Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Best of Both Worlds

(Insert the catchy pop song courtesy of Hannah Montana)

Dane and I have been bitten by the "house owner" bug, but we haven't given in quite yet. Seriously, we have to take advantage of this free rent stuff as long as we possibly can!

We still dream though...

And I try to envision the kitchen, but I can't quite decide if I prefer tile or wood flooring. Tile is ideal for the environment, but it can look so cold and plain. Well, I discovered a great union on HGTV this weekend. Thank you, "Income Property." Seriously, I find out so many great ideas on there like engineered hard wood floors and inexpensive backsplash tiling, etc. So, without further ado, tile that looks like wood flooring. I am telling you, it fit that apartment so well.

I love, love, love it right now. I do realize that by the time we buy a house and can do some of our own renovations, this might be completely out of style. But for now, my dream kitchen has the white subway tile backsplash and this hybrid flooring. Dream on!

(picture found here)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Add that to my Bucket List

Today I got a hankering to go on a cattle drive. Not quite sure why or where that came from, but I told Dane that we have to add that to our Bucket Lists. Could you imagine how much fun riding along with a bunch of ranchers would be?! Just envision yourself riding around the high desert terrain, setting up a tent at night, and starting a fire to make dinner. Now, that sounds rugged, and lately I am getting more into doing some of that manly, physical stuff. I might just have to go and spit on something (just kidding, I am not quite to that point--I plan to preserve some of my lady-ness). First step: learn how to ride a horse. That shouldn't be too hard with a cowboy marrying into the family. I actually think I will need to work on that first step for a while. One step at a time.

Picture found here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learning a Lesson

I have thought a lot over the last couple of days about writing this post, mostly because it is so crazy personal....and so crazy for that matter. (Please don't think I am maniacal or anything after reading this!)

When I was really young I watched an episode of "Saved by the Bell, " the one where Jessie Spano wants nothing more than to become the valedictorian of her class. Well, that very moment, I made that silly ranking my primary goal. Through many, many prayers and refusing to study on Sundays, that silly, worldly dream came true. Heavenly Father was true to form and answered my plea. That 4.0 (a symbol of perfection) was such a beautiful number to find on the final transcript.

Fast-forward to college. I decided to try and keep this silly thing going until I finished my undergraduate years. Why stop a good thing, I thought. Well, I let that little number create anxiety and stress. I didn't let school rule everything, in fact, I preferred extracurricular involvement in college. I couldn't let go of that goal. And again, Heavenly Father so faithfully answered my many prayers for help. I happily led my college in walk and with a 4.0 GPA as I received a Bachelor's Degree.

Sadly, I have let that 4.0 determine my worth as a person. I recently learned, now in my third semester of graduate school, that I will be unable to get an A in one of my classes. My 4.0 goal for graduate school is now impossible. I knew that getting the first A- or B+ would be hard, but I never really knew how horrible I would feel inside. I have felt incredibly incompetent. Looking at the B+ on a paper (that solidified my non-A) gave me the worst pit in the stomach I can image. I just kept hearing that little B+ chanting "failure" directly in my ear. I have sobbed and sniffled and coupled over many times over the last few days. I continued staying busy and working hard, but the moment things became quiet, the moment I was able to think, my heart felt so broken.

Right now, as I type this, I am crying. Of course. I am trying so hard to learn from this situation and move on. This was the hardest semester of balance I have faced, and unfortunately school took a back seat yet time after time. Only, this time Heavenly Father didn't bail me out. He let me fall and fall and fall, getting back up each time. I am learning though. I am recognizing, more and more, that I am worth more than what that little number indicates. I am resilient, and I have a lot going for me. I am going to be successful and make beautiful babies and be a happy mother and wife.

I just hope no one else is placing their worth on something that really lacks intrinsic worth. Our worth comes because we are amazing, god-like children of our Heavenly Father, and we have the capacity within us to resemble Him more and more each day. We have potential to achieve greatness through faith and the willingness to endure.

I love Him, and I am thankful for the opportunities I have to grow and stretch myself a little more and a little more all the time. He is going to shape me into something really special someday. I just have to let Him do it. Just you watch!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow Day!

I seriously thought it was a joke when by boss texted me last Tuesday morning to say that ISU was closed! What!? In all my years on the ISU campus (7 years and three months or so), ISU has never closed the campus down--even though I hoped and wished the powers on that campus would do it! My wish finally came true that day, and I enjoyed a full day of homework and errands (with a little fun mixed in).

With all of the snow around us, we had no other choice. The day's activity was our only logical option! This pair of 25-year-olds hit up some stores for boots and sleds, then braved the cold at Bartz Field to do some sledding! (Don't judge us for not bringing any children with us. Boy, did we look silly among all the 10-year-old children and dating teenagers.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's a Great Time to be Grateful

The holiday season just naturally oozes gratitude, especially Thanksgiving. It is a great time of year to slow down, soak in some life, and consider the many, many blessings you have. Dane's cousins and their friends participate in the annual "Thanksgiving Challenge," and I think it is a great idea! So, for the third year now, I scribbled my thousand bits of gratitude on many, many pieces of paper. I found that I am thankful for everything from my family members to a warm apartment to Andes Mints. So many things! Each year I think that coming up with 1,000 things will be far too difficult; each year I am surprised by just how easy the task really is. I hope that this little tradition makes its way to your home someday too. I asked Mykel if I could share their challenge with the girls in my Young Women's group. She told me that spreading it all over is nothing but a good thing (something to that extent anyway). So, spread the word! Ipromise your heart will be even more full as you spend even more time contemplating the things that make your life so full and wonderful. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Spiritual Analogy

My old roommate Linzy is the queen of spiritual analogies! Seriouly! This woman can find inspiration in almost any daily task. I appreciate and admire her ability to recognize important lessons in even the most simple things. Now that she has two adorable little boys, she has even more material for growth and learning. What a beautiful mother she is too! I have been trying to acquire some of her skills and talent in paying more attention to life. So, here is my very first attempt at an analogy, taken from my own daily experience. (This is a big moment for me!)

On Saturday, which was quite snowy and rainy, I made the short trek to Idaho Falls to be with my family to help with some wedding planning. I remembered before I left that a windshield wiper blade was in seriously need of repair (ahh, replacement--I am not as cheap as I used to be). Visibility was pretty low with the bad wipers that morning as I did my weekly Bountiful Basket pickup. There was a patch of wet snow/slush that just would not be removed by the wipers. Dane made a quick stop with me to help replace them. Bless his heart! The quick moments for the replacement made the visibility increase so much, making the car ride much better.

As I was driving along, I realized a teaching moment. Sometimes I get so distracted by things going on all around me. These things can be good, but sometimes they mask the clarity that the Gospel provides. As I live life with the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, filled with scripture student and prayer, my view becomes more and more clear. I can see my destination, and the path ahead of me. When I allow myself to replace the most important things with business, I can lose sight of all the reality of a loving Father in Heaven all around me. In a way, I can forget to change the windshield wipers, leaving a fuzzy view of everything around me. Plus, it's not a safe way to live. Everything becomes more sharp and crisp as I see through spiritual eyes everything around me.

(image found here)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wedding Planners

Ready, Set, Go:
The wedding planning has begun! I am feeling pretty stoked for this wedding. Kayla is going to be a stunning bride, and I am excited to welcome Patrick into the family. He is a great guy, and we couldn't be happier for Kay-Kay!

Kayla is doing a peacock them for her wedding, so white, deep turquoise, and black are her colors. Little peacock feathers will be incorporated in the cake, floral arrangements, and centerpieces. We asked one person about what she thought of the theme, and she mentioned that she has seen everything, including some zebra and leopard prints. We got a feeling that she thought our theme was a little weird. I personally love the idea!

The Four Planners:
Four loud women, a big snow storm, and wedding plans can equal one crazy day! After a couple of minor breakdowns along the way, the perfect dress was snagged, refreshments were determined, and decorations were settled. We had a big list to accomplish, which probably added a bit to the excitement.

Icing on the Cake:
Seriously, though that day was crazy and busy, seeing Kayla's expression when she tried on that dress was priceless. I was so happy for her and glad that she found something that made her look beautiful. The pictures just can't do justice for that moment. What a great day for her!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

in the moment

Fritz and Laura Perls seem to have a pretty fresh perspective on things. They together agree that it is most powerful for a person to live in the present and really develop an awareness of self. (Please don't mind my psychobabble.) So, I decided that I would stop futuring and thinking about what comes next and really focus on how I feel at this exact moment, this particular gestalt. (We just got done discussing this in class, of course! Do I really understand the theory? Probably not, but I'll still give it a shot.)

right now:

*munching on some delicious "Special K with Red Berries" and hoping I will stop soon
*seriously trying to decide if it is too late to take a nap
*wondering why I am putting this on the blog
*noticing that my legs are really sore (from basketball and walking a lot)
*sensing some serious tension in my shoulders
*feeling excited to share the H.A.L.O. club's salsa with Dane when he gets in the door
*preparing myself for a wonderful reading of Sweeney's book on Adlerian Counseling
*turning off the television because I am a little upset about the contaminated sea food news
*enjoying the peace and quiet around me, only hearing our little heater work its magic
*ahh--really trying not to think about the future--can't help it
*getting ready to go ahead and get my journal entry done early tonight
*checking out my red Christmas socks

I am thinking that Gestalt counseling could be my cup of tea. It really empowers you to stop focusing on the past and worrying too much about the future. Enjoy the moment and really live in it. Have great, connecting conversations with people. Think beyond the to-do list (hard, I know). Love and embrace the real you, not some ideal person out there. Find joy in the little moments. So far it sounds pretty good to me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

i can feel it

it's going to be a good week. i can feel it. i told dane that yesterday because sometimes saying things makes them happen, but also because i know that this week holds something special. thanksgiving is getting so close, and i am itching for a few days away from the job. it calls for a wonderful fhe celebration with the stokes family next week. excited to see them. katie makes me want to be a better person. don't you think we should surround ourselves with those types of people? dane and i played basketball tonight for fhe. i haven't really played for years. it felt amazing. i almost died of exhaustion, but i feel so relaxed and healthy now. i just need to get the eating under control at this point. chocolate is such a temptation. so happy that the stake yw presidency is taking care of mutual this week. we are going to have a great personal progress party. time to really get started on my personal progress. i am working on the annual thanksgiving challenge. a thousand things that i am grateful for. so easy, but so hard at the same time. i think it is a great way to spend my time. bunco is coming up this week. i can hardly wait to spend time with some fabulous girls. i sometimes get really shy when i get around a big group of girls, but it is a good growing experience. i have about a thousand things to do today, just like everyone else. instead of beating myself up for only checking some of the things off, i am going to enjoy my time. maybe i will put my to-do list away for the rest of the week. i think that is a great idea. the relief society is also putting on an activity this week. i miss feeling a part of relief society, and was ecstatic to add that to this week's calendar. on saturday the girls and i are going wedding dress shopping with kayla. it is going to be a great day. that girl is getting married. it freaks me out a bit. our family really does feel complete now though, and patrick is great. they both seem very happy. i am reading some extra materials for class. want to be that ideal student. ready to really excel in this program. in life. i am working on loving life and being more gentle with myself. i think i will go to bed early tonight. a little extra rest will encourage an early wake up. today was a good day, and this is going to be one normal, but incredible, week. i can feel it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I saw this on my sister's blog, and after laughing through the entire thing, decided to share it here.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Boys Vs Girls

I am always down for a little boys vs girls action; now that Kayla is engaged, we have an even number of boys and girls in the family. (Our family feels so complete now!) So, it was time for the family's first battle of the sexes for months! Thank you, Family Feud!

Results: The boys won. Both games. (No, I am not a sore loser this time. Next time, the girls will just have to give the boys a dose of their own medicine.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Extreme" Excitement

As I think most everyone around here knows, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" paid a visit to Pocatello in August. I was incredibly disappointed to discover that I wouldn't be able to volunteer. (Seriously, getting involved is the best!) When the big reveal came, I decided that I still wanted to have a little piece in this great occasion. So--a few coworkers and I braved the massive crowds for the opportunity to say, "Move that bus!"

I think that Guillermo and I were the most excited for the event. Someone down there is a picture of Ty, who slapped my hand as he ran by. Though I usually hate gestures like this (because I am afraid of germs), I was in heaven. Starstruck!

Poor Guillermo waited for about two hours then had to leave for a dentist appointment, missing the actual reveal. Guillermo and Craig stood directly in the sun with the huge masses of people, while Josh and I just headed for shade. My friend Mickenzie arrived when I was there and had an extra pass, so the two of us moved closer to the bus. When we were waiting, someone came over and moved our group to the very front of the crowd. Seriously, some people had been standing there all day, and Mickenzie and I were able to move like it was nobody's business. So fast!

Mickenzie and I could hardly believe our luck and felt so blessed. I couldn't help but start crying as we were close for all of the action. My very favorite part was seeing ISU's President Vailas award full-tuition scholarships for all of the children. I beamed with pride for my alma mater. (Insert fight song here!) The two of us girls were so touched by the family and so happy to see something great like this happen in Pocatello. What a blessing! The family is just beautiful and seemed so genuinely grateful.

Well, tonight I will be with my family in Idaho Falls, but I hope to catch at least a few moments of the show with them or via dvr. If you get a chance, tune in and support the family. (And you might even see me cheering (and in reality, bawling my eyes out) in the crowd!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

Right now I am sitting in my office answering nonexistent instant message for an online college fair--I think I am the only one around here, and it is quite peaceful--so what better time to jump back into blogging? Here are a few of those random musings just swishing around this head of mine.

Let's be honest, I really blog for me. Blogging and journaling are two of my favorite hobbies, though I wish I would put a little bit more thoughtfulness into each. I feel like everything just gets so scrambled on its way out. It really is so therapeutic to scribble a few thoughts down though. Tonight I think I will have an extended journaling experience--nice and long and relaxing.

In theories, we are discussing existentialism. I felt so silly when the girl next to me remarked that she has been an existentialist since high school. She had read Frankyl and Kirkegaard back then. I had never even heard of Kirkegaard until today and anxiously giggled when I mentioned that I loved "Man's Search for Meaning." Seriously, I feel a major lack of self-awareness in a program centered around personal meaning.

In my trek to really absorb this program I asked a professor for some extra reading materials to really enhance my experience with the theories and constructs. And, as silly as this sounds, I can't wait to crack open those books tonight. I am working to become a more fully engaged student. (Let's see how long this lasts.)

Today I discovered that Temple Grandin is indeed speaking at ISU in the spring. Shut up! I can hardly wait. I recently learned about her during an episode of Oprah (one of my primary educators and socialization agents) and can't wait to see her in person. She is an inspiring person, so I need to read up and prep for her appearance.

I am going to buy Dane and myself matching harmonicas in preparation for our self-paced, self-given harmonica lessons. Someday we will be able to play the solo in "Heart of Gold" together. Lessons might be postponed until Christmas Break, but the idea is still headed straight for my vision board.

ISU is receiving submissions for their "Black Rock and Sage" compilation of poetry, music, and artwork. This year I am finally going to submit some poetry (that has to first be written), thus working past my fear of sharing any poetry. Public mockery may ensue, but I am still going to try.

I have spent some great time with children lately and can hardly wait to have my own! I will cherish each moment (well, I say that now) and can't wait to soak up motherhood in all of its goodness.

Well, there are my current ramblings. And just in time, as my shift for the college fair is over. Now to the house for deep cleaning the kitchen, some scholarly reading, and the newest "Modern Family" episode. Happy Wednesday night!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Right now I am extremely thankful for these:


I have never had anything made in a crock pot that I haven't liked. You can just throw in a few ingredients and let it cook for hours and hours--and voila--a fabulous meal!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Letter to P90X

Dearest P90X,

I know that I have gotten started about 6 or 7 different times now and couldn't quite stay committed for the full 90 days. Well, this time is different. I just wanted to give you a heads up!

Your newest and closest friend for the next several weeks,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on

I ran across this video yesterday at Rockstar Diaries and instantly fell in love. I think I have watched it a total of maybe nine times now. It is so cute and so funny. Let me know what you think!

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


My dad describes himself as an "electrician by trade," and I describe him as a great dad and a sensitive man. That is probably where all of us Sucher girls got our ability to cry at pretty much everything. My own waterworks give Dane a good laugh at least once or twice each week. Let me tell you, there are some pretty tear-worthy commercials out there!

My dad likes to chat on the phone, so he called me in between some classes this morning. Last week he was working at Primary Children's Hospital, so he called to say hello, check on Dane (his new best golfing bud), and to share a couple of "neat" experiences from the hospital. (Just thinking about them makes me cry...)

While he was working, a little 5-year-old girl walking down the hall asked him for a hug. His partner was on a ladder, and she asked to hug the partner as well. So, of course, he came down the ladder for his own hug. The little girl gave each of the strangers a big kiss on the cheek too. Total strangers. My dad just fell in love with this little one.

Another little boy walked by, about the same age, and he had a tube coming out of his nose. He stopped and said hello and gave each of the workers a happy little fist tap. When he walked away, he gave my dad a thumbs up and had a big smile.

I think the thing that really gets to me is hearing my dad start to cry on the other line. He was so obviously touched by those little experiences, and I am sure he will remember them and appreciate them forever. He is just like that.

Anyway, I just had to write this down right now, and since the computer is here, I am just going to do a quick posting. Oh, how I love that man!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am just getting ready (cleaning up the house, prepping for a scholarship workshop, packing up, and doing laundry....oh, and blogging) before I head over to my mother-in-law's place for the night. I am headed to the TREASURE Valley area for work, and she is KIND enough to let me stay the night to get a bit of extra REST. I already had one 5:00 am wakeup this week (to get in some last-minute studying), and that is enough for me.

(Does anyone else ever wonder how their bodies were able to handle such late nights and early mornings in college? The fact that I made it through the undergraduate years in one healthy piece is a miracle--and others were WAY MORE BUSY than me. Seriously, those wonder women and super men are ABUNDANT in Pocatello--and in many other places, I am sure! How in the world do they do it? They really should give me some lessons!)

Anyway, life is going well here. Heavenly Father is blessing me with lots of knowledge about growing and expanding capacities and about priorities. That's really the whole GAME when it comes to TIME right, putting those most important things first in life. As I come to put my family and Heavenly Father first, all other things fall in place.

Speaking of FAMILY, Mary Anne, I can't wait to see YOU and spend some woman-to-woman time with you. Please grant me some of your cooking wisdom and card game trickery this evening. I should hustle up and get my priorities in ORDER, and get to you IN A HURRY!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My First Restaurant Review: Aspen's Junk

I am officially doing my first "restaurant review" of sorts. Dane and I just returned from a week-long work trip to Colorado, where we dined to our heart's desires--no fast food allowed--and it was just glorious! After 8 days of eating on the road though, tonight's home-put-together taco soup was a great, fast option for getting back to some homemade food. I must say that after 2 weeks of eating in some fabulous little joints this month, I am excited to put my culinary skills (what little I have) to the test! (Dane is pretty excited about my new-found desire for making some beautiful meals too.)

Anyway, (back to the point) the first restaurant we tried was in Aspen, Colorado, and it was called Junk. Dane and I happened upon the chic little outdoor restaurant during our personal, self-guided tour of the city after arriving. There was a large outdoor fire pit which drew us closer to the restaurant like moths to a flame (is that how the saying goes?).

And here are the reviews (remember that this is coming from a native Idahoan). Each rating is based on a 5-point scale, 1 meaning poor and 5 meaning excellent.

Location: 5
Easy to spot and right in the middle of town, the restaurant is located right smack dab in the center of all that is happening. In fact, with the large outdoor pit, it is hard to overlook even with all of the beautiful restaurants around. You can't miss that it is right across from one of Aspen's oldest buildings, which houses musical and theater performances.

Atmosphere: 5
Okay, so the atmosphere really embodied the "junk" theme. Water was served in glass mason jars; the seats were made of recycled jeans; canned drinks were covered in small brown paper bags; work lamps were used to spotlight areas; camping lanterns adorned the tables; fries were served in empty tin cans; and industrial work lightbulbs hung around the premises. Though everything looked like it could be purchased at a local "Home Depot" and could seem trashy, it was really a uniquely beautiful environment set for a great dining experience.

Taste: 4
Dane sampled the $13 burger, which he remarked was fairly run-of-the-mill and typical. Disappointment ensued as no fries accompanied the smaller-than-usual entree. I chose a $5 taco because I really wasn't hungry and ended up with two amazing bites of a very tiny taco. The taco had an asian flair, with cucumber and cabbage and a tangy, spicy asian sauce on the shredded beef taco. I was amazed with the flavor! It was very unique and tasty too.

Price: 3
Remember, this is where an Idaho girls speaks. Food in Aspen is usually significantly above the typical price-point in Pocatello, but we were surprised with the amount of food we actually got for the price. If fries had come with the smaller burger, it might have felt more affordable. Thought the food was good, we finished up with a yummy chicken alfredo pizza at Belly Up to satisfy our appetites. We left the restaurant still feeling a bit hungry.

Service: 5
The employees were fabulous, giving us directions and recommendations for many of Aspen's must-see spots. They were so friendly and helpful, a trademark of this fabulous town!

There it was, my very first online food critique. The food was fun, and the atmosphere was a blast. Dane and I enjoyed chatting it up with locals and other visitors. We even met a teenage magician who was featured in a documentary being played in Aspen's film festival. Never a dull moment!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grooving in Wyoming

When you are driving all over the western part of Wyoming (which now I really appreciate and believe is BEAUTIFUL), it is helpful to have some good tunes to make all of the driving fun. Because I didn't know anyone around me, I took the pleasure in creating new car dancing moves and singing at the very top of my lungs. (If you are really lucky, someday you can car dance alongside me--it really is fun.)

Here is a list of a few classics provided by XM radio, which really made the car drive a DREAM!

"Faithful" by Go West
"Open Your Heart" by Madonna
"Stolen" by Dashboard Confessional
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio
"Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and The Papas
"One" by Three Dog Night
"One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head
"Praise You" by Fatboy Slim
"Rock Steady" by Whispers
"Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers
"What Would You Do" by City High
"Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera
"Promise of a New Day" by Paula Abdul
"Rhythm is a Dancer" by Snap!
"Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
"Mairzy Doats" by Merry Macs
"I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" by Elton John
"You're in Love" by Wilson Phillips
"To Sir with Love" by Lulu
"You Get What You Give" by The New Radicals
"From a Distance" by Bette Midler
"Do It Again" by Steely Dan
"One Fine Day" by The Chiffons
"Live and Learn" by Joe Public
"Men in Black" by Will Smith
"Closer to Love" by Matt Kearney
"We Built This City" by Starship
"Would I Lie to You" by Charles and Eddie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Dandy

My piano student "D" has been looking forward to playing "Yankee Doodle" since we first started. She seriously told me during our second lesson that she couldn't wait to play it. I wanted to make the day special, so we did a few things:

a) We made "Yankee Doodle" hats. (They are a bit big for us, but I still like them!)

b) I sang "Yankee Doodle" in a really embarrassing, really silly voice while "D" was the professional accompanist. (It was her first official time accompanying, and she did great!)

c) We played the "Yankee Doodle" duet together several times. (I think that was really for my own fun. I made "D" play it three or four times with me because I had so much fun!)

How can you not smile when you think about "Yankee Doodle," a true classic!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

So Worth It

There was a new young woman in the ward today, and she was so nervous to be there. One of the girls in the group showed her how to look up scriptures and took the newbie under her wing. Because all of the girls, and this one in particular, were nice to her, she seemed excited about coming to mutual this week with us--not scared or nervous!

I thanked the awesome young woman at church for really making a difference for this sweet new girl and then decided to text her. Here's our conversation:

Me: I know I already told you this, but I just want you to know that you are a superstar! Thanks for making a little, but a very big difference!

Amazing Young Woman: No problem i'm willing to do anything ;))

Me: Thanks! And you looked beautiful today too. See you on Tuesday.

Amazing Young Woman: love you Kasi ;)) c u then

Such a simple conversation, but I am truly blessed to be able to spend time with these stellar girls! I have felt so tired lately, but getting to see moments like this makes everything so worth it!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Very Own "Swagger Wagon"

For this last week's work trip to Wyoming, I requested a sedan, but I was pleasantly surprised when the lack of sedans provided a free upgrade to a new Toyota Sienna, the true "Swagger Wagon." Dane and I fell in love with the Sienna and now hope to have one someday. They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I never took Dane for a minivan guy, but the last couple of trips with minivans have definitely changed his opinion. My favorite perks of the Sienna were the back-up cameras and the automatic gas economy calculators. Plus--it is probably one of the best looking vans out there. (I am really hoping that perhaps a Toyota Sienna rep runs across this page and decides to offer me one for doing some personal advertising for Toyota. Plus, we own a Camry! Typing more Toyota-related words could perhaps bring a rep to this site!)

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure (again....because you have probably already seen this)....


Friday, September 24, 2010

A Tipping Point

Okay, I am only going to vent for a minute, I promise! Usually I can write things down in my journal, but I am in my office right now and just have the computer standing at attention on this glorious Friday night. The journal is still tucked away in my luggage.

Over the last couple of years I have learned to balance things in life--full-time work and full-time school and being a wife and church callings. It didn't seem so bad. I felt busy, but I actually really enjoy being busy.

Lately, I keep reaching the point where I just collapse and cry because I don't have the energy to do everything. I feel like I have been working myself to the bone and can't seem to do enough at my way-over-40-hours-per-week job and grad school and the YW Pres calling and our apartment managing and trying to be a super-wife. I stopped keeping my six-page to-do list because it kept expanding faster than it was shrinking. I decided that I would rather not look at everything that has to be done for a few days. I just keep hoping that the end will come soon, but it just feels like it will be months before I feel like I can just sit back and not do anything without a huge feeling of guilt. I have never felt so tired in my life. Life really is good, but boy--I am just not handling all of these things as well as I usually do. The positive attitude is good when I am in the middle and around people, but boy have I been falling apart when I am by myself.

I am so thankful for the opportunities that Heavenly Father has given me, but boy did some of these come at some seemingly inopportune times. I am trying so hard to have faith in Heavenly Father's plan for me and wonder so often why He felt I could handle this calling with everything else going on. I have strong feelings that this is a great challenge and could help me grow so much more if I would have faith in Him, but I really need to work hard to get there. I don't know if things will get any less crazy, but Heavenly Father will defintely give me the strength I need to accomplish the tasks at hand. I can't tell you how grateful I am for this mini-challenge (compared to the significant trials everyone around me face with such grace), but I know that if I have faith I can be molded into a better individual, more fit for Heavenly Father's kingdom and a bit more like His Son.

I am starting Personal Progress again this weekend, and I am focusing first on developing the faith I need to be a more righteous steward. Studying and applying this little principle of power will definitely have a profound effect on my life.

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble. I am already feeling a little better. Things always have this crazy way of working out for me, and I know that the Lord will bless me again, and everything will fall into its very place. I just need to have a little more faith. Instead of really focusing on the stresses, I need to keep moving forward.

Now, time to get some work done!

Friday, September 17, 2010

No, You May Not Land Here

In high school I took a small interest in some of Poe's poetry; "nevertheless" the raven still became a bit of a frightening bird to me. Now, I know that they are just birds, albeit some of the most intelligent creatures around, but they still freak me out as I see them take flight daily. Just the sound of those little wings flapping gives me the "heebie jeebies."

Anyway, imagine a fine summer morning. Seriously--picture it. And you are walking to work, enjoying the fresh Idaho air and peaceful surroundings. Just taking every bit of it in. (Now I don't know if I was that in tune with my environment, but still....) Out of nowhere one of those wretched birds lands right in your hair--if you aren't scared of the ravens, picture some other frightening creature. After determining that your coif was part of a moving body, it flies away to nest somewhere else.

That hard to tame, up-do of curly, mangled hair seemed to be the perfect place to nest. This experience has really encouraged me to learn more about this crazy hair of mine. After years of learning tips and trying to manage the locks, these curls just keep me guessing--and birds too, I guess!

{Please note that those first hair nests were on purpose--mine was most certainly not!}

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sometimes It Pays to Lose

I can't tell you how grateful I was to hear that Bunco nights were starting up again. The group is new, and I miss seeing the other girls, but I am stoked about all the newbies. This is going to mean some great monthly girls' nights out! Can't wait. Here is a quick pick of the group (and I think I am the very last person to blog about it).

Now, I H-A-T-E to lose, even if it is just at Bunco. Let's be honest, there is absolutely no strategy or skill involved, but I still want to win. Just the thought of losing gives me a little pit in the stomach. However, when losing means that I am also winning, I will lose any time.

Take exhibit A: the winner's table at Bunco. I may have had the most losses, but I still walked away with a prize (and that is all that matters, well almost all--having fun with great girls is fun too)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Home State

I love Idaho,
and I especially love this.

I think that at $15.00 here, I feel a need to add another piece of art to my growing art collection. Does anyone else love to collect little, unique pieces of art?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Introduction

Call it growing up, but I have replaced some of that upbeat, poppy, hip-hoppy music with something a bit more tranquil. Boy, does my soul feel a difference.

(I remember reading a statement about filling your home with "pretty" music. I think Stephanie Nielsen talked about that. Anyway, I think that this change will make the environment in my home even more like heaven! Can't wait someday to welcome little ones into a safe, spiritual environment, and this is a step closer to creating their safe haven.)

Here is some sweet, peaceful music for you...from me. Take a few minutes to "tune out" of the craziness of this world around us! I could use a few moments of peace more often, that's for sure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Need for Discussion

I was one of about 10 people in Pocatello who waited in line to get my very own copy of "Mockingjay" on Monday at midnight. Boy, did I feel like a nerd that night, and boy did I feel tired the next day. I am proud of my love of reading though--and I know that a few of you out there must have done the exact same thing!

Well, I finished the book on Wednesday night, and I was pretty happy with the book--I love how Collins writes and thinks she is just as masterful in this book. I won't lie though (and I won't give any spoilers), but I felt like the last few pages were written in about a half hour's time. That book left me feeling like I had to fill in a ton of gaps. Very little is explained, and I was not too happy that my imagination had to work so hard to fill everything in. A great book, a great read, a great message, but a lackluster ending. I will still continue to love the series--and might read the books again--can't quite get enough of Peeta.

If anyone out there feels my pain, feel free to email, reply, or call. I know that this is just fiction (and good fiction at that), but isn't it surprising to see just how involved in a book you can get! Why do I care so much about such a silly thing?

Well, best of luck to you "Hunger Games" fans out there! Keep me posted!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ready or Not

Whew...school starts this week...

I am generally one prepared girl when it comes to the beginning of the school year...

This year, not so much...

And that is okay because I am just going to take this one wonderful day at a time...

Breathe in, breathe out...

I wonder how others do it all: being moms, or prepping for med school, or working and going to school full-time--I feel like I have it easy...

I am definitely ready for some structure, and I know that things are going to be swell, especially after my annual "back-to-school" blessing--so thankful for the Priesthood...

Just called to be Young Women's President (don't mean to share), and I am feeling overwhelmed--too young for this, too immature for this--will need a TON of help--but already love these girls...still in disbelief after knowing for almost two weeks...

Someday I am going to super-clean this apartment--and I am going to act uncharacteristically and be okay with the lack of perfection in my cleaning...

Really want to jump in and do a bunch of crafting--wondering if anyone else feels the same way...

Sorry to ramble--just getting these little thoughts out of my brain, so I can move on and move forward...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nertz--My Newest Craze

Last night our friends Brooke and Chase introduced us to a fabulous new card game: NERTZ. Huge thanks to them right now!

Good gravy is this game fun. Here is one note of caution: it is one of those really fast-paced card games. I nearly had a anxiety attack with all of the commotion--hard on type-A personalities like myself--but it was still fun indeed.

Because I want to share the love, I am sharing a youtube video on the game. Enjoy! (Oh, and let me know if you ever want to play!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's 1:42 in the Afternoon, and I Can't Sleep

Hey, friends! I finished my first Relay for Life this morning around 7:40 am. Whew, what that one amazing experience! (When I feel up to posting a few pictures and really thinking about what I am posting, I will get around to writing about it!)

I rushed over the the Holt Arena to pick up my Bountiful Basket then quickly hit the sack at 8:30 am. I woke up at 12:30 pm (I know that you really want to know all about the times!), and I haven't been able to go back to sleep since.

I haven't pulled a true all-nighter since the first year of college, and I can definitely say that there are reasons that I don't do this frequently. However, I have a few good ibuprofen in my system, so I am about to feel like a million bucks. I wouldn't mind if this little body of mine would really rest for another hour or two though.

Well, that is all for now. I can't wait to write more about this event. Preparing has been one of the most difficult challenges I have faced as a mere 25-year-old (I know, that sounds dramatic, but it is very true). All that worry and thought were so worth the time I spent on Century's track, remembering my wonderful Grandpa Jerry, spending time with miraculous survivors like Jeanne and Linda and two Carols, and thinking about my beautiful friend Holly who is battling breast cancer and is younger than I am. The lack of sleep is a small price that I can pay to really pay tribute and think of the people around me who are affected by cancer.

I can't wait to share more about a few of the incredible, invaluable experience I have had over the last 24 hours. Until then, I hope to get a bit more sleep!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Reason #7,284 why I love Idaho:


After a 7-year hiatus, I rediscovered one of my favorite things--fry sauce. (I was a ketchup-only girl after consuming far too much fry sauce during the tween years.) Though I really don't eat out much at all, there is nothing quite like fries and tons of fry sauce. All of this food talk is making me hungry--time to make dinner!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweet Relief!

This week I have been a busy girl--busy with lots of organizing. I can't tell you how invigorating this cleaning/organizing spree has been. My tired body is already sleeping before I hit the pillow, and the days feel super-crammed with things to do both at home and in the office. But, I am loving how good this feels and can't wait until everything is really in order! I have have cleaned out everything I can think of:

my purse (How can I fit that much stuff into one bag? Maybe I should downsize a bit!)

my makeup bag (That only took about two minutes, and I crossed it off the grand to-do list!)

my clothing and closet (Now everything I need is in the second bedroom close, neatly stored. Dane will be happy that he doesn't have to get up bright and early with me as I crash around the room looking for jewelry and shirts!)

my binder (The binder that keeps me in control of life, and not the other way around!)

my finances (I updated the budget and goals very first--I think this was my favorite thing to really organize!)

my office (Whew! Today was one crazy day, but that office looks and feels fabulous--with all new decor, including a doctored picture of LeBron James in ISU attire! On another note, is he really going to Miami? And boy, those feet of his are big! )

Items up for tonight: my refrigerator (can hardly wait), my hall linen closet (which has towels pouring out of it--I just hope Dane doesn't try to open the door before I get to this one--or he is in for one surprise), my mail organizing box (which really isn't organized), and that's about it. (I have to leave some time in for"So You Think You Can Dance" and some El Herradero. Come on...)

Don't you just feel liberated when you have organized?!

Here is a little glimpse at the peace I am feeling right now. Can't get much better! (Fabulous image found here.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Holy Intimidation, Batman

Last week I played in my first ever golf tournament. Now, please don't go thinking that I am a great golfer by any means. I actually was signed up to play by my coworker without being asked first. Oh, that Josh fellow! I think I would have passed on this altogether if I didn't already feel obligated. (Now, that's the truth!)Let me preface this: this golf tournament was just an opportunity to mingle with other professionals. Really--some golfers had never even played. We just like hanging out together and calling it a "networking" opportunity. I entered the tourney with the mentality that "everyone is here to have fun" and "no one is really taking this seriously." Of course, that was my mindset.
Introducing my group--a few intimidating but fabulous and fun golfers:

Jen: Really fun--worked at a golf course last year and played some major golf; really a natural at the sport and had some killer drives.

Brian: Very frequent golfer; playing in a golf tournament at Pumpkin Ridge with the other boys next month.

Rodd: Amazing golfer; the soon-to-be men's basketball coach at College of Idaho; coached for Boise State and several other programs.

John: My partner; played golf in college on the team who won the national tournament--aka, the best team in the country; past Admissions Dean at College of Idaho; could have played professionally but chose family instead.

Needless to say, the group played to have fun, but I was a "man among giants" in this case. On the bright side: I got a ton of free golf tips, often solicited. We had a great time, and I just love John--what an amazing man! I definitely survived my first 18 in a tourney and hope that this will spark a desire to spend more time on the links and maybe in play in a few more tournament rounds. Whew!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This

Sometimes it is good to share secrets--and this is one secret that I really can't help but share.

I am sure you already know about this, but it is too great not to share! A couple of months ago, my friend told me about Bountiful Baskets, a produce co-op in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. I don't think this announcement could have come at a better time; Dane and I were really trying to eat more fresh foods, and I was sick of the grocery store produce going bad after the first few days.

So, here is the deal: you will order your "basket" of produce on Monday nights at 8:00 pm. Now, when I say 8:00, I really mean 8:00. Those baskets are sold in minutes sometimes! I am willing to stop whatever I am doing, even FHE with friends, to order. (Please don't think that I am a bad host!)

On Saturday mornings you will pick up your basket of fruits and veggies. Now, I was expecting to get just a few items my first time. The baskets are only $15! Well, I was pleasantly surprised to come home with two green WinCo bags of produce. You have to make sure to pick it up on time, or you could miss out though. Dane and I so graciously had our produce donated one week when we missed the pickup time by 10 minutes.

I can't help but tell everyone about how fabulous Bountiful Baskets are--I must add that everyone who has tried has really been impressed. My friend and her husband eat theirs for 3 weeks, and Dane and I try to get one each week to help us eat more plant-based diets.

Take a look at the website to learn more about this fabulous opportunity. You can't help but be happy about eating better, supporting farmers, and spending less money! I hope you will give it a try or ask me any questions!

Don't forget to check out their website HERE. SERIOUSLY! And really, I have a lot of competition in the Pocatello area, so I would totally appreciate it if you wouldn't steal my basket! Just kidding--but seriously!

Image found on the Facebook fan page.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Doesn't Count...

Toward the end of my senior year of high school, I realized that I had gone an entire week without caffeine (and I had a very strong relationship with Pepsi, so a week was an eternity at that time!) I decided at that moment that I would see how long I could possibly go without caffeine--as of Monday night it had been over 7 years.

Well, Monday night I was at a wish-granting meeting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation with two fabulous girls. During the meeting, the father randomly brought glasses of Diet Coke (another personal favorite) to us. What was I supposed to do--tell him that I just couldn't drink the pop? It was just caffeinated cola. So, I tried to act normal and drank about half the glass, while inside I was seriously in utter turmoil--part of me felt terrible that I had kind-of broken one of my longest-lasting challenges, but the other part loved the drink. It had been so long!

So, I decided, after an inner discussion, without consulting anyone else, that I really didn't break my 7-year record. I was being a polite house-guest and was simply trying to help the family feel comfortable and have fun during the meeting.

Does anyone agree with me?

Image found here

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FHE: Our Latest

Because Dane and I don't have any children of our own, and because we want to practice holding FHE even without kids, we team up with a few friends for our own little FHE group. With a crazy semester out of the way, we reconvened our Monday night meetings this last week. Boy, am I ready for a great summer before our Monday night tirades end--as one amazing couple heads to D.C. for school and the other fabulous couple prepares to welcome a new addition to their family!

Now, I spent a bit of time preparing for this Family Home Evening. Have you ever seen the television show "Minute to Win It?" I must say that watching one episode was enough for me, but the prospect of playing the games at home was quite exciting! I put together a little home-spun version of the game show for our group. The games provided plenty of laughs and went right along with the lesson on developing and sharing talents. We can always find a new talent within ourselves if we are looking and trying new things. Am I right? Cheesy, but right! (I had to hook the games in somehow.)

Here are a few pictures from one interesting night!