Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Thousand & One PB&J's.

In the decision to blog, I never wanted to stand on a soap box.  So, today, I hope to be an inspiration, not a lecturer.

We are moving to our new house on Sept. 1.  Yay!  We are so grateful!  We feel so strongly that this is the right move for our family.  It still feels eerie how it all came together so quickly.

BUT...that's not to say we haven't work years to get to this point.  Recently, I've had numerous people tell me how "lucky" we are to buy a house.  To that, my response is you can too, no luck required!  Just a decision to make it a priority and a life style that supports that decision (I'd like to add,  that's the same solution for staying out of debt with anything else in your life).

Here's a small glimpse into the life style we've maintained for years (yes, years!) to support the goal of buying a house:

-I have easily eaten thousands of pb&j sandwiches, often while watching coworkers go out for lunch.  Don't get me wrong, I love them and all, but don't kid yourself, eating out tastes way better.

-We drive the ugliest car, bless its heart.  How could you hate it that much when it gets 40 miles per gallon?

-I price match most of what we buy.  Never been a Walmart lover until we were poor.  Darn you Walmart.

-Eating out is a treat, not a way of life.  And, I like to believe I can cook healthier than most restaurants.

-Unless grandmas have bought them, Zack's toys and clothes proudly come from second hand stores.

-I avoid the mall.  Some can window shop; I can't.  Avoidance is the solution for me.

-Garage sales are a blast!  Nice furniture is way cooler when you can say you bought it for $15, not $150.

-Attendance in movie theaters are saved for special events or gift card usage.

-Track your spending and budget!  Ask Dave if you want a cool spreadsheet that you can hardly understand, but can tell you all the dirty secrets about where your money is going.

That's not to say we don't have our vices.  I will never give up my hair products and I love running the AC more than I should :)

But, my friends, luck has nothing to do with buying a house.  Living smart has everything to do with it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I hate being the center of attention.  I always have and always will.  I guess that's one of the reasons why I didn't want to keep a personal blog.  It makes me feel uncomfortable.

But, in an effort to continue my love of writing, a blog will suffice for a time.  So, whether you've known me for years or just a few months, here are my confessions in an effort to help you know the real me.

I don't do boxes.  Not like packing boxes, but the imaginary ones that are often placed around you by yourself or others in an effort to meet unspoken expectations, goals, schedules, etc.  I'm happiest being me.

I love painted nails.

For some reason, I am usually more entertained by a tree, a bug or even a wall than I am by the television.  I do love movies though.

I find so much join in creating a delicious meal for guests in our home (although it's not usually pretty)  or by scrubbing my bathroom.

Since becoming a stay at home mom, I have one daily goal: to leave the house once a day.  Some days I succeed, others I don't.

Most days I try on at least 4 outfits before picking the one I'm going to wear.

I love a clean kitchen sink.  If my house looks like a tornado blew through it, I will always start at my sink.

I was so proud of myself when I graduated college.  School never came smoothly for me.  It seemed I often had to work harder and pray longer than many of my classmates to achieve good grades, but I did it.

The fastest ways to my heart is a foot rub followed by chocolate.

When I get out of the shower, the tag on the towel has to be in the bottom right corner.

I have gotten much better, but typically I prefer the different foods on my plate not to touch.

I wish I had skills like they list on any "get-to-know-you" thing.   It seems every time I read one, the list I see includes: concert pianist, seamstress, master gardener, gourmet chef, speed reader, artist, professional ballerina and opera singer.  If I could change it, I would include items like: capable of cooking a meal, mowing a lawn, talking to a stranger, looking for the good in a tough situation, keeping my son alive and having a good time.

I love being a mother.


I am madly in love with the man of my dreams.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Misunderstood Circumstances.

It's funny how sometimes things that should work out don't.  Often, we don't find out the reason it didn't work the way we planned until years later.  It's almost time for us to move again so I guess that's why it has me reminiscing.  Over the last years there have been many circumstances in my life that didn't make sense at the time.  I guess that's why God makes our retrospect view 20/20; so we'll learn to trust Him faster the next time.  I just wanted to share some of these circumstances with you.

When I was 19 years old, I flunked out of college.  Long story, expensive lesson.  At the time I decided it was best to take a break for awhile and move out to discover who I was.  I did.  I had some of the most life changing experiences which drastically shaped me and my testimony of the restoration of the Gospel and of the Savior.  That led me on a mission.

My mission was incredible.  My love for people deepened more than I had ever experienced before.  I wanted so much happiness for the people I met.  I wanted to share with them the precious truths that I know and love.  There were so many wonderful people that taught and showed me how to be the missionary I wanted to be.  That led me to Dave.

Although we hit it off very quickly after the mission, I was nervous about marriage.  Dave patiently waited for me to figure things out.  While he was out of town he left his car parked at my parents house.  In a horrible snow storm, my dad and I accidentally slid his car into a transformer box at the end of their steep driveway, break a piece of his car off.  We managed to glue it back on and forgot to mention anything about it.  In my quest to feel comfortable about marriage, I felt I needed time and broke up with Dave the day he got back from out of town.   After, it didn't take long to realize I forgot to tell him I broke his car.  I called to tell him.  That led me to re-dating and then marrying Dave :)

During this time I had returned to college at the University of Utah.  My first semester back I made it off academic probation and was placed on the Dean's List.  When looking at our savings and deciding where to live once married, Dave began considering BYU married housing.  I knew financially it was the right choice, but still went kicking and screaming to live in "enemy territory."  I refused to attend school there.  That led me to Utah Valley University.

Although I had never imagined I would attend UVU, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.  Since my slate was wiped clean (GPA's don't transfer), I was able to get good grades from the start and then enjoy full scholarships the rest of my education.  I was still unsure about my major, but had excellent professors that helped me find discover what I love!  Each professor worked with me as I still commuted to Salt Lake for work, but also helped me finish a year earlier than planned.  That led me to fulfilling a life long goal, college graduation!

Since UVU was so flexible with my schedule, I was able to complete before Dave started his Masters of Accountancy program (graduate tuition and all).  That gave me the opportunity to work full-time.  Although I worked for a great company, my growth was limited at the time and I still lived over an hour away.  I left for a job in Provo that allowed me great opportunities to use my education and work experience.  I loved working for the company, but soon realized my position may not be long-term, nor would allow me to work from home in the future.  We had been trying for almost a year to get pregnant, but with no success.  That led me back to American Insurance.

While working on returning to American Insurance, Dave and I decided to purchase a condo in North Salt Lake.  I did not want to commute again and wanted a place to settle for the time until we were able to finally get pregnant.  A week before we were to close, something unforeseen happened and the condo fell through.  A week later I found out I was pregnant.  That led us to West Jordan.

We found an apartment close to the 
freeway and at the halfway point.  We planned to stay only until Dave finished school and started his full-time job, only 9 months away.  I began working and Dave graduated with flying colors.  We had the most beautiful baby boy.  Although I was so grateful for all we had, being a new mom was definitely challenging for me.  I was unsure of myself and my ability to be a good mom.  Then came time to return to work.  I fell apart, daily.  We didn't know how it was going to work so we decided it would be good to move closer to family when our lease was up.  The day before we were to give our apartment our 30 day notice, I was called to be Young Women's President.  I cried, a lot.  That led us to staying in West Jordan.

At the end of September, Dave began working at Ernst & Young.  Since we now had health insurance, I could cut down on my hours, but still did not know how we would make it work with Zack.  I talked with my manager.  Although it had never been done before, American Insurance allowed me to go very part-time and work solely from home.  I cried again, happy cry this time.  That led me to being a stay at home mom.

The following year had many ups and downs.  Dave traveled a lot.  I was still very unsure about my ability as a mom and now a YW president, but was able to find some of the most incredible women (and their families) I'd ever met here in West Jordan.  I can't even begin to express my gratitude for how much they strengthened me during such challenging times for our little family.  But, we knew it was time once again to pursue buying a home, this time one where we could grow and raise our family.  Our lease is up at the end of this September and I made a commitment to the Bishop to be here a year, but we felt so strongly about looking early.  We had literally scrimped and saved so we would be able to buy the "right" home.  Every time we looked, we would always say we feel the best about Farmington, but could never find anything that fit our requirements.  After lots of looking, we found the one in Farmington.  It had been under contract, but had fallen through just as we started to look.  That leads us to be soon-to-be home owners, hooray!

I felt bad about leaving before I had committed to.  The Sunday after our offer was accepted, the Stake dissolved our ward, releasing everyone from their callings.  That led me to realize how much God really does cares about our circumstances.

It's been years in the making, but we're excited to plant our family roots for a time.  Thank goodness for all those misunderstood circumstances that have all worked out better than I ever could have imagined.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zack's 1st Birthday Tribute.

A couple weeks ago we celebrated lil man's first birthday.  I can't believe how fast time has gone!  Dave and I made this list for our journal so thought we'd share it with you.

Top 10 Favorite Moments of the Last Year (not in any specific order)
1.       Holding Zack for the first time.  He looked up at me and touched my lips, almost to say “Oh there you are Mom!”
2.       Watching Zack get so excited any time he hears the door open and Dad walks in after work.
3.       By some miracle sleeping through the night at Christmas, although Mom and Dad woke up at 5:30 am.  We were too excited to go back to sleep because it was Christmas morning!
4.       Hearing him laugh hysterically for the first time.  It never gets old.
5.       Taking off and crawling to Dad at the Marriott in St. George.
6.       Zack’s baby blessing and having all family and friends there to celebrate with us.
7.       When Zack finally started sleeping through the night.
8.       Watching Zack stand at the window and point to all the birds and continually say “Burrr. Burrr.”
9.       All of his firsts: eating peas, playing in the sand, swimming in the pool.
10.   The little moments we have together as a family: waking up together, morning walks, hide and go seek, bedtime routine, wrestling on the ground and so much more.

Top 10 Worst Moments of the Last Year (not in any specific order)
1.      Months of not sleeping well and the never ending spit up that ruined almost every outfit he wore.
2.     Trying to survive Sunday’s after Zack is 2 hours overdue for his nap while Dave and I both have after church meetings that he’s screaming through.
3.       Dad trying to film Zack’s 1st Birthday and accidentally falling over and breaking the Tupperware his toys were in.
4.       Pooping in the Marriott bathtub in St George.  As Dave put it, “when Zack farts in the tub, he means business.”
5.       Hand Mouth Foot disease, absolutely awful.
6.     Zack cutting his first teeth during the stress of Dad’s busy season, caring for Grandpa Taylor during his back injury and planning Aunt Kierstin’s wedding.
7.       Zack blowing out so bad in his carseat that it leaked everywhere while mom was in the store trying on clothes.  Dave then text his uncle, thinking it was me, telling him to hurry up cuz Zack just pooped all over his carseat.
8.       Sitting at the doctor for four hours trying to collect a urine sample to make sure the red spots in Zack’s diaper were just urine crystals.
9.       In the midst of not sleeping well, we took Zack to the doctor thinking there had to be some health issue.  The doctor told us she hasn’t seen a healthier baby in days.  More money out the door. 
10. Watching my boss catch the continual spit up that was shooting out of Zack with her hand while she was holding him one day at the office.    

Here's to another year!

Friday, July 10, 2009

St. George and California

Hello everyone! It's been quite a while. We've been having too much fun. Two weekends ago, we went down to St. George to take some time off and celebrate both of us finishing up school before Lara started again. We are pleased to say we did it all food, gas and hotel for under 200 bucks! We stayed at the Econo Lodge in St. George and for the price it wasn't bad at all! It was great to relax and hang by the pool. I'm trying to learn how to golf this summer so we went to the driving range and luckily Lara was there to cheer on my horrible swing. We caught up with some good friends at In-n-Out and enjoyed some good food. All in all it was definitely worth the investment. The picture here is a shot of us driving down, I've got all I need with me: my wife and a bag of cheeto puffs.

When we got home we got a letter in the mail saying that Lara received the Huntsman Scholarship at UVU. It covers full tuition and books for this next year of school! We have been so blessed, the Lord has really provided for our needs in this difficult time with both of us being in school. Lara has worked hard for it and really deserves it.

After a short week we escaped to California to visit my parents. It was too much of party and went too fast. First on Thursday my dad and I went golfing. That was a riot considering our lack of skill and our ridiculously white legs and matching socks. I think we were both humbled by the experience. My favorite part was my Dad's tribute to Michael Jackson with his brand new white golf glove I got him for Father's Day.

On Friday we went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, despite being ridiculously crowded it was a blast and we enjoyed being on some sweet rollercoasters and checking out the cool animals. My favorite was the sloth that took 3 minutes to itch its head!

Saturday for the 4th we had our ward breakfast in the morning, followed by a Giants game. We had nice club seats from my dads work and saw a great game. That night we enjoyed the fireworks at the local central park.

Sunday we had the whole crew together for dinner, which I think has been the first time in a long while. We had Lara and I with my parents along with my brother and his girlfriend Kelly. We had a blast and laughed watching old kids videos after dinner.

It all ended too quickly and now it's back to school and work. Luckily Lara's a genius, despite not studying all weekend in California, with the curve she got a 96 on her midterm the day after getting back. She's a smart cookie.

As for me I'm home with a cold I picked it up somewhere between all the crowds we've been around this past week. I think Lara had it first because her throat was sore, but then it got better. My immune system is a girly man. Everytime I get exposed to slightest germ I get the worst cold that lasts for days. It's very frustrating. Hopefully you can't catch colds from blog posts. Take care.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Living the Dream

So, updates, where do we start? Lara is a champion. She just finished her 12 credit term in 6 weeks! Not to mention she probably ended up with a 4.0. (That's right, even in Air Traffic Control) She was excited to finish her last final last night, and have a little room to breathe. To celebrate both of us completing this last semester, we are going to see the new Transformers movie (we're such nerds!) and then on Friday and Saturday we are going to St. George and our ridiculous college budget got us two nights at the Econo Lodge! It should be a blast, I guess I better get over my fear of cockroaches. Any ideas of what to do down there?, we'd love to hear.

So other good news, the elders quorum put together a intramural softball team. We ended up winning the championship and got "The most coveted shirt on campus." We are playing again this summer and hope to repeat... I can't take any credit for the win I did good not to break my nose after the first game.

I had another recruiting event a couple weeks ago, this one was with Ernst & Young. We had a two day conference in Salt Lake, Lara was able to come to the dinner with the partners one night and a barbecue the following day. I'm glad I take her to these things, because I'm the farthest thing from sociable. She made a good enough impression that we got invited to their awards ceremony the next week, it's called the Entrepreneur of the Year competition where they select successful up and coming companies in the local market. It was a nice, formal event, they pulled out all the stops, we had steak and salmon and more silverware than I've ever seen in my life! We got to meet a lot of cool people there. It was very impressive.

As far as other good news, I finished up school last week, it's the first time since my mission that I wasn't enrolled in school full time. I love it! I've never felt such freedom, I go home after work and I have free time. It's great. I don't want the fall to come.

Next week we are going to visit my family in California, it should be a blast we'll keep you updated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Been a Long Time!

Hey Everybody! It's been a while. We apologize for the lack of blogs, we have just been so busy and to be honest, we haven't accustomed to this whole blogging world. So just a brief update. Lara and I both had a pretty intense semester. I just wrapped up the Jr. Core in the accounting program, which is BYU's equivalent of hell. Nonetheless, I learned a lot and I'm glad to have completed it. I'm waiting to hear back this week whether or not I got into the MAcc (Master of Accountancy) program. If I do I guess you can say I'll be a MAcc daddy! Lara had just as rough a go at things in school taking 15 credit hours and working 30 hours a week in Salt Lake. She's a saint! We were glad when this last semester ended although we didn't do the best job of scheduling. I finished finals when Lara started hers and I started a Spring Term when Lara finished her Winter term, now we are both up to our heads in school again. I'm taking PHIL 110 to finish up generals and am learning all the things I don't know (it's not a good feeling if you haven't ever taken a Philosophy class before, I don't recommend it.) Lara's taking a plethora of classes including Air Traffic Control (long story you'll have to ask her about that one...)

So as far as other news, Lara just got called to the Relief Society Presidency in our ward, which topped her plate! She cried when she got the call, but she is perfect for the job. I just found out that I got accepted to PwC's National Leadership Adventure. It's a week long recruiting event that the firm picks 200 students in the nation to go spend a week in Chicago and learn about the firm and develop leadership schools, it will be pretty exciting, I head out there in July. Lara unfortunately won't be able to go with me, but we booked instead a trip to California for an extended week and can't wait to take a break from the madness and get out of the bubble. Anywho that's about all the news I can think of. Keep in touch, and if anyone has any blogging advice let us know!