Sunday, March 22, 2009

Old School

So, I'm starting to pack for my move back to Arizona, and I decided to go through my "no hope" chest and see what I could throw out. I seriously kept the strangest things. For example, I had a plastic bag from a Disney World shop, a peanut wrapper from a plane trip, and two Congo watches from Taco Bell. Remember that movie?

And, of course, I had a bunch of pictures from the 1995-1997 era, and a few newer ones from 1998-2000. Now, let me take you on a trip through time.

This was my bedroom. I called it "Pacific." Later, around 1998, I painted the whole room, including the ceiling, a deep purple and called it "The Batcave." It had band posters all over it and my Snapple party lights, which I always loved and still have. My sister will remember the color of my walls well since she had to paint over it when I moved to California. Sorry.



Here we have our cat, Prrow, with her tongue hanging out.



And Marley, probably on the day we got her in 1997.



Now, my sisters will remember this...



I couldn't say the word spider before posting this picture, or my sisters wouldn't have scrolled down. Sorry again. We discovered this monstrous spider walking on the ceiling while watching a movie one night. As soon as we spotted it, we all jumped up and flipped on the lights, and Chad was recruited to vacuum it up. When it fell to the floor instead of going into the vacuum, we screamed and ran. My dad then caught the spider and chased us with it, so we locked ourselves in our rooms until he gave up. When we thought the coast was clear, we went down to make ourselves a snack... and found the spider's lifeless, dismembered body in the microwave. We decided to have our food cold. Okay, no more spider pics. I have no idea why I wanted a picture, but it is a fun memory (like the time a giant spider was on Lori's bridesmaid dress... Lori, I know you remember that).

I told you I kept a lot of strange things. This is a note that Jill wrote on the back of a V8 label for me.



In case you can't read it, it says:

V8 is a very nice drink. It contains tomato juice which is Stagg's fav. drink. She drinks it all the time. Stagg is my sister. She likes tomato juice. V8 contains tomato juice. That's why Stagg drinks it.

It must have been very sentimental to me for me to keep it all these years (LOL)... and I'll continue to keep it cuz now it's just so old. Remember that kidnapper from the 80's that was called "Snaggletooth"? Well, for some reason, Jill took that name and morphed it into "Staggertooth," and she called me that sometimes until my parents told her to knock it off because I didn't like it. She still called me "Stagg" for a while after that anyway. Not an attractive name.

There were also a lot of notes from Lori in my collection. Here's one from when she worked at Ben Franklin's.



It says:

To: Stacey
From: Lori Elaine

I was at my cash register and there it sat, the bubble Jug. Shake and chug! I thought of my Seeser Sace. So I threw the coins on the counter and now it's yours all yours!

P.S. I fed your fish barely on Friday Night. Your [sic] welcome to you and the fishies.

Welcome Home

Isn't that sweet of her? My friends and I used to buy Bubble Jugs, leave them on people's doorsteps, and then ring their doorbells and run. I loved "Bubble Jugging" - it was much nicer than TP'ing, which we also did a lot. Oh, the creative things we would think to do to people's cars and houses... my mom had to hide her head in shame at church.

Lori, do you remember my fishies now?



I was so stoked (to use a totally 90's word) to find this awesome picture of my sisters and me on Halloween. I made that costume myself, and I still have it in my collection.



I wore that costume to the mall, and these oriental people got all excited when they saw me and asked to get their pictures taken with me. It was like I was the mall Santa Claus for a minute, only for Halloween. I thought it was all in fun, so I lifted my axe above their heads and gave a sinister look to the camera.

Next is a picture of some of my best friends ever. They were party to much of the neighborhood mischief I mentioned above, and they loved to have fun and adventure as much as I did. We have TONS of awesome memories! On this day, they accompanied me to the airport to pick up my boyfriend after his mission in 1997.



Fast forward to 2000. Soon after I met Russ, I went with my sister and some friends to Salt Lake City for general conference. We stopped in Vegas on the way and met a very nice man. The quiet ones are the best, aren't they? Just kidding!



Here we are at the visitor's center on Temple Square.



We had so much fun blasting Aqua's Aquarium album in our little rental Toyota Corolla and doing our Egyptian moves in the back seat whenever we swerved. Remember, Lori?

Those are fun memories. I might post more old school pictures later, though I'm looking at some of them and going, "Why did I think it was okay to dress and do my hair like that?" I guess that's the fun of looking at the old school, though.

P.S. - Today is the eighth anniversary of Russ asking me to be his wife. I remember this because it was exactly six months to the day before we got married.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunny California

Last week, we had a great time visiting with loved ones and catching some rays in sunny California. I don't have to tell you about the drive... you all know 14 hour car rides are the pits. But it was worth it!

Wednesday, the girls and I met up with a couple of friends from when we lived in Spring Valley. We went to the park, and my friend knew pretty much everyone there. She is so popular!! The weather was so perfect that it just begged us to stay out there all day. In fact, it was so nice that my friend totally forgot about picking up her son from school! After three hours in the sunshine, she had to dash off, and we went home for a nap. I bought some sunblock later that day because we were all a little pink... our white Utah winter bodies couldn't handle all that sun!

Thursday, I took the girls to Sea World. Since we were close to the coast, it was a little cooler than the day before, and I wished I had carried my sweater in with us, but our stroller was a little overloaded as it was. This is how the girls rolled most of the day. Kallie, I'm taking a picture... smile!



First, we headed for the sea lions and harbor seals. Sorry I didn't get any of them in the picture, but they didn't cooperate with my picture-taking as much as Paige did. Kallie, on the other hand, wouldn't smile for the camera at all... you'll soon see what I mean.



Then we went to the fresh water aquarium, and I began to realize that it's pretty hard to get great photos at Sea World since all the animals live in the water, and you observe them from behind plexiglass. It was particularly hard in the fresh water aquarium because it was in a building that was all dark inside. If I used the flash, the aquarium was all dark, so I did my best without flash.



There is something about this picture that I love. The fish look so beautiful, but Kallie in her hat just staring at them is priceless.



After that, we saw the always entertaining Clyde & Seamore show. Then it was a lunch break. Now, when I ordered the tickets online, I paid $65 for me, $55 for Paige, and $12 just to park! Before my order was finished, they had the audacity to ask me for more money for conservation. Sorry, but I think I already contributed $132 to help with conservation! After all that, I was determined not to spend another fortune on lunch, so we packed it in.



Now the twisted thing is, after all this talk about conservation, Paige and Kallie had tuna fish for lunch. We're not the only twisted sisters... the seagull obviously wanted some, too.



After lunch, we went to the 4D Sesame Street movie "Lights, Camera, Imagination!" I don't know who came up with the idea that a 4D movie was for kids, but every time I go, there are some kids who freak out and scream when the audience gets squirted with water. Paige was one of those kids when we went to Sea World in Texas in 2006, and I thought sure Kallie would be one this time. Kallie obviously didn't appreciate being squirted at all, but she handled it pretty well.



Afterward, we visited the sharks, and none of them cooperated for the camera... jerks. But we did get this photo in front of the jaws of a great white... cuz he was dead, and he couldn't do anything about it. Kallie, however, wasn't going to be anybody's monkey. Smile, Kallie! We're having fun! I promise!



Next was the Manatee rescue.



Then we went to see the star of Sea World... Sham Wow! (as Paige called him). We saw the show "Believe," which was the same cheesy show we saw at Sea World San Antonio in Texas in 2006, but Paige liked it. I always like watching the killer whales, too, despite the cheese factor. I am surprised I didn't take any pictures, though. I bought a post card with three jumping killer whales on it, and I'm sure it was better than any picture I could have taken, so it will have to do.

Right after Sham Wow! we went to see the otters, who are usually fun to watch, but this time they were being lazy and just floating on their backs in the water. I couldn't get a good picture of the otters because they were all bunched up in one corner of the exhibit, but I think you'll agree the girl in front is adorable!



At the dolphin show, Paige was kind enough to turn her back to the show for a little while so I could get the perfect shot. Of course, there were no dolphins jumping when I took this picture, and she wasn't really smiling.



So, I tried again. This time, she smiled AND the dolphin was jumping! But the focus was on the show, not her face, so she came out blurry... and I gave up and let her watch the show (that's what we came for after all!).



Near the end of the day, we headed for the penguins. You can't miss the penguins!



Then we went to the Wild Arctic Adventure and skipped the nauseating virtual reality ride (the girls were too small anyway) to go straight to the beluga whales. These creatures were so amazing! Their completely white skin against the backdrop of the blue water and the "snowy" mountains was so beautiful. Paige asked, "Why is there fake snow out there?" Very good deductive reasoning, I thought!



Paige pulled a silly pose for the camera.



Then it was on to the polar bears.



Thursday, we went up to San Marcos to visit my sister-in-law and her daughter, who is just a year younger than Paige. We went to the pool, and though I thought the water was freezing, the girls got in! Then we had lunch, and we just let the girls play together until it was time to go get Russ from work.



On Saturday, we started our trek back toward Utah. On our way, we stopped in Temecula to have lunch with my grandparents. Then we went to Sunland to visit with Russ' grandfather and aunt. Despite all her grandpa's efforts to get her to smile, this is the most charm we could get out of Kallie.



During the entire drive, our girls were just angels. Wait, I think I see a smile! Kallie, you did have fun!



I looked back once to see this heavenly sight.



We stayed in Las Vegas with our friends Saturday night and then finished the drive home on Sunday. It was so nice to get away for a while and enjoy some sun!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Love Rock n Roll

Put another dime in the jukebox baby!

So, I got my hair cut, and when I agreed to layers, I didn't mean layers that started at my ears and went the full length of my hair. Yes, it's true... I now have 80's rocker hair. As such, I decided to do my first publicity photo.



Now let's compare.



Wow, I totally see a resemblance!

Great! Now I can be Joan Jett for the ward American Idol spoof. If only I can get Russ to be my backup and wear his pirate jacket and a top hat or something. That would rock!



So here I am after lots of flat ironing to get rid of any sign of a wave or poofiness. Yesterday, I was in denial. Today, I mourned a little and called my sister for moral support. Russ assured me it looked fine, but it just felt so thin and... well, chopped. It took me so long to grow all that hair!

Now I'm in the acceptance phase, and I had quite a fun time doing my publicity photo shoot. I've heard it takes just 3 days to get used to a new haircut, so I decided to give it a little chance before getting it cut again.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fry Bread Tacos... Easy to Make and Delicious!

Once a year, at the state fair, I allow myself the pleasure of having a fry bread taco... they are always so good! Well, of course, I thought these fry bread tacos were something special, and it never occurred to me to make my own... until recently. When I saw how few ingredients went into the recipe, I was skeptical that mine would come out like the ones at the fair... but I was willing to try. So, I made them for the very first time, and they were just as good! It reminded me of Kung Fu Panda where Po thinks his soup can't be as good as his dad's because it doesn't have the secret ingredient, only to find out later that the secret ingredient is nothing! His dad says, "To make something special, you just have to believe it is special." Ha! That was totally me. Anyway, the fact that my fry bread turned out so delicious is good and bad... good for my tongue, but bad for my hips because I'm sure to have a few more per year now... maybe even several. This is so simple, you just have to try it (Sorry I'm not posting any photos... I didn't think to put this on my blog until just now).

To make the fry bread combine

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 c warm water
(that's all there is to it... seriously!)

and knead until soft but not sticky. I just mixed mine in the kitchenaid for a minute or so. Then, take about 3/4 cup clump and flatten into a patty about 1/4 inch thick and like 6-8 inches around. Fry in canola oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain on a paper towel. This should make about 6, depending on size. If that's too many, just sprinkle powdered sugar and honey on the leftovers for dessert.

For the beans, pour one 15 oz can of pinto beans with liquid into a saucepan, add 2 Tbsp picante sauce, and heat over med-low heat until warmed through.

Pile taco meat, the beans, and all the regular taco toppings on top of the fry bread (like a tostada) and ENJOY!

I'm serious. Do it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Update

I keep thinking I need to post again so that you all know I'm still here. I've actually been busy working on a project, and I love keeping busy, so it's been good.

Our ward is supposed to be filming a spoof of American Idol for ward movie night in three weeks, and I thought it would be great if Kyle could do one of his "jigs" for the movie. So, I was digging up old home videos of him doing his silly dances through the years so that the clips could be shown before his audition... kind of like they do for certain contestants on American Idol. I was surprised to find out just how much footage I have of him dancing!

Anyway, as I was doing this, I thought I'd finally start working on transferring my old home videos from our camcorder tapes to our computer and then making clips and organizing them. It's not a huge job because I only have 5 tapes, but I feel happy that I'm finally doing it. It's been on my list forever... you know, that "someday" list. Whenever I can finally cross something off, I feel great.

In other news, we are going to San Diego next week so that Russ can go into the office. These trips are great because the company pays for the rental car, the gas to get there, and per diem on top of that. So, we get to visit with family and warm up a bit for free... you know that makes me happy! In fact, while we are gone, the high temps here are going to plunge into the 20's, and I am glad I won't be here. It was 60 and sunny yesterday, so this place can be pretty crazy. In the transitional months, we often go from using the heater one day to using the cooler the next. Russ and I always say to each other, "What kind of twisted and sadistic place is this that brings you a nice warm day and then hits you with a blizzard?"

While we are in San Diego, I always find myself with a lot of time on my hands while Russ is at work. So, I think I might take the girls to Sea World this time. Sea World has 2 days for the price of 1 on their website, so I might even go twice. I don't like the idea of going without a friend (anyone?), but I think the girls will like it. I know I'll be enjoying the weather... as of today, the forecast calls for sun and high temps in the 60's and 70's. Sounds great to me!