Friday, December 19, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

Here is our Christmas tree this year!

This is an ornament we put on the tree every year. Eric puts it front and center and I hide it so it gets moved around all Christmas season!

Here's the tree!

Gingerbread Contest!!!

We went to a gingerbread aka graham cracker house party a little while ago. Good times were had by all!

Here is our house...I realized a little too late that we should have put snow on the ground instead of green grass so....we made a bahamas Christmas gingerbread house instead!

Here's the gingerbread making gang!

Keeli Loves to Eat!!

She loves her food!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


My favorite foods at the moment are.... good!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

4 Months old...holy smokes

I can't believe it has already been 4 months...on the other hand it seems like Keeli has been a part of our family forever! Here are her stats:

Head 15 and 1/2 inches - 55 percentile

Weight 13 pounds 10 ounces - 75 percentile

Height 26 and 1/2 inches - 95 percentile

Like my dad says, "Keeli is tall, slender, and humble (since she has such a little head)"

Here are some pics...enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I was doing 10 years ago:
1. I was in 7th grade at Glacier Park in Maple Valley
2. I was probably wearing a sweatshirt
3. Crushing and writing notes to boys probably :)
4. Doing homework
5. Dancing

Things on my to-do list:
1. Set up our Roth IRAs
2. Clean the house
3. Return a jacket and go to kid to kid
4. Go into work today
5. Get everything ready for pack meeting

Snacks that I enjoy:
1. Fruit
2. gold fish
3. banana shakes
4. cheetos
5. toast

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Buy a house
2. Invest
3. Get our food storage
4. Buy a jogging stroller
5. Leave envelopes of money in people's mailboxes

5 places I've lived:
1. Maple Valley, WA
2. Fredericksburg, VA
3. Orem/Provo, UT
4. Kirkland, WA
5. Heber, UT

Jobs I've had:
1. Subway
2. Waitress at Cheeseburger in Paradise
3. Subway again
4. Redx
5. Agemni

5 People I Tag:
1. Lindsey
2. Dad
3. Kristie
4. Amy
5. Cami

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeli is 3 months old!!!

Goodbye Flip Flops...New Socks?!

Today is a sad day for my feet. It is officially too cold outside to wear flip flops in Utah. When temperatures sink below 40 degrees it is time to pack away the flops for another year. (Well, I still wear them to get the mail in the snow or sometimes I just wear them around the house so my feet don't go through withdrawals.) We turned the heat on, the mountains are dusted with snow, and we even woke up to snow over the weekend. I am sad fall only lasted a few days; however, in the midst of my sadness my feet did find joy! How do you ask?! Well, I was digging through my sock drawer to protect my feet and low and behold I found a hidden bare of brand new socks! Now, I am definitely not a sock person but a brand new pair of socks is just like wearing slippers. I slipped them on and now my toes are warm and toasty as I write away. Now I just have to figure out a way to keep socks on Keeli's feet and I will be sitting pretty.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I recently saw an ad on TV talking high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The commercial was trying to convince viewers that HFCS was no different than regular sugars. Below are the facts it tried to state:

  • High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as table sugar and is equal in sweetness. It contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients.

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup "Generally Recognized as Safe" status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.

  • High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps food fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, maintains consistent flavors in beverages and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.

When trying to convince the public that HFCS is safe and harmless I wouldn't recommend using the words, "generally recognized as safe". Below are some of the true facts about high fructose corn syrup:

  • Today, food companies use HFCS—a mixture of fructose and glucose—because it’s inexpensive, easy to transport and keeps foods moist. And because HFCS is so sweet, it’s cost effective for companies to use small quantities of HCFS in place of other more expensive sweeteners or flavorings.

  • When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.

  • Fructose requires a different metabolic pathway than other carbohydrates because it basically skips glycolysis (normal carbohydrate metabolism). Because of this, fructose is an unregulated source of “acetyl CoA,” or the starting material for fatty acid synthesis. This, coupled with unstimulated leptin levels, is like opening the flood gates of fat deposition.

  • High in fructose and low in copper-containing foods result in inadequate formation of elastin and collagen--the sinews that hold the body together. (aka people are aging quicker)

Because fructose is cheap and easy to store it has replace refined sugar is many instances. Sure, it is okay to eat a sugary sweet every now and then but our bodies are on overload from eating processed, manufactured foods. The best way to stay away from HFCS is to make your food at home more often and check food labels while grocery shopping. Once you start checking labels you will be shocked to see how many foods HFCS has crept its way into. It has taken me over a year to finally find staples such as bread, jam, crackers, cereal, and juice drinks that didn't contain high amounts of HFCS. Below is a list of major foods you want to try and avoid to reduce your consumption of HFCS:

Regular soft drinks
Fruit juice and fruit drinks that are not 100 percent juice
Pancake syrups
Fruit-flavored yogurts
Frozen yogurts
Ketchup and BBQ sauces
Jarred and canned pasta sauces
Canned soups
Canned fruits (if not in its own juice)
Breakfast cereals
Highly sweetened breakfast cereals

HFCS and other sweeteners react to the body much like a drug does. If you don't believe me, try to stop eating sugar cold turkey....I had a headache for two weeks straight trying to rid myself of my sugar high. and now when I eat sugar it feels just like I have taken too much cold medicine. My head feels foggy, I get a headache, and my stomache hurts.

The producers of HFCS can try and tell me that HFCS is safe but from the real facts and personal experience I have to say it's a lie. And besides, if you need a commercial to try and convince people your product is safe...something has to be wrong.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heaven in my Mouth

Here is the perfect meal....mmmm

Zuppa Toscana....yes, it tastes just like the soup from Olive Garden

1 lb. Italian Sausage

3-4 potatoes, cut in small pieces

1 Onion chopped

6 slices of bacon fried, drained, and crumbled

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 C. kale or swiss chard chopped

2 cans chicken broth

1 qt. water

1 C. heavy whipping cream

Cook sausage and drain on paper towel. Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken broth, water, and potatoes; simmer for 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Simmer 4 more minutes and serve with rolls or breadsticks!

Chocolate Pudding Cake...this chocolate cake is worth eating sugar for!

Bake any chocolate cake in 9x13 pan and let cool completely.

Mix 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 C. powdered sugar, and 1 C. whipping cream (whipped first). Spread over cake and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

Mix 1 large box of instant chocolate pudding with 2 cups of milk. Spread and let set.

Spread 1 small cool whip (8 oz.) and grate chocolate bar over top.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Be there or be square!

I'm so excited! I just can't hide it! Brazil fest is finally here!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Over the past few weeks I have rediscovered how fragile life truly is. Life and death both are miracles. I have seen friends and loved ones leave this life in a blink of an eye; life forever changed. It is amazing to me to see how the world still goes round and that life continues forward no matter what happens. I have also seen how the people left behind have been strengthened so that they might continue on their journey one step at a time.

As loved ones leave this world, new friends and family enter this world full of life and love. As Keeli has entered my world I have been overcome with her spirit and purpose. Everyday I think about how I am so blessed to have her by my side today and how we never know how long we get to spend with each other.

President Thomas S. Monson in his recent Ensign article “May we so Live” stated beautifully, “How fragile life is, how certain death. We do not know when we will be required to leave this mortal existence. And so I ask, “What are we doing with today?” If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll eventually have a lot of empty yesterdays. Let us ask ourselves the questions: “Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?””

I am awestruck to think I have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl, a wonderful husband, and a family who is always there for me. Each day truly is a gift and although I do not know why I am given the gift of life today and others are not, I do know that I want to fill my todays so tomorrow I will never have regrets. So today I watched Keeli sleep and looked into her beautiful face. I talked and laughed with my mom. I kissed my husband goodbye and made sure he knew I loved him.

As Thomas S. Monson says, “We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. May we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way. May we “cheer up the sad and make someone feel glad.” May we live so that when that final summons is heard, we may have no serious regrets, no unfinished business, but will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.””

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Pictures!!

Here are some more pictures of Keeli! Can you tell what her favorite past time is these days?

Napping with mom!

Posing so pretty for the camera

We stuck here in the sun to help with her Jaundice and boy she was a happy camper. She loves to smile in her sleep and Eric caught a lot of very cute ones!

Smile Big!

So cute!

Keeli's first bath! She was cold!

Getting nice and clean! She loved when we ran the water over her head to wash her hair.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keeli Anne Harper is Here!!

Baby Harper is here! Keeli Anne Harper was born Monday July 7th at 4:07 in the morning. She was scheduled to be induced Monday; however, she decided she wanted to come a few hours early when my water broke Sunday night at 11:30. Labor was short and sweet and made me so grateful for epiderals. She was 8 pounds 2 ounces, 20 inches long, and cute as can be! She is healthy and strong and Eric and I are loving every minute with her. She definitely feels like a part of our family we can't live without. Here are a few pics of her so far....enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Being Grateful

Count your many them one by one....

Being able to step back and see the blessings in life can be difficult at times. When the world seems to be falling down around you the best cure can often be pulling out the perspective glasses and searching for the good in life. There are staple blessings like faith, family, friends, and being alive that will always be there in times of need. There are also everyday little blessings that seem to slip from your grasp if you do not slow down and take the time to see them. A call from a sister, a hug from a parent, dancing in the living room with my husband to no song just for fun, having a toilet that flushes.... and the list goes on. When the walls are tumbling down around you I hope you can find the strength to may be hard, but oh so worth it. Look for the blessings that have made you who you are. Then hopefully the walls crumbling around you will begin to turn into blessings that are making you who you should be. In the end some of the hardest times end up being the best times if we let them. Never forget to whip out the perspective glasses....and you might be surprised....they might just turn into sunglasses that reflect the many rays of sunshine trying to penetrate your life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I miss my feet

Only 17 days until D-Day and I am definitely starting to feel it. My feet look like one of those hospital gloves blown up, my fingers swell with any usage or heat, and my belly button is almost an outtie. I do have to say I am suprised I have stayed an innie for so long...I thought that my belly button would be one of the first things to "pop" being pregnant. Although feeling like a beached whale with hobbit feet (minus the hair) is not the most enjoyable thing in life, I am still leaning towards believing all of this is 100% worth going through. Nothing that doesn't take some sacrifice or hard work is worth having, right?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Desserts to lower your fat thermostate

Being a sugar free person has not been the easiest thing in the world...especially since I have been pregnant. Chocolate chip cookies and doughnuts just seem to want to be eaten by me lately. Luckily my mother in law introduced me to this cookbook, Desserts to lower your fat thermostate. Instead of using sugar for tasty treats it uses mostly apple or pineapple juice concentrate to sweeten up cookies, muffins, ice cream, etc. Most of what I have made has turned out pretty good, especially the muffins and it is nice to be able to eat a treat when Eric pulls out the ice cream. I would definitely recommend taking a look at this recipe book if you are looking for a healthy snack that still has a sweet kick to it. My next recipe on the docket is the blueberry ice cream...mmm....hopefully it will help me kick the need to crave a blueberry cake doughnut.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Home Sweet Home