Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Fun

While Crystal may see the title to this post as an oxymoron, what with her warm-weather Californian sensibilities and all, we have been doing some interesting things in the last little while.

One of the most exciting things, I think, is that I have finished my first semester of law school, complete with all the hours of tests and outlines, etc. While I was compiling my notes for my criminal law test, I accidentally converted ALL the notes I took for the semester into one single .pdf file. It was about 800 pages! (With a really small font, even!) Impressive how much stuff I have learned in the past four months - I can see real similarities between the infancy of my legal training and Clara's progress with the most obvious being that we can both hold up heads (albeit wobblily) by ourselves in our respective positions. I actually enjoyed exam time, because it showed me in a short (as short as four hours of intense typings is) time period all the things I'd learned in each of my classes. I feel like I did my best, so I can't complain when my grades come out - that will be just how I did.

If anyone is interested, I'll e-mail you copies of my final test outlines, and then you can look through all the information I synthesized for my finals.

Along with school, I have been spending time with my calling as our Boy Scout Troop's Committee Chair. Along with administrative duties, I have been able to go on some fun activities, including a recent hike through the woods at Highbanks Metro Park just north of Columbus. It is cool how this very wild-seeming place is just a few minutes from the city. There was a light snowfall coming down, which led to a beautiful winter scene (probably only beautiful because I was in like six layers of warm clothing, including my big down coat - this is probably for another post, but it is so cold here, the temperatures aren't that much lower than Utah, but the extra humidity puts a harsh bite in the air which really attacks you. Crystal made me a scarf, though, so that helps a lot!) Anyway, the hike was really great, and we got to see lots of stuff, including Indian mounds and a interesting display of a giant prehistoric fish at the park visitor's center. Read more about the fish here.

Here is the lovely winter woods. I can't wait to go back in the spring, when Crystal will accompany me!

The fish. It was as big as a mini-van and had an armored head with big, sharp teeth.

We also got to see some of the local birds on a bird feeder and I got a picture of a cardinal and a blue jay on the same bird feeder. They are such beautiful birds!

Finally, when we finished our cold hike, we had a wonderful lunch of Walking Tacos. I had never heard of such a meal, but it was wonderful. You take a little bag of corn chips and smash the chips to bits, then open the bag and dump in taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. and then just eat it all out of the bag with a spoon. So yummy and no cleanup for dishes!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Applesauce and Giggles

Yesterday I was eating some applesauce, so I thought I would give Clara a taste. This was her reaction:

I think it will take her a few more tastes before she loves it!

Awhile ago we caught Clara in a happy mood while the camera was handy(she is mostly happy, but it is hard for me to keep making her laugh and video her all by myself). Here is her cute giggle

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clara's Gift

Clara gave me a present yesterday for my birthday. She finally rolled over... while NO ONE was looking! One minute she was on her back, then I turned around and she was on her tummy. Did she do it again? NOPE! All day today I was encouraging her but she had no interest in trying to roll over. She just talked and sang, oblivious to what I was trying to get her to do. So I still haven't seen her roll over. I guess she will give me her gift again when she is ready.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we decided to let Clara have some real food tonight. (By "real," I mean baby rice goo, of course.) She has been watching us eat very intently the last couple weeks, following our utensils to our mouths and looking longingly as we chew and savor our food. After an entire weekend of watching us eat for Thanksgiving, we decided today was the day to let her have her first rice cereal.

It is easier to let you see what happened than to tell you, but it suffices to she definitely won't be losing weight when she switches to real food.

And here is the final reaction! She loved it.

As for her parents, we enjoyed some Chicago-style stuffed deep-dish pizza while at Crystal's sister's house. We enjoyed it so much, that we bought another pizza to bring home. The pizza place, Giordano's, even only baked it half-way for us so we could cook it the rest of the way after we got home. We invited David and Megan over and had another pizza feast. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

A sample of the pizza. So amazingly delicious!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Trip!

We're so excited for our Thanksgiving trip to Illinois to see Crystal's sister and her family.

We're also so excited for the gas prices! One more thing to be thankful for ... (especially because the price has actually dropped again since I took this picture!)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Eat some extra pie for me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Apparently Clara's double whammy from two posts ago was a preview for this week. Clara has been sick for the last few days and has been blasting out of both ends repeatedly. I don't think I have ever done so much laundry. Poor Clara just isn't herself. Hopefully she will get back to normal soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wait for it, Wait for it... I'm still waiting for it.

Clara is in charge and she knows it. For MONTHS she has been threatening to roll over. We had to hurry up and get a crib for her because she almost wiggled out of her bassinet. Every day I think "today is the day!" And yet it still hasn't come. Friday night she put on a little show for us. Here is a little snippet of that:

Man she is stubborn! I am pretty sure she could roll over, but she doesn't really like to be on her tummy so I bet she just doesn't want to go there. In my head I also keep thinking why I even want her to be mobile since it will make my life that much busier, but I still just keep rooting her on!

(If you would prefer to watch the video on mute, I understand. I prefer it that way. I sound so weird on video!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Double Whammy

Clara hit me with a double whammy this morning. We have been working on getting her to sleep through the night and that first requires her to realize she doesn't need to eat every three hours, especially at night! Last night she went 9 hours without eating(not without waking up, but that is the next step, I suppose!) and I was super excited about it. When she woke up at 7:45, she was READY, to eat, so I changed her diaper really quick then took her downstairs to feed her. She ate like hadn't for 2 days! When she finished, I burped her then laid her down on the floor to play. She was happy for a while, then started fussing and grunting, so I knew she was trying to work something out of her backside, so I picked her up and held her sitting up to help her work it out. After a little while, she laid down on my lap then she started choking on her spit(which she does quite a lot). So I sat her up and she coughed/spit out a ton of spit. I smelled it to make sure it wasn't throw up and it wasn't, so I grabbed a burp cloth and cleaned it up, then burped her a little. Then I remembered that she had a messy diaper, so I was about to go changer her, but she had other plans! She coughed again then started to fuss, then she threw up. Twice. All over the couch. Tons. I think it was about a cup of liquid. After that she just smiled and laughed. So I proceeded to clean that up, then I remembered her diaper again. She was wearing 2 pair of pajamas, so I didn't notice at first, but she blew out!

What a wonderful way to start the day!

But seriously, how can you be upset with a face like this?

From Recently Updated

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Steal of a Deal

Today I went grocery shopping to stock up on some pantry items, but I did my research before I went! I was able to walk away with TONS of stuff at a fraction of the cost! How? Well I am glad you asked! COUPONS!!! I LOVE coupons! My favorite part of the Sunday paper is to cut the coupons and to look at all the grocery ads and plan what I need to get at each store and what coupons I have to go along with what is on sale. A couple of grocery stores here in the OH-IO offer double coupons, which I love! I have just gotten into online coupons too, which for things like cereal are AWESOME! And if you plan well, you can get some things for free! I get things I wouldn't normally buy for free. I can also load coupons onto my Kroger card! At the end of my shopping trip, my total should have been over $100 and I paid $28. Whether it is on clothes, gadgets, food or anything really, I LOVE a good BARGAIN!! I am definitely a beginner in finding good deals with coupons, but I am having fun doing it!

Here are a few websites that have online coupons if you are interested:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Crystal Conquers All (sort of)

Right now, I feel invincible! I have conquered the most daunting of tasks! Ok maybe not the most daunting, but I have jumped some pretty big hurdles lately! The first hurdle, was finding some great remedies for a fussy baby that don't involve food. At 4 months and 18 lbs, she doesn't need to be eating more! The first remedy is her binky in her mouth with her super soft blanket rubbed on her face. Works like a charm! The second remedy is her Rain Forest Mobile that I found at a garage sale in California (Thanks Ali!) Here are some of Clara's reactions to her mobile:

She coos and talks and sings with the music, but mostly just stares at it with her mouth open in wonder. She loves it!

My second hurdle was making curtains for Clara's room. I made them out of fabric from the tablecloths at our wedding. The colors matched with so many other blankets that Clara has, so I thought they would go well, just don't look too closely at the seams, I am not a great sewer yet!

The last hurdle has been for me to bake ANYTHING successfully. I know! I am sure a lot of you are saying Yeah Right! But it is true! EVERYTHING I have made since living in Ohio was been dreadful! I was beginning to think I lost my touch, but don't worry, I figured out the problem, my brand new oven is broken. When I preheat it to 350 degrees it heats up to 425 degrees. No wonder everything was horrible! I had a repair man come, but he didn't fix it, he just replaced a part and said the problem was fixed. He is coming back Monday because I was NOT a happy camper. However, I LAUGH in the face of such issues! Now that I have a handy dandy oven thermometer, I can deal with such problems! Oh you want proof huh! Well look at this bread and these cookies and tell me if they don't make your mouth water! It feels good to bake successfully again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Fun

Since we now live where there is a certifiable Fall season, we have partaken in some very fall activities this year. We harvested apples and made apple sauce, apple butter and apple cider. We don't have any great pictures of that, but our next activity was the Circleville Pumpkin Festival. It is the biggest pumpkin festival in the country and apparently people come from all over the world to see it. It was quite the experience. We went with Megan, her mom and Harry and we tried some fun pumpkin food. We tried a pumpkin cream puff, pumpkin ice cream, fried pumpkin blossoms, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin buckeyes. The largest pumpkin at the festival was 1325.5 lbs.

From Fall 2008

Our next activity was to go to a pumpkin patch. It was SUPER cold. Clara wasn't too sure about the wind and the cold, but she was a trooper and posed for the camera for us. We didn't get any pumpkins at the patch, but we did get some black raspberry preserves that we will be enjoying all winter long! Now we just need to carve some pumpkins and eat some good pumpkin treats!(My oven was broken so I haven't been able to bake ANYTHING for quite a while. We just got it fixed, so hopefully I can start baking some good fall treats to go along with our fall activities!)

From Fall 2008

(With some wonderful coaching from my oh so patient husband, I have now learned how to make picture collages and put them on our blog! Hopefully there will be more of these in the future!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ali's Pictures

Our friend Ali is a great photographer. She gets asked frequently if she is professional and if she gives out her card to people.

While we were in California, we got to go to the beach, and Ali graciously (this is a play on her middle name, which is Grace) offered to take some family pictures for us.

She captured some wonderful moments of our family, for which we are grateful. Clara's pictures are absolutely darling!


(And no making fun of Jordan for being afraid of the water!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Disneyland With the Fam

As I am sure you all know from my last blog post, Jordan and I just spent a week in California, visiting family, friends and of course going to DISNEYLAND!!! My whole family (minus my sister Heather and her family) were able to come. We met at Disney's Grand California Hotel on Sunday afternoon where we had two suites so the whole family could stay together. My friend Kelsey came up from Corona to see me and we had a blast just sitting around the hotel talking. That night Disneyland was hosting Miley Cyrus' 16th Birthday party, so the hotel was crawling with celebrities. Steve Carell was there, Vanessa Williams was in the room next to ours, and my brother-in-law held the door open for Cindy Crawford. Kelsey and I sat in the lobby for a while trying to catch a glimpse of someone famous, but we weren't so lucky. The whole family had fun that night just being together and hanging out.

The next day, Monday, was our first day in the park. I was so excited to show Clara all the fun stuff to do at Disneyland. For the most part she couldn't care less where we were, but I know as she gets older she will grow to appreciate that magical place as much as I do! The first ride we went on was Pirates of the Carribean. I hadn't been on it since they changed it to add things from the movies. I really liked the changes! We spent the whole day running around the park as a family and enjoying our time together. There is a new Jedi training event at Disneyland that kids can be a part of. My nephews LOVE Star Wars, so we all went to watch them at that. Benjamin was the last kid to get picked to be a part of the show and it was so much fun watching him fight Darth Vader. He was in heaven! That night, the whole family went to dinner at The Blue Bayou, the restaurant inside Pirates and my dad's favorite part of Disneyland. It was Sorensen Party of 24! We had so much fun, and Jordan really enjoyed his surf and turf! Thank you dad!!

The next day was another full day at the park. We got to go into the park an hour early that day, so we got up bright and early and started the day off in Fantasyland and hit all those rides with Clara. Then we met up with some friends from Ogden, Dee and Julie Cox, and spent a couple of hours with them. It was so fun to see people from Ogden and hear about all our friends from there. While Julie and I were on Splash Mountain, Dee and Jordan took Clara on Winnie the Pooh. When they got off the ride, they were handed passes to stay in the park an hour extra. Sweet deal! We played the whole day, then sent Clara back to the hotel with my mom so she could have some grandma time, and we played in the park for an extra hour, with all the rides open and no lines on any of them! We were so tired when we got back to the hotel, but it was worth it! Thanks for babysitting mom!

On Wednesday, we had to pack all our stuff up and store it at the concierge desk of the hotel before going to California Adventures for the day. The first ride we went on in the park was Tower of Terror. I LOVE that ride. It is one of the only rides that still gives me that stomach lurching feeling. We had a great day hanging out with the family and going on tons of rides, but alas, all good things must come to an end! Our friends, Jeff and Ali came and picked us up. We got our beloved In n Out for dinner, then spent one last night in California before heading back to reality.

One very important lesson I learned on this trip is that I need to take more pictures! We were so wrapped up in playing that we didn't take very many photos to document it, so here is a selection from my meager Disneyland Collection!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Disneyland, HERE I COME!!!!!

Today we fly to California for a little time with family and friends and to go to the Big D! Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Disneyland. I would live in the park if I could. It has been a while since I have been there, but still, I feel like I am traveling back in time to my childhood, which is a little weird since I have a child of my own, but so exciting none the less. The other day, Clara and I visited the Disneyland website and I showed her all the rides she can go on. Yeah she is only 3 months old. She doesn't care-yet. I will raise her to love Disneyland as much as I do! I could barely sleep last night, and all I can think right now is that it is only 4 1/2 hours until we leave for the airport! Here I come Disneyland! Your biggest fan is on its way! Oh, and one more shout out. Here I come IN n Out, I will visit you too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jordan still blogs ... sometimes

Hi, Internet friends.
This is Jordan. I've been, um, busy, shall we say and not doing a lot of blogging, or even reading blogs so much lately. So, I guess I wouldn't do so well on a quiz of what is going on in the lives of many of my friends and families. I could, however, tell you plenty about promissory estoppel and supplemental jurisdiction (want my hint on that one, just save yourself lots of trouble and only get involved in litigation in state courts).

So, I do have a few interesting things to share. I have been riding my bike to class most days, and I think I have ridden enough to save more than $40 in gas so far this semester! Hooray. I have also gotten in better shape and lately been able to listen to general conference on my ride, which makes the whole day better. Anyway, I originally wanted this post to be about my new bike mirror, which Crystal says makes me look like a nerd, and which helps me see the cars coming up behind me.

Anyway, I can't show you a picture of my mirror now, because it died today... Only two days after it came in the mail! This is what happened...

Crystal, Megan and I went to Ohio State's football game against Minnesota (they won) (also, if you're wondering, David didn't go because he sprained his ankle really bad and is on crutches right now ... poor guy) and we rode our bikes because it beat traffic and it was really fun. Also, there are a group of volunteers who run a bike corral parking service at the games, so we got to park our bikes in an enclosed, guarded area for free. That was great.

Anyway, after we left the game, we were riding home and I was having a good time riding along, so I decided to have some fun by riding up on the hill beside the bike path and then dropping off an 18-inch landscaping wall for fun just because I have a cool mountain bike and I can. So, I said "Hey girls, watch this," and went for it.

As my front tire went off the drop-off, all of a sudden I felt like I got punched in the face. I stopped quickly and tried to gather what had happened. The first thing I knew was that I had been hit in the face and I had no idea how. Also, I put my hand to my face and found I was smeared with some sort of petroleum jelly. I looked back at the place I'd dropped off and didn't see anything. Then, much to my chagrin, I noticed my new, special mirror was no longer attached to my helmet. Megan found the little arm of the mirror, but the mirror itself was lost. I was still completely confused as to what hit me.

I wondered if it was some sort of Vaseline container that had flipped up off my tire, but I couldn't find anything. Then, Megan found a huge clue which broke our case wide open. She found a footlong, 3-pound spring lying in the grass and leaves alongside the trail. After I saw that spring, and saw that it was covered in some sort of petroleum goo, we figured out what had happened.
As I dropped off that ledge, the spring in the front fork shock of my bike shot out of its casing, going straight up and hitting me in the face. Along with the goo on my face, I was bleeding in a couple places, too, as it hit me in the chin and the left cheek. My cheek almost immediately began swelling up will probably leave a mark for some time.

When I got back to my bike, I realized just how much the shocks make a difference, as every bump was very hard, and it felt like was always riding downhill, having to lean way forward to rest on the handlebars. Since I'm pretty sure bike shocks aren't supposed to explode and hit you in the face, I sent Specialized an e-mail to see if it is under warranty or whatnot, so I hope they get back to me soon. In the meantime, I guess, I'll be riding the bus to school.

Now that you've listened to my story, I'll show you some pictures.
Here is me and the spring, and then a closeup of my almost tennis ball-sized lump on my face.

Now, here is a picture of the Ohio State game we went to (the stadium is huge!)

And, finally, a picture of world's cutest college football fan. (We root for the Buckeyes out of courtesy, but we're still Cougars!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tag I'm It

Ok Donna! Here it goes!

Rules: Take pictures of certain places/items in house as is and post them

1. The kitchen sink. I just made cupcakes, can you tell?

2. Toilet: not too bad!
3. Landry Room: Not the most organized, but it will do!
4. Fridge: Two things I notice, Jordan's lunch that he forgot today(grocery sack, top shelf) and those cupcakes I made. We are going to the Institute Opening Social here at Ohio State
5. Spouse/kids right now: Jordan is at school, so I can't get a pic of him, but Clara is just hanging out in her little bouncer chair being a happy camper.6. Favorite shoes: Drat! I forgot the picture! Oh well, they are standard brown flip flops that I wear anywhere I can get away with it!

7. Favorite room: It is so my kitchen! It is HUGE compared to our last house! I love cooking in here!
8. Dream Vacation: See my last post, or DISNEYLAND!!!!! I love Disneyland and I would go there every day if I could. I am so excited. Although, I really do love traveling, so maybe a year long (or more) trip around the entire world. I think that covers it!

9. Closet: Its kind of small, but it works!
10. Self Portrait: Good thing I actually got dressed today before I decided to check blogs!
Ok, so Tag, your it! Kimmy, Maren, Megan, and Rachel

T minus One Week!

Not that I am counting, but we leave for California in one week. Disneyland here I come! I am so excited, I go to the Disneyland website at least once a day. Clara is so excited for her first trip to the Big D!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clara's Room

Clara is almost 3 months old. Because of our big move out here to Ohio and all the adventures we have been on, it has taken us this long to get her a crib and set up her room. She has been sleeping in a bassinet in our room her whole life, but she is starting to kick her legs around a lot and almost fell out of the bassinet. A crib became a top priority after that. Jordan and I found a steal of a deal on craigslist for a gently used crib and changing table. The wood even matches the rocking chair we already have! Her room isn't decorated yet, but I am currently working on making curtains for her room now.

Here is her crib
And the rocking chair
And the changing table
And super cute pictures of Clara! Thank you Aunt Tanya for letting her borrow this dress!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adventures in Ohio

Jordan, Clara and I are finding that Ohio is full of hidden adventures. Our latest adventure happened one night during Clara's 4 am feeding. While I was feeding her, I kept hearing a bell and banging. Finally, (remember, it was 4 am!) I realized that someone was ringing our doorbell and knocking on our door. I woke Jordan up to go check it out while I stayed upstairs with the phone in hand ready to call the police, just in case. It was our neighbor, waking us up to tell us that someone was trying to break into our trailer and car. Luckily no damage was done to anything, but it did prompt us to get very serious about building a fence around our property. This past weekend, we cut down a bunch of trees that lined our property and our neighbors. Those trees had to come out before we could put up a fence. Here are some pictures of the adventure:

While prepping for the big job, Jordan discovered this hidden treasure. Anyone need a lawn mower?

Clara was supervising our work. She is a taskmaster!

Here's David being a monkey and cutting off the branches before the big TIMBER.
Jordan and David went at the first tree with an ax for quite some time and were getting very tired. Then one of our neighbors saw them working out there and came out with his chain saw and helped us cut down all the trees. With the help of our neighbors, it went by much faster!
Here is the finished product. This was taken from our back porch. OUr entire back yard was full of trees.

We have now cut all the trees up. The next step is taking out the tree stumps, then we can put up the fence!