Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Sing Off!

Matt & I love The Sing Off. Matt was in Barbershop in high school and secretly wishes he were still in an a capella group :) This season was so fun to watch, we loved The Backbeats and Committed. Tonight while we were shopping in San Luis, we saw Joanna, the lead singer of The Backbeats! We both saw her and debated over who was going to talk to her. I made sure it was her and then we went up and talked to her. She was so sweet! We told her that she should get a record contract because her voice is incredible! I had no idea that she was a local girl, so cool. Here we are in Gap :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Little Helper

Ada is a busy little girl. She's fast too!
Before you know it, she's into something. 
Example A:
 Helping Poppa load the dishwasher...and clapping for the good job she's doing :)
There are pictures of me the same way on Nana's dishwasher.
One of my little footprints even stayed there for years!
 Here's one of my bowls...
 See Ma?
 I love my little helpers :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oakland Temple

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Oakland Temple to see the beautiful lights.
I love Ada all bundled up in this jacket and hat my mom bought for her before she was born!
 It was so fun, we went with another family in our ward and my mom and sister. The Visitor's Center was wonderful (and warm!) and Ada made friends with everyone there. They had a beautiful photography exhibit called Reflections of Christ. Here is a video compilation of the photos. My favorites are Walking on Water & Resurrection. 
It was the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Millers Visit

Matt's parents came up to visit us last month and see our new home here in Santa Cruz! 
Ada showed them around town.
We took them to Steamer Lane, where a junior surfing competition was going on. They make it look so easy!
Father and son checking out the surf. I love this picture! 
 Oh Matty :)
They took us out to lunch on the wharf and then treated us to Mexican for dinner because I was too tired to cook. We all had colds and were wiped out! 
Thank you for coming Marc & Diana! And for watching Ada while I went to the adult session of Stake Conference. 
Who's going to come visit us next? :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We spent Wednesday in Santa Maria at Ryan & Kandie's, then the rest of the day in Lompoc at Marc & Diana's.
Ryan has Xbox Kinect, it is SO MUCH FUN! I'm not a video game person, but I love that. You actually work up a sweat and don't even have to use a controller! 
 Ben & Alissa were up from LA with their kiddos, and Alan & Karina came out from Utah!
Focused little drummer boy:
Ada wearing Grandma Diana's hat; I feel like she's hiding from the paparazzi!
Here are some of the Miller Men Rock Band:
Ryan, Matt, & Marc
Thursday was spent in Santa Maria with my family.
Auntie Linds gave Ada her tiara and she walked around all morning like a princess. 
She even came into my room to show me. A few times :)
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Ada loved the Sesame Street float, she was up on her toes dancing! 
After the parade, I finished making rolls and Ada got her first haircut from Auntie Linds!
I love this picture, she's just a little floating head.
Then we went to Nana's, where Ada was a little giddy about eating turkey with all the fixins!
The turkey man with the beautiful spread!
Evidently it was plaid day...
Uncle Sean LOVES Ada!
It was a wonderful away from everyone makes being home for the holidays so much sweeter!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ada is One Year Old!

One year ago today, our lives changed forever. Announcement post here, birth story here, newborn photos here. I've been strolling down memory lane...thinking about our adorable little girl with such a big personality. Right now she is taking the nativity pieces down one by one and there is a wise man under the table, baby Jesus in her chubby little hand, and Mary in her princess tent.
She had her one year checkup on Tuesday. She weighed in at 23 lbs. 4 oz. (93rd percentile) and is 29 in. tall (73rd percentile). 
The doctor said she is the picture of health and her language skills are very advanced. When he came in the room, she looked at him, said, "Hi!" and waved :)
She had three vaccinations, and we watched her closely all night to keep a high fever at bay. She woke us up at 6 AM and had another febrile seizure. It was scary for Matt because he didn't see her the first time it happened, now he knows why I called 911. He was able to give her a blessing and she finished seizing. Then she looked up at me and said, "Ohhhhhh!" Like, "What just happened?!" We got her in the tub and brought her temperature down. She slept really well after that. We did everything they told us to do should it happen again, and she has been herself ever since.
We celebrated her first birthday while my mom and sister were in town.
Auntie Linds gave her the tiara, she loves it! She'll touch it on her head then come over to show you how pretty she is :)
She loves Mr. Pony & her tent!
I love this face! She's looking at me like, "Really?! I can keep digging into this cake?!"
Oh happy day!
 A girl after her momma's own heart :)
Time for a bath! 
This little lady has brought so much joy and laughter to all who know and love her.
Just look at the pictures...she is constantly cracking us up with new faces and antics!
Ada, you are a beautiful girl that your momma and papa feel so blessed to be the parents of. We have loved this past year with you and cannot picture our lives without you! We are so excited to watch you continue to grow and learn about this big world around you. Happy birthday my little noodle nugget!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Matt's 26th Birthday!

Matt had to work on his birthday, so we celebrated with dinner and dessert the next day. I made him pot roast & potatoes...our house smelled SO good when we came home from church! Matt gives this meal a 100 out of 10. (If you haven't noticed, he loves everything I if you have a really picky eater, don't go by Matt's opinion!) I took pictures of it, but didn't have the memory card in the camera. Derrrr. 
This recipe is from The Essential Mormon Cookbook.

Savory Pot Roast with Potatoes and Gravy

6-8 large baking potatoes
1 (4-5 lb.) pot roast
1 (1 oz.) package dry onion soup mix
1 (26 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

Scrub potatoes and wrap in heavy foil. Place on baking sheet and place in oven at same time and temperature as pot roast. 
Place roast on large piece of tin foil. Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over top of roast. Spoon mushroom soup on top. For more gravy, add additional mushroom soup. Wrap tightly in foil, folding edges securely. Place in roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours. Unwrap roast carefully, transferring meat and gravy to serving platter. Slice thinly. Serve with baked potatoes. Serves 6-8.

Then we followed last year's tradition and I made a Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Pie! Recipe found here. This year I swirled the chocolate through the peanut butter mousse and we liked it more. Also, I use a store-bought graham cracker crust because it's easier. This isn't your normal, heavy, chalky peanut butter chocolate pie. It's a light, fluffy, mousse-y although RICH pie! Try it, you'll like it. Topped with homemade whipped cream it's the best!
Happy Birthday Love!
Ada enjoying some graham crackers of her own.
 She loved when we lit the candles and sang to Poppa! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ten Tips for the Holidays

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? It's only two weeks away. Then comes Christmas! It can be a crazy, hectic time of year. Here are some of my tips to help you get through in one piece and enjoy yourself more.

1. Make lists. I am such a list lover. Lists help me lay out what needs to be done, prioritize everything, and get to checking and crossing tasks off. You will feel so accomplished when you get everything done!
2. Plan ahead. A well-planned event is a successful one. If you have your plans laid ahead of time, nobody will be surprised and meltdowns will be avoided. Try to take care of things that can be done early on to avoid scrambling at the last minute (shopping, gift wrapping, freezing items, etc).
3. Learn to say NO. As much as you would like to, you cannot do it all. In the season of giving, it is very tempting to sign up to bring something to every event and volunteer to be on every committee. But if you stretch yourself too thin, you won't be able to do a good job on everything. Nobody wants a frazzled momma, so just know that it is okay to say no!
4. Delegate. Going along with #3, ask friends and family to help you out if you're hosting or planning. Enlist their help; they will appreciate being involved, and you will appreciate the helping hands!
5. Simplify. Less really is more when it comes to the holidays. Why waste your time on grand, over-the-top decor when simple, streamlined, festive decorations will create the mood?  

Use sites like to help make sending your holiday cards easier. Keep it simple and focus on the people around you!
6. Scale back. The past few Christmases, we have had, "small Christmases". And do you know what? They have been BETTER than the big ones! By picking out one or two inexpensive, thoughtful gifts, we are able to get away from the materialism and commercialism that has engulfed Christmas and focus on its true meaning, the birth of our Savior.
7. Make some time for you. Before you know it, every weekend has plans and you are being pulled in a million directions. Make sure to take a few minutes for yourself. Go out on a date, hang out with the girls, or take a jog solo. A happy and rejuvenated you will be able to enjoy the holidays much more than a stressed-out you.
8. Create or continue traditions. I am a stickler for tradition. My mom would do something one year, and the next I would insist that it was tradition and we had to do it again! By carrying on traditions like picking out a Christmas tree as a family, watching your favorite Christmas movies, baking special goodies, and attending church programs, you will create memories and bonds that carry through the generations. Who knows, your children may even ask you to do something you did last year!
9. Take pictures. This is one that I need to work on. (Surprising, right?!) I love taking pictures, but on the actual holidays, I only end up taking one or this one from last year. I look drunk. 
 Especially since having a baby, I am so busy making sure I know where she is and taking care of her that the camera stays in the diaper bag. Take the time to stop what you're doing and get the camera out. Among the eating, talking, visiting, game playing, and will capture some of your happiest times.
10. Be grateful. Thanksgiving is about gratitude, and we should try to keep that with us throughout the holiday season (and entire year!). Don't let the ads lead you to believe that you need this or can't be happy without that. Be grateful for what you do have and realize that it is probably more than what many others have. We are all so blessed!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I saw this recipe on Down Home with the Neelys. Do you think they're always like that? They are kind of entertaining to watch, but annoying if you're not in the mood. It made me think that I want a cooking show with my husband. It would probably be a disaster, though, because Matt tends to get majorly awkward in front of cameras. 
We made this Sunday night for dinner, and it was delicious! Matt is my sous chef and chops my onions because they make my blue eyes cry. This soup was perfect on a cold, rainy day and packs more of a punch with the jalapenos and poblano (or pasilla as I found at the store) peppers.  Don't worry though, I'm a mild girl and I still loved it. 

2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced 
2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping

Drain and rinse the canned white beans. In a medium bowl, mash half of the beans with a potato masher until chunky. Reserve the beans until needed.
Add the canola oil to a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to saute for 1 more minute to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken stock, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken and cilantro and simmer until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges.
Husband approved :) 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Notes About Santa Cruz III

Every night, around 9 PM, there is a silly horn outside of our back patio. It's like a little song, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo (can you hear it?). I have no idea who does it, or where it is coming from! Tonight, I walked out and turned on the light and looked around. Nothing. When I went back inside, the horn went three more times. I'll be staying inside from now on.
We went to a restaurant that we heard had incredible milkshakes. I am a very decisive person, and it was taking me FOREVER to pick something to eat! Matt was having the same problem. When our server came over, he asked if we had any questions. I said, "What is fakin' bacon, and why does chicken have quotations around it?!" He explained to us that everything on the menu was vegan or vegetarian, but not to be discouraged! It all tastes great, give it a chance, yadda yadda yadda. I was in the mood for a burger, not a cashew patty. So I ended up ordering a fried egg sandwich with gouda that was okay. The shakes were good, but I don't think we'll be going back there anytime soon.
THIS GUY was at the farmer's market last night! Oh my goodness. This was a moment where Matt & I just looked at each other and died laughing.
Check out the little girl in the hat watching them!
He was holding this girl's hands and touching her forehead, maybe he was transferring happy energy to her? I have no idea. It was too hilarious not to take a picture (or two) of. I don't even think he noticed! Dreadlocks, beard, no shirt, low-rise purple velour pants....oh dear. 
Also, driving in this town is BANANAS. There are so many pedestrians and cyclists that you have to be on the constant lookout for them, they really sneak up on you! I have had not one, not two, but THREE bums jump out in front of my car. Thanks for the heart attack guys. Not only do you have to worry about these hazards, but the roads themselves are insane! I remembered that from coming up here on Spring Break when I had my permit. My mom had me drive! haha There are one-way roads, unexplainable forks, blind hills you come up and have to sharply turn to avoid hitting a telephone pole, an intersection you come through and suddenly face oncoming traffic while the road shifts to the right...I could go on and on! Needless to say, I drive VERY slowly and cautiously around this town. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shutterfly Holiday Cards

I've been looking at Shutterfly's Christmas cards for this year, there are SO many cute ones to choose from! 
I went through all of them and picked out my favorites. 

I like the design of this card, it has a classic feel to it.
This is the one I think we are going to go with this year, a vintage French look.
If you take a ton of pictures, like me, a collage card works well to show off lots of pictures of your family. They are easy to upload to Shutterfly's site.
This one is my close number two. I love the clean, modern feel of it. It reminds me of my blog - white and simply classic with lots of color! 
I love the color combination and old print feel of this card. You can change the text where it says happy holiday to Merry Christmas if you want, I like to wish a Merry Christmas because that is really what the season is all about - the birth of Christ! 
If they had this card last year, I would have used it in a heartbeat for Ada's newborn pictures. It is elegant, sweet, and simple.
Which one is your favorite?
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