Monday, December 31, 2007

Family Home Video Day: Walker, Texas Ranger

You might have noticed that I didn't post a FVHD clip last Monday. If you did notice, I just wanted to say that it was Christmas freaking Eve.

New Year's Eve is no biggie for me, so I have no problem posting a FHVD clip this week. However, I've decided to show some scenes from Walker, Texas Ranger a'la Conan O'Brien, since it's New Year's Eve. Because the rules of FHVD are, that there are no rules. If you're worried that perhaps I've run out of family home video... don't. I have hours and hours of more embarrassing video clips of you, and where I look sort-of cute. Besides, I heard Chuck Norris is related to us--check that with Aunt Lynn to be sure. Plus, he's Mormon--check that with Katie. I put the best clip at the end, and then told you that I did, so you would watch it all the way to the end, but really I did.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Work Meeting

Once a month, I get together with a coworker for a work meeting. We basically discuss how things are going at work, how we can increase productivity, how we can save the company more money, go see a girl movie, and eat lots of candy. Most people dread work meetings, but I actually don't mind them. We don't get paid for attending the meeting, but we do get out of work, which we also don't get paid for. So the meetings actually work in our favor. Plus, they have proven to increase fiscal earnings, streamline productivity, and prevent mental breakdowns.

Below is a picture of my coworker, Katie. She's the assistant to the regional manager of the Morgan branch (they have a two-year-old actually running their company, which is not uncommon--a two-year-old also runs the Esplin branch). She's flashing her branch's gang sign--the double Ms, which stands for "Morgan Mama."

For the first part of the meeting, we discussed the death of our grandparents, and how that made us feel. We acknowledged that life is short and we should live everyday like it is our last. And we're going to fold the laundry and put it away right when it comes out of the dryer, and not let it build up until it is a giant mountain of wrinkly clothes that we have to climb each day on our way to the bathroom.

For the next part of this month's meeting, our company got us tickets to the hottest show in town: 27 Dresses. "Whoa, what...?" you're thinking, "27 Dresses won't be released to theaters until January 11th, 2008." And you would be correct. What you don't know is that our company has a contract with Fandango, where you can print tickets at home to a one-time, exclusive sneak preview of 27 Dresses, open to the entire public, when you own a major credit card, or you could just buy tickets at the movie theater. We almost didn't get in, because we weren't in compliance with the strict red carpet dress code, or because I left our tickets sitting on my printer at the office. Luckily, I was able to call the office and get a confirmation code, and the ticket usher let us in. The Century theater was packed with other workers in our industry, who were likely having similar meetings with coworkers, and, as I had suspected, cat owners. Good thing I had brought along my allergy pills--the Morgan branch has cats, too.

Here's my review of 27 Dresses:

The premise of the movie is this: Jane, a mid-twenties assistant to an outdoorsy magazine owner, living in New York, is always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Why, you ask? Well, simply put, she's ugly:
See how brown her hair is? Her sister, on the other hand, is drop dead gorgeous:
See how blonde? Anyways, back to the story. Jane is always a bridesmaid, in fact she has been a bridesmaid in a record breaking 27 weddings! (Personally, I think it's better to be a bridesmaid in 27 weddings, than to be a bride in 27 weddings, but that's just me.) Immediately, we learn that Jane has bigger things to worry about than holding the bride's bouquet during the wedding ceremony, or holding the bride's gown while she pees, because Jane is in love with her boss... can't remember his name, we'll just call him Beady Eyes McGee:
Beady Eyes McGee thinks Jane is a great employee that he can make do all kinds of extra stuff without overtime pay, but that's about it. However, when he meets Jane's sister... can't remember her name, we'll call her Kinda Slutty... he instantly falls in love with her for a number of reasons that are not explained to the audience, and they set a wedding date, three weeks away. Jane is devastated, but nonetheless agrees to plan the whole wedding.

Enter left stage, Mr. Wrong. Mr. Wrong--whose real name is... can't remember, we'll call him Better Looking--is a wedding column writer for the New York Times, and, not only is he suspiciously better looking than Beady Eyes McGee, he has a better personality:
Naturally, Jane clashes with him, as she prefers boring, beady eyed men who have been with her sister now so it's too late anyways.
As you've probably guessed by his previous job description, Better Looking gets it in his head to write an expose' story on the ugly girl who has been a bridesmaid 27 times (a' la Runaway Bride). In order to write his story, he must get closer to her, and does so through a series of contrived meetings that are usually explained away with a "press pass." "What are you doing here?" "Um, we have to keep bumping into each other to progress the story line." "Whatever, I'm mad at you." "Why?" "Nobody knows." "Will you pull out all your old bridesmaid dresses that you have packed into your too-small closet and let me take your picture wearing them?" "Fine."
The sequence of her trying on all her old bridesmaid dresses with flashbacks to every wedding she was in, set to a upbeat musical track, was expected, but surprisingly funny.

There are some other moments in the movie that, although expected, nonetheless brought a smile to my face. A lot of the comic relief came directly from the audience, which consisted of several women who felt it was appropriate to shout out internal thoughts. "Shut-up! He did not just do that!" "She don't need you anyway!" "I love this girl, what's her name, Katherine Heigel... from Grey's Anatomy... I love me some McDreamy..." "Katherine Heigel's mormon." (<--Katie whispered that one to me). "Kerplugney!" (<--The lady behind us shouted that one out, and made like she was jumping out of her seat, during a spontaneous kissing scene, reminding me that I was in a theater packed with lonely women, not on a ferry boat, strung with lights, in New York City). Of course, I won't give away the ending, but you know when they show a wedding at the end, and you think it's the main character's wedding, but then they pan out and it's like their single mother who had a crush on the butcher downstairs from them? That doesn't happen. In fact, Jane's mother died when she was a little girl, and she basically raised Kinda Slutty--which really is the basis of a lot of their issues. Oh wait, I almost forgot all about Jane's cynical BFF with the dirty mouth... Trashy: She disappears about halfway through the movie, but makes an appearance at the end to offer non-judgmental support to Jane, because who is she to judge?

Overall, I would recommend this movie to other females in my industry, who could careless if they knew the movie was going to end that way, because they really wanted it to end that way anyways. I'm going to give the movie 4 out of 5 hand-knitted dishrags:

At the close of our meeting, Katie mentioned that she would like to expand her branch, and maybe relocate to a tropical climate, and I said I was interested in downsizing (just a pet--don't worry), and maybe moving to a location with more concrete. We both agreed we need to have more work meetings, like the desert needs the rain.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We hope you all had a great Christmas! We sure did. Cord and Gus got Transformers and Star Wars Lego sets, and Homer got a green light saber and a V-tech digital camera. Cord had asked for a cell phone, so he could text his cousins, and after much debate, we went ahead a got him one--for some reason, buying him a cell phone me feel sad.
We got some thoughtful gifts from the Morgan family (Tom) and Anthony's sister (both had "drawn" our name this year), and from my mom & dad. Thank you! Anthony way out-did me this year. Over the last few months, he had been visiting pawn shops, buying coins, and reselling them on Ebay, until he eventually made a profit of $1,000, and he surprised me with it on Christmas morning. We're going to put it toward a family vacation next year. (This really over shadowed the $60.00 I had saved up to surprise Anthony with.)

Here's our Christmas 2007 video:


I took this video below of Cord's first phone call on his new cell phone. This is exactly what I do when I'm on the phone. Watch for the sweet move he does at the end--the one-handed cell phone close.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Andy & Amber Left Today...


...but, I'm gonna be OK.

Katie thought I should add this clip from The Office "A Benihana Christmas." Micheal is devastated when Carol (his Realtor/girlfriend) breaks up with him just before the office Christmas party--he had photo-shopped himself into a picture of her, her kids, and her ex-husband on a ski trip. "Ski-sons Greetings"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mexican Red/Baby Jesus

I decided to stop putting those bleached-out highlights in my hair, and color it a more mature dark-blonde color (I am 28 now. Ahem. Anyways...). So I made an appointment with a new hairdresser (my regular hairdresser moved away in January and I haven't been able to find a good one yet!). I told her what I wanted, but there was obviously some miss-communication. Intuitively, I knew things weren't going well because she continued to tell me over and over how beautiful I am. I'm like, "I know, I know, you're preachin' to the choir, lady." But when I put my thick glasses back on, and I came into focus in the mirror, I saw that she had colored my hair Mexican red (definition: a sort of purplish red).

This is me, weeping:
(It's hard to tell in this picture, but trust me, it's Mexican red).

I'll get over it.

On a happier note, we finally finished decorating our Christmas tree--we had just been adding things every now and then, when ever we happened to pass by it--and I found my favorite ornament:

It's a fragile paper thing Cord made when he was 3 1/2, and I've hung onto it for 6 Christmases. Every time I pull it out it makes me laugh--I think it's the eyes. (It's baby Jesus in a manger, if you can't tell.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Got my Coat Back...

For those of you who don't know, my coat was recently stolen by this person, but since that person took a picture of herself wearing it, and posted it on the internet, I was able to solve Esplin family mystery #49: "Where the bleep is my coat?"
I was so relieved and excited to get it back, I decided to make a mini musical about it. Anthony and the boys were very supportive. They've been sick with worry about me since the temperature dropped into the low 50s.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Frances!


Happy Birthday Dad!

This is one of my dad's favorite songs, "Guantanamera," aka "One Ton of Mayo." I remember listening to it on road trips in our huge brown van. Every time I run into a mariachi band, taking requests, I ask them to play it.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Home Video Day: A Christmas Carol

I made it in the nick of time (for my time zone, anyway). Sorry it's so late! I had a crazy weekend, finishing up my last few finals, and I didn't have time to get my FHVD clip ready until late Monday night. Hope it gets everyone in the Christmas spirit--that time of year when tone deaf, flat note singing/piano playing is tolerated.
(For those of you who don't know, the people singing at the end are Ken & Barbie Spangler & family (Morgan family friends from Camarillo)--I thought mom might like that).


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Esplin Family Christmas Card


This is a video I put together of pictures from our entire year (don't worry, I crammed everything into 5 minutes). The pictures go fast, but there aren't any subliminal messages in there (just don't play it backwards). The song is “Time Stand Still” by Rush. For those of you who don’t know, Anthony is a huge Rush fan, however I am an anti-fan. But I grew to like this song--it's the only Rush song in which Getty Lee (the leader singer) doesn't sound like an evil-witch. Edit: Anthony was annoyed when he saw what I wrote and asked me to add that Neil Peart (drummer for Rush) is the greatest drummer that ever lived, according to somethin'-er-other, and a bunch of more stuff, can't remember, blah blah blah...

(pause the music on the side bar before playing the video)

While putting this video together, I realized what a great year we had. I kept thinking, “Wow, we did all this in one year?” Here are some highlights:

Cord turned nine and started the 4th grade. He was accepted into the GATE program (gifted and talented education) and he got a part in the school play.

Gus turned six and started 1st grade. He started Cub Scouts and loves wearing his cool uniform.

Homer (aka Arch) turned two. He’s a handful, but we have a lot of fun with him. He loves to watch scary movies.

Anthony and I turned that age that makes people not want to tell their age anymore. I finished my second year of school, and Anthony finished another year of work.

We took family vacations to Southern California, Northern California, Portland, Oregon, and Idaho (of course). I went on a Mexican cruise without Anthony or the kids (my first time ever leaving them) with two of my sisters, and Anthony and I took a trip to England without the kids.

We gained a new nephew, when my brother and his wife had a baby, and we gained a new sister-in-law/aunt, when Anthony's brother, Brett, got married.

All that excitement, and the best part about this past year was getting together with our families--Anthony's family at Brett's wedding, and my family at my parent's surprise, 40th anniversary party. We hadn’t seen some of Anthony's family in a long time—too long—and we had such a good time visiting with everyone. I had the best time planning my parents' surprise, 40th anniversary party with my brother and sisters (thanks to my sisters, Amy & Sara, for orchestrating it all). Collecting, organizing, and copying old family photos and video occupied a good portion of my summer, but it was so worth it. I will never forget the look on my mom's face when she walked through the door and saw all these people gathered together, who had come from near and far, all to celebrate them. I’m so proud of my parents. It will always be one of the best moments of my life. When I think of 2007, I won't think about the amazing trips we took and the things we did, I’ll remember my mom, walking through the door with her mouth hanging open in shock, and tears in her eyes.

How are we ever going to top this year?

We wish all of you well, and hope you have a great 2008,

The Esplin Family

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Wish List...

A pair of these (size 7 1/2):

Or, these:

Or, these:

They'll go perfect with these:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm pretty much famous now...

I posted my electric fireplace video on Youtube--to share with my fans (Uncle Mark). After it uploaded, I went back and did a search for it, and I couldn't find it, so I didn't think anybody else (Uncle Mark) would be able to find it either. However, I finally tracked it down (must take a while to show up). Imagine my surprise when I discovered it had already received 233 views.

Add Video to QuickList
Electric Fireplace
02:11 Electric fireplaces are the wave of the future.
electric fireplace slide groovy pink jeans jenny esplin video blog

Comments: 0
Rating: 1 rating
Added: December 12, 2007, 04:25 PM
Broadcast: Public | Live!

Either my fans (Uncle Mark) found it and watched it 233 times, or some poor unsuspecting Youtubers, perhaps in the market for a new electric fireplace, were subjected to my groovy video, and were like, "What the..." As you can see, one person even took the time to give it a rating--4 out of 5 stars. I'm pleased with that score, but I can't help but wonder why I was docked a star. I guess I should be glad that whoever it was gave my video serious consideration, and did not just carelessly apply a five star rating--there is room for improvement.

After that pleasant surprise, I checked how my other Youtube videos were doing. I had uploaded the "sick day" and "define groovy" videos weeks ago as a test run when I was trying to figure out how to post a FHVD clip that was too long. Anyways, you might be surprised where my groovy coat video ended up on the internet (click the link and scroll down a ways, right passed that clip of Laura and Almanzo poised to kiss). I had a good laugh over that.

Also, I wanted to bring this to your attention. (be sure to mute the obnoxious music on the side)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Electric Fireplace

The following video is a production of Groovy Coat Inc.


(This video is a compilation of those long awaited pictures of our new fireplace.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Family Home Video Day: A Very Morgan Christmas

The volume is poor... I recommend turning it up loud, especially if you want to hear the beautiful singing at the beginning.



I had a busy day, but my FHVD post is coming... Do not fear! While you wait, enjoy that un-freaking-believable picture of Brangelina and Corey.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Corey Beck Trumps All Celebrity Sightings

We're lucky enough to have family in town visiting us this weekend--my super cool sister-in-laws (Anthony's sisters), Michelle Esplin and Angie Murdock, and my nephew, Thomas Murdock (not to be confused with my nephew Thomas Morgan--see picture on left).So we took a little trip down to the Strip on Friday night, to walk through the fabulous hotel/casinos, and take in the lights (something Las Vegans only do when company comes to town).

We went to the Treasure Island (see above picture), and then across the street to the fabulous Winn Hotel (see picture on left).

Inside the Winn, I try to get a picture of the boys looking cool (see picture on right), but it doesn't work out. I put my camera down and walked straight into Andy Dick (literally, walked into him, hands-up, backup a few steps, sort-of thing). I'm not a fan of his or anything, but for some reason, that made me feel special, and I was looking forward to bragging about it on my blog.

But then, this morning, Anthony gets this cell phone picture from Corey:

YES! That is Corey with Brangelina Pitt!!! The REAL Brangelina Pitt!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Las Vegas Cattle Run

Anthony ran in the Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday. This year he decided to run the half marathon, rather than the full marathon. The half-marathon was added in 2006, so this is only its second year in Las Vegas. He decided to run the half for three reasons:

1) He regularly runs ten miles after work, so training for a 13.1 mile race would be a piece of cake.

2) He can keep a faster pace if he’s only running a half-marathon, so he can get a killer time that he can brag about.

3) He’s lazy.

So, he got up at 4:30am, and drove himself down to the Strip, a little embarrassed to be wearing a lazy half marathoner’s tag.

The turnout this year was the biggest yet--about 16,200 people total—which is not a good thing. The Strip was SO packed with runners that it took him 11 minutes to cross the starting line after the race began. (The runners wear a chip on their shoe that records the actual time from when they cross the starting line and cross the finish line, so this didn’t add 11 minutes to his finish time, but the late start was a bad sign). For about the first 5 miles, he was forced to keep a very slow pace, set by the crowd of slow runners and speed walkers blocking the road. He finally broke out of the pack, but it was too late. His average pace ended up being a little more than a minute slower than the pace at which he trained, adding about 16 minutes to his time.

I think he still did incredible. Here are the final stats:
# of people who finished the half marathon: 8,160
Anthony’s overall place: 823
Anthony’s division place: 100

Anthony's time was 1:51:17. If you want to compare race times, you can see all the marathon and half marathon times here.

(If he would have ran at his goal pace, his overall place would have been around 150. He knew he had no chance of actually winning.)

A Kenyan man won the marathon, of course, but the funny thing is that some kid from California came in third. Elite runners come from all over the world to run the LV marathon because of the big purse prize (about $300,000, plus bonus prizes), but the Las Vegas Marathon also “invites” world-class runners from all over the world to run in our marathon (meaning, they fly them here, put them in fancy hotel rooms, cater to their every whim, and let them start the race ahead of everyone else). All that fuss, and a kid from California beats most of them. ;)

Anyway, I'm glad they changed up the medals this year, and added a pair of running shoes to the old “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.
(the half and full medals looked the same, the half just say “half marathon” on them)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Family Home Video Day: Grandma Cordil's House, Part 3: She Bangs

Grandma Cordil's House, Part 3: She Bangs


OK, here's one last clip from Grandma Cordil's House, then I'll find something new (but I do have a couple more clips left from that same day, so WATCH OUT!) I picked this one especially for Anna and Tim, since they were at Grandma's house too, and have yet to make an appearance on FHVD. Plus, Anna was dying for everyone to see her bangs.

Director's comments: My original intention was to go with a Ricky Martin "She Bangs" ending, with shots of everyone's bangs, but that involved me downloading "She Bangs" on iTunes, burning it onto a CD, saving it back onto my computer, and uploading it into Nero, and I was too lazy for all that (I would do all that to add a "breaking glass" sound effect to a video, though). So, I decided to "Go Green" with this ending, and the shy, deer-like creature "she bang" was created. Erin's bangs were the star of the show only because dad was so fascinated by them that he decided to film a close-up. I found the view of Erin's bangs from behind to be intriguing, however, I actually preferred the uniqueness of Anna's curly bangs, cascading down one side.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

White Christmas

Is there any chance of snow in Las Vegas this year?


Monday, November 26, 2007

Family Home Video Day: Grandma Cordil's House, Part2: The Urkel

Grandma Cordil's House, Part 2: The Urkel


So, I had two different titles for this week's FHVD clip, and even prepared two different endings. The other title was "The Accordion," but in the end, I went with "The Urkel," because I thought the "The Accordion" turned out to be more sad than funny.
I'll post the alternate ending below; let me what you think.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our Thanksgiving!

Fixing my first Thanksgiving turkey.


We had Thanksgiving dinner with Tom's family and Erin this year. We missed all of our other Morgan family members and our Esplin family members. I heard Becky, Wade, and the kids celebrated Thanksgiving in Italy, eating pizza. Gus is really missing his best buddy, Jack--they'll be home soon, can't wait!
Here's a slide show of our Thanksgiving. It was spectacular!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Note: My Thanksgiving Day pictures will come up tomorrow (hopefully).

Yesterday was our anniversary (Nov. 23). Anthony and I have been married 11 years! We are notoriously bad at celebrating--and even remembering--our anniversary. You would think the fact that it falls on or around Thanksgiving every year would give us a cue, however our anniversary has still managed to slip passed us unnoticed on occasion. One year, we were sitting on my parents’ couch in Boise after Thanksgiving dinner, visiting with family and digesting our food, when my mom casually asked how long Anthony and I had been married. We looked at each other, calculating the years together. “Eight years? No, wait, we were married in ’96. It’s 2005, it will be nine years this year.” Pause. “Oh crap! Our anniversary was yesterday!”

I think the problem is our anniversary date. The holiday season distracts us and makes us poor. But after forgetting our anniversary in front of a gathering of laughing family members, we made a promise to never forget it again, and to make it a memorable day. This year, Anthony made sure he had the entire weekend off (that many days off in a row is rare lately), and we couldn’t resist just relaxing in our home with the kids. It felt so good to have nothing to do! No work, no school, no activities to plan, no babysitters to arrange, no suitcase to pack… it was great! We decided to take the money we had saved and buy a fireplace (something we have always wanted). We got the one at Costco (I’ll post pictures later). Yes, we know it’s not a real fireplace, but we are going to pretend it is. We made hot chocolate and sat around the digital flames, while the built-in space-heater blew warm air at us. It was a lot of fun. Then we all went to the movies--we gave the maid the night off, and put popcorn on our knees. We saw Enchanted, at Amy’s recommendation. Homer loved the whole experience, and sat quietly in his chair with his Slurpie and Kettle corn—so cute! It was a great day.

Warning: I am now going to brag shamelessly about my husband.

At times in my marriage, I have taken for granted what a wonderful husband I have. Today, I am going to share with everyone the top ten things that make Anthony such a great husband (in no particular order).

He is the nicest person I know. Nice is SO underrated these days. If I could give one piece of advice to young girls looking for a husband, I would say to find a man who is nice—not just on the surface, but to the depths of their sole.

He is the best dad I know (not including my own dad). Not only can he handle the kids on his own, but he also enjoys spending time with the kids on his own, and he excels at it (some of you with husbands who are great dads may think this is a given, but trust me, it’s not).

He has a killer immune system. This guy has never been sick in the 11 years that we have been married, and many years before that. He has NEVER had to call in sick to work, or missed even one day of school (when he was in school). Even surrounded by a house full of runny noses, hacking coughs, and vomit, he never catches a thing. How lucky are we?!

He is crazy in love with me. At least that’s what he makes me think.

He seems to be unaware of my shortcomings as a housewife. He does more laundry than I do, and thinks nothing of doing the dishes left in sink from the night before.

He supports my life ambitions and dreams. Some wives are content to raise their children, and take care of their husband and entire household--all monumental and rewarding tasks by themselves--but when I told Anthony I want to do all of that and more, and I would need his help and support, he did not hesitate to agree. He picks up my slack, and he never complains. (OK, sometimes he complains, but he truly wants me to succeed in my goals and be happy).

He wants the same things out of life as I do. We got married very young, and I think many people don’t really realize what they want out of life until their mid-20s, or even 30s. We both discovered new things about ourselves after we had been married for a while, and this can cause trouble for some marriages. I think the fact that we want the same things out of life is a little bit luck and a little bit self-sacrifice. We support each other.

He has incredible work ethic. He is loyal to his profession, and has honest concern for the clients who come into his pharmacy. Working in an industry that is extremely short handed, his company can count on him to pick up overtime shifts every week, regardless of the fact that he values the time spent away from our family more than the extra money he brings home.

He is willing and ready to sacrifice ANYTHING for our family. I don’t know any man who would do what he did the final three years of his doctorate program (maybe my dad would do this—you would have to ask my mom). When he got into the pharmacy program at USN, they informed the students at orientation that they could not complete this intense, accelerated program and have a job at the same time. Classes went eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, with no summer break. The school set high standards, and students were required to get 90% or higher in each course in order to pass, so they would have to spend every waking moment away from school studying the difficult science material. Of course, Anthony knew he had to keep his job—I had quit school to work full-time while he earned his bachelor’s degree, and we had both agreed that I should spend the next years at home, taking care of our little boys. He kept his full-time job (the ONLY student at the school to do so), passed every single class with 90% or higher, and averaged about 3 hours of sleep a night, for three years straight. This regular lack of sleep is so unfathomable to humans that when I would tell people this was happening, most would try to find a way to make sense of it in their minds. “Does he have a break in the middle of the day to take a nap?” NO. “Can he catch up on sleep over the weekend?” NO (he worked weekends, and the only thing he ever caught up on was schoolwork and family time). “Does he call-in sick to work or skip class to catch up on sleep?” NEVER. Because he went so long with very little sleep, I was always worried about him. About a year into this, I came across his Patriarchal blessing. In it, it said that he would be able to get by on small amounts of sleep for long periods of time. How crazy is that? Anthony hadn’t even remembered that part of his blessing. I slept much better after that (no pun intended). When he was about to graduate, a few of his professors found out that he had been maintaining a full-time job (he never used it as an excuse or complained) and were both shocked and impressed. He had done the impossible!

He is humble and modest. He would downplay everything I said on this list. “Don’t post that, Jenny.” That’s why I’m not going to show him.

Over the last few years, I have learned that having a great marriage takes more than marrying a great man. I have made a conscious effort to become closer to Anthony (something I didn’t think was possible) and appreciating his positive traits (yes, he has some negatives, were you starting to believe he’s perfect?). Just being in his presence makes me happy. The commitment I made to him as a na├»ve, 19-year-old girl was the best decision I ever made.

OK, I’m done bragging. If you made it through the whole thing (or even skimmed it), wipe the tears from your eyes, now, and blow your nose. I won’t put you through that again for an entire year; I promise.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Busy, Busy, Bee...

I had so much to do to get ready for Thanksgiving, I decided to add to the stress by capturing each moment on camera. This was monumental stuff; I needed to document it! First, I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year (my first time ever) so I had to do some major house cleaning. I started with the kitchen, of course. About 1/3 of my counter space was occupied by mail, papers, and important documents, so I piled it in a trash bag and carried it up to my already messy office and dumped it out on the floor. After I finished cleaning the kitchen, I went up to my office to study for an Astronomy test, but my office was such a disaster, I couldn't concentrate (or access my desk), so I decided to sort through a years worth of mail, papers, and secret documents. I kept thinking about Erin, and how she would never have created this problem to begin with, since she has a strong aversion to clutter. I was also tempted to just throw everything away without looking at it, like Erin would do, but I didn't. Good thing, too, since I found 10 dollars in that pile.

Here's a video I made of my progress, and ultimately clean office. (If you know what this song is from, then you are the #1 coolest person visiting my blog today. If you don't know what it's from, you are only the #2 coolest person visiting my blog today.)


Here's Homer, helping/getting in the way.
(That's frosting on his face--he helped himself to a tub of it while I was distracted.)

What a relief to get that done! It only took me about 2 1/2 hours. (See, Amy, you can have a clutter-free office like me, and it will only take you a week since your office is the size of a small house). Then I scrambled to study for my Astronomy test. Below is a picture Homer snapped of me studying/messing around on You Tube. That's Gus next to me, learning about Oblers' Paradox/dogs on skateboards. (I look annoyed because a two-year-old has my camera).

A few hours later, I was ready to take my test (it's an online class, so I have timed tests on the computer). I got 100% (You Tube is very informational). Then I jumped in the shower, and looked fabulous just in time for Katie to arrive. We were going to prepare some of the food for our Thanksgiving feast Wednesday night (Erin couldn't join us because she had to prepare her house for company, and, as you probably know, Becky is out of town). Now, if you know me, you know that 1) I am a bad cook, 2) I hate cooking, 3) I get grossed out easily if food isn't prepared in a clean manor. However, 1) I had Katie (and Sara) to guide me along, 2) I was actually excited to cook my very first Thanksgiving dinner, 3) I insisted that Katie and I wear hairnets (shower caps, actually) and gloves. Tom, who shares my food sanitation apprehensions, will appreciate the lengths we went to to keep everything sanitary. We took pictures, and I put it in a little video (so my blog wouldn't be too long).


Monday, November 19, 2007

Family Home Video Day: Grandma Cordil's House, Part1: The Violent Fashion Show

Grandma Cordil's House, Part 1: The Violent Fashion Show


(OK, I posted this video on You Tube because the file was too big to upload, but after viewing it, I realized that the quality of the video would be very poor. Instead, I decided to cut the video clip in half, so I can upload it directly--Emily gave me the perfect place to cut it, thanks Emily! I will post "Part 2" next time.)


My Family Home Video Day video will be up soon. I made the video clip over the weekend, and when I tried to upload it, the file was just a tiny bit too big. I'm uploading it onto You Tube and will post it when it's finished processing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cyber Tag: Six Things that Define Who I am

1. I eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day (with my menu changing two or three times a year).

2. I have roughly a thousand paperback books stacked in the back of my closet, all of which I have read at least once (the good ones, I’ve read a few times), and I only discovered my love for reading in my early twenties (at times, it was an unhealthy obsession).

3. My dream job is to work in publishing, so I can read the horrible manuscripts of aspiring writers.

4. I feel the happiest when I am spending time with my boys (not the day-to-day stuff, but the quality stuff), and sometimes I don’t let them play outside with friends because I want to hang out with them (mean, huh?).

5. Someday, I will travel the world!

6. We used to have a little boy named Henry.

I’m going to tag Bailey, Calvin, Ella, Wolfe, Teddy, Maddie, and Frances (use your mommy’s blog).

Story for Brenda…

I read about Mabel on your blog, so I thought you might like this story. We had a pet rat when we were little named Big Mama. Sara used to dress her up in our hair scrunchies (put it around her waste like a tutu). I have a picture, but I can’t find it, otherwise I’d post it for you. She was a good pet, and had many of the same characteristics you described Mabel as having. She lived for a VERY long time (like 8 years), and then she died on Christmas day of cancer (we diagnosed her ourselves, so it might have been something else). After I had been married for about a year, I got all nostalgic for Big Mama, and Anthony (who had known Big Mama before we got married) thought a rat would be a great first-pet for us, so we went to a pet store and bought a rat. We named her Taco (clever, huh?). It didn’t take long before we were totally grossed-out by her, but we kept acting as if we weren’t. In fact, we were both very unhappy that a rat was living in our apartment, but neither of us wanted to admit at the time that rats had become disgusting to us. When we woke up one morning to discover she had died (of cancer we think), I was more grossed out than I ever had been when she was alive.

Similarly to the rat story, I found my old Cabbage Patch kids (Marty and Tonya) in my parent’s basement after I had been married for a while and got all nostalgic again, so I took them home to my apartment. That night, I got the eeriest feeling about those Cabbage Patch kids, as if they were mad at me or something. The next morning, following the prompting of The Spirit (I think it was The Spirit), I drove them back to my parent’s house and put them back in my parents' basement, where all creepy things belong.

Moral: Things that were cute and fun when we were children are now gross and creepy.

When Homer became obsessed with the movie Ratatouille, I suggested to Anthony that we buy him a pet rat for his birthday. He simply replied "Taco," and chills ran down my spine.

Here’s a picture of me with Taco. Notice that the smile does not quite reach my eyes.