25 February 2015

Think of a wonderful thought...

I've been studying a lot recently about how to naturally boost serotonin levels, and wouldn't you know it - thinking happy thoughts is one of the suggestions! How funny that positive thinking will LITERALLY result in a positive life?! People tell us that all the time but I thought it was just talk and I was actually kind of surprised to read that (although I don't remember my source, haha sorry!) The article I read specifically mentioned reflecting back on a positive memory, so since I have been such a downer lately I decided to share with you the first 5 memories I think of when prompted to recall a happy memory - NOT including my wedding day because that's too cliche ;) Illustrated with random pictures of other happy moments...

ONE - The day I learned how to ride a bike and found a raspberry bush. My grandparents used to vacation in their camping trailer, and sometimes they would take me. Once…I was 8 I think? It was probably around my birthday because they bought me a bike, and I spent my days trying to learn how to ride it. It was a gorgeous campsite in Utah next to a lake, and I recall that it felt like we were one of the only ones at the campsite that time of year (a world of a difference from our Memorial Day camping trips). As soon as I woke up I would wheel my bike to the top of a nearby hill, and try coasting down over and over until I got the balancing part down. Yes, this was on asphalt and yes I got a couple dents in my helmet haha! I would go back to the trailer every now and then for food. I just remember a general feeling of contentment and determination. Then, I got it! And I started pedaling…and I still had it! I felt like I was flying and my sense of accomplishment was through the roof. As I was riding around the campsite I found this odd bush with little berries on it. I didn’t recognize them but they smelled sweet so I tasted one. Raspberries! I sat in that bush and ate every last raspberry…and I had never EVER been happier. Today I’m not sure if I love raspberries so much because of their taste or the sweet memory they bring back.

 TWO - Gymnastics. I absolutely LOVED gymnastics as a kid. It was a healthy (as opposed to running around the nearby desert shirtless and barefoot) outlet for my energy. It gave me a challenge, and I was good at it so it boost my confidence as well. Sometimes when I did very well the teacher would give us bubblegum. Well, similar story to number one, I was determined to learn how to blow a bubble! I used to watch people’s mouths when they blew bubbles and it was mind boggling, I had no idea how they did it. But I tried and tried, and after one day at gymnastics I popped that bubblegum in my mouth while I was sitting in the back of my grandpa’s truck…and I blew a bubble!

THREE - I’m starting to notice that all of my happiest stories revolve around me accomplishing something. This one is no different. In middle school, I wanted to try out for cheerleading. I practiced and practiced to get the routines down, but I was pretty sloppy. There was a girl who was trying out who was SO good at tumbling…she could do a round off and a back hand spring anytime, anywhere. I felt like if I could do a back handspring then maybe I would be as good as her and then I would make the team. So I practiced. My oldest little brother was only 4 or 5, and what I didn’t know at the time was that he was the SWEETEST little boy that EVER lived and he loved and looked up to me so much. When I told him my goal, he and my other little brother went out to go sit with me and cheer me on. Josh quickly got bored after my many failed attempts and I grew more and more frustrated. Josh went in the house, but Jacob stayed. For HOURS (which is days in four year old time) and he never took his eyes off of me. Every single time I wanted to give up he would encourage me, until finally I did it! Then I did it again and again just to be sure. My sweet little brother was probably more excited than I was, he stood up and clapped and cheered like I had just won a freaking medal…I was so happy I might as well have won a medal. Didn’t make the cheerleading squad though lol.

FOUR - In my tiny high school class, we were all very close. It was the same 30 people (give or take a few) year in and year out, so we knew each other well. But we didn’t ALWAYS get along. There was a girl in my class who I didn’t particularly like. She was too pretty and too perfect. I called her things like stuck up and prissy. My friends and I rolled my eyes every time she talked, and later I found out the feeling was mutual. Junior and senior year, she joined track so we started to talk a little more. She was fine, I could tolerate her, but I still didn’t WANT to like her. Somehow or another, in my senior year, I found myself hanging out with her and another girl on the track team very often. As we hung out I realized that we were soooo alike – we had similar interests and thoughts about life, and talking to her was really refreshing. So I admitted that I liked her and we continued to hang out. At our sleepovers we would turn the lights out, say goodnight…and then find ourselves talking openly about our deepest thoughts – until the early hours of the morning! When it came time for her to go off to college, we sat on my driveway in her car and cried about the thought of being separated. It was then I realized that she officially owned a piece of my heart that I would never get back. It was bitter sweet, but mostly sweet I think. I’ve never been happier to find out that I was wrong about a person.

FIVE - Matthew and I had an insane connection from our very first date. Insane. I honestly tried to fight it, and swore to my friends who didn’t like him that I would NOT fall in love…even though I couldn’t deny that I was drawn to him. He wanted me to meet his family so SO soon, like 4 days into “hanging out” (because we weren’t officially dating yet lol) and I drug my feet because I was nervous about how much more difficult that would make it for me to break up with him if I felt like I had to later on. Finally I caved and met his family…and then I caved again when he tried to kiss me…and then I caved again when he asked me to be his girlfriend. After lots of caving and lots of green-light prayers, I finally decided that maybe I wouldn’t have to break up with him…ever. He often told me things like “Don’t ever leave me” and “You’re my best friend already! Lets be friends forever”. One day, sitting in the parking lot of a church building, he told me that he wanted to be friends forever. Instead of the verbal agreement that I usually gave, I suggested a pinky promise. Afterwards I smiled because deep down I knew that neither of us was ever going to break that promise.

BONUS - I was only going to list 5 but I can't leave out the day(s) I did birth photography! I was fighting happy tears the whole time because I couldn't believe that a dream I have had for so long actually came true! This is the recent one I did, for those of you who don't follow my photography page on Facebook:

19 February 2015

ANOTHER Fertility Update

I just spoke with the nice lady from the infertility office...and Matthew and I will NOT be undergoing treatment at this time. I didn't think too much about insurance and everything because I had a conversation with my boss once and he told me that he was positive infertility treatment was covered under the insurance plan I had...but it turns out only 50% of it is. Thank goodness I made sure to ask before any tests were done! I'm sure we could scrape the money up, but that would put a lot of pressure on us right now...and then there goes our padding for when we actually get pregnant and have to pay for raising a human...

I'm disappointed, because I really wasn't expecting this...but I'm not broken. Give us a few more years and I'm sure we'll be ready - I know we're plenty young enough and a couple more years wont kill me. 

17 February 2015

Fertility Update

We will hit our one year mark in a few weeks.
I have not had a period since November.
Three negative pregnancy tests.
One appointment made with the infertility specialist.
Countless blood tests.

The infertility specialist will inject me with progesterone to jump start my period, then I'll have a few tests done to see what my hormone levels look like throughout my period. I'm assuming they'll test Matthew too?

A few weeks ago I won an instagram giveaway...and got a baby shirt haha! It was one of those loop giveaways where there are multiple shops and multiple winners so you don't really know what you're going to get. I figured if I won a baby item I would keep it if I REALLY loved it, but otherwise just give it away at a baby shower.

I REALLY love it.
It's been sitting on my table like a perfect little beacon of hope, and it seems kind of silly (because I know it's only referencing a scripture) but I love that Matthew's name is printed right there in the middle.

The scripture is printed on the back:
Matthew 5:14-16 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot hide. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all who are in the house. Let your light go shine before men that they may see your works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."

16 February 2015

Taking: stock

Making: ...excuses. Ha jk but I was slacking on my running this weekend and I also went over my 25g allowance of sugar on Valentines Day. Oops!

Cooking: nothing! I'm eating salami and cheese to try to get that weird tingly feeling out of my mouth after I eat kiwi.

Drinking: a juice! I'm part of a "juice club" at work where we each bring in $10 or less of fruit or veggies every week and every day at lunch they get blended or juiced. The BEST day is Wednesday when we juice carrots and add in a couple of oranges or apples or ginger! I would buy that stuff by the gallon. 

Reading: nothing at the moment. I just finished the audio books for the Maze Runner series.

Wanting: a bunny! Matthew and I have decided to get a bunny because his aunt has the same allergies as him and says they don't really bother her since they mostly stay in their cage. Holland lops are DEFINITELY my fave.

Looking: forward to this weekend's double date :) A friend of ours usually works Friday nights so we don't get to see them, but he's off this Friday and we're gonna party! And by party I mean hang out and eat food.

Playing: whatever is on my husband's ipod (during runs) because he has more music than me. Lot's of rock. 

Wasting: time and money by not meal-prepping.

Sewing: HA!

Wishing: that I knew why my body refuses to have a regular period. Definitely makes TTC one hundred times harder.

Enjoying: vinegar flavors since I cut back on sugar. I eat a lot of pickles and I even add vinegar to my juices at lunch to switch up the flavor - a verrrry little goes a long way!

Waiting: for my air conditioning in my car to get fixed because it broke a few months ago and we were like "Oh, we can put that off because its about to get cold." We underestimated how short California winters can be.

Liking: that we got a loan to put solar on our house aaaand will actually save money because the loan monthly payment is lower than our electricity/propane bill. 

Wondering: why today's juice from the juice club tastes like butt. That's the risk you run in the juice club haha!

Loving: the great weekend my husband and I had together.

Hoping: that my body adjusts to running quickly!

Marveling: at how freaking AMAZING our world is. I love documentaries, I just sit there in awe at how wonderful this place is. Complex, dangerous, beautiful...our world is so many things, all perfectly combined. 

Needing: to make a doctor's appointment. Probably my LEAST favorite thing in the world, I don't have a lot of confidence that any of my questions will be answered.

Wearing: my favorite shoes...leopard chucks. They're perfect.

Following: reading and stalking my favorite blogs...but rarely commenting. I'm definitely a blog creep haha. 

Noticing: How full I feel! Should not have had the salami and cheese before the juice, but I felt like I was eating too much fruit and I wanted to balance it out with something else.

Knowing: that I need God.  When I'm sad, when I'm happy, when I'm lonely, when I'm anything. 

Thinking: about how my ward boundaries were changed this week. I'm not sure who I'll see next week, which reminds me I wont be there this Sunday because I am...

Feeling: excited for my cousin's baptism AND my brother in law's homecoming talk this weekend.

11 February 2015

Yours Truly, The Candy Queen

I eat some form of cake, candy, cookies, or soda every single day…and many days I will have all of the above! Oh and I refuse to drink diet soda. Full sugar for me, baby! Yeah, I am aware that I eat too much sugar, but it’s not that bad because so does the rest of America too, right? On a daily basis I hear someone say “I’m so addicted to sugar!” (which is annoying for one, because the word “addiction” is so grossly overused). But how much sugar actually constitutes an “addiction”? I for one, know that I eat more sugar than the average person, but would I go so far as to say I’m addicted? Um, maybe. It’s probably not a concern though because I’m skinny, right? Ha!

Because of my tendency to come into work, grab a handful or four of candy for breakfast and then mindlessly eat away while I begin my workday, my coworkers have affectionately named me the Candy Queen (and sometimes not-so-affectionately told me that I’m going to be SO fat one day).

To prove them wrong, I cut back. And on my very first day, since I was feeling proud of myself, I decided to count up how many grams of sugar I had had that day. I wanted to compare it to the maximum daily amount of sugar as implemented by the American Heart Association…which is 25g. So guess. Guess how many grams of sugar I had eaten on the first day I “cut back”…FIFTY FIVE! Um, what!? Not gonna lie, I cried. I was having reallyyy bad sugar cravings and could NOT believe that I had had so much sugar when I felt like I had practically none!

My first thought at this point was to cut out all sugar completely. Then I realized that I’m a wimp and would have SUCH a hard time with that – I can’t stand to put myself through the migraines and misery that would surely follow. Instead, I’ve decided to “cut back” to only eating the maximum amount of sugar, haha. So 25g is my limit! My strategy is to eat a LOT of fats and proteins to help make my body feel really full so that I couldn’t eat sugar if I tried. One weird thing about sugar cravings though, is that my body doesn’t care if I just ate a full course meal, it wants sugar anyways! But making it feel really full does seem to be helping a little bit, and the fats help to make me feel like I’m not depriving myself. Avocados have been my BEST FRIEND. I’m on day two and…it’s going okay. I stuffed my face with cherries all morning and my brain tried to reject them/talk me into some cupcakes from a local cupcakery, but I held strong. Then I had cheese and salami, herbal tea, and lots of veggies. At lunch I had 6 girl scout cookies to ward off the migraine that would come if I didn’t (BTW, I am SO migraine prone – I wonder if it’s my incredibly high sugar diet?!).

Oh! I forgot to mention! EXERCISE HELPS SO MUCH! Seriously, try it! I don’t know why, but it works every single time. You HAVE to try it the next time you have a craving, I insist. “They” say (at least, I think I’ve heard this somewhere) that once you go two weeks without something, your body doesn’t crave it as much anymore. So for now I’m waiting for that point and then maybe I’ll further reduce my sugar intake. Feeling good so far :)

07 February 2015

Sometimes I Hear God Laughing...

...when I think back to those days where I thought marriage would be easy. I mean, yeah, I knew it was hard for other people, but I was practically a relationship professional back in my day. For some reason, God thought it would be hilarious to give me easy relationship after easy relationship, and then push me into the arms of my wildcard Mattie! Or is it me that's the wildcard?? I cant be sure...

Let me give you a rundown of my past relationship experiences before Matthew: Finding boys to like was easy. Finding boys to like me was easy. Getting my way was so easy and expected that I barely noticed. Out of all of my boyfriends, I only ever fought with one of them. I was never cheated on. I was never even broken up with. And every SINGLE one, without fail, expressed interest in marrying me. I just had a never-ending string of easy relationships with quick-to-please boys, and looking back... I maybe might have left a few of broken hearts in my wake. Oops.

SO MAYBE THAT'S WHY Heavenly Father made me marry Matthew. And I don't use the words "made me marry" lightly. Every little thing, every word spoken, every encounter that we had in the beginning was marked by a subtle, constant hint of fate. We were simply drawn together in such a way that made it undeniable there was something different here. If that's not a sign that we should get married, I don't know what is. Not going to lie, I was scared. I loved Matthew so much, so quickly, so powerfully, for reasons I wasn't even sure of! I was not so naive to think that love would always be enough, and I was truly nervous about how little I knew about him. My nerves did die down every time I remembered the undeniable feelings I had, and by the time we were engaged I was 100% sure I was making the right decision.

But even though I made the right decision, I had no idea what I was in for. Needless to say, he is not the type (at least anymore) to roll over and let me get my way all the time. What an unexpected turn of events! The greatest challenge of my life will be learning how to compromise and gently communicate my feelings. I am certain that will be a life long endeavor. 

And that is all I have to say about that, for now ;)

05 February 2015

Bonjour, Elder Crawley!

That means hello too, right? Anyways, the LONG AWAITED DAY OF PRESTON'S ARRIVAL CAME THIS WEEK. For two years he has been working his booty off learning French, preaching the gospel, and sharing his great personality with the people of Lyon, Montpellier...and various other cities across the great country of France. Here's a peek at some of the people he met and the things he did while on the Lord's errand:


 ^ David Archuleta ;)

He has had such an incredible two years but we have missed him so much! If you don't know, LDS missionaries are only allowed to call/skype home twice a year! Since he left only a few months after Matthew and I got married, I've had to get to know the rest of the family without him! At times I've worried that when he comes home it would be awkward because we don't really know each other...but after just seeing him for a few hours at the airport I remembered how easy he is to get along with! He is just the most fun loving, guy and I respect him so much for giving two years of his life to preach the gospel. Even though I felt soooooo extremely ill the day he came home (body, what the heck is up with that?!) I tried to get some shots at the airport...



 Ohhh my goodness, my husband was SO excited to be reunited with his brother!


I cannot wait to see where life takes him next! Welcome back Preston - Mission Accomplished!

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