Monday, November 29, 2010

A blurry drive-by shot of town square

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Hate Looking for a Church

Bryan and I went to a new church tonight to try it out.  Everyone was super friendly; it was a small church (about 40-50 people) so we were the only new people.  We talked to quite a few people and after they had church, they had dinner, which is something that happens after every service (they meet at 5pm).  I left having a pretty good feeling about the whole thing, even though the sermon was 50 minutes long (and that's normal) and taught in a fairly basic, expositional form. And I spoke to the pastor about women in leadership and he informed me that the Bible speaks against women speaking in front of men in church.

I said as nicely as I could that I disagreed, and I thought that maybe that was something we could just agree to disagree about, but now I'm not so sure.

He asked about the church Bryan and I went to in Cali, Catalyst, and after talking a bit he asked if it was an Emergent church.  We said "sort of," because that's the truth, it was sort of, but not totally, emergent.  He nodded and gave me about 10 names of the people 'they like.'  I only recognized two names, John MacArthur and John Piper.  I knew that John Piper was in the Reformed tradition, but didn't have much of a background on that.  So, I went home and looked up a few things.

Apparently John Piper and John MacArthur believe that women should be submissive to their husbands, which I don't agree with; I think both should submit to one another.  One gal mentioned that they believed that men and women are equal in God's eyes, but that they had different roles.  And it seemed like they really didn't see any other way around that, it was black and white.  I thought, "Well.  I can overlook that, I think."

Then I found out that John Piper and John MacArthur were Calvinist, which I'm not really into, same with Bryan.  I believe the Atonement was for every single person, and that every single person has the chance to know God in this lifetime (and I believe in chances in the next too, but let's not get into that right now).

Then I looked up the counseling practice they have at this church, called Nouthetic Counseling, which apparently uses the Bible as the as the main tool for counseling, and says that psychology is contrary to the Bible.  I just don't agree with that.  I do think the Bible could be useful in counseling, but I know that seeing a therapist helped me with my anxiety, and using EMDR was really helpful as well.

So I'm not quite sure.  Bryan seemed to think that the pastor was sort of coming from an authoritarian standpoint, where what he teaches from the pulpit is sort of what the church believes.  When we went to Catalyst, what was taught was what the pastor believed to be true, and most of the leadership would agree wholeheartedly.  However, the pastor would often ask us to think the message through, test it, see if it was really true.  You were welcome to question and to doubt, and to make the belief your own.  This church seemed a bit more like what the pastor said was seen as truth, and Bryan wasn't so sure that it was okay that we disagreed with things like woman speaking in church, etc.

So.  It definitely seemed like the best of the churches that we've seen, but we're still not sure at all.  I just wish we could find a church that just FIT.  Maybe that won't happen.  I'm not sure where to go from here.  There's another church we wanted to check out, but I'm wary of a few things I've heard/read.  Either way I'm getting tired of looking.  I just want to find something that feels like home, somewhere where I don't feel like I have to fall in line in order to fit in.  I just don't know.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Fail

So the ad for the Sports Authority in Pocatello had their store opening at 5am and giving out free gift cards valued between $10-500.  So I woke up at 4:15am and walked over to Sports Authority.  No one was there.  I looked at the hours and apparently they open at 7am.  Lame.

So I got up at 6:20am and walked over again.  No one was there, no line, nothing.  Bryan went online and said he didn't see the local store having any huge sales.  So we waited and went again after they opened.  No big deals, no gift cards, nothing.  SUPER lame.  What a huge disappointment.  Even the things that were on sale in Pocatello (fleeces for $10) were pricier in Jackson.  Huge letdown.

We did end up walking to Staples and got the wireless mouse and keyboard that Bryan's been wanting for about two years.  We also picked up a new printer since ours doesn't really work half the time.  They were things we were going to buy anyways, and we got alright deals on them.  Not worth getting up that early though, I'll tell you that!!

The icing on the cake?  I gouth a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Raspberry bar and the chocolate had gone bad.  Seriously.  Seriously?  Seriously.

So I'm spending the rest of the day in pajamas doing laundry and tidying up the house.  I think tonight or tomorrow Bryan and I will put up the Christmas tree.  And that's about all I plan on doing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday and the Diamond Dazzler Stik

Bryan and I are doing Black Friday tomorrow.  It's the second time I've done this in my life; the first time I was about 13 years old and I went with my dad to Best Buy so I could get a free cd.

Yeah, that was enough to get me up that early.  Ahhh, simpler times.

We're going to walk over to Sports Authority and try to be one of the first 85 people so we can get a free $10-500 card.  I want another fleece jacket and I'd like to look at winter boots.  Bryan wants to check out their snowboard bindings and boots.  Plus, it's a weird kooky thing that sounds kind of fun: getting up at the crack of dawn and just being sort of stupid.  We also plan on hitting up Staples because we need a new printer.  We'll see if we end up getting one. 

Also:  I got a sample of the Diamond Dazzle Stik in the mail.  It's this stick that cleans your diamonds/gems.  It looks like this:

You pull off the red end, run it under some water, then twist the silver end until this blue cleaner comes out.  You brush the cleaner onto your stone (I tried it with my rings on and then with my rings off - both seem to work fine), then rinse it off and dry it.  Tada!  That's it.  It's pretty excellent.  The cleaner does a good job getting all around the stone, and it has a polymer that fills in any cuts or scrapes in the stone so that it really shines.  I don't have a fancy shmancy diamond ring like the one above, but my engagement ring and wedding band are really special to me, and it's awesome seeing them so sparkly and clean!

My rings

Like I said, I got my Diamond Dazzle Stik for free, but you can now buy them at Walmart, Kmart, and some jewelry stores.  I don't usually blog about samples I've gotten (because I get a LOT), but this sample really won me over.  I totally recommend it. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Driving the pass in winter is not my favorite thing, but it is pretty

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life in Jackson in November

Just this last month, the stress of moving to a new apartment, starting a new job, and not having a church or group of friends here started to really hit me.  I wish that I could say that stress doesn't really bother me, but the opposite is true.  I'm quite easily stressed, and it's started showing.

Just the other day I was calling a customer service line for a magazine.  They put me on hold for almost 20 minute and then pretty much didn't help me at all, just gave me another number.  I called the other number and the guy said he couldn't help me, and that I'd have to call a third number, but only on certain days at certain times.  This is after I tried rectifying this problem online for a good month.  I was so frustrated and furious that I lashed out and pretty much had a huge hissy fit.  It was not pretty.

Later on Bryan mentioned that he would be gone to Utah in December for two weeks, but that he decided to come home in between those weeks to see me, because he knew that I wouldn't do too well with him away and me by myself in a town where I didn't have friends.  I started to cry, because he's absolutely right.  I am thankful that he realized that and was sensitive to it and thoughtful, but I do wish that he didn't have to worry about me.  He told me "yeah that's sort of part of marriage... I get to worry."  Later that night when we went to bed I got upset about something or other, and then complained about my weight, and then something else... and Bryan hugged me and told me, in as nice a way as he could, that the way I was acting was reminding him of our first year in California.

It was not a great year.

I got more upset, because I had been thinking the same thing.  I'm stressed and lonely and I gained weight and I'm unhappy more than I should be.  On the whole, I'm doing well, but I do have low points that are not pleasant.  And it was starting to feel like our first year in California to me as well, and that scared me.  Bryan was really awesome and comforting.  I did point out that I was experiencing anxiety or panic attacks like I had in California, and I was very glad for that.  But when I went to bed yesterday, I started to feel the familiar heart pounding and shaky feeling I get when I have a panic attack.  I was able to calm down (although I thought I was already calm, but apparently, not) and relax and sleep, and it went away.  But I am all the more aware that it is just beneath the surface, and if I'm not careful, it could overwhelm me.

I wish that I didn't have these sorts of problems.  I used to think that I was broken, in a way, because of my anxiety.  Since I only experience it once or twice a year now, I like to think of myself as "fixed," but I'm not, because anxiety is just a part of me.  Some people have bad hearts or bad teeth or bad knees.  I have a bad stress response, I guess.  Thankfully I have learned how to better control it and keep it at bay, but I'm realizing (again) that it's just a part of my personality.

What a bummer.

Yesterday was good, though.  I did fine at work, and I was looking forward to only a half day of work left for this week (tomorrow is my half day).  I am just doing things around the house tonight, which isn't bad.  And last night when I was getting off of work Bryan called me and let me know that we'd be invited over to a coworker's home to watch the Denver Broncos.  I don't care at ALL about sports, and I don't understand football, and I wouldn't know anyone there, but I said yes.  I knew that we needed a bit of socialization.  And it was fun!  We hung out with Bryan's coworker and his family, as well as 5 other people.  And we had a good time.  We found out that they are all Christians, which is sort of cool since we share the same faith.  They told us the churches they go to, and we're going to try out two of them in the next two weeks.  They said the churches are charismatic, which is usually a big red flag to me, but then they said that they don't speak in tongues, which is sort of the big thing about charismatic churches that really freaks me out.  So I'm not sure exactly what it is that makes them charismatic.  Maybe they believe in healing or revelation?  I'm not sure.  But they all seemed to really like the churches they went to, and they seemed like cool people.  A bit more conservative than we are, but then again, it is the West, and not all Christians are like those that we found at Catalyst in California.  So I think we'll try it out.  One church has a 10:45 service and is in Jackson, and the other meets on Monday nights, I think, at the old schoolhouse in Wilson.  So we'll see.  At least we know there are a fair amount of people our age, which is cool.

So I'm trying to persevere.  I really hope that we find a church that we feel comfortable in, because I'm already sick of searching, and we've only been to two.  That's pathetic, I know.  I miss a lot of what we had at Catalyst, and I miss having girlfriends I can talk to about anything.  I know that we'll be able to find one or both of those things if we keep looking.  I'm trying to remind myself of those things, and to look for the good in things.  It's going to be a long, cold, lonely winter if I don't, and I don't want that.  I know things will get better and this will really start feeling like our home. 

So that's how I'm doing, really.  Better than the normal response of "good," eh?  I will try to blog more but because I sort of going through this transition and stressful time, I may only be blogging twice a week or so.  I will try to keep updating pictures, even if they are just from my cell phone.  Thank you all for sticking with me as I go through this adjustment. 

It is a cold blustery day. We're in a winter storm warning until tomorrow. Good thing I have Tuesdays off and am inside waiting for the internet guy to come hook up our internet. Poor Bryan is walking home for lunch in this - good thing it's just five blocks. Can you see the snow blowing along the ground??

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Harry Potter was AWESOME.  Bryan and I walked to the theatre (in my new fancy long down coat) and caught the noon showing.  It was a lot of fun.  Very dark.  Since it's the first part of the last book, a good amount happens.  It's a two hour movie but it still goes very fast.  I really enjoy seeing Harry, Hermione and Ron as young adults.  I think they did a good job in this movie for sure.  Hermione (Emma Watson)  was especially excellent. 

Bryan and I killed zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops.  It was pretty fun, but I really really suck.  And playing video games hurts my eyes because I just don't blink enough.  He really likes it, so I thought it would be worth trying.

So far I've bought a fair amount of Christmas presents, and I got really good deals on them.  David and Stacey are almost totally done, Ella is done, Mom and Dad Lords are done.  I just have my folks, Nicole and Stuart, and possible another small thing for Dave and Stac and I'm done!!  Woohoo!!  I'm VERY excited about the toy I got for Ella.  I think she'll like it, and it's supposed to be amazing at soothing babies, which is very cool.  I've done all of my shopping online so far, which is awesome.  With the discounts I've found, free shipping codes, etc., I'm doing great at saving money.  So far I've spent less than 20 bucks so far on 4 presents!!  I've been writing reviews on Viewpoints, and that's really helped with the money situation; right now if you write ten reviews, you get a $10 Amazon gift card.  I had some free money on, which was awesome as well.  I'm hoping that we wend up spending less than $100 total this Christmas, but we'll see.  I have my eye on lots of deal sites, and I'm trying to keep on top of limited time offers.  I love getting 80% off deals!!

One thing Bryan mentioned about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One:  it's definitely not a kid's movie.  I think children over the age of ten would do okay, but I think it's just too scary for kids younger than that.  I am definitely a bit fan, though, and I highly recommend it!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010





Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memory Screening Day

We did free memory screenings at work today as a part of the National Memory Screening Day.  We were expecting to have about 80-90 patients, since that's how many we had last year.

We were wrong.

We had 21.

So it was a sloooooow day.  Super slow.  And I was really not into working on a Tuesday, let me tell you!!  It was a very blustery, snowy day, so there were WORSE places that I could be.  Sitting in a nice warm office and getting paid isn't all that bad.

I think memory screenings are so interesting.  It's just a set of 9 simple questions that will give an idea of whether or not someone is having troubles with their memory.  Some things we may take for granted, like being able to draw the face of a clock, are no longer possible for those with memory problems.  Very interesting, very sad.

I ended a sort of blah day with a three hour phone call with my sister Amanda, and that pretty much made everything awesome.  She's the best, and I LOVE hearing stories about my niece and nephew.  GK is at this hilarious age where he's noticing things and asking questions, and sometimes he says stuff that would just make you go "SHHHH HONEY IT'S QUIET TIME!!!"  He's so so funny.  I love that kid.  I love that whole family!!  Great way to end the day.

A blustery, cloudy day in Jackson

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Bryan and I tried a new church today, Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole.

Not sure that it's the church for us.

I'm really starting to wonder if we'll find anything that feels like home.  I know that it's a lot, asking for that "this is it!" feeling that we got at Catalyst.  And I know that if I had my wish, we'd find a church exactly like Catalyst here.  And I know that just isn't here.

But we're trying. 

Today I also weather stripped the windows in an effort to conserve heat.  Hopefully that will work.  I definitely feel like this was a short weekend, which it was, technically, since I worked on Saturday.  Hopefully I'll get a little more stuff done tonight and then take the rest of the night to just relax and recuperate for the long week ahead.  Tuesday is going to be CRAZY at work since we're doing free, walk-in Mini-Mental State Examinations.  Last year we had sixty patients, and we expect about that much this year as well.  It's going to be intense.

The snow was coming down earlier today but none of it was sticking.  I really want to put up pictures of our new place, but it's still a mess and we're still slowly unpacking.  It's been a pain, but it is what it is, right?

The view from our bedroom window, taken with my camera phone
The view about ten feet from our apartment, walking from the car towards the apartment
At least we live right next to the pretty creek.  That's really nice.  And when the lamp post (you can see the shadow in the picture directly above) is shining on a dark snowy night, it reminds me of Narnia.

I don't care how dorky that sounded, I really love it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Better Live Where It Snows From Now On...

Because I just bought another winter coat.

I know!!!  I know.  I already have two.  I have a down coat and a snowboarding coat.

But you know what I DON'T have?!

A really long coat that covers my butt and looks super cute.

And don't I NEED (okay, WANT) one of those??

Long down coats are super popular in Jackson, and my friend Kathy always had cute ones that I loved.  I have thought of getting one when Bryan mentioned the other day how all the gals he works with at the bank have them, and how they're cute and flattering.

Ruhhhhhh roohhhhhh.

I told him I'd probably end up getting one at the end of the season.  Seemed like a good idea.  But then my poor bum would be cold this winter... And Lands End is having a great sale and I had a 30% off code.  And the other day Bryan came up to me and said, "I'm working extra hours this week... can I buy the new Call of Duty game???  My extra hours will cover it...." and I said yes.

So today I was asked to work this Saturday at our Brain Game day (a day committed to help bring awareness to Alzheimers/Dementia that my office is running).  And I'm working this Tuesday (normally my day off) to help out with our free memory screening day.

So right off the bat, that's an extra $200 before taxes.

So Bryan asked, "Are you going to get your fancy coat??"

Duh, obvs.

So I ordered this coat:
I didn't want to go black because that's what everyone has, so I thought brown was just a tiny bit different.  There was another long down coat that was cute and was in aubergine (which is pretty much my favorite color) but it had fur on the collar.  I thought about it but Bryan said, "I really don't think you'll like the fur all that much" and I think he's right.  All in all the coat was under $90 with free shipping. 

And I suppose I sort of earned it because I worked extra days.  Right??  Huh?  Please?  Well whatever it's too late I already bought it.  And I'm justifying it by saying that I'm going to try to walk to work more (it's only a mile away) and that this coat will keep me warm enough to walk more.  Yes, that's my excuse.  Shut up, it is TOO valid.

Yes I have three winter coats.

What up??

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Place, I Can't Find Anything, Make Me Smile.

Our new place is slowly become more and more organized.  It's still a mess and we have no idea where most things are, but it's ours and it has our stuff in it.  And I put up my elephant picture, which is awesome.  We definitely need a slipcover for our couch, though.  But we're cheap and we have to save up a little cash for that.  And we can't decide if we want color so that it pops, or if we want a black or dark grey so that the elephant painting is the eye-catching thing in the room.  As soon as we're a bit more settled, I'll take pictures.

Since I have Tuesdays off, today was all about working on the house and grocery shopping.  I walked to Wells Fargo to meet Bryan for lunch, and I got to see where he works (yeah, hadn't visited him yet).  He has a really awesome huge desk and he sits right below a mounted buffalo head.  We walked over to Shades Cafe for lunch, which was really lovely.  I had a chicken carcass in the crock pot for about 10 hours today so I could make chicken noodle soup.  Apparently there wasn't enough chicken on the carcass... I tried it AFTER adding the noodles and veggies.  It tastes like nothing at all.  Which is sort of gross.  Guess I'll have to compromise and buy some chicken stock.  LAME.  I also organized some of our dry goods (pasta, beans, etc) into quart-sized mason jars and they are now living on the top of the cabinets (who makes cabinets that don't reach to the ceiling??  So much space just wasted).

So that was my exciting day.  Tomorrow is the first day at my job that I'm pretty much on my own.  I'll still have people around who can answer my questions and help me out, but I won't have a trainer with me tomorrow.  I think it will go pretty well.

Yesterday my car was dead when I went out to leave for work.  I thought it was the battery, which didn't make sense, since I didn't leave any lights on and I just replaced it earlier this year.  Bryan drove me to work and I walked home (yes, in the cold, uphill both ways... okay, actually just in the cold.  33 degrees, and I wasn't planning on walking, so I just had a light vest instead of a jacket.  Smart.)  Luckily I only live a mile away from work.  I'm going to try to embrace winter and walk to work at least once a week, at least while it's above freezing. Good exercise and all of that.

I had a dream last night that Bryan and I had a baby girl.  It was weird.  It seemed real, too, when I woke up, so I kept thinking that I had a baby and then realizing, nope, no kids for us just yet.  Surreal.

Want to know an instant cure for a blah day?  Google pictures of teacup pigs.



Any other HIMYM fans??  Love it when Barney uses a teacup pig to woo the ladies.  ;-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pearl Street Bagels puts their leftover bagels outside free for the taking at the end of the night. I'm so happy!! Here's dinner!

Because in Kmart's eyes, only Latinos use crock pots. Dios mio.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just Breathe

This week has been ROUGH.  I started my new job, we moved, Bryan was gone for three days... It was tough at times, especially since I have to clean the old apartment by myself and move some stuff.  I worked all day then cleaned each night until about 11pm.  Not fun.

Tonight we're finishing the cleaning.  Last night after Bryan got home from his business trip to Salt Lake, he asked, "Do you think other people clean this well when they move, or are we just good people?  Do other people just not care about their deposits?  Because I feel like it always takes us days to clean an apartment when we move, and for other people, it's just one long day."

I don't know the answer to that.  Maybe other people just clean faster??  I do know that wiping down every wall, magic erasing every scuff, cleaning all the blinds, the baseboards, the heaters, the light fixtures, the oven, the stove, the cabinets, behind the refrigerator, behind the oven, vacuuming... it takes FOREVER, even when we live in a tiny little studio.  

I hate it.

So this is how I end this very long week.  Still cleaning.  And tomorrow we'll move the furniture we don't need from the apartment we moved into (it was furnished but the furnishings were gross) into a trailer which we'll take to Idaho, and then drive back.  I am hoping the afternoon will be a bit relaxing.  Apparently the Christmas tree that will be on the lawn at the U.S. Capital Building will be from here, so there doing a thing on the square in honor of that honor.

Does that make sense?

Either way, a high school student told me that the high school's culinary class will be making fresh, homemade spiced applesauce that will be piping hot and served on top of vanilla bean ice cream.

And that sounds pretty fabulous.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Complainy Post

Moving SUCKS.  Sorry I'm still a bad blogger, but Bryan is in Salt Lake for work and I'm finishing the move and all the cleaning by myself.  It's so annoying.  So, so annoying.  I thought I'd finish everything tonight, but I'm so lethargic and not wanting to do anything at all.  I'm not used to it getting dark so early, and I keep finding myself ready to hit the hay around 7:30 each night, which is RIDICULOUS.  I think I'll work on the old apartment a little bit more tonight, maybe finish the kitchen, and then save the rest for tomorrow night.  I really think there's only 5 or so more hours of work left, but I have little to no energy to do this right now.  I keep thinking of my nice warm bed back at the new apartment.... down comforter, soft pillow... delish!!! 

I started work on Monday, and it seems to be a really great place.  I don't think it will be all that difficult either, which is really nice.  I already had one patient who was suffering from dementia and seemed to think we were friends; I'll have to get used to that.  It's very sad, but it's also something I'll be seeing a lot, as our concentration is cognitive health (which includes dementia and Alzheimers patients). 

I love having Tuesdays off.  It makes going to work on Monday seem a lot easier when you know you have the next day off.  And I go back to work tomorrow, but it's only for three days until I have the weekend!  Not so bad.  Plus, having today off really helped as far as the cleaning of the apartment process.

I got our mail today from the post office.  We got a good amount of things in the two weeks we were gone!!  I lot loads of samples, which is excellent, including a pair of sport socks that look pretty pricey (woohoo!), a full bottle of gummy heart-healthy vitamins, a breakfast bar and temporary tattoos (including an owl!!!).  So excited, LOVE free stuff.

Bryan is enjoying his time in Salt Lake.  He's staying at a fancy hotel that he says is very, very cool.  Apparently it's a part of the Marriot hotel group but it's more of a stylish sort of place.  He says the decor is very modern and European, and he has a nice sitting area and a kitchenette.  He's hoping to catch up with a friend or two tomorrow (he lived south of Salt Lake for two years in college), which would be nice.  Tonight he was an absolute rock star and went to Ikea to pick up some things for our new home.  THANKS BABE!!  (Not that he reads this).  He got us a cute end table, a bookshelf and some lamps.  He's the keenest, just the cat's pajamas, dontcha know.

Okay.  Back to cleaning.  Thank you thank you thank you SO MUCH for putting up with my awful blogging habits these past three weeks.  Those who still read this, I seriously appreciate you sticking with me.  You're amazing.