Monday, November 29, 2010

The Coke Jar--5 Months Down

Okay.  So I'm two weeks late in this post.  Jared keeps asking how the Coke jar is feeling up.  While Ia consistenly put money into this jar each week, it doesn't appear to be filling up very quickly.  Likewise, time almost feels like it has been at a standstill.  I'm beginning to wonder if January will ever get here!  I can't wait to spend two weeks on a sunny beach with Jared.

Month 1 and 2

Month 3 and 4

Month 5

I guess there is a little change but not enough to get too excited about!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, Thanksgiving was unlike any others.  Not only was I away from my friends, family, and husband, but I was in a foreign country that to them is just another day.  While I had a good feast with two other friends from Jared's unit, something was missing.  I felt so alone and sad. I hadn't felt this way in a very long time.  So I called home and skyped with my parents, sisters, and nieces and nephews.  That only made things worse because I saw how much fun I was missing out on.  So I sat down and had a good cry.  While crying didn't fix anything, it released a lot of emotions and allowed me to sleep like a baby!

I have so much to be grateful I'm trying not to get down.  I am most grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows how to succor me.  He is allowing me to grow to new lengths but always there to share His unconditional love with me.  I'm so grateful for the Atonement, which allows me the opportunity to return back to His presence if I daily repent and live worthy of this blessing.

In addition to my Savior, I am most grateful for to technology, especially the cell phone and computer with Skype.  These two devices have allowed me to keep in contact with the people who mean the most to me.  Without them, I would be one lost, sad, little girl.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weighing in - Week 8 and 9

Oops. I missed a weigh in post for week 8. Okay, maybe I purposely missed it. For one, I was still feeling really crappy and didn't do anymore that was required of me. And I was also upset about my weigh in. I stayed within my points, but ended up gaining 1.4 pounds!! It was probably because I became a couch potato during that week.

By Sunday I finally started perking up. The headaches and lightheadedness have gone away for the most part. So yesterday and today I decided that I must get back to the gym to get some much needed exercise. When I got on the scales this morning, I was pleased to see that I had lost all that I had gained the week before plus .4 pound! Now the true test will be to see how I make it through the Thanksgiving weekend...

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 10.4 pounds

Only 74.6 more pounds to go!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Health...Not Today

Today I'm grateful for good health. For the past 10+ days, I have had headaches and dizziness 24/7. I'm even dizzy sitting down writing this post. The doctors can't decide what is causing this. So I'm about to enroll in Tri-Care to get a referral to visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor off post. This should be an interesting experience. I just hope I get a doctor that speaks some English or I'm going to be in trouble! I'm normally a very healthy person, so when I get sick, it usually hits me hard. Every time I get sick, I remember how lucky I am to have such great health. It gives me much more compassion for those who get sick often as well as patience to endure through my own aches and pains.

Anyone want my headaches and dizziness??? I'm willing to share :)


Monday, November 15, 2010


Today I'm grateful for music. I love coming home after a day at work and putting in some music to wind down to. I love how some music has a way of calming the soul and bringing peace within while other music will make you want to dance or keep you motivated to run that last mile. Whatever kind of mood your looking for, music can help get you there (it may even put you in the Christmas Spirit).

I can't imagine life without music. It has always been an important part of my life. As a child, I took piano lessons and enjoyed a singing group called "Talent Sprouts." Then I joined a choir in grade school, learned to play the flute in middle school, and started learning to play the guitar in college (I wish I had kept it up).

Since moving to Germany, Jared and I feel very
out of touch with the current music industry. There is only one Elglish station here and it doesn't play my type of music. Can anyone suggest a good country CD for me? My mom is asking for my Christmas list, and I don't know what to tell her...



Sunday, November 14, 2010


Today I'm grateful for friends, both past and present. I have been blessed to have some really great friends in my life. They have been there to listen to my woes, give advice when asked, share in my greatest joys, or just say hi and let me know that they are thinking about me. During the last few months, I have come to lean on different friends for different reasons. Sometimes, I just need someone to listen to me. Other times, I just want someone to be with so I'm not alone. I hope I can always be the friend that you have each been to me.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints in our hearts and we are never the same." I love this quote and think it is 100% true. Today I say thank you for all of the friends who have come into my life, whether it was for a short time or for eternity. You will never be forgotten.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today, I'm grateful for laughter. Have you ever started laughing at something that was funny and then couldn't stop. I had one of those experiences last Friday. A few friends went to a restaurant to celebrate one of the girl's birthdays. Something funny was said that caused us all to start laughing. Before long, one funny comment led to another. Within a matter of minutes, we were all laughing so hard that our abdomens, cheek muscles, and head hurt. It was a good thing that we were only at a ma and pa shop with only one other party there--and they were laughing too.

Then I called and talked to my family this afternoon. They were still chuckling over a joke that my little sister had played on my dad last night after he had come home from work. From what I could gather, my sister was standing in the bathroom with the lights off. My dad had walked into the bathroom (keeping the lights off as he assumed everyone was in bed asleep) to put his dirty socks in the hamper. As he lifted the lid, Cindy touched my dad's arm and said, "Boo." Apparently, this startled my dad so much that he started screaming. My mom, who was asleep, woke up to this screaming and thought that she was being robbed or something. I wish I had been there for this moment because it takes a lot to get my dad. I have a feeling that Cindy's get back day is coming.

Laughter is truly the best medicine. Laughter provides a physical and emotional release, which I have been in need of lately.


I Love My Mom

Last night I got sick and didn't get to share a grateful post. So today I'll share two!

Today I'm grateful for my mother. I love her and hate that we live so far away because she means the world to me. She's been through it all with me--the good and the bad. And last night, when I was so sick, she was there on the phone with me telling me that I was going to make it and be okay. Finally, after my mom had talked to me for about an hour, I was able to go back to sleep at 3 a.m. Thank you mom.

My mom has always been there for me. Below are just a few memories:

  • As a child, we spent many nights sitting together at table doing homework and projects
  • We love to spend time playing games together!
  • We love to go shopping together!
  • For the last 15+ years, we faithfully attended the Forgotten Carols play together to start off the Christmas season. Now that I'm in Germany, I miss the traditions that I had created with my mom.
  • We had many memorable moments together as we drove every weekend during the winter months to see Cindy when she was in the hospital in Utah.
  • She has always moved me into my college apartments and back home at the end of the year--always consoling me before driving away.
  • In preparation for my wedding, my mother and I made a quilt and 65 pumpkin rolls to serve at our wedding reception (besides a laundry list of other things).
  • She flew to Germany to attend me and Jared's temple sealing.
  • She always goes the extra mile to make family feel welcome when coming to visit. You can always rest assured that she will be stocked up on your favorite treats and serve you your favorite meals!
  • Now that I'm in Germany, she is always so willing to go buy things that I need and can't purchase over here. I know I must be a pain sometimes, but she never complains. She always replies, "Just glad I can help."
  • She always makes time to talk to me--whether it be to listen to my joys or hear me cry through my pain. She has helped me find the strength to live over here in Germany while Jared is gone for the next year.
  • She taught me how to cook, sew, croquet, cross stitch, etc. All of the many things that are now my hobbies! And many of these things she had to teach me backwards as I'm left handed. Not many people can do things both ways.

And the list goes on and on! I only hope that I will be half the mom she has been to me! I appreciate all that she does for me and look forward to making many more experiences together in the future. I can't wait for her to come visit me again next year!

I Love you Mom!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Today, I am grateful for all veterans, past, present, and future, who are sacrificing their life so that the rest of us can remain safe and enjoy the freedoms that our forefathers fought for us to have. It's funny how much more these holidays mean to you when you are directly affected by a veteran who is currently serving. The military is not an easy profession to be a part of nor do the soldiers receive the respect from many of the citizens that they fight for. Nonetheless, I'm so proud of my husband for following his heart and doing what he knows he should. During this deployment, I am learning the struggles and heartache that soldiers experience being away from home. My heart goes out, in particular, to those soldiers who have no moral support from family and friends back home. May God watch over them and bring them home safely!!

♪♫"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the ones who died who gave that right to me. . . ."♪♫


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weighing in - Week 7

Today, I am grateful for my health. With the exception of being overweight and having a hyper thyroid, I am quite healthy. And for that I am very grateful. I have a family history or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Thus, I need to be committed to keeping my health in check or I may eventually end up with many health problems.

This was a difficult week for me. Although I stayed within my points range, I didn't eat the correct amounts of fruits, vegetables, and protein. I began craving my comfort foods such as starches, chocolate, and peanut butter. I also stressed out about the lesson I had to give in Relief Society on Sunday, had no motivation to do much cooking or exercising, and started having dizzy and lightheadedness spells. I don't know why I am feeling so lousy...unless it is because I wasn't eating healthy like I have been the past several weeks. Although, I always want a big number at weigh in, I knew it wasn't going to happen this week. In fact, this morning when I went to get on the scale, I was just hoping that I would lose o.6 pound, thus, hitting my 10 pound mark. A 0.6 loss would also mean that I could finally wear my fuzzy, warm fleece jacket that has been lying on my cedar chest for the past week.

Today, I'm celebrating my success. I lost my 0.6 pound--not an ounce more or less! After 7 long weeks, I have finally hit the 10 pound mark! In the past, I have usually lost he first 10 pounds in a month, but not this time. Although 10 pounds doesn't seem like much in comparison to what I need to lose, it seems like quite a bit when you think of it as in a 10 pound bag of flour. I hope it is off for forever!

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds

Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 10 pounds

Only 75 more pounds to go!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Club

Today, I am thankful for book club. Reading is not and never has been one of my hobbies. Instead, it's more of a chore. However, after attending book club tonight (mainly just to get out of the house and be with other people since I hadn't completed the book), I have been inspired to start reading again. There is so much to learn in reading. I know that by reading again, not only will my reading comprehension increase, but I will feel more well rounded in society. Sometimes, I feel like I'm living in my own little world because I don't always relate to others since I haven't read or kept up-to-date on things.

Also, one of my deployment goals is to read 12 books before Jared comes home. To date, I've read 1/2 of a book. So I'm not off to a good start. However, I LOVE Christmas books and plan to dig them out this weekend and start re-reading them! Hopefully, that will be just the nudge I need to keep going.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary Jared

Today, I'm grateful for my husband, Jared, who is also my best friend! Two years ago today, we were married. I'm so grateful that I took my coworkers' challenge to do the on-line dating scene and prove to them that it doesn't work. Oops...I'm now eating my words for forever!

Our dating period was relatively quick. Jared had just moved back to Idaho and initiated contact with me on April 18, 2008. After chatting on-line for three hours (and at 2:30 a.m.), he asked me out on a date for the next day. I was a little hesitant since I had recently gone on a date with someone that I had met online that turned out disastrous. I tentatively agreed to the date as I hadn't talked with my family to see if we already had some plans. During our conversation, I found out that Jared was good friends with a few of my cousins in high school. So it also gave me time to call a couple of my cousins in the morning to see what they had to say about him before I fully agreed to the date. Everyone told me that he can be shy until you get to know him, but he is very respectful and will treat you like a queen. So off I went and had a great time at the movies and dinner. Jared was different than any other guys that I had dated. He treated me with respect, made me feel important, and was willing to listen to me ramble on about a bad day that I had at the office a few hours earlier. He even opened the car door for me. I thought had become a thing of the past. Later, he told me that he only does it for the first 50 dates! Ha-ha

From that period on, we took turns driving to each other's home until we were married since we lived a little over 2 hours away from each other. Jared proposed to me on September 13, 2008, at the Twin Falls temple, and we were married in Blackfoot, Idaho, on November 8, 2008.

Since that time, Jared joined the US ARMY, and we are currently stationed in Vilseck, Germany. This was a very hard transition for me. I gave up everything that was comfortable to me and moved half way across the world to begin a new life together. Although I was happy to finally get to be with Jared, I missed my family and friends back home. Through it all, Jared has been a trooper and has been there for me. On December 10, 2010, we were sealed in the Bern, Switzerland Temple for time and all eternity. I love knowing that as long as we both live worthy of the covenants we made in the temple, we can be together forever. This promise has helped me immensely since Jared is currently deployed to Afghanistan. We are both anxiously waiting for his R&R date so we can be together again for a couple of weeks.

Jared is a wonderful husband with a heart of gold and upholds his church responsibilities. He is always willing to help out and do his part so we can spend more time being together. I miss him
and can't wait to celebrate many more years together!

Below is a little music video that I put together for our anniversary. It contains a few of our memories from dating to present. The picture quality is best if you keep the video screen small.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm Grateful for...Day 1

Okay...I'm a little behind schedule. But since everyone else seems to be posting what they are grateful for every day during the month of November, I decided that maybe I should start a Gratitude journal myself. However, I'm going to make mine last through the remainder of the year. If nothing else comes of this little excercise, I hope it will help me remember that even though I am facing a lonely year of deployment and celebrating holidays alone, I have been blessed with soooo many things...

1. I'm grateful that my Relief Society lesson is over! I am the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society. One of my responsibilities it to teach the 1st Sunday lesson every 3rd month. I have been stewing about this assignment for months now. I don't like to get up and talk in front of people. I much prefer the smaller group settings. I also am not good at creating talks from nothing and adding comments to go with each section. However, I pressed forward.

The topic for my lesson was "Having Family Home Evening." While some of you might think, "That's not a hard topic," I was thinking, "What could I possibly tell the sisters in this ward about Family Home Evening? They know we have been asked to have it every Monday night and that they will be blessed for doing so." I certainly am not an expert in this area. I grew up in a home where Family Home Evening did not happen all the time. We started doing it several times, but we always allowed things to get in the way. Then we stopped having them. However, I do remember so special home evening where the lesson was on testimonies. At the end of the lesson, we went around the room and each bore our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That was my first times of hearing my parents publicly bear their testimony. I remember how strong the Spirit was in our home that night.

Once Jared and I moved to Germany, I tried to start our own Family Home Evenings. However, we haven't been very consistent. Jared says, What do you want to do? We spend every night together." This is mostly true. However, we are not discussing gospel principles, which is the key. Thus, I decided to give my lessons on the Prophetic Promises of Having Family Home Evening. Maybe, if we are reminded of all of the promises that are in store for us if we will SINCERELY and PRAYERFULLY hold Family Home Evenings, we will have the desire to begin again. Just look at the blessings that the Prophets have promised us:

  • Great blessings will result
  • Love at home will increase
  • Obedience to parents will increase
  • Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth
  • They will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them
  • Great blessings come to those who carry out this responsibility
  • A great measure of peace and harmony in the home
  • The Lord will grant rich blessings
  • Will bring families closer to one another
  • Families will be blessed
  • There will be better feelings between husband and wife, between parents and children, and among children
  • The Spirit of the Lord will be made manifest
  • Couples receive strength
  • Couples can be drawn ever closer together
  • Young couples will prepare for the great challenges of parenthood
  • Not one in a hundred of your family would ever go astray
  • Develop increased personal worth
  • Family Unity
  • Love for our fellowmen
  • Trust in our Father in Heaven
  • Great blessings
  • You will gain strength to withstand the temptations of the world
  • Will receive many blessings which will help qualify you to enjoy your families through eternity in the Celestial Kingdom

Who wouldn't want these blessings to come their way??


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weighing in - Week 6

Another week has come and gone. The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend. I was able to get a few good walks in! However, today the cold, damp drizzle made its way in...and I'm afraid it might be here to stay. YUCK! On a happy note, I stayed on my diet fairly well even though I enjoyed some of my favorite foods...enjoyed my favorite Italian dish with Irma for her birthday on Wednesday, Rib eye steak and stuffed potatoes on Friday, breakfast skillet and Flamkucken pizza on Saturday, and baby ribs on Sunday!!! I was soooo hoping for a big number today because I want to hit my 10 pound mark, but I fell short by 0.6 pound! I bought a warm fleece jacket that I'm dying to start wearing, but I told myself that it would be my reward for losing 10 pounds. So I guess it has to lie on my cedar chest for one more week.

Jared has been commenting that I am cooking lots more now than when he was home, which is true. However, truth be told, I have always been willing to cook him whatever he wanted. The problem was that he was either too hungry to wait for me to cook a healthy meal or he felt bad to make me slave in the kitchen while he was unwinding from his day by watching TV or playing a video game. Tonight, he told me to keep up the diet so that when he comes home, he can jump on board to the good food as the DEFAC leaves a lot to be desired.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 9.4 pounds

Only 75.6 more pounds to go!