Mama in Minnesota

This last weekend was absolutely wonderful.  Seriously.  My mom got to come stay with us for a long weekend and I loved every minute of it and it was so sad to drop her off at the air port.  The time flew by so fast!  My mom is Wonder Woman - note the below picture.

This is from a backpacking trip with my dad last summer.  My mom couldn't come so we made sure she could still experience the trip :)  If you look closely, she caught a fish.

Back to my mom.  She truly is an amazing woman and I am so thankful for her example and for the unconditional love and support she gives us.  I just love her.

She flew in on Thursday and we were able to just take it easy that night, show her our apartment, and stay up past our bedtimes talking. That's one thing I love about my mom, she is so great to talk with. It was especially great that Martin and I were able to have her all to ourselves.  I LOVE when our whole family gets together, but it was so nice to not have to share her. :)

Friday was a relaxing and exciting day.  While Marty was at work we baked lots of goodies and were productive around the house.  That night we got to go to the Minnesota State Fair!  We got to eat lots and lots of food, see a variety of interesting people, see baby animals right after they were born, see prize winning pumpkins the size of a car, and simply enjoy walking around.  It was wonderful to go with my mom because she used to go to state fairs every year when she was a kid.

Saturday was a rainy day, but we got to explore Minneapolis a bit.  We planned on renting bikes to ride around some of the lakes nearby, but the rain got the best of us.  Instead we fished and watched airplanes fly in to the airport nearby.


We went to church on Sunday and my mom got to meet 
all of the wonderful people there.  She can find a lot of 
comfort in knowing how blessed we are to be surrounded
 by such incredible people who have reached out to us.  
We also went on a nice walk around another lake nearby where 
we got to see frogs, turtles, lily-pads, and snakes

It was such a peaceful day with beautiful scenery.  
I'm so glad that my mom got to see the beautiful place 
we live in.  It is amazingly green here and there are 
gorgeous lakes/parks all around us. We'll see how
the winter changes the scenery :)


 Monday was another productive day of cleaning, sewing, and site-seeing.  We went to the Mall of America, which is a pretty big deal around here!  There are hundreds of stores, an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and many more exciting things to see.  Sadly, Monday also meant that my mama had to go home.

It was absolutely amazing to have all of this time with my mom.  I SO loved just being able to talk, laugh, and spend time with her.  Thank you so much for coming out mama, you are awesome and I miss you already!  :)


Life as Minnesoootans

One thing I have dreamed about having for years and years is...an accent. I LOVE to do different accents and I do them multiple times a day as I say random things.  Actually, the other day I was explaining a game at a church activity with all the teenage girls and I said, "You're the winner!" in a Russian accent and it sounded more like, "You're zee weener!" and the giggles started and let's just say the girls will not be letting me live that down.  Anyways, Minnesota has its own accent, very similar to a Wisconsin accent.  Think back to the early 1990's cartoon Bobby's World, then picture his mom saying, "Dooon't cha knooow," and you've got it!  Here's a YouTube video if you don't know what I'm talking about:

Well, Martin has caught me talking in a Minnesotan accent several times, but they weren't on purpose...not sure how I feel about the fact that it's already happening after being here for only a month.  I'm realizing I no longer just want to have any accent - I've narrowed it down to only wanting a soft southern belle or Australian accent, no offense Minnesota.

So now that I am beginning to talk like a Minnesotan that must mean we are officially settled!  We have been able to meet some awesome people through church and Marty's work.  We have completely lucked out in the friend department because there are several young married couples that we've been able to hang out with and they are tons of fun!  We've been able to go explore the area quite a bit.  This is what we've been up to in the Twin Cities:

 Smoothie Contest

 We got to taste-test tons of smoothies.
Nastiest: Jalapeno bacon (so gross.)
Tastiest: My vote = Honeydew boba 
Martin's vote = Strawberry-banana (because it came in the biggest cup)

First day of work

Marty is loving his job and the company loves him - who couldn't though?!

FREE Zoo in Minneapolis

 Our attempt to create a BYU Cougars picture - Go BYU!

 Look at how huge the bear is compared to the little girls right on the other side of the glass

 Orangutan family grooming time

We went to a Saints game with Martin's work
The Saints are a minor league team here

 We got free clay and it was a slow game so we entertained ourselves

Fireworks after the game

Both of us get to be leaders for the youth in our church, it's so fun. 
This is a picture of glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing with the girls
We also got to talk in the sermon part of our church this last Sunday and that was really great.  I spoke about hope and Marty spoke about faith.  It's neat to see how our hope in the future and faith have developed as we've moved and genuinely had to have a lot of hope and faith that this is the right place for us to be right now.
Basically, we're doing great, seriously life is wonderful right now.  I can't help but smile.  I'm still looking for a job, but it's really cool because I am starting to recognize a small portion of God's plan for us.  I've worked so hard and felt pretty frustrated because numerous jobs come my way or progress and then something comes up where I either don't feel right about the job or the hiring comes to a halt.  But several prayers of mine have been answered and I'm starting to be able to say, "So that's why that happened!"  God is seriously so great.  And my mom comes out to visit in just 4 days so I'm super excited!


Home Really is Where the Heart is

Going into this adventure we knew several things - we'd be moving a lot, our attitudes would determine so many things, and we would be far away from friends and family.  With Martin's job we will be moving around a lot.  We're moving roughly every 8 months for the next couple years and we find out where we are going (out of basically every state in the US) about 1-2 months before hand.  This is an awesome job for Marty and we're honestly extremely excited for this adventure - especially at this stage of our life.  

But, there are definitely challenges to our situation.  Moving isn't easy, we're going to completely new places, we're far away from family, we're far away from friends, I have to try to find jobs that will hire me for just 8 months, and the list goes on.  One thing I was nervous about was how we would create a home environment every where we go.  

When I think of home I think of my parent's house with lots hanging out talking and laughing and just a warmth that you feel.  Or I think of our little home in Provo that had pictures of smiling faces and Super Man hanging on the wall and that same warmth as my parent's home.  As we've been in Minnesota we've done a pretty good job at diving in to our surroundings and making this feel like home.  I've realized that home truly is where the heart is!  I'm here with my handsome, amazing husband who knows me so well and who I just love spending as much time possible with.  Home, in my opinion, is determined by WHO you are with and WHAT you do with where you are at.

So here are some pictures of our home :)

Our entryway
 Our living room - what you see after walking up the stairs

More of our living room
Our kitchen

 Other view of the kitchen

And THAT is our home sweet home :)