Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Leaves are Falling All Around

So lately our lawn has been COVERED in leaves. Yesterday I decided that if I could get my hands on a rake, Zoe and I would have a great time in a huge pile of leaves. And we did. I ended up raking up the yard twice and it already needs it again (thanks to the wind and the kids across the street). But I am a little too exhausted to attempt it again. Maybe tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow - check back here for all of our Halloween pictures, including pumpkin carving, the ward party, and trick-or-treating at the mall!

Oh, and don't you just LOVE how in some of the pictures the leaves are in focus and Zoe isn't? Someday we'll have digital SLR and we will be lovin life (and our pictures).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baby News

My goodness, would you people just chill out? This is about James' uncle and his wife! Congratulations Tom and Joy Archibald!! Lillianna was born about 4 weeks early, but is doing great. I can't wait until I can meet your entire family. Poor Zoe, she is not the baby anymore, although I guess she is still technically the youngest great-grandchild. So only Kenzie's title has been overthrown. Sorry kid. So, James has a cousin who is 31 years younger than he is. Sounds like my kind of family.

In other baby news.... seriously, NO! I'm just wondering where one goes to find a decent baby doll. The only thing I'm looking for is a doll that is not too hideous, has eyes that open and close, an opening in the mouth to stick a bottle/pacifier, and makes NO noise. Everything I've found either talks, giggles, cries, pees, wiggles, sneezes, grows hair, eats, crawls, etc. I want to get Zoe a baby doll for Christmas, but I just can't find what I'm looking for. I would just get her a Cabbage Patch Kid, but the eyes are just stickers and Zoe really likes "playing" (um, gouging) the eyes that move (you know, shut when you lay the doll down). If anyone knows where I can find just a normal doll that is not ugly, please let me know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

This will only interest TWO people

If your name is not Marie Bird or Erin Wimmer then you can probably skip this post.

I am really getting into this season, if you can't tell. Todd is (usually) a really smart player and I find myself routing for the little homo (what? he is). But first of all, why the heck would Todd look for the immunity idol in broad daylight right in front of everyone? That was his first dumb move of the evening. The second would have to be keeping Jean Robert. Seriously, they could do without him. If they merge they would still have their 5 original members and 1 (possibly 2 - if James can get the other one) immunity idol(s). He was totally right about being seen as a power player and Courtney's little outburst at tribal council proved it.

JR needs to go. He is skeezy - or at least edited to appear so. Was anyone else laughing as hard as Courtney when he proclaimed himself a "badboy?" Even with a Harley, I don't think I would classify him as such. (Speaking of skeezy, though, was that just editing or was Courtney actually staring at James' butt for minutes on end?) Anyway, I really do think he would turn on them after the merge. He knows he is abrasive and on the outs - the perfect swing vote. Before you could say "Texas hold-em" he would be stabbing someone in the back. And once a swing vote, always a swing vote. Then, his new "alliance" will want to keep him around because no one on the jury would vote for him with JR-inflicted stab wounds in their backs.

And OH MY GOSH! was Jamie actually wearing Aaron's jacket at the reward challenge? THE NERVE. And speaking of reward challenges, why do they always sit Courtney out for those, instead of the immunity challenges? And why do they sit her out on challenges that don't require physical prowess. Maybe I should coach Survivor.

So I know this isn't the best forum for my Survivor banter, but I don't have a better one that would involve both Erin and Marie. Plus I don't think our phone bill (or the Wimmer's) could handle it. Maybe they should just move back to Utah for the season (the Survivor season, that is). And it's not like I go off on Survivor ALL the time, so for all of you non-Survivorites out there, chill.

Go Todd!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Phone Home

If you've ever wondered what I do while I talk on the phone, here is your answer.

I had to spend a lot more time than usual on the phone on Monday and Zoe picked right up on it. The funny thing is that I'm actually talking to her on my cell phone. She got James' phone and somehow dialed me. The "uh-oh" at the end is because she nearly started a conference call with one of James' coworkers.

James was a little mystified as to why I didn't break that last long post up into 3 shorter ones. I just can't. I hate having lots of little posts all put on the same day. He even made sure I was going to put this video separate from the slide show. so just to keep him on his toes...

Here's a totally unrelated picture. This is from conference weekend. It was all stormy and the tree across the street looked fabulous. For a while it actually seemed like Fall!

Cascade Springs Family Pictures

So, back in September, we went up the canyon with our friends the Rivards and took some family pictures. What took us so long to post them? I forgot I hadn't. I got the pictures all ready, and just left them to rot in a folder. Today I scrub off that rot and present them to you in slideshow form! A first for this blog. Thanks to Erin, Jason, and Leah for inspiring the photo shoot and being such great friends. We miss you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The World is Right Again....mostly

OK, lots to say tonight.

First and foremost - we have a new DVD player! Hooray! Ours went ka-put about a month ago and since then we have had a ghetto set up with a dvd player from UVSC (one of James' job perks is having access to all kinds of media-type toys) and our original DVD/VCR combo. In shopping for our new player, we decided to tell our VHS collection to "shove it" and we started our search for a DVR. Not just a DVR, but one that was a combo DVD player and possibly recorder. We weren't quite sure if such an animal existed nor what we would pay for one should it indeed exist. It turns out that it doesn't really exist, at least not in any electronic stores we frequent, and not for under $700 online. then miraculously I was combing through the Sunday paper ads and I found it - a Philips HDD DVD player/recorder. It turns out there is such a thing, just not called a DVR. Oh, and we got it for less than $300 (a steal). We went and got it for FHE. That's how we roll. We are beyond excited to start using it and it gives us a little extra motivation to replace the last few stragglers of our VHS collection.

Next - Blogger is letting us post pictures down the side again without distorting them! If anyone has noticed, the pictures down the side of our posts have been exactly the same since June. For some reason, every time we tried to add more, it distorted them by smushing them up lengttwise and stretching them widthwise. Not too flattering. So today I tried again just for the heck of it and it worked. We already had a bunch just chomping at the bit so I've added a bunch. Some of them are pretty old - from last year - but they needed to be seen by the world. So go ahead, scroll down the side without reading. We know you want to.

Now, for the "mostly" part of the post. When James was in DC, our ward had a neighborhood cleanup. Somehow, someone thought that our spare swamp cooler was clutter and chucked it. This is a $400 swamp cooler that was only used for 2 summers and came with us from our old apartment. It was covered and nicely located next to our storage unit in our backyard. I will also add that the swamp cooler was the only thing touched from our property. Seriously, even the actual garbage was still there. But not the cooler.

So I have been trying for a week to get a hold of the landlord who organized the whole shin-ding that left us with a $400 hole in our pocket. Finally I talked to the landlord today (after he never returned my calls) and it was not pretty. I kept my cool but he basically told me "so what" and that since he didn't PERSONALLY throw the cooler away he didn't care and wasn't going to do anything about it. Then he went on to lecture me for 10 minutes about how it was my fault because I shouldn't be storing my "junk" in the "parking lot." He wouldn't acknowledge the facts that
1) "junk" = nearly new, perfectly functioning swamp cooler and
2) "parking lot" = next to our own storage unit on our own property.

"Why wasn't it in the storage unit?"
"Because it was so big and nice that it wouldn't fit through the door on our tiny unit."
"Then you should have made other arrangements for it."
"What kind of arrangements can you make for a swamp cooler?"
"Or maybe you shouldn't own things that don't fit in your storage unit."

SERIOUSLY!!!!! The man was so condescending. Like because I live in a small apartment I don't have the right to own things. He then went on to try and make me feel guilty for not being part of the cleanup, although my husband was out of town so I was home with a toddler. "Other moms were there, they had their kids in strollers." Well that's great for them. I didn't want to take my 15 month old out in the rain to pick up the garbage behind the apartments of drug users/dealers. Especially when my child will stay in her stroller for exactly 45 seconds before she is whining to get out!

What an idiot (I am seriously censoring myself for this family site). So I kept my cool until about 1 second after I hung up. Then I screamed in rage and frustration. No obscenities, of course. Those came later. Oh and I balled for like half an hour. Again, tears of complete and absolute rage. And because this idiot made me feel like less of a person for where I live all while adopting this self righteous attitude about all the good he does for the neighborhood. I hate to burst his bubble, but the garbage that was raked up from a neighboring property was replaced with new refuse within a week. What a saint. For a while I was contemplating writing him a letter but knew that it wouldn't do any good. I think instead I will channel my emotions into a letter to our landlord, thanking her for being the exact opposite of this pompous moron. It's probably a little healthier (emotionally, mentally) for me as well. BREATHE!

And the pictures? They are from my mom's visit at the beginning of the month. I have been meaning to get them up here for so long but just haven't. So since this post had no pictures to go with it and it was REALLY long, I figured I'd spice it up with some unrelated photogs. We took my mom to Temple Square and got to see the tabernacle for the first time since it was renovated. Also there is a great new children's section at the Church History Museum. Oh, and my mom is a dishes maniac. Every time I turned around she was washing something. Zoe was in heaven. OK, so was I. Miss you and love you mom!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Things to Make You Pee your Pants

Or your skirt, if you are a woman and it is Sunday.

If you aren't aware, I am living in Utah (still) and I don't like it (still). Saturday night it started to snow. Huge flakes, falling down a lot. Fortunately it wasn't really sticking and it did stop after a while. No biggy, right? Guess again.

I wake up Sunday morning and shove Zoe in front of the TV so I can get a decent shower. When I'm trying to decide what to wear I finally pull the curtains back and glance outside. Oh the horror! How can I type this! SNOW. SNOW. S-N-O-W! There were a few inches covering the lawn, the cars, the trees. "Oh crap" I said as I dove into the back of my closet and pulled out my turtleneck. Good thing Zoe already has a winter coat.

This is really just insulting. Besides having a huge snowfall in OCTOBER, it comes just two days after a really nice day. Rewind to Friday - 70 degrees, sunny. We would have been wearing short sleeves but I just didn't want to tempt fate. Zoe and I spent the afternoon in the park. Now I'm really glad that I took the camera because I have before and after shots and maybe they will make me look a little less insane for being so mad about the snow. Maybe not. It's a tough case that would take more evidence than I am capable of producing.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mr. Gillice Goes to Washington

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I usually try to keep things short and interesting. Oh well...

It has been a busy week. I have been back from DC since Monday but I haven't had time to post about my trip until now. I was there for 3 complete days, although I feel like I was sleep walking through the first day (Friday) since I got maybe an hour of sleep on the plane the night before.


I met Travis and Brian at Dulles International Airport at about 8:30 in the morning. Their flight (from Oakland) had arrived a couple hours earlier and they were sleeping in the rental car when I called from baggage claim. We were all pretty dead tired all of Friday.

We started the day off by meeting up with Jeremy (our old friend/roommate) and Aaron (the Groom/friend/roommate) and a few other friends of Aaron's that we did not know. We met them at the Air and Space Museum which is right next to the airport, conveniently enough. After that Aaron ditched us to go do "wedding stuff." So Travis, Brian, Jeremy and I, headed to DC to see what we could see. Jeremy had lived there after he graduated for a few months and Brian had been there before so they took us on a whirlwind tour to see what we could see before everything closed.

We went to museums, monuments, historical sights, and much more. As we headed back to our car, we were a little concerned to see that the side of the road that we had parked on no longer had any cars parked in it and was now being used as a lane. This worried us. A few hundred feet down the road we could see a car had been moved off the road and up onto the sidewalk. Could it be? Oh yes it could. Apparently in DC they don't tow your car, they just move it out of the way. We were a bit thankful for this since we didn't have to track down an impounded car. We were not however, happy to see the phat ticket on the windshield for $100.

After that crushing blow of a parking ticket, our next item on our itinerary was a "bachelor party" to be held at a place called "Top Golf" in Alexandria, VA. (It's a good thing we had a GPS navigation system in our car or we would have spent the weekend lost.) We were not quite sure what to expect of this place, but it turned out to be one of the funnest things I have ever done. It's like a driving range only it keeps score so you are competing with your friends. Seriously Fun! We got the royal treatment while we were there as well. There were two tees reserved for our group. Each member of our party had a bucket of balls with our name on it. We got to choose what we wanted for dinner from a menu and they kept the drinks coming (soda and lemonade of course). For about three hours we had an absolute blast. We even forgot how tired we were.

So after the party, we headed back to Aaron's house to crash for the night. The activities of the day finally caught up with me. I laid down on one of the couches to rest for a little while. I opened my eyes again and it was somehow morning. Apparently everyone had stayed up late and talked for hours as I slept in complete oblivion right there next to them.


This day was much different than the one before it. We had to be at the Temple by 9:30 for Aaron and Amy's sealing at 10:00. I had heard that the Washington DC Temple was beautiful but it by far surpassed my expectations. We got there early so we had a chance to look around the Temple a little bit. It is an amazing place. That thing is HUGE. It is now my favorite Temple I think.

Everything went as planned and it was a beautiful ceremony. Afterwards we did the traditional picture taking thing in front of the Temple. The weather was absolutely perfect.

We had lunch with the rest of the wedding party at an Indian restaurant. Now, I have had a curry dish or two in my time and I do enjoy it thoroughly, but I must admit that I have never been to an Indian restaurant.

It was awesome.

I have never seen so much food. It was all buffet style and we had the whole restaurant just for our party. Good times were ours for the having as we enjoyed good food and the company of good friends.

Our next agenda item was the reception. It was at beautiful Seneca State Park. (I can't remember which state it was actually in. We went through 3 or 4 of them during our travels.) Lots of trees, more food, and an outdoor fireplace. What more could you want?

After the reception, we helped clean up and I drove Amy's car back to their new apartment. I was following Brian and Travis since they had the GPS and I had no idea where I was. (Which state was this again?) I followed them for quite a while until we came to a stop light. As I sat there I realized that the car I was following was not the rental car. Oops. Fortunately, I was not too far away and Aaron was able to direct me to the apartment over the phone.

So, at the apartment we said our goodbyes to Aaron and Amy and headed back to the house for a relaxing evening. We watched the latest episode of The Office and Flight of the Conchords on YouTube.


Sunday. A day of rest. And so we did. Maybe a little too much.

We planned on getting up early to go to church. Then we would have plenty of time afterwards to go and see whatever was free and open on Sunday in DC. We didn't get up as early as we had hoped and so we didn't get out of Church until 1:00pm.

We got to DC at about 2:00 or so. We made the most of the short time we had before things closed. We first went to the Arlington Cemetery where we saw the grave of JFK and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Very cool, if sad, place. We were also able to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. That was an amazing experience for me to actually look at some of the, if not THE, most important documents in the history of the world.

We tried to visit the Holocaust Museum but we were too late to see the main exhibit. Brian and Jeremy said that it was one of their favorite places. So now that everything was closing, we decided to look at all of the outdoor monuments and memorials. We started at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and from there we hit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the World War I Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and finished up at the Washington Monument (which is absolutely huge by the way).

It was getting late so we walked our aching feet back to the car. We bid farewell to Washington DC as we drove "home" to get some rest.

We slept for maybe 3 hours on Sunday night before we had to head back to Dulles International in the wee hours of the morning. I bid farewell to Brian and Travis as they boarded their flight back to Oakland. I then tried to get some sleep in those uncomfortable airport chairs, that are designed to keep you from doing exactly that, while I waited 2 hours for my flight.

This was my first time to the East Coast and I have to say that it was very pretty. Maybe more so than I had expected. There are trees everywhere which is something I love. (Why do I live in Utah?)

The people on the East Coast are a bit different too. Everyone is very "professional" for lack of a better word. Everyone we met was either a lawyer, doctor, diplomat, or some other noble thing. (Can lawyers be noble?) People dress differently as well. Women all wear scarves and men wear leather shoes. And everyone wears black. It's kind of like America, but with a bit of a European twist.

Washington DC was an eye opening experience that increased my love and respect for this country of ours. Even with all of the problems we have, this is still the greatest country on earth.

There are a lot of things that we didn't get to see in our whirlwind trip. I look forward to returning one day with my family and seeing everything I missed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some Sad News

I don't want to trump James' DC adventures in any way, but something has slowly been burning a hole in the pit of my stomach for the past day and I just have to post it on here. I wish we only ever had good news to blog about, but oh well.

On Monday night we got a call from Steysi Biggs. She told us that LaDonna Counihan's little brother John had been in a car accident and was brain dead. Over the past day and a half we've learned only a little more, through an article in the paper. The family did take him off life support either last night or this morning and he died.

For the first time I am missing the Counihans for completely unselfish reasons. I wish I could wrap my arms around LaDonna and be there for her the way her family has always supported us. If you are near their family, please do so for us. John was only 19 and preparing to go on a mission. It seems the Lord had a slightly different call in mind for him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hancocks and the Counihans. We only wish we could be there too.

For those interested, a memorial service for John Hancock will take place at 11am this Friday (Oct. 19) at the following location:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
287 Poet Smith Dr.
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 885-5060

Friday, October 12, 2007

Death, by Sewing

Also known as a Handmade Chenille Blanket.
The website has similar instructions, but better pictures of the finished project.

If you ever want to sew yourself to death, here's a pretty good way to go.

Step 1 - Gather your materials:
5 pieces of "coordinating" flannels, each cut to a yard and a quarter
fabric pen (disappearing or washable)
lots of thread

seam binding
sewing machine
seam ripper (maybe this one is just for me)
extra needles for your machine (again, maybe just for me)

Step 2 - Decide which piece of flannel you want to be the base and lay it face down on the floor. This step sounds simple, but when you live in 700 square feet and have plenty of bulky furniture and a toddler under foot, it is easier said than done. Lay the remaining 4 pieces of material face up on top of the first. The order doesn't matter (unless it does to you). Square the pieces and pin them together. Sew around the edges with a basting stitch and then trim all the edges to about 1/4".

Step 3 - If you are neurotic and a bit of a sewing masochist, like I tend to be, then next you need to wake up and decide that your work is just not quite right, rip out all the stitches, and repeat Step 2 with roughly your original results. By this time you should have stabbed yourself a few times with the straight pins. If you are normal or just don't care, you can skip to Step 4.

Step 4 - Now for the fun part. If you find tedious monotony fun. Sometimes I do. I am a stay-at-home mom, after all. Basically, you need to mark/sew straight lines on the diagonal - about 1/2" apart. I started out carefully marking, remarking, then marking a third time for a large portion of the blanket before I realized I could just eyeball it on the machine and it turned out alright. Apparently I flipped the neurotic switch off. But I think I'm more on a dimmer switch, so I guess I just toned it down as I realized I was undertaking a week-long project with only days to complete it for a baby shower I went to today (not advisable). Also I went through 4 needles on my machine. I'm not sure if this is normal for this project, normal for my ancient sewing machine, or just normal for me. Luckily I had some spares.

Step 5 - At a certain point during Step 4, you will realize the enormity of this project and think you will never finish. Then about 30 minutes later, it is doable again. Then you begin Step 5, which involves very carefully cutting through 4 (all but your predetermined "base" layer) of the 5 layers of fabric . You will now cut between each and every one of the stitches you just sewed. Again, at some point you will be overwhelmed, and an urge to rock yourself in the corner will wash over you. And that too passes.

(from here on out you'll have to excuse the pictures. James took the camera to DC with him, so I borrowed a friend's and it just isn't as awesome as ours. Oh well, you get the picture... hehe)

Remember when I mentioned very good scissors? This is why. I like the nice ones with the spring in the handle so they just pop open after every cut. Minimizes blisters. Oh, you laugh.

Step 6 - Bind the blanket. Really, that's it. Check out that awesome mitered corner!

Step 7 - Let your washer and dryer pulverize the blanket (like you want to but no longer have the strength to) until it is fluffy and pretty. Two words you would never have used in the previous steps.

Step 8 - Pick off all of those annoying little fuzzies stuck to the non-chenille side. Or you can get one of those defuzzer things that kind of shaves them off. Whatever.

Step 9 - Record your work so you don't feel inclined to repeat the process too soon. Also, rest your arms. If you happen to have the unfriendly combination of an old sewing machine that doesn't pull the very thick blanket through very easily - you have to push a little - and an old wrist strain from lifting garage door openers two at a time, then you will probably be sleeping with your brace for a few days until the throbbing subsides.


About 5 minutes after James left for the airport I realized how alone I was. I looked around and the house was too quiet, too empty. Even for Thursday at 10 pm. Luckily I have a HUGE sewing project that I have thrown myself into. Unfortunately that will only keep me occupied until tomorrow afternoon. I have so much to do this weekend to catch up after kind of taking the last week or so off from life in general (and my calling too..) but my motivation is gone. To Washington DC, in fact. And won't be back until Monday evening. And I know that's not a terribly long time, but it feels like it's going to feel like a long time, if that makes ANY sense.

On top of it all, I am insanely jealous that James gets to go to DC for a weekend and I don't. Not just because of Aaron's wedding, though I'd love to be there, but because he gets to spend 4 days with some of his best friends in the world in one of the coolest cities in the nation, historically speaking. All without having to worry about any responsibilities. What wouldn't I give for that? I'm not really sure. Anyway, I have a big day ahead of me and I am kind of looking forward to having the bed (well, really the covers) all to myself. James, I miss you so much already. Have fun, but not too much.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Speaking of New Albums...

...Does anyone remember the band Radiohead?

Radiohead has announced the release of their new album, In Rainbows.

The big news is that the are releasing the album themselves, without signing with a record label. It will be exclusively available from the bands website beginning tomorrow (Oct. 10th).

Now here's the even bigger news. They are allowing fans (and non-fans alike, for that matter) to download the album and pay whatever price they deem reasonable. That is correct. If the download is worth $2 to me, then I pay $2. If it's worth $10 to me then I can pay $10. If it is not worth anything to me, then I can pay nothing.

This is a very big deal, since no other big name musical act has ever done anything like it.

Perhaps you've never heard of Radiohead.

Maybe you have heard of them.

You may know them as that 90's band that had that hit song "Creep".

Or you may remember some other popular songs they had in the 90's such as "High and Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees", or "Karma Police".

You may also know that they released an album in 1997 called OK Computer, that is regarded by many to be one of the finest albums of the 90's (or of any decade).

You could have heard that they drastically changed their sound in 2000 when they released Kid A. This album, with it's more electronic based sound, also received massive critical acclaim. It is widely held to be one on the best albums of the 00's.

There is a chance that you may have heard of Amnesiac (2001) and Hail to the Thief (2003). Their two most recent albums are each a mixed bag of excellent to merely interesting tracks.

Maybe you hate Radiohead. Maybe you love them. Maybe you used to like them. Maybe you've never heard of them. Maybe you have heard of them and are interested in what the hype is all about.

It really doesn't matter what your background is with this particular band. The fact is, there is no good reason not to download In Rainbows since the price is most definitely right (whatever you want to pay!). Maybe you will like it. Maybe you won't. Maybe there will be at least one song that makes it worth your time. Maybe there won't. Since you can set your own price, there really is nothing to lose.

I myself, am a fan of Radiohead. But even if you're not, you can still be a part of history and find out what the hype is all about. And the best part is, you only have to pay whatever you want.

Click to download IN RAINBOWS

Monday, October 8, 2007

New Album Blog

For those who may be interested, I started a new blog page to document the process of creating my next album. Some of you may find it boring but hopefully I can keep it a little interesting. It's mainly for myself I suppose but anyone is welcome to check it out.

I just got some pictures up so it looks a little better.

For those who are not aware, I have a little habit of writing and recording music. This habit has produced two albums so far. Let Me In was released in 2003, followed by Making It Right Again in 2005.

My 3rd album has taken considerably longer to make due to having a child and the responsibilities of life and such. But rest assured that it is coming.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Who's the Skinny Chicken?

Thanks Kelly, for this gem of a photo. Like I said in my previous post, I pretty much look exactly the same as I did in High School.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chance Meeting

On Wednesday we picked up Desta's mom at the airport and spent the afternoon doing the Temple Square thing. Our first stop was the Church History Museum (since it was right next to where we parked). We've all been there before of course, but it's nice to go back since there is way too much to see there all at once.

Anyway, I digress. As we were looking at the new display of a re-creation of the Tabernacle roof trusses, who should chance to walk past but my old seminary teacher, Sister Bonnie McCauley. I instantly recognized her and said, "Sister McCauley, do you remember me?" She looked slightly confused at first. "James Gillice," I said. She immediately remembered me once she knew my name. (I have found that people who knew me in High School sometimes have trouble recognizing me now. This confuses me as I am sure I still look pretty much the same, right?)

When I was in this woman's class I was not even a member of the Church. In fact the only reason I was there at 6:00 in the morning is because Travis would knock on my bedroom window and wake me up and "force" me to go.

So we talked about my life and what has transpired in the years since I've seen her. We talked about all of my old friends and what they are doing now, and about my sister Fern (Sister McCauley said to say "Hi"). It was kind of a surreal experience. I can't remember the last time I saw this woman. It was good to see her. It was also a nice reminder of how much my life has changed since joining the Church and what a good decision that was so many years ago.

Thanks Sister McCauley and to everyone else who helped me get to that point in my life. Your work and patience were not in vain.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

You Mess with the Bull...

You get the ponytails?

I couldn't resist.

Also, when I said before that Zoe liked Garth, that was the understatement of the year. She adores him and follows him around trying to copy everything he does. She also thinks his every action is completely hilarious.

Needless to say, we have a lot of fun. And I get paid for this? Isn't Zoe's laugh so delicate and feminine?

In other news, my mom is in town for a week. We spent the day in Salt Lake doing the Temple Square thing and then hit Ikea. My mom is down with Ikea now as well. Today we are trying to recuperate (Zoe's ONLY nap was when she fell asleep for maybe 20 minutes during the Joseph Smith movie, and she still woke up at 7 this morning). And even though it's probably so entertaining for my mom to sit on the couch while I blog away I will probably try and refrain over the next few days. Although she does go to bed early. Should be a fun week.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And Now, for Something Completely Different

OK, here come pictures and more pictures and a couple videos. Sorry this has taken so long. Pictures (from top to bottom): Zoe helping James with dishes - this is her new favorite thing and she freaks out if she even thinks we are washing the dishes without her; Zoe playing in her toy box; sleeping in her highchair - she was SO exhausted; and the last two are from when the Iveys visited and Zoe kept running and standing under the sprinkler, she was completely soaked. Enjoy.

While I'm at it, I thought I'd fill this post with miscellaneous rants as well.

As I perused some of our friends blogs, I discovered a worrying trend. A lot of moms were blogging about how excited they were about Fall and the beautiful weather it brings. At first I thought it was a fluke that we happened to know so many deranged moms who would welcome this awful season. Then it dawned on me - none of these people live in UTAH! That's it! Fall in Utah is more of a pre-winter and it is a sore spot for me. We go from having late summer - 80-90 degrees, shorts, swimming pools - to 50-60 degrees with snow in the mountains, all in about a week and a half, two if we're lucky. The colors change in about a week before everything is dead and before you can say "jacket," let alone find one in the house, it's time to hunt down your winter coat. Zoe went from wearing sun dresses to church one week to sweaters the next. Did I mention that it snowed (well, I guess it was more sleet/slush but still, hate) on Saturday. Not just in the mountains, this time. In our front yard. And then it froze that night. GRRRR. HATE UTAH FALL.

To add to my rant, today has been pretty yucky. I cannot find my wallet ANYWHERE and I need to do some serious grocery shopping. Hard to do without a debit card, unfortunately. I finally gave up looking for it and decided I should blog instead. Over the last week we have accumulated some awesome pictures and videos I wanted to post. So I am typing and ranting and then I decide it is time to edit some pictures. I put our memory card in and the files won't transfer to the computer!!!! I have no idea what's going on. So you will have to wait for those particular gems, but hopefully this will tide you over. What a day!