Thursday, November 29, 2012


We went to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. We were there from Tuesday night until Saturday. It was great to be by the beach and around family and in our old hometown. We hope to visit again soon. It was too short and we forgot how much we love it there. It was crazy to be staying in a house where 55 other people were hanging out... but it was mostly a good kind of crazy.

I exercised every day while I was there. I saw my sister every day too, which was so great. We jogged together, talked together, and went shopping together. More on that later.

My kids had a lot of time to hang out with their cousins. I think they were sort of in heaven. And so was I, because I got to be free of responsibility for large chunks of time. My children are at an age where I feel ok about letting them do their thing, and I have very responsible nieces and nephews. It works out splendidly.

I hardly helped at all in the kitchen before or after the Thanksgiving meal. It is shameful really, but it was sort of covered by everyone else. Mostly Alison. But believe me, had any need arisen, I would have helped. As it was, I felt like I was in the way every time I entered the kitchen. Plus, let's be real here. I'm lazy.

The meal was fantastic. I tried so hard not to over-eat, but there were a million dishes and everything was so good! I had a little bit of everything and I was stuffed.

So, besides going on jogs (and walks with Dan) and hanging out with everyone, I went shopping downtown with some family. (In other news- Boom! Santa Barbara now has an H&M.) So, I spent some money. It is nice to shop without kids. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but they don't love shopping.

On Friday my sister took Rachel, Alison, and I to Solvang to this amazing place where they sold clothes and fabric for super duper cheap. We didn't think we would spend tons of time there, but we did. We found all kinds of goodies, including formals and temple dresses for three dollars. THREE DOLLARS. All the fabric I bought was a dollar a yard. I scored, and it was super fun. We took pictures in the room where you pay for everything. I offered to be a boy, but Rachel and Lori took one for the team. This picture cracks me up! What a fun group.

We were hungry after foraging for deals in all those different rooms, so we walked to a main street and bought pastries. I wasn't expecting much from my apricot danish, but it was OUT OF THIS WORLD good. I need to go to Solvang next time we visit SB, because it is cute and amazing and I'm still thinking about that danish.

While I was doing other things, Dan went shooting. Once with guns in the mountains with the boys, but mostly he did the kind with his camera. There were a lot of photo-shoots last weekend! He was asked by 4 of his siblings to do family pictures, and he also did a few surf/beach shoots with teen and adult family members for his and Jake's venture into selling clothing. It's called Babes Arizona Surf, and they have a lot of followers on Instagram. Check it out. We hope it will help pay for Jake's mission to Croatia. (Click here for Babes!)

We took the kids to the beach before we left. They wanted to stay there for much longer... mostly to play at the park. It was such a beautiful day... I didn't really want to get in the car either. But we loaded everyone up and headed home eventually. The kids were pretty good in the car, and we had a great vacation. For that I am thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Carnival, Creating, and Celebrating

We went to "Frontier Days" at Asher's school. It is their one and only fundraiser (so they say) and it is huge and beautiful. I always loved carnivals as a kid, and I think my school even did one at some point. It probably wasn't as epic as this one. Each class has a booth. I was stuck at ours for an hour because I volunteered to help and nobody came to relieve me at the end of a half hour shift. It was fine, but I missed the kids going on the train ride, bouncing in the bounce houses, dominating the other booths, and I missed Gwen going on a pony ride. Dan got some video though, so I didn't miss it completely. We saw a lot of friends from church. There were a lot of silent auctions, food choices, etc. I got a free back rub at a booth, but we didn't take advantage of the free face painting. Maybe next year.

I also finished a big sewing project for a friend. Her photo shoot got moved up three weeks, so I felt like I was on Project Runway. I was actually sewing some finishing touches RIGHT before their photo shoot. It is a good thing my friend is laid back. I snagged some pictures from some blogs so I could show what I made.

I made the dresses on her girls. (I took a picture of the baby dress so you could see it a little better.) I also made the ties and bow ties on her boys, and the light blue houndstooth jacket on her oldest one. My friend was SO trusting of me... she gave me fabric and said "make whatever you want." I mean, she knew she wanted ties and dresses, but that was it. She showed me some pictures of kids clothes that she loved, and then gave me complete creative freedom. It was kind of nice, but sometimes I was scared she wouldn't like what I was doing. She ended up loving it all, thank goodness!

 And look at her kids! They are so stinking adorable! What a good looking family.

We also had a birthday in our family... Dan's! I felt bad because I was super busy and didn't have time to get many gifts or to plan very much. But I made him breakfast and lunch, then we went out with family to dinner at Firebirds. It was really nice. When we got back to Stephen and Rachel's house our little niece Lauren had made him a cake. The birthday cakes at their house always feature this Stuart Little figurine. I think it is a cute tradition. We opened presents two days later, so Dan's birthday was stretched out a bit. I think that is always the best way to go.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wizard of Oz and Halloween

I have been SO BUSY. SO BUSY!!! I mentioned being cast in the Wizard of Oz, but I also did a lot of work with choreography and so forth. I was at rehearsal all the time.

(Here I am in my Second Act glory.)  

 And when I wasn't at rehearsal, I was trying to finish sewing projects that were way overdue. I made a bunch of girl superhero costumes for a family in our ward. They were relatively easy, but I didn't have a lot of free time. I committed to them before I decided to do the play, so it was my fault for taking too much on. They turned out cute in the end, but I think I almost gave that poor mom a heart attack, because true to form, I gave them to her the day before she wanted to use them. Sorry Jennie! (She also just had her fifth child, so she really needed more to worry about in her life.) I planned to get them done way before Halloween. It would have been a piece of cake with no Wizard of Oz.

Batman and Robin are twins. Isn't that the cutest?

Made: Tutus, logos, masks, sleeves, one pair of fake boots (Superman's), and some wristlets/ crown thing for WW.

Side note, these kids are the nicest ever. Whenever Wonder Woman sees me, she gives me a big hug. She tells me that she wants to grow up to be like me. I better start shaping up!

I did not dress up for Halloween. Being green for seven performances took the desire out of me I guess. But Dan was Tony Stark. I cannot tell you how excited I was when he actually wanted to be someone for Halloween. He even made his own arc reactor. I am so proud. The costume was subtle, but he looked awesome. Asher and Gwen went to Aunt Amy's trunk or treat one night when I was performing. Asher was Captain America that night, hence the picture. But for actual Halloween, Asher was Indiana Jones and Gwen was Rapunzel. Cost? Free! We borrowed and we used what we had. Best Halloween ever!

Halloween snuck up on me. We decorated the night before, and then it was only because Asher really wanted me to. I don't have many Halloween decorations, so I just used the spooky stuff I had on hand and my fabric stash. No problem.

The kids have been eating candy like crazy. I can't stop them and they can't stop themselves. Consequently, they have been a little temperamental. Emphases on the MENTAL. But they will detox soon and then all will be right with the world.

So that is it. I'm basically caught up. Whew!