October 9, 2011

fall colors

I went home over conference weekend and spent the weekend with Brandon, Marie, & the kids.  It was fun!  On Saturday we went on a drive over Thousand Lake Mountain to Deep Creek.  It was beautiful!  The fall colors were so vibrant!  We had a picnic by the lake but it was cold and it started raining.  The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out and watching General Conference.  Thanks guys for a fun weekend!

April 14, 2011

old stuff

Last time I was home I went down to the Ranch and wandered around with my camera.  As I was walking around the old granery, following fence lines, and wandering through the orchard I was noticing all the old stuff sitting around.  History, stories, or as my dad would say...junk and work that needs to be done!  I love it all - all the old stuff... nostalgia... junk.  It makes me wonder what stories they would tell if they could or what memories they hold for others... 

April 12, 2011

a night with the Queen & King

We had a magical night with the Queen & King... of country music!

I went to the Reba & George concert the other night!  IT. WAS. AWESOME!  Mom called about a week before to tell me that she and Dad were going to come and visit me for the weekend.  After I got off the phone with her I heard an advertisement on the radio for the concert.  I called her back and convinced her that we needed to go.  Since it was kind of a last minute (week prior) decision to go, our seats were clear up in the upper bowl at the ESA.  They actually weren't too bad.  LeeAnn Womack opened for them and then Reba performed with a guest appearance from Melissa Peterman (aka Barbara Jean for you fans of the TV show Reba) - hilarious! - and then George Strait performed last.  It was 4 hours of bliss!  I loved it!  When we left it was pouring rain so by the time we got back to the car we were totally soaked and freezing.  But, that didn't dampen the fun we had!

I had it chopped off!

I finally did it!  I had Ruby chop my hair off!  My hair hasn't been this short since I was about 6 or 7 and Mom and Maridee gave us girls all a sailor bob. It's so weird to see myself in the mirror but I'm getting used to it.  Change is always good and I was way past time.  Plus, think of all the shampoo and conditioner I'm going to save on! ha ha ha! :)

Hawaii Bound - Again!

 It's official! I bought my ticket for Hawaii and I am jetting off for a week of sun, sand, and surf! We are spending the 4days/3nights in Maui and then another 4days/3nights in Kauai - all compliments of Marriott Vacation Club! Love the perks and benefits of my job!

Life's Little Instruction Book

I’m copying this post from my friend Maureen because I liked it and it sums up pretty well how I feel some days.

If you asked me about 12-15 years ago where I thought my life would be when I was in my 30’s I most likely would have replied married with a couple of kids. Definitely not single with no option of having children of my own. I have learned a lot being single and this article gives some insight to being a single woman in a world where the focus is on being married and having a family. It also gives some good advice on teaching young women about life and the real possibility that life doesn’t always work out like you want/dream.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE my life and being single, but we all have our days when being single just plain sucks!

Life's Little Instruction Book for Single Women
by Erin Ann McBride (Meridian Magazine)

Growing up I was taught all sorts of lessons about the real world- assuming that the real world was a place where I would grow up to get married and have children. But no one ever taught me any lessons about what would happen if the ideal real world didn't pan out for me. No one ever prepared me for a world where I might not ever get married, and instead might find myself single and living alone for the rest of my life. In other words, in spite of a lot of preparation for the future, I woke up one day and found myself woefully unprepared for the future I am living.

I remember little life lessons handed down from the women above me that included things like, “Someday when you have a husband you'll ...” or “When you are a mom you will understand.” Or one of my favorites, “When you get married your priorities will change.” No one ever handed out advice that included, “When you are in your thirties and all alone, you'll need to be prepared to...”
Multiple times in my life I have woken up to these realizations, but never more so than when I am looking at my dishes. Why my dishes? Well, no one ever threw me a bridal shower. No one ever gave me all of those start up items to begin my adult life. I never got a nice set of matching dishes or towels, or pots and pans, or new linens. If I have it, I had to earn it. It is when I am looking at my mismatched set of dishes compiled from odds and ends left by roommates over the years, that I realize no one ever prepared me for what happens when Plan A (marriage and babies) doesn't pan out.

But then who was going to teach me all of those lessons? I can't think of one role model in my life that could have prepared me for my real life. My mother got married at age 19. She's never lived alone, nor had roommates. She's never been the sole breadwinner for the family. She's never had to make all of the financial decisions alone. I look back at my young women advisers, and I can't recall any single women among them. One of them had a job that I can recall, but only a part-time one. In other words, it isn't a surprise to me how completely inept I feel sometimes at how to be an adult, professional, single woman.

I am not surprised at the lack of role models in this area. But it does make me sad. I know there are fabulous great women just like me out there. I wish they were recognized more for how much they have accomplished, rather than always described as “she's accomplished because she never got married.” I think that does an injustice to all women, single or married. Why can't a woman be accomplished just because she chose to be? Why does her marital status matter? But I digress...
The list of things I have never learned could fill a book. The things I was never encouraged to learn to prepare for a life alone could fill five more books. And so I thought about it. What would I like to pass on to young women to prepare them for the future where things may not turn out to be all white lacy veils and bouquets of flowers?

Erin's Little List of Instructions on How to Live a Single Woman's Life

“I'll get married someday and then I'll worry about retirement.” is NOT a financial plan. Get a real financial adviser- an unbiased one. Preferably not a member of your family. Why? Because people who love you and want to see you get married someday, might let “someday” influence your financial planning. An unbiased expert will help you prepare the right way.

Not getting the full education you want because it would just be a waste of time and money “when you get married and settle down and have children,” and then never use your degree- will be the biggest regret of your life.

Don't settle for “this will be a better job for me” because you can use those skills when you have kids, is not a career plan. Look into the future ten years and ask yourself do you want to be in that job still if you never have children? Instead, ask yourself “is this the job that will make me happy if Plan A doesn't work out? Will it financially support me and be mentally stimulating?”

Explore your passions! Don't wait for someone else to come along to do them with you! Go find what you love and enjoy it fully.

Decorate the way you like it and the way you want it. There is no rule that says you have to do it the way your mom/roommate/sister/brother/ex-spouse liked it. Do it your way! (My way involves calendars in every room. None of them on the right month, and none of them accurate.)

I'd throw in my own little rule here about not shutting the bathroom door on principle, but it would embarrass my mother.

Buy food storage that you will eat! I think not stocking up on food storage is one of the biggest mistakes singles make.

If you don't live close to your own family, find a child to love in the community or in your ward. Having a child in your life is having a touchstone in your life to keep things real. It helps you remember that the world is not all about you, money, and whatever your job is making you do.

Travel! See the world! Have fun!

Buy good furniture. Say goodbye to Craigslist and invest in something you are proud to call your own. Make it something worth paying a moving company for!

Send out Christmas cards. You don't have to have a cute little family card to send out cards.

Insist on being treated like an equal. Don't let people treat you like you don't matter because you aren't married.

Make something of yourself. Don't ever hold yourself back from being great because of what others might think. Be the next girl's role model.

Don't be afraid to be yourself. There is an awful tendency to feel like we have to act or be a certain way in order to attract a man. Who wants to attract a man by being someone else? Attract a man by being yourself!

Buy a toolbox and learn how to use it. Don't spend your whole life being helpless and depending on others to take care of you. Learn how to take care of yourself!

Never, ever make a major life decision that you think will help you get a guy. This includes quitting a job, not getting an education, moving (cross town or cross country), buying a car (because you think he would like it), or spending more than $200 on anything (plane tickets excluded). Do what is best for you! Not what is best for you to hopefully, possibly catch him.

Find role models at work, at church, and in your personal life. Especially ones that have been where you are now. Moms and sisters are great, but if they haven't ever been in their mid-thirties, single, and financially independent, their advice and viewpoint will be limited. Seek out people who have been there and understand your challenges.

Have a guy best friend who will tell you the truth.

Never, ever kiss your guy best friend unless he kisses you first. And don't even think about kissing him otherwise.

Have a healthy relationship with food.

Own one great pair of jeans that you look fabulous in. Own one great dress that you know turns heads when you walk into a room.

Never let yourself become a manhater.

Learn to cook for one. And don't eat Lean Cuisines and cereal for the rest of your life.

Never be afraid to do it yourself. It doesn't matter what IT is. Go do whatever IT is you have always wanted to do.

Remember that all the answers you really need come when you are on your knees. Don't be afraid to ask the One person who knows exactly how you feel.

March 23, 2011

all together again

Ryan came to visit a couple weeks ago.  It was fun to have him here and spend time together.  I picked him up on Tuesday at the airport and headed down to Wayne County for a couple days and to see all the family down there.  On Friday we loaded up again and headed to Logan to see the other side of the family and to celebrate grandpa's 90th birthday.  It was a fun and busy week!


my new hobby

I decided to try a new hobby this year. I bought me a new laptop for Christmas and decided to get Photoshop and play around with some of my photos. I signed up for an online Photoshop/textures class and I am addicted now! Here are some of the photos that I've messed around with. I'm still learning so hopefully I will keep getting better and learn more tricks!
LOVE it!






June 21, 2010

Ryan's quick visit - June 7-9

Ryan came to visit for a couple of days. It was a lot of fun. We picked him up at the airport Monday morning and drove to Logan to visit Grandpa Nelson and whoever else could drop by. We visited there for most of the afternoon and then headed back down to the Fallows' for a BBQ and visit. Brandon, Marie, the kiddies, and Grandma Jensen all came up Monday night too so I had a houseful! It was so much fun!...and noisy! i LOVED it! On Tuesday I had my friend Natalie come and do family photos and then we all just hung out and played for the rest of the day. We played on all the jungle gyms, went swimming, watched movies, and chatted. That night we had another BBQ and then Brandon, Marie, the kiddies, and Grandma had to go home. The next day, Wednesday, Ryan went to visit with Deanna and then we took him back to the airport. It was a lot of fun to be together and to spend time hanging. y'all come back now y'hear?! :)