Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Just In!

Jelly shoes are BACK! I saw them a few years ago before Chloe was born and I got her a pair but there were never any in MY size.

I just saw them at Target. You can go see for yourselves.

I will now officially reclaim my childhood.

Original jelly:

Modern jelly:

It's a toss up.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Pseudo Kids

Run run as fast as you can, and while you still can.

Jake's love affair with the PB&J sandwich.

Chloe, wolfing down her peaches, after a lovely bubble bath.

I love this picture! It's really hard to get them to sit still for any amount of time, but he paused and I snapped the photo. I love his eyes and smile.

Fancy Pants Anna!

The sweetest sounds to mortal given are heard in Mother, Home and Heaven.
~William Goldsmith Brown

Anna is one of the very few special people that can say "I was at my own baby shower!" Let me tell you - she was a HOOT. She helped Stacy open all the presents. Anna even put on the sunglasses and POSED for the camera. I'm tell you, this little girl has personality!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I don’t know why but people just give me stuff just because...

15 pairs of almost brand new shoes - all in my size. Cha-ching!

Pink fuzzy bathrobe - from my favorite Jodie.

Expensive foundation – from my CCN (cute cube neighbor).

Patio furniture – the cute white iron kind.

China cabinet - I don't put china in there. I have a Barbie, some plastic cupcakes, some picture frames... but hey it's still a china cabinet

Coffee table - Doug brought it over one day from Karen's house. Then he made fun of my living room wall I had painted. I think I recall the word "half-a**" in there somewhere.

Kitchen table - antique fabulous looking thing from Jenny's house. I love the border carved on the side.

Chairs - from Karen's garage. Really beautiful wood ones with neat carvings.

Computer - ok so it was my parents who gave it to be but it still counts. They gave it to me when I was a grown-up and they could have made me pay.

Day bed - darling iron thing that sleeps two people.

Brand new printer - from Reva and Jeff. Love it!

Cornell dishes - they are still my favorite bowls. Thanks Marlene!

500 frequent flier miles so I can go to Emily's wedding on the airplane instead of 26 hours in the car. Aleuia and thanks Mom! PS Northwest you suck. You made my mom pay 75 dollars to transfer her own miles and you will be seeing a letter from me soon.

And so much more! Aren't people so nice? I love them. And not just because they give me stuff. But hey it's a nice bonus isn't it? And isn't it a great feeling when you give someone something that you aren't going to use and they just love it? Why yes, I think it is.

Happy Giving!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I liked to sing the HEY really loud.

Woke up cold one tuesday,I'm looking tired and feeling quite sick,I felt like there was something missing in my day to day life,So I quickly opened the wardrobe,Pulled out some jeans and a T-Shirt that seemed clean,Topped it off with a pair of old shoes,That were ripped around the seams,And I thought these shoes just don't suit me.

CHORUS: HEY, I put some new shoes on,And suddenly everything is right,I said, HEY, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,It so inviting,Oh, short on money,But long on time,Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,And I'm running late,And I dont need an excuse,'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Woke up late one thursday,And I'm seeing stars as I'm rubbing my eyes,And I felt like there were two days missing,As I focused all the time,And I made my way to the kitchen,But I had to stop from the shock of what I found,A room full of all my friends dancing round and round,And I thought hello new shoes,Byebye them blues.

I might love this song because

a) It's from Dan in Real Life
b) The line "slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine"
c) Yelling HEY
d) I love new shoes
e) Loving the jazzy rhythm
f) It proves that buying new shoes really does make you happy
g) It's sung by a guy name Paolo (sexy!)
h) All of the above

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Versa... Versa... Versatile.

I've been looking for about a month now. I've gone to more than five dealerships. The guy who wanted to buy my car has been emailing me and calling me for a month, just to see if I'm ready to give him my car. I knew I was asking too little! I hoped he would go away but he didn't.
Finally, I am ready to give him my car because I found my new one.

My very first car that I drove as a kid was a Honda hatchback civic. My mom called it her green house on wheels. Shortly after that, my dad bought a brand new Honda Accord. Boy was it fancy and boy was he proud of that car! And then my mom, with her greenhouse car, backed up one day, rolled over a bottle of spray paint, and christened my dad's new car. My dad has learned a lot of patience over the years. The most important thing he learned was NEVER BUY A NEW CAR. And let me tell you, that has been ingrained in each one of us!

My parents bought me a car at college for my Senior year. It was this big ford something. Gold. I called it my gold card. I was jealous of Jill's car cuz she had the silver bullet -- with a very loud muffler. I thought it was pretty cool. My gold card happened to get totaled one month before my mission. Some 17 year old kid in Burger King outfit hit me from behind and it caused me to crash into the mini van ahead of me. We were all fine but I did get the opportunity to go a little hysterical. That was fun. It taught me to hold it together because otherwise the cops do not take you seriously.

My first car that I bought completely on my own was a Chevy Cobalt, stick shift. Gosh it was fun to drive. My sisters were absolutely mortified. I got in the car and knew it was mine. It even came with blanket over the back seat - no extra charge. It was 700 hundred dollars and my dad even kicked in 100 hundred dollars.

My second car was a Geo. This big white car. With a sun roof. I remember getting that car and thinking 'I can't believe my car is so nice!'. That's a little embarrassing to recall. A drunk driver hit that car and it was totaled. And this brings me to the next car.

My dad has a friend who sells cars at a dealership called SunBelt. I went up there and poked around. He said he got a Honda Civic in - 2 door. With a sunroof. And two cup holders. Little did I know that my annoyance with men showing me stupid "selling point" devices in the car would make me want to slap them.

Fast forward to last night. Marla sitting in her pink fuzzy robe looking on She clicked on Feldman Imports in Bloomington, MN and suddenly knew she had found her car. Nissan Versa. Black. Cream interior. Hatchback. Sporty looking thing. I called my Dad and said come on - let's go. I had to give in and bring a man. I'm really not a feminist but I wanted to do it all by myself. I found that it wasn't really that important to have a man along, it was the confidence I had when he was there. I told the guy the price I wanted to pay for the car and he just laughed at me and said well you have the wrong car. That's when I knew I liked this purple striped purple tie wearing souped up hair sprayed gold bracelet accessorizing character. First car guy that I liked. He didn't tip toe. Didn't try to sell me on the dumb features of the car. In fact, he didn't know much about the car. But I really liked his laissez-faire attitude and it worked. I was sold.

So I bought the car. And I hope I love it after six months. Heck, I hope I like it tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Apostles & Stuff

Once in college, they announced that the Utah State Institute Choir was chosen to sing with another college at General Conferece. They began having try-outs for the choir. Only a limited number of people were allowed in. Everyone had to prepare a hymn and be prepared to sing for the choir director. Oh how this Minnesota Mormon prayed! I had never been to conference and I never had been anywhere near the Prophet before and I would do anything to get there! I tried out with 15 million other students and awaited my fate. I waited and waited and waited. And then waited some more. Finally, and you know it's coming, I couldn't wait anymore. I decided to go do a little "checking" of my own. The door to the choir director's office wasn't locked. I couldn't believe I was doing this! Breaking and entering! In a church owned building! But all rational thoughts had flown the coop. I was on a mission. I had to find out if i I was IN or OUT. The master list was conveniently lying on his desk. I started flipping through the list, frantically looking for my name. I got to the Ks and my breathing eyes scanned the list and went to the end of the section... and nothing. My name was not on the list. Crestfallen, I left the office. I noticed, as I left, that I was holding some sort of fancy pen in my hand. I realized in two seconds what I had done - not only had I been guilty of breaking and entering, I had stolen my choir director's $100 dollar pen. I ran back into his office and put it back on his desk. Just as I was coming out of the office the second time, I heard someone at the end of the hall. I quickly shut the door and kept walking and shut my eyes as I silently prayed for a invisibilty shield. The choir director was at the end of the hall but I didn't think he saw me come out of this office. I smiled and said a hurried hello, and calmly kept walking.

What is the point of this mania??

I'll do anything to get near the apostles.

I've met a few apostles in my day. Elder Scott came to visit my mission and we all got to go up, one by one, and shake his hand. I was hyperventilating in line like I normally do with famous people, and got up to meet him for the very first time and this is what came out of my mouth... "You are my favorite apostle". Who says that? I mean, really. It taught me an important lesson. When I meet apostles, I now just say "it's nice to meet you" and leave it at that.

I also had the chance to meet Elder David B. Haight. He had the softest hands ever. And his eyes were so twinkly - just like his cute wife's eyes. They were a darling pair. Inside and out.

And that's about it. Until this past weekend. The Relief Society Stake Presidency was asked to prepare a light dinner for Elder Bednar and the rest of the Stake Presidency and their wives. No one let me cook but I was able to help serve the food. My biggest concern was not spilling anything on or near Elder Bednar. We went in and there he was. Just sitting there like a normal person. He looked older to me close up. And his ears didn't look big enough for an apostle's but I could tell it was him. I shook his hand, said 'nice to meet you' and then we left. Pretty uneventful and nonchalant really, but after was the most interesting part. I've always been a few steps behind with my emotions. It seems to take a while for things to sink in. I don't have automatic reactions to things no matter how hard I try, I need to stew about stuff for a while until I really know how I feel about something. I sat there, during the conference, and I thought about what happened. And how I felt. And how I had just met an apostle. Not just some guy that was here to speak on how to be good and kind and true, but a man who was truly called by God to be a special witness for the Savior Jesus Christ. It was overwhleming the way the warmth covered my heart. And I knew, just like I knew that Thomas S. Monson was our prophet, that Elder Bednar was an apostle.

We live in a time where there is so much unhappiness and darkness. But then I have experiences like these when the light shines so brightly I know there is no way I can get lost.

The rest of the weekend was kind of a blur. I heard so many good and wonderful things. I had so many glimpes of who I wanted to become. And then I woke up Monday morning and went to work. It's the whole starting over thing I guess... something I like to call the Groundhog Day principle (see Bill Murray's Groundhog Day for details). Good thing we have lots of chances to prove ourselves and get it right.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I love pre-licked french fries and chocolatey milk.

I had the BEST meal last night. I went over to Reva and Jeff's house after yet another frustrating experience with car dealerships and found solace in a chaotic family dinner. It certainly did the trick. We had patty melts with Great Harvest bread, curly fries, and baked beans that taste even better with ketchup. Dinner just doesn't get better than that people.

After Chloe said half of the prayer (Dear Heavenly Father MMmmhhhmmm (FADER) Thank you for this day Mmmhmmm (AY!) and blahblahbblah.... & of course the AMEN at the top of their lungs way before the end of the prayer just so they can show their parents that they do in fact know that amen goes at the end of the prayer, Jacob started licking his french fries and putting them on my plate when I wasn't looking. I picked one up and wondered why it was extremely soggy. He just sat there looking at me with those innocent wide eyes. He tried that a few more times before the end of dinner but I was so onto him! Hey! I've officially outwitted a three year old! Yay for me.
Later on that evening, we went downstairs to play in the living room. There's a stove and microwave and fridge thingy. Jacob was very seriuosly making stuff and asked me if I wanted anything.

Marla: Jake. I want a shake. And make it snappy.

Jake: We don't have snappy shakes here.

Marla: Alrighty then. Reva! Is he really only three?

On a random note, or should I just say 'on a note', why do you have to open the milk carton on a certain side? Try to open the wrong side (I dare you) and you get a bold face typed that says OPEN OTHER SIDE. Is it just me or does it make you want to open it that way all the time just to be a rebel? Besides, sometimes you can't get the right side open and you have to take the dangerous route and does anything bad happen to you? Does the carton explode? Does the milk come out of your nose? No!! And I rest my carton, I mean case.

I say no matter how you open it, chocolate milk tastes grand and I love it!

Time for a random movie quote, or should I just say 'movie quote',

"Is that milk chocolatey enough for your sweetheart?" -Nicolas Cage from the movie Family Man

"Uh-huh" - Cutest little actress with a very big chocolate milk mustache.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You Following Me?

Favorite Bumper Stickers:

So many cats, so few recipes.

When life hands you gators, make Gatorade.

I'm pink, therefore I'm SPAM.

Want a little taste of religion? Bite the minister.

Jesus loves you. But I'm his favorite.

If you believe in telepathy, think about honking.

Cats: Nature's speed bumps.

What if the hokey pokey is really what it's all about?

A day without sunshine is like night.

God made us sisters; Prozac made us friends.

You - Off my planet.

And my all time favorite:

Are you following Jesus this closely?

The Holy Land is Calling

Deseret Book’s Israel - Fall 2008
by Deseret Book
Israel: Where Inspiration Awaits You
Holy Land in the fall: 2008
Hosted by: Dr. Kaye Hansen
The long awaited opportunity to visit the land where Jesus lived and taught once again awaits visitors; places you only heard about from Bible stories will come alive. Your scriptures will jump off the pages as Dr. Kaye Hanson shares her insights and a wealth of understanding of the land, its history, its future, and it’s Holy Son.

Day 1, Tuesday October 7, 2008: Today you will leave home and start your magnificent journey to Israel.

Day 2, Wednesday October 8, 2008: Tel Aviv – Jaffa -
Welcome to Israel! As you begin your journey in this ancient land, you will notice that the mountains have hidden secrets and the old ruins have legends. For 3,000 years on this small patch of land, men have toiled and battled; prayed and worshiped; and added their own small humanity to the history of this country. Listen and let the land of Israel tell you the stories of its past. Sitting on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Jaffa still stands as one of the world’s oldest ports. Tradition claims that Jaffa was settled by Noah’s youngest son when the Flood receded; and ever since it’s founding, Jaffa has been a center of commerce, activity and historical events. Located in one of the small alleyways, visit Simon the Tanner’s house that remains a monument to the wonderful revelation Peter the Apostle received to go and preach the gospel to all the world. Depending on your arrival time, you will have free time to stroll the beach in Tel Aviv or take a short nap in your room at the Grand Beach Hotel(or similar) before our group welcome dinner and meeting.

Day 3, Thursday October 9, 2008: Caesarea - Mt. Carmel - Megiddo - Nazareth – Village of Cana – Tiberias -
“And on the morrow, they entered into Caesarea…Cornelius thy prayer is heard.” Enter Caesarea, remains of a city founded by Herod, residence of Pontius Pilate and a prison for Paul. Sit in the well-preserved amphitheater overlooking the blue sea and hear the story of Paul’s conversion of the Centurion. The scenery begins to change to the beautiful green pastures and high rolling hills of the Jezreel Valley as we approach Mt Carmel where the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal contested their faith. Not far away is Megiddo, the tragic site of ancient bloody battles where nations were won and lost. Upon these same tragic fields, the great and terrible last battle of Armageddon will be fought. Journey next to Nazareth, the quaint town where Jesus Christ spent his childhood, learned his earthly vocation as a carpenter and grew and waxed strong in spirit. We will see the village of Cana, where Christ turned water into wine before heading to Tiberias where we will spend the night.

Day 4, Friday October 10, 2008: Tiberias Branch - Mt. Tabor – Nazareth – Sea of Galilee - Today we will return to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation where the Archangel Gabriel delivered his message to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. We will spend time at the Church of the Synagogue, a location similar to one Christ would have taught at. “And he lifted up his hands and blessed them…while he blessed them, he was carried up into heaven.” Mount Tabor is one of the mountains traditionally claimed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. You will thrill to the almost hair-raising ride up the mountain, but once at the summit, you will feel the peace and calm of the surrounding valley. Your trip to the North would not be complete without a stop by the newly purchased and dedicated LDS branch building in Tiberias. You will travel to the shores of the Beloved Sea of Galilee. You will sail upon the Sea to view the area of Jesus Christ’s early ministry. As the wind carries your boat, note the halo of mountains that surrounds its shores. It is special moments like this for which you came to Israel.

Day 5, Saturday October 11, 2008: Capernaum - Mount of Beatitudes - Dan Caesarea Philippi - Golan Heights –
A visit to Capernaum, the place where Jesus lived and recruited His first followers is on the agenda for this Sabbath. Stand on the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, after a brief Sacrament Service, and ponder the great events that took place here. You will also travel further north in order to walk through the nature reserve of Tel Dan, sight of Jeroboam’s ancient Temple in Solomon’s divided kingdom. At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus Christ proclaimed his divinity to his disciples, ordained Peter, and declared revelation to be “the rock” upon which the church was built. Pass the Golan Heights as you travel back to the valley of the Galilee.

Day 6, Sunday, October 12, 2008: Jordan River - Bet She’ an – Gideon’s Spring – Jericho – Bethany – Jerusalem -
Today you will stop to visit the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan River. It is here that people from around the world, representing diverse denominations, still come to be baptized. You will then take a short ride to the ancient tel of Bet She’an, where 6,000 years of civilization seem to unfold among the ruins. It is believed to be the very Bet She’an of the Old Testament where the former King of Israel, Saul, was fastened to the city wall without his head by the conquering Philistines. Leaving the fertile valleys of the Galilee, we will stop at Gideon’s Spring, where the great lesson of trust was taught between God, Gideon, and his warriors. We visit Mt. Gilboa. It was here that Saul, the first king of Israel and his sons died fighting the Philistines. We will then travel down the Jordan Valley on our way to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Leaving Jericho, we pass the Judean Wilderness where the Savior had his 40-day
spiritual experience and continue to Bethany, a small town on the other side of the Mount of Olives, to see the tomb in which Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. At last you will ascend to the beloved city of Jerusalem where we will stay for 6 nights at the Sheraton Plaza or similar.

Day 7, Monday, October 13, 2008: Western Wall – Davidson Center – City of David – Hezekiah’s Tunnel –
This morning you will be welcomed to Jerusalem from a beautiful overlook of the city. Afterwards the group will continue to the Old City. The Western Wall is the most important site in all of Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. You will also visit the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount, and walk the paths Jesus trod. The archeological park of the Davidson Center gives you the chance to see recently unearthed ruins as well as see a virtual tour of how the Temple Mount might have been during Herodian times. The oldest part of Jerusalem is located on a ridge that slopes downhill where the present Old City of David now sits. Whether you choose the dry or wet tunnel, the tour of Hezekiah’s Tunnel will be something you will never forget. This remarkable structure hid Jerusalem’s water supply from the Assyrians and thus saved the city from destruction.

Day 8, Tuesday, October 14, 2008: Old City- Dome of the Rock - Room of The Last Supper – Caiaphas’ House -
Above the western wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Other stops today will include the House of Caiaphas, which owns the dark and sad dungeon that once imprisoned the Savior. To experience the cold dismal cells and feel the sorrow and grieving of such a place, brings understanding and gratitude to our hearts. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda. You will also visit St. Anne’s Cathedral and Sister of Sion. Discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, erected over what some believe to be the possible site of the crucifixion. Located in the old quarter of Jerusalem, is the site believed to be the Room of the Last Supper. Devoid of gilded statues or ornate chapels, the quiet simplicity and elegance of this room helps one to focus on the words of Christ and the poignant last moments with his beloved disciples. (B,L,D)

Day 9, Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Ein Gedi - Qumran - Dead Sea – Masada -
We enter the strange and barren desert of the Dead Sea. Once the Biblical Lands of Moab and Edom, the Dead Sea basin has been a refuge to prophets, zealots and outcasts throughout time. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the Essenes, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Further south lies Ein Gedi, the oasis where David hid from King Saul. From the desert floor, ascend by cable car to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, where a community of 960 Jews preferred death at their own hands to the indignity of surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. While at the Dead Sea, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the buoyant waters and bathe in the wonderful medicinal mud! Even Cleopatra sent her slaves to retrieve this magical mud in order to preserve her legendary beauty.

Day 10, Thursday, October 16, 2008: Israel Museum - Shrine of the Book - Yad Veshem Holy Land Model -Bethlehem - Shepherd's Field -
Discover the treasures of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the site chosen to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. This unique building is shaped like the ancient pottery in which the precious scrolls lay hidden for thousands of years. We will also visit the Holy Land Model, a unique scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The model visually explains the layout of the ancient city as well as the design and magnitude of the Second Temple. One of the most memorable pages of Jewish history unfolds as we visit Yad Veshem, the official memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi-wrought Holocaust in Europe. Music, bells and churches adorn the little town of Bethlehem for it was here that the Light of the World was given mortal life. Pilgrimages, sacred holidays and festivities occur all year long to celebrate the birth of Christ. Tradition holds that the small humble inn with just a stable for lodging was located where the Church of the Nativity now stands. Shepherds still tend their flocks on the fields overlooking Bethlehem just as they did over 2,000 years ago when the angel appeared bringing them glad tidings of great joy. Gathered on these fields, we sing the beloved hymns and listen to the wondrous story – a Christmas celebration to be cherished for years to come.

Day 11, Friday, Friday, October 17, 2008: Mt. of Olives – BYU Jerusalem Center – Free Time -
This morning you will have another view of Jerusalem, from the Mt. of Olives. After which, we will visit the BYU Jerusalem Center for a brief tour and to attend a short organ concert. The setting of this magnificent building will warm your heart as you learn the story of how the Center came to be. Afternoon will bring you time to finish any shopping you would like to do or return to visit any sites you would have liked to linger longer at. You may want to plan on spending a portion of your free time at the Western Wall just before sunset to see the Bride of the Sabbath Celebration. Your heart will be left with the question, “Do you welcome the Sabbath in such a joyous manner?”

Day 12, Saturday, October 18, 2008: Mount of Olives - Garden of Gethsemane - Garden Tomb Begin with a visit to the Orson Hyde Park on the Mount of Olives and then attend Sacrament Services at the remarkable BYU Jerusalem Center. The full-length windows of the chapel reveal a breath-taking view of the Old City and the Dome of the Rock. At the beautiful Garden Tomb, there is a limestone hill, which many revere as Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. Just around that hill is an old cemetery with an ancient tomb that once held the Savior’s mortal body and saw its glorious resurrection. There is a sign on the door of the tomb that says, “Do not look for Him here for He is risen”. You will never forget this moment in your life as you look for Him, not in the tomb but within your own life. Casting one’s eyes to the south our gaze rests on the Mount of Olives on whose slopes the Garden of Gethsemane lies nestled. Feel the powerful spirit in the Garden as you envision the momentous events, which took place at this sacred site. You’ll have ample time to spend in thought at both the Garden of Gethsemane and Garden Tomb. Late evening departure for USA.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Say No To Skin Cancer

Hey kids! Here's a website to find a doctor that is participating in a free screening for skin cancer... you can't find one in every state, and I'm little annoyed they don't have one in Minnesota, but there are a lot of other states listed so take a look-see.

Wear sunscreen all the time! It makes you look younger and it will stop the doctor from cutting chunks of skin off your face!
The A, B, C, D & E's of Skin Cancer
Learning how to check yourself for signs of skin cancer is the easiest and most important step in reducing your skin cancer risks.

Stand in front of a mirror and check your entire body for moles, freckles, birthmarks or other unusual spots. Use a hand mirror to check any hard-to-see places. Examine each one, and if you notice any showing any signs of the symptoms described below, contact your dermatologist and schedule a skin exam immediately.

Asymmetrical: Most early melanomas are asymmetrical, meaning a line through the middle would not create matching halves. Common moles are round and symmetrical.

Borders: The borders of early melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped, notched and fuzzy edges. Common moles have smoother, more even borders.

Colors: Common moles usually are a single shade of brown. Varied shades of brown, tan or black can be the first sign of melanoma, and may progress to the colors red, white and blue.

Diameter: Early melanomas usually grow larger than common moles — generally to at least the size of a pencil eraser (about 6mm or ¼" in diameter).

Evolving: When a mole is evolving (changing), see a doctor. Be alert for any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching, crusting or any other trait — in an existing mole.

Here Today Gone to Maui

Gorgeous Maui Sunset

Darling Tristy & Peter

We caught the sunset at Whaler's village on our last night in Maui.

Oh the palm trees!!

We all got hooked on the novels by Sophie Kinsella. Our favorites were Can you Keep a Secret? and The Undomestic Goddess.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rochester, Beloved City

Honestly - who doesn't love a good old fashioned corn water tower? Obviously Rochester is the kind of town that takes corns seriously and I commend them for it.
Fabulous restaurant called Chester's (not to be confused with Chester Copperpot from Goonies). Laura, Stacy, Anna, Jana, & and I went to dinner on Saturday night. Yum-O food and to die for desserts - literally. That poor bread pudding didn't stand a chance. Bestest creamy-ist carmel sauce EVER not to mention the whipped cream straight from heaven. Of course it was tough to hold a candle to the 'lime-air' that we ate at Redstone. (Lime-air has been copyrighted by Laura so don't get any ideas about using it to describe your key lime pie folks).
The most darling craft store. I love their patchwork quilts. And the way it smells when you walk in the store. You can buy homemade potpourri. And rugs. And signs for your wall. And they have the soy candle beads. Love it!
Now, they changed the logo and that's kind of annoying because I liked the old one. It made me feel like I was saving more money. The plus side is that they got a Payless shoe store inside Shopko and they carry brands like American Eagle. Fun. I now have three more pairs of shoes.
I discovered this thrift store because it was next to the Crafty Mouse in Miracle Mile. Love it. Seriously great deals.
Sister Rosalind's massage school! 40 dollars for one hour for a student massage. Can your muscles say HAPPY? They have a few here but they aren't as cheap.

And let's not forget the Goodwill. The Rochester Goodwill is a freakin gold mine, just like Jane Austen (The Jane Austen Book Club - from MOVIE not the sicko book and wait a second, it was Jane Austen was a freakin LAND mind - not gold mine...).

All of these things are great about Rochester. But the most important things there are not stores and restaurants... it's my fun extended happy little clam family!

Highlights from this weekend:

Marla: I'm starving. I'd like to eat a hamburger.
Stacy: I'd like to keep my toe. (Stacy had some issues this weekend)

Everyone singing along to High School Musical - Anna's favorite.

Stacy: What I really love about this restaurant is that we get the bread basket in the middle of dinner.

Marla: Jana wants to go to SHOPKO!

Laura: Jana, do you think it will occur to Marla to let the dog out? If she scratches at the door and stuff? Jana: No.

Laura: Is Marla going to want to take a nap? Jana: Yes.

Homemade Pizza Company. Yum.

Dan in Real Life. (LOVE THAT MOVIE!! Steve Carell, if you're reading this, please do more tender hearted movies like that and spare me the embarrassment and awkwardness from watching The Office!).

Anna with her pink diva sunglasses on in the backseat.

Stacy spilling coffee all over the front of her coat for 15 minutes.

Laura jumping out of bed like the house was on fire.

Laura in her neck brace.

Marla raiding Laura's sweaters from the 70's.

Happy little clams!! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hurrah for Israel!

Interesting fact to mention. Marla signed up for a trip to Israel and checked out the itinerary. I will be at the Dead Sea on my actual birthday. The DEAD SEA people. Is that a tragic coincidence or something to chuckle about?

Ok, at least I got a chuckle out of it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baby Boom

No, I'm not referring to Reva. I'm referring to the 80's movie. Have you seen it? One of my personal favorites from my childhood.

Remember the part where she's trapped inside her perfect Victorian house and it's snowing? She's become so bored that she started making applesauce. She opens the cupboard and it shows 5 million jars. There simply isn't any more room.

That's the perfect way to describe Minnesota winters. Being trapped in winter with a crazy case of cabin-fever that seems to creep into all parts of your life. It makes you do and think some pretty crazy things.

Things I've done and/or thought so far during these frozen not-going-to-die-without-a-fight winter months:
  • Painted my bathroom green on the spur of the moment
  • Painted hot pink over part of my green wall just to see what it looked like (not exactly how I imagined it would)
  • Researched staying in a Convent for a month or relocating to Arizona, Texas, Mexico, or Afganistan.
  • Planned a trip to Maui (ok that was the least uncrazy thing I've done my entire life)
  • Attempted a few too many unsuccessful recipes... some people say cooking relaxes them...however for me it does the opposite and usually ends in some expletive.
  • Decided Israel is the place where I will spend my next birthday. Hopefully it won't be in some prison nor will it involve handcuffs, torture or me with my kneecaps blown out.

This what I found on the internet when I typed in "ways to cure winter boredom".

I found this article that listed way to deal with the cold and at first I was like ok there's a few good ideas here... that is until I saw that the writer was from SACRAMENTO! SACRAMENTO! Listen lady, you have NO RIGHT to write articles with any sort of winter in the title when you live in SACRAMENTO! Someone should seriously take away your computer. Wussie. Make that ULTRA wussie. Sacramento... for Pete's sake.

Ok. I'm over it now.

Wait, no I'm not. People in California have no idea what Minnesotans go through during the winter time. People in California do not know what Winter is all about. They can never be JELLO. NEVER GONNA BE JELLO. Ok? Minnesota is JELLO. California is Creme Brulet.

Ok. I'm really over it now.

Minnesota will soon be break dancing into yet a long and overdue but highly welcome Spring. Some of us will weep for joy when that finally happens. If you see me breaking down on the side of the road some gorgeous spring afternoon, no worries. It's just a tradition. It'll all be over in about 5-10 minutes.

Cheers to Spring!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Behold, the Cupholders and Other Fine Features...

The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. You probably aren’t even reading the simple disclaimer because it's an easy part to skip over. However, if you or someone on your Facebook page happens to personally know, sort of know, know the brother/cousin of, thought you saw in the grocery store buying Spring Oreos or have a Jazzercise instructor that looks exactly like one of the car salesmen in the area…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people. And here we go...

"Michael Albano of GM's global design group says women's influence in the automotive market has hit an all-time high, noting 85 percent of all vehicle sales decisions are influenced by women with women buying 45 percent of all vehicles." (taken from

My questions is if this is really truly the case, WHY are the people at dealerships treating women so stupidly? Not mean, not sarcastic, just stupid.

I had to suppress my laughter as the men described the "features" of the car. Fascinating things really, such as...

CUPHOLDERS (woo-hoo! hold me back). I mean, really, what am I supposed to say to that? I said "uh-huh - nice." Is that really a selling point for some people? Maybe it is for someone like Jessica Simpson who already has 25 cars, but a 20 something woman (ok so sue me, I lie about my age) who says she wants a low mileage non-ugly anti-grandma looking car with a nice color on the outside? I think not. And for the record, I don't really care about cupholders.

Change drawer. Are you crapping me? If I do buy this car, I'll be broke for the rest of life and I won't have any coins left to put in the stupid change drawer anyway. However I do like the kind that hold the individual coins. They pop up after you take one out. Fun. But again, selling point? I can't find one.

And then there was the guy who drove along with me who reminded me of my old driver's ed instructor. The memories came flooding back and I was suddenly very nervous to drive in front of him. The funny thing was that the more I kept asking about mileage and price, the more he kept switching the subjects to the color of the car, the interior, or the trunk size (my how much luggage you could fit into this car!). I found myself fighting the urge to lift up my hand, bang it with my other, and say "Is this ON?!".

I have to say that I liked the people at Chevy the best. They were friendly, old-fashioned, and the guy that was helping me was really attractive and kind of looked like Leo from Charmed.

Lessons learned:

Test driving is FUN!
Be prepared.
Go with a man.
Go with a man who will buy you a car.
Don't buy a new car.
Read the consumer reports.

Monday, April 7, 2008

General Conference Rocks My World (look! who knew they had a website?! ok so maybe it was only me that didn't know...)

My favorite talk was by Elder Gerald Lund. He talked about having an open heart.,5239,49-1-851,00.html

Ready... Set... Open open OPEN - just like the Mervyn's commerical.

Things I've decided since watching conference:
  • Elder Packer's ears are seriously darling.
  • President Uchtdorf is the most attractive apostle.
  • President Monson is pretty darn hilarious (don't touch the microwave, or the washing machine, or the oven, or the dryer...).
  • It is not possible to lie in bed and listen to conference without falling asleep.
  • I am so privileged to be part of something so incredible, far reaching, and life changing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My new favorite cookie

You can get your own at Great Harvest because I already ate mine.
The name: Derby cookie.
The ingredients: chocolate chips, oatmeal, nuts, and some kind of wonderful (great movie) gooey caramel.
The point: Try it, you'll like it.

Why yes Sawyer, I'd love you to make me a mixed tape.

Here's what I would put on it... while you're at it, will you puh-lease figure out how to start the new episodes sooner? The reruns are driving me insane. Thanks Sawyer - you da man.

For the longest time - Billy Joel
Something about his voice.

Danny's song - Kenny Loggins
And even though we ain't got money,I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.
I really don't want to ever be poor, but the good thing about that is that if I ever am, this song will mean even more to me when I sing it at the top of my lungs in my car.

Manic Monday - The Bangles
CLASSIC girl song.

Forever Young - who knows
It was playing for some car commerical where the kids are dancing in their prom dresses in the middle of the street.

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
HEY you would have to like him too if you parents made you listen to him all the time

Somewhere over the Rainbow - Brudder IZ
The big Hawaiian dude.

Time after Time, Girls just wanna have fun - Cyndi Lauper
More classic girl songs. I can't help it people. Just take me as I am.

How to Save a Life - The Fray
No matter how many times I hear it, I never get sick of it.

Hopes and Fears (entire album) - Keane
Loooooooove it! (read this with sing song voice)

I Can't Fight this Feeling - REM
Singing in the car in California with Brigette and Cindy at the top of our lungs.

I Want You to Want Me! - Trick Pony
Dawson's creek where Joey sings on stage.

Girls and Boys - Ingrid Michaelson
Breakable breakable breakable girls and boys.

Medicine - Brenda Weiler
Catchy guitar.

Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Another classic! Kick off your Sunday shoes!

Islands in the Stream - Dolly Parton
Guilty pleasure.

And Sawyer, if you have some favorites, you can add them too. No twangy country please.

xoxoxo, Marla

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Goodwill towards Marla

My favorite stores:


Do you see a theme here? All of these stores require a fair amount of "digging". That's part of the process of finding great buys. If I don't have to dig, then I've missed out on most of the fun.

Last night I took a drive down to one of my favorite Goodwills... the Shakopee one. Clearly, it's located in hick town, but the other side of that coin means that it's not thoroughly gone over like most other Goodwills say like in Minneapolis for example. And yes, there is a difference between Goodwills. I'd like to do a little shout-out to the one in Rochester - way to go! Love ya!

My favorite finds from last night:

The best of Friends - four pack of VCR tapes for 3.99
Handmade sweater by Ellen (seriously that's what the tag says) 4.99
The most unique oversized straw handbag 4.99
Dress from Target with the tags still on it 6.99
Velvet teal jacket with silk trim- biggest purchase of the night @ 8.99
Piece of artwork with tall trees in frame 2.99
Basket of flowers 2.99
Movie trivia game 1.99
Brand new brown leather belt from Target 1.99

Ok so maybe all of my buys were my favorite! So shoot me! I love it! So fun.

What was even more funny about last night was that it was Senior citizens night. That means that everything for people 65+ is an additional 25% off. I would've saved 12.50 had I been over 65. Something to look forward to.

My question is WHY? Why would they give a Senior discount? Don't you think the old ladies have enough crap in their house already? Have you ever seen the people walking around Goodwill and looked in their cart? It's embarrassing! I want to say you really don't need another crock pot or that snowman statue is horrendous! or are you competely crapping me or are you really buying that set of dishes with Holly Hobby on it? (ok so I might buy the dishes, childhood memory here people).

I talked with a cute old lady there last night. I don't know why people talk to me but they do. They tell me their whole life story and just start random conversations. I don't mind it - I find it entertaining. This certain lady had her cart FULL with random things. I was too busy looking at my own stuff to care what she had in hers. She was asking me what I thought this ball type object was. I guessed that it was a hamster ball. It wasn't the end of the discussion. She was telling me how much fun she was having. And how she'd bought she many treasures, and many duds. And that she'd probably do it again next week! I could relate! I was having fun too!! And I looked down at my cart and it was full too... maybe I am 65+ and no one told me...

Here's to many more good years of shopping at thirft stores. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Here today, gone to Maui

Hawaii 2008 Quotes

Dude – Where’s my aloe? - Mary, after getting fried by the sun.

Hello! It’s the running team! – People who saw our group running in the a.m. near the beach.

Da*& birds! – Marla, commenting on the birds who chirped every morning, louder than should even be possible.

We all should’ve taken sleeping pills! – Marla, after waking up at 4 a.m. with everyone awake.

We’re in MAUI! – Karen – when we were looking at the beach from our balcony

Whose bowl and spoon is that? Who ate all the Oreos? Everyone - we have to label our waters! – Jenny

Don’t be so scared Marla! Come with me. – Breeanna to Marla swimming in the ocean.

This is where all of the shar… I mean FISH were…-Mary, whispering to her mom when I was around because I freak out about sharks.

Brothers and Sisters – ALOHA! – Sacrament meeting in Maui.

Kicking someone off the island has a whole new meaning now. – Marla

Woo-hoo! Let’s find a boyfriend! I feel like honking! - Jenny, passing a pack of Hells Angels.

Oh look! A cow!! – Jenny
That’s a horse Jenny. – Karen

And here we have ZERO VISIBILITY! – Marla on the top of the volcano that was supposed to have the crater the size of Manhattan – we’ll never know will we?

And these whales only eat girls in big white hats. – Guide on the whale watching boat. I happened to be wearing a big white hat.

Oh my gosh! It smells nasty! It smells like nature! – Mary

Look at the purple leaves!! – Jenny
They are flowers Jenny. – Karen
Give Breeanna your napkin – Paul to Tristy
No! My lips are still messy!! – Tristy, age 4

Let’s flash our wristbands from Maui instead of engagement rings. It’ll be more fun. - Marla

There’s fish in there! – Marla, pointing to the ocean.
Yes, it’s called the ocean. – Jenny

We’re sitting in a HOT TUB in MAUI!! – Karen

You make 75,000 a year. – Sales guy signing me up for the time share presentation.
Um yeah I totally do. – Marla, lying through her teeth.

$15,000 dollars! That’s a steal!! – Marla, in the time share presentation.

What are those whales saying? - Marla
Let’s go eat Marla – Randy

We’ve have 15 root beer floats please. – Paul at the restaurant after whale watching.

This is way better than the zoo! – Marla, whale watching.

I thought my eye ball was going to pop out. – Randy on diving to see the sea turtles.

I don’t eat fish. – Jenny, while eating Mahi Mahi

Marla, you missed yoga class on the beach – Jenny
I wouldn’t pay money to look that stupid. - Marla

Hey shell lady! Is this your phone? - Random people on the beach who saw me picking up shells on the beach.

Finally... a reasonable goal.

My dear friend Carla came to visit. And she brought me a present. A t-shirt with this motto. Her friend Melissa designed it and sells them on her website. Gotta love stuff like this!

Our Newest Addition - Welcome Anna!

My dear cousin Stacy has spent quite a lot of time in Africa these past couple years. She worked at an orphanage ( and helped adoptions go through for Americans. She came home with a beautiful 2 year old little girl named Anna. She's as sweet and gentle as can be. Anna is holding a Hawaiin Hello Kitty that I bought her at Hilo Hattie's in Maui. I think she liked it!

The kids! (me included - as a KID - and hey if you don't make yourself feel young, no one else is gonna)

The hug. It was like a Hallmark commerical with no words.
Welcome sweet Anna!! We love you already!

Chloe turned 2!

Oh gosh. You know those little girls that just look at you and your heart melts? Well that's my Chloe. She is a huge ray of sunshine... smiling all the time... doing the little head tilt thing... and grinning until you'd think her mouth might break... she is completely endearing. She had a fabulous birthday. Dora is her favorite thing - anything with Dora on it is a hit. My Aunt Karen gave her a Dora suitcase and as she tore off the paper in one long sweep she let out this squeal/scream sound that I've never heard come from a child so small! She loved it! Kids totally have things figured out - they enjoy life, forget stuff and move on, have snack time and take naps every day. Pure GENIUS.

I gave Chloe a basket full of Dora stuff. She had Dora slippers, a Dora zip-up sweatshirt, a few little purses (because she's always taking my purse and walking around with it), and this darling PUMA outfit in pink.

Of course she had to have a Dora cake too. Culprit = Grandma K!

Happy Birthday sweet Chloe. We are so happy to have you with us.