a little bit of winter warmth

Friday, January 31, 2014

I live in Rexburg, Idaho. For those of you who don't know anything about Rexburg, you are not alone...considering how puny it is. Let me give you the overview. Rexburg is in southern Idaho, it is surrounded by mountains, but is rather bare (meaning not too many of my precious pine trees). There aren't any real lakes nearby, and it is built right next to a volcano...which kind of creeps me out when I think about it.

It is a tiny tiny town, you can basically walk anywhere that you need to go. Wal Mart is the place to be here...because that is as good as it gets. There are a couple of movie theaters, and they do not play rated R movies. On Sundays EVERYTHING is closed, and most places aren't even open until 11 on regular nights. Rexburg is the home to BYU-Idaho, formerly known as Ricks College, and when school is not in session it is practically a ghost town.When you have lived here as long as I have OR are married to someone who has lived here almost his whole life, then you can never make a quick trip to the store because you will always run into someone you know...and most people here like to talk...for a long time. 

But what most people who know Rexburg think of, when they think of Rexburg, is how frigid cold it is. As gross as this sounds, if you walk outside in the winter and breathe, you will experience the sensation of having frozen nose hairs. The snow here is known to stay on the ground until May, because once it is here it stays. It is also very windy in good old Rexburg. I have literally seen people get blown over by unexpected gusts. Oh yeah, and did you know that air can freeze? Well, it can. It is very beautiful when the air sparkles...until the wind blows it right at you and then it stings like crazy. 

So why on EARTH is this post title talking about winter warmth of all things?

I am not talking about warming up a rice-pack to snuggle, putting on fuzzy socks, and drinking hot chocolate while hiding under an electirc blanket (my go to warmth ritual.) I am talking about a different kind of warmth. The kind that makes you feel all tingly, the kind that always makes you smile, the kind that can only make you feel good. Because that warmth is the kind that sticks in your heart and begs to be shared with others. You would be surprised at how big the hearts of the people are in this little town.

Kirby and I sometimes find ourselves braving the cold and walking to campus. Today on my walk back home, as I stepped over the mountain of snow (and I mean mountain) between the side walk and the road I couldn't stop thinking about how much it would have sucked if I had had to trudge through snow that was up past my calves all the way home, I couldn't have been more grateful to have a clear sidewalk to follow the rest of the way. And that got me thinking about the man who lives just a couple of houses down from us. I don't even know his name, but I have seen him countless times always in the same state. Bundled up from head to toe, pushing his little snow blower up and down the sidewalks, and the many other men that take on the same duty. I doubt this man ever finds himself walking the sidewalks. But that's the point. He doesn't do it for himself, he does it for the countless students and residents he sees barreling their way through the snow without a second thought.

Then I thought about another man, with the same selfless outlook. A couple of weeks ago Kirby and I were outside forever trying to get rid of the snow that had accumulated on the driveway, when a rumbling from down the street made us stop. We watched as a man on a riding snow blower made his way in and out of our neighbors' driveways, completely clearing the snow away while they were out. As he came to our house, he simply smiled and gave a little wave for us to step onto the yard. He then continued to clear our driveway, and left with nothing but a little nod, and turned to the next house.

Then, just a few nights ago, I had hurriedly jammed a $20 bill into my pocket as I ran out the door to run an errand. Arriving at my destination I went about my business, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a lady holding my $20 bill in her hand. She had seen it fall out of my pocket and had followed me inside to make sure I got it back.

The people here make Rexburg a gem in my eyes. You can walk the streets, or the aisles of a store and be greeted with gracious smiles and hellos. On a cold, wet day you can bet you will have a stranger offer to drive you the rest of the way (totally creepy, but with good intentions). If your car breaks down you are guaranteed to have multiple people stop to help. If you need food, and are too sick to make dinner, somehow someone will always know and show up at your doorstep with a fully prepared meal. If you need an egg to finish your cookies, you can put on your hat and boots and run down the street, knock on any door, and find someone more than willing to give one up. 

I mean, don't get me wrong, obviously we have your normal grumps...but they are the minority here.

And while I can sometimes join in with those who like to complain about this little town, I feel truly blessed to live in this special place, and even more blessed to have married into a family that totally embodies that spirit of selflessness.

So yes, my rice-pack, fuzzy socks, hot cocoa, and electric blanket do wonders to keep me warm. But it is the attitude of service and charity that thrives here that truly makes the winter a little less dreary.

Thank you Rexburgians for your kind examples!

hair talk

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My hair has been through a long journey over the past few years. After going through a few illnesses, years of blow drying, hot tools, product, and shampoo everyday my hair had started to fight back. It literally did not grow for YEARS and I could not figure out why! So this year I decided to start treating it a little bit better...and I am impressed with the results daily! For those of you with the same issues (a desire for long healthy hair, but in a rut), this is for you! 

This summer I joined the "no-poo" revolution (in my own way) and stopped shampooing my hair as often. Over the summer I could go a whole week in between washes, but once school started I reverted to 2 washes a week on most weeks. This seriously made all the difference...and it makes sense! If you wash out all of the natural oils everyday you will start to pay. I would still shower, and use conditioner, I simply cut out the shampooing process as often as possible.

I also decided to tag along with all the coconut oil lovers...and I am now a true believer! About once a week, or once every other week I scoop some coconut oil into a small container, microwave it until it is liquid, and then rub it into my scalp and bring it down through the ends of my hair. I leave it in for about an hour (or over night if my hair really needs it) then wash it out! Coconut oil seriously is a miracle worker.

Over the past couple of years I have been addicted to this product called "Extreme Anti-Snap" from Redken. It seriously does everything you could ever need to grow long and healthy hair. It protects from heat and UV rays, and it strengthens and mends dead and split ends.

I have also gone more "natural" in my hair styling approach. Since September 2012 I have blow-dried my hair only 3 times! I also didn't touch my hair with a curling iron or straightener all summer! The last time I died my hair blonde was at the end of October 2012, which is a big step for someone who loves being a light blonde....but I have let the color grow out and now I just have a natural ombre! Talk about giving that hair some natural TLC.

I still have far to go, but the results are keeping me motivated! Not only has my hair grown so much faster than ever, but it also feels thicker than it ever has!

Here is the proof:

My hair then and now...after barely 1 year!

These pictures are the before...

 And the after!

Now I am not trying to say that I have the most beautiful hair, I am just saying that you cannot deny the results.

So for those of you who are willing to take the steps to a healthier head of hair, I challenge you to try what you can from the list, and see how it works!

(PS: I am always open to suggestions on new things to try, so let me know if you found something else that works)

I can't wait to see what another year does for this head of mine!

Post Christmas Excitement

Monday, January 6, 2014

1: Wiberg family Christmas Party/Baptism/Blessing
2: A night-out in downtown Spokane
3: The Gonzaga Game

The weekend after Christmas we made yet another trip up to the Tri-Cities. This time it was to be with my dad's family! Every year that we can, whoever is in town meets together for a big Christmas party, complete with gift exchanges and yummy treats. But this year was an extra special party...before the gathering we all met together for the baptism of my beautiful cousin Paige, and the blessing of her baby brother, Easton. What a beautiful night it was. Paige is the sweetest thing and brought such a strong spirit with her to share with everyone in her presence. I am so thankful that we were able to share her special day with her and her family. And oh my, that baby Easton is the most precious, teen-tiny baby I have seen. I was so sad to have to say good bye to them and the rest of the family! We love our time spent with them and I am so glad that Kirby fits right in with the whole Wiberg clan!

Also, a shout out to my old friend Alyse and her new husband! We were able to make a quick stop at their reception before the baptism/blessing. Congratulations to the cutest couple!

I am sad I didn't grab a picture of Paige looking like an angel in her white dress, but here is Easton and his perfect smile :)

My parents have been raving about this pizza place called Fire. So they begged and begged to take us, and we finally gave in (yeah right). So the entire family gathered around in this fancy pizza place to feast on the most delicious artisan pizza ever made! I about died. So again, to those of you in the Spokane or Couer d' Alene area go to Fire and you will be so glad you did. Once our taste buds were dancing with joy and our stomaches were full we walked across the street to do some exploring at the Davenport Hotel. My sisters can turn anything into something fun, we searched all of the old pictures of the original hotel for the people who were creepy enough to probably still be haunting the halls. We explored each room that we could, admired the architecture, and took in all of the glamor that we could before it was time to say goodbye. 

My dad's job blesses him with tickets to most of the Gonzaga games. Kirby and I were excited to be home long enough to finally go to one with him! We loved watching the players, and I take pride in the fact that I figured out one of their most commonly used plays (because I'm just that good haha). We also had fun playing a little "I Spy John Stockton" who was sitting a couple of sections over from us. Something else pretty cool (that I am sad we missed) is that, as the chosen UPS representative, my dad was invited down to half court during half time of the game they played the day we left. There they presented him with a ball signed by each of the players. Go Dad and Go Zags!

My dad's sweet ball!

Well thanks for reading, I hope this year will be one to remember for us all!

And a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from our little family to yours!
Well to admit, I am sad to have to say goodbye to such a wonderful year. Thank you 2013 for all the memories. Here's to making this year even better! We kicked off the new year with the Hobbit in the theater, games, games, and more games with my family, LOTS of delicious food...and of course some bubbly as the ball dropped.

A few of my resolutions for 2014:
  1. Personal morning scripture study
  2. Cardio for at least 40 minutes, 4 times a week because I have been skipping that part of the workout way to often lately!
  3. ...this one I cannot write out as it is personal, but it reserved as number 3 for a special reason :)
  4. Be a better Visiting Teacher
  5. Drink my 8 glasses of water a day
  6. Actually wake up when the alarm goes off...without Kirby having to physically pull me out of bed.
  7. Share my testimony more often.
  8. Be ON TIME to work everyday. It's a long shot but I'm going for it!
  9. Create and follow a months budget! 
  10. Be in bed by 11 each school night, no matter what!
...........and that's as far as I can think this late at night so nighty night my young lads and lasses, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

We just had a small family gathering and there was STILL this much food!
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