Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 22.

Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.

Dear Chocolate Pie,

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas you and I collide in a big way.  I eagerly wait for the day that I will be standing in the Jello isle of my local grocery store buying a box of chocolate pudding.  And oh that graham cracker crust...

I lovingly blend whole milk with that heavenly chocolate powder and try my hardest to make sure that each drop of pudding is poured into the crust.  Sadly, a spoonful or two will never make it, having been devoured by my impatient stomach.

I seal the lid on top of you and place you gently into the refridgerator.  And then I wait.

The holiday continues as planned... Family, friends, food.  I eat way too many rolls and more than my share of mashed potatos and gravy, but the whole time I have you in the back of my mind.  I cannot wait until everyone around me has had their share of dinner and I hate the waiting period where everyone looks like giant slugs tossed around the living room.  I cannot wait until I hear someone say, "Should we have some pie now?"

I hop from my comfy position on the couch and I am at the fridge in a flash!  I carefully pull you from your cold safe haven and pry the lid that protects you from my serving utensil.  I strategicly slice you, always giving myself a larger portion than everyone else, and add a dolop of whipped cream.

Heaven.  Chocolate pudding pie, you are my most hated love.  You taste perfect each and every bite.  So perfect that I need to have yet another helping.

It doesn't end there.  The next morning I sleepily saunter into the kitchen.  I know that I should have some cereal, maybe eggs.  However, the second I open the fridge, there you are.  Staring at me.  Pleading me to put you out of your half-eaten misery.  How could I say no to something that I care so deeply for?

Just like that dessert becomes breakfast.

Four days later I still have you on my mind.  And my waist.  For this, I hate you.  You have hurt me and my figure.  I wish I could say that I won't let you get the best of me again, but we both know that we cannot get enough of each other.

Missing you until Christmas,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 21.

Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.

My energetic, ever-smiling baby girl!  She never fails at making me the happiest mama there could be!  I love you Tiny!

Day 20.

Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.

Joseph, Tonja, and Ayla. That's our family. This here blog chronicles things that we do together or separate... Pretty self explanitory. :)

Oh our header I just added the words:  "If you believe in love that will be more than enough."  From one of my favorite Christmas Songs, The Christmas Wish from the John Denver and The Muppets Christmas album.  :)

I don't know if you believe in Christmas

or if you have presents underneath a Christmas tree

but if you believe in love

that will be more than enough

for you to come and celebrate with me

for I have held the precious gift that love brings

even though I never saw a Christmas star

I know there is a light I have felt it burn inside

and I have seen it shining from afar

Christmas is the time to come together

a time to put all differences aside

and I reach out my hand to the family of man

to share the joy I feel at Christmas time

for the truth that binds us all together

I would like to say a simple prayer

that at this special time you will have true peace of mind

and love to last throughout the coming year

and if you believe in love

that will be more than enough

for peace to last throughout the coming year

and peace on earth will last throughout the year.

Day 19.

Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.

Girl's Night Out!  Playing in the snow. 11/20/2010 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 18.

Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.

Baked Brie Cheese with Cranberries and Crackers.

I often crave one of my very favorite party dish/appetizer:  Baked Brie Cheese smothered in Cranberries served with warm french bread or your favorite cracker.

It is so simple.  Bake a wheel of brie (found at any grocery store in the fine cheese section) at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Smother in your choice of cranberry sauce and slice open to enjoy gooey, fuity goodness!

I LOVE THIS.  I try to keep it for special occassions only so that I don't get sick of it or gain a million pounds.  Luckily, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our family will be enjoying this treat.  :)
Try it, you won't regret it.

Day 17.

Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.


This is a crappy cell phone photo, but I think it's a fun one that shows our personalities, doing what we all love to do so much... SHOP!

Day 16.

Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.

Ryan Gosling.
I fell in love with this guy back in 1997 when he was on Breaker High, I've been in love ever since.  Obsviously, his phenomenal performance in The Notebook solidified that love, seeing how impossibly romantic he is.  Not to mention he's great in everything else he's ever been in.

Love my Ryan Gosling.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 15.

Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.

I have 3.



I think those are pretty self explanatory...  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 14.

Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.

The History Channel's PAWN STARS.
 I am so addicted to Pawn Stars as seen on The History Channel.  As Joseph said, it's like an awesome updated version of Antique's Roadshow.  Which I also love.
Watch it.  You'll love it.  Entertaining and informative.

Day 13.

Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Bright Eyes
My favorite band is Bright Eyes.

I was introduced to Bright Eyes some time in High School and it was a life changing experience for me.  Like millions of others, I am greatly influenced by music.  It speaks to me and allows me to express emotions in ways that I normally would not.  Believe it or not, I am extremely shy, to the point of always having awkward social encounters, and don't even get me started on trying to explain how I feel to someone.  Holy awkward.  Insert music here.

Why do I love Bright Eyes, you may ask?  The emotion.  The raw feeling.  The sheer lyrical genius.  The instruments!  The melodies.  The stories.  All of these things combined created something like I had never heard before.  Something that became a part of me. 

I have what I like to call a "Story Book Mind".  My inner dialogue is greatly affected by the things that I read and by the music I listen to.  I am constantly repeating lyrics in my head that describe or compliment the situation that I'm in.  For example, this morning I "checked in" at Stevens-Henager College, my place of work, on my facebook mobile app.  The words that I added?  "You've gotta earn this living somehow, you're good as dead without a bank account."  Those lyrics were running through my head over and over as I was transitioning from "Sleepy Tonja" to "Perky Receptionist Tonja."  Where do these words come from?  The song Light Polution by Bright Eyes, of course.

There are Bright Eyes songs that make me cry, songs that make me smile, songs that make me dance, songs that remind me of best friends, songs that I quote on my blog header, songs that are my current ringtone, songs that changed my life...  And each of the songs I just linked are on a different Bright Eyes album.  Every album has a different sound, a different feel, and a different way of speaking to me.  But they all speak to me.  Really, really speak to me.

Yes, Bright Eyes is my favorite band.

Day 12.

Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.

Oh, Provo.  We have a love-hate relationship, you and I.  There have been manys days, weeks, and even months, that I have loathed you.  The people.  The scenery.  The absolute lack of culture.  I have wondered time and again how I ended up here...

This morning (Without even knowing this was my subject of the day for my 30 Days of Blogging.) I was driving to work and thinking to myself, "What am I doing in Provo, Utah?"  Generally when I have this thought, and I have it A LOT, I become angry and I think of Washington and family and everything that I love about home.  Not today.

Today I remember that I was not happy at home.  I was in a rut.  I was living a life that I did not want to be a part of.  At all.  I needed a change.  I needed something drastic.

Jump 4 years from that miserable time in my life... Oh I got drastic, alright.

Even though I can't bring myself to call this place home, I am willing to say that I have, at times, found myself content in Provo, Utah.  I do not want to settle here.  I absolutely do not want to raise Ayla here.  I want a great deal more for my life than Provo can offer me.

But days like today remind me that Provo is just what I needed once-upon-a-time.  Provo saved me from a life that surely would have held me back and brought me down in ways that I do not want to think about.

Thanks, Provo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 11.

Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?

Here are the exact contents of my makeup bag as of this very moment:
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation. The lightest shade possible.

MAC shadow in "Knight Divine" and "White Frost"
MAC Gel Eyeliner
IsaDora Brozing Powder.
Maybelline "The Falsies" Mascara.
Burt's Bees Lip Balm.

Sephora Lip Gloss in "Pink Ballerina".
MAC Large Powder Brush.
MAC 217 Blending Brush

MAC Precise Eyeliner Brush. 

That is all.  The essentials.  They come with me everywhere.  Every.  Day.  :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 10.

Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.
Guru's.  Provo, UT
My favorite things on the menu:
Cilantro Lime Quesadilla
Taos Tortilla Salad

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 9.

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.

Surprised?  I think not.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 8.

Day 8 – A song to match your mood.

Ooooh boy, these past 2 days I have been bouncing around with music.  I have been listening to a lot of Cursive, The Faint, RX Bandits, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, The Movie Life, Mirah, and of course, Lil Wayne.
Having said that, I will just post the very last song I listened to in the car before coming into work.  This song pretty always matches my mood.  It was the song that you heard on my MySpace page for like all 8 years that I was active on MySpace.  I dare you to hear this song and not think of me.  :)
Recommendation by Mirah. 
(second post in a row with a Mirah song... lucky readers!)
Before you left to go away

I wrote down what I couldn't say

I bet you read it on the road

With foggy lights and fingers cold

Now you drove so far but now you know

How rough it is to let me go

And let me recommend that you think twice

And I always give the best advice

Now come on back to where you know I'll be

Let's go sit under the apple tree

You can floor that thing, let the engine roar

The wheels they'll spin, the rain it pours

There's regret that you feel

About the choice you've made

You'll just have to deal

Before it goes away

You ask me how I feel

And here's what I'll say

I'm doing fine, just fine

I'm doing fine

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ayla's First Birthday...

Ayla's first birthday came and went.  I was so excited and so stressed out.  I wanted everything to be perfect for her.  My mom came into town to be with Tiny, which Ayla LOVED.  The first night Ayla wouldn't even go to sleep until we finally let her sleep on the couch with grandma...
On her birthday, Saturday, November 6th, I wanted to take her out to her first birthday breakfast.  I had big plans.  IHOP!  I was going to get her the cute pancakes that they put a face on made out of fruit and whipped cream.

Well, it took us FOREVER to get out of the house.  Ihop was packed.  I settled for Denny's, which was not packed.  They don't do faces on pancakes.  Since it took us so long to get out of the house, Ayla was starving by the time we got to denny's and was in grumpy baby mode.  Awesome.
After breakfast we went home and napped.  Ayla was unusually grumpy and so was I. 

After napping, it was party time!
Table Set-up.
Ayla inspecting the silverware.
Ayla and her god mother, Carissa.
Elmo cake!

Ayla broke into her cake before the part started...

She wasn't into it when we wanted her to be...
Most of the damage was caused by me putting her hands in it.
We loved our cake!

Ayla liked my cake better than hers...
All things Elmo!  Ayla wasn't into presents either...
Mommy and Daddy got the cutest Elmo at Nordstrom...
Ayla and Mommy
So proud!
My sweet girl after all the chaos.
If you notice in the picture above... Ayla looks awful.  I didn't notice it at the time, but looking at the picture, she looks really really awful.  If I would have noticed this at the time I wouldn't have been surprised when my girl woke up around midnight covered in vomit.  And her bedding was covered.  And her new Elmo.  I washed her, changed her, cuddled her... and then it happened all over again downstairs.  And then again when daddy got home from hanging out with Curtis (because I insisted.).

I was a wreck.  I cried and cried.  My poor girl was so sick.  Joseph made a run to the store to get pedialyte (I had to keep her hydrated!) and then again to the store to get her soy formula again.  Our doctor had suggested trying milk-based because she is older.  It was not working out and I couldn't bear to try and give her milk-based when she felt so bad.  I haven't seen anything like it.  I know I'll see it many many more times in the years to come but I am pretty sure I will always cry.  I can't handle my girl being miserable.

Over all, her birthday didn't go as planned in my mind, but it ended up turning out wonderful.  Sickness and all.  Hey, if sickness means sleeping with mommy all night, which we have never done, I am ok with us being miserable once in a while.

I love my girl more than words could ever say.  I want her to have everything.  I want her to grow up strong, happy, and healthy.  I want to be the best mommy that I can be to her so that when she is grown up she can look back and say, "I have the best mom in the world and I want to be just like her."  Because that's what I say about my mom.  It's all I could ever ask for, to be the kind of mother that my mother was.

I'm at work now, but I can't wait to get home and spend time with my girl.  To love her and play with her and read to her...  And when it's bedtime I will sing to her.  A song that I love to sing and that Ayla loves to hear.  Just to remind her that life is hard but that she can stand tall and work through it.  And of course I can hold her little hand whenever she needs it.  :)

This little song by Mirah...

Aren't you going to come along?

Aren't you going to fight?
Aren't you going to hold your hands up to the light?

If you feel an emptiness,
If you want to hide
Think about the blood
That's pumping keeping you alive

We've got it all worked out,
The plans all made
If we believe in the fight
Then we're all saved

It's gonna hurt for a while
But it would anyway
Let us stand resolute
With our voices raised

We have a right to insist
To be free and brave
If that should cease to exist
I'd throw my heart away

It's a long long way

To the promised land

So try where you are,

Do what you can

You belong to what you understand

So teach yourself how to demand

The monument that you deserve

For rising up in a beaten down world

Aren't you going to come along?
Aren't you going to fight?
Aren't you going to hold your hands up to the light?

If you feel an emptiness,
If you want to hide
Think about the blood
That's pumping keeping you alive

Day 5...6...and 7...

Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.

Carissa and I (with Lili in the background) somewhere in Nephi before the Nephi rodeo.  :)  Classic Carissa and Tonja.  2008!
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.

Like an animal that isn't domestic?  OK, I am a cat person.  Always have been, always will be.  (Though I love every single animal, I will always love cats just a little bit more!)
As long as I can remember I have considered the Snow Leopard to be my favorite animal.  When I was in elementary school and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up my response was this:  A mommy.  And a wildlife photographer so that I can travel to the Himalayan Mountains and take pictures of Snow Leopards.
At least I have one of my dream jobs (always the favored one).
I would love to have one of these big furry guys in my home, but since it won't happen I will settle for visiting momma and baby at the Hogle Zoo in SLC.  (I went to see the new baby as soon as he arrived in the summer of 09.  Magical!)
If you'd like to know more about my very favorite animal, go here.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.

My dress:
My bridesmaids dresses:
My location:
My reception:
My cake:

My ring:

Ayla's dress:

That is my dream wedding.  Beautiful fall-themed, Washington State wedding.

OR this:

Yes, a peacock themed wedding.  :)

Butttttttttttt, our wedding will most likely be like this: