First Wedded Valentine’s Day

This year was our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife!  It wasn’t our first Valentine’s together, but it definitely felt different this year celebrating as a married couple.  (And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Marriage is the BEST!)

This year was also different because we are more strapped for money than we were last year, so it took a quite a bit of creativity to have any extra funds for drinks or dinner.  In the end, though, we decided it’s one day, it’s a holiday, and we wanted to splurge a little because we are just going to drive ourselves crazy if we say “no” to every special treat.

The day started off with $3 chocolate hearts we found for each other at Walmart!  We were amazed at the great deal, and the chocolate tastes delicious!

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Unfortunately, both Joshua and I had to work all day, but thanks to the flexibility of our jobs, I was able to spend all day with him at his work (while I worked on my laptop), so we were together as much as possible!

Later that afternoon, we took a ten-minute break to run down the street for a special Valentine’s Starbucks!  They had the Molten Chocolate Trio (a latte, frappe, or hot chocolate) specialty going on for Valentine’s Day that we wanted to take advantage of.  Thankfully, no one seemed to be at Starbucks around 3:30 in the afternoon, so there was no wait for us!

Of course kisses for Valentine's Day <3

Of course kisses for Valentine’s Day ❤

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When we were off work, we ordered take-out sushi for a special dinner!  (Because actually eating in the restaurant on Valentine’s Day is just far too crowded and chaotic for us introverts. 😉 )  Funny story: Before I met my husband, I had never tried good sushi (aka, I’d only had disgusting, fishy, cheap grocery store California rolls).  He introduced me to a local sushi place here in town and needless to say, I’m now OBSESSED and I wish we could get it far more often than our typical every three-four months.  I guess it keeps it special, though. 😉  Oh my yum, so amazingly delicious.

This was actually an awesome deal: three rolls for $30. (And this is more than enough to STUFF the two of us!)

This was actually an awesome deal: three rolls for $30. (And this is more than enough to STUFF the two of us!)

Once we were home, we had a few minutes before sitting down to eat, so I took the time to sneak around the house and hide Harry Potter Valentine cards for my husband to treasure-hunt.  I printed them up weeks ago and I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of my excitement for the day, other than the sushi.  The sushi pretty much tops all. 😉

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img_2234Before long, I told him he had eight treasures to find and he began his search.  He found the first six super easily but the last two proved slightly more difficult. 😉

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After he found them all (which he LOVED by the way!  A good way for him to remember his nerdy wife, haha), we sat down to eat our sushi and watch a movie.  We originally wanted “Grease” as our Valentine’s Day tradition, but then we thought we should try a new movie in the ‘Romantic Favorites’ category on Netflix.  We went with “The Switch” which was definitely a mistake for a romantic evening (to be clear, it did have a romantic element, but that wasn’t the point of the movie, which was what we wanted for Valentine’s Day).  Next year will be “Grease” for sure!

We ended the night with some light drinks that we splurged on for the very purpose of Valentine’s Day.  I’d never had vodka before, and so we decided to give it a shot.  The consensus: I like it!

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Overall, it was such a blessing to be married this Valentine’s Day!  I hope you and yours had a beautiful day as well! ❤

-Tialla

A Second Job

I feel like it’s been quite a while since my last post, though in reality it hasn’t been overly long.  I suppose it just feels like a long time because every moment of every day for me has been SO dang busy.

Nearly every day of January, other than working, was spent looking for a second job.  Just after New Year’s, Joshua and I decided that it would be a helpful idea for me to find a second job, if possible.  I won’t go into details, but we have about six big expenses coming up this year, two of them medical, and we realized with our current income, it would be quite difficult to find the necessary funds.  Thus, the job search.

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Lord willing, after submitting six applications and multiple inquiries, I heard back from a company and within two weeks (filled with studying, passing a qualification assessment, and all the legal stuff), I started work!  Technically, my first day was February 1st.  As of now, I’ve completed four full work days and I’m enjoying the job!  I’m just grateful for the extra income and something else to put on my resume. 🙂

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Same. 😉

For those of you wondering, my second job involves me being a Social Media Evaluator for Appen.  I’m extremely grateful for another work-from-home job, which enables me to still take care of dinner and some quick things around the house on breaks.  Combining this job with my original job, I honestly can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunity to work an eight-hour day completely from the flexibility of my computer!  It is such an incredible blessing. ❤  I know it won’t last forever, so I am certainly wanting to enjoy it and be grateful for it while this is my situation. ❤

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Anyway, that’s been my life lately!  I also barely started editing my NaNoWriMo novel, but that was the day before I started work for Appen, so since then I haven’t had a chance to get back to it.  I’ll have to figure out a time to do so!

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Blizzard Weekend!

We have had SO. MUCH. SNOW over this past weekend.  Apparently it was a series of three major storms that all came through starting on Friday.  I think the snow started really early Friday morning, before the sun graced our part of the world, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t stop snowing the entire time until maybe Monday.  Even then, we still got a light sprinkling of snow on Tuesday.

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I feel so bad for all the college students with such tiny cars in our apartment complex.  Their cars were literally BURIED.  If I were them, I don’t even know what I’d begin to do.  I’d probably just walk everywhere, and that might actually be what several of them decided to do. 😉

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It’s scary enough for us to drive, and we have an SUV with 4-wheel drive.  So far we haven’t gotten stuck, but it’s definitely a fear of mine, especially when we have to park in the deep snow because it hasn’t been cleared yet.  (Our complex isn’t the best at snow removal.  Our stairs are icy and slippery, and though the driving areas of the parking lot are cleared, the plow blocks in the cars with the snow.  And it has taken days for any spots to get cleared.  Not to mention the half foot drop at the entrance from all the snow, ice, and slush.  But I digress.)

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I’m not sure what the total amount of snowfall in inches was, but it was LOTS, guys.  LOTS.

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Thankfully for us, both my husband and I quite like the snow.  No, I don’t love driving in it, in fact the prospect rather terrifies me after I spun out last winter.  Other than that, though, we love it.  The cold weather makes for perfect cuddling temperatures, the snow is beautiful, and it’s just kind of magical in its own way, especially when it starts falling in huge feathery flakes.  The world is quieted for a while.

(For long-time blog followers, you may recall when I was fifteen or so, I tried to “boycott” the snow and just hated cold weather all around.  That was mainly due to my shoulder injury {though I wouldn’t quite admit it then, I don’t think}, because pain and cold weather don’t mix well.  Time changes things, and this is certainly something I’ve had a change of heart about.  I love wintertime now!)

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One thing that I’m quite proud of, actually, is that hubby and I haven’t let the snow keep us from hitting the gym regularly.  Thankfully, our complex gym is right by our apartment, so it’s a very short walk.  However, it’s still rather daunting to walk outside in the feet of snow with only sneakers, yoga pants, a workout tank, and a workout jacket.  My poor husband was in even worse shape with shorts and a t-shirt.  However, we hurried to the gym and didn’t let the cold, snow, or ice stop us from getting our fitness in.  And honestly, the walk back to our apartment was refreshingly cold.

As the snow continued to come down on Saturday, Joshua and I spent the entire day with a Sherlock marathon.  It was his first time watching the show and it was so much fun!  Due to the continued snowfall, dangerous roads, and snow removal issues, church was cancelled the next day, so I made us a pot of oatmeal for breakfast, which we enjoyed with coffee and more Sherlock.  Later that afternoon, we braved the weather to get food for the week (our empty fridge let us know that could not be postponed!), stopped in at a cafe for a chai latte, and safely made it home again.

As it was still snowing on Monday, my husband was able to come home early from work, which made for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon!

Other than the slight dusting of snow on Tuesday, it has been sunny since, which is giving everyone a chance to actually dig themselves out.  All in all, it was a very happy weekend and the city looks beautiful with snow-covered everything.

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Glasses!

I bought new glasses!

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For those of you who don’t know, in order to see clearly, I need glasses.  I started wearing my first pair of glasses at age twelve.  However, when I was sixteen, I was tired of dealing with my glasses (there are numerous cons to wearing glasses for those of you who don’t know), and I figured, my vision wasn’t that bad, so I stopped wearing them.  I didn’t get contacts (I’m still freaked out by all the risks involved with contacts), I just quit wearing glasses.  I also did some research about whether or not this would damage my eyes in the long-run, but the resounding answer was no.  Satisfied, I placed my glasses in my dresser.  That is, other than when I drove. 😉

Five years passed.  Skip forward to a few months ago.

My husband knows that I need glasses to see properly, and he’s always encouraged me to wear them, but I’ve still chosen not to.  However, recently, I started to notice some actual problems with not wearing my glasses.  For example, say my husband would be pointing to something he noticed in the distance, and when I looked to see it, I literally wouldn’t even know something existed there.  It wasn’t just that the shape was blurry, it was that it completely blended in with everything else because of the blurriness.  More and more I noticed not being able to read menus at fast food places, or not knowing if someone across the room was talking to me or my husband if they didn’t ask a direct question and I couldn’t tell who they were looking at.

So yes, problems.

I’m not sure how I went this long without it becoming an issue because my eye doctor didn’t see a change in my eyes this year.  Perhaps it’s because I now have someone actually pointing things out to me, and previously I just assumed nothing was there since I couldn’t see it.

Because, you know, my sight wasn’t that bad.

Well, that phase of reluctance and denial has ended.  My hubby began to encourage me more and more to wear my glasses, but I just didn’t like my current pair.  They worked for driving, but they were frameless, so they had a lot of glare, as well as they slid down all the time.  Thus, I decided that in order to start wearing my glasses again daily, I would need the necessary motivation of a new pair of glasses.

Thankfully, I heard of Zenni Optical, which pretty much revolutionized the whole getting glasses ordeal.  Their glasses are inexpensive, high quality, and custom made.  You can upload a photo of yourself to “try them on” and browse hundreds of frames.  I ended up spending $30 for a pair of glasses, and that included shipping!  They did not sponsor me at all for this, by the way, I just happen to love them!

My glasses came in the mail yesterday, marking the beginning to my journey in adjusting to daily life with glasses again.  Can I just say, though, that I LOVE my glasses?  The size, the shape….  Also, the lenses look like they are almost nonexistent.  I can’t get over it–my glasses look like they are just frames unless a glare is on my lenses.  I’m sure that this will probably go away as the lenses get exposed to different elements, but I still think it’s just so neat.

Another great thing is that these glasses hardly ever slide down.  I’m so happy with them, and they definitely help me feel more comfortable with wearing glasses again!

I thought it would be fun to post photos of my glasses through the years, from starting at twelve-sixteen and then today.

My first pair of glasses at age 12!

My first pair of glasses at age 12!

Second pair at age 14

Third pair at 16! (These are the frameless ones I mentioned.)

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And then today’s at age 21. 😉

 

Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to write an update about my new glasses and the start to this more “clear” phase of my life. 😉

Until next time,

-Tialla

Our Six-Month Anniversary

(Heads up that this will indeed be a mushy post. 😉 )

On Tuesday, January 10th, Joshua and I celebrated our six-month wedding anniversary.  It’s absolutely amazing to me that it has already been half a year since we said, “I do.”  These past six months have simply flown by.  With each month that passes, I’m reminded of the reality of the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”  I know without doubt that I’m going to blink and we’ll both be decades down the line, amazed at the time that has sped by.

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I think back on what has happened these past months since our wedding ceremony, and it just blows my mind.  Various aspects of work (both Joshua’s and mine), family, friends, aspirations, hopes, plans, goals, projects, and routines…so much has happened, and so much has changed from the day before our wedding.  What an adventure we’ve had so far, both good and bad, and I wouldn’t want to spend this life with anyone else.

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This was the caption I posted on my social media for our anniversary post:

“How has it possibly already been half a year since we said our vows? These past six months have simply flown by. To think, when we had been dating for six months, you proposed, and now we have been married for six months! As I tell anyone who asks, marriage is the best thing ever. Always having my soulmate, best friend, and lover by my side each and every day, through thick and thin. Knowing that no matter what, he is there for me. Many things may happen during the day, but at the end of the day, we have each other. Since July, our lives have seen many changes. Ebb and flow with both the good and the bad, the exciting and the mundane, but the constant is the fact that we still have each other. I’m so grateful to share this life with you, Joshua, to always have you here to support and encourage me, and to give me the blessing of always being there for you, supporting, and encouraging you. And most importantly, I’m so grateful to the Lord for bringing us together, as well as for giving us the humbling opportunity to mirror Christ and the Church with our marriage. It’s such a blessing to settle in married life with you, Mister, to figure out how to be married together, to be your helper, and to go on this journey together, hand in hand. I’m so excited to see where God takes us. Happy six months! I love you to the moon and back! <3″

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We celebrated our anniversary starting with a meal of homemade biscuits and gravy.  This was my first time making both homemade biscuits and gravy and I have to say, I LOVED how they turned out!  Definitely will be repeating.

If this doesn't look appetizing, I apologize, but it really was DELICIOUS! :)

If this doesn’t look appetizing, I apologize, but it really was DELICIOUS! 🙂

After dinner, we headed to the movies to see Rogue One (thanks to my in-laws for a movie theater Christmas gift card!).  It was a wonderful time out together, especially since we can rarely afford to go to the theater these days.

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Happy halfway anniversary, my love!  I can’t wait to see what these next six months (and beyond) hold for us.

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-Tialla ❤

 

The Polar Express!

This past Saturday, my father-in-law’s company provided all of us with tickets to ride on the Polar Express train in Williams, AZ.  When we first heard about the opportunity earlier in the week, I must say I was overly excited.  Though I’ve lived in Flagstaff for going on seventeen years, I’ve never been on the Polar Express, and I’d heard many wonderful stories about it.  Not only are the book and the movie both classics, the story is timeless.  With Christmas cheer, we carpooled with my husband’s family down to Williams and boarded the Polar Express at dusk.  A friend offered to take a photo of all of us together:

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I loved how this train was modern, yet retained some old-time charm.  For example, the wooden frames around the windows, the pull shades, and the luggage racks strewn with Christmas lights.  The slightly rustic feel to the train helped bring me into the story with little difficulty!

After everyone boarded and a few instructions from the “Chef” in our train car, we were off!  The train ride is only about an hour round trip, so the fun started immediately with delicious cookies and hot chocolate.  My sister-in-law took a photo of Joshua and me when we were back in our own seats:

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Before long, the ticket inspector came through, just like in the movie, and stopped by each seat to punch enough holes to form the letter “P” in each ticket.  He was hilarious and played the part quite well.

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From the start of the journey, Christmas music was played through the speakers.  We passed through the “magic tunnel” (honestly, that was a little disappointing…it was more like a bridge with flashing lights), and just after that, they began to read the book, “The Polar Express,” out loud.  To help us all keep up with the story, the “Chef” passed up and down the aisle to show the illustrations in the book to all the passengers.  Not long after the story was finished, we learned that we were coming up on the North Pole.

I think that they created a cute setup with the lit buildings on either side of the train, Mrs. Claus reading, Santa and an elf waiting out by the reindeer, as well as a beautifully illuminated Christmas tree.  However, I did expect at least some fake snow and more elves, so it was missing the “wow” factor of the magical North Pole.

When we came to the end of the North Pole, the train slowed, began to reverse (apparently there was “caribou” on the tracks), and when we passed by the reindeer again, Santa had disappeared.  Of course this had all the kids whirring with excitement.  The Chef soon informed us that Santa was on the train and we had to sing, “Here Comes Santa Claus” as he visited everyone on each car.  When he did reach our car, there was a cacophony of shouts, giggles, and laughter.  He gave each person a bell with a ribbon (which we may or may not have given as a toy to our kitten *cough, cough*), and the train ride was finished off with more Christmas carols and dancing in the aisle.

We had to commemorate the train ride with a selfie!

All in all, I loved it!  It was such a fun way to finish off the holidays, especially since after January 1st it feels rather like going cold-turkey, and it’s always a little sad to me.  This was a wonderful way to bid adieu to the holidays until later this year!  I’m sure the fun was in part to experiencing the train ride with my in-laws.  It was simply a wonderful time with all of us laughing, joking with each other, singing along, making fun of Santa (shh, don’t tell), making fun of each other, and more.  I am so blessed to have the amazing in-laws that I do!

If you ever have the chance to take a ride on the Polar Express at Christmastime, I’d say go for it!  It was a fun experience, and honestly, everyone got into it–adults and children alike!  There was just something about it that brought everyone together.

-Tialla ❤

Happy New Year!

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I can hardly believe it’s January 1st already.  While 2016 had a lot of downs, it also had some major “ups” for me, such as marrying the love of my life.  However, I can’t say I’m sad to see 2016 go, and I’m hoping that 2017 is an even better year.  I guess we will see!  We never know what hand we will be dealt, but we can chose how we respond to it, and that’s my goal for this year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

-Tialla