November 29, 2011


I'm a finalist in two categories on Karen's blog.  Check out her post and vote for your favorite blogs!  Even if your favorite blog isn't mine, still go vote.  :)

my TOP 10 CHRISTMAS songs

10.  "Christmas is Calling"

I have my husband to thank for introducing me to this song.  It's just sweet.

9.  "Christmas Song"

I first heard this song by Dave Matthews back in high school.  A different Christmas song, but beautiful nonetheless.

8.  "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

I love The Carpenter's version of this song.  If I had to pick a romantic Christmas song, this one would be it!

7.  "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

Love Mannheim Steamroller's version (as Veni Veni).  Perfection!

6.  "Carol of the Bells"

I grew up listening to Mannheim Steamroller's version of this song.  I also saw them in concert.  Amazing.  I also sang this song in my 9th grade choir.  It's a fun, energetic song!

5.  "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"

This is such a fun, holiday song.  Every time I hear it, I think of the scene from Home Alone when he is fooling the robbers into thinking there is a house full of people.

4. "O Holy Night"

"Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel's voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born."  I love the lyrics to this song, and it's powerful melody brings tears to my eyes.  While Josh Groban is a close second, I think Celine Dion takes the cake on the best version of this song, EVER. (I'm expecting a rebuttal, Karen.  Haha!)

3.  "Hallelujah Chorus"

Handle's Messiah is absolutely amazing.  My very smart mother took me to a Messiah Sing-In with the Utah Symphony when I was still quite young.  It had an everlasting impact on me.  I can't not listen to the Hallelujah Chorus without getting chills, and I love this version of the piece.

2.  "Happy X-Mas (War is Over)"

Whether it's the original by John Lennon, or Sarah McLachlan's cover, or this French Canadian dude's version, I absolutely love this song.

1.  "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful"

I began taking violin lessons when I was just barely six years old.  One violin teacher I had gave her students the opportunity to make a Christmas album in a recording studio.  It required a ton of work, usually 8+ hours in the studio, often recording/playing the same song many different times.  During one such recording session, I found myself recording Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful. As I played each note and listened to the lyrics of the song in my mind, my heart became very full.  My eyes blurred and swelled with tears.  The message and spirit of this song touched my young soul in a way I can't articulate, but the feelings I had have remained with me all these years later, making this beautiful Christmas hymn by far my favorite song of the season.  Surprisingly, I have yet to find a version of this song I absolutely love, but this piano solo rendition is very lovely.

November 28, 2011

Monday means "What the..."

Nearly three years ago, my daughter was born.  I was so excited to have a little girl.  Both my husband and I had wanted a girl, so when she was born, healthy and perfect, we were thrilled.

A few weeks after her birth, I was going to take her to church for the first time.  But, of course, she needed to be dressed for the occasion.  My husband and I set off to find a cute dress and something for her hair.

We found a dress with relatively no problem, although I was surprised at a lot of stores lack of inventory when it came to dresses for newborns.  Everything was too big, by a lot!

Next, came the task of finding a bow.  I thought this was going to be a breeze.  After all, everywhere I turned I seemed to always see a mother and her daughter with a huge-a bow in her hair.  We're talking, the bow the size of the kid's entire face.

I searched and searched and searched for a freakin' bow but couldn't find anything I liked, or that was big enough.  Where were these mom's finding all the gi-normous bows?  

I felt like such a failure when my daughter made her spiritual debut wearing a size appropriate bow.

When she should've been wearing something like this.

One day at church, I asked a mom that was your quintessential "mom with the daughters that always have huge bows in their hair" about where she got her bows.  She proceeded to tell me she MADE them.  

"What the..."?!

This was not what I wanted to hear.  This was suppose to be easy.  I was suppose to go to a store, buy a huge bow for my daughter and be done with it.  Not make the bow.  That requires craftiness and I'm just not crafty.  Put me in front of a computer and I'll take care of anything, but put me in front of a sewing machine or anything like that I'm completely lost.

Needless to say, my daughter still doesn't have any cute hair bows, but I'm determined to change that.  If you know of any good stores, local or online, that sell awesome, yet reasonably priced hair bows please let me know.

November 24, 2011

one THING i am THANKFUL for

It was a few months ago.  I was out grabbing a bite to eat with my daughter, brother and sister-in-law.  My husband was at work, doing his usual late night shift.  I had gotten used to him being gone during the evening, and missed having him around when I went out to do fun things with friends or family.  However, this night, I was more missing his help with our cute, energetic daughter.

My daughter is definitely a home body.  She loves to be at home, in her PJs, playing with her toys or watching her favorite shows.  It's stunning how she turns into a different person when we go out in public.  She gets really cranky and whines to go home constantly.  Her behavior makes doing anything outside of the home exhausting.

On this particular night, I gave my daughter my iPod in hopes of calming her down while we ate dinner.  I had given her my iPod plenty of times before and it usually worked.  Nope.  Not this time!  Instead of scrolling through her favorite apps, she threw the iPod onto the hard, tile floor, shattering the face instantly.

My brother just looked at me in shock.  We love all things Apple in our family, and when one of them gets ruined it's a sad, sad day.

I managed to keep my composure.  I put the iPod in the diaper bag, told my daughter that I loved her, gave her a hug and went on enjoying my dinner.

A few days later, I scheduled an appointment with someone at the Apple store to see what could be done.  I was basically told it couldn't be fixed, but that they would give me a brand new one at half off. I was disappointed it couldn't be fixed, but really surprised they were willing to give me a brand new one at half price, especially considering the fact that Apple was in no way responsible for the condition of my iPod.

I ended up declining on the offer.  Half off was a great offer, but we just couldn't afford it.  After all, I had learned that despite all the cracks, the iPod worked just fine.  And, amazingly, my daughter never asked to see it.  She used to love playing with the apps, but after it broke she lost interest.  Lucky for me since I wasn't about to let her use it anyway in fear she'd cut herself.

Now, months later, we're still using our shattered iPod just as much as we always did.  I'm so thankful that is still works.  I know that may seem silly, but I love my iPod.  I absolutely love to listen to music.  Music affects me in ways I can't describe.  I love putting in my head phones while cleaning the house, writing in my journal or just while I lay on the couch after having a long day.

So, instead of saying thanks to all the many people in my life that do so much for me (I already did that, anyway), today I am saying thanks to my iPod for still being there for me.

Looks can be deceiving.

P.S. My most recent iTunes purchase can be found here.  Love the song No Other Plans.

November 23, 2011

INSTAGRAM wednesday: the PUPPIES

I hope that some of you have noticed my efforts in updating this blog a lot more often.  It's been tons of fun, actually, but I still struggle with what to write about it.  Because of that, I'm going to give myself a break one day a week by having an "Instagram Wednesday."  Basically, it's a way for me to get in a post without actually writing anything.  

Here's some more info about these pictures.  The top one is Tod gazing sweetly at Isabelle as she ate her mac and cheese at the table.  It's very obvious he wants her to share.  The second one is the dogs in time out.  I love how their little bums are touching.  Classic!

Don't know what Instragram is?  Check it out here!  It's fun and free.

November 22, 2011

Monday Means "What the..."

The other night, my friend Becky e-mailed me a link to post she had read that she thought was just unreal.  She wanted my take on it, and even suggested I use it for one of my "What the..." posts.  I was more than happy to read the post, and was even more thrilled that she was helping me keep up my weekly goal of posting about my "What the..." experiences.

Anyway, you can read the original post here, and then the follow-up post here.  In a nutshell, the blogger writes about a disagreement that her friend and her friend's husband are having.  Becky didn't tell me about the post because of the disagreement itself, but rather the fact that this blogger would post about someone else's very private matter, a matter that has absolutely nothing to do with her.  Whether this blogger got permission from her friend to do so is unclear, but I'm going to assume she did.  

Another aspect of the post that was interesting was that people were commenting on it and giving answers and solutions with absolutely no other information than was given in the brief post.

My initial reaction to this post was that it was pretty bold for someone else to blog about it, rather than the people directly involved.  But, then I thought maybe this friend didn't want to blog about it herself, but did want the advice from other people.  Mind you, advice from what very well could be complete strangers.

I eventually e-mailed Becky back and said it was a little "what the..." that someone would choose to blog about her friend's marital problems, and that I thought it would've been a much better post had the people involved been the ones to blog about it.

But, I also said that perhaps this post had done some good for someone out there.  Not so much the couple themselves, but another reader that was going through a similar situation.  After all, blogs and the Internet in general have become a great source for people to know that they are not alone in this world and that there is almost always someone else who understands what you are going through.

I think the most "what the..." about this entire situation is that people were so quick to comment about it.  Sure, I posted about a situation that had nothing to do with me, but it had nothing to do with the state of someone's marriage.  Do you think as readers, we should be less quick to offer our two cents, especially when we have extremely limited, very one-sided information?  Are we adding fuel to the fire by commenting when, in all honesty, it really isn't any of our business?

And, yes, I appreciate the irony that I am informing you about a situation that I have basically deemed too personal for the Internet.  :)

November 20, 2011

giving THANKS

I spent the majority of my childhood celebrating Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house in Idaho Falls.  It was a time of year I always looked forward to, and, now as an adult, I can look back at it with fond memories.

It was the same thing every year.  Thanksgiving dinner, typically held around 1:00 in the afternoon, was at my grandma's sister's house.  The crowd wasn't usually that big - our family and a few of my dad's cousins and their families.

When we arrived at the house, all dressed in our Sunday best, the majority of us (the men and kids that were too young to help) all sat around, made small talk while listening to a football game in the background.  My grandma, her sister and a few others were busy in the kitchen finishing up dinner.

Once we were finally ready to eat, the youngest kids all found their seats at a small table reserved just for them while the adults and older kids sat at "the big table."  We all ate on very nice china and it was always a very elegant, classy occasion.

Later that night, my dad would always take us to see a movie.  This was always a fun tradition for me, and I recall one year being so excited to see Disney's Aladdin.  Much to my dismay (the whole town's dismay, really), the newspaper had misprinted the starting time of the movie, and we were all forced to leave (and risk not getting a good seat and/or ticket) or stand around for what felt like HOURS until the movie actually started.  My dad, being the awesome guy that he is, decided it was best to stay.  So, we waited and waited and waited for the movie to start.  Good thing Aladdin was actually a fun movie, especially for a pre-teen like me.

At the end of the week, our family would pack up and head back to Utah, but not without being extra excited to return just weeks later to celebrate Christmas.

This year, I am more excited for Thanksgiving than I can remember in a long time.  We'll be with my husband's family in Wyoming, so I'll be able to travel away from home for the holiday just like I use to as a kid.  Traveling during the holidays (mind you, I'm talking driving, not flying) always makes things more fun for me.

And while I won't be in my Sunday Best (which I am NOT sad about) or hit up the theater to see a moving on Thanksgiving evening (not a tradition my husband is crazy about carrying on), I know I'll have a great time.  After all, it's all about being with family, enjoying good conversation and eating, eating, eating!  

I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year.  My husband is such a great guy and treats me so well.  He is a hard worker, a wonderful father and overall kicks major ass (language, I know, my bad).  My daughter, while trying at times, makes me a better person, makes me laugh and the reason I have so much hope for the future.  My parents and in-laws are extremely supportive and always there for me when times are tough.  I'm thankful for their example of hard work and service.  My little brothers are the COOLEST people since forever.  I've really grown to love and admire and appreciate them this past year.  I'm so happy they both have awesome wives that bring such awesome cooking (Aubrey) and spunk (Brittney) to our family.  I definitely scored in the sister-in-law department.  :)  My nieces and nephews are so adorable.  They love my daughter and are always willing to play with her.  They say the most hilarious things EVER and are always willing to give me a hug (the nieces) and a "pound it" (the nephews) when I make them I'm around.

Those are just a few things I am grateful for this year.

I hope everyone has a fun Thanksgiving holiday!

November 19, 2011


On Thursday night, roughly around 11:00 PM, my sister in law and I strolled into one of the many theaters in Utah doing a midnight showing of The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn - Part 1.  Thanks to reserved seating, we didn't feel the need to be there super early which was nice because sitting around for hours waiting to get a good seat for a movie is SOO early 21st century (think Lord of the Rings).

When the movie started, my hopes were high.  Obviously, the first Twilight movie was a bomb.  The second, New Moon was actually pretty good.  The third, Eclipse, was pretty good too.  In a nutshell, it seemed that as each movie progressed the better they got.  So, naturally, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was going to follow tradition.

Um, ya, no.

I can basically sum up the movie in four phrases.

1.  Jacob was the best part of the show.  Taylor Lautner actually seemed to know how to act in this film.

2.  Bella wasn't as annoying which could be because she wasn't in every single scene like she was in the other films.  Or, maybe Kristen Stewart's acting skills improved too.

3.  Edward had really awesome hair.  But, as an actor I think Robert Pattinson still has a ways to go in terms of ever proving he was the best pick to play the part of Edward Cullen.

4.  And last, they did an AWESOME job at making Bella look horrible during her pregnancy.  It was completely believable that her "baby" was literally sucking the life out of her.  The make-up and visual effects in that respect were stunning.

As I sat and watched this movie, I laughed more than I expected.  I got bored, which was a huge surprise to me.  I about DIED of "what the..." during the werewolf scene.  Those of you who have seen the movie known what scene I'm talking about. And, I overall began to wonder what the heck I was doing there in the first place.

After all, I couldn't get through the entire book of Breaking Dawn.  What started out as a fun read with Twilight turned into just weirdness in Breaking Dawn.  So, perhaps the movie sucked because the filmmakers really didn't have much to work on.  In all honesty, a movie based on a book is only as good as the book, right?

If you're on the fence about seeing this movie, I'd skip it.  If you're seeing all of the films just because, don't go in with high expectations.

Who knows, maybe Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will be better, but considering it has the same director I'm not counting on it.

If you saw the movie, what did you think?

P.S. What the crap happened to the sparkles?  There were vampires and there was sunlight, but no sparkles!  Movie mistake or did the producers just want to overlook that tiny detail to make the movie, uh...better?

November 18, 2011

and the NOMINEES are....

I am so honored to announce that my humble little blog has been nominated for three awards over at 

The categories I was nominated for are:

Best Kept Secret which is a category for blogs with 200 or less followers.  Thanks to all my awesome 26 followers!

The other category was "Most Thought Provoking Post" and the two of my posts were nominated.  The first is the post about Arby's blatant disrespect for the dangers of drowsy driving, and the other is a post I wrote about being a mom.

Thank you Karen for putting this together and to those who nominated my blog in the first place.

Be sure to vote if you are interested!

according to INSTAGRAM

My life according to Instagram...

November 17, 2011


My first year at Weber State University was back in 1999.  I was almost 19 years old.  That year, I was attending school on a music scholarship.  I was a member of the Weber State Symphony Orchestra and also took private violin lessons.

I learned very quickly that the conductor of the orchestra was very serious about music.  He expected prompt, well-prepared, well-behaved students, and he let you know if you were walking on thin ice.

Being completely out of my comfort zone that first year, I wanted nothing more than to be on time to orchestra every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I did not rock the boat at all.  After all, I was attending school completely free thanks to my conductor.  He didn't deserve anything but my best efforts.

During my first year, my conductor learned of a few health problems I had.  He preferred if students let him know ahead of time if they were not going to be in class, so whenever I had to miss class I let him know.  Without fail, the next time I was in class, I was warmly greeted by the conductor.  He asked if I was okay and always seemed happy that I was back in class.  Even though I was one of many violinists in the class, I knew my attendance mattered to him.

I took the following year off from orchestra.  I was not planning to major in music, but between learning pages and pages and pages of symphonies, private lessons and so forth, I spent a good amount of time playing my violin, often at the expense of my other general ed classes.

The summer before my third year of school, I decided I wanted to be apart of orchestra again.  Because I made the decision a few weeks before fall semester was to begin, I thought it would be a good idea to inform the conductor of my decision as he requires students to audition before registering for his class.  As expected, he was happy I was going to be in orchestra again and even offered me a part-tuition scholarship.

I learned that summer that my conductor, while strict and serious, was also kind and genuinely interested in his students and wanted them to succeed.

This week, my local news reported that my conductor, the man that was easily one of the best professors I ever had, demanded that a mentally ill person leave the audience during an orchestra concert.

According to the article, the conductor stopped the performance twice, glared at the audience and then reminded everyone that children were not allowed; however, it was soon discovered that the noise being made by the audience was not from a child, it was from a mentally ill person.  What illness this person had was not made known in the article, but it was reported that he/she and his/her family left the performance early.

Of course, now, a few days later, everyone is in an uproar about it calling the conductor's behavior appalling and ridiculous. 

Well, not everyone.  I read a lot of comments posted about the article and a lot of people are siding with the conductor saying he had absolutely no idea that the person disrupting the concert was mentally ill.  Which is 100% true.  How would he know?  He doesn't greet the audience when they walk into the building.  He's backstage.  All he knew is that someone was being loud and disruptive while he and his students performed Beethoven's Symophony No. 9.

I've thought a lot about this story.  I feel really sorry for the conductor.  This has got to be a total and complete nightmare for him.

Or, was he really in the wrong for what he did?

I know that had a non-mentally ill person been disrupting the performance, no one would've thought twice about the conductor putting an end to it.  

We get annoyed when people play with their cell phones or talk during movies.  

I am constantly glared at when my daughter is acting up when I'm at a store. 

I've read articles about stores having "no children" hours.

And those are public places.  This was an orchestra concert.  These students were performing a piece that they had spent hours upon hours rehearsing.

We're taught to treat everybody the same no matter our condition.  No matter our mental or physical capacities, everyone is equal.  Right?  So, why is everyone all up in arms about him doing just that     -  Treating this person as an equal?  Or, is the issue that he demanded a respectful audience and people just can't handle that sort of honesty?

November 16, 2011

keep ME in your THOUGHTS

I did this note on Facebook and thought I'd do it again as a post.  It's pretty funny.  I answered the questions by putting my iPod on shuffle.  Whatever song came on was my answer.
  Give it a try.

Save it for Later - The English Beat (Kingpin Soundtrack)

Taste of Blood - Mazzy Star

I Didn't Understand - Elliott Smith

Tear in Your Hand - Tori Amos

Sullivan Street - Counting Crows

Lie in Our Graves - Dave Matthews Band

 Tell her This - Del Amitri

Rollover D.J. - JET

Just Like Heaven - The Cure

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
All Possibilities - Badly Drawn Boy

High Speed Train - R.E.M.

Straight Lines - Silverchair

40' - Franz Ferdinand

Kelly Watch the Stars - Air

Bring Me Some Water - Melissa Etheridge

Uphill Battle - Sarah McLachlan

Anything but Ordinary - Avril Lavigne

Happiness is a Warm Gun - Tori Amos

Loco Man - The Folksmen (A Mighty Wind Soundtrack)

One Week - Barenaked Ladies

Keep Me in Your Thoughts - Stephen Kellog & the Sixers

November 14, 2011

Monday Means "What the..."

I went to Primm, NV over the weekend to see Melissa Etheridge in concert.  She is my husband's favorite musician, and I LOVE going to concerts and am usually game to see anyone.  In fact, we saw Melissa earlier this year and she put on such a good show we wanted to see her again; hence, our trip to Primm.

For anyone who has ever been to a concert knows, especially a ROCK concert, that people typically stand up, dance, sing along, cheer,  yell, wave their hands in the air, etc.

I am one of the many people that do just that at concerts.

To my surprise though, the crowd in Primm, NV was not.

Seriously, the crowd sat during almost the entire thing with the exception of the people in the very, very front.  Our seats were off to the side.  We weren't on the floor.

One of the best parts about a concert is when the artist comes on stage for the first time.  It's typically a time when everyone gets up on their feet and cheers.  Like normal people, my husband, our friend and I all stood up when Melissa first walked on stage.  It was awesome, and I was really enjoying her opening song.

While I was getting into the groove, I noticed my husband and friend talking about the people behind us.  I didn't realize it at the time, but the guy behind my husband started to yell at him and eventually punched him in the shoulder and told him we needed to sit down.  My husband just looked at him and said, "Really?" as if to suggest "Really, fat ol' man, you want me to sit down...sit down at a rock concert?"

"What the...!"

We eventually did sit down because the alcohol was flowing all around us and the last thing I wanted to do was get into a big argument with someone.

But, I made up my mind while I was dancing to the beat (sitting down) that I would stand up at the end, after she played her last song and into the encore.

And we did just that.

And it was awesome.

I took the time to glance behind me and once we stood up the people behind us left.

What nerds.

Okay, so the moral of the story is, if you go to a rock concert you cannot except people to sit down the entire time.  It's a rock concert.  If you want to have a nice, relaxed evening go see Yo-Yo Ma.

November 3, 2011

Monday means "What the..." (On Thursday)

There's a commercial for Arby's on TV these days that inspired my "What the..." for the week.  It starts out with a guy falling asleep at the wheel because he's apparently not getting enough Arby's.

Some of my readers may know that over 14  years ago my husband (then 16) was in a horrible car wreck.  He and his sister were driving along a two lane highway in Wyoming when a semi-driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit their car head on.

While my husband escaped the crash with minor injuries, the impact of the crash killed his sister, Shannon, immediately.

Our society spends so much time cautioning us against the dangers of drinking and driving and now texting and driving; however, drowsy driving seems to be getting the shaft, so much so that companies like Arby's think it is okay to use it as a marketing tool to sell their over priced, not so great sandwiches.  I mean, can you imagine any company making light of drunk driving to sell a product?  It's absolutely appalling, and the same standard should be set for drowsy driving.

Not everybody drinks.

Not everybody texts.

But, everybody gets tired, making drowsy driving extremely dangerous and completely under rated.

My mother-in-law is boycotting Arby's until the commercial is off the air.  I will be doing the same.  If you or anyone you know has been the victim of drowsy driving, please consider writing Arby's a complaint.  Or, share this post on your blog, or on Facebook.

Let's make the streets just a little bit safer by demanding smarter advertising.

"What the..."!

P.S. I couldn't find a video of the commercial to post here, so if anyone can find it, please let me know!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...