Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year's Worth of Accomplishments

The year's biggest laugh:  Took place just the other day. Christmas Eve to be precise.

{preface} My niece and  I were wrapping gifts with a roll of very old hidden in the corner wrapping paper. As I unrolled it, there was a spider body!!!! After I appropriately freaked out, my mom called my dad in from the other room to come dispose of it (because my mom, my niece and myself were all incapable of carrying the zero weight but 100% grody carcass out of the room). My dad thought he'd be funny and pretend to dump it on my head. Only when I threatened to punch him in the kidney did he realize it wasn't funny.

{the story} So I think the next turn of events follows naturally.  I rolled the paper out a little more to measure it to the box I was wrapping... when i noticed something half-roundish... and totally gross.  I didn't want to get too close- but I tried to figure out what it was before I freaked out.  It was small and curved- and it looked dead and dried out. "Eeew- what is that?" I exlaimed in mild horror. I looked closer and said, "it looks like a larvae!!! gross gross gross gross gross!!!!!"  I used the wrapping paper to flick it away from me toward my niece who also in turn freaked out.. But she, being more curious and courageous than I, picked it up in the tips of the scissors to get a better look at it. She looked like she was performing surgery as she held the miniature monster up to the light.  I looked away, totally grossed out as she said, "what the...? It's a fruit loop!"

I guess you had to be there. But I honestly cannot remember the last time I've laughed that hard. I laughed so much the muscles in my back were aching.

The year's best timing: I don't know if it's appropriate to go into detail- but I'm glad I moved to the facility I did- WHEN I did.

The year's best scheme to get people to like me: I implemented the "make cookies so my co workers will like me" program at work. I think this is still a work in progress, and I fully intend to make more cookies this weekend to take. But these magical cookies have pulled down lots of walls and even scored me a hug once!

The year's greatest accomplishment: Getting the nurses I work with trained. Some of them I've been training to hand me admit papers instead of putting them in the bin. Others I've been training to make sure they stop and take leave as the go home for the day.  It doesn't sound like much, but it's been a work in progress for a few months now, and finally today- one stopped all on his own without my having to remind him.  :)  Of course, now having said that, I'm sure my success will have been a one time fluke. Dangit.

The year's closest claim to fame: I submitted a picture to Cake Wrecks and it got used in on of their posts! Squeeee!!! I'm sure to you normal people that's not a big deal... but I was pretty darn excited. *That* was a good day.

The year's best new addiction: This is a toss up between Angry Birds (which technically I hate- but I have to get to the next level- so I can't seem to stop playing it) and The Big Bang Theory. I think I have a crush on every one of those boys.  I really do love me a nerd. I feel more at home among nerds. I think that's why I always liked Ross and Chandler best on Friends.  They seeeeeem cool- but anyone who knows what the Kobeyashi Maru is without looking it up- and can use it in conversation correctly- automatically qualifies as a nerd and is aces in my book!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Adam

Adam came before Eve. That's all the explanation you get. 

Every year for Christmas Adam the single, childless sisters in the Baker clan take the kids and party all night long so the parents can have some time to do some last minute organizing.  My sister Kim goes overboard with the planning. She plans enough for a three week getaway- but we only have a few hours!

This year everyone had to come dressed as a character from a Christmas story. We had Suzy Snowflake, Rudolph, a gingerbread girl, and a bunch of elves (one was a very convincing Dwayne from Prep and Landing)... oh... and a Grinch... sort of.  [I've been expressly forbidden to post pictures because sooooome of them are in Jr High/High School and have reps to protect.]

We eat Monte Cristos for dinner.

Ohhhhh....  they're heavenly! I forgot about that lovely little tradition. Melanie makes them from the Disneyland recipe.

 We watched the Prep & Landing movies.

I'd never even heard of them! So cute! We did a little Christmas karaoke, some Wii (I kicked their butts at the reindeer games!).

When it got long toward bedtime, I bailed. I'm not going to be in the same town as my bed and not sleep in it. Sorry. Nothing trumps sleeping in my own bed.

But before I have to go to bed- I just have to show you one quick little thing.

My mom makes our stockings when we join the family (obviously, some stockings have moved away and been joined by other matching stockings) and they are all the same size...

Well... if you look closely at this not so good from my phone picture, you'll see that MY stocking is *ahem* a little bigger than everyone else's. My mom threatens every year to make me a new one that matches the rest of the family's... but I'm pretty sure it's right just the way it is. It's a symbol that I'm the "goodest" kid. My mom obviously knew it all the way back when I was brand new.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Forgotten Goodies!

I had completely forgotten this old favorite till I walked in the door tonight from shopping and it was on TV...

I heard one line from it and thought- HEY! I know that movie!!!! So I immediately got online to see if it was available for me to share. It's in two parts- sorry, it was the best I could do- but it seriously is so cute you really need to watch it!  (apparently there are commercials... but they are actually kind of funny.)

After watching that- and seeing the commercials- it reminded me of another goody. We watch this every year. It's not Christmas until I watch this.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It takes a Gingerbread village

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we had our annual Grandma Baker's gingerbread hoopla! I've been meaning to post these pictures ever since!  There was more imagination this year- some of it unintentional- than there has been in the past. We bake the gingerbread and assemble the houses/trains in advance so that all people have to do when they arrive is go crazy with decorating.

Here is a small sample of the village we created. I think in all there were 15 or 16 houses and three or four trains. We were all overly sticky by the end of night and no one was craving sugar. Trust me. What we didn't eat- we soaked in through our skin.

First off- Jessica's amazing creation! She was a pioneer in the Tudor style housing! Freaking genius! I'm quite upset that I didn't think of it first! D'oh!

Little Miss P also got in on the action helping her mama make a little train!

Next is Shayla's California Red Carpet event.

I *love* the roof tiles!

Toot Toot! Now arriving! Lisa and Jenna's Candy Express!

Also arriving at Station Sugar Shock is Dallin's engine- complete with coal car!

Michelle and Shea got creative with their igloo.

Don't let it fool you- there is a gingerbread house somewhere under all those smarshmallows.

I think a couple of the girls were doing a little California Dreamin' on this winter's day. Here is Macy's beach front property!

Complete with surfing Santa!

Now this part is actually kind of funny. I came with a plan for what I wanted to do with my house. I bought Boston Baked Beans because I wanted to "brick" my house.

I think the thing I like best though- is the candy coated sunflower seed lights on the tree. Awesome! (if I do say so myself).

Every year my sister, Kim makes a very similar house to match the decor in her living room.  She uses pink Frosted Mini Wheats to make her house look like it's thatched with straw (are you starting to sense a theme??? Bricks... Straw... what comes next?)

And this year (remember- this was all unplanned- it just turned out this way) Melanie decided to make a version of Eeyore's house. She even came armed with a little Eeyore to enhance her house.

Have you seen Eeyore's house? It's made of STICKS!!! So without talking to each other about it- we totally made the three little pig's houses! I would just like to point out though- that I ended up being Practical Pig- making my house of bricks. I am safe from any candy seeking wolves!

A couple more houses to go!  My poor dear mother spends the whole party mixing up glue for us all to use- she said she made three times more than we usually use. I guess we really wanted to make sure stuff got attached!  Because of time, she asked me to make a house for her to take to her neighbors so this is the one they got.

Dig the teeny candy cane garland!! Aren't they so stinkin cute???

I also thought I'd make one for my dear Auntie. She decorates her house in blue and white for Christmas- so she got a house that would fit in.

This has got to be one of my favorite traditions!  Thanks to everyone who came and made it the best- most drama-free event we've had yet! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with next year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

99 years ago today...

...this girl was born.

She grew into a beautiful woman

And became a Mother and the World's Best Grandma.

She died just over 10 years ago.

Some nights I still cry because I miss her so much.

I love you Gramma Dallin!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I can't Handel it

There are three songs that I can think of off the top of my head that I cannot emotionally handle- meaning- just about every time I hear the song- I burst into tears. Pomp and Circumstance (the graduation song? Really Bakeshow? [hangs head in shame] yes), Amazing Grace (but only played on bagpipes) and The Hallelujah Chorus.

This first little video is the best I could do for one of my favorite parts from The Forgotten Carols. I love Handel's dream. I almost hope it actually happened that way. And I'm sure he's up in heaven very proud, yet humbled, by the amazing effect his greatest achievement has had on us all.

One can't help but be moved by the incredible music and the meaning of the words. Admit it, when you read this part of Isaiah in the Old Testament- you read it to the music! I do it! I know YOU do it!

I was going to put a video on here of the Silent Monks doing the Hallelujah Chorus- but A) you've all seen it and B) the version I like of it is no longer available. So instead, you only get one other video. I'm sure you've seen this too- but seriously, as I was looking for it to post it on this blog, I watched it a few times- and sat and bawled by myself in my room while I watched it.

How I wish I could have been there- been part of this flash mob. Not only to take part in the music- but the feeling of it. The blatant bearing of testimony of the Savior. The reminder to these holiday shoppers what it's really all about. All of it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What the Dickens!

Dickens is a Christmas staple! A Christmas without watching/reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol is like... Arbor Day with no trees... it just doesn't make sense! It's such an integral part of the season! There are like, a bazillion versions out there. Some good. Others...... not so much.

The other day I finally sat down and watched the Jim Carrey Version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Can I tell you how utterly disappointed I was with it? Seriously? I thought with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman it would be awesome! And I think Jim Carrey is pretty flingin flangin talented too (if not a tad obnoxious) so I thought it would be awesome.

They got some of it right. It was more faithful to the actual story than a lot of other versions I've seen. But I think they tried a little too hard to make it 3D interesting and the whole death coach chase scene was just stupid.

I think the Mickey Christmas Carol is sweet.

But what can I say? I have a thing for rich ducks with Scottish accents :)

And the Muppet Christmas Carol is hilarious and rather touching (I can't be the only person who cries when I watch Muppets... can I?).

Ummm... Hello! Kermit the Frog is in this one! Need I say more?

One of my favorites is the George C Scott version.

I remember it being a tad creepy (although the Jim Carrey one gives it a run for it's money) .

And of course I'm partial to the Patrick Stewart version (sorry, no good links).

Definitely the handsomest Scrooge ever!
BUT (that's a big but)

My all time favorite version  (judge if you wish)- no matter how not-exactly-accurate it is- is The Mr Magoo version.  You can find the entire video available on Hulu. Or you can just click HERE.

I hope you take time to watch any- or all of these versions! Let me know which one is your favorite!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas is for Overgrown Five Year Olds.

Ho Ho Ho! T'is Christmas season! And there are certain movies/shows that I absolutely MUST watch in order for it to really feel like Christmas! I haven't even checked online to see if the more obscure ones are available, but I'll share what I can!

Today's is one that I'm pretty sure you'll all judge me for. I just remember watching it as a kid- and when I found it online tonight it made me so incredibly happy! I don't know why I can't put the video right on my blog page- but for some reason it's not working- so I'll give you a link to it HERE. Please don't judge me. 

Does anyone out there even remember this show being on TV? I totally loved it!  No wonder I turned out so awesome [read strange]. It's only 22 minutes. Go on- Watch it!

Also, I have a post of our annual gingerbread house party coming up... I just need to take the time to download the pictures from my camera (which I *finally* rescued from my parent's house!) and put them on the blog- so keep an eye out for those- and for more of my favorite Christmas shows!

Do you like how I talk to my readers like they actually exist? hahaha!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The new Theme Song of my life!!!

Who knew that going to a Muppet Movie could change your life? (Lyrics below)

I look around

And once again I'm on my own

My man ain't here

He's gone he done me wrong

No one's gonna stop this girl from having fun

I throw my hands up high and have a party for one

I'm having a me party

A party by myself

A me party

I don't need nobody else

I'm having a me party

I'm the first and last to show

There's no one at this party that I don't already know

I'm not gonna sit around

By myself and wait for you

Haven't you heard one is the new two?

I'm gonna make a scene

I'm gonna make a fuss

Tonight I'm gonna celebrate for just the one of us

I'm having a me party

I don't need no invitation

A me party

I just love the conversation

Me party

(not sure about this line)


You do the math frog

It means I'm not with you

I wont lie, there are times when I wish I was with you

There are days when all this girl can see is a world that's made for two

At times like this I feel all alone and like nobody cares

But I only have to call my name and darling I'll be there

I'm having a me party

Haven't I seen you here before?

A me party

I'm the last one on the dance floor

Me party

A party just for one

Me party

Just solo night frog

Having a me party

I'm such great company

A me party

I'll save the last dance for me

What happens at a me party

Stays at a me party

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm gonna gobble gobble you up!

I have to work today. But that's ok. Due to a last minute schedule change I'll get home (like home, home) in time for leftovers! So bring on the turkey coma! I'm ready to show my gratitude be eating a beheaded fowl!

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Four State Tour part 2

I'm going to start writing like I am in the middle of a conversation, like there was no break between this post and the last post.

Only... I forgot where I was so I have to go back and look at the other post now.


Right. Ok. So I worked Tuesday and it was a super slow day. All the sick people decided to stay home. But Wednesday- I looooooooved Wednesday. Why? Because it took me home!

My dear sweet Auntie got out of bed at 5:30 am to get me to the airport. Bless her heart. Seriously.  I made it though to the gate and onto the flight just fine (remember, I'm flying with a buddy pass- which means I am stand by and if anyone has paid even a dollar for their flight- I get bumped!) All the direct flights to Denver were overbooked so my choices were either fly to Albuquerque and change planes, or fly to LA (I know, right? totally wrong direction) and stay on the plane as it flew back to Denver. That flight would have gotten me in later- plus it would make me sad to be that close to Disneyland and not be able to go. So I chose New Mexico. I've never been to New Mexico. The man I sat next to on the plane was super nice and not too chatty.

New Mexico... well, like I said, I've never been there- and from the looks of what I could see out the window, I am not missing much. I should have taken a picture, darn it all, to prove I was in New Mexico. You'll just have to take my word for it.

The flight to Denver was unremarkable (personally, I think a flight without turbulence is a waste!). It was lovely to walk off the jet way and have my Lisa friend there waiting for me! I haven't seen her since last summer when she came out here for Harry Potter.  I was about to say it was even good to see the demon bronco... but no. It's never good to see that hideous thing.

That afternoon we watched Twilight. When Matthew, her hubs, came home, we all got gussied up and drove downtown. I knew I loved Denver, but until we drove downtown- I don't think I realized just how much I loved it- and how much I miss it. It's just a beautiful city.

We went to the Buell Theater to see The Lion King. We were making fun of all the little ushers who were freaking out over people taking pictures of each other inside the theater. I just don't see the big deal. During the show? yes, that's a problem. But to take a picture of your group sitting in their chairs? There is absolutely no harm in that and it was stupid the fuss they made (I have a story about that from a few years ago, but I'll spare you the details at this time).

The show was A.Mazing. I of course was bawling during the opening sequence. It was just so overwhelmingly beautiful. The music, the staging, the costumes- incredible!  I know a lot of people have a hard time adjusting to the costumes- but I think it's pure genius. The last thing I want to see is some schmuck running around in a flannel lion suit with a mane of yarn wrapped around his head. The artistry was phenomenal.

the lady who played Rafiki was freaking amazing!!!

The next day we watched New Moon (and just for the record, when I say "we watched" I usually mean, "Lisa and AJ watched while I slept). Lisa had an appointment that afternoon- which was fortuitous because my friends, the Carrolls just happened to be going to the Museum of Nature and Science. So Lisa dropped me off there so I could spend some time with them. Oh my gosh. Those were two of the best hours ever! I don't think they realize just how much I love them and miss them. And for them to include me in their family outing really meant a lot to me.  Their kids were a little shy of me at first- but then the warmed up and remembered me. They even have a new edition since the last time I saw them!

We saw the IMAX 3D film Under the Sea- awesome- God must have had so much fun when he was creating all the critters in this world- especially in the ocean because there are some weird lookin fishies down there!

After the wonderful visit, Lisa picked me up and we headed back to her house to watch Eclipse (remember what I said...?) when it was over, we drove to Aurora and met Julie, and Tina at Old Chicago for our traditional pre movie release dinner (Julie and Tina did not come to the movie- but they consented to at least be seen with us at dinner). Des came later to chit chat shortly before we had to go. I love my friends. I miss having friends. It was so good to talk to them. It was like I never left. Granted, I've seen all of them fairly recently- but still, I forgot for a while that a year and some change has passed. It felt so good to be there!


Lisa and I bought treats to stuff in my big ol purse, and headed to Stapleton to meet Trista at the theater! Again- SO GOOD to see Trista! I haven't seen her since I left Denver. We've texted a little bit here and there- but it was so good to chat with her- to be with my movie premier girls!

The theater had a trivia contest- it was badly planned out- but long story short- I WON! (there is a picture... but either they haven't posted it yet- or I can't find the right Facebook page). It was funny because I was really just trying to raise my hand first and not really listening to the question. It's a good thing I had my girls with me- they gave me the answer. I won the prize-two movie tickets and free popcorn and drinks for 2012. Uhh... not gonna do me any good kids! So since I raised my hand- I got my picture taken for all the world to see (if only they can find it!?!?!?!) I gave the tickets to Trista and the popcorn and soda to Lisa since that's the theater she'd go to and it's kinds out of the way for Trista. I think it's was a fair deal. They deserved the prizes more than I did- but that way we all got a piece of the pie.

The movie... well, perhaps I'll review it another time.

The next day dawned bright and beautiful... at least I think it did. I had Twilight hangover and didn't get up till about 11:00.  Lisa and I watched some of the extras on one of the DVDs then she took me to the airport. All the flights looked pretty booked so we were going to try every flight. While waiting for flight number one- we ate lunch in one of the airport bars. It didn't matter how fast I ate my food though- because I could not get on that flight. I started to wonder if I should call my boss to let her know I miiiiiight not be at work the next day.

We sat around until the next flight- and magically- I was the last person on the plane! And I don't know how I managed that, because the flight was so overbooked that they actually called a guy by name and said they needed his seat and he had to get off. I don't know how I was not the one asked to deplane.

That flight was direct so I was back in Utah before long. Life played several cruel tricks on me that day. I was secretly hoping I wouldn't be able to get on a plane- therefore extending my stay a little... like Colorado just didn't want to let me go... plus, it was an gorgeous 66 degree sunny day! Woo Hoo!!!

As I walked out to be picked up by my cousin, Sharon... it was snowing. Not. Fair. It was a slap in the face that I'm back in reality. Snow. Work. And no friends.

But thank you everyone who made those few short days the best days I've had in a long long time (not counting Des and Tina's visit which was freaking awesome!) And a special thanks to Lisa for getting me out there- and back safely- and for letting me crash at your house! You rock baby! You rock!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Four State Tour

The last few weeks have been bi-zay for me! (which in all actuallity has been a nice change of pace from the work-sleep-work-sleep-sit around and stare at walls-work-sleep routine that I've been in for the last couple of months.)

Last Thursday I packed up my crap and drove to Boise. I've never driven to Boise from Salt Lake so I didn't know what the drive would be like. I anticipated it being very long and extremely boring. It was rather a miracle that I was there in the blink of an eye! Seriously. It was the shortest drive ever. Even sometimes the drive from SLC to Poky seems a long longer than that drive.  And it was smooth sailin' all the way!

I got there in time to hang out with my little bro and his boy. Both cute. I love my little brother. And little boys don't get any cuter than Donaven. JaNeil came home so Donaven and I went to the store. Poor kid, his mom's been on bed rest for about 10 weeks so he got used to people coming everyday to pick him up to go play. That day he stayed home all day with dad and he was ready to go OUT! So it was really easy for him to go with me. He was a little shy of me at first- but he warmed up.

At the store he was so stinkin cute- everything I put in the cart I'd ask him if we should buy it- and he would nod "yes" with his whole body. hahaha.  I bought him a package of goldfish crackers because he wanted them. I'm an awesome aunt and can spoil the heck out of him if I want to!  So I did.

I made dinner that night and then beat JaNeil at a couple of rounds of 5 Crowns. Then everyone headed to bed. The next day Trav and JaNeil headed to the hospital. Donaven was *not* happy to be left behind. He's ok if he's the one doing the leaving- but he doesn't like it when they leave him. I have a video of him bawling- sca-reaming- at the door, but I don't know how to post videos from my phone. But then again, I have a video of him five minutes later being so silly I couldn't stop laughing. He's a good boy. It was sad for a little bit to be left behind- but he perked up and played really well. We hung around the house waiting for the phone call! Finally around 2:30 Trav called to tell us the baby was here! He was born at 12:10 on 11.11.11 (no one thought to call and let anyone know he had arrived... uhhh... duh...) She tried to get the appointment earlier so he could be born at 11:11, even then I said he should have been pulled out at 12:11 so we could say he was born at 11:11 PST. Oh well.

Donaven and I got ready and ran up to the hospital to meet baby brother, Oren.

He thought he was a really cute baby. He was very soft with him, gave him a few kisses- then wanted to run away with his Papa. hahaha. I don't think he fully grasped that this was his new baby. That life as he knew it was forever changed.

JaNeil was a little tired and sore- apparently C-sections do that to people... Trav was just happy and I think a little bit overwhelmed. Another kid is a big ol responsibility!

But he sure is a cute little stink. Definitely a keeper. I like babies when their all tiny and still folded up and their little bum fits right in your hand. Awwww....

I got to put Donaven to bed that night after bath time. That little rat throws all his toys out of the tub to signify he's done. It took me two full size bath towels to soak up the water.  When he went to bed he begged for "Puppies" (101 Dalmatians) and I being an awesome and obliging aunt- let him watch it for a while before bed.  His pathetic little "Peeeees?" is irresistible. Especially when he does the sign language with it.

The next day Trav had friends over for the Boise State game. So I ran away. I took myself to lunch then a little shopping. I was trying to find a present for JaNeil from my mom. She'd commissioned me- and there are no freaking stores in that town that had what I wanted... at least none I could find. But whatever.  I hung out with JaNeil a little while, beat her at another game of 5 crowns and hugged my tiny new nephew. 

Sunday I took Donaven to church while Trav went to the hospital. I felt more welcome in thier ward than I do in my own. That's sad.  Even though I was on  "vacation" I don't get to go to church often enough to justify not going when it's right there. It was nice to go.

That was also Trav's birthday. So I made rice and Swedish meatballs for dinner. Trav doesn't like cake so he got five or six packages of Oreos stacked up like a cake.

He didn't complain.

He got Donaven bathed and in bed- so I went to see JaNeil and Oren again. This time she beat me at five crowns. D'oh!

Monday JaNeil and Oren came home. While Trav and Donaven were gone to pick them up, I mucked up the house and got things ready for them to come home. When they got home, we took a few pictures- I got to hug him for a while, and then everyone wanted to take a nap so I took that as my cue to leave. No sense hanging around when everyone's asleep.

The drive home was long and soooo boring. Probably because I was expecting it to be as nice as the drive there. But I made it back to Salt Lake at a decent hour.

The next day I had to work. It was a super long boring day. So slow that they sent me home early- which sucks because it was one day in like eight that I had to work- I should have just taken it off instead of losing the time. Oh well.

The next day... well... I think I'll do that in a separate post. This one is getting long enough already.