Monday, December 27, 2010


1. Did you have a new year's resolution in 2010?  I am sure I did but as the phrase goes... a goal not written down is merely a wish.
2. Who kissed you at midnight?  My darling husband kissed me before we fell asleep... we didn't actually stay up till midnight.
3. How did you celebrate the beginning of 2010?  We moved into a new apartment and I started my last semester of classes at BYU.  It was eventful!!

1. Who was your valentine in 2010?  My handsome husband!  I am a super lucky girl! :D
2. What did your valentine get you?  He bought me a rose that was chemically treated and will last for many years.  It is so pretty to look at every day!
3. How did you celebrate Valentine's Day in 2010?  We went to our Stake Dance, made a romantic dinner of lasagna, and the next week, we went to a BYU Married Ball.

1. What happened that was different this month in 2010?  I joined Phi Kappa Phi and also received a huge private scholarship.  Both of these had lovely banquet dinners.
2. Did you wear green on St. Patty's Day this year?  Absolutely!  Holidays are worth celebrating!
3. What did you do for St. Patty's Day in 2010?  I went to school and had on lots of different green clothing items.  That evening I made corned beef, potatoes and cabbage.  I also made an Irish Soda Bread.  I found the recipes online and I think they turned out pretty well!

1. What life changing events happened during April 2010?  I took my last finals--ever!  Casey left me love notes in the testing center for me to find when I finished.  He is so thoughtful and cute!
2. Did you play an April fool's joke on anyone in 2010?  I don't think so... Casey knows me to well to know that anything I told him would be false.
3. What was your favorite part about Easter this year?  I really liked being home with my sweetheart in the morning.  He made me an Easter Egg hunt and I loved watching General Conference.

1. How did you celebrate Mother's Day 2010?  We went to church with both of our Mothers and then ate lunch with Casey's family and dinner with my family.
2. What was the most memorable part of Memorial Day this year?  We went camping for the first time together.  It was unbelievably cold but still our first campout!
3. What exciting things happened during this month in 2010?  We celebrated our 6 month anniversary.  Casey planned a surprise date and it was so sweet.  We went to the Salt Lake Temple, ate dinner at The Garden and looked at the temple the whole time (or each other's eyes...), and then watched the BYU Young Ambassadors perform in the Conference Center Theater.

1. What vacations did you go on in 2010?  Casey was going to school during the summer so it made going on vacations a bit interesting.  We went to the Manti Temple (and it is GORGEOUS!) and then watched the Manti Pageant.  It was Casey's first time every seeing it.
2. How did you celebrate Father's Day 2010?  We had a BBQ at my parents house.
3. If you could, would you change anything that happened during this month?  Nope... the past is what makes the future better.

1. What did you do on the 4th of July in 2010?  Since the 4th was a Sunday, we pretty much celebrated all weekend!  On Saturday, we went to a free breakfast at Macey's and then walked around Freedom Days.  In the evening, I worked as Gate Security at the Stadium of Fire.  I was lucky and was asked to go inside to a portal and was able to watch the whole show.  Sunday we went up to my parent's house and had Tortilla Pie (not really "American" food--we know... but it is a family favorite!), we took family pictures in matching flag shirts and went and visited my dad's mom.  Monday, we went to the parade (our chairs and blanket were on the road... never thought I would lay down in a street!) and then walked around Colonial Days.  It was a busy but super fun weekend!
2. How did you celebrate Pioneer Day 2010?  We ate monkey bread while watching the parade TV.  Then we went to my aunt's house for a family reunion of sorts.  To end the night, we went and watched fireworks at the same place we watched them the year before.
3. What did you learn this month that changed your life?  I heard some great advice from my institute teacher.  It meant a lot to me and will hopefully stay with me forever.  (Don't worry, I wrote it down--unlike my new year's resolutions! LoL!)

1. Did you do anything special to end your 2010 summer?  Casey and I were able to attend Education Week together.  I was sad to see summer end but grateful  have it close on such a spiritual high!
2. How was starting the new school year?  I could hardly believe that I was going to be teaching.  I wasn't really that scared because I have had a lot of experience with substituting but still slightly stressed because I had heard rumors of how much work it would be.  And writing your own lesson plans is by far different then just teaching someone else's.  All in all though, I have definitely enjoyed it!
3. Are there any special memories this month?  I graduated!!! :D  Ok... well technically, I just walked at graduation.  I will officially graduate in December upon completion of student teaching but still so super exciting! 

1. What school did you attend in 2010?  I taught at Lakeridge Jr. High.  Casey was at UVU.  It was nice that we were so close together.  He brought me my forgotten phone or lunch a few times.
2. How did you celebrate the welcoming of fall?  We went and had a campfire up a canyon.  We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and enjoyed the warmth from the fire and the brightness from the Harvest moon.
3. What was the busiest part of this month?  Writing lesson plans.  Wow!  That sure is time consuming!!!

1. How did you celebrate Halloween 2010?  On Saturday (the celebrated Halloween) we went to the temple and then shared a shake at Iceberg!  On Sunday (actual Halloween) we had a family party to celebrate Casey's birthday.  It was really nice having everyone together--well almost everyone--from both sides of our immediate family.  I made a pumpkin cake and decorated it with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.
2. How did you celebrate your birthday in 2010?  Casey brought me a dozen of my favorite roses to school.  It was SO cute and mean so much to me!!  After school, we watched "Letters to Juliet" and then went to a fiesta.  It was a wonderful first married birthday!
3. What did you do for General Conference?  We spent the weekend with Casey's mom.  It was rather interesting sharing a water bed.  In between sessions, we were helping to set up and decorate for my brother's wedding reception.  Then on Sunday, I was able to meet most of Casey's aunts and uncles and we all watched the morning session together.

1. Where did you celebrate Thanksgiving in 2010?  We helped make Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparent's house.  Casey carved the turkey and did a beautiful job and I made the gravy because everyone else was terrified of it.  We at super fast and then went to Casey's mom's house for a second dinner.  There was so much yummy food and people we love.
2. What are you thankful for this month?  I am personally thankful for my sweetheart.  I love knowing that he will be by my side for eternity.  Life would be so lonely without him--I wouldn't have anyone to tell all of my secrets to!  I am also thankful for our cute apartment, a functioning furnace, modern medicine, my testimony, a living prophet, my education (and soon to be bachelor degree), smiling, cuddling, love notes, holding hands, my journal... ok this list is going to go on for forever...
3. How did you celebrate your first anniversary?  We went to a Marriott motel up by the Salt Lake airport.  We just loved being able to spend time together.  We enjoyed dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, walking around (and dreaming) William Sonoma, sealings in the Salt Lake temple (I got teary eyed), looked at Elder Scott's watercolor paintings, wandered around Gateway, went on a carriage ride... it was perfect because I was with the one I love the most!

1. What was your favorite thing that happened in this month in 2010?  I GRADUATED!!!  I'm 100% done with being a student!  It was SO nice to finish student teaching!!!  (Honestly, this semester went by so fast it is like I forgot to blink.)
2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition (either new or old)?  I have lots of favorite traditions.  I guess I will talk about a couple of new traditions this year.  I love both!  One is our advent calendar which uses nativity pieces and has scriptures/ activities on the back of each that focus on the Spirit of Christ.  I look forward to reading/ doing this with our children for countless years to come.  The other is our "reindeer notes."  I love the kindness and thoughtfulness the actions of writing notes has brought to both of us.  I hope to do this every year too!
3. How did you celebrate Christmas 2010?  We were blessed to be able to celebrate with all of our families.  Christmas Eve we partied with my dad's family.  We then spent the night with my parents and woke up to open presents with them!  We then headed off to be with Casey's family to share Christmas breakfast.  The next stop was lunch with my mom's family.  By the time we came home, we were tired but greatly enjoyed ourselves.  We spent the evening together reading all of our "Reindeer Notes."  This is seriously my *favorite* thing ever!  My favorite part of all of the celebrating = being with Casey all day!  :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

To Our Doorbell Ditchers

We will never know who our Christmas Angel is... 
but we are deeply filled with gratitude!!

for your 
sweet doorbell ditched gift!!

(P.S. This song is dedicated to you, doorbell ditcher... and we will just hope that you see it!  There truly are "angels among us"--thanks for being ours!)

Tabernacle Teaches Thinking

I learned a great lesson from the news that the Provo Tabernacle burned yesterday (December 17, 2010) morning...  Allow me to share my insight.

For the past block (1/2 of semester) I drove by the Provo Tabernacle EVERY day while driving to student teaching--twice a day.  It seemed like it would always be there.  It is a beautiful building but many a times on my early morning drive I was so tired, the building was often overlooked.  I thought it would never change... it wasn't something to pay attention to but rather just something to look beyond.

As I learned about the terrible news of it burning (thanks to a former BYU teacher on facebook), I couldn't believe it.  How could this amazing building be gone?  I really thought it would be something that would be there forever... not something that would be there one day and gone the next.

As we turned on the news, I was really struck with not taking things for granted.  Last springtime, our stake had stake conference in there.  I think I have been in the building before but this time is really the only time I remember.  Casey and I took the opportunity to wander around the WHOLE building and read EVERY caption below EVERY picture.  (Unfortunately, I don't think we have any pictures...)  We arrived very early for conference and decided to enjoy the deep heritage of the building.  There were fascinating stories to be told.  The pictures portrayed the legacy.  The craftsmanship was detailed.  The benches were hard.  The organ was impressive.  The windows were stunning.  The structure was castle-like.  The spirit present was touching.  I truly am grateful for these beautiful memories that I will cherish and look back on with fondness.

But as I was pondering about not taking things for granted... if I would have known that Thursday was the last night, I would have taken more time to walk around and enjoy the moment.  I would have taken pictures to last a lifetime.  I would have looked at the building instead of looking past as I rush on with life.  It was a simple reminder to live each day to the fullest, spend a little more time with the ones you love, capture the beauty of the moment, make memories happen....

Thankfully the building is not something I will have eternal relationships with but the lessons it taught me will be applied to those whom I deeply love and treasure as family and friends.

(Photos courtesy of my dear friend, "Pepper" and her hubby--and their blog.  They were taken on Dec 12, 2010.  I used hers because we don't have any pictures...)
P.S. Warning for my mom... Pepper's blog has pictures of the burning building too... I personally don't suggest you (Mom or anyone that has nightmares of burning buildings) click on it.  But everyone else, PLEASE do!  She is the reason I have a nickname of "Salt."

"And in the end, it is not the years in your life that count.  It is the life in your years."  --Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Graduation Celebration

Yesterday morning, I worked hard to finish scanning in a few worksheets/ handouts.  I had to have an electronic copy of everything I used while student teaching so I could burn it all to a CD.  Once that was done, relief was written all over my face and my smile began to glow.  I was so excited to wear my brand new t-shirt.  It said "BYU Alumni 2010--Go forth to Serve".  I have been waiting to wear this!  I was so excited to take it out of the package! :D 

Casey and I went to campus together and shared a picnic.  This was such a wonderful "last day" experience!  He made tuna fish sandwiches--he really is amazing!  Then the celebrating began.  We went to the bookstore and bought the new ornament for our tree this year in celebration of my graduation.  It is a beautiful (really the color is very pretty!) blue ball with the BYU logo and cougar stamped on it.  That was not exactly what I wanted (I dreamed of a graduation cap ornament with BYU and the year on it--but that obviously does not exist) but will fulfill its purpose in the years to come.

Casey headed off to the library and I went to the final Seminar.  I turned in everything and that was a *WONDERFUL* feeling.  I am seriously done! :)  It is kind of funny how many acronyms the education department has.  I still don't even know what most of them stand for but we uploaded all of the information online.  Several of the forms to complete were like long "facebook" surveys.  Well, finally everything was done and my Teacher Work Sample handed in.  It is still hard to believe that everything is done.

Fortunately, seminar went quickly (they did it on purpose for me!).  Casey came to pick me up and we drove north.  We met my parents at Wendy's.  Sidenote--I just have to say their grilled chicken wraps are DELICIOUS!!!  Anyway, Wendy's was not the destination--just a pit stop to fill our hungry tummies.  

We went and watched "The Forgotten Carols."  I love that play/ musical!  This was the perfect graduation celebration for me!  On my left, I was sitting by my number one best friend (Casey) and on my right my second best friend (my mom).  My dad, sister-in-law and brother were there too.  My whole family-minus my little sister because she is up in Logan finishing up her finals.  It was Casey's first time seeing it.  I love watching him laugh so much.  He cracks up over the silliest little jokes and it is so cute!  That play is so touching.  I definitely recommend it to everyone!  And the music is amazing!  I own the sheet music and CD and I think it is time to bring them out of storage! :)  While we were there, some people saw my shirt and congratulated me for it.  I love being Alumni!!!  I have worked so hard for this and now it is really here!
See my totally *awesome* shirt! :)