21 February 2008

Weekend Vacation

This past weekend, for Valentine's Day, Steven & I had ourselves a relaxing "get-away" from all the many stresses of life. Steven has such a way with words (and having time to share the story first), so I will direct you to his blog to read about the FABULOUS Bed & Breakfast where we stayed, and our little adventures we went on this past weekend. I hope you enjoy...click here: STEVEN'S BLOG

Man, I can't say how incredible and relaxing the weekend was. From being served the best foods that I've eaten in a long time and sleeping in, to just not thinking about anything on my "to-do" list. It was great, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

So, for anyone looking for a unique getaway that is filled with ultimate relaxation and lots of togetherness with that special someone...I highly recommend the Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast in Rocheport, MO.

15 February 2008

My Valentine

My husband knows exactly what I need, and sometimes I take it for granted. I am working on being more aware of both the big AND small things that he does on a more regular basis, both inside and outside of our happy home (or basement, if you will).
Yesterday being Valentine's Day, I knew he would have a hard time finding something for me. I am a hard person to shop for, because I really despise gifts out of pitty, or giving gifts because that is what is expected, etc. I really want to be able to use the item, but find that most of the time the item either ends up on a box (because I feel bad if I throw it away) or it ends up in on a shelf collecting dust.
Steven knows all of the above about me, and he has a right to get nervous about getting gifts for me. I personally rejoice in the fact that it pushes him to be creative and pay attention to the small details and the smaller things in life that make me happy.
Yesterday, he got me a few small things. First, I HATE red roses. Very lame and very non-thoughtful. Every girl gets them, and I refuse to be just like everyone else. Instead, Steven gets me daisies (my favorite) or colorful roses...both of which ended up adorning my table this morning. Secondly, he got me a set of coasters. NOT the original ones I picked out, but close. I love the line of bamboo items they have on the shelves at Wal-Mart, and he remembered me liking them when we were registering for our wedding gifts almost a year ago. Thirdly, he made a contract for services...wonderful things like washing my car, cleaning the house, making dinner, and all sorts of things that are VERY meaningful to me.
Let me mention that the evening before, I cried myself to sleep, with Steven holding me tight telling me everything will be ok, and that he is willing to do whatever I need. Secretly, I was really kinda depressed and wished I could find a way to de-stress my life and just chill. He found the way to de-stress my life...it's like my prayers were answered yesterday. He is so thoughtful and kind, and he honestly knows what I need, and I am extemely grateful I am for that.
Steven, you are amazing and I love you so much! Happy Valentine's Day, and I fall more and more in love with you every day!

06 February 2008

Let's make cookies!!!

Here's an email I recently received...another run for my money. Let's try it, and tell me what you think. I know I'm in the mood for some cookies (aren't you, Steven?)

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

My daughter and I had just finished a salad at a Neiman-MarcusCafe in Dallas, and we decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try "The"Neiman-Marcus cookie." It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe, and the waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not, but you can buy the recipe."Well, I asked how much, and she responded, "Only two fifty-it's a great deal!" Iagreed to that, and told her to just add it to my tab. Thirty days later, Ireceived my VISA Statement, and the Neiman-Marcus charge was $285.00! I looked again, and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, CookieRecipe-$250.00".

That was outrageous! I calledNeiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress said it was "twofifty", which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars" by anyreasonable interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge.
They would not refund my money because, according to them,"What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen therecipe. We absolutely will not refund our money at this point."

I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes which governfraud in the state of Texas. I threatened to report them to the Better BusinessBureau and the Texas Attorney General's office for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of howyou can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back."

I just said, Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going tohave $250 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250 cookierecipe from Neiman-Marcus...for free. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this." I said, "Well, perhaps you should havethought of that before you ripped me off!" and slammed down the phone. So here it is! Please, please, please pass it on toeveryone you can possibly think of. I paid $250 for this, and I don't wantNeiman-Marcus to EVER make another penny off this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)

2 cups butter
24 oz. chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blenderto a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, bakingpowder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

PLEASE READ THE RECIPE AND SEND IT TO EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW...won't this be fun? Let's make sure we get these ladies $250.00 worth. Enjoy the cookies, they are so good....

03 February 2008

Six Months...WHEW!!

Today is the BIG 6 month anniversary!!

I will try and save you from reading all the mushy mushy stuff that I will tell my husband face-to-face, but I just wanted to publicly list a few things that I've learned along the way. Being married is a crazy sort of deal...I learn something new each & every day. As hard as it is to admit, I am finding faults in myself every day as well. It's quite the challenge, being married...but it's something that is become easier day-by-day.
  1. SELFISHNESS--I've learned that in a marriage, there really is no place for selfishness. In fact, it's quite full of the opposite...selfLESSness. I am still learning how to become the latter myself. I realize that in order to make a marriage work, and be happy for eternity, one must truly be selfless and learn to constantly serve the other. As President Hinckley's father said, "You have to forget yourself, and get to work."
  2. LISTENING--No matter what kind of a day I've had, it's always a good thing to listen to Steven beforehand. From experience, it really doesn't pay off to start rambling on about this or that, when Steven has had a worse day. Once of us has to give, and sometimes we have to forget about ourselves and be the nurturer.
  3. TRUE LOVE--True love is something I thought was only in fairy tales. In real life, it can be achieved, but it is something that has to be worked at. I find myself appreciating Steven more and more each day, and finding more things to love about him. It is easy when we're talking about my husband. Steven hasn't failed once at rubbing my feet when I get home from work, rubbing my back before falling asleep, telling me how beautiful I am, or wiping my tears and hugging me tight when I am so stressed out all I can do is cry at night and think about how many things I have to do and how much time I don't have. He is so supportive of me and my decisions. I love that about him.
  4. SHARING--I've learned how to share responsibility. If it were up to me, being so demanding and OCD, I'd do the laundry, clean the house, go grocery shopping, cook, take care of the yard, pay the bills, etc all by myself...just the way I feel it should be done. But I've learned that I am not superwoman and that there is no way I can accomplish all of that alone. I've learned to rely on Steven and that just because it's not the way I would've done it, it's still okay and things will be fine.
  5. TIME FOR US--I've learned that no matter how many things I have to do, I have to have time for us. Steven is a person who loves to sit and chat. Sometimes I am so worried about other things that I forget to just sit down and smile with him. He's such a big teddy bear, and he just wants to be hugged and told nice things. The least I can do is sit down and pay him some attention...I'm still working on this one!
  6. THE LORD KNOWS BEST--The Lord prepared me to meet Steven, and I know that he was preparing Steven for me. As crazy as that sounds, I can't doubt it one bit. It hasn't been an easy road (esp. when you think about us still living in my parent's basement), but it's been well worth it. The Lord truly does know us and he knows what we need. I appreciated reading one of Emily's blog entires from a while back on her NOAH BLOG where she reflected on losing her first baby, and how the blessed she is now for having Noah in her life. Sometimes, we are so caught up in the NOW that we can't see past our fingertips. All we have to do is rely on the Lord and he'll do the rest. As hard as it is sometimes, it always works out for the best. Before meeting Steven, I was convinced I was to marry a few other men that had come into my life...and I was SURE of that. When every single one of them didn't work out, I thought I was doomed to never find Mr. Right and that I would remain single, and find my happiness in other places, rather than in the life of being married. I am a witness today, that there is a God who loves us, who knows us, and who knows our needs and answers our prayers according to His will and His timing.

Steven, I love you so much. I am so glad that I said "YES" in Nauvoo six months ago, today. I am even happier that we've had the trials we have, which have brought us to where we are today. I've never been happier that I have been with you, and I can't wait to grow old with you, and raise a family in the gospel. Happy six months, babe...

02 February 2008

Missin the nieces & nephews

Today, I'm just missing my niece & nephews!

The Ma'ake boys....they are the cutest lil brown boys you'll ever see! Sione is so talkative these days, and will tell you about anything...he is so smart! He was such a cute baby...he'd dance, sing, do whatever you wanted. I taught him to say at a young age..."Aunt T is my favorite Aunt!" His favorite food is chicken nuggets, and he loves to watch movies. Ladies...watch out when he gets older!

Then, there's lil Filipe. He's a chunky lil one year old! He's recently had the chicken pox, but that doesn't stop this lil boy from smiling anyway! He's always in a good mood, and loves to eat (just like his older brother). I can't wait to see what he'll talk about soon...

Then there are the Wiles kids...they are so white, and man are they nerds! Gavin is 4 and knows all there is to know about Trucks, Sharks, and Lions. He loves to watch educational shows. He is such a talker, although nobody would have guessed it, since he was practically a mute until he was two years old!

Then, there's Lauren Kay. She's a sassy lil thang. She likes to eat peanuts and bologna. She likes anything Gavin likes and isn't afraid of anything. She loves purses, jewelry, and pink anything! She's a doll.