Friday, September 30, 2011

September C's

Capture: So it's been a busy month with our move and everything and I was planning on just taking the month off from my C's and not stress about anything else besides this move. I got asked to take some pictures in the middle of the month though which I didn't mind doing because it gave me a fun break from all of our cleaning and the photoshoot itself was so fun. We went to some new locations and I was taking pictures of some good friends of ours and like always I learned a ton. You can see some more of my favorites on my photoblog.


Create: Scott figured our home counted for this one right now. We are busy organizing and trying to decorate our new place and make it more of a home so there is a lot of creating going on. We'll post more pictures of our new place when it's finished! :)

Cook: This month my parents got to sample my experimental cooking as well. :) I found this Broccoli Chedder Chicken Crescent Braid recipe by way of Pinterest (I love that site!). I don't think it was our favorite recipe but it was still pretty good and quick and easy to make so we'll probably make it again because it's also something a little different too.

Next month we'll hopefully be back into the groove and I can finish an actual project. I really enjoy my crafty projects and I feel myself getting a little itchy to make or sew something new. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

moving

i am never moving again. amber's mom and dad may not be too excited about the news, but i think it's in my best interest. :)
long story short, i have not taken the traditional path to finish college. i began nearly 8 years ago with no idea what i was doing or what i wanted to be. in those 8 years there have been many, many detours, obstacles, and a couple breaks along the way. so, while i have been attending school for what seems like forever, i still find myself forever away from finishing. and with my weird work schedule, i can only manage to go to school part-time at the moment. this is a problem.

i'm no longer on my own. i now have a pair of beautiful women in my life who deserve the world. i can't give that to them right now. i need to get graduated and get a grown-up job. to do this, full-time work and part-time school need to switch places, but this would leave us in a financial bind. so we weighed our options. one option that presented itself was moving in with amber's parents who live just 10 minutes away. we definitely had our reservations.
but it definitely made the most sense. so we talked with amber's parents and they welcomed us with open arms, as we knew our loving parents would (but i fear they have no idea what they're getting into - claire is going to ruin their peaceful retirement years. :) ) so the fun began.

we gave our month notice to our landlords and tried to make it a nice and slow, stressless move, taking the occasional box over in our free time. but that month flew by much quicker than expected, and we found ourselves with far too much to do with not enough time to do it. but thanks to friends and family, we got it done with a few days to get some mad cleaning in. i like to think amber and i are pretty clean people in general, but it's scary to see how much you miss and don't notice over the years. i just hope we get SOME of our deposit back. :)

so our game plan was to get everything from our old apartment into the new place, throw it all in the corner, and organize it once we were done cleaning the old place. i don't know if that was the most logical method, but i find myself loving it. it's like Christmas to me. yeah, opening presents is fun and all, but one of my favorite parts is figuring out where everything goes. i'm kind of an ocd nerd that way. but as much fun as it is, it's a lot of work, and we still have a lot to do.

a part of me feels like a failure. 30 years old and living in my in-laws basement - every man's dream. but this seems like the wisest choice at the moment. and it'll only be for a few years - amber's parents are going on a mission, so we'll be house-sitting for them and i should be done with school by the time they get back. and it really is a nice set-up. a private entrance, two bedrooms, a nice big front room, a ping-pong/pool table, and a way nice whirlpool tub. :) plus amber's parents are right upstairs, which means we can play games with mom, we get family sunday dinners, and we get the occasional babysitter (which i worry we'll abuse too much - sorry mom. :) ) we will definitely miss our first place together as a family, but we are excited for this new phase of our life. wish us luck.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

september 11, 2001

has it really been ten years?
ten years ago today i was serving a mission for my church in new york city. we and a hundred or so of my fellow missionaries were in queens for a meeting on this day. a friend had walked in and told us that a plane had just crashed into one of the twin towers. then news of the pentagon being hit had spread around amongst us all. i thought it was a joke. the way it spread, i was sure it was going to be some lesson on gossip from our mission president, so i actually started to tell people the eiffel tower had been hit too. i was wrong. it wasn't a joke.
we ran outside and beheld two of the tallest buildings in the world on fire. the smoke poured out across the sky. it didn't seem real. later we tried to drive down closer to the scene, but new york was shut down.

new york changed that day. what was once a wild and crazy city became serene and somber. i remember thinking in the weeks following how quiet it had become. while we continued to spread the message of our savior Jesus Christ, we found that the hearts of the people were softened. tragedies such as these are always horrible, but the Lord always finds a way to bring about good from them.
it's unfortunate how quickly we forget sometimes and just return to our normal lives. i suppose that is why the Savior constantly asks us to "remember" countless times throughout the scriptures. i know i'll never forget.
i unfortunately cannot nearly express how i truly feel, but today i heard the words of president thomas s. monson, and found them to put perfectly into words how i feel in my heart.

"The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world.

There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.

Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.

If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.

The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.

It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mornings and FHE

I love Claire in the mornings. :)

She's usually in our bed by morning. Even if she did have a good night sleeping in her crib, we'll bring her into our bed around 6am when she wakes up and (hopefully) get another hour of sleep at least. She'll cuddle up next to us and sleep a little longer. Then, when she's really awake, she's so cute. She'll look up at me to see if I'm awake or she'll pat daddy's back(or his face) if he's there. She'll sit up and start crawling on top of us. When Scott does work and gets home in the morning, she'll try to slip off the bed and go find him. She's so happy in the mornings and is such a joy! I love her all the time, but mornings with her are so fun! :)

For FHE we sometimes have a hard time of coming up with fun things we can do with a toddler. In our process of packing stuff up though we found some sidewalk chalk that was put away in the back of the closet, so we decided to try them out for our FHE activity.

Claire hasn't quite learned how to use them the right way. She mostly enjoyed taking them out and putting them back into the container, but she did have some fun. :)