Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Halloween was exciting this year because we got to dress Abby up in a cute costume. She wasn't super thrilled about it but we loved it. We did a little neighborhood get together in a friend's yard and had games and food and a costume contest. Abby is the ladybug(of course), I am the man with the amazing facial hair and Scott is the blond pregnant woman. We won the best costume award by a landslide.


Christmas  this year has just been so different than what I am used to. We thought we would have closed and moved into the house by now and so I decided to put off decorating for Christmas because I didn't want to have to decorate twice and try to move a tree. But, over the weekend we visited my in-laws and I while sitting next to their Christmas tree I finally felt like it was Christmas. So, two days ago I got out our little Christmas tree and decorated it and put up the nativity yesterday and it has made a huge difference. I can feel that sparkle in the air, that little extra zing that just means Christmas. I can hardly believe Christmas is this weekend!
A couple weekends ago we took abby to the mall in Provo and Santa was there. Scott took Abby up the stairs behind Santa to sit on Santa's lap. When they came around the side of Santa and Scott set her on his lap and she looked up at his face this was the instant response followed by a frantic attempt to climb off his lap accompanied by screams of terror...

Priceless, right?

Finals are over!

I haven't posted in a while (it isn't my greatest strength) but yesterday I met someone who has inspired me to update the blog a little bit.( I stalk her blog but had never met her in person :) So, here goes...
I needed to finish one more class this semester in order to qualify for the Bachelor of General Studies Program at BYU. My transfer credits will count toward the final degree but not towards getting accepted, I have to have a certain number of credits at the BYU-Provo campus to get in. So, I signed up for a class that is offered on campus but also with an online option which appealed to me. If you know me very well at all you know that I am a horrible procrastinator (or maybe a great procrastinator since I am so good at it ;) and so I ended up doing the entire class in a week and a half. My poor family was terribly neglected but they survived. Abby is still going through some attachment issues since I didn't get the chance to spend much time with her while cramming and taking quizzes and tests. But, in the end I finished the class with a B, which feels pretty good considering the circumstances. I can slowly feel the stress leaving my body!
The house is continuing to progress towards closing and we are just crossing our fingers that we can close and settle in time to clean the house, move in and clean our apartment.  We  can hardly wait to have a place of our own.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buying a house!

Some of you may heard rumors that we have been trying to buy a house. And yes, those rumors are true. A few months ago Scott saw a house online that was for sale in our neighborhood that he liked. I looked at the pictures and took Abby for a walk to go see what the outside and yard looked like. I fell in love immediately. We walked through the house and the love only deepened. Not only did the love deepen but the realtor told us that the house qualified for a down payment grant for certain neighborhoods that are considered somewhat historic that the city wants to upgrade and have families live in instead of renters. That only sweetened the deal for us. We had to attend 6 hours of classes with the city where you learn all about mortgages and lending, buying a house and the paperwork involved and what to look for, etc... It was a lot of information and it felt like information overload at the end of each 3 hour session but it was invaluable information. You also attend a one on one budget counseling session with a counselor before you get a certificate saying you graduated from the class and can apply for the grant. I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to ever own their own home, no matter how far in the future it may seem.
We looked at house again with Scott's parents who liked it. Eventually we decided to put in an offer and discovered that they had dropped the price of the house the day before we met with our realtor and wrote an offer. The process has been very drawn out and frustrating over the last two and a half weeks(it's an estate sale)but we finally were able to get the seller to sign an offer yesterday! So, we are under contract and now have to get an inspection, etc... to find out what condition the house is really in. After a trip to the county offices and some time spend looking through the big books of old records written by hand in spidery cursive we discovered the previous owners had lived there since 1965. So, the house definitely needs some updating. We are pretty excited about the idea of owning our own house.  So, we hope to be moved in by the new year if everything works out with the inspection, grant, etc..!

The nice backyard was another draw for us.

The house has a lot of character! I don't know if you can tell from the pictures but it has a round door and cove ceilings. It is on a little over an eighth of an acre and 2,000 square feet. There is a bedroom and a den upstairs (it's really a bedroom but the closet is outside the bedroom door) and two bedrooms in the basement. The basement is half finished and that was done at least 50 years ago so it needs a major update! It will be nice to eventually get a washer and dryer in the basement so I won't have to lug our laundry and Abby to the laundromat and try to corral her while doing laundry. There is a detached garage which will nice for all of our outdoor equipment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Snow!

This past Saturday we all went up the canyon for a little hike to see the first snow of the season. We drove up until the road turned to dirt and then drove some more. I think our Corolla must have been a jeep in a prior life; it seems to get us there no matter the conditions. This time it was mud that would rival some of the meanest looking rally car courses! (for those concerned for our safety, even though it looked like a rally course, we drove more like it was a drivers ed practice area.)

We found a spot and went for a walk up to the top of near-by hill and enjoyed the view. There is something so refreshing about going for a walk in nature; the crisp fall air, getting away from the rush of the city, making memories with the people that mean most to me. It was a lot of fun! It gets me excited for winter to make it's entrance; we just got some snowshoes to help us keep hiking through the coming season.
We also got to test out the new Abby carrying backpack! I left the canopy that came with it back at home but with a little on-the-fly engineering, we were able to keep the sprinkles off our smallest adventurer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Medicine Cabinet Storage

Our medicine cabinet has never been very organized and I have been on the lookout for a solution that would store our miscellaneous medical supplies in a way that would make it easy to find what you are looking for in a hurry. Lately I have been feeling more urgent about getting everything organized. I received several suggestions that I considered. Some suggestions included a fishing tackle box, small plastic boxes with labels, an over the door shoe organizer and turntables. The over the door shoe organizer was at the top of my list because I liked the smallish compartments that were see through and it would be within eyesight. The problem with that is that Abby is cruising around the walls and furniture and would be able to pull on it and take things out. I contemplated cutting one in half and double hanging it from the top so there would be two layers but it seemed like more work than I was looking for and not the most ideal solution. While at Walmart looking at what my options could be I stumbled across an item that I ended up purchasing and using. I still need to label each pocket but for the moment I am pretty happy with this solution.

I like that it spins around so I can access everything. The pockets are small enough that I can compartmentalize things the way I like it to be. The large shelves in the middle store larger items such as our heating pad, etc...

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Teeth!

Poor Abby has had a hard time lately. When I took her to her 9 month check up they discovered an ear infection (which explained a LOT of things) and put her on antibiotics. Well, antibiotics do some great things and also have some side affects that are not so pleasant for the one changing the multitude of stinky diapers every day. BUT, she made it through all right and then over the weekend started getting super cranky and chewing on things, sucking on ice cubes in her self feeder, etc... On Tuesday I discovered not one but two teeth! The one on bottom is a little farther out than the one on the top. They finally broke through her gums and stuck around. For months they have been moving around and Abby's NP thought she would have teeth by 6 months but she waited until she's almost 10 months. The last day or two she has been chewing on spoons and clicking the spoon between her teeth, up and down and up and down...
Abby hasn't mastered the art of the classic crawl but for the last month or so she has become very proficient at the booty scoot or the monkey crawl. She puts one foot in front of her, scoots the other leg forward a little and pulls herself forward. It's hard to explain but it's oh so cute! And she's quite speedy, especially if the front door or the refrigerator door is open.
I will include some recent pictures of Abby, Scott and I...

Consignment Sale finds

So, this weekend is the huge consignment sale in Sandy that happens every six months. I got up this morning and took Abby to my inlaws so I could shop first thing in the morning while there was a good selection and good deals. In the past I have gone on Saturday when you can get 30% off but you get the picked over things and so I was surprised at how crazy it was when I went this morning right after they opened the doors. It was packed! People were very polite and so there wasn't any trampling but it was busy. Of course, the very best stuff goes at the pre-sale Thursday night that is available to those who volunteer but I had to cancel my volunteer shift this time around. I got some amazing deals and I have to share because I am so excited. Abby's birthday and Christmas are almost completely taken care of and I spent less than fifty dollars. Hopefully some of the things I took to sell will be purchased and offset what I spent at the sale. I went with a list of what abby needed and I didn't deviate very much which took a lot of willpower considering all the super cute clothes and toys and book, etc... they had. Also, they screen items very carefully so it's good quality items which makes it even harder to exert the willpower. :)

The breakdown:
4 pairs of shoes
2 winter sleepers with feet
1 pair pink pants
1 ladybug halloween costume
black shirt and pants to go with ladybug
1 lion halloween costume
1 winter outfit
Shape shorter
3 books
piano with song book
flip flop alphabet-block toy

The halloween costumes ate up almost one third of the total price but they were great prices for costumes and the way they are designed they can be worn by children of several different
sizes and genders.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Making up a pattern

Abigail is becoming quite the little mover and so we had to do some serious baby proofing about a week ago. In the process I realized that we needed to be able to store some things in the bottom part of our entertainment center (which doesn't have doors) and still keep Abigail from playing with them. As a solution we decided to make some fabric panels to hide things so they wouldn't be as appealing for Abby to get into. I am not a terribly great sewer and so I am rather proud of how my project turned out. (I borrowed my mother-in-law's sewing machine) We used small tension spring rods on the top and bottom of the panels to hold them in place. Scott helped me pick out the fabric and it turned out beautifully. The fabric I had semi-chosen would have worked okay before but the same weekend we also got rid of our loveseat in favor of a smaller one that is more to scale with our apartment. The color of the new loveseat would not have worked with my fabric but goes beautifully with the fabric Scott found. I am so grateful for such a wonderful husband! Hopefully this keeps those curious little hands of Abby's out of the entertainment center. Now I just need to do something cute to her box of toys on the bottom shelf in the middle.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Small towns

I've always felt drawn towards living in a small town but couldn't explain why. Last week I spent a few days with my mom while my dad was away on a business trip. She lives in a small town that wants to stay a small town and so they reject the big businesses like Walmart that want to build there. I happened to be there for the first two days of a three day celebration based on the local produce. This is not just an average celebration, it's a big deal and people come from all over for it. I witnessed a few things that helped me better put into words the charm of a small town. For example: they were having a parade on Saturday and people were laying out their blankets and camp chairs along the road on Thursday. Laying them out and leaving them there for two days with the faith that no one would steal them or take their spot, etc... My aunt said they have been doing this for years and nothing has ever been stolen. Example #2 As I was driving home I passed a lot of big produce stands run by businesses and then I passed front yards where residents had put out a bushel of fruit with the price and a can for people to leave their money in. What trust. Being able to live in an environment where you know your neighbors, the children play together and people help each other out on a regular basis is just appealing to me.
Of course there are pros and cons to small towns verses bigger cities but these are some great pros!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chocolate cake with a delicious salted caramel frosting. Mmmm...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

About a month and a half ago I decided I needed to get started on a blanket for Abby since I hadn't made one yet. After many trips to the fabric store and hours agonizing over which fabric was best and which fabric went with the others I finally purchased some. After a few trips up to see my mother we finished Abby's quilt! I would never have been able to accomplish this without the help of my very talented mother. I am VERY happy with how it turned out(I've never made a quilt before). We decided not to give it to Abby right away but to wait until her birthday in a few months.

On a less happier note, here is a picture of what happened to my windshield on one of my trips up to work on the quilt. Still waiting on the trucking company's insurance to let us know if they will pay to get it fixed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Recent cakes...

Just thought I would share some of the cakes I have done in recent weeks.

This simple birthday cake was done for a friend who is an inspiration to me.

An 88th birthday celebrated at a family reunion. The tree represents the birthday "boy"s love of creating new apple varieties in his orchard and also his posterity who came to celebrate with him.
(Farther down the cake it does say happy birthday!)

This cake was also for the birthday/family reunion but was an option for the gluten free eaters in this family.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I finished re-reading The Fire of The Covenant last night since Scott is at the ward Priesthood retreat/campout and I wasn't ready to just go to bed. There is nothing like reading about the sacrifices and experiences of the handcart saints to give you a new perspective on life and your challenges. My ancestors were in the handcart companies and without them, I don't know where I would be. Would I be a Latter-Day Saint? Would I be married to this incredible man who brings so much meaning to my life? Would I be as close to my family as I am? Would I have the desire to be a great mother?
Since becoming a mother I am gaining a greater understanding for the struggles the pioneer families went through. The struggles and heart ache of losing children and spouses I cannot understand but I can understand the deep love of family and desire for your family to be following the prophets counsel. I know what I feel barely scratches the surface of what the saints felt and went through but their stories have given me more strength and more focus to make it through my trials and to find the fire of my covenant inside me when times are tough.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I realize that's it's been quite a while since I have posted anything.. There are periods in life where you feel as though the everyday things that are going on just aren't blog worthy. But, no worries, the Twichel family is alive and well!
We took a fabulous trip to Maui a few weeks ago.

Our flight from LA to Maui was delayed because once the plane pulled onto the runway area a large puddle appeared under the plane. Turns out there was a hydraulic fluid leak. 3 hours later we left. Abby slept on both flights to Maui and then on both flights home. The flight from Maui to La was also 3 hours late.
Abby didn't take to the ocean AT ALL but she loved the swimming pool! Those cute chubby little legs and hands were just going and going! It won't be long before she's swimming laps. Her face went into the water several times, sometimes by accident and sometimes by her choice but she just sputtered a little and kept on going. Her little pink ducky was a friend for her in the water!
We spent a LOT of time in water and on the beach which was one of the things I looking forward to. I conquered some fears and had some new experiences that really showed me a few things. One: I am capable of far more than I have allowed myself to believe. Two: It's okay to put myself out there with the potential to fail and look like a loser when I try something new. Three: I married the most amazing, supportive, understanding and self confidence building man. He has helped me to have the confidence to try new things and to know that I can do it but if I do fail he will always be there to hold me, love me and put bandaids on my scrapes (literally).
Scott body boarding

We had an amazing time snorkeling (one of those new experiences). There were two beaches right by our condo that we could walk out to and swim and snorkel. There were amazing fish and we saw huge sea turtles. The turtles were so close we could have swam up and touched them in seconds but we were smart and didn't swim closer.

One of my most memorable experiences was Stand up paddleboarding with Scott(another new experience). Scott scraped up his leg while surfing on his board and I jammed my toes pretty bad and it was still incredible!

One of our last mornings there we got up super early and drove to the top of the volcano to watch the sunrise. It was a two hour drive in pitch blackness and it was extremely misty with hairpin turns all the way up the volcano. I don't do well with heights but since I was the only one of "the kids" who was old enough to drive the rental car I couldn't just close my eyes and ignore the scariness since I was driving. It was white knuckle for a bit but I made it! It was so cold and wet at the top of the volcano!! The mist never receeded so we couldn't even see a hint of the sunrise. But, it was still a great trip and I accomplished something hard for me!
Another day Scott and I took a day trip up to Lahaina to go snorkeling and explore the area. We snorkeled at Black Rock and saw amazing fish! Some of them glowed in the light. Alas, when we went back to the van we discovered that Scott had gone snorkeling with the car keys in his pocket. They happened to be electronic keys and so the chip inside was fried. There is only one guy on the island who can fix it. So, we had to wait for him to drive out to fix it and then pay his exhorbitant fee because we had no choice. Ggrrr.... lesson learned...don't buy a car with electronic keys!
It was wonderful to get to spend so much time with family! Mom and dad Twichel were wonderful and watched Abby for us so Scott and I could get out and not have to worry about Abigail. She tried blueberries for the first time and she loved them. The blue mustache was pretty cute!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Diet Update

So, today is the middle of day 5 in the diet. AND.....I've lost five and a half pounds!!! I would have lost more if I hadn't been cheating. I wasn't at home for a day and a half and hadn't planned on being gone so the diet didn't go exactly as planned on the day by day schedule. Yesterday was supposed to be the soup, bananas and milk day but it ended up being more like bananas and veggies day. But still, with all the cheating and alterations I am pretty happy with my progress. I may not lose the 10-17 pounds the diet is supposed to help you lose but at least I'm losing something!!! Yay!!!
And also the soup wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!! It's edible :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cabbage Soup Diet

So, I started the army diet/cabbage soup diet yesterday. I've never done "extreme" diets before because I don't do well with being completely restricted from certain foods. Yesterday was the fruit and cabbage soup only diet. I didn't have all the food to start off the day but even so I did really well the first half of the day. The second half was hard because I still needed to cut up veggies, lots of veggies for the soup. Dealing with a teething baby who gets crankier as the day progresses is not helpful when starting a new diet that requires a lot of willpower. The soup ended up getting put on the stove around 9 and then exploding not to long after that. So, I still need to pull out the oven and clean the wall and floor next to it where the cabbage and other ingredients ended up. Yuck, not looking forward to that. So, by the time I finished making Ranch burgers for Scott's dinner I was starving and a bit frustrated so I ate half of a burger(on a whole wheat bun). Also, later that night I ate half of a graham cracker. So, my first day on the diet wasn't a huge success but it also wasn't a huge failure. So, I have decided that cutting myself a little slack if I cheat a tiny bit every day is necessary for my mental state. Now, I'm talking about the half a graham cracker kind of cheating, not the half a hamburger cheating.
Lest anyone think Scott expects me to make him dinner while I'm on the diet, he doesn't. He has told me several times that he can cook for himself. But, I had already bought the ingredients for this weeks menu and I wanted to try a new recipe and make the ranch/mozzarella burgers.
Today has been equally hard. Mostly because I haven't been able to force myself to try the soup because of it's looks. But, it's on the menu for tonight and I have committed to myself that I will eat it if it kills me, which I've heard isn't a possibility. Today I ate a whole graham cracker and a spoonful of Nutella. Sigh, so shoot me for cheating. It could be worse though. I started at 161 pounds and I will weigh myself in the morning and see if I've lost any weight. I don't anticipate losing as much as quickly as the diet says you can simply because I haven't been eating the soup and I cheated. But, any weight loss will be exciting! It may take a few extra days and that's okay.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Project for my final night of cake class.

Made for the anniversary of Barnum and Bailey forming a partnership.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Abby's blessing and other moments...

Abby this past week. She pulled out her soothie and was holding it above her head when she dropped it. I just had to take a picture.
Abby, Scott and I at our apartment after Sacrament meeting where Scott gave Abby her baby blessing.

The cakes I've made this past week :)

Abigail was blessed in church today and I finished this cake early this morning, and I mean early so it isn't as perfect as I would have liked it to be. But, it didn't last long! (Buttermilk white cake with a lemon curd filling)

We had a wedding planning night for mutual and so I made a mini wedding cake and loved doing it!(Lemon and Devils Food cake layers with a strawberry/raspberry filling)

Snowman Cake

Sunday, February 27, 2011