Friday, May 27, 2016

Making a big deal out of birthdays.

I LOVE birthdays. I think it's because I have so many great memories of birthday parties from my childhood. My parents and siblings did a great job making me feel extra special that day and throwing my a fun, themed birthday party. When I was turned 6 I had a "Princess Party" where we all dressed up in princess costumes and my dad made everyone crowns to wear. We had a very fancy tea party on some of my moms best dishes.. and it was the BEST. Another year, when I turned 7, we had a "Camping" themed birthday party where my dad made me a very special cake and we camped outside in tents. Because of this, I have pretty high expectations for birthdays.  

There are many different ways people interpret and celebrate their birthdays. Some people have "Birthday Month", other have "Birthday Week" and some people treat their birthday just like any ordinary day of the year. 

Let's start with one of the extremes... the "Ordinary Day" extremes, also known as the "Scott" birthday celebrators. Let me preface this...After my sisters birthday, she had a conversation with my dad that I have also had with him in the past...
My dad always says things like "your birthday is just another day". When he said this to her, she argued and said no it's not, and she likes to always do something special or celebrate all day.
She did some serious thinking about this apparently, because she came up with a theory...

If you have ever sat first class on a plane, your birthday is probably not that big of a deal. If you have eaten a steak that costs over $50 for "no reason", you probably don't think your birthday is a big deal.
However... if these AREN'T things you do on a regular basis, you probably DO go all-out on your birthday and try to make it as special as you can because... being fancy isn't exactly something you just DO on a normal day.

On the other hand...I have found that if your name is TREVOR or KELSEY, you REALLY love your birthday. You love your birthday more than even the average-really-excited person loves their birthday. These kinds of people go out of their way to let you know their birthday in many different conversations, but ESPECIALLY in the first initial conversation you ever have with them. If you are casually talking about how you love a certain restaurant or how your favorite sports team won, they ALWAYS find a way to bring it up. Example: "Oh did you watch the game? Great game. The score was 79 right? Oh weird, that's how many days until my birthday!!!" 
(we all know these people... trust me, I know more than one)

I consider myself to in the middle/excited side of birthdays (like I said, I have pretty high expectations although I don't expect everyone to care as much as I do). Bryan and I recently celebrated our birthdays and it got me thinking... I LOVE making big deals out of holidays, even the small ones. However, it is really hard to be excited for your own birthday. It is much easier to be excited for someone else's birthday (i.e. your BFF, significant other, etc.) 

As I'm getting older, I was afraid my birthday was going to be completely pushed to the wayside this year. LUCKILY I have such a great husband who went out of his way to get me extremely thoughtful gifts, and made my annual themed birthday cake that I feel is essential to make it through the next year. 

Anyways, being 25 is pretty great so far... except it's making me think of all these big life decisions that I don't want to think about yet. But I guess that comes with growing up and becoming mature and, in the words of the young, hip youth..."adulting".

Monday, January 11, 2016


Well... we made it!
We are officially residents of Corvallis, OR

We have only been here for a week, but it feels like much longer. 
We love our little apartment! We were afraid it was going to be too small and not fit all of our stuff, but it's the perfect, cozy size. We have a little patio that Bryan likes, and I like our kitchen here WAY more (plus it has a stove from basically the 1800s)

Yesterday we attended church and people asked us what brought us here... sometimes we say "school" because sometimes it sounds better than "... we just like it here"

 Some of the highlights of Corvallis 
The COAST!!! since we are currently unemployed, we decided to spend a day at the coast.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and we saw the most amazing waves! I love the ocean, I literally can't believe it has taken me so long to live by one!

The GYM! this is not your average VASA... there are no peak busy hours, no meat heads, and no annoying pop music playing in the background
The Driving: no one is riding my bumper 24/7. and people actually stop at yellow lights! No one is in a hurry, so it is inspiring me to calm and slow down my driving.
Our Relationship: It sounds cheesy, but seriously it feels like we are newly weds again.  We unpacked our new home together (which was so fun), and we feel like we are just trying to figure all of this out again.  Everything is so new so we are on this natural high. We don't really have any friends (except for my sister and her family) so we spend time doing things just us- and it feels like we haven't done that in a while.
The Weather: when we went to the gym at 6:00am this morning, we didn't have to scrape all the ice off of our cars. And despite the rain, we can see the sky probably more than we did in Utah (because of the inversion)
Biking: Riding our bikes is a lot more fun for me because the roads are flat, and the air is easier to breathe.
People: I can go to the local grocery store with no make up or wet hair and not be afraid I'm going to run into someone from high school

with a new year, and a new home I'm feeling particularly motivated and sentimental... I saw this quote yesterday and it really just resonated with my heart

"sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life"

and as far as being motivated...
In the podcast I listen to, "Happier" by Gretchen Rubin, she mentions the Clean Slate Theory, which is essentially, when you have a new year, or a new job, or a new home it is easier to stick to your goals. So on that note, here are some of my new years resolutions 
(currently taking suggestions)
Kiss every night before we go to bed
Floss every day
See more whales
Find a job.
in the past I've had goals like
"Eat more Cornbread"
"lose weight"
"watch more TV" (before Netflix was a real thing)
So... if you have anything you would add to my small list, let me know, because I'm really trying to utilize my "Clean Slate Theory" to the max.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

New Adventures.

It has been a while since I blogged, life has been crazy lately!

I am back teaching for my third year of Preschool!
(for only 8 more work days!)

Bryan and I went backpacking to Havasupai, AZ

(Where he obviously picked up modeling)

 Havasu Falls
 Mooney Falls

We had Sibling Thanksgiving this year in Corvallis.
We went and visited Thor's Well (if you haven't heard of it, look up pictures!) where I was able to get action shots of Allen and Bryan getting destroyed by this wave.

and we celebrated our 2 year anniversary!
I can't believe how much things have changed in the past two years!

if you didn't know, Bryan and I are moving to Oregon in a few weeks!
our decision to move to Oregon has been both crazy and exciting

it has left me feeling many different emotions...

I am excited to move because Oregon is the most beautiful place in the world! And I am excited to be there with Bryan and start our lives and new family traditions there together. 

I am sad to leave my little Preschool kiddos and my swimming kids
(PSA: there is a chance I will still be teaching swimming lessons in the month of June depending what job I get)

it feels kind of crazy to just pick up our somewhat "cushy" lives, a well paying job, our families, our cheap rent, etc...

but it is a freeing and empowering feeling to just be able to pick up and leave without anything holding us back.  

While telling people our decision to move, I have noticed something interesting... 
anyone who has never been to Oregon always asks us WHY we are moving
anyone who HAS been to Oregon doesn't need to.

Here's to a our third Christmas together, a New Year, and a new home!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

summertime sadness.

as I sit here, hunched over, sobbing into my lean cuisine, I can't even believe that summer is over. 

I spent my morning signing papers about dress codes, not sexually harassing people at the work place, putting fake food into a fake fridge and trying not to get anal over if the word "Preschool" is centered on my bulletin board.

i am beginning my third year as a preschool teacher. people always say life goes so fast, but they never really tell you how fast it actually goes. I can't believe it's almost September of 2015.
 That literally sounds like I should be living in the future.

 This summer we had the busiest but most amazing summer ever!
swimming lessons and 3 sixty scenery kept us very busy so thankfully, Bryan and I were able to spend over a month of dedicated-one-on-one-together-time STRAIGHT on our vacations. we lit'rally did not leave each others sides for one month.

here are a few of the highlights. 

I was able to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friends weddings
and break it down while singing her wedding song.

AND we rode in a canoe!
my dream.

 We spent a week in Oregon, floating the river, picking blackberries, swimming in Three Pools, looking at Gray whales off the coast, spending time with my shrub and her cute kids (and Allen).

We spent a few days in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, ID.

 and I met my nephew, Reuben.

not to mention we bought this beauty....
(and no, we aren't vegan now...)

 Don't forget we went to Kenya (and Amsterdam)!

 and a huge shout-out to Bryan for catching his first fish!!!!!

so let us once again let "HAGS" RIP, until next year...

but like I always say... "kiss me hard before you go. 
summertime sadness"

Sunday, July 5, 2015

asante sana squashed banana.

Bryan and I recently returned home from the trip of a lifetime! 
With my parents, aunt & uncle, two younger brothers, and a group of about 7 other people we set off on a humanitarian trip to Kenya, Africa

Since I have been home, people have repeatedly said to me "you go to Africa all the time". To set the record straight, this was my third time, and probably my favorite time. 

The number one thing that sets this trip apart from the other trips was being able to experience it with Bryan.
I have had such a love for Africa in my heart, and I sort of felt like that was the one thing Bryan didn't understand. I really do feel like he has seen and knows my WHOLE heart now-- so cheesy, but so true. 

I have seen different sides of people as they travel to these third world countries.  It was so fun to see my parents to relaxed and enjoying themselves, and totally and completely in their element.  It was so cool to see my two younger brothers being so helpful and working so hard. 
It was so fun to see Bryan in every way.  He was extremely helpful. He worked SO hard.  He NEVER complained. He was the first to volunteer to help.  He was so loving and gentle.  and not that he isn't USUALLY these things, but it was just so amazing to see. (because as a lot of you know, in third world countries, things rarely go as planned, living conditions are hard, and there is usually a lot to complain about).

It was fun to talk to Bryan at the end of every day and ask him what his favorite parts were.  Before the trip, he thought he was excited to see all the wild animals on the safari. But once we left, he had grown a deep love and respect for the Maasai people. 

On this trip, we had a group of "tour guides" who turned into what seemed like older brothers to us.  Three were from the Maasai culture, and one was from the city (although basically adopted into the Maasai family). There men are Life Coaches for my moms business.  They were so fun, and awesome to hear their stories and get to know. 
 Dalton, David, Dominic and Moses

The Maasai culture is "so Africa"- and by that, I mean exactly what you picture from a National Geographic article when you picture Africa.  From their clothes, dung huts, spears, dancing and singing, traditions of drinking cows blood and killing lions, these people are amazing!

As for me, my favorite part of the trip this year was Western Kenya.  In western Kenya, we were able to work on several projects.  We helped create a spring of fresh water that will help over 60 families in that community.  We went around to peoples homes and visited them and gave them donations that we brought (clothes, toys, cooking utensils, etc.)We helped plant a garden for a widow of four children.  And we helped children plant 10 trees each ("I Grow With My Tree Project") so in 10 years, they will be able to cut down and sell their trees that they may be able to go to college.  

And of course, the Safari! Bryan got some amazing shots of these animals!  Because the Great Migration happened two weeks after we left, we saw less quantity of animals, but much more quality than I have ever seen before.

The people of Africa are so humble and so happy considering how little most of them have. It was such an amazing experience, and I know it will not be our last time being there together.

Nakupenda, Africa.