Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas recap

As usual, we headed to Idaho Falls for Christmas. We stayed with my parents and tried to spend a lot of time with both families. Sean's entire family was home for Christmas this year, which was way cool because it has been years since they have all been together. Jackson got to meet some new cousins and had a blast playing with all of them.

On Christmas Eve we participated in the live nativity that is a tradition of the Ricks family. Jackson was supposed to be a sheep, but he wouldn't wear the costume and was absent for most of the production-- he was a lost sheep per se! ;)
Sean decided to pull out his awesome Christmas sweater (complete with shoulder pads) for the occasion. I asked him to give me a Zoolander pose and here is what he came up with:
There's our little sheep!
Christmas morning smiles. Jackson kept saying "Santa came!" over and over for the next few days.
Unwrapping Pooh Bear
I think he likes it :)

Checking out some of his loot
Sean surprised me with gift card for three maternity massages-- score! We both received some really nice gifts this year. Thank you everyone!

I always look forward to my mom's Christmas dinner and she never disappoints. She always makes prime rib and her famous rolls and everything was really yummy!

Jumping on the bed with a bunch of girls
All of the Ricks grandkids
Finally, this is a random shot I'm throwing in. I took pictures of my belly every month I was pregnant with Jackson starting at 4 months. I missed month 4 this time, but here is my 5-month belly shot I took on Tuesday.
Hope everyone had a good Christmas! As for me, it is time to prepare for Jackpot's big 2nd birthday tomorrow!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas card 2010

There are a few addresses I never rounded up so I thought I'd post our Christmas card and letter. We're off to Idaho-- Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Merry Christmas! We hope you have had a happy 2010 and find this card in good health and good spirits. We are grateful to have been blessed with another great year.

We started the year celebrating Jackson’s first birthday and it is hard to believe in a few weeks we will be celebrating his second! It has been a lot of fun watching him achieve many milestones this year. He spends his days running all over the place and talking up a storm. Some of his favorite things right now are movies (or “DBDs” as he calls them), swimming, cars, his tricycle, making messes, and playing with his dad. He is becoming more and more independent and makes us work harder for hugs and kisses. He continues to be the light of our lives and we are so happy to have him in our family.

We found out in early September that another little one will be joining our family in the spring! We are thrilled to have another baby on the way and are so grateful this came without any doctor assistance. We are excited to find out if it is a boy or girl mid-December—we’re happy either way!

Sean has had a busy year with school and work. He entered his final year of law school this fall and is looking forward to finishing in the spring. It’s strange thinking there really is life beyond school. He continues to work as a legal clerk for APX and really enjoys it. We were thrilled when APX extended Sean a job offer to join their in-house legal team after graduation. We know he is very fortunate to have such a wonderful job opportunity in such a difficult job market. Life for Sean this year hasn’t been all work. This summer he joined a karting league at Miller Motorsports Park with one of his friends and absolutely loved it. He was also able to go with a few friends to the second installment of a driving school in Alabama. He got to let out his inner-racing demon—thankfully in a somewhat controlled environment!

Jenny is staying busy running after Jackson and trying not to let her waist expand too rapidly. During free time (a.k.a. naptime), she has enjoyed working in the garden and a few sewing projects. She is an activity days leader for church and enjoys planning and attending activities with the cute girls in her neighborhood. She also survived enjoyed girls camp this summer as girls camp director. Ready for a vacation, she suggested a family trip to Yosemite National Park and San Francisco this fall. We saw some beautiful scenery and had a great time exploring together.

We are so grateful for our family and friends and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We're really enjoying the fun stuff to do this time of year!

Lights at temple square
Reindeer at Thanksgiving Point
Building our own snowman (some little guy we know is a big fan)
New snow!
Ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It's a BOY!!!

We had our ultrasound this morning and it appears I am becoming more outnumbered! And I couldn't be happier about it :) We are so happy to have another little man in the house and excited for Jackson to have a brother.

Everything looked great on the ultrasound and he was very cooperative in revealing he is a boy :)

Picture of his cute lips and nose (and flashing a gang sign):
Hard to believe we're at the halfway point-- excited to meet this guy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread and lights

We decided to decorate our annual gingerbread house tonight. I made all of the gingerbread yesterday so we could focus on the decorating tonight. It started off well...

Making the royal icing with a little helper in his cowboy apron:
We got the gingerbread house all "glued" together and thought it was stable enough to start decorating. We were wrong... it collapsed. The royal icing was also giving us trouble-- somehow we got a hole in the piping bag and icing was everywhere!

I'll be honest, at this point I was ready to throw in the towel and just eat the candy. Sean was more optimistic and he engineered a way to make the house more stable. We used supports until the house dried just to be safe.

Jackson thought he was in heaven when he saw the big pile of candy in the middle of the table. We pretty much gave him free reign :) He seemed to have a lot of fun helping us decorate.
He also ate a lot of candy already on the house. I'm pretty sure I caught him red handed in this picture:
The finished product:
Nothing fancy, but this ended up being one of my favorites so far!

Not more than 30 minutes later, this was what was left of our gingerbread house:
Apparently some little boy was sneaking candy off of the finished product and the roof collapsed (I take full responsibility for leaving it within his reach-- doh!) I tried to put the roof back on and the whole thing fell! hahaha the only thing we could do at this point was laugh. Glad I snapped a picture before the apocalypse.

Moving on...

Every year we put up Christmas lights on our balcony. Not really sure why, but we started calling it our "fiesta." The time for the fiesta arrived and Jackson and Sean spent some quality time putting up the lights. It was freezing outside so I opted to stay inside and make cookies :)

Jackson thought the lights were quite amazing and he squealed each time Sean plugged in a new strand.
ooooohhhhh, aaaahhhhh
Good job boys!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rubio's fish tacos

We're big fans of Rubio's 'round these parts-- especially the fish tacos. Strange considering I don't typically enjoy fish, although battering and frying it is likely the the key to my fondness.

When Sean went gluten free I felt sorry he could no longer order fish tacos. A few weeks ago I was craving them so I looked for copy cat recipes online. I figured since so many things are battered in rice flour, it might just work for fish tacos.

I found a recipe that looked pretty good and got good reviews so we tried them out. Success!!! They were SO easy to make and more important, delicious. They seriously tasted just like the real thing. Anyway, I wanted to share the recipe in case anyone else wants to try it. Sorry my picture isn't great-- I'm no food blogger!

Here is the recipe with my notes:

Fish Tacos Recipe

  • 11 pieces of “taco sized” (1-2 ounce) Pollock (any mild tasting fish such as cod fits the bill, mess around with any kind of fish you want)
  • 11 corn tortillas (if you get flour, you’ll be sorry)
  • Plenty of vegetable oil (enough to douse the fish completely in your fryer)
  • 1 Cup flour (I used a gluten free blend)
  • 1 Cup of a dark beer (I used Ginger Ale with great results)
  • Garlic powder to taste.
  • Black Pepper to taste.
  • 1 Cup of Rubio’s White Sauce (1/2 c. mayo mixed with 1/2 c. plain yogurt)
  • 3 Cups of shredded cabbage (the more finely shredded the better)
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • About ½ a cup Lime juice, fresh limes will taste much better, about 2 will suffice

Cooking instructions

  1. Mix together your flour, garlic, and pepper in a bowl. Stir thoroughly and then add in the dark beer. After it is mixed more or less uniformly, let this settle at room temperature for an hour. (I did not wait a full hour and mine turned out fine)
  2. In the meantime, clean your fish. This helps with the “fishy” taste especially if you don’t have the freshest fish. Use a bit of lime juice and salt water when washing. (I just ran my fish under the tap)
  3. Also in the meantime, you can warm up your oil to 375 degrees. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
  4. After the hour is over whisk the batter vigorously. Doing this will give your fish a lighter crispier taste on the outside and that distinctive Rubio’s texture.
  5. Dip the fish into the batter and cover all sides. Then quickly dunk the fish into the hot oil. Leave it in there until it is golden brown. You may need to turn the fish once or twice to help it cook evenly, depending on your fryer.
  6. Next make the pico de gallo salsa. Dice your tomato and onion and chop that cilantro, then just mix it all together.
  7. To assemble: Put fish in center of tortilla and drizzle with white sauce. Spoon on some pico de gallo and a small handful of shredded cabbage. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top. Fold in half and enjoy!
Original recipe here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey day

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We returned home yesterday after spending the majority of the week in Idaho Falls. We stayed with Sean's parents this year. Both Sean's family and my family have some pretty great cooks so we never have an "off" year with the food! All of the food was awesome, but some particular standouts for me were the dressing made with homemade gf jalapeno cheese bread (collaborative effort from Sean's mom and sister), and the sweet potato casserole Erin made (sinfully delicious). I should have taken a picture of all of the food. We also had like 7 or 8 pies, which is never a bad thing. Too bad you needed a saw to get through the crust of my gluten free pumpkin pie! haha, I figure there is always next year!

Unfortunately Jackson had an ear infection for the first few days in Idaho Falls. He was pretty tired and moody, but seemed to cheer up towards the end. We have been having quite the battle getting him to take his medication... the first few attempts proved unsuccessful as he spit the hot pink goo everywhere. I am happy to say there have been no more spitting incidents since I started disguising the medication in strawberry/chocolate milk.

This was also the first year in quite some time where all of my siblings have been in Idaho Falls for Thanksgiving. It was nice seeing everyone and getting a chance to hang out. We saw a few movies (Harry Potter and Tangled) and watched the BYU game. We always have fun with Sean's family and had a great time Saturday night hanging out at Erin's. She made Pioneer Woman's jalapeno poppers and I ate about 30 and consequently gained 10 pounds. It's all in the name of Thanksgiving! ;)

We have a lot to be thankful for this year and I am so happy I got to spend Thanksgiving with so many of the people I care about most!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy birthday to Sean!

Sean turned 29 yesterday! I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday and he chose bowling :) My sister and her family and our friends Rob and Heidi came with us and we had a great time.

Here are the few pictures I snapped before politely being told I needed to put my camera away because it was distracting the hard-core league players...

Sean pretty much smoked everyone. I guess it is fitting for the birthday boy to be victorious!
I did better when I got help from Jackson (and the bumpers).

Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of Rob or Heidi before I had to put away my camera. They looked fab though! ;)

We ended the night with cake (gluten-free) and cupcakes (gluten-full) and ice cream. It was a really fun day and I am hoping Sean thought so too!

Finally, I took this video on my phone yesterday at my sister's and meant to post it for Sean's actual birthday-- I figure late is better than never!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Family pictures 2010

My friend Ashley is a photographer and happens to be my next-door neighbor. Jackson LOVES her two daughters and makes himself right at home with them (literally--he just walks into their house on an almost daily basis). We had Ashley take our family pictures this year and we are SO happy with them.

Here are some of my very favorites:

Jackson did not want to let go of the apple he was eating from the orchard. I thought it was cute addition in the pictures!
I had to include this one just because it makes me laugh. The ultimate cheesy grin-- it almost looks painful!
Getting ready to tackle dad
I love this one even though Jackson isn't smiling. I am pretty sure his mouth is full of candy.
It was great Jackson was so comfortable with Ashley. She has a toy bear in a sleeping bag that really helped get smiles out of him. The session was relaxed and stress free-- opposite of what I am used to feeling about family pictures. Usually by the end I am just happy to be done and don't even care about how the pictures turn out. I really like Ashley's experience with kids and understanding that they aren't going to sit still and smile perfectly for the camera all the time. I also really like that she took both posed and unposed photos. All I know is it is good that we had the pictures taken about a month ago because if we took them today I would need some heavy-duty Spanx!

Thank you Ashley for taking pictures that we absolutely love and feel represent our family so well!