Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dinner Group

Still loving it. And for whatever reason, still feel the need to convince someone to start one. Is it working Sarah???

Last week for me: Chicken Fajitas. This is one of those meals I've made a million times with no recipe-- but dinner group inspired me to find one. I found a fajita salad recipe that looked yummy... so I just used a portion of the recipe for a marinade for my chicken. I chopped up my chicken ahead of time though, unlike the recipe. I loved it. Next time I want to make the salad with the cilantro lime vinaigrette... since those three words together are heaven for me. Seriously, I think I'm the only person I know who doesn't get the creamy dressing at Cafe Rio.

So each of us got a bag of marinating, raw, sliced chicken, sliced peppers and onions, tortillas, grated cheese, some sour cream in little tupperware (lite, if you care- or if you're sick of hearing me complain about baby weight whilst posting about sour cream and cheese), chopped cilantro, a lime, tomato, and an avocado. I put a little direction on top of the container for how they're to cook up their meat and veggies when they're ready and voila!

Lizzie did a delicious green salad with pasta, chicken, artichoke hearts, grapes and more...
Julie did a healthy turkey meatloaf.

And there's always yummy left overs so I don't have to eat crusts off of every body's peanut butter sandwiches for lunch anymore.

Ok so maybe I have an unhealthy love of food and food-related happiness. Ross has always been shocked how food can make me SOOO happy. But if I'm wanting something and come home and it's all gone (for example), it can seriously, seriously bum me out. This probably hasn't happened since college since my sweet husband refuses to finish off anything for this very reason. I find halves of cupcakes and cookies left behind for me. with love. :)

BUT, I love dinner group.

When something makes you happy you want to share! It's just like the gospel. ;)

Just don't share it like this guy. Anybody see this? I respect sharing and teaching since we do a lot of that in my church, but I'm just not sure what good it does when you can see the contention brewing. Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I think he should have been kind when the security guy asked him to leave. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I can't believe how fast it goes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is it weird that this picture makes me want to chop my hair off?

And I'm trying to grow it out. But does "trying to grow it out" ALWAYS mean you have to be ugly for a year and a half? I've always had long hair until these last few years of my life and I'm thinking if I ever get there again... the next cut will be permanent. Now I see why as women get older, they go short and stay short forever.

You reach a point where you can't bear to look like that albino on Princess Bride with the torture machine and the super wimpy voice and the bad bob.

I'm almost over it. But then some days I can ALMOST see this in the distant future.

Or maybe in my dreams... but whatever.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ross's Ragnar

Last weekend, Ross and a bunch of his friends did the Southern California Ragnar which started in Huntington Beach and ended in Silver Strand in San Diego. It spanned 200 miles and about 31 hours (for them.) This is their whole team. Ross, a couple of his brothers and a couple of their friends, and some friends of ours from out here in the desert. Their ages probably ranged from like 25-45. Kinda cool.

Ross and his brothers, Zach and Ben.Zach, after he ran 8 miles at like a 7 min pace in 97 degree weather on a non-support leg (where his team can't give him water) and the Ragnar didn't supply enough--oops! He made it to the finish and nearly blacked out.
The six guys in Ross' van-- half of the team.
And their tally of runners they passed. I hate to think how many of those tallies I would represent if I ran one. And can you believe I'm thinking about it? I'm just assuming that several months will do some magic on my body so it could be physically possible. We'll see about that.

As for Ross, he ran a total of 22 miles in three legs. Two of which were bonus because he got lost on the boardwalk in Mission Beach where one of their signs had blown away. Lucky guy. I cannot IMAGINE tacking on 2 miles to a 7 mile run at the end of a sleepless 31 hour stretch. That's not saying much since I can't imagine running to my mail box right now. But still.

Apparently there were a few holes in Ragnar's organization, but all in all. I'm pretty sure Ross had the time of his life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Meet my new mantel.And a little before picture: (I can never bear to put the "before" picture BEFORE the "after" picture. I'm just too excited to open the blog and see pretty.

The room is still in progress. I think I want to switch to the zebra rug now, that's up in my room. The colorful pillow is a tablecloth I planned on returning to Anthro, but now I think I'll have Brooke's mom who made Finn's bedding etc... make me some pillows for the couch out of it. (I know... how did I land her?) I can't stop staring at the mantel--- I'm in love with it. And I think it deserves better than the mismatched leftovers I've got on my couch right now.

Also-- can't wait to get to Homegoods and see what inexpensive knick knacks I can get for the top since I stole the orchid from the dining room... maybe I should just pull out the Halloween stuff a little early... cute.

Thank you Nate. You are amazing. And what was this, like a week from conception? I'm still pinching myself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I used to feel some criticism for being too positive on my blog. Like I must be trying to make my life seem perfect. It bothered me. I don't get that as much anymore, so maybe it's nice and clear now that it is far from perfect.

But since perfect isn't really my goal there, I really am so so so happy. And while I love writing down my stress and frustration too... I'm certainly not going to downplay my happy moments. I NEED those moments tucked away and saved forever.

So, when Mila was past her first horrendous fit of the day after she couldn't steal the ONE strawberry shortcake picture Sophia was coloring and instead had to chose from the remaining seventeen-- and her sweet side surfaced-- I thought I'd capture it... and perhaps by documenting it, I'd will it to stick.

Or something like that. (Excuse me that I look like a hundred years old in this picture. There's no reality check like putting your morning face next to a bright-eyed three-year-old. Did I mention I turn 30 next month? Holy moly.)

Honestly... to look like that after rolling out of bed and crying for 20 minutes.

Ok so we may have done a booger-cleaning and a pony. Oh if that's all it took for me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

If I'm gray by thirty, I blame her. And the number, three.

I have to remind myself that I went through it with Sophia too... and she turned out rather pleasant. (I know she's five and I can't really say she "turned out" yet. But still.) So I know it's a phase. Or I'm hoping it's a phase.

I'm praying it's a phase.

Please don't tell me otherwise... I couldn't handle it in my fragile end-of-the-day-with-a-raging-temperamental-three-year-old state. She wears me down like no body's business.

In the last two days I think I've marched her to the laundry room for time-out like 39 times. It does absolutely no good. On the contrary, it makes her angrier, like swatting at a bumble bee. Or hissing at a rattle snake. (I've never done that... but I imagine it's a bad idea.) She screams from the other side of the door, "I don't LIKE YOU! I'M GONNA BITE YOU!!!"

But of course I still do it, because I don't know what else to do! I have to do SOMETHING when she snatches Sophia's toy right out of her hands and then pulls her hair when she wants it back. Or when she turns over furniture because I won't let her have spicy chips for breakfast. Or when she purposely screams at the top of her lungs right by Finn's door as he naps because she wants to wear a "new" skirt today. Which means it can't be something we already have. And school's in 15 minutes. Where am I supposed to get the new skirt? Oh that is the LEAST of her concern.

She can be the cutest little miniature person with her miniature walk and silly jokes and sweet voice. She can turn me to pudding. But for the other 10 waking hours of the day, she is on a mission to drive me completely insane.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Mantel!

Do you remember when I posted about wanting to have a whole fireplace mantel built? I checked into it before Finn was born and it was going to cost way more than I wanted to spend... and I had no idea what kind of work these random guys would do.

Remember my friend Nate-- who's pictures I just took with his gorgeous wife? He builds gorgeous, high-end homes out here in the desert and said he'd take care of my "little" project. He's building me a mantel!!!!!

This is my inspiration... it's going to look a lot like it... I stopped by their house tonight and saw it nearly done while he was working on it in his garage! I think it will be up by next week ---

I hope I can sleep until then. I'm SOOO so so so so excited.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two of my favorite bedrooms... today

I'm constantly saving images of homes that I love. Maybe this is why I'm pretty sure I'll never ever ever feel "done" in my own home. There is ALWAYS something different and (dare I say without sounding so the-grass-is-always-greener) more beautiful. I am so grateful for my home and I love it... but I just love a fresh change.

Right now I'm seriously contemplating having most of my walls repainted to a much much lighter neutral.... but that's a big job... so on a smaller scale, maybe just my bedroom?

I want the light, peaceful, refreshing feeling I have with these rooms above...and I want that lambskin throw, and I want that tray of breakfast delivered each morning on an already made bed. Too much to ask?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just a few weekend glimpses

He looks scared. I know. But boy do these girls ADORE their brother.
We've succeeded in the green smoothie craze. It took a while and it takes some apple juice... but I'm happy to sneak in some fresh veggies... they don't eat as many as I'd like. It makes me feel like I've checked something off of my list.

Our super-fun-because-it's-broken trampoline. See Mila... going... going....

you wouldn't believe how long they can play on there now. And how rad it makes their hair.
This bottom right was when Sophia bit her tongue. Not super fun. I think she's going through a clumsy phase. She's been slipping down the stairs and running in to walls and poking herself with skewers. That one was sad, trying to skewer a carrot. yikes.

Spring break is over and tomorrow is back to the grind. I couldn't have guessed how much I'd love not worrying about school or schedules and just filling our days with parks and baking and playing. It almost gave me an itch for summer--- death-heat and all.

Happy new week.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I have to have this suit. 19 pounds to go.

Let me clarify... 19 pounds for MY goal weight. Probably like 60 if she were my goal. Here's to being realistic.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Finn at 3 months

I always miss the ACTUAL milestone. It's sort of an afterthought. One I have when I keep telling people I "just" had a baby and have to answer their follow up question of "when?!" I was up to 13 weeks or so, when I realized, it was probably time to convert to months.

So as of March 29th, he's been three months old!

I can't believe it.

He's still sleeping great, although last night he woke up at 5:30 am which was a big bummer. He's usually out 'till about 7. He's smiling a bunch and talking in that cuter-than-anything 3-month-old way. Where the lips are moving in funny directions trying to figure out what sound might come out, while the eyebrows are raised with so much expression. My eyes are absolutely LOCKED on him when this happens... everything on hold until he's done with his story.

He's still easy to take on dates, but we HAVE left him with a sitter a couple of times now and all's been well... so I feel that little bit of freedom. Although I've failed, for the third time, at getting a babe to take a bottle. Obviously I didn't try hard enough, soon enough, or whatever. But I'm over it. Do I really want to be away from him for more than four hours anyway?

Though I'll confess, I shot a wedding last weekend that I'd booked before I had him. It was super close to home, so when we realized the bottle was a no-go, we figured Ross could bring him to me for a quick feeding break, but he lasted the 6 hours just fine! Not something I'll do on purpose again though. (Not 'till he's a little older.) Stressed me out.

He's usually swaddled and sleeping, or in his car seat, or his swing. Poor guy. The lot of the third child I've heard. But sure enough, he's still showing signs of the upcoming roll. Apparently you can't keep them little babies forever..... even if you do wrap them up like little geisha-feet.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Steak Skewers
This is the recipe I'm trying this week for dinner group. They're ready to throw on the grill with that yummy herb sauce. I'm hopeful. I did a few chicken too, and some corn sauteed with shallots and basil as a side.

Ham, cheese, onion, and spinach frittata
We made this frittata for brunch (I only use a word as fancy as brunch because we didn't eat 'till like 10 and I dared to add salad) on Saturday. Or day one of conference. It's just eggs, some cheddar and ham on the girls half, and sauteed onions and spinach added into ours. I cooked it in my pan 'till the bottom set, then stuck it in the oven on broil for like 10 minutes.

Papa's Loaf
And this was breakfast Sunday. This is my most memorable conference weekend breakfast growing up. I wish I'd gotten a better photo of it. It looks a little less appetizing than I'd like. We called it Papa's Loaf, because my "papa" made it. He was from Argentina (step-grandpa technically) and I think it was something traditional for him... either way... I LOVE it... it's pure nostalgia for me... and not an exact recipe.

Sourdough round cut in half with most of the inside bread ripped out.

9 eggs whisked with 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan cheese, some salt and pepper, and some chopped parsley for the pretty. Was I supposed to put garlic mom? Something may have been missing...

Cook it in a pan letting the bottom set, then tipping your pan to let the runny eggs fall to the bottom until the whole thing is cooked in one round loaf.

Line each side of sourdough round with lots of grated cheddar cheese and a layer or two of ham.

Put egg loaf in the middle

Cook in oven at like 400 for 20-30 minutes. Throw some foil over the top if you don't like your bread too crispy.

Slice and serve.

I love food.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

ahhh... conference weekend

I dream of this weekend for months beforehand.

Our faith is an enormous part of our lives, and attending church is a big part of that, and I love the consistency of it all (and a lot more of course).... BUT, our Sundays are usually very full and busy, and Ross spends most of it in a shirt and tie just like weekdays, and I have to do my hair (which anyone who knows me knows is rare)------ so there's nothing like those two times a year when there are no meetings, no getting dressed up, no racing around trying to get all three kids and myself ready since Ross is there early for meetings, no waiting for Ross to get home from his later meetings.... but lots of wonderful, motivating, inspiring talks from our apostles and prophets broadcast through our very own television. :)

We stay in bed a little later, snuggle a little more, make extra large and yummy breakfasts, bake and eat treats with a little less guilt, and stay in our jammies all day long.

I luuuuuuuv conference weekend.