Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Sunday!

I really enjoyed my church meetings today. The sacrament meeting talks were on FAITH and the joint Relief Society/Priesthood lesson was on HOW TO ENDURE ADVERSITY WELL. I love President's Monson's quote, "My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” Before Jared left for deployment, my faith regarding deployment as very small and my future wasn't looking very bright. I always had worrisome thoughts racing through my mind. One night, Jared finally reminded me that FAITH and FEAR do not go together and that I needed to give my worries to the Lord and just have FAITH that everything will turn out for our good. In the last few months, I have seen a big change in myself. Although I really miss Jared, I am keeping busy and learning to be content with the here and now. Yes, I have had my moments of despair, but I think I am much happier about my current life than I ever thought I might be.

I have also discovered that along with FAITH, I need to have a lot of patience—the ability to put my desires on hold for a time. Aside from the worldly desires that are in each of us, there are many things that I want now. I would love to have Jared back home, start a family, live closer to my family in the United States, etc. However, as much as I want these things to happen, they aren't Heavenly Father's will for me at this time. In a recent conference talk, Elder Uchtdorf said, "Patience is not passively resigning, but actively waiting and enduring well. It means accepting that which cannot be changed and face it with courage, grace, and faith. It means doing all that you can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of your hearts are delayed. "

So how do you endure trials, tribulations, and adversity??? For me, it has been to reorient my way of thinking. I have had to really work on being grateful for the things that I do have and look at my trial as an opportunity to grow and as a time for refinement from the Lord. This task becomes much easier as I focus on living my life as I am taught in the Book of Mormon and come to know my Savior on a much more personal scale. Adversity is never fun, but if we have to go through it, we may as well learn what the Lord has to teach us with a smile on our face!
"Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Curtains are Finally Hung

Yes, I know, I'm slow when it comes to some things. Jared and I moved to Germany last July. It took us waiting 5 months for my parents to come visit us in Germany before we got our blinds hung. Yes, we tried to do it for FHE one night, but we couldn't figure it out and didn't want to incur a damage bill to our window sills when we leave our home in a couple of years. During the same time my parents were visiting us, I also had my mom help me start making some curtains to hang up. I saw them in a store on the economy a few months back but didn't know if I could do it alone. So I took my mom there to see how hard she thought they would be. All we had to work with was a few measurements that I took without trying to look too obvious, the store clerk cutting my fabric and showing me the other materials that I would need, a fuzzy picture that I took with my cell phone, and our brains (mine wasn't working because I was too upset that they were getting ready to leave the next day). Of course, we didn't have time to complete them. So I mailed everything to my mom for her to finish so they would look the same. She then mailed them back to be for completion. All I had to do was measure them, sew the bottom, and hang them. To most people this wouldn't be a hard task, but for a perfectionist who doesn't have the proper tools, it was quite a worrisome chore. However, after eight months (from start to finish) of sewing and worrying, they are complete, and I am very proud of how they turned out. I must give a very big THANK YOU to my MOM for always helping me!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Completed Quilt!!

I'm so excited. Last night I just finished the first quilt that I have ever made from start to finish and can't wait to begin another!! I signed up for a quilting class on base and had a great time learning a new skill and meeting new people. There came a point in making the quilt that I started second guessing the material that I had chose. But once it was all put together, I absolutely love it. Now I just hope that Jared loves it just as much as I made it for him for his 35th birthday next month! Just don't look too closely at it or you may find a few Amish boo boos (the Amish are perfectionists and never make mistakes).

Also, since Jared never reads this blog--I have a question for all of my viewers. Any fun ideas of things I can send to Jared downrange for his 35th birthday??? I'm drawing a blank....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Polish Pottery

Life is good. I have been given so many things to be grateful for. This week I kept very busy after work learning to quilt, getting to know new sisters in my ward, visiting my friend Lexa, baking Peanut Butter Blossom cookies for a FRG fund raiser, and going polish pottery shopping. Hopefully, I will finish the quilt tomorrow in class so I can get back to sewing curtains for my home that are 9 months in the making.

Saturday morning, I woke up before the crack of dawn to meet some friends in Wieden to go polish pottery shopping in Boleslawiec, Poland.
For a first timer, polish pottery shopping is a bit overwhelming. You walk into a shop and find shelves and shelves of pottery stoneware such as plates, mugs, baking dishes, condiment cups, teapots, etc. Each shop is filled with different patterns of stoneware. I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted all of my stoneware to match or if I wanted to buy a mixture of them all. I decided on the latter and hope I don't have any regrets later as I am a person that usually likes everything to coordinate.
Before coming back home, we stopped to eata Polish dish--pierogis. Pierogis are half circular dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed with mashed potatoes, cheese, and onions. Surprisingly enough, it was pretty good. However, I wouldn't want to eat it every day.
Thanks ladies for creating some great memories--Paige Dalke, Jody Dean, Sabrina Ewert, LsDawn Peterson. Hopefully, this is the first of many great times together.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deployed Spouse's Retreat

This weekend I had the opportunity to get away from home and attend the first deployed spouses retreat! It was an all expense paid weekend to Garmish, Germany, to stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. It is a military resort built at the bottom of a ski mountain. Absolutely beautiful!! The purpose of the retreat was to meet and make friends with other deployed spouses and leave there loving our husbands more than before we came. The beginning of the retreat was very frustrating and disorganized. Nobody knew when or where to meet for the seminars, where to take the children for childcare, or what time our group was scheduled to eat dinner let alone when our free time would be so we could plan some sightseeing activities. However, once we met together, we were able to figure things out.

During our free time on Saturday, I went with some girls to the Partnach Gorge. It began at the foot of the Olympic Ski Jump Stadium. Then we walked along a very narrow walkway through the beautifully carved stone as water flows through the caverns. It was amazing! Then I ended the night by pampering myself to a Swedish massage and yummy pizza at Zuggy's.
Although I had a great weekend, I am discovering that it is hard to go on all these excursions without Jared. I always find myself saying, “Jared would love to see this.” I know that he wants me to be happy while he is gone for the next year, but it is difficult to always be off playing while he is working hard each day and fighting for his life. He is my hero, and I am grateful for his service to his country so I can continue to be free. I love him dearly, and I can’t wait to see him again!

As for Jared—He is keeping very busy. Last week, there was an IED attack in the area where he lives. Thankfully, his unit was kept safe. When he is not at work, he can be found studying to go to the promotion board in November and working out at the gym. Here are his Face Book posts for the week:

August 7, 2010
Ran the 2 mile run in jzust over 14 minutes this week. I am amaze these old legs can still move. Hoping to get under 14 minutes soon.


This week seems to have been hotter than other weeks here in Afghanistan fore some reason. Cant wait for the season to change because that will bringe us one step closer to getting home.

August 14, 2010
Started weight lifting this week after not lifting weights for 10 or 12 years. I am sore but glad i am lifting again. Going to look like the Hulk when I get back and shock my wife.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fly By Week

Wow! This week flew by very quickly. On Monday, I received my first hand written letter from Jared! I had been telling him that as much as he likes to receive mail from me, I'd also really like a note from him. Yes, we have been very lucky so far and get to talk to each other every day for a few minutes so there may not be a lot to write. However, a hand written letter is something that can be read and re-read when he's not there to talk to. When your best friend is far away from you, there is nothing better than reading that they miss you, love you, and are excited to reunite again in a few months for R&R!! I love you babe!

I spent Wednesday and Thursday
in Ansbach, Germany, at a secretary's training. I've never spent any time in that little town, so I spent the night at the Best Western (which provided free parking and breakfast for 70 Euro!) and enjoyed the market platz. It never ceases to amaze me how early the stores in Germany close. By the time I stopped to eat a Pork Corden Bleu and Italian Ice, all of the stores in the market platz were closed for the day and it was only 6 p.m. So back to the hotel I went to relax for the evening.

On Thursday evening, I went to my quilting class on base. So far, I have really enjoyed learning how to quilt and am excited to eventually complete a quilt from beginning to end on my own! I will post pictures once it is completed.

Now that the weekend is over, I feel bad for not being more productive on Saturday. Once I came home from the gym
and showered, it was COLD and RAINING again! It is hard to find much motivation to go and do anything in this kind of weather. So I decided to spend most of the day at home surfing the Internet and looking for birthday gifts for Jared. It shouldn't be so hard to find some of his simple birthday requests, but I was running into dead ends left and right. One of his gifts (Rocky--
The Complete Saga Collection) required me to get on e-bay and start bidding or pay a lot of money somewhere else. E-bay is an Internet site that I have never used before. So I decided that now was as good a time as any to starting learning the process. So I registered and started bidding. Of course, the bidding ended at 6 p.m. Pacific time (3 a.m. Germany time). So I made my last bid at 11:45 p.m. and then laid down to rest until my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. to check on my bid. YEAH!! I won my first e-bay auction and only paid $6 more than the beginning bid--not bad in my book. Today I had to figure out how to pay the seller using Pay-Pal. Thanks to Christina DuWors, she walked me through it so I could finish the process.

Good night from Deutchland!