Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Harrison- Part 2

Harrison's birthday was super fun.  I had to work and Harrison had school, but we found time to do quite a bit to celebrate Harrison's DIRTY THIRTY!

We started the morning by getting some donuts from our favorite donut joint, Ronald's Donuts.  It's a small little place in the middle of Vegas' Chinatown and the donuts are seriously the best EVER!

Our favorite donuts... Harrison: chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing and Jaala: Boston Creme donut.

We had to go to work and school after our yummy late breakfast but we met after for some shooting...

Our American Shooters adventure was fun.  After shooting we ran a couple of errands we went and had Harrison's birthday dinner.  We ate at the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  It was amazing.  How amazing?  Have you ever been somewhere that has a Mac and Cheese Bar?  What!?  Yes- you heard me right.  They had a mac and cheese bar!  We actually got to make our own mac and cheese concoction!  YUM!

Have you ever been to a buffet that has gourmet looking food and CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES??  Also, Harrison got a cake pop which is so hip in my opinion!

Oh- and thanks to our friend Jordan for having dinner with us.  It was his first time to the Cosmopolitan and we were so happy to show him around.

I hope Harrison had a good 30th birthday... he said he did... so I believe him.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Dirty Thirty Harrison

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Harrison!  He turns 30 today.  I sure love him.  Like a lot!  I am thankful for him!  Here are 30 things I love about him:

1. His eyes
2. His laugh
3. His sense of humor
4. His smarts
5. His height
6. His v-neck shirts
7. His curly hair
8. His endless quotes of Ace Ventura and Willy Wonka
9. His ability to play the cello
10. His honesty
11. The priesthood he honorably holds
12. His knowledge of the Book of Mormon
13. His patience with just about everything
14. His ability to talk me down from preverbal cliffs
15. His relationship with his mother
16. His testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
17. His love of CATS
18. His musical talents
19. His knowledge of just about every single song on the radio (it's amazing)
20. His style
21. His romantic side
22. His ability to speak Portuguese
23. His scalp massages (seriously- they are great)
24. His knowledge of vehicle headlights and tail lights (again, it's amazing!)
25. His dedication to his education
26. His supportive nature
27. His cleanliness (his side of the room is always so neat and orderly)
28. His interest in quilting and sewing
29. His love of celebrity gossip
30. His choice to marry me!

I am thankful for my awesome husband!  Happy Birthday Harrison!  I still can't believe you are so old!

We are going to have fun birthday activities later today and I promise to post pictures about it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Being sick is no fun!

It really is.  The stomach flu is going around work and church and I ended up getting it.  BOO.  I am glad that the worst of it was during Sunday.  I was super sad that I had to miss church, especially because I was excited about giving my lesson.  But- at least it wasn't during a super busy work day.

Throwing up is the worst.  Seriously.  It is.  That is one of the things I hate the most about my body.  When it doesn't know what to do or I am sick or over tired or I have too much emotion... I barf.  What the heck!?  So weird.

Well this is how my day went yesterday:

Wake up at 5:45 and the flu begins

9:15 am- make a sick bed on the couch and start watching shows.  Which shows do you ask?  Well let me tell you about them:

Downton Abbey

This show is amazing!  Harrison started to watch it for me but he doesn't much care for it anymore.  That's alright.  I seriously love it.  I finished the first season and started the second season.  I am so glad that PBS has full episodes on their website.

Midnight In Paris

This movie is just as amazing!  Paris in the 20's?  Yeah- fabulous.  Owen Wilson does such a good job.  This movie made me want to go to Paris and never come home!  Seriously- you need to see this movie if you haven't already.  And if you have already seen it- see it again!

My sick bed:

And this is how I look when I am sick:

Yeah- pathetic.  

Well- I am feeling better today.  I still can't have any dairy.  I tried to have cereal and milk this morning.... bad idea.

Harrison has been so great.  When I came back to bed after first getting sick, he reached over and patted my back and asked if there was anything he could do for me.  Just that small act of love and kindness meant a lot.  So much!  I love him.

Well- I am gonna go take a nap.  I am so tired still.  Maybe I will try some chicken soup again!  Have a great day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Can Monday be Fun-Day??

Yesterday afternoon we had our home teachers come over.  I love our home teachers.  They are genuinely nice and I think really concerned for the welfare of our little Allen Family.  The message they brought with them was great.  The lesson came from the First Presidency's Message of Living an Abundant Life.  We talked about the ABC's of living an abundant life.

A- Attitude.  
Attitude really changes everything.  I heard a quote once that said: 

I think this is so true.  If you go into a situation with a  bad attitude... the situation will be nothing but bad. I learned this kind of the hard way.  I had lots of sad and mad feeling in my job for a long time.  But I went into my job with the attitude "This job will never be as good as my last job!" and "These people will never understand me or be as great as my last bunch of co-workers!" 
What an awful way to think.  Well folks can totally read between the lines with an attitude like that... and they did.  I set myself up for failure with my attitude.  And I had WAY too much pride to admit that I was making myself miserable.  It was much easier to blame it on everybody else in my environment.  
The moment I decided to change my attitude, my life got so much easier.  I decided that my workplace was great and the people in it were only trying to do their best.  Instead of going to work with my nose high in the air, I went with a smile on my face and a friendly "Good Morning!"  it did wonders!

So- I thought about this again this morning when I popped my eyes open and realized that it was MONDAY!  Why do we hate Monday's so much?  What did they ever do to us?  Why are we (and I include myself) so mad at Monday for taking away our weekend?  

So- instead of grumbling about MONDAY... I decided that Monday could be Monday- Funday!  Maybe this attitude will make Monday's just as wonderful as Friday.  I feel bad that Friday gets such great attention and we just scoff and yell at Monday!  

B- Believe.  
Believing in yourself and in the plan of our Heavenly Father is one of the most important things in our lives.  If we did not believe that we could do anything... we wouldn't.  We would just sit like lumps of clay doing NOTHING.  When we believe that all things are possible, we take our lumpy-clay-selves and mold ourselves into something great... a wonderful work of art.  Also, if we do not believe that our Heavenly Father will help us through our lives, we will get quite discouraged and our attitudes will turn into negative ones.  

C- Courage.  
Sometimes after we have a good attitude and we believe we can do something... actually DOING it can be scary.  You know, trying a new project, moving to a new place, starting a new job, starting a family.  This is where courage comes in.  We must have the courage to press forward, even though a little voice inside or others on the outside say we can't or we should stop trying!  

I am so thankful to our Home Teachers for coming over and sharing this message.  I have thought about it a lot since last night.

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be able to choose my Attitude, Belief, and Courage every single day.  What wonderful lives we have been given.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Following the Examples of Jesus Christ

Today was a great day.  I love the opportunity I have to be a leader to the young women in our ward.  I was able to teach the lesson today in the Laurel Class (if some of these terms don't make sense to you, please click HERE or HERE to find out more).  The lesson was on Following the Examples of Jesus Christ.

I only have a few girls in my class but they are a great group of girls.  I think the reason I love being in the Laurel class is because when I was a Laurel my self (11 years ago) I started to find my own testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and of Jesus Christ himself.  It is a wonderful yet challenging age... 16-18 years old.

The girls had wonderful insight into ways they can follow the example of Jesus Christ.  We talked about being humble, loving and serving others (especially our enemies), and resisting temptation (which we all agreed is just so hard to do sometimes).  

I think that most of the time we as a general Christian population get "perfection" and "being Christ-like" mixed up.  A lot of times we automatically think that in order to be like our Savior, we must be perfect.  WRONG!  We will NEVER be perfect.  NEVER!  It is impossible.  So- stop trying.  That is the exact reason the Atonement even exists.  We make mistakes and slip up every single day.  It is through our Savior that we can repent and be forgiven of these slip ups.  To be Christ-like we must strive for Christ-like attributes... service, love, charity, meekness, obedience.

To bring the lesson home to a place that the girls would feel that things were on their level, I made a handout with this picture on it.  I loved it!  

After I finished the lesson, I showed this slide show that included photos of the girls following the examples of Jesus Christ.  They are amazing girls and I feel so blessed to have them a part of my life.

I hope your Sunday was filled with just as much love and the Spirit of our Heavenly Father.

Now- its time to finish watching the Golden Globes... hee hee

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Hello dear friends.  Its that time again.  Here are the things I am thankful for:

**New Shoes
Really.  I love them.  I used to get a new pair of shoes once a month... but that is an area I have sacrificed.  I did get a new pair of shoes during "sister weekend" and I really love them.

I do enjoy it.  I had the opportunity to teach a short and small lesson on journal writing last night with the young women and leaders in our ward.  The girls and adults alike seemed to be engaged and interested in what I had to say.  It is such a great feeling to have when you teach something and you know that something got through to your students.  It was a super fun night last night.  SUCCESS!

**Sleeping In
I do love to sleep.  It is actually one of my most favorite things to do!  So when I get to sleep in it is THE BEST!

**New Friendships
One of the goals Harrison and I have made this year is to cultivate and renew friendships.  For some reason we have this nasty habit of going out with friends once or twice and then we never hear from them again.  So we figure it has to be us.  So we have decided to be better friends.  I have had some really great conversations with some people lately and it has been so fun to get to know new people.  

**Funny Animal Videos
It is NO secret that I love these.  I really am thankful for them.  They are seriously one of the best things in life.  I can be having the most crappy day EVER and as soon as I see a funny cat or dog video my entire day just gets better.  Here are a few of my favorite for your enjoyment:

**My Father in Heaven
I am so thankful for the knowledge I have of a loving Heavenly Father.  I am thankful for his plan for me and the comfort I feel when I pray.  What a wonderful thing it is to know that the Lord hears and answers prayers.  I have had a few things happen in my life just recently in which I really needed reassurance and comfort.  I prayed and I was granted that comfort and love.  I am so thankful for that.

I hope that you have many things to be thankful for.  I am also thankful for YOU.  Thanks for reading my blog!  Talk to you soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Things that I think about....

HI!  How is your day?  Mine was quite satisfactory!

Sometimes I have all of these thoughts that swirl through my head and I want to share them with people... I guess it is my weird need to chatter endlessly.  But here are some things I have been thinking about.

***This last weekend was SISTERS WEEKEND!  My two older but younger sisters were in town and we partied like it was 1999!  It was so fun!  I love my sisters.  We really did have a blast.  Here are some photos of our adventures:

We had so much fun!  I miss them already.  Time to plan the next one!

***I took the Quantum challenge.
It really works!  Like- so good.  I didn't even put vinegar in my dishwasher!  It was amazing.  I don't know if I will ever use anything else!

***We watched the Broncos/Steelers playoff game last night.  It was fun.  Harrison jumped off the couch and even shed a tear of joy when the Broncos won in the 11th second of overtime.  It was fun to see him so excited.

***I had a really good day at work today.  I met some really fun people and I had a very successful day as far as "numbers" go.  I sure hope that today is a sign of the year ahead!  If so- my professional life will be awesome!

***I gave the quote of the day in our morning meeting at work today.  I liked it:

At any time you have the ability to say, "This is NOT how the story is going to end!"

See- I told you it was a good one.  I really believe that one too.

***I think it is funny that Harrison is downstairs right now watching The Bachelor... by himself.  That show is WAY too awkward for my taste.  H seems really into it though- which is pretty endearing.

***My eyeliner stayed perfect for almost the entire day today.  I was quite impressed.  I don't know what I did different, but I hope that I can replicate it tomorrow :)  YEAH RIGHT

***I ate a red velvet cupcake tonight.  The frosting was quite deceiving though.  It smelled just like cream cheese frosting but after one bit it CLEARLY was not.  It was an almond butter cream type frosting.  I am still on the fence on how I feel about it.  I think anything is made 100 times better with cream cheese... so- I dunno....

***I am giving up Cherry Coke (again).  I have put on a few pounds that I really don't want... and I know a couple of them are from this sinfully delicious soda.  I love it WAY too much.  I have been drinking it nonstop since about Halloween.  NOT GOOD.  My kidneys are starting to hurt and that is never a good sign.  You'd think that I would learn that soda is not OK after having kidney stones.  HA.  But really- I am scared to stop because I get terrible withdrawals and I become quite the Witch with a capital B if you know what I mean.

***My heart jumped for joy this evening when I saw that my all time favorite blogger blogged for the first time in about 6 months.  It was like finding a long lost friend.  It was amazing.  I love her and her BLOG!

***When I got home from work Harrison told me that there was some mail for me on the counter.  AWESOME!  I had two wonderful cards from a couple of my Project Snail Mail friends.  What lovely people they are!  I love being a part of this group.  Join us on Facebook and keep Snail Mail alive!

***I am really digging that new Gym Class Heroes song that features Adam Levine.  It is a body mover.  

I swore to myself that I would never say this out loud... but I am breaking my promise... Adam Levine is HAWT.  I do like him.  OK- I said it... embarrassing.

***I haven't had my hair cut in over a year.  Now THAT is embarrassing.  Maybe I should bump that one up to the top of the To Do List.

Well- there are some things that have been on my mind recently.  I am ready for bed.  5:30 comes quite early in the morning.  Sweet dreams to all my friends and family out there in BlogLand!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting 2012 with a BANG!

Well I hope that every body's New Years Eve celebrations were safe and super fun!  Speaking of safe... after Harrison and I watched the fireworks on the Las Vegas Strip we went home, put our PJ's on, and went to bed at about 1am.

At about 1:30am Harrison looked out the bedroom window onto the main road behind our house.  He said, "Did you hear that?"  I said, "Yeah, probably some last minute fireworks."  Harrison shook his head and said, "No!  It was an accident!"  I hopped out of bed and we both peered out the window.  Sure enough- there were a few cars that were slowing way down and stopping in the middle of the road to see what happened and to come to somebodies aide if necessary.  

We put our shoes on and hurried to the edge of the corner of the block to see what happened.  Well, it was quite a sight when we got there.  A VW Beetle had jumped the curb and was half way into the brick wall.  YIKES!

We walked up to the car and I asked the folks that were standing around if everybody was alright.  The really kind of moody lady confirmed that all was OK, and as I looked at the car, the teenage boy that was the driver of the car stepped out of the car.  He looked fine.  A little shaken up, but fine.  He kept muttering things like, "I am so stupid!" and "I am such an idiot!".

I couldn't help but giggle.  What a way to start the New Year!  To wreck your sister's car into a brick wall (I like to think that it was his sister's car... since I don't know many boys, let alone teenage boys, that drive "cute" Beetles around).  There was simply NO coming back from this situation!  

We didn't take any pictures of the accident at that moment (which we regret) but here is a picture of the hole in the wall that was left over from the ordeal.  There is a pretty big hole in the wall and see the boulder that is in the planter?  That boulder was more in the middle of the small rock garden before it was dragged into the higher planter!  SHEESH!

I'd have to say, I did feel kind of bad for the kid.  What a seriously stupid mistake.  We didn't determine if the kid was drunk or not.  He seemed pretty lucid and aware when he was stepping out of the car, but we only saw him for seriously 15 seconds.  He was going WAY too fast whether he was drunk or not.

So that was our big excitement of the week so far!  I told the girls at church to listen at school for the story of the kid that wrecked his car on New Years Eve and then report back!  HA... kind of evil- I know.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012- Welcome!

Well- we said goodbye to 2011 and we are now welcoming in 2012.  What a wonderful time to be alive.  Its also time for me to choose my resolution word for 2012.  I was down to the wire with my choice.  I had a few words in mind and just as I did last year, I went to my good friend the Thesaurus and plugged in my words to find a common word.  I had words like, improve, lift,  and polish.  Well, none of those seemed to be just quite what I wanted.  But I found a perfect word that had all of these elements in them.  My new mantra for 2012 will be:

Yes, JOURNEY is my new word for 2012.  Journey is a very interesting word.  Journey can mean a trip or vacation... it can also mean a path or a way to something.  It is hard for me to put into exact words what I want Journey to mean in my life for the next year.  But I know that I feel inside what I want it to mean.

A couple of things have been circling in my mind as I have been thinking about this new word to live by.


I want to find joy in my journey this next year.  Whether it be a journey to more intelligence, a journey to a new place, a journey to a new look, or a journey to new surroundings... I want there to be joy along the way.  Harrison and I have been talking about "ENJOYING NOW".  Sometimes we as humans (especially in this age of instant satisfaction and gratification) get caught up with just wanting the end result to happen and bring us joy.  We want the new house NOW... we want the new car NOW... or when I get the new carpet- then I will be happy... or when I get a better job- then I will be happy.  We loose sight of being happy in the moment.  So, this is part of how I want to have joy in my journey.  Finding happiness in getting to the goals.


OK- so I know that this is an album cover for the band Journey, but hear me out!  I do love the band Journey... a lot!  But- the song Don't Stop Believing is actually a very good song.  But I thought about it and it is actually a great metaphor for my mantra this year.  Don't Stop Believing in the Journey and in the goals.  It sounds kind of silly but I think it is kind of awesome!  Do you have the song in your head now??  If not- let me help you out!

Thanks Steve Perry for helping me out with that.  

Well- I am excited to see where my journeys take me and what I will learn along the way.

Have a great 2012 everybody!