Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mark comes to California

 Mark decided to come visit in California since I was going to be gone for 3 weeks. It was so nice to have him here and have him meet my family.
Since Mark was getting in really late Friday night, my Dad and brother offered to come with me to pick him up. My Dad spent a couple of days trying to figure out the best way to welcome Mark.
Pretty sure they nailed it!
Saturday we decided to walk around Petaluma so I could show off our cute little town. We met up
with Cami and her family Mi Pueblo for lunch, which of course was tasty!
Saturday night we had the Hoppes family party with my Aunt's family. We LOVE going to see them because they always do such a good job at planning, cooking, and entertaining!
Every year the men do a skit. Mark joined in on the fun and being the new guy he took a pie to the face. Lucky for me he likes me enough to do that and keep smiling! Such a good sport!
Sunday we went to church and then we headed into the city. Mark has never been to San Francisco so I was excited for us to go. It was a beautiful day! It was 60 degrees in the city and not a cloud in sight. I can't remember the last time I was hot in SF!
We had a blast being tourists and seeing the usual sights! Next time we will have to see a few more things deeper into the city!
Later that night Mark was given a Nothin' But Net t-shirt! That is a big deal in our family!
Jayden was excited to be matching Mark!
Monday meant relax and be lazy! We hung out in the morning with the family and then took Camden and Haddley to get ice cream. Camden and I always get dip top cones when I'm home so we thought we should take Mark there.
 Afterwards we hit the park and of course Mark was a huge hit there too!
 Tired after a busy weekend, but still smiling!
We had a blast enjoying California together!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas in Utah

Hands down my favorite part of Christmas time in Utah is Temple Square! It is beautiful every year! I have only been in town about 5 days and one of my requirements for the holiday season was a trip downtown. Thank goodness we were able to squeeze in a trip down there. 

Might be my favorite picture of the night!
 It doesn't get any better than this!
 We were freezing and it was crowded, but I loved every minute of it!

Dreams do come true...

 I have been talking about wanting to go see the dinosaurs in Vernal for a couple of years now. I just have never made the time to go up there. Mark and I have been talking about a Vernal trip since before our first date. We finally made the trip and it didn't disappoint! His aunt and cousins were kind enough to let us stay with them and we had a blast! 

We tried to stay as warm as possible because it was FREEZING!
 The Dinosaurs did not disappoint! I became a little bit of a nerd and loved every minute of it. They had real fossils! I can't wait to go back and visit the actual dinosaur tracks once it warms up. I think one of my favorite parts was the fluorescent fossil room! Very cool!
 Oh...and here is Mark!
Although I couldn't live in Vernal, it was a great place to visit.
 Next time it better be much warmer though!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Surprises

A couple months ago my Mom and I decided to surprise my family and have me come home for Thanksgiving! It was so hard to keep it a secret, but for sure worth it. 
Tuesday night I got in late and only got to surprise my Dad, Jordan, and Kyle. In the morning Kassidy and Jayden were surprised to see me at the house!
I headed over to Cami's to see them and REALLY surprised them!
Being an Auntie is the greatest!
 We had perfect weather, which meant lots of playing!
 Thanksgiving morning we got a call from Cami saying that they had the flu! Super bad news and made it a little complicated with our already complicated scheduling for Thanksgiving. Police, nurses, and Physical Therapists don't get the day off!
I had a great morning playing with Kassidy and Jayden!
 We decided to not let the berry pie my mom made go to waste...
Unfortunately about 2 hours after I ate this, I also came down with the flu!
I won't be eating berry pie for a long, long, long time!

Luckily by Friday evening I was feeling better and got in a few snuggles with Haddley!
 Saturday we finally had Thanksgiving!
Dad deep fried the turkey for us!
 We played a lot, ate, watched football, and just hung out.
 Sunday everyone came over for dinner and we had a great time!
Kassidy taught the kids how to make bracelets on her loom.
Jayden and I watched Planes.
Mom made turkey pot pie (my favorite)
Kyle tried to pull Camden's tooth out!
 Parker rarely likes me, therefore I never get cuddle time. He was tired and had milk so he lasted for about 20 minutes with me!
 Jayden being my little goofball!
My mom was nice enough to make curtains for my dining room and kitchen. 
Here Jayden is pushing the pedal while she sews.
 Camden is in 1st grade now and was needing a little motivation to not talk as much in class! Aunt Ashlee came to the rescue! He had 1 week of doing great so he earned a prize. Two weeks of being great and earned a prize. He then decided to try and get 34 perfect days in a row to earn a special lunch with me! He did it! I am so proud of him for working so hard at this and achieving his goal. I was able to check him out for lunch and take him to McDonald's. We had a great time together and I can't wait for him to meet his next goal!

It was a successful (minus the flu) Thanksgiving! I'm so grateful for my family and how close we all are! Such a blessing to have them in my life. I wish I lived closer, but I'm very glad that I'm able to come home and visit often. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Great Big World

A couple years ago I was introduced to an amazing artist named Ian Axel! He is a tall white guy with a huge fro! Who wouldn't love him? He plays the piano and is amazing. Well he is now in a band! The Great Big World is adorable. I seriously love them. They are making it big right now also! They recently had a song featured on So You Think You Can Dance, their song was performed on Glee, and they just barely sang with Christina on The Voice. I'm so excited for them because they really are such wonderful guys. Of course I was thrilled that they were coming back to Utah (they did a show in a basement last year) and that it was at Kilby Court. 

Kilby Court is one of my favorite venues. It is a garage, down a dark creepy alley! It's usually freezing inside during the winter, but you are standing right next to the performers.
 The WORST part about concerts are having to suffer through the bands before. Sometimes you luck out and they are good. Last night they were NOT. I was going a little crazy.
I had never heard them perform with a full band and it was incredible. I was very impressed with the guys that played with them. They were a great addition to Ian and Chad.
 Ian...the greatest
 Chad...so adorable! 
He played a song by himself about his heart getting broken and it was beautiful. I'm really glad he joined up with Ian a year ago.
 At one point the band came into the crowd and started singing. It was beautiful and so fun. I love it when bands are still small and humble and willing to be one with the crowd. Always makes for a great show!
Here is their song, Say Something, that was performed on The Voice!

This song and this video make me so happy!

If you don't know A Great Big World, look them up!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Alex and I were partners in crime today!

 I love this girl and so glad we decided to go super easy with our costumes! Always fun to have a twin on Halloween, especially when you dress up for school!

A quick look at my class...
We are having a good time today!

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just in case you need to smile....

My lovely friend Alex decided to cheer me up the other day by sending me this video in an email. I didn't respond quick enough so then she joined me in the viewing of it later and I'm so glad she did!

In case you are wondering...this stuff is real. You can buy it!

Never Grow Up

Never Grow Up 
Who really wants to grow up? No one! Well every once in awhile I get together with some of my favorite friends and have a Kid Dinner. Everyone should have a kid dinner! It basically consists of a LOT of food, which is usually very unhealthy. Everyone brings something that they loved as a kid and shares it while talking and hanging out with friends.

This is what our dinner looked like last night!
gummy bears, cheese whiz, apples, cookies, pies, chicken nuggets, pigs in a blanket, tater tots, juice boxes, cheese puffs, etc. This was probably our most impressive dinner yet! 
 I highly recommend going down memory lane and doing this with friends. You won't regret it....until you get on the scale that is!

Pumpkin Time

I Love October!
I love fall, pumpkins, leaves, cooler weather, the colors, etc.

I even made it to a pumpkin patch this year.
 We had a few friends over to carve pumpkins on Friday night. It was quite the adventure!
Drills, broken knives, hammers, good, warty pumpkin problems
 The final products!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Girls Weekend

Lucky for me two of my very best friends live here in Utah. We get to see each other on a regular basis, but if I'm being honest I would love to see them every day. We met our freshman year in college and still have remained super close. We decided that we needed a girls weekend. Luckily, Claudia has an amazing husband who watched Asher for us and we headed to Park City for 2 days! 

Our main plans were to shop, talk, and eat! We were successful!

We hit up the outlets, Main street, and Newpark.
 We fell in love with this tiny red house and the beautiful fall views.
 I was oh so tempted to rock these boots this winter. They were straight out of Dumb and Dumber!
Blast from the past... 
April 2005 - Moab

Hopefully we will get a chance to do this again soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Quick and Cheap

I have a small landing at the top of my stairs. We have a cute red couch there, but nothing on the walls. I couldn't figure out what exactly I wanted to do in that area, but quickly realized it needed something with color! After looking on Pinterest for ideas I found that I had pinned a lot of church quotes from conferences. As I clicked on them I realized they were FREE! Hello! Who doesn't love a free printable! I printed of a bunch and then figured out which ones went best together. I headed to Walmart with my gift card and picked out some black frames. I thought they were on sale, they weren't... they are $7.99 each (which I realize is very cheap). Since I needed 6 frames though it was going to get a little pricey. I decided why not check the Dollar Tree! SCORE! 6 frames for $6! Done!

I'm really happy with how they turned out, especially since it only cost me $6 to do the whole thing! I also love that I can easily switch them out with anything throughout the years!

My advice if you are looking for something quick and cheap....check the dollar store first!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I have so many thoughts running through my head right now. I've had a lot on my plate for awhile now and things haven't always been super great, but I'm learning a lot about myself. I saw this quote on Pinterest today and it pretty much sums up my most recent thought...

love & belonging (love this lady) 
I'm very far from perfect, but I'm trying...
I struggle everyday with so many things...
I deserve good things, we all do!

Life really is challenging sometimes and I don't always understand why we must go through the things that we do, but I'm working on being okay with it more and more and having faith in the Lord's timing. He loves me, He knows me, He will bless me.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vacation = Slave Labor

My parents love me! I've always known that, but they proved it this weekend! They flew to Utah on Thursday and stayed until this morning. I worked them the WHOLE weekend. I had done a ton of projects on my own, but needed some help with a few bigger projects and then installing, hanging, measuring, etc. 

I put together my tv stand one morning. I thought oh it will probably be hard, but not too hard. Then I opened the box and there were 24 wood pieces and at least 100 pieces of hardware. It was a little crazy. The instructions were amazing though so although it took 4 hours, it was actually very easy to do. Just time consuming, but I love it!
 My dad is awesome and measures EVERYTHING! Day one was hanging a lot of things up for me. Everything is centered and level now! My mom got started on some pillows and bathroom curtains for me. She made two floor pillows in California, 1 floor pillow, 4 couch pillows, and two valences. She has 3 more valences to make in California. (Oh and she made 5 pillows for Amanda last night too!)

 I made this Home Sweet Home sign and the coat rack to go above my shoe bench by the garage.
 My mom's handy work! I showed her a picture on pinterest, we went and bough fabric, and an hour later I had a curtain!
 I had seen this idea on Pinterest to hang old recipe cards. I asked my mom if I could have some of my Grandma Mutin's old recipe cards. Some of my favorite memories with her were sitting on the stool watching her cook or helping her make yummy things. I think these make a perfect addition to my kitchen!
 These are the couch pillows my mom made!
 This is back by my garage. Caldendar, mail, notes, etc. will all go here!
 The WALL! 
I have a large wall in my dining room that I really wanted to make a focal point. I had lots of ideas and have been thinking about this for months. I finally decided on wainscoting. Lucky for me my dad said he was pretty sure he could do it. 

We started with a plan, which included lots of measuring. We bought the wood and it all fit in my car! Dad did more measuring, hammering, measuring, cutting the wood, leveling, measuring, filling holes, etc. It was a long process, but he was a champ. Once he was done I was able to go back over it all and paint it a light aqua. It turned out exactly how I wanted it. I hope soon I can find a buffet to put in front of it and add some decorations.

It was a busy, but awesome weekend! It was so nice to get to see them and to have so much help!
Greatest Parents on earth!!!