Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post for 2011

Wow. This is my last post of 2011. 
Kinda mind blowing how fast the year went. 
I am truly grateful for all the incredible experiences I had! 

Since I'm in the mood for pictures, and because it makes sense during the Holidays, here are some more.

Our ward Christmas party. Both of us were just getting over the Attack of the Stomach Bug, so we weren't feeling spectacular. Despite this, we still got out on the dance floor and had a good time.

Grandma D. sent this amazing Christmas outfit for Bubs! We love it and it was perfect for Christmas and family pictures!

Oh yeah, the pants don't quite fit yet. 
No biggie.

Remember that one time Bubs got in a fight with a chair?
The chair won, in case you were wondering. 

Just another "boy mark" painted on his sweet forehead. 
I think that's number 493 since he's starting walking... 

Oh, and by the way, he now has 2 molars.
No joke.
His teeth total is currently: 10

Of course we had to take pictures of ourselves.
Yes, I do gangsta lips when I take pictures of myself.
Yes, my husband has a very large tongue.
Yes, we're awesome.

Our brother in law (to-be) wanted in on the fun.
Somehow he positioned himself perfectly,
And the camera thought it'd be better to focus on his face.
Go figure.

We made Amish bread.
Lots of Amish bread.
3 double batches of Amish bread.
Way too much Amish bread.
Most was given away. Thank Goodness.

Our last day in KC we had a little cake eating practice run.
He did not like that hat.

He couldn't quite figure out what to do with the cake.

We had to help him a little bit.
A lot actually.

He started to get the hang of it, but I'm not sure he actually really ingested anything. 
I guess it's better that way, right?

For Christmas this year, I think everyone decided I need to cook.
Or maybe they thought I really enjoy cooking, which I do, so they got me cooking stuff.
I got the Our Best Bites Calendar (with recipes) and Our Best Bites cookbook from my brother.
I got a super cute apron and Our Best Bites cookbook from my mother in law (yes, that's 2 of the same cookbook).
Mister Man and I got a KitchenAid from my parents. 

Needless to say, I was thrilled! 
Still am, actually.
The cookbook looks incredible. Every. Single. Recipe. looks amazing!
(my sister took the extra copy so now we can be cooking buds)

And of course, we cannot forget this:
I used it for the first time last night to make cookies. 
Though it will take some time to figure out how to work with it. 
I may or may not have had flour all over everywhere during the process of cookies.
Who cares? Not me!

Highlights of 2011:
-having a baby boy in January!
-finally overcoming the post baby roller coaster of emotions.
-surviving an insane season of Tornadic activity in the Midwest
-first trip to Arkansas.
-Fair St. Louis and fireworks on 4th of July
-countless trips to the zoo, Forest Park, surrounding parks, botanical gardens, and city gardens
-making really great girlfriends and getting together for lunch dates and craft nights
-Mister Man finishing 4/10th's of Chiropractic school!
-visiting my parents in KC many, many times
-having Mister Man's parents visit here 3 times
-a trip back to Utah
-enjoying the company of our in laws only 20 minutes away!
-and so much more!

May 2012 be an even better year! I'm counting on it. Are you?

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Hope you have a wonderful, safe, holiday! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas week

Well, life happens sometimes. I can't really comprehend the fact that my last post was dated December 12 and it is now December 26. I can only think about everything that has happened in that space of time.

Some of the things include:
-a 24 hour stomach bug that hit hard and fast. First me, then my man. Bubs didn't seem too affected by it.
-Mister Man finished finals and started his break until January 10th (yay!)
-we made lots of Christmas treats, wrapped lots of presents, and packed for our trip
-I gave the Christmas lesson in YW the week before Christmas
-And lots of other random things I can't remember.

Then we left for our trek across the state to visit my family for Christmas. It rained.
For 2 1/2 straight hours of driving.
And when I say rained, I really mean poured.
Not. Fun.

Since we've been here, we've been busy doing all kinds of crazy things.
-cooking more treats
-shooting guns at my aunt and uncle's
-shopping, shopping, shopping (while I stayed home with the boys)
-two days of different people getting hit with the stomach bug (we were exempt)
-lots of Halo playing (for the boys)
-a visit to Santa at the mall
-a paintballing trip for the boys
-a pedicure trip for the girls

After visiting Santa.
Pictures of that to come.

Getting ready for paintball!

80's Flashback!
None of the boys came prepared with paintball-able clothes, so they pulled out some of dad's old stuff.

Bubs likes Oklahoma Joe's too!!

The whole Fam Damily at Okie Joe's on Christmas Eve.
So. Delicious. 
Better than Pappy's.
By a long shot.

Nothing says Christmas like a Halo game in the background.
I've never seen so many presents under a tree before. 
And they were all opened Christmas Eve.
Yes, we're non-traditional.

It's been a fun, crazy, busy, trip and we've enjoyed almost every second of it!

Now if we could just remind Bubs that he knows how to sleep for 12 hours straight without waking up to eat, we would be even happier. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Moments

There's a country song I love called "Little Moments"
When I was a teenager and dating, I especially loved it. 
It was one of those cuddle and snuggle with a boy songs. 
I knew every word. 
Still do. Kinda.

The best line of the song is "Yeah, I live for little moments like that." 

I know we all have Little Moments in our life. 
Here are some of my most recent:

-When my very active baby cuddles on my lap and falls asleep in my arms.
-When my husband listens quietly to an emotional outburst and then softly and tenderly reminds me of -exactly what I should be doing instead of what I am doing. 
-When I see a six year old girl, complete stranger, hang her face out the window of a car on a cold afternoon and then proceed to frantically wave with an ear to ear grin.
-When my husband surprises me with flowers, making dinner, and renting a movie because he knows I had a rough day and that I need a break.
-When my baby sits on my lap for more than 10 minutes playing a game with me.
-When my baby has giggle fits and keels over on my lap during the same game.
-When my husband comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist while I finish the dishes.
-When I see my baby happily playing in a box.
-When I hear a four year old boy say "Look, Mommy! Jesus gave us bread!"
-When my hubby says "Go get mom!" and my baby walks around the corner, across the room, and comes right to my lap with a big smile.
-When I laugh my guts out with my sister-in-law for no real good reason while everyone else looks at us like we're crazy.
-When my husband holds me and tells me everything is going to be alright.
-When I feel the sweet peace, comfort, and assurance that only comes from God, letting me know that I did something right or that I'm doing okay.

Yeah, I live for little moments like that.

Cousins. Bet ya couldn't tell.

Everyone needs a Bubs hug!

Apparently this little Dragon hates Mizzou so much he was scared of his little Tigger friend.

Nothin' like a bare baby bum.

Instead of helping, I took a picture.
I like to focus on the most important things.

"Hey mom, need a wipe?"


And because we all know, the only thing a kid needs to be happy is a box.
(this was not posed nor the smile encouraged. he was really this happy)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding my Identity

The dishes are done.
Dinner is cleaned up.
A load of laundry just finished in the washer.
Bubs is down for the night (but still whining).
Mister Man went to study.

And I'm here.

Sometimes I blog for me. To remind me of things that are more important and things I've neglected. This is one of those times.

Life is not always easy. I don't like sugar coating things. I don't like portraying the image that being a mom is a walk in the park. I don't feel right about trying to convince everyone I have it all together. Because I don't.

Every day I learn something new about myself. Oftentimes those lessons are hard to swallow.

I want alot of things.
I want to be perfect. I want to have it all together. I want my house to be clean every second of every day. I want to always be cheerful about doing the dishes, laundry, and cleaning the bathrooms. I want to spend hours studying my scriptures. I want to not worry about my bank account and not wonder if we'll have enough to pay all the bills next month. I want to be debt free. I want to know and understand deep doctrine of the gospel. I want to talk, visit, and spend time with friends without those moments of feeling awkward, feeling left out, not knowing where I fit in. I want to spend time reading blogs, finding new recipes, and staying in touch with friends, but I want to not be sucked in for hours on end. I want to be the perfect wife who has a fairy tale romance with her husband. I want to be gorgeous and skinny with perfect hair, skin, and makeup. I want people to like me.

I often want all of these things at the same time.

In reality, most of these things, in fact probably all of these things, are never going to happen all at once.

As a teenager I thought that after I got married, life would be easier.
I got married and life brought new challenges.
A couple years later I thought after I had a baby I would fit in more and relate better to people around me.
I had a baby and I'm still trying to identify where I fit in.

I worry about what people think of me.
What if I say the wrong thing? What if I do the wrong thing? What if I try to tell a story that I think is funny and it comes across super lame? What if I show up wearing the wrong outfit? What if I write something on my blog and it makes someone think differently about me?

I think part of life is identifying who you really are as a person. When I was a teenager I felt the identity of busy, dancer, outgoing, fun, girl. When I was in college I felt the identity of ballroom, teaching, boy crazy, and disliked by some of my roommates. Right after I got married I felt newly wed, good wife, good homemaker, invited others over alot, spent time with family, kept busy with school, taught in my own classroom.

Now that we've moved away from family and we've had a baby, I think I'm struggling a little more to find my identity. I'm struggling to understand where I fit in with my friends. I'm figuring out how to interact with people and not come across as young or immature. I'm learning how to be a mom and take care of my child in social situations. I'm still learning what my role is as a young women leader. I'm trying to figure out how to balance everything.

I really don't have it all together and I'm far from perfect.

All of these things get really overwhelming really quickly. Wouldn't it just be easier to not care what someone thinks of you? Never wonder what people are saying behind your back? Never second guess things you've said or done? My husband is really good at this. I'm not.

Lucky for me, in the bigger picture, many of these things really don't matter that much.

What matters is that I know I am a daughter of God. 

When I can look at myself in the mirror, recognize my greatness, realize my potential, and understand God's love for me, then other things will fall into place.

Who cares if my kitchen is a disaster, the laundry isn't done, the bathrooms haven't been cleaned for months, and my bank account is low. In the end, it doesn't matter.

Life is too short to be so worried and consumed about what other people think of me. Too short for me to focus on whether or not I said or wore the right thing.

What matters most is my relationship with Christ, Heavenly Father, my husband, and myself. 

I hope that as I continue on in this journey called life, I can learn the things I need to to bring me closer to my Savior and understanding God's plan for me. I think if I can do that, I will feel more peace and confidence in other situations. May each of you, if you so desire, strive to do the same.

Moroni 10:32
Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may beeperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Learning is growing

Do you ever have those days where you decide to check out your bank account, just to see what's going on, and suddenly it feels like you swallowed a bowling ball that's settled in your stomach?

Yeah, that just happened to me.

I feel like taking back every Christmas present we bought, selling everything we own, and crawling into a cave.

Not really. That was probably TMI.


It's so interesting to me how life works. It's interesting how you can learn things about other people through their comments and actions, and then learn more about yourself by the way you react. I've learned alot about myself in the past 6 months. Maybe that's because I birthed a child and I'm learning how to raise him. Perhaps it has something to do with Mister Man enrolling in graduate school. Or maybe it's because I've changed. Alot.

I've also learned alot about how Heavenly Father answers prays.
In my meager experience, prayers are not usually answered right away or in the way you expect.
But they're always answered.

Now my brain seems to have a hit a brick wall en route to anything worth writing.
Feel free to check out the new page I added about the MBS Challenge!

I'm not entirely sure what happened...

"I'm gonna get you!"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Houston, we have a walker

It's true, folks, our dear sweet Bubs has decided to start walking.


He's been on the verge of independent walking for some time now. He first cruised around on his tootsies clinging to anything that provided any sort of stability for him. Then he realized he could let go for a second and balance on his own. Then he realized he could take about 2 steps before crashing forward. Then one day it happened.

He took more than 2 steps without crashing.
He moved slowly, checking his balance every couple steps.
He took enough steps to travel the length of our (very small) kitchen.
Then he figured out how to move from sitting to standing to walking without holding onto anything.

And then he walked across our living room.

Now he's walking all over the place.

I think he still prefers crawling since he's better at it.
But he knows what's up when it comes to walking, thought he's still working on long distance trips.
And he walks like he's had a few too many cold ones.

It's oh so dang cute.

Since when did he get so big?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What do stats and a table have to do with eachother?

If you have a blog, have you ever looked at your stats?

I just did.

Guess what I found?

14,478 page views in all time history.

I think I might throw a party when I hit 15,000 views.

Believe it or not, I've had this blog since Mister Man and I were engaged in the summer of 2008.
I posted about lame stuff back then.
Things like missing my fiance, excitement about getting married, and mushy lovey stuff like that.

Now I post about cool things.
Like how Mister Man brought home a chiropractic adjusting table last night.
And by that I mean: massage table.

But really I mean a nice, firm yet soft, table, that has a hole for your face and the ability to let him adjust me not on the floor.
(and you other chiro wives know what I'm talking about when I say how nice it is to be adjusted on a table and not on the floor!)

When he brought it home I said: "Merry Christmas. We can take all the presents back now."
He said: "You can take your presents back since this benefits mostly you."

Who are we kidding? It totally benefits me more, but it's great practice for him!
And it could benefit him more if we wanted to pay another $90,000 and have me go back to school to learn what he's learning.

But, I'd rather buy a house.

And now, since it's 9:12 pm, and instead of doing dishes I played Mexi-Train with my hunny, I think I'll go scrub the raw chicken guts off my knife and cutting board, load the dishwasher, and head to bed.

I'm really glad that sentence was completely grammatically correct in every way possible.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes!

I know I just posted a whole long deal about the Mind-Body-Spirit challenge I'm doing.
I know that I also promised I'd post my Thanksgiving Recipes.
I know that my recipes contain huge amounts of butter, sugar, and cream.
I know that those ingredients are not in line with my challenge.

Please don't judge me.

Because I also know that once you try these recipes (which do not have pictures, so sorry!) your life will change and your Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners will never be the same.


Sweet Potato Casserole 
(a.k.a. sugar, butter, and pecans with a little bit of sweet potatoes)

3 c. cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1/2 cube, or 1/4 cup, melted butter (it's okay to add extra, promise)
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir and mash until mostly smooth with a few bumps. Unless you like baby food and then you can puree in a blender.

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar

Mix again. Or be like me and add everything before mixing it. Pour into a greased, glass casserole dish.

1/2 stick, or 1/4 c. melted butter
1/3 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

Sprinkle the topping on the potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Cranberry Salad 
(a.k.a. sugar, marshmallows, and cream, with a little fruit, salad)

1, 12-16 oz. bag of cranberries, washed and chopped (food processor)
2 c. grated apples (peeled or unpeeled)
1, 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg. small marshmallows
1 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream, divided in half and whipped.

Let cranberries sit in the sugar in a big mixing bowl until super juicy. Add all the ingredients except the cream. Whip 1 cup of cream. Fold in. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving whip the 2nd cup of cream and gently fold in. 

p.s. I won't tell you how many grams of fat is in 1 tbl of cream. :-)

Dinner Rolls

1 1/2 c. very hot tap water
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. yeast (quick-rise)
4 c. flour + 1 3/4 c. flour
3 eggs
1 T salt (yes, tablespoon)
1/2 c. butter, softened

Stir all dry ingredients together until well mixed. Add hot tap water and beat well. Add butter and eggs, mixing well. Stir in additional flour, mixing with a dough hook or kneading with hands. Cover and allow to rise once. Punch down. Roll out 1/3 of dough into a circle. Spread with melted butter. Cut with a pizza cutter into wedges. Roll into crescents. Dip rolls in butter or brush with melted butter and lay on greased baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise again. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. 
Note: This dough is very forgiving. 

This dough is actually SO forgiving, that when I made it last Thanksgiving, I didn't see the part about adding extra flour, and thus I failed to add in nearly half of the flour. Somehow the rolls still turned out amazing! If I didn't ruin them that way, I have no idea how you could possibly ruin them!


I still haven't found pies that I would die for, but mister man is very partial to Lemon Meringue. Especially his mom's recipe. Which, I must admit, is quite amazing. My mom makes some killer Buttermilk pies, but I don't have a recipe to pass along. My sister in law also made an amazing banana cream pie this year, but I don't have that recipe either. So sorry. You'll just have to love me anyway and try this Lemon Meringue. Yum!

Lemon Meringue

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. water
3 egg yolks (save the whites!)
2 T. butter
4 T. lemon juice (real lemons)
1 1/3 T. grated lemon rind

Mix sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Gradually add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute. Slowly stir half of hot mixture into slight beaten egg yolks, return the mixture back to pan. Stir and boil 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and continue stirring until smooth. Blend (beat) in butter, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Pour into a baked pastry shell. Cover with meringue. Bake at 400 degrees until delicate golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

3 egg whites
6 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whip the egg whites in a deep, small bowl, and gradually add the sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla (at the end). The whites should form stiff peaks and be glossy. Make sure to seal the meringue around the edges of the crust before baking.

Now, I purposefully left out the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. 
Well, I've never made a turkey and I don't really ever aspire to do so.
I fail at mashed potatoes, so I assign those to other people.
I could maybe make the gravy, but haven't.
And Stovetop stuffing is a comfort food. None of that made from scratch stuff for me. (although if you make it, I'll eat it, smile, and say it's wonderful. Which it probably is. But is not nearly as easy as stovetop. Which really adds to the deliciousness of it I think.)

Okay. There ya go. My promise fulfilled. If you have green bean casserole, just make the recipe on the back of the French's Fried Onions can. Don't be afraid to add extra onions.

Now I must clean my apartment. My dear sweet child has blown through it like a tornado and I've never seen it so messy.

Except after he was born.
Or when we moved in.
Or the time our storage closet was moldy.
Or when we had a bunch of visitors.
Or last week actually.


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge. Who's with me!?

Well, I'm back.
I'm not sure where I went.
Or what I've done.
But I'm back.

I do know that Thursday night was spent shopping. Mostly it was Mister Man who decided to stay out all night. He's a party animal. At least he got a free $100 gift card to Sports Authority! Made it all worth it. 

All our Christmas shopping is done. Woot!

Thanksgiving was delish. I'll post recipes later. I promise. I think...

And now we enter the Christmas season!
Cloudy skies.
Cold air.
Christmas music.
Christmas decor.
And more.

I've been thinking alot this season about giving.
Mostly because I had a very selfish week and was called to humility by God in a way that I was not expecting. 
I'm still overcoming my selfishness and desire for wanting new things and more things. 

But last night I had a stellar idea that I thought would help me focus on what's more important. 

Enter: Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge

From now until Christmas I will be focusing on challenging my mind, body, and spirit. 
Here's how it'll go down.

Mind- De-junk and de-clutter our apartment. Get rid of any excess stuff that we don't need or don't use. Donate all of it to a needy shelter or charity in the local area. Also collect some canned food and goods to donate as well.

Body- Exercise 5-6 times a week before starting my day. Strive to eat healthy, smaller portions, and not eat any excess sugar. If there's a get together, church activity, friends activity, etc then it's okay to have a treat, but not 3 or 4 or 10. Limit myself and have control over my false "needs." (this is especially needed right after Thanksgiving, right!?)

Spirit- Our Stake President challenged us to start and finish the Book of Mormon in 90 days. Well, I was already reading and deep in Alma, but I started over. I've only been reading one or two chapters a day, which is not enough, so now I'm committing to reading at breakfast, before bed, and any other time I can find in the day. I want my testimony to grow and my spirituality to increase.

So, who's with me? 
Would you like to join me in my quest to be better?
I would love to have you working side by side me and have someone to be accountable to.

If you don't want to do the whole thing, and you're in the St. Louis area, why don't you join me in de-junking and donating? I can collect everything you don't want (or you can collect it and go with me) and take it down to a shelter or somewhere else in the city that is in need. The more people get involved, the more we can donate, and the more we can bless the lives of others!

I promise you'll feel better.
Your house will probably feel better too.
And it's a perfect time to get rid of stuff before more presents and toys make their way in in 4 weeks.

If you want to join my challenge, leave a comment with your email address or email me (karissadodds at and I will send an email out every day motivating and reminding you about the challenge.

Good luck my friends! Here we go! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Can ya help a sista out? Again?

Thank you so much for the overwhelming amount of support and suggestions! Y'all are just grand. And it's such a joy to know people actually read my blog. And care! So thank you.

Can ya help a sista out again?

Please? With a cherry on top?

This time it's not so dramatic.
Or important.
Or life changing.
Or really anything like that.

Mostly I'm really indecisive.

And I also want a Kitchenaid. For Christmas. But probably bought on or around Black Friday since I might find a deal.
Or maybe I already found a couple deals and just can't decide.

Can you see where this is going...?

Do you have a Kitchenaid? (stand mixer)

If not, please quietly wipe away your tears and exit your browser.
If yes, please continue to the next question.

Do you like your Kitchenaid?

If no, please don't ever read my blog again.


What kind of Kitchenaid do you have?
How big?
What size bowl?
What power motor?
What model? (classic, artisan, pro, classic plus, ultra power)
Does it work well beating bread dough?
Does it have problems with cookie dough or any kind of other dough?

In your honest opinion, does it make a difference whether the motor is 275 watts, 350 watts, or 575 watts?
In your honest opinion, would you pay a little more for the 575 watts? Including a 6 qt bowl vs. a 4.5 qt bowl?
In your honest opinion, would you pay $40 extra to have a big, powerful, snazzy red one instead of the $180 white one?
Or would you save that $40, buy some cute shoes, and decide you really don't need the snazzy red one with the bells and whistles because you're really not a professional chef? (And just search for a red one that's $180 and less powerful)

This is the part where you comment.
With your answers.


I may reward you with cookies.

If you live near me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To teach or not to teach. That is the question!

Somethings have been weighing on my mind heavily this morning and I thought I'd better get them out:



Being a working mom.

Ever since I was 14 years old I knew I wanted to teach Kindergarten. So I went to school, got my bachelor's, found a job partway through the year (in December), and started teaching my own classroom of crazy 5-6 year olds. It was the best experience of my life!

(of course besides getting married, having a baby, and all that good stuff)

When we moved out here it was the end of the summer, beginning of the school year, I was pregnant, and we were having a baby in January. So I didn't teach.

Now my baby is almost a year old, I've been staying home taking care of him, and absolutely loving it, but oftentimes my mind starts to wander back to teaching school.

I'm gonna take a second here and be a little prideful.

I think I'm a really great teacher.
I believe I was blessed with a gift to teach.
I believe I was blessed with this gift so I could touch the hearts and lives of little children in their most crucial stages of development.

prideful moment over.

My sisters were blessed with the gift of dance.
My brother was blessed with the gift of piano.
I never knew what my gift was until I started teaching.

Now I know, and oftentimes I find my heart yearning to be back in the classroom again.

But then I think about my sweet little baby and the joy he's brought to my life. My heart breaks a little to think about leaving him all day to pursue something else. Something I love.

Teaching wouldn't be about the money for me.
It never has been.
Though it would definitely help our little situation.
Especially as we are starting to see the student loans accumulate.

I don't know what to do.
I'm so incredibly torn.
I plan on doing the things I need to in order to get an answer about what I should do.
But for now, I'm interested in hearing from you!

I know lots of you, my friends, have worked part or full time with a baby, and lots of you haven't worked. What insight do you have to offer?
What advice do you have?
What things were good or bad about being a working mom?

I'd love to hear from you!

Please and thank you.
The end.

Sorry it's so dark.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ode to the Hand Mixer

Ode to the Hand Mixer
please press play

My dear year old hand mixer
You have brought such great joy to me.
In the kitchen with the bowls
and cakes,
and all that is real sweet.
You have helped me
on my way 
to become
the best cook I know.
Thank you for the year we had
and for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

That was your last batch of it
and that's what caused your great demise.
When I made the cookies last night
you held on tight until the end.
Then you heaved a heavy sigh
and left me with
a spoon nearby.
Now you're dead and
I will progress
and will not buy you ever again.

You were the third or the fourth one
I do not know I lost my count.
In the three years that we've been married
that's as pathetic as it sounds. 

No more hand mixers for this gal
they make me cry
and then they die.
Instead I'll be vigilant
in asking for a Kitchen Aid.
Why I did not buy one first
I do not know
but now it's clear.
Less mess, less fuss, more joy for us
cooks in the world when hand mixers die.

Save your dimes
you'll be more fine
if you just buy a KitchenAid.
They sure don't die, they look real cute
they make you sigh 
and want to buy.

So let this dear ode be guide
to all those cooks who can't decide.
Whether to go buy a mixer 
or to buy a KitchenAid.
KitchenAid would be the smart choice
no raising your voice
when mixers die.
Yes, you would be oh so wise
to just go buy a KitchenAid.

Can you guess what's on my Christmas list this year?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuck in a rut. A cooking rut that is.

Today is one of those days that I fully expect it to be 10 degrees colder outside than it actually is. 
I suppose that is a pleasant surprise. 
We're supposed to get what sounds like a monsoon tonight. 

This is what I love about being in the midwest: unpredictable and warmer than average weather from September to December. 
Every Fall I get surprised again.

(this is my 2nd Fall here in Missouri)

I've been stuck in a cooking rut lately.
How about you?
I finally decided what I want to cook this week:

-roasted lamb
-duck flambe
-filet mignon
-creme brulee

I'll let ya know how it goes...

For reals though, it took me at least 45 minutes to figure out what I was getting at Costco today.
Oh, and remember how I said I always have to go to Costco when it rains?

Guess what?
It was raining today. When I went to Costco.

Really it was more of a shower, or sprinkle. 
Maybe actually more like spitting. 
But rain sounds more dramatic.

I also parked in a spot close to the tire center so they could tighten the lug nuts on the tires they just put on. 
The parking spot was more of a pond.
I realized this after I turned the car off, walked around, and was pulling out Bubs.
It makes so much more sense to keep the car there rather than risk looking like an idiot by re-entering the vehicle and re-parking in a less-ponded area, right?
I figured the mechanics could do it for me.

But guess what?
There were about three hundred people waiting inside the shop needing something.
And only one lonely helper dude.

5 minutes of waiting is too long when you have a small child.
So I left.
I forgot about my car sitting in the pond.
That is until I exited the building and saw the shimmering water in a 3 foot radius around my car.
I also saw my cart full of food.
It was also raining.

The bottom of my jeans are still wet.

That was 2 hours ago.

My child is on a napping hiatus.
What is it with kids these days?
Just when you have them all figured out they go and throw a curve ball on ya.

If you have any suggestions or ideas or favorite recipes for dinner, please, PLEASE, share! I desperately need some help.
Thank you.

the end.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm dreaming of...

Last night we went on a most fun double date with some good friends of ours.

I had this crazy thought that morning that I wanted to do something different. 
Something big. 
Something exciting. 
Naturally, National Treasure popped into my head. 

Of course, I went with it.

I created a Scavenger Hunt competition for the mall.
I will not take full credit for this.
My dad,, and my brain each deserve some credit.

It turned out great! We had an absolute blast doing all the "assignments." We also came up with new rules, regulations, bonuses, and points docked.

Here's just a few pictures.

counting dressing rooms.

featured scent.

picture with items from a random printed wedding registry
who knew over 200 J. Smith name's were in the system?

Best picture of the night:
Cardinals gear.

We finished the night with some amazing pumpkin spice cupcakes and a viewing of Fast Five.
Not quite National Treasure, but who really cares?

If you haven't seen Fast Five, it's pretty entertaining.
In a really hilarious, dumb, The Rock meets Vin Diesel, kinda way.
It was also based in Rio De Janerio, Brazil. 

Which brings me to the whole point of this post:

I have a dream.

I want to learn Portuguese, speak fluently, teach my kids, and one day travel to Brazil.

I don't really care where in Brazil. 
Rio, Sao Paulo, Porte Alegre, Iguazu, any of those places work.
I just want to go there, speak, listen to, and understand the language, meet the people and taste the food.

I fully believe that if I work hard, this dream will come true.

I've been searching for something intellectually stimulating to do for a long time.
Plus, we already have a massive supply of literature, Mister Man already speaks it, and it is a very beautiful language.
I really have nothing to lose.

Now can anyone tell me how exactly my son managed to get the neck of his once piece, zippered, footy pajamas, past his shoulders and down around his waist this morning? 
Without un-zipping it.
Sometimes I wish I had a video monitor. 
Just for laughs.

-If you want the word document for my scavenger hunt list, leave a comment with your email and I'll send it to ya.

Peace, love, and M&M's, yo.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There's a monster in my...

The baby's asleep, or, well, getting there, which means I have at least 1 hour to accomplish anything I choose. My list looks something like this:

-clean up the breakfast mess in the kitchen
-sweep and mop the floor, specifically the puddle of spit up
-throw in a load of laundry, fold 2 loads
-work out with Jillian
-clean my room
-de-fossilize the oatmeal stuck to Bubs' highchair.

I could go on...

But I really want to blog, so here I am. In front of my computer and not cleaning something.
This is real life, yo.

Have any of you read the book The Five Love Languages? 
I have. At least once. Skimmed a couple other times.
I've been thinking about love languages alot lately.
Mostly trying to figure out what mine is.
So I made a list of things I like that make me feel really loved.
I showed it to Mister Man.
Guess what he said?
"Your love language is called Karissa Love Language"

He's right.
It's just a strange conglomeration of all sorts of love languages. 
Really confusing and difficult for a husband.
Poor guy.

One time, I put a tank top in the washer.
When it came out, it looked like this:

I think there's a monster hiding in there.

I often dream of having a monster-less, middle-spinning-thing-less, non-top loading, beautiful washer someday.
Today is not that day.
Mostly because we had to put 8 tires on our cars.
I could've bought a brand new washer/dryer set for how much those stinkin' tires cost.
Why are cars money pits?
And why am I still talking about tires? I think I've successfully beat a dead horse.
No more tires. Promise.

I found the perfect apartment I want us to move in to.
The price is absolutely right. 
Everything feels right and good about it. So far. In my head.
Problem? It costs nearly 2 grand to break our current lease.
Which ends July 31.
Patience has never been my strong suit.

Today it is windy, cold, and rainy.
I have to go to Costco.
Have. To.
Why does that always happen to me?
Maybe someday I'll learn that bright, sunny, warm, days are much better Costco days.

And how's that for random?
Let's get on with our day, now shall we?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sneak peek!

Today was the epitome of a Fall day: 

crisp, sunny, and clear with a significant breeze in the morning, 
leaves blowing, cloudy, and drizzly in the afternoon. 

Not quite perfect for driving, because of the wind, but otherwise most enjoyable.

I have a husband back.

Except he will likely be comatose and M.I.A. this week for various reasons:

1. lack of sleep in Meh-he-koh
2. at least one different exam scheduled for each day this week. Maybe more than one on some days.
3. recovery/re-entry/reality, which includes catching up on classes, tests, homework, and sports.

But it's okay, because I won't have to go to bed alone this week.

Looking back, I felt like the week flew by.
In the moment, I felt like the week flew by.
When I was lonely, I felt like the week dragged on.

In other news, I have something really spectacular to share with you today.
It's a real special treat.

whenever someone uses "treat" in a sentence, my brain automatically thinks "chocolate." 

This treat does not involve chocolate.
Though it may make you hungry.
Baby hungry.

Please enjoy this sneak peek from a most talented, amazing, and epic photographer:
a.k.a. Mom
a.k.a. Gammy

This particular collection of shots has been only minimally edited.
Please enjoy.
Drool even.

Then hop over to her blog and check out other work she's done.
p.s. she's hilarious. 

 Why yes, I do in fact model while eating breakfast.

Trust me, a little pear with my blue eyes is very flattering.

Oh. My. Cuteness.

The original slide is red.
very, very, red.

Hi, Mom!

Ooh, dirt!

And just in case you couldn't get enough...

This one has not been edited.

Doesn't she have an amazing eye for shots?
I was very impressed.
Still am.
Short story: During the trunk or treat, as we made the rounds, several well-meaning people furrowed their brow upon our arrival and stated "I think he can have this one" before tossing a piece of candy into his bucket. What they didn't seem to understand was the fact that he is not quite 10 months old and really "cannot" have any of the candy. He is merely a very cute prop for his dear parents to rake in some yummy goods.
plus, I carried him in my belly for 9 months, pushed him out, and (we) have taken care of him ever since. I think I (we) deserve some free chocolate every now and then. :-)

Happy Halloween!