Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Been a While!

Wow, we're bad at this. It appears that Facebook has taken over our need for posting pictures and updates... Perhaps we'll come back to blogging given more time?? Better stories? I'll try.

But I do blog about food if you like following that kind of thing.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Annual Christmas Letter

Season’s greetings from South Texas! We had another fun and crazy year in 2011, with some camping adventures, a trip to the Gulf Coast with Mary’s family, and visits to Utah and Colorado. Read on for our individual summaries:

Mary, the star performer of the family, got to show off her bad side in two different lead roles at the local community theater, playing a manipulative crook in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and an evil Greek muse in Xanadu. She was really fun to watch (and got some nice reviews in the newspaper) and we enjoyed having our familes come down for the shows. As if that wasn’t enough, she wrote, directed, filmed, and edited a musical skit for the church youth group, and continues to sing with Mastersingers. I’m trying to prepare myself for the day when I wake up to find that she has run off to Broadway.

As for me, I’m almost done with Nephrology fellowship and I found out that I’ll be staying put in San Antonio for 3 more years after I graduate next summer. As part of my training, I had to go to a demanding medical conference that involved a seven day stay on the Las Vegas strip and a night out to see Donnie and Marie with my mom. I started playing in a basketball league again, trying to regain some of that high school glory, and I also biked in in two 100K rides and raced in two duathlons. As proof that I’m getting old and boring, I started a vegetable garden and I actually like to talk about my plants in social settings.

Abby is a happy second-grader and is doing great in school (and already writing love notes about boys L). She tried out for the kids troupe at the community theater and got the role of the Mollie in Annie Jr. She made an adorable orphan to say the least. Besides theater, she played soccer this year and and is going to try basketball this winter – I’ll be the coach, so I’m going to make sure she is the star.

Olivia started daily pre-K and is having fun being a schoolgirl and riding the bus. She can play for hours on end by herself with travel-size lotions and soaps as the characters, and also likes to shimmy up door frames in her spare time. She played soccer this year, and we may put her disturbing flexibility to use in gymnastics next year.

Gavin is a great little two year old, with a huge smile and a sweet personality. We love having a little boy, even more so now that he has lately started to cut down on his habit of hurling bowls and plates full of food across the kitchen. Unfortunately, he now just throws the remote control instead whenever one his frequent demands to watch cartoons is ignored, but it’s a lot easier to clean up than mashed potatoes, and he makes up for his outbursts by saying “I wuv you.”

Well, that’s it - thanks for reading to the end. We hope life finds you well and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Ben, Mary, Abigail, Olivia, and Gavin Morrow

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Look at this face!

It's a good thing he's cute... he needs something in his corner when I'm at my wits end! With his strong personality and demands, and my go-with-the-flow attitude, I fear he's grooming our relationship to get whatever he wants. When he doesn't want something, he hucks it. Milk too cold, it's gone. Not in the mood for dinner anymore, it's all over the floor. Tired of sitting in church for the 2 minutes we've been there, he gets loud... and stays loud until he gets what he wants! Take a look at this mouth.

You can imagine the noise it produces when looking like that. But he also is the most charming! It's so easy to get a laugh out of him. And really, all he wants is someone to play with. If I could stop everything and just get on the floor with him, he's happy.
He's only 17 months, but I pose a question... Is it too early to "discipline" a kid? Do I just ignore his demands, or is there a technique I'm missing? What kind of things do you do to help teach your babies what is allowed and what's not?

We LOVE our Gavin and think it's so fun to have this boy in our family! I think we're just in the "waiting it out" phase, and that's OK. Can't wait for those 2's trantrums! :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remember the time...

I love how music has power over your mind, like a transport to another time, a lost memory, another feeling, bringing a smile, a laugh, or cringe... either way, music is cool! Last night Ben and I took the girls to a pizza joint for dinner and it must have been 80's night--a flood of songs that made me feel oh-so-cool in elementary school. And it's interesting that certain songs can belong to certain people. Like Billy Joel's, "Uptown Girl"-- that's riding in the car with my dad, loudly listening and singing along.

But the one that takes the cake.... "Lady in Red". Who can't have a memory associated with this song? It was only played at every stake & school dance. I did sing this to Ben at our first date/dance, changing the words to "man with red hair", but the song still belongs to a high school friend of mine! (Sorry if you are reading, I bet you'd laugh at it now.)

There was a time where someone was actually obsessed with me. I know, I know. Weird. I would find an orange construction cone outside my door with a rose sticking out of it.., or a message on the seminary board to me (or in my scriptures that stayed at the seminary building), or a Christmas present--a framed picture of those cute black and white photos of young kids (where one would be holding a rose or something romantic) with a secret message written in code inside the frame that I would have to figure out... but the one that topped them all was the tape stuck to my car door with a flower. It was full of love songs, but not just love songs, edited portions of love songs that led me right to the things he was thinking/feeling. "Lady in Red" was on there and I found a hidden message from him within the song. I remember spending a good part of a morning with a friend listening to it over and over to figure out what he was saying. I think it was "will you be my girlfriend" or something like that. I STILL don't really know!

But anyway, I think I could find a memory for every old song that comes on. Journey's "Open Arms" was the song that I would cry to as I remembered a boy I really liked telling me we couldn't be together. Lauren Hill & Samantha Mumba is the Riviera apartments, dancing in my living room with roommates. My dad singing Beatle's "Do You Want To Know a Secret" to his girls, and the middle part of "A Day In the Life" every morning to get us up. "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About" is my sister's song with her old boyfriend-- my mom and I called him up after his mission and their break-up to play this song to him, trying to rekindle the flame. (woops!) "That's What Friends Are For" is my other sister, Courtney. "Yellow" by Coldplay brings me back to first dating Ben. Cranberries, "Linger" is Andrea and I recording ourselves singing this in high school. "Carmen" opera is my mom (from getting Gustov the Mole for us to read/listen to)... and on, and on, and on.

Anyway, I'm grateful for songs that help preserve our memories! What are some of your favorite songs/memories?

And, in case you are wondering... yes I did date that guy later, but only after he stopped being creepy :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Inner Voice

Remember when blogging used to be about standing on your soap-box, or having some interesting story to share, or maybe even a neat tip that others would love to know? Maybe you still do that so you don't have to remember... or maybe you're like me where blogging has turned into journaling your family's latest and greatest... My current style of blogging is becoming a drag to me, not to mention I'm ALWAYS behind! So here's to my inner-voice that says, surely you have something to say! I'm breaking free! Yes, I will still have the latest and greatest because I am a stay-at-home mom and my children are my life! But I also want to challenge my mind a little more... maybe form an opinion? If I were to use one word to describe me, I would use INDIFFERENT. So this can be a sort of therapy for me as well! And for those that don't care, feel free to bypass the entries until you find a picture! There you will most-likely find the journaling!
So for this entry, I'm doing a poll. Now that I've addressed my new goal (for me more than you, sorry), let me see why YOU read other blogs. Check my column for the poll.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not Your Average Rice Pudding!

So in hopes to find a dreamy new dessert for my Christmas Eve meal, I tried "Creamy Rice Pudding Cake" from Lori Longbotham's Luscious Creamy Desserts. I am a tad-bit of a cream-o-holic, so I was a little disappointed at the dryness of the final product. Next time, I'll skip the part that turns it into a cake and eat it as a pudding! Here is the recipe as a rice pudding:

4 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup Arborio or other short-grain Italian rice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
8 strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
pinch of salt
1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Bring half-and-half, rice, brown sugar, zest, coriander, and salt to a simmer in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and cook at a bare simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then discard the zest and whisk in vanilla. If you want some added sweetness, you could serve it with meringue cream*, whipped cream, or fresh fruit. Lemony and creamy, two of my favorites!

*Meringue cream: 2 large egg white, 6 tbsp. sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract. At least 30 min. before serving, beat egg whites on medium-high until whites form soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 tbsp of sugar at a time and continue to beat until whites form stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat cream with the vanilla on medium-high until the cream forms stiff peaks. Fold cream into meringue until well combined. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 20 min. (or for up to 6 hours).

Saturday, December 25, 2010