Friday, June 27, 2014

All Graduated and Stuff

Today, I finished my final assignment for my final class at ASU.
And I officially finished my Bachelors!

Some of you know the story of the changes for my Undergraduate work.

Almost 6 years ago, I graduated from high school and entered ASU as a 
Music Therapy Major. 

I loved it and learned a lot. I met a lot of amazing friends and created a lot of memories.

Then I chose to go on a mission after my Junior Year. 

I put a 2 year hold on my scholarship and withdrew from classes.
And I was off to Argentina.

When I got back, I was feeling the need for a change in my major and started exploring options.

When Brad and I got engaged, I knew that he would be going to Utah for law school,
so I needed a degree that I could finish up online. 
I couldn't defer my scholarship any longer, so I went in and figured out which degree
 I could still finish in a year, but do so online. 

I learned a bit more about Family and Human Development,
decided it was for me, made the switch, and became an online student.

While it definitely wasn't my style, I learned how to be an online student.
Brad was really supportive, and helped me on the days that I was extremely frustrated.
In the end, it was a pretty good experience and I am glad for all that I learned. 

Today, Brad took me out to celebrate with both of our families.

I picked Serranos because...
Bean Dip.
Sorry for the bad picture quality... dark + iPhone...

He spoiled me a little bit too

I was a little sad about not walking, but my amazing parents surprised me with a ticket
to come back down in December to walk at graduation!
They are the best.

In all, these 4 years of study at ASU have been good ones,
but I am very glad to be done!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Anniversary Celebration

You guys.
Seriously. You. Guys!

I have the best husband ever

Like I mentioned in this post, Brad wanted to be totally in charge of our anniversary celebration 
and make it a complete surprise. 

And let me tell you, it was absolutely perfect. 

On Thursday, I flew to Utah for a cousin's wedding.
On Friday morning, Brad flew out to Denver for a "business trip" 
(which was really just a load of fun).

Friday at 3:00, I flew back in and had some time to get some sleep 
(since we had been up way late with last minute wedding prep)
and finish up some things for Brad's gift (there will be a whole separate post on that).
Then, I went to pick Brad up from the airport at 8:00 and off we went. 

A few months ago, I had mentioned to Brad that my favorite date we ever went on 
was a gondola ride at a resort in Scottsdale.

Well, that's where he took me!
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch.
After check in, we went on a gondola ride, complete with Italian singing gondolier, 
Davido (or David, if you prefer).

It was so romantic. We arrived at the perfect time, and had a boat to ourselves!

If you get the chance to do this date, please do!
You don't have to stay at the resort to take a ride, and there is so much going on at the resort at night,
so for your money you get a gondola ride, live music back at the resort, and you can walk around the pools, some of which have sandy beach-type areas to walk.

We had a wonderful time, just being together and remembering all the wonderful things from this year.

The next morning, we got up and had breakfast in bed
and then spent the morning at the pool. 
They had such amazing pools and it was all really beautiful

After a super relaxing morning, we headed to Tempe for a fun treat

I have been wanting to go to Slickables for ages.
If you don't know about it, you need to know!

It's pretty much a choose-your-own-adventure ice cream sandwich!

Mix and match two homemade cookies, and choose your ice cream for the center.

Brad went with a snicker-doodle, a chocolate chip cookie, and cookies and cream ice cream.

Oh hello, super attractive husband!

I went with a white chocolate macadamia nut and chocolate chip cookie with triple carmel ice cream.
Death. In the best way possible.
Seriously, sooo good. 
If you need an amazing and super cheap treat, this is your place.
We are already planning a second trip before we go back to UT. 

Our next stop was the Temple.
If you are not familiar with LDS Temples, we know that they are truly the house of God.
We go there to make sacred promises with Him, to learn about His plan,
and to be married and sealed together for eternity. 

We wanted to go back to the Temple on our anniversary to be 
reminded of the beautiful sealing ordinance.
In a sealing, they do not say "Til death do you part,"
but rather "for time and all eternity."

We know that as we live worthily, we will truly be together forever, even beyond death.
What an amazing blessing.

Taking this picture was definitely a reminder of last year and the terrible sun 
that makes for awkward, squinty pictures. Good memories. 

After this, Brad had one more surprise for me.

This one requires a little bit of back story.

In Junior High, we went to a play in downtown Phoenix on a field trip.
I saw the revolving restaurant on the top of the Hyatt, and I said to Brad,
"we should eat there some day."

Well, fast forward 10 years, and Brad took me to the compass room!!

It was definitely worth the wait!

The setting was uber-romantic.
The view was phenomenal.
The food was outstanding.
And the company was amazing, attractive, and perfect.

Brad set the reservation for 7:00 so that we would be there for the sunset around 7:40.
It was beautiful to start with, even before the sunset.

Plus, I had the best view I could ask for
Love him!

We decided to try an appetizer, since Brad has been dying for me to try duck.
So I nervously agreed to go with the duck tostadas.

 And they were actually fantastic! So moist, not greasy like I had heard might be the case, 
and really just quite yummy!

And if I didn't think it could get any better, I was wrong!
The food was so amazing!
Brad went with the pork tenderloin, and I chose the salmon.
We couldn't have been happier with our choices!

And just when you think it couldn't get any better, 
this happened
Thank you, Arizona.

We were in the restaurant for two hours, just enjoying being together and watching the 
changing scenery as the sun set and night set it. Beautiful.

Like I said, it was all absolutely perfect.
It was especially wonderful to spend a full 24 hours together!
I love Brad so much. This has really been the most amazing year, and there are many more to come.
In all, it was even more than I could have dreamed of to celebrate our first year together!

Friday, June 20, 2014

One Year

Tomorrow is our first anniversary!!

I can't believe that it has been an entire year since this happy day!

Everything about the day was absolutely perfect.
Our families and loved ones completely spoiled us.
From the decorations to the guests,
the food to the video, 
the photography to the music,
it was everything we had dreamed and more.

But the most important part was the sealing.
Not only were we married, but we were sealed for all eternity, never to part.
We made promises with each other and with God to honor and cherish each other
and to live in the Lord's way.
We were promised blessings. 
We covenanted to do what it takes to be together forever.

This has been the absolute best year of my life, and I know I will continue to say that every year.
We are truly blessed.

Brad has our entire anniversary celebration all planned out, and will not share a single detail with me.
How cute is he??
I am super excited for the surprise! I'm sure that we will have a wonderful day. 

Throughout the next week or so, you can expect some reflective posts about the week of the wedding, the sealing itself, this last year of marriage, and the amazing man that I get to call my husband.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

Sorry for the long delay between blog posts.
We are happily in AZ, and life has been busy with Brad in his new (and super awesome) job, 
me taking my very last class of my undergrad (and feeling like a real college student because of the 
level of difficulty), me working a couple of days at my old job (not anticipated, but hey, why not! 
I would do anything for one of my past coworkers and just couldn't say no), 
family things, and regular day-to-day life. 

But life in AZ is 
Seriously, we are so glad to be back here!
Our family is all around,

We get to see sunsets like this every day,

Fennemore Craig (Brad's firm) is so great and really spoiling us with fun outings,
And the heat is actually really wonderful. 
You might think we are weird, but it's true. 
We love us some 110 degree days!

In all, we are feeling happy and super blessed.

This next week will prove to be a great one:
Brad and I are traveling to Utah (on two separate occasions) for weddings.
We will have the anniversary of my Grandpa's passing.
I know it will be hard, but it will be nice to spend the day with family remembering such a great man.
Brad is going to Denver on a business trip.
And we will celebrate our first wedding anniversary. 
A year?? Where has the time gone?

So truly, life is good. We are home, and there is no place like it.
It couldn't get any better than this.

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