Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Throwdowns

Ben is the youngest child in his family.  For some reason this means that nobody trusts him. Especially his cooking.  We usually share food assignments with his brother Nathan.  This is particularly hilarious since Ben is one of the best cooks I know.  Nathan is no slouch in the kitchen either. (MMmmmm Nathan's tri-tip steak.) When it comes to family parties we are usually assigned 1 of 4 things: chips, drinks, cookies (Ben's cookies are FAMOUS) or the camera.

NOTE: Ben's cookies are famous and no one can make them like he does.  His dad (DJ) thought he had perfected them while on a mission in Canada.  We had a cookie throwdown at the next family reunion.  Ben thrashed him.

My family on the other hand trusts Ben to cook and often makes him do it.  If you recall, last year Ben made the turkey for my family's Thanksgiving.  It was GORGEOUS and ever so delicious.  So delicious that my sister told her husband and father-in-law that they were going to have to work to make a turkey as good as Ben's.  So delicious that my parents asked Ben to do their turkey . . . even though we weren't going to eat at their house.

Knowing how delicious this turkey was last year, Ben told his dad he would be happy to do one of the turkeys for the Hanson Thanksgiving at Ben's grandma's house.  DJ seemed skeptical but decided to allow it.  Then when it came time to buy the turkeys, he bought two.  A 22 lbs turkey and a 15 lbs turkey,  He gave Ben the little one.   We just shook our heads.

This morning Ben woke up bright and early and in true Hanson tradition, he cut his finger.  (Last year it was me after the Hanson Christmas Party)  He would not be deterred though!  We tightly bandaged him up and he prepped that turkey.

And when it came out . . . a masterpiece.

I called DJ and told him he better not cut his turkey until we got to grandma's so we could have documentation of the turkey throwdown.    Here are the images.

Ben's turkey

DJ's turkey

Due to time considerations each man carved his own.  Ben slipped me a piece.  My mouth sang.  So flavorful and juicy.  Nathan stole a piece and then another and then another and then another. Nathan loved it. Kristy loved it.  Their kids loved it.

The rest of the family started to whisper about the two turkeys.

As we sat down at our table (Us, the parents and Nathan's fam). DJ brought us a plate . . . of his turkey.  We each tasted, not bad but not Ben's.  The plate was immediately sent back with a request for Ben's turkey.  The turkey that was no where to be found.  Throughout the house we heard "Which one is Ben's turkey". Apparently other tables snagged it first and were intrigued when they heard there was a difference between the two turkeys.  All I'm going to say is not much of that turkey made it to our table.

Based on consumption and reactions, I think we have a "Winner-Winner Turkey Dinner"

NOTE 2:  This post is not meant to be disparaging of my awesome father-in-law.  It is just to prove that maybe the Hanson Family needs to start trusting Ben a little bit more. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cards, Photos and Such

Alright peeps, it is time to get down to business.  Yes, I'm talking business on the family blog.  Annoying isn't it?

Some of you have expressed interest in cards and/or family photos for Christmas.  The schedule is filling up rapidly and there is a lots of travel in my immediate future.  Here is a list of where I will be shooting/visiting over the next couple of weeks.  If you live in one of these places and want a session, let me know!

December 5th - St. George.  (Yea wedding!!!)
December 12th & 13th - Las Vegas
December 19th - Utah County
December 31st to January 3rd - Denver  (Yea wedding again!!!)

Now . . onto cards.  I haven't done many templates this year since I have been so busy with custom orders. Basically, if there is a style or design you like let me know and we will work something up.  There are a couple on my Etsy shop. (Look to the right)  I'm trying not to list the ones that other clients have ordered just because I think it should be their special card for one year.  This kind of stinks because they are of course the cutest!

There is still time to order. (New Years Cards are all the rage this year) The design is $10. This will get you a digital file. You can either print them yourself or I can have them printed for you.  Print pricing is listed on my website under Custom Cards.

Alright, I'll stop now.  Email me if you have any questions!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Done and done!

Just in case you aren't on Facebook.

Ben had his defense for his PhD today . . . and passed!  His degree is in Chemical Engineering.  He will officially walk in the spring but as far as his board (and boss) are concerned. he is now Dr. Hanson!

This is a huge accomplishment and I couldn't be more proud.  All of his parent's sons are officially doctors of some sort.

The only problem is now when I argue with his about some ailment he will say, "Tracey, which one of us is a doctor?  Hmmm?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So cute, so naughty.

The dude is almost 15 months old and is becoming more of a little boy everyday.  We've spent the last 2 days hanging out at home.  This hasn't happened since our trip back east.  We've had lots of time to play (and work) and capture big boy moments.

First, I walked into the living room to find that he had tipped over the new diaper box, pushed it over to his highchair and started climbing.  He climbs EVERTHING.  The other day he climbed from his ride-on train, to the stools, to the table just so he could get to the kitchen counter.  He has figured out that we hide electronics on the back of the couch.  To get them he acts like he wants to come sit with us and snuggle.  Ten seconds later,  he is searching for the ipod, tv remote or phone. Since I'm a mom and I desperately want snuggles I fall for it every time.

So Sam doesn't like "real" food.  He still only wants baby food.  (Seriously kid?!  Seriously?) Sometimes I can get him to eat yogurt, pancakes, grilled cheese and pb&j.  (And any sort of sweet)  Yesterday I looked over at him eating his pb&j and he had jelly everywhere.  But not like he had been eating it.  Like someone had sprayed him with a spray bottle of jelly.  How does this even happen?!

The last picture is of three of Sam's favorite things.  His blanket, his bottle and chill-laxing watching Baby Einstein (the shape one is his FAVORITE). Sometimes when he wakes up from his nap I can buy another 20 minutes of work by setting him up in his Toy Story chair.  Notice he isn't actually sitting in it.  He starts sitting up and then just kind of slides down.

Kind of like his mom does in the big chair.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

She ran and ran and ran . . .

The following information is being posted all over the internet including Facebook and my running blog ( . You might even get a hysterical phone call from me about it.

Today I ran for 20 minutes. . . . without a break.  On September 8th I started the Couch to 5K program.  In the beginning you run 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds and repeat.  The first day I couldn't do more than 3 repetitions. I cried.

Today I kicked 20 minutes' butt.  Granted I'm slow but I did.  I ran an entire 1.25 miles.  I don't think I have ever ran an entire mile.  Not even in High School.  This is a monumental day peeps!

I have 3 more weeks on the program.  Supposedly I will be able to run a 5K by the end of this.  I believe it can happen.  After that a 10K.  After that a 1/2 Marathon.  After that . . . a cruise.

On a side note, here is a picture of Ben's new fancy shoes. (As seen on the other blog) The yellow makes you run faster.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love fish and chips.  I constantly crave them and I will eat them from just about anywhere. Seriously. It's so weird.  In my travels, I have a couple of places that I've found that I particularly like.  They are by no means authentic.

1.  Ruth's Diner
2.  Cheesecake Factory
3. JCW's in Lehi

And finally . . . my very favorite.  (Brace yourself)

4.  Arctic Circle.

I'm not kidding. I love them.  I stop and get halibut from AC every Wednesday on my way home from work.  It's one of the highlights of my week. (I need to get out more) Granted, I have to blot excess oil from them with a napkin and they are the temperature of molten lava, but they are DELICIOUS!!!

The other good thing about Arctic Circle (besides Cherry Rickey's, Corn dogs and Cheese-in-a-breadstick . . . I have issues), they list Weight Watcher Points on their website.  Any restaurant that figures out the points for you and puts them on the internet deserves my weekly business.

Side note for Ben and Grandma Barlow. - They do serve their halibut with lemon.


I'm scared of birds.  

Sam is scared of cows.  

We took a little trip over to Wheeler Farm tonight to try out my new lens and we got there just in time for the cow milking.  We took a couple pictures then decided to go show Sam the bovine ladies.  He was okay, until they got to the fence and the girls started moo-ing.  Ben said he felt his little body tense up and then he just BURST into tears. Needless to say we were done with pictures at that point.  

The funny thing is, he cries when the cow moo's on Baby Einstein and he cries when someone pushes the cow that moo's on a book at Grandma's.  You would think that I would have thought of this before I told Ben to take him to check them out.  Bad Mommy.