Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nanny Time, the California Chapter

A day nannying consists of -
1. A beautiful La Jolla jog around the cove to see the sea lions at 7 am followed by a quick bath in this beauty:
My favorite feature of this tub is the fact that it has little balls for the feet. I always wanted to take a bath in a tub like that because its such a classic style and here I get to do it every stinking day. Love love love La Jolla.
2 - Next I get the kiddos dressed and we play games, all sorts (name that movie and I'll give you a dollar). Here is an example of My style of games - bed forts :)
Inside this jumbled mess are 3 kids pretending to be kitties. I love those little kiddos.

3 - after playing around, we eat lunch and sometimes i give them a little taste of Hogan Doss triple chocolate chunk ice cream if they are good. After lunch, the baby takes a nap and the older kids go off with their other nanny. This is some time for me to sit around and soak up some vitamin D while reading my favorite author, Charles Dickens.

4 - After that, I look out the window and see a whole pod of dolphins swimming. Here is the view.
5 - When the baby wakes up, its time for a Disney movie. Today it was Cinderella. You know what? Cinderella might be my second favorite after The Little Mermaid. But Tangled was really good too so who knows.
6 - The kiddos come home and we all do some bike riding while the chef makes dinner. On the menu is chicken casadias and the most amazing lentil soup I have ever tasted.
7 - Once dinner is over, it is bed time. And blog time. Today was a GREAT day and I can't wait for tomorrow :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That Time I Hung Out With Mitt Romney (and thanks Lauren)

Sometimes I get to shmooze with cool people like Mitt and Anne Romney because of the nanny job.

This month, my nanny family and I sat by Brother Romney at church and I was pleasantly pleased to hear him bear his testimony about Christ. He got up and told a story about how he and Anne were in the kitchen the saturday before when somebody sent him a link called "Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus." This same link here:


Mitt said as he sat and watched this on his iPad in his kitchen, he started to get teary eyed. Anne wondered what he was blubbering about and he told her to come watch. When she did, she started to cry as well. Mitt explained how touching it was to see normal day to day people being exposed to and stopping and thinking about Christ. He said that Christ is the reason for all good that happens on the earth and how important it is that we remember him.

I was very touched and pleased to see this testimony of Christ come through brother Romney, a man who is very often in the public eye. After this, I say three cheers for Mitt Romney, hip hip horray, hip hip horray, hip hip - ok you know what i mean.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Popcorn Popping

On the Apricot Tree!!!




I heart Jello Popcorn Balls at Christmas :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crafting???

Ok really Jaimie + crafty = oxymoron.

BUT

Because I never finished last years relief society craft, I still had everything laying around and was able to pull together these little beauties

Sorry Tiff, no surprise here as you will be getting one of these creations at Wednesday nights Mimi festivity.

(and yes, they're Christmas cards in case you couldn't tell)

Also, I really really dig this group and this song. Check them out -



Saturday, December 18, 2010

I am Jaimie

I am Jaimie. I am not particularly beautiful nor am I despairingly ugly. Just average. If somebody were to ask me how to resolve the debate between a turkey or PB&J sandwich, I would always pick turkey. That is as long as it was made with wheat bread. Traveling the world is my forte and sometimes I get tripped up on internal debates like, would I rather go to Ireland or Australia? Ireland is beautiful and green, but Australia has surfing, surfer boys, and great white sharks. I stay up late at night and wake up early in the morning but wish that I went to bed early. When wondering which is better between ninjas and pirates, pirates win hands down. I collect books. Good books, books that I feel proud to put on my shelf after I read them. The thing that I miss most about being a kid is the sheer excitement about simple things like Christmas and coloring. If somebody said they would either give me a million dollars or true love, I would choose true love. If I could change my name, it would be Rogue. You know, like the girl off of X-men. I love snowboarding and being on the mountain, but I despise the snow in the valley and having to scrape my car windows! I plan to go to India someday


Monday, December 13, 2010

This Just In

You know my below blog about the key drama? You might find yourself asking, "now what did you do Jaimie?"

Well after a fun filled day of nannying (and it really was! The gateway, McDonalds, and gingerbread houses:), I came home, got out of my car, and realized I had my nanny families car keys in my pocket. If you find yourself asking, "how?" I would gladly respond that,

I don't even know.

I just laugh at this point. Good thing they had an extra pair of keys because I was not looking forward to the 40 min drive back to Holiday Utah. And good thing they just laugh too :) Oops!

Some major car keys drama

So far during the week of finals I:

1 - Thought that I had locked my keys in my car at my nanny families house. This resulted in me having to call my Dad to make the 45 min drive to SLC with me spare key. Of course this happens the night when I had oh so much homework to do. When I got home, I discovered that:

2 - I had locked them in their car and not mine.

3 - Lost my spare key about 4 different times throughout the week. One day, I had to take my parents car to school because of lost keys.

4 - Finally today after my final, I realized I had locked my spare key in my car at my parents house 35 minus before I was supposed to leave to go to the nanny people's house again.

Oh the key drama!

Blog readers, my question now is what have you done under major stress which resulted in even more stress???

I patiently await your answers

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Work at a Pool

I teach swimming lessons at the Lehi Legacy Center. I teach a parent child class, little kids, and one week every month I teach adults. Sometimes my 3 year old kids say something to me like this:

Me - Ok guys, show me how you can blow your bubbles (look at kids in class and see Alice just standing there). Alice, why aren't you blowing your bubbles?
Alice answering in an innocent voice - oops sorry, I was going potty.

I laughed. I heart my job :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sleeping to the Sound of Breaking Ocean Waves

My first experience with my nanny family was in California. The start of my employment with them began with a dinner eating steak outside and watching the sunset on the ocean. This is that same view:
I have this picture because over the weekend, I revisited California for the first time since I quit my nanny job. It was so nice to sit and reflect on all of the things that I have done over the last year and think about how I have grown. As a few of you might now, going back to California with them presented me with a lot of anxiety. It was a big relief to face some of the fears that I had previously had. In the end, I found myself having a delightful time. Nothing makes me happier than being by the sea. On a walk to the beach, I commented, "I can smell the ocean." My little girls grandpa made the rebuttal "yeah, it stinks. Smells like seaweed." I smiled and said "I'll take it." And then heard the response, "It's good to have you back Jaimie." It's fun to have worked so closely with a family and develop a love for them similar to that of my own. They are good, good people.
On this trip, I stayed in this room:
I show you this picture because my nanny kid came in and said to me:

"This is the room that uncle A uses. He sleeps naked you know"

Awkward.

Despite knowing that I was sleeping in uncle A's bed that he sleeps naked in, I had a wonderful time in California. Nothing does the soul good like getting some vitamin D in the midst of all of the winter drudge. I'm glad I had the courage to go on this trip; it was well worth it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What did YOU do this semester?

This morning I woke up, looked at my big stack of books for school, then got excited about how I get to sell a big bunch of them back so that some new students can figure out that they hate them too. The books at the top of this picture are the ones that I am going to SELL. Woo hoo! I hated some of those. I mean really, I can only take so much early puritan writing. Boring! But, if you know me, you also know that I am not a book hater. The bottom row shows the books that I will keep and lovingly place on my wooden bookshelf that my Dad made me when I was in Junior High.
The books that enter into that honored location called juniper wood bookshelf are:

The Remains of the Day (one of my favs. Good read)
New British Poetry
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Brick Lane
The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
Hawthorne's Short Stories (I realized how much i LOVE Nate Hawthorne this year)
The Blithdale Romance (another good read)
Frederick Douglas
Leaves of Grass (Ok so I already owned 2 copies of this, but I did revisit it as was required for class so I included it anyway)

Wow, this semester flew by and then dragged by and then flew by again. I'm happy its almost over and I can reap the rewards of another one down and then just one more to go. Gosh, can you believe that after this semester, I will become a teacher??? I can't wait to start my big kid adult life soon :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sick of Being Sick and Ode to Mr. Blog

With a dozen kids running around over Thanksgiving, I eventually caught the nasopharyngitis (thanks for the new term Matt).

I don't know if this is the same for you, but sickness seems to invoke a careless attitude towards fashion. As shown in exhibit a -

Exhibit A

Apparently from this picture, I am wearing plenty of layers and I'm sporting my new warm maroon socks with Christmas holly on them. My feelings about this - everybody needs a few pair of Christmas socks that your Mom gives you after black Friday shopping, yes? Yes. And in all reality, who cares if I have been running around in the same shirt since Sunday? Who cares if I wear a coat all over the house even when not going outdoors? Does it really matter if I fashion my beanie for an entire day in class? All I know is that throughout this whole ordeal, I sure am thankful for the kleenex that has become my constant companion.

BOO FOR BEING SICK

But!!! On the flipside, sickness means I got to pay a little attention to my dear friend Mr. Blog. I've been thinking lately that Mr. Blog and I need to spend some more quality time together. This thought process came about because I will admit it, I have a blog fetish. I religiously follow a couple of blogs like Nienie, Darlyblog, and Lauren. Sometimes I look at these people and think, "if only i were better, more witty, cuter, cooler, had more fashion taste, was more fluid of a writer, I could have a cool blog too." But you know what? I don't care. It doesn't matter if I walk around sporting the same outfit for practically 3 days because I am sick. It doesn't matter if I don't have a big exciting life filled with high adventure (at least currently). It doesn't matter if I don't have a husband or kids to write little cute things about. I am what I am right now. And I can choose this day to give my blog as much of a voice as I have in me to write. I look forward, from this day on, to the challenge of articulating the development of myself and those I love through the creativity of this external thing known as my blog. I am what I am, with my mismatched clothes and all, and it is good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Emerald City (aka Seattle)

I sort of fell in love with Seattle last weekend. Here is proof of my love affair











Friday, October 22, 2010

Ode to Caprese Salad AND a Recipe!


Want some food on a yacht?


I can tell you that I want some food on a yacht... Caprese salad, I miss you. I miss the simple flavors of the buffalo mozzarella mixed with tomatoes, basil, e.v.o.o. (how Rachel Ray says extra virgin olive oil), balsamic vinegar, and sea salt.

I miss you like a couch by the window during a snow storm misses a friend to sit and read To Kill a Mocking Bird on it. I miss you like a surfer misses a good set of waves. I miss you like my new black and red cardigan misses the oh so needed black tank top to go under it. Point being, I miss you.

But! Thank goodness for moms, gardens, and fresh tomatoes. Did you know that one can just about mimic a caprese salad here in the United States? I wouldn't have thought this to be possible because I thought that only in Capri Italy could one eat a caprese salad (yes, it originated in Capri) except that I learned a little secret. It is this -

1 - Fresh tomatoes and basil make the best caprese salad

and

2 - Mom's who grow fresh tomatoes and basil in their garden so that their daughters can make caprese salad are the best ever

Another few big tips. First, the secret to a good caprese salad is the right cheese. Now costco has the closest thing to buffalo mozzarella (the cheese you would use in Italy on your caprese salad). If you look in their cheese section, you will find a cheese called BelGioioso. Next to Italy, this cheese is as good as it gets and it makes for a pretty tasty salad. Second, not all e.v.o.o. is the same. Did you know that you can tell the quality of e.v.o.o. by the amount of times that the olive has been pressed? For this salad, you need a good olive oil. You want to buy one that says first cold press on it. This means that the olive was only pressed once so that you are getting the best and freshest olive oil.

Ok so a Caprese salad is pretty easy to make. All that it entails is a layering of fresh tomato, followed by an equal size of sliced belgioioso, and a big piece of basil. After I have layered all of these ingredients on top of each other, I sprinkle the salad with course sea salt. I then drizzle e.v.o.o. lightly but evenly over the salad. Sometimes if you like, you can put balsamic vinegar over your caprese salad for another tasty treat. Yum!!!

And this is how you can have a taste of Italy right here in the U.S. :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Song of Myself

Inspired by Walt Whitman


I cherish you, my failures and my flaws

I cherish the bad decisions and shortcomings

I cherish the multitude of mistakes

for they let me know that I am human


To the battered and bruised, join me

For we know that only through weakness comes growth


To you who have experienced hurt and pain

(and you have, I know you)

I say to you, come


Come rejoice in your accomplishments

Come sing praises to the existence of life

Come acknowledge the peace maker of your soul


It is only through recognizing success

that all fear of failure dissolves


When we feel weak, do not say to yourself

I fear the journey

When we feel weak, stand up and walk


Walk when others let you down

Walk when all seems to be against you

For we know that only through weakness comes growth

Thus I say, I cherish you

my failures and my flaws

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We no speak Americano

I've probably watched this about 50 times since I found it yesterday. This is why I am sharing it with you, so that you can watch it about 50 times today :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love Notes from Matthew

Life is about simple things such as my love note from Matthew, my dear friend from institute with down syndrome. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this from him today after class (and if you have a hard time reading it, don't worry! I will translate at the bottom:)

And the translation - Yo Hey Jaimie How are you? Oh Jaimie Why did the hamburger go to the gym? it wanted better buns what do you call a cow with a twitch? beef jerky. what do you call a cow with no legs? ground beef. why was the ant confused? because all of the ants were uncles! Im so proud of you. Do you have a school picture of you? And do you have a cell phone? Thanks for being my new friend! here we go silly Jaimie the cutie girl!

Matthew from institute, thank you for making my day a little brighter :)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Faith and Curios

Today in relief society, I shared an experience that I had this last week that I decided I would like to tell you all about as well because it has come to mean a lot to me.

Lately, I've been feeling like I am going through some interesting trials that really test my faith. I'm sure all of you have felt this way at one point of your life or another. To combat these trials, I made the attempt to do the basics (prayer, scripture study) with a little bit more faith. That is how this story I'm about to share with you comes about.

When I moved back to my parents house, I decided that I wanted to clean out my room and just organize my life and put things into focus, both with my room and who I am personally. Part of me doing this entailed buying a new shelf to replace the hand me down that my brother Gary had given me. I put $40.00 in my shelf budget (I'm a very thrifty girl) and looked online on ksl for about a month and a half waiting for the perfect thing. I was getting really discouraged because I could never find what I wanted.

Eventually my frustration over my pile of clutter in my room due to the lack of shelf became a little bit to much for me to handle. Then, I started to think about the gospel. I realized that I have a testimony that there is a Heavenly Father, but could he help me with my shelf problem, as small as it? I decided to put this question to the test and see if Heavenly Father really cared about the things that are small, but yet important to me in my life. I prayed Monday on my way home from school in my car and let Heavenly Father know that I had faith that he could help me find a shelf and that I needed his help because I wasn't able to find what I needed on my own.

When I got home and checked ksl, somebody posted the perfect shelf! (well, technically it is a curio)


I loved it! I loved it so much, that I was even willing to double my budget and spend $80 for it. I bought it that night, stuffed it in the back of my friends truck, then placed it in my room. The girl I had bought it from told me that her mother gave it to her as a wedding present and that it was a Palecek shelf so it was probably pretty nice. I didn't know what this meant and didn't really care, I was just glad to find a shelf. Then after getting it home, and admiring it, I researched palecek a little bit more.

This little shelf that I had bought for $80 is priced around the ballpark of at least $2000, but probably realistically about $3000. I was shocked! and amazed and very grateful.

I credit any success that I received for getting this shelf to the fact that I prayed to a Heavenly Father who loves me and listened to my prayer. I don't always have the faith to know that he will answer, but when I put forth the faith on my part, Heavenly Father blesses me and ultimately wants me to be successful and happy. The value of this lesson is even more meaningful to me than my new shelf.

This is my story and my belief. I live it and love it

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Have You Ever?!?

See this skirt?


I own this skirt, only it is in dress form. Meaning that the same fabric they (down east outfitters) use here, is what makes up my dress. So I wear my cute dress to church on Sunday only to discover during sacrament meeting that I

Put my dress on INSIDE OUT!!!

Yes that little inside seam that is usually on the inside was in fact on the outside! My first response was sheer horror. My second response was to smile at my mistake and say to my church buddy Chantel, "Hey guess what?" and after her response of the "what" face, I simply just show her my seam from my dress. It was all we could do to stifle our laughter throughout the rest of the meeting.

My question I now pose to you is, have you ever? or can you one up this?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today

Today is hard. In the past few weeks, I've been having some great experiences with the gospel and remembering who I am again. I think a lot of that has to do with my institute classes, lds.org with its mormon messages, and a pure desire to learn and grow. But sometimes, especially on days like today, I just feel overwhelmed with anxiety over my life and where I am at.

I went with my bffffff's from high school to the Lone Star Taqueria (featured once on the foodnetwork, yum!). It was weird to feel alienated by the mere fact that I am missing some jeweler on my left hand ring finger. It seems like everybody is growing older and moving onto the next part of their lives except for me. What makes it even harder is that in the past year, I've had to deal with some of the hardest trials with guys and dating. I didn't even realize how big of a ride this whole dating thing could be until I found myself stuck in some pretty lousy situations. The phrase when it rains, it pours has never seemed so true. But when all seems lost, I remind myself that


Life is hard. Some have trials a whole heck of a lot worse then I do. And the thing is that life is supposed to be hard. It is how we handle the hard that is the test. That being said, I too can do hard things. Sometimes when we may not know the answers, the best thing to do is just to remember the blessings, don't give up, and keep on going.




Saturday, August 7, 2010

crossroads

Its one of those times in my life where I am just not sure which way to go. My life feels like this ambiguous sign:


Some possibilities I'm considering are following Elizabeth Gilbert's life and going to Italy, India, then Indonesia to avoid men and to do some serious soul searching.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the reality is that due to grant money, I am stuck in Utah for at least a year. I mean, I am grateful to have gotten a grant but it doesn't give me an excuse to run away. Oh how I would love to run away right now because as we all know:


Maybe someday I will get this mess all figured out. But for now, I dream of India.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Great Adventures

Once upon a time I lived in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I learned that for me the beauty of life is found when I am with those that I love and trust exploring new and exciting things. My best memories of that little island include things like climbing monkey mountain, scooter rides to church, jumping off of waterfalls, speaking awful chinese, being with my students, surfing, deep sea diving, and well basically the whole entire thing was one giant memory of sheer joy.

Now one would think that with all of the experiences that i have had in the past year that my life would be filled with these same types of memories, but it hasn't necessarily been so. I've come to realize that experiencing life with my friends is more meaningful to me then experiencing a big life. That is why my latest adventure down the beautiful desolation canyon has been one of my greatest. I loved having the chance to paddle the entire time down the river and attempt to keep up with the boys. I really appreciate and loved being around such a great group of people and feeling like myself once again for the first time in quite a long time. So if anybody from this trip happens to read this, thank you for everything. it was wonderful. I hope that this is the catalyst towards becoming my normal self again with a life full of wonderful memories









Monday, May 24, 2010

Nanny Reflections

there are a few things in life that make me cry. some of which include watching white fang, boys who let me go to taiwan, the death of my dog Tanner, and the day that i said goodbye to my old nanny kid. for the privacy of this same ex nanny kid, i try to be pretty candid about my life and experiences while working with her and her family, however, i feel no apprehension expressing my feelings and emotions about her and sharing some of the experiences that we have had recently.

this past weekend I had the chance to go with the family to Montana, a land where you will see a taxidermy on just about on every street corner and find yourself talking with a hick accent saying things like howdy and ain't. it was fun to hangout with my ex nanny kid in the same way that we used to. she still looks to me to figure out how to act, asks me if she can have candy or go outside or whatever she needs to do, when she gets hurt she runs to me, i have no problems telling her i love her, but realize that it is important for her to know how lucky she is to have so many wonderful people in her life that love her such as me, her new nanny, her family, etc. i think about how curious it must be for a child to develop so many attachments to people and see them dissolve. i believe it is for this purpose that when i left her i cried so much because the reality of it is that i can't be her mother, i was just her nanny. but with being her nanny, i developed a strong love for her as i served her and acted as a mother would act towards a child.

as we were sitting and playing with linkin logs sunday morning i was singing. she used to tell me "you have a funny singing voice" to tease me, but this time around she started to cry and she looked at me and said "i miss you singing." it just about broke my heart. the reality of the situation is that i love this girl very much and she means the world to me but understanding this love just makes me realize the capacity for a mother to love a child is so much stronger then even i can understand. i think that perhaps one day, when i have my own family i will understand this love more. i realize every trip that i go on that by giving up my job, i gave up a ton of opportunities to see the world and to do great things, but perhaps as cool as that job was, even better things are in store for me. one day when i am quite grown up, having a family of my own will be the biggest blessing of all.

Pics from the ranch in Montana:





Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Catching Up - the Bahama Mama

Did you know that I went to The Bahamas?!?!?

It was probably the single most unrealistic experience of my life. I did things like jump off of my employers yacht into the blue water. At nights I rode on a speed boat to an island where I stayed in a cute house on the beach with the other nanny. I was able to fulfill my life long goal of swimming with sharks. I snorkeled under thunderball cave - the same cave from the James Bond movie. I was fed fancy yacht food (one of my favorite parts). We played on our own private islands with white sandy beaches all day long. I had my fare share of tube rides and jet skiing. It was a trip of a lifetime and one that I will most likely never have the chance to experience again and I loved every second of it :)