Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perks of the MPP

I'm learning quickly that there aren't a lot of positives when it comes to being the wife of a master's student. You're probably tired of hearing me complain about how I never see Darin, or how he lives on campus or how I am trying to learn how to go to sleep by myself again (it wasn't that long ago that I slept alone every night. Why is it so hard now?).

So, the point of this post is not to focus on the negative (which would be much to easy of a post for me to write), rather the PERK (that's right, the one and only that I have come across so far) of the MPP program.

Last week there was a dinner for all master's students. There it is the 1 and only PERK up to this point. A dinner. But seriously, it was a NICE dinner. I ran home from work, Darin ran home from campus, we changed into slightly nicer attire and made our way up to the Wilkinson Ballroom which had been transformed. The set-up was really pretty and there was a man on stage playing beautiful piano music while we ate. I felt like we had transformed into Lord and Lady Self as the "servants" brought us salad and rolls to start off our meal. They quickly came back, took our plates away and brought out Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans. SO GOOD. After which, we anticipated a dessert plate to be coming quickly, considering we started the night with 3 forks in front of us and still had 1 remaining. WOW. Dessert was AMAZING. I felt like I was on a cooking show with someone trying to impress me with their pastry skills so that I would choose them to win. Had some fancy cream smeared across the plate and then on top of/next to that was the most delicious graham cracker crust, chocolate, peanut butter goodness sprinkled with raspberry's... mmmmmmmmm....SO GOOD.

My thanks go out to all the Masters programs out there for letting me get pampered for an hour of my Wednesday night (and especially to my masters husband for asking me to be his date).

After dinner there was a speaker who used a lot of big words in the first few minutes of his talk and lost me pretty quickly. I was kind of hoping that the dinner and speech would happen at the same time. I just assumed that multi-tasking was thing to do these days. I mean, I don't even have 2 hours of extra time on a Wednesday night and I'm not in a masters program. We didn't stay for the whole thing since Darin had so much to do. We said our good-byes outside of the ballroom and he went back on his way to the SWKT.

My first perk of the MPP was a success. Hopefully we get more dinners of that fashion in the near future :).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Someday we will have a couch. Someday we will have space to move around.  Someday Darin will be able to take off his shirt without hitting the ceiling. Someday we will have a dining room that more than 2 people can eat in. Someday we will have a dishwasher and a walk-in closet and a huge vanity and a Jacuzzi and a dish-disposal and a big screen TV and a wrap around porch... but that day, IS NOT THIS DAY (name that movie*) (and okay, I understand that we might not have all of these things, or even any for that matter, but let a girl dream).

This may be hard to believe, but I don’t actually find myself wishing for these dreamy futuristic materialistic things often. I've gotten used to doing dishes by hand, eating in the “living room” when we have people over and seeing Darin bend over every time he takes his shirts off (I don’t actually mind this last one AT ALL. He’s got a pretty  good-lookin' behind  if you know what I mean).

HOWEVER, we found a problem when we decided to invite friends over the other day for the season finale of Downton Abbey. We've never had friends over to watch a movie/TV before. Where will we all sit? The floor is uncomfortable (so is the futon) and there's not much to lean against. What to do, what to do. 

Solved the problem in the best (only) way we could. MATTRESS. Might have made getting in and out of the house a little tricky considering the mattress took up any of the space that was left to move around, but it sure did make TV watching easier.

My favorite part of the whole gig was that Darin and I got to have a sleepover that night (3 day weekend! No school Monday!). I'm not gonna lie, I was a little sad when I got home from work on Monday and saw that the bed was back in our room. I was hoping for another sleepover. Darin is too responsible for something crazy like that. Sleepover?! On a school night?! I'm crazy for even thinking it.

Moral of this story: Work with what you've got. Life is more enjoyable when you aren't living in your dreams (not saying you shouldn't dream, I do ALL THE TIME...).

*Lord of the Rings

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Car Pix

Besides being able to watch chick flicks with my mother and sister-in-law, and the pillow top bed we get to sleep in and the fact that we don't have to work, and just being in a REAL home with a REAL family (that spoils us like crazy!), my favorite part of our Idaho trips tend to be the car ride. 6 hours with my baby!! And if that isn't enough, we get to take our traditional road trip picture :).

Last weekend's trip. Can you say somebody needs a haircut.

What can I say, we enjoy spending time together, especially getting away from school-life and crossing over into home-life. In fact, Idaho is where I first started to fall in love with this manly man by my side. Away from school, with friends and family. Advice for all you little love birds trying to figure out if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone: go to their home with them. See them in their natural environment. It worked for me. If this person lives right down the street from you: get advice from someone else. No matter what your circumstance is, GOOD LUCK and just take pictures. They're good memories.

P.S. I do know how to drive, and I actually quite like driving up to Idaho. I get to jam out and cruise while not being bored and impatient as I sometimes become while sitting in the passengers seat (hence the pictures, keeps me busy for a few minutes) (and hence the reason we have no pictures of me driving. Clearly I am the one to take the pictures).

Friday, February 17, 2012

But it DOES feel like February 17th

Friday mornings are my favorite morning of the week. Clearly. It's FRIDAY. We all know what that means. HOWEVER, I also enjoy Friday's because it is the one day of the school week that Darin and I start our day together, which includes walking to campus together (yay!).

This morning while speed walking past the testing center as I always do, Darin turned to me and said something to the effect of: "Is it really February 17th? It doesn't feel like we should be half way through February yet. Time goes by so fast"....yahtey yah...

My mind began to swirl as the world around me stopped. I began seeing blurry faces of people who would quickly speak and then zoom away as another appeared.

"Wow. This month has gone by so fast. I can't believe it's already      insert date     ."
"My son turns 2 tomorrow. I can't believe how fast these first 2 years went by."
"It's already the      insert date   ?! Time is flying."
"It's the     insert date    ? This semester has gone by so fast!"

Then the blurry faces began responding:

"Yeah, crazy, this month has gone by so fast."
"I know! It seems like just yesterday that he was born."
"For real! I"
"This semester is flying. Soon enough we'll be taking finals!"

As I snapped back into reality I turned to Darin and said something to the effect of: "You know what. It really IS February the 17th and it really DOES feel like it should be February 17th"... yahty yah...
Surely if I had been with someone from church or a classmate or nearly anyone but my husband I would have chimed in with the usual: "I know right!" But you know what, it really does feel like February 17th to me. Why shouldn't it? Christmas feels far enough away, the end of the semester feels about 2 months away. Time feels exactly right in my book (at least today it does).

Sometimes I think we fall into habits of saying certain things when we talk about a certain topic. When someone says the date, some of the above examples are what some of us tend to say. But why? Are we really thinking about what we're saying? Does it really NOT feel like the date we are currently living through? What does that even mean?

You see, I'm working on enjoying the moment. I'm always thinking about the past and looking to the future. Gotta enjoy the now, and that includes today:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Good Ol' V-Day

That's right. Valentine's Day. The day of lovers. The day of kisses and hugs and flowers and chocolates...

Darin might not like me for saying this, but I'm learning more each year that I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I mean, when you are not "with someone" it's the day where you remember (more than any other day) that you aren't "with someone", and you hear about all the romantic stories of men sweeping women off their feet and everything is overly lovey dovey mushy ooshy gooshy and it can be very easy to start feeling the J word flowing through your being. You know the one: jealousy.  Bum bum buummmm. It's gotta be the day with the highest frequency of breaking the 10th commandment.

So maybe I was the only one who ever had feelings of the J word oozing through my soul, or desires to break the 10th commandment (that is, coveting, for all ya'll slacking in your Exodus reading). And you may be wondering why this would matter now that I am happily married. I know right?! You'd think I would enjoy it more, and I would have to say, I definitely do. But NOW the issue is that it's a day where you expect something to happen. You expect a surprise, a dinner, a card, a flower, something, anything.... and if you don't get that something, you're sad. I'm more of a "surprise me" type woman. I don't mind being treated like a princess, but I prefer the stores and commercials not be the source of my wanting to be treated like a princess. Does that make sense? Probably not. You all probably think I am the worst woman in the world. A big fat Valentine's Day hater. Perhaps I am.

With that said, OUR VALENTINES DAY:   (xoxoOOXxoXXOXxxxXooooXXOOXxxOOxxxoooOOX)

Although I just vented all of my pessimistic feelings about Valentine's Day and you might not believe any of the pink and lacy goodness I am about to share with you, we really did have a lovely Valentine's Day. Or should I say, a lovely Valentine's hour and a half.

Darin picked me up from class at 7 and when he unlocked and opened the door there was sweet lover's music playing in the background and a beautiful new candle was lit on the table where the plates and silverware were laying out. We shared a wonderful candle-light dinner of Pizza Hut while opening our hearts up to our favorite moments together from the past year. We topped our time together off by cuddling in the recliner while watching an episode of Downton Abbey before turning our time back over to homework/work.

This is the candle Darin got me. It smells SOOO GOOD.  He's a good candle-picker. (I accidently spilled some of the wax last night and it spilled on to my water bottle, so now every time I take a swig, it's like I'm drinking from a smooth and silky river that lies smack dab in the middle of a blooming flower garden.  Mmmmmm... so refreshing).

I made him a candy-gram. Last year I wrote him a letter using clippings from magazines and newspapers. Now that I know him better, I thought something with food would be a little more appropriate :).

Darin is my perfect Valentine, and I suppose the feeling of "expecting" is much better than the feeling of "jealousy". I love my boy mucho mucho mucho, and you see, why do I need a special day to celebrate my love? For me, every day is Valentine's Day.

(I didn't tell you I wouldn't be just as mooshy as the rest. Sorry).

Love you Sugar Booger...Sugar Muffin...Sugar Pie!!! MUAH!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Job

I have the best college job that a girl could ask for.

For those of you who don't already know, I work at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) where all of the little newly called missionaries come before hitting the "real world", aka, Vegas, New York, Guatemala, Chile, Spain, Los Angeles, Phoenix, La Republica Dominicana, Canada, San Antonio.....etc.....Columbia...etc....Miami....etc. 

Basically they get the wonderful privilege of coming to the MTC for 9 weeks where they learn Spanish and other helpful teaching skills before flying off to their respective areas where they have been called to serve for the next 22 months/16 months of their lives. It's awesome.


Why do I love my job?

1. Spanish
2. I get to meet so many different people, from different parts of the country, with different backgrounds and life stories. 
3. I get to work with said amazing people daily and see them progress so quickly while learning to turn to the Lord in everything they do.
4. I get to remember my mission. 
5. Sometimes I think I learn more than they missionaries do, they teach me so much.
6. I get to share my testimony of the gospel daily and help others understand how great their calling is.

My 3rd district just left on Friday. It's always a little bittersweet when a district leaves. It's good that they leave. They have greater things to do and people who need to meet them, but it's hard because I get attached to them. They're like mis hijos! (my children!). You see them progress so much and they can finally start conversing with you in Espanish and then....they leave :(. Not gonna lie, I got super attached to this last district, but I'm so excited for them to be out in the field. They are great missionaries. 

My very first district. We were together for only 4 weeks, but these guys are AWESOME. They have now been in Oaxaca and Mexico City, MX for a good 4-5 months now.

My second district. I was so excited to have a class with Hermanas! These kids have now currently been serving for about 3 months in FL, TN, CA, WA, NV and TX.

My last district. (Not the best picture of any of us, but I guess this is bound to happen when 10 cameras are snapping all at once). They wore green ties this day b/c they know it's my favorite color and they even gave me that green scarf I'm wearing as a good-bye present. So sweet! Some of the nicest people I have ever met. They are super caring. They just left on Friday and are in Vegas and Houston while waiting for their Visas so they can go to Mexico.

I was with this last district for a total of TEN weeks. Probably why I'm so attached to them. They waited an extra week at the MTC for their Visas before getting reassigned. The other 2 districts I was only with for 5 and 6 weeks...  But I still love each and every one of them. Great people. Great representatives of our Savior. I love them SssssoooOOOSSsOoOo much.

Pray for the missionaries! They could all use our prayers :).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Butt's Birthday

Who is Butt you ask? Why my dear sweet favorite little sister of course. Why do I call her butt? I really don't know. I just always have, ever since I can remember. Anna Butt. Anna Banana Butt. Butt (all on it's own). It's just a catchy term of endearment that has never left me.
 And guess what?
Today, this very day, Wednesday the 8th of February, BUTT TURNS 18!!!
Are you freaking out? Because I am freaking out. Where has the time gone!? Where did little Anna go? The one who would run around in her little girl princess underwear clinging to her blankie? The one with long dark curls and thick bangs who would dress up as princess Jasmine and sing "I'm a lil tea-pot" until she "don't member the west." OOohhhhhh Anna. You've grown up so fast.

In honor of her 18th birthday, I decided that I want to show my lil Butt off.

From AwKwArD. 


I invite you to meet: My Butt.

You see, Butt comes in many different shapes and sizes. Allow me. There's....

Wanna-be a hipster Butt
Pilgrim Butt
Snow White Butt
 In-love-with-a-snowman Butt
 To-much-eye-makeup Butt
 Theater junkie Butt
 Flexible Butt
 Stuff-your-face-and-don't-gain-any-weight BUTT
 Sexy Model Butt
 Hermione Granger Butt
 Sandy Butt
 Dangerous Butt
 Renaissance Fair Butt
Pretty at prom Butt

Just to name a few (of those "shapes and sizes" that is).
Being sandwiched between 2 boys as I was, it might not be such a surprise that when Anna was born I was EXCITED. She was all mine. She was MY baby sister (as she still is and always will be). I was her mommy and would carry her around everywhere we went just as a mommy should.

 Anna is one of my hero's. You know why? Because she is 99.75% perfect. She is gorgeous, funny, TALENTED, spiritual, loving... etc. etc. etc. I say 99.75% perfect because she does have ONE imperfection. She may not like it, but I'm going to say it anyways, Anna's imperfection isssssssssss.... CATS. ek.

I forgive her for loving cats. We all have our weaknesses. But other than that, I absolutely LOVE this girl. It's been hard being away from her for so long, missing so many big things in her life (aka. got contacts, got her first kiss, got her period, got zits, got a figure, got an ipod, got a facebook, performed in plays, learned to sing, learned to drive, BECAME AN ADULT). I mean, she was 12 when I left home for college. Now she is EIGHTEEN. A lot happens between that time. But even though there may be 2,500 miles separating us, she will always be my Butt. She is such a great example to me of what living a Christ-like life is like. She's a good girl, with a good heart and those things will take her to wonderful places. I LOVE having her as my sister. I wouldn't want it any other way.


The day I got home from my mission. I came home to Snow White...



Friday, February 3, 2012

Late Nights in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower

It is currently 11:44pm Thursday, February 2nd. I am sitting in the graduate lab with my husband (and have been for quite some time now) studying. I...can't...go...anymore. So while he finishes his paper, I will document this late night of studies so that I will one day be able to look back and appreciate my soccer mom days to the fullest.

Why is college so crazy? So busy? So insane? So time consuming? So never ending?  Need I go on? You turn in one assignment just to start working on another. You take one exam just to find out that there is another one right around the corner.

I miss my 8 hour workdays from the summer where I could come home and not feel overwhelmed with all the work I have left to do. I suppose you could say that I still have that eight hour work day. Four hours of classes. Four hours of work, but the thing is is that after class, after work... IT'S NOT OVER. Nor will it ever be, until the very last final of the semester is submitted.

On the plus side, it's nice that we can study in the graduate lab. So convenient. So quiet. We could sleep here and no one would ever know. (I'm not really sure if I'm "supposed" to be in here, but... why not? No one else is here except for Darin and I can't let the poor boy study all alone).

Speaking of Darin, he is one HARD WORKING college student. That boy works hard. I mean, REALLY hard. He is studious. He doesn't stop. Doesn't give in or give up (As I let myself do so easily). He's a great example to me.

....Lucky for you, my husband just shouted "I'm DONE!", which means that I am done. Good Night.

Signing out from the SWKT at 12:01am.  Peace.