Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Crazy Tax Lady"

So, I got a job.
Before I tell you what's up though, I gotta tell you this story...
I was hanging out with my friend a few years ago. We were at her house over one of the breaks from school and her boyfriend was also joining us on this trip. He was an accounting major at BYU-Idaho. Now, I don't have anything against accountants, but I thought the work that they did was boring and monotonous. He helped push this generalization further along when he sat on the couch one night reading to everyone that would listen from his tax book. Gag me.
I was so bored! Luckily there were some cute puppies outside needing attention so I escaped.
I took an Agribusiness class in high school. I loved it, but I also thought that it wasn't worth pursuing for a living. I'm a hands-on-type of gal. I can't sit in one place for too long. So I had never opened my heart to the possibility of an office job. Especially after being bored to death with trying to understand what the heck Aaron was talking about that one day... Well, folks, I'm a changed girl!
I am officially hired on for tax season at Jackson Hewitt here in Kalispell!
You know what's funny about this? When I tell people up here I got a new job, and they ask me what it is, the reactions are so similar to my previous reaction.
For example, at church on Sunday, when I told the Elder's Quorum President that I would be doing tax prep, he faltered in his speech for a second, gathered himself back together and then said, "Do you like that sort of thing?" I wasn't sure how to answer because I hadn't really started working yet. I related it back to my Agribusiness studies and said that I had enjoyed certain aspects of it. 
Today, however, I started my first day of training. I got a 400 page book on taxes (One in a set of three). I have started earning credits through the University of Phoenix  and I must say I am really enjoying what I am learning! (Gasp!)
So, while I will always be an earth-child at heart. (I LOVE the out-doors) A job like that really isn't practical this time of year. I am 21 years old and getting a head start on something that most people will not ever grasp through their entire lives! I am excited for this learning opportunity and can't wait to actually get some clients! As for Agriculture, (which will always be my first true love) I am grateful to those who are pursuing that lifestyle and I hope to one day join you,. For now, though, I am going to learn as much as I can about the world and society that I live in!
On another note, this handsome man is having a birthday on Thursday! WooHoo!!! 24, baby!

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You had me at... the squeeze of my kneecap?

My friend, Jayci, has been posting her love story on her blog for a few years now and I absolutely love reading her posts. They make me think about my own relationship with Andrew, and I smile to think how interesting our story is to me. If you're reading this, Jayc, please don't be angry with me stealing your idea, but I wanted to post about our dates for my own memory/enjoyment! 
I figured I'd start with when Andrew and I first met because I sure get a kick outta this story...
It was sometime in the winter of 2007. West Jefferson high school was playing basket ball at South Fremont and our pep-band was set to entertain. This is where the story get weird.... I wasn't in band, but my brother was, and being from a small town, the school rules are somewhat lax. I thought I'd jump on an opportunity to hitch a free ride to the game on the band bus, and no one argued with me, so it was set. One person that wasn't supposed to be on the bus... I thought I'd just chill out with friends and help with what ever Hanni, the band teacher needed help with.
Little did I know that I would strike up a conversation with "The Love of My Life" on this little excursion...
Enter weird part of story, Part II.
There were actually two of us on the bus that night that really shouldn't have been... Andrew had been helping teach some of the percussionists and just happened to tag along to play the drums. 
(Note: At this point in the story, Andrew was a boy in my ward. I had Sunday school with him, but he always sat in the back of the classroom with his friend, Seth. They rarely spoke and were both older than my chums and I so I don't think I had ever said more than a friendly hello to him.)
Regardless of how reserved our relationship was, there was no denying I thought he was handsome... so I might not have been bothered that this West J Alumni was headed to a game on the same bus as me. I even took it upon myself to strike up a conversation with him between songs at the game. This, however, did not work out to my planning when I nearly fell down the bleachers after tripping on someone's book-bag. Mortified, I only blushed him a weary smile and went back to being 'very' interested in the game.
Weird part of story, Part III.
(And the meaning behind the title of this post)
We were headed back home. With so few people on the bus, everyone had occupied their own seat. One of the senior boys who I had dated a bit was seated kitty-corner to me and kept leaning across the aisle to talk to me. He was being very cryptic and I had no idea what he was talking about. I guess Andrew had been listening and thought I needed rescuing because he got up and walked back to me seat. With out a word, he sat down next to me and squished me into the space by the wall. It was too close for comfort from someone I hardly knew and I could feel my face growing red from blushing. The next thing I knew, he had reached down and given my knee-cap two squeezes. If one could die from flush in the face, I think I would have. I had no idea what was going on or how to react. Andrew just burst out laughing. At least someone was entertained... I eased up some and we actually had our first conversation, which  was not very eventful. I honestly don't even remember what we talked about. I do, however, know that a little crinkle was formed I Andrew was growing more interesting in my mind... but the timing was wrong. I wasn't about to form a lasting relationship with someone who wouldn't even be around for my last year of high school. Andrew left for Paraguay in April 2008 to serve his two year mission. I emailed him one day in October just to see how he was doing. He wrote back asking me to get his address so I could write to him. I felt odd about this for some reason. I think because we really were not much more  than acquaintances and I had no idea what I'd write to him. I did ask his mother for his address one day at church. She gave it two me a week later. I  proceeded to write him six letters, which, for some reason, I never mailed.
To be continued...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Be of Good Cheer"

There are things on my mind right now that I would like to write about for the sake of understanding years from now how and why I feel the way I do today.
It is November 7th, 2012. 
I stood in a line for three hours and twenty minutes yesterday to practice my right as an American to cast my vote for whom I feel would lead this country into prosperity. I write today, not bitter, but still taking in the fact that the candidate of my choice did not win this election. I write, not to complain about spending my valuable time in line, but to explain that through this election what I am most bothered by is the reaction of our people. 
I was up until 2 AM reading the nasty comments and jeers going back and forth between the people of my country. I write today so that my children will know why I am disappointed in the American people, not because I feel they made an unwise election, but because I woke up this morning to a country divided. This, my friends, will bring us down faster than any one man or cabinet could ever dream of. I believe that the people who chose to reinstate President Obama had a right to do so. I do not, however, believe that they have a right to tell me to get out of this country so that they may run it how they please. I am disappointed in those who share my beliefs as well. Now is not the time to fight, we need to come together and AS A PEOPLE LEAD THIS NATION INTO PROSPERITY.
I would now like to switch gears and explain why I am currently at peace.
In the scriptures, the Savior says, "...These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -St John 16:33
I read this verse this morning after feeling overwhelmed by the doom and gloom my friends were tossing out to each other and this comfort has helped me go throughout my day with hope. I understand that through the choices of others, there may be tribulation in my future, and my children's futures, but I have peace and comfort in knowing that I will stand with those who I feel will take this great country where God wants it to be taken. I hope that my friends will join me in leading out because our time has come to show how we truly feel about this country.
I would like to share with you a painting...

"The Old Man Wept" ~Del Parson

I believe these men are heroes and good in the eyes of God. I stand for what they believe in and I hope that the tears and blood shed for this country will not be squandered away in vain. I hope that the hysteria that I have seen over last 24 hours subsides. I know the road will be rocky, but if we, as Americans, come together, I know life will be good.
I have one request for those who read this:
Please don't argue about who is right or wrong, but instead spend the time that you have helping those around you to see how blessed we are to live in this land. Please work for the good of the country, and please follow the examples of the great patriots who have devoted their lives to serving this country to every capacity they hold. Most of all, though, be of good cheer.
The world may have tribulation, but there is a bright future for those of us who do was it right in the time it is needed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

And.... We're back...

Life is busy.
Writing through this blog has not been a priority over the last... let's see... SEVEN (7)!!! Months.
I don't know if anyone really reads this, but for my own journal purposes, I would like to write about what has been happening in the Newman family over the last... half a year!
For starters, not much had changed over the summer. Andrew was still working for Stone's, and I had landed a job at a local nursery in Rexburg. We were enjoying life, but still weren't sure that Rexburg was where we needed to be.
July was coming up fast and we took a much needed vacation. Andrew had never been to Glacier National Park so we cruised up north for a few days of R&R. We took some fancy pictures in the park and stayed in a fun little cabin in West Glacier. (Sadly, my computer has stopped charging so I will have to post pictures at  a later time.)
We had the opportunity to meet a few really nice people... The Seeley's. Loren, the main man has a small shop up on the west end of Kalispell and he and his son(soon to be owner and operator of Loren's Auto Repair) were impressed with Andrew. They just happened to be looking for a new mechanic before we arrived, but had brought back a previous employee and closed the position. They told Andrew they would call him in the spring of 2013 to see how he was doing. They might need more hands by that time.
We went home rejuvenated and set to work again. Praying and asking where we were supposed to be, for the feeling that we both had that Rexburg was just not for us.
Well life went on. Summer suddenly became more excited with the wedding of my little bro'. We were looking for a new hacienda because our apartment contract would be ending in August. (We could have stayed but didn't want to pay more than $600 a month for a two bedroom apartment.) We were feeling slightly discouraged when looking at available places and comparing them with our budget. We just couldn't see how it would work. Then, 3 times we found great deals, but they fell through. We were running short on time and getting very nervous.
To clear his head, Andrew took 3 days off work and we left Rexburg to head out to the farm in Monteview. This was the week of August 14. Sixteen days before we would become homeless. We helped stack grain and on Tuesday morning set out to go swath half a circle of alfalfa when Andrew's phone rang. The number was a Montana area code. Andrew answered while I shut the tractor down for it is almost impossible to hear over the rumbling engine. I could hear bits and pieces of the conversation and my heart began beating rapidly.
He finished, turned to me and said, "Want to move to Montana?"
That was it. We knew instantly why our prayers of finding a new home were not being answered! Heavenly Father had something different in mind for us! We went to the house and announced the news to Andrew's folks. Andrew's three day away from work was cut short. We returned early to Rexburg and gave our two weeks notice to our employers. (Andrew would start work on September 4.)
We worked for a week, then left to look for housing (on our 1st anniversary).
We spent two days driving and I felt like I had seen enough potential dwelling places to last a lifetime. Still, we did not feel that we had found the right place; and this, my friends, is where the story gets interesting...!
We had called so many renters that we were forgetting who we had talked to and who we were still waiting to hear from. We were getting really short on time, but we were exhausted and went back to our hotel for a siesta. We woke up around 6:30 PM. It was a Tuesday, and I suddenly had the brilliant idea that we should find a church and talk to the Bishop there because mutual was starting and there was bound to be someone that might be able to help us.
We headed into Kalispell to the Stake Center, but we not excited to see the parking lot so short of vehicles. (We later found out mutual is on Wednesdays up here)
Still, we felt we should at least try the doors, which surprisingly opened up to us. We passed a younger man in the hallway, who said nothing more than "How are ya?" and we walked until we found the Bishop's office, which was open, but empty. We waited a few more moments when that first man we had seen came walking back toward us. He asked us if he could help us in any way and we told him we were hoping to find a Bishop. Well, he introduced himself as Bishop Westover and invited us into his office.
We told him what we were doing and asked if he or any one he knew of might be able to help us find a place to stay.
We waited as a huge grin spread across his face. He sat back in his chair and said, "Interestingly enough, I had a lady call me this morning to ask me if I knew anyone that was looking for a place to stay." He wrote down the information and told us where to go. We thanked him and set out to go look at the place.
We called on the way and left a message as no one answered. Still, we wanted to at least see if it was in a good location, so we drove on to find a splendid (although huge) house tucked into the woods near a lake called Blaine. We thought for sure the Bishop must have been mistaken, for the rent would have been only $100 more than we were paying for our two-bedroom apartment.
We went back to our motel and left it to fate hoping that this was the answer to our prayers because I had to be back to work for my final few days.
The next morning, we packed up our things and called, grateful that this time there was an answer on the other end! The Lee's told us that they were meeting some contractors there in a few minutes and we were welcome to come look while they were there (They were getting bids to replace the siding).
On the way, I noticed the name Lee (Andrew's mother's maiden name). We knew they were from Canada, and I joked that they were probably related to Andrew's Lee family. He thought it was funny but highly unlikely. And this is where we were both given a slice of humble pie from the Lord, for sure enough, upon mentioning his grandfather, the Lee's piped up that they were first cousins!
We saw through the home, talked about family and decided that this was the place for us, at the price that we had hoped for! We went back home to check out of our apartment and grab our things. We turned right back around and departed South-East Idaho before the sun rose on Labor Day morning.
We couldn't believe how smoothly everything had worked out and we were elated to know that we would soon be residents of paradise!
It is now October and we are still counting our blessings! We love living here and a fascinated with the wilderness that surrounds us. We were blessed to move just before the change of seasons, so we could enjoy the last-lings of summer, but witness the breathtaking onset of Fall. More and more we feel that this is where we were meant to be (at least for this time in our lives). We don't know why we have been so blessed, but we are indeed grateful everyday for the beauty that surrounds us, and the happy peace we have found in our lives!
I hope to keep this blog updated more in the future, especially now that we are so far from home. Here are just a few pictures that we have taken since moving up here:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why, you sneaky little...!

Before you read any further, I just want to say that I am probably going to be a millionaire now.
"Why," you ask?
Well... today was just like any other day... UNTIL...
In case you can't tell what is happening here... that is a black church sock that belongs to my husband. It is positioned between the turn-bin and the wall of my washing machine!!!
Do you know what this means, people!?!
This means there is NO monster that eats our socks and makes them go missing!!!
I have a friend who counts his socks when they go in the washer, come out and go in the dryer and come out of the dryer. He uses a dry erase marker to keep tabs on the numbers of socks during each new wash. Even with the counting, his socks STILL come out MISSING!
This is a conspiracy, people.
I almost didn't see that sock there, you know? It was was shoved further in there to begin with. I just happened to see a little black spot at the top of my washer and rubbed it to see what it was. When I rubbed, it moved and felt cottony. So, like any curious being, I pulled on it and LO AND BEHOLD a WHOLE STINKING SOCK began to appear from this space in my washer!
I have SOLVED the mystery of the missing socks!
My life's work is complete, now. I have answered the question that MANY people have pondered for the last 40 years!
Now, I am going to see if we can't take our washer apart and find more socks!
What do you guys think? Have I solved the mystery for you, or do you still believe there is a monster somewhere stealing all of our matching socks?
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


There are some things in life that words are too mere to describe. I feel that when you experience these things in life, that is when you really begin to figure out what life is all about.
I follow Ree Drummond on the blogging world and her latest post brought me to tears. This is not new for me and her blog posts, but I am usually crying tears of joy from how funny she can be. This time, though, she was writing about one of those things that is too beautiful for words to describe, but I feel she did a great illustration of the feelings that were shared through the moment she writes about.
If you want to read her story; it's really worth reading; here is the link.
I have a cowboy heritage on both sides of my family, so this might hit closer to home for me than for some of my friends. Still, even if you don't know much about cowboys, I hope you enjoy it and I hope it touches you like it did me!
Sorry I haven't written for so long. I've been busy searching for a job. We'll be back online soon!
Thanks for stopping by and look for some fun posts in the near future!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm usually pretty bad at this...

Bowling.When I was in elementary school, I was on a child's bowling league. I know, right? Weird. Most people don't think of me like that, and I don't tell many people, but now you all know and you can make fun of me the next time you see me.
Well, you'd think I'd be a pretty dang good bowler then?
Andrew and I love bowling together, but he ALWAYS wins.
It drives me crazy and I am bound and determined to beat him some how.
Well, enter this story...
A few weeks ago, we took our friends, Stu and Jess with us on a double date. I don't know how often Stu has bowled, but this was Jess's 5th time EVER!
We were really excited and I was up first. I found my ball of choice and stepped up to go. In the darkness, however, I missed one very important detail. The ledge.
You see, we usally bowl at a place called Fat Cats. The floor is a nice even layer throughout the building. This night, however, we had chosen a new joint, Targee Lanes. Needless to say, I had never been in this building. As I walked toward the wood floor in the dark room, I didn't pick my feet up to get over a ledge that exists between the end of the tiles and the beginning of the wood. I hit that ledge and then I fell... hard!
You remember that slow-motion feeling like I told about in Andrew's pizza-sauce story? Well, I felt it here too. It took so long to hit the ground you'd think I would have put my hands out to catch myself, right? Wrong, again, my friend. I don't know why, but the only thing I could get my mind to think was, "SAVE THE BALL!!! DON'T DROP THE BALL!!!"
This is me worrying about a ball that is constantly thrown yards away from a person just to crash into a bunch of heavy pins at the end of a lane!
What was I thinking?
I made it down and rather than standing up and pretending it never happened, all I could do was laugh. I lied there and laughed and laughed and laughed and listened to the group next to us talk about how funny it was that I fell down.
When I finally gained my composure, I knew that I was going to have to show these people I knew what I was doing. I got up, turned around and threw that ball like my life depended on it!
And guess what!?
We kept bowling, and I made sure to pick up my feet for the rest of the game.
I was doing so good! I even bowled a turkey (Three strikes in a row!)
Andrew was working so hard to catch up to my score, but in the end, I redeemed my pride when I got to the tenth frame and saw that I had ended the game with a score of 162!
This is from the girl who has a very hard time reaching 100!
I was so proud when Andrew finished his game at a score of 155. I had done it! I had beat Mr. Macho Man's score! Finally, and let me tell you, victory was SHAWEET!!!
Jess and Stu were still laughing about my little accident, but nothing was bringing me down this time! I had beat everyone's score and I was happy.
So, maybe it was just that my pride was hurt so bad that I bowled such a good game. I would like to think that that fall knocked something back into place. I guess we'll find out with time and another bowling game, but I seriously considered joining up on another league. We'll see if that actually happens. For now, I'll just keep basking in my glory and laughing out loud every time a sliver of a memory of that night slips into my thoughts.
Oh how I love life, and the joys that come with it.
The moral of this story:
When you make a mistake, just laugh it off. I am a firm believer that our attitudes make all the difference in how our days go. If you spend your time in embarrassment, you'll never know what you might be missing! Maybe you'll never bowl a 162?

Monday, January 23, 2012

20 Grand!!!

It finally happened.Andrew's pickup, 'Ole Whitey (to me), has finally hit 200,000 Miles!
We were in the pickup a few weeks ago and we made sure to capture and document this milestone event! We hope that 'Ole Whitey has many more miles to go.
As for my car, Doug (Or 'Box of Shame' to someone I love) I still haven't hit 100,000 Miles! Woo Hoo! I'm at about 88 thousand right now! Boo Ya!
I hope you are having a great day, and I'm sorry if you don't care about how many miles we have on our vehicles!
Thanks for stopping by!