April 30, 2013


Today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge.  I got through most of the posts, so I'm happy about what I accomplished.  Even though I didn't get around to writing about it, I do actually have bucket list goals for the letters V, W and Y.  So, here there are.


I'm not a big meat eater.  In fact, most of what meat I do eat is chicken.  If I do eat red meat, it's usually in meals like spaghetti or tacos.

Back during my college days, I did cut out red meat completely and liked it.  My husband also was a vegetarian for awhile, but had to change his ways during his time as an LDS missionary.  Both of us have expressed interest in going completely meat free, but haven't quite committed to it yet.  We have, however, lowered our meat intake and usually try to have at least one vegetarian meal for dinner each week.

Because of all this, I'd really like to live a vegetarian lifestyle for at least one year.  I'm curious to know if I'd love it or hate it.  I'm not sure when I'll do this because I do know if I want my children to live a meat-free life as well.  It wouldn't be hard to accommodate both lifestyles, but it would be ideal if we were all on the same page.

Are any of you vegetarians?  What are your motives?


{w}:  a healthy WEIGHT

My weight has fluctuated a lot over the last few years.  All in all, I am over weight and am usually uncomfortable in my own skin.

One day, I looked at myself in the mirror and didn't like what I saw.  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks that I didn't have to look this way.  While that may sound completely absurd, I realized that day how my weight is both a physical and mental health problem.  I had no idea I believed I couldn't change.

A goal I have in life is not to be super skinny, but to be at a healthy weight based on my height and maintain it throughout my life.  I've always struggled with being active.  I'm not one of those people that adores sports and playing them all day long.  So, maintaining a healthy weight for me will include adding activities to my every day routine.  While I'd love a gym membership, it's just not in the cards for me right now.  Instead, I need to be different ways to stay active.  I'd like to start running and I've heard there are so many benefits to jump roping, so I think I'll begin there.

I think this is an important goal not only for me, but also for my family.  I want to be an example of health to my girls, but not in an unhealthy way.  I don't want them hearing me complain about my weight.  I don't want them seeing me try every diet in the book only to fail.  

I realize I shoulder great responsibility with my girls in terms of body image.  I can't prevent them from seeing the misguided pictures of what society deems beautiful.  I probably can't prevent them from, at one point in time, feeling like they are overweight or not pretty.  

I can, however, be an example to them of leading a healthy lifestyle.  If I want them to eat fruits and veggies, I have to eat fruits and veggies.  If I want them to exercise, I have to exercise.  If I want them to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, I have to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

I feel blessed that I have a desire to change my habits.  Only good things can come from it.


{y}:  YOUR song

I think one of the most romantic songs ever is Elton John's Your Song.  It's a simple song with beautiful lyrics.  I could listen to it multiple times a day and never get sick of it.  In my mind, it's timeless.

I would LOVE to see Elton John in concert and hear him sing this song live.  

That would be totally awesome.


And that is wrapping up my A to Z Challenge for this year.  Thanks to everyone who commented!

April 24, 2013


For as long as I can remember, I have hated my arms.  Wearing a tank top or anything sleeveless was never an option for me.  And, over the years, fashion trends have not been kind to me in terms of finding clothes that have long enough short sleeves that I'm comfortable in.

Needless to say, I love long-sleeve weather.

But, I'm done hating my arms.  And, despite how silly this may seem, it was only recently that I truly came to understand that I can change the way my arms look.  If not, I'll end up with very flabby underarms indeed.  And I don't want that at all.

What I want is to be comfortable in short sleeves and to have healthy, toned underarms. 

Not crazy Madonna arms, but nice Michelle Obama arms.

I'm in the process of finding a good arm workout routine that I can do easily at home.  If you have any tips let me know!

Obviously, this will be an ongoing goal since my weight will fluctuate from time to time.  But, I'm still putting it on my bucket list because it's something that has bothered me for way too long and will be a great feeling when I finally can say that I love my arms!

April 23, 2013

{t}: TIMES square on NYE

Since I'll be living in NYC and already brave the crowds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I may as well round out the year in Times Square.

Yes, I hope to ring in a new year while standing on the streets in Times Square.  I know it'll be beyond crazy with people.  I know every inch of my body will be freezing.  And I know it'll be even crazier walking or riding the subway back to my house {or hotel}.

But, it'll be totally worth it.

April 22, 2013

{s}: SNOW sports

I've lived in Utah almost my entire life.

And I've never, I repeat NEVER, been ski or snowboarding.


To my fellow Utahns, I apologize for disgracing Utah and bringing shame upon all those who live in this great state.  I also apologize to all those people that travel from miles away to enjoy the Utah snow when all I do is complain about it.

In all seriousness, I am pretty disappointed with myself for never taking to the slopes.  I don't know if I'd enjoy skiing or snowboarding better, but I do know I need to try it for at least one season.  At first, I 

thought this goal would just be "go ski or snowboarding."  But then I realized that is hardly a difficult goal.  So, I'm changing it to buying a season pass at one of the many resorts and use it diligently throughout the winter season.

Now that is a lofty goal for me!

I'm pretty sure the pictures above illustrate what my skill level will be in a few years. :)

April 20, 2013

{r}: READ

I already have a goal to read all of Jane Austen's books, but I wanted to include another item about reading anyway.  And that is to read one book each month for 12 consecutive months. 

This may seem like a strange goal to some people, but for me it'll be a huge accomplishment.  While I love to read, I tend not to make time for it.  And, I tend to read really, really slow.  When I hear people say, "Man, it took me an entire week to read that book!"  I'm always amazed.  If I finish a book in a week I think I must be way advanced.

Anyway, this goal can go hand-in-hand with my Jane Austen goal, or I may find a different book to read.  Either way, I think this will be a great way for me to teach my children about the importance of reading and making sure I take time out for myself as much as possible.

April 19, 2013


My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Montreal, Quebec.  During our trip, we went to Quebec City which is home to the beautiful Le Chateau Frontenac.  It's an absolutely stunning hotel.  We walked through it and had the money to spend the night there, but we decided against it.

I hope to one day go back to beautiful Quebec City and spend the night in this fabulous hotel.  Maybe by that time I'll know how to speak a little French too. 

April 18, 2013

{p}: macy's thanksgiving day PARADE

My parents were lucky enough to score tickets to the Salt Lake City winter olympics opening ceremony in 2002.  I, like so many others, had to watch it on TV.  From what I heard, my experience was nowhere near as fascinating as seeing all the events unfold face to face.

There are so many things like this, things that I only ever see on TV, and it's such a shame.  I doubt I'll ever score opening ceremony tickets, but there are a few things I imagine I can see live.  One of which being the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  After all, I'll already be living in NYC.  :)

While I imagine it is a complete madhouse getting to the parade, finding a place to watch, etc., life is too short not to at least try to see certain things in person.

April 17, 2013


I began taking violin lessons when I was in kindergarten, and I continued taking lessons as a college student.  Throughout all those years, I participated in school orchestras - one in junior high, one in high school and one in college.  Orchestra allowed me to meet wonderful people, learn how to work with groups and to travel to a variety of places including San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and China.

If you've never played with an orchestra, you're missing out.  It is a thrilling experience.  It is also intense and tiring and bloody.  I don't mean bloody figuratively.  I mean it literally.  My poor fingertips. And, how about playing under the direction of this guy?  Can you imagine?  I can...and did!


Anyway, I haven't been apart of an orchestra for a long time.  I miss playing my violin on a regular basis.  These days, I find myself only ever playing in church or at funerals.  Don't get me wrong, playing in church is fun and I'm always humbled when I'm asked to play at someone's funeral.  Overall, though, they are not enough to keep up my skills.

So, I have a goal to be apart of a community orchestra.  I've researched them in my area and know which one I'll join, but when I am able to do that is still up in the air.  I love my daughters and all, but they sure do make it impossible for me to do whatever I want whenever I want.  :)

The most difficult part about this goal will be arranging the family schedule so I'm able to go to rehearsals.  I figure it's worth shaking things up a bit.  After all, I want my girls to know I have talents that exceed making mac and cheese.

April 16, 2013

{n}: NYC

I love New York.  Love it.  I've only been there once, but in those few days I knew it was a place I could easily call home.  I love the city.  I love that so many people walk and take public transportation.  I love that things are just crazy in Times Square, but completely quiet just a few blocks north.  I just love it!

Because of all this, I hope to one day live in New York for at least 6 months.  I'd love to be in the city, but would settle for living elsewhere so long as access to the city was very convenient. 

This most likely could only be achieved by making it work - uprooting ourselves, finding work and just moving there instead of waiting for the opportunity to present itself.  Or, perhaps I can accomplish it by going on a service mission with my husband for the LDS church.  

This may very well be an extremely unrealistic goal, but I have to have at least one thing like this on my list, right?  

April 15, 2013

{m}: MASTER'S degree

After I earned my bachelor's degree in Family Studies, I had every intention of continuing my education and obtaining a master's degree.

Well, life got in the way and I was clearly suppose to take another path.  While I don't regret the changes I made with respect to my education, I'd still like to think I could earn an additional degree.  The bragging rights alone make it a worthwhile endeavor.

So, onto the bucket list it goes:  earn a master's degree.  

I'm actually open to many areas of study, but I most likely will keep it similar to my bachelor's degree.  More specifically family life education or marriage and family therapy.

I'd like to think I could begin this goal once both of my children are in school full-time, which is in five years.  It could be possible to take classes during the day.  It all depends on how crazy I'm willing to let our life become.

Officially, when I hope to accomplish this goal is TBD.

April 13, 2013

{l}: LETTERS to my girls

For whatever reason, coming up with something for L was rather difficult.  I browsed the Internet for ideas, and landed on one that is just plain awesome.

I am going to write letters to my daughters and give them to them the day they graduation from high school. 

At the end of the year {perhaps this can be something I do every New Year's Eve}, I'll write a letter to each girl.  Maybe the letter will include funny things they said, the TV shows they watched most often, the music they liked, the celebrity crushes they had.  But, most importantly, it'll include something they taught me and how they helped me become a better person.

Assuming I don't have any more children, this goal will be complete in 2031.

Wish me luck!

April 12, 2013

{k}: KISS on top of Eiffel Tower

Even though I already have a trip to Europe on my bucket list, I felt this goal needed to be in it's own category.  While my husband has already been to France and seen the Eiffel Tower, I never have.  And because it'll be such a great experience FINALLY seeing the tower, I want to make it memorable.

So, my goal for K is to kiss Dustin at the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I'm not a particularly romantic person, but that doesn't mean I don't like romance.  And this goal is just that, in my opinion.

April 11, 2013


I used to write in a journal every single day.  I wrote more than what I had done that day.  I wrote about my thoughts and feelings.  I used to collect journals and would buy one whenever I went some place new.  I'd write in the front cover where the journal was purchased, the date, etc.

Even though I have my blog{s}, I still think it is important to keep handwritten journals.  My parents have several of my grandparents' old journals.  I miss my grandparents a lot and think reading through their journals, seeing their handwriting, would be a good way to remember them.

I hope, when I'm long gone, someone will be curious about reading more about me.  This is why I've set a goal to write in a journal every single day for one year.  This goal will be very simple to accomplish.  All I need to do is put a journal close to my bed and write at least one sentence in it every night.

I hope to cross this off the list by next year.  I guess this means I'm going journal shopping tomorrow!

April 10, 2013


For a few years now, I've really wanted to start an invitation business.  The idea of designing any type of invitations, notecards, etc., seems so fun to me.  Picking out my wedding invitations was probably the funnest for me.  Call me crazy.

Anyway, I've never really been able to get my idea up and running.  Part of it is because I'm not as familiar with programs like Photoshop or Illustrator.  Another aspect is that so many people are able to either design them themselves or using pre-made templates from companies like Vistaprint, Shutterfly and even Costco.

Regardless, I'd still like to fulfill my dream of selling my designs.  I've decided I can accomplish this goal a few different ways.  First, I need to step out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to ask questions to people already in the biz.  Second, I need to take some classes on Photoshop and Illustrator.  And third, I need to believe in myself.

There are actually a lot of different ways I can accomplish this goal.  I can set up an Etsy account.  I can design for already established companies like Minted, Shutterfly, etc.  I can invest in an actual store and do things all in person.  

This is a lofty goal, probably the most intense one on my list.  I'll admit I'm not too optimistic about the outcome.  But, I've got to at least try!

April 9, 2013

{h}: HALF marathon

I often wonder where people get the motivation to exercise every single day.  My dad, for example, runs every day except for Sunday.  He runs for a few hours during his work day and then does a longer run (anywhere from 10 - 15 miles) on Saturday.  He also runs marathons, and has for as long as I can remember.  He's a great example to me of being active and using exercise as a way to relax and cope with the stressors of life.

A few years ago, Dustin decided he wanted to run a marathon.  He found a training schedule and followed it diligently.  As part of his preparations, he ran in a 5K and half-marathon event.  Then, the day he had been training for arrived and he ran his first marathon.  It was awesome to watch him cross the finish line.

I want to complete a half-marathon.  It's only 13.1 miles.  I can do it.  

I want to do it so I can understand why people say it's so addicting.  I want to do it because I know training for one will help me stay active and fit.  I want to know what it feels like to cross a finish line.

I hope to accomplish this goal in the next 2 years.

April 8, 2013

{g}: GOOD deed

Too often, I find myself consumed with what is going on with me and my family.  I spend my time worrying about my own situation and how I can better things in my own life.  Even though I'm not suggesting I shouldn't be thinking about these sorts of things, I do think it's just as important to think about what I can do to help those around me.

This is why I set a goal to do a good deed at least once a month.  Ideally, this is something I would continue to do throughout my life and never consider "crossed off the list."  However, I wanted to include it on my list anyway.

I completed my good deed for April a few days ago.  My lovely sister-in-law, Brittney, who works at a rest home, texted me and said one of her residents wanted to meet my baby girl.  Brittney asked if I would at all consider bringing my latest bundle of joy to the rest home so this sweet older lady could see her.  I didn't hesitate in the slightest and we agreed on a time to go.

Just this past Saturday, my husband, our two girls and I went to this rest home and met Carol.  At age 94, she was slow physically, but sharp mentally.  She also had a wonderful sense of humor.  When I showed her my baby, she gushed over her beauty.  I asked if she would like to hold her and she excitedly said yes.  

Over the next 30 minutes, I watched Carol admire my daughter.  She gazed at her precious face as if it was the first baby she had ever seen.  Then, she uttered a sentence I'll never forget.  She said, "Why did I ever think holding my babies was a waste of time?"

We left Carol's room with a promise to visit again.

Like all good deeds, the intention is to help someone else, but the result is always feeling better yourself.  I know we made Carol's day, but she also made ours.

April 6, 2013


I promise all the items on my bucket list are not about traveling.  :)

Dustin and I set a goal shortly after we were married to visit the 50 states in 50 years.  We gave ourselves AMPLE time to accomplish this goal; however, there is one important rule:

We have to spend at least one night in a hotel within the state.  Layovers in airports do not count.  

So far, in less than 8 years, we've crossed off the following states:

New York

All but the trip to Idaho were taken prior to our becoming parents.  Clearly, our traveling days have taken a backseat since then.

Anyway, maybe this summer we can attempt a short trip.  Perhaps to Colorado or Arizona.  Heck, we could even do Utah which would probably be easiest since we live here!

What's the best state you've ever been to? 

April 5, 2013


There needs to be at least some mention of Europe on my bucket list, right?  Who doesn't dream about going to London or Paris?  Of course, there's also Greece and Italy and Germany and Switzerland.  How does one narrow it down?

I don't think I would ever travel with young kids to various parts of Europe.  I would do that with teenagers though.  Call me crazy, but I think going to foreign countries as a younger person is important.  My first REAL trip (I'm not including my trip to Canada when I was in high school) out of the country was when I was 19 when I went to China with my university's orchestra.
So, this is a goal I would like to accomplish with my husband AND children in, hopefully, the next 15 years.

April 4, 2013


I can't wait until I can take my kids to Disney World.  Considering the fact that we live in Utah, going to Disneyland is a much more practical and less expensive trip.  Because of this, I'm adding a trip to Disney World to my bucket list.

I've only ever been to Disney World once.  My husband has never been.  I remember loving my time in Florida and know it will be an even greater experience when I am able to share it with my husband and kids.

I hope to cross this one off the list in the next 5 - 8 years.

April 3, 2013


Dustin is big into road trips.  Since getting married, I've become more fond of them as well; however, I'll usually always prefer to fly over driving any day.

One day, I hope to drive across the country because I think it would be an amazing experience.  I imagine doing this just with Dustin.  No kids allowed.  So, this will probably have to be a trip that we take when we're empty nesters.

I think it'll be worth the wait, and I hope to cross this one off my list in 20 years.

April 2, 2013


I absolutely love the water, as evident by my W post from last year's challenge.  However, I don't have what I, or anyone else for that matter, would consider a bathing suit body.  And, I hope to one day achieve a healthy weight and physique that I feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  Now, I'm not talking a string bikini.  With my fair skin, wearing a bikini only means more skin to worry about getting sun burned.  Instead, I'm talking about a nice, but stylish one piece.

Something along these lines:

If I am very diligent with what I eat and being more active, I should be able to be comfortable in a bathing suit this summer.  However, being comfortable in my own skin and being healthy is an ongoing goal and probably one I should never consider accomplished.

April 1, 2013

{a}: jane AUSTEN

I don't read enough.  If a book doesn't capture my attention right away, I get bored and rarely finish it.  I've decided that's not a good enough reason to not read, so I've decided I want to read all of Jane Austen's books. 

Since I usually don't read a book more than once, I decided against buying them and instead checking them out from the library.  One day, curiosity got the better of me and I checked to see how much they were on iTunes.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that they were free!  Score!  However, I'd much rather pay for a Jane Austen book than one "written" by Snooki.

This is a goal I know I can accomplish relatively soon.  I'm a slow reader and I find myself without a lot of "me time," but I'm excited to start reading these novels.  Any suggestions as to which one I should read first?

I hope to cross this one off my list in 1 - 2 years.
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