Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Burden is light...

This past weekend I made my yearly trip to Utah for the General Relief Society Broadcast.  This is a meeting my church has every year that is for women.  To be uplifted and enlightened click on the above link. 

I had been looking forward to this trip for awhile now.  But as the days got closer I found myself feeling less and less excited.  The day of my trip I felt so heavy.  I felt guilt about leaving Aric and the girls.  I felt guilt about the money that it took for me to take this mini vacation.  As I waited to board my plane I was holding back tears.  I actually thought about bagging the whole thing but my ticket and car rental were already paid for.

Once on the plane I pulled out my journal and decided to write down everything that was weighing me down.  It took the entire hour and fifteen minute flight to emotionally purge.  I said a prayer and asked God to please help me enjoy this time and make the most of it.  He answered my prayer.

My flight landed at noon so I had a full day still ahead of me.  I was starving so I met my cousin Monica for lunch....Cafe Rio of course. 

Then went straight to Springville to visit my fun friend Kara whom I met when I lived in Boston ten years ago.


She was my partner in crime, our friendship and the adventures we had deserve its own post.  This is a pose we did a lot back in our Boston days. I got to spend time with her and her three darling boys.  And I finally got to meet her husIMG_1372band (whom she was writing on his mission when we were in Boston).  When describing them to Aric I said they are "salt of the earth" kind of people. 

I left her home with allergy meds to get me through the weekend, two jars of homemade salsa, a giant bag of tortilla chips, a jar of freshly canned peaches and a far of freshly canned pears.  So YUMMY!  She totally spoils me.

After a few hours with Kara I met up with my cousin Leah.  We enjoyed some of Kara's peaches.


We had dinner with Monica and Chris and watched the season premiere of "The Office".  So funny and I am so happy I have my Thursday night shows back!  Leah and I had some good quality girl bonding.  I stayed with her at her darling apartment. (This is the view from her apartment. I took this view for granted the four years I spent in Provo.)


On Friday I went up to Sandy to go to Tai Pan of course!  My dear friend Alisyn met me there. 


We hadn't seen each other in five years!  She found my blog a few months ago and we have been able get back in touch.  We met over eight years ago when we both lived in Western Washington.  Her husband Jason and my Aric got along very well....too well.  We had the best times with them.  It was great to catch up.  We had lunch at....Cafe Rio...(yes I'm a junkie!) and I am so glad we  are back in each others lives.

After lunch I went to the airport to pick up Kerry, my bosom friend. (If any of you know Anne of Green Gables you can appreciate that description)


She lives here in my little town but we never get to hang out so we plan this little get away every year.  Her main goal, besides going to the broadcast, was going to Layers.  It is a store that sells clothes, mainly online, but they also have a very hard to find boutique in Salt Lake.  After looking for it for an hour we finally found it.  It was so worth the work!  I'll post about that later....

We  also went to  a Deseret Book store.   Seriously, a spiritual experience in and of itself, I was in there forever!  I feel so jipped not having one closer.  I got lots of good stuff....I'll post that later.

We stayed with Kerry's parents the next two nights. 

On Saturday morning we got up and went hiking around her parents neighborhood.  I am still hurting from that!  Then it was off for more shopping.  I HAD to go back to Tai Pan because they over charged me 20 bucks, I ended up spending it anyway because I found something I couldn't live with out....another later post.

After a good afternoon of deal finding (I was totally on a budget) we went to Gateway and walked around for a bit until the broadcast started.  Monica and Leah were running late so I had to leave their tickets with Brother Bastian. A very helpful volunteer at entrance number 7. 


Luckily the girls found him and got their tickets and we were able to enjoy the wonderful experience together.   The Conference Center holds 21,000 people.  This is what it looked like from where I sat.


All the talks were so inspiring.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk especially struck a cord with me.  It was about service to others and creating something out of nothing.  He also hit on some other wonderful topics. (President Uchtdorf is a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)

From the music to the speakers...the spirit was amazing.  Just being in the presence of our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, was testimony building.  In the picture below Pres. Monson is in the gray suit.  His counselors Pres. Henry B. Eyring is at his right and Pres. Dieter F. Uchdorf is at his left.  You can also see the General Relief Society Presidency at left of President Uchdorf. (Julie Beck, Silvia Allred and Barbara Thompson)IMG_1384

You can go to lds.org to learn more about our prophet, our other leaders and read any of their talks/sermons.  Actually you can hear some of them speak at  General Conference which is coming up this weekend...you don't have to be a member of my church to get something out of the amazing talks that will be given. If you need be uplifted tune in.

After the broadcast we went back to Gateway and had dinner at a Brazilian Restaurant called Tucanos....the best dining experience I have ever had!  And I forgot to document it with pictures. DANG! So fun and so good.  My evening would have been perfect had the knuckle heads at Rocky Mountain Candy Factory not closed 15minutes early so I wouldn't have missed my traditional carmel apple dessert. I'm still bitter about it.

After that it was my good-byes to Monica and Leah...which were not short. 


I have to cram all the advice I can in the little time we have together...I know it's their favorite part of my visit. My hope is that these incredible girls know much I love them and if they listen to my counsel it will save them from some of the mistakes I made.  Those mistakes were painful and life changing. So the precious time that I spend with them I have to make the most of it.

Then it was back to Kerry's parents house.  Kerry and I talked in the car until after midnight then off to bed.

Sunday morning we got up early and headed out to Temple Square for Music and the Spoken Word.  It is radio broadcast put on by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The music was so beautiful and it was the perfect way to end the weekend.  We rushed to the airport where my bag was 10 pounds over the weight limit of 50lbs.  I went into the bathroom and unloaded all the books I bought and some clothes.  I stuffed them into my purse and other carry on bag and dropped those ten pounds to avoid the $90, yes your read that right, over the weight limit fee.

As I boarded my plane I felt so light.  Nothing had changed over the past three days.  The economy was actually worse, I still didn't have a baby, I still have all the worries that I had before.  But somehow I felt like my heart was going to burst with joy and I couldn't help but have a spring in my step.IMG_1401

Something had changed.  My heart had changed and my focus had changed.  The Lord has promised us that if we follow him and live his gospel, our burdens will be made light.  If we set our sights on him and trust in him we will have peace during these uncertain times. 

We have been taught for years by the prophets that we should live within our means, and be prepared by having food storage.  We have been taught to read the scriptures and pray daily.  We have been taught to get as much education as possible and/or learn a skill or trade so that we can be self reliant.  We have taught to focus on our families, strengthen our marriages and spend quality time with our children.  We have been taught to pay our tithing.

I realized that although Aric and I are not perfect by ANY means.  We are trying our best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have listened to the prophet.  We are prepared and although these are unnerving  times, we can have peace knowing that as long as we continue to follow the counsel of the prophet, which is the word of the Lord, we will be okay.  Our family will be okay.

Speaking of...

Aric had a great weekend with the girls and I don't think they missed me much at all.  I am so lucky to have a husband that enjoys being a father and actually has fun with the kids instead of just putting up with them.  He didn't make me feel guilty about leaving,  in fact he was the one that encouraged me to go.  He made sure that I knew he had everything under control while I was away.  He is such a keeper!

Clearly I am blessed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Today (September 25th)  is my mom's birthday.  She is coming up to help my sister with her baby and I will be partying in Utah for the weekend.  So since I can't be here to celebrate her birthday I figure the least I can do is honor her with a birthday post...

Copy of IMG_3634

My mom's heart.

It is huge, she loves deeply.

It is forgiving, she forgives quickly and easily.

It is giving, she gives to everyone...almost to a fault.

It is humble, she has never forgotten where she came from.

It is compassionate, she sacrifices her own comfort and convenience to help others out.

It is strong, she has overcome many trials and has helped many people get through theirs.

It is full, full of gratitude and joy. You can see this whenever she is around her grandchildren.

It is Christ-like, she is always striving to follow His teachings and share His gospel with others.

This is my mom's heart.  This is my mom.


Feliz Cumpleanos Mama...Te Amo Mucho!



**My mom loves Anita Baker so I picked this song for her**

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So this is a post dedicated to all things random that has happened in my life recently...

Last week as we were getting ready to leave for Round-Up and I noticed one of these.....


"hanging" out in the corner of my garage.  Aric and Mike threw tennis balls at it until it came down.  I'm hoping it got separated from it's bat family, who is living comfortably in some cave in Utah. I'm sure it just started flying around with some seagulls and found himself out in our neck of the woods. Right....


Remember a few posts back I mentioned how we got our first pets, two fish, Lil Aric and Lil Jess, well....Little Jess couldn't take it anymore and committed fishy suicide this week.  She jumped right out of the bowl when I was trying to clean it and went straight into the garbage disposal.  So now Lil Aric is all alone. Clearly we are not cut out to be pet owners.



I recently discovered the yummiest treats ever...second only to The Hansen's Mississippi Mud... They are Three Muskateers Dark Chocolate Mint candy bars.  You can get regular size or these mini ones.


Three of these little guys are only 7 grams of fat.  I just got an eight pack for 88 cents.  I was so excited to share these little nuggets of heaven with Aric.  His casual reaction of "yeah they're alright" did not sit well with me.  I would not share them with him again.  Then last week he decided to try them again with a better attitude, giving them the respect that they deserved, and realized how delicious they really were so now I will share with him again.


The best invention ever!  Okay maybe not ever....but it is still very cool.  Let me introduce you to the "Bug Zapper".


It electricutes flies, bees and wasps and anything else that Aric can find.  We have a serious wasp issue around here and I had seen one of these before but didn't buy one until the end of the summer.  It was the best 10 bucks I spent this summer.  I will be carting it around with me next summer to every outing we go on.  Just doing my part to keep my kids sting free one wasp at a time.

**No honey bees have been injured or hurt while we have owned the Bug Zapper**


When I was in college I got my first cavities...four of them to be exact.  My dentist at the time took out my wisdom teeth at the same time he filled my cavities.  He gave me sleeping gas so I don't remember anything really except for waking up and the horrible recovery.  Well two of those fillings needed to be  refilled.  So I went in on Tuesday to have that done.  It was only supposed to take maybe an hour and Aric and I were going to go out for lunch afterwards.  Well....come to find out most people have four nerves coming out of their molars.  I have like six. 


My dentist, who also happens to be a very good friend, felt so bad.  When he would start drilling, I would flinch and he would have to give me another shot, this happened like four times AFTER the initial four shots. My appointment went way over and there was NO way I was eating anything for the rest of the day.  So no fun lunch with Aric.  My jaw is still hurting and I totally hate having extra nerves in my teeth.  Maybe that's why I get so easily annoyed.  More nerves...more things get on them...

I think that covers the random-ness that has happened the past few weeks.  If I think of anything else I will for sure post it.

**I picked this song because I love it and it is so random**

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let'er Buck!

Nothing says fall like the Pendleton Round-Up. Growing up in rodeo city gave me some interesting experiences but some of my favorite memories came from Round-Up. Although I was never into all things cowgirl....country music, wranglers and ropers, I loved not having to go to school for a week. You see, the school grounds are turned into temporary camps for the crazies that come into town and cause the population to triple for seven days. It gives for some very entertaining people watching and lots of reasons to sneak out of the house.
Let me paint the picture...
The smells... something like, bbq ribs and carmel corn mixed with alcohol and horse poo.
The sounds...totally inappropriate carnival music blaring, the you-can-barely-hear-it-yodeling is being drowned out by the screaming toddlers who have OD'd on snow cones and it's 2 hours past their bed time.
The fashion...tight wranglers, giant cowboy hats, tank tops with bra straps showing, totally crude t-shirts (this is when you wish your kids couldn't read yet and/or were blind), shiny belt buckles and lots of denim mini skirts.
The people...mostly drunk, mostly dirty, mostly scary except these guys of course...(there really are sober, clean, nice people in the mix. My mom would be upset if I didn't mention that.)
This year we invited our good friends the Sampson's along to experience R0und-Up.
Here are some of the highlights....
Indian Village.
The parade.
There's a little something for everyone...
Bag pipers...
Mariachi Bands...
Hey Ilene...I took this picture just for you and Dan. The Ducks were totally there to take in all that Pendleton has to offer.
Horses...of course...
And honestly, what can I say about this next picture....
Sasquatch chose the Pendleton Round-Up to "out" himself...he's real.
And then there's Smokey. I took this picture for my cousin Ammon who has a fondness for ol' Smokey. The poor bear wet himself at some point during the parade but didn't stop to change his pants. Educating the good people of Round-Up about forest fires was way more important.
The carnival.
We made Mike go on the rides with the kids.
The night life.
The main street of Pendleton is blocked off and it's filled with street performers, vendors and food.
Good ol' Papa Joe bought the girls snow cones and got them all sugar'd up.
Aric really wanted this monkey carved out of wood. But I said no.
We ran into my Tio Marco and his family one night. I love this picture of Pochito and Aric. Don't worry "Pochito" is his nick name. His real name is Marco Antonio Jr. He loves Aric because Aric will play wild and do tricks with him like throw him up in the air.
My favorite food.
Fajitas at Mazatlan. It's a family run Mexican Restaurant in town.
Do I really need to comment.....
We had a great time. I think the Sampon's are still our friends. I'm pretty sure they are trying to recover from all the scandalous things they witnessed that weekend. They were used to the more wholesome rodeos that Utah has to offer.
Thanks Pendleton for yet another memorable Round-Up....
Let'er Buck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Soccer Season...I'm lovin' it!

We have strict rule in our family...only one activity/sport at a time...exception...piano.  Maya has played for a couple of years now. Her first season wasn't so great, she totally didn't understand why her friends were kicking her.  But now she loves it! Eden has grown up going to Maya's games and she has wanted to play but she loved to dance more.  So in the past she has chosen dance. But this year she decided to give up dancing  (in the studio...not at home) and take up soccer.  She is awesome and I am so glad she gave it a chance.

I have to give up my Saturdays for eight weeks but that's okay. Because I get to watch this instead...

Eden's first goal!!!!!

September 2008 011

Here she is walking back towards her fans feeling pretty proud of herself.

September 2008 012

September 2008 013


I love this picture of Aric giving Eden some advice and congratulating her on her first goal.







Maya's first time playing goalie...she was AWESOME!  She had three amazing saves....

September 2008 026

September 2008 024 I was so proud of her.  She used to be afraid of the ball...now she is throwing herself in front of it!  She took a pretty good hit to the chest and didn't even flinch.  She was so excited because the coach was praising her goalie skills.  All the girls had a chance to play goalie but Maya was the best by far!




I love this picture because it totally captures our Soccer Saturday's...

September 2008 023

And yes...those are Eden's glasses.  My sleezy (don't be alarmed we use that word in a loving way) sister in law Sarah got Maya and Eden each a pair to match hers.  They wear them everywhere.  Edee got lots of comments on hers that day.  I call her J-Lo whenever she wears them.

September 2008 020 

Even on the soccer field we do not sacrifice fashion for sport.  All soccer divas know this. 

September 2008 009

Here's to a fabulous fall soccer season!

September 2008 015September 2008 035 

Go Ladybugs! (Eden's Team)   Go Lightning! (Maya's Team)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

See ya later summer!

The best way to say good-bye to summer is by going to Silverwood. It's a theme park with roller coasters and rides with a giant water park attached to it.  So the Friday before school started we took the girls for a day of fun.
Aric has a weak stomach and is afraid of heights so I usually have to go on the "big" rides with the girls.
The thing is my stomach really isn't that great either but I thought I could handle this ride.  It was the first ride of the day and the girls really wanted to go on it.  It seems safe enough, there is no going upside down at crazy speeds.  There wasn't even a real harness to keep us in.  With a name  like "Spinning Apple" how bad can it be....

I felt so sick after this ride, the elephant ear I had just eaten almost came back up.
Train Rides...I can handle train rides.
IMG_1071  IMG_1070
Especially twenty minute train rides that have pretend train robbers and take you by a herd of buffalo.
Nope not a joke....totally for real.

Here are a couple pictures of  the girls enjoying the train ride.
Aric braved this ride with the girls.  I waited forever for them to get to this spot so I could take the coolest picture ever and....this is what I got.  Not so cool.  But at least I got a shot of them.
I'm the kind of girl who only likes to get wet if it's like 100 degrees, so going to the water park at 84 degrees was a little tricky for me.  But the girls could have cared less.IMG_1101
(I love Eden in the back ground of that last picture.)
We had a great day. It was so nice to be together, just the four of us, all day without any distractions.  Unless you count the weird guy in the background of this picture...seriously what guy wears a towel like that, ever...especially in public!  Weird.
So good-bye summer...you were fun while you lasted.  Which wasn't very long...but we truly enjoyed every last drop of sunshine you gave us.  Maybe next year you can come a little sooner to make up for the shortness of this year.  Just something for you to think about. Until next year...
We will be missing you!
The Albrecht's