Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Anniversary

April 29, 2006 - April 29, 2009
and still going strong

Jared brought me flowers

and took me to dinner and a movie.

We tried to set up the camera to take a picture.  We shot too wide.  Sorry you had to see the toilet.  But you also get to see some of my new dress.  We got all dressed up for our date.

We tried again.  This would have been good if it wasn't blurry.

My gift to Jared

We had quite the tournament, but Jared was very happy to win the first game.

I love Jared so much.  He is a wonderful husband and father.  He is my best friend, and I am so lucky to have been with him these 3 years.  I look forward to many, many more years together.  Forever.

3 Years-- The Story of How We Met, Dated, and Got Engaged

Yesterday was our 3 year anniversary.  And for myself and for those who love us, I thought it would be fun to look back and review our history.

April 2005

Jared and I met while we were both teaching in the English as a Second Language department at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo.  I had sat in on his class once to observe, and I thought he was cute.  Then one time at a training meeting, Jared and I sat next to each other and he struck up a conversation by asking me about my cousin Brittany.  It may be thanks to her that we ended up together.  She and Jared were both going to the same field study in Mexico for the fall semester and had just started the prep course when I got my job at the MTC.  She asked Jared if he knew me and told him to ask me out.  He didn't ask me out then, but a few days later I was carrying a CD player to work and trying to juggle an umbrella and Jared took the CD player and carried it for me.  I went to thank him after our shift and I asked him for his phone number.  I invited him to come to Grammy's house on Sunday for games.

Me and Grammy

He came that Sunday (so I say I asked him on the first date).  That week we hung out a few times, and Jared took me to breakfast (at the MTC before work!), and since he paid he says that was the first date.  Whatever.

This picture was taken on June 3, 2005.  That's Jared's birthday.  I planned a big picnic hike in Price Canyon.  We hiked to the hot springs where we had our picnic and our first kiss.  I knew by then that I was in love.  It took Jared a little bit longer.  And Yes.  That is beef jerkey.  Jared didn't become a vegetarian until a little over a year ago.

In early August, Jared left for his field study in Mexico.  He was gone for 3 months, and we had to communicate mostly by email (and only once a week).  It made me pity those people who have to wait for missionaries.  It was pretty miserable, and I missed him a lot.  He got back in November, right before Thanksgiving.  We had one and a half days together before he headed off to Nevada.  He came to Utah most week-ends through December.  And we got engaged unofficially on December 18, 2005.  That night Jared took me to see the Nutcracker ballet.  It made me love that ballet even more than I did before.  I wanted it to be a longstanding tradition that we ALWAYS see the Nutcracker on December 18, but it only lasted 1 year.  Then Luke came along... (Jared "officially" proposed the next day.  He felt he had to have the ring in hand for it to be official.)

Our engagement photo taken in February 2006.  Not the prettiest time of year because Utah is mostly dead, but I think this picture turned out pretty good.  Although I wish I was wearing different shoes.

3 Years-- The Part When We Got Married !!!

Jared and I getting married as depicted by Taylie (at age 4)

Everyone deserves to go back and relieve the time of their wedding which is what this post is all about.  

Our wedding was a whirlwind because we jam-packed waaaayyy too much into 2 days.  We got married on April 29, 2006-- one day after my graduation and about 4 days before Jared started summer school.

Most of our family arrived on the 27th, so we were up late talking and hanging out.  I almost slept through my graduation the next day.  (Can you tell by the wet hair and no make-up?)  Jared called to tell me he was on his way to pick me up-- and that's what woke me up!

After the ceremony-- I'm looking a little bit better.

Right after graduation, we practically raced over to my apartment to load everything up to move it all into our new "apartment."  We lived in Jared's cousin's basement for our first 2 years of marriage.  The people who lived there before us moved out on the day we moved in.

Right from moving, I met up with the girls for a fun filled bridal shower.  I think the boys went golfing.  From the bridal shower, we ran over to the church to prepare for our exceptionally awesome barbecue.  (I can use the word BBQ because there was actually brisket there.)

The Bride and Groom to Be at the BBQ

I cared a lot more about the barbecue than the reception, so I told most of my friends that if they could only come to one thing to come to the bbq.  This is my mission president, President Bangerter, and his wife with one of my companions, Emily Dougall, and the boy Emily was dating at the time.

After the food, we played a dice game (somewhat like Bunko) called "Burn the House Down."  My cousin Emily and her husband Jeff arranged it, and it was lots of fun.  This is my nephew Ethan and I playing the game .

That night there was a hullaballoo because my sister Megan lost her purse.  So most of my family was running around trying to find it.  Jared and his family went over to our apartment after the bbq to finish moving things in and putting the bed together.  He didn't have his phone on, so I couldn't get ahold of him.  I spent most of that night moaning to my sister Amber and to my best friend Jennifer that Jared wasn't answering because he'd changed his mind.

I kept up my moaning the next morning when Jared STILL didn't answer his phone.  I cried practically the whole time Amber was doing my hair.  Good thing she was nice about it.  And Jennifer just kept laughing at me and telling me I was being ridiculous.  Which I was.

I rode up to the temple with my best friend Jennifer and a very good friend from college, Tessa.  This is me nervously awaiting to see if Jared would show up.  He did.

We were married in the Manti, Utah temple.  It is also where my mom and my older sister were married.  I think I'd always wanted to get married there.  Isn't it beautiful?

And now for the wedding album:

We were married at noon, and the reception started at 5.  As you saw from the action packed day before the wedding, we cut everything too close that week-end.  

Some of the guests arrived before everything was ready. Jared's parents were frantically finishing the food, my dad was gone to pick up the cake, and Jared and I were still en route back from the temple.  

Jared and I with Grandma and Pa

I know some of you might be making lude (sp?) smirks about why my hair is different.  The honest truth is that we drove back with the windows down, and the curls were ruined, so I just pinned it up.

You'll also notice that I also have different flowers.  My mom made a bouquet for the reception that I could throw so that I could keep my real wedding bouquet for myself.  It was a good idea.  Jared's cousin Sarah, who has Downs Syndrome, caught the bouquet, and she was so excited!  Since the flowers were silk, she still had the bouquet the last I heard.  She would talk to me about catching the flowers almost every time I saw her.

3 Years-- The Part When We're Actually Married !!!

Sadly, perhaps, this part mostly has pictures of Luke.  Don't get me wrong.  Luke is wonderful and the best thing in my life besides Jared.  It's just that before he was born, Jared and I rarely took pictures.  We did things, though.  And if I can find more pictures I'll add them on and edit this post later.

I'm two years older than Jared, so when we were married, Jared still had almost 2 years left of his undergrad.  I taught 4th grade at Franklin Elementary.  Jared went to school full time AND had 3 part time jobs as well as volunteering for a literacy program at the library.  So we were really busy.  Sometimes people in Williamsburg tease me about how much time Jared spends studying, and I reassure everyone that I see him more now than I did when we were in Provo.

My first class: August 2006- May 2007

Doing the banana dance brain breather

Reader's Theatre performance

This was probably my favorite thing we did as a class during my two years of teaching.  Ask me about Reader's Theatre sometime, and I'll give you an earful.  It's a great way to get kids to enjoy reading and to practice fluency.  It would be a really fun family activity for those who have kids old enough to read.  If anyone's interested, I could email you some scripts.  Anyway...

My second class: August 2007- May 2008

Etiquette lunch-- We studied manners as a grade level and then had a special lunch to practice.

Class picture.  Shelby is the girl in white on the front row.  She was my favorite!

I got pregnant in March of 2007, and Luke was born November 27, 2007.  Now our lives are very much wrapped around him.  It's great that he goes to bed early, though, so we still get some time to ourselves.  

The picture we used for Luke's birth announcement

Luke's first Christmas (1 month old)

Luke at 7 months

Our family last summer right after we moved to Williamsburg

Family photo shoot in April, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Heavenly Substance

Whenever I download pictures from google images, they're small.  How do I make them bigger?

It doesn't really matter.  I just want to proclaim to the world that this is a miraculous cleaner.  

Background info: When Jared and I got Luke's high chair, I chose one specifically because it was the cheapest one with a one hand release feature.  While I suppose this is an important feature, it doesn't (in my opinion) make up for some of the other obnoxious things about it.  Most of the obnoxious things are supposed to be perks, but none of them are necessary and most of them create other problems.  For instance, it had cloth padding.  I was warned against this by my friend Callie who pointed out that cloth padding on a high chair is ridiculous because it will always be dirty.  I machine washed the padding once a week for several months until I just got fed up and took it off and left it off.  Another annoying thing about it is that the high chair has 7 different heights (Why???) and a seat that can recline.  In order for the seat to be able to recline, it is split into 2 parts and has hinges across the seat.  And taking the seat cover off made this an extremely annoying feature because I can't ever get all the crumbs out of the hinges....


The point of all this: I found this 3M Dust Remover hiding over by the computer and used it on his high chair.  Voila!  The crumbs are gone from the hinges.  His highchair looks like new!  I was so amazed and in love that I wanted to use the duster on everything.  Would it work in the corners of the floors?  Yes!  Does it really work to clean the keyboard? Yes! Will it get the dust out of the hard to clean ridges of that weird vent looking thing on the bottom of the refrigerator?  Yes! 

The only downside is that it's about 5 dollars a can, so I probably should limit my use.  But wow!  This stuff is amazing.  

A Texas Quiz

I was wondering how many Texas fun facts I could still recall the other day, so I googled "Texas facts," and several sites popped up.  One of these sites quoted the Texas pledge DIFFERENTLY from the pledge I remembered.  Come to find out, in 2007 the state legislature added the phrase "one state under God."  I want to put that out there for anyone (Hm Hm... Jared) who would say that I misquoted the pledge that I DID quote it correctly for many a year.

Anyway, the point of this is to present a quiz for those who truly are Texans, and those who (though they were not born there) still claim to be. (Like me).  

See what you know and what you remember.  And for those of you who are from someplace else, see what you can recall about your own state.  I didn't even know that some of these things were claimed by a state.  I mean, a state vegetable?  Really?  Well, here's the quiz:

1.  State abbreviation
2. State capital
3. State nickname
4. State motto
5. State flower
6. State tree
7. State bird
8. State song (And can you sing any of it?)
9. State pledge
10. State large mammal 
11. State small mammal
12. State flying mammal (Yes, that's real!)
13. State shell
14. State fish
15. State insect
16. State reptile
17. State plant
18. State grass
19. State fruit
20. State vegetable
21. State gemstone
22. State stone
23. State dinosaur
24. Largest city
25. Draw a picture or describe your state flag

If anyone can correctly name at least 15 answers about your state without cheating (regardless of what state you're from), you should get a prize, and maybe you will.

A great site for checking your answer:  Enchanted Learning

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Little Inspiration

Susan Boyle is a British sensation that I first heard about on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," my personal favorite NPR program.  I didn't think about it again until Nora pinned me down and made me watch the video.  It is absolutely beautiful.  I literally cried, and while I know that most people have seen it (those who have, feel free to ignore this), I was pretty sure my mom probably hadn't.  And she needs to!  So, Mom (and anyone else who hasn't seen it), here is the link.  

Susan Boyle

And on Thursday night, I had a meeting for church where we talked about available media that we can use to help people learn about our church.  It turns out that the church has started posting videos on You Tube, and you can find them by typing in "Mormon Messages."  Here's one that we watched on Thursday night (that also made me cry).  Maybe it was just because I hadn't heard his voice in a long time, but it was very touching to me.

And finally, this face always inspires me.

This is an older picture, but I love it and hadn't posted it before.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Beach

Today Luke and I went to Yorktown beach with Nora and Samuel.  The original plan was to play for awhile and then grab some carrot cake at the Carrot Tree restaurant.  However, as both boys got sunscreen and sand in their eyes, our trip got cut short.  But the main mission (great pictures) was accomplished.

Checking out the sand

Luke liked the sand much better than the water.  He would fuss and reach to be picked up if the water touched his feet.  He liked watching the waves from a distance and chasing seagulls.

I just love Luke's swimming outfit.  He is so cute!

Samuel and Nora

Eating a cracker

Trying to figure out the shovel

He's made this week so much better.  What a great kid!

What Luke has Learned this Week

Luke has always loved taking the rings off of the pole, but this week he learned how to put them back on. He gets frustrated when they don't fit as he doesn't understand the order yet. It's hard to see how well he really does it because I'm handing him rings and taping at the same time, so parts of Luke are almost always cut off. I do the best I can.

This is the end of the assembly. I'm sorry about the shadows and about the random talking. I'm definitely no Steven Spielberg, but at least you get to see how smart Luke is.

Luke also learned how to climb onto the couch. He can only do it when we leave things too close to the couch that he can use as a stepping stool. This morning he used a tote of books to get himself up on the couch. Yesterday, he got up on the couch and then fell off and landed on his head. He's at the point where we can't leave him alone for a second which is completely unrealistic, so he just has more bumps and bruises than normal.

He started saying "Mamamama" a lot, but he still isn't talking to me. However, we know that he does understand what certain names and words mean. Yesterday as an experiment, we said things like "Luke, where's DaDa?" and he would run to Jared. Then Jared would say, "Where's MaMa?" and he would run back to me. (He's done that before. This is the part that's an experiment.) Then I said, "Luke, where's your blankie?" and he ran right over and laid down on his blanket. He also ran to the ball when we asked him where it was. We were very proud of him.

Also, Luke has discovered the joy of grilled cheese this week. It's one of his new favorite foods. He's eaten a whole sandwich (minus the crusts) every day this week for lunch.

Lastly, he's doing great with straws, and he prefers them to normal sippy cups, so that's how he's getting his liquids. He still will NOT drink plain milk from a straw or sippy cup. He will however drink chocolate milk. Weird.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time for a Crash Course on Cars

Let me start by saying that Jared and I have become good friends with jumper cables the past 2 weeks.  The battery died in the Jetta, so we had to borrow jumper cables from some friends in order to get it to Wal-mart to replace the battery.  So $100 dollars later we had a new battery + an oil change.  The very next week, I went out to start the car and it was totally dead.  We couldn't get the Bean's cables to work, so I used Jared's car to go to Wal-mart and buy some tougher jumper cables.  Jared jumped the car and got it going, but as soon as he turned off the engine it died again.  So it wasn't a problem with the battery-- which is too bad because that is still under warranty.  Jared jumped the car again in order to get it to the mechanic where we learned what Jared (and also 2 women that I'd talked to) thought-- that we had to replace the alternator.  You'd think with all that jumping, I'd have learned how to do it, but no.  I just sat around or revved an engine and basically let Jared do all the work.

I remember one time during college (I was having some kind of car issue that I refused to take control of myself) and my dad said something like, "Do you just think there's always going to be a man around to take care of you?"  I was totally flabbergasted that he would even ask that question.  The answer was so obviously "Duh!"  I mean, I'd never even pumped a tank of gas until college.  My dad or brother always did it for me.  Know how to change a tire?  No.  Check the oil? No. Understand any of the words a mechanic says to me? No.  I'm an easy target to rip off.  But pathetic as that is, it never really bothered me until today.  (That's not true.  Once I felt bad when I paid way too much to have the car fixed.)  

Anyway, today I got a knock on the door.  It was a girl from the ward who lives in a building right behind us.  This was my first time EVER actually speaking to her.  As the story progresses, you'll see that I made a GREAT first impression.  Okay, so she told me that her battery was dead, and she wanted to know if I could help her jump it.

Um...well, I'm not this girl.  Or maybe I would be.  She looks pretty confused.  

I told Rebecca I'd be happy to lend my car, but that I was completely clueless so she'd have to do all the work.  I think she thought I was exaggerating until I pulled up next to her car and DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO POP THE HOOD.  I walked to the front of the car and stood there staring at.  Then I bent down and tried to feel under it until Rebecca kindly said that there's usually a button that you push near the driver's seat.  (There is?)  Well, she didn't see it right away, so I seriously had to pull out the owner's manuel and stare at it like an idiot.  Where do you find instructions for "how to pop the hood"?  I went for the index, and luckily there must be other idiots like me because I found it listed under hood release (booklet 3 page 34).  After we got the hood up, Rebecca asked if I could help her hook up the cables.  By my look of terror, she figured that was a No, so she just had me stand and hold one pair while she hooked up one, then hooked up the pair I was holding.  She told me very clearly not to touch them together.  (How dumb did I actually look???  Maybe she should have told me not to put them in my mouth.)  As a glorious finale, after her car had started, I slammed the hood down right on top of the battery cover that I hadn't replaced and cracked it.  Wow!  How do YOU think I did on a first impression?  Didn't look clueless, did I?

And as a final humiliation, an hour later, I went to the bathroom and saw a BIG, DARK smudge that illuminated most of my nose.  Was it car dirt?  Make-up?  No idea.  How long had it been there?  Again, no idea.  Which makes me wonder...  How bad did I REALLY make myself look today?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm in awe of Atticus Finch

Megan (my sister) and I are both re-reading "To Kill a Mockingbird"-- one of the best books ever written.  It makes we want to name a child after this book.  Anyway, today I read a quote that I LOVE, and I wanted to share it.  It is Atticus speaking to Scout about the horrible things people are saying about him.  Scout asks Atticus why he is defending Tom Robinson (who is Black) when most of the town thinks it's the wrong thing to do.  She wants to know why Atticus feels it is the right thing to do, and more than that, why he feels he couldn't go to church or hold his head up if he doesn't.  Atticus says,

"...before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Rash and The Beans

On Thursday Luke started developing a rash all over his torso, from his neck down to where his diaper starts.  It got progressively worse through the day, but it didn't seem to bother him.  But that night, he screamed through the entire night.  Literally, Jared and I got about 3 hours of sleep.  We couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I checked his diaper, and found that his rash had spread, gotten redder, and also bumped up.  We weren't sure if that was the problem or if it was the chili beans.  At dinner that night, Luke had scarfed down 20-25 chili beans!

On Friday, I took Luke to the doctor (which was an adventure all in itself since the Jetta wouldn't start and Jared had the Pontiac at school.  I was happy to know I had such good friends willing to drive me to the doctor, but in the end Jared was able to bring me the car).  After the examination, it was determined that the rash was a reaction to a viral infection and would just have to clear up on it's own.  Since it wasn't bothering him during the day (and since Luke had 3 absolutely disgusting poops on Friday), it was concluded that the horrible night was due to the beans.

Luke's rash on Saturday morning.  It hardly even shows up on the camera since it's faded a lot.  I should have taken pictures yesterday.  He looked like a leper then.