December 31, 2014

The Work And The Glory: All Is Well

A journey I began back in middle school has come to an end. I had read all of the books in the Work and the Glory series except for the last book and decided that it was time to complete the series-- it has only taken me like ten years.

The last book wasn't as exciting as some of the other books but it really summed everything up. As I finished the book, I felt like a journey had come to an end-- this series is a great read!

* My book count for the year to 18-- I really surpassed my goal of 12.

December 30, 2014

Tiffany's Skate Inn

Out of all the things we did over Christmas, I think roller skating was my favorite! Almost everyone in the family went skating. It was so much fun to watch everyone skate from little Russell to Dad. Russell had never been on skates before and I think he did pretty good. Dad impressed me with how fast he could zoom around the rink. And watching Brendan dance as he skated just made me smile all the more.

I wish I could have taken some photos, but it's hard to take pictures while you skate.

December 29, 2014

Farewell, Watson.

One evening there was a knock on our door and we were greeted with the smiling faces of Elder Watson and Elder Fernelius. The informed us that Elder Watson was being transferred the next morning. We really like Elder Watson and we were saddened to hear that he was going to be leaving us.

Elder Watson, Andy, & Me.
Elder Watson & Elder Fernelius.
We talked about life, exchanged contact information, took some pictures and said our good byes. We know he is where the Lord needs him and that he will do great things.

December 28, 2014


I love Christmastime! I love the gloomy weather that comes with winter! I love playing in the snow! I love the smells that come with baked goods, apple cider, and Christmas trees! I love the feeling of joy, peace and love in the air! I love all of the giving and service that takes place! I love spending time with family and loved ones! But most of all, I love that Christmas reminds me of Christ!

Christ is really what Christmas is all about. I like reading the story of Christ's birth and learning more about his life. I think about the things he has done for me personally and I can't help but feel gratitude in my heart. He is my example and I try to pattern my life after His.

Christmas was different for us this year in a lot of ways. For one, there wasn't any snow-- we are in a drought. This meant that we could not go and participate in our normal winter activities: sledding, ice fishing, skiing, etc. This is also the first time we tried to spend Christmas with two sides of the family and things didn't go quite as planned.

For me, the highlights of Christmas this year were spending time with family, roller skating, and catching up with my best friend, Betsy, and getting my haircut. I had 6 inches taken off my hair! Crazy right?!?

Megan, Betsy, & Me.
The aftermath.

December 22, 2014

What I Know For Sure

Almost every time we go to Costco I have to stop and look at the books. On one particular trip to Costco I happened to notice a book on the shelf by Oprah Winfrey titled What I Know For Sure. I instantly thought to myself, "I wonder what Oprah knows for sure. This has gotta be a good read." As you probably guessed I couldn't leave Costco without this book in hand.

I enjoyed every moment reading What I Know For Sure. Oprah is a very insightful person and I feel like I learned a lot from her book. I marked up several of the pages and plan on sharing some of my favorite quotes/thoughts with you in the future.

*This brings my book count up to 17 this year.

December 21, 2014

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary

Andy and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on December 19th. It's crazy to think that we have been married for five years! It seems like it was just yesterday that we met, became friends, started dating, and decided to get married. Being married to your best friend is the greatest thing in the world and something to be celebrated! I can't imagine what my life would be like without Andy, he brings me so much joy.

This year we decided to spend our anniversary weekend out in New Port. The last time we went to New Port was for our bike ride and we didn't get to do a lot besides ride our bikes-- this trip was very different.

We started out our weekend with some thrift shopping and dinner at Pastini's in Corvallis. Pastini's is sooo good! Andy doesn't typically like Italian food but he loves this stuff. We can't wait for the one in Eugene to be built.

We stayed at our favorite hotel on the beach and spent a fair amount of time in the indoor swimming pool. It rained A LOT while we were on the coast, something like 9 inches in two days so we tried to find indoor activities we could do.

We started out the day going to visit one of the two lighthouses in town but it was all fenced off and the other one was closed because it was being painted. So, we decided to go to Ripley's Believe It Or Not and met Big Foot. Ripley's was okay, not the most exciting thing to see. As we were nearing the end of Ripley's I noticed that as I walked though a particular room that my movements were projected up onto a big colorful screen. I grabbed Andy and started busting out some Zumba moves. I danced for probably a half an hour, mostly by myself and had an absolute blast! A few other people happened to walk though the room and they looked at me funny, after explaining what happened in that room they joined in on the dancing too. It was seriously so much fun! Andy tried to record me but wasn't able to get a stellar video. If you ever find yourself in New Port you have to go to Ripley's just to dance.

Andy and Big Foot.
Me & Big Foot.

Our next stop was the Underwater Sea Gardens. While at the sea gardens we reminisced about our visit to the Underwater Sea Gardens in Victoria, B.C. where we went on our honeymoon. We enjoyed watching all of the fish swim and interact with the scuba diver.

Then we headed outside to see the sea lion docks. The docks are old and falling apart but the sea lions love them! They lay on the partially submerged docks and make all kinds of noises.

After visiting the sea lions we headed across the street to visit Wax Works which is a wax museum. If you have never been to a wax museum you should try it sometime, it's amazing what people can do with wax!

"Beam me up Spocky!"
Gollum & Me.

Wax Works had an American Idol stage where you could sing karaoke style. Andy and I belted it out on stage and had a blast!

Since it was still raining we decided to hit up a few more thrift stores. As we started to drive toward the thrift stores we came across a mudslide. The mudslide completely covered the road we had driven across a few hours earlier--it was kind of crazy.


The next day as we were heading out of town we decided to drive by the lighthouse that was fenced off one more time to take a few pictures. When we got out of the car we noticed that the gate was open and decided to walk up to the lighthouse. As luck would have it the lighthouse was open for tours, it was closed the day before due to the poor weather. We love exploring lighthouses, there is so much history behind each one.

Andy & Me.
On the trail.
Headed to the top.
The view from the top.

Then we headed to the aquarium. We enjoyed looking at all of the animals, we both really enjoyed the sea otters. Unbeknownst to us there was a sign that said not to play with the otters (it was on the other side of the tank). I played with one of the otters for awhile and really enjoyed it. As soon as Andy tried to play with the otter, the otter got mad and tried to bite his nose-- luckily there was glass between Andy and the otter. Later we saw the sign. Oops!

Someone found a salamander on the ground at the aquarium.

Our drive home was extra long! We decided to take the scenic route home along Highway 101, we were about halfway home when we learned that the road was closed due to a landslide. Oh well, we always enjoy road trips it gives us a chance to really talk with each other about anything and everything.

I can't believe it has been five years already. Here is to an awesome and adventurous eternity!

December 14, 2014

Party With The Youth

We challenged the youth in Andy's Sunday School class to find 50 names to take to the temple. We told them that if they could find 50 names that we would have them over for a party. The youth not only met their goal, they exceeded it. We were so proud of them!

The temple trip was amazing! The spirit there was so strong. Definitely a neat experience and something we look forward to doing again in the future with the kids.

As promised we had the kids over for a party. Good food, good kids, games, and a good time made for a great evening!

The night looked a little something like this...

December 12, 2014

Extending Forgiveness

Something I have been trying to learn more about and work on in my own life is extending forgiveness. I picked up this cute little book (by little I mean like 50 pages long) called Extending Forgiveness. I probably could have read the entire book in about an hour but in reality I spent several days pouring over its pages. I wanted to take my time with this book and learn as much as I could about forgiveness. This book was so good! I feel like I really learned a lot!

* This makes 16 books for me this year.

December 10, 2014

Roller Skating

We went roller skating with the Young Men and Young Women yesterday. Roller skating is something I had been wanting to do for awhile so I was super excited to go!  I was a little surprised when we got to the rink to see that the floor was cement rather than wood. I was also surprised to learn that you couldn't rent roller blades.

Roller skates it was for me.  This was my first time on skates since I was 5 years old! I think I did pretty well, I didn't fall. Maybe that's because I didn't get going fast because I didn't want to fall on the cement floor.

Andy did pretty well on his skates. He got going a little too fast and fell a couple of times, he said it was painful.

I enjoyed watching the Young Men chance our Young Women's President around the rink-- it was quite comical. She brought her own roller blades and those boys just couldn't keep up with her.

During our skating session they played a game involving dice that hang from the ceiling. I won myself a snow cone but decided to give it to one of the Young Women, snow cones aren't really my thing.

I had a lot of fun skating! Not sure I would go to this particular rink again, I like my wooden floors. But I am looking forward to going skating again.

December 7, 2014

Date Night: Mocking Jay

Most of our dates have been indoor dates as of late. With winter upon us it's harder to get outside and have fun especially when there is a lack of snow in the land. So much for dog sledding, snow shoeing, ice fishing and skiing. We are hoping next winter is better.

We went to the movies on Friday night to see The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1. Andy and I have both read the books so it was fun to see how the directors made the book come to life on the big screen. We loved the movie and can't wait for part two to come out! Date nights are the BEST!

December 2, 2014

Decorating For Christmas

The missionaries happened to stop by the night we had set aside to decorate the house for Christmas. We asked them if they wanted to help us decorate and they were more than willing. Elder Watson tackled the nativity set and Elder Fernelius went to town our Christmas tree. One of the Elders made a time lapse video of the lights being strung-- it was really fun to watch! I think the missionaries had a blast! We sure enjoyed their help and their company.

Sunshine for the Latter-Day Saint Teenager's Soul

Andy and I like to end each night with a short spiritual thought or spiritual story. For awhile our days ended with stories out of Sunshine for the Latter-Day Saint Teenager's Soul. We both really enjoyed the stories we read. I have a feeling that we will revisit this book again sometime in the future.

If you are looking for a spiritual pick me up each day, I recommend reading this book.

*This makes 15 books for me this year.

December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

We spent Thanksgiving in Washington with my Mom and my siblings. I think this was the first Thanksgiving I've had with my Mom since high school, where has the time gone?

We started the day off with the Turkey Trot in Tacoma-- it sure feels good to exercise before eating a big meal. Sadie, Megan, Andy and I ran and Mom did the walk. At the race we ran into a few of my high school classmates, it was good to catch up with them.

This was the first time Andy was able to complete a 5k without walking, he was so proud of himself. I was really proud of him too! Unfortunately, the chip that timed him didn't work properly so we don't know what his time was. This race was my slowest race ever-- that happens when you go out and run a race without training. Oops! I'm sure there will be more fun runs in our future.
Megan, Andy & I being turkeys.
Mom, Andy & I.
After our run we headed home to shower and prepare for our feast. We had turkey, ham and prime rib. All of the food was really good!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, eating, playing games, and going on walks. We really enjoyed ourselves.