Friday, December 2, 2011

catch up

I have realized that A and I are not photo taking people. We don't document the midnight runs to Wendy's or the lazy evenings in. We don't even document important holidays.

Example A:
The only shot, and I mean only shot, of Thanksgiving.
Whoo hoo, a very ordinary place setting.

But I try not to despair and tell myself that when we have kids I will be much better. We'll see.

But I did document a 4 wheeler ride from the summer that I forgot to post...
such a fun filled day! Thanks Dad!

and then Aaron, my lil bro, and my dad came out to the Clevey to visit...
We went to the John Johnson Farm, Kirtland, around the Cleve (more importantly, to the Christmas Story house) and to Niagara Falls. That's why we look so sexy in our Maid of the Mist ponchos.
I took a total of 5 photos with my camera. Nicely done. 

Then in November we celebrated my Grandpa H's 90th bday!
Seriously, he's 90 years old. Almost a century. 9 Decades. 90 big ones. 1921 people!!!
Do you even know what this means?!
Warren G. Harding was President when he was born. (I've never heard of him either.)
He has seen 15 Presidents in his life.
Lindburg made his first flight when my Gpa was 6. 
The first "talkie" movie was released that same year.
Amelia Airhart flies across the Atlantic Ocean when he was 11.
Al Capone was running the streets of Chicago and prohibition was still in place.
He lived through the Great Depression, start to finish, on a watermelon farm in Oklahoma.
Saw WWII, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Gulf War start to finish.
The Indian Reorganization Act and Social Security Act, NASA was formed, Civil Rights Movement, Hawaii became the 50th state, first man to walk on the moon, Watergate, first personal computers, Oklahoma city bombing and WTC bombing, the internet, WTC terrorist attack, War on Terrorism, Hurricane Katrina...I could do this for a while but I will spare you.

Instead here are some precelebration photos...
We went to Santa Cruz for a day, ate lots of Boudin and Ming's,
and wandered around Fisherman's Wharf.

then the celebration...
family and friends came from everywhere to celebrate and boy, did we celebrate!
His 93 year old sister even came, what a sweetie.
Out of our entire family we were only missing my cousin Beri and her hubby.
It was fantastic and I think everyone cried at least once.
I pretty much cried through the entire thing because that's what I do.
Tyler sang an impromptu "Happy Birthday" that was my favorite.

I made this little ditty for the occasion, don't mind that none of us can sing on key.

Kind of a lot of stuff, I know. Thanks for bearing with me.
Catch you on the flip side.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful heart

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I can't even begin to write down all that I am grateful for. Let's just say that I had a wonderful heart to heart with Heavenly Father this morning. He knows. But just a small recap for all of you...

my sweet husband. our marriage. my family. my body. my health. the gospel. hugs. the sun. quotes. my testimony. my education. a's education. the preisthood. temples. interior design. church callings. kipling. exploring. cell phones. the prophet. my friends. their families. computers. enough food. brave people. our apartment. this gorgeous autumn day. an income. forever families. our car. books. animals. history.  my journal. art. pinterest. experiences. make up. nice people. love. photos. trials. movies. laughter. fruit. babies. blogs. my freedom. holidays. life.

We started this day off right with sleeping in until 10 am (I can't remember the last time I did that!!!) We made bfast while singing and dancing along to Les Mis and the Cure (strawberry and nutella crepes mmm...mmmm) and a little Arrested Development. Can this day get any better?! really can.

The menu for this blessed day

spinach artichoke dip with crostinis
Grandma's famous mashed potatoes and gravy
old fashioned sage stuffing
Rhodes rolls
ceasar salad
baked zucchini
sweet corn
strawberries and raspberries
Pumpkin pie a la mode
cranberry sauce
and turkey turkey turkey!!!

We really wish that we were with our families today but a low key Thanksgiving is just as wonderful. I am so grateful for this experience here in Cleveland. It has been hard and even miserable at times but A and I have grown so much closer and really become our own family. I never thought that I would say this but I am grateful for Cleveland. :)

I'm off to take the boy for a Thanksgiving walk before the food madness begins! I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for YOU!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Strictly business

check out that leg wrinkle

work it

Love, K

Monday, October 24, 2011

family photos

if you would like to experience how it is to hold a walrus in your arms...

If anyone needs a photographer here in the Cleve, I've got just the gal.

Photos by Katie Blacker

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The day I gained a testimony

By Andrew

It was a clear Autumn day just like today. I had seven years of wisdom behind me. In those seven years I had learned the single most important lesson: candy was life. Philip was patiently waiting for Halloween. In fact, his supply from last year's Halloween stash was just now depleting. He had, as usual, timed his gratification periods perfectly. I know this because at my weaker moments I would steal from his well organized loot. The chocolate was placed on the left hand side. The hard candy was alphabetized and color coordinated. And of course, the Razzles were hidden in a special location. He always knew when, and exactly what, I had eaten. "My Reese's Pieces are turned upside down" he would say accusingly.
And so it went. A game of cat and mouse. I didn't bother with Jacob's stash. He traded most of his prized pieces, such as Blow Pops, King Sized Snickers, or Fun Dips, for the new Ninja Turtles Pizza Thrower. All that was left were scattered wrappers of Twizzlers and pumpkin taffy--the lowest caste in the hierarchy of candy.
My options were limited. Jason Webster, however, had an idea. But as always, he needed an accomplice. The spirit spoke to me that day. It was my first true conversation with a higher source. "This will not end well" it whispered. But candy's allure was all too powerful and Jason Webster's idea seemed fool proof.
A local entrepreneur had recently began a successful candy venture. His assets consisted of a garage, his mother's Costco card, and a secure chain linked fence. Every Friday he would open his doors as if he was Willy Wonka's understudy. Kids flocked from all areas of Farmington. It wasn't uncommon for the gangs from the neighborhood over to cause a fight. After all, candy was on the line.
We coordinated the plan during recess. There was no way this would fail. After school we walked home casually, but our minds were focused on the task at hand. I wore sandals that day--a tyro's mistake. We grabbed our bikes and on the way out Philip yells, "you still owe me Reese's." I grinned at the thought that within the hour I would have all the candy. Candy debt, like its cousin financial debt, is crushing. It wears you down and it never sleeps. Philip had the currency, and therefore, the power. "We'll see who has all the power" I thought.
I remember the crowd behind the fence. I remember the children's anticipation. There was a sugar frenzy. Cash and quarters were exchanged with rapidity through the chains like it was the Venitian or Luxor Casino. We waited our turn. I began shivering with nerves and anticipation. Nothing a Sour Apple Bonkers wouldn't fix shortly. Jason Webster seemed so calm. He was so deviantly experienced.
It was now our turn. I looked at Jason for one final nod of approval. The young business man stated his usual line. "First row is a quarter, everything else is 50 cents. The King size are a dollar." Jason went into character immediately--like Corey Feldman as Ricky Butler or Val Kilmer as Batman. He was born for the role. "Um, what about over there" pointing nonchalantly to the inconsequential "five centers" that lay at the far end. It was just enough to distract the salesman. He began assisting his thief. Oh the irony. There was just enough time for me to fulfill my role. A smash and grab job. I slipped quietly into the open garage door. Walked past the parked cars and outside into the backyard. I had breached the vault. "So this is where all the action happens" I thought. "How is this so easy?". I half expected guard dogs or sirens. But I was left with my conscience and silence. Only a few more steps to sensory overload and debt reconciliation. Jason continued distracting the boy as I pulled my plastic bag from my pocket. But the plastic crackled under the crisp autumn breeze. The boy shifted his gaze to me unexpectedly. First surprise, then panic and then his face showed violent anger. Fort Knox had been infiltrated. I was on my knees filling the bag as quickly as possible. "Why the hell did I start at the Hershey's section!" I explicitly remembered Jason and I discussing the need to start at the Laffy Taffy's. I was only half full when the boy was on me. He lunged at the bag screaming nonsensical obscenities. The other side of the fence looked like the chimpanzee exhibit. Kids were screeching. Girls had tears in their eyes. It was hysteria. With a simple shove I kicked him aside--my sandal flying into the weeds. And then my mind went blank...darkness...muddled footsteps...and Jason in slow motioned baritone "Did you at least get me a Big League Chew!"...silence...clanking of our bmx wind...darkness..
I awoke from my possessed state in a fury on my bike. My left foot was bare and I peddled so hard it slipped sending my big toe across the pavement. Blood and pain. I would eventually loose that toenail as a memento. I kept peddling. "They are behind us", Jason screamed. We were so close to the house. Yet like a nightmare we weren't getting any closer. In our anticipation of candy we had failed to devise a getaway plan. How could I have been so stupid. Throwing our bikes to the ground we finally ran into our opened garage. I dashed to the garage door button near the door. Why does it take so long to close. The chains moving ever so slowly. The door creaking downward. I see the gang on their bikes riding up our driveway. "They are going to make it" I yelled. Jason was gone. He had hid behind the van. It was then that I knew he was a fraud. There I was scrambling and he is sucking his thumb in the fetal. Our relationship would never be the same. Their shoes ran back and forth, their anger rising, as the door finally closes them outside...muted voices...banging on the garage....silence.
I ran inside leaving Jason to his demons. Instantly, I heard the doorbell ring and banging on the knocker. Its so loud. Please tell me Mom has left for home teaching. "Wait a minute", I thought, "Hometeaching...prayer...prayer and primary....primary....primary...fasting....pray...tithing...That's it!" I clambered to the den reaching inside the cupboard. "Where is it! Where does Mom keep Jacob and Philip's tithing?" There it was behind the files. The red check box with a white sticker in sharpie "Kid's Tithing". It could have as well said "Use in case of Emergency's". I grabbed two $5 bills thinking nothing of who I was now bilking. To a seven year old this was an answer to a prayer. My life, after all, was so close to its end. The rowdy pack of boys had moved to the back yard. Then to the front again. I saw their heads jostling through the tinted glass. With all the confidence I could muster, and believing that God was on my side, I jostled the door and threw the wadded up blood money in their direction. "Take it!" I yelled, "and get out of here." There first inclination was to run down the door. But they saw that I had paid them a full $10. Consider it interest! I locked the door again and slid to the floor. The yelling soon abated.
I never learned what happened to Jason. We didn't speak much after the incident. I think he was embarrassed that he'd been found out--he was a con; a charlatan.
As I sat at the foot of the door sweating I thought of my misdeeds and overall purpose. "Maybe I can wait for Halloween" I thought. I can pay Philip back his Reese's then. I settled down yearning for a lesson in this experience. I wanted to gain wisdom from my mistakes. And then it hit me. Candy wasn't the issue. My thievery wasn't the issue. My impressionable nature or addictions weren't the issue. No, I had learned that throughout it all my primary teachers were right. The Lord will open up the window's of Heaven when you pay your tithing. Thank goodness Jacob and Philip were listening.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

you've had a birthday shout hooray!

It's my mom's bday today!
I wrote about it on my other blog, go here to read!

p.s. we just went and bought nutella, strawberry, banana crepes at the farmer's market to celebrate.

Nice form indeed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

something special

We're back, back to the grand ol'Cleve. Back to our apartment, back to our ward, back to school and work.

First of all I would like to give a shout out *holla* to my dear mother in law. I love you. Thank you for putting up with us (let's be honest, Kipling) this summer. I promise never to do that to you again. If I had lots of money I would have someone deep clean your entire house to extract all of the Kipling hairs, gross. You secured your spot in heaven.

We're recovering nicely from our cross country excursion. We listened to audio books during the 26 hour drive, it made it go by 5.7 times faster. Literally. We listened to Unbroken and boy oh boy did that rock my world. Fair warning though, it's not for the faint of heart, it's about POW's during WWII. My heart still aches from it but it was fascinating. We also listened to Catch Me If You Can, super cute and not depressing.

It is so nice to be back in our own apartment. I have my own stuff and I can walk around in my skivvies. It's like freedom, sweet, slightly breezy, freedom. Of course I get back into the same old bad habits of watching Bachelor Pad and Millionaire Matchmaker. Ever since we got cable my IQ had decreased significantly. I also haven't made dinner more than twice, that's what cereal and Captain Tony's are for.

A started school and is enjoying his senior year. He bought a sweet Honda Civic that has a duct tape body job. Only the best for my man. It may or may not look a little something like this
minus the rims, spoiler, body kit and about 10 years but it is black.

I just got called to be the Shaker Heights Home Seminary teacher, say what?! I have no idea what to do. I can't really remember even attending seminary. I'm just going to play these videos and call it a job well done

thank you Stairway to Stardom, you really are something else

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Aaron, my bro, and I went to Maui to visit the fam. Andrew couldn't come because he has responsibilities. To him I would like to quote lyrics by the world renowned punk band, MXPX. Ahem...

Responsibility? What's that?
Responsibility? not quite yet
Responsibility? What's that?
I don't want to think about it; we'd be better off without it. 
You know that's right. 

Point well made. If I had no responsibilities this is what it would look like.
hung out at Val and Joe's house. 
Aaron's getting some Boyfriend love in the bottom right photo.

drove to Hana, jumped off waterfalls, swam in caves, went to a black sand beach, 
picked up some hitch hikers who were just traveling around the world for the next year. 
(I think they also listened to a little MXPX) The girl told us a story about how she was kidnapped by her mafia dad when she was little and was taken to Mexico to live until the FBI found him and she was returned to her mom but had to learn English again. c-RAZ-EE! She was interviewed by Oprah after that all happened, who, btw, has 2 homes on Maui. oh, hey Oprah!
note to self: always pick up hitch hikers

 more exploring, I really need an underwater camera I've decided.
And apparently I also need to learn how to place an arrow at the intended object. There is no turtle where the arrow is pointing. If you follow Aaron's line of sight you'll find it. I'm a smarty pants.

 Mama's fish house for my bday

 lots of romantic sunsets with my bro. That sentence is not awkward at all.
the top right photo hasn't been touched at ALL with any sort of photoshop. seriously.

But my friends, don't be sad for A.
He is now shirking his responsibilities and has left me here while he's partying it up in Alaska. Something about fishin' and bringing home meat for the winter.
it looks a little somethin like this.
Oh I want to kiss his face!

Friday, July 22, 2011

since then

Fish'n in Mexico

horses at the GR

Stewart Falls with my dear Sarah Emily

A's been busy with everything and I worked at Nordstrom over the Anniversary sale 
(thank heavens I no longer work in Women's shoes)

A's birthday was on Wednesday. He moved yak on his bday, what a cowboy.
Happy birthday love. 
Here's to another great year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

up to no good

hey hey! it's been a while. nothing super new in our territory. The rain has finally stopped and I have been rejoicing that I don't have to wash this face everyday, twice a day.
he found a mud hole and lived in it for 2 weeks straight. thanks bubba, you're great.

Whitney and I went and had a fabulous girls vay-cay in Park City and got our shop and hot tub on. I love this girl "hey Whitface!" I heart you. We talked a lot about boys we dated (those conversations mostly ended in "what were we thinking?"), our crazy families, our awesome and sexy husbands and how jealous I am that she's going to Europe in 1 month. take me with you!!!

 I have also been kicking it with my sweet (and single!!!) little bro, Aaron. He took me on a hike to Bridal Veil falls in Provo canyon and it was fabulous. My legs reminded me about that for about a week. I am so out of shape.

Danielle and Michael got married this week and they are on their honeymoon in Turks and Caicos 
(I had to google how to spell that) if anyone who hasn't been there knows where it is without cheating I will be amazed and give you $5. (or a big hug depending on my mood) 
Hi Murph! I heart you too!
At the shower we got a little crazy Mormon style (top photo) and just had a blast. I also met Danielle's aunt-in-law who publishes cookbooks and she included my recipes in her last two cookbooks. 
I am published people!!! My agent said that I can autograph copies if you wish. 

Last but not least it was my annual Howerton fam reunion at the Homestead. We went shooting one day and all I can say is that I am much better with handguns, seriously.
My nephew Tyler also came, we like to start them young.
K fell into the flooded river and sank like a rock. 
My uncle Joe is comforting him after such a traumatic experience.

watch this, it's funny

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a real yak attack

K, my baby, my sweet sweet baby, got attacked by a yak yesterday. Not cool yak, so not cool.

the culprit

To be real though, K is not a ranch dog. I know he walks and talks the part but he's just not a cow dog (or yak dog in this case). He wandered right up to the strange animal just like they were old friends. Not the smartest idea when said animal is a lot larger than you and has pointy horns, just sayin. He found out soon enough why this was a bad idea. Poor poor baby, he's still recovering.

He did make friends with Oliver though. Who is Oliver you ask? He's the newest addition to Haven Springs Yak and an orphan. His mommy died. Sad right? Well, Oliver is being very well taken care of so don't be too sad. He's a happy guy and thinks that Jay, or anyone that feeds him his bottle, is his mommy.

including me!
what the bangs? someone help that poor girl.

He loves A too but kicked K right in the face a few times after this shot. 
Once again, not the smartest dog.

This is Jay, Oliver's real parent. He owns part of the herd, takes care of the yak and lives at the ranch. 
If you look up "cowboy" in the dictionary you'll see a photo of Jay. Seriously.

There has also been a ton of flooding at the GR this last week. We've gone up twice to sandbag. Notice the beautiful row of sandbags in the back. I was there to photograph the event for posterity and to make sure K didn't get swept down the raging river. He would sink like a rock. No joke.

In other news I went to my niece's school program last weekend and it was Oscar worthy.

and the men went fishing at Green River and had a wonderful time.

Aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddd...that's it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Madre Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you ladies out there! 

But I have to give a special shout out to the best mother in the world, my mom!!!
I love you mom and I wish you could be here to celebrate your day with me, to see your new 
grandbaby Mason and to tell me to give Kipling a bath because he stinks.
I love you and I am grateful that we are an eternal family.

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
-Honest Abe

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

we're here!!!

We arrived safely! Kipling is loving all the attention. We are so happy to be here.
I never thought that I'd be so excited to drink tap water again.

I don't really feel like writing anything today. I'm exhausted but so happy.

More to come.


Sunday, April 10, 2011


It's Spring on Ludlow Road my friends!!!

In other news, A and I celebrated Thursday of last week by going to Momocho and wow, I love guac now. If you live/visit the Cleve, you must go to that place along with 50 other amazing food establishments that we love here. Our loves so far include...Captain Tony's, Yours Truly, Melt, Brio, Stir Crazy, DiBella's, Zocalo, Brasa, Mary Yoder's, Presti's, Tommy's, B Spot, Trattoria, Dewey's, Bogo Pizza, Abuelo's, BD's Mongolian BBQ, and of course Chic-fil-A, Chipotle and 5 Guys are wonderful no matter where you are. We use Urban spoon for inspiration and it has been a lifesaver.

We still have so many places to try. Any suggestions from you Clevelanders??? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

#4 goals

After my conclusion list last week I got thinking about #4 on that list.
Right now I feel like I have none. Well, maybe a few but nothing that I'm really forward to. My most important goal right now is to make enough money to be able to pay rent every month. Exciting right?

So I took a few minutes this last week to think about what I really would like to happen in the next 5 to 10 years.

I'm thinkin something along these lines...
the Bianchi Dama Bianca
so I can work on my fitness in style

with a little bit of this...

I'll take her!

go on an African safari

and to Brazil with my honey

learn to ski (snowboarding is not good for my body anymore)
doesn't that just look lovely?!

have a veggie garden and some chitens,
of course we are going to have to have a fabulous house to go along with those things :)
and maybe some babies too
and another dog

and last but not least...
oh you forgot that we have yak didn't you? so did I.
In the next 5-10 years I would like to figure out what to do with these things.

Maybe learn how to ride one, or I'll probably just stick to horses.
Maybe learn how to milk one, that will be interesting. I'll make sure and record that experience.
Speaking of the yakkity yak. Andrew has been working hard at getting the website up.
Haven Springs Yak Ranch let me know what you think!!!

In the mean time, I'll probably just stick to what I'm good at.
Yak burgers anyone?