Thursday, November 24, 2011

Girl Time

It's something I don't get a lot of. In fact, it's extremely rare around here. The only girl time that happens around here is with a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my girl time with my little ones, but you know, sometimes it's great to have Adult Girl Time.. and that's just what I got.

Since finding out the date for Breaking Dawn, my friend Jamie booked her flight.  She lives in Louisiana and aside from the quick trip she made for a funeral last summer, I haven't seen her in 2 years. We don't classify the last trip as 'seeing eachother' because really, we didn't. :-)  I've been looking forward to this trip for a very long time and so has Nate. I informed him of this well in advance so he would know what to plan for on his part.  So, basically, Jamie was staying at our house for 6 days and he would be in charge of the girls once he got home from work during her stay so we could go play.

I have a SUPERB husband.  Not only did he agree to this plan, he was excited FOR me.  Well, the day finally came and we (the girls and I) drove to the airport and picked her up. It was cold but beautiful out and a bit of a shock to her southern system. She managed though. 

That first night, we went to Color Me Mine. It's a Jamie-Tiff tradition.  As usual, we had an idea in mind of what we would be making, however, that idea quickly got thrown out the minute we got there and discovered these beauties:

Cookie Jars

We couldn't pass them up.  After carefully planning them and taping them and color scheming, we were ready.  There weren't many people there that night, so it was awesome. One of the great things about our relationship is that we can hang out and say NOTHING to each other and it's not awkward or weird.  I love that.  This is how our masterpieces turned out. Pretty dang cute if you ask me.

The next day, Thursday was the BIG night!!  


My awesome sister in law is kind enough to include me on the opening night parties she does with her friends. Only those who are die-hard fans, such as ourselves are allowed.  She has connections to someone who rents out big theaters for special early showings of big movies. So, that evening, Jamie and I got all dolled up in our Breaking Dawn t-shirts and headed out to pick up Carmen, my sister in law.  Upon arriving, we noticed that Carmen needed a little something extra with her attire, so we forced her to buy a t-shirt as well to wear with us. :-)  Although, there wasn't much forcing needed. She was equally excited once she tried it on.  Then, we met up with some of her friends at Paradise Cafe in American Fork for some yummy, soup, salads & sandwiches.  After eating, we headed to Thanksgiving Point at the Mammoth Theater and waited for our showing which was at 9pm.  It was CRAZY!!! They were serving 'Wedding Cake' (for Bella and Edward's Wedding) and giving out ring pops with an invitation to the wedding attached. It was pretty awesome.

 We snapped a couple pictures, purchased the Twilight Special which was a small popcorn, a candy & large drink for $5. (AMAZING)  Then, it was our time to go in.  Because it was a special showing they were giving out water bottles, hats, etc. Also, there were no previews. We just jumped right in to the movie. SO FUN!

The next day, Friday, Jamie spent with her family. Then on Saturday, as soon as Nate came home from the auction, and after we put up our Christmas Decor, we left for another girls night.  We picked up our finished pottery, then headed over to the Theater to see Breaking Dawn again. Yep, we are that awesome.  After the movie, we met up with our friends Megan and Kristi for dinner at Macaroni Grill. We had so much fun talking and laughing, especially with Kristi's wad of receipts in her poor little wallet. When asking her why she still keeps them all, her response was "just in case I have returns!" I pretty much couldn't stop laughing or crying, because it was JUST that funny. I have the best friends. 

 After dinner, we bid farewell and headed home. We were so exhausted after so many late nights that we just went home and Jamie hung out with me while I decorated our tree.

Sunday we spent being lazy, pretty much all day, till Jamie went to see her family again while we went to see ours for dinner. Monday, the dreaded day came and it was time to take her back to the airport. Our goodbyes pretty much stink. I don't know what it is, but we just can't seem to keep it together.  Much thanks to Ben, her husband for supporting this en-devour even though he just got back from a year long service to Afghanistan   We needed it and it was a blast. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Become One...

Today I went to Walmart. I know, that's nothing new. However, this story is.  And it's hilarious, so get ready.  

I'm at the checkout when Hailey and Addy ask me for a quarter to go get a little something out of the machines in the Fun Center.  So, being the ULTRA-COOL mom that I am, I oblige and give them their request.  We go into the Fun Center and Addy immediately sticks her quarter in and out comes a miniature little rubber bunny. She's ecstatic.  Hailey just can't choose. This is nothing new. Hailey has a really hard time making decisions. She gets that from me, poor girl.  Finally, she decides she wants to do 'THE CLAW'. I explain to her that it's not very likely that she'll get something from those kinds of machines. 

She looks at me and says "mom, I know how to do it, I learned from Spongebob. You have to become ONE with the claw". 

After trying to get myself together from laughing SO hard, I agree to try.  She of course wanted me to do it for her.  She pointed out that she wanted the blue ball, so that's what I went for. And guess what?


Hailey is jumping up and down and saying "I told you! I told you!!"

Oh man, I walked out of that little room laughing so hard that I had to call Nate and immediately share our little experience.  He laughed hard, as I knew he would. So for you future 'CLAWERS' out there, here's a bit of advise from a 5 year old.

Friday, November 18, 2011

He Passed!!!!

A while back, I posted about Nate getting a new job. It's been going great, other than the stresses that come with starting something THAT new after a very long time at a different job. We feel extremely blessed. Nate seriously amazes me. He is a very intelligent person.  Way more intelligent than I ever expected.  Lately, at work, he's been studying for the ISM test. It stands for Information Storage & Management. Basically it's all about networks and how companies store their information and how it's secured.  It's a pretty insane test.  To give you an idea of how insane it is, the trainer told the group to not even plan on passing this test the first time. Also, they only needed a 60% to pass. The company paid for their training and for them to take the test as much as they needed before December.  It was VERY important that he pass this test.  However, most of the people hired were having a very difficult time passing.  Nate took the test the first time after a couple days of training for it and bombed it. It sucked.  So, back to more training. He took a break from it for a couple weeks merely because he said it just wasn't sinking in and that he didn't have the motivation to study for it... time was ticking. We only had a few weeks till December and he started more studying. He stayed late at work for a few days to continue studying. Those days he would leave at 7:30am and not get home till 8pm. It was crazy.  The night before the test which was Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, he took a practice test online and barely passed it so he was pretty worried for his test the next morning.   

I spent the morning getting ready for my friend Jamie to come to town and kept looking at the clock wondering how he was doing and if he was done yet.  I was at the gas station getting gas when Hailey yells at me from inside the car that "daddy was calling".  So, even though it's 'against the rules' at the gas station, I called him back and walked out to the parking lot away from the gas so I could find out how he did. His response after asking him how he was, was "i'm ok".   My next question was, "how did you do?"  His response: "I failed miserably."  I felt so bad for him. This test is terrible.  Then, he said "just kidding, I passed!"  

I couldn't believe it. I started screaming on the phone and turned around to see everyone in the gas station looking at me like I was some crazy person. I was so excited for him.  He and two other guys in his department took the test that morning and he was the only one to pass.  

I really am so relieved and so so proud of him.  He deserves this. He has worked so hard to get us where we are and I just want him to know how proud I am. He is amazing. 

Way to go BABE!!!!!   Love you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


4 1/2 years ago, I got called into the bishops office of the Rivergrove 3rd ward in Provo, Ut. As Nate and I sat there, wondering who the appointment was for, it was suddenly very clear when the Bishop asked me to be the 2nd counselor in the Young Women's Presidency.  I immediately felt good about this adventure. Then, the Bishop told me that they would be sustaining me in sacrament meeting THAT day. Crazy.  I remember walking into sacrament meeting, sitting down, then a few minutes later, Kristi Parker walked by and winked at me. I didn't know who she was or why she winked, I just thought it was a little strange or overly nice? I wasn't sure. :-) Now, she's one of my closest friends.

Rewind a week earlier.

Its a Sunday afternoon and it's beautiful outside. Our renter who lived in our basement was the girlfriend of one of Nate's good friends. Amber was her name and we loved her instantly.  Danny decided that day to show off his new motorcycle he bought by trying to pop a wheelie down our street. Well, one of the tries turned tragic when he lost control going about 65 mph we are guessing and flew threw the air launching his bike through our neighbors garage door while his body slammed into the brick wall on the side of the garage door, you know, the one that has the address numbers on it. Next thing we know, Nate and Amber run to his side while Jordan, Nate's brother and I call 911.  I look over to see Nate slapping Danny's face trying to bring him to, since he was unconcious. Nate was yelling at him and Amber was sitting on the grass freaking out. I won't go into detail what he looked like after that because it wasn't pretty. There was no helmet involved.  I sat there holding Amber when we heard the ambulance rushing down the street. I then remembered that my 9 month old was asleep at home a couple houses away and I hadn't checked on her. As I started running toward my house, I saw a couple walking toward the accident that I recognized from church, but didn't know.  Even still, I folded into her arms and broke down crying.  She asked how they could help so I asked her if she could just stay at my house and listen out for Hailey while I went back to the scene.

One week later.

I'm sitting there in sacrament meeting and I stand up along with the winker as the 1st counselor and the accident friend who stayed with Hailey as the President, Megan Cook. I remember Megan coming up to me after sacrament meeting and saying "I promise I didn't submit your name just because we met last week at the accident."  :-)  All three of us became instant friends and have been since.  About 6 months later, Kristi got put in as Primary President and I was made the 1st counselor. 

Fast forward 2 years and Megan got released as President.  They asked me to remain 1st counselor even through the change of presidency.  The new President was announced and her name was Lezlee Partridge.  Once again, I found a great life long friend. I've been very blessed in my calling.  Fast forward 1 year and our ward got dissolved. I didn't know such thing was possible, but I get a text from Lezlee saying that at Stake Conference that morning, (we were home with sick kids) they released EVERYONE in the Rivergrove 3rd ward from their callings. Nate had been in as the Executive Secretary for 2 years and knew NOTHING of this change. We asked our bishop and he said he got the call the night before Stake Conference notifying him of this change.  It all happened so fast and next thing we know, we are meeting in a new building the next week with people we had never met before.  One week later, I get called into the bishops office with the same request to take place as 1st counselor in the YW Presidency.  I gladly accepted especially after being informed that Lezlee had accepted the call to continue as President in the new ward. So, off we go. 

2 years later, and after a pretty dramatic timeline, I was released.  It's been a total of 4 1/2 years and even though its a bitter sweet feeling and a little stress relieved, I feel a little lost.  That's all I've known since having kids! Crazy!!  But I have to say, it will be so nice to have my Wednesday nights to spend with my family. It will be better on our bank account for the money I spent on lessons and such, but I will miss it. I will miss the girls and their drama. :-)  I will miss the women I worked with.  Out of the 4 1/2 years I was serving in Young Womens, there was a total of about 2 1/2 of those years when it was just me and the President because our ward was small and sparse, allowing for limited help. Those were some crazy times, but looking back, it was a blast. I'm grateful for the friends I was able to make during my time in this calling.  To Megan and Kris... You guys are the best! Or should I say, Winker and Accident girl.. I'm glad it brought us together.  I would be cheesy and say something like 'BFF's!!! or something but I won't.   And Lezlee... We made a great team. I'll be praying that you're next! Just kidding. I loved being in there with you. It was a good time.

It will be interesting to see what comes next.....

Monday, November 14, 2011

All About Hailey

I still can't believe that 5 years ago you made your appearance into this world and my life. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. You were immediately nicknamed our little papoose! You had really dark skin and black hair. A lot of it, too.  You were quite the little snuggler, even though now, you'd rather throw a punch to the gut than to snuggle. :-) You snuggle me, it's Daddy and uncle Ben that you like to 'wrestle' with.  Over the years, I feel like I have really gotten to know you. I know that you love people with all your heart. You really get attached.  I know that when you laugh, I mean REALLY laugh that your chin folds into your neck a little.. it's really cute.  I know that you love to go to the store, but only if you can get a donut.  I know that you could care less what clothes I put you in every day, but I also know that you are great at picking out your own clothes to get dressed in when i'm not around to help.  I know that when you're sad, really sad that you bury your head so nobody can see the look on your face.  I know that when you try to be serious, you can't. You laugh every time. I know that if you don't want to do something that's hard, you usually do it just to prove to us you can. I love that about you.  I know that you love sharing a room with your sister and that you try to be sneaky and play after we put you to bed.  I know that you don't really like going to church. You say it's boring. I can understand, especially for you who is so busy all the time. It's hard to sit that long.  I know that you are the best negotiator I've ever known OR seen on TV. Seriously. It's amazing.  I know that you LOVE treats and you ask for them pretty much all day long. I know that you love animals. You would have every kind of animal living in our house if you could. Especially reptiles. Silly girl.  I know that you love art. Even just the other day your art teacher at preschool was telling me how amazing you are for your age.  I know that you love to run and jump. Literally. Everywhere we go, I have to remind you that you need to just WALK with me, not run. You would run everywhere if you could.  I know that you try really hard to be nice to people.  You have gotten so good at using good manners.  I know that you are the top reader in your age group at school.  It amazes me.  I know that you excel in everything that you try.  I hope you keep that up.  I know that you make my heart melt... a lot.  Sometimes the things you say or the ways you act just make me want to squeeze you forever.  I know that you LOVE to snuggle your dad in the mornings when you first wake up. He loves it too.  I know that you always wake up in a good mood.  I know that you love to play tag and ride your scooter or bike.  I know that you are good at taking turns with people.  I know that you are a responsible girl with things we ask you to do or take care of.  Most of all, I know that I love you with all my heart and that I don't know what I would do without my monkey.  You have really become my buddy and I just can't get enough of you.  Happy Birthday baby girl!  I can't believe you're 5!

Love, Mommy

This is a questionnaire that I filled out according to Hailey's answers. Such a fun thing to look back on some day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Things Tangled.. The ACTUAL Birthday

Hailey's little 'friends party' was a blast.  I had asked her a while ago who she wanted to invite to her party and her response melted my heart:

"I want to invite Maya, Zoe & Addy"

The fact that she would choose her little sister to be a friend at her birthday party was so sweet.  So, the plans were made and when the day came, it was a total blast.  As usual, Hailey wanted to be fully engaged in helping with making the food. And, she was.

The cupcakes turned out so cute, as well as the caramel and chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. (Nate helped me make those.. he was the sprinkler.)  My mom was here also which is always nice. She helps things run a little smoother. It's also nice to have someone around so that I can spend a little more time 'enjoying' the party than to run around doing the background work.

First off, we had the girls paint on a picture on canvas. I thought this would be a cute idea months ago when planning this party, then I saw it all over the place on Pinterest so it must have been a great thing to do.  The girls absolutely loved it. They all came up with some really creative stuff as well.

Then, it was time to eat.  
Cupcakes and Ice Cream.. doesn't get much better than that.

They all got to have a little photo op with Rapunzel...

Then it was time for presents.

 It turned out great, the girls had a blast, and that's what it's all about, right?   

2 parties down & SUCCESS!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tangled: The Family Party

This year, Nate and I decided to have a family party for Hailey with just our family members and then she could pick a few friends to have a 'friends party' with on her actual birthday.  We also scaled down a bit and didn't have dinner along with the festivities. Birthday's can get out of control and dang expensive, so, cake and ice cream it is.
Hailey wanted to be very involved with making her cake this year, and she was.

Speaking of cake, since this was a long awaited Tangled Birthday, this is what I came up with for the cake:

 The cake took me a couple hours, but it was worth it. Hailey absolutely loved it.

Of course we had the movie playing for all the kiddos and adults alike.

Hailey had some of the best expressions when opening her presents this year.. it was quite entertaining.

But the best one of all was this one:

and this one...

Meet Pepper, the newest member of the family.

Hailey has been waiting a long time for this and was absolutely sure she'd get a guinea pig for her birthday.  Pepper had been hiding for three days in Nate's office where we don't let the girls play or hang out, so it was tricky, but it worked.

She is so in love with her and can't wait to hold her ALL the time.

Next, it was cake time and horse riding time. (Hailey was kind enough to be the horse)

The night came to an end and Hailey gave out her hugs and it was a success.

After everyone left, we got Pepper out to play for a while.

Hailey had such a fun time and loved her party... that's what it's all about right?
She was blessed to have so many family members there to celebrate with her.

(Damon, Summer, Lincoln, Savanah, Hudson, Grandma J, Grandpa J, Rachelle, Spencer, Carmen, Ben, Grandma L, Jay, Rachel, Jordan & Melissa.)

Thanks Everyone!!

One party down, one party to go.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011

So, i'm a little behind on blogging. This week has been crazy, nothing new.  Halloween was awesome this year. Hailey and Addy are at such fun ages for it. Addy has known for a while that she wanted to be Belle, but Hailey on the other hand kept changing her mind a million times. She finally decided on Mulan which was PERFECT for her. They both were absolutely darling in their princess attire and they loved every minute of being dressed up. Although, when  I put the turtleneck on Addy, she made choking motions and said the shirt made her throat sick. It was a priceless reaction.  

After making them wait ALL day, we finally got dolled up and headed out for some fun at Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's neighborhood. It's tradition, we always trick or treat in their neighborhood and its always a blast!


We got to Skype with their cousin Avery who was Ariel this year.



The Twins.. Hudson & Savanah

My brother Damon & his wife Summer brought their kids to come trick or treating with us.

Addy wasted NO time in eating some candy...

This year was another FUN and SAFE year and the girls are already planning their costumes for next year.. 

Hailey wants to be Jasmine or Rapunzel
Addy wants to be Pascal.

We'll see if that comes to be.