December 2, 2014

these are a few of my favorite things

The other night I was thinking about the holiday traditions Max and I have continued/and created on our own over the last two (this will be our third!) Christmas together, and what I hope continues on through the years with children a part of the mix one day too:

1. The Nutcracker or Handel's Messiah

We've rotated between these two events every other year and I absolutely love them both. Max was never one to jump for joy when I mentioned going to the ballet or seeing the Utah Symphony, but I think a part of him might enjoy it now as much as I do. I honestly believe everyone needs to sing the Hallelujah chorus with an orchestra and choir at least once in their lifetime. It's amazing. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

2. We read Christmas Every Day & The Fourth Wiseman every year together.

I grew up reading Christmas Every Day, and Max read The Fourth Wiseman on his first Christmas in the mission field -- these both tie for two of our favorite Christmas stories. I also try and read A Christmas Carol on my own since I've read it nearly every holiday season since the 7th grade. It nearly ties with Great Expectations in my book.

3. Overnight in SLC

One day I really hope we can spend a holiday season in New York City, but for now we like to spend a weekend up in Salt Lake. Temple Square, carriage rides, Breakfast with Santa at the Grand America -- this will suffice until ice skating in Central Park happens.

4. Presents

This year will be our second year spending the holidays away from home, so we're keeping our presents minimal: (1) Something you want, (2) something you need, (3) something to wear, (4) something to read. It made Christmas shopping so simple, and lets be honest: most of us would rather spend our money on going somewhere rather than on something.

5. Luke 2

Like the rest of the Christian world, we have always read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Somewhere along the lines, my family started reading these scriptures by candlelight and afterward, we have a small testimony meeting and share with each other some of our thoughts about the Savior's humble birth and His life. This tradition will always be especially close to my heart.

And yes yes yes, the list goes on. But it's nearly midnight and I must retire for a long winters nap - or at least eight hours of sleep. I'd sleep 18 if I could.

November 27, 2014

thankful thanksgiving turkeys

You get a group of adults together the night before Thanksgiving (or as we prefer to call it, the muddy buddies #friendsgiving) and somehow this happened.

Just kidding. I basically begged everyone to make one in-between sharing Youtube videos and watching movies, but they complied with my wishes and voila! Our thankful thanksgiving turkey door is complete.

Earlier this week for FHE, Max and I listened to this talk while decorating our Christmas tree. Yes, it went up before Thanksgiving, but I just wanted to share a small part of it:

Some murmur when the sky is clear
And wholly bright to view,
If one small speck of dark appear
In their great heaven of blue:
And some with thankful love are filled,
If but one streak of light,
One ray of God’s good mercy, gild
The darkness of their night.

I think I've harped enough on the subject of my blessings book this year, but I can honestly say it has once again changed my life. Focusing on what I have, rather than what I don't, makes all the difference in the world. I could give you a lifetime's worth of things I am so grateful for this year, but all I want to say is that I am especially, especially, especially thankful for my Rhett Butler and my Laurie Laurence - my best friend and husband, Max. I am so grateful you are mine, and for all the hard work you put into our little life together. It's been such a wonderful year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 11, 2014


Three years ago on this ever so fateful day (because for real: 11/11/11 only comes around once every 100 years), my best friend of all best friends came home from serving an LDS mission in Fukuoka, Japan. I remember it all like it was yesterday - and it was more wonderful and awkward (emphasis on wonderful and awkward combined) than anything I could have imagined ;)

Max and I met when we were fifteen years old = that's ten years with a zillion bajillion memories to choose from. But I still have to say that those two years Max served his mission, while both of us were growing up and gaining testimonies and having our own experiences worlds apart, will always be two of the best years that ever happened to us.


So in honor of today, please enjoy this extremely awkward video that Benjamin the videographer took minutes after we first saw each other for the first time in two years. As Ben said, quote: It was history in the making.

November 4, 2014

as abraham lincoln once said...

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision.
If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds,
 then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”


October 28, 2014

and all that jazz

Duke Ellington, feather boas, smoke and cigarettes (or cigars if we're being picky) in other words: Another year, another murder mystery!  Ben & Amber hosted our party last weekend at the Westgate Resort in Park City, also known as the Four Deuces Club -- and yes, it felt as fancyshmancy as what I imagine a 1920's club would have been like 100 years ago.


Max and I got to dress up as Big Jim & Vicki Ravioli - the ex husband and wife at the party
(also, I wore red lipstick for the first time in my life. i'm 25 and moving on up in the world)

After starting a running bet, we considered ourselves lucky that by the end of the night our hotel neighbors never called down hotel security - even after gunshots, mysterious knockings, dead bodies being found next to ice picks, axes, and cyanide (seriously, we were out to solve ten murders by the end of the night) I felt like I was in Clue.

A BIG THANK YOU to Ben and Amber for being such amazing hosts - they truly outdid themselves, and deep down I think we all know the bar has been set very high for next year too ;)

I hope your upcoming Halloween is just as spooky!!

October 23, 2014

what i know for sure

It's that time of year again... where I spend any free afternoon I have at Barnes & Noble trying to catch up on my reading goals for this year (still don't know how I'll do it), but the cherry on top comes with Starbucks caramel hazelnut steamers. Max thinks steamed milk is the most overpriced thing to pay for in this world, but not I. I love it. Last weekend I was really excited because I had an entire Saturday afternoon free from responsibility and Max got to join me for a night at the bookstore. I've started a few books I really want to talk about sometime (Sold, Jesus on Trial, #Girlboss) and I finished Oprah Winfrey's What I Know For Sure, so wanted to share a favorite excerpt from the book:


"Say Thank You," Many years ago, those words from Maya Angelou turned my life around.

I was on the phone with her, sitting in my bathroom with the door closed and the toilet lid down, weeping so uncontrollably that I was incoherent.

"Stop it!" Maya chided. "Stop it right now and say thank-you."

"But you-you don't understand," I sobbed. To this day, I can't remember what it was that had me so far gone, which only proved the point Maya was trying to make.

"I do understand," She told me. "I want to hear you say it now. Out loud. 'Thank you.'"

Tentatively, I repeated it: "Thank you." And then snuffed some more. "But what am I saying thank-you for?"

"You're saying thank-you," Maya said, "because your faith is so strong that you don't doubt that whatever the problem, you'll get through it. You're saying thank you because you know that even in the eye of the storm, God has put a rainbow in the clouds... Say thank-you!"

So I did - and still do.

Being grateful all the time isn't easy. But it's when you feel least thankful that you are most in need what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude transforms any situation. Its the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life - this I know for sure.

Here's the gift of gratitude: In order to feel it, your ego has to take a back seat. What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding. Instead of being frustrated, you choose appreciation. And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for...

Whatever you're going through, you will do just that: go through it. It will pass. So say thank-you now. Because you know the rainbow is coming.


I've thought a lot about what I know for sure since reading Oprah's book, (and there's a lot more to my own list than I thought there would be) - but one thing I can definitely share with Oprah is the power of gratitude. Those I know who are most happy, always always always fall under the category of being most grateful too.

October 20, 2014

"there is a fifth dimension..."

I made Max promise me the other night to never, ever, ever, ever let me watch a scary movie again. We watched the movie Woman in Black (with Harry Potter? Have you seen it?) and I think I had a heart attack twice. I am to the age (?) or point in life (??) or whatever it is (???) that has changed the enjoyment I once had while watching scary movies to total and complete misery for days on end. I go to bed and can't help but think of the witch or ghost or whatever it was in whatever scary movie I watched and thus, I hate it.

So this Halloween I've taken care of my "scary movie fix" by watching Twilight Zone episodes instead. Below are a list of a few of my favorites (for any of you fellow non-scary-movie-goers!):

1. The Hitch Hiker - Hands down, this was theee creepiest Twilight Zone episode I've seen yet.
2. Eye of the Beholder.
3. Living Doll - "My name is Tina and I'm going to kill you." Hellllo.
4. Deaths-head Revisited - Although they have several episodes fixed around WWII and the holocaust, this one was by far my favorite.
5. The Invaders - I don't think there are even any words in this episode! It's that creepy!

So here's to a good ol' fashion fifties Halloween -- before there were ever movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Human Centipede (For real. I saw that movie at Redbox last week. What is happening.)

October 13, 2014

happiness in a box

It's already October 13th (say whaaaaaat?) 
This means 3 things:

1. Happiness can be found in a box.

2. My dance/rap skills are significantly improving.

3. We are spending plenty of time up at Sundance.

So in a nutshell: summer has been my favorite since 2010,
but this fall makes fall my favorite again. 

September 29, 2014

september 2014

I love Balboa Bars.
Max dressed up as Mickey Mouse.
I lost my voice at a football game (who am I?)
Sweater weather. 

The end.

September 23, 2014

a person who has good thoughts

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
-Roald Dahl