Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Because my mom is such an amazing person,  I named my daughter after her. Avery Colleen Ottley. My mom’s name is Colleen for those that don’t know.  Avery often refers to my mom as “mom” rather than “grandma”. I love it! There isn’t a better mother around.

I could very easily write 64 things about my mom. But I think it may get a bit tedious to read. So I think I’ll do a standard top ten list. 10 things you may or may not know about my mom!

1. My mom is an amazing teacher and public speaker.

2. My mom thinks she is not very funny, but she really is.

3. My mom is more than smart she is super smart. She is book smart, common sense smart, money smart, etc…

4. My mom’s reflection in the mirror does not look like her. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her this, but it is true!

5. My mom is a very average cook, but she makes the best pies around, especially coconut cream! (I have never made a pie) And she makes the best lasagna. Darren will eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it is gone.

6. My mom loves BYU football.

7.My mom is a bit of a klutz and when she gets tired she is even more klutzy.

8. My mom absolutely annihilates us when we play scrabble (this is why we never play).

9. My mom is a day-trader and checks her stocks every 15 minutes while the market is open.

10. My mom is very generous. (Quote from Darren, “she is the most giving person I have ever met”) There is nothing she won’t do for her children, she is a true example of sacrifice.

Happy Birthday to my mom!


Avery turns 3!

Three things you may or may not know about Avery!

1. She is VERY independent. Her favorite phrase right now is, “I can do it”. I think I hear that 30 times a day.

2. Avery has held a pencil, crayon or whatever the correct way since she was a baby, and no one taught her how to do it. She just does it that way.

3. Avery has an imaginary baby. I have to take the baby to the pool, do the seatbelt up and other fun tasks.

After decorating her cake and putting candles on it, I came back later, and she had pulled a chair up to the counter and added another three candles. Guess she wants to be six years old. Later I came back and the cake was missing a little bit of frosting. I fixed it, and came back later, and the cake was missing a serious amount of frosting! You would think I would learn to move the cake!

Here are three of the many faces of Avery.

I’m turning 32—Yowser!

I know you are all saying, “that can’t be right”. I feel the same way. It must be that I am turning 23, now that sounds about right.

So in honor of my birthday here are 32 things that you may or may not know about me.

1. I am a youngest child, and although I grew to love it, I hated it when I was young (under 12 years old).

2. I was super baby hungry when I was a teenager. I constantly begged my sisters to have babies. When I turned 22is it just went away and has never been like that since.

3. I love make up! I have drawers of make up. I have 25 eyeshadow compacts and over 30 shades of lipstick.

4. I hate when my toenails are not painted.

5. I really like (and try to avoid) trashy things–books, t.v. shows, magazines etc… I love ’em.

6. I love musicals.

7. When I’m home alone I sing and dance around the house.

8. I love teaching.

9. I love public speaking.

10. I took a 400 level organ class in college. My friend and I were the only people in the class that were not organ majors. I really don’t think I had the prerequisites, and have no idea how I got in or why…it’s amazing I don’t have a degree.

11. I love my job and I love my boss.

12. I buy journals but I never use them as “journals”.

13. I own something like 15 workout tops but only 3 or 4 bottoms, because I feel that they should only be about 20 dollars and refuse to pay more than that!

14. I’m very impractical when it comes to shoes. I own tons of awesome heels–shoes that I wear once a week. Yet I only have one pair of brown and one pair of black work shoes–shoes that I wear every day.

15. I love cold cereal! I would eat it every meal if I didn’t have a husband and child to care for.

16. I’m not much of a “homemaker”.

17. I’m a klutz. I fall over myself all the time.

18. In college I had the following majors in chronological order: elementary education, secondary education, English, political science, undeclared, nursing.

19. I have to write with a blue medium point pen-with the lid. I do not like fine point pens and I don’t much care for pencils.

20. If I see someone I know I always want to duck and run, even if I like them.

21. I hate planning dinner menus. I wish someone would just say, “here is what you are making tonight”.

22. I shave my legs almost every day.

23. I love A&E shows about killers, but then I become scared and start having crazy irrational fears. Then I have to wake Darren up in the middle of the night to keep me safe!

24. Even though I am a feisty outspoken person, I am very mellow.

25. Although I used to think I was bad at math, I use math in my job all the time, and have found I actually do “get” math.

26. When I was in high school I was called to the office because my biology teacher requested me to leave his class permanently. I really have grown up quite a bit since then.

27. My given name is Christina. Most people cannot figure out that Tina is the second part of Christina, and I have to explain it. I don’t have a middle name, and have always wanted one. When I was in 6th grade I decided to spell my name Teena. Good thing that didn’t last.

28. I love purses. I would have a different one to match every outfit if I could.

29. I used to play boggle online, now I’m into the bubble breaker game. What time wasters!

30. I am slightly obsessed with the supercouple Jack and Jennifer from Days of Our Lives in the early 90’s. I found a website with other crazy ladies, that clipped the entire thing and put it online and I watch it at night while I play bubble breaker before going to bed (I’m watching it right now while I write this post).

31. I love macaroni and cheese more than any adult should.

32. I have a wonderful husband and daughter, and feel that I live a charmed life.

Monet to Picasso

This week we went to see the visiting exhibit “Monet to Picasso”. It was absolutely incredible to see so many original works of art from true masters. When I was young my mother made sure that we had lots of exposure to the fine arts. We visited many museums, went to the opera, the symphony and more. One year we visited the John Paul Getty museum in California. It was the first time that I remember seeing a collection of impressionism. I remember thinking at the time, “why does anyone make prints of this? A print can never show this for the true art that is is”. Seeing this collection brought back those same thoughts.

This picture by Van Gogh is Darren’s favorite picture from the collection.

This is Madison’s favorite.

This piece by Van Gogh is mine. Believe me, you really have to see this piece in person to appreciate it. You want to reach out and run your fingers in the lines of the paint.

There was also some amazing sculpture there. You could really feel the emotion of this piece by Rodin and you forget it is stone.

For me the most surprising work was this painting by Salvador Dali. I have never really cared for his work and felt his was a bit of a fake. After seeing this piece I have new appreciation for him. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

If you live in Utah I would highly recommend seeing this exhibit before it leaves in September.

What have we been up to?

I have no idea! At the end of the week, it seems we have run around all week, but doing what? Here are some random snippets from our lives.

Avery and I have gone to the gym and swimming every afternoon. Going to a swimming pool at the gym is a very odd experience. There are two groups of women there. One group of very skinny women with fake boobs. The other group, well, they are somewhat large in size. I have no idea where are the normal people are!

Many years ago, before we were married, Darren and I played tennis together, once. He slammed a ball at me, gave me an enormous bruise, and that was the end of playing tennis together. So, six years later, I told him, I would play again with him, if he was nice to me. We have gone a couple of times this summer and had a really good time.

Avery was doing the traditional “potty dance”, so I told her to run and go to potty. She said, “I went last week”.

I teach the Laurels(15 and 16 year old girls) in my church. For quite some time I felt that I should post my lessons. But I keep ignoring the prompting. So I am telling everyone, in hopes that it will help me to get it done!

Here is Avery being silly! She is really developing a great personality and a she makes us laugh.

After I took her picture, she insisted that I take a picture of Elmo.