Sunday, October 31

Musicals, and Unexpected Guests

Recently we had a very unexpected and very welcome guest come and visit us.
He was only in Utah for a short time but we were sure glad to see him.
It was the one, the only....

I guess technically he is only Rocky Steele now- but he will forever be Elder Steelit to us...
It was so good to see him.  We just wish that we could have seen the whole family, but there is a whole lifetime for that I suppose.  Now that we all live on the same side of North America there should be nothing that holds us back from visiting....

Later that same evening we made a pit stop at the library to return some movies and books and get some new ones.
We love our library.
Best. Invention. Ever.
(A library is an invention right?)

Then on to the Stake Musical we did go.
My only regret is the we weren't in it.
It was funny, and musically, and homegrown (which is the best kind).
We loved it.
I just hope that one day Ruby and Myers have the opportunity to participate in something like that.  It would be a great experience.

The fun didn't end there.
Oh No.
We had a great Sunday as well with the primary presentation- which I always love.
Next year Ruby is going to be in it- can you believe that?
And then that night we had another unexpected guest.
I guess there is no denying that Fall has Fallen and Winter is on its way.
I had been doing so well at denying that those two things would ever happen.

Either way- we love it here.

Wednesday, October 27

There's a Daboo In My Pocket

The other night Justin got up from the couch, where he had been cuddling with Ruby, reached into his pocket and pulled out a yogurt tube (aka daboo- Ruby's old name for them) wrapper.
He immediately asked who put a yogurt tube in his pocket.
To which I replied- 'you did. Who else would do that?'  No one.
To which Justin replied 'Ruby would- Ruby puts things in my pocket all the time.'
To which Ruby replied. 'I did.  I did.  I did that.'
To which I replied 'Oh, I guess Ruby did it.'
I laugh everytime I think about this.  I can just see her eating her yogurt tube and when she finished it promptly slipping the remains in Justin's pocket.  How would you not notice that?  And what would possess Ruby to put her garbage in Justin's pocket?  I love it.  I LOVE IT.
Later he pulls out his phone which happened to be in the daboo pocket and sees that it is covered in yogurt.
Ruby never really finishes her yogurt tubes to the last drop...
And that is when he notices that the charger hole is FULL of yogurt.
'How do you get yogurt out of a charger hole?' He asks.
To which I reply 'You suck it out'
He was a little skeptical but thought he would try it anyway- and of course it worked.
Daboo crisis averted.  Phew.
Now if only we could teach Ruby to put her garbage where it rightfully belongs.
Or better yet- maybe she should put her skills to better use- a 3 year old pick pocket.  Nothing wrong with that right?

Monday, October 25

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have been a frequent customer at Joann Fabrics lately.
I thought you all should know.
It has been crazy- I have gone a little crazy.
My sewing hands cannot possibly keep up with my sewing brain.
I have a lot of projects I would like to do and not enough time to do them.
You would think that I would have all the time in the world- you know- since technically I only have 2 friends down here- but no- somehow the time still seems to fly by each day.
It must have something to do with the two children I have to play with, feed, love, and take care of.
Not to mention fitting in cleaning and eating into that equation.
And lets not forget crazy eyes McGee.  He would be sad if he was forgotten about.
Anyway, I still need to be prepared if ever the opportunity strikes to get some of my favorite projects done.
Hence the frequenting Joann fabrics.
I have also found some favorite local shops that see my face from time to time....
Today I decided that the kids and I needed to get out.  And I needed to pick up some last minute things for Noni's costume.  So we got all ready and headed out the door to go to JoAnn's.
We were out the door and half way down the steps when I realised the van was gone.
Justin had taken it to work.
To his credit we did have the first snowfall of the season last night.  And it was a bit chilly this morning. 
But by the time we were ready to go most of the snow had melted and it was a crisp 5 degrees outside.
So I wasn't about to let the lack of a vehicle stop us from venturing out to our favorite venue.
We decided to walk and retrieve the van.
I strapped Noni into the ergo on my back.  (note to self- next time put his toque on BEFORE he goes in the ergo on your back...  it is not a pleasant thing to try and explain to a 3 year old how to put a toque on a baby...)
Put Ruby in the stroller (because the 2 seater was in the van- so we only had the old single stroller)
And we embarked on our 25 minute walk to Justin's clinic.
It was wonderful!
We collected leaves of every color- though the fuscia ones were Ruby's favorite- we looked at the little bits of snow left of the ground.  We talked about each chapel that we passed (we passed 3), and we managed to only lose one toque (which we later went back and found) in the process.
It was fun.
And we made it to JoAnn's and got the needed fabric (and some extra- you know just in case).
It made me realise that maybe I don't hate winter so much.  Atleast the mild winter.
Ok, I don't hate fall.  The jury is still out about the whole -40 winter thing.
In fact I am quite in love with the crisp fresh air...

Friday, October 22

Crazy Eyes McGee

Before I continue any further in this blogging I feel the duty to fill you in on a few important tidbits of information about the man that I love.

My sweet Justipoo Snell.

First of all- he is a soon to be optometrist.  He will one day be Dr. Justipoo Snell.  He works hard and he is going to be an awesome optometrist.  The best even.  If I do say so myself- which I do of course.
Being an Optometry Student's wife has its perks.  Like cheap glasses and contacts.
But can I tell you my favorite part about being an Optometry Students wife?

The days he comes home looking like this.

I like to call him- crazy eyes McGee.
You would not believe the things optometry students do to each other's eyes to practice.  He will one day be able to give his eyes a rest (you know, when he is doing all sorts of crazy things to YOUR eyes)- but until then he will enjoy freaking us all out when he comes home like this.

(A close up for you to enjoy the full beauty of it)

Oh crazy eyes McGee- how we love you.

Second of all- he is super smart.  He passed the first installment of the US board exams- and not only did he pass but he did AMAZING.  It does seem a little bit anti-climactic since he still has 2 more parts to write and one is coming up in just over a month...  Oh the long hours of studying- how I hate you.  I probably don't hate them as much as Justin does- but pretty close.  At least he is super smart though, right?  They should be a breeze.

And lastly- Justin is a winner.  He wins everything.  He is always winning cool things- anything he really wants to win- he does.  Once he won an ipod mini (back when those were cool), he has also won a trial lens kit from school (worth about 600+ dollars).
And today Justin won a Blackberry Torch.
Yes- old crazy eyes McGee- did it again.
It was a competition on twitter- they asked you to tweet about what you would do with a blackberry torch if you won one.
Justin's response- 'I would build a giant replica of it using dinosaur fossils and chicken wire.  Then I would give it to my mom.'
And he won.
He doesn't have those smarts and those crazy eyes for nothin.

Now- just so it is out in the public and so I have some witnesses- early this morning when Justin was entering to win and he ran his answer by me- and I told him it was brilliant- we started discussing the Madsen Bike contest that I entered and did not win.  (I never win anything)  I had asked for some help with my entry (because I knew that with his help I would win)- but sadly I did not get any- and therefore I did not win.  So after we had discussed this, and I told him that he was going to win, he said that if he did he would sell it and buy me a Madsen Bike.  So I am holding him accountable.  He is, however, going to have to figure out how to win another Blackberry torch or two to cover the full price of my bike...  So we will give him until Christmas to be true to his word....

He is going to be pretty busy- since he has to study for the boards, raise the money for the other half of the Madsen bike, AND build a giant working replica of the blackberry torch out of Dinosaur fossils and chicken wire....

But I am sure that Old crazy eyes Mcgee can do it.
I will keep you updated on the status of the giant working replica AND my Madsen bike.  I'm thinking orange, or maybe baby blue....
Either way I can't wait to lug around the Rubes and the Noni in the back....
Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Wednesday, October 20

Our Little Piece of Historic Heaven

We live across the street from a Cemetery.
It is actually an interesting thing to live across from a cemetery.
Interesting things that I notice now that I never would have before.
I have the privilege of watching the headstone ornamentation change with the seasons.
Right now some are decorated for halloween and some for fall.
I am excited for Christmas- it is going to look great out there.
Cemeteries also seem less creepy- now that I am used to one.

This wasn't the point of my post but I need to paint you a picture of our community.
We live across the street from a cemetery, a church, and more houses.
I am used to a park right outside my backyard- sadly there is not a park to be seen within a 15- 20 minute walk.
We are blessed with Murray park which has great hills, parks, pools, waterslides, roasting pits and trees.
We love it there- and do our best to get there as much as possible.
But when you need a quick trip outside- some place to get a breath of fresh air, just to be out for a few minutes- then I miss the park outside our back door.  And so does Ruby.
And somehow the Cemetery doesn't seem like an appropriate place to play...
But with a little investigation and some exploring- we found the perfect solution.
Our Little Piece of Historic Heaven- if you will.
It is located in the corner of the church parking lot beside us.
It houses a small historic building that was a storage building for grain...  something to do with the first pioneers.  I have read the plaque- but truthfully it wasn't that interesting.
But interesting or not- it is perfect to fit our needs.
There is a little piece of grass, a bench, some flowers, some rocks, just enough trees to give us some great shade, and best of all- a fence that keeps everyone inside.
It is relaxing and a great place for us.
We love it- and it seems like a little place that is just our own...  that no one else in the world knows about.
Made especially for us.
We love that place....

Sunday, October 17

I'm Hungry For Some More Games

I know- you can hate me if you want.
I have been a little vacant from the blogging scene lately- but trust me- when you see why you will understand.
You can blame this.

Ok, well to be more accurate you should probably blame this one.

And just so you can be ahead of the game- blame this one in advance.  (I'll be there soon enough)

 I have been doing by best to read these without completely neglecting my family so the late night blogging has come to an end until these are done.  I will do my best to get one or two posts in soon.  I have been working on alot of projects that need some documentation.  Not to mention the cute children I have that are in need of some 'screen' time, if you will.
But in the mean time while you are waiting and pining over the loss of my blogging for the next few days (it won't take me any longer than that to read these) then go here and read this.  There are some pretty nice things said about me that I think everyone needs to know.  So go on- and I know I'm taking a huge risk here because my sister is much more talented than me.  Just promise you will come back though- alright?
You know, in a few days, when I'm no longer HUNGRY...

Thursday, October 7

What's $6.98 Among Strangers?

Today we took a trip to what may be my favorite store.
The one reason I wanted to move down here.
I love it.
I can't deny it any longer.
I just like it.
While we were there Ruby had to go pee- so Justin took her and Noni and I browsed the wallets.
Just for fun.
I saw this cool/unusual wallet so naturally I let Noni play with it since he was fussing a little bit.
Then I thought nothing of it.
We reunited ourselves with J and Ruby and headed to the checkout.
I ran to get another item that we had forgotten and Ruby and Justin unloaded the cart.
When I got back Justin asked me if I wanted the wallet.
I said no.
I had no intention of buying it- though I did think it was cute...
He handed it to the cashier to put aside and we proceeded with our order.
The lady behind us started talking about how we don't go shopping with husbands because they don't let us buy all the frivolous things that we want, we are more accountable when they are around, and other such things...
We nodded and smiled and went our way.
(I realised later that she must have thought Justin wasn't letting me get the wallet- which in her eyes I really wanted and she felt bad for me...  not the case by the way...)
Anyway we are getting into our van- I was thinking about the wallet (because as it turns out I was having second thoughts about saying I didn't want it...)- and there she was- handing me the wallet.
She didn't say anything- just that someone had done it for her before.
I was astounded.
I don't think I thanked her sufficiently.
I was too shocked.
What a nice and kind thing to do.
So not I own a new wallet/clutch and I am reminded of service and kindness (and the movie Paying it Forward) every time I see it.
So to the woman who bought me my new wallet.
Thank you.
What a wonderful thing to do for a stranger.

(And I would like to put on the record that Justin would have let me buy the wallet if I had wanted to- he wasn't dissuading me or trying to make me feel bad- he was just asking if I wanted it.... turns out I LOVE it!!)

Monday, October 4

Sponge Bob

We had a 'stay at home and relax' kind of day.
I needed to recuperate after the weekend of famous people meeting/ seeing that I had.
I was exhausted.
-Speaking of famous people seeing- did you catch a glimpse of me at Conference?
I was there!

 (I swear my hair looked better than that when I left the house)

With friends!!!

And we ended up having great seats!!  
It was amazing.  It was a great experience for us!  And we even got to listen!  Can you imagine that?

Our weekend was jam packed with traveling and music and cars breaking down and conference and quillow making and priesthood session and cupcakes and babysitting and visiting and whatever else we could possibly fit it.

So therefore our day today consisted of:

A craft while Noni slept.

(we still haven't decided what do with this... the inspiration came while trying to fill a dull moment... But I must say Ruby and I did a great job...)

Mini banana cupcakes (which Ruby treated like cutie little babies- before she ate them...) and a coconut lime banana loaf.

A good old fashioned horse ride and supper with friends.

And sponge bob.

All in all- it was a great day...

Saturday, October 2


Yesterday we ventured out to Provo again.  We weren't sure what our van would do but I really wanted to go to the Rooftop Concert Series again.  Remember last time?  We had so much fun it seemed a shame to miss it just because of a silly unreliable van that may not get us there or take us home...  I mean- we are not going to let that hold us back.  It brought us across the country- it could bring us to Provo... right?
Well, as luck would have it- we got there and it was well worth it.
We went out for a delicious and very inexpensive dinner at El Salvador with some friends.
Then headed over to the concert, got some seats and headed to Sammy's for some pie and cupcake shakes.
Yes they are just as the name suggests- they put a whole piece of pie or a whole cupcake (depending on your choice- we chose both of course) into a cup with some ice cream and blend it up.
They were good, next time I will get just pie shakes- I liked them better.
We left with our goods and returned to our seats.
As we were walking to them who chances to walk by me?
Well- just the woman I have been hoping to meet this whole time I have been down here.
Yes- it was NieNie.
I walked right by her  and I wasn't even going to say anything but then I couldn't let her get away.
This could be my only chance.
I turned right around and I said hi.
I told her my whole story and how much I liked her and how our car broke down bladdy blah blah.
And Lucy (her sister) told her how they were saying Myers was Ever's husband.
And the band started... and all conversation seemed to be over and we each found our seats.
There was no time for a picture.
I was happy to have spoken to her.
It was wonderful!
She is wonderful!
And I did it.  I had the opportunity to speak to her and I did.  My goal was accomplished.  I can now say I met her and I like her just as much in person.
The concert continued and we had to move from our spot because it was a little too loud for the kidlets.
We were right in front of the speaker.
So we moved off to the side and behind the speakers.
Ruby danced.
Myers got tired and fussed most of the time.  But they both still made sure to entertain and charm the masses.  Which they did very well- if I do say so myself.
As the night was coming to an end and I was walking around with Myers trying to get him to sleep I glanced over at our chairs and who would be standing there?
So, of course, I went back over there.
I patiently waited while she was bombarded by the masses.
And then I bombarded her again.
We talked for a little while longer and then I, once again, asked for a picture.
And here it is.

(She looks just as happy to meet me as I was to meet her...  don't you think?)
Isn't it wonderful!
She really is an amazing woman.
As we were done and just chatting Myers couldn't stand it anymore and he reached out to her.
He can tell what a wonderful person she is.  He just wanted to be nearer to her.
So she took him and held him.
And he loved it.  He snuggled in for a good hug and then she handed him back.
And once again he reached out for her.
She hugged him and gave him a kiss.  And that seemed to satisfy him.
He really liked her.
We chatted about him for a little while longer and then it was time for us to go.
My dream of meeting this amazing woman while here in Utah had been realised.
And I still can't believe it.
And she was wonderful.
After the whole ordeal on Friday I was still able to meet her and have a conversation with her and learn a little bit more about her.
If you don't know NieNie you should read about her.
And take it from me- she is just as wonderful in person.
Maybe, if I'm lucky, I will run into her again.
Maybe, if Myers is lucky, he will too....

And the Rooftop Concert was also wonderful.  The Lower Lights were there- and they are quite the talented group!  I hope we can make it to the next one.... And if you have the chance- take it.  In fact... come down and visit us when the next one is going on!!!  You will love it.  We will love it.  Win. Win.

And seriously, can you believe I met NieNie the day after the whole van ordeal??  I am amazed and grateful...

Friday, October 1

University Parkway

How was NieNie's talk you ask?
I am sure it was wonderful.
And inspirational.
A once in a lifetime experience.
I, sadly, was not in attendance.
I was spending time on the side of University Parkway.
Doing this.
He looks happy- but trust me- we felt more like this.

Ok fine- he still looks kind of happy- but this was before we knew how long we would be there for...
While Justin was posing in front of the van- I was doing this-
 (pushing the kids in the stroller over to the nearby strip mall so we could eat.)
And when I wasn't doing that.
We were eating Mexican food and drinking apple pop.
This was truly authentic Mexican.
It reminded me of the food I ate in Mexico when I went there for the YMCA.
We also had some of this...

It is delicious Apple Pop.
Manzana Lift was my favorite- but this was delicious too.

And when we weren't doing either of those things-
We were here.

Enjoying pure delicious heaven.
Ruby loved the icing.

A little too much.
But who was I to stop her?
I was too busy being anxious and emotionally draining myself.

Which I did pretty well-
If I do say so myself.
If you need a second opinion on that- I am sure Justin would vouch for me.

And while we did those things
Justin set up the mechanic end of things.
And the tow truck was called.
And Clark was called to come rescue us.  (thank goodness for good friends)
And Justin did it all.
Like I said- I was a little preoccupied.
And really- lets face it- Even if I wasn't an emotional wreck that was checking the clock every 5 seconds- I still wouldn't have set any of that up anyway.

We waited for what seemed like A LONG TIME.
I almost had time to go and get my hair cut...
(Which I desperately need to do)
But then the tow truck came.
Justin was already out at the road with Ruby taking the car seats and anything else we may need.
I was back at the cupcake place people and clock watching.
By this time it was already 7:30.
The speech started at 7.
So you can imagine my emotions at that point.
But just when I lost all hope I had of ever hearing NieNie speak....
Justin drove up to the cupcake shops window.
You got it.  The van started.
The tow truck guy gave us some gas.
I would have left that small detail out- if I thought that it was appropriate to let you think that our van just miraculously started.
But if I am being fair to us- we were NOT on empty.
And it WAS a miracle.
At least to us.
We prayed and the van started = a miracle for the Snelldogs.
Though Justin is not convinced that being out of gas was the problem- and therefore neither am I.
We shall see in the next few days or weeks what happens with the van.
Until then- we will keep it topped up.
And hey, we got three free gallons of gas!!

So the van was running.
I gathered up our stuff and Noni and we tried to head out the door.
But then I dropped half of our stuff.
There was a lot of stuff.
So a kind woman came and helped while I tried to quickly fill her in on the story so she could understand why I was carrying a baby and a backpack and a diaper bag and a camera and a cellphone and a package of cupcakes out the door- while my husband sat in a running van.
I think she understood after a little explanation.

I was elated!
We could still make it to a few minutes of NieNie- if we hustled.
But the tow truck guy wanted to be responsible and follow us to a gas station so we could fill up and so he could make sure that the car was still going to run for us...
Those tow truck guys- so responsible.

So we did that.
And I took Ruby to the potty.
The door knob fell off as I was opening the door.
Just one more wonderful detail of the evening.
We left and the van was still running.

I still had some hope.
Now if I was lucky NieNie would speak for an hour and a half and I can make it to the last ten minutes.
We got to BYU campus.
Got a little turned around.
Of course.
Made it there.
And then Ruby had to go to the bathroom.
By this point I knew it was over.
There were a ton of people leaving and they were all dressed up nice and a little teary eyed and they all looked enlightened.
I knew it was over.
And we had missed it.
I was sure this was my chance to meet her and hear from her- but alas it was not.
So I took Ruby to the potty. (She didn't really have to go)
Went up a back stairwell (you know, in case she was making a quick getaway out the back and perhaps I could just stop her to say hi and to tell her what an inspiration she has been and what I went through that night just to come and see her and then maybe get a picture with her- just so I could show you all that I met know, the usual.)
Anyway- didn't happen.
She had already made her getaway.
So I got to the ballroom and Justin was there.
(He parked the van while I took Ruby)
He had already scoped out the place for me... no nie.
So I took this picture- just to prove that we tried.

And we were about to leave.
When I spotted Cjane (Courtney).
(Nie's sister who also has a very inspirational and funny blog)
She was talking to some other family members.
And I swear I never would have bothered her- but I had been through so much and I just wanted someone to know the story.
So Justin took the initiative and we went over there.
We had a great conversation where we talked about Nie, and our van issues, and our babies.
She thinks Myers would be a great match for her baby Ever.
I agree.
And we talked about Canada and the Rooftop concert series.
And then- just in case she didn't already think I was crazy- I asked her if we could get a picture with her.
(I know- weird- but I had to)
She graciously agreed.
 (Look at Noni and Ever- they couldn't take their eyes off each other.)
And she gushed over Ruby and how beautiful she is and Myers and how wonderful he is.
And it made me like her even more.
I told her I loved her blog and I think that was about it.
I don't even think I got to tell her that Ever was insanely cute or that I found her inspiring.
I'm pretty sure she gave me a million compliments and I just took them without returning any at all.
That is probably the only thing that I would change about our adventure.
Oh- and I would probably try to be on time for the speech.
But really I was a crazy emotional wreck- I'm just glad I didn't burst out bawling.
I almost did.
I didn't really have a reason to cry- just that everything had come to an end.
All my anxiety and restlessness and waiting and emotions could be over.
And it wasn't all for not.
Justin and I and Ruby and Myers had another Snelldog adventure.
Our van is running for the time being and even though Justin thinks there are deeper problems I am going to pretend that there aren't and that we just ran out of gas.
Our prayers were answered.
And I got to meet CJane.
And she was awesome, and kind and gracious.
I think we could be friends.  If that were even possible.  If she doesn't think I am a crazy stalker who never compliments anyone.
If only she could know the real me...
Maybe I will talk to her about that at the Concert tomorrow. 
We will be there- if I can convince Justin.
Which I think I can.
Courtney said it is going to be even better than the last one.
And the last one was pretty amazing.

So to end this incredibly long post-
That was our night.
I am disappointed about the missed speech but apparently they are going to rebroadcast it.
And on the upside- I got delicious cupcakes, an adventure with my wonderful, patient husband and two beautiful children, and a strengthened testimony that Heavenly Father is mindful of me.  He knows my situation and he helps me.  He has given me some amazing opportunities.  Prayer works.  I know it does.

Oh- and I met Cjane.  And she is as wonderful as her blog portrays her to be.  And I'm not just saying that....


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