Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Love My Job

Can I just say that there are days when my job is totally worth it? I love when I find random things inside library materials. Can you believe this note? It was totally a necessary stress relief after a crazy day at the library. In fact this note kind of seemed normal after the rest of my day....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Being Behind

I am sure you have figured out by now that our blog is always at least two months behind, at a minimum. This started happening after I fell in love with blogging and wanted to use it as a journaling method. This means that I blog about everything! As I was catching up our blog I had just written about how I had known it was going to be an awful winter filled with tons of snow. I had to laugh as I posted it because honestly we have had an awesome winter with very little snow. I didn't want to jinx it and honestly that was how I had felt and so I posted that entry anyway.

Then I woke up this morning and there was snow on the ground! Granted it was just a light powder and it had totally melted by 12 but still! I was a little upset that it snowed right after I had posted about snow. Which I am hoping won't happen again after I post this entry

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marc’s New Hobby

Marc has absolutely fallen in love with making duct tape wallets. I have lost an entire crafting table and most of my crafting supplies to this project. But it is so worth it to see Marc doing something that he enjoys. I usually come home to find that he has discovered some new technique or another person who wants to buy one from him. Like everything else in life, Marc jumps right in. He is already trying to plan a webpage and an etsy store and all sorts of other things. I guess we will see where this new love takes him. I am just hoping that he can use it as a distraction when he needs one and will still be able to enjoy it in the future. If you ever want a duct tape wallet though, you now know who to ask!

The inside:

The outside:

The bill fold:

The hidden change holder:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Camera Anonymous

We have joked that my family should join Cameras Anonymous for quite a while now. It started with Melissa and her camera and the disease has spread through the family. Now we all talk in terms of shutter speeds, lens specs, and lots of other camera phrases.

Well I decided to join in the camera frenzy. We were given Melissa’s old camera when we got married and I was so grateful for it but I have found that lately it frustrates me to take pictures with it than to be the relaxing outlet that it once was. The shutter speed was slowing down and by the time the camera would focus whatever I wanted to take a picture of was gone. It was nearly impossible to take pictures of living things and I didn’t like that. So I found a great deal online and bought a Nikon D5000. I have absolutely loved taking pictures with it and find myself pulling it out a lot. Our blog just might have more pictures on it now, if I can ever stand how long it takes to load the pictures onto Blogger!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Broken Computer

My computer seemed to be on its last leg right before Christmas. I just kept trying to nurse it through my last set of finals and my last few things of Christmas presents. I knew with enough time that all would be well with it again. But alas, it finally died. Thankfully it was still under warranty and I was able to send it away to have it worked on. I think there were more things wrong with the computer than right with the computer but regardless I will be without a computer for a little bit. I could use Marc’s but his computer is very different than mine. It could be an interesting time until mine comes back!

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Year Means a New Primary Class

As the new year begins I get a new primary class. Last year I had a grand total of three kids. Though these kids were hilarious to listen to, they were very well behaved and our class ran quite smoothly. This year I have at least 6 kids a week and they are all WILD. I am not sure that wild even begins to start describing them. I am hoping that with enough love and service I will learn to love these kids the same way that I loved my last class. Each week we have made progress, it seems and I am looking forward to seeing how far we have come at the end of the year. It does help that these are all very sweet children and I think we will have a marvelous time together.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Year’s Resolution

I have never really set resolutions in the past but I felt like I wanted to do one this year. I have discovered that we have too much stuff! I quickly decided that for my resolution I would get rid of at least a box/bag of stuff each month. I figured this would allow me to sort through old boxes and such and still allow me to be a little bit sentimental. I have found when I try to do a massive clean that I get attached to everything and so nothing actually gets thrown away.

Well I am pleased to announce that I did officially get rid of a box of stuff for January. I started the year by cleaning our room. I must say that it was super clean! I went through and got rid of clothes that I didn’t wear any more and worked on getting our room more organized. I loved how clean everything was and how nice it was to feel accomplished and like a good little house wife. I can’t wait to do this again next month!

Looking back I have decided that the only problem with starting with your bedroom is that it usually gets dirty the fastest. It doesn’t help that this week is laundry week and I have piles of dirty clothes on my floor rather than being nicely washed and folded in their drawers like they were when I started this project. My goal is to have my room clean again by the end of the week. Wish me luck

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Finally Being Heard

Right after we got married in 2010 I got really sick. I would spend days in bed, unable to do much of anything. It was really a hard time in our marriage and on me personally. I would go see doctors and have tests run but I felt like I was patted on the head a lot and never really heard. I just wanted to be heard and feel like there was hope for me feeling better. We tried all sorts of solutions from different medications, strict diets, changing medications again, and there were little changes but nothing monumental. I still felt unheard and hopeless. One of the really great things about our move a year ago was that I was able to see different doctors. For the first time I am feeling heard and feel like there is hope for me. It started with doing physical therapy last fall and all of the growth that came, thanks to a suggestion from my doctor. It solved quite a few problems but we still weren’t completely better. In a few weeks I will have surgery to be officially diagnosed with endometriosis and/or adenomyosis. This will allow the doctors to officially treat the disease and it will be the first time that there is really hope for us. In fact this possible treatment will be the only hope for Marc and I having children one day. There is still a chance that having children won’t be possible but we finally have a fighting chance and it feels really good. So we will have to see what surgery holds and what effects it will have on our future.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Being in a Good Space

Not that our marriage is or has been bad but I felt like the month of January was really good for us. We were really in sync and in a good space. I love having moments like that were things are working smoothly. It makes me appreciate all the hard work that we do put into our marriage to have moments like that. It was like we were both really working on all of the little things to make our marriage better. I was also really glad that we were in sync because it was a hard month financially. Textbooks needed to be bought (and they were crazy expensive this semester) and tuition paid for (which is never very cheap) on top of all of the other bills. We definitely weren’t starving but worrying about money can be stressful on a marriage. I was grateful that we weren’t letting that affect us this time around. I definitely hope we have more Januarys in our future!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Einstein vs. Edison

One night Marc was trying to give me a pep talk about something. He was explaining that I hadn’t failed but had learned a way that it didn’t work. It was like Einstein in inventing the light bulb. He hadn’t failed he had just learned 1,000 ways that it didn’t work. His pep talk worked but probably only because I was laughing so hard that Einstein was now the inventor of the light bulb and not Edison. In Marc’s defense he had just gotten off of a long, hard shift and was very sleep deprived.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Christmas/Christmas Eve/New Year’s Eve

With Marc’s work schedule this year, I spent a lot of the holiday season at my parent’s house. Marc was working and so I couldn’t spend the holidays with him and so I went home. This meant that we needed a day to have the holidays at our house just the two of us. On January 1st and 2nd we combined all of the holidays and had a great time celebrating. We celebrated Christmas Eve on the night of the 1st and Christmas Day and New Years Eve on the 2nd. I love that we still try to do our own thing to celebrate. It was really fun to spend the whole day together, as we both had it off of work, and just be lazy. We spent a lot of time just goofing off and having fun. Thanks Babe for all of the fun memories! Maybe next year we won’t have to squish all of the holidays into such a short space! But then again it was fun to do it this year!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Years Eve

For New Years Eve I was able to go home and spend time with my family. Marc was working and I didn’t want to spend the holiday alone. It ended up being a very nice night at home. Stephanie and Becca came over to my parent’s house and Mikkel and my Mom joined us for watching the movie “The Help”. Can I just say how much I love that movie? Anyway at midnight we toasted and drank sparkling cider and it was such a nice night. It was a great chance to catch up and hang out because I don’t get to do that very often with those girls. Steph and I made a resolution to try and stay in touch better and so far we have! Happy New Years Eve!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mikkel Came to Visit

After the Christmas fun we were able to bring Mikkel to come visit us for a week. I love having him come visit and this trip was no exception. Mikkel makes life so much fun and we loved getting spoiled by him. On this trip he was insistent that he pay for something. I introduced him to my newest guilty pleasure, gas station hot chocolate, and allowed him to buy me a cup. This satisfied his need to pay and my craving for hot chocolate. It worked out well for all involved. This trip didn’t have as many blogable moments as Mikkel didn’t lose his wallet or thing Germany was spelled A-R-G-E-N….. It was fun though to have him come play with Marc and Marc even taught him how to make duct tape wallets. I enjoyed being able to hang out with him when I wasn’t at work and get to talk to him face to face. Thanks Mikkel for coming to visit and I can’t wait until your next trip

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back to the Real World

After being able to enjoy such a relaxing time with my family for so long it was really hard going back to the real world. I didn’t want to go back to work or have school start soon. I wanted to just stay and play with my family and not worry about the real world. But alas, that wasn’t possible and so back to the real world I went. Luckily we all had to go back to the real world at the same time and I think that made things easier. I can’t wait until next time though that we all get to hang out and play.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Family Photos

Since we hadn’t done family photos for a long time and all of us were in the same place at the same time, we decided it was time to do family photos again. I might be weird but I love doing family photos. This year we went to Cooper farms and took pictures on various pieces of equipment and with various backdrops. It was fun to pose people on tractors and against wooden barn walls. I am so glad that we took advantage of this opportunity! There were too many to post them all but I have posted some of my favorites. Melissa is the inspiration for the candy cane pictures. She saw a cute picture of a couple kissing and holding out candy canes in front of their faces in a heart-shape and we tried to copy them. Of course that just ended in silliness and us playing with our candy canes. This is only a fraction of the photos but these are some that I have edited and just go so show how crazy my family can be! ENJOY! Silliness with candy canes
Marc and I being trapped
The classic posed with Jorden of us "sucking our thumbs"
I can't wait to finish editing the rest!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unique Christmas Presents

As it was a homemade Christmas this year, all of the presents were unique and we tried to be thoughtful with them. The Dad’s received ties that were sewn together and filled with reasons why we loved them. Marc wrote the list for his Dad and I wrote the list for mine. The Mom’s were given scarfs and this was one present that wasn’t quite finished in time. I promise that one day my Mom will receive her scarf and it will be to her exact specifications :) Eric received the only store bought present and loved his chess board that could magnetically move the pieces. It makes it so that Eric can play against a computer but still use a real chess board. It is quite a nifty thing. Melissa received frames that had pictures of the two of us and said “Forever Friends, Always Sisters” in scrabble letters around the frame. G.T. received a clock inspired by a talk from the October 2011 conference. Aunt Gerry, Victoria, and Stephanie received scarfs as well. At least Aunt Gerry will receive hers when I finally finish it, another present that wasn’t quite done in time. Marc received a hollow book that had 111 reasons why I love him on playing cards. Mikkel received several wallets so that the next time he comes to visit he has several to lose without not having a wallet anymore. All of Mikkel’s wallets were made by Marc and are the inspiration for his duct tape wallets that he has sold to coworkers and online. The Kiddos received some unique versions of the game “Guess Who” and also had a unique book made in their honor. Each child had a book filled with pictures of them and them with other people in the family. They turned out really well and I was so excited to be able to give them to them after working on them for months!

Christmas was an interesting day because it fell on a Sunday. We all got up and saw what Santa had brought. Like usual, Santa had spoiled us all rotten! We then got ready for church and went to Sacrament meeting as a family. After Sacrament meeting we returned home and prepared for what would be the marathon of Christmas opening. With 15 people on Christmas it took a long time to open all of the presents but it was a fun day filled with love and cheer.

I really was so thankful for how special this Christmas was. Having Melissa and her family back for the holidays and being able to give thoughtful gifts made all the difference in the world. This will definitely be one of my favorite Christmas to look back on and I sure will be a fond memory in the future. Thank you all for making it such a wonderful experience!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Staying Up Christmas Eve

Though I had worked really hard to have all of the Christmas presents done by Christmas, I just wasn’t quite going to make it. On Christmas Eve, I stayed up really late trying to get everything finished. I was so thankful for everyone who stayed up with me, despite the jet-lag or the long day at work. With their help I was able to almost get all of the Christmas presents finished and wrapped for Christmas morning. Thank you all! It meant the world to me to have the presents done in time for Christmas. This next year we are starting on Christmas way in advance and there will be no more of this last minute nonsense! At least that is the goal…

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kaelen’s Birthday

One thing for sure is that our family wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Kaelen. He is such a special boy and one that means the world to me. I was so glad that we got to celebrate Kaelen’s birthday together when they were here visiting!

One of my favorite things about Kaelen is how unique he is. Kaelen is constantly making me laugh with how he sees the world. He was insistent that he had a circular pink cake this year for his birthday and so they make him a large cupcake. Cambree did an awesome job of frosting it and is definitely a natural in the kitchen! Kaelen also had dirt cake for his birthday and won the prize of having 4 gummy worms in his bowl. He kept us laughing as he said he was turning two while holding up one finger and with all of his other random statements.

This is a boy that I am eternally grateful for. Thank you Kaelen for being a part of our family and keeping us laughing and on our toes. You make sure that life is never boring or that we aren’t constantly being entertained. I hope that you stay the energetic, full-of-life, little boy that you are now and I know that one day you will grow up to be an amazing man. I sure love you buddy, Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Family Christmas Party in the Valley

After the temple trip the family got together in the valley for our yearly Christmas get-together. I love getting to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins and really wish that I got to see them more often. There was good food, good conversation, and memories made. We exchanged family ornaments and had a mix-up because we weren’t all using the same list. It was a funny experience as well tried to figure out who had who and what the cycle would be, etc. Chance was pretty special because both Jennifer and I had gotten ornaments for him! Later each of the girls received a home-made apron. This was an apron like the one that past generations had used to collect nuts with. It was such a special moment to see that history in our family was still alive and well. And that it is through remembering where we came from that we are able to become the people that we weren’t meant to be. Thanks Aunt Gerry for such an awesome present and all that it represents!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Going To The Temple

When Melissa came home for Christmas, one of the things she really wanted to do was go to the temple. We decided that on December 23rd we would all go the temple and invite any other family members or friends to meet us there. I haven’t gone through a temple session with Melissa since my wedding almost 2 years ago. I loved being there with her and the rest of my family. Melissa and Chris were running late from running some errands around town and then Melissa and the changing room stall seemed to get into a disagreement and so she was running extra late. We decided that even though we were supposed to all meet for a certain session that if Melissa and Chris weren’t there yet that we would wait for them rather than going through. At the last possible moment Melissa came into the room and we were able to go through the session as a family. It was such a neat experience to remember that we are eternal families and that we are on this earth to learn how to live as eternal families. Each member of our families plays a special role and our lives wouldn’t be complete without each member. Just as it wouldn’t have been complete without Melissa there will us as well. I am so grateful that we took that opportunity to be there as a family and to gain that eternal perspective again. We will have to make this a family tradition every time Melissa comes to town!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oops... the Dogs Have to Come

One of the many complications in our lives is our beloved dogs. The cats can be left alone with enough food and water but the dogs can't. They need to be checked up on and taken care of. I knew that with Christmas coming that we would need someone to watch our dogs. We had it all planned out and then at the last moment our plan didn't work. It was late enough in the scheduling that we couldn't find someone else because Max wouldn't have let them in our house to take care of him. So I called my parents and asked if the dogs could come too. They were awesome and said that they could come. I knew that there were some allergies and that my Mom HATED how much Max sheds and so to show our gratitude we even got Max groomed to help everyone out. I wish that it hadn't been such a big deal and that we didn't have to cause such an inconvenience but I was so appreciative of everyone making the best of it! And the kids must have enjoyed meeting them because every time I talk to them now they ask how the dogs are.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Going Back to Work While Everyone Else Plays :(

The one problem with having a real job and having to be an adult is actually having to go to work. My parents had the week off that Melissa was in town and so they all got to play all week long. They went to the movies and I went to work. They went to the park and I worked. They played games and I worked. They went on dates and I worked. Can I just say that I love my job but when the rest of my family is playing, I totally want to be playing too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sleeping With Rugrats

One of the things that I have always loved about being with Melissa's kids is that we always have a big sleepover and end up all sharing a bed. This trip was no exception! The only thing I didn't count on was the jet lag that the kids would face. Kaelen and I became even closer buds when we were up chatting at 3 A.M. Really he was chatting and I was saying, “Kaelen we can't get up until the sun is up.” “Kaelen, we have to be quiet so we don't wake the other kids up.” “Kaelen come lay by me.” I must say even with the restless nights it was still totally worth it to be back with my kiddos again. I have missed them all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

This is one of our famous escapades on my bed:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Caroling with the Family

One of my family's Christmas traditions is caroling each year. This is Melissa's favorite tradition and we definitely make sure that we do it each year she is home. This year was no exception. We all piled into cars and drove to families around town, singing off key. We have had the same group of families over the years and I am so grateful that we get to visit them at this time of year. We did miss getting to sing to Sister Blair this year and that was definitely sad but we did get to see the Kildoos. I can remember meeting them when I was just a little kid and they have been such a special part in my life. As they are getting older in years, I always worry that there won't be another Christmas. We always say that Santa can't come until we have visited the Kildoos. They are such a highlight to our Christmas and I don't know what we will do when we can't carol to them anymore. We finished off the night by coming home and drinking hot spice tea. I love Christmas! I love being able to be with my family and share in our traditions that we all hold so dear. I just wish Marc hadn't needed to work that night so he could have been with us. There is always next year!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Melissa is here!

I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to have Melissa and her family back in the states. We all drove down to the airport and the family had made giant welcome banners. We ate good food and just enjoyed being around each other. It had been WAY TOO LONG since I had seen them and it was unreal to be with them again. The next week is going to be WAY TOO SHORT! I will just have to try and make the most of every moment that I have with them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crashing the Spanish Branch

So remember my pass along card story? Well the person who gave me that card came back into the library. I wanted to make sure that things weren't going to be awkward and so I tried to be as friendly as possible. We talked and I found out that she actually attended the Spanish Branch here in Flagstaff. Apparently when her family moved here they just decided that was where they wanted to be. Anyway, she then invited me to their Christmas party that was going to be that night. I went and it was the coolest Christmas party ever! They had the best food, including homemade tamales, the coolest musical instruments, there was a harp!, and they even had pinatas! It was so fun to get to know everyone there better and I felt so welcomed. That is after everyone got used to the random gringo crashing their party. I also got to see my Dad's old mission companion because he is the Bishop for the Branch. It is such a small world! But seriously, I can't wait to do something with them again!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Sleeping!

So remember the cat toys that Kiara opened? Well the cats have LOVED them. They never play with any toys that I have ever bought them but they are addicted to these. There favorite toy to play with is this one:

It is a hard plastic case that has a smaller ball inside. The best thing about this present though is all the noise it makes when the cats bat it around in the bathroom. It echoes so very well and the cats just go nuts. The only problem is that they like to play with in at about 3 A.M. I can't wait for this little toy to just disappear and for my sleep to be peaceful again!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ASL Interpreting

Though I really enjoyed my ASL class this last semester, I always felt a little behind these other students. I haven't been studying for nearly as long as they have and I don't feel as fluent as they seem to be. The program that I am currently in doesn't have a lot of students and is still a very new program. In fact the first graduating class is planned to be Spring of 2013. I just knew that since I was so far behind that I didn't stand a chance of graduating with the rest of them! Since I knew I wasn't ready for these classes I didn't sign up for the interpreting class for this next semester. When my fellow students found out about this they were quick to tell me how wrong I was. They pointed out that I had just taken a class taught solely in ASL and didn't even have to take the final because I had an A in the class. They pointed out that I had to interview to get into the class I was in now and the head of the department obviously thought I signed as well as the rest of them. After some convincing and meeting with the head of the department again, I will hopefully be joining that first graduating class! I start my first interpreting class soon and I must say that I am a little nervous. Thankfully they start us in baby steps and this is just that first step. Wish me luck! I am going to need it :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

ASL Final

With finals coming up I was particularly nervous with my ASL final. This was a linguistic ASL class and the whole class was devoted to learning all of the different grammatical parts of ASL. We had to watch videos for our homework and find various parts of speech in these movies. I would watch these movies over and over and over and over and over and over and still not have the slightest clue what they were talking about. I could pick out enough to do well on the homework but my comprehension was really bad on these videos. I knew that our final was going to be the same set up and I was freaked out!

Each week as we would discuss the upcoming final I would ask a series of questions?
Is the final video as hard to understand as the DVD for the homework?
Okay but is it going to be hard for me to understand or for you to understand? (My teacher was Deaf and didn't seem to think that our DVD was all that hard to understand)
Do we only get to watch it once or can we watch it over and over and over again?
How long do we have to find these things?
How hard did they find this final last semester?

After answering these questions several times she seemed to get the hint that I was freaked out about her final. It was finally time to take the final. I knew that I had studied as hard as I could and would just have to hope that it was enough. My teacher approached me before the final started and told me that I currently had a 92% in her class. I told her that that was okay and thanked her for letting me see that. I then began to calculate what grade I would have to get on my final to still get an A in the class. My teacher seemed to notice that I had understood her wrong and she told me, “No!”. “No, what?” I asked back. She then explained that if I didn't take the final at all that I would have a 92% in the class. After understanding that a 92% was the lowest grade that I could get in her class, I sat back enjoyed my final and got a 95.5% on it! Let me just say that I worked hard for that A and am so very proud of it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Opiate Drugs or Cookie Dough

So every once in a while Marc and I will play Wheel of Fortune on our Wii. Usually I make it so that we aren't really playing against each other though we have two players. This helps me on my stats and it makes it so that the puzzles are easier to solve. In this particular game I was trying to win the big money and Marc wanted to win all of the mini-games. We had gotten through all of the mini-games and were on the last one when we got to this puzzle. The category was “Around the House” and this was all they gave us to guess from:

__ __ __ __ __ E D __ __ G __

Marc and I were completely stumped! In fact we started using crossword puzzle helps on the internet and were searching and searching and searching. The only thing that we seemed to be able to fit for the last word was DRUGS. So we then proceeded to think about different types of drugs. I thought that I had struck gold as I announced, “It's OPIATE DRUGS!” Marc quickly agreed and we typed it in. Marc didn't end up winning all of the mini-games that round because though opiate drugs might be common around some households but COOKIE DOUGH is probably a little more common.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Cat’s Christmas

In an attempt to have our Christmas presents still be in one piece on Christmas we hid them in a bedroom in our house and locked the cats out. I knew that if the cats ever found them that they would be opened in an instant! One day I had to enter the locked bedroom and Kiara followed me in. Since she is the best behaved of the cats I didn't think much of it. I could hear her climbing in the bag with the presents but everything still sounded okay to me. As I went to leave I had discovered that she had opened a present! Not only had she opened a present but she had opened her present! She had found a bag of cat toys that the Dennis family had given to us and was now trying to get the balls out of their wrapper. I started laughing and took her and her present out the room. I wanted to take a picture of her present opening when Carmel started to bite into the present. I told Marc that when I told this story it would be Carmel who was the culprit and not Kiara since he was the one in the photos. I guess my conscious got the better of me but here are the photos from their Christmas present opening.

All right, I caught Kiara on film too....