Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just in case you didn't get our Christmas Card....

Best Christmas Gift EVER.
We are so grateful, and beyond excited.

P.S. If you didn't get this in the mail, don't feel bad.  I didn't send out our cards till after Christmas, and we only got about half of our list tackled.  Love you all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing Catchup Part 2: Saying Goodbye to our First Apartment

A few weeks ago, Mike and I moved from our very first apartment.  I was a total basket case.  (Luckily Mike likes the fact that I'm a very passionate person.)  I honestly thought I was going to be fine through the whole process, but the night before the movers came to pick up our furniture, I found myself cleaning out the drawers in the kitchen just sobbing, and I ended up crying myself to sleep.  I know that change is the only constant in our lives, and that it's good, but sometimes change is so hard.  And sad.  It's so bitter sweet to move on from a really good thing, even though you know the next phase will be just as good.  You know what I mean?

Mike and I lived in our little shoebox apartment for the past year and a half, and to be honest, I've never been happier.  When we found it, we knew it wasn't much (no dishwasher, no washer/dryer, TINY, etc) but it felt so, so right.  After looking at about 30 places, we just KNEW this place was meant to be ours.  And it was.  We've met so many lifelong friends, grown so much as a couple, and seriously have had the time of our lives in that little old apartment.  We knew that it was time to go and move on to other things, but it was really sad for me to leave it.

Some of my favorite memories in our little place:
- listening to our Haitian neighbor Quinten laugh through the walls
- hearing our neighbors Fabio and Bernarda listen to their spanish music
- Barbequing on our little grill on our front porch walkway
- having dessert parties with friends and sitting on the floor because it was so small and we didn't have enough seating for everyone
- summer nights walking through memory grove
- morning runs through the avenues
- sleeping on a blowup mattress in the family room in the summer next to the AC because our room was SO HOT!
- Mike's home-made ice-packs for me in our hot room
- trying to brush our teeth together in our tiny bathroom sink (one of us usually ended up in the kitchen while the other was in the bathroom)
- being so close in proximity to each other all of the time
- realizing that you don't need a lot of "things" to be truly happy- we both LOVED living minimally and having such a small space- learning that all we really need to be happy is each other
- our bright yellow wall that we painted randomly one saturday morning and all of the little art projects and decorating we did together there

And just for the fun of it, here are some photos of our first apartment (yes, it really is as small as it looks!)

this was actually taken the day we moved into our apt- pre curtains and decorations.  I think it was the only day the bed ever got made:)

Yes, this was our closet.  Poor mike had like 5 shirts hanging up is all!

Okay.  Moving on.  The moving part itself was sad, but now that we are all settled in, we are LOVING LOVING LOVING our new digs!  (It's nice to move up in the world after all- as charming as a one bedroom apartment is, it's pretty cool to be in a house!)

Last winter, my grandma fell down the stairs in her home and broke her arm, shoulder, and leg.  It was absolutely horrible.  After surgeries, wheelchairs, and months of recovery, my grandparents decided that it was probably time to move to a place that didn't have stairs- somewhere where they could grow old comfortably (they are still really young).  They bought a beautiful place in the avenues that fit the bill, but decided that they didn't want to sell their home.  Several months ago, they approached Mike and I and asked us if we'd like to live there for the next few years or so.  They were leaving the home fully furnished, and they just wanted someone to live there and take care of the property.  Of course we were completely overjoyed and overcome with gratitude at this opportunity so we didn't hesitate to say yes!  The great part, is that it's located just minutes from our apartment in the avenues- it's in a beautiful neighborhood up City Creek Canyon.  We are literally a two minute drive from downtown, yet we live in a peaceful neighborhood and have a canyon as our backyard.

Mike and I don't really know what to do with all of this space, and we are really enjoying having a dishwasher, washer/dryer and garage!  Man, we learned not to take for granted the simple things! Just to put things in perspective for you- our bedroom/ master closet is bigger than our old entire apartment!  ha!  So grateful for my wonderful, generous grandparents.  They are some of the most amazing, most giving people that I know, and I am so proud to be their granddaughter.  We love them so much.

Pictures to come!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Playing Catchup Part 1: Fall Holidays

I officially fail at blogging.  I'm not even sure if anyone reads this anymore, and I know everyone is way over Halloween and other fall events, but for the sake of keeping some sort of history, I figured I should throw these on the blog.
Life has been crazy, filled with way more important things than keeping up this blog (or so I like to tell myself).  Between Mike's crazy nursing schedule and work, my interior design classes and work (seriously, what was I thinking when I decided to go back to school?), church callings, a move, and other exciting events, it's been pretty crazy for the past few months.  I'm going to try to do a few updating posts, so for now, here are a few pictures....

I love all holidays.  Period.  We had our annual murder mystery party with my family for Halloween, and had a blast.  It was a 70's themed party.  I had to dress us as a Super Model from the 70's, and Mike's character was a disturbed thriller novelist.

We probably spent an hour in the bathroom before the party trying to perfect the 70's feathered hair.... good thing I didn't peak in the 70's, because my hair was not having it.

My mom on the other hand?  She was MADE for the 1970's!  Look at that hair of hers!  It took her right back to her junior high days at Clearfield junior and she rocked it all night long!

A picture of the boys in my family- before the other guests arrived.

Again, my hair was just gross.
It was a great night though!

We went to another big extended Halloween dress up party, and my sister and brother and I were without costumes.  Last minute, we went into my parents basement and dug up our old CJH officer sweaters- bahahaha.  Seriously, it was TWELVE years ago that I was in the 9th grade.  DANG I'm old!

 Mike's mom brought down one of his old halloween costumes a couple months ago, and he was THRILLED to dress up as a Ninja Turtle- ahahah

In October, we went up and stayed with my family at a condo in Park City over UEA...

Anyone who knows me well, knows that Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday!  This year, we had FOUR thanksgiving dinners to celebrate!  First, Mike's parents came down and took us out for a Thanksgiving dinner the weekend before Thanksgiving (they also helped us move all weekend for which we were so grateful.  More on our move to come.)

We hosted our second Thanksgiving dinner at our new place with some of our best friends, the Nielsen's and the Dalley's.  The boys got this wild idea to deep fry a turkey (Dave actually bought a turkey fryer), and so we decided to make a Thanksgiving dinner out of it!

Dave with the turkey in all it's glory.

The boys geared up for the cold two hours in the backyard watching the turkey fry- wearing snow suits and coveralls.  These guys are hilarious when they get together..

We opted to stay inside in the warm kitchen eating appetizers and testing our gravy making skills.

The Thanksgiving Feast.

I wish I would have taken a close-up of the deep fried turkey.  Seriously, it was probably the tastiest turkey I've ever eaten.  Absolutely delicious.  I was a nervous wreck the boys were going to burn the house down, so once it was on the table and the deep fryer was turned off I could finally relax.  It was worth the anxiety!

On Thanksgiving day we went to my aunt's house for a big extended family dinner.  It was great!  

Mike was the "baby whisperer" to little Wes, my cousin's brand new baby boy.  Precious.

I wish I would have taken pictures of our last Thanksgiving dinner, at my parent's house with just my immediate family.  It was great, but I am okay that Thanksgiving is a year away now- I don't think I could eat more green bean casserole if you paid me.  

We have so much to be grateful for, and celebrating Thanksgiving is always a great time to reflect on all of the blessings God has given us.  I'm so grateful for a wonderful husband, the gospel of Jesus Christ, amazing family, good friends, temples, education, trials that help us grow, a great neighborhood, God's timing in our lives, a beautiful home to live in, and all of the opportunities I'm constantly given.  God is so good, and Mike and I feel so blessed.  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Okay, I've never even listened to a Hillary Weeks song before, but this video is pretty inspiring.  
Totally made me cry at work.  

Watch it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The day Mike ran a Marathon

One of the reasons I love Mike is the fact that he's all about trying new things. 
He is ALWAYS progressing, and becoming a more well-rounded, interesting person.
He continually sets spiritual, physical & academic goals for himself, and works hard to achieve them.
It's pretty inspiring for me to watch.

Also, there is nothing he won't try.
Whether it's making a stained glass window, deciding to paint a HUGE chevron board for our house on a whim, teaching himself how to cook and surpassing me in many areas in the kitchen, or taking up a new sport.  He continues to surprise and impress me.

A few months ago, Mike informed me that he'd decided he was going to run a marathon.
Of course I believed him, because if I've learned anything being married to this man, it's that nothing is impossible, and he is always true to his word.

A couple weekends ago, the marathon day came.
It was 40 degrees outside, and freezing.
Mike, being just as chill and laid back as ever, ran 26 miles like it was no big deal.

I'm such a proud wife.
4:00 a.m.- Pre-run picture

Some of us waiting at the finish line...

Coming around the last bend (sadly, this was no slc marathon... there were only about 200 people that showed up to run that morning so it wasn't too crowded)

sitting down for the first time...

After running 26 miles, he still looked amazingly refreshed.

Good job babe, I'm so proud of you!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Latest Adventures with Food

Life is busy.
Mike basically eats, sleeps, studies & spends his days at St. Mark's hospital.  He is totally rocking nursing school- I am so proud of him!
I've been swamped working full time, doing my interior design program part time, & just got called to serve in the Relief Society Presidency in our church.  
It's been chaotic to say the least.

Despite the crazy schedules, we still manage to find time to spend together.  Mike studies his medical books while I work on design projects- and of course we somehow always find time to try new food! Here are some of our recent food adventures:

just had to throw this one in here- Mike's first day of clinicals last month

my mom, stacie and I canned 68 bottles of salsa last month- Mike and I have already gone through 4 bottles in 2 weeks.  It's that incredible!

Cinnamon rolls on a Sunday afternoon

A few weeks ago, we went to the annual celebration that is put on by all of the church's in our neighborhood "A Celebration of Faith"- there are choirs from the LDS, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist,  and Episcopal Churches.  We really appreciate living in such a diverse neighborhood, and love all of the undertones of faith represented in our area.  This is one of our favorite yearly activities.  My siblings and their spouses came along, and afterwards we hit up Gourmandise, a local bakery, for baklava. 

One Saturday afternoon, Mike and I decided to drop everything and found ourselves at The Grand America enjoying an out of this world lunch. 

 I highly recommend their tomato melt.  Best in the city by far. 
Such a gorgeous atmosphere too.

Mike is a huge fan of their tri-tip grilled cheese.
(I wish I would have taken photos of the food- we gobbled it all up too fast though!)

 The next weekend we found ourselves at the Taco cart on State Street & 8th South.
Holy Cow, this is the best food cart I've ever eaten at!!

Two tacos for $1.50.  Can't beat that price, man!  Everything is so delicious!! (don't let the atmosphere scare you away!)

Lastly, Mike made a HUGE all in one breakfast over General Conference Weekend... I'm still feeling the effects, but it was SO yummy!  Stacie & Bennett brought home-made braided bread french toast with Magleby's syrup and my mom made a frozen peach slush.  I'm still salivating over everything!