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!