Tuesday, August 19, 2014

seven more things you probably don't know about me

I had so much fun doing my last post like this that I decided to do another one. One of these days when I have time I'll write an actual update!

1. For years and years I could only sleep with one very flat pillow. Then last fall I got sick and it was hard for me to breathe laying down, so I started sleeping on two pillows so I was at more of an incline. I guess I got used to it because now I sleep with two pillows.

2. I graduated from college Magna cum laude. I have no idea how to pronounce Magna cum laude.

3. When I'm using a microwave, I choose the amount of time based on how little I have to move my hand.  Need 30 seconds? 33 is faster to push.

4. I don't like condiments. Ketchup, mayo, mustard, you name it, I won't eat it.

5. Once in college it was late at night and we were out of toilet paper, so me and my roommates (who shall remain nameless) went across the street and stole some from stadium bathroom. I didn't even know the stadium had a bathroom prior to this.

6. I can't snap my fingers. Countless people have tried to "teach" me, but it's just not possible.

7. I was born at the same hospital in Pennsylvania as Taylor Swift. I am 8 months and 2 days older than her.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sesame Street Live

Back in March I heard that Sesame Street Live was coming to our town.  Shawn is completely obsessed with Elmo, so I looked into getting tickets. They were ridiculously expensive, even for the seats way up at the top! Plus, any kids over the age of 1 needed their own ticket so we would've had to buy three for all of us to go. 

About two weeks ago I saw an advertisement for a coloring contest put on by a local radio station. Shawn had never colored a picture before because he is more interested in eating the crayons. I put crayons in his hand and pretty much forced him to color his first picture. Here is the finished masterpiece:

Not bad for his first try, huh? If you remember my last post, I've been on a bit of a lucky streak lately. So, naturally, we won the tickets!! 

Since the prize was for 4 tickets, we invited my mom to come along. Here are Shawn and I before the show. Of course I had to find him an Elmo t-shirt!

The characters talked when you pushed the button. Shawn was freaked out at first, but after a minute he thought these were the coolest thing ever! He ran back and forth between the two displays pushing the buttons.

The tickets included a special "meet and greet" before the show where we got to meet Elmo, Ernie and Bert. Shawn was a little nervous to get too close but he let me hold him. If you look closely, Shawn is wearing his cookie monster shoes!

Our seats were down on the floor! I told Ben to wear yellow so he would look like Big Bird. 

This was his face the whole time. This is the longest he has ever sat still! If only church was as interesting to him...
This might sound really stupid, but as I sat there watching the joy on Shawn's face I started to tear up a little bit. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your child happy. I tried to hide it because, seriously, what kind of adult cries at Sesame Street Live? 

It was a fantastic night from start to finish. I wish we could go again!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lucky Duck

I'm one of those people who never wins anything. After the last month, I can no longer say this about myself. I am not one of those crazy people who stay up late into the night finding giveaways to enter. But occasionally, if I see something that looks fun, I'll enter (with very low expectations). In the past month I have won not one, not two, but THREE things. This is so out of character for me that I had to write about it to share my excitement!

In March, the fabulous Ostler Orthodontics gave away tickets to the Tri-City Americans hockey game. My first win! They lost the game, but we had a super fun time! I haven't been to a hockey game in years. As a bonus, the game was on my dad's birthday, so I took him and it was a free birthday gift! I also took Ben and my sister Kelsey. 

Win #2 was a few days ago. Our local LDS bookstore (think of a more expensive version of Deseret Book) was hosting a Ladies' Night. I knew I wouldn't be able to actually attend the event, so I registered for the online event. I did a little dance when I saw this email:

Win #3 happened this morning! I participated in a NCAA bracket challenge through BYU-Idaho's Alumni Association. This one isn't really a giveaway since it took a little bit of knowledge about college basketball. Oh, who am I kidding? It was mostly luck. 45 people entered and I tied for 5th place. The top 9 got prizes. I would have gotten higher if it weren't for stupid Florida losing. I have no idea what the prize is, but who cares? I'm still pretty proud of myself. Anyway, there's me on the very bottom of the list. If you'll excuse me, I need to go enter the publisher's clearing house sweepstakes before my lucky streak ends.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Girls' Night!

Last night I planned a fabulous family girls' night! In attendance were me, my sister Kelsey, my mom, my grandma, my aunts Carmella and TyRee, and my cousins Carly, Sydney and Monica. I spent many hours brainstorming and planning activities that would be fun for everyone, since we range in age from 5 to 66 (sorry grandma, now everyone knows how old you are). I wanted to keep things inexpensive, so the idea I finally settled on was a mall scavenger hunt! We met at the mall for dinner at the food court and then split into two teams for our hunt. We did kids against adults. Even though I'm almost 25 (next week! ahh!), I'm still a kid at heart so I put myself on the kid team. The scavenger hunt had two parts- photos and trivia questions. Here were the lists we were given:


  • Riding in a coin-operated boat 
  • Trying a sample of lotion
  • Proposing in front of a jewelry store
  • Trying on a hat
  • Holding something your grandmother would NOT enjoy getting for Christmas
  • Holding a price tag of an item that costs exactly $9.99
  • Posing next to the cardboard cutout of the H&R Block man.
  • Looking lost in front of a mall directory.
  • Reading a children's book in Spanish
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Imitating a mannequin
  • Pointing at a fire extinguisher
  • Riding an escalator
  • Holding an item that begins with the letter C

Trivia Questions:

  • How many buttons are inside the elevator in JC Penney?
  • What is the latest start time of the movie Muppets Most Wanted?
  • How many restaurants are located in the food court?
  • How many treadmills are on display at Sears?
  • How many bathroom stalls are in the women's food court bathroom?
  • How many Coca Cola vending machines are there?
  • How much would you pay for a combo meal #3 at Ruby Thai Kitchen?

It was such a blast. I had a goofy smile on my face the entire time! The whole thing only took us about 25 minutes. Here are some of the pictures we took.

We asked. Our grandmother definitely doesn't want this for Christmas.

She doesn't want this for Christmas either!

Notice the confused looking stares from people in the background. That happened a lot!

After our scavenger hunt was over, we came back to my mom's house for chocolate fondue and games. We were so busy stuffing our faces that I didn't take any pictures. We laughed so hard that I'm sure we all have sore abs today. We'll have to do it again soon!

Monday, March 24, 2014

seven things you probably don't know about me

1. When I was a kid I used to get excited when I got a stomach ache because it meant I got to have some Tums. I thought they tasted like candy. 

2. I sleep with ear plugs. I started doing this back in college when I had noisy roommates and kept doing it when I transitioned to the snoring husband. 

3. I hate dogs. A lot. Did I ever mention I married a dog lover? What was I thinking...?

4. The day I got engaged to Ben and the day Shawn was born are exactly 3 years apart (February 13, 2010 and 2013).

5. One of my favorite snacks is popcorn. I could eat it every day. I had popcorn for dinner last night.

6. Growing up I always dreamed of having a beautiful winter wedding. I got married in August.

7. My left foot is bigger than my right foot by 1/2 a size.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Playing Catch-Up

Yeah, it's been like a million years since I've written anything. The truth is, we moved and since then I haven't felt like it. I still don't really want to be writing right now but I'm forcing myself to do it. Even if no one else reads this, one day I'll look back and wonder what happened during the 4 month gap of no posts. So, here's a quick run-down.


My last post was in mid-December so this seems like a good place to start. We moved from Nampa back to Richland, Washington the weekend before Christmas. We had a large group of people from our ward come help us clean our apartment and load our truck, for which we were so grateful. I think about and miss all the friends we made there often.

Our Christmas was fun! Shawn got so spoiled. He didn't really understand how to unwrap the presents but he got really excited once he saw what was inside. It was nice to spend the holidays with my family.

Playing in Uncle Keegan's new luggage

Snuggles with Daddy


Shawn started exclusively walking in mid-January (around his 11-month mark). One day he just took off and hasn't hardly crawled since.

We took advantage of a random warm(ish) day and ventured to the park
Can't get much cuter than a baby in a suit!

January was also month one of unemployment. Turns out you need a Washington teaching certificate just to be a substitute, so Ben couldn't start subbing immediately like we'd hoped. Ben applied for his Idaho license and finally received it at the end of January. He started the application process for his Washington license.   


Ben submitted the application for his Washington license, but they told him they are currently implementing a new system so they are 3 months behind on processing applications. Thanks, Washington.

Month two of unemployment. Ben started applying to McDonalds, Walmart, etc. We weren't really sure what else to do since substituting wasn't an option. You'd think a college grad could get hired at one of these places, right? Not a single one called. We were getting quite discouraged and deeper and deeper into debt.

On a happier note, Shawn turned one on the 13th! The year absolutely flew by. We had a small family party with cake and presents. He is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. He's built like his uncle Cody who's 6'4" (really long torso with shorter legs), so we may have a very tall son!

Not bad for my first cake.


The week of Shawn's birthday, a history teaching job opened up in Pasco (a neighboring town to where we live). Ben hastily applied. The only way he could have his teaching certificate rushed was if a district wanted to hire him. The next week he was called in for an interview. It went great! Then the waiting began.


Shawn started regularly sleeping through the night this month! Hallelujah! Ironically, now that I can finally sleep to my heart's content, my insomnia has come back to haunt me. I'm not sure what causes it, but I often lay in bed for hours...or all night...unable to sleep. It's extremely frustrating. Shawn cut two molars on the top this month. So now he has 6 teeth on top and only 2 on the bottom. He has also become obsessed with Elmo and baseball bats. 

After bath time
Albertsons has the coolest carts! I might actually start grocery shopping there just for that reason.

On March 11, almost three weeks after his interview, Ben was offered the teaching position at Chiawana High School. He started two days later. He is absolutely loving it. He's finally getting to do what he loves! He is what's called a "floating teacher," which means he doesn't have his own classroom. He has to share rooms with two different teachers and his desk is in a conference room. You have to start somewhere, right? He's teaching 10th grade World History and 11th grade U.S. History. We are quite excited to receive our first paycheck since last summer! (yes you read that right!)

Now that it's finally warming up a bit, Shawn and I have started going on walks every morning. He loves his stroller and would stay outside all day if I'd let him. He babbles constantly and should start saying some words pretty soon.

I let Mickey come with us one day. Shawn is already taking selfies.
This month my little brother Keegan received his LDS mission call to the Nicaragua Managua South mission. He leaves on June 11th and will be gone for two years. He is so thrilled to learn Spanish. We'll miss you Keegan!

Well, that should catch you up. I'll try to post again before July! :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

10 Months!

I feel like I just wrote about Shawn turning 9 months, and now he's already 10 months. Seriously, where is the time going? In two months he'll have his first birthday. What?? Last week he started walking a little. He still prefers crawling as his main form of transportation, but he can walk short distances. We bribe him with food when we want him to do it. That's what good parents do, right? Ha. He is trying more and more foods and he likes most of what we give him. Except Cheerios. What baby doesn't like Cheerios? Of course I bought the biggest box I could find. If I try to give him a bite of something too soon, he'll just spit out whatever is in his mouth to make room for the next bite. Goof. He's still not sleeping real well, but I just keep telling myself it could always be worse. This past week he is getting up twice a night on average. He has also cut his naps from two a day to only one. I am not quite ready for that because his naps were the only times I got anything done!

I also can't believe Christmas is next week. I have had a hard time getting in the Christmas mood this year because we have exactly zero Christmas decorations up. Listening to Christmas music as I type this helps a little. I usually do a tree and nativity and all that jazz, but we're moving this weekend! Yep, 4 days before Christmas. What a fun time to move. Not. The last month and a half has been extremely stressful as we try to figure out where to go and what to do next with our lives. Ben finishes up student teaching this week and has been trying so hard to find work. Nothing has worked out so we will be returning to Washington where Ben will be a substitute teacher until next school year. We were thankfully able to find a tenant to take over our apartment contract, which was supposed to go until April. That was a little worrisome since this is not a very popular time of year to move! We have truly enjoyed our short time in Nampa and we will miss all the wonderful people we have met here.

The Christmas song that just came on is the "extra festive" version. Thanks, Pandora. 

And now, a bombardment of blurry cell phone pictures. Here's what we've been up to since I last posted about Thanksgiving.

Shawn got his first Christmas present. He didn't really know what to do with it! He was much more interested once we opened it for him and he got to play with the Buzz Lightyear flashlight inside.

It's much more fun if you actually climb inside the drawer.

Yum, spoons. My table now has dents in it from where Shawn decided to use it as a drumstick.

Trying baby cookies for the first time. He was a fan.

It looks like his foot is all twisted, but I promise these pajamas are just a little too long :) That ladle is now cracked in half and in the trash.

He loves it when daddy shares his popsicles.

Bath time is still the best time.

Ward Christmas Party. Shawn was totally happy and pleasant the entire time except the 5 seconds I was taking this picture. And also this one:


Those lips! He's enjoying playing with all the boxes and mess of random stuff that's everywhere as we prepare to move. It's like a jungle gym for babies.

Merry Christmas!