Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My 12 days of Christmas

Christmas is almost here. What is it about getting older and time moving too fast? When I was a kid, time couldn't move fast enough. Now I just want it to slow down.

The kids got out of school last Friday so we have a full 2 weeks of Christmas vacation. Yeah! We had a 2 hour marathon of games last night & the kids slept under the Christmas tree the night before. I love having kids for Christmas. I love my life!

So, here's my countdown to Christmas:

12 - plates of cookies from neighbors that I'm trying desperately not to eat
11 - gifts for Tytan's classmates
10 - preschool kids who sang Christmas songs to their parents for our program
9 - times 10 Christmas cards ordered and mailed...phew!
8 - logs of wood burned each day in our fireplace to keep warm (and to look pretty)
7 - fun-filled stockings (including 2 for the twins) hanging by the fireplace
6 - hands (from my kids) that like to help me wrap presents
5 - $500 dollars spent @ Wal-Mart on Black Friday...wowza!
4 - days left until Christmas Eve
3 - excited CUTE kids ready for Christmas
2 - strings of lights on the Christmas tree
1 - plate left of cookies from neighbors (that I unsuccessfully tried not to eat)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tape & gingerbread houses. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do you say giblets or jiblets!

I wish I would have taken a picture of our yummy Thanksgiving turkey. But, alas, I did not. I'd like to say it compared to the picture of the turkey in my last post, but I'd be lying. It just didn't have that full-on (picture perfect) brown color throughout, but it was good. So maybe it was good I didn't take a picture.

Funny story: I couldn't find the giblets (I even had Ryan look inside the turkey for me). So, I cooked the turkey and later found the little bag of giblets at the other end of the turkey. You live and you learn right? So, again...I'm 34 and cooked my first turkey. Booya!

However, the ham I made was scrumptious. But I don't really think you can go wrong with a ham. You add brown sugar, cook long and low, and tada...perfection. haha.

Now, on to our next adventure:
Tytan is getting baptized this Saturday, December 3rd. We are all so excited. He's actually getting baptized in the same font as his dad. Cool, huh? A funny thing Tytan said the other day was this, "Mom, since I'm not getting baptized until Saturday, I don't have to be good for Santa because all of my bad things will be washed away." Smart Alec! Ya, I told him I had Santa's number on speed dial. haha. Funny kid!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Angel Babies

Ryan's sister, Chelsea, had a baby boy 3 weeks ago and died just this past week. He was born with a heart condition and had to undergo 4 surgeries. They all knew his chances were slim but tried everything to make him healthy. Everyone is so grateful they got to spend at least 3 weeks with him on Earth.

My thoughts cannot help thinking of my sweet angel babies, Ryanne and Tamarrah. Just like this picture, I'm sure they're taking care of their baby cousin, Brigham. What a gift it is to have these special spirits in our lives and watching over us. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Gospel and the plan of salvation. I can't wait to see my baby girls again and hold them in my arms. How lucky are we to know that we'll be with them again and get to raise them. For me, life makes sense. Death makes sense. Heaven makes sense.

May we always remember this great gift from our Savior: Families are Forever!

Cooking my 1st turkey

Shhh...don't tell. My name is Tarrah Montgomery, I'm 34 years old, and I have never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey. :-)

In my young married life, being the oldest child had its advantages because every holiday we got to go home to 'normal' festivities. I use the word normal because we celebrated Santa Claus and visited relatives houses for grand dinners. I came home to my younger siblings and got to celebrate the holidays the same as them...not as an adult. Now that my younger siblings are grown up and gone, I have had to transition into the 'adult' mode of cooking the meals for the holidays. What?! I liked it better when my grandma made the rolls and my mom made the turkey. I guess I should have watched better when my mom removed the DISGUSTING parts of the turkey. Why do they save those parts? And why do they save them in a little baggie...just so you can plug your nose and squirm?

I hope my turkey looks like the above picture. I'll let you know. At least I knew beforehand to let the turkey defrost for at least 24 hours in the fridge and then marinate it for another 24 hours. That would have been bad.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tytan turns 8!

My oldest turns 8 this Saturday. I never thought it would happen...I mean of course I new it would inevitably happen, but I was hoping that he would stay my baby forever. But I guess it's good he's growing up and not still in diapers (at age 8). You know what I mean. :-) When he was born, Ryan and I had been married for 6 years and were so ecstatic to finally have a baby to hold in our arms. I remember wanting to remember that moment forever and thinking that 8 years old was SO far away. Well, it's here. How did that happen?!?

He will get baptized on Saturday, December 3rd and is so excited. He's funny because when someone talks to him about it he just shrugs his shoulders like it's an everyday thing to do...get baptized. I think he's mostly excited about being old and having his bedtime be 8:30 instead of 7:30. :-) Oh the small joys of being a kid.

These are the things about my sweet, smart boy Tytan:
Favorite color: red
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite movie: 'Bridge to Terebithia'
Favorite tv show: 'Phineas & Ferb'
Favorite toy: Wii
Favorite book: Dinosaur Cove by Rex Stone
Favorite Primary song (hymn): 'Praise to the Man'
Friends: William, Talum, Kye, Carter

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween & Candy Favorites

This is my new favorite...white chocolate M&Ms! I've never been a chocolate fan...but I like 'white chocolate'. Give me licorice and a Hershey's candy bar, and I'll always choose the licorice. When people say candy, they usually mean candybars and chocolate. When I say candy, I mean licorice, jelly beans, and anything sugary (not chocolaty). So, when I heard about these 'white chocolate' candies, how could I resist? You have to try them. They'll melt in your mouth. ;)This year, Tytan's favorite was tootsie roll suckers. I told him how my mom used to save the wrappers that had the indian shooting a star and then she got to take the wrapper to the store and get a free sucker. He thought that was pretty cool. By the way, he dressed as a ninja this year for Halloween. No picture posted for privacy issues. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your kids.Trista (unlike me) loves chocolate but she especially loves bubble gum. It's probably because I don't let her have it very much. I have found gum in too many inconvenient places (like in the carpet and on the couch cushion) for me to let my kids freely have gum. Trista as Supergirl for Halloween.Trey just likes candy...all kinds. The thing about him is that he eats it slowly (probably trying to have it last as long as possible. He liked the laffy taffy this year. He dressed up in his karate uniform and went trick or treating as a karate guy. You say easy costume; I say genius. :-)

Happy Halloween! And happy candy eating. Isn't it a mother's obligation to scour through their children's halloween sacks while they are off to school. I say yes. mmmmm

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween 'Mystery' Dinner

Tradition: definition...the handing down of patterns of behavior, practices, and beliefs.

Holidays bring tradition. Effectively, they evolve with each generation. Blame it on the genes or blame it on the joy of repetition. To me, repetition brings memories...blessed, wonderful memories.

Halloween is the start to those traditions. As a child, every year my mom served us a Halloween 'mystery' dinner. It was an anticipated event where each of us were given a coded menu where we filled in the order of our dinner. Items were disguised under Halloween surnames, such as 'witch's hair' or 'skeleton bones'. My mom draped the kitchen with blankets to hide the menu while she cooked. We all sat in anticipation for our food to arrive. Once dinner started, we all giggled when our mysterious food items came and we made the connection to their Halloween names.

Now, as it is my turn to be a mother to my small children, I have watched as they have excitedly anticipated the same novelty year after year. Tonight was our Halloween 'mystery' dinner. Ryan's sister, Missy, and her kids joined us. They witnessed the event last year and were excited for a repeat. Here was the menu this year (with their accompanying food items):

Skeleton Bones...string cheese
Frankenstein's Finger...hot dog
Vampire Coffin...hot dog bun
Swamp Goop...peanut butter cookie
Witch's Wig...leaf of lettuce
Squirt of Blood...ketuchup

So fun! I love being a mom. Thanks Mom for all of the traditions...which subsequently should be thanked to a long line of tradition makers. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Back in the Saddle

With our yard done. Finally. Ya! And Ryan's brother's reception slated for this Saturday. Glad to be over. I have finally felt the desire and confidence to return to my rewrite of 'I'm Not Cinderella'. It's such a great story, and I have received amazing feedback. I started my 3rd rewrite a couple weeks ago, September 24th. I'm changing the entire book from 1st person to 3rd, and I'm completely changing the intro and first 2 chapters. I want to get into the plot as soon as possible in the book. I will also be changing all of the introductions to the chapters. All in all, it will be a lot of work, but think they are all necessary and beneficial for the story. Wish me luck!

One Peach, Two Peach, Three Peach, Four

I'm 34. Yes, my birthday was last month. And I am happy to announce (but also embarrassed to say) that I canned my first batch of peaches and apples last week. I know, what took me so long? It's not that I didn't grow up with a mother who canned. We had jars of just about everything in the pantry in our mice-infested garage. It's not that I'm against canning. It's just that I never felt the need. Of course I buy things in bulk. But I would freeze my supply and use it for a rainy day. Besides, fresh is better right?

So what has lasted as a comfortable pattern altered when a friend of mine announced she was ordering apples and peaches from Payson, UT. K, who can resist fruit from Utah. I mean...yum! So I signed up and was prepared to chop and freeze, as usual. The peaches came perfect and tough so I waited a few days for them to ripen. However, a few days was enough time for them to soften. I mean really soften. I tried to peel and chop a few but when I froze them with all of the juice they froze together in a large clump. So, after hearing my other friends talk about their tedious adventures of canning their fruit, I decided to venture on the unchartered road of canning. I ran to Wal-Mart, bought their last 4 cases of jars, bought a canning basket, and rushed home to do the 'Mormon Mom' thing - can my fruit.

Final tally: After 5 days (not constant canning...more like 3 batches per day).
27 pints of peaches
12 pints of apples
0 jars unsealed...Woohoo, they all sealed. Ya Me. :-)

And it was kind of fun. Humid but fun. Too bad my hubby doesn't like peaches or cooked apples. At least my kids do.

Grandma, this one is for you!

Why do I keep a blog? This is a question I may ask myself at one time or another. Especially at a time where other technological outlets such as facebook, pinterest, and twitter are proving to be quicker and more efficient. This is my answer: I'm doing it for my grandma. I'm doing it as a journal and an attempt to share with those who live so far away.

You see, my grandma, Grandma Dorothy, lives a 12 hour car drive away. I miss her. I used to visit her on Mondays to help clean house...well, mostly to chat and eat yummy chicken fingers. And then my husband and I moved our family to a different state. I miss those long chats. And those yummy chicken fingers. :-) So, in my effort to keep the connection, I am going to keep a weekly blog about my life and mail a copy to my grandma. Maybe I'll mail it on Mondays. That would be fun. Hopefully in some way I can feel that I can still be where it's always felt like home.

So, Grandma, this one is for you! I hope you like it. Maybe keep these little notes in a folder, and you can laugh at them from time to time. Each excerpt will share a little something about what is going on in my life. It is primarily a journal of my struggles and ambitions of writing, my journey of motherhood, and memories of my happy childhood (which includes you).


Friday, August 12, 2011

"Hang 'Em High" Hoedown...book release party

When: Saturday, August 13th, 12 – 4 pm
Where: Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
Prizes, games, Dutch oven cobbler (first come, first served)
Authors Tristi Pinkston, Nichole Giles, Heather Justesen,
Cindy Hogan, and J. Lloyd Morgan

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July 2011 Reading

Here are the books I've read this past month, with a brief review.

'Save the Date' by Jenny B. Jones
Loved the humor upon the sweet romance from this author. I've read 2 previous novels of hers, and it was love at first sight. This book follows the authors strong influence of Christian belief and assists the characters in their agency and decisions.

'So Not Happening' also be Jenny B. Jones
This is the 2nd book of the Bella Kirkwood YA series. Again, humorous and sweet, but maybe over the top just a tiny, tiny bit when the character, Bella's, life is in danger. Loved the read and couldn't wait to read the 3rd, final book in the series. So cute!

'The Stranger She Married' by Donna Hatch
Wow! What a beautiful sweet romance. Towards the 'Beauty and the Beast' self-favorite fairytale, this story had me swept in a lovely telling of wished love and wonderful happy endings.

'The Guise of a Gentleman' also by Donna Hatch
Do you see how I get on a roll with an author? Once I find one I love, I devour anything I can get my hands on. This is the 2nd book following 'The Stranger She Married'. Even though the story followed the life of another brother, I was hypnotized with the developing story. I was not dissapointed. A dear friend of mine, who also shares a love/obsession of reading, urged me to not peek at the end of the book (as she knows I often do...I can't help myself - I have to be reassured everything happens happily). So, while restraining myself, I am sooooo glad I didn't peek. What a surpise!

'So Over My Head' by Jenny B. Jones
Love this author! So much faith, sweet love, & humor which makes reading a joy and heavenly. I constantly had a smile on my face while reading this last book in the YA trilogy. I pledge to read every book this author writes. Love her!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where to start...grass anyone?

Well, a better place to start than any would be my life...today...right now.

My hubby is again out of town for work...story of the last 7 years of our married lives. But I've grown accustomed to it and have even grown craving the alone time. Tonight our family's bread-winner is coming home and just like many other times I want the household to be in order. Therefore, I trucked outside this morning around 8 am (early for my part after catching word online that rain was 40% likely this afternoon) and endeavored to mow our yard. Now let me point out that our yard takes just under 2 hours to complete. It is not a slight distraction to my normal everyday schedule; it is the bulk of my day, resulting in a sweating, green under fingernails, stepping in dog poop kind of morning. A shower...slightly cold to battle the heat exhaustion...always follows and then by the time I'm prepped and ready to go for the remainder of the day, it's almost 1 pm. What a day!

After this being said, I have to confess that I love to mow the lawn. Why?! It's because I'd rather exert myself physically where there is a sense of satisfaction when I am done. My form of exercise is dancing to the radio or doing an impromptu aerobic routine with my kids. I have never been a runner and never intend to be. I don't feel the satisfaction when I pound the pavement for miles and miles and have nothing to show for it except my burning lungs and the necessity to rinse the stink off of me. When I mow the lawn, I'm exhausted, worn out, filthy, stinky...and proud of what I've done. As a bonus, I love the outside smell of fresh cut grass.

So, there I've said it - I love to mow the lawn. I've hidden this confession especially from my husband because consciously I know it's not wise to present one's desire of hard work. :-)


Shift gears.
I've been in a pit
No reading
No writing
So, new plan:
I intended to send letters to my grandmother, but that never happened. So, here is my attempt to make amends & write a little something here and then to send to my grandmother.


Another Negative

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip Pancake KISSES

This is a post from a very good friend of mine. Many, many years ago (never mind how many) when I was young and played 24/7 with our next door neighbors, who were also our adopted extended family, this good friend of mine always wore a smiling face...even when she was cast insistently as Toto in our daily neighborhood adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz'. This friend never ceased (or still ceases) to amaze me with her desire to love life, no matter what the odds. She's always put a smile on my face. Just saying her name makes me grin.

In her post, my friend vents and remembers the sacrifice of being a stay at home mom. In summary: Motherhood is hard; it takes diligence. But in the end, it is the greatest reward.

I love you Steph...and you are doing an awesome job at being a stay at home mommy!

I'm in an incredibly amazing good mood today

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 15, 2011


Again rejuvinated

Winter time blues

No writing

Walnut Springs

what a nice name...what a nice e-mail

Mass Mail

Rejection x 2

Cedar Fort - editor no longer work there
Granite - no contact

Another positive response

September 2010

Granite email

Positive response on 3rd novel

Submissions on 3rd novel

Mother's Day 2010

Dedicated to my mother for bestowing...

New digs = hault

November 2009

Unpacking and family come visit

Marcia Lynn McClure...I love you

September 17, 2009

I felt the itch again.
Lost in Austen
The slipper and the rose

Even with rejections, I still felt motivated

Lake Powell or bust

August 2009

Belize...pretty Belize

February 2009

Slightly discouraged but somewhat encouraged, my mind wandered through the realm of another story. While I drove to my parents' house (an hour away) with the kids subdued in the back with a movie...or two, the storyline developed in my head and motivated my fingers to tap away another novel - thus beginning my 2nd attempt at the writing world.

the good, the bad, the ugly

and some good feedback

Round 2

Send a mass of letters and e-mails to other publishers

1st (of many) rejection

Covenant communications rejection e-mail


October 2008

This is where I finish my polished (somewhat) 1st draft of my 1st novel (renamed again to Stripling Defenders).

Happy Birthday to me!

September 2008

Writers conference in SLC.
Met with Covenant Communications editor.
He mentioned my cover letter in a panel discussion.
Came home determined to finish last three chapters and clean up my rough draft.

UFC fight night

Started Book 1
Rough Draft

Books are for thine good.

Twilight...thank you!


The 'void' time I didn't read or write.

Oh so wise...

High school/college work

I Dream of Genie

Childhood work

From the beginning

Let me back up...a little about me: