Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Ramblings

Happy Halloween!  Last Friday was the ward trunk or treat and I must say, even though no other adults really dressed up, I couldn't wait for our costumes :) And we're carving a pumpkin tonight and I can't wait.  But I really want to start by thanking Heather for her past couple blog posts.  I'm so glad for such amazing friends in my life who help me stay happy.  Reading her post was the culmination of some realizations I've had this week.  So heads up, this post is full of ramblings.

Yesterday I went visiting teaching, and I'm ashamed to admit this, but it was probably the first time I was truly excited to go.  Before it felt like such an obligation - I always enjoyed it once I got myself to go, but I think Provo wards are just...different.  Here, and I would assume anywhere besides Provo where the ward turns over in 6 months, it just feels a little more real.  And I was excited to have a reason to leave the house ;)

Anyway, we went and I couldn't wait to meet more sisters in this ward (I even made cookies to share.  Seriously, I was excited).  As we went around visiting and talking with sisters, I kept realizing just how blessed I am.  With the free time I've had lately and feeling a little cooped up, I've realized I have a tendency to fall into a self-pity mode.  Pathetic, I know.  But there's no better remedy than visiting someone who puts my little worries into perspective.

For example, I sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) think woe is me for having to live with in-laws, but while we were talking with sisters, I realized, and it was even vocalized by my companion, how lucky my children are to have Gail and Ernest as grandparents.  I felt like kicking myself for ever feeling bad about "having to live with the in-laws."  Yes, it's difficult sometimes, but only because I'm a tad bit independent and suffer from slight social anxiety.  But goodness gracious, how lucky I am that I have such loving in-laws who are more than accommodating and so happy to have us here, not to mention the financial relief they've given Jeff and I by living here before we head upside down into debt for med school next year.  Then, of course, I thought of my own parents and how excited and lucky I am to have my mom come visit me in a week (Wha-whooo!) and that my mom is in a position to be able to fly across the country to visit (thanks dad).

And aren't birthdays just the best?! I got a card and gift from my Grandma Dalton and the sweetest phone call yesterday from my Grandma and Grandpa Mower.  Before I even hung up the phone I was in tears.  It's truly amazing how much love and appreciation one can feel for family when they move across the country :)

The weather even had a birthday present for me!  I'm totally jealous of the snow storm that hit Utah last week, and until this week it has still been sweaty hot in Florida.  But these past couple days, I think because of Hurricane Sandy, it has been exceptionally cold, and I love it.  There's nothing better than placing chilly hands on my face to warm them up.  I even had hot chocolate for breakfast yesterday! I put socks on for the first time Monday, and as I dressed in fall clothes (well, my idea of fall clothes) with a sweater, scarf, and my favorite boots, everything all of a sudden felt normal again.  Totally weird, but I love being chilly.

I think part of why I miss the cold is because I'm realizing that Jeff and I's first little chapter together has come and gone.  I so cherish those Christmas mornings waking up in our tiny apartment, feeling like we were the only two in Provo, and just enjoying the still of winter.  We would sit on our little couch with only our Christmas tree lit, open gifts, and then enjoy the quiet of the valley as we drove to my parents so early on Christmas morning.  And maybe that's why I was so emotional when I talked to my grandparents who are reaching the end of their own chapters.  Sometimes it's hard to move on to other adventures when the one before was so wonderful.

Another reason I'm so emotional might have to do with being 30 weeks pregnant ;)  Can't wait to hold that little pot of gold.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Temple Trials

A funny thing happened this weekend.  Well, it wasn't so funny when it happened, but isn't that usually how things go?

When Jeff and I got married, we decided we would try to attend the temple often.  For us, even in these first few years, "often" hasn't always meant the same thing.  I feel I/we could have done a better job of getting ourselves to the temple more frequently, especially because we were so close to so many.  However, while I wished we had gone more - I think that's a sentiment many Latter-day Saints feel - and looking back I think we did ok.  Kind of ironic that now with plenty of time to visit the temple, and the nearest temple is almost 3 hours away.

I guess it's time to get to that funny story.

So Jeff and I had decided a couple weeks ago we would visit the Orlando Temple on Saturday.  We had it all planned out and were even going to spend the rest of the day looking around at houses and apartments since we'll be moving down there next summer.  We would even be able to sleep in a little and still make the trip worth it.

Well - we woke up a little later than we had planned, but we weren't too worried about it.  I mean, we had all morning to get to Orlando.  We had hoped to leave around 9am, but it was about 9:45-10 o'clock before we were ready to walk out the door.  Jeff was finishing up some cereal and I went back to our bedroom to grab my purse so we could leave.  I decided I would hurry and make the bed before leaving, but as I started to grab the sheets, I noticed Russell on the bed, and next to Russell was a GIANT pool of kitty pee.

Yup - our litter trained cat, for whatever reason, decided to relieve himself on top of our comforter instead of his potty.

Like I said, wasn't funny then, but kinda funny now.

So despite having washed our comforter only a week earlier, Jeff and I had to strip everything off the bed, head to the laundromat, and use those enormous commercial washers that eat up quarters to clean our bedding.  As we were headed to the laundromat in our Sunday best, Jeff asked when the temple closed, and remembering I wasn't in Utah, got online and realized the temple closed at 3:30.


It was already after 10, and by the time we finished getting everything washed and dried, it would be closer to noon before we left.  We'd maybe make it to the temple in time for the last session...and then it would be almost too late to do much else before having to drive another 3 hours home.  Ugh.  Rescheduling our temple excursion to next weekend was looking more and more reasonable.

In frustration I asked Jeff, "Why did this happen THIS morning?  Of all mornings?"  And Jeff responded without hesitation, "Well, cause we planned to go to the temple."  He then shared about how on his mission the worst days would be when they would have a baptism planned.  He said one morning - the morning of a baptism - he and his companion woke up and the ENTIRE city didn't have water.  (That's Paraguay for ya).  Jeff said he and his companion had to bribe the fire station to fill up the font with nasty green fire truck water.  He said they had this huge fire truck hose snaked through the church into the font filling it up.

My cat pee didn't seem quite as bad after that story.  And unfortunately for Satan/karma/the universe/bad luck, or whatever else you want to call it, when I realize something is trying to hold me up, I simply become all the more driven to get it done.  We were able to get our bedding clean, make it to the temple, and even had plenty of time to look around Lake Nona in Orlando at apartments and housing.  And it was definitely worth it.  The peace and encouragement the temple leaves me with makes everything worth it.

But lesson learned, Mr. Russell doesn't get to jump up on the bed anymore.  Sorry kitty.

(For more info on temples, missions, and the LDS faith, check out  Picture of Orlando Temple from here)

Monday, October 8, 2012

2 months

Exactly two months ago I said goodbye to Utah and got on a plane to Florida.

Things I miss:

  • The Fall Season.  People - it's still almost 90 degrees most days.  The evenings are cooling off, but I still get sweaty wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  And I never realized how I used the seasons to measure time; I mean, it's already a week into October, but it's still really hot outside...weird.  Not to mention all the trees and vegetation are still green and show no signs of changing anytime soon.
  • Mountains.  Not just because they're beautiful, but because it's hard to get disoriented when those giant peaks help me find East.  And because they offer instant outdoor fun like hiking and biking.  
  • The absence of frogs.  And lizards.  And lovebugs.  And mosquitoes.
  • Dance.  Even though I wasn't on a company or anything when I moved, I miss teaching and being able to take a class here and there whenever I felt like it.  Just not the same in Union County (believe me, I've looked).   
  • Family.  They just get me, you know?

Things I love:

  • Southern people.  I love hearing "yes, ma'am," or "no, ma'am," and all the other funny Southern idioms.  People here are just more respectful.  I also love the sass that comes with the South too.  Definitely learning how to interact with people in a more genuine way.  
  • Southern food. If you are a vegetarian, don't move to Florida - at least not North Florida (and let's just say I'm glad I'm pregnant and if I gain a few extra pounds I can blame it on that).
  • Russell.  I knew I loved cats, but I'd forgotten just how much I really do love cats, hahaha.  AND Russell is learning to use the toilet.  The litter kwitter is not a scam after all :) 
  • Family.  I'm so grateful I have the chance to spend so much time with Jeff's close and extended family (even though his extended family feels more like brothers and sisters).  It's so fun to get to know them and start to build real relationships.  

Yup.  Definitely a new chapter for me and Jeff.  Life has a crazy way of flipping itself on its head. Even though I have been here two months, between being pregnant, moving in with the in-laws, not going to school or working, and adjusting to small town Florida, there's still a long way for me to go before I feel like I'm at home.  But life is good, Jeff has a job, I have a kitty, and we'll soon have a baby, what more could I ask for :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last couple months.
On the shuttle bus to the Gator game a couple weeks ago.
Found this enlightening message on said bus.
Awkward pregnant picture (are there any other kind?)
Notice the lady laughing at me in the background.
Mission accomplished.  

Until I have a baby you're gonna have to get used to kitty pictures :)
Russell is often found sleeping like this

About how I feel when taking pregnant pictures.
I think I was 23 weeks in this one.