Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy 49th Birthday David!

Today is David's 49th birthday! (I turned 49 in June so I am sooo much older!)

So I thought we'd take a little stroll down memory lane...

David - 4 years old. Isn't he just adorable!

Look at this cute family!

Here is one of the few pictures that David is taller than Pat. David is 5 and Pat is 3.

I had to include at least one embarrassing photo. This is 7th grade. What is up with that hair? And get a load of the print shirt and the pink vest! I am the same age as David and even I think this outfit is ridiculous. The 70's was a crazy time for fashion!!

Ahhh... 9th grade. Looking better! I don't know about other couples but David and I sometimes look at old pictures of each other and play the "Would I have liked you then?" game. Even though I have said that I wouldn't have liked him in 7th grade and I wouldn't have liked him when he had his silver tooth in the front, the truth is... I most likely totally would have. He is and always was exactly my type.

This is what he looked like as he headed for BYU. (He's just about to meet me!)

Even though I am not that big of a baseball fan, I love a guy in a baseball uniform! Don't all girls?

This is one of our first dances together as freshmen at BYU. (My goodness dance dresses are soooo much more fun now! I look like I'm wearing a fancy nightgown!!)

This is me and David serving as Maid of Honor and Best Man at our roommates' wedding. My roommate married David's roommate. We used to joke about switching roommates!

The happy newlyweds... (Hats were very "in" that year so give me a break!)

David and I are 49 and we just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. It's crazy when you reach the age that you have been married longer than you were single. Memories of a life without David hardly exist. Being together that long has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, I know him way too well! I know exactly which stupid thing he is thinking before he says it, so he gets in trouble without even opening his mouth. I know that's hardly fair but that's what happens when you can read each other's minds!

Recent example -

We wanted to grab a bite to eat the other day before Brad headed back to BYU. (It was David, me, Kendall, Bryan and Brad - Courtney and Kylie had already left.) David called J's Teriyaki to order ahead as we were driving there. They told him they were about to close because they had to get ready for some remodeling. David told them we would be there in 5 minutes and we would take it to go and didn't really give them a choice in the matter (in true David style!) So the guy agrees and we drive up and David hops out to get it and tries to get us all to come in and we told him we would just wait in the car.

I told the kids, "Here is what's gonna happen. In about 30 seconds, your father is going to lean out of that door and wave us in and tell us it's fine." Sure enough, it happened right on cue. Then as we were walking in I told them, "Now we are going to walk in and sit down confidently thinking that Dad has cleared this with someone only to find out that he hasn't and he is just doing what he wants." Everyone sort of chuckled at this thought we walked in. There were still a few people sitting and finishing their meals in the restaurant but the employees were frantically cleaning up. David told us to go sit down and so Brad and Bryan sat down at a table and we could see the panicked look on one employees face who was trying to mop and stack chairs. I asked David, "You didn't ask anyone if we could eat here, did you?" He said, "No, but look there's other people in here. It's fine." We assured the panicked employee that we were not staying and all was well. David looked at us and shrugged his shoulders with that cute smile of his that is similar to the look a 2-year-old gets when they have been into the cookie jar without permission. I really don't relish being right when I predict David is going to do something embarrassing that the rest of us don't want him to do, but I'm afraid I usually am! He's an acquired taste but we love him!!!

But, alas, David is the yin to my yang...
  • He is bold and confident and likes being the center of attention while I am more reserved, full of self doubt and prefer to blend in.
  • He thinks most rules are not meant for him, and I think all rules (even trivial ones) should be obeyed. I always assume someone has put some thought to the rules.
  • I hate uncomfortable situations of any kind and David thrives on them. He doesn't get uncomfortable (and I still don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing? I do know that it's not easy being married to the person who doesn't get uncomfortable!)
  • David is always happy and positive and sees the good in everyone and everything. I am the realist who worries about every little thing that could go wrong.
  • David's answer to most anything the kids ask permission for is "yes" and mine is "no."
  • David loves adventure while I prefer to be surrounded by familiarity.
We are definitely best friends and soul mates. It seems like we were childhood sweethearts even though we didn't meet until college. It's been so long. One of our claims to fame is that neither of us ever told anyone else that we dated that we loved them (except each other.) I was pretty confident when he left on his mission that he was the one for me. I couldn't help but think that if he wasn't the one for me and if there was someone better than David out there for me, then I was one lucky girl!

Well, I am one lucky girl and I love all 49 years of him!!!

Happy Birthday, David!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday Kristy!

Kristy is 25 today! I thought that in honor of her birthday, I would finally finish her wedding blog. It's not that blogging about these kind of wonderful events is a chore or anything, it's so much fun - it just takes so much time. What a joy it has been to go back over the wedding events, though. (So scroll down and take a look at the last two entries.)

It was so much fun to plan this wedding with Kristy. It's not that Kacey was difficult or anything, she was great. But Kristy is just so cute about things. She gets so excited about some of the smallest details. I don't know how to describe it, but it was just fun!

I am just so proud of Kristy and feel so privileged to be her mother. She is one of a kind and I don't know exactly what it is, but there is just something special about her. I'm glad that Trevor saw it too because they make a great couple. We couldn't be happier with her choice. Even though their wedding trumped Christmas (and it will be remembered less than fondly by some members of our family) it was a magical time and I will treasure those memories.

Happy Birthday Kristy!

The Moses Lake reception!

The final event in Kristy’s wedding activities was the Moses Lake reception. We decided to have the reception at our home. When Kacey got married it was just too overwhelming to have the reception in our home. I was worried about the weather and if it turned back would we fit inside, etc. etc. There were just too many things to stress about if it were at our house and with that being my first one, we decided to do it elsewhere. Since then, we have had quite a few receptions in our home so I was getting a little better at handling the details. So we decided to go for it.

And what better to do when you are planning a reception than to do a little redecorating! Our entry way had needed some sprucing up for years but it was a huge project and I just didn’t know where to start because one change led to another. I had a few ideas but I wasn’t quite sure if they would work. I had consulted with a couple of professionals and they had their own ideas about changes and they were all very expensive. I didn’t really want to spend $30,000 on my entry way!

So my niece, Nena, is very creative and talented and when I told her a few of my ideas and described my vision she said, “I could totally do that!” So we let her!! She got right to work and the plan was to have it done by Thanksgiving (which I pretty much knew was wishful thinking but it was worth a try, right!) The wedding was in Utah on Dec. 30th, the reception was scheduled in ML for January 2nd and we were leaving for Utah on Dec. 26th. I was hoping to have all of the improvements finished and the decorations up the beginning of December so that we could all enjoy the holidays and not have to stress about the wedding. It was a good plan people! It just didn’t turn out quite that way.

This was how the house looked just before Thanksgiving:

The redecorating wasn't actually finished until the day before Christmas and we spent Christmas Eve putting up decorations. The kids thought I was kidding when I announced we needed to start decorating after we opened our pajamas. It was, in the kids’ opinion, officially the worst Christmas ever! There really weren’t any presents to speak of. (Weddings are expensive! And our kids have just about everything they need – maybe not everything they want, but everything they need.) Jon, Kacey, Scarlet and Rhode weren’t there because they were coming after Christmas for the reception so we didn’t even have little kids to enjoy the holiday with. I do have to agree, it pretty much sucked to spend Christmas Eve putting up decorations that would have to be taken down a week later. The kids were pretty good sports, though, and while it may be our worst Christmas to date - it certainly was a memorable one. And my memories are of great kids who chipped in and got the job done. We all complained but we laughed a lot too!

The house turned out great! Nena is a genius!! It was definitely worth the wait. I wish I had better pictures to show how the whole thing looked but I was too busy to take any and hadn’t arranged for a photographer since we already had the wedding pictures done in Utah. Luckily, my good friend and neighbor and professional photographer, Julie Waites, came over and took some pictures on very short notice so we were able to capture some of it. Thank you Julie! You are a true friend!! The house looked just beautiful inside and out (thanks to lots of people helping - Thank you Lori B. and Janet and Heather and Gail and Lori E!) and we had a wonderful time. It was cold and snowy and, as usual for that time of year, there were lots of people out of town that we missed but it was a wonderful evening.







David finally got these trees to light up on both sides of our walk the day of the reception. They kept tripping the breakers but he finally got it figured out - which is a huge feat for David. He is not electrically or mechanically inclined (to say the least) but he did it!

Nena did this gorgeous array above my doorway. She definitely has a gift!

Kristy and her sisters and Scarlet:

A proud mom:

Kristy makes everything fun!

The Lacey's:
(I know she's actually my daughter but did Trevor marry his mother or what!)

The Earls (minus Jon, Scarlet and Rhode):

The Earls and the Laceys:

Cutting the cake:
Adorable Scarlet:
Scarlet and Rhode:

The wedding waltz:

We rocked the reception... again! We kinda forgot to practice between the two receptions and since our first performance was sketchy at best, we could have used some serious rehearsal time - but it was fun!! Thanks to Angie who (unlike many of our other relatives) had all her moves down and even handled some new ones that were thrown at her with style and funk. And thanks to the groom and all of the groomsmen who were such good sports to do this!

It's a wrap!

What a great couple they are! We adore our new son-in-law and his family is the best. We love having Kristy and Trevor only 2-1/2 hours from us and we get to see them fairly often.

A tale of two cakes!

I put Kristy in charge of searching online to see if she could find a style of cake that she liked. We have a friend here in Moses Lake (Becky O’Neill) who makes beautiful wedding cakes and they are delicious too! She is amazing!! And she is very reasonable!!! All you have to do is bring her a picture of what you want and she makes it. She is one of the few stress free wedding details you can count on! So we knew we were set for Moses Lake but Kristy kinda wanted to have a cake cutting in Utah as well. So we started to price cakes in Utah and everything we found was a lot more than we wanted to spend. The problem was that the cake was not high on our priority list. We weren’t looking for the most amazing wedding cake or the most delicious wedding cake to serve, we just wanted a decent looking cake we could cut. Even in Happy Valley, modest priced wedding cakes did not seem to be easy to come by.

So Kristy found this blog online of (what seemed to be) a nice Utah housewife who had a hobby of making cakes. The few cakes that she had made looked nice and her prices weren’t too bad so we contracted with her to make the cake. We gave her the same picture that we had given Becky. We figured it would be pretty interesting to see what two different cake makers would come up with, although we had 100% confidence in Becky’s ability to make us something wonderful even if it wasn’t exactly like the picture.

It was around the first of December that we struck a deal with the “Utah cake lady” and the wedding was Dec. 30th. Well, the agreed upon price immediately started creeping up because apparently there is an up charge for just about everything… any flavor other than vanilla was extra, any fillings were extra, salt, sugar, eggs… extra (just kidding!) Pretty soon we are up to the same price that I was paying Becky except that I know hers will be worth every penny because she has an outstanding portfolio and she has been doing it for years. The Blog lady only has 3 pictures to show and they are all birthday cakes! Oh well. I tell myself it will be fine and I feel good about supporting (what I still assume is) this nice little Utah homemaker as she pursues her dreams!

I was instructed to send her a $70 deposit which she said covers her ingredient fee. I was also told that after she receives the deposit, then she needs to know the final decision on cake flavors. Well, I stuck it in the mail on Dec. 8th. I sent her and Cortney Boice a check at the same time and accidentally put the wrong check in the envelopes. Arghhh. (I hate it when I do something stupid.) So Ashley calls me on Dec. 14th (6 days after I mailed it) and tells me that they had received the wrong check. I immediately contact the cake lady to warn her that she is getting the wrong check but she hadn’t gotten hers yet. We were in contact nearly every day waiting for the check to come so we can arrange a switch. Finally on Dec. 19th she says that the check came (11 days after I mailed it? Hard to imagine but whatever!) Then we spend 3 days trying to arrange a switch. The cake lady was apparently in no position to help with the switch. Poor Ashley has 3 little kids including newborn Henry. Now I know it’s really not “cake lady’s” responsibility to get the checks switched. It was my mistake but about this time I am starting to suspect that I am not working with the sweet Molly Mormon housewife that I had pictured in my mind.

The switch was made on Dec. 21st (thanks to Ashley) and “cake lady” confirmed it by email. On Dec. 22nd she left me a voicemail while I was at Kelsey’s wedding asking me to verify the cake flavors because she wanted to shop for the ingredients the next day. I called her as soon as I got out of the temple and confirmed the flavors. Mind you, we had been in contact every day since Dec. 14th and she hadn’t asked about the cake flavors! She emails me the next morning (Dec. 23rd) and says that because of the delay in payment and getting her the cake flavors, this has now become a rush job and she has to charge me 50% more!!! (which amounted to about $100) Or my other option (how kind of her) was to cancel the order and forfeit the $70 ingredient fee (which she hasn’t even spent on ingredients yet)! Are you kidding me?

So I politely explained to her that if I had known there was a rush order deadline which imposed a steep fine, I could have overnighted her a new check for much less than 50% of the cost of the cake. I was totally ready to cancel that cake order and just do without because I was so ticked off at her but I was not about to let her keep that $70. She was blackmailing me! Holding the cake hostage!! I kindly offered her another $50 to proceed with the order. She agreed. Grrrrr! (That’s me growling in case you couldn’t tell.)

We had not yet settled on whether the cake would be delivered or picked up. She had said early on that she delivered within a 2 mile radius for free (2 miles? Seriously? Are there any churches or reception halls within 2 miles of your home?) but outside of that there would be a little extra charge. Well, a few days before the wedding she tells me (in a perky tone that makes it sound like she is doing me a favor) that her husband would be happy to deliver the cake to us for $150. A hundred and fifty dollars??? Okay, now I just don’t like anything about this woman and I am already hating the cake that I haven’t even seen.

She also informs me the day before we are scheduled to pick up the cake that she wants to be paid in cash. (Well, you should have told me that before I left home three days ago!) I told her I would see what I could do and then purposely sent the boys with a check even though I had cash. Brad and Bryan picked up the cake. Not knowing the trouble that I had had with this woman, when Brad returned he said that the cake lady was odd. When I asked him what he meant, he said, “I don’t know. She was just a strange little cake lady.”

Here is the picture of the cake that Kristy found online that she liked:

Well, here is the "Utah cake lady’s" version of that cake:

Notice how the icing is yellow (not gold) and the cake is falling? I do have to say, though, (in her defense) it didn’t taste too bad. It wasn’t even in the same league as Becky’s cakes (even though it cost more!), but at least it was edible. I hate to waste so much blog time on the cake lady but I had to share it so that I can purge some of the leftover anger!!! There… I think I’m fine now. I can let it go.

Here is Becky's version:

The picture doesn't do it justice. The gold swirlies are actually shiny gold just like in the original picture! And her cakes taste even better than they look!!

Thank you, Becky, for making our wedding cake experience in Moses Lake such a treat! I look forward to doing it all over again... and again (5 more times to be exact!!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ideal Patient

I have just finished my first week on the Ideal Protein weight loss plan. Touted as the last diet you will ever be on. I lost 8 lbs! Yipee!!! This program was recommended to David by a good friend of ours (Bill Waites for those who know him) who has lost about 60 pounds on this program. He is a P.A. and so his personal endorsement along with his medical expertise piqued our interest. He suggested that David consider running the program out of this office for those who were interested. David checked it out and decided to do it.

I suggested to David if he is going to recommend it to his patients, that we ought to try it ourselves so that he would be that much better informed. We are both doing okay in the weight department but we are both about 25 lbs. heavier than when we got married. My body has not been the same since I had my intestinal blockage and surgery 2 years ago. I lost 18 lbs. because I couldn't eat for two weeks but it seemed that all of the 18 lbs. I lost was my lean muscle and when I gained it back it was fat (or at least that's how it felt.) My body has never quite been the same and I just about decided that I was old enough not to care anymore, but dangit I do care.

Curse that Demi Moore who is my age and looking so good! She ruins the curve for the rest of us. Aaargh! I know I shouldn't compare myself to a celebrity with all the air brushing and cosmetic work and air brushing, yada, yada but she and I have a lot in common...

  • We are both married to devastatingly handsome younger men (David is 2 1/2 months younger than I am)
  • We both have 3 daughters (I just happen to have 2 spares)
  • We both love the movie "Ghost" (It was more profitable for her than it was for me)
  • We both love Rob Lowe (one of us loved him more intimately)
  • We are both willing to shave our heads for money (I've just never been asked)

So you can see why I naturally compare myself to her!

So I am committed to following this plan with the promise of high proteins that will take the weight from my fat storage and not from my muscles. So far it honestly feels like that is what it is doing. (I realize it could be the power of suggestion - I'm not an idiot.) But so far so good. It involves eating the pre-packaged foods they provide and one of your own meals. I've never done any program like this before but it seems to be working.

I do have to say, though, that I am the ideal patient. I have not strayed from the plan one iota. David and I are headed to Paris on Sept. 10th and my goal is to stay on this until we leave and then eat my way through Paris. Even if I gain it all back, it's totally going to be worth it!

My other goal is to fit into a pair of Miss Me jeans. I think it's just plain wrong to spend over $75 for a pair of jeans - but who can resist those sparkly pockets? They are so darn cute!... on everyone but me!! I'm not sure I have the build for them and I don't do well with anything low-rise (because I'm old... I'm the crypt keeper!) But we'll see if losing 15 lbs. gets me into a pair. I'm not sure they will still be in style this year but, hec, that's never stopped me before. If they go out of style that just means the price will go down! Yay!! I've never been a cutting edge fashionista so wearing last year's or even last decade's styles are okay with me as long as the price is right!

If you want to know more about Ideal Protein, you can check out their website at idealprotein.com. It originated in France and has only been in the United States for a short time. I think it costs $200 initially for consultation and food and $90/week for the food. It actually pays for itself when you consider how much you save not eating all of the food you normally eat, depending on how you normally eat. The program is not based on exercise, though it is always recommended. The food is powdered and you mix it with water. The first two days were the hardest and then I started to get the hang of it and found which foods I liked and which I didn't. The weight comes off so fast which makes it easier to stick with it. At least that was my experience and it sounds like that is typical from everyone else I know who has done it.

Now, don't get the idea that these foods are nearly as delicious as what you are currently eating because they're not! But I was ready for a change and willing to give it a try and this program is so simple and black and white that I have found it fairly easy to be all in. Obviously everyone's situation is different. And it's easier to stay on track some days more than others depending on what you have going on. Being out socially is tough because the foods you can eat are pretty restrictive. But I can still go out to eat and usually find something that falls within the guidelines. I'm a rookie, though, so I only have a week's worth of knowledge and experience. Emily West is my "coach." She has been on the program for about a month and I think she's lost 20 lbs. She's looking great! She's my inspiration. (Well, her and Demi!)

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Need a repair woman?

Oh blog... how I've missed you! I miss keeping a record of my life and I miss keeping up with everyone else's lives!!

I don't have any good explanation other than it has just been a busy busy summer. I have so many great pictures to post and I hope to get around to them soon. Some of my children may be very disappointed in my tardiness (cough - Kacey) and I don't blame them! All is well but there just hasn't been time to document the summer. I hope to, though. I was very concerned that my followers (all 3 of them!) were missing me but Jared Bates set me straight on that one. Ouch!

I don't have time to start my summer recap yet, but I will share my interesting happening of the day. I got up this morning and discovered that my refrigerator wasn't working - ugh! It was all dark but still pretty cold so it couldn't have been off for long. We have a built-in, side by side refrigerator/freezer that is 12 years old. Our house is at that magical age when everything is starting to break down and I have been worried about the day that fridge would start giving us trouble because it is so massive and built-in. But... guess who fixed it? That's right, me!

I checked the fuse box - nothing blown. Darn! Then I fiddled with a panel on the top that I thought I remembered came off and it did. I found a switch up there that was on and I turned it to off. Then I got out the manual (yes - I read manuals and I'm proud of it) and followed instructions for vacuuming out the coils. Then I turned back on the switch and voila! I was so, so happy and proud of myself.

Where was the "man" of the house you ask? Well, when I told him the fridge wasn't working he gave me a puzzled look and walked over to the refrigerator side (of the side by side) and opened it up and saw that it was all dark and closed it. Then he turned to me and asked (I kid you not), is the freezer not working either? (It's a side by side people - one unit!) My husband is many wonderful things, but handy around the house is not one of them. I told him that if he didn't have 7 kids, he might be asked to surrender his "man" card. Luckily, we compliment each other.

We swap the conventional male/female stereotypes quite often. He likes to stop and ask directions before he's even lost, and I would prefer to drive around for an hour rather than ask someone. He likes to shop at the grocery store and I hate it. He loooves Bath and Body Works and I rarely go in there. (I certainly don't go in there with him - it's embarrassing. If you don't believe me, ask the kids. I'm sure when the salesclerks see him they are looking around for the other half of "My Two Dads!") He loves to travel and is willing to do all of the planning and would leave at the drop of a hat, and I fret about being gone from work. (Which one is the doctor again?) Not to fear, though, he is all male when it comes to golf and how much time should be spent pursuing that activity. So his masculinity is indeed intact! You gotta love him!!!

I miss you all! I hope to have more time soon. Suffice it to say that all is well and life is good and I hope it is the same for all of you!