12:33 PM

I have a lot of catching up to do in regards to blogging, but I find myself not wanting to talk about Thanksgiving, Christmas or the fact that we moved.  

When I was a beehive I had a sweet teacher, Sister Quimby.  I thought she was inspiring.  She came every week prepared with a thoughtful lesson and gave each of us girls a beautiful journal that was our very own.  At the end of each lesson we would write in them.

  They were our gratitude journals.  

We could really write whatever we wanted, but we had to at least write 5 things we were grateful for that week.  I still have that journal.  And I blame Sister Quimby for my addiction to buying beautiful journals, even when the one I am currently writing in isn't even full.  I have journals all over the house.  And actually I have 4 on my nightstand.  Two of which are still empty.  

I have a problem, I know.

But lately I've had a grey cloud over my head.  Nothing major, just feeling a little blue.  So I guess it is more of a blue is probably because I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the first time in a long time.  I really don't know how to relax.  So I find myself contemplating many things with my free time and gratitude was one of them.  Here is what I've been thinking of lately:

I don't have a dishwasher in our new place.  I know...I have granite countertops but no dishwasher?!  But I am grateful I have two able hands that can stand the heat of the scalding water and wash the beautiful dishes Ryan and I have accumulated over the course of our marriage.

I have been doing laundry for weeks trying to wash all of the towels, blankets and quilts that we wrapped our life in to move.  It is a daunting task, but I was thinking how lucky we were to have things to keep us warm and that I have a washer and dryer in our place to keep us clean and our clothes dry.

Ryan and I have been doing and re-doing our budget to see where we stand financially.  After careful calculations we still aren't where we would like to be.  (Is anyone in this economy?!)  I am still waiting for the money tree to grow in our backyard because I'm pretty sure that is what is suppose to grow after we get out of college and get a real job right?!  But since there is no money tree, I am learning to be a penny pincher and have been trying so hard lately so save money, i.e. not step foot in Target, and yet I feel our financial goals are still miles ahead.  Yet every night we eat delicious food, enjoy dates that are cheap but emotionally fulfilling and have yet to want for anything.

I live half a block away from the beach.  Enough said.

We watched Downton Abbey and ate dinner last night with my parents.  Saturday we went to dinner with Ryan's parents and watched a movie.  We can do this any time we want.  Knowing we are so close to our parents is a huge blessing and always makes me very happy to think about.

I have been avoiding hanging pictures and decorating our place out of sheer laziness.  But when I look at the pictures and things friends have given us I don't see more "crap" or one more thing to dust/hang, I see friends, family and all of the people we cherish and it makes me feel loved and so grateful for the time we have spent with them.

Instead of paying our mechanic $800 to fix my car, Ryan bought the part online for hundreds cheaper and had him install the part we bought.  Saved us tons of money and I was never more proud or grateful for a patient and cheap man.

These are just a few of my thoughts today when my hands were in the dirty dishwater and I had to get these thoughts down somewhere before they slipped my mind and I was ungrateful again.  You know that quote, "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?".  Well, I didn't want God, or anyone else to forget that I am grateful.  I'm grateful for every aspect of my life and wouldn't change a thing.

Though the Florida sun is shining outside, it is the sunshine in my soul I am feeling today.

Practicing Being Better

6:14 AM

With every new year comes New Year’s resolutions.  I always love this time of year.  It’s nice to feel as though you have had a fresh start, a new beginning every once and a while, and this time of the year provides just that.  No matter how crappy your last year was, most people are excited and look forward to the new year for bigger and better things for themselves. 

I am no exception to this generality. 

Thinking about my resolutions though, I feel as though I want to hang myself I have a lot of things to work on.  I want to be better, but somehow I slip back into my old ways and I’m back at square one making the same resolutions I have been for the last 5 years. 

So what makes me think I can change now? 

Most people, when they write their resolutions, want to change.  Why would they go to all this trouble to think about them if they weren’t going to do it, right?!  Well, I know I have every intention of trying to keep my resolutions right NOW, but tonight when I want to watch an episode of Castle instead of studying my scriptures, we will see how badly I want to change. 

I think we all have good intentions, but it is a challenge to change our ways and be better.  It is a process and one that takes time and patience.  I have decided to give myself a break and be realistic about by resolutions.  I know I won't be perfect at all of them, but instead I will practice them.  Try to practice everyday at one or a few of them and not be so hard on myself about whether or not I have perfected them by next December.   

Below is my list of resolutions and I am keeping them where I can see them everyday.  My planner, my car, sticky notes on my computer…anywhere I am frequenting I will place friendly reminders of my good intentions.   And when I forget or am slacking, as I inevitably will, I will try to be better and just keep going.  Practice makes perfect and I will be practicing my resolutions all year long.

Here goes… 

    1.  Really study and ponder the scriptures.  Not just read them.  Set aside time to study and not make excuses.  

   2. Simplify, de-clutter and organize our lives.

    3. Read more good and wholesome books.  Not LDS romance books.  Those are fine and good, but I want to read more medical books and especially start reading the biographies of the prophets of the church.  Things that will inspire, uplift and challenge me.

    4. Be present.  I don’t want to be in the moment and be thinking of the 17 other things I have to do today.  I want to enjoy what is happening as it happens!

    5. Start dancing again.  Ballet especially.  That is my passion and I have put it off for too long.

    6. Make more memories.  Instead of watching a movie with friends or family I want to play games, eat yummy dinners and do things outside of the box.  I have so many more memories of friends when we are doing something, not just glued in front of the TV.  An occasional movie or show is of course welcome, I just want to mix it up a little more.

    7. Put my phone/laptop/kindle away when I am around anything with more than 3 brain cells.

    8. Try more things that scare me.  I don’t mean bungee jumping or climbing a mountain, I mean things I know I should do, but instead I choose to stay home because that is the safe option.  Like going alone to that new gym class even though I am sure I will make a fool of myself, sing in front of people, or finally go back to school.  Things I know I should do for myself, but I am just too scared.

    9. Continue to challenge myself in the kitchen.  I love to cook and I want to try new things and perfect my craft.

    10.  Learn how to sew.   And by sew, I mean learn how to work a sewing machine.  I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have every intention of sewing drapes, pillows and maybe even a skirt or two.  I never took Home Economics in high school so I’m sure I am going to loose a finger this will be challenging.

    11. Save money.  That means less impulse buys and more penny pinching.

    12. Be a more attentive, kind and loving wife.  Ryan deserves that…everyone knows it J

Feeling pumped and excited for the new year and ready to practice being a better, well-rounded woman.  Bring it 2013.

Baby Baby Baby Oooh

9:36 AM

I have been trying to put this post into words now for over a month.  I still don't know if I will do it justice, but I post this with the utmost reverence, respect and a dash of my own personality.

I know everyone handles trials differently.  I have lived a wonderfully happy life, but it has not been devoid of trials.  Some trials I have come off conquerer, others I feel I have missed the mark, or perhaps the lesson that I was suppose to learn.  Either way, I feel if I have fallen off the preverbal horse, no matter how badly bruised or beaten I have gotten, I ALWAYS get back on.

This time is absolutely no different.

Ryan and I have been trying to get pregnant now for almost two years.  Now, most of you will say two years really isn't that long.  To that I will say go punch yourself in the face you are right.  

Two years is nothing in the grand scheme of things, right?!   

But two years is half of our marriage.  Almost 50% of the time Ryan and I have spent together as husband and wife we have been trying to get pregnant.  I know of many women who struggle with this and have been trying waaaay longer than two years to have a baby, i.e. my beautiful cousins who waited for almost 6 years for their bundle of joy.  Some try and try and finally just give up...and then magically get pregnant. Or they try and try and adoption is their only route.  

So what do we do now?  Jump to the worst conclusions of course!

There has got to be something wrong with one of us.

Many a doctor visit, blood work and uncomfortable hoo-hoo procedures later, Ryan and I are fine.  Perfect even.  Minus my tilted pelvis (which is normal for many women) we are A-Ok.
P.S. Do not try to look up slang words on google for vagina because there are a lot of sick and twisted people out there!!

The doctor didn't seem too concerned.  "You are young, healthy, just relax a little, reduce your stress and things will happen for you." 

Do you know what happens to an A-type personality who gets told to "relax"?  
Their brain explodes.
That is only after they plot the slow and painful death of the one who has given them such inspired advice.

Everyone tells us to "relax", "stop thinking about it" or "just have fun with it".

Wow.  Just wow people.  I just hope I have never given someone such bad advice before.  Just have fun with it?!  Really people?! 
You know...I think I am going to try to bore my husband to death by asking him to make love to me non-stop for a week.  Genius.

I know these comments are well intentioned, but sometimes I just have to laugh, or I'd cry.

My FAVORITE is when, once people know you might be trying, they start giving you advice.  That's right.  Strangers and acquaintances want to give me sex advice.  
"Have you tried this position?" "If you just tilt your pelvis like this..." "Did you know if you rub yourself in baby oil and jump around..."
TMI people!!

If I had a nickel for each time someone gave me baby-making advice I would be enjoying a margarita in the Bahamas right now.  

Now, to the true reason for this post. 

After all of this waiting I finally got a positive pregnancy test.  I have been single-handedly funding the makers of all pregnancy tests for the past two years, and I was ecstatic!  
Finally a return on my investment.  
One clear sign for me was my acne was clearing up without doing anything.  Um...obviously the world was coming to an end or I really was pregnant. 

Sure enough the next day I took another test and again, positive. 

Ryan and I were so excited.  It seemed surreal.  I started going into overdrive thinking about everything that needed to be done.  I called my OBGYN and made and appointment.  They insisted on doing an ultrasound and I wasn't comfortable doing an ultrasound that early in the pregnancy so I looked up a birthing center nearby and scheduled an appointment there as well determined to make up my mind which route I wanted to go when the time came.

Ryan and I were decided that we wouldn't tell a soul until I was out of my first trimester because my mom suffered two miscarriages before having me and my MIL had problems getting pregnant as well.  

We were having fun looking up videos on you-tube of people telling their parents and I was busy writing in my baby journal of all of the things the baby and I had already done together i.e. movies we had seen, dinners we had...boring stuff for the baby but I want to remember the details.

I was feeling fine and was anticipating the surge of morning sickness but it never came.  

I started to bleed one day at work and called my doctor.   I left work and they did an ultrasound and some blood work.  They were sure I was having a ectopic pregnancy from the ultrasound, which means the baby was attached to my fallopian tube instead of my uterus.  There are risks involved because I could potentially lose one of my tubes if it burst.  I was told to go home and rest.  They would wait for my blood work to come back before they did anything else.  I was still bleeding and knew this just wasn't our time our time to have a baby yet.  

I was sad.  I cried.  A lot.

Ryan was such a trooper because I would start crying and he would just hold me.  He made me meals and was single-handedly packing our place, since we were, of course, moving 3 days from then.  Perfect timing, as usual.

My doctors office called me two days later and told me I needed to go to the ER.  My blood work came back and my blood type is A negative.  You can learn what that implies HERE.  Needless to say it complicates my life during pregnancy, but it is not something that is life-threatening to me or the baby if we take certain precautions.

So that is how I ended up here.

Ryan was amazing during this whole experience.  He kept me sane and upbeat.  I am usually an obsessive Instagram checker and Ryan quizzed me describing the Insta picture and I had to guess whose picture it was.  Perfect score baby!!  I know...I'm a little ashamed of myself.  Don't judge.

That IV hurt like a mother.  Seriously if I have to have that in my arm while trying to push out a baby the doctor is going to be getting a sympathy IV as well. 

Gross I know, but Ryan and I were having a blast together.  Is it sad that I was happy to have my husband all to myself with no distractions, even if I was strapped to a hospital bed for the majority of it?!

Word to the wise hospitals, give the patients warmer blankets!  Those "blankets" are mere sheets.  I know you have to keep the hospitals a certain temp for safety reasons but between the cold IV and the temp I was shivering the entire time we were there.

The ER ran the same gamut of tests my doctor did and my official diagnosis was spontaneous abortion.  Nothing was damaged and everything cleared out on it's own.  Which was good news.  I knew the pregnancy wasn't viable and I was grateful they didn't have to do anymore procedures.  They wheeled me around everywhere, which was kinda fun, and I had the best company and supporter by my side the entire time.  
I consider myself lucky.

We feasted on a delicious Publix sub after our crazy night at the ER.  I was starving and so was Ryan, but he never once complained.  He was my rock and it was awesome for me to not even worry about a thing because my best friend was by my side.

I am still hopeful that one day I get to be a crazy person mother.  I see so many women I love and admire take on their new roles as mothers and are absolutely brilliant at it.  It's like they have always known how to be a mother and that is what I want for myself one day.  I look up to those women and love seeing and hearing about their babies and growing kids.

I never feel badly when someone announces they are pregnant.  Why would I?  If I want it so badly for myself, why wouldn't I want it for my friends, family or others?  

It is easy to get discouraged, but somehow I am anything but discouraged.  I know that Ryan and I's prayers are being heard and that they will be answered in the Lord's time.

Until then, I will keep boring my husband.  Lucky Ryan.   

Provo Photo Shoot

6:32 PM

I have a fabulous photographer friend Janneke Marquez.
Actually, she is a friend first and foremost, but happens to be a photographer as well :) 
Ryan and I reaped those benefits while we were in Utah and I am so happy that we have these pics for posterity and hopefully, when we move into a new place, we will be able to take down a few older wedding pics and put up a few more modern and up-to-date photos of us.  Check out Janneke's work HERE.  Go like her know you want to.

(I think Ryan looks so handsome in this shot!!  Look at that strong chin!!  Hubba Hubba!)

Love this one...I love being married to my best friend.

Just goofing around.

That smile melts me.

I am so glad we did a shoot at Guru's.  It was one of our favorite places to eat in Provo and I know we will never forget it with these memorable pictures.  We were eating sweet potato fries, another fav, and talking away while Janneke worked her magic.  Thanks Janneke for such a fun time and for helping to capture a magical time in our lives!!
Go like her page and tell her you saw our pics!!  She would love to hear from you!!  

Goofy Love

5:20 PM

Sometimes it's just fun to be goofy with the man you love.
I sometimes forget how lucky Ryan and I truly are.
I love our life together.
These pics were taken after Ryan had hung up ALL of our laundry while I laid in bed so tired I could hardly move.  He didn't even complain.
I laid on the bed and we talked while he folded and hung, so nicely, our clothes in the closet.
He was so happy the entire time.  
He never complained that he had a lazy wife or that I should be doing half to make things "fair".  
He just quietly folded and hung our clothes and then snuggled me on the bed while we listed to old 90's music.
He was impressed that I knew every lyric to every rap song from '98-2004.
What can I say...I was gangsta.
Basically what I am trying to say is that I have a stellar husband.  I wish I was a better wife because I complain and I whine.  If I am not happy, you will always probably know about it.  If Ryan isn't happy...well I don't actually know what happens then because I don't think I have seen him unhappy. 
All I know is that he always inspires me to be a better person and helps me to let loose once in a while.   
For that I am forever grateful.

15 Minutes of Fame...4 years of love

6:28 PM

Ryan and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary recently.  Since we are on a tight budget (as always) we opted for no gift giving.  
I know Ryan can't stand to not do something, so I woke up to Ryan cooking me pancakes.  Delish!  
And much more exciting than my boring oatmeal I eat every single day.
He really does make great pancakes.  
The best part was the entertainment during our meal.

Ryan had made a Bachelorette-style video telling me how much he loves me, just liek at the end of the show.  I don't know if you have ever stooped so low you want to kill yourself watched the show, but it is a guilty pleasure of mine and since we had just finished the recent season Ryan got creative and outdid even the most romantic of all of the bachelors.  He literally painted a backdrop of Italy, since normally the videos are shot in some exotic location, and spilled his heart and soul to me in this sweet 5 minute video.  Believe me, if Ryan was on the Bachelorette there would be no chance of anyone else winning...and I can't believe I am the lucky one that gets to keep him!!  I of course was all smiles because he was so clever and felt so much love and joy in my heart to find the one person who makes me better everyday.  
Makes me happy to know that we are still so in love.   

We had to part ways after our romantic breakfast since we are both adults.  Shouldn't you get your anniversary off work?  Another benefit of being married right? Like a tax break?
I went to Chick-fil-a for lunch since I wanted to stand up for my first amendment rights and met a sweet little lady in line who had been married for 43 years.  She was pretty proud to hear that I was married and was supporting Chick-fil-a during these "crazy times", as she put it.  The lines were so long, but not a soul complained.  It was like we all knew we weren't there for the food that day, we were there to say something else.  I felt proud to support them and, as always, enjoyed my chicken immensely. 

My contribution to the festivities was annivers-curry.  My mother-in-law has an amazing curry recipe so I thought it appropriate to give it a whirl.

I added coconut milk this time and it made it a little sweeter.  Of course Ryan loves anything sweet so he was a happy camper.
If you want this recipe let me know and I will message it to you.

This may look like a splurge, but Ryan had bought discounted Blue Man Group tickets a while ago at UCF and we thought using them for our anniversary would be perfect.  They were more than half off the price, and believe me, it was well worth the money.

I was looking for Tobias.

If you have never been to one of their shows, you need to go.  I have heard of people who really didn't like it, but with our tickets being discounted I felt like we got a lot of bang for our buck.  The whole show is interactive.  If you just want to sit and be entertained, you might want to try cirque du soleil.   
Now let me tell you...I did not want to be part of the act.  I left work early because a co-worker tipped me off that people who come in late are mocked and are spotlighted during the show.  We got there seriously 50 minutes early.  I was feeling good and fairly certain that I would be safe in my middle row, middle section seat.

Nope.  That is me up there...on the right...the only non blue person there.  Somehow I got singled out from the ENTIRE audience.  How this happened, I have no idea.  One of the Blue Men made eye contact with me and I was done-for.  I knew it too.  My spidy senses were tingling and they nabbed me.  They were actually super nice.  One of them winked at me as I was walking up the stage to let me know they weren't actually going to murder me on stage.  So reassuring, let me tell you.  
Somehow I was so calm throughout the whole experience.  Normally I am sweating just watching someone else go through something like this, but I was cool as a cucumber.  

When I first got up there they but a blue bib on me and sat me down at a table with knives and forks.  The brought out a boom box and started playing different songs. I started swaying a lip syncing to Lights by of my all-time favorite songs.  They started swaying with me.  You know...not the girly swaying, but the kind of swaying they do on Rush Hour.  The Blue Men basically just wanted for me to do something and they played off of me.  
They then stared to set up the table to eat.  They brought out a candle for me to light and after I lit the candle they took a fire extinguisher to it..and my face.  They brought out flowers...pretended to give them to me and then set them on the table as decorations.  I was laughing and they were doing crazy stuff this whole time.

They then brought out twinkies for us to eat.  We each got our own and somehow we all fed each other and then got into a huge food fight.  Just when I thought things couldn't get any funnier/crazy the bib the put on me started spewing mushed up bananas mocking throw-up, all over the place.  My explanation of this sounds insane, but it made sense in context of the show and was really funny.  They of course had to feed me the throw-up and everyone was gagging in the audience when I ate it.  I still have some banana/twinkie remnants on my shirt to prove the nights events.  
The Blue Men were so funny and super nice and I seriously had such a blast.  I was up there for a good 10 minute or more.  Longer than any other audience member.  I still can't believe it actually happened. 

I met the band afterward and they were really nice, and very good...made me think of my brother who would have loved playing in the show.  The band even complemented me, which made me pretty happy since they probably see different people each night doing that same skit.  

Me, my Blue Man and the leftovers (banana and twinkie delight) they gave to me before they let me sit back down and enjoy the show.  

This is a picture of the polaroid they gave to me as proof that I was in fact hanging with the Blue Men.
We weren't suppose to take any pictures during the show, hence the bad quality photos! 
Can you see the throw-up coming out?!  So many people stopped me and asked if I was a plant or they had prepped me before the show.  When I told them no, they were so complementary.  A little girl even waved to me after the show.  Lol so cute.  Ryan said he felt like he was with a celebrity all night.  People just kept coming up and saying I did a good job.  Hollywood here I come!
Happy Anniversary Ryan.  You are my everything and I look forward to many more adventures together!

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