secret santa tonight

December 21, 2013

(jared's face in this picture has made the rest of my life complete)

Friendsgiving, #DisneyCruise2015, Anne Frank the cat, mission stories, marriage stories, "shelfish" -
I married my best friend, so best I can't explain it. But when you get your best friend and married friends and high school friends all together, that's best too.

So we had a "Secret Santa night" with lots of yummy food and white elephant gifts and Evan reading us 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by the fireplace. And the holidays always feel special with the falling snow and English toffee, but it will never beat the feeling when everyone is together. Hope your holidays (and weekend) are filled with the people you love too!

date night

December 9, 2013

Max and I stopped by a café down the street from us after several of our neighbors had said that they make the best peppermint hot chocolate. Originally we had planned to get it to go, but we ended up sitting in our little booth for three hours talking until the restaurant closed. I think it won my favorite Friday night of the year.

yesterday a day i will not repeat

December 4, 2013

The last twenty four hours has nearly been the death of me. Christmas shopping craziness, running out of gas and running to the gas station/taking a bus back to the car, missing the temple session with our friends because of aforementioned gas problem, car battery dying (two car problems in one day??), in tears over almost everything and slipping on ice in the Kneaders parking lot. You know, basically life.

And I swear it's always just like this, because it never spreads out over a few days (or weeks) but instead it just comes down all at once. When it rains, it pours my friends. Or in this case, snows. I guess it's a good thing I have an umbrella in my car.

"i don't know what else to be but grateful"

November 27, 2013

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

With a full heart this Thanksgiving for the many blessings of the year, for a Heavenly Father who answers our prayers, for a best friend I get to spend my life with, and for friends and family who are always just a phone call (or snapchat) away; I am especially thankful this year that we have a season dedicated to being grateful for all the things in our lives that make it the experience that it is.

My dad sent me the video above a few days ago, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Wishing you all a very, merry and happy Thanksgiving!

seriously the happiest place on earth.

November 25, 2013

Somehow I managed to convince my parents a few weeks ago that our family was in desperate need of a trip back to Disneyland (although lets be honest, when it comes to Disneyland they never need too much convincing :) And I know I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again and again: Disneyland is the happiest-est place on earth. And when you add the holidays and twinkle lights and the smell of peppermint on Main Street, USA? Well, my heart explodes.

Above are just a few of the photos I snapped on my phone, but I think I took about a thousand. My all-time favorites still include: Peter Pan, Splash Mountain, and all of New Orleans Square. New highlights had to be Aladdin the Musical, watching the holiday firework show from a boat (!!!) on Storybook Canal, and the twinkle light fireworks above our own beds at the hotel! Who comes up with these things??

Until next time, I'll be missing every single last bit of it.

ps. especially excited to see this movie now!
pss. download this app next time you're visiting. time/live saver. 

espérer designs

November 22, 2013

My sister recently started a small jewelry business (for those of you who don't already read her blog, you can find it here) and I must say I am one proud big sister. She has sure been through a lot over the last 18 months, which certainly hasn't been easy for her, or for any of us to watch who love her so much. With that being said, she has grown tremendously and has come such a long way, inspiring many people while doing so, including me. I love her so much.

If interested, you can check out her jewelry website here:
Or you can read the Deseret News series on LDS bloggers, which features her personal story and blog here.

mortgages, medical school, and life i guess

November 18, 2013

As Max grows closer to taking the MCAT, more and more of our conversations are centered on "the future" and everything that means: medical school, beginning a family, all the places we want to go. As daunting as it sometimes feels (I swear I still don't feel grown up enough to pay for a mortgage), I do get more and more excited about all of the possibilities, raising children (even teenagers), packing our life up, starting a life somewhere else, etc etc, and getting to do all of it with Max.

Before we were married, I think I made Max promise me at least 27 times that there was no way we'd stay here in Utah for forever. And I love Utah. I grew up here. Most of our friends and family live within an hour of us, which I've been so thankful for. Plus: Fall. Utah in the fall is so gorgeous. But I guess a part of me (a huge part admittedly) has always wanted to leave too.

And kids! Gosh. When did this start? I think I maybe babysat twice as a teenager, and although I know I thought about having kids, I really can't say I thought about it a lot. If it weren't for our sweet sunbeams who we get to see every Sunday, and my new little friend Erin who sits on my lap and looks back at me with raised eyebrows every time she answers a question waiting for my approval (it really stops my heart) I don't know if I'd think about it as much as I do now. But I do. I can't wait to have a little girl who I can read to at night, or a teenage son I can help get ready for school dances. THIS IS SO WEIRD. Mainly because these thoughts feel so new, but so exciting.

And my personal goals. Which sometimes I don't write about as much online because I think, what if it doesn't work out? What if my essays aren't published? What if my books don't go through? It makes me nervous.

And then, of course, there's housing to consider, living costs, job opportunities, saving our money/investing our money, good schools, residency, etc etc and the possibility of one day ideally living in Sydney, Boston, Southern California, Devonport (one can dream?). And I know I might romanticize certain places or people or living a life with a future family somewhere exotic, but I also refuse to forget what my favorite professor(/mentor/person/hero) would always say, "remain tremendously idealistic about the life ahead of you" - mortgages and all.

november, november

November 8, 2013

I can't believe it's already November. This summer seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at the same time! I can't complain, though, this fall has been good to us. I had a to-do list on the calendar of all the fun things I wanted to try, and we nearly crossed off every single one by the end of October! Now that it's November, I've placed a new to-do list on the fridge and after listing all the things I am hoping to fit in, I announced to Max that November has got to be one of my favorite months of the year: the occasional Christmas song on the radio, or the Hershey kisses commercial starting to play on TV (I don't know why I have always loved that commercial so much), plus pumpkin pie/chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin spiced hot chocolate -- Thanksgiving day has to be tied with Christmas Eve in my book. And this year especially, I'm really hoping to add a few new traditions to the holiday.

This weekend, though, I've really been counting down the minutes for. Max surprised me with tickets to see the Utah Symphony's performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I might have mentioned it in a post before, but I can't think of many other songs I love as much as Vivaldi's Winter. My dad tried raising me and my little sister on classical music, which honestly, we mostly complained about at the time. My dad would take us to the store every time we wanted to buy a CD like the Backstreet Boys or B*Witched (does anybody remember them??) and would always make us pick out a Beethoven or Bach CD to go along with it. I usually just picked a name or composer I was familiar with, and only listened to it when my dad asked me to, but there were two single classical exceptions that I loved as much as anything else: Pachelbel's Cannon in D and Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It still makes me wish I was a concert violinist whenever I hear these songs, they are so, so pretty. Nowadays, I find myself listening to "Classical 89" and (sigh) talk radio more than I do other stations because everything else is starting to sound the same (and I am starting to sound way too much like my parents!) but any excuse to dress up for a night and pretend we're fancy is a-okay with me!

Anyway, this post is getting lengthy but all I really just wanted to say is that November is great as long it's not election year (lets not talk about Obamacare ever) and I hope the month is as special for you as it is to me. Now if only there was a way to keep all the red and golden leaves on the trees for just a few weeks longer?


November 4, 2013

Halloween this year was a successful night of mystery and murder. Although I've been to several of these mystery dinner parties before, this was by far a favorite. We sent out invitations with only one request: b.y.o.f. (bring your own flashlight) and after dinner, we turned out the lights and slowly pieced together the clues which ultimately revealed Mr. Lewis as the murderer, and the rest of us as one pretty sketchy group of friends at our class of '54 reunion. I loved it so much I think I might just add this activity onto a Halloween tradition list. I have also officially come to the conclusion that the tradition of watching Halloween movie marathons on TV has got to go. Michael Myers never dies and that drives me crazy.

witches night out (again)

October 26, 2013

Well this has slowly become a tradition! What began as a last minute decision three years ago (year 1, 2, 3) has now turned into one of our Halloween musts. It was definitely more crowded this year than in years past, but that's okay because the bread bowls are just as good, and our dance routine has improved significantly.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that I only need a few things in life to be happy. Great girlfriends are one of them.

fall break and an early thanksgiving.

October 21, 2013

All those years with no spring break, and it was finally redeemed last weekend! Redeemed with Harry Potter movie marathons, way too much football (I don't think I can watch one more football game this season), shopping, stuffed french toast, and late night conversations that carried on through the morning. I told Max on our drive home from Park City that I will never complain about not having a spring break for all those years again. Fall break takes the cake in my book!

And on a kind-of related side note: Max and I comment on it often, but we've really felt so blessed lately. There are a million things that have just fallen into place so perfectly, it's undeniable that this past year has unraveled just the way it was supposed to. That's not to say that 2013 hasn't been insane... because it has. We started this year with so many unanswered questions and tentative plans, all of which are worth two or three or four posts of its own. It really wasn't until last week that I was finally able to step back and almost like connect-the-dots, see for myself how it all perfectly fell into place.

big thank you to the friends and family who have been so supportive along the way. It's a wonderful thing when you can consider the people you surround yourself with the sort of people who make you feel "like a million bucks" and who also make you want to be better at the same time because they're just that good to begin with. You know who you are. It's not even November, but it feels like Thanksgiving to me.

be careful, strive to be happy.

October 16, 2013

We used to hang a sign with the famous words, Keep Calm, Carry On on the back of our front door in our dorm when I was a freshman in college. We would joke that it was the only thing that got us through finals week ... and some really bad first dates. Now if there was only some way I could shorten Desiderata (but really, all of it's so good) I feel like it's some of my favorite bits of advice and it's worth reading again and again and again and again (or at least every morning when I walk out the door.)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Strive to be happy.
-Max Ehrmann


October 8, 2013

This fall has brought a new routine, new jobs for us both (... can we pause for just a moment so I can express how much happier life is when you have a job that you love) and on top of new jobs, new classes for Max, and new furniture for me (I would have never believed there would come a day I would like shopping for furniture more than clothes!) And last but not least, the new season of fall which has won me over with its changing leaves and cozy sweatshirts and caramel hazelnut steamers.  I think I've already stopped by Starbucks three times in the last two weeks because they are just so good. Some of these pictures above were taken a few weeks ago on our "first unofficial day of fall" which helped me get over summer, just a little bit :)

In other news: Max & I are both wearing face masks right now. Yes, I convinced Max to try it with me when I told him his skin will glow after fifteen minutes (the box said so). We look like ghosts and I told him we should do the same thing on Halloween, except he said no, probably not.

We also just booked a cabin for the weekend in Park City, which has me counting down the hours -- not only to get away, but to be under the same roof with a group of friends for more than just an hour at Red Robin. The only thing I don't like about growing up is when it takes a month to see some of your best friends again because everyone is busy, busy, busy.

And last but not least: this past weekend was so great. For those of you who tuned into General Conference, I think that this was my favorite talk.

There is so much more to say, of course, but it's 10 PM and Max and I need to watch an episode of Modern Family and talk ourselves to sleep. Wishing anyone who reads this neglected blog anymore a happy fall day, wherever that may be.


September 3, 2013

I woke up sentimental and little bit sad on Monday morning when I realized that summer was coming to its end... Really, this is kind of unusual because I'm normally excited for fall by the time August reaches its end. I guess there were just a few final items left on my summer to-do list which I never got around to, but I'm learning maybe that's just a little bit of what life is like in adulthood anyway :)

Max suggested that maybe we have an "unofficial last day of summer" this upcoming weekend, since after all, it's the "first unofficial day of fall" next Saturday :) (oh how I love those first unofficial days of fall!) Whatever the case, I'm hoping I quit longing for those warm summer nights and get myself excited for sweater weather, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and all that jazz!

Here are a few of my final (and sort of random) pictures of summer taken on both my iphone and camera, documenting last minute vacations, the annual cheese party (more on that later), and my favorite sunbeams. They're the cutest... seriously.

yes, ken and i were first in line to see one direction in 3-d with our 3-d glasses and self-decorated t-shirts!
we so felt thirteen again and loved it.

So long summer. You shall be missed. And in the meantime, I'll take up a friends recommendation and listen to Autumn in New York by Louis Armstrong, apparently it's supposed to the do the trick :)

you are loved.

August 14, 2013

I walked out of the library yesterday afternoon and was surprised when I saw this note left on my car. I noticed a few of the other cars in the parking lot had love notes taped to them too, and it made me think about how many times little things can be big things, and how small acts of kindness needs to be placed back on the top of my own to-do list.


July 26, 2013

Over the last few months, I've spent less and less time blogging (which I know I will regret since lately this is the only thing that comes close to a journal) and I'm not really sure why I haven't found the time  that I used to for this little online space of mine, but at least I'm making an attempt today, right?

So far, Summer has been a 10/10. A lot of reading, late night movies (or Twilight Zone episodes, Hulu has all 5 seasons online for free... holla!) and plenty of night games with friends. Last month we even convinced each other to make an all-nighter attempt, but we found that we could only last until about 5 AM. That was good enough for me.

There are too many things to catch up on, so I'll just say a few of the highlights have been seeing Mary Poppins (so good!), "streaking in Georgia" (this is another story for another day), turning 24 (I almost refuse to believe it!), and last but certainly not least: Max's impromptu One Direction/pandora/living room concert the other night, because yes, I scoured the internet for any tickets to see them in SLC ... but it was to no avail. Max is probably the only one who knows how sad this had made me, but luckily he's way cuter than Harry Styles.

Every summer I can count on those summer nights driving home with the windows rolled down and the radio as loud as I used to like it when I was in high school. Something about those drives after one long, sunny day outdoors and that's when I forget about all that I worry about. Chlorine hair, sunburned cheeks, and a stop by In & Out (I definitely made a mistake by choosing to live down the street from one!) Nights like these, and life is going my way.

she's married!

June 27, 2013

Whataday. Wednesday was so happy and bitterweet, and bittersweet and so happy, I hardly knew what to do with myself! Kylie and Shyler have been a long time coming (they went on their first date to the Sadie Hawkins Dance the same night Max and I did!) and boy has it has been fun to watch the story of these two develop from the sidelines.

Dating back to our Algebra class Kylie, Shyler and I had together our Junior year of high school, all the way up to the beautiful temple ceremony seven years later made me feel so many things all at once. So I mostly just cried. They're reception that night was perfect - twinkle lights, chandeliers in tall trees, diet coke (of course!) -- I think of the hundreds of times Kylie and I have talked about what we envisioned on our wedding day, and everything about the night was out of the ball park amazing. But the best part of all was seeing how happy they are, and how much they still love each other even after all these years.

So now as another chapter closes I can't help but think back to all the ups and downs Kylie and I got to share together as we grew up together these last 10 years... too many to possibly even count. So when we finally hit the dance floor with both of our husbands in sight, it was a memory I know I will keep forever.

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Shyler Bischoff. You guys have an exciting and wonderful life ahead of you, and I'm so glad I get to see the first part of it begin :) Now onto wedding number two tomorrow!


June 26, 2013

I'll spare you the disposable camera photos of me with braces in 1999 and instead (in honor of throwback thursday of course) share pictures of where we've been the last little while: the greatest place to spend in the summertime. Wallowa Lake.


We realized that next year will mark 20 years (!!!) of taking family trips up to the Lake. That means I was five years old when I started going... no wonder it feels like a home away from home! I will forever love the old cabins, the smell of pine trees, stretches of farmland, and overall the Americana feeling you get in this little town up North (which has the best ice cream ever ... not kidding!) These trips will never get old. And neither will our music videos :)

This place is just the cherry on top to summertime.

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