Friday, December 26, 2008

~Winter Wonderland~

We took a walk in snow shoes. I've always wanted to do this. It was so exhausitng to my surprise. The powder was so deep for starters. Even through the snow shoes kept us afloat, we were sinking a bit. So we had to pick our legs up high to walk--worked out the bum. Although my face was freexing, I was sweating underneath all my snow clothes.
Andrew's snow shoe came off...such a pain to get back on. Please note his "sad face."

Chirstmas trees all around us.

This is my favorite winter look... The white snow with the white Aspen trees and the Pine Christmas trees speckled about. When I woke up this morning, most everyone was still asleep so I put on some big boots and went for a walk with my camera. I like pracing photography. The sun was shooting towards the house so I had to walk a bit of a way out to get some shots. Before long Andrew was coming out to join me. The snow is deep and completly fresh after a nights worth of snow. But there were some fresh tracks headed towards the barn. We followed them. & we wern't surprised to see Andrew's dad plowing the snow with the snow tractor. I guess that is somethig he thoroughly enjoys. We kept walking to the end of the drive way where we connected. It was crazy to see those tractors at work. This isn't just a plow. It sends the snow up a spout that shoots it out far. We were entertained.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Rudolph hangs on the wall for us to enjoy year round.

Christmas Eve dinner.
The guys pajamas this year were their favorite soccer team's jersery. The girls PJ's were perfectly adoreable as well. Andrew has been looking forward to these jersey's for a while. Those are the gits that were sitting in our plate at Chirstmas Eve dinner.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What do these two kids have in common?

1. We're all related. Mollie is Drew niece and Dixon in my nephew.
2. They both have the cutest moms ever.. great All-American moms at that.
3. Both have blong hair--perfectly adoreable.
4. They both love DIET COKE and don't know why. Dixon's grandma and Molly's mom totally dig DC. And their posterity have caught on to it. They get ahold of it when no one is looking. DC has a way... they hooke 'em at an early age.

Christmas Ball

A couple of our friends had a fun Christmas party here recently in Park City. I'm always looking for a way to dress up and go somewhere (out of Provo). This was just it~ With treats, door prizes, and dancing, we had a 'ball.' Andrew & I LOVE to dance. We have no reservations when it comes to a good tune. I fear this growing old.

"the girls"

These girls are the cutest in the world. They are always dressed amazing like like their mother. Which reminds me of something my mom said the other day while we were shopping and passing by little kids clothes... "I only wish they made clothes this cute for my size."

Being around Abby & Mollie only makes me anticipate having mine own. For the longest time all I thought about was boys boys boys. However, the past few months all I've thought about was having my little girl. I've had some tender moments thinking about my little girl. Mothers and their daughters have a specail bond. I'm not saying that moms and their sons don't. But from the view of a daughter, I need to have a similar relationship with mine own. Katie has it... & I want it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recap of 2008

I can't believe this year is almost over. It has been an amazing one worth recapping. We've clearly had some big events this year that go down as "treasured milestones." However, we've experienced more subtle experiences that too will be well remembered. I want to take a moment to recap on some of our milestones for 2008...

1. At the start of the year as an engaged girl in la-la land, I went with my Dad to Africa for a "daddy daughter" trip. My appreciation for the scripture, "All things denote that there's a God" was given new meaning as observed wildlife--angelic really.

2. Drew conqured a couple more semesters of school taking 18 credits even.

3. Mom and I joined dad for a business convention he had in the Bahamas. Mom and I enjoyed the ocean, laid out, and went to the spa as we made wedding plans and talked about Andrew non-stop.

4. Andrew and his good friend joined the family in St. Louis to see a Blues game. It was Drew's first time to see them play.

5. On April 11th, we were married in the Salt Lake temple. Words can't describe the special feeling that confirmed my love and tender feelings for Drew. I've never been so sure nor has it seemed so clear that what I was doing at that time was 100% right and true. Despite the overwhelming emotions and caos really with everything coming together, I could not have imagined feeling such peace...peace I've never felt before. Those feelings alone will endure me through time and trials that ever might face our family. For that I am so grateful!

6. We each had spoken of Austrialia being the ideal travel spot one day... we'll now know it as our honeymoon spot forever. Those three weeks gave new meaning to the word bliss.

7. Andrew had a successful summer of Boys World of Adventure, a summer sports camp he and his brothers started.

8. I interened with Morgan Stanley in private wealth and had a huge eye-openeing experience. This was rewarding but it stretched me.... really stretched me.

9. We're renting our first home. It's an apartment really. But we love it. I feel like I could live in this stage forever. Life is simple. & our aparment is just the cutest...referring to it's little size full of little treasures.

10. We've spent tons of family time: Family reunion in Sun Valley, Andrew's fam in Disney, Thanksgiving in Louisiana, Houston visiting my sister and her cute son Cutler, weekend visits with family, and now Christmas with the Checketts.

11. I had two months in between my intern and when I landed the job I was after, one with a "perfect fit." I was able to fall back on good ole hobbies such a scrapbooking. I finished my honeymoon scrapbook, which if it's not to prideful to say is amazing.

12. I got my first real/full-time job that I love and feel so blessed to have. I work with the best crowd and am so motivated with my work. There is a huge adventure aspect to with traveling to my assigned states.

These are the stark highlights in a nut-shell. It hasn't been a perfect year by any means. But I'm already able to see the glory ending in disappointments. For example, I was rejected from BYU's MBA. (makes sense I had no experience. But for some reason I though I could be that rare exception). Yet now I see it as such a blessing becuase I'm loveing the path that my job is taking me.

It's been a great year full of many adventures. We will see what 2009 brings. We're ready to take it on.

White Chirstmas

With snow up to our ears, we're having a white Christmas indeed. This will be our first of many togehter. We are celebrating it with Andrew's family this year. I'm excited to take part and learn of their thriving traditions. Their cabin is at 9,600 ft. It's a blizzard up here!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cougar Christmas!

We thought we'd make our first Christmas a "Cougar Christmas." There is no red to be found on our tree. We wouldn't want to confuse Santa with our motives. We had such a good time decorating our first tree. I give all the credit to Drew. Yes, I was the Grinch who initially suggested that we not have a tree for the sake of time and not being around much over the holidays. But now we have it. Thanks goodness! Every Christmas, Drew's mom givea an ornimate that is symbolic of the year. It was perfectly appropriate for receive a bride and groom ornament. Additionally, it was perfect for our Cougar tree since this is where it all began. BYU, blue, white, bride, and groom all fit together so nicely.

Cyress Santas

These would have to be my favorite Christmas decorations here at our apartment. Unique to the South... these are cyress stumps that have been painted to be little Santas. It was unusual to see these at Christmas time in the South. In fact, my mom had a varierty of shapes and sizes that she would put on the mantle. After all, mom gave these to us for our first Christmas. This is in my grandmother's backyard. She lives on the Bayou and has some gorgeous cypress tree growing at the Bayou bank. See the stumps sticking out of the water? Hence, the Cypress Santa's.
I always took these great tree for granted till I moved away from home and realized no where else. When people would ask me the difference between a bayou and a river, the one thing that comes to mind is the Cypress tree that are growing throughout the Bayou. It's too bad that sometimes it takes moving away or being apart from things to respect them... I never looked twice at these trees, but when I was home visiting Mommee, I couldn't get enough.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Devotional

I can't think of a better way to kick of the Christmas season than by attending the Christmas devotional on temple square. We greatly appreciated the invite from our dear friends, Mari & Josh. They are always so fun to be with. The First Presidency's Christmas message was one of giving, chastity, humility, sincerity, and much more. Following the devo., we walked around temple square enjoying the lights for about an hour. While doing so we played the "who knows more people game." It only counted though if you said hi to the person and called them by name. It was hilarious calling people out from years past like they were our best buds...
8 months ago we stood at this very spot after we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Mom & Dad did the same 30 years ago. Andrew's parents were too...
The temple all lite up, along with the lights--so beautiful!
Massive tree in the Conference Center.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

gift cards expire?

Yesterday Andrew & I went to the Park City outlets to do some Christmas shopping and have dinner with Drew's brother & gf. We were making the loop of stores and Andrew insinuated he wanted to walk in American Eagle. He saw this really great hat he wanted for skiing and for the cold in general. *It is a good looking hat for sure.*
Anyways, I remembered I had a gift card from American Eagle that was given to me by one of my friends from high school--Jason. (I called him after this little experience and we decided it was freshman or sophomore year that he gave it to me--so 8 years ago.) But I haven't been in AE for years. I cant remember the last time I even walked in the store. But I have managed to keep up with my gift card, and when we went to check out I remembered I still had it.

For starters, the girl said the card was so old school that she has never even seen one like that. Then she went to swipe it and there was no money on it. I promised her that there was. She then read the fine print on the back that said, "After three years, a dollar every month is removed from the card." Ha! My card had basically expired. Lamo! I kept the card anyways for good times. I might take a pic of it and add it to the post.
Everyone in the store had a good laugh about it. Moral of the story: don't sit on your gift cards too long!

Like his hat?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mom's Bday too!

Besides Andrew coming to work to visit me twice Thursday, the best part of my day was hearing play by play what went down for my mom's bday. I can't even being to do it justice through my writing; however, it is worth the try. My mom is hilarious. And today just so happened "to be the best bday she ever had." As I listened to her give me her day play by play, I defined in my mind some of my mom's strongest characteristics--sentimental, fun, thoughtful, spontaneous, and spiritual.

When I was headed home at the dreaded 9th hour of the later part of the day (9:00 PM), it was a lift to hear about my mom's special day. Without even asking, she offered to give her "favorite bday" in great detail. In the most cheery voice, mom explained how she started out by working out. And "once she got to workout class, she said 'it was her bday' so she didn't have to work hard." She went on to tell all her friends in the class that it was her bday so she didn't have to sweat...they agreed.

From there she "went to a luncheon with some of her Relief Society peeps"(& that is just how she said it). They were thoughtful in giving her kind gifts and trinkets... all of which (including her presents from the day) she has sitting out on the counter for her to admire them for a few days.

She received quite a bit of bday greetings from family scattered about. Her brother sent her poinsettias (her favorite) and my sister Helen of course was thoughtful as well. The sentiment of this gift runs deeper than can understand... but basically, my mom, sister, and I like "to pawn it." Yep that's it! We love pawn shops but HATE junk and consignment type stuff. Seems like an oxymoron till you understand further. The long story short--my mom has a talk show financial guru she is obsessed with. My mom is huge on money management and staying clear out of debt. She is the master is personal finance. She was a bit pushy about us kids learning to save, save, save and pay yourself as opposed to the bank. That is a huge tangent so I'll stop there. But Dave Ramsey, who also loves tangents, has a soap box on the jewelry industry and how it is the most markuped and over priced market out there. He talks about his wife''s "insane jewels" and how she "courted them from pawn shops." I sound redic now. But basically he is saying that people get sick of their jewelry and relationships often split, and pawn shops get great deals. You just have to be on the look out. So recently, us girls tried to see what we could find for kicks and thrills. Helen was originally against, and mom refused "to go that route" but I was intrigued. Nothing has come of it except fun laughter together and interesting experiences. Where I am going with this... for mom's bday, Helen went to a pawn shop and got a small blue Sapphire ring for mom. And in the sweet card (who is so thoughtful) she said that this was to remind her (mom) of "her boys (mom's grand kids & Helen's boys). Then Helen went on to relay to mom just the conversation that Helen & I had the other day... which is a huge complement to mom.

My mom is a trendsetter. No doubt she has her own style, but she sets trends.

1. When jeans weren't allowed at BYU back in the day, mom bucked the system. And to this day she is the queen of jeans. No one has a "collection" like hers.

2. As of recent, people have been wearing the bright pants with sometimes a floral pattern on them. Okay, mom has been true to that look for years.

3. Mom had been wearing chunky Uggs since I can remember simply because they were so warm. I remember she would wear them to church with skirts and I was so embarrassed. Now that is the hippest thing ever.

4. She has a watch feddish and has collected swatch watches for years also. She has more Swatch watches than anyone I know.

5. And as of recent, she bought a freaking TOY WATCH back in June when she was visiting in NYC, and now it is the #1 selling Christmas item at Saks Fifth. She didn't even know what a Toy watch was and all I wanted to do was borrow it for a couple months, but I can't even pull it off
like her.
Don't get me wrong, my mom hasn't popped out of an In Style. I'm just saying she is a "trend setter" and beats to her own rhythm.

This post is turning out to be especially long so I'm going to skip some of the details. But my dad came home from work and took my mom riding horses. Mom told Dad that for her birthday, she wanted him to take a 'happy pill.' From there they went to a hamburger joint. & then they went to the movies and got there 45 minutes early. Dad's "happy pill" made mom 'laugh for hours.' They were the only ones it he theater so dad was doing funny poses up by the projector that displayed on the big screen.

I was so happy to hear about mom's great day. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it justice. I got lost in my writing and just typed a bit of non-sense too. But I'm going to go ahead and post this. Happy Bday mom!

Happy Birthday Dayna!

Any day now, Dayna will be delievering a baby boy. I actually had the thought today, "what if she delievers today?" My dad and sister celebrate the same birthday. So in my mind it seemed totally plausible for Dayna & her baby boy to experience the same. Anywho, she is carrying it quite well and hasn't lost any pep in her step. This is going to be an exciting Christmas. I can think of no greater gift than an addition to the family.

Monday, December 1, 2008

vintage coke full of memories

For starters, you must know that my grandparents on my dad's side of the family are avid Georgia Tech fans. That is where my grandpa played sports and got his degree. He was loyal and generous to them even till his passing.
In 1990, when Georgia Tech won the National Championship, it was a big deal--so I heard. I was only 5. Football didn't mean a thing to me. I do have found memories flying out to see a game. I vaguely remember Papa flipping the coin one year. Pictures brought it back.
It didn't take me long to notice a special bottle in Mommee & Pappa's fridge. That was forbidden to drink. It was a delicacy as you see below representing their national championship as well as the schedule on the back. For years, I would tease everyone around that I was going to open the bottle. Looking back, I was such a bratty pest!
I don't know which age I got over it and left it alone. Time passed... all these year that thing has been tucked away in the back on the fridge. When Andrew and I were over at Mommee's the other day, I was snooping around for something good in the fridge, and when I saw that it brought me way back. That bottle has been sitting in my grandparent's fridge for 18 years! Can you imagine? I have no desire to taste it but to preserve it. Andrew was taken back by it to simply for its age. He insinuated it would be worth something on eBay.
I love these pictures because you can almost sense the chillness of the bottle having been in the fridge for so many years. I placed it in the window seal to get better lighting.

Friday, November 28, 2008

meeting my nephew cutler

We headed home for Thanksgiving week. We stopped in Houston for a couple days to meet my nephew and visit my sister. My sister and her husband have a very special family. I really respect and admire the way they manage their home. There is such a good feeling there.

Couldn't get him in my arms fast enough...

Dixon holding Cutler. I love how Helen covered him in a banquet cause he's so germy.
My beautiful mom. (Please note my moms pink "Toy Watch." I love her style.)
I don't know if it is more a traditional thing or just a southern way, but new borns often wear a gown. Like when they are baptised soon after they are born, they wear a baptismal gown. I don't know if it is particular to the south, but I have yet to see an infant boy wearing a smocked gown. I love Helen's ways manifested in her son Cutler.
Exactly two weeks from when Helen gave birth, us girls went out and about. This boutique is a favorite.
It is fun to see Heber rough Dixon around. Dixon enjoys getting his head tapped on the ceiling as well.

Happy Sweet 16, Lilly!

Andrew's sister, Elizabeth recently celebrated her 16th birthday party. The original plan was to bring some friends from CT to join with her UT friends for a dance. There ended up being a Real game that so perfectly conflicted. So all 60 people invited to the dance came to the game and enjoyed a fun dance there after. Lilly is beaituful! Thanks for letting us dance the night away as if we were 16 ourselves. P.S. The guy who brought the flowers is my favorite!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Intramurals pish posh

I don't even know where to being with this one. It's more of a venting post. BYU intramurals are i-n-s-a-n-e! Some think they are awesome and others really struggle with them... like myself. So Drew lives for them and really does quite well with his various teams.

Harold, Andrew, and I are on a co-ed basketball team. We're not bad. I'm out a shape and am pretty frail out there. All the girls a I play against are out to get me like I'm a beast. Maybe I am but still. Every game we've played is intense. We've had players thrown out and many T's. I don't mind admitting to mine most recent one where I called a girl a painsey for flopping on some screen. I said it under my breath even. The refs are seriously on a major power trip.

So we just had another game. We had a 14 point lead and one of our girl gets a another foul and a T for asking about it. So we had to play a player down. Andrew played solid bringing up the ball. They were doubleing Drew. They came back and tied it. But Harold clutched it with a few amazing wrap arounds when he was trippled teamed.

I'm not doing the intramural scene justice in painting the picture. After the game the husband of the girls that go thrown out was staring down the reff so the reff comes over and is wanting to start trash. Before long it was a post game brawl. I was just relieved that it wasn't Drew and I for a change stirring things up. Is this really happeneing to me? We are in the playoffs of the top division tournament. So every game is really intense in an intramural way.

Our next game is on Tuesday. We're playing a team where their best girl actually walked on the BYU team a couple years back. She's not bad. She worked hard and is a good 'pick up game' player. Her brother is on the team and he is huge hot head. It could be another brawl. Oh the world of intramurals. I need to take time to collect myslef and reevalutate my head so I don't play out of the zone--like when you loose your head. Meanwhile, Harold is acting all proud cause he has a clean record with no T's but yet he is the biggest talker of them all. He just gets away with it cause eh doesn't say a word to the ref's and "is smart about it" as he would say

Again, I'm venting so I might come back later and deleate this post. After the game, we're leaving and walking out of the RB. And it just so happens that one of the coaches in the athletic department walks by. Crazy long story short but he just took away one of my good friends scholoarship. So here I am after a heated game and I pull the loyalty card of making it clear to him that he wasn't professional how he handled things blah blah blah. I thought I was communicating quite well. But looking back it was not of my business. After all he is a coach doing his job and is respected in the athletic program and I was a sucka. Ahhh! Get it together team. We have the best talent on the court no doubt but our heads are out of it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Happy Place"

We've been doing a lot of talking about our 'happy places.' It's hard to pinpoint exactly what that means, but basically it's a place you can turn to and rely on for instant happiness. I don't know if it's because all of the memories that flood through the mind once your there... or the warm fuzzies that we expedience being in these places. But you get the point. They're 'happy places.'
It's been fun to articulate the places we call "our happy places"--some we enjoy together. And others we enjoy individually..."my happy place."
We both agreed our happy place is....

riding horses togetherMt. Timpanogos

the Temple

Andrew's "Happy Places" include....

Fast cars... especially when he was able to car-sit this Ferrari for a week. Being in the REAL stadium. This was back before it was finished and we had to wear hard hats.

And my Happy Places...

Swimming with the dolphins Just being in Anthro...

Visiting my gradparents--Mommee & Nana

I've spent many many hours here. One tough summer between basketball & school, I would go there once a week by myself working on a plate collections. Now my husband takes me often. It never fails me.