Monday, January 30, 2012

Greg's 30th Surprise Birthday Party

I threw Greg a surprise party for his 30th birthday last weekend. (Can't believe we are both turning 30 this year!) His response was awesome! He was totally thrown off guard. It took him a few minutes to realize the party was for him and not a Valentine's Party my sister was throwing (as I had informed him), and then he spent another couple minutes arguing that his birthday wasn't even coming up, until he pulled out his phone to realize his birthday was this week. We celebrated with family members from both sides of the family, ward friends, old friends and coworkers of Greg's. We had dinner: sub sandwiches, vegetable trays, chips and pop (I bought WAY too much food), and Greg's sister Andrea make a huge white cake with white buttercream frosting from Schmidts Pastry Cottage (Greg's favorite). We played a game, 30 Facts from Greg's 30 years. Everyone did their best to answer the following questions correctly.

1. When was Greg born? (month, day and year) February 2, 1982
2. What is Greg’s favorite color? Purple
3. What high school did Greg attend? Elko High School
4. Who is Greg’s favorite band? Dream Theater
5. In college, Greg played which character as a cast member of West Side Story? Riff
6. What is Greg’s middle name? Gene
7. Where did Greg serve his mission? Mangua, Nicaragua
8. What level does Greg play on Guitar Hero? Expert
9. How tall is Greg? 6' 4"
10.What is Greg’s favorite television show? The Office, The Simpsons, Star Trek
11. What instrument does Greg play? (*bonus points if you can name any band he has played with) Drums, Endless Nameless, Mighty Afro Whities, Old Farts, Rock Salad
12. Greg has how many children? 2 and one on the way
13. What is Greg’s personal e-mail address:
14. What size of shoe does Greg wear? 12
15. How many siblings does Greg have? 2
16. Where does Greg currently work? DealerTrack
17. What is Greg’s current church calling? 2nd Councilor in Elder Quorum
18. What would be Greg’s dream vacation? New York City
19. Greg has broken how many bones in his body? 0
20. How did Greg meet Lera? Lera's mother met him in the parking lot of a singles ward and invited him over for dinner
21. Name a career (not computer related) that Greg has pursued in the past. Grocery Management, Bread Vendor, & Loan Officer
22. What was Greg’s favorite toy as a child? Legos
23. At the gym, what type of exercise is Greg most likely to participate in? Running on the track
24. Is Greg a heavy sleeper or a light sleeper? Heavy
25. What type of animal gives Greg the creeps? Crabs
26. What is Greg’s favorite restaurant? Texas Roadhouse, TGI Fridays Rodizio Grill & Chuck-a-Rama
27. Name a book Greg has read in the past year. ICND 1 & 2
28. As a child, Greg took what type of lessons? Karate
29. If Greg complains of pain, it is most likely located where on his body? His mouth (canker sores)
30. In one sitting, how much of a package of Double Stuffed Oreos has Greg been known to eat? The whole package
The top three winners (my sister Sariah, Greg's mom Nancy and his sister Emily) got a package of Double Stuffed Oreos.
We spent the rest of the night mostly talking. A few people took advantage of the Clubhouse's amenities and played pool, ping pong, or watched one of Greg's favorite movies in the theater. Sadly, I didn't get many pictures, since I didn't remember to pull out the camera until more than half of the guest had left for the night. Here are the shots I did get.

Thanks to our family and friends who joined us in our celebration. Greg really enjoyed his surprise!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Answers to Prayers

Greg had a six day business trip a couple weeks ago. I never like it when he is gone, but this last time was especially hard, since I've been so sick with this pregnancy. He called me the day before he was scheduled to come home to inform me that the trip was being extended and he would be yet another day. I actually started crying when he told me the news. I was so tired, worn out and sick, and so ready for him to come home and give me a break. He's a great a husband, a great father, and a great help, and I wanted all that back in our day to day lives. He felt really bad and suggested I hire a babysitter so I could go out and have fun. I responded that I didn't want to go out, I was sick and I just wanted to hole up in my room and sleep while not having to worry about the kids.

Later that evening my sister London called me. I of course told her of my disappointment about Greg being delayed. She responded quickly by offering to pick up Palmer the next day after our shift at work, so that I could rest while Brody napped in the afternoon. I assured her that wasn't needed, because I'm stubborn like that and don't always accept help well. She insisted it was no big deal and said she'd be by to get Palmer in the afternoon. As I hung up the phone I realized my silly little prayer had not only been heard, but answered. My sister offered me exactly what I was wanting without me having to ask. This quote came to my mind, "In the end the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance." - Deiter F. Uchdorf.

My sisters are often answers to my prayers. And I have many kind friends and other family members also who are always willing to come to my aid. Just today a good friend offered to watch my boys while I ran errands because she knew I wasn't feeling well (another prayer answered). My mother was such a giving soul, and I've strived to emulate her generosity my entire life. I pray frequently to be a service unto others. I hope that I am, because I know that I surely am watched over.

When I am pregnant, I do not feel like myself. I am not energetic; I am tired. I do not have the same drive to clean, and cook and play with my children. Many days, I just want to lie on the couch and groan. I don't feel like myself and I don't like it. I've also recently realized that I do not serve as much when I am pregnant. I feel overwhelmed just making it through the day, and I don't reach outside of myself because of that. I have realized that this must change, and I am now going to try even harder to be an answer to others' prayers. I know that I will feel better when I am not so focused on myself.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Official Announcement

I saw the doctor today and it is official; I am pregnant! I took a positive pregnancy test on Christmas Eve. I wrapped the test up and invited Greg and the boys open an early present. We also announced to our families that evening in the same manner. It was a very fun and exciting Christmas surprise.

I'm about ten weeks along. The baby is due August 25; and yes, I am fully aware I will be a hot sweaty mess by then. I've been pretty sick, as I have been with my other pregnancies. Today the doctor prescribed me Phenergan, hooray! And I was able to hear baby's heartbeat, an even bigger hooray!

We are very excited for baby #3 to join our ranks! Palmer is especially excited and has told quite a few of our family and friends earlier than planned. Which is just fine. In fact, he told several people that I'm having two girls. I'm not too sure about that tidbit. Many of you also figured it out on your own as you caught me sneak a string cheese in the hallway at church or as you witnessed me turn green and wretch in numerous situations (feel free to count yourselves as one of the lucky ones, and if you haven't been "lucky" yet, just stick around, there will be plenty more to come). So for those of you who were in the know, you are now welcome to spread the word, and for those of you who are learning of this pregnancy for the first time, we're excited to now be sharing our joy with you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas in January

We got together with our best buds the Jennes this past weekend for our annual Christmas gift exchange. Yes, we had a Christmas party in January. We didn't intend to celebrate so late, but with overscheduling and illness, it kept getting pushed back.

I honestly believe a sign of a true friend is that you can pick up right where you've been no matter how long it's been. And that has always been the case with my best friend from high school, Jenn. There are times in our lives when we are able to get together often and there are times in our lives when we can't. Life gets busy, as I'm sure you all know. What's great about a good friend is that you don't have to apologize or feel guilty about the times when life puts friendship on the back burner. You relate, you understand and you move forward and make sure to enjoy the times you do have.

We exchanged gifts. Ate tortellini, breadsticks and salad for dinner, had brownies and ice cream for dessert and played the Xbox Kinect. It was the Jenne's first time trying out the Kinect so we made sure to show them a variety of games. The kids all took their turns chopping fruit, river rafting and dancing along with the adults. It was great fun!

I'm sure our dear friends just love me posting these pictures of them dancing the night away. However, Greg and I both look like idiots too, so that counts for something right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Recipe - Creamy Potato Soup

Here is another recipe from my sister London, who is a fantastic cook. We've eaten this soup a few times in past past couple months. One reason is because it's a meal that is yummy, simple and makes for great warm comfort food during the chilly winter season. Another reason we've made it so often is that my mother-in-law kindly gave us a 50 pound bag of russet potatoes, and we've been making sure to put them to good use.

Recipe - Creamy Potato Soup

7-8 potatoes
1 onion
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled bacon, as garnish
shredded cheddar cheese, as garnish

Peel and dice potatoes. Dice onion. Boil potatoes and onion until tender, then drain. While potatoes cook, melt butter and cream cheese in a separate saucepan. To the butter and cream mixture, add cream of chicken soup, salt, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cream mixture to potatoes. Add a little milk if soup is too thick. Top with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More Cute Kid Talk

Here's some more silliness from the mouths of the babes at the Hess home.

  • While pointing to the mannequins in the ladies underwear section at Kohl's, exclaims, "Mom look, they're going swimming!"
  • "Poopy is a bad word. Pirates say it, not friends."
  • While watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he said, "He is so, so, so sorry. I can love him now!" And as The Grinch and the Whos sat down for the feast, he said, "They're all sharing!"
  • While looking at tamarindos in the produce section at Winco, Palmer very loudly proclaimed for all around to hear, "There's poop in there!"
  • Palmer still refers to himself in the third person, often.
  • Palmer's primary teacher relayed to Greg that this past Sunday when she told the class that Heavenly Father has a body, Palmer raised his hand and said, "He has a body. I have a body. He has a pee pee. I have a pee pee. He has a bum. I have a bum." Then Palmer got very serious as he looked around at the class and said, "You're all girls. You don't have pee pees."


  • Calls chocolate kisses "temple candy" because they have a pointed top.
  • Says "me," "mine," "me too," and "me do it" more often than not.
  • Wants "two" of everything, or more but still asks for "two" even if the number is three or four or more.
  • Likes to hide, but we are never too worried about finding him because the entire time he is hidden he loudly proclaims, "Hideen!"
  • Calls his two favorite stuffed animals (a teddy bear and a hippo) as one name, "Teddy-Hippo" and his next favorite stuffed animal is a smaller teddy bear, which he has named "Baby Teddy."
  • Frequently uses the quip, "Palmer did it."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Once There Was a Snowman

Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall! Greg helped the boys make a huge snowman with our weekend's plentiful snowfall. He was so big, in fact, that Greg had to recruit me to help him lift the second impressive snowball up on top of the first. When I ran inside to find a nose for the big guy, a.k.a. carrot, Palmer followed me and smartly produced a Mr. Potato Head nose to use instead. We also gave Frosty some branch arms, a couple of coal pieces for eyes and a nice warm scarf.
Sadly, he did not make it through the night. That evening we discovered he could not withstand his excessive weight and found three masses of snow scattered about our front lawn. I was worried the kids would be sad, but they dealt with our snowman's demise well. Palmer quickly started singing, "Then he started melting, melting, melting. Then he started melting..." and Brody joined in for one final verse, "...small, small small."