Friday, December 23, 2011

It's the holiday season...

This season has been good for me. I've been busy, as always, but I feel like I've taken more time to sit back and enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season. I've listened to more Christmas music on Pandora than I have in probably the last five years combined. Thanks to Pinterest I've been able to explore my creative side and confirm to myself and others that I really can create something more than slightly artistic.

Case in point:

Yeah, I totally made this guy by myself. I am Becky's daughter after all. :)

I've been volunteering up at Primary Children's for the past couple months, and it has been such a great experience. It's amazing to see the resilience of kids and to observe their pure happiness and good attitudes even when they're sick. So, of course I had to make it to the Festival of Trees this year. Ian was a good sport and came along for the trip, even though he didn't really want to. 

This was part of the gingerbread house contest. A Rapunzel castle from Tangled.

I couldn't resist a picture of this. Notice Carl, Russell and Doug on the front lawn. So cute!!

The U

My favorite tree of the festival. I shot my eye out!
Also notice Flik on the top with his tongue stuck to the pole. 
I thought it was terribly clever.

Up was a popular theme this year evidently. 

I liked the presents underneath the tree for all the characters.

The second official Harwell Family Christmas Tree!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving, 2011. I drove home from my in-laws' tonight completely baffled at the fact that 2011 is almost just another one for the memory books. It's been a GREAT year, and I have so much to be thankful for.

First and foremost, of course is the great opportunity to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know it's cliche, but it truly is a blessing each and every day to have the purpose and direction in my life that only being a member of the church provides.

A very close second, is the most wonderful husband in the whole wide world. Ian really does have to put up with a lot from me, and I thank him every day for doing it. Seriously, Monday night was a meltdown about how I'm the most unmotivated, fattest, ugliest person ever who will never get where I want to be. The next night (after a much needed meeting with an academic adviser, and a little perspective) was a conversation with the ultimate conclusion that things really are going to be just fine. He is such a great provider and is so much more on top of things than I am. And it doesn't hurt that he spoils me rotten! I love you, Ian. You truly are my rock and the half that makes me whole. Your support means more to me than you know.

My most amazing parents. Whether it's a trip to Costco for groceries, or a lunch break spent servicing photo booths to save me some time, I have the greatest parents. I really have never felt anything from them but 100% love and support, no matter what. The have set a perfect example of the kind of marriage I work for every day. They have taught me that although life brings on challenges, whether they're the result of our choices or ones that we're completely blinded by, life is still good, and you can still be happy. I'm so thankful for that. Love you guys!

Two great sisters and one studly brother. I'm so lucky to be one of those people who can say that their siblings are their best friends. The four of us truly have a unique bond. Yesterday, my sisters came to my apartment and helped me get it all cleaned and organized. They didn't even comment on how atrociously messy and unorganized everything was; they just went straight to work and even went to Ikea to help me pick new furniture. Then there's my brother, Ian. I'm already dreading the day I have to drop him off the the MTC in February. He is such a peacemaker and you won't find a bigger heart of gold in any person, I guarantee it. He gives me hugs every time I see him, and is always, always, always willing to lend a helping hand. I'm so blessed to have such inspiring siblings!

My in-laws. Ian and I always talk about how great it is to have such strong relationships with our in-laws. I always used to wonder what my relationship with my future husband's family would be like, and I couldn't have asked for more. They've been so accepting of me from the very beginning (even before Ian and I were officially together, really...) and it's been fabulous to have such a wonderful second family close by.

The best job on the planet. I would do my job for free if I didn't need the money. Ok, that might not be 100% true, but I LOVE my job. My boss is the best, always praising us on a job well done, and juggling two busy clinics. I connect so well with all my coworkers, even though we're different ages and come from all walks of life. I learn so much from them every day. It's sometimes not fun to work in a place that people really dread, but I am so fulfilled and have such a great time every day.

And last, and sometimes least (sometimes doesn't even make the gratitude list at all), School. I fight it, but I really am grateful to have an opportunity to further my education, especially in a field I thrive in. I'm so blessed to be able to make a difference in people's lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo, Cori

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bordetella Pertussis

Here I am on my soap box again, but it's my blog, so I get to be. Yesterday in church, our Relief Society president announced that one of the primary teachers in our ward was diagnosed with Whooping Cough. I also heard from some of the patients work that go to Lehi High, that there's been someone at their school diagnosed with it too.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is whooping cough:

Let me point out a couple things to you.

First, (which should be quite obvious) this baby is MISERABLE! You can see it on his face. I can't imagine anything more terrifying as a mother. There literally is nothing you can do at that point but prop them up and watch them cough.

Second, HE'S NOT BREATHING!! Go back and look. He takes the characteristic "whoop" breath at 33 seconds and then doesn't breath in again until 55 seconds. An infant his age should be taking 30-40 breaths per minute. Average that baby's respirations out at two or maybe three... Yeah, you've got bigger problems than just the cough.

Whooping Cough is a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics, but it can be fatal and it is completely preventable. Babies can be vaccinated as young as six weeks. If you've already gotten on board and your kids are up to date, kudos. If you're one of those moms who don't for whatever reason, WISE UP!! I really am not saying that to be mean, but seriously, in this day and age, you can't assume that it's not going to happen. Whooping Cough is extremely contagious and chances are if someone close to you has been diagnosed, you and your children have already been exposed.

The other thing people are trying to raise awareness about is that kids and parents can bring home Whooping Cough to their newborns even if they don't have symptoms. The doctor will usually make sure a pregnant mom is up to date before she delivers, but they don't always check on the dad. One phone call to your pediatrician's office will ensure that your kids are up to date too. Get up to date on your vaccines!

Here's the link to the CDC information on Pertussis (Whooping Cough):

Read the info, and keep your family safe.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dear Occupy Protesters...

...Ok. You've had your fun, but now it's time to go home. Your camps have turned in to a breeding ground for disease and a haven for drug users. You've seen that anyone with a job or any real influence in society couldn't care less about your cause. Your demands are outrageous, and I really don't think many of you know why you're out there freezing your butts off anyway. I'm as sick to death of you as I am of the Kardashians. The real 99% (those of us who work for a living instead of sitting around in a hippie drum circle demanding life-sustaining goods and services) would appreciate it if you would stop shooting each other and letting your neighbors and friends die alone in a tent, and GO AWAY. Let our law enforcement relinquish the task of babysitting you all day long, and allow them to get back to their real duty of protecting our neighborhoods against crime.

Thank You

Really?? You want to live here? I'd rather be a fry cook...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude 
President Thomas S. Monson

We have been so blessed. Financially, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I truly can't help but be amazed at the blessings the Lord has chosen to send our way. We really have it pretty dang good. No complaints. Not even a little one.

I sometimes wonder if this means I'm supposed to be gearing up for something big. If all these blessings are going to somehow disappear one day. I don't know why I think that, but I constantly have the thought in the back of my mind, "Ok, where's the catch?" Not that I want that by any means, but it seems like everyone else around us is going through so much and we really have no complaints right now.

When I think further, though, I wonder if maybe the reason we have all that we do is that I have always made it a point to habitually say "Thank You." I say it to the waiter in a restaurant after he fills my drink. I mention it to the random stranger who pauses for a second to hold the door for me at school. And I especially thank my Heavenly Father for my blessings every day.

Do you think maybe Heavenly Father sometimes withholds blessings we've been asking for when we neglect to express gratitude for what we already have? I know that he loves us and watches over us, but is that like one of those Godly laws or something?  It says in D&C "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." We are commanded to be grateful... It's just something I've been thinking about.

I've commented a lot on this blog and in life in general about the "gimme generation". I feel like I'm surrounded by people who subconsciously (some not-so-subconsciously) believe, "I exist; therefore, you owe me something", and are never satisfied with what they have. Obviously we should always be striving for goals and trying to better ourselves, but there's a line, and it's crossed far too much. I don't believe I'm completely exempt from this mentality, but I'm constantly trying to appreciate the value of hard work, and I'm "learning the art of being content." It's easier said than done, and especially easy when you have a lot in your life to be content with, but examples of people all around me prove that it can be done in any walk of life.

I know in a few years I'll probably be wishing for my days on easy street. But for right now, I'm going to be grateful for what I have, and maybe when the storm clouds roll in it won't be as hard, because I'll have learned to be grateful in all things.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I'm so glad there's people like him who exist in the world. I've loved The Killer's since their "Hot Fuss" album (I know... I'm a sheep...) and I have all their music on my iTunes. This just makes me wanna listen to them all day. Also props to Adam Abel, our family friend who helped produce this video. He has the coolest job ever!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Ian!

Ok, so I'm a little late with this blog post as Ian's birthday was on Monday, but since it's still in the same week... It counts, right? I think so. What a lucky girl I am to have married this boy of mine! I can count on him for anything, whether it's a priesthood blessing the night before a test or a late night run to the store when I've run out of contact solution. Ian treats me like a queen in every aspect in my life and never passes up an opportunity to make me laugh. I never question his love for me. Ever, ever! He works so hard at his job and takes opportunities to learn new things every day. He takes pleasure in the simple things in life, even tater tot casserole.  He spends hours helping me with my Chemistry homework (*cough* or doing it for me *cough*) even though I get frustrated and usually swear at it. He's truly my best friend, greatest confidant, and biggest fan. I love you, babe! Happy Birthday!

Engagements that didn't quite make it to our announcements.
We were much skinnier here...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do It Anyway

Anyone who knows me, knows that I've always struggled with school. I'm sure even if you've been following this blog you'll know that I've been in a constant battle with it, well, pretty much my whole life. I've also written on here before that I had no idea why at first, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I needed to get my RN. The reasons why are becoming a little more clear to me, but the thing I've taken away from this the very most is that doing hard things is important.

It's gonna suck... But just dig your heels in and do it anyway.

You can swear. You can cry. Those are both excusable offenses while you're in school.

You might have to retake a class, or you may not get into the program of your choice the first time around.

Just do it anyway.

I'll tell you why.

With every step you take in the right direction, it will be confirmed to you that you're on the right path.
You may start your journey like I did, feeling absolutely certain that the goal is impossible, but you're going to give it a shot, just in case you're wrong. You may have complete confidence. Do it either way. You'll have moments where the path will be unclear, and doubt will inevitably start to creep up on you. But, more importantly, doors will materialize out of nowhere, options you didn't even know existed will make themselves known, and people will be introduced who can help you reach your goal. You'll get there. But only if you want it really really bad.

You might not hate it as much as you think.
I walked in to my first Microbiology class this semester with nothing but sheer dread. I hated studying all the organelles and processes in the cell in my Intro to Biology class, and the thought of spending months learning about bacteria and mold made me physically ill. Wanna know something funny, though? Four weeks later, I love what I'm learning. It's so applicable and fun to study all these microbes and pathogens. I help treat patients every day with strep, UTIs, fevers, colds, etc. Now I actually know what causes them, and why it's so important to have the right treatment.

Truly, NOTHING is impossible.

Gordon B. Hinckley
“Things work out, it isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out, don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in him, if we will pray to him, if we will live worthy of his blessings, he will hear our prayers.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

I'm learning how to do this. I'm not perfect at it yet, but I really see the value in setting out on a path and sticking to it, even when I'm knee-deep in mud.

Ours is a generation of hand-outs and trudging the path of least resistance in every facet. WE'RE NOT DOING OURSELVES ANY FAVORS! If you choose to stand out as one who is willing to work hard for what you get, people will notice.

Eventually the end will come, and you'll realize that it was only the beginning.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

10 years...

I know, it's been a long time since I've blogged, and I don't really want to right now. But in light of the events this weekend, I'll post this wonderful article by our beloved prophet. I love when members of our church get to write in public places and especially when our prophet takes the opportunity, it's a blessing I'm sure not many readers realize they are privileged to have. So enjoy this story and it's great message.

9/11 destruction allowed us to spiritually rebuild

The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world. This week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with Tom Brokaw, will pay its own homage to the unforgettable events of September 11, 2001.
There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.
Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.
Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.
But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.
If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.
The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.
It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm.

Monday, August 15, 2011

One last hurrah!

Well, we're down to our last two days of our summer adventure. And what a crazy ride it's been! We decided to have a little fun for our last weekend in town and went to the beach yesterday. I didn't really want to go at first but I'm glad Ian talked me into it, because it was so great! We drove about 70 miles from our apartment in Mission to South Padre Island. It's the same island as the beaches in Corpus where on, but just further down. I really loved the beaches in Corpus, but the water was really mucky and was usually full of seaweed. I guess I didn't know any better... The southern end of the island had perfect sand and clear blue water. It was absolutely beautiful, and a perfect way to end our time in Texas.

Driving over the bridge on our way to The Island.

After a swim.

Out in the waves

There were these little burrows all over the sand in the water.
We tried  to dig a few up, but didn't find what was in there.
We probably killed whatever it was in the process... Oops...

Picture perfect beach scene.

Further down the Island

Some little kids nearby built this cool sand castle.

These little tiny shells were everywhere! I thought they were cute.
PS We took this picture with Ian's phone. Great camera, don't you think?

Gorgeous Texas sunset

I love evenings on the beach.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I didn't watch this season, but now I'm kind of wishing I had... I love when a dance is so captivating you can't look away or really even blink. That's how I felt while watching this. Also, the judges comments were HILARIOUS!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bring him home

If you've seen Les Mis and didn't cry when Jean Valjean sang this song, you have no soul. I like this rendition a lot. I think both Jon Schmidt and Steve Nelson are SO talented and have such a unique gift to be able to put a modern spin on classics like this one and revive them for a whole new generation. Plus, they're both just good ol' down-to-earth Mormon boys. I'm mostly posting it here so I'll be able to find it later if I want to listen to it, but please enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last day of school!

It's the end of summer semester and I got a 4.0 (I think)!!!! Yay!!!

oh wait...

Fall semester starts in 3 weeks....

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

One more semester and I'm ready to apply for Nursing school. HOLY COW! I can't even believe it myself. I've fought this school thing tooth and nail. Seriously, ask Ian. He has to give me a pep talk at least bi-weekly. My main struggle has been convincing myself that I should do this when I'm in such a good place right now. I have a GREAT job, which I absolutely love, and it's hard to have the perspective about school that I need to be successful. With my friends all getting ready to graduate and my track record with school, it's hard not to feel like the opportunity hasn't already passed me by, or that I'll never get there.

But, I distinctly remember talking to my mom when I was driving home from school one day, just talking about my classes, and I said, "I guess that's what happens when you finally get on the path the Lord wants you to be on." I could barely finish my sentence because I was so overwhelmed with the conformation of how true what I had just said was. I just wish it wasn't so hard to REMEMBER that. The other thing I realized (after Ian's most recent pep talk) is that I'm not just doing this for me. I'm doing this to benefit my husband and our future family. I'm sharing the load with my husband and giving him the assurance that if a situation were to arise when he wouldn't be able to provide for our family, he has an educated wife with the ability to take the reins. I'm abandoning my selfish desires and allowing myself to be molded into the person I'm supposed to be. So, yeah, I'm still resisting, but slowly and surely I'll get there.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Words to live by for the day

"You will find that somewhere between setting and reaching a goal, you’ll end up in the muck and mire of the arena of life. That’s when you have to increase your persistence. Don’t change the goal. Don’t say, “The goal wasn’t good because I have manure on my boots.” Don’t say, “I must not be capable of reaching that goal.” Say, “I’ve got to work harder, try harder, get up earlier, study harder, go to church more, pray harder, follow the principles of the gospel.” Be persistent. Then you will reach those goals and find yourself becoming the person you imagine yourself to be." -KIETH MERRILL

Read the rest of his article here. Seriously, do it. It's really good.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Health, Wealth, Happiness

One of our goals when we moved to Texas was to try and be more mindful of what we eat and improve our intake of fruits and vegetables. We've partially succeeded, but as I've been trying to be more mindful of it and finding creative ways to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods, I've been bombarded with so many conflicting views about what is and isn't good for you. One supposed nutrition expert claims that humans have evolved to from the hunter-gatherers who rarely ate carbs, and when they did it was really nitty gritty grains, high in fiber, which they grew on their own. Another expert cites the "China Experiment" where a culture that had existed for thousands of years was studied. The conclusion from their research is that the people who were raised on diets of meat and fat were sick more and died younger than people who ate a raw, organic diet. Which bits of truth do I pull from each of those?

Then there's the green smoothie girl. I've been drinking green smoothies 2-3 times per week, purely for their nutritional value. I have no intention of veganising myself any time soon. I must say, I do like them. I use really mild greens, like spinach. It's definitely not a Jamba Juice by any means, but most of them taste pretty good, and make me feel good too. One of my friends lent me her book though, and I wasn't too impressed with what she had to say. She tells the story of her grandmother who was diagnosed with melanoma, and after being given her treatment options, she opted for a strict diet of raw, organic foods instead. This of course was followed by a miraculous recovery, all attributed to her daily carrot juice intake, and counter-balanced by the story of her uncle who opted for chemo after being diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma, and died a year later. Maybe it's the choice of career path or my appreciation for medicine, but do you really expect me to believe that if I get cancer and drink carrot juice, I'm going to be healed? I call that happenstance. Luck. My dad was treated for melanoma 2 years ago through early diagnosis and surgery (and he sure as heck wasn't drinking any carrot juice, I guarantee it) and has since had a clean bill of health.

 The Green Smoothie. One sip and all your problems go away.

Her other story was about her son who was diagnosed with asthma early on in life. She relates a story of countless sleepless nights giving nebulizer treatments, and ER visits where her son wasn't given anything but more of the same drug they had been treating him with at home. But, of course, a daily green smoothie cured his asthma. Two things wrong with this story for me. #1: Her son is now 18. She was giving him these treatments that "didn't work" in 1993. Treatments for asthma are 100% different now. In fact, with a few consultations with a pulmunologist, most asthma patients get on a medication schedule that makes them forget they even have asthma. #2: Asthma is classified as a childhood disease for a reason. The majority of kids get over it by the time they reach adolescence. The fact that he was drinking smoothies was pure coincidence if you ask me...

Ok, so that was a little "soap boxy" but it's just frustrating to have someone actually publish something that is so incredibly one-sided, and claim it as fact. Nutrition and medicine go hand in hand. After all, who do you think it is who figured out the necessity of nutrition in our lives? I think that would be doctors... People advertise that a little essential oil and some raw, organic food will make it so you never have to see a doctor again, but they won't tell you about cases like the little girl I saw last winter who's mom opted for essential oils instead of antibiotics. Don't worry, after a collapsed lung and 2 weeks in the ICU at Primary Children's, she's just fine.

I guess there's really only one health guideline to turn to, D&C 89. As I was reading it again, however, I noticed it was kind of vague. This talk by president Boyd. K Packer explains it magnificently.

"The Word of Wisdom was 'given for a principle with promise' (D&C 89:3). That word principle in the revelation is a very important one. A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Generally principles are not spelled out in detail. That leaves you free to find your way with an enduring truth, a principle, as your anchor.
"Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. It’s well known that tea, coffee, liquor, and tobacco are against it. It has not been spelled out in more detail. Rather, we teach the principle together with the promised blessings. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation.
"Everything harmful is not specifically listed; arsenic, for instance—certainly bad, but not habit-forming! He who must be commanded in all things, the Lord said, 'is a slothful and not a wise servant.'"
I guess it's just another testimony that the Lord really does provide guidance for all aspects of our lives. I'm thankful that we've been given a plan that is completely unbiased, and that I've been given the ability to decipher which of all this information I hear is truly the best choice. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You know you're 2 miles from the US-Mexico border when...

I am in a whole different world down here. It's hard to even feel like I'm in the United States sometimes. Our beach view apartment and mostly-white community has been replaced by bug hunting and experiencing what it's like to be a minority. I gotta admit, it's pretty freakin weird. I wish I could say I've been able to take it all in stride, but to be honest, I haven't been the happiest of campers lately. Most days I'm just ready to be home. But there is a silver lining to every cloud, and I'm a believer in finding humor in any situation. So, here are some common sights that let me know just how far I am from home.

You know you're in the Rio Grande Valley when...
...Signs don't even bother with an English translation
...The plastic M decal gets stolen off the front of your car. (PS it just figures that would happen when we're about to pay it off... There must be some kind of curse)
...People's tires are worth more than their cars
...You play "spot the gringo" and lose
...You walk by a house that has a Mercedes in the driveway, but the grass is 2 feet long.
...A pink house with a blowup pool in the driveway is just another every day thing.
...Your husband comes home with a story about a house with no house number, but spray painted above the carport is "PO BOX 33." (I'll bet they're wondering where all their mail is, and why it isn't coming to their house.)
...The workers at fast food restaurants have to guess whether you speak English or Spanish before you talk to them.
...There are more Spanish radio stations that English ones.
...You drive by a restaurant called "Burguesa Burger".
...You almost get hit at least 5 times on your way to the grocery store because most of the people on the road don't have very much experience driving in the US.
...Opening the door usually means a giant bug is going to find its way inside. Which leads to:
...You ALWAYS have the Raid handy.
...You go from getting 30 MPG to 22 MPG because the AC is on full blast wherever you go.
...You mention to your relief society president that the weather is much hotter than you're used to and she says that you haven't seen anything yet.
...El Caminos as far as the eye can see.

I have pictures of a lot of these things, but the computer is being weird and won't let me upload them. So, I suppose if you have nothing but complaints about Utah, just remember that you could be living in Mission, TX. I'm just grateful to my awesome husband and the friends I've made here for helping me get through it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Giving the Academy a Raincheck

I just finished my 7-page paper for English last night. I remember now why I decided to do a 180 from English to Nursing as my major in high school. Anyway, it's been an interesting 2 weeks. We live in a hotel now. Yeah. I'm trying to be positive about it but to be 100% honest, I pretty much hate it. Although, the one good thing about it is free cable and internet. Good thing we're moving to our next city on Sunday, huh?

We've had a pretty fun week this week. Last Saturday was our 1-year anniversary. I know, crazy huh? Ian had to work but I did pick him up so we could go out for Chinese food and catch a late movie. At least we could say we had a little bit of fun on our actual anniversary day.

Ian took the day off on Monday, and we went to the Texas State Aquarium. We saw some awesome fish and wildlife, and I couldn't believe all of them came from the Gulf of Mexico, or The United States. And we actually took some pictures. I know, can you believe it?!

 Me in front of the entrance. The blue shirt wasn't planned...


 My cute hubby loved the seahorses. Love him!

 A lionfish

A shark. He was pretty cool. 

This is a hawk-headed parrot. You could tell he was used to having his picture taken. 
He totally posed for that picture. 

 Ian loved the turtles. He was missing his turtle Tommy.

Jellyfish. They're totally mesmerizing to watch.

The USS Lexington 

 Me in front of the Lexington

 Corpus Christi Bay and skyline

 We went to the Dolphin show. It was pretty lame actually...

 Another sea turtle. He was waving at us.

Proof that we were actually there. Love this guy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Cool one

Thank you Facebook!

With all the CRAP that's on the radio....

I'm glad there's still these guys.
If you haven't heard of them, you should fall in love like everyone else.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time to write

I started English 2010 today. It is a BEAST! 7 writing projects, and 5 chapters to read, and that's just what's due by Wednesday. I know, right? Anyway, the point of that was that I may or may not have as much time to blog as I would like over the next little while, so this might be the last you hear from me for a few weeks. I know, all three of you are sad... Probably not, but maybe. I've had a pretty good week. I got a 90% on my history test (my history major sister would be proud!), and got a sunburn and subsequent tan line at the beach for memorial day.

The guys have a certain number of sales they have to make every week before the company buys dinner for everyone, and they made it this week, so Ian and I got to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Saturday. YUM!

And last night we had dinner with Ian's boss and his wife, which is one of my good friends here. It was so fun, and a nice change for a Sunday.

So, ya know when someone changes their relationship status to "Engaged" on Facebook, the first thing everyone says is "Congratulations! You'll love married life, it's the best!" They say it, because it's so true. Ian and I were in the kitchen this morning, sharing half a tube of cookie dough (it was going to go bad...) and drinking milk out of a bowl because we had no clean glasses, when this thought occurred to me. It's simple moments like that, that just make me love being married. Yeah, it's fun to be out on our own taking care of ourselves, and having adventures, but what it really boils down to is that I have my best friend in the whole world to eat cookie dough with forever.

All too often what seems to keep people from taking the plunge is the fact that they think haven't experienced or progressed enough as a single person to think about getting married. What I've realized over the last year though, is that married people who are willing to stick it out together are two halves of a whole that is unstoppable. There's a reason The Lord says in Genesis: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."  

Ian and I have fallen into typical husband and wife roles a lot more since we've been here. I noticed it before, but I see now how true this is. We each bring specific things to our relationship that make both of us stronger and better than either could be on our own. It occurred to me that the reason exaltation is only achievable after a person is sealed in the temple probably has something to do with this. When you marry the right person, under the right authority, at the right time, and apply the lesson in seminary where the teacher draws a triangle that says "Husband, Wife, God" at each point, you reach your full potential much more easily. You become God-like... Just a thought.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

Today is a pretty regular day. But I have been blooming. I sometimes like to type a word that has to do with my post into google images and see what comes up (I realize this is risky business and only a couple of times have I regretted it after the images come up). Today I typed, "Bloom" and this is what came up.

Of course. What was I thinking?

This is what I had in mind. I have been doing pretty well on my goal to do something every day to "bloom where I am planted." Saturday was pretty simple: I drove in a traffic jam. 

I'd never seen anything like it. At one point I just stopped and let the cars in front, to the side, and behind me just do their thing because I'm pretty sure that no one cared if they hit another car as long as they got where they were going. I'm starting to rethink my previous post where I said Texans were courteous drivers... 

So that's not much, but it's something. Yesterday was a little more promising. I went out of my comfort zone at church. I decided I need to connect more with the other wives that are here with their husbands who are selling with Ian. And you know men, they don't make those kinds of connections, or arrange anything really, so I had to do it myself. I talked with the Manager's wife, exchanged phone numbers, and hopefully will be more in the loop from now on.

Today I went to the gym, grocery shopped, and caught up on schoolwork. Not anything too exciting, but those things have to be done too I suppose. 

I also finished "The Hunger Games" series. I have mixed feelings on it... anyway. Have a good Monday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Aw man... my school website seems to be down today. Darn... (note the sarcasm of the triple dots). Anyway, I read on the weather channel this morning that the heat index here today is 105! For those of you who would have to google heat index like I did, it's just a fancy way of saying the "perceived temperature" if you factor in the humidity with the temperature outside. Now I know all you people from Vegas and Arizona are scoffing at me right now, but that is a huge jump from 80 degrees and cloudy yesterday. Hello Summer! Nice of you to drop in. Hope you don't give my husband and his sales buddies heat stroke today.

I was thinking about giving shots last night as I was falling asleep. That was the part of my old job that I disliked the very most, but now I'm thinking about it and wishing I could get back to it. Obviously it's clear I need to get a job... Heck, I'd even do it for free at this point.

Have a good Saturday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Growing pains

This week has been really frustrating. Not gonna lie. My search for jobs has come up with a big fat nothin' and Ian's sales are... well, not so great. This is pretty typical for a "Rookie" like him; it's all part of the learning process. I don't know why we were so vain to think he'd be exempt from that, but for some reason we were. Everything I read or think about seems to lead me back to the Lord's timing and patience right now. I read a really good blog the other day written by a teacher and mentor of mine from waaaaay back in Jr High. You can read the whole post here.
She talks about her daughter, and how she's usually a pretty patient baby until she's hungry. Then her face gets red as she screams her lungs out until she's fed. She says:

It was a couple of weeks ago – during one of those 3:00 a.m. feedings – I lost my patience. She was throwing the usual fit. Screaming, crying, fists flying, red face. She was so angry that what she wanted wasn't showing up when and how she wanted it.  The food was there, but she couldn't see it.  I was so frustrated, that I actually tried to talk to her about it.

"Why do we have to go through this every single time? I know what you want and I know what you need and I'm standing here waiting to give it to you.  In fact, it's two inches from your face and if you would just calm down and be still so you can actually breathe, you'll be able to eat and everyone will be happy!"

I thought about how often we're all like my teacher's baby. How we scream and cry have pity parties for ourselves, when what we want will be given to us if we just have a little faith in the Lord's timing. 
I've realized how hard it is to keep this in the forefront of your thoughts when you're right in the middle of it. I have these incredible moments of clarity where I feel great about the situation, as unfavorable as it may be at the time, because I realize it's all leading me to a greater purpose. But, at the end of the day, when I'm tired and again coming to the realization that I've pretty much spent my time doing nothing, I regress back to the self-pitying, frustrated girl. Blah blah blah, poor me. And forget those moments, tender mercies, where I get a glimpse of the big picture. 
One of my coworkers and good friends ("Work mom" as she refers to herself) from the pediatrician's office I just left, has reminded me a couple times since I've been here to "Bloom where you are planted". So, every day I'm going to make note of what I'm doing to bloom like a desert flower. 

Today is going to be simple. Chores.
I definitely don't take pleasure in doing chores, but right now, my only job is to be here as a support to my husband, and he's down to his last pair of clean underwear. 

So here I am... blooming. Well, sort of.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh, Texas

I'm writing this little update mostly for myself, but if you'd like to follow along, go ahead.
Ian seems to be getting into the swing of things with selling. He hasn't been as successful as I'm sure he was planning on, but things are going okay. He's just in the learning curve part of it all right now. He's been out in the scorching sun (yesterday) and there was a rain storm on Thursday that might as well have been a Tsunami. I'm not even kidding. I was outside for 10 seconds running to the car and I was completely drenched. In a way it was kind of fun though. That definitely doesn't happen in Utah.
I'm so back and forth about this place. One minute I love it, the next I'm dying to go home. Mostly I just hate not having much to do besides sit around my apartment. I've been looking for temp jobs, but there doesn't really seem to be much available right now. It's a little frustrating. Add to that the fact that Ian is gone from 11 AM to 10 PM on Weekdays and 9 AM-10 PM on Saturdays, it gets a little discouraging. Which makes me wonder if I'm really going to enjoy life as a stay-at-home mom... Interesting thought... Anyway.
I really am dying to get back into the game as an MA. I miss my job. That sounds weird coming from a person like me, because most days I left work completely exhausted, and really wasn't too excited to keep up my hectic schedule. And don't even get me started on call nights. I'm pretty sure Ian was ready to hide from me the moment he knew I was coming home on those days. But it frustrates me that I don't feel like I have an opportunity to do what I'm good at here.
But if that minor detail were to be resolved, I would really love it here. And most of the time I do. There's lots of palm trees, and although the humidity and I are kinda not friends right now, it does wonders for my hair and skin. And I have to think back to the days during the winter and school where I would've killed for a day to just sit and do nothing.
Also, a side note: people are right when they say Utahans are bad drivers. People here are so much more polite. They'll let you in, keep a space so you can make a left turn across traffic if you need to, they obey school speed limits (I think this one is just because they all know cops like to hang out in school zones) and EVERYONE stops for emergency vehicles. Like actually stops, not just pulls over and slows down a bit. It's weird, I always thought people were being dramatic when they said Utah drivers suck...
Sorry about this weird, slightly rambly post, but I'm just kind of venting I suppose. Things will probably get better as we go along, they always seem to. Classes start on Monday, and that'll give me more to do. I hope anyway... :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I've been told you get used to the humiditiy...

Howdy y'all!! We made it to Corpus Christi, TX. All in all we ended up spending about 24 hours on the road. It was a super long drive, but a lot of it was on highway roads, so there were some fun sights to see along the way. I'd never been to Moab before (I know, pathetic right) so it was kind of fun to cruise through there and see some of the arches. Utah really is a beautiful state in its own way. 

 Are we the only ones that a giant sign painted on the mountain is slightly ghetto?

 Arches (taken through the window, so you can see the bugs)
 We made it to Cuba! Also the best picture I could 
get going through the town at 40 MPH.

 We stayed in Roswell, NM the first night. The whole town is obsessed with alien spacecraft and all kinds of Area 51 type stuff. They claim there was a UFO sighting on July 4, 1947. We think it was radiation exposure from the A-bombs... It was a pretty cool little town though.
 Corpus Christi Bay. This was taken about 2 minutes away from our house, right by Texas A&M. What a pretty place!
 Ian wading in The Atlantic Ocean. If I remember right, this was the first time I'd ever been in the Atlantic.
White cap beach. Can you guess where its name comes from?

I haven't taken any pictures of the apartment yet, but it is SO nice. We can see the bay from our kitchen window, and it's at least twice the size of our old apartment. That's not really saying much, but still. 
Ian's getting the hang of the whole selling thing pretty well. There were a couple hiccups with his licensing, but we got all that worked out, and I'm thinking it'll be a pretty successful summer. I'm still looking for temp/volunteer jobs right now. I'll let you know how that all pans out.
What a cool place to live! It's 100% different from Utah, but it's pretty fun to wake up in the morning and go play at the beach for an hour or so before Ian has to go to work, which is what we did this morning, but also have the conveniences and some of the familiarities of home here. I'm still having a crazy time navigating all the roads, but that's what GPS  is for, right? It's gonna be a great summer!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 16: First Kiss

The first person I kissed will be the last person I will ever kiss. I know some might think it's kind of corny, but I really love that the only person I've ever kissed is my husband. He kissed me about 2 hours after he got released from his mission, and we've been happy ever since!

Oooh la la!!