Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Memories!

 So I've had some pictures burning a metophorical hole in my computer.  For pretty much exactly a year.

This was my best decoration.  It was a left over from my sister Melanie's cute baby shower but it actually came from my backyard and it made a perfect spooky halloween centerpiece!

                                                    Love the spiders!

 These are from our second annual Pumpkin Carving party last year. We had about 22 friends over for dinner and festivities

One of the reasons this is such an important tradition to me is that it's one time a year I am guaranteed Indian Fry Bread.  This is a big deal.

And of course Molly Made an appearance for a while :)

And made new friends!

She loves to give mom hugs.

Thanks to our friend Michelle we had a projection screen to watch Hocus Pocus on.

I don't know how I let him grow his hair this long.  I'm not this nice anymore!

Notice the beautiful and only slightly dangerous centerpieces Brent crafted from our lamps and various dead grass in our yard.

Overall it was a great night!  Although it did get VERY cold! We got every blanket we own out including, if I remember right, our comforter off our bed to give to people.  Nobody freezes at the Houston Home!

And of course on Halloween night we *try* to make donuts.  These were cake like and they were pretty gross.  Can you tell?  We also watched the original Dracula movie.  It was weird, not gonna lie.

We went for our own designs this(last) year.  Yeah we are artistic like that.

So We're doing it all again in like a week!  The Houston 3rd annual halloween party is a go!  If you're reading this, and you want to come, come!  You've been officially invited!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Magic of Fall

Here's to my second weekly post in a row!  Thank you, thank you!

Not very much to report this week.  But I'm sure that will change soon enough :)

Last Sunday night Brent taught me the card game Magic.  Very nerdy, very fun, kind of hard. Basically I agreed to this because it is something he enjoys and it's good to do stuff like that together I guess?  But I actually had fun.  Not omg-we-we-should-play-this-all-the-time fun, but maybe yeah-we-could-play-this-again-someday fun.  Big difference.  Plus I know he was going easy on me and in all honesty I'm terrified of playing him for real.

Took a quick weekend trip up to the valley to see family which was of course very fun.  A little rushed as always but totally worth it.

Love this time of year, especially in Tucson you can already see the little changes in the seasons that must be invisible to anyone looking for changing leaves and cooler weather.  But the fact that at night it cools off significantly and the wind seems to be much more active.  And the air just smells clean.  The promise of fall weather is so exciting and I completely love it!

And really, that is all I can say today!  See, not much.  I'm sure there will be better posts eventually, y'all just have to bear with me!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy New Year!

Following the example of a certain friend, and bowing to the request of another friend, I have decided to give this another try.  The plan?  Blog every Sunday.  Write something, anything about our life together and what's going on.  Stick with it.  Start your finger crossing everyone, I know how big of a stretch this plan is for me.

But what is going on here in my little world?  Well I'll just recap a little.

-Brent worked like crazy this week.  Full time school M-Th,  8 hours of rotation on Friday plus 30 hours at work this week.  Poor guy worked his buns off.  So grateful to have him.

-I had tons of fun at a baby shower for my friend Brooke.  We had great food and decorated onsies for her little boy who should be here within a week or two.

-I successfully attempted delicious spinach and artichoke dip for Brooke's shower.  GO ME.  I can follow directions!

- Forgot that we had an appointment to feed the missionaries!  Whipped up a meal for them quickly,  not my best ever, but hey, they got to eat.(sorry elders!) P.S. in my defense they usually call the night before as a reminder and they didn't call until the afternoon of the very day, which was Sunday!

-Spent great quality time with my friend Janie and her little new man.  So glad they're back down here with us!

  So that's pretty much the week for me.  Now for a little baby watch update:

As Brent and I are still TTC (2+ years and counting people!)  I go back and forth on how mentally involved I let myself get.  I know that sounds weird but for about a year I basically pretended that we just weren't trying.  It actually helps not to break your heart every month.

Well, lately we've been gearing up and trying again, and at this point  I've decided to go all the way, I mean I'm willing to read anything, try (just about) anything and talk to anyone to get this baby made.

   I even have the proof, it's on my dresser.  In book form.  About two years ago I was referred to the book Take Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler, but honestly at that point I was like, "No thanks, we've got this covered."  Truth is it sounded weird.  I mean, the title just seemed a little... like a pamphlet at the doctors office.  Plus awkward lady stuff.  I know, sound childish, but be honest with yourself, you probably don't want to read a book about your lady stuff either (and yes, apparently your fertility is your lady stuff).

*If this is already uncomfortable, you have my permission to be done right here and pretend you never read this.  Otherwise, get ready, cause we're gonna get REAL.

 *(even if you continue, you may choose to pretend you never read this.  Especially if we ever make eye contact).

So when I found out what  TCOYF discussed, stuff like mucus(gross) and  cervix checking(triple gross) I politely said HECK NO. See I just said cervix. This is totally real.

Which is silly because I know that even a healthy normal pregnancy requires multiple strangers all up in there and you basically have to get used to that anyways.

So slowly and quietly I have been gearing up to reading this book that I basically told myself I didn't want to touch with a ten foot pole.  I started following a few fertility blogs.  I even got an app for my Kindle called Lady Timer.  hehee ladytimer...

Yes, I know I'm like ten years old, get over it.

So I finally decided to bite the bullet.  I had seen references to it too many times to avoid reading this thing any longer.  It is basically like the get-knocked up bible.  I say bible, because A, it carries invaluable information that will change your life, and B it's freakin HUGE.  Like a text book.  With multiple appendices.

I was so stoked when I found it at Bookmans and got to use a credit we had there! (See, look at me growing!)

And because I'm basically in that least-best part of each month, when I can't do anything but wait, I dove right in.  Something to know about me,  when I decide to read a book I don't mess around.  No kidding, I read the dedication to the glossary. And in two days, I'm half way through my "light reading."  I've learned a ton.

No, I'm not gonna tell you what I learned!  You didn't think I was gonna actually talk about mucus did you? Triple gross.

But seriously It has been so great.  Enlightening, helpful and I finally feel like I can answer some of the questions I've had for months. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone.  It's useful and empowering, no matter if you're trying to conceive or absolutely avoid it.

Now who knows what the future of our little family will be, but anything that makes the journey a little less confusing I will gladly take!

and that makes blog post number one of 2012.  Welcome to the New Year folks!


*to be clear, since the beginning of our TTC journey, we have been tracking and timing.  But basically with poor information and as little work as possible. I'm not a complete dum dum.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Way 6: Speak

Tell the story, share what you know!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The 5th Way of Christmas

Since we were children and Christmas brought visions of Santa's Elves and unwrapping piles of presents our parents have been trying to teach us one thing.  Christmas is not about receiving, it's about giving.  Well not today.

Today is all about receiving.

Receiving is an important part of life and we must all learn to do it with grace.  And it doesn't just mean to gain or to get.  Receiving is an active gesture that denotes acceptance and change.  We receive the Holy Ghost.  We are asked to receive each other in Romans 15:7 and of course we must receive the gift of the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ.

This year I have learned about a different kind of receiving.

A few days ago I wrote about losing our Christmas money and how that was a faith building day for me.  I learned that gratitude is always important, even and especially in those hard times.

Before posting it I asked Brent to read it and make sure I didn't sound whiny or like I was asking for a handout.  We have some very generous family and Brent doesn't even like birthday presents.  I simply wanted to write what I had learned.

He gave me the proverbial "thumbs up" so I posted it.

Because of that very generous family I mentioned (and someone anonymous)  we have learned the art of receiving.  Tonight we looked at the unexpected gifts and before we could feel guilty I said, we need to say some gratitude prayers tonight.  And I promise, we will.

We have had so much help through our lives both before and after marriage and someday, we will get to be on the other side of the story!  I can't wait for that day!  But for now we are learning to receive with humility, gratitude and grace.

We may be given temporal aid or gifts, we may be offered love and support, we may even be offered forgiveness.  My hope is that we each have the courage to receive, full heartedly that which is extended to each of us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Way 4: Influence

According to my "To Do" list, I was supposed to have written this entry yesterday.  But sometimes my mind needs time to wrap itself around an idea before I can put it down.

The idea of influence is, for me, a bit daunting.  It's one of those subjects that seems so obvious, so far reaching and yet so confined.  You may not know what I mean, and if not, I can't help you.  I just feel this way about certain things, especially when asked to teach or write about them.

Just yesterday I called a good friend and left her a voice mail to make her laugh.  Interestingly it was full of phrases and tone that about 3 years ago would have sounded like someone else.  You know who?  My husband.

 Even though we have been friends for more than 7 years, in the 2.5 years of married life he has influenced me the most.  I joke the same way he does now,  I watch anime, I even happily eat onions and nacho cheese.  I'm like a new person.  So when I asked him yesterday how I have influenced him guess what he said?

"You made me more patient."  Geez thanks honey.

The thing about influence is that it can be felt in many ways, It can be that we simply "rub off" on someone, or it can be extended by consistent positive example.  Of course influence can be felt negatively too.

Something else I would say about influence is that it may be large or small.  More importantly, the size and scope of our influence is not directly related to the amount of effort or time exhausted with someone.

The greatest personal proof I have of this is of a story when I lived in Utah for a summer about a year after graduating from High School.  It was my first time living away from home and my first shot at supporting myself.    Actually the summer was mostly boring and lame but for a fun job and a couple family members who lived nearby (and one pretty awesome friend).

I went grocery shopping, and must have gone when I was hungry because I remember filling my cart with things I didn't need.  So when I arrived at the register and figured out that I didn't actually have the money for everything, I started pointing out things I didn't need.  Then the person behind me interrupted and asked to pay for everything I didn't have the money for.  I wish I could remember anything about this person, but to be honest I can't even remember if it was a man or a woman.  After all my interaction with them was about 90 seconds worth.

 I tried to decline, explaining it wasn't a big deal.  However This person went on to explain that once, someone helped them get through a rough time in a similar way and they had always wanted to do the same.  Suddenly my groceries became an important way for this person to pay it forward.  And now I was included in a line of people who had been helped and gone on to help others.  I felt an important responsibility to keep the line going.

And I have.  At various times in various places I have found ways to give to someone in need.  And every single time I think of that stranger in a grocery store.  They influenced me more than ninety seconds worth.

David O. Mckay said once, "There is no responsibility that no one can evade.  That is the effect of one's personal influence."

So why is influence a way of Christmas?  Because too many people are grumpy and rude this time of year.  Trust me on this one, I work at the mall.  How powerful is one polite gesture, even one smile?  How can you spread Christmas cheer and influence the world around you?

Sorry, this isn't a Christmas video, but its an old favorite of mine that illustrates the point wonderfully!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Way 3: Serve

The order of these first few ways of Christmas is intentional.  As we have remembered and acknowledged our blessings, one of the first desires we have is to serve others.  That is why the third way of Christmas is Serve.

Many of us have awesome traditions of service during the holiday season.  Whether helping out at a homeless shelter or even caroling at a retirement home, there is so much we can all do!

Today is all about getting out there and doing something for someone that they can not do for themselves.  Although often mistaken for it, serving is not the same as giving.  Serving requires more than a desire and a means, it requires your time, your skills, it requires you.

So this week I was so excited when a few of my awesome friends in my ward organized us and we went caroling.  We all meet together for "Girls Night" every Tuesday and I love it when someone suggests that we get out and go serve.  Of course, we had to pick a night when it was wet and rainy!

But we really had a blast!  It was fun, we got to visit between stops and it was so fun to see the surprise and excitement in the eyes of some of the people we visited.  Many of them will probably spend the holidays alone, so I hope it brought them some extra cheer!

What have you done to be of service this season?  If you haven't yet, think of something!  There is still time before Christmas and there are so many creative ways to be of service.  In fact, I would love to hear some of your favorite ideas here as comments!