Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whew! It's almost over!

Perhaps I am becoming jaded, but I honestly have to say that I am glad that the holidays are almost over. I think year after year I become more disgusted with the commercialism of the holidays, and this year I am especially happy to have them over with. I'm just tired this year and I definitely did a lot less than I normally do. I really didn't do any holiday baking this year, and my Christmas shopping was rather limited because of deciding to get Mark one large gift instead of several smaller ones. Perhaps I'm a scrooge......

Keeping in mind that tomorrow is New Year's Eve, I figured that I should share my resolutions with you (Even though I'm afraid to call them resolutions for fear of dooming them to failure).
1. I have a goal (and a plan!) to increase our emergency fund to a more appropriate amount during 2009.
2. We will get around to removing all the tree stumps left from when we cut down trees this past summer.
3. I plan on expanding the vegetable garden and planning things differently so that I don't run out of interest in gardening before July.
4. I am going to stop buying Bread from the grocery store. I know this one seems kind of silly...but homemade bread is better for you. Plus, there is nothing that quite says home like hot fresh bread, and a wife in a cute pink and black apron...LOL. The apron is a long story!
5. I am going to begin line drying at least 75% of our clothes. It's better for the environment, cheaper, and our clothes will last longer. I am only aiming for 75% because I can never seem to keep up with laundry. It seems like I am always trying to scale Mount Washmore.
6. I am going to be a better friend, sister, daughter, wife. I don't have a plan for this one yet, but I'm going to find a way somehow!
&. Mark and I have another goal that we will start working on in February. We will keep you posted then!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Santa

I know, I know, I;m a little old to believe in Santa We just have a little tradition here at the Carney house of writing a letter to Santa the night that the Christmas tree goes up. So here goes:

Dear Santa,
We really have tried to be good this year, but no one is perfect. We know that we have spent too much money and wasted too much time, but you just gotta have some fun!
This Christmas season our list is easy (at least it should be for you!). We simply want:

Christmas with Amy's family for next year since it can't happen in 2008
Help in deciding if Amy should go back to school or wait a bit
An immersion blender
The patience and love to be better help meets for each other
Peace on Earth
Our kitten to stop climbing the Christmas tree
Martin to arrive home safely from Florida
For that one last dream to come true (you know the one)

Have a good flight,
Mark and Amy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blogging for Change

I have a challenge for all of you out there in blogdom.....Make a difference this year. Make someone's Christmas mean more than ever before.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


As today is Thanksgiving, I thought that it would be appropriate to share the things in our life that we are most thankful for.

1. I am greatful for a wonderful husband that copes with my daily struggle with my temper, and still manages to love me. He is wonderful friend, confidant, provider and more. I don't know what I would do without Mark in my life, He can always make me laugh and over the years has gradually taught me to not take everything so seriously.
2. I am greatful for my family. Especially two little boys that always light up when they see me and yell out "Sissy's here!!!". Those boys have taught me to be gentler and to listen more.
3. I am greatful for dear friends, the kind that you have known for over a decade and still find fascinating (you know who you are). The people that know you well enough to understand when to tell you that you're making a horrible choice, and when to zip it. Thanks guys, our Saturday nights would be dull without you.
4. I am thankful for my furbabies. I know, this one may seem silly, but you can only understand if you have arrived home to a dog with a wagging tail, and a cat purring loudly, both competing to give the first welcome home.
5. I am thankful for our prosperity such as it is. In these rough economic times, we have a home, we have dependable jobs and not much in our lives has changed. I know so many people whose lives have changed dramatically due to the economy, and I am so happy that it hasn't happened to us.

1. I am thankful for a wonderful wife. She is great at cooking, and she likes to do it as well. She does well at keeping a clean house most of the time. She has helped me to find a career that I enjoy, and doesn't mind my long hours.
2. I am thankful for a kind and loving family. I know I'm not the best at keeping in contact, but my family loves me anyways. We all communicate in different ways, which sometimes makes it hard to get things planned and done without toes getting stepped on, but we all love each other and help each other out when we need it.
3. I am thankful for the freedoms we all enjoy. I know that many people have fought and given much for those freedoms, and I thank them all sincerely. I am grateful for all the emergency service personnel as well. I know they sacrifice a lot for all of us and those we love.
4. I am thankful for all the holidays we enjoy. Without them, life would be pretty boring. I know we could party and celebrate whenever, but the holidays give it purpose and meaning.
5. I am thankful for friends. Friends can't always play when we want to, and they don't always wanna play what we wanna play. They help teach us patience and sharing, among other desirable attributes. They also help make free time fun, and help us enjoy life when it isn't as happy as we would like.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving is coming.....

Okay I know that this may sound silly, but this year will be the very first year of me making the Thanksgiving meal for company. It will just be Mark and I, my parents, baby brothers and my grandma, but I am really excited. I think that this year may be a little bittersweet because of the recent loss of my grandpa, so I will be trying to make everything a little bit brighter, a little bit more perfect. I am determined to not get too wrapped up in perfection though because the only thing it will do is stress me out! This will also be one of my last chances to spend time with my parents and little brothers before they move to Montana. They are leaving the day after Thanksgiving. AARRGGHHH! I'm starting to tear up just thinking about it! Wish me luck...and may your Thanksgiving be amazing as well!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Aunt Jane is Smarter

Have you ever seen something, or heard something exactly when you needed to? Today a comment was made to me that left me aghast at things people think are okay to say. How am I supposed to respond? In other words my Aunt Jane is smarter than my RE (reproductive endocrinologist.)

I am so grateful to have people in my life that TRY to understand what we're going through. Keep the vids coming, guys!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Picture taking

This year, I am in charge of putting together the 2009 Carney Family Calendar, and as such I have been collecting pictures of all the extended family for the photo collages. This made me realize that Mark and I had almost no pictures that were less than a year old. Also we had almost no pictures of us together that were less than about three years old. So off we went up Rock Canyon with our broken camera in the hopes of taking some pictures. Now our camera's screen is broken and we soon discovered that it is very difficult to take a picture with no screen, and without a viewfinder. So we just took a whole bunch of shots in the hopes that at least a few would not have our heads chopped off. Also, we were pet sitting my parents' dog bear, so the picture taker was also holding two leashes while we tried to get a good picture. Even with all those challenges though, I think we got a few fun ones.

Here's Mark being drug down the trail by Mazie...

We tried a few with the camera timer, but this is the only one that even slightly turned out

Surpriseingly, we managed to get one of Mazie in between her hiding from the camera.

We walked back down as the sun was just barely starting to set and had a great view of the lake..far off in the distance.

Hee Haw's

It's that time of year again....Autumn!! So now that October is in full stream we decided to take the time to partake in some of the the traditional Utah fall favorites. We packed up the car with my baby brothers and headed to Hee Haw Farms. While there we had a blast enjoying a 25" slide, a corn maze, pony rides, pig chases and much more!

This first picture is of Robert and Christopher after taking a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch in order to pick their own pumpkin. I made the rule that they had to be able to carry their own pumpkin because they were drawn to the ones bigger than they are!

This picture is of all three boys heading down the slide..this is probably the thing that we did most!

When we saw these cutouts, we couldn't resist a few shots!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blogging for Change

okay, I have to say that I am DEFINITELY not someone that gets involved politically. I just don't. Most of the time I feel as though I do not understand enough of the issues at hand to make a competent decision. However, there is one topic that I feel like I know enough about to make intelligent statements. The sex offender registry. As a victim of sexual abuse myself, my initial reaction is to sing the registry's praises. I mean it protects people right? Yet, with any great controversial issue there is a dark side hidden behind the golden armor of the registry. Labels. Stereotypes. Tell me, what do YOU think of when you read the words "sex offender registry"? Do you think of pedophiles, rapists, and general scum of society? Or do you think of someone that made a mistake and is paying the price?
The problem with the registry, especially here in Utah, is the fact that there is no description of the crime committed available on the list. That list does indeed include people that are pedophiles and rapists...and the survivor in me screams "burn, baby, burn" when it comes to what they go through. Yet what about the person charged with indecent exposure, Do they deserve ten whole years on the registry? Ten years of not being able to have a decent place to live, of not taking their kids to a park, of not having a good job? What about the person that had consensual sex with a minor truly believing the minor was of age? The person that pursued a coworker too much and grabbed a derriere? All of these things can be registrable offenses. Yet ALL of them have the same punishment, ten years on the registry.
I have a good friend who will remain nameless for his protection, (you know who you are) that was charged with a crime he did not commit. He went through FIVE years of legal battles, FIVE years of being unable to provide for his family, Five years of harassment, and shame. In the end, he chose to stop fighting. He sacrificed his integrity and accepted a plea bargain for a crime he did not commit so that he could be home with his wife and five children. He will spend the next ten years on the sex offenders registry for a crime he did not commit because he loved his family enough to sacrifice himself. Is he who you think of when you think about the sex offender registry? Today I sit quietly and watch someone else I love go through a very similar thing and I have to ask myself...who is this protecting?
Honestly, how many of you surf the registry to ensure you, and your family are not exposed to someone on the registry? I don't. It's not something that I would ever think of. And even if I did, why should I have that right? And why only for sex offenders? Why not for murderers, thieves and con artists? Did you know murderers can spend less time on jail and on probation than sex offenders (depending on the offense)? Let the punishment fit the crime. The registry not only impacts the offenders life but that of the offenders family. They live with the stereotypes and the fear.
It's time for a change. The people need protected, and not just the one's who don't love a sex offender. It's time for the punishment to fit the crime, for the sex offenders registry to undergo a major transformation. I just haven't figured out how.......

Monday, September 29, 2008

mind mumblings...

What is peace worth? I'm not talking about peace on a global scale, but rather on a more personal level. The type of peace that you gain from knowing who you are and what you stand for. The peace that you get from expressing a well thought out opinion even though you know it will not be well received, yet, it is something you believe needs to be heard. Why am I asking this? Well it all comes done to family. I love my family extended and otherwise, but....some have an issue with opinions that differ from theirs and oh, do mine differ!!! Would I be better served by just keeping my mouth shut while attempting to harbor no ill will at the censorship? Or, would it better serve me to try to tactfully express my own opinions? I am currently leaning more towards speaking my mind simply because I really do yearn for a close knit relationship with family, and I don't feel that can be achieved by holding my tongue and hiding who I truly am. Yet, it can't be accomplished through the drama that follows any minor difference of opinion.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Wow! This past week has been intense! We have spent every spare moment painting the ENTIRE basement. We also put in new moulding and new carpeting! I wish I had taken before and after pictures, but the camera went the way of the dinosaurs. We have done all of this in the attempt to lure buyers to our house. The only thing is...new carpeting smells! The smell doesn't dissipate very quickly either. We still have a banister to stain and hang before the basement is finished but we are almost there!
Now we need to start the marathon deep cleaning. It is really hard to keep a house perfectly clean. Don't get me wrong, our house is rarely dirty, but very frequently cluttered. I am hoping that if we take the time to do a very through deep cleaning, and box up some of the clutter, that we might have a chance to keep the house in showing shape!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So Long....We hope!

What an old picture! It was three years ago next month that Mark and I bought our first home. It has been three long years filled with painting, nailing, sawing, cutting, crying, sweating and the occasional bit of blood (accidents with the tools). We are finally at the point where we like our house and we are going to sale! So if you are interested in a four bedroom, one bath ranch-style home in Utah County let me know!

Oh!!! The Irony....and the County Fair

If you have been following my posts, you know that I have been out of batteries for our camera for some time now. Well. I finally bought batteries so that I could take lots of fun pictures at the county fair. Then I dropped the camera on the concrete and broke it. Oh! what irony!!! I was able to pull the pictures that I had already taken.

First we have the newly engaged Mike and Julie being cute as always!

Then we have replica of Thanksgiving Point made out of legos (so they took some creative license!). There was a MASSIVE lego display. It was really cool!

This is Nathan modeling his temporary Hello Kitty tattoo. You just have to know Nathan to understand this one!

Finally we have the gentlemen trying to win a prize for us ladies. They failed miserable! It was still a lot of fun, especially teasing them about thier "skills".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The trees are gone!

Well, this post will sadly have no pictures, because I keep forgetting to buy more batteries for the camera. If I could I would show all of you before and after pictures of our back yard, because over the last two weekends, it has under gone quite the transformation. Some of you may remember the tall, twisted and gnarled apricot tree, and the two poorly pruned, sad-looking apple trees that were growing under the power lines in our back yard. They are no more! After a morning of chainsaw work (Thanks Kenny and Nathan!), we said goodbye to all three of those trees as well as the dead aspen in our front yard. The next weekend was filled with loading all the branches into a dump truck to be hauled away. Our yard looks so much bigger now, It's amazing! The down sides are that we now have tree stumps to dig out, and without the shade of the trees, the grass underneath went into shock and died in a matter of days. I figure that planting some seed and doing the digging can both wait for cooler weather. We not only gained a bigger yard (seemingly so), but now we have firewood stacked up for use in a year or two, and we no longer have to clean up rotten apples and apricots every fall!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Introducing NUTMEG!!!!!!

We recently added a new fur-baby to our home. Nutmeg is 10 weeks old or so, and is full of energy!!! Mazie and Nutmeg have adjusted well to each other and love to play together.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Camping at Payson Lakes

Mark and I went camping this weekend with our friends Nathan, Mike and Julie. We had alot of fun even though the weather couldn't decide whether it was winter, spring or summer. The first morning we woke up to snow! Luckily, it melted by noon, and didn't hinder our fun!

Mike and Julie had to cuddle up for warmth, but I don't think they were complaining!

The first morning, there was an amazing fog coming off the lake!

We really enjoyed some beautiful scenery.

Mark climbed a tree that was growing almost horizontally over the lake.

The second day we got some fishing in...but we didn't catch anything!

How does your Garden grow?

This is the first year that we have tried our hand at a full garden. In the past we have grown a few select things, but we majorly branched out this year. We are growing, sugar snap peas, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and onions. I can hardley wait for our first harvest. YUM!

Monday, May 19, 2008


These are my deals from my shopping trip to Walgreens:
A Laurell Hamilton book,
Off Misquito repellant
Almay Eyeshadow
Almay Mascara
Covergirl Lipstick
6 packages M&M's.

How much did I spend? Well, after manufactuers coupons, sale prices and register rewards....my out of pocket expense was $0.07. Isn't it great?

Utah Beauty

As a spur of the moment thing, Mark and I decided to go hike up Rock Canyon one evening. So we packed up the dog and left. We had so much fun! Rock Canyon's Trailhead is only about a five minute drive from our house, Yet, I had never been more than a few hundred feet up the trail. I was amazed at beauty we found as well as the wide variety of activities. We saw people camping, backpacking, repelling, para gliding and rock climbing. Mark had to join in on the rock climbing. If you look close you can see his green shirt at the very, very top!

Mark even eventually convinced Mazie-dog to climb the rocks with him, we couldn't get her to look at the camera though!

We even explored a little shallow cave

We want to go back when we are a little bit more prepared, and do more rock climbing and playing!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I would die for that

Another Mother's Day has come and gone, and rather surprisingly I didn't fall apart this year. I was content with hope I felt towards trying fertility treatments again, but the hope has fallen short. The insurance options available to me at my new job will not cover anything for fertility treatment, not even diagnostic testing. I feel like I am slowly dying inside. Mark and I talked about it, and we could always use credit cards, and loans, even a second mortgage in the hopes of concieving. Yet, what would that accomplish? We might or not have a little one, and we would not have ANY financial security. I think we may just have to look into foster care more seriously.

My Favorite Money Saving Tools

I have been dabbling in coupons and Walgreens shopping the last couple weeks and I LOVE it!
Walgreens has this neat thing called register rewards that is basically free money, it's great! Walgreens also has a mail in rebate catalog every month where several items are free after rebate. Which if you combine those with a coupon, you can actually make money by taking the item home!!
Also today I went shopping and saved $24.60 in coupons for items we will use. I even ended up getting a few items FREE!!!! The problem with trying to shop this way is needing to have a little wiggle room in the budget. That way when I see that an item is on sale and I have coupons for it I can buy several months worth, without before forced to eat nothing but ramen for the rest of the month. Also, I need to be less brand loyal, in the past I have been big on finding the least expensive product that will do the job, (usually store brands), but now I need to keep in mind that with sale prices combined with coupons the national brand will most likely be cheaper.
I think I love the thrill of the hunt!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bah hum bug!

As I'm sure you can all see, I have been attempting to do Meal planning Mondays for the last few weeks. I think I am going to say Bah hum bug to the entire experiance! I would so much rather decide what to make on the fly, relying on a well stocked pantry to get me through! Plus, I have noticed that our meals tend to be healthier and better thought out when I make them with out a plan (go figure). I also like the flexibility of saying, "okay, we have leftover such and such, let's have this for dinner to usse it up." I think I am going to keep a list on the inside of my cupboard door (I hate things being stuck to the fridge!) that just states all the meals that we like to have. It just seems that there are always a few meals that we have rather infrequently, but really enjoy when we have them.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Speghetti and meatballs, tossed salad
Tuesday: Chicken and stuffing casserole
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes and tator tots (we didn't do them last week)
Thursday: Pork chops, salad and pasta
Friday: Chicken broccoli and rice casserole
Saturday: FFY (I'm working late)
Sunday: Hamburger helper and veggies (Mark is cooking)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 4/28-5/4

Yes, it is that time again! I have been feeling really bad because I really have not been feeding my husband since I went back to work. I have simply been too lazy to cook! Hopefully, having a plan will get me back on track.

Monday: Beef paprikash with green beans
Tuesday: Speghetti with tossed salad
Wednesday: Sloppy joes and oven baked fries
Thursday: Baked chicken breasts, rice and cabbage
Friday: Chicken enchiladas and steamed carrots
Saturday: Fend for yourself!
Sunday: To be determined.......

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Internet and my resolutions

I just want to say that the internet is a wonderful place, that can provide wonderful things! A co-forumite of the Dollar stretcher, responded to my post about babies and infertility, and it was an amazingly uplifting moment for me. So I have decided that I am going to do what I can do to get what I want.
In 3 months I will once again have medical coverage, so I am going to use it. However, I want to get the most possible out of it in order to increase the chances of it being successful. To do that my goals are:
  1. Save money! This has a two fold purpose.... to help pay for any medical assistance that might be nessacary and to help with me second goal...
  2. Losing weight. How does saving money help with losing weight? It reduces eating out and encourages eating in season. My weight is such a touchy subject. I have always been on the heavy side, just like all the women in my family. The first time we began to delve into the fertility treatment world my weight was almost 40 lbs. lighter than it is now, and I was being told to lose weight. Ironically, that just compounded my weight issues and I gained instead of lost. I think I will have a much better chance this time because honestly, I don't care iof I lose weight. I care that I get healthier.
  3. I am going to work on being okay with myself. I don't want to go into fertility treatments hating myself, or feeling guilty and inferior. I am going to be proud of who I am, how I am no matter what that ends up being.
I guess I am a little terrified about all of this because of our last experiance. The way they handled my issues seemed so unimportant, when it was the most important thing to me. The only suggestions they had were to go on birth control for a year, and when i was still not having regular menstral cycles, the solution was clomid. True, Mark and I decided to not follow through on more than two cycles because we were in the middle of buying a house, but at that point it seemed so pointless. Maybe we just gave up so too soon. I think this type I am going to seek out a reproductive specialist from the very beginning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Babies and Infertility

My best friend is pregnant with her fifth child. My last girlfriend to not have kids, just delivered her first. Then there's me. Mark and I will celebrate our fifth anniversary in September and we are childless. We want kids. Desperately. It just hasn't worked out, and it doesn't look like it ever will.
As an electrician, Mark is in a career that he loves, and I would never take that away from him. Yet, the truth of the matter is that being an electrician is not that lucrative. He will probally top out at about $50,000 a year. I have dream of being a full-time homemaker, even though I currently work part time. The dilemma is that Mark will only rarely have health insurance coverage offered through employers, so fertility treatments are only a dream because of the cost issues. Adoption is also cost prohibitive, and we might not be able to adopt because of a stupid moment when Mark was younger that resulted in him having a very minor criminal history. That History also puts foster care out. We really don't have any other options and sometimes I think its killing me.
I could commit to working full time to finance an adoption (crimnal history allowing), or to pay for the fertility treatments. Yet at what cost? Our home still needs to be maintained and it is alot to do with us both working. I feel like our overall quality of life would decrease. Right now we are trying to elimante debt as fast as possible in an effort to get to a place financially where it might be possible, but....it's so hard to wait. Does anyone have the magic solution?

Thursday, March 6, 2008