Monday, November 16, 2009

I am Grateful for...

'tis the season to remember what in life we are grateful for... I have been inspired and have taken special effort to write down some of the things I have found in a gratitude journal. Its amazing how much happier I am when I take the time to count my blessings instead of focusing on what I don't have or would like... the "i wish" statement happens less and less and the "i have so much" is becoming a common phrase...

I thought it would be appropriate for me to list those who have influenced me and for whom I am very grateful...
  • my husband. He is so kind, and loving. He provides for me and sets a wonderful example to me every day. I love his smile, the sparkle of life in his eyes, and his warm presence (especially in these colder days...). We talk about everything, worry about things together, and laugh about a lot every day. He kisses me good night and lets me warm my feet by him... When I have a low day, or am just not smiling, He will do anything and everything within his power to make me smile and laugh... My wonderful husband has a different face for me everyday that usually makes me laugh and he is full of random and off-the-wall voices that entertain. He is not afraid of what others think, just me, and he loves me with all he's got! I love him dearly and thank my Heavenly Father every day for sending him into my life. Thanks sweetheart! :) I love you!

  • Ica is definitely on my list of thankfuls... she is so kind to all around her and patient to boot! She will listen to me and take me places that I need to go... I don't think God could have put a better friend on this earth and I am the lucky one who gets to have her as my bestest bud! She always brings a smile with her wherever she goes and loves to spread it to anyone she meets! I love talking with her and I know that whatever I share with her is safe and secure... we can talk about anything... for hours... and we have even gotten to the point that we talk alike (really same voice fluctuations and everything... weird...) We can talk about "that one cute shirt I saw in the book store the other day" and know which one we are talking about... She really is my other half and I don't know what I would do without her! She keeps me sane... and helps me remember just how blessed I am. :) Luv you!

  • My family. I can call (or text) any of them at any time and usually get a response. We love to do things together and have a fun time of it when we do. But more specifically...

  • My mom. We have had some great times together and I cherish all the memories made with her. All of our crazy shopping trips after Christmas (there was that one time with those old ladies... you know what I'm talking about mom!), baking cookies together, trips to the zoo or the children's museum, those long nights you stayed up with me sick or heartbroken and you stayed with me until I had cried myself to sleep, more recently the Macey's cooking classes... nativity set-up days... planning a wedding... and sharing that special day with you... Sunday dinners! (now a two way deal!) they have always been delicious and fun to spend with you mom! I am so blessed to have the wonderful mother that I do... I don't know what I would do without her, and I love her with all my heart.

  • my dad. how many times did dad play with me in the back yard with a ball and bat? I got to spend a good portion of my childhood in the car with my dad. Even just the other weekend I spent the car ride to Kanab and back discussing everything from life, to politics, to old testament translation... He will always listen to me and doesn't judge me in my weaknesses. I have always been his little girl and know that he will take care of me if I need him. He has saved me from countless spiders, oil leaks and squeaks from the engine of the Jeep, and from making mistakes that I could potentially avoid. I love my Daddy and feel so privileged to have had him as a father.

  • Ben and I have always been good friends. We rarely fought... and when we did it didn't last very long at all. We share a lot of the same interests and can talk about almost anything (I don't follow the car lingo all that well...) I am so grateful I got to share my family experience with such a wonderful child of God. We were lucky to get such a good one! :) and I love him with all I got. Thanks for everything dude... you're "legit" ;)

  • Naturally, my new life includes a whole new family! And I am so blessed to have such wonderful in-laws. They immediately loved me and support us in our new life with encouragement and prayers. We joke and laugh, play and chat and feel the love every time we visit the lovely little town of Rosieville. :)
As my journal is proving to me, I could go on and on... so I believe I shall let you all know that I am so grateful for all of you! I get comments and encouragement all the time from those that read my random thoughts... I know that I am well loved and I thank you for all you have done for me in my life... well, time's run out and the holidays are busy... Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hungry anyone?

Many of my roommates and others have asked for recipes upon tasting varying delectables that I have experimented with. I have had the dilemma of keeping track of who wants what... and whether or not they get them... the answer? another blog! :)

If any of you are interested, this (Food for Thought) is for my cooking adventures as I experiment on my poor husband and other poor souls who happen to actually come to my parties... or ask me to bring something... :) Feel free to comment with helpful hints, tips for cooking, inputs or opinions on the recipe, anything... I am learning and would greatly appreciate any advice you've got!

Thanks for believing in me!

P.S. Cross your fingers that I can get my mom in on it with me! She has better recipes and is braver about trying new recipes than I am...

Lessons I learned from Richard Adams

My husband and I had another first as a married couple this weekend, and I will say I wish this particular "first" had happened many, many years from now. However, the time-clock of life doesn't work that way and when God needs one of his choice children for a more important work on the other side of the veil, he will take them.

The choice child he took last week was none other than Bryce's uncle, Richard Adams. A tragic automobile/ pedestrian accident was the method Heavenly Father chose... I really feel that it was for no other reason than that God needed Richard for something important. There were too many coincidences to be a coincidence... I did not know him too well, as I had only officially been with the family a couple of times... but it was Richard who welcomed me to the family first, who gave me encouragement that I would, indeed fit with the LeBaron clan, and Richard who, in the short time I knew him, taught me the importance of family.

Friday night was spent with the family and Saturday I had the opportunity to join with them in a beautiful service for a wonderful man. The service was a little different in that it was the children who spoke, sang, and bore powerful testimony of the plan of salvation. It was them that comforted us... not the other way around. From the stories and memories that were shared this weekend, I have learned some important lessons for life that I just wanted to briefly share with anyone who wants to read this...

Lessons I learned from Richard:
1. Choose to be happy, no matter your situation or circumstance you are in. There is always something to smile about.
2. Be passionate and follow those passions to wherever they take you.
3. Adore your family and do all you can to do things together.
4. Be romantic with your spouse- you don't have to grow up all the way. (the story that brought up this lesson is one of my favorites. His wife, Cindy, never had the chance to go to prom. When they were asked to chaperon their son's prom last year he saw the opportunity to "take" her. He asked her with a cheesy little bottle in the bathtub and they had their picture taken in front of the official backdrop... cute!)
5. Be thankful every day. And be grateful for the little things. (Richard kept a gratitude journal which he wrote in every day. He didn't just write one thing, he had multiple things each day. They shared some of it with us...)

Thank you Adams family for your testimonies... and Thank you Richard for your wonderful example to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Monthaversarie!!!

Yep that's right! Its been a whole month since Bryce and I tied the knot!!! i know... crazy huh?! In honor of such a momentous occasion and stepping stone our darling photographer finally posted those long-awaited pictures on her blog. :) Yay!!!! (Now here's the deal... She loves comments on her blog and has an ongoing "special" that if she can get over ten comments on her post about us, then we can get a free print of our wedding day for our home... I was kinda hoping that we could just blow her out of the water with the appreciation we have for her and her amazing work!) So if you would like to see the pictures, (and donate to our cause...) check out Crystal's blog here.We have already had some great times. I love being married to such a wonderful, handsome man... But what has happened in the past month you ask?

For starters, we went on an incredible honeymoon! A cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Cruise Line and a Brad Paisley concert finale. (yes, you may be jealous)

This is our first stop... Freeport island. I had to take a picture... so blue...
At Nassau we ventured into the shopping district (definitely an experience...) and took a few photos... This just made me laugh...
And here is my sexy husband in his new outfit...

One of our favorite events on our cruise was on the third day the cruise line stopped at their own private island. The event coordinator made a brief mention that there were two beaches and all it took was a little walk on a trail to get to the other one. When we got off the ferry the beach was full of sunbathers... so we decided "what the heck" we would try out our flip flops in the hiking tradition... the outcome? No one else had decided to venture forth... we had our own private beach! It was pretty much amazing... blue water, white sea-shell sand... *sigh* On our way back to the boat we came across a hermit crab... only this was not hobo-spider looking thing (Karen, I thought of you...) no... he was a monster. This one happened to be about the size of my fist... and he couldn't even fit into his shell.
See, this is him hiding...
And this is him venturing forth again after those crazy tourists left... :)

Brad Paisley drove his car up through the crowd as we tried to get into his concert... It was so close I could have slapped his driver side window (he was driving)... It was an awesome concert after you got passed the beer... (but it is a country concert...) He had a giant screen that played music videos and other things while he sang so there was really not a boring moment. I recorded a few songs with my camera...
This one, "Waitin' on a Woman" is a great one to watch the video... I especially like the beer bottle that jumps through the middle of my shot... but you know... Florida...

This one, I just love the song. I think it goes right on along with my whole "month-averserie"... Brad Paisley's new song, "Then":

We moved in and started organizing and decorating the house. We are still trying to figure out our closet plan... but it will work out in the end... But for those who haven't seen the place, I shall calm your curiosity... :) I have put my wonderful husband to work... it is amazing how exciting putting up a picture on the wall is... :)

So for our wedding we got these beauties to stick on the wall... the black ones are for writing on with chalk... and yes, the white ones use a white-board marker... :) They totally rock and don't look half bad if you ask me! :) PS. there is a hidden Mickey in honor of our dear friend Ica...

Here is my sexy husband one morning being handy... we got these hooks for the wedding... shower gift... something like that. I am already putting them to good use!

One of our first things hung up was, yes (i hate to admit it), the mudbugs poster. Bryce got it from his mission in Louisiana... it is a step-by-step description of how to eat a mudbug... in Cajun... it is pretty funny. :) And it did make a whole difference in our living room... on our TV is our little picture frame carousel, some candles and our "newly web" spiders... :) *giggle* I do like how everything seems to fit and match...

My sexy husband again... this time putting together our new bookshelf... what a handy guy to have around! :)

and here it is all decorated and such... It is just perfect and fits so well in our new little place.

The final (or final for now) look of our decor... :) Now you know.

All in all its been a great month in life. We are very happy, we were just approved for the FAFSA grant for my education next semester, and figuring life out as we go! Every day is a new adventure and I wouldn't have it any other way! Until next time! (which hopefully will be before the next month is over...) Love you all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red Marbles

So while doing a bit of research for a presentation of mine this week, I came across this story and just wanted to share it with ya'll. Its one of them 'warm feeling inside' stories... Its a little long, but well worth it!


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’

‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’

‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’

‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’

‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’

‘No, Sir . Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’

‘Would you like to take some home?’ asked Mr. Miller.

‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ‘em with.’

‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’

‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller.

‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’

‘I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.

‘Not zackley but almost..’

‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.

‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they co me back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.

They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt.’

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho”.

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath..

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

If any of you know my mother, then you will understand my strange affinity for the halloween season... There is something about it that is fun and exciting... in a totally different way than any other holiday of the year! Who hasn't wanted to become something from our dreams... this is the one time a year we are allowed to let out the inner ballerina, astronaught, zombie... and let them run amok! :)

Also, when else do you get to create disgusting looking treats and food and actually have people eat it and not put you in the "totally insane" category? :) I had to throw a party this year and so I did... :) I got busy cooking and creating the night before... and I think it turned out not half bad!!! :)

First step: peanut butter balls => eyeballs... I rolled 80 balls... there are only 79 pictured here...

This was the plan. Dip the delicious peanut butter balls into white chocolate and use a chocolate chip to finish off the eyeball... unfortunately, the white chocolate would not cooperate... so these are the eyeballs that were made... The "spider eggs" we created afterward (by adding mini chocolate chips instead) were a "sweet" hit! :)
The swampy/ bloody punch was also a hit. I told the party goers that it was "not" the left over punch from the wedding... :) For that recipe you'll have to ask my mother...

The queso dip we called... queso dip. We couldn't "stomach" what it looked like to call it anything else... :) but this stuff goes first at a party, and can be used for oh so many occasions. A favorite proven time and time again!

And of course, Halloween cannot be complete without an edible brain!!! :) it lasted the longest... but was eventually devoured like the rest of the treats... I will say, it turned out rather nicely... :)

We then had our costume contest...

Kerry had the "oldest" award

Jessica receives "most innocent"

Amanda (Frank Sinatra) gets most suave.

Alyssa is our gansta gal!

Jessica (Ica), who spent all summer working for Disney chose to be a Disney tourist... Her cousin who also came told her that she was supposed to dress up for Halloween, not wear everyday wear... including the ears and crown... ;) We love you Ica! You get "heaviest in weight" award for the night... :)

Bryce and I are celebrating our first holiday as a married couple... :) We took inspiration from our little cake topper... What are we dressed as? It's hard to read our shirts... but mine says "newly" and his says "webs." So yes, we are the newly webs... :) Bryce was so proud of his idea... and yes we are using that spider as his "bow tie..."

I will say, our party was a blast! We had a better turn out than I originally thought would come! So thanks for your support! We even has some trick or treat-ers! Some older than others (mom and dad... ) But I'm not sure that the fun we had could match for the surprise waiting my parents the next day... I got this story from my parents today...

While they were party hopping in Provo last night, they had a visitor. He is one of Dad's kids from his singles ward. Quite the character. He was disappointed that he couldn't show the former bishop his costume, so he went to church in his costume and stopped by to show my parents on Sunday... so the best costume this year goes to him... who is he you ask? Well....

The inspiration? .... yup, Bishop Scribner...

Happy Halloween everyone! Until next time!