Monday, September 27, 2010

In Memory...

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the day my Grandma Joan passed away, and the 11 year anniversary of the day my Grandpa Bob passed away. They aren't related, my grandma is my dad's mother, and my grandpa is my mom's father. (confused?)

I think about them often. They are in my dreams often. Once I had a dream in which my grandpa came and asked me how my life was, and what I was up to. It was right before my first wedding, and I excitedly told him about how I got to go to the temple soon to be married! It was a special dream for me. I have since had many dreams, some meaningful, some just weird- but they make me miss him and wish he had lived a little longer. I had fun memories with him from my childhood. He'd chase me around the yard with a tarantula in a jar, and tell me if I was outside with a cough that I would catch pneumonia. He loved to tease me and the other kids- by sticking out his dentures even when we passionately protested. But he loved us all. He was a sweet man. I think I cried harder at his funeral than I've ever cried in my life. It was my first experience with death, and someone I missed so much. I'm grateful that I still get dreams to remind me of him.

My grandma was such a character...she was always asking us the same questions. My frequent question/comment was "You're hair looks so pretty! Did you change your hair???" ha ha..she kept us all entertained. One of my fondest memories of her is when I was going to SUU the first time, and she was so concerned with my well being. She called and asked if she could take me out for a burger. We went to Arby's and got sandwiches and ate them at my uncle Steven's house, then she took me home and gave me $20 and a box of hot chocolate packets. She said something like, "You're in college and I know how hard it is to be a poor college student!". I knew she didn't have a lot of money herself, and this was a sacrifice. I'll never forget it, and I'll always be so grateful for that moment I had with her. My sisters and cousins probably won't remember her the same way I always will.

This next part is hard to write-- I'm getting emotional as I type...
My grandma had finally gotten her life in order, financially and spiritually. She invited everyone over to her new house for a BBQ, but I didn't get to go because I was in California for my first visit to Ben's. I had gotten to tell grandma about Ben before I met him, and told her I knew I was going to marry him. She was excited to meet him. Anyway, I missed the BBQ. And she passed away a few days later. My heart aches to know I missed that event, but I'm SO thankful that the last time I saw her was a good memory for me. She had once again given me money and a new shirt in honor of my starting up college again. We had visited a little and I have no regrets.
Her death was unexpected. She had outpatient surgery and passed away in her sleep that evening in my aunt's home. It was shocking for us all, and the first person I called was Ben, who immediately offered to come out to support me. I initially said no, but then decided it would be very nice to see him again and to have him there to help me. We ended up singing together for the funeral, an event that is in our own personal history book. We fell so deeply in love that weekend, because Ben realized how true my feelings were for him, and I saw him make sacrifices for me for the first of many times.

Right before our wedding, I was driving through the gorge on my way home from a Cali visit. A song came on, I can't remember which, but it reminded me of my grandma and my grandpa. And suddenly the lights shining into the gorge were so beautiful and radiant, that I couldn't help but cry. I missed them SO much but knew their spirits were close by. I felt them in the temple on our wedding day. I feel their love often as I go about life. I dream of them both, and I love and miss them dearly.

I'm so thankful for the plan of salvation and my eternal blessings that will allow me to see my family again someday. It is wonderful to know they are on the Lord's side, fighting valiantly for truth and righteousness, and that they provided strong principles for their posterity to follow and build upon!

I love you grandpa and grandma!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My life...

Lately I have been thinking about how deeply I enjoy so many aspects of my life. And how different things are because I am in school now.

For example, there are times when I see things like STUDY ABROAD! and JOIN OUR CLUB!
And I think-- wow I could have done those things if I had finished school before I got married and had Connor. But then I realize I was SUCH a different person back then. I had ambition, but not nearly as much as I have now. And I didn't have the confidence I have now.

I crack myself up because I go to school and I'll carry around my water jug, (it's big) and my diet coke mug, and my backpack and my camera case. Me from 3-4 years ago would feel like a fool. I'd never be caught eating my lunch as I walked from one class to the next. I also would have not come to school wearing some of the things I wear. And sometimes YEAH I'm a little embarrassed that I don't have a cute skinny, pre-pregnancy body like a lot of these girls. But mostly, I have WAY more confidence in myself because I know I have a hubby and an adoring SON at home, who love me no matter what I choose to wear, what I look like on campus, and whatnot.

I realized today that I carry myself totally different than I used to. I walk knowing that I am a successful person, I am a good mom, and I am a pretty dang good wife! I know that I am more than just what I do. I feel that for the first time I am genuinely confident in who I am and who I am becoming.

It's strange how the busier you are, the more you get done, and the more you want to do. Weird right? But awesome nonetheless. For instance, I have been REALLY wanting to cook new recipes. I have been subscribed to the Taste of Home Magazine for almost a year now, and I haven't made a thing. Maybe one or two recipes, but nothing major. This week alone I have tried out two new meals! This is last night's accomplishment:
Grilled Tomatillo Chicken


Yes. I made a pie. My first pie ever. I know it's rough. But dang it tasted good. P.S. if you've never made a pie I have two tips:
1. If the edges start to burn before the rest is cooked, put foil around the edges or parts that are burning.
2. Put the pie tin on a cookie sheet. Otherwise the juices will drizzle onto the bottom of the oven and cause your house to smell like burning fruit. I learned this the hard way.

I was VERY proud of my hard work. I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day-- school, grocery shopping, homework, baking and cooking. It was a long day. But a GOOD day!

And I have to post how freakin cute Connor is after his bath.

I laughed so hard when I was taking these pictures. He reminds me of one of those fat canister things that can all be stacked within each other...anyone know what I'm talking about? He he..

Friday, September 17, 2010


As I was walking to class today, I was taking a different route. Ben and I drove together since Connor is at his grandparent's house in St. George- so I walked from the top of campus to the bottom. I passed some old ladies who were apparently having some type of yard sale. As I passed one of them said "Hello!" I said hi, but was afraid they were going to try and sell me sad that was my first thought...but instead, they then said "Have a good day at school!" Sweet right? I's Friday! And it is NOT off to a bad start! YAY! So here's to a good Friday that will be followed by a fantastic weekend! :)

In other news, I am seriously loving ALL of my classes. It's so fun when you are in your major and all of your classes sort of overlap. And things are FINALLY starting to pick up and get busy. Weird to think that in 3 more months this hectic 24 credit semester will be OVER! And guess what we're doing when it's done????

Going here....
That's Cozumel, Mexico...and we're going to check out the ancient ruins. I can't wait for that...

Then we're going to go BACK to:

Grand Cayman- the site of our honeymoon. Yeah I could have gotten a more descriptive picture, but this is SO beautiful, right?

All because we are going to fly here:

Miami--I've never been and we are spending a day there!

Then we are jumping on one of these:
Yep- we're going on a cruise. We've never been on one together--and we are SO excited. Sad that we are leaving our sweet boy for a week--but it will be at the end of a VERY long busy semester and I'm sure even he will be ready for a break. He'll get to play and be spoiled at grandma's! This is our graduation trip--since we could be moving for a job anytime after the new year. You read that right--if Ben gets a good enough job he could finish out school from wherever he gets said amazing job. But more than likely we will be around til at least May.

Yes- you can be jealous. It was a CHEAP trip-and we aren't paying a dime for the airfare or cruise because I'm using my $1000 from the online offer I just finished!!! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh Fall Television...

So.....we canceled our dish network about 3 months ago, right as summer started. Why? Because we were both enrolled full time in school and didn't have time for t.v. And because we were getting SO sick of being plopped down in front of the t.v. watching STUPID shows! Our favorite show-Ugly Betty, ended in April--and let's be honest. The other shows are getting ridiculous. Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy...starting to get too trashy. Maybe that's just me-but nonetheless I was over it. We were over it.

So now we just have t.v. available through the high def. rabbit ears. We get basic channels, and included is ABC. I have seen the previews for the next season of some of my shows, and honestly I'm having a hard time resisting the urge to watch the premiers. I know if I watch the premiers, I'll be hooked. And I'll somehow not have enough time to do my homework, be a mommy..yadda yadda.

Also, we have been going to institute and our teacher told us he has a daughter in law who doesn't watch any movies that are rated higher than PG. Yeah to some that's extreme...and I'm not quite ready for that point...but Ben and I were talking and realized that some of the t.v. we watch is just BAD. I don't say any of this to be holier than thou, and I certainly don't care what any of my friends watch--but for us--we notice that the spirit can't reside when we have that stuff in our living room. And we are parents now--meaning it's time to start good habits. I don't want to watch anything I wouldn't dare watch with my kids. So there you have it--Goodbye Grey's, Private Practice, (seriously those are the only shows I can remember...and I know I used to watch like 8 shows...) oh yeah..maybe I'll still watch Heroes if it still comes on...but that's the extent of it.

Anyone else feel this way? I get SO much more done without the stupid TV!!!! :)

Happy Wednesday...hope you all survive til the weekend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Fridays my butt...

Blunt title maybe? yeah. This is the second Friday in a row to suck the big one. I'm sitting here thinking of my highs and lows. So I thought I'd blog it for posterity and to make me happy and laugh when these days have passed.

Bad things:
-I got in a bad mood because I felt like I didn't have as much oatmeal in my bowl as yesterday. Dumb.
-Our new (new to us) Jeep Grand Cherokee (pictures later) is leaking fluid. STUPID.
-Ben stressed about the leakage and I left without kissing him goodbye because he was stressing me out. RUDE.
-I got behind a slow driver and decided to take another route. Then got stuck at a light FOREVER and realized I'd left my water bottle at home. RAGE!
- I had to wait for an idiot pedestrian to cross the street when it was NOT his turn, and NOT on the crosswalk. LAME.
-I got to my first class and someone was sitting in my "spot". This is the 3rd week of classes and I've sat there everyday. Why would she SIT THERE?! GRRRR.
- I dropped my cell phone and the battery popped out...for the millionth time. IRRITATING.

Upsides to my negatives:
-I found a parking spot WAY closer than usual because someone was leaving the lot. SCORE!
-My teacher's watch is 2 minutes off so I wasn't late for my first class. LUCK!
-I bought a diet coke at the student store because I didn't have water- and I needed a kick in the pants. DELICIOUS
-The class that came after I had to spend extra time to get my diet coke, and dropped my cell phone started late because the teacher was late. PHEW.
-My mom is home with Connor so both of his stressed out parents aren't there to bother him.
-I have a new mechanic that I LOVE because he doesn't over charge me, and knows what he's doing. He'll be available today to look at our jeep.

It's only 11:25 a.m. so this day will probably keep improving...but for now things are already evening out. Aren't Fridays supposed to be AMAZING? Maybe when they're over...for now I don't love them.

But I do love this boy:

Photo credits: Lauren Casto Photography

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And I said I'd never need math?

Today as I was on a walk with Connor I got thinking about how often I use some of the basic knowledge I learned in school. Remember how we all said "Math? When am I ever going to use this?!" Well....

I use math in the following ways:

I know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, how many ounces are in a pound, etc. I have to know this when I'm adding up my food intake for the day.
Knowing how much an ounce is makes bottle making a lot easier.
I have to keep track of how many feedings and diaper changes Connor has had.
I have to keep a family budget--adding and subtracting almost daily.
I have to do quick math at the grocery store sometimes to figure out how much I'm spending.
I know how to figure out how much I'm spending per diaper, which saves me a lot of money.
I use it to count how many slobbery kisses in a row I can get from Connor.
Without numbers I wouldn't know that there are millions of reasons I love my life as a mother and a wife.
Photo credits: Lauren Casto Photography

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet Stephanie...

So my fabulous blogging friend Kate does this from time to time...she introduces someone of interest in her life, and exposes their awesomeness. I am doing much the same thing with my dear friend Stephanie. She has been in my thoughts a lot lately, because she is helping me out in a BIG way! When I upgraded from 22 to 24 credits this semester, because I needed to switch teachers for reasons I won't divulge. She was the first person who came to mind--someone I knew I could trust Connor with for 2-3 hours per week. So without further Stephanie!

Stephanie Marie Barlow

Married to David Benjamin Barlow (awesome middle name eh?)

Mother of David Benjamin Jr. Barlow (She calls their family Stephanie and the Davids..ha ha)
Amazing friend
Devoted member of the Church
Beautiful Mother
Sincere, trustworthy, and all the other good words :)

She has a son who is 2 days younger than Connor, David Jr. She was checking in to the hospital on my last night there, but we didn't know each other yet. I wish we had though, it would have been fun to exchange horror stories! (We've since done so.)

Stephanie's husband David is our Elder's Quorum President, and he does an amazing job of it. I feel like David and Stephanie are the "parents" of the ward. I always hear of random acts of service they do for people in the ward. And the wonderful part is I know they don't do it for praise. In fact they'll probably be a tad embarrassed when they read this post. But the truth is- they both deserve it.

Stephanie was the first great friend I made since living in Cedar. She and David were standing behind me in line once and the grocery store--we had probably only been to the college married ward a few times, and really hadn't talked much with anyone yet. They remembered my name and said hello. They told me how they had also met online, on Myspace, and had a son Connor's age and that we would be great friends! I totally agreed! They later said they were afraid they had come off weird by insisting that we be friends...but I didn't think so. They were genuine from the start! I think one of the first things I told them was that I loved shopping good deals, and they should check out the top sirloin steaks..ha ha I was buying like $50 worth. ANYWAY...

We have since had them over for dinner and loved their company. If life weren't so busy I'm sure they would have been over more than just the once, but Stephanie and I have had fun yard sale-ing (ok we only went once...lame) and having play time with our boys.

Overall, Stephanie is the perfect example of Christlike love. She visits the Beehive home which is almost next door to my house, to visit with the elderly. She is always selfless with her time and talents. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. I'm so thankful for friends like her, she has truly been an answer to many of my prayers, and I hope reading this she knows how much
I love her! I also love her little boy so much, and love seeing he and Connor play together. I think it will be fun to continuously watch them grow and learn how to play more with each other.

These are some pictures I took from Stephanie's Facebook profile--and some I took at our house when the boys were younger.

Thanks for all your wonderfulness Stephanie!!!