the Field

Today is Slice's last day pumping at Newfield.  He's trunky like you wouldn't believe.  It's been almost 2.5 years since he ventured into the oil & gas industry, and we (I) have learned a few things along the way.

First, you should know that I was prejudiced against the oilfield since my family moved to Roosevelt twelve years ago.  (Twelve years?!)  Throughout high school I heard all about the "oilfield trash" who dropped out of school to make money and never looked back.  Like the mines in October Sky - once you go in, you'll never get out.  It's a career in quicksand.
As the daughter of two college graduates surely bound for greatness, I couldn't imagine anything worse.

So when things changed for us at the Roos golf course, oilfield was a last resort.  We held out for EIGHT MONTHS hoping for something else to turn up.  It never did.  We had a new mortgage, a 9-month-old, and a baby on the way.  Many applications and interviews and phone calls later, we were fortunate to get a work opportunity.

Here's what I've learned since then.

1. It's who you know.  This industry, this community and especially our experiences have shown us this.  I'll be forever grateful for the good relationships Slice formed with people from all walks of life while he was working at the golf course.  He's a people person, and I love that about him.  Never underestimate what people might do for you if you treat them well.  (Relatedly .... don't burn your bridges. Ha!)

2. "Oilfield trash" are people too. With wives, children, church callings - and often brilliant minds.  Many of them haven't completed a college education, but that doesn't mean they aren't creating and contributing to society in their own ways. They might be the ones to roll up their sleeves and get things done while the "educated" ones are still deciding how to do it best.  Just an observation. (And a really fascinating article which I welcome any thoughts/discussion on.)

3. Money is nice to have. I just said that out loud! Contrary to the fluff I picked up over the years about self-actualization and personal fulfillment through career choice, a good-paying job that involves some physical labor isn't the worst thing in the world.  Easy for me to say, because Slice is the one out doing it..... but seriously, ask him.

4. College isn't for everyone. I truly believe this. Education is still supremely important to me BUT with the realities of living and paying for things in today's world, we know that a college degree is far from a guarantee for a good sustainable career.  Further: our economic system pays its workers according to their supposed contribution to society.  Who are you to judge someone for making good money, if he/she is producing something you use vast amounts of on a daily basis?  Oilfield workers are out in the field come rain, shine, or negative temps and blizzard conditions on Christmas Day.  The oilfield never sleeps.  That's why they make the big bucks.

5. Don't be afraid of work.  I've yet to come across someone who snubbed their nose at the oilfield in the last few years, but I'll preach it to anyone who is unemployed and unwilling to look "below" their level.  Take it from Ashton Kutcher, man, no job is beneath you.  You're never above work.  Do whatever it takes. And then see where you end up.



I suppose now is as good a time as any to dump my recent pics in here and blabber on about a vacation. Eh?

Since we had no idea what our anniversary trip would look like last time I mentioned it, I'll just start at the beginning: Orlando.  We got a big condo in a posh resort in a great location for $200 FOR THE WEEK (thank you Mom & Dad, and Ultimate Vacations) so the planning went from there.  Kids to Idaho, Thor 2 in IMAX, red-eye flight from Salt Lake, rental car at the airport.

Then we got to the resort and they offered us discounted tickets to venues if we sat through timeshare/travel club presentations.  So, we spent an afternoon at Kennedy Space Center:

they call this the "rocket garden," which does not cease to amuse me
space shuttle Atlantis: coolest exhibit on the island
blurry Slice pretending that he's weightless.....?
 and two days at Universal Studios, mostly in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter OF COURSE:

Early admission tickets!  Score.

I totally went on the ride that is built into the castle.  Twice. Pregnancy what?
Two of the three butterbeers we consumed in two days after dining at the Three Broomsticks.
Magical, I tell you.
AND, lastly, a day at SeaWorld which cost us $20 total.  This is the only photo I took there.  It was actually cold.

Other highlights of the trip included a surprise!! visit to my missionary sister Kiana's ward on Sunday (a two-hour drive from Orlando):

She looks amazing and I look like a chubby 12-year-old
a temple visit that, naturally, came only after much difficulty:

On the only hill in the entire state of Florida
and lots of reallllly good eating.  We frequented The Melting Pot three times (that's where all the money went ...), Hard Rock Cafe, Joe's Crab Shack, and an Italian place with Chicago-style pizza and the best balloon master I have ever seen.  Totally took me back to my college balloon-animal-making days.  Guys, he was UNBELIEVABLE.

Just thought I'd throw that one out there.
FINALLY after 24 hours of traveling we made it back to our frigid home with our little ones who hardly even missed us, and my swelling eventually went down.  Florida was hard on my body.  Maybe it was because we walked for several hours a day and ate for the rest?  Hmmmm?

I have decided the best cure for wanderlust is to take a long trip during pregnancy.  Middle to late pregnancy is best, but first trimester can be effective if the trip is long/strange enough.  By the time we got home I wanted to stay inside these four walls for the next six months.  Not even joking.  Remind me next time to take a relaxing vacay, please?

Also, in case you're wondering, the contractions are coming regularly now and I'm just not listening to them.  Here's a smudgy mirror picture from a few Sundays ago, when I wore my freshwater pearls from SeaWorld and my kids called them "eggs" all day.  Yes, I like to wear eggs to church.

Welcome back to real life.


MG turns 2

My dear Emma Girl,

Today you turned two.  Whenever someone said "Happy Birthday!" you threw your hands up in the air and said "I be twoooo!" like it is the greatest thing ever.  And maybe it will be.  You'll be a big sister while you're two, and you are pretty darn excited for it.  You keep asking to see the baby that's hiding in my tummy, showing me your own, putting your hand on my belly and trying to figure out just what is going on.  I think you're going to be a great big sister.

You are becoming a real girly-girl.  You tote purses around and ask to have your fingernails painted and express very strong opinions about what clothes you'll wear. You've grown to love that doll we gave you a year ago - it's the first thing you want in the morning and the last thing you ask for at night.  I'm also pleased to see your deep and abiding love of books.  We can get you distracted from anything at the mere mention of a book! The silly little Princess book you got for your birthday is probably your favorite present. I plan to nurture your love of reading as long and as well as I can.  Reading will change your life, little one, if you let it.

You've got such a happy and fun-loving personality; you love to make us (and other people!) laugh.  You and Will are playing together now, although the "playing" usually turns into "yelling at each other" in a short amount of time (rinse and repeat).  This sibling contention has really baffled your dad, who didn't grow up with siblings anywhere close to his age.  I have to constantly remind him that yes, it is normal, even though it's not pleasant.  Despite the bickering, you and Will really love each other and miss each other when you're apart.

We've had so much fun watching your language and little personality grow. You tell me I'm wrong all the time ("No, that's not a lion. Only a tiger.") and will tell anyone off if they are bothering you ("Stop buggin' me!").  You love brushing your teeth, coloring, putting away the clean silverware in the dishwasher, having your feet rubbed, and playing with my phone. You also ask to go "with me!" if I ever look like I'm leaving the house without you.  We love your silly shifty eyes and your hard-won kisses, your singing and dancing.  You are such a light in our lives.  Keep shining!