October 31, 2010


Yes, I know I've already posted today (and several other times this week...) but I am so happy with how our silly little Halloween dinner turned out and had to share!

Craig informed me a couple weeks ago that growing up his mom would make "spider bread" and chili on Halloween. I had never heard of such a thing but figured I could certainly try! Craig described it as a loaf of bread with breadstick legs "tooth-picked" on.
P.s I had never even made chili before today- I hate beans! But, because I love my husband, I was willing to make that massive sacrifice and cook beans for him.  I got rave reviews about the chili so I guess it is possible to make something I've never enjoyed before! I will say, I even enjoyed it! (No, I didn't eat the beans, mom! I picked them out.)

One of my favorite family Halloween treats from growing up is "Ghosts in the Graveyard." I remember coming home from trick-or-treating with my siblings and dad and having hot chocolate or cider and Ghosts in the Graveyard. Mom used to put gummy (sometimes sour) worms in the dessert and on top around the cookie gravestones. My very favorite part about my mom's version, though, was the sweet-tart skeleton pieces that would be sticking up all over the place!
Not being ones to always want to exactly copy other people, we tweaked our family traditions a bit. Instead of chili and spider bread, I made spider biscuit bowls to hold the chili! As for the ghosts in the graveyard, we couldn't find any skeletons and we didn't use Oreos but a different secret ingredient- Craig gets all of the credit for that! Enjoy the pictures!!

Goal Report #4

Alright!! For the first time since I've started sharing my weekly goals, I am SO very happy to report that every single written goal was accomplished this week! Not quite sure how after looking back at the week but I'll take it! To recap, this week:

  • I finished organizing the basement! This meant finding homes for all of the items that we found in the garage during that project a week ago. Several things have been donated to DI ("What is that anyway?"), our small but growing food storage was organized and Craig's toys were put away. He gets to keep up with that from now on. 
  • Clean out, sanitize & sufficiently fill the refrigerator (we have 72 cheese sticks. We're good!)
  • All of the laundry & ironing: as of Thursday. I have a couple small loads to run on Tuesday but those will be MUCH more manageable now. 
  • Vacuuming all of the upstairs 
  • Vacuuming all of the furniture the cat touches (grandpa thought it was funny when our kitty came back upstairs and climbed on "her" chair and looked confused)
  • Winter guard items. I have everything ready to be printed & put in my directors book. Onward we go! 
  • The headboard is made!! WOO HOO! Now, I do have a couple finishing details to attend to but since I haven't decided if I want giant shiny black buttons, white buttons, red buttons or something else just a bit wacky to put on/in the puckers, I am considering this a goal accomplished!! Craig got a staple gun and staples Thursday evening and we, together, double-layered the upholstery foam, attached the pretty fabric and then measured out and set the "puckers" for the added details to come. Pictures included! 

Goals for this week: 
  • Pick a paper topic for what may be my last major paper in college
  • Outline paper (rough/basic- just to make sure I'm thinking about it) 
  • Start my annotated bibliography (also not due for a while but I'm due soon so why not?)
  • Sew car seat cover- really!
  • Have blocking and basic choreography written for first 30 seconds of winter guard routine
  • Hold winter guard auditions! :D 
  • Get a good set of recordings at the BYU game
  • Get a lot of the video time-coding done for the BYU band

October 29, 2010

End of Another Season

Surviving high school band competitions. A goal for the ages!
Think the third trimester of pregnancy is easy? Think school buses are comfortable? Try combining the two. Then add 60 squealing high school marching band kids. Multiply that by 2 hours. Throw an icky, sunflower seed-a-spittin' bus driver in the mix. I would rather not say anything else and just let your imagination fill in any other details. It was, in part, this trip to Davis that really let me know that being on a bus for 24 hours in one weekend just wouldn't cut it.

The kids did have a bit of a rough run at the Davis Cup (Davis HS competition). We got there a bit late, were rushed in getting things out, our rehearsal was cut short and the walk from our warmup area to the competition site was not close at all. It was a good 10 minute walk. While this wouldn't normally be an issue, imagine you play tuba or are one of the many parents pushing pit equipment up and down these hills. Yuck. The guard didn't have their best performance of the season but I believe it was a good learning opportunity and they improved dramatically at the following show.

Our group was the last to compete in AA and as a result, they performed, pulled their equipment out of the arena and it was time for awards. They received the music caption and 1st place over all in the AA division. The funny part? Tooele HS received the caption in drumline, guard & visual and still took 3rd. The funniest part was seeing the looks on their faces as 1st place was announced. While it is (obviously) possible to take 3 of the 4 captions and not place first, neither Chris nor I in all of our years around marching band have EVER seen it work out the way it did.

 The kids have done a nice job this season. We're still learning new things every day as a staff about how to better communicate what it is we're attempting to teach, how not to address certain issues, attempting to find a balance between correcting and complimenting (it is VERY difficult to not go to one extreme or another in a competitive setting like band) and how to keep the parents happy. Guess what? That comes from having responsible students! :D The fall season is over for me but my kiddies have one final competition tomorrow morning in California and then a fun parade in Disneyland on Monday. Obviously, I wasn't able to go with them. I'm bummed not to be with them at their competition but I'm sure they're going to have a blast with their last show!!

An Entertaining Return

Someone should really consider making t-shirts or primary bags that proudly state "I Survived the Primary Program!" This last Sunday was our annual primary program. For my non-LDS readers, allow me to explain. The primary consists of children between ages 3-12. Junior primary goes until the child turns 8 and then they are "big kids" and go to senior primary until they turn 12 and enter the young mens or young womens program. I teach a class of 8/9/10 year olds. They are quite the active bunch. Craig looooves coming to class with me! ;)  Each year, the children learn a new set of songs, have lessons in sharing time based on different topics and then usually in October, they have a program in place of the normal Sacrament meeting (the main worship service everyone attends together) where they share what they've learned in a somewhat organized manner. Some wards are better at this than others. Our ward wins for entertainment.

Anyway, last week I missed the rehearsal Saturday morning because of my call time for the football game. I would really like to know who put my two choice boys next to each other in the row I wasn't sitting in. (Yes, everyone had their name on their seat- no "That's my spot!"chatter during sacrament meeting). It was a pretty standard program. Sunbeams waving and calling out to their parents, junior primary children crying and refusing to go to the pulpit to "read" their part, senior primary boys playing with the organ pipes behind them and consequently nearly missing their turn.... I think sitting up there in the very back row with my class and watching the goings-on on the stand in front of me as well as the looks of the parents in the congregation was the best part.

Did I mention this was also the first Sunday since July grandpa has been able to come to church? He shared some valuable advice with Craig as they were choosing their seats that morning. "Find somewhere comfortable you can fall asleep before the program starts. It's so much more enjoyable that way!" Ooh, grandpa! What can you expect but a little humor from a man in a suit two sizes too big? :)

"We will fight day or night, rain or snow!"

Aaaaah... there is nothing quite like BYU Football! Er...marching band.

Saturday morning I was supposed to be to the stadium around 9:30 to get the audio recording system set up for the game that started at noon. I wasn't sure about the weather (which looked very stormy and was supposed to yield a large amount of rain) so I brought Craig along for the ride. I really don't want to do anymore game recording gigs without him. Joseph, the paid audio guy, got there a bit after 10 and we began doing our best to get the systems set up on both sides of the field. Just as we finished (successfully!) testing on each side, it began to lightly rain. In case you missed preschool, electronics and water don't mix well. Craig went off looking for plastic to cover the microphones while Joseph & I attempted to adjust the placement to avoid as much water as possible. Craig did come back with some plastic grocery-style bags from the bookstore (thanks, BYU!) but at that point it was beginning to rain too hard. Long story short, we ran over to the practice field (at Helaman Halls) to inform Bro. Mac that we felt the expensive audio equipment was worth more than a shoddy recording. We ran back and began tearing down as fast as we could. Our extension cord was already sitting in standing water. By the time pregame started, the sidelines were under at least 6 inches of water.

With the help of the video crew (Jon & Lauren) we were able to get everything off of the field and strewn out about the band facility. After everything was dried out, wrapped up, folded and tucked away, Craig and I grabbed the H4 Zoom handheld recorders, popped some windscreens on them and tucked them in the sleeves of our borrowed band parkas to attempt to get some kind of recording of the day. Surprisingly enough, I believe the best recording of the season has come from our handheld stereo recordings. I was able to take the files and edit them together and I think it sounds great- rain and all!

It was a great day!

Goal Report #3- a few days late

Okay, okay. So I usually post on Sunday and report about my weekly progress but it just didn't happen this week. Sorry? It has been a very busy week and a half since I've posted. Let's just do the list thing again. It's so much easier for my mind to organize my thoughts that way. (Confession: I attempted to do just that but my bullet points ended up being long enough to be their own posts. Here is take-two. The longer versions will be published for my loyal readers... like, mom.) Achieved goals from last week:

  • Survived the primary program
  • (Barely) survived two band competitions
  • Made it through another home BYU football game recording session with some creativity
  • Started my winter guard directors book (I actually got a TON accomplished on that this week) 
  • PASS MY STATS MIDTERM! Yes, this is exciting because it means I can pass the class now!

I did not:
  • Sew my car seat cover
  • Finish my headboard (Tomorrow! Craig bought a staple gun last night)

Some goals I had for this week which were never publicly shared- unless you count my hand-written list which has been sitting on the table all week: 
  • Finish organizing the basement- lots of items from the garage cleaning made their way into the basement family room
  • Try (again) to finish the dang headboard (it really isn't going to take that long!)
  • Clean out, sanitize & sufficiently fill the refrigerator 
  • All of the laundry & ironing 
  • Vacuuming all of the upstairs 
  • Vacuuming all of the furniture the cat touches
  • Winter guard items

Would it be cheating to report that everything on that list is done except the headboard? I do have until Sunday...

October 18, 2010

Goal Report #2

Okay! Into week 2 of "get everything humanly possible done before the baby comes in 49 days because after that, it ain't gonna happen!" And guess what? Things went pretty well! From my goals at the end of last week:

  •  I did get my Shakespeare paper written- "Helena, Hermia and Hippolyta: The role of "feminism" in Shakespeare's "A Mid-Summer Nights Dream." Might sound mildly interesting but you really can't get into too much detail on a 1200 word limit. 
  • I've been to a stats review. Continuing goal: pass the damn class. 
  • Craig and I spent a while on Saturday cleaning out and arranging our things in the garage. Now, not only are things sorted, arranged and cleaned up to my liking, we have an added bonus: both cars fit nicely in the garage! When little miss does make her grand appearance we won't have to carry her out to the car in the driveway in the snow. This makes us quite happy-grandpa included. 
  • We got a baby bathtub! My aunt also got me a Boppie nursing pillow- now to make a snuggly cover for it. :) We have a few little things that we still need to get before she's born, but I count this as progress towards goal #11. 
Goals for this week: 
  1. Survive two band competitions (Davis & Mountain View), one band concert and one home BYU football game (recording)
  2. Sew a car seat cover
  3. Finish our headboard. We were hoping to find the staple gun in the garage while we were cleaning and then Craig remembered he gave it back to his dad. We'll either need to see about borrowing it again or buy our own before this can be completed. 
  4. Primary program this Sunday... need I say more?
  5. Start doing some serious work on winter guard items. Auditions are in two weeks! Ah!  
And off we go...

October 14, 2010

Just another day...

Just a quick little post about the day. There wasn't anything particularly spectacular about it. In fact, I spent the greater part of it sitting on my bed doing some homework/work work/sewing a little gift for a very pregnant friend-work/laundry work and my favorite, unintentional sleep-work. I fell asleep around 3:30 and woke up at about 6:15 and then had a little mini freak-out about not having dinner ready for grandpa and Craig.

Luckily, Craig had decided to go with a buddy to a computer conference in Salt Lake last minute so I didn't have to worry about him coming home starving. Grandpa hadn't been awake long, either, by the time I got upstairs. So what did that mean for the evening? Grandpa suggested we just go out to eat since neither of us were really in the mood to cook or wait for dinner.
 We left intending to go to Kneaders for a sandwich but ended up getting Mexican at El Azteca on Bulldog. It was perfect for tonight. While there are few things quite like fried ice cream, we opted to go elsewhere for dessert. We wandered over to the mall for a quick stop at Sees to get a free sample (hey, you can't say no!) and a half dozen rum nougats to share over the next several days. We do actually share, by the way- you cut a rum nougat in half and then it's the perfect serving size for a diabetic! Grandpa got out for the evening, did some walking, we had a little fun and maybe next time we'll take Craig along! :)

October 10, 2010

Baby Shower!

Last weekend during the priesthood session of conference, my oldest sister, Erin, hosted a baby shower for me and my college-age friends. (My Sisters-in-Law, Jenny/Jen, hosted one in August with family- I will be posting about that shortly). It was so much fun getting to spend the evening goofing off, eating delicious food my sister made (naturally), tying a pretty baby pink blanket and generally just having a great time with my sister, aunt and girlfriends.

The shower was supposed to last from about 6-8 but I got there a little early to see what I could do to help my sister finish getting things ready. Mom had told me earlier that day that Erin had had a seriously crazy busy week and had worked so hard to make everything perfect. Oooh, and boy was it perfect and then some! I am still kicking myself that I didn't take my camera with me so I'll just have to do my best to describe how everything was. When  I (and everyone else) walked in the front door, there was a baby blanket set up in the living room ready to be tied. This was a great place for the early-birds, such as myself, to plop, talk and tie. Continuing on into the kitchen, Erin had made her famous tortellini salad, buttery rolls, delicious pesto pasta, sliced fruit and had a veggie platter. In the family room where we were going to spend most of the evening, Erin had made a darling banner and had clothes-pinned tiny pairs of baby socks between the letters. In the corner was the newly painted armoire that became the holding place for baby gifts.  Mom had sent my blessing bonnet, booties and blessing dress which was hung up on the inside of the left door and hanging on the opposite door was the darling "Madeline" frame my sister had made.

After being completely blown away, I went back into the kitchen and sat down at the counter to help finish putting that together when Erin told me she had one more surprise for me. At that point, my Aunt Susan who lives in Arizona came into the kitchen. She had flown from Phoenix specifically for the baby shower! THAT was a fun treat.

The rest of the evening was spent eating, chatting and playing fabulously funny games with some of my favorite people. Matching games complete with coordinating candy prizes ("Mounds" was my favorite. I'll let you guess on that one;) ) and complete-the-nursery rhyme among other things. It was wonderful spending time with my sister and friends and seeing how loved little Madeline is already.

(Sorry, the pictures included here are mostly taken later at our house or borrowed from facebook-Thanks, Becca!)


I have been serving as the audio engineer for the BYU Cougar Marching Band this season. (For some reason, the idea of having a very pregnant color guard member didn't strike some instructors as a good idea.) My duties include, but are not limited to, recording the band during all of their pre-game and half-time shows at LaVell Edwards Stadium, taking field recordings of the band during their game day rehearsals, tailgate party, stand and post-game performances. Oh, and then all of the post-production editing and prepping for the videographers. This involves having a complete recording set-up for both pre-game and halftime ready before the game starts.

Craig has had the great pleasure of being my A2 (essentially, my audio assistant, although I know at this point he could probably do the whole thing without a word from me) for two of the home games this season. While he just gets a kick out of getting a sideline pass, I've really enjoyed having him there to help out and be voice with some grumpy broadcast guys- the "Game Day" people were the worst- and to help keep things calm. Both times he's been around to help, we've been able to get some really great recordings and keep things running smoothly. This is quite the feat when you consider we're set up on the West sideline which is where the t.v cart goes zooming by with little to no warning and have a grand total of about 3 minutes to get everything pulled down and safely stored away before the game starts. Then, we get about that much time to get everything BACK up and sound-checked before halftime starts. All the while the world of the game is still going on around us. Some people enjoy the rush. I enjoy everything going smoothly. Craig's great at helping make that happen. Heaven forbid we make it to a bowl game this year, he may be stuck doing this some more!

p.s There are a few perks. I did get the opportunity to go up to the 3rd floor press box before the game yesterday. What an amazing view!! It is a completely different world up there.

Goal Report #1

Okay! So, I made it through the last seven days. For some reason, this week just seemed to drag on and on. I certainly have not been lacking things to do (there's always statistics to study for, Shakespeare to write papers about and an independent study class that I highly doubt will be done before Thanksgiving) but it just seemed to keep going and going and going. However, there were some great things about the "long" week.

  • Craig & I got the entire basement organized & cleaned (see item #2 on my to-do list)
  • We got the baby "nook" set up in both a functional and esthetically pleasing way (see item #10) 
  • All of the clothing items we have are now organized in the armoire (see item #3)
  • I went with my friend, Casey, who is expecting any moment, to get a maternity massage. BEST hour of my week, I'm sure. Nothing quite like being completely relaxed and 100% pain-free. 
  • I did work on some more burp cloths with Casey Friday night (she needed a little distracting with being so close to her baby coming) and they even match our new car seat. I count this as item #5 being done. 
  • We got a gorgeous infant car seat from my Grandma Nasson, Aunt Susan (who came and surprised me last weekend!), Aunt Carol, my sister and mom. 
Lots of good things were accomplished this week. I didn't get our headboard finished or the garage cleaned as previously planned so those items are still up for tackling this week along with studying for another stats midterm and writing a paper for Shakespeare and a little more decorating for Halloween. (Come see! We decorated the Christmas tree grandpa has had out since last year with pumpkins and other assorted fall items.) Luckily, I only have two days of band this week which leaves my days WIDE open to get things done. 

October 3, 2010

A little behind but pushing ahead!

Okay, so I haven't posted anything since July 18th. Yes, just like with everyone else, life has been about as full and changing as one can possibly imagine. So many things have happened since then that I can't even begin to think about putting them all in one post, which is good, since that is not the purpose of this entry. Because I have been told that goals are just wishes or dreams if not written down, the point of me writing this afternoon is to give myself someone (or something) to be accountable to. As of today, I am 64 days from my due date and I have plenty of things that I would love to accomplish (well) before then. I am now writing them down and can now proceed with my goals! In no particular order...

  1. Organize the garage (we still have things from when we moved in that haven't been organized)
  2. Organize the basement (ditto)
  3. Organize/sort/hang all of the baby clothes (I have no excuse now- my sister is letting us use her beautiful baby armoire!) 
  4. Make a car seat cover to match the nursing cover my mom/sister gave me
  5. Make a couple more burp clothes (apparently you can never have enough) 
  6. Finish our headboard 
  7. Finish our curtains
  8. Get all winter guard items completely organized (this includes uniforms ordered, flags made, drill books with routines put together) 
  9. Make a little Sunday dress for Madeline 
  10. Figure out/rearrange our "baby nook"- it needs some feng shui 
  11. Purchase any other important items I may have forgotten (baby bathtub, nursing pillow, monitors, baskets to hold toys, blankets etc.) 

I'm sure this list will grow, but for now, those are my long-ish term goals. I'm going to pick a few things a week to work on and will then report on them at the end of the week. This week I will be working on: #1, #3 & #6 since those might be less pleasant in the cold and #10. Let's see how it goes!!