For the past eleven years my high school friends have gotten together to celebrate Christmas! This year we went out to dinner at Corbins and then went to Britney's house to eat cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (which cost $91)! Like it always is when we get together, it was such a fun night! We caught up and told old stories from high school! We were missing Niki because she stays at her house in California since it's too hard to transport three kids and presents to Utah. We wished she was there, but hopefully we will get to see her again soon! This night was also significant because Bonnie and Adam are moving to Florida in a week, so it was the last time I'll get to see her for a while. They will be there for a year, and with school and lack of money, I don't know if I'll get a chance to go visit her (though she says they're planning on visiting Utah. I will miss her so much! I hate having my friends live far away, but it will be so great for her and Adam! We had a fun night talking, eating, and opening presents, and I really love my friends so much! I'm so thankful to have them in my life, they are the best friends I could ask for!
This past Sunday was the annual Christmas party at Oakridge Country Club! My family has gone every year since I can remember, and it is something I always look forward to! We eat great food and my grandma always buys the younger kids a Christmas book and toy and the older ones cologne and perfume. She is such a generous woman, who just wants to be with her family and we all love her very much! Santa was there, so we took Ethan and Aiden to see him (and as you can see, Collin wanted to come along as well). A week before we had taken Ethan to see Santa at the mall and he had been terrified, but he liked the Oakridge Santa. He sat with him, and told him thank you when he got candy from him. Ever since when we say anything about Santa to him he says "ho ho ho, Santa candy." So he at least seems to understand that Santa gives him candy! Next Tuesday night, we're headed off for a ten day cruise with PJ's family, so I was especially glad to be able to spend a day doing holiday things with my family. Though I am very excited for the cruise, I am also a little sad to be gone over Christmas, so I have to make sure to do lots of fun, traditional things with Ethan and PJ before we go!
Right now I am taking a break from making rolls for today's Thanksgiving dinner and I wanted to write and just say how Thankful I am for everything in my life! With the stress of school and life in general I sometimes don't appreciate everything the way I should. There are some days when I feel completely overwhelmed with homework, but then I think how lucky I am to have an opportunity to further my education, where so many people in the world don't. And I have a wonderfully supportive family that does their best to support me through it! I am so thankful for the people I have in my life! I have the best family and friends in the world! If there is something I need there are always people there to help me! They are also great examples to me of kindness, charity, unselfishness, and just friendship in generally. I learn so much from my friends and family and I don't know where I'd be without them! Going slong with that, I am especially grateful for my little family! I love everything about both PJ and Ethan, and I love so much that I get to be in their lives! I'm so grateful for a kind, generous, supportive, righteous, fun husband, who takes care of me! And I don't think words could express how I feel about my little Ethan! He has been the joy of my life! If I'm ever sad, he hugs me and says "love you." He is just the funniest, sweetest, brightest kid I could ever imagine! On top of all of this, I'm blessed to be a member of the one true church, that allows me to live forever with my family! I'm so grateful for the guidance of President Monson and other leaders, for temples, and for repentance! Whenever I have followed the spirit, I have never felt lost or unsure, and it's a wonderful comfort to know it is always there if I need it! I could keep going listing all of my many blessings (my house, our car, and other worldy things), but I will end here! Thank you to everybody who has been a friend to me and my family! I'm lucky to have all of you in my life!
My PJ finally turned 25 last Saturday! It's a big birthday and I wanted to do something special for it, so I planned a surprise trip to Park City, with a surprise party! It took a ton of planning to get everything figured out, so PJ wouldn't find out. Luckily, I had a lot of help from my sister and his friends. Friday night, we went and saw the new James Bond. PJ really wanted to see that, snd knew about that part. What he didn't know was that we were going up to Park City together right after the movie, and we were leaving Ethan with my parents for the night (for anyone who really knows me, you know how hard that was for me, I've neer spent a night away from him before)! PJ was shocked because he did not think I'd ever leave him! On the way up though, we hit a little snag, actually it was a coyote! We were driving in the canyon, on the lane right next to the median, and a coyote jumped over the median and pretty much right into our car! Luckily we were safe. The coyote died, and we called the cops to come record the damage on our car for our insurance (it ended up being around $2,000)! After that adventure, we finally got up to Park City and I did okay with Ethan not being there. My mom saud he asked, "Moomy back?" and when she said I was coming back, he was fine sleeping there. I felt much better knowing he handled it so well! The next day we hung out until Sarahm Gary, and Aiden brought Ethan up. Then we all went to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays! Whike we were there, PJ friends came to the condo and help set up everything for the party I had hidden in the guest room! We came back and everyone suprised PJ! It was fun, and I know PJ was not expecting it! Joel brought up Rock Band and Scene It, so we spent a lot of the night playing those. It was really fun and I was so grateful to everyone for driving up there, helping set things up, and bringing stuff of their own! We left Park City the next day in time to drive to PJ's other birthday party that was thrown by my parents (though he knew about that one), so PJ got to have a birthday weekend extravaganza! It really was a fun weekend for me as well, but I'm also glad it's over so I don't have to plan it anymore! PJ is a great husband and dad, who is incredibly unselfish, and makes life more fun, so I'm glad he had a nice birthday! We love him very much and feel very lucky that he is in our lives!
Just like my cousin Lara, I think these thing are really fun! So I hope whoever reads this will do one of their own!
1. Where did you meet? We met up in Logan, at my sorority house. PJ had a billiards class with some of my sorority sisters, and they brought him over! He figured that in a house with 24 girls, he had good odds (and I guess he was right)! His car was parked in the drive way, so I couldn't pull in, and I made him move his car, and then park mine for me! I also remember that it was Big/Little night, so I was dressed in a fairy costume!
2. What was the first thought that came to your head when you met? I don't remember honestly! I thought he was cute, and he was fun to hang out with that night, but beyond that I didn't think much.
3. Do you remember what he/she was wearing? Well, we have a picture of it, so I know he was wearing a red polo shirt with yellow stripes. I have no idea if I would know that if we didn't have it documented.
4. Where was the first time you kissed this person? Right outside the Alpha Chi Omega house, after our first date. It was just a peck, because PJ was nervous to kiss me at all. He didn't want to go too fast and make me think he just wanted action! So sweet!
5. Where did you go on your first date? We went to Ruby Tuesdays and then to his apartment to watch Romeo and Juliet. It wasn't too exciting, because we left late, and I don't eat after 8 pm, so I just hung out at dinner. What made it awesome was how easily we got along! I felt so comfortable with PJ right from the start, like I could tell him anything!
6. When were you officially a couple? I'm not really sure. We always say December of 2003, cause that's when we started dating and we were pretty much together from that point, but I know when I went to BYU Hawaii we left it open. I went on a couple dates there, before I realized that I had no interest in anyone but him! I know he didn't date anybody else at all after we started to, so December is probably pretty accurate.
7. How did he/she ask you out? He asked me out three times and I couldn't go, so right before the end of the semester I called him up and said we should hang out. He planned the date, but I called, so I guess we just kind of asked each other out!
8. Has this person ever proposed to you? Yes he did, and it was amazing! The night before he had arranged for my friend Adrian to take me to dinner, so he could go ask my dad for permission! I had no idea that he had done that, so I was totally not expecting anything! We went on a drive up in this rich neighborhood in Logan. After a minute, PJ pulled over at this grassy area, with a bench, that looked out over the valley, with a perfect view of the temple. We sat on the bench for a little bit, and then I started to get cold (it was April, but still cold in Logan). He went to his truck to get a blanket for me, and while he was there he turned on our song. He brought back flowers with the blanket. Then he asked me to dance and we did for a second. When I was still shivering, he wrapped me in the blanket, and set me down on the bench. He then got on his knee and asked me to marry him. It was so sweet! It was the perfect way, and I will remember it for the rest of my life!
9. Do you and this person have kids together? Yes!!! We have a beautiful little boy together named Ethan! Ethan is the cutest, smartest, funnest kid I could have hoped for and I love him more than I could ever describe!
10. Have you ever broken the law with this person? No, except maybe speeding. Though we did hit a coyote this weekend, but it was an accident.
11. When was the first time you realized you liked this person? I knew I liked him the first night I met him, he was very easy to get along with. I worried that after denying him three dates, he might have built me up in his head and we wouldn't mesh well. But I guess I can go back to that first date, where we were like instant best friends! It wasn't long after that that I knew I loved him (though I don't think I could pinpoint the exact second).
12. Do you get along with his family? Yes I do! His siblings are much younger than us, which is kind of fun! I get to feel like a big sister! We live an hour and a half away from them, so we don't get to see them that much, but they are great people who have totally welcomed me into the family from the start!
13. Do you trust this person? I completely trust PJ, I would not have married him if I didn't!
14. Do you see him/her as your partner in your future? Sure do, that's why we got married in the temple! We couldn't imagine a future without each other!
15. What is the best thing he/she gave you? Well, he gave me himself, and a child so I would say that's two pretty amazing things! He also gives me support and his belief in me allows me to try things I never would without him. If I had never met PJ, I know I would not be working on a masters degree right now! As far as physical things,I really love both my engagement and my wedding rings, my elliptical, a flight in a small airplane, and tickets to things like Joel McHale and Jack Johnson! PJ's very good at giving presents that get us out doing things, and I love that!
16. What is one thing he/she does that gets on your nerves? When PJ's looking for an item of clothing, he will pull everything out of his drawers or laundry basket, and forgets to put them back (though he is working on it and getting better). That drives me crazy!
17. Where do you see each other fifteen years from now? Who knows! We don't have a fifteen year plan. As long as we're together as a family, we'll go where life takes us!
18. What causes the most arguments? Usually mis-communications. I say something, and PJ thinks I mean something else or vice-versa. It's weird how boys and girls communicate in completely different ways! Sometimes I just want to vent to him, and then he wants to fix it, and that frustrates me because I'm not asking him to fix it for me, and it goes from there. Stupid things, I know.
19. How long have you been together? Almost five years, and married for four!
I just wanted to post a few pictures of all the boys playing rock band at my parents house! Jake and Joel love the game and were playing it, when Aiden and Ethan saw and didn't want to be left out of the fun! So Aiden sang, while Ethan played guitar! Of course, their instruments were not plugged in, but they didn't know and were having a great time! It was so cute watching how much fun Ethan was having! After he got bored, Aiden wanted a turn at the guitar, so they switched! I had to run upstairs to get my camera, but I'm so glad I did because I love these pictures!
Ethan's second Halloween was so much fun! He was actually old enough to understand it a little bit, at least that he gets candy which was enough for him! Thursday night we carved pumpkins with Sarah, Gary, and Aiden. Aiden, who doesn't like to get his hands dirty, had a hard time taking out all the pumpkin seeds and goo from his pumpkin. In fact, it made him throw up when he tried. Besides that minor set back, it was really fun! Ethan didn't mind getting his hands all goopy, so he just kept on reaching into the pumpkin with his little spoon and pulling out one seed at a time! Last night we did a Halloween dinner with Sarah, Gary, adn Aiden and then Sarah and I took the boys trick our treating on our street. After that we split up because Aiden wanted to do more trick or treating and Ethan was done. We did go visit my parents and grandma though, where he was showered with attention and candy! Ethan was a great sport about wearing his costume, he even wore his hat this time! I think he really had fun, I even got him to say trick or treat, though he wouldn't say it at most houses (though he always said thank you when he got candy)! It makes me excited for all of the holidays, and getting to watch him enjoy them more and more as he grows up!
Last night was Breck and Preston's annual Halloween Party! Breack always goes all out for her party, so it was a lot of fun! PJ, Ethan, and I dressed as Barney, Betty, and Bam Bam Rubble from the Flinstones! Ethan had a hat that went with his costume, but didn't want to wear it, so we took a few pictures of him in it before we left home. At least we got some, right? We had a neighborhood Halloween party last night as well, so we went to that first and then to Breck and Preston's. Unfortunately, our arriving late meant that we missed Tiffany and Casey, which is too bead cause I would have loved to see them and I hear their costumes were great! Breck and Preston dressed as a butterfly and butterfly catcher, Paul Timothy dressed as Preston on his first day of kindergarten (he even had a picture of Preston in the same outfit pinned to his costume), Smitty and Ashley were Robin Hood and Maid Marion, Britney and her kids were Princess Leia, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda, Ryan and Paigely were Ryan Harding and Breck and Preston's dog Soda (Paigely was wearing one of Soda's shirts, she is the only grown person I know who is small enough to fit into a dog's shirt), and Bobby, Erica, and Brody were a biker, a witch, and a ninja respectively! We hung out, made navajo tacos and donuts, Paul played the guitar, some people carved pumpkins, and there was even a pinata! I always love when my friends get together! We always have a fun time and last night was no exception!
This last Wednesday PJ, Ethan, and I went to Boulder Colorado for a few days! I was presenting a paper at the Western Literature Association's annual conference, and they came along to support me! We left really early Wednesday morning, and arrived at around 4:00. Since Ethan is not a fan of long car rides, we decided to drive my parents motorhome out there to see if that helped. He loved it! Even after we had driven in it for seven hours on Wednesday he still said "car house" all day Thursday and yesterday! I had to go to a lecture that night, but we had dinner and checked in to th hotel first. Thursday, I spent the morning at panals, but then we did some touristy things tht afternoon! Boulder is an amazing city, kind of a mix between Logan and Park City! It is a total college town! We went down to this outdoor mall on Pearl Street, and it was so much fun! It had amazing little shops, great bookstores, toy stores, and a kitchen supply store that had such cute stuff! If we had more money, we would have done some serious shopping! There was also a store called Lush there, which is one of my favorite places ever! They don't have any in Utah, but we always order stuff from them online. It sells all thesew organic soaps, that smell amazing, and make your skin and hair so soft. They have a line of men's products that PJ loves as well! In the middle of the walkway at the mall there were areas of rocks for kids to climb on, and of course our little monkey Ethan thought that was pretty great! Scattered throughout the stores were these beautiful historical buildings, and even a museum! We could have spent all night there if it hadn't started to rain! I had another lecture to go to that night, but I was grateful I got to spend some time exploring Boulder! Yesterday I went to the Graduate Student Luncheon, before I had to present me own paper. I was so nervous for the whole morning beforehand. I said a little prayer before I left, and it worked cause I was able to overcome my nerves and present! I felt like it went well, though I was more happy to be finished than anything! I wached an old teacher present a paper, and then we headed back home. We arrived back here at around 2:oo am. Luckily, PJ is a great husband and drove most of the way, while Ethan and I slept in the back. It was a really great few days, and PJ and I both agree that if we could both very happily live in Boulder one day if life happened to take us that direction! It was also a great opportunity for me to present, and to network with other professionals in my field! I was able to meet many well respected writers such as Patricia Limerick, William Kittridge, and Mary Clearman Blew! They may not be well known to popular culture, but I have read and studied a lot of their individual works respectively, and I was really excited to be able to meet them and here them present on their new writings! And next year Cormac MaCarthy is going (he wrote No Country For Old Men and The Road), so maybe I'll get to meet him!
This last Friday, Bonnie Bailey and Adam Wood finally got married! It was the tenth anniversary of their first kiss, so this wedding is a long time coming! They had a BBQ on Thursday night for family and friends at Adam's parents house. It was really fun, we had good food, Joe did a fire show, Paul Timothy played the guitar, someone read a poem about Bonnie and Adam, and we got to hear speeches from them and their parents. It was fun seeing everyone from high school, in fact the whole wedding was like one big Davis High reunion! We went to the temple on Friday to watch them get sealed to each other, which was an amazing experience! No one ever thought that day would come, and seeing how happy they both were during the sealing was so great! After we did the temple pictures, PJ and I went out to lunch with Niki McDowell and Paul Timothy. It was really great, because I never get to see Niki, and she was only here for a couple of days, so I was so happy to get to hang out with her all day! Her daughter McKynlee is beautiful, just like her mom! The reception that night was really fun! They had cold stone creamery cater it, which was pretty cool! Jared Shaw, Charlie Hammond, Bryce Stevenson, and Landon Potter presided over a small little, very informal ceremony where they exchanged their vows! There was more music, and a lot of catching up with people! My parents brought Ethan by, which was great of them because I missed him all day (though he slept through most of the reception)! We had a little Farmington Junior High reunion, and took a picture of our group of friends from back then together (the only person who was missing was Julie)! It really was such a fun wedding, and I am so happy for Bonnie and Adam! They are so cute together and we all have been waiting for them to tie the not! It's great to see that they both got to a point where they were ready to do so! I know they'll be very happy together!
Last Monday my mom, Sarah, Aiden, Ethan, and I all went to Hogle Zoo for the day! We already went once this summer, on the Mommy and me day, but this time the carousel was finished and it was a lot less crowded. The boys had a lot of fun seeing all the different animals! Ethan is a big fan of animals, so he thought it was pretty great. He especially liked the leopard because it came right up to the glass and was like a foot away from him. He also really liked the bears and was upset when we moved on to other animals. Of course the favorite was the carousel! We rode it twice and both boys wanted to keep on going! I was nervous Ethan wouldn't like it, but he just laughed through it and waved at his aunt Sarah whenever we pased her! We ran into Britney Redd with her kids, mom, and sister-in-law there, so that was fun! The little boys got matching shirts from their grandma (who also paid for them to go to the zoo and bought them treats throughout)! They were both so exhausted when we left that they fell asleep on the drive home. It was such a fun day for everyone! I love seeing how curious Ethan is about everything and watching him discover new things. Aiden was excited about having Ethan there and wanted to make sure he saw everything too! He's such a good cousin! It's so fun having them live next door, so we can have the boys play together all the time!
Last weekend Breck, Bonnie, Britney, and I went to Park City for a girls weekend before Bonnie gets married! We were planning on going to Vegas for the weekend, but unfortunately Bonnie's grandpa passed away and his funeral was that Saturday. So we through together the Park City trip really fast, but we still had a great time! We went to the Flying Sumo on Main Street for dinner. It was the first time I'de ever tried sushi and though I was nervous, I actually liked it! Nothing like your friends to get you to try new things! We stayed at the restaurant talking until after it had closed. Britney had Lola with her, and I picked Ethan up after dinner, so no clubbing for us. Instead, we went to The Lodges at Deer Valley, where my very generous grandma had got a place for us to stay that night! The place was amazing, it had three bathrooms, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room! We stayed up late talking, as Bonnie gave us the whole history of her and Adam's relationship! The next morning we went to brunch at a restaurant on Main Street. They had these amazing white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies, so Bonnie and Britney took a bunch and his them in their purse! After breakfast we headed home, but it was such a fun night with the girls! It's been so great because we have had a chance to hang out a lot more lately! I only wish Niki was around, so she could come too! We all really miss her and are so excited for her to come out for the wedding! Then the group will feel complete, just like the old days! It's amazing that after eight years, marraiges, kids, a divorce, moving away, etc we're still there for each other! I have awesome friends!
After two and a half years we finally made it back up to my grandparents cabin in Etna Wyoming (right outside of Star Valley)! Sarah and Gary planned out this trip months ago, and we're so glad they did! Most of my family went up on Friday the fifteenth, but we couldn't because we had a wedding on the sixteenth and Jack Johnson tickets on the eighteenth. So Monday, after the concert (which was so amazing, by the way) we headed up. We arrived at about 5:00 am on Tuesday morning. It was a long night, but Ethan slept through most of the drive, which is what we were hoping for (he hates being in the car for very long). We could only stay for a couple of days, but it was so fun! We did the usual four wheeling, and Ethan loved riding on them! We also did a bonfire and Joe Bailey juggled fire for us! Ethan also loved riding the big wheels on the deck. There were five of them and a miniture car, and he would just go back and forth between them all! Seeing how much fun he had made the drive totally worth it! We also had fun watching the Olympics, especially the fast walk racing, which was hilarious! We had to leave Thursday for another wedding, but we were happy that we got to go at all! We hope to get up there again soon!