Monday, December 31, 2007

Stealing Traditions

Drew and I have spent many a Christmas on our own. Truth be told, Drew has also spent a few Christmases on his own -- being that nurses have to work holidays (I'll be putting my own time in on New Years this year).
So, we're slowly building an arsenal of traditions. My mom always says that traditions often happen when you least expect them, and while I believe that's true I'd also like to expect some -- so I've been reading people's blogs with a great deal of interest this Christmas. My kids are definately at an age where they both remember -- they expect things to happen.
Don't feel like we do nothing, we've done a lot of stuff each year.
  • We go to the temple for their dance concert, to look at the lights, and then we eat at Fudrucker's on the way home.
  • We go to Bethelehem at our local Baptist Church
  • The ward Christmas party
  • Orange Rolls on Christmas morning with tiny sausages
  • Mom making sure no one opens too many packages on Christmas day so that we can haul the Christmas spirit well into the new year.
  • Deep cleaning -- yes, it's a tradition, one that Drew is not so fond of, actually.
Somehow I feel like there should be more, but I realize our little family is only 10 years old, and it took my parents years to build up traditions other then yelling at each other while we decorated the tree. So, anyway Merry Christmas (my 2nd batch of the muffins below is due out of the oven any minute, so I must go).
I'm thinking about making these for our New Years Party tonight (so if I never blog again, I think we'll all realize it was a heart attack).

The Best Dang Muffins

They're freakin' Good.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cinnamon-Streusel-Orange-Muffins/Detail.aspx
You pour batter, and then you sprinkle on a layer of the cinnamon yummish, and then more batter. The cinnamon yummish somehow finds its happy little way up to the top (which is already struesel-topped) and voila. It breaks-through in a happy little cry of cinnamon delish-ish-ness.
Enjoy blog readers, enjoy.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Layout

Tomorrow's the day we deep clean the office (you should have tears in your eyes feeling sorry for me by this point) -- I am hoping I scrap more after that's done. People, we need some scrap goals .... incentives I say. Lara? You up for a challenge? :)

Three Things

1. The shoe fell. Yesterday I went to the computer and it acted frozen, but the CPU was still making noise, so I fiddled with the monitor. If I turned it off, it would turn back on and you could see for a minute, then it would flicker and go out. It's been looking a little sad for a while, so I immediately sent Drew to Fry's (didn't want it to be an ox in the meyer type situation for Sunday) and we have a new 19 inch monitor. Problem is, it's wide-screen. I don't feel like I'm getting as much up-and down viewing area -- but then there's SO much on the side. Do you have widescreen monitors? How do you deal with them? I think it will be great for photo editing though -- as long as the photos' horizontal. :)

2. Drew has been amazing this break. I was just out in the garage freezer hacking out some chicken, and I noticed he'd put away our frozen good from our trip to the grocery store yesterday. I was just realizing how much he's done over the break, with a good attitude and little yelling at our children. Really, why does he need to work? :) So, I thought I'd make a list of the things he's done over the break that I usually HATE doing:
  • Putting stuff in the freezer
  • Putting away groceries
  • Cleaning off the table
  • Taking my shoes to the bedroom (I always leave them in the living room before bed -- bad me)
  • Reading the kids a bedtime story (I don't hate that, but it's nice to have someone else to fly in and save me from some of my monotony)
  • Cooking
  • And of course, DEEP CLEANING. We put away the Christmas decorations yesterday {sigh} and he did the tree almost single-handedly.
Hugs to Drew!

3. Let's see, I know there was one more thing. Oh YEAH -- this is our last time with church at 1 pm -- and then we're switching to morning church. Honestly, I know how shocked you guys are but afternoon church has been great for us. Drew and I have come out around 8:30, we've read scriptures and then we all help make a big breakfast, then we have a family game, then it's rest/nap time (I have been trying to get at least one scrapbook page done during this time) and then it's time to get ready for church. When we get home we have a regular dinner (I personally don't believe big dinners at 1 pm church really work well) and then it's time for our family movie and popcorn time (a reward for good behavior during church). SO, I'm trying to figure out how to get all this in with 9 am church. Do you guys have any church routines that work well for you? Drew has choir practice right after church, so that does throw a bit of a monkey wrench into things. Freakin' choir.

In other news Spencer has picked-up my use of "Freakin'" -- and it's not something I'm particularly proud of.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

And So This Was Christmas

Christmas has just whizzed by for me. I'm fairly sure it's due to the deep cleaning and the extra shifts I've picked-up. I'm happy about both of those things (not so happy when I'm doing them but happy when they're done). Yesterday we cleaned-up the playroom. I tried to keep most of the new toys out but some went into the storage so we can swap them next time. Big hits of the year were :
  • Zooreka
  • Piranha Panic
  • Superheros (duh)
  • Pixter (these were on super-clearance at Toys R Us, and while I realize they're an "older" toy -- Conner can't get enough of his).

As for myself I got a palm pilot, a hair straightener (did straighten my hair this past week, sadly only my co-workers got to see it, and even then it was pulled-up), a fancy nutmeg grater, some new strainers (new, and desperately needed -- these are the fancy kind that fold-down flat -- always good for our little cottage). My parents got us a digital picture frame. I finally got some photos put in it last night and it's actually very cool. We can get 2000 picutres in it, without using any additional memory. Very cool.

Anyway, that's what's big at our house right now. Today's the day to take down the deocrations. BTW, the stockings have handled themselves well. I'm glad I have a little piece of me hanging on the wall. It will be nice when I end-up in the loony bin from cleaning-up superheros. :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

No I'm in Charge

I've been working a lot -- it's just the old "I want my baby before the tax year is over" thing -- very fun for us {not}. Doctors are coming in, demanding inductions, demanding c-sections -- no real reasons... just 'cus. Even though there's no room at the inn.
It always seems to be a cat and mouse game of who's in charge. I realize it's the same game I play with my kids. They push me to my limit, I push them to theirs.
Really, in the end, no-one ends up having a good time.
And I'm just waiting for something bad to happen to take the extra money I made during the break. :) I'm sure it'll happen.
Go team.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Beginning to Look....

{sigh}
It never snows in San Jose
So, Santa Don't bring me a sleigh........

Still no snow -- thanks to Jimmy Osmond for the fine musical lyrics (even if the song says LA -- I can take a bit of musical liberty, right?).

However, I'm starting to move into the swing of things. I don't know why I'm still longing for home every time Christmas comes. We've lived in this area for over 6 years and we've only been home to Utah once (and one other time we went after Christmas). I obviously have my own children (which, frankly, on Christmas morning are much more fun then my parents are) and my own life. We have plenty of presents (sigh)... still, just hard. Every time I hear a lyric about how we'll be home for Christmas I think to myself "no we won't." -- but it's just part of moving away from family. It's also part of having our last trip almost demolished due to fog.

BUT, I've been thinking about the amazing things that are filling those spaces of "home" that I miss so much this time of year.
1. Our own traditions. We've started doing gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve -- and while I have a hard time relinquishing perfection on them, it's still very fun (blessings to the person who came-up with complete house kits -- love them). We also watch Christmas Eve on Sesame Street -- I watched it when I was little, and it's fun to pass that tradition onto the kids. We even let the kids open pajamas on Christmas eve, which is something I always wanted as a kid.
2. Amazing friends. We have a party tonight that we've been invited to, and we also have one tomorrow. Both with very dear friends. They are pretty much our family out here, I love them so much, and it's nice to spend time with friends who have a similar longing for home as I do.
3. Decorations. I'm slowly coming into my own in this house about decorating and making it look as festive as humanly possible. I think next year I'm gonna work on some sort of fabric wreath for above the fire place, I Think that'd look fancy.... something that will hold-up to the abuse of being packed into our garage each year....
4. Our families. My mom always sends amazing gifts and we have a nice trip to them planned this summer. It's nice to know that they support us and aren't screaming at us for not coming home. Lessen the guilt. :)
5. Church. Yesterday was such a great day at church. It was a beautiful service (minus my own singing voice in the choir and my attempt at playing the flute in a G flat key). It was so nice to see the girls home from college. Love them, glad to sit with them in Relief Society. A reminder that the Savior will come to our home regardless of where it is. A good reminder.

So, in this festive Christmas time I need to keep these particular thoughts in my heart. Perhaps I should take down our little decoration that says "I'll Be Home for Christmas' -- or I could repaint it and remind myself I'm always home for Christmas in my heart. Traditions and learning about love that I gathered there will always stay with me.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why I Believe by H.P.E.

I have a hatred. Oh yes I do. I HATE it when people say there isn't a Santa. I even hate it when kids say it. It's not something my children will ever be told, and it's not something I believe myself, and here's why.

Santa is a representation of Christ in our house. I know, go on and on all you want about how something so commercial can't be a representation of the Savior himself, but Santa is something that kids get. We also revere the Savior himself and I don't make any notion that they are the same person or on the same level -- but simply that they are similar. Child A, if he believes in Santa and he is a good little child -- he will get presents. Also because Santa is getting him something he finds the good will in his heart to go out and buy/make presents for the rest of his family. He can believe in Santa, he can go visit him, we can have statuettes in the likeness of Santa throughout our home without seeming weird or disrespectful. I think it's hard for a child to understand who Christ is. He was a man who lived a long time ago and did so many good things, he was an amazing man (and then sometimes mom gets choked-up when talking about this man -- that's kinda weird).

As we grow we realize that Christ loves us. He knows each one of us, he knows what we've done, he knows what we're capable of and we know that he has showered us with more gifts then Santa and the elves could ever fit in the sleigh. We slowly build a true relationship with Christ, and although we're not sitting in his lap we are able to talk to him, tell him our needs and then he goes to his life workshop and gives us what he thinks is best for us.

Also, in the name of Santa so many good deeds are done. I am always amazed at the charity that comes-out at this time of year. No one wants to see people (children, most especially) go without some love from Santa. Santa most definitely brings out the best in people.

So, when Conner comes to me with a realization that Santa is not real. I simply remind him that those that do not believe will not get presents from Santa. For, the faith is required for him to give us the things we desire. The simple idea that not believing could make it so he doesn't get Santa presents (of course he'd still get stuff from us and our family, but I'm not sure he knows that) makes him re-think his little plan. I also remind him that Santa has several helpers and that most of santas we see each season are just helpers, and they do a good job at making people feel happy and carrying their wishes back to the big man himself.

And that my friends, is why even at the ripe old age of 31 I STILL believe in Santa.
And I always will.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Counting Presents

Last night I read a great article in the Ensign. It was entitled "Learning Not to Count" -- it's a good read for those of us of any faith.
She talks about how she used to count presents when she was little, demanding that she had more then her siblings because then she knew her mom loved her best.
As she got older she still was counting the "presents" (aka, blessings) from our Heavenly Father as a measure of how much He loves her. Then, something went wrong (she couldn't conceive a second child) and she realized that you can't quantified Heavenly Father's love for us.
Anyway, it's a good read. A nice way to relate Christmas to your kids too that it's the thought behind the gift, not the numbers that matter.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome to Christmas Vacation

We might as well call this Deep Clean Vacation, and frankly -- I don't think my husband is highly amused by this.
I've assigned a room to each fine day of this vaction, allowing us Christmas as well as Sundays off. Thankfully, our house is small so we will be able to accomodate that type of grueling schedule.
So far Conner's totally jazzed about it, and Spencer is tolerating it with a smile (mind you, this is only day one). I have also assigned Drew a few little jobs like finding out what our paint colors are so we can repair any damages and re-paint, he has already made one trip to Home Depot.
He thinks we should step out of our norm and go a whole new color in some rooms -- but soon he'll be realizing he's so busy deep cleaning he doesn't have time to figure out a new paint color.
It's all in my devilish plan. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Party on

Today's the last day of school.
Big fun.
Husband's home, C's home starting tomorrow....
Still trying to jumpstart my holiday spirit.
It'd be easier if we got a little snow (that didn't stick to the roads, becuase that would just plain be scary).
I don't see that happening.
Santa comes to our school here. I kinda think that's weird. A happy weird though. I'm grateful that a symbol of good can still come to the school.
BUT, today's the BIG annoucement -- and after MUCH groveling and perhaps a little greenbacks exchanged between Allison and the random # generator it looks as though she is the big winner.
So, email me what you're interested in, if you want photos (up to 3) added or if you just want some fancy patterning, etc.
Merry Christmas Pulling curls readers!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Good Blog Read

http://www.mormonmommywars.com/?p=974
I like that blog anyway, but this was a particularly good read.
I think it's something all of us could think a little more about.
I send the kids to the bathroom alone (but together) before church sometimes, and while I'm not sure if that's a practice I will stop, it is something I will think about in the future.
Have your wards had talks about this? Ours hasn't had a single thing.

A Scary Christmas

I got an email a while back reminding us that the Christmas season is up to us. We can't be mad that retailers aren't allowed to wish us Merry Christmas if we won't wish it ourselves. We can't be mad that city buildings don't have nativities if we don't have one of our own (and no, ours aren't on our lawn), that kind of stuff. Which is true -- change comes one person at a time.
So, my goal was to wish perfect strangers a Merry Christmas. And it's scary here. There are SO many different nationalities, religions and strange-ness it's impossible to know if you're offending someone or not.
But, I thought to heck in it. I remember in A Christmas Eve on Sesame Street Mr. Hooper (who was Jewish) would wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and for those that knew him well also wished him a happy Hannukah, but he wasn't offended when those wished him a Merry Christmas back. I mean, really we're saying that we hope you're having a good season, and what on earth is wrong with that?
So, I continue to say it, and I always feel weird afterwards. Each time I feel that way I want to push myself to say it more and MORE.
So, to my blog readers... MERRY CHRISTMAS, and if you celebrate Ramadon or Kwanza, feel free to wish me a happy one of those, because I won't be offended in the slightest. :) Actually, I think I would be impressed that someone felt strongly enough about their beliefs to put themselves out there, that's so rare anymore.
And remember, comment on the post below if you want to win your VERY OWN Hilary Header. :) Maybe that should be my new store "Headers by Hilary" :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

SICK of it

After avoiding being ill for months (and never think to yourself, "gosh I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old and I haven't been sick in MONTHS) -- I'm sick. Just your basic cold. But it's killing me, I had so much I wanted to do this week.
But, it can wait. Right? Drew can take the kids somewhere so I can wrap,
Since that's what's mainly on my two-do list, and frankly bending your head over a package just isn't want you want to do when you will most likely drip something on said package....
And now I'll leave you with that picture.
You're welcome. :)
But WAIT, there's MORE.
For until Wed. AM I will be accepting comments on this page for your VERY own Call the Shots header! I realize you all mostly come to my website just to see the header, so wouldn't it be nice to have one for your very own website?
I will make it the dimensions you want (my current one is 900X200) but I will not tell you how to install it. It just depends on your type of blog template... and you will have to switch to one that has a header if you want to install one.
Anyway, let the comments begin! I'm hoping for more then 5. I have about 40-50 people visit/day and I'm sure there's some of you out there that would love a new header. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

THERE IS FROST ON THE LAWN.
I pay a VERY LARGE mortgage payment just to AVOID weather like this.
We don't get FROST in the lovely Bay Area.
Dang that Al Gore.
You'd think that we lived in the artic though as much as people talk about how cold its.
The Utah in me finds it amusing.
The California girl which I am slowly turning into juts nods her head in agreement, while hiding her hands in her pockets.
Sad but true people.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Gift of Vignette

I did Janelle's lucky photo, and while I was doing it I figure out a great way to do Vignettes in PSP, but then my friend Lara wanted to do it in PSE, so I figured out a way to do it in there... and it's pretty fancy if I do say so myself. I appreciate how in PSE I can pick any center of the vignette -- which you'll see illustrated here: For those of you who don't have a clue what a vignette is -- it's just where the edges are darkened -- nothing too fancy... but difficult to make it look right.

Step one: Pull up a photo you'd like vignetted (first off I'd like to mention that vignette, in my opinion is REALLY over done sometimes I like a subtle one that adds to the point of view -- that being said, here we go!) You'll need to pick your foreground color as black (that's the one on the left in the front (this can picked on the bottom left of the screen). Then you'll pick on your gradient tool -- that's the purple-y looking box above the "word bubble". That should bring your screen up to something like this once you click the pull-down menu on the gradient. You're going to pick the gradient that goes from black to transparent -- on mine it's second from the left (btw, I have PSE 5 -- not sure if I mentioned that).


Step 2: click the edit button for your gradient -- it will pull-up this box:

Step 3: You're gonna want to swap the crayons on the top of the middle rectangle -- you'll take the white one to the right side, and the black ones to the left slide. To move them just click and slide them. Then, your rectange will look like this....

Step 4: Move the left crayon (the white one) to the middle, and the black one a bit to the right (this will make it so the middle of your picture is not blacked out, and the edges will be considerably dark -- this is totally up to your taste, so adjust as the picture indicates). Then hit OK.

Step 5: Make a NEW layer (not a duplicate one)

Step 6: Now you'll click in the middle of your object, drag the line to the corner of your photo, like it is here....
Step 7: It will stick the gradient on your photo. Now click on filter, and then Gaussian blur (sometimes this has come-up with a box that has a radius adjuster, if that's the case -- move that slider all the way to the right, for this you'll want it as blurred as possible).

Step 9: It will look as fancy as this. The gausian blur just blurs the gradient a little more -- makes it look more like your camera just did it. Make sure when you're doing all this that you still have the new layer selected, not your actual photo -- otherwise you'll just end-up with a very blurry picture.

Clear as mud?

Some extras

On this one you can tell that I used a more center-point. Normally that's what I'd do, but the ohter one lent itself wel to a bit of darkness on the right side.

and then this one's after the blur and the opacity change. This would be my final product.

Also, make sure you save your vignette gradient. Just click "new" and it will save it when you're in the edit box. Merry Christmas those out in blogland. AND, my frien Brittany gave me a great idea for another giveaway next Monday.


Janelle's the big winner

Janelle, come on down -- you're the next contestant on Hilary edits your picture.
Ok, so it was a lame giveaway, but if you want me to edit a photo, maybe just to see how I do it differently I'd be happy to do it. I'll even do a story board so you can see how I do it. I can do a color photo, or I can convert to black and white.
Merry Christmas peeps!

Mike forgot something

I think Mike Huckabee forgot that we also believe that he and Satan are brothers.
Frankly, I'm seeing some quality time in their future if he keeps this up.
{sigh}

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ER

Sadly, friends I am still a big ER watcher. Well, maybe I wouldn't define myself as a "big" fan (besides in girth) -- but I still watch it. I am fairly sure it has to do with the nurse in me.
So, yesterday I'm watching last Thursday's episode (frankly, I think if I were a big fan I would've watched it on Friday) and the chaplain tells this story about a little boy who wants to move a giant rock. He goes and tells his mom he wants to use it. She says he can if he uses all of his strengths. So, he goes and tries on his own, he uses all of his strength but he's unable to move the rock. So, he goes back to his mom and she comes and together they lift it. She then tells him that all of his strength involves using those around him to help him, when he was unable to do it on his own. Abby then uses this to help her stop drinking, and tell her husband that she had an affair (and yes, as I type this I am embarrassed that I still watch the show -- but we all have our faults, right?).
I just really liked the story. It's so true that people can't do things on their own. We are so likely to turn down help when we are unable to do things on our own (and oddly, we often look for help in things we could easily do on our own).
Anyway, just my thoughts for the day. I hope my friends always know that I'm here to help them lift any "stones" in their lives.
And no one's asked any questions about photography. I guess I answered them all. :) Hopefully all the people that commented last time actually want a photo photoshopped, since that's who I'll be picking from. In case you didn't see my "big" give-away it's 2 posts down with my photoshopping skills. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Images for photo post


You can't click on the photos to enlarge in the post below, so here they are, and they're clickable. Sorry -- Blogger has some photo issue lately, doesn't it?

Photography 201

Obviously, photography 101 is composition and lighting, but that's a story for another day. Today's story is about photo editing. I'm not going to be highlighting any specific program, but I will say that my main photo editing program, now, is Lightroom. However, it's pretty complicated, has quite a learning curve. Prior to that I used paint shop pro. You can do more things with it then you can do with photoshop, but there aren't as many tutorials out there, simply because it's not as popular. I also have elements, but because I got it later in the game I rarely use it except to run a few actions.

So, without further adieu, what can you do to make your photos better?





1. Crop them. You can see on both of these pictures, my composition wasn't that great. And honestly, with kids who are always moving and you're lucky just to get their faces on the file, you won't have the time to zoom in and out and make it just perfect -- so bring it into your photo editing software and crop it. Now, there are several ways to make a photo more appealing, but really, just crop it so you can see your subject a little more clearly, and taking out anything distracting. NOTE: I always save a copy of my original file, just in case I want the distracting background some day. Also, the more you save a jpeg file the smaller it becomes, so it's always nice to have the original available.
2. Contrast! Contrast is huge, and most cameras seem to level the playing field of contrast, which tends to make your photo look more flat. I use curves, which gives a girl a little more control (and if anyone wants more info on how I use curves I can post another post about that with a screen shot) but if you don't want to go to all that trouble, just try upping your contrast a bit. You are going to have to play around with it a little and that's fine. Up it, undo it, up it a little less or a little more. It won't hurt anything (because you always have your original as your back-up).
3. Saturation. Now, because I have kids and they are rockstars and all -- I up my saturation. It tends to give my pictures a little more playful-ness. I like the look, however there are probably plenty of you who don't like the look. I don't like things over-saturated, so that it looks like we all stepped out of candy land, but some people do. Again, find-out how your program adjust saturation. I usually go somewhere between 5 and 20. You have to watch-out for skin tones though. Sometimes they get ALL out of wack! So, increase it, undo, decrease it a bit. See what you like. :)
4. Vignette. I've been doing this more and more (mostly because lightroom has a handy slider that makes it hardly any work at all). It tends to make your photos a tad more finished, but sometimes it just looks scary. Neither of the photos I chose to edit here lend themselves well to a vignette look... but I thought I'd show you what it looked like. I can't give a tutorial here on how to do it, but google your software along with the word vignette and see what you come-up with.

This is what I do on all my photos. Well, first I go through them and figure out which ones I want to edit (Lightroom has a great tool to do this, but you could just re-name the ones you like). Then, I crop, up my contrast, increase my saturation (and sometimes my photos are already saturated just fine, the one by the fountain only had a saturation increase of 5, and even then, my neice's skin tones are starting to get a little red for my tastes), possible vignetting and voila. I'm done. Sometimes if we're in a weird lighting situation I do have to do more. This is most often the case if I've taken pictures in Conner's classroom since they have flourecent lighting. But, your program will most likely have a white balance to where you can bring skintones back to earth. If people are interested in this, let me know.

NOW, for the big finish I am open to any questions you guys have. I'm happy to answer one or two a day with any knowledge that I have... BUT, I have a big giveaway. My first, most likely my last. BUT, I will pick one lucky pulling curls reader who has a photo they just adore and would like me to edit it for them. So, post a comment here and Wednesday I'll pick a name and ask you to email me the photo. You're gonna have to be willing to let me post the photo on my blog if it turns-out really well. You know, shameless self-promotion and all. :)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Rampin' up the Excitement

Taking a page from my friend Lara's blog, I wanted to share something I know with all of my blog readers. In fact, I know a bit about photo editing... and it's probably one of the most-often asked things to me.... so, on Monday I'm gonna share a bit of my photo editing process with you all. Last night I even made story boards to show the difference. I know a lot of you have bought fancy cameras in the last year and if you know a few simple techniques your photos will be 100% better.
So, Monday will be devoted to photo editing, but if you have more photography questions I will answer them all week long. So, post your questions here, and I will answer them. Lara's answering some great ones on her blog too, so you can use her for a reference too. :) Since, I pretty much want to be her when I'm all cute and skinny. :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Me and Mitt

Heard a bit of Mitt's speech today, sadly it occured right at drop-off and I didn't have the semblance of mind to DVR it, but of what I heard it was a pretty good speech. I do think he's talking like President Monson kinda, but that's another blog for another day (entitled: How to Talk like a GA, or dress like a General Relief Society President).

I really feel for Mitt though, I have waffled on things myself.

Up til' about college I had strong feelings that a woman should be able to make her own choice. She had to deal with the pregnancy and the suffering and I didn't want the man to be able to control her in that way (aka, don't do the deed with them at all if you want control of your own body). But, then I think it was President Hunter who gave a talk saying that if we felt something was wrong, we should promote laws that make that act illegal. I have always felt abortion is wrong, I would hope most people feel that way. Hence, if it's truly wrong, it should be against the law.

So, I had a mind shift. I am adamantly Pro-Life now. I believe the woman made her choice when she opened her legs, prior to then she could have all the choices she wanted. Obviously, in cases where she didn't make her mind up -- incest or rape those are different decisions. Also, a mother who is unable to sustain her own life through a pregnancy is a matter which requires much though, and a possible abortion, although rare.

I think Mitt had a similar feeling, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I don't want a Hilary Clinton who one day wants 5000 dollar college bonds for babies born, and the next wants health care for everyone. It does seem as though Mr. Romney has thought out his waffling, and if we are a society that can't change our minds, we shouldn't have Costco. :)

Interesting to see what the punnets think about this speech. Very interesting indeedy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Some info for my peeps

I try and check my gmail spam box once a week, you know -- just in case.
Lo and behold, I had 8 legit emails in there, I hadn't had any for MONTHS. Anyway, you might want to check your spam box for you gmail users out there.
Also, I hae a friend who opened an etsy shop, she makes lead-free blocks, and they look better then the ones I bought at Toys R Us (and most likely have lead in them). Have you guys been to etsy? I love to peruse the shops, but I thought I'd give the link in case someone was interested.
www.wasatchblockcompany.etsy.com

My name is Hilary and I've gained 2 pounds

K, I'm working out WAY harder then I have in the past, I have been so sore a couple of days I haven't worked-out, but I think that's probably for the best.
I'm not snacking.
I'm trying to keep portions within limits.
I've gained 2 pounds.
Some thoughts I've had:
1. I'm not eating enough? I need to make some little baggies of veggies that I can pull out of the fridge and have a little snack on when necessary. Things like cucumbers, broccoli and carrots that I can have cut-up and ready at my disposal.
2. It's that time of the month? Mine is so random who knows....
3. I should stop doing both and just become gluttonous.
4. Maybe I should start calorie counting again. I'm fairly sure of the calories that I'm consuming after I did it for the 4 months before... but maybe just do it a week and get a better idea of things. {sigh} It's REALLY painful though, really REALLY painful.

Anyone else have any ideas? I have heard that when you start a new workout you're gonna gain a few pounds at the beginning, and I'm fine but if I hit the old 200 again I'm gonna blow my lid. Really, I will.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Remember...

All those blessings, just a flowin' our way? Well, apparently they clogged our pipes. Yesterday, while making dinner for the missionaries Drew came in to tell me that there was water shooting out of a pipe in the garage. Somehow our laundry and sink are all tied into one pipe and they apparently have an overflow pipe..... which goes into our garage. Who knew? Too bad they couldn't just send that shooting out to water our lawn. :)
But, 250 bucks later Mr. Rescue Rooter and come and rescued our night. Of course, dinner was almost done by the time we figured this out so we still had them over, and tried valiantly to have FHE while the rooter man had his pipe cleaning thing roaring in the background.
Grateful that I worked on Saturday, and thankfully it's not ALL going to the plumber, just waiting for what next is waiting to steal our funds. :)
Then, this morning i went to Safeway to get some Dutch Crackle rolls that I am totally in love with (and thanks to Miranda I have a toasted sandwich on them almost every day. Yum). I saw some coupons for salad (we are huge salad eaters) -- took a few for later use -- and then I saw that Keebler was giving a 5 dollar coupon if you bought 5 of their products which are also buy one get one free....
SO, I got 6 boxes of crackers for under 7 dollars. Keebler, the fancy kind -- even Spongebob square pants cheese its.
So, if you're in the market, I think that sale ends to day but get on out there, hopefully they'll have the coupon at your store.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Buckle Up

People, these are very exciting times at the Erickson household. Besides the fact I just inhaled hydrocloric acid while cleaning my sink, Spencer can BUCKLE HIS OWN CARSEAT.
That's right, we can get dressed on our own, we can get our own shoes on and NOW we can all get in the car on our own.

It's hard to see us all growing up, changing, coming into our own selves, it's fun too, I must admit. I enjoy the freedom this life gives me. The boys are playing really well together lately, and while we have an injury about every 1/2 hour of playing it's still fun to watch them be pals.

It's also hard to think if we have another one how it would fit into the mix, esp. not having a sibling close in age.

{sigh}
I wish I could turn my mind off someimtes, and enjoy the fact that I AM BUCKLE-FREE.
Feel the joy!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I FINISHED A BOOK

I have been a real loser in the reading arena lately. I tried "Wicked" -- couldn't get into it, I tried a couple before that and couldn't get into them either. But, I just finished 19 Minutes by Jody Picolt. It was truly disturbing, but I love how she portrays a courtroom and how she can make you see different viewpoints so clearly. If you haven't read something by her, give it a try (you can click on my good reads banner to see more books by her). Now I'm reading Naked by (I think) David Sedaris. So far it is also creeping me out. :)

This morning I was bemoaning how all my money went to the car and we weren't saving enough, when low and behold the phone rings and it's O'Connor seeing if I wanted to work. I did, and it all worked-out perfectly. I was still able to go shopping with a friend and do family stuff this evening. You can't say that this happening time and time again for me is just a coincidence. I am truly blessed.

We went to the Crech exhibit tonight. I haven't been for a few years. The kids and us loved it. They have nativity sets from all around the world. Not only can you get into Christmas, but you can appreciate art from all over the world. The kids got a kick out of how different they all were. Loved it, definately gettin' me in the Christmas mood. I highly recommend it.

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