The other day I watched a little video on facebook about how Ugg boots come from bad men doing bad things to sheep. At one point in the video it showed men “abusing” the helpless little fellas. Slapping their bottoms with sticks while pushing them up a shoot. I laughed out loud a little. Oh if only the makers of this video had actually ever worked with sheep. Only then would they really know what its like…then they themselves would soon be reaching for the closest stick…trust me. Let me explain.

As I came home the other day…dirt smudged around my lips, up my nose, and smelling like…well like poop. Literally. My husband asked me if two years ago, would I ever have thought I would be doing what I did that day.
Nope. No way.

You see, Tom Barr shears sheep. And was a little low on help. So, I volunteered. Because I grew up around cows. And sheep are like half their size. And I could make a couple bucks. Which is nice.

So upon Tom’s arrival bright and early, I snatched up my Carrhart beanie and was out the door. Eager to show him my grew-up-on-a-farm-girlness. After tossing aside a few greasy tools, rolls of twine, and empty sandwich baggies, I slid in on the grease stained bench seat of the ol’ pickup truck. I came right up next to his fine flee infested, face licken, stinky breathed sheep dogs. Blek. Tom leaned on over and tossed the pups over the bench seat into the opening between us and the torn off truck bed. I felt right at home.

After a quick stop at the local gas station for a few soda pops, we settled in, turned the radio up and made our way out into the wilderness. Not long after, we entered the scene. There I found myself among 1100 hacking/stinky sheep, an amish dude who would tackle the sheep, a puruvian non-english speaking herder fresh off the mountain, one great big dog, Tom Barr, and Katy Perry blaring in the background. Yeah. I was in way over my head on this one. I imagine we looked a little bit like an old time photograph with everyone lined up, looked weary and worn out, with a little bit of crazy seeping outta our eyes.

While scouting the area I reminisced… You see when growing up and helping your dad herd cows, they turn around and charge you. Causing you to turn and run bounding over (or mostly just on) any near fence screaming crying, begging to go home and do dishes or vacuum or whatever just to get out of there. Thus becoming a farmers daughter, who is supposed to be tough. But mostly just ending up being a great big whimp. Because you know. You know animals are mean.
Or you become a crazy person who hates animals. And wants mostly just destroy them.
But. Sheep don’t charge. And they are soft. And little children dream about them. And stuff. So. Bring it on. Confidently I walked on over to the nearby sheep with my male counterparts.

But upon walking behind them in a small corral, I quickly realized they are a whole different kind of terrible awful beast. In hopes of pushing them into a shoot (a narrow hallway leading up to the trailer), these sheep lost it. Like freakin’ crazy people. Scattering in every available direction (except, of course, the direction in which you want them to go) they began smashing their faces through the small 5 inch openings in the wire fence. Over and over again. Like that was their only option. Flailing like a fish out of water, they would time and time again slam those little faces through that unwelcoming wire, fly through the air, dive bomb onto eachother, etc. as a path, straight ahead, remained untouched. Chaos. It was mad chaos.
So the top right is the initial corral we push the
sheep into. And then they walk up that long wood
hallway thingie. And its' never this still and serene.
We simply hadn't started yet. 

That. That was when I realized I was going to hate sheep. Not because they are mean and scary. But stupid. Sheep are just really really stupid.

Let me paint a picture for you. There are a thousand sheep. They are divided into a number of different corrals. They are pushed (or pulled, hauled, yanked, etc.) into a thin wood shoot. There the sheep, one by walk, walk up this shoot into a horse trailer looking contraption. (Now that’s ideal. Mostly it’s just a lot of flying dust, swearing men, and screaming sheep. Oh, and hip-hop’s top 20 blaring in the background from Tom Barr’s 1980 boombox in the back of the trailer.) At the end of their journey they are pulled out one by one so that Tom Barr can shave their little bottoms. You see, they eat lots of grass and then poop out lots of grass. And that creates these…well, they are dingleberries. Which are the most efficient chastity belt, says Tom Barr. So. He shaves it. And well, That’s enough of that.
Roy pulling out the next sheep.
For Tom to shave it.
After doing that about
a thousand times,
I'm pretty sure their back
just about falls off. 

Annnnyways…my job was to push the sheep up the shoot. Which should be super easy. I mean. It’s not like there is anywhere for these animals to go. But forward. But these animals, with a passion and stubbornness beyond anything I’ve ever encountered, went anywhere but forward.
This picture. It just. No words. Almost makes ya wanna
like this lil fella...

Let me outline just a few of their methods.

First, there is the ‘lay-down’. Here. They just. Well, they lay down. With subsequent sheep smashing their pointy little legs into their faces. And then rolling over on them and causing the most impossible pile-up wreck. And they (the entire pile) are in no hurry to get up. No. They would much prefer to just die right there. And you, after the thousandth time of this mishap, would be happy to do them the pleasure.

That is cousin to the ‘nose dive’. In which their front legs stop working. Which is not so bad. Because here the herder promptly grabs their knobby tail and all sorts of dingleberries attached and simply drags them forward. On their little nose. Which somehow offers a little bit of joy.

Then there is the ‘back up”. Where for the first time in their life, sheep put it into high gear. In reverse. With wild wide-eyes they run backwards smashing and propelling the remaining sheep…in..again, the wrong direction, as you run along beside them shouting all sorts of profanities.

Another ‘satisfying’ and equally maddening move is the ‘turn-around’. Which seems totally impossible. That in a squished tight wooden hallway, they are able to contort their body in such a way that would make such a feat possible. But, again, I remind you. Passion. Idiotic passion. But, as I mentioned, this does offer some sort of satisfaction to the herder. As they are able to open the latched gate along the hallway and pull that animal out. Slamming it on its bottom. Shoving its front legs in the correct direction. Then ever so passionately blasting it forward. It was in these moments that a few degrees of one’s built up fire of hatred for these beasts can be released. Which is nice.

Lastly, there is the ‘ewe’ position. Let me explain. In this position sheep suddenly weigh five thousand pounds and are not going anywhere. No matter how you shove, heave, yank, beg, holler, clobber, etc. Thus, prompting some ‘ewe’ rhetoric. “Ewe freakin’ idiot” “Ewe piece of crap” to name a few.

Well, after working through their multiple methods, and going through multiple weapons, I was finally able to call it a day. Upon walking back to the pickup truck, we swept up the dingleberries, snatched the empty candy wrappers and plastic baggies from our lunch break, and hit the road once more.

On the trip home I had a little time to think. About how sheep are just awful bad.  And how there must be opposition in all things. And sheep are the perfect example. God had to send us sheep. He knew they would about be our downfall. But he also knew that through sheep, He would teach us to be happy and grateful. Because if there weren’t things like sheep, we wouldn’t know how to be so doggone blasted mad, and if we weren’t ever that mad, we wouldn’t appreciate the times when we were so doggone happy and glad.

And then I thought about how Christ is the Shephard and we are the sheep. Why? Because people too, like sheep, are stupid. And so frequently fight against the little prods God gives us in the right direction. We think he is torturing us or really just trying to make our lives miserable. When in reality, if we would simply do as He asks and move forward, we would realize that it is much better than fighting or giving up! For he knows what is best for us! If we just have the faith the keep moving forward.

Amazing, right? What sheep can teach us.

Anyways, upon arriving home I started up the ol’ bath-tub. But before taking the plunge, I set aside my dirty britches and hoodie, just so when Tom Barr called again, I’d be ready. Cuz there is some kind of incredible satisfaction in hard work, and being part of America’s bottom-line industry—agriculture.  


As the hubs and I sit in our recliners sippin’ hot cocoa as the eight inches of snow outside continue to amplify, I can’t help but reminisce on warmer days…(Well, I feel it is important to mention that my husband is now up doing a solo act dancing to the “little drummer boy”. Off beat, of course. Regardless, it still gets my heart a pitter-pattering. He is just the best person.)

Anyways. So, for my birthday (which yes, I realize was in August) (And yes, I realize was 3 months ago) Cameron took me to Elitch Gardens in Denver. It’s kind of like a six flags. I think. That’s what people tell me, as Lagoon is about the most theme park experience I have. Nevertheless, it was so fun! I mean, it had rollercoasters and funnel cake. Duh.

Food is always a favorite part of my day! Plus, we are soaking
wet from a log ride. Cameron liked it. Alot. Like three times
consecutively lot. 
But, we left a little early. You see, Denver just got Cabella’s. (Or maybe we left early cuz he was a lil embarrassed from looking at me in my swimshorts with my ridiculous tan line directly above my knee just screaming. Or perhaps it was his own t-shirt line. Yeah, we are that couple. Our poor children.) But anyways, Cabella’s. So obviously, Cameron had to go. Which, I’m totally ok with. Cuz in that store, he buys me stuff.  Cuz he feels this wild and ridiculous loyalty to it. Which, again, is cool. Cuz they have the most darling little coats and sweatshirts.

Next, we went and stayed at Chris and Hayley’s for the night. Which, we were just completely giddy about. You see, they have a TV. We don’t. And we have become those people who, upon walking in a room with a TV on, become zombified and lose all ability to communicate in any form. Because we are sucked in. Because, again, we don’t have a TV. Like, not that we don’t have satellite. No. We don’t have any kind of box that portrays any kind of media. Yeah. I know. But really, I secretly love it.

But, Chris and Hayley also have a hot tub. So, of course, we made a pit stop there first. I slowly attempt to snuggle up next to my man and enjoy that moment. Well, of course he wasn’t having that. I mean, what if someone walked by and saw a married couple snuggled up next to each other holding hands in a hot tub? That is just far too scandalous for that man of mine.  So, I settled for him giving me lessons on how to efficiently shave a beard. Using bubbles. Obviously. He would lather up my cheeks real good and then swiftly scrape away the clinging suds with his finger. Then I would practice on him. Naturally. I was rather impressed. His method was quite efficient and effective. Except the part where he shaved from my top lip up towards my nostrils—propelling suds deep into my sinus. (Thanks hun.) Perhaps that is why men’s nose hairs grow so fast. They are just propelling freshly cut whiskers right up there, where they promptly multiply and replenish. Ha, just kidding. Kind of.
We are like, four years old. 

Anywaysss..after the hot tub rendezvous, there was little time left for TV. We were tuckered out. But, despite our lack of mind numbing delight, it was still a wonderful weekend!

And since we are talking about weekends, I gotta mention my hubby’s success. Cuz it involved plenty of weekends. Weekends away from his wife. L  Anyways…Remember all those posts about looking for sheep. Well, he found one. GLORY HALLELUJAH! And, in the process he was still able to work full time each week and never miss a Sunday. Such a blessing! Oh, and he didn’t die in all the floods going crazy around him. So that was good too.

The thigh. I didn't want to document this. But, I just had to. 
But, just shooting the thing wasn’t quite enough. We had to eat it. And of course he had to drag it into my kitchen. And chop it all up in my house. Which was gross. So gross. I lit every scentsy. And ran away and cried.
 Well, I didn’t cry. But I could’ve. Don’t ever let your husband cut up his dead creature in your house. You’ll gag all over the place.  

So, after that mess, we cooked it up on his parents fire. And. It surprisingly, was not awful bad. How things can smell one way and taste another is beyond me. But my husband was ecstatic. Exclaiming “Definitely the best wild game!” But, last week I threw away the last piece of leftover sheep. Because upon asking him if he wanted it, he simply said no. So…if “the best wild game meat” isn’t worthy of seconds I’m terrified to try what other wild animal he’s gonna drag home next. But don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of other chances for seconds. There is still a huge thigh and 5 billion steaks sitting in our freezer. I think we are going to feed them to the missionaries. J
The first taste of the sheep meat. That face! Oh,
and he doesn't wear his jamies everyday.
It was Sunday. So, duh. Jamies it is. 

Oh, and he shot an elk. And had the entire thing put in sausage and jerky. I like that.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that
we are making a rug out of this
fella. We seriously are. And I am
really excited for it. 

And since this post has no real theme, I might as well keep going.

I have one uplifting incident I just gotta share. On Sabbath days my husband is usually out the door on his way to early morning meeting before I ever even begin to peel the mattress off my back.

Well a few Sundays ago our Branch Pres. Called and told my Husb to stay with me instead of going to those meetings. Which I needed. After surviving a rough lonely weekend. I didn’t know if I could make the 45 minute commute without suffering a major meltdown. Inspiration is real. God gave me just what I needed, through a man who probably had know idea the impact of that phone call. So, a few hours later we skipped out the door and bound towards our buggy hand-in-hand.

While singing hymns (me in English as Cameron hollers along in Portuguese. It is just about my favorite part of our Sundays) something exploded. Our tire. It blew up. And my knight in shining armour pulled over and fixed it in a jiffy. Peeling away shreds of what used to be our tire. Upon putting on our spare we immediately realized this detour was far from over. Upon letting our jack down we saw our spare, airless, shrink flat as a rug.
I was gonna get down there and help him, but it was much
more important that I document the situation.  

But, thankfully, my darling inlaws, running a hair late, were still behind us. Upon watching the silver bullet blur past us, we were still able to flag them down by phone. Tome drives fast. But he tossed that beast in reverse and saved the day.

Together we all we trotted through the Colorado wilderness until arriving at our seemingly insignificant white chapel on the side of the road. Where, as always, I understood very little of the Spanish spoken, but again, as always, felt the overwhelming assurance in my heart that God knew me and loved me. And that this life is indeed, beautiful. 


Pics from that one hunting trip...

Taking full advantage of that fire we worked so hard for.
Our beautiful mountains! Cameron is dangling over a cliff. Lookin' for those blasted sheep!

Me in my over-sized rain gear. Freezing to death. 
Me n' my best friend. 

On our way to our first destination. I loved the clouds resting on the hills. And that mans face. I love that too. 
Cliffside glassin. 
Lake Ann. This is where I saw all those people having fun. Without me. And we camped here too.
I'm on a horse. And smiling. Not because I like horses. But because we were heading home. And I could get off. 

Finally saw rams! Celebrate!

Why Husbands Don't Take Their Wives Hunting...

I used to see wives that would stay home and let their husbands take some other guy with them on this really fun hunting trip. I would never be that wife! No way. I would be the one going with him, if I was in that situation. That would be so fun!

Or so I thought…Ladies. Let this be a warning.

Last weekend my husband took me with him on a scouting pack trip. And I finally understood why. Why all those women stayed home.

You see, I should have known before we even hit the trail. First a man comes rushing out of the woods. Breathlessly explaining that he had been walking since northern Washington, (so obviously was a tough mountain man son-of-a-gun, dude) but he could not take another minute of that rain. He promptly asked where the closest hotel was. We pointed in the general direction and he was off.

Next, a fisherman was abandoning the woods. He was a friendly, positive guy. Telling us to watch out for the trails, cuz they were a little “sloppy”. A little sloppy. I quickly learned he was a verrry positive man.

Because within minutes we ventured out on that ‘slightly sloppy’ trail. With our horses slippin and slidin through inches of muck and mud, I was about ready to turn around. That is if I could actually get my horse to obey me long enough to abandon his friends.

See, we had with us three horses—Sassy, Fig, and Everest. I rode fig. And I was so scared. Because horses scare the crap out of me. And crap is a bad word. But it’s the only way I can accurately communicate my fear of these stupid animals. And, these already scary animals were slippin and sliding all OVER those freakin trails. (Again, bad word. But, you will soon realize that this was a trip of all sorts of colorful words.)

Anyways, Fig. She didn’t kill me. Which really made me happy. But, she did manage to walk 2 inches from the edge of every deadly dropoff of every cliffside. With her head cocked to the side admiring our soon to be sure death, she would undoubtedly, every time, stumble on some barren stump on the path. Throwing me into all sorts of meltdowns.  And she really enjoyed brushing me practically off on any remotely available pinyon tree. During this entire expenditure I somehow survived by just closing my eyes and trying to breath slowly, before I had a complete meltdown and started bawling crying begging to walk the rest of the way, however far, I would do it if he just please wouldn’t make me get back on that animal! But, luckily we are still newlyweds so I tried to contain some dignity so he could think of me as a brave capable woman. Every time he turned around to check on me, I quickly played cowgirl and smilingly exclaiming, “Isn’t this just beautiful”! ….pfff…I never saw the scenery. My eyes were either locked on the path…watching for those slippery slopes or closed. Because I was praying. The whole time. I wanted to cry. Like so bad. I hate horses. (Don’t worry, by the end of the trip I clearly let him see the real me and my not so brave self.)

So, all I’m really trying to say is I didn’t get many pictures, due to my white knuckles clenched on the twine reigns and sweaty saddle horn the entire way!

Annnyways…on the way up we passed through one storm. And, we were still happy. Singing “Singin in the rain”. And hymns. And stuff.

Finally we made it to camp…a sopping wet field. But I was off a horse. So I was totally happy. I peeled my sopping socks off my white wrinkled feet. Next, my shivering hands managed to find our mashed tin-foil dinners. A warm supper. Oh but wait. It had been raining. Remember? And wet wood won’t burn. No matter how mad you get at it.

So, back on came the socks. And if you have ever had to pull freaking cold heavy socks back onto your already prune chaffed feet you would understand that that…. that will make any grown dignified woman want to fall down and pitch a fit. Like, a big one.  

But alas, off we headed to borrow some fire from some fellow camper back down the trail. Well, by this time it was dark. And we slipped and slid our way down the mountain. Constantly in tense (almost losing it) tones I requested if the dim glare of the flashlight could perhaps just be flashed in my direction in order for me to avoid who knows what kind of rocks, sink holes, or death waiting for me. Well, one quick flick of the flashlight behind his back (the light hitting some far off knoll out yonder) and he kept on trudging. Thanks honey.

We arrived at the camp. Woke the campers up. Begged for their fire. Cooked our food. And left. Nice people are so nice.

So, back we went. After another battle for flashlight control, we finally arrived at our 1 man tent. With hunched over shoulders and kinked necks, we hunkered over our delicious warm meal, anxiously awaiting the next morning.

Ok, so I guess there is one good thing about camping with your husband. When your sleeping bag is wet. You can shiver super loud all night, until your husband starts feeling a little bad. Well, hold on. You have to move around a lot first, to wake him up, and then he can hear your shivering. Then. You see. He feels a little bad. And lets you snuggle with him. I liked that.

Well the morning was good. We looked at rocks. All day. But, I was dry so I was happy. Finally, we meandered back from the peaks to our home camping spot. I happened to glimpse over at the lake and saw girls and boys frolicking around the shoreline, soaking their toes and splashing one another. Laughing. I could feel my head tilt and a smile slide across my dried crusty face. I cried a little. Fun camping. I love fun camping….. I was abruptly brought back to reality by my husband hollering to pack up the tent while he saddled the horses. No sitting down to relax. No fire. No happiness. Just packing and moving to a new and probably wetter and unhappier location.

Back on the horses. And here the party really started. The horses were just being so scary. They could smell my fear. I know it. (Like dogs, they know when they got ya.) After a few battles (consisting of my husband hopping off his horse to come lead my horse as I tried not to scream and cry and start walking home, cuz I apparently couldn’t show Fig I was the boss) we were almost to our new destination. I could cry. And then, it happened. I hear my husband behind me…. “you idiot”…..Everest may have just forgotten he had fragile boxes (stuffed with our rations for the next two days) strapped on his back…when he decided to lay down. Well, it didn’t last for long. He shot back up and went buck-wild. Literally. Packsaddles flying everywhere. My horse thought it would like to join in the fun. And it was the boss, remember? So I knew what was coming. I heard my husband somewhere in the madness holler at me to jump off. He didn’t have to ask twice. One swift barrel-roll and I was off and running for cover. After seeing Fig make a mad dash off into the boondocks, I heard my husband say, “tiff, grab your reigns…well just...hold on”. He shoved the reigns of his steed into my quivering hands as we went to find the now two buckin bronks. There I stood. Not knowing whether to be afraid or just plain ol embarrassed. I settled for both.

When my husband returned with our smashed crackers and ripped bags, we silently made our way to Brookie pond—our new home.

We quickly unloaded and set up. And nope. You got it.  No relaxing. No fun.

Cameron gives my shoulder straps of the camo backpack one more good tug before we begin climbing to find another rocky Cliffside to glass. (glass—a term cool hunter guys use to describe staring at rocks in cold windy miserable weather in hopes of seeing a sheep)

As we are walking it starts raining. I mean duh. Here I kind of forget my ‘try to be tough for your new husband’ attitude and proclaim that I will not go in this rain. And that my husband was crazy for trying to make me. “Tiff, the storm is going away from us. Trust me, we will walk right through it.” A few seconds later, one big lightening crack, and down came the hail.  Now he was getting the silent treatment. Granted I couldn’t give it well cuz I was mostly just huffing and puffing five feet behind him trying to keep up as he just kept on plain ol walking.
I was in his XL rain gear. So, in an effort to keep my britches from falling off, I mostly just created the most perfect pocket for hail to slide right down into my bum crack. Seriously.

Finally he turned around. I thought we were free. Going back. Nope. He just says “Tell me if it (big mountain hail) starts hurting and we’ll bunker down under a tree for a bit.” Well, I was giving him the silent treatment, remember? So we walked on.

Finally arriving at the peak of the mountain, I hear my husband “Now, I could’ve sworn it was going that way… (of course, he is referring to this storm. That is still raging around us)… (a few seconds later and a few octaves quieter) I wish I knew which direction this thing was headed”.  Yet…we kept walking. And it kept hailing. And my husband would motion over his shoulder with his two fingers thrusting forward. Meaning, come on. But of course, he couldn’t speak. Cuz the sheep would hear us (over sonic boom thunder and pounding hail) and would fluster the poor things. Raging. I was raging.

After a few quick minutes of…well…just standing. And after one loud crack of thunder (which might I add, at 13,000 ft feels like a leer jet 10 feet above your head) we headed for a pine tree. And bunkered down. Under a pine tree. You can just imagine how good little pine needles are at keeping people dry.

Finally, the storm clears. And we’re off. To the Cliffside. We walk a ways. And he asks me if I think this spot right next to us is good. Yes! I say. And start taking off my bag. “Well, I was actually thinking about that knob…over there.” And he is pointing like five miles away. “No. No Cameron. That a whole nother mountain!” … “Tiff, it will only take us five minutes. I promise.” Well, I knew it was in no way only a five minute walk. So I bet him. Cuz I wanted a good reason to really chew him up. Well…five minutes and a half sprint later, my husband leans over on the knob and wheezes, “See, I told you.” I’m, of course, in the background puking my guts out. Boys cheat.

So, we start glassing. And, we see a ram. Four in fact. I almost felt happiness. And then, he saw a big dandy! (Let me tell you how he discovered it. I leaned over to take a peak into the scope. And of course, I smashed into with my face. Knocking the whole thing out of view. As I peeled myself off the rocks and tried to somehow react with any slight sense of coolness, Cameron began working to get it back into view. And in doing so, saw the grand daddy ram. See, I was helpful. J )

But, while sitting staring at the mountain side. I finally decided that I would be a strong independent woman. I told Cameron I was going to camp. Not like in a mad way. Cuz we were happy. Cuz we saw a ram. But, I was just ready to sit in a warm tent.

So, I was off. And Cameron was going to catch up with me. But…I got kind of far off the mountain, and he hadn’t yet. No sign of him. And, the sun was going down. And in Colorado, mountains are not just like one single big tall peak. It is like a bajillion of them. And they all look the same. And I was getting scared. But, as long as I could see two lakes, I knew my campsite was below them. But, I dropped down low in a canyon. And had to cross a creek. But, the drop off was too steep. So, I had to walk quite a ways before I could find a point of entry. Upon climbing out of the canyon, to my despair, my lakes were out of sight. And the sun soon would be too. I began to run. Maybe they were just beyond this knoll? Maybe the next? I became frantic. Tripping. Praying aloud. I cried for my husband. Why had I left? Night was coming and my destination was nowhere in sight. I ran harder. I prayed louder. I could not make it through a night alone. Fear would kill me. My heart raced as I ran through endless grass and creeks. At the point of despair I crossed one final knoll, and at the bottom I saw Fig’s legs. Our horses. I fell to my knees and cried.  

Upon arrival I felt much better. But, I was still alone. And there were weird noises all around. Suddenly the horses jolted, and so did my heart. I turned around just to see my husband running to camp. I turned around and ran to him bursting out crying. He saw me and stopped. And bent to catch his breathe. He was scared for me too. We hugged. I cried. And I promised to never ever leave again.

So night came. And with that. Freezing to death. But, my husband was determined. No amount of wet wood could stop him. So after an hour and half. Seriously…who has that patience? Well after that huge amount of time. He finally found success. And we snuggled by a fire.

And I was able to reminisce. On this infamous trip. And how perhaps it wasn’t entirely horrid. There were moments. Good ones. Like when my husband would wink at me from his horse as we rode. Or when he would hold my hand as we walked over grassy hillsides and steep passes. Or how he never became upset with my constant whining, but rather smiled and walked on. Occasionally singin to me tunes of encouragement. Like (in the tune of count your blessings..) Iiiiits ok Tiff, we will some find sheep. Juuuuuust hang in there tiff, yes we will find sheep. Ohhhhhh Tiiiiiff, I promise we’ll find sheep…(like it was the fact we hadn’t seen sheep that was making me mad….but, it was an effort. And I liked it.) Or how he had introduced me into such lovely landscapes. Big skies. Massive cliffs.  Endless meadows surrounded by wandering streams. Seeing deer stand and watch us pass by. (Horses didn’t seem to spook them. Which is weird, cuz they sure spook the crap outta me.) And I could see that I couldn’t have gone with anyone with a better sense of humor, patience, or protection than that man.

And now, as I sit at home, (as my husband is again in the mountains doing the actual hunt) I realize that I would immediately give up my warm comfortable bed, roof, and hot food just to have his company. Because he makes everything good.

So, next time he goes hunting and asks me to tag along, will I? Yes, absolutely. 



An average day's pickins'

So every morning. Ok. Mostly just mornings I somehow magically awake at the same time as my hubby, we go on a date. To the raspberry and strawberry patches! I just really love it. And then we go back inside, bearing the fruit of our labors (Ha! See what I did there?) And he makes me a milkshake. While I get back into bed. Trophy husband? Tell me about it.
The couple who took this pic was hoping to
set Cameron up with their granddaughter.
Then they saw him walking out holding my
hand :)  P.s. he calls this my beaver
dress. "Tiff, wear that beaver one..
ya know...with the tail?"

And, our goal of attending the temple monthly is 100% Two whole months J And that has had this profound ability to turn ordinary living into something so much better. When we walk out of there, we are engulfed with this feeling of profound gratitude for all we have! Not wanting anything more. It is like we fall in love all over again. Not, that we ever fell out or anything. 

But, no time to lally gag. I’m already behind in adventures. So I will jump back a few weeks. When we went camping.

You see. We love the wilderness. And my husband. He is a mountain man. So, we loaded our camo hiking backpacks and hit the trail. For two whole days.

But we didn’t just meander to a camp ground. We went up. Way up. To where the wild beasts roam. At about 13,000 feet we were officially off the trail. It was awesome.

We saw hundreds of Elk. Heard motheres calling to their babies and herding them safely beyond the mountain side. Stood in awe as huge Bull Elk walked along the skyline. It was absolutely majestic.

We walked through a skunkweed field! It covered Malou's head!
Right above my head was a massive heard of elk. But, my
lil' phone didn't quite have the zoom power to capture them.

Anways…after setting up camp we decided to climb to the tippy-toppy of the tallest mountains to scout sheep. Which is the hardest thing I have ever done. They are impossible to see. Seriously. You are looking for grey animals standing in grey rocks.
While scouting (Cameron
quickly realized I was no
help) Malou and I bonded. 
So, after hours of staring at rocks. Two days of staring, actually. (We did see sheep! But no rams. L) And with tight sore bottoms we began the downhill trek.

So, on our way out of the cliff sides we started singing on of my favorite songs. Ok, not even. I’m actually a little embarrassed that this is the song we sang. But it just popped into my head, and would not leave until it was given sufficient attention.  So, in a lovely melody, we took sang “beans, beans, the magical fruit” in a wide variety of pitches. Harmonizing. Vibrato. Opera. You name it. It really is such an easy song to work with. And, before we knew it, we had made it we were back on the trail home! Singing makes the time fly! Perhaps next time we will be a little more classy with our choice of song…hopefully.
We climbed to the tippy-toppy of that tall rocky cliff. And I
was COLD! And yes, I'm wearing binoculars...like I'm
actually going to see anything. And yes, that is the
warmest jacket I brought. Idiot. 

So, we’re still walking. And then we came upon a stream. And he caught a fish with his hands. With his hands! Let me explain. I totally doubted him. And then he laid down on his belly and dropped his hands into the cold mountain water. While laying without a movement, he explained to me that all he needed was to have a fish swim close enough to where he could massage its belly. And the fish would like it so much it would just roll over and go limp. Now, I think my husband may know I’m not super smart. And probably takes advantage of that. By telling me stories like this so I can embarrass myself by telling the whole world about it online. Either way…I swear to you. Whatever he did. It worked. And before I knew it a flying fish landed at my feet and my husband pushed himself up off the bank with a “see, I told you” grin smothering his face.

So, after our fishing extravaganza we hit the trail once again. And, I suddenly felt my face feeling…hurt. And tight. It began to tingle a little. I asked Mr. Barr if I was burnt. “eh, little red” he said. That was his whole response. That was it. Nothing more. No “owie” expression on his face. Now, this is important. You need to recognize the lack of emphasis that man put on my sunburn. Because, when we finally arrived at the truck, I learned that Mr. Barr was either blind or just never actually saw my face. Because it wasn’t just a little red. It was destroyed. Don’t I look like the bad guy off Captain America? I’m actually surprised my nose didn’t just fry right off my face like his…it felt like it just might.

The difference between
the neck and chin is just
so sad.  
But, I gotta give a little shoutout to my Mumsie in law and her voodoo oils. Cuz they totally worked! Thank heavens for smart Mommas!

And since I’m on a nature kick. I just have to tell you. About the other day when my husband got bit by a rattlesnake. On his leg. But luckily, he had heavy duty boots on and the snake just stuck in them. And didn’t get any further. I wasn’t there to have a total emotional breakdown, which is great. Cuz I totally would’ve. I simply had to hear about it after seeing him alive and well. That still didn’t stop me from imagining him limping off the mountain, with a swollen black leg. Almost to the pickup passing out and not having the strength to call his wife. And then..oh you know. Dying.
I am so dramatic. But, nonetheless, he didn’t die. So I am so grateful for tender mercies! And a husband. Who is alive. 


His side of the story...

Yes. I am still explaining our love story. So sorry. But, I just keep thinking my children will thank me one day.

So, remember I'm going on a mission...then kind of accidentally started falling for this one boy on facebook? Here is his story. A little less dramatic. But still miraculous.

My husband! I mean...is this
 real life?
This boy. He is 29. Which is great. Because older men are better. At everything. Actually, I don't know. I just like that he is old. I just do. Anyways...being old, he had been home from his mission quite some time. About ten years to be exact.

One day he got an email. On facebook. From my brother in law. Who was in the Brazil MTC with him. Ten years ago. Crazy. I know. So, they haven't talked for ten years. And then. Out of the blue. He mentioned some girls he thought this boy might be interested in. The boy wasn't so sure about it. Until he saw my dark brown hair. Seriously. My hair. That was all he cared about. Boys are so weird.

So, after a slight moment of potential hope, he brushed it aside. A mission. He wasn't going to mess with that. Then that darling brother-in-law of mine helped me out. He pushed the issue a little. Telling him just to give the girl a shot. I love my brother in law. He did a good job.

So the boy did. He added the brown haired girl. And talked to her on the phone, in his car. Cuz, he didn't want his parents getting any ideas.

So, he liked this girl. She seemed to be just about what he had been looking for. And he had looked. Trust me. For ten years he looked. And he pretty much knew what he wanted. So, for two years he kissed no girls. And there were offers. But, they just did not fit the bill. (Oh what a wonderful thing is is for my ego to sneakily stare at all these darling cute girls my husband passed up. For me. How in the world?)  Anyways...He knew what he wanted. (And it just so happened to be me!) And he knew he would snatch her when he found her. So, he waited. For the precise moment. And it came.

And it was because this boy was patient. And he asked Heavenly Father to answer his prayers. And he worked hard. And had faith. And his turn came.

Again, God is in the details of our lives. He had been planning this for years. At least ten. When that boy met that brother in law of mine. So watch out. You never know what is stewing in your life.

So anyways...we met. In Vegas. For five days. We'll just talk about the first.

I knocked on the door. He answered. And I died. Literally. He was wearing non-grandpa pants. Thank you to the fashion Gods. They saved him. But more importantly. He glowed. And I just...I mean, He was my best friend. I knew it. There he was. I had been looking for him. I ran to the bathroom and fanned my face. Dabbled a little water on my fire red cheeks. Took a deep breath and walked out into this daydream.

Here we are. Laughing. Until we fall down dead. 
The day flew. We talked. And kind of fell in love. And then night came. So. Duh. We watched a movie. And, we snuggled. I don't even know how it started? Oh wait. I do. I got a drink. Came back. And slam-bam. There were his arms out waiting for me. Annnyways...

The movie. Dancing with wolves. It's kind of weird. But I love it now. Cuz this is where the magic happened. You see, there is this part where all sorts of riskay things start happening. Like clothes falling off. Gross. I know. So, my husband, in his infinate wisdom pulled my chin around close to his face. To save me from seeing the filth on the tv. It was so kind of him. Thus, in order to distract us from what was happenin on the big screen, we... Well, we laughed. And felt awkward. And then. Yup. We kissed. It was awesome.

Then we stayed up. All night. Not kissing. Duh. We talked. And talked. And laughed. And cried. cried! We seriously cried.

And the next four days, we were best friends. Me. Being late for everything. Putting make-up on in his car. Sleeping while he drove. Getting lost. And everything else that you do with your best friend.

And, now we are ((still)) totally in love. And married.


Our little love story...

So, lets talk about striving to hear God's guidance and then faithfully following it.
This is me. Graduating from BYU-Idaho
Don't I look happy! Well I was sad. Well, actually I was happy. Because I was no longer this frazzled burnt out crazy lady just trying to get that piece of paper that was supposed to make me more money. But, I was a little sad. I was one of those girls who must have something wrong with her because she made it out of Rexburg single. (Which is odd, cuz LOTS of girls make it out of there single. Why do we somehow feel like we are the only girl walking away from this mecca of available men?) Now I had to face uncles asking me "What was wrong with those boys up there? They need their eyes checked?"Or the massive onslaught of blind dates that would quickly start lining up. So, I put on my big girl panties....and moved back into my parent's house. How sad.

The next few months were a little hard. No real job. (I just couldn't commit! Job offers came, and with half glazed eyes I waved as they moved on to some other girl with much more motivation.) I was lame. And then. My sister got married. My younger sister. And that. No girl should ever have to experience that.

So after all sorts of options came and went, I settled with a mission call. I felt good about it. Kind of. Sometimes. I was hot and cold. Yes and No. In and out. Ok, I'm sorry. I'll stop. Anyways....I knew that I loved God and the gospel, and that I wanted to share it. So, that was answer enough. After about 4 months of all sorts of madness, my papers finally submitted. And I was available that day. To leave.
New Jersey! 
5 months! I had to wait 5 months. For a stateside mission. I was furious! Ok, not really. I just waited. And boys came. And I let them go. Boys. I had been there. Done that. But a mission, that was new. So, as with the job, I waived the boys off into the abyss.

Until this one boy. He was smokin! Well, his face was. His pants? Oh his pants...we are still working on slowly destroying most of them. But, I was attracted to him. For some reason. Maybe it was that he was ok with wearing grandpa pants. He was a man. And worked hard. And climbed mountains. And just didn't care about what brand his pants were. And that was refreshing.

And then he emailed me. Then called me. Let's talk about that first phone call. I was done. Twitterpaited. I mean. I ran down stairs, plopped on the couch next to my Mom and exclaimed, "If he's real life, I'm going to marry him!" Then, embarrassed, I realized I had a mission call. And immediately scoffed at myself saying "just kidding."
I'm crazy.

But, he was different. I had dated. And dated a lot. But this boy. He had everything. Where did he come from?! I was falling. For someone I hadn't even met. Maybe it was his incredible good looks? Or that he had traveled ALL over the world? Was getting his Masters? Owned a home? Loved, played, and coached athletics? And grew up on a ranch? ...(I have to brag about him. Cuz he won't do it for himself. He's too humble....) Whatever it was, it worked.

Side note. I used to always ask girls how they knew. Ya know. Knew their husband was the one. They would never give me a specific reason! I had to know! Had I let the right one pass by already, because I didn't know how to know? Well. Don't panic. If you are in that stage. Trust me. You will know. You just will.

So we decided to meet. In Vegas. For 5 days. Yeah, we were brave.

And so it begins...

I'm sitting here a little nervous for my husband to walk through the door and catch me. I'm jumping at every sound. Like even at the wind. Sheesh. Now, my husband isn't scary or anything. I just know what will come. A scoff. And a laugh. Because I have finally joined them. All the Mormon girls who get married, and blog. I used to scoff at them too. And laugh. How stereotypical. Until it happened to me.
You see, you can only mosey around vacuuming, doing dishes, and trying to pretend like your busy for so long. So, we slowly find ourselves staring at our computer. And thus, here I am. So why don't I get a job? Life has been a mad rush lately. Weddings? Seriously. Why do we put ourselves through such anxiety? Anyways, back to why I'm here...maybe it's because I mostly just want to have some babies real quick and do the whole Mom thing. Like, tomorrow. Which would make my father-in-law quite glad. Let me explain. At our reception, ya know the shoe game?

This is us. Playing it. In my barn. Our reception was in my barn. How awesome huh. Anyways, notice how we are both holding up MY shoe?(yes they are flipflops.) This is in response to the question, "Who can go the longest without showering?" It's true. I can. I don't know why I just felt the need to confess that... 

Anyways, while playing we were asked who will be baby hungry first. Well, said father-in-law ripped his shoes off his feet and held them high for all to see. 
That man. I love him.  So, I'm gonna give him some grand-babies. 

So anyways.....you can see what has been on my mind. All I was really trying to say was that I can't get too busy. (job) Gotta save up lotsa energy for those ninos. (My husband speaks like 10 languages, ok 3, but he is currently teaching me Spanish. Ninos. Thats about all I got so far.)

So. Let's talk about that quote. The picture at the top. I find that it absolutely applies to my life. So here, I want to write about those vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. I write for those times when I find it hard to be thankful for this ride. During those occasionally deary days, I hope to return here. And be thankful. 

So speaking of thrilling bursts of speed. I recently had one. Let me preface. Yesterday we had a vacuum sales guy pay us a visit. And yes, we bought one. We are those people. Anyways, he heard we were recently married, and asked how long we had known each other. Before I could respond my husband shouts from the back room. A lie. He shouted a lie! He lied to our vacuum sales guy. He told him we had been together a year. Cuz he was afraid. He was afraid that when I responded that we met in January (not like started dating, met. Like, met on facebook met. In January. That means we met, got engaged, and married all under six months.) the guy would think we were weird. And crazy. Which we are. But I prefer to call it a miracle. Not crazy. Or weird. Mostly just a miracle. Cuz I believe they still happen. And it happened to us. So no more lies. How can I be embarrassed of what people might think? I know what I think. I think it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I will tell you more about it. Next time. 

But, speaking of miracles, I have to show you. Real quick. My husband. 

Isn't he smashing?!
What a miracle that a guy like him, picked a girl like me. I am grateful. Everyday. God is involved in the details of our lives. I know it. If we will strive to listen and hear his guidance in our life and then faithfully follow it, we will be where we need to be when we need to be there. And we just might find prince charming. If we're lucky. Like I was.