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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On a Side Note...

Doug wanted to take a moment and express his great fondness of Popsicles...he is currently working on his second in less than ten minutes, and I am sure he will consume a few more before we call it a night.

On that same note, I would like to say that (today) I am grateful for: giggles in the bath tub, fun times at the park, twirling on the soccer field until we're so dizzy we can no longer stand up, frozen yogurt with the family, playing baby dolls with cousins, wet wipes (in bulk), yummy smelling kids shampoo, and bedtime snuggles and nose wiggles. These are just a few of my favorite things...

Sweet good-byes

So, tonight marked my last night as an employee of Target. Although I was a little sad to forfeit that nifty 10% employee discount card I must say that, all-in-all, I am filled with glee and relief. I am thankful to have my evenings back with my husband and children - no more nights where Doug gets home and five minutes later I am rushing out the door to get to work on time. I am also thankful to have one less thing to stress me out - two jobs, school, and juggling the responsibilities of wife and mother were simply too much for me to handle. Yes - I know everyone else around me knew I had taken on too much, but would I really be me if I didn't at least try to do it all myself? :0)

Needless to say, I have learned my lesson and I have taken my first step towards simplifying. Good-bye Target, hello fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Foot in Mouth

Okay, so for all those people who seem to think that a lady with a belly = an expectant mother, let me clear something up for you - NO, it is NOT okay to make the assumption that someone is pregnant based on the size of her mid-section. It is embarrassing and awkward for the askee to have to explain that she is, in fact, not pregnant, and it simply makes the asker look like a total imbecile.
Maybe I am giving mankind too much credit, but you would think that most people would have the common sense not to ask someone "Oh, so when are you due?" or "Do you know the sex of the baby yet?" as if these are normal conversation starters. Sorry folks, but making the erroneous assumption that someone is pregnant is NOT the best way to break the ice.
Yes, I am aware that I still have a bit of a tummy, but it's not for lack of trying. Despite my efforts, I cannot rid myself of the excess weight around my middle - I partly blame genetics, but it's mainly due to the fact that I gained 70+ pounds in less than 9 months. Believe me, I am critical enough about my weight and how I look, I do not need some random person confirming the fact that I have an imperfect belly.
Bottom line - if a person is pregnant and they wanted you to know, they would tell you...if you are unsure, please - do us less-than-perfect women a favor and keep those lips sealed!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

Okay, so not really - they are falling outside against the windowpanes, but you get the idea. Rain is a rarity in Arizona, so I decided to take a quick moment to express my gratitude for the recent rain we have been blessed with. Even though it means our back yard will be a soppy, muddy, mucky mess for the next week or so, and the weeds in the front yard that I worked so hard to uproot will immediately spring back ten fold, I am grateful for the calming pitter-patter of the rain tonight. I am grateful for puddles and midday storms, and for having two easy-going girls who don't mind forging through "inclimate" weather (seeing as how we were planning to go to the mall tomorrow morning, and it will probably still be raining then). I love the clean, pollution-free skies that come about for a day or two following the storms. I love the clouds, the wind - everything that contributes to the cleansing effect of rain.

So keep on falling, little raindrops...keep on falling. We are glad to have you here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

L....O....V.....E

So, in an attempt to be somewhat festive with today's special holiday, I would like to pay tribute to the many things I LOVE:

1. Doug - My patient and loving husband, who is quick to forgive and never holds a grudge. He does not judge me, only loves and supports me in spite of my many faults and shortcomings. He motivates and inspires me to be a better mother, wife, and friend.

2. AK and Roo - My two beautiful daughters who are truly the light of my life. Words cannot describe the amount of adoration and love I have for these two. I admire their innocence, purity, and unconditional love and acceptance of everyone and everything. I love their fearlessness, independence, and adventurous spirits; they have taught me more about life than I think they will ever understand.

3. My parents - who honorably raised 7 kids, faced numerous struggles and challenges, and are still married after 35 years of marriage. I thank them for their examples of sacrifice and selflessness, and for teaching me the importance of working hard, loving honestly, and living faithfully.

4. My siblings - who are as independent, self-sufficient, and stubborn as I am. We all have our unique differences and traits, but we love each other, we support each other, and we are always there to lend a helping hand (or listening ear) when needed.

5. My Girlfriends - Who understand my faults and weakness, but love me just the same. I am grateful for their attempts to stay in touch and keep me in the loop, because I am the worst person when it comes to emailing, calling, writing, or anything correspondence-related. I love that, no matter how much time has passed, I know I can always just be me - no strings attached.

6. My testimony and faith - I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While there is a lot in my religion I do not understand, I will not deny my belief in God the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the comforting guidance of the Holy Ghost. I believe in modern day prophets who worthily lead the church by priesthood revelation. I believe in eternal families and am thankful for the blessings of modern day Temples. I am grateful for forgiveness through the atonement, and I believe in the strength and power of prayer.

7. Oceanside, CA - Nothing on earth can compare to smelling the salty sea air, hearing the crash of the waves, or feeling the squish of wet sand in-between my toes as I walk along the shoreline watching the sun set over the horizon. Although we are far from our little heaven on earth, it is always near in our hearts.

8. A bouquet of fresh flowers - There is something to be said about the vibrant colors and subtle aroma of a fresh bunch of flowers - calming, but uplifting all at once.

9. Dr. Pepper w/extra ice - need I say more?

10. The delicious combination of Peanut Butter + Chocolate - M&M's, Twix, Reese’s Pieces...mmmm, mmmmm GOOD!

11. Fresh clean sheets and a good snuggle blanket...only to be improved upon by a good snuggle buddy (i.e. one of my aforementioned daughters).

12. Snuggles, giggles, hugs, and kisses.

13. A good back rub, shoulder rub, or foot rub...or the lucky combination of all three!

14. A deluxe bubble bath - steamy hot water, candles lit all around, and the calming lyrics of Sarah McLachlan playing in the background.

15. GOOD food (such as Diego’s, Cusimano's, cold fresh fruit, and anything home-cooked)

16. Hearing the calming pitter-patter of rain as it falls outside, and smelling the unique "wet-asphalt" aroma that I simply love.

I hope that you all have a lovely Valentine's Day!! XOXOXOXO

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inked

I mentioned in the previous post that A&R were pretty antsy after being cooped up due to the rain. This happened later the same evening (Thursday night) when I was otherwise distracted while talking on the phone with my mom (and Doug was at the Stake Center). I really try to make sure that no markers or pens are left anywhere within the girls reach, but apparently a blue Sharpie eluded me. Needless to say, the girls found it and decided to express themselves artistically....on each other, the counter, the floor, the wall, the dishwasher, the trashcan...even Teddy and Cheetah were included in the temporary tatooing. (I will post more pictures once I get them uploaded from phone...)


Let's just say I was EXTREMELY grateful for the miracles of nail polish remover, Spray n' Wash, body soap (lots of it), and the Aristocats bath mits that arrived from Grandma Hoopes earlier that day.

Chicken and the Playground

Two of our favorite things...eating chicken and playing at the playground.




These pictures were taken last week (sorry for the delay in posting them). It rained for the majority of the week, and the girls were getting very antsy after being cooped up inside. There was a break in the rain on Thursday afternoon, so we celebrated by getting some lunch and taking it to the park. We had an absolute blast, and the girls were such a delight to watch. What can I say? I absolutely love my silly girls!!
(A is in the teal/white striped shirt and brown sweatshirt; R is in the rainbow tee and pink sweatshirt)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dear Super Bowl Patrons...

Okay - so I am being completely un-original in this posting idea, but after reading my sisters' blogs (thank you Valerie and Cynthia), I think this just may be the best way to let go of my frustrations and get on with my life.

Dear Hotel* Guests:

Now that the game is over, please GO HOME. You are no longer welcome in Phoenix, and you have definintely overstayed your welcome. Please spare me from having to listen to another night of alcohol-induced conversation. It is not my fault that you have no self-control and cannot handle your liquor. The bar closes at 11:00 pm and there is no manager on duty - NO, I will not make exceptions just so you can become more intoxicated and even more annoying. Besides, you are a lousy tipper.
Please do not complain to me about the 45-60 minute wait for a taxi cab - this is Super Bowl weekend, for crying out loud. Besides, I am the one who wasted 20 minutes of my time trying to locate a company that would transport your drunk butt in the first place, so I really do not care to hear you complain.
Please note that I am merely an employee of the hotel - I am not your counselor, psychologist, babysitter, travel agent, personal assistant, or chauffer. Yes, my job description requires that I cook a limited selection of appetizers upon your request, but that does not mean that you can demand 5 pizzas, 4 spring rolls, 3 chocolate chunk cookies, 1 blueberry scone, tomato bisque soup, and 2 bottled waters delivered up to your room at 4:30 in the morning. If your drunken entourage wants to inflict death by trans fatty acids upon yourselves at that early hour of the morning, so be it. Please, however, do so at a 24-hour establishment such as Denny's so that I can focus on my nightly reports and other work-related duties, and not waste an entire hour preparing food that you won't even eat because you'll end up passing out before it's finished cooking.
Please do not deplete our entire collection of lost and abandoned cell phone chargers - these are saved for guests who honestly forgot their charger and need their phone or PDA for business-related matters during their stay (and are returned to us at check-out). If you can afford to pay $599 a night for a four night minimum stay, then you can afford to call a cab to take you to the local mall and buy a new charger yourself. If you really, honestly need to use the charger, then one will do - you do not need to take all 6 that are in the bin simply because they are there.
For the pilots who were transferred to our location because your original hotel wanted to use your rooms to make buckoo-bucks this weekend - please do not come back. While the majority of you were somewhat pleasant, the few ruined it for the entire group. I cannot help that the bar closed before you arrived at our hotel - do not curse at me or treat me like an idiot because I am no longer able to serve you alcohol. If you like, I would be more than happy to spend 20 minutes calling a cab to take you to a real bar. While you are waiting, do not ask me for free cookies or food - we are a business, not a charity. If you see something you would like to eat, I would be more than glad to warm it up for you after you pay for it. I understand that your regular hotel provides you ceratin accommodations, but we are not your regular hotel - they sold you out to make a profit this weekend, remember? Also, do not curse and yell at me because your regular hotel double-booked flight crews and sent us more people than we had rooms for - that was their error, not ours. They cannot send 30 people to our hotel when we only have 25 rooms allocated for the flight crews. While I understand your frustration, I cannot pull an additional 5 rooms out of thin air regardless of how loud and insulting you become.
For the drunken transients who flew into town without making a hotel reservation or reserving a mode of transportation and came wandering into my hotel at 2:30 in the morning - WOW! Here's your sign. Why would you fly halfway aross the country for an event as big as the Super Bowl, and not first secure lodging? Our hotel is sold out and has been for over a month. No, I am not lying to you and I am sorry that the hotel next door misinformed you - they were probably trying to get your drunk butt off of their premises since they too have been booked for over a month. Besides, if it were really that important to you, you should have worried about getting a hotel before you visited every bar in town and got so drunk that you cannot walk straight or talk clearly. There is this thing called personal space, and I do not appreciate having your drunken mug so close to me that I can taste the alcohol on your breath. Disgusting. Please leave and do not come back...if you refuse to leave the premises, I will call the local law enforcement. I am sure they would be more than happy to accommodate you in a 4x6 cell for the evening - free of charge!

*The name of the actual hotel has been ommitted for my peace of mind. Yes - I am paranoid that some corporate executive may get bored and start looking online...chances of it happening are slim to none, but I am okay with being overly cautious.

Yeah baby!

Despite the not-so-great 13-6 record that the NY Giants held going into today's game, the team managed to pull through and win the Super Bowl XLII World Championship. Thanks to a solid defense and quick maneuvering by quarterback Eli Manning (also voted MVP thanks to two TD passes in the fourth quarter), the Giants created one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in NFL history.

Although it was a little heartbreaking to see the disappointed faces of the Patriots team members, who were hoping to finish today out with a perfect 19-0 record for the season, we are VERY excited for today's win. Doug has been a long-time Giants fan (going back to the days of Lawrence Taylor), so today's vitctory was a sweet one, indeed. Way to go guys! Thanks for a great game!!

Interesting team/game facts:

Final Score: NY Giants 17, New England 14

Giants are the first NFC wilcard team to win the Super Bowl, and the second wild-card winning champions in three years.

If the Patriots had won tonight's game, they would have been the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to win the championship with a perfect record.

Eli Manning is the 2007 Offensive League Leader for passing yards, with a season total of 854.

According to the 2007 League Postseason Stats, the NY Giants and SD Chargers are the only two teams to have players ranked in the top 5 of every category:
Rushing Yards - Amand Bradshaw (208) and Brandon Jacobs (197)
Receiving Yards - Amani Toomer (280) and Plaxico Burress (221)
Tackles - James Butler (29), Gibril Wilson (27), and Antonio Pierce (25)
Sacks - Kawika Mitchell (2.0), Michael Strahan (2.0) and Justin Tuck (2.0)
Interceptions - R.W. McQuarters (3)