Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Winter Blues, Nevada Style

It's not really the winter blues that are keeping me from posting.  I want to update our blog, but we just haven’t been up to that much lately.  Dave is studying a lot for the Bar exam.  I am working on my master’s project a lot.  We are both doing quite a bit to serve in our callings.  And that’s about it.  The weather is sometimes cold, sometimes warmish.  On Sunday the weather was beautiful!  It really felt like spring.  I don’t think that spring has quite arrived, but by the end of February when Dave has more time I think we’ll have good weather for getting out, hiking again, and maybe biking!
Okay, so the only interesting thing in that paragraph to talk about is my calling.  At the end of December I was called to serve in the Relief Society program and released from my calling in the Young Women program.  I had mixed emotions about it all.  I really loved serving with the young women.  They are such sweet girls, and I felt like I was a good influence for many of them.  But I haven’t been able to attend Relief Society meetings for 2 years.  I know that being in Relief Society will be a good thing for me.  On the other hand, I didn’t feel that nervous serving the young women since they looked up to me.  I do feel nervous serving the women in the ward, since I don’t feel like I know that much about being in a Relief Society presidency, I haven’t been in Relief Society for a while, and I am so not that crafty.  That last thing is something that I need to work on since I am in charge of Enrichment activities for our Relief Society.  So this is a good thing because this will be a learning experience for me!

Do any of you who have served in Relief Society presidencies have any ideas or advice for someone who is new to this?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wake Me Up When September Ends

September 2011 was a beautiful month.  Dave and I were reunited. I was able to start serving in my calling as a Young Women's counselor.  And we had a couple of fun road trips.

One of our young women activities was making animals out of bath towels, like they do on cruises.  Dave and I were still in the planning stages of our cruise, so I thought this activity was AWESOME!!  Here are a few pictures:

Road trip #1 was to Flagstaff for my niece's wedding!  I am toward the younger end of my family and Steffani, my oldest brother's daughter, is 20.  Here are a few pictures from the wedding and the family fun:

 Dave and my dad before the wedding.

Our cute "Reserved" signs.  The wedding was in my parents' back yard.

Steffani and her dad walking in at the beginning of the ceremony.

Steffani and her husband Vince, with all of her aunts who could make it.

The proud grandparents!

Steffani had a fun idea for the processional from the wedding ceremony to the reception.  A lot of the wedding guests got on bikes (because Steff and Vince are both really into biking) and rode from my parents' house through downtown Flagstaff, and ended up at Steff and Vince's place for the reception.  I loved it!

Here is my cute nephew, Will, and my brother and sister-in-law.

Doesn't Steff look awesome in her white dress on her bike?  Vince is on the far right.

After the wedding, I stayed in Flagstaff to help my parents clean up their house a bit, since they were preparing for their mission and needed to clean it out to rent it.  And I rode the Greyhound back to Las Vegas later that week.  Wow, what an adventure!  That's a whole other post in itself, though.

The next weekend, Dave and I drove to Utah to go to a wedding.  My high school friend Jo-Pete got married in August in Washington, and had a Utah reception in September.  It was fun to see JP and Jean again and to get to know her.  We went to Five Guys for lunch the day before the reception, since we wanted to spend time with them and didn't want to monopolize them at the reception.  It was a lot of fun!  I just can't believe we didn't get any pictures with them.

The only thing really not beautiful about the month was that the weather in Nevada hadn't cooled down very much.  It was still fairly hot here during the whole month.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Workout and a Half

During the last week we've done a few fun things.  Dave has studied for the Bar exam.  Oh, wait, that's not a fun thing.  But that's what he's been doing a lot of.  He'll take the Nevada Bar exam at the end of February, so we have a little more than a month of the studying.

Okay, on to the really fun things.  I went to a Zumba class!  It's the first time that I've done Zumba, and I LOVED it!  I'd heard of Zumba before, and I watched my 10-year-old niece doing it on the Wii a month ago.  It didn't seem so bad.  So when I heard of a free Zumba class here in Pahrump, I decided to try it out.  Haha!  It wasn't "bad", but it was HARD!  I have never been so tired only 15 minutes into a workout!  I almost left after about 25 minutes.  But I stuck it out for the full hour, and it was a lot of fun.  I am planning on going again for a free class tonight.

I love these free classes, but I know that they are just to get me hooked before the gym opens.  Once the gym opens they'll start charging for the classes.  And I think that they may have already hooked this customer!  We'll see how much they charge.

Another fun thing from this week is that we bought two new BIG things.  The first one we bought, we were planning on: a new computer.  Dave needs a laptop to take the Bar exam, and the one that we have is kind of on the fritz.  You have to angle the screen a certain way or else these lines (like static) appear on the screen and cover anything you're trying to look at.  And it's gotten progressively worse over the last 2 months, so we decided that it would be better to get a new computer now rather than wait for the old one to die.  It arrived today, and I am graciously waiting until Dave gets home to open it, since he is pretty excited about this purchase.

The second item we bought was unplanned: a new vacuum.  The old one croaked this last week; the brush wouldn't turn at all when the vacuum was turned on.  So it would still make the loud vacuum noise that made you think it was working, and then the floor would be just as dirty after you vacuumed as before.  Fun!  But we decided that we would prefer clean floors to a noisy exercise routine!  The vacuum arrived yesterday, through Amazon, and the shipping didn't cost us anything since we have Amazon Prime.  Seriously, living in rural Nevada and not being willing to drive an hour to go shopping in Vegas makes Amazon Prime worth it.  And you get to shop from the comfort of your own home!

Have any of you made some fun/big purchases lately?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weekly Posts

I've kind of dropped off of the face of the blogging earth lately.  I posted a few times August-November, but they were kind of random posts, about giveaways, sweet deals on swimsuits, cool things that I like, and random things from our life.  I like writing these kinds of posts.  But they are not really the meat of a blog.  I don't really enjoy travelogue blogs that just deal with a day-to-day description of everything the writer does.  But I think that some of that is a necessity on a blog with the purpose of keeping me in touch with people I don't see regularly.  So, in addition to some of the fun/quirky/interesting posts that I plan on writing this year, I want to post once a week about what we're actually up to.

I also want to do a series of posts about what we did during the past few months.  Don't worry.  I'm not going to do one post per week for the last 15+ weeks.  I would never be able to catch up on that many posts.  But I would like to do several posts about the highlights of the last several months, one post about each month.  So, fair warning, that's what the next few posts will be.  And I'm pretty sure that you'll be extremely jealous of our awesome lives (especially our cruise in December).  So if you are the kind of person easily swayed by jealousy into hate, you can skip the next few posts.  I don't want anyone hating me!  :D

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

I really love the feeling around New Year's when I am reminded of change, the possibilities that come with new beginnings, and some characteristics of successful goal-setting.  I know that not all of the goals I set this year will happen, and probably none of them will happen perfectly.  But I am okay with that!  If my goals help me change a little bit this year, then they have fulfilled their purpose.

As a quick review of last year's goals, here are ones that I completed (or near-enough completed):
*Dave and I ran 2-3 days per week at the beginning of the year, and 3-4 days per week the last several months of the year.  During the summer when we were living apart, not much running occured.  It is SOOOOOO much easier to run with an accountability partner!!
*My mom gave me her sewing machine to babysit for her while she and my dad are on their mission in Peru.  So since then, I have done several crafty projects including modifying or fixing several items of clothing (and hemming Dave's pants!).  This is big for me.  I want to continue trying to do more of this in 2012.
*Dave and I came close to paying off 10% of our student loans this summer.  We didn't quite make it before August, but have since paid off that amount.  Since then we've been making smaller but still regular payments.  But I think that having a specific amount we were aiming for was really helpful.  Again, I think we'll try another goal like this in 2012.
*Dave and I were able to finish reading the Book of Mormon together by the end of July, participating in our ward's challenge.  It was more difficult to do this when we were living apart, because we didn't want all of our time talking on the phone to be taken over by reading the BoM out loud to each other.  But with a little perseverance, it worked out!

So, 4 out of 19 isn't bad!  :D  I made good progress on some of the other goals, even if I didn't complete them.  So I am satisfied with 2011, and I'm ready to move on to 2012.

I am going to try something different this year.  I want to have fewer long term goals so it is easier to keep track of them.  Then, in addition to my few yearly goals, I want to create one goal to focus on per month.  So here are my goals:
  • Health
    • Drink at least 2 liters of water per day
  • Creativity
    • Spend 20-30 minutes per week working on a scrapbook of our wedding or my mission
    • Play the piano 10-15 minutes 3 times a week
  • Financial
    • Pay off an additional 10% (total of 20%) of student loans by October
  • Family
    • Write down (in a journal) one thing that I love about Dave every day (or almost every day)
  • January
    • Study the scriptures on being a "servant" and apply what I find in my new calling in church (Okay, this one's kind of nebulous, without a lot of specifics to keep me on track.  I'll have to pin it down for myself later.)

I think that these are much easier to look at and accomplish than the big list I had last year.

I love finding out what other people are doing.  It gives me inspiration.  What are some of your New Year's resolutions/goals?