Friday, December 30, 2011

A Quick Visit.

Remember when Kylie had her baby 5 months ago? I finally got to meet her this week! I went up to Kylie's parents' house for a quick visit while she was in town for the holidays. It was so good to visit with her family, see her cute face, and play with her little one. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gray and yellow.

I've been all about gray and yellow lately. I even convinced my mom it was an acceptable color scheme for the family pictures we took before Jake left on his mission. 
They turned out pretty dang cute.

(I wish JD and I were standing a little closer in this one.)

So grateful for these guys! I love them dearly.
And I do have to say, we have a pretty good-looking family :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wedding and burgers.

This weekend one of JD's favorite mission companions got married. We were able to attend their temple sealing. It was a sweet and sacred ceremony, where they promised to love and take care of each other forever. The feelings of love and devotion in that room reminded me of when I made similar promises to my husband and to God. In the hustle and bustle of everyday, I sometimes forget to honor and respect my marriage relationship. JD's super-de-duper important to me (obviously!), but I could be better about telling and showing him that. I'm thankful we were able to go to the temple this weekend with his newlywed friends so I could feel this giddy happiness again and re-commit to having a rockstar marriage with my husband! 
We got burgers at In-n-Out on our drive back home. I'll never understand why JD needs to order a double-double when we go there. . . but, I guess part of making marriage work is learning to pick your battles. 
 I let him win this one ;) Happy Monday!

Little boy birthday.

When our old neighbor sent us an invite to her son's 2nd birthday party, I knew I wanted to make something special for him. I searched all over the internet for the "perfect" little boy quote, but couldn't find anything I loved. So, I just put together ideas and thoughts I hope my own children will live by someday. "Be grateful. Obey your  parents. Forgive quickly. Laugh a lot. Share with others. Tell the truth. Say your prayers. Speak  kindly. Love the Lord." It turned out really cute and birthday momma loved it. To me, giving  handmade gifts  is one of the life's very greatest pleasures :)
Ps. Don't worry- we also gave this active toddler a big bouncy ball and toy car. I know he doesn't really care about painted canvases!
Pps. If you do care about painted canvases and/or want one for yourself,  I take custom orders.   

We sure do love you and your family, little guy! Happy, happy birthday.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

All six.

I've talked about them lots of times. We've lived together, celebrated birthdays and holidays, gone to basketball and football gamestalked a lot, traveled together, celebrated love, spent time in the sun and snow, and made oodles of memories. 

It was weird when Stefanie bought a house, but it was okay because it was still in Utah. It was weird when Kasidy left for Argentina, but it was okay because we knew she'd be back. Now Kylie is moving to Las Vegas, which is weird to think about, but also exciting. Way to go on being a grown-up and stretching your wings! 

Cory put together a little surprise party for Kylie on Sunday and invited all of her friends. So glad all six of us could be there!! Love when that happens :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dollar skate night.

I usually work on Thursday nights at New Haven, but yesterday I took the night off to go Christmas caroling with the eight to eleven-year old girls from church (I just got a new calling, or assignment, to serve as a leader for activity days!) After we were done singing and dropping off goodie plates, I hurried home so JD and I could go skating at the Classic Fun Center in Orem. I knew Thursdays were dollar skate night because I'm the rec night coordinator at work and have looked up tons of information about fun, inexpensive things to do in Utah County on Thursday nights. It's a rare occasion for BOTH of us to have Thursdays off so we jumped on the chance for some good, old-fashioned fun! 

It was all fun and games until my skates failed me and I took a hard fall on my tailbone. I could hardly move and had to use all my willpower to avoid tears. JD helped me take off my skates and I limped out, trying to hold my head high. Ha! My tailbone is still aching majorly today, but I would do it again anyway. Can't beat four bucks for date night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Don't let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life."

I read that quote today and it was exactly what I needed.

I had a terrible, rotten, no good, very bad day today. . . and for no reason in particular! I've been cynical and grumpy and bashing on myself and my life. I slept more than I should have, cried more than I needed to, and sat around doing absolutely nothing. I found zero motivation to make stuff for the shop, work-out, get out of my pajamas, work on Christmas projects, or read my scriptures (all things on my to-do list).  It's 7:30pm and all I did today was edit a research paper for JD, huffing and puffing the whole time about how I wish he didn't procrastinate and bashing on his writing skills. I was terrible and I've already apologized excessively.

My life is usually pretty bright and happy. I don't get upset a lot. I can usually keep my head screwed on straight and maintain a decent perspective. . . like when JD gets worried and complains that we're poor, I usually rattle off some cheesy line like, "We may be money-poor, but we're rich in love, baby!" Obnoxious, right? But, helpful.

Then, there are days like today where I feel like everything is falling apart and my life is in shambles and I cry until it's all out of my system. I hate these days. But they come sometimes and I just have to remember it's okay.

I'm okay. My life is okay. Everything is a-okay.
My bad days don't mean I have a bad life. Hoorah!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hand towels.

Excuse my absence from the blog. People are ordering hand towels from The Sunshine Space faster than I can make them! Who knew?! Seriously, running this small business is stressful and I'm overwhelmed. But it's so good for me. It's the first time since I finished school that I actually feel like I'm doing something with my days. Love that feeling!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Sunshine Space

I've been wanting to do it for months. I've thought and wondered and prayed about it. I've worked and re-worked ideas in my head. I've struggled comparing myself to other people and have let Satan eat me up that way. But I finally did it: I opened an etsy shop!

Head on over to The Sunshine Space and check it out.

It's not quite perfect. These are my humble beginnings. I'm nervous and excited and have tons of work to do to get it where I want it. But I told my girls at work and my mom that I'd have it up by Thanksgiving. . . and I'm not one to break a promise!

EEK. So much to be grateful for!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Couponing Wannabe.

After watching a few episodes of Extreme Couponing on TLC, I got hooked on the idea of using couponing as a way to save money for our family. The family who lived here before us got a ton of newspapers (for the coupons!) and their subscription is still coming to us. We spent this weekend clipping coupons and planning our first coupon trip to Walmart. We woke up in the wee morning hours on Tuesday and hit the store (Walmarts in Utah County double your coupons on Tuesdays!) We got tons of goodies. I'm not sure how much we saved. . . but it sure was fun!

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Your presence livens up any conversation."

JD and I took my little brother to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) earlier this week. He'll be gone for two years learning a new language, gaining a stronger testimony of the Savior, teaching people His word, serving individuals and families, developing leadership skills, experiencing a new culture, preaching repentance, and sharing the good news of the Gospel. We are so excited for him and proud of his decision to serve!

The night before he left we went out to eat with a bunch of our cousins who are here in Utah. It was so fun to laugh and eat and talk with them. I think their advice and counsel to Jake calmed his nerves a bit.

Before we dropped him off at the MTC, we had lunch at Panda Express. Jake's fortune read, "Your presence livens up any converation."
Oh, Jakey, I'm sure the people of Argentina will fall in love with you. Your presence does make things brighter and more fun. We'll miss you, but know the Lord needs you to do His work. Happy mission :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nightmare on 13th.

I mentioned it last year, but JD worked at a haunted house in high school. I think it's a little freaky considering he's so nice. . . I thought only creeps enjoyed that kinda thing. Oh, no, this sweet boy has a random fascination with all things gorey, slimey, scary, and Halloween-y. We went to Nightmare on 13th together last week and he wasn't scared at all, just intrigued by new elements, costumes, effects, and characters he hadn't seen before. Here's some pictures I grabbed off their website:

It's a good thing JD didn't see me the first time I went through this year (I was with my co-workers) because he would've thought I was a total scared-y cat. My knees buckled every time I was startled and I let out more than a few loud shreaks. It wasn't so bad the second time because I knew what to expect and it was super crowded so there wasn't the I-am-all-alone-right-now-and-very-scared factor. Hooray for celebrating the season!

Not my news.

So it's not really my news at all, but something big happened recently! My friends from high school, Taylor and Alisha, got engaged. Wahoo! They've been dating literally as long as I've known them and I'm so excited for their marriage. I've been stalking their pictures on Facebook and thinking about them tons lately. The magic happened in New York City, where Tiffany moved earlier this year. My heart aches a little thinking about Taylor, Alisha, Trey, and Tiffany celebrating together so far away. I miss their friendship and sometimes wish the passage of time and growing up didn't mean separating ways and moving on. So, sweet friends, we haven't talked in months and I don't know all the details of your lives, but I'm thrilled for this next step and I'm sending loads of warm wishes your way. Love and miss all of you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

No tricks, just treats.

Last weekend, we had some giggly three and four-year olds over for a Halloweeen celebration. We ate eyeballs (grapes), witch fingers (carrot sticks), goblin toes (Cheetos), vampire teeth (pomegranate seeds), and little piggies in blankets. We sipped a yummy orange smoothie from silly skeleton straws. We wrapped eachother like mummies with toilet paper and then JD and I "woke up from the dead" and chased them all around our living room. We played pin the smiley face on the friendly ghost and we raced to see who could eat a marshmallow off a string the fastest. We also unwrapped a bunch of caramels and helped the kiddos make caramel apples, complete with orange, black, and purple sprinkles.
 I would say the party was a complete success! Give me more little kid giggles anyday :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It was still funny.

My parents got lots of laughs from this costume when I was just a baby.  JD heard the idea and thought it was so great. In a last-minute effort to make costumes for JD's family's Halloween party, I re-created my parents' award-winning costumes.

Apparently, it was still funny because his aunts, uncles, and cousins laughed out loud when we walked in the door. I felt a little awkward because we were late (I was finishing the costumes. . .) and all eyes were on us. Bah! Too bad there weren't any cash prizes for best handmade outfit. . . we would've totally swept the competition.

Texas birthday.

JD celebrated his birthday in Texas this year! (He's being converted to TEXAS every second, I swear. He's started stealing my longhorn hoodie when it's cold outside and I've never seen him  care about baseball as much as he did during the World Series this year). 

While we were home, we took family pictures, played baseball with Isaac, ate at Alamo Cafe and Rudy's (yum!), visited Lindsey at the cutesy yogurt shop where she works, spent time with Jake before he leaves for Argentina, watched a lot of baseball on TV,  got some dental work done, visited with both sets of grandparents, had dinner on the Riverwalk, played Settlers, ate homemade lasagna from my momma, sang "Happy Birthday" to the hubs, helped pick out new clothes for Morgan, saw some cousins at church, and relaxed a little. 
We really enjoyed our visit, but it's been busy busy since we got back. Make-up school work, packing, cleaning, painting, organizing, shopping, planning, un-packing, studying, dreaming, sewing, re-pairing, working, visiting, babysitting. You name it- we're probably doing it around this house!

But being busy feels good. It means we're alive! And productive! And happy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkins, vegetables, boots, candy, cars, and more.

Lately, we've been busy bees.  I took my girls on a hayride to a pumpkin patch. We've discovered the magic of a food co-op and love having fresh fruits and veggies from our Bountiful Basket
JD traded one of his snowboards for a fancy-shmancy-remote-control-gas-powered toy car. He loves working on the little engine in all the free time he doesn't really have.
Since October is his birthday month and we're going to Texas soon, we decided it was about time he got a pair of cowboy boots! When he wears them, my little country girl heart pitter patters a little faster. I love a man in boots :) Naturally, he insisted we go country dancing so he could "test them out." We haven't been in ages and don't rememer a lot of the steps, but it was still a fun date night.
We also went to  Blickenstaff's, a huge toy and candy store, for the first time. It was such a fun environment, but the candy was a bit overpriced. Luckily, we got a free pumpkin with our purchase! There's no such thing as too many pumpkins in my book. We picked a bunch from my in-laws' neighborhood garden and they're all crowded together on our front steps. I'm planning on painting and decorating them soon, but I've been too busy lately on other projects.
I finally got to go to Color Me Mine for shift bonding with my co-workers. I could seriously paint pottery every week if it wasn't such a big blow to my budget.
Also, JD's been grilling our food whenever he can. Corn on the cob, shishkabobs, chicken, you name it. . . so yummy.
I'm loving this fall-time season. Seriously, what's not to like about fresh veggies, a cool breeze, college football, and changing colors? Life is good.

Ps. We're leaving for Texas in four days! Stoked.

Monday, October 10, 2011

8th grade.

Today, I had a moment. My littlest baby sister is in 8th grade! Part of me is thinking, "I can't believe it!" . . . which, of course, isn't really a logical thought because it is, in fact, believable. She was a baby and then she learned to crawl and babble and eat real food and walk. She went to Kindergarden and progressed normally and played sports and made friends. She's gone through every year of school since then. . . so, yes, it's believable that now she's here: in 8th grade. But, really, after all that, I am still thinking, " I can't believe it." I remember thinking the same thing when Lindsey, my littler baby sister, was going into 8th grade. How was it already her time? And now, how can Morgan already be in that place where Lindsey was, where I remember being so well?

In 8th grade, I had my first experience with painful rejection. I didn't make PALS, a leadership club I desperately wanted to be involved with, and nearly every one of my close friends did. It was a brutal lesson I had to learn about letting go of my pride, accepting imperfection, and celebrating others' excitement even when it hurt. I learned what it meant to really like a boy. I mean, before that, I'd had a few crushes, thought some guys were really hot, and even gotten nervous striking up conversation. . . but, boy oh boy, did that near obsession with Lee Sharrock teach me what butterflies felt like.  He was the subject of almost all my journal entries, the topic of practically every late-night conversation at slumber parties, and the source of, I think, all my disagreements with friends. In 8th grade, I learned about peer pressure, the nasty monster who rears his head and makes you feel obligated to stick your tongue down someone's throat to win approval in Truth or Dare. I learned how dumb you feel in the moment when you walk away from peer pressure, but how immensely rewarding it can be later when you remember you had the courage to do what you thought was right. In 8th grade, I got my first real kiss under a lamppost on a street corner in a neighborhood where so many of my favorite memories were made. In 8th grade, I experienced the simple satisfaction of doing a back-handspring, a goal I worked so hard to reach. I felt and understood the importance of good friends. I experienced the heart-breaking task of moving away from the place you call home at a time when all good things seem to be right around the corner. I probably learned more about myself in 8th grade than I did in all the years before that combined. It was, and still is, one of the best years of my life.

The years have passed. I made that transition to high school, as did Jake and Lindsey. And now, sweet Morgie, it's your time. Shine on, girl!  Cherish the time you spend with your friends, but remember also that your family members are friends who'll be around forever. Kiss boys you really like, but don't kiss and kiss just for the heck of it. Befriend the dorky people in your classes and never let the pressure to be popular override the importance of being kind. You are so bright and talented and beautiful. Although I can hardly believe you're as old as you are, I'm totally confident in your ability to face whatever struggles come your way this year. You rock :)

Today, I had a moment- a moment to recognize how fast life happens and to appreciate it for all it's worth.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Orange and black.

Halloween Pinwheels Tutorial

I saw something similar to these when I went to a scrapbooking store a few weeks ago and decided to re-create them at home. Here's how I did it:
  • Buy a pack of double-sided scrapbooking paper (I bought a square pack, so I  could just cut once diagonally to get triangles).
  • Cut the paper into various size triangles, depending on how big or small you want your pinwheels.
  • Glue the corners of your triangles together using hotglue to form a pinwheel (Make sure all of your triangle points are circling in the same direction, or it may look funny).
  • To make the edges curl, wrap the paper around a pencil for a few seconds.
  • Hot glue buttons on the center of the pinwheel from both sides.
  • Use a needle to poke a hole on one of the triangles of the pinwheel.
  • String fishing line through the hole and tie a knot.
  • Then wrap the other end of the fishing line around a thumbtack and pin to the ceiling at varying heights.
I think it's best to hang them in a place where you'll be able to enjoy them from both sides. Because I took the door off the frame between my craft corner and the kitchen (it took up too much space!), I figured this was the perfect area to hang mine.

I think these are so fun and they'd be really easy to recreate for any holiday.

Happy crafting!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sushi and football.

On Friday night, we watched the BYU game at home with our friends Brad and Abby. They love sushi like JD does, so we pulled our table into the living room and rolled our own during the game (JD helped me make chicken, carrot, and cabbage wontons because I'm not such a big sushi fan). Luckily, BYU came up with the win due to an exciting fourth quarter finish. Gosh, I love me some college football!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 Things.

1) If I could eat anything right now, it would be... salt water taffy. 2) If I could be anywhere right now I'd be... walking on a beach. 3) When I was younger I used to love... to sit on the top shelf of my closet, surrounded by pillows, and read a book. 4) Someone I love very much is... leaving work early tonight so we can watch a movie and snuggle on the couch. 5) Today, I felt... motivated to work on my to-do list. Editing pictures for scrapbooking- check. Ordering prints- check. Running Jogging Walking- check. Making dinner- check. 6) People would describe me as... smiley. 7) I think I'm good at... having meaningful conversations and staying organized. 8) One day I would like to... be a mama. 9) In ten years, I hope that I am... a homeowner. 10) My dream is to one day... make a living being crafty.


Last Friday night, JD and I decided about half an hour before the BYU game started that we wanted to see the cougars play in person. We didn't have tickets to the game and we didn't know anyone with extras. We searched KSL and called a few people with listings, but all the tickets were sold. Despite our lack of tickets, I grabbed our BYU blue apparel and told JD to meet me out by the scooter. We hopped on and zipped over to Provo, hoping we'd find someone to buy tickets from. We circled the stadium, confident we'd find scalpers. After no such luck, we waited awkwardly outside the gate to the stadium. About twenty minutes into the game, we were pretty discouraged and I felt really stupid for encouraging such a spontaneous trip. Then, a security guard walked up to us and asked if we were waiting for tickets. We told her we didn't actually have any and were just hoping someone would come by wanting to sell them. She then pulled two tickets out of her front pocket and offered them to us for free. Wahoo! We made it into the stadium by the start of the second quarter.
It was an absolutely perfect night for football! The weather was wonderful, the company was better, and the cougars came out on top.

I think I like spontaneity.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Together again.

My old roommates and I were finally able to be together again last Sunday. It's been a long time since all six of us were in the same place at once! Kasidy's been gone for a year and a half on her mission and just got back (she served in the same area my little brother is going!) Steph's been gone in California all summer for her internship doing economic consulting. Cory has been busy courting Sean (see cute picture below) and rockin' her new job as a party planner. Stefanie lives in a house with her husband of over a year, works with the young women at church, and travels around the state for her job. Kylie's been applying for dental hygiene schools and preparing to move to Vegas in a few months.

It's freaky to me that half of us have already graduated from BYU. It seems like only a few weeks since we all lived under the same roof a few blocks from campus. We've since seen all different parts of the country (and the world!). We're getting grown-up jobs. We're learning how to support and take care of ourselves. We are accepting change and trying to listen as the Lord directs our lives. In many ways, things are very different than they were when we lived together. However, there is one thing I'm sure won't change. . . we are forever connected by a strong and abiding friendship.  No matter where we live or what we do, we'll always love eachother. And for that, I am deeply grateful.

L to R: Kasidy, Stefanie, Kylie, Me, Cory, Stephanie
Kylie, Stephanie, Cory, Sean
Cory and Sean, Stefanie and Jeremy