Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Goodness

We are safely in Utah for the holidays, and enjoying time with family, eating lots (too much, I'm sure) and visiting. It has been a blast to play with siblings, nieces and nephews, etc. and to drive around and feel at home here. It is weird that it feels so familiar and so foreign at the same time.

Anyway, while I was at the store with my mom picking up a cake for my brother Tanner's birthday (he wanted one with Disney's Aladdin on it -- pretty funny considering he's 14 now) and my eye caught a tantalizing new Christmas treat ... Sugar Cookie Eggnog!

I rushed home and had a (small) glass. Small is important, because it is 180 calories per half-cup, yowza! It is delicious; it tastes like liquid sugar cookie, not really like eggnog at all. I had another little drink later in the evening, and my dad was having some orange juice in the kitchen at the same time. I told him to try the eggnog, so he swallowed some orange juice and took a drink.
He swallowed and then set down the cup and didn't say anything for a second. I was worried the orange juice's residual taste had made the eggnog less-than-yummy, but instead, after the brief pause, Daddy smiled really big and said, "That is fabulous. Let me have another drink!"

I think we'll be getting some more of this stuff, it is magically delicious!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How I am Feeling

Due to the many requests to know how I am feeling, I decided to blog it, even though I don't really want to because it makes me feel like I am just complaining!

This pregnancy is DEFINITELY very different than my one with Clara. With Clara, I had a little bit of morning sickness and learned very quickly that even if I didn't want to eat, if I just ate a couple of crackers I would feel SO much better. That isn't really working this time. Anyone who knows me knows I DO NOT THROW UP. It takes a lot to get me to throw up. Sometimes I think my body doesn't know how to. So instead of just throwing up and feeling better, I just keep on feeling sick. And eating doesn't help.

My other problem, is that I am having a recurrence of some stomach problems I had about 6 years ago. Back then, whenever I would eat it would make me feel like I swallowed knives, or razor blades or something else that would be really stupid to swallow. I would curl up in a ball and just lay there until the feeling passed. Sometimes that would take 3-4 hours. I went to the doctor numerous times to try and figure out what was wrong, but he never did. A bunch of stuff was ruled out, but no one could tell me what it was or why it was happening, and eventually it got better. Over the past six years, I have occasionally had an episode of this weird sickness (maybe 3-4 times a year), but with this pregnancy, it has come back and I have been having episodes 2-5 times a week. Because of this, I just don't want to eat. I do because I know I need to, but sometimes I just end up laying down on the floor and not moving until Jordan finds me there and makes me get in bed. The past month and a half have been really hard, but Jordan has been AMAZING and has picked up all the slack that I have been leaving behind.

On the upside, I am starting to feel better. I just finished my first trimester so the morning sickness is wearing off, and I have had less episodes of the weird stomach thing the past week and a half. I am hoping that means it is going away! Also, I lost about 10 lbs in the first trimester, which should be helpful in the long run! All in all, the first trimester has been VERY hard on my body, but Jordan and Clara have been so patient with me and so understanding so it has made it so much easier. I am hoping the worst is over, but it is supposed to snow today, so I think I have a whole other set of problems coming my way!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Magical Time

Way back in July, we went to a Harry Potter party at the home of our friends Lindsey and Edwin. There were more than a dozen people there in honor of the opening of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie (everyone but us fuddy-duddy parents went to the midnight showing that night). It was a lot of fun, especially the dressing up.

Clara went as a house elf, dressed only in a pillow case, socks and a smile. She was adorable, but was a little witch-y to Edwin's cats. She also played with a Harry Potter doll that Lindsey graciously shared.

Crystal went as a witch trying to dress like a Muggle, and I was a moving portrait Dexter Fortescue, former Hogwarts headmaster.

It was a lot of fun and we especially enjoyed all the food, including pumpkin pasties, butter beer (cream soda with butterscotch syrup) and Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans.

Speaking of Harry Potter, we can't wait until this is finished. More info here. I don't need to be Professor Trelawney to see a visit to Orlando in our future...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clara's Talents

Clara has learned a couple of new talents lately. Here are some videos to prove it!

This first one is quite a milestone for me! I have been trying to coax her to go down the stairs on her own for quite a while, but her few tumbles off the back steps have stuck in her mind and scared her out of trying. About a week ago, I decided that it was TIME to learn. We spent some time sliding down the stairs for fun, then I showed her over and over again for to go down on her own. Once she reached to bottom, I clapped and cheered a ton, so she would be excited about it. It worked! She loves going down the stairs now! And I love not having to lug an extra 30 lbs down them multiple times a day!

Clara's next talent (if you want to call it that!) is to beg like a dog for food. She gets a little camera shy, so she only does it at the very beginning of this video. Anytime Jordan and I are eating-regardless of if she has food of her own- Clara starts begging like a dog for us to share. It is very funny and very cute!
Note: You will notice there is no video. After NUMEROUS attempts to post this video of Clara begging for food like a dog, I have given up on it. You all will just have to trust me. Its cute. Better yet, come visit us, and you can see her do this trick for yourself!

California Trip

This is a continuation of my attempts to catch up on blogging. At the beginning of October, Jordan, Clara and I headed to California for Fall Break and a couple of job interviews for Jordan. Again, I have been really lame at taking pictures lately, so only select parts of our trip (that are in no way a reflection of what our favorite parts were) are highlighted through photography.

You may remember a couple posts ago, of Jordan's Oops story with the gas pump. That happened on this trip to California. We drove to LA to see some friends and of course had to stop at In 'N Out for lunch.
I'll let Jordan explain the gnome later, but that was one tasty meal! Jordan let Clara have a sip of his milkshake, but once he gave it to her, he never got it back!
After that eventful day, Jordan had interviews the next couple of days, and we just relaxed at my parent's house. Clara had so much fun playing with cousins. One day while in Fresno, we decided to drive up to Shaver Lake for lunch and to see some mountains (especially since Ohio is SERIOUSLY lacking in mountains!) Clara really enjoyed the sand.

I think Clara traumatized this poor gnome!

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a fantastic vacation!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Popcorn Festival

In September, Jordan and I decided to check out the Popcorn Festival in a nearby town. While it was a lot of fun, the whole time Jordan and I were thinking "for a popcorn festival, there is a serious lack of popcorn!" I think there were 2 booths selling popcorn. Everything else was your usual fair or carnival stuff- lots of deep fried foods and rides that will give you whip lash just looking at them. Clara, however, couldn't care less! Once she had the bag of popcorn in her hand, she was a happy camper, and there was NO getting it away from her!

If we were lucky, she would share some with us! Our little girl LOVES popcorn.

We did spy some other corn type things such as a corn hole tournament
And the popcorn museum
The museum was pretty cool! The made it look like you were in a circus tent.
There was an entire Cracker Jack display too, which was pretty cool!
The Popcorn Festival was a fun experience, but I don't know if I would want to go back, unless they could promise me more popcorn stuff. There is a serious market to be filled there, popcorn balls, popcorn necklaces, caramel corn, corn on the cob, the possibilities are endless!

On the way home from the festival, we looked back at Clara and saw this
I think maybe she had too much popcorn, since it looks like it started growing out of her forehead!

Catch Up

I have been a really bad blogger lately (and a really bad picture taker!) I just uploaded pictures from my camera from the beginning of September through Halloween and thought, wow! I have about 2 months of stuff to blog about! So here it is. Feel free to skip what you want!

Monday, October 12, 2009

While we're laughing at Jordan...

So, since I've apparently made the day of a lot of readers with my Oops! post a few days ago, I thought I'd share a couple more funny things I've done.

One day when we were living in Ogden, Crystal told me there was a Tupperware with bean and bacon soup in the fridge for my lunch. She left before me that day, so I grabbed the first container with soup-like liquid in it and took it to work.

I warmed it up and started eating it and was thinking that the soup was really bland and there wasn't any bacon and certainly no beans. I scooped and scooped at the bottom to see if there were any beans and was disappointed to not find any.When I got home that afternoon, I told Crystal I ate the soup but that she must have scooped out all the beans when she split the can for me. She gave me this really weird look and said there was no way she took all the beans.

Then, she opened the fridge and found the soup. She quickly figured out what I had eaten instead (half a can of evaporated milk) and just laughed and laughed.

A couple months later I had a similar Tupperware mix-up, this time spreading caramel sauce all over my mashed potatoes instead of gravy. Luckily, it didn't taste too bad.

A year before that, by the way, I was making mashed potatoes at my parents' house and accidentally poured egg nog into the spuds instead of milk (in my defense, the egg nog had been mixed with some milk and was in a milk container). I realized what I had done before I mixed it in, though, so I dumped it out and put in milk.

Anyway, now I always make sure I know what I am pulling out of the fridge before I eat it or mix it with something else.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


In college, I used to work all night twice a week as well as keep up with a full school and social calendar. I didn't sleep as much as I should have, but was still able to function pretty well (kept my grades up, kept my bosses happy and found and dated my wonderful Crystal).
Things have changed, though, in the past couple years -- whether it is from getting up earlier than I used to, having a kid, or just getting more set in my ways (yeah, I sound old, huh?) I can't function as well on less sleep than I am used to getting.
This little introduction will help you understand where I am coming from when I share my (as of now**) embarrasing moment of the week.
We are in California this week for me to interview at a couple law firms in Fresno. On Monday, though, I didn't have any interviews so we drove south about 5 hours to Irvine to see Crystal's good friend from high school, Kelsey, and our friends from BYU, Jeff and Ali.
The drive down was fine and we had a blast hanging out with our California friends (we like them so much we decided to forego Disneyland this trip to see them instead). After dinner with Jeff and Ali, during which Ali commented on how tired I looked (my mind was still on Ohio time - three hours later than it was in Irvine), we took off.
I drove about two hours and then pulled over for gas at the Flying J near Lebec, California (which is on I-15 in the mountains between LA and Bakersfield). It was about midnight (so 3 a.m. in my mind) and Crystal was going to take over for me at the wheel, so she went in to buy a drink while I parked at the pump. Clara had been sleeping and I tried to keep it dark for her despite the bright station lights, but she woke up anway. I jumped out of the car (which had maintained its nice SoCal-70-degrees feeling the whole trip) and started shivering at the 41-degree air and the added wind in the canyon. I swiped the credit card and started the pump then jumped back in the car. I saw that Clara was still awake, so I thought to myself that I would just pull the car up near the station in order to get us out of the lights and wait for Crystal. I started the engine and began pulling away from the pump when I heard a thunk and realized what I'd done. I stopped the car and got out and, sure enough, there was the nozzle and hose laying on the concrete after I had ripped it off as I drove away. There is a break-away valve on the hose, so no gas was spilling, but the meter was still running. I tried to stop the meter by hitting cancel and then tried to reconnect the hose (just ended up squirting gas all over my arms). Then, I sprinted into the station and told the girl at the counter and she called maintenance. I then went back out and waited for a couple minutes waiting, shivering and watching the dollars add up on the moving gas meter.
The maintenance guy finally showed up and I told him about the meter running but no gas was coming out, and he said he couldn't stop it. Crystal, not flustered or as tired as I, then came out and wisely stuck her finger in the hole on the pump where the nozzle goes, tripped the lever and made the meter stop - right at $99.72. The maintenance guy then scooped up the nozzle and the section of hose that was still attached to it and then he and Crystal went inside to figure out the whole mess I had made. I slinked back to the car and sheepishly pulled up to another pump to actually fill the tank this time - checking three times that the nozzle was finished and put away before I pulled out.
Crystal came out and was very nice about it, because I felt pretty stupid, although I also thought it was pretty funny. She said the station had refunded all but four gallons of the $99 charge and that since I didn't damage the nozzle (which is about $500 to replace) like most people do when they drive off and drag it down the freeway, all we would have to pay for was to have the hose reconnected and tested (which should be pretty cheap comparatively).
We then took off, with Crystal driving, and about 20 minutes later, I just started laughing. I turned to Crystal and said, "Remember that time I forgot I was pumping gas and tried to drive away?" She laughed, then told me, with a smile but quite seriously, that if I ever do that again, I won't be allowed to get back in the car while I'm pumping gas no matter how cold or wet the weather is.
We made it back to Fresno about 2 a.m., falling into bed quickly because I had an interview in 8 hours. That interview went well (I stayed awake!) and the one with another firm also went well the next day.

** This embarrasing moment is followed closely, I think, by another embarrasing moment that happened earlier on Monday. As we drove, Crystal and I were listening to the Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference, and we listened to the talk by Elder Dale Renlund, who is a cardiologist who used to work with my dad. Elder Renlund's talk used the example of heart donation recipients who have to take anti-rejection meds every day to keep their hearts healthy. He said that spiritually we are the same way, we need to keep our spiritual hearts healthy by repenting and living righteously. Anyway, as we drove past a sign for the "Famoso" exit, I said "Famoso... (which means "famous" in Spanish) ... just like you, Crystal!" I said this because I like to tell her how she is "famous" when she wears cool sunglasses or just does something cool, in general. Crystal looked at me with a weird expression and said, "What?" I told her about the sign and she said that I obviously wasn't listening to the talk at that moment, because Elder Renlund had just said "... people whose hearts are hardened by sin..." and I had chimed in immediately with "just like you, Crystal!" Oops, again.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My parents are famous!

This weekend is General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is a wonderful time every six months when we get to hear from our prophet, and president of the church, President Thomas S. Monson, as well as his two counselors and the entire Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is truly wonderful.

One of the best parts of conference is the music, which is done in at least two of the five sessions by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In the other sessions, the choirs are made up of people from congregations throughout Northern Utah.

This time, my parents had the chance to sing in the choir, so I thought I would tell them how great they sounded by posting some pictures of their performance.

Here is the whole choir in the Conference Center. There is an amazing organ in that building.

Here is Mother. She is in the middle in the purple shirt. She said before the performance that her goal was to not look at the camera, and she did a great job of that. It was fun to see her sing!

One of the first views of Daddy was only to top of his head. You can tell which one is him (he's quite bald) just below the conducter's left shoulder. He was on the front because he was the second-shortest tenor in the choir.

Here is a better picture of Daddy. He is in the middle of the men. He also did a great job. I think he should try out for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir some day, he'd be great. (The picture here is a little grainier because the camera didn't zoom in on him like it did on Mother.)

Here is the link to the video of conference. Check out "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" at the end of the Saturday PM session.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This is how she walks...

Clara has been walking for a couple months now, but here is a good video of proof for everyone who doesn't get to see her frequently. This was recorded with my phone, so not great quality, but you get the idea. In fact, at first, the grainy picture reminds me of those Big Foot videos with poor quality. The moving white dot on the screen is Clara. You can tell more as she walks toward the camera.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why I didn't do my reading for class...

Dear Prof. Rose,
I apologize for not doing my reading for class last week. I sure am glad you didn't call on me. You see, I had a bit of an adventure which left me unable to comprehend the proxy voting corporate law cases I was supposed to plow through.
Let me explain further...
The faucet in the tub in our bathroom has been leaking for about a week, and Crystal isn't very happy about it. It drips more than two gallons in eight hours (she tried to catch the excess in a tub to use in watering the garden) and she doesn't want to waste so much water. On Monday night, she went out to dinner with some lady friends and I stayed home to get study, get Clara to bed and fix the leak. We had checked out a plumbing book from the library earlier that day and I was perusing it after Crystal left when I decided to work on the leak for a few minutes before it was time for Clara to go to bed. I thought Clara would get a kick out of watching me work.
I went to the basement to turn off the water and then went to the second floor to work on the faucet. I took it apart and figured out there is a cartridge which plugs into the pipes and then a valve regulates how much hot or cold water to let out the faucet.
After taking everything apart, I couldn't find anything amiss, so I put it back together and went two flights down to turn the water back on. I went back up and it was still leaking. With the water still on (cue laughter now, I know) I tried to work on it again. As I slowly unscrewed the ring holding the cartridge in place, water started leaking out. I recognized that this was from the water being on, so I took a washcloth, dried the ring off and continued to unscrew it. Of course you know what happened next; as I turned the ring off the last thread, a geyser erupted from the wall, soaking me and spraying all over the bathroom. Clara was delighted all the water and hubbub, and I wasn't excited about being wet.
I sprinted down the hall (with the sounds of roaring water and laughing Clara in the background) dropped my soaking cell phone on the carpet and dropped down the two flights of stairs to the basement, where I turned off the water.
Then, I ran back up in time to throw down all the towels I could find (and one of Crystal's rag rugs) to soak up the water which was filling the tile and lapping at the carpet of our bedroom. I got as much of the water up as I could and then hung all the soaking fabrics on the curtain rod to dry. At this point, a little giggling girl came running down the hall with a big smile and my cell phone. Before she could splash my Blackberry in the puddle, I took it away. She didn't even flinch, though, because she was already back on the floor playing in the water. I then re-assembled the faucet and went back downstairs to try the water again.
As I left the basement and walked through the kitchen, I noticed the sound of water and noticed a stream of liquid pouring out of the light fixture in the ceiling above the kitchen sink. Worried that I'd ruined everything, I turned the water off again. Figuring I should just give up before the house flooded or Clara had a meltdown, I (only an hour or so late) warmed up a bottle of milk, put Clara in some (dry) pajamas and helped her get to bed.
As I stumbled back down the stairs, I realized there was less water coming from the ceiling as my puddles upstairs dried out (turns out the bathroom floor isn't made to hold gallons of water) and so I was glad I hadn't ruined all our plumbing. I then sat on the couch and opened my book to study. I read a paragraph before I realized that none of the words in it had made any sort of impression on, so I closed it and then just sat on the couch. My mind was frazzled and I couldn't focus.
Then, Crystal called. She had had a wonderful time and was coming home. I explained how the time hadn't been so great for me, but that Clara had loved it. Crystal was concerned, but not as bad as I had thought, comforted me and thanked me for trying. We turned the water back on, no more leaks appeared in the kitchen ceiling and we're not going to use that shower for a while.
So, that is why I am not prepared for class. I appreciate your understanding.
Thank you,

PS - On Saturday, Crystal and I attacked the problem together, ending up with a $40 replacement cartridge from Home Depot. The cartridge didn't fit quite right, but after a time we took a piece of the old one and a piece of the new one and put the whole thing back together. It now only leaks a little bit. I think I'll have to keep working on this, but I promise I'll do my homework before I try again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

California, Here We Come!

That's right, we will be there the first week in October! So excited! We decided to go earlier this week and it is super nice, because we don't have to wait very long to go! T-minus 16 days!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coupons and Deals

Hi my name is Crystal, and I am addicted to coupons. Hi Crystal!, says the rest of the group.

Yes, it is true. Sometimes I feel like I need to go to a group like Couponers Annonymous. I can't even begin to describe how much I love them! There is nothing like the feeling of walking out of a store with a cart full of stuff, a reciept a mile long, and a tiny out of pocket expense. In fact, I love it so much I should start documenting my really good trips when I get tons for cheap. For example, this week I went to CVS and combined some coupons with some great sales they were having. I purchased 2 Covergirl face products, 2 revlon eyeliners, a kiddie pool, 2 dishwashing liquids and a candle. My total without any sales or deals, over $60. After coupons, my out of pocket was $20 and I got a catalina coupon from the store for $7 off my next shopping trip. That really makes it about $13, which considering each piece of make-up was about $8, that is a steal! I know I don't get deals as good as other people, but I LOVE getting these deals!

The other thing that I love, is planning my trip. I have gotten into reading blogs about coupons and getting good deals that break down the deals listed in the grocery store ads and what coupon to use with them to get the best bang for your buck. I love researching out the deals each week and figuring out what I can get for free that week, and putting my plan into action, then seeing my total falling as the coupons are rung in. My best percentage on a good grocery trip was 77%, and I am constantly trying to beat it.

I am heading out to the grocery store now, coupons in tow and hoping to get some fantastic deals, wish me luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Indian Cavern

Side note: Sorry it has been a while since we have posted. School just started again last week, and I have sort of been boycotting everything because I wish it was still summer. Oh well, back to the real world!

A couple weeks ago, we went to visit the Olentangy Indian Cavern. It is about 30 minutes north of us, and it was a lot of fun! We had to wait about 30 minutes to go inside, so we walked around outside for a while. Clara was happy to be outside and play on the grass.

There was a little "ghost town" that you could go play in, and Clara went straight for the jail. I guess that police car ride when she was 6 months old really had an impact on her.

These are a few shots from inside the cavern. The Wyandotte Indians used to live inside the cavern during the winter because it stayed a balmy 55 degrees farenheit year round and the water in there wasn't frozen. It is also believed to be the hide out spot for a bank robber way back when. If any of you come visit, we can go here!


For Christmas last year, my sister Rachael gave us a season pass to COSI children's museum. I decided to wait to start the pass until Clara could walk so we would both enjoy our time there better. Well, Clara is walking now, so we decided to start going to COSI, and she LOVES it!

COSI has a little kids section that is basically a giant indoor playground with lots of hands on activities, like a water table, electricity room, play doctors offices, etc. Clara loves to splash at the water table.
Clara and Harry playing in the water

When you first walk in, there is this giant tree house/slide/climbing place, and Clara loves to explore on it.

There is a giant bean bag with a ton of stuffed animals and puppets. Clara likes to play with all of those.

I really like this picture, she was so oblivious that I was there the entire time. She was content to just play and ignore me.

This video was in the electricity room. When you put your hand on the metal, music starts playing. Clara loves to touch all the different things to hear all the different sounds and dance. She LOVES music.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hello Bumblebee (aka Tweety) OR Jordan's attempt to remain relevant

For the past two years I have been trying to decide how to address the rust spots growing on my car. I decided to paint it might be fun to paint the whole thing, so I started deciding what paint job to do. I thought about a Buckeye Football Helmet design but decided that would be too much work. So, I thought I would paint it like the Transformers Autobot Bumblebee.

Thanks to a friend who owns a paint store, I got a gallon of Safety Yellow industrial acrylic paint (the stuff used to paint factory floors and parking lot pillars) and some black spray paint. David and I painted the whole thing yellow with rollers and a brush in about four hours total. Crystal and I painted the black lines on in about 30 minutes with spray paint.

One of my favorite small touches is that I painted the screws on the license plates yellow, too.

The yellow painting all happened while Crystal was in Fresno this summer, so she was surprised to see it when she got home. The safety yellow works as advertised, because, as Crystal put it, "the car glows in the dark!"

I have enjoyed driving it around and hope to get a lot more years and miles out of it (and less rust!)

On a funny side note, I was showing off my "new" car to some of the Boy Scouts I work with and one of the 15-year-olds said my plan to drive a car painted like Bumblebee would make me look like a dork. Crystal probably agrees, but I hope most people out there don't! Ha ha.

As noted in the post title, my car is now also called "Tweety," in honor of David and Megan's late neighbor Lee Dean. Lee lived next door to them and was always sitting on the porch willing to share a laugh and a good story. He and I also rode the same bus a few times while I was going school and he was headed to work. The last time I saw Lee before his heart attack was when I pulled up to David's house in the car before I put the stripes on it. Lee looked at it, laughed and said, "You're driving a Tweety Bird car!" A couple days later I was visiting him in the intensive care unit while he was in a coma from which he never recovered. During that last visit in the hospital, I told him I would call the car Tweety in his honor; I'm sure he would have gotten a kick out of that.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rag Rug

A year or two ago, my sister Rachael and I talked about making rag rugs, but we never got started. A couple of weeks ago when Jordan and I were in Nauvoo, I saw a rag rug making demonstration and decided I was going to get to work. I looked up how to make a rag rug on the internet, and I decided that I liked this idea the best. I liked the way the braids looked on this one the best, but there are a lot of different ways to make a rag rug. I had some old sheets that had holes in them, cut them into strips, and got started. The rug isn't perfect, and after doing this one, I know alot better of what and what not to do. Hopefully the next one will look better, but I am really happy with how my first one turned out. It is super soft and comfy to stand on. It is so soft, that Clara wont leave it alone! She keeps walking back over to it and sitting on it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cake Decorating

Last night, I went to a cake decorating activity. We each had to bring a cake and some icing, then we got some tips on how to decorate cakes. Mine isn't perfect, but it did turn out ok, and it tastes even better! I made a red velvet cake and a swiss merengue buttercream frosting (recipe compliments of Martha Stewart). The combination is so yummy! Once you try this icing, you will never want to use another recipe again! Come on over and I will give you a slice!

Nauvoo Fun

After our camping trip to South Bass Island, Jordan and I (and Clara) got to accompany the Young Women from 0ur ward on a trip to Nauvoo, Il. For those of you who aren't familiar with Nauvoo, please click here. From our house, it was about a 9 hour drive. Needless to say, Clara wasn't thrilled about being in the car the whole time, so we stopped and let her explore on the grass for a little while. I really liked this picture.

Once we arrived, we went to the house we were staying at, got settled, then went to the visitors center. There is a statue garden outside the visitors center. I love this statue, so Jordan, Clara and I decided to reinact it.

Once we had wandered around the visitors center enough, we went back to the house and had dinner, then we went to the Nauvoo Pagaent. It was such an amazing show. Lucky for me, Clara slept through most of it, so I could enjoy it! The next morning, we went on a wagon ride around Historic Nauvoo and saw all the sights. This is about how excited Clara was the entire time.

This was Clara at her happiest on the ride. She really wanted to crawl around.

After the wagon ride we went to the Brickyard and saw how they made bricks, then got a free brick. Then we went to the blacksmith shop and saw how they made horseshoes and wagon wheels and got a free prarie diamond ring. Then we went to the Family Living Center and saw all sorts of things like how they make bread, rugs, candles, and so much more. It was a lot of fun to see all the demonstrations and learn how to do things. In fact, that part inspired me to make a rag rug, which you all will hopefully see in a future post! We basically went and saw all the sights, including Joseph Smith's house and his Red Brick Store. That night, Jordan and I were able to go do a session at the Nauvoo Temple. The young women were more than happy the babysit Clara for us, and we were more than happy to let them! Words cannot describe how beautiful that buidling is!

The next morning, it was raining, so we weren't able to do the trail of hope as we had wanted, but we did go walk around the grounds of the temple again. After that, we drove to Carthage, Il and visited the place where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. Here is a picture of our whole group at Carthage.

We had such a great time, and enjoyed seeing all the sights in Nauvoo, as well as getting to know all the people who were on our trip with us.