Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

I never decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I like to enjoy all holidays to the fullest. You better believe that the day after Thanksgiving Mark and I were talking about Christmas though.

We were very excited to get a tree put up in our living room. Saturday we went out hunting for our tree. The first place we went to there was a caribou that was seriously adorable! I think I could someday own one of those and be perfectly content. 

We had no luck with a tree there, but kept running Christmas errands and looking while we were out.  We did come across another tree lot and found our perfect tree. Mark can take the credit for officially deciding, but we both agreed that it was a great fit for our house.  

While Mark worked on the lights I started decorating the house.  I love getting out all of my cute Christmas decorations and rearranging them to look different each year. I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out.
Since I have SO many decorations I decided to surprise Mark and decorate our bedroom also.  It has been fun to lay in bed at night and talk with the little Christmas tree all lit up.
 After a couple of trips to the store to return lights.... (UGH!) we finally got our tree decorated! I really enjoy wrapping presents and I had been wrapping for weeks so finally all of those were able to go under the tree as well. No, they are not all for us! We have 11 nieces and nephews, parents, and siblings we bought for! 
We are ready to celebrate!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I'm loving our year of FIRSTS! 
It's so fun to look forward to the holidays and creating our own traditions.  This year we stayed in Utah for Thanksgiving. Since my family all had made plans already we had my parents fly out and stay with us for a few days.  I always love having them around and it was fun to get to spend some time with them.

On Thanksgiving we went to the Urry's house. Mark's parents hosted siblings, grandparents, aunts, and cousins. We had a great time and everyone was kind to my parents as well. Who doesn't love Thanksgiving?? The food alone is reason to love the holiday.

On Wednesday night we decided to head downtown. We walked around City Creek and then headed over to the temple. It wasn't lit yet, but it was beautiful as always. 

Since my mom was coming I decided to wait and get her expertise on a few Christmas sewing projects. I'm getting better, but sometimes I have a hard time figuring out directions simply because I don't have the experience. Plus I always want everything to look perfect. 
I grew up with homemade stockings and so did Mark. Now that I have started sewing, I knew that I really wanted to make our stockings. I found super cute material and was able to make these (with the help of my mom).
Mark's is with stripes and mine has mini Christmas trees. I still think I might put our initials on them, but for now I really love them.

I made a Christmas table runner a few weeks back with some awesome fabric I had found. I had a bunch of extra material because of course I calculated wrong. Lucky for me though, I had just enough to make two pillow slip covers!!! I love them and they add just the right touch to our couch.

My mom and I also did a little bit of shopping, but really nothing too crazy. Mark and I my Dad went and hit a bucket of balls and had guy time while we sewed. 

It was a wonderful holiday week. I loved being able to spend time with some of my most favorite people! Very grateful for all that I have in my life.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


It's funny how as we get older we can't remember birthdays, holidays, appointments, etc. but we do remember the little things that make us happy. A year ago today, Mark showed up on my porch. He charmed me via text and I was excited to meet this guy. I was surprised that with just 3 days of texting I already felt so comfortable with him. We had dinner and at dinner he was brave enough to tell me I was pretty. I remember thinking, "WOW!" Did he really just say that? Guys aren't that brave right? It really impressed me. We talked, ate, watched baseball, and went to a movie. I immediately knew I wanted a second date. Thank goodness he did too! 

I'm a sap. I love the sentimental stuff. That date was huge for me. It was the start of a wonderful year with my very best friend. I didn't know at the time that he would become my husband, but it was soon after that I realized how happy that would make me. I'm grateful every day that the Lord put him in my life at the right time. We were both in a good place and ready to be together.

Pretty sure we make a good match!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I have been blessed with AMAZING friends. Amazing probably isn't even the best word to use. I have friends from birth, Jr. High, high school, college, my time in Provo, work, etc. I am one lucky lady. The best part about all of these amazing friends is their families. This includes parents, siblings, and kids. I am Aunt Ashlee to many children and I love it. 
All of this brings me to one special family that I couldn't love any more even if I tried... The Scotts. They are incredible. I met Matt and Megan and Matt in Provo. We were all in the same ward. I was Megan's visiting teacher and I played volleyball sometimes with Matt. They fell in love and got married. They have two little boys who I adore. Liam and Nate are the greatest. Liam is polite and silly all at the same time. He will talk your ear off and call you Miss Ashlee. He is my buddy. Nate is the miracle baby. We didn't know if he was going to make it here, but we all hoped and prayed he would. Now I know why. That boy can giggle and smile like no other little guy. He is a joy to be around. 

Since it was a miracle that Nate made it to the Scott family, they decided that birthday #1 should be a big one! Megan did a great job with doing a circus theme and including yummy treats and games. I was so glad Mark and I were able to stop by for a little bit to celebrate. Megan sent me these pictures and I couldn't help, but smile at how happy this kid makes me.

We love you Nate and the whole Scott Family!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Family That Runs Together, Stays Together

I'm NOT a runner. Never have been, never will be. My sister in law, Nicole, talked the whole family into running a 5k last weekend. Mark and I originally said no way, but changed our mind when we realized the weather was nice and we needed to exercise more. 

We started with 1 mile, added a few more laps around the track. Then we hit 2 miles. We were doing well, so we kept going. Soon we were up to 3, 4, and even 5 miles. It felt good to hit our goals, but I still don't love running.

I even got new running shoes for my birthday!

Well, the day came.... 5k time! We were ready!
Did I mention we dressed up? Oh yea...this happened!

Mark kept saying our goal should be 35 minutes. I told him if I did it under 45 minutes I would be happy. I knew I would based on our times from practicing, but I really wanted to make sure I hit my goal. Mark helped me keep my pace, and even kept me running up an extremely steep hill. My knees were hurting from running down the hill and now my whole body hurt from running up the hill, but I kept running!  We crossed the finish line and I was just so happy to finish that I didn't even look at our time. Mark was so excited to tell me we did it in 34 minutes!!!! He was so proud of me for doing it. I married a good man. 

Afterwards they had food and games for everyone. 
It was so fun to do this as a family. I hope we make it a new tradition!

Since the whole family was together already, we thought we should do a small Halloween party at Nicole's house. We had food, games, crafts, and lots of kids running around. 
I really do love this new family of mine!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Road Trips

Now that Mark and I have made two road trips together to California I can tell you that we have figured out to enjoy a large portion of them... COMEDY! Mark has a few stand ups downloaded and it makes such a difference to just laugh for a couple of hours. Sometimes I turn them on while Mark naps because it really keeps me awake. We have also listened to these same stand ups multiple times and still laugh at them. 

If you need a few recommendations....

I hope you laugh and seriously try this on your next road trip!

We LOVE to laugh!

Mark and I have a similar sense of humor. We spend our nights laughing at Jimmy Fallon, Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, and random YouTube videos. I'm so grateful for this because it helps to just relax at the end of the day and giggle. 

Jim Gaffigan is my favorite. I've wanted to see him for years now, but he never came into town. I saw a couple of friends post about him coming to Salt Lake and started looking it up. We decided to make it a double date with Scott and Kasana and all get tickets. I told Mark we could count it as my birthday present, but of course he had already been planning what to get me. 

We had dinner and enjoyed being kid free (them) and laughing. Afterwards we went to the show. JIM DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I laughed for an hour straight. I could listen to him all the time. It happened to be General Conference that weekend also and of course he had to throw in some Mormon jokes and this big General meeting happening down the street. I can't wait for his tour to end so I can listen to it all over again. 

We will be seeing you again Jim!

Turning 31

This birthday was very different from all the others. There was something about knowing I had Mark to celebrate with that made it all so much better. I'm not really a birthday person and I often try to avoid them, but Mark was so good to me. Of course he spent the day/week making me feel very special. 

Mark LOVES giving and receiving presents. He had been working on my present for about 3 months! He would get packages in the mail, make phone calls, write emails, come home late, all working on my present. He hid stuff around the house too. 
I opened up these beautiful earrings before work and couldn't be more in love with them!

I was nervous to tell my students it was my birthday. They are a little crazy this year and I was worried the added distraction would not help us. At the end of the day my room mom came in with a cake and they sang and then they went home! PERFECT!

Mark and I spent the evening together just having a fun date night. We went to Red Robin and had plans of going to Leatherby's, but we were too full. We went to Target and did this mini scavenger hunt while we tried to wait for our stomachs to be ready for ice cream. It didn't work! 

We had a full Saturday planned so we figured we would just pick up where we left off the next day!
We did make it to Leatherby's. We were stuffed, but it tasted so good!
 I love the pumpkin patch and Mark agreed that it was a perfect day to go. We had a blast picking out pumpkins, and of course came home with 5!

In case this wasn't enough celebrating, later that night the Urry family got together to celebrate Heather and I for our birthdays. We enjoyed food, chatting, a campfire, and more presents! 
We had a blast!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I'm a little bit of a sentimental sap. I love family stories, objects, keepsakes, etc. There is something about having things passed down from people that I just love, especially if it is something that I have loved since I was a kid.

I'm extremely lucky to have a generous Mom. I've loved her china that she got when she got married for a really long time. I always told her that some day I would love her china. My mom decided that since I was getting married and she still had her Mom's china, that she would give me hers. 

This picture clearly doesn't do it justice, but it is beautiful. This piece is actually one from my brother and his family that they gave to add to my new collection.

 I have this cabinet next to my recipe wall. The recipes are my Grandma Mutin's recipes. They are the actual cards she used, cover in all sorts of cooking supplies.
 While I was home in California my sister told me she had a bunch of crystal that Grandma Mutin had bought for us. She had gotten it to match the crystal that was once hers and now my mom's. She wanted Cami and I both to have enough pieces for a set. Thank you Grandma!
 My sweet Grandma Hoppes gave me this crystal vase and another vase that were given to her by my Great Grandma Hubbard and my Grandpa Hoppes. Mark brought me home beautiful "just because" flowers and I couldn't resist putting them in this beautiful vase.
I love having pieces in my house that are from my childhood, grandparents, parents, etc. 

Now I just want to throw a fancy party and use it all!


I love applesauce! I especially love it on pork chops. My mother knows this and now my husband laughs at me as i dip every bite into applesauce. I grew up eating homemade applesauce. My mom and my grandma both made it and I always loved opening the cabinets and having it in there. I have made crockpot applesauce with my students before for Johnny Appleseed Day, but never at home to can. After reading up on it and talking to my mom I decided I wanted to try and make a small batch. I didn't follow a recipe, I just did everything to taste. 
I literally cored the apples, added some water, threw in some cinnamon and mashed it all together! 
I think it turned out great! Next season I'll be more on top of things and pick my own apples and do a ton more jars, but this was a great first trial run.

Bridal Shower Quilt

A long time ago on Pinterest I saw a guest sign in book that was a quilt. I mentioned something to my mom about how she could totally make me one of these someday. Well, for my wedding I decided to just do the traditional wedding sign in book. I did, however, decide to have my friends and family bring me a square of fabric to my bridal showers. I loved seeing all the different material and imagining this turning into a crazy quilt. I've always wanted to learn how to sew, and my mom has taught me as she helped me with projects throughout the years, but this would be my first solo sewing project! 

I set up show in the living room and dining room. Mark is very patient with my sewing adventures! I decided to just do it step by step. Well that meant turning on the machine, treading the bobbin, and threading the machine. It took awhile.... and Mark's help...and calling my mom about 10 times, but I did it! I started by sewing the squares together, but then realized I wanted the quilt a little bigger so I added a few of my own squares and some trim around the sides. The front seemed to go very well, but the back was a struggle. I just did flannel, but I made some mistakes. If you stand far enough back you can't tell, but every time I see the quilt I think, YIKES. 


I sewed a quilt, all by myself! Now I'm hooked! I already have more ideas and projects that I'm dying to do. Quilts, stockings, tree skirt. If you follow me on Pinterest, I apologize because you will be seeing more sewing pins from me!

I love looking at each square and thinking of the person that gave it to me. It's bright, random, and comfy. Babies love it too! I think I might have to make another one for a baby shower quilt someday!

California Surprise Visit

I married a wonderful man! Sometimes I really miss home and my fun family. Mark loves them too and was willing to take a couple days off and make the trip to California with me. We decided to surprise everyone, except my mom. We got in late Wednesday night just in time for my dad's birthday on Thursday. We had a great visit filled with family, food, and a little bit of adventure.

 I hadn't been to Armstrong Grove in a really long time. I'm so glad we were able to spend the afternoon walking around being amazed by these trees.

 The drive home wasn't bad either!

 The drive back always seems to take forever. The weather was all over the place, but it made for some fun.

I'm so lucky to have the best travel buddy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Day at the Races

Mark LOVES cars! 
We talk about cars, look at pictures of cars, go to car shows, etc. I know nothing about cars, but I do know that they are pretty and go fast. Since I've been with Mark I've learned a lot more about cars. I can even identify the pretty ones by name now and tell Mark when I see them as I'm driving. This is a major step for me. Mark really wanted to go to this race on Saturday because it would have more of high end cars that he loves. I gladly went with him because I love our adventure Saturdays together. We had a blast looking at the different cars, watching the them go fast and even seeing one car make an amazing comeback. All in all it was a wonderful day together. 

 The day of course had to be finished with a giant ice cream sundae from Leatherby's!
We don't always get to have an adventure Saturday, but we are trying to enjoy these days off together as much as possible. We realize that eventually it won't be just the two of us, so we better do all of these things while we can.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy September!

I can hardly believe it is September already, but so happy that Fall is here! I love this time of year and I can't wait to do some of my favorite activities. Lucky for me, I have a husband who is willing to go on mini adventures with me. He spoiled me and we took the corvette for a ride around the Alpine Loop. It is such a pretty drive and with the top down we had a great time. Some of the leaves were already changing and I loved seeing the pops of yellow and orange along the roads and on the mountain.  We stopped at Cascade Springs too and walked around enjoying the views. It was a great way to spend September 1st!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Charly and Clay

Charly & Clay got married!!! 
We were so excited that we could spend the weekend celebrating with them. 
Friday morning sealing in Salt Lake

Saturday we headed to Vernal to continue the celebrating! Mark and I stopped at a little lake for a picnic lunch. The reception was in Liz's backyard and it was amazing. I love spending time with the Urry family! Cousins, aunts, uncles, friends were all there to celebrate.
 Sometimes we are a little silly...

Before we headed home we decided to do some exploring!
Cousin time is the best
 We took the 3 Kings Trail and it was wonderful. It's a quick hike, but the view was awesome!

Vernal is always a good time and we can't wait to spend more time with some of our favorite cousins!

California Vacation

We couldn't leave out all of our California family and friends so we decided to party with them as well! Luckily, Mark and I were able to take Friday off from work and drive to California. 

Friday we went to the A's Game with Cami, Camden, and Mark's parents. We enjoyed the game and the fireworks afterwards. It was a blast to spend some time with them!

Saturday was Kassidy's birthday so we all had a yummy breakfast and had some time to goof off.
The Birthday Princess!
 After jumping, playing, hiding, etc., Mark ended up under the pillows and Jayden ended up on top watching TV.

 Our friends the Dame's were kind enough to let us use their backyard. It really is a beautiful space and the perfect size for our family and friends. 
Tori works hard on the flowers again, my mom made another cake, and we had Mexican food!

 Our California Kids!

We had an amazing trip. We wish we could have stayed longer, but it was so good to see friends and family. 
We are so loved!