My beef about Christmas.

Before we start: When I say Christmas, I don’t mean “Jesus’s Birthday” or “Santa Present day” In specific. I mean the time of year. Not a religious connotation necessarily, and I don’t mean necessarily not. When I say it, infer what you will. But overtly, the following discussion is NOT about religion.

I don’t have anything against Christmas, so that’s not what I mean by beef. I simply couldn’t think of any other way to say it. I have Christmas Issues, but they are not all bad. I love that time of year, even though my love of it turns me into a raging hosebeast. I think though, IMO starting Thanksgiving day on, It is a magical time of year. And despite life sucking just as much at that time of year as it does any OTHER time of year, it’s SO much fun, to lose yourself in the magic of Christmas. It can be hard to f ind it as an adult, but if I can, and sometimes I can’t. I hold on like It’s the last gold nugget in all of freakin california.

Life isn’t always magical, but you can make Christmas Magical (I’m sure the same can be said of Hanukkah and other Winter time activities) There are lights strung in trees and on houses. And instead of thinking “God they are so tacky” You think it’s beautiful, and delightful.

Also. I am a tradition hound. I suppose though it could be read a lot of different ways. I will once again let you infer what you will. I love to celebrate the holidays and traditions are important to me. I like the repetition and the social climate…. though this year I better get me on some mood altering drugs, because i have been an outright brat this year. I feel bratty. Anyway…

Lately though, in all. I have been on top of Christmas stuff, and other things I just feel like saying “Eh whatever” to. Even I, the most annoying of little sisters, get tired of pestering people and asking and coordinating. At my age, I have discovered that after many years of being in charge, if someone else wants it done, they can do it their own damn selves. Sure it would be nice to do, but if it’s important to them, it will happen. I think though, for many years that’s what I’ve been afraid of. That I am not important enough to people. That somehow that it means people don’t love me. Maybe I’m secure enough to say, it doesn’t matter if you don’t love me, or maybe I’m mature enough to say “I know you love me anyway.” Either way, I’m a little less into pushing… sometimes.


Wouldn’t you try to recapture the innocence of childhood, even if it were for just a night, or a moment.



There is much crafting going on! I have presents and presents and presents that I’m working on.

I’ve been working on my Tiny niece’s quilt. It was the Specialist’s, and it was ruined a ton… (thanks to me) so I’ve been repairing it. I hope they like it. I’ve tried to give it more girlish touches and still keep it’s charm. I wish I had taken a before picture, but I forgot. I’m Going to take an after, definitely! I’ve just got to tie and bind it, and i’ll be set!

Also YOSHI QUILT! Once I get this quilt done, I can MOVE on it. WHOO WHOO! and work on the toys I’m making too! Christmas! I am going to be making at least two robots, two dogs, a cat and probably a couple of totoro’s 🙂 I’m pleased. The downside on this is that I can’t do it until after the girls have gone to bed. WHY? Because they want to help/cuddle and it makes crafting hard, if not adorable.

Anyway. Back to work. here I go.

Derringer meryl [Happy Crafting Happiness] Out

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Now On To Disneyland

Ok, we had SO much fun, and this might get spread over a few posts… so bear with me….


We drove STRAIGHT through. Because we’re vikings like that. Really SCOTT is a viking like that and honestly, he hates vegas, and Nevada all together, which is the most logical stopping/break point. So we just went all the way and.. Did you know LA crazy traffic starts at 6 AM? WTH? What kind of crazy people are getting up and going to work at 6 AM? No wonder everyone drinks coffee and smokes. they’re all on edge! Anyway, we got there after being stuck in some crazy traffic at 7 AM, whoopsie doodle, i forgot that there’s an hour difference here in planning our trip. Oh well. We got to the hotel, and MAN I seriously was impressed. the lady who checked us in was a bit grumpy, but I chalked it up to the fact she probably got stuck in 5 AM LA traffic, so I forgave her. We were lucky that no one had stayed in our room the night before so we got to check in immediately and take our stuff up to the room. AWESOME. DQ got to freshen up, which hyped her up, we got the kids ready and headed for the park. I think that’s the earliest we got to the park all week. We had breakfast together at the carnation cafe, and listened to them open main the rest of the park (mainstreet opens before the rest of the park) Once we were done eating we headed to get our lanyards, and delved into the deep dark underbelly of pin trading. I had been told before we left to buy some pins that you don’t really care about before going so they can trade with you, instead we spent a lot on pins we wanted in the park. Even Katie got some. We went on Pirates (all of us!) and I did a quick rider change and went on Big Thunder Mountain Twice. I feel kind of proud that I didn’t feel more nauseous than I did.  because going on a fast roller coaster pretty much twice in a row, makes you a little woozy. We also did Haunted Mansion, where the cast member BUTCHERED the joke (they tell you to step into the DEAD center of the room, she said it quite lack luster, and didn’t even emphasize that it should be the DEAD center!) We rode around on the train (all the way around the park) so Katie could see it, and had a good laugh when the narration said that the construction site was as people had seen the area over a century ago. HAHA. Nice. We went to toon town where Katie met goofy, we had slushies, met minnie and Mickey too. I feel bad that many of our pics don’t have Audrey in them, I have to say that I just wasn’t thinking about it TOO much, you know? I am normally a BIG planner of things and have a tendency to get upset when things aren’t exactly what i’d call perfect. So I just wasn’t thinking, because I was doing my best to relax. After we got to see a bunch of the characters, DQ and I took Katie on her first roller coaster, Gadget’s go-coaster.  She loved it, and then promptly ran up and down chip and dales’ treehouse. After that we all needed a nap (as we had slept in the car, except Scott) so we ate dinner at a SUPER yummy restaurant (something something Jazz in down town disney) went back to the hotel and collapsed. We  ended up just hanging out and going to the pool that night. Katie really enjoyed herself, and Audrey’s little bottom lip shivered. she enjoyed the pool though. Katie refused to sleep in her “pull out” bed, and slept in bed with Scott, and I slept on the pull out, which was shockingly comfortable. I woke up at 6 AM the next day…


Was Katie’s day, we did mainly Katie rides and focused on her. She wore her princess Cinderella dress and we had a lot of fun. She went on Dumbo and King Arthur’s Carousel,  we got hats from the Mad Hatter. I went on the teacups twice and then we went on Alice in Wonderland. Katie loved that. At that point we saw that the line for Space mountain (which I had never gone on) was really REALLY short. so we got fast passes,  did Finding Nemo (formerly 10000 Leagues under the Sea)  went on Space mountain (which was AWESOME, SO much fun!) and ventured for the MOST disgusting lunch we’ve ever eaten. We went to Red Rocket’s Pizza port. The pasta I had was… I would say poorly cooked. DQ and Scott got the same meals, and they said theirs were fine, but Katie’s pizza… was disgusting. It was cheese pizza, and that had been under a heating lamp for like 24 hr hours (I swear to you) I officially dubbed it “Syphilis Pizza” as it looked and tasted DISGUSTING, but I ate it anyway. Why? Because when you pay so much for food, you sure as heck eat it. So we finished that up, and Katie was hiding under the table, throwing a HOT fit. Well DQ, being the bestest and greatest friend ever, offered to take her to the child care center (BEST PLACE EVER!) to change her diaper and get her into some more comfy clothes. Little did we know, she had a MAJOR blow out. The worst I’ve ever heard tale of, or seen. She had poop EVERYWHERE. I won’t get graphic, but she got to go back to the hotel and relax after that, Everyone needed a nap. We had SUPER yummy take out from an italian restaurant that night. It was delicious! We all went to bed VERY Happy with our day, and with Katie’s day too.


(this seems so much more condensed when I retell it but they days were long and wonderfully relaxing) Wednesday we decided to tackle California Adventure. We ran into Mickey and Donald, and had to get Katie’s pic with them. Scott realized that his insulin was running low, and ran back to the hotel. Mean while DQ, the kids and myself sat in and watched Playhouse Disney on Stage. It was really REALLY cute. I thought. Everyone had a lot of fun, and Katie enjoyed the bubbles and dancing and singing. By the time we were done DQ had graciously offered to watch the kids while Scott and I went on Tower of terror. WHOA. I love that ride, but at the same time, it makes me scream like a little girl. For that matter, someone (after the ride) said “You were screaming the whole time. I don’t remember that exactly, but apparently I was, LOL. our picture didn’t turn out great, we were in weird positions when the camera got shot (all of my DL shots look like I was bracing for impact, because usually I am.) But it was fun, and it’s nice to get a few moments alone with Scott. He’s a sweetie. 🙂 Sometimes I miss all the time we got to spend together before having kids, but I wouldn’t trade my kids for all the money in the world. 🙂  After we were done, we picked up Scott a new shirt (as he only had black ones) and caught up with DQ and the kids in “A Bug’s World” where they had been riding a few of the kid rides. Audrey apparently didn’t like lady buggies, but they all enjoyed Flik’s Flyers. 🙂 We walked together down to the paradise pier area, and Scott went on Screamin’ California all by himself (the line was short) and I took Katie on King triton’s Carousel and she sat on a gold fish. DQ and I got a fast pass for Screamin’ and headed back to find some food. All of the food in Disney’s California didn’t sound too terribly tasty but I tried something new (as per my vacation rules, all new foods) and had a chicken Caesar salad. I could have done w/o the chicken personally. We jetted back to the pier (which wasn’t incredibly pier like, all the water was drained for construction on World of Color, which I wish we could have seen) and decided to go on the Ferris Wheel. Now… I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no world class parent, but Scott and I believe that it’s better to be scared for a few minutes and be over it for the long run, and honestly, we haven’t Scarred Katie horribly yet. 😉 (hahaha) In any case, we decided to go for the swinging Gondola. I am usually petrified of Heights, but the ferris wheel doesn’t let you look down, only look out, which I don’t  mind. In any case, going up, Katie was happy and excited (as she had been for all the rides) then the gondola started to shift and roll, and Katie threw her hands back (to brace herself) and got that terrified look on her face) While it was straight up funny… it was SO much fun to go on with her. I’m glad we all got to go on it together.  Audrey (who had not enjoyed too much up to this point) had a GREAT TIME on the Ferris Wheel. DQ and I hurried to get on Screamin’ as fast as we could, and our fast passes had expired 🙁 But the Cast Member said to go ahead. WHOO. It was soooo much fun! Then we did a bit of shopping, Met Woody (Katie didn’t want to meet him, she was at her max point…)  Then DQ used her feminine wiles to get a pin (HAHA, not really, she just really wanted this guy’s Eric Pin and only cast members have it) after trading with the small geeky pin cast member he nearly touched her arm, but kept his hands to himself at the last minute. After that, it was time for us to go on Soarin’ over california. In case you haven’t had the pleasure, it’s the experience that you’re flying over california  while you’re sitting in a chair. it’s awesome. Scott chose to stay out with the girls. He said he thought it could have been done better, and didn’t want to go. At one point in the ride you do a fly by on an air craft carrier, and I leaned over to DQ and said “Maverik requesting a flyby” and giggled like a mad woman. They were so UN busy that they said we could go again if we wanted, and so we did. This time on the aircraft carrier I leaned to DQ and said “You’re my wingman goose” and we both died laughing a little. HAHA. Scott was tired, and so were the girls. So they went back to the hotel room and DQ and I decided to do a park hop and went back to Disneyland for the evening. We had to hurry as we had Dinner plans with Scott’s Aunt. We hurried and went for Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Since those rides went so fast, we decided to hit Haunted Mansion again… and met … the CREEPIEST cast member Ever. SERIOUSLY. He was an excellent host for Haunted Mansion, and made up for the lack luster lady we encountered earlier. Very Creepy. So we got on fast (since there was a parade going) but we got STUCK. Next to the stupid howling door. DQ and I lectured the door that it needed to go to time out, and use it’s words instead of  screaming and snarling. we were stuck there a good 10 minutes I’d say. Maybe it seemed longer since i was stuck by the howling door. But MAN. Seriously. Anyway. After that, we BOOKED it to the hotel. My feet and back were KILLING me. But I had fun, so I was good with it. We had a GREAT dinner with Scott’s Aunt and DQ. Katie was being her regular picky eater (which is a new development) and ran around quite a bit.  We returned to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. 🙂


We did the One magic morning this morning, and got into the park Early. I took Kate on the teacups (with DQ) and Scott took her on Mr toads wild ride, and the carousel again. I caught up with Scott and Kate and went on the Pinocchio ride.  Katie had a TON of fun. Then we went to Star Tours and DQ and Scott went first while I watched the kids. I sat and watched as Katie picked up a stuffed “doggie” (read Chewbacca) and was loving on him. So katie and I waited for Scott (as I didn’t take my wallet into the park) So we could rider swap. After we went on Star Tours, DQ wasn’t feeling great, so she went back to the hotel room. Scott and I stood in line FOREVER to take Katie to see the princesses, and she met Cinderella, Belle and Ariel. then we had lunch and headed over to the Jungle Cruise. The guy who drove us around was VERY funny. LOL. Then we went to the tiki room, which I had never been too, It was fun, I think Katie got up and danced a little too. It was SO much fun. We did a little souvenir shopping at that point, searching down some of the harder to find items. We headed back to the hotel, and DQ was feeling better. So we went out (she and I) to search downtown Disney. It was great. We did a little shopping, and i got Audrey a mickey mouse (as Katie has mine from my first trip to disneyland) and DQ got me a mini wind up alligator (RODRIGUEZ). We had a nice night.


I did my best to not think about the fact that this was our last day. we tried to pack in all the stuff we hadnt’ done yet. Scott and Katie split off to go on Autopia, and I was alone with Audrey, so I took her on It’s a Small world and did some window shopping. DQ caught up with me and Scott and I and so we went on It’s a Small world again ( Me, DQ and the girls) Scott has no love for the ride, so he stayed out. We had an early lunch at big thunder mountain ranch, then Katie petted some nice sheep and goats (then thoroughly washed her hands) then we grabbed some fast passes for the Indiana Jones, and headed to Splash Mountain. DQ didn’t want to go on Splash, and instead took the girls on Winnie the pooh (which they BOTH loved) while Scott and I worked hard to get drenched. Let me take a moment here to express my HATRED of people who put their hands up on rides. Go for it if no pictures are being taken, or if you’re at the back, who cares? But if you’re at the front, or even the middle, don’t be a dick, keep your hands down until after the picture, OK? then we Hustled over to Indiana jones and I went with DQ and then again with Scott. So much fun. Heather took the girls on the Jungle Ride (again) while Scott and I went on Indiana Jones. I got to go on two different versions of the ride. One for treasure and the other for the ability to see the future. it is almost exactly the same, except for the beginning. Then be busted a move back to New Orleans square to have katie meet… TIANA. She was GIDDY. So much so, it’s not even describable in words. I think it probably would have been akin to meeting Ariel or Belle as a little girl. I saw those movies in the theatre. Anyway, we went over to California adventure again to pick up some souveniers that DQ needed, and because I was trying to pick something out for myself as well. DQ got what she needed, and I finally decided on getting a handdrawn Snow White (so pretty, snow white is my fav) and picking out some prints for the girl’s room. we had dinner at the French market (Scott’s fav) and headed over to Fantasy land, where we were disappointed to see Storyland boats were closed. So we went on Casey Jr, and then Dumbo again. Katie and Audrey Enjoyed both immensely. We started back over to check out toon town, and it turned out that the story land boats were only closed for a little bit for the parade. I was glad that they got to go on it. then Heather and I ran up and went on Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin. After that… our disneyland trip was at an end. 🙁 But not our time in California!


We packed up, and booked it to Scott’s Aunt’s house. We stopped to look at the ocean (over look, we couldn’t go down there) and arrived quickly and safely. We decided to go to the beach and then to a movie and dinner. We had a great time at the beach. I wish we lived there so Katie could go every day, but I suppose if she was there every day she would get bored of it. She fell in once, but she had a good sense of humor, and popped back out fast. I waded in and quickly discovered what I apparently had been ignoring all week… huge open sores on m y feet. SALT WATER. Ouch. So I got back out and fed audrey and relaxed in the sand. Then we went to Alice in Wonderland in 3d. I thought it was good, but mostly all show. Tim Burton is very visual in telling stories, and I found that the story was… sadly lacking. Also it seemed to be a lot about healing after a loss. I think I’ll get into that later in another post. We had dinner, and then decided to head out. I started driving, and we got to drive through off and on rain. Scott and I switched a lot driving back. We had a lot of fun, and relaxed a lot. Best Vacation Ever

Derringer Meryl [happy happy day] Out

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So great

It deserves to go right here, instead of on the christmas post….

Gentle folk, that is a BATH cupcake. What is a bath cupcake??

Each cupcake is handcrafted in the USA, using the highest quality ingredients to ensure a tranquil, blissful experience. Once you begin filling your tub, simply place the bubble bath cupcake under the running water. Let the sweet aroma melt all your cares away as the long-lasting bubbles hydrate your skin.

YUM! I want all three of these, the pictured one is Birthday cake, however there is also creamy vanilla and cotton candy at your local Bath and Body works. YUM YUM YUM.

Ok– back to your daily life.

Derringer Meryl [visions of cupcakes danced in my head] Out

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Pictures Galore and FHE

Katie is in the back of my mom’s car asleep after a hard day of shopping and a snack of chex mix

we look like we’re in an expressionist painting. Left to right, Scott, Me, Katie (I’m holding her) Jam Jam, Lorna, and Midori. 🙂 It was FREEZING but we all wanted to see the lights anyway.  We had quite a bit of fun, except for when the annoying High School kids were singing songs that weren’t spiritual Christmas songs. IMO– I don’t want to hear rudolph the red nosed reindeer after coming off the emotional high of having my daughter watch the nativity story for the first time. Thanks a lot HIGH SCHOOL KIDS!!

Katie was nervous about being on the edge, but was having fun anyway. Midori was holding onto her, I hope Jam jam doesn’t mind, I cropped him out of the picture because of his expression, LOL.

This is by the reflecting pool downtown. I love this pool, it does GREAT pictures.

We tried to get Katie to look at the camera, but it didn’t work!!

The rest of the pictures are just me trying to be “artistic” or as artistic as you can be with a camera in your phone. they aren’t PERFECT, but hey, camera phone!

This was taken ON the reflecting pool, which is to say the image you’re seeing is the temple on the pool. You can actually see in the lower right hand corner the lights they float on the pool during winter. I looooooooove this picture.

This year they had a nativity on the pool in addition to the nativity they have next to the north visitor’s center. Really I think it’s great. I love nativities. This one was gorgeous. I wish I could take better pictures of it…. but I hope this at least inspires people in utah to go and see it!

More Nativity, I didn’t get any of this head on, but it was beautiful.

Beautiful! Don’t let my shotty camera work fool you, it’s crazy beautiful up there!

We had a very nice monday night, we actually started it off with dinner at Wendy’s. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it but Wendy’s is the MOST yummy place ever. Seriously I love Wendy’s the most when PG. I have this thing about Mayo when pregnant. I love it. I would probably (don’t read this jen!) eat a mayo sandwich and be giddy about it.


Derringer Meryl [happy day] Out

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