Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello, 2014!

So I maybe didn't get a Christmas card out... Or a New Year's card. Whoops. But I did design one, so some of you might as well enjoy it!

Ryan and I spent our New Year's Eve snuggled up on the couch watching a movie, and we toasted in 2014 with some butterscotch creme soda (note to self: stores will be completely sold out of cider a few hours before midnight in Utah). We're so old and married, but I kind of loved having a low-key holiday with May tucked happily in bed and us in sweats eating brownies and ice cream.

2013 brought us so many wonderful changes and memories. Ryan graduated from college and got a job a few weeks later, which inspired our move to northern Utah. We finally took a honeymoon trip to Mexico. Maylie started dance classes, which she absolutely loves. I transferred to a new school. Plus lots of good times with family and friends. Hopefully 2014 will be just as good to us as 2013!

Happy New Year all!

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Maylie Monday: Christmas Morning

There is nothing like a kid on Christmas morning. Miss May still isn't old enough to quite grasp the idea of Christmas and Santa, but she still really loved waking up to a bunch a presents.

We spent Christmas with my family down in Mesquite. It was great to get to see my family and to enjoy the nice weather for the holiday.

We had to take a break half-way through opening gifts, so she could play. She didn't even care that she had more toys to open. She NEEDED to play with the ones she already opened. 

When we got back, we had to clear out a ton of her old toys to make room for the new. That little girl sure is spoiled!

Thanks family for making May's Christmas so wonderful!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TGBTL Week #3: Tom Kha Kai

So here's the thing--I don't cook that often. I really should cook more, we spend WAY too much money eating out. So my go-to meals are like so basic that posting a recipe would just be silly. I mean you all can read the directions on the back of a mac & cheese box without me. So instead for this week's link up, I'm going to share a recipe I had awesome success with recently: Tom Kha Kai.

It sounds scary and difficult, but it's not! I promise.

When we lived in St. George, Ryan and I loved to go to Benja's, which is an amazing Thai restaurant. One of the dishes we love most is the Tom Kha Kai soup. It took me awhile to get hooked on it, but once I did, I could not stop eating it.

Sadly, I have yet to find a place in Provo that serves it (if you know of one please let me know), and I crave it all the time. I have looked for recipes, but I have always been intimidated by the ingredients. Finally, I was craving it so bad that I decided to just go for it and hope for the best.

I found an awesome recipe at The Quixotic Table and decided to give it a go. I had to go to a Asian food market to find some of the ingredients, but I was able to get most everything at the grocery store. I made a couple alterations from the original recipe.

1. I halved everything. This recipe is huge. Even cut in half this recipe still fed us multiple times.
2. I substituted vegetarian Golden Mountain sauce for the fish sauce. Fish sauce is essentially fermented fish and salt. It is used in a ton of Thai food. But after reading some tips on using it, I read that while it does not taste fishy in food, sometimes the cook can smell/taste it because it is overwhelming alone. I hate fish, so I decided to be safe and replace it. I found the Golden Mountain sauce worked great and achieved the same flavor I was going for, without the fishy taste.

Tom Kha Kai

1 quart low sodium chicken broth
2 19 ounce cans of coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, pounded with the back of a knife & cut into thirds
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
2-3 inch piece galangal, sliced
1 palm sugar disc, crushed
6-8 ounces mushrooms
Any veggies desired (I used spinach, but broccoli or snap peas would be good too)
1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup Golden Mountain sauce or fish Sauce
1 bunch cilantro for topping if desired

In a large pot, add chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes. The broth should be strong and fragrant. Use a slotted spoon to remove the lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal. Add the palm sugar, mushrooms, and veggies. Cook until mushrooms and veggies are soft. Add the Golden Mountain or fish sauce and chicken.

Serve over jasmine rice for a more filling meal, and add chili sauce or oil for some kick!

I know this might seem like an intimidating recipe, but if I can pull it off, I promise you can too! If you like Thai food, give this a try!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

Monday, December 16, 2013

Maylie Monday: The Grump

The last few days have been rough, my friends. Miss May has had a cold for awhile, well pretty much since September. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it feels like that. Anyway she's had a cold this week, and it has made her super grumpy. She's usually an easy kid. Seriously, she's a busy-body, but she is so well-tempered.

Not this week.

This week, everything is a fit, and every word is a whine. It was kind of cute and funny at first because we never see her like this. But now we are just really hoping this cold is almost over.

Here's a little video of her whining when it was still cute:

Sorry for the horrible quality of this video, it was the best I could do from the iPhone.

Happy 25th Ryan!

It's this guy's birthday!

Happy Birthday Ry! Thanks for being the best hubby, daddy, and best friend we could have asked for!
I hope you have the most wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TGBTL Link Up: Holiday Favorites

I had such an awesome experience last week being a part of "The Girl Between the Lines" link-up that Hayley and Lauren put together, so I am so excited to participate again this week!

This weeks topic is: share some of your favorite things about the holidays.

I don't know what it is, but I am so excited for Christmas this year. I think it is probably mostly due to the fact that Little Miss is old enough to kind of understand the holiday. Not completely, of course, but she reminds me every day that Santa is going to bring her presents. I am just loving sharing and beginning traditions with our little girl. So here's a few things about the holiday season that I absolutely love:

1. I love wrapping presents. I know that seems silly, but I seriously love to pick out the paper and the ribbon and wrap everything. Growing up, I always offered to wrap all of our family's gifts (excluding my own), and now I always look forward to wrapping gifts for my hubby and Maylie. 

2. I love the spirit that Christmas brings to most people. Maylie and I have been watching Charlie Brown's Christmas Special on Netflix a ton this month, and Charlie says a quote that I just love. Lucy tells him in the spirit of Christmas, she is going to be nicer to him during this time of year, and he says, "Why does it have to be just this time of year?" I love that Christmas is a time when everyone seems to remember those around them, and they go out of their way to contribute small acts of kindness, but I love even more how this time of year is a reminder of how we should treat others always.

3. I love the food around Christmas. Seriously. Mass amounts of fresh baked cookies and treats. I'm in heaven. 

4. I love the little traditions that seem to go unnoticed. For instance, my brother and I have a little debate about who gets to hang certain ornaments on my parent's tree. Specifically, Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. These mice are a bride and groom, and Joey and I seriously get into it about who gets to hang the mice and who will get the mice after my parents die (super cheerful right?). It got to the point to where we had to designate who gets even years and who gets odds. I can't remember right now, but it's written down somewhere.

Overall, I just the way Christmas feels. There is something whimsical about driving around looking at the pretty lights and drinking mass amounts of hot chocolate. Happy Holidays all! Hope you're all loving the Christmas season as much as I am!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Maylie Monday: Snow Baby

This year is Maylie's first real experience with snow. She's been in it before, but she wasn't really old enough to understand or interact with it. But this year, Little Girl is in love with the snow.

Everyday she asks me to open the windows so she can see, "snow outside." And when we are walking out to the car, she always insists on stomping through the piles of snow instead of the neatly shoveled/salted walkways.

I really need to get her some better snow clothes so she can enjoy the snow a little more!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Girl Between the Lines Link-Up

Girl Between the Lines Link up

I know. Most of the time I post about Miss May, but I've been thinking of a lot of things I'd like to start posting about, and though most of those things still don't have a ton to do with getting to know me better, I thought this might be a cool way to start posting more often! So I'm pretty excited to do this link up. 

The first week's topic is: post a pic of yourself and say three things you like about yourself.

I LOVE this topic. Not because I'm just dying to share things I think are great about me, but because I think it is so important to acknowledge the good in ourselves. So often we focus on the negative, and we forget that we each have good qualities. By constantly giving merit to the bad, we give it power, and in doing so we distort our self-image. So here it goes, three things I like about myself:

1. I love that I am still going to school. Sometimes I hate it. I especially hate that I started college six years ago, and I still don't have my degree. But I am proud of myself for sticking it out, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love to learn, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to get a college degree.

2. I love my laugh. 90% of the time it's louder than anyone else's, but it makes my husband smile and it sounds just like my mom's. I'm blessed in a lot of ways to be like my mom, but my laugh is one of my favorites.

3. And I love my ability to see the good in others. This has gotten me into trouble in the past, but I always assume the best in everyone. I would much rather give someone the benefit of the doubt and be wrong than be assume the worst and be right.

Thanks Hayley and Lauren for creating this awesome link-up, I  am looking forward to getting to know you, and lots of other bloggers, better!

Check this out and join in! I'm pretty excited about it.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Maylie Monday: Scarred for Life

Thanksgiving weekend was filled with tons of fun, family, and food. We drove down to Moab to go Jeeping. The whole way there May kept saying, "Trip! Trip! Trip!" So cute.

But while we were there, Little Girl had some traumatic experiences. I am convinced she is forever going to hate chocolate now.

First, Aunt Riki stuffed May so full of chocolate ice cream that she lost her cookies just minutes later (Thanks for that Rik, I'll repay the favor one day).

Then, we were getting hot chocolate at the gas station, and May pulled a steaming cup right down on her. Luckily, we got her clothes off right away, and she didn't get any burns. Just shock and a traumatic experience.

This is what we came up with to keep her head from bobbing around while she napped while we were on the trails.
She also begs to drive now every time we get in the car.
But, despite it all, Little Girl had a blast this weekend. She kept asking to go "Jeep in the dirt." I can tell she's just going to be our little adventurer.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Things

I have never been the kind of person who loves to go around the table and talk about all the things I am thankful for. Seriously, my family never did that.

One time we went to visit my mom's family for Thanksgiving, and each year they do something different to have the family express gratitude. This particular year they decided everyone (which was like 30+ people) would go around the table and share 3 things that are true. Everyone shared uplifting and sweet things like, "I know my family loves me" or "I have wonderful children." Sweet things. 

And then it was my dad's turn. His #1 thing that was true, "Kaylyn has no friends" (referencing some short story my brother wrote in the 3rd or 4th grade). My brother and I busted up in fits of laughter, and everyone else just glared. They didn't think we were funny. My poor mom. We were so embarrassing. If that wasn't enough, when it came to mine and Joey's turn, we couldn't just let my dad have the last word, so we responded with, "Todd has no friends" and "Joey has no friends," and I'm sure some other really nice things about each other.

That was the extent of us expressing what we were thankful for each year. 

But I'm going to get a little sappy and share some things I'm thankful for. 

1. I'm thankful for Ryan who always supports me and brings out the best in me. He supports the things I need to do and everything I want to do. He provides a wonderful example of how to serve others, and I am eternally grateful to be able to call him my husband.

2. I am thankful for a little girl who is loving, kind, and polite. She teaches me patience and love in ways I have never before experienced. I'm thankful for her sweet heart and the constant light she brings into our home.

3. I'm thankful for parents who have been understanding, supportive, and loving my entire life. And who have loved and embraced my daughter wholeheartedly.

4. I'm thankful for a brother who has always been my best friend.

5. I am thankful for in-laws who have been accepting, loving, and have made me feel comfortable in their family.

6. I'm thankful for the opportunity to go to college and to constantly better myself. 

7. I am thankful to have a roof over our heads.  

8. I'm thankful for insanely delicious food, especially this time of year. 

9. I'm thankful to live in a country, despite its flaws, that allows so many freedoms that others do not get to enjoy. 

10. And I'm thankful to be a member of a church that strengthens my family, makes me feel connected to our Heavenly Father, and promises that families can be together forever.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Had to Share.

Maylie: Daddy's Mickey Mouse.

Me: Really?

Maylie: Ya. May May is Minnie Mouse.

Me: Then who is Momma supposed to be?

Maylie: (long thoughtful pause) Pluto.

I died guys. Seriously, I was laughing so hard. I decided I'm going to start one of those "things my kid says" books to keep for (and embarrass her with) when she is all grown up. This stuff is just too good to forget.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Maylie Monday: Little Miss Imagination

One of the coolest parts of being a parent is getting to see your child play. Especially when they play pretend. I swear Maylie just grew up over night--and that's seriously not too much of an exaggeration. All of the sudden she changed from just ordinary play, to imaginative play.

 The other day she ripped up a wipe and put it in a pile. When I asked her what it was, she put her hands over it and said, "Hot fire!" It cracked me up.

Later that same day I went into her room, and she had pulled all of her toys out of her basket. She put her blanket and her doll in it and then climbed in. She said to me, "Mommy! Look, boat! And water!"

So cute. The best toys are always the things that are not meant to be toys.

They grow up so fast, and I cannot wait to see how her little imagination grows.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our Little Family on Video

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my sis-in-law went with us up the canyon to take some family pics of us. Maylie was a serious pain and the sun went down way faster than we had planned, so we were only able to get a few good shots. But Blake took some video while we were taking photos, and they put together an insanely cute video of us!

 I am seriously obsessed. Check out how cute this is:

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Maylie Monday: A Fall Chick

I was really nervous to move to northern Utah. The weather and the idea of the snow totally freaked me out, but having actual seasons has been kind of cool. Southern Utah and Nevada doesn't really have a fall--only super hot and mildly cold. The leaves have been all over and Miss May has been loving them! She goes stomping through them every chance she gets.

I can't wait to see how she reacts to snow! Thanks Riki for the cute pics of Maylie playing in the leaves!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Maylie Monday: Daddy's Girl

Okay, so Maylie is totally a momma's girl, and sometimes she can be down right mean to her daddy. Sometimes she will tell him to go away, or she will cling to me and totally avoid Ryan. But despite all of the attitude little miss throws at him, they sure love each other. They have some of the sweetest moments, and I love to getting to watch them together.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Little Monster

Halloween this year was so fun! I was worried about Maylie being cold, so it took us forever to decide on a costume. One night Ryan just took May to look at costumes, and she ran right up to the Monster's Inc. section. She picked Mike Wazowski, which was perfect because she wouldn't freeze in it. I decided last minute to dress up as Boo to match Miss May. Had we actually planned it Ryan could have been Sully. Oh, well. We can do a family costume next year!

We started at Ryan's work trick-or-treat. Almost everyone in the office dressed up, and they handed out candy. We seriously got so much. We will be eating Halloween candy for a very long time.

Then we headed to Ryan's parent's house. We agreed to hand out candy so they could go to the Foreigner concert, but we hit a few houses in their neighborhood before they left.

And after little girl fell asleep, probably from a sugar coma, we went downstairs to Riki and Blake's Halloween party. We had tons of fun playing minute-to-win-it games and hanging with tons of their friends. Our team even won the game "tournament!" (Stole these pics from Riki's blog)

Thanks Rik and B for throwing a killer party! 

Woah, sorry for the picture overload! We just had an awesome Halloween!

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