It is Hot and/or Ready, if you are willing to wait till it comes out of the oven.

Friday night I was going out with some friends, so a quick and easy dinner solution for my family was Little Ceasar's Hot and Ready pizza. Because I'm cheap like that.

At 5:00 Harrison and I pulled in to Little Ceasar's, (in order to beat the dinner rush) and I ordered a Hawaiian pizza. They used to have them hot and ready, but not any more. I didn't realize this. The cashier told me it would be about 5 minutes. No big deal. I grabbed a balloon for Harrison and we sat down to wait.

Turns out 5:00 on a Friday is NOT early enough to beat the dinner rush. It was packed. Crazy busy. I think Hot and Ready pizzas was probably the best thing Little Ceasar's ever did for themselves. The pizza is not fantastic, but it is cheap and it is available NOW. Those two qualities are pretty hard to resist. And those highschoolers employed there work really hard. People say teenagers are lazy, but those kids were working their non-existent bums off.

So we waited. And waited. And waited. After about 15 minutes an employee told me they had just put my pizza in the oven and he was really sorry and gave me a couple expired coupons for free crazy bread. So we waited some more.

Harrison was done sitting quietly by this time. I tried to find the balance between keeping him from driving everyone else in the place crazy, and giving him enough freedom that he wouldn't scream. I didn't do a very good job, but I honestly thought about trying harder. Some little kid sitting next to us was smacking his parents in the face with his balloon, so Harrison started doing it to me, and I was like "NUH UH." Then he wanted to roll around on the floor with his balloon, but I wasn't having any of that either.

I considered leaving, but thought, if I don't bring this pizza home to my family, how will I provide them with the nourishment they need? After around 20 minutes the same employee gave me my money back for the pizza. I said "Are you serious?" And he assurred me they were sorry that my pizza was taking so long. I wanted to ask how much longer it would be at this point, but after such a kind gesture on his part, I felt like that would be a little greedy of me.

So I just kept waiting. And it really would not have been a big deal if not for Harrison. He spent his time jumping in front of people on accident so that they tripped over him, sending their pizzas flying (OK. Nobody's pizza flew through the air. That would have been just so awesome), sticking his hand in the door to keep people from closing it (to which my response was "WHAT the CRAP are you doing???"), or patting strangers on the bum. The poor old lady he did that to probably had a mini heart attack from that little surprise.

At 5:30 I was just about to tell them that, Thank You, they had been very, very nice, but I was going to have to leave, when someone who looked like a manager came over with my pizza, an apology, and coupons for TWO free Hawaiian pizzas. Wow. Really, Wow. I thanked him for the excellent service and went home to scarf down my pizza. And I felt a little bad. Did the manager realize I already got my money back? Not to mention the crazy bread. Cuz while I did have to wait a while, that was a very profitable pizza acquiring expedition. And that is some seriously good customer service! Better than I would have ever expected from Little Ceasar's. Far from being annoyed and deciding to go somewhere else next time I want pizza, I'm gonna go back to L.C. because they were so nice to me. But, when that next time happens to roll around, you can bet your pajamas that I will be leaving Harrison with his Father.
Here I sit in my 3 year old's toy strewn room, laying on the floor at the foot of his bed, reading a book while he slowly drifts off to sleep. I cannot help but look at him and my heart skips a beat. He is everything I ever wanted. It hurts a little, loving him this much. He catches me watching him and grins and scrunches up his shoulders. I smile too, and we spend a few moments just grinning and shrugging at each other. It's like feeling your whole self expand from the inside. I live for these moments. For joy like this. I have never felt so complete. What more could I ever want than this?

Oh, right. Another one. A little girl would be nice.

What Valentine's Day is Really About

Just in time for V-Day my husband came down with the flu. So he spent most of the weekend watching NCIS and the V marathon on Syfy and reading The Silmarilian. And I spent the weekend eating every piece of chocolate and candy that I could get my hands on. And then I also made cookies and ate them too. Good times.

So, while we are discussing Valentine's and all the gooey love garbage that goes with it, let's not forget to discuss the most important, some might say pivotal, part of all Valentine's Day activities: SHOES.

I always think that I have told you all of my most secret secrets, but I might have left one out. I am 5'8". I guess all my other confessions didn't include that tasty bit of info. So, yes. The top of my head is 5 feet, 8 inches from the ground. Which really isn't that tall. There are all kinds of women taller than me. What is the average, about 5'6"? Hmm, I'm gonna look it up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oh. . . . . . . gee. . . The average height for women in the U.S. is 5'3". Now you know.

I tell you, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows being tall. It hard to find pants, strollers, or men tall enough. And for most of my life I have just felt TOO tall. My best friend was 5'2" (5'2 & 1/2", thank you very much), so I have always felt kind of, um, LARGE when I wasn't with my family. People often talk about tall women in vague exclamations of how enviable it is, but I've never heard them say why. I certainly couldn't ever see what was so great about it. All I knew was that I was taller than all the boys I liked, and I was always tripping over things.

I hear people complain about being short, but I was always jealous. The guys always seemed to like my short friends. I think there is something about a girl he can pick up with one hand and throw over his shoulder that is irresistible to a guy.

Here is a picture of me and some of my college roommates. Guess which one is me?


This is a picture with the short roommates, of course. I have a picture with some taller ones, but that would not have illustrated my point. Sheesh! It is no wonder I had a complex. I'm like a head taller than them!

And here is another picture that one of my roommates was kind enough to post on Facebook, for which I am very, very grateful.

This picture just cracks me up. I am like a giant. Why in the world am I so big? I look like I am standing on a stool or something, but I can't think of any reason why I would be.
Note to self: Rugby shirts make you look like a Rugby player. Please avoid.

So anyway, here I was three years into college; Tall and hating it. But then I went on a mission and things changed. Because it was a great, life-changing experience, but also because I had 8 different companions and all but 2 were the same height as me or taller. And even the short ones weren't very. For the first time in my life I wasn't associating with the tops of people's heads! (All right, I'm exaggerating here, but just go with it). And I had one companion who, though she was almost 6 Feet tall, wore heels all the time, and looked fantastic doing it. For the first time it occurred to me that I could be tall and proud of it.

So then I came home and married a guy 5 inches taller than me who loves high heels and I started wearing them and one day I suddenly realized that I actually LIKE being tall. When the Young Women come into Relief Society and we all get to stand up to do the theme and I find myself looking out over a sea of heads because I am wearing 4 inch heels, it makes me smile.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day, and as a gift to my husband, I got a pair of 5 inch heels. (I just went and measured them.) And they are really cute and pretty hard to walk in and I will probably be falling down even more than usual, but it is totally worth it! Happy Valentine's Day Shoes!

5" heels: $21.00.
Liking Your Height No Matter How Tall You Are: Priceless.

How to Polish Your Plants

There are many, many things that I excel at. Cake Decorating and Photography are just a few that come to mind. Well, also Plants. And, apparently, writing good sentences, such as ones unto the similarity of this.

For today's lesson:

I realize I am probably telling you something you already know. But that is my job. That is actually what I have been assigned by the higher-ups to do; Tell you stuff you already know, like ....... I don't know, don't punch cows and stuff. Whatever.

So I live in a dusty house. I would swear that it is at least 3 times dustier than your average Utah home. And I deal with the dust by ignoring it. Which works wonders! Except today, for who knows what reason, I realized my plants were looking pretty sad. Ok, so the point!!

How to clean and polish your plants. Ta da!

The secret is mayonnaise. Mayonnaise will shine them up and make them look like plastic. (Which is the goal with live houseplants.) Lots of condiments have more than one use like this. You can use ketchup in your windowsill to seal up gaps, mustard will kill a beetle on contact, and pickles are great for throwing at people. Obviously. But the mayo on the plants really is real.

Here is my philodendron BEFORE. Can you see the dust? Can you tell that it is dirty enough to shock your mother-in-law and make her seriously concerned for her son's future?

No, I guess you really can't. You'll just have to trust me.  It is worse than it looks.

And here is the plant AFTER polishing:


Wow! Just look at those leaves shine!



So, here is what you do:
  1. Plop some mayo into a small bowl or plate.
  2. Put a paper towel or soft rag into your hand (right or left, the choice is yours).
  3. Get a little mayo on a corner of the rag and gentle rub it into a leaf. Continue rubbing and polishing until the mayo is rubbed in and it looks clean and shiny.
  4. Repeat with remaining leaves.
It goes without saying that you should be careful. Your plant is fragile and you could easily break a leaf. Which, unlike the phrase "Break a leg", is not used to mean good luck. However, if you do manage to break one (or several), just pinch the leaf off at its root, or base, or jointy-joint thing. (Yeah. Like I said. Knowing everything about plants is what I do best.) Plants really do like being pruned this way.

Maybe you are worried about the smell. Don't worry , it will only smell like sulfur for a few weeks, and you probably won't even notice it anymore after a day or two. If neighbors come over and notice the smell, just blame it on them. That is Basic Hostessing 101.

So maybe there are some of you complaining that you can't even keep your plants alive. All plants are different, with differing needs, but it is safe to say that you are probably over watering them. Very few plants need to be watered every day. I water my plants no more than twice a month. The philodendron is one of my favorites because it starts to look very sad and droopy when it is thirsty and this reminds me to water all of them at once. And it works out perfectly. I also have an Umbrella Tree (or schefflera) that I stuck in an unused room once and forgot about for months. Barely even looked thirsty when I found it again. Just keep it out of direct sunlight and it never asks for a thing. I recommend finding a plant that is as needy as you are giving. I used to have plants that needed lots more love, attention, and water than I was willing to give and they have since died (actually, this happens with my relationships too). It is survival of the fittest at my house. You get on MY watering schedule, or you meet your doom.

The point is, there are plants out there that are beautiful and incredibly easy to maintain. I would tell you what more of them are, but then how would you ever learn anything? Most plants will tell you when they are getting thirsty, and it probably isn't as often as you think. Don't fret over your plant, don't water it every single day, give it the amount of sunlight the little tag that comes with it says to give it, and suddenly you'll find that you have had it for a whole year and it is still thriving.

So get out there, get a plant or two, polish those leaves (it doesn't really stink. I was only kidding), and feel like a botanical genius!

The Best of 2009

Now I would like to preface this by saying that, while my taste is flawless, this isn't actually THE best of 2009. This isn't even really a list of my favorites from all the new things that came out last year because I am probably at least a couple years behind. (No jokes now.) I don't even listen to the radio, so how could I possibly tell you the best new song from 2009?

No, what this is is a list of my favorite things from last year. They might be new, they might be old, they might be neither new nor old, but just something I came into contact with, and liked and remembered enough to have them come to mind right now while I am typing this. Ok. Prepped enough? Yes, I hear you saying "Shut up already and get on it with!" So here we go!


Movies
  • Star Trek
  • Up


Books
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • The True Meaning of Smekday
  • The Hunger Games


TV shows
  • Doctor Who. The new one, of course. Yep, this is my very favorite show. And if that doesn't tell you just about everything there is to know about me, then I don't know what will.
  • Warehouse 13
  • Community. This show has some flaws, but there are just some things about it that make me laugh and laugh and laugh. I think it is my favorite new show of the year.
  • Leverage


Food
  • Pepperjack cheese. I am 31 years old, and only last year discovered pepperjack. And it has changed my life forever. I just now ate a pepperjack cheese quesadilla, and my happy belly and greasy keyboard can attest that it is delicious!!


Recipes


Songs
  • The Christmas Waltz (It was my favorite Christmas song this year. I just wanted to hear it all the time. That very rarely happens.)
  • I Am The Highway - Audioslave
  • Hey ya - Obadiah Parker (I never loved Outkast, but this version of the song makes my heart go all mushy. Sigh.)

Game
  • Bananagrams (aka "Speed Scrabble")
  • Runebound (for which my husband better consider himself pretty darn lucky)

Number
  • 1,637,529. That number is just so hot right now!


So, anyone else want to do this? I would very much like to hear what everyone else's favorites of the year were. And did I miss anything? Should I include my favorite word or website or anything?