Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Four, 4, IV, Cuatro

One year older and wiser too.
Happy {fourth} birthday to you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Catching Leprechauns

This, my dear lads and lasses, is a Leprechaun.

No! Not a real Leprechaun. A decoy. Used by a {not so} Irish, freckle-faced three-year-old to lure in the real Leprechauns.

Plan A as outlined by the three-year-old: Use the counterfeit Leprechaun to bait REAL LIVE Leprechauns who, when seeing fake Leprechaun, will come running to say Hi and extend loving Leprechaun hugs! In which the hidden {not so} Irish, freckle-faced three-year-old will have the opportunity to see a REAL LIVE LEPRECHAUN. And then steal the leprechauns gold!

Plan A-Attempt 1: In mom & dad's room.

Plan A- Attempt 2: In the toy room

Plan A-Attempt 3: Under the table in toy room

No sight of the Leprechaun, or his gold. Plan A abandoned.

Plan B as outlined by the three-year-old: Make a trail of Lucky Charms (only the marshmallows, because seriously…who eats the other part) from the back door to the dining room. There the three-year-old will be loitering in wait to sneak peak of the REAL LIVE LEPRECHAUNS. And then steal their gold!

Sat in wait for a looooong ten minutes. No sign of the leprechauns. Plan B foiled.

Plan C as outlined by the three-year-old: Use a green cupcake, strategically placed on the kitchen floor, as a lure for those sneaky leprechauns. Cupcake was eaten by little person, but still no sign of the leprechauns. Dang that little {green cupcake eating} brother!

Plan C dumped.

Plan D as outlined by the three-year-old: Color a glass of milk green with the last little bit of the green food coloring that mom didn't use celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Wait for Leprechauns appearance, because really who can refuse green milk. Not Leprechauns.

Or can they?

No sign of the green milk drinking leprechauns. Plan D and the day-old dream of seeing a REAL LIVE LEPRECHAUN destroyed.  At least until next year.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, my friends.
Hope you saw a REAL LIVE Leprechaun today.
Or at least got your hands on his gold.

Monday, March 15, 2010

News of the marrying sort

Do you want to hear a joke?
How do you catch a Polar Bear?
{give up?}

Okay, so what you do is you cut a hole in the ice.
Then you put peas all around it.
And when the bear comes to take a kick him in the ice-hole!


Dad told us the Polar Bear joke at the start of a family trip to Canada. It immediately became my then 11 year old brother, Alan's, favorite joke. Like favorite joke EVER! As in, Alan's life was perpetually changed by the Polar Bear joke. Every other sentence out of that kid's mouth for the remainder of the week long trip went something like this, "Do you want to hear a joke" immediately followed by, "Okay, so what you do is you cut a hole in the ice…" It was only slightly annoying. So slightly annoying that as a last attempt in a fatiguing battle to get Alan to SHUT-UP, my mom rolled up the book of road maps and wacked him over the head. Without missing a beat, an unfazed Alan responded, "Hey mom, do you want to hear a joke!"


And in other breaking news:

: : : T H E   J O K E   T E L L E R S   G E T T I N G   M A R R I E D : : :

Congrats Alan and Jaelynn. Love you guys!
And in case you're interested in getting them a wedding gift; may I suggest a road atlas…or a hard-back dictionary!

P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for all your kind comments, phone calls and emails about this post. I love you guys. You all gave me the perfect bloggy pick-me-up! Did I mention that I like really like you guys?! Because I do.

P.S.S.  And it was brought to my attention that I forgot to mention my mom in my who I blog for line-up. Hi mom, I love you!  I can't believe I forgot to mention you....because I mainly blog just for you! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The post that made me nervous!

I called my little sister this afternoon.

"Does my blog annoy you?" I asked before she even had a chance to say hello.
"What, NO!" she said followed by an uncomfortable giggle.

"No, seriously Jami. Be completely, 100% honest. Does it annoy you?"
{short pause}

"No, why? I mean…no it doesn't annoy me." She stated, slightly annoyed by all the questioning. "Your blog, it's so you. And you don't annoy me, so why would your blog annoy me?"
"Are you sure," I awkwardly questioned again.

"Yes I'm sure. Why are you asking me this…"

So I told her the story. The entire story.  And then we talked about blogging. Why we blog. What we get {and don't get} about blogging. Who we blog for. How it's dying, but how we still enjoy it. We talked about if we should quit blogging. If I should quit blogging. She reassured me that I shouldn't. "Why should you?" she said. "Plus", she continued, "you can't quit blogging". "Why," I asked. And she truthfully answered, "Because it makes dad happy!"

And she's right…I can't quit blogging. Not right now anyways. Because this is how I journal.  This is how I write down the little things that I want to remember. The funny things. The things that make me cry. The things that, someday, my kids will read and wonder how they survived. This is how I scrapbook. It's my way around cutting cute little flowers out of plaid scrapbook paper and embellishing them with pink brads and tiny eyelets. This is my life. Our life. Our perfectly, INPERFECT life. Unedited!

So I'll continue to blog, but not before I say a few things…

Um, for starters. I don't blog for real!  I don't pretend to blog for real! I'm not a blogger. I'm not good'nuff and I'm not scared to admit it. I don't know how to properly, use, a, comma. And sometimes I write there instead of their. However, their (sorry, I couldn't help myself) are lots of for real bloggers out there that write amazingly. They have great things to say and beautiful pictures to look at. They teach you how to cook good food and make adorable crafts. I'm only beginning to discover that there's blogs out there that I can't live without. If you're looking for a "real blogger" let me suggest my talented friend, Miranda. She's fantastic. And look how cute her shoes are. {Oh, and I stole the term of "real blogger" from her by the way.}

If I blogged for real, I would put more thought into my posts. I would read people's blogs that I didn't know. And comment on them. In hopes that they too would read my blog and leave me a comment. I would put my little bloggy out there in the big bad bloggy world. With a prayer that somebody, somewhere, might enjoy it.

If I blogged for real, I would make sure things were spelt right and grammatically correct before I pushed publish.

If I blogged for real, I wouldn't be offended if you thought my blog was annoying. Because chances would be fairly high that I didn't know you; in real life, per say. And therefore, that opinion of yours wouldn't REALLY matter.

But here's the thing: I DON'T BLOG FOR REAL.

I blog for me. For my kids. For my family. My dad. I blog for my sisters and sister-in-laws. For old friends that I haven't seen in awhile and new friends that are barely getting to know me. I blog for you. I blog to keep in touch. And to remember the good ole' days. I blog to give myself challenges. To take a picture a day or to laugh about something that would otherwise be frustrating. I blog to feel creative. I blog because I think its fun and because I'm addicted. I blog for adult conversation. I blog because I've NEVER consistently kept a journal. But, since February of 2008 I've managed to do just that. I blog because I have 5 siblings and 11 siblings-in-laws…that's a whole lot of people to keep in touch with. I blog because it's my escape from the dishes or an excuse for Spencer to put the kids in bed while I unwind in front of the computer. I blog because I love to read your blog. To get to know cousins that I never really knew before. To keep up on your life. To read about what events fill your days and how it compares to my days.

Maybe someday I'll blog for real. And maybe I won't. Who knows.

But right now I blog for me and for my family and friends. 
And because of those reasons your opinion DOES matter to me. And because I know my readers and I love my readers I'm fairly sensitive to their opinion. And because I'm sensitive I started writing this post and then deleted it because I didn't feel right about publishing it. And then I wrote it again. And I'm sure I'll still feel sick to my stomach when I push publish. And I'm sure I'll lie in bed regretting that I published it. However, let me tell you something.

If my blog annoys you, I have an easy peasy solution. DON'T READ IT. Period.

Simple enough.  Wouldn't you agree?

But, if you're still interested in reading…I'll still be here writing.  For me, for you and for my dad!

Monday, March 8, 2010

It’s probably because we have no control!

My little sister called last night. I told her I couldn't talk because I was busy taking pictures of my kids jumping off the little kitchen. I wasn't kidding…

My kids jump on/off/over/through/around things.  Not gonna lie, kids jumping on stuff used to irritate me to no end. Did their parents have no control?  No respect, I'd wonder! When Brynlee was about 16 months and started jumping, I would reprimand. Jumping equaled a bit of a scolding.  Spencer, on the other hand, enjoyed all the jumping. Embraced it. Encouraged it, even. You know how they say, "pick your battles." I decided the jumping fight wasn't a fight worth fighting. And so my children, well, they jump. And more often than not, Spencer's the engineer behind the jumping course. Occasionally I take pictures. And every now and again, when I can't control myself; I jump too. But, you already knew that!

P.S. I’ve had a little blogger trouble lately. Ugh! It keeps deleting posts and comments at random. If you’ve commented and it’s no longer there, so sorry. Thanks for commenting though. Really, thank you. I love a comment as much as the next blogger. If you thought you saw a post then it disappeared then showed up again, you weren’t imagining. If you read my posts through google reader you may have missed my last post. If you’re interested you can read it here. If you haven’t noticed anything strange and you think I’m off my rocker, just ignore this P.S.  And then have yourself a Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our Trip: In a series of short letters, part 2

Dear Erin-Are you kidding! Of course that's not all I have to say. I was just getting warmed up.
That one girl that never shuts-up,

P.S. I accidentally deleted your comment off the last post. Don't worry, it's not you. It's me. I actually deleted the entire post and all comments. I can talk a lot AND I'm half genius. Really, what more could one want in a girl!

Dear The Cheesecake Factory-
The white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake was delightful. Heaven sent.
Requesting seconds,
Dear Bellagio Water Shows-

Dear Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay,
It was just Ah-ight for me. I think the aquarium in Salt Lake City, Utah has you beat. And I know that The Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco MOST DEFEINTLY has you beat.
Just sayin'

Dear Blue Man Group,
You're cool. Weird. But cool.
But weird.
Spence and I waiting for Blue Man Group to start

Dear Limo Driver-
Thanks for the ride. And for biting you lip when my kids walked along the leather seats and jumped from seat to seat. But to be fair, you busted my suitcase. You owe me!
The passenger with the now broken suitcase,
loading limo

my boys in the limo

Note to self: don't fly again until ALL kids are at least three, m'kay!

Dear passenger's aboard Allegiant Air Flight 516,
My sincere apology for the screaming 18 month old on the return flight from Las Vegas. Seriously, so sorry.
The screaming kids mother,
Hey Kate!
Thanks for coming with. And for helping me push the stroller. And for sleeping on the pull-out bed. And for watching the kids so Spence and I could have a bit of a break. Love ya.
Your big sis,
 Kate at M&M world

Dear Las Vegas,
Thanks for the vacation. Until next time, Viva Las Vegas!
A tourist,


Dear Idaho-
Sometimes it's nice to get away. But it's always, ALWAYS nice to come home. I love the quietness and familiarity that you offer. You make the perfect home. Thank you.
An Idaho resident,

Our Trip: In a series of short letters, part 1

Dear Mr. Trump,
We recently spent the week at your Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. We enjoyed our stay and will return to your hotel if ever in the area. I just have one complaint/inquiry. Your kitchenettes are outfitted with appliances by Wolf, Bosch, and Sub-Zero. Your bathrooms include in-mirror, plasma televisions. Every table in your lobby is dotted with beautiful, fresh flowers. And glitz and glitter, everywhere. But you can't afford a decent mattress for the poor sap that has to sleep on the sofa pull-out? Obviously you've never had to sleep on a pull-out. Maybe you should try it. And then maybe you should consider adding the cost of some memory foams to your next business proposal.

Written in behalf of my little sisters aching back,
Mrs. Kimberlee Last Name

P.S. You're fired!

 Katie & Brynlee at the Trump Hotel

Dear Taxi Driver #2(ish)-
Thanks for saving us two dollars and eighty cents in cab fare by not stopping at a single red light or stop sign from the Trump Hotel to MGM Grand. Your efficiency is appreciated. I think.


Us in taxi. Spence's face says it all.
Dear Taxi Driver #6(ish)-
Ummm…you came to a complete stop…at a green light…in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip!  Are you kidding me?

Have you ever met Taxi Driver #2(ish)? You two should hang out.

A passenger,
Dear Taxi Driver #10(ish)-
I so glad that you feel so at home in Las Vegas. I'm glad that the Vegas nightlife fits your "bachelor style". I'm glad you're enjoying your big bad SINGLE self.  That being said, I don't really need to hear about your lofty goal to become every girl that visits Las Vegas's "mistake"!

And neither do my children.

Praying for you, and your life in Sin City,

Dear Mirage Hotel-
The Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat was one of the highlights of our recent trip to Las Vegas. My three-year-old daughter loved it. She's still talking about it. She was sure that Bella, the baby dolphin, wanted to be her best friend. I don't have the heart to tell her that Bella is, in fact, a baby dolphin. And therefore, doesn't really pick best friends. But I'm sure if dolphins did pick best friends, Brynlee would be Bella's.

We had a great time,
Brynlee Admiring

Brynlee's BFF, Bella


Dear Phantom of the Opera,
You took my breath away. Well done, well done!

Katie & I prior to our "Phantom of the Opera" outing

Dear Rainforest Café-
My sister thinks your monkey's funny.



Dear guy that played the piano with balls at V-The Ultimate Variety Show,

Dear guy that played the piano with BOUNCY BALLS at V-The Ultimate Variety Show,

(edited just for you Kate)

Umm…How do you come up with this sort of thing?

An inquiring mind,

P.S. Will you tell the chic with the hula-hoops that one's body should NOT move like that? It made me a little a lot queasy.

Waiting to get into V-The Ultimate Variety Show


Dear Bellhops at Trump Towers-
Thanks for always getting the door for us. And for hailing taxis. And for wearing white gloves with your black suits. Because it makes me laugh. {not sure why} Also, thanks for not losing your cool when my children would run up and down the lobby floors.

In addition, thanks for privately escorting us to Circus Circus in the back of a black Cadillac Escalade when we requested a taxi.  You made us feel all refined, cultured and snooty. If only for a minute. And really, that was long enough.


P.S. My little sister has a bit of a crush on the Cadillac Escalade driver. Can you send me his email address? Better yet, a copy of his current driver's license.
Dear Circus Circus-
You're a bit dated, and really {REALLY} dirty! Not gonna lie…you made me turn into a Circus Circus germaphobe. But as a positive, Brynlee loved your adventuredome. And Jace was a huge fan of the Circus Acts.
And then I went home and put them in the bath.

A bit disgusted,
Brynlee on ride at Circus Circus Adventuredome

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Trip

Hello, my dears. We're back. And it's March!! March 3rd.

{Anybody mind telling me what happened to the second half of February?}

We've returned from a little vacay in Las Vegas.
We had a great time…thanks for asking.

This is our second trip to Las Vegas.

The first time there were two of us.
Spence and I. We were freshly married. As in very freshly married. As in only been married for twenty-four hours kind of freshly married. Thanks to Spencer's sister, Liz, we stayed in the Excalibur in a honeymooner's suite. She had the hook-up. We were there in the middle of July. It was hot. And humid. One day we walked the entire strip. From the Excalibur to Circus Circus and back to the Excalibur. And then we cranked up the AC and slept the rest of the day. It was SO HOT. Times were different back then. There were two of us. We slept when we wanted and ate when we were hungry. If we longed to spend the afternoon wandering aimlessly around the Strip, we did. If, at 2:00am, we were craving ice-cream we'd go out in search of ice-cream. We were poor college students at the time. Our trip was funded exclusively on monetary wedding gift. Every time we spent money in Vegas it meant we would have less money for groceries when we returned home. We picked the shows that we attended solely on ticket price. Spencer wanted to see the "Blue Man Group". I told him we couldn't afford it. We instead saw the "Tournament of Kings Dinner Show." We had a buy one get one free coupon. We would eat one meal a day. At an all-you-can-eat buffet. Our sole souvenir was a little jackpot toy from M&M World. We never took a single shuttle or taxi. We walked everywhere.  We were younger then. Spencer got ID'd in the Casino. He was 23. Spencer would call me his wife. I would smile. It seemed so strange. Strange, yet exciting. Spence and I spent a lot of our down time making life plans. We dreamt big. We discussed what we wanted, what we expected, what we hoped for. In Las Vegas. It was just the two of us. A lover's retreat. A poor-man's vacation. A celebratory get-a-way in honor of us. Our new life. Together.

::Spence and I in Las Vegas.  With eyes shut!  July 2003 on our Honeymoon::

This time it was different.

There were more of us. Spence, me, Brynlee, Jace and my little sister Katie. We stayed at The Trump International Hotel. Because there's no casino. And no smoking. Plus it had a kitchenette…perfect for warming sippy cups and some Easy Mac when needed. We requested a baby crib. And would pull it into the oversized bathroom every afternoon for Jace's naptime. Brynlee went swimming in the Jacuzzi tub with swimming suit and Dora floaty. We brought princess movies and Barney to watch during down time. We Built-a-Bear, went to M&M world, ate at Rainforest Café and spent an evening at Circus Circus. We'd spend our days pushing baby strollers down the strip and comforting exhausted kids. Our daily itinerary was planned around lunchtime and naptime. When kids (and adults) were tired we'd opt for a taxi instead of walking. And we would take the long route to bypass the Casino. We'd be sure to have the kids tucked safely into their beds before Las Vegas would wake-up for the night. Then at night we'd rotate. One night Katie and I went to the "Phantom of the Opera". One night Spence and I went to the "Blue Man Group". And one night Spence and I walked the entire strip. This time I wore a jacket. It wasn't anything near as hot as it gets in July. We held hands and walked from one hotel to another. Sometimes in silence. Enjoying the quietness. The escape. Other times in conversation. Conversations that would always, somehow, end up about our kids. How perfect they are. How much we love them. How happy they make us.

Oh, how time changes things.
Isn't life funny?
Isn't life perfect!?!

The gang in Las Vegas.  Feburary 2010.
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