February 24, 2011

Thoughts of a Scatter-Brained Mother

I've got a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head today. It happens sometimes. Scratch that. It happens all the time.

First thought- I REALLY hope my child is not getting the nasty cold/flu bug that's been raging through Salem. She started sneezing a bunch last night and has had a few green boogs. That and she's been sleeping a TON. My mantra for the past 24 hours has been "Please let it be teething, please let it be teething!" A girl can hope.

Second thought- Snowing?! Really?? In Salem? Where it NEVER snows?? Where were you in November and December when I actually WANTED you?? I went running at Bush Park with Claire on Monday and there was sunshine and daffodils and crocus's. I want Spring and bunnies and flowers, not snow boots and freezing my hiney off!

This is our Apartment building. Yep. It's in the shape of an octagon. Our apartment doesn't really have any right angles. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. It's just one weird octagon mess. But it's home and we like it. :)

Third thought- I think I have officially entered the "Mom Jean" realm. My cute low rise jeans (all 4 pair of them) just don't fit like they used to. What is up with that? I'm 23! I can't be a Mom Jean wearer yet. I refuse. So, I'll just keep hikin' up my pants like a dork all day long until I finally break down and buy an Invisibelt.

Fourth thought- I made Banana Bread last night at 10:00. I know, I'm crazy. Claire helped. Or, you know, sat in her Bumbo and was excellent company while I baked. I'm including pictures and a recipe at the end of this post. It's delicious. Please make it today.

That's Claire. Helping.

Fifth thought- Why did I make Banana Bread? I'm still about. . . oh. . . 20 lbs heavier than I want to be right now. I weighed myself last night and almost made the decision to starve myself. And then I smelled the Banana Bread and cut myself another piece. I'm all about self control, you know.

Sixth thought- As I am sitting here, Claire is practically rolling over! Yay! Or Boo? I can't decide if I am happy my baby is becoming mobile. Next thing I know she'll be running like a mad child around the house and pulling things off shelves. And then she'll be in a wedding dress marrying the man of her dreams. . . She's growing up too fast!!

Seventh thought- I have about 4 projects in the works right now. I'll be sure to post pictures of all of them when they're completed. First I have to get my new to me sewing machine from my mom! Yay for free sewing machines! And for crazy coupons for Joann's!

Eighth thought- Dallin takes the GMAT on Saturday. That means no more crazy studying! Unless he doesn't get the score he wants, which then means he'll take it again in 30 days. And then when he gets accepted into an MBA program that means the crazy studying will start again. I just have to remember that this is the best time of our lives, right? I have to live each day to the fullest so that I don't look back with any regrets. Easier said than done. But I'll work on it!

So, there are my random thoughts for the day. Here's the banana bread recipe! Enjoy it.

Banana Nut Bread (With Dark Chocolate Chips)


2 & 1/4 cups Flour
1 & 2/3 cups Sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 & 1/4 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 & 1/4 cups ripe bananas; mashed
2/3 cups Nuts; chopped (optional)
2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional)
One 3 oz. pkg Vanilla Instant Pudding

Have you ever tried buttermilk in powder form? It is awesome! I don't use buttermilk often enough to warrant getting it in liquid form. All you do for the powder is add water and voila! You have buttermilk! I highly recommend it.

As you can see from the ingredients picture, I only had pecans on hand. Any nut will do, but I prefer walnuts. Pecans worked just fine though! I also used dark chocolate chips, because that's the kinda gal I am. We love dark chocolate at this house, but like the nuts, any kind of chocolate chip will work!

Because I had so many banana's, I ended up doubling my recipe and got 4 loafs, plus a little mini loaf. I figured out that about two average sized banana's equals a cup. If you use 3 bananas and have a little more than 1 1/4 cups, you'll be fine. Because, who really wants to use just half a brown banana? It's not like you're gonna wanna eat the other half, am I right? Or am I right? :)

The instructions are pretty simple. Just measure all ingredients into a bowl. Mix well and pour into 2 well greased or lined loaf pans. If you end up doubling the recipe, like I did, fill your loaf pans about half way and that will make it so your loaves don't overflow while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. I ended up baking mine for about 45-50 minutes, but I had 3 loaves in at a time.

There ya have it. Delicious banana nut chocolate chip bread! And just tell yourself that because it has banana's in it, it's REALLY healthy. :)

February 22, 2011

Integrity and My Shoulder Angel

(Emperor's New Groove is my all time favorite movie, by the way)

Do any of you ever have the Temple Recommend Interview questions roll through your head during the day? I do. I know. Weird.

The other day I was in Goodwill and I found a laundry hamper that was exactly what I was looking for, for Claire's room! I was excited, but the price was a little bit higher than I was hoping for. It was only a few dollars more than I wanted to pay, but heck, a few bucks means a lot when you have to pay rent, utilities, a truck payment, insurance and you've got grad school application fees, etc. But I digress.

I noticed the price tag for the hamper was on the lid. I didn't even want the lid, so I thought, "I could just ditch the lid here, tell them I couldn't find a price tag and offer what I wanted to pay in the first place!"

Enter Shoulder Angel.

All that little shoulder angel had to do was utter one small phrase, "honest in your dealings with your fellowman" and I was toast. I realized I wouldn't be able to answer that question honestly if I ditched the lid and pretended to not know the real price. So, I kept the lid on, tried to negotiate the price, and didn't win. I paid full price.

Would it have been that big of a deal if I would have ditched the lid and lied? To most people, no it wouldn't have. But I've read about Jacob and Esau and I wasn't about to sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. Some things just aren't worth it and a few dollars difference wasn't worth giving up my integrity. So my shoulder angel gave a big 1-2 punch to my shoulder devil and I walked out of the store feeling extremely triumphant. Thank goodness for those shoulder angel's!

February 21, 2011

150 and The Lower Lights

This is my 150th post. Sheesh. That's a lot of posts. I like to keep it real though and put things in to perspective. I was reading the PRP's blog the other day and she had her 900th post. So, pretty much, I'm a small fry. I got nothin on you, Karen! :)

For my 150th post, I want to tell you all about an amazing concert that is going to be happening in the Tri-Cities. Well, Burbank technically, but close enough. My awesome cousin, Marilyn, got The Lower Lights to come to the Tri-Cities! They are a very talented group of musicians who have done covers of various hymns, such as The Lord Is My Shepherd, This Little Light of Mine and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. They are beautiful arrangements and I love them all. Tickets are VERY reasonably priced, but you need to act fast! They'll go quick and the concert is right around the corner! March 5, to be exact. So, go here to buy your tickets and check out The Lower Lights here. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

Oh, and if you want a chance to get 2 {two} free tickets of your own, enter the Passionista's (AKA Marilyn) giveaway here and help her spread the word! But be quick about it! This giveaway ends tomorrow {Tuesday} night!

February 18, 2011

For My Little Hannah Banana

My niece Hannah turned 11 today. I can still remember the day she was born and I can't believe that in one year she will be in Young Womens! She's growing up WAY too fast. So, here are 11 reasons why we love our Hannah!

1. She's an amazing soccer player. That girl is seriously talented and super fast!
2. She keeps the Sabbath day holy. She has had to make the decision of whether or not to play in her soccer games on Sunday and has always chosen not to. We're so proud of her choices.
3. She is an excellent Piano player.
4. She is a very willing participant for all my photo taking expeditions. :)
5. Claire loves Hannah because she loves to hold her and entertain her.
6. She is the sweetest little thing you will ever meet.
7. She is super smart. I remember when she was in Kindergarten she was spelling words that I am pretty sure I couldn't spell til I was like 19. :) Ok, not 19, but close enough. Either way, super smart!
8. She is an awesome singer. She's got a beautiful voice.
9. She is a super awesome swimmer. And she is extremely lucky because she gets really tan in the summer (I may or may not be a teensy bit jealous. :) )
10. She laughs and giggles all the time. I rarely see Hannah sad or mad. She's very positive!
11. She's an excellent friend and an awesome sister and an even better niece!

I hope you had the best Minute to Win it 11th Birthday Party ever! We love you! (And your present will be in the mail tomorrow! Hopefully you get it on Tuesday!)

These are some pictures I took of Hannah, Rebekah and Julia last weekend at Andrew's Baby Blessing.

February 16, 2011


Claire had her 4 month appointment today. She had to get three vaccinations today too, 1 oral, 2 shots. I hate vaccinations. It breaks my heart when the shock and hurt crosses her face and she starts screaming. Seriously, how can you not start crying when your baby is hurting?! I am pretty sure it's torture. In fact, I know why they torture family members on "24" to get people to crack. I'd be the worst CTU agent in the history of "24". But I digress.

My little (or should I say HUGE) girl scored in the 92nd, 80th and 60th percentile for height, weight and head circ, respectively. She's 25 1/4 inches (92%), 14 lbs 8 oz (80%), and has a 41 cm head circ (60%).

So, in honor of her 4 month appointment, I have decided to FINALLY post some videos of her. Now, I understand these videos are so wonderful and intriguing to Dallin and I, but they might get a little long and boring for you. So, just bear with us ridiculously proud parents.

So there you have it. Our little girl. Just excuse my ridiculous commentary and voice. Do I really sound that annoying in real life?! If so, I sincerely apologize.

February 14, 2011

All You Need is Love! Love is All You Need.

Oh Valentine's Day. I've always had mixed feelings about this little holiday. Ironically enough, it was always when I was in a relationship that I hated Valentine's Day. I know, weird right? I guess I just figured I was buying someone else's husband a Valentine gift. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Last night Dallin and I were driving from Yakima to Ellensburg and I asked him the top 5 things that are making him happy right now. I thought those would probably symbolize what he loves the most, right? His answers didn't disappoint.

1. Me. I am the #1 thing making him happy. I would hope that was the #1 answer. :)
2. Claire. How can she not make you happy?!
3. The Gospel. Faith, Hope and Charity are pretty much the essentials of making a happy life, wouldn't you say?
4. Freedom. In light of the recent events in Egypt, freedom just seems to be even more precious these days.
5. Work. Dallin is one of the hardest workers I know and is such an amazing provider. I am grateful for his ability to work and his love of it. He's amazing.

So then, he asked me what my top 5 are. Here they are-

1. Him. He makes me so happy. He teases and jokes and makes me laugh all the time. He tells me he loves me on a daily basis and always comments on how beautiful he thinks I am. He gives me everything I could ever need. For that, I am truly grateful.
2. Claire. Her smiles, her laughing (videos of that to come), the way her face lights up when something connects. She makes life worthwhile.
3. The Gospel. (Are you sensing a theme here?)
4. Freedom.
5. My ability and love for creating. I love to be in the kitchen creating new dishes and treats. I love taking photographs and editing them. I love doing crafts and beautifying my home, making it feel more like a home and less like the little apartment that it is. :)

Those are our top 5 things making us happy. Life is amazing and we're feeling so grateful for everything we've been given. We have so much love in our family and we want to wish you all a very Happy Valentines Day!

Our very concerned cupid :)