Thursday, December 30, 2010

the blog has taken a backseat

a relaxed moment
 well hello. it's been a while. with all of the changes that have been going on since october, my time to blog has dropped dramatically. which is a shame for me, actually, cause i like posting things on here. it's like a journal or outlet. but hopefully now that i've got my schedule under control i can blog more. oh wait...i am going to start working more hours at work and going to school full-time. so scratch that. but i will try to do better. it's for my benefit so i should put some effort into it, right? right!

Here's a quick rundown of the last few months:
*we've been getting sick a lot - probably due to the kids being in school now. although, it's mostly just me getting sick so maybe not. i've been asked if i'm allergic to our new setup. could be.
*liv got a hair cut after almost going two years without one. she looks adorable. it's back up to her shoulders after having it almost reach her bum.
*had family pictures taken in our backyard. love them. 
*i hosted thanksgiving dinner at my house for mark's family for the first time since we've been married. it was a lot of fun. really, it was. i love setting up for parties and cooking like that.
*i hosted my very first pie party. i made about 8 pies and had some of my lovely friends over to partake. so yummy! and so much fun! didn't get to bed til 2am...on a school night...totally worth it.
*registered for school. yep, this 31 year old girl is going back to school. a nursing degree is the goal. classes start in two weeks.
*christmas was awesome! pictures coming. it deserves it's own post.
*mark and i went to vegas for my birthday on the 26th and stayed the night there at the hard rock hotel. such a cool hotel! and a much needed mini vacation for both of us. we ate yummy food, walked the entire strip, shopped and toyed with the emotions of an art salesperson who thought we would actually walk out of the store with a $5,000 picture...cause ya know, we look like we have money like that to drop on art. geez. mark's acting abilities were pretty great though. oh, and we saw a cirque du soleil show. so entertaining! pretty much a must if you go to vegas. it was a good time!

and there you have it. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

kinda sorta halloween

so halloween this year was pretty lame. just ask my kids. we all ended up with the stomach flu. izzy started it off on the wednesday before, followed by liv on thurday, ethan and mark on friday and me on saturday. the girls were feeling pretty good by saturday night (that's when utah went trick or treating) so my sister was nice enough to take them with her to my parent's trunk or treat at church. ethan had to miss out. i felt so bad for him. hopefully we've gotten the sickness out of the way for all the other holidays that will be here very soon. anywho, i was able to snap a few (not so great quality) pictures of the girls before they headed out. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

these times are a-changin'

at the pumpkin patch last week
well it seems as though i've been neglecting this little blog. there have been so many changes going on lately that it's tough enough to keep up with those things, let alone the smaller things. all is well though. we are moving forward. the kids are enjoying school a lot. both of their teachers have been great. i am working now as well. i only work in the mornings (til about 1pm) and am home by the time the kids get home from school. i just do reception work for the sutherland institute. it's been a great experience so far...very much a blessing. my family has been helping out with izzy. and i can't even explain how much i appreciate that. i know it takes time out of their days to have her around. so, the next step will be for me to get back into school. i just need to get my nursing degree already! i've been dragging my feet...you know, marriage, kids and life have a way of distracting you, don't they? which, by the way, has been perfectly fine with me. i think my priorities have been in the right place over the last 10 years but now it's time for me to get back into school. plain and simple. nursing will be a career that i can always rely on for a steady income. mark is also going back to school in january so hopefully between the two of us giving it a go we can make something good happen.

also, ethan was baptized a few weeks ago. i have pictures but they are on mark's phone, which i don't have right now, so that post will have to be for another time. it was such a great experience though. the day couldn't have worked out any better than it did. 

and one more piece of news...izzy has finally learned how to ride her bike. she loves it! she will spend all afternoon out riding if i let her. and i usually do cause it's so dang adorable. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

lake blanche

mark and i went on a hike last saturday with our friend lisa. we have mixed emotions regarding the hike. it was a steep, steep hike for all three miles (like being on a stairmaster for two hours) but so beautiful and peaceful once we actually got to our destination. the weather couldn't have been better. it was nice to spend some fun time with mark...it's been a while since we've taken the opportunity to do something like that together. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

5K

i'm a bit late in posting these pictures from my very first 5K but here they are anyhow. they are pics from after the race cause mark's camera didn't work when i was actually running. oh well. laura and i ran it last saturday together. laura is a great little runner...she's done other 5K's, 10K's and half marathons. i just started running not too long ago and wanted to see if i could keep up with her. i didn't. but that's okay. i had fun anyway. my time was 27 min and 37 seconds. i came in 7th in my age group. not too shabby. and i kind of want to do it again.

at the finish line getting my timer taken off my ankle. i'm beat.

after the race. yes, my ipod is in my bra cause i forgot my armband. rookie mistake.

Monday, September 27, 2010

a new chapter

walking home with their friend viola
it's true. my kids attended public school for the first time today. they enjoyed it. i had a hard time with it. but sometimes change is necessary. our family has a few distractions going on now that hasn't allowed me to put the time into homeschool that i would like so we decided that it was for the best that the kids attend school for a bit while we work on the distracting issues. no, our issues aren't anything for others to be concerned with at the moment. we will deal with them and life will go on. and it will be a good life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

banana cake

i have been making and eating this cake a lot lately. in fact, i am eating it right now. what? i had to cut a piece to take a picture...
and i've had a few people ask for the recipe so i thought i would share it with everyone. it's super easy and yummy!
original recipe found here
Frosted Banana Bars
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt


Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread onto a greased jelly roll pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (sometimes longer). Cool before frosting.


Frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt


Mix really well and add a little milk if it's too thick. Spread onto cooled bars. I like to put mine in the fridge for a while before eating just to help the frosting set (but you certainly don't need to). Then I slice a piece and put it in the microwave for like 10 seconds so the cake isn't too hard. Then I store it in the fridge.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

stumbled upon...

a cool decorating/design blog and this awesome bedroom. i love everything about it. someday i will have a room just like it. check out the blog here.
i've really been in the mood to create lately. have i done so? of course not. but the desire is there. i scrapbooked for the first time in ages on friday night and fell in love with it all over again. i just crave the creativity. and i was pretty dang proud of the pages i made too! now if i can just keep it up. and carry it over to other aspects of my life...decorating my home, cooking, projects for the kiddos. i'm just happier while being creative. 
"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment."
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

an attempt at healthy living

Since turning 30 I've noticed a change in the way my body handles food. I don't digest things the same way so my portions have had to become smaller. It's sad. I love food. Love it. A lot. It's my "thing." Some people smoke, I eat. And what I eat has had to change. Cut down on the sugar (I am a baker people...this has been difficult!) and add more fruits and veggies. Growing up we always had veggies with dinner and I actually eat almost any vegetable put in front of me but then I married a man who refuses to eat almost any vegetable and I've slowly stopped trying to force Mark and the kids to eat them. However, I've found a solution. My mother-in-law actually told me about the spinach smoothies a month or so ago. They are so good! You mix fresh spinach, a banana and whatever other fruit you like in a blender and drink a healthy smoothie. It's awesome. And the kids love it. And Mark drinks it. It's become what I have for lunch (mostly because sandwiches make me bloated so this is a great solution). My favorite is (in the order it goes in) spinach, banana (never forget the banana cause it adds natural sugar and makes it a smooth consistency), fresh pineapple, frozen strawberries and frozen mixed berries, like blackberries and raspberries. Oh, you also want to put some water, 8-12 oz, in the bottom of the blender before you load everything in. Trust me, it's great. The more you drink them, the more you're going to want to cut back on the fruit and add more greens. But for now this works great for us. And I feel much better having one (or two) of these a day than meals that make me feel bloated.  
before (this one also had frozen cantaloupe (not a fan) and frozen grapes (really good)
after
Just a side note on the sugar - I've eaten a treat, like peach cobbler or carrot cake, almost every night too. So I'm still working on that part. Probably won't ever give it up...it's just too yummy! But the portions can just be smaller. 

Also, I made quiche a few weeks ago and have become addicted to it! I have spinach coming out of ears lately. But when it's yummy then why not. The recipe I used is located here. I added more bacon and some onion to give it little more flavor...at Mark's request. My kids aren't fans of it (mostly Ethan) but they are slowly getting used to it. Or at least I thought so. Ethan and Liv were playing a game where they were imagining gross things to eat and Ethan said, " My meal has barf, dead birds, ants and Mom's quiche in it." So maybe he'll never become fan after all. But I think it's pretty dang good!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

words to live by

I ended up seeing Eat Pray Love last week with my mom and sister. It's the perfect movie to see with other girls. We had some great conversation about it after the movie (I won't bore you right now with all of my opinions) but we couldn't decide if we really liked the movie. You'll have to let me know what you think if you see it. There were good lessons learned and sometimes I felt like jumping through the screen and smacking Julia Robert's character. Truly. She wasn't my favorite. However, by the end of the movie I was okay with her.
And I really appreciated this lighthearted scene between Roberts and the new friend she made while in Italy.



Something good I took away from the movie: Enjoy life. Slow down and try not to kill yourself with guilt. And live in the moment. So hard to do but definitely worth the effort.

Okay movie. Great reminders.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

bad day


I am having a bad day. I didn't plan on having a bad day (does anyone really?) but it's just sort of become one. In fact, I was planning on having a really good day - even a really good week. I had plans to get a lot done. A lot. You should see the "to do/to buy" lists sitting on my counter! It's crunch time cause school for us starts on Monday and I need to be ready. I've enjoyed my Summer way too much this year. Seriously. It's been so nice to just chill. But now my chill time is up. And it's not even just my lack of motivation - there's a lot more going on...there usually always is...but anyways, I need happy productive days if I want to be in a good place by Monday. Scratch today off the list as a miss. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
(Mark found this somewhere online. It fits me today.)
And, by the way, my flat iron fell off the counter and broke and that just pushed me over the edge. Normally it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Today isn't normal. When the big things aren't going well it's nice to have the little things to rely on. Again, not today. Thankfully, my mom came to my rescue and is letting me borrow one of hers. Wouldn't it be nice if all issues could be resolved that quickly?
Okay, I think I'm done spewing my grumpiness. 
Oh wait...maybe one more thing...no, I'll just let that one go for now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the birthday boy

Ethan turned 8 on the 14th. Yes, he and Izzy have birthdays two days (and 6 years) apart. It wasn't planned that way, trust me.
Anywho, we celebrated Ethan's birthday over a series of days. Saturday, just our family, took him out to dinner, gave him his presents and got shaved ice for dessert. He was pretty happy. On Sunday all of my family came over for dessert. Always a good time. And yesterday he had a bunch of friends over for a little party. They had a water balloon fight, played on our homemade (and slightly ghetto) slip n slide, jumped on the trampoline and ate a bunch of chocolate cake. And everyone seemed to have a blast! Thank goodness. Kids are happy, I'm happy.
there were boys there too - the girls just tend to stick close to him - he'll appreciate that in a few more years

with his cousins - Tessa and Beckham - they gave him the same bow that he always plays with at their house. he loves it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

the birthday girl

Little Izzy turned 2 years old yesterday. Crazy. She is forever my baby. In fact, I still call her baby all the time. I should probably stop doing that.

I captured a few of her birthday moments. She demanded (I would say requested but it was more of a demand) to have suckers, balloons and see her cousin Beckham on her birthday. Done. I wish all birthdays for my kids were that easy!

just waking up - morning bottle
eating pizza (her favorite) at her sibling's school party
so excited for her balloons...
and thrilled about her suckers
swimming with her cousins. or rather, they swam and she laid out - she got in for a few min
enjoying her present from her cousins
exhausted
my favorite - she did not like the happy birthday song

Man, I love that kid!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

on my mind

Kauai, Hawaii. 
Our 10th anniversary is in March. And I think this would be the perfect place to celebrate it. We didn't go on a honeymoon and I told Mark that for our 10th we should do something that resembled a honeymoon. We've been doing a bunch of shopping around trying to find good deals and making changes to our budget so that we can afford this...it just might happen. Keep your fingers crossed for us. 

Thursday, August 05, 2010

family anniversary

Today is Mero Family Anniversary. It's the day that my parent's and I (I was just a few months old) went to the DC temple to be sealed. We've celebrated this day every year for as long as I can remember. Tonight everyone (minus Cam cause he's in New Jersey at the moment) is coming over to my house for a BBQ. Should be lots of fun. Hopefully the weather will hold up. It's been raining almost non-stop this week. Anyway, just wanted to give props to this day. I love my family. They're a good bunch.

Monday, August 02, 2010

anyone?



So has anyone read this book? Planning on seeing the movie? I would like to do both. However, that's a new desire. I've never been a fan of the idea that you have to go somewhere to find yourself, as it were. I've had quite a few bad experiences with people I know doing that. I definitely see how a change of scenery is good for the soul once in a while, don't get me wrong. Like when we grow up and leave home for one reason or another...we have to learn about the world on our own. Or when we are stuck in a bad situation. Aren't there ways of becoming the person you want to be without going halfway around the world? Without leaving people behind? Maybe. Maybe not. I have mixed feelings. I can relate to the statement in the movie about how she wants to "marvel at something." I try to be conscience of that daily, especially when it comes to watching my children do something, but there hasn't been much marveling lately on a bigger scale. We all know that feeling. I love that feeling. And I would love to see how the book/movie attempts to guide us in doing so. Are there ways of marveling in the lives we currently lead? Seems like there are people who do. Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of message both the book and movie send.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

vegas

Before I begin I just have to say that I failed miserably when it came to taking pictures of my trip. Most of the pictures I took were of food. Tells you where my brain was all weekend. Despite the lack of pictures, I had THE best time! I was able to relax, have fun, be silly, go shopping, explore Vegas and consume massive amounts of awesome food. Mark did a great job at home with the kids, especially when Izzy became really sick and needed to be taken to the insta-care. Turns out she had a swollen gland in her neck that was causing her all sorts of pain. But Mark handled the whole thing wonderfully which allowed me to be able to relax being that far from home. So onto the few pictures...

My room that I shared with my Grandma.


The view of the pool from my room - it's almost the very same picture as the picture below that is on the hotel's website. Loved that pool!


My youngest brother, Joe, eating a huge sandwich. Watching him eat was fascinating to me.


We went bowling a few times and one of the times I ended up with a turkey - three strikes in a row - my first time ever doing that! And it says Jizzy at the top because that's a silly name my brother, Evan, came up with for Joe. My mom isn't a fan to say the least.


Again, Joe's food. We went to a place called The Hash House and I guess they are known for large portions of food. We didn't know that. So he ordered the pancake dinner and that's what he got. It was huge! He gave it a good effort.


My salmon from The Hash House. So good!


My mom and grandma to the right. The last time my grandma was in Vegas was to see Sinatra sing back in the 50's. So we took her on a tour. And when we got to the Bellagio Hotel to watch the fountains the song that came on was a Sinatra song. Grandma was just beside herself with happiness.


The last day we were there my folks rented a cabana at the pool. It was just about the best thing ever! We had our own cabana girl who brought us food and drinks. It also had a tv, couches to lay on and our own pool chairs and table. Heavenly.

Pretty much sums up how I spent most of the vacation!

A few more things to mention:
- Mom and I went to a cupcake shop called Mad Hatter. It was delicious! They put whatever filling and frosting you want on the cupcake while you watch. 
- Joe played some great basketball (that's the real reason for the trip).
- We went to the Nike store and I got some really cool purple mesh workout shoes.
- We had lunch at Margaritaville on the strip. Fish tacos were so yummy.
- We lost my Grandma a few times down in the hotel's casino. She couldn't get enough of that place. And we always managed to find her one way or another.

I am having vacation withdrawals but it was so fun while it lasted. Hopefully we can all do it again sometime soon! And maybe next time I'll take Mark. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a welcome vacation

As of tomorrow night I will be here. For four days. Without Mark or the kids. I am going with some of the Mero gang. And I'm really excited about it! Reading by the pool, shopping, eating, more shopping...it's going to be nice. 

Also, last Friday night, Mark and I went to a bonfire with some friends up in Millcreek Canyon. I love bonfires. I don't know why we don't have them more often during the Summer. Friday had been a really long day and after a few hours out in the fresh air with good friends I felt totally renewed.
Excuse Mark. Apparently, he doesn't know how to smile for pictures. But I love ya anyway dear!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

amen

Isn't that just the truth sometimes?

I have a whole post in my head about body image but I think I'll leave that for another day. My goal - to be happy & comfortable with the body I've got. I'm 30. I've had three kids. My husband loves me the way I am. And I should too. So, yes, I will take the dessert when I want it. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

welcome to my world

I think I've found a new hobby. And a new way to exercise. Yoga! I went to my first class at the gym on Monday night and had a great time. I don't really know what I was expecting but it was better than I thought. It's super challenging and relaxing at the same time. My arms and legs are still quite sore. But that also might have something to do with my lack of physical activity lately anyway. Let's not dwell on that though. I'm becoming active again. So, yeah, I think yoga has become my new thing for now. 


Side note. While I was at my yoga class, Mark was home with the kids. Before I left he was working on his truck (car problems annoy the crap out of me!) and then he said he was going to clean out the window wells around the house. So I go to my class and stop by the grocery store on the way home. When I walk in the door he's sitting on the couch watching tv and eating cake. I asked if he got everything done that he wanted to do and he says, "Nope. I'm really frustrated with the way this evening went. I was working on the truck and didn't have the right tool so I couldn't finish it. Then Matt (his best friend) called and we talked for a while. And then the kids wanted to run through the sprinklers so I thought they could do that while I cleaned but the water hit Izzy right in the face and she freaked out so I put her in the shower. Then, of course, the other kids wanted to take a shower to warm up. Then it got dark but I still thought about going to clean the window wells but..." And I jumped in with, "But you decided to have cake instead." And he says,"Yes! I needed cake." And my response, "Welcome to my world dear." Every day I have goals, really good goals, to accomplish and sometimes life takes over and shows me how things are really going to work. And at the end of the day I'm usually eating something while in front of the tv. Finally he understands! Finally. Well at least in that moment he understood anyway. I'll take it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

happy monday

I've been listening to this song for days now. It's just fun! And it can even make a day like Monday seem okay.

Friday, July 09, 2010

still here with random thoughts


I haven't felt like blogging lately. Can ya tell? I've really been going through a lazy spell lately. I blame Summer. The pool is too enticing. It cools us off, gets the kids out of the house (and makes them exhausted!) and it's a great excuse to not have to do anything at home. 

I've also been sick. It's been making the rounds in our house. Summer sickness is lame. Seriously. At least in the winter when we're snowed in and sick it doesn't really put a damper on things. Also, this week the kids, Ethan and Liv, are back at their grandma's house. And considering the fact that I've been dealing with the craziest sore throat ever and out of control headaches, it's been kind of nice to only have to worry about one little kiddo. I'm sure they are having much more fun down there as well. Every phone call I get from them is full of details about what movie they went to see, what toy grandma bought them at the store and what adventure they were going on with their aunt and uncle. Good for them. However, when they return it'll take me about a week to get them back into proper shape. Does that happen with your kids? It's funny how quickly they get used to being spoiled. Although, I do enjoy it myself, being spoiled that is, so I guess I kind of understand. But the mean parent that I am can't have spoiled children. Nope, not gonna happen. So it should be fun getting them "back to normal."





Other quick thoughts/happenings:
  • at the last min i was able to go see eclipse on opening night at 1210am. i've never been to one of the twilight movies on opening night. it was crazy and so much fun! that entire theater was packed! and, yes, i loved the movie. what can i say? we were in cedar city over the holiday weekend and went to see it again with a friend and my sister in law. still good the second time.

  • with the 4th being on sunday we celebrated with fireworks on saturday. you really don't get a choice in utah. mark and i took izzy with us up to meet some friends at sugarhouse park. my brother, evan, took the older kids to his in-laws house because there were going to be kids there their age to play with. there was a sea of people at sugarhouse but they put on a good show and we had fun.
  • we went to a concert last night at pioneer park but didn't actually ever see the band...well i didn't. mark saw them for a few min. the place was so crowded! i think over 40,000 people showed up to this free concert and the park was full to capacity. they were turning people away. crazy. i like to think that i'm cut out for craziness like that but i'm not. i'm more of a pj wearing, stay at home and watch tv kind of gal. occasionally i can handle it and have a good time. i think. 
  • we have to speak in church on sunday and i've yet to prepare my talk. usually i'm on top of it. this time i'm finding any excuse i can to not prepare it...like blogging. oh well. i'll do it tomorrow. 
  • i've been listening to the eclipse soundtrack and the new album by the black keys called brothers pretty much all day, every day. give them a listen if you haven't already. so worth the time!
I think that about does it. Now I'm off to clean everything that Izzy destroyed while I was typing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

little reminder

I came across this video here and found it to be quite comforting. Of course I've always known this to be true but sometimes it's just nice to be reminded, especially during a bad day, week, month or what have you. It will all be okay in the end.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

poolside happiness


We went to the pool for the first time this Summer last week. Izzy loves her bathing suit. And her sunglasses. And eating snacks while sitting on a poolside chair. Swimming? Not so much. We'll have to work on that.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

parenthood: the cool thing to do

This video has been floating around for a while so maybe you have already seen it. If you haven't seen it, give it a try. It's pretty dang funny. I drive a honda odyssey, not a toyota. But I think the swagger wagon club takes all kinds! Seriously, it's funny. Watch it. Favorite part? When the dad hits the tea set off the table.

See, I always knew it was cool to be a parent.

Monday, June 07, 2010

my favorites

I adore these people. Especially the four right next to me.

That's all. Carry on.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

sweetness

I was putting together pictures for our photo album that sits out on the coffee table and realized that I don't have a single picture of Izzy in it. How can that be? Oh yeah, I load pictures onto the computer and never ever print them out. So I guess I have a new project to work on. And considering she's just about the most adorable thing ever it just seems like a shame to not print a few pictures of her. Align Center

Monday, May 24, 2010

all about the wedding

all of my siblings. they are the best!

brothers and dad

my brothers with mark lurking in the back. he thinks he's quite amusing.

us

ev and jess coming out of the temple

aren't they adorable?!

my little family with cousin tessa

ev, jess, parents and grandparents

my grandpa, liv, tess and my dad

everyone waiting to take more pictures

the three cute girls. izzy is doing her "say cheese" face.

my kiddos at the reception

My little brother, Evan, was married on Friday. He and his new wife, Jessica, have been dating for a few years now and decided to make it official. Jess has always felt like apart of our family so it's nice to say she finally is. They are so absolutely perfect for each other. And I couldn't be a prouder older sister. They are living only a mile down the road from us and I'm thrilled to have them so close.

About the pictures...a few on the top are from the family wedding dinner we had Thursday night, the night before the wedding. We all had a blast hanging out together. My siblings truly are so much fun. In fact, after the dinner was over, all of them (minus my sister) came over to our house and played games til about midnight. Such a great time!
The bottom half of the pictures are at the Salt Lake Temple. The clouds and rain disappeared just long enough to get some good pictures in. These are just a few I remembered to snap.