Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dirty Dancing

Have you heard of that disturbing fad where humdrum suburbanites learn how to dance around a pole like exotic dancers for exercise? Well, unfortunately, the pole dancing trend hit our town last night. Please excuse the shakey camera and laughing camerawoman...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'd like to make a dedeeKAYshun... my friend Kelli. I think she reads this blog occasionally. God dropped Kellianne into my life about 2 days after I moved into my college dorm. She had been a last minute student coming to PCC, and didn't have a dorm assignment yet. My two original roommates and I had been excited that we only had three people in a four-person room, and so we reluctantly agreed to let this new shorty move in. Little did I know she would be one of the best things about my freshman year and college experience. We roomed together for four years, through thick and thin, and she is on a short list of people who can make me laugh until I almost pee my pants. Throughout the years, Kelli and I made up dozens of games to entertain ourselves. During classes, we would draw these elaborate stick-figure comics for each other of things that had happened in the dorms or of other people at school. We also would leave messages for each other on our white board, partially in English and partially in a foreign/non-exsitent language made up of imaginary letters. We also ended up with quite a wig collection, which led to a full dress-up closet, and a reputation for putting on some great sketches in our room late at night. My favorites were "Ollie, " "Coach Ed: Harriest Swim Coach Alive" and "Mute Bartender." Ember was a frequent guest star as well. And also, the title of this post is from a game we would play at night in our bunks, where we would pretend to call up a radio station and talk in outrageous accents and make dedications to our ethnic loved ones. Wow, for those of you who did NOT know me in college, you now think I'm a total freak.

ANYWAY, I was reminded of you, Kelli, this last week when Carson started--unwittingly--playing another game that Kelli particularly enjoyed. This game was a little one-sided. She would take things out of the trash, things that I had thrown away, and pin them to our bulletin board outside the room, with a note that said "Jen--you accidentally threw this [holey sock, banana peel, candy wrapper, etc.] away. Good thing I saved it!" So, this last week I threw some old CD's away, and Carson (after tipping over the entire trash can) came into the other room saying "Uh-oh, Mama! Uh-oh!" and handing me the CD's. Try explaining to him that some of those are precious and he is not to touch them and others are worthless 25 cent Office Depot cheapos that have outlived their usefulness. Then--this leads to another confession--he found a stuffed tiger in the trash. You see, throughout high school, college and into my young adulthood and even after I was married for a while, I slept with a stuffed tiger. It had nothing to do with sentimentality. I like having something under my arm when I sleep, and a regular pillow was too big. This particular ratty tiger was the perfect size. However, I gave it up several years ago, found it again this week and decided to say goodbye. Too yucky even for goodwill, so I put it in the trash. Carson could not accept this, and kept getting Tiga (his name, pronounced Tie-guh) out of the trash and saying "Mama! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!" Eye roll. I felt like Kellianne would be proud of Carson reliving one of her favorite games. I can't wait until he's old enough to dip into the dress up box!

Monday, August 27, 2007

He's always got a one-liner.

My husband is such the comedian. Yesterday at his parent's house, we were all sitting around looking at the Sunday paper ads. I saw a toy kitchen in the Target ad that would be PERFECT for Carson. It even matches the colors of his room--a blue and red kitchen! I wish you guys could see him play with a toy kitchen. We had one at our indoor play park, and he spend continuous minutes (which, if you are a regular reader, you will remember I have pointed out this is equal to hours in adult attention-span) opening the stove, oven, microwave, fridge and taking food in and out, washing it off with pretend water...he loves that thing. My husband, however modern and open-minded he has become, is still uncomfortable with his little man using a toy kitchen. I think partly he puts up a fuss just to ruffle my feathers. Here is the conversation yesterday:

Jen: Trent! Look at this kitchen! It would be perfect for Carson!

Trent: I don't think so. Let me see that. (I hand him the ad.) No. Now, here's a toy tool bench: THAT would be perfect for Carson.

Jen: Let me see that. (He hands me the ad.) No! It looks too boring...there's nothing you can really DO with it. It's just a table that comes with a hammer. The kitchen has doors and buttons and lots of things to open and close. See? (I hand the ad back to him.) The tool bench doesn't really come with anything.

Tara: What does the kitchen come with?

Trent: Uh, let's see comes with estrogen and years of counseling.

Ha ha.


Last weekend we had some friends and family over to the new pad to belatedly celebrate our 30th birthdays and have an excuse for some yummy food. It reinforced my view that potlucks RULE and it was fun to have the gang over.

Here's Uncle "Jip" (as Carson calls him) putting himself to work at the grill.
Remember when we all said "She will be SO cute when she is pregnant?" We were SO right. :)
The Nash clan chattin' it up with Michelle.
Did I mention how cool it is when everyone brings food?
After the crowd thinned out, Myrna helped get the boys all tired out by racing from one end of the yard to the other.
As you can see--it worked!

Friday, August 24, 2007

House Pics

OK, I apologize, I feel like I've rambled on and on about the house. So, here's the last post about it! These are some pics for our out-of-town buds until you can come visit us in person!
This is The Red Wall. It wasn't just that we didn't love the color. It was that it was very poorly painted. You could see brush strokes, several of the outlets were painted red, and there were red marks on the ceiling where they got a little overzealous. So, it needed to go. As reported earlier, my mom and I tackled it over two days with two coats of primer to get rid of the red. The blue tape is to mark where the nail holes were that needed to be covered. There were lots.Here's the after shot. It's a kind of green/brown that is not exciting, but also not distracting.
Here's the living room.
Kitchen. (The red--now green--wall connects these two rooms.) Deck.

Carson's room.
In homage to my So. Cal. days, I'm starting a surfing theme. :) Nothing like a surf room for a toddler. Who lives in Oregon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Several weeks, er, probably months ago, dearest JJ "tagged" me in this millenium update version of chain mail, called Meme. I'm assuming as in "It's all about Me...Me." Probably because people who have blogs are usually the type that don't mind talking about themselves, you are supposed to, well, keep reading and you'll see. Carrie and Anti-Blog Man already did theirs. Don't worry, Jim. I won't "tag" you. I know you are already scrolling to the bottom to make sure your name isn't down there.

The Meme Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts. 2. Each player starts with eight random facts/stories about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. When I was on a mission trip 8th grade in the middle of the Arizona dessert, I threw up 32 times in 24 hours. The poor girl next to me counted. I had to throw up in a big coffee can that was continually cleaned out and sprayed with Lysol. To this day, the smell of Lysol spray makes me a little nauseous.

2. At the end of my junior year in college, we lost the television reception in our dorm room. My roommate Kelli and I liked having some background noise, so we watched the movie “The Wedding Singer” continuously--and I mean continuously-- for about 3 weeks.

3. I am freakishly obsessed with the covers on our bed. I frequently wake up in the middle of the night to straighten them, even walking around to the bottom or Trent’s side to tug and pull to make them even.

4. I only like one of my feet. The other one bothers me greatly.

5. Each night at bedtime, I sing a medley of three songs to Carson. The first two are always the same: “Oh What a Wonderful, Wonderful Day” and “You are My Sunshine.” (Two verses of each.) The third song varies.

6. I cannot stop eating Kettle Corn, especially the good stuff you buy at a fair or market. Seriously. Until it is gone or someone forcefully removes it from my grip, I’m absolutely out of control.

7. This one is really long, so will take up stories 7 and 8. When Trent and I went to Europe, we got totally tricked into staying at a “Bed and Breakfast” in Rome that turned out to be a normal apartment of a single woman. She wasn’t home when we said we were going to arrive, and when she answered her cell phone after three tries, we figured out through bad Italian (me) and bad English (her) that she left a key for us at a gelato shop down the street. (Uh, thanks for telling us.) However, none of the workers had any idea what we were talking about. Finally, after we pestered them on and off for a couple hours, they found it in an envelope in the back room and we got into the house hours after we had arrived. We finally went to sleep without seeing or meeting our hostess, and were awakened at 1 am by banging on the door and the doorbell ringing. We didn’t feel comfortable answering the door in the middle of the night in a foreign country at someone else’s empty house, but finally relented to stop the banging. It was her. We had apparently locked her out. She just said hi and walked into her room. The next morning, we were startled again by a strange moaning noise coming from the next room. Yet it was just the tiniest bit melodic and became repetitive. Then we realized: she was “singing.” To a voice lesson tape teaching scales. It. Was. So. Bad. I am not kidding you. It was like out of SNL movie. Or candid camera. We were doubled over, clasping our hands over our mouths to squelch the laughter that was threatening to burst out. That's the best memory I have of that particular stay. Ask me later about the "art" in our Florence B&B--the same place where you weren't allowed to flush toilet paper down the toilet. Lovely...

I don't really want to "tag" anyone, for fear of revenge posts, but if I WERE to choose people to write their Meme's, it would be:

Steph, Linz and/or Brad, Rory, Sarah, Mike, and Kristi--mostly to get her to post again. ;) But it's OK if you guys want to opt out.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My New Favorite Picture (this week)

We have now entered the stage where Carson wants his "boods" on almost all the time. Also, the chalkboard easel (YEAH IKEA!) is a great project for him at this age and height, and has already been worth the $20. This particular day, he wanted/needed to go outside early in the morning, so we not only have his super stylin' boots from Mimi, but also dirty pants from yesterday and his PJ shirt which says "What happens at grandma's house stays at grandma's house." What's not to love?


As I was lying in bed last night I realized that I had meant to send a shout out to a few of my Cali friends who, unfortuately, I got to visit after my camera battery died. My very good friend from college, Ember, had an INSANELY busy weekend (she was IN a play of My Fair Lady, DIRECTING a children's play of 101 Dalmations and leading worship all in the same weekend) and yet managed to make breakfast for a house full of guests, including Carson and me. We barely had time to catch up and then we had to go. :( At breakfast, we got to see Becca (some of you may remember when she was in Ekklesia before me, stayed at my house in my room, and was startled by my high school friends knocking on the bedroom window--Oh, and she sings a little) and Emily--one of my very first roommates in college. Ember and Becca tried to restrain their eye rolling when I told them I got warm fuzzies when I came back to Fullerton for the first time in years. :) They live there now and don't have the same "absence makes the heart grow fonder" feel for the town. Carson really loved Duke, Ember and Chris's golden lab (I think?).

After the wedding, we got to spend a little time with Stephie Shoobs, a dear friend from college who has the HONOR of living in the dorms again! Her husband, Jon, is an RLC in the men's dorm. They have made their apartment really cute and homey, with an actual back yard! Carson was near meltdown by the time I got there, so unfortunately our visit was cut short. Also, he almost broke a large (handmade? it looked like it) vase behind her couch. That was fun. Steph's the kind of person you can talk to for hours catching up, so I wished I could stay longer.

Anyway, I don't know if any of you friends ever read the blog, but I just wanted to sent out a HOLLA and tell you it was great to see you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Getting it ready

As I pointed out before, sometimes when you are the busiest, and pictures would have been appropriate to document the busy times, that's when you are least likely to stop what you are doing and grab a camera! Here are a few from the last couple of weeks. On a couple of really hot days, my mom and I did some big paint jobs. Carson's room was such a bright royal blue, it was a little hard on the retinas. We opted for a lighter shade. It's actually called "Ocean Ridge" if you care. :) I am so bummed that I didn't take a picture of our biggest job: the maroon wall. There were two walls, one of which was on a vaulted ceiling, and spanned the two major living areas of the house. It was a bright and poorly painted maroon color. We tackled it full-on, with two coats of primer, ceiling pant to clean up their messy edges, and my paint perfectionist mother who worked non-stop for three days! Thanks mom!
Move-in day! We had some wonderful helpers. I think that you find out who your true friends are when you move. Not only that, but these friends have helped us move TWICE in less than 6 months! Not only that, but a couple of them asked if they could please come EARLY! Thanks, everyone. Here's the guys discussing their next task while putting the new BBQ together.
Not to be outdone, the girls tackled our new patio furniture! It was quite impressive, let me tell you.
When most of the big stuff moved, we took a pizza break.
Gpa Roy and Gpa Phil put our bed together.
Did I mention that they also had to move a piano to a friend's house? Thank you everyone for your wonderful help! We're almost feeling settled, and I hope to get a few more small things taken care of (pic frames, towel racks) before I post pictures of what it looks like. Of course, it will be a while before we have the money (and time) to keep going on all the little things we want to add. (Who needs curtains?!) But it is fun to realize that we can do whatever we want, since we aren't renting! It was worth the wait.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Newlyweds

OK, I was able to get a picture of my cousin Aaron and his beautiful wife, Melody, from my Uncle John. Aren't they cute?! What you can't see in the picture is their great personalities. Aaron has this gentle spirit that makes everyone he meets feel important and welcome, which is what makes him so great at working with international students who are studying in California. Melody is full of life and energy, hugging you the minute you meet her like you are her long lost best friend. What a neat couple!

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Cali pics

It's not that nothing has been happening, it's just that SO much has been happening that I haven't had a chance to take pictures. We've moved into our new place and are trying to get it to feel like home. It's not blogworthy yet. So, instead, I'll post some more pictures of my quick trip to California.

A few of my friends took me out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday. Let's just say, there were hats involved.
And those party horn blower things.

But my hat was definitely the biggest.

The first part of our trip was spent with my Dad's family--Aunt Leota, Uncle Ron, GGma Janice and cousin Nicole. Ron took us out on a really peaceful "cruise" around the Newport Beach harbor. Carson even got to drive a little. Despit the nose wrinkle here, he loved it!

We spent a few days at their beautiful home relaxing, swimming, eating, watching movies--it was great!

Although this picture is blurry, it is the best one of my Dad's mom, Janice. Carson asked me to remind you that the camera adds 5 lbs. ("How many cameras are actually ON you?")

The whole purpose for the trip was to go to my cousin Aaron's wedding. Unfortunately, my camera battery died before the wedding day! It was a beautiful wedding and reception, and his new bride is one of those people who you fall in love with after knowing her for about 10 seconds. Her name is Melody, and they are a perfect couple! Hopefully I can steal some pictures and post them so you can see how cute they are together.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm Baaaaaack!

Well, sort of. We moved into our new place last Saturday, and won't have internet or TV hooked up until tomorrow, a week later. I am such a wuss! I am dying without that connection to the outer world. I had to come over to my parents' house this morning, because I just could not wait one more day to check my email. Besides, I have come to set a fairly high standard in the frequency of blog postings, and my regular readers have mentioned their concern. Then again, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you either love me a lot or you really don't have a lot of other things going on in your life. Well, let this hold you over until I can post pictures of new things. Here are some pictures of our trip to California a few weeks ago. These are pictures of my friends' beautiful kids.
We got to meet Baby Tanner, Howie and Kipp's little boy.

Carson was THRILLED to get to "hold" Tanner. He is practicing for his new cousin. :)
Here is Lexi, Kristi and CT's youngest, celebrating my birthday with me, albeit rather involuntarily.

This is the adorable Haley, in a moment of reflection, pondering what it must feel like to be so old like Aunt Jen.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lessons from Auntie Tara

I've been saving these pics from the 4th of Tara showing Carson how to play in a bird bath fountain.

"See Carson? Just stick your fingers right here where the fountain comes out."
"Oh, okay! Right here?"
"Hey! Was that supposed to happen?"