Thursday, January 28, 2010

The story of our first Christmas--Part One

This story begins way back in October, when I started listening to Christmas music. :) And when we started thinking about our Christmas plans-- whether to go home, stay here, go to Hawaii (we weren't really thinking that, but that would've been a great idea), and so on. Both of our families came here to Orem for Thanksgiving, so we were thinking we'd stay here for the break. However, about a week before Christmas, we decided to go. I was able to get work off (thanks again to Janna who worked for me), and we left on Tuesday, December 22nd. We drove down to Spring City that night and stayed with my grandparents, which was great. We loved getting to see them and spend some time with them!

Tyler was great and checked the road conditions from Utah through New Mexico and made sure we were going the best way. We got pretty far the first day, even though we didn't leave as early as we'd hoped. We had so much fun driving together! Road trips are so great. We ate PB&J's the whole way and read "Ender's Game" out loud to each other. I don't think we stopped for more than a few hours-- neither of us sleep very well in the car--so the 23rd and 24th kind of became one long day.

The weather was pretty nice, with the exception of the wind blowing really hard and blowing snow across the road. Sometimes visibility was low, but it never snowed on us at all. We stopped to get gas and Tyler was smart (in tune? wonderful? thoughtful? prepared? so many words) and thought to get an extra gallon of water. We had one gallon that we'd brought along with some cups to drink out of, but he got an extra one, along with some snacks. This proved to be a clutch decision later on.

We were pretty proud of ourselves when we crossed the Texas border sometime in the night (or early morning?) between the 23rd and 24th. We had to stop a few times and wait for the wind to calm down so Tyler could see the road, but overall it wasn't too bad.

UNTIL... about 3 pm Christmas Eve. We were almost to Wichita Falls, TX, when we were stopped completely in a huge line of cars. We had been slowed down and even stopped at one point for various wrecks and people slowing down so they could wait out the wind/snow, so we weren't too worried. A few hours passed and we tried to remain calm by reading and listening to music (Tyler got me the Glee CD's for Christmas and I opened those early so we could jam on the long drive). Wichita Falls is about 7 hours north of Houston, so after a little while we called our families to let them know we probably wouldn't be there until Christmas morning instead of Christmas Eve. We had no idea when we would start moving again, but the longer we sat, the more worried we got. We called the TX Highway Patrol for some information, and they told us that there was a wreck between two 18-wheeler trucks. They had a jack-knife truck at the accident trying to clear the roads. We knew the roads were bad, but we didn't realize that Wichita Falls had gotten more snow in this one storm than they'd had in years. It's a two-plow town, apparently. :) I slept off and on, and we got to the point where we had to turn off the car, unsure of how long we'd have to be sitting there. We decided to open the presents that we'd brought in the car since we didn't have anywhere to go or anything to do, and we wouldn't be at either of our houses on Christmas morning. I was SO grateful for the robe that Tyler's Grammy gave to him-- we didn't have any blankets with us and that robe kept be warm!

We had some entertaining moments during our stop too. Pretty early in the morning on Christmas Day (maybe around 1 or 2am) I couldn't wait any longer to go to the bathroom. This wasn't a problem for boys-- we saw tons of people relieving themselves on the side of the road-- but we were laughing so hard when I, being female, couldn't use a toilet. Good times for sure.

There were one or two times where we moved a few feet and then stopped again. In the 17 hours that we were held back by this wreck, we probably moved a total of one mile. We were talking to our parents throughout the night (I still feel bad about ruining their sleep), keeping them updated about our never-changing whereabouts. They were so sweet and got a hotel for us in Wichita Falls, in case we ever got there. :) Finally, at about 5:30 am, the Highway Patrol truck drove by to let us know that the wreck was cleared and we were finally moving. At 6:00 am Christmas morning, we pulled into the Candlewood Suites in Wichita Falls, TX. Holy relief. The people at the hotel were so sweet and helpful-- they said they had tons of people who were stuck on the road. Thanks to our amazing parents, we snagged one of the last available hotel rooms in the city.

This concludes Part One of our story. Some things I'm grateful for: that Tyler thought to get an extra gallon of water and some more food-- we weren't hungry at all during our wait. Also, I'm grateful that we didn't have any children or pets with us in the car. We saw so many people walking their dogs outside and making bottles for little babies, and I just cringed for them. What a miserable 17 hours they must have had. I'm grateful that we didn't run out of gas. We filled up every time we got below a half tank, which turned out to be such a blessing because it saved us from being even colder than we were.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

Boar dumb

I am so bored that I thought of all of the incorrect ways I could spell boredom, then used my favorite as the title of this post. I'm sitting at work with absolutely NOTHING to do. All of the executives (well, minus one) are gone in Cancun, along with all of the sales reps, area managers, and regional managers. So I am alone here on the main floor of the building. The only other people who are here work in Customer Service, so it is really quiet. I could count on two hands the amount of phone calls I've been getting in a day. I've been fairly productive in my huge influx of spare time though, so it's been nice. I read 2/3 of "7 Miracles..." earlier this week, watched 2 movies on my iTouch, designed my blog book that I'm printing in a few days, read the January Ensign, made a word search (probably the coolest thing I've done all week... it's awesome), and I even did some work for my other job-- all while I was sitting here at my desk, "working." If only I could do my laundry and take a nap while sitting here too! :)

Thankfully, everyone will return from Cancun on Saturday, and life will be busy as usual on Monday. But what will I do until then? I'm going to go crazy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of OUR Union Address

We're doing great!

Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book review time!

I have been reading tons so far this month-- it's been great! I've finished 3 so far... maybe I'll have to modify my goal to read 12 books this year. :) Here's what I read:

-Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. This was a really cute book, recommended (and lended? lent?) to me by my sweet mother-in-law. She's a bookworm like me, except she's really smart, so I trust her recommendations. It's a cute fairy tale about a princess who goes from royalty to peasant and then... well, I won't ruin the ending for you. :) It reminded me of "Ella Enchanted." An easy read and a darling story.

-The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This book was also recommended by Gretchen, and I loved it! It's about two black women working as maids in the homes of white families who decide to share their stories with a white woman publishing a book. The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi around the Civil Rights Movement. I thought it very fitting that I accidentally finished this book on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!! Great book.

-The 7 Miracles that Saved America by Ted and Chris Stewart. This book was a gift from my parents for Christmas, though neither of them had read it. I was a bit nervous it wouldn't be as much of a page-turner as my last two books, but I found myself unable to put it down... and finished it in 2 days. I learned a lot about some events in history that (I'm embarrassed to say) I never had heard of. The title pretty much explains what it's about, so I won't devulge much more than that.

I need more good recommendations! I've heard "The Actor and the Housewife" also by Shannon Hale is good, but it's checked out at the library right now. Hooray for good books! Thanks to Gretchen and Mom for broadening my horizons.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Be still, and know that I am God"

I had a thought yesterday that has been on my mind ever since. I think I need to share it. :) Tons of snow fell on Orem on Friday night, which meant at 3:00 Saturday morning, Tyler was called in to shovel snow at work. Which also meant I had to take him to campus (we never know how long he'll be shovelling, and I had to go in to work that morning). Luckily, the roads were pretty clear. The moon was reflecting off of the snow and it was so bright outside-- so beautiful. I dropped Tyler off, and once my frustration with snow (really my having to be awake) wore off, I looked around. Everything was white and it was breathtaking. I couldn't help but think of all the beautiful things Heavenly Father has given us. Then I looked at the trees. They were all so heavy with snow, each branch weighed down by a fresh 4 inches of wet white. I got to thinking about how if the wind had been blowing and a branch had moved, it may have missed a flake or two, or even knocked all of the snow off that had fallen onto it. Then I started to think about all of the things I miss that could make my soul and my testimony more beautiful, because of my constant busyness and movement. If I would be more still, think of the things I could learn and gain. It's all there for me, if only I can be still.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday sanctuary

Aren't Sundays the best? Going to church is honestly my favorite. Yeah, our ward is great, but it's more than that. It's getting to sit next to my husband, my best friend, and just relax and listen. We think of ways to improve our relationship, ourselves, our lives, everything.

But then, Monday begins. It always seems to come too soon, bringing along with it PB&J's, late nights of homework, and a never-ending list of things to do. So I hang on to my Sundays and wait for the next one. Who knew they'd one day become my favorite? Funny quote by one of my siblings when she was little: "What's your favorite day of the week?" "Monday." "Why's that?" "Because it's the farthest away from the next Sunday!" Pretty funny.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Still Alive

Don't worry, I'm here. :) I haven't posted in a long time though... someday I'll catch you up on everything that's been goin' on. Let's just say that Christmas was an adventure (picture this: Christmas Eve was spent stuck in the car just outside of Wichita Falls, TX for 17 hours), my birthday was fantastic, and getting back to real life has been... well, you know how that goes. But seriously, I've set some good goals for this year and have been pretty good about sticking with them so far. I know, 4 days, big whoop. But the cool thing is that I'm still excited about my goals, so maybe I'll actually do it this year. Here are some of my favorite goals that I'm most excited about:

-Read 12 books. (I've read one already! And I'm getting a library card this week, so that'll be fun.)

-Don't miss Visiting Teaching once.

-Learn to make really good bread!

I decided not to make goals about eating and exercising on my yearly goals, but I made a year goal to make monthly goals... funny I know. I made a goal to make goals. But I think I can focus on it more if it's in smaller increments, and then I can adjust it to fit my schedule and my progress. So here are my January goals:

-Make bread at least once.

-Read one or more books. (Done already!)

-Exercise 3-4 times/week.

-Get a library card.

-Complete and report visiting teaching by Jan. 20th.

-No sugar all month... thanks Aubrey for being my moral support in this!

-Don't go to bed without dishes being done all month.

So my monthly goals are a little more specific, but the goal (haha I kill myself) is to have all of my monthly goals working toward my year goals. Anyway... enough of that.

I promise I'll post pictures of our recent adventures soon!