Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Back to the Frozen Tundra

It's been a while...I'm so bad at blogging...oh well!  Working on it...

As many of you probably know, it is ABSOLUTELY FREEZING here!  There are not even words to describe how cold it is.  It is literally painful.    Just take a gander for yourself:

Yes.  It is THAT cold.  I spent the last few days in the Pacific Northwest and it was a bit of a challenge to muster up the courage to come back.   This year I got a down-filled coat for Christmas that goes almost to my knees, gloves, and winter boots.  BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENTS I HAVE EVER RECEIVED! Who knew that a coat could actually keep you somewhat warm in the cold winters of Wisconsin.  I had no idea until I put that lovely thing on in December.  Last year I was in pain for the first ten minutes of my commute every morning because it was so cold.  Now I just bundle up like an eskimo and waddle over to my car, all fashion sense thrown to the wind.

But on a lighter note, school has been cancelled!  This is the second time this month that I have had two days off of school due to cold weather.  Luckily our school has three flex days built into the school year for cancellations like this.  I have had six days cancelled in the past year!  That's five days more than any snow days I ever had in Utah.  I vaguely remember one day being cancelled when was I was a wee little one at Layton Elementary.  Last year there was a snow day because of a crazy snow storm (yes, the same snow storm that cancelled our flight out for our first Christmas together...no biggie...) and one day due to a "bomb threat" (although we found out later that it was a bomb threat only in the loosest terms, but better safe than sorry).  This year year we've had four days in the past month due to extreme cold temperatures.  We will have to make up one day, so the kids are going to come to school as normal in March on a day that was going to  be a professional development day.  Hopefully there are no more cancellations or they will have to extend the school year out into the summer. And we all know that that will end up being the teachers being there (in somewhat grumpy moods) and only a select few students whose parents forced them to be there (more grumpy moods) and those who can't live without school (keep in mind that these students are a definite minority).

In my time off, I have been able to get A LOT of work done, which has been so nice.  It's helped me to feel a lot more on top of things and feel less stressed.  I've also cleaned, done laundry, written letters, thought about blogging and not doing it, thought about exercising and laughing, baking 104 cookies (note to self: never, ever double the snickerdoodle recipe), eating cookies with milk, reading, and waiting for the mailman to come (it's my favorite time of day--I LOVE getting mail, even if it's just the ads).  However, by far the best thing we've done is this little experiment while in the midst of our cold weather "polar vortex":

Yes, that is boiling water that I threw up in the air, and not a drop of liquid water hit the ground!  It all turned to snow or something light and fluffy and airy!  We're such nerds and as Ty pointed out later, lucky no 3rd degree burns ensued from said experiment!

We like things to be interesting here, and this weather sure keeps us on our toes, especially when we have to sleep with several windows cracked due to our carbon monoxide detector going off last night and the firemen having to come and check our house to make sure we didn't die in our sleep.  Needless to say with temperatures of -16 last night with windchill temperatures reaching -50, our house was a wee bit cold this morning when we woke up.  Always an adventure!  And as a side note, I have seen a lot of tall people in my life, but one of those firemen who came over last night was like Andre the Giant reincarnated!  He was GIGANTIC!  I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped mid-sentence when he walked in.  Ty had to remind me that it's not polite to stare.

So, we have an extra bedroom for anyone who wants to come out and experience this "polar vortex" first hand!  Our last winter here is definitely going to be memorable!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back from a LOOONNGGG Hiatus!

Okay, that was a ridiculously long amount of time with no blog post.  I don't even have a good excuse.  The stress of that first year of teaching and the detox that ensued over the summer kept along with two school classes and a bunch of mini-vacations with my handsome hubby kept me pretty much 100% occupied.  But I want to do better!

There is so much to say that I don't know where to start!  First of all, Ty and I are doing SO well.  I can finally say that I LOVE it here in Wisconsin.  I started having a really hard time even liking this place near the end of the school year.  I'm not sure what it was, but I was experiencing a bit of homesickness (which is somewhat weird for me...nothing personal, Mom and Dad, but I can think of the times I felt homesick on one hand) and a bit of culture shock.  Teaching last year took everything out of me.  I even questioned my decision to be a teacher (I know!! Can you believe it?!  It was a weird phase...).  And then it all accumulated to being the Camp Director for our ward at the stake Girls' Camp.  I won't lie about it--I decided I want all sons after that experience.  Just a wee bit too much attitude and drama for me (don't worry, I'm back to wanting daughters again).  Suffice it to say, when we went home in August, I bawled like one of my girls' camp young women because I didn't want to come back here and have to go through what I did last year.  It was that scaring on my psyche.

However, I am glad to say that I did come back.  And that was a really good decision.  All you teacher-friends of mine that said to stick with it and that the second year is better than the first one were all right!  I bow down to you all!  It's so true.  After a year-and-a-half of first years, I am glad that I am finally being able to recycle things and work on refining more than just writing curriculum.  I don't come home every day in tears, wanting to quit.  I actually come home now LOVING my job!!!  I love it! I love my students and I love being able to help them communicate in and love Chinese.  I love being able to help my American Lit kids think critically about what it means to be an American and how our literature reflects that.  It's great!  Even though I am full-time this year and have three different Chinese preps and one English prep, I feel WAY less stressed than last year!  Hallelujah!

Here is my cute Chinese club and me in the Homecoming Parade.  Aren't they just adorable?!  Also...that car was pretty sweet.

I love it here in Wisconsin, and I will be very sad to leave.  I love my ward here and how it literally has become my family away from my family.  I love the beauty of this state!  The Autumn here is absolutely stunning (I'll post pictures in a later blog).  The people here are so nice and are just good people.  I feel like I belong here now.  What a blessing.  
(Here's me with my friend's student's Flat Megan that she sent me--I took her drawing around Milwaukee and took pictures for her--but look how beautiful this city is!  That's the art museum that's right on Lake Michigan behind me)

So, all this to say, thank you so much for your prayers.  They worked.  The Lord has been so good to us, and I feel extremely blessed to be a member of His church.  I know He lives and He is absolutely aware of us in our times of need and stress.  He was there for me and I have grown closer to Him this last year because of my trials.  I'm grateful for modern-day prophets and their counsel we received from them this past weekend.  It totally rocked my world!  I invite you to go and see for yourself how wonderful it was (click on this link: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/10?cid=HPFR100413105&lang=eng).  Life is good!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Okay Food, Good Friends

Cooking has been something that I have always loved.  I loved Sunday afternoons because I had time to try yet again to make a good loaf of bread or to make a nice dessert for the evening or--to the chagrin of my mother--literally spend all afternoon making Chinese food and a gigantic mess in the kitchen with my dad.  My mom would warn us not to go overboard, but we invariably did.

After getting married and moving to Wisconsin, I realized I would get to take cooking to the next level with all our new, shiny appliances and cookware.  I was ecstatic!  I cooked or baked nearly every day!...and sometimes without much success.  For example:

Case #1:

In October, we had two people come stay with us while they were interviewing for the Marquette Dental School.  The first was a friend of a friend who needed a place for the night.  It was a Sunday and I decided to make Peruvian Chicken Ragout--a safe dish that I had made it quite a few times and was healthy, fresh and delicious.  As Ty and our visitor were talking in the other room, I was finishing assembling the ingredients of the soup to let it simmer for a bit before eating.  The recipe called for 1-2 tsp. chili powder.  I went to our spice cabinet and began looking for the chili powder.  For whatever reason, I couldn't find it and then began second guessing myself when I did find the cayenne powder.

Kelsi 1: "Hmmmm...is this the same as chili powder and I am just being silly and forgot this necessary tidbit of information?"

Kelsi 2: "No, definitely not."

Kelsi 1: "But it has chilis on the picture...chili powder..."

Kelsi 2: "But where's the chili powder? Don't do it!!!"

Kelsi 1: "I have to get this done ASAP--shut up Kelsi 2 you don't know what you're talking about!"

Kelsi 2: (voice fading) "NNNNOOOOOoooooooooo!"

Kelsi 1 came out victorious and I put a little over a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the soup instead of chili powder. 

We sat around the table with our soup and biscuits, said a prayer on the food, and began eating.  I reach for my biscuit first and begin talking and eating.  I watch Ty and the visitor begin eating.  I notice they begin sniffing and taking large gulps of water after every bite.  I take a bite and  WOW!  On a scale of 1 to SPICY it was HOLY WHAT-DID-YOU-PUT-IN-THIS-SPICY!  I coughed out apologies and these sweet men, probably not wanting to appear weak to the other male, quickly said it was good and wasn't that bad.  But after noticing their foreheads glistening with sweat, I knew otherwise.  

I went back to the cabinet and looked through every spice, finally found the chili powder and compared it to cayenne.  I am here to tell you, people of the world, that CAYENNE PEPPER is NOT a substitute for CHILI POWDER!  I repeat, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!

Case #2:

A week later, Ty's second cousin Justin Nybo came out to stay with us for his interviews (which he totally rocked!).  I found a delicious recipe for smothered burritos on Pinterest and have since used it many times due to its ability to be awesomely delicious every time.  This was for sure a safe recipe for a guest and I wasn't going to mix up ingredients this time.  What could go wrong?

Nothing until it took two hours longer in the crockpot (which on a fast Sunday is basically an eternity) to be tender enough to shred (we're poor and don't buy good cuts of meat...sigh).  Then I put it in the oven on high broil to melt the cheese...but then I got distracted.  They came out literally black on the top.  We had to do an emergency surgery on them and cut the top half off in order to save the rest of the burritos.  I should just stop inviting people over for dinner--I obviously have angered the kitchen gods.
Notice how the tops are gone? Yep...
Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice:  Our saving grace at the meal.  (Btw, have you ever had this stuff?? It is de-lish!)

Since then I have put on a few pounds due to my delight with my new kitchen appliance (thanks for the Kitchen Aid mom!).  So we have resorted to eating much healthier and I have to say that I have an awesome husband to put up with these concoctions!
Tofu with peanut cilantro sauce (YUM!!! I seriously love tofu so much)
Ty after eating the tofu--He was SO meant to love China!

Homemade Whole Wheat tortillas--we are trying to save money and eat healthy so we have been making our own.  We love them!  Ty is so meant for me--he loves whole wheat AND skim milk.  True love.  

Do you know how hard it is to roll out thin tortillas on a slippery tile countertop where dough gets stuck in all the grooves?  Now you know.  
Green shakes made with plain Greek yogurt, oatmeal, assorted frozen fruit, honey, and LOTS of spinach!  Don't knock it until you've tried it!  I may look like vomit, but it is SOOO good!

Chocolate chip cookies made using chickpeas as a base (so no butter) and honey and Stevia for sweeteners.  They were actually pretty good!

Okay, before you think I am crazy, you just have to try it.  It is pizza with a spinach crust.  It was good!  I would totally have it again.  

One of my favorite cooks, Julia Child, said “Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.”  That's what this year has been all about!  Ty and I love being married and learning from our mistakes--both in the kitchen and outside of it.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ode to a BELATED Christmas Tree

Dear Christmas Tree,

                Yes, I realize that it is a month and a half into the new year and you are still up with all your lovely ornaments adorning you.  What can I say?  Things have been awfully crazy and busy.  But more than that, I must say that I enjoy seeing you each day.  I promise to let you rest for the year soon...


Okay, it is a little embarrassing that we still have ALL of our Christmas decorations, but I honestly haven't cared until this week.  I like seeing the Christmas tree.  It reminds me of Ty and I’s first Christmas as a married couple.  It was definitely one that we will not forget.  Months previous I had implored our principal and district HR director to let me have the day before a vacation off so we could fly home to Utah.  Now, this is something normally unheard of in our district, but because it was going to cost us $400 more to fly out on Friday rather than Thursday, they took pity on us.  My sub was arranged (thanks Molly!) and we were getting all ready to leave when a storm rolled in Wednesday night.  The wind was 30-40 mph in some places with heavy snowfall, creating blizzard conditions.  Some places in western Wisconsin got 18 inches of snow!  Because of the storm, we had a snow day on Thursday!  Wahoo!  It was awesome!..until we got a text message that morning saying that our flight had been cancelled. Ty immediately called the airline and tried to get a different flight.  We got a flight out for Saturday night but the airline said we could try to get on a different flight if we wanted to. 

We immediately finished packing and left in the pouring rain (it rained more than snowed in Milwaukee).  To make this situation more complicated, we realized the night before that for some reason my ticket to Utah was in my married name and my return ticket was in my maiden name.  The problem was…I hadn’t gone to get my new license with my married name on it yet.  Zaogao (Chinese for “dang”—literally means messy cake).  I grabbed all the important documentation and we headed for the DMV near the airport.  The man helping us was impressed with all the paperwork I provided and was about to give us clearance to continue...until he asked for proof of residency and we didn’t have it.  Could this day get any crazier?!  In a rush, we ran back out into the rain, drove a few miles down the road to the nearest library where I could print out my pay stubs and bank statement that showed our address.  So, we walk into the library and ask if we can print something out and she said the printer was unavailable for another hour.  SERIOUSLY!?  We explained our situation and she said, “Oh my…ummm…there’s a printer upstairs you can use.  Just tell them I said it was okay.”  (insert angels singing here).  We ran upstairs and spent 15 minutes printing off a pay stub and bank statement on a computer that I’m pretty sure was on Widows 1919. 

We raced back to the DMV, got my new license, and then headed to the airport.  We were there for almost four hours trying to get on any flight out of here that would eventually get us to Utah.  No dice.  But we were super blessed to get that flight out Saturday because we heard a lot of choice words and angry people grumbling about how they couldn’t get out until Christmas Eve.  I am so grateful Ty felt he should call when he did! 

Exhausted and wet, we went home and to Chili’s to dinner.  The next day, we tried it all over again, but we could not get out.  However, it was kind of nice to have a few days where we could relax with each other and clean the house.  We even got to go to one of my piano student’s baptism and I played piano.  It was beautiful!

We went to Settebello's to get our yummy gelato fix before we left! yumm!!!

Over the break, I had my first adventure in Cabella's.  It was hilarious.  All I could think about was Chuck Testa and his taxidermy.  If you are wondering what I am talking about, check this out:

Christmas in Utah was wonderful!!  It was so nice to be with family again and back in the state I love.  It was tricky trying to balance families, especially now that they are an hour and fifteen minutes apart, but overall it worked out fine.  We got to go through the  temple with my beautiful sister Marissa who is now in the MTC going to the Taiwan Taichung mission!  She will be the first 19-year-old sister missionary in Taiwan, and she is already super 有办法 (you banfa).   Thank you all so much for the wonderful Christmas and for your generosity!  

After a lovely week and a half, we came back to cold Wisconsin and have been enjoying -20 degree wind chills and lots of snow.  School and work are as busy as ever, but I am learning how to deal with my stress so I don’t break out in shingles again!

So, it's actually been kind of nice seeing the Christmas tree every day, reminding Ty and I to laugh about our crazy first Christmas and to remember our wonderful family back at home.  There’s something special about Christmas trees and how the sparkling lights and dancing ornaments whisper childhood Christmas memories.  

In November, I began scouring Craig’s List for a cheap Christmas tree we could buy.  I got pretty close to getting one when all of the sudden Ty started really discouraging me from doing it, saying something about how unsafe it is to buy stuff of Craig’s List or how they were too expensive.  I was so confused because we had bought lots of stuff off it before and they were great prices, but I didn’t buy one.  Then one night, Ty came home and called me out to the garage to look in his car.  In the back, was this beautiful, new Christmas tree.  My kind, generous little sister Kaytlen knew that I was wanting a tree and in the goodness of her heart, she and Matt decided to surprise us with one.  They found a good Black Friday deal and got it for us.  I was so touched.  Words cannot describe the feelings in my heart and tears could not be held back.  That was the true spirit of Christmas, and it came to me halfway across the country from my little sister. She is such a good example to me.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  I HAVE THE BEST SISTERS (including my sister-in-law!!) EVER!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Fruits of My First Year of Teaching

After a two month hiatus, I am resolved to be better at writing more often.  Things have been going pretty well for Ty and I lately.  We are loving being married (who knew it would be this good!?) and even though we weren't with family for Thanksgiving, we still had a lot of fun with friends in our ward.  Other than that, we have been pretty consumed with school and work.

Work...let's talk about that one.  It's my first year of teaching, and I knew it was going to be hard--everyone says so.  It's hard. It' stressful. And it's basically taken over my life.  It's a good thing I love those little kiddos (most of the time...and most of them).  However, it's starting to take a toll.  I remember my mom telling me in high school and college that I need to learn how to deal with my stress better or it can start to affect my body.  I would try to stop and not get so stressed about everything, but then I would get stressed about how I wasn't supposed to be getting stressed and then I would remember everything on my to do list...and that was pretty much out the window.  Well, I would like to take this moment now to proclaim that my mom is a freaking genius (Tage, that one was for you).

Earlier this year I was told (after one of those invasive colonoscopies....) that I "probably" have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  Basically whenever I get stressed I get diarrhea   My mom's prophecy was beginning to come true.  Now I know whenever I get stressed because WWIII ensues in my intestines.  But that wasn't all...oh no it was not.

Last Wednesday I noticed a little cluster of zits (or so I thought) on my back.  Thoroughly grossed out at this new appearance of "back-ne" (like acne only on my back), I just tried not to think about it.  But then it started to get all red and really itchy the next day.  So, I thought it was just a weird rash and put hydrocortizone cream on it.  But then it started to REALLY itch and REALLY hurt!  So after consulting with my two nurse moms, I went to the doctor and was informed that I have shingles.  Wait, what is shingles?  I will let these people do the talking:

Okay, it's a little dramatic, but when I ironically saw this commercial while I was home all day yesterday, I thought, "Amen brother, Amen."  What are the odds that I would see this the day I was home with shingles?!  I laughed pretty hard for a while.  Also, notice that these are old people (no offense, Grandma) who are talking about it.  Apparently you usually get it when you are in your 60s or so.  I guess we can draw from this fact that my first year of teaching has officially aged me 40 years.  According to the doctor, it probably flared up due to extreme stress.  That's an understatement! So glad I have a fifty-hour-a-week-causes-my-bowels-to-throw-a-tantrum-and-my-nerves-in-my-back-to-rage-with-pain part-time job.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Warning: this post is kind of long...I just got carried away!

Jane Austen once said, "There is nothing like staying home for real comfort."  How true that is!  It has been a fun adventure the last four months minus one week creating a home with Ty.  I must admit, I was kind of sick of staying at home all day in July and August while I was studying for my Chinese test, especially when the house looked like this (don't judge me):
We called this our "leaning tower of boxes" and it only grew from here.  If ever you need a box, we have only about a million in our basement!

I put Post-it notes everywhere when I was trying to decide where to put everything.  

Scary...I know.  Unpacking everything was quite the chore, and yet as I did so, I was overcome with gratitude looking at everything people gave us for the wedding.  Thank you all so much!! We have been so blessed that truly "my cup runneth over" (Psalms 23:5) and there is not "room enough to receive it" (3 Nephi 24:10). 

But as disgusting as that was, we were finally able to find a spot for everything and it looks much better now!!  I LOVE our apartment!  It is becoming more than just a house; it's becoming a home.  It's where my loved one and I are and where we are building our family.  It's where we can feel the Spirit and feel close to God.  Though we are definitely not perfect, we are growing closer and closer together as we grow close to God here. 

Because most of you aren't able (or want) to spend your vacation here in "balmy" (haha) Wisconsin, here are some pictures of our home so you can see it!: 

Here's the outside of our home.  We rent the first floor and another couple rents the second floor.  They are really nice and super smart. I think they are both scientists of some sort and are in their thirties.  They also have a nice, really old Golden Retriever named George, who we lovingly call Jorge (sounds like hor-hay for you non-Spanish speakers).  He has cancer and struggles going up and down the stairs to go outside, but he's really sweet and his favorite thing to do is shed....which he does really well, just ask our stairway and the cobwebs to which his hair sticks. 

 Look at all our cupboards! I love them!  Except they are a little high so it's kind of funny to watch me get on our step ladder and try to get things down from there.  
 Our kitchen....it's cute and old.  We have a pretty big sink, which is nice, and I'm pretty sure it is the original sink that was in this house!  Our gas oven works well, and I'm glad we finally figured out that it is 25 degrees cooler than it says.  For the longest time we couldn't figure out why nothing was cooking very fast or well in our oven.  Now we know. 

This is our dishwasher!!! I am so grateful for it because I can't imagine what it would be like having to do all the dishes by hand (Grandma, I have a whole new appreciation for you).  It took me a while to figure out how to hook it to the sink and even longer to figure out that if you pushed the little button on the side when it was done, it would drain the water and not squirt you in the face when you took it off the tap...yeah.... 


This is our pantry in our kitchen, which we lovingly named "the cupboard under the stairs."  Sometimes I pretend I am Harry Potter.  I may or may not be a little obsessed.  

When you walk out of the kitchen (which is at the back of the house btw), you come to this little hallway where we put up a Chinese scroll Bridgette gave me.  In front is the bathroom, to the right is the bedroom, and to the left is the dining room/family room.  

Minuscule bathroom with a cool black and white checked floor: 

I love our toille bedspread we got from Ikea.  Ty didn't want a "girly" one but he said this one was okay.  
Yes, there are golf clubs by Ty's side of the bed.  A few weeks after getting here, we had the window air conditioner on (used to be in the window by the clubs) and didn't know that if we didn't shut the door tightly, the air conditioner change of pressure would slam it shut.  It scared the living daylights out of us the first couple times it did it because we thought someone was in the house.  Ty has kept the clubs by the bed every since...haha. 

Wait, Kelsi.  Aren't those supposed to be bookshelves?  Why yes, yes they are.  But they were WAY cheaper than nightstands, so we converted them:  

This was a project I started before I got married, and here is the finished product!
Now my necklaces won't get all tangled!

This might be getting boring...sorry...but look how cute this is!!!! I am in love with our dresser!  We got it on Craigslist for $80 and it is really nice and in great condition.  It fits perfectly in the house! I wish I knew more about this company who made this, but I do know it is Wisconsin based and it's pretty old.   

Here's a cute little dining room with our lonely Chinese scroll on the wall (we're working on getting more pictures up).  I love our table!  Our upstairs neighbors were giving a bunch of furniture away in June when Lisa (my mother-in-law) and I came out.  So they just gave us the table for free!  It's beautiful.  A few months later, after using card table chairs (thanks Beth and everyone for those chairs or we would have been toast) we found these chairs on Craigslist.  I love them...some have mystery stains, but we'll take care of them.  They are really nice looking, and I am pretty sure the same company who made them made a bunch of the furniture in the Chicago temple (which is the one we go to).  

Here's our family room.  It's nice and spacious with higher ceilings so it doesn't feel all dungeon-y.  

Our first fire in our fireplace!  Ty was feeling pretty manly after this amazing feat.  The spark of pyro in his eyes was a little frightening.  We roasted marshmallows over the fire on a wire hanger and Ty had fun looking  at the fire.  For some reason, our house smelled a little campfire-ish afterward....hope it doesn't always do that!

AAAAANNNNDDD last but not least, here is our little study/sun room.  This is my happy place.  Is that a piano? Why yes, yes it is.  I love my husband.  He. Is. Great.  He actually has a friend who moves pianos for a living and he got this one from him for FREE!!! It may or may not be almost a half step flat in some areas, but an out-of-tune piano is better than no piano at all.  We could spend the money to get it tuned....but we're only going to be here for less than two years and aren't planning on bringing it home (it's not great quality).  

Kind of a blurry picture, but this is from the study looking into the family room.  I love the glass french doors.  

Our cute piano and more bookshelves.  Can you tell we love books?!

Aside from how fun it has been cleaning and organizing and decorating our physical home, it has been an amazing journey so far building our family spiritually.  In The Family: A Proclamation to the World it says, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreation activities."  On my mission I would teach people about this and how the gospel blesses families.  I don't think I ever realized to what extent it really does bless families.  Ty and I are striving to build our family and our relationship on these principles.  We pray together every morning and night and read scriptures together.  We strive to help each other build our faith in the Savior, forgive each other when we mess up, and try to plan fun, wholesome recreation activities for FHE and date night.  I have noticed that as we do these things, there is a feeling of peace in our home and a feeling of security.  It brings me closer to my God and closer to my husband.  I am so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  I know it is true and that it will improve the quality of our lives.  If you are wondering how to improve your family relationships, I would encourage you to visit this website http://www.lds.org/topics/family/happiness?lang=eng.  Our message is powerful and true and will bless your life.  I love the gospel, and I love our Savior.  I am grateful to have a wonderful home with a family built on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Slice of Happiness

Life is so wonderful.  They say time flies when you're having fun, and I agree!  I can't believe it has been three months and twelve days and seven hours since Ty and I were married!  Sigh...I love him.  And it's his birthday today!!!!!  Talk about the coolest birthday ever this year--10/11/12.  Here are some reasons why I am so in love with this man:

1.  He always puts the Lord first in his life.  Case and point:  even though it's his birthday and he is on his way home from Appleton (about two hours away where he was in a satellite dental clinic this week), he is still insisting on going to institute. He is such a good example to me.  No matter what and without fail, one of the first things he does every morning is read his scriptures.  He is always sharing the gospel with those around him and has true charity.

2.  He works hard in school to provide for our family someday.

This is in front of the Marquette School of Dentistry...I guess that was kind of self-explanatory from the picture.

3.  Because works hard in school, we get little perks like one of his professors giving us some of his season tickets to the Brewer's games.

4. He is teaching me to take time to stop and smell the roses....or in our case right now, the autumn leaves.  Look how beautiful the leaves are here! These pictures just don't do them justice!  Tage and Lisa (Ty's parents) came out to visit this weekend (WAAAAYYYYY fun!) and between conference sessions we went walking in parks and up Lapham "Peak" by my high school (peak....hahaha that made me laugh...it's really just a hill).

4.  He supports me in everything I do, especially with my crazy job.  I am so grateful for his love and patience with me and for all his "talking-me-off-the-ledge" counseling sessions when I threaten to quit my job.  He keeps me sane.

5.  And lastly, I am grateful for all the humor he brings into our home...including all the times he hikes his pants way up and walks around like a nerd just to make me laugh.  This picture should explain it all.  It needs no words:

Yeeeeeppp....he's all mine forever.

But seriously, I love him and besides the gospel, he is the greatest blessing in my life!!!! Happy Birthday Ty!