28 February 2008

2 things.

good afternoon friends. i'm in a great mood today because i woke up and the sun was shining, the air felt warmer than usual, and i had a really good tuna sandwich. i'm also going "antiquing" later today...my favorite pastime. anyway, the point of this post is to show you two things: 1) my guest bedroom. it's basically as complete as it's going to get for awhile. i eventually want to paint all the furniture a cream antiqued color, but that project isn't going to happen for awhile. the reason i'm posting this is that i am trying to entice you to come visit me. and you get your own bathroom to go with it. i love visitors, seriously. i will feed you, take care of you, entertain you...and the mattress is DIVINE. and i love the bedding (courtesy of my fashion-savvy sister-in-law jenye, who works at pottery barn and is very giving of her discount). i mean, this could be your bed. alright, enough of that. 2) i was on www.people.com a few days ago (don't worry, i check this website at least 4 times a day. i have a sickness) and what i saw really surprised me. i felt very proud actually. see below. hope you are all having a fabulous day! love to everyone.

this is kind of blurry, but if you can't read it, it says: "the truth about life's great questions is now restored." then the advertisement switched to the picture under this one. i saw this ad for the church on people.com. let me repeat that...i saw this ad for the church on people.com. i was amazed.

21 February 2008

vegas: documented.

as you all know, we up and went to vegas last weekend. we all piled into zach and katie's 4Runner...yes that's right. zach, katie, andrew (in car seat), alex, megan, jake and me. we were quite cozy. anyway, we had a blast and would do it all over in a heartbeat. we're really thankful for friends like the beans and the hillsteads. there is never a dull moment.

this picture literally makes me laugh. the guilt on alex's face is priceless. the smile on megan's face is classic. and then there is jake, ready to rock and roll.

this is for you blake. they are holding their rings, if you can't tell.

andrew's first experience with the baby bjorn. i think he liked it, and his mommy liked it too.


we love these guys.

hi there.

the wynn was so cool. jake wants this as our next kitchen theme. right.

so tough.


the girls.

smile! you're on candid camera.

so lucky.

good times.

katie is pretty.

what's that huge, shining, hot ball in the sky??

People's 2008 sexiest man alive.

little drew, quite content by the pool.

alex is a weirdo. this is why we love him.

the boys.

katie and me.

megan and me.

zach and jake.

jake and alex, debating whether to gamble or not. ha!

american idol 2.

here are the favorite girls (in no particular order). i think they rock.



brooke (and not just because she's mormon...come on i'm not that ridiculous. i actually think she is pretty amazing)

19 February 2008

american idol.

so i'm pretty sure the only year i was ever crazy about american idol was the year kelly clarkson won. i cried when she sang that final song. i'm such a loser. well, i decided to watch it this season and jake and i l.o.v.e. it. i watched it tonight and have found my two favorites for the guys. tomorrow, i'll post my two favorites for the girls. i know it seems like i have a lot of time on my hands to post something about american idol, but for some reason i'm obsessed with this season. and for the record, i completed my homework before i made this post. ha!

16 February 2008

vegas, baby.

we are up and leaving for vegas in one hour. i love that i married someone who will go on spontaneous adventures with me. peace out.

14 February 2008

it must be said.

happy heart day. kiss someone you love.

13 February 2008

my favorite thing

one thing that brings me incredible amounts of j.o.y. is reading. my friend tori (thank you dear, by the way) sent me an email to this beautiful website called goodreads and i am so thankful. where have i been? honestly. apparently many of my lovely friends are already signed up, which was such good news. i love to see what my friends are reading and i love to get suggestions for new books. so, if you are interested, you should sign right up. reading not only enhances your happy thoughts but it keeps your brain ticking and developing.

i am so happy.

10 February 2008

my cup runneth over

in my own humble opinion, no show has ever been so inspiring and moving as extreme makeover home edition. every sunday night i watch it and just sit on my couch and cry. i watched the episode tonight about a marine who almost died over in iraq. he lost a leg, almost bled to death but he was saved by his men so that he could continue to be a father to his four children. when he got home, his wife randomly divorced him after 9 years of marriage, leaving him to raise four children alone. i have never seen such a humble man. i literally sat on my couch and balled my eyes out. anyway, if you don't watch it, you should. actually, you need to. in fact, i dare you. you will be inspired to do something with your life. thank you ty pennington. i am overwhelmed at how many incredible, good-hearted, beautiful people there are in this world. the volunteers on this show are amazing. optimism is contagious. i have a new goal to run with that.

09 February 2008

want to make a difference? prove it.

i've been thinking today. lately, i've really been praying to find opporunities to serve others--even if it's something small. i've realized that some of the happiest times in my life have been when i've been in the service of others. my mission means everything to me. i cherish my time in thailand doing tsunami relief work almost more than anything. i am really thankful for people who have inspired me to get involved in doing so many incredible things. for one of my classes, i have to write an article on...well, on something. my choice. since i've had service on the brain, i've decided to write about Empowering Nations, the non-profit volunteer-based foundation that i was with when i went to thailand. i wanted to share it with all of you. get involved. i'm telling you. your life will be changed forever.

It began as a relatively dormant foundation, completing only a few projects here and there. Today, however, Empowering Nations has traveled to places like Thailand, Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, and Peru. Their volunteers have built schools and homes, provided micro-credit training, taught disease-prevention methods, bolstered literacy, and provided disaster relief. It has grown into a foundation that completes projects all over the globe in a fierce fight against poverty, impacting the lives of thousands.

In 2002, BYU graduate Mike Poelman took an idea and ran with it. It is a well-known fact that there are thousands of foundations and non-profit organizations all around the world. Yet, how many of those foundations and organizations know how to efficiently use their donations and effectively facilitate their volunteers? This was a major concern for Poelman and he decided to do something about it. He saw a need for a volunteer-friendly and low-cost organization that could actually make a difference and fight against poverty.

With the help of four other students and world-renown expert in social entrepreneurship (and BYU professor) Dr. Warner Woodworth, Empowering Nations came to life. According to their mission statement, they are a proactive volunteer-run non-profit organization committed to empowering the poor through education and relief and to promote and facilitate the involvement in the fight against poverty throughout the world. Poelman’s simple idea has turned into an incredibly proactive group that stops at nothing to promote positive change.

Executive Director of Empowering Nations, Sarah Carmichael Parson, says, “One of my main beliefs about EN is that we believe that one person can make a difference. Even though poverty and development issues that plague underdeveloped nations are immense in scope, we as individuals can and must do something to help. We cannot be overwhelmed by the problem, but must be driven to want to do something to help. Even though we are individuals, we can make a difference in the lives of those we serve. That it is our duty to do so.” Empowering Nations doesn’t go around giving pamphlets to the poor on how to solve their problems. Instead, they actively teach and empower people to help themselves and ultimately create a lasting change. Not only do volunteers alter the lives of others, they alter their own lives forever as they give all they’ve got in the service to those who need it most. Empowering Nations not only believes, but they know that one person can, in fact, make a significant difference.

Empowering Nations isn’t on the brink of stopping their efforts any time soon. Their projects continue year to year and their volunteer numbers are on the rise. This year, their projects will take them to Paraguay, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana and Peru where they will help people to learn about entrepreneurship, economic education, family preservation, community health, and orphanage support.

If you are interested in being a part of Empowering Nations, you can visit their website at www.empoweringnations.org or send an email to empoweringnations@gmail.com.

05 February 2008

hakuna matata

this past weekend was a lot of fun for jake and me. we went night skiing on friday night and l.o.v.e.d. every minute of it. it was freezing but we didn't even notice after awhile. just shake those hands and wiggle those toes to get the blood flowing again and you're good to go. also, i love the mountains. really...almost more than most things.

no, jake is not wearing a cape. and yes, we're still having a grand old time.

we listened to old school rap from the high school days on the way to ski...which means, of course, that we're hard.

katie and me before skiing.

this is what i look at every night from my backyard (my very small and wonderful backyard). i love the mountains.

need i say more?