Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giving Thanks I Didn't Burn Down My House

Thanksgiving, a time for family. A time for friends. A time for wanting to get so blasted drunk that I can’t see straight and keep thinking the raw turkey in my kitchen was really a tiny space alien.

Okay so I didn’t get drunk or burn my house down or end up in a loony bin. I did, however, gain an all new appreciation for anyone who knows their ass from a turkey giblet. All the damn work that goes into one meal is not worth it on a lot of levels. Yes, it is great to hear how good the food is and see the smiles of my loved ones (Equaling 2 people this year!) as they partake in the meal I literally spent all day cooking. But on the other hand, the shakes I was getting from stress as well as wanting a VERY LARGE glass of wine sort of counteract all that.

Now to be fair Ryan and I got several offers inviting us to various places for Thanksgiving. But I began to question people’s motives. Some were just being kind but I think there were a couple people that thought it might be safer if I wasn’t near a stove or oven when I am so prone to panic attacks. Plus, somewhere along the line I must have given off the impression that I don’t know how to cook and I am sure there was concern over Ryan, Gabe, and I all getting food poisoning.

Let me start my tale on the evening of Thursday Nov. 17th. I called my mom to ask if I could borrow her potato masher and turkey platter. I told her I bought my turkey and was going to put it in the fridge Monday when I got home from work. She told me to put it in the fridge on Sunday morning. I was shocked! It is a bird that I assumed was not that big but she was telling me that I needed to give it 4 full days to thaw?

When I checked the turkey on Wednesday night it still had a few bloody ice chunks inside it. First off, NASTY on the ice chunks. And second, it still had frozen stuff inside after 4 freaking days! And not only was there frozen ice but other treasures too! I know that there are guts in a turkey but why in the hell are there guts in a turkey? A turkey neck? Really Butterball? That seems like something people might want to consume?!?! It is already bad enough that I am going to have to stick my hands inside a dead animal carcass and now you are packing up their innards like I want them as a prize from some disgusting piƱata? Get real and put a sealed Itunes gift card in there the next time. Guaranteed you will sell more turkeys.

The cooking process was unreal. I had to start my day at 6:00 am. Internet, I don’t wake up at 6:00 am to get ready for work. But I did on Thursday so I could get my rolls started. I was going to make rolls from scratch but at the thought of having to do all the other crap I bagged that idea and got some Rhode’s Bake-and-Serve which still need 3-5 hours to rise. I should have just wadded up slices of white bread into balls and called it good.

I also made FROM SCRATCH: sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, the relish tray (Yes I count that!), and green beans with bacon and onions. And of course, I made the turkey as well.

This is me making the roux for my turkey gravy. This is one of the first things I did because I was able to put it in the fridge and then add the drippings (Another nasty cooking term.) to it later right before it was to be served. I was excited at this point because I felt like Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray. By the end I felt like Lindsey Lohan after a loooong weekend.
And Gabe was helping me by making sure all the onions tasted delicious. His breath smelled so bad!
Here I am making the deviled eggs. What it that you ask Internet? What am I doing? Oh yeah! I am piping the filling into the eggs! Suck on that Thanksgiving!
And finally we come to the turkey. As you can see I really loved sliding my hand under cold turkey skin to smear butter on the breast meat. I felt like I was some deviant or doing something really inappropriate to that turkey.
Not a pleasant experience!
But the final results were better than I could have ever hoped for. I mean, look at that gorgeous bird! For my first try I think I kicked that turkey’s butt!
But I could not have done it without Ryan. Not only did he keep Gabe out of the kitchen but he was a great helper monkey! All I had to do was ask and he was right there with bowl or pepper or a spatula. The only thing he refused me was a 20-Gauge shot gun when I wanted to blow the turkey to bits in frustration.

And I can’t even take all the credit for cooking. Below is the dish Ryan did all by himself.
But honestly, I can’t say I regret making Thanksgiving this year. I tackled a cooking fear that I have had for years and proved to myself I am not completely incompetent. And when I see smiles like this from across the table it is hard not to remember why I did it in the first place.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. No you are not invited to my house next year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On the Mend

My poor Bubba has been sick the past few days. He had a viral throat infection that was causing pain and irritation and a fever. It was also causing two very worn out parents. Gabe hasn’t been sleeping well or eating well. He has been grumpy and difficult. And when he normally has such a sweet and funny disposition, this complete 180 makes it a hard adjustment for Mom & Dad.

But I found that even when he doesn’t feel 100%, a balloon from the store will always being a big smile!
And the doctor’s office is even getting wise and while we were waiting they gave him some apple juice.

He is on the mend and I hope better by Thanksgiving because…I am making the WHOLE MEAL myself! Eeep! I want him feeling better so he can enjoy (or suffer through) this huge milestone right along with me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Superiority Complex

This is Gabriel-King of the Leaves. All shall bow to his mighty power & adorable smile.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chatter Box

The following is a conversation that I had with Gabe this morning in our kitchen. It made me laugh so I am sharing it with all of you. Living with a two-year-old has its perks when it come to the humor department.

(Disclaimer: This is an older picture from a couple weeks ago but it still fits!)

Gabe: Hi Mommy!
Me: Hi Bubba.
Gabe: Whatcha doin’ Mommy?
Me: Making some lunch to take to work. What are you doing?
Gabe: Call Beeeecaaa.
Me: You are calling Becca?
Gabe: Yup. Call Beeeecaaa. *Picks up his toy phone and pretends to push the buttons.*
Gabe: Beep! Beep! Beep! (These were button noises.) HI BEEEECCCAAA!
Me: Are you talking to Becca?
Me: Can I talk to her?
Me: Please Gabe?
*Runs from room still saying the word no and shaking his finger at me*

To be honest, if he really was talking to Becca I doubt she would have wanted him to hand the phone over to me anyway. Much love to you all!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Dino-mite! Get it? DINO!

The weather in Utah sucks. Right now it is cold and wet and well, it sucks! What do you do with 2 kids on a Saturday that is indoors and doesn't involve T.V.? Luckily people much smarter that I already tackled this problem and built the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.

I have never been because it is in Utah County and there are few things I would go there for. Although I do have to say I have been following a blog done by a friend of mine called Utah Valley Foodie and it does entice me to leave my bubble of the Salt Lake Valley for some good eats, but that is beside the point.

The drive wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and the offer a 25% Military Discount which was nice. At first I wasn't sure but they had me at "you can save money!"

The kids actually loved this place almost more than cake. I am thinking in a death match cake would still win.
And yes, even I had fun. Sera and I created this lake/island/dam thing at the erosion exhibit which she named "Lake Ridge Back" because it looked like a ridge back dinosaur...??? I didn't see a dino called a Ridge Back but whatever. It was fun getting to spend some time with just Sera and I being creative and having so much fun.
My Family and some creepy looking fish.
Eeep! Scary shark!
Ryan and Sera were busy trying to uncover the bones while Gabe ran around them in a circle saying "I have 2 brushes! I have 2 brushes!" He was SUPER helpful!
And here we all are together in the sand. On a side note, I think that I brought back about a gallon of sand in my shoes and Sera kept remarking about all the various places she also had sand. Souvenirs for all!
So on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being painfully boring and 10 being Disneyland I would give this place an 8.5 for kids. If you haven't been and you have little ones, give the Museum of Ancient Life a shot and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Much love to you all!

My Good Looking Guys

On Tuesday Ryan had the day off from work and so he and Gabe decided to go to the park. It was cold outside so they bundled up and headed out. According to Ryan the park was empty so Gabe had free reign and loved it. Usually this park is packed with kids and Gabe gets pushed around a little but so this must have been a nice change of pace.

And this has to be one of the cutest dang pictures of the two of them I have ever seen. I love my boys so much and it is pictures like this that make me love them a little more.

Thanks to Ryan for being such a good dad. Some day when Gabe is older his going to really appreciate that you took the time to have special moments like this. Much love to you all!

Halloween 2011

Halloween was really busy this year! I feel like it just flew by and I hardly had a chance to breathe! It was fun though and I would do it all over a year or so.

I told you all about our "adventure at the corn maze" where Sera had the crap scared out of her in a corn maze. Well I finally got my camera back from my sister and found these pictures that we took at one of those cutouts. My camera died halfway through so I missed some but I did get a few classics!

I am Frankenstein and was trying to make a scary face and I was successful just not in the way I intended to be. I look crazy and a little constipated. Becca...what are you doing? Not scary! FAIL!
Sera is putting her face up and Gabe just couldn't help himself! He wanted to give his big sister a kiss. It was really cute.
On Monday Oct. 31st Gabe's daycare had their annual Halloween parade. Ryan and I always make an effort to go because it is fun to walk around with all the kids and see everyone in costume.
But as you may be able to guess, Gabe was getting tired and so we ended up carrying him on our shoulders which was a pretty good workout.
Here is the whole group and as you can see, trying to get all these kids to sit and smile was similar to herding cats. It was still really cute!
Later that night we were lucky enough to be able to take both Gabe and Sera trick-or-treating. And even better? Linda was able to come down!!! I love it when Ryan's parents can here for special events. And Linda is always such a good sport and up for anything. I loved having our whole family together for Halloween this year. We miss a lot of Halloweens with Sera because of situations that are beyond our control so we cherish the times we do get.

Halloween 2011 flew by and I feel like I am not even doing it justice with this blog. But it was fun and I hope memorable for everyone. Much love to you all!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sometimes It Really Is About Me

A friend of mine who I have known for about 11 or 12 years recently wrote a blog about trying to find out who she is. First off, I can tell you that she is amazing. She is stronger than she gives herself credit for and she is smart. She has come such a long way in her life and gone through more than I ever have or hopefully will. But she talked about trying to discover who she is and what makes her happy. I found this to be so interesting because how many of us are brave enough to admit that we don’t know who we are really?

It got me thinking about who I am. I assumed that I know who I am but most of that is in relation to who I am to other people. If I were to strip away what everyone else thought of me, both good and bad, what would be left?

1. I am a writer. I claim that this blog is so that my family can keep up-to-date on what I am doing but really, it is for me. I love expressing myself in such a fluid form. When I write, I write to make other people see or feel certain things. And when people tell me I am funny based on what they have read it makes me so happy.

2. I am an entertainer. I love to throw parties or make dinner for my family. I love telling stories and making everyone around me laugh. I love entertaining in various forms and each way makes me feel good.

3. I am a cook. Something about cooking a delicious meal (or even attempting something that turns out to taste like farts.) makes me feel creative. I love being creative and taking raw ingredients and turning it into something that I can put on my dinner table. I love cooking new things and trying out new ingredients. I love making my “go-to” meals and hearing how much my husband loves them. I love to cook.

Yes, I am a mother and I cherish my kids. Yes, I am a wife and have an amazing husband. I am a friend, a co-worker, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, and more. But I am also a person and I need to embrace who I am. So thank you to my friend who reminded me of that because I think it is something we all need to be reminded of once in a while. Much love to you all!