How to Solve Problems

Last night we were watching the news about President Obama's "Beer Summit" with Officer Crowley and Professor Gates. We heard Obama say that this was a chance to discuss their differences and find some common ground. My brilliant husband then said, "Why doesn't he just fly over to Iraq and have a beer with the guys causing trouble over there? It sounds like beer can solve all of our country's problems."


A day in the life of me

Last night we got a sweet and loving note from our landlord informing us that people would be coming today to work on installing our new 'costs $20 extra a month' internet.

Unfortunately, I let that note slip out of my mind as I went through my Summer morning routine today. My summer routine is very different from my school year routine. During the school year, I always get up at 6:30 (ish), read scripts, shower, get ready, get breakfast and lunch ready, possibly think about dinner that night, and head out the door by 8:00. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is a slow and relaxed morning routine, so during the summer I spoil myself. I spend time checking my email and blogs, watch the morning news and Regis and Kelly, clean the kitchen perfectly, read scriptures, make my list of things to do that day, possibly look up a fun recipe to try, start on a project, and sometimes I even go for a run. All of this happens before I shower and officially get ready for the day.

Today I was enjoying my morning and even started to get some work done for school so I was late in starting the 'official get ready' part. All of a sudden the doorbell rings. Let me give you a little picture of what my friend the maintenance man saw when he came in: Rachel with no makeup, hair exactly what it looked like when I rolled out of bed (not attractive), pajamas still on, teeth unbrushed. And, to make matters worse, as I let him in I trip over Bryan's bike, which we are not supposed to keep in the apartment- hopefully he won't tell. Then it turns out that the maintenance guy is an old roommate of Bryan's. He had the nerve to chat with me while I was in that state.

So here I sit a captive in my apartment, strange men going back and forth (and leaving my door open to let in all the heat!), not able to shower or get ready because they are working near the bathroom, and looking completely atrocious. Are you jealous?


A Sweet Sunday Evening

Bryan and I were craving something sweet so we decided to try fabulous Amy's cinnamon roll recipe tonight. We made the scrumptious rolls together and ate them (obviously) while listening to the wonderful Sunday mix that Pandora provided us and writing our favorite Elder Martinezes, or is it Elders Martinez?

I could do this more often.

{I thought this was a perfect time to debut my apron that I finished last week!}


New Addition to the Family

Because of an unfortunate circumstance occurring in the past couple weeks (me wrecking the Pathfinder) it was time for us to add a new car to our family.

I'm excited about our new 4Runner, but it didn't come without plenty of drama. We set our budget and started looking. Correction- Bryan started looking. I was extremely unhelpful in this department because I'm just not a car person. Thank goodness for husbands. Earlier this week we found one that we loved. It was in such good condition, had all the extra features, and was just overall wonderful. But, it was just a little bit over our budget. We tried to talk the dealer down, but he wouldn't budge, so we had to walk out of there. I was very sad, but felt good that we had stuck to our guns. Then we found another car that was also over our budget, but just by a tiny bit. We were going to get it anyway but then at the last minute the guy got another offer and sold it. Again, we were sad, but grateful that we hadn't gone over our budget. On Thursday Bryan found a car (this car) that was within our budget so we went to check it out. Even thought it's not in perfect condition like the other cars we looked at, it is a great car and I am so grateful that we could find one within our budget. As much as I loved the other two cars, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy them as much because I would have felt so guilty about spending more money than we should have. Lesson learned: budgets sometimes stink, but are so worth it in the end.

We are now the owners of what I lovingly call "The Monster." It's big and scary, and especially looks menacing with that ugly rack thing on the front (Bryan promised to remove it for me ASAP.) But I know I will be loving this baby when there's 3 feet of snow on the ground and I have to get to work. And, I know Bryan already does love it because every once in a while he'll peek at it out in our parking lot then get a huge grin on his face and say, "That's our car."


What will you do the next day?

Two years ago, after all of our wedding festivities were over Bryan and I were heading back to Provo. My brother-in-law asked me what I was going to do for the next month until school started. I told him, unpack and organize our apartment, go through the changing my name process, set up my new classroom, start planning for the school year, run errands, cook dinner, etc. After listening to my long list he said, "So, what will you do the next day?" (At that point I hadn't had very much experience with brothers so I didn't know what to do, now I would know to slug him, or at least try to convince Bryan to give him a nice bruise.)

I spent that month doing all of the things on my list and staying very busy. I even felt like I could have used a few more weeks before school started (doesn't that always happen?)

I'm back in the same situation- 1 month (actually a little less) until school starts and it seems as though I have oodles of time. But I feel like I am always busy- whether it be getting ready for school, church stuff, writing those brothers on missions, grocery shopping, other errands, laundry, taking care of car/insurance stuff, cleaning my apartment, or making dinner. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of time to read, work on my sewing skills (basically non-existent), play with my new computer, blog, and visit family and friends. But there is never a time when I really feel bored or lazy because there is always so much to do!

I can see how it's difficult to be a stay-at-home mom. Even though I always feel busy, I hardly ever feel like I've accomplished everything I needed to do that day. And I can't even imagine throwing a baby into the mix. I think my productivity rate will go down by about 97% when I have children to take care of as well. The other thing that's frustrating is that I feel like all I do is spend money without contributing to the family finances. But I guess we just have to look back on our days and appreciate the things we were able to do. Clean clothes and a full refrigerator are necessary for a family to function, even though they may seem small. And that's why we're in families anyway, so we can all use our own time and abilities to help each other make it through this wonderful life.


Tonight's the night

that all my dreams come true. My true love is taking me to see my other true love:

(i hope things don't get awkward)

I know all the true fans grabbed their wands and dress robes and went on Tuesday night, but some of us have work. Okay, so maybe I'm not included in that category, but Bryan is and I didn't feel good about making him work on 3 hours of sleep. So, in exactly 12 hours we will enter the theater for the moment I've been dreaming of. I can hardly wait.

While I'm on the subject of exciting things, Provo School District kindly traded in my old, decrepit, and frustratingly slow iBook for a brand new MacBook yesterday and I'm loving my new friend!


Unlucky or Lucky?

On Monday morning I got in a car accident. It was terrible. It's taken until today for me to get up the nerve to write about it. Other than some scrapes and whiplash, I walked away just fine, and so did the other driver. Our car wasn't so lucky though- it's a goner. Calling my husband to tell him that I wrecked his car was probably one of the most unpleasant things I've ever had to do. He was so sweet though, he just kept saying 'I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.' And I kept thinking, 'Isn't that what I'm supposed to be saying??'

After I got home that afternoon I sat on the floor sobbing uncontrollably. I felt so bad about wrecking Bryan's car, I felt so dumb that I got in an accident, I worried about all the money we would have to spend, my whole body ached from the impact, and I kept reliving the accident in my mind over and over again. I felt completely alone. Then I looked up and saw a picture of the Savior on our wall and remembered Elder Holland saying, "One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path."

It was then that I realized that I was alive and unharmed. I know I was being looked after that morning because it was a miracle I wasn't injured. I could wallow about what a nightmarish experience it was, or I could realize how blessed I am. It took a very unlucky event for me to realize what a lucky girl I am. Lucky to have a wonderful husband, supportive family and friends, and a Savior who never leaves us alone.


It's the little things

that made our Virginia trip BIG

Glittery painted toes

Gilmore Girl’s Marathon until 2 in the morning

Realizing that Mom, Katie, Jenn, Leslie, and I are all the same size- when did my sisters grow up on me???
Eating pizza and homemade Shirley Temples out on the driveway for dinner

Watching the cute kids enjoy playing the sand
Taking an early bike ride with Bryan through the peaceful wildlife reserve by our beach house

Playing a huge game of Uno that left everyone in tears from laughing so hard

Sitting on the beach enjoying the sun and sharing the gossip we learn from all the magazines we brought


Looking out at the beautiful Potomac River from Mount Vernon

Watching approximately 500 hours of Michael Jackson coverage

Boogey Boarding and playing Ooga Booga in the waves
Playing a huge family game of baseball- during which I caught the ball to get my brother out

Taking cheesy family pictures on the beach

Setting off fireworks on the beach and praying that dad doesn’t blow up his hand

Watching Bryan teach my cousins how to surf

Learning, Practicing, and Performing the “Hoedown Throwdown”

Visiting the puppies and watching cute Chloe try to sneak one into her mom's purse
It was a wonderful trip, I'm sad it's over, but happy to be back.



is the number of years I have been married to my best friend. I am grateful for the wonderful adventure these years have been, and the eternity of years to c0me. Happy Anniversary Bry!


Small Miracles

I'm in Richmond still enjoying air you can not only breathe, but truly drink in as well as green green green all around me. But tonight Richmond provided me with an unexpected treat that I will most likely never get to experience again.

I feel as though I should start with some history. I hate dogs. I hate how they smell bad, bark too much, make messes, get in your face, cost money as well as a lot of trouble. But about a year ago, our very good friends the Dials' chocolate lab had puppies. I was out in Provo, so I only got to see pictures, but these pictures melted my heart. And, apparently they melted the hearts of my parents, who had previously felt the same way I did about dogs. My family bought a puppy and we have loved welcoming Luna into our family. She is a crazy and adorable little dog.

Well, tonight the Dial's dog went into labor with her second litter and they invited our family over. I got to watch 2 of the little puppies enter this world and hold many of the 8 puppies. It was such a cute and amazing thing to watch. My favorite event of the whole night was when the mom had a puppy and they were wiping her off with a towel and passing her around for everyone to hold. The mommy dog started going crazy looking around in the towels for her puppy. It was so sweet to watch her immediately love this puppy and want to take care of it. We put the puppy back by its mom and she started licking and cuddling it. So precious.

Life is truly a miracle. It's amazing to me how all creatures have been created to fulfill their own purpose and find joy in doing so. Tonight was a reminder that Heavenly Father knows and has planned for every little detail on Earth. It's so great to know we're being looked after and taken care of by a wise and perfect Father in Heaven.

*This picture is not the puppies we saw tonight, this is from http://www.iler.com/labs/images/April2009/newborn2.jpg. I'll try to take pictures if I see them again before I go back to Utah, but this is just what they looked like, cute huh?