Wednesday, October 04, 2006

USANA.... the love of our LIVES... (well, besides eachother of course!)

A few weeks ago we got the opportunity to attend the USANA International Convention in Salt Lake City. We went knowing that it would be good, but we had no idea that it would be life-changing! We came home with a renewed sense of purpose and the feeling that we are soooo blessed to be involved with such an incredible company!!!

Top 10 reasons we love USANA:
10. We love feeling healthy! We notice such a difference in our energy level and we NEVER get sick!
9. We work with AWESOME people. We get to work with our best friends and even the people we had never met before we had such a connection to because we were all passionate about the same thing.
8. We love helping people and we feel it is a huge responsibility and a privilege to be able to share such VITAL information with our friends, family, and even total strangers if they will listen!
7. We love being part of a cause that gives our lives purpose and direction. From one who has struggled for years trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, it feels so good to know that I can stand behind a cause that I know will help millions and that will pay the bills too!!
6. We really love being our own bosses! It is so much fun to work together and to work when we want to! This means that we are responsible for our own success and growth - and no one else determines our payscale, our vacation schedule, etc.
5. NUTRIMEAL... mmm... yummy... Clint and I totally look forward to having our Nutrimeal shake every morning. I never thought I would say that. It's just the perfect way to start the day!
4. Dr. Wentz.... wow. At convention I was so impressed by this man's vision, integrity, committment, humility, and generosity. He is so dedicated to relieving the world of pain and suffering and you can feel it in his every word and action.
3. Residual Income!! It is so nice to know that I will be getting paid by USANA as long as I live! And every week!!
2. Personal growth - we have learned so much about ourselves and what we think our limits are. We know the power that comes when we step outside of our comfort zones and really go for our dreams
1. INTEGRITY... I have never had a job where I was surrounded by so many people with so much integrity. NEVER. Every member of the board, every leader in the company, every home office staff person represents a value system that's core foundation is honesty, integrity, and the desire to make other people's lives better. You don't find that in any old company these days!

Anyhow... that is what has taken up most of our time these days. Cool stuff.

Monday, September 25, 2006


So we are officially settled down in O-town (wow... that rhymes!) and loving our new digs. Honestly, we feel so lucky to have landed where we have. After a long summer away from the ocean and an even longer drive towards the ocean- we are super stoked to be totally awesomely close to the waves dude. I never thought I would end up here in Oceanside. In fact, I would have laughed (or cringed) at the idea in high school. Nevertheless, we really have found a little piece of heaven on earth here. Our apartment is sweet - the perfect size, perfect price, and perfect location. We are literally 5 blocks from the sand - I have never lived so close to the ocean in my life.
The beaches here remind me a lot of Huntington - long wide sandy beaches, a boardwalk (called the Strand), lined with palm trees, and of course- the pier!

We are also within walking distance to the harbor, to downtown, movie theatres, etc. On thursdays there is a farmers marked just 2 blocks from us- and let me tell you - we got the most AMAZING avocados there the other day. Wow- like CANDY! Anyhow, we are right next to the 101, and so far we have yet to witness any crime. ha ha. I was a little nervous about that - this area really is a mixing pot. We have little mexi neighbors but then there are like $2 million houses down the street. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. We feel safe here and it really is a fun town to live in.

We also really like our ward! We were pretty nervous because it is so hard to compare anything to our wonderful ward in Fountain Valley, but so far so good! We have met some really nice people and we feel like we will fit in well here. We just got called to be team teachers in the primary. Cute kids.

There are quite a few military families (Camp Pendelton is technically in our ward boundaries) which brings a really unique perspective. Every prayer that is said mentions the soldiers and it helps to remind us all that freedom is not free. I am so grateful that there are men and women willing to serve our country.

Diego is thrilled to have his own territory where he is allowed to run free (we never let him run around in Clint's parents house). He really thinks he owns the place but he has been really good after a seriously traumatizing trip down here.

We love being close to friends and family and are so excited that we get to see them often. We have already ran into so many people and been able to catch up on life. We are eager to see what else life has for us here in our new little home. And whoever wants to come visit- our door is always open! (Well, not really - but you know what I mean!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Most Anticipated...

Its been too long since we've been able to update this blog. By now many of you have probabily heard our story but anyway...

Jess and I have been eagerly waiting for the blessed internet. Seriously, how did we ever survive without that little beauty.

well... where to start?

how about here...

(hopefully you are laughing right now)

Act 1 Scene 1. Evanston Wyoming 4:32pm local time.
Jess and Clint and Diego find themselves blissfully anticipating their new life waiting for them in Oceanside.

For what seemed like smooth sailing and calm seas, we headed for Provo to spend the night with our dear "t&e". Tone-tone and E-train were sure impressed with our wheels and as always we had fun spending time with them. Early that morning (circa 4:00am) the Mayflower set sail once again.
I did most of the driving, apparently jess is not fond of driving small trains. When we reached Fillmore, UT (i think) I noticed that the brakes were acting kinda funny, really-hard-to-push-funny. So I pulled over and checked out the fluid levels and underneath the car, etc. and found nothing. Well we pressed forward intending to skip over the less-than-desirable Las Vegas and get gas in Primm. I believe it was 11:00 or so in the morning and for some reason we hit traffic. Actually its lucky we didn't literally hit traffic cause this boat wasn't stoppin. Due to spiking nerve levels we chose to pull over at the next exit which was in south Las Vegas.

The next scene: Temperature 110 degrees at the back of a truck stop parking lot in a 1971 cadillac with its hood up and uhaul trailer attached, dog tied to the bumber and Clint and Jess eating fast food waiting on a tow truck .

The epitomy of humility.

The tow truck said it would be two hours till they could get to us, so after a few scorching minutes we took matters into our own hands. Figuring out our location in the phone book and calling all the shops we thought were close, we found Sam. Sam is from Lebanon and owns a repair shop in south Las Vegas. He was the the only guy that said he could get the car in that day. We thought we would gone by that evening. Our deluxe accomadations for the rest of the afternoon included a 13inch tv that only showed Judge Judy, Peoples Court, and Judge Joe Brown topped off with a riviting Maury Povich. This room also came with interesting guests including several shuttle drivers, and a big snooring black man. 5:00 rolled around and they said "have a good trip", and we were off. A few blocks down the road I stopped, or attempted to stop, for gas, and nothing, no brakes. Although slightly improved, they had not fixed the problem. We hurried back to the shop and they said there were a few other areas that could be causing the problem. So jess and I were forced to find the nearest (cause we were driving a car with no brakes) hotel. This story could be quite long with full details so we'll just say that the car wasn't completed the next day either. We spent day 2 with our dog on the the strip and in the auto shop. Although dissappointed that we were not in califorina, we did manage to keep the best attitude we could and have some good times. One such time, actually two times, we had these amazing sandwichs from a pizza place acrossed the street from the auto shop. The sandwichs were called "wedgies" and let me tell you, they were the best wedgies we've ever experienced. Day 3 we were really wondering if this was really happening. Would the ericksons ever reach their destination? My dad called me several times and asked if the "pioneers" were still stuck in winter quarters still, and politely and humbly we said yes. Really we had little to complain about, there was no accident, we had a nice place to sleep, all of our belongings were with us (except for the toiletry bag which we left in wyoming...oops) any we ended up leaving just after 12 noon that 3rd day, with brakes that worked great. Sam felt really bad for us and didn't charge us for the work they did that last day. The rest of the trip was great except for the lack of air-conditioning but we got over it. The Pilgrims on the mayflower certainly didnt have A/C.

so our story ends here...

...official residents of O-side. Peace.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ode to the Ericksons... and the Klinglers and the Youngs of course!

If someone would have told me 5 years ago that in the summer of 2006 I would choose to live in Evanston, Wyoming for the entire summer I would have laughed. Well, it is still kinda funny. But all in all, I am soo grateful for the chance that Clint and I had to be here in Evanston with the Erickson gang. I don't know that many people really get to know their inlaws like I have gotten to know mine. I don't know that I would have ever understood what draws Clint back to Wyoming if I hadn't seen the Ericksons in full form. Of course, I knew that I was lucky in the in-law department before, but now I realize how truly blessed I am to have another family. The sad thing is that they won't be coming to California with us - some day we will convince them! So, this blog is dedicated to my family here in cowboy country. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from you and to laugh with you (and sometimes at you!)

Dave and Shelly- really, I couldn't be luckier to have such fun, loving, creative, hard-working, and chill in-laws. I have told you before that I am so grateful for the way that you have raised Clint to make him the man that he is today, and after being in close quarters with you over the past few months I now better understand why he is such an amazing man. I am grateful for your examples and for all of the sacrifices that you make for your family. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting us stay with you this summer, for the boating trips, the endless yummy meals, and for making me feel at home. I love you both!

The Young Family - I am so glad that we got to have so much fun together this summer. I don't know what I will do without Carter's crazy faces and hugs and Zoie's sweet and sassy personality. I really am glad that you all have become such an important part of my life and I will always remember how much fun we had - slippin' slides, shaving on the back of the boat, cliff jumping, the rodeo, good times. I love you all and will miss you tons! I told Carter that he has to promise to talk to me on the phone every once in awhile.

The Klinglers- You have all provided so much entertainment for
me ... Dominik just being himself, Kenzie and her little quirks, Randy... well, we all know Randy, and Mal always looking for a good laugh. It really has been fun to feel a part of your family and I can't believe how fast those kids will grow up when we are far away. I may never forget the giant fish that jumped out of the water, pummelling into D-bo on the slip and slide and good old black betty. Love you guys!

Garrett- It sure has been a crazy summer... lots of ups and downs. I really want you to know though that we love you so much and are so anxious to see where life takes you. You have so much potential and I could see so much in you from the minute I met you on my first trip to Evanston. I know that life gets hard, but that is what family is for, and I hope you know that we are here for you. You are more than welcome to come down and surf whenever you want! Be good and don't forget to keep in touch.

Ok, well, I really didn't mean for this to sound like a yearbook or a farewell... I just really wanted to tell all of you thanks for such a fun and memorable summer. How about next summer you all come live with us? It may be a little cramped, but that's alright! We love you and are grateful for you and will miss you sooo much!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria...AND my car.


This is Cowboy Clint coming to you from the "wild wild west". (you'll be able to tell by the spelling.)

I thoroughly detest the whole "metal militia - bling bling - gangsta thang". All the black clothes, flame tattoos, and acting all tough. I am all tough, so instead of the fake cadillac emblem belt buckle... i just got the cadillac.

"OH YEAH..." (like the Kool-aid man) the rumors are true. I am the proud owner of 20 feet of american sheet metal bliss. It flaunts its size with a 12 foot wing span, endless chrome that can only be measured in acres and a trunk fit for a small vietnamese family. Upon entry you are greeted in the foyer by flowing vinyl and wood-like trim. The main living area features two antique overstuffed couches, one is even powered. Automatic climate control is a must for any voyage and a deluxe built-in 8track stereo can be heard from all corners of the ship. Lighting our way is a Sentinal Automatic Headlight System and the signiture hood ornament points the course. I like to call it the "Mayflower", which will carry my family to the promised land. Jess likes to call it "La Casita".

Some of you may be saddened to learn that an official copilot for this vessel has already been guessed it...Diego. This ship will soon port in Oceanside, CA where she belongs. (I know the real Mayflower landed on the east coast, but just go with me on this one.) Certainly you are all asking "When do I get a ride?" Well, I was going for a strict first come first serve policy, however considering the amount of requests, I think we can all just ride together.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

pottery barn... eat your heart out!

Wanna see what I've been up to ALL week?... well, besides packing up and getting ready to head back to the sunshine.... who needs to buy furniture when you can build it?!!?

Ok, so I didn't exactly do the building part - that would be my handy hubby's work. But, I did put on 10 million coats of paint and stain and clear coat, etc. etc. etc.

In the end it will be worth it... she's a beauty, eh? We are excited to actually have an extra bedroom that will be our office and as Clint likes to say... "we'll be building a fortune on the desk we built ourselves."

Come on, you know you could see this in a store for like $1,000 at least! But then again, I know why it might cost that much because it takes a lot of work to make something look sooo good!

Ok, ok... enough about the desk. We have just been frantically trying to finish all of our many projects, get in as much time with the fam as possible, pack up all our stuff (twice as much as when we came) and get outta here ASAP. Looks like it will be Wednesday that we finally hit the road for reals. We plan on stopping in with T&E on Tuesday night. Can't wait for Tony's good cooking. And then, it will be... on the road again... I just can't wait to get on the road again...

Oh yeah- stay tuned for some exciting updates - Clint may be making a surprise appearance on this blog to tell of his latest crazy twist in the unpredictable lives of Clint and Jess. Oh, and we may be going to the rodeo again this weekend, so that'll make for some good stories!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


We all know that I inherited my tear ducts from my mother. Good old mom. Cries at the drop of a hat. It's a standing family joke that you know you gave her a good birthday or christmas or mother's day gift when she starts to cry. If she doesn't cry - well, better luck next year. My brother-in-law, Josh, and some of my cousins start a count-down to see how many seconds it will take for the tears to start flowing.
Now, as much fun as it is to make fun of mom, I don't stand a chance. I am just as bad, if not worse!! The biggest problem I have is what I like to call "empathetic or contagious crying." I may not be happy or sad or whatever the emotion may be that causes someone else to cry, but as soon as tears well up in another persons eyes, for some reason those little tears of mine decide they don't want to miss out on all the fun. In an instant I could be crying just because I see someone else crying. It's almost like contagious yawning. You see someone else doing it, you just gotta. Most people don't suffer from contagious crying. But I do. The only time in my life I seemed to have been in remission from this nonsensical crying was on my mission - and that is honestly because I prayed like you wouldn't believe that I wouldn't be a bawl baby as a missionary. I knew that if I was ever going to be able to teach an understandable word, I would have to be able to hold it together for heaven's sake! So, those tear ducts dried up for a little while - but man, as soon as that nametag came off, it was over.
Anyhow - why am I jabbering on about crying? The reason is that sometimes I am grateful to shed a tear or two - like a release valve is being opened up or something. This morning I had a surprise attack when I opened up big sis's blog to read what was new in her life. (since I last read it yesterday!)As I read of her ah-ha moment I felt completely overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude, joy, inspiration, and love. And, what do you know- the tears started to flow (as they are now by the way!)I have seen many miracles in my life- mostly small ones, but some big enough to change my life. One of those is to watch someone so close to me as my sister go through ridiculously difficult challenges in her life and not only survive, but inspire everyone she meets. I am so grateful for her strength that helps me to be strong, and for her trials that help me to see God's hand in all of our lives.
Sometimes I am amazed at the wisdom and grace of our Heavenly Father and His decision to send us here to earth as families. I can not think of a better way to spend this life and the rest of eternity than with those you love deeply and those for whom you would do anything to ensure their happiness. And to know that now I can create a famiy of my own to do the same... it is just amazing. To all of my family- I love you, I am grateful for you, you inspire me, you amaze me, you are a part of me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Today is Clint's birthday and I of course had to tell the world. Even though he is getting older... I still think he's pretty cool. No really though, I am so grateful to have such a wonderful, loving, hot, handy, creative, and CRAZY husband. What more could a girl ask for? I love you loverly... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Adventures in WYOMING

Awww... cute....

Well, when I saw that tone tone had created a blog I thought, "why not?" Half of my friends and family have no idea where I am or what I am doing at any given moment. Life has taken me so many places that I can hardly keep up with where I am and what I'm doing. I just wish I would've done this sooner to document our adventures in good 'ol WYOMING. Really, that could have been serious entertainment. It's not everyday a little California girl trades in her flip flops and perfect beach days for cowboy boots and days in the crazy Wyoming wind. It certainly has been an experience of a lifetime though - mostly that means I would never do it again - once in a lifetime. Just once. No, but really I have learned a lot this summer that I most likely wouldn't have learned staying comfy in cali.

Some highlight experiences:

1. building my first couple of walls with handy mr. clint- I was pretty proud. He was pretty embarrassed.

2. the evanston county fair - wowee. I have never seen so much poop in my life. (nor did I ever want to!)

3. cub scouts. oh cub scouts. hold on- this one has a few good stories. Clint and I were called to be den leaders for the wolf scouts (7-8 years old). What a bunch of rascals. Like the other day, they ganged up on Clint - one nailed him on the side of the head with a ball and while he was in a daze recovering from the blow, the other knocked him over the head with a baseball bat. Those kids are lucky they aren't my kids. And then the latest was the enormous slaughtering I took at the ponds yesterday - they put me in a defensless little paddle boat with 3 little kids while all the rest of the scouts were in canoes (with oars - weapons of mass destruction in a pond). Let's just say it's a good thing I was wearing my beautiful yellow scout leader shirt OVER my WHITE t-shirt. Little varmints. Oh yeah - one more. One of our scouts accidently did a sommersault into a pile of dog poop the first time he ever came. Ha! That was funny. (2nd time I've mentioned poop in this blog... hmmm....)

4. Learning how to use a sander to build our desk - I took a little chunk out of my finger, but besides that... I'm a natural. With power tools in general - kinda scary.

5. My first rodeo EVER. I really was pretty entertained. I think there were two funny things worth mentioning - first - the rodeo queens. Freak shows on a horse. And they have princess crowns on their cowboy hats. And jeans with no butt pockets. Hilarious. The other thing was the chicken wrestling - they get all the little kids out there in the dirt and let chickens run around like crazy while the kids run around like crazy trying to catch them. Also one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

6. The craziest Lake Powell trip in the history of the world... car wrecks, sand storms, major rain, our dog going insane, and a stop at the funny farm (Clint's grandparents house... that's a whole 'nother story) just to name a few things. But I did get pretty good at water skiing and I also jumped off the big cliff with all the boys. I'm tough.

There really is too much to mention - it has been an adventure I will never forget. Yet, I am still anxious to kiss the ground in beautiful California.

Speaking of that blissful sunshine state, we just found a place this week for when we go back to San Diego and we are getting sooo excited. It seemed like the day would never come when we would get to go back to normal life... our own place, our own lives, THE BEACH, etc. Anyhow, we will be in an apartment in O-side as Clint likes to call it (Oceanside) and we feel like it will be a good change. I really wanted to go back to Fountain Valley as it is a little piece of heaven on earth... but if we ever want to buy, this is a smart move for us. Plus, we are excited to be close to family and our best friends. This place seems perfect (although we have actually never seen it)! But, I sent mom, and I figured that since she approves, then I can definitely live there. She is much pickier than either of us. It should be a sweet deal... 2 bedrooms, 5 blocks from the beach, a garage, a patio - all for less than what we paid in our tiny little 1 bedroom in Fountain Valley. Someone's looking out for us. It looks like we may try and come home sooner than we had originally thought - probably around the 5th of September - that's coming up quick! YEEEHAW!

Here is our little Diego... isn't he the sweetest? Yeah - I've turned into one of THOSE dog owners. How can I help it when he looks at me like that? No worries- he doesn't wear clothes or ride in purses.