Saturday, November 29

"It's that time of year..."

So last year I got really behind in my holiday posting, so I am going to do my best to stay caught up this year. This year my family (Kelli, Kerri, Mom and Dad) went to our family cabin in Midway, UT with my mom's sisters and their families. Midway is a great place, and gorgeous to boot.
This is the view from the deck of the cabin. Probably not the best picture...and no where near the real thing, but you get the idea.

The ride up to the cabin...which I do not have pictures...or video of...was HILARIOUS and included a delightful conversation with a nice southern woman, and an adorable British girl :) When we arrived the cabin was bustling with activity...

food preparation...

...a little DDR to make room for the impending extra calories...

and some football...or Anne of Green Gables...whichever you prefer...with Grandpa
Then of course it was time to eat...

...and pose for pictures...

...and take pictures...

Clean up is a part of Thanksgiving dinner as well, but I didn't take pictures of that because cleaning up is not really fun...well unless you have wonderful aunts like Jen and Steph...or Steph and Jen...whichever order you prefer ;)

Then there is the essential after dinner Tryptophan induced nap...
Dad and Mom are so cute!!!

After a great nap we visited the ducks, and the now drained pond at the Wasatch Golf Course...that was not my most pleasant experience...mostly because I have a serious fear of fowl, and possible winged animals in know like My Little Ponies, pterodactyls, bats...etc...but everyone else seemed to have a good time...especially creating bread crumb trails in my general direction for the ducks to was scary...


However...everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves...

And I guess you're never to old to play at the evidenced by Kelli...

And for some reason a new tradition of a photo shoot began as well...

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving...and THANK YOU to my family for such a good time...ESPECIALLY my mom and my aunts...the three MOST influential people in my life ;)

Monday, November 24

Twilight...of course.

As did many others this weekend I saw Twilight. I saw it with my friends Jen and Aubry...oh and my new friend Jenny :) I didn't have the highest expectations going in...because honestly...if you've read the could your expectations be high. I liked the movie, and my sister loved it...and she falls exactly into the age range it was directed I say it was successful.

Frankly I think it was lose lose going in. How are you every going to make everyone happy about a book that people are hysterical about? (unless of course you want to make the movie 3 hours long (*cough* Harry Potter 1&2)). No movie will EVER equal our own imaginations. I liked it, and I'm looking forward to what will come next.

So that is about wasn't the greatest movie I've ever seen, but it certainly was not the worst. I did have to stifle some serious gafaws during the first half of the movie...SUPER cheesy...I am not one for that much least not in my movies...(I do love to eat all things cheesy, hot and gooey...YAY Twin Falls County Fair). But other than that the scenery was great, and I liked the actors who played the Cullens...actually I liked all the actors. The guy that played Jasper kind of freaked me out...he reminded me of Johnny Depp in Edward Scissor Hands or Charlie and the Chocolate was exactly what is should have been.

What I hope is that Kelli and Kerri will see it with me. Kerri...being the enthusiastic one...can sit on one side...and Kelli...the cynical one on the other...and me the happy medium in between.

So there you have it...what I am REALLY looking forward to is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!!!

feeling a bit Scrooged.

So I am having some serious trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year. But this time I am usually so stoked for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I am feeling somewhat blah. It may have to do with the fact that I didn't feel so hot this weekend, but usually evening being sick does not stop my excitement for the holidays. Any suggestions?! PLEASE!!?? Not even Bono's sweet voice asking me to come home for Christmas is helping...I pulled out the big guns (Bing and Burl) as well and they don't seem to be helping either.

Pushing up Daisies...

So I hate Mondays...a LOT. But I hate this Monday even more! There are not many good shows on television these days. I started watching Grey's Anatomy with my (at the time) roommate a couple years ago...and it was ok...but lately it has bitten the dust (although Thursday's show was pretty funny)...anyway...I missed funny, quick witted, creative shows like Gilmore Girls, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer...or a good spy, action/adventure like Alias (at least the first 3 seasons).

Last year however I stumbled upon a new show, a brilliant show...a show that if I could only watch one TV show for the rest of my life, I would watch...Pushing Daisies. It is witty, the actors are A-MAZING, the story lines are creative, and it looks like a Tim Burton movie, and the narrator makes it even else can you hear a duet with Ellen Greene (of Little Shop of Horror fame) and Kristen Chenowith (of Wicked fame) sing a duet of Bird House in Your Soul by They Might be Giants?! isn't promotes family and friendship, and kindness. But apparently none of those things are reason enough to keep the show on TV...Pushing Daisies is going to pulled from the air.

It is a crying shame that a show like Private Practice, or KNIGHT RIDER...FOR CRYIN' OUT allowed to stay on television! SERIOUSLY can't possibly like either of those shows better!? The only show on television that I like almost as much as Pushing Daisies is Chuck...and thankfully (at least as far as I know) it isn't going to be canceled.

Friday, November 21


My friend Sarah posted this recently on her blog. She suggested that we respond on our blogs and since I really loved her post I decided to respond on my blog.

Recently I was cleaning out my toy box...which has now turned into my scrap book box...probably the equivalent to a hope chest I guess. But that is what I have always called it...anyway...I came across a lot of letters written to me...some from family and some from friends. I read through most of them, and the memories came flooding back. Many of the letters were from friends that I have not seen in over ten years. But as I read them, the feelings of friendship were right there on the clear and poignant. I missed those friends. I would so badly love to see some of those people again: Brooke Eaton, Jenny Dolphin, Angie Dodge, Stephanie Thomas, Keith Peterson, Dan Gleason, Steve Pyka...those are just a handful of friends from long ago...who they were to me has never diminished.

Just because I stop socializing with someone does not mean that our friendship is less than it was at it's peak. On the outside it may appear that we have grown apart, or completely forgotten one another, but that is not true at all. A few weeks ago I started making a list of some of the most influential people in my life. On that list was my friend Emy. I had dinner with her parents recently and mentioned that she was on that list. My mom asked how I could possibly remember her since it had been so long since we had been friends...but Emy Cannon and Katie Thayer were probably my first good friends. I would never forget them. I may never get to see them again (well I do keep tabs on Emy via her blog), but I will never forget the impact that they had on my life.

What I have come to learn about those friendships is to really appreciate what we had, remember the life lessons learned from our friendship, cherish the great times we had, and just know that regardless of distance and time, I will always call them (and so many others) friends.

Sarah mentioned meeting someone and hoping, upon first meeting, that a friendship would develop. That has happened to me a handful of times throughout my life, and with deep gratitude I am thrilled to say that the odds have tended to be on my side. :) However, last night...the odds were not in my favor, and that first meeting, was also a last. Friday evening I attended a showing of Twilight. We arrived a few minutes early and while waiting for the movie to begin I befriended the girl sitting next to me. Her name is Jenny. In that first moment of meeting I knew that given the chance, she and I would be great friends. Unfortunately, a movie theatre is not the best place to start a friendship and Jenny and I may never get a chance to be movie going pals. But we chatted about Twilight and Harry Potter, and sharing arm rests with strangers in theatres and it was like we were already friends. So if anyone knows a girl named Jenny who saw the 10:45pm showing of Twilight on Friday November 21, 2008 at the Megaplex 12 Theatre at the Gateway mall in Salt Lake City, Utah...I believe she was with her mother and her sister...let me know...because I would love to be friends with her. And I think she would love to see a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with my friend Erin and my sister Kelli...I hope that is ok with you two ;)

Fortunately there are others who I have been given the opportunity to build friendships with...Katie Paxon, Tina Romero, Mary Amato, Anya Hillstead, Brad Scow, Ashley Huffaker, Jeremy Walker, Rebecca Fischer, Sarah Davies, Amy Bowmen, Courtney Nichole name a handful :) I was able to learn so much from each of them and they helped my life for the better.

Sarah also posed the question Why do we care more about some people than others? I have always wondered that myself. It is not as if anyone is less important than another, but some friends, some friendships...they are just more important to me. I miss them more when they move away, or life changes occur which separate us...and others...I miss them too, but it isn't the same. I think it has everything to do with the connection you make with someone. It isn't an issuing of caring about someone more than another...but the connection that you have with them.

I think that serving people does allow us to love them more...but as most people know...I don't think we can help who we love...we are naturally drawn to people for so many reasons that we may have no conscious control over...but it is our choice to continue a friendship with them, and through the continued contact and interaction we grow to love them more...and I do think that serving them increases our love for sure.

Well Sarah...and everyone else who read this...I hope that was what you were looking for in a response...maybe it was more, and completely not what you were looking for, but thank you for the inspiration.

Tuesday, November 18

NKOTB revisted

Ok...I feel that I should make some clarifications about the New Kids on the Block concert. Though I may not have enjoyed the actually performance...except for Hangin' Tough (mostly because it's the one song I really remember)...I did enjoy the evening. The opening acts were good...especially Natasha Bedingfield...and the company was good as well. I am just not a fan of huge, HUGE arena concerts...unless I am back stage...and I just can't really get pumped up for New Kids. So, I did enjoy myself on Saturday...just not the concert.

Monday, November 17

busy week

This past week...consisting of November 10th to the 15th I had a B-U-S-Y week...socially was actually pretty slow since we just finished a HUGE upgrade for our main processing my social life was booming as ever, and it was pretty here are some highlights:

Monday-November 10, 2008- ok so Monday wasn't really that exciting...well...for me it was...I went home, made myself some dinner and watched Chuck and did laundry...I LOVE doing laundry (not is so relaxing)...and then read the of my new favorites and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Tuesday-November 11, 2008-I had dinner with my great friend Heidi Justine Lamb. We figured out that we had not scene each other in TWO years...which was weird...oh and Heidi now has brown medium length hair verses long blond hair...when she answered the door I did not recognize her for about a second, but then she said "Hi Brookelee" and we were good to go. We had a delightful dinner at Wingars and enjoyed a little frozen custard from Nielsen's and just chatted about life...Good times. I love Heidi. Except I CANNOT believe that we did not take a picture! :(

Wednesday-November 12, 2008-My friend Aubry's birthday was the 16th and for her gift I bought her a concert ticket to the Hotel Cafe All Girl Tour. It was great. Artists I love, artists that were new, and RAD...and of course Jason Kanakis...I just love him! He tours with the Hotel Cafe band...and he introduces all the artists at the concerts. He was at the show in April and we were right in front of him at the stage and I just swooned over him the whole time...and this time was not any different, except that I got to meet him! We chatted, and he is pretty much as cool as I thought. Plus...I think he can play EVERY stringed instrument known to man, and perhaps some not known to man. Anyway...He is great...and yes...I have a "SMALL" crush :)

Jason playing his guitar...WITH...a broken pinkie finger!

Jason playing another stringed instrument...I am not a musician...I just enjoy the music..again...broken pinkie.

He is a SERIOUS multi-tasker...probably only one of a very few men who are!

And then of course he is always there to lend a hand with a finicky microphone. This mic was causing a LOT of "trouble" for Lenka during "the show"

Lenka could totally be in the Russell family...she has the right toothy grin!

She was a performer that I had not ever seen before or heard much of, but she is pretty great...ok so that is a bit of an understatement. She pretty much rocks the KASBAH!! And she was hilarious to watch on stage because she is just so mellow and happy to be where ever she is. Kelli and I loved watching her play her tambourine when other artists would perform. Rachel Yamagata was another rockin' performer on Wednesday...SERIOULSY...she performed a song...and now I can't remember the name...and Kelli recorded the whole performance and it was just amazing...and then Kelli realized she had not pressed the record button...bummer dude...she was still A-MAZING!! Plus she sent a couple "shout outs" to her aunt and uncle and thanked them for bringing in dinner for the tour and I thought that was pretty classy.

Rachel Yamagata

All the artists were great. I've yet to be let down or disappointed by a Hotel Cafe Tour. And of course I always enjoy a concert with Kelli and my concert going partner in crime Aubry.

Kelli, Brooke, Aubry

Emily Wells, Mieko, Jonny Flowers, Thao Nguyen

Jason, Rachel, Meiko

Kate Havnevik- she likes to unwind with tea after a show.

Meiko-as sassy and "I don't give damn" as always. And of course...a great performer.

So that was Wednesday...well Wednesday until about 11:00pm. Once I made it home I had two house guests waiting for me. Becca and Katie moved to California on Saturday and were saying their goodbyes in Salt Lake to friends and family and crashed with me. The three of us chatted until about 1:30am, and then Becca and I continued until about 4:30am. It was really nice to have that time to say goodbye to a friend that has been such a huge part of my life.

Thursday-November 13, 2008-I managed to have a nice relaxing evening cleaning and getting ready for my weekend.

Friday-November 14, 2008-My friend Jill and I enjoyed a little Thai food at Sawadee in Salt Lake before we headed up to Layton to Aubry's 27th birthday party and Chuck E Cheese. Yes...25 plus year old's birthday partying it up old skool.

SKEE BALL!! The reason for going to Chuck E Cheese.

Jill, Tara, Shorts, Jon

Of course the birthday girl needs a hug from the big Cheese himself!

And I guess Ed has been feeling a bit neglected these days so Chuck E showed him a little love too. special.

After Chuck E Cheese Jill and I went to Coffee Break in Salt Lake and sat outside drinking warm beverages until about 1:00am. There is something so great about Salt Lake City in the wee small hours of the morning. Just ask Courtney about our walk around the city one night until 2:00am. Indescribable.
Saturday-November 15, 2008-I have been craving Ruth's for weeks, and so Tara and I got up Saturday morning and drove up Emigration Canyon for some GOOD eats. We didn't even have to wait to be seated. Then I went to a somewhat belated baby shower for Jonah and Mattie...since he arrived two weeks early we had to postpone it. It was great to see my family and catch up...and the highlight of course was holding Jonah for an uninterrupted hour and half!!! AND...he feel asleep in my arms. There is something about holding a just brings this peace that you can't get anywhere else...possibly the temple...but it's wonderful. I could have called it a day at that point...and in truth...kind of wished I had. Here are new pics of Jonah I got at the shower...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM!!!
I mean can you get any more adorable than that!!!

OR THIS!!!??!!!

"Hello. My name is Jonah Scott Russell and I am pretty much the cutest baby ever."

I LOVE GRAMS!! (Grams is holding just can't see her).

Well...part of me wishes my day had ended there...but alas...I a lapse of judgement...agreed to attend a New Kids on the Block concert. I am familiar with I think...four?...songs. It was not my favorite experience and only reaffirmed my distaste for arena concerts. (In case anyone is going to be attending an arena conert soon, I would recommend earplugs. It will keep out the screaming and you will be able to hear the music much better). I wish I could say that I had a good time. There were moments that were entertaining...mostly due to my friend Jen, who was screaming...possibly on the verge of crying...with joy and excitement each time a new song began. Anyway...chalk it up to experience and it is for sure something I can laugh about...screaming women...mostly in their twenties, thirties and it stunk like estrogen! GROSS!!!

All in all it was a pretty great week.

Thursday, November 6


I have been tagged by my friend Jen...something about a fourth picture in a fourth picture folder on the fourth day of the fourth month of the fourth year after something or other...I don't know...but this is the picture that falls in that criteria.

This is a song my mom wrote for me. She has copyright on this, so don't get any crazy ideas. It is a delightful song and will instill in anyone, at any age, always and forever, the importance of holding hands while crossing the street. I love this song, and continue to sing it to this day. (More background and history of the song here)

PS and mom...just so you are the most influential person in my life...this song is just one of the MANY examples! I love you!