This girl.


She's 2. (Side note: Have you EVER seen a better picture? I'm still thinking about it, but I don't think I have. Side note over.)

Her birthday was on the 14th. That morning, we went to Jump Street, an indoor trampoline arena. Maddy loves trampolines. She was basically in heaven.


Then we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, where she got her very own kids meal (they have a meal with 1 chicken strip. Odd, but perfect. Especially since she likes the fries the most. Which is understandable, since Chick-Fil-A fries are DA best. Okay, I'm done.)

Then she spent the afternoon with Grandma while I got things ready for her party. We just had a low-key party at our house, with pizza and cupcakes. Oh, and presents, of course.



It was a good day. But my favorite part came later.

Charly had fallen asleep in my arms, so I asked Maddy if she wanted to help me put the baby in bed. Of course, she did. We went into the nursery, I put Charly down, and had turned to leave when Maddy said "Chair." She pointed at the rocking chair - the one I used to rock her in every day - and held her arms up to me.

I picked up my baby and sat down to rock her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and rested her cheek on my shoulder. "Twinkle, twinkle," she said. So I tried to hold back my tears while I sang "Twinkle, twinkle" to her, happily starting over every time the song would end and she would demand "Again." I wouldn't have wanted to end that day any other way.


I am so, so lucky to be this girl's mom. She loves popcorn, dancing, Dr. Pepper, and the iPad. She can count to 10 (working on 15), and knows most of her letters. She likes cereal, macaroni and cheese, celery, carrots, pizza, pears, apples, Oreos, cheese, cottage cheese, pepperoni, pickles, Fruit by the Foots, and any kind of candy. She gets mad that I don't let her drive the car. She wants to run everywhere, rather than be carried or ride in her stroller. She can tell you her favorite rides at Disneyland. She likes to watch Dora, The Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp, Tangled, and Signing Time. She loves her baby sister, and thinks it's hilarious to make her smile and laugh. She loves Nursery at church, and she'll make sure Dallin and I are folding our arms when it's time to pray. She likes it when her Daddy chases her. When she gives kisses, she kisses both cheeks.


It's entirely possible that I couldn't love her more.


Did you like my wonderful spouse's wonderful post yesterday? I think my second favorite part was the flashing red title. It proves that he's a computer nerd, which, as we all know is super cool. My first favorite part was the sweet stuff he said, of course. Most of it was undeserved, but I guess that proves that I've fooled him into thinking I'm actually worth praising. My third favorite part was simply the fact that he wrote my post for yesterday. It was nice to have a little break (no offense, blog).

Don't ask me why I listed my top 3 favorite things in that odd order. I dance to the beat of my own drum, or whatever that overused expression is.

Anyway, today, I discovered a few things. Allow me to share:

1. I don't want Dallin's riding of motorcycles to become a hobby. Does this require more explanation? I guess what you need to know is that:

a. Dallin rides a motorcycle to and from work nowadays.

b. This was allowed because a motorcycle was a cheap and convenient alternative to a second car

c. Today, Dallin and his Dad rented Harley's and went "cruising."

d. I don't like "c" because it makes motorcycle riding seem like a hobby rather than a convenient, temporary alternative to a second car

e. The end.

2. I don't like turkeys. I like to eat turkey, but I don't like actual turkeys. They are ugly and always look grumpy and seem generally twitchy, which freaks me out.


3. If I pull my hair into a tight enough bun, it will make my head hurt even after I take out said bun.

4. I need to have good chocolate constantly available to me, in the form of Milky Ways, Mounds, or Chips Ahoy. Why I haven't internalized this lesson yet is beyond me.

5. I'm going to be pushing it to read ONE book this month. ONE. That's so sad. Especially since I've been on vacation for the past almost week. What kind of vacation doesn't allow time for leisure reading? Mine, I guess.

6. I'm not very good at Pinterest. I forget to pin things, and I forget to look back at what I've pinned. This makes using Pinterest completely pointless for me. Note to self: use PInterest correctly. It has a high potential for greatness.

7. I've been generally disappointed with my blogging performance during this month of daily blogging. It definitely hasn't been how I imagined and planned it. Oh well, you're still reading, right?

Wow, 7 lessons in one day. If I keep this up, I'll know everything in no time.

(p.s. This post was definitely written on the right day (Wednesday), I promise you. But Blogger was being silly and refused to let me publish it. I put it on Facebook, if you want proof, but really, you should just trust me. Trust is important for relationships.)

35 Things: April Update

To say that April has been a crazy month would be an understatement. So much time, so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.

BUT I was able to keep up on my stuff that I'm supposed to do every month for my 35 things, including (#7) making a meal plan (even if it included pizza/take-out for two days that week...ha!), (#12) baking a new cookie (yummy oatmeal chocolate chip, adapted from the amazing Emily's recipe, found here), and (#35) completing an act of service.

I also did...

14. Donate old clothes to DI: Hoo-freaking-ray. This has needed to be done forever. I expanded my donation to include shoes, books, etc. It felt so nice to de-clutter a bit. I swear I'm totally nesting. I want my house to be an clean, organized dream. steps.

25. Read 30 books: added two more books to my list. Not as much as I would have liked, but one of them was by Cormac McCarthy, so you gotta cut me some slack.

-The Road by Cormac McCarthy: Hard to get into, hard to read, pretty disturbing. Very...different. Also very...depressing. Also very...3 stars.

-The Maze Runner by James Dashner: The story kept me going, the writing didn't. What happened to character development in this book? Did it even exist? The answer is no. I didn't so much care about any of the people. Any of them. That's sad. I'm usually a pretty caring person. Thanks a lot, James Dashner, for making me not care. I've heard the second book (The Scorch Trials) is better. True? False? Anyone know? I'll probably read it. But this one gets 3 1/2 stars.

Can you believe it's MAY already? It blows my freaking mind, I tell ya.

35 Things: February Update

And it continues...

2. Have one month when I go to the temple weekly (halfway done) - Tell me if you think this is cheating: my bro-in-law (who is leaving on his mission to Paraguay in May...yay...that rhymes) visited the temple for the first time ever on Feb 19, and we're supportive and all, so we went. The next week, my little sister (who is getting married March 3) visited the temple for the first time ever, and we're supportive and all, so we went.

And I thought to myself, "Self, you could have planned this out better and gone to the temple every week for the month of February!"

And then my self responded with "Well, self, you could still make this work...just go for 4 consecutive weeks"

And I thought, "By golly, self, you're right. After all, I made these rules."

So I hereby decided that 4 consecutive weeks fulfills the "every week for a month" requirement. And so it is written.

So I'm halfway done with that one. Cheating? Bah.

7. Create a meal plan - at least once a week for every month - check.

12 Bake a new cookie every month - February's cookie: Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, found on My Baking Addiction (click the cookie name to go to the recipe). And these were every bit as yummy as they sound and look. Yumzo.

25. Read 30 books - while I didn't make as much progress as I did in January, I read a couple books this month, bringing my grand total up to 7:

-Fire by Kristin Cashore: not a sequel to Graceling, but a "companion" to it. Really, really liked it. I plan on reading the third one when it comes out, thanks so much. 4 1/2 stars.

-City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: the third of The Mortal Instruments series, which I had to finish, but I'm pretty glad is behind me now. 2.75 stars.

29. Do not drink soda for one month - you.guys. If you don't know how huge this is, then you don't know me. I HAVE NOT HAD A SINGLE SIP OF SODA FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. This is amazing. I am incredibly proud of myself for doing this. I won't blubber on about it, but it was not easy. BUT I DID IT. Holy crap. Go me. Now where's my DP?

30. Babysit for free - done. Just because it's done doesn't mean I won't do it for you and your kids. I'm willing to do it again. I probably will do it again. Cool.

35. Complete an act of service every month - again, won't go into detail, but I didz it.

So there you have it. I'm doing all right, no? Plus, I got started on several others on the list, including cleaning out/organizing the pantry, finishing the nursery, and donating old clothes to DI.

I'm really liking having this list, y'all.

35 Things: January Update

So I'm off to a good start on my 35 Things to do in 2011! Here's a quick update:

7. Create a meal plan - at least once a week for every month - done for 2 weeks in January. Holla!

12. Bake a new cookie every month - January's cookie: Oreo Cheesecake Cookies, recipe found here. They were okay. Not as great as the name would leave you to believe.

13. Clean out extra room - Dallin's aunt and uncle stayed with us one night this month, and since they needed a place to stay, this kind of needed to be done. And guess what? Dallin did it the weekend that I was deathly ill. Because he's the bomb(dot)com. Now I just have to refashion it into the cutest little girl room for Maddy. But it can be crossed off the list because it is definitely "clean."

25. Read 30 books - Obviously, not done yet, but definitely in progress. Here's what I've read, with a sentence or two on how I felt about each one:

-And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: Actually very enjoyable, a little creepy (not really a bad thing, in my opinion). It kept me guessing. I'm glad I finally read something by the famous Agatha. 4 stars.

-Graceling by Kristin Cashore: Kind of a teen candy read, but an awesome one. I like the characters and I think the idea of "graces" is clever. 5 stars.

-Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: Meh. Never really got into it. Great writing though. 3 stars.

-Matched by Ally Condie: Another teen read (they're fast and fun, ok?!). Futuristic setting that shows what society might become if we let it (I love that). Poetic writing. Loved it. 5 stars.

-Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: A little hard to get into, and somewhat confusing at times. But it is a very touching story. 3.5 stars.

***Side note: Dangit it's embarrassing to admit that I like those teen reads so much. And both the ones mentioned above are the first in their series, so I've got to keep reading them. AND there's other ones on my list. Oh well. I shall not be ashamed. More refined stuff is on my list too! Side note over.***

26. Buy skinny jeans - Yep yep. Got em, like, the first week in January, with an American Eagle gift card I got for Christmas. Have I mentioned that American Eagle jeans are just the best for me? Well, they are. And I'm actually loving the skinnies. This was a big confidence thing for me, by the way. I've always thought I couldn't pull the look off, but I'm just going for it.

35. Complete an act of service every month - I won't tell you what it was, but trust me, it was done.

So yeah, feeling pretty good about this!

Also, I've chosen February for my no soda month. I'm calling it Fizz-Free February. And it's only partly because February is the shortest month of the year. But yes, that definitely had something to do with it. Anyone want in?

Milk and Cereal

We added a new component to Maddy girl's diet a few days ago: rice cereal! Woot!

While it's kind of weird for me to even call it cereal since it's recommended to mix a lot of breastmilk into it for the first few I feel like I'm just spoon feeding her milk...I think she definitely notices something different.

Rice cereal is also a great fashion accessory. are some more cute pictures, because they're adorable.

As soon as I get the good Easter pictures from my mom, you'll get to look at those too.

Consider yourself lucky. I know I do!

A Day in the Life

Hello and welcome to Bank of America! My name is Katie and I'd be happy to help you right away. How are you today?


Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.


Yes, I'm sure the line at the bank didn't help. But hopefully, I can! So what can I do for you today?


There is nothing I'd like more than to help you withdraw money out of your account! Do you have a debit card with you?


Oh. Well I didn't realize debit cards were so dangerous. I'll be sure to shred mine when I get home and advise everyone I know to do the same. But sir, I still need a way to pull up your profile on my system. Do you know your account number, or do you have a checkbook with you?


What is your social security number?


Well would you mind writing it down? I can shred it for you as soon as we are done.


All right. But I do hope you know that once we do pull up your profile, your social security number will be available to me, so I will be able to write it down, take it home, find a way to use it to my advantage and steal your identity, and get fired. Until then, I can search for your profile by name. What is your name, sir?


Ok. As long as there aren't any other John Smiths with Bank of America accounts in Arizona, we should be able to find you without any trouble. (after a minute) Oh, it seems there are several people with your name, Mr. Smith. What is your address?


All right. Give me a moment to search through the list, and we'll find you.

(3 minutes later)

I think I've found you, Mr. Smith. Could you tell me your date of birth, just to make sure?


Ok, I have your profile! It seems you have 2 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts. Which account would you like to pull money out of?


Oh, you don't know? Well, how about I just make a guess then so the next time you come in you can complain about how the teller took the money out of the wrong account. Ok, sir?


Ok. How much cash do you need?


All right, 200 dollars. Do you have a form of identification I can see?


I understand that you've been banking with us for 20 years, Mr. Smith, but I've only worked here for 3 months. So you see, I don't really know anyone. Don't you have a driver's license or something I can see?




Thank you. How would you like your cash?


(chuckle chuckle) Oh yes- green! Haha that's very funny. Yes. Wish I hadn't heard it six times already today.


Oh nothing, Mr. Smith. Nothing at all. So if you don't care how you're getting your cash back, I'll just give you hundreds, ok?


Ok. Here you go- one, two.


Sure, I can break one of those hundreds into 20s for you. 20, 40, 60, 80, 100.


Sure, I can break one of those twenties into 5s for you. 5, 10, 15, 20.


Sure, I can break your other hundred into twenties for you. 20, 40, 60, 80, 100. Could you please tell me why you didn't tell me this in the first place?


All right, I guess you don't have to.


Of course I can let you know your balance! You have $365 in your account. Have you ever thought about getting signed up for online banking? That would let you check your balance from home!


Yes, sir. You go to heck too, sir. Thank you for banking with us, sir! Have a nice day, sir.

end scene

It's really not so bad once you get used to it.