Pickles and Ice Cream

When I was pregnant with Kaitlin, I sent Jimmy out to get a whopper at BK for an end to my craving. The instructions were specific: light mayo, light onions, add mustard, extra pickles, cut in half. My darling husband came home with a perfect burger for his cranky wifey... what I didn't know until last night (Kaitlin is now six years old, mind you) was this- Jimmy asked the woman at Burger King to cut the pickles in half, not the burger. He, of course, received a puzzled look from the worker, but insisted that the pickles be cut in half. There was no way Jimmy would be coming home to pregnant Stephanie without a perfect Whopper. It was only a mere 24 hours ago I learned how crazy my sweet spouse thought I was asking for such an insane burger...Luckily for him, they cut the burger in half too.


Time Out

Finally getting around to this post!!! I attended Time Out for Women last week with all my girlfriends. Time Out is a conference to encourage, grow, reflect and enrich. I had a blast... It always starts with great shopping, continues with great eating and ends with deep discussion over what we all learned each year. I really enjoy my time with the girls!
The majority of the pictures I have are from the first night of dinner... I guess I was a little distracted.
Above: Rachel and Jaime
Below: Michelle and Lisa

Above: Lisa and me
Below: Jaime making fun of Megan's mouth full of food
Below: Now Megan is in on the action!
I shared a bed with Megan and woke up to her head completely covered by a pillow and her wrapped up in the covers. I thought she stopped breathing! Well, I suppose not long enough to stop me getting a picture first.

Enjoying the speakers at the conference... Not enjoying, however, the chairs held together by zip ties, the echo in the building or the wafting smell of garlic fries during a very spiritual experience. Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to the conference in Sacramento next year (gotta love those cushy seats)

I love that we cut the zip ties between the chairs before the staff asked us to refrain from doing so... well, permission was never asked and I'm still waiting to hear on that forgiveness. Overall, I had a great time! I was able to score while shopping using stored up giftcards. I even got dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on a gift card. Life is good.


to market, to market, to buy a fat pig

On the way home from Oakland yesterday, the girls and I stopped at the Public Market in Emeryville. The Public Market is a indoor food court with international food from Persian and Afghan to Thai and good ol' fashioned turkey with all the fixin's! I love that all the little cafeteria style restaurants fight for your business by handing out tons of free samples on little toothpicks. If one were to circle the market a few times, there would be no need to buy food! I ended up getting Afghan food- Lamb kabobs with saffron rice and mild curry- so, so, so delish! If you are ever in the area shopping at IKEA or going to the temple, I highly recommend making a stop at the Public Market.


8 years of living with a crazy lady...

and Jimmy's still holding on!
I love you so much sweetheart and wish you a Happy Anniversary today!
May we continue on this journey of eternity with just as many laughs as we have had thus far.


The happiest place on earth

Disneyland in two words- AWE-SOME!!!!

One of my all time favorite moments:

We went on the California Adventure rapids ride with another family and really hit it off. I got got completely drenched and in turn, completely laughed at. There was speculation as to whether or not a certain seat is the one to always get drenched... to test our theory of the heavy side getting the most wet, we went on the ride again with that family. Approaching the front of the line, our plan of attack was decided- all the kidss on one side and all the adults on the other side of the circular shaped raft. As the raft flew down the first elevation, all the adults got a wall of water down their backs. And it continued. On the last and final drop, when the raft usually twists and turns, the raft acted as it had an invisible magnet- with the heavy side going down first, dropping like a lead balloon. Yes, our theory was right, but the only thing we had to show for it was a good, healthy soaking.

Mom's favorite ride: Thunder Mountain Railroad

Stephanie's favorite ride: The Tower of Terror

Jimmy's favorite ride: Space Mountain

Kaitlin's favorite rides: Indiana Jones and Mulholland Madness (we went on that ride 4 times in a row)


Okay, okay...

you asked for it, you've got it.

I suppose I wanted to remain vague about Kaitlin's extracurricular activities while both of her parents were napping because I wanted to keep all things as far from my memory as possible!

  1. First, she called nearly everyone in the address book.... I got several calls the next day from the lucky winners. Some had to erase multiple long messages on their answering machine. Because apparently, when Kaitlin leaves a message and the machine cuts her off- she calls back.
  2. The flowers that were so lovingly planted previous to our nap were transplanted onto the patio. It seems our little girl feels the flowers need more 'room to grow'.
  3. The dog got into the trash can because, as Kaitlin puts it, "He was really hungry, mom!"
  4. And last, but certainly not least, we woke to a terrible crashing sound. A huge mirror just happened to shatter mysteriously. A HUGE mirror. Like, six feet by five feet, huge. Yes, just mysteriously. It just so happens that when we came out of groggy afternoon nap-ness, Kaitlin was standing next to the shattered frame mysteriously.

Needless to say, we will be taking our Sunday naps in shifts again...

p.s. Disneyland post to come soon... we had a blast- just getting all the pictures together is taking longer than expected!


Parenting Tip # 372:

Both parents should avoid napping simultaneously...

you don't even want to know.


in the know

Do you know anyone that has gone through the car wash with a back window down?
Well, now you do...

In gratitude and remembrance

My parents are from the generation that is asked the question, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?"
I am from the generation, "Where were you when the twin towers were hit?"

Jimmy and I were to be married in eleven days. I was busy with wedding plans. Working in living facility for the elderly gave me ample opportunity to view the attacks on our country on a huge screen with very loud commentary in the home's great room. The realization of what had happened to our country hit me like a ton of bricks. What I was more concerned about was this: I wasn't married yet. What if something happened and Jimmy and I were separated? I launched into panic mode because I wasn't bound to Jimmy in marriage... silly thoughts, I know, but I was very concerned. So much so, that I had considered eloping that night. Fortunately, we waited the eleven days to get married so that my family could be there. Luckily, their flights weren't cancelled! On the night of September 11, Jimmy and I attended the temple. It was eerie to be at the temple near so many flights paths without a single plane in the air. The things said at our session were striking and profound. The Spirit was so strong. I came to realize the love my Father in Heaven has for me. My heart went out to those who lost their loved ones- and it still does. I have a great love and deep respect for all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The acts of heroism are just testaments of the strength of this great country.


TP troublemakers

My brother, Tom and his fiance got married a week and half ago and Jimmy and I were able to attend their beautiful wedding. The reception was held at a fine and fancy restaurant. Everything was very tasteful and classy... so much so, that the restaurant prohibited any 'decoration' to the happy couple's form of transportation. Some mischievous groomsmen decided that the rules of the establishment did not apply to them. The sneaky guys had been caught in the act of trying to decorate Tom and Ellen's car and were nearly dragged in by the scruff of their necks. Enter my little brother Jim... Jim had decided that if he was on the black list of this fancy restaurant, as well as nearly all the other men he tried to rope into defacing the wedding getaway car, he had no choice but to turn to the sweet innocent women attending the wedding. that's where Jess (My sister-in-law, Jim's wife) and I come into the picture. Here's how the story goes:
Jim came back defeated from the parking lot and saw Jess and I chit chatting outside. He approached us with a very sneaky look and said, "I see that you ladies are wearing black dresses... hmmm... like ninja/stealth black dresses. Like 'won't get caught decorating Tom and Ellen's car' black dresses. Do you guys feel up to completing our mission? We've been flagged by the security guards and can't even get out to the parking lot. Will you two finish the job we started?" Jess and I somberly agreed. This was serious business. Jim proceeded to tell us where he had stashed the toilet paper and that we needed to look for the silver Ford escape with Nevada plates.
As Jess and I innocently walked out to the parking lot, the security guards nary gave us a second glance... good! we're in!... As we reached the spot where the toilet paper was to be stashed, we realized that the loot had been confiscated. Gosh! These guards were good. So, Jess and I walked back inside to get more toilet paper from the bathroom. But, how do we explain why two girls would be walking back and forth from the party to parking lot? Easy, have your sister-in-law play a drunken party girl while you assist her to the bathroom. We had gotten another accomplice from the reception hall to give us a hand. To protect the innocent, we'll call her Janice. Janice agreed to stuff her dress with toilet paper to appear pregnant... with cylindrical shaped babies. The plan failed when a total stranger walked in on us in the bathroom and Janice delivered one of her litter prematurely. Holding toilet paper rolls under the husbands' suit jackets was the method of choice. As Janice and I escorted 'drunk' Jessica back out to the parking lot, the guards curiosity seemed to have been piqued. So what else were we to do? Yes. Yes we did, drive my car out of the parking lot, turn off the lights an re-park in the back of lot. We snuck, very ninja/stealth-like to the desired car and got busy. I am surprised the guards didn't catch us at this point, because the giggling had really gotten out of hand. I think Jess was taking the drunk thing very seriously and it was highly contagious. The car was sufficiently wrapped. 'sufficiently wrapped' meaning completely covered, it was not apparent a vehicle was even under the huge mass of toilet paper we managed to smuggle from the gorgeous bathroom. Just as we were congratulating ourselves on a job well done, I called Jim to make sure the guards didn't see us. This is how the conversation went:
Jim: Hello?
Steph: Hey. We're done... are the guards watching us?
Jim: Not that I can tell. It looks like the coast is clear.
Steph: I just wanted to make sure we did the job to your specifications. Silver Ford Escape completely unrecognizable, right?
Jim: Right.... wait a second
Steph: What? You sound confused.
Jim: Did you say silver Ford Escape?
Steph: yes....
Jim: It's the car next to the silver Ford Escape.
Steph: awwww... crap!
So we proceeded to clean off the Ford and TP the car next to it. As Jess, Janice and I were finishing up the second destructo-fest of the night, a roll of toilet paper rolled down the front of the car, underneath two more cars and right in the middle of the parking lot. In other words, nearly at the guards' feet. One of the guards became suspicious and started to patrol the parking lot. He caught sight and we ran. Janice and Jessica had managed to stash their toilet paper while I had got stuck with mine. The guard chased us. I am very positive he saw my toilet paper, but I was not stopping. As Jess, Janice and I re-entered the hall, I looked at Jimmy with panic that can only come from being chased down by a security guard, threw the roll at him and yelled, "Hide this!" Jimmy stashed the roll under the table and we narrowly escaped into the crowd. Us girls continued dancing like nothing had happened. we were triumphant!... until we cheered for the happy couple on their way out and realized that the guards had removed any trace that we had done anything to their car. Maybe we were drunk after all....


Arizona is h.o.t.

Not just temperature wise... because we were there!
Jimmy and I went to Tempe Arizona for my brother Tom's wedding. We had a blast! I loved seeing my family and seriously getting down on the dance floor. Ellen looked absolutely gorgeous in her gown and planned a fabulous wedding. Our drive there was mostly uneventful... except when we broke down in the desert and had to pray hard. All things worked out, though. I do have to say, it was a little scary getting into Arizona at 10:00 at night while the temperature gauge is reading 102 degrees!!! I am used to it cooling down when the sun goes down. It did cool down, but it was 110 to begin with! Every time I stepped outside, I felt like my face would melt off. Needless to say, we will not be calling Arizona home anytime soon. There was plenty of fun and rule-breaking to go around while we were staying at the hotel. Climb a fence to the closed pool after midnight? No prob. Sneak into a hot tub hidden in the cliffs? You got it. There was ample opportunities for mischief to be taken- and take it we did! A Bear family event is never amiss with the silliness... more stories to come.

p.s. I suppose I can't complain when we got to stay at this beautiful resort...