Thursday, January 31, 2008

so much waisted time...

Lost is back. My favorite guilty pleasure. And, of course, mindless time spent on the internet. The latest? don't go unless you are interested in waisting hours (like I just did).

It is fun, don't get me wrong...but should games really require that much brain power? Or should they just not be played at midnight?

p.s. did anyone else feel like they totally ripped us off by saying it was a "2 hours season premier"... and occupying one hour of it by showing highlights from the first 3 seasons? Duh, I already know all of that because I watched all three seasons, and then "everything you need to know about Lost in 8 minutes and 15 seconds." I just got it too--815. Clever.

Welcome back, Lost.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Have you ever felt like you're having a medical emergency...and if you don't get hooked up to an IV administering chocolate and peanut butter, you might perish?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


We have to cater tomorrow, and I am really upset about it. This gentleman called, emailed, called, emailed, and called, and called and asked us to cater. No matter how many times I told him catering was closed until the Spring, he insisted that he was going to make it work. "I will just go order 100 dawgs from the shack then." No, sir, that won't work. Can you imagine being behind someone who is waiting for 100 dawgs? That'd never work.

So we told him he had to have his event to Tuesday, because Jayson and I just CAN'T miss mutual, especially tomorrow (New Beginnings for me, Jayson's first mutual being Scout Master and Young Men's president--I'll explain later). This guys said he'd move it. Then called and said he couldn't make it work, so he moved his event by a few minutes. That doesn't really help either--event in Provo at 6:00, mutual at 6:30 in Springville. We're going to be in a HUGE hurry to get this done and then get to mutual, and Jayson and I will both be really cranky. But what choice did this guy leave us?

But the thing I'm most upset about? They'll be having their sweet little party in their warm, comfortable cultural hall and we'll be outside grilling in THIS.

I'm so mad.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the cabin...over Christmas break.

Growing up, my Grandpa Thompson owned a cabin outside of Cedar City. Every year our family would vacation there. It is a place of so many great memories for my family. It has so much character (its pretty 70's), but we would spend our days outside hiking, fishing, playing in the stream, chopping wood, and having an amazing time. Shannon posted a bunch of pictures from when her family was there this summer, if you want to see how amazing it is there.

When my Grandpa passed away, he left quite a large sum of money for his children. My parents decided to honor his memory and give their children something he had given them. They found a beautiful cabin about one hour away outside of Oakley, Utah and bought it for us.

I don't think our family could begin to thank my parents for the cabin. It is our place. When I was single I went almost every weekend for 2 months. Jayson and I honeymooned there. We've been there very often since. We love it there, and we love it best when we can spend time with family there.

After Christmas, several members of my family were in town, so we got together for a few days at the cabin. It was classic Livingstone...

Delicious food...

Oh Heck... (this is the Livingstone game. We play lots of games, but we ALWAYS play oh heck)

and the kids played together. Here Ian, Mae, Josh, and Sara watch Shrek on the laptop.

The next morning we took the snowmobiles up to the sledding hill. This was our only run all together, because Mae just wasn't having it.

Ian and Sarah B. sledding.

A few days later, we got together at my parents house. We did the, play games, hang out and have a good time. Being together was enough of a celebration to merit one of those amazing chocolate bomb cakes from Costco. I think we pawned it off on Allison and tried to sing to her for her birthday, but she wasn't having it. The cake was mmmmmmm.....

It was so much fun having you guys around for a few weeks. Thanks for making the trek to our neck of the woods. Don't you think we should have a reunion this summer?

Mae wears overalls and ponies

Mae's hair is getting long enough that we can do some things with it. But, Mae only lets them stays in for 3 minutes, tops. I love the ponies, Jayson doesn't. We really just need to let it grow a little more before it will really work.

We all worked in the cellar this week. It's been getting pretty stuffed, and needed to be cleaned out. So we all got on our work clothes and headed down, and boy did we get a lot accomplished.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mae's monthly update

Some of my friends do a monthly update on their children, and I think it is the MOST fabulous idea ... mostly because I'm sure I'll forget all of this way too quickly.

Mae is almost 15 months and she is growing leaps and bounds everyday. She is now quite a confident walker and has mostly given up crawling for good. She still walks like Frankenstein, but she is QUICK. It took her a long time to start walking, but I think she's made up ground really quickly.

She LOVES to play and has a new, incredibly infectious laugh. She giggles and giggles when you chase her and loves to be surprised. She also loves her new blocks she got for Christmas. She doesn't have any idea how to build things, but she is the master destroyer.

One of our New Year's resolutions is to do something fun together each week. We've been spending more time finding fun places for her to play and be a kid. We've been to some of the local play places. We're excited for warmer temperatures and opportunities to play outside. She's enjoyed it though, I think. I feel a lot better about myself anyway.

She is also now fascinated with the bathroom, so we try to always remember to close the door. Every once in awhile we forget, and find a juice box in the toilet, or an entire roll of toilet paper unwound on the floor. 

She has picked up some new signs (I never thought I'd be doing this...), and its actually been helpful for her to ask for what she needs. She is really good about asking "more please", and can say "finished" and "thank you." We're working on "sorry," and hoping we don't have to use it constantly.  

We are impressed with how much she understands and for how much personality she is showing. She is too much fun. She has brought infinite amounts of joy to our lives, and that joy has been quadrupled lately. Being a parent is truly the purpose of life.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

J Dawgs, UV Mag

Have you seen this article?

It was in the Utah Valley Magazine one year ago, but I just found a digital copy. It was written by Mary Craft of Culinary Crafts (probably the most prominent catering outfit in Utah). Other than misspelling Jayson's name, its a sweet article. Here's the link:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mae's new thing

I'm not sure how it happened. And I don't really know what to think of it.

Mae's got a new thing: binkie. I think I found it in a box the other day and let her play with it. I didn't think anything of it because Mae hasn't taken a binkie since she was 2 weeks old. But, she became enamored with it. She knew exactly what to do with it and was really upset when I took it away. So I tucked it away later when she wasn't looking.

But then it came out again, and once again she loved it. So I had a little experiment and put her down for a nap with it, and she just lay in her crib peacefully sucking and staring into space. That NEVER happens. That binkie has transformed my child into the best napper in the world. What? Where have I gone wrong these last 15 months?!

The "rule" is she only gets it when she is in her crib....

or, ummm, at a laser rock show.

It worked like a charm. I think she fell asleep during a Led Zepplin song.

I'm thinking about bending my rules a little and letting her have it at Church. I'm really looking for ANY strategy that will allow me to sit through 3 consecutive minutes of Sacrament meeting. Mae just loves to socialize. Next week is ward conference. I'm already nervous for us.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

church today

I wore this to Church today. Big deal, right? It's not that big of deal, but I would like to point out a few things.

1. I put on all of my eye makeup, but totally spaced the mascara. And I didn't notice until about 5:00pm. How did I miss the mascara? That is the thing I ALWAYS remember.
2. When I put on this dress, I felt like I should have a really big gold chain with a huge heart locket to be truly fashionable. But, since I'm not fashionable, the only piece of gold jewelry I had was my Young Womanhood medallion. I took it out, brushed off the 10 years of dust, and wore it. And all of the young woman thought I had wore it for some respectable reason.
3. I bought this dress last night for $3.50 at Old Navy. But that's not the best part. Its a maternity dress, and I'm not even PREGNANT. Ha! I bought it because it was SO cheap, and I figured I'd be pregnant why not pick it up. But then I just really wanted to wear it now. So, heck, why not? Can't hardly tell, eh?

And evidently I need to wear a slip with it next time. Oops.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


if jayson and i were otters, we'd be these otters.

pot roast

I made my first pot roast. It rocked my world. I got the recipe from Ree. Have I mentioned I LOVE this lady. She's a cattle rancher in somewhere, Oklahoma. She takes pictures, cooks amazing food, and cracks me up. Go ahead and visit her site, it'll make you laugh.

And make that pot roast tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I have always loved photography. I've always wanted to learn more about it and get some actual skills. But I've also been really intimidated by this because:

1. my brother-in-law, Seth, is an honest-to-goodness photographer (makes his living by taking pictures).
2. My father-in-law should make his living by taking pictures.
3. My husband--I think his pictures are brilliant and amazing.
4. Almost all of my husband's best friends are photographers, and their wives have got skills too.

So how is someone like me, with no real talent and absolutely bare bare knowledge supposed to break into this? I resisted it for a long time. I figured it was pointless. Just let Jayson take the pictures, right?

Wrong. Jayson's not always around. And I need a hobby (besides blogging). So, we did something extra special while we were in NYC. We made our way to B&H and I picked up my first digital SLR (interchangeable lenses). That's a fancy way for saying I have a sweet camera. I own a Nikon D80, and I have the benefits of being able to borrow almost all of Jayson's equipment.

The problem is I still don't really understand what I'm doing. Jayson gave me an amazing book, but I still haven't had the chance to read it all. I need LOTS of practice. Maybe lots of classes? And, as adorable as Mae is, I need another subject.

Anyway, here is what I have so far.

Couch to 5K

One of my New Years resolutions is to run a few races. I am starting with the Rex Lee Run in the end of March. I dare you to run it with me. Not a runner? Neither am I! Do the couch to 5K program my sister Shannon did. She ran a 5K recently and said it was awesome! The program is totally reasonable--you only have to run for 60 seconds at a time in the beginning and you can take however long you need to work up to 3.1 miles. Come join the fun (or torture)!

Life is Good?

Sometimes, as bloggers, I think we have the tendency to paint our lives as perfect; we generally write about the amazing and fun things that are going on in our lives. Now, I really do believe that we have an extraordinary life, but here is this to prove we have our moments.

Do you see those real tears? Right next to her Life is Good hat? I think Mae wants to take a break from catering for awhile.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We LOVE Lost. We can't wait until January 31st when it starts again. If you don't watch Lost, here is your chance to get caught up. Even if you do watch it, this is hilarious. Lost, in 8 minutes 15 seconds brought to you by ABC.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Christmas, the real deal.

Jayson and I had been looking forward to spending Christmas in our own home. We'd been talking about things we'd done growing up and were looking forward to establishing our own traditions.

However, a few days before Christmas we changed our minds. We decided to cash in some of our skymiles and go see family in Portland. We didn't tell anyone up there, and committed everyone here to secrecy. Since this was a last minute trip, we had some things to work out.

We decided to open all of our gifts before we left. Our flight was on December 24th at 3:00, but we didn't have any idea how the roads or airport would be so we decided to leave pretty early. We didn't want to be rushed in the morning either, so we decided to open our gifts to each other the night before and then let the morning be about Mae. Jayson gave me a BOSCH--the most amazing mixer known to man. This thing is so amazing, I'll have to have a separate post about it soon. I was going to give Jayson our wedding album, but it hadn't come in the mail so I made him a slide show and told him he could get it after Christmas. It was a sweet night for us.

We laid out Mae's gifts and were stoked to see her open them in the morning. She loved all of her gifts--everyone was so generous to Mae!

We found her that train set at the dollar section at Target. I know trains are traditionally a boy gift, but...oh well!

She got this sweet puzzle from Grandpa and Grandma Edwards, and that amazing African shirt from Grandpa and Grandma Livingstone.

She also got this popcorn popper things from Grandpa and Grandma Edwards. She thinks it is the coolest thing ever.

After Mae opened her gifts, we ran to Target on our way out of town to get p.j.'s. I love the p.j. tradition--everyone gets new jammies on Christmas Eve. I found these sweet sock monkey p.j.'s for Mae and I. Mae's were HUGE, but they were the only pair in Utah, so they were going to have to due.

Here we are modeling them on Christmas morning.

We taught Mae "heart and souls."

We had traditional strata for breakfast, opened gifts, and lounged around for most of the day. Finally we got ready (put Mae in her sweet African shirt), had delicious steak for dinner, and then headed over to some friends to exchange gifts.

Mae LOVED all the attention from Grandpa and Grandma Edwards.

The next day, the Edwards took me downtown to my 2 favorites, Powells (the largest independent book store in the nation), and E-Sans (my FAVORITE Thai place). We wandered around downtown and I was reminded, yet again, how cool Portland is.

The next day, we went on an excursion. Based on the pictures below, where do you think we are going?

A. Multnomah Falls
B. Mt. Hood
C. The Beach
D. The Gorge

If you said "C. The Beach", you win!

I made Jayson promise me before we went to Portland that he would take me to the Coast. I've always heard how amazing and beautiful it is, and in all of our trips to Portland we'd never made it. Well, once we got to Portland, time was pretty hard to come by, and getting all together was even harder. I started to feel guilty for being so selfish in my desires to go to the beach. I told everyone it wasn't a big deal and that I'd rather spend time together. That was the truth--I really wanted to spend time together but I was pretty bummed that I still wasn't going to see the beach, yet again. I think everyone could tell I was bummed, because they insisted on taking me to the beach. We had such a great time, I am SO thankful that they were so kind to me.

Here are Joy, Katy, and I. We ran out to the point to see Haystack rock, but it was so ridiculously windy, cold, and slippery that we snapped off this picture and ran back to our car!

To recover from the cold, we went into Cannon Beach to a place called Fireside restaurant. Deb and Mae snuggled by the fire. I got a bowl of clam chowder that was the size of my head. It was HUGE. And mmm, mmm, mmmm.

We then went exploring all the local shops. Almost everything in town was on sale (thank you winter!), but we only found a few things we loved.

We stopped by the candy shop and picked up some salt water taffy, and I found my new love, seafoam candy.

Mae had a great time wandering around. I think her favorite was the candy store. Can you blame her?

It was such a neat place and I am so grateful we got to go. I really think we need to rent a house for a week in Cannon Beach this summer. Anyone want to join me?

Our trip came to an end all too quickly; we wish we could have stayed longer. It was so much fun to be in Portland with the Edwards for Christmas!

Utah Livingstone Christmas

We feel really lucky to have family close to us. Kirk (my brother) and Tricia live in Heber with their kids, Jake, Josh and Sara. Currently my brother Drew lives with them until he goes on his mission this year.

We got together with the kids in Heber a few days before Christmas. We had an awesome dinner and played a super fun game "buzz word." I would recommend being on Kirk's team if you want to play the game. He was unbelievable.

Mae adores her cousins and they are so sweet to her. From the day Mae was born, Josh wanted to hold her and play with her. They all play really well together. We love the Heber Livingstones!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Utah Edwards Christmas

Last year we spent Christmas with the Edwards family. Joy, Katy, Tyler and Jessi would be returning to Portland again this year, but the rest of us were staying home (at least we thought). Since we weren't going to be together for Christmas (again, we thought), we wanted to have a Christmas celebration with the family that was around. So, December 16th we had a dinner together.

We requested that everyone dress in nice clothes and that it be a semi-formal affair. We didn't expect Ryan to come in his TUX! It was so sweet. We had turkey, pretzel salad, green bean casserole, roles, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, martinellis, and apple crisp. We borrowed my Mom's china, silver, and crystal, and had quite the fancy spread.

Here is Ryan and Jayson with the turkey (fresh from the turkey lurky cooker).

Jayson carving the bird. Mmmmm, turkey. Makes me hungry. And tired.

Teresa and Haylee, all ready to devour.

Our spread. I was so grateful to have Mom's china at our house. I had found some paper plates that were exact replicas of her china and I sent them to her for Christmas. I sent a few other Christmas things, but the china made me miss Mom and Dad most of all. When I mentioned this to Mom, she insisted that I go pick it up and use it. So I did. And it made all the difference that night.

Here we all are (minus Joy, who is taking the picture). Don't we look hungry?

After dinner, Ryan showed the film Luke 2 dubbed with Breath of Heaven. Then we sang Christmas songs for about an hour, and we sounded pretty darn good. Here are Katy and Teresa singing their hearts out.

Lastly, we gave gifts to each other. It was such a fun night, and tradition I would love to continue. Thanks for coming guys!