Mr. & Mrs. Hildebrand

Guess what we did this past weekend!?!

We flew to Arizona to see two very deserving people, Paul & Krista, start the beginning of their lives together!!!

Paul is Nate's old mission companion and one of his best friends! Krista is the girl who makes him grin from ear to ear, even more than Chelsee (his truck)!

They literally rode off into the sunset on a really nice Harley Davidson! How fun?

Plus, I have to give props to Krista for riding around all day on the Harley in a wedding dress without getting it incredibly dirty! I would have ruined that dress!

Paul was handsome in a red and black tux and shiny shoes! Krista was classy in white with a beautiful red flower in her hair!

We are so happy for them and I must tell you if Nate and Paul have it their way we will live next door to this amazing couple and grow old together while we are busy digging in mud and climbing mountains in Nate's subaru and Paul's jeep! Ha ha...we will just have to see where we are in ten years!

Until then, Nate and I wish Paul and Krista the best in all the endeavors of their lives!


Falling Behind...

Yeah, I am falling behind on a lot of things!!!

They include blogging, Christmas baking, cleaning my house, delivering Christmas goodies, grocery shopping, folding  my laundry, craft projects, organizing and so much more!!!

I'm not sure how it all started. Actually, I have realized it is pretty easy to fall behind in just one day! We were also gone for the weekend...which we really loved! We flew to Arizona on Friday night and missed our flight back early Sunday morning so we flew back late Saturday morning to Portland!

I have a lot to do and so little time to do it in and yes, that does include multiple blog posts that I have meant to post and haven't! I have been reprimanded by my sister and so I will try to get my rear end back in gear today! I'm going to make a list today so that I stop forgetting everything on my mental check-list! I need it on paper! So, that is what I shall do right now!

But, before I leave here is a picture of our tree. I meant to post it a long time ago. There have been a couple changes since...a few new ornaments, presents underneath it, and some candy canes going on it! That picture will have to wait until later though...I haven't taken it yet! :-) Ha ha...I told you I was behind in a lot!

If you remember, my husband is AMAZING and since we were starting from scratch this year he let me choose exactly how I wanted to decorate the tree within budget of course! I adore him for letting me do pink and silver all the way!

Our Christmas Tree 2010

A close up of some of the tree decorations!!!

More Tree Decorations!!!

Well, anyways here is to accomplishing a lot and hoping your Christmas preparations are running very smoothly!

If you are anything like me, they are not! Yet, we are still very excited for Christmas and to spend it with some family even though we can not go back to Idaho!


"...Becometh as a Little Child..."

"So I've been thinking wouldn't it be great if everyone remembered about Jesus' birthday like maybe one person could smile at someone and they could smile back. And people could say things like, 'Please!', and 'Thank You!', 'I'm sorry!', 'I Forgive You!', and 'I love you!'...Don't you think that would be a great present for Jesus!"

Watch this video and tell me this little girl does not know what Christmas is all about! 

No wonder we are told to "...becometh as a little child..." I'm going to try and consciously remember to "...smile at someone...And say things like, "Please, and Thank You, I'm Sorry, I Forgive You, and I Love You" more often! 

Then maybe, "everyone in the whole wide world [will] be part of Jesus' birthday!"

Merry Christmas!


"If You Had That Many Kids..."


One dollar store run...
One Wal-Mart run...
Two carts full of groceries to one person...
6 6 lb. bags of frozen hash browns...
18 lbs. of bacon...
18 lbs. of sausage...
21 lbs. of Krusteaz pancake mix...
16 containers of syrup...
25 dozen eggs... 
10 gallons of milk...
10 gallons of Orange Juice...
a couple other items...
and 15 phone calls later...

I am almost ready for the Ward Christmas Brunch tomorrow morning!

I still have one more Wal-Mart run to make for I'm not sure how much butter yet and then I should be good!

I got plenty of funny looks and comments! The nice lady who checked me out asked, "Now what is this for?"
I reply, "A Christmas Party!"
She replies, "Okay, I was going to say if you had that many kids..."
My reply was, "If I had that many kids I would be in a mental institution!" I'm only 24 for goodness sake!

I hope I guessed about right! It isn't easy to plan food for 150 people. Thanks for the advice tonight mom! Your second opinion was much needed and appreciated!

Tis' the season for eating lots of food tomorrow!

I hope your hungry Woodburn 2nd Ward!


Warning: Rambling Ahead

I warned you! Stop now if you don't want to hear it but tonight is just rambling!

I feel like rambling on until I run out of things to type! Does anyone else ever feel like this? Well, sometimes I just get the urge to go on and on and on about nothing to incredibly important to anyone else but just maybe someone will find something incredibly inspirational (highly doubtful) right? A girl can dream!!! Anyways, here it goes! If you aren't ready, just stop now! That is two or three warnings already so don't come back telling me I didn't warn you!

Well, it seems there is another night of motivation lost, just gone out the door! I didn't even show it the door; it just got up and snuck out as soon as my husband opened the door to go off to work for the night! It seems this happens quite often when he starts working night shifts and I never see it coming until he is gone and it is gone and I am stuck here without either one! Not cool because then my Christmas tree is still half-decorated needing more ribbon and silver sprigs (I was worried that wasn't actually a word but I think it is). It leaves dishes in the sink that I need to do and pine needles to be vaccumed once again! It leaves Christmas decorations unmade and Thanksgiving/Fall decorations still up in my house! It leaves my first Christmas present of the year (the Willow Tree Nativity from my mom that I got in the mail today!!!) still in the box. There is more but I don't want to think about that anymore!

If I had a Christmas movie I wouldn't be sitting here on the couch under my heated blanket typing. I would be laying here on the couch under my heated blanket watching a movie, which I would prefer doing at the moment! However, I have no Christmas movies! Netflix is supposed to be sending me one but it's not here yet! Come on Netflix, just overnight it! If they aren't going to provide any of the Christmas movies I want to watch on Instant Play then I think they should have the courtesy to overnight to my mail box! Don't you think? Do you want to join me in protest anyone? As long as it doesn't mean I stop getting my movies! 

Do you know what might be even better than laying on the couch, under my heated blanket, watching a movie? I do!!! It would be laying on the couch, under my heated blanket, watching a Christmas movie, drinking hot chocolate! Hot chocolate with Hazelnut creamer and peppermint in it; the kind my husband makes for me when he is home! Hmmm...I just might have to try and make some myself so that I can halfway cure my depression of having no Christmas movies to watch tonight! We will have to see!

So, have I mentioned that I have a REAL Christmas tree in my living room that is at least halfway decorated? Halfway counts for something, right? Anyways, I love that I have a real tree and that it smells good. However, I need help with the situation in my living room! I had to rearrange things in order to make room for a Christmas tree and now it just seems too cluttered! My problem is that the couches do not line up anymore with the decor on my walls and quite frankly it bothers me! I don't know how to fix it though! Does anybody have any suggestions? I guess you would have to see the room to understand or suggest but it's just not going to fly all month. I don't know how to let go of the anal, perfectionist side in me and ignore it. It is just not possible. I have tried for a day or so but every time I look at it, there is a little voice in my head screaming that it looks all wrong and too cluttered over there on that side of my living room. Please, let me know if you have a sudden bout of inspired creativity come your way that might cure this issue!

Well, I could stop now if I wanted but I'm just not sure! I think I need to share an AMAZING quote with you! My dear friend Maps (a.k.a Pamela) shared the greatest quote with me yesterday on my facebook wall! I have a habit of telling all my friends and family to, "Remember, you are better than you think you are!" quite often and at random times! I love it! It's so true! Sometimes we just need to know that we truly are better than we think we are! If you are anything like me, you are your worst critic. I think most people are so this is one of my very loved quotes! I believe, at least I am pretty sure this is the exact reason Maps posted this great quote on my wall! Are you ready for these amazingly simple words of intelligence?

Here you are:

"Promise me, you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."

-Christopher Robin to Pooh

So, this is one of my new favorite quotes but might I add something to it?


 "Promise me, you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and better than you think you are!"

I know, I know there is a little redundancy at the end there but work with me here! I think it's good! I think Christopher Robin and myself are on to something here! See, something great and miraculous and amazing can come out of my simple ramblings even if I need help from Christopher Robin and Maps! 

 Anyways, I might get back to Netflix and watch something concerning Sea Monsters like I did earlier! It is interesting! Did you ever know there was a sea creature called the Dolyco something or other a long long long long long LONG time ago? Evidently, there was and it was kind of a cool little creature! You can thank National Geographic and your truly  for that little tid bit of information! 

 Is anyone else bored yet? I think I'm getting there which means you are lucky! Darn lucky! Like better than winning the lottery, lucky because that means I think I'm done rambling for the night! Thank you for your time! If you sat through the whole process let me know just so I can feel as though my ramblings were at least noticed! Does that make me sound vain? I hope not!

And, just because I love this picture you get to see it! I put this on here hesitantly though! I've heard different opinions on this photo. Some say it is seductive, some say they like it, some don't. What do you think? It was actually kind of an awkward position laying on that log with a little stub sticking into my leg! However, I do like the "gazing into each others eyes" look that we got going on here!

  Have a happy Thursday tomorrow!


P.S. Just in case anyone was wondering, you are hopefully looking at the soon-to-be, new employee of The LDS Distribution Center/Deseret Book! I had an interview this morning and it went great! She may or may not have told me that she was going to hopefully call me soon with an official job offer!


 That's all for tonight! I'm done rambling!


Our First Christmas

This song explains my feelings on Christmas this year!

"Where Are You Christmas" by Faith Hill

It's different. "My world is changing. I'm rearranging!"

This will be my first Christmas in Oregon, my first Christmas married to Nate, one of my very few quite possibly without snow, the first one away from my old home of 23 years,  and the first one I get to set up my own tree for!

It will be okay! It will be Christmas. Just a different one with different memories! One to help me appreciate Christmas in Idaho with snow!

It is "Our First Christmas" together and it is here, in Woodburn, OR, in our little apartment and our ever-changing, grateful hearts!


A Pain in My Back

Yesterday was really a pain in my back! LITERALLY!

I worked yesterday from 6 am to 3:30 pm for Black Friday. It was really crazy busy at the outlet malls but it wasn't horrible. The bad part came after I got off work! We had decided that Nate would just drop me off at the Overflow parking on his way to work and I would ride the shuttle over to the mall so we didn't have to fight the crowds or anything. It was perfect that it dropped me off right at work. My plan was to ride the shuttle back when I was off work and walk home from there. However, I was not aware for some reason that the shuttle stopped that morning and I would not have a ride after work. Nate was working until 6 pm in Lake Oswego and so I decided it was time to start walking!

I know, you are probably all thinking I'm a wimp! I think it's only 2-3 miles from the Outlet mall to our apartment. On a normal day I wouldn't mind. But, the fact that I stand and walk all day at work is definitely not good for my back. Even if I only work the five hour shift at work I always come home with my hips and back in pain. It's not just simple pain but it really hurts!

(If you don't know I was in a car accident which herniated a disc in my back about a year and a half ago. I went to a chiropractor regularly for seven months, sometimes twice a week, until he told me there wasn't much more he could do for me. I am usually okay if I'm not sitting or standing for more than two hours but after that two hour mark it usually starts to be an issue and it doesn't help that I haven't been to a chiropractor for four months!)

When I found out at about 4 pm that the shuttles weren't coming anymore, I called Nate and told him that if he didn't promise to give me a massage when he got home I might start crying right there and now on that overpass. He promised so I let him get back to work and I continued on my walk home. I got a couple blocks closer to our apartment and had a thought; a very disturbing thought! I did NOT have my keys to the apartment and it would still be two hours at least until Nate got home. So, here I am standing there, wanting to collapse from the pain in my back and hips, calling my husband in complete discomfort and I had an idea. I was right across the street from the apartment building that our friends Kristen and Chase Montague live in and so I decided to go ahead and call Kristen, pray she was home, tell her my sob story, beg for her to let me in to her apartment, and crash their Friday night! Guess what!!! IT WORKED! That was the best news I had heard all day! I really didn't want to walk any further and I really didn't want to continue freezing outside!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU KRISTEN AND CHASE! I seriously might have considered having a breakdown, tears and all, right in the middle of town if she had not answered her phone!

Anyways, the point of this story is not to complain forever (even though it kind of helps a little) about my bad streak of luck yesterday! The point is more to say what I am so very grateful for yesterday!

1. Good friends to rescue me from possible humiliation caused by a mental breakdown in the middle of our neighborhood!

2. Nate's promise and follow through to give me a massage when he got home!

3. Deep Relief and the fact that it helped immensly! I think I might have used half the tube!

4. We ordered pizza and I didn't cook dinner last night!

5. I fell asleep around 8:45 pm last night!

I might get the motivation to be somewhat productive today! I have plenty I need to get done before tomorrow! Wish me luck!!!


Thanksgiving in Oregon

It doesn't quite feel like Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I'm not at my parent's house helping my mom prepare pies, make rolls, a cheese ball, fudge, and more! It's different this year! I am home alone tonight. I need to make a pumpkin roll but it's hard to get the motivation tonight when I have to do it alone. I will find it here in a second! I have to!

 Anyways, about a week ago Nate's old mission companion and his family invited us over to their house in Washougal, Washington. We will be going there this year to enjoy our Thanksgiving! It won't be the same but we are grateful to spend it with friends at least! Nate is excited to see Paul and catch up!

Although, we are very dissapointed we can't be with family this Thanksgiving we are extremely grateful for the many people who have checked up on us to see if we had somewhere to go! We have had at least six different families make sure we had a place to go! A few of you read my blog and please know that we truly appreciate you thinking of us! It means so much more than you know!

To all our family and friends:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!! We love you and are grateful for you above all else!



I don't know that Nate's car would have made that sound but it definitely wasn't making nice sounds...the breaks were grinding or whatever that sound was! Let's just say it wasn't good! It wasn't safe! Nate figured that it would cost about $500.00 to change the brakes...it was so bad he had to change front and back brakes (everything)!

The poor Subaru is tired and it has a hard time! It hasn't given out on us yet but it has a good 240,000 miles on it! I don't know that Nate ever particularly wants to part with it. He really REALLY likes his bumpers!

Some day, I'm sure it's going to happen though! Either way, today we are grateful that the Subaru has new brakes on it for about half of what we expected them to cost!

For some reason I can't get blogger to upload photos tonight so until that works here is a link to a picture of his subaru!


Claire, You Made My Day

Little Miss Claire Lulich made my night!

This adorable little girl is in my primary class and her amazing mom, who is the greatest Primary President ever, had the cutest idea ever! While my husband and I were sitting home tonight we had a knock at the door. I didn't want to answer the door because I had not yet done the dishes and I did not look my best! I made Nate get the door but then I saw who it was and so I reluctantly went to the door!

That is when Claire and Raina just made my night!!! In her hands she carried an adorable little bag of goodies and in her shy little voice she said, "Thank you for being my primary teacher!" 

I didn't quite know how to react and what to say because I'm terrible when the words have to come out of my mouth! If I can write them on paper they flow better but I don't always have that luxury and so I just hugged her, told her (and her mom) Thank you, and that was about it! After I closed the door I realized I should have invited them in even if my counter was full of dishes and I had folded laundry all over my living room. I should have told her Thank you for being in my class and being so reverent all the time! She really is an incredibly reverent little girl and she is always willing to say prayers or answer my questions! I should have asked her (and her mom) how there Thanksgiving plans were going and if she was excited for the holidays this year!

However, I didn't say any of that! I just gave her a hug and said Thank you. I hope she realized in her little mind how much I appreciated her little gift! It made my night! I so appreciate the pure, innocent little hearts I get to teach every Sunday! Even though they like to run around, jump off and on the chairs, and talk about random things beside the lesson they know the basic, most important beliefs that we adults sometimes overlook! And, they say the cutest things some days!

Mosiah 3:19

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and puteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

So, tonight I am grateful for my cute primary kids! I love each one of them A LOT!

P.S. What do you say to a boy who told you he can't sit in his chair during class because his mom told him if he sits, he gets fat?  Haha...I just wanted to laugh! This kid takes things very seriously!


Pizza Rolls and Clean Clothes

We are grateful for a couple random things today!

Nate, is grateful for pizza rolls, which we are having for dinner tonight! I know, what an incredibly, healthy dinner! We might even have chips and salsa for our snack later on! Also, Nate keeps repeating the name of our ice cream which I interpret as a desire for ice cream tonight! Not only that but my hot chocolate obsession might need to be fed tonight! This is not good! This is SO not good! We don't eat like that all the time, I promise!

I am grateful for clean clothes I didn't have to wash! I love when I don't have to do that! So, even though I really REALLY don't want to fold them they needed to be washed!

So, I'm off to eat some pizza rolls with my husband! Have a great Sunday!


Warmth to my Soul

I LOVE hot chocolate tonight and I am so grateful for it!

This picture is from what looks like a really fun site!

I loved it last night and the night before and the night before and I will love it tomorrow night and the night after that! I really haven't had it that many nights in a row but I've had it the last two nights and I love feeling the warmth all the way down! I feel like it is warming the deepest part of my soul! It is that good! 

At least when Nate makes it! He made me hot chocolate last night and he is now the official hot chocolate maker in this house for the rest of his days!


My Amazing Husband

Today, I am grateful I have an amazing husband and that when he got home from work today he started cleaning and doing laundry for me! I so love him!

I was planning to deep clean the house today until they called me into work this morning and then I had to stay an extra hour so by the time I got home at 5:30 pm my husband was a cleaning machine and he was starting the laundry too!!! 

I know I have a GREAT husband!

And, he is cute!!! You can be jealous if you want!!! ;-)


The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Today, I am grateful that just as "Annie" promised me last night the sun came out today! It may have only been for a bit but it did come out!

If you read my post from yesterday you know I had a hard night! Well, I decided to watch a movie and "Annie" was my final answer! It was just what I needed! It didn't solve all my troubles but it helped me have a better attitude!

I wish the sun would have stayed out longer today but I will be grateful it came out at all!

And, just in case you were wondering I got to spend the whole day with my husband at Goodwill, swimming, and rock climbing. Now we are going to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie!


Just Being Real Here

And while I'm being real, I'm just going to tell you that tonight is a hard night!

Some days are just harder than others! Some days tears threaten to surface and ruin me from the inside out! Well, tonight those tears are winning the battle but, it's okay. I just need a good cry and gatorade slush straight from the freezer tonight. I might cry all night because at the moment it feels pretty refreshing (and I'm not even a crier)!

This stage of life is hard! I don't like it! Don't think I don't love marriage and my husband! That isn't the part I don't like! That is what gets me through the harder days. I don't like the feeling of being lost! I know, I've been here five months now but it's still HARD! It still isn't home to me but I'm trying. Tonight, while walking around Wal-Mart I felt lost! Lost in a lonely town that I am still unsure of! 

We are making more friends and getting to know the area a little more. The people here are nice and welcoming but I still yearn for my snow-capped mountains, the snow falling from the sky (I haven't seen any yet this year!), my dry weather, my home land of Idaho! I still yearn for the times I could quickly drive to see family, not have to use the GPS for almost every place I go, go on a drive with my husband and end up on some amazingly beautiful mountain-side, get kisses from cute little Mea and Kate all the time, and hug family whenever I want to! There is so much that my heart yearns for tonight!

And, as I sit here alone in my apartment, I hope and I pray! I simply hope for a better day tomorrow. That it might get a little bit easier, and if it doesn't that I will be better equipped to handle the trial and my emotions. Because, somehow Heavenly Father knows that I need this even if I don't want it and even though it's hard, it's the easiest way there is right now!

Woman at the Well by Simon Dewey


Godwin Pumps

Tonight, I am trying to convince myself that I am grateful for Nate's job!
I am grateful! I am grateful! I am grateful!

I am grateful even if I only got to see my husband for 2 hours today!

Honestly, I am kind of jealous! Okay, I am really jealous!!! They get to see more of him than I do and they don't appreciate the time like I would!!! Unfortunately, they can do one thing I can't...PAY HIM!

So, for now Godwin Pumps and I will continue to have a bit of a love-hate relationship. At least until this clears up or they agree to PAY HIM MORE! Haha!

Really, I am grateful for his job! It is just hard on days like today when he comes home for 2 hours and then heads back to work a night shift!

Hopefully, if all goes well, I get him for the whole day and night shift tomorrow!
We will see!!!

Taken on our honeymoon!
P.S. We both miss my long hair! Can I have it back, please?



Since we had the opportunity to do proxy sealings tonight for the first time ever we are both very grateful for temples! It was a neat experience about halfway through our sealings a couple not from our ward came in on their anniversary to do the work for his grandparents. It was awesome to be a part of and the Spirit was definitely felt there!

It was a great experience and we are both really excited to attend the sealing of our friends Paul and Krista in December (the weekend before Christmas) in Arizona! I think it might give us a bit of a different perspective as well to see the actual ceremony instead of participating in it!

Anyways, we are grateful for all the temples but especially grateful for:

The Portland, OR Temple
The temple we currently attend!!!

The Rexburg, ID Temple
The temple I received my endowments from and we were sealed in!!!

The Idaho Falls, ID Temple
We both attended this temple as Young Single Adults
Picture comes from here

The Logan, UT Temple
The temple Nathan received his endowment from
Picture also from here
I hope we can visit many more temples together in our lifetime!


Our Piggy Bank

Since this is a blog of The Benson Family, not just Sharon, we are posting on what Nate is grateful for today!!!

After telling him that I was not a good answer he decided he was grateful for:

  Okay, not a piggy bank, but kind of like it!
Today, Nate is grateful that we have been able to save some money out of every paycheck and lately we have been able to save more!

When we got married  we made sure to set aside at least 10% of all our income to not only tithing but to our Savings Account as well. When we finally set up a bank account in Oregon we decided to open two different Savings Accounts. One would be used for the ten percent we set aside from each paycheck which would be used for saving for a house! We decided we would also put some money into another Savings Account each month depending on what we could afford but we try to do at least ten percent in that savings account as well which we can use for emergencies if needed and other future expenses such as having to buy a new vehicle.

Lately this has been a lot easier because Nate works so hard and he has been working pump watch which pays better than his normal shifts. He is also very careful about money which I am grateful for! We have a budget and try to stick with it! He is practical and smart which I need because sometimes I think we need things more than we do!

I am sure that our ability to save now will help us in the future because sometimes I wonder how we could ever pay for more than two people in the family!


"Sunday Will Come"

Today was Sunday! I LOVE this day! I look forward to it every day of the week!

When Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave the talk, "Sunday Will Come" in a previous General Conference I, for the first time, really gained a testimony and desire for Sunday to come each week! It brought me to an understanding of the importance of our Sunday worship and the importance/significance of that day! Since then it has always been one of my very favorite talks!

We have six days to go about the rest of our business in the world and one day to set aside to the Lord and to renew our energy, strength, and testimony! It is so needed! When I think of all that happens throughout the week that can bring us down, the little occurences that weaken or discourage us it only makes that day even more important!

The opportunity we have to partake of the sacrament each week is a needed and welcomed reminder of the covenants I have made with my Father in Heaven. Most days we don't have the time to step back and remember or think on those covenants like we are able to on Sunday! I am sincerely thankful for this opportunity!

We all have our own Fridays; sometimes too often! It seems like they will never leave but they do and they will because we have a Savior who atoned for each son or daughter of God that they might repent and be enabled to battle the storms we encounter in life!

I hope your Sunday was splendid and that it proved to be a day of renewal! I will leave you with the words of an apostle because he says it so much better than I do! I testify that his words are true and that our Sunday will come when we need it most!



Today, I am so grateful for an amazing store!

When we moved to Oregon we still had a few things (mostly furniture) to acquire for our apartment!
We didn't want to spend too much money so we did most of our shopping at GOODWILL!

Let me first say that Goodwill has it's ups and downs! It is not as cheap as D.I. but we don't have any of those here so the closest thing is Goodwill! I personally think some things are way over-priced but then again some things are really reasonable for a second hand store! I can't count how many times I have shopped at Goodwill since our move to Oregon and how many things I just love and treasure from that store! I knew that once I had the opprotunity to have my own place and branch out in my own design style I would love every minute of it!

Goodwill has enabled me to feed my addiction to vintage style everything!!! Not everything I find there fits my design style but we are just starting out with a limited budget and so we do with what we find! However, I have been able to find a number of things that I would not mind keeping FOREVER!!!

Some of these things include:
  • My beautiful vintage trunk
  • My lovely vintage books that right now sit on top of  my trunk!!! (These include two poem books, Works of William Shakespear, children's fairy tales, other fairy tales, and an old websters dictionary)!
  • My coffee table (It's not really vintage, but SUPER cute with wicker baskets for storage!
  • My fun black vintage vase
  • A vintage wood and wicker sleigh
  • My new magazine basket
I'm only a bit addicted to baskets!
  • My blanket basket
  • My beautiful vintage candle holders
A few other things from Goodwill that currently reside in our home:
  • Our dresser
  • Our tv stand
  • Our end table and night stand
  • Our two dining room chairs (I love these chairs and wish we could find two more for a reasonable price!!!) They were an awesome find!
I could honestly go on and on about this place! Not all my trips are amazingly succesful but I usually find at least one thing that I just can't help but buy! If it were not for Goodwill we would have a serious money issue!!! j/k I'm sure we would find what we need somehow but this store has really made it so much easier and afordable to first, find the things we need at a cheaper price, and second to feed my addiction to home decor items at a reasonable price!

P.S. Someday when I have the room and money I am going to restore antique, vintage furniture!!! For now I have no place to put it!


Exciting Times

Wow!!! Last night was exciting around here!

It involved our apartment complex being surrounded by police with assault rifles and shields everywhere, a TCU team, reserves (one with a bazooka in his backpack), and a voice over a loudspeaker saying, "This is the Woodburn Police! Come out with your hands in the air immediately!"

I was in my apartment enjoying Christmas music when a friend texted me and said she couldn't get to my apartment to drop off some rice for the food drive because our apartment building was in lockdown.
News to me!!! I guess I should have looked out the window earlier! I had heard sirens but I figured it was just a cop going by the complex! Not quite!

Well, I looked out one window and saw some cars blocking the garages. A little weird. I went out the door and looked out to the area with the garages. Nobody there! I came inside and locked the door (the one you see to the right!), went to my bedroom and looked out the other window. That is when I saw a van pull up, an officer get out, go to his back end and come out suited up with an assault rifle in his hands! Okay, even weirder!!!
At this point I called Nate a little weirded out! Who wouldn't be while home alone at night with police carrying assault rifles all around outside? He said he was almost home and he would find out what was going on.

All we knew at first was that there was an assault in one of the buildings next to ours. Later on while looking out the balcony I heard the word hostage. Nate came in and told me there were police everywhere with assault rifles and a swat team there surrounding the buildings. We watched out our balcony and then later heard on a loudspeaker "This is the Woodburn Police. Come out with your hands in the air!" quite a few times. Then there was a family with little kids scrambling through the parking lot crying and running to a car.

We found out a little later that it involved armed subject with guns and knives but evidently the guy they were looking for was not there. I was a little confused but I will keep up on the news!

Here is a link to the most recent news if you are interested!

The picture posted on this news post is directly under our porch balcony we watched from. I saw them taking these pictures as we watched the scene unfold!

On a happier note, I get to go to a craft night tonight at a friends house! I am so excited, Emily! Thank you!

And, today I am thankful for

My beautiful flowers and soft, cuddly puppy dog from the silly man standing next to me here!

Oh, how I love him!!!


Veteran's Day and More

Do you remember this post?

It was all about my brother-in-law, Josh! Well, today we are grateful for him and all the others who are serving or who have served!

Thank You!!!

We love you, Josh and next time we see you I am giving you fair warning that you will once again be required to give me a hug! David and Brian, you are required to do the same! Sorry! I promise it will only hurt for a little while! (They aren't very generous with their hugs and I am a BIG hugger!)

I am also grateful today for HEAT! I am always freezing cold! My feet and hands are like ice most the time! I don't understand it, I just know that I like to be warm and most the time I need a lot of help with this! Blankets help! Oh, how I love a soft, warm, cuddly blanket!

Here is proof!!!
 I tried for a long time not to turn on the heat (Blah, for heating bills) but I gave in a while ago!

By the way, did I mention my husband has an built-in body heater somewhere! I don't know how it works either, but I do know that he is most ALWAYS warm!!! It's true, I am grateful that I have someone warm to snuggle up to whenever I want but he is not always here.

However, being the AMAZING, BRILLIANT man that he is he shared the pefect secret to keep me warm the other night when he is not here! He cranked up the heater in the office, turned our lazy boy chair around to the wall (it has to be laid back), and stuck a blanket over me. When the chair is laid back my feet and body are in a direct line with the heat! The blanket traps all the heat when you put it over the top of the heater and it is delightfully, toasty warm in there!

This brings me complete COMFORT! Isn't he brilliant?

P.S. I have an exciting post tomorrow! We had an interesting night at our apartment complex!


One Determined, Attitude Driven Little Girl

Today I am grateful for my sweet niece who turns  2 today!!!

Just like the title says, Maleah is one determined little girl! If she sees something she wants she works to get it!!! She started rolling over, crawling, and walking early! She was walking well before turning a year old and she continues to amaze everyone with her smarts, ability to talk incredibly well, and her energized little attitude!!! She keeps going and  going and going!!!

Yes, she has an attitude but it is usually used for good!!! Attitude does not always have to be a bad thing! She is herself and not afraid to show it! She will tell you what she thinks and it is so cute!

She loves to play! She is spoiled, of course! She was the first grandchild in the family! However, I don't think we can use that as an excuse anymore because her little sister is every bit as spoiled!!!

I had the amazing opportunity of living with Maleah and her family for about a year and I loved every second of it! This little girl proved to be a life saver to me on any and every hard day I encountered during that year! She could brighten up the darkest of days with her smile, kisses, and "I wuv you's!!!"

This is about five months ago but my more recent pictures of her are on our other computer!
She loved playing with my wedding dress. She came with us wedding dress shopping one day and all she wanted to do was to play with all of the fabric and the sequins!!! It was a challenge keeping her away from the dresses! ;-)
I hope she has the happiest 2nd birthday because she sure deserves it!

I have to mention that her mom is doing a fun candy shoppe theme party and I'm sure it will be absolutely amazing! Her first birthday theme and decor was AMAZING! I can just see her being in heaven with all that candy around her and if Grandpa is anywhere in sight, he will make sure she gets to try a bit of everything!!!

I wish so much that I could be there! Like I said in an earlier post once, "Sometimes it's just hard living here!" Today is one of those days!

I wish I could hug her tight and wish her the happiest birthday in person but I can't so I will attempt it on here and over the phone!

Happy Birthday Miss Mea!!!

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Nate LOVE YOU!!!


40 lbs.

40 lbs. of what?

CHICKEN for a pretty darn good price!

I saw a deal for chicken on a blog I had looked at about a month ago and I had to do it because we eat lots of chicken! I cook with chicken a lot!

Yesterday morning we went to Wilsonville and picked up our 40 lb. box of fresh chicken.

Fresh means never frozen before!!!
We came home, trimmed, cut, and bagged A LOT  of chicken.
My husband was nice enough to help me! Otherwise, I could have possibly been there all day!
I cut about 15 lbs. into chicken strips, 15 lbs. into smaller chicken breast pices, and about 10 lbs. into chicken chunks! I marinated a couple bags of each with hawaiian and lemon pepper marinade and then we stuck them in the freezer!

I am so excited to have a store of chicken in the freezer and that it is already cut and packaged into serving sizes that are better for just the two of us!

I am also super grateful for Nate for helping me all morning with this! His patience amazes me more each day!

P.S. Did you see what we were grateful for yesterday!?! We are still super excited about it! We got Netflix all set up through it and I even started on my Wii Fit Plus today!


My Husband Really Wanted It

It's true!!! Nate really really wanted this!

He has wanted it for a long LONG time! Okay, maybe I really did too! So, today we are both grateful for this device! It's a bit of an early Christmas present for both of us!

Can you guess what it is? It took us a long time to decide to buy it! A really long time. We sat in Wal-Mart for a really LONG time!

Are you ready yet?

Here it is...

Are you excited? We are! We celebrated tonight with a Wii Welcoming Party at our apartment with our friends Kristen and Chase! They are avid wii players and were determined to convince us in this matter! They were very persuasive!

This is the reason I really wanted it:

Wanna play? Come on over!!!


Answered Prayers

Tonight, I am grateful for answered prayers!

All day I was planning to post on something else but that will have to wait until tomorrow because this is more important! It just shows how much we have to be grateful for when I have a list in my head of all the things I want to post on here! I might have to copy Tammy in her efforts to post every day until the end of the year because I have a huge list!!! Thanks for the idea Tammy!

I was recently asked to be the coordinator for an Inter-Faith Food Drive our ward is participating in! I was really excited.

The excitement died down a little through the last couple weeks because I became blank in how to really accomplish a couple things associated with it.

As a program manager and a director in Service Activities at BYU-Idaho my advisor, who I learned a great deal from, stressed that our efforts in Service Activities would prepare us for callings in the church and community events that we would have an opportunity to help with! Well, this past week I have seriously wondered why I was having such a hard time figuring this one out when I was evidently supposed to be prepared!

Tonight I have learned so much!

One, my testimony of answered prayers was reaffirmed

Two, when my Service Advisor talked about preparation he didn't necessarily mean I would have all the answers but he was trying to teach me that when the time came I would know some other more important things! One of these including, I would know to turn to my Savior for help and that in faith he would answer our prayers as we strive to do our best!

Three, Heavenly Father answers even the unsaid prayers of our heart! We needed a way to get all the rice we are collecting to the drop-off point. All the leadership of our ward have a ward leadership meeting that morning and I didn't want to ask a huge favor of anyone! I never specifically prayed that I would find a way to get the rice delivered. I did pray that the Lord would help me with this calling and even though I never talked specifically of this one thing, Heavenly Father heard the prayer and worry in my heart!

Four, our ansered prayers often come through another person who listens to the Spirit and acts on it!

There are many more things but you could be here all night reading this post and lets be honest who is going to sit here all night reading a post on my blog? Nobody, probably not even myself! ;-) j/k

So, I will end by giving you a challenge! Please, be sure to SAY YOUR PRAYERS TONIGHT!

He is listening ever so closely! Even on matters of rice!

Wish me luck in reaching our goal!


Sweet Relief

Today, I am SO grateful for this AMAZING stuff!!!
Deep Relief Essential Oil Roll-On

This stuff has brought me relief so many times! I first met Nate about a week after I got in a car accident which herniated a disc in my back. His mom does zoning on people's feet and along with that she has about every vitamin and essential oil there is out there! She is very knowledgable with all of it and his mom told him to have me try this to help with the pain! She gave me a bottle and I fell in love with it!

My back and hips have been bothering me more lately (I haven't been to a chiropractor for a few months) and so yesterday after running, my hips retaliated against my decision and let me know! I never understood how back and hip pain could be so hard to deal with until my own experience but honestly you need your back and hips for about everything you do! I pulled this out and rolled it on! Sweet Deep Relief!

Seriously, this is the stuff! If you have suffered from back pain, hip pain, sore and tight muscles, and more TRY IT!

Check it out! It's AMAZING! Plus, one of those bottles will last quite a while! I use it a lot though!


I don't know how you could be dissapointed in this stuff!


The Wind on My Face

Today, I am grateful for the wind on my face as Nate and I went on a run this morning!!!

It wasn't really windy but it felt great to be outside in the morning air! About 7:30 a.m. we walked out the door to go for a little run and the morning fog was gorgeous! There was a little chill to the air but with a sweater and workin' up a sweat it was perfect! I needed it today!

The fog swept over the town of Woodburn, OR until about noon and I loved to look out the sliding glass door to our balcony and marvel at the beauty of what our Heavenly Father created! If you weren't aware a light fog across the green, burnt orange, red and purple landscape during fall is beyond beautiful!

And, just because posts aren't as fun without a picture...
Do you love this picture as much as I do?

How about this one?

Sometimes when I start to miss family, I go through pictures! These are a couple of my favorites of my cute nieces who just keep growing up without me there!


5 Months


5 months

ago today we walked through the doors to this temple:

as Miss Sharon Oler and Mr. Nathan Benson

We walked out of those doors

as Mr and Mrs. Nathan Benson

It doesn't seem that long but then again it seems like we have been together forever! Sometimes I forget I had a life before I met Nate and I expect him to know everything about me and my past! It is hard to comprehend that I have actually only known this man, the one I am spending eternity with, for only 1 year and 6 months! I know it was the best decision I have ever made though! I'm pretty sure he feels the same way!

I am beyond excited to continue learning and growing together with this wonderful, amazing, short, white, handsome man I married! He is perfect in every way for me!

I don't mind walking through eternity with him!

And since I am going to try and play this little Thanksgiving countdown of grateful things each day (whatever you want to call it)!

Today, I am, of course, grateful for my husband!!! Just in case you didn't catch it, he is the handsome man in those pictures above!!!


News on the street...


Is it my dream job?

No, but it's not flipping burgers (which would probably be my least favorite job!)

Well, maybe working with sewage could be worse! Okay, there are a lot of things that could be worse than flipping burgers...but it's not any of them!

For now, it is only seasonal but that doesn't mean I can't make it permanent!

Oh, and I get an employee discount on super cute clothes!!!

I am the newest employee of Aeropostale in Woodburn, OR!

I've never worked in retail so we will see how this goes but I am optomistic!

Side note: Don't ask me why I have to skip a line between every sentence! That's just what I feel like doing right now!

Other tid bits of news are Nate is working nights again, at least for the rest of this week and some of next week! ;-/ Oh well, it's good money!

Next is, I didn't really gain 10 pounds like I thought I had since we got married! See, I bought a scale about two weeks ago because I want to lose some weight and be healthy! Well, it was a little depressing stepping on the scale and realizing it said I had gained 10 pounds in 4 months!

Anyways, I got on the scale this morning to see that I had somehow, miraculously lost about 7 pounds!!! I was baffled! I didn't feel like I had lost any weight and overnight!!! I went to Nate, confused but still thinking, "Heck, Yes!!!" He looked at me really funny and said, "Are you sure?" I thought, "how could you question this!" Then he told me! "Have you ever noticed that the scale is off almost ten pounds! It never completely goes back to zero!" (It's not a digital scale, just a cheap one from Wal-Mart)

It just needed adjusted! I never gained ten pounds in the first place. I have gained 3 or 4 pounds but not the ten I thought I had! I laughed for like five minutes and Nate just looked at me like I was crazy!!!

Anyways, I think...

I think that's all folks!


I Miss Him

I miss him A LOT!!! My husband that is!

He is gone! He is at work until 7 a.m. tomorrow morning! He worked all day! From 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. He came home...we had dinner...watched a movie...and then he was off to work again!

He was supposed to have the night off but after a family emergency for the guy who was going to work night shift he is working half the night!

I don't know how he does it! He is crazy! I am grateful he is such a hard worker though! I am grateful he loves me! I am grateful he took ten minutes to cuddle with me before he had to head off to work tonight! I am grateful he is mine! I am grateful Heavenly Father knew he was exactly what I needed! I am grateful he understands me!

I can't wait to see him in the morning and get a hug and a kiss! ;-)

Love is great! Love is wonderful! It is beautiful!

My husband is amazing!



This week...

I am spending my time with...

My amazing mom!!!

So far we have been to Multinomah Falls, had yummy fudge, watched a really good movie called "I am David" (thanks for recommending that one Dad Benson), done some shopping, got hair cuts (even shorter than last time), died her hair, and we are off to do more!

P.S. My mom looks like a hot mama with her new hair cut and dye! I am just bragging a bit because I picked out her hair cut and died her hair! ;-) And, if you are wondering, my hair is so short! It's above my shoulders! Holy cow! It's taking some getting used to since I haven't had it this short since like kindergarten! While in the salon my mom was just staring at me and I looked at her and said, "What?" She said, "I'm just trying to picture you with short hair! It's been so long!" Today she said, I used to scream when someone would try to cut my hair! I haven't had it this short since first grade! That's a long time, people! Shanon and I might just look alike again! ;-)

Oh, and I must say, I will be spending time with...

My gorgeous twin sister, Shanon Carlie!!! She got all the looks, I know!

We will pick her up tonight!

Then, I should see...

My dad in the next couple days too!!!

Life is good when you are with family! Thanks for having meetings in Washington, Dad! I appreciate it!

Family truly is where the heart is!