Thursday, May 24, 2012

(tap, tap) Is This Thing On?

Hello? Is anyone still out there? Anyone?

OK - I know it's been a while.

Well...maybe more than a little while.

But I think I may be ready to blog again. Who's excited?! :)

Since I've been totally MIA for pretty much this entire past semester (see that my previous post was January 8!), I'll do a little recap of what I've been up to.

1. STATISTICS! Holy moly, good golly Miss Mollie, and oh my heck - this was quite a semester. I realized that if I was ever going to apply to graduate school, I was going to need to take a stats class. So I bucked up and registered for basic statistics at the junior college. (Well, first I convinced the counseling office that I should qualify for the class because even though I hadn't actually taken a math class since my junior year of high school I do have a college degree which certainly proves that I have math competency, right? They went for it.) All in all, I have to say that the class wasn't horrific. I really enjoyed using my brain in a new way, and I had an excellent teacher. That being said, I am SO glad to no longer be in class from 7-9 pm every Monday and Wednesday night.

2. And the class paid off - I got into grad school. Cool, huh? Starting this fall I'm going to be a University of the Pacific tiger. I'm entering the Speech Language Pathology program, and I'm really excited! Some of you may know that I'm a bit of a worry-wart when it comes to making gigantic life decisions, but I feel really good about this one. It's taken me a while, but I'm excited for this education/career move.

3. Have I done anything besides school, work, life decisions, and sleeping?

4. Took a trip to Oregon and Washington (post to come).

5. Took a trip to a mid-singles conference in Southern CA (oh yeah, a post to come).

6. I bought my first (and second) maxi-dress. LOVE! They're super cute, and it's like wearing pajamas. But pajamas that I can wear to work. (I know - this is the life-changing stuff right here.)

7. I went with my parents and sister to an amazing concert - Straight No Chaser. They're a male a cappella group, and we just kept turning to each other and saying things like, "Did you hear that? That was incredible!" Go see them. Seriously.

8. I'm trying to come up with a nice round number of 10 things to write here, but I'm kind of struggling. Did I mention that I took a class this semester and made huge life changing decisions? I did, huh? Did I mention that part of my life changing decisions include that I'm moving back in with my parents while I go to school? I didn't? They have graciously offered me a room, which I have accepted. And to think that they thought their adult kids would leave someday... :)

9. I'm going to be an aunt again!

10. My next post will not ramble so much. Well...I guess I can't make that guarantee. But i'll pick an actual topic and go with it. And maybe add pictures. Get excited.

It's good to be back.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Post #101

I totally forgot to celebrate my 100th post! But that's ok, because everyone always celebrates the 100th whatever. Poor, sad 101st always gets left out. So today we will celebrate the 101. Someday maybe we'll choose to celebrate 253. I'm pretty sure that one always gets forgotten.

Christmas Eve.

I know. I'm so far behind chronologically.

I'm not even in the right year.

Stay with me. We're almost current. :)

Somehow I've convinced my family that fun runs are fun and that we are a family of runners.

Is this true? the jury's still out on that one.

But in the meantime, we organized what we called, "Running in a Winter Wonderland."

T-shirts were made.

With a big snowflake on them.

Which is ironic because despite the fact that it was stinking cold when we actually did the run, it was clear as a bell, and later that day we had to turn the heater off and open windows because it was too warm in the house.

Maybe there should have been an asterisk next to the title with a note down at the bottom saying, "traditionally thought-of winter weather not included or guaranteed."


We braved the bitter California Christmas Eve morning cold to run about a mile and a half (with a rest stop halfway). And we looked good doing it, as evidenced below.

I have a fun family*.

The before.

Danny and Dylan. Already feeling victorious for simply managing to get David out of bed and on the family run.

Kari might have been cold.

Mom, The Moll, and Claire all looking good!

Action shots are always best. Right Dad?

Claire in her sweet ride wearing Auntie Kari's hat.

Kallie always managed to come in first. I wonder why? :)

Pulled a hammie?

Chad likes to chicken dance when he's on the home stretch.

Brad is looking very determined here.

Harlows are #1!

The aftermath.

*This asterisk is not a note on how fun my family is. It's to apologize for knowingly creating such a long post. But if you made it this far, you know the post was long. And, of course, thoroughly enjoyable. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ice Skating

I finished work on December 23rd at 11:30am, and vacation began immediately! I didn't have to go back to work until the next Wednesday, and I hadn't had that many days off in a row since June. So not only was all of my family in town, but I was on vacation. 

To kick things off, my mom drove up to my neck of the woods with Kallie and her adopted grandchildren (with makes my sister-in-law so jealous!) Allie, Jaden, and Bella. We had a quick lunch at McDonald's (so gourmet, I know), and then we headed to the outdoor ice skating rink that they built in my neighborhood this winter. 

Though skating was difficult for some, we all had a great time! It was a beautiful day and not too crowded. I was amazed at how quickly the younger girls picked it up - even though they wouldn't really let us lace their skates properly. :)

Allie and Kallie warming up. The rink had buckets to let the kids stake with as they got used to it.

My mom helping Bella. may want to go the other way. :)

Kallie using the bucket.

Time to pose! Can you tell by the squinting that it was a little bright?

Allie and Bella - so cute! Somehow I never got a picture of Jaden. Oops!

Cute Bella...

Then Kallie, Allie, Jaden and I went on the Ferris Wheel. These are some of the better pictures. To my mom's credit, it is very hard to catch people when they're in a moving object. :)

Hey - there's a face or two! :)

A quick snack and everyone was back on the road, and the family Christmas vacation time started for me!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Christmas Dreaming

Christmas was dreamy.

I'm pretty positive that what made it so wonderful was not the presents or the music or the food (SO much food!) - even though all of that was exceptional. I'm pretty sure it was the time that I was able to spend with my favorite people in the world.

So here's a quick snapshot of just a few moments from Christmas. (Please remember that I'm not a great photographer and I have a slow camera. So most of these images are more beautiful in my mind. :) )

Kallie on our ice skating adventure (before she lost her tooth!).

Claire on the slide. Literally hours of entertainment for her on this thing.

Dylan all bundled up for our Christmas Eve Fun Run.

I'll give more details and updates, but I just wanted to throw my three favorite faces out on to the internet. I hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful Christmas! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I At Least Thought About Blogging Today...

And I have a lot to say.

But that's as far as I got.


Can I fall into bed now?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Almost Christmas!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be with my family this Christmas. It's been several years since we've all been together on Christmas, and this is the first time that I will celebrate with the twins. I just love my family so much, and we have a stinkin' good time together!

I know I mentioned it before, but this has been my favorite Christmas CD this year - Glad Christmas Tidings. I just listen to it over and over again. And then it plays in my head all day at work.

And one of the things for which I'm most grateful is that I haven't heard my least favorite Christmas songs at all this year. That's right - I've pretty much only listened to my music (not the radio because the one in my car is stuck on AM and really only gets KNBR), so I haven't had to listen to the ones I don't like. AND, when a friend asked what my least favorite Christmas song is I, of course, said The Little Drummer Boy, but then I couldn't even think of the other one I dislike so much! If it wasn't so annoying that I couldn't recall that information, I'd be 100% happy that it's so far distant from my thoughts. Instead I'll be 99.99% happy. OK - I'll go a full 100%. What the heck?!

I feel like I''m rambling. Am I rambling?

I'll just say one more time...I'm excited for Christmas!

Also - our house is just magical right now. The lights on the outside, the decorations on the inside. Just magical.

Can you tell I'm exhausted?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Love Winning!

I am not the most competitive person in the entire world.


When I go to bridal or baby showers and have to play the games, I want to win them.

Not like I'm going to gauge someone's eyes to make sure that I get the prize, but I definitely put on my game face and get serious. Especially if the prizes are good.

I went to a shower on Saturday, and here are my spoils:

I also scored a butterfinger, but Ari used it for a dessert for the party, so I didn't get it in the shot. But that's a really nice candle! And I totally earned it. I mean, not to brag, but I totally killed it. Basically I brought my A-game and was totally AWE-some. It was a hard game.

Oh...and it was nice to celebrate the impending birth of the child of my friends too. :)

Fancy, Part II

The most important part of any gathering is the people that you get to share it with. I was not very diligent about taking pictures at our party, but our friend David snapped a few.

Here's our fancy music. Nicole brought her flute and Chandra brought her violin. Julie made our horrible piano sound melodic, and Jacosa graciously sang for us. It was all beautiful! This made it feel like Christmas to me.

Why don't we do this more often? In the olden days people would sing and play instruments for entertainment after dinner. I wish we would do this more often.

Here's a group shot. We didn't get a picture with everyone because not everyone was here at the same time, but this is the after-music crowd. What a good-looking group!

This was our silly picture. Did I need to explain that?

Heidi, Nicole, Christina, and David.

I didn't actually get a picture of myself or with my roommates. I knew I was forgetting something... :)

Thanks everyone for such a fun, fancy evening!

Oh, the Fanciness!

I love having and/or attending fancy Christmas parties.

There's something so wonderful and kind of grown-up-feeling about making yourself up a little bit nicer and slipping into a fabulous dress and heels and then spending the evening munching on yummy food that's elegantly presented, sipping sparkling cider, and chatting with friends. Add Christmas lights, decorations, and super-classy live music and it becomes an "occasion."

Of course, I'm writing this while sitting on my couch in my sweats.

But last night, there was fancy. I was fancy. And it was fun.

My roommates and I decked out the house (inside and out - I even helped with lights!), whipped up some of our favorite food and invited friends to come fill our home for a fancy Christmas party. It was so fun!

Here are a few shots of some of the fancy food:

Charity's white chocolate craisin cookies.

I made mini chocolate peppermint cupcakes. I should have taken a picture of them on the red plate. It looked better.

Up close. Yum!

This is something that I think I want to do with my niece this Christmas. Ariane made these hot chocolate dippers. It's a marshmallow on a stick that you dip in chocolate and then decorate. These are reindeer and snowmen, but she also did some plain ones. Super cute and fun for a hot chocolate lover like myself.

We had other food, and it wasn't all sweet. I just forgot to take pictures of the other stuff. Sadly, my lemon bars didn't cook all the way through. I don't know what I did wrong. I took them out when they were golden brown on the top, but when I cut into them they were liquidy. Needless to say, they did not make it to the table.

I'll save the rest of the pics for tomorrow so that the fancy can live on a little bit longer. :)

Also, my favorite Christmas CD this year is the concert from last year by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with David Archuleta. It's so good! My favorite new song that I had never heard is "The Cat and Mouse Carol." I just love the worshipfulness of the music. And David Archuleta is better than I thought he'd be. I've never listened to much of his music, but he's really quite talented. I highly recommend the CD. I got mine at Target. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ten Thoughts In My Head Today

1. Man, 5:30 is early!

2. This tree sure drinks a lot of water. I really hope it lives through Christmas. Or at least through Saturday.

3. Why did I only bring healthy snacks to work with me?!

4. Ooh! I love getting my hair cut! And I'm glad we went with just the blonde this time.

5. Wow - you can definitely tell that I haven't been to the gym in a couple of weeks.

6. Would it kill them to put some fans in this gym?! I'm sweating like a pig! But I'm running surprising well for my recent lack of gym time. Well...running and walking. It's all cardio.

7. How are people buying tickets for Wicked already?! They weren't supposed to go on sale until Saturday! Drat those online codes!!!

8. If I eat a very healthy lunch then I don't have to feel bad when I just eat cereal or toast for dinner, right? Right.

9. Oh man! Has my slip really been showing like that all day? How embarrassing!

10. I love the little outdoor ice skating rink by my house. It's not New York City, but I still think it would be a fun little winter date to go there.