Thursday, November 29, 2007

Willa's Wonderful World

Days like today, I find myself wishing that I was a skilled photographer. This morning, Eliza and I went to the Festival of Trees with my Mom and Aunt Dawnette. The experience was made special by one tree in particular:
As I mentioned already, my humble photos do not do the majesty of this tree justice. My cousin Andrew and his sweet wife, Callie welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family this past September. Heavenly Father called her home a few days later. For me, Willa's tree is a celebration of her life. I don't know that anything can fully express or demonstrate the amount of love her family has for her, but to honor her in a cause such as this, is something great. It's amazing to me that Willa's precious life has impacted and touched family, friends and strangers. And there's no doubt that her influence will continually be felt.
Like so many of the trees on display, Willa's Wonderful World was created out of love. The detail of each handmade fairy is extraordinary. I am curious to know how much time this took! When I see Willa's parents, I immediately think of how blessed Willa is to have been born into Andrew and Callie's family.
Prior to our visit, I knew that the Festival of Trees raised money for some type of charity. For those of you who don't know, each dollar raised goes to the children at Primary Children's Medical center... that includes cost of your admission - which was only $4.00.

If you feel as though you need a jump start in feeling the Spirit of Christmas or simply want to add to what you already feel, spend some time here. Each tree represents something or someone special. The creativity and talent was astounding. There were children's choirs performing, a FUDGE SHOP, a gift boutique, wreath displays, elaborate ginger bread houses and Santa Claus!Unfortunately, our time was cut short thanks to Miss Moody pants (pictured below). Overall, she did well but sleep deprivation combined with her desire/NEED to walk (and not sit) made my sweet diva somewhat impatient.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Study of Contrast: Exhibit A - Toothpaste

Thanksgiving weekend provided Andrew and I with the opportunity to spend quality time with Eliza and our extended family. Needless to say, we value our time together. However, various circumstances afforded us with the rare experience to indulge in our own "free time." Andrew and I recently realized that we have been using two separate tooth pastes. I admit that the hashed out Colgate tube belongs to me; while Andrew has obviously been treating his tube of Crest with tender, loving , care. Allow me to take this opportunity to publicly declare that I am far more organized than he is. He can easily create and live with piles and clutter and I can't. But when it comes to ironing, squeezing out tooth paste and folding his toilet paper - he is nothing short of a perfectionist.

These tubes of tooth paste represent the differences in our personality. And when evaluating how he and I spent our time apart this weekend, our choices couldn't be more different and more unappealing to our other half.

On Thursday morning, Andrew woke up at 6:00 (*insert vomit sound here) to go fishing with our brother in law, Paul, and our adventurous nephew, Wickman.

IT WAS 7 (seven) DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. Let's not forget to factor in wind chill! Go ahead and call me "wimp" ... but I would never voluntarily leave my warm bed to subject myself to that degree of torture.

I guess that last statement isn't entirely true. As my Mom kindly reminded me, I did go ice fishing with Andrew once. We were dating at the time and I was definitely in the "love is blind" phase. I was so head over heels in love, that it didn't matter to me if I came home without my fingers or toes. Fortunately, I did return home with all of my appendages and a crippling case of Mono.
Did they have a great time? You bet! And when their fishing line was replaced by an instant icicle, did they give up? Of course not! They were gone a total of SEVEN hours and brought home enough fish to feed the entire Flegal clan on Friday.

As for me, I delved into Black Friday holiday shopping with my Mom and sister Ami. I was a first timer to this insane method of shopping. I had expected the experience to be stressful and competitive, but it wasn't. The amount of money I saved made the experience quite exciting. Buying for Eliza was the best part!

Andrew graciously made me a list of things he'd rather do than go shopping... especially the day after Thanksgiving:

1. Change a month's worth of poopy diapers
2. Eat burnt pop corn
3. Have dishwater splashed in his face (he really hates that)
4. Singe his nose hairs and then have to smell it all day
5. Eat his lunch in an outhouse

From 7:30-10:30, we hit five stores. First stop, Target
And then Mervyns,Followed by a surprisingly successful stop at Big Lots...And finally, we wrapped things up in Sugar house with a visit to Shopko and Toys R UsI have to say that I love my husband. Although we have our differences, there is no doubt in my mind that he is my perfect match.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Valerie Housley, you're my hero

Raise your hand if you enjoy attending wedding receptions alone.

It doesn't matter that I can't see you at this moment because honestly, you're not raising your hand. In fact, you're probably sitting on your hands because you hate attending romantic functions alone as much as I do. I would bet my imaginary stash of peanut butter m&ms that I am correct in this assumption.

Do you know what I did tonight?

I went to a wedding reception. Alone.

I met Allison Stinson when we attended a semester in Nauvoo together in 2004. Because she's a close friend and has always supported me, attending her reception was an easy decision.Unfortunately, Andrew had a scouting commitment and was unable to accompany me.

It's been awhile since I've attended a semi-formal event. The run in my black nylons was proof of that. Did I still intentionally wear them? You bet I did. Did I mention that my black dress coat is hanging up in the Munich Stake Center? I accidentally left it there last July, so I went with an Eskimo type coat. Things continued to "improve" when I made the realization that I don't have a purse. Somehow, it didn't seem appropriate for me to bring my diaper bag (which serves as my purse) when my baby would be spending the evening at Scouts with her daddy.(*pssst... husband, I think I just created my Christmas list?)

You have to know that driving on the free-way makes my hands sweat and my heart race. I can't help it, I fear the free-way. So after surviving I-15 and arriving without getting lost, I was feeling pretty confident. After stuffing my coat pockets with my keys, wallet, camera and a couple of photos of Eliza (ten more points for team tacky) I walked in, hoping that I would see a few friends from Nauvoo.

To my delight ,I immediately ran into Sam and Patrice. Maintaining my tacky streak, I then proceeded to cut in line with another Nauvoo friend, Val Housley (For the record, I have a huge problem with people who cut in line, but being hypocritical seemed to fit in with this evening's theme).

I hadn't seen Val in four years. However, thanks to the magic of "the blog" I still knew a lot about the happenings in her life; namely the recent arrival of her first baby! It is a strange feeling,

"Hi Val! I haven't seen you in four years, but it so happens that I read your blog 2 hours ago and I just wanted to say that your family portraits turned out beautifully."

Make sense? Anyway, I wanted to publicly thank Val letting me tag along with her cute family, eat my cheesecake in front of her and for walking me out to my car.
Here I am with Sam (that's the top of her daughter's head if you were wondering) and Valerie (the definition of grace and beauty!)... P.S. Val, did you notice the run in my nylons? And I have to be honest, I've never enjoyed taking pictures with you because you're SO GORGEOUS! What do you think that does to my self-esteem? :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Attention Twilight Fans

For those of you have read Twilight, you may be interested to know that they've recently announced that Kristen Stewart will be playing the part of Bella Swan!
I'll be honest, I am more interested to hear who will be cast as Edward Cullen... but as far as I know, the rest of the casting list has not been announced.

If you haven't read Twilight, you need to remedy the situation. For slightly to full blown obsessive fans, you can read the official press release and learn more about Kristen Stewart,
click here

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From Queen Overshare - Another "Tag"

I've been double tagged. Per Barb and Anna's request (and to my delight) I have to share six facts and/or habits you may not know about me.

1. My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day. Growing up, I believed I had struck the birthday lottery. I felt that I was entitled to having imaginary leprechaun friends. Their names are... I mean... were, Patrick, Patty and Rick (I was such a creative child, right?). Oddly enough, my awareness of my thumb sized friends grew stronger as my birthday approached each year.2. September 7, 2001 my 1994 Toyota Corolla TOTALED a 1974 Porsche: t-bone style. ... The accident occurred the day after the driver had purchased it. The Porsche was black. I remember a really loud noise, a beautiful lady in a white turtle neck comforting me and seeing glass/debris everywhere. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

3. I still sleep with my baby blanket. SO. WHAT?!?!

4. Staying in touch with my ten year old self, I tend to create small obsessions. Examples include: Harry Potter (I had the bedsheets in college), Hannah Montana (Saturday mornings at 9:00 am on ABC), The Twilight Series (ahhh...Edward....) I listen to Taylor Swift all the time and finally, I am a fan of High School Musical Andrew frequently benefits from private concerts featuring ME and the High School Musical Karaoke soundtrack. My dream is for the two of us to perform a duet to, "Bop to the Top"... that will be the day.

5. I am a lotion addict. I always use lotion after washing my hands. It's a physical (more like mental) need. I carry hand sanitizer with me all the time as a back up. I hate the feel of those brown paper towels in public restrooms on my delicate wet hands. Ugh. I especially detest the removal of cardboard toilet paper rolls and will occasionally find one hiding underneath my bed covers (Andrew).6. In my former life (pre-Eliza) I worked at an elite graphic design studio downtown. I assisted the Creative Director and served as office manager. The posh designers I worked with were the definition of "cool" and "fresh." I felt I belonged on another planet. In layman's terms, I was the "Ugly Betty" of the office. Yes, I was openly chastised for wearing maternity overalls to work. If I was experimenting with a new eye shadow, someone would lovingly tell me that it was a disaster. If the vinaigrette dressing was missing from one's salad, I was the one sent to retrieve it. In all sincerity, I loved the two years I spent at Axiom and am grateful for bonds I made and things I learned professionally. Good grief, I am sure they all miss me terribly :)

*I am now tagging:
Steph Webb
Karen Bourne
Jessi Wilcox
Julie Ethington
Keersten Jensen
Natalie Ipson

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Online Dating Service

Introducing an innovative and safe way for singles to meet new people! Anne Lee and Ali Flegal proudly present:
"Date My Family: An Invasion of Your Privacy!"
Services include:
  • After sharing your complete history, we methodically match you with someone we believe to be compatible!
  • Acting as your liaison, we'll provide you with pre-date details and photos of your first set-up!!
  • Guaranteed, we will accompany you on your first five dates for up close observation; followed by an honest critique of your performance and advice for next steps.
  • I'll be your personal "wingman" to assist you through (if not create them myself) any awkward first date moments.
  • During each "door step" scene, I'll stay within an ear shot to offer any last minute assistance.
  • Non-stop text messaging services are available to monitor what you're doing during "alone time"
  • Did I mention that we even bring our adorable kids on the date? Because we do!
*If you desire the assistance of two nosy school-type girls, who will be living vicariously through YOUR experiences, Look No Further! Leave us a comment and your picture and life history will be posted on our blogs first thing tomorrow morning! Your romantic journey begins now!

TESTIMONIAL:

Dating History~
Guinea Pigs: Mike Mays & Natalie Zollinger
Relation to Us: Ali Flegal's brother & Anne Lee's beloved hairstylist
Current status: They're seeing a whole lot of each other! They met over a week ago :)

The following are photos from their fourth or fifth date. And as promised, Anne and I were there for the majority of the evening! Natalie made a delicious dinner of swiss cheese chicken laid gently over a bed of rice, green beans accompanied by my personal favorite: BACON, along with a salad that's name is too fancy for me to pronounce... topped off with cookies!

*Please NOTE Mike and Natalie's arm to arm contact (woo, woo!!)
As mentioned, I brought along my daughter Eliza. Luckily, her cousin Emee was there to entertain her. They colored, jumped on Natalie's couch and watched a Barbie movie.
And here we have the whole group (with the exception of Andrew, the photographer). From left to right: The happy couple who are now obligated to name their future daughter's Anne & Ali (assuming all goes well), followed by Natalie's brother Chase, and then the matchmakers & Anne's sweet boy, Hal.

To date, our success rate is 100% (one for one!) Let us know if you're ready for some unconventional assistance. We'll be holding your hand every step of the way.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Self Imposed Quarantine

It's my sincere hope that my fellow bloggers and readers are thoroughly enjoying their Friday night. I am not one to publicly complain, but when categorizing the level of interest and intrigue of my day; I would say that we're border line between
"Things Could Be Worse" to "Minor Suck-Fest."

The following is NOT a list of complaints - rather, it's written justification of why I purchased my OWN carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (I have no memory of ever purchasing Ben & Jerry's before tonight). I am taking it upon myself to see if it's truly the "cure-all."1. I am nursing a non-medicated cold... Pregnancy + head congestion= zero assistance from Mr. Day Quill and/or Sistah Ibuprofen.

2. Eliza has pink eye as well as cold symptoms identical to mine. Hence, the quarantine... pink eye is highly contagious.

3. I got my flu shot today. And then moments after, held Eliza while she got one too. Perhaps you remember, from an earlier post, that I disdain Eliza's "shot days."(*This is how we feel about shot day at the Flegal home.)

4. And finally, Andrew is on another overnighter with the Scouts. I'll be honest, I am forgetting how to interact with adults. But more than that, I really miss him during the week.

5. Oh wait, I lied - here's one more: Tonight, Eliza had her first diaper blowout in MONTHS. I was blogstalking someone the other day and read that their toddler had recently had a random blowout.

"That's too bad for them." I thought, "Whose baby has blowouts at this age, anyway?" Warning to mother's everywhere - NEVER JUDGE... never compare...otherwise, you'll soon be cleaning the remnants of something atrocious.

Now that I feel better about eating the ice cream that's patiently waiting for me in the freezer, I will tell you what I am grateful for:

1. Pink eye clears up quick. We can be around humans tomorrow afternoon. And I can send Eliza to nursery on Sunday (my Pediatrician gave me the thumbs up on this one - relax!)
2. I have a faithful, obedient, hardworking, attractive (I'd use another word, but my Mom reads this blog) husband that will be returning home tomorrow afternoon.
3. Me and my awkward belly get the ENTIRE bed to ourselves tonight! Oh, how I love to sprawl.
4. I love Eliza more than words can say. If i had to choose one person to be stuck with all night - it would easily be her.5. Oh! And finally, the red crayon that Eliza used to generously graffiti my bedroom walls came off with the help of the Magic Eraser.

With that being said, how was YOUR Friday night?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Conversation with a Boy Scout

I am not sure if I have publicly mentioned that I am a den mother. I can't possibly imagine why I would conceal this fascinating tidbit from the blogging world; because it's true. Once a week, I meet with the Bears (nine year old boys) to discuss bike safety, wilderness survival, how to double knot your shoe lace, etc...The beauty of this calling is that it provides me with time each week to leave Eliza at home with Andrew and focus on something else. Forget book club, manicure appointments, a girl's night out... because really, when you have Cub Scouts like I do, you consider yourself to be completely fulfilled (wink, wink!).

Last night, as I walked into the Church building, I quickly threw on a sweatshirt... which I soon learned hadn't improved my already disheveled appearance .

A moment later, I see two Scouts playing ball in the hallway.

"Hey Sam! Hi Garrett! It looks like we'll be meeting in the Primary room tonight." I announce.

"And it looks like you just woke up, Ali. Did you just wake up?" Sam honestly asks.

It was 6:00 pm, I had not just woken up. That's just the type of compliment I'm capable of earning of late.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baby News!

We're having a boy!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we are thrilled! A doctor came and reviewed the images after the ultrasound was finished and said that all appears to be well.

I still can't believe it!!!! We're going to have a baby boy! I can't stop saying it aloud!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"Ho, Ho, Ho"-ly Cow... you're kidding, right?

I am a faithful Dan's foods patron. This grocery store and I share a small history. During my junior year of high school, I worked in their floral department... In fact, my second day on the job, I was randomly selected to take an employee drug test (you know what that entails, right?). That was awkward.

For the past 3+ years of my marriage, I have shopped there. I bet that the majority of the checkers could tell you my daughter's name. I have a favorite bagger. His name is Kurt. He calls me a "happy camper" and I feel good inside whenever I see him. The pharmacist is a saint. He patiently points out the obvious when I am in need. And the day manager, is quick to bring Eliza a courtesy helium balloon.

Wednesday, I stopped in for a quick minute and enjoyed the various Halloween costumes the employees were sporting. Today, I was taken aback when we walked in and saw that the entire store had been transformed into Santa's workshop. The cashiers were decked out in Christmas sweaters, they were serving eggnog & cookies, sampling Christmas ham and sausage, etc. I am not one to complain about free food and I guess that I can understand the decorations...

But what really threw me were the Christmas carolers, in the front singing, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"(among other holiday favorites). Are we kidding?

I am not a Grinch. In all sincerity, I love the Christmas season and all that it represents. My question for you (hence the new poll) is, when does the Christmas season personally begin?

For the last three years, Andrew and I haven't agreed when the Christmas season officially starts. I personally start listening to music and enhancing that spirit after Thanksgiving. Andrew prefers to wait until the 1st of December.

Until that time, I will continue to relish in the Autumn weather.... and keep digging through the remaining Halloween candy at my Mom's house. My pregnant self and I are looking forward to Thanksgiving and the long afternoon nap that follows.

AND THEN, we'll throw ourselves, full force into our Holiday traditions. I think I have said enough on the subject. How do you feel? Am I the only one weirded out that I heard and saw Christmas carolers today at my grocery store?For those of you who skip my long winded posts, enjoy this video of Eliza.