- Running my first 5K and almost dying in the process
- Parker being pretty much the chubbiest baby I've ever seen
- Parker learning to crawl
- Successfully implementing cloth diapers
- Lots and lots of running
- Still not having all our doors properly installed in our home (we've lived here 3 years)
- Going to the zoo with Parker. He didn't care too much, but I had fun.
- Matt losing 36 lbs in 13 weeks and winning the title of biggest loser
- "Vacationing" at the Grand Canyon and by vacationing I mean "boot camp"
- Sharing a pork salad at cafe rio. . . a lot (did you know they give you a free "kid's quesadilla?)
- Still being just as in love as the day we got married (actually, more in love)
- Taking Parker up in the mountain often, and exposing him to climbing early
- Did I mention I ran a lot?
- Taking Parker swimming for the first time. He didn't like it at first.
- Running my first half marathon in 2:05 at Bear Lake and NOT almost dying from it. Best Race Ever.
- Matt redpointing his first 5.12
- Going to the Temple almost but not quite once a month (maybe more like every 2 months)
- Even more rock climbing
- Piano students stealing Matt's ipod...and my favorite piano book. grrrr
- Hanging with Matt's family in St. George
- Redpointing a 5.9
- Parker pointing at everything. Literally everything.
- Doing a little photography on the side
- Matt's promotion to Senior Accountant even though he doesn't have his degree yet (coming this May!)
- Singing a song I wrote to the Young Women while playing the guitar. Scary.
- Climbing with my best friend to the top of the Grand Teton and almost dying in the process
- Reaching the car after we finished the Grand Teton
- Attempting to "go organic"... ok, it's a small attempt, but I'm still working on it
- Accepting a new job to teach the science fair class at AMES
- Wishing I hadn't accepted a new job to teach the science fair class at AMES (even though I like it... most of the time)
- Getting the biggest kisses from my little boy
- Crossing the finish line at the top of Utah Marathon and almost dying in the process
- Parker learning to walk (0r wobble. However you want to look at it.)
- Parker turning 1 and having his first birthday party with family and friends (what a popular little guy)
- Sewing my Halloween costume and having the cutest Toy Story family ever
- Being called as the Young Women President just when I thought my life was busy enough
- Matt being called, the very next week, to be the Executive Secretary even though his life is busier than mine
- Parker swallowing my wedding ring
- The very next week, Parker swells up like a balloon because of a peanut allergy
- Matt learning and implementing the concept of "barefoot running"
- Dancing in the kitchen with the cutest kid I know
- Giving up on cooking dinner for practically the whole month of december
- Parker learning to talk "ba ba ba ba..."
- Matt achieving "Employee of the Year" for the accounting department
- Parker's fear of action figures
- Having the opportunity to participate in the "Sub for Santa" for our ward and feeling the gratitude of others
- Matt's first bouldering competition and taking 5th in his division
- Giving Parker tons of gifts for Christmas and him loving the cheap "hit the ball with a hammer" one I got from walmart for, like, 10 bucks
- Watching Movies in "The New Room"
- Continuing to live "happily ever after" one day at a time
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
She inspires me to focus on my most important role in this life, which is motherhood. I have a tendency to try to be everything to everybody. I also hate mediocrity, so I try to be the best at everything, which I've learned from experience, is impossible. The more things I try to do, the more mediocre I become at all of them. "Jack of all trades, but master of none."
When I read her blog, I don't care about anything else except for my role as a mother and a wife. When everything is said and done, it doesn't matter how many cool things I have done. When I leave this life, all I will have with my on the other side is my family. So I better do good job of taking care of my family. I love my son and husband so much. They are everything to me.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So I was pretty stressed out last Sunday. It was "Young Women in Excellence" and I just happen to be the Young Women's President. Fortunately I have great councilors, advisors, and a great secretary. But, nonetheless, I get super stressed about things like this. In fact, all I could dream about the night before the event was about how everything would go wrong. I was tossing and turning, probably muttering things like "Oh, no. We forgot 'Integrity.'"
So one of the things I was in charge of making was tags for each of the values. I tried to make them really cute by gluing the name of the value onto a pretty rectangle of glittery, rainbow scrapbook paper and then gluing that onto a white piece of cardstock folded in half. My husband was laughing at me while I was meticulously cutting and gluing. I'm sure he was thinking something like, "If men were in charge of this, they would just scribble the words on a piece of lined paper, rip it out the notebook and fold it in half so it would sort of stand up."
At the time, I didn't think much of it, but some reason, the paper didn't stick very well.
I went to the church early and started setting up with my whole young women posse and I put the tags out. My secretary, Tamara, mentioned that we needed glue because some of the names were falling off. I get all proud of myself, for being prepared, and pulled out the gluestick. Tamara takes one look at it and starts laughing. "That's chapstick!"
Yes, I tried to glue paper together using chapstick. It worked surprisingly better than you think it would.
Besides the whole using lip moisturizer as an adhesive, the event went really well. Even though I get stressed out because of my responsibilities as the Young Women's President, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. I was so proud of all of the young women.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I recently took the Jung-Myers-Briggs Test. There are 16 possible personality types based on 4 factors:
- Introverted or Extroverted (I or E)
- Sensing or iNtuitive (S or N)
- Feeling or Thinking (F or T)
- Judging or Perception (J or P)
I'm curious as to what all of you are! Please take the test and let me know:
Personality test based on Jung - Myers-Briggs typology
I'm an INTJ or "mastermind." That's right. A mastermind. So what do I want to do tonight, you ask? The same thing I do every night, Pinky -- Try to take over the world!
I was very surprised to read the description and to see how closely it resembles me. Kinda creepy. If any of you want a glimpse into my psyche, read on:
"INTJs are analytical. Like INTPs, they are most comfortable working alone and tend to be less sociable than other types. Nevertheless, INTJs are prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, or if they see a major weakness in the current leadership. They tend to be pragmatic, logical, and creative. They have a low tolerance for spin or rampant emotionalism. They are not generally susceptible to catchphrases and do not recognize authority based on tradition, rank, or title.Hallmarks of the INTJ include independence of thought and a desire for efficiency. They work best when given autonomy and creative freedom. They harbor an innate desire to express themselves by conceptualizing their own intellectual designs. They have a talent for analyzing and formulating complex theories. INTJs are generally well-suited for occupations within academia, research, management, engineering, and law. They are often acutely aware of their own knowledge and abilities—as well as their limitations and what they don't know (a quality that tends to distinguish them from INTPs). INTJs thus develop a strong confidence in their ability and talents, making them natural leaders.
In forming relationships INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concepts is an important aspect of their relationships. By nature INTJs can be demanding in their expectations, and they approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result INTJs may not always respond to a spontaneous infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria. They tend to be stable, reliable, and dedicated. Harmony in relationships and home life tends to be extremely important to them. They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time with what they consider irrational social rituals. This may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved. Nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work."
(wikipedia, entry "INTJ")
One thing about myself that has always bothered me is that I am "distant and reserved" as wikipedia states. Maybe I should just accept that this is me instead of always, painfully and unsuccessfully, trying to change it.
Some notable INTJs are Warren Buffet, Jane Austen, Caesar, Thomas Jefferson, Steven Hawking, C. S. Lewis, Plato and Issac Newton. Oh, and Arnold Schwartzenegger which I'm sure you can see the similarities :)
Matt, on the other hand is an ENTJ. We pretty much the same except Matt is extroverted and I'm introverted. His profile is so "right on" that it is scary. It mentions being good at business, which he is, having energy, which he definitely does, and a desire to create efficient systems, which is half of what Matt talks about.
Hasta la vista, baby!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
It doesn't stop there. Parker also had a melt down at Old Navy. The culprit: Scary friendly-looking mannequins. His Aunt Rachel was introducing him to these giant-sized action figures and he started crying! When ever he sees an action figure, he will look away from it and hold me as tightly as possible.
I know I must be a bad mom, but I find this hilarious.
Well, some time has past and Parker has made amends with the GI Joe. They're friends now. Next stop: Old Navy.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Nothing like a good SNL parody.
Even though I'm not really one to stand in a line for an hour waiting to watch the movie, I am looking forward to seeing "New Moon." (I hear it is a lot better than Twilight which I wasn't completely impressed with.) I have had lots of friends who have seen it already and have told me about the inevitable girly screaming that happens whenever Jacob takes his shirt off. I completely understand. I mean, look at him... But I thought it was funny when my sister-in-law brought up the idea of adult men whistling at a 17 year old girl coming onto the screen in a bikini. A little disturbing......But what's wrong with a complete double standard anyway?
Here's a hot picture of Jacob, in case you don't know what I'm talking about.
I feel kinda naughty for even posting a picture of a guy without a shirt. That's why I made it small. Somehow, it is less naughty this way.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
What more can you ask for than health and happiness?
I love listening/reading about how Utah compares in various categories. One of the more recent studies concluded that Utah is the happiest state. They interviewed 355,000 people to make this conclusion and it was based on a variety of factors life satisfaction, work quality, healthy behavior, physical health, emotional health, and basic access to necessities like food and shelter. Some contribute this Utah's low unemployment rate which is 4.6% compared to the national rate of 7.6%.
In addition to being the happiest state, Utah is also considered the 2nd healthiest state by another recent study. I know that I've heard the whole "fat mormon" stereotype, but it simply isn't true. In fact, Utah ranks 8th lowest in obesity rates and lowest in childhood obesity rates. Another important contributing factor, believe it or not, is our location by the mountains. It follows the trend that mountain states are more health than states without mountains (in general).
I can't really say that Utah is both healthy and happy because of the large percentage of LDS people living here, but I believe it is a contributing factor. The fact that the LDS church discourages smoking and drinking and encourages its members to have a healthy body makes a huge difference in the lives of many people, leaving them to live healthier, happier lives. "By their fruits, ye shall know them."
Read here for my past post on the past US census (which also, undoubtedly, contributes to the happiness of the people in this state.)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I am the luckiest.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I planned on doing the Top of Utah marathon in Logan, UT. I went to college in Logan and it is sort of my second home. I loved the idea of running through the canyons, watching the colorful leaves fall from trees, the autumn breeze in my face, smiling intensely as I crossed the finish line. Of course, in all my imagining I forgot to add in the pain I would feel in my toes, my legs, my butt, well, just about everywhere.
So I trained and I felt pretty good about it. I ran the Bear Lake half marathon (13.1 miles) in 2 hrs. and 5 min. and felt great afterward. I thought, hey I can run a marathon at the same pace, maybe a little faster, and get in around 4 hours. Ha ha. I didn't realize that running a full marathon is completely different than running a half.
I actually slacked on my training. I got sick. I took a couple of weeks off from climbing the grand teton. Things came up and I didn't make it my priority. Oops. Who'd have thought I'd regret that?
So September 2009 came and I ran the Top of Utah with my mom and younger brother. I really enjoyed the first half of it. I was running it at my half marathon pace, but the second half...I didn't like so much. I started thinking that forcing people to run farther and farther would be a really effective method of torture.
But I finished.
I came in at 4 hours and 47 minutes. Not such a great time. It is about an 11 min/mile pace. Remember my goal was a 9 min/mile pace. But I finished.
It is so hard for me to be proud of myself because I really did not make my goal..even close to it. I guess I'll have to do another one. Maybe it will help me get into shape after baby #2.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Parker was spoiled with two birthday parties on his big day with a jungle theme. I took my hand at cake decorating and made this alligator cupcake cake. Fearsome, I know.
The first party was in the park with his neighborhood friends. I had this great idea to have the kids go "fishing" for tub toys using magnets, but the toys were too heavy so it didn't work as perfectly as I had imagined. But the kids still had fun playing in the water and on the playground and Parker got some sweet gifts. Thanks friends!
Later that evening we had hamburgers with the family at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Parker was super spoiled by everyone's attention and took this opportunity to show off his new skill of walking. I love watching him waddle everywhere. Such a cutie!
He was a little frightened when the lights were turned off and everyone surrounded him singing in unison while an open flame sat in front of him. Fortunately, he forgot all about it once he started eating his cake.
Kelli reminded me to share his stats. Despite his chubby cheeks, Parker is a little guy. At 12 months he weighed 21 lbs. 13 oz (33%) and is 29 in (20%). But he has a big head compared to the rest of him at 47 cm (66%). He has slimmed up a lot since he was 2 months at the 95 %tile for both height and weight, but he is adorable either way.
Friday, November 6, 2009
In keeping with my theme for the week "Updating the Blog," I have also (finally) updated my photography blog with some sweet pictures of the Salt Lake Temple. Let me know if you like them. If you don't like them, well, don't let me know. I prefer to hear only positive feedback :)
Check it! www.photography-by-ashley.blogspot.com
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I don't sew very often, but this year I sewed my entire costume including the hat. It was so hard. Sewing is not as easy as it seems. Fortunately, my mother in law is like a genius at sewing so we altered a pattern from some size 16 '80's prom dress pattern.
What a cute family!
As a side note, Grandma Budd gave Parker a peanut butter sandwich on Halloween. Next thing I know, half his face has swollen up. You can kinda see the puffy eye in this picture. So, off to the doctor again to check for allergies. Poor kid. Earlier in the week he swallowed my wedding ring (story to come) and now this.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Matt and I have decided that once a year, no matter what, we will go on an adventure...just the two of us. This year we finally did something we have always wanted to do: Climb the Grand Teton.
I thought I was in good shape. I had been training for a marathon (although not as diligently as I should have been), but this mountain kicked my butt! Next time I do it, I know I need to do some real training.
We started our adventure at 7:00 in the morning to backpack up to our campsite or "the caves" as the rangers called it. It was about 5 miles in and the hike wasn't too bad except my pack was about 35 lbs. and Matt's was probably around 50 lbs. Climbing gear is really heavy!
The next morning we woke up at 3:00 am. Yes, 3:00 am. After we eat and geared up, we started on the trail about an hour later at 4:00. We left our tent and sleeping bags and brought just the supplies we needed for the climb to the peak which included a rope, cams, food, and clothing. The reason you have to leave so early is that you want to avoid the thunderstorms that always come in the afternoon.
We started hiking in the dark with our headlamps and things are going pretty well until we reach a huge boulder field and lose our way. We scrambled around and eventually find our way by following the lights on the mountain from climbers up ahead.
Finally we reached the saddle at 6:00 am. It took us two hours to hike just two miles, but it was very steep and very dark. Reaching the saddle is pretty much equivalent to reaching the peak of Timpanogos...and the hard part hasn't even began.
The tree line was back where we camped out and everything around us was just rock. Big boulders, little boulders, steep cliffs...but nothing like a trail or dirt. So we got lost a lot trying to find our way. There were many climbers along the way, but we mostly just tried to follow vague descriptions from the guide books.
The climbing was actually not very difficult. We climbed the Upper Exum which is 5.4 at hardest. Many people don't rope up most of the way and some free solo it the entire way. It is scary at some parts because of the extreme exposure: huge sheer cliffs that would lead to your death if you fell. It is also very steep. Imagine climbing stairs to the top of a mountain. It isn't technically difficult, but it uses a ton of muscle.
We made it most the way and get lost again, but this time it is scary because we are practically out of food, a storm is coming in, and there is snow all around which meant slippery and dangerous climbing. We meander and reread the guide book for a while. I had a moment of panic and then decided that panicking never helped any one so I pulled myself together and we said a prayer. Instantly, we knew which direction to go and we reached the peak.
My legs were shaking practically the whole way down from overexertion and lack of energy. I needed food and rest, but we weren't there yet. I needed to keep on going. Matt was fine, of course. He is in great shape and is strong. I had altitude sickness which really affected me near the peak which is about 14,000 ft.
We finally made it back to our campsite around 8:00 pm. That meant we had been hiking/climbing for 16 hours. I slept horribly that night in our little tent and woke up around 4:30 am, so we got another early start, but this time down the mountain. We painfully hiked the 5 miles out of the mountain to the campground. Overall the journey to the peak and back took us around 24 hours.
This is called "the eye of the needle." We were supposed to go through it on the way up, but we got lost and did it a completely different and more difficult way.
It was so flippin' hard and my body hurt so much, but it was worth it. The views were beautiful and the feeling of accomplishment was thrilling. We will definitely do it again.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, Matt, Jesse (Matt's brother), and I got ready early to go rock climbing at the Black Cliffs. It was pretty fun to climb on Basalt. I decided to be brave a lead a 5.9 and was surprised that I could redpoint it (climb without falling or resting). The hardest climb I could lead before I had Parker was a 5.9 and this was my first redpoint of that rating. I was super excited. At the beginning of the year I made a goal to lead a 5.10 (one grade harder than 5.9), but thought it would be impossible once the summer started. Now I'm working towards that goal and hopefully will be able to do it before it snows. Matt and Jesse climbed too. I just think my accomplishment was more interesting then anything they did;).
Parker down the ladder.
The next day Parker went boating for the first time. He didn't really care for it. He was content exploring the boat, but didn't even seem interested in the fact that we were surrounded by water. He did have some fun on the beach, crawling around in the sand. Matt and I went wakeboarding a little. I would like to try it some more some time.
It was such a fun weekend! Thank you Sarah and Eric for the good times!