Local treasures

Spring is here, and hopefully to stay. I've been in need of this season for quite awhile now, and after today's run outside, the first in a LONG long time (aside from my one run in Portugal) it's apparent why I've been needing this season. I need warm weather and greenery in my scenery.

Kiss the winter blues away, let the rays come shining down, and the temperatures rise to a jacketless level. Springtime is my necessity. Spontaneous outings put a smile on my face. And so do Thursday night dates with my man.

Sahar's Kitchen. Yes please! These gyro's are something else.
All of that for $5.99. 
Now that's good stuff!
I love me a cheap date!


Happy Happy Birthday Mother Dear

Today is this ladies birthday, and let me tell you, another year older and she's still looking young as ever. 

I sure do love this mom of mine. She's one of my best friends in the entire world, and even though I've caused her many gray hairs over the years, I feel lucky to be called her daughter.

I look up to her in so many ways, and I hope that one day I can become half the mom that she is. I've never met someone who is as selfless, considerate, and caring for other people as she is, to the point that I feel guilt, as her own daughter, that I don't have more of those same qualities.

Mother dear, I love you so. I hope you have the best birthday possible.

Happy Birthday! xoxo

P.S. Tobias came home, just in time for your birthday!  It's a birthday miracle.


Sometimes I throw myself pity parties

Today is one of those sometimes.

See, if someone were to ask me how my day is going, they'd probably be sorry they even asked. The typical "It's been good, how's your day going?" wouldn't be today's answer. Nope.

My answer would sound a little more like this:
Well, I've been up since 4 a.m., not to mention I woke up nearly every hour last night. I feel like crap, and I've been feeling this way for nearly 72 hours. I'm hoping it's just food poisoning, because I'll tell you what, I'm getting a little sick and tired of all of these trips to the bathroom. You try visiting the planes lavatory 100 time over again. Being sick in the air, it's not fun. Being sick at work. Also not fun. Major pain in the stomach area. Terrible.

I ate some chicken noodle soup tonight, the most I've eaten since Sunday's lunch. It tasted like the most amazing thing I've ever eaten. And it's from a can. I'm starting to think this is the trick to weight loss.

Oh, and did I mention my cat STILL hasn't come home? I think one of the things I was most excited about after being on our trip was to come home to that little kitty of ours. Call me a crazy cat woman, and maybe I am, but he's a pretty cool cat and it breaks my heart I haven't seen him in nearly two weeks. I was on the verge of tears while grocery shopping tonight. And then felt silly when I went into the FedEx store to pick up our "Lost Cat" fliers I made. Yes, I made fliers. Then I broke down into sobbing tears when I got home. Part of me still hoped he'd come running like he always does/did when we come home. But he didn't. And he doesn't come when I call and whistle for him like he used to either. Again, I'm sure John has wondered what he's done marrying an emotionally unstable girl. Poor guy.

Bless his heart, he's out looking for Tobias right now. And here I sit, blogging, complaining, feeling miserable for myself, and knowing that at any moment now I'm going to need the bathroom (it just happened). TMI, I know. But like I said before, if you were to ask me how my day's going. You'd be sorry you even asked.

So yes, sometimes I throw myself pity parties, and today, the party has been thrown.


How can one go wrong when hanging out with family in a beautiful country surrounded by beautiful beaches? I don't think you can.

Here's a little recap of our adventures:

It wasn't 2 seconds after meeting up with everyone in the airport that my parents were on cloud nine. My dad and this little man were inseparable the entire trip. They're the best of buds! Love him, and them, and the ones who created him! 

Here's the Villa that my bro and sil found for us to stay in. Heaven! I think I just might want to travel with them on every vacation if these are the kinds of places they stay in. 

Our mornings looked something like this. While Rob and Lorena tried to catch up on some sleep, we'd all take turns entertaining the cutest little guy around. I'm not a morning person, but I'd get up early just to play with him. His obsession with some youtube video's led us to this spot most mornings, and how am I supposed to be his favorite aunt if I don't give in and let him watch what he wants?

Everyday we found a new place to explore and a new beach to check out.

The end of the world, or so it was once thought, was probably one of the windiest places we've ever been, and cold. Not a fun combination. 

The only downside to visiting Portugal in mid-March is that the weather isn't entirely ideal just yet. We left warmer weather in Oklahoma for chillier weather in Portugal, but ask us to do it again, and we'd be all over it. I thought John was a little nuts to be fully submerged in the water, but I guess once your body goes numb, cold or not, it doesn't matter.

This little man is a dear devil when it comes to the beach. He LOVED it. Even on the coldest days, he'd jet off to the water ready to play. I can't stop laughing at his baby speedo. He's so European.

If only my sisters, bil, and Jamers were in this picture it would be complete. 
We missed you guys!

John being the little explorer here is, found these cool rock formations near the little beach town we were visiting. Pictures don't do justice to how cool these formations really were.


Everyone left us on Saturday to go back home while we stayed behind a few more days to explore Lisbon. I may have shed a tear or two that day when everyone was gone. John probably wished he hadn't married such an emotionally unstable girl. Too late now. Why is saying bye to family always so hard?

 St. George's castle can pretty much be seen from anywhere in Lisbon. This castle is ancient yet they let us explore the entire thing.

Which leg is mine?

 Could he be anymore of a tourist?

 We were sad to say goodbye.
Sad to come back to reality.
But more sad that our reality is Oklahoma.
Ok, just kidding (kind of).
But it did make me laugh last night 
when the flight attendant said to the entire plane
that she's not sure why anyone would want to come here.

Vacation mode is officially over, but we're still feeling the side effects.
Hopefully we'll sleep in longer than 4am tomorrow. 
If not, maybe we'll go on another walk to look for our lost kitty. 



  Dona Ana Beach:

One of the prettiest beaches we've ever seen.

Why is it that life at the beach is always better?



Kitty's and such

What's harder than waiting months, after buying your tickets, for your trip to finally get here? 
The day of the trip finally arriving, but then having to work all day, and wait all day for your flight to actually leave. 
Oh, and since we don't have kids, we are therefore subjected to defaulting our pets in their place. 
So, in this case, leaving Tobias behind is hard, too. 
Poor little kitty.  I know he misses us while we're gone.
Ok, I'm totally kidding, but I swear he knows when we're going to be gone, and it is kind of sad. 
That part I'm actually not kidding about. 

Let's talk about Tobias for a moment, shall we, about how funny that little cat is:
(nice transition, huh?)
Like how the moment we get home from work/school, he'll jet across the street with excitement to see us. He'll roll around, and then run up to us, puts his face near our hand, and practically begs us to pet him. It's my favorite thing about coming home. 

Or how he's the smallest cat in our neighborhood, but he still acts like the big bully.
John and I get a kick out of watching him pounce on other cats the moment he sees them, only to be the one wrestling to get free. I think last night one of the cats got to him pretty good, he seemed a little sensitive when we were petting him. Poor little guy.

Maybe I should mention that he LOVES to hang out in our bathroom. He'll sit on the toilet the entire time we're showering, waiting for us to get out. He'll hang out in the sink, like it's his bed. He'll even sit at the faucet, waiting for us to turn on the water so he can get a drink. He so much rather drink out of the sink than his bowl. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't admit to all of that?

However, my favorite new thing about Tobias, is that he now invites his friends over to our house. And not just over to hang out in our yard, he invites them inside. That's right. We have a random cat that likes to utilize our house now, too. You see, we have a crawl space under our house, and a small door that leads to the space in our laundry room. We thought it was the greatest thing ever when we realized Tobias discovered this door. We no longer have to let him in and out, he can do it on his own. If he whines at the door long enough, and we don't let him in, he'll go under the house and use the crawl space. Awesome, right? It's like the perfect cat door that we didn't have to install. Until we realized another cat was using this door as well. We came home from school/work one day only to discover that this intruder had been snoozing on our bed. The indentation and black hair all over kind of gave him away.

We've had plenty of good laugh about all of this. But when you hear a cat fight going on in your house in the middle of the night, well it makes our "cat door" not so awesome anymore. Poor little kitty.

He's a funny one, that Tobias. He'll find the most random positions to sleep in:

He'll curl into a ball anywhere he can:

Try to get places anyway he can:

And anything he can:

And yes, I just wrote an entire blog post about my cat, so what? People do it about their dogs all the time. At least we don't take family pictures with him.

Oh wait, yes we do:


Crossing the Atlantic

For the past few months all I've been looking forward to is tomorrow. Tomorrow is like Christmas for me.  Maybe even better. Because following a tough week of tests and long nights for John, and well, a pretty normal week of work for me, we're jumping on a plane and crossing the Atlantic to spend a week with my family. A well deserved vacation in my books. Then again, I sometimes see the need for a monthly vacation, and I always think it's well deserved. I like to travel. It's a matter of fact. John reminds me that's why I work. A brutal reminder, but it shuts up my complaining.

This trip is exciting for a few reasons. Shall I explain?
  1. I haven't seen my brother and his family since my wedding. Skype doesn't count. And that's eight months! My nephew needs me.
  2. I haven't seen my parents since September, which doesn't really count either because it was for a few hours, and then they took off to Sweden and left me home alone. It was sad.
  3. John has never flown across the Atlantic or been to Europe. Hopefully this is our first of many European trips to come.
  4. This is everyone's first time to Portugal. Awesome!
  5. John speaks Portuguese. Totally fitting for Portugal. And totally sexy when he starts jabbering away.
  6. Have I mentioned that vacations just make me happy? I live for them. It's true. 
  7. We both need out of Oklahoma for awhile. Sometimes you've got to get away. Away to the beach that is.
  8. And really, I'm just ready for some good quality family time. In a foreign land. Near the beach.

Thank goodness some schools believe in a spring break. Never having had one in college, I'm realizing the genius behind it all.

Entering vacation mode for the next 11 days... 



I'm sure most people who read this blog are Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and know a thing or two about BYU and the honor code that is signed and upheld to in order to attend the university.  But some may not have a clue, so there's the link to educate yourself away!

The honor code is just that. It's a code that we sign, saying, on our honor, we will live those standards outlined. It's not hard to do, I assure you of that. As a member of the church, aka "Mormon" those are standards we are living on a daily basis anyway. In the off chance you break the "rules" there's a price to pay. That's no surprise. It's like breaking the law, kind of, and when the law is broken you pay the price.

So,  just recently, when a star BYU basketball player came forward and admitted to breaking the honor code, he get's penalized for it. Again, that's no surprise. Some may think it's a bit extreme. Unrealistic even. He's a star player, March Madness is coming up. Are you really going to kick him off the team? You betcha. Hey, we all (as in everyone whose ever attended BYU) knows that's just how it is. Break a rule, pay the price. We all know that from day one. And the great thing is, we CHOOSE to follow the honor code. Otherwise, think of the thousands of other schools we could go to. But, we choose to come to BYU for one reason or another, and because of that we get to uphold a higher standard of living. It's pretty great.

I love love LOVE the positive reinforcement that ESPN gives to BYU in this clip:

It's funny to me how much gruff we get from people for going to BYU. If people only realized how awesome that school is. And I mean like really understood the background of the school. Maybe, just maybe, they'd show a little more respect. All I'm askin'...just a little bit... sorry, I just couldn't help myself there.

In fact, this has nothing to do with the video above and my love for people who support BYU, let alone BYU's honor code, but I read this talk not too long ago and found it pleasantly enjoyable. Who We Are and What God Expects Us to Do.  This talk gives a little background on BYU and how it even came into existence, along with other profound and deep insights and doctrine, and I think it's incredible. And so is Elder Holland, so it all just works out well together. Ok, I'll sign off my religious soap box now.

Happy Birthday Boy

Even though he cried the day I was born (he wanted a brother, not another little sister), 
picked on me when I was younger...and, that's still happening, 
called me fatty growing up, it was a term of endearment, right?
He'll always be my favorite brother.

I miss him being around.
 l loved dropping weekend plans to go out to dinner, just the two of us, in DC,
and I bawled the day he and Lorena moved to Sweden.

I miss my brother, lots, 
but I always look forward to when I get to hang out with him next.
Thankfully, that hang out time will be here before I know it.
Beginning a week from Saturday.

Until then, Happy Birthday, boy! 
You're 32, sheesh!
I sure do miss you,
but I love you being far away, 
only because I'm selfish and I enjoy a good vacation!

See you next week in Portugal!


Waste Not Want Not

For some of you, being all craft like and cutesy is probably second nature. For me, it takes work, and lots of it. Which explains exactly why, six years after starting a blanket, it's still sitting all nice and folded, waiting to be finished. It's not because I'm too lazy to finish it, it just intimidates me, so I find other projects to do. Ones more up my alley of easy street. I feel safe and comfortable there. Add intersections, round-a-bouts, and merging and it just becomes complicated. Ok, bad analogy, but you get the point. But that's another post for another day. Because, yes, it's still not done, and it's still folded up all nice and pretty like. Six.years.later.

I laugh at myself that now of all times in my life, when I'm far from home, do I get into being all craft like and cutesy. But hey, what else am I supposed to do, other than entertain myself, while the husband studies? Why didn't I care about these things a little bit more when I lived at home though, and I was surrounded by crafts all over the place? I lived with Queen-B (gg anyone?) craft maker. The best of the best. But little does my dear mother know, that after all those times she asked me to join her on whatever project she was working on, and I declined, I was secretly observing her and taking notes. Oh, and the fact that bloggers do tutorials really help's, too.

On Friday I was sitting at work, browsing through blogs, when I came upon this little tutorial, and I thought to myself, 'Perfect, that's my next project!'  When something looks easy, I go for it. Then if I fail, I know I'm just not cut out for these kind of things. And if I succeed, I feel pretty darn proud of myself. Sad, but true.

The latest project of mine left me feeling proud. Proud enough that I thought I'd share what it is that's been occupying my time while husband studies up a storm. You know what's funny about all of this? Just last night I said to the mister, "I wish I could stay home everyday and do crafts." Who am I?


Necklace, headband, and earrings. 
Sure, they're totally trendy, but they were fun to make out of my old curtains anyway. John asked me if I was going to wear them all at the same time. Don't you worry, I'm not that matchy matchy. Please!