Families are foever

The past couple of weeks have really given me a greater perspective of life and truly how fragile it is. 2 of my friends’ brothers have passed away, one while serving in the Army in Afghanistan and the other, a father of a cute little girl with one on the way passed away in his sleep.

I didn’t really know either of these two great men, but I do know their families, which are great families. I know Mark looked up to one of them as a great example of a big brother.

It’s so hard to wrap your head around when someone passes away unexpectantly. Mark and I had a good talk last night, after I cried for a while {which made me feel confused because I didn’t know Jared well, like I said, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to loose a son, brother, husband, father. I just kept thinking about how devastating it must be for his parents, brothers, wife and daughters. My heart breaks for them.} But Mark made a good point, on very few occasions do you hear Mark be serious or share his deep thoughts. He said the Lord must really have something important, almost an emergency, for Jared to do, why else would he take a young father/husband/son so quickly and with out any sign, no sickness or anything. I think that is so true. Most often death is expected, for example usually a grandparent is old or there has been sickness, you can prepare for it and say your goodbyes. I really think that says something amazing about Jared, that he was so important and crucial for something in heaven that we can’t understand that God would take him from the earth. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in life with materialistic things, clothes, our appearance, technology. But these tragedies have really opened my eyes and helped me see the most important things in life, family and the people who mean so much to us, they are irreplaceable. How often do we treat our own family members with less than respect. I can’t imagine the heartache of losing someone in my family. It’s made me think about how much they each mean to me and I need to always remember to treat them like that. I also thought a lot about my relationship with Mark. It made me realize that things can happen so quickly that I don’t want to fight or get caught up in the little things. I want to live life to the fullest every day. I want to strive to have a perfect love for Mark everyday. I want to have no regrets. Obviously every day isn’t perfect and I won’t be perfect at this but I want to try. I don’t want to dwell on things that happened years ago. I want to look forward and love openly, not be afraid to be hurt. You only have one chance at this life, and too often it ends all too quickly.
My heart goes out to these two wonderful families. I am so grateful for my testimony and understanding of a life after this and eternal families. I’m grateful that I know I will see and be with my family forever. God doesn’t create families just to take them from us, families are eternal. I want my family; my parents, sisters, grandparents, in laws, and Mark to know how much I love them and how grateful I am for them. I am the person I am today because of their example and love.

dress mess

we are going to a couple weddings in a few weeks when we go home for Christmas and I want to get a new dress to wear, except there are no stores in Rexburg, and I didn’t find anything this past week when we were in Utah so now I’m all stressed because I’m not the best online shopper, I want to try it on and see how it looks. Plus everything cute online is too short or sleeveless, not gonna work!
I found a dress I really like on shopruche.com but of course it was sold out!

Any suggestions?! What would you wear to a wedding?

Over the river and through the woods

Before I talk about our Thanksgiving, I have some great news:

About 15 minutes after we walked in the door yesterday our neighbor came over with 3 packages for me. I instantly wanted to rip them open, because I knew what was inside, but I didn’t, I tried my hardest to be patient and friendly. I talked to her and her cute daughter for a few minutes, popped some bubble wrap with them and then the second the door closed and we said goodbye I ran to the scizors and cut the boxes open. It was my camera, free camera bag and memory card! I spent a couple hours reading the manual, learning what each button means and playing around with it. There’s so much to learn! But I can’t wait to start taking pictures with it!

Now on to the important stuff, Thanksgiving!
We went to Draper, UT to my grandma’s house, it was such a great week. As soon as we got to her house on Wednesday afternoon my grandma and I went straight to the kitchen to start prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. After making the most amazing cranberry crunch from fresh cranberries, apples and walnuts, the glaze for the turkey, and prepping the stuffing, we decided we should probably make dinner because Mark and Rachel were hungry. After dinner we all sat and caught up on life and the future.
My grandma recently got a puppy named Teddy, he’s so cute and fun. We played with him for hours. The highlight of our time down there for Mark was egging Teddy on to chasing the cats and attacking them. He loved hearing the cats hiss and growl at Teddy and swat him.
Thursday morning I woke up bright and early, ok so it was only 8:15 but that’s early for vacation, to help my grandma start cooking. We cooked all day until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon! But we had no accidents or anything non-edible, it was a success! Everything was delish! We went with a fruity, sweet base for the turkey and gravy, it had an apple flavoring, it was soo good! We even stuffed the turkey with granny apples! Then we went to an extended family members home for dessert.

That night was Black Friday, and me, Mark and Rachel decided we wanted to be part of the holiday shopping madness! I wanted to go to Best Buy and fight for a 42″ tv for $200, my claws were out, but when we saw the line at 5:00 was wrapped all the way around the building we crossed that off our list. Mark saw a Walmart add that had dvd’s for $1.95 so he wanted to go there {really, Walmart?! That’s the only store we have in Rexburg and he wants to go to Walmart?!} but I was up for it because they started their deals at 10:00 instead of midnight. We got there right at 10:00 and saw a feeding frenzy of people tackling each other for dvds. Rachel’s eyes lit up and she ran right into the mess. I saw people getting trampled and smashed so I stayed back and Rachel handed me piles of dvds to go through. At one point she got sat on! I was amazed to see how people turned into animals and gave no regard to people around them, just to save a few bucks on dvds. I guess we aren’t as refined or evolved as we like to believe we are. After about 20 minutes in the dvd section, everything was obliterated, the only thing left was a handful of dvds that no one wanted, like the Despicable Me short films that everyone thought was actually the Despicable Me movie…so shady Walmart! We walked around to see what other deals they had. We got to the video game section, full of smelly nerdy boys. Mark stood in the back trying to see what they had while Rachel and I got aggressive and demanded boys to hand us games and tell us prices. Sometimes it’s good to be a girl, ok most of the time!

Then I found a 30piece tupperwear set on sale for $6! The joys of being a wife 🙂

We weaved in and out of people to find the shortest line, jackpot! While in line we had a crack up of a lady behind us. She wanted to talk about all the movies, hold up each one and tell us what she thought of it, then she wanted to see our selection of movies. She kept talking to everyone around her about the movies. She also enjoyed telling us that she just got off work at 7/11 and loves working there. At one point Rach and I found crumb donuts in line for $1 so we grabbed one to share and she got so excited and asked us to grab her one. Needless to say, she made waiting in line much more entertaining.

After getting out of the white trash that Walmart is, we headed to target. We parked at about 11:15 and thought that because it was warm at 35degrees we could wait in line for 45 minutes. We walked across the parking lot and headed to the line. It looked short! We can do this! Then as we got closer people in line started telling us the line was wrapped all the way around the huge target. I started feeling like Ralphie when he took Randy to get in line at the department store to see Santa and they thought the line was really short until the grumpy man said “hey kid, the line starts back there, this is the front of the line!” I no longer cared that it was 30degrees warmer than it was last year, by the time we actually got in to target there would be nothing left! So we headed home.

Black Friday was fun, but I want to have things to actually fight for. We never have anything we really need, we just go to be a part of the excitement.

Friday I headed to the Fashion Mall with Rach and Grandma Bev in hopes of finding a new dress. Unsuccessful, of course, whenever I go looking for something specific I never find it. But we did have a great lunch a the Corner Bakery.

That night Mark and I headed to Bountiful to visit his grandparents that we never get to see because they live in Arizona half the year. We took them to dinner at Chuck-a-Rama…I was skeptical, not sure what the food would taste like. On the way to dinner we came across some deer trying to cross the road. We stopped right next to a big one and Mark’s grandma rolled down her window and started singing Rudolf The Rednosed Reindeer to it! I was dying! Mark’s grandparents are hilarious, they argue over what they said, or when something was. The best part was once we got to dinner, his grandma was sooo excited, she loves buffets. She uses a walker that has a little seat on it. She took a couple laps around to see all the food they had to offer and then loaded up her plate and put it on the seat of the walker as she walked back to the table, she did this about 3 times. It was awesome. And I can say I was pleasantly surprised by the food there. I guess getting old isn’t going to be so bad as long as we live/retire by a Chuck-A-Rama!

Saturday, Mark and I went to do the rest of our Christmas shopping! We are dunzo! Well except for Mark’s Christmas gift. I have no idea what to get him! I feel like such a horrible wife. I have all these things that I want constantly and he never wants anything. I should be able to come up with a great surprise gift to give him but I can’t think of anything! It’s killing me.
That night we all went to Tocanos Brazillian grill! It was so delicious! Rachel and I had never been there so it was a new experience for us, so of course we had to try a little bit of everything from fried bananas to chicken heart, which let me tell you is really rubbery, it tastes like chicken at first but the after taste is disgusting!

So to sum our 5 days up, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m so grateful to have such a great relationship with my grandma and be able to spend this holiday with her. I’m grateful for a wonderful, loving, supportive husband who loves my grandma and encourages me to spend time with her. I’m grateful for my sister even though we fight like none other. I’m also so grateful for my family and I can’t wait to see them in 3 weeks! I’m grateful for civilization, even though I don’t really like Utah and I don’t want to live there, it is a nice break from Rexburg and I love seeing the lights of the cities at night and of course love all the malls and outrageous plethora of food places in each city.

Sorry this was a novel of a post but here are some pictures:

Mark carrying Teddy in his sweatshirt

Mark carving his first Turkey!

Rachel’s typical position all week

“Look at that hack job!”


baby Teddy

Setting the table

Add caption

passed out after all the turkey


It’s Friday!

Ok so it’s obviously not really Friday, but my weekend/vaca starts today at 5! Work has been really slow this week because of the upcoming holiday so today I brought this beautiful book that my friend Emily made for me so that I could turn it into a planner, since I need a new one and the one I really want, but obviously can’t afford because it’s $200, really, who’s so important that they need a $200 planner?! But it’s cute right?!
So I decided I would turn this adorable gold glitter ombre notebook that Emily gave me into a planner! aka hand writting the date on each page, nothing too awesome, I’m not real crafty like emily.

Well back to it being Friday, as soon as 5:00 rolls around I’m home to pack, clean the apartment cuz I hate going on vacation and then returning to a messy home. Then pick M up from, go to tithing settlement, hit the gym to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, go to bed, wake up and drive to my grandma’s!

This will be my first Thanksgiving without my family, I know I’m a baby, and I know Mark and Rach and my gma will be with me and they are my fam, but I guess I mean this will be my first thanksgiving without my parents. Weird. Guess I really am grown up.

Also, if you’re wondering, I talked to my parents and my in-laws and….I ordered my camera the other night! It should be arriving to my apartment anytime after Thanksgiving!

Anyways, I most likely won’t be blogging the rest of this week, I’m going to be relaxing on my gmas couch, playing with her puppy, baking and enjoying the week with my number one man, my sis and my gma!
Happy Thanksgiving!

dear santa

I found the thing I REALLY want for Christmas.
1222817 Front Large
It’s the Nikon D3100 14.2 megapixel digital SLR camera! (do I sound like Ralphie from A Christmas Story?!)
All the reviews say it is the best SLR and so easy to use for new comers like me.
I’m going to search high and low for it on Black Friday, hoping that they will lower the price even more. And I’m going to talk to my parent’s and Mark’s parent’s about splitting it 3-way with me for our Christmas gift. {Surprise dad!} And of course, I’ll write a letter to Santa telling him I’ve been very good this year.
Anyways, it has everything I want, plus it has a video mode, so that would fulfill mark’s wants of having a camcorder {do people still use camcorders?} And I can take great pictures of our family in Washington D.C. and of Europe!

christmas shopping

I don’t know if it’s a tradition in my family or if it’s just because my dad is so on the ball, but we always get our Christmas shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving. It’s been really hard for me to do that while I’ve been here at school the past 4 years because there are not many stores in Rexburg so I usually wait until I go down to Utah for Thanksgiving to do my shopping. But it always stresses me out waiting that long!
So I’ve started planning what I’m getting and when I’m getting it:
Mom-just figured out what I’m going to get her and am going to start it today!
Brad & LuAnn-ehhh maybe one of the things I’m getting my mom for LuAnn as well. Don’t know about Brad.
Dave & Lauren-absolutely no idea
Mark-a few ideas, I’ll have to look during black Friday.

I know my list looks like a mess, but I’m actually feeling really good about it! The ones that are really stressing me out are Brad & LuAnn, Dave & Lauren, and Taylor. Mostly Mark’s family, so looks like I’m going to have pick Mark’s brain!

We are back from a fast but great weekend in Utah with the Warrens! It was so much fun being all together, 5 warren families with 7 little girls and one boy who loves to smile. The weekend seems like a blur, it went by so fast but we have some great memories.

One of the funniest things that happened this weekend included spooning and a dog. Scott and Dani have a boxer named Sunny. She is so cute and so much fun. She gets so excited and her stubby tail gets wagging so fast her whole but wiggles side to side. Well when we got in the first night we climbed into bed and Sunny decided she wanted to have a sleep over with us. She climbed right between me and Mark, in a full sized bed, and was spooning Mark! Seriously, she had her arm/paw across Mark’s chest! We were dying. Then Mark leaned over to kiss me goodnight and Sunny tried to join in, pretty sure she got Mark!
They also are the parent’s to Paige, Emma and Colt. They are so much fun. I love all our nieces and it’s so fun to have a nephew. Daylight savings has them all messed up though, they woke up around 5 am! The second morning Mark was so exhausted he said, I never want to have kids! rude! but then when the kids all came downstairs he snuck upstairs and climbed in their bunkbed to sleep a little longer.
I got to help Dani make pies for Thanksgiving dinner, she is a really good cook and I learn a lot from her.

On Saturday night all the girls went to Lauren’s house to play just dance while the boys froze their butts off at the BYU game.

This picture is blurry but look at all those girls dancing!
Then Sunday we had Thanksgiving dinner. It was all delish! I again failed at taking pictures.
We had such a great weekend and are so grateful for our family, both sides. 

an early Thanksgiving

Tonight we are heading down to Utah for an early Thanksgiving with the Warrens! It’s going to be a great weekend full of family {7 nieces and 1 nephew}, good food {zupas! and of course turkey and pies and everything in between!} I’m in charge of making the sweet potatoes and helping my sister in law with the pies, I love baking so I’m excited.
I’m so excited to get a break from Rexburg, I always start feeling like I need to get out once it gets cold so it will be a nice break, even though it’s cold down in utah too. This week has been a rough one and I’m hoping this weekend gets me back to normal.

Hoping today goes by fast at work so I can go home and pack, then pick Mark up {luckily his boss is letting him leave an hour early so we won’t pull into our brother and sister in law’s house at 1 am!}

Happy birthday dad!

Happy Birthday to the best dad in the world! I know everyone says they have the best dad, but I actually do! He taught me everything I know from how to ride a bike to being a caring and responsible person. He gave me such a great life and continues to. Some of my favorite things about my dad are his enthusiasm for holidays, especially Christmas. I love going every year to pick out the Christmas tree, even though there is always a fight over which tree to get. But when we lived in Indiana we went to tree farms and cut down our own tree! Another great quality about my dad is that he’s coached me and all my sisters sports teams, even if I was a pathetic basketball player 🙂 Despite his busy work schedule, he has always made time for us. My dad has always pushed and encouraged me to become the person he knew I could be. He loves me and my sisters and my mom. What more could you want in a dad? Plus he gets along so well with my husband!

Happy birthday dad!
me around age 5, my dad and rachel around age 2

At freshmen orientation breakfast when my parents dropped me off in Idaho my first year, hot picture of me eating 

Family pictures at Chrissy Fields 2008

Father-daughter dance at my wedding, provided by my wonderful dad!

A California Christmas

For the past week or so we have been trying to figure out flights to go home for Christmas. My awesome dad is giving us plane tickets home as my graduation gift! {he’s always bought our tickets home as a Christmas gift, luckily for him, this is the last time he will have to, since we hopefully will be living in California come April 2012!} Not only do we have to coordinate my work schedule with Mark’s but also with finals and my sister Rachel’s work and final schedule. Plus we have to coordinate with our parents schedule as to who can pick us up from the airport and who will drop us off. {the ONLY negative to flying home is that we have no car once we get there.} But after a week or months of coordinating and changing plans, my wonderful dad booked our flights today! I can’t wait to go home! Christmas with snow is beautiful, but Christmas at home with family is what it’s all about.

Wildfox California Christmas