We hosted the youth fireside here on Sunday night. It was ironic that it was the first one I’ve attended in this ward, since I was released from being 1st Counselor in YW a couple of weeks ago. I had that calling for almost 2 years. Hm.

But anyway, it was a great evening. I’ve been missing my homegirls so it was fun to hang out. I even made a new recipe for the occasion: banana chocolate chip cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting. The cupcakes were nothing to write home about, but that frosting was intriguing. I highly recommend you whip some up and spread it on something (preferably not meatloaf). Here is the recipe:

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 T honey
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

I made them on Saturday, and on Sunday morning was studying them while I ate breakfast. I came to the conclusion that with the chocolate chip on top of each cupcake, they strongly resembled breasts. See what you think:

But I served them anyway. Hopefully no one else’s mind went there. Perhaps I should have made brownies?

Travis delivered a great message, complete with music, a couple of movies, and slide show all projected on our wall. It was fantastic. I had minimal input; just told a story or two. I was mostly there for moral support.

My favorite part of the fireside was the next day, when Trav called me from work. He was wondering how many youth had called to tell me that their lives had been forever changed by his awesome fireside.


My husband is nesting

I've heard about the nesting phenomenon that overtakes women when they are expecting. I keep waiting for it to kick in - but until it does, I'm content watching Dave nest his little heart out.

I've never seen anything like this.

When we bought our home 4 years ago the plan was always to add a bathroom downstairs. I feel the need to post pictures of our current bathroom so you can understand what I'm dealing with.

I really don't feel pictures do this justice. To truly understand you have to try washing your face at a diagonal while straddling the toilet b/c your husband is simultaneously brushing his teeth in front of the sink, and has just elbowed you in the head.

Or try walking through the bathroom to the kitchen while your husband is standing in front of the sink. The only way to get by is to go through the tub/shower.

Let's just put it this way. I have to store my hair dryer and curling iron in my bedroom dresser. Does that paint a clear enough picture?

However, just saying we want to add a downstairs bath doesn't mean much. We say a lot of things like:

We should go to New Zealand!
We should start playing Tennis!
We should win the lottery and buy a ranch in Steamboat Springs!

Also - we have been known to have a real talent for starting projects, and not such a strong talent for finishing them. In fact...we first broke ground (literally) on the bathroom project last summer. Dave was in the process of painting the outside of our home, and it started to rain. So he came inside and was puttering around looking for something to do. I could tell he was bored which never means good things for our home. About 10 minutes later I heard a loud WHACK! I ran downstairs to find Dave hitting our cement floor with a sledgehammer.

Dave - "Starting on the bathroom!"
Carrie - "NOW?"
Dave - "Well...it is raining outside!"

After Dave created several large dirt holes in our basement floor the bathroom area went untouched for about 6 months. And then word of the baby hit.

Since then Dave has transformed into a workaholic. He gets to work at 7am and gets home at 4:30pm. He goes running and is home by 5:00pm. From 5:00 to 10:00pm he works on the bathroom. This has been going on for, I kid you not, THREE MONTHS.

Here is the space we planned to turn into a bathroom:

Note the furnace - right in the middle of the room. And note all the existing duct work/plumbing/drains that had to be moved to create some head room.

We paid someone to actually move the furnace to the corner and in past 3 months Dave has:

Re-done all the existing duct work for the furnace

Re-done all the existing plumbing/wiring/drains
Added new plumbing for our new washer/dryer
Installed new washer/dryer & a new utility sink
Added new floor drains for the toilet, sinks & shower

Laid new cement around the floor drains

Framed the entire bathroom

Put in all the new plumbing for the bathroom (hot & cold water supply lines)

Added a new electrical circuit for the bathroom
Ran all the new electrical wiring
Installed can lights & 3 outlets

Hung dry wall for the ceiling

Tonight he plans to hang the dry wall on the walls.

I really need to stop getting on his case for not putting his shoes away.

So this big mess of ours is beginning to actually look like a room. I'm starting to believe a new bathroom might be in our future. That is not to say we haven't had our share of set backs. There was the time Dave cut a live electrical wire which turned out to be the power source for our furnace. Luckily his wire cutters were insulated so he didn't DIE (or get shocked), but it did burn all the hair off his arm.

Today Dave and I were talking on the phone about what would come next. He said he planned to rent a paint sprayer from home depot this weekend and re-paint the entire inside of our home. You heard me right. The ceilings, the walls, the doors, the trim. He wants everything to be brand spanking new. Like I said people, the man is nesting.

I told him once he was done with his part (adding the bathroom, repainting our whole home, etc.) - I would be happy to take over. You know...I'll decorate a bit. Hang a picture or two in the new bathroom, buy a crib for the baby's room, etc.

He didn't seem too impressed.



Oh how I love this little lady, and her monkey, Boots. Mostly because Oz loves them so much. It became apparent at a very young age (4 months) that he preferred Dora to any other show. Dora got us through the 2 months of constant ear infections, bronchialitis, colds, and teething that spanned December and January.

Last night something was up with him again. Could be teeth, could be a sore throat (I've had one all week). Whatever the cause, he woke up at 2, 4, and then again at 5.30. The 5.30 wake up time was the worst; he was inconsolable and wouldn't nurse or go back to sleep. And as you all know, 5.30 am is NOT an acceptable wake up time. So I grabbed my laptop and put it on the rocker, right in front of his crib. I inserted Dora's Christmas, and the second he heard the intro, the crying ceased. I left the light on dimly, and shut the door.

2.5 hours later (8 am), I went back into his room. He was happily crawling around his crib, watching Dora. He cried when I took him out to change his diaper! If Dora were real, I'd write her a thank you note for the extra hours of sleep I so desperately needed. Gracias, Dora. Gracias, Boots!

(This is a picture Grandma took of Oz watching Dora on our wall projector. He tries to get as close as he can to the picture, and most of the time ends up sitting in the fireplace.)


Foiled Again

After lunch, I opened the fridge and pulled out the cake pan. I knew there was one piece of cake left, and couldn't think of a better way to end lunchtime.

When I opened the cake pan I found the following.



Life's Lessons

Parental Wisdom
S went in yesterday for her urinary reflux surgery. The surgery went VERY well and she's recovering in the pediatrics wing of a wonderful children's hospital. According to Travis, a few minutes before heading to the operating room, S leaned over and whispered in Trav's ear, "did you know that some children die during surgery at this hospital?" Travis sensed her fear and knew she was anxious. With a breaking heart and on the verge of tears, he stoically told her "that only happens to kids who smoke and drink; or who don't wear their seat belts". He obviously didn't add "and who don't eat their vegetables" because when looking for a snack, S grabs the container of mini cherry tomatoes.

I think that parents are blessed with a special wisdom in answering the questions of their children. Last night as I lay in bed I cried as I thought that S actually thought that death was a possibility and was still willing to go through with the surgery. I guess when you are willing to sleep in the pasture with horses at horse camp, getting surgery is just another drop in the bucket.

She is such a brave, sweet, kind little light in everyone's life. Having that deep of feelings as an aunt I can't comprehend what a parent must feel like watching a child suffer and be scared.

Taking the Little things for granted
I bought my condo in June 2001, just at the top of the market before 9/11 when prices would have fallen a bit. But let me tell you, I love this condo like a dog loves a bone, peanut butter loves jelly, oreos love milk, and fish love water. With the condo came a stackable washer dryer unit. The dryer has never worked and so if I want to wash/dry anything more than 2 socks I need to head up to 655 emporia road. Well, on tuesday I bought a new fronloader. Of course that night [okay it was more like early early that morning] I tried it out. I was amazed as it dried my fleece sheets in minutes. I am so excited, this has changed my life, who knew that wash could be such a spiritual experience.

Childhood Birthdays
M turned 7 on Wednesday and NO ONE I repeat NO ONE loves a bday celebration more than this kid. He knows what day and month of everyone [cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents pets which we don't have] in the family's birthday. Last year I made the collosal mistake of staying late at work and missed his party. This year I was not about to miss out on the festivities. He wore a crown with his name on it ALL that day. This included his time spent at school, a visit to the doctor for a checkup and of course during the family party. He did not stop moving the entire time. He ran, jumped, walked, skipped the whole night and during the present opening he was elated with each gift. What 7 year old do you know is willing to strip down right then and there to try on his new BYU football jersey and shorts?

has finished his chemo and gotten his port removed. As we all sat a M's birthday in the livingroom, I looked at him as he was smiling and looking so full of life and health. Of course the chemicals still milling around in his body finding and obliterating the cancer cells weren't visible but having him there was so wonderful. The last 7 months have been such a scary, heart breaking, growing experience. I was so thankful he was there and that we have come this far.

Rand and Leslie got new granite top counters, stove top and refrigerator. When the plumber showed up on Wednesday to install the garbage disposal and new faucet, he obviously thought "wow, these folks must have money" and told Les that it would cost $1200 to do the installation. She sent him home and frantically called RAnd.

Well, if anyone ever has a home improvement issue, broken appliance, wiring problem, or landscaping/lawn issue, Dave is always the answer. Rand called Dave and told him he might need his help. As they were leaving to go to the party, Dave was putting a HUGE box into the car. Carrie gave him a "what is that" look and Dave glibbly replied "we may need some spare parts for the plumbing". Anyway, Rand and Dave successfully installed the disposal and faucet. Dave even went to home depot in lieu of the ice cream cake, not that is dedication for you.

I have never heard Dave complain about anything and he is always going above and beyond the call of duty. Now if I could just find a Dave for me!!!

Stating the Obvious
Friday I took Rand's kids to the mall for shopping, dinner, and fun. When passing by a drawing for a sleek Harley Davidson Motorcycle C said "hey Yah Yah, why don't you sign up and if you win that motorcycle, maybe you can get someone to marry you?"


One of these is not like the other...

I found this girl on-line...she is 17 weeks pregnant.

This girl is 16 weeks pregnant...with twins no less.

And here I am at 16 weeks. No, I'm not sticking my stomach out, as Dave keeps asking me.

Seriously...is there a chance I'm actually 6 months pregnant?

Dave and my conversations go something like this:

Carrie: "Hey Dave - check out my belly. It is getting so huge."
Dave: "Are you sticking it out?"
Carrie: "NO!"
Dave: "Well...why don't you try sucking it in?"

He is killing me.


The Beast With-in

Thanks everyone for your congrats on the mini human. I thought I would answer a few of your questions...but first, let me tell you about Saturday morning.

I was in Frisco (local mountain town) with Dave and my mom. We went out to breakfast at my favorite little joint; "The Log Cabin Cafe." I was incredibly torn between breakfast choices, and could not bring myself to settle on a meal. Typically my favorite item at this restaurant is the veggie egg sandwich. But I was hesitant to order this delightful item as I've heard horror stories of women eating their favorite meal during pregnancy, getting sick, and never being able to eat it again. In addition, blueberry pancakes have been one of my "go-to" meals since pregnancy has ensued. Now you see the difficult dilemma I was facing.

My mom was set to order one gigantic blueberry and pecan pancake. I tried to talk her into splitting it with me (and then I would still get myself the egg sandwich)...but she wasn't thrilled with the idea of being stuck with only a half a pancake. Who can blame her? Then it dawned on me - she could order TWO pancakes and just give me one of hers! In total relief I shut my menu and felt I had dodged near disaster. I figured if the egg sandwich smelled the least bit funny, I would push it aside and focus on my pancake. But if the sandwich tasted good I would stick with that and pawn the extra pancake off on Dave.

The waitress came to the table and Dave and I placed our orders. Then, my mom ordered "A short stack of pancakes - one with blueberries and pecans, and one with just blueberries." The waitress said "If I place the order that way the kitchen will mess it up...so I'll just put in two separate orders for single pancakes.”

With that she walked away and I realized what had just happened. I had officially ordered myself two breakfasts.

My two breakfasts arrived and both smelled and tasted delightful. So I threw caution to the wind, and went ahead and ate both breakfasts (after all the shame is in ordering two breakfasts not eating them right?) Did I mention I also ate half of my mom’s side of bacon? When breakfast was over, we all jumped in the car and headed for Denver. 20 minutes later I said, "I’m so glad I got both the sandwich and the pancake. They were both delicious, and I don’t even feel overly full!" Dave and my mom just looked at me funny as if to say, "Are you seriously still talking about breakfast?"

I tell you this story only to illustrate the theme of my pregnancy – food. Since I have been pregnant all I think about or talk about is food. When is the next meal and what will it be? During the first 11 weeks I was horribly sick, and food was the bane of my existence. I had constant nausea that would dramatically increase or decrease based on how much food was in my tummy. The longer I went without food, the worse the nausea would become. Nothing ever sounded good so every 45 minutes I would be near tears at the thought of having to force feed myself YET AGAIN, especially since I ran out of food ideas on day 2 of pregnancy. But I would choke something down and the nausea would retreat a bit.

The worst day was when food seemed to have no power over my nausea. Typically if I didn’t feel better after eating it meant I hadn’t eaten enough, or hadn’t eaten the right thing. So one sad day I kept eating and eating and the nausea only got worse and worse. Finally at dinner time determined to win the battle, I force fed myself a beef brisket sandwich with pickles and BBQ sauce. Each bite was extremely painful, but I knew I had to press forward. 30 minutes after the BBQ beef was down I ran to the bathroom, and spent the next 3 hours watching everything I had forced down that day come up. Turns out I had the stomach flu in addition to being pregnant. Go figure. Tip: don’t force feed yourself a BBQ beef brisket sandwich with pickles if you have the stomach flu.

During this period of time I also had zero energy. Dave would come home and the house would be a total disaster. I would be lying in bed, in the dark, in my PJs, with my laptop by my side as I attempted to "work." The bedroom/bed would be covered with remnants from the meals of the day including 5 bowls, 3 spoons, 7 plates, 8 forks, 6 cups, and crumbs covering the length of the bed.

Dave would tip toe in and say "How do you feel?" I remember one day he looked at me with trepidation and asked quietly "do you think things will ever go back to normal?" Poor guy. He was a real trooper.

Week 11 was a huge turning point. The nausea mercifully subsided, the energy came back, and I was myself again! It has been a glorious 5 weeks and I feel 100 billion times better. Of course I still need to eat every 2 to 3 hours, and am still obviously obsessed with food. But I can actually exercise, clean, work, cook, and smile. Isn't smiling wonderful?

So there you have it people. That's how pregnancy has gone thus far. I don't know how you people are pregnant with kids. I could barely take care of myself that first trimester let alone another human being. I keep voicing this concern to friends who are moms, and they assure me that is what the TV is for.

I am really excited to have a little baby join our life. Time can not possibly go fast enough. Did I mention on Sunday someone asked me if I was having twins? Maybe I should lay off the double breakfasts.


Current Political Atmosphere

It has been an exciting political season and it hasn't even started yet. I just have a couple of thoughts on the process and the people involved.

1. Party trumps person. This election season has sparked a lot of
interest in people who in the past haven't paid too much attention to politics. This is a good thing. As I turned out to caucus last night I was impressed by the number of first time caucus goers that were there. I heard a few people last night stating that if their favorite candidate didn't win the party nomination they didn't think they could vote. That is the wrong attitude. If you are put off b/c your candidate didn't get your party's nomination consider the alternative. Would you rather have someone who is somewhat aligned with your views or someone whose values run totally contrary to your own? I still would have voted for Ford in 1976 even though Reagan didn't get the nomination that time around. A vote for Ford would have been better than not participating at all. I care who gets my party's nomination, but the seemingly big differences between the same party candidates are minuscule when compared to the differences between Democrats and Republicans. By not participating you only give the other party an advantage. So much of politics is choosing the lesser of two evils. A rule to those new to the political game is PARTY TRUMPS PERSON.

2. Hillary over Obama. Not that anyone can decipher what any candidate stands for in a campaign of 15 second radio spots or 30 second TV ads, but I must admit the support that has been drummed up for Obama is disturbing to me. If this were a personality contest I am sure Obama would win. I know I would rather go bowling or be stuck in a car for 6 hours with Obama than Clinton, but at least we know what we would be getting from Hillary. While both Hillary's and Obama's voting record have moved left in the year leading up to the election, Obama's has moved a lot further. He was rated as the most Liberal Senator by National Review for 2007. He has very little experience. He is clearly a smart man, but much of his past has been called into question. I am not saying that his past should preclude him, but it should be on the table for discussion. Should I be perceived as prejudiced b/c I am curious about the claim that his church is afro-centric? That is what has happened to many who have questioned Obama's beliefs. When running for public office it is all on the table. No one gets a pass. I feel like Obama to this point has gotten a free pass. At least Hillary (and her husband) are the ultimate pragmatists. If a Democrat is elected that is the most we can hope for. I don't think we know the same for Obama. But then again, Ted Kennedy and Oprah support him. That goes a long way in my book.

3. Everyone calm down. Regardless of who is elected, the President doesn't determine the fate of our country. Contrary to the opinion of many if Bush were to stay in office another 10 years the country wouldn't be goose stepping while singing hymns in big pools of oil. The US would still be here, the economy would have experienced ups and downs, and illegal immigrants would still be crossing the borders. The President is a president and doesn't have complete control. He still has checks and balances to keep him in line. He is not a god.

4. Independents. I know many people who say they aren't registered with any party as though I should be impressed with that. Like these people are their own person and not going to be brainwashed by any politician. Pick a side people. There are more than two parties. You don't have to choose Republican or Democrat. You can align yourself with Libertarians, the Green Party, the Communists, the Socialist-Worker Party, or the Constitution Party. You could even join the Marijuana Party. Find a group you agree with and go. In CO and many other states an Independent can't participate in the nomination process and can't participate in the party organization. There is no benefit to being an independent. Just because you belong to a political party doesn't mean you have to vote the party line, but it does provide you with a voice in the process.