Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I remember alllll of those days when I was little, wishing I was a grown-up. Wishing I could buy all of my own treats, whatever cereals I wanted that day, whatever toy I "needed..." Wishing I could have my own kids to look after.

In college, I felt more prepared to be a mommy than a wife...

Now that I'm a wife, I'm not so thrilled with being a grown-up.

I don't like buying groceries. I honestly love going by myself because it's my time in public, but still alone. But I don't like trying to figure out the best way to spend our money. I don't like having to choose between the tastier one and the cheaper one. Can't they all be tasty? and cheap?

I have never liked money. I think it's evil, honestly. I love having it, and I'm thankful for all I have because of it, but I don't like it. It's hard to deal with, hard to keep, and everything's expensive.

In high school, whenever anyone tried to tell me how to manage money, my mind turned off. I stopped listening. When people tried to explain equity, interest, loans, grants, scholarships, and down payments, I just got really confused. Therefore, I only listened tow what I felt was important then and there...scholarships. I figured that was more imminent.

I've complained to my mom and sister that I don't really like being a grown-up. It's hard!! Big decisions! Big, life-altering choices!!

Over the last couple of weeks, J and I have made some major decisions.

First was to look for a house.
Eventually, we will grow out of this place we're living and lots of renting costs more than a mortgage these days with smaller houses.

Second, we decided to look at houses.
A big step from looking FOR to looking AT...

Third was we found the house.
It was bank owned, so we needed to act FAST! That day, in fact. So that day, we decided to go for it.

Fourth was to bid on that house.
Bidding is a scary thing!! We bid on the house to get in the running for it. We knew it would go like hotcakes since they wanted to close on it by Halloween and that there was another bidder. We didn't get to know what their bid was, but the way it works with this house is that we bid to get our names in there. Then, the owner of the home (the bank) sends us an email asking for our final and best offer, so we can up our bid. We still don't get to know what the other bids are. It is scary! So this was the first bid to get our names in there.

Fifth was a scary one. We chose our final and best offer.
On this upcoming weekend, we have general conference for our church. It's a time where we watch on tv our leaders as they speak to us. It's a WONDERFUL weekend and I can't wait. So this week, we had fast and testimony meeting because the first Sunday would be conference. So J and I fasted on Sunday. We fasted for our house to know what to bid.
We kept on getting the same numbers in our head. So we went with that.

Sixth was emailing the final and best offer to our realtor.
It's a big deal to tell someone you'll pay a large amount. It's a lot of money. When we emailed her our final and best, she called J and told him we should go higher. So I called my mom in hysterical tears, worried sick. I didn't know what to do.

Seventh was deciding again what our final and best offer would be.
I talked to my mom, J talked to his mom, and we then talked to each other, said a prayer, I cried some more, and I drove to his work. Whatever we decided, I still had to sign papers to give to our realtor.
So I bawled, let it all out, blew my nose, and drove the 20 minutes to Scentsy. My wonderful cousin called me on my way and noticed immediately that something was wrong. I told her I couldn't talk about it without losing it again. As we talked, I was able to tell her without once getting that golf ball in the back of my throat. She sympathized, and told me it would all work out the way it should. Heavenly Father was looking out for me.
I have a wonderful family.
So we decided to keep our final and best where we had it. It was what the spirit was pushing us towards, and what felt more comfortable. Sure, the other price would've been only $15 more per month than our final choice, but we still felt right about it. Either we were prompted to do the lesser one so we could get it and not break our wallets, or we were prompted to do the lesser one so we could not get it and find a better one.

So lots of big kid decisions!!
We find out if we got it on Thursday. I'm scared we'll be turned down, and excited we'll be accepted. It's a scary, difficult position to be in. But I know that my Lord is watching out for me.
When I grabbed my keys to go to sign papers with J, I thought, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." It's kind of my theme-scripture right now.

I've asked for prayers that we'll get it or that if we don't get it, that we'll be able to be strong and find what we really need. But mostly that what happens is the Lord's will. He knows better than I do where my hubby and I should live. He knows my future and where I need to go to get there. He loves me and is watching out for me and I know that.
So please pray for us this week! I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Tyler!!

Today is Tyler's birthday!!

Tyler is J's younger brother. He's 17 today!
I remember when I met Tyler. He was nervous about trying out for Marching band. He was a little skeptical of me being his big brother's girlfriend.
But, we've definitely gotten closer since that first evening.

I really enjoy playing video games with Tyler. He's fun to play with, reacts well, and teaches well.

Tyler is really funny. He enjoys laughing and making others laugh.

One time, he locked J outside at his parent's house. I'm inside and wanting to be on J's side this time, so I holler to meet me at the front door and I'll beat Tyler there. J books it there and on my way just across the house, Tyler is beating me. So I kind of tackled him...The floor was REALLY slippery and we both had socks on, but he ends up on the floor and I'm already running to the door leaving him behind. It was the funniest thing ever.

He is fun to tease-I think it's mostly because he reacts well and knows that I'm being silly. He always laughs at it or makes a fake insulted look.

He's fun to play games with.

I like Tyler. He's a great brother in law!!
Going through my iphoto, I really don't have many pictures of JUST Tyler.
Kristin might get mad at me for this one...
He looks like he's about to crack up
Tyler is the Saxophone player in the middle of the picture holding his sax exactly how he should. He's an awesome marcher.
and the best saxophonist I've ever met. He's sooo amazing. It's beautiful when he plays!
This was this year at Easter. He made an egg that was a hand grenade. epic.
He's handsome, huh?
Playing games
For father's day, we went to race fast go-karts. Fun
Tyler with his Grandpa G
Tyler with J playing trains.
At a campout for a family reunion.
I'm so lucky to be in this family. What a great group of people!!

Happy birthday, Tyler! Hope it was awesome and that you continue to have a great week!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today's my Dad's birthday!
It's kind of cool that my dad's birthday is right after my sister's birthday. It made it easier to remember birthdays and have birthday parties.
My dad doesn't really like birthday parties. He likes hugs from his kids and them telling him they love him.
So this is my long distance hug.

My dad is wonderful. He's the best!
He's seemed scary to my friends that I've brought home, but ask any of them and they will tell you that my dad is a great man who loves to laugh.

My dad has a funny sense of humor. He likes to laugh at silly situations, and at funny things people do and say.

My dad loves to do quizzes at the dinner table. I learn more at dinner than I do watching the news. Those quizzes used to be a reason to cry every day. I've since learned how to say "I don't know" and listen to the answer. :)

My dad loves NPR. Anytime you're in the car with him, NPR is on. My favorite is on Sunday afternoons listening to Cartalk. I love those weird guys. I also loved it when he would take me to stake dances and Garrison Keillor is on the radio.

My dad loves going to Friday night games at my high school. My mom works in the concession stand that is run by the band so he flips burgers when he can. When I was away at college, he would send me a picture of the game and tell me he was flipping burgers.

My dad loves the gospel. He has a very strong, beautiful testimony. I've learned a lot from him through his testimony. When I was worried at school with my classes and the job at church, he texted back a very simple response: Philippians 4:13. Which says "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I love when we're all sitting there together singing "I Believe in Christ" and my dad starts to tear up. I'm not sure if it's because the whole family is sitting there singing about believing in Christ or if it's that he does believe in Christ who is our King and with all our might to Him, we sing.

My dad loves his grandbabies. I love watching him with my nieces and nephews and to see him interact with them. I'm excited for when my babies join in the mix and I can see him love them as much as he loves the others.

My dad has taught me so much about life, love, the gospel, and so much more. He's a great teacher. He would help me with my math when I just couldn't get it and mom was no use. :)

My dad has helped me through some of my hardest trials. And the best part is that he uses the scriptures to teach and guide me.

I love my dad.

Parasailing with my mom

Having fun in Hawaii

With his sweetheart

At my wedding

I love you, Dad

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Happy Late Birthday, Natalie!!

So I've started this small tradition for my blog that I'm hoping I can continue. I've wanted to do a blog on every birthday for people really close to me. So far it's been family and so far, I've done okay.
I was doing my sister's birthday blog and realized another best friend didn't have a blog. But then if I do a blog for every best friend. oh man, I won't be able to blog about my life!!

But this one needs to be done, I think.

This is my cousin, Natalie with her hubby, Kenny.
Isn't she beautiful?!
Natalie and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember.

We played together at every family gathering. She's a month younger than me but has always been taller than me.

It's fun because we go through life at just about the same pace and same times.

I remember when I started my period before her. When I was staying at her house, she started hers, too! I remember that I scared her to death. I still feel bad. At the time, I didn't realize how much I scared her. But looking back, man, that wasn't nice of me... :)

I remember at Gma and Gpa Manwaring's house how there were these huge blue mattress/pad things. We would use them to slide down the stairs over and over again. I remember Tressa telling me I shouldn't squish my favorite cousin when I was squishing Natalie with one of those mattresses.

I remember when Natalie moved to Utah. I was soooo excited! I remember how in the house they rented, they only lived a 3 minute walk when you climbed a fence or two. But it was about a 15 minute walk if you went around the houses.

I remember playing barbies, dress-up, and especially school. We would take "Roll" in school.

This is when I was moving. We had a superstar party and I brought my cousin with me.

This is at a family reunion. These girls are so big now! Erika and Allie are now young ladies. What does that say about Natalie and I?? :)
Natalie came down to Arkansas to go to EFY with me in Texas. We had so much fun!
This is at Corky's.

Back to the family reunion...We are half of the "Fearsome Foursome." Oh, good times.
Such a wonderful girl!

After EFY, we had a fun time at my house. We had a teaparty where we had to show up as a character from a book or movie. Honestly, I don't remember who I was. But it was fun to use all of the fancy china and dress up!
Jumping forward a couple years or so.... :)
Here's Natalie with her sweetheart just over a year ago. I was able to go to their beautiful wedding and see this boy cry because he was so happy to marry this wonderful, gorgeous woman.
They are so sweet together and have lots of fun with each other.
Here's Natalie with her wonderful siblings.
I am loving this time with Natalie. She and I talk a lot more often than we have since we were children. We talk about life, about issues, about fears, about the future, about our families, about marriage, about scary things, about exciting things. I love talking to her! We have so much fun on the phone even though she lives soooo far away! I hope one day to be able to live close to her again!
That would be awesome.
Happy birthday last week, Natalie! I hope it was wonderful!
Love you!


Happy Birthday, Siz!!
Today's my sister's birthday!
My sister is wonderful.

She's 10 years older than me and the step right above me in siblings.

When she was 9, she told my parents that she wanted a younger sister. She was tired of playing with her older brothers and wanted a girl to play with. My mom thought she was done with kids, but encouraged Liz to pray for a younger sister. So she did. She fasted and prayed and that year at Christmas, my parents told them they were expecting a baby. My sister was the first to find out that I was a girl.

She has been like another mom to me all my life. Sometimes that was good and sometimes that wasn't so good. :)

We've had our silly fights about looking at the other, we've had our not so silly fights about much more serious things. We've cried together-and if anyone cries too much, it's her! :)

My sister played with my hair, watched chick flicks with me, took me shopping for school clothes, took me shopping for wedding things, drove me to Rexburg for school and helped me move in, teaches me about being married, teaches me new crafts-everything I do she did first except maybe crocheting. I taught her that- and lots of other things!

She is also one of my very best friends. She's right up there with mom and J. I know I can call her and cry whenever I need to and it's wonderful because she knows she can call and cry whenever she needs to as well.

We still share secrets, complain about things, give each other pointers, and work through our problems together.

It's been cool as I've gotten older because now she listens to my opinions and advice.

I'm excited for our future. I may be staying in Idaho a bit longer than I'd planned before, but Liz and I have grown so much over this time with my going to college, that I'm really excited for how close we will get as the events unfold. I'm excited for when I can call her and get advice for how to deal with situations with a house. I'm excited for when I have kids who can play with her kids. I'm excited for when we can live close again and have play dates, go to target, shop at the mall, buy snow cones, and play again!

I love going home, because she drops everything to be with me. She's always there and always wanting to go buy something to make, or go eat at some yummy restaurant, or go swimming.

Something I LOVE about going home for Christmas is something that's been going on for years. Liz and I wrap every present. Mom gives us bags with labels on them and boxes with labels and we wrap presents. So yes, I see just about everyone's presents, and no, I don't peek at mine. But the point is, Liz and I do it together. She's the MASTER wrapper. I'm just an apprentice...still....but she and I put on a movie or some christmas music and just sit and wrap presents. I love it!

Liz has the cutest little girls. They love their aunt Gracie and one especially loves her uncle J. I hope that one day, Liz and I can be pregnant at the same time so we can have cousins who will just LOVE each other. So fun!

Here's my sister on a previous birthday with an elephant in a fairy costume. :)
Here's my sister with her husband this year in Hawaii
Us girls have so much fun together!!
Yummy food!
At my wedding. She was so wonderful in helping with my wedding. I'm the young, naive girl who didn't realize how much help I needed and she was there every step of the way, helping.
She knows how to have a good time and be adventurous.
She's so cute.
She's silly. It's no wonder we get along!
Like I said, she has adorable girls. she's a wonderful mommy
I love that we can tease and be silly together.
I love my sister. She's the best. I miss her, but know that she is always there for me even though she's not quite in the same room. I love this wonderful woman!
Happy birthday, Siz!

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Quilt!!!

This summer, when I was at home, I started a summer quilt for our bed. It was just tooooo hot with the comforter we have now, so I asked my sister and mom what I should make. I was put to work on finding colors and patterns. I went to Lowe's and found LOTS of swatches. I brought them home to J and had him help me choose two color schemes.
We chose an orange scheme and a watermelon scheme.
So then, in Arkansas, I went shopping with Mom and Liz and bought fabric!!
I am such a scaredy cat with buying fabric.
But then, I'm even more afraid of cutting fabric.
My sister cut 99% of the fabric.
So here it is all cut out and laid out. Actually...it doesn't even have a whole row that we added in. We needed another row to make it match more, so this was before adding that row.
I like sewing straight lines. There is a little room for error. ;)
aaaand I like my camera. I'll be sad when it dies.
I stitched block, sashing, block, sashing, block.....then did sashing, dot, sashing, dot, sashing, dot....thennnnn I sewed them together. Getting the dots to line up with the sashing on the block ones was the hardest part. Sewing diagonally like this made it on the bias, so it stretched a lot. Because of that, I had to rip out a LOT of seams. My mom was an angel and sewed on the longest piece to the rest for me while I was out.

I definitely cried over this blanket. A lot. I had to do a whole bunch of seam ripping. Usually, the seam ripper was blurry because I was crying. I even ended up stabbing myself with a pin because of the seam ripping, so I ended up crying again.

Some days weren't very pretty. It was a bumpy road. There were days where I wanted to rip it up and never see it again. It made me sooo mad how much I had to re-do. My poor family having to deal with my roller coaster emotions while I made this quilt!!
So here it is-my quilt top!
It's pretty
Here's the border! I cut some of this fabric! yay! :)
While in Arkansas, I bought the back for my quilt. I bought a little extra as well to make pillows. They're still a pile of fabric... :)
When I got back home, I went to my in-law's house every day for a while and quilted! Linda has a quilt frame and a bit more space than my 1-room.
So first, we tacked it all on. That took almost the entire day.
What we did for our pattern was just up and down stitch. We went around the outside sashing, then up and down all of the sashing making crosses in the small pink dots. Then, we went from corner to corner in the big squares making sure to skip the dots so there wouldn't be a star in that small of a square.
So here's the beginning of the quilting!!
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4!!!!!!!!!
Did it only take 4 days to quilt this thing??? I felt like I was over for such a long time!!!
But I guess I did have a weekend break and then some for some of it. Maybe I'm just feeling that effect.

So here it is alllll quilted and on a queen sized bed!! Such a perfect length! Thanks, siz!!
I had planned on using the back-the green flowered pattern-to do the binding. But when I folded it over, I felt like it was too busy. My mom and sister still disagree with me, but it's my quilt, so I did it how I wanted to!! :)
I bought white quilt binding and bound it together using my sewing machine for the first real time!! (the first time was making J's archery sleeve/protection smaller for him)
So here it is on a king sized bed!!
Folded up so you can see the adorable back!
I'm so proud of this!!
On our bed!!!!!!!!!! Next thing is to make pillows!!
So! Do I love it? YES!
It took sweat, blood, and lots of tears, but I love it now.
I wanted to rip it up several times, but I love it now.
I think the only thing is that I didn't want to give up. I really wanted to accomplish this. And I did!!!!
And I love it... :)