Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time in Oakland

So as your know, we are currently living in Oakland. Oakland has been interesting to say the least! In the short time we have been here, we have had some crazy and some great experiences. This has definitely been the hardest place for me to live thus far. Oakland really isn't that friendly of a place and somewhat scary at times. Here is a short recap of our experiences so far. On black Friday there was man shot in the Walmart parking lot that I was shopping at (I actually saw his body laying on the ground), a random lady walked up to us and gave us a $100 bill for Christmas, and I left my purse on the floor of McDonald's (which had the $100 from the lady). However, even though there have been some crazy things, I am still very thankful to be here. Minus the shooting, the other two events that happened were good. The lady that gave us the money taught me and awesome lesson (see previous post) and the fact that my purse was in tact and everything was still there after carelessly leaving on the floor of McDonald's has restored my trust in humanity. It has also given me the assurance that not EVERYONE in Oakland is bad and scary.

I have decided that I need to have a better attitude about this place. So here are so positives of being here. #1 its warm! I hate the cold weather and this job is basically going to insure that we completely miss the Missouri winter. Who can complain about that? #2 My husband is working and making money to provide for our family (this should probably be #1). I am so grateful that he is such a hard worker and even though I dont get to see him near as much as I would like because he works long hours, I am so grateful that he has a job and that it pays well enough for me to be a stay at home mom to raise Rylee. #3 I am SO grateful that we are able to travel with Justin. I cant imagine what life would be like if he had to leave us for months at a time to work so the fact that we are able to travel with him is a blessing. #4 I am consider the other wives that we travel with to be my good friends. I enjoy their company and their children! I love watching the kids play while us women get our girl talk time. #5 there are some great places to shop here. Never thought I would say this, but I am OBSESSED with the $1 store. Who would have thought???? But there are tons of shopping places which keep me entertained during the day (however thats not always a good thing). #6 there are parks and walking trails that I actually feel safe going to around here! #7 there is a gym for me to work out! I dont have an excuse to not work out anymore so guess what...I am doing it! #8 We have a temple that is less then a 20 minute drive (its only like 10 miles away but takes longer to get there). #9 Did I mention the weather? :) Seriously I LOVE the weather. I hate the snow and cold and I am not sad to not have it! #10 No matter where I go, I still have the most important things to me. I have my family, the Gospel, and facebook...(ha ha). But in all honesty, I am grateful for facebook and my blog because I can use it to keep in touch with my family back at home. I am able to post pictures of Rylee and tell about all of our exciting adventures.
I will post some pictures of our time here so far!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why don't I do this more often???

Tonight really got me come I dont work out more often? Why is it so hard for me to get dressed and just do it? I was thinking about all of the benefits to working out, and guess what, there are tons! So I decided to write them down that way when a day comes that I dont feel like doing it, I can read this and hopefully it will inspire me. So here is my future motivation...hopefully!

Reasons I love to work out:
1. It's healthy, plain and simple.
2. Once I start doing it, I actually enjoy it
3. I feel good after I do it. Not only do I feel a sense of pride, I also feel a sense of accomplishment.
4. It gives me bragging rights, I feel like a "cooler" person when I can say "yeah, I work out" (I know that one is kinda silly but hey, this is for me...right??) :)
5. It gives me a chance to burn off some stress. Even though my life isn't full of stress, I am still human and trust me, I am a much happier person when I am not stressed out.
6. It's one thing that I can do that I do just for me. It's not a mommy thing, or a wife thing, its a me thing.
7. My body looks a lot better which means I have more confidence in the way I look.
8. Because I have more confidence, I am more likely to get dressed up and put on makeup and try to look nice for my husband.
9. I have more energy
10. When I am actually working out, I don't get down on myself because I am not, not working out...if that makes sense! When I am not working out I get a lower self esteem because I know it's something that I should be doing and it is a heavy weight on my shoulders.
11. I tend to pay better attention to what and how much I am eating because I know whatever I eat, I have to burn off in the gym. Its takes me about an hour to burn about 400 calories. It takes me about 30 seconds to eat 400 calories, I definitely pay more attention!
12. My husband finds me more attractive. I know my husband will love me no matter what but he isn't blind. I want him to love me AND be attracted to me.
13. Let's face, I married a skinny guy who happens to be a bottomless pit. However, he is skinny none the less. I DO NOT want to be that fat girl with the skinny husband.
14. I married into a skinny family. No matter what I do I will always be bigger than my inlaws, I am just built bigger. However, I have control over how much bigger I will be!
15. I love compliments. I love people to tell me I am pretty or that I look great or whatever. I especially love it when people notice a change in me and it motivates me when someone notices that I have lost weight.
16. I am less lazy and more productive
17. I am just a happier person all around. When I am happy, my family is happy. This stems from the confidence thing and it affects every aspect of my life. If I set goals with my workouts it motivates me to set goals with other things in my life. It seems like when I start getting into a habit of working out, I also get into a habit of reading my scriptures and saying my prayers. I know that sounds weird but for me, the two things are connected somehow.

I know there are many many more benefits to it. I hope that this post will help me when I start slacking again. I know that time will come when I get tired of it, or burnt out but hopefully this will help me remember why I really do love doing it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Ornaments

Rylee's First Christmas

Justin's Ornament

Family Ornament


Another Family

The ornament I made for Justin

All of the ornaments (minus one)

The year before last, I went to a Christmas party and they made these ornaments. They are cheap, simple, and fun to make! Today I invited the kids over to make them with me and we had tons of fun! I didn't pictures of the ones that the kids made, but I did take pictures of the ones that I made (and the ONE that I convinced Justin to make.) Here is how you make them:
You buy clear small plastic cups (I bought the Great Value Brand 5 oz. cups). You color them with permanent markers however you want. Then you put them on a cookie sheet (I put a piece of foil down just to protect my cookie sheet) and put them in the oven at 300 degrees. They are only in the oven for about 1 1/2 minutes or less. Watch them because they melt fast and if they melt too much then they curl up. Let them cool for a few minutes and then take a hot glue gun and melt a hole in the top and stick a ribbon through. Simple as that and this is the final fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The only words that come to mind are Thank You!

So today I had probably one of the most humbling experiences ever. I can hardly come up with the words to explain what this means to me, but I will try. This is definitely an experience I hope I will NEVER forget.

Tonight Justin, Rylee, and I took a trip to Walmart. This was just a normal food trip to the store. We were walking up and down each isle trying to remember what was on my list (I have a bad tendency to make a list and then forget it when we leave). Walking down one of the isles we passed a lady. I politely gave her a little smile as we passed her and apparently Justin did the same. Neither of us thought anything about it until we started down the next isle and I get a gentle tap on my shoulder. I noticed it was the lady from the isle before my first thought was "oh crap, did we do something to offend her?" So she proceeds to say this "I do not have any grandchildren near and I couldn't help but notice your beautiful daughter and I want you to have this. Please make sure to get her something nice with it." I was totally confused and looked at Justin and he had the same confused look on his face. I said to her "Thank you but I can't"....she cut me off and said "yes you can" as she slipped the $100 bill in my hand. I looked at her with tears rolling down my face and said "Thank you so much, can I at least give you a hug?" She said of course and we hugged. She walked away and I was just standing there frozen with tears running down my face. How could a woman who doesn't even know us be so kind towards us?

My Thoughts: This woman has taught me such a valuable lesson, whether its money or whatever, we should always be willing to help our neighbors. This woman didnt know me, she didn't know Justin, she has no clue if we will actually use that money to buy Rylee something nice but that didn't stop her from giving it to us. I will never get the chance to repay her or send her a thank your note, I probably wont ever see this woman again, but she has inspired me. The thoughts keep storming through my head "why us?" There were so many other people there with children, why did she pick us? Then it hit me, she was prompted by the spirit to be give us that money and she followed those promptings. Maybe its not for the money aspect of it (although that helps) but maybe it was to soften my heart. Now I feel it is my responsibility to pass on that random act of kindness. Her generosity towards me and my family makes me want to share that same generosity with someone else. Just think, if I pass on this act of kindness to someone, then they pass it on to someone else and so forth, how many lives will be affected by this one woman? The $100 is awesome, but the lesson she taught me of kindness and the pure love of Christ is way more valuable and for that I am forever grateful to this woman...whoever she is!