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

-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rodeo!

Nicole text me a few weeks ago to see if we were interested in attending the "Lehi Round-Up" with her and Trent. Interestingly enough, we totally were. I had told Zach like the day before that I really wanted to go. So she got us our tickets, and I anxiously awaited that Saturday night....
Although it was pretty sad that we had to plan hanging out for one night two and a half weeks in advance, I was so happy that we did! I love rodeos. I loved them so much when I was a kid, so I was telling Zach as we were there how me and Lindsey used to idolize the rodeo royalty. And we saw some little girls with the same cowgirl hats that I used to have and it made me happy! Amazing Nicole got us seats front and center! So we had a perfect view of the show, and there was even dirt chunks flying close to us from the horses!
The half time show was the best part for Zach...motocross dudes doing tricks! I personally thought it was awesome, and it gave me the familiar longing for a set of sweet YFZ 450s. I wish I was as thoughtful as Nicole at taking pictures and video, but I'm not. So I had her send me one. I wish I had the video of the bikers doing tricks, because that was way sweet!
We are going to miss them so much! I have really come to love their sweet little Kyleigh and Brenden, and Trent and Nicole are really so fun to hang out with! We became friends so fast, and I love chilling with Nicole. One day, before I had a job, I went over for lunch and we got to just hang out and play with the kids. I am excited for the day that I can cook and clean and play with my kids for my full time job. They are moving to Ohio in a few weeks so Trent can go to law school, and I am trying not to think about how close it is getting. We joke that maybe Zach and I will get stationed by them one day...maybe we will....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

AIR FORCE!

It has happened again…our plans for the future took a slight turn! The plan of both of us finishing school is still the same, but we are now planning to go full time in the Air Force! Let me explain why:

1. The retirement for firefighters in Utah has just changed to 30 years and been cut from 80% to 30 %.

2. Zach has 10 years in the Guard, which translates to 5 fulltime, which means he would retire in 15 years.

3. The job market for firefighters is extremely competitive – I am talking it takes years to get a job. At least that is what actual firefighters I have talked to or friends of friends have said, so I am starting to believe it. Plus, not being able to get a job isn’t exactly based on ability, and that bugs me.

4. I have always wanted to travel, and the Air Force would take us all over. Then, we could retire and live in St. George, which both Zach and I want. Win-win. I get my itch to live other places out, and we end up where we love it.

5. Our kids could experience different parts of the country/world, but still have the high school experience we want for them.

6. Officers make decent money, including housing.

7. I love the base atmosphere, at least what I experienced in Texas for 4 months.

8. Zach could retire in a reputable career after serving our country.

9. Zach fits in well with the military.

10. I decided to go to 10 because of my OCD part of my brain, so….lastly, I can say I am an Air Force wife!

Now, I am not naïve enough to think it will be all peaches and cream, but I think the perks outweigh the negative and it presents the best option. I am sure I will have issues with how hard it is to get information ( I already do) and moving may be hard, as well as leaving friends, and not living by family. But this is an opportunity for a life that I have imagined and I am so excited to pursue it. We have been trying to get information and talk to recruiters this last week, so hopefully next week we are more successful. It may be hard to figure out and get in, but it is worth a try-or several- because we really think it would lead to an awesome life, and we are willing to work very hard to get it.

I must also note a thanks to my dad and Scott. My dad brought it up when him and my mom were here visiting earlier this summer and got us thinking about it, and Scott and I talked it through on the drive to St. George for about 3 hours straight. This was beneficial because it helped me look at the decision from all angles, see all the possibilities, and get very excited!

Ty and Alaina’s Sealing and Father’s Day

Last weekend I took Friday off (I love paid vacation days!) and headed to St. George. Scott came with me again…which is good because it only strengthens the sibling bond between us. Initially, my reason for heading south was for Ty and Alaina’s sealing. I was so excited, and terribly sad that Zach couldn’t go, so I decided to make the trip to support them. It was an awesome experience. The spirit and knowledge of its importance is so great. To me, it also symbolizes a family desire to do what is right and to live a good life. I don’t know if everyone thinks that, but that is what I think. Family unity is so important with decisions and lifestyle. I love that Zach and I see eye to eye on so many things, it makes our marriage so much easier. Anyway, the sealing was on Saturday and it was so amazing, and beautiful, and a happy affair. We had a luncheon at Tyler’s parents which was also a lot of fun because there was family from both sides, and I absolutely love interacting with my in-law family.

When I had decided to make the trip down, it really was perfect because of the sealing, and it was Father’s Day weekend, and I got to take work off, so I decided to make the most of my little vacation. (I have struggled all summer with having to work full-time. I know I am a baby, but I am used to playing more than working in the summer, so it has been hard on me. Because of this, I couldn’t wait to take a little vacay!) In planning this weekend, I made plans to meet up with two of my best friends to catch up. I don’t know why, but it is SO hard once you are married to consistently keep up with each other and meet up. School, work, family, and moving across the country and state all contribute to the hardness of it. But, it had been long enough, so Amanda and I planned to meet for lunch, decided that wasn’t enough, and opted for lunch and some pool time. Amanda and I have the best relationship. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year, but it was so easy to plan, and still so fun to hang out together. We went to a pool we hit up once in college, which made it more fun because that just brings out memories. I seriously wish I could hang out with her more often, but I’m not worried because I know we will always be friends and keep in touch. I also got to visit with Lisa while I was in Hurricane. She was a sweetheart and drove down from Cedar just to visit. I was so glad that we could have some time to hang out and catch up. Her and Devin got a headstart on their family, so they have sweet little Tynlee now. It’s really too bad we live so far away from each other. I was just thinking yesterday that I really don’t have any close friends up here, besides Nicole, and we have a very hard time meeting up because of our schedules. Life used to be so much easier where I could just go get yogurt with my friends, or we could all just hang out together. Life just gets too busy, between work and school, I wouldn’t even have time to meet up with friends. In my mind though, it is worth the sacrifice now so that I can be home with my children and I can do all the things with them that I am planning.

Back to my weekend in St. George….Scott and I brought our road bikes down, so we, along with my parents, took an awesome ride around the lake Friday morning. That is basically my favorite ride, because even though the road itself sucks, the scenery is gorgeous and is so serene. I spent a lot of time out there in my high school days, so I get a certain feeling of nostalgia every time I see the lake and dunes. That is also where I first got into road biking, and for some reason I get a flashback to that first ride everytime! I just love it. Riding with my family is such a blast, and I am so glad Scott has a bike now too.

Scott, my mom, and me all went shopping while my dad was at girl’s camp for the night. I like shopping wifth them because it is more business than pleasure.

We celebrated Father’s Day with a yummy barbecue, then sadly had to head home. We left earlier than usual because I was worried about my honey being all alone all weekend and wanted to see him for an hour or two before another week started. With our current schedules, we see less of each other than ever, so every minute counts.

All in all, another great weekend in St. George!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kitty sitting and losing our house.

My brother went on a European cruise for the last two weeks, so Zach and I were dubbed the kitty sitter. For most who have known me for a large part of my life, they know that I am not a big fan of cats. In fact, most cats I do not like one bit. There are a few exceptions, and Ollie happens to be one of them. Ollie is cute and cuddly and has soft long fur that Scott says hardly sheds. Zach, on the other hand, LOVES kitties. So when Scott asked if we would watch him I said sure, so I could be a good sister and because I knew it would be like Christmas for Zach.

Scottie brought Ollie when my family was here for Memorial Day. We were all hanging outside in our nice big backyard (that soon won’t be ours anymore….) and Scott thought it would be a good idea to bring Ollie out so he could get used to the outdoors again, since he stays in Scott’s apartment all other times. Well, Ollie ran and hid. And did not come out.

A large part of the weekend was spent looking for Oliver, but to no avail. Zach continued during the week, then my parents came back up and looked every night. Finally, my mom spotted him, but he would still run away. They left, then the next night, Zach caught him!

It was partly sad and partly happy, because Ollie searched every room crying for Scott over and over. Then he gave up and just let us love him, which is the happy part. He purred and cuddled and woke us up every fifteen minutes during the night. The first night this was adorable, and kinda cute the second night, but the third on it was just plain annoying. Zach and I could not get a good nights sleep!

I have also been noticing small tufts of hair throughout the house, and I have realized that regardless of what Scott said, Ollie does shed…a lot. Today as I came home from church, there was a big gray tuft of hair in the middle of the living room! My first thought was “I hate cats!” which, I do hate their hair mostly. I immediately was glad Ollie was not ours permanently, but not two seconds later, I realized I would probably miss him. Ah! The emotional turmoil! That is why I am not a pet advocate, at least not for my personal family…

Back to my comment about our backyard not being ours anymore….

Linda, the lady we rent our house from, has sold it to Lehi City because they want to extend their police station. We knew this was a possibility, but it still was a shock when we got the news. We have grown to love and adore our 1938 home with a huge backyard and our own parking area and room for my whole family! We have definitely gotten used to living in a house as opposed to an apartment, and the idea of leaving now is not pleasant. But there are pros and cons to everything.

Nothing will probably happen for a few months, and even then the city may still let us rent from them, but at a higher price. I am not looking forward to paying more, but no matter what happens we are going to have to so I try and get over it. I do get somewhat excited at the thought of living in a new, nice place though, and I like change, so this could be a good thing.

My Master’s Degree

The time in my life I have been anxiously awaiting since graduation is finally here. I am starting my Master’s degree Fall semester!! I have explored several options, pursued some, and finally decided what I really want. My degree with be in Secondary Education. Everything has finally fallen into place. I have been antsy working on getting my license because I always felt that I should be able to progress faster. I have my math classes lined up, but I didn’t want this process to take more years of my life than necessary, because I know I want to start our family in the near future. Because of this, I have continued to look at several avenues to reach my goal. Since I am doing ARL to receive my teaching license, I did not think that I could start an Education Masters before I was fully in the program. I decided to try to get in a few anyway. In my mind, it was a long shot, but I needed to be more proactively trying to achieve my goal. So I made the phone call to the ARL coordinator at Utah State, and after a few processes and paperwork, I am enrolled for Fall Semester! This is a huge relief because I was stressing about trying to complete all of the state required courses while teaching full time and get my Master’s degree. Now that I can knock a couple out before I get a job (hopefully) next Spring, I feel so much better about my progress and where that will put me when we are ready to start having kids.

I still stress about making it work with a math class, two Master’s classes, and my stressful full-time job, but I know I can do it!

Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Zach and I were the hosts for our family reunion over Memorial Day this year. Brad and Amanda brought the kids from Denver on Thursday. I was lucky enough to get off work early so we could go out to dinner and then we played games at their friends’ house. Mom, Dad, and Jenny came early Friday, when I didn’t get off work early, so I don’t really know what they did all day. That night we went to pick up mine and Amanda’s race packet for our 10k in the morning. I love the race atmosphere. I was lucky enough to be able to go to many of my dad’s triathlon races, and I loved every one. I love the idea of staying fit, competition, and support.

The next morning we set off for our race. I had been SO ready for weeks. My training had gone really well. I was comfortably running 5, 6, and 7 miles a couple of times a week. The bad news is exactly one week before the race my hip joints starting hurting…really bad! During my runs, the pain intensified with each miles, then afterward it was quite a humorous thing to see me get off the treadmill and get my stuff. I stressed about the race because of the pain, and since I was hurting I only ran three miles the whole week before. My first 10k I did in 54 minutes, so I was hoping to do better than that because I had been training to run faster than my normal pace. Day of, I decided 54 or 55 would be acceptable for me due to my hip situation. The beginning of the race was sweet. I was so excited to be running with Amanda and we had our whole family there supporting us, minus Linds. We ended up doing pretty good! Amanda had also been having issues with her knee (come to find out after, she had a stressed fracture and fluid going on in there) so we were both hoping for the best. I finished at 54.21. Immediately I was bummed because I was hoping to impress myself with my new speed, but then I decided to be grateful that I did that good. J Amanda came in a couple minutes behind me, and we both placed really well in our age group, 7th and 10th! I wish so bad that we lived closer together so we could train together and do more races. One day…one day…

We played at the park for a while after the race. Jason and Bailey were loving it. Bailey just recently started walking so she was exploring the playground on foot. I love her. Jason was so fun to play with too! I went down the slide with him over and over. He would go, then wait for me at the bottom and get so excited when I came down, he'd help me up off the slide then run up again and make sure I was coming.


After that, we went home and made pancakes! We spent a lot of time hanging out and catching up with each other. Of course, we had the traditional Memorial Day barbecue. My wonderful Zachary made some excellent burgers for the fam. The only downer – the weather. Of course it was cloudy and rainy and quite chilly. But, we did get a quick hike in up at Bridal Veil Falls. My first time there! I love hikes, and I love them even more when you get to a waterfall at the end!



We are so mature.

Sunday was a big day, because we had a surprise birthday party for Jenny. My dad had mentioned that we should do it a month or two before, and I was all for it. First we had to make sure she could get work off and even come. Thankfully, that all worked out. Saturday night, Scott and I snuck out to get her cake and the decorations. After Sunday dinner, Lindsey lured her out of the house while the rest of us put up streamers and balloons. We had the lights off and the candles lit when she walked in. Dad threw on the lights and we all jumped out and yelled “Surprise!” Original, I know. But she had no idea, she jumped back and covered her face with a huge smile on it, while we sang Happy Birthday. I think that is the first traditional surprise party we have had, at least in a long time, and I am glad it was a success!

This is the one and only time I think Zach has held Bailey (he is weird about babies) so I had to capture it! I can't wait for him to be a dad!

My family is truly the best. Zach and I love every minute we get to spend with them. With our future, we consider different options that might take us away from Utah and from them, and a huge part of us doesn’t want to. I am so lucky to have been raised by such cool parents, and when I say cool, that is really what they are. I can’t even imagine any way I would want either of them to change. They are the perfect parents, with just the right balance of leadership and guidance mixed with friendship.