Category Archives: holidays

sky full of stars

Flag crew<!

I'm pretty sure there's a reason my dad wore this shirt.

I’m pretty sure there’s a reason my dad wore this shirt.


"If you go down, I'm going down with you and our cameras are toast!"

“If you go down, I’m going down with you and our cameras are toast!”

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DSC_5427 copy Our team on the other side of the canyon!

Clay reeling in the first line.

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My brother is a serious gamer from the future! Actually, he is using his ninja filming skills to control the camera that’s attached to the helicopter.

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Perfect shirt for my British-American brother-in-law!

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Sisters, minus one. {We miss you Cami!}

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My husband pretty much ROCKS.

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Snow a few days after the flag went up.

Nothing is impossible for Harold Haugen.  Some may know him as the “Star Man.” Ten years ago, he dreamt of lighting a giant star on the mountain above his home for the Christmas season, and he made that dream a reality.  It’s now a tradition that hundreds look forward to each year.  Last year he had another dream…to suspend a massive American flag in that same canyon, and he made that happen too.

I’m proud to say that Harold Haugen is my dad, and I love that he dreams big and does it for the community and nothing else.  He is on year two of hanging the flag for the summer holidays, and I see this as the beginning of a new tradition many people will look forward to each year.

Why would anyone want to go to such an effort?

My dad’s parents came from Norway at the end of WWII, and they loved becoming Americans.  They struggled learning English, but they did it.  My grandpa fought as an American soldier in the Korean war, and they taught their children to work hard.  They have always flown an American flag in their front yard and taught all of us to appreciate the freedoms and liberties we so often take for granted.  My grandpa still tells about the day the U.S. forces came to his small town of Haugesund and freed them from the Nazi regime.  He teaches us to be proud to be Americans.  On a special family trip to Norway years ago, my grandma insisted that we all wear matching sweatshirts that said “USA” in big letters on the front.  She was so proud to bring her family to her homeland, and wanted everyone there to know we were American {trust me, it was pretty obvious, even without the sweatshirts}.

So that’s a little background for you.

Now let me tell you, my dad is the most selfless, hardworking person I know.  He’s also very patriotic and I’ve seen him tear up talking about our country’s flag and what it represents.  Throughout the history of our nation, the flag has been a symbol of bravery, freedom, liberty, and happiness to all the world.  It waves hope to all who see it.  At least that’s how I see it.

When my dad saw small European villages displaying their countries’ flags in canyons on his travels, the idea sparked to do this in his own neighborhood.  So, a couple family dinners worth of talking and planning and the first flag went up last year.  I didn’t think it could be done, but he did it!  It was three days worth of work last year.  This year, there was a new plan involving a couple remote controlled Phantom helicopters to carry lines {and video cameras!} from one side of the canyon to the other, which made the work so much faster {three hours instead of three days!}.  And next year it will probably be even better.  He is grateful for the team of people that help him with this project.

The flag is 25×40 feet, and the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.  If you live in the SLC area, you’ll find it at the mouth of Little Willow Canyon off of Wasatch Boulevard in Sandy.

Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave?  O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I hope it always will.

Please go watch the amazing video my sister Hailey edited with the footage she and my brother Trevor shot that day:

A news article is here:

And to see me make a fool of myself on the news go here:

Happy Fourth of July!

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This makes me laugh so hard.

This makes me laugh so hard.

we {heart} cookies

valentine cookies DSC_6197 DSC_6198 DSC_6214 DSC_6215 DSC_6216 DSC_6234Valentine love from my house to yours!

Patty Davis’ Sugar Cookies (our favorite recipe)

1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. cold water
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 c. flour

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, water, and vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl, sift the salt, baking soda, and flour together, then add to the butter mixture.  Roll dough into a disc between sheets of parchment paper and place in a large ziplock bag.  Chill in fridge for a few hours at least.  Roll out thin and cut shapes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack and spread with frosting.


2 1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp. butter
food coloring (optional)

Mix all together, adding powdered sugar gradually.



thanksgiving at my place

thanksgiving decorations


Along with the candles, brown paper leaves with glittered edges added some sparkle to the table.

Hi Ben!

Hi Ben!


My father-in-law carved the turkey for us, and my mother-in-law brought the best dressing.

My sister-in-law Veronica's first Thanksgiving! She just came from Bolivia in September. She loved it! And my mom brought her amazing rolls...

My sister-in-law Veronica’s first Thanksgiving! She just came from Bolivia in September. She loved it! And my mom brought her amazing rolls…

thanksgiving table

For the kiddie table. Hannah stitched up this felt turkey head in 3rd grade. Her school teacher said it was tradition in her family to pin a felt turkey head to a pineapple for the centerpiece. We love it!

Veronica peeking at Will through the bottom of her cup.

Veronica peeking at Will through the bottom of her cup.

Clayton and I expected to have a quiet Thanksgiving with our little kids this year. As much as we would have loved that, we were thankful to be joined by so many!

See, a few years ago, my mom’s Thanksgiving schedule switched from the year we had been alternating, meaning that both sides of our families now do Thanksgiving on the same year. That means that on the “off” years, Clayton and I are on our own. Which is okay, we’ve done it and have loved that. However, this year, we decided to invite anyone in our family who didn’t have plans.

My mom came, but unfortunately my dad was sick with the stomach flu (worst timing). My brother Trevor and his wife Veronica came, as well as Clayton’s parents.  Clayton’s brother Jon and his friend Mike, his other brother Josh, and his wife McCall joined us as well.  So we put all the leaves in the table and got nice and cozy in my tiny kitchen.  The food was amazing…I love the smell of roasting turkey! Everyone helped bring food and we had more than enough.  It was so nice.  We had plenty of pie too, including pecan, my favorite!

Later in the evening, we turned on Mr. Bean’s Christmas episode, and then another episode, and another, until the kids were falling asleep. Just in time for me to sneak one more slice of pecan pie…

*Find the lovely paper placemats here.

haugen halloween party 2012

gandalf costume, frodo costume

Clayton and I as Gandalf and Frodo…do you like my Mike Brady wig?

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Hailey (my sister) as a plate of spaghetti & meatballs, and Brad as a chef…pure genius.

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Erika (my sister) as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and JJ as Jack the Pumpkin King. Love this!


Trevor (my brother) as the Mad Hatter and Veronica as the Queen of Hearts for her first ever Halloween.

A very merry unbirthday to you!

A very merry unbirthday to you!

Love Bots.

Love Bots.


halloween party

Mom was so excited to find her costume at an estate sale…classic!



BY FAR, the most fun and hilarious night of the year for me is the Haugen Halloween party.  This was the 7th Annual, hosted by my brother Trevor (but at my parents’ house–they have more room). Costumes are required and there are prizes for the top three in the popular vote. I can’t even explain how funny it is to watch everyone walk through the door…I’m always on the floor laughing my guts out! I wish I had photos of everyone this year, all the costumes were so original and amazing. Can you believe the spaghetti and meatballs?? My sister Hailey is amazingly creative.  When I asked her how she thought of that idea, she simply said, “I had a dream about it.” Of course she did! And she made her entire costume herself, using felt to create tomato sauce hair pins and earrings, as well as meatballs on top. She slit a plastic silver platter to fit around her neck, and table was made from sturdy foam core (with a slit as well).

I always make our costumes, or at least piece them together with bits and pieces from thrift and fabric stores, and things I already have. The trickiest part this year was making Clayton’s Galdalf hat…I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, so let me tell you how HAPPY I was when it worked! He was such a sport to wear the costume…for at least 15 minutes before he took it off. He was sweating under all those cloaks! He hates dressing up anyway, but is always so good to humor me and wear whatever I choose for him, even if it includes a lame beard and wig set!

My costume was super fun to put together. I used a button up shirt I already had, and I found the old leather GAP vest from the nineties in my mom’s closet (the fact that she never throws anything away sure comes in handy–she could open a costume and prop shop!). Then I cut off some brown capris that I never wear to make them ragged. I made my cloak, but no sewing was involved, just cutting with the help of a template I found online. The One Ring (with inscriptions) and Elven Cloak Clasp were Amazon finds. And as I mentioned above, my wig was a Brady Bunch wig! It was as close as I could get. I wanted to make hairy feet, but resorted to eyeliner on the tops of my feet in a hurry. ANNNND, hooray!  We were one of the winning costumes, along with Sally and Jack the Pumpkin King and the Love Bots.

Tons of food and games, including a pinata. When it was my turn to swing, I couldn’t resist yelling, “This one’s for the Shire!” On top of all the games, Trevor and Hailey always put together a Halloween video to premier at the party. This year they did not disappoint! The party gets better and better each year.  Now to decide which of my three costume ideas we should use for the 2013 party…never too soon to start planning!