"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Food Storage

We decided it is time to be more prepared! With the economy the way it is, talk of government shut-downs, food prices on the rise, and most importantly because the prophets have said so, we have begun to increase our food storage. When I was in college, I would sometimes try to prepare with the little space and funds I had, and then when we first got married, we always had extra, but not exactly storage, because we didn’t really have the space and we knew we would be moving a lot. But now, the excuses can no longer be given any credence. So, we started out gradually, and have obtained enough storage to feel a little more comfortable about our situation if something dire or unfavorable even were to happen. We bought some cans of beans, corn, oranges, and some Top Ramen (good shelf life). Then, while Zach vacationed in St. George, they hit up the cannery to expand our resources. Now we have pasta, rice, more beans, sugar, oats, wheat, apples, carrots, onions, and I am pretty sure something else. Zach also bought us some gas cans, so we can have gas storage too! I couldn’t let Zach do all the work, so I went to Costco and got some chicken as well. Although all together it became quite an investment, I believe it is a good one because it could quite literally save our life one day! We are going to continue to build our reserves to be more fully prepared for when it may be necessary to live off of what we have.

My husband is a ditcher.

I love all holidays, even Flag Day. Celebrating is just so fun! I always look forward to Easter every year because my wonderful parents, even though I am getting old, still do an Easter egg hunt for me! And whoever else is around gets to join in. I am willing to bet that if it weren't for me, no one else would care too very much if it occurred, but it is the highlight of my weekend. This year I lucked out because I was also included on the one for the children on Zach's side of the family. It seems like somehow I always get to do what the kids do, I haven't exactly been initiated into the "adult" club yet, where you don't do Easter egg hunts, or get dirty, or accept every dessert. I may be close, but I am clinging to my youth as long as possible!
I am so glad we decided to hit up St. George and Hurricane for Easter. I took Friday off work, and we headed down for some sunshine and festivities!
Sadly on Sunday, I left my other half behind as I trudged through the pouring rain back to my job and responsibilities, while my husband basically took his summer vacation (due to RCA preventing one over the next 4 months) and ditched me for four days. But, I believe separation is good because it makes you appreciate little things that perhaps day to day you take for granted. I soon realized how much I love waking up and having Zach there, as well as when I go to bed, or get off work, and when I make dinner....but he had a grand time, and started feeling the desire to return to Southern Utah that I have been feeling since I visited last month. It definitely is Home Sweet Home for us.

Day Number One: We hiked around by my parents house and happened across this little critter. Always love finding a horny toad!

Sadly, the only documentation of the joys of hanging out back. We spent lots of time back here, around the fire, roasting marshmellows (yay for s'mores!), eating scrumptious lunch and dinner, and just enjoying the amazing weather. I even had an extremely nice nap on the swing after a 6 mile run around the Bloomington loop.
Zach went on a bike ride with his dad and discovered this dangerous cobra! Ok, it's not a cobra, nor is it really dangerous, but still, snakes are gross and I can't believe he touched it, but I wish I could have seen it!
This is simply proof that my husband is a man's man. He is lucky to have me, or else he would never get a full serving of vegetables in his diet!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Love my sweetie.

Every year my birthday ends up amazing! Zach didn't disappoint for my big double deuce. I worked late the night before my birthday, so I got home around 9:50, only to find Zacharias all giddy about the house, ready to celebrate my birthday eve! I don't believe I have ever celebrated my birthday eve exactly, so I was quite excited. He had gotten treats and planned a movie for us. So sweet. I had called him on my way home, and he was at the store "shopping" but I didn't know what for. Come to find out, he had also purchased scrumptious breakfast materials, and woke up extra early to make me breakfast before I left for work. The fact that he planned ahead, woke up to his alarm, and actually got out of bed proved to me how deep his love truly is. The surprises weren't over just yet. Here I am, working my little heart out, when an astonishingly handsome man (my husband) strolls into my office, carrying the most beautiful bouquet I could have imagined. Of course, the picture doesn't do it justice, but they were amazing. I love lilies, and pink, and I think roses are overpriced, and Zach knows all this and succeeded in developing the perfect bouquet. He is quite the romantic really.


(Thank you SJ for photographing this happy event)

I knew that something special was awaiting me as soon as five o'clock would roll around, and it was. Zach had all these different options for me to choose from, and we ended up going to look at handguns because I want to get my concealed weapons permit, and while we were at the store, we ended up playing a totally cool gun game, where you have twenty chances to hit the targets, and I dominated 200-180 I believe. Zach won't admit it, but I think now I am the better shot out of the two of us.....
We then proceeded to have another marvelous sushi and teppan dinner together. Really, another awesome birthday. I am so happy that my husband is so amazing. He is the sweetest man I have ever met, and in reality, I didn't believe that such a man existed before I met and married him.
Along with the wonderful day with my lover, I had well wishes from family, friends, and coworkers that all made my day that much better. I love having such good relationships with so many good people.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Birthday Time!

Last weekend my parents came up for conference....and being that it is my dad's birthday on the 5th and mine on the 12th, we got to do a double birthday party! I have always loved having my birthday so close to my dad's, I think it gives us an even stronger bond. So, to celebrate, we got a huge Costco chocolate cake with mousse filling, which I enjoyed wholeheartedly.
After we went to the Saturday morning session of conference, we spent a lot of the day shopping, mostly my fault. I don't like shopping much, but if I am going to be spending a lot of money, I want to make sure I make the right decision, so I take FOREVER. I have been wanted running shoes, because mine were pretty beat down, and I plan to do a few races this year. Here came the big decision....do I try the new Vibram shoes that are all the rage, or stick with my trusty Asics? After many questions and pondering, the guy at the running store helped convince me I needed both. The clincher was that my new Asics are very padded, and he informed me that typically they need 48 hours to reinflate, so basically I needed a switch out anyway. So I got both!Only after I got home and put these on again did I realize that orange absolutely does not match any of my workout attire, and therefore I could not keep them. But, I did get to try them out once, and I loved them, so I am waiting for some more aesthetically pleasing and outfit coordinating ones to come in in my size.
Now, these are the most amazing shoes I have ever worn for many reasons. Number One: They are a woman's shoe. Due to my abnormally large feet, I have never had a running shoe that is a woman's. This one fits perfect and has purple on it...a huge plus! Number Two: These are some serious turbo shoes. I run way faster in these, no lie! My first time trying them out, I was on the treadmill next to a firefighter who was pretty fast, and afterward he and his buddy came up to inform me that I had won the race between the two. Deep down, I was proud. The next time I used them, I wasn't even in the mood for a hard workout, but I practically sprinted for three miles. They are just wonderful. I am half tempted to go buy the one other pair at the store, just in case I can't find them in my size again!
With these purchases, my birthday was basically celebrated a week and a half early, but I am still looking forward to some sushi and frozen yogurt, or whatever else awaits me on Tuesday....

Some good news about Zach's job hunt. He applied for a firefighter position in Salt Lake. I am trying not to get way to excited because out of about 1000 applicants, only 200 get to the oral boards, and then only about 20 get hired, but I think he has a pretty good shot! This week he applied, and then yesterday went to take the written test. So now we wait to see if he got to the oral board, but I bet he rocked the written test. This is so exciting because if he gets the job, obviously the money would be nice, but I would love to see him get going in his career and love what he does! No matter the outcome though, it is a positive thing because he is getting interview experience, and according to some firefighters we met, you need some experience to pass the oral boards...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Positive Directions

I really like the place we are at right now. Zach is almost done with his EMT Basic, is going to RCA this summer, but at the same time is applying to firefighter jobs. Either way, he should graduate next December! He is looking into some Salt Lake and Provo fire departments, but Vegas is supposed to open up soon, so he will apply there as well. I used to be a little opposed, but now I would love it if he got a job there. I think it is a mixture of my love for Southern Utah and my totally awesome friend Nicole. She grew up there, and one night as we were over playing games she gave a pitch as to why Vegas is the perfect place to live, and now I'm sold. 4 hours from Cali, close to home, dunes around, shows to go to, lakes, better pay for my dear husband and me. The only thing is that the good snow is like 6-7 hours away, but now I would consider it at least. I am excited for him to start his career! As for me, I love my job, and I am torn between staying there and getting my MBA, and continuing with my teaching idea, but I lean toward the teaching. In fact, I am quite sure that is what I am going to do. I can take a class this summer, one in the fall, and I will be ready to apply! It feels so close but so far! I just want to start right now. I am always tempted to think back and regret not making these decisions in college, because I would be a teacher already, but I don't let myself because of the experiences I am having right now would not have happened. There is no use is wishing you could change things because the simple truth is that you can't. Besides, our path is great right now and we are moving in such a positive and promising direction.
Plus, spring is just around the corner, and I love the change of seasons. I just love change in general. The sad part is that skiing season is just about over. This year has been awesome, with Zach and I getting new skis and being able to spend time in the mountains together and with Nate and Megan's family, I couldn't be happier. We are both feeling so much more skilled, and this last trip we spent a lot of time on the black diamonds, which is such a thrill! It must be my new outfit...
My old stuff has been a little small, but I hesitate to make big purchases if I have stuff that works. Well, there was a sweet store in the mall that had everything way discounted. Zach convinced/let me get some new pants and coat. I was super excited because it was so freaking sweet, plus it was like $120 versus $340, which it would have normally cost. I knew we would have to go at least once more to try it out, so we hit up Brighton for some night skiing.
Brighton holds a special place in my heart due to the memories made there with my family over a couple of Martin Luther King weekends. It was a blast and my new stuff kept me perfectly warm.

We also went with Nate and Megan again, and the kids are so good! I love skiing with them.
We tackled No. 9 Express, which at the beginning of the season, Zach and I passed it and said, "No way, that's crazy!" This trip I think we rode it like ten times!The snow was perfect, and I have to say, up there you feel true joy.