Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wes's 2011 Reading Stats/List

I love a good story. It can be just recounting experiences with friends and family or watching a movie or reading books—but I especially love books. They are tiny packets of adventure that can be experienced even while juggling home, church, work, a toddler, house buying/moving, pregnancy (in a supporting role), etc.

I had quite a few reading adventures in 2011 due to a fair commute, a kindle book always on my phone, and an audible book in my ear. A wonderful free site called helped me track it all. Luckily I’m not nerdy enough to pivot the data and make a chart of what I have read this year . . .

Books read: 28
Average pgs per book: 428
Total page count: 11, 985

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time Is On My Side...Or Is It?

Maybe the Rolling Stones had it all wrong. I've been thinking a lot about time lately. When you have young children, everyone and I mean everyone (including strangers on the street) tell you how fast the time flies. How it feels like their 16 year olds were 16 months just yesterday, etc., etc. For me, right now, it doesn't necessary feel like time is flying, not at all really. It does feel like time is more definite than it used to be. Before we had kids, Wes and I might go on a vacation or go to an amazing restaurant or go kayaking and have a blast. We'd leave and say, "Wow, lets do that again sometime!" And that was completely possible, we could go and do those things again and have a pretty similar experience.

The thing with kids is that you can never really expect the same experience again. Whatever you do with them, its close to being the last time they'll do it in that way. They change so much, so quickly. It's never the same experience and you kind of mourn the loss of each phase. A year used to be nothing to me, Wes and I don't change much in a year. Scarlett changes in a month! She does more, says more, comprehends more everyday. Suddenly it feels like time marches on so strongly, so resolutely, so unforgivingly. Sometimes, I just want to say, Hey, wait a minute! I love her how she is right now! Can't I just hit a pause button and enjoy how when Wes is taking her to bed she waves good-bye so zealously to me all the way up the stairs and around the corner until she can't see me anymore or can't I rewind to when she was three months old and we'd carry her around in the Ergo and she'd sleep so peacefully and soundly right on our chests? Already, I can barely remember what that little roly poly body felt like against mine.

Absolutely, the last 20 months have not flown by, but they're done, they're over and I can feel it. Just look at Scarlett and see what 20 months of time passing by really looks like.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scarlett Harris and the Great Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, the Harris family got out of the house and went to get a pumpkin. We went to the same place we got our Christmas tree last year and will again this year. They put on a pretty good show of activities.

First things first, we went and got a snow cone (yes it is still warm enough in Houston for a snow cone) and chopped beef BBQ sandwich (a Texas specialty). Scarlett thought the banana flavored snow cone was the best.

Then we went and got in line to ride the train. Scarlett was very happy and patient.

Here's an attempt at a family picture. Scarlett refused to look at the camera so this was the best we could get.

Scarlett working on that snow cone.

Loading onto the train.

Scarlett really liked the train ride. She just sat quietly staring out at the fields of Christmas trees. One of which we'll be taking home with us in a month.

Here's an awesome hay bale they turned into a giant spider. You can see the Christmas trees growing behind us.

Scarlett inspected all of the pumpkins carefully...

Before finally choosing the perfect Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. (more on that in a future blogpost)

Monday, September 5, 2011

New...Well, Actually OLD and Improved!

Okay, so I still do the couponing thing but Wes won't let me buy anymore deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, razor blades, body wash, ziploc bags...the list is endless. So, I spend much less time couponing as it's mostly with food items now. Moral of the story is...I needed a new hobby. So, I found one. Thrift store shopping. I buy something old, ugly, and unloved and I make it new (to me), beautiful, and appreciated. Wes has been helping as well which makes it even more fun. Here are a few of our finds.

What ARE these ugly brass and crystal lamps? I found these at a local thrift shop for $4 a piece, all of the electrical components still worked. Although, I had to take the whole lamp apart 3-5 times (it was a learning process). I am now an excellent lamp electrician. I feel confident that I could fix any lamp at your house that is not working for less than $5 and in about 10 minutes. My hard work was not in vain, take a look at them now!

Aren't they so beautiful and elegant looking?

This one, Wes actually found when we went to a Salvation Army store. We're going to make it our craft table, so we can keep the kitchen table cleared off from crafts such as spray painted lamps, building Catan boards, and Hagrid's Huts. Here it is in its dirty, just left the thrift store state.

It opens up with a hidden leaf that stays under the table to a huge 5' by 5' square. Otherwise its 3' by 5'.

We shined it up with Orange Glo (my favorite furniture polish) and it looks great. Although, I don't think its going to stay this color forever. I might make it my first painted furniture project. We'll see. Overall, not bad for $45! Good find Wes!

That's all for now, except here's a few of Scarlett (for the grandparents)!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Well, I figured now that I've been pooped on, peed on, barfed on, snotted on,'s time for her to start pulling her weight around here! (Which granted is only about 25 lbs.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Jennifer!!!

For my thirtieth B-day Jennifer blogged thirty things she liked about me (which made my head swell thirty percent bigger.)

I would like to return the favor by jotting down a few (30) of the many things I enjoy about my Booey Woo.

1) I like that she calls everyone she deeply loves a Booey Woo. At first I struggled to understand why she called me the same thing as her dog but like her school kids I soon learned that there was no higher or loved filled praise than to be called Booey Woo (except perhaps Booey Wooey Woo).

2). Her enthusiasm and energy for the world around her is infectious. When I debated becoming a wifeless hobo or marrying my smoking hot southern belle, some of the most convincing evidence that we would be great together was the time we spent talking in the Galley Cafeteria while I mooched off her dad's meal plan (thanks Jim) and shared our thoughts, jokes, gossip, dreams, & opinions (it's still my favorite thing to do).

3) I've read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Jen hasn't but she didn't need to, to know that a true friend doesn't just ask questions but cares about the answers. I watched Jen interrogate her friends extracting their likes, dislikes, romantic turmoils, etc. As easily as cracking a walnut. They (and I include myself) found themselves telling her things they didn't talk about with anyone else and the reason we did is because we could feel how much she cared and how important we were to her.

4) I've never really watched a movie until I've discussed it with Jen.

5) Jen is a visualizer. One of my favorite of her laughs is when I tell a joke and she laughs and then is quiet for a moment while she really visualizes the humorous image and then bursts into a wild, unfiltered, crazy pure laugh.

6) She is totally supportive of my education & career goals. With only one semester left of a very long bachelor program I told her I wanted to go to 3+ more years of school. Her only real regret (of which she frequently reminds me) is that I didn't learn how to be a masseuse. (My regret is that she never worked at Great Harvest Bread Co., although the Smoothie King is a good runner up.)

7). Jen loves stories. She has to be careful with a book series or tv series because it will consume her until it is finished. She takes her time reading books fully visualizing the story. She will often help me to love a character that I hadn’t formerly paid as much attention to (Ron Weasley, Ross Geller, Eric Forman). I inevitably love them more after I have seen them through her eyes. She gets so anxious for her characters that I have often found her with several fingers stuck in various stages of the book as she reads ahead to make sure they are okay.

8). There is a special light in Jen that draws her to happy things. She loves christmas & christmas songs, she loves comedies. She loves having innocent fun whether its reading grade-school books or Mmm-bopping with the Hansen brothers.

9). Although she doesn't believe it she is a fantastic mom. Scarlett and her will smile as they stare at each other and make identical sounds that pass right through high pitched and go beyond the capability of the human ear. No matter how much Scarlett loves her Daddy she never laughs harder or smiles bigger for anyone more than her mom.

10) Jen loves to organize/purge--it's something we really enjoy (which is good because it doesn't ever really end). There is nothing quite as satisfying as going through a closet or room and throwing away/donating a bunch of now unnecessary stuff.

11) Jen loves to game. Don't let her sweet exterior fool you. She has a competitive edge--she will not hesitate to bring out her Darwinian strategy & crush you--although she is very polite about it (In Catan that is, don't play Monopoly with her.)

12) Jen is a truth seeker. She is always open to logic & reason. She will consider your argument even if it directly conflicts with her own; if it makes sense she won't let her ego stand in the way. I'm not explaining it well but it's one of my favorite things. (Also, if your argument is weak sauce you won’t be changing anybody’s mind; she knows how to stick to her guns.)

13). On that same note Jen has this funny way of deciding she doesn't like something until she tries it. I just remind myself of the childhood story her Grandparents told me, about how firmly set she was against eating fried steak, rice & gravy until they got her to try it & it became the requested main course every time she was at grandma's, every night she was at grandmas.

14) I love that Jen supports me in my creative ambitions i.e. she continues to support my cooking of all the recipes in my Betty Crocker cookbook even though she finds my strategy flawed because when you cook all the recipes you can't be choosy, you have to cook the gross ones too (I look for ways to serve the ones she doesn't like elsewhere, so . . . sorry about the weird potluck dishes.)

15) If you really get to know Jen it doesn't take too long to realize that although Jen is most often sweet she can also be spicy--personally I wouldn't have it any other way.

16) Jen is incredibly brave. She had a hard pregnancy. In addition to the usual challenges we found out first hand about ones we hadn't even heard of--culminating of course in a scary delivery. Through it all Jen was a trooper and an all-star.

17) Family is important to Jen, of course it is more difficult since we live far away but Jen makes the effort, stays in touch, and loves doing it. Her thoughts are often with her extended family and mine. When I'm around I love listening to her tell her parents about Scarlett and me.

18) Jen is decisive. Whether its deciding on her top five movies or picking a quirky husband. My nature is to gather more data and conduct an exhaustive approach it's refreshing & breathtaking to see just how fast she can make a good decision.

19) Jen is wicked fast at math, Sudoku, cooking, cleaning, purging e-mail, cracking The Prestige, basically everything. It's not really an ego booster to have a spouse that's smarter than you but it does come in handy--especially for basic stuff like not letting me drive down the wrong side of the median.

20) The language of Jen's love is definitely Quality Time (or QT time for Beanie). Playing words with friends, Catan (as long as Jen is to my right), kayaking, riding dumb-and-dumber style on a moped, making christmas goodies, going to craft fairs (within reason),

21) QT continued: (Hey you might stop reading if I didn't break up this bullet.) standing in the book line for Harry Potter & reading it together, Gatlinburg, Disneyland, Disney World, cooking, talking to you outside the shower curtain, team diaper changing w/ Scarlett, watching movies, Hubble & Hudson gelato, regaling our experiences to friends & family.

22) Jen is always either a) supportive of or b) creating ideas for our improvement. Whether it's 30 minutes daily clutter control, packing the night before, or reading seven to heaven (reading scriptures together).

23) Changing for yourself is hard, changing for others is even harder. If Jen is doing something that she realizes I really don't like she will change. I think that is super sweet. Maintenant j’ai dit.

24) Quirks: Doesn’t like beans, raisins, shredded carrots. Loves crawfish et tu fe, strawberries on waffles, Crystal Burger, and french toast. Needs a moment to mentally & emotionally prepare before stepping on an escalator.

25) Jen sees things for what they are. She is realistic and pragmatic. She has a way of cutting through the fluff and calling a spade a spade. It’s a rare quality, one that would sometimes surprise her school kids and that I really enjoy.

26) I suppose you don’t want to hear me go on and on about Jen’s natural beauty and her sultry southern saunter. So let’s just say sometimes I feel bad for guys that aren’t as lucky as me.

27) Jen makes friends with super cool, awesome, interesting people, which is great for me because I can stand near them and laugh along. People that conduct lucrative business deals, landscape colorado, work in Shelley, Idaho, Shelly Idaho, etc. (and there are a lot of etceteras).

28) It wasn’t a surprise to find out that on those color/personality tests that Jen came out a deep blue. She is very caring. She cares deeply for the feelings and happiness of those she loves. As you can imagine little Miss Scarlett has a super mom who loves showing her the world. They laugh, dance, read stories. Scarlett knows she will get the best, most interested, and most excited reaction from her mom. I’m so excited to continue to explore life with both of them.

29) I love interacting with Jen whether it is witty banter, singing silly songs, or saying funny phrases that we have picked up in our many experiences together (“One shot would have done it.”).

29 1/2 Jen will mark places on the DVR to share funny or heart-warming moments with me from various shows. She loves to share with me. She is super sweet and gets teared up watching talk shows and reality tv.

30) For whatever unfathomable reason, Jennifer has a rock solid unwavering love for her husband. She has been through a lot with me. I've realized that not everyone has that and I do not take it for granted even though it may seem that way sometimes. Happy Birthday Booey Woo you are my one and only, I love you just the way you are. I hope you feel the same warm blanket of security, care, and love that you have always given me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Scarlett...then and now...

Okay, I know our blog has turned into a mommy blog and all we ever post are Scarlett pics...but she's pretty much what's going on right now. We'll try to post some other stuff someday soon!

When Scarlett was 4 months old, we had her picture taken at JC Penney and we just had them done again when she was 14 months old. So, these have a 10 month difference...crazy!

In all of these pictures, she's doing a slight smile. However, she also has a great big smile she uses frequently, as shown below!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Scarlett's Sweet & Sour Sides

I love the first half of this clip when Scarlett is dancing in the sweet, right? Then the second part is her sassy/sour side. Which at times I find hilarious and other times I find exhausting and irritating. Notice the head shake at me after I back off. This is it in it's mildest form. That's her newest thing...she doesn't say no, she just constantly shakes her head at me with furrowed eyebrows.

During the Sweet part of this video we were at a local park and here is a still of it. It's really pretty and Scarlett really, really loved this dog!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hunting the Egg

"Look, I know what you are thinking: basket, dress, eggs. It seems simple but to pull them off successfully you need to know what you are doing. Come with me as I show my parents how it is done."

"First, pick a location where they didn't just drop 30,000 eggs from a helicopter and the easter bunny isn't riding around on a golf cart . . . unfortunately the parents didn't consult me on the location . . ."

"Not to worry. I know how to handle myself in this type of situation."

"As always Dad likes to start with some instruction.
Step 1) Find an egg."

"Step 2) put it in the basket."

"Egg. Basket. Got it."

"Dad seriously, I got it. I'm not 12 months old anymore."

"I have innate egg gathering abilities."

"Now what were those steps again?"

"Pick up eggs?"

"Suck on eggs?"

"Drop basket on the ground because I can only hold so many things at once?!"

"I love my Mommy, she's the best."

"After eggs we went to the Cracker Barrel. I ordered a tasteful bowl of carrots & bought a bookmark. Then I picked out a nice chair on the porch."

"I don't even remember what this was about. It had been a long day, okay. Next picture."

"See, I was happy again in 2 seconds but it was definitely time to call it a day."

"I hope you didn't think we were done. Who goes to just one Easter egg hunt a year??? Not Ma Ma & Da Da apparently. I think they were imagining a quaint 16th century stroll through royal gardens to look for eggs with other toddlers in their Sunday best instead of eating the dust of several thousand kids amped up on Easter candy and urged on by a radio announcer to get all the eggs possible."

"Mom found us a nicer hunting ground at a local church."

"It was definitely nicer but I didn't see any eggs."

"Eggs anyone?"

"Would they put eggs in the water?"

"Let's go find some eggs!!!"

"I found the eggs!"

"I had to wait until the announcer said go."

"Is it time yet?"

"Double check my equipment."

"I must say I was very patient."

"I may need a bigger basket."

"What's so special about eggs anyway?"

"I am pretty picture perfect, aren't I?"

"Overall I had a really good time. Next year maybe I'll go to three egg hunts."

"Happy Easter everyone!"