Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Photography Prints...

It was such a fun Christmas taking so many pictures for Christmas cards.  I've shared quite a few on my photography blog.  There were quite a few who asked I not share - hoping to keep their photo's a secret for Christmas card mailers or Christmas gifts for grandparents. 

I did get a chance to take quite a few photo's of my siblings and participate in their efforts to make Christmas cards.  I posted their sessions awhile back here on my photography blog.  I received their cards and many others that fill up my fridge.
I thought that might be my favorite part, but it wasn't.  The Saturday before Christmas I went to Sisterville's house to watch these hoodlums while she did some holiday wrapping.  I'm only posting this picture because I think it is flat out hilarious.  There was some serious good TV on, and I promised to play tractors with Jake if he smiled.  We played tractors for a good hour after this shot.   
Anyway, my favorite part of all the Christmas picture taking hoopla was seeing this...
Perhaps you can spot her canvas print from the family pictures I took.   The following afternoon I went to my sister-in-laws and she had an even larger canvas print hanging over her stairs. I wish I'd had taken a picture of that one to share.  What a fun experience seeing the actual prints. It got my mind stewing of all the fun pictures I had taken.  I was flattered seeing the big canvases hanging in their homes,  portraying what's most important this holiday season - family!  


A few years a go we found out that we could sled down the road that leads to my grandpa's cabin.  It's a considerable distance down and then we all hop back into the truck for a ride up.  There is no hiking or sweating inside your winter coat - which is exactly why it's perfect.  Chris loves it too - we invested in special snow gear for him just for the occasion   Dang city boy doesn't have any irrigation boots, nor did he have any snow boots - problem solved!

The majority of my pictures are from the pre-show when we were still waiting for everyone to get there.  When we all started loading up, I put the camera away and hopped in.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We have been married for one year...

I've had so many thoughts relating to our one year anniversary.  I've tried to piece them together and compose something that will portray exactly what this year has meant to me. Every time I've sat down to write, I've realized I would rather spend that time with Chris.  There you have it - exactly how I feel about marrying him. Happy Anniversary Christopher Micheal! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Couple's Party...

The Couple's Party is a fairly new Christmas tradition, but it's become one of my favorite's.  Only siblings are invited and no kids (except Hayden was there for some reason.) Anyway, we eat dinner and exchange white elephant gifts. I also hand out the family calendar. This year we dressed up in Christmas sweaters.  
 Dad didn't win a prize because he wears this sweater every year all Christmas.
 In fact, I don't think he even knew it was an ugly sweater party.
 Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation above.
 White Elephant gift exchange.
 There he is! Let's see how long he lets me keep this up.
 We never got a picture of me alone - jingle bell bra.  
 You wouldn't know it, but these two actually dressed up.   You might be able to read Nick's shirt. That's Jill's St. Patrick's Day shirt - wrong holiday but she gets props for trying.  Excuse her naughty gift.
 I will give these guys a pass - Stacey is "with child" this Christmas and didn't have enough energy to make Chris cooperate.
 Here's a copy of the collages I used for our family calendar.  Out theme this year was Now & Then.  
I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!
 I've been married a year this coming Saturday.  
Holy crud!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Christmas Party w/ My Best Friends...

Every year my High School friends get together for a Christmas party.  This year we were missing two - Nicole had sick kids and Amanda didn't make it out from Virginia.  They were definitely missed.  Now that a few of us have obtained some husbands, it's fun to get to know each of them more.  
 Left to Right - Matt & Lins, Teresa, Kate & Trent.  
 I love the one above - Chris just back there smiling.  He hadn't been feeling well prior and was sick all night after.  So grateful he toughed it out. 
 We made the boys pose before leaving - not sure they were thrilled. 
Prior to games Kate and Trent had made us amazing waffles in their sweet waffle iron - I think they just got it for their wedding. Lins had also burned the movies we made in High School to DVD's and we re-watched.  I think Chris particularly enjoyed the one where we all had theme songs and danced around Lindsey's house for at least a good half hour wearing different outfits and wigs.  I think next year will do that for our party.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gingerbread House Video...

I've been begging Chris to help me make a Gingerbread house since I bought the kit at Thanksgiving. He made this cool video with over 300 pictures of my creation. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

Heat Protection Spray - Since I've become quite the tree huger when it comes to my hair, I love this stuff. I've been tying not to bleach, blow or straighten and be okay with letting my hair repair itself.  However, sometimes I still have to and this has helped my bangs, you should have seen my poor bangs.

Diamond Earrings:  Typical - yet fabulous. I won't leave the house without earrings.  I have this phobia of people mistaking me for a boy - long story.  Anyway, these can be found at Sally's right by the register.  The good thing about them is their cheap so if you loose them all the time, you can just grab another pair.  They also are good quality so your ears won't hurt if you sleep in them or wear them 24/7.
Caitlin Wilson Design Fabric:  My mom sews and sews - she's amazing.  Our vacation routine usually finds fabric store after fabric store - I'm not complaining. I just feel like I've seen so much, so it's a big deal I've put fabric on this list.  Not sure how I found it or how popular she is outside my brain, but I love it all and really want something, anything made out of it.
 Pastry Pub: There is something that reminds me of Cedar City every single day. I miss so many people and so many things.  It was such a weird turn of events for me to turn up there for that short amount of time, but it was exactly what I needed.  My favorite thing I found while being there is this little joint.  If you head down I-15 please stop and get a Pub Salad or a Quesadilla. 
 Williams Sonoma Pineapple Slicer:  I would eat fresh pineapple every single day for the rest of my life. I would rather die than slice a pineapple without one of these.  There you have it - if you don't have one, shut down your computer and go buy one.
Cassadee Pope: Perhaps it's because I never experienced American Idol so I'm really into The Voice. Or perhaps it's because there was that one CD by Avril Lavigne in High School that reminds me of Cassadee and takes me back, either way I really like her. She has a small EP on I-tunes and all her songs from the Voice are up too.
Kneaders Chocolate Chip Cookies:  There is basically three non-fast food restaurants in Heber.  I like Kneaders, not to say it's my favorite.  I was always disappointed in their deserts.  They look so pretty, but every time I got one I wished I had saved the calories, until I stuck with the original chocolate chip cookie. Bam!

Nicole's Photography Classes:  This was added to my list and then taken off about five times.  Basically because I felt like her Photo 101 class really helped me understand manual mode and from there my photography seemed to change directions completely   However, I took the newborns children class and I thought it was a waste of money.  However, if you like learning about photography and need something inexpensive to push you, then  I think she offers great expert advice. Her textbooks are great too. Photo taken from her website.

5 Love Languages: I'm assuming most people have read this book.  For me it made so many things clear in the last year.  For example: I show love through acts of service.  Chris receives love through physical touch. Therefore, Chris would much prefer a hug rather than a day slaving around the house.  Big lesson for a little girl. Bam! Read it! 

Mama Says Nativity:  I've wanted this for the last three years.  Still on my wish list for the time being.  Each child dressed up for the Christmas Story. My favorite piece being the boy holding the star.

My parents came to my house...

It's a rare occasion for us to get family visiting here in the Heber Valley.  When I say rare the only other time my mom has been in my house is when we moved in - don't read into this. She's had two total knee replacements and we live on the third floor.  Last Saturday I had the busiest morning and fell asleep watching a Christmas movie around 1:00.  Chris hadn't even showered yet and we heard a big knock on the door. 
A Christmas visit from a few of the family who then invited us out and about for a of day Christmas shopping.  It was frosty and cold - the perfect day for Christmas shopping.  Side note - isn't the canyon beautiful. I've come to appreciate all seasons, but this snow might be my favorite.
One big tree at the outlets, it's real too.  I was only carrying my 1.8 or else we could have captured the entire tree.  So thankful for my dad and his way to making the holidays so fun every single year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My shelf fell off the wall and I'm ticked off...

I've sort of had a rough morning.
 Basically everything broke.
 Except the nativity that it all fell on. Took me a good 20 minutes to find the shepherd praying behind the TV.
 I'm ok with losing most of it but I really loved these guys.
 I bought them at Cracker Barrel of all places right out of High School. It was love at first site!  I've carried them to every apartment throughout my travels. I thought I might try to glue and piece together, but there are so many tiny glass pieces that it will never work.  
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I've always been a list maker and checker offer. Last year around this time Chris
and I made a list of our first year goals. Some for the year, some for every month
and some we just really hoped would happen. I arranged the list so each time we
were able to achieve our goal we both signed off. I’m here to say we weren't perfect
and there are a few boxes left un-signed. However, it really pushed us to complete
a few things we never would have without the list. I've never been a huge fan of
New Years Resolutions – they always seem to empty, relating more too how many
pounds to loose than anything else. Yet our list was such a powerful thing for us
that I decided that I’d continue each year on out anniversary, as long as I follow my four
goal setting guidelines. I thought I’d share what they are below…..

Remind myself of my goals often. At first I hung them on our fridge, but
found that too intimate for visitors. I also think hanging them up allows them to
get ignored because they are always there. For me I set them on the top of the
folder that I use to pay my bills. I’m already in action mode getting stuff done 
when I look then over, plus I use it every month no matter what.

Make obtainable goals. Heck I even write things on there that I know are going to
happen anyway just so I can mark them off. That way every time I look at the
list there is something to mark off.

Set goals that I physically do rather than nice thoughts. For example if, paying
off a certain amount of debt was my goal – I don't write that down. Instead I write
out monthly goals paying out a certain amount toward debt. An obtainable
amount, something when you sit to pay your bills for the month doesn't look

Think about my goals for at least a month or two before I make them. I have a
scratch piece of paper in my wallet. When I notice something I’d like to change
I jot it down. That way I don’t sit down in one hour or so and make the list. Its
actual things I want to work on - Chris and I have also been emailing back and 
forth when he's at school and I'm at work about things we want to add or change.

That is all – more for my self than for others. I hate posts like this from others because
I’m sure your all wondering what my goals are now. For me I’m more likely to
achieve if I don’t tell the whole world. Chris and I work together to hold each other
accountable… telling makes me feel stressed about them .  I'm a naturally stressed out person
so I try and make this aspect of m life fun.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This is all I got...

-We watch The Voice every week.  Go Carson Daley! I miss TRL - JK I think I watched that  
once, thanks to growing up where you have to go shovel manure everyday after school.  
Either way, we watch The Voice.

-Chris took his last final today, we celebrated by going to Wal-Mart.One big semester
left and then two online classes in the summer and he’ll hold that diploma. Can’t wait!

-I’m finally getting comfortable in my job. In two more months I will have been here
a year. Man! Time flies. I've become a tiny bit obsessed – checking the market on my
days off obsessed.

-I've watched and stretched every ounce of Christmas spirit I can get around our house.
Chris said last night, “I can’t wait until December 26th.” Not sure he appreciates Hanks
family Christmas but I've just explained this is how it is and this is only year one.

-Primary has really overtaken my world. I finally get it all done and then I go to church
and have another week of “stuff.” Can’t tell you how good it feels to serve.

-At night it seems like I just lay awake and think about the “what if’s” This next year is
going to bring so many decisions and excitement with Chris finishing school.

-We've been working on our New Years Goals – more on that to come.

-On Sunday night I burrowed in at 7PM and didn't awake until the morning. Perhaps it’s
the weather. Perhaps it’s the long week or perhaps it just felt amazing.

-Chris & I made an impromptu trip to Salem last weekend. We were visiting with the
Parentals and all the sudden we ended up at the movie theater to see Lincoln. Even my
father parental who loathes going to the movie theater came. Special night indeed…

That is about it....

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Banner Project...

Christmas always brings out the craft in me.  When my sisters and I went to Gardner Village for witches night, I saw a Christmas banner I loved but far too expensive for the quality.  I set out to make my own.  I love my Cricut, but still lack much needed experience.  When I sold scrapbook supplies a co-worker/ great friend setup a small lesson in the hotel room or a Cricut extraordinaire, its been years since and I'm still recalling on that one lesson to help me create.  Adding "take more lessons" to the list of things I want to do.  Anyway...
 I used this cartridge, which I'm fairly certain comes free with the Cricut.
 I simply used the shadow button and cutout Merry Christmas and backed it with brown paper.  I then cut out some small garland looking things to add some garnish. 
Dusted with Pebbles Chalk to add some texture, mostly because I wasn't sure if this goes bad and needed to check on it.  For the record, I now believe chalk lasts forever.
 Glued to the leftover twine from my wedding - except I glued it all backwards.  Chris took this picture while laughing so hard he couldn't breath.
 All done next to my mother parentals homemade stockings and just above my Christmas quilt she made as well.  That women can sew!
 All our Christmas stuff on one shelf.  Chris & Danielle first Christmas 2012. 
I guess we're really into "Believe" - one day will have more furniture to spread things out.