Tuesday, December 2, 2008

8 Things of 8

Okay, so my sister-in-law Janelle tagged me and I usually don't do these because I am pretty bad at posting things on this blog, but I am trying to do better. So, in an effort to do so here it goes:

8 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Greys Anatomy
2. Private Practice
3. Brothers & Sisters
4. Lipstick Jungle
5. CNN-yeah I know, I am wierd ...but I like to know what is going on around the world.
6. Oprah
7. Smallville
8. Friends

8 Favorite Movies:
1. Father of the Bride
2. Sleepless in Seattle
3. Made of Honor
4. Pursuit of Happiness
5. You've Got Mail
6. The Parent Trap (original)
7. Return to Me
8. One Fine Day

8 Quirks About Me:
1. Can't go to bed if bed hasn't been made all day-I have to make it first
2. Bite my fingernails when I am anxious or stressed
3. I have to have things cleaned up inorder to sit down and relax
4. I will not use milk that is past the expiration date ( my mother put this fear in me)
5. I pull cooked chicken apart to double check that it's done ( samonella once will make you do this)
6. I check our checking account like 5 times daily ( a bad case of freud will make you paranoid like this)
7. I grind my teeth in my sleep
8. I have to have a straw to drink out of a can

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Went to work
2. Interviewed students for a student assistentship
3. Hired a student for a student assistentship
4. Repaired our TV (with Robert's help)
5. Made dinner
6. Did the dinner dishes
7. Made invitations to the ward Christmas party
8. Read a book

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Moving from Terre Haute!!!!!!!
2. Christmas with Robert
3. Robert's parents visiting
4. Using my new sewing machine
5. Going to Nashville TN with Robert and his parents at the end of the month
6. Giving Robert his Christmas gifts
7. Robert finishing his thesis
8. Robert getting accepted into a Ph.D. program

8 Things on My Wish List:
1. Sewing machine ( got it-thanks to my wonderful in-laws)
2. New work out clothes
3. a Ph.D. program for Robert
*That's all I really want....I am not good at making wish lists...never have been*

8 People I Tag:
1. Heidi
2. Becca
3. Wendy
4. Kristy
5. Heather P.
* I think those are the only people besides my sister-in-law Janelle who might read my blog*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Young Women's Conference-"Arise and Shine Forth"

So, a couple of weeks ago our Stake had what is called Stake Young Women's Conference. It's like a mini youth conference, but only for young women. It's not a standard activity done in the young women's program, but the Bloomington IN Stake has done it for years and it's a much loved activity among the young women. When I was called into the Stake Young Women's Presidency they handed over this activity to me to plan and take charge of. I guess the President and each counselor take turns planning and leading certian activities and the counselor I replaced was in charge of YW conference, so by default I got this activity. I have to say that for several months this conference was source of serious stress for me, but the actual weekend went very well and the girls I think had a great time. We did this year in Terre Haute since I was in charge. Typically, it's done at the Stake Ctr., but I think it was a nice change for some of us who always travel the hour+ to get to the Stake Ctr. (And it helped me greatly to have it locally with having to work full time.) The girls traveled in on Friday night and we had a brown bag fashion show and then we housed the girls friday night at members' homes here in Terre Haute and they came back saturday morning for a fun day filled with a keynote speaker, workshops, and a service project. The theme was "Arise and Shine Forth". The keynote speakers and workshops were tailored to fit with that theme and then the girls did a service project where they made Christmas Ornaments for Hospice patients of the Wabash Valley(Terre Haute). The weekend was a lot of fun and we have great girls in this stake that truly know how to "Arise and Shine Forth"! Below are some fun pictures from the weekend.

With the brown bag fashion show we took brown paper sack from Krogers and filled them with misc. things like garbage sacks, ribbon, scrap fabric, duct tape, beads, tissue paper, and any other fun things I could fine at the dollar store and then we labeled the bags after stores like Gap, Buckle, Old Navy, etc.... Then we divided the girls up into teams of 2 or 3 . We gave them like 20 minutes to dress one girl up and design her outfit and then the others were in charge of announcing her as she walked down the runway. This group here won first place...they were so funny! The group had the store Buckle and they decided that their model would go after a "hobo" look...she even had a "hobo purse" (white garbage bag). The girls had a great time with the activity.

These two girls just barely came into Young Women's. The conference was the first YW activity they had taken part in. They were so excited to be there.....it was nice to see that excitement!

The girls had a great time coloring the wooden ornaments for the Hospice patients...and they did a great job....the ornaments turned out so cute!

Here I am with some of our leaders throughout the stake. We have awesome leaders and women in our stake that are amazing examples to the young women and me!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Church Recap

Robert comes home from Louisville in a couple of hours and I thought because he missed church today that I would post a recap for him and anyone else who reads my blog. We had a young man from Terre Haute who leaves for his mission on Wednesday speak about missionary work. It was a great talk and he will make a fine missionary. During the sacrament meeting as a congregation we sang "Called to Serve". As I was standing up singing this hymn I found myself taken back in time. It felt like the summer of 2002 all over again and I was in the MTC surrounded by thousands of missionaries singing this same hymn. Whenever I hear or sing this hymn my mind seems to wonder back to that time period. I think it's because I remember the feeling that overcame me as a missionary singing this hymn in the MTC. I don't know the right word to describe the feeling, it was like the spirit touched you as you sang this hymn and you knew there was no better work you could be doing. I love how I get that feeling everytime I hear or sing "Called to Serve". I went to Relief Society today ( I go to Young Women's twice a month to visit usually....if I go more than that I think I make the YW's president nervous by having a member of the Stake YW's presidency there) and heard a great lesson on trials. It's lesson 19 out of the manual. The teacher asked us "why does God give us trials"? I love the quote in the manual for this answer..."God gives us trials so that we may go to the Mount of Zion and be exalted". I know in the moments when I have my trials I don't think about being exulted but how grateful that I am for my trials when I actually stop and think about them. I owe most of who I am to my trials...they have shaped who I am for the better. I love being a member of the church!

Friday, October 17, 2008


I am missing my husband right now, so I thought I would blog about him and the great companionship I have in my life because of him. Robert is in Louisville, KY right now at a conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is presenting some research that he and one of his professor are currently working on. He left yesterday and will be back Sunday. I know it's only been 24 hours since he has been gone, but it feels more like weeks if you ask me. It's still amazing to me how I have been married for almost one year and I already know that my life will never be the same because of this man. I was single for a long time and it some ways became very accustomed to that lifestyle. I never thought I would be so addicted and so attached to the companionship in such a short amount of time. Life is so much better with companionship...it's like peanut butter....it's just better with the jam! I am so glad that Robert is my "jam". I love him so much and my life has become greatly enriched from the moment he stepped into it. Thank you Robert for the loving companionship that you give me daily...my life has forever changed for the better because of it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Make New Friends But Keep the Old

Let me start this off by saying that I have met some great people since moving here to Terre Haute . Though every once in awhile (okay, I'll be honest, it's more like daily) I yearn to talk to my old friends that I either left behind in Utah or knew from some other place in life. Tonight I had the chance to talk to a great friend who when I got off the phone with her, I found myself with tears in my eyes wishing there wasn't 1400+ miles difference between us. This friend is the type friend that by her mere presence around you somehow makes you a better person. I consider myself lucky....these types of friends are rare and precious and I have a few in my life. How blessed am I! I I think at times in my life I took for granted my great friendships. Now, for those of you who have heard me complain about moving (just typing that makes me cringe!) know that I would rather have a root canal performed than move, but when I think about this last move I have realized that I have learned some valuable lessons from moving...one of such is you make new friends, but you ALWAYS keep the old ones! I can remember my mom telling me this as a kid when we would move towns, and I don't think I realized then how true that statement is! There is just something about that old friend........

*Old friends are like that favorite song that you know every word to and everytime it comes on the radio you get a smile on your face and you start singing and it somehow enegizes you!
*Old friends are like that favorite sweatshirt-everytime you pull it on...the comfort and warmth is there.
*Old friends are like your pillow, you can lay head on it and rest your eyes and your body istantly relaxes.
*Old friends are like your journal...they know the thoughts of your heart.

So life may get busy, overwhelming at times, and location of residence may change, which might bring along some new friends, but I have never nor will I ever forget my old friends. It is you my old friends who have helped me be in some way who I am today. " It has been said that some people come and go out of our lives, but some leave foot prints on our hearts and we will never be the same!" Thank you my old friends for all of the foot prints that you have left and continue to leave on my heart.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Updates

So life is plugging along. Lauren and I are both overwhelmed at times. I am still working on my thesis, I am going to defend it at the end of the month. I am also working on applications, which involves studying for the GRE. I am also working on another research project, which is slowly moving along. Teaching takes up a lot of time too, preparing lectures is what takes most of the time. I am also taking two classes, which I ignore most of the time.
Lauren on the other hand is working hard at her job which keeps her super busy. She gets to clean up messes that other people make. She is also working hard preparing a young women's conference, it is something that our stake does. She has some really great plans for it. They are doing this really cool service project where they are making receiving blankets for the maternal health clinic here in Terre Haute. They are going to be given to mothers with some information from LDS family services on adoption. It is such a needed thing in this area. The youth talk in church about friends that they have who are pregnant. We heard a story of a 12 year old who is a friend of one of the young women in our ward who is pregnant.
So busy is the story of our lives right now. We are getting excited to find out where we are going for my PhD and hopefully for Lauren's MPA. Keep watching and we will give you updates on that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

School Happenings

Well I have been feeling a little left out. It seems that Lauren is the only one who has been updating our blog, so I thought that I would do a little of it. Last week a professor from the University of California Davis came to ISU to talk about his research. It was a great opportunity for me because I would like to work with him for my PhD. Dr. Emmons is his name and he does a lot of gratitude research, and also some research on religious and spiritual goals. I got to have a meeting with him and discuss my research and he gave me some suggestions. Hopefully this will work to my favor and help us get to a better place when the time comes for us to move.

I have been teaching a class, Research Methods in Psychology. I love teaching the class and getting to talk about research the whole time. It is hard because there are 80 people in the class. I am having to get used to not everyone liking research and students just not liking me.

I am getting ready to defend my thesis proposal here in the next little while. Hopefully I will be able to get my data collected this semester, so I can focus next semester on writing.

I guess the main thing to say is I am staying busy and enjoying school.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Really bad at blogging, but here are some updates

Okay, so I have been extremely bad at blogging, as a matter of a fact "extremely bad" doesn't even really explain how bad I have been with it. Sorry to all of you who check our blog (I don't think it's very many, so I don't think I have disappointed too many). But, I decided that after a six month hiatus it was time to update the blog. So, here is a run down of our lives over the last six months. Robert has completed his first year of grad school and we currently only have 8 more months of living here in Terre Haute (thank goodness-you can only live in the ghetto so long and then you start itching to get out-more on living in the ghetto later). Robert will finish his thesis in the spring and graduate the first weekend in May. From there we will move to wherever we get accepted into a Ph.D. program. Currently, we/he has 10 schools to apply to, mostly out west, but a few on the east coast. As for I, I am working-we have been really blessed with my job and the opprotunities it has afforded us-even Robert. My boss gave him some part time statistical work over the summer which was a really blessing. I don't remember what I wrote about in my last post (I could look-just to lazy to look back at the post) about our church callings, but Robert was called to serve as the second counselor in the stake young men's presidency and I was called over the summer to serve as the second counselor in the stake young women's presidency. It's been a real great calling...we have had a lot of fun with the youth, we just had youth conference a month ago ( pictures at the bottom) and some fun youth dances. Although, I have to say....sometimes I think to myself after these activities..."do I really want to have kids????" after thinking that I usually realize that I do want kids, I just want to send them to boarding school or live with Robert's parents once they hit the age of 13! Really though, the youth have been a real blast to be around and it's really nice to have callings that Robert and I get to do together. Okay onto other things that have taken place. ....Roberts Parents came for a visit in July and it was alot of fun to take them around to places like Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ( Pictures posted below on our trips around these places) Also, this summer we moved to a new apartment-this is probably the best thing that happend all summer. Our last place was soooooooooooooo bad!!!!! I don't even know how to explain how bad it really was. It was a step above a trashy mobil home park-you all laugh, but I am dead serious on this. Here is a little wisdom I am passing onto you all-NEVER TAKE AN APARTMENT WITHOUT SEEING IT!!!! The time finally approached where our lease was up and so we moved. Now here is the thing...finding a good apartment in Terre Haute is like trying to find a rare precious gem...it's just doesn't happen very easily. For those of you who haven't heard me talk about Terre Haute, it is the most ghetto place I have ever lived or even really visited-this is bad because as a social worker I have seem some pretty bad places. Let me give some examples on the "ghettoness"...you can walk into Krogers (local grocery store) and go to the meat department and find a sign that say quote on quote "Fersh Ground Beef'"-yes folks, that "fersh ground beef" not "fresh ground beef". I have given myself the nickname of "gheto superstar" for living in this place. Okay, back to the apartment search. So Robert and I started searching for a new apartment in early summer. We looked at some 20 plus aparments and only found 3 that were decent. Now by decent, I mean that there was no little yellow sticker warning you that the house/apartment was a former meth house, no rats in the oven, and no holes in the floor. So, of the three that we found we decided on this cute little one bedroom apartment that is the top of a historic home. I don't have pictures of it but I will take some and post them for all of you to see. We've decorated it so cute and we love it. Okay here are some pictures......

Here is Robert and I at the Chicago Temple....we got to be the Witness couple that day...very cool experience.
While in Chicago we went to Navy Pier and the Chicago Children's Museum.
Here is Robert at the Children's museum playing a life size game of chess.
At Youth Conference I taught a workshop to the young women about women serving missions. Hopefully, some of them will consider serving a mission...sister missionaries are so needed-simply because they are the greatest!
Another workshop we had for the youth was a swing dance workshop. The last night of youth conference we had a band come in and had a formal dinner for the youth where after dinner they were able to show off there new swing moves while the band performed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

St.Louis-"The Gateway to the West'

A couple of weeks ago, Robert and I and another recently married couple in our ward drove to St.Louis to go to the Temple and to do some sight seeing. We are in a really great location by living in Terre Haute. We are only 2 1/2 hours from St. Louis and we are just under 3 hours from Chicago. St. Louis isn't technically our Temple district but more often than not our ward goes to the St.Louis Temple instead of the Louisville, Ky Temple like we're suppose to. St. Louis is actually easier for us to get to and is a bigger Temple which offers more sessions and has a Distribution Center with a waiting room, so for families it makes it alot nicer. Dan and Elona, the other couple we went with got married in october, so it was alot of fun to hang out with "newlyweds" just like ourselves. We had a great time going to the Temple ( which we now realize how lucky we were to live 3 blocks from a Temple in Utah...those of you who live that close...take advantage of it!) , and sight seeing around the city of St.Louis. The last time I was in St. Louis was as a kid and hardly remember going up the Arch when my parents took us, so it was great to experience it again and to do so with my husband! If you are ever in that area it is worth the money and wait to see the view from the top of the Arch. We want to try and get in as much sight seeing in this neck of the woods before Careers and Ph.D. programs take us else where. We are going to Bloomington next week for Stake conference so I'll post pictures from that weekend getaway. Bloomington is a great little city and is home to Indiana University-Go Hoosiers!!!

Here is Robert inside the little car "thing" that takes you up to the top of the Arch .

Robert and I scrunched inside the car "thingy" on our way up to the top.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Here comes the Bride and Groom

Everyone needs a good kissing picture!
I was admiring my cute red shoes in this picture.
Such a cute couple, don't you agree? Maybe I
am just biased though.
This is my favorite picture from that day!

So, I have been meaning for the last oh, 5 weeks to post some of our wedding photos to our blog. Heck, I have been meaning to simply update the blog in general, but married life gets busy and takes you in different directions sometimes, especially when you add moving into the equation. Life has finally started to get a routine and lately Robert has been working late with his assistantship for the graduate program and I have been home by myself, so I decided tonight was a great night to update our blog. Lets see to update you all....I think I will just list updates...lists are easier for me.
1. We finally have our small studio apartment set up....word to the wise....NEVER try to move a 3 bedroom house into a studio apartment. It stretches you imagination in ways that will tire you out quickly!
2. They called me to serve in the Young Womens in our ward. I have actually really enjoyed it and the young women keep telling me how "cool and stylish" I am....they are use to having leaders that are twice my age and won't get out and dance with them at the stake dances. Yes, I and Robert chaperoned the stake dance a couple of weeks ago and got out there and danced with them....Robert took our video camera and has me on video doing the YMCA with the youth...if I get brave I'll post the video.
3. I started to have a bad feeling about my job that I accepted before I moved to Indiana, so after much pondering and prayer with Robert, I found another job and accepted a position with an assisted living/nursing home village called Westminster Village, which will help me use a part of my degree that I have never used before. I am really excited to gain the experience with the geriatric side of social work.
4. Robert started his 2nd semester of graduate school and has absolutely loved it. He is headed to Baltimore at the end of the month with some of his professors and other grad students for a conference that will help him gain contacts for Ph.D. programs. We'll hopefully have a better idea as to where we will go for that shortly.
5. I have learned to drive a clutch....it was kind of scary for a while, but its now safe to drive on the roads here in Terre Haute at the same time as me! I much prefer the automatic and am glad that my parents taught me on an automatic, but driving a clutch isn't as bad as I thought it would be.
6. Our ward had a chili and cornbread cook off....I won the "Queen of Cornbread" award...Robert was proud!

Well, I think for the most part thats most of the major updates. I'll post some more of our wedding photos for everyone to see.

Friday, January 11, 2008

We Made It

Hi everyone. We made it to Terre Haute with only a few minor problems. We left on Sunday and started driving. The weather wasn't the greatest so driving through Parely's canyon wasn't too much fun, then it got a lot worse after Evanston. They closed I80 after Rawlins so we had to get a hotel in Rawlins. We wanted to make it to Sidney Nebraska. Since everyone else was also having to get a hotel all the good ones were taken. The place we had to stay in was so bad that we didn't want to even sleep on the bed. We put blankets down and slept on those. We took some video of the hotel and when we get the chance we will load it so everyone can see it. The next day they opened up I80 and we left our motel and started to drive. The roads were bad in spots, but we took it slow and got through the bad stuff. We made it all the way to Kansas City the second day it was almost 12 hours of driving. Besides stopping for gas we only stopped twice. In Kansas City we stayed in a nicer Hotel. The next day we drove the rest of the way to Terre Haute and started unpacking. It took us about a week to get totally unpacked, but we are now unpacked. I must say too that Lauren did a great job. She turned a less than great apartment into a wonderful looking place to live. We will post pictures for all to see.