Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So, granted I really like holidays of all sorts, but Halloween is really near the top! I love the fall, which adds to my love for all holidays during that time of year... but why not take advantage of every opportunity to dress up, eat great food, and party your heart out??

This last weekend I had the chance to go to two Halloween parties - and loved every second of it. Maybe we're getting a little too personal, but I think that while I love the holidays there is also a kind of drag that I go through this time of year. Admittedly watching everyone else celebrate their traditions as families and pass those traditions on to their own children puts a slight damper on the way I look at my own holidays... I still have an amazing time, but that little damper rears its ugly head each year (uninvited) and needs to be squashed as I enter this wonderful season. I am genuinely grateful to my amazing family and friends that let me celebrate with them each year. It makes squishing that damper SO much easier!

This last Friday, my cousins were having a Halloween party for their kids and invited me to come. I was planning to watch my good friends' son, Keenan, while they attended a temple session, so Keenan got all dressed up in his pirate costume and went to the party with me! We had seriously so much fun! We wandered through a tangled spiderweb of yarn to find a gift my cousin had hidden for Keenan, while each of the other kids found their own - bubbles, socks, and a Halloween pencil! After we all got ourselves all untangled, we went to the kitchen and made spiders out of ding-dongs, shoe-string-licorice, frosting, and Skittles! I helped Keenan make sure he got the right number of legs on his spider while he made sure we got WAY too much frosting - both on the spider and in his little tummy!

Everyone else had gotten dressed up, so Emmalynn (my cousin's daughter) brought me this amazing hat so I wouldn't feel left out (I came straight from work). I'm not really a hat person, but this one just fit so well... I had to remember to take it off before I went home that night! Thanks Misty and family for inviting me to come and thanks to Kevin and Annie for letting me "borrow" Keenan for the evening! Many fun memories were made that night - I'm sure for Keenan as well as me!

Saturday night some friends and I headed up to Oakley, UT (up above Park City and Kamas) to attend my friend Mindy's annual Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza! Four girls and four gourds (including my 30-pound pumpkin) piled into my little car and headed up the mountain. It was such a pretty drive that I felt refreshed before we even got there! We helped Mindy finish decorating and prepping food, and then the real fun began. Mindy broke out her infamous wig collection while I donned my cat-woman costume (a personal favorite). Then the photo-ops began!

After more people arrived, we got the tarps laid out in the living room and started our pumpkin carving adventures!

Of course we also had to take our intermittent breaks to the food table, which included cheese balls, pumpkin rolls, fruit tarts, cookies, candies, and some jalapeno kielbasa/shrimp kabobs! Knowing me, this was not the only time I snuck over to the food table... just look at that guilty look on my face! (Really... no shame!)

After the pictures, eating, and carving were over (well... maybe just the carving...) we each took our finished products to the porch and set them aglow with tea lights. This is my 30-pound pumpkin that my friends informed me looked like Captain Gantu off of Lilo & Stitch:

Slanting, hollow eyes and no real nose... hmmm...

Oh there it is! Striking resemblance! ;0)

A great time was had all around - nothing brings people together quite the same was as scraping guts out of a pumpkin! Here are some of the others from that night:

Seriously made for quite the exciting weekend! I'm really looking forward to this next weekend - Kimmy and I are driving down to Arizona to spend Halloween together as a complete family for the first time in about 10 years! Combine Halloween with a 2-year-old birthday, a baby blessing, and taking my nieces trick-or-treating... Recipe for the perfect weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stitchin' It Up!

My roommate and many friends would attest that - while normally you would find me stuck behind whatever book I've been reading (still usually the case) - I've been spending a significant amount of time behind my sewing machine as well. My most consistent project has been making what most of my family and friends have used as scripture bags - I think I've made about six of these since December '08:

Amongst some other small projects (i.e. mending), I recently completed my first *quilted* blanket. Normal my blanket adventures have included two flat panels, some batting, and tied-yarn-tufts. I decided that for my next quilt - a baby shower gift for one of my very best friends - I would venture into the unknown. My experiment turned out better than I ever imagined!

So, the fabric was pretty basic - all my *quilting* involved was running my regular sewing machine alone the lines around the animals on the top (admittedly much more involved than I had originally anticipated). When I delivered the gift to my friend, her grandmother was ranting at how well I'd done. She also asked me how I didn't get the "infamous puffiness" in the middle of the pattern, to which I replied, "I figured I'd start in the middle, so that any puffiness could be hid in the binding." My friend's grandmother was very impressed at my forethought - especially since I'd never even helped in *officially* quilting anything! She told her granddaughter, "That's one smart friend you've got there - don't let that one get away!"

My next adventure - a little sommin-sommin like this:
(actual pictures forthcoming... eventually)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Famous... er... Something...

So, the company I work for just started featuring corporate employees in the newsletter that goes out to all of our customers as well as everyone internally. Guess who got featured in the first one - oh, yah. Me! I wasn't super thrilled about having my-magazine-self sent all over the United States... but it didn't turn out soooo bad (just omit the parts that talk about how much I love working there - typical media - I really said everything else ;0):

has a secret: her hair color is natural! Born in Camarillo, California, but raised in the San Francisco East Bay area, she is the oldest of three girls. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Brigham Young University—and STILL loves to read! “My ideal day (when not at LifeVantage) would be spending time in the mountains with friends and family, but also having plenty of time to read,” she says. Her current read? “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R.Tolkien.

Jessi plays the flute; she has studied it for approximately 18 years. She has a 2 ½ gallon fish tank that is home to betta fish, cat fish and ottocinclus fish. She looks to Shakespeare for inspiration for their names. “I have a betta fish named Othello and his predecessor was Hamlet, because Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean play.”

Other favorites include the movie “Just Like Heaven,” ballroom dance, travel, and working in the Customer Service department at LifeVantage. “I love talking to all of the distributors,” she says. “It’s fun to meet new people and get to know them. I wish everyone knew what a great place LifeVantage is to work, and how awesome the employees are. We have fun!”