Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Quotes I like

"I know that God will not give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much" ~Mother Theresa
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." ~Katharine Hepburn
"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi

"Be yourself. Everyone else will appreciate the originality." ~Unknown

"...the self is not something that one finds. It is something that one creates." ~Thomas Szasz

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." ~Elisabeth Foley

"Well-behaved women rarely make history." ~Laurel Thatcher Ulricher

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Project Sunday

So this morning Sasha, in keeping with her new routine, woke up about 6:25 this morning. By the time I got her back to bed I was wide awake, which is rare for me. Since the rest of the house was quiet I took advantage of some much-needed time to play with my new Cricut.
Last year about this time I was hugely pregnant and growing by the minute, but it was about this time that my wonderful friends threw me a shower. Amberly gave me some vinyl letters to put on the wall in Sasha's room. Since the walls in her room are textured I couldn't just put them up or they wouldn't look good. Do I smell a project? So I got some good ideas and bought a canvas at Ben Franklin and was going to put the phrase on, then attach some picture frames at the bottom with some of the newborn pics that the fabulous Marissa took. Well, enter here my problem with commitment. When things are permanent, I agonize over them. They have to look just right, and it has to be something I will love for a LONG time because I don't like to/rarely have time to do things over again. So I just couldn't decide which pictures I really wanted up there and the more pictures I took the harder it got. The frames would have to be majorly and permanently attached, otherwise they would fall off. I just couldn't commit. Ever wonder why I never got a tattoo? Well, besides the whole needles, scabbing and pain thing- there is no way I could ever commit to a single image/phrase/word or anything that I would want PERMANENTLY attached to me. I know, I'm weird.
So, after making a very short story long, here is what I decided to do, brought about by the skills and abilities of my fabulous Cricut!
Oh, and of course, my morning ray of sunshine!

Friday, September 18, 2009

On the road to Hollywood

**Biased mother post alert!** If you don't want to read about how absolutely adorable, beautiful and photogenic I think my kid is, then you should just stop reading. :)
Back in July a friend of mine needed some models for her brother-in-law's new organic baby clothing line called Aperictos (check it out at So of course I jumped at the chance to get some professional shots of Sasha, especially since I don't have the proper equipment to take and edit really great pictures of her myself. Here are a couple of the shots that they use on the website and on flickr (
All the kids that the photographer used were absolutely adorable, the clothes are SO CUTE and Kacee did a great job on the photos themselves. But seriously- Sasha looks so adorable in these photos! I know every mother has those thoughts of "my kid could totally be a baby model" and I am no exception!

Family pictures and Sasha's one year pictures are coming up soon and I CAN'T WAIT!!! I love photography and I so admire all my photographer friends that have this talent. Now I just need to figure out what we're all going to wear. Ah!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are you a Republican or Democrat?

No, this isn't another political rant post. :) My Grandpa John used to ask me this question and would constantly try to get me to commit to being one or the other. Then he'd ask me when I was going to have kids. My Grandma would get so mad at him and tell him that it was none of his business!
My Grandpa passed away recently. I haven't seen him in a long time and I deeply regret not doing more to keep in touch with him, reach out to him, go visit him, let him know that I finally had a kid and that I voted for a democrat. I know it would have made him happy to know these things, and I hope he knows them now. Time is far too precious to just let it slip away and not reach out to those you love. Don't let the opportunity pass you by the way that I did.


John Gale Carr 1923 ~ 2009 John Gale Carr was born February 26, 1923 in North Superior, Wy, (now a ghost town), to John Duncan and Louisa Seymour Hughes Carr. John grew up in Denver, Colorado and Kenilworth, Utah. John married Ethel Nadine Garth in 1944, they later divorced; they had four children: Deanna (Jack) Degraw, Pamela (Rod) Kirby, Russell (Margaret) and David (Pamla). In 1963 John married Patricia Muriel Grondel Farnsworth, (42 years). Dad helped raise Mom's two children, DeEtte and Evan Farnsworth. Dad worked for Co-op (Pax Co.) for over 30 years. Dad left six children, 21 grandchildren and multiple, beautiful great grandchildren. Dad loved golf and insisted walking the course into his late 70's. He loved gardening, especially his cactus garden, playing cards and had a special fondness for his dog, Cody. We are so grateful for the love and care he received at Alta Ridge Assisted Living Center, with special thanks to Cheri and her staff. We love you Pops! Private family services under the direction of Valley View Funeral Home.

I love you, Grandpa!

Alyssa's Gettin' Hitched!

My sweet, fun cousin Alyssa is getting married! I'm so excited for her! I've only met her hubby-to-be once, but he seems like a really sweet, really fun guy and I can already see why they get along so well. Last Saturday we had a shower for her for our family and her mom's side of the family. She got lots of great gifts to decorate her house with (and a few fun things for the bedroom, too! *wink*wink*)
My mom, my grandma and I worked hard to put together a nice shower for her and I must say that we pulled it off quite well! As favors I made cowboy boot shaped sugar cookies (the wedding is western-themed. She's even wearing lime-green cowboy boots with her dress. She is going to look so amazing!) We frosted them lime green and then I made up a cute "brand" with their initials. I thought they turned out pretty cute and people loved them. Maybe one day I'll open up my own little sweets shop, who knows. :) Anyway, I hardly got any pictures, my Aunt took a ton, but here are the few that I did take . . .

Mom, stop freaking out that I put a picture of you on my blog. This one is really, really cute!

Congrats Alyssa, can't wait for the wedding!
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Today our President addressed American school kids across the nation. Some parents pulled their kids out of school, afraid that President Obama was going to attempt to 'indoctrinate them in socialist ways." Ridiculous. First of all, his focus was education. Since when is wanting kids to get an education a focus of a socialist regime. Second of all, it would have been political suicide. Listening to the radio this morning I heard people call into a couple of morning shows discussing whether or not they were going to let their kids hear President Obama's message. The majority of people I heard that were not going to let their kids listen to the message hadn't read the message themselves. They weren't even going to consider it. Why? I think that most of them are basing their opinions on what they are hearing from their chosen media sources, aka radio pundits that hate the President. There are so many people out there who only listen to one side of the story, or rather one person's interpretation of a story and take that version to be the gospel truth. Rather than seek out the other side, hear both sides and then form their own, intelligent (ha!) opinion. So, in reality are we simply breeding another generation of mindless drones that only seek out those whose opinions and ideals they share so that they never have to hear an opposing side or look at another viewpoint or, heaven forbid, make up their own mind?! No wonder the House and Senate never get anything done . . . they are too busy fighting with each other and refusing to hear another angle, option or opinion that they aren't accomplishing anything. At least not anything of major importance. Remember Social Security? President Bush brought up Social Security a few years ago, said we needed to make some changes, he even proposed a few ideas. Sure they might have seemed ludicrous or outrageous, BUT AT LEAST HE SUGGESTED SOMETHING! And what happened? NOTHING. There is no resolution, the money's just going to dry up and we're all screwed. I'm seriously worried for our country.
You may not like what Obama and some democrats are proposing for health care, but at least they are working on it. It is something that we all can agree needs some sort of resolution. So why can we not work together, as a nation, to resolve it? Because we're all too busy worrying. Worrying never solves anything.
I read through the text of the President's speech and I really liked what he had to say. I found nothing in it that promoted one political party over another and nothing remotely socialist. From this speech I feel that he is genuinely concerned about the fate of our country. The educational standards in this nation are falling. So what does that say for our future? What does that mean for us when we are old, retired and need our children to take care of us? Will there be enough of them with the education and knowledge to do so? I'm starting to wonder. I feel a personal passion about the importance of education. I would not be where I am today without an education. My life can only be bettered by furthering my education. I honor and am proud of those who seek an education. My brother Ryan is working very hard to get his education so that he can be happy, do something he loves and provide for the family he loves even more. Ryan, I am so proud of you! Christopher knows I will kill him if he doesn't get an education. My children will each have a college fund. I am fortunate enough to be able to set those up for them. While circumstances in my life may change and that money may be a small amount, I will do what I can to support my kids in their education. And if they choose not to get an education well, then Mama gets a Benz and Daddy gets a Ferrari. Don't get me wrong, I will still love my children fiercly, but I'm not about to hand them a bunch of money for doing nothing.

Below is the President's speech. I have noted parts I liked and even added some of my own comments. I'd like to hear your opinion, whether you agree with me or not. If we have different viewpoints, we will still be friends. I will still love you. I will still blog-stalk you and I hope you will do the same in return. I like that we have different viewpoints. :)

The President: Hello everyone - how's everybody doing today? I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I'm glad you all could join us today. I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still Summer, and you could've stayed in bed just a little longer this morning. I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning. Now I wasn't too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I'd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster." So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year. Now I've given a lot of speeches about education. And I've talked a lot about responsibility. I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn. I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox. (I don't think enough parents take part in their kids' education. They'd rather let the teachers and the TVs do it all . . . as long as they agree with it)I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve. But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide. Maybe you could be a good writer - maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper - but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor - maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine - but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team. And no matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it. And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future. You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy. We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that - if you quit on school - you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country. (I think many people will take issue with this statement and say that it leans towards a Socialist viewpoint. Hello! Whatever happened to patriotism?!?! JFK's famous line "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country!" wasn't seen as Socialist, it was seen as patriotic. I really feel that there is a serious lack of patriotism in this country!) Now I know it's not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn't fit in. So I wasn't always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse. But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn't have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country. Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don't have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there's not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don't feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren't right. But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life - what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home - that's no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying. Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future. (I like that he used a wide variety of examples here. I think he really was talking TO the kids, not AT the kids) That's what young people like you are doing every day, all across America. Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn't speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez. I'm thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who's fought brain cancer since he was three. He's endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer - hundreds of extra hours - to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he's headed to college this fall. And then there's Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she's on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college. Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren't any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same. That's why today, I'm calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education - and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you'll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter. Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it. I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things. (I like that he was blunt and honest here) But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject you study. You won't click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. That's OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you - you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying. No one's born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. You've got to practice. It's the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it's good enough to hand in. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust - a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor - and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals. And even when you're struggling, even when you're discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you - don't ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country. The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best. It's the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other. So today, I want to ask you, what's your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country? Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you've got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don't let us down - don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

I found it inspiring and uplifting. Honestly, I think it something that all Presidents should do, address the children of our nation. Not to send a political message, not to brainwash them, but to spread the message that each and every one of them is important and can make a difference. What do you think?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wicked fun with mod podge

I love hanging out with my friend Whitney. She is always up for anything and we always have such a blast hanging out. Not to mention we laugh our butts off! Last Wednesday we did a class at Heartland in Woods Cross making these awesome blocks that spell out Wicked. Don't worry, these won't be up just for Halloween at my house . . . they will be up all year long!

It was also a 'big deal' for me because I have never used Mod Podge before! Okay, so I know all you crafties out there are laughing hysterically at me because I was afraid to expirement with MP on my own, but I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to trying new things. But now that I've used it- I WANT TO USE IT ALL THE TIME!!!! I seriously want to MP everything in my path! Everyone will be getting very crafty Christmas presents this year!

So here's a couple pics from the class. First, me working very hard to get just the right amount of distressing on my blocks, and then the final project. Ain't I crafty?

Also went to Swiss Days for the first time with my mom. It was a lot of fun, but I can't believe how many people were there! Fortunately we got there early so we were able to see everything. By the time we left there were so many people you could hardly walk! Sasha did great- she's my good little shopper. I am definitely going to go back next year- maybe even earlier in the morning!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

9 month check up

I can't believe my little Sasha is already 9 months old! Time is flying by way too fast and she is growing way too fast. But I love to watch her learn new things. She is getting the hang of crawling. I have to find some safety gates and get them up pretty quick. Does anyone have any suggestions? We want the pressure-mounted ones- not the kind you attach to the wall or staircase. So if you know of a good one, please let me know.
Went to the doctor today for the 9 month check up. She is growing well! She's a tiny, petite little bug weighing in at 15 lbs 8 oz. and 28 inches tall. Her head is 41 cm.
Poor little thing had to get a flu shot. :( I felt bad for her but she didn't cry as much this time as the last round of shots she got. But *knock on wood* she's never been sick and I hope it stays that way for a while.
She also has two little teeth poking up! I can't get a good picture of them yet. Everytime I get close to her mouth she sticks her tongue out at me! Brushing teeth is a bit of a challenge, but I think she'll get used to it.
We also started taking her to daycare in the last couple weeks. My friend Rachel's sitter had a couple of families move so she is wide open for new kids. Her name is Ilona and she is the sweetest lady! She has an adorable little girl in preschool and Sasha gets to play with Ethan a couple days a week. Josh was sort of wigging out about taking her to KinderCare because he didn't think she'd get the kind of attention she deserves (not to mention Lilly having a heart attack about it). And even though there is about the same number of kids at Ilona's as there would have been at KinderCare, I think I feel better about it, too. Not that the caregivers at places like that are bad or don't care, but there is just something a little more comforting about taking your child to someone's home. And if Rachel trusts her then I know I can trust her, without a doubt. She is really good with Sasha and she's always a happy little kid when I pick her up. (Ilona still has space available for kids and her rates are VERY reasonable so if you need a sitter, even if its just one day a week, let me know and I will give you her number. She's in Woods Cross). I think its good for her to be around other kids, learn to play and interact with them.
These are just a couple pics of us hanging out at our super nice hotel in Park City a few weeks ago when Josh did the marathon. We stayed at the Dakota Mountain Lodge. It's a new Hilton property that is part of the Waldorf=Astoria collection. SUPER NICE!

Not a very good pic, I know, but it gives you an idea of what the view from our room was . . .