Love, the Candrian's...

Sticking with tradition, here is our annual Candrian Family Christmas video,
which I'm sure is really boring a little dull to anyone other than family,
although, I do like to think our lives are exciting enough that it's worth watching five minutes of us.
My family is pretty cute.
Just saying...

In case you can't get enough of us, view past years here and here

P.S. Thanks for all of the kind words about our exciting news.
Y'all are awesome...and yes, I just used the word y'all...I live in Oklahoma, enough said.


Tis the Season

Secrets out...


John's far better at acting the part than I am,
at least at the moment.

If only...

We figured since most people we know having babies next spring are having girls,
we'd spice things up a little bit and have a boy instead! 
Yeah, we're rebels like that.

Merry Christmas!



Apparently John remembered my plea to take me to the Nutcracker last year, 
which didn't end up happening.
So, he's making up for it this year and taking me tonight instead,
 but not before we make a stop at The Melting Pot for dinner. 
Thanks Colie, this one's on you! 

Oh I love me a good weekend, 
and I have a feeling this one is going to be a little more special than usual.



Sometimes I think I miss college.
The classes.
The professors.
The atmosphere.
And albeit, even the learning.

But then finals roll around, and I see everyone's Facebook status loathing being prisoners to their own books, and papers, and projects, and on and on and on, all the while giving up sleep while they're at it. Heck, even my own husband had to slave away to such things, and more or less ignore me for a few weeks (which I was ok with, despite what he thinks, I like him getting good grades). And that's when I'm reminded, nope, I don't miss college. Not one bit!

As soon as finals are over, it's like I get my husband back.
In fact, yesterday after his last final, he came over to my office and sat with me
until I was ready to go home...that and I was his ride, so he didn't really have a choice.
But I like to think it was because he's missed me.

I was hinting I wanted to go out to eat last night,
for some odd reason, indian tacos's sounded really good to me.
Indian tacos, really?
I know.

Since neither of us know where you can actually get those things,
besides the State Fair which is clearly not going on at the moment,
he offered to cook dinner for ME for a change.
Can't say no to that.

So, while I did yoga,
John whipped up some of this for me.

And now we're both wondering why we've ever bothered paying $10 for these at the State Fair?
Homemade taste SO much better.

Oh, it's good to have a husband back.

Now, while I'm at work,
he's busy at home doing a little home improvement if you will.

Note to self: old houses require a lot of work.


A night in Bethlehem

I think I liked to play dress-up when I was younger? My guess is, my version of dress-up was more so along the lines of wearing a bunch of different outfits all in one day, for no apparent reason other than I liked clothes, go figure. Correct me if I'm wrong mom, but I can imagine I went through a phase like that as a little girl.

For halloween I always wanted to be a princess, a pretty witch, or something that made me look cute...me, vain at such a young age? Sadly, I think so.

Now days, the last thing I want to do is dress-up. When Halloween rolls around, I waste no time putting effort into what I'm going to be, 10 times out of 10, I'm going to be me. Thankfully, over the last three or four years, I've always had a good excuse out of any costume party I'm invited to. What a shame. But hey, that's just how it is with me. I don't really like dressing up.

John claims it's not really his thing either. Thank you very much!

This year, for our ward Christmas party, the Relief Society decided to put together, a night in Bethlehem, themed party, and informed us "Biblical attire" was optional. Key word there being optional. John and I had already decided, not that it was a hard decision mind you, we weren't dressing up. Go figure.

However, just before we were about to leave for the party, John walks out wearing the curtains. that were previously hanging in our bedroom, wrapped around himself with a pillow case draped around his head. I couldn't help but burst out laughing, and asked him what in the world he was doing.

He somehow convinced me to throw on my best attempt at Biblical attire, and I obliged, slightly against my will.

John was nervous the whole way there that we were going to be the only ones dressed up, and we almost were, but thankfully a handful of others had the same idea in mind. Apparently John was the most dressed up though, so he landed a role in the Christmas story, playing the Inn Keeper. I had a good laugh over that one.

And now I feel like I'm good to go for another 10 years before I decided to play dress-up again.


Singing is not in our genes, but apparently dancing is

Picture taken by Jylare
What's a family gathering without family pictures? A missed opportunity apparently, which my dear mother wasn't about to let happen. Like I've said before, it's a miracle when we all get together. So, even with some groaning by some for having to be in family pictures, I'm pretty sure we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves far more than we thought we would. 

I just love this family of mine. 

The best part of family pictures is what goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes we've got to do what we've got to do to get the little ones to say "cheese". 



Thanksgiving Miracle

It's not often my entire family gets to hang out for a week straight, all under one roof nonetheless. I love knowing my family is out exploring the world, but I miss the days when we all lived close together, especially my first year in DC when all of my siblings were in Virginia. It was heaven. Now, it's a complete miracle when we all get to be together. 

And that is why thanksgiving was awesome this year, I got to hang out with all of my siblings, PLUS my adorable niece and nephews, who I'm pretty sure think I'm the coolest aunt there is, or at least I like to pretend. 

Case in point:
I skateboard with them...

I play with them at the park, just to get smiles like that out of them...and because even at 26, I still think playgrounds are pretty cool...

I tried my hardest to entertained them daily, who knew technology is kids sugar these days? My iphone was only cool until the ipad showed up. Maybe one day I'll own one, but I'm not quite cool enough, or rich enough for that advancement just yet... 

I baked my nephew a birthday cake so we could celebrated his 2nd birthday. I wish I could say I was the good aunt who decorated the cake, too, but we all know my mom is far more talented in that area, so I leave those things to her...

However, I did let my nephew (not the birthday boy) stuff his face with cake, even against his parents will I'm sure. The little stinker ate my whole piece, too. But, what are good aunts for if we don't let them indulge...

And of course, as any good aunt would, I woke up far earlier than I would ever like just so I could cuddle with my niece and nephew every morning. It's called savoring the moments, or something like that...

Can we please get together like this every year?



I'm not a huge fan of cold snowy weather, but apparently mother nature thought that was her way of welcoming us back to Utah for a few days. Thankfully, it was gone the next day, but not before we had a little fun in that wet cold stuff. With a little one to play with, it surprisingly becomes semi-bearable. Who knew?


Recipes Galore

Image found here
You're all obsessed with pinterest, right? Of course you are, it's only one of the greatest website ever invented, in my humble opinion anyway. I spend far too many of my waking hours on there browsing all of the crafts I want to do, homes I wish I owned, desserts I want to make, and dinners I wish I'd cook. Like I said, I'm obsessed.

And because I need yet another thing to become obsessed with, I recently discovered pasplore.com, a food website full of recipes from all over the web in ONE simple place. Not to mention a ton of other cool things this website has (and will have) to offer. It's still in the early stages of development, but I can already tell it's going to knock our socks off. That is, if you like food, and cooking for that matter.

But who are we kidding here, who doesn't...like food that is?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you can find  TONS of Thanksgiving recipes just intime for the holidays. Brilliant. See all of those images making that awesome mosaic turkey? They're all delicious looking recipes submitted from all over the web.

So, what makes this website really great? Well, as soon as it's fully developed, there will be a way to add something to your browser that will recognize recipes from all over the web. The pasplore website will recognize that you're viewing a recipe and allow you to add it to your own pasplore account. Sure, it's kind of simliar to pinterest in that regard, BUT does pinterest then create a consolidated grocery list or meal plans for us based on the recipes we like? Nope. And that is where this website is going to be amazing.

Seriously, go check it out. And then you can all thank my friend Chris for starting it up. It's kind of genius if you ask me.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go find some delicious recipes that our Thanksgiving dinner just won't be complete without.

Side note: I'd highly endorse this website even if we weren't friends...I just wanted to make that clear. 


Sleeping on the job

Today has been another one of those, nap in the car, kind of days.

You know, where I leave for lunch, sit in the back seat, curl up with a blanket, and in the midst of a crazy wind storm, I let the rocking of the car lure me to sleep.

It was needed.

I really think naps should be integrated into an eight hour work day. Sometimes catching a few zzz's, in the middle of the day, is just the thing I need to keep me going.

But an hour and a half nap probably means I love them too much. No?



"I'm not superstitious...I am a little stitious."

I really am a dork because whenever I look at the clock and it reads, 11:11
I always make a wish. 
And it almost always comes true.
So, here's to hoping today is a day full of wishes coming true...
or at least some good luck for that matter.

Also, happy Veterans Day to all of the veterans who have fought so diligently for our country. 
I'm wishing I still worked for the government so I had today off.
Or that I just had today off.
I'll start wishing for that right now.
And then maybe I'll go home early and pretend the wish came true! 


Can't do healthy

Lately I've been craving all things lettuce:

Cafe Rio, need I say more?
I know we're closer to soup season than salad season, but sometimes fresh goodness all in one bite is all I ever want. Having food allergies is really the pits, especially to lettuce. Who's allergic to healthy things, seriously?!


I can survive a weekend without my husband

If I learned two things over the weekend, it's that I do a really good job at embarrassing myself and I would never survive in a serious natural disaster.

Ok, maybe three things: I don't like spending weekends alone.

Lesson one:
While at dinner with some friends, we went around the table talking about our most embarrassing stores. Of course, the one that always comes to mind, although, I assure you, my life is like a walking embarrassment most of the time, was an experience from high school when I walked out of the Wendy's restroom with toiletpaper hanging from my pants. And yes, things like this really happen, and no, it's not just in the movies. The sick part was, it wasn't even my TP, it was the TP lining the toilet from the person who was in there before me. That's what happens when you try to hover, and we'll just leave it at that.

Moving on. After laughing harder than I have in a long while that night, I decided to be polite and help clean up. You know, put my manners to good use. And wouldn't you know it, of course I'd have to embarrass myself even further by knocking a glass to the floor and it shattering all over. Leave it to me to make a statement wherever I go.

And that's what happens when you don't get out too often.

Lesson two:
Around 2:10am Saturday morning, something woke me up, probably the strange noises outside and the rolling around in my bed. The house was shaking and I was kind of confused as to what was happening. I'm not always the brightest person first thing in the morning, especially at 2am, but I did hear the heater on, so my first thought was, we live in an old house, and the heater is shaking it. So, I got up, turned the heater off, and went back to sleep.

It was only moments later I realized it was probably an earthquake, not the heater. But I was tired, so I paid no more attention and fell back to sleep.

It was an earthquake, a 4.7 to be exact. No biggie.

Around 11pm that same night, just as I was crawling into bed, another earthquake happened. This time, it was a little stronger, and as I sat in my room, watching the fan swing back and forth above my head, I thought, I should probably go stand in a doorway or something, I think that's what they taught me in elementary school? But I was too tired and lazy to bother with moving. Instead, I just stood there watching everything in my room sway back and forth, just waiting to hear something shatter in the other rooms, until a minute later it finally ended.

This one was a 5.6, the largest earthquake Oklahoma has ever had.

And that's when I realized I don't take these kind of situations very seriously.

However, tornadoes, now those I take seriously, so, it's a good thing they're more frequent around here than earthquakes are, otherwise, I'd be doomed.

Lesson three:
Self-explanatory, I don't like spending weekends alone.


A lone weekend

What to do, what to do,
My library book is 32 years overdue.
I admit that it's mine, but I can't pay the fine
What to do what to do?
                                                    -Shel Silverstein

Whenever I'm trying to think of something to do, this poem always pops into my head. Mostly the first line, "what to do, what to do?" But then I can't help continue with, "my library book is 32 years overdue..."

I've known this poem for years, probably since I was three or four, when my sisters were in the third grade. They had to memorize it, not me, yet I still know it just the same, it's challenging memorization and all. Be impressed. I even have a German poem, from 10th grade, and the Preamble to the United States Constitution, from Mr. Shoemakers 7th grade class (or was it 8th grade?), still locked in my noggin, too. The things I've chosen to hold on to. 

Funny that I can't even remember what I did yesterday. 

So, what to do this weekend? Who knows? My husband has left me to entertain myself, which means shopping, mani/pedi's, and other non-essential things may be in order. That, or I'll curl up with a good book and bask in laziness all weekend.

Any recommendations? 



Last weekend we froze our butts off watching OU get tromped on by Texas Tech. 

This weekend, we're headed down to Dallas to watch, I'm guessing, but hoping not, the same thing happen to BYU in the BYU/TCU game in the Cowboys stadium. Which ironically enough, is where I technically met John for the first time oh so many year ago. Two...

Regardless of the outcome of the game, it's always a must to get out of Oklahoma for a few days, and enjoy a mini-vacay. That and it gets us excused from any Halloween party we'd otherwise be subjected to go to. Win win here.

Happy weekend.



Enjoying our last weekend of warm weather
Ever since I started my new job, which has been over a year now, which also means I've been living in Oklahoma for over a year now, gee whiz, people think I'm quiet.


Never before in my life (ok, once, at fat camp, but that was because all of the other counselors knew I was LDS and never invited me to the clubs, so I guess they just assumed I was some quiet girl who didn't have fun. Which explains why I earned the "Silent Rock" award), have I been told I was a quiet person. 


I specifically remember in elementary school, second grade to be exact, I probably came close to writing a 100 sentences a day saying, "I will not disrupt the class. I will not disrupt the class. I will not disrupt the class..." Because, like I said, even at a young age, I wasn't quiet...or respectful apparently.

Even now, years later, I don't consider myself to be quiet, but when one works all alone, at the end of the hall, with no one around, WHO am I supposed to talk to? Talking out loud to myself would only prove I'm kind of weird. So I keep those inner voices just that, inner. I'm rarely on the phone like everyone else at work, so again, no talking goes on at my end of the hallway. Sure, I'm quiet at work, but I'm not a quiet person. Am I?

For some reason, I take people thinking I'm quiet as offensive. I don't know why when maybe it's a good thing? And for all I know, maybe all those years of causing disruptions has finally slowed down. Maybe I really am a quiet person. In which case, it's a good thing I have a job that doesn't require much talking, and I'm married to a man who studies up the wazoo, forcing me to be a mute in my own home. 


Mmm mm good

Being in the kitchen has sounded far from appealing the last little while, so my poor hubby has been subjected to, in my mind, far from appealing food, like top roman and mac and cheese. He claims these kind of dinners are fine by him, in fact, I kind of think he prefers them every now and then...which makes me wonder why I bother slaving over, good to me, food? But you know, he also claims to like those dinners, too, so clearly I married a far from picky eater, which I appreciate.

Today I decided I could do more than open a box of pasta and dumb it into boiling water, although, I don't know if you can really consider a crock pot meal anymore difficult? Regardless of the level of difficulty, I decided to whip up something delicious and totally healthy. Win win.

Have you ever tried cabbage rolls? Oh man, these things make me excited just thinking about them, yes they're that good, even if the name sounds less than so.

I think this recipe is from the Pioneer Woman, I'm not sure about that though, but thanks to having made them more than a handfull of times, my sisters and I have nearly perfected them. Today, I nailed it!

-1 head of cabbage
-1 egg
-1 8oz can of tomato sauce
-1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
-1 envelope lipton onion soup mix
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-1 bag broccoli slaw (optional)
-1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I just use whatever cheese I have on hand, and I always add extra)
-2 cups regular V8 juice (I usually use at least 3, I like them saucy)

-Core cabbage and carefully remove large leaves-steaming leaves in the microwave for a few minutes makes them a lot easier to work with.
-In a bowl mix the egg, tomato sauce, rice, onion soup mix, turkey, broccoli slaw and cheese together until you have a gloppy soupy mixture.
-Scoop 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the cabbage leaves and place in crock-pot seam side down
-Stack rolls if necessary.
-Pour V8 juice over rolls and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

My sisters and I have always paired these with mashed potatoes and used the sauce from the rolls as a gravy. Seriously delicious!

And no, this isn't turning into a cooking blog, don't worry, we already have one of those, but sometimes I feel like good recipes just need to be shared.


Pumpkin Seeds

Due to popular demand, ok, just two people asking, but two was enough for me, I figured I'd post the recipe I used to roast our pumpkin seeds. They were so delicious it didn't even take us an entire day to finish them off.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
2 cups washed and dried pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp melted butter
Seasoning salt to taste (be generous here)

I remember my mom laying our pumpkin seeds out to dry over night, and if you have patience that's a good approach. However, I don't have that kind of patience, so, I stucked the washed seeds in a bowl, placed them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and they dried out perfectly.

Heat oven to 265 degrees.
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl, and coat seeds until covered.
Line seeds on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven for one hour, stirring occasionally until, crisp and golden brown.

Yum, and they tasted just like I remembered from when I was a kid.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think of it. I personally think this is the best way to roast pumpkin seeds.  In fact, we both want to carve pumpkins again just to make another batch of seeds to munch on.



After a Panda Express run Friday night, (why my hubby loves Panda over real chinese I will never know) we picked up our pumpkins and got to work:

And it took us into the wee hours of the night to create thess:

I think the last time I carved a pumpkin I was in high school, but thanks to stencils the skills came back instantly!

And then we toasted pumpkin seeds, and I've decided that's the best part of carving pumpkins. A little worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt and butter never tasted so good!


Halloween Treats

Last night at Activity Days, the girls and I got our craft on and made some Halloween goodies.
What would I do without blogs giving me all of my ideas?

I got this idea for Frankenstein pudding cups:

Here is the girls version:

I think theirs turned out cuter than the original. 

And then we made witch hats with Kisses and Keebler Fudged Stripped cookies:

I think the activity was a hit, and not just because they got to make something fun, but because their creation was edible. I'm pretty sure the girls all left on a sugar high. And I'm sure their parents just love me on these nights.


Why I love my husband, part 2

Part 1 can be found here. Unfortunately, these awesome dreams haven't happened in awhile. Maybe that means he's due for another episode soon. We can only hope, right?

Part 2:

A man cleaning the bathroom. A rare, but welcomed occurrence. When I did't feel like cleaning the bathroom, he got right to it and cleaned every nook and cranny until it "shine[d] like the top of the Chrysler Building." Yeah, I married a good one.


Sunday Breakfast

Image source
Sundays are the one day I occasionally make a good breakfast around here. Usually it's cereal, in a baggie, that we munch on, on our way to school/work. But with church at 2pm on Sunday's, I have plenty of time, and quite frankly, I just want something to do to help pass the time. So, delicious breakfast it is.

Hawaiian Coffee Cake is an old family favorite that was discovered years and years ago when my siblings and I thought we would be nice one Mother's Day and make our mom breakfast. This recipe was discovered, and it's stuck with us ever since. It's definitely a family favorite.

I just tried scanning the internet for this recipe and I couldn't find this exact one, so, consider yourself lucky I'm sharing this with you. It's quite possible that this will be the most amazing breakfast, or at least coffee cake, you will ever have. That is, if you're a pineapple and coconut kind of person.

Hawaiian Coffee Cake:
1 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 8-oz. crushed pineapple
1 egg
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c. coconut

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add pineapple, egg and 1/3 c. butter. Stir to mix.
Spread into an 8"x8" baking pan which has been coated with shortening or cooking spray.
Blend coconut, brown sugar and butter.
Spring over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.



Drivers license exam

Not my license...in case you weren't sure.
Who checks when their drivers license is about to expire? Definitely not me, and definitely not John. When we flew home to Utah a few weeks ago, the lady at the airport informed us that both of our licenses (remember, same birthday) were going to expire the very next day. Awesome.

We figured it was pretty perfect we were flying to Utah right as our licenses were expiring, we'd just renew them when we got home. Well, little did either of us realize, Utah changed it's policies, you have to renew in person, and you have to have document after document after document just to do so. Document after document which were safely tucked away back in Oklahoma.

A fun little fact, in both states, an expired license means you get to take the written exam all over again. You know, the exam you took just to get your permit, before you were cool enough to drive without your parents? Yeah, the one I haven't taken in over 10 years. Double awesome.

Eleven days since our licenses expired, I finally (wo)maned up enough to call and find out what was really required for us to get new licenses in Oklahoma. We figured it was finally time to convert. For me, I'd have to take the written exam all over again. Ha, I laughed at this thought. For John, he's military, so of course he'd get to slide by. What the what?!

This was not ok with me.

So, I called Utah, pleaded my case, explained the situation, and wouldn't you know it, Utah has compassion on not just the individual in the military, but their spouse, too. Oh, glorious, happy day. We can now keep our expired license (for five more years if we wanted) until we're able to renew them. Oh Utah, how I love you just a little bit more right now.

Being part of the military/government, ALWAYS pays off.

Moral of the story, join the military, you get excused from everything! Or, better yet, pay attention to kind of important things to avoid unnecessary hassles, it might be worth it...unless you like the thought of taking silly exams.



Conference weekend, our real reason for heading home. Seeing family, celebrating our birthday's, cheap airfare, and enjoying the fall weather were just perks to our visit to Utah. Thankfully, our next visit home isn't another year away, just six weeks! I don't like saying I miss Utah, but after being gone for over a year, miss Utah I did. Shocking and weird!

Our last night home we finally got to hang out with some of John's family. And of course, wherever we go, John always has to practice his dentistry. Hopefully that means he'll make the big bucks be a really good dentist in the near future! Nothing like practicing on his niece and nephews. I'm thinking his brother should reconsider his field of work, he looks like a pro!

Just six more weeks and then we'll be back home, enjoying the cold weather that is Utah. I heard it snowed two days after we left. Sick!



If there's one thing, aside from family and being lazy at home, that I miss about Utah, it's the mountains. Mainly the mountains in the fall time, because I'm pretty sure, this is the prettiest time of year there.

Oh, and my mom's overly excited attitude for having her kids home who will actually take pictures with her. That's something I always miss, too.