Thursday, March 27, 2014

What I Love.

Sometimes I start a blog with absolutely no idea what I'm going to blog about. I just start writing and see what happens. I love writing. It is therapeutic to me. I wish so bad I would've taken more opportunities to write in high school and college. I actually had a dream recently that I was in a creative writing class at BYU. Our final project was to write a novel, and I loved it. Ask me how many writing classes I have taken (not including required English)? Zero. Lame!

I had an epiphany the other day. So much of my life has been wasted trying to be something I'm not. I am really hard on myself for not being more crafty, for not being an excellent cook (hence the lack of frosting skills), for not being sporty or athletic, etc. I have always considered myself such a waste because I didn't have any "real" hobbies. Well, that's not true. I didn't have any of the hobbies that OTHER people have and that I wanted so badly. So I wallowed in self-pity instead of realizing what hobbies and talents I DO have. I was comparing myself to others...and we all know how that goes!


I've had a LOT of positive response from my blog. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear things like: I love your blog! You are such a great writer! Etc. You have all given me a much needed confidence boost! I have a hobby! I love to WRITE! Yay! 

And yes, you may be thinking that I love to sail too, right? Right! But that's a hobby that I have WITH Landon and our future family. I think it is important to have "us" hobbies and "me" hobbies. It is so easy to lose yourself in "motherhood" and "wifehood," but sometimes you really need to take the time to be YOU! Some people may think this is selfish, but I think it's quite opposite actually. By focusing on yourself and growing as a person, you will be a better mom and wife overall...and that's better for EVERYONE.

So what do you love to do? Do you love to exercise? Do you love to curl up with a good book? Do you love baking cakes? Do you love playing soccer? Do you love singing in choirs? Do you love to dance? Well DO it! Be proud of it! Take time every week to have "you" time to do what you love.

When we are doing what we love, we are happy. 

I am not a mom yet, but trust me, I know about being with kids all day every day. I know how much of your attention is required. I know how draining it is. I know how BUSY it is. But I'm telling you, if you take the time to take care of yourself, you will be able to take care of those little people better! So future Hannah, listen up! The kids are napping, you have piles of dishes and laundry and the house is a disaster... But before you tackle that mountain, write! Even if it is just for ten minutes. You will be happy and energized and ready to take on the rest of the day!

Well guess what? I am going to write a book! I have no idea what I am writing about yet, but I have always heard you should write what you know. And I know love. I love love. I am not planning on getting it published, because I know that's a very hard road, but I am writing because I love to. And if I happen to write the next Twilight, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, etc... Well, I won't complain ;)

So in the future when I am a stay-at-home mom, I will have something to work on during nap-times. I will be focusing on ME and hopefully that will help me to be a better mom and wife. 

My brain is constantly thinking of ways I can prepare to be a better mom, and I don't even have any kids yet! But I am so motivated to improve MYSELF while my life is relatively calm, so that when kids do come I will be my best self. And then I will continue to grow and develop, because I know kids learn by example. I want SO much for them... And it starts with ME.

P.S. I told Landon on one of our nightly walks about my epiphany that people should do what they love and he said something along the lines of, "wow Hannah! What an original idea!" Hahaha he is such a stinker ;) We could not stop laughing. I love my sarcastic husband who teases, plays around with me, and makes me laugh every day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Birthday Weekend.

If you know me, you know I am a HUGE fan of birthdays. I love to go ALL out and make birthdays a week-long event and believe every person should get a birthweek. 

Five years ago (has it really been that long?!) I had only been dating Landon for about 3 weeks by the time his birthday came. I decided to throw him a surprise party, take him to Red Lobster and Coraline (we had the theatre to ourselves and I think we missed about half of the movie ;), buy him presents, personalize a fancy Costco cake, and probably spent about $200 bucks. I guess I liked him a lot already ;)

Well five years later, and I'm even more crazy about this boy and love to make him feel special on his birthday. 

We left Friday after work for a weekend sailing trip. There is nothing like night sailing. It's so quiet, peaceful, and romantic! ;) We decided to head up the river, which means we were fighting the strong current of the Columbia River. Luckily, the wind was blowing strong and we PLOWED up the river. It was unbelievable how fast we were going! Sooo much fun.

We made it all the way up to Government Island in 5 minutes to dock for the night. Okay, it was more like two hours but it FELT like 5 minutes! We have spent an entire DAY getting up to that island before, so two hours is like lightening fast!

It is always so fun to spend the night on our boat, even though it was down in the 30's that night. We woke up, ate some cereal (I love having a boat with a kitchen and real bed!!), and then continued up the river. We have never sailed further than Government Island, so it is always fun to explore new territory!

The wind was AMAZING again, which was a birthday miracle. I am not kidding, in the spring it is NEVER both sunny and windy in the same day. Ever. It is either sunny, and completely calm with zero wind OR pouring rain with amazing wind. So we were pretty darn happy with sun and wind! We sailed pretty far up the river--all the way to Troutdale.

The only downside to the day was when Landon's hat fell in the water. He screamed, "MAN OVERBOARD!" because I was steering at the helm. I panicked and tried to remember the man overboard drill... We tried to catch it twice but with no luck... Mostly because I did the maneuver all wrong :( Hats sink if you didn't know... I feel HORRIBLE because Landon loves his hat more than I've ever seen someone love an inanimate object. At one point he said, "I have to go in and get it!" I screamed back, "don't you DARE jump in for your hat!" The water is freezing, and considering I'm not the best at the drill it would not have been good if Landon was going into hypothermic shock and I had to rescue him... So, looks like we will be practicing the man overboard drill this weekend!

On Sunday, his actual birthday, we had a pretty chill day. I asked Landon what he wanted to do and he chose to work on the boat. He is so funny. Not my idea of fun, but hey it is what the birthday boy wanted ;)

We came home later that night and made the birthday boy's choice for dinner--Halibut. It was actually pretty good, but I felt bad that he made his own birthday meal. I just can't cook fish! After dinner, we had our friends Forrest, Grace, Erin, and Cory over for cake and ice cream. You guys, I can't frost a cake for the life of me! Why does the top layer always peel off?! I need some lessons ASAP. But, it still tasted great :)

It was seriously the best weekend EVER. March 23rd is my favorite day of the whole year. I LOVE having a day dedicated to celebrating my sweet Landon. I'm not going to go too mushy on here, but my eyes are already welling up with tears as I type. I love this boy more than I ever knew I could love. I don't know how it is even possible to love so much, but I really do. He is such a wonderful husband to me and makes me feel so beautiful, special, and loved every day. He makes my life such an adventure and truly is my best friend. Oh man, I am a lucky girl. Happy Birthday Landon Dean! You are my happy. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Up the Mast

Last weekend we moved our boat to a new moorage. We were docked in the Multnomah Channel, which is just very skinny and not enough room to sail. We tried to make it work because it was cheap and close to our house. But after being there for a few months, we were doing a whole lot of motoring and not a lot of sailing.

So we made the six hour journey to our new moorage on the Columbia River, which is where we sailed when we were part of the sailing club. The river feels SO huge and it is exciting to know we can actually SAIL now! :)

On our way to the Columbia, we had to pass under a bridge. The water level is very high from all the rain, so the height under the bridge was not as tall as it usually is. When you are passing under a bridge, it's hard to get the perspective to see if the mast is going to fit underneath. To me, it always looks like our mast is going to hit, but that's because we are looking up. 

Landon decided that in order to see if we could fit, he would climb up the mast. I hate climbing a 6 foot ladder, so the thought of climbing up a mast and being 59 feet up FREAKS me out. But Landon had zero hesitation. 

We have a mast climber, so Landon got all hooked up and I took the helm as he climbed. I was shaking, had a stomach ache, and said about a thousand silent prayers. I think it's safe to say I was a nervous wreck. He told me he felt like a bird and flapped his wings :)

He made it safely to the top (after what felt like years to me!) and was just happy enjoying the view. When we got close to the bridge, he told me we were looking good--but to be ready to slow down or go into reverse. I was sooo scared as we were approaching the bridge. It really looked like the mast--with my cute husband perched on top--was going to crash into the bridge. Yikes! 

Luckily, we had about 10 feet of wiggle room and passed under the bridge safely. Phew!

The rest of the trip was so fun because the wind was blowing, it wasn't raining, and we got to SAIL! 

It was such a fun day of sailing! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Sometimes the answer is no even though you want so badly for it to be yes.

Remember that adorable, brand new house in the cute town called Forest Grove? The one that sits on a hill and has a cute community park? The one that would fit a ginormous shop to build our next boat? The one that we spent hours researching, emailing questions, and had multiple meetings about? 

Well, we have decided not to get it. 

When I first told my mom that we weren't feeling right about it, she was pretty shocked. Not many people go through the process and huge ordeal we went through just to walk away. But, after praying about it, we knew what we needed to do. 

Well, here's the full story. About a month ago we met with the city of Forest Grove to make sure we could build our shop on the property. They said we were good to go and I couldn't believe it! Everything was coming together perfectly and we were planning to put an offer in about a month (today actually). As we were walking out to our car, feeling so happy, I checked my phone and saw I had an email from my realtor. The realtor at Hayden Homes (the builder of our cute house) told us that there was someone VERY interested in our lot and he was probably going to be putting an offer in soon. What?!?! "Our" lot wasn't even released yet, so we felt pretty safe in knowing it wasn't going to be snatched from us. I called my realtor who called Hayden Homes and we decided that we had to put in an offer ASAP so we wouldn't lose the only lot in the community that would fit our shop. We both felt SO stressed and overwhelmed. I was sick to my stomach all weekend. 

A few days later, we received the contract from Hayden Homes. We had been praying to know what to do and we were constantly going back and forth. Something just didn't feel right. We decided that we weren't ready to sign the contract, even if that meant losing the lot. Once we made that decision, we immediately felt such relief. My three-day-long tummy ache was gone, just like that. 

So we knew we weren't ready to sign the contract right then, but we weren't ready to completely walk away either. So we did more praying, more thinking, and more planning. 

First up, we measured our current backyard and figured out that we can fit our new boat back there. It won't be in a nice shop, but Landon will be able to build the boat in a covered, temporary shelter. 

I also went through two years worth of our budget to figure out our "average" monthly expenses. With the new house, our mortgage payment would only be a tiny bit more than our current mortgage so we didn't think it would be a big deal. Also, our current house has gone up in value so much, we were going to be able to put 25% down on the new house, which seems unbelievable. We could definitely "afford" the new house and new payment. But, our current mortgage is going to be $200 cheaper in 3 years when we can get rid of our mortgage insurance. With that in mind, our new mortgage payment (without MI) is going to be cheaper than some people pay for a 2 bedroom apartment in our area. It is ridiculously cheap. It will feel like we are living in our house for free. We got such a good deal on our house because we bought it when the market was at it's lowest low and interest rates were still in the 3% range. How were we supposed to walk away from that?! Just because we could "afford" to buy the new house, doesn't mean we should

Remember our priority? It is to have a family. That means I will be staying home to take care of our kids someday and we will be down to one income. Money will be tighter, not only because we won't have my income, but I've heard that kids are expensive ;) So with our current house, we will be able to live comfortably without stressing about money. That is worth WAY more to me than having a nice house with a nice shop. Stressing about money is NOT fun. It is comforting to know that even if Landon lost his job and he had to get a job at McDonalds, we could afford our mortgage. Hopefully we won't ever be in that situation, but you NEVER know. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Another thing, we love our current house. It is plenty big (2200 square feet, 4 bedrooms), in a culdesac, great neighbors and friends, and close to everything. Yes, it is "older" and I have lovely brass doorknobs and oak cabinets, but it's still very cute and was very well taken care of. Plus, there's a little thing called remodeling :)

After doing more thinking and constantly discussing the pros and cons, it was clear that we needed to stay in our house. We feel SO happy about our decision and even though we didn't know why we felt unsure about it a month ago, we know now. Heavenly Father has a different plan for us and I have a feeling that one day I will look back on this post and just laugh because it will all make sense. 

There was no major red flag, we can afford the new house, and we loved everything about it, but after thinking about it we decided it wasn't the best decision. Even though we wanted it SO bad, it is actually pretty easy to just walk away. 

I am so grateful for prayer and for a loving Heavenly Father who guides me along. In my patriarchal blessing, there's a part that talks about how much Heavenly Father is watching over, protecting, and guiding me and that most of the time I don't even realize how much He is helping me. But I have been trying more and more to recognize His hand in my life. There are so many little decisions that I have made that lead to such great things, so I'm going to continue to trust in Him and His plan for me. I know it will all work out and one day we will understand completely why we aren't supposed to move right now. 

Utah Trip.

Oh man, I knew I would regret it but I didn't take my camera out ONCE this whole trip. I don't know what came over me. I think I was just too overwhelmed and the thought of taking pictures just seemed too big of a task. Silly me. So, the only pictures I have are ones from people's phones. And I didn't take pictures with everyone like I should have. Ugh. So mad.

Anyway, I can't believe I was in Utah last weekend. It was just such a blur and went by WAY too fast. I think I would need to be there for a month to feel like I really got to be with everyone. There's just something very overwhelming and heartbreaking about seeing people you love and have missed so much and then have to say bye to them that very same day. My heart can hardly handle it honestly. I love living in Oregon, so much, but I wish Utah wasn't so far away. 

I got there late on Thursday night. My flight was delayed by 30 minutes, which isn't too big of a deal...other than I had a date with Cafe Rio and I HAD to make it before closing. My cute parents picked me up (my dad's appointment went great by the way) and then rushed me home to Sandy to go to good ole Rio by 9. Turns out they were open until 10, but either way I was so happy to eat my pork tacos in my childhood home with my family. Such a perfect night.

Friday was full of more yummy Utah food. Normandie with my sisters Mary, Emma, my mom, my niece Jolene, and our friend (practically my sister!) Tanya. Yummy! That night we went to Zupas and then saw Les Mis at the Hale Theatre. Unbelievable. I've always been a huge Les Mis fan and seeing it live is amazing. I thought I could maybe get through it one time without crying. Nope! Also, this is the only picture I have from that day. I'm the lamest (I don't care if that's not a word).

Saturday was the day I got to see my whole family (well the ones that live in Utah). We met everyone at the zoo and it is always so shocking to see how much my nieces and nephews have grown up! Some of them don't know who I am, so that's really hard, but I think they warmed up to me by the end of the day. 

my oldest niece, Savannah. We are only 9 years apart. I can't believe how grown up she is!!
My second oldest niece. We both love elephants :)

Mary made me take Jolene down this freaky slide that made me claustrophobic. But Jolene liked it :)
After the zoo everyone came over for dinner. Landon called me while I was sitting in the family room and told me it sounded like I was at a mall. Haha! Nope, just at home with my ginormous family! It was really hard to say bye to everyone after just seeing them for the first time in months. Ugh!

Sunday was church and seeing my Erica and meeting her cute Levi! I just love that girl and love her little boy who is her mini-me. I wish I would've taken a picture. Erica is one of my heroes. 

After church I drove up to Bountiful to see our friends Jen, Dave, and their baby Lydia. Oh she is just soooo cute! It was so good to catch up with them and we cannot wait for them to visit us again this summer! We love them so much.

Later my mom, Mary, Jolene, and I went to the park and enjoyed the sunshine. Jolene is such a princess and was so timid about riding the slides, so she just rode the same one over and over. So cute! She also calls me "Aunty Hannah" which pretty much melts my heart. Love that little girl! 

Trina and Liam came by to visit later that night, but unfortunately with our timing we only had 10 minutes. But it was SO good to see them, even if it was just for a minute. It meant a lot to me that Trina came to see me!

Monday I woke up feeling sick knowing I had to leave that night. Mary, my mom, and I went to lunch at Olive Garden (no pictures of course!) and then I went to Draper to see Jenna, Amelia, and Grace. I could have stayed forever just chatting and playing with her cute kids, but time went by way too fast and before I knew it I was saying bye to another person that means so much to me. And of course we forgot to take a picture. 

I didn't mean for this post to be so negative, but I guess it was a very happy and sad trip. I was very happy at the beginning and very sad by the end. I went to Cafe Rio one more time and then it was time to say bye to Mary and Jolene and my parents took me to the airport. I didn't cry once, until I said bye to them and had to walk away heartbroken. 

I got on the plane, still fighting tears, and then was happy again because I knew I was flying back home to 3 cute boys. It's crazy how many different emotions I experienced in such a short amount of time. So many mixed feelings. So much happiness to see loved ones and so much sadness in saying goodbye. I am SO glad I got to see everyone and hoping to be back soon!
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