Monday, August 27

Back to School

Well, today was my first day at BYU. 

I had two English classes, then work, then Spanish, and back to work to help close. 

Tomorrow I have two religion classes (D&C and LDS Marriage & Family), then work, then Spanish. 

I see a pattern in the making. 

Dalin's schedule was just as crazy. He also had several transitions between work and class. 

I have a feeling this is going to be one crazy semester. But it's only three months long. And I have Dalin who I know will help me to get through it. 

In other news, I received my associate's degree from BYU-Idaho in the mail today! It was really exciting. It reassured me that I am more than halfway there. The past two years really did fly by, and I sure hope that the next two will as well. I am so ready for the next part of our married life. 

Big smiles because I have my associate's degree! Thank you, BYU-Idaho! You will always be my favorite! 
I know school and learning are very important and that our knowledge is the one thing we can take with us in this life, but it can be so hard to remain motivated. My only suggestion to avoid back to school blues would be, think of the end goal. Gain a perspective of why you are doing the things you are doing. I remind myself that I ultimately want to be able to contribute to our family income by editing books from home so that I might also be a stay-at-home mom. Not only that, but I think of my children and how I want to be the ultimate example to them. I want to prove to them that hard work and perseverance pay off. 

Yes, that sounds cliché, and yes it probably is. But Dalin and I have the goal of an eternal family in mind and honestly, nothing is higher on our priority list. 

Saturday, August 18

It was only just a dream...or was it?

Well, we are home. Our home is at little 300 Wymount Terrace in little Provo, Utah. We just returned from a marvelous trip to my lovely home state of New Hampshire. While Utah will never be my real home, I am starting to accept that it's okay if it is my temporary home...for a little while. We have about two years left of school at BYU and then we are free to do as we like. 

Can I just say, that being married while in school is so much easier. Probably because the boyfriend who was a huge distraction before is now a permanent, less obvious distraction that I see daily and who is more helpful and less likely to make me want to skip class. Our overall priority is to learn, earn some major moolah, graduate, and begin our family a.s.a.p. So far, the only thing we have succeeded at doing is learning. In our marriage, we are learning lots of things, like how to communicate better, trust one another, have patience, and share our thoughts. It is a lot of work--equivalent to a full-time job--but it is the best job I've ever had! ;)

Now it's time to re-cap our trip. 

A Little Visit to New Hampshire 
August 4 ~ Our travel day & arrival
Finally got to see my mom after an entire year. Wayyy  too long. 
I cried the second I saw my family waving to me from behind the glass. Especially when I saw Donovan. I can't believe I am missing him during his growing years. He is going to be a teenager this month which is simply unbelievable to me. It was so nice also to get home and see Payson again, hug my mom and dad, and to see my little doggie back in the comfort of my parents' home. 

August 5 ~ Visit to my old ward & visit with my 96-year old great grandmother
How nice was it to be back in my home ward? So nice. I realized I had missed everyone and just the spirit of the meetings back home. After church, we visited my great grandmother, Nana Kane, at the nursing home where she lives. It brought me to tears seeing how tired and worn she is, but she still brought smiles to our faces as she hugged and kissed her great grandson, Donovan. It was so nice to catch up with family. 

August 6 ~ Pirate's Cove beach, downtown Portsmouth & lobster with best friends
Today was a good day to visit the ocean. We opted to go to Pirate's Cove, which is more public than the beach we typically go to, but Donovan had wanted to show us how he could wakeboard and so we humored him. It was a very pretty, sunny day. As you can see, we all enjoyed the soft ocean water. 
  Donovan and I had fun burying Payson in the sand. 
Then Donovan had fun dumping cold sea water on me. 
Here's us, being a cute married couple out on the town haha. We ate chips and salsa in downtown Portsmouth then headed home where we had Megan and Sarah over for lobster (which, for those who do not know, is my absolute favorite food)! 
Hanging out with my best friends, eating some amazing lobster. Or as they say in New England, "lobstah." ;)

August 7 ~ Haircut, trip to Boston Temple, Quincy Market & Red Sox game
On this morning I got a haircut. Finally. Then we headed down to Boston with Donovan and Mom so that Dalin and I could do some sealings at the temple where we were married just over a year ago. We had a fun time taking some pictures in front of our gorgeous temple, too. 
After our visit to the Boston temple, we took the T to Quincy Market for a clam chowder bread bowl and a delicious $7 smoothie. But it was totally worth it. We had had both on our honeymoon  the year before which is why we made it a point to stop there for dinner.
After, we took the T to Fenway and watched the Red Sox play the Rangers. We had ridiculously good seats and had a blast even though we lost the game. 
Home-run smooch
Please notice how amazing our seats were. My dad is awesome for getting those for us. Also notice how cute my little brother is. I love him so much! Anyway, it was a terrific day in Boston.

August 8 ~ Beans & Greens, Mill Falls, Jetskiing, & Johnson's ice cream
We began the day by visiting my old workplace, Beans & Greens farm, and getting some delicious panini sandwiches for lunch. Then, Donovan, Mom, and us drove to Mill Falls and walked around the fun bookstores and quaint shops. We also spent some money at the candy store. 
After, we jetskied on Lake Winnipesaukee and then went out for ice cream with the family. 

With my boys :) Dalin, Donny, Payson, and Dad. 

August 9 ~ 21st birthday, Ice House, Fort Stark, mall trip, steakhouse & Silver Fountain Inn

Well today I turned 21. I really had nothing in mind for my birthday, so naturally my decision was to go to the ocean. We went to Fort Stark and scoured the beach for sea glass. We ate lunch and ice cream at the Ice House, and then went to the Fox Run Mall to shop. The only thing I really wanted for my birthday was a cute toe ring. We found two, and I love them. After the mall, we met my dad at a steakhouse for dinner. The food was extremely good. Then, as a little surprise for my birthday and for our upcoming anniversary, my mother reserved a place for us at the Silver Fountain Inn--the very place we stayed on our wedding night. It's a complicated explanation, but basically we ended up staying at home with the family despite her really thoughtful gift. We wanted to save Mom's money but more importantly, we knew we only had limited time to spend with the family and so we made that choice. 

August 10 ~ Rainy day, Moultonboro Country Store, & Moulton Farms
It poured today, and I loved it. I had been waiting for rain for too long. We decided today to visit one of the oldest country stores in the country--Moultonboro Country Store. It has lots of fun gifts and old fashioned candy there, too. We walked around together and then headed to a local farm-stand to get fresh food for lunch.
View of the store in the pouring rain
Who got me those sweet blue jeggings, you ask? None other than my smart, tasteful husband.

August 11 ~ Kittery, Maine, Fort Foster, & Bugaboo Creek
It was another ocean day today. We went to Fort Foster and even though it was overcast, who doesn't love a sweatshirt day at the beach? I endured the windiness, knowing once I returned to Utah I would regret not loving every moment spent at the ocean. 
Skipping rocks at the ocean
With my best friend and eternal companion
After the beach, we drove to downtown Kittery, Maine to visit a huge candy store and Kittery Trading Post. We ate at Bugaboo Creek for dinner. 
With two cuties in Kittery

August 12 ~ Church, Andy & Molly's lake house, water volleyball & word games
After Church on Sunday, we took a few family pictures outside. They came out pretty great, and I especially like this one where everyone is all smiles...and no one blinked. 
My eternal family :)
I cannot share how much I love this picture
We headed to Andy and Molly's lakehouse for some water volleyball and quality family time. We stayed late and played word games like Boggle and Bananagrams. It was a great Sunday/family night.

August 13 ~ Fort Foster, browsing around downtown Portsmouth & ice cream at Annabelle's
Very nice day today. Because the weather was good, we went back to Fort Foster (my favorite beach because it less busy than most) and soaked up some sun. 

I loved watching them play :) Dalin, Payson, and Donovan
Once we were tired of the beach for the day, we packed up and went to downtown Portsmouth for ice cream at Annabelle's. We finished the day with another lobster dinner.
Eating lobster (again!) at home. The best.
August 14 ~ Lunch at Uno's, Tilton Outlet Mall & friend's night
We had a difficult time deciding what to do with the day, but since we were exhausted, we ended up taking it easy and going out for lunch--just the two of us--then we did some light shopping at an outlet mall. 
We had friends over for a game night later on and it was really enjoyable. 

August 15 ~ Funspot, dinner with grandparents & parenthood practice
We tried to take it easy today as well. We went to Funspot--the world's largest arcade--located in Meredith, New Hampshire, and played lots of games just for fun. On one game, I won the "Monster Jackpot." Not even just the regular jackpot. I won over one thousand tickets and it took forever to get them all. But it was so cool, so it was definitely worth it. 
Shortly after I won...these are only a fraction of the tickets 
Later that night, we went back to Andy and Molly's lakehouse to babysat our cousins, Jack and Cael for the night. My grandparents took us all out for dinner then brought us some ice cream. They are so wonderful :)
He is going to be the best dad. The boys loved  him. 
Out to eat with my grandparents
Handsome boys :)
August 16 ~ Panera Bread & Canobie Lake Park
We went out for lunch at Payson's favorite cafe chain and then to New Hampshire's amusement park called Canobie Lake for our very first time. My dad couldn't make it, which I felt bad about, but we had a good time--particularly on the water rides. 
After getting soaked on "The Boston Tea Party" ride
A really good picture of us on the log ride--pre-getting soaked
Waiting in line to ride the Corkscrew...ouch
My mom came on a ride with us! She hardly ever can, but it was so awesome that she did! 
In the photo booth...with our own camera ;)
We stayed until 10pm, when the park closed, and slept on the way home. It was a really good close to our trip. 

August 17 ~ The Sad Return 
The dreaded day. I was so anti-leaving, I would have been willing to quit my job and switch schools if I didn't have Dalin. But life can be hard, and though leaving New Hampshire and my family was really hard (and we were all in tears at the airport though we had promised we wouldn't be), I am comforted knowing that my family is forever and that no matter how long we are apart in this life, I have them for eternity. Knowing this, and having the loving hand of my husband to hold as we went through security leaving my family behind, were the only things that comforted me as we got on our plane to return to--what is temporarily--our home. 
Bye New Hampshire. I love everything about you. 
Our backyard on a wonderful rainy day
Gorgeous oceans

Monday, August 13

Our Little Trip to Paradise...

Hello Blogging World, 

We have been somewhat lost to the cyber world for the majority of August. But for a good terrific reason--we've been in my lovely home state of New Hampshire! In past posts, I have not disguised my "dislike" for Utah so I will not sugarcoat things: I really really REALLY do not want to go back there.

But, that's life, and since my husband and I unfortunately both attend school there, we do not have too many options. Fortunately, my mother (and everyone else around me) persists in reminding me to enjoy college life and that we only have two years left. Two. Years. I am literally counting down.
(Okay not literally...but in the back of my head, I certainly am keeping track)

So here I am, sitting on my computer, in my parents' home (and mine too) in little Gilford, New Hampshire, pleasantly tired, but elated that I still have a few more days in this beautiful place. The past week has been wonderful. The eighth month of the year is wonderful. 

During the typically sweltering heat of August, my family celebrates many birthdays (my mom on the 3rd, myself on the 9th, Payson on the 22nd, Donovan on the 28th, and a few cousins and aunts and uncles in between). We often combine the cake portion of the parties, because four cakes in one month is a little excessive. Our days are mainly spent driving to Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, shopping and playing in the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean. With August being such an important month in our family, Dalin and I absolutely had to be a part of the festivities. Plus going a year without seeing my family was absolutely ridiculous and I would not do that ever again.

Therefore, Dalin and I came to New Hampshire! For two weeks! My mother purchased our tickets months and months in advance. I was counting down in April. Every day until I arrived was just painful. I could not be happier when we touched down in our Southwest airliner in the well-forested New Hampshire landscape. The mere thought of seeing my family--particularly my brother Donovan filled my eyes with tears. My joy was full.

Upon seeing my family waiting for me behind the glass in the Manchester Airport, I promptly started bawling. Even more so as I laid eyes on my twelve-year old brother, Donovan, who had grown tremendously and was now at my eye level. As I tearfully greeted my family, I could not help but notice that my crying (sobbing) was attracting curious stares from other airport-goers, but the moment was just so joyful for me that it did not matter at all. After collecting our luggage, we stepped into the muggy New Hampshire air, but the humidity felt wonderful. I had missed its soothing warmth and moisture, which for me was like a comforting blanket around me. At home, it being past three in the morning by then, I sneaked into my parents' bedroom and hugged my father hello and goodnight. He tiredly whispered "hello" back. That first night, I truly was incandescently happy--I was finally reunited with my loving family.

The days following our arrival have also been wonderful. I intend to write about them, but it's late here, and my hair is still soaking from my shower and now seeping through Dalin's sweatshirt, which I'm wearing to bed. I think it's the first time I've been able to wear a sweatshirt in months. Having A/C here at home is certainly preferable to the sweltering dry heat in our Utah apartment anyway.

Before I go to bed, I will just add that in other news, Dalin and I will begin celebrating our first anniversary on August 19th! How has it been a year already? I am sure every couple asks this question, but seriously. We just got married. Like last week.

Anyway, I will tell you more about this past year and our discoveries from being married at another time. For now, I need to go snuggle with my cute, scruffy (he's growing a beard while he has the chance--BYU rules...), and cozy husband. ;)