Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sara Bareilles

I love her.

Happy, happy birthday, Andy!

Happy Birthday today to my brother-in-law, Andy Hansen! Andy is a genius and a very hard worker-- two qualities I've always admired in him. He married the sweetest girl in the world and he's a great dad to their two adorable kids. Since he is going to medical school in Wisconsin, we don't get to see him as often as we'd like. He and Chris keep in pretty good touch, though-- the phone call frequency usually increases during Utah sporting events! Andy has awesome taste in music-- he probably doesn't know this, but I love getting the CDs he sends to Chris. I know I'll end up loving whatever eclectic mix he puts together. We can't wait to see Andy again... sometime? Not soon enough!

Happy 28th to an awesome guy-- we love you Andy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today is Esther's Special Day!

I was 14 and lost at EFY, when I met a cute brunette from Vancouver, WA who was also trying to find her way around. Esther and I became instant friends, and even wrote letters back and forth after we went home. I received her wedding invitation a few months before my own went out, and had a chance to speak to her briefly on the day she went through the Temple for the first time. We lost touch for a year or so, but then to my delight, she was at the wedding of our friends, Justin and Amber-- I hadn't realized that she was married to Amber's brother! Now, thanks to our blogs, I can keep up with Esther and her cute family on a regular basis!

My favorite thing about Esther is how positive she always is. She is full of kindness and love, qualities that I try to emulate. Happy Birthday, Esther! I hope it's a wonderful one!

(By the way, huge thanks to Amber for posting a birthday wish for Esther-- I didn't know today was her birthday! Also, sorry I stole this picture, Ess...)

A little Tuesday morning inspiration...

"Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”

~Oq Mandino

ALSO, check out this essay about reading, by Elizabeth Berg, one of my favorite authors. I love Elizabeth Berg because she so beautifully articulates exactly how I feel. ♥ Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 28, 2008

In the past few days...

Thomas had another Junior Jazz game on Saturday, and once again, he was the cutest little perimeter player on the team. He doesn't really like to touch the ball or get into the rustle of kids, but that's okay. He still has a fun time and is the team's scorekeeper, though no one else keeps score. On Saturday, he informed me that his team won 7-3. Go Jazz!

After the game, we headed up to Idaho Falls again. My brother gave his mission report on Sunday and Chris and I, Ann-Michelle and Todd, Kristie and Todd, and my dad and Caitlan, sang a musical number and my mom accompanied. You'll have to ask Becky if it was any good! (Thanks again for coming, Beck-- you're the best!)

Kristie brought her new little dog over to my parents' house on Saturday. Gordon is in LOVE. It almost makes me want to get him a little dog-- he is just so in love with puppies! I am wishing they made little life-like robot dogs that acted just like real dogs, minus the care-taking involved. I'd be first in line.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was meeting Becky and Elena at Chili's for our girl's night out. They really are two of the most incredible people I know, and I love that they let me hang out with them. Plus, you really can't beat Chili's chips and salsa... I want some right now!

Jake's talk on Sunday was awesome. It's always strange to see your younger siblings turn into adults. I remember Chris sharing a similar sentiment when his sister, Emily, got married. You grow up thinking of them as little kids, picking on them and bossing them around, and then all of the sudden, they turn into these amazing people who are stronger, wiser, and more mature than you ever gave them credit for. It was very touching to see the growth and wisdom that my brother gained on his mission. I felt very honored to know him, and I felt inspired by his spirit.

Now it's back to Monday and back to life. Ah, Monday-- so fun...

My funny little two-year-old has been very interested in moving things around lately. He has always been rather inventive when it comes to getting what he wants. I've found chairs and other objects pushed up to counters and tables, and opened cabinets and empty wrappers left as evidence of his mischief. Yesterday, I got a huge kick out of his newest chair-moving escapade-- a barricade!

To finish things off, I've managed to capture Gord singing his new favorite song, "I've been working on the railroad." Of course, in order to get him to sing it, I had to sing, too. It will be hard to ignore me since I'm holding the camera and louder than Gordon, but if you can try, I'd appreciate it.

Gordon B. Hinckley 1910-2008

Last night, the beloved leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away. He was dearly loved by both members of the church and those of other faiths, and will be greatly missed. President Hinckley has been a guiding light in my life, and I will always hold a special place for him in my heart.

My favorite thing about the Prophet was his gentle way of urging us to be better people. I never felt like the things he asked us to do were overwhelming, rather, his calls to action were simple, kind, and inspiring. Every time I heard him speak, I felt the desire to be a better wife, mother, friend, and latter-day saint. He was a true leader-- the kind who lead by love.

Chris had to work last night, and called me with the news. It was hard for me that Chris was at work-- I wanted to be with him and reminisce about President Hinckley and the ways that his words and example touched our lives. We did end up staying up late and talking, and ultimately, I am kind of glad that Chris did have to work. The Herald Journal put together a very touching tribute, which Chris and Christy worked very hard on. When I saw the paper this morning, I felt very grateful that we live in this LDS community, where news like this can take up the whole first page.

Chris also wrote a column, which I'd like to share with you. The following was published in The Herald Journal this morning:

Remembering a Prophet
by Chris Hansen, News Editor

I remember the day Gordon B. Hinckley was named the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was a senior in high school sitting next to my best friend in our LDS seminary class, watching a press conference on TV.

Katie Barnes, Preident Hinckley's granddaughter, was also in that class. I didn't know her very well but almost immediately I asked her if she could get her grandfather to come address our class. I knew it was an extreme long shot, and she was polite in letting me down, saying he was too busy.

However, I persisted in bugging her on the matter every day for two weeks. It worked. She finally asked him, and he agreed to come a few weeks later.

Word of President Hinckley's prending visit spread like wildfire, and he invited all Skyline High School studends-- LDS and non-LDS alike-- to a fireside at a nearby meeting house.

I'll be honest: I don't remember the particulars of his talk that evening. He basically told us to be good people, to make smart choices. But what I do recall was his smile, his sene of humor and the way he treated his wife with such loving respect and equality.

His personality and integrity had me hooked, and from that day on I've looked to him as an example-- not just as the leader of my religious faith, but as an ordinary man with extraordinary kindness, decency and intellect.

When I was a student at the University of Utah-- Presiden't Hinckley's alma mater-- and had no idea what major to choose, I decided to follow in his footsteps and get a degree in English.

When my wife, Elise, and I don't always see eye to eye, I try to remain calm, remembering that President Hinckley said in all his years of marriage he had never ahd a serious disagreement with his wife.

And when we found out we were having our second boy, we named him Gordon.

I was fortunate to hear President Hinckley speak on various occasions in various settings, often in person. My son, Gordon, is not quite 3, but it is my hope that he will grow up knowing about the man after whom he is named.

I don't expect Gordon Hansen will become a worldwide religious leader. I don't care if he rises to any level of prominence. But if he turns out to be an honest person with a kind heart, a witty sense of humor, a good work ethic and a respect for his fellow man, like his namesake, I will be proud.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Double Tag!

So, neither Becky nor Elena technically tagged me, but since I'm feeling a little guilty for deserting you all for the past week, and since I know you're just dying to know more about me, I decided to combine their two tags to form this one: (you're cheering inside, I just know it) Also, just for laughs, here's a weird picture of me saying something to the person taking the picture (I think Todd Freed?) right before Chris kissed me on New Years.

10 Years Ago in January 1998, I was newly engaged. Yes, it's true. An 18-year-old freshman engaged to her freshly returned missionary. Actually, he was someone else's freshly returned missionary, but one trip to Baskin Robbins and a few precious moments on the steps of Cougar Stadium took care of that. Heh heh heh. Anyway, ten years ago I was too busy looking at the pretty rock on my finger to study for Accounting.

On my to-do list:
1. Finish up that damn laundry. Sorry, but laundry makes me swear.
2. Straighten up the kitchen before Chris gets home
3. Pack for Idaho

If I had a billion dollars...
1. Chris and I would build our dream house on a piece of property with lots of mature trees. (We already have our plans picked out and plan on building it even if the billion doesn't come to pass.)
2. Since I actually love my current little house, I would just do some upgrading-- wood floors in the kitchen, a nice patio, tile in the bathrooms, etc. Then I would rent it out or use it as guest quarters.
3. I'd hire those people from "What Not to Wear" to re-do my wardrobe.
4. Travel! First up would be Disneyland, since Thomas has realized that he wants to go, then Italy, then the rest of the world.
5. Maybe I'd save some. :)

3 Bad Habits
1. Chewing on my fingernails
2. Chewing on my lips
3. Waiting until 30 minutes before Chris comes home to clean the kitchen

3 Things you probably don't know about me...
1. I was on the dance team in high school and sometimes, when I'm by myself, I try to do some of my old moves. Don't laugh-- sometimes Chris does my old moves, too.
2. I love to eat chocolate Twizzlers. They changed them recently and I am furious.
3. I wear pajama pants every night. I can't sleep without them.

3 Jobs I've had:
1. Waitress
2. Receptionist
3. Franchise Development Specialist

3 Movies I could watch over and over:
1. Sliding Doors-- I watch it whenever I'm sick and sometimes when I'm just in the mood to watch it. It's one of my favorites of all time.
2. Sense and Sensibility. I love that Edward Ferrars and I cry every single time he tells Elinor that his brother, not he, is married to that annoying Lucy Steele. I think this has to be one of the most romantic scenes ever.
3. Drowning Mona. So funny and quirky and I'm a little bit in love with Casey Affleck. What? He does look a little bit like Chris, you know.

3 People I e-mail daily:
1. Work people
2. Friends who don't have blogs who really need to get them. Okay, so I don't e-mail them daily, but I do wish they would get blogs.
3. ?

3 Things I love to eat:
1. Peanut butter and chocolate, and Gold Medal Ribbon ice creams in a waffle cone from Baskin Robbins. Stupid Logan-- we don't have a BR here. Add that to my billionaire list-- I'd open a BR franchise!
2. Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, which I plan on making for my next dinner party, whenever we find a free weekend for that...
3. Sweet Pork salad from Costa Vida. Mmmm.

3 Places I'd rather be:
1. The Big Island, Hawaii
2. With my grandparents in South America
3. Anywhere warm-- Texas? Arizona? Vegas?

3 Places I've lived:
1. Sacramento, CA
2. Sugar City, ID
3. Lake Stevens, WA

3 Things I'm looking forward to:
1. Spring break in Panama! Our passports came this week!
2. Gordon mastering his bowels
3. Completing a 1/2 Marathon in April with Christy, Kateka, my sisters, brother, and mom

For those of you who enjoy tags, do this-- I like reading about you! For those of you who don't, that's okay, I still love you. Mwah.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome Home Jake!

This past weekend, Chris, the boys and I spent the weekend in Idaho Falls, where we welcomed my brother, Jacob, home from his LDS Mission to Vladivostok, Russia. We had such a wonderful time with my whole family, especially with Jake! I made a slideshow of all of the pictures I took over our four-day trip, but thought I'd share a few of my favorite highlights individually.

First off, Chris thought it would be hilarious to greet Jake at the airport looking like... I can't even think of the right word. He grew out his facial hair for the past couple of weeks, then shaved everything but his mustache before we went to the airport. Then he scruffed up his hair and adopted some creepy wild expression in his eyes to complete the look. He also created a very artistic sign-- one of Jake's and Chris's favorite things to do is play Risk, and they've even created a little catch-phrase: "Are you ready to RISK open warfare?", which Chris meticulously printed out on his sign. Wow, I cannot believe how nerdy that sounds! Oh well-- the gig worked-- Jake took one look at Chris and started laughing!

The Idaho Falls airport is hilariously small-- I haven't been there for several years and it was really laughable. The nice thing about it, though, was that there were no crowds to fight through! When Jake arrived, we pretty much took up the whole arrival area, but no one seemed to mind. My whole family was there-- all five sisters, three husbands, six kids, and my parents-- it was a huge group. After more than two years, it was awesome to be all together again!

Top L to R: Chris, Baby Graham, Todd Flatland, Todd Freed, Hadley
Middle: Brynn, Allison, Mom, Dallis, Jake, Dad, Ann-Michelle, Gordon, Elise, Kristie
Bottom: Thomas and Caitlan

After we got back to my parents' house, Chris shaved of most of his mustache... these pictures are inappropriate on a bunch of different levels, but I bet you're smiling...

Since Jake has been in Russia for two years, one of my parents' main objectives was to make sure he got plenty of good American food. On Saturday night, he was welcomed with fresh pumpkin pie and eggnog. Sunday dinner was my dad's famous chicken teriyaki a la mesquite, mashed Idaho potatoes, and "Better than Caitlan" cake for dessert. Yummy! On Monday, we continued the good eats with a tasty breakfast at Smitty's.

After Smitty's, we drove up to Rexburg to go through the new Rexburg Temple. The Temple was just beautiful, our kids were pretty well behaved, and once again, it was great to be with my whole family. One funny moment-- when we were in the Celestial Room, I was holding Gordon and whispering to him to look at the chandeliers, etc, and trying to keep him quiet. He started whispering a list of candies he likes to eat to me: "red candy canes, blue candy canes, pink candy canes, orange candy canes..." It was cute.

It was FREEZING cold outside, but we managed to snag a few shots before racing back to our warm cars. (If you look closely, you can see that Gordon is crying-- it was really, really cold!)

The kids had a blast when my dad took them outside on his neighbor's snowmobile, and the older boys had even more fun taking the snowmobile out at night. They're just a bunch of daredevils-- ha!

And of course, the weekend wouldn't have been complete without several games of Risk. The last time we played was in January of 2006-- two years ago. Crazy! Chris won the first round, then I won a game of Mission Risk (a rare occurance), then Jake finally regained his throne as the ruler of the world. A proud moment indeed.

And, if you've ever wondered what I would look like as a Matryoshka doll, Jake brought me my likeness straight from Russia...

It was a great weekend and we're so happy to have my brother back in the US! We're so proud of him and the incredible person he is. Love you, Jake!

By the way, Cait has a slideshow, too! Oh, and check out Todd's coverage of the event-- awesome. As Todd pointed out, he and Ann-Michelle are responsible for the two additional people in our family during Jake's absense.

Funny Kids

While at my parents' house this weekend, I pointed out a horse in the property behind my parents'. "What does a horse say?" I asked Gordon.

"Neeee," he said, then, "I love that horsey. It's like a little cow."

Thoma has been making the same weird sounds that the Todds and Chris have started making while they play games. Annoying is not quite the right word... well, judge for yourself...

I like slushy milk...

Wow, it's been a while! I always get annoyed when people don't update their blogs, and yet, here I am, doing the same thing to you! Shame! I don't really even have a fantastic excuse, except that I've just been busy. Busy doing what, you ask? Frankly, I have no idea.

I've never been a huge fan of January, but I'm going to try to take a cue from my uber-positive friend Becca, and try to forge some kind of truce with the month. Okay, January, I'll try to look for some positives in you, if you can just warm up a teeny little bit. Deal?

Even though January has not been keeping its end of our bargain (today's high: 13. Ucka.), I have found some fun January-isms that I'm trying to savor.

When Chris and I decided to move to Logan, we learned that one of Cache Valley's many glorious attributes is that it is a large dairy community. We immediately signed up to receive a twice-weekly delivery of farm-fresh milk, a luxury that I absolutely adore. Our milk is delicious, guaranteed to be a maximum of 48 hours old, and divinely convenient. In January, when the early morning temperatures dip below the 0 mark, the milk in our box freezes and turns into slush. I like it-- it's really yummy. Almost like pouring a milkshake into my cereal. Mmmm.

Also, without this freezing cold weather, my boys wouldn't have been able to enjoy their first snowmobile ride a la my dad:

Happy slushy milk, happy snowmobiling, happy January!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Caitlan, Caitlan, it's your birthday!

Today is my younger sister, Caitlan's birthday! She is nineteen and a sophomore at BYU, so I guess now she is ready to get married! Ha ha-- just kidding!

Caitlan is one of those people who gets along well with everyone. She has always been mature for her age and very confident, and her security with herself just puts everyone else around her at ease. Caitlan has a great sense of humor and is always ready to try new things. She is even a fellow sushi-lover like Chris! I love hanging out with her and I love even more that she is my sister.

Happy Birthday, Caitlan!! I love you!

Happy Birthday Sherrie!

Happy Birthday today to my dear friend, Sherrie Crawford! Sherrie and I have been friends since my days in Salt Lake City, right after Thomas was born and Chris was still in school. Sherrie always had an open door and I appreciate all of the times she let me in to just sit and chat. Sherrie is one of those multi-talented women who does everything with a certain zest that rubs off on everyone she is around. She is a very talented writer, a beautiful singer, and an incredibly fun mom. I love Sherrie-- she is one of my favorite people!

Happy Birthday, Sherrie!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Gary and Marilyn Hansen!

My in-laws have been married for thirty-five years. Now that's impressive!

Elena's Birthday is TODAY!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELENA! I have known (well, known of at least) Elena since I was in Junior High, when my best friend Becky's older brother started dating her. I've always thought she was gorgeous and has such a fun personality, but it has only been in the last year or so, when we've gotten to know each other a lot better through blogging and our fun dessert get-together, that I have come to appreciate what a great person she really is. Elena is smart, fun, and one of the best moms ever-- you can tell by how much she loves her kids and how much they love her. I think my favorite thing about Elena (besides the fact that she is a regular commenter on my blog! :)) is that she isn't pretentious or fake-- she's just herself and she is awesome! Elena and I also think a lot alike, so I love that she always knows where I'm coming from.

Happy Birthday, Elena! I adore our friendship!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Junior Jazz

Yesterday Thomas had his first Junior Jazz basketball game. Although every kids' jersey says "JAZZ" on it, Thomas's team acutally is the Jazz, so we thought that was kind of cool. He was so excited-- he has been counting down the days all week. In practice before the game, Tom found his spot on the floor where he could make several baskets-- it was fun to see how excited he got when his shot went in!

The game itself was not unlike soccer last spring-- a bunch of kids just chasing the ball from goal to goal. The coaches kept yelling things like, "Pass!" and "Defense!", to which most of the kids just put their arms up. It was pretty cute. The best thing about 1st grade basketball is that there are no fouls (the kids aren't malicious enough to try to foul each other yet anyway), very lenient boundaries, everyone gets to play, and no one (except Thomas) keeps score.

Go Jazz #22!

After the game, we took the kids to Casper's Ice Cream in Providence. It's a newer place and I hadn't been before-- very nice. Of course, my boys ordered blue bubblegum, which tastes surprisingly like Pepto Bismal. Yum.

Winter in Logan...

... is excellent for...

Winter in Logan is not so good for...

or wearing your cute new ballet flats.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Nonny!

Happy Birthday to my dear maternal grandmother, Carolyn Mehaffy, otherwise known as "Nonny". I know what you're thinking: that young woman in the picture is your grandmother?! Yes, it's true-- and no, she didn't give birth to my mom when she was 15 or anything-- she's just a naturally young and energetic person. Some of my most treasured childhood memories are associated with Nonny. Each summer, my siblings and I had the opportunity to visit Nonny and Bob on their sailboat, Carricklee, or on their RV. We visited some incredible places, and were able to enjoy some individual time with our wonderful grandparents. I plan to continue this fun tradition with my own grandchildren someday.

Nonny is intelligent, wise, graceful and an amazing cook-- she is one of the few people I know who I would rather have cook for me than take me out to eat! She is a perfect hostess and visiting her and Bob is always a wonderful experience. Chris and I are planning a trip to Panama in April to visit them and we just can't wait!

I love you, Nonny! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


A week into the New Year, I am making a solid resolution to hold at least one each of parties like this, this, this, and this. Yes, Chris, that's at least four parties this year.

Since I only know approximately three cool people in Logan (Holly and Christy included), my second resolution is two part:

A. Meet more cool people in Logan.
B. Work on my persuasive skills to convince my non-Logan people to make the drive to one of my parties.

I'm already thinking of Iron Chef ingredients...


Elena tagged me to share a few little things that drive me nuts. The fact that she tagged me is just another example of how crazily on the same wavelength we are-- I was actually thinking this morning, "I wonder if it would annoy people if I blogged about the things that we irritating me today?" Ha ha-- well now you have no choice but to listen! Thanks Elena!!

Things that bug me:

1. People who give backhanded compliments. I know someone who is a pro at these, to the point that I sometimes wonder if she realizes how snotty she is. She's not a fool, though, so I have a feeling she is just politely condescending on purpose. It's a pretty bad sign when you accept every "compliment" with, "Um...thanks?" I'd like to think that I don't do this to people, but if you ever hear me give a backhanded compliment, you have my full permission to drop kick me.

2. Police cars pulling people over right outside my bedroom window at 3 AM, sometimes waking up the kids. We live right next to a school, so the speed limit drops suddenly from 50 to 30 and the cops love, love, love to hide out right behind our fence. I am not saying they shouldn't do their job, I just wish they would turn the lights down or something. I know, I really should invest in some light-blocking blinds.

3. Bullies. This is a big one for me today: when I picked Tommer up from school, he was sobbing next to his teacher, citing "Shae kicked me," as the reason for his tears. Now, I know that my little guy can be more sensitive than some, but it seems like he complains about this Shae and the mean things she does on a regular basis. I'm not really sure what to do about it-- the poor girl comes from a pretty wacky home and is currently being cared for by her grandmother, so I know there are some issues there. I just wish she wouldn't take it out on my kid!

4. Grocery Shopping. I don't like grocery shopping. I like food, I like cooking, I like spending money, but I don't like pushing a cart around a big store, crossing necessities off of my list (or wishing I had remembered the list), dodging the people who think standing in the aisles to chat is a good idea, and telling my children that they-better-not-fight-if-they-want-to-get-a-treat-please-be-quiet-we-are-almost-done-I-promise!

5. Buying Jeans. Don't get me wrong, I do love shopping for clothes, but for some reason, I have the worst time with jeans. I don't have a perfect body, but I also don't have any weird abnormalities, so you'd think that I would be able to find a pair that fit right. I'm 5'3", so finding the right length is a problem-- regulars are a bit too long, but petite is just a bit too short-- and that's just the beginning. One of these days, I'll come across a brand that works and stockpile.

6. Dry lips. I have the really bad habit of constantly licking, biting and chewing on my lips; consequently, they are always dry. Right now, I am really liking the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine from Bath & Body Works, but even that goes away too quickly.

7. Trying to come up with something for dinner because I've been procrastinating #4. Let's see... "How about pancakes, guys?"

8. Misuse of apostrophes. Hey guy's, thank's for the note's. If you don't think there is anything wrong with that sentence, you need to visit this site. But don't proofread my blog or anything, okay? ;)

9. Bumper Stickers. I don't like them.

I'm tagging you: Mom, Caitlan, Ann-M, Kristie, Shannon & Ashley and anyone else who needs something new to blog about in the post-holiday doldrums. My awesome friend Becca has a whole section of her blog dedicated to things she doesn't love: Check it out!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Scrapbooking is theraputic for me-- for some reason this hobby is one of my favorite stress-relievers. So, here are a few spots from my latest therapy sessions :)...

Credits and other pages here.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back to Reality

There are few things I love more than a good party, even if that party is as simple as a couple of friends over for dinner, or a party of just Chris and me watching a movie after the kids are in bed. It seems like the past few weeks have been filled with parties, both big and small, and I've had such fun that it's been a little tough getting back into my real life routine. I can certainly see the allure in a celebrity lifestyle-- it's like one big party all the time, right?

Well, here we are: January 3, 2008, and things are back to normal. All of the Christmas decorations have been packed and stowed, and my little living room, which seemed so cramped with all of the stuff, now appears open and barren, and just a touch gloomy. Our beautiful tree, which lasted famously through the whole season, now sits outside in the corner of a parking lot, waiting for whoever picks up trees to come and get it. And today, I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock at a freakishly early hour, rather than the pleasing sounds of children and guests lazily rolling out of their beds. It's all a little depressing, if you ask me.

But! Good news on the horizon: I am excited about 2008! I have big hopes, plans, and aspirations for this year and I anticipate that it will be one of the best in Hansen History. A few weeks ago, I hinted at some changes that would bring some much-needed time to my life (and whoever asked if I was preggers was wrong-- has a baby ever brought extra time into anyone's life?), and I'm excited to announce that as of the middle of this month, I will be a part-time, rather than a full-time, employee at Harris Research. I love my work, but with the increasing demands of other, much more important things and people, I decided that something needed to be trimmed down and work was the best answer. Okay, so not so much financially, but if there is one thing that I am confident of, it's that things always manage to work out when you listen to your heart. Anyway, I'm excited for more time to play dinosaurs with Gordon, read with Thomas, and eat lunch with Chris without having to hurry back to the office. I also hope that by whittling down my hours and responsibilities at my job, I'll be able to provide a better focus to my work. Hopefully this change will be a good thing all around.

I haven't really written out any major resolutions yet, though I do have some specific goals that I would like to accomplish this year. Mainly, though, I want to focus on living a love-filled life this year by giving and receiving love more fully. Its a broad goal, I know, and hardly measurable, yet it feels like the exact right sentiment for me to focus on. Of course, I'll be sure to share any advancements with you!

So, bring on the reality, but let's be sure to throw a few parties in between! Cheers to 2008!

It's 2008!


We rang in the New Year with a fabulous celebration including family, friends, and of course, way too much food. Ah, but it was so fun! This was our second year hosting a New Years Eve party with my family, and this year was even bigger with all of my sisters, mom and dad, and our friends, the Stantons.

Did I mention that we had way too much food?

Chris and I pulled out all of the stops and made our tastiest party treats, plus a couple of new additions. Check out Becca's Oreo BonBons-- they were the first things to go! I also asked everyone to bring an appetizer and/or treat, so we had food galore. Everything was so delish and I love that we got to keep the leftovers!

A party just isn't a party without games! We had so much fun playing all sorts of games-- the most photogenic of which was The Great Dalmuti. It's one of those fun games you can play with a whole bunch of people and everyone has a great time.

Just before midnight, we broke out the sparkling juices, poppers and noisemakers and counted down the seconds via Chris's atomic clock. We lit one measley firework that somehow destroyed the launching tube (don't ask me, Chris did it) and decided it was much too cold to be celebrating outside anyway.

We stayed up late playing games and eating our tasty foods. The next morning, my mom made a tasty breakfast casserole and Todd made us aebelskivers, which I think should become a new New Years tradition.

Everyone took off in the early afternoon, except Todd and Ann-Michelle, who got to stay an extra night. In the evening, we had Chinese take-out, which I have decided will become our traditional New Years Day meal. I just think the idea of fortune cookies seems so festive and appropriate for the day. Maybe someday Logan will get a decent Chinese restaurant? Ha ha... Oh well, at least I got a couple of great fortunes for 2008:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ashley!!

I decided that one of my 2008 goals is to wish people Happy Birthday via my blog and, as part of their birthday greeting, share something I love about that person. So, what better time to start than today, January 2nd, with my AZ BFF, Ashley Ferrell Rogers. Ashley and I lived on the same floor as freshmen at BYU ten years ago, and we became instant friends. We lost touch for a long time, then reunited a year or so ago and our friendship just picked right up where it left off. I love how much fun we have together and how easy it is to talk to her. She married a great guy and I've loved reading about their adventures on their blog. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASHLEY!!

I stole this picture from Ashley's blog-- I know, shame.

By the way, if we're not related, chances are that I have no clue when your brithday is, so please don't be shy about letting me know. :) If I hadn't checked Ashley's blog tonight, I would have missed it!

Boxing Day

On the day after Christmas, I did my best to support Boxing Day by going shopping with my mom and sisters. It was still very snowy in Idaho Falls, but it was still fun to be out and about, especially since I managed to spend almost the entire Christmas Day in my new jammies. We went to a bunch of places and I didn't buy much, but I did find these fabulous plaid ballerina flats which could not be passed up. I know, they're darling, aren't they? American Eagle-- $12. Go get some!

Later that night, after getting the little boys to bed and the big boy playing games with the Todds, I met my two of my favorite girls, Becky and Elena at Perkins for some late night dessert and gabbing! I love our new little tradition and I hope we keep doing it! By the way, I have to give a little shout-out to Becky's husband, Kevin-- he completely surprised her with a new KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas. When I went to pick her up, they showed me the video of her opening her gift and it was so cute watching how pleased Kevin was with his awesome surprise. Check out their blog for the video-- I even got a little teary!!

Mmm... Chocolate Chipper Sundaes... hee hee...