Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Trip to Stone

On Memorial Day Spencer, Brynlee and I traveled to Stone, Idaho for our annual Showell Family Party. We had a great time visiting with family and seeing aunts, uncles and cousins that we haven’t seen in a year or two. And since we are all about efficiency (and are seldom together at the same place) we also celebrated my Grandpa Jess’s 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot at the party.


Brynlee and Aunt Marie

The cousins and Aunt Marie
Me and my sisters


The entire gang minus my little brother
who will be home from Honduras in 13 days, but who's counting.
Brynlee wasn’t a happy traveler that day and bawled the entire drive to Stone because she wanted her “daddy” blanket not the Dora blanket that I packed for her in an obviously lapse of judgment.

Let me just add that it makes perfect sense that she calls this blanket her “daddy” blanket seeing how it is a pastel purple down comforter. She is single-handedly trying to do away with sexual stereotypes.

As she is screaming over my blanket choice in the back seat I turned to Spencer and reminded him that in a few short months we would be traveling with not one, but two screaming children.

This doesn’t just mean two kids screaming in the back seat as we are trapped in close quarters making your way down a curvy country road. This means twice as many bags to pack, twice as many diapers to change, twice as many messes to clean-up and twice the college education expenses. Not to mention twice the bribery it is going to take with Christmas gifts to ensure that Spence and I are placed in a quality retirement community.

Yet, somehow I am still overly excited about our new addition. I think it is because I need somebody to mow the lawn while Brynlee is doing the dishes. Oh, I’m just kidding.

The truth is that I adore being a mother. I especially adore being Brynlee’s mother because, well, she’s mine and that’s how it should be. And I also know that I will adore my new little guy just as much. There is just something about hearing a small child call you Mommy that just makes your heart melt.

I just have one small request before my new little guy gets here. Is there a chance that he can sleep through the night at two weeks and potty train himself? Because that would be golden and make this motherhood thing even more enjoyable than it already is.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The energy drink went straight to her head...

Back in the high school years, my little sister, Jami, and I shared a lot of the same friends. One weekend we were all headed to Twin Falls for a church dance. We stopped off at the gas station to get a chocolate fix and some energy drinks. Heavens knows that we needed those energy drinks to get through a night of wild dancing at the LDS teen dance. All of us with brains emptied our energy mix into a water bottle before we enjoyed it. The other one of us, my little sister, skipped the water bottle step and as if to get the effects of the energy boost quicker emptied the entire contents of the energy packet straight into her mouth. I will never forget the sight of Jami hanging her head out the side door of the moving car, foaming a quickly growing mix of Caffeine and Ginseng out both sides of her mouth and her nose.

And that right there is my little sister in a nutshell! For those of you that know her I need not say more, and for those of you that don’t, I’m sorry…you are truly missing out.

This last week Jami and her little girl Brooke came up for a few days. Although we didn’t get to enjoy any energy drinks, we still had a good time. You always have to be on your toes when Jami is around cause you never know what to expect. You will most defiantly get “mooned” at least once a visit and she will probably flip you the bird at least 5 times in a 3 minute period.

Jami and I found time to test out our barbecuing skills and made some BBQ chicken pizza on the grill. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome and I would suggest trying it for tonight’s dinner.
Brynlee had a great time with Hickie (that is what she calls Brookie) and has already asks about 525,000 times when she is coming back to our house.
Thanks for coming down Jami and Brooke! We love when you visit.

A Swingset in 1,974 Simple Steps

As I mentioned earlier, we have been on a mad hunt for a swingset for Brynlee. I am happy to report that we found one. We actually got it about two weeks ago, but I am barely getting around to posting about it.

Let me just begin by saying that Spence has WAY more patience than I do. If I would have opened the 55 page (seriously 55 page) Assembly Instructions Manual and read this as step number one:

Attach slide support bottom ‘AL’ centered on the bottom of ‘AP’ and ¼ in. from the edge.

I would have taped the box back up and returned it immediately. The instructions may not sound extremely difficult and they probably wouldn’t have been if we could have easily located board ‘AL’ and ‘AP’. However, not a single one of the 102 boards were marked in any way, shape or form. No stickers, no writing, no markings…WHAT SO EVER!
Three days later (not an exaggeration) Brynlee was finally able to enjoy her new swingset. She loves her "daddy slide" and swings, and is so proud of her daddy for putting it together for her. She reminds me every time she plays on it that daddy built it just for her.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Announcing Mr. & Mrs. Gray

This last weekend my BFF, Breah, tied the knot. Spencer, Brynlee and I traveled to Rexburg for the wedding and then to Idaho Falls for the reception. Breah looked absolutely gorgeous and the wedding and reception turned out wonderful.
As Breah starts a new chapter in her life, I couldn’t help but take a look back at some of the old chapters that we have spent together.

Breah and I were often mistaken as twins. On our high school senior trip a group of guys asked if we were twins. Without thinking twice, we both answered that we were and that our names were Breah and Leah. I think the guys might have had a few to many Budweiser’s and probably would have mistaken Beyonce and me as twins, but that’s beside the point.

I will never forget all the times at Summer Volleyball Camps and Competitions with Breah’s dad as our couch. Breah and I might not have been the best volleyball players, but we sure did have fun.

Then there was the time that we almost died on our roomate trip to Washington. But it was worth it, because it sure makes for a funny story and even funnier pictures.

There’s our trip to Redfish Lake with Breah’s family, the times that we went dancing in Twin Falls, the many shopping trips that left blisters on my feet (I am sure there are more of those to come), the four hour long phone conversations, the times that we both went for the same FHS boys, the slumber parties at each others house in high school and all of the great memories that we made as college roommates.

Congratulations Eric and Breah, best wishes on your happily ever after!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yum, Yum, Yum. Delicioso!

I have to admit that I am often pretty disappointed with our local newspaper and how they report on certain topics like, you know, the news. But every now and again they surprise me with something good. Yesterday they published something great, a BBQ recipe for Tomato-Balsamic Barbecued Chicken. I made it last night and thought it was worth sharing.

Tomato-Balsamic Barbecued Chicken
For the sauce:
6-ounce can basil-garlic flavored tomato paste (or a 6-ounce can of tomato paste mixed with a teaspoon of prepared pesto)
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:
5 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions Preheat oven to 375 F. To make the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire. Remove chicken from oven and cool for 5 minutes. If desired, remove the skin. Brush the chicken generously with the tomato-balsamic sauce. Grill the chicken, turning and basting frequently, until well browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. And now for a little baby news. One of my BFF’s and old college roommates, Kali Jo, brought over an adorable set of onsies for new Baby Boy M. yesterday. Maybe it is because we were roommates for two years or because we share some kind of sisterhood bond, but the gift was exactly what I needed. I woke up in the middle of the night the night before completely stressed out at the fact that I didn’t have a single boy item in the house. Don’t laugh! I know I have 19 ½ good weeks before junior arrives, but in my wee little pregnant mind at 2:30 in the morning it was something to stress about. I mean, what happens if in the next 4 months I am unable to go to Walmart? That would leave me with the only option of wrapping our little guy in a pink blanket on the day that he arrives. Again, it seemed a lot more tramatic at 2:30 in the morning. Thank you Kali, for allowing me to sleep a little sounder last night knowing if the world shuts down tomorrow I will at least have a few onsies.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Havinababy Itsaboy

Yup, you heard me right. IT'S A BOY!! I don’t know who’s in more shock, Spence or I. But one thing is for sure, I am completely exhausted seeing how it took all afternoon to convince my mom, dad and sisters that I am REALLY having a BOY (I still don’t think Jami believes me)! As I mentioned in this post, we have two kinds of babies in my family: girls and more girls. So it came as a complete surprise when the ultrasound tech announced the baby’s sex. There are a few things I am going to have to do before the arrival of our new BLUE bundle of joy:
  • Return all the pink bedding I bought at Ikea last weekend.
  • Stop in my mass production of cute little flower headbands.
  • Get to work making burp clothes, blankets and other necessities that are not predominantly pink.
  • Learn the fact that baby clothes come in more shades than pink and purple.
But for now, I am just going to sleep on the fact that we are going to have a little Spence in our presence in less than 20 weeks. I am open for advice from all of you boy mama’s out there. This boy thing is completely foreign to me.

It’s Not a Competition

But if it was she would win EVERY time! Hands down. I have to thank my big sis’, Jessica, for making my blog cute. She is way more talented than I ever dreamt of being. The only thing I have on her is that I can sing “Oh McGregor is Dead” twice as fast as she can. Which, I hate to admit but in the whole scheme of things, really doesn’t amount to much.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tribute To My Mom

About a week ago Jami tagged me. I was supposed to post seven things that nobody knows about me. Since we have been out of town I haven’t gotten to the tag yet. In honor of Mothers Day, I decided to instead post a few things that you might not know about my mother, so here goes:
  1. My mom can boogie! Some of my favorite memories of my mom are the times spent with the radio full blast and all of us dancing around the front room. My mom knows how to shake-it and could honestly give Shakira a run for her money.
  2. Every time you hang-up the phone or leave mom's house her last comment is "have a blasty wasty!"
  3. My mom makes the best pork-chops EVER! In fact the day I got my wisdom teeth pulled mom came in to check on me and asked if I wanted some ice-cream or yogurt. I asked (probably demanded, since I was a loving teenager at the time) if she would make me some of her pork-chops. They are delicious, and I still get cravings for them.
  4. My mom takes creativity to a whole new level. If I ever needed an idea on a speech topic, a theme for a student council poster, a way to answer a boy back for a dance or an idea of something humorous to give my friends for a Christmas gift my mom had loads of ideas.
  5. My mom was the best Young Women's leader. I never attended a girls camp without my mom as my camp director. She knows how to have a good time and always made girls camp an amazing experience.
  6. My mom is very smart. In fact, she was valedictorian of her graduating class.
  7. One of my mom's favorite sayings while we were growing up was "...because I carried you in my stomach for nine months, that's why." Had I known then what I know now I probably would have had a few less comebacks when mom pulled the "nine month" card. It is quite a feat and deserves a level of respect that I never quite understood before having my own kids.
  8. One of my mom's lifetime goals is to get all of her unmatched socks matched. She has bags and bags of unmatched sock that are just waiting for their long lost mate to come along. One time when my Grandma B. was helping my mom match socks she found a sock that was dad's missionary companions. No Joke!
  9. My mom was always trying to come up with fun ways for us to do our chores. We would have double blocks wars (for those of you that don't know what double blocks is it is like Tetris, but an old computer game that we had on floppy disc). If you won a game of double blocks you got a quarter. But if you lost you had to clean for 10 minutes. Mom had the neighbor kids playing and everything. Let me just say that we all tried to master double blocks.
  10. My mom is always worried that you won't like the gift that she gives you. She purchases about 30 Christmas gifts or Birthday gifts for you then you get to pick the one that you want. She has about 40 bags of back-up gifts in case she has a lack of judgement and purchases you something that you don't want.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom. Thanks for being the best mom ever! Thanks for loving me, teaching me, laughing with me and crying with me. Thanks for always being there and for understanding me. Thanks for EVERYTHING! I LOVE YOU!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Viva la Salt Lake City

Last week Spencer had to attend a work related Engineering Forum in Salt Lake. Brynlee and I tagged along for the trip because:

a. Four days without Spencer would make for a very, very long week.
b. Any get-a-way is a welcomed get-a-way.
c. Salt Lake is only 20 minutes away from Draper, Utah home of IKEA! I don’t believe anybody can say cheap Swedish d├ęcor without getting somewhat excited?

Since Spencer had to spend most of his time in different conferences and forums, Brynlee and I enjoyed a ton of mommy-daughter time. We went to the Hogle Zoo, Liberty Park, and The Gateway Discovery Museum. However, had I known when I paid my $18.00 to get me and my two year old into the museum (ridiculous, I know) that it was local Elementary School Field trip day I might have saved my money for something where there was a few less 5-8 year olds. Brynlee still had a great time though and loved the child size house, market and cars.

Discovery Museum
Hogle Zoo
Brynlee was even pretty well behaved at the Gateway Mall, but that was only if I stopped by the fountains and water shows every 10 minutes which made for a very long shopping trip.
Spencer was able to escape from the lecture torture long enough for us to meet up with two of his younger sisters and their little families at the BrickOven in Provo. We had a great time visiting with them. Brynlee’s highlight of the night was the Balloon Man who managed to create a balloon rendition of Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”

I have to add that there were more family and friends that we would have loved to get in touch with, but we had a small cell phone accident prior to the trip. At no fault of my own, Spencer’s cell phone decided to go skinny dipping in the washing machine. Although it was squeaky clean after its soak, it didn’t seem to work with the same efficiency as it did prior. And by not the same efficiency I mean, not at all. I have been telling myself lately that I needed to make sure that all of the numbers were saved in both of our phones, but like a lot of other things just hadn’t gotten to it yet.

I am starting to think that washing something of importance prior to a trip makes any trip complete, seeing how before last trip I managed to wash Spencer's wallet.

Although Spence had to spend most of his time in the conference room at the hotel, he still managed to have a little excitement by winning the drawing for the iPod Shuffle. I'm not sure if it made the lectures worth it, but it did help shave off a little of the boredom that he had to suffer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

You Say Potato, I Say Potatah

Okay, so I have a confession. I am a farmers/dairyman’s daughter. I spent my childhood years in a little farming community called Stone, Idaho which has the population of about 25 and that’s if you count the dogs and cats that call that place home. I spent the majority of my upbringing drinking whole milk (you know the kind that comes straight from the cow). I was a member of the “Udder Power” 4-H club where I literally walked a cow around in circles on a leash, because that’s what us folk from the stick do. However, I honestly didn’t know that wire fencing stuff with the prickly parts was called “barb”ed wire fencing. You might have noticed that I thanked my little sister in my last post for QUIETLY editing my mistake. Let me just say that I am so glad that my dear, sweet, little sister found my error rather than some reader that would announced in the comment section to the entire internet (or the three of you that read my blog) that I indeed called a BARBED wire fence a BOBED wire fence; because that simply would have been more embarrassment than I could have taken. Don’t you think bobed wire fence seems a much more appropriate name for it anyways? You know, because most Bob’s are pokey, made of metal, and spend the majority of their time standing around keeping cows in a field.

 I have to be the first to admit that more often than not when I am singing along to the radio (probably 10 notches louder than what I ever should be singing) Spencer spends the majority of the time correcting my misinterpreted lyrics. How was I supposed to know that when Carrie Underwood sings “Before He Cheats” she was saying carved my name into his leather seats NOT carved my fame into his legacy?

To make myself feel better I have to add that a couple years ago Spence asked if we should take the air mattress for a little weekend trip that we were taking to my sister’s house. I replied, “No, she has that hide-a-bed.” Spencer was quiet for a minute then all of the sudden as if something divine had hit him he said, “Oh I get it, HIDE A BED not Hyda Bed. I thought that was the brand of the couch.” Let me just say, Brynlee there’s no hope…there’s no hope!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Oh I get it...I'm pregnant!

Today I came to the sad realization that I am REALLY really pregnant! I know it is a happy time, but sometimes the things that go along with pregnancy are well, just sad! I decided to create a list to prove to all my readers (all 10 of ya’ll) that I am for sure pregnant…because I don’t think that the growing bump on my stomach is enough proof.

  • Today I saw a deer that had tried to jump a barbed wire fence (thanks Jami for the editing) and hadn’t quite made it over. The sight was devastating to me and I bawled for an hour! Even writing this now has caused my eyes to water over. Rest in peace, poor dear (get it), Rest in peace.
  • Then later today at Terrific Two’s (a story hour at the library for two-year-olds) they told a story about a little Bunny who hugged the trees, the animals, and other things because she loved them so much. After the story Brynlee ran over to me and flung her little two-year-old arms around me and gave me the best hug EVER. And I bawled for another hour.
  • Proof is also in the discouraging fact that the only thing that is keeping my pants up right now is a rubber band that is stretched from the button through the buttonhole and back to the button. What can I say; I have to stay out of the horrible chin-touching maternity pants for as long as I can!
  • Also, the reality that as soon as I am done posting this I am going to run upstairs and change into a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Come on’ I’ve just realized that I am REALLY pregnant, can’t I digest the news in comfortable attire?
  • Yesterday Brynlee had a play group. Since there is no Disneyland or Six Flags within reasonable travel distance we meet at the next best thing…The Artic Circle. It has a play land, what more can ya ask for. However, for some reason with this pregnancy I can’t make myself eat Artic Circle food. So, I bought Bryn a hamburger (because I didn’t want to get kicked out of happy playland for playing on the toys, but not purchasing the food) then after the play group I went and got myself a non Artic Circle sandwich.
  • Yet, I have eaten more Whopper Juniors in the last 19 weeks than I have in the entire 26 years leading up to this pregnancy. Oh Mr. Whopper Junior, oh how I crave you.
  • Last night I dreamt that Spencer made me take back my birthday presents because he had found one of those HUGE high school senior rings that he HAD TO have.
  • Then I woke up this morning and realized it wasn’t a dream, but the truth. And I bawled for another hour.
Oh I kid, but that would have been funny. And Spence, I would have taken back my presents for you to have purchased a class ring 10 YEARS AFTER your high school graduation. Because that my friends is true love!
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