Yuletide Joy!

Mike and I had a wonderful Christmas this year. We spent Christmas Eve with Mike's family to celebrate not only Christmas but also Mike's dad's birthday! We always have a good time hanging out with his family and especially the crazy/fun/cute nieces and nephew.
We slept over at my parents house and had a good Christmas morning watching everybody open gifts and getting to see my two nieces get excited about their gifts that Santa brought them.

(Our strange ninja picture in front of the tree)

Then we were able to go home and celebrate our own small Christmas as a family, just me and Mike.
What a great opportunity Christmas is to spend time with family and the people that you love the most.
Our favorite gifts include the amazing trip that we went on to Panama back in August from Mike's parents, and the new TV that my parents gave us. Not too mention the money that we pooled from our Christmas bonus to get ourselves an elliptical machine!
It was a Christmas to remember always and thanks to all those who helped make it so special!


Holiday Update!

I know, I know, its been so long, and to all of our faithful readers (like my sister and Mike's sister), I truly apologize because you have missed out on what Mike and I have been doing for the past month. So here is a quick run through, (with limited pictures because I am at work...yep, I know, getting paid to update my blog.)

Thanksgiving was great. We were able to spend it with Mike's family and we had a great time. We did get a little bit of a football game in early in the day, and the weather was fantastic, not cold at all. Which helped my team win just a little bit easier! Of course, no help from me. I just run around and pretend to play, which gets me some great exercise!

We just finished with finals last week! Hallelujah! That is one of my many excuses for taking so long to update our blog. Now we are just waiting on our grades to come in....I think we check for them online about 20 times a day. One more semester for me until I graduate and 2 more for Mike and then on to Law School!

With finals finally over, we are able to enjoy what is left of Christmas! It was really hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year but I am finally coming along! I still have some shopping to do, of course, and plan on doing that hopefully within the next 2 days, cuz I guess I don't really have a choice. But Mike and I have done a few Christmas activities this year to help us get into the Christmas spirit. We went and saw Kurt Bestor (we go every year!), we went and saw the lights at Temple Square, we built gingerbread houses with some friends, and we were able to go and feed the homeless downtown at Pioneer Park. And this year its supposed to snow on Christmas!! I am so excited for that!

I just have to say how grateful I am for this time of year; the opportunity to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to be able to spend time with family and friends. I love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping, seeing children at the mall sit on the lap of Santa Claus disclosing their innermost Christmas wishes, going home every day from work and plugging in my Christmas tree and lighting my Hollyberry candle, walking into any grocery store in the valley and seeing the Salvation Army representatives faithfully ringing their bells and wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas", whether or not they donate, seeing the snow fall and knowing that I have a nice warm blanket and dry socks waiting for me at home, turning up the Christmas music at work or in my car and singing along with the carols, watching Elf probably once a day and sending Mike random texts of quotes from it, and just the general happiness that is spread because of the Christmas spirit!

I love Christmas and can't wait to spend a little time with Mike, a little time with my family, and a little time with Mike's family! Can't wait to see you all!

Merry Christmas!


Halloween Weekend!

Mike and I had a pretty fun filled and busy weekend. Of course, Halloween was on Friday night. Mike and I didn't really have any costumes or anything so Mike grabbed a skeleton mask and I grabbed some paint and we ended up with.....well we don't really know what we ended up with. You be the judge. We spent the night eating and playing karaoke revolution. Pretty much the greatest game ever!

I couldn't stand it anymore.....yes, we put up our Christmas tree!

The holidays are the greatest time of the year and I like to make them last as long as possible. We haven't decorated it yet because I want to buy some new ornaments. But its up!

Sunday we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Calvary Baptist Church for an assignment for one of Mike's classes! Wow, that church is fantastic! So energetic and loud and fun! The choir, of course, was wonderful. And we got the opportunity to see some people get baptized and talk to some of the members. It was definitely a new experience but a great one!

And today Mike and I hit our official one and a half year mark! Not really a super significant anniversary but I was excited! Other than that, life is pretty normal and staying super busy!


More Fall/Halloween Fun!

This weekend we had the privilege of hanging out with our good friends. The plan was to go to Gardner Village and see the witches....little did we know that it was Witches Night Out when we got there and there were hundreds of women there dressed up as witches. It was extremely crowded which made it hard to walk around and enjoy yourself. Yet, it was extremely entertaining seeing some of these strange women walk around and pretend they're witches. We decided that probably 50% of the women there actually were witches and were just excited that they could finally go out in public. Aside from the noise and the crowds, we had a pretty good time. Afterwards we went and grabbed some dinner and came back to our house and carved some pumpkins.....traditional Halloween activity that I will never grow out of!
Saturday night was a lot of fun too. Mike and I went with my family to dinner and then to see "Into the Woods" at Hale Center. It was really good! The set was fantastic; Hale always seems to do a phenomenal job with their sets! And the cast was really good also. I had seen the show before and sang a lot of the music in high school, so I was familiar with it. Mike wasn't too familiar with it but I think he enjoyed it mostly.....except for how long it was. All day Sunday I was singing songs from "Into the Woods"........good stuff!


Pumpkin Patch and Pizza!

A couple of weekends ago Mike and I took our trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out this year's winners! I explained to him that picking out a pumpkin was like picking out a wedding dress...there are a lot to look at but once you see it, you know that its the one. I know, I know, my thoughts are deep. It was absolutely freezing so we got to the point of finding 2 pumpkins that looked pretty good and getting the heck out of there. Both of our pumpkins were pretty heavy, and we didn't get a wheelbarrow, so Mike used his super strength and hauled them around. Such good times! Afterwards we went and had pizza buffet! All the pizza, salad, breadsticks and diet coke (my drink of choice) that you can stuff in you for like $7 or $8! Love it! More fun fall activities to come this weekend....and I'll try to be better about posting about them!



We are so excited to have another baby to welcome to the family! No, not us, Mike's brother and his wife just gave birth to a baby boy on October 9, 2008! Unfortunately they live in Houston so we are going off of pictures but he is absolutely adorable and we are all so thrilled to have a new nephew! With our busy schedules, we hope that we will be able to make it down to Houston before he is walking!
We also found out that my oldest sister is pregnant with her third baby! Her due date is May 9 and we are so excited. Its about time we get another baby in my family! They live close so it will help to fill the need I have to cuddle all these babies being born into our families!


A little behind...

I have gotten pretty behind on updating our blog so this is just a quick overview of what Mike and I are up to. School started up again for the Fall semester. Its taking up pretty much all of our time. Morning classes, night classes, day classes and both of us trying to work full time in between. We seem to be handling it all okay I guess. I had four midterms last week and somehow pulled an A on three of them...I haven't gotten the score back for the fourth one yet, but I am not expecting an A. Somehow Mike seems to pull A's too, all while taking the LSAT prep course and work. He is doing really well. He takes the LSAT this coming Saturday morning so we are really looking forward to having that over with and crossing our fingers that everything goes well.

Mike's birthday was last week, the big 23. Sadly enough though, it was more a grown up birthday than anything...meaning that we still went to work and to school. We did take a couple hours in the middle of the day and go to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Super good stuff.
Other than that life seems pretty much the same. Sometimes its just easier to stay the same anyway.


Panama...Came and Went

Mike and I got back from Panama this last Tuesday, and as much as I wish I was still on vacation, I am very happy to be home. I'll just give a quick run through of our days, they were pretty much jam-packed full of fun things!
Wednesday August 6, Day 1: Traveled ALL day! Flew into Panama City around 7 PM and stayed in a hotel.
Thursday August 7, Day 2: Woke up early and took another flight out to an island called Achutupu. We got to our hotel had breakfast, layed in the hammocks, layed on the beach, lunch, layed in our hammocks, took a boat ride up a river and hiked a bit in the jungle, layed in our hammocks and had dinner and watched the Kuna Indians dance then bed.
Friday August 8, Day 3: Breakfast, layed in the hammocks, took a boat to another island to tour the Kuna Indian community, lunch, layed in the hammocks, snorkeling, layed in the hammocks, dinner, and watched the Kuna Indians dance and then to bed.
Saturday August 9, Day 4: Woke up early had breakfast and took a flight back to the city. Had our driver for the week, a Church member Mike knew from the mission, Bonet, pick us up from the airport. We went to the Panama Canal, then drove in horrible traffic to Colon, one of Mike's old areas, where we saw Portobelo (an old fort) and the Black Jesus statue. Drove back from Colon, in horrible traffic, went to the big celebration/show for the dedication of the temple that was happening the next day. Mike ran into a lot of the members that he knew from all his different areas and ran into quite a few missionaries he served with. We took a taxi to a restaurant, with one of Mike's old mission friends and his brother and had dinner. We stayed in a hotel in the city for the rest of the trip.
Sunday August 10, Day 5: Breakfast and then got ready for the dedication of the temple. We first went to Casco Viejo, another old fort in Panama City, then walked a little bit of the City then went to the mall to get out of the rain. It rained a lot this day. Hard Panama rain. Then went to the temple dedication. We were in the third session at 2 o'clock. The dedication was awesome, and I got to watch it English, which was fantastic! (It gets kind of frustrating not knowing anything that is being said around you ever.) Afterwards, we ran into Mike's Mission President, who told us about a small reunion they were having that night at one of the church's. We had dinner and then walked, in the pouring rain and getting lost TWICE, from our hotel to the church where the reunion was. I was soaked. Mike was giving me the "full mission experience", so he says. At the reunion, there were five past mission presidents there and probably over 100 past missionaries. The most were from Mike's same mission president. Then we walked home in the pouring rain. So fun.
Monday August 11, Day 6: We had breakfast and then met up with our driver again, Bonet, who took Mike and I and Mike's mission friend and his brother to a road to hike up a mountain with the Panama flag on the top. We saw some huge spiders. Gross. Went back to the hotel and picked up another mission friend and his wife, and went and got "Immigration HotDogs", which are some pretty good hotdogs that have all kinds of weird stuff on them including potato chips and pineapple sauce. Pretty good. Then Mike bought me a beautiful pink rose. Then we drove to Casco Antigua, were we saw some old cathedrals. Bonet took us to his house so we could put the shell on the truck and we met his adorable children. We saved a sloth on the side of the road. Then we drove to El Valle, basically just more jungle. Crossed some fun Indiana Jones bridges and saw a waterfall. Drove back to the city and ate at some Chinese restaurant. We were all exhausted and high on fumes from riding in the back of the truck. Lots of laughing at the dinner table. Then to bed!
Tuesday August 12, Day 7: Up early and traveled all day! We got home at about 10 PM.

Can I just say how grateful I am for carpet, not wearing flip flops in the shower, dry air (as opposed to humid, gross air) and sane driving. God bless America! We had an absolute blast though. Absolutely something every wife should get the opportunity to do with their husband, go back to the place where they served their mission. To be able to see them with these people that they love, and understand such a small portion of what they went through for 2 years, you gain a new respect for them, gain such a stronger bond between one another, and fall in love all over again.


Panama, Here We Come!

Completely unplanned but couldn't have come at a more perfect time.....Mike and I are headed to Panama on August 6th! They are dedicating the Panama City, Panama temple on August 10th and so Mike and I are going to go down there for that and to do a little vacationing! (For all who don't know, that is where Mike went on his mission!) I am so excited for it! Amazingly enough, we were both able to fit it right into our schedules, plus its right after Summer semester ends and before Fall semester starts! We are hoping to spend a couple of days on the amazing islands just North of Panama and then head to Panama City and do some touring! I will for sure be posting some pictures when we get back though! I plan on taking somewhere close to a million of them!


Birthday Fun and Fourth of July!

So my birthday was last week, and I decided that on my birthday I wanted to go to Lagoon. I don't know why I wanted to go, because I always get motion sickness, but it just sounded like fun. So Mike and I, and my sister and her husband, grabbed the Dramamine and went up to Lagoon. We spent the first few hours swimming at Lagoon-A-Beach, which was really pretty fun. It was nice and hot outside so the water felt great. Then we changed clothes and hit the park. I was very aware of the fact that I might get sick, so I tried to only go on the rides that I thought my stomach could handle. I knew that the water rides would be easy for me, but of course, Rattlesnake Rapids was closed for an hour or so, so we had to go on the Log Flume. Which is all fine and great except for everyone else that was going to go on Rattlesnake Rapids, decided to kill time by going on the Log Flume. We waited in line for ever. A little kid that was standing on the railing thing slipped and kicked me in the back while we were waiting in line. That was pretty funny. Any way, we did end up going on Rattlesnake Rapids, which soaked us! And it felt good. We went on a couple more rides, watched the always amazing Broadway Show, and then went on the White Rollercoaster. And that is the ride that did me in. I was pretty sick after that ride I didn't even want to walk. Stupid Dramamine. FYI: It doesn't work. So then we just sorta walked, and sat, and walked, and then we played some games. Luckily when I got sick it was already like 9:00 at night, so me getting sick didn't ruin the whole day which was lucky. The games were fun though. Mike won me a great big, white stuffed dog! So fun. But I was happy to leave when we did. In the end, it just didn't feel like a birthday. Because I can go to Lagoon any day. We had fun though.

Then on the Fourth of July, we woke up early and my other sister and brother in law came and picked us up to go boating. Mike and I were exhausted but we were excited to go. We went down to Utah Lake. Everyone says they hate it because its dirty but I like it because its warm. And the water really was very warm when we got there. Mike was the first in the water, doing some wakeboarding. Its the first time he had done it in years but he really did great. After some wakeboarding fun, which of course, I don't know how and will never know how to do, we pulled out the tube. The tube they have is great because its just got nice little seats with back rests so it was more relaxing than challenging to be on. Plus, all you have to do is go with one of their daughters and they make the ride really smooth. So Mike and I got on the tube with my niece and just had a nice little ride. She is probably better at holding herself on that tube than I am, of course, she was in the middle so that makes it easier. We were on the lake until about noon and then we went home. By this time I was exhausted. I didn't even want to shower I was so tired. Mike went and got us lunch and I showered and then we ate and I took a nice long nap. We really had no plans for that night, but not for long because Mike's parents called us and asked if we wanted to do something that night. So Mike and I, and his parents and his brother and his girlfriend, went over to Sandy to watch the parade. That was pretty entertaining. Sandy's parade usually is. But you can tell in the picture to the left that we were absolutely exhaused. Afterwards, they took us to dinner at Johnny Carino's, where I ate way too much, and then I got free cake because they told the waitress it was my birthday, even though it wasn't. The cake was great though. Then Mike and I went home, dropped off some leftovers and went and watched some fireworks. I was so tired I fell asleep during them and Mike had to wake me up for the finale. Which was great, but I just was excited to go home and go to bed. We had a busy couple of days but they completely wore me out!



It took me a long time to update but I said I would so here it is. At the beginning of June, my Grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. So my family threw them a big party. We had a lot of fun. We took family pictures, ate tons of yummy food, played a couple games and ended the night watching my Grandma and Grandpa cut a two tier cake that we ordered for them and watching them feed it to each other, just like you would when you get married. It was cute!

The second week of June, Mike being a Priest leader, and me being a Miamaid leader, had the opportunity to go up to Youth Conference for a day. We weren't able to go for the entire time because of our crazy schedules so of course we picked the day that they were going boating. We drove up to Deer Creek early that morning so that we could spend as much time up there as possible. It was pretty windy until about 2:00 in the afternoon, not too mention the water was absolutely freezing so the youth had a hard time even wanting to ride on the boats. I didn't really want to either. I was so cold and very content on the beach but I felt bad that no one wanted to get on the boats so Mike and I got on one of the boats. We just did a little tubing but total, I only spent just a few minutes in the water because of how cold it was. The rest of the trip I spent on the beach getting sunburned. We did try to do a little fishing but we didn't have much success. We had a good time though and love having callings with the youth in our ward!

The weekend after Youth Conference, Mike started his LSAT prep class. He is gone all the time now! Even when he is home he is so busy catching up on homework. I get kinda lonely at home so I have been trying to keep myself occupied with my own homework, or running, or going over to my parents house and hanging out there. At least there are people there. Mike is really enjoying the class though and seems to be learning a lot. The test isn't until October but we're going for the top!

Country Fest was last weekend. Mike has his LSAT class that Saturday morning so I went to the parade with some of my family. It was pretty hot outside but we had a good time. Any reason to be outside is a good reason.
Also, that night, they of course had their free concert and Mike and I never miss out on an opportunity to do something free, so we called up some friends and met them to see Darryl Worley in concert. It was good concert. Mike and I enjoyed ourselves. Plus whats better than hanging out with friends, laying on the grass, listening to some good country music?

This weekend, Mike and I went to Murray Park and had a picnic and did one of my favorite things....feed the ducks. I really don't know why I love it so much but I get a kick out of watching ducks fight for bread. The stupid seagulls wouldn't leave us alone though. We made a point of only letting the ducks eat the bread and not giving any to the seagulls. They were mean.
This weekend we also did another one of my favorite things...went to a Demolition Derby! I don't know what it is but watching cars crash into each other is so exhilarating. Mike's brother and his girlfriend went with us. I don't know how much they enjoyed it but Mike and I had a good time. There weren't any good fires or anything but we saw quite a few good hits and some cement barriers tips, so it was all worth it.



I promise I am going to update this week!!!


Take me out to the ball game...

Over the weekend, Mike and I went to a Bees game with some friends of ours and it was so fun! We sat out on the grass because it was really nice weather. And they actually won! I was impressed. It was a pretty good game. There were a couple of homeruns that the bees should be proud of. Plus every time there was a homerun the crowd got something. Like the first homerun we got Sconecutter. All we had to do was take our ticket to Sconecutter and we could get a free scone. The second homerun we got Del Taco. So all we had to do was take our ticket to Del Taco and we could get a free burrito. So after the game we all went to Sconecutter and got ourselves some scones. And then on Saturday night Mike and I went to Del Taco and got ourselves some free burritos. That $7 ticket to get into the game was a good investment considering all the free food we ended up getting! We had a good time though. Its good to have good friends!


Happy Anniversary!

Mike and I celebrated our one year anniversary this weekend by taking off to Las Vegas! We needed a break between semesters anyway and I wanted some warm weather. We drove down on Saturday morning and couldn't check into our hotel until 4:00 so we just walked around the strip and went and picked up our tickets for Phantom at The Venetian. We ate at The Cheesecake Factory, which in my opinion, wasn't good, but we didn't get cheesecake so that could have changed my opinion. We did some more walking, because that is what you do in Vegas, and then we went and rested our feet in our hotel room and then got ready for the show. Phantom was absolutely amazing. The theatre was absolutely beautiful and exactly how you would imagine it should be. All of the actors were awesome and had great voices. The next day started out at a Brunch buffet. Can't go to Vegas without hitting at least one buffet. It was pretty good. Then we layed out at the pool for a few hours. It was so hot. I need to learn to put on sunscreen. I got pretty burned. Then we did some more walking, took some pictures and went and rested our feet again. I took a pretty nice long nap, while Mike watched some TV. Then we went and got milk shakes and watched the Bellagio water show. We were both pretty wiped out, even me with my two and a half hour nap, so we went back to the hotel and went to bed. The next morning just the normal pack up, check out, drive home routine. We did stop at Jack in the Box in St George and had lunch. Its tradition. Whenever its available on a road trip, we eat there. We like it.



Last night Mike and I were on our way out to dinner to celebrate my new job. We were innocently stopped at a light for about 30 seconds and then, bam, we were rear ended. She had to have been going 30 mph because she hit us pretty hard. It was pretty painful. Apparently she was distracted with the two cars and cop parked on the side of the road, so she turned to look at them and then she ran into the back of us. It kind of ruined our night because we both had pretty bad headaches afterwards but we try to look on the positive side. We already kind of had a scuff on our bumper from a hit and run in the Smiths parking lot. Ironically enough, while we were on our way to dinner, I had said to Mike, "I would just like to get rear ended because then we could get that scuff repaired and somebody elses insurance can pay for it." Well I guess my wish came true because about 15 minutes later, we were rear ended. The hard part about it is now putting it in the shop. It will take probably a week to fix which means we are going to be out a car. Plus we have to get it fixed quick so that we can drive it to Vegas in two weeks. It probably wasn't the best timing, but I guess it'll be nice to have the bumper completely repaired.


Time for a Change...

So today I got a new job. I am going to be doing Accounts Payable.....which is good since my major is Accounting. Plus the pay is more and I will be getting benefits. So I guess this is a good change. No, I know that this is a good change. But its just so hard. I really REALLY love my job right now. I have been at SLCC for 3 years and nothing beats it. It is so laid back and I LOVE the people that I work with and its been really good with school and my busy schedule. But I guess its just time for a change. Time to move on. I have to give my two weeks notice today and I am just nervous. Not that its a scary situation necessarily, I have an awesome supervisor but just because I am sad to leave and that will make it all real. But this is a good opportunity and I really shouldn't pass it up so I guess two more weeks and then I have to move on.



Last Friday, Mike and I had his niece and nephew sleepover at our apartment. What adventure that was! They are some wild kids, but I blame Mike for getting them all hyper. They came over and we went and got some pizza and had a picnic on our family room floor. Then the kids spent about an hour running from room to room to see who could do it faster. Wow, so easily entertained. Then we played hide and seek.....for about another hour. Once again easily entertained. But I did find some fun nooks in my apartment that I would have never thought to hide before...beware Mike! Mike's niece and I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies, which I have to say were probably some of my best, and then we took some over to Mike's parents. When we got home, the kids still were pretty hyper so Mike became a human swing and spinned them around for a good while. Poor guy. We did end up finally getting them to wind down and watch Peter Pan. The two kids slept on our couches and Mike took the floor and I went into the bedroom, closed the door and got the bed all to myself! Oh so nice. The next morning it was cereal and baths and then out to the park to fly a kite because it was so windy! Then we went and met Mike's family at Wendy's for lunch and handed over the kids. Love them to death but wow, they just wiped me out. I realized how much I take my freedom for granted. We had a ton of fun though!


Run Mike Run

So over this past weekend, Mike met another goal and ran a half-marathon! We went down to Provo early on Saturday morning with what seemed like a million other people so Mike could run. Mike had been training for it for a couple of months and he did great! I started out training with him but once we hit our 7 mile run, I was out. Too early in the morning, too cold outside and too much of a wimp to actually do it. I am way proud of Mike though for saying he was gonna do it and then actually getting up the courage to do it! Running is hard. Anyway, he finished the race in 1 hour and 58 minutes and he said he won't be doing it again any time soon! Gotta try everything once!