Napa Valley Film Festival!

Jimmy called me on his way home from work one day to inform me that he had won something on the radio. As a past radio prize winner, I was so excited! It’s not the prize but the winning that brings such a rush. (think: A Christmas Story movie and the leg lamp, “It’s a major award!”) So when my sweet husband shared with me what the token he’d won was, my excitement grew. Tickets to the Napa Valley Film Festival!!!

Being a passholder for this event gave us many perks… unfortunately, most of the perks were wine related. That, however, did not deter our fun. Jimmy and I planned our day of screenings like kids making a Christmas list. Many a title was crossed off for better, more shiny option. We ended up with a screening schedule like this:

9:00 am- shorts collection

1:00 pm- Among Us (a Swedish film)

4:00 pm- Becoming Santa (documentary)

7:00 pm- Hammer (narrative)

We tried to have a broad range of films, which turned out to be a wise decision. The shorts collection was inspiring, disturbing, thought provoking, interesting and funny. Each film was no longer than 20 minutes. With 20 minutes to tell a story, a writer must be precise and decisive with the plot. My favorite of the set was “Angels”. Not only did we enjoy the shorts, but all the directors and actors were at the screening Jimmy and I chose to attend. After the films, the film makers took part in a q&a with the audience. It was amazing! I even got a picture with the director/writer of my favorite short film!

After the shorts, we drove up to the Cameo cinema to see a foreign film. Our consensus:

good acting, good premise, terrible story- there was no arc and we knew the ending far before the movie was over. With actors so excellent, I felt bad that their characters were given so little room to grow. Good news is that there were plenty of concessions to keep our mind off the not so great film.

Following the foreign film, Jimmy and I attended a screening at the Napa Valley Opera House. SO AWESOME! The film was a documentary following a man that dyed his hair and beard, went to Santa school and spent a season experiencing being Santa. The film was sweet and funny. It also was so tender and poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, we got to do a q&a with the director. By far the best q&a!!!

Hammer was the last film we watched. AMAZING true story of a deaf wrestler that moved on to become a ultimate fighting champion. What I liked most is that each actor playing a deaf person in the movie is deaf in real life. The way the movie was written and filmed really gave me the sense of what it might be like to be deaf in a hearing world. Plus, any movie always scores bonus points for me when they do an "update" during the credits. I loved seeing what everyone from the movie is doing now.

In between all the movies, we went to Bistro Sabor- YUM! double yum! Duck tacos with orange compote and coconut mushroom clam chowder kept my rumbly tumbly soooo happy! We are planning on buying passes for next year because we had so much fun!



Well after Kate's stash of candy has been depleted (with the off-brand lingering at the bottom of the bag), I have found the time/drive to post about our holiday...
(cutest little waitress- I sewed that!!!)
Kate was invited by her best friend from school to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. Because we are Halloween orphans this year, we jumped at the chance. The kids had a blast. We travelled all of two blocks before we were done. After weighing Kaitlin;s bag in my hand, I had determined it did not meet our candy requirements for the evening. You see, not only does Kate get dressed up to have fun and receive candy for being adorable. She must pay me for all the hard work I put in each year with a chocolate tax. Like any realistic government, I acquire the tax without the payer's notice. So, because of the small amount of Snickers in her cute little bag, Kate was persuaded to trick-or-treat just a few houses more. We high tailed it over to the most popular neighborhood as fast as my minivan could carry us. (oh yeah, we got a new car, btw) At the number one neighborhood in Napa, we walked through haunted houses and enjoyed hot chocolate. Each house was decorated to the hilt (isn't a hilt part of a sword?). Anyway, the downside of going to a 'hood that is so popular is that there are zero houses that choose to give out king sized candy bars... upside is that every house gives out candy. Thus, no skipping doors. Simple math, people- more candy. All in all it was fabulous and perhaps I can talk Kate into being Amelia Earhart next year. I'll let you know how that goes...


Someday blogger will let me post pictures. Today is not that day.

Lately, I have really held back from all things computer. My blogging, facebook updates and tweets have been pretty slow. Which, in some cases, causes out of town family to wonder what's going on with me.
Well, here it is family: I am really happy, busy and crazy as always.

I have been found wiggling my way out of self induced pickles and cooking up a storm. The events just keep coming and Kaitlin is doing awesome. Jimmy and I spent our 10 year anniversary in southern California. Despite what many might think, our visit to the San Diego temple was better than any of the other fun things (including Disney and Jim Gaffigan!) we did. The sweet spirit and amazing experiences we had there were beyond compare.

I have the best! news! ever!- Kate learned how to play Settlers of Catan! I am a proud Mama. Jimmy is less than happy that we can now play the game without inviting guests to our house.

Because of the lack of computer involvement, I have been able to concentrate on the things I deem most important: working in Kate's classroom every week, participating in Relief Society and studying scriptures (too bad housework is not on that list...). I just wish I remembered to write in my journal more often! I was using this here blog as a little bit of a journal, but some thoughts and experiences are too personal to share. I will share this, because I have been consciously striving to listen to promptings of the Spirit, I have been blessed more than I deserve with opportunities to serve. Everyday I am astonished by the tender moments that have been placed in my path. It makes me sad that I don't always try my best.

I have been toying with big dreams as of late. There are so many things I want to accomplish in this life. I am hoping that at least one will come to fruition. I need to get back into marketing, because the ideas just keep coming! The $ and hard work to fuel the dream, not so much. Some day, some day....

Well family, consider this update a notch on the positive. I love you all!


What a fabulous weekend!!!*

For her 8th birthday, Kaitlin wanted nothing more than to get baptized on that day. She is a very fortunate girl in that, not only did she get baptized on September 3rd- but so much of the family was there to support and celebrate!

We started out the weekend with a burrito feast and catching up. Then a HUGE breakfast, a trip to the Farmer's market, the OxBow public market (with the oh-so-fabulous spice shop), Fuller park and off to the church. We then participated in the baptism and celebrated at Filippi's for dinner. That night we played games, blew up multiple air mattresses and just enjoyed each other. Then, on Sunday morning we filled a whole church pew and spent the day eating leftovers and hiking. On Monday, Kate got her ears pierced (while SO MANY family members watched. The girls piercing Kate's ears said they'd never seen such a large crowd for an ear piercing.) We also went to Buckhorn and the local monastery. The night was finished off with a FHE at Bishop Wagner's house and some seriously yummy foods. Oh yeah, then we had an all girls' night to pop on over and see The Help. If there weren't enough activities to make your head spin, I shall add some more! A breakfast visit to Bouchon occured as well as tromping around the Vintage 1870 Pavillion in Yountville. The final stop for our guests was Dean & Deluca to drool over $10 chocolate bars (We only drooled, did not purchase... too bad for the sucker that bought the bar with our drool on it)

On the eventful final day of family visiting, we also got a brand new car and took Jimmy to the ER. (It's a van-name to be determined- and Jimmy is fine... mostly a bruised ego) What a whirlwind of a time! We LOVED every minute of it!

* I sincerely apologizefor lack of pictures- blogger will not allow me to post them right now- blerg.


So much to say

...but barely the internet to share it! I feel like our whole married life, we have always had a plague of things not working. There have been months without internet, phone service, cell phone service, power, water- we pay our bills! I just feel like we've got the short of the stick on having things work out for us.
I do have to admit I would much rather go without little things than have to deal with a huge trial all at once. As of late, however, the little trial we've been dealing with has really turned pretty big.

For those of you who don't already know, our poor car, Giuseppe died in the desert. "How?", you ask? Well folks, buckle up for a bumpy ride!

Kaitlin and I spent a glorious time in Lake Tahoe and Yellowstone with our family. Jimmy couldn't make it because of school and work. Driving to Utah on my own is not new. I actually prefer it because I get to pick out all the music. As we were making the long trek back to California, I was getting really excited with the time I was making. Kaitlin was being so good and I only had one more stop to make for gas. Yay! Golden state, here we come!!! (We are the golden state, right? Sunshine? Goodness, this is terrible)
Just as I was pulling of the highway to get gas, the car's engine light turned on and the car turned off... within two seconds (or less!). I had to pop the car into neutral and push it off to the side of the road. Now, I am a pretty brave girl- excluding my encounter with spiders- but I got scared for a few reasons.
1) It was just me and Kate
2) It was high noon with no shade in sight
3) The only landmarks were abandoned buildings
4) Iwasinthedesertallbymyself!!!!

The first thing I did after the initial panic attack was to pray. Then in short succession: called Jimmy, called parents, called roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance has a slight problem assisting when there are no landmarks. "Dilapidated building" does not pop up on their monitor. After much back and forth, the lady on the phone informed me that the closest tow truck was four hours away. FOUR HOURS!!! Ahhhh! Luckily, my sweet sister-in-law packed us a bag of snacks and we had just happened to buy board games in Utah. So, Kaitlin and I played games (with our seat belts on, thank you very much) and ate. In all other circumstances, I would be thrilled to spend four hours doing just that. But, I was stuck in the freaking desert!!!!
*I will have you know that in this entire situation, all panic attacks and freak outs occurred in my head. As far as Kaitlin was concerned, this was all a big, fun adventure. More on my total break down in a minute.*
Anyway, back to my demise... the tow truck driver showed up and hooked up my poor car. Little did I know before then that he was the one to pick me up because of the ample seat belts in his cab. Well, we climbed into the seat belted and air conditioned (hallelujah!) truck cab only to discover that there was only one working seat belt. Kaitlin being the youngest and cutest, of course got dibs on the safety device. I am sure that my mumbling something like, "drive safely", to the driver did not express all that was going through my head... the thoughts like, if I have to die now, why couldn't have been trekking to find water for my parched daughter by digging a hole and getting bitten by a rattle snake?! Or possibly, Kaitlin could not possibly losing her mother this far from home! She would have to hitchhike back to California through all the casinos and rest stops on the way. I don't think my life insurance would cover all her therapy...
Optimism is usually my strong point, but right now the glass was looking bone dry- from being stranded in the desert!
Another two hour ride took us to the nearest place with the ability to check out the car. In Sparks, Nevada, Kate and I were dropped off at a mechanic shop with quite possibly the two cutest mechanics I have ever seen. Well, maybe... I don't know it might have been a mirage from being in the deser.... Alright, alright, I will stop with desert references.

We were informed that the car was fixable for a fee double than what the car was worth (niiice!) and had decided to camp out in Sparks until we could figure something out. I called our amazing Bishop, who also happens to own a car dealership, looking for advice. By now, my resistance to falling apart was wearing thin- but everything was being held together. Because, really, who wants to have an ugly break down right in front of two cute mechanics? "Not I." said the pig.
So, after much finagling and multiple calls to multiple people, the solution was this: Kate and I would sleep in Sparks, our blessed home teacher would drive with Jimmy in the morning to come get us and tow the car home on his huge truck. Ahhh, relief! This solution seemed to be an answer to prayers.

After spending so much time at the mechanics shop, it was time I bid the fellas adieu. Except that we had been there so long that the shift change replaced our young cute mechanics with a couple more seasoned mechanics. I asked if there was a hotel near by. They gave me the name of a very respectful establishment, I'm sure.

We were picked up my the hotel's shuttle and carted off to our next drop off. As Kailtin and I approached the gated (and barbed wire) parking lot, my resolve had started to crumble. It had been 9 hours since my car broke down and I could feel all the emotion I had worked so hard to suppress bubble up to the surface. But, I would be okay... I would be okay.
It was upon having to walk my daughter into a casino to register for a room that I really started to lose it. I smiled and explained my story to multiple people that kept exclaiming, "Wow! I can't believe you're still smiling! Good Luck!" until we found the right desk to register at.
Armed with a room key and the little snack bag that was running dangerously low, we headed toward our room.
My clipped gait, I am sure clued Kaitlin into the way I was feeling, rather than the fake smile plastered on my face. Her little face started to reflect the fear, unsurety and exhaustion I was feeling. We made it without a single tear to the room. But, once I opened the door and saw the zebra carpet, it was all over. I lost it. In every glance, I took in more of this scary place. The chipped black lacquered night stand. The multiple deadbolts. The peeling wall paper. With each scene, my outlook was more grim. For every moment I had suppressed a negative feeling, a rumbling sob would burst out. The hardest part was seeing sweet Kaitlin's face crumple. I think there is nothing worse for a parent, than to see a child's composure melt from off their face.

Once we (sort of) pulled it together, Kaitlin and I walked a few blocks to a diner to eat. It had been a really long time since we ate and there was no way I would take my sweet little girl through the casino again to eat something. Maybe that would have been the better alternative, seeing as we passed two drunkards and a very questionable man that kept following us. Luckily, we made it safely to and from dinner.

We slept fitfully and spent most of the night talking to daddy on the phone. I checked the four dead bolts more times than I remember. But all in all, we made it home with little more than a few tears. I am grateful that even though bad things happened, they happened in the best possible way and I am keenly aware of the fact that we were constantly being protected by our Father in Heaven. It was terrifying, yes, but without the Holy Ghost, I am sure the story would have been so different.

Now I would like to tell you that the experience of being stranded in a scary place with only dirty sheets and cheap cable as my comfort was the most difficult part of the whole situation. 'Twas not my friends, 'twas not.
The hardest part has been dealing with one car for a few months. Everyday, I feel like things get more hectic and I have reached my breaking point. Every time something new decides not work (like my ultimate and best blender ever within two days of the grill), I think I can't make it another minute. Each time the money we have set aside for something frivolous goes to something necessary, the bleakness almost overtakes me. But it doesn't. We move on. We laugh. We enjoy what we have. And I look forward with faith to meet all my deserts in life with the courage to get through. And with seat belts. Always seat belts.


Finally a Yellowstone Post!

As with most Summers, we have a had a crazy, busy and fun Summer this year! The season started out with a trip to Gualala for girls' camp, Tahoe, on to Utah, Yellowstone and the beach house... and we're just getting started! Here are some fabulous pictures taken by my brothers of the beauty that is Yellowstone.

Look how gorgeous!

I think it should be a requirement for every

American to go to Yellowstone at least once.

Gunnar and the Geyser!

As you can tell... it's been good.


the weather lately?!?!

It is June and we drove home from school through hail...

it is JUNE!!!!


True Love

You know it's the real deal when Jimmy says, "How do you have such big bags under your eyes when you've slept for ten hours?" ... and I didn't beat him up.

p.s.- we had a great time at the beach house this weekend. Mostly because there was nary an alarm clock in sight. I slept in bed. I slept on the couch. I slept on the beach. I slept in the car. I may have even fallen asleep on a roller coaster... oh wait! that was Jimmy. I don't know what else I did all weekend, but I chalk that vacation up to a success because of the sleep. Cheers to another week of seminary!


Beach or Bust

CANNOT WAIT to get to the beach today!

I'll have a smattering of pictures to taunt you with when we return.


Yay, Bacon!

What was the first step to planning the best tenth anniversary ever?! Why buying tickets to see Jim Gaffigan, of course. Here's a refresher for those that have not had the pleasure to enjoy:

Also on the docket for the week: Disneyland, Hearst Castle, San Diego Temple, somewhere else as equally awesome. We had toyed with the idea of Europe, a cruise, a jungle in Mexico... but the moment I saw J.G. tickets up for sale in southern California on our anniversary weekend, I took it as a sign from the heavens. We quote that man everyday, maybe that's why we've been married this long. Just think of the tickets as insurance.


That girl...

Kaitlin was talking just as she normally does every night... NON-STOP. Usually as she follows me around the house rambling on, I can handle it. Today, not so much. I just had a headache and needed an ounce of peace and quiet. As she was around the corner I was mouthing the words to Jimmy, "She has been talking like this all day!"

Kate rounded the corner and caught me at the end of that statement and looked hurt. She looked right at me and said, "You know the golden rule? Treat others as you would want to be treated? Yeah, I'm not feelin' that right about now." Jimmy and I could not control our laughter at that little sassy girl. She cracks me up- mostly because she talks so much.

p.s. for the benefit of mi familia, I have Jimmy editing a video of Kaitlin's excercise routine (headband and all)- you'll love it. Please wait anxiously to laugh hysterically.



I have not gone to seminary in awhile due to HUGE event and missionaries begging to teach....

I miss those kids so much!


This is not me

My sister, Beth and I have always had a blast together! Goofy, silly girls. We used to have fun sleepovers in each other's room and giggle late into the night. When she finished high school, Jimmy and I invited her to stay with us for part of the Summer. Prior to Beth's visit, I was busy rushing around making sure the house was perfect and stressing about silly things that I am sure she didn't care about all while dreaming of all the fun and laughs we would share. What I did not take into account was that I was the mother of a toddler. Those years were rough for me. Not my best. In fact, everyday I was convinced further that I was the worst mother in the whole world and I would never amount to anything. I was so sure that I would never have serious conversations with my sweet girl and my time would be occupied by frustration, cleaning and yelling. I did not like who I was. This was not the Stephanie everyone was used to. No carefree giggles or silly jokes. No last minute adventures to the movies on a Wednesday in my pjs.
So, when Beth came to visit, I was the stressed and uptight gal that she had never met. I am pretty sure she did not have that great of a time. Which is understandable- she was visiting a stranger.

I thought I was doomed to this lifestyle. Not so.

Once Kaitlin started school, I became the mother I had always dreamed I'd be (only on the best days, anyway). Things became fun again. I could talk to her and reason with that girl... finally! Many people say that you will miss the days when they were toddlers. I am sad to say that I have never been wistful about having a toddler again.

Well friends, I am in the midst of a character changing time. I have been less fun. I have been less positive. I find myself stressed, frustrated and out of sorts. Essentially, I have a toddler again. That toddler's name is Seminary. It robs me of sleep and sanity. It is at my bedside waking me up every morning with a day of let downs. I have some amazing students that are so willing to participate... if only their peers didn't make fun of them for doing so. Every single day I bring a lesson and (and tons of hope) that took all night to accomplish. It is squashed by the end of class. I know this trial is meant for me right now, but sometimes it is too hard to bear. I love every kid in that class. Maybe that's why things are so difficult. I want them to be successful and feel the spirit. I want them to reach their full potential. Gosh, it 's like wanting the toddler, Kaitlin, to have an in depth conversation with me.

I know I will be grateful that I finished out the year, but I wonder if I will never miss it- just like with Kate's toddler years. As sad and totally depressing as it sounds, it is the truth. I do not love Kaitlin any less because of the frustration I felt when she was younger. In fact, I think I appreciate her now much better because of my difficulty from years ago.

I just want my family who reads this post to understand why I may have been less myself than usual. Why I totally forgot to call them on the birthdays (and graduations)... why I am a total space cadet (more than normal). Every spare minute I have is spent on a lesson of some sort for the kids who could not care less that I am even there. And the reason I continue to plan lessons and go to seminary is because I love the Lord and I want to be obedient. I know the blessings come after the trial of your faith, but gosh, sometimes that stinks.


Trip to Fantasy Land

I like to visit often... in fact, I think I actually live in Fantasy Land and just visit reality occasionally. My recent excursion consisted of paint and grandiose plans of a modern, chic and fabulous living room make over. Ha. Ha. Ha.
This was the plan:
Entry way- red orange with retro hand painted wallpaper.
Charcoal gray living room.
White couches with navy blue and orange vintage accent pillows.
In theory, FABULOUS. (in my case, theory=Fantasy Land).
Off to Home Depot to buy paint, yay!!! I settled on an orange paint called "Koi". As in, bright orange fish found in the lobby of a hotel (or in my case, hotel lobby= the front courtyard of the neighbor's house I ran away to in elementary school because I believed they had Halloween candy. In July. Yes, I asked for it. No, they didn't have any)
With the jar of tester paint in hand, I attacked our walls. Patches of orange went up everywhere, in every light imaginable. And in every light imaginable, the paint looked like a bright orange fish. With my pride still intact, I returned to Home Depot for different hues of orange blaming the brightness of the previous paint on the lighting in the store. Armed with two other choices, I come home to paint the remaining patches of wall with less offensive orange. This is the part of the story where you shake you head at the heroine and wonder, "why in the world..."
But, I was determined to fulfill my dream living room. It was only after much trial and error that I realized how unrealistic having this "ultra hip" concoction of a living room would really be.
It was then that the heroine realized a super cozy, luxurious picture of a living room in one of the many Martha Stewart publications involved in this desire/need/obsession to change our largest living space. Luckily for me, this new plan does not involve white couches (we have a dog! and a kid!), but it does involve purple... may this new jaunt to Fantasy Land be fruitful. I promise, I'll bring a back a souvenir...


True Example

Normally, posting brags about the offspring make me gag.
Not the "my little boy did great" stuff but the, "isn't little Johnny so a-MAZ-ing?! In fact, so much better than your kid. It sure does help that my camera is better so he even looks cuter... blah, blah, blah" I usually try to keep my bragging to a minimum. But when I truly am pleased with my sweet girl, I like to post it so I can read back on days when I would like to sell aforementioned little lady. So, without anymore more excuses/explanations, I would like to share something that touched my heart yesterday.

We were reading scriptures together when a verse was read about the product of all the wars. In Alma, there is a part of the story that explains the amount of carnage by portraying the still living having the necessity to dispose the deceased into the river so there was room to walk. It was a very graphic picture in my mind. I made mention of this fact. Something to the effect of, "Ewwww! That's so gross!!! I can't believe there were so many people killed that they had to dump bodies into the river!" Kaitlin's face was priceless. She did not say anything right at that moment to me. I could see the cogs working in her head but no words escaped her lips. In fact, we had read a few more verses before that little girl climbed down from her perch next to daddy to stand directly in front of me. When we paused to hear her speak, Kate looked very somberly at me and said, "Mommy, how would you feel if you died and someone said, 'Ewww! Gross!'? Don't you think it might hurt your feelings to be talked about like that? I think it's important for us to respect those people, mom. "
I was stunned. Definitely not expecting that one. Kaitlin continued to talk me in a serious but loving manner. When my chastening was done, our family continued reading and Kaitlin went to bed. While that girl was sleeping, I kept thinking back to her speech. Her mannerisms. The way she looked at me, and came to this realization: She was talking to me in a way that I sometimes talk to her. Don't get me wrong, I do my fair share of yelling (even when I used to utter these words pre-motherhood, "I won't be a yeller"). I have moments of weakness that make me embarrassed. But to see Kaitlin take something good from our talks together made me rejoice in a way that is hard to explain in words.
It was only a small moment that lasted for a very small time. However, this moment took years of prayer, hope, restraint and love to accumulate. For her to follow in my sometimes steady example was a burst of sunlight in this dreary world. For that short time, I felt like I was residing in a literal heaven on earth. Because of Kaitlin's kindness and sympathy towards me, I was able to see how important it is to react in a kind way towards things our daughter does that I might think are utterly inappropriate.
I remember long ago hearing a mother bear her testimony in church. She spoke of the love that she had for her children. Because my mother was not living with us (across the country, in fact) at the time, my ears perked up to hear the tender words of this sweet mother. Among other things I'm sure, the only thing I remember distinctly was this, "I admire my children. They have so much more strength and faith than I do. They are such good examples to me." It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone I felt so faithful and strong could feel this way about her children. I now get it. I understand.
What gratitude I have that Heavenly Father saw it fit for me to have a child. Even if only one child is what he reserved for me, I am grateful that he saved me a truly special one. I hope that I will be able to look back on this moment and feel the same awe as I did at the time it occurred. What a true miracle the true gospel of Jesus Christ is. That I can strive to be a good parent in the midst of such scary times. That I can follow the example of the Savior and learn true parenting from a Father in Heaven that is the exemplar in parenting. How grateful I am for the mercy he shows me. I hope that Kaitlin will someday be able to look into her children's eyes and feel the same wonder I do at the child being a true example to the parent.


My Royal Date

Yes. I am your dork friend that got a substitute for seminary, set her alarm and went to a live showing of the Royal Wedding at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena. I met Sydney, one just as entranced with sparkles, baubles and the like to view the nuptials. We each wore appropriate attire for the event (Sydney: feathers, Me: pillbox hat and gloves). The theater was packed! Highlights:

  • Quiche from CIA Greystone that was so delicious, I begged for the recipe. I'll let you know if I ever get that. I will not hold my breath.

  • Wedding Cake (also soooo delicious!) We each ate three pieces... one in public, two snuck out of the lobbby and plopped on to current plates trying to hide the evidence of multiple plates.

  • Giggling, sighing and swooning at all the right times.

I LOVE the picture below! They look so in love. I am so happy about her dress- sleeves will be coming back into style! Hooray! She also wore a very tasteful reception dress with a sweater. Modest is hottest! Funny story of the night/freaking early morning: Sydney and I had out ongoing commentary while photograpers snapped pictures of us like paparazzi. One of the many subjects- the princesses sitting behind the queen during the ceremony. At the time, we had no knowledge that the young ladies were princesses, so Sydney and I had come to this conclusion: they were there to make the queen look good. In fact, we gave them the nicknames The Royal Uglies. Not because they were ugly (by no means, actually both have great bone structure. And the shoes are FABULOUS) But, why in the world would two young beautiful women choose to dress like this?!:

Because we had coined the term "The Uglies" between us in jest, pointing at the screen and shouting that specific term very loudly in a moment later in time proved to be rather embarassing. Because everyone at the theater was in the same ridiculous boat as us, the embarassment only lasted a short time. Really, how could you be miffed by a captive audience full of multicolred jim jams and obnoxious hats?!

All in all, good night, great time, lots of laughs and we landed a picture in the paper!


Curse of the auction...

As part of the many things I've signed up for... being the chair of the auction committee is one of them. I don't what it is about this auction, but I will list for you the things that have happened to me or my co-chair, Nancy, since our assent to take over the throne (s):
  • I fell, injuring my knee, resulting in crutches for four months
  • Nancy's daughter broke her leg with the necessity of a hip to ankle cast and a wheelchair
  • I broke a tooth with lots of heavy dental work to follow
  • Nancy's husband got a terrible flu bug three times in one month
  • Kaitlin was sent home from school on the brink of an ER visit with a ridiculously high fever
  • Jimmy's Grandmother passed away
  • The car breaks went out the same day as the oil filter... lots of squealing tires and burning oil smell. We all know noise or smell = $ in car speak
  • I lost my precious iPod
  • Nancy got stuck in New York because of a heavy snowstorm for almost a week
  • I am breaking out in a mysterious and severely itchy rash that started on the palms of my hands and has now spread to the rest of my body

And yesterday? Well, friends let me tell you a story...

I stayed home from church because I was feeling burned out and on the verge of ill (Kate was sick, too) when Nancy called me at 10:30am. I answered the phone only to hear a terrible, earsplitting high pitched squeal from my phone. Because of the noise, Nancy and I decided to hang up so I could return the call on my cell phone.

Two problems with this solution. One, my cell phone does not work at our house and the second, Jimmy had the car with my cell phone (and purse) in it. So, being the resourceful lady that I am, I stood on a chair and used Jimmy's phone to call back. We had many conversations that started with salutations and never got to the meat and potatoes because of bad reception.

Poor Kaitlin was pulled out of bed to the tune of, "we have to go right now! It's important!" So important, that I was wearing this: unwashed hair piled on top of my head, sweatpants, mismatched hoodie, flip flops and no bra. Now, I know that image is stuck in your mind- have fun with it.

Kaitlin looked like a mini-Stephanie with her hair also askew and jim jams on her little body. Because I was only driving down the hill to talk, there was no need to change... right? Haahaa, that was laughable of me, huh? When I was having the conversation with Nancy, Jimmy's phone kept beeping at me. Now, I know what my cell phone is trying to tell me when it beeps. Apparently, Jimmy's speaks the same language. It was cell phone talk for, "I'm about to die, I'm about to die, I'm abou-" silence. Nice. And so on to the in-laws to use the land line. Fortunately for me, I did not get pulled over, because how I would explain my predicament?! I am sure that once I started with, "My grandma died and I went to the funeral yesterday and then I was so tired, Jimmy took the car and I have the auction, and I, I'm sorry about my hair, hopefully I don't smell too bad, I usually dress my child before leaving the house..." and so on and so forth. Good thing the curse of the auction hasn't spread to moving violations. I'll keep you posted how that works out.

Until then, heed my sage advice for mothers embarking on school aged parenthood: never show up to a meeting and send treats in when asked- that's it.



I am cheating on blogger with facebook... but don't tell facebook that I've been flirting with twitter and just winked at formspring. I am telling you- between all these forms of networking, someone is bound to get sick of me. Although, judging by my recent lack of posts, it's not you. BUT... if you want the opportunity to find out (nearly) anything about me,
just ask on formspring.


You can't take me anywhere....

Goodness Gracious! My Stephanitus* is returning with a vengance... and mutation. Just last week I drove Jimmy's car car to go grocery shopping and it beat me up. I swear, if I didn't give it the evil eye, yours truly would be stuck at the bottom of SF bay with cement shoes. Instead of the offending footwear, I came home with a bruise on my arm that was just begging for a, "he pushed me down the stairs" comment. As sick as my sense of humor is sometimes, I did not have the guts to do that.

While at a regional camp meeting with the girls, I gave into the hankering for a starburst (fruit punch flavored, you understand) and came out of the equation with a broken tooth. Niiice. Fortunately for my friends, the broken tooth made it difficult for talking because it just kept scratching my tongue. I bet they've never heard me be such a good listener before.
So, after a long and painful dentist visit, I find out that I will be getting a gold crown... haahaa! Who's car is gonna bully me now with my new grill?!

*Stephanitus- the tendency to hit your elbow on everything. I was given this diagnosis in high school by dear brother, Jimboette.



Looks like I need to start folding some laundry...


Good thing Jimmy is not a politician

That boy has so many "...uh..." moments. Example?

After helping me unload groceries and making note of what I bought: "You got meat and potatoes... it's Stephanie's perfect trifecta!...uh...if you add another thing."

When driving him home from a hard day at work once: "Ahhh.... no more work, no more school, more more teachers' dirty loo...uh.... no more books..."

I just love how he trails off! It reminds me of Tommy Boy (you're the one with the shell on it...) because it takes him longer than anyone else to realize he's got it all wrong. We laugh so hard at Jimmy's little cliche slip-ups. In our household, it's usually Jimmy's flubs that become the new cliche. You know, everything is just "so good, so far..." On the clip below, please note 0:32 & 1:54... that's Jimmy.


Excuses, excuses...

I am getting kind of sick of those chicks topping my blog from the last post, so I suppose I'll write something...
There is so much going on in our lives right now.
Chair of school fundraiser with $50,000 budget- check!
Jimmy going to school full time- of course!
Teaching seminary every morning- you've got it!
Make dinner, treat, costume, diorama- I'll see your diorama and raise you a solar system!

Needless to say, my house is in shambles, I'm losing my brain (and my iPod... sad, I know.), and I only see my husband over leftovers or pasta-roni, but I am truly happy. When there is so much to be done it is really difficult to complain. I still have plenty of time to gossip, though.

So, even though we are facing such demanding schedules- I wouldn't have it any other way.

p.s. I just want to let you all know that my writing has not only been scant in blogging, but in facebook statuses as well. It seems that Twitter has been my media of choice. I can be snarky as I please because my (one-literally) follower doesn't judge me...
Here's a sampling:

  • Judging by the tailored ads on hulu, I watch tv shows made for a 16 yr old girl...
  • Only half way through X-mad vacation... anyone want a 7 yr old?
  • X-mas... I suppose that was a Freudian slip.
  • Yes, I'm doing it. Going out in public, on a weekday wearing bright red lipstick. Go ahead, say it: "oh, you rebel, you..."
  • rule#1 in my car: DO NOT change the radio if a Beatles song is on... unless you would like to go home with a stump for a hand.
  • Am I going on the naughty list for wanting to skip the elementary school performance today?
  • It's going to be a bad day... my seminary kids can attest to that. Make a wide berth for USS Stephanie today- for the good of life and limb.
  • What kind of person texts while riding a bike?! Oh yeah, the idiot kind...
  • Seminary kids were a tad snarky today... it pains me to teach kids so much like me.


Papa's got a brand new Caddy

Poor Estelle didn't stand a chance against this young buck:
Fortunately, we bought ours without the chicks. Although the new Cadillac is a womanizer, I wouldn't stand for those two under our roof- or the moon roof in the car. (Nice segway, no?) I am excited for Jimmy to FINALLY have a nice car... not like any of the crap wagons he's had to drive in the past.
We are still debating what to name the newcomer to our family. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.