Saturday, April 30, 2011

Boys and Motorcycles

I will never really understand why boys love motorcycles so much...especially MY boy. He has had his eye on this beauty since November. Suzuki SV 650, gunmetal gray, 2008...if you were wondering.

Unfortunately, he has been unable to find it anywhere. We have spent countless hours at motorcycle dealerships and looking online with no luck. But on Thursday he found the EXACT bike of his dreams...right color, right model, right year. Only problem was, it was in Boise.

Well, I sure do love my husband. Today we drove 5 hours there and 5 hours back...but boy does he look GOOD on his new bike! Totally worth it to see him so happy!

I told Landon he could upgrade to his dream bike because he landed such an amazing job. Seriously, for his job they normally don't even CONSIDER interviewing people with just a bachelors let alone HIRE them. He's amazing. He's working at the top company for designing computer processors and in the top group of that company. I'm so unbelievably proud of him and so excited to start our new life together there in 9 days :)

Congratulations Landon Dean! Thanks for working so hard for our family.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Graduation Par-tay

My parents out-did themselves yet again! They threw us the cutest graduation party filled with family, yummy food, cake, candy, soda, decorations...the whole shebang! It was SO much fun!

There's nothing better than chocolate Costco cake! Mmm!

A huge bucket filled with our favorite treats!

Landon and his brothers. Aren't they all so cute!

I love my Zoey girl.

Thank you so much Mama and Daddy for throwing such a fun party! And thanks to everyone that came :)

On another note, I AM ALL DONE PACKING!!!!!! Wohoo! So now we get to spend a week relaxing in California and going to see MICKEY! Then we come home, load up the truck, and we're outta here. It's so crazy to think I only have three more days left in Utah... Holy moly.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Real Salt Lake

Very disappointing game, but awesome time with my fam.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding Part 2: The Temple

Jenna and Jace are officially MARRIED and I'm so unbelievably happy for them. They are simply the cutest couple I have ever seen. It was so so so incredible to be at the temple yesterday for them. There is nothing more special than witnessing a sealing. It was beautiful and made everyone cry. I loved seeing Jenna and Jace just beaming at each other. I loved the spirit that was there. It was just perfect.

The LDS Draper Temple (taken on my special day)

Unfortunately, the weather up at the Draper temple was not very cooperative. We came out to crazy wind/snow ON APRIL 26! What on earth?! But the cute little newlyweds didn't like the arctic temperatures bring them down! See for yourself :)

Congratulations on your happily ever FOREVER Mr. and Mrs. Jace Nilsson!!!!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

College Grads

We did it!!!!!!!!!!!

Him: Bachelors of Science Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Landed a job at Intel designing processors.
Her: Bachelors of Science Early Childhood Education. Currently unemployed :)

Landon graduated too, I promise...but he was sick of wearing his cap and gown. Stinker!

Here's proof with a few lower quality pictures :)

We are so happy to be done with college and onto the next chapter of our lives. YAY!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Cutie Parents

My parents are amazing. They are the most giving, self-less people I know. Both of them were born and raised in England and both are converts to the church. Their children are always their first priority and they have worked so hard their whole lives for all 9 of us. Plus, they are the most adorable couple in the world. They do EVERYTHING together, go on romantic weekend getaways at least once a month, go on a few dates a week, and still hold hands. I hope Landon and I are like them 40 years from now. They are just such an example to me of what it means to be great parents as well as a great wife/husband.

I feel so blessed to have them as my parents and Landon and I have absolutely LOVED living with them these past few months. We are so grateful they gave up the entire upstairs of their house and let us live with them. They are just way too nice and I seriously am going to miss them so much.

Last night they took Landon, Joey (brother), and me out to Arctic circle for a classic American meal: burgers, fries, and shakes. Mmmm! After we went bowling and had a blast! I love my family.

Such a daddy's girl

Classic "shake face" pictures. My fave.

My mama is adorable.

I'm going to miss them so much.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kind of Like Sky Diving

I claim that this blog is my journal. A way of documenting my life. But I don't always write about things the way I would if this were truly my own, personal journal. When I'm writing, I sometimes think about how others will feel about me or react to the things I say. Well, for this post I don't really care what other people think. I just have so much on my mind that I just need to get out.

Honestly, life is hard. I try to be a happy person and on the outside I always have a smile on my face. But inside, I'm struggling. I am about to embark on a crazy adventure, a new chapter of my life and honestly... I'm scared out of my mind. Everyone tells me that I'm so brave for leaving Utah, my family, my friends, my COMFORT ZONE... But I really don't know how I'm going to do it. I can't imagine not seeing my cute mom and dad and my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews... My heart is breaking. I feel like I'm going to miss so much. I feel like I've taken advantage of being so close to them and always having them around. But how on earth am I going to survive without them? It is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. Not to mention, I'm also leaving behind my best friends. Friends that I have had since I was 12. Friends that know me inside and out and still love me. Friends that I can just be myself with and they accept me. In Oregon, there are NO friends and NO family. I feel so alone already.

I am also graduating on Friday. Another HUGE life change. All I have ever known is school and sometimes I'm scared that it's all I know how to do. I'm a great student. I get mostly A's. But do I know how to problem solve? No. Am I smart? No. Basically, I'm a hard worker that is willing to jump through hoops to please others. Is that going to get me a job? No. I feel like the school system has failed me. I have no idea how to survive in the REAL world. As much as I have complained about school and counted down the days until it was over, I wish I could just stay a student. I'm not ready to grow up. Plus, Oregon is not hiring teachers. At all. So I've spent over 20 hours applying for jobs online...just to be denied. Really, I went to college for 4 years and get denied a job working as a bank teller? Or a receptionist? What is wrong with me...

Another major life change is happening this Saturday. My mother-in-law is getting married. I seriously love her so much. From day 1 she has accepted me as her own daughter and we have been best friends ever since. I haven't ever blogged about what happened, because it is way too personal and not really my business to share with the world... but I will say that Landon's parents getting divorced has been really hard for us. We found out about it 6 months into our marriage. I can't even begin to explain the heartache we experienced. But through that challenge, we were able to come out strong. We realize that marriage takes constant effort and work. Our marriage is our first priority. Well, now my cute mother-in-law has found someone that makes her beyond happy. And we are SO happy for her. But it's just a life change for us, and change is hard at first.

I guess you could say my life is full of changes at the moment. All at once my life is going to be completely different than it was a week ago. Change doesn't have to be a bad thing, but to me I let my fears get in the way of faith and go all crazy/emotional. But without change, my life would be stagnant. I wouldn't progress. I wouldn't grow into a stronger/better person. Hard times can become our best times. If I trust Heavenly Father and rely on him through this time, I know I will come out a better person.

But my feelings and emotions aren't all negative right now. On top of all this doubt, fear, stress, and sadness that I'm feeling at the moment I'm also feeling excited, happy, relieved. I am totally at both ends of the spectrum. And my mood changes every second. Seriously, one second I'm feeling SO excited about Oregon, the next second I'm bawling my eyes out. I'm just one big ball of EVERY emotion possible at this point. It's quite the roller coaster.

We didn't come to this earth to have fun, relax, and never worry. We came here to grow, learn, and experience joy, sorrow, hurt, pain, love, happiness... That is the whole POINT. Life is hard...but life is good. Everything will work out. I know it will.

It's kind of like when I went sky diving. For anyone who knows me, sky diving is the LAST thing I would do. I'm scared of climbing up a ladder... Seriously I HATE heights. Oh, and I hate airplanes. But somehow I got tricked into going, even though I've always said I NEVER would. That morning I woke up and I decided that I would just pretend I wasn't scared and just fake excitement. Well it worked... I honestly wasn't even a little bit scared. I tricked MYSELF. And jumping out of that airplane was one of the coolest experiences I have EVER had. And if I would've let my fear get in the way, I wouldn't have gotten to experience it.

My excited face. Not even an ounce of fear as the plane took off.

Best feeling EVER.

So that's how I'm looking at life right now. I can do hard things. I can push my fears and doubts out of the way and have an amazing experience. I know I will come out of this a new and better person. Just wait and see.

Here I go!

"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."-D&C 6:36

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Real World.

I already hate it. I have spent the past 2 hours applying to jobs online. Jobs that don't even require a college degree!! It really isn't looking too hot for me to be a teacher. What a total BUMMER. Remember how teaching is the only thing where I woke up every day EXCITED to go to work? Remember how I'm meant to be a teacher? Can't the school districts who aren't hiring just make an exception for me? Because I really don't want to work in a boring lame office for the next two years. Shoot me in the foot.

But hey, on the bright side if I got a job as a receptionist I could be...

PAM!!!! And I love Pam.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding Part 1: The Shower

One of my best friends is marrying her high school sweetheart in just a few weeks and I'm SO excited!

Jace and Jenna are just adorable. See for yourself.

They have been through a lot together.... They loved each other in high school but dated other people (they actually followed the prophet's counsel not to steady date in high school), Jace went on a mission, Jenna waited for Jace, Jenna went on a mission, Jace waited for Jenna, and then Jenna came home from her mission due to health problems. Jace didn't waste any time in snatching her right up after that! :) They are seriously going to change the world. I don't even have the right words to explain them...but they both have amazing testimonies, want to serve, want to have a huge family, and are just both so kind and loving. I can totally see Jace being an apostle and Jenna being the General Relief Society President. They're simply just amazing. No other way to put it. They are also so sweet to each other and I love seeing them actually TOGETHER. I mean, in high school they would hardly talk when other people around so it's my favorite to see them HOLDING HANDS in public. Seriously, it was a shocker the first time I saw it :) Ahh I'm so excited they finally get to be together :)

Anyway, last Saturday we threw a shower for her. Not as many people came as we would've hoped, but we had fun anyway!

Now that I'm married, I get SO much more excited for weddings. I now know how amazing marriage is, so I just feel so happy for my friends that get to experience the bliss of marrying their best friend. There's really nothing better. I'm so excited for Jenna and Jace, who have loved each other for 7 years and now get to be together forever.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pretty Legit Orange Chicken

Now that I'm ALL DONE with school and have nothing to worry about...I can finally put all my energy into being a cute little wifey (my dream job by the way).

So today I spent five hours looking up apartments online/calling apartments and now I have a list of 22 potentials. We are going to Oregon on Wednesday to take a look and hopefully we find something we like. We move in exactly one month by the way. And guess what? It only snows like ONE day out of the year in Oregon. Hallelujah. Get me out of this SNOWY place.

Seriously Utah? It's April 9th. Pretty please stop.

Anyway, today I also had time to make the Mr. a fancy meal. His favorite meal to be exact. I thought I'd be nice and share the recipe because it's really delicious.

Homemade Orange Chicken!

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce:
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons FRESH orange juice
  • ¼ cup FRESH lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (I actually added a little more brown sugar... )
  • ½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 cup water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.
Serve with rice and voila! A delicious homemade meal, sure to impress :)

My plate. I'm not a huge "sauce" person.

Landon's plate...loaded with lots of extra sauce :)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Looking Back

I can't believe college is really OVER. I'm used to counting down the days until a semester is over, but there are no more semesters. I'm officially done with school. Forever. Such a weird feeling. Seriously... I can't decide HOW I'm feeling. It's not sad. It's not happy. It's just kind of weird. Totally hasn't sunk in yet that I'm really never going back to school...

Anyway, college has been great and I know I will miss it. Here's a look back on my experience:

Freshman year at Utah State. I cried for a week. I hated Logan. I thought it smelled like cows and I was too far away from friends and family back in Sandy. Once I got settled in, I realized Logan wasn't too bad. I made some really great friends and learned a lot about myself. I became more independent. I solidified my testimony. I had some crazy adventures. I froze to death. I went to taco bell at least 4 times a week for nachos. And guess what? I never even became a "true aggie." How lame am I?!

Sophomore year at BYU. I was so happy to be closer to friends and family and fell in love with BYU--the campus, the atmosphere, the people, the spirit, the devotionals, the football games, everything! I lived in a gross apartment complex, but I don't regret it one bit... because if I didn't live in the "hood" I wouldn't have met my cutie.

Junior year at BYU. I married my best friend and had such a fun year as a newlywed. I thought about dropping out of school almost every day because I didn't see a POINT in me going to school when I knew I just wanted to be a mom/wife! Thankfully, Landon didn't let me :) but I did have a hard time balancing my wife duties and school. All I wanted to do was bake, clean, and take care of my new husband.

Senior year at BYU. Made some really great friends that I will love forever. I also was able to spend the majority of the year teaching in the classrooms, which meant not very much time on BYU's campus. I have learned and grown the most this year. Mostly I have learned how much I am MEANT to be a teacher. I have never loved what I do every day SO much (thanks for not letting me drop out Landon!)

College has been so great. So many fun memories. So much growth and learning. And even though I was counting down the years, months, days, and hours until it was over...I know I'm going to miss it.

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