9.29.2012

The third best decision I ever made.

First best.... Marrying Mr D.

Second best.... Moving to New York City.

Third best.... Switching to Almond Milk. Original, plain, almond milk. From Trader Joe's. Ok, so maybe that last part wasn't important. I love Trader Joe's ok?


Let me rave for a minute. I would tell anyone and everyone to do the same. Switch to almond milk, that is. Then you can rave. It has done miracles for my body.

What almond milk has done for me:
- Flatter belly
- More balanced emotions
- Much less endometriosis pain
- No more acne. It's like a night and day difference. Seriously.

Am I dreaming? Not only does it do wonders for my body, but it tastes delicious. It took a bit to get used to. I longed for my precious 2% with my cereal. But we both honestly prefer it now. Somebody also shared that there is chocolate almond milk out there. I'm determined to find it and try it.

Any other almond milk lovers out there?

PS... Soy < Almond Milk. I for so long thought that when I read no dairy, that meant that soy was my next best option. I recently discovered that soy also feeds endometriosis. No bueno.

9.26.2012

Sunday, a day of rest? No such thing.


Sundays aren't such a restful day here in New York.
I am waving my arm and teaching kids songs for the last two hours of church, it takes us almost an hour of commuting each way thanks to weekend subway construction, and the day usually ends in blisters on my feet. After church we often have other errands that have to be run in downtown Manhattan since that's the only day of the week we are down that way, Derek sometimes has to give the sacrament to people in their home, sometimes I have meetings, and an occasional Trader Joes shopping trip is a must if we want food the next week. When we finally make it home almost 6 hours later, I'm pooped and don't often feel all gung-ho about making a fancy Sunday dinner. 

So I pondered some ways to make it feel a little more like a day of rest.
Last Sunday, I made sure my lesson was prepared before Sunday morning, I woke up early enough to not be rushing out the door, I turned on some Sunday music while getting ready, and made D some tea in bed. I was so much happier. I'm excited to rekindle our sunday traditions someday.

After church, we took our time and stopped by the Highline.
The Highline is an elevated park that used to be train tracks. It runs for almost 20 blocks. It was beautiful. I was so sad I didn't have the camera. I think I need to go back.

Don't mind my crazy eye.




One of my new favorite things is stopping by different churches in the city. They are all so beautiful.
Always wanting to hold hands. So so precious.
I'm prepared for the lashing. I listened to Christmas music and made Christmasy muffins. And it was so worth it.
Late night grocery shopping trip to Trader Joes. #traderjoesshouldbepayingmewithallthisravingidoaboutthem

What are some things you do to make Sunday a day of rest?

xoxo,
Mandy

9.22.2012

NYC anxiety

For the past 9 months, Saturdays have been stressful.
I would have a full blown anxiety attack.
I was frustrated, would nag at myself and Derek, and nothing was ever accomplished because of it.

But before I delve into this topic, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your feedback influenced me more than you know! I felt so much love and have realized more deeply that we are not alone in our marriage struggles. So glad we are all in this together going through similar experiences. The advice shared from many of you was wonderful! I'm so excited to apply it in my own marriage. Thank you thank you thank you.

Anyways, living in the city is so fun, but I have felt a lot of pressure to always be out doing touristy things. 
Derek on the other is always pretty satisfied with life. He doesn't allow himself to feel pressure from anyone or anything hardly ever. We're so opposite.

BUT

I think we're starting to meet more in the middle. I'm becoming OK with relaxing Saturdays. I don't feel so rushed to get out. I hung around the apartment until 3:00 today and didn't feel any anxiety even for a second. It was WONDERFUL. Derek was actually the one saying we should go do something like a museum before dinner and a movie. Waaaa?! It made me so happy. We didn't end up going cause I procrastinated my run way too long, but it was still a good night.

A simple life is OK.

Isn't he SO handsome?

Our evening consisted of a walk along the river, a tram ride, sushi for dinner, and the Obama 2016 movie. I give it 3/5 stars. We were by far the youngest people in the theatre. I loved it. The laughing of the elderly was so great. Made me miss all of our grandparents. 

I'll leave you with a little snippet of our taxi ride home last night. I promise you our driver didn't stop talking the whole 20 minute ride. Don't worry, the video is only 40 seconds long. I said maybe 5 words the whole ride. And his laugh. There was no chance of us falling asleep back there. Especially with all his talk of McRomney. No joke. He seriously thinks his name is McRomney and told us all about how he doesn't trust that man with the nuclear codes. It was entertaining to say the least.

Enjoy :) And sorry it's a little quiet. I was trying to hide my phone.

video

9.19.2012

Marriage is real folks

I know I'm no pro, but here are my observations of 2.5 years experience. 

I once heard a girl who had been married two whole weeks tell another soon to be married girl "Marriage is the best! Life is so much easier. You'll love it. I'm so excited for you."

Well news flash. Marriage is HARD. Freakin' hard. But worth it. Very very worth it.

When in the engaged and newlywed stages of life, you never in a million years would imagine it possible to feel so extremely frustrated with your spouse. You wouldn't think it possible to be so sad when married to your one and only true love.

Well again I tell you, marriage is hard. And again I tell you, worth it. Marriage is well worth every tear, frustration, misunderstanding, rude thing said, rude thing taken back, and forgiven.

One of the biggest things I have learned being married is that IT WILL BE OK. Sometimes in the heat of an argument it seems like all is wrong in the world and things will be hard to mend. Then an hour later you're hugging each other, in love all over again, and reminded that you're always there for each other.

In marriage, one moment your spouse will be your biggest frustration, and the next moment your biggest support and comfort. It's a beautiful thing.

You have to somehow make all of your life habits, hobbies, desires, likes, interests, theories, beliefs, strategies, and biggest of all, your changes, work together.

Derek is a pretty different person from who I married two years ago. Then again, so am I. We have both changed. So much. And thank goodness for that. I would hope that we continue to change. And we make our changes work out and blend for the better.

It is the most beautiful thing to me that someone can see your worst side in everything and continue to love you more than anyone in the world. Cherish you more than anything in the world.

Marriage is beautiful. It's perfect in it's imperfections.

IF.....

You both work harder than you've ever worked at something. If you both support each other's weaknesses and love through low and lazy times. I've never had to ask for forgiveness or forgive more in my life.

I was watching Ellen the other day and Pink was her guest. Ellen asked if she was happily married. Pink responded with, "I'm married. And I'm happy a lot of the time." I don't want to say too much about this other than I LOVED it.

I feel that the world (specifically the mormon world) is given this misconception of how easy and happy life is after marriage. That life is just blissful and happy as long as you are married and have babies.

Life is awesome. But I'm here to be honest with you and tell you that life is blissful and happy, a lot of the time. But there will be hard times. Like really hard. There will be late nights of hurt and hard feelings. Late nights of tears and sadness, hopefully ending in hugs and love.

I believe in not going to bed until you've worked things out. A lot of people say go to sleep and work it out in the morning, but then the problem is that I can't sleep. Derek can sleep just fine, but I'll stay up all night sad and frustrated. And then there usually isn't time in the morning. And you have stinky breath so you can't kiss and snuggle at the end of it all quite as comfortably. :)

I don't believe that I love you's and thank you's and I appreciate you's can be said enough. We tell each other those things many times a day. It's a good reminder not just to the other person, but to yourself as well.


Run with it. As long as you're running together for the same things. Don't worry about what others think or have to say.
We decided to move to NYC even though we had people telling us they didn't think we should.
It's the best thing we could have done for our marriage.

Laugh it off. It's likely that you'll do dumb and vulnerable things. Be able to laugh at each other and yourself.

Continue to flirt. In public too. We're huge fans of PDA. To a certain extent of course.

You'll learn to be able to communicate without saying a single word. We can have full conversations with nothing said sometimes. Utilize this. It's quite efficient. And a good way to stay connected around lots of people.

Share hobbies and common interests. Find something to share. Such as music, running, a TV show, etc.

Have a sense of humor. Be silly.

Allow yourself to love and be loved deeper than ever before.

The moral of the post is that marriage is real. Marriage is hard. Marriage is exhausting. Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is worth it.

Any other tips or advice?

xoxo,
Mandy

9.15.2012

I'm not just hungry, I'm starving.

No, I'm not talking about food.
No I'm not talking about sleep.
I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise, but I'm talking about BABIES.


I think I'm currently more baby hungry than I've ever been. I decided that I'm honestly baby starving. I can hardly wait to snuggle a little one.

I just want to kiss their little lips and nose, fingers and toes.
I want to sing to them and rock them.

As you know, because of my endometriosis, I am doing my best to be prepared for whatever may happen. But I still can't help pushing my tummy out in front of the mirror every morning like I have a little monkey growing in my tummy. Did I really just admit that? Well I do, and I've done it since before I can remember. I can't help making sure clothes I buy work with a pregnant belly too. I can't help researching maternity clothes, good music to play to my baby in my tummy, yoga videos for pregnant women, pictures of cute nurseries, and watching baby story on TLC at least 4 hours a week. This all probably doesn't help one bit. 

If you want to know, I actually think that America's Funniest Home Videos makes us more baby hungry than anything. Seriously. Has anyone else experienced this? Kids do the darndest things!

I'm realizing I sound totally crazy. Maybe I am crazy? But I'll sure love my babies.

Ever since I was a little girl, it's been my dream to feel a little one kick in my tummy, for my husband to feel the kicks, to talk to my belly, and do all the fun things with pregnancy.

Can't wait for that day. But as everyone always says, enjoy time without kids while we can. Yeah yeah, we are, ok? But I can still be excited. :)

Babies.... Ahhhh.
Any other baby hungry bloggers out there?

PS...I know I've posted these before but they are to die for. I have in no way been asked to give a shout out, I'm doing this all on my own. Chelsey Searle takes some stunning and adorable pictures. Aren't these pictures tear jerkers?! Really, they make me tear up. If you live in Utah, you're in luck! She's in your neighborhood.



9.12.2012

9/11 in the city


He told me he wanted to join the military. Without a thought, I said NO.

I'm in no way in charge of my brother, but I didn't want to allow him to put himself in danger's way like that. Little did I know he was putting himself in the way of something so great.

Yesterday was a very touching day in the city. Everywhere I went, TV's were talking about what happened in this beautiful city 11 years ago, people were showing their respect, and there was talk of the tragic day.

11 years ago, I was getting ready for 6th grade. My dad called us into the family room to show us what was on the news. I knew it was a bad thing. It made me sad. But it seemed like a story or a scene out of a movie. I was shocked, but didn't fully comprehend what was happening. All I knew was that my mom was traveling on a plane to Idaho and I was terrified. Or maybe I just pretended to be terrified for attention from my friends. Who knows. But my Dad was somehow so positive that she was ok. :)

I truthfully feel that the depth and fullness of 9/11 did not sink in until moving here. Now when I think about it, I get emotional. After spending every day the last 8 months walking the city, I feel like I have an inkling of how terrifying and saddening this experience would really be. My heart aches for those affected by this tragedy.

I'm so grateful for those serving our country, but especially grateful for my little (big) brother who chose to serve our country at a young 18 and went forward with such pride and honor. Seeing his confidence and love for our country has completely changed my love for this country. I feel so much American pride. Call me crazy, but I have told Derek multiple times I want to join the Army. He'd never allow it, nor do I think I'd actually follow through with it, but I sure respect our soldiers and their families, especially the wives/husbands and kids of those serving.

Here in the city they have what is called the Tribute of Lights. It was so touching and beautiful to see where the towers once stood. After working a 14 hour day and feeling so exhausted, I talked myself and Derek into going out to take some pictures of it, and I'm so glad I did. It took me a while to figure out how to get a picture that wasn't totally blurry from the slowest shutter speed ever (I'm sure you photographers are rolling your eyes. I'm still learning), but I got a few that I'm so happy about and glad to have for memories sake.






Where were you when you heard of the attacks?
Did you comprehend the seriousness of the situation?

xoxo,
Mandy

9.09.2012

Thank YOU // Living in the now

I am so touched by the love and support you all shared after my last post on endometriosis. I posted with only the intent to answer questions and offer up support to others, but received so much love and kind words. And so many great tips and offers for recipes! It was also so comforting to hear you share so many stories of others successes in getting pregnant with endometriosis.

So, THANK YOU. So much for you kindness. It means so much to me.

I was also so thrilled to receive so many emails from people looking for help. My goal of reaching out to others worked. I'm so happy that I can use endometriosis to help others. I hope to continue to do so.

Tonight I attempted a nice dairy free, gluten free, steamed kale and chicken meal. Worst meal I've ever cooked. Oops.

**********************************************

Recently Mr. D and I were talking about living in the now. We often talk about next summer, since we'll be making big decisions and commitments. We talk about growing our family. We talk about buying a house. We talk about so many exciting things that make life sound like it couldn't be more perfect. But doesn't it always seem this way? "If only I had this or that. Once we have a house. Once we're done with school. If my outfits were cuter. If my hair were longer. If my skin were clearer. Once we have a baby." The dreaming never ends. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking life will only be easier/better when/if. But I've realized that it's our attitude about the now that makes all the difference.

I used to say, "Once we're in NY, life will be easier. I'll have more time to read books and do puzzles. I'll run through Central Park every day." Well now I realize, that it's not so easy and perfect. And probably never will be. But my attitude can make it perfect, no matter how imperfect the situation may be.

Anyone else ever feel this way? Or are we just brats sometimes? Please tell me we're normal. ;)

Phone pic update:

New shirt. New lipstick. So excited about both. Now I'm just pulling a, "If only my hair were longer, then this would all coordinate so perfectly." Haha.


I like to carry granola bars to give to homeless rather than giving money. Well I offered this lady sitting on the sidewalk a granola bar, and she turned it down saying she only wants a cigarette. I was shocked. My first thought was, "No wonder you're homeless." Then I thought about it and realized it is not my place to ever think such a thing. I don't know her story. #workingonit


Took these cuties to the zoo. I'm always way more excited about the animals than kids are.


The polar bear's fur was gorgeous in the water. I was in total awe. 


Tonight we went for a little ride/walk/run. Don't judge. Even if I am going to hell now for breaking the sabbath. I wasn't able to get in my miles for training yesterday because of rain, so I had to do them today. I was scared if I didn't that I'd get off and stop training again. Derek rode his penny board next to me. In his pajamas. It was so fun. 


The skyline, sky, and lights were incredible tonight. I tried to take a pic without stopping running, my flash went off, then the coolest buildings were out of site, so I gave up. This is what I came up with.


Ok, here is where you have to really try to restrain all judgements of all of that nasty hair. I swear we vaccuum. We found this little bugger yesterday hanging out by our bed frame. Wonder if he's ever come up in bed to snuggle with us. I try not to think about it too much. Makes me cringe.

I just said goodnight to the Mr.
For some reason, no matter how tired and exhausted I am, I get so much energy when we lay down to go to sleep. I just want to talk and talk, and snuggle, and talk some more. But D on the other hand likes to sleep when he lays down...to go to sleep.

I get frustrated sometimes because he just wants to be left alone to sleep, but I want to talk, and then I don't know what to do with all of my energy. So after prayers just barely he said, "Sorry I don't have the energy of a pack of 40 horses." 

And with that, goodnight fellow bloggers :)

xoxo,
Mandy

9.07.2012

More girl talk. Endometriosis.

I have had a few people ask me about my endometriosis after hearing a tiny bit of my story back here, so I thought I'd share a bit about it for those interested and those looking into help for endometriosis. It is a very misunderstood disease that I feel anyone could benefit from learning a bit about. It is difficult to diagnose and took me a long time to figure out what was going on with my body. 

I was lucky enough to receive surgery to help relieve the pain. And now it has unfortunately come back. I expected that it would eventually, since it is likely if you are not using birth control(hormonal) or pregnant, but I just didn't expect it so soon.

9.03.2012

Labor Day

Aren't holidays the greatest? We easily could have stayed inside all day, but sometimes I get anxious when we sit around for too long, so we made sure to get out tonight. I'm so glad we did.

This morning I had a run scheduled. I walked out to my usual starting point out by the river, and noticed there was an unusually large amount of people running. I didn't think too much of it until I was being offered water and people were telling me I was doing a great job running at certain points throughout. I was running along with a Labor Day 10k! I was so embarrassed. I got so many funny looks, especially from the runners smart enough to run the opposite direction to differentiate themselves from those in the race (besides the giant obvious numbers taped on their bellies). I don't know if I was more embarrassed to be running in the middle of the race or sad that I didn't know about it! Ok I do know. More embarrassed. But I do wish I would have known about it.



Had to squeeze in a little Honey Boo Boo today. We get the biggest kick out of this show. Is it for real?!




Had some red lipstick put on in Bloomingdales. What do you think?! I'm tempted to buy some.


For dinner we ate at the famous Serendipity. I have been wanting to eat here since we moved here but we've never been brave enough to wait the hour plus. We did it and it was so worth it. Derek was excited to check off another bucket list item. :) He's not quite as crazy about doing 'all the things' as I am.




Do you see how close our table was to the edge?! It was a little discomforting, but we braved it out. Glad we did, because after dinner we went home, rented the movie Serendipity, and turns out they were sitting at the same table! Awwww, right?!


And for the phone pics... I couldn't get them bigger without them going blurry, so here you have it.
**The picture of the receipt... Our waiter circled the suggested gratuity. Really?! 



9.02.2012

Sunday snippets

I bombed my primary lesson today, if you wanted to know. I am the primary music leader. Most weeks are awesome, but today was a total disaster. I had no control of the kids, they didn't get the game, and I was so flustered. Flustered to the point that all I could do was laugh.
Crossing my fingers for a better week next week.

PS...the sky was GORGEOUS last night.


So...the name change. Let me explain, because I just know how attached you were to the old title. ;)
I've discovered too many other blogs titled "That's what she said"
I was pretty bummed when I found them, but kind of excited for the excuse to move on.

I also had too many people asking me if I knew it had dirty connotations.
Uh, yes. Thank you. I'm married to a 'That's what she said' king.
But I'm not perverted, neither is this blog.

But I'm excited for the change! What do you think of the new title??
I tell ya, I have gained so much respect for big time bloggers. This thing is a LOT of work.
If we were rich, I'd hire someone to do the design for me. Figuring out this whole side bar and photoshop has been a PAIN. But I'm not giving up on it.

My Mr. goes back to school this week. His second to last semester until he is DONE FOREVER.
Where has the time gone?! I honestly can't believe it. I catch myself getting a little emotional about the idea of maybe leaving this place. 


Also, notice that HAIR if you will. It's getting so whispy and just....mmmmm. So hot right now. Sure love him.

Last night we finally got out on a date. We've been so out and about with work and traveling that it's been hard to go on a "real" date. We saw batman and got some yummy mexican. I'll be honest, it was hard to sit through batman after what happened in Colorado and all of the threats here in NY. Every time someone left the theatre, I was on the edge of my seat. I also couldn't stop thinking about how I ever thought all of this killing and violence was ever funny, even if it is fake. Yet so not fake. Because things happen like this everyday. Maybe no bat-mobiles flying overhead, but you get my point. I still enjoyed it, but it was definitely more disturbing thinking about how real all of that stuff is. So real that it could make someone internalize it to the point of murdering a theatre of people. So so sad.

After the movie we had a little photo shoot. I have not had a picture of myself in so long. Glad I have a little photographer of my own around. I can't decide between this photo and the one I have up on my sidebar right now. What do you think? I need it for some guest posts comin up. 


Hope you've all had a happy Sunday!
And Happy Labor Day!
I'm going to do my best to not labor on this blog that I have spent WAY too much time on the last couple of months.

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