Wednesday, April 30, 2008

cookies and pudding

It was a kitchen day. I ended up baking some goodies...surprise, I'm NEVER in the kitchen. Brinley likes to bake with me, so we decided on Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Matt has been bugging me about making some of these. I found a GREAT recipe and they turned out awesome ( I love experimenting with new recipes and tweaking them to my taste). The recipe came out of an old book from the 70's, i'm sure. I love old recipe book, especially ones that you find at a yard sale or thrift shop, they always have notes written in them. Then I got the hankerin' for some good ol' fashion Bread Pudding. If we go out to eat and it's on the dessert menu, I order it. I love Bread pudding. It has to be one of my favorite desserts, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little chocolate drizzled on top. YUM! My Grandma Esther used to make it for us growing up, so it has sentimental qualities to it. I am reminded of her every time I have it. I am so happy she left all of her hand written recipes to me, they are priceless.
So, Brinley and Matt had cookies, I had my puddin'.

well, this is Ladies Night...

Last night was a well deserved Girls Night Out. I have been needing a little time away with the girls. I just come home happier. There were a few newbies there and it seems that we have an initiation of napkin folding. (Lindsay's sis, Ashley)
It was yet again, hilarious!

Linds and I are goobers. Literally, we just can't take a picture without doing something.

This was the last GNO for Marcey, who is moving far, far away to Virginia. We will miss you! Linds and Ashley had to leave early, so they aren't in the pic.

What a fun night! i love having a good laugh! I am usually the one beign laughed at, i think, but all in good fun. 4 of us are preggo, out of 11. That's some high odds.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

i fought the law...

I have only been pulled over two times in my life. The first, when i was seventeen, because the officer thought I was underage. The second was March of this year for a railroad crossing violation.
I recall that the police were doing a "traffic safety sting" that day. So the crossings were being triggered by a police officer on a train. When I got pulled over i asked the officer what I had done wrong. He couldn't tell me because he didn't actually see anything happen. GREAT! He was just the ticket distributor. So, I got to thinking, what could I have possible done? If you are familiar with the tracks at Vista and Trent, then you would know that there are two sets of tracks, about 2-3 car lengths apart. As I crossed one set of tracks, the lights started to flash, etc., etc because there was a "train" on the first track. I came up to the second track and the lights were NOT flashing and the guard stayed up. So I crossed. The oncoming traffic's side, however, came down. I am not sure why I received a ticket. My conclusion is that these stupid police officers aren't familiar with the train crossings and they should have known the rules.
I took it to court and I WON! YiPPEE! Okay, they reduced the charge to a non moving violation, meaning it won't affect our insurance, which, I am happy with. It was my word against his, although, I had pictures to prove that I was not at fault.
Arah: 1
Police Officer: 0

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feeling prego

Holy Cow! I am really feeling pregnant. I am sure it's a boy. This pregnancy feels so much different than the last ones. I have these dizzy spells that if I don't lay down, I would probably pass out. This morning i started to have one and i laid down on the couch at about 10:15. Brinley had a soccer game and pictures today so I called my mom to see if she could take Brinley. There was no way i could drive...I woke up at 1:30 this afternoon.
Yesterday I went to take pictures at the hospital again. I have done this three times so far and they have all been a completely different experience for me. This time was a young couple. The mother wasn't feeling movement and and came in. Those sweet parents...that is the hardest part. I know the grief they feel, but we didn't have to deal with it all at once. I just wanted to say "I know what your feeling, I am so sorry you have to go through this", but there is a time and place for that, i it wasn't then. I know where their baby is and she is in good hands, but it's what's left behind that's the hardest.
After getting the pictures ready for them, I could see that their beautiful little girl looked just like her daddy. She was just a perfect little baby.
I am so thankful to have the opportunity to help another family. I have learned so much from Heather, I am impressed with what she has done and she hasn't had a loss herself. She is a tought woman.

Monday, April 21, 2008

While Matt's away the girls will...

Grind wheat.
I know, you thought it was going to be something exciting. Matt is gone for a few days and I know he wouldn't have enjoyed our Family Home Day. I decided to show Brinley how to grind wheat with a hand grinder. Well, she couldn't grind the wheat, but she was pouring it in and making a mess.

Well, you can't just grind wheat, you have to make something out of it. So we made bread too. I tried a new recipe and i overcooked it. Probably because the book is some 30 years old and I'm sure their ovens weren't as efficient as they are now. Eventhough it was a little dry, it tasted alright. I think I will try another recipe next time.

We then made potato soup for dinner to go with our bread. Why not? It was snowing outside. Luckily, it's not sticking.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This morning, I got a call at 7:30...
"Arah. Hi it's Heather. Sorry to call you so early. We have a baby at the hospital and they would like some pictures. Would you like to go?"
"Yeah, sure." I say.
"One thing, Heather Evans can't make it today. Are you gonna be alright to do it yourself?"
"Uh. Sure, I'll be there...would 10 o'clock be okay?"
"Yeah, I don't think they are going anywhere."
"Okay, Thanks Heather."

Well, there is one way to get out of saying the prayer in Sacrament Meeting.
I spent the rest of the morning feeling extremely nervous, getting Brinley ready to go to Grandma's house, charging my camera battery, etc., etc.
I get to the hospital. The nurses tell me that the mom just left, so it's just me and the baby... I feel a little more relaxed because I was more worried about the parents than taking pictures of the baby, mostly because you never know the parent reactions, if they want to hold the baby, if they are very emotional, etc.
They take me to this little room called Angel Place. Just me, my camera, and a beautiful little girl. It wasn't at all what I thought. I don't think you can get any closer to heaven, than spending time with a baby, even if it's spirit has already gone. She was so tiny, only 13 inches long and so delicate.
I have to think about these babies as being some one's child, who they love and grieve over. I think it helps that I have been in their position. Sometimes these pictures are all that they have to remember their baby by. It makes me feel good that I can help another family with their grieving. I am always looking to help in anyway I can.
The new issue of NW Women magazine has an article about Forget Me Not. It has one of Olivia's pictures in it, just of our hands. I really hope that it gives the organization the attention it deserves.
I am still collecting scrapbook supplies for the MISS Conference, also, we are trying to raise money so that more parents can go to it. If you have any suggestions for a way to raise a few dollars, please let me know.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

mY LittLe sUnShInE

My little Easter Baby, born April 20th, 2003. 1st teeth yet, but who needs teeth to eat cake.
2nd birthday...asked for blue frosting and ladybug cupcakes for her party.
3rd birthday...had a Dora party at the park. 4th birthday... tinkerbell and a treasure hunt.
5 years little sunshine.
I can't believe it's been 5 years. She is our little miracle baby. She is smart, beautiful and a sassy little thing, who makes us laugh every single day.
color: "pink, black, red, blue, oh and white. That's it."
food: "basketti and curly noodles"
animal: "tigers and penguins...and giraffes"
toy: "uhhhh... let me go look, it's a big bubble blower"(that will change in about 5 minutes)
place to go: "uhh, to the mall"
movie: "backyardings" (which she just happened to be watching)
fruit: "tomatoes"
sport: "soccer"
book: "Charlie and Lola books"
drink: "orange juice" (me: are you sure it's not hot cocoa? "I like hot cocoa too, but it's orange juice)
time of day: "Sunday and November"
flower: "roses"
Brinley: "what's my favorite time of Spring?"
Me: " I don't know."
Brinley: "It's Halloween."
okay...did that make any sense to any of you?
planet: "Saturn and the sun"
sweet: "m&m's and lollipops"

Birthday Brinley

Yesterday morning, I put on a small birthday party for Brinley, except that it wasn't small. I believe there were about 15 kids running around my little house. It went smoothly and Brinley had the greatest time, so i can't complain.
Thursday night, i got everything ready so that I wouldn't have to wake up terribly early. I made all the kids goodie bags with their names on them so thatthey wouldn't get mixed up, for the most part, it worked. We had little crowns for each of them too. (Gotta love the dollar store!) Brinley's birthday cake didn't get decorated until morning...I was just really, really tired. I'm not a cake decorater, but Brinley thought it was beautiful and it tasted way better than store bought.

Lots of kids produce lots of presents. Which she LOVES and wouldn't go anywhere with me without taking a few of them with her...or to bed. Since it is still too cold to be outside, the kids hit the pinata in our basement. This picture is really embarassing. I have way too much stuff still sitting in boxes, i haven't even unpacked half of my framed pictures...I am such a slacker, but...the kids had fun and could not break the dang thing open. What do they make these pinata's out of? I remeber back when I was younger, much younger, that by the time it got to the 3rd or 4th kid, the next ones only got to hit it once just so that everyone got a chance. Fifteen kids hit this thing and not a dent. I finally knocked it's head off.
I love trick candles!
All those kids, eating cake and icecream in my living room.
Opening gifts...loved it!

Thank you to all the kids that came. Brinley loved it and all the gifts!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beautiful baby

I'm not going to have time to blog tomorrow...I am taking photos for a realtor, Brinley has soccer practice, i have to make Brinley a birthday cake for her party on Friday and I have to clean my house...busy day. Since my daughter is asleep, I thought I would blog about an experience I had tonight...

I got a call from Heather (Forget Me Not), who told me that there was a baby down at the hospital that Heather (photographer) was going to be taking pictures of and if I would like to come down to the hospital and shadow her. uhhhh...YES!

I was able to watch Heather, meet a sweet little spirit and get a chance to experience things from a different point of view. I prepared myself before going to the hospital so I did okay. It was quite a somber thing. Heather took lots of photos of the family and the baby while the tubes were still in place. Then, we waited in the hallway while the nurses took the baby off of life support. We went back in just so Heather could take a couple of pictures of the baby without the tubes...they just sat and held their beautiful little baby. i brought back memories of holding Olivia while her little heart stopped beating. It was a really beautiful experience, one I can't quite put into words.

I got to talk to Heather for quite awhile afterwards about technique and camera stuff, and then, about how she deals with taking these photos. I am so surprised at how much public awareness there has been in the past few years about grieving the loss of a child and how much more help and support there finally is. The Forget Me Not program is really in need of a grant and one person, Heather, can't do all the work. This program is amazing and really needs the attention.

In September, there is a MISS conference and the Chapters were asked to donate something to the silent auction. The Spokane Chapter is donating a scrapbook basket... so, all of you living in Spokane and would like to help out a great cause, let me know if you would like to donate any scrapbook supplies. We want this basket to be AWESOME and raise a lot of money. I KNOW what it means to a family.
I really have got to get to bed. Good Night...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Thank you for your prayers.
We had the ultrasound this morning, and I walked in there feeling like everything was going to be okay...yesterday, I was sure I was going to have a breakdown. The baby is doing awesome, very wiggley and has a strong heartbeat of 174. They etimated my due date to be November 18th, but that can change as the baby gets bigger, we estimated the 14th, so we aren't far off.
We are a little excited but need to get past 13 weeks. I have about 2-3 weeks left of taking Prometrium, which is getting to be EXPENSIVE when your insurance hasn't kicked in yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I have been a pretty lazy blogger the past little while. I apologoze. I have had other things on my mind. For the past month, I have kept a secret... well, some of you know about it. For my own reasons, I needed to do some things before saying much about it. Well, today I feel as if I am in need of prayers.
Tomorrow we go in for an ultrasound because I am about 10 weeks pregnant...I am scared. I am scared that they won't find a heartbeat, that there will be something wrong. We have just gone through so much in the past year and I really don't know how much more I can handle. I have been so emotion these past few months. One of the hardest things is that the baby is due 3 days after Olivia's birthday...
It was a surprise pregnancy. I cried when I found was a total shock. I have faith that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and he knows me enough to know what i can handle...but this is really, really hard.
Matt and I would really, really appreciate prayers, even if they are just for our comfort. We have such amazing friends and family who have been through so much with us...I thank you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

soccer game

Not only did we have an absolutely BEAUTIFUL weekend, it was also Brinley's first soccer game. I haven't had a good laugh since Girls Night Out. Even if you don't have a 5 year old that plays soccer, it's worth going to watch a game. They just follow the ball around. Brinley is a hopper. She hopped everywhere. She got a chance to kick the ball and then celebrated like you would when you made a goal. I never thought that I would enjoy her being in an extracurricular activity, but it's been just as fun for me as it has for her.
Julie has done a great job coaching. Cody is a crackup and totally reminds me of my brother, Jared, who was never really into playing sports. Cody likes to pick at the grass, play with the goal nets, etc. but he has a good time and that is all that counts.
So we had this gorgeous weather all weekend. We all got a little sun and some more than others, but i woke up today thinking that it was all a dream because our gross rainy weather is back...the joys of living in Washington.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

very, very sneaky

Tonight after dinner, Brinley helped herself to a couple of grasshopper cookies.
"Brinley, did you eat a cookie?"
"No, Mom, why?" How can you get mad at your child when you are laughing? It was so much worse than this just after she ate it. She wouldn't let me take a picture of her, so i had to get one of her sleeping.

Brinley's bike

Matt got Brinley a bike for Christmas. We didn't bother putting it together because she couldn't ride it in the snow and where we were living...well, i don't think so. When we moved, her bike was still in it's box, in pieces. I took it over to my parents house last weekend and my dad put it together. Brinley was so excited to ride it, my parents rearrange things so that she could ride her bike in their house. She loved it! Hopefully this weekend it will be warm enough to take outside. It's supposed to get up to 68 on saturday, let's hope!

soccer mom

I am officially a soccer mom. i wasn't one until 2 days ago when my sister, Julie, called me to say that one of the girls on cody's team broke her arm and won't be playing. Another player was needed, so waalaa, instant soccer mom. Brinley loves it and she's not too bad. They have there first game this Saturday, it should be entertaining.
Cody love having his mom as the coach, he thinks he is in charge. It's very funny, but drives Julie nuts.
When it comes to soccer, aunt Julie becomes 'coach Julie'.

music update

i really needed some summer enjoy. Hopefully we will get some sunny weather this way soon.
Holiday is one of my all time favorite songs maybe because it's a great song to listen to while driving...i love old skool Madonna.
Cruel Summer is yet another favorite, again, good to listen to in the car.
Summertime its a classic. Gotta love Will Smith.

There are a few other songs I really wanted to post, but then it would really age me and you would all think I am a complete dork. However, if anyone can find me a link to Sir Mix A Lot's Spokane version of Jump on it, I would love you forever. I can't find it anywhere, maybe it was made for the radio station only...sad.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Being sick STINKS!

I have had this horrible, no good very bad cold. It SUCKS! It won't go away! The worst part is...I can't take anything for it, I have to let it run it's course. I have a constant sinus headache, and a cough that i'm sure has ripped my lungs apart and I am soooo tired...if only my sweet child would let me take a nap in the afternoon, I would feel so much better. Hopefully I will start to feel better soon because my house is a pig sty!

i'm baaaccckkkk

Here I am! Finally, the new cord came...yeah! This may be a long post, so...sorry.
This past week has been a long one, with me being sick and no computer. i couldn't even play with my pictures. i would say that being without the computer was worse than being without TV, although, i did enjoy watching Biggest Loser last anyone else obsessed with Biggest Loser? i don't know what it is about it. I guess there are certain contestants that I really, really want to get kicked off and there are some i really, really feel deserve to win. And to watch them lose all that weight, it just amazes me. Anywho, I am HAPPY to have my computer back!
So here is our trip to Seattle. If you haven't ever been to Seattle, it's similar to San Fransisco, with the public market (the place where the fish are thrown) and lots of seagulls, but Seattle has some really cool touristy places, such as the space needle, tons of museums, the troll under the bridge, etc. It's a pretty fun weekend getaway, completely opposite of Spokane.
Driving there from Spokane, there is this antique/fruit stand that we have been wanting to stop at. So we did. I haven't seen antiques that expensive. We found some cool glass bottled soda.
Funny thing is, they weren't antique and there is a place called The Soda Shop, here in Spokane that you can get all the sodas at. Brinley's showing us her favorite bottle.
Brinley would not stop making a face.
This was my Mom and Julie's first time to IKEA. The kids drove us nuts. We drove straight there from Spokane and the kids were jumping off of everything and running everywhere. i don't blame them, they just sat for 4 hours in a van.
Becca and Brian were nice enough to let us crash at there house. I know Becca will be so happy i posted this picture of her.
The next morning, Julie had to get some of her ebay stuff done, so it was to the university district we went and I got to sit in the van for 2 hours with Cody and Brinley...thank goodness for the DVD player. This part of town has the best people watching. It is just a few blocks from the U of W. Some interesting things about the u of W: it is pretty much it's own city, it has it's own fire department, police department, and hospital. It has a residence of 80,000 people and it has it's own zip code. The campus is HUGE! It is where I always wanted to end up at if i was going to finish school. so, there is some usless information for you.
We headed down to Seattle Center after lunch. We decided to take the kids to the Science Center...the coolest place for kids! We had a blast. I would have like to have stayed longer, there was so much stuff to play with.
My daughter is obsessed with space. She takes after her dad, who got her interested in it. She LOVES the planets and is always comparing them with how much she loves me. ("Mom, I love you as much as the hot planet").This is how I feel...and
this is what I WISH i looked like, tall, thin, etc. Every mom that came by this mirror took a picture of themselves in it.
My neice, Isabel, was such a sweetheart that day and a big help with Brinley and Cody. I love this caterpillar and i want it.
Brinley was so excited to see the Butterfly house, until she got inside of it. She realized that too many butterflies is not fun. One in particular kept following us around and she freaked out...maybe it's because she smelled so good. I told her to stand next to a plate full of butterflies (they were munching of rotten fruit) and she was afraid one might jump out and attack her. It was funny, I laughed. She yelled at me.

Isabel is not afraid of butterflies.

Makaela had a really bad day and would not smile. She was being such a turd.
Just before we got ready to head back home, Brinley and Cody picked some beautiful flowers for us to sneeze with and then throw out the window without them knowing.
In the middle of nowhere, between Seattle and Spokane, there is this lone gas station. It was our potty break. They have the neatest little motorless go-cart. The muchkins thought they were fun.
If you have ever driven east heading into Spokane, after you have driven FOREVER through the fields, ther is a section of road where the trees start and you just know that you are almost home, except it goes for 30 miles and it's the longest 30 miles you will ever drive, but at the end of this treed highway, you have only gotten as far as cheney and you still have another 15-20 miles of driving. It's the most irritating thing. It just tricks you brain, drives me crazy!
So that's our trip!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ummm...I broke the cord to the laptop last week just after we got back from Seattle. We can't get power to it now and have to wait until Wednesday for the new one to come in. So I am using my MIL's computer today. I have a ton of pictures from our trip, but can't put them on until I get my computer running again.
The trip was a lot of fun. It was good to spend time with my brother's family. When we got back home, I came down with the worst cold/sinus crud. I am still getting over it. Matt was working at the home show all weekend, so Brinley didn't get to do too much of anything, poor kid. I was miserable.
When my computer is functioning again, i will post again...with pictures.