Monday, December 22, 2008

Just some photos...

Nothing major to say, just posting some pictures for all the family to see--easier
than emailing to a million different people. ~Merry Christmas~

*Jason and his best friend Garrett being shephards in the Nativity story...

Guitar playing "Joseph" serenades a hiding Mary-a little ad libbing never hurt right?

Jason proud of his gingerbread train...

Santa and Jas at the Ward Christmas Party

Jason and one of his best friends-Collin-playing under a table at the party...

Ryan with 2 chicken nuggets in his mouth and one in each hand-gotta love this kid!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Lately I've been amazed at how easily my emotions are affected by outside elements. Anything from the weather, books, people and especially music have big influences on how I feel. I'm becoming more attuned to how those things affect me and try to use them for the positive! So when I looked outside a few days ago and saw huge white, soft, fluffy flakes drifting past my window, I took a deep breath and knew it was going to be a good day. I grabbed Jason and pulled him up next to me, sitting on my cedar chest under my bedroom window. And he sat for a half hour watching the flakes build momentum in the sky. He would point at each one like every flake was new to him. At one point he turned, excitement burning in his bright blue eyes and said "mom, it's so bootiful". I couldn't have agreed more!

I bundled up the kiddies-not even bothering to think about all the effort of coats, hats, gloves etc just to potentially turn around and take them off 15 minutes later. I didn't think about the runny noses or whining about being wet and cold. I jumped right into the moment knowing that this was probably a once in a life time memory for my boys living in Las Vegas. They got to play in the snow! Ryan tasted everything and I tried not to cringe as he picked up snow off the grass, stuffing it in his mouth. Once or twice I caught him shaking his head rigidly, shuddering as the snow touched his new front teeth. Jason was thoroughly engrossed in how the snow stuck together as he squished it between his gloved hands. We made a snowman-who lasted about as long as Ryan let him, after pulling the grape eyeballs and carrot nose off and eating those as well.

I found myself sad when they were ready to go inside, because little did they know how fragile that afternoon was. It couldn't be duplicated and wasn't likely to be repeated as long as we are living here. They would wake up tomorrow and the enchantment would all be gone and I knew how disheartened Jason would be. So I'll dream of a white Christmas in Idaho and hope that we have more afternoons just like that one! And I keep reminding myself, don't worry about the hassle, the work, the burden or cost of spur of the moment ideas. Be that mom who lets her kids run barefoot or play in the stream (or the sandbox in my case-which reminds me of a large litter box so I make the kids stay away from it!) because the memories are worth far more than the hassle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Fiddler on the Roof"...

TRADITION....TRADITION! I feel like Tevye grasping at what few familiar family traditions I have left in my ever changing life. It's like you get married and the tide comes in, washing away most of your own footprints you managed to leave in the sand over the last 20 years, unless the prints were deep enough that the waves can never completely cause them to disappear--just reshape them a little--forcing them to fit better into the new mold that is married life. We continue to implement our favorite familial past times as our children grow older, finding ourselves full of nostalgia and wishful thinking this time of year. Oh to be a child again!

Back to Tevye--one of my favorite traditions has been for our family to head to Salt Lake City each Christmas and spend a weekend attending some Christmas concert (which has recently evolved to include college basketball games at the Delta Center), eating out at a favorite restaurant-usually the Lion House-and wrapping it up with a magical walk to see all the lights on Temple Square. It is always accompanied by evenings as a family sipping hot chocolate--to which I am totally & irrevocably addicted--and eating Mrs. Cavanaugh's Mindy Mints. (can't remember when those came into play but I can't remember a SLC Christmas weekend without them--little melt-in-your-mouth morsels of creamy mint chocolaty goodness, I'm drooling again already!) Ever since my brothers and sisters started college & serving missions, our Christmas weekend has not quite been the same. Someone is always missing and I subtly tear up a little looking around the dinner table or sitting around chatting at 2am, when I realize one of them is not there. I can't wait for the time when this busy part of life is over and we can all be back together again. This year we had two extras join us, my brother David's girlfriend Summer and my sister Lisa's boyfriend Spencer. It was refreshing to watch them interact, holding hands, opening doors for each other, not wanting to be apart for even a second. It made Scott and I a little more sensitive to how we treated each other--but we also wanted to shout "just give it 10 years and then we'll so who's more in love!" ha ha.

Nevertheless, to write the obvious, I love my family--enough to want to have 6 houses right next door to each other and one big fence around all of them. I want our kids to play in the yard together and eat meals together (actually, the others can fix the meals--I'll do dessert!) and not miss one more second of growing up without each other. That's what my heaven looks like, 6 houses, one big fence, lots of kids and Mindy Mints.

Dinner at the Lion House

Ryan--sick the whole weekend--poor boy!

Go Cougars!

Dave & Summer

Lisa & Spencer

Temple Square!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Turkey Day was pretty basic around here this year--as basic as TIDWELL'S do Thanksgiving! Thursday we got together with a couple other families in our ward who have younger kids and had dinner with them. I made sugar rolls, pies and green been casserole. The feast was fantastic--so great in fact that when we all went to go home that afternoon, instead of splitting up the leftovers and heading our separate ways for the weekend, we were all invited back on Friday for "left-over" Thanksgiving dinner. The kids loved it and so did Scott--getting a four day weekend and time to play with his friends too was a real treat. We did lots of lounging, decorating for Christmas, Scott took Jason to see a movie Saturday night, and on Sunday we cooked our own turkey and had a feast all over again! I know, I know, you think I'm crazy but when you do joint dinner with friends, you don't have left overs of your own and turkey sandwiches for a week after Thanksgiving are almost important as the actual meal. So now I have a 17lb cooked turkey in my fridge and am trying to figure out what to do with it. Next step, Christmas!


Pies pies and more pies

Jason & Dad

Scott and his boys playing Halo (an old college fav!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Do as I'm Doing"...and other adventures

When my father was very little (less than 4 the story goes) his mother-my Grandma-got a phone call from the neighbor who says "do you know where your son is?" Turns out Grandma thought he was just in the backyard playing when in reality he managed to shimmy his little behind up onto the roof and was running back and forth like the squirrels! So needless to say, when I walked out of the bathroom--and no I wasn't in there for 20 minutes, we're talking 45 seconds tops--and saw my little Ryan standing proudly on top of my piano I thought of my father and all of his stories and think I'm in for a long ride! (dad also lit the neighbors bushes on fire once, hopefully Ryan won't be doing anything to remind me of that).

On another note, one of Scott's projects wrapped up last week--a city park called Old Spanish Trails. It actually has great historical significance being a spot where the Morman Handcart Companies once walked. On Saturday they had a little press conference, a few speakers from the historical society and city officials and then fed everyone hotdogs and hamburgers while the kids played. Jason, being the self-aware poser that he is, managed to get his picture taken and published in the Review Journal article about the park. It is fun to drive around the city and see places that Scott's company built and know that he had a part in something that will hopefully be around for a long time and help make people's lives better. I'm proud of him. Now if the economy would just pick up so they could land a few more jobs and keep building things, well, that would be nice too! More to come in a few days...happy weekending!

They kept this rode unpaved since it was one of the Pioneer trails...

Jason's Paper Picture...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jekyll or Hyde

I try not to complain on this blog--and let's be honest, it isn't me trying to be good as much as it is me remembering all the pioneer journal entries that have been preached to me over the years. I'm basically pre-censoring and editing what my posterity will have to remember me by. I don't want to sound "too" terrible right--in print, permanently, forever and ever? (pioneers and their persevering attitudes-blah!) But here's the long and short of it (well, just long)if I don't get this all out, I'll explode. And we all know if mommy isn't around to clean up a mess, it just sits there till she gets to it right?

Anyway...I have a 2 year old and each morning when he wakes up, I never know who I'm going to get, Jason or Hyde! For example:
* he refuses to take normal naps now (constantly trying to escape until he passes out when ever where ever.
* i caught him with the foamy hand soap spread all over his bed, hair, body etc
* he took an orange highlighter out of the trash and colored the inside roof of the car as well as his whole body right before his dr. appointment!
* cracked 18 eggs all over the floor of the grocery store
* got into the Windex while I was in the shower and poured it all over my bed (i had just washed the sheets of course)
*tells me to stand in the corner, that I'm being nasty and in big trouble and can't play with my friends (sound familiar)
*last but not least, grabbed a gallon of water and dumped it on the floor of the living room because he wanted to go swimming (he was stripped down to his soggy diaper when I found him and he was working hard getting Ryan's clothes off too)

Aside from daily instances such as those, he's a real gem!

Halloween week brought me a whole ton of HYDE too. I catered 2 events back to back, a 16Th birthday party Thursday night and then made all the treats for a large Halloween bash Friday. Lucky for me, we were able to drop off all the food and not have to stay for the events. However, making hundreds of sugar cookies, mini quiche, meatballs, chocolate spiders, peanut butter eyeballs and the like left my house and life a disaster just in time for trunk or treat to begin. So we pulled off a half hearted attempt at Halloween this year. Jason wanted anything having to do with Lightning McQueen and Ryan was a little vampire. Actually he came down with croup (another fantastic addition to an already INSANE weekend) and kept crying and drooling so his makeup wouldn't stay on and his black hair dye got smeared everywhere. Jason was in a "mood" so we got one photo of him dressed up and it is basically him throwing a fit on the stairs of a friends house after taking all the kiddies around the neighborhood for trick or treating--and by the way, just to top it off--he thought it was funny to blow out the candles in the jack o lanterns and then try to kick them off the steps of the houses we went to. I found myself apologizing for his behavior more than I got to say thank you for the candy he was given. He picked up on the fact that if he was charming then he got treats--more if he stuck with his friend Garrett who has the cutest voice and strategically charmed the pants off any old lady with chocolate. They became a deadly duo getting 2 and 3 helpings at each door. It was only after the door closed that he tried squishing the life out of already wrinkled and withered pumpkins.

Last but not least, it is Sunday morning and Scott is with Jason at church. I am at home with Ryan who can't sleep longer than 15 minutes before coughing, crying, and usually puking because he gets so worked up. I just keep telling myself (while running on 2 hours of sleep the last 2 nights) someday I'll be rich, with a maid and my kids will be grown up with 2 year olds of their own and I'll be on a cruise somewhere warm with a surgically remastered body :) sipping frozen fruity drinks, reading a book of my choosing (or maybe even finding time to write one) without being interrupted by "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy"--you get the picture! And now I get it, this is what my mother was doing and thinking and dreaming 25 years ago when I was 2. Shame on you mother...this is all your fault! WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME???

Jason with the purple bucket and Garrett the football player--Ryan in the way!

Ryan the not-so-scary vampire

Mr. Hyde on the stairs...

16th b-day cakes (there were 2 16 year olds both with names that started with M so this is what they wanted--M&M cakes--get it?)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The "bee" way of life...

Jason has recently become obsessed with the Jerry Seinfeld "Bee Movie" and I find ourselves becoming more and more "busy as bees". Scott's parents came for a visit about 2 weeks ago. It was a quick trip but we always love seeing family. The kids loved having Grammy Jean and Big Pappa come to play. Jason got horsey rides all over the living room and Ryan got more kisses and snuggles than I've seen in a long time (except for just one week prior when my parents were in town--spoiled rotten my kids are!)

We also got to take them with us to the annual ward chili cook off. There were no prizes for chili this year but I did make a fun dessert.

After they left I kicked into high-catering-gear and wrapped up a huge wedding reception on Saturday. It was a crepe bar for 200 people and when I woke up Sunday morning every muscle and joint ached in a way they have never ached before (except when I was pregnant which of course has been twice in the last 3 years-ha ha!)
The bride's colors were brown, green, and blue--sounds interesting but turned out really cute!

When all was said and done, it turned out fabulously, the bride and family were very happy with everything, which makes us very happy with everything. I'm just glad that this business adventure of mine is a fun choice and not shear necessity. When I was done I got to come home to a clean house, bathed and sleeping boys and a great husband who was excited to hear all about everything. I got to sit on the sofa and eat a huge piece of chocolate wedding cake and get my feet rubbed. Not every woman is so lucky. I admire single and working mothers who do full time jobs and then come home to work their tails off there as well. You can't give 100% to every facet of your life. You only have a total of 100% and have to divide it amongst the things that matter most. Hopefully your kids and spouse never suffer because of personal ambition but can be blessed by having a woman in their lives that has learned to balance her time for her, for them, for church, for talents, for exercise, and on and on (easy right?)

When the boys woke up Sunday morning, Jason gave me a big hug and said "mom, you're back!" And there was a twinge of guilt for having been away from him all day and lots of pleasure that he missed me that much. I'm very blessed to get to stay home with my kids and frankly their lives are better for it! I wouldn't have it any other way (except for a live in maid and a person who specifically cleans up the kitchen after I have all the fun of cooking and messing it up!) Oh the dream!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Samson is no more...

For the longest time people in our ward referred to Ryan as Samson because of his long hair. I loved the curls and didn't want to cut it, hence the nickname. Well, since his hair was so long he couldn't see when he walked and a sweet but drastically WRONG old lady mistook him for an adorable little girl at the mall the other day, I finally gave in. We went on the traditional family field trip to Cool Cuts for Kids and here are the photos from the traumatic experience (more for me than for him). I did keep a few curls in an envelope just to remind me how "pretty" they were. Hopefully my girls will be as lucky with their golden locks!




Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Big Visit

First and foremost, let me say--Nevada is a rip off! I am missing out on my favorite season of the year. That's right folks, I love the fall. I love everything about it, the smells, colors of changing leaves, hearty comfort foods right out of grandma's recipe book, but especially hot chocolate and sweater weather. Living here I GET NONE OF IT, AGGGHHHHH! So I've decided to rebel and wear a sweater, wool skirt and my favorite brown leather boots to church on Sunday. It may be 90 degrees outside, and I might sweat like a hog but it is the middle of October and I am done with summer so Las Vegas had better get with the program!

I guess to make up for the weather, we have begun making gourmet caramel apples for our business. They've been a big hit cuz I just made 16 for one person this week. General Conference was much needed and so fantastic! But even better than all of that--my family came to visit! Mom, Dad and Missy arrived Sunday evening and we have had a blast. We (the girls) hit up the Premium Outlets and I have a few new favorite stores there--Anne Klein & Anne Taylor--I never knew what I was missing! We've eaten out so much I want to explode and even had our traditional "pre" Thanksgiving dinner. Oh yes, you heard me right, turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie--you name it, we ate it. However, we did try out the Las Vegas turned out to be three tiny acres of pigeons running around, a few peacocks, LOTS of chickens and a stinky, smoked filled gift shop full of things from a previous century (including the cashier). Lucky for us, Jason didn't know the difference and had a great time feeding the big birds with Papa (currently his favorite person in the whole world). He loves sitting on his lap and driving Dad's big truck in our neighborhood.

Anyway, just wanted to say that grandparents (good ones--cuz not everyone has great ones like my kids and me) are angels. It is so great to have family in town and catch up with them. Mom and Dad took off this morning but we get to keep Missy until Tuesday. I wish I had 2 extra hands every day of my life!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


My business website is officially online. It makes everything so real, so fast. Now all I have to do is a ton of marketing--that is the easy part right? ha ha! Check us out at Hopefully it keeps you drooling for days! *A big thank you to my cousin Ben who designed the website. He is amazing and if anyone wants his contact info for web design, don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gotta Love My Jason!

Between being a full time mommy (of boys!) and starting a business, and being a wifey, and trying to stay in shape, and be spiritual, and sane etc (you get the picture) sometimes our lives get a little hectic. I finally found time yesterday to clean the bathroom downstairs, scrubbed the floor, wiped the baseboards--the whole works! Jason walked into the bathroom last night to peek around--how 2 year olds always do--and he pokes his head out with the biggest grin, gives me a thumbs up and says "wow, looks good!" Sometimes it is nice to be appreciated (or maybe my bathroom was sooo dirty that even my 2 year old BOY noticed when it got cleaned--I'll stick with the "I just did an extra good job" theory)!

As a side note--check out this photo of my gorgeous sister Missy and her homecoming date! I can't believe how grown up she is--and tall too--good thing she wore flats! She and my parents are coming for a little visit after General Conference and I can't wait to see them all! Jason wakes up and asks at least three times a day "where papa"? He's pretty excited too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Today is Ryan's 1st birthday and I'm left wondering where the last year has gone? I'm getting teary as only a mom can while looking at all the pictures we have of him, reflecting on each individual memory. I feel like I'm in "You've Got Mail" right when Meg Ryan's store has been shut down and that sad song "remember" is playing in the background. I think if I close my eyes tight and hold really still I can remember what it was like holding him for the first time, being so grateful for those first few moments when a new baby is introduced into this world.

From the very beginning I knew Ryan would be different from Jason. They are both happy kids but Ryan has always had a calming influence on me. He was very mellow, from the first minute I felt him wiggle in my tummy until right now. Even the Doctors and nurses were surprised that his heart rate seemed more steady and slow during labor--they were actually a little concerned but I reassured them that's just how he was, and I was right.

A few things I love about my chubs:
*Ryan likes to do things at his own pace. We call him slug sometimes because of it. He never struggled to roll over, sit, crawl, stand or walk. One day he just decided to do each one with no previous warning it was coming. Even his teeth are taking their sweet time getting here...Jason was eating hot dogs by 9 months with a full set of teeth and Ryan in still gumming crackers.
*His fat baby chuckle (at least that is what we call it.) He has a deep throaty giggle that he gives when being tickled or wrestled with.
*He loves to play. He gets a gleam in his eye if you sit on the floor and it doesn't matter where he is in the room, he makes a speedy dash right for your face. He loves to grab my cheeks and pull my face in for a big slobbery kiss.
*He is totally one hundred percent my boy. Ten times out of ten he chooses mom instead of dad. Jason is officially a daddy's boy so Ryan is my snuggling ally.
*He has the best, biggest, drooliest smile you have ever seen!
*Last is his curly hair. It is gorgeous. I only hope my girls have hair half as great! Scott wants to cut it, the kid can barely see because it is getting so long but for some reason I just can't let it go. The last sign of him still being a "baby" I guess.

So...happy birthday baby. You came at just the right time and I love having you in my life!

In my family it is tradition to pick your birthday cereal (cuz dad is a dentist and sugar cereals were HUGE treats)

A "fun" day in the pool. I think Jason liked splashing Ryan more than Ryan enjoyed getting splashed!

The traditional boys first football cake!

After a bath, a ride on my new birthday toy!