Overdue? Yes... We threw a very small first birthday party for Kaylee at my mom's house. Her Grandma's anunts and uncle's all came to enjoy cake, ice cream, dinner, and presents.
There are too many cute pictures to choose from! This one is a personal favorite! Kaylee really enjoyed her cake but she was kind of a princess about it. If you want the extended version you can watch the video (although you've probably already seen it.)
Kaylee is really enjoying her new toys and clothes.
She sometimes gets a little possessive over her truck though and get very angry at it if she can't get it to go everywhere with her.
I have been hanging onto all my Christmas decorations for two whole years. (Our first christmas we bought this condo and were moving, not decorating, and last christmas we lived in my sisters house.) I was so excited to finally put it all together. I love decorating!
Ryan spent a littlt too much time making this video cool but now you can all enjoy our tree with us!...
I was in the process of taking pictures of the rest of the decor when my camera BROKE! ***crys*** Well Maybe this means I can get a new one... I never liked this expensive piece of junk much any way!
Cell phone pictures anyone? Garland above the cabinets...
Garland above the windows...
Lighted fancy garland on the entertainment center...
Lighted home entrance with santa merry christmas wreath...
Cranberry candle on table (with tree behind)...
Red trees, stockings and snowmen! I have other decor here and there but you get the point :)
I wrote down everything I need to do before the last day of class and decided I could afford to sit down and organize all my photos in prep for upcoming blogs....
I have become a very lazy blogger... sorry. I had every intention of doing the usual cutesy pictures with text describing them but instead I am just going to tell you about Jordan's homecoming and then give you a link to Ryan's mobile me where I uploaded all the pictures to for Grandma Pullan.
It's so great to have Jordan back. I already can't wait for the next family gathering. It has been so empty without Chelsie, Jordan, Chason, Brooke, and Rylie. Having Chelsie and Jordan with everyone was a lot of fun. Chelsie took Jordan back out into the world yesterday to buy things and get ready to be a none missionary. I can't even imagine how incredibly hard it must be to leave such a wonderfully spiritual life behind. We had rotisserie chicken instead of turkey which is fine by me because I love that stuff. Jordan taught us all anew monopoly card game while we listened to christmas music. What a great de-stresser!
Any way check out the pictures I took here... They are pretty blurry. The lighting in the airport didn't agree with our camera... LAME.
Someday I'll do a normal blog. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Well I'm actually in class... I think I have some sort of senioritis but don't worry I'll make it :)
Ryan has taken a leave of absence from school until the end of the year. He and I talked about it and we decided that this was best for all of us right now even though it pushes his graduation back to late September. He has a lot of work projects lined up and there just wasn't enough time for him to do all the work and be a more than full time student who cares for a 1 year old all day. He is using this time to make us a little bit of money so we can eat a little longer ;) The good news is, in January I will only be taking 10 credits which I have crammed into 2 days of the week (Tuesday and Thursday). This means I will be home most days of the week to help him with Kaylee. I will still graduate in August, but I have just spread the work out between winter spring and summer semesters. (10, 5, & 3.5 credits respectively)
I have 4 weeks of class left... 1 of them is Thanksgiving week (only 2 days of class) 1 of them is the last week of class (4 days of class) There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
I am very excited for Thanksgiving (and the break that comes with it) and I am teaching sharing time the Sunday after. Does anyone have a good idea for a serving my family sharing time? (Have I mentioned that I am the primary Secretary? I'm not very helpful but I do what I can.) The Straw family is taking new pictures on the 28th to include the new grand kids. Hopefully we get some good ones.
We have having Hightower Thanksgiving on Nov. 30th when Jordan gets home. I am very excited for that day too! I am not going to that day of school so that's another non full week!
Kaylee is getting a bit too smart for our own good. She is getting so old. It almost makes me want another tiny baby (but not enough to make it worth going through school pregnant again.)
We took some new family pictures the day after Kaylee's birthday. I had every intention of uploading them to the blog but after sorting through all 92 of them for my favorites I only have time to give you a link... Click here for Family Click here for Kaylee
I want to blog about her birthday but I'm waiting to get all the good pictures from Kristi's camera. coming soon...
Five grandbabies 2 and under in costumes eating candy = PURE INSANITY! Halloween was really fun though and all the grandbabies looked cute. I made all the girls bows and did all their hair. I love that kind of thing. Kaylee fell asleep after 1 street (not enough napping on such an exciting day) of trick or treating but after her little nap she was having a blast! People probably thought yeah that little kid won't eat that candy but seriously her doctor said feed her anything... make her put on weight so she has been loving the candy! She totally understand that if she can get her hands on the bag with the pumpkin on it she finds sugar. Kaylee is such a people person. She would giggle every time I stopped to grab her out of the stroller for the next house. And as a mom I did love hearing people say Oh how cute:)
So I found a free two night stay in park city online... I figured it was a timeshare presentation but I figured I could sit through a presentation if it meant a free weekend away. I knew when we left that my finance teacher said that a time share is just about the worst use of your money and that if you buy one you need to get it from a timeshare resale site because they are about 60% cheaper. As we were sitting waiting for the presentation I asked Ryan what excuses we should use to decline. Yet somewhere between that and the end of our presentation we were actually considering it. Thankfully there was no way we ever could have done it because we just don't have the money but my hat goes off to the people at Westgate for being REALLY good at selling! Somehow they did get us to decide to book a three night stay which can be redeemed at any Westgate over the next 2 years. The kicker is they charged us more than a three night stay would usually cost. (Don't worry I just read the agreement we signed and we have a five day grace period in which we can write a certified letter to get the money completely refunded) Looking back on it now I can see how everything they did was all a part of the closing techniques and the fact that I couldn't see it while I was there scares me! Ryan and I are so stingey with money but I think we are easily sold by salesman. They didn't know it but they were pulling on Ryan's heart strings because one of his fondest childhood memories was skiing in park city with his family for Christmas. In his mind he was going to re create this memory with a time share. What finally snapped us out of our funk and opened our eyes was when we found out that we weren't even staying in the place they were showing us ... We were looking forward to experiencing this
(There's a tub like that in the rooms!)
Turns out that since this is fall break for most of Utah, October 16th is a really popular time to try to get a free hotel stay. They had something like 90 people they were presenting to and something like 15 rooms available so they sent us to some other hotel in Park City that isn't half as nice. In fact they are "green" which to me means cheap. It's annoying because all the lights are dim and the hot tub is hardly ever on. so what we got was this...
this is a standard tub in a bathroom so tiny that I couldn't get a picture of it without being in it!
We did have a cool little back porch with a fireplace that led right to the jacuzzi that was almost never on for use...
To make matters worse, Ryan has been feeling kinda sick lately but by the time we got all settled in he was feeling like death. He didn't think he'd ever felt worse and he was running an outrageously high temperature. It was a little scary. His fever broke around 3:30am and he took some nyquil to sleep. So rather than hit up garage sales in the morning for my class as planned the day looked like this.
I've just been too busy to take pictures let alone post them. I do have some videos of Kaylee walking. This is the best one yet I think...
She also likes to say Hi now...
Life is crazy stressful and I have spent the night working on Chelsie's site rather than studying for my test or doing assignments(awesome!) So if anyone of you haven't checked it out since we put in the new design, I HIGHLY recommend taking a peak. www.ChelsieHightowerDance.com.
I just posted a video on the site that you all MUST see! I will post it here in case you don't have time to go see it on the site.
I will some day write a real blog about life... Kaylee is almost 1!
Well, here we are in week 3 of the semester and I think we are finally getting a feel for what the next few months are going to be like.
I REFUSE TO INCLUDE PICTURES :)... I would really like to get this off my chest because I think it will make me feel better. When I first decided to take this schooling thing on (again) Ryan and I came to an agreement that in order to succeed at school we were going to have to let a few things go. The main one being a clean home. With a 10 month old BUSY child who feels it necessary to empty all drawers, baskets, and shelves, there was just no way we could keep up with her and still have any time for, well, anything. That has in fact happened and our place is a complete disaster 95% of the time. Even when we make an effort to put something away it is usually just so that Kaylee has something new to re empty. To anyone out there who comes to visit us, please do not judge! Under different circumstances we normally keep a reasonably clean atmosphere. I haven't had a ton of visitors thankfully (and I try to straighten a bit for expected ones) but I am always so embarrassed when people show up. I think I should hang a sign on the door that says it didn't used to be like this :) It's actually fairly stressful to live like this because it eats at me to walk in the kitchen and not see counters haha. It also makes it harder to make a lunch or dinner when there is hardly room to work with. I've also noticed that messiness compounds itself. Once the place is a mess then no one (including myself) feels bad about just adding to it.
The plan was always that we would dedicate Saturdays to laundry and cleaning. We did ok the first Saturday but after a long week of working hard it doesn't sound all that appealing to slave the entire day with cleaning supplies and laundry folding! Sometimes you just want to get out and play! So add overflowing laundry baskets and unfolded laundry piles to my disaster zone!
We sort of have a system for dinner though. In the mornings after I work out I throw food in the crock pot and throw together a lunch to take to school while I get ready. When I get home I set the table and make sides. Ryan is then in charge of clean up while I run off to do homework (we don't always execute perfectly but it's still the usual plan.)
Ryan really has taken on a lot and I am grateful to him. It's not like his classes are any easier than mine and yet he still takes care of Kaylee and (usually) gets his work (paid and school) done with little to no complaint.
With Ryan constantly on his lap top (usually at the kitchen table) and me on this computer in the bedroom we found ourselves living on two separate islands so Ryan decided he wanted a small desk that he could put in our room so he and I could at least be working in the same room. We were visiting my mom one evening and I saw my sisters old desk sitting there with no one to use it. She let us borrow it and it fit perfectly into his corner. cool huh?
Things are wild and I can't wait for us to be done but I think I will be able to look back and be grateful for this time in my life.
Note: We graduate exactly 1 week apart from each other and we are considering taking a trip somewhere to celebrate that joyous day. we've even considered taking our trip to Florida so he can actually walk at his graduation but we'll see.
What I'm learning: Tomorrow in foods we are making corn bread, broccoli salad, and soup. I'll let you know if the recipes are good. I have to start a business in one of my classes and my group is really leaning towards a dating service here at BYU but I will probably explain more once we've ironed out the details. In my finance class I really appreciated some of the links we were given today. You may want to look at them here (the first two links are lists of helpful stuff)
All of this is from facebook so some of you may have already seen all this... I do this for the benefit of those without facebook :)
Here are some happy Kaylee pictures to make you happy... My Lil Cougar!
I took this picture to pass the time in American Heritage. This is a really evil class that most people take as a freshman or sophomore. I put it off and now I have to take a class where my TA assumes I'm a freshman. I saw a boy going into this class who was in the young mens when I was a LEADER over young womens! NICE...
I found this cute decorating sticker set that fit with Kaylee's room so I put it up the other day. I'm in love with it! It looks even better in person. "Once upon a time there was a princess..."
This is the picture I took in my foods class today... My favorites were the pineapple muffins, the raspberry muffins and... THE CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL BEAN COOKIES! I made the cookies in my group and they happened to be my favorite. The best part is they are less fat than your average cookie. SCORE! In case you are interested here is how it is done...
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and BEAN Cookies
These cookies have a low-fat secret. They’re full of beans! This recipe has been adapted from Idaho State University researchers in Pocatello. This recipe replaces 75 percent of the butter with beans and applesauce to create cookies with fewer calories and fat.
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ¾ cup drained and rinsed great Northern white beans ¼ cup applesauce 1 Tbsp. water 3 Tbsp. butter, softened 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract ¼ tsp. butter extract 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda ¼ tsp. salt 1 ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
Decorative Piping ½ cup milk chocolate chips
1. Pre-heat oven to 375º. 2. Lightly coat 4 baking sheets with cooking spray. You will have to borrow cookie sheets and jelly roll pans from one of the kitchens doing muffins. Remember to return the pans to the correct kitchen. 3. In blender, process oats until finely ground but not powdery. Pour the oats into a separate bowl and combine with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 4. In the blender, puree the beans, ¼ cup applesauce, 1 Tbsp. water, eggs, vanilla and butter extract. 5. In your KitchenAid mixer, cream the sugar, butter, and the above pureed mixture (scrape out your blender thoroughly) and beat well. 6. With mixer on low speed, mix in the oat and flour mixture. 7. Gradually stir in the milk chocolate chips. 8. Using the small spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop dough by spoonfuls on prepared cookie sheets. Using a wet hand, press the dough to the thickness of the chocolate chips. 9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. 10. Cool slightly before putting on cooling rack. You may need to put the cookies in the freezer in the dispensary so that they will cool on time.
Decorative Piping 11. After the cookies are completely cooled, gradually melt the ½ cup milk chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals in a FREEZER zip-lock bag. The chocolate chips should NOT become warm – only to the warmth of your hand – a total of 1 minute should do it. Massage the chip with your hands between the 30 second intervals. 12. Snip a SMALL corner off (toothpick size) and pipe the melted chocolate in a zig-zag pattern on the tops of the cooled cookies. Place the decorated cookies in a cold place for the chocolate to set.
Today was the first day of classes! (I took this with my phone :-)
I rode my scooter to campus and I loved the parking situation for the scooter! (Still need to go get a permit so that I don't get fined if I get pulled over)
I had American heritage which was lame. (It's a freshman GE that I have put off for many years.) Getting in and out was a JOKE! It's in an auditorium and the students waiting to get in block the students inside from getting out... GENIUS! Other than that I had orientation for folk ensemble. I am really excited and I think it's going to be very low key and all sorts of performance fun! The teacher was like this might be hard for some of you who are used to blending into a large musical group and I was like NOPE I can't wait to finally do something at BYU where I actually get to be heard! I got a new ID... I'm on #5 at BYU (No I haven't lost any...initial, falling apart, new last name, salt lake center, BYU new ID card look) and I have yet to take a good picture!
In other news... my neighbors are officially gone :tear: It was so nice to know I could just run across the hall if I ever needed anything. Hopefully the people who move in are equally as awesome. On that note if any of you blog readers want a new place to live...
Keylee is 10 months old! I don't have a ton of exciting pictures to share or anything but I thoght I would at least talk about her a bit! I also decided to be patient enough to post videos today. -Kaylee is VERY busy and get's into EVERYTHING! -She thinks she is hot stuff whenever she get a chance to walk (with the assistance of things with wheels or smooth bottoms) -She LOVES people, especially kids. - She hold her own with older kids and toys. (You should see her when I sub in nursery!) -She is fabulous at finding candy and gum in the most unexpected places. -She is very skinny and yet a very good eater! She'll drink any brand of formula at any temperature. She likes any kind of adult food or baby food. -She loves her Daddy. She really hates to be without either of us.
Always has to help with laundry! (although she gets confused as to when we are pulling out and when we are putting in...)
There is really no way to describe this other than to let you see it... She wasn't very happy so she only does it 3 times before she cries but this huh sound is what she does all day long for no reason!
Hello Blog reading friends! It has been a little while since I've written a real blog. I haven't had a lot to say because we haven't done exciting things and I was kind of in a little depressed funk and not in the mood to write!
So I finally made up my mind and if I change it again I give ALL of you permission to come smack me.
Here's the story... For the last 2.5 months I have devoted my life to job hunting. Interview after interview, resume after resume! It has been absolutely MISERABLE. Even jobs that I interviewed well for were turning me down. I had one job that practically started training me and then called and said things have changed and now we aren't hiring. Add that to the fact that I thought we were about 5 seconds away from not having enough money to be alive and it's no wonder I wasn't exactly a blogging maniac.
This led to some serious confusion on my part so naturally I had to ask Heavenly Father what the heck I was doing wrong! Do I just need to be patient or am I way off track? At one point a little thought flickered - finish your dumb degree. I hoped it was just a thought and nothing more but I still entertained the idea for theory purposes only. Despite my resistance, the more I thought about it the more sense it made however, there were still issues. As you may remember one of my reasons for leaving was that I thought my major had dumb classes. If I went back those dumb classes would still need to be taken. NEXT I got a postcard from my department that said DO AN INTERNSHIP! and it was like huh I think real world experience is a brilliant alternative to repetative busy work and pointless reading. Problem solved. Then I told Ryan how stressed I was about money and he said that it was unnecessary. He explained to me where we really are financially and how substantially it differed from where I thought we were. On top of that I realized that going back would A) put my old loans on interest hold, B) make it possible for me to qualify for subsidized loans to pay off Ryan's unsubsidized ones and C) get pell grants while I still qualify. I had gotten to the point where I was applying for cashier jobs at Ross and when we really thought about it, in the long run it would be so much better for me to have any degree (regardless of how silly the name of it sounds) than to have a year of cashiering experience under my belt. (You know since I got plenty of that done at age 16.)
The cool thing is Ryan will finish his masters at almost exactly the same time as I finish my bachelors! We aren't positive if he will get anything done while he is at home with Kaylee and taking his classes online but I've already had one offer of assistance with the wild child so hopefully it'll all work out.
Other than that the plan is still to someday open a restaurant and be able to afford a house and second child :) I may even put a small studio in the restaurant. YAY
... then who the heck are you? :) But since I know G ma Pullan reads this I thought I would include a link to my kaylee album on facebook for your viewing pleasure. I update this album more frequently than my blog with new Kaylee pics.
Today Kaylee has been impossible! Her first two teeth came in with no problem but lately she in inconsolable! I had to keep her quiet so Ryan could do his school work before going to the part time job he just picked up. Luckily watching this video distracted her from the pain long enough for him to finish.
So do you think she looks more like my baby pictures or his?
Nearly all of you, my friends and family with blogs, feel it necessary to put music on your blog. I love music and in theory it seems as though it would add a nice touch. I just wanted to throw in my opinion that it is not as nice as it seems. It's not that I hate your tastes in music, it is that I am not very good at concentrating on more than one thing at a time. I come to read the lovely posts you have written and get so distracted by your music that I almost always have to mute my computer. Let it be known that the music you have so carefully picked out is not listened to by me :)
As you all know I have been trying to come up with a plan for my life and have felt very confused and frustrated. About a week ago I went to a local studio and spent an hour and a half just talking business and learning mixing and things fromthe guy. He was very nice and while I LOVED being in his studio and watching him work I also realized the kind of dedication it requires to get to his level in a studio. He had a passion for what he was doing and he dedicated everyday of his life to that passion. I sat there thinking about how much I love being a mom and how being a studio engineer is not my only desire in life. This really threw me off because all my future plans involved studying audio.
After high school graduation I got a summer job at a restaurant called Black Bart's Musical Revue Steakhouse. I absolutely adored the place. It was a way to make money doing what I love... performing! I've taken Ryan there before and he and I have said before that if someone were to open one of those in the Provo area it would do even better than it did in Flagstaff. The other night as I was contemplateing A) what I was doing in life and B) how the heck Ryan and I were going to make ends meet without a pay check, I found myself wishing there were a Black Barts in Provo. I told Ryan I was going to go find a restaurant and pitch the idea to them so that I could work there. Ryan much preferred the idea of us opening our own. You make think it's just another crazy idea but I swear to you the whole thing hit us with such clarity it was amazing. For the first time in a long time I did not feel tormented and confused by the thought of what to do. Ideas on how we could take the Black Barts idea and build on it and mke it better just started spewing out like vomit for probably an hour! We bought a book about opening your own restaurant and starting crunching number in the morning and we think we can make this thing a success!
Here's what we have so far: All waitors and busers have to be able to sing and dance WELL. (We plan to draw our talent from BYU and UVU... I know where to go to recruit talent at BYU) Group numbers happen every half hour and the employees sing solo or small group numbers in between. At 8 we will have our biggest production of the night to drive in traffic. Chelsie might help coreagragh and she also is willing to call in some favors from other for us. Servers wear t-shirts designed by Ryan's clothing designer Natty which we can sell to customers (like Wingers) and jeans. Western saloon feel. Southern Barbeque food (we plan to try and get Ryan's old employer to run the kitchen because they had amazing) I get to run an in house audio board and pick out the mics! :)
I can't believe we are entering the business that is so risky but I'm excited about it!
PS anyone have a good idea for a name? We've thrown out a few... Murray's being at the top but we'd love some ideas