Christmas Music Post. Get Stoked.

Okay, SO... My computer harddrive crashed forever ago and I STILL haven't put my pictures/music/documents back on my computer.  Which means, I was relying heavily on Pandora for Christmas Carols.  EPIC FAIL because I definitely have some favorites, and even when you select them as stations on Pandora... they don't actually get played.

SOLUTION: I've been individually you-tubing or downloading them... Meaning, I will SHARE ALL THE LINKS WITH YOU.  You are welcome for the following 2 playlists.

You don't have to be a mom to appreciate these.
However, I am including them especially for my mom to download.
So, Mom... these are links.... just click away and MAKE IT HAPPEN

I'm not going to lie... I get tired of the same-old-songs REMADE.  EVERY YEAR. 
I'll listen to them once or sometimes only half way through, then move on.
(that ALWAYS causes problems on Pandora b/c you can only skip so many)
THESE I have/will listen to three times in a row.  Probably More.

p.s. some of them are from my childhood *cough, Hanson, cough*

p.p.s. they are listed in FAVORITE order (for this year, at least)

ENJOY ENJOY.  Other than YouTube, you should be able to "Save As" for the files or just straight up download them.  If the links don't work for you, COMMENT so I can fix them.  You should find ALL of them on itunes though if you are worried about downloading them "illegally".


Kyle just finished up his last week of class (he's catching up on sleep as we speak).  Next week is finals and then...

 We're GOING HOME!!!!!!! 

Hobby Lobby has Christmas Candles 50% off!!  GO RIGHT NOW AND BUY THIS ONE: Peppermint Frost.  Although I'm normally drawn to "pine" or "cinnamon" smells... this is AMAZING and MY NEW FAVORITE Christmas scent. 


this is what's up.

This is my third post.  I'm such a slacker.  At least I'm catching up though, right?  Kyle has a huge project this week, so he's been living at the school from 8 am to midnight (obviously, tonight will be later) with his group... giving me plenty of time to do things, like blog.

It's been a good last few days for several reasons... I'm liking the list thing so, here you go:

REASON ONE: We bought a Christmas tree.  A GORGEOUS one, too.  It was in a giant box at DI and was listed for $15.00.  It's 7.5' tall and is FULL.  Not pre-lit but that's okay because I wanted special lights anyways.  Kyle and I set it up and I've been working on decorating it slowly over a few days.  (almost done but I'll show you as is)

REASON TWO: Pomegranates are FINALLY in stores here!!!  I saw them at Harmon's picking up lunch for my boss and I got so excited.  Kyle and I went to the grocery store as soon as I got home and I cleaned one immediately.  Never has a pomegranate tasted so good.  

REASON THREE: I've been wrapping Christmas gifts.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  Seriously.  Kyle picked out the paper.  It was a good choice.  I'm so glad I brought one of my craft boxes from Georgia.  I've been using odds and ends from it like no tomorrow.  I'm SO excited to give gifts, and I'm SO excited to see everyone!!!

REASON FOUR: Christmas sugar cookies (the really good Pillsbury ones) were on sale 2/$5.00 at Smith's.  Kyle and I stocked up!  

REASON FIVE: I went to DI yesterday to waste time waiting for Kyle to come home.  I was strolling through the hardbacks when I found this amazing Color Drawing reference book specifically for architects and designers. It's old school, but that was when hand rendering was the only option.  It's LEGIT and I learned so much just flipping through it.  I shelled out four bucks and brought the book home.  I have the BEST luck at DI.  Seriously.


turkey day.

I had to see/spend Thanksgiving with immediate family.  No offense to extended relatives, but seeing someone that can be called a sister/brother was required.  So, Kyle and I drove down to Vegas to visit Karlee and Matt.

First of all, it was super sweet for them to let us come... ESPECIALLY because by "us" I include Lola.  We drove down late Wednesday night (I slept the whole way... sorry husband).

Side Note: I love that she is so easy going in a car.  Let's hope for the same easy-going attitude come Christmas when she gets on a plane to ATL.    

Kyle got out of bed early-ish to watch football, and for the first time in 21 years I didn't watch ANY of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  Not even a second.  I broke my tradition.  I can't make my children watch it with me now like I had planned my whole life "b/c I WILL NEVER MISS IT!"

On a BRIGHTER note... we DID watch the annual dog show which I also NEVER MISS.  That tradition is STILL GOING STRONG.  Super excited to see the Great Dane win its group... and, of course the Wire Fox Terrier took home the crown.  

Karlee cooked an amazing FULL Thanksgiving meal pretty much by herself.  Well, Matt helped her and I peeled potatoes, but seriously... she is amazing.  I wish I took pictures, because it was wonderful. As usual, I got stoked on Black Friday deals, and we SHOPPED, baby!  Majority of my deals were gifts, so I'll keep them to myself... BUT... you're all getting awesome gifts even though my budget was based on my newlywed status.  

WHAT I CAN SHARE WITH YOU.... Kyle and I only had one set of sheets and they are super nice.  We got them on super sale right when we moved out here, but finding something comparable was not in the budget.  UNTIL BLACK FRIDAY!!!  Macy's had a pretty decent set of sheets.  620 thread count, full set originally for $170.00... on sale at midnight for $49.99.  Thank goodness we had two $25.00 gift cards to Macy's left.  It was FATE.

We spent the weekend shopping and hanging out.  It was nice to chill and not worry about anything.  We hit up the Mars Factory Christmas Lights in the Cactus Garden.  Karlee and I saw Breaking Dawn. Went to church on Sunday then headed home.  I stayed awake the whole time... took advantage of seeing things I hadn't seen before.  Like Arizona (for 15 minutes) and the St. George temple.

(please excuse the ridiculous photo editing.  i dont have the originals and took them with instagram)

It was a fun trip... and got me super excited to see my family in December!

it's cold here.

4.5 weeks at SolutionReach and I'm still LOVING every single second of my job.  Call me crazy, but I seriously have completely lost the whole "WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUT OF THIS STATE!?" mentality.  I LOVE seeing the snow-topped mountains when I drive to work every morning.  I LOVE seeing lights for miles of the valley at night on my drive home. (and the Christmas lights up at Thanksgiving Point)  It's pretty here... as long as you look past the developments of terribly-placed, poorly-designed, single-family homes. (No originality between Lehi and Murray... cookie cutter homes so close together seriously make me cringe).  Other than that and the ORANGE barrels EVERYWHERE (construction on I-15 that will never end... ugh!) I am enjoying the view.

View of Provo from the Y (it's pretty cool on its own)  
I didn't take this picture, but it looks just like that.  : )

What am I NOT enjoying??  The weather.  The cold.  The FREEZING temperatures.  This issue affects me in many ways:

1. I have to schedule my water bottle drinking.  Why?  Because I HATE the feeling of a freezing cold toilet seat on my bum/legs in the middle of the night... and therefor, I don't drink anything past 9:00 pm if I can help it.
2. I have been late for work every day.  (This is relative because my boss has never gotten there before me... he has the same problem, I'm sure)  Why?  Because getting out of a WARM comfy bed is so hard.  Narcolepsy has nothing to do with this.  My medication is working PERFECTLY.  This is just a personal motivation that I seriously struggle with.  It's a lose-lose.  Even when I do wake up on time, it seems those are the days I get a run in my tights and have to find something else to wear or I have to scrape the ice off my windshield.
3. Lola has made the decision to forget her training on especially cold evenings.  Three days in the past week, I woke up to an"accident" in the floor.  She gets up silently in the middle of the night, does her business IN FRONT OF THE DOOR, and then climbs back in bed.  What a little jerk, right?  She used to whine to wake me so I could let her out.  Too cold for that, now.  So, we're working on it... and getting the carpets cleaned.
4. I am lacking in the winter clothes department.  end. of. story.

1. My pay checks have been phenomenal.  What does that have to do with the weather?  I'll tell you.  It's SO cold that the second I get in the building, I don't want to leave the heat.  I don't take a lunch break if I can help it, and I usually stay after at least an hour or so.  I DREAD walking to my car, so I put it off and stay productive.  Overtime is helping me pay the bills, that's for sure!
2. We've been saving money!  We eat out less because I hate going into the cold.  We've been doing things inside... like, wrapping Christmas gifts and decorating our tree... and, making brownies/eating the batter before they get in the oven.
3. I was FINALLY inspired to use the crock pot for a hot meal.  Kyle and I made white chicken chili (just ask for the recipe) and had some people over for dinner on two occasions.  He seriously cannot get enough of the stuff.
4. Kyle and I cuddle more. (to keep me warm in the freezing house)  end. of. story. 

  front yard... my boot prints and lola's paw prints 

The good out weighs the bad, for SURE.  I'm a pretty lucky girl these days.



Update for those who have been asking how things are going in Utah... particularly the ones who have been calling me during the day and I have not been picking up...

I have a job.  I love my job.  I've only been working there three days, but I am willing to say I have never been happier.  : )

Thank goodness my prayers were answered.  I needed this more than anything.

For those of you who are wondering... I got hired as an Executive Assistant to the CTO of SolutionReach (formerly SmileReminder) located in Lehi, Utah.  I'm super busy from 8-5 (minus my lunch) and everyone there is awesome.  I totally click with my boss, and am rocking this position more than anyone else could.  Seriously.  It will only get better.

My patience/confidence/self-motivation was definitely tested over the past three months of job searching...  BUT.... I totally believe there was a divine plan in it... (yes, i'm getting all church-ey and counting my blessings on my blog).  I was getting so upset and sad wondering what was wrong with me and why I wasn't a good enough candidate for all the other jobs I interviewed for.  Now I know why.  This one was WORTH WAITING FOR and totally set up perfectly for me.  Other than working for the Graham family, I have never experienced a job more suited to my needs in the moment.  Those needs have obviously changed since I moved back from Maui, but this is it now.  This is where I need to be.

So, now I have a stronger testimony from being unemployed.  It's funny how we are tested to our limits, because I am pretty sure if I didn't get the job, I would have lost all hope in this whole "life decision to move to Utah and get married" thing.  I feel terrible for all the second-guessing and crying I did, being selfish for having to put off my life plans so Kyle could finish his school.  Keeping it all to myself because I was too stubborn to admit maybe it wasn't the best idea to get married at 21 without a college degree.  Well, guess what?  It WAS the best idea.  Thank goodness I have the most amazing husband who is patient with me and the things I say when I am upset.

The past three days have been so perfect.  I am so grateful I DID get married when I did.  I am so grateful I moved here with Kyle and left everything I was doing before.  I traded up for an amazing man and an amazing job, and an amazing confirmation that my Heavenly Father knows me and has a plan for me.  I AM making good decisions, Kyle and I ARE doing what's right.  I couldn't have asked for a better person to spend forever with.  Kyle is unbelievably perfect for me.  He is my LIFE, and I love him more than I could possibly explain.

Today is a day I am overwhelmingly grateful for my temple marriage and getting to spend eternity with my sweet husband.  And of course I am grateful we have Lola to keep us company and make our family perfect.

** if you're wondering about my borderline too-personal-of-information-for-a-blog,  super-Mormon-girl-of-me posts... Utah is NOT rubbing off on me.... I'm just growing up and realizing some things in life are more important than others   : )  **


My husband just asked me to scratch his back. So, I did. For four minutes. (three minutes too long) when I stopped he goes "will you scratch my back for twenty minutes?"

This is serious. No jokes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



some things stay the same.

Not sure how many know the role this girl plays in my life.  It's so funny how we all grow up and things change, and you grow apart from people.  Turns out, some things stay the same, or come back around.

Lydia and I met in middle school.  We "knew of each other" before that though, and at 13 we became best friends.  We would (no joke) read Harry Potter together, listen to music together (Stroke 9, anyone?), draw our dream clothing lines together (this is totally serious) and watch Friends together.  For years, there was a group of five girls that would hang out always in her basement.  Our one-night sleepovers would turn into weekend-long movie marathons pushing couches together and cuddling up with comforters.  My parents even took us on annual spring-break beach trips in our teal Chevy Astro van.

Lydia and I dreamed of being designers.  We could never decide between fashion or interiors, but we would draw clothes and look at pictures of cool houses on a regular basis as middle schoolers.    Our friendship followed into high school where we would hang out thrifting at Agora in downtown Athens and meet up with our guy friends for pizza.  She developed a love for cinema, and started filming things on a regular basis-- made me watch indie films and classic horror movies.  Completely opposite, I became active in FFA-- raising dairy calves in my back yard and competing nationally in nursery landscape competitions.  By the end of 10th grade, we loved each other, but our "hanging out" was not as often as before.  We had changed a lot, and our "group of friends" was a little different than how it originally started out.  We were there for each other, but didn't talk much.

Completely unaware of what the other was doing, Lydia had applied to SCAD-Sav to study film, and I had applied to SCAD-Atl to study interior design.  Things have changed now-- we're both short of graduating, and aren't at SCAD.  But, funny how we had planned all those years ago (at 13) to go to the same art/design school and after spending a couple years apart, still went back to our individual roots which just happened to be similar.

Last year, after some misunderstandings with an old friend, I had Lydia to reach out to.  She was there.  It went the same way when she needed me.  Especially lately, we have been huge supports for one another.  We have completely different religious beliefs, completely different life-plans, but we have found so much comfort in knowing each other for so long, and truly knowing each others' intentions.  Even though we talked about being each others' maid of honor at 13, two years ago, I never would have thought our relationship would be where it is today.

(six years between these pictures)

Having Lydia support me in getting married, and be next to me has meant more to me than anything else.  She would call me on a regular basis in Maui, she would message me weekly, she would remind me that she cared for me and knew who I was even when sometimes I had lost myself.  She would message me pictures of bouquets when she was studying abroad in Europe, and would Skype me whenever she had the chance.  Talk about dedicated.  Even without the same beliefs, Lydia always held me to my high standards and never let me forget them.  So, if any of you have been wondering how me and this tattoo-covered lady came to be, and why she is so important in all these wedding pictures... She is a talented, amazing woman who I love so much and am so grateful to have in my life.

When Lydia gave her sweet speech at my reception, I couldn't help but think how even though we went through ups and downs, she always stayed by my side.  She is the perfect friend, which is so hard to come by, and I couldn't ask for someone better.  I loved my wedding day.  I loved celebrating being married to the love of my life, and I loved being reminded who my true friends are, after all these years-- the ones who unconditionally care for me, despite my weaknesses or fears, or things I-wish-I-would-have-done-differently.  I loved having an intimate reception with my favorites, ones who I knew were happy for me, and supported the decision I made.  And more importantly, would seriously bust a move on the dance floor.

the friends i've known and loved for years-- all from elementary school, middle school, or high school


cassie robinson is amazing.

My sweet friend Cassie Robinson took some AMAZING pictures for Kyle and me... engagements and pre-wedding bridal shots, and I must say... she is reppin' the SCAD talent.  Lucky for you, she is doing specials for family portraits AS WE SPEAK, so... CHECK THE GIRL OUT.

Kyle and I didn't have much time over summer between our travel and our work and our planning, etc. to spend entire days taking photos-- Cassie literally spent just a few hours with us in total and the stuff she got was PERFECT.  She just sent me our CD today and I am THRILLED!

Look how cute my husband is:

I'll stop there.  Picture Overload.  

Thank you Cassie for being wonderful.  

Thank you Husband for marrying me.  

Only 17 more days in the contract before I get all my reception pictures.  Get stoked for those.

Kyle and I are going to Vegas this weekend.  WA-HOOOO.