- i don't know my exact time, but i know it was around an 8:45 pace. another great run. i thought it would be cold with fog and rain and cold, but actually it was amazing.  coming into the finish i SPRINTED and gave it all i could. felt sooo good!! i had no idea i had that much in me.
after I finished
i barely trained in the last few weeks and NEVER at any pace faster than a 9 minute mile. i thought with having a baby and being lazy about training i might never see my 7:45 minute pace return. but NOW... i'm thinking if i sign up for another race and actually train REALLY hard i could do it!

doing this race definitely made me feel young(er?) again and made me feel like i COULD accomplish something.  i was SOO proud of myself and Brad was so proud of me- it was worth it all. the best part, besides the surprising awesomeness of my runs, was seeing my best friend at one of the exchanges. his team was way faster than ours, but we got to see each other once. i love him.
two ragnar lovebirds

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hunger Games


Now that I've read the book and Brad took me on a to see the movie last night, I have some thoughts to share. I really didn't know much about the books and movie until this week. I purposefully avoided it. Of course I picked up bits and pieces and knew the basics, but I tried to stay away. I haven't had time to read a series (bc I knew I would like to read it straight through) and I did not see ONE trailer (not ONE, people!) for the movie bc I wanted to imagine the characters myself first. So this is all new to me this week.
I know this is a huge thing for people. I know people are OBSESSED with it. I can see why:
Fantasy world we don't live in? Check.
Fantasy people who dress up crazy? Check.
Fighting against the system? Check.
Heroine with love problems? Check.
What's not to like?

I like it as well. I love fantasy worlds I don't live in. I love fighting the system. I hate love triangles, but in this case it's really not a triangle because Katniss loves Gale and not Peeta. I like that there are no chapters in the whole book. There are like 3 "Parts" and that makes reading the book in one day that much easier. There are no chapters to remind me I'm reading farther than I planned.

I don't think it was the best written book ever. Comparing Hunger Games to Harry Potter is like comparing Shel Silverstien to Shakespeare. Both entertaining, great writing- but one clearly has a firmer grasp on the beauty words can convey & describe (aka. not Shel or Suzanne).

The movie was also good. Story kept to book really well.
I'm glad there wasn't too much gore but I could have standed to see even less of teenagers killing teenagers- I'd rather have it be left to my imagination. Or rather, to not imagine it at all...
There were a few elements they changed that I didn't understand WHY they changed it. I understand the mockingjay pin to play up the sisters' relationship, but why couldn't her beauty team like her? Why doesn't she SMILE at the opening ceremonies in the chariots? Why don't Katniss and Peeta kiss more? Let's face it, there is a lot of kissing for the cameras in the book.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss- thighs too big and too tall. I'm serious! In the book she is small and fast and has been practically starving her whole life. Jennifer Lawrence has chin fat- that did not speak "starvation" to me.
Liam Hemsworth as Gale- Perfect. I saw a bit more facial hair, but he's gorgeous.
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta- Too short. I always pictured him taller. Not super handsome or hugely musclar, but just bigger. Mostly bc Katniss is bigger than him in the movie, which is totally NOT what I pictured. It made me feel like Peeta was weaker than he is. I think Josh did a better job though of acting the personality I expected of Peeta than most of the other characters, tho.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch- Brad actually laughed outloud when he came on screen. I was expecting him to be terrible, but he wasn't at all.
Holy crap- Stanley Tucci??  I didn't even know he played Ceasar Flickerman, but he was EXACTLY like i pictured. I loved him! (I may be biased bc I love Stanley, tho.)
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna- I didn't want to love Lenny as Cinna (bc how can you NOT love Cinna?), but I did. Gold eyeliner and all.

Props to the movie: I loved they played up the involvment of Seneca Crane(and his awsesome beard!). It was a perfect addition to understanding how it all works.

Final thoughts:
People who want to BE in the Hunger Games and want to live in that world are off their rockers. They clearly don't understand the dark message of violence and control Suzanne Collins is sending. The violence in the movie was HIDEOUS, but the whole premise of teenagers murdering each other for TV entertainment is exponentially more hideous. Why in the world would you want to dress up like the ignorant, selfish people of the Capitol? (What about Darth Vadar? Why was my nephew a Death Eater for Halloween? Okay, I take that one back, it's fun to dress up like the bad guys...)
Well written, entertaining. Movie equally so. I would read and watch them again.

But really, can we get a girl herione with some brains, who isn't "trying to figure out how she feels" all the time, and NOT stuck in a love triangle? That's why Hermione is the best herione ever. The end.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scrub a dub-dub

Today I realized I didn't want to walk on my own kitchen floor with bare feet. This is never a good sign.
I sweep almost daily and spot clean very frequently, but how often do I get down on my hands and knees and scrub "til it shines like the top of the Chrysler building"? Not often enough- like once a month. (Is that gross? I don't even know.)

Today I moved all the furniture, I swept, VACUUMED THE GROUT AND BASEBOARDS (I know!!), and then proceeded to scrub. It really wasn't that bad until I got to the corner where Faye sits; more food falls on the floor there...I'm not sure why.

I scrubbed in silence, with my own thoughts, my own soundtrack playing in my head. No baby babbling (she was napping), no TV commercials blaring (Brad isn't home yet), just my own little lovely world of silence. The only sound was the "swish swish" of rag against tile.
I don't usually take many  moments to myself nowadays. The world is loud and life is busy. Maybe hands and knees scrubbing isn't exactly glamorous, or fun, our even that productive (I mean, just buy a Swiffer, amiright?) but today it was so therapeutic. I scrubbed away not only soup and dirt, but worry and discouragement. Little things build up and suddenly my feet are crunching Cheerios everywhere I walk; but just by taking a quiet moment and some Mr. Clean, I can have a different outlook. I needed that today, this week, this year. Gentle reminders that life is beautiful, and so are things that have had crap scrubbed off them. My floor is shiney, and so is my heart.

I should scrub more often. I'm sure it will be cheaper then therapy and less damaging to my vanity than tears in the long run, yes?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

Barttels family April 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Moses Moses!

Whenever we watch any movie that is based loosely on fact or history, I make the comment that what we are watching is probably NOTHING like what really happened.
But seriously, I have a dream that when we die, God is going to be like,"Actually, the Ten Commandments is pretty close." That would be undeniably awesome. Amiright?
Every Saturday before Easter? Best movie tradition ever.

Monday, April 2, 2012

a room with a view

i am watching this movie RIGHT NOW on netflix.  have you seen it? wait, let me ask these questions fist: do you love the brits? do you love period pieces? do you love humor and the italian countryside? well of COURSE you have seen this movie!!
it's a winner. (parental warning: there is some male nudity so don't let your 13 year-old daughters watch without some censoring. but that part is seriously funny, too.)
i just got through the "first kiss" scene and i just laughed out loud. it's so hilariously awkward. 

it got me thinking about my first kiss with brad. (this is the part where most of you stop reading, it's ok, i'm not offended- but it IS a good story, if you were wondering...)
it was my birthday (our second official date- i know, i know "i'm anything but fussy") and brad took me to a USC football game, then to Disneyland to buy my first season pass, then to Maggianos to meet a few people for dinner, then we went back to his house & there were approximately 30 people watching a movie- i have no recollection what it was, but i know it was something like Batman Begins or Bourne or something manly. this means we drove ALL OVER THE WORLD. we played "name that tune" on brad's ipod and i named almost every song & he knew none- on his OWN ipod. 
by the time it ended, it was late and we had been together approximately 14 hours and i was TIRED. not tired of brad, but just tired. it was a good day. 
he walked me to the door, naturally. we chatted. i have no idea what i was talking about, but suddenly he was kissing me. i was in the middle of a sentence and he just decided what i was talking about was far less important than just putting a stop to it. as benedict, "Come! I will stop thy mouth!"
when he was finished having his way, he stopped, said goodnight and i opened the door & he left. 
i then walked in the door, smiled happily to myself, and swooned on the floor.
yup, i did. i fell on the floor, gazing happily at the ceiling. i then picked up what was left of my self-respect (none) and went and snuggled & chatted with my roommates until we were tired & went to sleep at some unGodly wee hour of the morning. 

no one but brad, me and my two roommates knew about the whole thing until one announced it at my bridal shower to great embarrassment and entertainment of all in attendance. and now i share it on the world wide web. no shame. i think its a great story. and i love brad. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the Road (1)

like i said, i was in a stake show, "On the Road". it was FANTASTIC. so fun. i loved singing & dancing around like a crazy every night. i loved using my talents & actually getting to SING! hooray! the directors were brilliant & patient, the cast was fun & talented & the time spent well worth it!

but what i loved the most above ALL THINGS were friends made & many, many tears of laughter shed. seriously, these ladies are HYSTERICAL. together we basically were the gooniest, silliest, most confident & fun group i could have imagined.

elena, jen, bethany, kimber, lindsey, jen= TROUBLE!
(jen photoshopped this. i love her for that.)

four of us were disney princesses. with one of our FABULOUS directors, melissa

we are beautiful, poised, lovely ladies on stage....
and riotously irreverent back stage. BAHA
"The Real Princesses of Disney"

as rapunzel, i got to sing & dance with some WONDERFUL men from the stake in "i've got a dream."
oooo these thugs are the softest, kindest & most fun & least thuggish i could find. they were so good to me as the only "lady" in the number!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

an early morning rant

lately i have had many many thoughts on my mind... and a lot of them make me worried, anxious, angry. and sleepless.
this is not good.
i just feel like i have reached my wits end with people. so here i am again, another late night, stewing, trying to get out all my feelings of frustration and let it go. but some things just won't "go." how come some people get under my skin so badly sometimes?
(i actually know the answer to this, it is not rhetorical.)
it's because i care about them and they don't care about me and it hurts my feelings and i just get so mad i want to punch them in the face, but then i love them so i wouldn't and i forgive them, but then the cycle starts all over.

anyway. i'm going to post a cute picture of my baby now, that will make me feel better.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rapunzelllllllll, let down your haaaaaaiiir!!!

so the HB Stake, (group of congregations in one area- like isaiah said about the church of Christ being like a "tent" over the whole world- we are a "stake" of that tent) which is where we live, do this HUGE MUSICAL PRODUCTION every 3 years. we are talking 350 people, thousands of dollars & hours spent. it is not a small thing, nor a cheap thing, nor a cheesy thing. it's legit. digital sound, lighting, crazy costumes, etc. ages 3 to 93 are welcome to participate. IT IS AWESOME. i am basically in love with the people who are in charge- they are AMAZING.

this year i am participating, naturally, so there have been ALOT of hours spent in the last couple months preparing & practicing. we open this weekend and have 8 shows. we dance & sing & act like crazies & just have a lovely time laughing, singing & enjoying it all.

oh and i'm rapunzel so i get to sing 2 songs from tangled. my costume is AMAZING. just wait til i post pictures!!!! it's all about the wig. the people who made my wig literally took HOURS to do so. it's everything rapunzel should be & more!

anyway- if you live in HB- come to the stake center 7 PM thurs fri sat or 4 PM sat for the next 2 weeks- you won't regret it!:)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 AM??

5 AM: the time Faye got up this morning, kicking & ready to go.
2: the number of hours I required of additional sleep this morning.
$4.27: the cost per gallon to fill up my car this morning.
$0.97: the cost of the donut iced with emotional stability I ate this morning.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Easiest Most Delicious Food Ever

I have been cooking in 2012. Cooking A LOT.
It saves muchos buckos, is more healthy and I get to wear an apron & pretend I'm domestic!! Winner!
Following are 2 easy meals we frequent. They are delicious & make great leftovers (we love leftovers!)
Disclaimer: These are non-gourmet, easy, cheap meals. If you like fancy, don't try them!

I like to cleverly call this meal "Meat & Peppers":
Buy some kind of shoulder or rump roast at your local store. Beef. We like to buy meat from the carneceria in Santa Ana where it's cheap. Freeze it until the peppers go on sale for cheap at the grocery store.

You will need:
Meat roast
at least 1 of each- Yellow, Orange, Green, Red Peppers
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Pan &Oven

Preheat oven to BROIL. Cover one side of meat with steak seasoning. Let sit for about 10 min while oven is getting hot and you cut up peppers into large chunks and strips. Take whatever non-food item your toddler is eating out of their mouth. Put peppers on bottom of pan. Put meat (and most of the drippings if there are any) on top. Broil on each side for 10-15 min, depending on thinkness. Cook to Medium Rare, then pull out & let the meat rest while you set the table and stop your toddler from impaling themselves on a pen.
Pair with rice. Or a green salad.

VOILA!!! Meat & Peppers. What I love most is the peppers, seasoning and juices get all delicious on the bottom of the pan. If your peppers look burned, don't worry- they are not burned, they are DELICIOUS & flavorful. Easy and quick!

The second go-to meal of late is what we call-
Chicken Vegetable Soup:
You can use whatever kind of chicken, but bone-in, skinned thighs make the best flavor without adding anything. If you use boneless/skinless you will need to add more seasoning or some MSG in the form of chicken bullion or just a ton more salt.

4 chicken thighs(frozen or fresh)
Garlic Salt
Half onion (optional)
Bunch of Italian Parsley
Lots of Carrots(like 7-8 whole carrots- not baby carrots. Just wash them, don't peel)
Whole Bunch of Celery
Head of Cabbage

Put the chicken on the bottom of a large stock pot on very very low (on my electric oven I do like 1 or 2) with like 1 cup of water. Go clean the bathroom, fold laundry, or watch a british murder mystery series. Come back half way and turn the chicken. If you use boneless it cooks faster. If you put them in frozen they take longer. (DUH.)
When you turn put in a liberal amount of garlic salt, pepper, dash of chili powder. Put in more than you think will be good- that is the right amount. Then put in a bit more just to be sure. You may choose to put in chopped onion at this point. Sometimes I forget to buy onion so I put in some onion powder.. and sometimes I forget the onion all together and it turns out just fine. Leave again until chicken is cooked.
Cut up carrots, celery, parsley & slice cabbage. Put parsley in first, then carrots, then celery and pile the cabbage on top. Sometimes the cabbage won't let the lid sit right cause it's so full- this is how full it should be. Put in 2 more cups of water.Then sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on top of cabbage. This makes the cabbage weep more easily.
Leave and finish the laundry you didn't finish folding bc you got to inthralled watching the murder mystery.
After about 15-30 min the veggies should settle and you can use a big spoon to mix up & push down so the lid closes.
Now really walk away and forget the soup is cooking. In about an hour to hour and a half, remember you forgot about it and it will be PERFECT! The chicken will fall off the bones & the natural oils will make it DELISH.
My favorite thing about this soup is the Italian Parsley. DELICIOUS and flavorful- makes boring veggie soup have pizzazz! REMEMBER: don't change the temp- just leave it at 1 or 2 the whole time.

Serve with saltine crackers or bread. Or nothing. Both my husband and my kid will eat this soup like it's going out of style. Winner!

currently obsessed

Thursday, February 23, 2012

i overbooked this quarter

I decided I wasn't doing enough last year. I was tired, depressed, stressed, poor and BORED.
So in 2012 I decided to do EVERYTHING.
I am training & running Ragnar in April. Thats a lot of time pounding pavement!
I am participating in the HB Stake Musical (this means ALL DAY Saturday, Thursday nights & practice on my own). In a couple weeks we have all our performances!!
I teach Primary every week with Brad. This requires some time/preparation.
I also taught at a huge Relief Society women's social thing last Tuesday night.
I make dinner 4 days a week, at least. (This is by far the HUGEST FEAT of them all.)
I've made homemade baby shower gifts.
I clean my house more.
I am particiapting in a book club. And by "participating" I mean, I didn't read the first book, but went to the meeting anyway, but I am currently reading the second.
Oh yea, I also work and take care of a baby.

Even to me, this list does not sound that overwhelming. That's bc it ISN'T. It's been a year since I had a baby and I finally feel like I've gotten into the swing of things. 2011 really messed our family up, scheduling, babysitting, job changes, etc. 2012 is definitely the upswing!

i fit in all my pre-pregnancy pants

really the title (for all you moms out there) is all you need to read. admit it, your heart fluttered in happiness for a second!

yes, it's been a year. yes, that is entirely too long. but in reality, i lost ALL the weight after i stopped breastfeeding. it shed like a coat as soon as i stopped. now i know that my hormones keep it on there like glue. boo.
i also know now that i get so super ridiculously nauseous and sick during pregnancy that i feel like i have to eat ALL THE TIME to keep from blacking out (it didin't help tho- i blacked out at least once a day for 9 months- good times). next time around i will be better prepared and i will FORCE myself to get out and walk more.

either way, excuses or no excuses, i'm happy, and i feel skinny and so much BETTER.  woot woot!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It's here! My favorite Catholic tradition from my childhood! Everyone I grew up with always gave up something for Lent, so I always do too! Just a nice 40 day show of self-control.

This year it's chocolate.

I made this resolution knowing full well Faye's birthday cake is chocolate. See? I'm that dedicated. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Car Dancing

rocking out in the car requires a few key ingredients:

- wild flying arms and the ability to move your torso without dangerously pushing your legs and feet on the gas/brake
- absolutely no shame :)

from age 16-21 i was probably that girl at the stop light that you laughed at. you know the one- singing, wiggling, steering wheel banging, arms waving. i like my music pumped, loud and, as gloria estefan says, "the rhythm in going to get you!" some of my favorite memories are of ridiculous dancing. lots and lots of ridiculous dancing.

somewhere after college and into the real world my commute got longer and quieter, my music got less pumped and i basically all-over calmed the hell down. (my personality?? needed calming down?? ok, yes it did.)

then a baby came. all the sudden my music is faded FRONT and is at volume... 3? maybe on a good day? no more super loud dance parties- kids ruin everything. (jk i love my kid! but she really did ruin my car dancing...) we still dance almost daily in the car, but it's bc faye will dance to anything; the world of music is her oyster. its great for her, not so much for me- i just don't get kicks from dancing to slow country songs.

the other day i was out running errands and pooped! then florence & the machine came on. i pulled into my parking spot at home and instead of turning off the car and walking into my house to rescue faye from brad (or the reverse?) i TURNED UP THE VOLUME (to a level which i would NEVER allow should i have pookie in the car or brad for that matter- i probably blew a speaker) and literally rocked out; limbs flailing, shouting, head holding, the works.

it was amazing!! the awesomeness thereof only enjoyed by myself (and maybe a neighbor or two.) it made me feel young! i am cool! i am up on hip and popular music! i stil got it! it made my shoulders relax. it made me skip joyfully into my house pick up my baby and dance a little jig to a jingle on a commercial. it made me happy.

conclusion: dance like nobody's watching. (JK that is the most horrible cliche thing to say, it made me laugh just to type it! hahahahaha) how about: dance like a big fool in your car bc it will keep you young. oh and bc it's fun! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012


I know, I know, I am waaay behind in my cult-followings, but we just started watching episodes of Firefly tonight on Netflix.
The jury is still out, but I have a feeling since Joss Whedon is involved and also Alec Baldwin (who I love from Chuck-that cult-following i'm in on, don't worry. tho i am still unsure about the ending. amnesia.. really??) anyway, firefly: it's going to grow on me. The pilot was a bit iffy at first, but I was invested by the end. Here's to one season to getting all attached and then being super mad at Sci-Fi for canceling like everyone else!
p.s. i stand corrected- it was Fox! I'd be mad at Fox, but since they host SYTYCD they are in our good graces forever. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am never again making a list of all the things I need to do... it's just depressing!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My new babysitters

Is it more sad our awesome that she will stand here for like an hour watching the kids play outside?! I wish she was a bit bigger...or that they were little girls, like our old neighbors, so she could play with them!
A it is, i'm happy that she is happy. She talks to them through the screen and in general is content just watching them run around!
(also how come the picture turned?? Mobile blogger help?)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

here is a happy thought :)

today i woke up earlier than usual. showered. got dressed. CURLED MY HAIR (gasp!) made breakfast for me and pookie and got out the door early, with everyone happy, fed and clothed for a sunday.

also, it seems like every single person i know today is having a terrible day, what's up with that?? i'm sorry, everyone.

go watch the first episode of the biggest loser and think about how you are NOT 150 pounds overweight and don't have terrible health. (i have a crush on dolvett's smile.. daaaang!) then, go out and stand in the sunshine for a few minutes (even if where you live it is cold) bc the vitamin D on your cheeks will feel sooo good. also, try turning off the tv and read a book or magazine instead.

tomorrow will be better. have a great day! <3