Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Mob Veto

So I actually swipped this post idea from my friends the Birches but I thought it was worth mentioning over here for those that don't know/visit their blog.
Check out this article, Prop 8 Backlash Is "An Outrage That Must Stop", published on the Church's newroom regarding an ad in The New York Times. If you follow the link in the article you can add your name to the list.
Standing up for your beliefs and free speech go beyond casting our vote and letting things be once the decision has been made. It's standing firm in the face of opposition in the aftermath. For me this is a further witness to how important this issue and the fight to protect families is. It is a further testament to Heavenly Father's hand in all things as those that are with us are greater than those that stand against us.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bridal Shower Bonanza

A couple weeks ago I had my bridal shower. It was a really fun afternoon with family and friends celebrating my upcoming wedding (4 weeks exactly from today). Here are some of the highlights.

We went with the theme Sugar and Spice to celebrate the naughty and nice aspect of bridal showers. We held the shower at my parent's house in Chandler and asked my mom to handle the decorating, which if you know my mom, she was thoroughly excited. The whole thing looked lovely and the pictures don't do it justice.


Several of my friends pitched in together to pull the whole thing off and they did a great job. Thanks again ladies, you're the best!


I'm not really to fond of the real cheesy bridal shower games (i.e. toilet paper wedding dress) so I kind of put the posh on a lot of games but the one I was adamant about doing was the question/answer video one where for every answer we didn't get right I had to chew a piece of gum.


It was really entertaining and everyone had a good laugh. I'm not quite sure what question we were laughing at here but I'm guessing it was the question to Nate of "When did you first know it was right to say 'I love you'?" Nate's answer..."When she said it first."

8 pieces of gum later and they tried to get me to blow a bubble. Needless to say I don't want any Double Bubble for a while. YUCK!

And what's a bridal shower without presents!!! Here are some of the PG rated pics. I got plenty of things for Nate and I to enjoy together **wink, wink** but for some reason I'm not to hip on the idea of posting pictures of me with lingerie all on the Internet. My future mother in law and sisters in law had the cute idea of "showering" me with cash. I was a little confused when I opened the bag and saw an umbrella, thank goodness they were there to tell me to open it up.



Thank you to everyone who came by it was great to see you and we look forward to hopefully seeing you again in 4 weeks. Invitations went out last week so if you didn't get yours let me know.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's November?

So I looked at my last post and realized it has been a while since I've given everyone an update, so here's what we've been up to. Halloween was a little quiet for us this year. We don't have any kiddos to dress up and take out trick-or-treating so I don't have any cute pictures. Neither Nate nor I really wanted to go to a big party with 100+ people so while we brainstormed lots of costume ideas, with no where to wear them to I didn't see much point in spending the money to put something together. We'll do better next year I promise. While on the surface it might sound like we were bums, we did have fun on Halloween as we spent time with our friends the Gardners. McKenna made us some awesome lasagna for dinner and we played Scene It which Nate and I won though I won't say by how much.
Speaking of dinner, I'm well on my way to getting myself banned from the kitchen. Now that's not a comment on my cooking as I have decent culinary skills and feel fairly comfortable in the kitchen. Though you might not know it since I've recently had 3 minor kitchen related injuries. First, I recently made some potato soup and while I was pouring the remainder into a Tupperware container a small amount splashed up and hit me on the very outside corner of my eyelid. It was still a little warm so I woke up the next morning with a slightly swollen eye. Secondly, a few nights later I was getting some milk out of the fridge and my roommate and I both had gallons of milk in the shelf in the door. It was a little bit of a snug fit and as I pulled my gallon out I managed to knock her gallon and the whole shelf out of the fridge. I have great aim because her full gallon landed right on my foot with the cap hitting me directly on a vein, giving me a nice bruise. Lastly I decided to try my hand at enchiladas last weekend and was chopping up a jalapeno. I took care to scoop out all the seeds into the sink but I must have picked an especially spicy jalapeno because by the time I was all done with everything the tops of my fingers, not the tips, were on fire and my lips were burning though I hadn't taken a taste. Nate's come to the conclusion that my food tastes good because I literally put a little bit of me into everything. Despite his veiled threats to remove me from the kitchen, I'm determined not to let my hubby go hungry and will continue to diligently hone my cooking skills. It was just an extra reason for him to come home though as I was literally falling apart with out him.
Which leads me into the announcement that Nate is officially back in the Valley and actually has moved all of his stuff from his apartment in Glendale into his parents' house in Mesa. It's so nice to have him be that close so that one of us doesn't have to drive an hour (or more) to see each other. We can actually act like a true engaged couple and see each other almost every day. YAY!!! It's also nice to know that we will never have to be that far apart for that long again, we made it through. Ironically anyone notice what's gone on with gas prices in the last couple weeks. Having Nate close by has also helped kick wedding planning back into high gear. I/we got a lot of big things done early on and then the last month has been relatively calm. I have a sneaking suspicion that that's all over as we're heading into that realm where the wedding seems far away but it really isn't. We are under 60 days!! But in the last week we've gotten a lot accomplished. We planned out our wedding cake, we've secured a place for the luncheon, and we finished up our engagement photos. Now I don't want to ruin the surprise but I thought I could put a up one of the ones we're probably not using for the invitations.

Here we are heading off into our happily ever after.

And here's a short video that Nate's brother, Danny, took. The voice in the background is Nate's dad, and no Nate's comment has nothing to do with my weight.
video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Show Low Retreat

As some of you know Nate has been in Show Low for the past 2 1/2 weeks (only 8 days left) doing a rural medicine rotation. This past weekend his family made a trip up there to go camping and we figured it would be a good time for me to visit and have his dad take some engagement photos (I can't believe it's that time already). I left work a little early on Friday and was a woman on a mission making the trip from Mesa to Show Low via Payson in 2.5 hours (take that Google maps with your inflated 4 hour estimate). I really did enjoy the drive with my loud music, windows rolled down enjoying the cool autumn mountain air, and my supply of diet coke (hallelujah for QT) but I was really glad to finally get there and see my man. It's amazing how quickly you grow to miss someone when previously you were quite able to live 26 years without them.

The plan was to have our mini photo shoot Saturday since his family was returning home sometime Sunday morning. Mother Nature, however, had a different plan all together. All day Saturday was cloudy, windy, cold, rainy and yes even a few bouts of hail. Despite having to postpone our photo plans we had a lot of fun with plan B as it evolved throughout the day.

We took a drive to visit the spots for pictures that Nate had been scouting out over the past few weeks:

ParadiseDitch CampA-1 Lake

We hung out by the lake for a bit and Nate tried to see if the fish were biting:

Which they were, kinda. Here's Nate doing an "intraoperative hookectomy."

And I showed off my infinite grace by falling off the rock.

And we watched movies in his family's trailer:


By Sunday morning the clouds had cleared but in their place we got cooler temperatures of about 40 degrees in the morning and a high of 54 by the afternoon. Not wanting to waste our opportunity at clear, sunny skies we decided to brave the cold and get some photos in. I don't want to spoil the fun so I won't post any of those yet. After we finished with photos, and his family broke camp to head for home, Nate and I made the short drive up to Sunrise and took a ride up the ski lift.

The views were beautiful but we were freezing despite our jackets, sweaters, and jeans. We should have known we were in trouble when we saw people in line practically dressed for winter with their scarfs, earmuffs, and mittens. Luckily it wasn't anything some cuddling up and hot chocolate couldn't fix.


So I can attest that fall is alive and well in the high country. Ironically enough the weather is forecasted to be in the 70's and sunny this weekend. ={

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanking My Lucky Stars

It never ceases to amaze me how we can look back at the events of our lives and see how the seemingly meaningless or frustrating times really do all come together for our good. I can do this with all sorts of areas of my life but today my attention is drawn to the work realm.

Today I got a phone call from one of my bosses at my previous job. We've kept in touch from time to time over the past 2 years since I left but this phone call was particularly interesting for my previous job was at a subsidary of AIG. I'm not sure if you all have kept up on the news lately but things have not been going well for AIG as they essentially were taken over by the government and they are now selling many of the portions/subsidaries that aren't part of the primary insurance buisness that will remain. Two of the divisions I worked for are a part of this firesale therefore they don't know how much longer they will all have jobs. So after 17 years with the company that had been around for 20, my former boss is in the unlucky position of having to find a new job. Lucky star #1=I left AIG when I did.

Lucky star #2 is also job related as shortly after I started at my current job 2 years ago things got a little "hairy" and there was a period of time where I wasn't sure if I was going to need to find another job. Luckily everything has turned out fine and I'm still here but for quite a while I was searching for other options. I applied and interviewed with a number of commercial real estate lenders, developers, etc. for jobs that I was perfectly qualfied for. Alas time after time nothing came through and I was throughly frustrated but felt deep inside that I was being told it wasn't my time to leave and I should stay put. Thank goodness I listened because with the current state of the industry I know companies have had to cut back and I would have been the first to go.

I am so greatful for a Heavenly Father who has an understanding of the bigger plan, truly does have my best interests at heart and knows what's good for me better than I do. As was mentioned in this last conference, it doesn't mean things are going to be easy (I hope you know, we had a hard time) but if you're prepared, ask for guidance and then listen He will not let you go astray and you will be put in the places where you need to be.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Camelback


Last time Nate was in town we were up for a physical challenge and decided to try our hand at Camelback Mountain. Nate's hiked Camelback a number of times and ever since we started dating we've talked about going hiking when it cooled down enough. Apparently we were tired of waiting because that Saturday was actually forecasted to be about 100 degrees, but we got up early and went anyways.

I've always liked hiking but this was my first time doing Camelback and I have to admit it had been at least a year (possibly more) since I'd done a decent hike. I've heard that the steep climbs of Camelback can make the trip more challenging than you'd expect so I knew that I'd need to get some kind of energy in me before we started. I was running a little behind that morning and had the brilliant idea of drinking a bunch of Carnation Instant Breakfast as Nate was on his way to pick me up, afterall it has carbs and some protein, perfect idea right? Wrong. Let's just say a stomach full of milk and a hike on a warm day (it was still before noon so it wasn't hot yet) are a bad mix. Needless to say it didn't take too long before I was not feeling well. I was really torn about listening to my gut and turning around or pushing through it and finishing the hike. I knew Nate wanted to finish the hike and I really didn't want to wuss out. Let's just say I love my fiance! Seeing my struggle, both emotionally with wanting to continue on and physically for not feeling like I could, he made the decision to turn around. I love him for knowing when to push me farther and when to help me at the times when I'm too stubborn for my own good. I love him for put my physical well being ahead of his personal desires. I love him for not thinking I'm a wimp.

So here's to my first trip on Camelback. I didn't make it as far as I wanted but never fear, now that I've got a reliable hiking buddy I'll be back and next time it's personal.

Making a List, Checking it Twice!

No I'm not taking a part time job as Santa Clause, but I do feel like I'm asking everyone else to play the part as recently Nate and I took a couple days and started our gift registry. Yes you read that right, "a couple days" and "start." Ok really we started 2 registries at 2 seperate stores but still. Over all we had a lot of fun but you (or at least I) can only make so many decisions before my head wants to explode. 300 vs 400 vs 500 thread count. Sateen vs all cotton. Stainless steel vs non-stick. This pattern of flatwear vs that pattern of flatwear. Dirt devil vs hoover. And they want how much for that????? I know that people want to give us presents to congratulate us on our wedding and start us out on our new life together but I still had a little bit of inner turmoil as I felt greedy asking for all this stuff. We're kind of in an interesting spot seeing as we've both been on our own for a while but we have a number of items that need to be replaced that were either hand-me-downs from roommates past (sorry Stef the avocado green toaster is reaching the end of it's days) or cheep college stuff (anyone interested in a $5 set of plastic cooking utensils? No, how about a $2 strainer?).

So as we work on perfecting our registry I'm curious, in looking back what was your favorite gift you received for your wedding? And/or what was one thing you didn't register for but really wished you had after the fact?



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time for Geritol?

Getting older is a stealthy process. It's not an quick change like cutting your hair or getting a tan. It quietly sneaks up on you day by day, year by year, until one day you look in the mirror and gasp "when did that happen?"

Now I still feel young, in fact sometimes it takes me back a bit to realize I'm an a adult. In some ways I still think of myself as a young whipper-snapper romping through high school and college with the rest of the gang, but maybe a wiser version of that self. The other night, however, I had a harrowing experience that made me face head on the fact that I'm "getting older." Brace yourselves, I found a true bright white hair.

This was no little sprout of a hair either; rather this hair was a good 6 inches long. I just stared at it for several minutes wondering "where did that come from?" and "how did I, my hairdresser, and Nate not see that?" Obviously this little guy had been around for a while. This isn't meant to sound like "woe is me," I actually laughed about it for a while since obviously this was inevitable and apparently 26 is no longer a spring chicken. It got me thinking, however, about what the things to come, the person I'm going to be (or at least hope to be), the adventures Nate and I will have as we get old and wrinkly together, and most importantly....dye or not to dye, that is the question. Right now I'm thinking not and that I'll make the attempt to age gracefully. Sure that could all change several years down the road when I'm facing more than one white hair, after all we know he will be back for revenge and he's bringing back up. Over the years though I've lost interest in "artificial enhancement." I don't like fake nails, fake tans, or fake hair. Not that there's anything wrong with those things for those of you who do, I just don't like it for me. I don't have the patience to devote the time and money to the constant up keep. So I'm content and embrace nails that aren't all perfectly the same shape, white skin and hair that's a slightly different color at the roots and the end. Who knows maybe I'm over analyzing this and Nate will be right, it's planning the wedding that's giving me grey hair.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

If I didn't say it enough THANK YOU! everyone for your comments and suggestions for caterers. It's been a big help. For those of you who posted your email address for me to contact you to get mailing addresses, I have removed your comment. Not that I didn't love your comments (it actually pained me a little to hit 'delete') I just didn't want your email addresses floating around for anyone to see, I care about you that much. This just means that you will have to come back from time to time and leave more comments. See how I worked that? :) Hopefully by now you got my email back to you and we're officially now in contact.

Monday, September 22, 2008

HELP!

Alright everyone I need some help. We are having some trouble finding a caterer for our wedding reception and I'm curious if any one has some recommendations. We've tried about 5 or 6 caterers and so far are coming up empty. The professional catering companies haven't returned our calls and the individuals referred by friends all have sold their business and don't do it any longer. We have a few last things to try but my mom almost feels like we're getting prompted to do the food ourselves, which for me is the last thing I wanted to do. We've had a number of people offer to help out that evening with serving but I always wanted my reception to be an event where friends and family could come and have fun, not be put to work. I'm so greatful that we have so many people that are willing to help, and maybe I shouldn't turn down their offer/opportunity to do service but it just seems like such a large task for us to take on ourselves. Add to that the stress of coordinating, preparing, storing the food and renting equipment to keep it warm and I'm really just dreading going down the DIY road. All the rest of the planning has gone remarkable smoothe and I guess it was just too good to think we weren't going to have any hiccups. This really is the last big thing we have to nail down and I'm so surprised it's been this difficult.

We're Here!

That's right I've entered the world of blogging. A while back I observed that in this digital age, blogging appears to be a new rite of passage. I've had a number of friends encourage me to start a blog but I abstained because it seemed like the correct order of things was get married, have kids, start a blog (ok the order of the last two could be switched). I really didn't think that people would want to read the tales of my singlehood, I mean seriously who wants to hear about bad dates and roommates. So I've been lurking in the shadows, "blog-stalking" you all (yes I'm probably one of those annoynmous people you've felt following you) reveling in your fun stories and wistfully waiting for the day when I could join you, but now I'm out in the open, ready to face the blog head on. No I don't have any kids, and I'm not married yet (so I'm still officially a Jackson not a Matthews), but I am ENGAGED! Yay! Most of you have already heard the news but there are a number of you out there who haven't, mostly because I have lost contact with you over the years. Hopefully we'll be able remedy that now.
I've heard through the grapevine that it can sometimes be hard to keep posts interesting with out kids and the cute stories that come from watching them grow up. Even Nate recently asked me what I would blog about and my answer was "I don't know." So I'll try my best to keep things interesting and maybe flex my writing muscles as they've waned a little since graduating college (working with numbers all day will do that to you). It will also take me a little bit of time to get the page all jazzed up and learn the tips/tricks but have patience I will get there. Don't tell anyone but I have some slow time at work to fill. :)