Thursday, May 31, 2012

vegas in iphone pictures

a full van. we dropped the kids off with my in-laws before heading to vegas.

my view
stopped in st. goerge to walk the temple grounds. no, the temple is not leaning. that's just my awesome picture taking skills in action.

in front of the temple
just chilling for a bit

view from our room. love the bellagio water show!
my vegas pals walking the bellagio garden

bellagio garden. that bee is made entirely of flowers.
met up with my friend steph who lives down in vegas. despite being super early in the morning, isn't she cute? we enjoyed an awesome breakfast buffet and caught up on life.

cam and brigham enjoying the pool

rachel, amy and me. i promise i'm not cold. stupid bathing suit.

candid at the m&m store

one entire wall of the store was like this. heaven.

hanging at the pool with my cute mark

trying to be cool
dinner at rainforest cafe at the mgm. best dinner i've had in a long time.  i guess mark wasn't happy with how long the wait time was.
vacation is awesome. when can i do it again?

Friday, May 25, 2012

photo-a-day: utah

this was my view last night at a work dinner. 
pretty great, right?
i love being in utah. 
growing up in virginia, i never thought i'd hear myself say that. 
virginia is still home. always will be. 
but utah has given me a pretty great life. 
and you will hear no complaining from me if we live out the rest of our days here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

photo-a-day: gluten free

gluten free. 
partially dairy free. 
this is my new way of life. 
i've been getting sick after eating most meals for over a year and a half now. 
i've been to many doctors and have had many tests. 
a few weeks ago i was in the hospital for cancer testing. they didn't find any, thank goodness. 
but they also can't find other answers as to why i might be getting sick all the time. 
i noticed a few months ago that when i avoid gluten foods i feel better. even though the celiac tests have come back negative, my doctors have asked me to live as if i have gluten issues. 
so i am
there's been a huge change in the way i feel lately. 
it's so wonderful to not be sick within minutes of eating something!
occasionally, like last night, i end up eating something i shouldn't and pay the price. 
but, for the most part, i'm figuring out what my body is okay with and what it can't handle. 
i've heard it can take a few years to really understand the gluten free lifestyle. 
hey, if i can avoid being sick on a daily basis, i'm willing to put the time into learning how to eat properly.

i have to add...
this has put a big damper on my baking. 
i love baking. 
and i still do it. 
but i can't eat it.
that's been extremely frustrating for this baking chick. i've been known to take a bite and spit it out just so i can get a taste for it, especially if i've never made the recipe before. don't wanna serve something nasty, right?
again, i'm slowly learning how to bake with gluten free ingredients. they are usually twice the price and not always sold in my local grocery store. so baking has become a much bigger process than i've been used to.
however, i'm grateful for my health. 
there was three weeks of not knowing if it was something more serious. 
to only have to change my diet is a blessing.
so yeah, i've got this under control.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

photo-a-day: messy bun

i'm not a big fan of having my hair up.
mark would love for me to have it up all the time. something about seeing my neck more...but we won't get into that.
i mostly don't care for it because my hair is insanely thick and incredibly long these days.
i generally end up with a huge headache within an hour just from the weight of it.
but ya know, there are just some days that require it to be up.
for example, like today, i didn't feel like washing it. and it's crazy hot outside.
so hair goes up.
i really do wish i was good at putting it up though. messy bun seems to be about the extent of my abilities. try as i might to follow every hair tutorial on pinterest that i can find, it just doesn't seem to work out for me.
so the messy bun and i are best friends.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

living traditions festival

on saturday we went to the living traditions festival downtown. we had never been before but our friends, the larsons, have been going for years and invited us along. 
there was food, crafts and entertainment from different countries around the world. it was fascinating. 
the food was delicious. 
mark had the hardest time deciding what to try. 
the choices were overwhelming
we ended up with a pakistani dish as our main course. divine. but we also tried some japanese food, tahitian food and drinks from the italian vendor. i kind of have a thing for italian strawberry soda. oh, and our friends let us sample some of their salvadorian pupusas. it's a corn pancake with cheese melted inside of it. i'm not a big fan of cheese but it was great.
two nights in a row of wonderful friends and food. it was a good weekend for this girl.
see how excited marisa is about her pupusa?

photo-a-day: date night

except for this weekend, where we had a date both friday and saturday, date nights aren't too common for us. i wish it was a once a week thing but life somehow has a way of squashing those dreams. although, i must say, we do find time to spend time together in other ways when we can't get a date in. ice cream and a movie after the kids are in bed has kind of become our thing. i love it. quality time with mark is awesome in any form. 
this weekend we had a chance to have two dates in a row, like i said before. 
friday we had dinner with some friends to celebrate our darling lisa's birthday. she's been a close friend of ours for over 7 years now. we love that girl. 
we took the time after dinner to have another friend take our picture to document the fun night out. seriously, what's better than awesome friends, delicious thai food, lots of laughter and time spent with my cute guy? in my opinion, not much. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

photo-a-day: my little music fan

izzy loves music. 
well, mostly justin bieber and taylor swift these days. 
she loves to sit by the computer and watch the videos of all of the songs she loves. 
she'll also sing some of the songs at the top of her lungs. it's awesome. 
she's also a fan of florence and the machine and the head and the heart
for being three, her taste in music is pretty dang good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

photo-a-day: recipe

i'm fully aware that this photo-a-day thing hasn't actually been every day. i will try to do better. that's how life works, right?

so last night we grilled up some hamburgers for dinner. as a side, i made avocado salsa. mark and i could eat it with a spoon. it's simple and so delicious.
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can white/yellow corn, drained
6 roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
3 bunches green onions (or to taste)
fresh cilantro, finely chopped (i usually use the whole thing)
2 or 3 avocados, cut into chunks

1 package dry italian dressing mix
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup veg oil

put all ingredients into a big bowl except the avocados. 
mix the dressing ingredients together. 
pour into big bowl and mix everything together. 
add avocados right before serving. 
serve with tortilla chips or crackers. 
this will keep in the fridge for a day or two.

Monday, May 14, 2012

mothers in my family

for mother's day, the mero gang all had dinner together at my parent's house. 
fresh fruit. 
homemade cool whip. 
potatoes and sausage. 

we also enjoyed talking to my missionary brother, joe. he sounded great! we sure do miss his face around these parts. 

after dinner, i made all the mothers take a few pictures together. let me say, these are not the most flattering pictures, but i love them. i was trying to get the ladies to strike poses but that didn't quite happen. mostly just a lot of laughing AT me occurred.
getting lined up - rachel, amy, me, mom, laura and jess

just excuse my retarded jacket
i was going for a charlie's angles thing...
but this happened instead.
more awkward poses
and back to normal.
 i love these ladies. really, like i adore them. 
they are all great mothers (and future mothers). 
it's nice to have more girls in the family. my brothers have chosen some good ones. 
my mom and my sister have always been the best.
happy (late) mother's day to you all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

photo-a-day: home

my home. 
it's old and needs a lot of work. hopefully we'll start on that work soon. 
new kitchen. new bathrooms. it'll be nice. 
but regardless of the work it needs, i love it. 
i love the white brick. 
i love the archways on the front of it. i love the archways in it. archways are my thing. 
i love that my bedroom is giant. i love that the kid's rooms are all downstairs. it's just me and mark upstairs. 
i love that i have an extra room for my office...and let's be honest, a place to throw all sorts of crap and shut the door. 
i love all the space in the backyard. the previous owners had mules, dogs, yeah, there's a lot of room back there. 
i love the space we have to entertain our friends and family. 
and i love the people who live in this house with me. 
they are my favorite part.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

photo-a-day: warmer weather

the weather has been beautiful lately. 
like i've said before,  warm sunshine just does something to make the day better. 
i was working out in the yard today and izzy was playing, keeping herself occupied. 
she alternated between no shoes and her dress up princess shoes. 
she road her bike. 
and she stopped to smell the flowers. 
the roses, her favorite, haven't made an appearance yet but these flowers did the trick for now.
 spring is awesome.

just around the corner:
walks to the snow cone shack
spending entire days at the pool
bbq dinners almost every night
family picnics
outdoor concerts
evenings spent reading on the porch

i can't wait!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

olivia's baptism

olivia was baptized last saturday. what a great day it was! olivia had been waiting for that day for a long time. i think she was more excited about it than her actual birthday. we had friends and family attend and the weather was beautiful. there's something about a sunny day that just makes everything seem that much better. 
we ended the day by going to see 'avengers' with some of our family. 
i just love days like that.
this picture made me realize how old they are getting. we don't have babies anymore. i sure love those cute big kids.

photo-a-day: 10am

if you come to my house at 10am, you'll probably find izzy like this most days. 
she has a handful of shows she loves to watch every morning before she does anything else. she's very much a routine kid. she likes certain things to happen in a certain order. my other kids weren't like that.
but right now it works for me because it allows me to get some work done. 
that ipad is one expensive babysitter.

Monday, May 07, 2012

photo-a-day: dinner at my doorstep

first, you'll have to excuse me for missing my photo-a-day post yesterday. i haven't been feeling well and i just let it slip by. 

but on to today's post...

i am so grateful that we have so much family in the area. they are fun to visit with and they come through when we need them. 
like i said, i haven't been feeling well for a few days now. 
mark's uncle and aunt, who live a few miles from us, found out that i wasn't up to par and brought dinner over for us. 
pizza and chinese food. the kid's favorites.
what a blessing.
not needing to think about dinner is a favorite of mine.

also, a little shout out to everyone else who has sent kind words and prayers my way. 
i'm doing much better.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

photo-a-day: hey stranger

mark has had a crazy busy schedule at work these last two weeks. 
it's starting to become the norm. i don't care for it. 
but i'm grateful that he works as hard as he does. 
so on a nice saturday afternoon, it's refreshing to see him sitting out on the porch reading. 
enjoying himself. 
being home. 

Friday, May 04, 2012

photo-a-day: most time spent

i spent the most time baking today. that's kinda why this post is so late in the day. 

6 dozen mini cupcakes
4 dozen cookies
pasta salad
sweet and sour meatballs
oreo truffles

i think i've met my baking quota for the next week. 
i do love it though. 
it's nice to start with otherwise random ingredients and end up with something delicious and pretty. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

photo-a-day: words

i'm sure that you can pick these gems out in yesterday's photo-a-day post. they surround my desk. 
they are good reminders of how i want to try to live my life every day. 
be calm, keep going, do things you love and do good things in the world...pretty decent way to live, if you ask me.

little emmitt scott

my little brother evan is a dad. 
emmitt scott mero arrived may 1. 
he is sweet, adorable and perfect. 
see for yourself...
lexy meeting her newest cousin. she was squealing in delight every time we put her next to him. i love these babies.

look at his hands! we were calling him 'the hulk.'

happy grandma.
congratulations to ev and jess!