This girl is ready!

I am sooo ready and anxious for this weekend for a few reasons:

1.) I need to get out of this office, today has been quite an experience. An engineer for a company that rents out one of my bosses properties came over looking for a door nob he had dropped off in our office 2 years ago…yeah 2 YEARS ago, I’ve only worked here since May, there have been 3 secretaries since then! I tried to call my boss but he had no idea. And then the guy started getting snappy with me and came around my desk and started going through my drawers looking for it! He came back three more times asking me if I had found it yet and rambling on and I just tried to put on my best smile.

2.) I’m so excited for a relaxing weekend with the hubbs watching inspired men and women speak at conference! I need some uplifting words.

3.) I’m going to get donuts for conference tomorrow morning!

4.) We are making chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream Sunday morning with Chris, Alex and possibly some of their roommates! I love those boys and love spending time with Mark’s best friends.

The only thing that could make this weekend better is if we could move the tv into our bedroom tonight so we can watch conference in bed in the morning! But Mark doesn’t want to move the tv, what a party pooper! Maybe I’ll move it by myself while he’s at work tonight, yes it is a 64inch big screen tv 🙂 {us Barker girls are stronger than we look! My mom use to move entire rooms around like once a week, including large dressers, beds, ottomans…it’s in my blood}



So our neighbors that live above us are hands down the strangest people I have never officially met…They have lived above us for at least 2 semesters, I can’t really remember when they moved in, that apartment has always been such a mystery.
But our first impression of them was not a good one…the night they moved in they put a tv in their bedroom, which is directly over ours, and they put it right on top of the air vent. When they turned it on, at 3:00 in the morning, we woke up thinking we were in a movie theater, it was soo loud! So of course, me being the sweet, patient person that I am, grabbed the broom and banged on the ceiling and yelled “turn it down!” I think they got the point 🙂
My next encounter confussed me. I got a package in the mail but I wasn’t home so the UPS guy took it to their apartment, which was weird, why not just next door? So when I got home and saw the note on our door I ran upstairs thinking this is a great chance to meet our upstairs neighbors. When I knocked on the door the wife answered and looked startled. She had the box sitting next to the door and hurried and picked it up and handed it to me. She acted like she was frightened and didn’t speak english…then closed the door. Weird, right?! {and it’s not like this was the morning after the tv/banging on the ceiling incident, this was weeks later.}

One time his car battery wouldn’t start so he asked us to push him down the parking lot and assured us it would start. So we, Mark and I, push him in his car down the parking lot as fast as we can and we reach the road and it still didn’t start… He said thanks and got out and walked back to his apartment…

They both get home from school really late, like 10:00. We always know when they get home because they bang cupboards and things around super loud and for an hour straight. Ok, I know cooking can get hectic and loud, but not that loud! Mark thinks they have a bowling ball and practice in the hall every night.
She is now probably 6 or 7 months prego and he won’t drive her in the car anywhere. He makes her ride her bike! To church in a skirt, home from school in the dark and he is never with her. If they are together he is always 500 feet ahead. Then they put their bikes in the middle of the walkway to our door, they are too lazy to take the 2 extra seconds to put them under the stairs like everyone else. So lately I’ve been a friendly neighbor and have been moving their bikes for them…more like throwing them under the stairs and not caring how nicely they are set up. I’m hoping they get the message…It’s been a week and they haven’t yet, but I’m willing to keep trying.
Mark is super awkward around them, because I bang on the ceiling occasionally when they are being rude and inconsiderate?! Whenever they are coming or going from their apartment, Mark makes us wait in our apartment, or the car for them to leave so he doesn’t have to confront them. I think it’s funny.

They are just a super strange couple, Mark thinks he has autism or asperger’s syndrome. I think they are vampires {they are always awake! What are they going to do when the baby comes?!}

I don’t really know why I wrote this post but I think its funny {when I’m not at home and annoyed with them.}

Dear upstairs neighbors,
Please be more normal. Put your bikes away and stop slamming things {like the door, cupboards and toilet seat!}
You’re weird.
The Warrens

simple joys

Mark started a new job on campus! It’s awesome, except for the hours. He works from 4:30-8:30pm, which isn’t bad, but I just feel bad that he is literally on campus from 9am-8:30pm…long day.
And it’s been a little tricky for me to figure out what to do about dinner because I’m hungry when I get off work at 5, so lately I’ve been eating dinner and then making something for him when he gets home. Lame.
But it’s also been kind of a bummer because we don’t have much time together, we don’t get to go to the gym together every evening anymore, I have to motivate myself…
and we get from about 9:00-11:30 when we go to bed to spend time together. Lately that has included watching our new fav show “Whose line is anyway” and then playing uno, about 5 rounds because we are both so competitive!
But last night we got to have a mini date. When he called me to pick him up from work I was almost finished making enchiladas and he told me he wanted to take me to get a snow cone! So after he ate we went to get what was probably our last snow cone of the season. We both got Malibu Barbie with cream 🙂 {mine was a little short on juice and was mostly just snow, but that’s ok.} Then we ran some little errands, to pick up Mark’s last paycheck from 5 buck, which wasn’t there, and then to the bank so I could deposit my “College Deposit” that was just sent to me that you get after you graduate! Then we went home and of course watched Whose line, then played Mario Cart on the wii and then Mark had to play some uno before bed. 
It was a simple night. 
Full of simple fun. Simple laughs. simple love.
It was just what I needed.

the man that taught me all I know

I ran across this cute blog today where a dad writes tips about raising daughters 
I’m so lucky my dad knew these rules 🙂
Thanks dad

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

126. Take her on a date. Show her how she should expect to be treated when she turns 30 and can start dating men other than you. (photo: alexia brown)
126. Take her on a date. Show her how she should expect to be treated when she turns 30 and can start dating men other than you.
(photo: alexia brown)

{this was my favorite. I loved our daddy-daughter dates. I guess all the times you reminded me that I wouldn’t date until I was 30 came a little early…}

couldn’t ask for more

I was just thinking about all the adventures Mark and I have had together over the past 4/5 years. {crazy that we have known each other that long!}

But we have been to so many places and done so many things that most people never get the chance to do.
I really am a lucky and blessed girl.
I have a great life, full of adventure and happiness.
I have so much to look forward to in life.
Seeing the world with my best friend
Creating a family in the future.
I take things for granted so often. I forget about the experiences we have had.
So, thank you to my mom and dad, my grandparents, Mark, everyone who has provided the amazing memories of family vacations and started my love for travel.
What 22 year old can say they have been to Hawaii twice, Italy, cruise to Mexico, Disneyland a million times, Niagara falls, Palmyra 2 or 3 times, Orlando 2 times, Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Harry Potter land, Chicago, road trip across the country, Yellowstone a few times, hiked the Grand Tetons…and so many other places!
I really am so lucky and so blessed.

Do the thing you think you cannot do.

What a weekend!
Well first of all, I have to apologize for my nasty post about Sundays…our relief society lesson was directed right towards me, haha definitely what I needed to hear. And just fyi, I set up my visiting teaching appointments for this week 🙂

Saturday me, Mark and Chris had planned to go hike Table Rock Mountain, a hike that Mark and I had attempted a couple falls back but I was super sick and we didn’t get very far, plus we started the hike at like 1 in the afternoon. So try 2! We planned on waking up early and being out the door by 7…we both slept in until 8 but got ready fast, we aren’t avid hikers so we didn’t really know what to wear, we don’t have hiking boots or the typical khaki shorts, thick socks and walking sticks….and were on the road by 8:30. It took a little longer than usual to get there because we kept getting stuck behind tractors. So we get to the trail head at 10:20 and took of down the trail. {we didn’t really know if it was the right trail, we just assumed}
We were really excited and energetic. I had decided that I wasn’t going to complain at all, this was going to be a fun day!
About 20 minutes later we realize there is no way this is the right way, it’s completely flat! So we turn around and run into a couple people and ask them if this is the right trail. One guy said yes so we turned back around until we decided that he was wrong. We asked another lady and she said we were definitely on the wrong trail. At this point I had lost my steam. We finally made it to the right trail and saw a sign that said it was 14 mile hike! and it went from 5,000 feet in elevation to 11,000! It was a little more than I was prepared for, to say the least. About two hours later we made it to the spot where we decided to eat lunch. After a little lunch break we continued on. {the spot where we ate lunch was where we turned around last time!} I noticed that I started getting blisters on my heals at this point but we didn’t bring any band aids so I tried to ignore them and stay determined to not complain. We reached the bowl which was beautiful! We had to go up the side of the bowl on lots of switch backs. We saw a moose here! He came out of no where, but luckily we were up one switchback higher, but a couple hiking with their dogs got freaked out by it. The moose tried to attack the dogs but they got away and no one was injured. We found a couple on the switchbacks that had band aids and gave me some. This helped a lot!
We made it to the ridge and you could see the whole valley, all the farms in Idaho. It was pretty cool. We were super high up…The last push was the worst. We had to get to the top of the dome looking mountain. It was barren and completely rocky up there. We climbed a lot of elevation the last little bit and I got light headed. The last 15minutes were the hardest. {the pictures don’t do it justice}
But as we climbed up the last part we turned around the corner and out of no where come the Grand Tetons, it took our breath away. We were so close to them! They were literally right in front of our face. Mark was so excited that we actually made it this time. I don’t even know how to explain the feeling and the view. I’m really glad I had Mark and Chris there to encourage me to make it to the top. It was a sight I will never forget.

We sat there for a while taking in the mountains surrounding us, the cliffs, the valleys, the lakes, the peaks, God’s creation. After taking a lot of pictures and resting, we realized it was 4:30 and we needed to get going before the sun set. We were talking to some hardcore hikers and asking them about the other way down, the face of the mountain. They said it was really steep but that we could do it. So we started down.
That was honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not that it was a really difficult trail or that we had to scale the mountain and repel, but we were exhausted. My legs started hurting and shaking. We ran a little ways down because it felt better on our knees but then the trail started giving way and was super rocky. I fell a few times, it made my heart skip. When we got to the really steep part my legs could barely hold me up. My outer knees and hips were in so much pain that every time i would take a big step over a boulder a whimper would escape my mouth, and I couldn’t help it. The second time I fell on the steep part, tears started running down my cheeks. I think it was just exhaustion, but I was embarrassed and tried to hide it. We still had so much elevation to come down. The sun started setting and I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to hike the rest of the way. Mark and Chris were so kind and patient. They kept saying, its ok, you’re not a whimp, we are exhausted too. {I could see Chris’s legs shaking like mine, but those two boys are amazing,you would have never known they were in pain, they were holding my hands and letting me use their shoulders to hold onto on the really steep parts, I love those two.} But finally around  7:30 we made it to the base of the mountain. We all were so excited to get in the car! Mark started the car and said, I’m not sure if I can drive!
It really was the most amazing experience. It really tested us and our bodies. We were not expecting how challenging it was. But it was so worth it. Mark was so estatic when we reached the top, I love seeing him happy like that, I would do anything for him to be that happy.
I thought I was sore yesterday, but day 2 is much worse 🙂

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi

Lunch break
The Grand Teton’s coming over the ridge
Sound of Music?!
we made it!
taking in the view
The pictures don’t show the true majesty in these mountains
my butt
isn’t that soo high?!
Mark’s Dirt line!
Of course I got blisters
at the top!

living worthy of the girl you will someday marry

My boss was talking about the daunting task that belongs to husbands. I wouldn’t want the responsibility of my spouse’s future and my future children’s future resting on my shoulders. But what a good reason to learn and do well in school and the world.

I found this talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley entitled “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry” and I will be reading it to all my boys one day. It is such an amazing talk, given by the most amazing man.
President Hinckley says in the talk, “The girl you marry will take a terrible chance on you. She will give her all to the young man she marries. He will largely determine the remainder of her life. She will even surrender her name to his name.”