The End of 2012

Hi folks. Happy New Year.
I had a blast at the Kristin Chenoweth concert. Reuben was still with the plague, so my friend Megan came from the south to go with me. I was glad she came because she is great company. We were lucky to not miss any of the concert even though dinner at Dairy Keen in Heber City made us six minutes late!

You can't really see her, but Kristin looks like an angel, no? A little 4'11" angel! She is truly ear candy, her voice is a treat. What an amazingly talented singer she is and she is also hilarious and down to earth. We totally would be friends if we knew each other! She was fun to hang with on New Year's.
I read this tonight:

It's the letter I wrote myself a year ago today.
It made me cry and be inspired.
Here are my favorite bits:
"Maybe if you didn't fall in love(lucky for me I did!), at least you have loved big in other ways. Have you told those close to you that you love them? Have you been kind to people even when it is hard? Have you made time for people and known when they needed you? Maybe if you haven't now's the time to refocus!"
"It's funny to write to you. I think it would be more cool if I'd get a letter from you telling me what I need to know for this year. If only we had that kind of preparing."
"Did you ever go out with Reuben?"
"I hope our journey in 2012 was cool. That we learned more about us and that we smiled more than cried. Here's to another great year!"
Yep. Here's to the best one yet. Cheers! Happy New Year!

I'm going to document my journey better this year in this inspirational journal.
P.S. you should write a letter to your future self. It's fun to see what happens compared to what you thought might happen! Thanks to Jill and Kate for the idea.


Inspirations are nice.

Have you thought about New Years Resolutions yet? Me either. Just kidding. I was actually quite motivated by church today as we learned about an attitude of gratitude and lessening pride and selfishness in our lives.

I am going to do lots of gratitude listing this coming year.

I am also going to sleep more. Just kidding. I will probably just want to sleep more.

I'm excited to read the letter I wrote to myself last New Year's Eve. Maybe I will share a bit of it with you tomorrow. I will also be writing another letter to future Alice. You should too, but to your future self because it would be awkward to get so many personal letters about you all envisioning your futures. It's a cool idea. I will explain more tomorrow.

Until then. Live long and prosper peeps.


8 Hours of Painting Later...

And I'm exhausted and sore.
It was worth it though.

This is how we keep bebecito safe from the fumes.

This is now a Spanish Olive green wall. It's one of my favorites.
This kid is off to dreamland.


Sick Day.

I watched a huge amount of The Big Bang Theory today. I have no shame. When there is the plague in one's house, you watch a huge amount of tv. It might as well be Big Bang, right?
Reuben really is the sick one. I am still working on being the good wife who has sympathy and tries to meet his every sick need. Usually, I just end up staying far away from him and hoping I do not get the plague. I did better today by buying him lots of homeopathic medicine and food at the grocery store, even though I am tired all. the. time, and just wanted to stay in bed because it was cold, snowy and tired here! I am a big believer in natural healing. I am hoping to sell Reub on it one of these days. It seems that the things my Guru, Jane, suggested have helped him a bit. Well, at least the moaning has been minimized.
Well, off to sleep. Gotta ward off the plague.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Leaving is always hard.

Before Reuben and I left for Utah, we were able to have a wonderful lunch with my mom, dad and nephew, Elijah.

Don't we look festive and fun? The Pub Cafe, in Rhinelander is a way cool restaurant. It is over a hundred years old and always is decked out in fun festive decor. It's one of my favorite places in Rhinelander even though we don't frequent it nearly enough!

I know many of you already know our news but I thought it is about time we make it official on here. We will be welcoming Baby Ficklin sometime in August next year. Immediate family now all knows so I decided all peeps could know. We are excited and I am nauseated 24/7. Well, bebecito gives me a break when I am sleeping and either eating or real full from eating. Let's hope I don't gain 70 lbs before all is said and done!

Here is how we announced to the family our news: (it makes me chuckle!)

See, my father in law said this at our reception in Wisconsin last summer: "I have a lot of cheesehead grandkids here in Wisconsin and before you know it, these two will have a cheesehead coming down the chute." What a character Perry is and I'm hoping the cheesehead comes on after baby comes down the chute!




To celebrate my mom coming home from the hospital, we ate steak and mashed potatoes. And then we opened our stocking presents.

I make Elijah wear his reindeer ears. That's right, that's how we roll around here! And I am so glad my 17 year old nephew still humors me!

I am living in denial that we travel back to Utah today. I wish I had another week here! Sigh.


Merry Christmas

Christmas was a good time.

Christmas Eve and morning was spent with Reuben's sisters, Natalie and Sarah. We had a great time playing pass the parcel and eating much too much at Natalie's on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we watched the kiddos open presents and just hung out. My kind of party.

We then ventured to Green Bay and visited my aunt Linda's house. Again we just hung and ate much too much. Playing Catch Phrase was a fun activity thanks to Cindy. Here is the Birthday cake for Jesus which is tradition for my Cousin, Shannon's family. It's one of my favorite things. I am sure not too many people sing happy birthday to Jesus!



....I am too tired to blog for four days. I apologize #31daysofblogging

Christmas vacation is fun! Here are some pics. It's all you get, because I am too tired and have eaten too much!

Reuben with a friend's babe

Seester with same babe.

Puzzle making.

Jambalaya king!

The best cookie of all time with Creepy hat eyes.

Merry Christmas Eve to ya!


Good Day

Last day of work before my two week vacation. It was a fun day filled with letter writing to service men and women followed by managing a basketball tournament and then a talent show(and 20 kids took home free Christmas trees. Awesome!). It will be nice to have a break from those nuckle heads.

This afternoon was filled with cuddles from the wee nephews and chatting with my adorable niece. These kids fill my soul with joy. Their laughter and play reminds me to focus on good and enjoy life.

I will miss my little ing-family when they head east. I think Skype will become as new staple.

Well, all packed and ready to fly in the a.m. Good times to follow!



Peace, where is it?

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the season of Christmas, and how it is supposed to be filled with peace and joy. Have you noticed how lately, there has been a lot that has been going on to take away from "Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men?"

Well, I have a few suggestions on how to deal with this.

1. Serve others. I know my heart is always full when I reach out to others.
2. Drown you ears in Christmas music. I always smile when I hear the classics.
3. Focus on the positive. Maybe even turn the news off.
4. Think about your blessings and how good life truly is.
5. Eat treats. I know it always makes me feel better.
6. Remember the reason for the season. Christ is the hope we need in this cold, lonely world. Embrace him during this time of year, you won't be sorry, I promise.
7. Tell people you love them, or that you appreciate what they do for you.

There are lots of things that can warm the heart and bring peace into our lives. These are just a few things.

Finished blue bathrooms can help too!


Christmas with the Ficklins.

Good times. White Elephant and all. Warmed by new presents and family bonds. What a wonderful way to start the holiday festivities.


Saturday is a special day...

It's the day we painted bathrooms!


Doing Good Makes One Feel Good.

My Student Leadership Class sponsored a family for Sub for Santa this year. We had a lot of fun shopping for the two kids we were assigned.

We also got to deliver the goods to the mom today. She was so dang cute, humble and grateful. She is a single mom, who speaks limited English, and has only been able to find part-time work after recently moving to this area! She thanked us many times and then started to cry. I gave her a big hug and used my limited Spanish skills to tell her it was our pleasure and no problem! What a sweet lady. It made me feel so good to help her out and I know this impacted my 10 Student Leaders in a big way.

Moments like this is why I get up and go I my job everyday! I have an amazing job and I love working side by side with the future. Cool stuff. Any cool things you all have done to liven the Christmas Spirit? Add a comment to share! I'd love to hear some good stories because this time of year helps our hearts grow many sizes, just like The Grinch!


It's tired in here.

This is all you get.

Woke up 6:40

Fell asleep 10:43

Windows and doors masking taped 5

Tape rolls bought 13



Renovations=cranky tiredness.

I am already so over renovating our new house. Done.

Okay. Here is a list of numbers for the day:

5 cans of paint purchased.

0 cans actually opened.

1 dog bed purchased

3 kids I wanted to punch at work

70 kids who were well behaved

1 tweet on Twitter

2 Facebook posts

1 blog post

4 phone calls made or received

2 emails sent

7 blog posts read

3 windows covered and then torn out

1 walk about in frustration at renovation

1 slammed door

The end. Must sleep. Exhausted!!!



Reuben and I are officially homeowners. We signed on our condo today and then did what anybody who just purchased a condo that needs a lot of work would have done, we tore down baseboards, took off doors and patched the walls. I am exhausted! I didn't quite know how much work this was going to be! Sigh. Oh and how long it was going to take either. Oh well. Good things can't be rushed, right?

Here are some pics of the destruction. I am off to bed. Cheers!

Guess who Didn't post the past few days?

This kid.

Yesterday, we ran around the city getting supplies for the new place. I was way tired when we got home and went straight to bed. There has been a lot of tired going on around here lately. Must be the weather and preparing to move and renovate!

Reuben was the flat tire hero last night and helped his parents in the cold and snow. What a great man he is!

Here is a bonus list of random because I missed a day:
1. It's 6:37 a.m. right now. This is one minute past the time my alarm is set to go off every morning.
2. Usually, I get up about two minutes before the alarm rings. Today it was five.
3. The alarm is actually Kelly Clarkson's "All I Ever Wanted". It is much less harsh than a real alarm. She helps me be happy.
4. I am not a morning person. I think I have mentioned that before. Ask Reuben or my parents. It has been who I am since my teen years!
5. If I were a day of the week, I would be Saturday.
6. If I were a food, I'd be a cheeseburger.
7. If I were a car, I'd be a VW Bus.
8. If I were a snack, I'd be chocolate.
9. If I were a drink, I'd be Diet Coke.
10. If I were a shoe, I'd be a Converse All-Star.

Well, the next time you hear from this blogger, she will be a homeowner. Signing day is exciting.



How to have a happy marriage...

Hi all. Happy day 8 of 31 Days of Blogging. Today's subject comes from friend Robin who asks: "What happy marriage secrets are you practicing to make your marriage as long and happy as possible?"

I have only been married about six months so I really feel like a rookie at this but we have survived half of what many people have told me is the hardest part of marriage: year one.

Here is what I do. Reuben probably could tell you many more things because I actually think he is better at marriage than I am. I am often cranky and crazy and he still just loves me anyway!

Here are five tips from the marriage rookie:

First, virtual duct tape on my mouth in the morning. I am not a morning lover and it takes me about thirty minutes to get going and not be mean. So, I say good morning and then am quiet for a while.

Second, I try not to compare Reuben to my Dad. Sometimes I think he will react or act like my dad would in a situation and this is just not true. I guess my biggest male influence was my dad.

Third, we pray together daily and try to eat dinner together as often as possible. It makes a difference to have a spiritual connection and have time together.

Forth, one day a week is reserved for "Me Time, Free Time". Having 35 years of independent living makes me sometimes feel a bit claustrophobic in marriage. Don't get me wrong, I love being married, but I think everybody needs occasional alone time!

Five, forget easily and don't rush to get offended. I am very lucky and have a horrible memory. This makes me forget things that make me mad very quickly. I am also learning that men communicate very differently than us women and often the way I interpret something Reuben says is not even close to what he was actually saying. I often just have to let things go. Having the attitude that we are in this for the long haul helps me to not put him in the wrong. We are a team and good teams don't give up, they keep going to practice and playing. They may have different game plans but they are always striving to become better and work as a team!

Marriage isn't easy, but I have learned so much about communication and myself through the challenges that it has definitely been worth it and it has been the best decision I have made!



Ah. The weekend

We had fun at a birthday party tonight.
Ezra turned two this week.
Happy weekend to all!

He was pretty serious about the cake!

Miri was ready to party!

Henry ate a very long fry.

Oliver wore fries as accessories.

Babies with backpacks rock!

Reno is ready for Christmas!


Traditions Thursday

Happy Saint Nick's Day. If you are a cool kid, then you put out your shoes last night and St. Nick left some goodies in them for you this morning. Reuben and I were visited by St Nick last night.

This is kind of similar to the Ficklin tradition of Twinkle. Twinkle comes every day in December and brings gifts to the kiddos before Christmas. It is like a twelve days of Christmas extreme!

These are traditions from both of our families that we are going to keep.

Not sure if we will make up any new ones. We may have to have a gratitude white board and a few other new things. We will see where time takes us on our own family traditions. We are so new at this family thing!

Sleep is my tradition that I am going to partake of now. Keep the questions/ prompts coming.


Sunrise this morning over the school!

Guess what faculty meeting snacks/lunch will be tomorrow? :)


And They Saw The Lights

Reuben and I drove to Salt Lake City to partake of the amazing Christmas lights that decorate Temple Square every year.

It was fun to get out of Dodge and explore the new mall up there, eat at Cheesecake Factory and shop at Trader Joes.

Good times!