Saturday, July 30, 2011

Popular Posts

So I just added a "popular posts" gadget to my sidebar. Some of them make sense to me because I can tell they are popular things that people would find through a Google search etc., but some of them downright confuse me. They were silly little posts I made when I was 14 or 15!

So I changed it to popular posts in the last 30 days, which I feel will tell more about me. I also changed the background. Do you like? I loved the cherry blossoms, but I can't pass up something vintage-y. Especially if it's a quilt. I just don't like that it's tied though. I also added a list of books that I just read or plan to read soon on my sidebar. Check it out.

I did survive Bear being gone. I will just need to get used to it. I'm finding so many fun recipes online and I'm itching to start being my own homemaker. I really want to make my own tomato sauce, ranch, and ketchup. And I really want to finish my dress.

I feel like this was kind of a useless post. But it's just where I'm at right now.

And this article made me really happy. Click HERE.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Water For Elephants

This was a book that I couldn't put down. I read it in 3 days or so. It was very vivid and exciting. There were a lot of dirty parts that I thought were unnecessary and that I had to skip over,but it has a surprise happy ending. And I like happy endings. I recommend it.

I can't wait for the movie to come out on DVD. I'm loving all my reading time.

But I'm frustrated with my dress. At least I don't have a deadline I have to meet for it, but I'm afraid it will look cheap and handmade (like it is). I will post pictures after I get the facing and interfacing to work out. Gah. I want my mom's sewing skills.

Even if you're not a circus person, you'll love it. If you don't like animal mistreatment...maybe this book isn't for you.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Night Alone

I'm sure a few of you have seen this already, but I think it's super cute. It's an old picture of newlywed Elder and Sister Uchtdorf. It makes me happy.

Marriage in general makes me happy. This is me and Bear's first night away from each other. He's staying over for work. I was having my own little pity party about it this morning. (Just ask my mom. I'm known for whining and pity parties.) But then I got a slap in the face with a text from me Bear a little while later telling me that the fiance of one of his co-workers just had a still birth baby at 7.5 months. She was due in September. I've never gone through a miscarriage, let alone the normal pregnancy/delivery process. But my heart instantly hurt for her. I've only met her once, but I instantly wanted to do something for her. But I didn't want to make things worse. I felt her pain in a small degree. I had just been praying for an opportunity to help somebody too.

It put things into perspective for me. ("Right. Perspective." as Hermione says.) Yes, I miss Bear. But he'll come back soon.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught wives that they should treat their husbands "with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur - if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings."

I'm trying to apply the above quote in my life. I really am happy being married. I love him. I hope that I don't sound like I'm trying to cover up an insecurity or prove that I have a better marriage than you. It's just that the best love story is your own, you know?

By the way, I know successful blogs are about a specific topic (antiques, photography, autism, entrepreneurs, thrift, just to name a few that I read). But I can't help myself. I can't stick to one topic. It's too boring for me. Hopefully it's not too all over the place for you.

Now go be happy for me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


We got an apartment in the old Beev! It was a long search, but it's good to know we have somewhere to go now. It's just a small, upstairs, one-bedroom apartment. But it's furnished, affordable, and close to campus.
You want to know the best part? We get to keep Bustard :) :) :) I'm so happy. And seriously lucky.

Like I said, come on over. Come stay with us. Come party. We love the people.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And Sew It Begins

Remember the post I did a while ago? Click HERE. Well, I finally ordered some fabric. And I didn't get the $20/yd brocade from eBay. Instead, I went with this very very dark purple brocade from Much more affordable. They had some brocades at Joanne's the other day but they were mostly Chinese dress fabrics. Which I didn't want. So I was very pleased with the fabric when it came in the mail.
It took me forever to cut out because I was being super careful. And I had just enough fabric. I'm so happy because the dress pattern is exactly for my size, and all the pieces were already cut out. I'm having a fun time guessing who used this pattern and for which dress, and what fabric they used...was it for a dance? Or just for fun? Are they still alive? Haha jk. The pattern's not that old. But my favorite part is that the pattern and instructions smell like an old book. That's seriously one of my favorite smells. Kindles kill off that smell :( Anyways, let's see if I can figure out my sewing machine, because it's different from my mom's and I haven't really used it for a big project like this. I'm no sewing queen, so a lot of this is an adventure to me. I will keep the dress progress updated.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Millionaire Next Door

My dad gave me this book as a wedding gift, along with another financial book that I have yet to read. As you can see, I read quite a few books before it. And it was actually quite a short book and very interesting, but I had to force myself to read it. It is full of statistics and charts, which I know they needed to prove their point, but I guess I'm too stupid and just want the stories. And everything Stanley and Danko were saying should be obvious, but I guess we need it spelled out to us plainly.

I did take notes though!
  • Be frugal, frugal, frugal
  • Make a budget (know exactly how much you spend each month and year on everything)
  • Get a financial advisor
  • Get and accountant
  • Invest 30% of your money
  • Be a PAW (prodigious accumulator of wealth), now an UAW (under accumulator of wealth)
  • You aren't what you drive
  • Don't hand out money to adult kids
  • Whatever your income, always live below your means
  • Teach your children to fish (be independent)
  • Teach your children to be courageous
  • If your goal is to become financially secure, you'll likely attain it...but if your motive is to make money to spend money on the good life,'re never gonna make it.
  • Money should never change one's values...making money is only a report card. It's a way to tell how you're doing.
So I'm going to set up a budget and try to use as many coupons as I can. Because we need to save up for future bebbes ♥

I read another good blog post book review about this book. You can read it be clicking HERE.

And I found this blog post very interesting. Click HERE.

It's so tempting to keep up with the Jones' today, but I'm going to resist the temptation.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Time for Dodger Baseball!

It was Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium so I went with the Fredrickson's. Bear had to work :(
I feel like such a baseball traitor because I like the Cubs and Giants. My first baseball game was at Wrigley Field, for my senior trip. You can read about it HERE. The Dodgers lost to the Cubs then. And they lost to the Nationals this time. Too bad they've gone bankrupt too.
But baseball is just fun to watch. It's very American. I have to admit I kept reading my book. Oops.
It makes me excited for SVU baseball to start again!
Bear said he couldn't look at me when I was wearing the shirt the Fredrickson's let me borrow.
I love this guy and I'm sad that he couldn't come with me. I've had a fun weekend. And we're finalizing our apartment. Things are coming together for school and I'm excited.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Waterparks and Blankets

Bear's team got surprised by getting a half-day off to go to Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags. The company was going to pay for all the guys, and then me and Brandy were going to have to pay for ourselves. But it ends up it was cheaper to buy 10 group tickets, so me and Brandy were free too :)

I hadn't been to a big water park like that in a long time. We went on a Wednesday, so it wasn't very crowded at all and the weather was perfect. The guys wanted to go on really scary slides but I just went on a couple. They still filled me full of fright. They were pitch black. Which is not okay, because I'm terrified of the dark. And they weren't the tube kind. I couldn't tell where I was going, had no control over the super-speed, didn't know what the end of the slide looked like...technically, I thought I was going to die. Let's just say I was praying my little heart out. And I lived.

Surviving in a wave pool without a tube is quite the workout too. And I got a little more sun kissed. So I'm happy. I looked up the reviews for the park online before you went. There were so many negative and whiny comments! I had fun at the park. Yes, everything there was overpriced, but we just worked around it. Seriously, some of the things people were complaining about...sometimes it's embarrassing for me to be American. I hate whiny Americans. Why don't you go live in a third world country for a week and then come back to me and complain, huh? We don't always get what we want. I'm not saying Japanese people or any other peoples are saints either, but gosh. Sorry, it really does make me angry. Why can't people find joy in the simple things? Like that you're actually in a fun water park in the first place? I guess I whine about whiny people a lot. And I'm a whiner too. But I really am trying to work on it.

On another happy note, I have a problem with people stealing the blankets from me all night. Before it's my sister, now it's Bear. Being cold in the night wakes me up, and Bear weighs so much more than me and is too strong to pull the blankets from, so I always have to wake him up for them. Because I'm not sleeping cold. Nuh-uh. Well, I woke up that Wednesday with all the blankets. I finally was the blanket queen! But that meant that Bear had been cold all night. I asked him why he didn't steal them or wake me up. I would've understood! But he said I looked so peaceful while I was sleeping. :)

Oh, and it's 2 months from today will be my birthday!!!! I'm still like a little kid when it comes to birthdays

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Miss You

I don't have much to say. Except me and Bear's financial aid is finally done for school (and between my Marriott scholarship and Pell Grant, I don't have to pay any tuition. In fact, the school owes me money). And I'm not going to have to pay for the expensive dorms or expensive food plan. Blegh. So right now we're narrowing down our choices for an apartment. You are more than welcome to come stay with us by the way. It might be a one bedroom place and kind of squishy, but we like people. Come visit beautiful Virginia with us.

And I really really miss people. I had a meltdown on Sunday about it. I'm such a people person and I get so attached. So please be in my life.

Where are you now?
Cause I´m thinking of you
You showed me how
How to live like I do
If it wasn´t for you
I would never be who I am
- Where Are You Now by Honor Society

I'm glad that I have a Bear to keep me happy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Deathly Hallows

So I know everyone's going overboard with Harry Potter statuses, but this is my opinion. I know for a lot of people it "felt like their childhood had ended" or they grew up with the books. For me, I loved HP when I was 10 and 11 and waited for my own Hogwarts letter. But I wasn't devastated when it didn't come. It was all just fun for me. I still remember when my parents surprised me and Tash and took us to the first one in Odaiba, Japan. I'll never forget that moment of pure happiness.
To be honest, the movies weren't my fav until the last 2. I could watch those over and over again. The actors grew up, the characters grew up, the graphics were better, and the ending is just so emotional. Now, I'm not an HP nut, and I had to have people explain a few things to me that I couldn't remember, but it was really fun to make these cheap tshirts on our own. A gay guy even complimented Bear's shirt that I made. Baha
I was excited because this was the first time I had been to a midnight showing of anything. Ever. And to our surprise, when we got there, our tickets were actually a double feature for both parts of the Deathly Hallows, starting at 9, so instead of waiting in line and clawing for some seats, saving those seats for hours, we got to watch both parts together and all went smoothly. It was nice to see both together.
The 3D didn't make it that much more exciting, but the glasses were fun. I couldn't stop crying during the whole Snape part at the end (the whole snake thing was a little gross though) and when all Harry's dead loved ones were surrounding him to strengthen him. Okay, I'm starting to sound like a nutty fan. I'll just say the ending gets me and now I just want to see it again. Can I just say that I was more excited that Bellatrix died than Voldemort? Anyways, I liked it. It's not about the magic or fantasy for me. It's about the emotion. Which Bear will probably never understand. But at least it's a book series that we both can finally relate on. Now I just want to know how rich J.K. Rowling is. Mischief Managed!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I love him

Reasons why I'm grateful for Bear this week:
  1. He took me to Olive Garden (my favorite)
  2. He loved me better when I woke up from a horrible dream
  3. He offered to buy me a plane ticket home when I missed my family
  4. He tried to let me win at Wii
  5. He's going to go see the last Harry Potter with me.
So, I love him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To the Rescue

Lately, I can't stop reading. It's probably because I can't really read at school. I always take mountains of books with me, and don't get through a single one. Maybe it's because I was spending so much time with Bear...I don't know. Anyways, I just keep going onto the next book.

As you can see, I just finished To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson. It all started back at school in October. I saw it at the school library (one of the ups of going to a small school: you have a chance at things you wouldn't at a big school). They must have just put it in the New Arrivals section, because I snatched it. But of course I couldn't read it fast enough at school. I kept renewing it and renewing it, read some of it during Thanksgiving break, but felt bad that I was hogging it and returned it. But then I missed it and kept trying to borrow it but it was continuously checked out. Of course. Then I read a little while I was in Utah for Christmas from my grandma's library. I thought about buying the kindle version, but it was too expensive, and I love the feeling of a real book in my hands.

Finally, I bought it at a Deseret Book on our honeymoon in Las Vegas. I know it's a book that I will want to keep on my bookshelf forever. I didn't really care for the writing style, but of course I love Pres. Monson no matter what. The book was so uplifting and I think I can say that it's changed my life forever. There are so many good quotes from all of the Brethren. I definitely recommend it. He really does reach out to "the one". I had a personal experience with it. You can read about that in the post below this one.

"What will the legacy of President Thomas S. Monson be? Observers have a tendency to set the starting point at the beginning of a man's presidency of the Church. But his legacy goes all the way back to when he began following the Spirit and heeding promptings, when he began reaching out with the power of the Spirit, one-on-one, to anyone and everyone, especially the forgotten. His legacy will be Christlike living." p. 528

The countless stories of him on his way to help someone, and helping a few unexpected people along the way, is just one example of him listening to the Spirit. I had a few favorites, but they're long and I just want you to read it. So go ahead. Now.

The President Monson Story

I thought that I had posted this story on my blog, but I can't find it anywhere, so I post it again. This is from October 2009. Almost 2 years ago. Oh my gosh.

And this story starts a couple of months before the happening when David Archuleta came. I had it narrowed it down to 2 people, either David or the prophet. I was pretty sure it was David in my head, but I kept feeling like I was going to meet the prophet. I was so excited, and when it was David, I was still excited, but a little disappointed. I guessed that I was just really excited and that wasn't the spirit that I felt.

Well, on Friday, I was having a bad day. Nothing had really gone wrong. It was just one of the those days that I felt ugly, stupid, etc etc. I was mad that I was feeling that way and wanted to flip it around, but couldn't. I was way overwhelmed with school, college classes, lots of homework, early morning seminary, early-bird chorus, my job, college and scholarship applications, chores, and musical practice. Forget about a social life, I didn't have 5 minutes to myself. I was about to explode. We got out early that day, and on the way home, I said a prayer telling Heavenly Father that I felt like I was doing everything that I was supposed to, but I couldn't take it anymore, and to have a reminder of why I'm doing what I'm doing. I felt better after the prayer.

Well, I always wanted to meet Pres. Hinckley, and was so sad when he died and I couldn't let him go. And living in Nauvoo, I've gained a super strong testimony of Joseph Smith. But I've had a hard time accepting President Monson. Which doesn't make sense, because I never saw or heard Joseph Smith, and President Monson is giving is instruction for today. I've been gaining a gradual testimony of him, but nothing kaboom like I had with Joseph Smith.

So after school, I had to get an ecclesiastical endorsement signed by my bishop for SVU. It definitely didn't need to be that day though. I called him, thinking I could just drop it off at his house, and have him bring it to church on Sunday. But he said he wasn't home. He was at the building north of the temple. And he said he would fill it out right then. I thought that was weird, because that was the new Temple Accomadation center, that was under construction. Me and my dad went on the way to the post office. It wasn't even close to the deadline, but I had this feeling like I needed to hurry and get it signed. We could've even gone to the post office first, but we didn't.

We pull up, and the building is 99% finished. I can see a lot of older, important looking people inside the building through the windows. And they could see me. Just walking up to the door, I felt like it was a VIP party I hadn't been invited to. There weren't door knobs. But I figured that since they saw me, they'd open the door. Nope. I knocked, and an older guy in a suit stuck his head out. He seriously gave a look like "she's not on the list". He opened the door a little more, and my Bishop saw me and said I could come in. He had a security earphone. Everyone was staring at me (because I was the only person under 50 probably). I saw a lady staring at me that looked really familiar. I knew she wasn't from Nauvoo, but that I had seen her recently. Then it hit me. It was Ann M. Dibb who talked in conference - Pres. Monson's daugter! But I still wouldn't believe that Pres. Monson was there. My Bishop said, "you came just at the right time!" I was really confused. He said, "can you see who's in the room on the left?" All I could see was the temple president dressed in white talking to someone. There was a mirror on the wall that showed the top of the mystery guy's head. It looked like Pres' Monson's head, but I still didn't want to get excited. My Bishop was interviewing me and filling out my paper like nothing weird was going on. But I had nothing to do and just felt really out of place. Right at the end of the interview, the temple president came out of the room, and a tall man followed him.

It was President Monson.

He was so tall and erect and confident looking. He was smiling, and looked right at me in that room full of people. He started the conversation, and told me I had a beautiful smile and that I needed to watch out for young men. The second he walked into the room, the spirit came like a tsunami and it was like, HE'S THE PROPHET!

I didn't get to shake his hand or take a picture with him, but it was enough. He went down and visited the flatts (they were closed down for the afternoon). I told all my friends, and they got to shake his hand at the visitor's center or get a look at him. I couldn't believe it had happened. That definitely wasn't the answer to my prayer I thought I would get. He flew home the next morning.

1. my prayer was answered
2. I got the testimony of him that I had been waiting for
3. the feeling from 3 months ago was the Spirit, and came true
4. he acknowldged me and gave me a compliment on my insecure teenager day
5. just that tiny bit of advice he gave me, and his presence was the proof and reminder that I needed

My bishop could've said he was busy, or I could've called a couple of hours later. So many things could've happened. But it wasn't a coincidence.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Night

Today I made chicken spaghetti. It is one of my family's favorites. This time I made it with cream of chicken instead of mushroom for the first time because Brandon doesn't like mushrooms, but I think I like the mushroom taste better. Make sure you cut up the chicken pretty small. Unless you like it big. It's not complicated and quite delicious.

2~3 chicken breasts (halves), cooked and diced
1 can cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken)
1 can chicken broth
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine and bring to simmer.

I also gave the Family Home Evenging lesson. It was about courage, and at the very end I realized Marek (4) didn't know what I meant and I had to tell him it was the same thing as being brave. Fail on my part. Bah.

I have this problem where after I post a post, I find other information later on it that I wish I could've added or other thoughts come to my mind. So about Fascinating Womanhood, it's a long and deep read that you can't breeze through (if you do, you won't get anything out of it). I know that a lot of people have to reread a few times. And about the last post about respecting parents, I don't want to get all emotional and use the overdone "I have the best parents in the whole world!", but I really do love and respect my parents. I had a few complaints as a teenager, but now I can see I would've handled the situation the same if I had been the parent. They make me happy and give me meaningful advice. So there. You better be reading this before or after family home evening. Just saying.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Cents

This weekend was nice and relaxing. I've been able to spend a lot of time with Bear. I think we should be crowned king and queen dork. I'm loving all my reading time. We're trying to figure out our financial aid and where we're going to be living back at SVU. It will be here before I know it. And I'm secretly excited for this next semester. I'll be taking 19 credits plus Institute (which does kind of sounds like suicide), but I'm excited to read more, learn more, and study more. And I won't put off homework this time. That's my goal. Now that I'm married to Bear, hopefully we'll spend our time together more wisely instead of watching lots of TV. Baha. We'll see.

We had another "heated" discussion in Relief Society today (I don't want this blog to be all about church, but it always gets me thinking) about how we're supposed to honor our parents, but a lot of people complained that their parents weren't good parents and that it's hard to respect them now. But somebody made the good point that you're responsible for you.

I respect the people that rise above their situation and don't let their environment control them. I watched a online news video clip (that I can't find anymore) recently, where a gay man was being interviewed about a "anti-gay program" his parents put him in. I'm not going to go into whether gay is "good or not" and whether that was a good parenting move, or whether the program president was a good man, or if these programs are a good idea in the first place. But I'm sure his parents were trying their best and wanted the best for their son, whether they went about it the right way or not. Another man who had been in the same program had committed suicide recently, and the man being interviewed blamed the program for making him homeless, depressed, and addicted to drugs. He also said it took his family away from him, when he had just barely said that he chose to cut himself off from his family. The news seemed to be a little more on his side. But...I lost all respect for him right there. Not because he was gay.

I can't judge the level of depression people feel and I can't judge a circumstance that I've never been in. But I can't respect people who blame their horrible lives on their horrible background and sad life experiences. If anything, it should have made him a stronger person. I would have liked to see a news story about somebody who overcame their trials, not someone who wallowed in them and blamed other people for everything!

Also, I don't agree with Casey Anthony's verdict. But yet again, I'm not her, her family, the judge, or the jury. I didn't see it happen, I wasn't in the court room. But I would like to say that I'm happy to live in a country where we have a right for a fair trial, even some people get away sometimes. I think that's much better than no right to trial and going straight to jail because a tyrannical government said so. I hope that right lasts.

Well that's my two cents. I gave a scare to people accidentally on facebook with one of my statuses. But we are not pregnant. Just so that is cleared up. The final Harry Potter is this weeeeeeeeekkkkkkk ~ ~ ~

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fascinating Womanhood

I just finished reading Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. I got the inspiration to read it from Heather Ive's blog post, which you can read by clicking HERE.

The description of the book reads:
"A guide to a happy marriage. Teaches women how to awaken their husband's devoted love and tenderness. Gives insight into understanding men, their needs and feelings and what's important to them. Teaches the true meaning of femininity and how it differs from masculinity. Provides a role model for women to pattern from, the ideal woman from a man's point of view, the kind men adore. A classic best seller that has sold over two million copies. It has helped millions of women find true happiness in marriage and can do the same for you."

I know that this book makes some people absolutely livid. It is a feminist's worst nightmare. Now I don't agree with 100% of the book. And I feel like this book is more for people with a struggling marriage, but I know that me and Bear are a little more happy and I think it has very good advice. And I don't agree with people who told me to not read the book. If something is crude, profane, violent, or disgusting, I would let them stop me. But why not read a self-help book that's clean and full of information and then decide for yourself to follow it or throw the book against the wall?

I like that the book encourages me to be feminine. And Bear agrees with me on this one. There's a feminine strength that women have, but it's different than men, and that's okay. As a teenager I felt really insecure because I was short, not athletically inclined, and a little more girly than most of my friends. Boys would comment on it in a negative way which ran me down and I looked at the athletic girls and I felt like they had the boyfriends, popularity, and confidence. Now I realize there's nothing wrong with those girls if it makes them happy, and the boys' negative comments were just like them hitting me in first grade. That was what boys did, but they didn't mean to make me feel worthless or to be mean. Boys will be boys. I didn't need to base my self worth on other people. Girls, be happy with yourselves.

So does this mean I'm going to wear flowery dresses, an apron, pearls, and stay in my kitchen baking cookies all day? No. But it means I'm going to be happy that I'm a woman, that I'm married, and I'm going to do the best I can to make Bear and my future kids happy.

I recommend this book. Or The Fascinating Girl for single or dating girls. I have not read that one, but I heard it's good too. Now, I hate recommending self help books to people...because I hate it when people give them to me. ("You want me to change, huh? Well just because you gave me this darned book, I'm not going to read it.") i understand. It can feel a little offensive. But look into if you're interested. I suggest looking for any book on google shopping on the cheapest site you can find. That's my favorite right now. It's better than Amazon. Because I don't mind used books, but you might.

I love marriage so far. And I'm going to keep working at it.

A lot of people have told me on Facebook lately that they read my blog and enjoy it. It means a lot to me. Because I don't feel like I'm a good writer. i have a hard time expressing myself effectively through writing, or speaking for that matter either. It's my journal. I should have a written one all to myself, but I don't want to remember negative feelings. So thank you to all my readers again.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

4th of July

So I made these 4th of July sugar cookies from Martha Stewart. I ran out of gel though and so I couldn't make all the cookies the same design. I know it's late for the 4th of July, but if you want, the recipe is in the post below this. You could do it for Halloween or Christmas or any color just for fun.

17 minutes was too little, 19 minutes was a little too much for mine. Be careful.

And I made my mom's green tomato salsa which I absolutely love. There's a Mexican grocery store nearby with super super cheap produce so it wasn't that expensive to make. So I used green tomatillos instead of unripe tomatoes but it worked out fine. And because I wasn't canning it, I cut the recipe in half. Make sure you have a huge pot, because it does boil down, but all the cut up vegetables take up a lot of room. I wish I had read the comments on the recipe at the bottom of the page...or asked my mom for more advice. Because you definitely need to cut the salt in half (or quarter it if you're halving the recipe), and not as much vinegar. So it was way too salty for me. I added sugar which helped a little, but it was too salty for some people. Lots of people said it was fine. But I wasn't satisfied. Oh well. I know for next time. Don't make my mistake. If you want the recipe, click HERE.

Bear started the day off with playing baseball with Andrew. It was the first time he got to play ball since nationals, in the middle of May. He did have to work half the day, but did get 2 sales. I didn't think anyone would be interested on the 4th. Life is full of surprises.

We went to a BBQ at a ward member's house. They have an adopted little girl and boy and they reminded me a lot of my own family. Two white blonde kids close in age and two firecracker brown kids :) We finished the day off with city fireworks. At the end of the day, my body was exhausted but I couldn't turn my brain off and had to talk poor Bear's ear off. I hope you all had a good holiday with friends, family, and food. Sometimes bbq's and lots of food don't feel like celebrating a holiday to me. I need to come up with my own traditions for my future family (no I'm not hinting anything).

Oh, and it was our one month anniversary. Just saying ♥


Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.



    • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    • Coarse salt

    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

    • 2 cups sugar

    • 2 large eggs

    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract



  1. Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.

  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

  5. Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then "flood" with more white icing to cover.

  6. Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).

  7. Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


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^ This is one of my favorite wedding pictures

I taught the lesson in Sunday School today. Gah. I survived, but wish I would've done better. I was pinched on time, and got through the lesson on time, but then I wonder if I rushed through it too fast. And I'm always worried that I didn't help people feel the Spirit or didn't make an important point that someone needed to hear. It was on the Atonement, which is obviously a very deep topic that I don't feel qualified to teach, especially to adults. Because I don't really feel like an adult yet. But I secretly like teaching or speaking at church, because at least it's a learning experience for me. That sounds really selfish now that I've said it. But there you have it. Bear had some suggestions for me of course :)

Today was also testimony meeting and me and Bear started to realize most of the people weren't really bearing their testimony. I didn't want to be judgmental at all, but in my old ward in Nauvoo, a member of the Bishopric read this quote every month before the testimonies from Dallin H. Oaks:

"A testimony of the gospel is a personal witness borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost that certain facts of eternal significance are true and that we know them to be true. Such facts include the nature of the Godhead and our relationship to its three members, the effectiveness of the Atonement, and the reality of the Restoration.

A testimony of the gospel is not a travelogue, a health log, or an expression of love for family members. It is not a sermon. President Kimball taught that the moment we begin preaching to others, our testimony is ended."

You can read the rest of the talk by clicking HERE.

It didn't make our testimony meetings perfect of course, but it taught me a good lesson. Before I always felt like I needed a story or flowery wording to bear my testimony. I couldn't think of one, so I wouldn't go up to the pulpit. Now, I know that I just have to state simple principles and truths that I know to be true. No fluff added. It makes me happy. A new member of the church bore his simple testimony today. And that made me happy too. I hope it grows.


On a funnier note, me and Bear are starting to realize the different families we were raised in. We have very different views on discipline. He was basically raised in a boy family, #3 of 5 boys. I was raised in a girl family. I've heard so many people say that they'd rather take raising a rambunctious boy over an emotional girl any day. I'm the opposite. I am one, and know how to handle one. I feel like I was made to be the mother of a bunch of daughters. But just watch and see. I'll end up with a bunch of boys as a learning experience.

And my new debit card is a MasterCard. I didn't realize it would automatically go to that. I just assumed that our account was Visa. When I talked to Bear about it, we kind of got in an argument about which was better: Visa or MasterCard. But when we tried to prove our arguments, we realized that the only reason was those were the ones our families had. We both remember seeing our dads pay with a Visa (in my case) or MasterCard (in his case). I even looked it up just now...there really is no difference between the two. Ah, marriage and realizing the silly things we hold on to.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Los Angeles Temple

I went to the Los Angeles Temple with the Relief Society sisters in my new ward on Thursday morning. It was the first time I'd been to this temple and it was a wonderful experience. It's huge and gorgeous! Definitely before "mini temples". It was kind of weird not having Bear there but it was a great opportunity to go. I want to make a goal of going to the temple once a month, which will be tricky because Bear works so much and then we're pretty far from the Washington D.C. Temple at school too. But I'm determined. I miss my teenage days of hopping on the train on a random night to go to the Tokyo Temple, or walking down the street to the Nauvoo Temple. The temple is a lovely grand place. We should all go. Because it makes people happy. I'm happy that I'm sealed to my family forever. It's a good feeling, especially now as my grandpa passed away recently. It's a learning experience every time I go. Why is that we take them for granted when they're right next to us? Temples. Temples. Temples. I love them.

The paragraph above has no structure because the temple makes a million emotions and thoughts run through my head. To sum it up, it was worth getting married in the temple. In my grandma's dress. (We've almost been married for a month! Gah)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Jane Eyre

I just finished reading Jane Eyre for the second time. The first time I read it was when I was 15. Even though it was after I watched the movie, I still had a really hard time understanding it. This time was much easier and I fell in love with it all over again. I wasn't able to watch the new movie when it came out in theaters, so I'm anxiously awaiting August. I couldn't stand the 1930's version and I couldn't even finish it, but I've seen two other versions. The problem is the movie is never good enough because the plot isn't the best part, it's the writing and dialogue. The ending gets me every time. The whole book is so beautiful and simply enchanting.

You may like this book if…you crave a strong female literary lead, you enjoy against-all-odds love stories, you like unexpected plot points, you enjoy the classic governess novel, you are familiar with competing models of Christianity, you like contemplating nature versus nurture, you are intrigued by mystic story elements, you enjoy witnessing a plain Jane’s romance

You may not like this book if… you had a horrible childhood and do not care to rehash these memories, you do not appreciate the author’s portrayal of the mentally ill as a shameful burden, you have a hard time falling head-over-heels for the arrogant and strange Rochester, you are deathly afraid of ghosts or fire Haha

It's a classic. You just have to read it. And it's not like Jane Austen or as dark and depressing as Wuthering Heights.

Anybody else got book recommendations for me?