Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Too much time

Here are some updated pictures of my house. I was going to post the inside, but its not that exciting, and I didn't want to clean it, so sorry. Notice anything different on the outside? Yes, that's right, we put up shutters. And when I say we, I mean Nick. I did, however, paint the door all by myself. And if you get close enough to it, you can tell (which is why I stayed far away).

I decided today that I have a little bit too much time on my hands. I actually like it, however, because I feel like the creative side of me is coming out a little bit more. I just keep thinking, is this what normal people feel like? Where you work and then come home and have a bunch of hours? I've been so busy the last few years that I think my sense of a normal schedule is slightly off. It's nice that I'm home more though, because I love where I live. The only bad thing is that I have no friends and I feel sort of like a single person because school has begun to take over Nick's life. So I have been working really hard to find things to do by myself. I don't mind spending time by myself, I think its good for me. But my problem is, I still want to share everything with friends. So, whether you like it or not, here is my sharing of things that I am doing with too much time.

These are the blackberries right next to our house. There are a ton of them and they are SO good. So I've picked quite a few blackberries. I may attempt to make jam one day, but I am taking my domestic strides slowly. Don't want to do too much too fast (Rachel Green, "You know what happened to the girl who tried too much too fast don't you? She died.")

Mmmm, I end up eating a lot of them while I'm picking. Anyone who saw me taking this picture was probably a little weirded out. I am getting pretty good at self portraits though.

Here are my latest picks.

For those of you who know me well, you know how much I love flowers and potpouri (a.k.a. dried crap), so I thought I would try to put my flowers to good use. These ones were about to die, so I'm going to take them to my office at school. I've also been picking my gardenias and letting them dry out so that I can use them as potpouri; they still smell so good even after they're dead.

Here are some annuals I put above my kitchen sink. I feel all domestic. But who knows how long it will last. I am probably going to be coaching this year, so I'm sure once kids start school and I'm up really early in the morning, my energy may wear out. In the meantime, thanks for letting me share a little bit of my life with you. And I'm still hoping people come visit me when they get a chance!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Put to Work

In our second week at our new ward, Nick and I got callings. All I have to say is thank goodness, because that is the only way I really know how to make friends in wards. Considering my job as a freshmen counselor, I should have a lot of fourteen year old friends by the end of the year because I am the new mia maid advisor.
Nick got called as the Sunday School teacher for the 17-18 year olds. Nick and I couldn't have asked for better callings. We are both excited about working with the youth, and Nick will be pretty busy, so it will be perfect for him. As for myself, I have been campaigning to be in Young Women's for the last four years or so. Finally, it paid off! I think they called me before they had a chance to realize that I might be a bad influence on their daughters. I blew my chances in my old ward when I got in trouble with the stake young women's at girls camp (I just thought curfews were optional). So please, if you have any good ideas for fun activities, let me know, because I am not a very creative person.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Neglecting my camera

I have been terrible at taking pictures, something I think I am normally pretty conscious of. So I apologize that I can't share some of my most recent experiences in a very real way. But I promise I will get better. But life has been so great, and Nick and I are started to adjust to life here. I just wanted to share a few of the things that we've been up to.

- I started work at North Salem High School, meeting with parents and kids. I already have a lot of great stories to share about the wild and crazy kids I see. But I will only share one right now (I think I may add a sidebar with stories from school, because it's one of the greatest things about working in a school, passing along all of the ridiculous things teenagers do). I had a junior come in with a one month old baby girl a few days ago. And the baby was the cutest thing I had ever seen. We met for a while trying to figure out her schedule, I was a little distracted because I was cooing and smiling at the baby. I was so tempted to keep the baby, just pick her up and take off sprinting to my car. Who would have cared, I mean really? I was tempted to ask the girl what her secret was, any tips for fertility.
-Nick started school at Willamette, well, the orientation. He already loves it, and I have a feeling I am going to have to hear quite a bit about business principles and organization (I guess its just karma for me telling stories about my kids at school). He said about 30% of the students are international, and have moved from Asia, Middle East, Africa, etc. I think that surprised him, and he is learning a lot just from their experiences.
-We are a little surprised by the weather. It was 105 degrees here a few days, which is freakin' hot here! I walk outside and just start sweating. Luckily, my parents have seadoos, so we were able to meet my Mom and Sierra and take them out for an afternoon. The next three days, however, were 60 degrees maybe, and rainy and cloudy. It was a nice cool down, but my poor flowers and plants didn't handle it too well (yes, that's right, I'm attempting to grow things in my yard).
-We have visited a lot of the parks around Salem, and there are so many so close together. Nick and I went on a bike ride the other day to a bunch of them around downtown. It seems like they always have a lot going on in them; we went and saw a free movie outside in one of the big parks along the river.
-I saw a transvestite at TJ Maxx the other day, he/she was about 6'6", and clearly a man underneath the wig. It warmed my heart to have sexually confused people around me. Awww, diversity.
-We went to our ward and have visited with our bishopric, and everyone was SO nice. Our ward is small, but we're excited to get to know everyone.
-Perhaps the best thing so far has been our family cabin on Crescent Lake. I think it might be one of my favorite places. My uncle brings up his boat, and I've been able to wake surf, wakeboard, tube. But its also so nice to just lay out by the water, read, and breathe in all the clean air, and spend time with family. Plus, I get tanner there than perhaps anywhere else, and that's what's really important!

-I went to the library and had to refrain myself from checking out too many books. I limited it to 4. But I really just got gitty thinking about all the time I will have to read at night. I have been working and going to school for the last couple years and was really hardly ever home. It's kind of a stupid thing, but I'm a nerd, so what can you do (however, not as big as my sister Briawna when it comes to reading).

Sorry this has been a lot of writing, and not very many pictures. I generally try to avoid that. Nick and I have loved being here so far, and feel like we're doing what we're supposed to be doing in our lives, so that's a good feeling. But we still miss our friends, and sharing some of the fun stuff with them. We're hoping we make some soon :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Toto, I'm Not in Kansas Anymore

Substitute Kansas with Utah.
The last couple of days I have been doing district training for my job as a counselor. Most of it is extremely boring and painful, and I feel like I am back at the beginning of high school. I have had to introduce myself in the most unique ways over and over again. One of these introductions happened this afternoon; I had to group with three other educators, and we had to find things that were unique to only us and things we all had in common. The conversation went like this:

Girl #1: Oh I love Starbucks tea . . .

Girl # 2: Me too

Girl # 3: Yeah, I do too . . .

Me: Oh, I don't really drink tea

All girls: Oh okay . . .

Girl # 1: Well I love Starbucks coffee

Girl # 2: Yeah, of course

Girl # 3: We could put that down

Me: Sorry, I don't drink coffee

All girls: huh . . .

Girl # 1: Do you guys like wine tasting, cause I love wine tasting

Girl # 2: Oh yeah

Girl # 3: Mmm hmmmm, me too

Me: With a shrug, I don't drink alcohol

Extreme awkward silence.

I am realizing that I have had to introduce myself to a lot of new people that would have no clue that I am LDS, and so I'm definitely being forced to put myself out there. Even growing up, I didn't have to do that a ton because all of my friends just knew I was LDS, I didn't have to start from the beginning and explain everything. It's kind of scary, and I've been out of practice for a while. But I'm starting to get better at it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yeah right!

Okay, so maybe I'm a sore loser. Last night the chinese girls gymastics team beat out the U.S. for gold, and honestly, they really did better than the U.S. girls. But there is no way they are 16! And like the rest of the gymnastics world, I believe the Chinese government gave them passports that lied about their age. Look at the pictures and tell me for yourself. Maybe 12, maybe.

Stupid China.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Phew! I got a job. I will be starting work next week as a school counselor at North Salem High School. I will be working with the freshman, and I am not sure I could be more excited about it. I think I may have only gotten it because the school was desperate since school is starting soon, but I don't care, it's a great job, and its only about 3 miles away from my house. I don't think I've ever worked that close to where I live, and it will be a nice change from the different commutes I have had for the past few years. I also am only about a few blocks away from Willamette University, where Nick is going to school.

It's been a stressful few months for me, trying to figure out if I can find a job using my degree and still support Nick and I, but now I am feeling very blessed that it's all working out. And I feel really lucky that I will be able to do something I love.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wo, wo, wo, I haven't been here for the longest time

Before I begin my post, I have to say that I get a small personal satisfaction from finding post titles that are song lyrics. I don't know why.

So I apologize for not being up to date with my blog recently. Times have been hectic. Well, for a while, times were extremely boring (I was at my parent's house looking for a job day in and day out). But the last week has been hectic. Nick got into town with his Dad on Wednesday night. The truck was freakin' huge!!! It was seriously like a semi, and it had a car hitch on the back. It's amazing how much crap we collect. Luckily, my parents have a really big driveway, so it fit fine. All day Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I was on the phone. Seriously, the whole day, maybe minus two hours. We were having trouble with our loan, and I have NEVER been so anxious in my life. I was drinking so much Diet Dr. Pepper, I should have just had a straight IV. Thank goodness that didn't go on any longer. I think I broke down a few times each day each day, and my father in law saw a very scary side of me. It was exhausting as you can tell.

Poor Mike and Nick very tired from all of their hard work. They were snoring simultaneously. Julie and I were the only ones not surprised.

Saturday, we moved all of our stuff in, and had a moving party. Nick and I brought along, Mike, Julie, Dave, Stacy, Sierra, and some of the parent's friends. It wasn't too bad, and I have to say the one good thing about moving, is that its like Christmas. Everything that came out of the truck, I was like, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that!" I guess if I have nothing else to show for being married for four years, its a truck full of stuff. Sunday, we went back up to Lake Oswego with the in-laws to go the ward. We spent the day there, and had a great afternoon with the Cottles.

Sydney, MJ, and Nathaniel- Cottle cousins

Nick with some more Cottle cousins- Sam and Maddie

Playing Badminton in my parents backyard.

Sunday night Nick and I drove back down to Salem, and we have been unpacking, organizing, etc. since. I am extremely excited about my cute little house. I will probably post pictures of the inside (now somewhat decorated), because, well, let's be honest, it's the only thing I've got to think about these days :) A lot has happened that I would like to share in length, but to spare you, I decided to make a list of good and bad things that I have experienced since moving to Oregon.

First, the bad:

- I have seen and killed two spiders already, more than I would like to, and Nick told me yesterday that I better toughen up because I better plan on killing a lot. There are a ton in our yard.

-I have had to make promises to Nick in order to bribe him to get him to do stuff around the house for me, and I am in serious debt!

- I miss Palmer and Portia so bad, and my stupid sister won't come to Oregon. I think she's afraid they'll discover that they would prefer me as their mom. Come on Bri, you know it's true! Palmer left me a message a little over a week ago, saying, "Hi Lexie, this is Palmer. I love you. Bye" It was the cutest thing, and I have played it for anyone who will listen . . . a few times.

- I have learned that I am going to have to get in better shape for running, because everything is hills around here.

- I get terrible cell phone reception in my house (I'm sorry if I haven't called you back, see description of my last week above).

- The radio stations here suck. Nick misses Cozy.

- I still don't have a job :(

- I miss my friends. :(

Good news:

- I have trees all around me in my yard, and privacy.

- A home has already made me more domestic. I have cooked, and I have been working in my yard. I even almost planted a garden, but then my Mom told me it was too late to plant seeds. But next spring, I may have some deformed tomatoes and peas, so watch out!

- I have been able to spend time with a lot of family here. Nick, my Mom, and I went to this great swimming hole yesterday, and it was so much fun.

Nick and Mom at the swimming hole. Only my Mom wears a dress hiking. What a weirdo!

Me next to the waterfall at the swimming hole.

-I have so much space in my house!

- I love all of the flowers there are here. There are hanging baskets everywhere.

- This weekend we are going to the cabin, and are going to play on our uncle James' boat, and my parents jet skis, go swimming, and probably on some hikes. Life doesn't get too much better.

- I have a garage!

- We haven't gone yet, but the beach is close, and I will probably go soon. Just the possibility is liberating.

- It is beautiful to run here, there are trees and vineyards and fields and parks all around my house, so as much as I'm panting very very heavy, I am at least distracted while doing so.

- Everyone is very friendly in Oregon. People talk to me wherever I go, and I'm not really used to that. Pretty much the only time I've gone out this week, to the grocery store, I was asked if I was Mormon (I informed a person I moved from Salt Lake City). I was like, huh, oh, right, yeah, I am. It was a good thing I was wearing my conservative outfit, and not one of my bell shirts.

-The last and perhaps most important thing that has been great about moving here is my new love of Arrested Development. We don't have any cable yet, so we have been watching the first season on DVD. I will probably devote a whole post to this, because I can't explain how much I love the show. I think I will probably post something about each character now that I mention it. I don't know why it took me so long . . .

Until next time, please send me e-mails and tell me what you're doing. I miss hearing from you.