March 31, 2014

The Monster Truck Show

Dad, Nathan and Russell came to visit. They stayed with us February 14th through February 16th. When they arrived on Friday night the boys were really tired, so they went straight to bed. Dad, Andy, and I stayed up late talking.

The next morning Russell and Nathan helped Andy and I make breakfast. For breakfast we had buttermilk pancakes, turkey bacon, green smoothies, and some fresh fruit. Instead of using eggs to make the pancakes we made chia eggs, Russell helped me with this. As I went to dump the chia eggs into the pancake batter Russell said, “Ew! You put poop in my pancakes!” It was really funny, we all laughed. It wasn’t very funny though when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast because he thought his pancakes had poop in them. Don’t let the chia egg deceive you, the pancakes were really quite delicious.

After breakfast we headed up to Salt Lake for the monster truck show. Right now Russell is in a monster truck phase, he absolutely loves monster trucks. He saw a commercial on TV for the monster truck show and made up his mind that he needed to see it. Dad said he would fly down for the weekend if we agreed to go to the show with them, it was a surprise for the boys. During the car ride the boys kept asking where we were going but we wouldn’t tell them, we kept telling them it was a surprise. We walked into Energy Solutions Arena, the ticket taker scanned our tickets and Russell asked him if this was the monster truck show. Naturally the man said, “Yes, this is the monster truck show. Oops, what that supposed to be a surprise?” Yep it was a surprise, oh well.

As we walked in to take our seats, Russell heard a monster truck and turned and booked it out of the room and down the hallway. Andy and I chased him down and helped him put ear plugs in his ears before taking him back in to watch the show. He loved watching the monster trucks. I personally enjoyed the dirt bikes better. 

Russell covering his ears before we went into the arena.

Russell sitting on Dad's lap while covering his ears.

Russell covering his ears.

Me & Andy.

A Monster Truck.

Two Monster Trucks. Check out the Scooby Doo Truck, it was awesome!

Me, Dad, Russell, and Nathan. Gotta love the camera phone.
 Our next stop was Trader Joe’s, we grabbed some food and then drove to Draper to drop Dad off at Marcello’s house (Marcello is Dad’s old mission companion). Then we went to Nordstrom Rack to grab me some new shoes, you can never have enough shoes.

When we got home we had a roast waiting for us in the crock pot. While I was getting everything ready to eat Russell said, “When are you going to have a baby?” I replied by saying, “Do you want us to have a baby?” He nodded his head. Then I asked him what he would name our future babies and he said, “Russell Gregory Jennifer or Grave Digger.” Grave Digger is the name of his favorite monster truck. Then Russell asked us where babies come from. Andy told him that Heavenly Father sends them and I told him that Heavenly Father puts the babies in the mommy’s tummies. He seemed content with that answer. Nathan and Russell said they had never had roast before, I find that hard to believe. Russell doesn’t like potatoes but we convinced him to try sweet potatoes and he loved them. He ate his spinach really quickly, he said it was really good. Both boys seemed to enjoy the roast, we will have to feed them roast again in the future.

Then we played board games with the boys until we went to bed. We had to bribe Russell and Nathan with a dollar to get them to play with us. We told them that whoever won would get a dollar, Russell won and let out a really loud cheer to celebrate his winning. I thought he was going to wake up the neighbors but they said they didn’t hear anything.

The next day, we went to church and then Dad and the boys left. It was sure good to see all of them, Russell seems to be bigger every time I see him. It makes me sad that he is going up, I don’t want him to get bigger. Hopefully we can see them again soon. I sure do enjoy spending time with my family, even if it is only for a few days.

March 30, 2014

Valentine's Day - Cross Country Skiing Style

Growing up my family would often go downhill skiing in the winter. My mom was not so fond of downhill skiing, she preferred cross country skiing and would often go with my grandpa. Andy and I had never tried cross country skiing before; naturally it became one of the items on our winter bucket list. I found out that you can go cross country skiing at Aspen Grove for $7.00 (this includes the ski rental) on Friday nights. Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, we decided to give cross country skiing a try. We thought cross country skiing, we got this. If my grandpa can do it, so can we. *Note to self* Grandpa is buff and he makes hard things look easy.

After work on Friday, we hopped in the car and headed to Aspen Grove. When we arrived paid for our gear, signed our waivers, and put on our snow clothes. We asked the girl working the register what the trail was like and if she had ever been cross country skiing. She said she had never been cross country skiing before but the snow was great, fresh powder. She gave us a map and said the trail was partially lit. We thought to ourselves, “We got this” and we headed out the door to the trail unsuspecting of the adventure that awaited us.

We started off going uphill; I couldn’t seem to get up the hill. Every time I made progress going up the hill, I slide further back than where I had previously started. I ended up turning myself and my skis horizontally and walking up the hill—this was hard work in and of itself. We thought going downhill would be fun and easy, boy were we wrong. Cross country skis are different from downhill skis and it is a lot harder to slowdown and stop. We both fell on our butts several times.

The trail was very dark; at times it was hard to see where we were going. As we rounded a corner, Andy decided to take the lead. The trail slopped downward and Andy yelled up to me that it was icy. I started my decent down the icy slope. I quickly picked up speed and was unable to stop, Andy reached out his arm to try and stop me but he ended up clothes lining me instead. My head and elbow hit the ice really hard and Andy landed on top of me (body slam style). I picked myself up off the ice, cried and continued on down the trail.

Before too long I found myself standing in a puddle of water with wet feet, part of the trail had melted.

We both agreed that 1 loop around the trail was plenty for us. Surprisingly, I would like to try cross country skiing again sometime but would like to have my mom or grandpa there to show us how it’s done.

March 29, 2014

Ice Skating

The weekend of February 8th was spent getting things down around the house and running errands. Andy’s cousin Blake and his girlfriend Amanda came over and we all went ice skating down at Peaks Ice Arena. The ice arena was very packed, I have never seen it so full before. Andy and I had a great time skating! I’m not sure if Blake and Amanda had fun, they hung out by the wall quite a bit.

I really enjoy ice skating but I’m not sure I would go skating a Peaks Ice Area again. The skates that I rented had a big chunk of padding missing so I asked for another pair. The second pair of skates wasn’t much better than the first. I think next time we go skating it will be somewhere else. I am proud to say that Andy and I did not fall down while on the ice, this is an improvement from the last time we went skating.

March 17, 2014

A Weekend Of Fun!

On Friday January 24th our friends Trent and Kirsten came down from Salt Lake to spend the evening with us. For dinner Andy and I made ham, steamed spinach, salad, and au gratin spaghetti squash. The food was really good, we all thoroughly stuffed ourselves.

After dinner we headed over to Trafalga to watch a 4D movie and play some glow in the dark mini golf. The movie was really cool, we watched a roller coaster movie and it really felt like we were on a roller coaster. Our seats moved and shook as if we were on a roller coaster track, my stomach dropped several times during the movie. 

Mini golf was a lot of fun! I managed to get myself a hole in one, I think that is the first time I have ever done that. I’m not very good at mini golf but my skills are definitely getting better.  Good food, good friends, and a game of mini golf made for a great evening.

The next day we went out to the cabin with our cousins Brittany and Bret. While at the cabin we played some games, watched some movies, and just relaxed. I always enjoy going out the cabin, it’s nice to get away and take a break from life even if it is only for a few days.

March 16, 2014

A Late Night Trip To The E.R.

Wednesday January 15th started out as any other night. I went to the gym and had a great workout. I came home and took a nice hot shower and then I asked Andy to help me cut my cuticles (our cuticle cutter is hard to hold and use by yourself). Andy started to cut my cuticles and then the cuticle cutter slipped and fell out of his hand. I’m not really sure what happened next, I looked down and Andy had covered my foot with a bunch of toilet paper and was screaming, “@%#$*! You’re gonna die!” It was about this time I started to feel intense pain and I started to cry. I asked him if we needed to call an ambulance and all he could say was “Oh crap! You’re gonna die! We need to get you to the hospital.” I asked him to get me some clothes (at this point I was standing in my towel) and he told me to keep applying pressure to my foot. Somehow I managed to get my clothes on over my foot while applying pressure. I wrapped my toilet paper covered foot in an ace bandage, then I hobbled to the car and we headed to the hospital.

When we pulled up to the hospital it was really dark. Almost instantaneously we were met by a cop, who asked what we were doing. Andy said, “My wife needs stitches.” The officer was understanding and he took us into the Emergency Room. The ER was dark, the cop swiped his badge and let us into another part of the hospital. We told the people at the desk that I needed stitches and they started asking me all kinds of questions. They said that tonight had been a weird night at the hospital and they would have to find the doctor and the nurse.

As I stood at the desk, I started to feel light headed (I’m pretty sure I was in shock). After a few minutes someone noticed and asked if I needed to sit down, all I could do was nod. They brought out a wheel chair, I sat down, and they wheeled me to my room.

The nurse came in and checked my vitals and asked what happened. We told her that Andy had been helping me cut my cuticles and the cuticle cutter slipped and went straight into my foot. The cuticle cutter didn’t stay in my foot very long because it was forced out by a stream of blood that shot 6-10 inches into the air. Andy told her he thought the cuticle cutter went into an artery.

Shortly after that the doctor showed up to look at my foot. He said it looked like we hit a vein but we had been close to hitting an artery. He said they could glue my foot or give me stitches but he thought glue would be the best.  I gave my consent and he started to glue my foot. My foot instantly started to sting really bad, I looked up at the doctor and asked if it was supposed to hurt and he said “Oh yeah, sorry I forgot to tell you. It’s been a weird night here tonight.”

They asked when my last tetanus shot was and I couldn’t remember so they gave me a tetanus shot. The doctor left and the nurse told me that I couldn’t get my foot wet for 48 hours and said I couldn’t exercise for 3-4 days. I asked if I could do the elliptical and she said no. I had a hard time when she said no exercise, I exercise almost every day. 

Then the nurse said we could go. Andy looked up at her and asked if there was anything we could use to clean up my foot. They glued my foot but they didn’t clean up any of the blood. The nurse gave him a wet paper towel and we headed home. 

The hole in my foot.
Another view of the hole.

The culprit.

 It was almost 2:00 am by the time we got home. I called into work and said I wouldn’t be coming in because I had spent the evening in the ER and then I crawled into bed. My foot hurt so bad the next day I could hardly walk, I found myself crawling around the house. They say that tetanus shots hurt but I have to say that my foot hurt 10x worse than the tetanus shot.

I went into work on Friday. While talking with one of my co-workers I learned that the hospital had been in lock down when we arrived. My co-workers daughter works at the hospital and she said that a previous patient had called in a list of names of ER employees and said they were going to kill them. That was why the cop met us, why the ER was dark, and why all of the employees kept saying it was a weird night.

Thanks to a $5.00 pair of slippery cuticle cutters, I now have a $1200 hospital bill. I always knew there was a reason I didn’t like cutting my cuticles. Maybe I should just stick with getting manicures =).

March 3, 2014

Heaven Is Here

One of my goals for 2014 is to read twelve books. I recently finished reading a book called Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson. I have to say that this book is amazing! The story beings with Stephanie as a young child, where she shares her hopes and dreams of the future. As she becomes a young adult, Stephanie finds herself living the life she had hoped for, but her life is drastically changed when she ends up in a plane crash. She miraculously survives the accident but is faced with many more difficulties. Stephanie shares her inner most thoughts as she faces her challenges head on. The emotions expressed in this book are so raw, you can't help but feel connected to Stephanie. I found myself laughing and crying as I read about her life. If you are looking for a good read, you have to read this book. Her story really helps to put life into perspective. You can buy the book here or here.

March 2, 2014

A New Year Equals New Goals

For me a new year has always meant setting new goals. Growing up my Dad would sit down with each of us kids, one on one and ask us what our goals were. He would have us write our goals down and he would periodically check with us throughout the year to see how we were doing.

I can recall listening to many books on tape during family road trips about setting and accomplishing goals. One of the most important lessons I learned was that an unwritten goal is just a dream. In life there are dreamers and achievers. Dreamers dream of a better things to come, while achievers work to bring better things their way. Typically the dreamers dreams are just that a dream. While an achievers life has been drastically changed for the better. This message has really stuck with me and I think it is safe to say that I think it is important to set and strive to achieve goals.

So, how does one go about setting and achieving their goals? I think a good place to start is by making a list of the things you wish you to accomplish. This year my list of goals in broken down into four categories: financial, physical, spiritual, and other. I went through each of those four categories and thought to myself, "What do I want to accomplish? Where can I improve?" as my thoughts came I wrote them down. Then I went through my list and made my goals more specific and measurable.

Often times when people set goals they say things like "I want to lose weight." My question to them is how much weight do you want to lose and how are you going to do it? In talking with people I have found that most people have no idea how they are going to accomplish their goals and their goals are not very specific. In the case of losing weight, pick an amount of weight that you want to lose, analysis you daily habits and see what behaviors you can change to lose said pounds. When I work on setting my goals it is those little everyday habits that become my goals, not the big end goal of "losing weight".

Have a plan of action. Remember you won't lose weight by just thinking about losing weight.

Put your goals up somewhere where you will see them often and be reminded of the changes you want to make in your life. I think the bathroom mirror is an excellent place.

Record your progress, this way you can see the improvements you have made and where you still need to work.

Share your goals with someone, they can help encourage you to keep trying.

How To Set & Accomplish Goals

1. Make a list of things you want to change or accomplish.
2. Make your goals specific and measurable.
3. Write your goals down.
4. Have a plan of actions.
5. Hang your goals somewhere where you will see them often.
6. Record your progress.
7. Share your goals with someone close to you.
8. Repeat-- there is always room for improvement.

It's okay to fail or miss a day, it's not the end of the world. Rome wasn't built in a day, the changes you are striving to make will take time to become habit or routine.

Remember that each day is a gift. Don't let a moment pass you by. Live each day as if it were your last. Don't be afraid to try something new. Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.

Here are a few articles I liked about setting goals.

The Best Time To Plant A Tree
10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon