Wednesday, January 26, 2011

L&L: sweater power & pie love.

don't mind that i have three nostrils in this picture. i feel like i have to be the dorkiest person ever to tuck in my SWEATER. but i just felt too plain jane to wear a sweater with jeans and be done with it. so i put on my favorite high waisted jeans, tucked it in, and put on a belt... voila! i feel better. it would only be better if i had some smart glasses on :]

on another note, i am loving every minute being home with my sweet parents and good old uncle garry. i so appreciate their love and hope i can always make them proud. i have been thankful for the chance i had to come out a little before grandpa's funeral to just be together. we went to the temple tonight and it was wonderful. :] me & mama made a cherry pie last night for dad. it turned out great!

side note... tubby loves to carry around this golf ball that is twice the size of her mouth. we thought it was stuck and she had lock jaw. nope, she just loves to play with it... funniest lil pup!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

my dear grandpa

My dear sweet grandfather has passed on to the next life to be welcomed on the other side with so much love and anticipation. I can't even fathom the love he must feel as he was welcomed by his dear sweet Norma and all those that he touched in his life.

I can only begin to express my gratitude and love for my dear Grandpa. I am in awe of how many lives he has touched and how many people admire him and revere his name. He has left such a legacy through his posterity. I feel such a desire to honor his name and live righteously. I know he is watching over me and I always want to live in a way that will make him proud of who I am. He was an incredible example of righteousness and unwavering faithfulness. He motivates me to be the kind of person he was. As my cousin Paul said... "a man I will always try to model my life after." It was so wonderful and special to me that we all have such fond and special feelings about Grandpa and all feel the far-reaching effects of his love.

My dear grandfather truly is an amazing man. He was a well-respected dentist who sacrificed so much to provide for his family. He loved so much and so many. He was a sealer and a patriarch. The first sealing he performed was sealing me to my family. Although I do not remember, I still have sweet memories from the stories I have been told and what I can imagine. He gave me my patriarchal blessing when I was 15 years old and how truly in tune with the Spirit he was. I hold that blessing so close to my heart and am so thankful that my grandfather was able to be the mouthpeice of Heavenly Father to me. He sealed me to my dear husband, the greatest gift I could receive. I can't express the deep love, gratitude, and admiration I have for him. I will never forget the words of counsel he gave to Dan and I during our ceremony. I remember looking at him in his white clothes and thinking "he truly is an angel." He really is an angel to me.

Although this time is so hard, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace that I can't deny. Peace that he is safe and loved and doing the work of the Lord. Peace in knowing that he is happy and he could not have lived a more dedicated life.

As my cousin Melynie said, "Peace in the most flawless life you've ever seen lived. Peace because of the joyous, heavenly reunion that must be happening right now. Peace because even though it was sudden, I got to say goodbye, and thank you, and I love you. And peace in the absolute conviction that families are eternal and that I will indeed see him again. And joy and gratitude in the legacy that he blessed us with, and in the relationships that are still located here on earth."

I couldn't say it any better!

I love you Grandpa! There is a place in my heart that is yours and always will be. :]

Friday, January 21, 2011

lots of love.

pillow talk last night...

D: i loved being with you all day and night today...

R: we weren't together all day!

D: i know, but i was thinking about you all day so i feel like i was :]

moments like this make my love for him just want to burst out of my chest!!

we watched the 'the Last Song' with miley cyrus (hannah montana according to dan) last night. he is finally watching chick flicks with me without it being a holiday! oh, AND it had our song in it by feist... feel it all. it was love. we embrace the cheesiness; it's fabulous.

on a more serious note, my dear grandpa James is in the hospital with some pulmonary problems. he is on a ventilator right now and will probably be going back to Heavenly Father soon. i can't help but think back on all my memories with him and what an instrumental and special part he has played in my life. he sealed me to my family and to my husband. he has always been a perfect example of dedication to the Lord and to family. how thankful i am to have him in my life. i wish i could be there with him and take care of him and make sure he knows how much i absolutely adore him, but i know he knows. he probably won't get a chance to read this, but i hope he can feel my deep love and gratitude for him. i'm praying for you Grandpa!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

measure in love...

so, we've both been pretty spoiled around here. after our two week vaca to california, dan had two more weeks off school, and i only had to work four nights, and then had another week and a half off... so we've had lots of time together to play games, go on dates, eat fun dinners, have friends over, watch 'deep impact' and 'dear john', do projects, go hunting at least five times [that's all dan]... basically every fun and wonderful thing that we never have time to do every day. so i think it's safe to say it's been a pretty fabulous year so far... mmm!

new years eve was celebrated at home in pajamas with a fondue meat&veggie dinner topped off with some martinelli's {4 pack from sam's club, of course}, a new years toast, some treat-making and munching, lots of games [dominos/skip-bo, the usual], a hyped up dance party in the living room complete with his&hers blinking LED flashlights, a slow dance to aud lang syne, a fake count down, a kiss, a firework extravaganza in the parking lot while dan... walked me out to WORK!! yes, i worked while clocked strike twelve. it was a little devastating being away from my main squeeze, but we managed to sneak a quick call in so we could at least talk and reallly countdown together... we had a delicious buffet at work and most certainly did share some sparkling cider as well! i LOVE listening to bowel sounds on new years eve, it's just the best thing ever.

i had new years day off of work, it was just plush. that was the goodbye to our hoarding days day [see "organization is BLISS" post below]...

highlights thereafter: buy date...

he got a hot fudge sundae, she got a m&m mcflurry; we then mozied on over to best buy and played some schveet video games [that's as close as we get to those...]. the funniest. we had to fight over them with the 12 year old boys.

...$1 sushi @ surin date...

surin of thailand is a restaurant on the strip... delicious, delicious! on certain days they have midnight sushi for a buck!... we felt soo fun&funny getting carded and wearing our phone restore wristbands showing that we were of age, sipping on our water, being so hip with all the college kids, and just chit-chatting our glistening hearts out. we will most definitely be going back, and if you come visit us we will take you there (!!)

...gymnastics meet date...

alabama vs. penn state. our gymnastics team is a pretty big deal. they were giving away ipads&55'' tv's, so dan and i were just so excited for when we won [not if, when... we were so sure]. we got all dressed up in our bright and fun outfits so the camera would be drawn to us (all very calculated), got there and spent at least 20 minutes filling out raffle tickets for the ipad, found our seats next to dan's geography teacher (she MIGHT have a little crush on him, not totally sure... but she gave him 100% on everything he did and they might have had a moment while she was passing him in the aisle as she complimented his converses). anywho, definitely didn't win the raffle. so we were set on winning the DANCE competition! (YES!!!) dan wouldn't stand up, so i was just hyphying my HEART out & puttin my grove on with the highest hopes, the camera didn't even COME my way... that's just not fair. we're over it. the gymnastics meet was the best, they fly around like no big deal. we just love the taylor swift songs to the bar dance and the sweet home alabama pride on the floor. we totally, totally, and TOTALLY won [whooped their tushes] in that meet.

watched twin towers. i cried five times at least. it was a little cheesy but only in the best way. you should probably watch it {netflix} if you want to love your husband and family more, love your country, remember the past, etc. and we most definitely enjoyed enjoy popcorn, cookie dough, and candy enough for a family of six.

...stake conference&tcby...

adult session stake conference in bessemer, just wonderful&we loved it. we came back to tuscaloosa and went to tcby with our cute friends, had the most fun and funny conversations, and then made a LATE NIGHT TRIP TO WALMART!!! {duh duh duhhh....} which is usually the kiss of death, but we actually enjoyed it! we bought everything from summer sausage to lemons, you really just can't go wrong there. we even had a surprisingly sweet run in with our friend kelly. :] the next morning was our stake conference and guess who spoke? just guess... PRESIDENT MONSON, elder perry, sister dalton, and brother mcmullin. it was FAR too blissful. [yes, it was broadcast from salt lake to the gulf states if you MUST ask]... we heard such lovely stories from our dear prophet and the most entertaining talk on not "STUFFOCATING" ourselves.


we have been cooking and baking maniacs. chocolate chips cookies, m&m chocolate popcorn, funfetti cake, meatball and vegetable stew, corn chowder, corn bread, fajitas, chicken caesar salad, chicken alfredo, chicken fried rice, funeral potatoes, cheesy scrambled eggs, and YES... thanks to megan whitlock i made homemade biscuits and gravy (if you know my cooking then you know it was the biggest ordeal of my life). all homemade and enjoyed fully! we had my cute friend jada over one night and some other friends another, we love it!

...snow ridiculous...

i wish i convey to you the sheer panic and loss of all sense that comes over people when there is even the slightest flurry in this town. it is hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time. it snowed probably 1/2 inch last week, barelystuck to the ground, really not a big deal right? wrong... the university of alabama shut down. walmart & target shut down. banks shut down. the nurses at the hospital STAYED THE NIGHT and slept in patient rooms because they were too utterly frightened to drive in this life-threatening and dangerous "inclement weather" and they were afraid none of the other nurses would show up the next day. we went to walmart the day before... NOT ONE LOAF OF BREAD left in the whole store. people think they are going to get snowed in and so they hurry to the store and buy break and milk. i mean... there is NO TELLING how long you could be STUCK in your car or house with a HALF OF AN INCH OF SNOW ON THE GROUND!!! the university of alabama sent out multiple emails telling the students that they do not need to worry about coming to school for the first day because of the weather. dan's organic chemistry class tomorrow has been mysteriously cancelled. here is the forecast for tomorrow according to


it's alabama.

overall, we love each other and we love this new math game on dominos (mathinos or dominath, i'm still deciding). oh yeah, dan made a styrofoam plane from scratch that was just so impressive and flew so perfectly! (backwards).

and... real life starts today!

the end!

Monday, January 10, 2011

lovely&lively: WORKIN IT.

i love her use of neutrals, so perfectly popped with the mustard scarf (which is my favorite color) look at those shoes on the right, you would think they were the most mid-evil hideous things until you glance to the left and see how she WORKS them! that teaches us that you NEVER know until you try them on (so, so true with clothes). don't judge! i've been pining for some leather gloves like that. they would make me feel so unstoppable.

we need to be more excited to mix blacks, grays, and browns. some people feel that this is a fashion faux pas (i looked the spelling up on that one), but it is so refreshing and dark at the same time. please go look through your closet and find a lovely black, brown, and gray outfit right this instant! then wear one bright thing... ta da! you are high fashion.

and is she wearing bright red lipstick? no... but i wish she was. it would be the most divine thing. (that would be her one bright thing).

we love her. but we love you more, gao gairl...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

organization is BLISS

calling getting organized a "new years resolution" just doesn't do it justice... i have been pondering, researching, and preparing myself mentally for months to finally buckle down and get organized. i have read every magazine that mentions organizing and have organized gurus, it's the best. i need all this help because i'm not the most organized person by nature. you know what i mean if you knew me in high school or ever saw my room!

but those days of disorganization and disarray are done! i want our little apartment to be a sanctuary in these troubled times. i want to walk through that drafty front door and feel peace, coziness, and calm and see beauty and cleanliness. we may still be able to hear E40 blasting through the window in our bedroom from the parking lot and the extremely loud yelling voices from outside penetrating through our walls, but once you are in you are safe from all that confusion and yuckiness.

so, first step to getting organized...


... this step is crucial, absolutely... might be the most important step. this stuff includes things you haven't used in years, knick-knacks, memoirs, random appliances you "might use someday," something with sentimental value that you never use, look at, or even remember until once every two years when you are trying to clean things out, etc... this is a problem because all this things do not have a place. everything in your house needs a home or it will end up on the floor, in the junk drawer, in the junk room, floating aimlessly, or stuffed in the closet or garage where it lays there lifelessly and without purpose, living a long, painful life until it's eventual death... when you finally realize it's time to move on.

so move on! "but it's that calendar i made for my extra credit project in pathophysiology that took me so long and i love it!" solution: take a picture of it, every page and angle if you'd like... and put it in a memories folder... where it can live forever! and throw it away. you will feel AMAZING.

clothes. if you do not LOVE it, get rid of it. that's my policy. [if you don't love it, don't even buy it in the first place... even if it's on sale!] i was going through my clothes and was having a hard time saying goodbye and sending them off to a thrift store of unknown origin so i gave them to a girl who i knew could use them. now my day is brightened every day i see her and know that my clothes will live on!

you have to be ruthless! you have to be strong! if you are feeling weak, watch an episode of hoarders and it should scare you so bad you will go throw away a fraction of your belongings (that's what i did).

don't be afraid to say no. "do you want these shoes? they don't fit me right..." well, i don't love them, but i might wear them sometime... "no thank you!" or "here honey, take these washcloths and old winter coat, you need all you can get when you're a newlywed" (good-hearted mother here with good intentions, who is also trying to rid herself of years of accumulated STUFF)... "those are nice, mom, but no thank you! we already have plenty of washcloths"

2. Buy boxes, shelves, bins, etc...

you will need supplies. everything needs somewhere to go, so buy a home for it! you can do this without spending too much, and it is ever so worth it. just make sure you think it through and find the most efficient system for you.

3. dedicate a day!

you will need at least a day of uninterrupted organizing to truly tackle the task. plan on it, make sure you will have everything you need, recruit your husband, and oh how lovely the results will be.

on new years day dan and renovated our second bedroom. we were starting to call it our hoarders room because it had gotten so bad. "i'm tired, we'll get to it later..." and "i'll unpack this suitcase tomorrow" and "just put it in here for now" all piled up and before we knew it we refused to even open the door out of sheer horror. that room was not being utilized or appreciated.

and now it is beautiful! we leave the door open and would be proud for a guest to see. i wish this was all i took. but i've learned being organized must be a daily activity. it must become second nature. and i really am working on it.... by the time i have kids i will probably have my own organizing show or blog or magazine. everyone needs a success story, right? i even bought a whiteboard calendar that has given us a whole new outlook on life... i won't get into that right now.

wow! who knew i could write so much about organization! i guess i knew i could, because it's been one of my most passionate subjects lately. i get giddy over bins and drawers and organizing units at target.

and thank you margi for the most beautiful bookshelf in existence!!! we couldn't love it more. how nerdy are we to get sooo excited about a bookshelf? mostly me that i literally would scream and yell "I LOVE IT!!!!!" everytime i saw it for the first two days.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


dear ashley lurline james keller,

happy birthday my best, most wonderful companion besides my husband (isn't that the best?!) i truly, completely, fully, and whole-heartedly adore you. since we were little tiny babies we have been bosom buddies, two peas in a pod... i think partners in crime is probably the best description. whether we were trying to steal the phone from our dads so we could say "hi, do you think you can come visit this summer?" or owning the lemonade franchise in st george, utah and being the sassiest to little girls and the most annoying to old ladies across the street, having crushes on every boy it seemed like, stealing the karaoke show in washington DC, getting lost on the beach, getting stuck on pylons and screaming for help, getting stuck on a cliff at the family reunion and being saved by hikers, singing together in the talent show at the family reunion, efy-ing our lives away, late nights in my room with me getting ready for bed and you reading the book of mormon to me, mYSPACE, eating CHIPS and go-gurt, swimming forever, babysitting the marshalls [klondike bars, swimming...., pow wows, movies], fulfilling our life-long dream and being roommates in college {it was everything we dreamed of and more], i mean... because of each other we both met our SHAKAS for LIFE! i love my memories with you laying in our two twin beds we turned into one big bed and having the best talks and you telling me to stop picking my toes and cuddling and being so in love and happy. you are my person. i couldn't love you any more.

those are about 2% of our total memories for life... and we need more, lots more. i'm ready for some right now, or in march... you are so beautiful and just such a lovely person. thank you for always inspiring my sense of style and being so innovative in your ideas. thank you for always teaching me how to have fun and love life. i am so thankful i have you in my life. i am so in love with and proud of the person you are.

let's move in next door to eachother already... this distance is more than i can bear. please party and dance and scream and listen to bossy and be ridiculous as we would if i was there... love, love, love, love, loooove!


Monday, January 3, 2011

laugh, cry, and love it...

we watched this video for family home evening and it brought happiness to our souls! i couldn't love mormon messages more!