Friday, April 29, 2011

How does your garden grow

In March, I started a 30 day blog challenge. After that 30 day challenge, I took a little break from blogging, partly because really, truly and honestly I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to blog about. Let me take that back, that I COULD blog about.
Since then, many new and exciting things have been happening, some happy, some frustrating, some sad, all around me. I am grateful for my friends and the time we get to spend chatting. But mostly I am excited for the new things happening in their lives, and I am thankful that I have friends who are true and honest and real, and feel like they can share the intimate details of certain parts of their lives with me.

I have to admit, there seems to be a lot of women around me who are diligently growing babies. Don't get me wrong, it makes me smile inside. I am so excited for them and the little ones to come. But every once in a while, I get that "feeling". You know, the I-Waaaaaant-one feeling. And then reality smacks me in the face. As cute and lovable a little baby Burks would be, we just know right now is not our time. Like, we aren't even close to being ready to try, time.

So instead, we are working on other things together. In one of the blog challenges I posted last month I discussed a goal to plant a garden. Well, that's what Chas and I have decided to spend our time on together this spring (or still winter, or whatever you want to call it). He did most of the hard work by digging and tilling, and tilling again (there was a LOT of grass to get out of this thing) It is also a little bit bigger of a garden than we were thinking it was. Not huge, just bigger then a 10x10. But we have managed to get it to the point where we are ready to plant! We just need some nice weather to accommodate our desire to get down and dirty in the planting mode. We even started a nice little jiffy of tomato plants which, I think, are growing quite nicely.

Here's to our first time planting a garden...together, and ever!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In my spare time

I was thinking the other day, and I realized that it has been over 5 years since I have had cable. Before Chas I got married, I had never owned my own TV and even house watched for about 6 months for people who didn't even own one.

When it comes to TV, I made a decision a while ago that so much of what is on TV is either a. degrading, b. pure crap, or c. noneducational and a waste of brain power to watch. Case and point, Jersey Shore. I know, people have their shows, and I am totally ok with that. I am not talking about things like the news or PBS or things that actually teach people something. I know there are a lot of good things people can watch that are on TV, but I think Chas and I have just kind of made a conscious choice to save money and not be tempted to just sit in front of the TV all night and not say anything to each other during the time that we are together.

There was also a period of time where I just felt I was too busy (mostly during grad. school), so I knew that having cable would just be a waste of money to pay for every month. So, we have just kind of done without it, and really we feel that we are fine and just as normal as any other American who has cable and watches their daily dose of shows.

However, I recently have found 2 shows that I really like and have resolved to watching on once a week. I get my fill of the Biggest Loser on Tuesdays when I am at the gym, and that I like because it shows people being willing to change their lives and get healthy and lose weight. I like that they are learning how to live healthy lifestyles FOR life and not just get a quick fix. I know some people don't like the show because they think it's unrealistic, which I agree with to a point. I think this season one thing I have noticed is that the trainers have really addressed and tried to do a better job of helping the contestants prepare for going home, living in real life again, and not being able to work out for 6 hours a day like they have been on the ranch. It's a great motivator for anyone who has been wanting to lose weight and learn how to live a more healthy lifestyle, and I personally get great workout and eating tips.

The first show that I have been watching on Hulu is Who do You Think You Are?. I recently got interested in finding out more about my family lineage and where we actually came from. I did a 2 week free trial on and then printed off the family tree with the names I had found so far before cancelling the trial (otherwise I would have paid $300 for a yearly subscription, no thanks). Then I saw a preview for this show on NBC, so I decided to watch it. It is just so interesting to see people be able to actually go to the places where their ancestors have come from, how they got to where they were going, and get a glimpse into their life and how they lived. I find it educational because they are able to visit all the history and genealogy museums to find clues that eventually lead them to where their ancestors lived. There is a sense of mystery to it that I really enjoy, it definitely keeps you on the edge waiting to see what they will find out next.

The second one is called Secret Millionaire. A lot of people say that this is similar to another show that I have never seen before where CEO's of huge companies secretly work as a layman worker somewhere in their company. That I think it different about Secret Millionaire is that people are finding those in low income and super poor communities who are making a difference and give them a generous portion of their wealth. They have to kind of hide their identity until the last day and pick a couple of places to give their money to. It is so amazing to see how giving these millionaires are willing to be, and it is heart wrenching to see the reaction of the people receiving the money. For me, this show hits a part of me that I know God desires for all of us to be more like, giving. More loving, more gracious, kind and just willing to pour out love to those who are in need without judging them and just showing them what it is like to just love, as Jesus showed love for us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

At the end of the road

Blog challenge day 30: Who are you?

It is April 7th, and there is nothing I would rather be doing right now than staying in my house, bundled up, watching a really good movie. Why? Why would I say that instead of being outside enjoying the sunshine? Oh yeah, probably because it is SNOWING outside. It's Utah, get used to it, I know. But I'm just saying, if it weren't for this snow storm, I would not be on this computer at this moment typing out my last post.

Anyway, onto the answer for my last blog post challenge.

Who am I?

I want to say that first and foremost, I am a daughter. A daughter to the only and most awesome God who cares for me and loves me just as He has made me. I dare to say that I would compare myself to somewhat of an Esther. I take a chance on things, and a lot of times I say what I feel in my heart needs to be said, even it it means creating a few ripples here and there. People know I am honest, but I would also truly hope that people also know I care so much in every way about them. Even in the midst of my "slow to warm up" self, a lot of what can sometimes reserve me is mere observation of those around me and how to best respond to them in their own element.

I am a woman who is prone to finding comfort in the rituals of organization in daily life. And at the same time, I often find myself looking for a reason to step out of that comfort zone and take a chance on something, not having any idea how it will turn out.

Simply put, I am my mother's daughter. And a little bit of my father's at time too.

I am a curious person. I think my parents got sick hearing me as why so much when I was growing up, and finally just starting saying "because I said so" as a way to finalize that I couldn't ask anymore.

I am a relational person, emotionally and physically.

I am a person who may be bound by some limitations, such as having celiac and not being able to eat certain things that I want to, or be able to run a mile as fast as I wish I could because I simply don't have a "runner' s body", but i know those things don't define me. They are just parts of what make me individually who I am, for no bad or negative or demeaning reason.

I am a helper. I find great joy in being there for others, helping them, and doing things for them. Specifically as a wife. I have always felt this desire to be helpmate to a husband, and I am so blessed that I finally get to be that.

I am someone who doesn't take no for an answer a lot of the time. I can admit it, I am stubborn. My mom told me once I could totally blame it on her and my dad, because they are both stubborn too.

I am someone who has a musical heart. I can remember a day in 2nd grade where my teacher had to ask me to stop singing to myself during reading time because it made it hard for the other students to be able to focus on their books. I don't always like the way I sound when I sing, but I would rather sing glory to God with a cracked-shrilled voice than never sing at all.

Lastly, I am someone who is committed. It may take me a while to get something done, but if I commit to it, it's going to get done. If a friend needs me to be there, if Chas needs me to do something for him, I will be there. Even if in my mind it isn't something I would necessarily want to do, because it something they need, I know my time will be worth it.

Maybe since I committed to this 30 day challenge, I will now commit to taking a couple of days off from the blogging world....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Working out my brain

Blog challenge day 29: In the past month what have you learned

One more day left of the 30 day blog challenge, and I am thinking that after this, I may spend the time that I have been blogging and take a couple of walks. Granted, the weather has to be nice enough, but there's always the treadmill too. I may even take a book I have been reading and catch up on some eye-brain stimulation.

What have I learned in the past month......
I have come to a place in my life where I can see myself hitting a plateau of sorts. I know there is something new coming for me, soon, I just am not totally sure what that might be. But, I have started seeking out what that might be, and I am just glad, thankful and blessed that I have a supporting, loving husband who encourages me to do the things that I am passionate about and want to make a difference doing.

Doing a blog a day was a bit more challenging than I had hoped it would be. I knew it would be a challenge, but I guess I figured that if I have friends with way more busy lives than me and blog every day, then hey, I could blog every day. But, as you could tell by my many, many late posts, it just wasn't on my mind every night after getting home from work, eating dinner, getting a workout in, looking up songs for worship, spending time with my hubby and finally falling asleep. I am just happy and glad that I am finishing it. Checking this one off the books (tomorrow, heh)

Signing onto the blog more meant I was looking around at my other friend's blog more too. Which means I had more of a chance to comment on the cool, interesting, and tasty things they have been writing about. I learned that I don't always have to get a comment, but it's nice if I give at least one comment a day.

My bad habit is still just that, a bad habit. You think I would have maybe changed it after openly posting about my tendency to leave clothes on the bathroom floor. But I didn't.

Posting about some of the things I was challenged to post about gave me some good insight to continue thinking about a few things, my goals, dreams, who I would want to trade a day with, etc.

That's all I can think of for now, time to watch some Hulu :) Hey that's what you do when you don't have cable. I think of that as a good thing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Blog challenge day 28: A picture of you last year and now, how you have changed since then

May of last year

February of this year

The most exciting change of all since last year is that this time last year I wasn't married yet, and now I am! That's a big life change too, I would say.

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but my hair is a little lighter and a little longer. Just a couple more inches before I will be able to donate it again. Come on hair!

Last year, I wasn't doing much in terms of music, I was singing for the morning and night service every other week at Washington Heights, but nothing as far as singing out or doing much more than back up vocals for the worship team. Now, I am backup vocals for Cheatwood (Chas' band) with Kelli, and we are even doing a little trio group with just the three of us. Chas talked me into helping him write another song (he only twisted my arm a little bit), so that should be coming out with the CD that we are making this summer.

I also started leading worship more for the "sister" church that we merged with in Bountiful, then called Grace Baptist, now called Bountiful Heights. I lead a team every other week, sometimes more if needed, and that has been a great challenge for me.

Last year, I was soooo close to being done with my Masters from Utah State, and now, I can officially say I am a Masters graduate as of August. Woo!

I am sure there are a lot of other things, smaller things, that have changed, but I will just leave it at that for now, since those are all great and exciting things!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What I got myself into

Blog challenge day 27: Why you are doing this blog (post) challenge

As you can see, I ended up getting behind on the days of the blog challenge. I should have committed myself to not posting on the weekends, they are just too busy for thoughtful posts right now!

But, I am committed to finishing, even if I end up doing 30 posts in 35 days, ha.

And that's actually part of why I decided to do this blog challenge. I wanted to see how many days in a row I could actually remember and be able to blog. I did get behind, those who actually read the posts already knew that. But, it was nice to have something to write about, because really there are times in my awesomely entertaining life (joke) where something is worth reading about. Not that everything that the blog challenge had you post about WAS worth reading, but, you get the idea.

It's just nice to blog, explain things you wouldn't normally explain in a normal conversation, or maybe some of you would and just are a lot more expressive and creative than me. Either way, I have no regrets taking on the 30 day blog challenge. It actually helped me to realize that I do want to blog more, but just have to think a little bit about what I could blog about. I think that is the part that gets me sometimes, that keeps me from posting. Things that may seem important to me, may just be petty or of no importance at all to those who read. I want to be honest, but I never intend to offend. I like writing about my experiments in the kitchen with gluten free foods, but often wonder if others care about that kind of stuff....because let's face it, if you aren't gluten free, you probably won't be trying gluten free...unless you believe in the new fad diet like famous people of eating gluten free just for the sake of eating it, to be cool or more "healthy" or whatever it is they want to think they are doing. Anyway, I also like posting about my adventures, challenges and joys of being a part time worship leader, but again, it's one of those things where either you relate to it, or you don't, and I just wonder if it has any meaning if I write about it.

I like to post about music and the gigs that Chas and I are doing with the band, but I don't want to become one of "those guys" who all they ever do is talk about music, playing, singing, gigging, blah blah blah. Music is and has been a part of my life and I am sure it will be for a long time, but I never want it to BECOME my life. If you get what I mean.

Lastly, I do want to be feel like I can post more spiritual type things, and I know that has some meaning, it's just WHAT to post about, again, that I get stuck on sometimes. I started doing a study a while ago (like 8 months ago, it's one of those ones) that talks about your imprints growing up and how having a healthy spiritual walk with God can help you understand why you react to the things you do, cry or don't cry, love or are cold, etc. I would love to be able to express some of the things I have run across with this study, but again, just one of those things that is hard to do sometimes. I guess I will just have to muster up some blogging strength and focus on what it is that is most important when blabbing to the blogging world about the things that are going around in this teeny little grain of sand head of mine.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thank you for being a friend

Blog challenge day 26: What you think about your friends

My friends are talented, each unique in their own way, and have differing styles of fashion. My friends are loyal, loving, forgiving, and people I can turn to when things are getting a little difficult. They have great taste in music, and aren't afraid to dance even when people are looking. My friends are accountability partners, sisters, and people who allow me to get it all out and will tell it to me straight when I need to hear it. My friends are irreplaceable, and I am so blessed to have each and every one of them in my life for the reason that God has placed them there.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Whachu got in that bag

Blog challenge day 25 (which was yesterday, I know): What I would find in your bag

I try not to be a pack rat. I really do. I think my purse my be one of the few places that things end up in for months and months. Especially ever since I bought a Miche bag. the inner bag stays the same, and you can change out the shells that go around the bag, so essentially everything in the bag stays there because you never have to clean it out to switch from one purse to a different one. So all that to say, my purse is probably the most messy it has ever been in my life.

On any given day, you may find these items in my purse:

Pens, probably a couple of them

Migraine medication, two kinds

My Coach brown wallet that my wonderful husband got for me as a birthday gift, filled with lots of hair appointment cards and old receipts

Foundation, not for my face, but for my lips. Yes, I am weird.

Bigelow green mint lip gloss, gotta have the lips gloss

Business cards, not for me, but for all the places I went around to the past couple of months getting donations for door prizes for the Northern Utah Marriage Conference

Old notes to myself of things I needed to get done, including grocery lists

The good ol' birth control, we're not taking any chances here

A Dave Ramsey starter CD for the Total Money Makeover


An empty Orbitz gum holder

A checkbook

Old sermon notes

Two mini bottles of Sweet Pea and Warm Vanilla Sugar hand sanitizer, both of which my husband end up using more than I do

My phone, I typically keep it in the side pocket even if I am at home, so I remember where it is

And lastly, a business card holder with my own DWS Youth Counselor cards

Sounds like a big purse with all that stuff in there!