Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas, a Wedding, and Moving Day, and Pics!

right side of kitchen
left side, getting cabinets on Monday!

bathroom w/huge shower

living room

bedroom/storage shelf/changing table

closet/Joseph's room/office
Fatty Bear in his fat bear suit
Wow! I feel like I haven't written in SO LONG. It's really only been 2 weeks or so, but it feels like so much has happened. So here's the update on our lives...

James finished his 5th semester of school on the 17th. He pulled through with all A's and 1 A-. Go James! He sometimes doubts that he will make all A's, but he always does. I'm so proud of him. That means we still don't have to pay for any tuition. :)

I missed the dedication of the new BYU-Idaho Center. Ironically, I've tried to get in several times, but it's always locked! What the heck!? Maybe once school starts next semester I'll be able to get a tour, finally.

Christmas, of course, was awesome. The Heads have some traditions that I quite like. We had clam chowder on Christmas Eve and acted out a little Nativity story. (Guess who got to be baby Jesus?) I was a sheep, a black sheep, to be specific. We came over on Christmas morning as well, but not before opening our presents to each other. I am so excited to have a spice rack, finally. I think it looks awesome in my new kitchen. James also got me some books, the companion books to The Giver, which is one of my favorite books ever. I am currently halfway through Gathering Blue and will soon start Messenger, which I've never read before. I was also excited to get some lotion from Bath and Body Works. Mmm. I love the smell. James got a new backpack and a hat that I made for him, and I gave Joseph some new sippy cups to try out soon, plus little cups to store his baby food. My parents gave us some gift cards, which I'm also excited about.

We then went to "the barn" for the rest of Christmas morning. I got some new shirts, a skirt, some pants, some books, and some other small things. James got his usual Nerf gun and promptly had a war with his brothers. Joseph got this awesome Mother Goose book and an adorable bear snow suit. Good thing, too, because it's been super cold. We went up to Grandma and Grandpa's in Victor for Christmas dinner after we'd eaten plenty of scrapple for breakfast. (Scrapple is basically fried slices of cooked cornmeal with ground sausage. You eat it with syrup.) We had a really nice time there.

Monday (the 27th) was moving day. I packed up the apartment while James worked on some finishing (but not final) touches on the new apartment. It was a very long day. We finished cleaning the apartment in Cougar Court at 10:00 p.m. and crashed once we got here.

Tuesday, we went to a wedding, luncheon, and reception for Allie, James's cousin. It was a wonderful, but extremely stressful day. In between the luncheon and reception, I was unpacking the kitchen. I soon learned that a) I feel incapacitated without a kitchen and b) Unpacking takes much longer in a small space, due to having to move things around a lot. The next two days were basically spent cleaning, unpacking, and rearranging, though not particularly in any order. Phew! I hope I never do that again! Our first night here, according to James, felt like sleeping a hotel room that was still under construction. However, everything has a place. There is a lot to be done still, but I really like it so far. There is still work to be done with soundproofing, but it's worked out well since we go to bed/get up around the same time as the rest of the family. Most of the time, I forget that we even live in their house.

We celebrated Jacob's birthday last night, and that was fun too. Pizza and cheesecake are an excellent combination, but a headache and sleep deprivation are not. I went to bed around 9:00 and slept until 8:00 this morning. It felt great. :)

Joseph can now officially say Dada! He is also getting much better at turning himself around and can move 180 degrees in seconds. It's a matter of weeks before he starts scooting, I think. I can't believe that he's 7 months old already!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Official New Year's Resolutions!

There are lots of things that I'd like to work on. These are just a few that I might actually get around to doing in 2011 (in no particular order).

Join the ward choir

Sew at least one small project a month

Knit at least one small project a month

Study and improve my Spanish (reading, writing, and speaking)

Read some classic Church books (Answers to Gospel Questions looks very interesting.)

Lose 10 lbs. (after Joseph is weaned)

Family scriptures and prayer every day

And of course....exercise. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking Back

This year has been a year of big changes! Change sure makes things interesting, and it definitely makes time fly. I really liked a phrase that I read in Gospel Principles last week.

"If it is for our good, the Lord will work miracles for us."

I never realize how many miracles have happened in my life until I sit down and think about them. Not all miracles are big ones, but many come in the small "tender mercies" that the Lord blesses us with each day. These are some from this year. I know that there will be many more to come, even in these last few weeks of the year!

1. The year started off with my student teaching. The first time I looked at my class, I was deathly afraid of teaching them--or even being able to reach them. Through continual inspiration and lots of work, I learned to love my class and develop a greater love for teaching. Somehow, I was also able to get enough sleep to get through those demanding days!

2. I was able to graduate 2 months before Joseph was born, which gave me some much-needed time to relax. There hasn't been a ton of that since, but I'm glad for those 2 months spent reading and putting my feet up (literally--which helped me avoid looking all puffy!).

3. My pregnancy/birth went without complications. My recovery was also wonderfully short, which was a great blessing. I had dreaded it before and didn't completely know what to expect. Even all of my baby weight was gone quickly!

4. I have received countless little moments of joy with my little boy. Even though he is frustrating sometimes, the transition from full-time student to full-time mom has been awesome.

5. We have been able to afford him!

6. I've had the opportunity to teach Relief Society. I really think that this calling was more for me than anyone. I never used to bring the manual to church, but now I love it. It amazes me how much the inspiration can flow into my mind when I sit down and ask for it. It also amazes me how great of a teacher the Spirit is. I have so little to do with what the sisters get out of the class.

7. Both James and I have met some wonderful friends in our ward. I didn't want to go to a student ward, but I've loved it, despite all its quirks.

8. James was able to work full time during the summer, even though jobs are really scarce.

9. Because of James's work in the summer, we will have a wonderful apartment to move into which will save us tons of money. The speed at which the apartment has gone together is simply amazing. A month ago, it was still basically a room. A week and half from now, it will be a livable (and mostly done) apartment. I'm excited.

10. James has continued to make A's and earn his academic scholarship. What a blessing! BYU-I is so wonderful. I never once had to pay tuition. :)

little faux hawk baby!
Those are only the big miracles from this year, and I bet I'm leaving out a bunch. I'm so grateful for the gift of personal revelation. Whether I'm teaching, cooking, taking care of the baby, or not doing anything at all, I'm grateful for those little bits of light that come to my mind that help me live my life better. Inspiration has been especially important this year in making big decisions, and we have some more big decisions coming up soon. Looking back helps me realize that there's no reason to worry about the future.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stuff I've Seen Recently

I realized that I don't do much updating on the stuff I've done for dates! James and I both love movies and plays, so here are the ones I/we saw recently.

Harry Potter 7! Wow, it was JUST like the book, minus a few small details. I could have done without the smoky people scene, but it was a spectacular movie that left me feeling like the characters did. Can't wait for Part 2!

The Marriage of Figaro (play) We saw this on campus and really enjoyed it. I can't believe how different it is to watch an opera compared to even a plain old musical. Wow. It takes a lot of skill to make 3 people sing in harmony and have their words all rhyme. Mozart was a genius. The story was really interesting and funny too.

Actor's Worst Nightmare (play) It was weird. Really. It also ended very abruptly. There were funny parts, but I felt like I was missing out on something, because I didn't get a lot of the references to other plays. Oh well. We got cheesecake.

Oklahoma (movie) I love the music! I've heard a lot of it before. Musicals are very enjoyable, I think. I've liked most of the ones I've seen, as long as they aren't obscene (like Chicago--never watch that one!). It's really funny to see how much technology has changed over the last 50 years. One thing I don't like about OK--that hired hand sure is a creep!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping Around

My mother-in-law gave me the assignment to shop around for cabinets and appliances. Wow. I had NO idea...

1. Cabinets are ridiculously expensive.
2. My current apartment is made out of the cheapest of cheap stuff available.
3. craigslist has such AMAZING deals sometimes, but not always.
4. Both the websites for Home Depot and Lowe's can be really easy to use or extremely annoying.
5. When it comes to designing even a tiny little apartment, the possibilities are mind-numbing! My mind is rather numb right now, so it feels really good to sit back and write.

Epic fail of the day, though...

My laptop's screen no longer stands upright. It has to be propped up with books. :( Hopefully, that is something that can be fixed for cheap!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Feel Crafty, Oh So Crafty

a hat and matching scarf
made before Joseph was born

Daddy's bowler hat

a headband for me!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peace on Earth

Lots of things can bring peace. Here are some that I found from skimming the scriptures this morning.

calming the storm

being whole

refraining from disputing

having faith and not fear

having one's home protected

the Gospel

glorifying God

being spiritually minded


the Spirit




"Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."


"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (Articles of Faith, 13)

I've always loved the 13th Article of Faith, even though it was the longest to memorize. I think it's a great summary of the way we should live our lives with integrity. It sums up pretty much everything that wasn't covered  in the previous 12 Articles.

I've come to realize that good entertainment doesn't come knocking at our doors. We have to be the ones to seek it out and judge it by the standards given to us by the Lord. Many movies that I used to watch I judged by rationalization. Well, everyone else in my ward likes it...and the bad part isn't that long. It's not part of the central theme anyway. I failed to listen to what the Spirit thought about those movies. To be truthful, he wasn't always there. I offended him by choosing to watch that stuff (and no, nothing was rated R.)

The standards that the Spirit "follows" don't change according to the whims of popular fads. I am grateful that society has set forth a rating system for movies, even though it's far from perfect. Having that guideline is certainly better than nothing. Because of the imperfection in that system, we have to be especially careful not to fall into the trap of rationalization. Society's standards are falling fast, but the Lord's have stayed the same.

We can rationalize all that we want, but no amount of rationalization can bring the Spirit back. God's standards are not up for discussion or review. 

Friday, December 3, 2010


Being a mom seems like an easy job from the outside. It's a job often done without any prior training. It would seem that, like any other job, all that is required is to check off a list of things to do.

I love my little guy!
Every day, I realize a little more how untrue that is. Some days, even when I finish my mental checklist, I still feel that I'm not doing enough to take care of Joseph. The last few days have been especially difficult, and I don't really know why. Every little thing kept getting on my nerves. It wasn't anyone else's fault that I was grouchy. However, gloomy weather and lack of sleep never help things much...

This month has been a little tough because I am once again waiting for something. I found reassurance through a quote from Elder Scott, "If you have determined to live righteously, don’t become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments. May the Holy Ghost prompt you to always make decisions that fortify your character and yield much joy and happiness." 

No sooner had I read that, when I received a phone call that said my lovely refund check is ready and I can come pick it up! Not being able to earn money with a paying job make me feel so inadequate sometimes, especially when our bank account gets low. The Lord knows me so well, though. Every time that I feel I've had enough (and then a little more), I finally come to terms with my life not being perfect. Then, not 5 minutes later, something like this happens. Hopefully, I will remember in the future to be at peace when trials come--not fight against them!