Saturday, February 26, 2011


Let me start out by saying that I love my sisters! (I love my brothers too, but this post is about sisters...)  I am fortunate to not only have 2 amazing sisters, Kayla and Aubree, but also an amazing sister-in-law, Lizzy!  Last night I got to hang out with Aubree all afternoon and then we went and kidnapped Kayla for a couple of hours.  We didn't do much, just talked, but I loved every second of it!  It made me realize how grateful I am for my beautiful amazing, sisters, all 3 of them! So, without further ado (and somewhat in the style of my sister's recent blog posts, though not on purpose...), my sisters:
First is Kayla.  We had a pretty strained relationship when we were younger but I consider her my best friend now.  Kayla is amazing and beautiful.  Her testimony has always been an example to me of what I want mine to be.  Kayla has been there for me through the hardest times in my life.  There was one night in particular that I remember when I had pretty much hit the bottom and Kayla came in my room and laid in bed with me and let me cry and cry and cry.  We didn't really talk, because there wasn't really anything to say, but just knowing that I had her there helped me know that everything would be alright.  I love how we can talk and talk for hours.  We don't always agree on things, but I love that too.  We can debate things and just agree to disagree, and that's okay. I am so grateful to have such an awesome sister, and I love her forever!

Next is Aubree.  Aubree is the baby.  She is 10 years and 10 days younger than me.  I actually remember the day she was born, August 4, 1998 and my first day of 5th grade.  I was late to school that day and I was so excited at the reason.  Aubree is probably the sweetest girl that I know.  She loves everyone!  Even though I still think of her as my baby sister, she is growing up into a beautiful young woman.  I am so proud of her in everything that she is doing!  Because of our age difference and because I'm the oldest and she's the youngest, I've always felt almost like a second mom to her (not that she needs one, because our mom is AMAZING!!!).  Ever since she was little she has had a hug and a kiss for me whenever I'm sad.  She gives the best hugs and is always excited to see me.  Although she is only 12, she already had an amazing testimony.  Every time I hear her bear her testimony it makes me cry, and it makes me want to be a better person.  She makes me want to be a better person.  I love that she feels like she can talk to me about everything and I look forward to hearing her stories about friends and boys and just life in general.  I look forward to our friday night Ang and Aub parties, when I can spend some time with just her.  And no matter how much taller than me she gets she will always be my favorite youngest sister ;-)
And last, Lizzy.  I put Liz last because she became my sister last.  I feel so blessed to have gained such an amazing family when I married Greg.  Lizzy and I hit it off pretty quickly after I got married, but it was when Greg and I moved to New Hampshire for a few months that I really got close to her.  The months that we were there are full of memories that I will never forget.  Sister date nights, star gazing, long road trips where we always got lost somehow, driving lessons.  The list could go on and on.  Lizzy is a very amazing, beautiful young lady.  As with my other sisters, she has taught me so much and been such an example to me.  When we were living with Greg's family, I had the chance to see Liz live her testimony and really show that she believes what she says she does.  She has conquered some trials that I don't know how I would have handled, and it is a great example to me of how I want to live my life.  I will be forever thankful that I got to be a part of her life!  I love her just like I love my other sisters!  (And I am so excited for her to come visit me next monday =)  )

I am so thankful for my amazing, fabulous, awesome, wonderful sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!  As I wrote this I realized that I had left out another sister.  My dearest, bestest friend in the whole world is Tjanna.  We met in our first (and only) semester of college at EA and became friends pretty quickly.  Soon we switched our rooms around and I gave up having my own room because sharing a room with your best friend is much better than having your own room (and she was staying in my room all night talking anyway).  Our friendship has definitely seen it's good and bad days, but it is better for them.  I have come to think of Tjanna as my sister, especially in this past year.  She has had some pretty tough things happen in her life and she has become an amazing woman through them.  I know she doesn't feel it, but she is amazing!  She doesn't know how wonderful she is, and the good example she sets for those around her.  I know that her own sister looks up to her and adores her, and she couldn't have a better example.  I am so grateful for the things she has done for me, and the good friend she has been to me.  I honestly don't know what I would do without her!

Love you girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dedicated to Einstein (the cat)

This summer, on my birthday, Greg and I adopted a dirty, mangy, stray cat that was wandering around in our apartment complex half dead.  I was determined that I was going to nurse him back to health and we'd have this sweet little kitty as a pet.  Greg named him Lucky because he said he would be lucky if he was alive in the morning.  Unfortunately, Lucky turned out to not be so lucky.  He had gangrene (or something else that wasn't very pretty...) and he died while we were sleeping.  We were both really sad, especially Greg because he found the poor thing when he
got out of bed in the morning.  I, being the opportunist that I am, started telling Greg that we should get a puppy!  I was unsuccessful in that so I got online and started looking up pictures of kittens (and a couple puppies... just in case) to attempt to convince him.  And I was successful!  I found a guy giving away the cutest litter of kittens I've ever seen!  So we called him and left to meet with him.  Greg had a hard time deciding which one he wanted, but decided on Lucy.  I had mine picked out from the moment I saw him.  He was an adorable fluffy gray kitten who was content to just curl up on my lap and let me pet him.  So after a few weeks of debating we finally decided on Lucy for Greg's cat (it started out as a play on Lucifer because she was psycho!  But we started letting her outside during the day to work off some energy and now she's a sweet kitty), and Einstein for mine.  We decided on Einstein for 2 reasons.  First, look at him!  He has crazy gray hair sticking out all over the place.  Second, he was a very smart kitten.
        Then a couple months ago, right after Christmas, we decided to build ourselves a king-size loft bed.  It took us about a month of spending all our spare time on it but it was finally up!  The first day it was up the cats were very curious about it.  Lucy is skinny and agile and she figured out how to jump on it almost immediately.  She would get on top of the fridge and jump up and land (somewhat haphazardly) on the edge of the bed.  So naturally, Einstein had to try it too.  Now Einstein has never been a small cat, but the week before Christmas while we were away from the house for a day Einstein somehow got the cat food out from under the sink.  And then he ate it.  All of it.  There was probably a little less than a quarter of the bag left, so 2 or 3 POUNDS of food.  I'm sure Lucy helped a little, but she usually eats like a bird (and she didn't have the huge tummy that Einstein had that night), so it was mostly him.  Ever since that little incident, he has just become a fat, lazy cat (which happen to be my favorite kind!).  Picture Garfield but with long gray fur...  This usually isn't a problem for him because he just lays around on the ground most of the time, but it becomes a problem when he tries to jump 4 feet across and a foot and a half up, when he's already 5 feet off the ground. I can't even do this justice by telling the story and I kick myself for not getting it on video because it was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen!
     So Einstein crouches down on the edge of the top of the fridge and jumps.  Right away we can tell he's not going to make it all the way, he's way to heavy.  Somehow, his front paws make it to the edge of the bed and he grabs the board with his front paws.  Unfortunately, the momentum he had doesn't stop and his bottom half keeps going.  He proceeds to do a complete back flip, his front paws land on the side table next to the couch, he slides off that and lands on his back on the floor.  He laid there for a minute before getting up, probably trying to figure out how he ended up on his back on the floor.  Finally he got up and tried to walk away, looking vaguely like he did when he was on medication after we got him fixed.  For the rest of the night he just laid around on the floor, not even daring to jump up onto his cat tree.  Needless to say he never tried that again.  Classic!
     Then, last night Tjanna and I were sitting on the couch talking when there's a loud bang.  We look over and Einstein sprawled on the back of the couch.  I guess he was sleeping to close to the edge of the bed and got a little to relaxed and he fell.  I'm pretty sure he was asleep until he hit the couch and then all of the sudden he was awake and not on the bed anymore.  I don't think I've ever seen an animal look so confused!
    So, all of that, combined with his occasional running into the wall, misjudging the distance from the floor to whatever he's jumping on, and his always laying on the floor where he is sure to get stepped on his name has been changed from Einstein to Einstein (as in a sarcastic Einstein).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The most delicious topping in the world...

So, 4 years ago when I was in my first semester of college one of my roommates introduced me to Nutella.  It actually took a lot of convincing to get me to try it, because everytime I looked at it I had flashbacks to the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie where they are in the witness protection program in Austrailia (Our Lips are Sealed???).  One of their friends convinces them to eat vegemite (I have absolutely no idea what that is...) but they say something about nutella in that scene and I just always imagined it to be disgusting.  So, after a lot of coaxing I finally gave in, and was instantly hooked.  I had nutella with everything that I could possibly put it on until I got married and was instantly broke.  Unfortunately nutella just isn't in the budget.  Until now.  Thanks to the state of Arizona, we now get a small amount of food stamps every month so today when I went shopping I splurged a little and bought a jar of it.  Ah! Heaven in a jar!  The memory of it just doesn't do it justice.  I just spent a half hour looking up recipes that call for it, just to have an excuse to eat it =) So, here's the best one that I found.  It is made up of my 2 very favorite foods... I will definitely be making this for breakfast tomorrow!

Thanks to Ubiquitous Food Cravings Blog for this recipe:

Nutella Stuffed French Toast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4-6 thick slices of white bread (or any type of bread of your choice)
  • butter and/or a tablespoon of oil or a couple sprays of pam
  • nutella

1. Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a shallow bowl big enough to fit your bread slices. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, add more or less depending on your tastes.
2. On medium heat, oil the pan with whatever method you choose.
3. Take one slice of bread, spread it with nutella (not over filling it otherwise it will all melt out the sides).  Put the other slice of bread on top so you have a nutella sandwich.
4. After a couple of minutes (3-4), flip the slice in the pan. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

5. Repeat step 3 until all slices are done or you’re out of mixture.

NOTE – Before dipping each new slice into the mixture, be sure to mix it with a fork and/or add some more cinnamon to the mix. Also be sure to re-oil the pan a little bit before placing a new slice to ensure that it browns just as nicely as the last.

ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know I will (in fact, I might go to sleep earlier than planned, just so I can wake up and make this...)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy (late) birthday and a non-superbowl party!

It's been a fun couple of weeks. Two Saturday's ago was Greg's 27th birthday! We had a party for him over at my parents house on Sunday which was lots of fun! My amazing mother made a super delicious strawberry shortcake for him, his very favorite! 

Then yesterday, we had our 3rd Annual Non-Superbowl Party with my family. A massive snowstorm hit my parent's house and they spent the morning building a large snow fort to protect us from the elements.  We spent the first part of the afternoon crammed in the kitchen making lots of yummy treats and appetizers. After we finished stuffing ourselves, we traveled around the world fighting off vampires and werewolves.  Then we cleaned up and went home. Gotta love family parties ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A bit of a research paper...

I was on facebook today and came across a link for this website,  The website is really interesting (if you have time it's worth going through).  Here this is easier, this is part of the "About Us" page on the site:

                We are Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite, 25-year-old identical twin sisters working on our PhDs in Communication at the University of Utah, studying representations of female bodies in popular media. We have a passion for helping girls and women recognize and reject harmful messages about their bodies and what “beauty” means and looks like. Beauty Redefined represents our work to take back beauty for girls and women everywhere through continuing the discussion about body image, women’s potential and media influence through this website, our Facebook page and most prominently through regular speaking engagements in both secular and religious settings, from high schools and academic conferences to girls’ camps and church firesides for all ages.

This is something that has been on my mind recently, but the papers and articles on their website really got me riled up (actually, I told Greg I wanted to call someone and yell at them!  Unfortunately, there's not really anyone to yell at, and it wouldn't do any good anyway.)  

The other day I read somewhere that the whole BMI thing was a bunch of crap, but I didn't really think much of it.  One of the articles on the website starts out by talking about it and guess what, it really is a load of crap!  They talk about it more in depth on the website, but the short of it is this:  the BMI was a formula created by a scientist in the 70's.  The health insurance companies and medical community picked up on it immediately, despite the scientist saying that it was meant to be used for large diagnostic studies on general populations and was not accurate for individuals.  Despite the warning, by 1985 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was defining obesity by the BMI.  The main problem with the BMI is that it doesn't take into account an individuals frame, build, race, age, etc, etc.  In other words, it didn't take into account the fact that people are different.  Then, in June 1998 the NIH changed the BMI standards, dropping it by 10 pounds.  Overnight, a 5'4'', 155 lb women went from being average, to being overweight, without gaining a pound.  There are lots of other problems with the BMI, but if you want to know more, I would just go read the article on  I am starting to feel like I'm writing a research paper...

Now here comes the scary stuff, the stuff that really got me thinking and got me mad.  From the 80's to 1993, the number of college age women with eating disorders TRIPLED, and it has continued rising since then.  From 1999 to 2006 there has been a 119% increase in the number of children under 12 who were hospitalized due to an eating disorder.  The Department of Health, though they haven't said anything conclusively, admits that they have found evidence that low self esteem, fear of becoming fat, and media exposure to idealized bodies is linked to the development of eating disorders.  12 years old and YOUNGER!  They said that girls as young as 3 have shown signs of being worried about their body image!  I can't even believe that we live in a world where children are already worried about their weight, enough that they are developing eating disorders.  It's disgusting to me!  And it makes me furious!!!  

Grrr... Okay, I'm going to take a break because I'm a bit worked up.  

Okay, I'm back and feeling a bit more calm.  So another thing they talk about on their website is the "Media Ideals," in other words, Hollywood.  So here's a quote with some statistics:

"The average American woman today is 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighs 163 pounds, which is a size 14 dress, the sisters told the students. The average model is 5-11 and weighs 117 pounds, and wears size zero or smaller clothes."

Wow.  At least that's what I thought when I read it.  I mean, I kind of knew that, at least about the models, but seeing the numbers for an average woman in comparison really puts it in perspective for me.  See, I just started a new exercise program and I'm getting ready to start weight watchers in a couple weeks and my end goal for my weight was 150-160.  And I felt like I was slacking!  I had used the BMI to figure out my "ideal weight" and according to it, the most I should weigh is 150 and really, I should weigh closer to 130 or 135 to be healthy.  Now, I have been 135 before.  I was a stick, and I was also a teenager.  Honestly, I don't feel the need to be that thin again.  And, even when I was that thin, I still wore between an 8 and a 13 in my clothes.  So, my point in all of that.  At my very skinniest, which was 135, I was almost to the point of being unhealthily thin.  And these models, who are advertised as the epitome of what we all should be, are 3 inches taller than me and 15 pounds lighter!  No wonder so many women have skewed views of themselves!  And on top of them already being extremely thin, the images are altered to give them flawless features that are unattainable for anyone.  

In looking into all of this I was looking around for an example of the miracle of photoshop.  I was amazed the first time I saw what my mom could do with photoshop.  In just a few minutes she can make a picture look completely different.  I have seen her fix blemishes, erase whole buildings, and once she even replaced a building with a bridge!  If my mom, with only a few years of experience and no professional training can do that, think what a professional with several years of experience can do.  Here's an example of what photoshop can do:

 I read somewhere that many pictures of celebrities and models are completely reconstructed using parts and features from models that may or may not be the person who's face is on the body.  
Here's an example of that:

This is Oprah's head, on actress Ann Margaret's body in 1989.  That's over 10 years ago.  With how far technology has come since then it's become faster, easier, and much more common to see this.  Here's another quote from the article:

"They’re sad facts that many of us know: You will never see an average American woman represented in the mass media as a “beauty ideal.” And it is completely reasonable to assume that every image of women you see in the media has been digitally manipulated. So why is that where we get our standard for what is normal and beautiful?"

Good question, right?  

So on that note I'm off to bed.  Here's on last quote, this time from President Hinckley.  He said:

“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth” 
(“Understanding Our Divine Nature,” Liahona, Feb. 2002, 24; “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11).