Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Here are some pictures from ours:

Santa came!

The wrapping pile. It stresses me out. I mean, really. I'm so worried that a small gift will get put near or in the wrapping pile and then get thrown out.  So I try really, really hard, to keep the wrapping pile far from the gifts.

The only thing I really asked for.  Thanks Laura! Also, enjoy this awesome picture of me, will ya?

All of our good pictures are on Lance's phone. We even got a cute video of Lily walking out of her room to see her surprise.  "Wow..." she said.  Super satisfying. It was a fun day.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

O Holy Night

I'd like to remind myself the true meaning of Christmas, by posting my favorite Christmas song.

I found this version today, and I like it because it includes the (often forgotten) third verse:

Truly he taught us to love one another,
His law is love, and his gospel is peace.

Chains shall he break, for the slave is our bother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord, then ever, ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim,
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

And this version is a tradition to listen to each year:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bleaching Hair - Take Two

It was time to do my roots again.

I never trimmed my hair after my last bleach job, so now my hair is really overdue for a trim.

I did my own bleach job again.  It's pretty fun... and I'm pretty confident about it now.

Picking toner is kind of tricky.  There are so many options!  It's hard because you don't really know what color the toner will make your hair.  It could be golden, or gray.  I attempt to lean on the silver/gray side, however, since I'm afraid of being too gray, I mix a beige toner with a platinum toner.

Here's what you do.

First, pick your bleaching poison.

I've heard good things about the Wella line, so last time I bleached my hair I went with all Wella products.  I used the same brand this time, because I've heard horror stories of changing the bleach type and frying your hair off.

Not good.

So, in the above picture we have:
  • Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Developer.  I went with a 20 volume because I didn't want to use a 30 or 40 volume for faster lightening, but a higher risk of hair frying.
  • Wella Color Charm Powder Lightener packet. To buy a whole bucket of this stuff is $20.  I'm still debating on whether or not it's worth it to buy that much.  The packet is only $3.40.  So... if I continue to bleach my own hair, I might purchase a whole bucket.
  • Wella Color Charm toner in T18 Lightest Ash Blonde.  I ended up mixing the T18 with T28, because T28 was a little darker and less ashy.  I'm still worried about looking too gray.  I haven't exactly gotten the toning down yet.  I'm still just guessing...

Then I have a bowl and a brush.

I also purchased a deep conditioner to use after I bleach, so my hair doesn't feel so coarse.

Then I brushed my hair and parted it out into sections.

 Cute, right?

Then I mixed up the lightening powder and the 20 volume developer.  Starting at my middle part, I applied the bleach to my roots only, doing tiny sections at a time.  This was more difficult last time than it was this time.  When I got to the back of my hair, I had to use three mirrors in my bathroom in order to see what I was doing.

It was too late when I realized I forgot to wear a crappy shirt, and now my bright green shirt is ruined.  I'm very sad.

Anyway, I let the bleach sit on my hair for 30 minutes, after I was done applying.

I'm not really sure how this works.  It says to leave on for up to 45 minutes, but is that from when you start?  So, if I wash my hair 45 minutes after I start, the back of my hair will just barely have gotten bleach on it.

After letting it sit for 30 minutes, the back of my hair was still really dark, so I bleached the back again the following day.

Last time I did this whole process, I bleached my hair in two days.  I did the top half one day, and the bottom half the next day.  That was better, and made more even lighting, and no worries of leaving bleach on too long.

When I was ready to rinse, I made sure to wash my hair thoroughly.  If you don't get all the bleach out, and you apply toner, your hair will turn purple.  So wash, wash, wash thoroughly. Do not condition yet.

Then I towel dried my hair, mixed up the toner and applied that all over.  I let it sit for 20 minutes.

Then I washed and conditioned my hair.

The result was a really pretty ash blonde!  I dyed my hair a week ago, but I took the picture below today:

I like it.

I don't really like what my hair is doing today.  It's too dry to wash it again, but it's not really clean enough to style it properly.  So I get to have weird wavy hair.

Now I should REALLY get a hair cut.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Short Rant

The world's logic, in a nutshell:

If you think homosexuality is a sin, you are a homophobe, and a gay hater.

So, if the above is true, then this is also true:

If you think drinking alcohol is a sin, you hate people who drink alcohol.

If you think using drugs is a sin, you hate drug users.

If you think breaking the Sabbath is a sin, you hate people who shop on Sundays.

It's all a load of BS.

I'm so sick of being afraid to voice my opinion on the subject!

I don't hate the sinner. I don't hate gays, I don't hate alcoholics, drug users, Sabbath breakers, or anyone else who has sinned, which would include everyone, everywhere.

YOU are NOT your sin.  The sin is a stain on your shirt.  You can wash it off if you want to.  If you don't want to wash it off, that's fine too, but don't force me to accept it as normal, and don't accuse me of being hateful.

I still love you, but I will NEVER love the sin.

Let me also make it very clear that there is a big difference between being tempted to do something and actually engaging in the act.

Why would one person's temptation make them any less than another person's temptation? Newsflash: It doesn't.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Good and Bad News

I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is, I will NOT be teaching in Relief Society this Sunday.

I've been prepping my lesson for two weeks, and I'm quite attached to it. The Mission of Jesus Christ is probably the most important thing that has ever happened, ever. Ever.

The good news is that I am going to Utah for the weekend!  My company's Christmas party is this coming Saturday and I thought it would be a good way to see a lot of people who I care about in a short amount of time.

Well, honestly, Lance wanted me to go. He said it'd be good for me to get out and get away since I was pretty sad last week.

When we first found out when the Christmas party was going to be, we checked flight prices and they weren't that bad.  The problem was that with Lance still searching for a job, we didn't want to book a flight for me, and have it end up being during a time when he'd be working, if he found a job.

Do you remember when I flew alone with Lily?

Not happening, ever again.

So, I made peace with the fact that I wasn't going to be able to come to Utah.

This brings me to my next bit of good news...

Lance was offered a job!

The bad news is that he'd be making less than he's made in over 10 years.  He accepted it, but we decided it'd be best if he kept looking for another job for more reasons than the income...  He'd be working Sunday 10:30am to 7pm.

I'm uncomfortable with that.  We have 9am church, and it's NOT changing times in the new year. We have only one car, and no money for a second car. Lance would have to leave right after Sacrament meeting, and I have no idea how I'd get home. We live close to the church, compared to others in our ward, but it's still a couple of miles away.

Also, I'd be happier with my husband coming to church with me.

So, that leads me to more good news.

Lance had an interview with another company today, and they told him they really like him, but they can't do anything until he has a drug test and a background check.  We have nothing to fear there, so I feel confident that this is the job for us.

It won't be nearly as much money as Lance's last job in Utah, but it will be plenty for us to survive. and he'll be getting some overtime, since his schedule will be 7am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.  I am so relieved!!

And now... how do you pack for freezing weather when it's 80 degrees outside?  I mean, what is cold, even?

This made me giggle so much!

 Don't worry, my Utah friends. You will have the last laugh.  I'm sure I'll be loving Florida in July when it's 90 degrees and 100% humidity.

Lucky for me a have Disney season passes and can spend the day at one of their two water parks.

I know, I know. I'm not helping.  Sorrynotsorry.  I moved here for a reason! 

That reason was not to torment you so I'll shut up now.

I am SO EXCITED to see my siblings and friends. I wish I could spend more time with them, but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, December 9, 2013


We got invited to a Christmas party that was being thrown by a cute family in the ward.

I have a story for you.

Making friends is not something that comes easily to me.

So, naturally, when you aren't good at something, you pray to be better at it, right?

...riiight. :)

Well, I prayed to be able to make friends.

It was a Saturday night.

To be honest, I didn't pray for it. I pleaded for it.

The next day, Sunday, we went to church like normal.  It happened to be the Primary Program.  Lily was being really bad.  She was wiggly, which was normal, but she was also very loud and uncontrollable.  So, I had to take her in the hall.

Out in the hall there was a GORGEOUS lady chasing around her two young girls. She immediately starting chatting with me.  She was very talkative.  I didn't have to do a lot of talking, she did most of it.

I like that.

We talked for all of Sacrament meeting.

Her name is Jill.

Jill invited me and my family to a Christmas party she was throwing at her house.  She said she loves Christmas and the more people that come the merrier it would be.

I honestly didn't think much of it.  I mean, people say "we should hang out" all the time, and it doesn't really happen, right? Right.

Well, about a week later I found my ward's page on Facebook, and I also found Jill. So I joined the ward group and sent a friend request to Jill.

Jill accepted, and practically immediately invited me to the Christmas party event that she had on there.

"I guess maybe she would be OK with us coming, then?"  Is the thought I had.

Well, that party was this past Friday.  We went.  I was a bit uncomfortable.

Jill lives in Celebration.  Celebration is a city that was originally developed by Disney. Disney later sold it, but, Celebration is the most gorgeous city I have ever seen in my life.  Here are some pictures:

Every.single.house. that we passed was something straight out of my dreams.  I love symmetrical houses. I love old-looking houses, that are freshly painted and well-kept.  Old charm, but also new at the same time. Columns. Balconies. Wrap-around porches. Shutters painted with contrasting colors to the color of the house. Mature landscaping. Quiet neighborhoods.

I want to live there someday.  I will live there someday.

Anyway, back to my story....

The party was really nice. There was a lot of food and a lot of people. I did talk to a few people and came out of my shell a little bit.  It will take some time.

After the party we all went over to the Celebration Town Square where they blow "snoap" into the street.  It's soap bubbles that look like snow. It's so magical! They play Christmas music and everyone is dancing and playing in the street. It's beautiful.

We had a really good time.

And thanks to Jill for answering a prayer.


We had a really good Thanksgiving this year.  My parents and sisters were able to come down, which made me really happy.

It's an 11 hour drive for them in the motor home, so on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I serenaded them with a little song I wrote about my pre-Thanksgiving prep.

20 taters mashing

8 sweeties cooling

2 chocolates chilling

1 turkey brining

...and some leftover pie filling

I was pretty pleased with myself.

I ended up cooking:
Roasted turkey
Cranberry-pomegranate sauce
Garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes, with extra buttah
Candied sweet potatoes
Roasted brussels sprouts with lemon and garlic
Turkey stuffing (Stovetop is my favorite. Tried making my own stuffing last year and it was gross.)
Two chocolate pies (a tradition in Lance's family)
Two pomegranate pies
 And I cheated on the pumpkin pie and baked a frozen one from Sarah Lee. YOLO.

My mom made rolls, gravy out of the turkey drippings, THE frozen salad (it's a salad that's a tradition in our family that is made from cream cheese, whipping cream, pineapple, banana, maraschino cherries, marshmallows and other stuff), and she brought drinks, plates, cups and utensils.

It was a good day, and I'm really glad they came. I miss them again already.

My parents watched Lily on Friday so Lance, me, Emilee and Jessica could go see Catching Fire, which was awesome. :)  Then on Friday night we went to Del Taco, which was also awesome.

It went by too quickly, and it makes me sad that we didn't get do to more while they were here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My It Works! Journey - Day 60

Wow, I did really bad with these updates.

And 60 days?!  Holy cow!  I could have completed Insanity by this time!  Now I wish I would have been doing Insanity... then maybe I'd have some real results to share.

I should be starting my third month of using the It Works! Greens.  Key word there: should.

When I moved from my parents' house to my new place, it was right around the time that a new container of Greens were supposed to be shipped.

I was a good girl and updated my shipping address to be my new address, and kept my billing address as my parents', since we hadn't updated that yet.

A few weeks went by, and I didn't see my Greens!  I asked my sister, Emilee, if my Greens had showed up at their house and she said they had.

What the heck?

I went on the It Works! site to see what happened, and my new address was added as a secondary address, and my parents' address was my main address.  I don't know how and I don't know why.  I consider myself pretty computer savvy, so I couldn't believe I'd make an error like that.

Either way, I went a month without taking Greens, so technically I'm just starting my second month, rather than my third.

So, I can't tell you the benefits of taking Greens for two months.

I CAN tell you what happened when I stopped taking Greens....

I got bloated.
My skin got dry and flaky, and ashy.  The worst it's ever been.  And that's strange, considering I live in a humid climate.
I craved nothing but junk food.
I stopped drinking as much water, and went back to only drinking soda.

So basically, I'm a believer in Greens, and I will probably be a customer for life.  It's not cheap, but I consider it worth it since it's a great way to get a bunch of good nutrients I need as well as helping me not live on soda.

Megan, my It Works! supplier lady, sent me a free wrap and a free facial to try.  I'm currently wearing the wrap.  I have actually tried wraps in the past.  It was shortly before I moved from Midvale to Raleigh, so I only did two of the wraps.  I felt good after using them, but I stopped.  So, with the two I had left over, and this one, I have three wraps to use, total.

I'm supposed to drink 32 oz of water while wearing the wrap.  That's going to be difficult.  I've had it on for 45 minutes and I've drank about 16 oz of water.

I'll be doing another wrap on Tuesday, and I'll be using the facial on Thursday or Friday.

I'm sick of being a squishy person.  Next on my to do list: Figure out a good time to work out.

In Midvale I worked out at night, after work.  I now work two hours later at night, with the time change, so that's not happening.

Lance has been home for six months, and I feel silly working out with him here.  So, maybe I'll start by going on walks with Lily until Lance goes back to work.  Ugh, I dunno. I just need to do something.

Painted Toes

Lily loves getting her toes painted. If she can reach my nail polish, she'll bring me a few bottles and say "pretty!"

Some days I don't have the patience to paint her nails. She likes it, but it's hard to get her to stay still.  I usually have to distract her, and the distraction lasts just long enough to paint one or two toes. Then she runs off, but she comes back and we do the whole thing over again, until all 10 toes are painted.

It's silly.

I painted her toes last night.  She saw me getting the nail polish out, and she started giggling happily and saying "pretty!"

I lined up a few colors and let her choose which one she wanted.  Usually she'll grab one, but last night she just kept pointing and counting them.  That was pretty cute.  So I chose a purple color for her.

I'm so happy that I have a little girl who loves girly things, just like her momma.


I'm depressed.

I'm thousands of miles from "home." I'm hours and hours away from family. I'm on the opposite side of the country as my few friends.

How does one even make friends? This is obviously not my strong point, considering that I'd say I have 2 real, close friends.

I hate small talk.

And please don't ask how I'm doing unless you honestly care.

I don't even know why I'm blogging. I think I just need someone to talk to.

I want to go to the temple. But I'm afraid. I either gave to go alone, or find a babysitter so Lance can go with me. I don't really want to go to a new temple alone, but I suppose whether or not I'm alone is irrelevant. I'm just a baby. And the babysitter thing, well, what do I do? Call up a teenager I don't know? I just don't get it.

I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit. It's difficult when your husband has been unemployed for nearly 6 months.

I have lots to be happy about. I have lots to be grateful for. I'm just tired.

I'm tired of not feeling settled. I'm tired of worrying about the future. I'm tired of feeling like I don't matter. I'm tired of needing money. I'm tired of not having friends to go out with. I'm tired of not being able to go on dates with my husband. I'm tired of needing a haircut, but not wanting to spend money on it. I'm tired of not having what we used to have as far as possessions and income. I'm tired of working until 1, 2, or 3am (6am last night). I'm tired of stressing about finding Lily a doctor. I'm tired of sitting alone in Relief Society.

I promise to be more positive next time I post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Relief Society

I started a really beautiful post about my spiritual journey here in Florida, and about how things I said I'd never do, I've done.

However, that beautiful post disappeared.

So this is what you get.

I bore my testimony for the first time in Sacrament meeting three weeks ago.

I substitute taught in Relief Society last Sunday.

I did too well in the above lesson, and therefore, I am teaching again on December 15th.

Here's what I didn't know about teaching Relief Society:
  • I am not teaching, the spirit is teaching.
  • During the lesson, I will remember experiences that pertain to the lesson that I had not thought of while preparing the lesson.
  • The sisters who share their insights and provide comments will rock my world.
  • It's not scary.
I'm actually really excited about my next lesson.  It's about the Mission of Jesus Christ. What better topic to have shortly before Christmas?  What better topic to have, period? My goal is to ultimately become like the Savior, so teaching a lesson that is all about Him and His mission is going to be AWESOME!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Glam Bag Makeup Fun!

 I felt pretty so I wanted to take pictures of myself and share them. Humor me?  

Here is a look I put together using a few of the items from my November Glam Bag:

With flash

Without flash
I used Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched to contour my cheekbones, just a tad.
I used BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic eyeshadow in Eclipse to smudge/blend my eyeliner, as well as putting a tiny bit on the outer corner of my eye.
I'm wearing two layers of EM Michelle Phan lipstick in Violaceous. I wanted the color to be a bit more intense than it was with just one layer.

Other items I used:
Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel (as a primer)
L'Oreal True Match Lumi foundation in C3
Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer in Ultra Light
MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
Maybelline New York eye shadow in Creme de Cocoa (on my eyebrows)
Cailyn Line-FX Gel Eyeliner in Iron
Wet n Wild Petal Pusher palette - the white "Browbone" shade on my brow bone, the light purple "Eyelid" shade above my crease
Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells eyeshadow - the "Eyelid" shade on my eyelid
One coat of Benefit They're Real mascara, and one coat of Pixi Lash Booster Mascara

When I list it all out like that, I feel like I'm wearing a ton of makeup!

Ipsy November Glam Bag Review

Annnnnd once again I've got an Ipsy dilemma.

"I can't use these products until I take pictures of them in their perfect, unused, form."

"I really want to play with my items!"

"It's raining, I need bright, natural sunlight to take pictures that will look good!"

"I guess I'll start writing about the products before I take pictures..."

"Ugh, but now the products will be USED in the pictures!"

 I'm so OCD.

So anyway... My November Ipsy is awesome!!

What is Ipsy?
Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month.

So go ahead, take the beauty quiz, get your first Glam Bag, watch the videos, and create your own!

From Ipsy's site

  • EM Michelle Phan Lip Gallery Creamy Color Sheer Lipstick in Violaceous. Full size. $16.50 if you buy it from EM's site.

Inspired by the girl who believes less is more. A fresh tint of just right color for a dreamy pout. Lightweight, creamy texture with sheer, buildable color quality. Silky shine finish and conditioning comfort.

I believe I've found my new favorite lipstick!  (Before, it was Mauve Outta here by Wet n Wild.) This color is gorgeous, and I don't feel like it's too "out there." It's perfect for everyday looks and for dressing up.  It's sheer, so it combines with your natural lip color a bit to be the perfect berry shade for anyone. You can also wear multiple layers to make it more opaque. The texture is smooth and creamy, and thinner than most chapsticks I wear, so I hardly noticed I was wearing lipstick. It smells like vanilla, which is awesome. It's not super long-wearing, but I did get at least 2 hours of good wear out of it.

To see pictures of me wearing this lipstick, check out this post.

(Gem eye pencil in Amethyst on top, lip crayon in Hot Damn on bottom)
 A glossy lip crayon with a smooth texture that is perfect for travel and touch-ups on the go.

Another.red.lip.product. I love red lips, but how many red lip products does one girl need?  I got the red Urban Decay lipstick sample, the red Cailyn lip tint, and now this red Be a Bombshell lip crayon. Of those three red lip products I just mentioned, this is my least favorite. It's too sheer. It actually looked more pink than red on me. I'm sure if I built up layers of it on my lips it would be fine, but why would I do that when I have two other red lip products I could use? (Not including the full size red Urban Decay lipstick I purchased.) I wish I hadn't tried this out. I'm hoping I can sanitize it and someone will be willing to swap with me, so I can get something else.

  • Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched. Full size. $18 if you buy it from Pixi Beauty's site.

(Galaxy Chic eyeshadow in Eclipse on top, Pixi Beauty bronzer in Subtly Suntouched on bottom)
This bronzing powder gives your complexion the warmth and luminosity of naturally sunkissed skin. Hydrating, silky-smooth & long-wearing, it also protects against free radicals. Contains Vitamin E to protect the skin and mica, which provides dense natural pigment.

I'm not a huge fan of bronzer, but I do like to contour on occasion, so that's what I'll use this for. It's not as dark as the color I've used in the past to contour, but it will work for an extremely subtle look.

I used the Pixi Bronzer in the same pictures that I was wearing the EM lipstick. Here's the link again.

  • Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail. Full size. $13 if you buy it from Nailtini's site.

Glamour is an attitude as much as a look, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't look the part...all the way down to your fingertips!

Just one of Nailtini's top-shelf, 3-free nail lacquer, available in dozens of shades, textures and finishes. Wear them alone or layered to create custom looks and effects, each one a cocktail unto itself. Cheers to beauty, and as always, apply responsibly! 

One drawback to Ipsy is that if there are only two variations of an item and you love one and hate the other, you get to worry about which one you'll get.  I was worried about the nail polish. I did not want the bronze color.  I am so happy I got the silver color!  I loved the formula of the Nailtini in the color Mai Tai I got back in July, so I thought I would love this one even more because the color was right for me.  Unfortunately, the formula of Caviar Cocktail isn't as good as the formula of Mai Tai. It's a little thick, streaky, and I got a clump on one of my nails.  Those things aside, I do love the color. The above swatch was using one coat of OPI Natural Nail base coat, and one coat of Caviar Cocktail, so this color is completely opaque in one coat.

  • BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow. Sample size (one full size eyeshadow, rather than the entire palette of colors). Full size is $14.95 if you buy it from BH Cosmetics' site. Estimated value: $0.83.

 This Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow Sample will take you from Plain Jane to an infinite trendsetter. Inspired by the moons and planets of the universe, eyeshadow shades range from hot sun-orange to cool earth-blue and colors of the Milky Way. Be as chic as a sparkling star! 

I read a review of the entire Galaxy Chic palette on XSparkage, and I'm really tempted to buy it. It's decently priced, and the colors are really pigmented with and without primer. I really like my sample. Eclipse is a shimmery eggplant color. The packaging is really good quality; it has a little magnet to keep it closed. For my estimated value of 83 cents, I think that's an awesome value. I hesistate to purchase the full Galaxy Chic palette because I've got my heart set on the Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay that will be out soon... I could probably get both, but, would I really use that many eyeshadows in addition to the amount I already own? And, of the 18 eyeshadows included in the Galaxy Chic palette, how many would I actually use?  That's something I still need to figure out.

I used Eclipse to smudge/blend my eyeliner in the post mentioned twice above. ;-)

  • Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst. Full size. $14 if you buy it from Starlooks' site.

In the shade
In the sunlight (Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst on top, Lip Crayon in Hot Damn on bottom)
 The Starlooks Gem Eye Pencils provide a magnificent metallic finish and are so versatile, soft, and creamy that they can be used as a liner or eyeshadow base! Each highly-pigmented, unique pencil has a gorgeous, micro-glitter finish.

This is a very pretty color!  I don't see myself using this as an eyeliner or an eyeshadow base though. It's too light to be an eyeliner, and it would take too much work to blend it out as an eyeshadow base. I used it is a tear duct highlight and it looked pretty cool. I'll have to play with it some more to see what else I can use it for.

Bag Value
EM Lipstick: $16.50
Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon: $14
Pixi Beauty Bronzer: $18
Nailtini Polish: $13
BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow: $0.83 
Starlooks Eye Pencil: $14

Grand Total: $76.33

That makes this bag my highest value bag so far!  I found a new HG product in the EM lipstick, and I'm pretty pleased with everything else, besides the lip crayon.  Well worth $10 if you ask me!

Interested in trying Ipsy?  I'd love it if you used my link!  http://www.ipsy.com/?refer=u-hh1dhitczm8r4e9

Friday, November 15, 2013

Learned in Raleigh

Moving to Raleigh was a good decision.  We originally thought we'd stay there more permanently, but it didn't work out that way.  I don't think it was a waste. It was a good transitioning period for our little family.  I also got to know my two youngest sisters a lot better.  I wasn't a very good big sister before I got married. Turns out, they didn't really know me at all, so I'm really glad we got to spend so much time together over the last three months.

While living with my parents and two youngest sisters, I learned lots of things. I learned a lot about myself, about my family, and about life outside of Utah.  Here are just a few of those lessons...

  • If you don't put it away, it will disappear.
I think one of my mom's favorite things to do is hide things.  Just kidding. ☺  But she is notorious for moving things that aren't put where they belong.  If I leave something on the kitchen counter in the evening, by the next morning it will have disappeared due to my mom moving it "out of the way." Sometimes she will remember where she put it, sometimes she won't. However, this lesson I learned doesn't only apply to my mom, it applies to Lily.  She can scramble a house faster than I can scramble a rubix cube.  So, living with my family taught me to put away and/or hide the items that are important to me or I may not ever see them again. This helps me in our new apartment because I'm in the habit of putting things away, and therefore, my house is more organized and clean than it has been in the past. I'm not a very good housekeeper, but I am trying.

  • If it's none of your business, keep your mouth shut.
This is a lesson I should have learned years ago. I tend to try to help people with their problems, but it's hardly ever (or never) well received. So, unless someone specifically asks for my help or advice, I need to butt out.  I think my help is not well received because I tend to notice what's wrong before I notice what's right.  So, that's also how I help people - pointing out what's wrong.  Nobody likes to be told what's wrong with them. I just wish people would understand that I don't mean to come across as rude or belittling. It's just what I notice. I'm working on pointing out positives before providing suggestions on things that could change or be better, but I have been working on that for a while. I just have to really think about what I say before I say it, or the real me comes out and I tell you what's wrong with <fill in the blank>, rather than what's right.

  • Always have something decent to wear when you wake up, no matter what you sleep in.
I lived in a motor home from the end of July to the end of October. When I got up in the morning, I had to walk across the yard to go into the house to shower.  I suppose I could have showered in the motor home, but that shower is tiny, I would run out of water fast, and it uses a lot of propane to heat the water. So, showering inside was easier and more comfortable.  Walking across the yard naked isn't something the neighbors or the rest of my family would like to see. So, I learned to always have some kind of clothing ready to wear the next day when I went to bed the night before. This lesson still applies to our new apartment because I now have to take the dogs outside each morning, and I can't do that naked either, unless I'd like to get arrested.

  • Condense your laundry.
Have you ever shared a laundry room?  It's been a loooooong time for me.  The only time in the past that I shared a laundry room was when Lance and I lived with his sister for a few months when we were first married.  It was not a pleasant experience.  Sharing with my mom wasn't bad, but I didn't want to take up her whole laundry room for a week like what I used to do at my own house.  I learned to do my laundry in one day, and to do laundry once a week.  This applies to our current apartment because I now have to go to the laundromat that is for residents only.  I do not have a washer or a dryer in my apartment.  This is definitely a first.  In fact, today was my first time using the laundromat.  Good times.  We could rent a washer and a dryer, but we're trying to spend as little money possible while Lance is out of a job.  But, even when he gets a job, I'm not sure we'll rush out and purchase laundry machines.  I mean, I pretty much enjoyed the laundromat.  Have you ever washed 4 loads of laundry at the same time?  It was AWESOME!  Once they were done washing, I separated out what needed to hang dry or lay flat to dry, and dried the rest. The machines at the laundromat here lock (not sure if they do that everywhere) so I didn't have to worry about someone stealing my machine, or moving my clothes. I went home while they dried, and went back when they were done.  I brought everything home, folded for a few minutes and BOOM, laundry done.  I could get used to this.

  • It really is different outside of Utah.

I've heard it a million times, "The church is different outside of Utah." Or, "The members are different outside of Utah." Or "People are less judgmental outside of Utah."  Drove me nuts.  But guess what?  It's true.  I don't want this to come across as bashing Utah. That's not my intention. There are people on both sides everywhere, I know.  But here's my personal experience: When we were planning to leave Utah, I was a little worried. "There will be more crime!" "People will be rude!"  Why did I think that?  Because I thought having fewer Mormons around would make me less safe.  WRONG!  Can you say judgmental? Hello, just because there are fewer people who are LDS, doesn't mean the people here aren't good people. I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to think differently. One's religion does not make them a good person. Likewise, one's lack of religion doesn't make them a bad person. There are good and bad people everywhere.  So, if I, myself, one who never thought of themselves as being a judgmental Utah Mormon, could be that judgmental, imagine how judgmental the really judgmental people are.

Does that even make sense?  I can't find the words to explain it.  People are simply more accepting here and in North Carolina, whether you're in their ward or not.  You know who's not very kind? Tourists. They are so pushy. (That's one way I can tell a tourist from a local.)

  • My sisters are pretty much the coolest people, ever.

Emilee and Jessica have been given some really awesome talents, and they aren't afraid to share those talents with others.  Jessica is extremely honest, even when she doesn't want to be. She also has a great gift of learning how to play instruments, and playing songs by ear. She can also sing really well.  Emilee obviously has an amazing singing voice, but she also has a really great ability to understand people. She just gets them. She also has a very strong testimony of the LDS church and she's not afraid to share it with anyone. She's the kind of person who makes me want to be a better person.

So there you go - just a few lessons I've learned.  Here are some silly pictures to (hopefully) make you forgive me for what I said about Utah:

Lily's hair flowing in the wind while she swings.

Mowing the lawn with Grandpa.

A Halloween mask - Dee Snider?

It fits my face a little too well, no? I should do my makeup like that, right?!

Lily's first ponytail.

Having fun going down a slide.

She can do it all by herself! She's so brave. :)

My hair is nasty! This was before I did my roots (But seriously, Paul Mitchell, my hair is super yellow. What the crap?!). But yeah, Lily and I actually kissed while she was swinging. She's such a sweetie.

This was at Big Lots. I need that chair.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Florida Living

The first week we lived here was really hard for me.  I was basically an emotional roller coaster. Everything made me sad, or angry, or annoyed.  There were boxes everywhere, ants everywhere, and the toilet in our master bath took 30 minutes to fill up with water after flushing.

Oh yeah and then there was a cockroach about 2 inches long (or longer) in our kitchen.

"Why did we move here?"

"What were we thinking?"

"What was the point of all this?"

"Where's my <fill in the blank>?" (Still can't find some things.)

I cried a few times.

And organizing the kitchen made me depressed.  I've never had a kitchen this small, ever.  I've been really spoiled with more than enough cupboard space.

But, after the first week, things have started looking up.  I'm really enjoying the weather.  It's been in the mid 80s, except yesterday it dropped to the 60s.  But, I still can't complain about that.

I'm enjoying our location. We're a couple blocks down from a Walmart Market. Do they have those in Utah?  I hadn't seen them before we moved here.  It's basically a produce only Walmart.  We're also really close to Aldi's which I hear has really good prices, but I haven't been there yet. Both a regular Walmart and Target are pretty close as well.

There is a mall around the corner, along with Burlington Coat Factory, Ross, and some other shops, but we haven't been over there yet.

We go to Disney parks a lot.  We purchased season passes back in September, so we're making good use of them. Tomorrow we'll be going to Hollywood Studios.  Once Lance gets a job we probably won't go as often.

Lily liked riding on Grandma's lap in the motor home.

It was a long drive from Raleigh to Kissimmee, but being able to roam around the motor home made it bearable.

Sometimes when Lily is grumpy, playing with a camera helps. This time it didn't.

This was right after we got done unloading the trailer into our apartment. This is basically everything we own - it's not much.

Hanging this up made me really happy. Katie made me this for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it.

This is a few days into unpacking. It looks worse before it looks better. All the cuboards in the kitchen were open because I couldn't figure out where to put things. But yeah, hardly enough cupboard space for one who loves appliances. And the camping chair is because we don't have a couch.

Going to parks makes her really sleepy.

I love how her foot is tucked under her leg and she's holding her cat.

Lily loves this ride! It's Journey Into Imagination with Figment. She waves at Figment when he shows up. :) Super cute!