November 29, 2014

Youth Temple Trip

We went with the youth to do baptisms at the Portland Temple last Saturday. All of the names that the kids did were family names. Andy and I brought along a few names of our own too. I think we did about 150 names as group. It was a really neat experience to do family names, it makes the temple experience that much more personal. I am looking forward to our next temple trip with the youth in May.

November 28, 2014

Bath Salts & Sugar Scrubs

The Relief Society Presidency asked me to put together a craft that the sisters in our ward could make and give as a Christmas gift. I don't considered myself to be a very crafty person, but I agreed. I thought about this activity for days and what I could possibly make that the sisters would enjoy. I finally decided to make bath salts and sugar scrubs. I think they turned out pretty good-- they smell pretty amazing too!

I scoured the internet for different recipes and tried several out before choosing the winner. Unfortunately, I didn't keep a copy for myself or I would share it with you.

I think the bath salts and sugar scrubs were a hit. The sisters loved them!

* Note - I found all of the materials for the jars at Michael's.

November 27, 2014

The Maze Runner: The Kill Order

The Kill Order answered all of the remaining questions I had from the previous books in the series. Yay! I felt like it took forever to get some answers. The Kill Order wasn't the most exciting read but it brought some needed clarity.

If you decide to read The Maze Runner series wait to read the prequel until the end-- if you read it first it may ruin the rest of the series.

* As of right now I have read 14 books this year.

November 26, 2014

Family History

The youth in our ward at church have been working a lot on their family history and have inspired Andy and I to work on ours too. It has been fun learning more about our family's history. Some days I feel like a detective trying to put pieces and clues together. I'm so excited to learn more about my family!

November 25, 2014

Pumped Up Kicks

Growing up my siblings and I ran track and cross country-- some people say we are born runners. Here are a few throwback photos from cross country my senior year of high school, fighting through the pain of achilles tendonitis.

Our coaches always stressed the importance of having properly fitting running shoes. Picking out a good running shoes isn't as easy as going to the store and just grabbing a shoe off the shelf. Everyone's feet move slightly differently when they run (neutral, pronation, or supination), I decided many years ago that I prefer to go into a running specialty store to have someone watch me run on a treadmill and recommend a shoe.  I have tried many different brands of running shoes over the years (Adidas, New Balance, Asics, & Brooks) and have grown to love running in Brooks.

Andy and I wanted to run a 5k for Thanksgiving and decided it was time to invest in some new running shoes. Running shoes are good for about 500 miles and ours were looking pretty shot.

Ironically we both ended up getting the same shoe. The only difference is that his are mens and mine are womens and the color of course.

Andy and I love our new shoes we are excited to see where they will take us.

November 24, 2014

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Aside from the "zombie" factor The Death Cure was a very engaging read. Once again I found myself wondering, "What is going on?" Not once did I find myself wanting to put this book down.

At the end of the book I still had a few unanswered questions floating around in my mind. I'm hoping that The Kill Order  (prequel) will answer those questions.

*This is book #13 for me this year.

November 23, 2014


Halloween was pretty low key for us this year. Normally we grab a pizza, watch Hocus Pocus, and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids.

This year we opted to change things up a little bit. There was no pizza and no Hocus Pocus. Instead we found ourselves cuddled up on the couch watching a scary movie that Andy had picked out. I think we had a record low this year as far as trick-or-treaters go, we had a grand total of 3.

Maybe next year will be a bit more exciting and eventful.

November 22, 2014

Ward Halloween Party

For our ward Halloween Party this year, Andy and I dressed up as pinatas. We spent a lot of time making our costumes, I think they turned out pretty great! Everyone in our ward liked our costumes, too!

Me & Andy.
Being creatures.
We enjoyed spending the evening with our ward family eating dinner and playing games.

November 21, 2014

Date Night: Dinner & A Little Shopping

Friday (October 24th) Andy picked me up from work and we went straight to dinner. I have a love-love relationship with cheeseburgers so we decided to try out a burger joint called Dickie Jo's. Andy wasn't so fond of the idea of trying someplace new, but stepping out of our comfort zone was definitely worth it. The food was so good! And the fries, they were amazing!

Dickie Jo's is also connect to Dickie Yo's, which is a frozen yogurt joint. We decided that we are going to have to go back and try Dickie Yo's one day--we both really enjoy frozen yogurt.

As we went to leave I couldn't help but notice a World Market around the corner--this is one of my favorite stores. We had fun looking at all of the fun stuff in the store and came out with a few treats and a Christmas present for one of my favorite little boys.

November 20, 2014

New Bike Tires

On Wednesday (October 22nd) the missionaries text Andy and asked if we could take them to get some new tires for their bikes (they don't have a car). We happily agreed to pick them up. We found the elders walking down the dark street in the pouring down rain, I felt kind of bad for them.

The elders told us they had been to Wal-Mart and were not able to find ties the right size. We took them to REI and quickly found tires that were the right size.

We stopped at the house and grabbed a few tools and then headed to the missionaries apartment to help their change out the tubes on their bikes. Elder Watson had changed his tubes out before but Elder Fernelius never had, so Andy taught him what to do.

I just love the missionaries in our ward, they are the best!

November 19, 2014

Painting Pumpkins With The Beehives

During a planning meeting the Beehives said that they wanted to paint pumpkins for one of their activities. On Tuesday October 21st they got their wish. The girls had so much fun painting pumpkins! I was amazed by their creativity. I wish I had my camera so I could have taken some pictures.

November 18, 2014

Today I Was A Hero

I share an office at work with a few other individuals. Today (October 20th) a few of my co-workers decided to take their lunch breaks at the same time. They told me and Rick (my manager he is in his 60s) that they were headed to lunch so it would just be the two of us.

As I was going about my work I thought to myself, "If they aren't back by the time my lunch break comes around, I'm just going to take my lunch break. Rick can handle things." Almost instantly I had the feeling that I needed to stay at my desk and work until someone else came back.

A few minutes later I heard snorting noises, this really confused me. I got up from my desk and  walked over toward Rick's desk and he was still making snorting noises. I said his name and he didn't respond. He was bent over his computer and his eyes didn't look quite right to me.

I ran out to the shop and told the guys I needed help. A few guys followed me inside and one ran upstairs to get some more help.

When we got back into the office Rick was leaning back in his chair and still making the snorting noises. I told my one co-worker to get him out of the chair and to lay him on his back (he is a lot bigger than me). I sent somebody else outside to get our HR person who was eating lunch in her car so she could call his wife. I got 911 on the phone and instructed another co-worker to start CPR and gave them some brief instruction on how to do it. And then I ran to look for gloves and a protective barrier for the mouth. At this point Rick was gray, he had no pulse, he was unconscious, and he wasn't breathing.

Next, I went outside to wave down the firetruck (GPS doesn't do a very good job at finding our office). I led the paramedics into the building and told them what happened.

The paramedics immediately dragged him out from behind his desk, they cut most of his clothing office, gave him what looked to be like shots, they did more CPR, and hooked him up to a defibrillator. Shortly there after Rick started breathing.

The HR person got his wife on the phone and she gave the paramedics his medical history.

The paramedics strapped him to a gurney and loaded him into the ambulance and rushed him to the hospital. I'm not sure what his status is, all I know is he is in the ICU.

I have been praying all day that he will make it through this.

I'm so grateful that I listened to the prompting I had. If I hadn't have listened, nobody would have found him until it was too late. Today I was reminded how precious life is. Each day is a gift and we should strive to make the most of each day. You never know when your time may run out.

I'm also grateful that I took several CPR, AED, and First Aid classes in college. I never imagined that I would actually need to use the things I learned in those classes.

November 16, 2014

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I finished reading the second book in The Maze Runner series: The Scorch Trials. This book was very engaging and I found myself constantly wondering, "What is going on?"

One twist that I'm not sure that is like is the "zombie" turn the book took. I have never been huge fan of zombie books. Aside from the "zombie" twist this book was great and I recommend it!

In other news-- I met my goal of reading 12 books this year. Yay! 

November 15, 2014

A Trip To The Temple & The Haunted Corn Maze

On Saturday (October 18th) Andy and I made a trip to the temple, since the temple is two hours away we don't get to go as often as we would like. While we were driving to the temple Megan called,  she said she had two more names for us to take to the temple. This news made me so excited! I love doing family names!

When we first got to the temple we spent some time walking around the temple grounds, the Portland Temple is absolutely beautiful!

As we walked into the temple we were greeted by a man who looked familiar. Andy and I both thought to ourselves, "I know this man." But neither of us could figure out how we knew him.

Later as we were going about our temple business I ran into a woman I knew from church, I instantly realized that the man who greeted us was her husband. We really did recognize him!

This sister in the ward said that she really enjoyed mine and Andy's talks and that she and her husband just loved us. I wasn't expecting her to say anything like that, but it made my temple experience all the more sweet.

On our way home we decided to stop at Deseret Book, this is always a treat since the bookstore is also two hours away from our home. Andy and I each bought a book to read and one other small item--I picked out a new journal. Something about new journals makes me excited to write.

When we got home we literally had 10 minutes to change our clothes, eat dinner and be out the door for the combined Young Men and Young Women's activity. The youth took a vote and decided that they wanted to go to the haunted corn maze this year, we had 20 youth in attendance.

We enjoyed getting to know the youth and youth leaders in our ward better. Neither of us thought the maze was scary, but the girls sure did. I'm glad the girls had fun.

I Love The Rain

I just love the rain. I can't help but think that God loves me every time it rains. Moving to Oregon was one of the best decisions we could have made. Bring on the rain!

November 14, 2014

A Visit With The Missionaries & A Blessing

The missionaries asked if they could come over and share a short message with us on Thursday October 16th and we consented. Since Elder Bethea completed his mission, Elder Watson was assigned a new companion. Elder Watson's new companion is Elder Fernelius and he just came out the the MTC.

The Elders showed us the new Good Samaritan video and shared with us some of the history of the story. They also related the story to our day, it was a very inspiring message.

My back has been really sore since the car accident and since we don't know many people in the ward I decided to ask the missionaries for a blessing. The elders asked who I wanted to do what and I asked if Elder Fernelius would administer the blessing (Andy and I had talked about this earlier in the day). You should have seen the look on his face, he was so nervous. He told us he had never given a blessing before. Andy and Elder Watson gave him some brief instructions and then he gave me a blessing. I truly believe in the power of the Priesthood and am grateful that I can be administered to in times of need.

November 13, 2014

Camping On The Coast

Friday (October 10th) after work Andy and I headed to the coast for a weekend of camping. It was supposed to pour rain that weekend but we decided we would face the elements anyways. When we arrived at the campground, it already dark. Thanks to our trusty headlamps we were able to set camp up pretty quickly. Once we had everything setup we crawled in bed and went to sleep-- we were both pretty tired. Falling asleep listening to the waves crashing onto the beach was so relaxing, it was almost hypnotic in a way.

The next morning we work up to find that it had rained while we slept, lucky for us that was the only rain we saw the entire weekend and our tent stayed dry. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to our favorite beach and lighthouse.

We didn't go onto the beach this trip, the waves were 12' high and a warning for sneaker waves and rip tides was issued. On a positive note, the Heceta Head Lighthouse was open for tours. We decided to hike up to the lighthouse and tour it. This was Andy's first time ever going inside a lighthouse and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. If you ever get the opportunity to climb to the top of a lighthouse, you really should-- it's one of those experiences that is just too good to pass up.
The stairs.
Looking up the stairs.

The light.

After we finished our tour we watched the waves below crash into some large rocks. A few times when the waves crashed we saw fish go flying into the air, it was entertaining.

Next, we decided to go find the Hobbit Trail and see what it looked like. This trail is supposed to be really pretty in the spring/early summer and we hope to hike it then.

Me & Andy- not sure what is going on in this photo but I like it!
The rest of the day was spent thrift shopping. We picked up a few really cool things for my Mom for Christmas-- she collects milk glass and we found some really awesome pieces. I think she will be really surprised.

November 12, 2014

Winds Of Change

Andy's work announced on Thursday (Oct. 9th) that they will be splitting the company and that layoffs will be inevitable. We aren't sure what that means for us yet but we know that our lives are in the Lord's hands and that He is mindful of us.

November 11, 2014

Feeling Really Blessed

This morning (October 8) when Andy walked into work he noticed some things that seemed to be out of the ordinary. Long story short, they did layoffs company wide. Twenty percent of Andy's teammates were let go. We are feeling very blessed and grateful tonight that he still has a job, but we also feel really bad for his co-workers who lost their jobs. We really feel like the Lord is watching out for us.

November 10, 2014

Conference Weekend

Conference weekend is something I look forward to every six months. In case you missed Conference you can watch it here. I love listening to the inspired words and messages. My favorite talk was Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence-- in case you missed it it is worth the read.

November 9, 2014

Date Night: The Maze Runner

Andy took me on a date Friday night (Oct. 3). He made us tacos for dinner and then took us to see The Maze Runner. The movie was different from the book but it was still really good. Andy liked the movie so much that he decided he is going to start reading the books-- it's a miracle! Andy isn't much of a reader.

Andy and I enjoyed dressing up, going out, and spending time together. I love going out on dates!

November 8, 2014

Farewell Elder Bethea

One of our favorite missionaries is headed home to Arizona, his time in the mission field has come to an end and we are sad to see him go. We have enjoyed getting to know Elder Bethea these last few months. He is an amazing missionary who loves serving the Lord.

Elder Watson & Elder Bethea.
Elder Bethea, Andy, & I.
Elder Bethea came by last night (Oct. 1) with his companion to say good bye. He is a little nervous about going home and what the future has in store for him. We gave him the best advice we could. We know he will do great things!

November 7, 2014

The Maze Runner

When we went to see Divergent, I remember watching the preview for The Maze Runner. I thought The Maze Runner looked like it would be a  good movie. I later learned that The Maze Runner movie was based off of a book series. I decided that I wanted to read books to see what they were about.

I borrowed a copy of The Maze Runner from a co-worker and have spent many my lunch breaks reading. All I can say about The Maze Runner is that it is a very intriguing read and it is full of mystery and surprises. This book is definite must read.

I just started the second book in the series, I will let you know how it is once I finish it.

**11 books down, 1 to go***

November 6, 2014

My Best Friend's Wedding

Sometimes in life we are fortunate enough to meet people who become friends for life. It doesn't matter where you are or how long it has been since you last talked, you just seem to pick up right where you left off. It is friends like these that I deem "best friends".

I met my best friend Betsy back in sixth grade. Over the years Betsy has become like a sister to me and I think of her and her family as part of my own family. I love Betsy so much! She has been such a good friend to me. She truly is a gem! Words can't express how much I care for my friend.

Betsy & Ashlee-- just chillin'
We were jailed.
Road trip to Leavenworth.
Me, Megan, & Betsy hanging out.
Hanging with the butlers on our cruise.
Safety drill.
Down by the waterfront.
When cell phone selfies were the "new" thing.
Andy said I had to share this photo. This was not Halloween and drugs were not involved. We simply decided to play dress up.
I was so excited when I found out Besty was going to be getting married. I was also excited that I was going to be able to attend her wedding-- I'm telling you living in Oregon has its perks.

Betsy was married on  September 27th to her sweetheart Will. The first time I met Will was at the wedding, he seems like a great guy. Betsy and Will were so incredibly happy and I am so happy for them. I am sad that my best friend has moved away but I am so excited for them!

Betsy and Will's wedding was amazing! Her wedding was by far the most beautiful wedding I have ever been too. Here's to you my friend. I love you!

The chapel.
The ceremony.
Leaving the church.

The cake was stunning!
View of the cake from the top. Julia is such an amazing florist!
Me & Megan.
We loved the photo booth!

November 5, 2014

Fall Is Here

I think it is safe to say that fall is officially here. The leaves have started to change color and the mornings are cool and crisp. I absolutely love fall, it is my favorite season! I love looking at all of the colorful leaves and hearing them crunch under my feet. I love seeing frost on the ground and walking outside into the fog. I wish fall lasted longer.

November 4, 2014


I have really taken a liking to playing bunco with the girls in the ward. On September 25th I was given the opportunity to be a sub for bunco--I jumped all over that opportunity. I had so much fun! Somehow I managed to get the most buncos and came home with some Bath & Body Works soaps. Yay for prizes!

November 3, 2014

Car Accident

We stopped at the bank on our way home from work one day. Andy hopped out of the car and went to draw some cash out of the ATM. I was sitting in the car waiting for him when I felt the car lurch forward. It took me a moment to figure out what happened, someone just backed into the car while I was sitting in it.

I turned around to see the car getting ready to pull away. I quickly hopped out of the car and yelled, "You just hit our car." The lady turned and looked at me and you could see her contemplating driving off. I yelled again, "You just hit our car."

She pulled into a parking spot and then I yelled to Andy and he came over. At this point I was in shock and don't recall a whole lot. He looked at the car and didn't see any damage so he told them (the people in the car) that it was their lucky day.

It was their lucky day but my unlucky day. Most of the muscles in my neck and back have been incredibly tight. I went to the doctor and am now in physical therapy, not sure how long all of this is going to last but I hope it ends soon. I don't like being in pain.

Since this was our first car accident Andy didn't really know what to do and we didn't their insurance information. We are hoping our insurance rates don't go up.

November 2, 2014

Climbing South Sister

We had planned to climb to the top of South Sister on Saturday September 20th. Andy experienced a few delays and travel mishaps on his way back from Alaska and didn't arrive home when expected. He ended up riding a bus part of the way back and met me in Bend-- in someways this worked out better than we had originally planned.

The South Sister.

We met up Friday night, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to bed. The next morning we got up, got our gear situated, ran to the store to grab some hiking food and headed off to find the trail head. By the time we made it to the trail head it was about 11:00 am. We had previously been told that it takes about six hours to complete the hike but soon learned from other hikers that this information wasn't accurate. The hike typically takes ten to twelve hours. We were determined and decided that we were going to do the entire hike anyways--good thing we brought headlamps.

We started out hiking in a forest and crossing some small streams, we both thought this was great and that we were in for a real treat. It wasn't too long before the trees and the shade ended. We soon found ourselves hiking up hill in the sun-- it was in the mid eighties that day.
Inside of a fallen tree.
Andy & I.

During our hike we came across and man named Ben. We would pass him and he would pass us--we seemed to be hiking at roughly the same speed. Eventually we started talking and became hiking buddies.


It wasn't too long before the "hill" became a mountain. Up, up, and up we went. Just about every time we came to a tree (they provided just a little bit of shade) we would stop, catch our breath, and take a drink of water. Before we knew it the trees had all disappeared and we found ourselves hiking quite literally straight up the side of a mountain. This wasn't just an ordinary mountain though, it was a volcano.

Andy headed straight up the mountain.
Almost to the top.

The sides of the volcano were were formed from crushed pumice. We would take a few steps and slide backwards. Andy and I started using our trekking poles to keep from sliding back down the mountain-- this was quite the arm workout.

Eventually, we made it to the top. There were definitely a few times where I wasn't sure if we would make it. At the top of the mountain there is a trail that goes around the crater. The crater has a glacier in the middle of it. Andy and I both walked out on to the glacier. Not sure how many people can say they have been on a glacier before. It was kind of a cool experience.

On top of the world!

The view from the top was stunning! They say you can see half of the state of Oregon from the top of that volcano-- I believe it. South Sister is the third highest mountain in Oregon with an elevation of 10,358 feet. The hike is 12+ miles round trip with a 5000 foot climb in elevation.

The South Sister's shadow.
Middle Sister & North Sister.
Andy & I.

We didn't stay on the summit for too long because the sun was starting to set and will didn't want to climb down the loose pumice in the dark. We saw a lot of people fall on their way down when it was sunny out, we could only imagine what it would be like going down in the dark. We brought Snow Trax with us and they were put to good use. Even though there wasn't snow, they helped us dig in and keep from sliding down the mountain.

We made it down the "scary" part of the mountain just as the sun was fading. Upon talking with Ben we learned that he didn't have a headlamp. We decided that it would be best if I led the way, Ben followed, and Andy followed behind him--this allowed Ben to see as much as possible.

The setting sun.

As we hiked with Ben and got to know him we learned that he is a religious person. It felt like we were meant to meet that day, a lot of different things came into play that allowed our paths to cross. Andy was able to share his testimony with Ben and we hope and pray that his heart was touched. 

Hiking out in the dark was a different sort of experience. It wasn't a bad experience but it was harder in a lot of respects. I sure did enjoy looking up at the night sky though it was absolutely beautiful! I think that was my first time seeing the Milky Way-- that is definitely something to see!

When we arrived at our cars we exchanged contact information with Ben and said our good byes-- it was about 10:00 pm at this point. Yeah, it took us eleven hours to climb that mountain. South Sister is probably the hardest hike we have ever done. South Sister was a lot harder to climb than Mt. Timpanogos. Would we climb South Sister again? You bet!

We decided that it was too late to drive home that night and headed into town to find a hotel to stay in. Unfortunately, October Fest was going on and all the hotels were booked. We called around at got the last available room in the next town over. We were so grateful that we didn't have to sleep in the car or drive home super later. Taking a shower before climbing in bed was also a plus.