Sunday, June 29, 2014

We made it!!

     Well we made it to Arizona!! It was not easy, and I don't want to do that drive ever again, but we made it!  We started out June 18, bright and early.  My mom came over first thing and helped with Levi so we could get work done.  While Levi napped we were able to all load, so things moved much faster.  At noonish my cousin and his friend helped load some more, and my dad came and helped load the last of the big things.  Around 2 or 3 we were done loading all the big heavy things, and we just needed to pack up the random last minute things and deep clean the house.  These last minute things always take much longer than planned.  Well around 6 we rolled out of Idaho Falls and headed to SLC for the night.  Of course, the moving truck added an extra hour, and we had to make some inconvenient turn arounds in the massive truck, but eventually we made it.  We went to bed around 11:30ish that night.
     The next morning we rolled out of SLC around 7:15 am.  The drive from SLC was supposed to be 10 hours and 15 minutes.  But let's be honest, the moving truck doesn't go faster than 65 MPH.  So our 10 hour drive turned into a 14 hour drive. 

 Let's not forget the part where Derek got stuck at a weight station, or the part where we made it to St. George at noon and the AC went out in the moving truck.  Derek had to drive a whoppping 9 hours in 100 degree weather without any AC.  He was absolutely miserable.  He ended up getting heat stroke and got really sick.  And of course let's not leave out the part where Derek stopped to try and get the AC fixed and so I went ahead.... (not knowing where I was going), and putting full trust in my GPS.  Well... let's just say I missed the other highway entrance in the middle of Las Vegas rush hour traffic.  My phone then continued to lead me on a goose chase fipping U-turns left and right with Bonnie and Ray panicking as passengers in my vehicle.  The last hour of the drive we had had it.  Levi had a melt down and was inconsolable for 30 minutes.  And... not to mention Derek's GPS took him up way out of the way rather than driving directly home the last stretch of the drive.... so that added on another 15 or so minutes.  That move was absolutely terrible.  I'm not going to lie, when Levi started crying, I came pretty close to having a melt down right there with him.  I was on edge, I was sick of being cooped up in the car, and I had had it just as much as my 1 year old.  
New house, we are in love! 
  We finally arrived at our new house around 9 pm AZ time, (10 pm Idaho time).  We were famished, and the weather was still in the low 90's.  Levi and I went into the house to check it out, and Levi took off running.  He was so happy being free and able to run from room to room and explore the new place.  I was almost in tears because I knew the beds were towards the front of the moving truck, and all I wanted to do was eat and crawl into bed.  The last thing I wanted to do was run to the grocery store and then come home and finish unloading.  When I walked into the kitchen while touring our new home there were groceries sitting on our kitchen counter.  Raylon and Emili had gone and bought us groceries, used the spare key, and left them for us.  I have never been more grateful to see food in my life.  I finished touring our cute house and I was so happy with the house.  It was much bigger than we had anticipated and it is perfect for what our family needs.  I went to look and see how big the fridge was inside and low and behold, Raylon and Emili had stocked the inside of our fridge as well.  At this point I was holding back tears.  I poured Levi some milk, fed him some food and sent him to bed.  Now for the grueling unloading of the truck.

   We unloaded for about an hour, then Raylon and Emili showed up around 10:30 or 11 with chicken nuggets and more energy to help.  Once again, I was so grateful for them.  While we were unloading in the dark, our next door neighbor showed up with a big spotlight for the truck, and a dolly.  This dolly made moving go so much faster.  We had the truck unloaded between 11:30 or 12, we made the beds, and we hit the sack around 1.  We all slept like a rock, (Or as Ray would say... a rose).  
Finally finished unloading. So tired!
  The next morning Derek woke up at 5:30 wide awake, so he decided to start unpacking.  He went to plug the washing machine in when all of a sudden he felt zaps going through his whole body..... Yup, Derek electrocuted himself plugging in a stupid washer.  Luckily Bonnie had just woken up and she followed him into the room and was there right after it happened.  Derek was ok, but it took about 2 days for his body to feel completely normal again.  Also, don't forget he got heat stroke so he was also sick with that.... it gets better.

Taking a break from unloading to play a game.
   The next day Derek and I decided to tackle the kitchen, (my least favorite part).  The cupboard space is much more limited to what we were used to and we were struggling finding a spot for everything.  Derek has super long heavy utensils used for grilling.  Derek was carrying these heavy utensils when all of a sudden the big spatula fell out of  his hand and landed directly on his ankle bone.  He fell to the ground grabbing his foot.... this might sound rude but I thought he was just being dramatic and trying to be a little funny. He was so frustrated that he got hurt once again and tried to just brush it off.  He got up and hobbled to the drawer and opened it, but the drawer was broken so it fell right to the ground and shattered into pieces.  At this point I threw my hands in the air.  I think I said something along the lines of sending Derek to a corner and to not touch anything or move a muscle the rest of the day.

First grocery trip in AZ (Wasn't fun spending that much on all new food)
   That night we went out for Ray's birthday.  We went to Rustler's Rooste, which is a restaurant built into the side of a mountain. There is a slide you go down to get to your table, delicious food, cotton candy, a live band and a dance floor.  Levi sat and danced and clapped all night, he had a blast!  Anyways... let me get back to us being a disaster.  After Derek had sat for a while in the car, he got out to walk inside the restaurant.  His foot was really hurting at this point, and he went to step, and he couldn't bend he ankle.  His foot had become so swollen he couldn't move it.  So he awkwardly limped the rest of the night.  When I was walking into the restaurant I tripped and my flip flop ripped and completely broke.  Derek and I were quite the sight trying to walk the rest of the night.  I had to drag my foot behind and I couldn't pick my foot off the ground.  I wont' lie, I was embarrassed with how ridiculous we looked.
WEEE!! Levi loved the slide!
We love Rustler's Rooste!
   When we sat down to eat, I asked our waiter for a bag of ice and he looked at me like I was a weirdo.  Derek elevated his foot on my lap and I laid the bag of ice on his ankle.  We are pretty sure he cracked the bone.  Luckily he had a wrap/boot thing at home from breaking his foot before, so he just wore that and we never went in to the Dr.
   After dinner we went to Jesterz, which is a family friendly improv comedy show.  It's basically like "Who's Line Is It Anyway?"  It was so funny.  There was one part of the show where they asked the audience members to pull out the strangest things they have in their pocket or purse.  I pulled out the bag of ice.  Everyone was laughing because they thought it was a bag with a poopy diaper inside.
Jesterz!!! Fun night!

Snake at restaurant
  After Jesterz we went and got Italian ice and gelatos at Rita's.  It was a successful night full of laughter, fun, and memories.  I  will post more later, because don't worry, there is more to write about.  We are so happy to be here in AZ, but of course it is hard to be away from family.  We love our house, the location, and all the fun things our ward does.  We were also so very grateful for all of Bonnie and Ray's help with moving down here.  We couldn't have done it without them.  Believe me.... I could not have done that drive with Levi without anyone in the car.  We are excited for all the new adventures to come.  We realize it's going to be a hard 4 years, but 4 years we will never get to experience again.  Right now we are just enjoying spending time together as a family before school starts up in August.

Phoenix temple being built 10 min. from our house!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Balancing Life

 I have been thinking a lot about health lately.  Derek and I both receieved Bachelors degrees in Exercise Physiology, and we have studied the physiology our bodies undergo while performing physical activity.  We have learned about the cardiovascular system, metabolism, hormones, how our bodies move, and how our brain functions.  The body is truly facinating, and it wasn't designed to sit around all day.  Recently, someone approached Derek and I with some questions about their health.  Our answer..... eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of water, get 6-9 hours of sleep each night, stay close to the Lord, and continually strive to do what Heavenly Father wants you to do.  This person's response, "I hate you guys!"
Why is it that we ALL know the answers to our problems, but yet we struggle to live by them.  I have noticed that so many individuals WANT the attention of having a syndrome or diagnosis.  When someone comes to me about questions with their health, I often find that they want to find something wrong with them.  They don't want to hear my answer that they need to exercise and move their body.  They don't want to hear my answer that due to the heart disease running in their family, they need to lower their LDL's, take in less sodium, avoid trans fats, etc.

 So what about mental disorders?  They are real of course, but I promise you, if you exercise, get enough sleep, drink enough water, stay close to the Lord, and eat healthy, your mental capacity to deal with things will change drastically.  Have I ever dealth with depression, no, do I understand entirely what people go through with depression no, but I have studied the human body.  I have learned about the effects of exercise, and folks, it's a POWERFUL thing!  So many people want to jump right into taking medicine to fix their problems..... but a lot of the time medicine has side effects.  Of course, in some situations, medication should be used, but before thinking there is no other way, take care of yourself first!  Love yourself, and do the basics that you know your body needs!
So why is it soooo hard for us to abide by these basic principles?  Why is it that we all know we should exercise and eat healthy, but yet we struggle doing it each day?  Some of my excuses have been, "Levi is still asleep, I should just sleep in until he wakes up rather than wake up to exercise."  "I don't want to go to sleep, I need time to just relax and play candy crush."  Or my personal favorite, "Vegetables don't taste like donuts!"  It's incredibly easy for me to come up with an excuse, but for some reason it's so difficult to live this balanced lifestyle sometimes.  Believe me, I am the first person to admit I am not the best at exemplifying this balanced life style.  I will go through phases where I do really well, and then I will falter.  Or I can usually do well in certain areas in my life, but then really struggle in other areas.  In the scriptures, we read about the importance of diet, sleep, and staying close to our Heavenly Father.  I hope that we can each practice these healthy living styles.  Try to tell those lame excuses to get out of your head, and take care of your body.  Our bodies are beautiful blessings, and it is our responsibility to take care of them.  Something that I know helps motivate me is how much better I feel after.  I have so much more energy, and I can deal with my stresses in life.  Here are some tips that help me:  find a type of exercise that you enjoy.  Certain types of exercises are a drag for me. But I LOVE exercise when it's fun.  I love to dance, do abs or any type of core work, inner thigh work, Zumba, Pilates, hiking, biking, kickboxing, or playing any type of sport.  It really doesn't matter what you do, but it's so important to get up and move!  When I have healthy foods in my house, I snack on healthy food throughout the day.  I try not to wait until I'm desperate and overly hungry.  This helps with my munchies.  Set time aside each day for scripture time and quiet time.  I like to write in my journal and get my thoughts clear.  It helps me to handle my stresses and then I can get back to being a wife and mom.  If I wait to read scripture when I'm overly tired at night, I don't get much out of it, but if I set time aside to read during the day, I get a lot more out of it.  Scriptures are so uplifting, and I notice a distinct difference in my day.  If you have kids, it really makes exercise more difficult sometimes, but if you involve them, it makes it fun!  Stay active with your kids, they'll keep ya young!  Something that helps me immensely is thinking of my family first!  I want my family to be healthy, so I need to set an example to them.  What I make for dinner goes in their bellies, so it's important for me to eat healthy.  I hope that I can do better, and I hope that someday I can teach exercise and help educate others on taking care of their bodies and staying healthy.  I thank my Heavenly Father each day for my healthy body!  It is a beautiful gift!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Saying what I never thought I'd be saying

  Do you ever look back and read your journal/blog about when you were going through a difficult time?  Does it ever make you laugh?  Here I was just looking back reading through some of my past stresses I was going through, and I seriously started laughing.  Those stresses seem so childish now.  It's crazy when you're in the middle of going through a trial it feels like the world is going to end, and you can't see the end result.  It's funny when you're praying for an answer, and the answer you get isn't what you prayed for, but in the end it's EXACTLY what you needed.
    I NEVER thought I would say this, and I always hated the people who said this, but I really am thankful for the trials I've gone through.  Why do you ask?  Because going through those experiences has made me a stronger person.  I can handle stress/anxiety/challenges with a better mind set than I could in the past.  My testimony has grown leaps and bounds because of the small trials I've gone through.  Going through those past trials, I have learned that my Heavenly Father loves me, and that he is capable of lifting my burdens from me.  I've learned to humble myself, and I've learned that's it's possible to change.  Just because I have anxiety about things, doesn't mean I can throw in the towel and say I can't do it.  Although we are given weaknesses, we can fix them, and we can grow.  I've learned to pray over my flaws and that each day I can become a better person than I was the day before.  Something else that I am grateful for is the fact that I'm way more prepared to face my trials and challenges now than if I wouldn't have endured my previous trials.  As most of you are aware, the older we get, the more responsibilities we take on.  With responsibility comes a lot more challenges and stresses than before.  I have had one heck of a year.  There has been a great deal of change, and a great deal of stress.  I am currently enduring a trial that I never in a million years thought I would be going through.  I wish I could share it with you, and I probably can in a few months, but it is just too personal right now and effects more than just me.  Right now I am grateful for my previous struggles I've gone through then ever before.  I never thought I would be thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing me to go through those challenges in my life in order to get me through my challenges now.
    I know that when we are going through hard times in our lives it's so hard to see blessings coming from them.  It's hard to understand why we are going through them, and it's hard to see the outcome, but when we endure our trials and turn to our Heavenly Father we can grow immensely.  It is only through God that we become strong, and that our burdens can be lifted.  I am so grateful for the growth, development, knowledge, faith, testimony, and strength that I have gained through experiencing the difficult times in my life.  I hope that if any of you are struggling at this time that you can remember to give your burden up to Heavenly Father, and know that he has a plan for you and loves you.  I also hope that you all know you can come to me and I will be there with a plate of cookies and a warm hug to help you through any challenges you are facing.  I love you all and hope you are doing well!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dental School Decision!

   Well, Derek and I have made the decision to move to Glendale, AZ!!  After a lot of prayer and consideration, we knew that our family needed to be in Glendale for the next 4 years.  We are ecstatic about experiencing year round warm weather, going swimming everyday in the summer, and living by tons of parks, malls, restaurants, museums, water parks, etc.  The other day I was babysitting and the little boy had so much energy I went outside with him and had him race back and forth in the small area of the yard that didn't have snow.  I looked down at Levi and I got so excited.  I realized that when Levi is at the stage of running around everywhere with lots of pent up energy, I can send him outside and not have to worry about bundling him up.  I will want to even go out with him and enjoy some sun rays with him.  I'm excited about going on bike rides with him, swimming with him, and going to the park to play with him anytime of the year.  
     I'm excited that we will be close to our dear Arizona friends.  It's crazy how we lived in AZ for only 1 year, but our AZ friends are like our second family.  Our AZ friends are still some of the first ones to reach out to us, and continually let us know that they care about us.  Since our friends have found out we are moving to Glendale, they are already hounding us about seeing us when we get there.  

 I know that it won't be a walk in the park.  I'm worried about never seeing Derek once he's in school.  I went to the dentist last week and the dentist basically prepped me on the fact that I won't see my husband for 4 years.... so that's awesome, NOT.  I know it will be hard being away when there are family get togethers.  I know it will be hard when Levi won't get to know his cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents etc.  I know it will be hard that first little bit when we are new and don't know a single person in our neighborhood/ward.  But I'm also grateful that we get to meet new people, and I'm grateful for the fact that we get to experience this adventure on our own.  Having gone through the experience of moving away once, I'm ready to experience the anxiety and loneliness that comes at the beginning.  But I'm also ready to experience something new and exciting.  If I had the option, I'd probably move tomorrow, but because money usually plays a factor.... looks like we won't afford to move until the dead heat of the summer.  
I'm grateful for this new adventure to come.  

 On a side note, Levi has decided to start cruising!  He uses anything to push on to get into a standing position.  He cruises along the couch, entertainment center, book shelves, chairs, people, tables, etc.  Anything he can find he will use it to help him walk.  He has a fun little toy walker that he recently decided to use.  He used to try and use it to stand up and it would slide away and he'd fall.  The other day, he finally grasped the concept and pushed straight down and was able to walk across the living room with it.  That boy is determined to be walking on his own soon.  It really is breaking my heart.  I feel like once he can walk he's no longer a baby.  Time has flown by!  I'm really started to freak out that he's already 10 months old.  He's the sweetest thing ever!  He likes to say dada and mama, sing, bounce up and down to music, wave hi and bye, give hugs, read lots and lots of books, play with his toy car, and be tickled.  It's crazy to think my life even existed before him.  He and Derek are my life!!