Friday, July 29, 2011

Sweet baby girl.

Kylie had baby Evalyn early this morning. I'm so excited for her little family and can't believe she's a momma! When I found out this morning on Facebook, I couldn't resist the urge to put a page together for my scrapbook. I can't wait to see pictures of her little one!

Pillow for Seester.

My little sister is in the process of re-doing her room. I wanted to make her something "cutesy" (that's her new favorite word). I attempted a rose pillow. I thought it would be pretty simple, but it turned out to be a huge, crying ordeal for me. Next time, I think I'll use a zipper to close off the back because it's so hard to try and sew up the back with all those petals in the way!
Step 1: Cut out two circles from felt (about the size you want the pillow to be). Cut about a two inch strip the same length as the circumfrence of the circle. Set one circle aside.
Step 2:  Cut as many semi-circles as you'd like. The more you cut, the fuller your rose will be.
Step 3: Arrange semi-circles on outer edge of the big circle you cut out in the beginning.
Step 4: Sew in a circular pattern, securing the petals to the felt circle.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 & 4 as you work your way to the middle.
Step 6: Once you get to the middle, attempt hand-sewing a cluster for the center petals. Cheat by using hot-glue because you get so frustrated.
Step 7: Sew the long strip to the petal circle and then to the back circle leaving a good 5-8 inches to turn the pillow right-side out.
Step 8: Fill the pillow with stuffing.
Step 9: Use whatever method you can to close off the pillow.

I have to admit. . . during the process of making this pillow, I felt like a huge crafting failure because nothing seemed to be going right. However, Lindsey sure loves it with her new bedding. And the look on her face when she saw it pretty much makes up for all the heartache and frustration. :)

Love you, seester.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"You're saving me."

At work, we have community meetings in the evenings where the girls report on their daily goals and can do emotional "check-ins" if they want to. Staff are encouraged to participate. Last week, I checked in with the girls about how I was feeling in anticipation of my birthday. Essentially, I rambled on about how sometimes I don't feel like I'm living up to my potential and how I feel like my life is passing too quickly and I'm not doing all that I can to live my best life. I talked about how I don't always feel like I'm making a difference to anyone and I struggle with feeling like I'm not doing enough good in the world. At the end of my rant, one of the girls said, "You may not be stopping wars in Mongolia (?), but everytime you work, you're saving me."

Gosh, I love my job. I love the company. I love my co-workers. I love the girls. And sometimes it's really long and tiring, but everyday it's worth it.

(This is my shift. Favorite people ever.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thoughtful husband.

I've been wanting a globe for our home for a long time. Someday, I want to have lots of different globes all together in a pretty little collection. For months, everytime I've seen a globe in the store, I've talked myself out of buying it. I just can't justify $40.00 (or more!) for a decoration in our budget right now.

I loved the colors and style of this one at Urban Outfitters a few weeks ago.

JD surprised me by buying this one at DI (for $3.00) and spray painting the stand. It's on top of our china cabinet in the kitchen now and I love. love. love. it.
So I don't have the budget to buy fancy, pretty globes.
Or to travel the world, as I dream of doing one day.

But. . . I do have one heck of a thoughtful husband who makes my day nearly every day by the little things he does to make me smile.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Yesterday was my 22nd birthday. JD spoiled me with breakfast in bed, gifts, lunch at Fuddruckers, pedicures, and dinner at Brick Oven. Birthdays are always a time of contemplation for me: Am I living my best life? Am I living the way I want to? Am I doing good in the world? How can I make this year better than last?

It blows my mind I've lived on the earth for twenty-two years. I haven't always been the best at recording my life. . . in fact, I can't even remember what I did for my birthday before age 16. I know one year in middle school I had a girly sleepover when my mom was out of town and decorated my room with streamers. And one time when I was really little I had a party by a big lake and got a Barbie from my Papa's family friend. But I was thinking yesterday about birthdays and it makes me sad I can't remember that far back. 

Here's what I can remember:  
On my 16th birthday, I had five of my friends from school over for a shaving cream war on our trampoline and we stomped around my neighborhood in our swimsuits and barefeet. One of the most memorable, for sure.

On my 17th birthday, I went downtown to San Antonio and ate at Hard Rock Cafe with Tiffany, Taylor, Alisha, and Gaby. (My scrapbook at home has the pictures, but my computer apparently doesn't).

On my 18th birthday, I was up at BYU and my new dorm friends, Paige and Alli, made me a pink cake and sang to me in the lobby of our hall.

On my 19th birthday, I celebrated by going to a breakfast cafe with three of my best friends, Angela, Kamera, and Holli. My mom served us cake on rose plates. Oh, and JD sent me flowers. :)
On my 20th birthday, I sat at home with my family and they sang me the birthday song. I skyped JD and dreamed of our wedding 20 days away.

On my 21st birthday, we lived in Washington DC and our friends, Jordan and Brittany, planned a surprise party with JD.
 On my 22nd birthday, I got my toenails painted red and bought a bright purple dress.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Red lips.

On the way to the theater, our conversation went something like this.

Me (looking at myself in the flip-down mirror): My teeth look really white when I wear this red lipstick.
JD: I feel like that's the only reason you wear that stuff.
Me: So, what if it is? Sometimes I like red lipstick.
JD: I hate it.
Me: Do you hate it because it's messy and annoying or do you hate it because you hate the way it looks?
JD: Both.
Me: How can you hate the way it looks? It's so classy and sophisticated! When I was little, I always dreamed of wearing lipstick. Being able to wear lipstick is, like, the way you know you are grown-up. I feel so grown-up.
JD: I'm just saying. . . if I met a girl and she was wearing lipstick, I probably wouldn't date her.
Me: Rude! You are dating me right now.
JD: Yeah, and I wish you weren't wearing that lipstick.
Me: Just because you wear lipstick doesn't mean you have to wear blue eyeshadow and be a skank. I think that's what you think of when you think of lipstick. Think more of like a. . . woman who has got it all together. She's got tons of confidence. And when you see her, you think, "Wow. She can rock the red lips."
JD: I don't think like that.
Me: Oh, well, that's what I'm going for.
JD: Oh, well, you have some on your teeth.

I have mixed feelings about red lips. Sometimes I love it and other times I don't. JD hates it always. Anytime I even mention putting it on, he moans and groans and acts like I spoke the worst words I could possibly ever say. But sometimes I just tune him out and polish my lips up anyway. Like last night. I think going to the theater is a perfectly acceptable time to rock the red lips, with or without husband support. :)

It was a funny night. Thank you, Hale Center, for our first Utah theater experience. We'll be back soon.

Ps. Don't mind the continuation of my tye-dye shirt stripes onto Abby's dress. You'd have thought we planned to match our outfits. We didn't, I swear.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cool find.

JD's parents are packing and cleaning their house in hopes of putting it up on the market soon. A few weeks ago we were up there and I came across this old sewing machine in their garage! They'd gotten it years ago at a garage sale, but had forgotten about it. Larry gave me permission to take it home with me and clean it up a bit. It was so dirty and yucky, but we polished and shined it right up. Now, it's a lovely addition to our room decor. I think it's absolutely gorgeous.

Side note:  A few months ago I bought a really nice Bernina sewing machine. Aside from my wedding ring, it's definitely the most expensive thing I own. My Dad helped pay for it and when he saw this White Rotary in my room, he leaned over to my Mom and whispered, "Tell me this isn't the sewing machine she spent all that money on." No, silly, this one is for decoration. . . the one I bought actually sews things. He's funny.

Good friends.

When I was a baby, my parents lived by Rick & Julie Skousen. They became really good friends and kept in touch for lots of years. Whenever my family visits Utah, they stay with them. . . and a few years ago their family visited us in Texas. They're really kind people with really big hearts and they always make us feel at home. When JD and I were first married, I told him all the time I wanted to find "our Skousens". . . friends we could really be ourselves around, call up when we were bored, and count on when we needed. Even though JD and I are really good friends with each other (best, even), playing board games just the two of us and watching TV by ourselves on the weekends started to get really old really fast. We had a hard time finding couple friends who we both liked to be around and who we had fun with.

Cue Brad & Abby. Thank you, heaven! In the past 6 months, we've done loads of fun things with them and are so grateful for their sweet friendship. Thank you for introducing us to new games, new foods, new friends, and reserving Friday nights for date nights. We're so lucky to be in your circle of friends. And we think you're absolutely great.
(Pictures taken at Brad's b-day dinner at Sakura Grill the weekend before last.)

PS. Can't wait for our date to the Hale Center Theatre tonight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family visit: in numbers.

We ate at Cafe Rio twice,
slept three to a bed,
and then squeezed one extra boy in for breakfast,
had adventures with our two families,
(Love you, Skousens!)
stopped six, seven ... maybe eight? times to catch our breath on the way up Y mountain,

spent time with all four siblings at once,

rented two double-tubes at Seven Peaks,
squished five bums on one side of the picnic table,
 and celebrated the Fourth.
Oh man, Texas is twenty-two hours too far away.
 I miss you guys!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Things to remember.

I started writing this post about how going to Comedy Sportz was really fun and how we had a great time when we went there with my parents. I was going to talk about some of the more hilarious sketches and how much I appreciate clean humor. But then, I realized. . . that's not what I want to remember the most. I want to remember the way Dad's eyes crinkle when he laughs and how he kind of leans back a little when he's thinks something's really funny. Sometimes, I think things are a little humorous, but Dad thinks they're so funny and then I can't stop laughing because I'm laughing at his laugh.
I want to remember the sparkle in Mom's eyes when she looks at Dad and the way they are so comfortable in their love for each other. I want to remember sneaking a peak in their direction and seeing their hands tucked perfectly together.
The date nights and the outings and the fun things we do are worth recording and remembering, of course. But more than anything, I want to remember the feelings, the emotions, and the sentiments behind all these things we do.
I want to remember, as I looked at this picture on the camera after it was taken, I thought to myself "He's such a handsome man. . . and he's my date!"

The days go by so quickly. I can't believe it's almost been two years for us.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Camping with the family.

Despite the intense heat, overcrowded camping grounds, and obnoxious neighboring campers, JD and I tried to provide my family with a fun camping experience while they were here. JD made tinfoil dinners, Peach cobbler, and mountain man breakfast for us. . . and it was all delish.
In the morning, we took turns on the big tree swing at Burraston Ponds. Momma, Lindsey, Morgan, and Isaac were too chicken, but the rest of us braved the high platform. Of course, JD was a show off with his back-flips. . . and he even attempted a front-flip! He's impressive. It took all my will-power to just jump.
The mountains are so beautiful here. Sometimes I don't take enough time to soak it all in.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Glowing sparkles in the sky.

My family's been in Utah for the last two weeks. They left early this morning and I miss them already! I'll be catching up quite a bit (hopefully!) in the next little while. We did lots of fun things while they were in town, but one of the highlights was going to the Stadium of Fire. I still can't get over how incredible it was: the perfect synchronization of music beats with pops and streams of bright color, the intensity of the fire burning from the bleachers, the majesty of bright, glowing sparkles in the sky. It was breathtaking and beautiful! Fireworks are always amazing, but I was beyond impressed with this show. Thanks, Mom & Dad, for the special treat.