October 29, 2015

Thursday Thought

In our stake, when a missionary comes home from their mission, they are asked to speak not only in their home ward, but other wards in the stake. Several weeks ago, a recently returned missionary came and spoke in our ward. I don't know this young man's name or where he served, but the words he shared are ingrained in my brain. The words he spoke were so powerful that I have shared them again and again with other people.

This young man shared something along these lines...

When he left on his mission, he made a goal to come home honorably without any regrets. Early, like within the first few weeks of his mission, he realized that he had mad mistakes. He forgot to make his bed one day. He was late to a meeting. He forgot to pray for someone. He didn't talk to every person he passed on the street. He quickly realized that his goal had gone out the window. He was in the first few weeks and he had made some mistakes. He became very discouraged. He messed up, what was the point in finishing his mission now?

One day his dad said the following to him, "A regret is only a regret, if you don't learn from your mistake."

In time he came to realize that we are all human and we all make mistakes. Nobody, I repeat nobody is or will ever be perfect in this life except for Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, we can repent and we can live a life free of regret.

If regrets haunt or weigh you down, pray to your Father in Heaven for help. Ask Him if is He loves you. Pray to see yourself though his eyes.

He is real. He is there. He hears your prayers. He knows what you are going through. He loves you more than you could possibly know. He will help you, if you ask.

October 28, 2015

Halloween Party

Every year our ward has a Halloween Party and every year Andy and I dress up. Dressing up just makes Halloween that much more fun! This year Andy and I decided to dress up as Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox. The idea for our costumes was inspired by the trip we took to the Redwoods earlier this year.

Who says a girl can't have a beard?
Andy & I.
Babe & Paul.

Call me weird if you want, but I don't like the phrase, "Hey babe." There is a story behind my dislike of this phrase, but I'm not going to share it right now. Since I dislike this phrase so much, Andy and I have never uttered these words to each other. But since he was dressed as Babe, I couldn't resist the urge to say, "Hey Babe." It felt so weird for those words to come out of my mouth, like really weird.

The real fun started when we got home...we made stupid dancing videos. Warning you may be slightly weirded out. Don't say I didn't warn you.

October 27, 2015

A Tall Onion

This story is too good not to share.

The other day my Dad called. He was driving in the truck and had me on the blue tooth. The conversation with my six year old brother who was in the truck went something like this...

Russell: Guess what I'm going to be for Halloween?
Me: A cow?
Russell: Nooo.
Me: A football player?
Russell: Noooo.
Me: Jacob?
Russell: Noooo.
Me: What are you going to be?
Russell: A vampire! (said with some sass)
Me: Cool! I'm going as Paul Bunyan.
Russell: A tall onion? (said with some confusion)
Me: No, I'm going as Paul Bunyan.
Russell: A tall onion? (said with even more confusion)
Dad: He said "A tall onion?" (you could hear my Dad smiling through the phone)

I then proceeded to tell Russell who Paul Bunyan was to which he replied, "You're going as the blue cow?" I couldn't help but laugh and laugh I did. I laughed for days about this one.

October 26, 2015

Weekend In Review

This weekend was way too short! We made a to-do list and knocked a lot of fun stuff off of our list and that was great, but we sort of lacked in the chores department. No cleaning on the weekend, makes for some less fun week nights. As I am writing, I am sitting in a small place between the mounds of clean clothes on the couch that need folded. Hmmm, maybe I should be folding clothes instead of blogging...decisions, decisions...


Friday night we went to the movies and saw the Scorch Trials (it is the second movie in the Maze Runner series). It has been awhile since we went to see a movie, it was nice to go out. The movie was very different from what I had pictured in my head while reading the books, the cranks were a little too creepy for my liking. Andy thought the movie was great! It reminded him of one of his favorite video games, Left For Dead.


We woke up early Saturday morning and headed to my co-worker's house to pick grapes. He said they weren't going to be making grape juice this year and he didn't want them to go to waste. We can home with about 75 lbs of grapes that was maybe a 1/4 of the grapes that were there.

Next, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed to one of my favorite thrift stores to look for some stuff for our Halloween costumes. I totally scored on something non Halloween.

One of the first places I always peruse in the thrift store is the kitchen section. I always have my eye out for high end kitchen stuff and vintage dishes. As I was walking down one of the aisles, I looked up (it's always important to look up) and spied something I have been looking for for quite sometime, a pressure cooker. I see pressure cookers all the time when am thrift shopping but they are usually really old, worn out, and missing pieces. This pressure cooker was not like that at all, it was brand new.

My new toy.
I pulled the pressure cooker down and Andy goes, "You're getting it." I saw the price tag of $24.99 and frowned. I thought that was lot of money for a pressure cooker at a thrift store. I decided to call my sister and have her look the pressure cooker up and see how much it costs in stores. Drum roll... It retails for between $200 and $300 dollars. Needless to say, I came home with the pressure cooker. I think that was a stellar find. I'm so excited to use it!

Then we headed over to the day old bakery (aka bakery outlet). I found some awesome deals on Dave's Killer Bread and whole wheat pastry flour. I have wanted to try both of these items but couldn't justify spending full price on them.

We ended the day climbing Spencer Butte. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed our hike. Andy is definitely in better hiking shape than me right now.


The sunshine was shining right in our eyes.

Me & Andy.


We went to church and made grape juice. Juicing grapes is a lot more work than I thought it would be, but Andy and I make a great team so it didn't take too long for us to get through all 75 lbs. The juice tastes so good! The best part is is that there aren't any preservatives or added sugar. 

They look like blueberries.

De-stemming grapes.

The mess.

Andy pasteurizing the grape juice.

Getting ready to seal the jars.

The final product.

October 22, 2015

Thursday Thought

This past week I have thought a fair amount about a few different topics and I have had a hard time deciding which one I want to share. I guess it makes sense to share the thought that came to my mind first.

Background: Two Sundays ago as I was sitting in class with all of the Young Women, one of the teachers asked the girls which topics they would like to have addressed in their classes this month. I couldn't help but notice that almost all of my girls (ages 12 & 13) raised their hands for the topic of patience. Knowing that I was going to be teaching the 12 & 13 year olds the next week, I decided to start learning more about patience.

I have decided that patience is something nearly everyone struggles with. How many times have you found yourself lashing out at someone you love like a family member or friend? How do you respond when you are stuck in traffic? Do you struggle with road rage? What is your response when someone is late? Do you ever find yourself getting upset when something doesn't go your way? Do you get antsy when something doesn't happen right when you want it to? Society has taught us that we needed the latest and greatest new thing, yesterday. We have come to just expect things when we want them. Right now!

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I learned that life happens and to just go with the flow. Traffic jams occur everyday and road rage won't get you anywhere. Where I struggled though is with patience in waiting for things to happen, when they are supposed to happen- naturally.

I can recall being 11 years old and being so anxious to turn 12, I couldn't wait to be in Young Women's. When I was 13, I couldn't wait to turn 14 so I could go to the dances. When I was 15, I was boy crazy and I couldn't wait to be 16 so I could date. While in high school I couldn't wait to graduate and move onto college. While in college, I counted down the years, semesters, and classes until I would graduate and be "done" with school. I dated a fair amount and couldn't help but wonder when I would meet my future husband, I wanted to be married.

Looking back on all of those experiences, I have learned that it is important to enjoy where you are at in life currently. The future will come no matter what, it always does.

If you are prone to lashing out at loved ones, pray to see them the way God sees them. Look for ways to service them. And each day, write down one thing you are grateful for about that person. Feel the love!

If you struggle with road rage, take a deep breath, listen to some positive tunes, and just go with the flow. If someone cuts you off, restrain yourself from being reactive. I think restraining yourself from being reactive, can apply to almost all of the impatience situations I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

If you're like me and struggle wanting something right now, do what you can to make things happen and trust in the Lord's timing. He can see more than we can see, if you trust Him, things will happen the way they're supposed to; when they're supposed to.

October 20, 2015

Weekend In Review

I think the weekends have become one of my favorite parts of the week. Like most weekends, this weekend was GREAT!


I was craving a cheeseburger. Cheeseburgers are seriously one of my favorite foods. Why? I don't know, they just are. And in my opinion, not many places make a good burger.

At work that day my co-worker was talking about this burger joint she had gone to for lunch and she said it was really good. So the rest of the afternoon, I spent thinking about cheeseburgers and I just had to have one.

After work, Andy and I hopped in the car and headed over to Toxic Wings & Fries. My co-worker was right, their burgers were pretty good. Andy and I split a fry, burger, and wings. The best part of the meal was the burger. Their beef come from local grass fed cows, they smoke their patties, and make their own buns. It was pretty delish! My mouth is starting to salivate just thinking about that burger.


Was a lot of fun! We ran a few errands, grabbed a bite to eat, hit up a thrift store, and headed to the pumpkin patch.

Eugene has some really awesome thrift store. I always seem to find the vintage dishes that my mom likes and some how they always find their way into my car, and then they make a trip to her kitchen in Washington.

Vintage Bowls.

On this trip I found these super cool green bowls with gold trim. Usually when I find these kind of dishes the gold has worn off or all they have are wine glasses (and we don't need any of those). I thought I scored with three bowls at $1.49 a piece. Mom had five already, so now she will have a set of eight.

Water Jug.

I also, found one of those large glass water jugs that people put out for parties and weddings. I have wanted one of these things for a looonnnggg time but couldn't bring myself to spend +$20.00 on one. Every time I went into Target and I would look at them and look at them, but I couldn't justify purchasing one.

My patience paid off. I picked this beauty up for $5.00. Not only is she super cute, she doesn't leak! I think I scored on this one.

After our thrift shopping adventure, we headed out to Detering Orchards to find ourselves some pumpkins and apples.

Andy found himself a pumpkin.


Andy with his pumpkin.

I found one.

Andy & I with our pumpkins.

We went on a hayride through the apple orchards and out to the pumpkin patch. We found ourselves some cute little guys to decorate our front porch. I think the was the first time either of us had been to the pumpkin patch, since we were little. We really enjoyed ourselves! We loved the cows, the apple pie and cider, the hum of the tractor and all of the fallness going on. 

Andy being a goof.

Me with a beautiful apple tree.

Earlier in the season, I made some really good dehydrated apples. Andy thought they were so good he ate them all in the course of a week. He has been asking for more apples ever since. We picked 60 pounds of apples in about 15 minutes, it was super fast and easy. We plan on dehydrating the later this week. Hopefully they last longer than a week.


As usual, we went to church. Each year the young children put on a program during Sacrament Meeting and it is always super cute. You can't help but smile when the little kids speak in church. As we were listening to the children, a girl about 10 years old went up to the pulpit and she started talking about Jesus and the "ten leopards". Andy and I looked and each other, momentarily puzzled and then looked back up at the girl and she said it again "ten leopards." We knew she was talking about Christ and the ten lepers but she kept saying leopards. Andy and I again looked at each other and tried really hard not to laugh. She was just too cute! After the meeting, Andy looked at me and said, "I was imagining ten leopards sitting around Christ purring." I couldn't help but laugh at that. Needless to say, church was pretty awesome!

That evening we had some friends over for dinner. It was a pretty good time and we are glad they were able to join us.

October 19, 2015


I have been thinking about gratitude for the past week or so. When I think about gratitude, I start thinking about all of the things I am grateful for. This might sound strange to some, but today I am grateful for the rain.

I have always loved the rain, their is something comforting about listening to the sound of the raindrops. The rain reminds me of home and it reminds me of God's love for me.

Oregon is in a drought right now and it has been many months since it rained for more that just a few minutes. Today is rained for few hours and it was simply wonderful! To make it even better there was a rainbow. It was beautiful.

October 15, 2015

Thursday Thought

A few different things have been running through my mind this past week and they kind of go hand in hand with each other.

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States? I didn't know this until last year. Bullying is something that is very real and it happens more often than I think people would like to admit. I think the increase in violence we have seen over the years can in part be blamed on bullying.

I imagine everyone has felt bullied at some point in their life. I can recall several instances over the course of my life where I was bullied. The first time I can remember being bullied was when I was about 6 years old, someone at school called my four eye because of my glasses. During my elementary school years we moved and that was a hard thing. One boy in my class would frequently tell me that I was stupid and to shut up, talk about not fitting in in a new environment. At the end of the school year I was invited to a slumber party with the popular girls. They told me that I looked like a possum that comment really hurt me. I didn't end up staying the night and I found myself a new group of friends. I have been called fat and anorexic. I have even been made fun of because of my religious belief. Bullying doesn't end when you graduate either, it continues on into adulthood.

Being bullied is never fun. It may be fun for the people who are doing the bullying, they claim to be just joking and that it was all just for a laugh. But the damage they afflict on the person on the receiving end of their joke maybe be irreparable.

My second thought is this, we are all unique and we are all different. Instead of tearing each other down like a bucket full of crabs, we need to lift each other up. We need to embrace our differences. Being different is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing. If we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place.

As we go throughout our days, weeks, and lives, let's make it a goal to not bully each other. Let's stop bullying when we see it happening. It only takes one person to speak up. Let's complement and praise each other for a job well done. Let's make the world a better place.

October 13, 2015

Weekend In Review

This weekend was simply relaxing and just what we needed.


Friday was had a date-in, sometimes those are just what you need. We stayed up late, cuddled on the couch, and watched a movie.



We threw on our hiking gear, hopped in the car, and headed out to find a trail. We drove about an hour or so south until we found our desired trail head. We hiked on two different trails, for a total of about two miles and saw two different waterfalls.

I found the first trail head.


Andy & I. We're just a little excited!

Andy & I.


The second trail head.

It is definitely fall here in Oregon and it made for perfect hiking conditions. The temperature was just right, not too hot and not too cold. It was overcast and sprinkled a little bit on us.

Pinard Falls.

Me & Andy

Having fun!

Love him!


Throwing rocks.


The deciduous trees are changing color right now and the colors are absolutely stunning against the green of the evergreen trees. I tried to snap a few pictures but the pictures don't compare to the vibrant colors and beauty we saw.

I think one of the reasons I love hiking is because it reminds me that God exists. He created the beautiful scenery for me to enjoy and I can't help but feel His love when I am on the trail.

One of the two rainbows.

On our way homes the heavens opened and it poured. The rain was a welcomed gift, it hasn't rained here in sooo long. I can't remember the last time that it really rained, spring time...maybe? I love the rain and have really missed it. Along with the rain came a beautiful double rainbow.

I can't wait to go hiking again! I has been four long months since I have been able to hike, that is four months too long. Thank you stress fracture (sarcasm). Here's hoping my foot will continue to heal.


We went to church. I know I say it every week, but I'm going to say it again. I LOVE going to church each Sunday!

I can't go to church and leave not feeling uplifted and edified. All of the meetings were wonderful. I think the thing that stood out most to me though was a thought shared by one of the Young Women. She has just gotten home from Youth Conference the night before and shared this thought.

She said something along the lines of this, "People say God won't give you more than you can handle. We all face trials and hardships, the trials are to help us learn and grow. When life gets hard, it's our job to pick ourselves up out of the dirt and keep pressing on. We need to have faith the God knows what he is doing." --I love this! It is so true!

October 8, 2015

Thursday Thought

With thoughts from General Conference still running through my mind, I think it is only natural to share one of my favorite quotes from the meetings.

This thought was shared by Elder Quentin L. Cook and comes from a psychology study. The thought is this, "Self-control is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets."

As soon as these words were said, a smile crept across my face. Andy looked at me and he couldn't help smiling either because these words are so true! Self-control really is like using a muscle.

With the background I have in health and wellness, this quote really hit home for me. As a society, we are constantly told what we "SHOULD NOT" be doing. You should not drink, you should not smoke, you should not do drugs, you should not eat trans fats, you should not stay up all night, you should not eat doughnuts or lots of sweets, etc. With all the things we are constantly told that we should NOT be doing, I think we have almost changed the definition of the word self-control. Self-control no longer means controlling ones actions or behaviors, it means restraining oneself. Self-control is seen as a negative connotation. Eat one doughnut and FAIL! You lack self-control. This "new" definition of self-control makes me sad and to be honest, I think a lot of people cringe when they hear the word self-control.

For me, self-control means disciplining (not punishing) oneself by making positive changes in your life. Like building a muscle, making changes in your life doesn't always come easily. But with time, you will find that just as a muscle gets stronger, it will be easier and may even be fun to make these changes in your life. Go to the gym, eat healthier, get a solid eight hours of sleep, smile, laugh, dance, recreate, meditate, create, dream, envision, serve, compliment others, express gratitude.

In order to make a change in your life you first have to recognize the need change and then you have to actually have a desire to change. At this point, it would be wise to make two lists, one list will enumerate the reasons you feel you need and want to change. The other list contain the cons to making said change. Your list of pros will need to out weigh the cons. On the days you don't feel like sticking with your goal, look back at your list of reasons for making the goal in the first place and stick with it. You can do anything you set your mind to!

Process of Change:

1. Recognize the need to change
2. Desire to change
3. List the pros and cons of making said change
4. Come up with game plan to make your change
5. Execute!

Now that you have decided you need to change and that you actually want to change, and you have weighed the pros and the cons, it is time to come up with your game plan for implementing the changes in your life. What are you going to do? How are you going to do it?

It's okay to start out small and do said positive change once a week and work up to making it an everyday change, eventually it will become your lifestyle. These changes are small and they don't just happen overnight, they happen over the course of a lifetime. Don't punish your self because you didn't make your goal every single day. But instead, reward yourself for the progress you have made. Remember, we are all human and we all slip up at times and that's okay. Sometimes, it's okay to eat the doughnut, just not everyday.

The more positive self-control you have in your life, the happier you will be!

Carpe Diem!

October 7, 2015

Banana Lips

Many years ago, my cousins taught me how to do this thing we call banana lips. The other night as we were headed out the door to go on a walk, I asked Andy to stand by the door and I instructed him on how to make banana lips. While he made banana lips, I snapped the following pictures.

We had so much fun! Andy laughed so hard. I enjoyed seeing the sheer joy on his face and listening to his laughter. Sometimes things get a little crazy (in a good way) in our home.

October 5, 2015

Weekend In Review

Can I just say, this weekend was great? I know I say it all the time, but this weekend really was GREAT!


Friday night Andy and I went out on a date. Going on a date every week is something we try to do, but it doesn't always happen. It was so much fun to go out! We went to a local restaurant that we had never been to before. The service was great, but the food was nothing spectacular-- we are food snobs. We enjoyed each others company and chatting with one another.

Our next stop was the mall. I can't recall the last time I went to the mall to just go shopping. Strange right? I guess that is what happens when you do the majority of your shopping at the thrift store.

I have been in need of some new tennis shoes for work. Because of my stress fracture and the swelling that happened as a result, I can't wear most of my favorite shoes (Toms, Converse, ect). I have to wear shoes that can fit an arch support, a metatarsal pad, and said shoes have to have a wide toe box. Said feet problems make finding shoes a difficult task. Luck was on my side and I managed to find one cute pair of shoes that fit. I feel so fortunate.


We made whole wheat crepes for breakfast and watched General Conference. I just love hearing the words the prophet and apostles, they really are inspired.

We managed to squeeze some time in to clean the house and ended the evening with two rounds of Skipbo. We each won one round.


We watched more General Conference addresses, I feel so uplifted and edified by the words that were shared. In case you missed General Conference you can find the addresses on www.lds.org.

We made some vegan chocolate chip cookies, went on a nice long walk, played another round of Skipbo (I won, hehe), counted our blessings, and just enjoyed each others company.

Life is so good!

October 1, 2015

Thursday Thought

I just love Thursdays! Don't you? Thursday mean that I get a chance to share what's been on my mind. Thursday also means that there is only one work day before I get to chill with my husband for the weekend. And well, weekends with my husband are always the BEST!

Fall is upon us and it seems like a lot of people are back in school. It's weird to be done with college and not in school. For some reason whenever I see school supplies for sale and when the weather starts to charge, I just itch to be back in school and running cross country. I have fond memories of being in the classroom learning and out running on the trails after school.

I have been thinking a lot about education. President Hinckley once said, "You must get all the education that you possibly can." He also said, "Education unlocks the door of opportunities. You will rise according to your education. Work at it. Sacrifice for it. Do it. Pray about it, and the Lord will bless you. You will see yourselves rise and become men and women of strength and capacity."

With these thoughts in mind, I think it is important to keep learning. Learning doesn't just end when you step outside of the classroom or get a diploma. Learning is a lifelong process. And the knowledge we gain in this life, is one of the few things we take with us when we die.

If I could go back and redo college would I study Exercise Science again? Likely. But, I would probably declare a minor as well and maybe go on to grad school (who knows, that may still happen).

Since I graduated I have fallen in love with nutrition and I have an interest in dietetics. I read about various topics in these two areas, frequently and I feel like I have learned a lot.

I guess what I am trying to say is, learning doesn't have to be in a classroom. If there is something you are interested in learning more about, by all means learn about it. Read journals and scholarly articles. Check out books from your local library- you may be amazed at the selection you find.

I recently wanted to learn more about a particular disease, so I went to the library and checked out a monster sized pile of books. I have been eating these books up like candy. I have learned a ton! I can't wait to finish the book am on, so I can start the next one.

Keep your mind sharp and keep yourself educated. Now go find a good book to read and read it! Maybe throw on some pj's and enjoy indulging in your new found friend.

Carpe Diem!