Monday, April 20, 2009

Just The Peace I Was Looking For

A little over a month ago my co-health educator and office roommate found a new job. Because of the budget crisis, my work decided not to hire anyone to replace her. So I absorbed her job duties, so to speak. I’m like a two for one. First of all let me say how grateful I am that I have the job that I do. I love it. And I’m very grateful that I still have the job that I have. But this past week I was pushed to my limit…stress limit that is.

With this job I have been given the opportunity to do a lot different tasks or job duties. One of these job duties is to work with grants. I have never worked with grants. I took a class in college that was suppose to have section dedicated to working with grants, but lucky for me (or so I thought at the time) my teacher opted not to do that part of the project. So now I’m learning how to apply, maintain, and track a specific grant that I now happen to be over and have to use all of the money we have been awarded. I have high amounts of stress. I still have a lot of money to spend in a very short period of time (I wish that was the problem in my personal life). I’m also in a charge of a monthly newsletter. Months have never came and gone so quickly. I’m teaching health promotion classes in the community, and continuing to add new aspects to the volunteer program that I am over. May not seem like a lot, but it is. My outlook calendar and day planner are bursting at the seams!

The gym has never been so useful. I can feel my stress melting away with each hour I’m there. I love it. But I needed more.

Friday was our ward temple night. I was so excited that our schedules were open and we could go with them (going with just the two of us is nice, but sometimes it’s nice to go with other people you know too). Getting to the temple is always a struggle for us. There’s always something that aggravates me. This time was no different.

I made it home in plenty of time to change and freshen up. When I walked in the door Gordon asked me if I knew where my temple recommend was. I told him in my temple bag. He said nope. Then I said in my wallet. I looked; it wasn’t there. They were lost together. We searched all through the house, inside suit coats/pants, coats, dress pockets, drawers…everywhere. We started thinking about where we had them last. Then we remembered…Gordon checked my car and there they were: in the glove box. We had gone to a wedding and left them in the glove box for safe keeping. Now I was in rush mode. Lucky for us the temple is about 5 minutes away. Once we were inside we had to wait a little while in the chapel for our session to start. I am so grateful that I had that time to meditate. I was able to say a personal prayer and really think about the work I was performing. I have had many prayers answered before, but none as strongly as this one. I got so much out of this temple visit than I ever have before. I had to keep myself from bawling before, during, and after my session (I hate crying in front of people. I cry loudly and I make ridiculous faces…not pretty). I had some time to myself in the celestial room. I felt the spirit so strongly. I felt the peace that I have needed.

I have a stronger testimony of the temple and the work that is performed there. Words cannot describe the feelings I had that night. I only know that it was what I needed, it solidified my testimony, and I’m so grateful that I am worthy and can go there as often as I want and need.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Gordon has a deep obsession for frogs and turtles. He has cousins that live out west and they have a pond in their backyard that has frogs living in it. Every time he sees them he tells them how lucky they are to have frogs living in their backyard, asks them if they caught any frogs lately, then tells them that he’s going to come over when it’s a nice day and go frog hunting. Whenever we’ve been there during the spring/summer months he does just that. So when my nephew told Gordon that he has two ponds behind his new house Gordon asked him if there were frogs living in them, and then he said that he would be out there on the next nice day to catch them. Lucky for him Sunday was the perfect frog catching day.

Now Gordon takes frog catching very serious. As we were gathering up our stuff to go over to my sister’s, I noticed that Gordon was taking a bit longer than usual. Then I noticed all the stuff he put into the car: his old Teva sandals, old skate shoes, old towel, and one large cardboard box. I asked him what all the stuff was for. He said to catch frogs. I couldn’t help but smile.

His frog catching was a success. He and Skyler came home with four little frogs. They were adorable. Gordon made sure that they were comfortable in their new and temporary habitat—the cardboard box. Skyler had found a bowl to put some warm water in and they had brought some weeds to put in the box from their natural habitat. Of course because Gordon has so much ‘love’ for this species, they were released back into the wild right after dinner. If he could have been positive that none of them would die, he would have brought them home. He’s mentioned before that he wants a frog…and a turtle…and a mini goat…Can we say Hardcastle petting zoo?!

Easter Fiesta

I don’t cook. I can honestly say that weeks can go by and my oven will not have been turned on. However, I can cook. I cooked a very yummy dinner for my in-law family when we first moved into our house. I’ve also had my dad over for dinner. And now I can add some friends to my dinner list. For Easter we decided to have some of our best friends over for some homemade, authentic Mexican food. I cooked almost everything from scratch (not the corn tortillas, that was more work than I wanted to get into). Main course: Green salsa chicken enchiladas topped with Mexican cheese. Sides included: red salsa, refried black beans, and Spanish rice. I can say this because I was told by everyone that ate, that it was delicious! Marc even said that now he believes me that I'm Mexican and not Asian.
After dinner we got into the Easter spirit and dyed some Easter eggs. Dying the eggs wouldn't have been as fun if Shelli didn't bring her cute little nephews over. They were amazed at all the colors we could make the eggs, and all the decorations you could put on your egg before and after they were dyed. We colored on them with crayons, we made different kind of sports balls out of them, and glued sand designs on them. Pretty sweet!
After dying three dozen eggs we worked up an appetite and had some delicious and adorable bunny cake for dessert. Katherine is so creative isn't she?
I know I've said this before, but I am so grateful we have such amazing friends. We've had a lot of great times with them and we plan on having many more.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feels Like Home

With a lot of help from my creative mom, serving sister, and perfectionist husband our upstairs living areas are painted! It took only a few weeks, not working everyday on the paint project, to finish. Three Saturdays, one very long night (never paint on a weekday night after 6pm unless you are ready to stay up way past your bedtime), and some afternoons where Gordon gave up 2nd work (sorry Justin) to paint and we are finished. I love the colors we chose. I also love not living in an all white walled house! Even Gordon was surprised how the two-toned walls, and added colored walls made the inside of our house look totally different, and much warmer. The basement still needs a paint job but that will have to wait for some rainy spring and summer days. Now that it’s nice outside I’ve got a green thumb.

Adding a little color with a little tree and sage green pot
I can't wait to have pots and flowers growing right outside our window

Our yard will take much more work and time than the inside of our house. Gordon has worked much harder and spent much more time on the yard than I have. He was sick all last week but because of his hard work ethic he couldn’t just relax when he was home from work, he had to trim back bushes and finish fencing off our yard. He even found some extra time to hang up a cute wire basket I bought to put under our bedroom window (I LOVE THIS by the way—I can’t wait to plant pots and put them inside it). I even attempted to help him with one of the yard projects, but I quickly found out I don’t love to weed. So I’ll be the flower bed maintenance worker. And he’s ok with that.

We still love owning our own home. The little projects that seem never ending are fun to do (but I’m sure we will get sick of them someday). Slowing but surely our house is feeling like our home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

She Could Just Save Your Life

A while back Gordon was helping his Dad clean out their garage. Cleaning out areas like garages always make for interesting discoveries. While cleaning Gordon found a box full of ‘fat girl’ blow-up dolls. Obviously he was a bit shocked and surprised to find this in his parents garage. He showed his Dad his discovery. You would think he would be as surprised at Gordon, but he looked at them and said “Oh, those are Matt’s” and continued cleaning. So of course Gordon inquired Matt asking him “Why do you have these?” Matt told him he got the box at a previous job he was working at. A pallet full of these beauties was delivered to his work by mistake, so of course each one of the workers took a box home to enjoy. Well, being the funny man Gordon is, he asked if he could have one.

I discovered Two Ton Tina shortly after that. She was “hiding” under the passenger seat of my car. I was vacuuming under the seat and to my surprise and shock I pulled out a box with a fat girl blow-up doll. I laughed very hard. Then I got a bit curious to how it got there. My first thought was that she was a gift given to Gordon from one of his friends before we were married…bachelor party thing (although Gordon didn’t have a bachelor party I thought maybe he lied to me and he had an out of control one!) When I asked him about the doll I heard the garage cleaning story. I then asked what his plans were with his doll. This is where my hilarious creative husband tells me he wants to use her as a floatation devise at Bear Lake. I immediately loved the idea. I could picture the entire scenario…people staring at Gordon while he inflated her, then straight faced he would walk to the lake holding Two Ton Tina, then calmly resting himself on her as he sunbathed in the lake. All the while, my family and I are cracking up! It’s totally Gordon!

Well my family got to meet Tina a bit earlier than planned. While my Mom was helping us paint we were talking about Bear Lake. I then remembered Tina. I told Gordon to show my Mom the new floatie he got for Bear Lake. He seemed a bit standoffish at first, so I went downstairs and pulled her off the shelf (she was not hidden…she was on one of the shelves in the laundry room). As my Mom’s eyes met the box s he began laughing so hard she was crying. She too loved the idea.

My sister (Tanna) and nephew (Skyler) met Tina a few weeks ago. They stayed with us for few days while they were waiting to close on their house. I wanted to let them in our joke. Instead of just showing them the box, Gordon decided to blow her up (per Skyler’s request…she’s not naked or anything so it wasn’t inappropriate). From there Gordon and Skyler played “Hide the blow up doll” throughout the house. Skyler hid her in our closet; Gordon hid her in the guest bathroom’s shower they were using in the basement, etc. Here is why I am telling the history behind Tina…

During my sister and Skyler’s stay, I was having my friends over to meet another friend’s internet boyfriend. Shelli wanted to tour the house again (after the new additions like paint and d├ęcor, she wanted another tour) and went into the guest bathroom downstairs. For some reason she peeked in the shower and was startled thinking someone was in there! After we laughed, she asked why the devil we have a blow-up doll. I told her the story. So Tina then became another guest of the evening. She was just one of the girls. So much that she ended up being in our pictures.

Lower left corner...
and there's Tina

And that is why I am sharing this story. I didn’t look too closely at a picture I posted and to my surprise she was lurking in the corner. My blog is pretty much ‘G’ rated, so it was to my extended families (and friends) surprise to see her in my pics. After a few comments from them I decided I had some explaining to do. I don’t want anyone to think we’re some freaks or something! Who knows—she could just save our lives while were up at Bear Lake.