Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have a pantry. Could life GET any better?!

Name That Food... season IV

If you are unfamiliar with this game, please see NTF season 1 or NTF season 2

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Aftr D coms th lttr....

I always took for grantd th lttr following th lttr "d" in th alphabt. But now that my @$!%^&*@!$% Mac laptop kyboard has dcidd that it won't lt m us that lttr, I truly miss it. I don't know how to fix this problm, but somday whn I do (prhaps by chucking this dinosaur out th window and buying a good ol' PC at Costco) I will nvr again tak that wondrful vowl for grantd. I just hav to dcid whthr to buy a nw couch or a nw computr. Now that w'r poor, I rally shouldn't gt both. Or mayb I'll stick with this couponing gig, and sav nough to fl justifid in buying both. Til thn, th only corrctly splld posts will b don via txt. Or I'll copy-past th missing vowl from lswhr. Or mayb I'll just liv without that lttr. I rally don't nd it, right? You can undrstand vrything I'm trying to say?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not sure if this couponing scheme is worth it. Took twice as long in Albies as usual. Coupons and store ad papers scattered everywhere. Brianna begging to touch everything. Made cashier hate me cuz I grabbed the wrong size twice. Spent $9 on $27 worth of things we regularly use... but I'm beat!
Ran ten miles today. Decided to sign up for Bryce Canyon half marathon. Doing Provo Freedom 10k on the 4th. Wanna get as many races in before we get preg again!
Spent all afternoon picking cherries off two neighbor's trees. Deep purple big ones. It was sweet. But Brianna's face is now stained - she looks like she got into gothic lipstick.


Hear that roaring? It's me in mama-bear mode. I never knew I had it in me. But it's amazing how it just kicks in whenever danger approaches.

Frightening pictures, eh? Are you scared? Are you gonna CRY? Want me to call the waaaahmbulance?!
Well a couple years ago I would've gone screaming and running away if I saw a large black widow spider on my house. But when this vicious beast popped his ugly head out, I grabbed my child, put her in her room, frantically searched for the spider/roach/ant killing spray, and doused that evil predator with about half the can (and obviously took a picture of it beforehand - for proper identification purposes).
Afterward I was a little shaky, but honestly - I never felt fear.
It was just an overwhelming sense of the need to protect.
I'm sure other moms can relate.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I was quite proud of Brianna today when I asked her what color her Elmo is and she said "WHED!" I was not so proud of her when I asked if she would share him and she said "No! MINE!"
It's not everyday i can say i spent over 30K.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brian wants to go do Michael Jackson's temple work for him now.


The warning label on children's vitamins should state: may cause tantrum when given in appropriate dosage.
Yeah - appropriate dose = ONE per day.
Someone please explain that to Brianna.
Cuz when I take these babies out (I consider them an inexpensive nutrition insurance for those days when she won't eat anything besides bananas)... and only give her ONE... she starts up with the demanding ("Moh! Moh!") then begging ("PEEZ! PEEZ!") and unless a speedy intervention occurs ("Hey Brianna - look at the DOG outside! Let's go say hi!") a full arm-flailing meltdown will occur.

I wonder if we're just better off letting her suffer from malnutrition.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

attempts at a family photo...

All I wanted was one. decent. picture.

Just a quick snapshot to use for a father's day present for my dad (a photo tie from Snapfish).
Obviously, my expectations were too high. We all couldn't possibly be looking at the camera at the same time...and not have our neighbor's finger over the lens...and not be in some awkward position...

I gave up.

I need photoshop I guess.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I just uploaded a few little clips onto youtube. I'm not putting them on here cuz I think it makes the blog take longer to load. Plus, someday when I print this thang, I don't know how videos will show up. So for all those who just can't get enough Brianna (like me...and Brian...and me...and Brian...maybe my mom too...) Go to youtube, do a search for Brianna McKell, then click on Sort --> Newest. Oh fine, I'll do it for you. Click here
If you only have time for one (what could you possibly be doing that is more important?!?!) check out "Brianna McKell says buhbye." It's what I get to see every weekday morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

MUSHY tribute to Brian on Father's Day

Just kidding. Why would I do that? Brian rarely reads our blog. This site is all about BRIANNA! But she does think her dad ROCKS:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To see the family tribute to my Dad for Father's day: debbieandstevefamily.blogspot.com
Yardsale result: a whopping $45. I blame poor advertising and cool weather. But the net total of all 3 yardsales in the past 2 months is like $430. And the best part - several truckloads less of STUFF!
Brianna has been getting fatter lately. Double chin, thunder thighs, bum dimples... it's like she's 7 months old again. Is it weird that her chub makes me really happy?!

Journey to Cedar

I haven't written about my trip to Cedar yet. I'm still trying to get over the trauma of it all.
It began on a Friday with 10 hours of frenzied packing and cleaning in Vernal.

I had the aid of a few angels.... seriously. That's how you can tell the true character of your friends... will they still be with ya on the very last day? Ivy was! (a 7-month preg Ivy!) And a lady in my ward that I barely knew... she just heard we were packing and cleaning and came over, mop in hand. With her sweet little helpers. For like 5 hours. Amazing. I hope these ladies are showered with blessings every day for the rest of their lives.And of course brother Mark saved the day by bringing the horse trailer over to use as our moving van. He is an optometrist, handyman, and professional mover all in one. An entire day sacrificed helping his brother - on his TEN year anniversary! What a birthday present (yep - Brian's bday too).
We drove from Vernal to Spanish Fork (3 hrs) on Friday evening, then left Saturday morning to Cedar. Brian and I had to drive separately - he took the massive moving trailer, I took our personal car. He arrived at 1pm, and I arrived at 6pm. But I only left an hour after him. So how did this separation occur? It's called Chelsea-is-an-idiot. I took Highway 6 instead of I-15. Highway 6 is the way we always went to Vernal from SF. I just got in the car (loaded with the babe and 300 pounds of our belongings) and started mindlessly driving. I didn't even realize I was going the wrong way til I saw a sign for Moab in 87 miles. Like I said - idiot. And it didn't help that my drive was slowed down by traffic.... traffic that said MOOOOO . That's Emery County for ya.AND I was very delayed by our encounter with a MOOSE - actually, not our direct encounter, fortunately... or I probably wouldn't be writing this right now... the large semi ahead of us smashed into a moose standing in the middle of I-70, sending it flying in the air and off to the side. I hit my brakes (going 80 - that's the speed limit!) and pulled over to view the horrifying sight of a moose with the bottom half of it's body dangling by bloody threads. Gruesome. I only took pictures to prove my story - and so someone could confirm that this is a moose, not an elk. That's how much I know about wildlife. Roadkill now, I guess. I yelled at the driver of the semi that he needed to get a gun and put the moose out of it's misery. He said he didn't have one, and we didn't have cell reception for another 20 miles. Poor moose. Thankfully, Brianna slept through this whole ordeal.
The last hour of the trip was pretty miserable. I was so ready to be DONE driving, Brianna was even more ready to be DONE sitting... I kept praying that we would make it. I've never been so happy to get out of a car in my life.

And that's how our life in Cedar began.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just found out our temp neighbors are having a yardsale tomorrow. We spent the last few hours getting our stuff out to join in, Gotta mooch off their advertising efforts! I really love getting rid of STUFF and simplifying our lives. Im learning to cut sentamental attachments. But i wont cave in to low-ballers!
Brianna just ate an entire 6 oz container of dried plums. Yeah that's right - PRUNES. Go ahead- say whatchur thinkin.

One week til closing!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Though the gas to St George was free (business trip) the items we bought at Costco were NOT. Its amazing how quick and easy you can spend a small fortune there! Apparently the polygamists can afford it though - we saw a whole colony!

When I'm assigned dessert, I BRING it

Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration/boast... I'm just really proud of myself for not giving up and grabbing a package of store-bought crap for the party. I was quite limited in options, since most of our kitchen gear is in storage. I called my mom for ideas (because I call my mom for just about everything - is that normal?) and her suggestions all involved using things I didn't have. But in the background, Meredith was calling out "parfaits! trifles!" Genius child. Perhaps her pregnant brain made her more creative.
I wish I was better at taking pictures - these don't look half as tasty as they actually were. The large trifle, obviously, was half eaten before I remembered to take my camera out.

They're actually relatively healthy - for the parfaits I used GoLean Crunch cereal as the granola, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, Lite n' Fit yogurt, and TruWhip (a better version of Cool Whip - the real stuff is crap). The trifle has angelfood cake cubes, sugarfree vanilla pudding (I know, I know - some people would argue that the artificial sweeteners are evil - but how many people are suffering the consequences of too much sugar verses too much artificial sweeteners?!) , all the aforementioned berries, bananas, and the whip on top. In like 12 layers (yeah, it took for-EV-er -fortunately Brianna took a 2 hr nap).
If you can't tell yet, I'm just so darn proud of myself. I usually don't put this kind of effort into potlucks. But this was an important one, since it was our first week in Cedar and we needed to buy some friends. Because this is how real friends are acquired, right? Through desserts?


We are renting our friend's home here in Cedar while they're away in Virgina. It just happens to be a stone's throw from the home we're buying (8 days til closing)! Our friends are giving us a great deal on rent (pretty much free) so we wanted to do something nice for them.

These are the before and after pictures.
I ripped it out with my two bare hands.... on a stump grinder....

Then I sent our friends an email saying "You didn't want that stump in the front yard, right?"
I think a skunk died in the field behind our house. This really stinks.
Brianna has discovered a new game. Its called throw-everything-down-the-stairs

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Save .75 off this post

There are many things in life we should feel guilty about - stealing, swearing, throwing dirty diapers in public bathroom garbage cans.... but I have felt guilty for years now for not being a Couponer. I profess my belief in frugality and resourceful living - yet I ignore the little papers everywhere offering cents off my world. I've shied away because I know that doing it correctly is much more complicated than just clipping and shopping. You have to combine coupons with current promotions and sales to truly save. So you have to pay attention to those piles of grocery ads every Tuesday clogging the mailbox, dig through the massive Sunday paper, organize and file those flimsy coupons in an attempt to avoid the inevitable chaos they create, go to websites like savvyshopper or pinchingyourpennies for the info on which stores to go to with which ads and exactly when...cuz all these sales expire, the coupons expire... and then there's the rebates with receipts you have to enter online or mail in... and half the coupons are for crap food - and I don't care how cheap the crap is, it's not coming in my house. So we have to weigh out cost vs quality... I bet people have stopped reading this by now cuz it's so annoying just to think about.

But the burden of guilt has become heavier and heavier lately, as I see ladies trekking through the store, multiple children in tow, with their overflowing yet systematic coupon binders. I stand behind them in the register line and hear the cashier tell them "you've saved [five billion] dollars today, thankyou for shopping at Albertsons."
I assuage my guilt with reminders that we save by not going out to eat, and never letting edibles get expired and thrown away at home. Seriously - how many times have you been in someone's fridge/freezer/pantry and seen foodstuffs from 2005, or unrecognizable leftovers in tupperware containers stuffed in the back, growing things. That doesn't happen here. Like the other day - I had leftover chicken salad for breakfast, simply because I didn't want it to go bad. But... I paid full price for those chicken salad ingredients. Probably Costco full price, but I know for a fact that Couponers mock Costco shoppers.
I've also leaned on the excuse that we don't have a printer nor a newspaper subscription, so I have no access to coupons.
But the other day I received a call from the Deseret News Call Center (which happens to be in St. Lucia. The tropical-voiced lady was very impressed that I asked if she was in the Carribean. But it was actually a very lucky guess). As a past subscriber (like 3 years ago), I was offered a killer deal: $1.08 per week - all 7 days! Brian LOVES getting the newspaper, and since he's a little bummed about us not having TV, I decided to get him this as another Father's Day present. He now wakes up every morning and excitedly runs out to the driveway for our paper. Those who know him know I'm not exaggerating.
Of course Sunday rolled around, we got the ridiculously massive paper, and I found the SmartSource insert. Couponscouponscoupons. And more coupons that DOUBLE the coupons. With the weekly grocery ad sitting nearby, I noticed some of the coupons were for the same items already on sale.
So I'll end this extensive narrative with simply saying that... I did it. I became a PYP member and strolled (literally) over to Albertsons I spent $21 for $54 worth of groceries. And they're all items that we normally consume. I felt pretty good about myself... til I came home to find my mailbox stuffed with brand new ads for another week of sales. This will never end.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a picture of Brianna and her mom

pretty straightforward title, eh?
I have many weaknesses, but impulse shopping is very rarely one of them. In fact, it's quite the opposite - I suffer from impulse cheapskateness. But today on the way home from the gym, having forgot my waterbottle and suddenly seeing a large sign in front of the California Produce Tent advertising the new truckload of juicy peaches... I caved. I can't even remember how it all happened...it's a blur of fruit and friendly salesmen... somehow there is 75 pounds of fruit in my kitchen and Brianna and I have distended bellies and sticky fingers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The boys next door...

These are the hoodlems calling on my daughter. Evil-looking, aren't they. I'm getting Brian a rifle for Father's Day to scare them off. Joke's on them though...Brianna's just using them for their wheels.
I feared this day would come... but always hoped my child would be the exception and just bypass these classic behaviors... Brianna has discovered nose-picking (ew) and the word MINE in relation to everything (annoying). This will be fun...

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Caution, folks: this will be a sassy one.
With Father’s Day approaching, I would like to illustrate (and rant on) one of my pet peeves:
  • The phrase “pet peeve.” It makes no sense, and sounds…ridiculous.
  • More importantly – the focus of this inconsequential and potentially condescending post – the way-to-frequent occasion of hearing/reading others use the phrase “the BEST dad in the WORLD!” Alternately: “The greatest dad EVER!” and various forms of this irritating statement (made worse by multiple exclamation points, which I loathe – I could do an entire whining post about how annoying these !!!!! are). Within the next 8 days, I will undoubtedly read and hear the “best-dad-ever” declaration numerous times. Let’s discuss this (in list form – I’m in a list mood):
  1. Is it really necessary to praise a father and/or husband by comparing him to others? Must we, essentially, insult other dads in order to pay tribute to our own?
  2. There are 6 billion people on the planet. Let’s estimate that 2 billion of them are fathers. Chances are… there just might be one that performs his fatherly role slightly better. Just saying.
If, by chance, this maddening phrase is used simply because the daughter/wife is lacking more appropriate expressions, here are a few suggestions:
  • My father/husband is great.
  • My father/husband is wonderful.
Done. Happyhappy Father’s Day.
Stay tuned for the report of Brianna’s gift to her daddy this year. It’s going to be the cutest thing EVER!!!

Brianna's vocabulary

up, grapes, Elmo, outside, NO, dada, mama, papa, nonny, hi, hello, rowrowrow, poop, yay, wow, brown, yes, I do, tooted, UH-OH, juice, buhbye, cheese, park, shoes, bread, church, bad, turkey, mine

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spent the evening in St George. Brian's aunt and uncle watched Brianna while we templed, then had us over for the best BBQ chicken of my life. Brianna surprised us by NOT being shy as usual, but put on a great performance. Showed off her funny faces, animal sounds, songs, dancing, and repeating names - scored big points there. It helped that it was way past bedtime and she was hyperwired. Fun night. I like this Dixie area.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Today two little 4 yr old boys rang the doorbell. I followed Brianna as she ran to answer it. They asked if Brianna could come out to play. Yeah. Nearly had heartattack. Before i could inform them that my BABY was not old enough for this kind of thing, she was out the door.


Today is a momentous occasion in the life of Branana-nana: she has decided not to go down the slide on her belly anymore, but to boldly take it head-on, sitting upright, facing the world.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Im at SUU at the Utah Summer Games headquarters registering for 10k and 5k. Brianna is registering for the Tantrum Throw. Only a bronze performance today, fortunately. The USG also features pickleball, armwrestling, nintendoWII and sculling. Crazy huh. But maybe they think Im the crazy one...
I freaked a little when i changed Brianna's diaper and her poo was bright red. Then i remembered that i let her share my cherry frozen yogurt yesterday. Ridiculously sensitive systems these babies have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brianna played with her friend Emily all afternoon. Brianna seems to have a bit of an inferiority complex since Emily is 20 months, taller, and knows at least 100 more words. But Brianna got VERY competitive when I quizzed them on animal sounds - she glared Emily down, answering LOUDER and faster. The mooing and quacking got so fierce i had to separate the girls.

Eating plums on the way home from the market...

"What are YOU lookin' at?!"

Brianna was sitting on the counter next to me while making sandwiches. Suddenly she grabbed the bread and tomatoes and threw them to the ground. I swatted her foot and said "NO Brianna, that was BAD!" She looked at me confused. Then she looked at her foot, touched it and said "BAD." Hmpf. Maybe i should read a book on effective toddler discipline.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

DONE! Read the Book of Mormon in one month. Thank you Malerie for the challenge! I learned so much... especially that I have so much more to learn. But I know this book is true more than ever before. I'm so grateful for it. Now I just gotta figure out what to read tomorrow...
Big produce stand just opened ten minute walk from us! Thank you California for sending the goods. Brianna is sitting in her stroller happily devouring a big apricot.
Just chatted with my sister Lindsay for 72 minutes while Brianna slept in my arms. I miss my family. But thank goodness for free mobiletomobile minutes! AT&T makes nothin on me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tonight's FHE activity: skipbo. We're so wild and crazy, i know.


These shirts are all the rage in Vernal (yeah, so I haven't finished the Vernal posts yet) There are bumper stickers and banners all over the town with this "I [heart] drilling" logo. They have rallies with all the oil-related workers where they curse the evil environmentalists. It's pretty extreme. I have to do my recycling at night time for fear of my life.

But I got Brian this shirt for his birthday a couple weeks ago because he loves it. To him it represents all the money he made off those oil company execs who didn't blink an eye at his inflated car rental prices.
We also got one for his dad for father's day, because he's a dentist (get it?)
Brianna and i had a chicken and veggie soup for lunch. But Brianna would only eat the celery pieces. Hello eating disorder. Next she`ll be askin me for skim milk. Sheesh.
Brianna and i had a chicken and veggie soup for lunch. But Brianna would only eat the celery pieces. Hello eating disorder. Next she`ll be askin me for skim milk. Sheesh.
Tickets booked for Spokane trips! Two weeks in july for merediths baby, and 4 days in august for priest lake cabin. CANT WAIT!
Brian is in for an even more busy week than last at his office. Assistant on vacation, reservations high, all while still getting to know the area. No lunch breaks again im sure, and probably 70 hours. Ill just plan on rollin single-mom style.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I heard noises coming from Briannas room and went in to find her sitting on our rocking chair thrusting herself back and forth and yelling WEEE WEEE WEEE WEEE

Dam anniversary trip

Finally - I'm doing a real post. Not just my silly texting posts. They actually take a long time to punch out, and even longer if I try to be grammatically correct. So I usually don't, obviously. But I do know how to use apostrophes and capitalization correctly, I promise. I'm at the nearby hotel using their internet again (shhhh, don't tell, or they'll kick me out like the other one did) I have very limited time here - I barely keep up with necessary internet-duties like all our financial stuff. The worst part is that I have no time to check out anyone else's blogs... sincere apologies, friends....I'll return to regularly stalking you as soon as we're settled.
Anyway - on to the report:

Brianna was babysat for almost 4 hours by our dear friend Rita and her boys. She had so much fun, we were lucky she was willing to go home with us.

We went to Flaming Gorge* for a tour, hiking, and dinner at the Red Cliffs Lodge.

Everything was awesome. The weather, the scenery, and my date, who was in full-on courting mode. So sweet. This was his year to plan everything - we take turns.

*Flaming Gorge is a reservoir in Wyoming and Utah, on the Green River, created by Flaming Gorge Dam. Construction on the dam began in 1958 and was completed in 1964. The Reservoir stores 3,788,900 acre feet of water at an elevation of 6,040 ft above sea-level.