Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving '11

We descended on Adam and Heather's home for Thanksgiving this year. Adam was gracious enough to let my kids play with his impressive Lego collection, which kept them entertained, and out of the way.

The food was plentiful and delicious.  The number of pies was more appropriate this year (down to 4 pies for 5 adults versus last year's 6 pies for 6 adults).  Pie is pretty much the best thing about Thanksgiving.  The Thanksgiving meal itself is delicious, don't get me wrong.  But as I'm eating it, I can't help but think, "How much can I eat and still have room for pie?"  Mom's pumpkin pie, Heather's caramel apple pie, the chocolate cream pie that Adam requested, and my new trial: chocolate pecan pie.  All were amazing (and that chocolate pecan pie is one of my new favorites).

I had been feeling a little under the weather all week, and it finally knocked me over that afternoon.  But it was still a great holiday.  Chad got to watch Adam play his new video game, and I played Apple Scrabble with Mom and Heather.

Friday morning Adam and Heather volunteered to watch the kids, and took them back to Mom's where Dad was finally able to join the family after his stretch of work in Washington.  And then I spent Black Friday visiting an urgent care, being diagnosed with a sinus infection, buying antibiotics, then laying in bed.  And I pretty much stayed in bed until Monday.  So this Thanksgiving reinforced the gratitude I have for family willing and eager to take care loving care of my children when I am incapacitated.  I'm grateful for Chad and all he does, for our wonderful little home, for my Savior, for beautiful kids, and for the privilege to be their mother.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My dreams have political undercurrents.

Last night I dreamed that I was in a Hunger Games sort of competition, only instead of people getting killed off, we were just supposed to run around the arena collecting money and raffle tickets until the time ran out.  The arena was the acreage my family used to live on in Washington.  In the end, I had gathered the most money and tickets, but the game-makers made me distribute the winnings equally amongst all the competitors to make it "fair."  Hmm.

7 Months

First haircut (no more mohawk shag).

New occasional cheesy smile.

Loves his brother.

Loves getting exercise.

Happy 99% of the time.
 Photos taken: 11/20-21/2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Best Birthday Ever

This year my friend Jaime gave me the best birthday present ever--she came to visit me all the way from Las Vegas!  We both pawned our older kids off on our respective mothers, and Jaime brought her new baby Scarlett to meet us.

The visit started when Chad and I picked them up at the Mesa Airport, which is a tiny airport we'd never been to before (usually we fly in and out of Phoenix).  It's a little closer to us, and Jaime got a slightly better rate by flying with Allegiant Air, but the delays were a little inconvenient.  We had to race back to Globe so we could make it to Book Club.  We didn't want to miss discussing The Host.  It turned out to be an interesting meeting; the group was divided into those who liked the book, those who didn't like it, and those who didn't finish.  And the discussion got fiesty at times, but that's how we roll.  Jaime reads more than most anybody I know, and it was fun to have her in on the discussion.  I wish she could come every month!

Here's what we did with the rest of our time together:
  • Great massages (Kari at the Adobe Ranch Spa is amazing!)
  • Pedicures (the nail polish I chose turned out looking hideous...good times)
  • Delicious homemade desserts (my fudge and Jaime's pumpkin bars)
  • Dr. Mario on the Wii (Jaime is way better than me now. What happened?)
  • Decided to try a new place for my birthday lunch, walked into one downtown cafe (ew), then back out again, then hit the jackpot at the adorable Vida e Cafe with mouthwatering chicken pesto aoli paninis and Italian sodas.
  • Played with our babies, and introduced them to each other (Lincoln got a little fresh with Scarlett, but he couldn't resist her cuteness)
  • Talked about life, being wives, being mothers
  • Spent our last night at my brother and his wife's house in Mesa so we'd be closer to the airport for Jaime's early flight (Lincoln and Scarlett shared a bed...scandalous!)
  • Talked about plans to see each other again.
  • Wished we weren't so far apart.
I wish that I had been feeling 100% healthy, because I was a tired, boring host half of the time.  And visits to Globe aren't usually filled with fun outings like visits to Vegas.  But we try to compete so our friends will come back again :)

So I'm 30 now.  And I don't feel some magical/dreadful difference.  I feel like I've reached a point in my life where it is fully appropriate to be 30.  Everything about me--my heart, my body, my graying hair--emphatically states, "Yes, we've been through enough to deserve to the '30-year' label." 

So, along with the many sweet birthday wishes I received from friends and family, Happy 30th Birthday me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beet It

I'm posting this recipe to enter my friend Tina's beet recipe contest!  And of course, I chose to make a cupcake.  Because, if you're going to eat beets, why not make them into dessert?

In terms of overall taste, these definitely rate a 10!  In terms of discernible beet flavor...well, I'll let the jury decide.  But using a sneaky recipe is the only way I can get my family to eat beets!  We all gobbled these up.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
  • 1 can beets, drained (NOT pickled beets)
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (Gasp! A cake mix? Yes, okay, and I have my reasons. #1-to make this recipe simple to duplicate. #2-cake mixes are very forgiving when you mess around with the ingredients.)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or mayonnaise (totally optional, but makes for an amazing moist texture!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Puree beets, then add enough water to them to bring the total volume up to 1-1/4 cups.
  3. Combine beets/water with cake mix, oil, and eggs
  4. Spoon batter into papered cupcake tin, and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 8-oz cube cream cheese
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (depending on how strong your vanilla is)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar (to taste)
  1. Combine butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until creamy.  
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix well until desired sweetness and consistency is achieved.
*11/6 Update: This beet challenge turned into a cupcake war between my friend Cari and me!  I won by a tiny margin, with her All Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes coming in a close second.  I might have to take a note from Cari's book, and try adding a little sweetened condensed milk to my frosting...I'm curious now!

    Scenes of Halloween

    Vanilla cake pops (that batch of cupcake disaster came in useful after all).

    Pumpkin carving.  Bree actually put her hand in the pumpkin this year.

    Trunk or Treat.

    Trick or Treating downtown.  I added one more thing to my list of what I love about Globe.  Downtown streets are closed to make room for food booths, a DJ stand, and lots of townsfolk.  Kids walk up and down the sidewalk along the main drag, pausing as shop owners dump candy into their bags.  There's a costume contest, music, and dancing.  Spooky old jail, charming "gas" street lamps, awesome historic courthouse, Halloween lights strung in the trees...yes, we'll be back next year.
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