Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Was Here

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Okay, I'm not even going to bother trying to get all of these pictures into the right order. I think you're all sick of hearing me rant about Blogger, right? At least it only took me 3 tries to get them all up.

There was snow on Tuesday, although it's all gone by now. That was also the day I took the kids down to the Children's Museum for their awesome Jolly Days exhibit, including the Yule Slide... I had never actually done the slide before; I was surprised at how fast it actually is! (Parenthetically, we also visited the newly opened Barbie exhibit. Porter didn't hate it as much as I thought he would. IT WAS AWESOME.) I spent a good chunk of the week wrapping presents and baking with my three little helpers. Actually, Amy's idea of helping is: put on an apron, drag a chair over to the kitchen island, and stand there demanding cheese. But what she lacks in utility, she more than makes up for in cuteness.
We went to Mike and Mandy's on Christmas Eve for a family tradition of theirs aptly titled All The Snacks In The World; the cousins exchanged gifts and we got to enjoy some adult conversation and came away quite sated. The kids went to bed easily on Christmas Eve and let us sleep to a quite reasonable seven o'clock on Christmas.

And then: the presents. It turns out my kids were good this year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


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Some kids only get to celebrate their birthday on ONE day. Not Betsy - she got a whole weekend.

On Friday, we took a birthday treat to her class to share - Meijer brand granola bars with rainbow chocolate chips, as she specifically requested. Here she is with her teacher.
It was really cute watching Betsy pass out treats to all of her little classmates, especially because she let Porter help her. For Saturday, Matt had told Betsy she could choose a fun place to go, since she didn't get a party this year (I only have parties for even number birthdays). She vacillated on it for a while but finally settled on Chuck E. Cheese.
We had actually never taken our children there before (and I grew up in the era when they had a whole animatronic house band and not just the rat and a big screen TV, and they didn't stamp your hands so you could take just anyone's kids home with you) but somehow they knew instinctively that it would be fun. And it was surprisingly inexpensive - for twenty bucks we got a greasetastic pizza, some drinks, and thirty tokens, which was plenty. The kids had a really good time, even Amy.

Sunday was the actual birthday. We let Betsy open presents first thing in the morning, since it was going to be a crazy day with lots of church things. And in spite of the fact that she knew exactly what she was getting for her birthday (since she was with me when I bought them. In January.) she still managed to drum up some enthusiasm.

Anyway, once we undid all the little twist ties from her Barbie MyHouse, and I applied all the stinking little decals, she had a fine time with it until we had to leave for church.
We finally had cake at night and sang to her. Only, because I am the worst mother in the world, I had neglected to buy any birthday canles, so we only had three teeny tiny little nubs. But I think I'll be able to tell from the photos that she's actually turning seven and not three.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thirty things I've learned in thirty years

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1. If you love someone, tell him right away.

2. I have the best sisters in the world.

3. My brothers aren't too shabby either.

4. It doesn't pay to be an early adopter of new technology.

5. Chocolate.

6. In looks and personality, I am a little dad, a little mom, but mostly my own self.

7. I am a good writer.

8. I can be either a morning or a night person as required.

9. How hard you work in life sometimes means less than who you know.

10. No matter what job I have, I can always find something to like about it.

11. But it's probably good I've never worked retail.

12. I will probably never stop twirling my hair, and that's okay. I actually see other people doing it all the time.

13. If God wanted me to swim, He'd have given me gills.

14. I shouldn't have waited so long to learn how to sew.

15. I live in the greatest country in the world.

16. Music makes me happy.

17. It's impossible to start the Christmas season too soon.

18. I still swoon over cute male celebrities. This is totally normal and doesn't make me a bad wife.

19. There is a huge difference between the ages of 19 and 21.

20. Filtered water is best.

21. I am more financially responsible than the majority of Americans.

22. The best books were written between 1910 and 1950 or so.

23. It's kind of nice to be five foot seven.

24. Be mindful of the opportunity costs.

25. Eating good food with people you like is one of the great pleasures in life.

26. If you're wearing something crazy and people are staring at you, it's probably because they wish they were brave enough to pull off something like that themselves.

27. The internet is awesome, but it'll steal your soul if you don't watch out.

28. Leftover black bean quesadillas are the best breakfast of all time.

29. The most flattering clothes are ones that fit.

30. The dryer really does work better if you remember to clean the lint trap. (Sorry, Matt!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ten years gone

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This picture was taken on my twentieth birthday: December 5, 1999.

You may notice that the date was exactly ten years ago today. Yep, it's my thirtieth birthday. Now, being that I'm a woman, this is supposed to be one of those dreaded milestones. I have to say, though, I think I've gotten my money's worth out of my twenties. Let's take a look at the last third of my life, shall we?

  • Age 20: When this picture was taken, I had just changed my major to chemistry a few months before, I still wore glasses, and I had very recently broken up with the last boy I ever dated and didn't marry. Within two months of this photo, I had switched to contact lenses and started dating Matt.
  • Age 21: Got married. Bought my first non-rusty car, got a job in a lab, met my in-laws, started scrapbooking, and graduated from college (eventually).
  • Age 22: Got pregnant with Betsy and got laid off from my job a few months later. Oh well, that gave me more time to look at garage sales for baby stuff. We bought our first house in November of that year.
  • Age 23: Umm, became a mother.
  • Age 24: Started working for the online tutoring company that I am still with, five years later. Got in a car accident & wrecked the Taurus - bought a minivan, which is what I've wanted ever since I was a teenager. Matt turned 30 and I found out I was pregnant with Porter the next day.
  • Age 25: Had Porter and served in the Relief Society presidency.
  • Age 26: Sold our first house and moved into our current place which is much, much bigger. Wrote my first piece of fan fiction, started my blog, bought a sewing machine, and had a scrapbook page published for the first time.
  • Age 27: Found out I was pregnant with Amy, went to Disneyworld, and taught seminary.
  • Age 28: Matt lost his job a month or two after my birthday. Thought we were moving to Utah, then didn't. Paid through the nose for COBRA. Actually went into labor on my own and gave birth to what I didn't realize at the time would be my last baby. Upgraded my sewing machine. Got a full-time job for the first time in years. Spent a lot of time pumping.
  • Age 29: Got sacked from my job and enjoyed being home with my kids again. Bought a serger.
  • Age 30: Wrote this blog entry.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

T-Day Wrap-Up

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Since Thanksgiving was a week ago, and I've now officially divested my fridge of anything that could be considered a 'leftover,' maybe I should actually write about it.

We had, as you can see, a houseful of Blinns. My parents drove out on Tuesday night, arriving in time to watch that night's episode of NCIS (I thought it was
just okay but I enjoyed the shoulder holster and the Real Genius reference), and left on Friday morning. It was a whirlwind trip, but we still had time to go on Steak 'n' Shake - we went on Wednesday night since my mom and I were full on sick of cooking at that point - and even squeeze in a visit to Hancock Fabrics. Matt and my kids and my dad and sisters went down to the Childrens' Museum on Wednesday and Mom and I stayed home to cook and bake and generally mess up the kitchen. (I also found the time to list a bunch of stuff on eBay - I've finally figured out how to use that site so I've been clearing out some of the piles of stuff I've accumulated in my basement over the years. The fact that I get money for it is just a nice little bonus.) Also, I discovered that the Guacamole Steakburger is the fall-apartiest steakburger ever, but it's delicious, as is the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Shake.
Mike and Many and Miles came up on Thursday morning while Matt was at Turkey Bowl, and there were plenty of cinnamon rolls to go around. We pretty much feasted from one end of the day to the other, what with crackers and cheese and sausage and veggies and deviled eggs and then the feast really began. The turkey was done around 4:00, which was perfect timing - if it had finished before the Packers/Lions game was over, I don't think anyone would have touched it. My personal big accomplishment was making yeast rolls from scratch for the first time ever ( with only a little help from my mom) (okay, and some assistance from Molly) and they were really, really good. A little pie to round the whole meal out and some Christmas music while cleaning up the dishes, and I'd have to call it an enormously successful holiday.

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