April 18, 2010

Grown Ups?

We spent another Sunday evening at Mom & Dad's.
The night started out pretty innocent.
We started with cartwheels, then progressed to the splits.
There was a handstand contest.
A couple back bends dispersed throughout.
Sounds like pretty minor things, but when it's been well over 10 years attempting anything even slightly requiring flexibility & coordination.
I dare you to try it.
We ended our foolishness with a pyramid.
So these pictures have horrible quality because they were taken with someones phone, but you get the idea...and the GRAND Finale...(Before the kids attacked our poor old bodies) We had way too much fun - it was ridiculous.

April 9, 2010


A couple years ago Jordan & I went to a MUSE concert.
It was held at the Mesa Amphitheater.
We got there early.
It did not start well past an hour of its scheduled time.
The Mesa Amphitheater does not have seats, it has grass steps.
When MUSE finally came on stage, it was awesome...but, by their last few songs our legs were tired of standing.
So Jordan & I are thrilled they have gotten a billion times more popular so we could see them at the U.S. Airways Center last night (sitting down)!
Silversun Pickups opened for MUSE. Here's a picture of Silversun Pickups with 3 Skyscrapers that reached the entire height of the stadium. They told us MUSE brought them & to be ready to have our "skulls blown out of our heads."

After they finished we waited...& waited.
Then we heard the sound of beating drums, but no one was on the stage, it was just the 3 skyscrapers.
Until...the curtains dropped revealing the reason we had come...MUSE!!!

Quite the entrance.

We were treated to some awesome music & equally awesome light shows.

It's the closest I think I'll ever be to seeing the Aurora Borealis.
Incredible. Unexpected. Definitely better than standing at the Mesa Amphitheater.
One of my very favorite parts of the show was when the lights all went out & all you heard was an electric guitar rocking out "The Star Spangled Banner." Not hearing the words made me THINK the words:
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Good to be reminded every now & then. Even if I was reminded by an electric guitar & the man playing it from England.
Another very entertaining part of the evening came from the women seated in front of us. Lady in her late 40's/early 50's, stood up most the time (she wasn't directly in front of us so it was okay), dancing. Not normal dancing. It was a mix of hula dancing & worshipping. Priceless.

Well, it was a fun night. By the end of it, I did have a massive headache like my skull had nearly been blown out of my head, but it was worth it.Thanks Jordan for wanting to go so bad I caved.

April 6, 2010

A Ministering Angel Shall My Sisters Be

I am near tears putting this post together because of the tender thoughts I have for whom this post is about...
My Sisters.
I have Fabulous Sisters.

They both have April birthdays coming up this weekend.
My sisters make me special. They are my confidants. They are my best friends. I Love Them Dearly.
My oldest sister has a special place in my heart. She has a special place in everyone's hearts because she is THAT special herself. There isn't a hateful bone in her body. There is only
love, compassion, thoughtfulness, & generosity.

Memories of Elyce:
Elyce does not like pets. I have always been a dog lover - they called me Woofie growing up. When the family dog, Rose, died I was crushed. Elyce lived in Utah at the time & caught the next flight to Arizona to be with me because when she asked what she could do for me, I replied, "Come home." She did, she always comes home when I need her. She always answers her phone when I need her. She always sends a card in the mail when I need her. Even though she has lived out of state for most of my life, she has never forgotten me on any kind of big occasion in my life. Whether it be (a dog's death), a birthday, a Valentine's Day, High School Graduation, or my bridal shower - she was either there or called me to ask how it was. In fact, she is ALWAYS the first one to call me on my Birthday.
Elyce taught me the lyrics to Hungry Eyes.
She's the reason I love Celine Dion.
Elyce taught me how to tie my shoes, "Bunny Ears" style.
She knicknamed me Mookee at a young age & I adore being called Mookee by her.
One time when I was little she asked me if there was anything I had never done but always wanted to do. I wish I could remember everything (I'm sure she does - she's like that - she would remember everything I said) but a couple things were:
1. I've never been in a convertable.
2. I've never driven on Stapley between Brown & McKellips (I must have thought some magical lost kingdom was hidden in this location & I'd never seen it.)
3. I've never seen my name written on a car sign (I must have been jealous that my other sister Bethany, had Bethany Home Road).
4. I've never been to Red Lobster.
So Elyce rented a convertable, Red, & drove me around town. She drove me to that magical kingdom on Stapley between Brown & McKellips. She found Megan Street in Gilbert & drove me by so I could see my own special street sign. I had my first taste of popcorn shrimp at Red Lobster & apparently it was love at first taste. She also took me to my very first concert- The Dixie Chicks. She has always spoiled me rotten & still does to this day. I am not one that likes to be in somebody else's debt, & I usually try to repay others' kindness towards me. I will NEVER be able to repay Elyce - she has given me too much.
She has ALWAYS loved me. I mean ALWAYS. She is the only person I can think of who I don't think has ever been mad at me or disliked me for even a second (& if she has - she's never let me know it).
My sister is 1 in a Billion. I love you Elyce.
Happy Birthday!

My sister Bethany is just as special. We did not always get along like we should have. She is the sibling closest to me in age - meaning she's the only one I could fight with. She is also the complete opposite of me (which probably made me jealous of her - creating more reason we didn't get along). She has always been outgoing, I have always been shy. She likes to have fun being active in sports or being the center of a party. I like to hang out at home & don't enjoy even going to parties. We shared a room together & that created tension (my own fault). I am a perfectionist & neat freak, she was a normal teenager who had a messy room, I couldn't handle it. It drove me crazy. Now that we are grown & don't have to share a room together, we have become friends. She is FUN, outgoing, friendly, & kind. Bethany is a people pleaser. She is also a Peacemaker.

Memories of Bethany:
Bethany always allowed me to tag along with her & hang out with her friends. I remember going with her to her friends' house, playing games, going swimming, & eating pizza. This made me feel special like I was grown up & cool because I had friends who were older than me. She still includes me. Whether her family is going to Disneyland or to the zoo, I get an invite.
When we were little we would play school. She [+ a friend] would be my [+ a friend] teacher. We had a chalkboard & would complete homework assignments.
Bethany always let me borrow her clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. I remember the first time I put make-up on. She sat me down, did my make-up, did my hair, dressed me up & made me beautiful. She also taught me what to do with deodorant...She told me deodorant went under your armpits + all over your stomach. I believed her. Did I mention Bethany is also very sneaky? She's also the one that told me dog food tasted good. I believed her.
Bethany is probably one of the few people that can get me to come out of my shell. I remember dancing for hours to Independent Love Song - from the Bed of Roses soundtrack. We cleared a space in the family room, made up a totally awesome dance, perfected it, & performed for anyone who would watch. I don't dance. EXCEPT with Bethany to that song. She is fun. She has fun. She teaches me how to have fun. She's inventive & creative with her children. She is an excellent example to me on how to be a good mother.
She's 1 in a billion. I love you Beth.
Happy Birthday!

The best thing about having sisters is that I will always have friends.

April 5, 2010

Easter Leftovers

As proof that I completed my Easter goals...Ta-Dah!!!One of these is not like the others?...The dyed eggs later became Deviled Eggs. I made the eggs as an appetizer to dinner, which we had in Mom & Dad's backyard, & they were so tasty. It was impossible to walk past them & not eat one. For dessert I made the tastiest cupcakes EVER...seriously, you gotta try these. Yum!
Strawberry & Marscarpone Filled Cupcakes Strawberry & Marscarpone Filled Cupcakes:
1 box vanilla cake mix
1 (8 oz.) container marscarpone cheese, chilled
1/2 cup thawed & drained frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Bake cupcakes & let cool.
In a food processor combine the marscarpone cheese, strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, & lemon juice. Process until smooth. Transfer strawberry mixture to pastry bag fitted with small round tip. Push the tip into top of each cupcake & squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps.
In small saucepan bring the 1/2 cup sugar, water, & vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the warm vanilla syrup & powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Spread icing on the top of cupcakes (will get a little messy).
Following dinner was, of course, an Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt was very entertaining. A couple of geniuses brought whistles to share in their Easter Eggs so all the little kids had whistles & blew them all together for minutes at a time. Several times the kids would be running around, whistle in mouth (whistling), Easter basket in hand, & the child would trip & fall, causing the whistles to suddenly stop whistling, & the Easter eggs to scatter across the grass....Very amusing!
I hope everyone's Easter was as relaxing & as much fun as ours!

April 3, 2010

Baking: My Outlet

Work has been busy lately. I've been working l...o...n...g...e...r hours & it Wears. Me. Out. At the beginning of the week I told myself "Self, no matter how tired you get, YOU are making cookies for co-workers/home teachers, decorating Easter Sugar Cookies and Cupcakes with Mom, & dying Easter Eggs to be used later in making Deviled Eggs!"
I've done it! My legs want to fall off, my feet are throbbing, & my hands are tired from squeezing piping bags, but I've done it.

I've even managed to squeeze some other super fun stuff into my week as well. On the night I made Ricotta Sugar Cookies for co-workers/home teachers we also watched The Princess & the Frog

Very cute & very amusing. (Like I always say, any movie is funny/better when you watch it with Jordan because he notices little things that really are funny, but you are too lame to notice yourself. Am I right everyone or am I right?)
The following night I got to dye eggs [thanks to my mother for purchasing the eggs + dye] so I could live my childhood again for an evening. It IS as fun as I remember.

Bethany called Saturday morning & invited Jordan & I to see How To Train Your Dragon in 3D. It was awesome! Very clever & entertaining.

After the movie, I headed to my parents' to decorate baked goods for the rest of the day. My kind of day right there. I should bake all day every day. It makes me happy. Who wouldn't be happy being around cupcakes all day?

And Sugar Cookies?

I love the little Sheepies.

Yep, I decorated ALL of these & enjoyed every minute of it.

Baking is my new escape after several long weeks of work. I always enjoy the [delectable] results & the accomplishment I feel when I've completed a job well done. Now all that is left to polish off my weekend is to make some more cupcakes & of course create some delicious deviled eggs out of my Dyed Easter Eggs before it's back to work on Monday. Bytheway, Happy Easter everyone.