Monday, December 7, 2015

Free Christmas Printable

I love thinking about the titles of Jesus Christ. At Christmas time, it is especially amazing to think of His life, ministry, teachings, Atonement, death, and resurrection. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I wanted to share a printable I made with all of you and hope it will serve as a reminder of the true reason for the season.



It's an 8x10, so pardon the white around the edges that you will have to cut down. I picture putting this in a red or gold frame during this Christmas season. Or maybe just on my fridge if life gets in the way. We all know that can happen.

I am truly grateful for my Savior and the peace He brings me during the holidays and all year long.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

10 Fun and Creative Winter Date Ideas


Winter has officially arrived in Utah this week with a couple of snow storms, which means it is way too cold for this Arizona girl! Sometimes the cold can put a freeze on creative date nights. It's just way too cold to do certain things, so Netflix marathons or movie nights can become the go-to date. But winter doesn't need to bring along the end of fun, creative date nights. Here are a list of 10 of my favorite winter time date night ideas--most will let you stay cozy and warm, but a couple will require braving the elements. Don't worry... they are so fun it's worth it. 

1. Host A Hot Chocolate Bar
Invite some friends over for a fun, cozy night with delicious drinks to warm the soul. Hot chocolate bars are so much fun and pretty easy to put together. I'm a personal fan of Stephens hot chocolate and they have so many great flavors. Provide hot water or milk, a few types of chocolate mix, and some fun add ins. Some of my favorites are candy canes, heath bars, thin mints, mini marshmallows, and whipped cream. Seriously, the sky is the limit. Check Pinterest for more fun ideas!

2. Make A Fort And Cozy Up By The Fireplace
A person is never too old to build a fort! And what a romantic date night to cuddle together in front of the fireplace. If you don't have a fireplace, never fear. Virtual Fireplace has you covered.

3. Sing Christmas Carols
Brad and I love to sit at the piano together and sing our favorite carols. If you want to brave the cold, you can even get a group together and spread the cheer with some neighborhood caroling.

4. Go Ice Skating
I love to go ice skating in the winter. I've never been to an outdoor rink, but I hear they are magical. We have a plan to make that happen this year. Check out information in your area to find an outdoor rink.

5. Volunteer
It's great to volunteer together any time of the year, but I think this is especially important in the winter time. There are so many great opportunities to give back: check your local food bank, churches, homeless shelters, Salvation Army's angel trees, etc. I always feel better when I give back around the holidays.

6. Read Christmas Stories
I love to read uplifting Christmas stories, and doing it as a couple has really brought some magic into the season. I have a book of stories that my mom compiled over the years, but a quick google search will do just as well. Read some of my favorites: Christmas Day In The Morning. A Brother Like That.  The Gift of the Magi

7. Decorate Cookies
You can get as fancy or as simple as you like on this one, but it is fun no matter what. Sugar cookies aren't my very favorite to eat, but there is something so special about decorating them when it is cold outside.

8. Go See The Christmas Lights
If you are up for it, you can walk the neighborhood to get a good look at them. If not, a car ride is also good if you are wanting to stay nice and warm. If you are in Salt Lake City or St George Utah, Mesa Arizona, Oakland, San Diego, or Los Angeles California, or Washington D.C., I highly recommend the light displays at the LDS Temples. They are stunning.

9. Build A Snowman
Somehow, we have lived in Utah for 3 years now and not built a snowman. It is definitely happening this year. It's a really fun date and something that everyone needs to do at least once in their life.

10. Make Gingerbread Houses
I've seen some super creative gingerbread houses in my days. Whether you are working with real gingerbread or just plain ol graham crackers, this is a super fun winter date night. It's always fun to make something together, and who can say no to sneaking a few gum drops. Build one house together or, for the competitive couples, see who can make the best design. Either way, this date night is sure to please.


So there you have it. 10 winter date nights that are more than just a movie. Don't get me wrong, Brad and I will definitely be watching The Santa Clause and Elf this year, but it's always good to mix things up with something a little more creative. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may your date nights be merry and bright!

winter date ideas couples in the snow



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

8 Month Update

Seriously, this should not be happening! My baby is getting too big!! With Thanksgiving and such, I'm a little behind on getting this one out.

Dear Kymri, 

Eight months! How is that even possible? Every month seems to fly by even faster than the last, and you learn and grow more with each passing day. I just can't believe it. This month was so much fun and I just absolutely love watching you figuring things out. So fun. 
Super cute outfit courtesy of your uncle Kadon. You are seriously the most spoiled baby ever.  

Not a fan of your sticker this month.
Mainly you were mad that I kept stopping you from taking it off. 

A couple weeks ago, you slept through the night two nights in a row! The first night, you slept from 7:00 to 5:00, ate, and went back down til about 7:15. The next night, you slept from 6:45 all the way to 6:30 the next morning! It was amazing. Sadly, you got a terrible cold the next day and we were up all night. Poor thing, you couldn't breathe well, so we had to suction out your nose multiple times through the day and night, and I obviously let you nurse whenever you wanted to and cuddle for as long as you needed to. It was a miserable cold and you were sick for a whole week. You've been better for a few days now, but you're in the habit of waking up, so you are back to waking up 2 or 3 times a night. Back to the drawing board. 



You are such a happy baby! I love watching you get so excited over the simplest of things. Your laugh is the most adorable thing ever and you find humor and joy in everything around you. I love to try new things to make you laugh. Even when you were sick, you were so happy!



Your two bottom teeth came in this month! You don't really like showing them when I get the camera out, so sadly, no pictures to share. 

Halloween was so fun and you were the cutest little woodstock there ever was. We had a great time with our first family costume! We handed out s'mores to the trick-or-treaters and it was really fun to do something different. You enjoyed watching all the kids in costumes. 





This was a big month for you! You also started crawling! It's a bit of an army crawl sometimes, but you get 5 or 6 "steps" in up on your hands and knees before falling down and army crawling the rest of the way with your legs dragging behind you. We can tell that you are definitely proud of yourself and happy to be moble. And yes, you love getting into things!



You have started saying Da-Da! I'm not convinced that you know what it means yet, because you seriously say it all day long. It does seem that you say it even more when daddy comes home though, so maybe you're getting it. Other than da-da, you are still babbling all the time and making all sort of fun noises. Last week, you were imitating some sounds Grandma made and it was the cutest thing ever. 

Last week was your first Thanksgiving, and you loved it. I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, and it was a blast! I didn't even burn the turkey! haha. Your daddy did a great job carving the turkey and everyone chipped in to help, so it wasn't too overwhelming. Grandma and Grandpa Shelley, Grammy, and Uncle Kadon all came up and my cousins Ashley and Phil joined us and Uncle Mackay stopped in for a bit. You absolutely loved all the attention and you were a bit of a show off to be honest. The cutest show off there ever was!

Uncle Kadon spoils you!

Grandma and Grandpa got you a Disney Christmas ornament since they are taking us to 
Disneyland this year. Seriously. So. Spoiled.


You love to eat! We haven't found anything that you don't like yet. You still eat baby food and are starting to try some table food. You always want to try whatever daddy and I are eating. You can even feed yourself some things and your pincher grasp is quite impressive. 

I started teaching a Mommy and Me music class each week and it has been so much fun to get together with the other moms and babies. We have a lot of fun singing songs and doing activities, and you are learning to interact with the other kids well. It's cute to see how excited you get when other kids are around. 



In just a few more weeks, daddy will be out of school and we will have a nice couple of week break before he starts his final semester. We are so excited for you to experience your first Christmas!! We can't wait to take you to see Christmas lights especially. You love lights so much that we are certain you will be in awe at the Christmas lights. So fun!! Mainly, we are excited to have daddy home!




Thank you for being the best baby! We love you more and more every day. Daddy and I feel so blessed to be your parents.



All my love,
Mommy


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

We love Thanksgiving. When I married Brad, I was especially impressed with his ability to live in Thanksgiving daily. He is truly grateful for all things and notices the small and simple things around him, recognizing them as great blessings. I am so grateful for all of the things he has taught me about gratitude and Thanksgiving.

One thing we have been discussing recently is the importance of expressing that gratitude. We are so thankful to many people around us, but we don't always tell them so. Perhaps they are feeling down and unappreciated, since no one bothers to thank them, when really we are so very grateful and need but say a quick thank you.

So I make these little printables. We cut them out and glued them to colorful cardstock and wrote little notes. They would be just as cute cut out and left alone though, with a little note of gratitude written on the back. We feel so strongly about sharing our gratitude with others, that we wanted to say thank you to all of YOU for your love, friendship, and involvement in our lives. We also wanted to give you all the opportunity to express gratitude to others as well, so if you are interested, click on the links for your own printable version.



We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of the bounteous blessings which God has bestowed upon us all.




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guest Post: Pre Wedding Jitters

It's wedding week for Ashley over at Girl Talk, and I'm so happy to be helping her out with this guest post so that she can just sit back and enjoy the festivities.

Here's a little sneak peak into my guest post. You can read the full post here.

Leading up to our big day, I had some pretty crazy pre wedding day jitters. Now, I'm not talking second thoughts here. I was 100% certain that I was making the right choice marrying Brad. I thought then, and still think now, that Brad is absolutely perfect. Having met in preschool and been best friends ever since, we had each seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. We knew what we were getting in to, and I was jumping in with both feet. I was beyond excited.

But those pre wedding jitters. Let me tell you, I had some weird ones. Today, I'm going to share 5 of my strangest Pre-Wedding Jitters with you all.


Check out my odd jitters over on Ashley's blog.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Stay-At-Home Homecoming


Last month marked 10 years since Brad took me on our first date to the homecoming dance. The day before the dance was my 16th birthday. We went to the homecoming parade, carnival, and game that day and the dance the following day. Not only was this my first date with Brad, but my first date ever. This is what I wrote in my journal about it:

October 23, 2005
Yesterday was the dance! It felt weird to be on a date, but being there with Brad was just right. It was absolutely amazing. I loved every minute of it! I am so blessed to have Brad for my best friend. He is so wonderful!


Well, Brad remembered the 10th anniversary of this first date and really knocked it out of the park on this one! As part of my birthday present, he invited me to Pew Homecoming 2015. He had prepared a card with our homecoming picture and included tickets to the dance which was to take place the following night in our living room.

The next day for dinner, I made chicken cordon bleu, which is what we ate on our big night 10 years ago. I also wrote Brad a little note and found some old and new pictures to put around. 

After getting the baby down for the night, we got all gussied up and recreated our high school homecoming date.

The theme of our Sophomore Homecoming was "There's No Place Like Home." How fitting! 10 years later, Brad is my home, and there is truly no place like it. I love him so much. He is my rock, the love of my life, my best friend, my everything. 


Brad had prepared a playlist with the top songs from 2005 from magical slow dances to the Macarena, cotton-eyed joe to N*sync. We danced the night away in our living room and had a ball. It was so much fun to reminisce about our first date. We talked about how nervous we each were, how excited we felt, and how happy we made each other. It was fun to remember how Brad asked me to the dance and how I answered him. And it was perfect being together now and dancing as husband and wife. We enjoyed romantic slow dances and silly line dances. Then, Brad ended out playlist with our wedding song. Perfection.
 It was such a fun date and we highly recommend it. 



If you didn't know each other in high school, it would still be fun to recreate a homecoming dance in your living room. And if you did know each other then, you will have memories that you share. Find songs from the time you were in school and make the most of it. You don't have to go out of the house to have a good time! I've provided some free printables for you to invite your spouse to your own stay-at-home homecoming dance. I've also shared Brad's playlist with you for if you were in high school in the early 2000s. If not, make your own and enjoy a trip down memory lane. I hope you have fun and enjoy a special night! 


Click HERE to download your free printable


2000's Dance Playlist:






Friday, October 30, 2015

7 Month Update

Things have been busy around these parts! Hence, the lack of blog posts. Kymri turned 7 months old almost a week ago now. I can't believe how fast time has flown!!



Dear Kymri, 

Oh boy! How in the world are you 7 months old?? It doesn't seem possible that you should be closer to one year old than one day old. It's just not right. Haha. 




This has been such a fun month. You are growing and learning new things every single day. 

You are so close to crawling. You get up on your hands and knees and rock and rock until you just fall forward. We are sure you will do it any day now. I think you're starting to get just a little bit frustrated over it. 




You like to eat your food a little bit better now but you try to be so independent. It upsets you if I don't let you have your own spoon while you eat. That means you generally end up looking like this:



So we basically just strip you down to your diaper when it's time to eat. 

We gave you your first miniature haircut this month. It wasn't a full haircut, but we had to just trim the sides a little because they were getting pretty crazy. It was sad because we really love your hair, but it was definitely necessary. 






We did so many fun things this month! You went to your first pumpkin patch and corn maze and we went on your first hay ride. You are loving all the fall things and seeing the leaves change. We've also got everything prepared for your first Halloween. Grandma Shelley made you the cutest little costume. You are going as Woodstock from the Peanuts. Daddy will be Charlie Brown, and I will be Lucy. We'll share pictures after Halloween. 





You're stable sitting on your own and only fall over when you want to try to crawl and push yourself forward. 

We are still going on our daily walks but it's starting to get a little chilly so I don't know how much longer that will last. For now, we just get all bundled up before heading out.


Babbling is one of your favorite things to do. You say ba, da, ma, and ga but don't really attribute any specific words to any specific things. But I could almost say you said ma-ma when you saw me on Sunday, though I can admit it might have just been in my head. But you're close. 



You're still a major mama's girl and are starting to have some separation anxiety. I love that you're my girl but I do hope that you'll be able to be okay with others too. You also love your daddy. You get so excited when he comes home at the end of every day and want to go right to him!




Sleep is much better. You're only up once a night. Every now and again you're up two or three times, but generally only once. So things are looking up there. Last night was definitely an exception because you were up 5 times. I have no idea why, because things have been so much better recently. I've thought you were teething for over a month now, and still no teeth. But they say it can be a long process so maybe that's it. 



I love to watch you learn, grow, and develop. It's so fun to see you doing and trying new things. Thank you for being such a good baby. Daddy and I love you more than we can even say. 

Love,
Mommy



Friday, October 2, 2015

Dancing With Daddy

A few weeks ago, I snapped this picture on my phone.
It's terrible quality.
Grainy.
Blurry.
The house is messy.

But it's one of my very favorites. 


Seriously, just looking at it right now melts my heart and gets me all teary eyed. Isn't it just so very precious? You can't tell, but Brad is singing to Kymri as they dance. I just love to see the love in his eyes as he looks down at her. I melt at the way she looks up at him, in awe of the amazing man that is her daddy. 

When Brad gets home, Kymri seriously goes crazy with excitement. She smiles from ear to ear and can't wait until he comes to pick her up. She stares into his eyes and melts into his hug. It is the most precious thing you have ever seen. The night I took this picture, they were having one of their priceless daddy-daughter moments. And my heart filled with love and joy watching the love they share. 

It reminded me of my own daddy. My hero. The man that I looked forward to seeing after his long day at work. The one who came home and had special moments with me. And I remembered my own special daddy-daughter moment. One I had looked forward to for years.





Dancing with my daddy was such a special time. I remember feeling so happy to be starting my life with Brad, knowing that I had found someone that my Dad not only approved of but was proud of and loved. This wasn't a moment of good-bye, but a moment of love and memories. It was a moment of looking forward to a future. A future that now includes our own daughter and her own special daddy-daughter moments. 

My wedding wasn't the first time that I danced with my daddy. As a little girl, I danced on the top of his feet. As a young woman, he taught me to dance before the big homecoming date. And I look forward to more dances in the future. 

Because there is just something so special about dancing with daddy.




Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Through Your Eyes


I don't remember watching my very first sunset. Or even my second or third.
But through your eyes, the splash of color across the sky is breathtaking, perfect, and new.

I don't remember the first time I watched a squirrel scurrying up a tree trunk.
But through your eyes, I see just how much of a struggle it is for him. And I cheer him on.

I don't remember hearing music for the first time.
But through your eyes, I see the beauty in a symphony, the joy in harmony, and the happiness in each melody.

I don't remember the first time I climbed a mountain.
But through your eyes, I recognize the grandeur of  each peak and the pride in conquering the summit.

I don't remember learning about Jesus Christ.
But through your eyes, it's like I am meeting Him for the first time. And learning just how much He loves me.

I don't remember my first taste of food.
But through your eyes, I see how wonderful each individual flavor is and feel grateful for the bounty we enjoy.

I don't remember the first time I saw the leaves changing colors in the fall.
But through your eyes, it is an absolute miracle. Beauty at it's finest. And I pause to take it in.

I don't remember the first time I discovered the sun.
But through your eyes, I see it's magnificence as it warms my skin and lights my path.

I don't remember the first time I felt grass under my toes.
But through your eyes, I see the different textures and feel happiness in simplicity.

I don't remember the first time I rolled over, sat up, or took a step.
But through your eyes, I see the miracle in all my body can do, and I am grateful.

I don't remember discovering the world for the first time.
But I do remember the first time you did.
And through your eyes, everything is new and exciting. 






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