Tuesday, November 29, 2011

32 Weeks and a WIDE LOAD

I am 32 weeks now.

Meh. Not much to report. Business as usual I guess. I was real sick the last two weeks with a bad bad cold, but other than that life is grand.

I look at pictures of myself from when I first got a bump and then I thought I was so big, but now when I look at myself and compare my pop it is amazing to see the difference.
20 Weeks

32 Weeks
I never know how to pose my face. I really can look sleek and chill but I am a goof.

I know I am not a wide load and I am exaggerating when I say that. I do joke about being a chub from time to time. Some days I feel huge, but I know I am not that big and still have some healthy growing to do before the baby comes. But sometimes I think when people see me they move out of the way a bit. Yesterday, I was walking up the parking lot stairs and I swear that everyone that passed me going down moved over to the side and said excuse me as they passed. Maybe they were just being nice or maybe I was walking too close to the middle of the stairs or maybe I am a wide load and when I breath heavy and walk people can only move out of the way for fear that I will trample over them :) LOL Either way I get a good laugh at it and try to wear the outfits that make me feel the most womanly and awesome more than the fatty ones. But hey, I am not complaining. I look and feel amazing but some days I feel funny and that is apart of the process.

In other news over the Thanksgiving break my neighbor helped me sort through all my baby clothes I have so far and I have a good amount of newborn to 6 months clothes, but not a lot of 6-12 months clothes. It was fun getting everything organized and imagining a little baby in all those outfits. I also got registered at Babies R Us to get a free gift card. We are also registered at Target and Amazon. I get all sorts of deals and coupons from those places now. I love it and feel like I am stealing money from them sometimes. We are still getting situated and need some basic stuff, but it is coming along.

The dreams I am having are crazy at times. Nothing scary anymore, just weird. Every now and then I dream about a little girl, not sure why. One night I dreamed that I was trying really hard to breast feed our son but he wouldn't eat and yet he kept getting fat as the dream progressed. I accused the people helping us of bottle feeding him behind my back, which is out of their character because these people are super respectful. The dream continued and I wouldn't let our son out of my site, then in the middle of the night I went to check on him and a little leprechaun snuck into the babies room and was bottle feeding him. WHY??? Once I solved the mystery I woke up right away. Such a crazy weird dream.

What weird dreams did you have while preggo?

Muppet Movie Review

The Muppet Movie was a hit this opening weekend. It took a solid $42 million and was 2nd in the box office, Twilight Breaking Dawn took 1st. I know the movie will keep bringing in the glory as the word gets out. I saw the movie on Thanksgiving day. I have to tell ya...I absolutely loved LOVED this movie. I was a little nervous that I would be too excited and my expectations would be outrageously high. If they were they were certainly met. This movie was fun, hilarious, cute, and just awesome. I laughed hard and even cried here and there. What I liked most about it, besides everything, was that the movie made fun of itself a little, or poked fun at the typically story a Muppet movie has. Plus it was one of the best villain's for a Muppet movie. I could go into so much more detail and give you a crazy review about everything but I think you should go see it for yourself. It was serious good and worthwhile. I enjoyed the writing, music, and the action. In fact I might just go see it again. It is also very quotable. I am for sure buying it when it comes out on bluray/dvd. It stayed with me for days afterwards and every time I think about it or see that someone else on FB saw it I just smile.

One of the best movies of the season and worth all the hype. Good job Muppeteers, Jason Segel, and Disney. Welcome Back Muppets, we are so happy you are here!


I made it into the final round!! Thank you all who have voted so far. Please continue to vote and help make me a winner. Either way I feel like a winner thanks to your love and readership. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Today we cooked for two. We originally wanted to just get a bunch of turkey legs and cook them in our dutch oven, but we waited to long to buy them and they ran out. So we got the smallest turkey we could find and cooked it like a normal turkey. It turned out fine, not my best honestly, but still good. We had all our other favorite trimmings, mash potatoes and gravy, cornbread stuffing, Lars' famous candied yams and apples. We had a lot of fun cooking and eating. We also bought 3 pies. :) But we only dug into one of them later on in the evening. We also got to skype with all of our families and saw The Muppet Movie (review to come later). I got a ton of reading, blogging, and relaxing done while Lars played Starcraft multiple times with his brother and friend. All in all it was a fabulous Thanksgiving. Plus side is that we still have a long weekend. I love this time of year, lots of cooking, food, family, and friends, and singing Christmas songs. :)

Utah Trip 2011 (Cool Stuff We Did)

We go to Utah every year. But this last trip was one of the best. Most of the time we go visit we end up packing our days until we are blue so we can see as many people as possible, often times it ends up being frustrating and stressful. But this trip we got to see more people than usual and it was stress free. Everything just fell into place. We had a blast with everyone and ate lots of good Utah food (like fry sauce everyday, seriously, I found a way to eat it everyday). We loved it so much. Not sure if it was all the preggo happy hormones but it seriously was one of the best trips ever which made it hard to come back to Cali.

I wanted to post all about it when we returned, but work and then getting sick consumed me. Now it is catch up time (as you can tell from all these posts that I am knocking out in a row). Hope you enjoyed them so far. This is more or less the conclusion of awesomeness from the trip. For a review of the first part of our trip check out this and this.

First, Lars celebrated his 31st Birthday while in Utah. Now his birthday is during General Conference, which sometimes overshadows it a bit. So this year, his birthday was LARSFEST. Which was a combination of his birthday and Hanukkah. I gave him a gift each day for Larsfest, and on the back of each banner was a clue as to what the gift was. Most of the gifts were movies that he has been wanting. It was fun and cute and he was genuinely surprised during all of it, which was my goal because he is hard to surprise. Then on his birthday we went out with some dear friends and had a blast. Lars wanted a pie for his birthday so we had pumpkin pie with our families later on.
My friends Stephanie, me, and Kristina. We are each holding our babies.

The Barlow/Madsen family got together to celebrate Mom, Wendy, and Lars' birthday. We went to two buffets while in Utah, Golden Corral and Chuck-a-rama. I liked Golden Corrals steak, salad bar, and mac and cheese best while Chuck-a-rama had the best carved meat.
One is a beer belly and the other is a baby, which is which?

Tina is probably my favorite sister in law of all time. SO we had a photo shoot together to celebrate how awesome we are.

I had lunch with my dear friend Rachel.
We ate exotic food.
And Japanese food. She was the first person to introduce me to wasabe many years ago by telling me it was guacamole. I know better now. This restaurant we went to is called Koi Sushi, best in Utah County.
I went to the Temple with my in laws.

I loved seeing all the fall leaves and colors. We experiences all sorts of weather there, sun, rain, and snow, and even construction if you can count that.
As always I had to get together with my old HRO family and The Judge Cafe (one of THE best places in downtown to eat)
Judge brownie and sugar cookie
Best green enchiladas on the planet.
During General Conference my Mother and Mother in law helped me tie a quilt together that I had pieced together before our trip.
Here is the final product that I just finished last week.

So that was our awesome trip in a nut shell. Seriously an unforgettable trip.

Lars 10 Year Mission Reunion

Lars hosted and put together his 10 year mission reunion. It was really hard to do from out of state and quite honestly will be the last time we ever do anything like that again. However, it was so worth it. The group that gathered was small and intimate. They had a great time together reminiscing about the mission and just reuniting. Since then we have been able to get together with some of his mission buddies. We hope to keep in touch with them better and see them more often.

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Barlow Baby Shower Open House (Utah)

These next few posts I am going to be playing catch up and post some pics from our Utah trip that we took this last Sept-Oct.

My Mom and Lars' Mom were kind enough to throw us a Baby Shower open house. It was awesome. We got to see so many people, some we haven't seen in years. It was a wonderful evening full of friends, family, and food. We were very grateful for the thoughtful gifts that will help so much in providing for our little guy. Thank you all, especially our Mom's for all their hard work in putting it together.

Enjoy this slide show made from the event.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vote for Me Please!!!

Holy Moly!!

I was nominated a few times for various awards from the one and only Blog Award, hosted by Karen. It is only the semi-finals so I need all your votes to put me into the final round.

Please please please vote for me and I will love you forever even more.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


Muppet Monday~Muppet Domination Nov 23

We are finalizing our Muppet Mondays. It has been so much fun posting memories, fun facts, and videos about the Muppets. The movie comes out tomorrow. Tonight and midnight in some places. They are calling it Muppet Midnight. I am thrilled to see this movie. If my preggo body could handle a midnight showing and work the following day I would soooo be there. But it won't make it, still getting over a cold and need my beauty sleep. So Lars and I will be seeing the movie either on Wednesday or on Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading and participating in these posts. We will have a final post next Monday to review the movie.

Please enjoy a final look at one of the best trailer cuts for this movie

What will be next for Monday's??? Who knows, but I am sure it will be awesome!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

3rd Trimester Yo's!

I am 30 weeks as of yesterday! EEK!! (Excited Squeal!) I cannot believe how time has just flown by. I mean some nights my eyes just pop open and I realize, I am going to be a Mom in 10 weeks or less. I am feeling really good and ready. We still have to set up the baby room and get somethings squared away there, but we are getting there. My plan is to work on finalizing that stuff over Thanksgiving break. I also have a baby shower coming up on January 7, 2012, a few weeks before my due date. We should be finalizing all our other needed things by then I hope.
I have been doing a lot of reading up on natural birth too. I really want to give birth naturally and have been reading all sorts of books, stories, and articles about it to see what has worked for other people to create a plan that will hopefully work for me. I am opened minded to other options if necessary, but I feel really good about my plan so far. I have always always always had a high tolerance for pain and really want to be in control of the process as much as I am able too.

I am really grateful to have so many tools for educating myself at my finger tips. I have talked to my Mom a lot about various things, even a few friends or coworkers that have gone through it already, I have taken some free classes that my insurance company/hospital has offered, plus I have a few books, and the Internet. I took an amazing child birthing class last night that was awesome and just put things into perspective and left me feeling very encouraged and amazing. I feel like a sponge some days. I just want to get as much info under my belt mostly to feel at ease and prepared, I guess knowledge is power or makes me feel more prepared. Some days I take a break though because it feels a little overwhelming. I took a break for a few weeks and read part of The Hunger Games series. :) I think all the natural instincts are kicking in and if I forget something then I do, only human right.

Aside from the occasional hip pain, leg cramps, and heartburn I am feeling amazing. (well right now I am fighting a nasty cold) I love being pregnant and love the process of feeling him grow. I have experienced swollen ankles and I think that my belly button will be popping near the end. My favorite part has been feeling him move. He has become incredibly active and strong. One night when I was reading I could see my belly move like a wave. It was amazing. Lars and I enjoy playing with him. We play "hide n' seek" or "tag your it". We poke him or a side of my belly and see if he pokes back or moves over to the other side of my belly. I end up laughing a lot of the times when we play and then we can't tell if it is him moving or me from the laughter. At times my belly looks deformed because he is curled up on one side and it is hard as a rock. Minutes later he moves and it changes shape again. He also gets the hiccups in the mornings and evenings. We should start teaching him morse code or something to communicate. Tap once if this is your head, twice if it is your bum. :) I love love love it!

At times it is really hard to describe or find words to express the love I feel. I end up crying tears of joy when I really stop and think about it. One day I was just listening to the radio and Beyonce's song Halo came on and I just started bawling at the words. I love this child and I love how into this Lars is. He is going to be an amazing Dad. Sometimes I feel silly with how emotional I am about this but it is just a great feeling. I feel like when the baby comes out and when I hold him on the outside I will just explode with even more love and not know what to do with myself.

Here is my 30 week belly shot.
People at work that were too afraid to ask if I was pregnant now have no shame in asking questions and even strangers or vendors that come in the office congratulate me or comment about it. So far I haven't been too terribly offended by any rude remarks or comments about my weight or hormones. I think I have been annoyed twice by something someone said, but I can't even recall what it was so I guess it wasn't that important. I do joke with some people about it and am called Chubbs LOL. But those are people I know really well so it is cool with me. I don't mind people touching my belly. Most people are polite about it and ask first which is nice. So far no creepos have come asking because I will tell them NO! LOL

Anyway so there is the 30 week update. I guess since I am nearing the homestretch I will be posting weekly pictures of the belly progress. :)

Muppet Christmas Carol - Thankful Heart

Yesterday Sucked! So you are getting Muppet Tuesday instead.

8 days until The Muppet Movie comes out.

Just to update you I have sent in my letter to try and get tickets to the Premiere. Unless they contact me between now and then I don't think I will be going. But that is okay. I will go to the movies next Wednesday night with my main man Lars to see the movie. He is my favorite and cannot wait. (Maybe by the time they read my letter they will think it is so cool that they will invite me to something else awesome)

Anyway, I know it isn't Christmas yet, but this is the season of Thanksgiving and I thought this song to be appropriate for one of my final Muppet Mondays. I am very grateful for my family, friends, and membership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. May we all give thanks and also remember those less fortunate than us and follow Christ's example and give.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stephanie Age 0-10

As apart of my Blog Craze. I want to document my life story a bit here. My journals throughout my life will probably contain more of my deepest darkest secrets or at least more detail than what you may read here. But this is something I have wanted to do for a while so here it goes.

Long ago, but not too long ago, a man named Steven John Stark from Rupert, Idaho had a roommate, John Nelson. John took Steven to his home in Idaho Falls, ID for the holidays one winter. John had a sister named Lorrie Lou Nelson. They were both smitten with each other from the get go. So much that 6 weeks later they were engaged. (Side note: the night they got engaged Lorrie was supposed to be babysitting her two little sisters, but instead she and Steven went cruising in his car up to a hill where he proposed. LOL This story is very similar to my own engagement story which is saved for another blog:))

Steven and Lorrie were married July 12, 1968 in the Idaho Falls LDS temple. They lived in Idaho for about 1-2 more years, then moved to Provo, Utah where Steven was getting his Bachelors and Masters from Brigham Young University. Over the next 15 years they moved throughout Provo and then to West Valley City, UT. By this time they had 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl, Carl, Monte, Neils, Lorretta, and Richard. One evening as they gathered around the dinner table the 3rd oldest boy, Neils, looked around and said out loud, "Ya know, I think have room for one more at this table." (Truest story ever) Later that year their youngest daughter and last child was born: Stephanie Joy Stark. I was born on Super Bowl Sunday at 7:11 pm. The family was thrilled to have their last child and that I was girl, hence the middle name "Joy".

Naturally, I do not remember anything about my super early childhood phase. I have heard stories from family that I was very blonde and that my mother would dress me up in puffy dresses for church and that my crib was next to the window and I would often climb up on the crib and run my hands down the closed blinds and make a lot of racket. My earliest memories began about my preschool age. That summer I was sent to a house in our small neighborhood for a few days out of the week. It was a short pre-preschool that was ran by a few Laurels from our ward, probably for a Young Women medallion project or something. I remember I liked Barbies and Velcro shoes because they were super easy to put on. I remember the day I lost my first tooth. It was just before my elementary preschool class, I had the afternoon session. I was eating a hamburger at home and I took a painful bite then pulled away to find my tooth pushed into the hamburger with spit and blood. I cheered and ran to my Mom to show her. Yes the tooth fairy came that night and most every other tooth after that was exchanged for a small amount of change. I also sucked my thumb longer than I needed to. My Mom had this yucky paste she would put on my thumb before bed. One evening she asked me which thumb to put it on. I looked and both of them and then back at her and then told her the opposite thumb I use, she was smarter than I gave her credit for and put the paste on both of my thumbs. No matter what Mom's know all. Seriously, some summers when we kids were home alone for a few hours out of the day and we did something bad or broke something we all swore on pain of death not to reveal what happened, but sure enough Mom and Dad would just know. Like they could feel it in the air or something. Not sure how they did it but they did.

I remember giving my older brother a near heart attack. I had this rad cabbage patch doll plastic tricycle. I would ride it up and down the sidewalk. One day I got to our house and just parked it in the drive way behind the car for a second to run inside and get a drink. I didn't think twice about it. While I was in the house my brother, not sure if it was Carl or Monte, came out jumped in the car and backed up into the tricycle and crushed it. They of course heard the crunch and panicked at what they had done, thinking they had hit and killed me they stopped the car and ran to look. Thankfully I was in the house. I was sad about the tricycle but okay once I realized it could have been a lot worse if timed out differently.

I had a cool childhood, I would run and play around the house and tag along with my Mom during all her errands and activities until I was put in school. She was involved in all my siblings activities, paper routes, PTA, our ward choir and other church callings. She also taught voice and music lessons to the locals so we constantly had visitors and were thrown out of the Living Room (piano room) during those hours and asked to play quietly somewhere else. I loved to play and had a huge imagination. I had lots of little toys and trinkets that I could spend hours with. Even if I didn't have a toy I would turn something into a toy for whatever bidding my imagination needed it to be. I also loved Lego's and creating things. I used to get frustrated when I had to interrupt my play time for chores or anything for that matter. One time, I had my entire play schedule planned out for the day, but then my parents asked me to babysit some kid so they could all go to an Amyway evening meeting. I was so annoyed with the request but my parents talked me into it and I hated the evening because it completely interfered with my plans to roller skate and then lock myself in my room with my toys.

We lived in a rad neighborhood. Our house was one of the first houses in the development. Our family grew with the development along with the rest of the other families that started out there. Today you wouldn't recognize it. When I lived there it was near a farm field and on Saturdays we would walk to the farm and pick various things and then head over to the plant to get some eggs. It was known then as the Fasio Egg Farm, now it is another development and a park. When I was there it was safe to run around freely without fear of any immediate danger. There were lots of other kids to play with and most evenings were spent running around the neighborhood on our bikes, skateboard, or roller skates, or baseball. We thought we owned the place and we would play games together. One of my favorite games we played was a made up game called, "To The Trees". This game is best played at night. Our house was right in the middle of the fork in the road so you can see all sides of the neighborhood and streets to the neighborhood from our front door. We would stand in the middle of the road in front of our house and as soon as we saw a car coming we would yell, "TO THE TREES, TO THE TREES" and run and hide into the bushes and trees in front of our house. We laughed and giggled as we hid and thought we were so clever. The game was inspired by Kevin Costners movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. There is apart in the movie where the Sheriff's armies surround Robin Hood's homemade village and one of the characters yells, "To the Trees!" and everyone runs to their station in the trees to prepare to defend their home. We thought it was awesome and the game was born from it.

There was a corner lot that never got sold and trees grew there. We would often shortcut through the small wooded area to get to the other road. We used to pretend it was a haunted forest sometimes. One day when I was walking alone through there on my way home from school, I was singing aloud as I always did, when I stopped suddenly under a tree because I heard a loud cracking noise that was interrupting my singing. Everything happened real fast but I very distinctively remember feeling someone push me out of the way. Seriously hands were on my back pushing me. I think I was out for a second and when I awoke next to the space I was standing in I saw a giant branch laying where I once stood, then I had a peaceful feeling come over me. That was the start of my testimony of angels and the Holy Ghost. I went home and told my Mom. I know without a doubt that an angel protected me from harm that day. (Almost like the angels from the Family Circus cartoon where they get tired out because kids are having fun). This was later confirmed by a passage in my patriarticle blessing that more or less stated God had given angels charge over me to protect me and at times I am aware of them and other times my life has been spared without me knowing. Crazy cool huh?

Being in a large family we had all the chores divided with our handy dandy chore chart. Dishes were one of the biggest responsibilities. We did not have a dishwasher until I was 12. During the weekdays my parents would team up an older child with a younger child to complete the dishes. Then on Sunday was Team C meaning Team Children, all of us together. My favorite part of doing the dishes was rinsing, I don't know why but it was. When I had to do the dishes by myself it would take me hours not because of the workload but because I would start playing imagination with the dishes and it would last for hours. I would lose myself in the fun and never stop until someone came into the kitchen only to find me 1/4 of the way done. (BTW Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie then, especially the part with the singing dishes) My parent caught on to this and I think that is when they teamed us up to be more efficient and to teach me to stay on task.

I also learned how to cook early on from this chore chart. My Mom would assign each child a day to help her in the kitchen with dinner. I loved making Top Ramen, I thought that when you combined it with cooked carrots it turned it into Chinese food. My palette wasn't developed much then. I hated most veggies and fruits but loved bread and jam and grape juice. My family bottled their own jam and it was delicious. At almost every meal we had bread, butter, and jam. Every 5 minutes during the meal I would ask someone to pass me the bread until I became restricted and had to actually eat real food.

In our back yard we had lots of grass, a playground in a rock area, a shed, a small orchard with 6-8 fruit trees, a garden, strawberry and raspberry bushes. Every Saturday each of us had to weed an entire black garbage bag of weeds before we could go and play. The earlier you started the quicker your got done. I could never believe there was actually that many weeds each week, but my parents insisted. I cheated and filled my bag with dirt, but I would get caught. I got caught a lot. Another time I was tasked with vacuuming the Living Room, we had a two piece vacuum. I took just the one piece that actually goes over the carpet and didn't plug it into anything. I figured I would run it over the carpet and it would leave the marks so it would look like I vacuumed. My brother Monte caught me and asked what I was doing. I let him in on the secret and he just laughed. A few hours later my Mom asked me to vacuum for real. "Take pride in your work and do the job right the first time." This was a lesson that I constantly learned and is still burned in me today. I guess you can say that thanks to all those shenanigans I tried to play but never got away with I am the super awesome responsible adult I am today. Now I get annoyed when people try to cheat or lie with their work. Anyway, I don't really care for weeding today, but I do find a sense of accomplishment when I am able to plant something and keep it alive. I would love to have a little garden and orchard of my own and plan on doing so when we have the space. I prefer grass too. I love the smell of it and mowing it. I relished the day when my brothers all left on their missions because the task of mowing the lawn fell to me and I loved every minute of it. I would mow a lawn over weeding any day of the week.

My parents taught me to work, besides all these chores and school work we each had our own paper routes. These routes increased the older we got. I had a number of expierences during these routes, but I will save them for another time. They are so weird and I often use them for the ice breaker game 2 lies and 1 truth. (I will however clue you into some of them: thrown out of car, dead body, dead cat in car, Lifetime movie moment with battered woman, weird for a kid right?) When my brothers got real jobs us younger kids took over their larger route. This gave me some money to play with, but I mostly saved it because it wasn't much or I spent it on stuffed animals. One year my parents challenged us to save money for a plane ticket to FL. If we saved enough money by the summer they would pay for our tickets into Disney World. We all were able to go except for my brother Carl. It was the trip of a lifetime for a young girl and to this day we still talk about the trip and covet the Mickey Mouse picture album that my Mom made from that trip. Other family trips included driving up to Grandma and Grandpa Stark's home in Idaho, Bear Lake, Yellowstone, and lots of other fun camping adventures.

I went to Jacking Elementary. I guess it was a good school. I was active in all the things it had to offer like after school choir and theatre and sports. I had some good friends that I knew from early grades up to 6th grade. They were Marilee Riggs, Laura Hansen, and Emily McKenzie. At least those were the ones I remember the most and we did lots together. There were a few other girls from the ward but we hated each other until we got older I guess. I also had two or three short lived boyfriends in Elementary school. I don't remember their names, one was real short and the other was "the bad boy". I did have crushes on other guys, but I didn't think they liked me because I was weird. I like to think I was a good student. Getting my homework done so I could play came natural to me. I would, however, wait until the last minute to complete big projects and my Mom would stay up into the wee hours of the night helping me get them done. My parents were sure to keep our minds growing throughout the summer. My Mom would give us math, reading, and spelling quizzes and every Friday if we scored well enough she would reward us with part of a cute summer outfit. It is how we earned some of our clothes I guess. The boys would end up with matching shorts if they weren't careful to watch and see what the other one picked for their weekly accessory. LOL.

I learned a lot from my older siblings and have a lot of memories with each of them. Carl and I were the farthest apart so he moved out when I was 6 years old. But I remember he was really smart and into Star Trek. I remember watching Star Wars at home for the first time with the family, I think he helped introduce it. I fell asleep during it because it was too long for my mind to take, but I remember liking the Ewokes. Monte, or Monster as we called him (his basketball court name) spoiled me a lot. He would take me with him on dates with girls, not sure if it was to impress them or because Mom asked him to take me. I got to see the Nutcracker and other plays thanks to him. Monte also baptized me when I turned 8 and then went on his mission shortly after that. Neils will forever have a special place in my heart because he wished for me to be born. He took care of me a lot when I was sick and would feed me bread and grape juice. He is best known for making me laugh too. Whenever I was grumpy and didn't want to talk to anyone he would pull out his hands and shape them into a puppet that he named "Mr. Happy Face". I would only talk to Mr. Happy Face when I was down, he just got me. Neils always encouraged me to be my best and to hurry up with my chores so we can enjoy a fun family home evening together. I learned that I do have control over my choices and can always choose to be happy no matter my situation. My older brothers also had me clean and wash their cars for 50 cents, when they paid me they asked me what I was going to do first with the money. I learned from them how to be a tithe payer as they would help me count out what money that belonged to me and what money to give back to the Lord. Lorretta, (I would call her Netta until I learned to say the 'Lor" part) taught me how to ride a bike. I was so scared. I had only had a scooter and I didn't want to learn until I was forced too. My scooter broke and she gave me her bike but also helped me learn. We became better friends the older we got. Rich taught me how to tie my shoes, he gave me 2 Butterfinger candy bars, one for each foot, once I did it on my own. Richard was also my snow buddy. We loved to play it rough in the snow. We would do all the shoveling and we had a great system down. Then we would box, wrestle in the snow, and climb the snow mountains that were made from the plow at the church parking lot.

Us younger kids thought we had it good. We didn't get spanked with the wooden spatula as much as the older kids did. But we had our challenges too. We would team up against and sometimes with each other and often got separated. One time we found a bunch of cough drops and we used them as chips to play Poker or War. We never ate them, just made them into currency until we had Halloween candy for currency. We played a lot of board and card games together. Our favorites were, The Game of Life, Aggravation, War, Missionary Impossible, and the Prophet cards. We also fought over who the cat loved the most. If you could get the cat to come into your room then He loved you more. I like to think we had fun through my youthful years of 0-10. I wanted to be one of the guys and play with Richard and his cousins and friends, but I also wanted to be one of the girls and prance around with Lorretta mimicking everything she did.

So that is a summed up version of my early childhood. I would post pictures but they are still getting organized. My next memory post will contain everything from 10-18. Thanks for reading the memories.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


There are two characters I really like right now that always say HI-YA!

They are:

The Muppets Miss Piggy

and Futurama's Leela

Leela is voiced by the wonderful Golden Globe award winning Katey Sagal, who is also married to Kurt Sutter, the creator/writer/producer/director/actor of the FX hit series Sons of Anarchy. Katey also stars in this series and today I want to talk about how awesome this series is and why you should watch it.

Here is the story:

Sons of Anarchy is about a motorcycle gang in Northern California and all their legal and illegal activity to protect the small town of Charming, CA that they reside in. I honestly tried to write a short detailed summary about the premise with character details but it was hard to do without giving too much detail that sounded dumb. So here is the gist and then you can read here for more. Some of the gang members are family and get along except when they butt heads about how things should be ran. Overall, they try to protect their town from drugs and other enemies (other gangs, outlaws, pedophiles, unconstitutionalist etc.), but do so by taking the law into their own hands sometimes. The gang survives and makes money by their illegal gun smuggling and autobody shop. The gang avoids capture from their enemies, the ATF, and a local Sheriff who's life goal is to bring them down.

I love this show because:

1) The plot is really good. The writer really did his research here and though this gang and town are fictional, as far as I know. The stories are inspired by Kurt Sutter's research from an actually biker gang that he spent a lot of time with.

2) I love the characters. Sometimes they do bad things for the right reasons, other times they don't. The situations are awesome.

3) The writing is really good. Ya know how in most drama shows character A has a secret and needs help from character B, but they don't help because character A doesn't communicate with character B about it. Like a soap opera and it is seriously frustrating to watch because nothing progresses and though that may happen in real life but I don't think it happens as much as t.v. makes it out to. This doesn't happen on this show. The characters actually progress and if they hold secrets, it is only for a short amount of time and it is amazing writing how the characters handle the situation and themselves. Things actually get wrapped up in the show instead of secrets dragging on for seasons at a time.

4) I love the characters and the actors who play them are awesome:

Katey Segal plays Gemma Teller, the matriarch of the gang. She is seriously the glue and her character just get better and better. And Katey portraying her is amazing. I think she is super strong and seriously deserved the Golden Globe.

Ron Pearlman plays the gang President, Clay Morrow. Ok , Ron Pearlman is just awesome because he takes awesome roles and he is tall and he has awesome teeth.

Charlie Hunnam plays Jax teller, the VP to the gang and son to Gemma and step son to Clay. He is super cute and is just amazing.

There are ton more actors that rock and even guest stars that rock too, Henry Rollins being one of them.

The show is currently airing their 4th season. I have just finished watching Season 2 on Netflicks and let me tell you. It was intense and sat with me for a few weeks. FX just renewed the show for a 5th season and the writer plans to take the show to 7 seasons. If you are looking for a savvy, intense, awesome drama that will take you to another place then please check out the show.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Entertainment~The Muppets

Saturday I got my Weekly Entertainment that we get for free because we ordered something off of newegg.com or something. Either way I am cool to get a free magazine from time to time.

To enjoyment The Muppets were on the cover.

It was a fun and insiteful article about the puppeteers and how the movie came to be and some of the characters. No spoiler alets so it is safe to read here.

For an additional interview watch this video below. I was going to save a lot of this for other Muppet Monday's but I am kinda excited and going a little bit crazy here. Enjoy!!

Muppet Monday~Special Guest Interview

Today for Muppet Monday we have a very special guest. May I present to you one of the stars of The Muppet Movie......DAN MERKAT. We had the following interview with Dan regarding his most recent role.
How long have you been acting?
I started acting in ninth grade because I had no interest in wood or metal shop.

What other projects/movies have you been involved with?
I have done about twenty films, most of which were extremely low-budget so you've probably never heard of them. I have done about ten commercials and maybe ten guest TV spots. Touched By an Angel, Everwood, and Promised Land. And commercials for the LDS church, Foundation For a Better Life and Sprint. I have done about 100 plays.

What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie of all time is Schindler's List. My favorite of the films I've been in is The Maldonado Miracle.

What part do you play in The Muppet Movie?

I play the Large French Bussinessman. The Muppets are trying to get in to see Miss Piggy, who is running Paris Vogue. They decide that they can't get in unless they are dressed appropriately so they steal my suit and stuff it with a bunch of Muppets. Then there is a shot of me in my underwear tied up in a closet. It was a lot of fun.

What did you enjoy most about filming with puppets?

It was very cool to see how they set up the shots with the Muppets. The Muppeteers were dressed all in blue and they would sit on the floor and raise their hands to indicate where each muppet would be and what they would do and then at the last minute they would bring the actual muppets in and shoot the scene.

Who is your favorite Muppet?

My favorite muppet has always been Fozzy the Bear.

Thank you Dan for taking the time to give us some insite into your role in The Muppet Movie which comes out November 23, 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Too Crazy Not to Share~It's a Red Flag

OK. So I am on yet another little rampage this week.

It is not as bad as that post and actually I do have follow up news to said post. Good news first. It has been brought to my attention from a higher up that DH from the said post will be moved into another position and his current position will be transformed and given to a new person. HALLELUJAH! I got the news and almost cried, though DH will still be around, he will not have as much direct contact with me and hopefully the change will be for the better for the entire situation overall. Could DH's replacement be worse, I doubt it and I will take my chances there. There is more to this story and I am not giving that much detail on purpose. Not sure who reads this and even though I have the policy "my blog, my complaint so suck it", I choose to be vague as to cover my tracks because people are people.


The newest thing....it is actually kind of humorous.

Okkie dokkie

I do a lot of recruiting for my company, a lot, like all of it for the entire Southern California area. Needless to say I meet and talk to a ton of different people. I know everyone has their own story or version as to why they are unemployed or looking for work and blah blah blah. I sympathize with people and do my best to be sincere and help them out if they flip the bill or I keep them in mind for other positions when possible. A lot of our hiring is dependent on our clients so I don't get a lot of say sometimes, I just grease the wheels and try to find the most qualified people to represent. But there are some interesting people I meet and just have no idea what to do with. Sometimes this group of people interview really well or they know how to write up a solid resume but then little red flags pop up that just scream, "You should never hire me! or Ban me from your planet because I just don't have the smarts for it!"

At times I feel like I need to be wearing this shirt

Case and point.

I had a candidate, we will name him Jimmy Joe, his resume is outstanding and exactly what we are looking for. I phone screen him and he sounded professional and decent over the phone so I schedule him for an interview. Being hired with our company is contingent on a background check. SO I coordinated with Jimmy Joe to email him the form so he can fill it out and email it or fax it back to me for processing to speed up the hiring process. Easy enough right. I email him and then a few minutes later he emails me back with the following question...

"Hi Stephanie, What is your email address? Is it www.dtiglobal.com" (company website I have posted in my email signature)

You could hear the sounds of my hand smacking my forehead from across the room.

Dude, did you not just realize that I emailed you and you emailed me back and now you are asking for my email address.

I replied and gave him my email address and then decided to update my signature with my email address posted in it, guess I should be more obvious.

Jimmy Joe emails me the form and I open it only to discover that all he did was send me back the original file I sent him. He didn't fill it out or he did and he just sent me the wrong file? I really have no idea but I can't help but assume the worse with this guy.

I then replied to that email and instructed him to just fill out the form while at the interview. However, I did make a call to the manager conducting the interview to share all of the above with him and gave him a heads up. Man oh Man! That was just a series of red flags that are really hard to ignore. Jimmy Joe is not alone in the world. I have met other like him and I don't know what to make of it anymore.

The hardest thing about recruiting is really knowing and believing how much people say they know and can perform. Most of our jobs require having a sound understanding with technology and especially computers . We try to take precautions when hiring. We screen people, have them go through a rigorous interview process with more than one person and even the client when necessary, and we check references. I am starting to think that we need to create and aptitude test as well just to be on the safe side.

I have learned in that last few months of recruiting that:

when people say they have taken "computer classes and are certified" its a red flag

(almost all the people that i have hired that said that had the hardest time getting trained on our computer procedures)

if they have trouble sending me emails after I already sent them an email it's a red flag

if they ask me what does gender mean while filling out the background form it's a red flag

if they only answer "assisting"to the question "What did you like most about being a Administrative Assistant?", it's a red flag.

All you can do is do you best to read people and read through the lines. Ya just never know and sometimes the surprises are funny, sometimes they just make me shake my hands to the sky and scream, how do these people walk among us!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Fall Ya'll

We celebrate Fall in style at the Barlow Household. Especially in our belly's.

It has become tradition to get funnel cake from the Catholic School's Country Fall Festival that they hold across the street from our house. Now I make my own funnel cakes at home but it is fun to get other funnel cakes from time to time...especially with friends.

We are pretending to be Catholic here. We were for an hour by supporting the school in buying a funnel cake. There was a Priest there too but we were too shy to ask for a photo with him. ;) Also, our someone from our Stake Presidency was there too so no need to concern yourself, we are still very Mormon. :)

The Christensen's and the Barlow's (wives are in a very preggo state)

After the Fair we had a ROOT BEER AND PIE PARTY EXTRAVAGANZA! I honestly just felt like making pies and wanted to share them so we threw a party. Well we also hung up pictures around the house so let's celebrate that too. Lars made his homemade root beer which is always fun to do.

mmmmm pies and other goodies

For Halloween we dressed up for work and our Church Halloween Party. I won an award, 10 years in the running, GO ME!
Lars was even more festive than ever in his Orange Pumpkin shirt.

Hope ya'll continue to have a nice Fall with lots of goodies, friends, and family.