Saturday, August 30, 2008


Thursday we had the much anticipated 3D ultrasound. I always look forward to seeing little R/P, naturally, but I really wasn't prepared for the experience this turned out to be! I am still amazed at how real and baby-like this little guy/girl looks! It just seems too early to be able to make out such distinct features. Not to mention all it took was a little goop and a plastic probe transducer sliding around on my belly! Baby has Chloe's nose, and in general greatly resembles her. He/she also has a little dimple between his/her bottom lip and chin - so cute. I am absolutely smitten! He/she cooperated during the ultrasound, but the umbilical cord kept getting in his/her face, which distorted several of the pictures. We did still manage to get some really good ones though. Enjoy!

You can see all the umbilical cord to the left of baby's face. Look at that little dimple under his/her lip.

Is that a smile I see?

Button nose, just like big sister!

Big yawn!

Feeling shy...


Check out these guns, Dad!

Here's almost the whole package: leg, arm, hand and a hint of baby's profile.

11 weeks to go! What do you guys think? Will this baby share a birthday with his/her sister?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's the best thing in life?

...Spending it with your favorite person. Happy 6th Anniversary, babe.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


One of my greatest shortcomings is one of Neil’s greatest qualities: PATIENCE. It really takes a lot for him to fly off the handle. He rarely nit-picks or criticizes, explaining that some things are better dropping than getting worked up over. When expressing a frustration, he does so in a brief and direct manner. And then he drops it and truly moves on without giving it another thought. Sometimes it drives me nuts when I'm still dwelling on something that Neil has completely put behind him, but ultimately this quality has contributed to the harmony in our home and helped me learn to not take things so seriously myself.

Our engagement picture

July 2002 - photo courtesy of Dad

We share the same anniversary with Ken and Amy, a couple in our ward. Same day, same place, 40 minutes ahead of us. I keep meaning to examine our wedding pictures to see if I can find them in the background anywhere
. :)


He never goes a day without asking me how I'm doing. Whether it's the first question of the day, during an afternoon phone call when he has a spare minute, or as we're kissing goodnight, he always makes it a point to say, "How are you?" and genuinely mean it. As simple and insignificant as it may seem, it's often what gets me through the day.

The "Uncle's Talk"

August 27, 2002 - the night before the big day.
I can only imagine the "advice" Neil was given. That look of fear says it all!
{From left to right: Uncle Curtis, Dad, Uncle Don, Uncle Mike, and the groom-to-be}

Our birthdays both land on the 24th of the month - his: January, mine: August.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Because of Neil, I have achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a mother.

New parents - one of my favorites of us.

20 November 2005 - Admiring our new daughter of 3 days.

In the short ten months we lived in Oklahoma, we had a couple memorably scary experiences. One in particular stands out to me and I'm quite positive I'll never forget it. It happened in the middle of an ordinary night when I was suddenly awakened by a loud, yet muffled pop. It was a single "POP" but startling enough that it jolted me awake! I remember laying in bed still feeling delirious, but terrified all at the same time. I wondered what on earth it could have been and if I'd just dreamt up the sound or if it truly was as real as it seemed! Either way, my heart rate did eventually slow down to a normal rhythm again and I was able to go back to sleep. The next morning I went into the guest bedroom, which faced the front of the apartment and immediately noticed a small pile of feathers on the floor just underneath one side of the bed. Upon a closer look I realized there was a tear in the down comforter, which explained the feathers. Following the tracks I soon discovered a hole in the wall, a hole in the closet door and a hole in the box spring of the bed! We ended up taking the mattress off the bed and pulling the box spring up to see if something was inside. Sure enough, a bullet! Someone had shot at our apartment! I don't even know how it got out, but I remember the local news contacting us that evening to see if they could come do an interview. Talk about freakish! Anyway, I still have the bullet - I like to call it my Oklahoma souvenir.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Neil waited until our third date to kiss me. On our second date we drove up to Sundance, sat in a snowy parking lot, and talked into the night (if you can call that a "date"). At one point Neil confessed that he normally didn't hesitate kissing a cute girl, often on a first date, even if he had no intentions of pursuing her. Yes, shallow, but hey, at least he was honest about it! And while he further confessed that he really really wanted to kiss me, he had decided to hold off because casual kissing (and dating in general) was getting old for him and he was ready for something deeper and more meaningful in his life. He then told me he was already having very different feelings for me than anything he'd ever experienced, and sensed it was something real and special, but wanted to be 100% certain of his suspicions before making that move. I wanted him to kiss me, and initially felt slightly rejected. But as I thought about it, I realized he was actually paying me a compliment in expressing his honesty. Further, I knew when he did finally decide to kiss me, it would be a confirmation that he was serious and secure in his feelings.

He did make it through the evening without giving in. :) However, the next night when we got together after work, he didn't last more than a few minutes before leaning in for that first smooch. Apparently he'd made up his mind! And I guess that's really what it boils down to. When Neil knows what he wants, he is ABSOLUTELY certain of it, and will persevere until he achieves it. Makes me feel pretty secure about our marriage.

Here we are as kiddos

I'm cheating tonight, but I can't mention one coincidence without including the rest:

1 - My bishop growing up (Scott Haynes) went to medical school with Neil's uncle Curtis over twenty years ago in New Orleans. To this day their families are still in touch.

2 - Neil taught a girl on his mission who I graduated from high school with (Nicole Gonzales). She was a student at UC Santa Barbara when he was serving in that area. He actually has a picture of him and his companion with her.

3 - One of my brother's former girlfriends was once married to Neil's uncle Mike's cousin! This was discovered at our wedding reception when she and Mike just happened into each other.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


In the nearly seven years I've known Neil, he has never tried to be something he's not. He doesn't care what others think and makes decisions in his life based on what is best for him and his family, not what will impress or appeal to everyone else. He is who he is. Take it or leave it!

Our first Christmas
December 2002 - Provo, UT in our first (tiny) apartment.
I was absolutely adamant about getting a tree, and while it was a royal pain to maneuver it down the stairs and into our 400 sq. ft. basement apartment, it made our first Christmas together all the more magical and romantic.

I have never seen Neil cry. I seem to make up for it though - I'm quite the bawl baby myself.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


For each day leading up to our 6th wedding anniversary, which is next Thursday, I am going to:
  • list one reason I'm glad I married Neil
  • post a random picture &
  • share a random fact about us

We laugh together! A marriage void of laughter isn't a healthy marriage, in my opinion! Growing up when envisioning the qualities I wanted in a husband, the ability to make me laugh was always near the top of the list! And from the day I met Neil, I knew without a doubt he carried this quality. Whether it's over an inside joke, my absentmindedness, an old memory, our daughter, a classic line from a movie or tv show, or something we can't even explain, some of the best moments spent with Neil have been in the company of good, hearty laughter!

This is the very first photo ever taken of us.

February 2002 - Chevy's Restaurant in Orem, UT, where we met as co-workers.

Neil's very first gift to me was a Kim Anderson "Forever Young" water globe/music box that plays "Puppy Love" and has a boy handing a girl a rose. Neil gave it to me on our first Valentine's Day, less than a week after we'd started dating. Chloe loves it and frequently asks me to get it down from the shelf in her room to play the song and look at "Mommy and Daddy".

One simple request

Dear Baby,

It is 4:37am. Approximately two hours ago, your sister came into our room with the intention of sneaking into bed with us (a recent habit she's formed). In the short process of carrying her back to her room, while reminding her (for the hundredth time) of the Andersen family's sleeping arrangements, YOU woke up!

Now, my little one, I know the Olympics have probably gotten you jazzed up these last couple weeks. They've certainly excited your sister - especially the "ginastics", as she calls them. I know, too, that you're running out of room in there, and with those long Halliday legs you've most likely inherited, I can hardly blame you for needing to stretch them out as you so often do. But goodness gracious, child! This kick boxing match has kept me awake for the last hour and a half! There isn't an opponent in there I don't know about, is there? I thought your sister was active, but you've already surpassed her in that category (something you can surely use to your advantage in months to come when she's picking on you)!

While I appreciate and really just have to giggle at all the commotion in my belly, I do have one simple request. Can you save the exercise routine for morning? Mommy needs her rest! Especially these days, since all too soon she's going to be permanently sleep-deprived!

I sure do love you and can't wait to tickle those little elbows, knees and feet that I have already become so well acquainted with! Off to dream land you go now, my little gymnast.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Congratulations, David!

I just have to take a moment to brag about my big brother, David, who just landed an Adjunct Faculty position at the University of Utah! He will be teaching private saxophone and improvisation lessons starting Fall semester. Little did mom know (in 1966) that her boy would someday teach at her own Alma Mater.

David is very well known in Utah, but especially the Salt Lake area for his incredible jazz musicality. With 10+ private students (not including those he'll have at the U), teaching at the Music School in American Fork, playing at various concerts, clubs, corporate events, weddings (including mine), maintaining and constantly improving his band, Fat Soul, doing studio work, and pursuing his Masters in Jazz Performance, Composition/Arranging, and Education at the U of U, this man has very little free time. In 2003, he created his own record label, Lone Peak Sound, and has since produced or co-produced six albums. His saxophone work has been featured on the soundtrack to CBS's Touched By An Angel, the NBA theme on ABC, a Corona Light commercial, and the movie, Charly. He has also made an appearance on an episode of WB's Everwood, and performed the National Anthem at two Utah Jazz playoff games. He taught jazz, band and percussion at Park City High from '06-'07, taking the Varsity Jazz Ensemble to the next level. He's performed with many internationally recognized musicians like Josh Groban, The Temptations and Wynton Marsalis, received countless honors and awards, and is currently one of the most in-demand saxophonists and clinicians in the Mountain West.

Even amidst his busy life, which has pretty much always been busy, however, he has remained the amazing big brother and friend I've always remembered. We lived together the year before Neil and I got married, and while we had our moments, I think we'd both agree the experience taught us a lot about each other and ultimately strengthened our relationship. I know seeing him day in and day out practicing, attending late night gigs and then rising early the following morning to catch his classes made me realize and appreciate the hard work and discipline that goes into being a true musician! I always felt so proud going to his BYU concerts or Border's, where he performed weekly, and introducing myself as David Halliday's sister. His music has blessed our family and many others, and I know this opportunity at the U is going to open endless doors for his reputation and career!

So call me a big bragger if you will! Either way, a huge CONGRATS to David Halliday!

...And GO UTES! (Neil, you didn't just read that.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy 54th Birthday to the kindest man I've ever met in my life. I still remember my first trip to Atlanta only a week before Neil and I were married, and how instantly Dave made me feel comfortable, accepted and like an actual daughter. He is genuine and sweet, and would probably do just about anything for anyone if he could.

Thank you for all the love and support you have extended to me! I hope your day is filled with much happiness! Love ya, Dad.

When the ox is in the mire

Sunday morning we got up, ate some waffles, flipped on the Olympics and plopped on the couch, anticipating another normal and relaxing Sabbath. Within minutes Neil and I noticed (simultaneously) a discolored area on the ceiling just ahead of us. Not good.

Upon a closer glance (and feel), the area was determined to be wet, and yes, slightly moldy. Again, not good. Neil immediately grabbed the ladder and headed up to the one area of the house he'd never visited: the attic. Within a few minutes he located the leak (a crack of light coming from above pretty much gave it away) and then made his way onto the roof to seal it up.

It turned out that a pipe on the roof's seal had broken or separated just enough that the water was able to make its way in. Must have been all that crazy weekend rain. Oh, and hail. Yes, in August! What, you don't believe me?

{This was taken Thursday night during a BRUTAL storm which entailed thunder, lightning, rain and hail. The picture really doesn't even begin to capture what it was like - our street was literally a river and between the hail and thunder we could hardly carry on a conversation without yelling.}

Within an hour it was all taken care of, and we are now just waiting for the ceiling to dry completely so we can prime and paint over it again. Thank goodness Neil knows what he's doing. That short hour it took him to diagnose and fix the problem would have easily cost us $200+ had we called someone out - especially with it being Sunday.

I am so grateful we discovered the spot on the ceiling when we did, and that it wasn't holding more water. Call me crazy, but the idea of having to replace a chunk of my ceiling really doesn't appeal to me!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The girls

We've had Ellie at our house all week and, naturally, there have been camera necessary moments!

Aren't they precious?

I thought Chloe was playing in her room until I found her on the guest bed laying next to sleeping Ellie. Despite how quiet and careful Chloe remained, it's amazing Ellie's nap wasn't disturbed!

Chloe has actually been quite a help this week! The other day she fed Ellie an entire bottle all by herself. Whenever I change Ellie, she demands to snap her onesie back up AND take the dirty diaper to the garbage. It's great! She's very affectionate and constantly asking to hold and kiss Ellie. It gives me hope for the huge transition November will bring.

I ventured to Costco with the girls the other day. Between 2 1/2 year old Chloe, 6 month old Ellie, and big bellied me pushing them around, I got some pretty interesting looks! One lady in particular never said anything, but the expression on her face screamed, "Do you know the definition of birth control?" While a part of me wanted to clarify that they weren't BOTH mine, another part of me wanted to get an even bigger rise out her by saying, "Yes, they're both mine! AND I'm carrying twins!" It made me chuckle.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy 52nd Birthday
to my wonderful mom-in-law, Susie, whom I love and admire dearly.
Here are just a few of the reasons:

You are youthful.

You are hard working.

You can sew. :)

Your pies are yummy.

You have raised four amazing, good looking, responsible and successful children (all of whom hold high respect for you).

You are spirited, happy and fun.

You are a good example of what it is to be a mother.

You make me feel special.

We have good phone conversations.

You tease Neil about the same things I tease him about.

Your granddaughter loves you to pieces.

Now this wouldn't be a proper post if it didn't include some pictures! Enjoy!

March 1978 - What a babe!

Spring 1979 - new mom (by the way, do you still have those glasses?)

1985 - your stinkin' adorable children (Lori, Jeff, Brad & Neil)

May 2000 - your first boy coming home from his mission

August 2002 - the day you gained a daughter

December 2003 - Christmas in Atlanta

August 2004 - Times Square

December 2005 - first time holding your new granddaughter

July 2006 - she sure had a big head, didn't she?

November 2006 - Thanksgiving in Colorado

November 2006 - with your parents after a day of Colorado skiing

August 2007 - Flaming Gorge

August 2007 - with the girls who love you most!

December 2007 - Christmas Day in San Francisco

March 2008 - visiting your Colorado kids

July 2008 - Florida

So many memories, and really we're only getting started. Happy Birthday, Mama Susie! We hope your day is just as special as you are! XOXO.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Recipe of the Week

So I've had a 3 pound roast sitting in my freezer for who knows how long! Last week as I was evaluating our freezer inventory, I decided it was time to cook the darn thing once and for all, but my mind drew a blank as to what I could do with it. Sure, there was the traditional meat and potatoes, but somehow that never tastes as good to me during the summer months. Plus, with a roast this size, we would never finish the leftovers before they went bad. I wanted something different. Something new.

Well wouldn't ya know the very week I'm stewing over what to make of this chunk of meat, my friend, Melissa posts a recipe on her blog calling for a 3 pound roast! Not only did it look yummy, but it was a solution to my problem! Double bonus! I tried these babies out tonight and was very VERY satisfied. So was Neil. So were Dan and Stef, who joined us. And so, Melissa, I am not trying to steal your thunder, but simply passing along a very special treat for more to benefit from. Thanks again for sharing.

Melissa's recipe can be found here. I used hers as a guide, but added slightly different ingredients. Do what you will. Regardless, it will taste good. I promise!

Shredded Beef Taquitos


  • 1 roast (I used a 3 lb. beef roast but I'm sure a pork roast would work great too)
  • corn tortillas (my roast made about 30 taquitos - so 30 tortillas)
  • canola oil
  • seasonings (I used seasoned salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper)
  • 1 7oz. can Herdez Salsa Verde
  • 1 10oz. can Rotel tomatoes & green chilies (undrained)
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienne sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, julienne sliced
  • olive oil
  • butter


  1. Heat some olive oil and butter (I did about 1 tbsp. of each) in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place roast in skillet and brown on all sides. Transfer to crockpot. Add desired seasonings, Herdez Salsa Verde, Rotel tomatoes, bell pepper and onion. Cook on low for at least 8 hours or until roast easily falls apart.
  2. Remove roast from crockpot (keep the juices produced from the roast in the crockpot). Shred roast and return to crockpot. Mix well until juices have absorbed into the meat.
  3. In an electric skillet (or large skillet) heat canola oil (just enough to line the bottom of the skillet). Once oil is hot, fry corn tortillas only a few seconds on each side, then place on a paper towel-lined plate. This step simply prevents the tortillas from falling apart when you roll them into taquitos.
  4. Fill corn tortillas with desired amount of shredded beef and roll up. Line taquitos on an ungreased cookie sheet (seam side down) and bake at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 7 minutes or until desired crispiness is reached.
We enjoyed these with spanish rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. They would make great appetizers, but we easily made a meal out of them. It's like good Mexican restaurant grub cooked right in your kitchen! Give 'em a try!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


To say I am feeling refreshed today would be an understatement. Let me explain.

Monday morning I woke up with a pinching and slightly cramping sensation in my groin area, specifically my ureter. If that's already too much information you might as well skip this post all together because it isn't going to get much better! My initial thought was one of two possibilities, the first being a UTI (urinary tract infection). I've had them before, and would pretty much describe the symptoms as what I was experiencing. The second possibility was a kidney stone, which I've also had, but which I'd put in an entirely different category to these piddly symptoms. Regardless, the discomforts were minimal so I carried on with my day, trying not to dwell.

By Tuesday things were getting worse. The pinching and cramping was now accompanied by inflammation and pressure on my bladder, which resulted in several more bathroom trips than usual. But it was when my braxton hicks became noticeably stronger and more frequent that I decided it was time to call my doctor. You never want to be the spaz patient who freaks out over every little thing, but this clearly needed attention! Per Dr. Baer's orders I headed over to his office for a urine test. Surprisingly the results were normal. No blood in my urine, and no sign of a UTI. Since he had nothing to treat me for, he told me to keep him posted and sent me on my way.

As the evening progressed, so did my symptoms. At midnight the pinching and pressure was getting so intense that I finally got up (from bed) to go to the bathroom. Upon sitting down I felt a sudden sharp pinch. It really was nothing more than that, and while I normally wouldn't have thought much of it, what I noticed next caught my attention! RELIEF! Every ounce of pain and discomfort vanished in that very instant! That's when I decided I needed to take a look in the toilet. So I did.

And what did I find?



First thing this morning I called my doctor to tell him my good news. This was VERY good news considering my last kidney stone experience, which plenty of you know about! When I took the ziploc bag containing the stone into his office, he and his nurse were shocked! He said that blood is virtually always detected in urine when a kidney stone is present. Aside from this, it's just amazing I was able to pass this thing with such ease (and minimal pain) considering the stone I was NOT able to pass during my pregnancy with Chloe (which I had to have surgically removed), was only 1 mm. larger! I am so so SO relieved! My only hope now is that nothing else is brewing in there!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chloe and her bright ideas

I am slowly learning that Chloe + bathroom + unattended = TROUBLE! Whether she's with a friend or by herself, she has proven that where there is a bathroom, there will be mischief!

Here's today's fun activity: get naked from the waist down and decorate the bathroom (and self) with Comet! Mom won't mind, even though she cleaned this very bathroom less than 24 hours ago!

After coughing up a lung from the cloud of Comet that had produced in the tiniest room of our house, I opened the window (all the way), wiped out the tub, swept the floor, threw the rug in the washer, filled the tub with fresh water and ordered Chloe to get in and stay there until further notice! I really couldn't do anything else with her unless I wanted Comet tracked all over my house.

Why is it that she (almost) always waits until Neil's out of town to act on her crazy impulses?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lesson learned

Saturday I finished my very first rag quilt. I started it months ago but only recently had the motivation to complete the job. Despite the to-be-expected imperfections, I was quite proud of my accomplishment! Knowing that the red would likely bleed a bit into the lighter fabric, I made sure to set the washer on cold/cold before tossing it in. However I was devastated to find, when the wash cycle had finished, that my once red and white blanket was now red and pink! Apparently I overlooked Step 1: pre-wash the fabric!


after... sigh

In my defense, the 'after' photos look especially bad because the flash was on. I'm sure in natural lighting they wouldn't look quite as horrible. Still, you can definitely see the pink!

So my original intention in writing this post was to say, "Hey, look what I did!" My intention now, however, is to simply ask for help! Is there any hope? Can I salvage this blanket? I was planning to give it to our soon-to-be nephew, but in its current condition, I don't even think I'd be willing to donate it to Goodwill! Neil's aunt suggested Dye Grabber, a terry cloth like fabric that is supposed to absorb dye, ultimately preventing colors from fading into each other. Naturally you're supposed to use it during the first wash cycle, but I am still going to give it a shot. I am hoping after a few more washes the red fades a bit. It's just frustrating knowing I so easily could have prevented all of this by one simple step. Oh well. Lesson learned.