Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Swing" of things

I am a self-proclaimed sports enthusiast as well as is most of my family. I love sports and always have. Growing up I played basketball, soccer, softball and I also did clogging. I would have done more sports but there are only so many hours in a day and only so much money!

Other than volleyball, one sport I wish I would have gotten in to in school is tennis. Tennis wasn't really a family sport so it never crossed my mind to try it. My brother Cameron picked it up in high school and did really well. He continued playing and even played a little in college. Then my other family members started picking it up to the point where we usually have a little tennis tournament at our family reunions. The problem is because I don't play it often at all, I'm not that great so I usually don't get too involved in the tournament.

Once I moved to Mesa with my sister, I wanted to change that. I wanted to learn to play well. We lived less than a mile away from a person's private court in their back yard who gave us permission to use it for lessons. We hired a local kid and Kara and I took lessons once a week together. It was so much fun and I loved playing with her. Unfortunately, I moved back up to school and was left tennis-less again.

That is, until this week. I have a friend up here, Whitney. We met through our clogging class up here, but she was actually my sister's roommate/best friend when they went to school here. We hit it off and hung out a bit. We didn't ever live with each other so we didn't really create that same "bond" but we are friends. I saw that she posted online looking for someone to play tennis with her before the tennis season started up here. Could this be my chance? Yes. I emailed her letting her know that if she didn't have anyone else I would be more than happy to go play. Unfortunately she's really good and I'm not, but I know we'll still have a good time.

It'll be nice to get back into playing once a week and change up the scenery just a bit and get my swing back!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Failed attempt

I don't know how many people actually try the recipes they pin from Pinterest, but I like to try one every once in a while (poor Ethan, if it was just me I would live off of yogurt and Grapenuts and celery with peanut butter). But alas, it's like he needs to have real meals.

Both of us love Panda Express. We both get its chow mein with orange chicken. I found a recipe on Pinterest that everyone claimed tasted "just like Panda." I was up to try it! We went grocery shopping a couple weeks ago and got the stuff we would need. Last night I decided I was going to make it. I was so excited. I started cooking the chow mein noodles and while those were cooking, I started on the sauce. Once the noodles seemed done Ethan rinsed them off while I put the oil in the skillet to finished off the sauce and noodles together.

Ultimate fail. I took one taste and I threw the stuff away. It was awful! Either these people had never had Panda's chow mein or they were on something strong! It tasted like soy sauce and ginger. Disgusting. Luckily, I was doing a sweet and sour chicken that turned out decent so Ethan didn't starve. Never again will I attempt those so-called chow mein noodles again!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The little things

I have come to the realization a few different times that my life is not grand. I didn't grow up in luxury or accomplish huge things. But that doesn't mean I haven't had a great life. More and more I come to realize how much I appreciate the small things in my life. I married an amazing man, I have a job that supports us and then some, I graduated college in the top 10% of my class, and I'm able to still play basketball. These all seem like menial things to some, but these are the types of things that have helped me develop into the person I am.

I've also realized how much I appreciate the small things other people do for I said here, our house was a disaster. I came home from work and I was going to get through dinner and then tackle the house. Much to my surprise, Ethan had gotten home a little bit before me and had already started by taking out all of the trash. I couldn't help but smile knowing that I know that it was probably the last thing he wanted to do after being in school and doing homework all day, but he knew it would make me happy.

We got done with dinner and it was down to business. Ethan had a few things for school he had to get done and I started on the kitchen. He got done with his homework, came in to the kitchen and asked what he could do. He went upstairs to work on the bathroom while I finished the kitchen. I got done and went upstairs. That bathroom was sparkling! He was scrubbing that place like crazy and it looked awesome.

Those are the things that I appreciate. I don't need to be rich with money because my life is rich with the little things.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Our house is an absolute disaster. Our room, the kitchen, the living room, you name it, it's destroyed. For some reason neither one of us is taking any initiative to clean it either. I don't know if we're just busy or lazy. Combination of both? This week that'll all change. We're going to deep clean and it's going to feel amazing again. It's not that I don't like the feeling of a clean house, I just don't like the cleaning for a clean house. But like I said before, we'll get it done.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sugar fast.. kind of

A few days ago I decided enough was enough. For some reason I was eating sweets like they were going out of style. They were delicious and can't complain about that, but I felt so sluggish and felt I had gained 20 pounds. I decided for at least one month (who knows, maybe after a month I'll want to keep it up) that I would stop eating sugar. When I say sugar I really mean things like candy, cookies, etc. There's no way I could give up sugar completely. It's in almost all of my favorite foods from bread to yogurt. Let's not get crazy. I probably could give that up, but I don't want to, so I won't. But, I will be giving up sweets for a month. I'm excited to see if this will be as beneficial as I'm hoping it will be.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Group date

Let me first start off by explaining that one of the reasons I waited to start a blog was because I wanted to have good high quality pictures on it. I got my Canon for Christmas so there was no longer any reason to hold back. A couple problems come with that: 1. I still haven't gotten to the point where I can make my camera do what I want in manual mode, so I'm stuck with keeping it on auto for now. 2. I'm awful at remembering to take my camera, leaving me nothing but my iPhone camera which is in no way ideal, but very convenient. So instead of saying please excuse the iPhone pictures on each post I use those pictures for, just know that it's going to happen. I forget my camera but I always have my phone. There, it's done. Let's move on.

This past week we had the chance to go on a group date with some friends and a few of their cousins. We went down to Idaho Falls (we went 3 times last week. Seriously?) to Buffalo Wild Wings. For anyone that may not know what it is, it's a wing/bar place. There are TV screens all over the place playing 15 different games, fights, and whatever other sporting events may be happening. It's loud, crowded and I love it. They also have a few screens doing trivia which I always get in on. The food is pretty good too. I'm not really a wing girl, so I go with the Asian Zing chicken wrap. It never disappoints. I also always have left overs. The box right there, had the leftover goodness in it. And sadly, that's where it stayed because we somehow forgot. Fail.
(Not sure why my hand it so awkward here)

After we were done eating, we drove back to Rexburg to hang out at Cameron and Hannah's place. We played Catchphrase girls vs. boys. We started with the 2 out of 3 rule, then bumped it up to 3 out of 5, and I think we finished with best out of 7. It was a competitive game. After games we sat back and watched the first part of Pitch Perfect and then we headed home because we had church early in the morning. We definitely need to do more group activities because we had so much fun and look forward to more dates!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Locked out

Monday we didn't have school or work so we decided it was a great day to head down to Idaho Falls, hit up the sale's that were going on and get our grocery shopping done for the next couple weeks.

We started at Ross and found a couple shirts and a new bag for Ethan and I found a cute springy scarf. We then hit up the mall. In January our Gap in Idaho Falls closed so I don't have a whole lot of temptation left there. I did however find some adorable skirts from Old Navy but low and behold, I should not be wearing a stretch shirt that hugs on the backside! I mean come on, can't they have a size between medium and large? It would have been perfect. I didn't get them and we left the store. We decided to go to Zumiez, which is kind of a snowboarding/skating store, hoping to possibly find a new coat for Ethan. SCORE!! All of their men's snow gear was buy one get one free. We found two great coats and it was all for the price of one!

We decided we probably hit our shopping budget and headed to Sam's Club for a few grocery items. We got our things checked and and put the items in our trunk. Ethan had bought some time of fuel injection product a few days before and put what was left in the bottle in the trunk. He realized that it was leaking and got it out. I put the last box in the trunk and closed it. I went to my door and it was locked. I asked him to unlock it. He looked at me and said he didn't have the keys. We then looked at each other with pits in our stomachs. We had locked the keys in the trunk! He had set the keys in the trunk when he grabbed the bottle and I didn't think twice about looking inside to make sure the keys weren't in there. It was getting slightly chilly so we went back inside to figure it out. We went to customer service and the girl said there was actually a guy in the tire department that had had to break into her car a couple times for her. Saved, or so we thought. Russ, the guy who can break into cars, was not working today. Perfect. We searched online for a bit how to break into our car but weren't finding any plausible ideas. One of the tire guys then suggested we break our window and claim insurance. Genius. Moron, I'm not going to break my window, thanks. I decided to call our insurance to see if we had coverage for stuff like that. *Cue heavenly angels singing* We did indeed have coverage and within about 30 minutes the towing guy had come, broke into our car, and we had our keys. I kid you not, they guy spent more time doing paperwork than the actually breaking in. It was pretty impressive how fast he was. We signed the papers and were back on our way.

By that time we were starving so we stopped and ate at Panda Express and finished our shopping at Walmart. It was a bit eventful but I do have to say that I'm pretty proud of ourselves that other than a 15 second stint, we didn't let it get to us or let it ruin our great day that we had had. We have decided it may be a good idea to get a second key that we can hide just in case this were to ever happen again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sleepover fun

Since Ethan and I didn't have work or school on Monday, we decided we were going to have some fun. We brought our mattress downstairs and had ourselves a sleepover. We watched the Time Travelers Wife (not quite sure how I feel about it yet) and a few episodes of Hart of Dixie (my new favorite show).

It was fun and we decided we'd stay downstairs one more time just for kicks, and the fact we don't want to haul the mattress up quite yet.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The day of love

Thursday, Valentine's Day, was a lot of fun. we woke up and had a regular morning where I got ready for work and Ethan got ready for school. It was a regular day. I then came home for lunch and to my surprise there was a little something waiting for me on the table. I was surprised because we had agreed no gifts.

I was so excited because I have wanted the whole collection of Harry Potter movies since they 8th one came out! (All I got for him was a Party size bag of peanut M&M's. I'm lame, I know.)

After we got off work and school we decided to go to a restaurant called The Cellar. It was an old house from the 1900's that got revamped into a restaurant. It had great food and had a guy playing the guitar the whole time. It was amazing. 

Ethan had some homework he had to get done, so we came home and hung out the rest of the night. Ethan never disappoints and this day was no different. It was a great Valentine's Day and I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Everyone knows today is Valentine's. Anyone that knows me really well, knows that I think it's one of the lamest holidays ever. People always thought I was just bitter because I happened to not be dating anyone at the time, but really, I just think it's kind of a dumb holiday. The boxes of chocolate only have 3 good kinds, the flowers are expensive and die in a couple days, and poor Ethan, he hates picking out gifts. I do love that fact that Valentine's is about love and spending time with the person you enjoy most. What I don't enjoy is all the hooplah about how much to spend, what does he want, and will it get here on time (because you better believe I'm buying it off of Amazon Prime!)

For me, all I want is to go on a date with Ethan. Nothing big, just dinner at a restaurant (nothing too fancy or expensive), and you know what, if he happened to pick up a box of Sweethearts brand conversation hearts, that's good for me. 

Luckily, I married a guy that's also on the same page as me. We had a bit of an overboard great Christmas, so we both decided that we were going to have a low key Valentine's Day and I couldn't be happier. Maybe we'll come back from dinner, pop in a good movie, and spend the rest of the night at home. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Become humble

Last night I was reading in my scriptures and come across a passage in Alma. I've read it before but it's amazing how different scriptures can stand out to you when different events in your life are happening. It was Alma 32: 14-16 and it says:

"And now, as I said unto you, that because you were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do not ye suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word? Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed--yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty. Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."

Sometimes I feel that all of us at one point or another are compelled to be humble. And as hard as it can be at times, I appreciate it because it reminds us to put ourselves back on track so that we no longer are compelled, but willing to be humble.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Hickory

In November, a new restaurant came to Rexburg called The Hickory. I had never head of it until this semester. Our elder's quorum president works there and told us to check it out. Last Thursday we went on a date and decided we'd hit up The Hickory.

When we got in there, the first thing I noticed was its tables. (We've been look for a nice table for a while now. I don't always just look at tables in restaurants.)  They were a dark wood and had been distressed ever so slightly, and the chairs that went with it were fantastic! I want to find out who its distributor is.

We were seated and given out menus. It was more of a BBQ place, which I enjoy, but I was really hoping for a teriyaki chicken sandwich. No go on the teriyaki. My next option was the grilled chicken on sourdough. It sounded good so that's what I got, and it true Ethan form he got the 2nd biggest burger it had, (comparable to the 1lb burger at Big Judd's). Not only was "the big belly buster" burger a 1 lb burger, but it also came with a crate of fries. When I heard crate I figured it was a decent amount of fries, but it was almost disgusting how many fries came with that thing! (Terrible lighting, especially because of the iPhone.)

My entire meal came in a crate half the size of what those fries came in. Although, considering how many we got, they were actually pretty good fries.

Overall the food was really good, but I think next time I'll skip them buttering up the sourdough (it made it pretty greasy. Good thing for the grilled chicken right?) Ethan devoured his burger pretty well, but after eating so many fries, he was a few bites short of finishing it all. We also had an entire box of fries to take home still! It was a good date with pretty good food. Another eatery to add to our list.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Be an example

The other day I was talking to my mom on the phone and she was talking about how she was visiting my brother and his family. They were watching The Toothfairy 2, and my niece Lexi noticed the wedding dress the girl was evidently wearing. This was a quote (or as closely as I can quote it) from her:

Lexi- That dress is so pretty. But you know what would make it better? If it was like Kaytlin's wedding dress.

How sweet is that? Love that girl. It got me thinking about how much of an impression we make on those around us, even when we don't know. I always looked up to my aunts and cousins growing up, I don't know why I never thought that I would be in that position with my own nieces. I hope that even though it never crossed my mind, I have been a good example. I hope they they can always look up to me as someone they aspire to be like.

It was a good little reminder that people are always watching, especially little eyes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Inadequacies & Insecurities

I don't show many people my true feelings very often. Family and certain friends have seen them, but most people see the happy mask I put on. It's so much easier to avoid your feelings rather than trying to work through them. I suppose putting it out there for other people to see makes me vulnerable, but it may also be what I need. I guess it's time for raw emotion.

It's amazing how fast you can go from feeling pretty good about yourself to feeling utterly and completely inadequate. This isn't a new concept to me in any way, but occasionally I think I've got past the hard part and then it turns around, kicks me in the shin and reminds me how much I'm not measuring up. It's actually very emotionally draining. Sometimes I don't understand why this had to be one of my trials in life because I feel like I really can't get through this one.

Growing up I always felt inadequate compared to my friends. They were always skinnier or prettier. I remember one time when I was younger, I had a friend (who I realized later was probably not the best friend to me) go shopping for jeans with me. I was never a tiny girl growing up, which meant I had curves. Anyway, I was going through a pair of jeans on the rack. I was flipping through the sizes when I found my size. I grabbed them off the rack and she said, "You're that size?" Talk about pure humiliation and hurt. She was a size 00, so she must have never seen a real number on her jeans. I still relive that moment sometimes when I'm shopping for clothes. I mean seriously? That was probably in 4th grade! Once boys entered the picture it seemed to only increase my insecurity. I would meet guys and they would be awesome. Then I'd introduce them to my friends. I can't count how many times, after they met my friends, the guys would lose interest and started asking if I could put in a good word for them to my friends. No problem, I've only had a crush on you for years, but sure, I'd love to set you up with my best friend. Super.

Then there is my sister who I feel most inadequate next to, with no fault to her. She truly has been my biggest role model and because of that, it has been quite difficult because I try to live up to her standards. For anyone that knows her, knows that she can do anything she sets her mind to. And not saying she hasn't worked hard for it, but it just seemed that things came so easy to her. She's a designer, a photographer, a painter, a mother, a wood worker, a contractor (for her own home), a computer wiz and she has cute kids. Tell me how that's fair?

Then of course there is the wonderful of bloggers/Pinterest who can truly make anyone feel like you'll never be able to do anything. Maybe not anyone, but definitely me. I just came across a blogger who has three kids, started her own fabric line with her mom and makes multiple quilts in a week. Another blogger who is a mother and has the time to be a photographer, a designer and also buys antiques and completely revamps them to decorate her house for little cost at all!

Are these people seriously real? I can answer that. Yes. Yes, there are truly people out there that can do anything and be great at it. It's a bit nauseating.

I know everyone has their insecurities and everyone will feel inadequate at times. I also wonder if my time of self-doubt, insecurity and feeling inadequate will ever pass. I'm sure it will never go away completely because I'm human and I will always feel like someone is better than me at something. But just once, I want to feel like what I have to offer has value and meaning. It may take some time, but surely is should come. I hope.

Until that time comes, I've been blessed with an amazing husband who does everything he can to make me feel like the most amazing person in the world. I know it's a total cliche` but I truly don't know who I would be or what I would do without his love and support. He truly is my better half.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Life according my iPhone

Date to the Mormon Tabernacle choir

Pinterest attempts gone right

 First time doing an endowment session in the Salt Lake Temple

Allred concert- Amazing music

 Ethan trying to fit into his lacrosse bag

Christmas morning

Mariah and Johnny's wedding in DC

Flying back from North Carolina into SLC

 Rec basketball champions

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Media Consumption

I consume media like crazy. I'd like to think that my major in college (Communications) drove me to it. They were always talking about how we need to know what's going on in the media, have an account with ever social media facet possible and to constantly be engaged with media somehow. I must still be in that mode because it's on all the time around me. Good? Maybe not. Entertaining and gets me through the day? Most definitely. So what media am I'm consuming? Here's a list of just a few:

Downton Abbey
Go On
The Office
Once Upon a Time
White Collar
Parks and Recreation
Lie To Me (I've finished all the seasons)

Civil Wars
Iron and Wine
Joshua Radin
Mumford and Sons
Glen Hansard
Preicilla Ahn

Multiple blogs
Very Jane

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Be still my soul

Sometimes I feel like I have everything going for me. Things are great at work and home, I feel accomplished and everything is going right. These are the days that I wish I could remember to cherish because, unfortunately, they don't seem to come around a lot. Most of the time things are decent. Nothing spectacular, but overall life is pretty good. Then I have "my days."

These days are filled with frustration, stress, annoyances and whatever else may come. It seems like on these days I can't catch a break. It's always one thing after another. It's great to have positive people around you in times like this, but it can also cause me to dip down even further. Sometimes I need to vent, sometimes I need to cry, and sometimes I just need to have my time to feel however I want because it seems if I don't take the time to get it out, it'll accumulate and nothing gets resolved. That's where I am. I'm needing my time. 

Yet, it seems when I am in need of "my time", I somehow find this song and it makes my day just a little bit better. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Introducing Miss Lainey May

I drove down Thursday to meet this little one. I thought I would make it right as she was being born, but she wasn't coming out. After 19 hours of labor she ended up having a c-section and this precious little one came out perfect. It was so fun to see them love her instantly that I couldn't help but tear up. She is a special little girl who will be well loved.  Below is a photo overload.