My new job

Yesterday was my first day as the new Franchise Development Coordinator for Harris Research (Chem-Dry). The job is very similar to my previous one with Mrs. Fields-- still working with Franchise Development, UFOCs, franchisees, the whole fun group. This is the first opportunity I've had to make a career decision based on a very specific skill set, so it is very fun to go into a situation already knowing a lot of the basics.

The office is here in Logan, and my individual office is quite nice. I got to go to Staples to stock it up--- mmm, nothing better than new office supplies! I will work from that office much of the time, but have also been granted the flexibility to work at home when I choose to. The office is about 1.5 miles from our house, so it's a nice, quick commute.

My first two days have been relatively uneventful, so unfortunately, I don't have anything fantastic to write about today. But, you don't read this blog to hear about my work life anyway.

As far as other life updates go, Chris and I painted our bedroom last weekend. It looks pretty good, though we still need to touch up and get a new bedspread before I post any before and after pictures. We've discovered that Thomas has some really amazing musical abilities, which furthers my insistance that we purchase a piano ASAP. Look for that post in the coming weeks! Gordon has learned to climb up on the counter height chairs and was recently discovered sitting in the kitchen sink. It's hard to get too upset with him when he starts saying "No no no no no!" before you get a chance to. Little stink bug.
And finally, our little kitty lost his gender today and has been walking around still dazed from the anesthetic. We're told he'll really mellow out after this procedure, so it will be interesting to see how much. Here is "Schroed" (as Tom calls him) doing what he likes to do best.

My little snow angels

Snow Day

We celebrated President's Day on Monday with a day out in the snow! This snowfall was the first really big one to hit Logan, so we took full advantage. It was really fun to dress the boys up-- hats, scarves, oversized boots-- and they looked so cute! Chris took them over to the elementary school nearby to sled. Gordon loved his first couple of rides, but quickly tired of falling into the cold snow. He preferred eating it, or throwing snowballs. I think Thomas could have gone sledding all day long. He also liked making tracks in the clean snow and checking to see if his snowsuit did in fact protect his whole body from the wet snow. Both boys' favorite part of the day was lounging in the sled while being pulled by their tough dad.

After sledding, Chris and Thomas worked on building a huge snowman in our front yard. The snowman was so big that Chris had to use the sled as a ramp to roll up the huge middle. Until he melted on Tuesday, the snowman was the pride of the neighborhood!

Meredith Lives!!!

I'm sure it's totally lame to post about my favorite prime time soap, Grey's Anatomy, but I'm just so relieved that Meredith Grey didn't die!

Just kidding, I knew she wasn't going to die. Hello, the show is called Grey's Anatomy-- not a lot of good without their leading character. Despite this knowledge, I still sat on the edge of my cushy recliner for the entire show. And, whew! A good outcome! And tears! Sigh!

I know, I know. Puh-the-tic.


Well, we have some exciting change happening around here. It was with mixed emotions that I worked my last day for Mrs. Fields Famous Brands today. A couple of weeks ago, I accepted an offer with a different company and gave my notice to the company I've worked for for almost five years. While I'm looking forward to my new opportunity with great anticipation, I will truly miss my work with Mrs. Fields and my fantastic team. They're a great group of guys and we've had a lot of fun together. Here we are last year at a team meeting in Salt Lake:

L to R: Chris Hood (SLC), Steve Thometz (San Diego), Steve Bryan (Savannah, GA), Don Lewandowski (Sacramento, CA), (kneeling) Rich Hankins (Harrisburg, PA), Terry Loock (SLC), Steve Phillips (Denver), Tom Lynch (Atlanta), and yours truly. Not pictured Jim Brinkmeyer (Kansas City, MO).

I have a couple of days off, then I start my new job on Monday. More details when I'm an official employee! :)

Mayhem and Manicures

Okay, so anyone who has ever tried to get five litle kids to smile happily for a random photographer in the back of a JC Penney studio knows that it's really an impossible feat. The reason we continue to have our annual cousin picture, though, has nothing to do with getting a good shot. I think my sister, Ann-Michelle, and I had our kids get together for their third cousin picture on Saturday to get some sort of proof-- proof that our kids are darling together in matching outfits, and proof that they're all little stinkers. Someday, we'll have years of pictures to show them and their future spouses, and I actually think the ones with tears, frowns, and general displeasure will be the funniest. And who knows-- we may actually get a good one one of these days!

Three of the five kids look pretty cute in Saturday's attempt-- unfortunately, the two making not-so-cute faces are mine. Oh well! At least I got this adorable shot of the four who can walk helping each other escape the mall:

After the picture, we met Todd at Smitty's Pancake House-- a must for any trip to Idaho Falls-- and had a yummy brunch of pancakes, waffles, hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, and some really good hot chocolate! Mmmm... Smitty's. After we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves, Ann-Michelle and I drove to Rexburg where we had manicures at Evan's Beauty School. We had actually scheduled pedicures as well (an idea borrowed from the Manwaring girls) but for some reason, they had mis-scheduled our appointment. Oh well, our fingernails looked great and we had a fun time hanging out and getting a little pampering. We always love hanging out with the Freeds!

What is it with vents?

A little while ago, I got a total kick out of Elena Manwaring's post featuring her little Kate filling their vent with cereal. I have decided that Gordon and Kate must be kindred spirits, and yesterday I got more proof when I discovered some treasures in the vent in the boys' room:

Here is everything I collected from inside the vent. The funniest thing is that the baby bulb syringe is not ours!

A couple of videos!

This first video is the "after" shot of the boys' room. My camera doesn't take the clearest videos, so you really don't get a great sense of the lighter blue, but oh well. I guess you'll just have to come and visit us! :)

After leaving Salt Lake last week, I remembered too late that we had forgotten to bring Gordon's beloved blankie home. Gordon sleeps with this particular blanket curled around him every night, and has had a lot of trouble sleeping without it. We decided to go ahead and buy another one-- I couldn't find the exact pattern, but found another blanket that has a similar feel. Gordon isn't crazy about it, but at least he has been going to sleep!

So, yesterday, I was in Salt Lake again for work and stopped by my in-laws' to pick up the missing blanket. Here is a cute litle video of Gordon getting it back:

My Funny Valentines

I realized that I haven't taken cute pictures of my boys for a while, so what better day than Valentine's Day to have a photo session with my little sweets? As usual, some of the pictures turned out better than others (and don't you love the navy blue bedspread in the background?) but we got a couple of good ones!

Here are some of the funny poses:

Since it's the Day of Love, I would like to take a moment and share with the online world how grateful I am for my dear friends and family. A few days ago, a terrible shooting happened in Salt Lake City. As soon as I turned on the TV and saw the news, I immediately dialed my in-laws' number and felt a huge wave of relief when Marilyn answered the phone. We laughed a bit because just a few minutes earlier, Chris had called her from work for the same reason. Even though I felt so grateful that my family was unaffected by this tragedy, my heart ached for those people who lost loved ones that night. I think we all take our lives for granted-- our safety, the people around us-- we don't often take the time to appreciate these gifts the way we should. In light of this, I hope to be able to show more love to the important people in my life, and more respect for the security I've been blessed with. To all of my friends and family: I love you so much!

We love the new Blue Room!

Last weekend, we painted the boys' room. It turned out great!

And After:

I also did videos of before and after, but they're still uploading to Google Video. I will try to post them later today.

"There never was a child so lovely..."

"...but his mother was glad to get him to sleep."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another reason to love my in-laws

A couple of weeks ago, while we were visiting my in-laws in Salt Lake, I was wearing my favorite Brighton earrings. While watching TV with Chris, I got uncomfortable and decided to take them off. Like the smartie that I am, I placed them in a random spot and forgot all about them. The next day, I managed to find one, but it's pair had disappeared. I was really bummed.

This week, I learned yet another reason why I love my in-laws. Not only did they treat Gordon to two great days of one-on-one spoiling while I was in meetings at work, they also presented me with an early Valentine's gift: new earrings! They're not exactly like my old ones, but I love them even more! I took some pictures of my newly cutened (I know, not a word)ear just to show off...
Thank you so much, Gary and Marilyn!!

While trying to capture the earring pic, I took a few profiles of myself. I always think profile pictures are so weird to see-- I'm used to looking at myself from the front, but never from the side. I think it always surprises me a little bit to see how pointy my nose actually is!

I do love Costco

Last weekend, we enjoyed a fun visit from my dad. We went to the Ogden Costco in the late afternoon-- I forgot how much I love that place! We didn't spend too much time there, but I saw plenty of stuff I'm planning to go back for. Next we went to the Olive Garden where poor Chris walked around with Gordon, who had no intentions of sitting in a high chair, while Tom, my dad and I enjoyed our meal. It was a funny night.

On Sunday, my dad came to church with us and ran into one of his old seminary students from Sugar City, ID, who is now living in our ward! Crazy!

It was fun to have him here for the weekend!

I caught our funny cat in his favorite new way to navigate our blinds. The boys really enjoy having Schroeder around. He's amazingly patient with Gordon, who enjoys tormenting him in any way he can think. Thomas has finally gotten used to having a kitty around and has even started playing with him regularly.

Love is in the air

It's only the 2nd day of February, and already we're getting into the Valentine's Day mode. I have never been a huge fan of this holiday (commercialism, we should show love every day of the year, that kind of thing) but I have to admit, having kids who get excited about it does make Valentine's Day a lot more fun.

It seems our littlest family member has taken some hints from the models in the Victoria's Secret catalog. The other night, long after the boys were asleep, I went into their room to put some toys away and check on them. I found Gordon, clad only in his diaper, curled up in his crib, his jammies at his feet. Like those models, apparently he isn't fond of clothing either!

Today Thomas and I went to the store where he picked out Superman valentines to give to his classmates. I always get a laugh out of the messages they put on these things. Tom's say things like "Happy Valentine's Day to a Hero with Heart", "This Valentine's Day-- Soar!", and "Valentine, You're one of the Good Guys!" My favorite, though, is this:

Today's actual holiday is Groundhog Day and the day our cute nephew, David Myers, celebrates his second birthday! Happy Birthday, Davey!! To celebrate, I plan to watch the classic Bill Murray flick later today. :)