Monday, January 28, 2019

100 Things to Eat

It's nearly midnight, and I can't sleep for two reasons.

#1: I just watched Abducted In Plain Sight on Netflix (Shannon made me do it), and I am so weirded out and can't stop thinking about it

#2: I love Mondays, and I'm really excited to start a new week 

I'm a little hyper and could probably benefit from running laps or something, but since it's so late, I'm going to channel my energy into blogging. Sometimes when I'm hyper, it gets me writing more frequently. 

Before I watched Netflix, I ate a mug of rocky road ice cream (you pack it in there real good, and then you have a handle! It's delightful! And I swear it tastes better in a mug), and that got me thinking about some of my food preferences - because, you see, I'm very particular about ice cream. I pretty much only like Dreyer's rocky road. I want my rocky road to have mini marshmallows in it and NOT marshmallow cream - hence, Dreyer's is the way to go (I also like the rocky road shakes from Dairy Keen in Heber... because mini marshmallows). That's not to say that I won't eat any other ice cream if it's placed in front of me (I am weak), but I find most other ice creams to be "meh." My heart is with the Dreyer's rocky road. 

So I thought, "Hey, I should write a post about some of my weird food preferences." For example, I like to eat kettle corn approximately once every three years, but it had to be someone else's. So I need YOU to buy kettle corn at the ball game and then offer me some. Because kettle corn only tastes good if it's someone else's.

But then I realized I don't want to put all my food things out there lest I hurt feelings or make people think I'm super picky. 

Plus, we had a family discussion about chili tonight that got a little intense and possibly hurt some feelings (you see, homemade chili is delicious, but if I'm eating a chili cheese dog, chili cheese fries, or chili on a baked potato, I want it to come from a can).

So rather than making myself sound like a picky eater (which I'm not... except for when I am...) I decided, instead, to tell you 100 things I love to eat!

Oh yes, this is happening, and it's going to make me so hungry happy.

In no particular order, here is an incomplete list of things I love to eat:

1. Fresh spring rolls in peanut sauce
2. Cereal
3. Toast
4. Slices of cheese dipped in mustard
5. Philly cheese steak sandwiches from Moochie's
6. Baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, and pepper
7. Hot brownies
8. Massaman curry
9. Good quality sushi
10. Lunchables (don't judge me!)
11. Sour dough bread
12. Pistachios
13. Hershey's with almonds
14. Nutrageous
15. Fresh guacamole
16. Soft pretzels with cheese
17. Stephen's hot chocolate (just the boring milk chocolate flavor)
18. Graham crackers in milk (like cereal)
19. Cheeseballs (but only at Christmas)
20. Kraft macaroni and cheese within the first three minutes (after that it's not good anymore)
21. Maple donuts from Reams
22. Food from my Chinese restaurant
23. Gyros and root beer
24. Fries and fry sauce
25. Fish tacos
26. Sunchips 
27. The seafood sandwich from Grove Market
28. Grilled cheese sandwiches
29. Lettuce wraps
30. Frozen blueberries that are thawed just slightly
31. Fresh peaches
32. Fresh peas
33. Corn on the cob 
34. My grandma's baked beans
35. My mother-in-law's baked beans
36. Artisan bread (but not foccacia)
37. Raspberry cheesecake cookies from Subway
38. Veggies and dill dip
39. My mother-in-law's butternut squash
40. Pot roast
41. Sloppy joes
42. Milk Duds
43. Movie theater popcorn and Sprite
44. Scones
45. Waffle fries and Chick-Fil-A sauce
46. Double Stuf Oreos (with milk, of course)
47. Chicken bakes
48. Grilled burgers
48. Ruffles 
49. Brats
50. Nutter Butter Bites
51. Cuties
52. Crepes
53. Pizza dipped in ranch
54. Lemon bars
55. Pesto Chicken sandwich from Zupa's
56. Cantaloupe from the garden
57. Smarties
58. Pebble ice
59. Carne asada
60. Sweet potato fries (piping hot)
61. Biscuits and gravy
62. Tootsie Rolls
63. Ramen and Ritz
64. Vanilla Coke (the kind made by Coca Cola - not the kind with added vanilla syrup)
65. Steak (medium or medium-well depending on the restaurant)
66. Oatmeal (old-fashioned oats, raisins, walnuts, and honey)
67. Hashbrowns with a little ketchup
68. Breakfast burritos
69. Twisted Sugar cookies
70. Swig cookies
71. Cheese fries
72. Gobstoppers
73. Water
74. Chocolate nut clusters
75. Mother-in-law's pumpkin pie
76. Peanut M&M's
77. Dill pickle spears
78. Chilled cream cheese frosting
79. Raspberries
80. Cookie dough
81. Chicken pot pie
82. Brazilian limeade
83. Cheese pull-aparts from the Pie
84. Arby's roast beef sandwiches with Arby's sauce
85. Moochie's fries with mild fry sauce
86. Chicken bakes from Costco
87. Grilled zucchini and mushrooms
89. Teriyaki chicken sandwich from Red Robin
90. Costco all-beef hot dogs with jDawgs sauce and sauerkraut
91. Hot beignets
92. Avocados
93. Peaches in milk
94. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
95. Ritz Bits
96. Cafe Rio
97. Cashews
98. Chick-Fil-A lemonade
99. Samoas
100. Orange juice

I ended up finishing this post while my kids were getting ready for school, and they think it's a grocery list. Guess I have some serious shopping to do! And my expectations for breakfast are pretty high now. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The January Report

Over the past week I've seen a lot of January-hating memes. One in particular says something like, "January is like one really long Monday." Another one says, "It feels like January 74th."

I agree - January is looooong. But I also kind of love January.*

I enjoy the new year. I'm always motivated by a fresh start. This year I decided not to make any resolutions, and that was actually kind of hard because I really love making New Years resolutions. I guess you could say that my resolution was to not have resolutions - so no matter what happens, I'm a failure because I resolved to not resolve!

New Year's Day is my birthday. Last year Scotty won a gift card for a hotel stay from a golf tournament, so we decided to use it on New Year's Eve. We took the kids to stay at Little America in downtown Salt Lake. We ate dinner at the Pie and went swimming. Then we all fell asleep by 10:00. On New Year's Day we went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then hit the pool again. That afternoon, my mom watched the kids while Scotty and I cleaned the house, packed for vacation, and went to dinner.

I turned 35 this year. I feel like I need to accomplish something amazing while I'm 35. Since I couldn't make resolutions at the new year, I'll have to keep you posted about what that amazing thing might be. Or maybe I'll just keep chugging along. There's always 40...

As you may recall, we went to Disneyland early in the month. Going on vacation in January is a very nice practice. I strongly encourage it! But you have to be flexible for weather and possible sickness. We were very lucky that all worked out in our favor. It was really nice to get away from the cold for a while. It helps winter not feel so long and miserable.

Playing in Saint George
on our way to Disneyland

January is the heart of "Puzzle Season." We haven't finished as many puzzles this season as we have in past Puzzle Seasons because we've been incredibly busy. But we did manage to complete Peter Pan (which we started about ten months ago) and Dumbo (which Scotty and I did in a day).

I have such a love/hate relationship with the Thomas Kincaid Disney puzzles. They are absolutely beautiful, but they have so much sky and floral detail. Ever wanted to punch a fern? Cuz I have!

Since Nicky recently turned 12 (and that used to matter), he now has a temple recommend. We took him last week to do baptisms for the dead for the first time. He was really surprised when he found out that the temple has a parking lot. He has been to several temple open houses throughout his life, and we've usually had to park far away from the temple and take a shuttle. He's also been on the Salt Lake Temple grounds where there is no surrounding parking lot. So he was blown away that we could just drive right up to the temple and park in the parking lot. This gave us a good laugh! He also made some pretty funny observations about other aspects of his temple experience. Nicky is a crack up! But he's also very sweet and can feel the Spirit. There was some of that as well.

With him turning 12, he also received the priesthood and his first calling. He started passing the sacrament this month.

Speaking of Nicky's birthday, which is December 27, we had his party mid-January. He planned his own party - a Nerf war in the church gym. He did all the set-up himself. 

I wasn't able to get any good photos because it was too dangerous and motion-blurry. I got pelted in the butt a few times. The kids had so much fun, though. I had to force them to take a break and eat some nachos, and then I had to force them to take another break to have donuts. I could've saved myself some work if I'd known they'd choose Nerf over food!

Church goers might be finding Nerf darts in the gym over the next several months. We used 700, and we didn't keep very accurate inventory. 

In addition to Nicky's and my birthdays, we celebrated several other birthdays this month. In fact, on the day of Nicky's party, we had three parties followed by one the next day.

So, while January is hard, it's also pretty exciting. Even though I didn't make any formal resolutions, I've accomplished some great things this month, one of which is not drinking a single ounce of soda! I also haven't been to Moochie's all year  (wink, wink), and I've read 5.5 books.

There's another big thing I've accomplished this month, but I'll probably write about it in its own post.

In the mean time, we have four more days of January, and to be honest, it really does feel like January 74th!

*Other than the abundance of slush, the yucky air, and the fact that everyone I know is sick. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Little Game

Sometimes when I'm using the internet, I like to make up little games.* For example, I play the birthday present game when I get emails from Groupon. I think of whose birthday I need to buy a gift for, and then I choose a random number and count to that Groupon offer and think that's what I'm getting so-and-so for her birthday. It often ends up being something like a monthly membership to a dog grooming facility - hence my joy in playing this game. I do the same thing with Amazon lightning deals "The 10th item is what I'm getting my mother-in-law for her birthday!" (Right this second, it's a drone. Exactly what she's always wanted!)

Another internet game I play is the "What If I Did Everything the Internet Told Me To" game. In this game, I pay close attention to all of the messages that are being sent my way (either through advertising or through posts I see) and consider what things I would have to do that day if I obeyed them all.

Right now I am sitting on the floor outside my bathroom while my girls take a detox bath (do I believe detox baths actually do anything? That's up for debate, but in trying to prevent or shorten winter sickness, I'm willing to experiment, so I've been making all my kids do detox baths once a week) so I thought this would be a great time to share with you a round of "What If I Did Everything the Internet Told Me To Right Now."

So here is what I would have to do:
  • Try this new Amazon hack
  • Join Beachbody on Demand
  • Grow my hair out to my butt, not wash it for like a month, and buy a flat iron
  • Invite myself to someone's wedding (what happened to inviting people to your wedding? Why are we now invited to invite ourselves to people's weddings?)
  • Buy reusable period underwear
  • Do Les Mills workouts
  • Do a 30 day plank challenge
  • Wear matching pajamas with my dog 
  • Buy Flintsone vitamins
  • Shop Fabletics
  • Get a personal stylist
  • Join Weight Watchers
  • Buy a fancy water bottle
  • Get a free e-book
  • Workout on a treadmill
  • Buy a diamond ring from the Shane Co. 
I set my timer for one minute and used my phone to scroll Facebook, check my email, and look at a blog. That's it. And I didn't even type everything I saw. 

Fun game, right?

Especially when you consider how many messages I was just bombarded with about my body. Imagine what would be on this list if I'd spent ten minutes on my phone instead of one!

(Which I do repeatedly... all day... so I'm no phone saint).

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find myself a dog.

*One of my favorite games to play in high school with my friends was when we would say, "This is yours and ______'s song" (and we would insert a boy's name - either a total hottie that we were in love with, or one of the worst guys in our school), and then we would randomly select a radio station. Great fun! Great fun! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Disneyland Milestones

So... we went to Disneyland.


But I just want you to know that we didn't go in 2018! We totally took a break!

Well, 5 of the 6 of us took a break.

(Scotty has gone with his little group of man friends three years in a row, and they are going again soon).

Anyway, we've been to Disneyland a lot. Scotty and I were trying to figure out how many Disneyland trips we've taken our double stroller on. It's somewhere in the 10-12 range.

This is the stroller the day I took it out of the box:

  October 2009 007

Daisy was about three weeks old, and the stroller took its first journey to Disneyland two weeks later.

When I bought the stroller, I wasn't sure if it was a good investment. I didn't know if I really needed it. Nine years later, I can tell you it was ABSOLUTELY a good investment. I only wish it had an odometer on it! I'd love to see the mileage we've put on that thing! And we have always been waaaaay over the weight capacity, so it's really taken a beating, but it has served us so well!

This trip to Disneyland was one of many milestones, and one thing we're left wondering is... will this be the last trip for the double stroller?

Some milestones we met are:

First Disneyland trip without diapers

This was kind of a big deal for me. When I was packing, it dawned on me that all of my kids are potty trained for Disneyland. We've always had to pack a heavy supply of diapers and wipes, and there have even been times when I've had TWO kids in diapers at Disneyland, and I've laid them side by side on the changing table. Not only did we not need diapers, we also didn't need a diaper bag. Or formula.

First trip with all kids tall enough for the big rides.

In addition to all kids being out of diapers, all our kids are now tall enough to go on most of the rides. There are a lot of rides that we've been able to ride together, even with newborns, but there are those few bigger rides with height requirements. Eva is 41" tall, which means she can ride almost everything (most rides with a height requirement are set at 40", but there are a few they need to be taller for: Matterhorn and Grizzly River Run are 42", Indiana Jones is 46", and Incredicoaster is 48").

Eva's first "big kid ride" was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. She loved it and went on it multiple times. She endured Splash Mountain but didn't want to go again. She went on Space Mountain and wasn't too thrilled about that. Scotty made her go on Guardians of the Galaxy, and she loved Rocket (the raccoon) but after the ride she said, "That was not fun." But two days later she asked to go on it again because she wanted to see the raccoon. She loved Radiator Springs Racers, as we expected she would!

Zoe is now tall enough to go on every ride! She went on Indredicoaster and Indiana Jones for the first time. She hated Indiana Jones but liked Incredicoaster and rode it a second time.

{all seven of us on Splash Mountain - Scotty's mom joined us}

First time I wore a poncho.

I've always been anti-rain poncho on water rides, even in the middle of winter. Maybe this is a feature of being 35 years old. I wore a rain poncho a couple of times on Splash Mountain.


Ugliest ride photo I've ever seen of myself.

I've had some bad ones, but this time, I got the worst one so far. It happened on Space Mountain. I know where all the photo spots are on the rides, but I got distracted, and when the flash went off, I was stunned. Nicky and I laughed so hard at how ugly it was.

Part of me is saying "Post it, post it!" The other part is saying, "Don't show that to anyone. Ever."

We met Peter Tu!

In all the times we've been to Disneyland, we've never seen Peter Tu. We were so excited when we saw him at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad early one morning, and then he was getting on Autopia as we were getting off.

We used the short kid ticket.

When Daisy was three and just starting to go on the "big kid" rights, she got turned away from the Jumping Jellyfish in California Adventure (that's okay - we just waited until the employees changed posts and the next guy let her on). The cast member who turned her away for being too short gave her this ticket to come back when she's tall enough and go to the front of the line (I've never seen anything like this for any other ride). We never used the ticket because there's never been much of a line for that ride when we've been there, but Scotty carried it in his wallet for six years.

This time, half the ride was closed for repairs, so we finally used the ticket!

First time trying the matching shirt thing.

In all the times we've gone to Disneyland, we've never worn matching shirts. This time we brought two sets of matching shirts. Half our group had jackets on at any given time, so matching shirts were kind of pointless. We didn't think it through.

But it was fun anyway.

Zoe lost a tooth.

Zoe had a tooth that was really loose. We tried to bribe her into letting us pull it out, but she wasn't having it! One night while Zoe and I were fetching the stroller from Tomorrowland, she asked for a sandwich and then got frustrated because she couldn't bite into it with her loose tooth. She told me she needed to pull it out right away... and she did! I put it in my purse, and the tooth fairy came that night!

We went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

In the Boutique, children 12 and under can get makeovers by fairy godmothers. I've looked into it before, but we've never done it. My niece has been working in the Boutique and was able to get a discount, so we decided to go. Since Nicky is 12, we made him do a knight makeover - after all, it was his last chance!

It ended up being so much fun! Daisy didn't want to do it, but Eva and Zoe did. They got to pick their hairstyles, and then they got a sash and a drawstring backpack with some fun make-up and accessories in it. We let them get princess dresses, too! 

Gaston happened to stumble in while we were there, which made it even more fun! He was hilarious!

The Boutique was one of the highlights of the trip! I'm so glad we went. My only complaint is that the lighting is poor, so the pictures aren't great. 

We had such a wonderful time! There were lots of tantrums, we were exhausted the entire time, and someone puked in the van (as always - we never make it without a van puker!) but it was amazing. 

Winter is definitely my favorite time to go! We get a break from the cold of Utah, and it gets dark early, and there's something magical about Disneyland after dark. I love when the air at Disneyland is crisp and cool (but not freezing), and I get to wear a cozy sweatshirt and see all the lights. One of my favorite things to do is buy a hot chocolate and find somewhere to sit and just watch the people and enjoy being there.

But I didn't do that this time, so I guess I need to go again!

While I Rest My Feet

I'm currently sitting in my ugly, old recliner with my feet up. I've done a lot of meal prep today, so I spent a lot of time standing in the kitchen, and my feet hurt pretty bad. After a trip to Sam's Club, I chopped, browned, re-packaged, and re-arranged. It's time for a little rest. Then I need to get back to work! I have chicken to marinate and Play Doh to clean up!

My house is a disaster but for good reasons. We just got back from vacation. I'll leave you in suspense about the destination until I'm ready to blog about it.

(Okay, it was Disneyland. You saw it coming!)

(I'm waiting for my photos to back up - another task I'm accomplishing while I have my feet up).

We got home Saturday night, and our house was clean, but all it took was the simple act of unloading the van to make everything go haywire. Now it looks like we haven't cleaned in weeks. I'm not anticipating being on top of things any time soon. Scotty came home from California our mystery destination with a fever and body aches, and then he left for a business trip.

Since we were traveling, we missed our first week of two-hour church, so yesterday was our first day. Our ward starts at 11:30, and after a challenging hour in sacrament meeting with my own kids and spending some time in nursery where most of the kids were crying, I have to say... it didn't feel like church was an hour shorter! Maybe next week...

Eva is now a Sunbeam, and I wasn't sure how she would do, but she was excited to see her friend whom she just spent over a week away from. They kept patting each other's cheeks and hugging - they were so happy to be reunited! But that made them a disruptive pair!

I'm now officially on blood pressure medication, much to my dismay, but I saw a new doctor (a CNP, technically), and I really liked her. I've been on the hunt for a provider I can jive with, and maybe this is my gal. While we were gone, I got a phone call with some lab results. It seems high blood pressure isn't my only problem. I had it coming, I've been treating my body like utter crap for the past two years. I've gained a ton of weight, and I'm highly stressed all the time. I guess I need to meditate and eat vegetables. Two of my least favorite things on earth.

And maybe I need to simplify my life.

And stop going to Moochies.

have quit soda, though, so two gold stars for me, please!  (but oh, sweet nectar, how I miss thee!)

It's one of those things where you wake up one day, and you're like, "Whoa! How did I get like this?"

Anyway, today I'm just checking in, letting you know I'm still alive, and rambling a bit.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Currently {January 2019 Edition}

Reading: Why We Love Serial Killers by Scott Bonn

Listening to: the Cold podcast, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansik, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

(I read Mindless Eating several years ago, and I thought it would be good to revisit it. Some of Wansik's research has fallen under scrutiny in recent years. His conclusions aren't necessarily wrong, but there have been some questions about his statistics).

Wearing: my nighttime clothes (i.e. underwear)

Craving: water. It's nighttime (see "wearing"), and I always get really thirsty at night, but I don't want to drink anything because I don't want to have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

Singing: "This is Me." I listened to a Greatest Showman playlist on Spotify today - a combo of the original and reimagined - and that's the song that stuck with me.

Stressing about: health problems.

Can I tell you a secret? I have high blood pressure. Like really high. And I don't want to go on medication, but my efforts to lower it on my own are not working, so I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow.

I live in a constant state of stress (it's just my nature - I've always been high stress), so that definitely doesn't help.

Speaking of stress, a book I really love is The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal. It was one of the resources I was given when I did my internship for school.

Buying: a Disney crock pot. Yes! This is happening! It was 50% off last week, so I ordered one. My original crock pot I received for my wedding cracked last year. I was devastated! I like to have two crock pots, and it's been hard only having one for the last year. I've kept my eye out for good deals, and when I saw this one, I couldn't pass it up. Hopefully I can convince my kids that they love anything made in the Disney crock pot... even when there are tomatoes involved.

Trying: to go all year without any soda. I'm not calling it a New Year's resolution because I said I wasn't going to make any New Year's resolutions. Instead, this is a choice I made that happened to start on January 1st.

(Just go with it).

Missing: my old crock pot. It was really ugly (forest green with grape vines), but I knew it so well. I was used to its cooking times, and it's been hard having to use my other crock pot as my "main squeeze." I hope the Disney crock pot and I hit it off a little better.

Loving: having the Christmas tree put away. I enjoy it while it's up, but the second Christmas is over, I want it gone. And each year, when we take it down, I feel like my living room doubles in size.

This year, I wired and hot glued all the decorations to the tree. Here's hoping those lights I bought stick with me for a while. There are pictures of Jesus wired on my tree, so I can't throw it in the road if I get mad.

Frustrated by: a prescription I need that has been on back order for over a month!

Looking forward to: an upcoming vacation.

Neglecting: exercise. My friends and I are taking a break from our early morning walks while it's cold and icy outside, and I always think I'll exercise "tomorrow," but I never do.

Thankful for: cereal.Today I made Chex mix and rice crispy treats, and I didn't even realize until hours later that I was so cereal-focused. I just really love cereal.