Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Come on in and pull up a floor

Welcome. I'm glad you all came to visit me in my new home town of Lake Villa, Illinois. It's a beautiful, if cold, part of the midwest. So far I've only unpacked, and not done much else in the way of decorating. You can understand, I'm sure. I still have an entire living room that is empty and in need of new furniture, so that said, come on in and pull up a floor and I'll begin the tour.

Hey, that rhymed.

Well, that's pretty much it. Our new abode. I quite like it. It's nice to have so much extra space. This home is more than double the size of our last, so imagine how many cabinets I have that are empty! It's wonderful. I've met a few neighbors, some from the Ward, most not, and Emma and Maggie have both made cute new friends. It's a wonderful feeling to see your kids adapt so well. Although this transition has been hard, especially leaving my family and friends, this is the most fulfilled and grown-up I've ever felt. Funny how that works. So I'm happy, which translates into we're happy. It's a good thing.

Like a bowl full of Jelly Belly's

On MLK day, or Civil Rights Day as it's now called, we headed up to the Jelly Belly factory in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. It's about a 15 minute drive from home. Good to know. It's not really the "factory", since the beans are made in a Chicago suburb then shipped to this warehouse, so it's really just the distribution center. Still, it's fun to ride around on the little train and see the video of how they make the famous beans. We also got to wear these cute paper hats. We learned that the best selling jelly bean of this year is Very Cherry, surpassing Buttered Popcorn after it's 3 year reign. We also saw what they do with all the Jelly Belly's that don't make it past QC, they're called Belly Flops, and they sell them in the store at a deeply discounted price. I found the new JBZ, which are kind of like M&M's with a flavored candy shell and filled with chocolate. There was Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate Fudge, and Cappuccino JBZ in my bag of joy. Or so I thought it was a bag of joy. Cute paper hats worn by all.

Giant Jelly Belly's are creepy.

Turns out you should never vomit cappuccino flavored JBZ. Not so joyful. Maybe it serves me right for loving anything coffee flavored. Maybe it serves me right for eating the whole bag myself. Either way, bad, bad, Jelly Belly JBZ. Not that it will stop me from eating them again. I'm just a glutton like that.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kiss my ice


It's cold here. Have you heard? -27. Yes, that's a -.

And even though I had internet service on Tuesday, my puter has been less than cooperative. Thanks to Sugar Daddy for making it all better.

So you want the details, I suppose.

  • I Love Love Love my new house. For those of you not in the "know", I hadn't seen it until the night before we closed on it. Sean did well on the picking out part.
  • My movers ruined my couch. Yes, ruined. As in grease stain all over the front, cushions, and back. Good thing they're insured.
  • Apparently I have no sense of direction without my Utah mountains. My mom is so trusting to get in the car with me, never knowing if we'll make it back.
  • Did I mention my mom came to visit? 1 day's notice and she was here to help unpack and rastle the kiddies. I don't know what I would have done, or will do, without her.
  • Gretta has decided that she can stand alone for stretches of time. As long as she has something in her hand, that is. She's pretty cute, except when she's crawling around crying and holding her arms up for me to pick her up every second. Exhausting.
  • As of right now, more than half of my home is furnished a la Ikea. 2 bedroom sets, a breakfast table and 6 chairs, 3 bar stools, a high chair, and 3 huge prints for the living room wall. I'm such a sheep.
I promise I will post pictures of the house, the kids, and most importantly, my Fargo hat. Yes people, I gave in and bought a Fargo hat from K-Mart to shield my poor noggin from the blasted cold. Although I still haven't bought a new coat yet. That will come soon, I'm sure. Now that I have internet and such, I promise to be a better friend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Moooving Day

Okay, okay, I know it's been too long.

Yes, the movers have come and gone. And yes, I'm posting from Illinois, which is now home. Although I'm not quite home as of yet. I'm at Michelle's house in Peoria, and I'm a mere 4 hours from my new town. I had a vision of what our cross-country trip would be like. It included several new downloads from iTunes, and sleepy children lovingly gazing out across the plains as we whizzed by. Insert laugh here. Our iPods are inexplicably missing, and they better be packed and not stolen.

We left Utah on Sunday morning in a blizzard of previously unmentioned snow. 30 MPH until Evanston, WHYoming made for a long morning, especially when coupled with tear-stung eyes. Finally the snow stopped, and thy WHYoming sky shone a brilliant blue. Our initial plans of staying in Cheyenne flew by like our truck in the night as we realized we needed to cut a day off our trip, so we pressed on into NebrASSka.

Monday morn we woke up and played in the local hotel water park. We had the entire 2 slides to ourselves most of the morning. After showers and vomit, we headed to Peoria. Through Winter Quarters and on into Council Bluffs, I-OH-wa. I'm sure these places hold deep history of the pioneers, I'm just not sure exactly what. Maybe Barb can expound. We arrived in Peoria late last night, and after yummy dinner with Michelle, Ken, and Tressa (aka Grandma Hashbarger reincarnated), we headed off to find a local Hotel to rest our travel weary head. Not as easy as I thought. Finally, after midnight, we rolled into Comfort Suites. Thank goodness for suites. Sweet.

Today we enjoyed butter and egg yolk waffles and home made syrup. Michelle has the cutest little house, and it's not haunted like our turn of the century house was. So now we head up to our new home town. Hopefully we can get there in one piece and not have any poops or vomits or fuel issues on the way. I hope to post some pics of the new diggs in a couple of days, so keep in touch!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Warning: Funny adult content below

Maggie: "Mom, why don't girls have wieners?"

Me: "Well, girls got boobs instead."

Maggie: "Oh." Long pause. "But Pablo has boobs."

For those of you not in the know, Pablo is the penguin from Backyardigans.

Me: "No, he doesn't. I just looks like he does."

Maggie: "Oh." Another long pause. "Well mom, where are their pee parts then?"

Me: Holding in a laugh. "The pee comes out of their wieners."

Maggie: Sounding much relieved, "Oooh! So that's why they can pee standing up!"

How glad am I she asked me this? No, really, I am. I'm glad she can ask those kinds of questions without getting embarrassed or worse, going to some friend who has a crazy idea of things. Although, I'm not really sure why she has this fascination with wieners.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So long, farewell.

Last night we had a wonderful dinner with Rob and Laura at Citris Grill in Draper. It was a sweet farewell. They leave for Hawaii on Wednesday, and we won't see them again before we move on Sunday. And since Laura has been my bestest friend, I thought I'd share some fun facts about her.

  • She is the most positive person I've ever met.
  • She's a little passive-agressive, but in a good way.
  • If there's a recipe out there, she's probably cooked it.
  • I've never met anyone that enjoys food so much.
  • She worships the sun, and owns a plethora of tanning oils and lotions.
  • She loves Trash Mags as much as I do!
  • She has the cutest baby in the world. He even has a faux-hawk!
  • She has a killer wardrobe. Always finds the latest trends, even in lil'ol' Utah.
  • She does it all. A full time job, a spotless house, up to date VTing, and home cooked dinner.
  • She gets to vacation in awesome places like Sun Valley and Hawaii.
  • She has the coolest family, next to mine, of course!
  • She always keeps in touch with friends, even from long ago.
And it's that last reason that I know Laura and I will stay friends forever. I couldn't ask for a better BFF. She's my VIP. She's my Homie, and I'm glad I have her.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A "Hole" New World

Notice anything different? She hardly cried, and got a new Gymboree outfit for being such a brave girl. Looks like she'll be getting diamond earrings for her 1st birthday, just like her big sisters did.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Goodbye, Apathy.

I understand it's the new year. And I also understand that many, many people are doing lists of resolutions they fully do NOT intend to keep. I, however, am not giving in to the crowd. I will not make a list of things I won't do this year. So instead, I'm making a list of things that will absolutely happen this year.

  • Moving across the country next week.
  • Gretta's birthday on the 22nd.
  • Aaron J's birthday (can't remember when, exactly).
  • Gracie's, Abby's, and Andee's (?) birthdays in February.
  • Isaacs's birthday in March.
  • Mindy's birthday in April, and Alex's(?,) and Eli's. I think Clara is here, somewhere too.
  • Gabe, Carter, Claire, Spencer, Ken, and Mike in May.
  • Jill, Olivia, Dad, Aaron, and Mom Clayton in June.
  • July brings Dad Clayton, Tressa, Jared, and Bryan
  • August is Emma, Michelle, Aimee, Me, and Kirsten.
  • September is Madison and Kelli.
  • October is Meg, Mom, McKinley, Maggie, and Troy.
  • November is un-birthdayed as of yet.
  • And December brings Sean and Kristen!
I'm sure these are wrong to some extent, and I've probably missed some one. No offense. Just comment and I'll fix it! But there you go. Things that will absolutely happen this year. No more broken resolutions for me!

*Edit: Mike informed me of my mistaken dates. I can't keep all of these straight!

Andee - March 6

Alex - May 17

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Pinata

Maggie says this hat makes Gretta look like a pinata. It kinda does. And sometimes this kid is so sweet, I'd swear she was full of candy. This is her latest trick. She will stick her tongue out at you if you stick yours out first. It's quite cute.

And if you look closely, you can see the tippy top of the first tooth. It's about time! And by looking at her face, you'd never know she is still sick. She will vomit and poop at least once a day, but she seems fine otherwise. I know you were dying to know her digestive habits. Hopefully she'll kick this bug soon. If not, I'm afraid she's going to wither away to nothing. She's already too skinny. Poor kid.