June 29, 2015

The End Of A Journey: Harry Potter

When I was in middle school Harry Potter was thing and everyone was obsessed with all things Harry Potter. Like most children my age, I too liked Harry Potter and began reading books. I made it to about page 75 of book four, set the book down and never picked it back up. Same on me, I know.

Towards the end of 2014, I started thinking about Harry Potter and decided that I wanted to read all of the books. I received the books for Christmas and added "Read Harry Potter" to my list of goals for the year.

Today I accomplished my goal, I read all seven of the Harry Potter books. I can't believe the journey has come to an end. I have seen all the movies and I thought they were good, but the books are so much better! If you have never read the books, you should. They are so good, they add so much clarity to the movies and give a lot of background information.

June 25, 2015

Thursday Thought

I have been reading the book Stand A Little Taller  by Gordon B. Hinckley. One of the things he said in his book really stood out to me and it hasn't left my mind for quite some time.

He said, "Criticism is the forerunner of divorce, the cultivator of rebellion, a catalyst that leads to failure. I am asking that we turn from the negative that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another's virtures more than we speak of one another's faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: 'Cynics do no contribute, skeptics do not create, doubter do not achieve.'"

There is a lot of negativity in the world and sadly you don't have to look very far to find it. All you have to do it turn on the news, look at the tabloids in the grocery store, or sometimes simply listen to the people around you. It seems to me that criticism is becoming more and more acceptable these days especially on the internet. People have become bullies, they feel they can say whatever they want online because they are faceless.

The words you speak matter. Whether or not you know it,  your words affect other people. What kind of words do you speak? Are they kind? Positive? Do they lift others? What kind of attitude do you have? Do you need to change it?

I'd like to leave you with this adage, "Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?"

June 18, 2015

Thursday Thought

I ran track for six years. Something my coaches frequently stressed to our team was the importance of running hard through the finish line before decelerating. They told us a lot of races were lost because runners would start to slow down before crossing the finish line.

Runner Steve Prefontaine said, "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."

I love this quote and I think about this it all the time! We have the opportunity in life to do anything we set our minds to. Maybe that means going to the gym and working out. Or cleaning the house. Or running a marathon. When you workout don't just go and workout, push yourself, you will get more out of your workout and leave with a sense of accomplishment. If your cleaning your house, really clean it. If your running a marathon push though the physical and mental roadblocks and cross that finish line. What ever you do, give it your best! Your best may not be enough for everyone, but knowing you gave something your all is something to be proud of!

Don't sell yourself short. You can do it! Cross that finish line! 

June 16, 2015

Weekend In Review


My sister Megan came down to spend the weekend with us. Saturday started off with a hot breakfast (whole wheat blueberry pancakes, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs and orange juice). Since we both work early in the morning we often don't have time to make pancakes, they are more of a weekend treat for us.

After breakfast we headed out on the town to do some shopping. Megan was on a mission to find a laptop and we failed, the hunt continues.

We made up for our failure at Goodwill and St. Vinnies. My family is kind of obsessed with thrift shopping and we found some awesome deals--more to come on that later.

We took the car into the shop to get it's tire fixed, we ran over a bolt/screw. Grabbed some lunch and did some more thrift shopping before heading home to feed the missionaries dinner (dill chicken, rice, green beans, salad, blackberry rhubarb crisp & ice cream).

The rest of the evening was spent planting flowers and talking about life.


We went to church Sunday morning. We came home and ate, smoked some salmon, played some card games and helped Megan pack up.

The weekend went by too quickly, some reason it seems like that always happens. We are super glad Megan made the trip down to see us, it meant a lot! It's always fun when the family is together.

June 11, 2015

Thursday Thought

When Facebook was the "new thing" you use to be able to have a quote or a phase next to your photo. One of my cousins had a quote next to her photo that I think is quite profound and it has stuck with me all this time. It is a quote that I think about often and it has become one of my favorites.

"The choices we make dictate the lives we lead." - William Shakespeare

We make thousands of choices each and every day. Each of those choices we make may seem insignificantly small and meaningless but each each choice will lead us somewhere. The consequences of the choices we make may be good or bad, but we don't get to choose them. We just get to make a choice.

Take a moment and think about your life. Where are you at? Are you where you want to be? Are you happy? Are you the person you want to be? Are you living up to your full potential?

Now, think about the choices you made to get to where you are at this point in life. If you aren't where you want to be, what changes can you make in your life to get you there?

June 9, 2015

Wenatchee Apple Century Bike Ride

Several months ago my brother informed me that he had bought a road bike. He told me that he decided to buy himself a road bike since Dad and I enjoy cycling so much. I asked him if he was up for doing a long ride this summer and he said, "Sure." At the time, I'm not sure he knew what he was signing himself up for.


Each June the Apple Century Bike Ride takes place in Wenatchee, Washington. The past few summers I have had hopes of being there for the ride but the timing hasn't worked out. This year I started planning a little earlier and enlisted Andy, Dad, and Jake to do the 50 mile route with me.

Things seems to be going well leading up to the ride until about a week and a half before. I found myself in the doctors office because of pain I have been battling in my foot and found myself walking out of the doctors office in a boot. I didn't tell the doctor about my upcoming ride and decided I would just take the boot off when it was time to hop on the bike. This may not have been one of the smarter moves I have made in my life.

Ride Day-

Let me start out by saying this ride was unlike any ride I have ever done before. Andy and I got about 4 hours the night before our ride. The weather was unusually hot, we're talking 100 degrees hot! The surface temperature of the road was 150 degrees. Clouds were few and far between and wind was nonexistent.

Andy getting ready to ride. Real men wear spandex!

The ride started out great. But before too long, I think we were all starting to feel the heat. I kept drinking the warm water in my pack and almost drank it dry. I was trying to ration what little water I had left before we reached the first pit stop. The first pit stop was at 25 miles.

The area were were riding though was absolutely beautiful! We rode through pear and cherry orchards on quiet country roads.

The hills were grueling. I could feel every muscle in my body. This was no easy ride, it was all hills. We're not talking rolling hills (I enjoy those), we are talking about hill climb, after hill climb, with next to no flat roads.

Me and Jake.

Andy, Jake & Me.

Andy & Jake.

Cresting another hill.

Me & Andy.

Just before we made it to the first pit stop my body felt like it was shutting down, this was a first for me. I found myself fighting to stay awake and to keep peddling up those long and arduous hills.

As we rolled into the first pit stop I knew I was done. After talking with my Dad and husband we decided  it would be best for me to call it a day--this was a hard thing for me to do, I had never not finished a ride before. I grabbed some much needed food and Gatorade and arrange to get a ride back to the finish line. 

The guys headed back out to finish the last 25 miles of the ride. Andy got 16 charlie horses in his legs going up a very large hill. My Dad stopped to wait for him and the tires on his bike popped because the road was so hot. And Jake was determined to make it up all those hills and across the finish line first (for our group) no matter what.

Jake finished first and immediately went to jump in the lake to cool off. I asked if he would do the ride again and he said no. He now plans on selling his bike. He said biking isn't his thing.


Dad came in shortly thereafter. I asked how he felt and he said he felt really hot. I asked if he would do the ride again and he said yes, he wasn't anticipating riding in temperatures quite that high.

Andy came in a few minutes later and he promptly laid down in the shade. Dad said he thought Andy had heat exhaustion and I think he was right. I brought him some food and water and it seemed to help quite a bit. He said he would never do that right again because of the heat but he would be up for doing the Newport Century again.


I'm really glad that we were able to spend time together as a family and attempt to achieve a goal together. I'm sad that I didn't get to finish but I know stopping at 25 miles was the best decision for me at that time. I know there will be other rides I can do in the future.

The Crew: Me, Andy, Jake, & Dad.

Lessons Learned-

1. It's important to get a good nights sleep the night before a long ride.
2. Start riding early to avoid the heat-- you can start riding before the pit stops are open.
3. Bring extra water.
4. Listen to your body-- if it's telling you to stop, you probably should.
5. Wear more sunscreen than you deem necessary-- I put on extra sunscreen and still managed to get burnt.
6. Most importantly, have FUN!

June 7, 2015

A Quick Trip To Florence

Andy's grandparents took a bus tour up the California and Oregon coastlines. One of their stops for the evening happened to be in Florence, Oregon. We don't get to see his grandparents very often since they live in Utah, so we hopped in our car after work and went to see them.

We decided to start the evening off by going out for dinner. Florence isn't as touristy as a lot of the other towns along the Oregon coast, so there aren't a lot of places to eat. Mostly it's just fast food. We managed to find a sit down place to eat called Kozy Kitchen, the place wasn't much to look at but they had some really good food! Andy and I decided we will have to go eat there again next time we are in Florence.

We really enjoyed spending the evening with his grandparents. We shared lots of stories with each other and had some really heartfelt conversations. Driving to and from Florence made for a late night, but it was so worth it! I hope that his grandparents enjoyed their trip as much as we did!

June 4, 2015

Thursday Thought

I love this quote from Elder David A. Bednar, "Pray for strength to learn from, change, or accept our circumstances rather than praying relentlessly for God to change our circumstances according to our will."

We all experience hardships and times of trial. Have you ever found yourself praying that God would take the trial away from you? I know I have. It is important to remember that the Lord can see more than we can, He can see the big picture. The hard times may not be but fun, but someday we will look back and be grateful that we experienced them because we learned so much.

June 2, 2015

Get Air

Have you ever been to a trampoline park? Trampoline parks didn't exist when I was a kid, my first time going was the other day with the young women in our ward. I wasn't sure what to expect, in fact I wasn't sure I even wanted to jump. The last few times I have been on a trampoline, it made me feel sick. Well, I decided to put on my big girl pants and give it a go and I had so much fun!

I played trampoline dodge ball, slack lined, and jumped into pits of foam with the girls. Would I do it again? You bet! I'm so glad I gave trampolines another try!

June 1, 2015

Temple Challenge

We learned several months ago that the youth in our ward would be making a trip to the temple in May and Andy and I challenged them to find a certain number of family names to take with them on the trip. The youth surprised us and passed our predetermined goal- we now owe them a party. They has so many family names that we weren't able to get them all done this temple trip. We couldn't be more proud of the youth in our ward! They are such good kids!

Andy and I were able to go to the temple with the youth and we brought a few of our own family names. I love taking family names to the temple, it makes the temple experience that much more personal. I set a goal last year to take a family name with me each time I went to the temple and it has been a very worthwhile goal and experience. Taking a family name to the temple is something I recommend everyone try.

The temple holds a special place in my heart. I love being able to enter into the house of the Lord and feel the peace and calming presence that resides there. I learn so much at the temple and even though it is far away I look forward to making the trip to Portland as often as we can.