Friday, December 14, 2012

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men



One of the things I loved most about Rexburg was the small town community where everyone knew each other and helped each other out. People were always extending a hand to their neighbor and lending them things. I knew I was going to miss that about Idaho but I didn't expect the Bay Area feel like a small town, and much to my surprise it has been that way.

Mark and I both grew up here in the East Bay Area, we knew what to expect when we were moving back but it has surpassed all our expectations. Through out this move we weren't sure if we were playing the right cards, for instance we didn't know if we should rent or buy but we decided to buy and it has been the best decision we have ever made. It has already led us to amazing friends and people surrounding us...and we've technically only been moved in for a couple weeks! So many people have contacted us and offered to help us paint, move in, give us picture frames, shelves and even their personal discount on appliances! All of these kind acts, big and small alike, have made me feel so loved and that we are where we are suppose to be. It's been a sense of validation for us.
Last night as I was driving home I was thinking about all these wonderful people in my life and couldn't help but let a few tears out as I realized that God really does care about me and knows what I need, and through all of these hands of wonderful family friends He has touched my life.

Thank you to each and every one of you. You have made this post-college transition so much easier for us.


I started this post last night and can't end it without taking a moment to reflect on the horrific tragedy that struck a Connecticut Elementary School this morning. A gunman went to the Elementary School where his mother worked and killed her along with 20 innocent children and 5 other adults. This senseless act broke my heart. Those poor children, teachers and families. I couldn't help but think about my mom today as she works at our Elementary School. No words can express the pain that these families are going through but my heart and prayers go out to them.

All I could think about was the lyrics to the Christmas song "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day."
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."


I know that those sweet children are in Christ's arms and were too good for this Earth. May we all hold our loved ones a little closer as we remember those families who lost their baby today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

RAK

I was just reading a new post from a blog I follow. She is an amazing woman with a heart-retching story (see her story here.) Despite the hard things she has been through she is truly inspiring and always is serving others. In her most recent post she talked a little about "RAK: Random Acts of Kindness" (you can also find it with a Christmas twist here.)
It is such a simple and easy way to brighten someone's day and pay it forward. You can choose how you want to participate and how much you want to spend. So I'm going to get myself and Mark to do this as a date night! {and probably drag some friends to do it with us :) any volunteers?!}

I hope this is a tradition that we can start now and continue with our children in the future.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Turkey and Trees

Since my last post some big things have happened. The first big event was Thanksgiving! This year we decided to go down to Southern California to visit my grandparents. I haven't been there for Thanksgiving since my Sophomore year of college so it was great to go down with Mark and my family and see my Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and cousins, some of who met Mark for the first time this trip! Funny story, the night before we were suppose to head down to SoCal we went over to our new place to finish painting and as I was walking to our front door I realized my car was still on. I thought to myself, "whoa, dumb blonde moment" but then I looked in my hand and I was holding my keys?! My engine was running even though my car was in park and I pulled the keys out of the ignition! How crazy is that? It just wouldn't turn off! I called the VW service center and they had no idea what to tell me so they asked me to get in my car and drive it over immediately (lucky it was about 5 minutes up the road.) They ended up giving me a loaner car and let me drive it down to SoCal! No miles added to our cars :) After about 4 or 5 days I got to pick up my car, they replaced the relays (I thought that was a track and field event..) and said it was good to go. Keeping our fingers crossed it was just a freak thing and nothing else will happen!
Anyway, Thanksgiving was really fun, except for the 8 hours that it took to drive there with all the traffic!
When we got back we got a Uhal and with the help of our wonderful in-laws we were able to get everything moved over in under a couple of hours!
Since then we have been spending all our spare time trying to convert this condo into a home. The first priority on our list was a Christmas Tree, of course :) We have also been working hard to get our pictures hung, things organized and boxes in the trash! It's coming together and I think is looking pretty good.
Grandpa and Mom cooking Thanksgiving dinner
Mark and Grandpa napping after all that Turkey

Scott and Dani, Paige, Emma, and Colton came to visit! (Yes, that is my little sister-in-law in front of me, not a niece!)

Getting our very first Christmas Tree!


Cute Mark touching up the paint

Collage wall in the living room with my Europe pictures
Needless to say Mark never wants to hang another frame ever again!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Melissa and Lynn

2 weeks ago I was getting ready to fly to Dallas for one of my best friends wedding! Where do I even start with this post?

Melissa and I met our first year of college during a really rough time in my life. She was so sweet to me, she befriended and reached out to me. At the end of our freshman year she asked me if I wanted to room with her the next semester. We didn't really know eachother all that well, but it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. From countless parties and games of "Monter-pong" to me scaring her half to death during my sleep talking episodes, to having classes together, to spending Thanksgiving together, many hours of talking and bearing our souls, Melissa is one of my closest friends. She is hands down one of the most loyal and caring people I have ever met and I feel so honored to call her my friend.
Just a little over 2 years ago she flew out to California for my wedding and I feel so blessed to be able to have gone out to Texas for hers! I was really nervous to meet her fiance because it was just 2 days before the wedding! What if he didn't like me? What if we didn't get along?
Well, from the second he walked through the door I knew we were going to get along just fine :) Lynn is an amazing person and treats Melissa like gold! I love the way he looks at her, so sweet.
I had the best time in Dallas with Mel and her family, especially her mom. I now know why Melissa is the amazing person she is. Her mom is so sweet and so easy to talk to. She is just a wonderful, and strong person.
Mel was such a beautiful bride. I hope her day was so special and perfect (except for the keys getting locked in the trunk as they were getting ready to leave the reception! I almost threw up when I found out and had to be the bearer of bad news to Melissa.)



Congratulations Melissa and Lynn. If anyone deserves a happily ever after, it's you two! Love you both!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home is wherever I'm with you

So a few posts back I mentioned that we had exciting news that we were waiting to share until it was official...Well it is officially official, we are HOME owners! We just bought a cute 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Dublin! *pictures to come shortly. It is the perfect location for both of us, just 15 minutes away from both of our offices and about 20 minutes from both of our families.
The past two days we have spent painting away with friends and family *BIG shout out to everyone who sacrificed their time to help us, we appreciate it so much! Neither of us had ever really painted, let alone pick out the colors and go buy the paint, but it has been a great experience making this our home. Mark has also been hinting about getting a kitten "someday," I'm secretly hoping he will have one in a cute little box (of course with lots of air holes for breathing) under our first Christmas tree this year!
We feel so blessed to be in this position and to have prepared for this day. We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
So anyone wanting to visit San Francisco, we would love to have you stay with us!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gettin' my vote on!

This morning I stopped at my parents house before work so I could go vote with my mom and dad! It was a fun little morning and I felt very proud to be going with the two people who really molded me into the person I am today with the values I cherish. I'm really grateful for such wonderful parents who have taught me so much and for a wonderful country to call home.

I hope everyone goes out and votes today! Do your part and keep this nation great.
Romney/Ryan 2012!
 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cabin get-a-way

This past weekend we took a group of friends up to the family cabin. It was a blast! How could it not be when you have good food, fun games, beautiful weather and scenery, and great people?!
One of the many highlights of the weekend was stopping in Angels camp and finding treasures and delicious salted carmels! Another fav was games on Friday night. We had such a good dynamic and can't even count how many times I cried laughing. Have you played "Imagine if?" I never had but it is hilarious! Other activities consisted of walking the path through the gorgeous Big Trees State Park (which definitely lives up to it's name), trying to build fires with coals, roasting smores with reeses (sooo good!), wandering through the little towns, warming up by the fireplace and lots of laughing.
We are so greatful to be meeting such wonderful people.

Can you spy little Cassidy?


 
I hope your start to November was as great as mine!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fail of the week

Today I had to stop at Target on my way home. As I stepped through the doors huge banners hung from the ceiling saying..."merry Christmas"
Fail Target, today is Halloween

It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!

Well fail, it's been a while since I've last written a post but that is just because life has gotten so exciting over here I'm too busy having fun and living my life (and also, I've been slammed at work which is when I usually blog :) )

Here's what's been happening lately:
  • Taylor went to her first homecoming and I got to do her hair and make up which was so fun! She is a gorgeous girl!
  • We've been going to a new ward and have already made some amazing friends! *hint hint: We're moving! More on that later
  • Fall is here and I'm loving it! We went to a cute pumpkin patch at the Pleasanton fair grounds. It had blow up slides for the little kids...of course I was all over that!
  • We carved/painted pumpkins with our cute friends the Barsdorfs.
  • Last weekend was the stake Trunk or Treat and we dressed up as Wayne's World and Mark even helped me make decorations for our car!
  • The Giants won the World Series!!!
  • This weekend we are going to the Warren's cabin with 5 couples. I'm really excited, it should be a blast
I'm loving our new life here in California. I love being able to stop at my parent's house on the way home from work and hang out with my cute sisters.
Happy Halloween!









Wednesday, September 26, 2012

turning the corner

 
It's funny that my last post was about a new low for me. I felt like I had finally hit rock bottom. But things have turned a corner and are definitely looking up...WAY UP! There is some amazing news that we will share soon :) (no it's not a baby!) haha

God sure has a sense of humor. He is probably laughing at me constantly and saying "stop complaining. Don't you know I have your back?!"


faithBreak the habit.Proverbs 19:21    

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A new low

Last night I spent the night at my parent's house (I've been spending a lot of time there lately, and I love it!). Mark had to go out of town for the night. We had family dinner and then Courtney, my exercise parter :), and I went on a bike ride up some good hills and definitely felt the burn/looked at homes for sale to see that I will never be able to afford any of them, and then stopped at the track to run. I really love running with that girl. She makes me laugh the whole time, especially last night ;) (you know what I'm talking about Court!) Then we went home and watched Dance Moms.
At about 11:45 I was laying in bed all toasty and comfy when I realized how pathetic I was in that moment. I thought to myself, "I'm 23 years old and sleeping in bunk beds at my parents house...I've got to get my own place!" The only thing that helped me sleep was the reasurrance of knowing that that wasn't my reality, I'm not THAT pathetic, it was just one night luckily!

Tomorrow evening we are going out with a realtor to figure out our reality. Hopefully after tomorrow night we will have a solid game plan and be able to move our little life along.

Being grown up requires a lot more thinking and planning than I was expecting! But luckily I have wonderful family who lets me crash in their bunk beds :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hey Soul Sister!

Last week I got the chance to hang out with my sisters while my parents were in Maui celebrating their 25th anniversary! (Happy Anniversary mom & dad!)
I was really excited to get to spend the whole week with all three of my sisters since I haven't gotten to spend as much time as I would like to with them since I left for college. But since I'm back now my parent's asked Mark and I if we would stay with them for the week and help get them to all their activities, and let me tell you, they are busy girls and have LOTS of activities!

Although the week didn't start off so great, me and Rachel don't always get along mostly because we are so much a like and both so stubborn, but the week got much better and I had a great time with them! It's still crazy to me that Taylor is a sophomore in high school and Courtney is the big man on her middle school campus! When I left to go to school they were these tiny little girls with chubby cheeks!
They amaze me every day with how smart and funny and talented they are. I love being home and being able to go to their soccer games and orchestra concerts and go running with them (yes, the other night all 4 of us went running together!)
I love these gorgeous, smart, witty, sassy and some times pains in my butt, girls!

 
\

Thursday, September 6, 2012

a new find

I found an amazing new mascara a couple days ago! I have really sensative eyes that get really irritated if I use a mascara that dries out and flakes. I was using Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion, which was the best I had found for a while.


But then a couple days ago I went to get a new one because mine was almost out and I saw the L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen and looked up some reviews on my phone. They all looked pretty good, they said it didn't dry your eyes out or get all flaky so I decided I would give it a try.
And the consensus is...the best one yet! I'm loving it! It gives so much volume and length to my lashes and it doesn't get dry and flake all over my face during the day! So if you are looking for a new mascara I would definitely say give L'oreal extra volume collagen a try!
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just around the corner

Driving home from church yesterday I noticed leaves on the grass under the trees and in the gutters. On my way to work today I saw orange in the hills, that means only one thing! Fall is coming! My favorite season! It seems a little early, it's only August 20th! But I'm ready to be done with this 95-100 degree weather every day. I hate going home and not be able to change into comfy sweats and lounge about. Bring on the over-sized sweaters, boots and scarves!
There's also something so enticing about the cool fall breeze that makes me want to bake pumpkin cookies and eat delicious soups and stress over thinking of the perfect Halloween costume even though we have no where to wear them to and watch Hocus Pocus until I drive Mark crazy! *side note, one day I want to go to Salem Massachusetts during the fall and re-live the witch trials. That is soo interesting to me. Fall is such a colorful holiday and smells so warm and comforting. I can't wait for fall here in Danville, it's so beautiful! Oh fall, hurry up :)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here's to a Billion More!

Yesterday marked our 2nd anniversary! Can you believe that because I sure can't! It seems like we just got married a couple months ago, time flies.
We celebrated by going to Monterey on Saturday. We wanted a relaxing day at the beach and decided that since neither of us has really ever been to Monterey, that was the perfect place to explore!
Our day started by laying out on the beach, which started out a little chilly but by lunch time it was nice and warm and we were in our bathing suits getting our tan on! We had a little picnic with chocolate covered strawberries! *side note, I dipped the strawberries in melted hershy chocolate bars! Best decision ever!
After getting nice and toasty, and Mark getting antsy (I could have laid there all day!), we packed up our blankets and picnic basket, threw them in the car and headed to the pier on the marina. We weren't sure what was down there, which ended up not being much, but we saw a lot of seals and pelicans!

Then we walked over to the Fisherman's Warf. There were so many restaurants and they were all handing out samples of clam chowder, soo good and the perfect little snack!

Later we headed to Cannery Row, which use to be (maybe still is?) where they packed sardines. It's now full of shopping, restaurants and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, which we didn't go to but is amazing! I went there for a field trip in high school. We wandered around Cannery Row and then found a cute place for dinner.
After dinner we headed back toward the car, pulled out the blankets and went to sit on the beach and watch the sunset. There was a wedding going on right next to us and it of course made me think back to our amazing day.

On our actual anniversary, I woke up to flowers picked by Mark (so cute! I can just picture him out in the yard trying to find the best ones hahah) and a sweet card! I had made him a Giants tie blanket (which I couldn't have finished on time without the help of my sister Courtney and my Mom! Love you both so much!) and gave him a card.


That night we went out for dessert at one of my all time favorite places, Simply Fondue! We got "Campfire Chocolate," pretty self-explanitory, chocolate, grahm cracker crumbs and roasted our marshmallows on the flame, and dipped pineapples, strawberries, bananas, cheesecake bites, angel foodcake, brownie, cookie dough...my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

We had a really fun time celebrating these past two years. As I look back I can already see how much we have grown together and how, despite bickering or the enevitable getting annoyed with each other, we fall more in love with each other every day. I'm so grateful for a loving, supportive, hard working, thoughtful man who makes me a happier and better person each day. I've learned so much about myself through him and his patients.
So in Mark's words, two down and here's to a billion more!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not Impressed

This morning I was watching "Good Morning America" while getting ready and of course it is Olympic coverage every morning! Today they showed a meme of McKayla Maroney, the US gymnast, with a smug look on her face while receiving a silver medal for vault. It was cracking me up!

Here's the tumblr page for your viewing enjoyment.

Landing the rover on Mars? McKayla is not impressed.
Mars Rover Lands.  Unimpressed.

The Sistine Chapel? Not impressed.


Blake Griffin dunking over the hood of a Kia? Not impressed. (Me neither!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Life according to my iphone

My new white iPhone has changed my life! How did I ever live without it? :)

Here are some pictures of life recently through the lens of my

Our "go-to" place for lunch in San Francisco

We went to the city with these two cuties. Don't worry, Rachel did not sit on Chad's lap while we were driving, just to take a picture of the Golden Gate.
How gorgeous is this city?!
love my sis
Waiting in line for the restroom after going literally 2 minutes before! Tiny tank!

Mark loves to take pictures of me when I look my best :) (in the ER the 1st time)
Flowers from my sisters and Matt &Sarah
This little guy hung on all the way from my office in Danville, during my stop at Target, all the way home to Pleasanton and then to our friend's house in Livermore! Sadly he blew off driving back home at 10:30 at night :(
We watched this cutie pie for two weeks. I don't miss his fur all over my black clothes, or his smelly oder/breath but he was funny.
We bbq'd! Love summer bbq's