Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Glimpse of Christmas

Christmas is one of those holidays where even a million pictures cannot capture the moment. We had a great Christmas. Molly and Bryan were both in town, and Bonnie and her kids were there for the traditional Christmas morning as well. Scott's family came over later in the day, then Gramps and Mary joined us later for dinner. We had a great day. Santa treated everyone so well, as did our family. I am so blessed and lucky to be in such a spectacular family. I couldn't imagine having Christmas morning anywhere else.

Molly and Bry in their matching pj's

Fun Christmas presents

The kids traditional "drawing of the names" present, this year, we each drew ourselves!

A pink extension cord and a new fence. . . Bonnie was in heaven!

Olivia and their new kitten Misty

Our newest past time!

The christmas present of the year! We made quite the profit off these "unatainable" toys! Yes. . . she is actually moving the ball with her mind!

New cougar clothes!

Someone knows me too well!

And the best parents ever!

Merry Christmas everyone!

An Important Announcement. . .

My puppy- formally known as Einstein, is now going by Doogal. Hopefully this name will stick!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to me!

This year, rather than brothers and sisters buying presents for each other like we have been doing the past few years, the Kelly kids decided that it would be fun to buy a present for ourselves that we can show up with on Christmas day to unwrap in front of each other. I know it's silly. . . but at least it's something we really want right? So I thought and thought and thought some more about what I really wanted, and this is what I got!

Yes- it was a little over the spending limit we had set. . . but he was well worth it!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!
Shawna and Einstein

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Worst Day of my Life

Months ago, my sisters and I signed up for the Las Vegas Marathon. Not the measley 13.1 half marathon- but the full 26.2 miles. We were going to train, and be all ready for it. Because who in their right mind would try and run a marathon without training? Well. . . life seemed to get in the way for all of us, and I can count on one hand, no- make it one finger, how many times I went running in the month before the big day.

People at work were pretty surprised that we were still going to attempt it, but I was very not concerned about it. We'll run as far as we can, then walk the rest of the way. No biggie! So mom, Bonnie, and the kids (including Aubs friend Jamie) trekked it up to Vegas on Friday night. We had some dinner then picked Molly and Bryan up from the airport later that night.
Saturday morning we woke up to the coldest day of the year here in Vegas, and dragged our poorly clothed children off to the Kids mile run that they had actually been preparing for.

It was put on by McDonalds. . . who would've guessed we would run into someone famous there?! I guess that's Vegas for you!

All three kids did an awesome job. They all ran the whole way and did amazing. I was so proud!

We went back to my house for just a little while before we became tourists for the day and hit the strip. We played in arcade at NYNY and then hiked quite the distance up to Ceaser's Palace to eat some frozen hot chocolates from Serendipitys. We took many pictures along the way, and stopped at the "regular" kids attractions such as the coke and m&m stores.

We hit Cafe Rio for dinner. . . YUM. . . and hit the bed somewhat early after taking Bryan to the airport (came all this way and didn't actually get to stay for our big race).

Sunday we woke up to a cold, cold day. Bonnie had ordered us some cute red tank tops, but seeing how the weather had drastically changed, we ended up with a completely different ensemble.

I'm not going to talk much about the race. Basically- it was pure misery though. The first ten miles were cold, but good. We ran up and down the strip and at 10.5 miles we reached the splitting point, where the half marathon people headed towards home, while the rest of us headed in a completely opposite direction. We pretty much made it to 13 miles doing decently well, but it all basically went down hill from there, and quick. At 16 miles I remember feeling pure hopelessness knowing I still had 10 miles to go, and by mile 21 I had nothing left in me. We ran/walked (practically crawled) those last few miles and upon crossing the finish line, vowed that we would NEVER do it again.

My sisters were great though and dragged me along the whole time. I would have been lost without them. At one point Bonnie stopped to wait for me and even offered me a piggyback ride! What great sisters I have!

Being a little dramatic Shawna? Really the worst day of your life?

It ranks up there!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I know. . . I'm a slacker

Wow. . . Thanksgiving was already a week ago? Crazy stuff. . . this week has gone by so unbelievably fast! This has been quite the interesting end to my 2009 year.
At the end of September I came down with what I thought was a cold, but ended up with a couple month battle with all kinds of sicknesses. From a cold, to a bronchitis-type cough, to strep throat, which medicine gave me Thrush (now that's a fun one), and after that was all cleared up, I went in and got my wisdom teeth out. That made for a not as delightful Thanksgiving dinner, but I guess I could survive not stuffing myself to the brim for one Thanksgiving of my life. Now that I am happy to report that I am back to my healthy self just in time for all of the hustle and bustle December is sure to bring!

Thanksgiving was great. I dragged my friend Nephi home with me for the holidays. Molly and Bryan were both there this year which I think might be a first! Bon and her kids of course spent much time at the Kelly house as well. We ate lots, played lots, slept lots (or was that just me?), and shopped lots!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving just like I did and truly remembered the reason for that wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Day Off!

Today was Veteran's Day, and even though it is a Wednesday, we still had the day off of school. A little weird being in the middle of the week like that. . . but none the less- great! I slept in, and went out to breakfast. . . two fantastic "day off" things to do. I was at my friend Nephi's work later in the day when I heard a lovely sound that I feel like I haven't heard in ages- the ice cream man! Nephi let out an impressively loud whistle and here he came pulling right on up in the driveway. But this icecream man was different than our home ice cream man-- this icecream man served a variety of soft serve ice cream treats: dipcones, sprinkled dip cones, banana splits, and milk shakes. Instead of driving around with a cooler full of popsicles he was driving around with just an ice cream machine and a bunch of toppings! So we got some sprinkled dip cones to enjoy on this lovely fall day.

In Nephi's giant warehouse he has this long robe that hangs from the ceiling to almost the ground... I have no idea what it's original use was, but right now it basically just sits there. After trying to unsuccessfully climb it a few times, I decided that this rope would make an awesome indoor swing. . . just a thought of course!
So then we went out and did some stuff basically all day then went back to his office hours later. I went in the office and chatted on the phone with my sister for a few minutes, and after a while when Nephi did not join me inside, I went out to the warehouse to see what he was up to. . . and there I found that he had just finished making me my new swing!

We hit the store after that where I had a fun Shawna freak out moment when I realized that it was the end of the day, and I had done NOTHING productive. Didn't get my shopping done, nor did I touch a thing to grade. But I cooled off some (after being fed dinner of course) because I think it was a most excellent day and the fact that I did no work whatsoever, didn't even think about it, was probably one of the main reasons it was such a good day. Though my last few weekends have been fantastic (Indiana one weekend, home to Cali the following), I still feel like I was going, going, going. . . I even had two days off last week when I came down with strep throat but still did not do a ton of sitting around -- so even though sitting around was far from what I did today. . . it was still a well earned non stressful, non accomplishing day either, which frankly is good every once in a while. And now. . . I only have two days of work til the real weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Better Late than Never. . .

Halloween and Nevada day are both on October 31st. Since kids always have Nevada Day off, and because it fell on Saturday this year, we were out for Friday as well . . . yay! So I decided to catch the Thursday night red eye flight to Indy for the weekend. I had a layover at some point and ended up in Indianapolis at about 8 in the morning. Molly and the boys greeted me at the airport and off to their house for the day we went. I decided that instead of fighting sleep all day and night, I should just catch a nap that day, and hopefully catch up on sleep a bit so I wouldn't be totally out of it for the rest of the weekend. So I pretty much slept through work Friday and had a pretty mellow night and off to an early bed we went. Then on Saturday morning, Molly and I went for a nice run outside, while Bryan hit the gym. We are in the midst of preparing for our first full marathon which occurs in less than a month, but with my knee problems, and the fact that I have been sick all month. . . I was only able to make it about four miles. . . geesh. . . I don't know what we are going to do!
Molly was nice to me anyway though and we went back to her house to discover no hot water--agh! When Bryan came home, the two of them attempted several times to fix it, but finally had to call the place because we were having no luck! Unfortunately, they do not consider no hot water in cold winter weather and emergency and said they couldn't come by to fix it til Monday. So Molly and I decided to immediately start boiling water so that we could mix it with cold water to make semi warm water to at least wash our hair in. Then we could take real real quick cold showers to do the rest of the washing.
So we got that all taken care of, got ready for the day, did some shopping, and made it back to the house for our Saturday night, Halloween festivities, which included Jack-O-Lantern pizza and decorating our haunted house. Both events turned out spectacular and we had a lovely Halloween- with only one trick or treater (so sad!)

Bryan told us that after we dyed our hair orange, we were not allowed to go to bed without washing it because he didn't want it all over the pillows and couches and stuff (which it had already started doing) so we went through the whole boiling water thing once again. Such a pain, but we definitely got better at it.
Overall, we had a fun weekend together. It's nice to just get away on occasion and visit with Molly and Bryan. Thanks guys for my Happy Halloween! :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So not a Shawna thing. . .

Not to be critical of anyone else that does this. . . but I so do NOT put recipes on my blog. Maybe it's because I don't EVER cook? I am shamed to say I have become a go out to eat girl practically every night. . . but several people wanted this recipe and I don't know if people reread comments after posting one?... so I figured I would have to post it on the actual blog rather than the comment section. . .

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Ingredients:

-1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1. 1/4 cup chicken base
-1. 3 cups diced yellow onions
-1. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1. 2 teaspoons chili powder
-1. 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
-1. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1. 2 cups Masa Harina (Mexican flour)
-1. 4 quarts water (divided)
-1. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
-1. 1/2 pound processed American cheese (Velveeta works great!), cut into small cubes
-1. 3 pounds cooked, cubed chicken breast
-1. Mixed cheese shreds, fresh pico de gallo, and crunchy tortilla strips

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Directions:

-1. - In large pot, combine oil, chicken base, onion, and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear (about 5 minutes).
-1. - In a mixing bowl, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve.
-1. - Add Masa Harina "rue" to sauteed onions, bring to a boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa Harina.
-1. - Add tomatoes and remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally.
-1. - Add American cheese (or Velveeta) to soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts.
-1. - Add chicken; heat through.
-1. - Ladel into BIG ;) soup bowls.
-1. - Top with mixed cheese shreds, pico de gallo, and tortilla strips.

We 1/2 the recipe and still had leftovers. If you don't- I hope you have a dang big pot! Enjoy-- Happy Halloween!!

Oh and Yes-- Tate and Randi you are both wrong. We watched the movie "The Haunting of Molly Hartley."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Festivities!

Next Friday I have no work, so I decided that I will skip town for the weekend. That meant I had to do any fun Halloween celebrating this weekend! So I dragged my friend Nephi into doing a whole fun night of Halloween!

I brought caramel apples for dessert, but we were hungry, so we whipped them out for our appetizers.

Then we made Chili's Chicken Enchilada soup in bread bowls. . . yummy!

Then we carved pumpkins!

And for the finale? A scary movie!

It was a fun little eventful night. . . Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reliving my College Days

Way back in the days of summer, Randi texted me asking me if I wanted to go to the BYU/UNLV football game that would be here in Vegas in the beginning of October. Molly was pretty much appalled that I agreed to go. "That was the beauty of moving out of Utah Shawna, we aren't expected to go to all those football games anymore!" Of course living in Utah right by BYU, football games had become somewhat of a tiring tradition, it was usually cold, and games were usually long. But having left Utah and the BYU scene a while ago, I thought it would be a bit of a funner treat going once again. So this past weekend (I basically left ragnar relay after having very little sleep- ran home for a quick shower, then was out the door for the game- it was a busy weekend!), my friend Michael and I trekked it to the UNLV stadium and met up with Randi and her family who had flown down for the game. I was basically adopted into their family a few years ago when Jaime went on a mission and I got to be the new sister so I am pretty familiar with Randi's family. We had front row seats, lots of fun company, and some yummy snacks. It was perfect sweatshirt weather, not too cold and not too warm and because Randi and I hadn't seen each other in some time, the game pretty much flew by as we talked the night away. It was a new experience participating as a visiting team fan, but it was pretty exciting seeing all those angry UNLV fans as BYU killed them! So it was a pretty good time. :) Thanks to my pal Randi for getting me out there once again. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Run, Drive, Sleep? Repeat

A few months ago, a friend of mine invited me to join her team in the first ever Las Vegas Ragnar Relay. Here is the online description that hooked over 100 teams in accepting the challenge. . .

Two vans, 12 runners, 171 miles. . . .
The first vehicle will drop off the first runner, drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue all the way to the finish line.

So I took the day off work Friday and met up with the five other strangers that I would be spending my next sleepless 28 hours with. We were part of van 2, meaning the first half of our team (Van 1) started the race for us. Upon arrival at the entrance of Valley of Fire located north of Las Vegas, our van realized we got their a tiny bit late and I was practically thrown out onto my feet (pretty much not prepared) for my 8.7 first leg run located in the middle of a hot, dusty desert. It was a painful experience, and I was not happy. . . but my new friends brought me water, cheered me on, and it was over before I knew it! We then spent the next couple of hours cheering each other on and getting to know each other. By 10:30 at night we had "lost" two of our runners (It was REALLY dark out there) and had become fast friends with each other saying things and letting things "out" that you would never do in front of some new friends. We spent our small break in the middle of nowhere snacking a bit, and attempting to sleep. We got less than an hour of sleep before we had to head out to meet with our other van to begin leg 2 which we began at approximately 2 in the morning? (My times could easily be off though because it was such a blur). Leg two did not start out as we would of hoped however because our first van people got us a weeee bit behind and then our first runner got lost by basically running up the wrong mountain (our 3rd "lost" runner of the night). He eventually got a ride back down but now we were REALLY far behind and a little frightened of sending our fellow runners off alone in the dark dark night with a pretty poorly unlabeled course. So we made an executive decision to "cheat" just a little bit in order to catch us up. This is how we worked it out.... Runner comes in. . . checks in. . . next runner leaves. . . runs around the corner. . . is picked up. . . and then dropped off 1/2 mile before check in so they can check in and pass off to the next runner, who would promptly do the same thing. Luckily we did this because driving around on our second "cheat" run we drove in circles looking for the check point which was basically not there. If our runner had actually been running, we could have possibly not found her! So because we couldn't find that checkpoint, we could not drop off our third fourth runner. . . so we drove along and miraculously found the fifth leg of our run even though it had been detoured (turns out a runner on a different team had been hit and killed by a car in the dark and therefore the road was closed off). At this point, it was about 7 in the morning, it was light out, and there were several other teams in view, so we dropped off a runner who finished this leg and continued and finished the next. Our baton was passed on to van 1 again which gave us a few hours to hit one of our runners houses to get a few hours of sleep before we headed back out for the last legs of the race.

The last legs went very smoothly and we cheered each other on, didn't get lost, and finished the race! Van 1 decided not to come to the finish line, so only our van actually crossed the finish together.

It was a great experience. . . and I decided that knowing how everything worked and what I would do different next time. . . I have already (easily) convinced both my sisters to join me next year in creating our very own team! If I could have this much fun with a group of strangers. . . I can't even imagine the possibilities with 12 friends that I know and love! So give me a holler if interested. . cuz next October. . . 12 Kelly friends are going to be on the run of a lifetime!!