Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Odd Name

Remember when I told you about the couple I met on the train who's neighbor named their daughter Purdy Skerry, pronounced, Perty Scarey? Well, we have a Bacon family in our ward and tonight, while looking through the ward directory, I found out his name is Crispy. That's right, Crispy Bacon. He and his wife are friends of ours. He's always just referred to himself as Chris. And now I find out his parents were awful people who named their pride and joy Crispy. It's one of those things we joke about, like my brother naming his daughter Tammy so he and his wife can have a Tam Bourine for a daughter. But who actually goes through with joke names like these? Now, of course, Matt and I are dying to call him on it and find out the story that goes along with it. Did his parents also want a name that would make their child unforgettable, or were they really just mean spirited and figured he was going to get teased anyway so they might as well go all the way?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adventures in the Winter Wonderland

A few months ago I was told that it snows in Wenatchee every Halloween. No luck this year, in fact it's been mild and rainy. I was so disappointed. Well, my concern was laid to rest yesterday when it started snowing. It's been snowing all weekend and next week the only time it will be above 20 degrees will be when it's time to dump more snow.

Everything inside me says to stay indoors, make warm bread and drink hot chocolate. But I again live in an area where you're still expected to continue life as normal when it snows. This morning we had our ward Christmas party and much to my surprise everyone still came out for it. Again, I really just wanted to stay inside but the guilt inside of me attached to my party-assigned task forced me out.

The roads actually weren't that bad, and once I saw that life continues despite the snow Matt and I decided it was time to once again visit Ye Olde Leavenworth. We've been told its gorgeous this time of year and, with all the recent snow, we figured it would be deserted since it's so treacherous coming over the pass on I-90. Not only was it not deserted, it was so crowded the tour buses had to start using school buses to pack in the masses. Egads! Matt and I aren't exactly crowd people. The thought of spending 20 minutes finding parking, walking another 20 minutes to the city center and waiting another 45 minutes for a table were enough to completely kill any Christmas good cheer we were then experiencing.

So with the snow still falling along with the temperature, we decided to drag main street, see the lights of town and head back to the Wenatch. Good decision, the lanes on our local highway were getting pretty fuzzy and who knows how long it would have taken to get home had we actually tried to brave the masses.

We drove home and walked through the blizzard-esque conditions to one of our new favorite restaurants. It was touch and go there for a while but we made it there and back without falling on our faces. A skill I am proud to say I learned in college.

Anyway, my concerns turn to tomorrow and getting to church now that all the snow is starting to freeze. I'm still kind of hoping they'll cancel it but I don't think they do that sort of thing here. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MWF Seeking Forgiveness and Advice

Okay, I think I see some recurring themes to my blog and my journal. My poor husband has gotten the brunt of it, but you have too and for that I am sorry. I promise that after today I won't mention pregnancy until I have far better news to share.

You may remember a few months ago when I said if I wasn't pregnant come November that would be okay . . . "Because right now I have so much faith that I know that if I don't get pregnant in November (like I really, really want) than the Lord has an even better plan in store for me!!"

Well I'm not pregnant and after a lot of praying I've come to know that I'm just going to have to wait for beautiful babies. I've also come to realize that looking at this time as a "trial" is a big fat waste of time. Remember when I said I quit being sad about not being pregnant? Well I'm reiterating it. Blegh. That's what I say to trials and sadness.

So a little more background information. When I moved to Boston a few years ago I had my roommates make me up a little list of everything I needed to do in New England before I moved. Things like, visit Amish country, do the freedom trail, visit Montreal, etc. It was a great list and definitely made my time in Massachusetts vastly more enjoyable.

So that, dear friend, is what I'm asking for you to help me do now. I need to make a list of everything I want to accomplish before parenthood finally finds me. If you only worked part time and had no children to nurture what would you want to accomplish? What hobbies do you have that I can poach? There are no wrong answers. I might not train for that marathon like I know my brother-in-law would want to do, but go ahead and suggest it anyway. Anything and everything will be taken into consideration. Thanks everyone for supporting me in this. I really really do appreciate your prayers, love and concern.

Claudia's Quilt

My dear friend Claudia is someday having a baby (she was due on Friday). And I made her a quilt for her baby girl. This post is for my mother and for Claudia to see the result. And for me to look at later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Old Friends

Sunday is my day for checking friends' blogs. I love how it has given me a chance to reconnect with old friends, especially those I never thought I'd find. Today I happened across my freshman roommate's blog. We'll see if she wants to reconnect with me.

I realize everyone has already found each other on facebook, but since I can't seem to commit the time to that resource, I'm thankful for blogs. And I'm thankful for everyone who finds mine and let's me know they've stopped by! I love you all!

Pros and Cons to living in a small town

I drove into Seattle yesterday and on my way home I started thinking of the good and bad that comes with small town living.

Driving
Pro - you don't have to deal with tons of traffic. I used to have the local news' traffic web page bookmarked so I could quickly see what highways and byways to avoid on my way home. Now all I have to remember is to not try making a left off of Miller when I go home past 4:30. So simple.

Con - for most true small towns, you have to take some country two-lane highway to get in or out. Which means your chances of getting stuck behind some slow driver increase. Yesterday, I was clipping along until I got about 2/3 of the way home and got stuck in a ten-car pileup behind one driver going at least 10 miles below the posted speed limit sign. This time, thankfully, my bladder was doing just fine.

Shopping
Con - choices are limited and some large-town basics are nowhere to be seen. This means the local stores have the opportunity to hike prices in the competition vacuum.

Pro - the reasonably-priced locally owned stores have really nice owners who are so excited to meet their customers and create relationships that will encourage local shopping. I.e. our local florist and music store.

Materialism
Con - associated with the above, there's not a lot of options for buying quality items, such as furniture, nice clothing or fancy cars.

Pro - this means that everyone is more or less in the same boat and there's not the same competitive feeling that you need to keep up with what everyone else has. Because chances are, you're already there.

Okay, that's all I can come up with for now. I hope you are all doing well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Compliments, I think?

So I think I have mentioned that I teach Gospel Doctrine in our ward here in the Wenatch. I've never really taught before and was really humbled by the calling considering all the men and women my age are in primary, so I'm left with all the older couples who have so much more experience then I do. You will understand, then, how grateful I am to everyone who smiles at me and gives good comments. I honestly feel like it's more of a collaborative class than anything else. There is one older gentleman (really old) from Holland, I think, who speaks in an accent I can't make out no matter how hard I listen, but even he smiles and shows me his love.

So I love my class. That's the gist of all that. And what's fun sometimes is when I get people who ask if I'm a teacher by trade. What a compliment. Yesterday I had one such person give me that compliment. But she went a step further to say that I should quit my accounting job to pursue teaching. Because, after all, who wants to be stuck in a career they dislike when they could be doing something more fulfilling. In truth, I would love to be a tutor. I really do enjoy helping someone one on one. And in high school, I had wanted to be a teacher. But how do I explain to this woman that I am not really interested in any career right now but the one of getting me pregnified. And that accounting is going to help pay off my husband's student loans a WHOLE lot faster than teaching ever would. I might have said something to help her understand my plight but I don't think she was having any of it. So I guess I'm stuck. Do I follow what this woman feels is my true path to teaching or do I forever squander my happiness and talents by choosing the path that will pay off those student loans and potentially one very expensive baby?

By the way, just in case you're wondering, even after the fasting and prayers of so many loved ones, I guess November wasn't my month. Don't worry, I'm doing fine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stuck

I am currently trying to be a good little home-maker and do my weekly loads of laundry and I seem to be at an unfortunate stopping point. Our washer and dryer is one of those space-saving, stackable numbers, which is thereby incredibly heavy. It is conveniently tucked behind a few sliding doors in our hallway. For the last several weeks it has been inching its way to a less convenient place behind those darned sliding doors. Today when I went to switch out the laundry I found it completely stuck behind the door. No amount of pushing would get it to budge. So now I wait until Matthew comes home, thankfully he comes home for lunch, and hopefully his super manly strength can help a wife out. Nothing too spectacular, but what do you do when life hands you some lemons? You blog about it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Random Post and Even More Random Images

Do you ever get in a strange picture mood? For some reason, it struck tonight. My little brother and I used to hang out taking random pictures of ourselves. Who knows why. Here's a small sampling of my vast range of emotions. Can you tell which emotion is which? Funny pictures are so much more entertaining than a plain Jane smile.




These other pictures are here to show you a little glimpse of our apartment. Unfortunately you don't get a chance to appreciate our pink carpeting. I like the picture of our couch because you can't see all the fuzz from some fabric I was cutting earlier in the week. So this is one side of our living room. The second picture is the other side, literally a foot or two apart. It's Matt's little entertainment corner. He's got three instruments and his super cool computer all tucked into one area of the apartment. If he's home, there's a good chance he's there. He declined pictures. So this is all you get. I guess he didn't grow up taking random pictures with his little brother.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stolen and Restored

Last Friday afternoon (don't know where I was) Matt's back passenger-side window got smashed. Our temple bags were on the backseat. I'm guessing the culprit greedily thought they were laptop bags but ditched them when he/she/they realized they weren't going to profit from their find. At the time we didn't think they had taken anything else, including his CD's hanging out next to the driver's seat.

A day later we got a phone call from a member of our ward saying he had our scriptures and would bring them to us at church the next day. Apparently, this man's dentist found them on the side of the road as he was biking to work. He figured they probably belonged to a Mormon and called this Mormon friend to help return them to their owner. Thankfully Matt's name is written in the scriptures and thankfully this Mormon friend is a member of our ward. So we were able to get them back almost before we knew they had been taken.

The best part of the story is that this is the second time this set of scriptures has been stolen and providentially returned. The first time being on his mission in South Korea.

The worst part of the story is that it's going to cost more than $200 to get the window replaced. Definitely not what I want to be spending $200+ on right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wenatchee goes Jewish

Last night, Matt's boss took the firm (all three of its employees and their spouses) to see Wenatchee High School's production of "Fiddler on the Roof." I wasn't sure what to expect, it had been talked up quite a bit but was just a high school play. I've seen some good high school productions but was skeptical. But as soon as it started Matt and I were both astonished at just how good the singers, the acting, the set, and creativity were. All for only $10! I was thinking if I wanted to see a professional play, it would cost more than $10 just for the ticketmaster fees. And we were home within minutes of the show ending. Now, I realize the play wasn't up to professional quality, but all factors considered, I think I enjoyed the high school production more than a Broadway play. The absolute treat was seeing 13- and 14-year old boys trying to pass as men with facial hair. Some of the boys pulled it off reasonably well, but there's just something so cute about a super baby-faced boy with black make up hanging out around his chin.

I'm totally looking forward to what they do next year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gratitude List

A few years ago, I got involved in a group of friends who emailed gratitude lists to each other. I've kind of fallen off the radar, but I wanted to share my list with you. I need to remember the random things in life that make me happy, because I really do have so much to be grateful for.

  1. I couldn't start this list off without being grateful to my husband. He simply is possibly the best thing, barring my membership in the church, that's ever happened to me.
  2. Not having children. Didn't think that would make the list. But I'm thankful that I have this very special time in life when I'm only working part-time from home which gives me the chance to say yes to all the RS emails that go out looking for help. I've decided this is my year of service.
  3. My Bosch mixer I got for my birthday. I made my first cinnamon rolls and and they were soooo good.
  4. Having enough to share. With only two people, there are only so many cinnamon rolls you can eat by yourself so it's the perfect opportunity to share the wealth.
  5. That being said, finding out that you can freeze cinnamon roll dough like you can cookie dough so you only bake as many as you want.
  6. Fine fall weather in the Wenatch. It's raining now, but we had be-autiful weather for a solid month.
  7. Falling gas prices. Even though I don't drive now nearly as much as I used to, it's still fun to see them continue to fall.
  8. Having to travel to shop at my favorite stores. Now I have to drive 2+ hours, and I tell you, it's done wonders for my credit card bill.
  9. My ward here in Wenatchee. We've been invited over to so many families houses for dinner. It's always nice to feel loved.
  10. My calling as Gospel Doctrine Instructor. Another odd thing to make it on the list. But I'm thankful because it is forcing me to learn and grow in all the ways I always wanted to but was too lazy to before.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween musings

This year, Matt and I were Halloween recluses. We weren't in the mood (which means that I didn't feel like putting on mascara) to go to our ward's Halloween carnival and we knew we wouldn't get trick or treaters so we turned off our lights and spent the evening together.

However, that doesn't exempt us from making some observations on Halloween.

First off, Matt works in downtown Wenatchee along "the ave" which, when he left work on Friday was lined with children getting candy from the local businesses. I say, getting candy instead of trick or treating, because from the way Matt tells it, they weren't actually saying the words, "trick or treat." He said they just mutely held out their little bags while the line moved on to the next store. Almost like a conveyor belt of children; a kind of hum emanating from the sidewalks as the whirring of the belt processes the kids down the avenue one after the other in a long stream of “gimme freebies.” To which we say, where is the work ethic in today's children?

When we were young we went to each and every house where we had to actually ring a doorbell, wait for the door to open, yell "trick or treat," stand there expectantly waiting while the man or woman commented on our outfits and asked what we were. We would excitedly answer that we were a pirate or a princess and then they would put some candy in our bags, to which we would yell our thank you's to them while running to the next house. It was a process that everyone knew and cherished.

But now, all you have to do is line up on the ave with a bag and a costume, the latter being optional, and submit to being herded along the conveyor belt along with the hundreds of other noisy children. I'm sure it's a lot easier and safer for the parents but if they don't learn how to beg for candy here what are they going to do when they enter elementary school and have to start asking their family and friends to buy random things to earn money for their school? They'll probably end up like my sister's children who just send out a mass email (sorry Megan, but I expect a phone call). Okay, this soap box has ran on a lot longer than I thought I would. Let's just say, that in my mind, trick or treating isn't trick or treating unless there are doorbells and the spoken words of "trick or treat" involved.

The second observation, which is really just a funny mental image, came when I went for a walk Saturday morning. I noticed some candy abandoned on the sidewalk and gutter and it conjured up an image of swarms of small children stumbling around the streets in a sugar-induced drunken haze after a long night of whooping it up, reminiscent of New Year's revellers fumbling around the streets in the wee hours of the morning. I imagined groups of children jumping on cars, lighting garbage cans on fire and throwing rotten eggs at homes who either didn't give out candy or didn't give out the good stuff.

And I guess if I were to pick which experience I wanted for my children, a night of unrestrained sugar-fed debauchery or a tame evening of dumbly following a line of a hundred children down a street to collect some safe candy, I would probably choose the latter. Even if it meant my children didn't get any support from their aunts and uncles because they never learned how to beg properly.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reader Roll-call

I'm just curious to know who reads these ramblings. If this is your first time or you check in every week to every three months, would you just leave a comment telling me who you are? Just a name would suffice, I promise. Although if I don't know you, which, let's be honest would be rare since I'm pretty sure my blog isn't that popular, would you please introduce yourself? I love meeting new people!

Please know that knowing who you are would completely make my day!! Thanks everyone!

Love from Wenatchee.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Few Miscellaneous Thoughts

Okay, does everyone remember the post I wrote a month ago about getting pregnant in November? Well, I'm still working towards that goal. I'm taking my folic acid, A LOT of iron, and in a week, I'll take some Robitussin (or at least the Walgreen version). I know this seems odd and maybe even slightly inappropriate, but what I'm asking from you, dear friend and family, is that you say one small prayer in the next couple of weeks on our behalf. Just one small, two second prayer that asks that God grant our family a baby. Mass prayers have worked for us in the past, so I'm counting on it now. So, see what you can do and know that I GREATLY appreciate it.

So that's miscellaneous thought #1. Miscellaneous thought #2 centers around this boy I tutored this past Tuesday over at the high school. I have never seen anyone so dedicated to his school work so absurdly behind. This boy is in 9th grade but, from my completely novice perspective, seemed to be at a 3rd grade math and English level. It was quite painful to watch him working on basic algebra problems but struggle with the even more basic problem of solving 15/3 or 30+13.

I talked to his teacher yesterday and he said he was going to try to get him tested this weekend to see if he has a learning disability and to see just what grade level he is operating at. My heart goes out to this boy and I wish there was something I could do to help him.

I started this post to ask for your advice and if you have any words of wisdom I will gladly take them, but all I can really do is to continue to work with the teacher and tutor him in whatever way I can. So, I guess, miscellaneous thought #2 asks those who've worked in a social worker type capacity what they do when they see sad cases such as this boy. How do you keep yourself from wanting nothing more than to take them under your wing and dedicate all your time to saving them? How do you keep yourself from crying yourself to sleep at night? What would the Savior do? These are questions I am desperately seeking answers for so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Domestic Goddess Unmasked

I know I present myself as some sort of newly formed domestic goddess since moving to Washington (I made my first applesauce last week), but . . . it's not true. See above picture, herein classified as Exhibit A. If you can't tell, it was supposed to be cinnamon rolls.

I got a new mixer for my birthday (no, my birthday's not for another couple of weeks) and in my exuberance I decided to make cinnamon rolls. A woman I knew in our last ward gave me her "easy" recipe she uses in her KitchenAid. I got a Bosch mixer but I figured they were more or less interchangeable. It's not true. Or, if it is true, I am still too novice in my goddess abilities. I got so mad during the whole process I threw some iron plates that were getting in the way. I think Matt was so surprised and frightened by the whole experience and the level of my frustration he only spoke in soft, soothing tones and didn't harass me when he offered to clean off the counter used as the rolling area that was literally caked with dough. What a good husband. Ah, c'est la vie.

The upside to the story is that I was able to salvage just enough of the rolls to satisfy Matt and my cravings for sugar last night (hence the pock-marked appearance of the dessert). We ate the less doughy portions. Also, I found a Bosch-specific cinnamon rolls recipe I'm going to try later this week. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crybabies Cry at EVERYTHING

I had a seminary teacher in high school who cried at least once during every lesson. I would always think to myself, "Seriously, woman, keep it together." So mean huh? Ah, what cruel irony.

I went visiting teaching tonight and I found myself getting really choked up over the lesson and I realized, I have become this sister. I cry, or at least get choked up at EVERYTHING. Maybe not everything, but pretty much anything remotely spiritual, remotely sad or remotely tender.

I was watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the other day and I was choked up for the better part of the movie. Every year during the primary program at church, Matt turns to me at least once with incredulity spilling out of him and asks, "Are you crying?" I don't know what's come over me? Am I to be a crybaby for the rest of my life? Because, truthfully, it doesn't look that appealing. Does anyone else suffer from this? Does anyone else get choked up while watching the Olympics, while watching small children sing, while talking about anything relating to the spiritual? Am I alone in my ultra-emotional state? Please, I need some support here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

HE PASSED!!!

HE PASSED HE PASSED HE PASSED!!! My handsome, wonderful, brilliant husband passed the Washington Bar Exam. The results were sent out Friday so we waited by our mailbox Saturday, checking into the evening, just in case mail was delivered really late that day. When we found out that today was Columbus Day and all government offices, including mail, would be closed we about had a heart attack. Matt called the bar association this morning and they assured him they would be posting at noon. Noon came and went with no update. We prayed over our lunch and I asked God to please let us know the results before Matt had to go back to work. They finally updated and HE PASSED!! Tonight to celebrate we went and got some steaks and Matt's favorite soda. His idea. I thought we should go out for dinner but Matt wanted to celebrate at home. So that's what we're going to do. Steaks with some Gorgonzola cheese, asparagus, roasted red potatoes and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Simple things make him happy.

Thank you everyone for your prayers, love and support!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Heart Netflix

Did I really just type that? I heart Netflix? Eeeek. The problem is that I also heart Matthew's new computer. And the two of them together is what we, in the business world, term synergy. The occurrence when 1 + 1 really do equal 3. Honestly never thought I would ever say or type any of that, but it's all true.

Matt and I don't subscribe to any cable and are too lazy to set up bunny ears on our TV. So we end up watching/owning a LOT of movies. Recently Matthew got a new computer with a 22" monitor. 22"!! It's as big as our TV for heaven's sake. And it's in our living room since Matt doesn't want to be exiled to the office every time he wants to use it.

We watched conference on it last Sunday. It was actually really great!! It inspired me to succumb to the lure of Netflix. Especially when I saw that Netflix offers many movies in its selection online for unlimited use. So although we are in one of the lowest pricing groups, I'm sure we use it more than most, thanks to this lovely computer/monitor. That sounds SO lame. Like a shameless plug or something.

When Matt said he wanted to buy a computer I was thinking, something modest, something cheap. But that's not how Matt rolls, at least not when it comes to electronics. So he bought the cool computer with the cool monitor. And when I got Netflix pop up ads on my computer every time I clicked to a new website I wanted to find whoever works there and sock them one. But now I heart them both.

Wow, I can, I jar and I love Netflix. It's amazing how many changes I've gone through since moving to the Wenatch. I'm practically a whole new woman. Visit now before I change too much and become unrecognizable to all who know and love me. (Another shameless plug)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homeless Sara

Thursday morning came bright and glorious and oh so inviting. I just had to get out for a nice long walk. So I did, and on the way home, stopped and got some pork chops and potatoes for dinner. About a block or two from my apartment I realized I had no keys with me. No way of getting in. No problem, I thought, Matthew works just a few blocks away, I'll run down to his office and get his keys.

I dropped my backpack of food in a bush by our front door and walked down the hill. I called Matt's cell phone but no answer. I continued my walk and when I got a little closer I called the office phone and found out that Matt was in a client meeting. Dang it. I failed to ask how long this meeting would last so I just figured it would take a few minutes. So I wandered around downtown Wenatch waiting for Matt to call back.

When I left the house originally it was morning and still sweats appropriate. Sweats and no makeup I should say. But as I wandered around downtown Wenatchee, passing working professionals, I realized that by late morning I should now be more appropriately made up for the day. To make matters worse I left my wallet in my abandoned backpack (I like to travel as light as humanly possible) so I had no way of going into a store to have a cup of cocoa while I waited. I'm more or less feeling like a vagabond but thankful the morning is cold and bright. Cold, because then my pork chops won't go bad; and bright, because who likes to wander around in dreary, wet weather?

To pass the time, with cocoa out of the question, I called my mother to relate my sad tale and to make her morning. She has gotten herself into similar predicaments and I knew her heart would be lightened to know she's not alone. She told me to hope there were no stray dogs roaming the neighborhood because they would surely smell the meet and tear through the backpack to get what they wanted. Great. I hadn't been worried before but now I felt paranoid. I HAD seen two dogs out and about when I left that morning. Maybe they were still around hours later just waiting to snatch a free meal.

I forced myself sane again and called a college friend of mine I hadn't talked to in a really long time. After about an hour and a half of waiting for Matt to call back, I started getting antsy and said goodbye to Aubrey so I could call Matt again. Still no luck. By this time it's 11:50 and I'm thinking, well, it's almost lunch time, he'll be out soon. So I called work and answered some questions for my manager. Now it's 12:03. I call again. Where is this kid? In my growing desperation I call the office again, this time talking to the partner's wife who works as the office manager. She tells me Matt is still in his meeting but to just come up. "No thanks," I say, "I'm dressed like a homeless person, I really don't think you want me to come in." She tracks down my lovely husband who tells me he will be leaving soon. Thanks be to heaven.

So we finally got home, backpack still in tact, meat still nice and cold, Matthew thankful no one has died, and Sara with another lesson learned. Always frisk myself before I leave to make sure I've got my keys on me. That or get another key made to hide somewhere close by.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Volunteer Opportunities

When we first moved to Wenatchee I went to a few places looking for volunteer work. You know, to round out my day. The tutoring center at the community college never got back to me and after a few weeks of being told by the tutoring center manager's secretary that, yes she has my information, and oh yes she will definitely call, I finally gave up.

After that, I went to a local organization that helps drop outs prepare for their GED. I thought that sounded like a really good cause so I said I would love to help. But because I was going to be travelling a lot during the summer I said I would start when their fall classes started. I gave them my information to do a background check but never heard back.

I wasn't sure if I should just start showing up so I went down to the center to see if they still wanted me. It was obviously busy that morning but the receptionist told me someone would be available to talk to me in ten minutes. Great, I thought, I have ten minutes. So I waited for ten minutes. Then fifteen. The woman came by and said it was a busy morning and asked that I wait for a few more minutes. I was good and patient and understanding, until another fifteen minutes went by and I could see her having a sit-down conversation with another teacher. Now, I didn't know if this was a super-duper pressing discussion, but she looked pretty comfortable in her seat and so I left. Not bitter, but definitely feeling like free help and support was not high on this organization's priority list.

From there I walked over to the high school to see if THEY needed any help. They hooked me up with their volunteer coordinator and an Americorps volunteer who were beside themselves with excitement and gratitude that I would show up and ask to help. I guess the grant they are working under requires them to get a lot of community involvement. So, like I said, they were really really happy to see me. And with math skills. Well that's even better.

I told them I was going out of town for a couple weeks and would be back to start helping out in October. "Great," they said. "Thank you SO much," they said. I'll be honest, my ego was totally stroked that day. It's amazing what some enthusiastic flattery will get you.

Today was my first day. It's a fun group of kids. A group of motivated but low achieving, low income, first-generation college hopefuls were selected for a program wherein if they maintain a C average and attend this after-school tutoring program a couple of times a week for four years they will be given a one-year scholarship to the college of their choice. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm excited to get involved and help these kids to figure out their potential. Here's to having time to volunteer!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Not Pregnant . . .Yet

Matt says I've become obsessed with pregnancy. After reading through my journal and some of my posts, I'm beginning to think he's correct. But I'm still okay with that. I've been in such a funny mood these last couple of days. Saturday I couldn't control my emotions (see post below that was actually deleted and then reposted when my parents told me I should) and now I'm on such a high.

This funny girl I met about a year ago told me she had a friend who told her (kind of round about I know, but you know how I'm a stickler for the absolute truth, I guess unless I exaggerate) that she should tell people she was already pregnant. Because if she did the stars would align and the universe would give her what she wanted. So this girl did, much to her husband's chagrin. She would tell the checkout ladies that she was expecting. This made her husband crazy because if she went in the same store months later and still wasn't pregnant, people would start to wonder about this girl who goes around telling everyone she's pregnant when she obviously isn't. Still with me? But for this girl this eventually worked.

I wasn't sure if I really wanted to believe in this oh so bizarre theory but I've started thinking about it today. So here it is. I've decided that my iron deficiency my doctor's keep harassing me about is the cause for my one and a half year infertility streak. As such I have begun taking my iron pills with the complete faith that I am going to get pregnant in the next few months. Preferably in November so I can tell everyone that I got a baby for my birthday. Really, wouldn't that be so sweet?!?

So there it is. I'm not to the point that I can start telling people I'm pregnant when I'm really not, but I'm putting it out there nonetheless (I can't believe that's one word). People who've known me for at least a couple years (especially in college) know I am a woman of plans. Crazy, hair-brained plans that almost never seem to actually happen. So I know that this could very well be one of them. It could very well not be true and that would be okay too. Because right now I have so much faith that I know that if I don't get pregnant in November (like I really, really want) than the Lord has an even better plan in store for me!!

I tell you, my life is one crazy emotional rollercoaster.

Opposition in All Things

This was originally posted Saturday evening but taken down Sunday morning. It is now being reposted.

Do you ever read your friends' blogs and think that their life is so much more glamorous than yours?
Do you ever have a day when you think everyone must wish they were you because you are so lucky to live the life you do?

Do you ever look at your husband/wife and think if you loved him/her anymore your heart would burst out of your chest?
Do you ever look at that same spouse and wish they had a clue how to make you happy?

Do you ever wonder why you should get out of bed?
Do you ever get so excited about what your day holds that you literally jump out of bed?

Do you ever think, "if I could be this good and pure and spiritual all the time, I'd be set?"
Do you ever think, "I'm so far from God right now, what's the point?"

Do you ever wonder how can one person survive this crazy emotional roller coaster? I do and I can. It's what makes my life so interesting (at least to me). It also helps to keep my husband on his toes, bless his heart.

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so . . .righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness, nor misery, neither good nor bad.

Maybe I'm not so crazy after all?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I love my Husband

Did I tell you I love my husband? He's a man of many many many interests. Some weird, some not so weird. One of my favorites, though, is that he cross-stitches with me. The first winter we were married a snow storm came through Portland keeping Matt from school and me from wanting to go to work. So we hung out inside watching movies for a couple of days. After the first day, Matt lamented that he didn't have anything to do while watching movies like I did (cross-stitching). I promised him we would find him a project. Beaverton has a fabulous cross-stitching store and the first time we went in Matt was excited about looking, not so excited about claiming the project as his own. After a few years of working on it, though, he is ready to claim it and announce to the world that he is a cross-stitcher! I'm so proud of him!! Isn't she BEAUTIFUL!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

the Parents

I love my parents. I especially love that my dad called me tonight to let me know they FINALLY used the rest of my Christmas present, mostly due, I think, to my unrelenting harassment last time I was there. I got them a few gift certificates to some of my favorite restaurants in Portland. Maybe not the most creative of Christmas presents but a few years ago my dad asked for date ideas and I thought dinners out were way better than the items my mother had circled in her home decorating magazine. Yeah, I also love that my mother circles stuff in magazines the way we did in the Sears catalog when we were small.

So anyway, my parents finally made it downtown Portland to Mama Mia for dinner and Moonstruck for dessert. Two places I eagerly recommend to anyone. But the Moonstruck they know about (there's a much more easily accessible one in Beaverton) is on NW 23rd, the hip part of town with impossible parking. Probably why they hadn't made in downtown sooner. The parking was so bad that my father drove around the block over and over again while my still gimpified mother went inside and ordered their shakes and chocolate truffles.

I don't know why it paints such a funny picture in my head. Maybe it's because, most likely, the only reason my parents finally went there was to appease their daughter. And they went to such lengths to fulfill their present that my father drove around the same block five or six times, in a part of town where my parents definitely aren't comfortable, just to get a shake his daughter says is totally worth it. It is. But that's beside the point. I love my parents.

But isn't that what good parents do? They where funny macaroni necklaces and proudly display awkward ashtrays when they don't smoke just because their children made it. They wear, display, and go to crazy places just to make their children happy. Just another reason why I'm so thankful for my funny, oh so cute, and darling parents.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Random Happenings

So, I have a few random pictures I felt inclined to share.

First, a few weeks ago, Matt was complaining of poor hearing. Not a good thing considering he's our family "hearer." I console myself that it's because he's practically blind so his other senses have to take over. But anyway, my little hearer couldn't hear and no amount of Q-tips were helping. If anything they were making it worse. So I picked up a few ear candles from our neighborhood natural/organic store to make him all better. Here's Matt patiently trying them out. It took two of them, but they seemed to work.

I jarred (Matt doesn't think it should be called canning) peaches with a couple of girlfriends. It was more or less the first time for all of us. We were so proud of ourselves. Matt came and picked me up and I was beaming with pride at my beautiful creations. Matt didn't see it. To him they were just jars of peaches, but I knew better. We don't have tons of counter space to display my edible art so they are now packed away in a box in our cupboard for future use.

Thankfully I have a brother who is as spastic as I am. Here he is almost fresh off his mission. It was fun hanging out with him and my parents and I know they are in good hands without me.

Don't Drink and Drive

It's the only picture I could find on the Internet. Pretty funny, but this is a "serious" post. Please don't drink and drive, especially if you're driving from Sherwood, Oregon to Wenatchee, Washington. At about 3+ hours of driving, about the time you are thinking it's bathroom time, all rest stops and gas stations dry up. Literally. Well, I should say that there was a bathroom along I-90 but it looked sketchy and I thought I would find something better farther up the road. Silly Sara.

I kept driving, a rest stop sign posted a few miles up. Unfortunately for me, my exit came first. So I got off, all the while thinking, it's okay, I'll find somewhere. I was wrong. Nothing for the next hour and a half. It was awful. I saw a "Don't Drink and Drive sign" and it took on a whole new meaning for me. I couldn't concentrate on anything else other than my NEED to go. To make matters worse, I kept getting stuck behind RV's going well below the speed limit who seemed oblivious to the slow vehicle turnouts. Every mile on the road ticked by slower than I ever thought possible. I kept praying, "please, just let me get to a bathroom. I don't want to pee my pants in my car".

I finally stopped in the first town I came to, Cashmere, a mere 10 miles outside of Wenatchee. I knew there was a gas station somewhere in this uber small town but I couldn't find it. Instead I desperately followed signs to a school. It was a little past 4. Surely schools would still be open. I think I came to the elementary school. I parked and waddled with all the dignity I could muster to the front doors. Both locked. While I was walking up I noticed a woman cleaning up what looked like an after-school program. I went to her door and asked to use her restroom. She said they had all been locked. All bathrooms locked? I was surprised and down-trodden . I asked where the town's nearest gas station was and she directed me to the closest (a mile or so away) one. I thanked her with all the good nature I could muster and tried not to squeal my tires to bad as I high-tailed it out of the parking lot. I even ignored the no left-turn sign. I just knew that any cop would be sympathetic to my plight.

I finally found the gas station. I walked inside and found the bathroom locked. Someone was inside hacking away (the way a 20-year veteran smoker would). And as I waited I considered whether I would want to touch anything in this said bathroom. Leave it to me to get picky even at my most desperate of moments. I finally opted for the bathroom next to it marked handicapped. And moments later I was in heaven.

So the moral of this story is don't drink and drive. But if you do have to drink and drive make sure you stop at the sketchy-looking bathroom along I-90. You'll thank yourself later. And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Momma-sitting

Get it? Baby-sitting except for my mother? Wah hah. Aren't I so clever. Anyway, my mother, bless her heart has been slowly falling apart for the last several years. The latest was breaking her arm above the elbow while sewing of all things. Wild and crazy that woman is. I honestly wasn't aware that it could be done until I got the phone call from my dad. Matt, being the ultra supportive husband suggested I come down and hang out with her while my dad's away picking up my little brother from his mission in Ghana. I called my dad and asked if it would be appreciated because I knew that if I called my mother she would blow me off with a brave face saying she was fine and didn't need any help. Thankfully my dad is a lot more sane when it comes to my mother's health.

So I rode the train down Saturday (no interesting people this time). I'll leave next weekend. So far we've done pretty much the same thing I do in the Wenatch but with my mom in good ole Sherwood, Oregon. We sleep, watch tv, eat, read, walk, run errands and clean the house. The usual. Today we got our hair done by the dear Corrin Keeler. We love Corrin. Corrin is my sister Nichole's best friend and has been doing our hair for forever. She makes house calls and she's cheap. Like I said. We love Corrin. My mother is so funny. For the entire time I've been down here she's been going on and on about getting her hair done. I haven't seen her so excited in years. You'd think she was looking forward to her 16th birthday. This is her all duded up with foils and other micellaneous dye
Anyway, this is turning out to be longer than I thought. But my mother is sitting right here reading (and commenting) on my every sentence. It was her idea to blog about my week here. So there you go. I love my mommy. And I love momma-sitting her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Need Help

Okay, totally lame, but I feel the next period coming in a few days and I don't know what to do to "celebrate." I felt the grieving process coming on and I remembered that I quit that whole thing so I started thinking about all the CRAZY things I could do instead of be pregnant. My first thought was to dye my hair red. But then I remembered the couple of friends in my ward who have red hair. I don't want to think I'm copying them. Then I thought, I could buy myself a great red dress. (What's up with me and red?) I also thought about getting a fabulous shake from Moonstruck that would satisfy my sugar needs for a whole month. Eeek. I also thought about getting a set of acrylic nails. They've always looked kind of fun. Don't laugh, I'm just brainstorming. So help me figure out what I should do. Really, this is good therapy for me. I can feel myself coming out of my funk already. And for those couple of guys I know who read my ramblings, this is for you too. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Unique Position

Have you ever gotten the question, "How was your week? Busy?" And you've wanted to say yes, because that seems to be the socially acceptable answer but had to respond with, "No, not really." Busy I mean. Everyone around me seems busily humming around caring for homes, jobs, church callings, children, bodies, etc. while I seem to find myself in this uniquely serene environment where I sort of do a lot of different things that make me happy.
  • I work twenty hours a week which gives me just enough work to not feel like a complete slacker.
  • I take care of my home. But let's be honest, when your home is a two-bedroom apartment and you're only cleaning after two semi-tidy adults, it doesn't take that much doing.
  • Hmmm . . . I have a church calling - Gospel Doctrine Teacher - but with the lessons fairly well laid out in the manual, even that doesn't take tons of preparation time. It's a matter of reading the scriptures and picking out the questions from the manual you like the best (er, I mean, the spirit tells me I should ask). So far I like being the Gospel Doctrine Teacher. We have good class participation, a low bar for what makes a good teacher (does that sound bad?), and best of all, we talk about what interests me in the scriptures.
  • I don't have children, but as a reminder, I do go to play group. So when I do have children I'll already be in the habit. See, I'm thinking ahead.
  • And as for my body, I think I'm eating better now then ever since we're eating at home and I'm actually cooking meals, practically every night. Whew. I know. Who knew Sara had so much potential. And I'm even starting to venture out and make new things like Lasagna. Or, I will be making Lasagna (any good recipes please send my way). It's on our dinner calendar for Sunday. Again, dinner calendars. Who knew how much more I would like cooking now that I have a dinner calendar. Not making a decision every night at 4:30 is so much better for my psyche. Sorry tangent. Back to my body. I'm not working out, but I am walking pretty much every morning for at least an hour. Not tons, but enough that it seemed to make my massage therapist happy. She even mentioned how toned my legs were. Yeah, it helped my ego.

I've tried going to different learning centers to try to be a volunteer tutor but either they don't seem interested or they appear interested and then don't reply to my background check. I never thought getting a volunteer position would be so difficult.

But anyway, my sister asked me this morning what I've been up to. I had to tell her not much. I lead a fairly simple existence. Lots of walking, reading, cooking, cross stitching (Megan, your present is looking great), and play time with my husband. So if you need anything made, now is the time to ask.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fox Books vs. The Shop Around the Corner

Okay, odd title. I'd started off as the Taliban vs. Self Rule, The Man vs. The Little Guy but I kept feeling that it would be offensive to someone somewhere. So instead I'm caving and we'll go with a "You've Got Mail" Analogy.

Matt's computer died recently and we are trying to decide between getting a Dell or a custom-built computer from a shop in town. We'd really like to go local and support the community, but at the same time we're not getting the turn around time to our questions we'd hope. So what do you do? Do we allow ourselves to be seduced by "square footage and deep armchairs and amazingly swift checkout lines and discounts" or do we hold onto our integrity and go for the "lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce." (I love that you can look up movie scripts online).

Poor Matt has made this into a moral quandary. He so desperately wants a computer but he also desperately wants to side with the lone reed. So he kills himself waiting somewhat patiently for that lone reed to get back to him days after he said he would just so he doesn't have to buy from "Fox Books."

So what do YOU think? Do we stay local or go for BIG BAD DELL and their cans of olive oil? (too far?)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WAAAY out of shape Sara

Matt's Grandfather gave us some house-buying advice I think we're going to take. He said, "maybe you shouldn't make any final decisions on a house until you know the results of the bar exam." Great advice. I can't believe we didn't think of that. So even though our home-buying spree has been temporarily put on hold I still went out with our realtor (thanks Merillee) to look at the different neighborhoods around town and see what types of houses are in our price range. I'll be honest, while not holes, they aren't super exciting either. But I just know that come October, our dream starter home is going to come on the market and we'll just love every moment of the home buying process.

But that is not what I'm writing about. I'm writing to tell you how out of shape I am. So, anyway, while I was riding around with our realtor Betsy she pointed out Saddle Rock, the hike of Wenatchee. She mentioned that the 6th graders hike it every year to learn about physical fitness and nature. She said, "Believe it or not, for a lot of those 6th graders this hike is quite the achievement." Now in my head, I'm thinking about the stereotypical pudgy kid who sits inside watching tv and playing video games instead of taking in the sun. Oh how condescending I was.

That Saturday, Matt and I decided to hike to Saddle Rock. We got to the trail head and started up. No big deal. It's a little steeper than I would have imagined but I'm sure it will level out at some point. WRONG!! It never leveled. In fact it just kept getting steeper. I kept one foot in front of the other thinking, "if i can just get to the bend in the trail". But I'd get to that @#!@ bend and my heart would sink as I saw more of the same. About 3/4 of the way up I died. My lungs were about to burst out of my chest and my legs were jello. I told Matt to go on without me. So much for all those pudgy kids. Matt was super sweet the entire time. Wonderfully patient, understanding, not remotely judgmental. All the things I love most about him.

So Matt left to finish the hike and I sat there thinking about all the walking around town I do. Almost every day for an hour a pop. It might keep me healthy; help me to not gain weight but it does bubkis for putting me in any sort of decent shape. I wasn't feeling too shamed about the whole thing until we had dinner with our neighbors and I went walking with my friend and her two children. All of them hike Saddle Rock. Even the five-year Silas. I stared at them in disbelief. But it's so steep? They all agreed, but with that sound in their voice that said, "yeah, so?"

So today I put on my helmet and went out for a bike ride. A short bike ride, only a few miles, but just enough to put me back on the bike-riding bandwagon. The next time I hike Saddle Rock I too want to be able to say, "yeah, so?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wahoo for not being Prego!!

First off I should say CONGRATULATIONS to the hundreds of friends I have who all happen to be pregnant now at the same time! I promise, I really am excited for you!!

With that said, I should also say that I am not. Sunday was a really hard day for me. But I have decided that it is a thing of the past. I quit being sad about not being prego. Blegh. I am turning over a new leaf. For every month I'm not pregnant I am going to treat myself to something fun. Tomorrow, for instance, I think I'll go and get a mani/pedi. Maybe next month will be a trip to Seattle to visit friends. I want to be able to look forward to something fun, even if it's not being pregnant. So if anyone has any ideas of a few months of fun things to do I would love to know what they are!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love Portland

So sorry for anyone I haven't contacted while I'm here, but last week my work asked if I would come down to help with an audit. Sure I said, if you want to buy me a plane ticket. They said great, I said great and here I am.

I'm just here for a few days working downtown. This allows me a chance to go to my all-time favorite side-walk burrito vendor "Honkin' Huge Burritos". I love this place. So much so that when living in the area I would make special trips downtown just to eat there. It's located in Pioneer Courthouse Square. I dragged my co-worker along with me and shared a honkin' huge. We sat in the square and watched a band rehearse for their 12:00 concert. Yep, I'm an 11:30 lunch kind of girl.

But the burrito is not why I love Portland. I love Portland for all the great people watching it affords. We saw this middle-aged woman who was perfectly comfortable wearing pounds of makeup, pounds of hairspray, and a Las Vegas skimpy casino outfit (you know the type; halter top, knee length black dress, showing lots of cleavage, lots of back and completed with a wide gold belt). A few feet away was a man looking as if he were backpacking his way across the greater Portland area. A few more feet was a couple of punk-rock teenagers. I don't give these descriptions to mock them. On the contrary, I love it. I love that no one, at least not noticeably, made fun of anyone but was content to enjoy the sunny afternoon listening to a cool band (no idea who it was).

Others sharing the square included young business professionals out for a spot of sun and food before going back to their windowless cubicles (aka me), older women catching lunch in between shopping experiences, young families, punky teenagers, who let's be honest, will probably spend the greater portion of their day there, and other miscellaneous crazies. I'm not saying you can't find such goings on in other cities but I dare say not many would be as peaceable and accepting as my fair Portland.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ye Olde Leavenworth

For those of you who have never lived in Washington, you might not know of a little Bavarian-style town in the alpine-esque mountains outside Seattle called Leavenworth. It is everything German. Even the McDonalds is done in the Bavarian style.

With Matt studying for the last three months and me out of town of late we have not had an official date for a while. Dinner out, yes, anything else no. So with stars starting to align I was super eager to get out of the house and out of town. Leavenworth is 20-30 minutes away and has a few miniature golf courses I was excited to try. Who knew that a town of maybe a couple thousand residents has two mini golf courses while metropolis Wenatchee has none - at least none I could google. So to Leavenworth we went.

Matt, I think, would have preferred go somewhere a little closer to home, but once we got into the village limits he was a fun date giggling and being entertained by all that is Leavenworth. All of a sudden everything was "Ye Olde Wells Fargo" or "Ye Olde Howard Johnson". We thought our little mini golf place was pretty cool with it's Bavarian theme but after our game (we tied) we walked towards town and found another mini golf place that was more like a real golf course without the long drives. It even had real, live goats jumping along the hillside. That one totally kicked trash over our puny, cheesy, imitation course. Between that, this cool sushi/thai restaurant we found and all the bakeries and sweet shops, I think we definitely have a reason to go back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Matt's Done

Matt's done, Matt's done!! Last Thursday he finished the bar exam. Now we just have to wait until October to get the results. Kind of lame but then again, when you write two and a half days worth of essays it's going to take a while to grade. In the mean time we are excited to not have him studying at night and on weekends. We're hoping to be able to get out and start exploring the beauty of the Wenatchee valley, take road trips and be more social. Wahoo!! Wahoo!!

I'll let you know how the results fare.

My trip to Spotsylvania County

Last week I had the great fortune of being able to go to Virginia to visit my brother's family. My sister-in-law Natalie is recovering from major surgery so I got to "play mom/ fun aunt". It was really fun because I almost never see the grand-babes over on that coast since they only get to come to the West for bi-annual family reunions. So what did I do?

I took the three youngest to Funland. They had two rules 1. No crying and 2. Stick together. I am happy to say that they did great, despite more Madalyn face planting and hurting her poor little nose. Here's Madalyn, Brenner and Caitrin posing for me during put put.
I also went to the 3D version of "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Here's me, Caitrin, Madalyn, Conner, Brenner and Parker posing in our ultra cool 3D glasses.
I Supervised fabulous bubble baths.

I spent tons of time in their pool. Which I just have to say thank heavens for pools in Virginia. There's nothing more refreshing on a hot muggy day than jumping in a just cool enough pool and having your body say "aaaaaaaah".

The last day before I left I took the oldest three, Caitrin, Conner and Parker to King's Dominion. Virginia's local amusement park. They were given the same rules, no crying and stick together. Parker decided to add in rule #3 - no dying. Very appropriate.
My two favorite memories of the day were 1. almost throwing up on poor Conner. We went on a Tuesday when there are no lines. This is great for seeing everything in the park and more but bad for my stomach. No good when I go from ride to ride with no opportunity in the middle to let my tum tum return to some sort of normalcy. The kids were really nice and didn't make fun of me at all. They seemed content to go on the Scooby Doo ride which their 3-year old brother goes on and pretty much call it a day. Super Champs!!

My other favorite memory of the day came on the ride home when I took everyone to Dairy Queen before having to drop Conner off at his Basketball Camp. We killed time by taking our ice cream cones to the van to finish watching a DVD. The car was just as hot as the outside and poor Caitrin's cone started falling over. I would have dumped the cone and bemoaned my fate but not Caitrin. As she was being banished to the outside she handed her cone to Conner with strict instructions not to eat it while she ate the top portion in her hands. Her face was covered in vanilla ice cream, not to mention her hands, shoes and legs which caught the droppings. One of the few times in my life when I really really wished I had a camera.

So that's it. The week before I spent a week visiting friends and family and working in Oregon and then I met Matt in Seattle and drove to Eastern Oregon to hang out with his family. Now I'm home and excited to get back to a normal sleep schedule. I'm getting old.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Funny thing happened on the train

Yesterday I took a bus from Wenatchee to Seattle and then a train from Seattle to Portland. On the train, I ended up sitting across from a couple from Australia. Actually he is from Oregon, but has been living in Australia for 35 years where he met and married his Australian wife. This is all inconsequential information, but I felt like I should be completely accurate. Anyway, they were a fabulous couple who made the train ride a lot more fun. They told me about their two children. One of which is dating a girl, Sarah, who is "lovely". They kept saying that over and over again as if they were trying to convince themselves of it. You could totally tell that although they admired their son for his commitment and loyalty to his girlfriend Sarah, who is a lovely girl, they were secretly hoping that he would end up with the neighbor girl and life long best friend, Purdy. Odd name, but you know, they're Australian. Foreigners always have odd names. The best part about it is that her last name is Skerry, pronounced scary. So yes, they have a daughter named Purdy Skerry. I guess her father is an eccentric genius who wanted to make sure that no one forgot his one and only daughter. Where was her mother, I asked, when the naming was done? After all, that's what mothers are for, to protect their babies from the random whims of their fathers. The couple said that although not as much as her husband, she is eccentric in her own right. So there you have it, poor Purdy is left with an odd name crushing on the neighbor boy who is dating Sarah, a lovely girl.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm soooo grateful

I am a grateful girl and this is why.

The power of prayer. The older I get the bigger fan I am. Nothing calms me down quicker or brings me more comfort and peace.

My fabulous husband. I'm not sure I believe in soul mates per se but I can't help but believe that there is no one better for me than him.

Really cheap power bills. See previous post. But let me just say $17!! Wahoo!

Getting to see my family and friends in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to be in Portland this week and Virginia the next. Matt is oh so sad to see me go but he'll be studying to take the bar at the end of the month anyway, so I'm not missing out on a lot of action here.

My new jobs. I love the flexibility they give me to work as much or as little as I want in a given week and for once be able to plan my work around my life and not the other way around.

My ward's playgroups. I love that I have been able to feel so integrated so much quicker than ever before because someone invited and I accepted.

The amazing families who have invite Matt and I over for dinner. I haven't really cooked a Sunday dinner since we got here. Speaking of which, we got invited over to different houses Friday and Saturday for dinner and we had another couple over for dinner on Sunday and Matt did so well playing with the kids and being super social. I was so proud of him!!!

The sure knowledge that we are supposed to be here and that the outpouring of love from our ward is the hand of God in action.

Feeling good about buying a house but not feeling rushed into it.

Learning about the beauty of putting blue cheese or Gorgonzola (doesn't really matter as long as it's got bite) on steak. It's revolutionized the way Matt and I think about grilling. Thank you 4th of July family!!

I could go on but I won't. Please be assured that I am doing well!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Panic Attacks

First, let me say that my mother is not to read this post.

Okay, so it's way late and I meant to be in bed an hour ago but while trying to doze off I had a panic attack and I had all these emotions going through my head that needed to come out before I'd be able to sleep. This is probably best left to my journal, but I'm hoping that by writing it for others to read something even more therapeutic might come of it. Sorry. Full disclosure - a virtue and a vice all wrapped into one.

I'm not prone to worrying. That is better left to Matt. I have designated him as the worrier of our family. But that said, do you ever fear your parent's death? I do. Not my dad. My dad, I am convinced, will live forever. My mother, on the other hand, has MS, 3 types of arthritis and spurs in her neck which will force her into traction every day for possibly the rest of her life. I have periodic panic attacks where I am convinced she will die within the year. I realize that it's because of panic attacks such as these my mother is reticent to tell us children anything of her current and new ailments. She's already been near death on many occasions that weren't publicized to the family until weeks or months after the fact. Something that has irritated us immensely.

Other than that though my mother is perfect in my eyes. She might not be so to others, but that's the beauty of mothers isn't it? What is perfect for one child would be unendurable for another. But my mother is perfect. She's brave, bold, crazy talented, visionary, funny, and humble. She's constantly learning and growing and striving to be the best mother and grandmother the world has ever seen. I love and adore her and simply can't imagine my life or the life of my future children without her. I read once that bringing out your worst fears into the open helps to see them for the irrational thoughts they are. I am hoping this is what this post will do to me.

What are your worst fears? Does anyone else have panic attacks?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Favorite

Okay, I have a new favorite thing about Wenatchee apart from all the free fruit I've been stockpiling. Matt and I have been using our air conditioning a lot these days because 1. it's wicked hot here, and 2. we can. I've never had air conditioning before. But after a couple of days Matt got really worried about how often it was on and we started having to compromise our usage. Today we got our bill - the moment of truth. I was a little nervous. I opened it to find a whopping $17 bill. $17!!! It's the most excited I've been in weeks!!! We had dinner at a friend's house tonight and they said that Wenatchee has the cheapest power in the NW, let's face it, probably in the world. Wahoo!! Wahoo!! So that's it. I was excited and I wanted to share the good news!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cherry Pie #2

Okay, someone seemed interested in either my cherry pie or seeing a picture of me. Not a great picture of either, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. So here's me AND my pie. I'm happy to say that although it's not as pretty as the picture I found on the internet, it was very good. Fresh pie cherries make for a fool-proof pie. Wahoo!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Buying Houses . . . Maybe (2)

So just talking about buying a house makes me super nervous. I don't understand how people get excited about this. It just seems like such a life altering decision. Did any of you feel like you were signing away your life not to mention the lives of any unborn children you may ever have? If you did, how did you get over it? And how did you decide on which house you eventually bought? Really, I'm frought with worry about this and I don't worry about much. Any words of wisdom and experience would be super helpful and appreciated.

Buying Houses . . .Maybe

Mother - this is for you. I think we are ready to begin looking for a house to buy. At least we're meeting with bankers on Thursday to look at our loan options. After a series of very unfortunate experiences with property management companies Matthew is DONE, in every sense of the word, with renting. So he is eager to move out and into our own place as soon as our lease ends. So we are keeping our eyes open for cute houses at even cuter prices. Hopefully the Lord says yes this time. Last time we thought we were ready He said no. Wish us luck.

We have Friends

Or at least people who invite us over to their houses for dinner. It's been crazy. We've been here for five weeks and have been over to three families' houses for dinner with another invitation for this Friday's 4th celebration. I love it, but what's even greater is that Matt keeps talking about how we need to reciprocate and have them over. I've never seen him so social. In fact he's the one who's gotten to be friends with half the families to get us invited in the first place.

Both of us are simply flabbergasted at the response we've had in this ward. It reminds me of moving back to Oregon. I was still single and, honestly, hadn't dated much since turning 16. But for some reason I started getting asked out right and left. I was averaging a date a week. CRAZY!!! My roommate Hilary kept remarking about how popular I was and I had to keep telling her that this was so very abnormal. I had never got this much dating attention from members of the opposite sex. I was always the "friend" never the "love interest". I ended up having a lot of fun that year especially since it culminated in my meeting the LOVE OF MY LIFE!!

I feel the same way now. It's been fun and kind of spooky (is that the right word?) at the same time. Hopefully it means the transition will continue to go as smoothly as it's already gone. We are so blessed. Wenatchee is really the place we need to be.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Matthew has a Birthday


Matt to you, Matthew to me recently had a birthday. Something I always love because I don't feel as old as when we're only a year apart rather than 2. Since I know my mother and mother-in-law read this I wanted to share some pictures with you so that my mother sees how cool her birthday table runner is and my mother-in-law will see that we actually celebrated. You might be wondering about Matthew's dessert - I promise it was his choice - Funfetti cupcakes. I was thinking cheesecake or black forrest cake or really anything fancier than funfetti cupcakes but Matthew insisted. So Funfetti it is. Which honestly is pretty fun to say.


We were asked to speak AND he got a calling (I didn't, heh heh) - Sunday School teacher to the 12/13 year-olds all on his birthday. We even got asked over to dinner. All the while Matthew insisting that no one know about his special day. So I promise I would have done more to celebrate but Matthew wouldn't have let me. So birthday boy gets what birthday boy wants. Instead I have a few pictures of Matt LOVING his Funfetti!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ice Cream Man

So we have an ice cream truck that comes through our neighborhood every afternoon. I smile every time I hear the music rolling down the street. It reminds me of our ice cream truck in Virginia that sold both over-priced ice cream and garbage-pail kids. Somehow I always seemed to have money for the latter.

I've never actually seen Wenatchee's ice cream truck - not until today that is. When I heard it coming I sauntered over to the window. But by sauntering I missed my opportunity. This was no casual ice cream truck. Thankfully we live on a corner and the truck was turning to pass our house yet again. So I raced over to the other window to see this truck going at least 50 miles an hour (I think we're in a 25 miles an hour zone). Okay, so it might not have been going that fast, but it was definitely booking it down the street. Fast enough that the poor neighborhood children would hear the ice-cream desire-inducing music only to run outside to eat the truck's dust. Sad. Very sad.

Okay, can I confess something? This is all true but I thought of that last sentence and thought it was "so clever" that I had to write an entire post around it. That might be even more sad.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Christopher House

Matt and I were assigned to give talks in church yesterday. The typical, you're new and everyone needs to get to know you, talk. It worked. Those talks rocketed us into the ward. Everyone knows us now and treats us as though we've been in the ward for years.

One woman, Janine, who is investigating the church, came up to me after church and invited me over for lunch. I've never met this woman, but she treated me as though we were good friends who needed a chance to catch up. She lives at the Christopher House, which incidentally enough is less than a block away from our apartment. Now the Christopher House, as it's been explained to me is Wenatchee's mental/meth-addict hospital. The woman who told me about it said I should move and that it's a scary place. I couldn't say no to this sweet woman who's inviting me over for lunch, but from the moment I said yes to the moment I walked across the street I was nervous.

Nervous. Why was I nervous? Fear of the unknown I guess. I chalk most of my anxiety up to pride. Thinking I am better than the people who reside in the oh so scary Christopher House. We're all children of God right? He loves us all the same right? And didn't I just give a talk yesterday about the 13th Article of Faith and how I believe in being benevolent and doing good to all men? I wasn't sure what to expect from this new friendship but I kept hearing my father's voice in my mind telling me that everyone needs love, and that's how God would want me treating His children.

So with some trepidation, and praying the whole way, I walked over and met Janine and everyone else she introduced me to (she's quite the social butterfly) for lunch. I didn't end up having lunch, mainly because I thought it was free and didn't bring my wallet. But that's okay, it didn't look that appetizing anyway.

Janine and her fiance James definitely have their problems and their checkered pasts. And the other inmates have their very apparent physical and mental issues, but my prayer was answered - that I would see this woman and the other residents as God sees them and not the way I would normally see them. It makes me wonder about my own issues that are just as real as those residents of the Christopher House but maybe don't show as readily. I may look normal but I have just as much need of saving as any of them do. I guess that's the miraculous thing about the atonement. Hmm . . . I'll have to think more about that . . . This is all written fairly stream of consciousness, can you tell?

But anyway, I wasn't remotely in my comfort zone, but, thankfully, I also wasn't a complete weirdo either. I don't think Janine and I will ever be BFF's but at least I was able to spend 30 minutes with a woman in very different circumstances than my own without hating myself afterwards for being so condescending. Does that make sense? I guess it doesn't need to as long as it makes sense to me. Baby steps Sara, baby steps into being a better human being.

I hope you still love me after my confession.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Lineman Rodeo

I love small towns. Especially the unique activities that occur in small towns. Case and point. The Lineman Rodeo.

As you can see, the Lineman Rodeo is where utility men from ALL around the Pacific Northwest compete in various utility-pole activities (is that the right terminology? Doesn't matter). My favorite being the Hurt Man contest in which a lineman (maybe that's what I should be calling them) climbs a mock telephone pole and safely gets a "hurt" man/mannequin off the pole.

I was walking along this one path that follows the Columbia river running through town and passed this grouping of mock telephone poles with mannequins hanging limply from the tops. Actually it took me a solid minute to figure out that they were mannequins. At first I thought these men were just taking a break from their telephone pole duties. Once I figured out what was going on, I had to come back to see the rodeo go down. Unfortunately I was working on a talk for church tomorrow for most of the morning so by the time I got to the rodeo it was just ending. Fortunately, one last lineman had to take his turn competing so I got a chance to take a picture of him in action.

Do these types of random events happen where you live? Or is this a Wenatchee special?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pie Cherries

Today I went and picked cherries. A woman at church on Sunday announced that she had pie cherries ready to be picked by anyone who was interested. So at mommy and me on Wednesday (yes I go to a playgroup even though I don't have children) I asked around and found someone who would be willing to let me tag along with them. I now have enough cherries for two or three pies. I'm so excited. While picking, the cherry woman came out to talk to us. She and the woman letting me tag along talked about their various fruit trees and the upcoming harvest!! I love this town. Maybe I'll get free fruit all summer long and bake all sorts of fun new things. Maybe I'll get fat in the process!! You never know.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sara gets creative


This past weekend I was inspired to do a project. Nothing huge, but something to keep me occupied while Matt studies all Saturday. I went to the fabric store to pick out a pattern but once I got it home I decided I wanted to be more creative. So I put together a few designs, Matt picked his favorite one and I got to work.

Matt was a good sport having to deal with fabric, scissors, et al for the weekend while I worked away. I was so proud of myself. Can you tell? So far I have made a foot warmer, a quilt top, and this bag. I have lots of time on my hands.