December 4, 2011

Oh Hey, Remember Me?

Before I posted about the Butternut Squash Soup, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted... Sorry! So, here is a total picture dump. Oh, and Thanksgiving Vacation? Didn't pull out my camera once. Yup. Epic fail. Sorry folks. Anyway, here we go!

These pictures are from Claire's birthdays. Yes, birthdays. Jeff and Valerie came for her actual birthday weekend and then my parents and Tara and David came down the next weekend for the BYU v OSU game and to celebrate Claire's birthday. The pictures are in no particular order :)

Claire's first birthday cake. A White Pumpkin :)

These next are just random pictures of Claire

Girlfriend LOVES lemons! She will eat and eat and eat as many as you give. One night, Dallin left his cup with some lemons on the ground and Claire discovered it the next morning. :)

These are family pictures that Ashley Henry took for us back in October. We LOVE how they turned out! Thanks Ash!

Anytime I get out the camera or camcorder lately, she crawls toward me to try to get the camera. :)

The Beautiful fall trees outside our window.

My Birthday! For some reason, Blogger won't let me upload certain photos, so this is the only one from my birthday that you get to see! :)

Spinach, anyone? As soon as the fridge door opens, she bolts toward it and plays inside. I turned around for like 2 minutes to start making bread and when I suddenly realized it was too quiet and turned around, this is what I saw. :)

So, that is life for us right now! Claire is getting into everything, has taken a few steps, but refuses to actually walk, and Dallin is wrapping up his first semester of school. Life is fabulous and we're grateful for this wonderful season where we are able to reflect on all our blessings and the beautiful gift of our Savior's atonement.

December 1, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of Dallin and my new favorites! We eat it like every two weeks :) Andrea Calaway was the first person to introduce us to this soup, but I didn't have her recipe, so I found a similar one online and then tweaked where I saw fit! Here's my recipe for all interested parties.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 1/2 Butternut Squashes, peeled and diced
1/2 Onion, diced
3 Cups Water
2 Cubes Chicken Bouillon
1 Can Chicken Broth
Franks Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce) to taste
2 tsp Basil
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Marjoram
1 1/4 8-ounce Packages Cream Cheese

In a soup pot, mix together all ingredients, minus the cream cheese. Let boil for 25 minutes or until squash is tender. In food processor or blender, puree the squash mixture with the cream cheese until smooth. Pour back into soup pot on low heat and heat through, but don't boil. Serve with crumbled bacon on top and enjoy!

This soup really is delicious, pretty fast and very easy! The longest/hardest part is just peeling and dicing the squash, but it is totally worth it! Hope you all enjoy it on those cold winter nights. :)

(This is a very filling soup, too.)

October 20, 2011


It's Thursday! Yay! TNO (Thursday Night Out/Off) is the cause for much joy in the Willamette MBA program. The Business College doesn't have any classes on Friday's so that the students can have an extra day to meet with their PACE groups and work on their projects. But really, TNO has kinda become an excuse for most of the MBA students to meet at a bar and celebrate the end of another week. For us, TNO is usually the night where we rent a Redbox (or find something on Netflix Instant Play) and relax. Thursday has become my new favorite day of the week. Here's to many more TNO's!

I have a bunch of pictures to post from Claire's birthday with Jeff, Valerie and Janelle and from last weekend with my Mom and Dad, Tara and David and Marcus and Ashley, but my computer is sick... :( So is Claire. I'm thinking it might be because she got her MMR vaccination and her Chickenpox vaccination, all live virus, at her 1 year check up last week... Poor baby girl! So anyway, here are a few totally raw, unedited pictures from the Pumpkin patch we went to with my mom and Tara while everyone else was at the BYU v OSU game (Yay, Cougs!)

I love her eyes in this picture. I can't wait to go to town in PSE once my computer is working again!

All these beautiful gourds were from their fields. I really wanted to buy up their whole supply and bring them home with me, they were just so pretty!

I love this picture. Her face and Dallin's expression are perfect!

The crew on the hay ride! Claire wouldn't look at the camera. And isn't my neice, Sarah just gorgeous?? She's only 14, so any young men out there *cough* Derek *cough* have to wait a couple years ;-)

Unfortunately, this was the best shot we got of us all day... Not my most flattering picture of all time, but oh well, you take what you can get.
My niece, and his older sister, Emiline, calls him "Mr. Chubby Cheeks" but it sound more like this- "Mistowe Chubby Cheeks" Don't you just wanna kiss him?!
Another shot of my gorgeous niece

My beautiful mother!

Claire giving Grandma Henry kisses :)

William coming down the hay pyramid slide

Look really close. See that nice little wet circle on her bum? She didn't want to go potty in a porta potty (I don't blame her) so she just kept letting a little out every now and again which resulted in her pants getting wet and her not being able to go down any slides or riding any of the trikes. Silly girl, I love her!

October 9, 2011

Love You Forever, Like You For Always

Dear Claire,

You are 1 year old today! That just seems completely unreal to me. People told me that once we started having children, time would speed up. That was the understatement of the year. Time has literally flown by.

I vividly remember every tiny detail of the day you were born. I remember talking to Aunt Rachel on the phone to make sure I was really in labor. I remember the frantic look on Daddy's face as he got home from the gym and saw just how much pain I was in. I remember we hit every green light on the way to the hospital (hallelujah) and trying to walk to the elevator in the hospital lobby. I remember the way my hands shook as I tried to sign all the ridiculous waivers and forms at the L&D sign in desk and telling the nurse that I was pretty sure you were coming RIGHT NOW. I remember the incredulous look she gave me as she checked to see how far dilated I was and announced I was at a 9. I remember the beautiful blessing Uncle Marcus gave me as the epidural finally kicked in and the total exhaustion that suddenly overcame me once the pain was under control. I remember seeing your tiny head crown and wondering if you were a boy or girl, and then not caring as the next contraction hit because I just wanted to have you in my arms! And I remember the most beautiful feeling that overcame me as Daddy announced we had a baby girl and they laid you on my chest for the very first time, softly singing happy birthday to you for the very first time. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard. I looked into your sweet face and my life changed forever.

I was overcome with feelings of love and gratitude that you were healthy and strong. I remember feeling awful guilt as I realized how much love a mother has for her daughter and painfully recalled every time I was ever a brat to my own mother, suddenly realizing how much it must have hurt her to be treated that way. And then I was filled with a deep appreciation for all that my mother did for me and I knew I wanted to be a mother just like that for you.

October 9, 2010 was the most magical day of my life. It was the day you made me a mother, and I will never forget it. Happy Birthday, baby girl. I love you more than you will ever know.

Love, Momma

September 25, 2011

Inspired Words

I was so inspired by the amazing talks given at the Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday. It was a wonderful meeting and I left feeling uplifted and edified. After the meeting, I decided there were two things that specifically stood out from the meeting that I wanted to remember. I decided to get my Photoshop on, and this is what I came up with.

I really liked the way they all turned out. Now, I am no graphic designer or even all that talented when it comes to Photoshop, but if you like these prints, feel free to download and save the image and print it out for yourself! If you feel like sharing it, just link back to my blog. And please, this is my work, so do not sell these images to anyone. Enjoy!

[To download, simply click on the image, then right click and save. All four images are 8x10]

September 15, 2011

Just Call Me June...

June Cleaver that is. Really, the only thing different is the fact that I don't have really cute dresses to wear around the house all day while doing my various tasks! I wish I did, too. Those 1950-esque dresses are my favorite!

Anyway! I've been busy lately. Every day this week has had something big so far. Sunday was Stake Conference (don't know about my beliefs but would like to know more? Click here!) and we got a new Stake Presidency. We got there a little late, so we had to sit in the Primary room and my goodness, it was noisy. We could hardly hear a thing! But we're excited about the new presidency. They sound like wonderful men. We'll miss President Lathen, but at least he's in our ward, so we still get to see him every week!

After Stake conference, I made a huge batch of Chocolate Chip cookies because I knew I was going Visiting Teaching the next day and wanted to take all my sisters a treat. Unfortunately, we don't have air conditioning in our apartment and having the oven on that long was not fun, but I got them all baked. We now have way too many chocolate chip cookies on our hands. Anyone want some? Come on over! :)

Monday I went Visiting Teaching, which ended up being a half-the-day affair, but I really enjoyed it. One of our sisters that we teach had a ton of extra quart jars that she was getting rid of, so she gave me and Jennifer (my VT partner) all the jars. We were so excited because we wanted to start canning but I didn't have any jars and Jennifer had run out. Thank you Eva for all the jars, you are a saint!

Tuesday was the blessed canning day. I just did peaches but I am planning on doing pears sometime in the next couple of days. I got 18 quarts and none of the jars cracked! Whew! I would say it was a successful first attempt at canning. Dallin and I tried one of the jars last night and they turned out delicious. I think I am going to go buy more peaches because I have a feeling we're gonna go through them quick. As I started canning, I called my mom to make sure I was doing everything right and after hanging up with her, I noticed Claire was really quiet, so I looked over at her high chair where she was sitting and discovered she had fallen asleep! This was a first. I got a good laugh out of it :) Of course, I ran and got my phone and camera and snapped a few pictures. Poor little girl, I had no idea she was that tired!

My sleepy babe

All the peaches!

Yesterday I realized we were running low on bread, so I knew it was time to make more. For the past couple of years I haven't really bought bread. I got this amazing recipe via my awesome cousin Emily and I haven't looked back since! It's a little time consuming, but so worth it. Once that was done, I moved on to a project I have been meaning to tackle for quite a while- the lamp in Claire's room. It was a lamp that Dallin and I got when we were first married and we weren't using it out in the living room, so I gave it a little makeover! Remember it from this post? Well, here is the finished product!

I was inspired by this amazing lady and her cute party hats. I took mine in a bit of a different direction, but she was the inspiration! I love how the lamp turned out and Claire just kept staring at it before I put her down for bed last night, so she must love it too. :)

Oh, you remember the frames that I wasn't quite sure where to hang in Claire's room as well? They now have a home.

So, that's been my week so far! Chocolate chip cookies, visiting teaching, canning peaches, baking bread and making a new lamp for Claire. (You can throw laundry, cooking and cleaning in there too, if ya want) ;-) I just love productive weeks.

September 8, 2011

Ellensburg Fair and Rodeo 2011

We were able to sneak away to Ellensburg this holiday weekend and visit with Dallin's family. It was so much fun, really busy and I gained 80 lbs from all the fair food I consumed. Seriously people, that stuff is just dripping in grease. And it's delicious.

Bradley, Derek and Janelle were all showing steers and did very well. We're so proud of you guys! I, unfortunately, didn't get any pictures... *slap on the wrist for that one*

On Saturday night, we got to watch Extreme Bulls, which is pretty much the rodeo, but only bull riding. It's so fun to watch. This year did not disappoint, either. We were so lucky as to see a bull jump the fence into an area that led to the fairgrounds. I'm pretty sure it was all fenced in, so he couldn't get into the actual fairgrounds, but heck, if he jumped one fence, I'm sure he could jump another! They caught him before he could do any damage though, thank goodness. The crowd went nuts when it happened and it was an exciting couple of minutes. :)

On Monday afternoon, we got to go to the actual big Rodeo where they do the calf roping, wild cow milking, bull riding, wild bronc riding, etc. This event, I did get pictures of, yay! Claire had had enough before the Rodeo was over though, so Dallin and I took her out and just walked around the fair grounds, getting more delicious fair food that just increased my waistline. (I've been on a fruit and veggie detox this whole week, in hopes of reversing the damage. So far, so good. Only a pound gained. Whew!) :)

So, here are the pictures I captured from the weekend. Thank you Jeff and Valerie for the great weekend, we loved every second and we miss you already!

Our Rodeo Clown. He was from Walla Walla! His name was JJ (can't remember his last name) and he was so funny! He was crazy in shape too. He ran from one end of the arena to the other multiple times and he was fast! I think he is a new favorite.

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of this group, but they all carried in American Flags and they were from the west side of the state. It was a beautiful sight to see so many American flags. And then, before the National Anthem, the announcer of the Rodeo gave the most beautiful prayer. You could tell it was totally not scripted, because he just started into it and the whole crowd was kind of taken by surprise. But at the end of the prayer, he talked about the freedoms we enjoy and how praying in public is one of those freedoms. I got pretty choked up, it was a really neat experience. I am grateful for those who live what they believe and are not afraid to let others know what they believe.

These Indians came in and they had the most beautiful outfits! I just had to show you all their beautiful headdresses and blankets.

Grandpa's girl.


Valerie bought these hilarious Nacho Libre masks from a vendor at the fair and all the kids had to try em on. This is Bradley in the Green.

Derek in the Green/White, Janelle in the Nacho mask, and Bradley in the Green/Red. We were dying when they put them on, they looked awesome! I told Bradley that he and Savannah (his girlfriend) should be Nacho and Encarnacion for Halloween. That or Troy and Gabriella :)

Claire went to town on our Rodeo tickets. She loves chewing on anything that resembles paper or cardboard. I know. Awesome.

The One Arm Bandit performed during one of the breaks between events and he brought two buffalo with him. Those things are ENORMOUS.

Somehow, don't ask me how, he got them to get up on the top of his trailer. Here's the first one.

There's the second one.

And there he is in all his one arm glory! He really was amazing. He didn't hold on with his hand at all while he rode. Apparently he was working somewhere a few years back and was electrocuted really badly, which caused him to lose his hand. After that, he started performing as the One Arm Bandit and he's amazing on that horse. It was quite the sight to see him, his horse and those two buffalo on that trailer. Serious talent!