Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas this year (even in spite of my annual grinchiness). We had Thomas family Christmas on the 23rd at my Aunt Karen's house. The kids were spoiled out of their minds. And for the first time in many years, my Aunt Bobbi joined us. It was almost like we were a complete family again.

When Zac and I got back from our anniversary stay at Belhurst Castle, we spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws' where we made bank in the present department. Probably my favorite gift (next to my new BJs membership) was from my MIL...a "Willow Tree" nativity set. I'm in love. I almost look forward to next Christmas when I can set it up :) Oh. I also got a stainless steel bucket from my father-in-law. Not sure why, exactly, but I'm having fun with it. I'm trying to use it for something different every day. Today it is transporting Christmas decor from the living room to the storage closet.

Christmas morning was wonderful. My parents came to our place to partake of brunch and the joy from the tiny children opening their presents. Again, spoiled. We rounded out the day by spending time with Savannah and Brandon before their return trip to Utah.

So there it is. Christmas 2012 in a nutshell. And now for pictures:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Simply Thankful...

The last few days, I have been thinking about how truly thankful I am to have my kids. My two incredibly smart, funny, happy, healthy children. They are my world, and I don't know what I would do without them.

Wait. That's a lie. I DO know what I would do without them. I would sleep more. I would go on more vacations with my husband. Have more "me time." Like peeing alone, or showering alone. I'd have more money. I wouldn't be driving a minivan...I'd probably have something much nicer and newer. I probably wouldn't have mac and cheese three times a week. I wouldn't get the "Dora the Explorer" theme song stuck in my head on a daily basis. I would buy clothes that are dry-clean only in a heartbeat. And I would have a marginally cleaner house.

But you know what? All that doesn't compare to Kaylee tip-toeing into my room at the crack of dawn, putting her chubby little hands on my cheeks, and saying "Morning. I love you. Can I have a Gogurt?" Or how when Logan steps off the school bus in the afternoons, he runs full-speed right at me to give me a hug and tell me about his day. Or when they are saying their prayers at night and say things like, "Heavenly Father, I thank you for my mommy and how much she loves me."

I have experienced far too many tiny coffins in the last two years. Too many babies that have entered this world for too brief a time. I have seen friends of mine coping with the loss of a child, learning how to deal with a void in their family. And it breaks my heart. There hasn't been a single baby lost that I've known, that I haven't shed tears over. Spent hours grieving for. Spent days praying for their families they have left behind. And not knowing what to say or to do, because... what can you say or do?

So this year, this Thanksgiving, I am simply thankful for my Logan and my Kaylee. Yes, they drive me crazy at times. But I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. They are my life, my joy, my loves.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I've been rearranging a lot lately. I get bored, so I move furniture, I put up new pictures, I buy new throw rugs.

So my latest conquest has been our bedroom. The layout is a touch annoying...there is only one logical place to put the bed. And the bed has been there for over a year. So I got creative.

The head of the bed now rests against the window.

Crazy? Perhaps. I wasn't sure if I would like it. But as it turns out, I have found many little perks that make the new bed location just that much better.

For one, there is the symmetry of the night stands, wall outlets, and lighting that we've never had before.

Two, Zac and I like to be cold when we sleep. So having our heads by the windows that we can open and let in. a brisk night breeze is fantastic. Which also leads me to

Three- along with the "liking to be cold" thing, there is nothing I dislike more than a hot pillow. So with the two pillows I have, I can keep one next to the window which chills it very well. So when I wake up, as I do frequently, I can swap out my warm, slept on pillow for a "Chillow," if you will. Ask my brother-in-law, Matt, about that one. I think he copyrighted the phrase :)

This evening, I just found another bonus to being close to the window. The window sill now houses my water bottle throughout the night, keeping it chilled like it came right out of the fridge. With the convenience of not having to travel to the kitchen.

Best idea I've had in ages.

p.s.- I know the red curtains don't match. I'm working on that ;)

September/October iPhone Photo Dump...

A trip to the children's museum, riding the carousel, painting pumpkins, eating gelato and other delicious treats, and the "Guitars and Stars" concert with Momma Steele (where I got to see Lonestar and Martina McBride...and like 3 other country singers I don't know, but liked anyways!). It's been an eventful 4 weeks.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Day At The Grove In Pictures...

Logan was still on 24-hour fever watch and stayed home from school again yesterday. But since he was feeling better, we met up with Grandma Jaylene for a picnic and hike through the Sacred Grove over in Palmyra. It was a bit breezy, but a lovely day.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


That last post I did was kind of a downer. And over a month ago. My bad. Let's try for some uplifting, positive blogging this evening, shall we?

Ok, wonderful things that have happened since that terrible day:

1. Zac is doing really well at the dealership. We hit a few rough weeks where his paycheck was in the triple digits (I'm not kidding. It was less than $500.), but he seemed to bounce back from that remarkably well and we are all caught up on bills! YAY!

2. I got a week off from work!!!! The Y does a "shut-down" week for maintenance every September. So I had Labor Day through tomorrow off!!! It has been awesome.

3. The week I had off at work could not have come at a better time because that is the week that Logan started KINDERGARTEN!!!!!! My baby boy is growing up so fast, I can't believe it. But it has been kind of nice to have all this girl time with my Kaylee while Logan is at school doing all kinds of grown-up things. Kay and I just lounge around, go to the park, go to the library, paint our nails, quilt at Grandma's....heaven. (Until I go back to work. Blah.)

4. We found out that I'M GETTING A NEPHEW!!!!! Liz is having a baby boy!!!!! She wanted a girl so badly, but I had a feeling she was carrying a boy. I'm excited that Logan will have a boy cousin to game with! Er, play with. So you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm pinning away all the baby boy shower ideas I can find on Pinterest!

5. Next to Kindergarten, this is probably the most exciting news. (No, I'm not pregnant. Though Logan's teacher is!) Back to me. There was a contest I entered on the YAtopia blog. It was being hosted by Entranced Publishing, and the top 5 contestants were offered an eight week editing class for their FULL manuscripts with full-time editors from Entranced. For those of you that don't know a ton about the publishing world, I'll just tell you that it's an incredible- and rare- opportunity.  For those of you that are familiar with the publishing world, Entranced is an e-publisher launching in April of 2013 and they are building their client list. So guess who was contestant 3 of 5 that was selected???? THIS GIRL!!!!!! I had to submit my book pitch in 100 words or less. That was it. Well, and it had to be better than all the other people that entered. But GO ME! And just because I won the editing course, doesn't necessarily mean they will make me an offer. But this opportunity can only help and improve my manuscript, so I'm ecstatic.

6. I'm dieting. Well, not so much dieting as paying attention to my caloric intake and output. I am involved in three different weddings next summer. And I have about 50 lbs that I'm not going to be taking to said weddings. So if I can stay on top of my game and lose 1.5 lbs a week on average, I should be able to meet my goal. I have this really sweet iPhone app that takes all the guesswork out of the calorie game. I'll let you know how it goes.

I guess that's all for now. Expect an iPhone Photo-dump here pretty soon ;-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


That's the kind of day I'm having. A Crap-tastic one. It was so horrible, I stayed an extra hour and 15 minutes at work just so I could do the menial task of stuffing envelopes at my desk and not have to talk to or deal with anyone.

First of all, I'm tired. Like sleep-deprived tired. Because I get up every three hours to bottle-feed three orphaned kittens. (Thankfully I have a few nights of reprieve this week.)

Second, Kaylee is a moron. She does things that Logan never in a million years was dumb enough to do. Like coloring on the walls. Sure, Logan did it once, but he learned that you NEVER do that. Kaylee has done it like 5 times. But that's not what makes her extra dumb. What makes her extra dumb it that she shoved one of these up her nose this morning.

Yep. An orange pony bead. Right up the left nostril. Too far for me to get with my finger. Tried to go after it with tweezers (while frantically calling my mother-in-law....after all, she had 9 kids. She was bound to have experienced the situation before). But Zac finally worked it out by pushing it down from the outside.

And speaking of Zac, he is also on my crap list. Because who goes ahead and spends EIGHTHUNDREDFRIGGINGDOLLARSTHATWEDON'THAVE on a stupid tablet? HMMM??? I was under the impression that we were saving for a down-payment on a house, but apparently a tablet (which is a cross between a laptop and an iPhone...which we both have!!!!!) is a much more practical purchase.

AND THEN, Zac called to inform me that he was on his way home to take the kids so I could go grocery shopping alone. Great. Much appreciated. UNTIL I GOT HOME AND HE CALLED SAYING HE COULDN'T COME GET THEM. So now I'm home. With my two kids that are driving me crazy. With NO FOOD IN THE HOUSE AND NOI'MNOTGOINGTOTAKETHEMSHOPPINGWITHMEBECAUSEIWASTOLDIDIDN'THAVETOANDIFITAKETHEMWITHMEIMAYMURDERTHEM.

Tomorrow, all very well may be forgiven and there is a pretty good chance my angel children will return. But until then, I'm ready for a drink. Rant over.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And I Shall Call This Post "Untitled..."

I can't really go on the Facebook today. I have yet to watch the Bachelorette finale (but I have a Hulu date with Dani to watch it tonight). And I'm afraid to open my Google Reader for fear of spoilers. But part of me has this innate need to be on the interwebs for at least a portion of the morning, so I suppose I will blog. So highlights of the last week:

The Hill Cumorah Pageant was in full swing. We went Tuesday and Friday. The kids loved it, as did we.

The only thing not so great was that Kaylee was TERRIFIED of Jon. He played Lamen and has that nice beard and 'stache...and she wouldn't go anywhere near him. But she loved watching Aunt Rosie get married to Nephi. Yep, my in-laws are kind of big deals.

Wednesday was Zac's birthday. It was rather uneventful. Until Kaylee started SCREAMING about her ear hurting for about an hour. So we ended up heading over to Urgent Care at 7:00 pm to find out she had a double ear infection, brought on by a cold. Which I now have.

Thursday I woke up feeling like crap, but was still gladly anticipating Zac's birthday present...we had 16th row tickets to see Jim Gaffigan. I laughed so hard, I cried. Twice.


Friday I was miserably sick.

Saturday was Kaylee's birthday and party. It was a Tangled theme. There were bounce houses and cupcakes and an endless supply of sugar. More on that later.

Sunday, I left church after the first hour because I felt so miserable. I slept for the better part of the afternoon, and ended up over at Zac's parents' house for a "July Birthday Dinner" where we celebrated Brandon's, Zac's, Kaylee's and Jaylene's birthdays.

Today, I am still sick. So I'm going to go lie on the couch and not move until I have to muster up the strength to go to work. Until next time....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

iPhone Photo Dump....

There may be some real gems in here. Let's see what story my phone will tell from the last month or so....

Playing Catch-up...

Sometimes I feel that's all I do. It's an awful game which I really want to not be part of my life. I've had to catch up on everything from sleep, to laundry, to work, to dishes, to the blog. And it's exhausting!

First: Sleep. Since my trip to Utah, I swear I've just barely gotten caught up on sleep. I tried to force myself to stay in East Coast time while there (haha, emphasis on TRIED), but it was hard. Especially with all the late-night chats I got to have with Zac's cousin, Emily. I freaking love that girl! So I'd stay up until like 1:00 a.m. Utah time (3:00 a.m. here) and roll out of bed around 6:30 a.m. to get ready, fight traffic, and make it to my conference by 8:30. But it was SO. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT.

Second: Laundry. While living in apartment after apartment never having my own washer and dryer, I got in the habit of making sure we had enough clothes to only have to go to the laundromat once every 2 weeks. Then I would go and do like 16 loads of laundry. I assumed that habit would change once I had my own washer and dryer. Turns out unless I habitually do one load of laundry a day, "I get so far behind that I can see my own butt." (Thanks for that one, Carol.) Sometimes I can get away with doing two loads a day and skipping a day in between, but I feel that unless I ingrain it into my routine, I don't do laundry for like 6 days, then run out of clothes, wash everything, dry everything, then get all bent out of shape when I have 8 loads of laundry to fold and put away. It's maddening. 

Third: Work. This could have sub-categories. WORK out: I was training for a 5K and it was going really well. Then I went to Utah. And I've only run once since I've been back. And then I bought tickets to go see Jim Gaffigan with my hubs for his birthday...and the show happens to be the same night as the run. Guess where my priorities lie. WORK work: I have a presentation to do at work. It's not a huge deal, so I kind of slacked. Then the meeting was postponed, so I feel like now that I have extra time, I should beef it up a little.  Writing WORK: Oh baby. I have some catching up to do here. You'll understand once I post about the writer's conference. But this is probably the work I'm most looking forward to (and stand the best chance of) catching up on. 

Fourth: Dishes. I don't think I need to say anything about this. They're there. They're dirty. They never end. 

Fifth: this blog. DONE! (Well, with the exception of the WIFYR conference post. And a photo dump. Stay tuned...)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kati Didn't Win, But You Did...


Huh. Lucky comment number 5. The odds were totally in Savannah's favor. But, to the winner go the spoils, so congratulations! Send me an email to sarahkaysteele at gmail dot com with your address and I can get that sent off to you!

Thanks to everyone for voting...Kati came in second place for the wedding giveaway. But the couple who won got it with 1400 more it wasn't even close. Sad day. It will still be a beautiful wedding!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Hey readers. You know how I love me a good giveaway, right? Well try this on for size: I'M DOING A GIVEAWAY OF MY OWN!!!!

You may or may not recall my obsession with a certain book series about 3 years ago...The Dark Divine Trilogy by Bree Despain. Well, I won a series of giveaways that Bree did and managed to win signed ARCs pf all three books. And I actually won two contests for the first book, The Dark Divine. Meaning I won two autographed copies. And guess what-- I'm giving one of them away!!!!

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Kati, is trying to win a wedding package from a local country club here in upstate New York. She is competing for votes against 9 other couples. People are allowed to vote once every 24 hours through June 10th. And she needs votes. So you vote for her, you get an entry to win a SIGNED copy of a RARE Advanced Reader Copy of The Dark Divine.

So to enter my giveaway:
1. Go here. "Like" the Webster Golf Club page (don't worry, it's a safe, local organization. They won't spam you or post things to your wall.)
2. Vote for my friend Kati's story, "Love Comes When You Least Expect It."
3. Come back here and leave a comment saying you voted for her!

*Bonus Entries*
This contest will go through Sunday, June 10th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Since you can vote for Kati's story once every 24 hours, you can come back here and leave a comment every time you do so. That's one entry a day for the next 12 days!!!

You can also snag yourself an extra entry for sharing this blog post on your blog or on Facebook...or heck, even both! Just leave separate comments here saying you did, giving you up to two extra entries.

I'll be using to pick the winner, so go. Vote. Help my girl win. And you get an autographed book!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Gift To You...

And after that long post, here is my Memorial Day gift to you: a photo dump from my iPhone!!!