Sunday, April 10, 2011


I have a confession to make
...I love reading. And not just in the way I love making dinner for my husband, clean sheets or mint chocolate chip ice cream...I love it in a way that I yearn to hold a book in my hands, to feel the pages between my fingertips, to smell the papery-inky smell that books have not matter how many times they have been read. Opening a book is like getting a call from a wonderful friend who makes you feel alive, happy, excited, and real every time you talk to them. I feel genuinely sorry for those who don't read, because they are truly missing out on one of the most brilliant inventions ever-the written word. With the move to Montana and the stress of organizing, packing, and moving across the country I haven't had much of a chance to read this past month or so. Now, since I am still jobless and currently "widowed" (Joe's gone on a fire) I have been able to bend the spine and turn the pages again.
I don't think I can label everything that brings me enjoyment from reading, but I do know that my mind is completely free to imagine anything and everything. Some books simply allow me to escape into a world that isn't mine, where I can explore, learn new things, and solve other people's problems without having any repercussions for the terrible advice that I give or the gallons of ice cream I eat. Those books let me believe in overly-buttered popcorn, unicorns or that I really am a princess without judging me or telling me I'm being silly. I'd rather be silly and excited with my nose stuck in a book than cynical and sophisticated with my nose stuck in other people's business.
Others challenge, convict, enlighten, thrill, inspire me. Those books let me believe that maybe one day I really will be a writer (For crying out loud, Snooki wrote a book so I should be able to also!). Or that I will throw great dinner parties, with all the right kinds of food and a strategically pieced together outfit that I look flawless in without looking overdressed. Or that perhaps one day I will have all the right things to say and be witty and charming while having perfectly styled hair and clear skin. Or that maybe I am just fine the way I am. That maybe this path I'm on is o.k. and I can find reasons to celebrate my day to day life and am able to think that maybe I'm not really a failure for not having a full-time job yet...or a job at all for that matter. And those are the books I love the best. The ones that I see bits and pieces of myself in and still feel good in my own skin. The ones that say you are not alone. Other people burn cookies, don't take showers and have 245,987 split ends. That's life and I'm o.k. as long as I'm living it. I'm o.k. as long as I'm celebrating this life and the tens of thousands of blessings the Lord has given me today and every day.
So I do believe that for the rest of my life I will continue to snuggle up with books of all sorts (except Kindle sorts) and some days I'll get to be a princess in a different world while other days I'll just be me here on planet Earth. And either way, I'll be happy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Moving on...

So...once again it's been awhile! It's amazing how even though I have gone into early retirement (I'm choosing not to call it unemployment. Trying to look on the bright side of things!) I still have no time in my day! I'm not really sure what I do...I'm pretty sure it's not very productive or beneficial to society...but nevertheless, my hours seem to disappear the way Snickerdoodles do-in the blink of an eye! I don't have too much to say, but a few updates are in order I do believe!

1) Joe and I have been married 5 months now and we are not pregnant yet nor will we be for at least 2 more years. Just want to lay down the ground rules on that one :)

2) I've been subbing and coaching Junior High Girl's Basketball. Both jobs have been...educational.

3) Brody bit a little girl which resulted in some serious intervention on our part. Bad Brody is slowly becoming Not So Bad or Mean Brody, but goodness does it take patience. I've heard it said that dogs are harder than kids. I sure hope so because I don't think I could handle much more misbehavior.

4) 97.6% of the pictures I've taken in the last 5 months are of the dogs. That is why I have no new pictures to put up with this post. Talk about pathetic.

5) Speaking of pictures-I am obsessed. Our house has become a little shrine of pictures of Joe and I (and the dogs :/) not to mention the 430+ pics I ordered of the wedding, shower, honeymoon etc. that are now in photo books. Who will ever look at those pictures other than me?! The answer is Ramsey because she's the only one I can get to sit down with me and look at them. I feel like I'm turning into my Mimi already.

6) Joe insists that I give him haircuts. The first one was actually decent. The second one, I couldn't find the good scissors so I used my paper scissors instead (notice how I am conveniently blaming the scissors for my lack of hair-cutting abilities!). His hair turned out very similar to something found on Footloose or Sister Act. Late 80's early 90's monstrosity! He was gracious enough and even that didn't deter him from wanting me to cut his hair again! Dang it...

7) I also discovered I am not good at pruning plants either (watch my once again blame the cutting device for my lack of aptitude), but I do have to say the shears my father has are probably from 1910 so they are not in the greatest shape. Just sayin'. Anyway-so the lilac bushes and the weird thorny bush my mother wanted me to prune look...well a little bald and misshapen. The big thorny bush looks like it got a flat top. Which is basically what happened. Stupid plant. I seem to have little luck with plants in general although I've managed to keep the poinsettia I got at Christmastime alive up until now and the flowers Joe got me for V-day are still going strong! I'm actually really proud that my poinsettia is still alive and am seriously considering transferring it to a planter as a visible sign of my growing prowess with plants, but am hesitant because I sort of think the tacky green paper around the bottom of the plant is somehow part of the reason it has survived this long.

7.5) The one nice thing about early retirement is all the time I've had to read! I love it...I've been reading 3 or 4 books at a time (something I have never done before!). Currently I am obsessed with The Hunger Games. I read the first book in less than 24 hours and books 2 and 3 just came in the mail so I know what I'm doing this weekend!! :)

8) And now on to the biggest news of all!! We're MOVING!!!!! Far far away! I was down for moving to Disney Land but apparently they don't hire many firefighters so we are moving to Montana instead. So now instead of being a Disney princess, I will hopefully get to fulfill my other dream- teaching! The job options in MT are much better than they are here so, other than dreading the long, merciless, freezing cold winters that last 7 months I am ecstatic! And it's coming up really fast. Only a few more weeks of glorious AZ sunshine and then it's off to the Big Sky Country! I am developing an irrational fear of Grizzly Bears though. I am seriously considering investing in Bear Spray and a pistol of some sort. It's going to be an adventure that's for sure :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wedding, HM, Christmas Trees, etc...

I think it's about time I write my bi-monthly blog so here we go with the quick version...

1) I'm married! It's great. I highly

reccommend it.My husband, while far from perfect, is the perfect man for me. We couldn't be happier. Unless of course we had new jobs, a house of our own, and better behaved dogs, but we don't like to dream too big ;).

2) Honeymoon=AMAZING!Costa Rica was a blast
and we loved every single second we were there. We rode upside down on a zip line, got stung by jellyfish, ate 6 desserts at every meal, got licked by monkeys, snorkeled 3 hours a day, almost caught a raccoon and generally enjoyed ourselves in every way possible.

3) We (and by we I mean Joe did most of the work and I sanded some things and drilled some holes) built a coffee table. It's radical. Joe's building us a bed. It's even better than our coffee table.

3 1/2) I can't figure out how to change the background on my blog.

4) We went to
Washington/Oregon for Grampy's memorial service and to visit the parents. Washington is incredibly soggy and I missed the sun terribly. I can't wait to live somewhere new, but I sure will miss the good ol' AZ sun. We had some laughs while we were there and got to enjoy some of Pendleton's history. What fun!

5) Our dogs are still terrible.

6) I am subbing for Heber-Overgaard School District now. It's fun, but my first day at the high school everyone thought I was a new student. Maybe one day I'll look older than 17. Although the problem really is that kids these days don't look like kids. They look like mini-adults with all their make-up and hair products and tight clothes. It's nonsense.

7) Thanksgiving was fun, but we are now to my FAVORITE time of the year. CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! I love everything about Christmas. I love the lights, buying presents, decorating, baking, music, weather...all of it! One of my favorite things in the world is getting a Christmas tree. This leads me t
o point number 8 and the whole reason I was inspired to write a blog...

8) Our first Christmas tree...

I should have known we were in for it when we left the truck without the saw. But we realized that we didn't have it pretty quick so it wasn't that big of a deal. But it was the first warning sign. So Joe and I wandered and wandered looking for the perfect Christmas tree for celebrating our first Christmas together. We saw a few here and there but none of them were perfect so we just kept looking. Meanwhile, we lost the dogs so our search for a tree turned into a search for the dogs. Not surprising at all. Once we found the dogs we decided to drive to a different spot to look. Almost immediately upon arriving at our new spot, we come across a beautiful tree. Not too fat, perfect had a split and a slight curve but it wasn't too tall so we figured we could make it work. Joe starts to cut it down...45 min later it's on the ground. Turns out he didn't bring the right saw. Moving on...once the tree is on the ground we realize that it's a lot bigger than we thought. As a matter of fact, it barely fits in the back of Joe's truck. The dogs are happy about this because they get to ride up front. I'm afraid the tree is going to fly out of the back because we forgot tie-downs. So we get home and get ready to put the tree in the stand and set it up in the house. Joe measures the just so happens that we got a Griswold Family Christmas tree! It's about two feet too big without even being in the stand. We cut it down as much as we can without messing with the split and try to make it stand up. Long story short, the tree won't stay up in the stand. It keeps falling over. We tried a hundred different things, including putting chunks of wood in the stand to try and balance everything out. No dice. Now it's time to problem solve...this is what I'm good at. So we decide to cut the tree up into pieces so we can get rid of the split and curve in the tree. We then screw the pieces back together and secure them with p-cord. The tree is now THE most redneck creation on the face of the earth. Joe and I carry it into the house, praying it will stand straight in the tree stand. And what do you know?! It worked! We have to do a few more things with some p-cord and scrap wood, but finally we have our goofy looking tree thing standing proudly in our living room! I'm so excited. You can hardly tell it's a bunch of branches screwed together! We decorate it and go to bed, while dreams of sugarplums dance in our heads. Now the moment of truth comes in the it still standing?! Yes! We are brilliant! It worked! I take the dogs for a walk feeling rather proud of myself. When I come home though, what to my wondering eyes should appear? My gosh darn tree had fallen over, getting water, dirt, needles and ornaments all over the living room. Solid. I can't pick it up by myself so it's still lying there, looking extremely pathetic. We might just leave it there for the season. At least we have a tree right? It just doesn't have the best posture...oh goodness. And that's the first installation of our tree adventures! December is a long month so I'm sure there will be plenty more!

Monday, September 27, 2010


So I was informed that blogs are for updating, thank you Ryan, so I suppose I will update this for the two of you who are dying to know what's been going on! :)

1) Bachelorette weekend was epic. If I could make Disneyland my home I would. I would be Belle and I would always be happy. I don't think I could talk Joe into it though. For the full low-down on our California adventures, my dear friend Katie captured everything perfectly in her blog. I could not have said any of it better myself. If you don't laugh the entire time you read it you don't have a sense of humor.

2) My last day of work as a timber marker was four days ago. I cannot describe how joyful my heart is to be done with that job. Although, I can't complain to much, because I got to spend the entire summer outside walking around in the woods. That's good livin'. But...the people I worked with. Ugh. Moving on...

3) I just applied for my first teaching position! Woohoo! Granted it's as a substitute in Heber, but it's still a teaching job! Living in Heber after Joe and I got married was on the top of my "I'll Never Ever Do This" list, but here we are and here we'll be for a little while so I may as well get some teaching experience out of it! I'm actually really excited about it and hope it will all work out. Sending in my application for my Teaching Certificate and then I should be good to go!

3.24) I suppose I should explain why we're going to live in Heber. Short version: rent in Payson is unreal and plus we're hoping to move in less than six mon
ths so we don't want to sign a lease. So therefore-we are going to live at my parents. Clarification- my parents DON'T live there anymore. They are in Oregon. So it's not like we're gonna be house mates with my folks or anything. That would be a little too weird.

4) My dear
sweet friend Jessie threw a bridal shower for me in Mesa. It was so sweet of her and it was nice to see some long lost friends. Amber's baby spit up on me. That was definitely a high point.

5) Wedd
ing plans are going good! Joe and I will be married 12 days from now...still have lots to do before then, but I think I'll be ready in time! I'm getting nervous, excited, anxious all at once. Hopefully everything goes well! I can't wait to get our life started! I think being a wifey is going to be fun :). Got painting supplies today so I can paint the room we'll be staying in. I just spent half my night putting that blue tape all over things so I could start painting. The blue tape pretty much did me in, so I ate some cereal instead of actually getting started.

6) Joe will be home from Colorado tomorrow! I can't wait!

7) And then of course there's the dogs. I can't NOT write about the
dogs. Cause "we're the three best friends that anyone could have, yes we're the three best friends that anyone could have..." ha...oh the dogs. So I have developed a new enemy to focus all my energy on. Dog Hair. How I hate dog hair. And it covers anything my dogs go near. So that encompasses everything in my life-my car, my bed, my house, my food, my clothes and anything else you can imagine. Gone are the days in which I try to figure out how to booby trap my house to catch anyone trying to break in and I've said goodbye to the hours spent barricading myself in my house and then my room. I no longer walk around armed with a shotgun (well actually I still do sometimes ha) and now walk around with a lint roller and vacuum cleaner. I lint roll everything in sight and five seconds later it's covered in hair again. My free time is not spent is spent battling dog hair. And gosh darn those dogs because I still take one look at their goofy faces and let them right into the house. Dogs shouldn't be allowed to be all cute and goofy with big dumb faces and a floppy ear. Brody and Ramsey are little con artists. They totally play me for whatever they want. It's a good thing Joe's coming home to reestablish some order around here. The hierarchy at my house right now is Ramsey, Brody, then me. There's something wrong with that.

8) There's also something wrong with the fact that I wrote the most about my dogs.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Pops

Sometimes it amazes me that I never run out of things to say...but what amazes me even more is that right now, I have so much to say but I can't find a way to say it. It is hard to see someone you love hurting and I find myself not even wanting to talk or think about his pain. Instead, I think I'd rather talk about the Pops I knew before his brain tumor.

I was filing Pops' nails for him the other day so I spent a lot of time studying his hands. I have a thing for hands in general because I believe a person's hands say a lot about him or her. Usually when I meet someone, I'll sneak a look or two at their hands to get an idea of what kind of life that person leads. My Pops' hands speak loudly of his life.

Popop has huge hands, a farm boy's hands. That is one thing that has not changed. His fingers are gnarled and his palms broad and well-worn: the perfect hand to hold. I remember when I was a little girl how small my hand felt when it disappeared into Popop's big, strong hand; I knew I was safe when my hand was wrapped in those hard-working hands. Strong hands that held onto me when the ocean would swirl around my ankles and with a swift tug, pull my legs out from under me. Gentle hands that would clean tar from the beach off my feet and wipe my tears when I played in the ant pile. Firm hands that reminded me of the proper way to behave. Capable hands that helped build the room I grew up in and made the best pancakes on the face of the earth. Rough hands that would slam open and shut every cabinet in the kitchen at 6 in the morning even though my sister and I were sleeping 10 feet away. Patient hands that played hours of Uncle Wiggly with my sister and taught me how to play rummy. Hands that worked on a farm, survived a Depression and a War, raised 5 children, were married for 64 years, and constantly folded in prayer. I love those hands!

I am lucky that I can sit with Pops for a few hours every day and get to hold those hands that I love so much and that did so much for me. My hand still gets lost in his. I look forward to the occasional sentence uttered and the even rarer smile. I love to see the way he looks at my Mimi. He may not remember who I am, but he could never forget his Mae. They are a wonderful example of true love for me as I'm getting ready to start my life with my honey. I've got great grandparents...I'm a lucky girl!

Only a few more days here and then it's back to real life. Wedding countdown is down to 56 days! I can't wait!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Leavin on a jet plane...

Today's the day! I'm leaving for Pennsylvania in a little over an hour. I am both excited and scared to go...I know it's going to be quite the learning experience for me!

What I really want to write about airports.

I love airports. It doesn't matter which airport I'm in, I'm in love. And no, I don't like airports because I'm "emo". Only Darrick Dowdy and Michael Butterworth would understand that and I know neither of them will read this but I felt like that was necessary to establish haha. Anyway...

What is it about these places that I love? I love the smells. There is something about the way an airport smells. The swirling of 173 different colognes and perfumes mixed with floor cleaner, fast food (all outrageously priced I might add), and magazines. I love the people. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world pass through airports everyday going thousands of different places for a million different reasons. I love being surrounded by all these strangers, everyone with their own lives, worries, problems and bad outfits. I like to watch everyone as they walk by me and imagine what their lives are like. Where are they going? What do they do? Where in the world did he find that awful hat? What was that girl thinking when she decided to wear those 5 inch platforms at 5am this morning? I love it! I could sit here all day, drinking my Starbucks coffee as if I always drink coffee and spilling crumbs from my blueberry muffin all over my shirt, my computer and the floor, and just watch people. Speaking of blueberry muffins- muffins make such a mess! They are always crumbling all over the place. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought the dumb thing.

I love airports because nobody knows who I am. I like to think that people wonder about me...the weird girl in the purple pants sitting on the floor in front of the Men's room with muffin crumbs on her shirt and a stone age laptop. Maybe they think I'm important. Maybe they think I'm a nobody. Some of them probably think I'm homeless because it doesn't look like I brushed my hair this morning. I like to pretend that I am important. That I have some crucial destination and the whole world hinges on my arrival there. That somehow, my traveling today is making a difference in people's lives. Sometimes, I even pretend like I'm a princess in disguise...shh don't tell!

I love the feeling of leaving a place I love to go see somewhere new, all the while knowing that in 8 days, 11 days, 23 days I'll be coming back. I'll get to step off the plane into the dry heat, walk across the awful airplane carpet that seems to be a requirement in all airports, get in a car and be HOME.

And I sound like a total cheeseball haha...but I'm just sayin! :)

Sidenote- thing I don't love about airports..having to take off my shoes and walk where everyone else has walked in their bare dirty gross feet. Yuck.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's a dog's life...

So I decided the other day that I might have a slightly over active imagination. This revelation came shortly after my sister came home from Alaska. For those of you who don't know, she was there visiting her boyfriend for 9 days. Perhaps I should back up though, because there is crucial information that needs to be included here. So while Joe and I were in Oregon visiting my parents, someone tried to break into our house while my sister was here! Super duper scary...anyway. When I came home I was maybe a little freaked out about it but I did ok because Shawna was home and I had Ramsey here to protect me. Or something of that nature...haha. Those of you who don't know my dog will not get that joke. now to the more present day...

Shawna left and I was fine. I could sleep at night. But then after a day or so, I started to get a little bit nervous. I started hearing things in the house...noises that of course could only be made by a person...these noises would lead me to get out of bed and walk around the house, carrying something hard- usually my boot, and turning on all the lights to scare away whatever intruder was in the house. Of course no one was really there, but one night I had myself completely 100% convinced there was someone walking down the hall that I decided I had to do something.

And so began Operation Barricade Self in Room. My first line of defense was to add another protection unit in the form of Joe
's dog Brody. Now Brody may not be the brightest, but he can be very mean. People might not take my dog with her floppy ears, lopsided eyes and freakish coloring very seriously, but Brody is a dog to be cautious around! So I was off to a good start. Then I installed my second line of defense- a shotgun which I named Priscilla and placed right next to my bed. I also placed a trash can in front of my door as a sort of alarm system. It's a loud trash can. That wasn't enough though so I put my rather large vanity chair right in front of the door to block it from being opened and placed a night light in the hall so I could see the shadow of anyone trying to sneak in. I took this all very seriously and made certain everything was in place before I went to sleep at night. In retrospect, I think I'm a little bit crazy! haha

To further prove my point, I spent the whole day on Monday walking around the woods and planning how Joe and I would
survive an attack by dinosaurs. I actually came up with a totally legit plan in case anyone is wondering. It's all about the triceratops!

Since earlier I was speaking of my d
og...I decided something tonight, while I was standing on the porch yelling my dog's name at 10 o'clock at night. My dog does not listen to me. At all. Every morning around 6, I stand on my porch and yell for my dog, who does not stay in the yard longer than 46.8 seconds after I put her out. I scream her name over and over and my obnoxious voice bounces off all the houses full of sleeping people and I think to myself, "I'm that neighbor. The neighbor everybody hates based solely on the sound of my voice, because that's the only way they know me. I'm the crazy one who's always on the porch in her pjs yelling for her dog who clearly does not respect her." And I am that neighbor. And my dog is that dog. She goes around eating the other dogs' food, eating the neighbors' toys, gloves, tools, etc., and pooping in people's yards. She gets away with it because she's sweet...and her funky coat allows her to blend into the trees so she can just sneak around destroying people's lives. At least she came back tonight. That's a bonus. I'm going to pretend that she's becoming better behaved! Haha...I do love that dog though...

Enough of my rambling...
I'm leaving for PA in 6 days- pray for my g-parents please!

And in 70 days I get to marry the love of my life! woohoo!!