In love...

I could not hold out any longer, sorry Bethypoo! I just had to watch Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. I was going to wait for my maiden screening of the picture until Beth returned from her mission, so we could drool together, but I just couldn't stand it any longer!I just have to say I loved this movie so much, my teeth hurt. First of all, you're guaranteed goodness with a picture done by Baz Luhrmann. Throw in a fabulous cast, mind blowing plot and twist and turns that welcome envy from rotini pasta. I absolutely adore any music involved in a Baz film. I love the way the music threads through the scenes like golden thread through a rich tapestry.
Nicole Kidman was an excellent portrayal of a spunky, strong woman. She just shone in this movie. She was an extremely deep character. Hugh Jackman also represented a character with multiple layers. It doesn't hurt that he's shirtless in some of the many frames, that of course, can be paused at thy will. What really impressed me so much out of all the characters was the little boy, Nullah, played by Brandon Walters. What a talented and gorgeous little man. I;m sure he's a real heart breaker for the nine and under crowd.
I urge you to rent this movie and take a gander when you have the time. It is quite long and requires some intent attention at some points, so make sure the kiddies are in bed.


Spring Break = Sparse Posting

Return of school = More for your reading pleasure!

Just a little update on things gone adrift in the House of Graham:
  • I was released from calling (LDS/Mormon term for job in the church), thus, fulfilling my threat to train for a 5K.
  • Made multiple bridesmaids' dresses for upcoming wedding.
  • Had a totally fabulous play date that was zero stress and so much fun (rare occurrence)
  • Went to IKEA, baby!
  • Bought a butt-load (I can say that now, I've been released from the calling that required me to be a good example...) of buttons for Miss April to apply her magic to
  • Had the greatest neighbors in the whole wide world over TWICE to play awesome board games
  • One whole day spent in pajamas
  • Scored some serious cash substituting at a daycare
  • Almost boxed a child's ears at daycare
  • Bought new shoes!!!
  • Went to the temple

As you can tell, I had a fabulous week. Apart from the one day spent in pj's, the week was more full than a normal, school attending week. I guess I just tried to cram it all in to store up the fun moments in my cheeks in preparation for summer vacay...


Why I have the greatest husband in the world...

with ribbons in our wedding colors and this note:

Thank you, Jimmy.

I typed out several ways to express my love and appreciation for you, only to delete them all. Because there is nothing adequate enough to express my feelings- just know that they are there.


Let's hope she didn't catch the crazy, too...

As people were leaving church today, Kaitlin stood at the door handing out some of her snack to each child that passed.
Hmmm... the need to feed...
Ladies and Gentlemen,
we have the newest up and coming caterer in our midst!


Yay for parties!

There have been so many parties lately! I thought I'd give you some eye candy for what we've been doing: Melissa's bridal shower, Ashley's Birthday, Mickey Mouse day & CIA tea party. Have fun looking at the ridiculous amount of pictures.Above: Almond crisp with Humbodlt Fog goat cheese and fig jam
Below: Bacon and cheddar stuffed potato bitesAbove: Phyllo pillows with mushroom caramelized onion ragu and goat cheese
Below: Blue cheese stuffed grapes with candied walnutsAbove: Caramelized onion tarts with goat cheese and fresh thyme
Below: Thai spring rolls with peanut sauceAbove: Freshly baked Bishop's bread and bruschetta
Below: Spot prawns with lemon basil aioli on risotto cakesAbove: Scallion udon noodle cakes with asian slaw, candied almonds and toasted black sesame seeds
Below: Chocolate truffle brownies with ganache and peanut butter frostingAbove: Strawberry cream wonton skins
Below: Chocolate mint browniesAbove: Cream puffs with bittersweet chocolate
Below: Lemon squaresAbove: Ashley's birthday cake. Handmade by the birthday girl!
Below: Melissa and her childhood friend, Brittney
Above: The family at Kaitlin's Mickey Mouse parade
Below: Kaitlin at Ashley's birthday party
Above: The awesome rings I've been able to wear. Would you like one?? Check out this Etsy shop (thanks, April!)
Below: Tea party dress

I have been having so much fun!!! Like I said, Yay for parties!


I told Jimmy a very long time ago

to choose one:
Clean house or
Gorgeous wife

Because those two things will never exist in the same day.


I just love living in the country!*


The wide open spaces are fabulous. I can go out and spin in fields just like Julie Andrews singing, "The hiiiiiillls are al-iive, with the sound of muuuuusic!" anytime without neighbors calling the cops. It's a nice set up. However, opposition in all things, maestro. As I was taking a shower this morning, I noticed that the water on my cheek just wasn't trickling down. Hmmm... it was trickling across my face.... I opened my my eyes to a freaking huge, black, hairy spider RIGHT UNDER MY EYE!!!! Under my eye! Ahhhhh! Instead of just calmly flicking the spider away (because we share our house with a hoard of spiders, more so when it's raining- like today. I should be used to it), I flipped out and started jumping up and down- not pretty in the shower, you know. Screaming does not begin to describe the noise coming from my dainty mouth. Both hands were used to tear the spider off my face. Yes, the hands that were in the midst of shampooing . Yes, they were covered in suds. Yes, I got it in my eyes. YES, I need to learn braille based on my track record. When the spider was sufficiently on the shower floor, I did notice that it looked quite a bit smaller. Minuscule. The runt of the litter. Almost invisible, actually... don't judge me- it was next to my eye.


mmm, pie...

Things have been so hectic lately! This girl usually thrives on the craziness. I feel useless without being insanely busy.

However, last week everything was a little overwhelming. Things were fine until I was cornered at the end of a very hectic day and criticized for my method of doing things for a particular event. I am not one to get easily offended, but this attack hit me to the core. My life was so full of tasks to accomplish and I was doing my best at each individual task. Not really the best time to point out what you think I'm doing wrong...

So, I decided to take a much deserved break. Calls were made to everyone that could help. Delegations were set in place for the rest of the week. (thank you everyone that helped me!!!) Off to the beach house. I was planning on taking off all by myself, but had a strong feeling to bring Kaitlin with me. Yeah, that didn't work out as planned. She was so sick that it was hard to concentrate on taking care of myself while wiping her nose and holding her. The frustration was starting to take over. Plus, on top of it all, I was getting sick! ARGH!

I was forced to cancel the one event I was REALLY looking forward to! In the midst of all my self pity, I stopped to realize this: even though I complained the whole trip and afterward, I really did have a good time. It was so nice to spend time doing something spontaneous. I love my family. I love being busy. I am done complaining to my friends and on this blog (for the time being).

This time, lemonade was not the result of my life's hastily thrown lemons. Instead, I made lemon chiffon pie. The difference? Well, lemonade is easy enough- with a sweet, yet simple result. When making lemon chiffon pie, one must work hard, wait for oven time and clean up the mess (gosh, I hate baking)... may be more of a hassle than the lemonade, but the result is so much more worth the effort.

Here are the results of my recent baking:

Here we are at Natural Bridges park. We walked down the planks to the monarch butterfly migration stop. On warm days, they flutter like magic. My childhood field trips were spent watching the butterflies at this park. I loved that we were able to go see the little house I grew up in and my elementary school. Kaitlin did not believe that I used to actually go to school.

This pose was by no prompting of my own. Kaitlin insisted I take this shot... What a ham!!!

Just a couple of pictures of the butterflies. It was warm, so they kept fluttering away. I love when three or four butterflies dance around your head for a moment and disappear in the next. The inability to take a picture because of such erratic flight underlines the sacredness of being in a butterfly's presence. Childhood seems to seep back in the smell of eucalyptus, the creaking of wooden planks and the sweet flutter of monarch wings.


Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate's life for me!

I am a self proclaimed red button kid. The definition of a red button kid is this: one that sees a button, any button and has an overwhelming urge to push/pull said button. I still have to fold my arms when I walk by the fire alarm at the church. Luckily, there's a protective plastic shield over that alarm now. It used to be completely exposed... I would have to walk very quickly past that red button with arms folded and look in the complete opposite direction.
A particular instance in which my little 'problem' got me into a pickle was this:
One very early morning, I was picking up my friend, Katie, to go shopping in San Francisco. Her fiance happened to be sleeping downstairs in the family room just off the kitchen. I had let myself in the house with the stealth of a ninja. Katie saw me downstairs and had to get a few things before we left. As Katie was upstairs getting last minute essentials, I was snooping around the kitchen. That's when I saw it. A little stuffed hamster ironically dressed like a ninja. 'Awwww, how cute!' I thought, as I picked up the furry toy to continue my appraisal. 'Hmmm... there seems to be a button on his cute little paw. A BUTTON?!?! I NEED to press that button now!!!' So, yes, the button was pressed. The result? A very loud dancing hamster singing, 'Everybody was Kung Fu fighting'. Ahhhhh! I kept pushing the button to get the hamster to be quiet, but repeatedly pressing the button only made the hamster sing louder. So loudly that the sleeping fiance woke up. Not only did that not-so-stealth-ninja wake the person sleeping downstairs, but the noise was so loud, that it carried upstairs and woke up the upstairs patrons as well. As a joke, I did receive that EXACT hamster for Christmas the following year. I still have it. I still press the button every time I see it. The batteries have been replaced twice.

We have been having quite a few parties at our house lately. Someone left this in the guest room:
Did you notice the innovative design? You know, the button? Well, you guessed it... I pressed the button... I also failed to notice the nozzle was directed at my face... namely my left eye... typing is a little difficult with the use of one eye.


Scroll down

to find one more available entry for my 'Pay it Forward' post... it's been up since Monday, but not many people commented- don't miss it!


A Little R&R

La Selva Beach

I am going far away this week! I am a tad bit overwhelmed (4 funerals, dozens of meetings, parties and other things... all within the past month!) I am taking Kaitlin, who is very, very sick, to the beach house to recharge for the end of my week. So, no posting until Thursday. I will be relaxing with my girl and getting ready for more hecticness (if that's even a word) to come. I LOVE being busy and I want to do it all, but sometimes I get tired.... gosh darn sleep- I wish I could get by without it!

Pay It Forward

Here's a fun game that has been going around. I like it because I feel like it gives the opportunity to give a little sweet personal touch to the blogging world. There are so many blogs I read where I feel like I know EVERYTHING about that person and getting a pretty little something from them would just make my day! Well, I follow Brittani. I think I might have seen Brittani in person once or twice, but know her through association of good friends. Reading her blog makes me love, love, love her! I was thrilled to be one of the three commenters that gets a special something from her! As part of the luck of being a commenter, I now post a "Pay It Forward". Here's the rules, ladies...
1) Be one of the first three comments
2) Post a "Pay It Forward" on your blog
3) Receive a homemade pretty little something from me in six month's time.
So, good luck to everyone, you'll most likely get food from me...



Kaitlin's Ketchup:Each individual French Fry


I swear!

This is my last post about the Bachelor.
I saw the greatest piece of flair on FaceBook today. (Here is an explanation of 'flair' for FaceBook virgins: silly little buttons with sayings or pictures to post that represent your feeling on a certain issue or, in my case, a completely valid excuse for having piles of laundry in the laundry room. You see, you can only get flair if flair is sent to a friend. So, I am sorry if I have sent multiple pieces of flair your way to enhance my flair board...)
Now that I have sufficiently confused you as to why this post is about the Bachelor- I saw a piece of flair that had a picture of good ol' Jason... with the word 'putz' over his forehead. Now, that is some good dirty laundry.


Still not convinced...

...that Molly & Jason will make it. I did watch the second 'After the Final Rose' ceremony... all I can say is this- I cannot wait to see awesome Jillian in action! Favorite quote of the night from Jillian, "I get to pick from those 25 guys- Thanks, Jason!" Yeah. She's that awesome.


For anyone else APPALLED by the Bachelor Finale:

Here are my fave quotes found online:

"Molly, you’re next. I give it a few months before he just has to follow his heart again (a.k.a. dump you)." – goddessrin

"Jason had every right to change his mind, but breaking it off in front of the cameras is a new low. Molly, congrats, honey. You 'won.' I think it'll become really clear really soon just what a 'prize' he isn't." – Mamabisi

"And total ewwwwwww when they started making out at the end. Yeah, Melissa's body wasn't even cold yet and they were pawing each other." – weezer95

"I honestly could not believe my eyes, watching that circus. I mean...do people have NO shame? To have these kinds of personal things televised? What have we come to? On the one hand, great drama to watch...on the other, I feel dirty for even participating." – PetuniaP

"I hope Jason's ex-wife is out hiring a lawyer to try to get full custody of Ty." – Whataconcept

She's gone country

In high school, I hated country music, because any self respecting teenager could not like alternative and country at the same time... well, except for Garth Brooks, who in their right doesn't like Garth Brooks before Chris Gaines... but I digress. As the the scrutiny of peer pressure has diminished, I have learned to tolerate country music. I actually bought the Rascal Flatts album because it had a great song on it. But the occurence in our home lately has been unprecedented. My mornings have been filled with fabulous country music! I'll explain:
Jimmy and I share an alarm clock that has two alarms on it. Jimmy's= buzzer, mine= radio. I like this little arrangement excluding times Jimmy presses snooze thirty times before six am. Completely by accident, my station got changed from the local alternative rock station to the local country station. I don't know how it happened, hence- Jimmy did it. I have realized over the past month how fabulous GOOD country music is. Something that is really impressive is this: there's no fear mentioning God in a song. In fact, the more mention, the more popular. Also, how can you not cry at the songs that are a progressive life story? You know- the ones about baby to to girl to woman. I am especially touched by those because I'm a daddy's girl and so is my daughter. I have actually gone so far as to set one of my buttons in the car to the country station! Now, folks, that's commitment. Please don't go overboard by thinking I am a totally reformed, knock down, drag out country fan... I still cannot handle the overly twangy honky tonk type... well, unless it's Garth Brooks.