Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hollister "Lights On" Parade

So I'm from the big city, I've only seen a small handful of parades, I've attended even less, and I've never even come close to being in one. But this year I dove in headfirst to all of the above! Since I am the new activities chairman in the ward and the Bishop said he would like the church to be better known in the community and the "Lights On" Parade was coming up I did something I never thought I would do; I signed the church up for a float. Yes, add this to my list of "nevers". How on Earth do you build a float? But that's what life is all about right? Just going for it!! Go Big or Go Home! I always say. So that's what I did. I donated all my Saturdays in November to the planning, organizing and constructing of a float representing the church. The theme was Candy Cane Lane. We went with the sub-theme of "Sweet Treats". We constructed larger than life candy canes, gingerbread men, peppermint twists and cupcakes. We made an over-sized, old fashioned stove and had tons of lights. I was pretty happy with the results despite the fact that I doubted my ideas at every turn (an ongoing problem I've gotta work on). I was so happy with all the people who were willing to volunteer time and resources. We have a great ward! So willing, and so cheerful. Bishop Starkweather is my hero! Our float would have been pretty sad and pathetic without him. He is incredibly generous and able. Along with his time, he let us use his 25' flatbed trailer, his truck (which he drove for us) his generator, his scrap wood, his Christmas lights and other Christmas decorations, and his tools and equipment. Truly a remarkable man!

Here is the evolution of our float
From this..
to this...
to this...

The Bishop's Granddaughter got to ride in the cab with Grandpa.
Carter and Christy got to ride on the float. Carter fell asleep in the staging area and woke up at the end... but look how cute he is
Some other cool things:
-Michael Hanson showing up on my doorstep with 4 precut cardboard gingerbread men. (I thought he was just bringing me cardboard)
- Every week, even though I had no clue what I was doing, there was almost always something for everyone to do despite their ages and interests
-Liz McMullen being able to help from home using her Cricut and making the cutest signs ever
-Red Duct Tape - wow was that EVER a time saver
- I have the best husband on the planet who gave up his time (and a few golf games) to help. He had some really great ideas and ingenuity. My own little MacGyver.
-A terrific ward - so, so willing and supportive even if my ideas and methods were a little crazy

And I would like to dedicate this float to 2 very unsuspecting people.

First: Dianne - my mogul friend and former business partner. If it wasn't for all the trade show booths we built over the years I'm sure I would have crumbled under the task.

Second: Aunt Sharon - my aunt whom I've always admired and wanted to be just like. Several years ago we visited them (in small town Henefer, UT) and she was - unless I'm mistaken - in charge of their 4th of July parade. I didn't know then, and I don't know now, how she did it and still kept her cool. But I just kept channeling my inner Sharon and told myself, "If she could do that, I can certainly do this."

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon!

So some people might call me obsessed. You know though, I wouldn't call it that at all. Maybe a term like "highly interested" would be better. But me and 200 of my closest friends went to see New Moon at the midnight showing last night. (Ok, there were really about 20 of my friends there, but something about Twilight makes strangers seem like close friends - hmm, maybe it's just me) Anyway, we bought tickets weeks ago, re-read the book, made shirts for the occasion, got in line yesterday about noon, we squealed at all the right places, we enjoyed Bella's drama, Edward's sparkles and Jacob's muscles, we ate popcorn and got commemorative soda cups, we took pictures, we fantasized about Eclipse coming out in a few months and just generally enjoyed the who experience of a midnight showing of a movie that has been highly anticipated. If you're wondering what I mean about "experience" go here. This is why I'm in it. I love Twilight, I love the Twilight experience.

Here are some pictures from the night. FUN!!! I'll see ya, in line, June 29th for Eclipse!

No excitement here AT ALL!

I made the shirts on my Yudu machine. That thing rocks!
We temporarily went over to Team Jacob (except Tiff - 3rd from right, who is always there) Jacob is the hero of the book/movie. He's the one who takes care of Bella. The shirts reflected our switch. They said Team Edward with claw marks through the word Edward, with Jacob written above. On the back was a running wolf - since Jacob is a werewolf.

here's me making the shirts - totally a great piece of equipment.
If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up (name that movie)
Other highlights -
Brad and Brady showed up around 9pm to bring us hot chocolate. It was so sweet and thoughtful. And, honestly, it was better than the Starbucks Hot Chocolate we had earlier. Grrrr... why didn't I take a picture of him strolling up and down the line with his jug and styrofoam cups.

My friend Erinn - not pictured :( was able to come to the movie. She got her car broken into a few weeks ago and the crooks stole her credit cards and her New Moon tickets (smart thieves). She was more upset about the tickets than the credit cards (priorities, you know) Of course by then the movie was all sold out. She and her daughter were supposed to come. I don't know who was more heartbroken. Somehow the manager got wind of her plight and got her new tickets. It didn't materialize until last night. She was ecstatic. And, amazingly enough, I had an extra t-shirt in her size. A ticket AND a t-shirt all at last minute. She's apparently living right.

My conversation with Afton on the way home. Afton: Bella is retarded for not picking Jacob, and she blinks too much. New Moon makes me hate Edward. Me: So basically you went to New Moon for Jacob? Afton (smiling): Yep, pretty much!

And the last thing...
Who does this remind you of?

I'll give you a hint...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Face!

Last Wednesday I was having a particularly stressful, worrisome, depressing day. I was in Trader Joe's, and stuck to the back of my shopping cart was "this" little guy! He made me smile, laugh in fact. I pulled it off to take it home. To avoid the potential of losing him, I stuck it to my dashboard. There he remains, grinning his goofy smile at me and cheering me up daily. I love him.

(and thank goodness for high resolution photos so you can also see all the dust in my car - just try to focus on the happy face)

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Experience

This year, as mentioned in the previous post, Brad came with us to the pumpkin patch. Brad's technique in choosing a pumpkin differs significantly from mine. He likes to grab and go while I like to wander around and look at all my options and visualize what the possibility of each choice could be. At some point during our trip I told the kids one of my favorite stories about the time when we were first married, when Kelsi was a baby and we went 2 days before Christmas to choose a Christmas tree out of a Christmas Tree lot. And how we finally made it after dark and it was raining, and how while I was unbuckling Kelsi out of her car seat and getting out the stroller and the umbrella, Brad had jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed the first tree he saw, paid for it and had thrown it in the back of the truck. We were on our way back home before I even got started. Of course we all laughed at the story and then Brad made a comment that I've been thinking about ever since. He said, "Kids, mom just likes to enjoy the experience." You know what? That is very profound and absolutely true. The thing is, while I like the experience for me, I also want my friends and family to enjoy the experience with me. And, this year, amazingly enough everyone humored me in that. Everyone went to the pumpkin patch, almost everyone carved their pumpkin and everyone dressed up, got pictures taken and participated in halloween festivities. It was AWESOME! Brad even went with the disguise of my choosing. I hope I didn't pressure him, I just made it available, if he should choose to wear it. But you have to admit we made a cute couple!?

Kelsi, costume queen, decided to be a chimney sweep. She didn't need any help putting it together and true to form, she just took a little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila! She could seriously be on the set of Mary Poppins!

Afton has definite ideas about what she does or does not want to be. But time and time again she has chosen to be some sort of witch. Unfortunately to find a modest and cute costume she has to look in the "tween" section of the halloween store and because of her height most of them are too short and too tight. This year was no exception, she wanted to be a candy corn witch but we had to settle for this instead (a tiny bit short, but over all not too bad) Unfortunately because we ordered online we didn't realize that hat would be too small. She cut the band off and used it in her hair, but still, not quite the same as wearing a pointy hat.

Brady also has definite ideas about costumes. We have been talking about his costume all year. The girls and I were big advocates of him being Ace Ventura, Pet Detective! (How cute would that have been?) He humored us for a while and then went with... "Blind Guy". Whatever! Again, he knew EXACTLY what he wanted right down to the shape of the hat, the tint of his glasses and the specifics of the trench coat. I was dying, I knew there was no way we would find what he was looking for, but amazingly enough we found the perfect trench coat at Goodwill for $12. I didn't think that was possible at Goodwill anymore. He looked good and loved being in character.

As mentioned Brad went with a costume of my choosing. I wanted us to be an angel and a devil. He wanted to be the invisible man, frankenstein, austin powers and a myriad of other characters. I don't know if he was just being nice, ran out of time, or thought my idea MIGHT actually be a good idea, or maybe it was a combination of all. But we did end up going as an angel/devil couple. He fits the character though, right?

Since I was in charge of the Trunk or Treat at church I wanted to be festive and dress up, but I didn't want to be something that would detract. How perfect! And angel! I was amazed though at how hard it was to find a modest angel costume (lame). I was gearing myself up to make a costume (not my desire or my strong point) and then I came across an inexpensive "toga" costume! It worked out just right!!

I don't think we've ever dressed as a "couple". This is something I've always wanted to do (ever since watching the Brady Bunch where Mr. and Mrs. Brady go as Anthony and Cleopatra) Thanks Brad for giving me the "experience." I don't know why I'm like that, but it's good to be humored once in a while.