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.