Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween preparations

I love's one of my favorite holidays. I've been slaving away making Matt's costume all week. I just need to put it all together now. And I need to find some yellow shoes for mine. And last night my sisters and Anne were all over at my house getting their costumes fun! I love pulling out my costume box. :)

Hopefully all our costumes will turn out as great as I am imagining in my head!

P.S. I have a goal to run 500 miles by the end of the year. And I have another goal to survive until Thanksgiving break when I will get THREE lovely days off. Hopefully I will make it.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I found out this week that I'm pretty much never going to get a raise at my job besides the annual 3% inflation increase. Not even when I get my masters. This sucks! I just thought BYU would do better than that.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


My marathon training shoes are now going into retirement. I've run over 500 miles in them and they have been the greatest shoes EVER! But it's time to let them knees will thank me. Good-bye dear Brooks Defiance shoes, and thanks for all the good times. Bring on the Brooks Defiance 2's!


It was Homecoming this week. Since there are so many events (I think there were 11!) that our students put on, we have to split them all up. I was in charge of going to the Homecoming Dance at Thanksgiving Point. Somehow I talked Matt into dressing up and coming with me.

It was fun, and my students did a great job. As much as I love them, I think I've decided that next year, I'm inviting some friends as well so we will have some people to dance with. Anyone want to have a fun night out next fall?

They rented one of those photo booths and had a bunch of props so people could take funny pictures. What a fun idea!

Also, it was our last week at our ward on Sunday. It was kinda sad. But my 3 favorite people in the ward weren't even there. :( They are all under the age of 5. Hopefully our new ward will be great.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't ignore promptings

I am very much NOT into politics. I usually don't get involved at all. So I'm probably going to make a fool of myself for posting about this. But it has been on my mind, so I'm gonna write about it. Note: I don't fully have my thoughts collected on this issue, so I hope this makes sense.

I believe in the family. I believe in marriage. I believe that God created marriage to be between a man and a woman. I believe that God created families as the fundamental unit of society, and that as that fundamental unit is weakened, so is our society. I believe that one of the central parts of God's plan is for us to experience life in families and to "multiply and replenish the earth" by procreating and raising and teaching children.

I also believe in choice and agency.

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling prompted to think about what I would say if someone asked me, "Why is it such a big deal to Mormons for gay people to get married?" I felt like I should really look at this issue and be able to articulate my view on it, while being respectful to those who may have a different opinion than me.

A couple days later, Elder Oaks gave this talk that addressed some of these issues. I thought, wow, this is kinda weird that I've been thinking about this and then an apostle gives a talk about it a few days later. I read it, but I have to admit that I didn't research the issue fully and think about it like I felt I should.

Well in my Diversity in Higher Education class this week, this very issue came up. And I was NOT PREPARED! Shame on me. Seriously, this girl in my class asked this exact question, "So, I don't understand why some people feel threatened by gay marriage. It doesn't do them any physical harm, or harm their property, or even their rights and choices if I choose to marry a woman."

The subject was changed pretty quickly in class, but I felt like I should have been prepared to talk about it. And I wasn't. So I've been trying to become better prepared for when this comes up again. I've re-read Elder Oak's talk, studied the Proclamation on the Family, and also studied God's Creation of the world in both the books of Genesis and Moses, where God created Adam and Eve, formed them into a family, and gave them instructions on how to proceed.

I still don't know that I am fully prepared to articulate my views on the answer to that question, but I do know that God has a divine plan for us, who are his children. That plan involves forming families, living the law of chastity, and bringing children into this world within the bounds of marriage. I believe in following God's plan. And as long as I have the right to choose, I will choose to live God's plan by promoting the strengthening of the family as He designed it to be.

And I hope that next time this issue comes up, I will be better prepared to express my views.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three years in the making

Three years and one week ago my brother, Nathan, left on his mission. On that day he gave each of our family members different challenges to work on while he was gone. Things like getting married, going to college, completing a triathlon, etc. He didn't give me any. And I felt bad. Even though this is not true, I felt like he didn't give me any because he didn't think I could accomplish anything.
And when I saw this picture of me standing next to my sisters at the MTC when we dropped Nathan off, it didn't help much either.

It just made me feel like a big, fat, ugly, worthless person standing next to my young, pretty, skinny sisters who seemed to have a much better life than me since they had these challenges given to them. And so on that day I decided I was going to do something about it. I thought, I'm going to show him!

So I started getting serious about losing weight. I figured that had to be what my problem was. (Now I realize that it wasn't, it was my pathetic attitude that day that was the problem.) Anyway, it's been a long time in the making, but today I finally reached my weight loss goal. I'm still not as skinny as my sisters, but it doesn't matter anymore. I'm healthy and I'm not overweight. That is what matters.

I'll be honest, sometimes it still bugs me that my sisters (and a lot of other people I know) eat whatever they want and don't exercise and they're still thinner than me. But I'm probably a lot healthier and more fit than most of them.
Anyway, this is me today...45 pounds lighter, a marathon finisher, married, a triathlete, almost graduated with my masters degree, working in a job that I (mostly) love, a published writer, and someone who hopefully has a little better attitude about herself than she did three years ago. (Even though Nathan didn't give me any challenges that day, I ended up accomplishing the ones he gave to everyone else! Go me!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wheeler Farm

Unfortunately, we did not make it to the zoo this weekend. Little Emily was afraid to go to the zoo so we went to Wheeler Farm instead. It was so much fun. We saw some old farm equipment. Emily and Matthew were pretending to be horses and pull Matt on this tractor.

They loved the little trees...especially this little apple tree.

They had this really cute little maze made out of bales of hay.

We had to go through it twice before they got their fill and wanted to move on.

They were so excited to see some farm animals that they were running down the path to see the horses.

We also saw some cows.

And some tractors.

And some bunnies.

And some ducks. We made sure to bring some bread so they could feed the ducks.

They were sad when the bread was gone. The ducks kept poking their heads under the water, and Emily and Matthew thought they were looking for more bread.

We also fed some chickens. Emily was very good at picking up the little corn kernels and giving them to the chickens.

We went on a wagon ride that was pulled by a tractor. Emily was trying to hide from getting her picture taken.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. Wheeler Farm was a really cute little place. Emily and Matthew had a great time and so did we! Maybe next time she won't be afraid to go to the zoo. They were so hilarious and they love to tease Matt. He was really cute with them too. Hopefully someday we'll be able to have some kids of our own and be able to do stuff like this more often because we really had a good time. In the meantime though we'll just have to borrow other people's kids.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's been one of those weeks

It's been one of those weeks where...

a) I have had about ZERO motivation to exercise. I've only actually worked out twice this week and they were both kinda pathetic workouts.
b) I have been so exhausted. Seriously I am tired all the time.
c) I feel like I suck at my job.
d) I have not wanted to cook all week so we have been eating hot dogs and frozen pizzas. Terrible, I know.
e) I am extremely bored with my hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Why do I feel so ugly with what I've got?
f) I'm sad that we are not on our vacation in Costa Rica this week like we had planned.
g) I feel like I'm losing my friends and not being able to make new ones.
h) My house is full of empty boxes that need to be packed.
i) I feel like I am trying to serve people but they are not letting me serve them.
j) Even though I KNOW it's a blessing for us to be in grad school right now and I am VERY grateful for our opportunities, I feel like we've kinda regressed in a way. We were both doing well in our careers, we were about to buy a house and start a family, and now we're back to being poor college students, and I just wanted to be a mom and I don't get to.
k) I'm getting old. I don't wanna be 30 in 8 months. :(
l) I just feel blah...

Anyway, I need to stop complaining. I really do have a good life. It's just been one of those "I feel blah weeks" and I need to get over it. I'm glad it's Friday and that this week is almost over! Sorry to everyone who I've been grouchy to this week. Especially Matt. Thanks for putting up with me honey! At least it was Fall Break at the U this week so I didn't have to go to school. Yay for Fall Break!!!! And...I get to go to the zoo tomorrow with the two cutest kids from our ward. Yay for taking small children to the zoo!!! Oh, it's getting better already.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cutest cookies EVER!

My friend Bekah has just started her own cookie business. Seriously these cookies are so cute and tasty. Check it out at I know what kind I'm gonna order!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Worthy of celebration

To celebrate Matt getting accepted into the grad program, I took him out to dinner at Magelbys. The prime rib was calling his name. And of course the chocolate cake wanted to celebrate with us too. :) If you have never had the chocolate cake at Magelbys you need to go there right now and get some. It is amazing.

After our celebratory dinner we drove the Alpine Loop to look at the Fall leaves. It was very beautiful. I think we were about a week late though for prime viewing season.

But it was so nice and peaceful.

This is going to be our new house in Springville. It's townhouse-style, so there's another one connected to the right and another on the other side. We are the last house before you hit the mountains so right behind us is nothing...just a mountain. Lovely.

And this is the view from our front porch. We have a lovely view of the lake and Utah Valley. Isn't it great? I will have to post more pics of the inside of the house once we move in. I took some of the inside, but it would be weird to post pics of someone else's furniture and decorations.

Anyway, I am VERY excited to be closer to work. Even though I'll still have to go to SLC once a week for school until May, it will save me so much time. And I need it too! Especially since I only have until Feb. 24 to write my masters thesis. You know, in all my spare time. Yikes! So, the next 4 1/2 months I might be a little MIA.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Good news

Matt got accepted to the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program!!!!! Plus they are offering him a Research Assistant position. I'm so very proud of him. He has been working so hard the past month to study for the GRE and get his application done and everything. And he is studying so hard for his classes. I'm just so happy for him.

And we finally found a house to rent. It's in Springville. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a family room and living room, kitchen, laundry room, unfinished basement, and a garage. It's only 10 minutes from BYU and only 5 minutes from I-15. Plus we are far enough away from Provo that I won't feel like I'm living next door to my students. And it's cheaper than what we are currently paying for our 2-bedroom apt in Sandy. We are super excited. We move in November 7.

Housewarming party details coming soon. :)

Red Punchers

Last night I went to dinner with my Red Punch friends. I worked with these lovely ladies when I worked at CK Media. They are so great...and I think this is the first time since I left that we've all been together at the same time. Only two still work at CK, but I'm glad we still keep in touch. They are so much fun. We went to this cute little place in American Fork called Flour Girls and Dough Boys. So yummy! And then we did a lovely session at the Timp Temple. Go Red Punch!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Budgeting and Food Storage

So when Matt got laid off we decided we needed to be more strict about our budget. We had set up a budget when we got married and for the most part we did ok about sticking to it. We pretty much lived on Matt's salary and were able to put most of mine into savings. And we have saved up a lot of money since then, which was supposed to be for our house. We'll just have to keep it and keep saving for when Matt's done with school and we can buy a house again. Anyway, we definately had some room to improve in our spending habits and budgeting skills. Especially since we will be living on my salary now, which is a bit less than Matt's salary was.

So we came up with a new plan. We cut down on some of our expenses and figured out a better way to keep track of our spending. September was the first month of the new plan and I am happy to report that WE DID IT! We did not overspend in any category (except for Matt's GRE costs, which will be reimbursed and we bought him a new laptop for school), and we are still able to put quite a bit of money into savings each month. I'm so proud of us! And I don't feel like we are depriving ourselves either.

Also, we decided last month that we really needed to start being serious about our food storage. We can't do a lot and we really don't have a lot of room in our apartment to put it, but we decided it was important to start doing something. I was inspired by this article in the Ensign this month that talked about this very thing. So each week at the grocery store I have been buying 2-3 extra items for our food storage. We're putting it under our desk for now.

It's not much, but our little stash is growing each week. It's fun to see it grow, and the best part is that I've noticed it doesn't affect my grocery bill. Seriously, I don't notice that I spend any more by doing this. I also updated our 72-hour kits. Anyway, I'm just proud of our little efforts.

Oh yeah, and I started using those reusable shopping bags. Love 'em!