Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Bachelor Ben

Dear Bachelor Ben,

There are some things I thought you should know....

First of all, your hair is not attractive. It usually looks like you haven't showered, you don't own a comb, you've been wearing a hat all day, and you lost the phone number for your hair stylist. Please think about getting a hair cut. Soon. I think there's a good chance you might look a little less like a caveman and Francine from Arthur if you decide to cut it.

Next, whoever told you a bow-tie is stylish was wrong. Perhaps you should consider hiring someone else to make those decisions for you.

Now let's talk about the girls.

What happened with Kacie B.? I thought your first date with her was really romantic, special, and personal. You even talked about how you were in trouble with her because you liked her so much.

Hmm, I guess it is all about the bow chicka ow wow with you. Gross.

So, Courtney. Have you seen this video of her?

Not so sweet and innocent now, eh?
Although I'm not sure innocent and Courtney should ever be used in the same sentence.

Oh, and did she mention she's a model?
Remember those other contestants on previous seasons that were there to promote their career? You can add her to that list of people.

Do you not have any red flags when you talk to Courtney about the other girls? Maybe you have one or two because you constantly bring it up, yet you still keep her around. Have you noticed when you talk about it she's always looking around trying not to make eye contact? What about all the times the other girls came to talk to you about her? Who do you trust more? The majority, or the skank?

I think you want to be like Jake and Vienna.

So let's count how many times Courtney touches her hair from now til the next commercial break. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, (3 minutes have gone by) 17, 18, 19, 20. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25(touching his hair). 25 times in 6 minutes. Hair fetish?

Plus her top lip. Always pouting. Always biting. She's a really good liar. To you (Ben). I hope there was more to that "apology" than they actually showed on air.

Why do the girls always act so surprised when they get the Fantasy Suite cards? Have they never seen an episode of Bachelor or Bachelorette?

"Hunny Bunny??"

Okay, Emily, Ashley, Ali, cute. But the whole Titanic movie screening scene? So fake looking. Awkward too.
Dear Ali: let's work on your hair. 

Duh, Duh, Dunnnn. Here comes Kacie.
psst. Ben, your shirt and tie. Ew.

Ben, I feel like your explanation of your breakup with Kacie is showing how much you've changed, in a negative way, from the beginning of the show. I thought you were a classy, good boy, with relatively high standards. Now I think you're really more of a horny teenage boy who really doesn't care about love and doesn't care to heed the cautions of others.

Plus, you seem distracted all the time. And really rather boring.

Bachelor flop this season.

Can we see Emily's season now?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our New Bundle of Love! **edit: with pictures!

Note to Self: In the future, it's okay, no, it's a really good idea, to get a puppy that is older than 8 weeks old. In fact, 12 weeks old would be great.

It's official.
We have now joined the ranks of Dog Owners!

We met our sweet little Kaiya for the first time on February 23, 2012, at about 11:50 am, in Kirksville, MO. She looks exactly like her pictures, only much more fluffy, cute, and small! I believe it's safe to say we were all a little shocked at how little she is. I would guess her weight is somewhere around 2 pounds. (eta: at her vet appointment on 2/25 she weighed 2.9 pounds)

After getting kicked out of Wal-Mart for bringing in a puppy, we began the journey home with a new bundle of joy. She was only really whiny for the first 45 minutes, and I was only really jealous the entire drive home. Mostly because I was driving and not playing with my puppy. We made a pit stop and let the kiddos run around and stretch their legs. Bubs loves Kaiya and Kaiya loves Bubs! She was chasing him all over the place and he was giving her lots of soft pats and giggles.

Kaiya was a complete, utter, bundle of love until it was bedtime. Unfortunately, she did not come to us kennel/crate trained, and she was very clear about letting us know. Neither Mr. Man nor I got any sleep until about 2:30 am, at which point we gave up and let her sleep in our bed. Something I swore I'd never do, however, when it gets to that emergency situation, I prefer to get sleep!

Remember how so many people told me a puppy would be like having another baby? Well, guess what? You're right. I totally feel like I have two kids. Two very needy kids babies. Both of them want my constant attention and the cozy seat on my the same time. They also both feel the need to be at my heels, always, wherever I go. Luckily, my dear, sweet, man was able to come home for lunch which allowed me to clean up our apartment, serve lunch, and put Bubs down for a nap, thus providing me with an opportunity to 2 pm. TGIF.

So, what have I learned thus far?

1. Pee pads seem rather worthless (anyone ever had luck with them? how?)
2. I'm grateful for hardwood floors! Though she has only had a couple accidents, which were my fault.
3. Next time we'll get an older puppy who has been crate trained.
4. A 2 pound bundle of black fluff is really easy to lose, even in a small apartment.
5. Puppy crying is ten times worse than baby crying, sorry neighbors!!
6. If I make it through the next 4 months with no major catastrophes, no serious losses, and a head full of hair, I will feel successful.

With that said, we absolutely love her and she is the cutest little puppy I have ever seen! We are totally open for visitors and friends, you can even bring your dog if you want, since she needs to socialize, and it's fun to show her off.

"Boy & Dog"

eta: All photos credit of Kamian Gille, who is awesome. Also, we had a much better 2nd night. She still whines when she first goes in her kennel, but she slept in 2-3 hour increments and pottied outside every time we took her! I have a feeling she will be a very good dog.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

No "Nothing Box" for this girl!

Golly gee whiz.  Have you ever seen this video?

My brain currently feels exactly like how he describes woman's brains. Zzzt zzt zzt zzt zzzt. 

Want to know what I'm thinking about?

This box of Dove Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles my dear sweet hubby got me on Valentine's day "from Bubs." It is hiding in our room where a child is currently napping. Boo.

I'm also thinking about this song:

I heard it on the radio at the most opportune time. 
I almost cried.

I'm also thinking about her:

We get to finally meet her a week from tomorrow! Kora, Kiki, or Kaiya for her name? We can't decide.

I'm also thinking about this article I read the other day that really struck a chord. It made me stop and think about my life, my relationship with my husband, and how I can make it even better. Don't we all need a little reminding every now and then?

Something else I'm thinking about?

Haha. Not what you think. I just have some pains, so I took some, and I'm wishing it would kick in.

I'm also thinking about this:

I'm teaching the lesson on Sunday and I need to consolidate all my thoughts and put the finishing touches on what I'll be teaching.

Lastly, I'm thinking about this song: 

Don't mind some of the random pictures in the slideshow, I couldn't find the original Josh Groban video connecting from youtube from my blog.... Aren't ya glad I told ya that?

Anyway, I took a jazz class at BYU a few years ago and the teacher choreographed a beautiful lyrical to this song. It was one of those defining moments in my life when I danced it. One of those moments as a dancer where the music fills your heart and soul and your body moves in an exact expression of how you feel.

This song popped up on my ipod this week and I was taken back to that studio. Ever since, it has been in the back of my mind, popping up every time I need a boost.

And lastly, again, I'm thinking about this:

See that cute guy I'm kissing? We got married and I still love him like crazy. I actually love him more now than I did when we got married, and I'll love him even more tomorrow. This was just after we had our first kiss ever.

And that, my friends, is/are/was what I'm thinking about!

What are you thinking about today?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Victory!!!! ...with sugar cookies

I'm really good at some things in life. Things like: single-handed-ly eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked, or watching Biggest Loser while downing raw cookie dough, or devouring a full bag of chips with Tostito's queso dip (ever tried it? so. dang. good.)

Some things in life I'm not so good at. Things like: making sugar cookies. Specifically cutoutable, edible, actually-taste-good, sugar cookies.

The one and only time I attempted such a feat, I was in a crazy inventive mood and decided it was a smart idea to alter a recipe I'd never made before because I like butter so much more than shortening and I did not want to use 10 cups of flour. The result? Super sticky, then super stiff, disgusting, tasteless, non-cutoutable, sugar cookies. I baked a few then threw the rest away. They were only barely edible when completely smothered in very sweet, thick, buttercream frosting. I was clearly not in a good state of mind that day. Because the end product was so horrific, I have been terrified to touch a sugar cookie recipe since.

This weekend, however, that all changed.

Enter: Our Best Bites Sugar Cookie Recipe!

I found this website, Our Best Bites, through several facebook posts and some recommendations by friends during a miserably hot, St Louis summer.
I was rather intrigued for two reasons:

1. they're Mormon, just like me.
2. they blog in a very entertaining way.

I started making a few of the recipes, and now I'm officially hooked. I read every blog post, have the cookbook, and their calendar is hanging on my wall. Sadly, these girls have no idea who I am... though they may know now (Hi Kate! Hi Sara!).

(almost) Every recipe that I have tried from their cookbook has turned out quite amazing, particularly the banana creme pie - heaven in a pie crust. I figured since I'd had so much success, why not try their sugar cookie recipe? Though first I suppose it's a good time to pause and tell you which recipe I did not have success with: Chipotle Chocolate Chili. I completely underestimated the level of spice that is contained in chipotle chilies in adobo sauce until after I had put an entire cans worth of sauce into the chili. Needless to say, there was much attempt at watering down and de-spicing the chili before we could eat it.

Moving on.

Sugar cookies. The biggest problem I had with the dough was the inability to stop eating it. I thought it looked a smidgen dry in my mixer bowl, but one taste confirmed it most definitely was not. I successfully rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper without sticky residue, and had zero problems transferring the cut cookies to a cookie sheet.

(notice the pan on the right has the thicker cookies, those turned out better, I'm just not great at rolling out dough to be evenly thick)

Post baking? A sugar cookie worthy of eating without frosting. (even when I accidentally overcooked a batch)

That has never happened to me, folks. I am a firm believer of dousing sugar cookies in a thick coating of buttercream frosting.  Perhaps that is because most sugar cookies I've tried are terribly bland. These magnificent shapes of buttery goodness could stand completely alone without the extra calories. Once smeared with buttercream, the result was, well, you think of a word better than incredible. And believe it or not, they tasted even better the second day.

All in all, VICTORY!

I vow to never make another sugar cookie recipe ever again.

Thank you, Sara & Kate, for making me feel like I can actually bake.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Octopus Arms & Instruction Manuals

Dear Mother of More Than One Child,

How the heck do you do it!? 

Love, Me

I have started babysitting a 2 year old girl for a friend of mine while she is finishing up school. In the few short weeks that I have been doing this, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. It's called:


Let me tell ya what, folks, if you thought carting around one child to do grocery shopping was a challenge, you're in for a big shocker. Though, most of you probably already know that.

In case you didn't know, here are some things I learned today.

10 Things I Learned as a Pseudo-Mother-of-Two While Grocery Shopping:

1.  When you hear a ding and the “door-ajar” light illuminates on your dashboard, it’s usually a good time to pull over and reestablish car safety.  Don’t forget to lock the doors every time you begin driving because it may happen again. 

2.    Just because you buckle a 13 month old into a grocery cart seat provides no guarantee that he will actually stay in the seat. Facing forward. Sitting down.

3.       Pulling a two year old out of the cart basket and urging “now stay by the cart, please!” provides no guarantee that she will actually stay by the cart.

4.       Old people don’t think it’s very funny to have a two year old using them as cones in an imaginary obstacle course.

5.       When you decide to unbuckle the 13 month old so he can freely turn to chat with the two year old, there is a high probability he may do a front flip dive bomb into the cart’s basket while your back is turned. (thankfully, and luckily, not the other direction)

6.       If two year old comes back to the cart, it may be a good idea to place her in the buckling seat and remove the 13 month old since he has a strange fascination with pushing the cart. This may, however, backfire and result in much slower movement, more icy stares, and random objects in little hands.

7.       Upon arrival at the check-out lane, it’s a really good workout to hold a squirmy 13 month old in one arm and load groceries onto the belt with the other arm. There is a good chance the cashier will finish the transaction before you can manage to get your wallet out.

8.       During the Aldi cart-change-at-cashier is a good time to re-buckle the 13 month old into the seat and transfer two year old to the ground.

9.       Thank goodness for double seated grocery carts at Costco!

10.   Good luck getting all the groceries inside without another catastrophe happening.

Overall, it was quite a humorous experience looking back on it. I now understand from experience how so many of you feel when people give you strange, icy, curious, looks in the store with more than one child. In my case, this sweet girl I'm watching looks very much like she could be my son's older sister. I look young enough as it is to have one child, but to have two seems absurd to other fellow shoppers. 

So, I tip my hat to you, mothers of multiple children, and commend you for your difficult work and for surviving any excursion outside your home without falling to pieces and dive bombing into a box of Godiva chocolates. 

If only we could be blessed with octopus arms and instruction manuals when we decide to have kids!


P.S. After this excursion I fully believe puppies to be completely different than kids (in at least one way): You can leave them home while you go out!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Not too long ago Bubs and I were out for a spin and as we were returning home we had the windows rolled down enjoying the nice, warm, January breeze. And I'm not being sarcastic, for once. As we entered our little apartment cul-de-sac, we passed a man walking his dog and heard a couple of dogs barking their guts out in front of an open window.

Well, Bubs, you see, is very observant. Almost to the point that it is sometimes borderline annoying. Keyword: sometimes. Once we parked, I unloaded him onto the pavement, and started off for our bridge. He, however, had much different plans. Five buildings away he could still hear those dogs yapping out the window. Instead of following me, he perked up, and decided to forge his own way toward the sound. Me, being the amazing and wonderful mom that I am, followed him. Of course I also wanted to make sure an unsuspecting car wouldn't take him out, considering his choice of direction was on the road.

Little Bubs took my hand, then walked, and walked, and walked, and walked, never losing sight of his auditory goal. He only stopped and looked up when we came upon the open window with the dogs. He proceeded to stand there in awe, conjuring up a way to get closer and touch the dogs. Which, of course, was impossible. After several moments of watching, pointing, and mumbled baby jargon, I scooped him up and we headed back home. He was less than excited.

During this stroll, I learned two very important things:

1. My baby is tenacious. Very tenacious.
2. We must get a dog. Now.

As I reflect on this experience, I consider my own level of tenacity. Shortly after Mr. Man and I were married, I worked in a restaurant and had a less than stellar experience. We relocated across town, and I decided to find a new job. There was another restaurant in town that I was dying to work at. So I walked in, handed them an application, spoke with a manager, and was hired on the spot. I walked out and told my husband that I have never not been hired for a job that I have interviewed for. Several months later I heard of a job opening at a school, and as many of you know, was interviewed and hired within a 3 day period.

Still, to this day, I have never not been hired for a job that I was interviewed for.

During my teenage years I had tenacity in my dancing. There were so many times that I should have just given up and quit. But for some reason, I didn't. I had a deep, passionate, burning desire to dance.

Fast forward to the present. I feel like my tenacity has been lacking. I feel like I have been moseying about just trying to be the best wife and mother possible. As a result, I have lost sight of some things that I really want, dreams that I have, or deep, burning desires for accomplishment. I have lost some semblance of who I am.

Yes, I am a wife, mother, and daughter of God. I love those parts of me and wouldn't trade them for anything! However, sometimes I feel I have lost a little part of Karissa. I want to change that. I want to be better. I want to do more. I want to be more. And I have a dream. Or two, or three.

In college, I swore I would teach Kindergarten and write children's books when I "grew up". Well, children's literature is not exactly what I feel passionate about now. I do, however, still feel passionate about writing. It is an outlet for me. It is a way to express myself, my thoughts, my views, my opinions. So, thanks to something I read this morning that fed the fire inside me, I have big plans for the future. I have some hopes, some dreams, and some desire. I hope you will stick with me and continue reading whatever the heck comes out of my mouth as I try to figure out who, exactly, I am.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Due date" and picture!

We are just so excited about our soon-to-be newest addition to our family!!

We are expecting her arrival sometime around February 24-25.

We really cannot wait to meet her!
The suspense has been killing me.
But, I'm already completely in love from her picture.

Want to see?

We both sincerely apologize for any hurt or silly feeling feelings we may have caused. We were merely going for the shock & awe factor. We just wanted to be a little silly and play a trick. When we really are pregnant, you will absolutely know it's not a trick! Thanks for all the funny reactions. And 75+ page views on our post! 

As you may or may not know, I have been begging for a puppy for years. We finally came to an agreement to get one and we couldn't be more excited. We found this little sweetheart just two days ago and almost instantly knew she was the one. She is a shih poo (shih tzu-poodle mix), will not shed, and will be around 10-12 lbs at adult. This picture is when she was only about 4 weeks old, and we are expecting some updated pictures this weekend! Shih poo in simple terms means "fluff ball of joy." 

So, now that you know the real news, let's vote on names again!!!

Trixie, Kora, Kloe, or Lola? (Kiki is out)