Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Catch Up, Part 2

Our life lately is so busy it's hard to describe.  I keep telling myself that 'next month' will be better.  But 'next month' is never less busy.  If anything, things are always picking up.

So I'm going to attempt to do another 'catch-up' blog while my computer is already on and running.

*March.  In March I was sick.  For a few days.  Ick. I saw Beauty and the Beast twice.  I was looking back on my phone for pictures (to see what we actually did in March) and we were so busy that I only took like 5 pictures.

*April was crazy.  Crazier than March.  Our French Memorial came and went.  Then a Circuit Assembly.  Then we had some health issues (we're fine).  Then hubby and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. We went to Truth or Consequences (known around here as 'T or C').  We went to Elephant Butte Lake.  It was very nice and low-key and perfect.  

*May.  My work picked up...not necessarily in volume, but in responsibility.  Communicating with physicians.  Educating others on audits.  More writing.  More researching.  More meetings.  I got promoted, which was nice.  It's been a long-time coming!  Our service dog also officially graduated.  We are so proud of him!  I saw Guardians of the Galaxy twice.  I don't know why I keep seeing movies twice ha ha.  We lost a very dear friend.  I think about her every day.  We prepped our house to sale.  The pictures were taken and 3D virtual tour filmed yesterday.  It will go on the market tomorrow (I think).  We started our 'official' French class.  

When I think of WHY we are so busy, it is mostly spiritual things (French, service, assignments, hubby has a LOT of responsibility both locally and beyond).  Which is good.  But it's also house stuff, work, and just everyday life.  Errands.  Appointments.  

But mostly, it's French.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE our French group.  We are a family.  I mean that 100%.  A true family.  But I NEVER thought it would be as time consuming as it is.  And it seems like the more we get into it, the more time consuming it is (we are in year 4).  My husband usually has a part each week.  I usually have one at least every 3 weeks, sometimes more if I am asked to fill in for someone.  The studying is time-consuming.  Preparing comments is time-consuming.  Everything takes at least 3 times as long as it does in English.  The reason I had my computer open tonight is because I was helping my husband translate his part (a 10 minute part) for tomorrow night.  There are just so many little rules an things you have to think about when translating.  Like the word face.  In English, we use the word face for many different meanings but it's the same word.  You have something on your face.  You are going to face a challenge.  You are getting your cabinet re-faced.  One word, multiple meanings.  If you type in 'face' into Google Translate (don't ever use Google Translate, I beg of you), it comes up with the word face (pronounced 'foss').  But that word in French means to 'face something head on'.  The word for your actual FACE on the front of your head that includes your eyes, nose, mouth, etc. is 'visages' (VEE-SOJ).  Yep.  So when translating something like 'look at their faces in the picture', you have to use 'visages' instead of 'face'.  That's just ONE little example of things to think about.

And sentence structure....oh my.  Totally different.

One of our recommended reading articles for our French homework this week had a whole paragraph on how things can't be translated word for word in any language.  That's not how it works.  The examples it gave were really good and really shows how you can't plug something in to a translating site and expect it to come out perfectly.  It will make no sense.  Google is not that smart!

Our Saturdays are full for the next 18 weeks.  Yep.  French class is from 10:00 - 12:00.  Then service right afterwords.  Then French meeting from 4:00 - 6:00.  On Sundays we usually clean, get groceries, and try to get ready for the week ahead.  But 18 weeks of class.  Homework.  Studying.  At orientation they told us we would each be writing a story.  They said we needed a quiet place to study.  They said this is a big commitment.

All of this while trying to sell two houses and buy one, working full-time, etc.

But....I wouldn't change any of it.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  It's sooooo totally worth all of the time and effort it takes.  I can't imagine life without our French family.  It would feel empty.  It's worth the extra time and the crazy Saturdays and the feeling of panic when you raise your hand on the fly without completely knowing what you're going to say in French.  It's worth it!!!

I am hoping to post more (I always hope!) and most likely it will be 'French heavy' because, well, that is our life right now.  And I blog about life.  

That's it for's past my bedtime and I still have about 30 minutes worth of chores to do.  :)  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Catch Up

Lots to catch up on, considering my last blog post was last year!  I REALLY am going to try harder.  Because I love looking back and my posts.  It's like an online diary.


*Found out when our Regional Convention will be...end of July!  I'm kind of hoping to also go to the French one in California in June, but that probably won't happen.  We'll see!

*I flew to Nebraska for a long weekend.  It was great!  I had a lot of fun.

My furry niece Ginger:

She's a sweetheart.

I got to spend time with my nieces and nephews:

And Mom, Dad, and Grandma of course:

My nephew Micah taught me how to play chess.  I lost.  Ha ha:

And before I knew it, the trip was over and I was flying back home.

When my Grandpa died, my mom had asked if there was anything I wanted of his.  The first thing that popped into my head was the 'duck box'.  When I was probably 10 years old, I bought my Grandpa an anniversary gift.  It was a wooden box that held two decks of cards that had a brass duck attached to the top of it.  My Grandpa played solitaire regularly his entire life.

He used this box exclusively.  Which made my heart soar.  I loved that he used it so much to hold his cards that he played with every single day.  

I knew it was a long shot, but I asked my mom that if she happened to come across the duck box, I would love to have it.

She found it.

I was elated!  When I got home from Nebraska, I promptly put it with our games (with Grandpa's cards still in it).

I love it and it makes me happy every time I look at it.


February was busy, but good.  Husband and I started walking the trail near our house:

I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty.  And a nice long walk.

We also went to a work function of his that was fancy and fun:

But the highlight of the month was the Circuit Overseer visiting.  The last talk he gave was wonderful.  I took tons of notes.  Some in French, some in English.


I know it's just the beginning but it's been busy.  I helped my mother-in-law clean out some rooms in her house.  During that process, I stumbled across a bag full of little trinkets and things from her trip to Austria in 2009.  I took them home, framed some of them and put the rest in a keepsake box:

She loved it!

And right now:

I have a goal this year to read 52 books (one per week).  I've read 8 so far, which puts me one book behind.  Not too bad!  I keep track of them on Goodreads.  I also renewed my library card.  With the Albuquerque Public Library system, I get free access to Hoopla, a site with tons of free audible and ebooks. It works just like a library.  You check them out and have them or 3 weeks and then turn them back in. I listen to the audible books in my car.  It's so awesome!  Right now I'm listening to 'Go Set a Watchman' by Harper Lee, read by Reece Witherspoon.

We are also currently in the VERY early stages of house hunting/selling/etc.  Not sure when all that is going to happen, but we're thinking about it.

I've started bullet journaling again.  There is just NO planner out there that has what I want.  So I bought my own, made my own calendars, lists, etc.  It is VERY simple. only decorations in it is washing tape.  But I LOVE it.  It feels right.  

I have become obsessed with YNAB and budgeting again.  I'm telling is life changing.  We have every penny planned.  It sounds 'strict', but it's really not.  Like today I bought a cute new pouch for my coupons, another moleskin book to track my food, and a couple other 'fun' things, but it's okay because it was in the 'Angie Spending Money' category.  I just cannot say enough good things about this budgeting program.  It's all web based so you can access it anywhere.  It is $45 per year.  It pays for itself almost immediately.  Every day I get to work early and I budget and reconcile our bank account.  I LOVE doing this.  The amount of stress and anxiety that this relieves me is incredible.  That alone is worth the $45 per year!  Budgets are FREEING.  If I would have known what a difference having (and sticking to) a budget would do for us, I would have started it years ago.

And that's the latest!  Well, for now.  I have some other blog topics, let's just hope I get to them sooner than once every 3 months!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Year in Review

So....2016 was kind of a rough year.  It was not great health-wise.  We lost a couple of family members (VERY recently).  It was just a difficult year.  Which I was kind of expecting.  2015 was so fantastic that I was kind of expecting 2016 to be a little bumpy, just because that's how things usually work.

But instead of focusing on the negative, I'm going to focus on the positive things that happened in 2016 (and there were a lot!)

*I visited my family in Nebraska
*Hubby was appointed an elder
*Hubby had a Circuit Assembly part
*We traveled to Four Corners (NM, AZ, UT, CO)
*We had a great 6 year anniversary weekend in Santa Fe
*My sister came to visit
*We had a lovely guest stay with us during Pioneer School
*Husband got a new, much less stressful job
*Got lots of house projects done
*Walked a 5K and did pretty good
*The Cubs won the World Series
*My sister-in-law and nephew came to visit
*Had another successful Black Friday shopping outing
*Gilmore Girls was revived on Netflix
*We got our Emergency Preparedness bags completed

So actually, it wasn't that bad of a year after all!  :)  We'll see what 2017 brings!

A Surprise Visit

In November, my husband and sister-in-law pulled off a major surprise.  I was expecting some overnight guests from Ohio, and instead, in walked my sister-in-law and one of my nephews from Nebraska!  It was the most surprised I've ever been in my life.

We had SUCH a great time.  We went to the observatory, the aquarium, relaxed at home, and ended our visit with a drive up to the top of the mountains.

It was the best gift ever.  My husband is amazing!  He always knows just what I need.  :)

Duke City 5K

Earlier this year, I signed myself and my husband up for the Duke City 5K run.  I'm not sure what inspired me as I hate running.  But I thought it might be fun. A couple days before the run though I was at Urgent Care with an awful sinus infection.  So race day came on Saturday and we ended up switching to the 5K walk instead of the run.  It took a lot of pressure off, plus saved my lungs.   

It was fun.  AND we ended up both finishing first in our age class.  Not too shabby!!!

Kitchen Cabinets

Wow, it's been a while!  I was going to do just one giant post about everything that's going on since I posted last, but I decided to break it up a little.  I basically just went through the photos on my phone to see what we've been up to.

In the beginning of October, we repainted our kitchen cabinets.  This was a pretty big project.  We've been wanting to do it for years, but have put it off because, well, time.

Here's the before:

It was a mess.  We tapped off the kitchen from the rest of the house, covered everything up, and used our garage as the painting area.  Then we sanded, primed, and painted.  

And here are the beautiful afters:

It looks sooooo much better!  It was a ton of work, but so incredibly worth it!  The kitchen looks so much bigger and it just brightened everything up!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Farewell Hastings

Hastings is a store that sells new and used books, movies, music, comic books, figurines, and a whole array of other (sometimes odd) things.

It was my 'go-to' store for books and movies and tv on dvd.

They've gone bankrupt, so they are closing all of their stores nation-wide.  It's so sad!  Their prices were great, especially when they were having sales. Most of our tv series on dvd came from Hastings.  We don't buy nearly as many movies as we used to (new from Target or Walmart), because we would always wait a month or so and get a used copy at Hastings for less than 1/2 the price.

One day last year they were having a sale on all of their used books:  Buy one at regular price (usually between $3 - $10) and get 2 more for $1 each.  My husband and I spent the day driving all over town browsing.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  Just searching through all of the used books and getting so excited when we would find one on our list was a blast.

We don't have any other 'chain' used books/movie stores here that I know of.  I'm hoping we might get a Half Priced Books now or something.

Today, since it was a day off, I made one final trip to Hastings.  I only went to one, the one we usually go to:

I browsed through the movies first, then the books.  Then the movies.  Then the books.  I took my time and walked through each aisle.  I known it sounds silly, but I was a little sentimental about it!

Today, I bought 5 books and 2 movies for about $30.

I am going to really miss this place.  Thank you Hastings for the years of entertainment!