December 30, 2015


Christmas came and went in what seems like the blink of an eye. Andy's parents and his little brother came out to Oregon this year to spend the holiday with us.

Our Christmas Tree.

Andy's Mom (Nerissa) & Andy.

Me & Shaun (Andy's little brother). I got Andy's Dad to eat veggies too bad we didn't get a photo of that.

Nerissa is super excited to have a new game to play.

Keith (Andy's Dad) finds joy in bubble wrap. It's all about the simple things.

Nerissa & Shaun.
On Christmas Day we volunteered at the Eugene Mission. We had previously signed up to serve Christmas dinner to the women and children. We soon learned that they did not have enough volunteers to serve the men, so we stayed and served them too. I enjoyed serving those in my community, it was fun to hear them share their musical talents and watch there faces light up when we brought them food. I truly believe if Christ were on the Earth today that he would be found spending Christmas serving others-- I think that is the essence of the Spirit of Christmas.

Jester Santas.

Some of the crew.

Waiting to clear some tables.

In the middle of the action.

The crew.

Me & Andy.

Waiting to plate up some more food.

Shaun caught in the act of serving.

A full house.

We thought it would be fun to take his family to see the Oregon Coast-- this was a first for Andy's little brother. It was cold and wet but definitely worth the trip.

Me, Nerissa, & Shaun.

The ocean.

Our first stop was the Sea Lion Caves, everyone really enjoyed listening to the sea lions and watching them move around.

Shaun & Nerissa - they were really cold.

Taking a photo of the photographer.



We had a blast swimming in the hotel pool, I think if time permitted we could have spent the entire day in there.

We tried to go whale watching, but there weren't many whales to be seen that day. We did manage to see the Heceta Head & Yaquina Head Lighthouses though.

Me, Andy, & Shaun.

Andy, Me, Nerissa, & Shaun.

Most of the crew.

Watching the waves crash.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse.


Keith & Nerissa.

We spent almost an entire day at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum-- the boys especially loved this! We were able to go inside a WWII plane and the Spruce Goose (the world's largest wooden plane to ever take flight). The Spruce Goose was pretty impressive! Looking at it you wouldn't guess it was made of wood.

Shaun & Keith.

Shaun & Nerissa.

The race for the moon.

Trying to land a space shuttle.

Nerding out.

We hope to be able to get back to the museum sometime to check out the water park -- I can't get enough swimming in. 

Beatles style farewell.

Before we knew it it was time to say good bye and head back to work. We are grateful Andy's family was able to come and visit us. We really enjoyed our time with them!

December 21, 2015

6th Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on the 19th. I can't believe it has been six years already! Where has the time gone? It feels like it was just yesterday that Andy and I were best friends and hanging out everyday after school. I married my best friend and well he has become an even bester friend over the years, if you can believe that. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have him in my life. He truly is an amazing man! I can't imagine what my life would be like without him.

We decided for our anniversary that we wanted to go to the temple. You know, reminisce about the adventures we have had in life so far and remind ourselves of the promises we made six years ago. It was a really good experience going to the temple on our anniversary and it is something I hope to do again. The closest temple to us is in Portland (two hours away), so we decided to spend the entire weekend in Portland.

I love to see the temple.

We also went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The museum was awesome! We spent hours looking at exhibits, doing science experiments, and touring a submarine. Yes, you read that right- a submarine. I went on a nuclear submarine when I was in middle school, but Andy had never been on one. He thought it was the coolest thing ever! After touring the sub, we decided that we would never be able to make it as crew members on a sub.

USS Blueback.

Captain Andy!

Dive! Dive!

The sub.

Andy & me.

Andy & a very large prop.

The Face.

My favorite goofball.

We had so much fun at OMSI! If we lived in Portland, we would definitely get a membership there. It's a great place to go on a rainy day.

Life is hard at times but it is so good! It's even better though when you have your best friend by your side. We can't wait to see what adventures await us in the next year.

December 17, 2015

Thursday Thought

Like most people, I have fears. I don't like having fears and I try to face most of my fears head on.

I recently stumbled across an article that added a little clarity to my life. In the article Amy Morin wrote, "A lack of knowledge about how to calculate risk leads to increased fear."

She then gave a list of questions to ask yourself before taking said risk. The questions are as follows:

What are the potential costs?
What are the potential benefits?
How will this help me achieve my goal?
What are the alternatives?
How good would it be if the best-case scenario came true?
What is the worst thing that could happen, and how could I reduce the risk it will occur?
How bad would it be if the worst-case scenario did come true?
How much will this decision matter in five years?

I recently tried asking myself the questions above when faced with a tough decision. And you know what? They actually helped!

How do you face your fears? How do you make tough decisions?

December 13, 2015

Weekend In Review

I can't believe it is Sunday night already, this past week has gone by in what feels like the blink of an eye. I really wish I could have just one extra day to relax and rejuvenate.


Oregon is currently in a state of emergency. The weather has been pretty crazy as of late. With pounding rain, +40 mile an hour winds, thunder and lightening. Did I mention rain? It has been raining so much it is crazy! I don't remember the last time I saw so much rain. The rivers are flooding and all of the highways out to the coast are closed because of water being over the roadways. It's just a little intense.

Despite the rain, the Boy Scouts still had their monthly camp out and you can guess where Andy was. He was camping out in the rain- he was not excited at all. When he got to camp another leader invited him to pitch his tent inside a building with a cement floor. Andy said he stayed dry, but he didn't sleep.

While Andy was out camping, I was at a Young Women's sleepover. It was a lot of fun hanging out and visiting with the girls. I stayed at the sleepover until midnight, then headed home to sleep in my own bed. Lame, I know. I found out later the girls stayed up until 3:00 am. I think I made a good choice in going home to sleep.


I worked on getting somethings done around the house. Andy got home around noon and we headed to the gym. Abs, planks, push-up, and +4 miles later, we called it quits.

When we got home Andy has a voicemail on his phone from a member of the High Council. Andy called him back and he asked to meet with Andy an hour later. Dun! Dun! Dun!

We we got home from Andy's meeting, I got a text asking if we could help chaperone the stake dance as the other chaperone's weren't able to make it. So a few hours later we headed over to the church to chaperone the dance.

Even though we were both incredibly tired, we had a great time at the dance! The music selection and the lights were awesome! They even had a smoke machine. Andy and I whipped and neigh neighed with the youth out on the dance floor. Talk about a good time!

By the time we got home and crawled in bed it was after midnight.


Sunday morning came early with a 7:00 am meeting for Andy.

I know I say it just about every week, but church was really good! They asked a recently returned missionary to come visit our ward today and share his testimony. He talked about how he was a professional swimmer and the decision to go on a mission was really hard for him to make but it was worth the sacrifice. He said the time he was out on his mission was the longest time in his that he had gone without swimming since he started swimming.

He went on to say that while on his mission he learned to recognize prompting from the Holy Ghost. He shared an experience where he followed a prompting and an experience where he didn't. The experience where he didn't follow the prompting was very powerful.

He said he was out on splits one day with a member and he had made a list of people he wanted to visit. He and the member went and visited everyone on his list. He said a friend's name came to mind and he felt like he should go visit this person, but they weren't on his list so they didn't stop by. The next morning he received a phone call, informing him that his friend had committed suicide. He said that was the hardest day on the mission. He almost asked to be sent home.

I can only imagine the regret this young missionary must have felt, at learning that his friend had committed suicide. If he had only listened to the prompting, his friend might still be alive. My heart goes out to him.

The moral of the story is that it is really important to be in tune with the Spirit. When the Spirit speaks, listen and act accordingly. You may not be able to see the result of your actions, but you may end up saving someone's life.

In other news Andy was called to the Elder's Quorum Presidency, that's why he had to go meet with the High Councilmen yesterday. We are feeling a bit overwhelmed by this call. This new call means, no more Young Men's and no more teaching Sunday School. We really love our Sunday School Class and not being with them every Sunday will be a big change for us. We know the Lord is mindful of us and great things lay ahead.

December 10, 2015

Thursday Thought

While at work one day, a co-worker said, "Why are you always so happy?" I thought for a moment and said, "There is not a lot to be unhappy about." He seemed content with that answer. Over the course of the week, he continued to make comments about how I am always so happy and smiley.

What I wanted to say was, "Because I'm Mormon and I have a personal relationship with God! And it is the BEST thing in the world! Right up there with my husband *wink wink*

Some history: Before I went in to interview, I was given a heads up that I would be asked if I would be offended by occasional swear words. I was also told not to mention church. Fast forward-- I got the job, people occasionally swear, and I mention that I go to church. But, I have done as I was cautioned and I don't bring up church stuff unless someone asks me a question. Surprisingly, I have had quite a few missionary moments.

This whole experience though with the question about why I am so happy has got me thinking. Life isn't always easy, at times it can be really hard. But life is so good and so beautiful! I love having a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. He is a source of strength in my life. I know He hears my never ending prayers and He answers them. I know He loves me and He loves you. You can have a relationship with Him too! I know He wants that!

Pray to Him. Ask for help, the help will come. Study the scriptures. Listen to uplifting music. K-Love anyone? Serve. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Smile. Be kind. And most of all be happy! There may be a lot of bad in the world, but it is hard to see the bad when you surround yourself with the good.

Carpe Diem!

December 7, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree!

This past weekend we were able to cut down a Christmas tree. We went to a u-cut tree farm this year, that was a first for us. As we were walking up and down the rows of trees, we quickly learned that it wasn't going to be easy to find a tree we liked. The drought in Oregon has caused the trees to grow somewhat differently-- in a bad way.

A field of trees.

After scouring all of the different fields, we found our tree. We went in with the intention of getting a Noble Fir and came away with a very pretty Nordmann Fir.

Andy & his saw mustache.

Andy & our tree.

Me & Andy.

I'm almost as tall as the tree.

Chop, chop, timber!

We spent most of the day cleaning the house, trimming our tree and decorating for Christmas. We are so excited for the holidays!

The final product. Beauty!