March 17, 2014

I said yes to...

Lately I find myself saying "Yes" to a lot more things than I used to. I'm pretty prone to getting overly-anxious about things, especially when they're last minute or spontaneous. I'm finding that contrary to what your DARE teacher said, saying yes to things is a lot more fun.

I said yes to…

A last minute trip to the Rio Frio Fest to see the Josh Abbott band with my favorite friends. And then I said yes to a 13-year-old who asked me to dance.

Attending an ADEA dental school conference and recruitment fair. I was so nervous about going. To be honest I've been nervous about this whole process because it's such a huge investment of time, money, and probably my sanity. But each step I take, I feel better and better about my decision. So I'm saying yes to going to dental school and it feels awesome. My husband has been the best pep talker and motivator throughout my schooling. He believes in me and never fails to tell me. Love that guy.
Took this picture to show my mom that I was doing grown uppy stuff. So don't judge a bathroom selfie. Plus those hand dryers in the back are my favorite. Dyson knows what's up. 

Letting myself watch 6 episodes in a row of New Girl. Before I knew it, I had been staring at the screen for 3 hours. Gross right? I've never been a TV watcher. We don't even have cable actually because neither of us really care to. But when I found this show on Netflix it was love at first Schmidt. (That won't make sense if you've never seen it, so your loss for not participating in the goodness.)


Eating 4 cookies at our church luncheon yesterday. Sorry. But what happened was I always bring snacks to church because I eat every couple of hours like a baby. Well yesterday I had some meetings before church and I didn't get to pack my snacks. So by the time church was over and it was time to have our lunch, I just scarfed those bad boys down.
And it may have been 5 cookies but I will neither confirm nor deny that.

Trying out this avocado and egg hair mask. If you're not familiar with this beauty blog, you need to be.

And although my heart is saying no, my head is saying yes to being productive on my last day of Spring Break. Which means I have to go to the grocery store so I'll probably see you next Spring Break when I actually post again.

xo natasha.

and I have to give credit to this awesome and hilarious blog for the "I said yes" style post inspiration.

March 12, 2014

One year, five years, ten.

The other day I met a girl serving an LDS mission who was from Utah and happened to go to my same high school. I excitedly said, "No way! That's where I went- what year did you graduate?!" (the exclamations are necessary because I get excited just talking to people in general, but when I find out we have something in common the excitement escalates big time.) "I graduated in 2013" said this baby child.

And then it struck me like a pillow case full of dentures. I graduated high school almost 6 years ago.

So it's been 6 years but it still feels like maybe 2. I forget that I'm 10+ years older than some of the young women I work with because I'm just a young soul. People think it's all hipster or something to say they have an old soul and that they like vinyl records and have a lot of wisdom. Well guess what? I'm a young soul and I can't stand black and white movies, I like my music on my iPhone at the touch of my finger,  and when I pretend to have wisdom I'm probably just winging it.

Anyway, thanks to that experience and this post from the blog Life of Bon, I got to thinking back to my plans for the future when I was in high school. You know, my 1-year, 5-year, 10-year type of plans. I know I have them written down somewhere because that's just how my personality works. (Heck I probably had long term goals written out at the age of 3.) But here are the 1, 5, and 10 year plans of where I thought I would be after high school and where I actually was.

ONE YEAR: 

Where I thought I would be:  Going to college- but hard work in class would be balanced out by the fact that I was going to BYU-Hawaii and playing on the beach all day. If you didn't know this about me, my alter ego is a mermaid. I'm in love with the ocean. I think at the time I wanted to do either journalism or broadcast journalism. My ultimate goal was to be a magazine editor (which is still my #1 dream job by the way. Better Homes & Gardens, here I come. Haha just kidding. They wouldn't accept my idea of domestic I don't think.)

I thought that while I was going to school at BYU Hawaii, I would work at the Polynesian Cultural Center because I loved that place (if you're ever in Hawaii this is a must).

Where I actually was: Going to Dixie State College in St. George, Utah- 4 hours away from home. I never used to be very good at taking leaps of faith and as someone just leaving home, I wasn't ready to move thousands of miles away.  For my first two years at Dixie I was a journalism major. I wrote and was an editor for The Dixie Sun. Writing is still a major passion for me but with the economy being the way it was and is, my adult mind came in and I realized journalism wouldn't be the best option for me.

The highlight of my time at Dixie was definitely my roommates and friends at Dixie. I still say that the first year at Dixie was one of my favorite years of my life. Mostly because as I have talked about before, I get on these things called "friendship highs" and that was one year of solid 24/7 friendship highs. Another highlight of my year was my brother. Growing up we never got along. I can't remember a single time that we had fun together or just hung out together. He came down to visit me one week and for some reason that all changed. We had a blast together. He decided to move down to St. George, and over that year we became best friends. He doesn't know how much I cherish that year because of the relationship that developed between us, but I do and I adore the crap out of him.

To me it's important to say that in the year, I hung out with people who partied and drank. I was always designated driver, vomit cleaner upper, shoe finder (my brother always lost one shoe when he was drunk haha), noise controller, but never ever did I drink. When people at work or other places ask me if I drink, they're surprised that I say no. When they ask if I have ever drank in my life, they're even more surprised when I say no. To me there is a big difference between saying "Yeah, I drank a couple of times" and being able to say "No I have never had a drink in my life." I'm definitely not judging people who do drink by any means at all. A lot of the people I still hang out with (friends and family) drink and it obviously doesn't bother me. But in my life I've made some decisions I regret, so this is something that I am very proud of.

(now excuse me while I picture overload because I'm not strolling down memory lane..)
My big brother. I call him Cinderella since he would alway lose his shoe.
My roomies. You hear a lot of horror stories about 6 strangers moving in together. My experience was like the fairy tale of roommates and we lived happily ever after. I love these girls. 

And at the very very end of this first year of college is when I met my favorite person in the world and very unexpectedly fell in love with the guy. And just a side note, my brother (who paparazzi'd this picture) had a huge part in Clint and I starting to date. 

5 YEARS:

Where I thought I would be: Graduated from college and just starting my career. I probably saw myself in a serious relationship, but not married. I knew that I wanted to go on a humanitarian trip maybe after college or during a summer break. I think what sparked my interest in humanitarian trips was when my family and I visited Vietnam for 3 weeks when I was 15.  We were able to gather toys, hygiene products, and blankets to take to some of the smaller villages there. Going to a third world country is an eye-opening experience to say the least, especially at the naive and self-centered age of 15. 

Where I actually was: Crazy to think that 5 years after high school, I had already been married for 3 years. This is so cliche to say, but we've had such a fun marriage and have had so many great opportunities and people in our lives. One of my favorite memories is when we were still living in St. George and we had a scooter gang (yeah, you read that right) that we called "The Sawblades" with my brother and his girlfriend at the time, and one other couple. We would just ride around on the best St. George nights on our little scooters. We would ride up big hills "Dumb and Dumber" style because our little scooters had a tough time making it up that slope.


Clint and I had lived in Utah, The DFW area of Texas and Philadelphia by this point (actually we technically lived in North Delaware, but Philadelphia sounds much more exciting). 

I think that if I would have known that I would be married for 3 years by this point, I would expect that I would have a baby, but the years fly by so quickly and the time just hasn't felt right yet. I've never talked about this on my blog, but I did have a miscarriage at the beginning of our marriage and that threw us through a loop. That was one of those big milestones and our first big trial in marriage that brought us closer together. I realized the depth of Clint's love for me during that time and it changed my whole view on our marriage.  

Within that 5 years, I was also graduating from college with a bachelor's in psychology and had no idea what direction I wanted to go with it. Clint had just received a job offer in Texas working for the government. I did get to go on a humanitarian trip to Belize for two weeks and work in an orphanage with one of my best friends and college roommates, Mary. It was an amazing experience and I feel beyond blessed to have been able to do it. At this point in my life I think it is safe to say I was and am much better at taking leaps of faith because that's what life demands.

Just me and my guy getting married.

This wasn't our scooter during our "Scooter Gang" era but close enough.

Sunday boardwalk trip in Delaware

One of my favorite pictures of us in Downtown Philadelphia

The Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Graduation from Weber State in 2012.

My Belizean Babies
If you've never seen 12 people packed into a 5 seater car, you've never been to a third world country.

I shouldn't have had favorites but I did. It was hard not to when this little boy would greet me by my door every morning with a big hug yelling "Good Morning Miss!" He was my little shadow during the two weeks I was there and that little Asher had my heart.
Our one day getaway to the San Pedro Islands in Belize. Absolutely beautiful.

I realize I have never blogged about my experience here. I've tried, multiple times. But it's one of those things that you can't put into words without sounding cliche, and it's hard to put two weeks into a single blog post to accurately describe my time there. It was the experience of a lifetime, as hard as it was, and I hope to be able to do it over and over again in my life. Maybe someday I'll blog about it. I kept a journal every single day I was there so it may be something that I just remember and reflect on for myself.

TEN YEARS:

Does it freak me out that ten years since high school is only 4 years away? Yes. Time Flies. The biggest reminder to me of how fast time goes by is my little sisters who just aren't so little anymore. The youngest one Mariah, turns 15 this month and it always throws me off when I see her because when I moved to Texas she still had that little girl baby face and now she's a beautiful woman. Mikayla will graduate high school this year and is going to come live with me afterwards (right, Kayla?) and Shantelle is getting married in July. 
Left to right, Shantelle, Me, Mariah, and Mikayla.

I don't know why I went on that rant but I did. But you should know by now that I'm obsessed with my sisters so just love the rants. 

Anyway. 

Where I think I will be in 4 years (ten years since high school):

I definitely think there will be a baby in the picture. My Pinterest boards of baby clothes can only get so full before I can't handle it anymore. So calm down, mom ;)

I will be a couple of years into dental school. Juggling school and pregnancy and then a baby will be tough, but I told myself when I started school that I will cross that bridge when I come to it. "Come what may and love it." 

I hope we'll still be living in our little Texas town, but Clint is convinced that we will eventually need to move to San Antonio to be closer to my school. 
and civilization haha. 

You realize (and I especially realize after writing this post) that life doesn't go as planned. My 18-year-old self thought that my 24-year-old self would have a lot more figured out than I do. But I don't think you ever completely figure life out. Unless you are Betty White, because that lady knows what's up. 

So here's to the next 1, 3, 5, 10, and 60 years. May we all conquer them like my girl Betty White.

-xo natasha.

March 11, 2014

10 Things to Know About Texans

#1. In Texas, everyone drives a truck. But you don't call them trucks, you call them pick-ups. And 8 times out of 10, that pick-up is white. (Ours included, but I'm just saying.)

#2. They refer to San Antonio as San Antone.

#3. Texan women love and I mean love their initials. Everything is monogrammed and I've noticed this especially among the college-aged girls at school. Headbands, backpacks, car stickers, dresses, pillows, and even leather boots. So, NLV for life fools. Those are my initials, if you didn't catch on to that one.

#4. Cowboy boots are for everyone. In Utah if you are wearing cowboy boots you are either a) a legitimate cowboy/cowgirl or b) going to a Tim McGraw or Taylor Swift concert or the rodeo so you're turning in your regular shoes for the evening to look the part (that was totally me).

But here, you own them no matter what your personal style of lifestyle is. #gangstathugsincowboyboots  In other words I need to get some real cowboy boots.

Exhibit A: Me and my poser sisters 3 years ago at the Taylor Swift Concert. Our cowboy boots are probably from Target. I think Target Cowboy boots are actually illegal in Texas probably. 

#5. You may have noticed this in country songs. They refer to jeans as "blue jeans." I thought this was just a song-writing poetic gesture to more accurately describe the jeans, but I was wrong. Jeans here are blue jeans. and you say it like it's one word: bluejeans.

#6. This one is one of my favorites. You're sitting in a classroom of 100 people and the teacher is in the middle of lecturing and someone sneezes.

What I would expect: The person next to that sneezing person leans over and says "Bless You".
What happens in Texas: At least 5 people yell (no seriously, it's a big room so they yell) "Bless you" across the entire room, regardless of whether or not the professor is in the middle of a sentence.

I was in the downstairs lobby of a building and sneezed and I see a kid lean over the railing and yell "Bless you!" I love it. Everyone is so nice they just want to bless the crap out of you when you sneeze.

#8. The college girls man, they're not messing around with their sororities. I know a lot of people all over are into sororities too, but I never knew it was this big of a thing. I don't even know what the purpose of a sorority is, but these girls sure as heck do and they believe in them with all of their blonde hearts. Like I fully expect to see Elle Woods leading a sorority meeting, maybe even wearing a monogrammed headband.

#9. Texans love to use "y'all" as much as possible. This is a well known fact, obviously but it can't be underestimated. Sometimes I think if I didn't know what to say in an awkward conversation I could just say "y'all"in a sympathetic voice and nod my head and it would be the perfect thing to say. So if you tend to get yourself in awkward situations a lot like yours truly, try that one out sometime.

I used to despise the word y'all and my in-laws would tease me about it, but it has really grown on me. My sister-in-law even got me this adorable gold-leaf print that I proudly hung on my wall.



Here are a few more Texas words and phrases:
"I'm fixin' to go to the grocery store."
"Chunk"- This word is the equivalent to "toss." Instead of "You can just toss that stack of paper" (as in throw it away). In Texas,  it's "You can just chunk it." The first time I heard it I had to clarify 3 times what exactly I was supposed to do with something to "chunk" it.
Instead of "I got an A last semester" it's "I made an A last semester."
The word "ugly" is used to describe someone who is being rude or snobby. "I hope I didn't sound ugly when I said your obsession with the Kardashians is freaking me out" or "I went in there the other day and the lady at the register was so ugly to me."

#10. Texans love Texas. Like, probably even more than the average person loves their mom. Even more than they loved monograms and camouflage. If you've ever known anyone from Texas, you know what I'm talking about.

There's a quote that says "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could."

I remember seeing this quote when I first moved to Texas and I probably rolled my eyes. But it's grown on me just like Texas has. There have been countless times where I find myself thinking how much my I love this place. On Saturday night I went to a new little hangout spot in town (click here to see how adorable this place is). It's an old airplane hangar that was turned into a little dancing hangout and restaurant. I listened to a live band play country music and watched people two-step on the dance floor. I feel so happy in moments like that. I love and adore Texas and all of it's state pride, bless you's, and y'alls. I know that right now this is where I'm supposed to be.

Look how cute little Gabby is in her cowboy boots. She's a real gem of a Texan. 

if you want to see the best sunrises in the world, Texas if where you need to be.


Have a great week, y'all. ;)

March 10, 2014

Spring Break at 24. What uppppp?

I am currently participating in the goodness of life known as Spring Break. And let me just tell you it's treating me right.

Today I woke up at 10:30. TEN THIRTY, people! I usually hate sleeping in past 7:30 or so on weekends because I just feel like I'm wasting so much time (this coming from the chick who slept until noon or 1:00 as a teenager). But then I thought to myself, while everyone out there is getting wasted over spring break, I'm going to get wasted too. Sleep wasted that is. And so I did. I've never been wasted but I think sleep wasted is the way to go. Or chocolate wasted.

So what else is on my Spring Break 2014 Bucket List? (PS this morning when Clint walked in the room, he yelled "Spring Break Snitches!" so yeah you could say sometimes I think I rub off on him a lot.)

Well to start, I'm going to do some redecorating and sew a few things because I've had this trusty sewing machine for a while and haven't put much use into it. Summer is coming up and I want some cute dresses and I've always thought "When I'm old enough to participate in college life spring break, I'm going to sew some crap."

I went to the library and checked out two books. JK Rowling's book "The Casual Vacancy" and a book called "The Power of Habit." Listen. When your friends all work during spring break, the means of entertainment are limited. So JK Rowling will be my friend.

I can't forget to mention one thing I can already cross off my spring break list- making a music video. My brother in law's birthday was on Saturday, so my other brother-in-law (try to keep up here) decided we should make a music video for him. AND WE DID. So I'll also probably be spending some time watching this music video every day and appreciating the goodness of a hilarious and wild family. And then I'll be preparing for the next video which is going to be to a rap song. Which is my jam, homies. 

And I'll also go on some jeep rides with my bffs (I just have to say if you met my friends, you would be the most in love with life you have ever been), spend a lot of extra time at the gym, do some country dancing, and convince Clint to go horse back riding with me. Oh and I'll probably call my mom at least 3 times a day because I tend to do that when there's not a lot going on.

So look out world. You can't handle Tosh on Spring Break.