Monday, May 31, 2010


Five years ago, our lives were filled with silliness, fun, and crazy adventures.  Steph, Caitlin & I were in the same ward in Boise and we spent a lot of time together.  Steph & I drove to dance together every morning at 5:45 (we were basically asleep) and lived next door to each other.  We were constantly hanging out at each other's houses.  We created a permanent pathway in the grass that leads across Steph's front lawn to my house.  Sorry Paula :)  Cait moved to Boise our junior year of high school and introduced me to a whole new world of craziness.  We went through the car wash in our swim suits and had dance parties in random intersections.

Since then, we have all gotten married (Steph to her high school boyfriend and our good friend, Kyle), and Caitlin even has two adorable little boys!  Amazingly, the three of us, who never dreamed of living in Texas, all ended up within an hour of each other this summer!  We all got together for an evening of good food (Thanks Cait) and reminiscing.

And in all honesty, not too much of the silliness has gone away...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Season

I probably shouldn't use baby titles because I can guarantee that you thought this would be an announcement of sorts...  Sorry.

Well, I guess it sort of is an announcement, but just an announcement of other people's babies.  This spring/summer seriously feels like baby season.  Grant and I have one niece that was born earlier this year and a nephew on the way.  We also have multiple friends having babies and we have baby birds outside are door that are currently breaking through their little shells.  Which, on an unrelated note, makes me think of the importance of adversity...

But anyway, since there will be (and have been) important baby appearances in the Tanner/Peterson families, I decided to make a little something to welcome the new additions.  As you may know, before Grant & I got married, my domestic skills consisted of making pizza balls (which are fabulous and won me Gant's heart) and... okay that's about it.  I have had a lot of fun learning all sorts of domestic skills (No, really. I have.), and one of those is sewing.  Leslie, my mother-in-law, started teaching me how to sew when I got a sewing machine for my first married Christmas.  Since then, I have been teaching myself with a few easy projects.  

My sister-in-law, Rachel, is really crafty and gave me a few websites with tutorials for these projects. The first one is an appliqued onesie.  The tutorial/pattern came from here.  Since I was still working on sewing straight lines (and I still am) this was a perfectly easy project for me!  Gavin is going to be a total baby stud in this.

Then I ventured off and created patterns of my own.  I traced these flowers from a stamp or something... I can't remember now.

I found this dinosaur image on Google, traced it off my computer, and then created a separate outline for the spine spikes.  If you look closely at this horrible cell phone picture, you can see my amazing sewing skills all over those spikes.  Boy, they were fun!

I believe this one came from Google images as well.  I just cut the bubbles out on my own. 

After that, I decided I was ready for a challenge.  I decided to make baby booties with another tutorial/pattern that Rachel found me here.  First I made some for Gavin.  I made approximately 7 mistakes on this pair.  That is why there are slits in the front of the booties, one of the backs is put on backwards (how appropriate), one of the ankle holes is way smaller than the other one, and it took me way too long to finish these...  But aren't they cute regardless?  Gavin may have one ankle without circulation, but he'll look pretty darn cute.

Then I made a girly pair.  I made a lot fewer mistakes and it went a lot quicker.  I also made a pair with the back turned the other way.  In other words, when the booty is on, the polka dot fabric shows on the heel instead of the duckies.  

Man, look at my domestic skills!  I think I'm ready to conquer the world now, thank you. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shadow Dance

Yesterday was the last day of dance classes before the recital.  I can't believe I've been working with these girls for a whole year!  I brought my camera and we took lots of pictures.  It was pretty dark in the studio and as I am learning, bad lighting+action shots+beginner behind the camera = not so good shots.  

We did get some pretty cool shots of my seniors out behind the studio.  The sun was setting and it created great shadows on the wall!

These are a few of the good ones.  I bumped up the contrast and then played with different tinting effects.

Someday we will probably invest in Photoshop or even just Photoshop Elements.  But for now, Picasa works really well for us.  Picasa is Google's free photo editing software and it does a lot of basic edits such as cropping, contrast, color, etc.  

My sister-in-law Jill also told me about Picnik, a website that has a free version of its editing program.  From the little bit that I have used it, it seems to offer a lot of features that Picasa can't do.  However, the free version is a bit limiting and I like that Picasa is a separate program that works outside of your web browser.

The good news?  Google has acquired Picnik and I'm hoping that some of the features from Picnik will be included in the next version of Picasa.

Woot for cool pictures!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We Apologize for the Delay...

Remember this?

Looking for me?  I'm the pasty one who is sticking her butt out way too far... excellent.

For the last year and a half or so, I had been thinking they forgot about me.  Well, in all honesty, they (whoever they are) did forget me, because I'm still just the awkward pasty one.  

No, really what I meant is that the residual department forgot about me.  It can't really take more than a year to figure out my .0000001%, can it?  (I really have no idea how they figure out what I get paid.)  By the time we had lived in Texas for a few months, I figured a check might not be coming at all...

So you can imagine my ridiculous excitement when I saw this in my mailbox:


It reads, "A recent review of our records indicates that we are holding Residual Payments due to you."  Yes!  But the best part is yet to come, "Due to the amount we are holding for you, we require additional documentation in order to authenticate your identity... blah blah blah."  

Due to what amount?! What amount?!  In reading this, I couldn't help but think of this clip from Brian Regan:
Brian Regan - Flight Delays
Futurama New EpisodesUgly AmericansFunny TV Comedy Blog

Maybe the reason it took so long is because I just neglected to tell them I moved across the country...

Or maybe... just took so long because my piles of money kept toppling over.... 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Search for Sanity: Part I

The purpose of this post is to discuss my recent acupuncture appointment.  In order to understand why I am going in the first place, here is a bit of background info:

When I was born, well... let's just say I had some issues.  To make a long story short, my mother's water broke three months before I was born and I suffered what I just learned is called meconium aspiration syndrome. (Thank you wikipedia).  My Apgar score, (measured on a 0-10 scale) was a 1.  Since a score of 0=death, my mother considers me a "miracle baby".  She reminds of this status at every landmark event in my life.  Thanks mom :)

Amazingly, it became clear that I did not have any of the brain damage expected by the doctors (although my siblings might argue otherwise...).  The only long-term effect of my traumatic birth is migraines.  When I was a baby they were exhibited as cyclic vomiting.  A lot of vomiting. I have lots of good puke stories... maybe another day.

As I grew older, they turned into traditional migraines.  I would lose my vision for 20 minutes or so (called an aura) and then the pain would hit.  Additionally, I was generally very nauseous and threw up a lot.  In Kindergarten I threw up all over the inside of the tee-pee... Sorry.  I forgot I'm saving those stories for later.

I have taken a lot of different medications over the years.  I don't remember what they were all called, only what the pills looked like and how gross they tasted :)  Right now I take Imitrex.  It works well at suppressing a migraine if you catch it early.  However, I don't really have auras anymore so it makes prediction a bit more difficult.  

It has been nearly 22 years and I have come to accept migraines as simply a part of my life.  I have learned to work through pain (and puking), and it's no big deal anymore.  

But Grant takes a different approach.  He has had experience with acupuncture that has really worked for him.  He's convinced me not to give up on the possibility of getting rid of migraines or at least, making them less frequent.  (Do you watch Glee?  Kind of like the Tina/Artie plot where Tina convinces him not to give up on a cure and Artie fantasizes about dancing in the mall...  I'm fantasizing about not throwing up and sleeping for 2 days straight...)  That's where the acupuncture comes in.

I went to my first appointment with Calli (Dr. Wang) last week.  She asked me all of the questions a normal MD would ask as we talked about my general health.  She told me that Traditional Chinese medicine believes that your body's energy is called Qi (pronounced chee).  In my case, my qi is too highly concentrated in my head, causing pain.  Acupuncture acts to balance out that qi.  

Next, we proceeded with the treatment.  That first day I laid on my back and she put in probably 10-15 needles.  There were a few on my face, arms, stomach, and legs.  It didn't hurt much at all to have them put in.  Calli said they only go about .2 inches in and that they are so small that multiple acupuncture needles could fit inside a hypodermic needle.  

Then Calli did something called acupressure.  She used a tool that looked a bit like a small hammer and tapped it all over my face and head for about 30 minutes.  It was nice and relaxing-- I almost fell asleep. After leaving me to rest for a few minutes, she came back, removed the needles and sent me on my way. She also recommended I remove sugar from my diet, as it is one of my main triggers for my migraine.  I love sweet things so that has not been easy. 

So... do I believe in acupuncture?  I guess my answer is a bit complicated.  I believe that it has worked and that it does work for some people.  I believe it just make work for me.  I'm not sure what I think about the concept of qi yet, mostly because it is so foreign from how I have been taught to think about bodies and about healing.  Right now, I'm trying to stay open to the possibilities that Chinese medicine might hold for me.  We'll see how it goes and I'll keep updates on the progress.

And now, I'm off to take some Tylenol... maybe some day I won't have to :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grad School? Rad School!

Yes, it's true. I am a grad student. A few years ago if you asked me what grad school would be like I would probably have said something like, "Memorizing more than humanly possible, writing enough papers that I would rather die, and overall exhaustion..."  (Actually, that was more like my undergrad).  However, a few years ago, I wasn't really thinking about getting an M.A. in dance.  And I also never guessed I would be taking an intense 2 week workshop in Hip Hop for graduate credit.  Awesome?  I think so.  That's why I'm allowed to look like this:

This was taken right after I learned how to spin on my back... Hello bruises!

In the below picture: those aren't my shoes... but I wish they were.

Today was our teacher Teena's birthday.  I love how she gets a fruity frilly cake when she is really a gangsta.  Check her out here. (In all honesty, I didn't get to eat this cake.  Thanks Calli (my acupuncturist)) Can I do double parenthesis like that..?

Matt ate my share of the birthday cake.  Actually, he would need about 3 more pieces to eat my share, but that's okay.  No shame.  Love it.

All these pictures make it look like we sit around and eat cake.  That really only happens after we get super (and I mean super) sweaty.

Grad school is great.  At least, it's great if you're in the dance program, it's a two week long summer term, and you don't have to think about big, deep concepts like connectivity, collaboration, aesthetics, engagement.... blah blah.  There's plenty of time for thinking in the fall :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Degrees of May

It is currently 87.3 degrees on this beautiful spring day in Grapevine, Texas.  87.3 degrees (I don't know how to make the little circle sign for degrees) is pretty near perfect for a hot summer day...  If only that qualified as a "hot summer day" in Texas.  Last summer we had multiple weeks with highs over 100.  This is NOT something we're accustomed to.

Luckily, it's still May and the heat is bearable.  Last night we headed out to the lake and took some pictures.  

I've been trying the manual mode on the camera which is a bit dangerous because I have 10% of the knowledge needed to be successful. (That's 9.7% more than last week :)

Can you believe that this is Texas?  Well, Texas with a seriously doctored photo.  

This is closer to what it really looked like.  Sorry to ruin the fantasy, but I wouldn't want you to think Texas was a tropical paradise....  

It's paradise all right, but more like a paradise for cowboys, big bugs, and birds that make really strange noises.  Oh, and also, people who like fried foods.  That includes me...  (the master of finger steaks and french fries).  The End.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flavor of the Week

Tutti Fruiti is a local yogurt shop at which we are patrons.  A few nights ago we ventured out with our good friends, the Mallorys.  Luckily, they were good sports and let me take silly pictures!

First, you get samples of all the flavors to see which one you like the best.

Grant's favorite is the pomegranate.  So is mine.  But I'm not eating sugar because the acupuncturist advised me not to.  Darn.

Try not to spill it on the ground...

But if you do, laugh! Because it's not your house and you don't have to clean it up! (That's probably not why Caitlin was laughing here...)

Then you get a bowl like this.  Thank you Vanna Robbie for modeling.

Fill it with your favorite flavor (or two or three or more).  Grant is getting me sugar free vanilla-- yay!!

Add your favorite toppings!  Logan's just might include breakfast cereal... I'm not certain.  But I am certain that I love Robbie's face in the background.  Excellent.

Then put your goodness on the scale because you pay by weight.  Just remember to take the spoon out because we paid for the weight of ours :)

Smile because I'm almost done taking pictures of you!  

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Plan B

Yesterday we planned on going to Grapevine's Main Street Outdoor Adventure.  Whew, that was a mouthful! Or keyboard full..?  Anyways, if you make it there before five o'clock then you get in free.  Free?  We're there.

These two paid seven dollars each to get in....  C'mon people, what's five minutes?

Grant got off work at 4:30 and we both sped over.  We arrived at 5:03 assuming they would allow us a 3 minute grace period... No such luck.  One lady was yelling at the volunteers because they wouldn't let her in. Yikes!  We weren't angry, but we also weren't feeling like paying $14.  So we found another way to entertain ourselves:

The train!  Or "prain" as it's called in the Peterson family.  This vintage train carries its passengers all the way to the stockyards in Fort Worth.  One day we'd like to take that trip, but yesterday it was just pictures.

Apparently there is a Train Store too.  I just took pictures of the train store signs instead of visiting the actual store.

Here is Grantie looking dashing in his dress pants and casual polo.  I brought him a shirt so he wouldn't have to wear he shirt & tie in the beautiful (gag) over 90 degree weather.  (Just when Texas is starting to feel livable, the summer comes...)

It wasn't quite Tilley Trolley but pretty close :)

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Today is my sister Lauren's birthday.  Happy birthday Lauren!  It has been a while since we have been able to hang out, but we are excited to see her in a couple of weeks over Father's Day weekend.  If you know Lauren, give her a shout out on her special day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wants vs. Needs

This is the scene in front of me.  A need.  But definitely not a want.

This is what I replace it with.  Coloring is a want but arguably, a need as well.  

Three year olds cannot play "Busy Body Bingo" on uncolored boards.  It would be uncivilized.  So I color on...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Karate Kid Anyone?

Now that I have passed my big test, I have free time again.  You can do a lot when you don't have to study 12 hours a day.  So what have I been doing with my after-work free time you ask?  Watching Karate Kid of course.  

As of last month, Kelsey had never seen Karate Kid.  I was like, what?  Wax on, wax's a classic.  She knew how much I loved it, so she got me the Karate Kid trilogy for my birthday a month ago.  Last night, we finished watching Karate Kid II.  Needless to say, I want to become a karate master now.  Have you, dear reader, ever taken Karate/ TaeKwonDo classes?  Maybe Kelsey and I can find a class to enroll in so we can learn to kick some butt.  Agreed?  

PS - I am stoked for the new Karate Kid with Jackie Chan

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Calls for Celebratory Measures!

How do you celebrate passing a beast of an exam like the Series 7?  At the pool of course!

Step 1: Meet some new friends!

Step 2: Run! 

Step 3: Jump! Cannonball style, Crazy style, High School Musical style, or get left behind like the girl on the right...

Step 4: Keep running! Oh, that's just if you're the little bikini girl and got left behind.

Woohoo!  Way to go Grantie! I'm excited that he passed mostly because that means I get my husband back :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out on the Town

Yesterday after my first acupuncture appointment (a story for another time), I stopped by Southlake Town Square, an outdoor mall near where we live.  City Hall is in the middle of the mall area, along with a park where they hold concerts and other events.  Pretty fancy, eh?  Southlake is a town with, how would you say it... deep pockets?

I tried out some of the settings on my camera.  This shot was taken with the Macro function.  

And this one with the Action function.  It uses a really fast shutter speed so that motion is frozen instead of blurred.  The water drops in this picture make me thirsty.

And last, but most certainly not least, the face of a random, painted cow!  I like how the cow has a water tower painted on his T-zone.  Perhaps it works like those pore strips that rip out blackheads... gross, sorry.  And poor guy, looks like his ear got caught in the car door (not that I've ever done that or could relate...)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Waffles of Glory

In case you didn't know, we are big, and I mean BIG waffle fans.  Most of our parties revolve around waffles as do most of our breakfasts.  About a year ago we discovered the best waffle on the face of the planet...At my Nana's!  We went to visit Nana & Papa Peterson down in St. George last year and came home with a jar full of icky, gooey goodness: a sourdough starter.  It's basically fermented gook and it. Is. AWESOME!

There are two main steps to a sourdough recipe.  The first step is to create more gook, basically by letting it breed like a wild rabbit..  My sourdough starter consists of one cup of gook.  After I've created more gook, I take out one cup and put in back in the jar before the second step.  If you don't take it out, ALL IS LOST!  That's why you give starters to your friends.  They can bail you out of your spoiled starter nightmares. start with these ingredients: gook, instant dry milk, flour, and water (not pictured).

Dump the gook into a large mixing bowl.  

It's pretty gooky

Then you add the powdered milk and flour.

Then add the water and mix well. Cover this lovely mixture with a dish towel and let it sit overnight.  That gook needs to germinate! (Probably not the right word.)

In the morning it will look something like the picture below: bubbly, frothy, and a little creepy.

Take out one cup(ish) and put it back in the jar. (Which you washed last night...)  This will stay in the fridge until the next time you make sourdough goodness.

Next comes the second step of a sourdough recipe.  From this point there are endless possibilities.  Depending on the ingredients added next, you can make pancakes, bread, cake, or WAFFLES!  For the best waffle in the world you need the ingredients below:

Add the powdered milk, soda, salt, sugar, oil, and eggs.

Mix! It gets quite bubbly and expansive.  This is a good thing.

Then pour into your favorite waffle iron but be careful.  A little goes a LONG way with this batter.  I have learned this from extensive experience with overflowing waffle irons...

Oh snap! You just made the best waffle in the whole world!

Afterthought: I didn't include the actual recipe because you can't make it without a starter!  And in order to get a starter, you'll have to come visit us in Texas. Take that!