Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Power of Music

I just read a really beautiful story about music, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Grab a box of tissues, I definitely cried at the end. It's a bit long, but well worth reading.

I wish to relate a modern-day story which concerns a young girl, the fourth child in a family of six children. Her name is Heather. Three of the children, including Heather, suffer from a rare disease called glutaric acidemia. In each case, the onset of the disease occurred during the first year of life when an enzyme attacked the brain, causing paralysis. The disease results in acid forming in the muscles, similar to that which occurs following a period of intense physical activity. The problem faced by the children is that the acid never leaves and causes great pain. Cindy, the first child with the disease, died at the age of 23. She was one of the oldest living persons known with the disease. At death she weighed about 40 pounds.
Soon after Heather's birth, the parents realized that she would be physically handicapped and that her spirit would be housed in a body with great restrictions. As she grew, she was confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak, and could only send messages with her eyes. A direct gaze and a smile meant yes. A blink meant no. Despite her handicaps, one could feel the vibrant spirit inside.
As Heather progressed, it became obvious to the parents that she was extraordinarily bright. She would play guessing games with the family using her limited means to communicate. When she was old enough, the parents enrolled Heather in a special school to see if she could learn to speak. The teacher was a gifted therapist. One morning as Heather and the teacher visited about the prior weekend, the teacher learned that Heather had attended Primary. The teacher then sang for Heather “When He Comes Again” (Songbook, p. 82). The expression on Heather's face revealed the delight within her. When the teacher asked Heather if she had a favorite song, the young girl's wide eyes and engaging smile left little doubt. But what was the song? Through a series of questions, the teacher learned that Heather's song was one she had heard in Primary. She wasn't sure which songbook it was in, but it was about Jesus. The teacher sang all the songs she could think of, but to no avail. However, Heather was not about to quit-she wanted to share her favorite song. At the end of the day, the two were still searching. The teacher agreed to bring her Primary songbooks to school the next day.
On the following morning, Heather and her teacher continued the quest. From the first hymn to the last, the little girl blinked her eyes indicating no. They were still unsuccessful. But Heather was not about to give up. She wanted to share her favorite song. Finally, the teacher told Heather that her mother would have to help her find the song and then they would sing it.
The next day Heather arrived with the green Church hymnal tucked in her chair, but there was no marker. So they began with the first hymn. The teacher would sing the first part of each song, and Heather would give her answer. After the first 100 hymns, there were 100 no's. After 200 hymns there had been 200 no's. Finally, the teacher began to sing “There is sunshine in my soul today...” (Hymns, 1985, no. 227). Heather's body jumped, and a big smile crossed her face. Her eyes gazed directly into the teacher's, indicating success after three days of searching. Both teacher and student rejoiced.
As the teacher sang the first verse and began the chorus, Heather mustered all her strength and joined in with a few sounds. After finishing the first verse and chorus, the teacher asked if she wanted to hear the rest of the verses, and Heather's eyes opened wide with a firm yes. The teacher began to sing:
There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing.
Heather's reaction to these lines was so strong that the teacher stopped. As the reality and significance of the words pressed on the teacher's mind, she wondered if those lines were the reason Heather liked the song? The teacher asked: “Heather, is that what you like about the song? Is that what you want me to know? Does Jesus listen? Does he hear the songs you cannot sing?”
The direct, penetrating gaze was a clear answer. Feeling guided by the Spirit, the teacher asked, “Heather, does Jesus talk to you in your mind and in your heart?”
Again, the child's look was penetrating. The teacher then asked, “Heather, what does he say?”
The teachers heart pounded as she saw the clear look in Heather's eyes as the little girl awaited the questions that would allow her to share her insights.
“Does Jesus say, ‘Heather, I love you’?”
Heather's radiant eyes widened and she smiled. After a pause, the teacher asked next, “Does he say, ‘Heather, you're special’?”
The answer again was yes. Finally, the teacher asked, “Does he say, ‘Heather, be patient; I have great things in store for you’?”
With all her strength, Heather's head became erect and her eyes penetrated the teacher's soul. She knew she was loved, she was special, and she only needed to be patient (Story adapted from Jean Ernstrom, “Jesus, Listening, Can Hear,” Ensign, June 1988, pp. 46--47).
Two years later, Heather died because of the ravages of the disease. Her younger brother, Mark, also suffers from the disease but not to the extent of his older sisters. He can talk, although it is not easy. As the parents discussed Heather's passing and the funeral that would take place, Mark exclaimed, “No go Heather's funeral!” Heather was his best friend. As the parents tried to explain death to him, he would not be consoled. He was crushed and did not want to attend the service. For two days he could not be persuaded.
On the morning of the funeral, the father went to Mark's room to get him up. As he entered the room, Mark was sitting up in bed with a big smile on his face. His first words were: “Dad, go Heather's funeral!”
The father responded: “Mark, what has changed your mind?”
“Dad, had dream.”
“What did you dream about, Mark?”
“Dad, dreamed about Heather.”
“Mark, what was Heather doing?”
“Oh, Dad, Heather running and jumping and singing ‘There is sunshine in my soul today.’ Dad, go Heather's funeral” (Mark's part of the story was obtained through conversations with the parents and also from the book written by the family: Bruce and Joyce Erickson, When Life Doesn't Seem Fair [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995]; see pp. 65-66).v

Merrill J. Bateman
President of Brigham Young University
Presented on August 4, 1998
 at the 20th Annual Workshop on Church Music
 at Brigham Young University
(see Ensign, July 2001, pp. 14-20)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update and CHRISTMAS!!!

Hello all!
It's been a while since I posted, so I figured I'd catch you all up.
The semester is officially OVER for me! I'm so happy! I know I'll have an A+ in my History of the English Language class (pretty impressive since my teacher only gives A+s for 99% and above. I'm that awesome). I should have an A in my other classes hopefully, unless I somehow did really poorly on some final project. Justin is just about finished, he has one final tomorrow and then he'll be done.
Now, on to the rest of my life. I finally finished Justin's stocking! It looks so good :) I'm quite pleased with myself for actually finishing it, and for having it turn out decent!
Other news, I'll be graduating a semester early. It means taking 18 credits next semester, along with a winter course and two summer courses at MCC, but this way I can graduate with Justin! Next semester is going to be a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. I'm taking a Phonology and Morphology class (Linguistics), along with a "Studies in Linguistics" class and an Intro to International Linguistics. In addition to that, I'm taking a French class (French in North America), Beginning workshop in fiction short stories, and Classical Backgrounds in English Lit. Yep, lots of work, but classes that I'm very excited for! Over winter break I'll be taking an intro computers class online (which seems a bit ironic to me. Anyone else?), since it's a 100 level class through MCC it should be a walk in the park.
Christmas is so close, I'm so excited! We have two trees this year since our little four-footer can only handle about half of our ornaments.
I'm also planning on revisiting my novel that I wrote in November since I should have quite a bit of free time over break. I'm hoping to get it read through all the way once before school starts back up. I still need to add some details to the ending, I kind of summed some things up while trying to finish on time, but I should be able to flesh that all out this week, then I can get to editing!
Well, I think that's just about all the updates I can think of for now. Thanks for reading! I'll be sure to post some pictures of Christmas decorations sometime this week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

On Wednesday, I have a half day. I have three classes on Wednesdays, all in the afternoon: institute, French conversation, and French composition. I have the same teacher for the two French classes, and both he and my institute teacher decided to cancel class. So, all I have on Wednesday is work in the morning from 9-12, then I can go home, write write write, and eat some Chinese food for dinner. Why Chinese food? Well, I don't know how many of you remember this guy:

Takeru Kobayashi. One time on Food Network, I saw a show about him. It said that the night before a competition, he eats rice. The rice expands in his stomach overnight, making his stomach bigger for the competition. He then eats little things throughout the day to keep his stomach from shrinking before the big feast. I decided that I should approach Thanksgiving in a similar manner. So, about four or five years ago, after learning some of Kobayashi's tricks, I decided to start a tradition of eating Chinese food the night before dinner. I've got to make the most out of turkey day! 
Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving. I'll try to blog next week at some point with some things I am grateful for. You should all do that too! 
Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

8,825 words!

*Warning: This blog post is primarily related to my novel-writing progress and process. If you don't care about that stuff, feel free to ignore this blog. My feelings will only be slightly hurt*
I am going to make an effort to blog once in a while this November. It might be easier since I'm doing National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) because of how excited I am for everyone to know my progress!
By the way, there's a little box right over there --> with my current word count, it is linked to the nanowrimo website, so it will always be up-to-date. Just in case you want to occasionally check in and offer words of encouragement or anything. :-)
So, I started out the week knowing exactly where I wanted to go, who my main characters were, the setting, all that good stuff. As I was writing this week, I wrote a very small excerpt from another character's point of view. I then switched back to my primary main character. Well, as I was writing, I was realizing that I don't really like my main character all that much. I don't dislike him, I just don't really have a vested interest in him.
So I decided to try and write another excerpt from the other character's point of view (still need a name for her...). And I realized that I write a lot more quickly, and I enjoy it a lot more, when writing from her point of view. SO, I switched pretty much my whole story.
The plot is the same, but it will focus on my female character rather than on her incredibly boring brother.
Since coming to this decision yesterday, I've written about 3800 words. That's about 43% of what I've written so far. Yep, 43% in two days (not really though, because I decided this yesterday EVENING), compared to the rest in four days. Can you tell my writing speed has picked up? I love it!
Basically I just wanted to share my breakthrough with you, because I'm so excited about the new direction my novel is taking. I hope you guys don't get sick of hearing about my novel, because that's pretty much going to be my life for the next month.
In other news, I'm still alive. Justin is still alive. We're both still going to school, Justin is still looking for a job, I'm still loving being a writing tutor. Not much going on outside of my little made-up world.
Thanks for reading, and any encouragement about my novel is always appreciated! :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Her again?!

You get another blog from me today, because I'm feeling sentimental.

Things I think about on a daily basis:
  • How incredibly grateful I am to be married to such an amazing guy
  • How lucky I am to have a nice home, despite not having lots of money
  • How thankful I am to be a member of the true church, and be able to experience the wonderful peace and joy through knowing my Savior atoned for my sins
  • How lucky I am to have a wonderful, selfless mother, a hilarious father, a sweet, caring mother-in-law, and a hard-working father-in-law. (All of those adjectives really describe all of the people described, but to describe each of them with all of the descriptions would be a bit too long of a description. [5])
  • How much I love Kristi, Cliff, and their girls, and wish I got to see them more
  • How much I love Dustin, Sarah, and their kids, and wish they lived closer
  • How much I love Nick and Lindsay, how badly I miss them, and how I hope they know we love them
  • How much I love Ashley, Zach, and Madie, and I am so glad that I get to see them regularly
  • How thankful I am to live close to most of my family
  • How lucky I am to have in-laws that have welcomed me with open arms
  • How lucky I am to have parents who welcomed my hubby with open arms
  • How much I love to read the scriptures
  • How much I love my major
  • How glad I am that Justin loves his major and will thus love his eventual job
  • How lucky I am to have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching out for me, even when I don’t deserve it.

I really do think about each and every one of these things at least once a day. I’ve kept track of some of them, just to be sure, and yep. It’s true. I wanted to include how much I love baking/goodies, but I’m not sure I really think about daily, more of just often.

I love my husband, my family, and the Church so incredibly much, and they all bless my life more than I will probably ever know. Thank you to everyone who is such a blessing in my life. I love you all. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Revival of the Blogs

So, is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the blogging realm has been kind of sparse? I don't know about y'all, but I haven't blogged lately because I often wonder if anyone even reads my blogs, because I rarely get comments. So, let's revive the blogging world! I'm going to try to blog more often, and comment more on other peoples' blogs. Who's with me?! Hi ho! Let's go! (Apparently it would also be a good idea to invite some singing dwarves.)
Updates: school is hard. And busy. And it's midterms, so naturally I'm avoiding working on my projects by blogging! I am excited for one of my projects though... for my French Conversation class, we have to give a presentation about something French (very specific, I know!). I have chosen Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It's been really fun putting the presentation together! For those who don't know, he's the author of Le Petit Prince, or The Little Prince. I LOVE that book. It's so freakin' cute! And kind of sad... but mostly cute and hopeful.
Other news... It's almost Halloween! My work is having a Halloween party with a dessert potluck (I'm going to bring my mint chocolate cupcakes that are super duper yummy. I'll post pictures too, because they'll be cute). I just have to say, I LOVE my job. It's fantastic. Wednesday was National Day On Writing, so we (the writing center) had a booth on campus, and we were trying to get people to write. It was really fun!
Justin is as busy as ever, too. He's done with his midterms (lucky), so he's been able to actually relax today while I've been researching John Keats and Saint-Exupéry. Not for the same presentation. Just in case that's where your mind was going.
So, lately Justin and I have been trying to get in shape by hiking. We started small by hiking A Mountain by ASU, this past week we upgraded (a little too much) to South Mountain. It's nice to see the results in my calves :) Here's a lovely view of Tempe Town Swamp (previously Lake):
Last week my cousin Callie got married (it was a gorgeous reception, too). It was fun to spend time with my family, and to help out my aunt with the wedding cake. Well, at the wedding, they had a sort of candy buffet, including those not-yummy-to-eat-but-fun-to-play-with candy legos. I kind of stole some from my nephews and constructed... THIS!
Yeah, there was a tragic gummy-bear war in front of the castle. Very few survivors. (And yes, I know I have a twisted sense of humor. But very artistic, no?)
Also, with Halloween around the corner, look at these cute pumpkin brownies I made!
That's about it, thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Look, I'm Woody, Howdy howdy howdy!

So, I realized as I was posting a countdown-to-nanowrimo widget on my blog that I haven't blogged in over a month! Sorry about that. Been a bit busy, I suppose. That, and when I haven't been busy I've been reading :)
I'm definitely doing National Novel Writing Month this year. I didn't do it last year because I had so much going on, but I finally have a manageable schedule, so I might have a chance at success!
For those who don't know, National Novel Writing Month, also called Nanowrimo, is in November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That's about the length of The Great Gatsby, or Old Man and the Sea. Around 100 pages, roughly. I've done it twice before, my senior year of high school (07), where I didn't quite make it to the goal, and the year after, 08, where I ended the month with around 64,000 words. I already have an idea of what I want to write, so I'm getting very excited.
In other news, I'm officially a writing tutor! I've tutored lots of people already, and I feel like I'm really starting to get the hang of it.
Justin is still looking for a job, since the semester started, he hasn't had any work. Over summer he was selling pest control, but it doesn't work at all with his school schedule. If any of you have any leads on a job for him, that would be super awesome :)
School is going well, I love my classes, and my schedule in general. I had my first test in my History of the English Language class, and got a 100! I missed two half-points, but got the extra credit question. I also just turned in my first composition for my French Composition class, hopefully I'll know how I did on that on Monday.
Justin is also enjoying his classes. His are a little harder, especially his Chinese class, which is a beast. He's had a quiz almost every day, and they aren't easy. He's also enjoyed having Saturdays open again, and has celebrated this by spending almost every Saturday watching football with Zach. At least it means I can have fun with Ashley and Madie instead of just being bored!
I also just realized I never let you all know about the hair cut poll - I decided to keep trying to grow out my hair. I guess it's just easier, keeping it the same way it's been. Plus, I've had bad luck with letting anyone besides Ashley cut my hair, and she said she couldn't do any of those cuts, and I didn't want to have my hair butchered like I have in the past. So, we'll see how long I keep growing it out.
Well, that's pretty much life right now. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hair cut

So, I'm giving up on my attempt to grow out my hair. I was doing it because I love the way long hair looks when it's curled all beautifully, but then I realized I'll never have time to style my hair like that, because it takes too long, and I don't care enough. So, I'm chopping off all my hair. But, since my husband is being NO help whatsoever in helping me choose I style, I come to my trusty group of blog readers!
2 (ignore the weird eye):
3 (I've always been drawn to this one, just worried the bangs would bother me):
If you have any other styles that you like that you just happen to have a picture of, I'm open to more choices, this is just what I found that I like. Let me know what you all think! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beach Hungry

It has been a year and a half since I've been to a beach.
I'm getting anxious to go to one again.

The last time I went to a beach, it was in Monterey, CA, and it was in January. WAY too cold to swim in the water. 

But it sure was beautiful. 
When I was around 10 or 12, my Dad worked in California for about 10 months. I spent that entire summer lounging like a beach bum. It was wonderful. 
Since then (before then too, but even more since then) I've loved going to the beach. 
And frankly, it's been WAY too long since I've been. Basically, this post is me whining that I REALLY want to go to the beach! 
By the way, all these photos were taken at the beach in Monterey. Yep, point and click camera. They turned out really pretty, if you ask me! Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life Recap

To satisfy my nosy aunt, whom I love, I will do a little life recap.
I'm quitting my job at G&P because I finally found another, WAY better job! I'll be a writing tutor at ASU, which is a great opportunity for me, as I hope to someday be an editor (not for newspapers, for novels). It's only 50 cents an hour less, with a lot more flexibility in the schedule, and a step towards what I want to do with my life. Can't ask for much more!
I'm half way through college right now, going for English Linguistics, and I LOVE it. Two more years, during which time I hope to do some sort of internship that might get me in with an editing or publishing company. Justin has a year and a half left, he's going for Supply Chain management with a minor in Chinese. Supply chain management is basically logistics, figuring out how to best run the company, how to make sure a package gets from point A to point B, including all the annoying paperwork, in a timely manner, that kind of thing.
If I could think of anything else to recap, I would do so here, but that answers all of the questions I was asked, so for now it will have to do.
Thanks for the interest in what I'm up to! It's always nice to know someone wants to know more about me :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gettin' to the end!

Summer is almost over. For many people, this is a sad thing. Most people are sad to see the carefree days of summer turn into the stressful days of school. I am not one of those people.
I love school! Plus once you're all grown up, summer means lots of work, not lots of play.
I only have one week left at my job! I'm so very happy about this! I have a week off for a bit of a break, so I can get my house from its current state of shambles to half-way presentable. I like to start the semester with a clean house, because I know once the homework starts piling up, it's impossible to keep up on everything.
Justin's job is pretty tiring, both on him and on me. It's hard when he doesn't get home until 9 most nights, and I'm quite a morning person. I feel like I've spent the entire summer tired, because my body just can't get used to being up late. I'm excited for his job to end in a few weeks so I can go back to going to bed at 9:30!
I figure I'll post some pictures of the random things I've done here at there over the summer.. really most of my spare time has been spent at my parents, or baking. I did get a chance to go on a picnic with Justin a while back, that was quite fun!

It didn't rain that night, but the sunset sure was pretty!
Look how cute my picnic basket is! 
So, on to the baking... 

Who doesn't love cheesecake? 

Got this recipe for cake ball truffles from Bakerella - long process, but pretty and yummy! 

And from, a recipe for sugar cookies with glacé icing. 

Back to non-food items, this is why I love my hubby! He lets me buy super fun shoes, and surprises me with sunflowers! 
I don't know if I've mentioned, this summer Justin and I got called to be... sunbeam teachers! A calling we get to serve in together! The kids are crack-ups, it's so fun every week! 
Well, hope that serves as a decent re-cap of our summer. The next few weeks will be super exciting and fun as I get to stop working at Goodman and Partridge, Justin can stop knocking doors, and school will start back up! I can't wait! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I love my husband!

Life has been crazy this summer. I don't get to see Justin very often, which is really hard. I'm very much looking forward to the semester starting, when I get to start my tutoring job, quit the job I hate, see my husband more often, and learn some more! I'm such a nerd, but I really truly love school. I wish someone would pay me for that to be my job.
I don't really have a whole lot to blog about, not much is going on. I'm working on a Christmas stocking for Justin this summer, it's really coming along. I'm almost done with Santa, which is a big part of the stocking. And I might try my hands at making a quilt if I have time/money after finishing the stocking and before school starts. I've wanted to make a quilt for a while, but lately my desire has really increased. I know my first quilt will turn out pretty lousy, but hopefully with the aid of a very experienced quilter, I can someday make quilts as beautiful as my mother's.
My car is in the shop this week. Hopefully it will come out running well, with ac, and the bill won't be ridiculous. That's my hope. Reality says, it will probably still have problems, and will probably be more than I'm hoping. But, I can still hope :)
I really love my husband. He is such a great man, who is willing to make so many sacrifices for me. He's working six days a week, gone from 10:25-9:00 every day. It's taking a toll on him, and he's excited for school to start back up too. It's hard on both of us, but I'm so glad he's willing to go out in the hot sun and work hard to support me. He treats me so well, too, I really am so incredibly lucky.
We went on a picnic on Saturday at Pioneer Park, it was really fun! We brought sandwiches, chips, strawberries, and some cookies for dessert, and tossed around a frisbee for a while. It was so nice to just spend time with him. We usually just spend Saturday nights watching tv together, or something boring like that, it was nice to actually go out with him. I love him more than anything else on this earth, and I want him to know it (he better, with how many times I tell him every day!), and I want the world to know it.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You Know When It's Real

Thank you Aunt Randi!
I've been meaning to post this since we got the card, but my life is crazy, and I don't really spend a lot of time on the computer.
I won! I won the movie guessing contest. And I waited patiently, not really expecting anything because, well, frankly, I cheated. But hey, I still got credit!
I got a lovely card from my wonderful Aunt, and inside...
A giftcard to Wendy's! I don't think she even knew that Wendy's is my favorite fast food restaurant. She's good!

Yum! And lots of these:
This must be my lucky month, too, because I won another thing! Ashley's Craft blog had a giveaway, and sadly, I did not win. But, the winner didn't leave an email, and never responded to the post announcing her as the winner. So, back to "random integer generator" and out pops number 7! I knew it was lucky :) So I got a 40$ giftcard to CSN stores, where I ordered a set of 4 mini spring form pans (oh boy, cheesecake!) and a cookie press! I'm very excited to get those in the mail too.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I love my family

I love my family very much. They are my life, and there is no one else on this Earth that I would rather spend my life and eternity with than my husband, my parents, my siblings, and all those who are included in my family.

Kristi - I love Kristi. She is a great older sister, and a domestic queen. She makes the most beautiful goodies, that are so pretty I don't want to eat them... until I take a bite, and taste how incredibly delicious they are. I remember being so excited for Science Club days in High School, when she would come and spend lunch with me (there others there too, I guess), and she would usually bring goodies :) Everyone in my physics class hated me a little bit because every week I'd walk in with the remnants of some delightful dessert.

Dustin - Dustin was my childhood hero. I always wanted to be just like him. I chose trumpet as my band instrument, took French instead of Spanish, and cried every holiday and birthday for the two years he was on his mission. It broke my heart that my hero was gone on my birthday, when I was supposed to be happy. Now, he has a sweet family, and it is always a pleasure to catch up with him when he comes up to visit. He is very intelligent, a genius when it comes to music, and a man who believes firmly in the teachings of the church. By the way, I still have my Dustin bear from when I was four, fur all messed up from too much love.

Nick - Nick and I didn't get along when we were younger, but I remember as clear as if it were yesterday the time I first realized I loved him. It's weird to have a memory like that, but with as much as we butted heads, it is what it is. Well, he had run away when I was like, six or seven, and Dustin and my Dad went out to find him. I remember waiting at home with my Mom, Kristi, and Ashley, and just bawling my eyes out. I was so afraid that they wouldn't find him, and I couldn't stand the thought of that. It made me realize that I really do love him, and since that day, I've never forgotten just how much I love him. Now, he is serving for his country, and I have so much respect for him. He has chosen a wonderful spouse, and I am happy that they have found happiness together. I love Nick, and I wish I was better at showing it.

Ashley - Growing up, Ashley and I were pretty close. Once everyone else moved out, I definitely considered her my best friend. I was pretty annoyed when Zach came along and stole my best friend (though I've forgiven him now, especially since he fathered such an adorable little girl). She is just so fun to talk to, and has become quite the crafting queen. She can create little projects that look so simple, but I know if I were to try them, they would come out as a wreck. She is fun and caring, and is great fun to spend time with. I love the chance I get to see her for lunches and dinners throughout the week, and the chance it gives me to have some girl talk time :) I don't know what I'm going to do if she moves out of the Chandler-Gilbert area and I can't just drop by any old time.

Dad - I love my daddy. And I call him Daddy, too. He is such a wonderful grandpa, and I can't wait until I have kids for him to wrestle around with, too. He brought me up in such a way that I know how to respect my Mother, something I regret to see not happening in families around me. He has always shown his love for his wife (in high school I thought he did a little TOO much!), and I love that he wants the world to know that they are still madly in love. He is willing to cook and clean, and taught me that the traditional stereotypes are not to be upheld in this family. I did my share of lawn-mowing, and the boys did their share of cleaning the house. I am so glad that he taught me how to do things like hang up paintings, grout, and other household fixes that most girls my age would balk at. Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you.

Mom - Aside from my husband, my mother is my best friend. After Zach came and stole Ashley from me, I had the wonderful opportunity to grow a very close relationship with my mother, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. I love any opportunity I have to spend time with her, even if we just go walk around Barnes and Noble and Costco. I love talking to her, and I love her selfless heart. She is a great mother, and has taught me all the important things I need to know in this life. Because of her, I can cook, clean, sew a little, maintain a house, manage a budget, and a countless number of other useful things. I'm so glad she took the time to teach me, especially now that I'm married and can see how many people get married without knowing how to just throw stuff in a pot and have it come out good. I look forward to spending time with her, and I am so glad she is my mother.

Spouses, nieces and nephews - All of my siblings have chosen wonderful spouses. Cliff is a great man who is always willing to lend a hand, and his goofy nature makes it a pleasure to spend time with him. Sarah is such a blast, I love it when she comes up and we can talk about books or crafts or other things together. Lindsay is a wonderful woman, who is such a blessing to Nick. She is fun and good at so many things, and it seems like she's always learning something new. Zach is fun, and I love that he has so many similar interests as Justin, because I know how much Justin enjoys talking to Zach about sports, politics, economics, everything. My nieces and nephews are all so very different, but all such fun. I love playing with them and seeing how quickly they learn and grow. I love spending time with them, and am always excited for family events when the whole gaggle of kids will be there.

The Clements - I could not have asked for better in-laws if I had picked them myself. Mom Clement is such a selfless, loving person, and has made me feel so welcome in their family. I'm so grateful for her, and I love spending time with her. She is always willing to teach me her recipes, or invite Justin and I over for dinner. We know the door is always open, and that is such a blessing to me. Justin's Dad is a great role model, and I could never thank him enough for all that he taught Justin. Justin is such a great man, and I know that is largely due to the way he was brought up. Travis, Luke and Natalie are all wonderful siblings, and I'm so glad I get to be part of their family. I love watching them all interact, seeing them tease each other, and watching them as they go through junior high, high school, college, and develop into the men and woman they will become.

Justin - This man is the love of my life. He is a great husband, and respects me so very much. He is just the right mix of nerdy, goofy, loving, and righteous. I always look forward to when he comes home, and wish I had more time to spend with him. I remember when we were dating, I had a few criteria for my husband-to-be, one of which was regarding my nieces and nephews. I've always loved them so much, and my husband had to understand that. Well, when he first came over and met Jenny, he wasn't just okay with me running off to play with her, he was right there with me, wrestling with Jenny too, being a human jungle jim. I knew from then on that he would make a wonderful father. He is so kind, and always willing to help me. There have been times that I'm sure I've been overly needy, but he is always right there, getting me whatever I need, and making sure I'm taken care of. He is willing to help around the house, and does all the manly stuff like getting the oil changed in the car for me. I love him so very much, and I am so glad that I get to spend eternity with him. He is the man of my dreams. And it sure doesn't hurt that he's mighty fine looking :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Anniversary Trip and New Apartment

Here's a video of lots of fun pictures! We had a wonderful anniversary :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

So, since I recently created a new email address, I decided to create this new blog, too! Really the only reason is because I don't want to have to constantly sign in and out of my old and new emails, going from email to blog... So, here it is!
I guess I could start off with an actual blog... Life is good. I'm all moved in to the new apartment, it's nice to have a bigger home with a lower rent! I'm still working on unpacking, the goal for today is to get rid of the boxes in the spare room, excluding books. Unpacking books will be a project, because I'm planning on organizing them too. I'll sort them by genre, then alphabetize by author's last name. Yes, I'm a nerd, but I've wanted to organize my library for a while, and I have a whole summer with lots of free time!
My hubby and I are going to Sedona this weekend for our anniversary trip. I'm very excited, with Justin's work schedule, I hardly get to see him, so getting a whole weekend with him is awesome. I can't believe we've been married for almost a year! I'll have to post some pictures of our trip to Sedona when we get back. Maybe I'll take some of the new apartment to show y'all too :)
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the new blog!