Monday, December 29, 2008

$300 dilema

So we received $300 for Christmas this year and we are having a dilema on what to do with it. Here are our options

1. Save it
2. Buy a storm door for the front door
3. Buy a sweet leather sectional from the neighbors that are moving to Hawaii...

We are really leaning towards the couch, its a sweet deal, we have always wanted a leather sectional because we don't have much seating when people come over and our old couch needs to go....What would you do??

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Dearest Friends & Family,
The Larson household has been a very busy one this past year. We spent the beginning of the year getting accommodated to having to take care of a puppy. Monster, our pit bull, joined our family just three days after Christmas last year. He has fit in well with Den & I. He is spoiled rotten and has such a great personality.
I have continued in my calling working with the Young Women at church. Dennis has worked with the cub scouts and is currently reliving some experiences from his youth. We welcomed a few nieces and nephews into the family and took trips to visit them.
Dennis started working for Guardian Pest Defense in April and continues to wow his customers with his vast pest control knowledge. I ran my first 5K in May, it only took me 45 minutes and a hurt ankle to finish it out, but it was a great accomplishment. I finished out my year teaching kindergarten at Kensington and occupied my summer as a nanny for a 6 and 9 year old. I spent the summer living it up, hanging by the pool, visiting the zoo, and catching up with girlfriends while we had play dates at the park. Really it was tough! I was also able to domesticate myself with all of my free time. I beautified my front yard with flowers, got better at my quilting and sewing skills by creating curtains, blankets, pillows and many other things. In July, I was given the opportunity to see LeAnn Rimes in a private intimate concert in Chicago. I was about 2 feet from the stage and even got her autograph. That same month, I attended Girls Camp for church in Michigan as the Camp Leader for a week. It was the spiritual highlight of my year as we bonded and grew closer as a “family”. Dennis got his business up and running at the latter part of this year. He found a company to bottle his sauce and sold his first batch within 3 weeks. He is currently working on getting his business license and website up and running.
I got caught up in the Twilight frenzy and started to read more this summer, that is until I started 2 jobs in August. I started at The Education Cove, a new teacher store just 1 minute from home as a tutor/Asst. Manager. A day later, I was hired as an Intervention Specialist at a school just a few miles from home. I spend most of my day working one on one with students who are struggling in math & reading. It is a great experience and I am learning a lot.
We celebrated our Third anniversary in September. Dennis won over the hearts of the women I work with by sending me 2 dozen roses at work. Of course he earned double brownie points with me. In October, I started volunteering as a leader of a Rainbows group. It is a group where children meet together whose families have suffered life altering events such as divorce or death and learn how to talk about it and cope with it. It has been a huge blessing in my life and I have worked with my group of second graders and have been given the opportunity to help them deal with their pain. In just a few weeks I will start up with The Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. I am excited to become part of a child’s life as a positive role model and one that she will be able to look up to.
Monster continues to be the best dog anyone would ask for. He spends most of his time curled up on the guest bed watching over the neighborhood, scaling dads back as they play tug o war, cuddling with mom and hanging with his neighborhood friends. He continues to amaze us every day with the things that he does and he brings so much laughter to our home.
No new news on the adoption process yet. We are just trying to get things more prepared before we officially turn in our application. We still have Faith that our Father in Heaven will bless us with a precious spirit of our own that we will be privileged to raise. We will keep everyone posted as more things happen.
We have been grateful for all of the blessings that Heavenly Father has given us this year and look forward to many more in 2009. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and an exciting & happy New Year!
The Larsons

Saturday, December 20, 2008

There's no place like a snow day on the day before break!

That's right... yesturday was supposed to be the last day of school before break but we got out a day early due to a snow/ice storm. Pictures to follow abit later. Dennis woke up to get ready for work and spent over an hour getting about an inch and a half of ice off of his truck, needless to say, it was a snow day for him too. It was so bad that you could walk on top of the snow....Monster went outside and ended up collapsing some of the ice and it was hilarious to watch him freak out about it. It was like we were walking on a frozen river... kinda scary to think about! The association workers spent over 12 hours in our neighborhood trying to get the ice off of everything and get it plowed away. Of course, I wasted away they day by doing nothing at all, hey I have 2 full weeks to get my long to do list done!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SNOW SNOW and more SNOW but it's ok my tires ROCK!!

So usually when the first major snowfall of the year hits, I am less than thrilled because that means I get to spend a very long time driving in it and sliding all over the place.I am the type of person that is scared to death to drive in the snow, NOT TODAY!!! By the time school got out, we had about 5 inches on
the ground and it was smooth sailing non slipping driving. Why you might ask? Well last week, my loving husband bought me the best snow tires in the entire world!!!! I was able to do about 35-40 the whole way home, I take all back roads and there was light traffic ..... no slippage, no sliddage, no stickage.....It was so great that when I pulled into our unplowed neighborhood I turned the corner with ease and sailed all the way down the road without getting stuck at all...picked Dennis up and took a trip to the post office to show him what they can do.....THEY ROCK!!! I highly recommended them to anyone who feels nervous drving in the snow or slides all over the place. They are general altimax arctics.....check them out...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

10 Years

After 10 years of not seeing or speaking to my sisters, I have finally established contact. My sister Cassie emailed me Friday and updated me on her life. There is a long family history story behind all of this that I would rather not get into right now. I am just greatful that she reached out and sent that email and we are now able to begin to build a relationship.

Here is a picture of Cassie, Angel & Breanna

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Young Women in Excellence

I know this post is really late considering we had YWIE almost a month ago but I was looking at a friends blog and realized that I never posted about this wonderful experience. Our theme was Like the Stars. The girls did a skit that was so hilarious, they named the hollywood stars after values and talked about a new movie they had coming out. The leaders sang "Someone Needs You Star" to the girls and then the end was the grand spiritual finale. With the stage lite up and shining stars in the background their spirit engulfed the entire room when the girls sang, "Like The Stars". I don't think there was a dry eye anywhere. The girls that we work with are so amazing. They carry the spirit with them always and are such good examples, even to myself at time! They are great characters of value and hold true to their standards. I am really blessed to get to work with them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for girlfriends. One inparticular......Jodie Borg, thanks again for lastnight. It was nice to get together and chat over fondue. It's always nice when you have girlfriends who care and are there to listen :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh yes....I did!!!

I have had the same hairstyle since the beginning of time. I remember when I was 12 i actually cut it to the bottom of my chin and I looked like a boy. Since then I have just left my hair long, dull and boring. I went to get just a trim lastnight and ended up getting 5 inches cut off. I am in love with my new hairstyle. I have gotten so many compliments today, from it looks way cute to it makes you look older (which is kinda what I was going for). It took me 10 minutes to talk Dennis into letting me do it.... he said if that's that will make you happy and you want to do it then go I did! Here are a few pics to hold you over for now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy 26th Birthday Denny!

Yesterday Dennis turned 26- he's getting old! Since we went out of town to see my family, I wanted to do something nice for Den's birthday. So.... Saturday night we stayed at my grandparents and I planned for the whole family to come over in the morning for brunch and a surprise cake. Saturday night I gave Dennis is card and his gift, a new pair of sunglasses, he was totally caught off guard and wondered how I got the stuff without him knowing. After our brunch on Sunday, we drove home early, just for him to be surprised by a whole house full of family waiting to surprise Dennis with dinner and a cake! SURPRISE!! He was totally shocked. So honey, in honor of your 26th are 26 things I love about you

1. You always make me laugh
2. You always put others first
3. You can strike up a conversation with anyone
4. You can fix ANYTHING, it's amazing
5. You are a loyal friend
6. You are strong in the Gospel
7. You have a desire to make yourself successful
8. You are determined
9. You're HOT!
10.Your eyes are GORGEOUS
11.You are the owner of That's Barbeque
12.You care about everyone
13.You always want to solve everyone's problems
14.You are a great missionary..even after your mission
15.You are great with our nieces and nephews,I know you will make a great dad one day
16.You're a great cuddler
17.You know random facts of information
18.You're older than me :)
19.You're strong willed
20.You still take care of your mom
21.You're a good brother
22.You give good massages
23.You laugh at my jokes, even when they aren't that funny
24.You take care of me when I am sick
25.You put up with me when I am ridiculous
26.You are You!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for many things but most importantly I am thankful for my husband. He loves me unconditionally no matter how crazy or silly I get. He accepts me for me and he always does his best to make me laugh and provide for our family. He is a great role model and an honest person. I am always thankful for Monster. He is always cuddly with his mommy and he always makes me smile.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have been busy crafting and here are a few things I have been up to.....

Here's a run down of the projects.
1. I made blocks for both of my sisters and their husbands with their last names
2. A family plate that I have put in our dining room, I should have taken a pic there blocks I made for the fireplace
4. The front of a quilt that I started back in May, I hope to have it finished by the end of the year. (I still need to sew the blocks together!)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Den & I went to see Twilight tonight and I must say I liked the movie better than I thought I was going to. Bella's house was just the way I pictured it and they did a good job at picking Emmett's character. They did not do a good job at the chemistry between Bella and Edward, while reading the book, you get this build up of chemistry between the two and I was disappointed at the movie from that angle. Bella didn't have the heart throbing display when Edward touched her like she did in the book. There was also alot of humor as well. I missed some of the part where Bella goes to the Cullens, I had to pee so bad!!!!! The scene where Edward took Bella out of his window and up a tree was awesome. I was a little disappointed because they left out alot of detail but I know the movie was already 2 hours long. I can't wait until the next movie comes out, I heard a rumor that it is going to be New Moon and Eclipse combined..... we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Got this idea off of a friends blog (thanks Erica). I am going to post something I am thankful for every Thursday. So this week I am thankful for my job and being able to work in such a great place with such awesome people!

Monday, November 10, 2008


So I stayed home from work today because I just haven't been feeling like myself or been feeling 100%. I have had alot of stuff going on and I just feel numb. I guess it's because I have held everything inside and haven't talked to anyone about anything because that's just the type of person I am. Yesturday afternoon and tonight I received 2 phone calls from two women who serve in YW with me. They were calling to check on me because apparently I haven't been acting myself lately and they were just concerned. i just nudgeed it off as I was fine just dealing with a lot of stuff and wasn't feeling well. How come I get someone who I could possibly start talking to about my issues and I just try to play it off as I am fine. Am I ever going to be just fine? Am I ever going to stop feeling so numb about the fact that Dennis and I can't have children of our own? I am tired of feeling like I am not worthy enough or that I'm not good enough or I did something wrong to deserve this. Why would God make me a person who loves children a person who would make an awesome mom and then not give me that opportunity when there are people out there neglecting this great gift from God, people hurting even killing their children. It's just too hard to grasp and actually comprehend. So for now I will just go about life pretending that everything is o.k.

Nine days... and I have tickets!!!

Twilight comes out in 9 more days and I bought my tix off of three days ago! I am really excited for the movie to come out. I even talked Dennis into going to see it with me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend with Joey

Grandma & Grandpa got Den and I camies for our birthdays. I am also wearing a bday cake hat that my soon to be bro in law gave to me.

Needless to say, I hogged him all weekend

Doesn't he look like a natural?

Joey chilllin on his new blankie

Joey & I did alot of this over the weekend. I loved laying him on my chest and falling asleep. He is so cuddly and a very sleepy little boy.

It was a great weekend. There was some drama (of course). We laid around being lazy and visited with each other. We had Tiff's baby shower on Saturday and then went out for a family dinner. We drove up to ISU Sunday to pick up Joseph and visit with Andrea, barely making it in the door before midnight. Needless to say, I am exhausted and really looking forward to my birthday tomorrow and being able to do whatever I want!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A new do

Updated fall look....

the hair is back to being straight again and I have added some blonde and very subtle

red highlights. I think I am going to go darker on the red next time. This isn't the best picture either but that's all ya get.

This weather sucks

Yes, ladies and gents, those are snow clouds and yes it snowed here today. I really hate it when it snows BEFORE my birthday ugh!

Now Joey's blankie is done

A blankie is not complete until it is personalized, thanks to the a co- worker and her handy dandy embroidery machine.

I did it!

So I went to the doc today for my long over due physical. I lost some sleep lastnight worried about having to get my blood taken. For those who don't know, I am a major baby when it comes to blood and needles, can't believe there was a point in life that I wanted to be a Dr., Lord knows I wouldn't have survived! So I got off work early and went up to Geneva to my appt. and was informed that they just needed to prick my finger, allelujah!! I had even worked up my courage on the way there and didn't even feel sick before finding out that I wouldn't have to get a needle jabbed into my arm and sit there while they take my precious blood. Needless or needless to day, I was totally fine with the finger prick but a little bummed that I couldn't get my flu shot because I have a slight fever and my doc, suggested not getting it today because I had been feeling a little under the weather. I guess it's a good thing I'm not Bella! lol :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This about sums it up.....

I know that God wouldn't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.
I'm glad someone has faith in me (gulp)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Fall Ya'll

My favorite season is here and I am so surprised at how fast the leaves have changed this year. I am really bummed however that it is still dark out when I get up, it makes it really hard to get motivated!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy 40th ALI !!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Alison Saltzmann! We celebrated Ali's birthday by surprising her at Red Robin. It was a great time to just sit back and chat, we all needed some girl time. Jenny I'll spare you the funny pic of you.... just this time though :)

Top pic: The Group, Kimber always brings out the kid in me, that was a 40 on Kimber's forehead. Bottom pic: Ali indulging in the box of Junior Mints and pamper package we got her.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's finished!!!!!!!!

I finished Joey's quilt yesturday. I know I have lots of other projects to post but Ihad to get this up to show my sister because I suck and I couldn't wait until we went down there for her to see it. I promise I will put up pics of the curtains, pillows and other quilts I have done when I get a free moment.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby blues

Everyone's heard of a loveless marriage. Well, what about a childless marriage. The hardest part about this whole no child thing is that Dennis and I have so much love for each other and for a child and there is nothing we can do to fill the void we are feeling right now. I really do feel like someone is missing and I don't know what more to do. Sometimes I think, if I only had more faith or if I prayed really hard, God would give me my baby. I hear about these children being abandoned and killed everyday on the news and it breaks my heart to know that someone else was given a chance to have joy and they took advantage of their precious gift. I was over at Nicole and Josh's last night and I was watching Josh with Tyler and how he was just going on giggling and laughing and then I started thinking about how much a great father Dennis would be and that he may never get the chance to do so. Why does this have to happen to us. High school sweethearts who really looked forward to getting married and having a family. I know God laughs at our plans but I planned on getting the opportunity to make up for my childhood and be a great parent to my child and enjoying that blessing with my eternal companion. It scares me to death to try to do this whole adoption thing. I feel like we are never going to get a baby, like it is going to take forever. I know I just need to be patient but it's hard to do when you want something so bad. There is great joy in looking into the eyes of a child and seeing their innocence. And I want the joy of looking into the eyes of a precious child that God has made just for us.

God plans adoptions from Heaven
And he searches the see
for people who long to be parents
People like Daddy & Me

Then, in his own time, he answers
Th prayer they've been praying so long
And he finds a child who is waiting to fill their lives with a song

You are the child who we prayed for
So special, so precious, so sweet
The one who we'll cherish forever
The one who makes our life complete.

What a stud

Joey is so stinking cute, I really can't wait to go see him.
I am counting down the days, only 15 to go!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Yesturday, I was given the opportunity to attend a Rainbows training in Romeoville. I volunteered to be a part of the group at our school. The group helps children dealing with the grief from a loss of a parent, divorce, parental addiction or other situtations that cause children to hold their feelings inside. We learned how to be active listeners rather than wanting to offer a way to fix it. We did a lot of situational group work and some people talked about some issues they never dealt with from their childhood as we were working through the last activity as adults rather than role playing as children. It was a very empowering day. I left feeling like I could save the world.

Before we left we were given a Rainbows pin to wear on our lanyard as well as a commitment to compassion. This is what it reads

Today, I welcome children, adolescents and adults who are grieving into my heart.

I commit to support them through their journey from hurt to healing.

I promise to listen with my heart without making judgements.

I will refrain from giving advice or platitudes, for there are no answers to loss.

I wish to instill in them the seeds of healing and acceptance for these gifts bring hope to the bereaved.

I want to be a guide to the discovery of how truly special and lovable each person is.

I will wipe away the tears of those who mourn so that they may be able to see the bright


after their family's storm.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Best Night of my LIFE!!!!!

September for me went out with a bang. I spent the last night of the month is Chicago at Joes Bar with LeAnn Rimes!!! I have been a fan since she started out like 13 years ago. We were so close to the stage, 4 people away to be exact, heard some great music, and GOT HER AUTOGRAPH!!!! I really enjoyed myself. She is a very sweet person and so cute. Her voice is amazing. Her song What I Cannot Change is amazing. It's a theme song to some of the issues of my life, I will learn to let go of what I cannot change I will learn to forgive what I cannot change, I will learn to forget what I cannot change. I will learn to love what I cannot change. My family life, our conceiving issues and my forgiveness problems are totally defined by this song!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Joseph Wayne Cullison

I would like to introduce you to my first nephew, Joseph Wayne Cullison. He was born at 3p.m this afternoon, weighing in at 7lbs. 6oz and 21 inches long. My sister's water broke around noon today and because the baby was breach she had a c-section. Baby and mom are doing just fine. I can't wait to go see my little bug at the end of October.
Congrats Tiffany & Tony.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Continuing Education

Ladies and Gents, I have decided to go back to school and get my Masters Degree in January. I am going to get my Reading Specialist Certification. So wish me luck, I should be done in Feb. '10 after lots of hard time consuming work!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

3 years = 3 dozen


I was doing my normal rounds of working with my groups of kids today and came back to my office when I was done and this is what I found.........

Dennis sent me 3 dozen roses for our Third Anniversary. We were going to have a picnic tonight where he proposed to me but the riverwalk is flooded and he is sick with either strep throat or tonsilitis, how much does that really suck. He was up all night last night with a sore throat and I made him go sleep on the couch! So our anniversary is on hold until Saturday.

I took him to the take care clinic at Walgreens to get checked and he has viral pharengitis. His throat was so dry while he was there that he tried to sell the DR. a bottle of bbq sauce. He asked the DR. for a cup for some water and she said I don't have any but I have a sterile specimen cup. Sure enough she goes and pulls it out and hands it to Dennis. Of course he drank some water and sold the Doc some sauce. This was by far the most entertaining anniversary we have had. We did go to Panera afterwards for dinner.

The name game.

Only 72 people on the U.S have the name TARA LARSON. There are 163,264 people with my first name and Tara is the 372nd most popular name.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Midnight Sun?

Urgh! Some people. I read today that Stephanie Meyer was working on book #5 of the Twilight Saga, Midnight Sun but some idiot leaked her draft online so she has indefinetly put the publishing of the book on hold. Of course the book was Edwards version Twilight but still, it just ticks me off! Anything to keep the love saga of Bella and Edward going... anything!!!

Hmmm, I learned something today

So back in May I hurt my foot running in a 5k and have had some trouble with it ever since. About 3 weeks ago, I hurt it again but it has taken longer to recover from it and is quiet painful. I saw a specialist today and while he was bending my foot in several directions while I was making all sorts of faces (yes, it HURTS!!!) I learned about a condition known as Peroneal tendonitis. It could take months to heal so I guess it would be a good idea to go buy stock in Advil!

Peroneal tendonitis is the condition that develops as a result of the overloading and stress on the peroneal tendons. Peroneal tendonitis may develop from either acute or chronic overloading of the tendon. Acute meaning the tendon becomes inflamed immediately following stress and chronic meaning the condition develops over a period of time.

Below is a diagram of the foot. The peronial tendon is circled in red.

Common Causes
Peroneal tendonitis is caused by excess stress being placed on the peroneal tendon. As mentioned above, this stress can either be acute or chronic. Common activites that cause peroneal tendonitis are running on unvene surfaces, racket sports, manual work, basketball, hiking and skiing. In general, older people are at a higher risk of developing the condition. This is because as we age our tendons lose their elasticity and become brittle. A brittle tendon is much more likely to develop tendonitis.

Peroneal Tendonitis Symptoms
Here is a list of common symptoms associated with peroneal tendonitis:
*Pain and tenderness along the tendon, especially withing close proximity to the ankle and foot. This pain may be during or after exercise, or in severe cases at all times throughout the day.
*Stiffness of the foot and inability to stretch without pain.
*Swelling around the tendon.
*A burning or hot feeling around the tendon.
*Pain at night and first thing in the morning.

Treatment Options
Tendons are very slow healers and it could be weeks or even months until all the inflammation symptoms have gone. First, you should cease any activity that is likely to hinder the rehabilitation process. To help with the swelling you may want to apply ice to the affected area. You can do this on and off for 20 minutes at a time. Don't apply the ice directly to the skin, always wrap it in a towel. In needed, you may use over the counter anti-inflammatory medication to help with the swelling and pain.
Ideally, you should avoid walking in shoes that do not have adequate heel support and do not walk around too much with bare feet. Rest is the key to healing peroneal tendonitis. Once the symptoms allow, you may return to exercise or activity but you must ease back into it slowly. When you first return to exercise your peroneal tendon is very vulnerable to inflammation.
In most cases peroneal tendonitis can be treated without the need to see a doctor, but in a few cases further treatment may be required. Your doctor may recommend cortisone injections or surgery if no other treatment methods work.

Prevention is always better than treatment, and there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize your chances of developing this condition. First, always warm up and stretch before you begin any exercise. Second, always wear the correct footwear to suit the activity. And finally, if you have been away from exercise for an extended period of time you should ease back in - your tendons won't be used to the stress!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Normally we spend Labor Day with my family but this year we stayed home. We decided to celebrate my endowment anniversary by going to a session at the temple with the in-laws. Our 3 year anniversary is in 16 days so we decided to recreate a wedding picture at the fountain. Every time we have gone since we got married, it has been turned off so I was excited to see that it was on when we were getting ready to leave.

Moving backwards, we had a fairly busy weekend. On Sunday, we went to a bbq at Nicole and Josh's and then went home to watch What Happens in Vegas, very good movie by the way.

We both worked on Saturday and then headed to the play Cindy that some of my YW were in. All 25 of us decided to go to Red Robin after the play. We had a great time. I really love hanging out with the YW, they are so much fun.