Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Truly, This is News

Well life has been eventful this last week. Riley is getting anxious as the last two and a half weeks of school approach. This marks a rise in our activity for the year. General Conference is around the corner, Riley's Protest the Hero concert comes next, then  we will celebrate his birthday the following weekend (yay!) and then it's finals, the end of school and onto the endless party! At least until June 28th.

Yesterday I received an e-mail telling me about a special offer going on at Taylor Andrews Academy of Hair Design, a cosmetology school I had been looking into for the last little while. Well what was this great offer, you may ask? Half off tuition. What? That's right, half. The only stipulation was that we had to pay it in full by March 2nd. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family that has been watching out for me. My parents gave me a portion of money that my Great-Grandpa Josephek put aside for me to go to school and it covers almost 3/4 of what I would need to put down. Riley and I discussed it and decided if I am going to go to Cosmetology school that this is the time to do it and I wont likely be able to get a deal like this at another place with such a prestigious name tied to my degree, or almost anywhere, so we're gonna do it! I'm still kind of dumb-struck with it all. I'm excited, but I don't really know what to do with myself yet. Go crazy, and blog about it I guess! By the way I'm gonna brag about Riley in all this, he is the most encouraging, kind and loving man in the entire world. He is nothing other than perfectly supportive and uplifting about all this. I almost wonder if he's more excited about it than I am, ha! So there you have it. The partying will take a small break for a while when June 28th arrives, and off to school I go. Here's the link to their blog, if any of you are mildly interested. Hooray for life!

Well, much love to you all, and we hope life is loving you as much as we are loving it. Till next time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learning- A Life Long Recurring Confrontation.For the Best.

This last week I was asked to give my thoughts at a Relief Society activity regarding the phrase "Love life and Learning" in the Relief Society Declaration. This was nearly an entire week ago, but I can't stop thinking about it. When the assignment was first given I was really taken aback that they would ask me to do it. For one, I'm not in school and not really doing much learning. In the last few months the things I've learned best are cooking, cleaning and how to be a better wife. But as Riley and I are the youngest and almost the newest married couple in the ward, sharing those things would seem kind of lost to the air by the time I spoke them as everyone else there has learned these thing, likely, much better and have known them far longer. Needless to say I was a little discouraged. Not only for this reason, but the glitch in the logic was something that had been bothering me for a while now. I didn't feel like I was learning anything. I didn't feel like I was expanding in any way and I didn't feel like I had anything of value to add to conversation or relationships. I've sort of made myself a recluse recently and hadn't recognized it until I was given the responsibility of teaching on something I decidedly had no knowledge about, something that had been the crux of my most developed current weakness, and I had to get out of my shell and face people to do it. 

 Before I share what I've learned I'll quickly share that it was difficult to start, and unfortunately I procrastinated dealing with the issue until the day or so before the event. Usually this would mean I fell short and learned nothing but as this was such an important task I was blessed. God is gracious and knows me far better than I do, and knows the women I was to speak to far better than I do. He really went to town on me when I finally sat down to mull the issue over and study up on what I was going to say. And somehow in the middle of all my confusion and inadequacies he taught me one of the best lessons. A lesson everyone needs regardless of the point of education you are in, your age, your gender or career; be it mother, politician, student, doctor or anything else. Learning is good. 

Learning is a life long recurring confrontation, in all the best ways.  There is something that ignites within us when we are learning and when we are teaching. There is something about opening the mind to let in something new, that will uplift and shape who we are that  magnifies the awe, enthusiasm and passion with in us. Learning literally makes us better. And anyone can do it no matter where they are in life. Maybe that was the most important thing God taught me. That every single thing we do, every habit we form, confront or live by, and every word we speak with another person, every item our eyes can fall upon, every idea we imagine is a learning moment. Sometimes we just forget to let it develop that far and really teach us something. But all of those things were given to us in this life as lessons to learn. What is this life if not a learning period? To learn what's right and wrong. To learn kindness and charity to expand ourselves and lift others in friendship. To learn how this world came to be and all other forms of fact and science. To learn how to communicate or make processes and life better or simpler. To learn how to imprint a full life's knowledge on a growing mind of a child you love. To learn of God. If we can learn to look at everything in this world, everything in this life as a lesson we are yet to learn how exciting would that be? I know when I make connections in typical everyday things that I never thought of before I feel like the whole world is at my finger tips and that I can accomplish anything, even if in not as many words and in a smaller form of joy. It makes me love life all over again! I don't know. I guess what I'm getting at is that I've rediscovered a wonderful truth and it's made my world brighter. And that's something I want to share  with you all. A lesson from one curious mind to another. 

"The wisest mind has something yet to learn"
-George Santayana

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Singing and Spring Cleaning

Well hasn't it been a while? Somewhere within a whole week, I think. At least it's a change from the near month long hiatus that was our habit before. 

Well it's finally happened... I caught the spring cleaning fever! I've never had the urge to gut and clean everything before, but this was the year. The last three days have been a cleaning extravaganza, and  it looks as if it will continue until every last inch is scrubbed clean. In example; We finally took down the Christmas lights on the patio we never used because it was far too cold (and now that we're able to walk out on it again, it was time to take them down.) But this is not all. I also cleaned out every cleaning device in our home and washed every cloth, sock, sheet and cup and then cleaned out the cleaning devices again! It's been a productive couple of days to be sure.

Not only has it been a cleaning week though, we also had a fun little night in there to celebrate St. Patties day. We cranked up the Flogging Molly, Whipped up some colcannon and made ourselves some corned beef brisket. It was Riley's first sampling of the dishes, my first time cooking them, and it was a success! We topped it all off with some festive green pot holders, a scrumptious juice (As festive as we are we did substitute the ale) , and ate ourselves into a coma. It was splendid!

It seems the cooking mood has persisted in our home about as much as the cleaning too. This more morning we spoiled ourselves with sleeping in late and spending more time on breakfast than the full, arduous minute it would usually take to pull out the milk, a spoon and  a bowl. No, this morning we piled our plates high and decided, with this sort of treatment, we should open a bed and breakfast! Although, as we're not really in a position to house many occupants we might have to limit that to guests in the mornings, and family that comes to visit and set up camp in our living room. Hear that Mama and Papa Lake? Hear that Mamo and Papo? We have decided that all guests get the bed and breakfast special of piled high plates! A demonstration? Well of course. I wouldn't dare deny you an example! 

Looks good enough to eat right? Well that's sort of what we did. pretty sure I paced a few good ones on after these last few days. But we enjoyed pacing em on, so it was worth it, right? To put things into perspective, this was us the whole way through the morning. 

Definitely a great morning. Ha ha, and just for the record, this was the biggest orange I have ever seen in my life. Pretty sure the thing was falling out as we were taking the picture it was too big to keep in.Well, this has been the Monson week. Hope yours has been as exciting. Till next time.
 Goodnight and Good luck.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reviewing Time, Mostly Well Spent

 It has been an eventful few weeks! As far as our happy simple life goes, at least. And the thing I've learned best? Basically just how much I love life and how much I love Riley. There are a good number of other things in there, but those are the most important ones. So, in light of these things I learned, I want to take a minute and brag about how wonderful my husband is.  The other day I had this huge urge to go and spend some time with kittens at a humane society. I'd been looking at places we could potentially move to and some of them had the option of having pets...and it sparked something in me. I decided I wold really like to have a cat. So I woke up bright and early the next morning and rolled Riley over and proclaimed I wanted to go to the humane society! He wasn't exactly thrilled. Riley doesn't really like pets. Well despite all this he got up and we tracked down the address and went on our merry way. An hour later on what should have been a 15 minute or so drive and endless searching we discovered the address we had found was non-existent. I was so angry I started crying for no real reason other than pent up irrational frustration. Well Riley noticed this and being the wonderful man he is decided to put aside his disdain for pets and drover up and down that street twice more to try and find it and then, when all else failed, he took me into town and found a PetSmart so I could go see some kittens. What a wonderful husband I have!

More news, we had the opportunity to go to the temple for the first time in a long time and it was lovely. I love the peace that comes when we're there. Every time it seems that when we walk through those doors every extra weight on our shoulders just dissipates and breathing comes easier and loving come more abundantly. We just love it! We really should do better about making it a weekly thing. It puts life into perspective, and somehow I sometimes forget it. But this was a wonderful reminder and we're determined to go more regularly.

On a slightly less holy note, we also got to take Riley's little cousin Garion to the Zoo with us this last weekend. Now THAT was quite the adventure. He's the most energetic, enthusiastic little flaming red-headed eight year old I've ever met in my life. Well, he's just the most energetic eight year old I've met. The fact that he's a red-head really doesn't hold much weight in it. I suppose it just makes him seem that much more like a fire cracker! I mean, I have never seen this kid walk, say anything slower that 10 mph and his attention span in about the length of a good knock-knock joke.This held true that day as well. We practically ran from cage to cage and only stopped to look at the Elephants and the Giraffes for any real length of time. We probably saw every square inch of that place, including the portion that is being remodeled, just for good measure.BUT it was a success in the end. As we were driving back home, feeling the average energy of two full days drained from our bodies I looked into the back seat, where there was silence, and there was Garion, half asleep in his seat! It was a miracle.

Speaking of miracles, it was a miracle I posted! It's been a while and this has been one of the last things on my mind. But hey, this is life. I guess it's safe to confess though, the reason it's been so far from my mind is in part due to the fact that I've been very irresponsible and letting a t.v. show consume a great deal of my time. This Netflix thing is all at once a great little tool and at the same time a nuisance to the rest of my days. Have any of you ever seen the show Bones? Man. It is good. Riley and I Started watching it together and when I had my days off I got a little carried away....There are 5 seasons available on Netflix, and I finished them all last weekend. Riley and I together are still in the beginning of season 4. I know! Two full seasons ahead. What have I done?! It's a good thing I finished though. Now I have time to be responsible again. Phew. Well that's all I have to say about that. Hope life is lovely. Till next time!