Monday, April 30, 2012

Be an Optimist Prime, not a Negatron

This weekend we went and did a couple of canyons. The water was cold, but it was awesome! Plus, I can now say I've done a 180 foot rappel... the highest one I have done so far. Here's a few pictures.

Yes, that is SNOW. 
Dallin pulling out some ninja moves to stay out of the water

The big 180 footer! Those are trees at the bottom, not bushes... haha
Here I go! :) 
Once I had the chance I took a couple pictures to try to capture how high I was. I was almost halfway down at this point, but the ground is still pretty dang far away! That is Dallin way down there. 
Take 2... a little better focused on the ground. It was really hard to take pictures with my left hand especially with thick gloves on... 
Here I come! :) 

I like this guy. :)
We also made pizza margherita this weekend, which is THE best pizza ever, in my opinion. It tastes so fresh and I just love it. It's my favorite for sure. The sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, salt, and a little olive oil, and it is topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. SO GOOD.

My mouth is watering just looking at this...
Yesterday was such a good Sunday. We spoke in the Spanish branch (That's what I get for marrying someone who went to Spain on his mission :P) which was fun. I liked hearing Dallin speak in Spanish, even if I didn't understand all of it. ;) My primary lesson went well too, and that always makes me happy since it is hard to have a good lesson sometimes with squirmy 9-year-old boys! The rest of the day was really nice as well. Sunday is my favorite day of the week by far. :)

I also indexed for the first time yesterday. I've been meaning to do it for a really long time (like... years, unfortunately), but just never begun. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can go here to learn more and maybe start doing it yourself! Basically, you just type up family history information from scans of genealogical documents so that there is a digital, searchable copy. Right now the focus is on the 1940 census that was recently released. It is really easy to do, and I've enjoyed it quite a bit more than I was expecting, to be honest! :) It is cool to think about the people whose names and information I am indexing and wonder about what they were like and the kind of lives they lived.

Seriously though, if you have been thinking about indexing but haven't started yet, I highly recommend it! I wish I had started a long time ago. It's a very easy way to do something very worthwhile.

And... this is completely unrelated, I just think it is awesome and it makes me happy. :)

Are you an Optimist Prime, or a Negatron? :)
Have a happy day! :)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy things

It's been raining almost all day today, and I love it. Rain is my favorite. I sat outside on the porch for a while just enjoying how it smells and sounds. It makes my flowers look even prettier too. :) 

Look, I haven't killed them yet! I amaze myself sometimes. 
I want to plant more but I haven't gotten around to it yet. 

I just love The Piano Guys. I've had them playing on grooveshark (another thing that definitely makes me happy) for a good part of the day. :) This is one of my absolute favorites. I love the rich sound of cellos, and there are EIGHT of them in this video. Watch and love. And then watch/listen to the rest of their stuff. They are awesome. The end. 

I spent a little extra time on lunch today and made some delicious spaghetti (With ground moose in the sauce... yay! I'm getting better at using game meat. Didn't have any practice with my own family haha) that really hit the spot. Unfortunately that meant I ate a little too much, but I think it was worth it. 

It was cool enough today (thanks to the glorious rain) for me to wear a scarf and 
comfy cardigan... which is a combination I would wear every day if I could. 

Dallin got me hooked on this show called "Monk". It is awesome. :)

Of course, if I am going to post about things that make me happy I can't forget this guy right here. 

(On set of Weeber and Judd's Sanitation Services. :P Yes, that is really Dallin...)
I'm still not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I'm sure glad that I got stuck with him. He takes such good care of me, and I'm just so thankful for how my life has played out so far.
I'm very blessed. And happy. 
Very, very happy. :) 

What makes you happy?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thrift stores, Spongebob, and Nachos

This past weekend we had plans to go to the valley, attend the temple, and go to a barbershop competition, but Dallin got home later than we expected from a scouting camp out and we stayed home instead. We're usually canyoneering or doing something else that takes up the whole day, so it was really nice to take it easy for a day and just hang out with each other. We went out to eat at a nice little Italian restaurant that I hadn't been to before, and then decided to go treasure hunting at some thrift stores. :)

Anyone know what Modafinil is? :P
Dallin found a pill book at this store so I had to quiz him. He really likes this game... maybe because it is a pretty good way to impress your wife. ;) I'm getting much better at pronouncing the drug names and brands right, but I still get pretty creative sometimes... haha. The first time we did this was just a few weeks after we started dating, if I remember correctly. It's kind of become a tradition for us. :)

Dallin thinks I look like SpongeBob... Lovely. ;)
Then we made a trip to the store for "groceries" in the form of a tub of cookie dough ice cream, York ice cream bars, and lime popsicles. We need to exercise more...

It makes me laugh that we seriously hung out at thrift stores and Walmart for a pretty significant amount of time this weekend. And you know what? I love it. It makes me happy that such random things are fun when I'm with my bestest friend. :) Okay... enough mushiness. For now. ;)

Yesterday for FHE we went to the community garden they are building to help put rocks on the base of the fence to hopefully keep the rabbits out. It was such a gorgeous evening and the sunset was beautiful. It felt nice to get a little dirty too. :) I'll always be a tomboy.

We were pretty hungry (a couple hours of carrying rocks will do that to you) so we decided to hit up Alfonso's on the way home. Oh, so good.

I love me some super nachos.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flowers, ice skating, and "jumpalines"

I've tried to grow things in the past, but always seemed to kill them off remarkably quickly. Since my schedule isn't even close to as crazy as it used to be when I was a full-time student with a part-time job, I figured maybe I'd give it another shot and plant some flowers. I'm planning on trying some more flowers, and maybe some veggies and such as well. We'll see how that goes... :)

I've always loved Bachelor's Buttons... I think my mom used to have some
when I was little. They're so whimsical and colorful. :)
Yesterday, I got to hang out with my family. We went ice skating. :) 

We had the whole place to ourselves! That never happens. 

Can you believe this kid is only 2 years old? He is huge! That
made helping him skate quite the workout... haha

Jumping on what my little siblings call the "jumpaline" ;)

My brother Isaac loves to bake and surprised me
with a homemade paradise pie! Oh, so good.
I love Arizona sunsets! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Temple and Krispy Kreme... what else do you need?

We went to the Valley this weekend. There was a youth temple trip that Dallin needed to go on (he's assistant scoutmaster and in the stake young men's presidency) so I went along to help. Afterward, we did an endowment session.

I like his face. ;)

There really isn't anywhere quite like the temple. I love how it feels when I am there.

There's just something so peaceful and familiar about this place. When I'm there, I always feel happy even if I was stressed or worried about something before.

 Plus, it is one beautiful place! And it was perfect weather when we were there too. :)

We also got to see Dallin's brother and his family who live down there. I gained some adorable nieces and nephews when I married Dallin, that's for sure! ;) I should have taken some pictures when we were there.

I'd also been craving Krispy Kreme for a really long time, as in I hadn't had any in like... a year, maybe more? I know it is ridiculously unhealthy, but it is one of my biggest weaknesses! They're the only doughnuts I like, so I justify eating Krispy Kreme by not eating any other kind... most of the time, at least. ;)

It was a little bit out of the way for us, and we were kind of anxious to get home, so I told Dallin that we really didn't need to go. Even though I definitely wanted a glorious, fresh doughnut I figured it wasn't really worth it. His response to that was, "Woman wants Krispy Kreme; we're goin' to Krispy Kreme." Yeah, he's a keeper.

There's not much new in our neck of the woods. Just living the life, I suppose! And it is definitely a good one. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Motherhood, Womanhood, and Ann Romney

This video about Ann Romney has been going around the internet today in response to some comments made about her and the fact that she is (was) a stay-at-home mom. I thought it was pretty interesting. 

It got me thinking about the subject, and how motherhood is viewed by many people today. In the video, Hilary Rosen basically said that Ann Romney can't really know about the economy or what women in America are concerned about since she, quote, "Never worked a day in her life" and just stayed at home raising her kids. Oh, geeze... since stay-at-home moms never leave the house, have little or no education, and are completely uninformed about the world, right? 

What I really liked about this video was that Mrs. Romney really stressed that she chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Here's what she said about that:
"This is what's so interesting about this. My career choice was to be a mother, and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices -- to have a career and raise a family -- which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself. I respect that. That's wonderful. But you know, there are other people that have a choice. We have to respect women in all those choices that they make."
This reminds me of an experience I had in one of my classes a few semesters ago. It was a speech communication class, and my instructor was kind of a slacker. Most of the time, he would start a discussion about some random subject (usually sausage, sex, or Mormons) and then he would pick someone to get up in front of our small class and say something about it. 

One time, he asked me to get up and talk about what I look for in a man or what I want in my future husband. I mentioned something about how I want him to have (or be actively pursuing) a job that would allow me to stay home with our kids. The way that my classmates reacted, it was like I had said I like to eat pork rinds and listen to Alvin and the Chipmunks or something shockingly disturbing like that. ;) I mean, who in their right mind actually desires something like being a stay-at-home mom? Aren't I in college so I can do something with my life, like have a successful career and make a difference in the world?

Here's what I think they failed to recognize: The desire to be a full-time mother in the future is my choice. No one is trying to push it upon me; it's something that I want. Isn't that true feminism -- to allow and encourage women to do what they know will make them happy? It seems like so many people think that being a full-time mother is a demotion, and that those poor souls who have been lead to believe that giving up a successful career for dirty diapers, runny noses, and little muddy feet is a good idea simply need to be taught to see the light. However, I feel like nothing I can do in any career would be more important that doing all I can to raise my future children to be good people. (Just a side note to clarify my opinion, I highly appreciate all the wonderful women who have chosen to pursue careers, and know that the world and our country is a better place because of them. I especially appreciate the female professors I've had and I learned so much from them.)

Kind of along the same lines, here is an excerpt from Sister Kristen M. Oaks' talk in a CES Fireside from Sepetember 2011. You can find the whole talk here

Never waste one minute of this precious life. Prepare for the future. Go forward. Get educations, and prepare for an occupation or profession to support yourself and a future family. 
I also give a word of caution. In my day only 6 percent of the women did not marry, and it was unusual for a woman to get advanced degrees and enter the workforce. It is very different now. A much larger percentage of you will not marry during college and may get advanced degrees and have marvelous career opportunities. Some of you will remain single, but often I hear of young women who wish to fulfill themselves in the workforce first and only later proceed to become a wife and mother. 
I am speaking personally here. From my own experience as a woman who has a doctorate and had a marvelous career traveling the world, I can sincerely say that no matter how exciting or fulfilling a career, you should never sabotage your eternal happiness by sacrificing marriage for a job opportunity. If true love comes at a seemingly inopportune time, look to the long-term consequences, and call on the Holy Ghost for guidance. Marriage and motherhood can be as fulfilling and wonderful as you choose to make them. The Lord will provide a way for you to balance your ambitions with the blessings of marriage. Worldly honors and corporate success offer small compensation when compared with the joyous affection of family and children.

I just love that, especially the last few lines. Isn't that the truth?

Now, on a little more personal note, I want to talk a little bit about my own family. I come from a large family. There's 10 very energetic kids (I'm number 4) and two saintly parents who put up with us. :) My mom always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and I will always be thankful for that. I would have missed out on so many opportunities to learn from (and play with) my mama if she needed to divide her attention between a career and our family. Of course it wasn't easy. It's hard to live on only one income when you have so many kids, especially since half of us were adopted and that isn't cheap! :) What I learned from my parents was that it is worth so much more to live simply and frugally than to give up all the blessings that would come from giving my mom the opportunity to focus her time and energy on our family. 

I'm so thankful to be a woman, and I firmly believe (to quote The Family: A Proclamation to the World) that "gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose". I know that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) parts of my eternal identity and purpose is to be a mother one day. I'm so grateful to have had wonderful parents that are such good examples to me and helped me become me, and for a husband that supports me in all ways. 

To finish up, here is one more quote that I love by Sister Julie B. Beck from her talk "Mothers Who Know".
The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two months down... part II

I surprised Dallin with a candlelit dinner last night when he got home. 
Of course I made sure to make the most romantic vittles in existence (haha)... the beloved burgers to rule all burgers that we discovered a couple weeks ago. :) Aren't I an awesome wife? :P

A couple minutes before he got home

Cherry limeade tastes even better when you drink it out of  fancy glasses. :)

I think he liked it... that looks like a happy face to me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two months down... eternity to go! :)

Time is an interesting thing. On one hand, it is crazy to think it has already been two months since we got married. On the other hand, it seems like it has been so much longer than that.

Either way, the past two months have been so good. :) I knew I was going to be really happy, and that I was getting an incredible man, but it just gets better as time goes by. I still don't know how I got so lucky.

He makes me happy. :)

In other news, we went canyoneering this past weekend with some friends. We did two canyons (Salome and Parker Creek) and were very, very tired by the time we finally got home. It took a bit longer than we anticipated. Totally worth it though! They are both incredible canyons.

These pictures are from Salome.

Can you tell we were all kind of having a hard time keeping our balance? 

We love waterslides!

That's me going down this one. :)

"Honey, where's mah supah-suit?"

Another waterslide... wahoo! 

This was one of my favorite parts. And no, not entirely because Dallin was there.  ;)

Swimming out

The rest of the pictures are from Parker Creek Canyon.

The beginning of some sweet narrows

Even more waterslides!

There were a few rappels. This one was pretty short. 

A 50-footer

Another shot of the 50-footer

The 80-footer. Can you see me? :)

Climbing (literally) out of a drainage to get to the car

The view of the canyon we were in with Roosevelt Lake in the background

This world is a pretty amazing place, isn't it? While we were doing this canyons, I kept thinking about how beautiful and varied the earth is, and how thankful I am to be physically capable to do things like this that enable me to enjoy God's creations in this way. It makes it even better to get to do it with my partner in crime. :)