Hello! For those of you who have read our blog before or know us personally know that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Twice a year, in April and in October, we have what is called General Conference. The Prophet and leaders of our church speak to us about inspired topics that they choose.

This weekend, April 5th and 6th, is when it will be held this year. I invite all to listen and learn about our faith. All are welcome to listen to these inspired messages. You can find all the ways to watch HERE

Last October President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, shared an amazing message entitled, Come Join Us. Here are a few excepts from his talk. 

"If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God "which healeth the wounded soul," and sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith- in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven's embrace- here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!

If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging: Come, join with us!

If you have left the faith you once embraced: Come back again. Join with us!

If you are tempted to give up: Stay yet a little longer. There is room for you here.

I plead with all who hear or read these words: Come, join with us. Come heed the call of the gentle Christ. Take up your cross and follow Him.

Come, join with us! For here you will find what is precious beyond price.

I testify that here you will find the words of eternal life, the promise of blessed redemption, and the pathway to peace and happiness."

Click HERE to read the full talk. 

I know that these words are true. I know that if you heed to these words you will find peace and happiness. I feel this peace everyday. I know that if you pray about this church that you WILL get an answer! I know that if you act upon the feelings you are experiencing your life will be eternally blessed! Come join with us!



Remember when we found that article that listed all the movies that were being made this year that were based on books?  Remember how we thought it would be a good idea to read them all and then go see the movies?  Well, I am starting to doubt that great idea. It has been difficult finding, reading and enjoying all of these books! Let me start by reviewing the first book I have read and liked The Monuments Men.

This book was a bit of a struggle to get into for me, but once I was 100 pages in, I wanted to finish.  If you love history, and/or art you will like this book.  It takes place during World War II. A group is formed to rescue and preserve as much art and cultural history as they can.  Hitler was responsible for the confiscation and theft of thousands of pieces of artwork during this time.  Some of it has yet to be found and returned. Robert M. Edsel does his best to retell the story of a few of the people that participated in the rescuing of so many of the artwork we love and enjoy today. Because it was a little bit difficult to follow, I went and saw the movie before I was done with the book. I will tell you about the movie first and then the book.

The Movie:
I was only into the book about 100 pages when I went to see the movie and I was already comparing the tiny details.  This may be one of those reasons why this was not a good idea.  Whenever I see a movie after I read the book, I am super critical about the tiny details! You just gotta remember going into this movie that it is BASED on the book. They said that at the beginning of the Harry Potter movies, and we all know what happened by HP7 part 2 (gag me, let's not go there). And I digress..... Back to The Monuments Movie.... I did enjoy it, despite the fact that there were a number of things that were different.  Don't go into this movie thinking that all of it is fact.  A lot of it isn't what happened in the book. For one thing, all of the characters names were different than the names of the actual people they were portraying. George Clooney's character in the movie was Frank Stokes, but the person's name in the book (and real life) is George Stout. Not one character's name matched their real life counterpart. I don't know why Hollywood does this. Maybe someone can enlighten me? I won't go into every detail that was different and not historically correct because well that would give the movie away if you haven't seen it and it will give you incentive to read the book.

George Clooney directed the movie and contributed to writing the screenplay.  I have seen other movies Clooney has directed and they are not my favorite. Well come to think of it, just Leatherheads, but it was a little disappointing.

One of my favorite parts of this movie though, had a scene that is almost identical to a scene from Ocean's Eleven.  My husband and I LOVE the Ocean's movies and we quote them frequently. In The Monuments Men there is a scene with George Clooney and Matt Damon where they are trying to figure out how many men they will need for this "big heist" of rescuing and preserving art.  The almost identical scene from Ocean's is with George Clooney and Brad Pitt figuring out how many people they need to rob the Bellagio.

The Monuments Men

Ocean's Eleven 

Overall, I did like the movie. but if you want to know what really happened, read the book!

The Book:
You guys I love the book.  I am not completely finished with it but will be soon! It was difficult for me to get into.  There are a lot of characters and the book jumps from person to person and place to place a lot so it can be a little difficult to follow but if you stick with it, you eventually start getting who everyone is and where they are going.  In the front of the book there is a list of the main characters with short bios and pictures for them that will help you keep things straight.  At the back of the book, there is another list of supporting characters. And in the middle of the book there are a few pictures to illustrate (if you don't know much about art history) some of the places and pieces of art work they are talking about. The pictures below are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of pieces of artwork stolen, moved or threatened during WWII.  One thing that helped me understand more as I was reading was to Google search the items or places they were talking about.

Chartres Cathedral

Jan Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece
Michelangelo's Madonna with Child

The Astronomer by Jan Vermeer

Let me tell you about my favorite character.  Her name is Rose Valland.  She was a French woman that worked in a museum where the Germans shuffled art through before it went to Germany.  She was a spy for the French Resistance and risked her life for four years to preserve and keep the art from leaving France.  She cataloged almost everything that went through the Jeu de Paume (the museum where she worked) and kept record of where the art pieces were going and whom they were stolen from. I was very inspired by her and just found out there is a book all about her called Rose Valland: Resistance at the Museum by Corinne Bouchoux.

Cate Blanchett plays Claire Simone (Rose Vallanad) in the movie

I think reading and learning about history and war is so important. Especially this story of the arts and the people who risked their lives to preserve it.  It is not the story we usually hear about when learning about WWII. Reading this book gave me a new appreciation for all those that have died to protect our freedoms. It is easy to forget about the sacrifices that have been made so that we can live the lives we do today.  We take so much for granted. Please read The Monuments Men and remember a few of those and the risks they took to persevere our freedoms and the things we love. Also check out to learn more about it. 

Healthy Recipes


Hello everyone! I have recently been sharing some healthy foods that I have been eating, and now I am going to share some yummy recipes!!!

My sweet girl eating her quinoa and black beans!


My Favorite one!

Slow Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa- Originally found HERE.

3LBS. bonless pork shoulder, or butt
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 plum tomatoes thinly sliced
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

If you click on the link you will notice my ingredients are a little different, I cooked it a little differently, this is what I did.

I put everything in the crock pot at the same time and cooked on high for 6 hours. I shredded my pork while it was still in the crock pot and mixed it all up.

20 minutes before my pork was done I prepared my quinoa and mixed it with black beans. I served my pork over my quinoa, added cheese and it was delicious!!! Kaylee tried it and told me it was the best thing I'd ever made!!! :)

Grilled Chicken with Orange glaze- Found HERE.

When I originally found this recipe I didn't have all the ingredients I needed for the orange glaze, but I did have a pre-made orange glaze, so I cheated and just used that! I had my chicken marinade in the orange glaze probably for about 5 hours and then grilled it on my handy dandy George Foreman! My quinoa was again a side dish. I had extra glaze and mixed a little with my quinoa and it was great!!

Breakfast Quinoa- which when I tell people they usually give me a funny look, but it was actually good and both my children LOVED it!

I mixed brown sugar with my quinoa and put cut up strawberries and bananas in it and it made a delicious breakfast that always works out great when everyone will eat it!! YAY!


Honestly I have only every made 1 kale salad. Most of my Kale goes into my smoothies! But I found a lot of sites that I really liked for how to make a good Kale salad!

Ashley's Kale Salad-

Dressing found HERE.

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
3-4 TBS Avocado Oil (the original recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, but I have found that avocado oil is, in my opinion, healthier for you) Find out about more it HERE.
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 handfuls dried sweetened cranberries

I doubled this recipe when I made it, because I was making it for 8 people.

In my salad I had...

1 bag baby Kale
1 avocado
2 8 oz cans Mandrain Oranges
1-2 handfuls sliced almonds

I came up with this recipe by looking at a couple different Kale recipes and also talking with friends. Through my research THIS is the site that has been the most helpful!

I'm so sorry I don't have pictures of my food, I really wish that I did but I don't!!! I hope you enjoy these recipes and if you have any that you LOVE as well, PLEASE comment below and send them to me!



Where do I start, where do I start? Well first off, I do not write this with the intentions to have people look in awe or jealousy of what I have {because honestly let's face it -- I'm sure many and most of you have it better than I do}. What I want and hope for is to possibly empower someone, somewhere out there to find what you love. To help motivate someone to continue to search for the right fit because you refuse to settle. That is why I am sharing my journey with you to where I am now. First, I am going to tell you where I came from.

As you may or may not know I grew up in Iowa with Lindsay and my mom. I also grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As long as I can remember I always had a goal to eventually graduate from Brigham Young University. Since BYU is a private university, I knew it was going to be challenging to be admitted. I worked hard in high school to make sure to get good grades that allowed for me to be competitive among the applicant pool. I participated in multiple sports, was in student council all 4 years of high school, joined every club that interested me, volunteered in my community, and even applied to BYU the summer right after I graduated high school just so I knew I could't look back and say "if only I would have done that". The day I opened up my admittance letter and saw the words "admitted" I literally cried. I was so happy I had accomplished my lifelong goal (at a mere 18 years old) and was actually going to move to Utah to become a BYU Cougar!

Flash forward to college at BYU. My first semester became a slap in the face very quickly. My peers consisted of kids that all graduated top of their class (a class of 500 kids… pretty different than what I was use to --86) and many had a large number of AP/IB courses under their belt. I had none (my high school only offered two, one of which was an online class). I felt so inadequate to be there and so dumbfounded when I learned there was more than one way to cite works in your research papers. I was often confused and felt my high school didn't prepare me as well as my classmates' had. Though it was a hard adjustment for me I eventually got the swing of things and was well on my way to get good grades again. I started college as an open major because I really didn't want to limit myself however I quickly realized I loved talking to people and being there for them when they needed me. Not only did I love it but I could see I was able to get people to open up to me very quickly. On the last day of my freshman year I decided to declare my major to Human Development, so I could eventually become a therapist someday.

This didn't last long. I lived at my grandparents house in Park City, UT summer after my freshman year and after much thought about how long I would want to be in school, the type of career I wanted, and a little advice from my uncle I thought business would be much more practical incase I wanted to own my own therapy practice or if I decided I didn't want to do therapy anymore I would have a bachelor's degree to land me with a good job. On the first day of my sophomore year of college I changed my major to pre-business, signed up for the prerequisites and changed Human Development to my minor. I worked incredibly hard on my prerequisite courses to get into the business school and got an A in all of them (one of which included Calculus)! I applied to the business school that summer. I had been eager to hear back all summer (which was the summer I was getting married)! My future was depending on this letter. I finally got the email that started with "I regret to inform you that…." that was all I needed to know. I didn't get accepted. I couldn't major in business.

I heard a lot of stories of people who didn't get in on their first or second tries but by the third time they finally got in. My grandma even encouraged me to just try again. But I didn't. I surprisingly wasn't too sad and in my mind that was a indicator that maybe Human Development was the right path for me… since I really did try my hardest to get in. So I went back and switched my major to Human Development and immediately feel in love with the physical, cognitive, and emotional developments people go through throughout their life. I noticed my major consisted of many women that were a lot like me and I loved it! I knew I would not be happy with this path if I stopped my education with my bachelor's degree {Human Development is pretty much just a basic liberal arts degree so there really isn't much you can do with just a bachelors degree in it. If you want to have a profession in the field you have to go on and get at least a masters}. So since I knew I needed to eventually get a masters I did all I could to get to know professors (so I could have good letters of rec). I did well in the Intro to Human Development class, applied and got selected to be a TA over about 900 college kids. The summer before I graduated I also applied to be a research assistant for a very prestigious longitudinal study from my college called Flourishing Families. I won't go into detail about it but I got to work very closely with professors and had hand on research that many undergraduates do not get the opportunity to have. I felt like I worked very hard and knew I was doing all I could to get into grad school.

I managed to graduate in 3.5 years so that my husband could transfer to the University of Utah so he could focus on school (after we got married he was working full-time and going to school part-time at Utah Valley University so that I could graduate sooner). Nine months before I graduated I learned more about what a Masters in Social Work was like and felt as though it was perfect for me. I fell in love with its code of ethics and what Social Workers stood for as well as how big the market is for MSWs. I applied to the MSW program at the University of Utah while I was also applying for full-time jobs at the University of Utah to make money right after graduation {it was my turn to start supporting our little family}. I got hired to work at the Financial Aid and Scholarships office at the University of Utah a month before I graduated college and was ecstatic! I was so happy to check that worry of my list and was very proud of myself to get hired even before I was finished with college.

After a few months of woking at the Financial Aid and Scholarships office I learned real quick it was not what I wanted a career in. I was so happy to be working at the University of Utah so I could get the health benefits and tuition discount for my husband… but I was not happy in that office. It made me awfully sad when I couldn't help a student get financial aid. Though I understood them, I resented a lot of the federal government's policies as I completely think education is the number one way for our country to continue to grow and be more and more successful. I felt some of the policies benefitted students who couldn't succeed and those students who were overachievers didn't get any ounce of sympathy. I truly felt that it was all backwards. The hardest thing about it was there was nothing I could do about it. Not only were these policies set so far in stone (since they were straight from the feds) but even little things we could do to help students in the process just on the university level, I found people were less willing to change because they were set in their ways. I had absolutely no idea if I would get accepted to the MSW program so really quickly into my time at Financial Aid I made a goal that if I didn't get accepted and I was still there, I had to find a new job once I got to my one year mark.

Well, to my dismay at the end of spring I got a letter from the U's Social Work school offering me a spot in their Master's of Social Work program. I could not believe it! I was so happy but so distraught by what I should do. At that time {and currently now} I was the only one making money. Clark and I made this deal that it was his turn to be the full-time student since he sacrificed being a full-time student so that I could graduate. This MSW program at the U was only offered full-time of which you had to take about 15 master's level credits a semester (full-time for master's students is 9 creds), of which were all day (they didn't offer many at all in the evening) and you had to do a practicum where you were volunteering at least 16 hours a week on top of the course load. This made it impossible for me to keep my full-time, M-F, 8-5 job. I had worked so hard in my undergrad career to get to this point all to see my options so limited. If I was able to take the program as a part-time student it would be a no brainer that I would do it. But if I were to accept the program I would have had to find a new more flexible job that still paid the bills. I took all summer to decide and applied to a ton of jobs… but didn't hear back from any. It was really hard for me but I decided to decline the program one week before it started. After I declined it I actually felt at peace with my decision. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from me and I felt ok.

Anyway, after declining the program I realized maybe a career in social work wasn't right for me. I have been living downtown for over a year and have been harassed by homeless people multiple times. I don't like them. I don't feel bad for them, especially the panhandlers. I know that sounds harsh but it's true. Although I never had the intentions to work with homeless people, often times in social work you have to work with the hard populations and pay your dues before you can work in the area you truly want to. I think I would have gotten burnt out real quick.

So, as you know how I felt about my job, around October I started applying pretty seriously for new jobs. There was one specifically I desperately wanted. It was with the Bennion Center at the University of Utah (I needed to stay at the U to keep my amazing benefits) which is the U's service group. The Bennion Center is a really upbeat, happy environment and the job would have been basically mentoring  the student leaders of the various service programs. I got offered an interview with a board of people and felt like I did really well. A couple of days later I got a call for a second interview where I had to prepare a "workshop" focused on leadership. I was so nervous but after the interview I honestly felt like I nailed it. I felt so good about it. I had been writing thank yous to them and getting responses that gave me every indication that I was a candidate they were really interested in. After about a month I found out in an awful way through word of mouth that I didn't get the job. I was completely devastated. People had told me "it's ok something else will come though" but I didn't believe them. I thought that was the only office at higher education that would help me get to where I want to be in life and benefit me in a future career.

After an incredibly slow few months at Financial Aid and Scholarships I finally decided I just needed to do all I could to meet my goal I had made right when I started my job. In January I think I applied to like 20 jobs in a matter of two days. Anything and everything I saw that I qualified for I filled out an application for. I didn't entirely know what all the different departments and offices did… I just applied. After a couple of weeks I got a couple of calls back for interviews. The second office that called me back was the External Relations office at the David Eccles School of Business. I had no idea what that was. But I did my research and figured out it had something to do with public relations and development. I went to the interview feeling very prepared (which I might write a blog post about how to prepare best for an interview) of which benefitted me very well. During the interview they were literally telling me if this were ice skating in the olympics they would give me 5 stars! I was so happy they had given me so much encouragement. The best thing about the interview though was I asked them what they each liked about working here all of which they answered feeling so passionately in love with their job and working with each other. I knew right off the bat that that was what I was missing in my work place. Passion and love from a team. The next day I got a call back for a second interview! I was so happy I made it to the next step! Then a few days later they offered me the job!

I started this job a week ago and am seriously in awe by how perfect this department is for me. Their main purpose is to maintain relationships with donors and alumni to eventually get them to give back to the U. So in a way I am still using my human development degree and I am very much working with people in the way I wanted to! I love the purpose of the office as well. That we are communicating with these people so that we can give more to our business students so that they can gain the best education (we raise money for everything, scholarships, facilities, buildings, student programs etc). I am so happy to be in this office. This is actually an area where I could see myself having a career in!

I hope all of you will work hard and keep pushing through stagnant times to figure out what you love and what you want to do so you can help make the world a better place and ultimately do something that makes you happy!



Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's not only a fun green holiday but it is also our mom's Birthday!! Yay, two celebrations in one! Happy Birthday Momsie!

 You now see where we get our good looks from huh?

Growing up, my mom would always send us packages on the holidays with lots of goodies in them.  This year for her birthday I thought, "I should send her one!"  Here are a few steps when preparing a fun holiday package!

  1. Plan Early.  Give yourself a month in advance. Any time you go to the store, lookout for the right color of items you want ex. red/pink for Valentine's Day, green for today etc., and get a few things each time you go.  This makes is easier on the pocket book, rather then spending a ton at one time. 

The goodie box, with all the green useful stuff I could find

2. Find a Box and Decorate it.  I just got new shoes so I saved the box from that. I put some green tissue paper in it before I put all the goodies in.  
I had the kids decorate the box. 
They loved it!
3. Make your cookies the same day you are going to ship the package.  Do this so that they can be as fresh as possible when they arrive. Here is the recipe I use for the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 Cup Butter
1 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 Egg
1 3/4 - 2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup large Pecan pieces (if desired)

Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 min for a crispier cookie or 8-10 for a softer one. 
I cream the butter and sugar first and then throw the milk, vanilla and egg in, give it a good mix and then put the rest in there. 
I added a few drops of green food coloring to make them special for the holiday. 
You want to make the dough balls kind of small, because you want the cookies to be on the smaller side for packing purposes.
Take them out at the desired time and leave them on the pan for 1-2 minutes and then let them cool on a cooling rack. 

Let them cool COMPLETELY before you pack them up.  The best way to send cookies so that they stay fresh and not broken is in a Pringle container! I wrapped my cookies in tinfoil and then shoved them in. 

4. Wrap the box in brown wrapping paper with the address on it and SHIP IT! You can find out how much it will cost at You might also just want to get a flat rate box instead of using a shoe box.  Click the link for prices. 

It's so fun sending a care package, so whether you are away from family or have a missionary, send them a surprise!
I hope you have a fun and exciting holiday!



I've been thinking about this for a while but haven't quite known how to say it... or bring it up. Regardless of my awkwardness what I want to talk about is the speculation of pregnancy in our society and how I think it is generally not ok.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a highly emotional person. When I am happy I am happy, when I am sad I am sad. I am mostly always feeling some kind of emotion pretty intensely and have an incredibly hard time masking it. I am sensitive but along with that I am empathetic. Since I have been married, for the past two and a half years, my emotions have heightened and I now cry at everything - happy, sad, scary, tender... you name it and my eyes start swelling. This has not been an occurrence that started a couple of weeks ago, I have seriously been quite emotional for the past two and a half years ... but relatively emotional my whole life. That's just me.

Want to know more about me? I love food and I love eating. I am not one of those girls who counts calories or really watches what I eat. I am what you call an "intuitive eater". When I see food in front of my face that looks good, I will take it. When I want a second, or third or forth helping because I am still hungry I am going to go for it. I love tasting food so I think about eating a lot. I have been really lucky with my genetics that have allowed me to get away with being this way. Lindsay worries that I will become what you call "skinny fat" - one who eats anything and all they want, looks skinny but will become unhealthy as they get older because they aren't use to taking care of their body. I assure you, I do not munch on crap while I am sitting at my desk at work, I do limit myself to stay away from "emotional eating or thoughtless eating" but I do absolutely love eating when good food is in front of my face and I am hungry. I crave weird random things but you know what, I have always been this way. That's just me.

Lastly, I love surprises. I love trying to surprise people and I love when people try and surprise me. I have always been this way. When it comes to blogging/social media I like trying to have catchy titles that draw one's eye to my post and I like having surprises so that readers will come back. I don't know if it works but these are my intentions. That's just me.

What do all three of these things have in common? They are "symptoms" of being pregnant. So naturally I have had a lot of people ask me or straight up tell me they think I am pregnant - as if they understand what's going on with my body better than I do. Though this may bother people I actually think it is hilarious. It is so funny to me how people will make these predictions about me, thinking they are helping me out by telling me I "must be pregnant". The other day one of my friends mentioned to me that she thinks I like trying to make people think I am pregnant because her mom asked her if I was regarding something I put on here.

The truth is I honestly am not at all trying to trick people into thinking and guessing that I could possibly be expecting a baby. I type things up, post them and realize after the fact... oh great... now people are going to think I am pregnant from this. But the funny thing about the situation is I have always been this way. I have always expressed myself in these ways listed above because that's just me. The problem with the situation is I am graduated from college. I have been married for two and a half years. And I am Mormon. I get the idea that all these people who ask me if I am pregnant are just waiting expecting this next step in my life to happen. Because this is what is "suppose" to happen now. This is the only thing that I could possibly surprise people about or the only reason why I tend to be emotional. Right? No, not right. I am still so young. I am only 23. My husband is still in school and I am the sole provider for us financially. Though I am so excited to eventually have kids and become a mom, that is not the only thing that defines me. And frankly does not define me at all during this stage of my life yet.

I am not upset at any of you. I am ok with you all still asking me if I am pregnant. Why? Because it is funny to me that everyone seems to be waiting for this piece of information from me. And ultimately because I am not trying to have a baby. So I am ok with it because it is not even on my mind. What I don't want people to think is that I am trying to trick everyone out there. I am not. Like I keep on saying - This is just me. This is who I am and how I have always expressed myself.

What wouldn't be ok though is if I really was trying to have a baby. If Clark and I were having infertility problems and yet people were pouncing on any kind of indication that we could be pregnant. That hurts people. The pain of not being able to get pregnant is probably hard enough but having people constantly question whenever the possibility seems to arise must make it 100 times worse. Our society needs to understand that this is not ok. It is rude and insensitive of people's lives and personal information. I don't want anyone to think I am condemning you... I am equally guilty of  wondering if someone could be pregnant. But we need to change. We need to be respectful to people and consider this is a sensitive topic that should really only be talked about once the person announces that they are expecting.
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In the fall, my friend and I got a chance to see where District 12 from the Hunger Games was filmed. The arena was also filmed in North Carolina and I have been wanting to go see it.  It's located about two hours away from me in the Dupont State Forest. We took a Saturday and journeyed over there.  It was SO beautiful.  

This is Hooker Falls.  It was a short walk from the parking lot. 

You can see the waterfall from the top and then continue your walk down to the bottom.

Sometimes 5 pictures are just too many for a little explorer!
I don't know the exact location of where certain scenes were filmed around here but the scenery looks very familiar!

Head back to the parking lot and right before you get there you take this bring over to Triple Falls

This was so beautiful but a little scary with my rambunctious little ones. There are lots of signs posted around that say "Caution Rock slippery" and warned about slipping and going right over the edge.  There are no railings or anything. You can walk right to the top of the waterfalls so we had to keep an eye on the kids.

It will be even more beautiful in the spring with all the leaves on the trees!

Catching Fire came out this month. You can buy it on Amazon HERE or from Target that apparently has an exclusive version of the DVD with a bonus disc! 

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be eva in your fava.



As all of you know, or at least those of you who follow our blog regularly, in January I wrote a blog, BECOMING HEALTHIER, which is where I told everyone my New Years resolution of becoming healthier. I am now going to tell you how its been going!

I first want to start on how I got to this point of wanting to be healthier. I have honestly always wanted to be healthier but never had the motivation to actually do it. While I was pregnant with my second child, I often times heard women say, "Before I had kids I weighed about 110 pounds and could never get it off." (This was usually coming from women who were over 200 pounds.) *NOTE: IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO LOSE WEIGHT AFTER HAVING MULTIPLE BABIES. I AM NOT JUDGING ANYONE! Anyways, I did not want that to be me. I didn't want to be the person who was always telling people how good they USED to look, I want to look good now! So I decided that as soon as I could, after giving birth, I was going to make sure to lose the weight I had gained with both of my children.

Not only did I want to work off my weight but I also wanted to start eating healthy. This was difficult for me, only because I didn't entirely know how to do that. We all know that we should eat sugar sparingly, vegetables are good for us, and basically there you go. I did take nutrition in college but the one thing I remember from that class is my teacher saying, "You can eat whatever you want, as long as you work it off." And that has been my philosophy ever since… until now.

When I started writing my blog post in January is when it hit me, that I should not only try to keep my body healthy but I should try to keep all aspects of my being healthy. That's when I put my goal into 4 parts: physical body, internal body, spirit, and mind. I have NEVER felt better!!!

BODY PHYSICAL: I have been running 3-5 times a week for the last month and a half. When I started running I was averaging 5MPH. I have an app on my phone, sports tracker, which is free, that tells me how fast I'm going, and how far I've ran. It really helps me a lot to know that I really am getting better. Every time I run I do something different, if I am going on a short run (1 mile) I make it up hill, if I am going on a longer run (4+ miles) I make it a more even course, and if I am running 2-3 miles I put sprints in the middle of my jog. I am very happy to report that as of March 8 2014, I ran 9 miles, averaging 6MPH. My fastest mile was 9 minutes 24 seconds. I can not express to you how good it feels to know that my body is getting stronger and know that I can continue to get even stronger!

Mile 8 of my 9 mile run. Kaylee met me and took this picture.
BODY INTERNAL: Thanks to Kaylee, I have found healthier things to eat. I blogged about one of the items, Kale. Anyways the list of healthier food I've been eating include, kale, quinoa, avocado oil, edamame, wheat pasta, granola, greek yogurt, frozen fruits and veggies, and fish, more specifically salmon. First off, healthy food might not have as much flavor as unhealthy food, but something about the fresh healthiness of it makes it taste delicious! I.E. kale smoothies! ARE DELICIOUS! It includes, a handful of kale, 1 banana, 2ish cups of frozen fruits and milk depending on how thick you want it. The more healthy food I eat, honestly the more energy I have throughout the day!

SPIRIT: In my January blog I said I would be doing yoga. Well let me say if you don't have a video you like or if you don't go to a class, its really hard to get into. So instead of doing yoga, I ambitiously started reading the Bible, the New Testament to be exact. I have read parts of the New Testament from classes that I've taken but I've never read the whole thing. Starting each day off with reading the bible has made my days more uplifting.

He is cuter reading the scripture than me!

MIND: I also changed this one! haha, nothing like changing your goals the day after you set them right! ;) I still want to keep my mind learning though, so instead of reading I decided to learn a new skill. (Which I also blogged sort of about, you can find it here.) You don't realize how much you miss learning until you are no longer "forced" to learn by going to school. I miss the success of getting an A on a test or paper and the anxiety you get before you get that test back. I needed to find a way to continue learning. So I decided to quilt. I have made quilts before but I was always supervised and always chose the easy way out. Well not this time! This time I'm doing it by myself!… (except that my good friend Ashley Call drew up the pattern for me and told me how much fabric to get.) Now I am doing it on my own! I've decided to hand stitch it! Which if you don't know anything about quilting just know that it is very time consuming and difficult. I haven't started my hand quilting yet, but let me assure you that the pressure of doing it, is just as good as the anticipation of waiting to see how you did on a test!

You guys, these last couple of months have been amazing! My body, my everything feels amazing! I have never felt better about myself and my abilities as I do right now! I CAN DO ANYTHING! Literally! I have seen myself go from blah to exhilarated, from no energy, to keeping up with my kids, and I KNOW it is because I am becoming healthier! I don't usually set goals because I don't care to keep them. I don't usually care to keep myself healthy because watching TV and eating Doritos and frosting is so yummy! But I found my motivation! I am changing into a better me!




Ahh oh my gosh can I just talk to you about it? Really? Ok thanks! Wow I am so pleased with this series. The books were so incredibly intense {and graphic -- I'm so glad they haven't made the movies as graphic as the books}. In my opinion the books and movies complement each other so well! They go hand in hand. Show one perspective of the story the other can't. I love it. I cannot wait to watch the second movie again and I cannot wait until the 3rd movie comes out (are they making two movies for the 3rd book or is that a rumor?)

Anyway, here are some excerpts from my favorite parts of this last book Mockingjay.
 "Maybe everyone is just trying to protect me by lying to me....Because really it's mostly for their own good...." I read this paragraph and immediately felt like I could relate to it. this is such a perfect explanation of why honesty is so important to me. In my life people have been dishonest to me, or withheld information from me as if they are trying to protect me from what it could cause me. As if they do not want me to react or so I don't "do anything crazy" but in the end it really has just created a larger distrust of people. You always learn the truth and in the end I do totally agree with Katniss in that when people say little white lies, are fake or withhold information from people, they are simply doing it for their own good. Because it is easier for them. I don't like that. It's selfish and causes so much more pain in the long run. So when in doubt --- just tell me what's up. That's what I prefer :) no need to soften it up or make light of it.

This one starts with "I think that Peeta was on to something....". This is clearly the purpose of the book. In the end, who does war benefit? "No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen." That was so powerful to me. There is not much more I can add to that. 

This one I can really relate to as well. I finished reading this book at work and completely lost it because of this page -- no joke! As I was reading these books I had been trying to figure out who I wanted Katniss to be with, Gale or Peeta. The more I read and the more I got to know them, towards the beginning/middle of the second book I realized I loved Peeta and wanted Katniss to pick him. The reason why I loved him is simple, because he is Clark. If there ever were to be a character that has the same personality as Clark it would be Peeta Mellark. So naturally, as I love him most of anyone I know I would wish for Katniss to be with someone as wonderful as my hubby. Since the book has been out for a while I've heard things here and there but I never quite knew what was going to happen... all I knew was it has a real ending and it's sad. Not for me! I was so soo incredibly happy when I read this part. So happy that Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta ended up back in District 12's Victor Village together. They had been through so much together which gave them this deep connection no one could understand, not even Gale. (It kinda reminded me of how LOTR ended with Frodo going on the ship with the others... they had been though so much they just couldn't live normally with everyone else) Anyway back to this section. I felt like it was not only so Clark, but so me too. Any of you that truly knows me knows that I have plenty of fire myself. I really really needed someone to complement me in a more calming way. I think Katniss described it so perfectly. That he is her dandelion in the spring (that is sooo Clark!!). Rebirth, not destruction... that life can go on no matter how bad it can be. And of course the way it is put with him having her confirm if her love is real or not real was too perfect. Ahhh I am so happy so so so so so so happy!

Please tell me what you thought! comment on here. Lets talk about it on Facebook. Text me. Message me. Talk with me about it this weekend. Please, Please! I am so happy now I can finally talk about this story with people and not have to run away with my ears plugged screaming so it didn't get ruined for me ;P haha.

Also -- I got a cute new hair cut... still deciding if I like it :) I got a new job to that I'll tell y'all about more soon!



For those of you that are our devout followers you must be thinking, "Wait, I thought it was WE BELIEVE WEDNESDAYS?" Well, it still is! We believe that our bodies are a gift from God and that we should take care of them with healthy nutrition, healthy habits and exercise. 
 Me, in high school. 

All my life I have been very active. I played soccer competitively as a teen, but since getting older, I have not done very much.  I have wanted to start working out for a while because I know how good it makes me feel.  Well, I was searching good ole' Pinterest for motivation to work out and came across an article (that I of course didn't pin and can not find again) of like the top 100 things to motivate people to work out. One of them really hit me.  Someone quoted from the bible (I think this was the scripture) Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I just loved this. My thought process was, "He wants me to be healthy and with His help, I can have the self discipline to get up each morning and work out." So, I did. That was two and a half weeks ago.  I have worked out every morning Monday through Friday.  Now the first two weeks were seriously just to get me in the habit of getting up that early.  I didn't do much more than causally ride the exercise bike.  
This week however, Lindsay created my very own work out schedule.  The perks of having a sister majoring in exercise science.  I told her the things I wanted to specifically work on (calves, butt, and arm definition) and she came up with a schedule fit for me.
Monday went well.  I felt okay about everything except for the wall sits.  She wanted me to do three sets for 45 seconds each with a minute rest in between. Uh...Ya.... I lasted about 30 seconds, maybe.... And, o boy, I didn't feel so bad the first day but, on Tuesday, I could hardly walk I was so sore! But, I love it.  I love being that sore. It reminds me of how I would feel after a soccer tournament weekend. 

Getting ready to do some squats, legs shoulder width apart.  Also, after getting up every morning at 6 am that first week, I rewarded myself with new shoes!  There is no motivation as good as new clothes right? 

The apartment complex I live in has a Cardio room and a strength center
Tuesday I worked my arms.  I didn't know what overhead triceps extensions (which were on my schedule for Tuesday) were so I looked it up on YouTube and this was the first video that came up.

Thanks Scott! I had to laugh a little. I was lifting a 5 pound weight. Maybe someday I will get to the point where I will need to use is technique of lifting a heavier weight. 
I used the ones on the top far left. Ya that's the 5 pounder for the extension and the 2.5 for the dumbell flys

This morning was better.  I don't feel quite so sore and I lasted the whole 45 seconds for the wall sits. 

Well peace out for now.  Happy exercising.