Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Future Children,

I have to be honest, I thought there'd be two of you running around by now, well at least one and a half. But, one thing I'm learning is that life doesn't always go according to plan. In fact, it never does. My plans have been thrown out the window at this point and I'm trusting in God's plan and His timing. And do you know what? His plans are always much better than I the ones I had anyway.

No one really knows the full story of why you aren't here yet, and they can make assumptions all they want, but the true story is there for you in my hand-written journals. Did you know all of my journals and this blog are for you? I have always wanted to record my life so you can know me. You get to read all about my first kiss, my testimonies, my hard times, my worries, my mundane experiences. And I have always written you letters because I like writing to you directly. I love to picture you and write to you, even though you don't exist yet. Every day I wonder what you'll be like. Will you have Landon's dark hair and beautiful skin? Will you have my chubby cheeks? Will you have Landon's curiosity or my positive attitude? Will you like to adventure with us? Will you be shy or outgoing? Will you like to cuddle? (Oh, please be cuddly!)

In my letters to you I normally tell you a little bit about me so you can get to know me better, not just as your mom but as a person who was once just like you. So, I'm 23 (24 in June. Yikes!) I have long, brown hair. I used to highlight it blonde, but I've gone all-natural these days thanks to your dad. He has really helped me with my self-esteem. I am working really hard on being a better person, every day. Right now I'm working on not comparing myself to other people and being confident in myself. If I have a daughter, I want you to know that you are beautiful. I will tell you every single day. But I can't do that if I don't even think those things about myself. So I'm trying to be better. I'm also working on finding joy in the moment. Wherever you are in life, whatever stage you are in you can be happy. I feel like my whole life I've been waiting for the next thing... I can't wait to graduate high school and move out of the house, I can't wait to be married, I can't wait to graduate college, I can't wait to be a mom... blah blah blah. It's time to be happy with now. Oh, sure some days I daydream of seeing two pink lines on a stick... and it's okay to daydream, but I used to get SO caught up in wanting you here right NOW that it made me so unhappy. That's no way to live life. One day you will be here, and that will be the right time. Right now just isn't.

Speaking of daydreams, this morning on my way to work I was picturing how it will feel to see your dad hold you for the first time and my heart went all sorts crazy. I think they will have to give me oxygen. I can't even handle just thinking about it. I'm going to be a hot mess. He's going to be such a good dad to you (here come the tears!) You are truly blessed. He is going to be involved in your life, down to the little, tiny details. He's going to play with you and make you laugh and probably tease you a bit. He is going to help you with your math homework (he is such a good teacher) and he will probably even teach you how to fly an airplane and sail a boat (I guess we can both teach you that last one). He is going to work hard to provide for our family so that I can stay home and take care of you. But most of all, he is going to love you with his whole heart. Only a few people in this world knows what it feels like to be loved by Landon, and I'm telling you we are the luckiest. That boy has such a big heart. Sometimes he looks at me with so much love, his eyes start to water and I know he loves me more than any person ever could. I can't wait for you to feel that love.

I know that the best thing me and your dad can do for you is to love each other. Your Nana and Pops are the perfect example of this. Nine kids later and they are truly, madly, deeply in love. But, I never once felt like I was "second" to their relationship. There was plenty of love to go around. I know that's how it'll be in our little family. I'm not going to forget about your dad, just because I'm crazy about you. And I'm sorry, but we are going to take occasional trips without you. Not because we don't want you there, but because I know it is important for me and your dad to have alone time. Don't worry though, we'll take you on PLENTY of trips too (you are going to be world explorers!) Me and your dad talk about it all the time--there is going to be no "first" or "second" we're all just going to love each other. Sometimes you will need me more (I'm sure the majority of the time that'll be the case) but that just means I'm really going to have to work hard to save some energy for your dad.  I hope we can be a good example to you of how marriage should be, just like your Nana and Pops are an example to me.

Do you know what I think? The Beatles had it right... love is all you need. As long as your dad and I love each other and share that love with you, I think you will be the luckiest kids. Being loved and loving someone is the greatest feeling in the world. I know I can't even comprehend the love I'll have for you or how completely overwhelming and instant that love will be, but I do love you already. I hope I can always show you how much I love you. I hope I can help you develop a testimony of the Gospel. I hope we can be best friends. I hope I can do a good job at teaching you how to be a good person through my example. I hope I can make you happy. More than anything, I hope I can be a good mom to you.

I am patiently waiting for the day when I get to hold you in my arms and I know you are in heaven watching us and patiently waiting to join in on our adventure. You are so loved.


Your mama at 23 and 3/4

More letters here and here (I know, I'm kinda crazy...)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Happy Marriage.

I know I've only been married for a little over three years, but I'd like to think I have some idea of what makes a happy, healthy marriage. Through watching married couples good and bad examples' (including my own!), I have noticed three things that happy couples do.

Do you notice that all of these things take effort?

Spending time together
I don't care what you do, but do something together every single day. Snuggle on the couch, have late night chats, date each other, or our personal favorite... go on a walk every night (rain or shine people!) Landon and I were talking the other day about how maybe our marriage wouldn't be as strong without our nightly walks. It is a time for us, free from distractions, to simply talk and spend time with each other. Walking is our favorite. But it's also fun to start a hobby together. Last year we spent a lot of time flying and riding our new bikes and this year we are getting into sailing. Travel, explore, laugh, enjoy each other's company! Happily married couples are best friends. Time=love, right?

Sacrifice for each other
Some days I get home from work and I am SO tired. But, I forget myself and remember that if I put Landon first, our marriage will be strong. So, I set to work on cleaning our house and making him dinner (okay that's a lie, sometimes I take a nap or read my book instead of being a good wife. But I'm working on it!) When he comes home, we eat and then I realize we're out of milk. Landon has about a million things he needs to get done that night... but what does he do? He goes to the grocery store with me. He takes care of me and I take care of him. Work. Effort. Sacrifice. Selflessness. It's hard not to love someone that you're serving.

Happiness in marriage is a choice
I am a firm believer in this last one. I know that I could hold a grudge against Landon for that thing he said that one day that I took offense to. Or he could hold a grudge against me for all the times I've been grumpy and mean to him. We could develop deep feelings of hurt and resentment. Or... we could choose to forgive each other. We could choose to love each other. President Monson said it best... "choose your love, love your choice." When you chose to marry your spouse, you were probably madly and deeply in love with them. That love should just continue to grow and grow. You can be newlyweds all your life if you CHOOSE to be.

My marriage is by no means perfect. But we are happy. We are madly in love. It's so funny to look back on the way I felt for Landon when I was kneeling across the alter... I can't believe how little that love is compared to the deep love I feel for him now.

I'm so grateful for all this time we have with just us. I feel like our marriage grows stronger every day and I know we will be better parents for it. When kids come along, I know things will be different, but we have made the conscious decision to not let kids come between our marriage. So many people devote their whole lives to their kids and put their spouse on the back burner. After 25 years, their husband is a stranger. When the kids are gone they realize they don't have anything holding them together. But that's not how it has to be. We can still put our spouse first, while loving our kids like crazy. I do believe you have to DECIDE this. Being a mom is my biggest dream, and I know it would be so easy for me to slowly but surely let my marriage fall apart if I put ALL of my energy into being a mom and not take the time to be a wife. My parents are such a good example to me. Nine kids later and they are still madly in love. They hold hands, they spend their free time together, they are always going on weekend getaways together. They're such cuties.

Staying happy in marriage takes effort every day. Think of your marriage like a little love fern (haha name that movie!) it takes constant nourishment or it will die. For real.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sailing, Sailing...

Our entire three day weekend looked like this:

We took our first sailing class Saturday and Sunday (16 hours of instruction!) It was completely overwhelming to me. I haven't studied anything since college and the week before our class I read over 100 pages on sailing... I thought my brain might explode. During the two days of class we spent most of our time on the boat. Fun right? Wrong! The instructor would make me do things without really telling me HOW to do it. SCARY! I'm a perfectionist and can't fail. I need explicit instructions to complete a task. Plus, he got mad when my sweet Landon was worried about me being TERRIFIED and tried to help. Ugh! But Landon and I both passed the test Sunday with A's and are officially certified sailors. Wohoo!

On Monday we took a 22 foot Catalina out by ourselves through the sailing club we joined. We can take out any of their boats anytime, as much as we want. It's lovely.

I was excited because the pressure from the class was gone and now it was time to cruise the Columbia with my love and just have fun!

In case you didn't know, sailing is complicated and not as easy and carefree as it looks. But it is SO much fun. It's hard to explain the feeling you get when you have sailed a few miles up river, all by your skill and the power of the wind.

We sailed right past Portland International Airport. It was really awesome to watch the planes approaching along the river.

Trimming the sails by tightening the jib sheet. I'm not really the best or strongest for that job :)

Oh, this summer is gonna be great. I love our adventurous life. Never a dull moment with this boy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Day

Oh how I love love. I'm such a hopeless romantic-sappy cheese ball. So of course today is one of my favorite days of the year.

To my Landon, I'm so grateful you found me and that you are my forever Valentine. Thanks for making me laugh so hard I cry every day. Thanks for always making me feel so special and so loved. Thank you for inspiring me and making me want to be a better person. Thank you for loving me even when I'm grumpy and mean to you. Thank you for helping me calm down when I stress and have little freak outs. Thank you for going on an hour walk with me every night and making our marriage your biggest priority. Thank you for being my best friend and making my life such an adventure. I love you more than you could even know. I could just BURST at the seams. 

I hope you all have a wonderful LOVE day and tell those you care about how much they mean to you! Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Maiden Voyage.

Last weekend was one I never want to forget. Seeing Thumbelina on the water for the first time was unbelievable. I just can't even explain it.  But it wasn't all smooth sailing (Eh, see what I did there? I crack myself up!)

Our first attempt to take Thumbelina out looked like this...

Haag Lake doesn't open until March 2nd. Did you know they close lakes for the winter?! Sheesh. 

Our second attempt wasn't much better because we left the sails at home. Kinda hard to sail a sailboat when you don't have sails. (Not pictured--Landon throwing his hat and maybe saying a few choice words and me crying a bit.)

But you know what they say... third time's a charm right? We took her out to a little inlet off the Willamette River called Swan Island. It's open all year AND we remembered the sails--yay us!

Landon went by himself first so I could take some pictures. Unfortunately there wasn't much wind, but we were prepared...

Once Landon paddled into the middle of the inlet the wind picked up, well I guess I should say slight breeze. But nevertheless, Thumbelina sailed. I just stood at the dock in awe as tears streamed down my face. It was such a proud moment watching this boat that Landon worked on for a year actually SAIL. I can't even describe the feeling but it was amazing. 

Who just decides one day to build a sailboat (having never really built anything) and then build a trailer (having never welded before) and then just take it out on the water like it's no big deal (having never sailed before)? Oh Landon, you are one of a kind. There's just no one like you. I couldn't be more proud.

Landon played around for a bit and then came back to the dock to pick me up.

he's the cutest.
My camera isn't exactly waterproof so I don't have proof that I sailed but I really did. I was in charge of the jib (jib=the sail in the front of the boat that isn't hoisted in the pictures). We got a few gusts of wind and Thumbelina actually went pretty fast! I felt completely stable the whole time, but we wore wet-suits and life jackets--just in case. We tacked all the way up the inlet (tack= not sailing straight because of the direction of the wind so we had to "tack" or turn the boat and zig-zag) and then came straight downwind back to the dock. (Are you impressed by my official sailor speak?!)

Sailing was SO much fun. It was seriously a perfect weekend. We can't wait for all of our new adventures on the water! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hoisted the Sails & Booked a Cruise.

I'm so excited I feel like I could burst. On Monday night Landon hoisted the sails for the first time (I can say fancy words like "hoist" and "gibe ho!" because I'm a real life sailor now.)

It was so exciting to see the sails go up and realize, this is a real sailboat. All of Landon's hard work (I helped a little too) has paid off and now we have this amazing, little boat. It's just crazy to me.

just practicing...looking for land or something.

he's a natural
this picture kills me. How cute is he??
After we hoisted the sails and took a million pictures, we put the camera away and "played." Landon sat in the back with the tiller and I sat in the front releasing the jib (it's the sail up front...if you don't speak sailor). Landon would say "prepare to tack" and I would say "ready" and then we'd pretend to tack. It was SO much fun and I can't wait to actually take that baby on the water this weekend!

(You're going to be hearing a lot about Thumbelina and sailing in the next few weeks... just a heads up)

In other news, we just booked a CRUISE! We are total cruise-whores. There's no better way to travel! Unlimited food, relaxation, and fun fun fun! We're a little obsessed and I'm just giddy right now, in fact I'm a little dizzy from jumping in circles & screaming. It's a 7-day cruise out of L.A. going to San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria BC, Nanaimo BC, and Vancouver BC. We have never traveled on the same cruise line twice, so this time we are trying our hand at Norweigen. I can't wait for MAY! Wohoo! 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Life Lately.

Time for one of my random rambling posts.

  • Landon learned how to weld in approximately 2 minutes and built an amazing trailer. I think it looks pretty professional and I couldn't be more proud of him. He gets home from work, eats dinner and hangs out with me for a bit, and then gets to work on his projects. I don't think there's a lazy bone in his body. 

  • We joined a sailing club yesterday. Wohoo! We are SO excited to take our first class in two weeks and make sure we actually like sailing before Landon starts building the big butt. I also think it's really fun that we will have this amazing hobby together... studying together, learning together, and spending quality time together sailing. As club members, we get to rent any of their 30+ sailboats for free after we take the basic class. So, if you come and visit us we would love to take you out on the Columbia for a sailing adventure... we could take you on Thumbalina but she's only big enough for 2 people.
I forgot to bring my camera, so this picture isn't the best quality but the boats are so pretty!

  • Speaking of Thumbelina, we are planning on taking her out next weekend! We've got our wetsuits and life jackets and couldn't be more excited. We put her on the trailer tonight and went for a spin around the corner and we were both just SO giddy. I can't believe he really built a boat and a trailer and we're going to be real life sailors :)
  • Lately I've been trying REALLY hard to be grateful for what I have instead of being sad for everything I don't have. Do you know how much happier I've been? It's so much better to focus on the "haves" than the "have nots."

image via

  • Okay let's talk Downton Abbey... I was bored to tears the first few episodes but now I'm hooked. I couldn't find anywhere to watch Season 2 and I'm a cheapo so I wasn't about to pay for it. But, Hulu Plus has this free 7 day trial... so I have one week to finish Season 2 so I can watch Season 3 through PBS and be all caught up. It's so addicting.

image via

  • We had a game night last night with another couple our age from our church and had SO much fun. It's kind of embarrassing how many people we don't know, but I am SO happy that we are starting to make friends here. It's hard being so far from my friends in Utah and I basically had zero motivation to make new ones. I'm starting to come out of my shell a bit, but I still miss my besties. 

  • I can't say much about what happened on Friday, because it's not my business to tell. But, sometimes life just sucks. I've been really upset but today during testimony meeting the focus was on The Plan of Salvation. Just what I needed to hear. I'm so grateful that families can be together forever and I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us. He wants us to be happy.

  • Did you know that my life isn't perfect? Crazy huh! I find myself reading other people's blogs, looking at instagram pictures, and facebook updates and find myself feeling completely jealous. I know comparing myself isn't a good thing to do, but we all do it. I was thinking today, I wonder if people look at my life and get jealous and I probably look at their life and am just as jealous of them. It's so silly. Nobody's life is perfect, no matter how perfect it seems and most people only update their social media sites with the positive aspects of life, leaving us to compare our hard times to their seemingly perfect life. Sometimes I think I'd be a lot happier of a person if I just deleted my facebook. Please just know that my life is not perfect. This blog is my "journal" and even though I only have like 15 faithful readers, some aspects of my life just can't be on my blog. I'm making a goal to stop comparing myself to other people and only compare myself to myself. Having a good self-image is SO key to happiness. I'm really starting to discover that.
image via

Okay, that's all for now. Happy Sunday!
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