January 18, 2014

Ward Christmas Breakfast

This year our ward had a Christmas Breakfast instead of a Christmas Party. One day at church they passed around a sign up sheet asking for volunteers to prepare some food for the event. I signed up to bring a french toast casserole and grabbed a copy of the recipe.

When I got home and examined the recipe I thought to myself, "This isn't very healthy." When I went to make the dish omitted some of the sugar and substituted some of the ingredients for healthier alternatives. My version of the french toast casserole was such a hit that Andy and I didn't even get to try it, it we as gone by the time we made it to the front of the line. A few of our friends tried it and we asked them how it was (before disclosing that we had made it) and they said it was really good. I'm glad people are open to healthier alternatives.

Unfortunately, I threw the recipe away or I would have put it up it with the changes I made to it.

We had a lot of fun visiting with our friends and ward family. We also enjoyed seeing everyone in their cute pajamas.

January 16, 2014

Overcoming Fear & The Forgotten Carols

As of late I have been working on facing my fears. I have learned that I will continue to be afraid of something until I face it. Who wants to live in fear the rest of their life? Not me.

One of my lifelong fears has been the fear of donating blood. I know that donating blood is a good thing, but the thought of blood coming out of my body terrifies me. Many years ago my sisters life was saved on more than one occasion because people donated blood, I am grateful for those people who were willing to donate. Each time my sister's life was saved I would think to myself, "Someday I will donate blood." I thought that if I donated blood I would be giving back to those to helped my sister.

Each time a blood drive was had, I would think to myself "I'm glad I can't donate my blood because I don't weigh enough." I would then look at all the people around me who had donated and think, "Man, they are  so brave."

Then one day the blood bank came to my work. It was a really slow day at work and they told us that we didn't have to clock out to donate. I sat at my desk for hours thinking, "I really don't have an excuse to not donate my blood, I weigh enough." "Maybe I should donate." "Are you kidding? You are going to try and donate blood! You are so small, you will surely pass out." As I wrested with these thoughts and self doubts my heart raced--I could donate blood, I should donate my blood.

One of my co-workers told me that if I donated blood that she would too. I immediately started thinking, "If we both donate, then we could save more lives. Okay, I can do this."

I text Andy and he came to my work and donated blood with me. When they took me back to check my vitals I secretly hoped they would tell me that I was anemic and couldn't donate but luck was not my side. I was then asked how much I weighed and I told them. They didn't seem to believe me and had me step on the scale, I barely made the weight requirement.

Andy donating  blood.

Next thing I knew I was sitting in "the chair" the one that I had feared sitting in my entire life. It hurt a little bit when the needle went in, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. About five minutes later, I was done. I could not believe it, I was in shock and awe. I had just donated blood. I didn't pass out. It didn't hurt. I just saved someone life. I overcame my fear. I immediately thought, "I could do that again, it wasn't so bad."

"The Chair'

Looking at my veins.

Getting ready.


Time to face my fear.


All done. I did it.

If you have never donated blood before, give it a try. Just be prepared to be really tired afterward. I was surprised by how tired I was, I was not expecting to be that drained.

I have decided that I am no longer going to live in fear, I plan on facing as many of my fears as I can in 2014.

Later that night we drove up to Salt Lake to see The Forgotten Carols. Neither one of us had seen The Forgotten Carols before and had no idea what to expect. All I will say is that the show was amazing! If you ever have the opportunity to go see The Forgotten Carols, I strongly suggest see it. Everything about the show was wonderful, it was so moving and powerful.

January 11, 2014

Winter Bucket List

Every season Andy and I sit down and make a bucket list of fun things we would like to do. We never complete everything on our list but it helps us figure out how what we would like to do for fun on the weekends. Weekends are really the only time we have to get out and be adventurous. Our current bucket list is as follows:

  1. Snowshoe
  2. Cross country skiing
  3. Ride in a dog sled
  4. Tubing at Soldier's Hollow
  5. Go sledding
  6. Build a snow woman (yes, the snow woman will have boobs) and a snow man-- my grandparents did this one year and it inspired me.
  7. Go bob sledding at the Olympic Park in Park City, UT
  8. Ice skating
  9. Zip lining
  10. Ice fishing
  11. Skiing/Snowboarding
  12. Visit some hot springs
  13. Camp in a yurt
  14. See the lights on Temple Square
  15. Go to the Forgotten Carols
  16. Watch the LDS Christmas Devotional
  17. Go to Yellowstone
  18. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  19. Go Christmas caroling

January 7, 2014

Catching Fire

Recently we went on a date to see Catching Fire (the second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy). If like post apocalyptic books, I strongly suggest reading these books if you haven't already.

I admit that wasn't a huge fan of the first movie so naturally I was a little hesitant to see the second movie. I have to say that I absolutely loved Catching Fire, they did such a good with the movie! It was simply amazing! I can't wait for the third movie to come out!

January 6, 2014

Christmas Devotional

On December 8th we drove up to Salt Lake to spend the evening with our friends Trent and Kirsten and their little boy Tanner. The evening was spent eating soup, playing games, and watching the LDS Christmas Devotional. In case you missed it, you can watch it here.

I love watching the Christmas Devotional, it is something I try to watch every year. The Christmas Devotional really does help to invite the spirit of Christmas in to our home and lives. That special spirit that we feel this time of year, is something I strive to feel every day of the year.

January 4, 2014

Good Bye Fall, Hello Winter

I am sad to say that fall is gone and winter is here. We have had several snow storms, each of which has dropped about six inches of snow. For some reason the air quality gets really bad in between storms and people are advised to stay indoors. Between the bad air and freezing temperatures, I have come to realize that I really miss the fall.

January 3, 2014

Unwelcomed Guests Come To Visit

Andy thought it would be a good idea to bring the hose in for the winter (he said the hose would last longer if we brought it in). I wasn't so down with the idea of bringing the hose in because it was dirty. We came to an agreement, Andy could bring the hose in if he washed it off. So Andy brought the hose it and put it in the tub and there is sat for several weeks.

One night Andy walked down the hallway and said, "Come check out this huge spider." I had just walked down the hallway two minutes before and didn't see anything. I walked back into the hallway and to my surprise a black widow was climbing up my wall and I freaked. We suspected that the spider came out of the heat vent.

Exactly one week later I found another black widow in the tub with the hose. The mystery as to where the spiders had come from was instantly solved. The spiders had made their home in the hose reel. Andy put on some gloves and hauled the hose and hose reel outside with the spider hanging from it.

The next day, Andy called an exterminator to come spray and we haven't seen a spider since. It's a little unnerving not knowing if there are poisonous spiders lurking in your home. We learned a valuable lesson from this experience, the hose is best kept outside.

January 1, 2014

Black Friday

We spent some time on Black Friday shopping, we found some really awesome deals. After we had shopped to our hearts' content, we went home and decorated for Christmas. I love decorating for Christmas, it's pretty much the only holiday I decorate for.

Our Nativity

For me, Christmas isn't complete unless you have a real tree. The tree permits sold out really fast where we live, so we weren't able to go cut down one of our own this year. We had to settle with a pre-cut tree from the store. I think our looks beautiful with all the lights on it.

Our Tree