What We Remember: {2011}

We made it. All the way to the last day of 2011. Another one on the books. And it brought us so much joy. Things that we did this year...

{January} We found ourselves in between semesters and once again enjoying our time together. We had some fabulous warmish weather. We went downtown to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial. And Mike started a new job at a law firm!

{February} We celebrated Valentine's Day by Mike surprising me with tickets to William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing downtown. Mike got in a really bad car accident, but luckily, he wasn't hurt. We can't say that much for our Civic. Totaled. But, we purchased a Nissan Rogue, which we love! We had some terrible weather, including a very bad snow storm, but we like snow storms here in Oklahoma because they shut everything down! We got to stay home for two days! No work and no school, which means Abby and Mike togetherness!

{March} I found myself in a gym funk and a junk food craze. Possibly my way of dealing with Spring semesters {I loathe them}. We created a paper chain for Law School graduation. It had 438 links on it. We experienced a piano bar for the first time with some friends, which was awesome! Oh and March Madness....nuff said.

{April} We started our month off in Dallas hanging out with Mike's brother and his family. We attended our first Ranger's game. We went to the Renaissance Fair here in Norman. A friend and I threw an awesome baby shower for another dear friend of ours. We refinished a dresser for our bedroom. And the highlight....the Royal Wedding! Watched 4.5 straight hours of coverage.

{May} We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! We dominated in our Kentucky Derby watching. We went trail running in Oklahoma for the first time. I did a 5k with a friend. We drove to Utah for the summer. Mike started a new internship! And I went out with some friends from high school that I haven't seen in years!

{June} We went to the zoo with Mike's family. Mike got his grades for Spring semester, his best semester so far in law school! And we went hiking in some Utah mountains! {Oh how we miss those Utah mountains!

{July} My niece was baptized and Mike's sister and her family were sealed in the Jordan River temple! I won tickets on the radio to see Brad Paisley at Stadium of Fire, come to find out they were FRONT AND CENTER. Yep, we touched Brad. Yum. I celebrated my quarter-of-a-century birthday. Mike and I spent a weekend camping in Yellowstone! And I had a spa day with the girls!

{August} I found my first, second and third gray hair. We drove back to Oklahoma. I started cooking dinner again {Go me!} The Mission President here in Norman spoke to the LDS law students in the area. He is an attorney from Salt Lake. Amazing.

{September} We went to the first OU football game of the season! We searched for the Dodge Journey...and never found it. We celebrated Mike's 26th birthday. Mike's parents came to town! We drove to the top of the highest mountain in Oklahoma. And I discovered Pinterest.

{October} We went to Dallas for the OU vs. Texas game. We went to the Texas State Fair and ate fried foods. We celebrated Mike being home from the mission for 5 years. Which leads to celebrations of our 5 year first date anniversary and our 5 year first kiss anniversary. Mike competed in Moot Court again and his team took 3rd and he individually took 8th. My sister and her family came to town. We went to the Action Figure Museum and to the casino to watch horse races.

{November} Mike went out of town for another law school competition. I experienced my first longer-than-two-seconds earthquake. While Mike was out of town no less. We went to Houston to spend our last Thanksgiving with Mike's brother and his family. Which included my first {and last} experience with a gravity table. We found another awesome book series to read. Oh and I started this blog!

{December} Mike finished another semester! {One more to go!} I got some new awesome running shoes. We went to Utah for Christmas. And I got the stomach flu. And we celebrated our 5 year engagement anniversary!
Here's to another awesome year! Bring it on, 2012!

{I linked up here:}


What We Got: {Christmas in OK}

Look at some of what we got...

A cowl that Mike picked out and ordered off of Etsy all by himself. I didn't even know that he knew what Etsy was. Oh and my awesome fair isle slipper boots. Once again, 100% picked out by Mike. {And do you like my hair? The two-toned....black on top, my natural on bottom. I'm obsessed.}

I wish I could say Mike picked this out, but either way, yep, I bought that. And yes, he has worn it.

A rose gold Fossil watch. I'm in love.  

A food dehydrator! This kid was so excited, you have no idea. Unfortunately now our house smells like homemade jerky. Mmm. {I fear this smell may become all too common in our home, and I may regret this gift}

What Today Is: {5 Years}

Mark it: 5 years ago tonight, Mike engaged me.

It was beautiful. It was secluded. It was perfect. With roses. And daisies. And candles galore.

And even though I can't remember a thing that he said, I knew that he loved me more than anything ever.
And I knew that we were perfect for each other.
And even though a small part of me was terrified, another huge part of me was overwhelmed with love and joy.
And I said yes.
And I got a gorgeous ring out of the deal.
And an awesome husband.

{Side note: I clearly remember sitting there while Mike was on his knee listening to all the wonderful things that he said and telling myself....Remember that he said that...oh and that...and that... As soon as we left that special spot, I forgot everything that he said, but for the record, he forgot it all too.}


What We Read: {The Scorch Trials}

Over a month ago, we finished book two of The Maze Runner series. It.Was.Awesome. I felt the need to blog about the fact that we finished it, even if the blog came a month late. Can't leave you hanging with just the first book! {We are actually well into book three now.} I think this book was better than the first. It's a tough call. But this book had way more surprises. Things I definitely didn't see coming. If you haven't started reading it based off of my book one recommendation, then I suggest you get your name on the library list now, because its getting long. And as soon as the movie cast is announced {movie to come out in 2013}, this book will explode. And then good luck getting it at the library. Here is the synopsis for The Scorch Trials. {Probably shouldn't read it if you have yet to read book one and plan to.} Once again, pulled off the authors website.

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated-and with it, order-and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder-does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?


What I Caught: {Stomach Flu}

What's the best way to lose those few pounds possibly gained over the holidays?

Catch the stomach flu. Like I did. Three hours before I was supposed to leave for the airport.

Yep, I caught the lucky streak.

So Mike hopped on the plane without me. And 12 hours {and $150} later, I was catching my flight back to OKC.

Pros? Getting to spend 12 extra hours with my mama. Oh, and laying on the couch. All. Day.

Cons? Missing my flight. Travelling alone. Functioning on only a few hours of sleep. And the list goes on...

Either way, I'm back. Back to work. Back to reality. And feeling much, much better.


What We've Been Doing: {Family Time}

Long time, no post. But I made the decision to fully immerse myself into our travels while in Utah. We have enjoyed some memorable moments with family and will continue to do so during our last day here. Then tomorrow, reality will return as we head back home. Back to the mundane. My next few days will include some precious time with the hubby, lots of catching up at work, losing the holiday weight gain, some 2011 reflection and some 2012 planning {it's gonna be a doozy}. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday and the special time with family and friends.


What Little Time Is Left: {Ode to Christmas. Day#4}

I have a Christmas countdown that I made last year. And I love it. It's so fun to countdown the days to all the excitement. But in our house, we don't countdown the days until Christmas {at least not the last few years}, we count down the day that we get to be with our families. And see that number? Yep, one day {tomorrow} until we leave for Utah. And we are so excited! Let's be honest though, my mind has already been on vacation for the past week {my poor coworkers}. And there has been a whole lot of jumping up and down going on at home {all by me, Mike just gives me an odd look and then proceeds to not join in}{he is excited though, I promise, he just can't be excited and be dealing with finals at the same time}. But we're almost there. Let's pray for a little snow so that we can get a true Utah Christmas {but lets be sure to delay that snow until after I get there so as to have a smooth flight and landing}.
I hope everyone has an opportunity to be around those they love this holiday!


What Our's Looks Like: {Ode to Christmas. Day#3}

Do you wanna know what I love? Christmas trees. Do you wanna know what I love even more? Christmas trees with a whole bunch of presents underneath. Now don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts just as much as the next person, but even if all those boxes were empty, I still just love the way a bunch of presents look under the tree. Presents are to tree as frosting is to a cookie. {Maybe that's the ornaments...} Anyway, you know what I'm saying. This is our tree. With our gifts. And our Jesus picture. Because there is no Christmas without our Savior, Jesus Christ. {That picture is there all year round, but how fitting that it happens to be right next to my Christmas tree each year} Anyway, don't be jealous y'all but see all those gifts? Yep, they will be all unwrapped TOMORROW!! Mike has asked me everyday this week if we could unwrap our gifts. "No dear, Thursday." Because when travelling for Christmas, these are your options: 1) Unwrap all the gifts before you go {our pick, for obvious reasons}, 2) Unwrap all the gifts when you get home {yeah, right}, 3) Take all your gifts with you {but then you have to pay the baggage fees for all that extra space, um....no}, 4) Don't give each other gifts {but that would just be sad and boring}. So see, we have definitely picked the best option. Plus we get to have Christmas 10 days earlier than normal! But I did have to tell Mike this year that when we no longer travel for Christmas {which will be sometime in our future}, our gifts will have to go back to being unwrapped on Christmas day. It's a rough life we have. 


What I Listen To: {Ode to Christmas. Day#2}

So last week I asked Mike what his favorite Christmas song was. He didn't have an answer. Ummmm. How can you not know what your favorite Christmas song is? So I gave him the charge to listen to Christmas music all day while he studied. When I got home that night, I asked him again. Not only did he still not know what his favorite Christmas song was, he did not listen to Christmas music at all that day. Punk. I love Christmas music. I start listening usually mid-October. These are some of my favorites this season...

The Canadian Tenors - O Holy Night

Michael Buble - All I Want for Christmas Is You

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Bob Rivers - 12 Pains of Christmas
{Just try not to laugh out loud when you listen to this...betcha can't}


What We Bought: {Ode to Christmas. Day#1}

Read this blog post first.

Happy Monday everyone!
Now look what I found!

I have been wanting to get an OU ornament since this will be our last Christmas here in Oklahoma. {Hooray!} So I have been on the hunt. And then I spied these Mr. and Mrs. Claus OU gnome ornaments and my search was over. I'm addicted. These little guys may even stay out all year.


What We Ate: {Chocolate Crackle Cookies}

A couple weeks ago I made Chocolate Crackle Cookies. If you can plan ahead, the cookies were delicious! The dough has to refrigerate for a little while before they can be baked, so that's why I say this is a plan ahead cookie. I even liked them so much, that I didn't take them to work to pawn them off to my coworkers as usual. Yep, I was selfish. I kept them at home, and kept them all to myself. Okay, I did let Mike have some. And if there were any extra pounds gained, I would like to say, that it was definitely worth it.

The Stuff:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

The Doing:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt bittersweet chocolate over medium heat {don't forget your double boiler, or it'll burn!} Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate. With mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until just combined. Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
3. On a clean countertop, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 16 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss in powdered sugar, and roll the each piece into a ball shape. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in powdered sugar again to coat completely. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet. Bake until cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to15 minutes.


What We Attempted: {Bench Press}

So anybody else watch The Biggest Loser this week? If you did, then you saw Antone {my favorite!} bench press his children. Which then led to me asking Mike if he could bench press me. Which then led to Mike attempting to bench press me. {Unsuccessful, hand placement was difficult :)} Which then led to me sitting in Mike's hands and him attempting tricep extensions. {Once again, unsuccessful, he was a little fearful of my rear end landing on his face} Which then led to this:

Hooray, success! {Please overlook several things: the attractive angle of the camera, the faces I'm pulling, the black leggings tucked into white socks, the messy house}

Look at Mike working those legs and me engaging that core.

Oh hush, we have fun together, and that's all that really matters.


What to Do: {Hair}

Yep. This is the kind of day that it is. At least that's what my hair tells me. I need a new do. Keep it long? Cut it short? Middle length? More bangs? More layers? Shave it and start over?

I'm just bored with it. And I need low maintenance. Which makes it harder. Early morning hair doing and getting to work on time is a challenge for me. Its one or the other, people. 4 out 5 times my hair ends up in a bun anyway. One of these days things are going to get drastic, and something irreversible might happen.

Figure it out soon. Okay, done with my rant for the day.


What We Ate: {Fancy Grilled Cheese}

Fancy Grilled Cheese. Name coined entirely by Mike. Want to give credit where credit is due.

The Stuff:
Garlic Bread
Mozzarella Cheese
Olive Oil

{Side note: We like to make our own garlic bread. Mix together 1/2 cup softened butter, 2-3 cloves of garlic {boiled for 1.5 minutes and then minced}, and either basil or parsley. Spread on loaf of french bread. Target sells wheat french bread loaves, for those interested.}

The Doing:
Put the garlic bread in the oven @ broil. Take out when about halfway done. And turn down oven temp to 400.
Saute the spinach in a small amount of olive oil.
On one side of the garlic bread, put the sauteed spinach.
On the other side, put the sliced tomatoes and then top with cheese. {It helps to keep the tomatoes in place}
Put back in the oven and keep your eye on it! Take out when the cheese is melted to your liking.
Put loaves together to make a sandwich.

{This would also taste great without sauteing the spinach. Personal preference}


What I Bought: {Running Shoes}

So who really cares if Christmas is only a measley 20 days away. I still bought myself something. And, no I didn't call it a Christmas gift to myself. I bought them because a) they were a good deal, b) because I needed them, c) because, dad gummit, I just wanted them.

Look at my new running shoes.....

Sexy, right?

Who doesn't love an extremely bright colored pair of running shoes? They seem to give me the little push of energy to finish my workout each day.

Which by the way, successfully made it to the gym 5 days last week. {Normally, I can't get past 4}

So pretty sure I deserved a new pair of shoes to show off, after a week like that.


What I Watched: {The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting}

Did anyone else watch this? I had no intentions of doing so, it was merely on as I kept myself preoccupied by other things, only half listening or so. Until...


I need a disclaimer. I'm not trendy. I hate the bandwagon. I just like what I like {which is how it should be}.

So this music video premiered during the Rockefeller tree lighting. And I suddenly went from half listening, to sitting on the floor right in front of my TV. And I have no idea how I got there.

So, Mariah Carey is an absolute dork. But I wasn't really watching her anyway. Um, lets all dig into our 14 year old personas. Okay, you there? I totally have a crush on Justin Bieber. This is a All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Is-You-music-video-crush only. Never before having given him a second thought/glance/listen. No, I will not suddenly be watching every video of his, listening to all his music and calling him "Biebs". But yep. How cute is he? As I sat on the floor in my living room watching this video, I yelled to Mike in the other room, "I totally have a crush on Justin Bieber." And without hesitation he says back, "Yeah, if you like guys that look like girls." Hah.


What We Did: {The Gravity Table}

Ever seen one of these? Its called a gravity table. Its supposed to help with back pain. Separates all the vertebrae in your back. Mike's brother has one so over Thanksgiving break we gave it a go. Its all controlled by your arms. The higher you lift your arms, the farther back you go. Eventually flipping you 180 degrees. Pain. Now when using the gravity table, you are supposed to tip a little bit and then stop, wait for your body to get used to it. Over time, you work your way to going completely upside down. Well we didn't have time for our bodies to get used to it. Mike just went for it. {Mind you, Mike feels no pain. Hercules or something} So when it was my turn, how could I not?  Um. Pain. The whole, blood rushing to your head, suspended by your feet feeling. Pain. As quickly as I was down, I screamed at Mike, "Hurry, take a picture." He quickly snapped one and I was back up. Pain. Funny though, I couldn't even post the picture of me being upside. It looked gross. My face was BRIGHT red, and my feet were like a sickly yellow color. Pain. I had such a headache the rest of the night. Definitely one of those never-do-it-again-and-if-you-do-make-sure-you-follow-the-instructions type things.  


What We Read: {The Maze Runner}

I read. And I love it. But to make it even better, I read out loud to Mike. I love the bonding time that it gives us. It can be difficult at times because I can't just pick up our book and read any time I want, I have to wait for both of us to be available. But its something that we really enjoy doing together.

So, have you guys read this yet? We just finished The Maze Runner a couple of days ago. Oh.heavens. It is so good. I'm not gonna lie, it took me a while to get into it. The way the characters in the book speak is a little different, and because I read out loud, it was very difficult for me get the flow. But the flow came. And so did our love for this book. And the best part? It's a series. So we have already started book two. Then on to book three. And guess what? The author just announced the prequel to The Maze Runner coming out in 2012. I love book series.

Oh. And. A now very common term of endearment in my marriage is calling one another a shank. Reminds us of the little thing we share.

For those interested, I pulled the synopsis from the author's website, so you could all get a little taste of this awesomeness.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade--a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up--the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.


What We Ate: {Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting}

For Thanksgiving, Mike and I headed to Houston to spend time with some family. We are lucky to have family close enough to be able to spend Thanksgiving with them. It's bittersweet to know that it was probably our last Thanksgiving we will be spending in Houston. But that just means moving on to bigger and better things, right? {Yeah, keep telling yourself that}

This was my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. Dessert. The best part of the meal. This year I went with a Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting.

The Stuff: {Cake}

1 box devils food cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Doing: {Cake}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. {I have also done this cake in two 9 inch rounds}
2. Put all ingredients in bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Pour batter into pan{s}.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes. {Please note that time will vary depending on what pans you decide to use}
5. Let cake cool completely before frosting.

The Stuff: {Frosting}

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

The Doing: {Frosting}

1. Mix the butter and cream cheese together, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl
2. Slowly add powdered sugar to butter and cream cheese mixture
3. Mix until light and fluffy
4. Mix in vanilla
5. Place the frosting in the refrigerator until it stiffens up {or don't, it just kinda depends on how big of a hurry I am in}
6. Frost cooled cake.

{Side note: The pumpkin is not very prominent in this recipe. Good for those pumpkin-haters. {Yes they do exist, Mike is one of them} Either way, it makes the cake very moist and super yummy.



Well things are changing up in these here parts. This blog has always been an outlet for things going on in my life, and up until a week or so ago, it was private. But now, I'm changing things up. I will continue to post things about my life, but incorporated will be my creative side. {Recipes, crafts....ya know, the typical}, along with any other random inspirations that I may have. This is definitely a work in progress {that for some strange reason I have decided to embark upon during the crazy holiday season} so please bear with me as we go through some changes.



My list:

My lover, my best friend, Michael
My family, my inlaws
My happiness
My job
My friends

My life
I really do love my life.



Well, 'tis turkey day soon. Headed down to Houston to spend some much needed time away and with family. This whole midwest Thanksgiving thing....strange. Some people out here eat brisket instead of turkey. Don't get me wrong, I love a good, moist brisket, but this is turkey day. {Unless you don't like turkey, then its ham}. And to be completely honest, in my 23 years of life in Utah, I had never heard of deep frying your Thanksgiving turkey. Or having a "turkey fry". Do they do this in Utah? Who knows? But is it really necessary to add 4235818731 extra grams of fat to an already extremely large meal? Well for one of the fattest states in the nation, I would venture to say that it is necessary. But to be honest, our first year here, the Elders Quorum did a turkey fry. And yes, I tried some. And yes, it was yummy.

Nevertheless, I hope that everyone enjoys their respective meat, prepared in any which way that you enjoy it most, this Thursday.

We will be eating lots of food, playing with the kiddos, scouring the ads, watching the parade{football}, and preparing our Black Friday routes.



The proof is in the picture...
The tree is up!



It was a perfect 80 degrees today as we drove home from church. So guess what we did? We rolled down our windows and enjoyed it {which we rarely do}. I stuck my arm out the window, put my face toward the breeze, closed my eyes and took it all in. The sunshine, the smell of Fall, the clarity that comes from a little fresh air. It was such a small thing but it totally changed my day. We don't get much outdoor time between work and school and gym time. And the weather is always at it's best during those times. We need more "stop to smell the roses" moments. Today was a definite reminder of that. Hope you take a moment this Sunday to enjoy a minute or two of fresh air.



Well kids, its time.

No, not THAT time.

It's the time when I can't take it any longer. I know I should wait. Just a little bit longer.

But the thrill is getting to me.

It all started on Monday.

Thats when I started listening to Christmas music.
And it all stemmed from there.

Looks like the Christmas decor is coming out a little earlier.
This weekend to be exact.

Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving.
I love the food.
I love the family time.
I love the parade!
I love the gratefulness.
I love the Black Friday ads. {I love that we lay around on the floor for hours looking at every little thing each ad has to offer, only to pick them up a few hours later to go over each detail again}

But lets be frank here, Christmas decorations are way WAY more fun than anything Thanksgiving has ever offered.

So yep, this is happening.

Jealous? Don't be, I give everyone permission to put up Christmas decorations this weekend too!
Disturbed? Um...I'm sorry? It's my house, mmkay?

P.S. After pretty much forcing Mike to look at some things on my Pinterest last night, he told me that I remind him of Zooey Deschanel. I am so cool.



This past weekend, Mike was in Dallas for a competition {they did awesome, btw}. I spent two days and two nights by my lonesome. I had full plans going into the weekend that I was going to get all kinds of stuff done without him home. I was going to super clean our house. Work on my scrapbook. You know, stuff that I have been putting off. Did I do any of that? Honestly? No. But for some reason I felt rather busy. There was a whole lot of chick flick watching going on. Oh and some baking {post on the delicious cake I made to come}. But the most exciting news of the weekend? It had to be our Saturday night earthquake. There I am, laying in bed, watching another chick flick, and I start to hear something. It was like someone was tapping silverware against a glass. It went on for probably 5 seconds and then the house began to shake. And let me tell you, IT.WAS.AWESOME. Of course, I don't really recall thinking that at the time. Being home alone, and all. Actually, for some reason in my fuzzy, 11 o'clock at night head, I thought to myself, if I move, or breath, this house is gonna come down around me. And then my second thought was, I sure hope the painting above our bed doesn't fall off the wall and kill me. So just to let you know, all those earthquake drills that you learn in elementary? Yeah, they didn't work. Get under a door frame? Are you kidding? I couldn't even breath, and you expect me to get up and move? There I lay, in the middle of my bed, vulnerable to anything that felt like it wanted to crash down on me. After maybe 40 seconds of shaking, it stopped. And then I could hear the silverware against the glass noise again...for maybe 10 seconds. And then it was all over. And I was home alone. And somehow expected to fall asleep. Hah. Well actually, my heart did finally get back to its normal pace, and I did eventually fall asleep. And there were no damages {in my house at least}. A wall of crooked pictures. Thats about it. The earthquake registered at a 5.6, the largest Oklahoma has ever seen. Oh the natural disaster experiences that I get to have here in this state. Mike was so disappointed that he missed it.



Yahoo{.com} insight for the day...

10 Things Not To Say to Your Childfree Friends

Parenting can have a huge impact on friendships. But you can maintain your bond -- with some insight into the childfree point of view.

By Jillian Mackenzie

My boyfriend and I don't know yet if we're going to have children -- but over the last few years, the majority of our friends have taken the plunge. During that time, I've learned a few things about how to keep friendships strong when you don't have parenthood in common. Here are 10 things not to say to your friends who don't have children.

1. "When will you finally have kids?"

Once you have offspring, you want your friends to share the experience. But please don't loudly ask this question across the table at Thanksgiving dinner or at a baby shower. Although many people are happy to be childfree or waiting, the situation may be more complicated. A friend could be facing infertility, in the agonizing position of having a spouse who doesn't want children, or otherwise in a complex struggle over the issue. Bring it up privately with close friends, or wait for them to share with you.

2. "We always wanted to have a family."

If you use the expression "have a family" to mean "have children," you inadvertently send a message that people without kids are... family-less. Family comes in many forms: significant others, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors -- happily, the list goes on!

3. "I only invited other parents."

Having children is the norm, and people who are childfree can sometimes feel isolated or excluded. So invite us to birthday parties! Sure, there are some people who just don't like kids and have no desire to spend an afternoon surrounded by them. They can decline the invitation, and the rest of us will cheer when the birthday boy takes his first bite of cupcake.

4. "Are you hung-over?"

If you had kids when you were on the younger side, you may have transitioned abruptly from staying out bar-hopping to night feedings and Yo Gabba Gabba -- and years later, you may assume that we're still acting like our crazy twentysomething selves. But just because we don't have kids doesn't mean we aren't growing up.

5. "You're so lucky you get to sleep in/shop/travel."

We understand that you give up a lot to be the amazing parent you are -- and we do appreciate our extra cash and free time, and god, yes, the sleep. But too many offhand comments like this make us feel like you assume the reason we don't have children is that we're lazy, selfish, or shallow. The decision is never that simple.

6. "This must be birth control for you."

Parents often make this joke when their kid is being loud or persistent, and we understand it's because you're worried the situation is bugging the hell out of everyone around you. Don't stress -- a good friend understands that your kid is going to have a meltdown once in a while. We can take it. And, of course, a crying toddler is not actually a tipping point in our decision to have kids. We're not that shortsighted.

7. "Your dog/cat/parakeet is your baby."

Pets are a huge part of many people's lives, whether or not those people have children. But it feels like a consolation prize when you put it like this. That said, ask about my cat; I'm happy to pull up my latest photo of her adorableness.

8. "I can't die; I'm a mom."

During a recent brief terrorism scare in New York City, a friend said to me, "I have to get out -- I can't die; I'm a mom." We know you have someone depending on you in an unprecedented way, but there are people who love and depend on us, too.

9. "I'm sorry it's taken forever for me to call/email/text you back."

Don't start every correspondence with an apology. Your life is insane and letting us know you want to make time for us is appreciated. But don't stress so much: My life is busy too, and more often than not, I didn't even notice a lag.

10. "You wouldn't understand."

We know there are many things about parenting you will turn to your mom friends to talk about. And, honestly, with anyone other than a close friend, that's probably best -- I lose interest fast when someone I don't know well talks too much about their kids. But when we're real friends, don't let our relationship fade because you're afraid of boring us with parenting stuff. Just like we used to listen to you talk about your ex, we want to hear about what's important in your life now. And we hope you'll do the same for us.



Okay, I will admit it. I love showtunes. So much. And you lucky people in Utah have a radio station {106.5} that has "Showtunes Saturday Night". Do you understand how lucky you are? This weekly event changed my marriage....

I have been in love with showtunes since pretty much forever. I remember watching musicals when I was younger. Oliver and Annie stick out particularly in my mind. Then as I got older, my taste continued to grow, thanks to my high school choir experiences {gotta love that Into the Woods medley}. Then I got married. And my sweet husband wasn't much into the musical thing, but he knew that I loved them. One night we started a game. More like I started a game. Because I would only start games that I know that I can win. This game was only played on Saturday nights. The game goes like this: listen to "Showtunes Saturday Night". When a song comes on, you have to be the first person to name the musical that the song is from. The person with the most musicals at the end wins. Thats pretty much it. And let me tell you. I was pretty good at this game. Not perfect, but better than Mike and thats what mattered.

So do you know what this sneaky kid decided to do? He started listening to showtunes at work. NON.STOP. Yep. He became quite the contender at my game! Which actually made it way more fun.

Then we moved. No "Showtunes Saturday Night" in Oklahoma. Lame. Slowly but surely, we got out of our showtune listening.

So yesterday was a bad day. I was telling Mike all about my poor, pitiful day through Google Chat. And do you know what he says to me? This boy tells me to turn on some showtunes. Because showtunes make everything better. Hah.

I have created a monster.



Last night, we had some serious pillow talk.

The conversation went something like this.

Abby: {holding up fingers} Why does this mean 'peace'?

Mike: Because there are two.

Abby: What does that mean?

Mike: You'll figure it out when you're older.

Yep. This is my husband, Mike. He likes to make stuff up, even if it makes no sense. Either way, he gave me a good laugh.



Headin' down to Dallas for the big game this weekend. So happy to have some time away. I could use some one on one with the hubby. Its supposed to be a sweaty 90 degrees down there this weekend. {Not that that's any different than what it has been around Oklahoma these days.....and Utah is getting SNOW!}

I promise pictures of our travels and some yummy food when I get back. Hope ya'll {bringin' in the Texas talk already} have as good as weekend as I'm gonna!

Peace and Love.



To my handsome Michael, the one whom I love more than anyone or anything, happy 26th birthday today.

And thank you for having a birthday so that we can eat delicious, chocolate birthday cake.

I love you best friend.



Two things.....

Modern Family One Hour Season Premiere.....tonight!

The inlaws come to town tomorrow.....so excited!

Oh happy day!



So they say to get off sugar.
Then they say get off aspartame.
Well fine then.
Then they say sucralose is bad.
Okay okay, so pretty much the only artificial sweetners that are good are truvia and stevia.
So find me regular, off-the-shelf products that are sweetened with either of those two things.
Yep, hard huh?
Not to mention they suck to cook with.
And I can't put honey on everything, people. {I've even heard rumor that honey is no bueno}
And those sweetners are expensive.
Um, do you think I'm made of money?

Wow, this stresses me out. Can I get a bowl of ice cream please?



We are a little disappointed at Dodge. We spent 6 hours today looking for the Dodge Journey that was hidden in western Oklahoma. Now, obviously we didn't find it. We would like to say we were quite misled by the clues that we were provided. If you send out a email to those who exclusively signed up to receive those special emails, and in the email give a destination and say that the car is "close" to that point, you should probably explain what you mean by close. Because 45 miles away, is not, by any means, close. Hence, somebody found the car, so somebody took the information the way I suppose it was intended to be taken. But we had a good time together, Mike and I, making memories, starving ourselves, nearly running out of gas on some dirt road in Texola, OK. I make it sound bad, but it was actually quite wonderful. {Winning would have made it a little better though} Experiences like this are all about the journey, anyway. Which I am positive, is the reason they did this search for the Dodge Journey.

But we don't plan on buying a Dodge any time soon.

{If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, go here http://www.youtube.com/dodge}



Happy weekend everyone! We're going to search for a Dodge Journey this weekend.....and if we have time, we'll hopefully watch our dear Sooners beat Florida State.

And Hallelujah kids.....its raining outside!!



I blog stalk. Like, a lot. But not people I know. Its the people that I don't know that really intrigue me. And whats even more enticing is when they are young, married people. Like me. With really no purpose to blog, which is even better because then the posts are all just fun randomness.
But actually, that really wasn't the point of this blog. The point was, do you know how many blogs I come across that are wives with husbands in law school? You wouldn't believe it, if I actually had a number to tell you. The bar results for those who took the bar in Oklahoma in July just came out a few days ago. Mike was eager to see the list because he knows quite a few people that took it. And here in the big OK, they post that list online, names and all. I say thats a little insensitive. At the top of the list they give statistics. 381 people took the bar in July, 317 people passed. Now, the point I make, is not the margin of those not passing. The point I make is they offer the bar twice a year: February and July. Now if each time the bar is taken, 320 students are passing, that is 640 students a year. Oklahoma has two law schools. So with states that are bigger and have more law schools, that number is even higher. Now tell me, where in the country are there 640 new, just graduated, no experience {minus internships} attorneys being hired every year? Because that is the state that I need to live in.

The statistics on law schools are quite crazy. I don't have numbers but I have read enough about it to know that there are WAY too many law schools in this country generating way to many attorneys for the small number of jobs that are actually available. Every school within a University has job placement statistics. These statistics will tell you what percentage of students have jobs within a certain amount of months after graduation. Did you know that law school job placement statistics are not based off of jobs placed as an attorney? So when you see 95% job placement, most likely only a small percentage of those people are actually working as lawyers, whereas the rest could be working retail for all we know. Isn't that disappointing? Mike is amazing, and I have no doubt that he will work his tail off finding a job to pay off the mounting student loans. Plus, going to law school does not mean you have to be a lawyer. Just having it on your resume can create many different opportunities.

We are kind of ahead of the game for our age. Mike will graduate law school at 26. Most returned missionaries our age are just starting law school. Mike is just good at school and wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. Five and a half years for his ENTIRE seven+ year college education. Yeah, he's awesome. But not the point {sorry, brag tangent}. As I heard of friends from high school/friends spouses from high school getting ready and leaving for law school this Fall, I almost wanted to scream out to them, "Are you sure?!" "Do you really want to get into this?" "Because its really not all roses and daisies, like they make it seem." And I'm not talking about the law school part {everyone knows that part sucks}. I'm talking about the looking-for-a-job-thats-not-there-and-even-when-you-find-it-you'll-make-less-than-half-what-you-were-led-to-believe-you-would-being-making-post-graduation part.

Depressing, right?

Well I should probably stop talking. Because, you know, we are just beginning this whole finding a job part. Who knows how hard it will really be. Who knows how much money we will actually be making. Who cares. Okay, I do.....a little if you can't tell. But Mike will "guard and protect my heart" {haha, oh Kasey, you kill me}. But really, Mike will find a job, or two {he said that, not me}. Because those loans come due, and they don't really care if you are working as an attorney or at Sonic {rollerblading is good exercise, and come on, it's just plain fun}.

Don't get us wrong, we are super grateful for this opportunity, and Mike really enjoys the things that he learns about. And there are a lot of good attorneys out there. Now we just need someone to get us a connection with one of them so they can hire Mike. Anyone? Bueller? No beating around the bush here people, we need a job.



I firmly believe that there is no better feeling than a Sunday morning. That moment when you realize you're awake, but you keep your eyes closed as if to persuade yourself there are a few hours left of slumber. Then your sweetheart rolls over and wraps his arms around you so tight, you suspect you could never be free, nor would you want to. No words are exchanged. Words only bring the day truly to life. Time seems to stand still, for there is no reason to immediately commence the day. These moments seem fictitious. As if still wrapped up in the previous nights dream. But they are real. And they are divine.



On this day, August 5, 2011, I found (and quickly removed) my first gray hair. 


Flip Side

I understand that I haven't blogged in a bit, but I have been busy. With what, you ask? Dinners and movies and shopping and cuddling and watching The Bachelorette and lots and lots of wonderful family time. Oh yeah, and I guess I am still working 40 hours a week. Our time in Utah is dwindling so we're trying to get it all in. I can't believe it's time to go back. Part of me feels like the Summer flew by too quickly, and another part of me is ready to go back. I am definitely not prepared to go back to 112 degree weather. I may melt like the wicked witch. Anyway, there probably won't be much blogging going on between now and when we get back to Oklahoma. See ya on the flip side. 



Mike's gone camping. BOO.

Spa day with the girls tomorrow. YAY! (Wish you were here, Alli and Ava!)


Not Much

I got nothing. Truly nothing to blog about. But I feel like I haven't blogged in ages. Um...work is fine. Excited for the day when I can just be a trophy wife and not work. Yay for me working though and keeping the student loans significantly lower than they would be had I not. I'll be really glad I did it, I'm sure.

Mike's internship is going well. It's just all about getting more experience, and they love him there, of course.

I can't even believe that we only have a year left. Everybody that we went to high school with is just starting law school this year and we're finishing. I know, slightly cocky of me, but I am just so proud of my man.

It is totally crazy to me that the summer is almost over! It's definitely bittersweet. Good to go back to Oklahoma to just get this last year over with, but always sad to leave home. I do miss my house, and my friends, so if I can just keep those things in mind, going back should be easy.

Super excited for Norman in the Fall though. I really do love it. Once the heat has subsided anyway. Living in a college town during football season is crazy. Especially when I'm pretty sure that OU wouldn't even exist if there was no football. We have season tickets again, which is awesome! The waiting list for season tickets is like 7 years long or something, but because we're students, it's easier to get them. So we really need to take advantage of it, since this is our last year. Plus we may actually have family coming and visiting us this Fall, making this Fall the best yet!

MmmK, so now we're all caught up!   



Greetings from Yellowstone. Actually we're back in Utah now, but we had an absolute blast playing in Yellowstone for the past 3 days. After a small rain storm on Friday evening, getting our tent and a sleeping bag quite wet, we were able to let loose and just have a perfect weekend away with each other. 

This is the contraption in which we developed to get our sleeping bag dry. And it worked. We managed to get the sleeping bag nearly dry by the time that we went to bed.
 Firehole River.
 Our tradition of buying ice cream while enjoying Old Faithful. 
 Yellowstone Lake.
 Lewis Falls.
 The Grand Tetons. (My most favorite mountains.)
The never ending hot pools. This one was particularly steamy.

I believe that Mike and I are getting particularly good at setting our camera timer and then running to pose for the picture. It makes taking pictures all the more adventurous. This is only a small fraction of the good times that we caught on camera. I think camping in Yellowstone should be a yearly tradition for us. 

Oh and we didn't see a single bear!



So much happiness going on!

I won tickets on the radio to Brad Paisley at the Stadium of Fire! Then my sister got jealous so I kept trying and then I won her some! All I can say is I should definitely do radio contests more often.

My dear friend had her sweet baby girl! I am so excited for her, even though it will be another month and a half until I actually get to meet her! Congrats dear!

It's a holiday weekend! Hip hip!

Mike's sister and her family are going to be sealed for eternity in the temple tomorrow! What a beautiful day it will be! We can't wait to share this special event with you!

My niece will be baptized on Saturday!

(I got a cute new dress to celebrate both occasions!)

We went to a parade a couple weeks ago. These are all our nieces and nephew and my side. Love them!

Mike got arrested by his brother (who is in the police academy). Bummer dude.....(so funny to watch though).

My niece is learning to write, and she is very into copying words. She has no idea what she is writing. She copied one of Mike's magazines. And then I love how she signed it. So precious.

We went hiking with Mike's folks! Hooray!



Another semester officially down. Mike finally got his grades.
(Okay, okay, a couple week's ago...I'm just getting around to blogging about it.)

Best semester yet!

And, once again, on the Dean's List.

My hubby is pretty superb.

P.S. And for all you folk that think that Mormon's just blog about how fabulous and perfect their lives are, my life is perfect. So HA! 

Totally kidding, obviously. Most of the time, I prefer to blog about the good things. Because nobody wants to hear all the whining and complaining. And the more I whine and complain, the worse the situation becomes, so if I blog about the bad, it makes the situation even worse. Therefore, most of my blogs will be good. My life is not perfect. But I would like to pretend that it is.

Going hiking tomorrow.....STOKED!!



Happy Father's Day to two wonderful fathers. We love you so much! Thank you so much for being the best two dads in the world. 

And a Happy Father's Day to my dear, sweet husband who is not yet a father, but will someday be the best father I could ever hope my children to have.
Love you hubby.



We went to the zoo with some of the clan! Happy, happy day!



This is how Charlie and I spent our afternoon.

Oh the beauty of working from home on a laptop.