Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Golden Ring?

I hope everyone had a super rocking awesome Christmas.

Ben and I have been able to spend the holidays at my original home (I kept slipping up and saying we were going home for the holidays which made Ben mad cause Springville is no longer (technically) my home). It has been wonderfully relaxing and nice to hang out with the fam. Don't get me wrong-I'm excited to get back to my own place where no one will judge me for hanging out in spandex all day and watching hours of Friends episodes. But the visit has definitely been nice.

So I like posting about wedding stuff because people actually request hearing more (and that's a bloggers dream, right?) and it's on my to-do list to get all this junk written down anyway, so why not via the blog? Anyhow, Ben surprised me with a ring for Christmas (I know, I know, 2 rings?? Especially when my dear older sister has zero?? Don't worry...we're thinking one's on the way...). I figure now is a good time to share this story including my advice for all you looking/waiting for a ring sometime in the nearish future.

Honestly, Ben and I lucked out with our ring situation. Before I even let myself admit to Ben that I knew he was The One, Ben's grandma was trying to pawn off her ring collection to us.

I'd known the woman for like a total of 15 minutes and she pulled Ben and I aside and said, "Now, I know I don't know you very well, Kim, but I have just heard the most wonderful things about you."

She proceeded to pull out her ring collection showing us several options we could have when we were ready to tie the knot. The main one she showed us was this thick yellow gold one with a single diamond in the center. It fit my finger perfectly. What was even more cool about the ring was that Ben's great grandparents had brought the diamond straight home from their mission in Africa.

I wasn't entirely sold on it, though. I had always wanted white gold. And it wasn't quite as sparkly as I wanted. I told Ben he could do whatever he wanted. And, at that point, one of our main goals was to make it affordable. So the family ring was an awesome option. But I think Ben sensed my hesitancy. So he kept shopping.

This is where Ben's friend came in. The Friend had proposed to a girl more than a year before, but it hadn't worked out. He tried to return the ring, but the store he bought it from would only do exchanges. So The Friend did just that: He exchanged it for another ring and simply held onto it until further notice. When Ben called, The Friend offered the ring for an outrageously cheap price. Honestly, Ben got away with highway robbery considering what a deal he was hooked up with. Even better was that the ring is gorgeous and more than adequately sparkly.
Eh? Eh?
Backing up a tad, in Grandma's array of jewelry pawning, she also offered one of Grandpa's wedding rings. He had two Joseph Smith rings (he hadn't been able to decide between yellow gold or silver so he got both). Ben liked the yellow gold one, so we were completely set as far as rings went.

Here's my main advice. If you are on a tight budget while ring shopping, you can definitely find the perfect ring for a good deal. KSL and Craigslist are awesome places to start your shopping. I've heard of people finding exactly what they were looking for for thousands of dollars cheaper because they were willing to do some research and check out other options. The cheapest resizing we found was at Fred Meyer Jewelers (just 50 bucks!).

The only downfall with avoiding the stores is that you don't get any guarantees or warranties. My band already lost a diamond, and we don't have any sort of insurance to take care of it which is kinda lame. And I know that my sister-in-law got a good deal where she can re-dip her silver ring as often as she'd like for free. So there are definite perks to going through a jeweler. But its not entirely necessary if you really are trying to save.

And, in my opinion, you can always go smaller/cheaper now and plan on getting bigger/better/blingyier after you and your esposo make your millions. Right? Right.

Anyhow. After we got married, I started regretting passing up the family ring. It had so much history and an awesome legacy to go with it. It would have been awesome to be able to show the ring to my kids and talk about their great-great grandparents and someday pass the ring on, you know? Plus, it would match Ben's ring more. I told Ben about how I regretted it. And he surprised me with it on Christmas morning!
I was so freaking excited! (I know I look fat-my eyes were tired and puffy! So judge me!;)
This is what it looks like:
Yay!!! I love it!
Anyhow. There's my ring advice. And now you can all be jealous of the fact that I have a ring for every occasion.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Don't Have Kids Yet...

...But you'd think I did if you knew how many times I've heard,

"Can we open presents?? Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!?"

Someday, raising children will be easier having already had to quelch the excitement of Christmas by "Heck no"ing the pre-Christmas-present opening idea. So really, I should thank Ben, right?

In other news, we have finally found a place to live in the Rexburg area (Christmas miracle!) and will be moving right at the beginning of January. We're pretty freaking stoked.

Hooray! And Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Sorry I've been lousy at posting lately. I don't know what it is...I just go through spurts of having too much to write and wanting to write it all...Or having too much to write and not really caring if the world knows.'s December!! I used to be the kind of person who absolutely would not tolerate anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving was over. But I have to admit that this year I have taken a different approach and I'm finding I'm rather keen on starting earlier. I figure Christmas is about celebrating Christ...and shouldn't that be the theme all of the time?

That's how I justify it.

Not to worry, though, I have always and will always give Thanksgiving its proper place. After all, it is my favorite holiday.

But now that I'm a married woman, I have to make sure my other half has a Merry Christmas. And it turns out that takes a lot more planning than I'm used to. So between making stockings and trying to find a new place to live (it still looks like we'll be living in a cardboard box come January...), we have been pretty busy.

We weren't planning on getting a tree this year seeing as how we're spending Christmas in Springville and moving immediately after. But after much deliberation we decided to get one. And I'm so happy we did! I love it! Observe:
Eh? Eh? Yeah. I'm pretty much in love.

These were my favorite ornys. Ben didn't want me to get the feather. But I begged.
Isn't it lovely? Ben drove me all around town two nights in a row. The first night I didn't buy anything (I like to find the deals and make sure I'm getting just the right thing. So judge me!)...which is pretty typical for all my shopping trips. So the second night Ben insisted I buy at least one thing from every store we stopped at. Between that and Ben's sister telling us we needed A LOT of ornaments to fill the tree, we bought almost 2 times more than we needed (any craft ideas for leftover ornaments???). But it's beautiful and everything we bought was 50-60% off so I can't really complain.

Ben's been working out of town a lot which means that I stay up late. And work on too many pinterest projects. If I didn't have to wake up in the morning, I swear I'd stay up til 2 every night. So here's a handful of projects I've finished (there's more coming).
I found this from my cute new cousin in law's blog. You should check it out.

My sister in law actually gave me this idea. Her's is way cute and has scrap-
book paper mod-podged on.
I went the easier route and just painted and sanded.
Best part is I found the window in Ben's parent's shed. Free!

Cute tree, eh? Found on pinterest. Didn't buy a thing and took me like 30 minutes.

Cheesy I know. Quote and idea found on pinterest.
(The key to taking those letters off is tweezers. You're welcome.)

I kinda made up my own pillow based on ones I'd seen on pinterest.
The flower took a bit longer. Especially because I had to re-glue.
Ben insists on actually using the pillows. Unfortunately.
I hate having my husband go out of town. But that seems to be the only time I actually get stuff done. You win some and you lose some. At least now I have some pretty fantastic decor items :)

Okay this has been the most random post ever. I hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Official...

After lots of deciding and re-deciding...

Choosing and then chaning minds...
and a whole lot of general confusion...

Ben and I have finally decided we're going to Rexburg.

Which, if you recall, was our original plan. However, once we got married, we started throwing out a bunch of other options to consider. Like what about Boise State University? That sounded pretty good.

Or BYU-Provo. Closer to my family and friends (always appealing). With the option of me going for a masters.

Or SUU, my old, beloved alma mater complete with awesome professors, familiar faces, and possible job opportunities.

To be completely honest, BYU-I remained on the possibility list, but was always the most unattractive option.

If I can be frank, Ben calls it "Sexburg," a more direct form of the common "BYU-I Do." Referring to the fact that most there are hungry for all things marriage, relationships and dating.

Plus it has a distinct reputation as being completely and utterly freezing in the winter.

Anyhow, our confusion led us to so many possibilities. And for months (I'm not kidding people! Months!) we have vascillated (big word, eh? eh?) from option to option.

Finally, at the end of October, we heard back from BYU-Provo. And they didn't want Ben. And even though my family took it pretty hard knowing we wouldn't be moving close to them, we were absolutely relieved to know that Provo wasn't even an option. It narrowed things down for us.

After a few more days of contemplation, I realized that BYU-I seemed and felt right. When I told Ben this, I didn't expect him to agree with the idea. He had been a die hard SUU fan from the beginning (before he even met me). But when I brought it up, he said that he had felt the same way.

So he accepted his track (Winter/Spring), I told my job that I had to peace out earlier than planned, and Ben and I are currently making plans to move to Rexburg at the end of December.

We have yet to find a place to live...but we're pretty freaking stoked.

 Even if the ever present, hand holding zoobies induce vomit on a daily basis.  ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More on the Dress

I thought about more stuff to say about wedding dress you guys are going to have to endure through another post...Lo siento...but not really. Cause this, afterall, is my blog...So here's my list of random advice.

You first need to decide if you actually want to buy a dress. Warning: they can be pretty expensive. But I feel like that's something you already know...I know a handful of people who were completely happy renting a dress or borrowing.

Now (probably having something to do with my dad...), I'm a pretty substantial penny pincher, so buying was a scary option for me, especially because I wanted to pay for this by myself. And I didn't want to regret having spent money on it.

But I'm pretty nostalgic. And I married Ben. And he lives under the motto, "If you're going to spend money on something, you might as well get something you really really want." So I decided to buy it, and I haven't ever regretted that decision (the whole 6 months I've had the dress ;).

Something I didn't realize, though, was that buying a wedding dress includes accessories (shoes, jewelry, veil, etc.) AND your alterations. And you've got to be careful with alterations--I heard that some places have a base rate they charge for any alterations. So even if all you need is a bustle, you'll end up apying $100, just because that's how they roll. Laaaame!

I budgeted $500 for my dress. You guys already know that I found The One with just the 2nd dress I tried on. However, it was just above my budget at $550. But when I went on my crazy shopping ravages in Provo area, I tried on this one.
And I really liked it. And it was only $400...My true stinginess came out and I started debating between The One and The One That Could Be The One If I Really Wanted.

I'm uber traditional when it comes to weddings, so I refused to let Ben see anything I tried on. But I told him my predicament and he told me to go for the one I LOVED. And I'm super glad that I spent that extra $50. It was worth it.

I got lucky with my alterations lady and only had to pay $40 for a french bustle and for her to hem all EIGHT layers of my dress. Plus I borrowed a veil that matched perfectly. (Side note: you get so blessed when you get married. Yeah, Satan tries to get you down, but Heavenly Father totally has your back).

Random Advice: Look online at the places you're going to shop at before you actually go into the store. One site I looked at said they were offering $100 off any dress bought in the month of March. I went to that store at the very end of the month and I didn't notice any signs announcing the promotion. So I mentioned it to the guy and he said that I was the only one who had brought it up. I didn't buy from them, so nobody took advantage of the awesome deal!

Final Piece: Remember that your wedding has got a feel/tone/theme...whatever you want to call it...and your dress should match. I tried on this dress...
And loved it (almost as much as The One). I tried it on twice, that's how much I loved it. But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that my wedding was a backyard, garden wedding. And I feel like a dress like this calls for a classier affair and definitely something indoors. So I opted against it.

Anyhow, dress shopping was definitely one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. And my dress was one of my favorite parts of my wedding. So take time and enjoy it! Cause it is super wonderful stuff :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Big Fat Wedding Planning Advice: The Dress

I tried like 5 times to write a post about keeping a budget but I kept coming off as a I gave up on that for the time being and have resolved to write about the thing that I'm most excited for: wedding dresses!

Shopping for a wedding dress was definitely one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) parts of wedding planning.

Ben proposed to me while we were living in Cedar City. My plan was to head home (to Springville) for dress shopping so that I could include my mom and Heather. But let's be real: I was an engaged chick with the opportunity to try on wedding dresses with full purpose and legitimacy. I needed to take advantage. So after being engaged for a few days I set an appointment at a little shop in town and made it a date with my roomies including my best friend ever (minus Ben), Petey.

You can tell a lot about what your experience is going to be like right from the second you walk into a dress store. And let's be real: it is my opinion that when wedding dress shopping, you are shopping for the right experience JUST as much as you are shopping for the right dress. You know you want a "Say Yes to the Dress" moment. Don't deny it.

Anyhow, from the moment I walked into this store, I felt way special. My consultant was incredibly helpful and she gave me her full attention. To me, this was really important. I went to other stores where I walked in and no one helped me or even talked to me. Another opinion I have is that the people you work with while planning your wedding should be happy for you...especially if they are specifically in the wedding industry... See what I mean about coming off as a snot...but really... weddings should kind of be a big deal.

I fell in love with the 2nd dress I tried on. I mean, it was totally the aforementioned "Say Yes to the Dress" experience. When I looked in the mirror, I totally fell in love. I loved how I looked. I loved how I felt. I loved the fact that Petey teared up when she saw me (I've known this girl for like 10 years and I've only seen her cry twice). It was the best.
See? I loved it!


It was only the 2nd dress.

Obviously, I couldn't just pick that one. I tried on more. And more. And then I tried on Dress #2 again. I loved it... probably even more than the first time...but I still couldn't commit. Not yet. And then, in a semi-freak-out, I planned an impromptu trip home so that I could shop up north with Mom and Heather.

I drove home the very next day (peacing out to classes and work) and hit up as many dress stores as possible in a short, one day trip. Here's me being honest: I wanted a repeat experience. Just with different people.

And, really, truthfully, my mom and I have verrrry different tastes.

I didn't get exactly what I wanted when I went home. I didn't get another "Say Yes to the Dress" experience. My mom and I liked different dresses and different features. She liked lace and I liked tulle. And Heather ended up only being able to go to one store with us. However, going up north was not a mistake. I found dresses I liked. I got to shop around with my mom and sister. I got wedding dress shopping out of my system. And after that, I knew that the one in Cedar, Dress #2, really was The One. The trip was well worth it.

I've got lots more to say on this topic...but it's getting late. Trust me, I could keep writing...but I'm trying to be responsible...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Job Ever

Somehow I landed the best job ever. In the whole world. Ever.

I got to work as an assistant cross country coach.
It. Was. Awesome.

I mean, where do you get to do exactly what you want to do/what you would be doing anyway AND get paid for it???

Those kids are hilarious. And so so sweet. Plus, I look just like I'm on the team. So if there is ever an angry motorist wanting to chew out the coach, they never come to me. They assume me to be another high schooler. See how sweet this deal is?

They kids even stole the clipboard during one of our meets to draw this really lovely picture.

Isn't it beautiful (in its own sort of way)? We're standing by the bus we take for all of our practices. Coach Grindstaff is the main guy (he's the head coach). The caption they have for me is "I'm the cool coach." Eh? Eh?'s pretty much the best.

Anyhow. The season is over now. We had our XC Banquet tonight to end the season. And gosh, I'm going to miss those kids. I am excited to not work until 6 every night (think of all the time I'll have getting off by 3:30!). But I'm definitely going to miss these guys.

Go Bruins!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Big Fat Wedding Planning Advice

I think it's fair to say that almost every girl likes wedding planning chats. I just think that whether you are at that stage of life, not quite there yet, or completely passed it, you still don't mind kicking around ideas for you or friends. I mean, I remember planning hypothetical weddings with Petey clear back in our high school days.

I've been wanting to write about the specifics of my planning for a while now, so that I can reference it later. But writing in a journal is so tedious. So I figure this is my blog, I write what I want. Readers, feel free to give additional advice or anecdotes. If you aren't in the market for wedding advice, feel free to gander at your leisure.

My first post on wedding planning advice is specifically about that:

When you announce that you are engaged, a million people are excited for you. And half of that million already got married, which means that they have been there, done that. They had crazy experiences while wedding planning, and they want to share their wisdom with you!

Really. Here's the warning: You will get SOOOOO much advice the whole time you are planning.
You'll get advice on what your wedding should be,
What your wedding shouldn't be,
What you should do when you go to the temple (if you go that route),
What you should do to make your marriage work,
etc. etc. etc.

And here's my advice on advice:
Listen to it all. Take what you need. Leave the rest.

I loved hearing all the advice I got. Every piece came with a story. You really get the feeling that this person is so excited for you when they are offering their story. Not only that, but you feel so much more excited for your own wedding. If this person is so eager to talk about it, it must be awesome, right?

Some advice really was absolutely awesome. Like Bridgett who told us to make it our wedding and do what we wanted (honestly wish I would've listened to this a little better). Or the half a dozen people on facebook who let me know whether or not they regretted buying their wedding dress. Or Petey who let her marketing experience speak wonders on color ideas and themes. Or Whitney who, honestly, gave me so many good tips that she should just write a book.

Then there was the advice that reaffirmed my own opinions. Like Bridgett who told me to stay away from the super trendy mustache-bearing photos. She explained that, sure, they're cute now, but what about it 10 years? I never was a fan of those anyway.

There was also advice that was just straight up opinion. Like hearing that I should absolutley not serve fruit at my reception. I honestly don't even know if they served it or not. But if they did, I'm fine with that.

Some advice comes with a good story but that's all you can use it for. My hilarious boss told me about how right before she walked down the aisle, her maid of honor told her she has lipstick on her teeth, which, let's be real, was a good thing. But through the whole ceremony (which they got on video) is filled with her running her tongue up and down and over her teeth to make sure there wasn't lipstick. Her advice to me was to wear a non-smear, waterproof lipstick. Fact: I don't wear lipstick period. Verdict: Good story. Don't need the advice.

And then there are the tips that are just straight up wisdom. My wonderful Aunt Merry Lynn took Ben and I aside and told us that Satan would try to work his way into our marriage. He would make little things seem so big to plant resentment. She told us to not let Satan in. Ever. My Grandpa told us that more than 50 years ago he married my Grandma and it was the best decision he's ever made. He said that it wasn't always easy. But it has always been worth it.

No matter who's telling you what, it is worth listening to. You never know when you're going to pick up a piece of info you wouldn't want to go without.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cruising to Paradise...and Ensenada

Oh my gosh, you guys. I feel like I have a bazillion things to write about and not enough time to actually sit down and write. Let's be real: I barely have enough time to clean my house (yep, it's looking pretty rough). And right now I could be cleaning. My out is that it's Sunday. And, as we taught our CTR 5 Primary class today--cleaning the house on Sunday is not resting. So blogging, here I come.

Today's lovely topic is the cruise that Ben and I went on for a honeymoon. Yes, we did our honeymoon four months later than regular honeymoon standard time (you know, the week after wedding festivities). And we loved it. While we were wedding planning we really had a hard time deciding on a honeymoon. We wanted to do something awesome while keeping it affordable. And frankly, summer time is not necessarily the cheapest time to travel.

We kicked around so many ideas. We loved the idea of a cruise (neither of us had been on one) but we had such a hard time figuring out the details and keeping that idea within budget. Long story short: we finally realized that booking a cruise in off season is waaaaay cheaper. Plus it would give us time to plan details and save a little bit more money. Couldn't ask for a better deal. So we went ahead and booked it.

Was I sad that we didn't go on our official honeymoon until 4 months after we got hitched?

Absolutely not.

It was the best decision ever. I don't regret it all. And I would highly recommend it.
Only problem with waiting was that honeymoon phase has long passed.
As you can see by the fact that Ben was not at all discreet about his nose picking.
Cruising was definitely a different brand of vacationing. Anyone who knows my family knows that we are NOT the sort to be waited on or even to just sit an relax. Our "vacations" usually consist of backpacking. And Ben's family is pretty similar. So taking it easy on a ship was a bit of a difficulty for us. Here are the things we liked and didn't like about cruising:

We loved hanging out in the middle of the ocean. The sunsets were extra awesome.
 We, however, weren't the biggest fans of the sea sickness. It didn't hit us bad, thankfully, but that first night we felt pretty dizzy and a little disoriented.

We loved Catalina. The town is super cute, very well kept,
and just all sorts of fun.

Ensenada was another story. Don't get us wrong-
we still enjoyed it. But the city was kinda trashy
and it wasn't really authentic Mexico.
I guess that's what you get when you only
go 70 miles south of the border

We loved the towel animals!!!!!
And, not to brag, I'm pretty sure they loved us too.
But we weren't the biggest fans of the fact that our room was right above the anchor. Hello shaking and crashing at 6:30 in the morning. I will admit that the porthole windows almost made up for this.

We loved snorkeling in Catalina. Pure awesomeness.
We didn't love how dehydrated we got while wandering the streets of Mexico.
We loved elegant night. It was so much fun to dress up for
dinner,a show, and some dancing
(interestingly enough, our dancing attracted some older Asian women to party with us.
They were completely infatuated with Ben. Kinda hilarious).
Anyhow, pretty classy, right...?
Unless you were these skanky chicks.
Yep, look closer. That old man is capturing wind swept photos
of these obviously teenage slu...I mean... girls.

Loved the food.
Breakfast and lunch were all you can eat deliciousness.
And dinner was three courses of elegant dining.
Best part: you're never the only one eating more than you probably should.

Won't beat around the bush on this one:
LOATHED the "churro" in Mexico.
I've been to Mexico once before and that time I got churros from a street vendor.
They were to die for. A million times better than any churros you'll find in the states.
This time I saw a vendor that advertised churros. Couldn't let yummy authentic churros pass me by.
 So I let my fluent husband order me some.
I received a cup filled with candied peanuts, crouton things, pig fat and tomato juice.
What the hell, Mexico? Yep, it's worth cursing for so I'll say it again:
What. The. Hell?
Luckily, that night the ship had a Mexican food night where they served real churros. Helped relieve some of the trauma.

There were lots of other things we loved and a handful of things we didn't care for as much (trust me, I'd keep going but I feel like I'm competing with one of Whitney's uber-posts...and I really think she's the only one who can pull those off so I'll stop). But overall it was a rockin' awesome time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eees a Race!

Start Line: I'm nervous. But it's not the usual pre-race nerves. Most races are quick. This race is long. 26.2 miles between me and the finish line.

The start line is organized by projected finish times. Fastest in front. Heather and I take a safe spot next to a pacer. He's an older guy, probably in his forties. He's carrying red balloons with 3:50 written boldly on them. It seems safer back here. There's more people. I vaguely think about how I have to pee but the gun sounds and I, along with the giant mass of people, trot towards the chip scanner that means my race has begun.

Mile 1: Someone had posted a sign that says "Good job Aaron!! You're almost there!" I read it and say, "Now that's the biggest lie I've ever heard." Marthoners are friendly and surprisingly talkative. Because of the slower pace, its easier to talk. And, let's be real, it makes the miles go by faster.

Mile 3: I overhear a man say, "Yeah I just qualified for Boston on Thursday. This is just my fun run." Who does that???

Mile 4: I decide the most annoying racers are the guys wearing knee shorts with their swishing pockets stuffed with gu and power bars. Aaaaand the Asian man whose strides are outrageously short and he stomps every time his foot meets the pavement.

Mile 5: I settle in behind Chick in Pink. I feel out of place. Everyone around me looks like they are crazy serious about running. I'm serious...but I still like my ice cream.

Mile 7: Still have to pee. Luckily, I see a free Honey Bucket. I'm in and out in less than 30 seconds. I don't bother with hand sanitizer. So judge me.

Mile 10: Holy hell...I still have so far...

Mile 13: Whoa! We're half way there! WHO---OOAA LIVING ON A PRAYER!!! That song has never been more appropriate. My half time is 1:40. I think I'm doing pretty good.

Mile 13 1/2: What if I qualify for Boston?.....?......?......

Mile 14: Family! Friends! Husband! I looked forward to seeing them for exactly 13 miles. And I pass by them in a matter of seconds. Still worth every single familiar face and every single word of encouragement.

Mile 17: Runner's high. Second wind. Whatever you want to call it, I am feeling good. A man sitting to the side tells me that I'm number 177, 24th female. Sweet. I'll take that.

Mile 20: I joke with the aid station guys, "From far back, that sign looks like it says 'Mile 10!'" They laugh. My 20 mile time is 2:34. Still doing pretty good.

Mile 21: This is when I die. Not entirely...but I'm hurting. More gatorade! That's the answer, right?

Mile 22: Nope. Still hurting.

Mile 23: The 3:25 pacer passes me. Still dying. I drink at the aid station and walk a little extra until I can will myself to get going again.

Mile 25 1/2: The last few miles have been hell. I don't care about my time. I just want to finish. I hurt. The guys in front of me walk. Does that mean I can walk too? No, Kim. Keep going. You're almost there. Less than a mile and that still seems like a big fat lie.

Mile 26: I still can't see the end. Walking still looks like a very tempting possibility. But then I turn the corner and all I can see is the finish line. It's only a football field away. I have absolutely no energy to sprint or even run any faster at all. I see Matt to the side. He screams that I'm going to get sub 3:30. I glare at him. Who cares what my time is? I just want to cross that line and be done.

Mile 26.2: 3 hours 29 minutes and 28 seconds. And it's over.

Results: 184th over-all finisher (out of about 1,600 runners). 30th woman. 2nd in my age group (20-24). Averaged a 7:59 minute pace.

And I qualified for Boston.

But really, honestly, I'm just glad I finished. That marathon was the hardest things I've ever done physically in my whole life. But I finished.

Kyle did awesome. He's my hero. So crazy speedy. And Heather did so good too. I thought I would get emotional when I finished. I didn't, though. But I did when Heather finished. I was so outrageously proud of her. Gosh, my siblings are amazing. And Heather still looked super hot after running 26.2 miles.  Wish I could've pulled that off.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I know I Just Posted...

Turns out when you're living with someone, you learn some things about them you didn't know before. So here are my favorite things I've learned about Ben:

  • He can do the front-wards worm
  • He hates the most delicious part of a bag of Gardetto's: the yummy dark rye chips (more for me)
  • He can play The Chariot of Fire's theme song on the piano
I love bargains.

Seems as though I've married one.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Joey and Janice's Day of Fun

Surprise! I'm not posting about the marathon! At least not yet...

This event happened first so it has priority (the marathon story is forthcoming). And this story is called:

Joey and Janice's

Except that it is really Kim and Ben's and really we don't hate each other. Okay deal.

For Labor Day Ben and I decided to go on a hike.

Box Canyon
 The first part of the hike was way ugly. But then it turned into this:

The picture doesn't give it justice but the water was an awesome crystal blue.
Descent into the canyon.
The trail was mostly bush-whacking (hence the poison oak of the previous post)
but there were some really cool bridges built to get over the watery parts. Way pretty.

Jaeger got super hot and he took every chance he could to cool off.
Ben and I swam in the lake behind...after we scared off some skinny dippers.
It was very. very. very cold.
Our next adventure included taking a stop at the Perrine Bridge.
It's a tourist attraction in Twin Falls I have never taken the time to look at.
It was pretty cool.

After dinner we hit up the old Best Buy and purchased us a Garmin GPS.
It's pretty sweet.
And then we ended the day by taking the car through The Rocket.
It's a pretty fancy car wash.
The end!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I'm running my first ever MARATHON (that's 26.2 miles, people) on Saturday. According to the Top of Utah webpage that is exactly 1 DAY 9 HOURS and 39 MINUTES away.

Am I freaking out?

Yes. Yes I am.

Especially because my legs currently look like this:

Yep. Ran into some poison oak almost two entire weeks ago and NOW is when it decided to flare up.

Cue blistering rash, tight muscles and impossibly itchy legs.

What a blessing.

Pray for me, people. Cause heaven knows I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not Cool, BYU

Notice the uber-cheesy new blog head?

Eh? Eh?

Just so you know, the title is complimentary of Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rosie" so even if it is slightly vomit inducing, it has meaning and isn't the generic "Adventures of _____ and _____."

Okay, deal.

Anyhow. Brief update on Ben and I...

Ben is applying to BYU (Provo version...heads up to all you Utah folk!!!!!! :). He's been working on all parts of the application process for like a month now- getting transcripts, working on ecclesiastical endorsements and filling out information.

For those non-zoobies, BYU has a pretty solid online process for applications. It has a list of all the items that need to be turned in. Right next to each item, it will say the status, usually either "Received" and the date or "Required" in bold red.

As of Monday, Ben still had several really importants items he needed to turn in. But when he got online, his per item check list looked something like this:

High School Transcripts: Waived
Personal Essay: Waived
ACT Score: Waived

Yeah. We stared at the computer for five whole minutes contemplating the possibility that BYU had already made their decision: they wanted Ben.

Did this mean that Ben would start school in January? Would we be moving right back to the good ol' Utah valley? Should I take that as a go ahead to apply for grad school there? Apply for jobs? Quit the jobs we have?

I mean, it wasn't for sure...but that's kind of what they meant, right? But we were just so unsure about the crazy goodness of this, that we questioned it. So Ben logged out and logged back in. And our check list of pure awesomeness dissolved back into the ugly red letters screaming that these points were, afterall, required.


Not cool, BYU. Not cool.

On another note, today Ben told me how disappointed he was that BYU's theme this year was "Rise Up." He was even more disappointed when I let him that that was the theme every year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brother Diamond

 I thought about it and I think there are 3 things that I am committed to writing about faithfully:
  • Neil Diamond
  • Running
  • and Shoes
Everything else is hit or miss.

And so while you may not be getting the finer and more important details of my life, be grateful that you can take part in the things that I'm passionate about.

Today's lovely topic is Neil!!!! Yay!!!! See? You guys are probably sick of hearing about him...but I could talk about him til the cows come home (like my Idahoan phrase there? I'm really catching on to the locals;)

So a month ago my family went to Neil's concert in Sandy at the Rio Tinto Stadium (where Real plays). These were changes as he usually plays in the winter at an indoor arena. But having it outdoors was way fun.

 This was us before the concert. Leslie and I were rocking our favorite Neil shirts. We were waaaaay excited.

 The good thing about Neil is that he is a family obsession. Everyone in the fam has got a lovin' feeling for him.
 I got some good pics of the concert in action. Just in case you were wondering, the ladies in red are my heroes. When I was growing up I always wanted to be a back up singer for Brother Neil. And I'm not going to lie. Those dreams are still going strong. But don't worry-Neil says that dreams can come someday...
I was soooo proud of Ben. He was really worried that he wouldn't love it as much as my fam but he had a way good time-singing along with the songs he knew and dancing with me every time I stood up. He even surprised me at the end of the concert by saying that he wanted to get his own Neil Diamond tee. How could I say no to that? So he went and picked out this little ditty in true Neil fashion. Next concert: Ben will rock the same hairdo as the shirt :)

Anyhow...Neil put on an AWESOME show. As always. And while I was watching and dancing along, I thought about how awesome it was that he is still going strong after all these years. I mean, the man is 72 years old. And he's still rocking it. Do you think in 50 years we'll all be like "Oh yeah, just got me some Justin Bieber tickets. Any takers?" or "Let's go to the One Direction tribute band show!" Let's be real. Probably not. Music just isn't the same as it used to be.

But I'm glad that I was able to take part in the awesomeness that was a concert from a legendary and iconic singer songwriter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympics

I love watching the Olympics. Who doesn't? Eees the best. And I don't have anything really profound to say about them...but I just think it's worth mentioning because it's kind of a big deal. And not just a big deal in the I'm-so-awesome-and-that's-why-people-are-reading-this-crappily-written-piece-of-web-media kind deal. It's world wide legitimacy. Eh? Eh?

And that probably just made you think of Canada. See? You are already in the Olympic spirit. Good job!

So here are my random musings on the Olympics:

  • Watching the Olympics makes me cry. I am such a wimp but when I see people reaching their hard earned goals, I tear up. Yep. Lame. Last night I watched a girl win the 100 m hurdles by a hundreth of a second. When she heard she won she fell to the track and started sobbing. And I was right there with her.
  • It's a fact that more people watch the winter Olympics because there is more possibility of accident and injury.
  • I work with developmentally and mentally disabled people. One of the ladies I work with asked me what I was watching. I said, "I'm watching the Olympics." She nodded then replied, "I was in the Olympics. I did track and swimming. That's why I hate those so much now." Duly noted, my dear, duly noted.
  • Finally, if you watch today at 3:40pm you'll see Cam Levins racing. He went to SUU and graduated the same time as me. He's crazy fast. You actually kind of have to be to qualify for Olympian status. Unfortunately, he's racing for Canada, but I know him, which is the point of this bullet. AND I wear the same running shoe as him. How legit is that?
Anyhow. The Olympics are super awesome. I love the summer ones because that's when they do the running events. And I know everyone else on the planet thinks those are the worst ones. But they're my absolute fave. Mmmm. Love me some running. What about you? Which event do you love to watch?

Happy Olympic Days!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm a Slacker

I've put off posting for months now. The reason? I cannot for the life of me come up with a cute/ clever/ funny blog name now that I'm married.

Let's be real. The husband will most likely NEVER actually post on the blog, let alone read technically I don't NEED a title that incorporates both of us. HOWEVER, my old name was "She Rocks." And I don't care who you are, you've got to admit that a name like that screams, "I'm single and ready to mingle!"

The old name "She Rocks" is from Eric Hutchinson's song Rock and Roll. And I always assumed that when I got married I'd change the name to match the final chorus: "They Rock." BUT the more I thought about it, the more I realized that anyone familiar with the song would assume that Ben and I fell in love after a supposed one night stand. Which actually isn't the case. So my fall back plan completely flew out the window.

So I've been thinking and brainstorming for quite awhile now and as you can see by the absolutely horrendously BORING blog name...I came up with nothing. I will admit that I was entirely tempted to use "The BK Lounge." Mine and Ben's initials remind me instantly of Burger King which is pretty fantastic in the worst way possible. Who wouldn't want to be instantaneously associated with one of America's favorite fast food chains? "The BK Lounge" sounds like some white trash goodness which was all too tempting to throw up on screen...but in the end I opted out.

So I'm still searching for a decent blog title. I hope y'all aren't turned off by the current lame one. But if you are, I honestly don't blame you. Anyhow, everything is going well and I promise to post more later. Hopefully sooner than last time...

Friday, May 25, 2012

For your information...


Just in case you forgot or...didn't know or...needed a reminder.

Monday, April 30, 2012

This is Where it's Going Down

I was going to apologize for writing another wedding related post but then I decided that this whole deal is only going to happen once so write I will.

Since Ben and I started talking about getting married, the big question has been

And y'all know that what with me being a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it wasn't so much a matter of Where? but of
Which temple?

I am a freak of a girl. I'm pretty sure that as girl protocol goes, you must have your temple chosen out no less than 10 years before you plan on sealing the deal. I fail. I have never ever been entirely drawn to one temple in particular. I have never had my temple.

Let's be honest:
They are all beautiful. 
And the same thing happens in all of them.

Anyhow. I finally decided on the Provo temple for several different reasons. But usually when I tell people this is the temple of choice, they scoff and look completely incredulous.

So I figured I would share exactly why we decided on Provo.

#1. It's close and stress free

It takes me 10-15 minutes to get there. I don't even have to get on the freeway. Bargain. And, as proven by Tairsa Brown, after turning onto Main Street in Springville it is completely possible to get to the temple without coming to a complete stop. Ever.

#2. The wedding party and I will not be treated like cattle

No one is going to say that the Salt Lake temple is ugly. Because it just simply isn't. It's gorgeous. But people will say that brides and grooms who get married there are treated like cattle. Complete with numbers instead of names. Now, I obviously haven't been married there, but these are the rumors I've heard. Not to mention the fact the photographers get into fights for picture locations. Added stress on the wedding day? No thank you.

Compare that to the Provo temple. Hardly anyone chooses to get married in the Provo temple. Results? Temple workers love you if you get married there and they treat you like royalty. Smooth day with zero fights over locations. Good deal.

#3. The Provo temple looks like a fountain

Ben was really surprised when I told him that nobody gets married in the Provo temple. I told him most people think it's outdated/ugly. "Really?" he asked. "But it looks just like a fountain."

And so it does. Observe:
(images found here and here)

#4. The Background

I think the Provo temple's grounds are some of the prettiest. I think they are trying to make up for the structure by keeping the grounds extra beautiful. In the spring and summer they've got all sorts of flowers blooming. Not to mention the gorgeous mountains in the background. Love those.
See? So pretty. (image found here)

Anyway. For those reasons plus some others I won't expound on, that's why I'm getting married in the Provo temple. You can still judge me. But at least now you are informed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A not so formal introduction

Well people, it's been just about 4 weeks since I got engaged and it is still blowing my mind a little bit. Can I just say that I am so excited?
Cause I am.
I am so excited.

I don't think anyone is really reading my blog these days...but I figure the people who do read it are the people who love me. And if you love me, I'm sure you're interested in the love of my life, yes?

Most people don't know him super well (on account of them living hundreds of miles away). But I figured I would do what I can to fix it. So this here post is all about him.

Meet Ben:

(yep. I've got Asian eyes and terrible hair...
but he has trouble taking pictures
and he actually looks real good in this one
if I do say so myself)

Anyway. Here is some random information about Ben that will help you get to know him just a little bit better. And for the record, I think you all should meet him because he is pretty fantastic and after reading this post you will have some awesome conversation topics.

Full name: Benjamin Daniel Brown
Birth date: August 20th, 1989
From: Jerome, Idaho
Served his mission in: Rosario, Argentina
Random piece of info: He broke his back while snowboarding when he was 18
Something he wouldn't tell you: He was the best Spanish speaker in his whole mission (from several reliable mission sources)
Major: Until verrry recently he wanted to major in accounting (I mean offense to no one when I say, "Ew. Boring.") However, a combination of individuals (i.e. me, his parents, God, etc.) convinced him otherwise. He is now excited to officially start a double major in Spanish and either German or Russian. He wants to become a professor.
Favorite food: Pancakes
Favorite dessert: Cream cheese cake (yep. You read that right)
Hobbies: Hiking, rock climbing, reading
Another random tidbit: He has had several unfortunate circumstances with hot dogs. So he hates them and won't eat them
Family info: He's the youngest and has 4 older sisters

Okay. That's all my information for now. I feel like my last couple of posts have been pretty gushy and sentimental so I apologize. It's very unlike me but planning a wedding suddenly brings out a whole slew of unnecessary emotions. It's a blessing and a curse.

I trust I'll get it back together eventually. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, April 6, 2012

They come in spurts...

Yeah. I can't believe it either--2 posts in like 3 days? Wha??? But here I am again, you lucky readers, you ;)

So I've become a slacker in the FHE department. I will go when I'm in charge (I'm FHE ma) but other than that I usually let myself think I have something better to do. This last Monday was no different. Ben tried to convince me that we needed to go, that we were starting bad routines by missing FHE. Luckily I'm very persuasive and talked him and my other roomies into having our own.

We watched a few Mormon Messages (who doesn't love those) and then Ben whipped out a Team Hoyt video. I hadn't ever seen the awesomeness of this before. But let's be real, people. I honestly get teary-eyed watching people finish 5k's. I'm not kidding you. Half marathons are a whole other story. So this little clip had me sobbing my eyes out. It's so beautiful. You have to watch it. Definitely a feel good little clip.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If You Haven't Already Heard...

Which, by the way, I'm sure you have heard because that, my friends, is the beauty of Facebook and gossipy Mormon communities, but...

I'm engaged!

Here's a picture to prove it if you don't believe me

Yeah. You've probably already seen the picture too.


Being engaged is kinda weird, let's be honest. I mean, getting married is something you look forward to your whole life. You hope for it and dream about it. But at the same time you kinda try not to expect it. Like that will jinx your chances or something.

But once it comes, you realize your awesome wedding doesn't just materialize out of thin air. You actually have to plan it. And it's not as simple as one would like to think. Nope, along with the general ideas (you know, colors, food, reception hall etc.) you have to decide on very small details. Like what do you want your cake cutting knife to look like? and how many people do you think we can fit at one table?

It's crazy and stressful and I'm pretty sure this was some sort of intended insurance on God's part to ensure people only got married once. But even so, it is fantastic and fun and I love this here wedding planning junk. Yes, glad it'll only happen once. But loving it nonetheless.

Trust me, when gobs of people attack your Facebook wall with well wishes,
it's worth it.
And when a friend or aunt or cousin pulls you aside to offer you some heartfelt advice,
it's worth it.
And when you try on the right wedding dress and watch your friend tear up,
it's worth it.
And when you look at your man and realize you'll be with him for time and all eternity,
it's worth it.

So...yeah...Married life here I come!
As a side note: if anyone wants to talk wedding, I'm totally there ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012


Is it just me, or has blogging been dying? Slowly, but surely?

Come on, people! I want to creepily stalk your life!
Let's get back in the swing of posting!

Myself included...

I can't very well chastise without acting here's a brief update on the spring break.

I did NOT have to get my wisdom teeth out. Apparently, I have the slowest teeth in the universe because those suckers haven't moved in 2 years and, according to Mr. Dentist, will likely not be moving for the next 18 months. So those 3 little guys (yep, be jealous, I've only got 3 of them) can just stay put for the time being.

I did NOT catch up on homework as I was originally planning on. Instead, I wasted my days with extra long runs and devouring the Hunger Games series (half-way through #3 and I'm still here updating y'all. You ARE welcome). Now, is it just me or did you guys have freakish dreams while getting through the series? Cause I will tell you what-my dreams have been whack.

I hit up Moab with the fam and then some. We were going to do the swing (you've seen the viral video, yes?) but it was too windy. Still a rockin trip. More info here.

In other news, a certain somebody had a chat with my dad, if you get what I'm saying. Don't worry, you'll be notified...

I also had the lovely opportunity of getting the nasty cold that was going around. And I made the mistake of taking some NyQuil when I woke up this morning. It was the only cold medicine I had and the sore throat had taken a turn for the worse. I don't know what I was thinking. But let's be honest-returning to responsibilities after a nice long week of spring break is hard enough. Adding NyQuil to the mix has done nothing for my stamina. Which is why I'm currently sitting at work trying my hardest not to nod off. Wish me luck.

I hope your spring break was just as awesome or even more so. And if you go to BYU and didn't have one, I pity you.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Truth Comes Out

Fact: My semester is basically ridiculously easy.

Fact: I am a full time student...technically speaking...

Fact: I have tons of free time on my hands.

Fact: I still manage to fail at posting regularly.

Fact: I almost always post while I'm at work.

Fact: Lately, I've actually had to work while I'm at work.

Items I can neither confirm nor deny:
Working at work=no computer time at work
no computer time at work=no computer time at all
no computer time at all=no posting

Let's be honest, people. I'm just being darn lazy.

Forgive me. I'll try to do better.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Sometimes I get to thinking...
And I think about how it's February...
...and how I'm outside running
in shorts and a t-shirt.
I'm not complaining.
Not at all.
It's fan-freakin-tastic.
I'm just saying
it's kinda weird...
but I'll take it... long as it doesn't mean snow in May.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Read It

This is a picture of some of my siblings. The guy in the middle is Eric. Eric The Bro, as he is known on my phone.

He recently created himself a new blog. So check it out, bra. It's as awesome as he is.

That is all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Weakness

I am the lamest person ever. I'm writing another post about shoes. Shoes for heaven's sake! I've got these awesome friends who write about stuff that actually matters. Like Jessica who writes about her amazing teaching experiences in Russia and her oh-so-fitting aspirations. Or Evan, this insanely talented writer who is going to change the world and kick everyone's butt while he's at it.

And then there's me.
And my pressing matters.
AKA: shoes.

Man, I suck.

Meh. I was deprived for a year (Successful New Years Resolution 2011: Not buy any shoes for the whole year...running shoes being an obvious exception). I can flaunt my bargained shoe buying now, yes? Well, it's my blog. I do what I want.

Excuse to buy this particular pair #1. I've wanted Toms for a very long time. But I'm too cheap.

Excuse to buy this particular pair #2. Everyone in the Psych department was talking about buying red heels for graduation (SUU=red and black...our gowns are black so we need some color, am I right or am I right or am I right?). But I pretty much never ever wear heels. And when would I wear red ones?

You see where I'm going with this?

So I bought these:

They look pretty much like the real things (Toms), yes? Yep, I know they do. But they're not.

Yeah. I've never heard of the brand either. But I found these at our campus bookstore for only $15.95. Not $50 plus shipping and handling.

So there you go. Be jealous. Or think about how lame my blog posts are. Whatever. My feet and wallet are happy and that's what matters.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Clear back in September, my mom called me up and was like, "Are you going to be busy next semester? Will you be able to miss any classes?"

I answered, "Well, gosh. I mean, I'm going to be graduating that I'll probably be pretty busy, you know?"

"Oh. Well, Dad and I were thinking about planning a trip to Disneyland when Kyle gets back..."

"You know, mom. I could probably squeeze that into my schedule," I couldn't let go of my pride.

But let's be honest, people. It's Disneyland. It wasn't a matter of squeezing. It was a matter of kicking absolutely everything to the curb--school, work, relationships, life in general--so that I could live it up with the fam in the happiest place on earth.

And, oh my, it was the best trip ever.

Because I'm extra lazy, I'm only putting up the pics I took on my phone. This means that the quality is sub-par. But you can still sense the awesomeness from these, so I'm not too worried. Plus, I'm pretty sure the people who peruse/skim my blog are also my friends on the FB. So if you would like further documentation on our Disneyland/California Adventures adventure, I give you permission to stalk me, or my sister Heather.

Moving right along...
I hadn't ever seen the pier at night. It is a definite must.
Super awesome.

Heather and I were much to cheap to purchase
the over-priced Disney paraphernalia.
So we made our own Mickey mouse ears.

Probably one of the most classic rides in the park.
And believe me:
We Were Flying.

"Fists forward!"
On California Screamin'
(Which, interestingly enough, goes verrry well with Rihanna's California King Bed.
"On this California Screamin'
we're ten thousand miles an hour..."

Yeah, we're awesome.

Hahaha. One of my faves.
I'm talking about the ride and the pic.

Gosh. The trip was epically awesome. Be jealous.

Anyone who's thinking about a Disneyland trip, feel free to invite me along :)