Random Funny Picture

It's so cold lately, I've been missing places from our October trip. Especially Belize. I loveeee Belize.
Anyways, this picture is funny looking, but the back story makes it funnier to me.
We're on the cruise, this is the first or second night and we're laying on the deck at like 11 p.m. or something. It's so dark in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Dave decides it's a good time to take a picture of us laying on the deck, he forgot about the flash.
So the leftover picture is of us squinting through the flash. Brad & Jaycie took one too because ours looked so funny. They tried too hard to keep their eyes open.


Letting go

There are two things I don't do very well: cleaning out my car and letting go of people.
Over the past couple of years people have left my life; a few because I wanted to get them and their habits out of my life, most left though the passing of time and of course my dad because he had to. I miss ALL of these people immensely, but some things are hard to let go then others.
My dad passed away on August 7th and his funeral was within a few days of his passing. It's now January 25th and I still have the program on the floor of my car.  Five months later it's still creased perfectly in half alongside the funeral home standard tissue package I received at the funeral.
Even if I did clean out my car, I don't think I could take it out.
For the same reason my Facebook picture is still a picture of the two of us. I can't let go. I need him to still be around, even if it's only through glare tinged glasses from a photocopy. I can still see his gray blue eyes from the floor of the passenger seat and it's always reassuring.
He may not be physically sitting with me in the car, but I can still see his face when I need to and pretend I can hear his voice and his words. My dad was more than my father and mentor, he was a very close friend. I can't let go.


Don't Learn Like I Do

I love to blog, but sometimes I don't have anything good or interesting to say. So I steal ideas from the internet. Including a random blog post with 10 Things I Learned the Hard Way.

1. Little wrong choices lead to big wrong choices. Right after I got my A.A. from BYU-Idaho. I was super desperate to make friends and connections. I'm not making excuses. Some friends were not good and I started drinking with them once in a while. Nothing bad, just to pass the time. That one choice spiraled into more and I couldn't let go of behaviors because I'd rather have friends and mess up my life than do what really made me happy and be lonely. Fast forward five years and I ended up having a child before I was ready.
2. It Matters How Men Treat You. I was kind of late on the "dating train". I had my first date when I was 19 and my first kiss around then too. Before Dave I went through a slough of stupid men. I'm a relationship driven person (see #1) and I didn't really care about what the guys did or said as long as they stayed with me.  The give & take in relationships are big points that none of those men understood. I remember for one serious boyfriend I drove almost an hour in a white-out snow storm to spend the weekend with him. Other weekends the same boyfriend would say he "didn't want to drive down" even when there wasn't snow. Lots of men I dated were extremely selfish in dating and being together. Dave was the first one who put my needs first. I put him first and he put me first and that's freaking important. More men need to realize how important it is to give...not just take from women. We aren't something you can just pick up when you want. We should always be wanted and never tossed around. This is something I could write a lot about.
3. Everything Changes. Seriously, I can't believe I wasted so many years of my life hating things about it--only to learn as I got older. Everything is flexible, if you don't like it...you can change it. After I gave birth to Cameron, I had a really hard time with myself. My body worked different, I looked different, stress was my life and I never felt up for anything.. It was pretty difficult and I let go of myself. After six months I had an awakening. I can still be someone. I can rebuild who I am. I'm not stuck the way I am.
4. Sometimes Ask for Help. I have a super hard time asking for help. Too many times in life, you ask for help and people resent you for asking because they don't want to do it....or whatever. After childbirth (again I know), I learned pretty fast that all kids aren't the same....and some kids are very challenging. Dave and I both learned pretty quick, that we couldn't raise Cameron ourselves. It literally is taking a village to raise her and that's okay. I can't do everything that I'm asked to without losing myself completely. It's okay for me to ask people to help so I don't kill myself...or whatever.
5. Family Matters. This wasn't really learned the hard way, but I still have to share how drastic this could be.  Like I mentioned in #1, I spent 2 years messing up my life and I'll tell you a secret. I didn't really want to be with my family then. My life was a disaster and I knew they were judging me...and I was tired of it. Last year, my dad got really sick and eventually he passed away. I'm so glad that I was given the chance to fix that anti-family philosophy before he got sick. So I have no regrets. I spent many of my days off with Cameron and my dad. We spent a lot of time talking and just being in the same room (when he wasn't sleeping). It's not just about regrets either. At the end of the day, all of those boyfriends and friends I had left. My job changed and I graduated. Everything has changed drastically since those messed up days, but the only thing that remained constant was my family and their love. At my darkest and hardest days, my family was always there to support me and remind me of who I was and where I come from. I wish I hadn't spent those two years kind of drifting from them. Two years that I could have spent building relationships that matter (I mean I didn't even end up with the guy I dated around that time).
6. Money. It's okay to spend it, but it's better to save it. I didn't ever want to be in debt. In fact I remained debt free until I graduated from BYU-Idaho. Then I got student loans and car loans. I know that's not significant amounts of money, but it's okay to be in debt a little. I'm almost done with both now and a little debt never hurt anyone as long as it's not bringing me down disastrously.
7. Trust Yourself. I cannot say this enough. Twice in the past two years I've gone out on a limb because I just didn't feel right and both times quality of life were improved because of these hunches. A little after my father passed away I started noticing some SERIOUS depression and I felt craziness inside my brain. I went and saw a counselor and blah blah blah. He told me to check my hormone levels because having a baby can seriously make your body go wacky. Hormone imbalance! I believe in blood tests, but I wouldn't have gone if I didn't feel something was wrong inside. I should have checked it sooner.
8. Good Friends Never Leave. This one is for you Brandy-Poo and Christin even though I'm pretty sure they don't read this blog. Brandon and Christin were my friends at different points. I've known Brandon since I was like 19 and I used to have a major crush on him. We used to spend a lot of time together, I feel like maybe weekly for a long time. Dating and marriage and we don't hang out like we used to. Single guy and a married woman doesn't usually work out (unless it's in a crowd or double). Christin was a roommate of mine up in Idaho. I graduated and left. She got married and I got married. I had a kid.  I invited them over and they still came over (separate times) and it was still amazing. I wish Brandon was a girl and I wish Christin's baby was Cameron's age so we could all connect again for real.
9. Facebook Break. I compare myself constantly. It's a woman's curse, I guess. I can't turn it off. Facebook is the devil for this type of person. It was destroying my life....literally.  I took two weeks off from Facebook and it changed my world. I started seeing my own blessings instead of reading about others. You know all those super annoying pictures of families, kids or vacations....I don't care. I have a beautiful little girl and a super great husband. I don't need to see what everyone else has. Stop Comparing! Recognizing your own life great points improves your view on life. It's great. I still compare myself....just not on Facebook. In real life I'm better at making up horrible back stories.   (She looks beautiful because of all that makeup. She has on all that makeup because she got a black eye from her little brother because she stole his car in a drug fueled rage.)
10. Do the Happy Things. I spent a lot of my life making other people happy. I rolled with the punches and "didn't care" what I did. I still don't care about a lot of stuff. Really, I don't care where we go to lunch...I like all food. What's really important though is making choices that make you happy and not just in the I get to enjoy this lollipop for 20 minutes kind of happy. Do the stuff that makes you remember moments forever. For me it's family stuff, like going to see the creche' exhibit around Christmas with the family or singing songs with Cameron at bedtime. Screw work or shopping. Those things will fade and you'll forget what that cute shirt looked like on the rack or how irritating your coworkers are. I will remember the way Cameron answers my songs in hums and I'll remember the way my mom's eyes twinkle when she sees her family. So do what makes you happy.


Best Pasta Ever

Today's blog entry is a little different. First of all, I'm not a good food photographer. I love food a lot and I'm very good at eating it. Who cares what it looks like?! Anyways...That said. I wanted to share my favorite recipe of all time over the blog-verse.

 Baked Cheese & Sausage Penne
1 lb. Penne Pasta
1 Onion diced
1 lb. Sweet or Mild Italian Sausage
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella (divided 1 1/2 c. & 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (divided in half)
1/3 c. Parsley
1 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Garlic
1 Pint (2 cups) spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. milk
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain & set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Brown sausage, drain and set aside.Saute onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, add garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in spaghetti sauce.
Place ricotta cheese, 1/2 of parmesan cheese, 1 /12 c. of mozzarella and milk in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
Add the sauce, cheese mixture, sausage and parsley to the pasta and toss well to combine.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spoon the pasta mixture into the dish.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
About 30 min prep. About one hour total meal time.

It will rock your world. This recipe is so yummy. I love pasta and cheese. Delicious and worth it.
If your in the market for a delicious, new recipe. Give it a shot. Yummmmyyy.


Snow Storm Gandolf

I survived Snow Storm Gandolf. Recently the weather channel started naming winter storms for a bunch of reasons that I don't really care about. I love it. I think the name game will increase awareness and hopefully encourage people to stay out of it.
Anyway, downtown Salt Lake always gets hit a little harder than my south west located home. My coworker thinks he's being funny when he sends me this text message.

It's not funny. I hate driving in the snow. Especially at night when I get off work...at 11 p.m. I'll tell you a secret, they don't really plow the roads around then because there aren't a lot of cars on the road...not really a demand.
The text is a joke..but I'm considering it.



For the first time since I was sixteen I made my bed and it won't be the last time.Hello, adulthood and motherhood.


Lucky Number 13

With the awful taste of 2012 still lingering in my mouth, I like to look forward to the future with optimism. It's only day six of 2013 and it's hard to really anticipate or know what the year has in store. One can never predict the future. 2012 was far both busier and harder than I expected. I have high hopes for the future though. When I see 2013, I see a rebuild for Michelle Hunt--a recreation of who I'm supposed to be with some key events of course.
I love lists and I love pictures. So here's my second picture list of 2013.
Leah and Paul
1.  Jersey Wedding: It's the last wedding on our long list of weddings starting in 2012. One of Dave's best friends, Paul, is finally getting married to his beautiful, awesome girlfriend/fiance', Leah. They live way over on the East Coast in New Jersey. Although we will likely have a full-ish schedule of wedding stuff, it will be a lot of fun to check out some sites while we are there.

This morning's Einstein hair
2. Cameron: I know it's not especially interesting to list my child as an event for 2013, but she will be a big part of my life every year for the rest of my life. To not include her would be a lie!  Anyways, this year she will walk and maybe even start talking. I'm so excited to finally be able to understand all of her gibberish and know exactly what she wants. This year will be a pretty epic step into her childhood.

Random picture of a heart. 
3. Grandparents & Great-grandparents: Dave and I are making a trek to Reno, Nevada this year to visit his grandparents. They couldn't make it to our wedding due to their age and his grandpa is wheelchair-bound. We're excited to go on a trip with Dave's dad and Momma Jean. It's going to be a really exciting event to introduce Cameron to her great grandparents; I really hope she isn't completely crazy on the long drive...

4. Job: The luckiest part of 2013 would be my exit from KSL. The job was great when I was single; late nights and weekends were not a problem. I usually stayed up pretty late anyways. Now the late nights, weekends and holidays are causing a big strain on me and my family. In October I prayed that I would be able to move on in my career by April. I still have four months to make a big life change.

5. Repairs: This is the year of the house. I've got big plans for this year. I want to get the house painted, put up pictures and finally make it our house. In the spring we will have to replace our sprinklers, watering them by hand last year was freaking awful. Maybe we'll finally put up a fence to drown out some of our neighbor's ridiculous, late antics. Or put up some darker drapes so their back porch light doesn't blare into our room all night long.

6. Dave: My husband of course. We'll be there together in 2013, rocking the married life and working out shnizz like the awesome couple that we are. We'll finally finish Borderlands 2 and maybe even finish Resident Evil 6 (because we're nerdy like that). We'll work on our puzzles and watch our shows. I'd like to hope 2013 brings some more date nights. They are sure hard to come by since our days off never line up and both our work schedules end later than most date nights even start. Babysitters are equally hard to come by when you need to use them during the week...multiple times. Lucky 13 could bring us closer so we're more than co-single parenting. That's my hope, anyways.

Too bad I can't come up with seven more things to make it super duper lucky...or unlucky.  I'm thinking optimistically today. 2012 was an obstacle we had to overcome to get to the beauty of 2013. Lucky number 13, I'm wishing on you. :)



At a family gathering a while ago we discovered Cameron has some serious love for trains. We started up my dad's old trainset and Dave held her while we watched. It cracks me up every time. She waves her arms and kicks her legs so hard while she squeals happily. I've been wanting to share this for a while...so here it is...finally.


2012 Review

I want to join with all the other blogger's this year in recapping 2012. New years blog posts are my always my favorite to write. This year was more eventful than 2011 and extremely emotional for me. To narrow it down to 10 things was extremely hard and some of the events and moments in 2012 will linger through 2013.

Dad and me back in like 2010 at the car show
1. My dad: It's funny how there are some words you just can't say. Even after four months, I still can't say some words when paired with my dad.  The events of this year are shadowed with by these enormous words.  He passed away in August after a year long fight with esophageal cancer. It was faster and sooner than anyone expected. August was a roller coaster of emotions. When he first started getting really sick, I put a picture up as my profile picture of my dad and me. I still can't take it down. My dad was my rock and his passing has shaken my whole life. Grieving is a long, hard process when you know and love someone for a long time. 25 years I called him dad and now that huge presence is a deep hole. That hole is still there and I know I'll always miss him.

Cameron a little after her first birthday
2. Cameron:  It's been a little over one year since we had cute, little Cameroo. With each milestone, she gains more independence and smiles a little bit more. She crawls faster than I can walk and loves to stand using the couch, but just don't help her. Like mom, she hates people helping her.

First day of braces
I had no idea the pain I was in for.
 3. Braces:  It's about time right? I've had pretty crooked teeth most of my life. It's not detrimental to my health. According to my dentist, my teeth are in perfect shape underneath the surface look. Just like anyone, my teeth have been pretty hard to get over. I know it sounds like a sob story but whenever I talked to new people, I knew they were staring at my teeth. Bah. So this year, I decided it was time to get them fixed. I'm almost half way done and they already look perfect to me.

Dave and I.
4. Honeymoon: It may be a year and a half later, but Dave and I finally took our honeymoon and I knocked off an item from my bucket list. We went on a cruise with Dave's newlywed friends Brad and Jaycie.  The cruise ported in Belize, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Mexico. The cruise was NOT that fun. Carnival is a sucky cruise ship venue, but it was cheap and ported at all the destinations I wanted to. The highlight was visiting the Xunanatunich ruins in Belize. It was a two hour bus ride there and back and a pretty intense hike in 90% humidity, but when we saw them it was breathtaking!  One of those moments I will take with me forever. It was the highlight of the year for sure.

5. House:  We moved into our house!  It's the perfect dream house for me.  It's a lived-in house so we gained a lot of "homeowner experiences" like turning off the outside water at 10 p.m. because one of the copper pipes burst or setting mouse poison out in odd places so Cameron wouldn't eat any of it. (We haven't seen the mouse in a few months. I'm still not 100% sure if it's dead or not). Oh and our electrical layout in the basement is all wrong...so we got really good at flipping the power on and off. Despite the adventures, owning a home is totally worth it.

Random unrelated picture,
because I don't want to show you blood.
6. Hyperthyroidism: I had some major depression this year. I'm not afraid to say that I went for help. Sometimes talking to your spouse isn't enough. When I saw someone, he recommended I get my blood checked and they found that I have high thyroid levels. I've been on a it for a little over two months and I've noticed a huge improvement and quality of life. I gotta say how important it is to get your levels checked every now and again. So important! Especially after having a baby, because that stuff messes with your whole makeup.

 7. Dave: November marked our two year dating anniversary. Dave is great. This year marked big changed in his job. He moved over to the business center portion of his job and got a promotion. He's a great dad to Cameron and fantastic husband. Marrying him was the best decision I've ever made (right alongside my decision to keep Cameron). We've had a lot of big challenges in the last two years; more than most couples have in ten years. Through it all we made it together. I think if we can make it through 2011 and 2012; Dave and I can make it to forever.

We're standing in line for
The Dark Knight Rises.
8. Batman: My other man. Any other blogger mentioning this would be considered really weird and maybe I am really weird. The Dark Knight Rises was a big part of 2012 for me. The Dark Knight films made me respect Christopher Nolan so much. He brought a different kind of Batman to the big screen. We related to the hero. The Dark Knight Rises was a big letdown for me. There were some massive plot holes and the ending was silly. No one wants Batman to live more than I do, but the ending was so hollow. Big let down.

9. Church: Progress.  I want to make the same disclaimer as I did last year. I know that some people don't value religion and don't believe in God. My recap of 2012 wouldn't be complete without the church. This year marked big progress for me.  I reached a point in fellowship that I haven't been a part of in almost five years. In some ways I feel like an old friend has finally returned after a long trip abroad. Now if only I could change my job. My ward starts at 1 p.m. this year. I leave for work at 2:30 p.m.In order to further my own growth, I need a new job that doesn't make me work on Sundays.

Our tree-topper at work
10. Job: Speaking of job. I'm still here at KSL. This new C.A.L.M. act is making my job very busy and more complicated than ever. I work 3-11 p.m. every weekend and three days a week. I work most holidays and spend most of my job watching commercials and television programming. I've applied to more than 30 jobs since October. I'm getting kind of desperate to leave KSL behind me. Television has a lot of bureaucratic garbage. 

2012 was eventful. It was busy and very hard for me. I hope to leave most of the events from 2012 where it belongs: in 2012. I'm realistic about 2013. It will be similar to other years. The new year will probably bring new challenges, but I hope it brings more joy than pain.