Thursday, February 26, 2015

cafe 300

Tonight Zach and I had our weekly date night! Man, do I love date nights. It's always so fun going out with my love and eating yummy food together, especially if that means no cooking then cleaning up! My favorite part of the day (other than bedtime) is when I get a chance to see my man after our long days at school/work and talk about our days. It was good to do that with Z tonight on our date.

A couple weeks ago, when Zach's brother Chris was in town, the family went out to eat brunch at an old fashioned diner-style restaurant: Cafe 300. Z & I got breakfast meals while some of the others got lunch. Our verdict on our breakfast meals? YUM. Yum yum yum! The french toast was uhhhhmazing and my omelette was super fresh! Those who got lunch were also please with their choices, but if there was one thing we all couldn't get enough of were the onion rings. Best. Ever. Seriously, THE best I have ever had in my life! We loved 'em!

So tonight, we decided to go back to Cafe 300 and try their dinner menu. One thing I absolutely love about this place is the fact that most items on the dinner/lunch menu offer TWO sides and I mean obviously "two is better than one" amirite?? Though I was a little sad and longing for the scrumptious french toast, I got a burger (with their chipotle mayo) with a side of onion rings and enchilada soup (which came early and we ate it without snapping a pic).

Here are my ratings (out of 5):
Enchilada soup: 4; I am a sucker for enchilada anything. This soup had a very good flavor but wasn't the best I have ever had. However, the chicken was fresh and tender which I we were happy campers about!
Burger: 3; it was yummy but not something you could never get elsewhere, ya know? Still good.
Onion rings: 5; I would give them a ten but I don't want to be unfair! SO yummy. Like I said, best I've ever had!!

Zach got the club sandwich with his two sides as both onion rings... Hahaha. What can we say?! We LOVE those babies! Not pictured below from his meal is the whole other plate of onion rings.

Here are Zach's ratings:
Sandwich: 4; Zach said, "I thought it was a good sandwich." & apparently it's as simple as that.
Onion rings: 6; I asked him why he chose a 6. He said, "Because they are awesome. In fact, I'm gonna have one right now."

Tonight we even ran into some of my favorite people, Bailee and Taylor Morris! They are the coolest and I think they are the cutest most perfect couple ever. Check them out at their blog here! Overall, we have had good experiences at Cafe 300!I highly recommend the onion rings and especially the french toast. It's a fun environment and the workers are friendly. Add the good food to boot and you've got yourself a triple threat plus a couple of happy campers here with the White's! I mean, just look at that smile!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

it's okay to be baby hungry

Okay so now that I've intrigued you with a title that you may be assuming will lead to a post all about how I'm a run-of-the-mill Mormon girl who's only been married for 10 months but totally baby crazy (takes a deep breath), I have to apologize because that's not what's gonna happen.

The phenomenon of "baby hunger" is one commonly associated with newlyweds, particularly among the Mormon culture. If a recently married young woman expresses even so much as a hint of an interest in babies she automatically falls into the stigma of being "baby hungry". However, when a woman is married a socially acceptable amount of time or was married at an older age she is expected to start having babies ASAP. There are a couple of different reasons I've been thinking about this so much lately and felt like I wanted to say something about it.

First, I mean hello... I live in Provo, Utah! Last year, reportedly 26% of BYU daytime students were married. That's 7, 783 of 29, 672 students who's marital-status was self-reported as married in which the data may include students who failed to report a change in their marital status while attending classes and that's only the BYU students. With UVU just 10 minutes away and other schools nearby plus lots of opportunities for work, Provo is a breeding ground (pun intended) for college aged kids comprised of returned missionaries and bright-eyed freshman girls (sorry to bring up that stereotype but sometimes it's true). Basically since I'm around women getting married so often and being recently married myself, I see the reactions of others when asking about that next big step.

Second, isn't age just a number? I don't typically condone this saying but here, I feel like it may be on to something. Someone's age is not always synonymous with their mental age. I've known some incredibly mature, amazing women who would make the most wonderful mothers and happen to be younger than many mothers I know.  That being said, some of the mothers I look up to most are mothers who started having children later in life.  Their experiences and view in life inspire me and make me want to be better.  However, age doesn't determine the the type of mother someone will be, and we shouldn't judge the type of mother someone is solely on their age because after all, it is just a number, isn't it?  Age won't ever determine the way in which a mother will bless the lives of her children, and it won't ever determine the way in which their own life will be blessed by their children.

Lastly, it isn't anybody's gosh-darn business when a family decides they wanna have babies. That statement may come off as extremely blunt and rude. Here's my point: it is a personal matter when a family decides to start having children.  So what on earth (unless you're like, their mom & even then there are definite boundaries) leads people to believe that they can judge someone for waiting or not waiting to have babies? Really now. The answer should be nothing! When I got married at 19, barely over a month until I turned 20, I was judged harshly by people claiming I was "too young" to take such a big step in my life. Through prayer, spiritually promptings, my love for Zachary and other personal reasons I knew that no matter my age, this time in my life was the right to marry my husband and that he was the right person. I have witnessed similar situations with friends of mine having babies shortly after being married, no matter what their age. I don't believe that anyone but the couple, through their own praying and decisions, has a right to inquire about and judge their personal life or decisions. When a family feels time is right to add babies to the mix then they should go ahead and prepare to do so without letting the world's opinions taint their idea of "when is right". Because if a family feels it is right after agreeing amongst themselves it is, they shouldn't have to feel nervous or afraid of what others will say or think!

Okay & now you're thinking, "Well, now we know why she posted about this particular topic. Someone's expecting..." False. I'm not pregnant nor will I be in the immediate future; however, if I were planning on it or (knock on wood?) if it happened I wouldn't be hiding my face ashamed because I am so young or because Zach and I have only be married about a year. I would be nervous, yeah, and probably terrified for a little while, but then I would be ecstatic and ready for something the Lord feels like my family is ready for.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's weekend getaway

The past couple of days, me and my Valentine have been taking advantage of the extra long holiday weekend and were on a little getaway. Our neighbors back home in California own a vacation home in Lava Hot Springs and have been so kind as to offer me to go stay since I came out to BYU. Until this past weekend, I had yet to take them up on their offer but, boy, am I glad I did. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what I could do for Zach this holiday weekend. We decided not to give gifts to each other so I got to thinking about a little getaway and immediately thought of the Spencer's! Of course, they were kind and graciously offered us their home to stay for the weekend. I was so excited! I wanted to keep it a surprise but couldn't keep it in and the weeks leading up to our getaway were charged with excitement!

Our weekend started Friday after Zach and I both finished classes. We headed up to Salt Lake to visit with some of our family for a while before driving the rest of the way. My cousin Sammy and her husband Mike, along with their 3 kids, live in Salt Lake and we love when we get a chance to visit them. They are always so fun to be with and love spending time with them. To make matters even better, my Uncle Frank and Aunt Joanne were visiting from Sacramento and my other cousin Charley from FIJI! Yes, you read that right. Fiji! I was so, so sad when I found out that Charley and her family would be moving so far away and we have missed them so much. But it was so great to be able to see, hug and visit with Char for a short time while she was here.
Charley, me and Zach. 
After some much cherished visiting with our wonderful family and delicious homemade pretzels (thanks, Sammy!) & Reese's milkshakes (thanks, Mike!), we were on our way! Luckily, the drive to LHS is only about 3 hours from Provo making the drive from the Blakesley's only about 2 & 1/2 hours. We drove for a while then stopped for gas and little gourmet dinner at Taco Bell, then by about 8 we made it to our destination. This house was seriously the cutest, most comfortable place I have yet to stay. We love it.
Friday night, we brought all stuff in and settled down each with our own books (Harry Potter #4 for me and "My Name Used to be Muhammed" for Zach). I fell asleep after a few chapters but Zach stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing his; because when we get ourselves into a good book, there's no telling when we'll stop. Or in Zach's case, he stops just when he finishes the book. Saturday morning to early afternoon consisted of sleeping in, a little working out on my part & a run on Zach's, eating a late (but quite yummy) potato and egg breakfast,  watching "The Help" and heading into the town. 
Z coming in from his run. Isn't it so pretty?!
From our research, we knew that we for sure wanted to eat at the gas station-turned-thai food restaurant and that we wanted to go to the hot springs. So when we got into town, we parked and took a walk down Main street. There are some pretty cool shops, yummy looking restaurants, an arcade/pizza place, and one market. It was really, pretty small but so fun to be in! 
We enjoyed our time just strolling through town and once we became hungry, we headed back up the street a little ways to the Riverwalk Restaurant for some highly anticipated Thai Food. First off, I just think it is so awesome that this place was turned from a gas station to a restaurant! We even parked where an old pump used to be. Our review? Yummy! We really loved the green curry and cashew chicken! The people were so nice and, really, what more could you ask for? Good food + nice people = 2 happy campers here.

After eating, we headed just a block down the street to the Hot Springs. We payed to get in, changed and were off to the first pool. There are several different pools, each with different levels of temperature. We, however, were not aware of this. So, we just went to the pool that was closest to us. It was a long, rectangular pool that seemed shallow. At first, I was wondering where we were supposed to stand/sit if it was so shallow. Then, I stepped in. Holy. Crap. This must've been the highest level of temperature because I immediately thought I had mistakenly stepped into a pool of molten lava and my foot was melting off. Obviously it was not quite that hot, but it sure felt like it! It was then that I realized why there were so many people siting on the outer steps with just their feet in. When Zach got out (& this is really the only thing I wish I had gotten a pic of) there was a very distinct line where the water came up to his chest because his upper half was white and the lower was bright red. Ha! We eventually picked a pool that was a very nicely heated temperature and relaxed while we chatted for a bit. After leaving the hot springs, we made a quick stop by the market to get some treats and then headed back to the house, changed into our pajamas, had another date with Emma Stone and "Easy A" and ate our ice cream. It was the most perfect Valentine's day-long date I have ever had. I can't wait for all the many more to come.
          The Hot Springs!                                                                Our treat YUM
The next day, Sunday, we slept in again (seeing a pattern?) and for breakfast had the most heavenly Rhode's Orange Rolls EVER. They were gobbled up so fast I didn't even have time to snap a picture so you'll just have to imagine the ooey-gooeyness. We were planning on going to church with our friends in Pocatello but didn't realize it was an hour away until 15 minutes before the Lava Hot Springs ward started. So we threw on our church clothes, got in the car and hurried over to the church. The Sacrament meeting was wonderful and the people of LHS are so kind and welcoming. It was a wonderful experience and testimony builder of the truthfulness of the church anywhere you go! We then went home, watched another movie ("The Dark Knight Rises" a favorite of ours) and took naps. Then Zach did a little homework while we watched another, yes another, movie/read books. After that we made a yummy dinner and sat and chatted with each other for awhile. 
Our turkey & avocado sandwich dinner. 
The rest of our day consisted of lots more reading, snuggling, chatting and then "How to Train Your Dragon" (another favorite of ours). We finished off our ice cream treats and read some more before falling asleep. This morning, we slept in (yes, again.. we sure love our sleep) and then started to pack all our stuff up. It was sad! We had had such a wonderful time away from the world (mostly, we still had service and would check Instagram/Cougarboard from time to time) and were sad that our time was up. 
Here are our parting pictures from the Spencer's vacation home which we loved so much!
Thanks Spencer fam! We sure appreciate and love you guys!
We were sad to leave and come back to the real world, but are so grateful for our time that we had together there. Although it was only a few hours, I love road trips! It is so fun to just be together with no distractions, munchin' on snacks and talking the time away. It was a quick couple of hours until we made it to SLC to have lunch with one of our favorite people, our cousin Andrew! Andrew was working here in Provo and living here when I met and starting dating Zach. He is seriously one of my favorite people and I'm grateful Zach made us cousins. We met at the Pie and ate some delicious pizza, then got some Italian ice from Rita's. Now we're home and not ready for tomorrow but grateful for our Valentine's weekend getaway!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

a hard day and a sweet husband

Yesterday, I had a rough day. I was incredibly emotional and, yes, PMSing like no other (TMI?). I struggle with my self worth and loving myself on what feels like a daily basis. That's not something I like to publicize, but I do. Although it is not to an unhealthy point, I struggle with body image and learning I am worthy to be loved. I am not quite sure where this stems from, as I have been raised in the most incredible family who taught me to love and be loved, but I guess I, like many other people, find it hard to feel like I am beautiful or good enough. But I don't want to delve too much into the negative because this post is about strength.

I work everyday at learning to love myself, learning how to let others love me and many, many other things. Yesterday was just not happenin' for me. I cried and prayed and cried some more. Zach held me as I cried when I needed to be held and he listened to me when I needed him to just sit and listen. I am grateful for Zach and our every up, as well as our every down.

When we were dating, I made him take this 5 Love Languages test online. His "love languages" are quality time and words of affirmation and my "love languages" are acts of service and receiving gifts. We show each other our love in different ways. Does this mean we can't accept love if it's not our love language? No. Does this mean his capacity to love me is larger or smaller than mine to love him? Absolutely not. It just means we are unique and we show our love differently. We are learning the others love language, through trial and error, still to this day. 

I am grateful for my husband and all our ups as well as each of our downs. If you haven't already noticed, yesterday was a down day; but Zach still managed to make me feel loved. He even went out of his way to end my day good by showing his love for me and putting a wedding band on my finger.
(In case you were wondering what it looks like)

We had decided that I would have a wedding band a while ago but have been so busy that we hadn't decided when. It is a simple, gold band and I absolutely love it. I can't stop looking at my ring and how shiny and pretty it is! This gesture meant so much to me. I am grateful that through every up and every down, at the end of the day we are both trying our hardest to make sure the other knows they are loved. I am grateful for differences and how they can make us stronger if we let them and I am especially grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who places people & blessings in our lives daily. Don't ever forget, not even in the darkest of times that our Heavenly Father loves us. Because I have and it just doesn't make any sense. Remember to pray! Because you are always heard. 
"Pray, He is there; Speak, He is listening. You are His child, His love now surrounds you."

Saturday, February 7, 2015

my missionary brother

My younger brother, Matt, is serving a 2 year mission in Argentina for our church and will have hit his 1 year-in-the-field mark this upcoming Thursday on February 12th. I have friends that will be returning home from their missions within the next few months and I truly cannot believe time has flown that fast, yet with my own brother I feel like it's been a decade! I miss him so much and wish I could just hang out with him right this very instant, but what he is doing now in his life is the very best thing he could possibly be doing. What a valiant example of love, service and missionary work he is to me! Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have one day out of their week, usually Mondays but for Matt it is Saturday, set aside especially for preparing for the week to come. Preparation day, A.K.A P-Day, is usually a busy day filled with grocery shopping, laundry, writing home and fun activities. I love Saturday's because I know I will get a letter from my favorite Elder! I thought I would share Elder Moser's letter from today here on the blog. Enjoy!

"Hola buenas tardes queridos! How is everybody doing? I hope well, for myself I am doing great; although I could do without the blistering heat of the Argentine summer! Another week has flown by and Elder Cardenas and I continue to work hard here in the office and as time permits in our area. I continue to learn my duties as the financial secretary so that when Elder Cardenas is transferred out of the office doesn't crash and burn. No pressure. We did various things such as pay rents for the pensions which includes withdrawing rather large portions of cash from the banco Frances and going to the other various banks and depositing perspective rents. We also did some work in the office safe and make a deposit of some 30,000 pesos that were kind of just lingering in the safe. I still have more to learn but we're working on it.

We had an awesome family night with Martin and his family this week with the sister missionaries. We had a wonderful lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Plan of Salvation, ate cookies and pizza and played this game after called "vacas y manchas". Long story short it's a game in which you have to say a certain phrase quickly without messing up, but if you do you get a mark on your face. We had a good time, it's been a blessing to see them progress so much and come back to church. We also had a great lesson with the Fabris family, another less active family that has returned to church. Now we are working with them to try to help Sister Fabris' parents come back to church. They live like right in front of their house so it is super convenient! We dropped in this last week and Sister Baliero just happened to be outside talking with them so we jumped on the opportunity! She was kind of cold with us at first, but softened up quickly as she got to know us and realize that we aren't so bad ha. We had a great spiritual thought and after we had a moment alone with her where she broke down and explained how she felt lost ever since her father passed away. We comforted her and explained about how the gospel solves any problem! I feel like we gained her trust and allowed her to feel the Spirit again. We'll see how she progresses!

I continue to progress in my study of the Book of Mormon, as I am now in Mosiah 7! I just finished King Benjamin's discourse, what an inspired man and incredible example for all of us! One of the highlights for me in his discourse is found in Mosiah 4:16-22 I invite you to read it and apply it! The Book of Mormon answers any question, and I know it is true. I am so grateful for it! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Moser

Brother Hurtado
"Vacas y manchas"!
The Barrionuevo family
El Libro de Mormon!
Kings of the court"