Monday, February 29, 2016

Prayers and Faith

We've been learning a lot of lessons lately as we've been waiting for prayers to be answered.

It's been over three years since we started trying to have a second child, and at times it has been heart-breaking and terrible. It has also taught us so much, and I'm so grateful for the lessons that I have learned.

One of the most recent lessons came from a friend of mine. She had gone through a similar experience, but in her case, she had to wait seven years for her second child! That's seems like such a long time. I know Abraham's wife, Sarah, had to wait even longer, and I can't even imagine. However, never once do we hear of her complaining or doubting.

Anyway, my friend told me, that when her son turned three, he decided he wanted a little sister, and every day for four years this little boy prayed for a sister. Never once did he ask why God hadn't answered his prayers. He just continued to pray in faith, knowing that the Lord would answer when the time was right. She told me that she learned a lot about prayer from her son.

I'm really grateful to her for sharing that experience with me, and hope that she doesn't mind that I have shared it on here. It made a big difference in my understanding of how to pray.

I think sometimes, I get impatient with the Lord. I think, "I'm ready now, please send the blessings!" and then nothing happens.

I'm learning, albeit slowly, to trust. It's one thing to tell myself that I know that God can do anything, and another thing to believe that His timing is perfect and trust in that. I'm realizing that faith without patience and trust, isn't really faith at all. It is me, showing Heavenly Father that I think I know better than Him. If I truly believe that He wants what's best for me, I also need to believe that He knows when is best for me.

Unlike my friend's son, I have doubted and struggled. Every month, it has seemed that I've gotten my hopes up, only to have disappointment spear through me like a knife.

I've struggled with knowing how to hope, while avoiding the pain of disappointment and continuing to pray faithfully for a child.

I know it is a righteous desire, and I have received confirmation that we will have another child from my Heavenly Father. I only need to have patience and trust that the child will come when he/she is supposed to.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Bible dictionary, under the topic of prayer, it says:
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
I love how it says that prayer is the "act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other." Some of the best prayers I've ever said are when I've asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to pray for. Then, when he has, my prayers sound different, and I know the things that are said will come to pass.

Sometimes it's hard to keep praying for things when it seems like the answers will never come, but by doing so, we show our faith and trust in Heavenly Father. It is difficult, but the more that I've been doing it, the more peace I've had inside that the promised blessings will come as I patiently hope and trust in Him and His timing.

A black-and-white illustration of a boy wearing a simple sweater and pair of trousers kneeling on the ground in prayer.
I know that Heavenly Father wants what's best for me. As I strive to bend myself to His will, I become more like Him. The greatest blessings in my life have come as I've heeded His counsel and done my best to follow the promptings that I've received. I am so grateful for all He has given me, and I'm trying to remember to thank Him for the blessings I already have. If I'm not grateful for what I've been given, why would He give me more?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Car Shopping

Grig and I have decided recently that it's time to start looking for a new vehicle. Our car, which has served us so well for the last four years, is beginning to die.

It's been having a lot of dashboard problems, and it has a few leaks here and there.

So, the other night, we went out and looked at vans.

Why vans? Well, right now, everyone in our household doesn't fit in our car. Yes, we only have one kid, but if we wanted to go somewhere with Grig's brothers it would be very tight. It also is impossible to haul anything large in our car.

We are looking for a Honda or Toyota, and we think we've found one that we like. We applied for a car loan through our bank, and we're eagerly waiting for them to contact us back. Neither of us have ever bought a car from a dealer, but we're excited for this new stage of life. We've figured out how much we can put toward monthly payments, and we're hoping that this works out.

It is interesting, because a few months ago, we were getting new tires for our car, and we were trying to decided which tires to pick. We were going to get the very best kind, so they would last forever, but something stopped us. After praying about it, we both felt that we should get the decent, but much cheaper tires.

That answer kind of confused us for a while, but as we've had more problems with our vehicle, we've begun to feel that it is time to upgrade. Also, if we are able to have another child like we're hoping, we're going to need more room for our growing family.

As a side note...

ONE WEEK TO PUPPY!

I might just be a little excited.
She's so stinkin' cute!
All of these changes are a little scary. Life is going to change, and that always comes with some difficulties, but I think we're making the right choices, so that's pretty comforting.

We aren't looking forward to making car payments, but we think it will save us money. The current repairs that the vehicle needs are worth more than the vehicle. It's time to move on.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

More Projects

During the winter, we haven't been working on projects as much. Mostly I've been deep cleaning and going through boxes.

However, in this last week, I think I've started feeling the Spring bug, and it's made us want to start working on our house again.

I love my kitchen chairs. They're family heirlooms. After we moved to Utah, my grandparents gave us my great-grandma's table on loan. It's been really nice to use. They told us not to hurry to buy a new table. So, we've been using it for a while.

A few months ago, my great-aunt moved out of her large home into an apartment. When she did so, she gave us some of her furniture. Among the furniture came four wooden chairs that, it turns out, match our table. They were also owned by my great-grandma. (We also got some awesome book shelves!)

They are in pretty good shape, though a few of them had paint spots and the like and they were a bit worn.

So, Monday, I decided to re-stain my kitchen chairs. This is what the worst one looked like when I started:

I carefully took the paint off, re-sanded some edges, and applied the stain. When I was finished, it looked like this:
Isn't it beautiful?!

Then, for my birthday, my wonderful parents gave me the new curtain that I'd asked for. Since we've moved into the house, we've had some very interesting blinds on our back glass doors. I forgot to take a before picture, and it took me a while to find any. Evidently, I really didn't like them very much.

Here are a few I did find.
This was the first picture I took. They're open here, so you can't see what they look like as well. 
This is a much better shot. Many of the blinds were missing, so it didn't look very good. (I'm not a big fan of the floral top either.)
This picture shows you the beach towel that we stuck up to help keep the sun out of Kevin's eyes in the morning. 
I was so excited when I received the curtain for my birthday, and last night Grig and I went out and found a rod that we liked to hang it on.

I was going to wait until today to put it up, but I think we all got kind of excited about it last night, and so we had a family party!

Here's Grig putting up the rod:
He did one side, and then he needed to get ready for bed. I finished the other side and Allopex helped me stick it the curtain on the rod and hang it up.

Here's the completed project:


You can see the chairs here too!
I love it! It looks so much better. It is also a blackout curtain, so it's supposed to keep the sun out, as well as heat and cold. I can already feel a difference on the drafts that are coming through my house.

We also received a new swing from Grig's parents for my birthday. We already replaced one of the broken ones on our swing set. I'll have to stick a picture up later.

I'm really excited about my new curtains. I think it makes my dining room look a lot newer and cleaner. Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sick Kids Can Be Really Sweet

Yesterday, we were having a slower-paced day. Kevin just didn't seem very energetic, and I thought he felt kind of warm to me. However, when I took his temperature in the morning, he seemed fine.

However, as the afternoon progressed, he became warmer and warmer. When I finally took his temperature around 4:30 p.m., his armpit reading said 101.4. I didn't like that much, so I called my mom and asked her at what temperature I should give Tylenol. I know that fevers are the body's way of fighting off diseases, and I didn't want to stunt Kevin's battle.

She told me about about 101-102 you should help him out, but not to really worry unless it got up to 103 and 104.

Then, after thinking a minute, I asked, "When it's an armpit reading, you add a degree, right?"

She said, "Oh, yeah. So, his temperature is actually 102 something. You should definitely give him Tylenol."

I did, and he drank it right down. Then, he laid on the couch with his blanket and his bear that he calls "Baby" and watched Winnie-the-Pooh. (I should have taken a picture.)

I asked him if he was sick, and he said, "No, I'm not sick. I'm just tired." It was really cute. Anytime I mentioned that he was sick to my mom, he would deny it and remind me that he was just tired. He did look exhausted, and I hoped that he would take a nap.

Nope.

His dad got home a few minutes later, and I told him not to ask Kevin if he was sick. "He's not sick," I warned, "he's tired."

However, when Grig saw Kevin, his daddy instincts came out and he said, "Oh, are you sick?" Adamantly, Kevin protested that he wasn't sick, he was just tired. It kind of made me laugh. You could tell the moment the Tylenol started working, however, because he was suddenly my bouncing bundle of energy again. He proclaimed that he was hungry and only wanted hot dogs.

I made him some chicken noodle soup, and he tried it, but he was more interested in hot dogs. So, he got them. I was just happy he was wanting to eat. I'm afraid he got what I had.

Last night, Kevin came into our room about 12:30 a.m., and he got in our bed. Usually he goes right to sleep, but he just kept tossing and turning. When his foot touched my hand, I realized that the fever was back in full-force.

I quickly got up and poured some Tylenol. I tried to hand it to him, and he protested, "No, I don't..." then he saw what I was holding and said, "ok." He took it and drank it. I put the medicine
back and came back to bed. I rubbed his belly and his face while I waited for the medicine to work. He continued to be really restless, and then he sat up and said, "I have to go potty."

We went in the bathroom, and he was pretty cheerful, though he wouldn't let me turn on the light. After we washed his hands, we came back in the bedroom and he wanted to snuggle by his dad. He told him, "Daddy, I'm cold."

Grig said, "Come and snuggle them," and he burrowed in next to his father. I was unable to sleep for the next hour until his fever finally cooled.

He's much cooler this morning. Hopefully he is able to get over whatever he's got. He hasn't been coughing much, so maybe he has something else. It's hard to say.

Either way, he's a really sweet boy, and we're lucky to have him.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Our Anniversary Date

We had a great weekend.

Friday, Grig got off work about 4:30, and we were ready to go, but we also had to run a few errands quick...like buy ourselves our Valentine's present. We went to the store and got ourselves a chainsaw for Valentine's Day. It is pretty awesome. We're excited to do some pruning this year.

Then, by the time we got some snacks and dinner, it was about 6:15. I was on a hurry to get on the road and didn't want to make any more stops. So, when we realized we'd forgotten my planner and Grig suggested we stop at home on the way out of town, I was not interested. About the same time, I looked at the gas gauge and realized that we were about a quarter tank from empty.

I was in a hurry, so I just figured we'd fill it up later.

We had a nice drive, and Grig and Kevin fell asleep. We were going to meet my parents at a certain point of the trip. They had asked that we call them about twenty miles before we reached that point.

I did so, and just as I was talking to them, the low fuel light came on. I mentioned it, and they asked if we'd be able to make it to the gas station that we were going to meet at anyway. It was only 14 miles away, and I thought we'd be fine. However, after only four short miles, the speed of the vehicle began to drop, and the engine stopped working.

I woke Grig up, and we pulled over to the side of the road and put on the emergency lights. Then we called my parents again. We were blessed that they were so close. They said that they'd get some gas and come and find us.

As we were waiting, Grig decided to go ahead and see what the next mile marker was, so it would be easier to find us. He left the car, and we went forward. It was a tense few minutes until he returned, but shortly after he'd come back and we texted the mile marker to my parents, a car came and pulled up behind us.

We thought it was my dad, until a spotlight shone into the car. My dad doesn't have a spotlight. A few seconds later, a police officer came to the window. I turned back on the car and rolled it down.

He asked us if everything was alright. I kind of looked down and said, "We ran out of gas."

He laughed a little and told us that someone had seen Grig walking down the highway and our car on the side and had called the police. Then he asked if we had someone coming.

I told him my parents were on their way, and he said that he'd keep the spotlight on us until they came.

That was really nice of him. As Mom and Dad pulled up a few minutes later, they told us that there were actually three police cars behind us. Must have been a slow night.

Anyway, we filled up enough to make it to the next gas station, and then they took Kevin and we went to our hotel.

I learned a good lesson about not being in such a hurry. If we had gotten gas sooner, we wouldn't have been stuck on the side of the road. Also, in not going home for the planner, we forgot our checkbook (which turned out to be important later), and we also forgot our camera. The pictures we have, my father took them, we got from the hotel's website, or we took using my dad's camera.

So, we got to the hotel. We had decided to stay at Americinn and we had chosen a jungle-themed room, and we really enjoyed it. It was smaller than our room had been the year before, but that turned out to be fine. Here are some pictures from the hotel's website of the room that we stayed in.
I really liked how the walls and ceilings looked like canvas.
This couch wasn't very comfortable, but it looked neat.

You can see the jetted tub in the back of this picture. I love jetted tubs. Someday, I want one.

The bathroom was one of my favorite parts of the hotel. It looked really neat.
It was really fun, though half-way through the evening I found out that I had a pretty bad fever. Grig didn't even want to cuddle me I was so hot. So, I was sick over the weekend, but it was still super relaxing and we were able to completely de-stress.

The next day, we went and visited some family members and went shopping at a used bookstore. We also went to look at the puppies. When we got there, they wanted the $100 deposit in cash or check, so we said we'd come back later and bring Kevin.

He sure like the puppies.
We're not sure what either of them are thinking in this picture...
She is so cute!
Grig was trying to show the collar that they put on her for us to distinguish her from the other pups. 
We went to eat out at a restaurant that was closing soon, and they only accepted cash or check. So, Grig had to run to a nearby store and get some cash. 

In all, we had a pretty great day. It was nice to spend so much time with my husband. He's a pretty great guy. I never get tired of being around him. Other than the fact that I was sick, I have no complaints about the weekend. And, as I told Grig, there's no one else I'd rather be with if I had to be sick. 

Saturday night, we stayed with my parents and went to church with them on Sunday. We had a family dinner with five of my ten siblings and their families. It was a pretty good crowd. Afterward, we discussed Sister Wixom's talk from General Conference about "Discovering the Divinity Within." Grig and I led the discussion. 

We got home Sunday night about 10:00 p.m.. It was a fabulous weekend, and we're grateful to my parents for taking Kevin so we could go and spend time together. 

To quote Kim Possible: 
"Good news! Our marriage is stronger than ever!"

Monday, February 22, 2016

Answers

This can be considered part six of a series of events. For the previous part in this series, follow this link.

The first thing I need to tell you, is last Monday, after I wrote my blog post, I went and looked on the local classified ads for Norwegian Elkhound. As I mentioned previously, they are nearly impossible to find, but I knew that there were going to be some there.

And there were. There was a new litter being advertised for that are ready to go home at the end of February. They were located near to my parent's home in Idaho. The Lord had provided another way for us to get the puppies. That night, we called them and asked if we could come and see them on Saturday, since we were going to be up that direction anyway.

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon.

So, Thursday, Grig called me. He told me that they were kind of in-between jobs right now, and they had given him the option of working on Friday or not (he works 10 hour days, so Fridays are overtime).

After praying about it, he set himself a goal and felt like if he accomplished his goal, he could take Friday off. He nearly did, but failed to complete the last task he had set for himself. So, he told them that he would work Friday.

We were a bit disappointed, because Friday night we were leaving for our Anniversary date (which I will talk about more tomorrow), and if he didn't' have work, we could get to the hotel sooner than 7:00 at night.

However, we felt that it was the Lord's will, and we hoped that maybe Friday would be the day that we found out about Grig's job.

Friday, Grig went to work and at lunch, I hadn't heard anything. I'm learning to be patient and accept the Lord's time, so it was actually okay. At the end of work, Grig called me and told me that he still hadn't heard anything, so he felt like he should go and talk to the boss again. The following is essentially what he relayed to me later.

Grig went up to his direct supervisor and the conversation went something like this:

Grig said, "Hey, it's been two weeks and I still haven't had my interview."

He said his supervisor looked at him a little strangely and said, "What exactly did he(his direct supervisor, who is also his brother) tell you when you interviewed with him?"

Grig said, "He told me that after 90 days I would have a review and I would also receive a raise if they decided to keep me."

His supervisor said, "Alright, let's go talk to him."

They went into the office and kind of stood there, waiting.

Finally, his direct supervisor said, "Grig wants his 90 day interview, and something about a raise."

The brother kind of looked at them out of the corner of his eye from where he was working at the desk and said, "Is he sure he wants to hear what I have to say?"

Grig was pretty sure he was joking. The higher supervisor then asked Grig how he thought he was doing.

Grig told him that he was still kind of slow, but that he had improved a lot, and given more time and experience, he would be just as quick as the other guys. The higher supervisor agreed and told him that they'd keep him on. However, he added that they were kind of between jobs right now, and he wouldn't be receiving a raise yet. He then added that if he didn't get one in the next month and a half, to come and talk to him again.

Evidently, afterward Grig tried to call me, but the call didn't come through. When he got home, he explained what had happened. We were very grateful, but also slightly confused. We had been told that we could get the puppy when Grig got his job, and his raise.

During our date, we prayed about it, and felt strongly that it was okay to put a deposit down on one of the pups.

Say hello to the newest incoming member of our family:
We're going to call her Siff.
Kevin in pretty thrilled about it! He sure loved going to look at those puppies.
We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father. It is nice not to worry about Grig losing his job. We were trying to have faith and patience, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly.

We also wanted to thank all of those who have been praying on our behalf. We really have appreciated it.

We can finally begin moving forward again. 

And did I mention...we're getting a puppy!?!?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Sometimes facebook is a wonderful thing. I went onto it, and it reminded me that today is my anniversary. Whoops.

Not that I didn't remember, I just hadn't thought about it yet this morning.

So, I was able to wish Grig a happy anniversary before he went to work. Facebook also showed me a video montage they had made celebrating our anniversary. The only problem is...it was kind of lame. All the pictures it showed were from this year.

It really should have looked something more like this:

4 Years

June 25, 2011:

I had work at 2:00, and then I worked until 8. However, at work, a kid who is the roommate of my co-worker’s fiancĂ© came in and asked me on a date.  I had met him a couple times before, and my coworker told me that he had been wanting to ask me out since he met me.  He asked me what I was doing that night, and I told him working.  He asked me if I wanted to come over to his house afterward and do something.  I told him that would be fine.  He asked if 9:00 was okay, but then I remembered I was practicing the song I was singing with another guy on Sunday then, and so I asked him if 9:30 was okay.  He said that was fine.

He left and I was all nervous.  Work finished pretty quickly, and then I went home.  My roommate helped me get ready, then I went to my singing practice.  It was a good practice, and then I went to Crestwood for my date with Grig.  

I got there and texted him to tell him that I was there.  He came out and brought me over to the table that he had brought outside under the trees and next to the pond.  He had made stir-fry, and he served it to me. He was really sweet about it.  Then we ate and talked for the next two hours.  He is a really nice guy.  We have a lot of the same interests.  We talked about sheep and missions and such.  He said he is from Virginia.  We talked about the coolest moments of our missions, and then we talked about animals. As curfew neared, and thanked him for the evening, and gave him a (super awkward) hug.  He then walked me over to my car.  As we neared it, he asked me what I was doing the next weekend.  I told him working, but then I remembered my work schedule was in my pocket, so I was able to tell him the time.  So, next weekend we are going on another date at 7:00 on Saturday.  

I’m excited for it.  After I left I was left with the impression that he was a good guy, but now I wanted to see how he interacted with others and I wanted to do things with him.  So we are going to a Greek play and we are going to play games afterward. 

July 10, 2011:

Tonight I held hands with a boy for the first time ever!  We’ve been dating for two weeks.  I guess that’s not so long.  It was Grig.  I really kind of like him.

August 2011:

Grig is back in Virginia for the break, but we are officially boyfriend and girlfriend. I even kissed him on the cheek before he left! We skype every morning at 7:00 a.m.

September 4, 2011:

Grig came back tonight. I was nervous to see him, but it was really good. We talked about the stupidest things, but we both had similar views on them, and I decided I really like him after he left. It has been good to see him. 

A picture taken at our Halloween date


October 5, 2011:

I had kind of told Grig that I loved him via text message before work yesterday, and then hadn’t been able to see what his response was because I locked my phone in the store where I worked.  I knew however, that it would confuse him a bit.  Which it did.  I wasn’t able to respond to him most of the next day either, because I drove to Utah right after I picked my phone up from the store and was busy most of the day. When I finally got to talk to him, he said he wasn’t sure if he loved me yet, which is okay, because I also decided that in order for our relationship to progress, I needed to see him more than twice a week.

I think I’m almost ready to kiss him.

October 26, 2011:

So....today, we were out walking, and we came in because it was cold.  We were sitting at the kitchen table, and we began talking.  It went like this:

Emma: “So, we are both going to be graduated in two semesters.  After that I am going to be student teaching.”

Grig: “Yeah, beyond that I haven’t thought of things.  Besides, you know, general things.”

Emma: “Yeah, I think I’ve though about those same kind of general things too.”

Grig: “Yeah, I’ve been thinking of talking about those things with you, but I’ve been afraid I was going to scare you off.”

Emma: “I think it’s almost impossible to scare me off at this point.”

Grig: “Really?!”

Emma: “Yeah.  In fact, I was thinking that we should go check out our ring sizes at some point.”
Grig: “Do you want to go on Friday before the concert?”  
And that was that.  We planned it out, and then we went on Friday to go ring shopping.  I wasn’t feeling well at all (stomach flu), but I wanted to go anyway.  So, we went to a jeweler and got our ring sizes.  I was a 6, and Grig was a 9-9.5.  We didn’t really like anything that we saw however, so we left.  However, we started talking about other things, like receptions colors.  Then he said, “How does about February sound?”

It sounded pretty good.

October 30, 2011

Grig and I began to look at rings online.  We also started talking about honeymoon ideas.  I really love that guy.  As he was going to leave, I kind of went to kiss him, but he was so used to me ducking his kisses on the lips that he avoided my kiss.  Then, as I hugged him around the neck and buried my face in his chest with embarrassment, he said, “Oh, really!?!?!?”
I said in a muffled voice, “I meant to, but it’s scary.”
He said, “Do you want to try again?”  

He sounded kind of hopeful, and I wanted to so I said, “Maybe?”
We went outside, and I asked if anyone was around, and he said no.  So, I said, “Okay,” and then, we kissed.  
It was weird, but not as weird as I thought is was going to be.  It wasn’t earth-shattering, but as our lips brushed, it was...nice.  He kissed my face again afterward, and I said, “One’s probably enough for tonight, because it’s new.” I’m so logical sometimes, it’s ridiculous.  Our relationship works for us though, and it makes me happy.
He grinned and said, “That’s fine with me.”  Then we wished each other good night and told each other that we loved each other.  For the next 15 minutes, my lips tingled. 

October 31, 2011:

So, tonight, we went on a walk. 

Grig took off at a pretty fast pace, and I knew he was up to something, and I told him that, but I also told him that I had decided not to worry about it.  He said that made him glad.  We walked around in a big circle from my apartment and came back around to Porter Park.  As we stepped into the park and headed toward the other end, Grig said, “So, I finally finished a poem for you.”

I said, “Good!” thinking that this is what the surprise was all about.

He continued, “However, it is a tree poem, so it can only be read up in a tree.”
 
I nodded, “Okay.”  So, maybe that is weird, but since we do weird stuff all the time, it wasn’t that weird.  We like to climb trees together, okay?

Anyway, so we climbed to the top of the tree, and Grig read me his poem.

After he finished, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a little black box.  As he opened it and I saw a ring, I think my mind shut down a little bit, and I went into shock mode; which for me, means no emotion.  

“Oh, a ring,” I said, taking it out of the box and putting it on my finger.  After a couple seconds, Grig asked, “Does that mean yes?”

For a reply, I decided it was appropriate to kiss him.  (We’d had our first kiss the night before.)  As I pulled away, I became conscious of people running toward us cheering.  I was surprised to see his roommates, but since I was still in shock mode, I simply said, “Look, people.”  We climbed down from the tree, and I realized all my roommates were there too.  Everything fell into place.  Little sneaks.  They were carrying a bundle of flowers, and they handed them to me.  The ring that I was wearing wasn’t the ring that we’d picked out the night before, it was Grig’s grandma’s ring, and, surprisingly, it fit really well.  We talked to everyone for a moment, I talked to mom and dad on the phone quick, and then we got into Grig’s station wagon and drove back to my apartment, where I proceeded to call everyone I knew (at some coaching from my roommates.)  Finally, the shock wore off and I began to get giddy.

I'm getting married in February!

February 18, 2012:

Today, we were sealed for time and all eternity. The temple was amazing.  We were sealed by a man who was originally from Argentina.  He spoke five different languages, and he was really funny.  I’ve never been to a sealing where people laughed so hard.  

Probably the best moment was when he had finished the ceremony, and he said, “You may now kiss yourself.” (Due to the language barrier.)  Grig said, “I’ll kiss you,” to me, and kept it from being super awkward.  We kissed and were married.  It was kind of weird because I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t feel any different.  I expected to feel heavier or something, but I still felt the same.  

February 25-March 11:

Our honeymoon lasted two weeks. The first week we went on a cruise to the Caribbean, and the second week we stayed in Viginia with Grig's parents. Here is one of the best moments:

Thursday, we stopped at Grand Cayman, one of the Cayman Islands.  We had an excursion called “Turtles, turtles, and more turtles.”  We had a long line to get out to the boats that would take us to the mainland, but we were entertained by one little boy who kept asking if we were going to go see “more and more turtles?  No fish?”  It was really cute.  We were led out to our little boats, and were taken to shore, where we then found our excursion group and they loaded us onto busses and took us out to the Sea Turtle Farm.  It was really neat.  We were taken on a tour of the facilities, where we were able to hold little baby turtles.  We found out if you stroke their throats, they calm right down, but if you don’t they flap their flippers and try to fly away.  They were really cute.  We went by a breeding tank and saw many different ages of turtles.  In the 18-month pen, we were allowed to catch them and pick them up.  I did so, but the turtle I caught was really pretty big.  He was at least 35-40 pounds.  I had him on the side and was stroking his throat, and he calmed down for a bit.  He kind of eyed me for a moment, and then suddenly, he struck.  With a slapping sound, his front fin hit me square in the eye.  I was blinded for a moment.  He hit me really hard.  I petted him for a few more seconds, and then I let him loose.  My eye hurt for the rest of the day.  It turned out that he had cracked my contact lens all the way through.  When we got back to the boat, I wore my glasses for nearly the remainder of the trip.  However, while we were still there, I put on the sunglasses because my eye was a big photo sensitive, and then we went snorkeling with fish and small sea turtles, which we had fun catching until we were told we weren’t supposed to do that. 

After we finished, we decided to try turtle soup (Ha ha, revenge).


March 25, 2012:

I took a pregnancy test today. A second line did show up, though faintly. We're going to take it again in a week to be sure.

Apirl 15, 2012:

I'm officially pregnant. We also got a pet snake.  He is a blizzard morph Corn Snake, and right now he’s just a baby.  We got him on April 2, and he’s now eaten two pinkies (which are baby mice.)  He’s definitely growing and maturing.  He has become better at gripping our fingers while he is exploring.  He was about a foot long when he arrived and only about an inch in diameter.  It’s a good thing that the baby mice we ordered are small too, or they would be too big for him to eat.  He’s pink right now, but when he is full grown, he will be pure white.  He will only grow to be 3-5 feet long.  He hasn’t shed his skin yet, but he is pretty comfortable with people and relaxes quickly.  

This was his first feeding. He was so little!

Toward the end of November 2012:

Kevin joined our family and our lives have been that much better ever since! We ended up with an C-section after hours and hours of labor. For that full story, go here. He was born at 8 lbs 11 oz. He was a big baby!
July 17, 2013:

For the last few months, Grig has been trying to find a full time job. Finally, we realized we'd been asking the wrong question. We had been asking, "Where should Grig work?" We were supposed to be asking, "Where should Grig go to school?" Almost immediately, we got an answer. We applied for a job there on Wednesday and they told him to come in for an interview. We drove that night to the city and stayed with my grandparents.  

The next morning, Grig applied at ICON.  Kevin and I waited out on the grass, and I kept thinking, “Well, the longer it takes, the more likely he’ll get the job.”  After about an hour and a half, I heard the sound of running, and Grig jogged up to us.  He was very excited and he said, “They asked me to come back for a safety meeting at 1:00!  I think I got the job!”  He tried to pick me up and spin me, but Kevin was in my hand in a car seat, so it didn’t work so well.  I was cautiously optimistic, not wanting to be too disappointed if it turned out to be another false hope, but I was excited for him too.  
We went home and ate, and then I drove him back. Then, Kevin and I went home and looked at apartments. We found a three bedroom apartment, pretty close to his work, for a really good price. I went and talked to the manager while Grig finished his interview. The manager said they might have an apartment available immediately. I told her I'd talk to my husband and get back to her.

Soon after (while I was reading scriptures), Grig called. He got the job! He starts work on Tuesday. We then went back, got the apartment and came back home to pack and get ready to move! Life is progressing!

We are now in our new apartment and it's awesome!

(After this point, I pretty much blogged about everything, but I will put in the highlights from the last few years.)

October 18, 2013:

Dakota (my dog from home) came to live with us! She is going to be an indoor dog now. Kevin loves having her here, and I think she likes it too!

September 19, 2014:

We got a new puppy today! We've named him Arkhon.


December 6, 2014:

After my aunt and uncle mentioned that we would probably qualify for a USDA loan, we started looking at homes. We've been trying to get pregnant for the last year and a half, but as we looked at homes, we started feeling really good about buying a home. We've been looking at lots of different houses, but we haven't found the right one yet.

December 22, 2014:

The very last home that we looked at that was in our price range was the right home. We're going to make an offer on it.

February 8, 2015:

We moved into our new house! It's so wonderful to have a backyard, and the dogs look a lot smaller here than they did in our old apartment.

July 2015:

Grig found out that his job is closing down the entire department and letting 400 employees go. He's going to be one of them. His last day of work is October 31st. We're going to have to start applying for new jobs. 

October 9, 2015:

We put Dakota down today. She got an abscess on her ribs and she's stopped eating or drinking. She can no longer get up on her own. I received a strong impression that she's happy now. That makes it okay.

November 9, 2015:

Grig started at his new job today! I think he's really going to like it here. It seems to have a much better environment, and is more employee friendly.

February 18, 2016:
We've now been married for four years. I love being a wife and a mother. It's been really fun to look through these old journal entries and share some of them with you. 

I couldn't ask for a better husband. He has made me happier than I ever thought I could be. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with this wonderful man. Happy anniversary, Grig!


I chose this picture, because you can also see the current size of our snake.
He's pretty much as old as our marriage. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Unmotivated

Yesterday started out well. I helped Grig get ready for work, and then I blogged.

Then, I made a terrible choice and played a game for "a minute" before I worked on my story.

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter Kevin woke up, and I ended up not writing much at all.

I had a really bad day yesterday. Not that the day was bad, actually. It was a pretty pleasant day. Kevin and I spent a lot of time together, and for the most part, he was pretty happy.

However, I was super unmotivated during most of the day and I was having a really hard time getting off the computer and focusing on what needed to be done. Usually, when I have days like that, it's because I'm stressed and don't realize it, but I didn't feel stressed.

Just unfocused and distracted.

Kevin and I played way too many games on the computer, and every time that I told myself to get off, I just thought, "Let me just finish this one thing."

It was terrible.

I did spend time playing with Kevin away from the computer, finished the laundry, and completed a few more things, but I really didn't feel good about the way that I had spent most of my time.

However, after Grig got home, for the most part, I was able to be productive again. I had a really good evening. So, I'm not sure what my problem was yesterday.

I am determined, however, to do better today. For the most part, I've been doing really well at scheduling and accomplishing chores and other tasks. I've been doing pretty well at most of my goals, and writing quite a bit during the day. I'm getting pretty close to finishing my second draft of my novel. Once that's finished, I plan on working on another Dragon and the Wolf episode while some people proofread and edit it.

I guess everyone has bad days where they don't want to do anything. I'm learning that the best way to deal with those, is just to do better next time. Every time we are able to exercise self-control, the stronger we become, and the easier it is to resist the little voice that says, "Just finish that one thing."

And then try again tomorrow.
Arkhon looks likes he's on stilts in this picture. Random.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Birthdays and Other Crazy Events

This last week has been pretty eventful. We've been a bit focused on Grig's job and so I didn't talk about a lot of the things that happened. This will have to be my catch-up post. 

First of all, our car broke down again. I was at a relief society meeting, and after I came out of the church, the car wouldn't start. We tried to jump it, but it wouldn't hold any kind of charge. We had to leave it in the church parking lot. One of the men who was there offered to drive Grig into work, if he needed a ride. That was very kind of him. However, it turned out that Allopex had the next two days off, so Grig was able to borrow his car while we tried to get ours figured out. 

The next day was my birthday! I turned 29. It's hard to believe that I'm almost 30. I guess I'll just have to enjoy my last year of being in my 20's. 

I had a pretty great party. Kevin made me a cake while his dad was at work. He did a pretty good job. He tasted it every few minutes and told me that it was still yummy. 
After Grig got home, we had a birthday party for me. I finally got to open my presents, which had been sitting next to my computer and mocking me for the last couple of weeks. I was pretty excited about my gifts. I got Kim Possible Season 1, a microphone for the computer (so I can work on more Atomic Otter Cinema videos), a new swing for our playset, and the book "Avatar: The Search." We finally know what happens to Zuko's mother. Allopex and Havelock joined us for the party. Grig's taking the picture, so he's not in this one. 
 However, he did help Kevin finish my cake. They're quite the pair.
 Arkhon wanted to help with the cake too, but he behaved himself. Kevin, on the other hand, was feeling a bit mischievous. I had spice cake with a cream cheese frosting. It was pretty yummy.
 Then, the next day, my grandmother was kind enough to pick me up and take Kevin and me to her home for another party. My sister was up visiting, and so we had breakfast together, and then they gave me cake again! I love angel food cake, so I was pretty excited. We had a fun time visiting with family, and my sister revealed the gender of her baby. I felt pretty loved afterward. It is nice when people think of you.
 We had our car towed that day, and found out that our battery was dead. Our mechanic is amazing, so they got our car started and Grig went and bought a new battery and put it in himself. It ended up costing far less than we thought it was going to. We're grateful it wasn't the alternator.

That same day, we had Loki (Arkhon's brother) come and stay over. They really love each other, and he enjoyed playing with his brother. They wore each other out.
 He stayed with us for a couple days, and we all enjoyed having him around. He's a lot fluffier than Arkhon, but he's smart and he figured out our house rules pretty quickly. They're both really good dogs.
Arkhon's on the left, and Loki's on the right. 
Loki's a little heavier, but Arkhon is faster.
 Another exciting event this week is that we were invited to a birthday party with one of Kevin's friends. They invited us to go bowling with them. It was Kevin's first time bowling and he loved it!
 Every time he'd knock over a pin, he'd do a victory dance and spin around. It was pretty adorable. We sure do love our boy. He and the birthday boy also danced to the music in between their turns. They had a lot of fun.

The family also has a little girl who is quite the snuggler. Kevin just adores her. He loves to kiss her and push her cheeks in and play with her. Here is a picture of the three of us cuddling.
 After we finished our game (which I didn't win, though I was leading for a while), we had cake. It was a really yummy Reese's cake. We're really grateful that they invited us to join them for their party.
 After we finished eating and opening presents, we let Kevin "drive" on one of the games. He's not actually driving. We had to leave soon and didn't want to go spend money on the arcade, but he sure thought he was. He wasn't very happy when we had to go home to go to bed.
 Sunday, we went for a walk around a nearby temple. The gates were closed, so we walked all around the outside, and then went down a nearby trail. We had a great time, though Kevin is really into eating snow right now, and that's all he wanted to do.

 The next few pictures are from the trail we were walking on. Half-way down, we saw a deer trail going up the mountain. I was a little nervous about leaving the human trail, but it was really fun, and steep. We saw deer tracks, and made our way back up to the sidewalk. It's good to do things that are brave sometimes.
We didn't even die!

 One last thing I wanted to add. Kevin loves to sword fight with Allopex. The funniest part though, is the fact that every time they sword fight, Arkhon goes and gets his "sword" as well. He grabs a rawhide bone and brings it over. He'll fence with his bone to the best of his ability. He loves it when you knock it out of his mouth. Here's a picture of him sword fighting with the other two.
That ends a pretty crazy week!