introducing: ryan

he has lived approximately 6 houses down from my family for 15 years.
he likes golf.
and funfetti cake.
and my older sister jessica.
and as of last night is about to become the newest member of our family.

graham cracker contest '09


1 hour time limit
use whatever is on the table
must use graham crackers
must also use the runny, in-adhesive icing to hold everything together (no offense kate, it was the recipe, not you) it was the x-factor. it made things intense.

steve & lou
jess & ryan
me & mike (we dominated)
jen & jord
jeff & syd
and kate. who was brave enough to go solo.

kate was little tricky. the front was neat and tidy and structurally sound...

and then the back was BAM! in your face gumdrops. with a snowman for good measure.

jeff and syd started by building the tiniest midget house possible (for lou we assumed).

and then threw everyone off by going vertical. (don't breathe, it's not too stable).

my side shot was super blurry, but it was less than 2" wide. very impressive.

steve and lou built a home for suicide gummy bears

balcony or diving board? you decide.

ryan and jess went modern / contemporary. it is called "the Graaaa-Hom Craquer."

jen and jord went a little tim burton on everyone

check out those creepy marching snowmen

and cannibalistic gummy bear trees

and then there was us. i almost feel bad for our sheer domination - that's right lara - we totally won!
all credit due to monette and her first class supply of sprinkles, sparklers, and pretty much everything else under the sun. we love you monette!

we had bigger, grander plans to make it a more authentic fenway, but the one hour time limit killed us. just wait until next year...


country singers. fail.

you know that song by tim mcgraw, "live like you were dying?"

well, i feel like i'm dying today. and i wouldn't wish it on anyone. even the boy who stole my awesome atrium the last day of third grade.

(and yes, i do know what the true meaning of this song is. but i am in a foul mood today.)


feelin the love

this is us the night we were engaged. i think we called everyone under the sun. happiness.

i am 22 years old today.

it has been a good day. so good that i might have cried a little. because what else do you do when you are doused with emails, texts, phone calls and happy thoughts from people you love? you have a happy cry. and then you say a little pray of thanks.

life is a wonderful thing.


dear j. crew,

please only notify me in the future if you are having a real sale - no more of these fake sales you have been trying to lure me to your site with. i have two suggestions i think might be helpful in convincing me to bust out my locked up credit card and splurge:
1) mark things down to under $75 every now and then (idea: not everything has to be made out of cashmere. just a thought.)
2) throw in some of the actually cute regular priced items in once in awhile too. i have been stalking the same sweater for six months and it has not budged one cent.

i still love your coats,

p.s. i can buy the same flats you have for sale for $99 at target for $20 and sharpie j.crew on the inside. and i will. but know i will be back drooling over your site again tomorrow.


i should blog surf with the husband more often...

i'm trying to blog with more photos. even if they are old and have nothing to do with anything. like this one.

as i was perusing my usual blogs today mike came over and peered at my screen. i was looking at a friend's blog who is expecting a baby and has the baby countdown [you know the one where the baby bounces from side to side in the "womb"] along the sidebar. mike's reaction:

"I hate those fetus tickers."

i am still laughing. i hope i'm not the only one who thinks it's funny. and for the record, i like the fetus ticker.


dave ramsey says americans are like monkeys.

well. sort of.
after my last post i became very curious. obviously i don't understand finance. which is why the idea of credit cards didn't make any sense. so i started doing a little research. i read a few books, opened up the very trustworthy wikipedia, and ate an ice cream sandwich. and i became a bit more knowledgeable. and i highly recommend this book. most of his principles line up exactly with what the church teaches, and it made mike and i sit down and set up some financial goals so that we can make millions. and i'm not joking, we want millions. to save humanity of course :)


call me naive...

we just got our first credit card. it's silver. it's shiny. it's smooth. it's SCARY.
let me tell you.
we paid our rent with that sleek little platinum card this month and we just got the bill. we owe approximately $21.00 on December 25, 2009. that is around 1/30 of our actual rent. my mouth dropped to the floor.
no wonder the average household in america has $10,679 in credit card debt.

my card is now in a very safe place.
i am not touching that thing with a ten foot pole.
i prefer our previous method of "no money, no spending."
any alternatives to building a credit history?


i will probably be a cat lady

i was cleaning out my purse and pondering tonight. (yes, cleaning my purse out takes so long that i have the time to ponder things) and it led me to think of the following scenario:

say i am walking along the sidewalk and i pass out. blacked out. cold. probably due to a sugar overload. say that i just so happen to have my wallet with me (the first clue that this scenario is highly unlikely) and some kind stranger decided to help - or rob - me. i wonder what they would think as they rifled through the stuff in my oh so trendy seven years ago American Eagle wallet:

1 - a fifty cent piece (+ thirteen cents)
2 - 4 earring backs (where are the earrings?!)
3 - my official charter member card for the beanie babies club
4 - a drivers license that expires in two weeks (um...oops)
5 - a tiny plastic sample spoon from hello yogurt (who knows when you will run across a friend with ice cream and if they refuse to share because of germs voila! out comes the sample spoon)
6 - an investigator appointment card mike sent me on his mission
7 - my high school activity year (sophomore year - BAD highlights - too much eyeliner)
8 - an expired coupon for 20% off GAP
9 - a receipt from Family T's on Balboa Island where i bought a hoodie at 6:12:19 pm on December 29, 2007
10 - a buckle card with only 4 punches left!
11 - a yellow sealing card with info: michael madsen harding - october 3, 2008 - 1:00 pm
12 - huh. i wonder where my debit card is. it's probably in a cupholder in the neon. i hope.

i don't know what a random person would think, but i think i should clean out my purse more often. the good news is that now i can finally answer those awfully gross vikings at the end of the capitol one commercial.



fact: 90% of small businesses fail.

fact: people are rude and a little incompetent.

epiphany: most small businesses would not fail if they did not have to deal with people.

conclusion: will people be offended if we give them a personality test before we agree to work with them?


this post has no title. sorry.

background: I am the first counselor in the primary presidency (sidenote: we have 4 kids old enough to be in the primary - the teacher to child ratio is 2:1 - more on that later since it makes for pretty entertaining stories and I'm seriously considering renting kids for our primary program next month) anyways, our ward was having a Preparedness Fair today and had no one to man the "Kid's Corner" (aka babysit all the little kids). So naturally I volunteered myself... and Mike. And so the adventure began...

We had around 12 kids ranging from 8 months to 5. After the first twenty minutes we learned a) there was no way to keep the kids in the Kids Corner of the gym b) never underestimate the crawling speed of a baby and c) all kids will want the same toy at the same time. We had a good time though. I loved watching Mike hold a baby while taking requests to draw ninja turtles (you should have seen the detail on the weapons - this guy knows his stuff).

Towards the end we scooted all the kids over to listen to a presentation given by the fire department. Mike had a five year old little boy sitting on his shoulders so he could see better, and he starting flicking the kid's shoes. The little kid scowled at him and yelled, "Hey! Stop that! I don't like to be manhandled!"

That moment made the whole two hours SO worth it.


i should be assembling invitations...

but i started to type in "how to tell..." into google and became severely sidetracked.

have you ever stopped to look at the "suggestions" google gives you when it tries to read your mind and guess what you're searching for? you should. but prepare to be amazed by your fellow humans.

#10 on my suggested searches was How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you.

Check out the site here. I like to imagine that Dwight created it.

Next on the list is Why can't I own a Canadian? I'm really excited. I will let you know how it pans out.


we look better in black & white

one year ago...

and a year later...

on saturday we celebrated our first anniversary! it is hilarious to watch mike open presents - not even open them, just be around presents. he poked them a little when he thought i wasn't looking, and makes funny little humming noises right before he opens them. i think his favorite gift was his own cooking-ish brush. after months of trying to steal my paintbrushes for marinades he finally received his own brush, which he was slightly excited about :) he surprised me with an awesome mini-trip to salt lake to stay at the inn on capitol hill, which is definitely one of the coolest buildings we have ever been to. i secretly pretended it was our house the entire time we were there.

i love mike. he makes me a much, much better person. i'm so excited for everything ahead of us - except maybe watching the world series ;)


The Tooth Fairy aka ANNIE ROCKS ROSS

it's a christmas miracle! well. close anyways. mike has to have a root canal. if you are not familiar with BYU health coverage and the cost of dental procedures, they don't mix well. we were close to finding a cardboard box on the corner and nixing Christmas for the next five years, but Mike' sister Annie is AMAZING. she used to work at an endodontics office [dental-ish] and called in a couple favors. we are building her a shrine in our living room. we love you Annie! [and now we can buy you a Christmas present]


dear klane and angie...

... i think we almost have enough :)


first day of school. hoo-rah!

[that's right. those are emergency preparedness backpacks. we go to byu, can't you tell?]


just what i need to get through my last day of work

transportation fail
wildlife photographer fail
Disneyland fail
BMW fail
drawing WIN

btw. the guy that showed me this blog also showed me how to look up half the employees at work on the utah county jail website. go team!


is this going to be like t-ball? can i bring treats?

a couple weeks ago mike told me he joined our ward softball team. i snorted. then i looked at him. he wasn't joking.
me: "isn't softball for girls?"
mike: "guys play too."
me: "is it like t-ball? with the stand so you can hit the ball?"
mike. "no. they pitch it to you."
me: "oh. are you sure you can even hit a ball?"
he stopped talking to me. the season started. i missed the first two games for various important reasons (aka so you think you can dance and the fashion show) and mike would come home telling me how awesome they were and how they were slaughtering the other teams. so one night i went to a game. it was thoroughly entertaining. and our poor team got walloped by 20 or so runs. i decided maybe that particular game wasn't a fair assessment of mike's awesome softball abilities. so i recruited louter and we braved another men's softball game.this is louter (real name: lara) munching on what was supposed to be hot dogs and popcorn. but we re-established that hot dogs are vile and a bag of popcorn is for when you are feeling slightly depressed, have a good chick flick, and can eat the whole bag by yourself. so we settled for root beer float bars and brown sugar & cinnamon pop-tarts.

the husband getting a pre-game pep talk. pretty sure there was some grunting and chest bumping.

other team's pitcher. very intimidating.

photo of the day goes to louter, who captured the above gem. that's right, he's that good.

sigh. and then the camera died. but he really can hit the ball! you learn something new everyday.


that's right. i have an english minor.

reason #1 why i am an awesome designer: i have mad spelling skills.
(yes. these did get printed and almost installed this way.) impressive, right?


mike and i decided to take it easy tonight and grab a $5 pizza since the date for our monthly grocery shopping trip hasn't arrived yet. here is the tale:

mike walks into dominoes while i am in the car mapping out frozen yogurt spots. he sees a lone redhead at the counter. her name is felisha.
mike: hi. can i get a $5 pepperoni pizza?
felisha looks at mike. a few seconds pass.
felisha calls out: can i get a PEP? (dramatic voice inflection at last word)
felisha remains motionless behind counter. stares at mike. mike stares at felisha. mike wonders if there is someone in the store besides felisha. seconds pass.
felisha turns and grabs a pepperoni pizza from the stack of pizzas directly behind her and places it next to the register. rings up pizza. mike hands over the debit card (which should probably be hid from us until next month)
felisha: would you like a receipt?
mike (as he reaches for the pizza): uh, no thanks.
felisha's hand slams down on the pizza box. mike withdraws his hand quickly. felisha stares at mike. mike stares at felisha. more seconds pass.
mike: um. do i need to sign something else?
felisha: no. you are free to go.
mike beelines it for the door.
people are funny. sometimes i wonder if i create awkward situations like this. i think i do. but i hope people laugh at them. i can't seem to stop giggling about this. i think the giggling might also have to do with the fact that mike keeps saying "blarney stone" and "they're after me lucky charms" in an irish accent, in honor of jen-fen, who is currently in ireland. i think the lack of sleep from last night is catching up with me.



i'm lazy. and angie is a beautiful photographer. so our current new york extravaganzical experiences are being chronicled here. enjoy!


we could be famous. well. michael anyways.

you know those celebrity look alike contests? i am going to submit michael. as him:


riddle me this

A group of flamingos is called a pat. A group of frogs is called an army. A group of rhinoceroses is called a crash. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A group of apes is called a shrewdness. A group of cats is called a clutter. A group of owls is called a parliament. A group of larks is called an exaltation.

So... what do you call a group of lexus cars?

Lexuses? Lexi? Mini-moguls? michAel and i are officially stumped.


i need some ice cream and a disney movie

so beautiful. strongly recommend a pillow to squeeze and stuff your sobbing face into if you are going to brave this one.
thought-provoking. this is the kind of book where you can't cut the characters loose and they just float around inside your head for weeks. well-written. fabulous metaphors. i am anxious to see how it pans out but i doubt hollywood could do this one justice. (although they have surprised me before)
*warning: do not combine these two items in one sitting. have a light cartoon or laughing baby handy after finishing either*
nobody warned me. i read the book yesterday and watched the movie last night. i am still a bit weepy. but i would definitely recommend both. just not together. (unless you want your husband to spend all night scooting away so you won't cry on his pillow too)
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