Sunday, January 29, 2012


*Note on the title: When exclamation points and ALL CAPS don't get across the proper amount of excitement...add random extra letters. In fact I used to do this for my name. For a whole year I wrote my name as Jocelynn and convinced all my teachers that somehow the spelling on their roll was wrong.*

**Another note that has nothing to do with this post. Today was the perfect day to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep due to the massive amounts of snow and coldness outside. Yet here I am, at work. Boo.

Now on to the point...finally

I turned 21 yesterday!!! Woot woot! I seriously love birthdays! My mom trained me that way. Growing up we only had parties every four years (because birthday parties are expensive) but even on the off years my mom made my birthdays spectacular. Like the year she gave me presents to keep in my locker at school and they each had sticky notes on them that said stuff like "Open after 1st period" or "Open before lunch". 

Or like the year she took me to Ihop for breakfast in my pajamas and I threw up...okay not the best example. One year we were snowed in (in Georgia an inch of snow means stock up on food and don't leave the house or else you'll probably die) and she lined up all my presents on the fire place and only let me open one every couple of hours. 

Then there was the year that she hid all my presents and I had to search for them around the house. That was the year I got my :

Yeah that's still up in my attic back home somewhere. Anyway, long story short I've always had awesome birthdays and this year I was a little concerned that I was going to have a less than awesome birthday. I mean I'm all old and married now and poor and whatnot. And my husband has never been big into birthday celebrations. SO in the days leading up to my birthday I was being pretty whiney. Ok...I was being a brat. fact. I'm not proud.

Since my birthday was on a Monday this year, I decided that we should celebrate it on Saturday. I was very adamant that I wanted doughnuts for breakfast since I'm on a diet so my birthday was my day to splurge. I was also sort of a brat about that too because Chris just got glazed when I wanted some assorted ones. Man I am spoiled. (I blame my mother for this too)

After I apologized and all was good I opened some presents from my family: 

From my Auntie Darla:

And a $50 giftcard to Macaroni Grill from my little sister and money to get my hair done from my parents.

Then I went and got my nails done with my friend Alena. The snow was coming down hard and fast when we left the nail salon and, being from Georgia, I'm not so great at driving in the snow. On my way home I came around a corner and my car decided to ignore my pull on the steering wheel and not turn, sending me straight into the path of an oncoming car. Thankfully my car speaks English (and slang) so when I yelled at it, it finally decided to turn.

A little shaken up, I pulled over to the side of the road and called Chris to tell him what happened and hoped he would offer to come pick me up cause I'm a baby when it comes to driving in the snow. 

"Really, it's snowing that bad?" was his response. He suggested that I turn around and go the other way home where there is probably less snow. That would have taken me another 15 minutes at least so I figured I'd just try and make it the way I was going cause I really didn't want to waste more time.

"Well make sure you go super slow."

And I did. Took my sweet time. But apparently I didn't take it sweet enough because just as I was passing the street that would have been 'the other way home' Chris' car zooms out of the street in front of me and turns down the street where our house is. I was still on the phone with him at this point.

"HEY! I just saw you! I thought you were at home!"

Then, since I was still going slow and he was not, I watched him slide the car into his parking spot and race into the house. When I finally pulled into the driveway he waltzed outside.
"Oh good you're home."

Yeah right...I'm not that slow. But whatevs. He wouldn't tell me where he was. Reall Sneakyy...

So the plan for the rest of the night went like this:

-5:00p Go Bowling with Clayton and Malae
-7:00p Dinner at Macaroni Grill 

On our way to pick up our dear friends we stopped to get a birthday cake for me.

 Cause I love cake. It's probably the  best part of having a birthday. But then Clayton was picking up some groceries and his headlight went out so he had to fix that and lalala we ended up going bowling by ourselves and then they were gonna meet us at dinner...or so I thought.

We went bowling on campus at the Wilkinson Center. We pulled in to the closest parking lot which isn't very big and there were a lot of people looking for spots. We got lucky enough to find one right on the edge. But where we were stopped to wait for the person leaving to pull out was blocking traffic. So naturally we decided to be considerate and pull forward past the parking spot and then we'd just back in. 

Well behind us was a car that thought that they deserved the parking spot more than me...on my birthday. Unacceptable. Chris even leaned out of the car and in large gestures pointed at himself and the spot. Obviously that either means "Dude this is my spot" or "Look! Look at me! I see a car pulling out of a parking spot! Hehe! Yay! I'm a tard."

We all know what the obvious gesture meant. But the car behind us didn't. So me, in my bratty 'It's my birthday and I get what I want' mentality, got out of the car and stood in the parking spot as the other car was backing out. HA!

And those friendly gentlemen in the other car we're so happy for us getting that spot that they waved at us as they passed. But oddly enough they only waved with one finger. Hmm.

Bowling was a lot of fun. We played two games and Chris beat me twice. It's okay though. I had fun. I was determined to have this pretty pink ball even though it was 14lbs. (I'm more of a 10-11lb ball kind of girl). So obviously I couldn't properly bowl with it. But it was pretty. And that's all that matters.

By the time we finished bowling it was like 6:45 and our dinner reservation was at 7. It was really important to me that we made a reservation since it was a Saturday night and I didn't want to sit around waiting for a table. Before we left Chris decided to take like 30 years in the bathroom. (I found out later that he was just standing in there giggling to himself.) And he seemed to be in no hurry to get out to the car.

And what do we find when we get out of the car?? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in the one finger wave by car decided to put newspaper all over the windows of our the snow. (For those of you that are a little slower...this means that the newspaper was soaking wet and a little difficult to get off). I mean old are we here in college. Geez. 

Anyway, Chris took his sweet time getting the newspaper off the car and all the while I am getting more and more frustrated that we are going to miss our dinner reservations.

When he finally gets in the car he took the turn to head back to Clayton and Malae's to pick them up.

"WHAT are you doing?? We're going to be late to dinner!!! They can just meet us there! TURN THE CAR AROUND."

And that's what I was like the whole way to their house. Chris kept giggling which made me even angrier.

Did I mention that I'm a spoiled brat??

When we got to their house I laid on the horn.

"Jocelyn, stop it, they have neighbors."

So Chris went inside to get them.

I honked the horn again.

Chris came back outside.

I yelled some more.

Finally he coaxed me to come inside to wait for them to be ready to go. I begrudgingly stomped up to their door. Chris opened it and ...
There was Malae holding a Happy Birthday sign and Alena and Olivia and Clayton all throwing confetti in the air.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor and wiped the look of shame and guilt off my face, I sheepishly smiled, thanked everyone and gave them all a hug. And apologized to Chris.

WE had an awesome night playing a story/picture version of telephone and eating waay too much sugar (@Malae: "Fat Jocelyn") and playing Dance Central and watching Crazy, Stupid Love. Oh and trying to convince me to shove my face into my own cake. I briefly considered it. 

I don't think I will ever live that down. I think I'm going to start planning Chris' birthday now. 

Did I mention that I'm a spoiled brat?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Sneak Food into a Movie Theater

Chris and I have this little game we play. We LOVE to see what different, random kinds of food that we can sneak into the movie theater. So far, these are things we have snuck into the theater.

And of course...

 So now for your movie watching enjoyment...a little tutorial on how to sneak any and all kinds of food/snacks into a movie theater.

Step 1: Pick the appropriate purse to contain your food of choice.

Too big and obvious...I mean heck, it's practically a suitcase.

Way too small. Unless you're going for just a little candy, this is not the right choice.

Big enough to hide all sorts of food, sturdy enough for drinks or milkshakes to stand up as long as you don't do any crazy dancing or trip, an average size of purse that many people carry so you don't have to worry about anyone being suspicious. 

**Tip** It's really important to actually bring a purse. Chris and I one time tried to sneak in several bags of candy, bottles of soda, a bag of chips and a container of frosting and I didn't bring a purse. Now, granted we did make it into the theater without getting caught but I'm not exactly sure how we did. We looked very awkwardly bulky. Chris had bottles of soda in each back pocket, I was holding the frosting with my coat draped over my arms so you couldn't see and we had candy and chips stuffed into pockets. It was awkward. I don't recommend it.

Step 2: Pick a snack that you're craving and place into previously chosen purse.
For this particular example I was craving frozen yogurt, plus I wanted something that wasn't very fattening but still delicious. It's good that I chose a sturdy purse because it's important to keep them standing up in your bag so nothing accidentally spills.

P.S. Don't put anything else in your purse except maybe a wallet. That way you can pull out the wallet, proving your not hiding anything in your purse, but still have plenty of room for the snacks you're hiding.

Step 3: Be super duper sneaky!

(That's a wink not a grimace...haven't got that one down yet)

Step 4: Sit down in the Movie Theater and pull out your snack in shining victory and Enjoy!


There you have it folks. Now go get you a purse and some snacks and get your butt to a movie theater!

What are you still doing here, reading this? GO! GO! GO!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have had the most incredible Christmas ever! Let's start at the beginning (not the very beginning, I tend to be a little too wordy for that.)

PART 1- Christmas Decor
I didn't have a lot of money to buy decorations. Since we planned on spending Christmas just the two of us in Utah this year, a warm Christmas-y atmosphere was a must. We got really lucky and found someone selling their Christmas tree on the KSL classifieds. 7.5 ft, prelit, and we only paid $40 for it. Best deal ever!

 My tree started off very bare. I had a few ornaments that I got for cheap at Disney World, and then I found some super cheap ball ornaments (bulbs?) at Smith's (the grocery store), they were good tree fillers. Then eventually my mom sent my ornaments from back home. It's our family tradition to get a new ornament every year, a tradition I plan to keep with my children; it's like a lit up scrapbook that you get to look at and reminisce with.  Well after all those ornaments and a gift card from my mom to get a tree topper, my tree turned out like this.

The rest of my decorations we're pretty reasonable priced. I got a lot of things at the dollar store and the cheap section of target (my glittery nativity and reindeer and little snowman and Santa nutcrackers were only $2.50 each).  Well anywho...this is how it all turned out.

 Our pretty door with the Christmas cards from all of our loved ones.

 This is a little Celtic nativity that my sister gave me. Isn't it pretty?

 The TV was a happy Christmas present to ourselves. Originally over $400 but with giftcards we only ended up paying around $170. (We know how to get our moneys worth).

 My Grandma made the beautiful stockings.

 I found the mugs at DI and my mom sent me the plate. They go so nicely together.

PART 2- Christmas Eve Eve
On Christmas Eve Eve we had dinner with my aunt who's basement we're renting and my other aunt and their kids and grandkids. My aunt is vegan, so it was a very nontraditional holiday dinner of vegan chili over baked potatoes. I made the cutest reindeer cookies.

After dinner all 18 of us sat around the piano and sang Christmas carols. I'm really not much of a singer but I found that the whole event was a great way to get into the holiday spirit. There was such a beautiful spirit there amid the melodic notes and sweet words praising the birth of Christ.
BUT the sweet spirit was a little short lived. We sang a good number of songs and when everyone was winding down and ready to stop singing due to sore throats, my aunt had her own little chorus of, "But we haven't sung this one," and  "What about this one". So Chris and I just sat and listened when she insisted on the group singing along to the Hallelujah chorus. Following all the songs, we were ready to call it a night and said goodnight.
To end the night, I fell asleep on the couch watching the Grinch and  Chris worked on his vivarium he is making.

PART 3- Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve started off as a day like any other... only better, cause I didn't have to go to work. First thing, Chris and I made a trip to the gas station (our car wouldn't start since it was so lacking in gas and the other car we drive was on E) and then to the grocery store to get cheese and summer sausage. I love snacking on these during the day before our scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner. At the last minute I remembered that I needed to get a candy thermometer for the rolls but then I just figured my aunt would have one and didn't bother looking. She didn't have one. I ended up coming back to the store like 15 minutes later.
We snacked on our cheese and sausage and watched Deck the Halls, a really funny Christmas movie with Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick.
The movie was on TV and I actually didn't know the name of it until like a minute ago when I looked it up. It was cute though. I recommend it.

Anyways...after that I made our delicious Christmas Eve dinner. I must say that it was quite a success since I had never made a Christmas Eve dinner before. Check it out.

Green beans with mushrooms and onions
Mashed Potatoes
Candied Yams
Rolls (not pictured)

DO you like our table cloth? We didn't have one, so Chris got the bright idea to use wrapping paper. I think it turned out really cute.
Funny story about the yams. I had never made yams before. In fact, I used to think they were gross. That was until I tried them prepared like this:

Actually it turns out they're delicious! Especially the way I made them. The recipe I found said after I boil the sweet potatoes to put a couple pats of butter on top, brown sugar and then marshmallows and stick it in the oven. I didn't really pay attention to how much of everything it called for, so I just went ahead a put a little butter on and coated it in brown sugar. I didn't want the marshmallows to burn so I decided I wouldn't put those on until the last 10 minutes. (Plus there had been an incident where I might have caught the oven on fire with marshmallows..hehe). Well the last 10 minutes roll around and I pull out the yams ready to put the marshmallows on...only I see something weird.
"Well that's weird," I think to myself, "what happened to the brown sugar?? Maybe the marshmallows were supposed to act as some sort of cover for the brown sugar and since I didn't put them on, all the brown sugar evaporated..."
And so I put on another, very thick, layer of brown sugar before adding the marshmallows. I mean it was so thick that all you could see was brown sugar, not the sweet potatoes.
*Skip to Chris dishing up some yams for himself* "What is all this sauce at the bottom?"
*Moment of realization* "OHHHhhhh...brown sugar liquefies...that makes so much more sense. Oops."

Besides all that, dinner turned out great. And we'll be eating ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least a month.

We Skyped with my family technically before dinner since they had just finished dinner. Every year on Christmas Eve it's tradition for us to get new pajamas. We thought it would be fun if this year we opened them together over Skype. Aren't we cute??
PART 4- Christmas
I set my alarm so that I would wake up at 5am on Christmas morning so that I could watch my family open presents over Skype for a little while before going back to bed. 

Maddie showed me what she got in her stocking, then I watched John and Tonya open their stockings and then the presents from under the tree were passed out and everyone took turns opening. It was fun for awhile. But you can only watch people open presents for so long before you start feeling a range of not so wonderful emotions. Mine were: Homesickness, jealousy, and intense sleepiness. Finally, at my mom's insistence, I woke Chris up and we all opened presents together as a family. Let me just say how grateful I am for Skype. How wonderful that we have the technology that allowed me to have a traditional Christmas morning with my family in Georgia, while I was in Utah. Granted I couldn't eat any of the monkey bread or have any hot chocolate. But I still feel very blessed to have spent the morning with them.

My favorite present you ask?? My brand new netbook!!! I am so excited that I have something I can take to classes with me. That and my old laptop is sort of retarded...and really heavy. So YAY!!

I love Christmas. It was a little hard to be away from my family this year, but it didn't seem like we were too far, not really. The sad part now is having to take down all the decorations. I just hope I don't fall into a post-Christmas depression. You just spend a whole month, or maybe more, looking forward to one day and then just like that it's over. But I still have New Year's to look forward to. And then my birthday. Maybe I should decorate for my birthday for the whole month of January. That'd be festive :)