Sunday, December 14, 2008

Counting Down the Days to Christmas!

Opening Day 14

So since my last post was directed to Mom Willis, I figured it was fitting that this post be directed to Mom Singer.  

About a month ago Nate had a training in Salem and was able to meet his mom there for breakfast, as she happened to have a doctors appointment in the area.  It was then that Rita gave Nate all of our Christmas presents, expecting that would be the only time she could make the exchange.  (Luckily the weather was great for Thanksgiving and she and Clem were able to come visit and assist in preparing my second Thanksgiving ever.  Rita, thanks for taking care of the pie, cranberry sauce, etc. and thanks Clem for hand washing EVERY last dish!)

Nate returned with the presents later that week and I, being the peeker that I am (it's been a year or two since I last peeked, by the way) couldn't help but notice the Lego insignia through the thin wrapping paper.  The package was marked "To: Nate and Brittney (open November 30)." My initial thought was that it was a Lego nativity set... we don't have one... a regular nativity that is.... too expensive.  Nate was super excited at the thought.

Contents of Day 14- Ahh... isn't he so cute?  Still just a kid at heart.

So November 30th rolled around and we opened the present to find a Lego advent calendar.  I was hoping that along with Legos, there might be some chocolate.  Anyway, Nate was thrilled.  He has had a little bit of an obsession with Legos ever since he was young.  In fact, at the Roseberg reception when we got married all the family was there and Nate let Mary (our niece, 2 or 3 at the time) play with his Lego pirate ship, something that I heard he wouldn't allow in the past.  I thought, "Ahhh... my little Nathan Singer is growing up!"  BUT, he then proceeded to tell her to "be careful," and to "play with it like this," hovering over her making sure she didn't take anything apart.  Just a little protective...

Those same pirate ships are now serving as decorations for his cubicle (mine and Rita's idea).  Trust me, it was pretty barren before.

The fireman rescuing the cat (comprising of Day 7-9)

The scuba diver (comprising of Day 13&14)

Anyway, so every evening we try to remember whose turn it is to open the next compartment.  It's really been fun (except for when I tease Nate that I'm going to open them all when he's at work and put them all together myself... he gets a little angry... he once told me in quite a serious tone that he would leave me.  I'm funny, but mean.)   My favorite so far would have to be our little scuba diver.

Nate actually playing with them.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here, mom.  This one's for you.  (You can use the arrows to navigate
 through the pictures.)  My newest pairs are the green heels, the purple
 heels, the brown buckle wedges, and the black and cream mary jane 
heels.  I know.  I know.  I have a problem...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Family Visit

My sister, Jaycie, and her husband, Chad, and their kids came to visit this weekend.  We had so much fun with them and wished they could have stayed an extra day.  My youngest neice kept asking the days before they came, "When are we going to Nate's house?"  Nothing about me? We know who's loved.  Nate deserves it though.  I spent most of the time with the grown ups while Nate tried to help out with the little ones.  Someday he's going to be a great dad!

Anyway, part of why they came down was for family pictures.  And we got so lucky.  The day before was so windy and the day after was so rainy.  But for pictures it was gorgeous-- it maybe sprinkled for 10 minutes.  This was my first time taking family pictures.  I took close to 300 pictures and it was a good thing because between 4 kids it is so hard to get a decent picture.  Some of them turned out so freaking cute.  And thanks to their help, I'm slowing starting to gain a little more confidence in my picture taking abilities.  Good, considering I'm in my senior year.

Here are a few of the pictures:

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Employment

For those of you who don't know, I just started a new job this week.  I'm an "agent assistant" for an insurance agent... sounds a lot better than secretary, huh?  I thought so.  But for the first time in my life I have a job where I feel so lost and helpless.  I know nothing about insurance.  I've had jobs in the past where I knew nothing starting out, jewelry sales for example, but was able to manage.  "This diamond ring is my favorite.  It's so sparkly."  Not hard.  But when it comes to insurance and annuities I can't even pretend to know what I'm talking about.  It's been a little stressful, but Nate just keeps telling me that with time I will be the best insurance agent assistant ever.  My boss has also talked to me about getting licensed, which would help out.

So I was sitting here thinking of all my past jobs and all their low points.  Here are the top three:

1.)  Working Fast Food-  One day while cleaning off tables I was approached by a gentleman who proceeds to ream me for "using chemicals around [his] wife when she has severe chemical allergies."  I was at a complete loss for words and actually apologized... excessively.  How was I supposed to know that his wife could die (which he made very clear) from cleaner?  Of course later I thought of all the great replies... isn't that always the case?  (Oh, and he finished his meal INSIDE while his wife finished hers outside... what a great catch.) 

2.)  Jewelry Sales-  Telling a guy that I wasn't sure if a watch we sold was "quartz."  He then informed me that quartz meant battery-powered.  Who knew?  I felt so stupid; even though my knowledge of diamonds, pearls, precious stones, gold, kinetic watches, adjusting watch bands, etc. is actually quite extensive.   

3.)  McDonalds-  A cute boy came through drive-thru and after handing him his food, he asked what time it was.  I looked at my analog watch (see I told you I know my jewelry!) and proceeded to tell him the time.  He gave me an odd look and drove away.  I then realized I mixed up the hour and minute hands... yeah.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Knight in Shining Armor

I just feel the need to let the world know how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband. And while I've known this all along, I was once again reminded this week that I might very well be THE luckiest girl.

At Eastern in the art dept, in your final year you're required to take a class called Senior Seminar, and in Senior Seminar you're required to attend an overnight camp-out at a local lake. Mind you this was Wednesday... and it was freezing.  I had frost on my pillow!

After we all sat around a campfire talking about art and politics, etc. we all headed off to bed.  I shared a little two-man tent with a girl in my class.  Because it was so cold and my feet were so frozen I couldn't sleep, but I tried really hard for Jessie's sake to keep quiet so at least she could maybe get some rest.  

So round about 3:00 in the morning I heard the tarp under our tent rustling... it stuck out on each side about 2 feet.  Now La Grande is a windy place, so at first I thought nothing of it, but then I noticed that the trees above us were still.  I sat up to get a better listen and Jessie whispered, "You heard that, too."  We continued to listen and heard grunts, licking, breathing, etc.  So I started FREAKING out.  We have bears and cougars in our area, including all sorts of other wildlife.  And I am terrified of bears and cougars (I am my mother's child and Jaycie's sister!)  So I seriously started hyperventilating.  I was waiting for the moment where the cougar (or whatever it was) was going to decide it was hungry and collapse in our tent; and I was imaging the chaos that would then ensue.  I knew I was going to die.

Then I debated whether to call Nate and finally after the animal walked around our tent for awhile I decided I should.  Better safe than sorry, right?  As quietly as possible, as to not draw attention to myself, I whispered, "Nate, come help me.  There is an animal outside our tent and I'm scared.  Bring the gun."

I have to admit that I have always been hesitant about having a gun.  I really hate them, but I now see a need for one.

About 10 minutes later we heard a car coming.  It usually takes about 20 minutes to get up there.  Seriously Nate was hauling it in order to have gotten there as fast as he did.  So Jessie looked out to see what it was just as Nate was pulling in with his brights on.  She couldn't tell what it was, but she said it was big.  I, on the other hand, was too scared to look.

Nate was so sweet about everything.  I knew I could call him and that he wouldn't hassle me if it turned out to be a squirrel.  We talked to everyone in camp and then Jessie and I decided to spend the rest of the night in her car.  And the next morning we found a pile of poop by our tent and the whole camp was trying to figure out what it could have been.  Nate and Jaycie both thought it was a bear because of my description of the poop.  

Either way it doesn't matter.  I'm just grateful to have a husband that wouldn't think twice about doing whatever he needed to do to calm down his hysterical wife.  He is my best friend.  I could spend every minute of every day with him and never tire of him.  He's so thoughtful and absolutely amazing.

So to thank him for his heroic efforts, I made him cheesecake (his favorite) the very next day.

A really cool alley way in La Grande that we found yesterday.

Of course I can never keep up.  Just yesterday he sacrificed his day off to help me find places to take senior pictures and even let me practice a bit before next Saturday.  I am so lucky. 

One of Nate's favorites from yesterday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Cutting" Back

For those of you who don't know, my husband is very... frugal, yes frugal.  And with the prices of everything going up, from gas to rent to laundry, Nate is always asking if there are areas we can cut back.  Seemingly, this always affects me.  I am definitely the spender in this relationship.  I can admit that, but I have also cut back everywhere I can.
Well a few months ago I came up with a great plan to save even more money: I would cut Nate's hair.  Of course, whenever I brought this up, Nate would quickly change the subject.  After a lot of prodding I finally convinced him to buy some clippers.  
So last night, as our Family Home Evening activity, I gave him his 2nd haircut free of charge.   (Although I did try to convince him that I should be allowed to spend half of what we save each time, as a tip for my good work, but he didn't buy it.)  

Brittney Singer: Hairstylist

So normally when he gets his hair cut, he comes home, showers off and styles his hair, but when I cut it he stands in front of the mirror for 10 minutes examining it and pointing out areas that could be better.  It cracks me up.  I know that I am not a beautician, but my haircuts look so much better than when he has them done professionally.  
Finally after the lengthy examination he'll admit that I did a pretty good job... something that I already knew.

Nate's new haircut.  Looks good, huh?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our monster tomato plant.

Our garden.  (No I'm  NOT pregnant!  It's just my shirt.)

Nate and I decided to plant a little garden this year in our "front yard" (a 12x5 foot section of dirt outside our front door.)  And since La Grande winters last as long as sacrament meeting on Fast Sunday (FOREVER), we didn't plant until June.  Despite planting so late one of our tomato plants seriously won't stop growing.  Okay so we planted two tomato plants.  The first one is behind Nate and runs to about the molding on the window.  The rest is our cherry tomato plant.  THE cherry tomato plant.  It measures a whopping 9 feet across and is still growing.  Unfortunately we are still waiting for the tomatoes to turn red and are hoping it happens before the first freeze!

Nate with the cherry tomato plant.

It's trying to come inside!  We close the door on it every day.

BYU Football: Like an abused spouse I am back again.

So, I just have to mention this after BYU's 58-0 win over UCLA today, why do they have to tease me so?  In 2001 BYU played well and was respectable, while I was freezing in the Great White North.  In 2002 I went to BYU and cheered them on to their 1st losing season in 29 years.  For 4 years at BYU I hoped for a winning team to cheer on and was disappointed time and time again.  Now that I am gone, I am watching and hoping that they don't break my heart again.  So with a little apprehension I say "Go Cougs!" 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Uphill Both Ways.

Brittney's Pic of the Reflection in a Lake.
So we finally decided to go ahead and start a blog.  I'm always the last person in the world to do things like this (IMing-- anyone remember that?, Facebook, etc.).  I still don't text.  I'm always about 3 years behind.   We'll see how we do.  We both start school in a few weeks and things might get a little crazy.  We'll post when we can!

So just this last weekend Nate and I decided to go hiking.  We're trying to enjoy our last few weeks of summer before the long La Grande winter starts... the winter that never ends.   I had all intentions of getting up and leaving by 8 in the morning, but I have a husband who LOVES sleeping in.  Now that he's a big boy with a big boy job he's always complaining about having to get up early all week.  (Sometimes after we say our prayers in the morning he looks at me with such contempt that I get to go back to sleep.)  The weekends are his one chance to sleep in and so we didn't actually leave until noon.  

We drove up to Anthony Lakes, which is a beautiful 40 minute drive.  And we decided to hike the 8.6 mile loop.  It was such a gorgeous hike (we counted eight lakes!) and I took so many pictures.  Nate's getting really good with the camera, too.  Sometimes I'll turn on my camera to find pictures that I wish I had taken.

Nate's pic of grass.
The view from what we thought was the top was seriously breathtaking.  And I was looking forward to the last four miles thinking that they'd be down hill.  Okay, so I love hiking, don't get me wrong.  I love the sense of accomplishment, the view, the being out in nature, the exploring, but the second half of the hike is so much more enjoyable don't you think?  So I was a little disappointed to find that most of the second half of the hike was uphill, too.  In fact, about all but a mile and a half was uphill.  The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches waiting for us in the car.
So what did we do when we got back to town?  Got ice cream at Baskin Robbins, of course.  I guess it all evened out!