Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a fun weekend spending time with the ones you love!

Monday December 13, 2010

Last Monday for Family Night we went and looked at the lights on Temple Square. It was a beautiful night and of course the lights were awesome.

ABC'S of Christmas

I have to give ALL the credit where it's due. I saw this super cute Christmas idea at Under My Umbrella but she found it at Poppies at Play. Whew, now that that's out of the way I can proceed!

This ABC's of Christmas immediately caught my eye, and being the insane typography lunatic that I am, I hopped on to my Adobe Illustrator to create one of my own (I finally get to put that large scale printer I've had for months now to some use). I had to tweek it a bit since she created hers at a longer narrower measurement, and I also changed some of the words to fit what I love about Christmas, but all in all I really like it, I even did one in green and red. What do you think?

More Pics of my Adorable Neice!

This little girl has made me the proud Aunt that I am today!

So Fun, it's Non-Fiction!

I've been meaning to blog about this great party that I helped put on with the besties Mac and Sarah in September, but I just haven't, which actually works out good because I just hosted my neighborhood's book group in October and both of these events are book related so I'm blogging about both of them now.

*At the end of the summer Sarah had this awesome idea to host a "Book Exchange Party" where the invitees bring a wrapped book to exchanged with another (kind of like a white elephant party). Well, since Mac and I love to read we jumped right on board with that idea. We spent a few weeks coming up with the ideas for our party. We had so much fun getting together to craft the party gifts (a book journal and 2 bookmarks) and talk about the menu (3 different soups and grilled cheese sandwiches) and of course decide on the decorations (vintage book pages and papers, blue, cream and kraft paper brown color palette and picture frames with quotes from books). LOVED all of the ideas. I designed the invitation to look like an old Library check out card. I also wrote up a questionaire with trivia questions that related to books. After that we exchanged books, and had a great time talking about the books we'd brought and other literature. We had such a fun time putting this party on, and are anxious for the next great idea to come along.

*As for the my neighborhood Book Group Discussion; well, I've been planning that for months. I knew I was going to have October, and I knew the book was "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaimen so I was super excited to host right before Halloween. I didn't go crazy or anything but I did make my table the "Scary Apothecary". I filled pickle jars, that I've been collecting for months, full of gross treats, such as gummy googly eyes-the label read Werewolf Eyeballs, green Haribo gummy frogs-Petrified Frogs, chocolate Twizzlers-Twisted Twigs, and gummy worms that look seriously SO much like real worms they were discusting (fleshy color and all)-Earthworms. I also bought red soda in bottles, removed the labels, and put my own on that read "Fresh Blood." I wound up making sugar cookies to look like fingers and called them "Witch Fingers." It was a pretty spooktacular night, and I think I'll take October for next year too!

Halloween 2010

More October Fun!

This October has been pretty fun and eventful. Besides the Undead race and U games, there has been the usual fall frivolity, complete with visits to the Pumpkin Patch, an exciting Neighborhood adult activity called the Grand Witches Council Challenge, and of course decorating for Halloween and carving pumpkins.

It's become our tradition over UEA break to go pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch

Grand Witches Council Challenge; the amazing race for Halloween. Our Group-The Obnoxious Ogres-ran around all over Farmington acting like a bunch of teenagers.

I think I own just as many decorations for Halloween as I do for Christmas. This year, I did potion jars on my mantle (with inspiration from Love Manor) it was spooky fun!

Spending FHE carving pumpkins is a MUST for October!

All in all this October has been pretty SPOOKTACULAR!

It's crazy how fast a year can fly by.

October 15, 2010

A year ago today was when I took Sam up to Primary Children's and he was diagnosed with Kawasaki's Disease. Thinking back, it felt like life seemed to stop at that moment, and how I was sure it would be hard to start back up again. But it did.
I learned so much in that time, so much in the months that followed. I had to humble myself, let others do things for me, be there for me. I had to ASK for help and be gracious when it was given. I had to rely on my Heavenly Father more than I ever have, and trust that he would take care of us. And He did.
All the thoughts and prayers from family, friends and neighbors lifted me. They kept me going, especially when my mind went to places that it shouldn't have gone. From the smallest meals to the heartfelt prayers and fasting, I will never forget that time in our lives, because it has taught me so much about love, and kindness, and humility and gratitude.

Thank you all so much for being there for us. In your own ways (no matter how small you may think it was) it helped us get through that very difficult time.
I have to update and tell you all that Sam is doing great. He has had 7 echocardiograms, including the 3 at the hospital, and with each one he's gotten a little better. At our last visit in July there was still a slight inflammation in one of his Coronary Arteries, but nothing the Doctor was too concerned with. She doesn't want to see him again until next summer, so we are just focusing on keeping him healthy (as good as we can do with a toddler in Nursery) and continuing to let him have fun a be a kid! And for us, we are really trying to not take for granted the little moments of's not always easy, but we are trying.

Two good causes in one day...

And a lotta fun!

Last Saturday (October 9) I was able to participate in two great activities to benefit cancer.
The first was "The Night of the Running Dead" 5K Race at This Is The Place Heritage Park.
The race was actually in the afternoon, not the night, but it was so much fun. I ran it with my friends Stu and Sarah Reeder.

Each runner signed up as either "Infected" or "Survivor". The "Survivors" started the race one minute early and it was as if the "Infected" were chasing them down. Everyone who was "Infected" was encouraged to dress up as Zombies and the like. As you probably guessed, when encouraged to dress, that is ALWAYS the way I go.

It was so fun to see the costumes people came up with and the "volunteers" along the route who help with the Zombie-rific atmosphere were hilarious.
The hills at This Is The Place kicked my butt, and I literally felt like the living dead as I attempted to run, but Sarah kept motivating me...because that's what Zombie friends do!

Thanks Sar and Stu for sharing such a fun race with me!

After the race I washed off all my Zombie and headed up to Sugarhouse Park with Brandon and the kids for the Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma, and celebrated the 10 year Anniversary that my beautiful friend Erin Farrer has been Cancer-free.

As a Senior in High School she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and, at what should've been the time of her life, she was fighting for her life. But she is one of the strongest people I know and she beat the cancer, and ten years later we are all celebrating with her. She is my hero.
It was definitely a day filled with fun and for good causes. Not many of my Saturdays are spent that way, so it makes me feel good!

My Fun-Filled Birthday Weekend

And what a fun weekend it was.

I started out my celebrating on Friday by seeing Disney's The Lion King at the Capitol Theater with my Grandma Phyllis and Natalie. It was A-Mazing! I loved it. The costumes were so cool and the way they put the story together was awesome!
That night Brandon took Natalie to the Desert Star playhouse to see-yes another-play, while I stayed closer to home and spent some time at our friends Brad and Kymberly's house visiting with them and our other friends Chris & Jen Slaugh and Sarah Reeder.

On Saturday Brandon and I took Samuel to Lagoon for an hour or two, then we headed down and dropped him off at my parents (where Natalie had spent the night). We left them and headed to the Macaroni Grill for dinner with Sarah and Stu Reeder. It was a Pre-Utah game dinner. After dinner we all rode up to Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Utah/San Jose State game. It was an AWESOME game. Utah won 56 to 3. Oh yeah!
My parents told us that they would take our kids home, so after the game we headed home and upon arriving I walked into my kitchen only to be met with a brand new Kitchen Table and Chairs. A DINER table with awesome red vinyl chairs. I've been eye-balling one of those for a while now, but it was a COMPLETE surprise to walk in to find one in MY kitchen!
After deciding NOT to sleep on my brand new table we finally went to bed.

I woke up Sunday morning to 3 faces staring at me to wish me Happy Birthday. Natalie handed me a smal box that had an adorable ring in it she'd gotten at the Oktoberfest last week, and Brandon and the kids got me Guitar lessons with the Jef Neilson Guitar Studio (I don't know if they are good-but I've been wanting to take Guitar lessons for years). After that we headed to church and the entire Primary sang to me for my Birthday...Okay not really, it was our Ward's Primary Program and it was so cute!
After Church we met my parents, Dominic, Sam & the baby and my Oma at Bucca Di Beppo (yes that place again) for Dinner. We had a good time and yummy food and Dominic and Sam gave me and arm load of bracelets (gypsy bracelets I'm calling them).

All in all it was a fun-filled Birthday weekend, and I enjoyed every minute of it! It just goes to show, that you don't have to have a Big Bash to have a good time...which is good, since I'm not sure last years party can be topped!

My New Niece!

Scarlett Maisen McQuade-Mattena
Born on August 19, 2010
Ummm yeah, she's pretty stinkin' adorable!

Davis County 5K Walk/Run

Aug. 21, 2010

Me and McKenzie decided we wanted to participate in a 5K, and I found out that one was going on right in my neighborhood (starting at the Davis County Fairgrounds) so we signed up...that's half the battle right there!
Today was the fateful day. We were up bright and early and ran/walked our little (hmmm) legs off. We ran it in about 40 minutes. Not too bad I guess. We had a great time, and even saw an old friend from High School, Tom Tu. He ran a lot faster than we did...maybe because he actually RAN! hee hee.
We have plans for more 5K's, maybe a 10K and we'd love to work our way up to do a Triathlon, wouldn't that be so cool?

August 16, 2010

I'm glad I'm in "The Right Place."

July 25, 2010

In remembrance of Pioneer Day, I'm posting some pics I took of our fun little outing to This Is The Place Park. (Yes it's another collage, I'm sorry). We went there a week and half ago and it was so much fun. I have never actually been there (from what I can recall) which is a little sad, since I have an ancestor who has a small cabin up there. Yeah, I'm a really good great-granddaughter of a Utah Pioneer!
Anyway, I took the kiddos up there with my friend McKenzie and her three kids, and there was quite a lot of excitement going on in the Old Town. The kids rode the train, made craft bags, panned for gold, had pony rides and even got penny candy treats from the Z.C.M.I. It was neat to take a step back in time, life seems so much simpler back then.
I have so much love and respect for our Pioneer Ancestors who left everything they had, and traveled thousands of miles, just for the chance to believe what they wanted. As I was driving the five minutes it takes us to get to church this morning, I was grateful for the sacrifice the Saints made so that WE can worship freely. What a blessing it is in my life to know that someone did that for me!
I hope everyone had a fun Holiday Weekend!

Okay...I have picked my jaw up, off of the floor, after finally coming to terms with the fact that MY oldest child is Baptized!
Her very special day was Saturday July 3rd (amongst all of the fun Independence Day festivities) and it was a beautiful day!
She played the piano and sang "I want to be Baptized", two of her Great-Grandpa's spoke on Baptism and The Holy Ghost, and her Dad Baptized and Confirmed her!
And now, as she has informed her friends, she cannot lie anymore. I don't really think she lied anyway, but NOW it's a big NO NO! And her friends cannot lie to her, because she is Baptized! I love how their innocent minds work.
It was such a nice Baptism and we had family and friends there to show their love and support for Natalie. My favorite moment was one that nobody saw. It was when she and I were alone right before she went into the baptismal font. I hugged and kissed her and told her how proud I was of her, and that I loved her. And then I watched her go into the water and take her first real step toward her eternal salvation.
It was a big day for her, but I think Brandon and I felt like it was a big day for us too. Both of us have tried to live our lives the way our Heavenly Father wants us too. I have always wanted my children to be Baptized by their father, and Brandon has always wanted to remain worthy to be able to Baptize his children. That has happened for us and we mark it as another step in the right direction toward Eternity.

...I'm going there someday...

So Brandon's brother Josh and his wife Kenzie have been working to go through the Temple for a long time now. And they finally made their dream come true.
On Saturday, June 19th we went down to the Mount Timpanogos Temple to join in their big day and see them be sealed for Time and Eternity.
We are so excited for them and proud of the hard work they've done to make it to the Temple!


June 30, 2010

Last night-Um I mean in the wee hours of this morning I went and saw Eclipse, the 3rd movie in the Twilight Saga, with my fellow TwiTard Sisters Jodee and Marlene. Our newest member Jamie, took the place of our recently moved previous member Lisa (If you caught all of that). We went up to the Megaplex Theater at The Junction in Ogden, and it was actually quite mellow-even with actor Charlie Bewley (Dimitri) there to sign autographs.
The movie was really good and we were surprised at how much we all liked it. I can't wait to do this again for the Breaking Dawn movies!

*We missed you Lisa! Please come back for Breaking Dawn!*


Okay first off-Who doesn't LOVE The Princess Bride? It's inconsievable!
Anyway, I saw an ad in the paper on Sunday for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the movie. I thought "Wow, 20 years that's cool." But then I looked closer at the DVD cover and was amazed at what I saw. Now mind you-it doesn't take much to get me excited so you might not find this as cool as I do, but my designer brain LOVED it.
Just take a look...mostly at the Words.

Now turn and look upside down at it. Do you see? How cool is that? I don't know who came up with this, but they are brilliant!

I know it's a silly thing to blog about, but I don't care-'cause I'm silly!

Somedays he puts the HARD in Harden!

So Fridays are my "get everything done I didn't get to do throughout the week" day. And I like to get up and get going so that I don't spend all day running errands (since there is laundry and dishes to do too). Anyway, I was in the bathroom doing my hair and figured that Sam was out just watching TV (stupid me). Well, when I walked into the kitchen, he was sitting on one of the stools at the counter, and before I even got to him I could smell a distinct and recognizable odor. NAIL POLISH!
He had opened a bottle of (clear) nail polish and was painting it...all over my camera (YES my NEW camera) and the counter top too! Well as you can imagine, I was irate, and the smoke coming out your ears, colorful word saying, huffing and puffing German came out in me (it was not pretty)!
After I threw Sam in his room, I rushed to find my nail polish remover so I could perform an emergency bio-hazzard clean up, complete with rubber gloves, Q-tips and cotton balls! I did manage to get all of the nail polish off of the camera and counter; and thankfully the camera is working just fine. I would've taken a picture of the event but-OH YEAH the event involved my CAMERA!!!
I tell you; somedays I don't know how Samuel manages to live to the end of the day-he's pretty darn lucky that he's so cute and I love his little guts.

This is an event that's going on this coming Saturday. My friend Kristie has worked very hard to put this together and to help raise money and gift donations for the children at the Christmas Box House and the Boys and Girls Group Homes. The RSVP numbers are not what Kristie would've hoped for, so I'm blogging this out to you and inviting everyone to bring their families down to the Planetarium. It's a FREE event. Read the invite for all the info.

I just need to know ASAP if you'd like to come and how many will be with you (since seating is limited). It'll be a blast so hopefully you all can make it.

p.s.-In case you're wondering who the talented artist, who designed the invitation is...IT'S ME!

Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough - 50's Paso Doble

Um....Just watch, that's all I gotta Say!
oh p.s.-Turn off the music to the left before you watch.

Okay-this is like...if in the movie West Side Story, Tony and Maria did this Paso...holy crap the movie would've been completely different. Derek totally looks like a "Jet" and Nicole looks like "a "Shark".
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, well...I'm not going to explain my crazy obsession with Musicals to you! :)

Eight is...great?

In a little over a month I will have an 8 year old! I cannot believe it. It really is crazy how time flies.
Amidst all the hoopla of Natalie's Birthday and Baptism, I REALLY wanted to get her some new furniture for her bedroom-okay so I've said that for like the last 4 years I think-and I was determined that THIS was going to be the year it was going to happen. Well a few months back my parents told me that they would like to get Natalie a new bedroom set, so I said "Okay". And really, who wouldn't say Okay to that? So after much looking we found a set that suited "MY" needs and was stinkin' cute for little miss eight year old. We ordered it online and they delivered it last week. All I had to do was put the feet on the dresser and nightstand, and add the rails to the head and foot boards of the bed and that was it. I LOVE that kind of furniture. Anyway, it was and early birthday present from Oma and Papa, and Natalie was all smiles when she got home from school and walked into her new bedroom.

Here are the bed and night stand

And here is the dresser.

Natalie was hilarious about having a mirror in her room, and decided that she wanted the top drawer of the dresser designated for hair stuff, oh, and her belts and scarves (BTW-she rarely wears belts or scarves). I've gone into her room a few times and she'll be standing in front of the mirror brushing her hair. So at least this new bedroom set was good for one thing!
So yes, I have been quite busy BIG GIRLING up my little girl's room. I can't believe she's going to be eight!!!

Oh poo-With all the excitement over the new furniture, I forgot to snap a photo of the shelves I put up in her little desk cove area. They were to take the place of the hutch she had on the old dresser (which has found a new home in Sam's room). I'll have to take a pic and post it at the end of this later!

It'll leave you in "stiches"

I'm talking about running around in the living room. Apparently it's not as safe as you'd think, as Samuel has now found out.

Monday evening he was running and playing with Natalie in the living room and fell into the TV stand, or something (nobody really knows where he hit). Blood was gushing out of his wound, and I took one look and knew it was off to the Insta-Care for stitches. The place wasn't all that busy (they were all home having FHE-guess we should've been doing that too) so we didn't wait too long. A nurse came out to put a local anestetic on Sam's head, then after a few minutes he was taken to the back (Brandon went with him and I stayed with Natalie in the waiting area). He got five whole stitches. WooHoo. We have to take him to get them out next week. I'm sure he'll have a scar there for the rest of his life. Of course, it will go along with all of the others that I'm sure he'll receive throughout childhood. I swear if this kid doesn't go into something in the medical field I'll be shocked.

Old Habits Die Hard...

But they CAN die!!!

This is my hand. Big deal right?
Actually what I really want you to focus on are those fingernails. Yes, they are real.
Now, if you know me, you know that I've had the worst habit of biting my fingernails most of my life. It's something I've always hated, and last year in my attempt to do my 30 things before 30 goal list; one of my goals was that I'd like to break the habit of biting my nails. Well, I went on Pioneer Trek at the end of July and have not bitten my finger nails since. I'll admit it was tough going at first, but I was determined, and can now say that I've rid myself of that horrid habit! WOO HOO!
Now if I could only break that OTHER habit...
you know...
the caffeinated beverage habit?

April 13, 2010

Here lies Canon Power Shot. She has perished from Lens Error. She had a great 4 year run, and took many a good picture. (She took many a crappy picture too, but we wont bring that up at this time, since that wasn't entirely her fault).
She is survived by her SD card, USB cord and very distraught handler Michelle-who feels guilty for dropping her all those times.
We regret that there will be no memorial service. In lieu of pictures of flowers, please send donations to Michelle Harden.

Okay Okay, I know, it's just a camera, but it still sucks. $150 for a new lens, and that doesn't guarantee it wont happen again (since it's very common in these cameras apparently). I did get a second opinion which told me that they could send it in to Canon (I pay) have them look at it, tell me what needs to be done and how much it'll cost (I pay again), fix it (if I want them to) and then send it back (I pay some more). GRRRRR.
The biggest thing that stinks about the whole thing is that I was feeling like my Canon was a bit bulky for some of the things I wanted, like YW's and the little stuff, so I was looking into getting just a point and shoot for those moments-well I guess Canon over heard me talking and decided she'd SHOW ME by up and breaking. So then I was like "Well now what do I do? I didn't want a little camera to REPLACE my Canon, but now I don't have anything."
Luckily, I have a hubby who buys and sells for a living, AND who happened to have a few point and shoot cameras on hand (just for me-Ha ha). So I found a little bitty thing (that weighs as much as Calista Flockhart) and decided, for now, that it'll have to do. I'm not a professional photographer so what am I whining about right? And anyway, one of my besties just got herself a new fancy-schmancy camera so I'll make HER take nice pictures of my kids! Yes I'm talking to you, SARAH!

Ho Hum, Pigs Bum...

April 9, 2010
Well, my camera is on the fritz. CRAPPY, I know! I keep getting a lens error message and then the lens gets stuck and the whole thing just wont work, which is SOOOO not good because (as it so happens) I have about 15 ideas that I want to blog about but can't because I HAVE to have pictures to go along with my blogs. Okay so maybe I don't have 15 ideas, but still, it stinks just the same.
So, until I can get my camera fixed I guess you'll just have to do with another clue for our super fun event coming up in June...ooops I think I've already said too much. hee hee.

Good golly Miss Molly...Owl's those eggs?

March, 19, 2010

This is Natalie glued to the computer this morning watching the famous owl Molly. If you haven't seen this yet you've got to check it out at
It's live feed of a mama owl and her five eggs (that are going to hatch anytime now). Really neat for the kiddos. Okay who am I kidding, I'm hooked too.

So this is the color palette for something coming up in a few months. That's all I can say.
Okay, no it's not ALL I can say, but it's all I'm going to say (at least for this week).

Happy 30th Birthday Mandy!!!

March 12, 2010


I'm going to be and AUNT!
WOOT WOOT, I can't believe it.
Dominic & Samantha are expecting and I'm super excited for them, AND me (If I can be completely honest with ya). I wasn't sure I'd ever get this title, so it's pretty exciting. I'm SO going to be the BEST AUNT EVER!
Here's a pic of the happy couple...and No, my brother cannot take a serious picture.

Oh this is going to be interesting.

Like ZOINKS. How'd you like your Valentines to be delivered in this?

Yes it's the Mystery Machine, with a few added Valentine's Day touches. This is Natalie's Valentine box for school this year. And Oh boy does it blow last years Locker out of the water.
The over-achiever in me takes on these projects, which is fine-until the perfectionist in me comes out, then all HECK breaks loose because I've turned something that could be simple into a fiasco...all for ONE DAY!
The poor thing will probably come home trashed and I'll wonder why I do these things to myself. Of course the look on Natalie's face when I told her "Yes, we can probably make a Mystery Machine Valentine's box." was all the motivation I need.

Yes that does say "The Mystery LOVE Machine." Probably a little inappropriate for Elementary School but oh well! It made me chuckle!

Feb. 6, 2010

The WOWie; to help you keep the Word of Wisdom!

I'm currently working in the Young Women's Presidency in our ward and we are about to have an exciting Winter Youth Conference. For one of the activities at YC we're going to have a Movie Night. Each group of kids were given a "church topic" to make a Movie/Video about.
The Mia Maids (who I'm an advisor over) were given the topic of the Word Of Wisdom. We made a funny Eternal Family Feud Game Show with Word Of Wisdom questions. It was cute, but the funniest part of the video was the commercial the girls did. I'm posting it on here because it's too cute and we have some very talented young actresses in our ward. AND it was also my first attempt at fiddling with iMovie (which rocks).
So without further ado. .

HAPPY 30th Birthday Mac!

January 11, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Mac. I can't believe it's only been 15 years since we first met, it seems like we've known each other forever, I guess that's what happens when you're having fun!
Thanks for always being there for me, even when I was...not the best friend.
You will always be the Cher to my Sonny, and yes I still have the necklace!
Love ya!

Like Happy Birthday and Stuff!

January 9, 2010

Last night I went to a tubular 80's party for my friend Brittany, whom I've known since Jr. High. It was her BIG 30th Birthday, and what a radical night it was!
She had an 80's backdrop for people to take photos in front of, 80's music blaring, and old school 80's candy for guests to enjoy!
I saw old friends, and met new ones, and had a totally bodacious time!
Thanks for thinking of me Britt, and for letting me join in on your awesome Birthday!
Love Ya!