To one of my bestest friends...

One of my best friends I've made here in Seattle has packed up her moving truck today and I am very sad to see her go. Her lovely family was truly an answer to prayer when we moved up here. I felt so comfortable around Jeanie from the beginning and I'm sad she's moving because it's just hard to come by friends like her. I loved having a friend whose house I could just go to for no apparent reason, just because I wanted to get out of mine for a while. Even if she was busy, she didn't care if I just lounged around. And every time we invited them over--or vice versa, she had cookies. Oh they are delicious cookies. Richard likes that Jeanie is a graphic designer and could give her genuine feedback on his work. Here is a link to The Paper Nut, her own business. It is some pretty neat stuff.

It's also pretty cool that her daughter is just two weeks older than Michael too. They got along great. It has been a blast watching the two of them play and learn things at a similar pace. They are SO adorable. Here's Jewell as I first remember her--look at that hairless head!
This photo was last Tuesday.
Now she has these beautiful red curls. And that is my friend on the left. :)
Anyway, I know that change will always come. But sometimes I don't like change. We just might have to move south to be their neighbors when Richard is done with school. Bye Travis, Jeanie, and Jewell!!! See you later!


When I grow up...

1993-Christmas Family Picture
I was an imaginative child. I had over 50 imaginary students that I would teach. I also had 8 imaginary children of my own, and an imaginary prince-husband named Michael (no I did not purposely name my son after him). As a child, I was a perfect mother. I wrote this reminder note to myself in 1994 titled, "When I grow up I will..." I vaguely remember the circumstances surrounding the authoring of it, but at the moment I must've felt like I wasn't getting what I wanted-however, 15 years later it has made quite the hilarious read.

When I grow up I will...
get treats from the store for my children, let them play most of the time and let them work a little, I'll let my children do a little bit of things they want to do, have them do a little bit of chores, sew them cloths, have them have days to go places with me, take them to the park, take them swiming, go to the zoo, take them to grandmas house, go to Disninyland, go to the movies, give them good presnets on their Birthdays and on Christmas, say yes on most of the things they ask or tell me about, take them to the dendest, get donets, cakes, and cookies, read them goodnight stories, teach them about Jesus, never ground them, take them to pizza hut, take them to restronst, let them have anything they want for brefest, lunch and dinner, take them to the beach, get them a subprises, how much they work I will give them money.
1993-sister Suzy and I
I then continued by writing a list of presents I plan to get for my daughters and me, and another of gifts for my "husbin" and sons. Some of the highlights include:
Play turtles, rockie talkies, mabie a new pet, bing bag, flashlights, glass things, crayons and papper, clipboards, and new jornal.

Let me tell you-I am very grateful my mom saved these and put them in my scrapbook. =) Life can't get any better than just being a kid. What are some of the things you dreamed up as a child?


Doing the Dishes

It's amazing to me how sometimes I really have to summon up enough motivation and courage to dig into the pile of dishes in my sink and just wash them clean. Yes, we have a dishwasher, but there are a few select dishes (nonstick pots and pans and nice knives) that I prefer to hand wash. I think all my pots and pans, and every knife except two were piled up waiting for their bath since Saturday. I never got to them. Then on Sunday, I justified leaving them as they were because Sunday is "a day of rest".

When we first moved here, I was entirely impressed with how clean our apartment building was--inside and out. We have a huge white counter top with plenty of space. Like I mentioned in one of my first posts while living here, I made it a goal to try to keep this huge counter space clean of clutter. How well do you think I'm doing?
Haha, yes, that is how that counter top looks this very second. Well, that goal still lingers in the back of my mind and it's motivating from time to time.

During my last semester at BYU-Idaho, I had learned a thing or two about sharing an apartment with roommates.
Thing #1: I don't need to bring up my own pots and pans, because roommates will provide.
Thing #2: Roommates tend to argue when somebody uses their dishes without cleaning up afterwards.
I figured out how to make the best of both worlds. I packed for myself one plate, one glass, one piece of each silverware, and a bowl. Next, I made it a personal rule to wash my dishes, and any of the pans I borrowed immediately after use! That meant, if I ate a bowl of cereal five minutes before class started I had to wash those dishes before I went to class. I even bought my own sponge, because I hate stinky sponges, and roommates don't always know how to ring out a sponge after use. The benefit of that is that I was tall enough to hide my sponge on top of the cupboard and none of my roommates ever knew it was there.

Well needless to say, my final semester in Idaho was the messiest yet. I was highly disgusted with how the dishes piled up, but I felt free because I had been keeping my own rule everyday. One day, someone requested a "roommate meeting" about the dishes--the girls get together, "talk everything out" emotions run high, and everyone tries to compromise on their responsibilities.

It was the greatest feeling to approach this meeting by asking the first three questions:
Question: Have I contributed to any of those dirty dishes in the kitchen right now?
Response: No
Question: Do any of you have issues with the way I treat your things?
Response: No
Question: Do I really need to be involved in this "meeting?"
Response: Nope, guess not.
I walked out right after with permission and respect, and dodged the drama that ensued.

I am grateful to have married Richard who shares a similar standard of cleanliness as me. We have a small system set up where he'll empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher and generally wash the knives. Nevertheless, doing the dishes is a never-ending job. It amazes me how I'll let a whole weekend fly by, hoping they will magically get done.
But look closely at that picture. Do you see any pots or pans in the sink? I think not! You see, today, I finally rolled up my sleeves-pulled out my new dishrags and scrubbed my beloved pots and pans clean. And do you know what? It took me all of ten minutes.

Ten Minutes!

That's about a 3rd of the time it spent me to write this blog post. I guess it's time to go finish the job.
Times up!


Everything is a phone nowadays

Shh, I'm on a business call.


Apples & Such

"Such" is such a weird word. Yet, I unknowingly realized I used that word twice in that last sentence. It just comes out. Seriously, how many times do you say "such" in your conversations?

I have to teach a lesson on Sunday. I hate feeling ill-prepared. Yet, I feel exhausted thinking about planning it.

I feel exhausted, period. I have been working many more hours than usual this month--which is fantastic, but I'm definitely feeling tired at the end of the day. We are so fortunate to have friends that help us out with babysitting too (as sometimes schedules clash for Richard and I) Thanks a billion, friends!!! Also, Richard got asked to do a tutoring job for an interior design class for the entire semester to help them with different design programs. That's a sweet tender mercy to keep us going....

...living in the moment.

I just bought 30 apples, because they are on sale for 58cents/lb right now. I'm planning on making some cinnamon apples, applesauce, and a little bit of apple butter. This will hopefully work out better than our last apple experiment--that left a permanent stain in our carpet from the blender lid exploding out from under my hand. Whoops.


Balloon 2!

-Michael loves balloons. Evidence of his first interaction was posted here. It's funny how he still hasn't really caught on to look UP! Whenever the balloon goes above his head, he spins in circles looking for it.
-And speaking of "UP" (which we just love that movie), Richard has an app on his I-Phone where you try to pop as many balloons on the "UP" house as you can in a certain amount of time. Michael always gives this *gasp* when the main screen pops up. He likes that game.
-And speaking of phones, Michael loves pretending everything is a phone and will make his cute little noises while holding it up to his ear. He's recently used a calculator, and today his sippy cup was the phone.
-And continuing my thoughts on phones, do you remember the game "telephone"? You make a line of people and whisper something in the first ear, and pass it down the line and see what you come up with. I LOVE that game, however, I don't recall playing it as an adult. Too bad. Maybe I'll set up a game of telephone with the YW just for the fun of it. :)
-Oh yeah, see that blanket in the background. Thanks Karen and Reid. When they came up to visit, they brought up our Christmas presents. I've done really well at not opening ALL of them, yet.... I just can't take it!



1010 is my favorite number. Therefore, today should be my favorite day of the year. Next year, will be even better. (10/10/2010). In fact, I just may have a party next year and if you're reading this, you are invited.

I was much younger than I am now, probably ten years old, when I was writing out a tithing slip for $10.10. At that point in my life, it was the greatest amount of tithing I had ever paid. (I must've been making bank!) :) And ever since then, I had claimed "1010" as my favorite number.

Apparently that moment was so significant in my life that it has been ingrained in my memory. So much that I can even remember where I was sitting when I was writing out the tithing slip.

Just thought I'd share.


Walking the Dog

Yes, there is a new addition to our family thanks to our dear neighbors. Michael likes to walk, feed, and pet his doggy.


Donuts, TP rolls, and playtime

Caught You!

We'll sound the trumpet via a TP roll!
Michael saying "where is it?"


Conference Continued...

I love how conference just answers every question. I thoroughly enjoyed the meetings today. I kept a paper by me because various thoughts kept coming and I thought, "Oh, I'll remember that..." but then I only one talk later I had forgotten. So, having that paper and pen was helpful.

I love how densely the spirit seemed to fill our apartment as we listened to the talks. It's like I just recognized that this is how my home felt growing up. At conference time, every radio and TV was turned so you could hear the leader's voices no matter where you were. At times I wouldn't be home during the Saturday session, but would come home in the middle of it, and just walking in the front door you just felt the spiritual nature of the home embrace you.

Of course, Richard and I were utterly silent as Elder Holland spoke during this final session, but Brother (was it?) Renlund's talk on Change of Heart was really motivating to me. Also thoroughly enjoyed Elder Oaks talk on Power of Law and Love. See, I forget so quickly! Time to rewatch!

Anyway, what story or talk really resonated with you? I'd love to hear!


Thoughts that came as I typed them

I am really happy with I get something in the mail. Mail time is one of my favorite times of the day. Seriously.

I have just worked 4 straight full days. 2 night shifts, and two day shifts. I am looking forward to a great paycheck. But, not only that, I have just enjoyed the majority of the time working. Some customers are out of control, but some are just so awesome. And, I just like being a nice person--or do I? (Richard may say otherwise).

In lieu of Elder Hale's talk today, I thought about what I want to be remembered by: I didn't live my life because I wanted to be a nice person. Or just served and tried make others feel happy and/or important. I lived my life this way because I know God lives.

Now, I just need to perfect this in my own family relations. Maybe I'm just super nice to customers (even if they aren't towards me), because if I'm not-I might get fired. Maybe I try to serve others because it instills a greater happiness and fulfillment in myself. Service has a way of doing that. But what about with my own husband? Is it because I'm around him everyday and have high expectations of him that I can lose my "professional" guard and not be as kind? I'm definitely not worried about being fired by him.

So is it real? How can I become who I want to become 100% of the time not just when there are consequences to my attitude? Does that make sense? Probably not. Like I said, I'm just typing it as it comes. (A glimpse into how my journal looks).

PPS--Richard and I are taking part in this program called Loving Couples, Loving Children. It's a program by Dr. Gottman from the University of Washington who has basically devoted years of study to marriage relations and how healthy marriage relations foster stabler relationships for children as well. Most of us already knew this--but this guy studies it. So, for the next 12 weeks, we are joining with 11 other couples in group discussions and exercises to help fortify our marriage and provide feedback. I am way excited. Our first group was pretty awesome. And, they also have additional classes they offer outside of the group discussion with incentives (raffles, gift cards, etc...) Anyway, this was not meant to be a plug for the program, BUT, if you live in the Seattle area--check out their website. It just has a little bit of info. They are enrolling people for the next three months only. And even if you just go in for the initial visit to see if you would make it in to the 12 week program-they'll give you a $60 gift card.