Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm Alive!

I had the goal to post more often, hopefully once a week. Fail. I also had the goal of taking more pictures during the day of my hilarious children since I'm home. Fail. Although, I'd been doing more and then the camera battery went dead and I couldn't find the charger. Upset. But, I just found it! So, the battery is now charging..JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS! Ok. Seriously. I was going to be SUPER bummed if I couldn't find it for Christmas...because Taylor is ALL about Christmas lately. I didn't think 2 year olds really had the concept of Santa...she' TOTALLY it. The best way to get her to behave lately is the tell her that Santa's going to put her on the naughty list. Works like a charm. So, I have a feeling that the pictures on Christmas this year are going to be full of a very happy, excited, hyper child. And my calm child.

Ok. Enough jibber jabber. I've got lots to catch up on, so lets back up to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was really a week-long event for us. Jared's birthmom, Laura, was in town (long story short, yes, Jared's adopted; he met his birthmom after his mission and we keep in contact with her. She lives in NY, but her mom and sisters live here in the Valley and we see them frequently...they are an AWESOME family!), so we made a point to see her and the whole Bressler clan. Laura hadn't met Abby yet, so we'd made a plan to all go out to lunch together and then to a park, but Taylor woke up that morning with a fever. Sad day. Fortunately, Laura decided to come over to see us rather than have me take Taylor out. She loves my girls :)

I'd say Taylor looks pained because she was feeling sick, but I don't know how true that'd be. We have a really difficult time getting her to look "normal" in pictures..she has a hilarious fake smile usually.

Arlene (Laura's mom) NEVER turns down an opportunity to hold Abby (and look at the could you pass that up?).

Thanksgiving day was the day my camera battery died. This was the only picture I got of that day:

That's my mom holding Abby and my nephew Daniel...she's really good at multi-tasking :)

In other news, I've started working again...but this time from home! The office I worked at before I had Abby asked me to do Aging from home (calling on the old claims that insurance companies haven't paid and try to figure out why they didn't pay us and fix it). I get to work how ever many hours I's a pretty sweet gig. And, I actually enjoy it. Working with insurance companies is a've got to know all their tricks and try to beat them...I really like games :)

Welp, stay tuned for a Christmas post...there should be tons of pictures. It'll be epic:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


As I was rocking my baby girl to sleep this morning, I was watching the Disney channel with Taylor. We were watching a clip that had a bunch of old Mickey Mouse characters, and I noticed some things that got me thinking...some of the characters were motherless. Take Goofy, for example. He has his son, Max, but there's never any mention of Max's mother...does he have one? I know Goofy has seemed to have an ongoing crush on Clarabelle the Cow, but I don't think she's Max's mom. And what about Hewey, Dewey, and Louie? They live with their Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales, but in the old clips, Donald is taking care of them. Are the orphans? Is Donald their dad? Then, THAT got me thinking to the Disney movies...there seems to be a large majority of them that have broken families or awkward family situations. In Snow White, it only talks about her stepmother, who's the evil queen. But what about her regular mother? And, to have a Stepmother, her father must've remarried...and that would've made him the King. Where was he when the Queen was trying to kill Snow White? Cinderella's parents die. Bambi's mom dies. Sleeping Beauty was estranged from her parents for 16 years (awkward). Wart from Sword in the Stone was an orphan. Mowgli from Jungle Book was an orphan. Ariel makes no mention of a mother. Belle doesn't have a mother. Simba's father died. Aladdin doesn't have parents. Do I really need to go on? Strange.
Also, have you noticed that a LARGE majority of Disney's villians are really skinny and angular? And that almost all of the antagonists die by falling far distances?

Sorry...this is all really random...but I guess you could blame it on watching kiddie shows all day combined with sleep deprivation :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who'da Thunk?

When Taylor was born, she was 6lbs 8 oz...which is pretty small, right? Well, she's always been steadily small. Never really had a growth spurt. Always in the lower percentiles for growth. I mean, take a look at this picture of her at about 2 weeks:

Look at how BAGGY that Newborn sized onesie is on her! And, she didn't outgrow the newborn sized clothing for at LEAST 3 or 4 months. No joke. So, after that, who'd a thought that I'd have a 5 week old who EASILY fits into 3 month outfits?:

She's not really a chunker, but I can't believe how fast she's growing! I figured between me being smallish as a kid (although I was a FAT baby) and Jared's Puerto Rican and Jewish heritage (both stereotypically small), we'd always just have small kids....but maybe not?

In other news, here is a hilarious video of Taylor watching Handy Manny (please disregard the fact that she's busy chewing her toenails):

Ok. This was like the 6th time she'd seen that clip! Everytime the skeleton moved and/or fell over, she'd crack up and ask us to rewind it so she could watch it again. Hear how cute her laugh is? At that point, it was a little fake, but isn't it such a cute sound?

In other news, about a year and a half ago, I agreed to read this before reading ANY other book by the request of Jared:
Jared LOVES this trilogy and has read it an unbelievably obscene amount of times. I knew it was something that was important to him, and I love to read, so I said I'd do it....I FINALLY finished it after a YEAR AND A HALF! Don't get me wrong; the were REALLY good! WAY better than the movies, and I LOVE the movies. But, it was really difficult for me to get past all the description (brilliant, but frequent), and I couldn't get into it enough to keep from reading it more than sporadically. But, IT'S FINISHED!! Now I can read other books...I have such a long "to read" list. I'm excited. However, I do have to say that I definitely don't regret reading LOTR...I just regret how long it took me to finish it (which is totally my fault.). Anyway, if anyone has any "Must read" recommendations, throw them my way please! I've already complete the Hunger Games trilogy (it took me a year and a half to read LOTR, but only 3 days to finish this trilogy...yipes!), currently reading The Help, and am trying to get my hands on a copy of The Book Thief...but feel free to suggest anything beyond that!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Since this girl was born:
, I have been given the amazing blessing of being able to quit my job. For any of you that have known me for any amount of time, you will know that being a stay-at-home mom has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I feel EXTREMELY blessed to be in a financial situation that finally allows me to fulfill this dream.

One of the BEST things about being with my girls all day is being able to see how Taylor is developing. Please don't mistake this as me taking Abby for granted, because I sure as heck ain't; it's just that, up until now, I've missed out a lot on Taylor's life because of the previous need for me to work. I'm just trying to soak her up now, make up for lost time.
So, Taylor is 2.5 years old. I've talked about how hilarious she is in the past, but MAN! I love how her imagination and personality is shaping! This is what I've learned from her in the past couple of days:

I look at this with my adult eyes and see a seemingly ordinary baby hanger. Useful? Yes. Unexciting? Yes. BUT. In the eyes of a 2.5 year old, this is really a MAGIC WAND.

To me, this represents a mess that I have to clean up (yes, we own the complete series of "That 70's Show")...a mess that is irritating because it's something Taylor NEVER should have been playing with...much less removing every DVD from it's box...BUT. To a 2.5 year old, this is a very cleverly made CASTLE. It was really difficult to stay made at her for more than a few seconds when her cute little voice declared that that's what it was...AND she did help pick it all up and put it away).
I LOVE this little girl

...unmatched clothes and unruly hair and all.

she actually has a MUCH cuter smile than the one in the picture...that's just her "camera smile" :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Second Time Around...

DO you ever have a hard time with how to start a blog post? I know what I want to write, but there isn't a single intro that I can come up with that is pleasing to me. So, I'm just going to jump into content...sorry for the awkwardness!

Now that I'm the mom of 2 kids, I've been able to experience everything (pregnancy, delivery, nursing, etc) twice. And, can I just say that I'm so grateful for that? Past experiences can teach us so much if we let them! So, I'm going, for journaling purposes, record a bunch of comparisons.

For starters, I'm REALLY blessed to have both pregnancies be REALLY easy. With Taylor, I had minimal morning sickness...I did throw up a handful of times, but it was only when I got too hungry, or if I ate something too sweet when I was too hungry. With Abby, the only time I ever vomited was when I had the 24 hour stomach flu. HOwever, I did feel a lot more nauseous with her than I remember being with Taylor...not so bad that it kept me from activities , but enough to make me feel miserable while doing activities. Also, with both pregnancies, I neglected to take pregnancy pictures. I don't know what it is with me and photos...I just don't make them a priority! Here is pretty much the only photo I have of me being pregnant with Taylor (about a week before she was born)

and here's the ONLY one I have of being pregnant with Abby (right before leaving for the hospital):
You can't really tell from the photos, but with Abby, I was about 10 lbs heavier than with Taylor, and my tummy was quite a bit bigger....although I'm still pretty small by most standards.

For the sake of motivating me to blog more, and to prevent this post from becoming RIDICULOUSLY LONG, I've just made the executive decision to break this topic of baby comparisons into different next time I'll talk about how different my deliveries and hospital experiences were. I apologize if anyone thinks this is boring...but it's good for me to document...and I only have a handful of readers sorry!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baby Abby is HERE!!!

Entering the world on Sept 30th, 2011 at 8:35am in the morning:

is Abby Rose Payne (photo complements of Leigh over at lrootphotography). She weighed in at 7lbs 11 oz and 19.5 inches long. She has BLACK hair (and tons of it....and I mean's ALL over her body!) and the sweetest little disposition!

Because of some structural issues my body has (I will never be able to deliver a baby vaginally), Abby was a planned c-section. Let me tell you how weird it is to know exactly when you are going to deliver the baby that you've been carrying around for 9's really strange and kind of anti-climatic. My surgery was scheduled for 9am at Banner Gateway, but I had to be there by 7am to get all the pre-op stuff done (blood work, a complete round of IV antibiotics to help prevent any infection). However, even though I wasn't supposed to be having the surgery until 9, some crazy stuff happened (something about the girl scheduled before me having her water break and they had to get her in earlier than scheduled), and I was being wheeled into post-op after surgery at the time my surgery was SUPPOSED to be. It was pretty awesome. And, while Dr. Beck was finishing closing me up, he was joking about how this was the first time in 25 years that he'd finished both scheduled c-sections before they were supposed to start and how he didn't know what he was going to do for the rest of the day.
Anyway, Abby right away showed a bit of her personality right away by pulling her hair and fidgeting...The first thing I heard, even before her cry, was Dr Beck saying "Wow...she's a feisty one"...and then "she's got big feet". It's awesome. Really though, she's been a pretty sweet baby! She sleeps really well and took to breast feeding RIGHT away! We did find out that she has a little heart murmur, but so far, it's been asymptomatic, and all of the dr's expect it to correct itself within next few months. Apparently, heart murmurs are EXTREMELY common, so I'm not really worried.

Sorry this isn't a very exciting or elaborate post. I don't really have an exciting birth story since it was a scheduled c-section (although, due to my last scar being more dramatic than Dr. Beck felt it should be, he did a little tummy tuck on me to get rid of that scar..BONUS!), and I don't think I'd know how to make the story sound exciting, even if it was exciting. But, I did want to record some memories and thoughts after an overload of photos :)

This was taken just minutes before leaving for the hospital...I'm 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant (and this is literally the only pic I have of me being pregnant..)

Abby is on the left, and her future husband, Simon Allen, is on the right (j/k). My good friend Rachel was still in the hospital after having Simon 2 days earlier, they paid Abby and I a visit shortly after I got to my room. I am SO happy that I got to see them and that they were coincidentally at the same hospital that we were. That was so fun!

Now for some thoughts:
I have always marveled at the creative powers of our Heavenly Father, but I can't get over how perfectly formed little babies are. Everything from their little perfect ears and perfect noses are just so awe-inspiring to me. I remember going to the zoo a few years ago and marveling at how amazing and beautiful all the animals are (and really, some of them are just WEIRD looking! You know that God has a sense of humor by how funny some of the animals does one come up with the idea of a giraffe? Or how similar zebra and horses are, but zebras a super klutzy in comparison), and how much thought and time was put into the creation of each one. How much more time must He have spent on the creation of each one of us? Each and every person is distinctly different in looks, personality, and demeanor. It really blows my mind. But, looking at my tiny newborn baby just fills me with the feeling of love that I know my Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us! I am so grateful that He judged Jared and I fit to take care of not one, but two, of his choice spirit children. It's such a privilege, and I can only hope and pray to do a good enough job to make Him happy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You're Title Here...

I can't come up with the name for this post...I'm not feeling particularly creative right now :).

I was never the kind of person that enjoyed the educational portion of school (social, yes). I mean, I always did well and caught on to concepts pretty quick and got good grades, but I don't think that I could say that I enjoyed learning. I haven't taken a class in almost 5 years...and now I'm CRAVING it! I feel like my poor brain is dying from misuse (and all you snarky family members: YES. I have a brain and I use it). All of you students out there that are dreading your classes, be grateful. I mean, this week at work, we've had training classes on how to use our new EMR (electronic medical records- yes, we are slowly being introduced to modern technology, finally) system, and I've just been soaking it up, which is really odd because I've never been particularly interested in technology. But, it's something. I need to find an outlet! And, I'm not the kind of person that can do an independent study on something...I lack the discipline to study independently of instructoin (unlike my husband who will just read up on a subject that he's interested in and become expert). Blech!

So, while my brain is withering from lack of exercise, Taylor's is bursting from imagination. She's recently entered into the stage where she's playing pretend (the other day, she had a bunny rabbit that apparently lived behind the curtains that she kept checking on throughout the day...and at one point, she opened the blinds and said "oh no! Oh no! Oh cwap! it's raining!"...which it clearly wasn't...). This also means that she's become scared of a lot of things...I had a very active imagination, but I don't remember being scared of things. Taylor is now afraid of the dark, shadows on the wall, and various characters on her favorite shows (like "dragon Pete" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). She's also become very much a "momma's girl", which I don't really mind (except when she insists that I'm the only one that is allowed to change her diaper....). It's the best when I come home from work- she runs to me at full speed and attaches herself to my legs for a minute and tells me she loves me. And, she's starting to talk about Baby Abby and how she gets to be a big sister. For a while, I wondered if she really understood what was going to happen, but I think she's getting it!

I love my Tati girl...watching her grow and progress is one of the most heart-warming things ever. I feel so sorry for women who never want to have kids. I mean, I have never known true joy until Taylor came around...can you imagine having a life without joy?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The List

Lately, for a variety of reasons, I've been feeling pretty down. Which is lame. But, what is especially lame is that when I start to feel down, I go in a terrible downward spiral of mind is drawn to everything in my life that I can skew as unfortunate. So, yesterday as I was driving home from work in my haze of gloom, I remembered that in junior high/high school when I started to get a little "blah", I'd make a list of everything good in my life...and that always helped. Because I felt like I may need a reminder of the "GOOD THINGS", I thought I'd blog the list so I can easily look back at it.

-I have the smartest, cutest daughter of all time.
-I have a husband who loves me and who does a pretty dang good job of handling me.
-I have awesome in-laws who graciously allow us to live with them
-I have awesome in-laws who babysit my kid for free which allows me to help contribute to our family financially so we can get out of debt
-I love the power of the Priesthood
-I can read the scriptures and it always brings me peace
-Kelly and Jason and Sam are visiting
-I got to see the Pettits
-I have a super awesome, fun calling
-I have the Gospel
-my "check engine" light isn't on anymore
-I finished the second book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy...that much closer to being able to read whatever I want!!!
-I have easy pregnancies
-I work in a pain mgt/physical therapy office where the providers take care of all of my aches and pains for free
-Sara Bareilles music
But most of all, I'm so grateful for my Savior and the Atonement. I love the fact that even these stupid feelings that make me feel so insignificant are feelings that He understands and experienced so that I'd have someone who knows exactly what I feel...for no other reason than the fact that He loves me. That, more than anything else helps me out of my "funks". I love my Savior and Heavenly Father...I can't imagine how depressing my life would be without the knowledge of Their love for me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Where did Tatinana go?"

One of the very first movies that Taylor ever became obsessed with is:

And, because Taylor is a little princess, naturally her favorite character is Tiana:
But, because Taylor inherited my awesome need to complicate words, she calls her "Tatinana" (probably a combination of what she calls herself and Tiana...). Keep this little fact in mind as I relate the following anecdote.
Last night was a RehabArizona company party, which are always awesome. There's always raffle prizes (I never win the big prize, which was an IPad2 this year, but to the frustration of everyone, I always manage to come away with something, which this year included an Ipod Shuffle...I'm just that awesome!), food, and fun. This year, the annual swim party was at Big Surf. I've never been there before (Sunsplash was always the preference of my friends), and it was definitely Taylor's first time. She had a BLAST!!!! We were there until about 10 pm...and we really left because my poor pregnant legs felt like deadweights, but Taylor could've gone ALL NIGHT.
Anyway, I digress. One of my coworkers, Ashley, brought her boyfriend and his kids with her to the shindig. Ashley brought the youngest girl (I think her name was Shyana) over to meet Taylor who was about her age..She was SO cute! She's this sweet little half-Black, half-white girl with the brightest blue eyes you've never seen. She also had those cute little scalp-braids that Taylor was just fascinated with (she kept petting them...). Anyway, they seemed to get along pretty well for the few minutes that they were together. Ashley needed to get something to eat, so she and Shyana went back to their table. Taylor didn't see them leave, so when she noticed that they'd left, she said "Where did Tatinana go?" Jared, Papa, and I started cracking up. Apparently, Taylor hasn't seen very many Black girls...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My daughter is pretty hilarious!

Have you ever heard of "Potter Puppet Pals?" If not, please watch THIS video (the rest of the post won't make sense unless you do). If you have seen it before, just enjoy it again. It's hilarious.

Now, what does that have to do with my daughter being hilarious? Well, I'll tell you. So, Taylor loves music, which is to be expected with having Jared and I as parents. That being said, there was no way we could be prepared for how quickly she learns lyrics. I've had to be very careful with what songs we have her listen to (not that we listen to bad music, but, ya know...). So, when I put her to bed at night, I have 4-5 primary songs/hymns that I sing to her. Of course, being the active little girl she is, she usually sings songs of her own while I'm singing to her...I don't usually mind because it seems to help calm her. Tonight, however, as I was singing "I am a Child of God" to her, I here her singing very quietly, almost whispering. For a few seconds, I thought she was singing along with me, and my heart just glowed! But, as i listened closer, I heard that she was actually saying "Dumbledore! Dumbledore! Nape, nape, harry potter!" what??!?!?! I think Jared and I have only showed her this video a few times! She's so crazy!!!! I love my Tati.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things That Make Taylor Unique...

If you've ever met Taylor, you can't deny her total and utter cuteness. Because, let's face it...she's pretty much the most adorable thing ever. Lately, though, I've been having a hard time realizing how big she's getting and have had a fun time just watching her. As I've been soaking her up, I've noticed some really funny things about her and thought I'd share with the blogging world...not that anybody reads this anymore :)

-she talks and communicates at a much more advanced level than is typical for her age. I've never seen a little person be able to communicate so effectively...I need to get some recordings up here of her little sweet voice.

-she doesn't like anything gummy...including fruit snacks. Wierd, right? I'm guessing it's a texture thing, but this makes it impossible to get her to eat her vitamins (they're gummy bear vitamins). A few days ago, I thought she'd actually eat them, but Papa reported that she chewed them for a second, spit them out into her hand, and said "Tati don't like them. Make Tati sick." What?! So funny!

-She's started talking with a southern accent. I have NO idea where this came from, but she consistently makes words with only one syllable (particularly "now", "down", and "help") into 2 syllable words. Hilarious and very strange.

-She would rather snack on Frosted Miniwheats than Fruit Loops or CHeerios.

-The only yogurt we can get her to consistently eat is Activia (maybe she has "tummy troubles?")

-She has an excellent sense of fashion. Not only does she insist on picking out her own outfits, but she enjoys helping me get dressed. The other day, I was wearing 2 different pairs of shoes, trying to decide which pair looked better with my outfit. Taylor walks up, looks at them for a second, and points to one shoe said "Tati don't like that one." She then pointed to the other shoe and said "Tati like that one". Not only was it so cute, but she was right! And, she is always complimenting people on what they are wearing...but she's very specific: "Papa, I like your tie", "pretty hair momma!" One time, I was wearing my purple scrubs before work and she ran up to me and said "Cute mamma!" then ran off. She's so sweet!

-she doesn't like drinking water, but she'd suck on ice all day.

-she LOVES to share...except at home with Gunner. But, I've noticed at church that she is much more content with handing her books out to the people around us than she is doing anything else.

-She's very protective of her momma! Anytime I say "ouch", she says "what happened?!" in a very concerned voice. Then, she'll kiss the thing that hurt. A few weeks ago, I wasn't feeling very well, so I had Jared put her to bed at night. The next morning, Jared happened to be awake before me (which is really rare) so he got her up too. He said the first thing out of Taylor's mouth was "Mommy feel better? Mommy happy?" So sweet!

I have the sweetest little girl! Don't get me wrong...she's also super crazy and manipulative, but she's such a joy most of the time! I love my Taylor Kelly Payne and can't wait to see how she interacts with baby Abby!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Family Dynamics

One of the funny things about living with your in-laws is seeing how everyone interacts. Jared and I have lived with his parents for about a year and half...more than half of Taylor's life. So, this is what Taylor has known for most of her recollection, which makes for some entertaining relationships. Along with the sometimes forgetting that Grandma and Papa aren't Mommy and Daddy (which is to be expected), I think Taylor views her Aunt Alexa (who still lives at home) as her sister. And, not in a good way. For example: whenever Alexa walks in the room, Taylor looks right at her and screams...for no reason other than the fact that Alexa just entered the room. Also, this morning as Alexa was getting ready for work in the living room, Taylor was sitting, totally contented, on the floor watching Caillou (blech) on TV. Out of the TOTAL blue, Taylor looks up at Alexa and said in her most authoritative tone, with a look of disdain on her face, "MY show." (uh, Taylor? Nobody else cares to claim it...) Alexa hadn't said a word! The two of them also argue (which is both ridiculous and entertaining...) Man!
This really reminds me of the relationship I had with my older brother, Michael, when I was really young. Michael is 6 years older than me, but even when I was really little (like 3 or 4), I remember getting into arguments with him...and even if everything was my fault, he'd get most of the blame because he was so much older than me. "Michael, stop! She's 4!" This is really awful of me, but I remember getting SO much satisfaction from him getting in trouble over something that was probably my fault. SAD.
Oh family dynamics!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chapterhouse Lane

My friend, who I haven't seen in nearly enough the past few years, is passionate about writing. Not only is she passionate about it, but she's TALENTED. She's been posting a story, in bits in pieces, on a blog, and I'm on pins and needles at every post! This is really a fantastic story, and EVERYONE who sees this post should read it. Seriously. This girl is amazing!

Click HERE to start it! (She hasn't posted very far into it, so it would only take maybe 10 minutes to catch up!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I have been thoroughly enjoying this lately:

Jared and I borrowed Seasons 1-4 from a friend, and I am SO glad we did! It's hilarious!

Monday, June 20, 2011

moving on...

I think it's safe to say that I GROSSLY failed the blog challenge...which some people, my husband included, predicted. All I can say is that I'm just impressed with myself that I kept it going for 15 straight days. But, life goes on, and I will try to update any readers (if I actually have any) on my recent activities.

Not quite a month ago, I was supposed to travel to Salt Lake City, UT with the EVMCO choir that I'm in (to learn more, click HERE. Our organization had been given the amazing opportunity to record an original oratorio written by one of our directors, Brett Stewart. The piece is called Messiah in America and it is REMARKABLE. The oratorio tells of the story of the Nephites and when Christ came to the Americas...the text is STRAIGHT out of 3rd Nephi. Seriously. Not only is Brett talented, but the whole thing was totally inspired. Anyway, EVMCO and OCMCO (the branch of the same organization that is in Orange County, CA) arranged it so we could travel to Salt Lake City and do a professional recording of the oratorio and then...wait for it....perform it in the TABERNACLE. Pretty amazing opportunity. However, I decided not to go. Some may think I'm crazy for turning down such an epic opportunity, but I know I made the right choice.
I already had the week asked off from work, so I to pack Taylor up in the car (her first road trip) and drive to Thatcher to visit my SIL Kelly. I had an amazing, relaxing time bonding with her, and Taylor loved playing with little Sam (who IS the cutest little boy ever). I, being the stupid person that I am, didn't bring a camera, but luckily Kelly is a good photographer and took several pictures of our adventures. You can view her blog post about the trip HERE. Thanks for letting us come and stay, Kelly! We had a grand time!

Jared and I also recently took Taylor to the movie theater for the first time. It was experience? We got invited to my boss's wife's surprise 50th bday party where they had rented out a theater to watch:
. I LOVE my boss's wife. Like a lot. So, I wasn't going to miss it, and I thought it would be a good experiment in seeing how Taylor would do at a movie. Taylor actually wasn't horrible, but she doesn't sit still very well. I should've figured it would be like that since she can't sit through a whole movie at home. At home, she'll sit for about 20 min and then have to get up and start doing something while she's watching. Like now, for example. She's laying down watching Beauty and the Beast, but she's also playing a Nintendo Wii controller. So basically, Daddy and I didnt get much out of the movie, and I'm not sure how much Taylor got out of it. It was cute...for what I saw, anyway.

ooh! A week ago, Jared took me on the most amazing date EVER. We doubled with our friends Josh and Dyan to eat at:
(my FAVORITE restaurant) and then to Gammage to see:
Holy cow! Jared, Josh, and Dyan had all seen it before, but I'd never seen the production before. I have however seen the 10th Anniversary and 25th Anniversary productions that aired on PBS (and now own them on Dvd) and happen to have like 99% of the entire production MEMORIZED...but I'd never SEEN it done before. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I cried several times. AMAZING!!!!

Now. Enough about me...and on to my favorite topic: Taylor. I still like her :). Seriously though, she is SUCH a joy...even in her "terrible twos." Some things about her: she finally graduated from her crib to a big girl bed. It's been kind of a rough transition, but a necessary one as she finally figured out how to climb out of her crib. I'm really surprised it didn't happen sooner with how she's got crazy climbing skills. It's taken a while for her to figure out that she has to STAY in her bed...and we had to take drastic measures to keep her in her room (since she can open doors too). We had to put one of those child-proof door-knob covers on the doorknob inside her room. It makes her VERY frustrated. So, this is our nightly routine: I tuck her in and lie next to her while we sing about a billion primary songs. Then I kiss her goodnight. At this point she bolts out of bed and demands a hug. Then I tuck her back in. Then she bolts out of bed and demands a kiss. Then I tuck her back in. This repeats several times before I tell her to go to bed...I then bolt out of her room and close the door really fast before she can run after me and stop the door from closing. Of course, crying ensues. Eventually, Taylor falls asleep...right up against the door....but not before she pulls her stuffed animals, blankets and pillow down with her. So, before I go to bed, I have to slip into her room (with great difficulty since she's right up against the door and slipping through a narrow door-opening is getting increasingly difficult with my growing, pregnant belly) and put her in bed. When she wakes up in the morning, she either starts screaming because she can't open the door, or she yells "mommy!" while knocking on her door. It's fun!
Taylor's vocabulary and imagination are growing more and more every day as well. And, her sentences are hilarious! I remember learning in one of my education classes that the average sentence length for a 2 year old is 2-3 words. Taylor speaks PARAGRAPHS! And you can understand most of what she's saying! It's super hilarious when she says adult-type things in her sing-songy voice. Like her response to Daddy when he was telling her how pretty she looked in her pretty dress: "Thank you so very much!" Another favorite is how she DECLARES things: "Tati pooping!" and then a few minutes later, "Tati finished pooping!" (that one's fun in Sacrament meeting...), or "Tati needs m&m's!" (not want....needs), or when she tries some new food, she'll try it for a minute then make a funny face "Tati don't like it!" And, I love that she STILL calls herself "Tati"...she can say "Taylor" just fine...and if you ask her what her name is, she'll say "Taylor Kelly Payne" as clear as day... but she's just Tati. I hope she always keeps it. It's cute!
I love that little girl so much! And, I love how excited she is about having a baby sister. All the time she says "Baby Abby in mommy's tummy!" She's going to be the BEST big sister!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 15- Put your ipod on Shuffle and list the first 10 songs that play

Currently, I can't actually find my ipod (I think I left it at work, which is annoying since I took this whole week off and sure as heck don't want to go there to get it...), so I'm using my itunes account. I'm sure this won't throw the results off :)

1. "Everybody's Changing- Keane: Hopes and Fears
2. "Not Alone"- Sara Bareilles: Kaleidoscope Heart
3. "Crowing"- Toad the Wet Sprocket: Dulcinea
4. "Everything I Do"- Bryan Adams: a mix CD I got from my SIL who got it from a friend...she named it Wonderful, Splendid Love Songs
5. "Encore 1- Speeches/Do You Hear the People Sing"- 10th Anniversary edition soundtrack of Les Miserables
6. "Sure Thing Falling"- Yellowcard: Lights and Sounds
7. "I Swear"- John Michael Montgomery: from a cd mix my sister made me right before I got married that she named Lisa's Country Serenades
8. "Through the Dark"- KT Tunstall: Eye To the Telescope
9. "Enchanted"- Taylor Swift: Speak Now
10. "Someone You Used to Know"- Collin Raye: 16 Biggest Hits

There you go. I like variety :) Also, if you didn't understand my attempt at organization, the part that's in quotes is the name of the song, and the part that is italicized is the name of the album that the song is from...The end :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 14- An Amusement Park that You Would Burn to Ruins.

I can count on one hand how many amusement parks that I've been to. They all happened while I was in high school, and every time, I had an AWESOME time. Why the heck would you want to burn an amusement park down?

So, while I can't tell you one that I'd burn to the ground, I'll just list the one's I've been to.

1. Disneyland (Sophmore year on my choir tour)

2.Great America (Junior year on choir tour)

3. Castle's N' Coasters (on a group date with James Manning, JD Bradshaw and Tori Harris, and another couple I can't think of in the summer...I can't remember if it was after junior or Senior year)

I think that's it. I don't really count Sunsplash as an amusement park, but I have been there a handful of times...maybe 3 or 4? SO, if you were to count that, I suppose I'd have to use 2 hands....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 12 and 13

Yesterday was kinda crazy and busy, what with working and then my baby sister graduating from high school, so I missed the post I was supposed to do yesterday. So, to make it up, I'll do two today.

Day 12: Pet Peeve

I have many pet peeves...particularly at work. I'll only single out one, however...otherwise this would be a very loooooooooooong post. One of my biggest pet peeves has to do with puntcuality. I am, by nature, a very time-cautious person. I am on time to events and things 99% of the time. Sometimes me getting to places on time requires me to plan ahead and start getting ready for something 2 hours early...whatever it takes. I also start to get anxiety if I (or we, meaning Jared and I) are running behind the schedule I made up in my mind (and Jared knew nothing about). It's pretty bad, actually. Now, I have lightened up a bit, and I don't feel so bad being a few minutes late to certain things. But, my BIGGEST problem is when we make plans with some friends and they don't give us the same courtesy that we provide them (ie: calling when we're going to be late). I understand being 5-10 minutes late to dinner or whatever else we'd planned. But, when when people are like 20-30 min late with no sort of thought, it's irritating. Ohh! It also really bugs me when my coworkers mosey into work 10-15 min late consistently and think that it's ok. It's a JOB people! It requires RESPONSIBILITY! and ACCOUNTABILITY!
ok. Off my soap box. Sorry...I get a little crazy about that stuff!

Day 13- a Letter to a Person Who Has Hurt You Recently

Dear person,
I feel like since our relationship started, almost 3 years ago, that you've never cared much for me. I'm not sure what I've done to upset you or make you dislike me, but I'm sorry for whatever it is. I'm deeply sorry if you feel like I've over-stepped my bounds in some way or if you feel like I'm just trying to "replace" you in some way. To be honest, while I think the way you do some things is a little more difficult than it needs to be, I sure as heck don't want to replace you. I don't WANT to be in the situation that I'm in now, so why would I want to take on more? I also really feel that because you've never cared much for me, you grossly underestimate me and my abilities. I wasn't trying to control what C was doing or how she was doing it. She looked overwhelmed, and I had some time, so I did what any decent person would do and offered to help. For you to basically tell me that I'm only valuable in sticking to doing what I'm most experienced in is crap. I'm an excellent listener/observer and could really probably help out and be an asset in ANY capacity. Also, I'm very honest with myself when it comes to time management and my limits, and you've known me long enough that you should know that. If I'm offering to help someone, it's BECAUSE I'm in a situation that I CAN. I really wish that you would just trust me. I'm excellent at what I do, and the way you've treated me, almost since day 1 has been unwarranted. I know I'm not perfect. I'm perfectly aware of my shortcomings, and while I'm fine taking criticism, I refuse to own up to something that is unfair and untrue. If you paid more attention to everything else that you're supposed to, rather than focusing on waiting for me to screw up, everything surrounding our situation would probably be more favorable. Just be happy, Ok? You're life and everyone else's life around you will be better



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 11- out of anyone in the world, who would you put in shark-infested waters

Clearly I'm not a very vindictive person because I can't think of anybody that I would wish death upon....I mean, can you honestly say that you've ever been so angry or hateful to someone that you've honestly wished death on them? I mean, I can get just as mad as the next person, but really? It makes me think of Nephi in the Book of Mormon...I mean how many times did Laman and Lemuel, his own brothers, try to off him? How much hate do you have to have in your heart to justify that? I much of a hold on you does Satan have to have? Man...I just don't have that in me!

However, there are people in history that DESERVE to die...So, for the sake of this question, I'll name:
Adolf Hitler. Or anyone else who thinks genocide is ok...or anyone who thinks mass murder, or really murder of any kind, is ok just because someone is different. I think men like Hitler have a special place in Hell reserved for them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad

I'm not an the kind of person that listens to music based on my emotions. I've found that if I listen to angry music when I'm angry, then I just STAY angry longer. So, I whatever emotion I'm feeling, I listen to pretty much the same stuff. Right now, my ALL-TIME favorite singer is Sara Bareilles. Particularly this album:
This Album has been consistently playing in my car for MONTHS because I never get tired of hearing it. I know every song by heart...and Taylor knows a lot of them too! (It's really cute to hear her sing along with the songs! She gets most of the words right!)
Since my EVMCO concert last weekend with Collin Raye, my love for his music as been renewed in me. I also love Ingrid Michaelson, Brandi Carlile, Jason Mraz, etc. BAsically, any music that is more focused on the lyrics than the instruments.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 09-Something That Ticked You Off that Shouldn't Have Ticked You Off

This one is kinda funny....When I was pregnant with Tati, I was really hormonal in the way that it was really easy to make me cry. This pregnancy, my horomones have turned against me in the form of rage. EVERYTHING ticks me off that shouldn't. It's very frustrating because I don't LIKE to be angry. This particularly happens to me at work. I'm not a very "Type A" person, but I get really close when I'm at work. So, that on top of my tendencies lately for anger make work the very opposite of my "happy place."
Other things that tick my off that shouldn't:
-stupid drivers
-the hubby's comments about most stupid drivers being women
-being late
-being told I'm wrong when I'm CLEARLY not :)
-having the TV on ALL the time
-not having enough space for everything
-having a messy room
-females on a power trip (men on a power trip are so much less annoying..why is that??)

I could go on and on. See? EVERYTHING ticks me off! I love being pregnant (literally), but this one is definitely taking an emotional toll on me! My poor family!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 08- Awkward Obsessions

ummmmmmmmmmmmm....I'm not really an obsessive personality? I'm kinda having ahard time with this one. I guess I"m kinda obsessed with TV...but I feel like that's more of an addiction than an obsession. Recently, I was really addicted (or obsessed, I guess) with:
Awkward because it's actually a rather trashy show. But I got WAY sucked into the story line and drama of it all to be able to give it up. But I did. And, I don't even miss it. However, I didn't give it up until I watched all every episode ever made currently....

Currently, I LOVE this show:

I really love (some) talent-related reality shows. American Idol was a favorite for a while, but the last few years just really haven't done anything for me...I ESPECIALLY can't handle this year. Say what you want about Simon Cowell, but I loved him. While he's harsh, he's usually right in his critiquing. The panel of judges this season aren't even critical! It's very frustrating. Anyway, The Voice is definitely a breath of fresh air! And, I can't wait until So You Think You Can Dance starts back up.

So, I love those shows, but TV in general is a bit of a problem for me...and the wonderful technology of DVR has done nothing but enable my problem. I'm like a TV zombie. There can be a million things I have to get done, but if the TV's on, I'm like a moth to a light and can't stay away. Now, I do have to say that my self control has improved that past few years. For example, I'll turn the TV off if I can't find anything to watch, rather than just pick something and glue myself to it.

Having an addiction (or obsession) with television viewing may not be viewed as "awkward" to some, but I find it frustrating. I LOVE to read, but I can rarely tear myself away from the TV to pick up a book. Also, I could be dead tired, but if there's a show on that I HAVE to watch, I will sacrifice my rest for that dumb show.

I kinda wish I just didn't have a tv...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 07- What was your last dream about?

The last couple of weeks, I have VERY vivid dreams...I credit that to pregnancy. They're so exciting though! Last night, my dream was about something similar to Batman. My father...whose face would switch off from belonging to MIchael Keaton and Richard Burgi (that happens all the time in my dreams...a person is always the same person to me, but their face is often different...) was a retired hero, something like Batman. His biggest enemy had been hunting him for a while though, but my father and I had been doing an excellent job of not being found (I think he'd stopped hunting this bad guy to protect me?). Anyway, we were set up, and my prom date actually ended up being the bad guy's son...and he'd asked me out just so that his dad could come capture us. It was an amazing dream of capture and escape. Seriously. It was kind of trippy in some places, but it was really exciting!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 06- celebrity crush and why (supply picture)

Ok. Many of you may not recognize/know my celebrity crush. I think he is so cute:

This is Zachary Levi. Now, I base my "celebrity crushes" solely on what I see on TV. Not what I read about them in the news. I prefer my celebrity crushes to only behave the way they're portrayed on their shows...otherwise, I tend to lose respect for them (like Tom Hanks. I LOVE Tom Hanks and had so much respect for him until I had to hear about all that crap he came out and said about the Church...ruined him for me). So, I don't actually know anything about Zachary Levi other than the fact that he's cute, looks nice with scruff, has a killer smile, and can sing really pretty!
He plays the main character on one of my favorite shows, "Chuck"...he's such a loveable nerd! He also is the voice of Flynn Rider in "Tangled"...and YES! That is his singing voice as well.

Haha! If you were to ask Jared who my celebrity crush was, he'd probably say Patrick Dempsey....which is true, but not all at the same time!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 05- A picture of a place you want to travel to

I love to travel, even though I seldom have the opportunity. I haven't been to many place either. But, here are some places just of the top of my head that sound really appealing to me:

any beach:


Boston (I reeeeeeeeeeally want to go back there!!!)

and last but not least (and obviously not realistically), Neverland!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have

I could talk about the "typical" habits I have: biting my nails (it would be nice to have pretty nails), picking at my face (I love popping zits), etc, but I want to talk about a habit that has ailed me my whole life.
Ok. Here it goes. I have a problem with being nosy. Now, I'm not the type to pry for information...I'm very indirect, and almost sneaky of how I gather my information. I just am a really good listener and observer. This serves me well in some instances...back when I was working full time, my co-workers would ask me where a chart was that they couldn't find, and I would ALWAYS have the answer. Or, if there was some problems with a patient, even if I wasn't directly involved, I would always know what was going on, and could fill in the dr's if the MA wasn't available to explain. Also, when I start a new job, I pick up things really fast because my eyes and ear are always open. I guess you could say that I've tried in my later years to use my powers for good. However, when I was younger, my nosy-ness would get the best of me. I was COMPLETELY powerless against the compulsion to read my sisters' (yes, plural...) journals (sorry Amy and Christina). Or to eavesdrop on conversations (my mom used to call me "Big Ears"). I really feel like I lost the trust of some of my loved ones. Even now, if I see someone's cell phone laying around, I really have to fight the temptation to read their texts. That's totally terrible, and I really feel like I've improved over the years, but MAN has it been a battle!

I have a hard time controlling my blabber-mouth sometimes too. Ask my brother..I can't tell you how many bday or christmas presents I spoiled for him because I told him what he was getting (although, in my defense, I was just supplying information that he was ASKING for). In later years, I really have to restrain myself from gossip...especially at work (why are offices so full of juicy drama??!?!). So, I guess I'm a "big mouth" and "big ears"....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 3- The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen

Remember. This is a very subjective question. And it's hard! I'm not usually very picky when it comes to movies. um....Well, I can think of a couple, I guess. Here's one:

I've always hated this movie. Granted, I haven't watched it in YEARS, and it's probably actually really well-done, but I just remember being so annoyed by the music and bored by the plot. Definitely my least favorite Disney movie.
Here's another:

Yes. I know it's rated R. I HAD to watch it for my English 101 class (why? I don't even know). I rebelled and told the teacher that I refused to watch it in class, so I got an edited version to watch and do the assignments. However, it's about the there wasn't much editing. It was actually a really amazing movie, as could be deduced from the number of awards it received...but I've never felt so empty and depressed after a movie before. So, not necessarily the worst movie...but a movie that made me FEEL the worst.
This next one is the worst Harry Potter movie (I HATED this one!...I'll probably get grief for this...):

I guess I don't have much to say about this one except that I hated it. But, it was probably one of my least favorite books of the series as well.
The last one I'll talk about is:

Like I mentioned before, I'm not very picky when it comes to movies, but both Jared and I actually turned this movie off. It wasn't even necessarily for vulgarity (although the dialogue was a little awkward in parts, and Ricky Gervais has a reputation for being gross), but it was BORING. The plot was interesting, but really slow. While the idea was somewhat original, we were just bored!

I don't know. You can all disagree with me on these if you want, but that's what I think :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 02- Why you got a blog

I actually altered this questions. Originally, it was "why you got a tumblr account" because I stole this challenge off of a tumblr account. I don't have a tumbl account, and I don't really even know what tumblr is. Is it like a blog?

Anyway, I digress. I started this blog so that I could keep family and friends up to date with the goings-on in my life. Clearly, I've done an awesome job of that. I'm not sure why I thought I'd actually stick to it. Every journal I've ever started is half-filled. I love to go back and read them, but they are far from complete. Apparently, I have a problem with follow-through when it comes to documenting events. Blach!

Now, on a more personal level, since that was a boring question, I will tell about a couple of amazing compliments I've recieved recently. Not because I want to toot my own horn, but because they made me feel so good and because I want to put them in writing so I can come back to them on days I'm feeling down.

The first one has to do with my employer's family. The Jacksons are amazing, and what I like to describe as an extremely good looking family. Seriously. All of them are absolutely stunning. But not only that. The Jackson kids that I've had the opportunity to work with are some of the most humble, gracious people that I've ever met. They're very non-judgemental and unassuming. JC (my boss), has a heart of gold. Lyn (his wife), is one of the most positive-thinking people I've ever met. Even on one of her stressed days, I feel uplifted just being around her. So, what does this family have to do with the compliment I've received? Well, a couple of people have asked if I WAS a Jackson. Now, realistically, I know it has more to do with my similar coloring and build than anything else, but someone simply putting me in the same category as this family made me so flabbergasted. It was awesome.

The second compliment will be described very vaguely, just in case people know the individuals I'm talking about (I don't want to hurt feelings). So, I was talking to an adult that I really look up to and was letting her know some insecurities that I have about a responsibilty I have (sorry so vague). She let me know that she never would have guessed that..that I always present myself in front of the group very well. Then she told me that there is one person in particular, who can sometimes be difficult, that she thinks I "handle" particularly well. I started laughing and told her that I always feel like my face betrays the frustration that I feel towards that particular person, but she said that my facial expressions never betray me, and that I always manage to word things in such a way as to get back on track with what I need to get done, all while managing not to offend anyone. That was such a relief to me and really boosted my confidence in the responsibilites that I've been asked to fulfill. Apparently, I'm a much better actress than I think I am!

I will close with a random picture, courtesy of Google Images, to spruce up this post a little bit:

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


A few days ago, my SIL brought a dog home from work. She said it was to help find a home for it (one of her managers had found it around their house back in january and was trying to get rid of it), but really I think she just wants to keep it. We're not positive what kind of dog she is, but she's really actually pretty sweet and well behaved. I'm not much for animals, but Shadow (that's what she's been named) is pretty ok. And she's good with Taylor.
. Her only downside is that she's not great and minding. I think that will imporove once she's gotten used to us, but really. You open the kitchen gate and she SHOOT out of it...and she's FAST! Anyway, so my SIL went to Petsmart and bought a little doggie discipline clicker thingy:
. It's worked pretty well so far.
Well, this morning, Taylor was demonstrating how incredibly observant and smart she is. My SIL went into the kitchen, but didn't close the gate all the way. For her, that's ok. Shadow sticks to her like, well, a shadow. So, while Shadow wasn't showing any signs of bolting, Taylor ran to the kitchen gate and closed it. Then, she ran and got the clicker and said "No Shadow" and clicked it. IT was so cute. And, since I knew that Taylor understood what the clicker was for, I thought I would try a little experiment. Taylor started acting up about 10 min later, so I grabbed the clicker, clicked it, and said "No Taylor." She responded by glaring at me. I'd set the clicker down...Jared picked it up and told me I probably shouldn't use it on her. Taylor responded to THAT by snatching the clicker from his hands, pointing it at me, clicking it and saying "No Mommy" in her most authoritative voice. Jared and I cracked up. I guess I got told!

***I probably should mention that the clicker is totally harmless. The only thing it does is make a metallic sound, similar, but much louder and stronger, to clicking the lid of a jar of jelly...just wanted to clarify that I'm not torturing my child :)