Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breaking point

I have almost reached my breaking point of not being able to handle any more bad things happening to us. Just when I was about to lose it...I read this article in the Ensign by Elder Holland.

This month has seriously sucked. I know that there are lots of people out there that have much worse situations than me, but a lot of crappy things have happened to us this month. It is so frustrating to keep doing what you think is right only for them to turn out not to be right. It just seems like nothing we try turns out to be the right thing even though you think it is and feel like it is. It makes me think, "What am I doing wrong?"

So then I read this article and Elder Holland says that sometimes crappy things happen even when you are being righteous. It doesn't mean you are unworthy of blessings or that God is disappointed in you.

I just needed to hear that and get some motivation to keep trying even when I seem to fail at everything I try. It doesn't mean I'm wrong. Thanks Elder Holland and the Ensign. Everyone should go read it right now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Out of the ordinary

I went with my friend Anne to the fair last weekend, and as always, it did not disappoint. The theme this year was very fitting. "Out of the Ordinary" it was! We saw the fair this year from a completely different viewpoint. I don't know whether it was because we parked in a different spot and went in a different entrance or because we went on a different day than we normally do, but it definately was out of the ordinary.

First of all, we saw these weird horse show things where the horses were carrying these little carts and people were dressed like they were from the 30s or something. It was quite interesting. Plus, on one of the rounds, the prize winning horse was being ridden by my old roommate's mom!

We did see the traditional butter cow. But this year they had a little scavenger hunt to find stuff in the butter sculpture. They did not, however, have a suggestion box so I could not make my traditional suggestion to sculpt a cow jumping over Delicate Arch for the butter cow.
Somehow we missed the prize-winning produce. Anyone know where they moved it?

There was a free Boyz II Men concert. It was HILARIOUS! Here is my best view of them. It brought me back to 7th grade.

We did not eat a navajo taco this year, but tried some Sanpete County BBQ turkey and an elephant ear. Yum! Anne even bought a blue ribbon recipe book. I'm excited to go to her house for dinner now so she can make me some fair food with her knife set.
We also went through the livestock section backwards, so we saw the cows first. We had a Kentucky repeat experience as we learned all about cow breeding. We decided that maybe those horse breeders had some stuff to learn from the cow breeders.
We saw these cute little piggies!
And we saw a goat fight. I've never heard that sound that a goat makes when it's fighting before, but it was pretty funny.

Here is Anne with a giant bull. I'm not sure if it was bigger than the world's largest steer though that we made Jeff's sister go see and take a picture of it for us that one year. We also saw this crazy shark show that was so funny.
I love the fair!

Sometimes you just need a fluffy pillow...

...and a stuffed rhino!

LIFE UPDATE: Matt is retaking the GRE. He did well, but he wants to see if he can do better so his application will be more competitive. He's taking it October 1st, and the department will make their decision on whether he gets into the program or not around mid-October. Pray for him to get accepted!!! We have no idea what Plan C will be if he doesn't get in to the program.

We are looking for a place to rent in Utah County. We're hoping to rent a townhouse or a house instead of an apartment. So if anyone knows of anything, let us know! We hope to move soon and be rid of this darn commute!

We got to see our friends Garrett and Hayley this weekend cuz our mutual friend, Nicole, from Hawaii was in town. It was a lot of fun to see them. Crazy that my roommate from Hawaii lived with Hayley after me and then our friend Garrett marries Hayley.

Our new little nephew is adorable. I got to see him this weekend and it was so fun.

Boo on the Mountain West last weekend. I'm so disappointed.

We're probably cancelling our Costa Rica trip since Matt is in school now. I'm sad, but I told Matt we had to go on a trip the week after Christmas to make up for it.

I think that's all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New addition

We have a new nephew! Derek Charlie Lively was born last Tuesday. A big congrats to Aaron and Britni and Big Brother Kyle. Hopefully they will be ready for visitors soon so we can meet him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plan B

So amidst all the crap that has been happening to us, we have a Plan B as far as Matt's job goes. He is going to go to grad school instead of getting a job. I had to do some major string pulling, but we got him in to BYU to start NOW! He started last Friday, and will be pursuing a masters degree in mechanical engineering. The conditions are that he has to officially apply to the department by next Tuesday, which means he also has to take the GRE by then. But in the meantime, we got him in as a non-degree seeking student so he can take classes in the program until he officially gets in (which apparently does not happen at BYU very often at all).

We feel extremely blessed that he will be able to do this, and that we were able to get him enrolled in graduate classes so quickly. It's crazy to think that within a matter of 10 days he was working and then all of a sudden he is going back to school.

Although he hates to admit that he is a student at "the school down south," it really is a great opportunity. He has met with several professors and is excited about the projects that he will be able to work on while he is here. He will be able to do exactly what he has been wanting to do in his career. Since he missed the first week of class, he is frantically trying to get caught up and get his application done...all while studying for the GRE. Yikes!

So it means that I will be staying at my job at BYU (yay!) and we will be moving to (gulp) Utah County. The best part is that because of some weird NAFTA contract his company signed years ago, we found out that he gets additional severance benefits which include FREE schooling (tuition, books, supplies) for two years PLUS unemployment benefits for two years (which is about 1/2 his salary that he was making).

It's nice to know that when one door closes, the Lord does open another. And hopefully the other crap will get better soon too. Yay for Plan B!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When it rains it pours

As if Matt losing his job and us losing our house were not enough, we got dealt another big blow this weekend. Just one more thing that Matt was really excited about that now is not going to happen. It sucks when other people's choices and decisions affect you in ways that you have no control over and then you have to pick up the pieces and move on. It's really crazy how your life can get turned upside down in the matter of a week or two. I know we'll be fine, but I just hate seeing Matt so disappointed when the things he is excited about get taken away from him.

We do have a Plan B in the works as far as Matt's job goes. We'll find out today if it's really going to happen. I don't want to say anything about it though until we know for sure...I don't want to jinx it.

I do know that the Lord is watching out for us and that He really does have a plan in store for us. I just wish it didn't involve such hard times.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An abrupt change of plans

Last week we were scheduled to close on a house. Like any first-time home buyers, we were really excited and a little nervous. We had found an adorable, nice house that we both liked, and we felt good about moving in this direction. It was going to be farther away from my job, but closer to Matt's, and we really felt like this was the direction we were supposed to take. Things were happening so smoothly and everything was falling into place. Everything went through without any drama with the offer, the financing, etc. We were so excited to have a place of our own. We were all set to go and sign that big stack of papers last Thursday.

However, the Lord had a different plan for us. On Wednesday, Matt got laid off from his job.

We don't understand why we felt so good about buying that house throughout each step of the process all the way up until the very last step, but we feel extremely blessed that this happened when it did. If it had been even one day later we would have been in a real mess and stuck with a mortgage.

For some reason I feel like we were supposed to go through that entire house-buying process, but we weren't supposed to have that house and move. I don't get it, but the timing of this whole thing is really amazing to me, and I know the Lord is watching out for us. I don't know what He has in store for us, but I know He does have a plan for us.

I must admit though that it's frustrating having a plan that you feel good about and are excited about only to have it make a U-Turn and take you back to Square One without a plan or direction again. We have absolutely no idea what we are going to do. But we are blessed in that Matt got a fairly decent severance, we have a lot of savings, I still have a good job that is very secure, and I even got a very unexpected raise yesterday. We are able to stay in our apartment for the time being (which is good because we had already given them our move-out notice) until we decide what we are going to do next.

So please keep us in your prayers, and if you know of any mechanical engineering job opportunities, please let us know. We really are open to considering all options.

My little boy

Our ward recently had a pinewood derby where adults could participate with no rules. Matt was so excited. He thought about how he could make his car the fastest for like 3 weeks. He worked on it in the man room.

And in the kitchen. And the living room too. He even made three trips to the hobby store to buy different sized propellers. His plan was to put a little motor on it and a propeller to make it super speedy.

He even worked on it at the church! He had all the kids captivated by his "jet booster rocket car" as one kid called it. I missed getting a picture of all the kids who were surrounding him...at one point there were like 6 of them all gathered around staring in awe.

He had the adults captivated too.

They did a few testing things before the race actually started to make sure the car would fit under the finish line. The lady (who had a fe-mullet, by the way) that was running the track was very insistent that she would not let him race if it was too tall. The propeller ended up hitting the finish line, but it didn't do any damage...except to the fe-mullet lady who was mad and gave Matt a disapproving glance.

Anyway, all his hard work paid off. He won!!! He also won the least attractive car award, which was really funny.

It was fun watching him get so into his car design and have so much fun with it. And I'm glad he won.


This past weekend we did another half marathon. It was the Top of Utah 1/2 up in Cache Valley. It was awesome! Here we are on the bus to the start line looking very tired. That's what happens when you get up at the crack of dawn to run a race!

We decided to run this one when Caron decided she was going to run it in preparation for her Disney World 1/2 marathon in January. I never like running races by myself so I wanted to go run it with her. And I'm glad we did...it was beautiful! It was probably my favorite race course ever. And I got my best time ever. 2 hours and 29 minutes!

Matt and I ran together for the first couple of miles and then he took off. He finished 7 minutes ahead of me. Caron and I kind of tag teamed it the last half of the race. She would pass me then I would pass her, etc. The last 2 miles or so we pretty much stuck together. Anyway, it was a lot of fun.

We stopped by the temple to take a picture and then we had to get home so Matt could finish his pinewood derby car.

Fun times! And let me just say that this 1/2 marathon was actually enjoyable. I'm amazed at the endurance I still have from marathon training.

Feel the love

I love my students! And I especially love it when they bring me treats!