Friday, September 30, 2011

Wishes for this weekend

Earlier this week Brooks found some wishies (dandelions at their peak;)
Watching him examine their fluffiness, showing him how to blow them, then seeing him take a deeeeeeeeep breath and blowing with all his might over and over again...oh it was too sweet for words.

And while Brooks may not have made any wishes before blowing the dandelion seeds away (anyone else make a wish when they were younger, and then knew that if you blew them ALL away in one breath it'd come true??)...I'll share some wishes I have for this weekend:

I wish for my sister Corrie to come into town this weekend.
I wish for Adam to come home early tonight from work to help me the dinner I'm preparing for our new neighbors.
I wish for a relaxing weekend spent in PJs.
I wish to be spiritually uplifted.
I wish to enjoy ridiculous amounts of delicious food.
I wish to snuggle my boys. a lot.
I wish video chat with my family in Washington.

And you know what?? It's all guaranteed to come true. Woohoo! Corrie will be here at about 4 today and I'm so excited! We'll be enjoying General Conference, where the leaders in our church share beautiful messages of hope and testimonies of Christ, at home on TV...which means that we'll be in our PJs and we'll be making tons of amazing food. Mmmmm... Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

mini date...and iphone love

Two weekends ago my phone died...just stopped working. Whaaaa? But you know what that means? We got to go to Adam's mecca: the Apple Store. And we made a little date out it too. Brooks was over at Penny's, and we enjoyed our nice drive to The Gateway to get my phone replaced and then grab a little something for brunch. A tall Starbucks cream-based (non-coffee) vanilla bean frappuccino with caramel on the side was calling my name...and they happen to now have breakfast sandwiches! (pretty sure courtesy of Jimmy Dean, but they were tasty nonetheless). I loved every minute of our mini-date...holding hands, talking about how peeps at the Apple Genius Bar (customer support) rock, discussing halloween costume ideas, telling Adam about the funniest things Brooks has been doing at home lately, and sneaking in plenty of kisses in between. We need these mini-dates more often :)

Oh and since Apple and the iPhone was involved in our little date, I think I'll share what Adam was just giddy about to tell me when he got home from work last night...the iPhone 5 specs are going to be announced this Tuesday (Oct. 4)! :) After showing me the email with the info, he looked at me all excited and said (in all seriousness), "We should have an iPhone party," to which I replied with a little snicker, and then, "Totally babe." He looks forward to every new iPhone release like it's Christmas. Goodness I love my Apple nerd :)

And check this out! My friend posted this on Facebook yesterday...oh I sure hope it fits the iPhone 5. If so, you can bet that bad boy will be one of Adam's stocking stuffers come December. Mwahaha!
{ here's the UO site where you can order that rad iphone case }

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Spiritual Health:
"The Eternal Blessings of Marriage" by Elder Richard G. Scott
I've read & listened to this talk so many times...and love it more with every read :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coconut Rice with Stir Fry in a Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Thanks so much to those who left an encouraging comment yesterday!...reminded me that I'm not alone on those ugh-kind-of-days. But here's to doing better and enjoying more productive days right?? :) And although not all that laundry is folded...I did make dinner last night and it was even ready before Adam came home (almost never happens, usually he helps with the last bit;) Here's what we had...coconut rice with stir fry in a homemade teriyaki sauce.

Didn't that title just make you a liiiiiiittle hungry? ;)
Welp, when I read how my girl Lisa made it here, on her and her sisters' awesome blog called the Traveling Triplets, my stomach may or may not have started growling. I have seen a few coconut rice recipes online and I've wanted to try one...I finally did with her simple recipe...and I don't know why I've waited so long!! You can top it with fruit and/or vanilla ice cream for an epic dessert. Or you can make stir fry (with or without meat), for a sweet and salty combo, and enjoy it for lunch or dinner. She even included a recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce from her sweet mom...it was easy and delish!! After making it, Adam and I devoured our bowls of coconut-chicken-veggie goodness, and then Adam asked for seconds. Que victory dance by me ;)

**NOTE** The top left picture is of me "washing" the rice in water...squishing/crunching the rice with my hands to get the outer film off the grains and then straining the water, and repeating 'til the water is less milky colored. Adam learned that trick in Japan, it helps the rice be more sticky (that's how we like it).
Go here to get her awesome recipe.

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Spiritual Health:
Watched this incredible video...based on a talk called "Sanctify Yourselves" by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. As I watched the short video of a little league football player who was struck by lightening and received a healing Priesthood blessing, I realized I knew the mother of that boy! She was a professor of mine at BYUI :) Hearing the story again was so touching...and it strengthens my testimony of the Priesthood.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Confessions of a Stay-at-home Mom

The title of my little family's blog is "Life is Sweet"...because I truly do believe that there's SO much sweetness to savor in life. And I want to be able to savor the good memories again with my little fam as we all get older :) But it's definitely not called "Life is Perfect." I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with my little man while my big man works. But some days are just hard, really hard...and some are ridiculously unproductive. Yesterday was more of the latter:

- Breakfast of oatmeal with Little B...welp, more of it ended up on the table and kitchen island bench then in his mouth. And now that I look over to the table, I think I still see some oatmeal that I missed cleaning up...and now it's fossilized.
- While Brooks was sitting on a chair in front of Adam's desk, watching Tangled on Adam's laptop, I decided to walk out of the room to grab Brooks' birth announcement (yep, I'm already thinking of my little gummy bear's birth announcement)...I hear a big thump, then a very loud cry...I run in to comfort him, pick him up off the ground, and I find his mouth is bleeding very badly :( He bit his tongue and his lip. Mom-fail. Sorry sweetheart!
- During Brooks' nap I was going to get my workout on (haven't worked out in almost 2 months. yowza). But instead I laid on the couch, in my workout clothes, blogging and watching the last half of "Titanic" on TV while eating 3 pieces of toast with Nutella. I had to use what little will power I had left to not eat a 4th piece.
- Oh, I was also going to fold laundry during his nap too. Those 4 loads (now 5) weren't even touched. Hence the overwhelming picture below:
- I decided baking would fix everything :) Especially if we could enjoy a few cookies, and then take some to our new neighbors. So I made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies...only to have just 1 out of the 3 batches turn out (the first one was over baked, the third was under baked. how does that even happen?). Goldilocks anyone?? ha.ha.
- And when Adam called to say he was on his way home, he asked the classic question, "What's for dinner love?" To which I answered, "Olive Garden." Domestic goddess with dinner on the table?? Not so much.
- Luckily I changed out of my "workout" clothes and slapped on some makeup just minutes before Adam walked in the door. And today, I consider that an accomplishment.

Goodness, it's days like yesterday that make even semi-productive days look awesome. But you know what? Mixed in with all that blah-ness...my little Brooks still made me smile all through out the day with his dance moves. Seriously, the second that kid hears music of any kind (radio songs, movie music, my random singing, or even the timer chiming from the oven that the cookies were "done") he starts stomping or shaking his hips. I love that boy! And I'm so grateful that Adam is so patient with me, that when he gets home from a hard days work and can see that not much at all was accomplished at home he still loves me to the moon. I'm just glad yesterday is in the past...and today will be better! :)

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Spiritual Health:
Amazing article :) Can't wait to read it again with Adam when he gets home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Castle Park

This past Saturday, Adam had the day off...which is rare...and it was wonderful!! That afternoon we decided to skip out on yard work and instead go to the castle park. There are only so many days of warm, summer-ish weather and we want to take advantage of them. And it definitely felt like summer...20 minutes into it I was wishing there was a pool near by! Ha! The heat didn't get to our little man though :) Brooks loved every minute of exploring the fantastic playground, being brave and going down the slides, swinging with Daddy, and running his little heart out in the grass. He and I loved having Adam at the park with us...and I just love seeing my two boys play together. It was also fun watching Little B experience this playground much differently than the last time we were there, six months ago for his one-year photo shoot :) It was a good day...a very good day.
{ all photos were taken with Adam's iphone...and turned into polaroids using the "ShakeIt" app }
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Spiritual Health:
This chapter is full of beautiful parables that teach such vital doctrine and lessons. My to favorite verses:
21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sublime thoughts from a Forget Me Not

Last night was the General Relief Society Broadcast of our church (for women 18 and older)...and I missed it :( But thank goodness for technology and the internet!! I watched it all this morning before church :) And it was most definitely the perfect way to start my Sunday.

A talk that really moved me, was President Uchtdorf's as he spoke about the lovely, delicate Forget Me Not flower...and how sometimes we may feel like that flower, which seems small and insignificant compared to other larger, more colorful flowers. But in God's eyes we are all beautiful and unique...and we should never forget that He divinely created each of us with love. There are five petals on the tiny flower, and President Uchtdorf shared five things that we should never forget...below are the notes I took of what really struck me.
{ via }
{ To put a face to his words... via }

First, forget not to be patient with yourself. God knows that I am not perfect...along with the people that I think have perfect lives. I need to not compare myself or my family to others. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses...and God wants to eventually help me turn all of my weaknesses to strengths. I need to be patient and compassionate with myself, just as Heavenly Father and Christ is with me.

Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. Am I committing my time and energies into those things that matter most?? Remember to have an eternal perspective.

Third, forget not to be happy now. I have goals and hopes and dreams...but I can't have all of them now. So I need to strive to look for the joys and beauties in simple everyday moments that make up a full, truly happy life.

Fourth, forget not the "why" of the Gospel. His words say it best:
"When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the Gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet. ...
seek out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the 'why' of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ... The 'why' of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration."

Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you. With such tender power, he declared, as an apostle of our Master Jesus Christ, we are not forgotten. On those days that seem dark, when I seem alone and insignificant and oh-so imperfect, I need to remember that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. He loves me and I need to allow that infinite love into my heart, into my home, and into my life.

Such a beautiful message that I think all women, men, and children should hear. Anyone reading this (on the internet, not in the book that I'll eventually print:) click here to watch the meeting in full. Happy Sunday!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Weekend's Getaway

Last Thursday and Friday, Adam and one of his co-workers, Eli, had a business retreat/seminar down at the beautiful Sundance Resort. Alla (Eli's wife) and I decided to drive down there with our two little men to meet our husbands Thursday night...we stayed in their cozy, rustic rooms and enjoyed a fun night away from home :) The next day while Adam and Eli were in meetings, Alla and I soaked up the gorgeous Sundance scenery, Brooks & Aven had a great time exploring the grounds and throwing rocks into the streams through out the resort, we had a great breakfast and lunch at the restaurant (*cheers* to no dishes;), and we even scored a nap with our boys. That night we joined the guys for the casual banquet dinner with their colleagues (where Brooks may or may not have been some extra entertainment for some there;). These photos are ones I texted Adam earlier that day...sadly my phone broke that night and I lost all the other photos when I got my phone replaced on Tuesday. But I'm glad that these were saved to remember our fun getaway!! Can't wait to go back there when Adam doesn't have to worry about work :)
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Spiritual Health:
"President Eyring in El Salvador: Ministering to Many, Ministering to One" - A few beautiful stories of President Eyring's time in El Salvador during the temple dedication.
I would love to someday go to a foreign temple dedication and celebration! Hopefully we'll be able to go to the Sapporo Temple in Japan (Adam served his mission in Hiroshima:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + sweet friends :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (milk chocolate is my favorite)

Set oven to 350 degrees. Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and the egg in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in and dissolve baking soda in milk. Add flour mix to pumpkin mix until just combined. Add vanilla and stir, then add chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful on greased sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes...they will be soft, but they keep cooking even after they're removed from the oven. And enjoy!!
The recipe above is one my sweet friend Kira found on pinterest. She was so great to invite Brooks and I over to have some fun with her and her kiddos...nothing like baking sweets to start the day off right! And they turned out AMAZING. Basically the wonderful season of fall in cookie form :) She did the majority of the work and had me sit and rest most of the time. (how sweet is she??) While she prepped and baked, we talked and laughed, and our kids watched Tangled and danced and played with all of their fun toys. It was a morning that turned into an afternoon that was much needed. Kira is such a fun new friend that I just love! Adam knew her back in junior high and high school and I'm so glad the internet keeps us all connected so we could meet :) And her two little ones, Mr. Mischief and Little Lady (nick-names she uses on her cute blog:) are such wonderful kids! They all have so much fun together (sad I didn't get a picture of Lady!), especially those two boys who had such a ball that after Mischief went down to sleep, Brooks followed suit on their comfy couch ;) Kira was so great and let us stay while Brooks napped and we continued to enjoy great conversation about just about everything...I don't think we stopped talking for more than 2 seconds at a time. Ha! I love it. Thanks Kira for such a fantastic morning of warm baked goods, our kiddos having fun, and us enjoying some good grown up conversation. Can't wait for next week!
{ Will ya just look at that belly!? heehee! }

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Spiritual Health:
"General Conference -- No Ordinary Blessing" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I cannot wait for October :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

14 weeks in polka dots

Dear Baby,

We made you "public" two days ago!! Oh I was so thrilled to tell our sweet friends (most family already knew:) that you'll be joining us soon...and everyone has been so great and supportive and excited for us! Your adorable Dad has been SO excited about you that he could barely keep our special little secret to himself ;) Dad, Brooks, and I just cannot wait to meet you! Actually Little B (your big brother) doesn't quite know of you yet, but I think he'll understand soon :)

According to this fun site you are about the size of a lemon!! And you're quite the fuzzy little lemon ;) You're growing lanugo all over your body, which is thin, downy hair that keeps you warm and cozy in my belly. And you may have even starting sucking one of your tiny thumbs! Makes me melt just thinking about it.

I love reading all about how you're growing and developing...you are such a miracle, little one. And I feel blessed to be part of that miracle. What a gift you are to me! And to know that you're half me and half your sweet Dad, oh it makes my heart smile.

Love you to the moon already,
Mom

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Spiritual Health:
Read D&C 11
13) Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14) And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

double it up

We're about ready to double up the number of cute kiddos we have in our family!! :)
Baby Kjar #2 will be joining us in late March of 2012 (March 21st is the official due date...which changed from March 27th just last week at our doctor's appointment). We are so SO thrilled! Our little babe was wiggling and kicking up a storm on the ultrasound machine's screen...goodness I didn't want to leave the office, but just stay and watch our little peach (that's about the size it is) all day! It's just the sweetest miracle :)

The day I found out we were pregnant I whipped up that shirt (thanks to Shawntae for the idea!) for Brooks to be wearing when Adam got home from work...he was one happy daddy-o! He and I cannot wait to see our Little B become a big brother :)

14 weeks in polka dots

Dear Baby,

We made you "public" two days ago!! Oh I was so thrilled to tell our sweet friends (most family already knew:) that you'll be joining us soon...and everyone has been so great and supportive and excited for us! Your adorable Dad has been SO excited about you that he could barely keep our special little secret to himself ;) Dad, Brooks, and I just cannot wait to meet you! Actually Little B (your big brother) doesn't quite know of you yet, but I think he'll understand soon :)

According to this fun site you are about the size of a lemon!! And you're quite the fuzzy little lemon ;) You're growing lanugo all over your body, which is thin, downy hair that keeps you warm and cozy in my belly. And you may have even starting sucking one of your tiny thumbs! Makes me melt just thinking about it.

I love reading all about how you're growing and developing...you are such a miracle, little one. And I feel blessed to be part of that miracle. What a gift you are to me! And to know that you're half me and half your sweet Dad, oh it makes my heart smile.

Love you to the moon already,
Mom

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Spiritual Health:
Read D&C 11
13) Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14) And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
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