Saturday, December 3, 2011

I watched this video earlier this week. 

I tried to think of what I would do. 

I thought about that last week - I decided I would sing "Silent Night" versus crying.

But, today, one of my favorite people has died. 

He meant a lot to me. 

He was a friend, then a Bishop, and finally a co-worker. 

He always laughed. 

Always smiled. 

Taught me that the reason we have jobs in this life is simply so we can support our families. 

He helped me to receive my endowments.

 Through his guidance, I married by best friend for eternity.

He was a friend.

He got me my favorite job/internship. 

He would come to offer me a smile after a meeting, dropping by the lab and waving hello!
I owe him so much.

His wife's example over the last few weeks has carried me.

She has been upbeat and faithful.

I am inspired and touched. 


I have lost a great many people in my short life already.

I thought it would be easier, by now, to say this.


Its not.


God Be With You Till We Meet Again, Bishop McNeil.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Camera Post..


I own a Nikon. 

I am thinking of switching to Canon. 


I simply feel like Canons take better pictures without as much effort. haha

And, a friend mentioned that the lenses AF with all models, and they're cheaper. 

I'm selling my Nikon D5000.

Now.... what to get next?

-i posted on fb, so any comments, anywhere, are awesome-

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Book

I read a few good books lately, and you should too!

1. The Heart of Rachel - this is probably my favorite. It talks a lot about marriage, in the most interesting way.

2. The Woman in White - this is a murder mystery, but set in the time of Jane Austen. Dull? Not even close! I could not put it down!

3. The King in the Window - This might already be on "my bookshelf," but its so cute that I just felt like mentioning it once again.

The End

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hair Dilemma.

I've noticed that as I've gotten older,
my spelling has gotten worse. 

Is that even how you spell dilemma?


Vote away:

1. Dark hair again?

2. Highlights? 

3. Pretty sure I'm getting fringe. 


ps- decision by the end of the week. i'm going nuts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chocolate dream in a mug...

Thanks, Rach.

I loved this!

So did Tyler.

 perfect midnight snack!
esp since it takes less than 5 mins...

Thursday, October 20, 2011



Today I made a big decision. I moved without clearing it with the world. I made a life changing, game-deciding choice. That choice was to be true to myself. I suppose I had never looked at myself and ask what I wanted. I have always looked outward. I aim to please. I do not always succeed, which makes life challenging.

I went to a challenging high school, one where academics were supreme. I was raised in a home
where education was valued. All of these things are motivational and orient the student for success.
Internalizing the value of grades to determine the value of self is unfortunate, but common. In college, I found myself in a familiar environment. The college I chose, however, did not reflect my focus on academia. Something was different; it focused on something more. Regardless, I chose to study hard, become incredibly stressed, not focus my energy on relationships, and instead, lead an unhealthy lifestyle, both emotionally and mentally. Sports were a rescuing outlet. I found myself graduating from college engaged, to someone who took the time to understand and then unwind me. He had plenty of patience. He had immense love. And I had secrets.

Secrets of not being able to love myself. Secrets that kept me from smiling all the way. Secrets that kept me from happiness because I could not measure up to an immeasurable standard.

I had never lived for anything but the grade, the job, the promotion, the expectation. After 3 years of
blissful marriage, something is changing.

Feeling as though I was not achieving my potential, I determined that I was to apply for PA school. I was excited, dreaming about the increase in income, the prestige, and the notoriety that I would receive for again accomplishing another goal-oriented task, related to academia. Did making this decision make me happy? Why would I stop to ask?

He had seen me through school when we were first married, taking 25 credits per semester. I did not stop to eat, sleep, use the restroom, exercise, or hang out with friends. Over the 3 semesters that I was in school, he lessened my abrasive studying ethic and helped me to unwind. My overall scores in classes dropped only 2%. This was tangible. I could feel a difference. I could see a difference. People looked at me differently. Happiness was again starting to squeak through the tiny holes in my fa├žade of academia. Graduation occurred, a job procured. What a joy to just work and then come home! At first. Then, it got hard. But, I learned how to fill my time with hobbies, which I had never been able to do before. I learned about cooking, baking, sewing, crafting. I learned about friends, photography, and balance. For the first time, I did not feel guilty for having fun. Relief. Love of self.

Years passed. Two. Back to school – taking prerequisites for PA school. I had been here before, before we were married. The Lord had given instruction for me to peruse another course of interest. But now, years later, things must be different! I had learned so much in my last program – surely this was the knowledge that I needed to help me in PA school this time around. I signed up for courses. Bought notebooks, textbooks, new pencils and pens. Found the messenger bag, and packed myself around the campus when I wasn't working. Filled with the joy of learning, I shot off into the first chapter. And all was well.

Subtly, a gloom crept into my world. Starting on the outer edges, I could see it only faintly in the
periphery. Days passed, and I grew to match this gloom. Overwhelmed; anxious once again about not
being perfect. Loathe of self.

He could see me slipping. He knew to interfere would be fruitless. I had to make the decision. I called
my dad and worked through a series of interfering thoughts that kept me bound in fear. Fear of
disappointing others. Fear of being seen as less than __. If I did not accomplish this goal, I would be
worthless, in my own eyes.

My dad brought me back to reality. Helped me to remember my priorities. I found peace in that
moment. That night, He and I went for a drive and I revealed to him my decision and asked if he could and would support me in it. He sighs. A giant sigh of relief. He had been waiting for me, patiently. We felt combined, whole, united. Again on the same page. No more PA school.

A glimmer of happiness pushed a piece of the gloom on the periphery off the edge. Gloom knew the tide was changing.

A few more days went by. I needed ice – my teacher had changed the syllabus without giving notice and a new chapter had been added to our exam and cold caffeine was the only way I was going to get through the night. Called a friend, who has known us since we were first married. I ran over, she asked about the stress, I explained briefly, and then she offered to bring dinner the following evening. Dinner? Why? One look, not given purposefully by her, gave me the final clue. She remembered. She remembered.

I remembered.

I went home, studied, and within 4 hours, I realized again what needed to be done. He came home.
Brought dinner since I had not taken time to eat since lunch. 9-10 hours. See the pattern? I chatted with him about the craziness of the night and we laughed. Then, he and I began to earnestly talk as the lights were put out around the house. The lamp above the bed gave a rosy and calming illumination to the room. Blankets wrapped around us; anxiety and fear gave way to tranquility and calm peace.

“Do you think I should drop this class?” I asked, anxious a little. I explained my doubts in myself and my future. “What will the children think? So and so has a MS degree and I…”

“Only have 2 degrees and you’re brilliant,” He said.

My gloom gave a shudder…struggling to hold on.

“Do you think you would be happier?” He asked, concerned that I would not see the pattern repeating.

“I know I would be happier. But what would I tell other people? I would feel ashamed, but I know that I need to do something different.”

Feeling encouraged, I explained that I knew I could make the choice and stand by it. I felt that my
priorities were changing. I wanted to work to support my family and have a happy countenance. I knew myself well enough to know that being in school with my current mental attitude would undo all of the progress that I had made within the past year and a half. Gone would be the love of self. Gone would be the happiness of creating something from scratch. Gone would be the ability to support as well as I could someone who deserved all of that support.

If I continued with this class, I would undo all of my progress:

Academic progress < personal progress.

Personal progress > academic progress.

Simple equation, harsh reality, over T.

T = time.

Time remembered gave me the strength to overcome my biggest battle yet – the war I was at with

Sleep took us. Morning woke us.

I woke up, overjoyed. Just happy. Simply happy. No reason at the break of my dawn, just happiness. As I awoke more fully, I felt the gloom slip past the borders of my periphery. The sunbeams of happiness dashed the dreadful dream to pieces. I was at peace with myself.

Never before had I made this type of decision and been so rewarded.

I wanted to tell everyone! Shouting at early morning hours will surely not bring joy to others, and as
much as I have changed, I still aim to please a little.

I called the institution of higher education, explained my plan. Called Tyler, and as I sat at the computer, with the cursor hovering over the “Drop Class” button, I asked, in a pleading tone, “Will you give me the go ahead?”

“I give you full permission. Ready, set, Go!” He cried.

On ‘go,’ I gave the button a mighty click.

Victory was mine.


I wrote this just a week or so ago. 

I'm still trying to hide in my apartment...

Not really, but you know what I mean.

I find a lot of happiness in doing what I know is right for me. 

I love watching people decide to go back to school,

I love watching them conquer the difficult tasks. 

Most of all, I love watching people follow their dreams.

I'm finally learning to follow mine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken and White Bean Stew

So, dinner tonight was delish! I have to share this recipe with you. I thought about taking pictures, but didn't. Oh well. It is quite simple and cooks in the crock-pot! High or low. Which means, you can make this fast or slow!

Chicken & White Bean Stew - Better Homes and Gardens

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces (1") 
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
2 10-oz pkg refrigerated light Alfredo sauce*
1 15-oz can white kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 cup chopped red onion (I used a white onion)
1 4-oz can diced green chilies, undrained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Fresh parsley, or the dried herb for a garnish

*I use a to-die-for homemade Alfredo sauce, if I do say so myself. I substituted this homemade sauce for the 2 pkgs of Alfredo.

     Alfredo Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
8 oz of cream cheese
1 cup half-n-half (do not use fat free!!!! fat free keeps things from mixing into a smooth solution)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste
Herbs after if you'd like
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Once butter is almost melted, cut up cream cheese and add it.
- Once butter and cream cheese are mixed well, add the Half-n-half, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and pepper. Stir until well mixed.
- Take off burner once its sauce-like and set aside to let it thicken.

Stew Directions:
1. Sprinkle chicken with cumin and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken, half at a time, in hot oil until brown, or cooked completely. Place chicken in a crock pot.
2. Make Alfredo sauce here if you're using mine, or one of your own!
3. Stir in Alfredo sauce, beans, broth, onion, chili peppers, and garlic.
4. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4-5 hours or on high heat for 2-2 1/2 hours. If desired, sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese and parsley!

I would consider adding tomatoes, chopped, to the stew at the end of its cooking time - maybe 5 minutes before you're ready to serve. I think they would taste great. If you don't like tomatoes, add some tabasco sauce. Tyler can't live without it.

I hope you like it! Its perfect for the fall! Add "You've Got Mail" to your background music and you've got one perfect fall afternoon ahead of you! Oh, and the Serendipity Soundtrack.

Happy fall!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

shooting sarah

I love these. 

For more, check out the album on flickr.

What do you think?!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sneak Peek!

Lovely, isn't she?!

Thanks, Sarah, for being my model!

Just a little peek at my photog session with Jalene!

Thanks you guys!
[unedited, but just you wait!]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Farewell to Arms...

The dawn is breaking,
a light shining through.

What are we doing? 
Shufflin' to the new routine.

You see, 
changes are happening around here. 
Goals have been made,
written on the white board,
and are attempting to be conquered.

  -take a deep breath-

everything works out.
it always does.
it always will.

Its sorta like being one of the 
And, we're back.
Back at it.
Hittin' the books.

Am I crazy?
Does anyone recall,
with clarity, mind you,
how I act during the "school-season?"

I'm insane.
Forget living.
I live to study.

This semester,
I'm trying new things.
Working a full 7on/7off,
[that's old]
while going to school online.

Harmless, right?

Preemptive strike on stress:

1) Daily scripture study, personal + couple

2) Exercise 3x + a week

3) Set a routine

4) I started looking at the budget again
(the budget = as much stress as school)

5) Maybe plan out a meal schedule?
(enter wishful thinking)

6) Keep breathing. 

7) Pray.

Remember that entire post I dedicated to faith?
Ironic that now its being tested?
I think not.
More, I think the Lord has a sense of humor
and a plan.
A plan that will make me stronger,
more balanced,
more faithful.
More diligent in His service.
More fervent in prayer.

And so it begins.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Glasses Case!

Isn't this a darling idea?

I love her blog, and her tutorials are awesome!

I found this little ribbon on a wedding invitation,
so I decided to always have it with me! 
[weddings always make me happy!]

I hand stitched the ribbon, since I decided to add it
I had already sewn the entire thing. 

What do you think!?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Painting Project!

I know I've been a big tease,
not posting my projects!

Well, I finally cracked. 
Here is the first one!

I found this on the side of the road, 
after midnight, 
with Tyler and Paul.

We put it in the back of the Murano,
under the cover of darkness, 
and away we went!

I should have taken a before picture,
but Paul has a before video that he might remember to send me!

It used to be black (on the metal pieces)
and the people before us did something...creative.
They took foam poster board, 
spray painted it red,
and then sewed it onto the back of the frame.

I had to use my seam-ripper to get the dang poster board off.

I grabbed some cheap spray paint,
and painted over the black for the first few coats.
Then, I grabbed the Krylon white spray paint,
gloss finish I think.
And bam!
It looks so much better!

We sold our dishwasher (we never used it)
and then I rearranged my entire kitchen to make room!
Its so nice to have this piece.
Especially since its no longer red and black.
[my entire kitchen is white + wood for the moment]

Stay tuned for the sewing projects!

The Australian Takes America by Storm

 My bro-in-law, Paul.

Remember how he came to visit us? 
Well, he just happens to love Wal-Mart. 
And he loves everyone there.

I'm sure this girl was freaked out. haha
But, Paul needed a picture with everyone!
He shook their hands, 
he videoed their encounter,
and he told everyone, "Welcome to Wal-Mart!"

This guy loved Paul.
Maybe I'll find a better picture. 

For more information about why Paul loves Wal-Mart, get this:
In Australia, there's a 40% income tax. 40%! Are we serious?!?!
So, after you pay 10% to tithing, and 40% to the gov, 
you're bringing home 50% of what you make.
Minimum wage there is $19 (about).
How crappy is that?

So, when Paul came to America, 
we went to Wal-Mart everyday.
Can you blame him!?

 Next, family game time. 

Naturally, whenever Paul + Wendi + the girls come into town,
everyone gathers. 
We'd better, considering its a 24 hour travel day.

 Wade has to read the rules so Scott won't cheat..
haha jk!
Snorta was the first game that they played! So funny!
Next, they played Shooting Ducks.
Both are stellar!

 Iris + Tiia
2 of my favorite nieces!
Tiia is such a great niece - she and I go shopping together, 
because she is the fashion guru in my life.
I'm still rocking polos and birkenstocks. 
Tiia puts me in cute dresses and tiny belts (via botiques), 
You'd have to see her to believe it. 
She's amazing.


Need I say more!?
She was born 2 months before Tyler and I were married.
I've been working really hard since then to get her to think I'm the best.
I'm slowly succeeding!!!

 This is my SIL Jennine.
She's my lifesaver. 
I love her.
Tiia and Iris are hers, along with 3 others. 
They're the only grandkids here in the States.
And we love all of them!

ps - i'm in a current love-hate relationship with my hair.
too long? too red? 
And, I didn't really get ready. Don't look too close. haha

 Jennine and Lauren attempting to feed Ryan, Jennine's youngest.
She's redoing their basement while taking care of 5 kids.
She knocks down walls, 
How. Does. She. Do. It?

Ryan, loving veggies.
Or, something. haha
Tiia + Gus-puppy.
He looks like an Ewalk. (how do you spell that?!)
And, he loves me. 
Every time we come to see Ty's parents, 
he just jumps all over me! 
Ah, I love attention. haha

 1. Ryan tries to grab Paul's ear... Micheal-Lee loves it.

 2. Attempt number two....

3. Got him!!!!


Ty's Birthday Dinner - Rodizio Grill
 Paul + Tyler = hilarious
How awkward is that picture?

 The boy + I


We wish you guys still lived here!!!
We miss you!
Hope to see you in January!!!! 

Love, Krista + Tyler

Monday, August 29, 2011

Exercising Faith

Recently, a friend asked me some questions about faith. I thought a lot about it this morning as I made preparations for dinner/treats/etc, and my morning was a lot better for having started out the day by pondering the doctrines of the gospel. I thought I would share with you what I discovered this morning.

I listened to most of the General Conference talks this morning from April Conf. to help get some ideas rolling.

One talk, by Steven E. Snow entitled, "Hope," caught my attention.

Our hope in the Atonement empowers us with eternal perspective. Such perspective allows us to look beyond the here and now on into the promise of the eternities. We don’t have to be trapped in the narrow confines of society’s fickle expectations. We are free to look forward to celestial glory, sealed to our family and loved ones.
In the gospel, hope is almost always related to faith and charity. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught: “Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time” (“The Infinite Power of Hope,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 21).

I really like this passage, because I think it does a great job in explaining why we need hope (because it couples itself with faith, etc).

Also, Alma 32 is an entire chapter about faith.
  Alma 32: 21 states, "And now as I said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." I thought to myself, "What do I have a perfect knowledge of?" And, I couldn't find one thing that I have a perfect knowledge of - I have some knowledge about certain principles of science, of religion, of life even. But, none of my knowledge in these areas are perfect. Think about why we attend the temple. I definitely do not have a perfect understanding of that, which is why I need to return often - I can return and be taught by the spirit, so that my understanding and knowledge of God's plan of happiness will grow.

So it is with life - I need to return to my Heavenly Father often in prayer and in the reading of my scriptures. This will help me to exercise faith by asking Him questions about my life - faith without works is dead, right? So, faith without action is unprofitable. I can have faith that the church is true - but to know for myself, I must act upon the desire to know that the church is true. Faith needs to be constantly exercised. It may be small steps that build our faith, or large, intense spiritual experiences.

Elder David A. Bednar also talks about this last principle, in "The Spirit of Revelation." He mentions that those largely spiritual experiences are rare, and that those of quiet and ever gradual whisperings are more common. So it is with faith. Building your faith doesn't happen in one largely spiritual experience (for most people - see Paul in Acts for such an experience), but it comes little by little - line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Why? Well, I think it helps us to set a pattern of returning to the Lord - if we start while we are young, a pattern of turning to the Lord for guidance, forgiveness, and other such blessings, we will build our faith because He will send His holy spirit to testify to us that the things we learn from such experiences are true. As we gather these experiences, we can look back on our lives and see how our faith in Him has richly blessed us. Ultimately, it takes faith to seek the Lord early.

Faith is also a crucial element of the armor of God, "...take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. Taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit." (Ephesians 6:13. 16-17) Just a quick lesson here. Notice the elements of the armor of God. Most of these are defensive weapons, to protect us against the adversary. Faith is used here to defend us - defend us from what? Perhaps from wavering in the gospel, perhaps from doubt, etc. The only offensive weapon, however, is the sword of the Spirit - which means our testimonies. Our testimony is the only piece of the armor of God that we can use actively to combat Satan and his evil forces. How do we build our testimonies? By exercising faith.

Anywho, I think I have also gained a testimony of why starting your day off with the scriptures is so important.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Circles were never so cool....

Ty's friend Ethan.

Circus school.

Circles never were so cool, were they?!

I want to do this!

Paul's Sunnies

Thanks for staying with us Paul!

We'll miss having you here! 

-after seeing Captain America, circa 2am-
.holy tired.
now, its 3. 
gotta love it!

Family is wonderful.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Night Adventures

Lollipops from Australia, 
wax from Michelle,
and a willing husband!

Welcome to our Sunday Night Adventures!!