Christmas Check-in

It's been a really busy season. I started the month thinking that I'd have so much time to get my shopping done, presents wrapped, maybe even make some Christmas candy and homemade presents. 

This is not to be the case. 

But I've put up a tree, burned some Christmas candles, played some carols, and spent a lot of time thinking about "the reason for the season". It's no secret that this year has been a struggle for me, especially the last few weeks. A few weeks ago I came to a breaking point, and I needed to make a decision about something big. I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn't brave enough to do it. So I finally prayed about it. And got the opposite answer. But I knew that I'd have to change my plan. So I did. 

Since then, things have been getting better. Not a complete 180, but we're coming up on maybe a 75 degree turnaround. Things still aren't where I want them, and the handmade gifts might not get finished until March, but I keep remembering where my inspiration came from, and I feel better about it all. 

Luke and I went to see the Christmas show at Temple Square tonight. Getting there was stressful, and I almost wanted to just turn around and head back home. But we made it, and it was just what I needed. I feel less concerned with the busyness of the holiday, much more in tune for the reason for the celebrating. 

So what if I don't end up making 5 different kinds of homemade chocolates? Its really okay that I didn't get everyone on my list three perfect presents and wrapped them in co-ordinating paper with hand-tied bows. I'll be spending my holidays with family and giving thanks to Him as often and as best as I can. 

August Recap

I think that August has been the craziest month we've had in a long, long time. It started out simply enough - we were settling back into a routine after traveling in July, no real plans, just hanging out and enjoying the summer. 

Then we got a call. From our landlord. He wants to see the condo we've been living in for the last year and a half. Upsetting, but not the worst possible thing that could happen. We tell him we need 3o days to move from the time it sells. Long story short, it sold in about two weeks. I thought we'd have a couple months. So we had to figure out something fast. 

After browsing for hours, trying to find something in our area and price range, I still wasn't having any luck. So one Sunday afternoon I decide to drag Luke around the neighbourhood so we can scope out For Rent signs. We found nothing. As we're walking the last block before home, we find a house, but it's for sale. We think about it, we call, and we set up a showing for the next day. 

Long story short, we bought a house. And we closed on it in less than a month. And we moved with days to spare. 

Our house!!

We moved on the 18th, which meant that we spent our anniversary unpacking. Months ago, I had been thinking we could go on a weekend getaway. Instead, we stayed home and unpacked, and celebrated with a giant ice cream cake. 

Right now, the only pictures of the inside of the house that I have are ones I took with the previous tenants stuff. Once we get more settled and set up here, I'll have lots of pictures to share. 

Not everything in August was moving-related. I celebrating my birthday {cupcakes at work!}, I filed more paperwork with the gov't for my Green Card, and kept up with things at work, mostly. 

As a bonus, my grandpa was in town, and I got to have dinner with him!

And to end on a funny note, here is a picture of Lukas climbing into our attic so he could rewire the house with internet. 

July Recap

Almost caught up! July was the busiest month of the year. 

We spent the first week visiting my family in Canada. We even made it in time for Canada Day fireworks! It's been years since I've been home for that. 

Look, it's a maple leaf! Sort of.

Turns out iPhones can handle fireworks pretty well

I woke up to this sweet face every morning

Took this awesome photo with my faves


After a week in Canada we set off to Idaho. Luke went backpacking with his family, while I hung out at home with his mom. We worked on crafts and tried new recipes. He had a good time, even though they came back early because it rained the whole time. 

Two days after getting back from our adventures, we headed off again, this time for a work trip. We rented a cabin up by Park City. Turns out a lot easier to talk about timelines and project management when you look out the window and see this: 

So, story time! The work trip wraps up, and finally, we're back and settled into our routine again. Then we get a call from our landlord. They want to sell the condo we've been living in for a year and half. So we figure it'll be a couple of months. False. It look a week. So we had to find a new place. And we think we found one we really like! Further updates in the next post. 

June Recap

Still playing catchup over here... June was low on pictures so this will be a quick one. 

Early in the month we had a work BBQ. Lots of planning and stress on my part, but it came together well. 

Luke's family had a little reunion down near Manti. We went camping and hiking, and I slept in a tent. I also didn't take any pictures. Rats. But we had a really good time!

For the past year, I've been working on an embroidered quilt. I finally finished sewing up the night before we left for Canada. I still have to add the back, but the hard part is over! 

Yes, I mentioned Canada. We planned a week at home for a family reunion, then Luke's hiking with his family in Wyoming. But I'll get to that in the next update.

And, here's my favourite pin from the month. Rather fitting, I think.


May Recap

I'm so far behind, but I'm working on catching up! With 4 months of recaps, plus random thoughts to write about, plus some fall goals, I have a lot to say. So I'm just going to dive in. 

May was the first month all year that I didn't get to see someone in my immediate family. There was a wedding lull, I guess. But we did make it up to Bear Lake to see Luke's side of the family and celebrate his birthday! 

Luke and his birthday/graduation blanket 

Probably his favourite present ever. The clock parts came from his grandpa's "junk pile", and his dad helped him make the shelf from marine wood

And here's Rufus the lap dog, just for fun

We also celebrated with all-you-can-eat sushi from a place down the street. Luke loved it, but I'm not convinced that fish is ever a good idea. They have fantastic fried rice and potstickers, though. This was my fortune from the end of the night. 

Happy birthday, Lukas!

Work was super busy for me this month, so I made a little reminder. I'm not sure if it helped, but it did make me smile. 

I also had my first spa facial in May! I live just a few blocks from the Aveda school, and figured that I try out a reduced cost treatment. It was the best thing ever. Super relaxing, and very affordable. 

Work's been crazy - we're shipping, which takes up most of my work day - and so I haven't had a ton of time for reading or doing other fun things. I worked on my quilt for a little while, and I'm pretty much caught up now. And that's May!

April Recap

Oh man, blogging fail! More than a month between posts! I wish I could say that it was fun things keeping me away, but it was just boring life stuff. Enough about my blogger's guilt - on to the recap! 

April started out great because my mom was in town! She came down for a long weekend. We got to hang out and chat, try some new recipes, have Easter dinner together, go shopping, and head to a family lecture. We didn't take any pictures together while she was here, but I like to thing that was because we were too busy having fun. I get this pic of her poor phone: 


After getting to visit for almost a week, mom headed home, and I dived into a huge work project. It only wrapped up the middle of last week, which is a huge relief to me. Now I get to catch up on everything that fell through the cracks. Yippee! 

I did drag Luke up to Thanksgiving Point to see the Tulip Festival. That really deserves it's own post, but here's a little teaser: 

My sister-in-law {Luke's sister} ran the Boston marathon this year. I am SO proud of her, and I wish we could've been in Boston to cheer her on. 


For the first time this year {that I can recall, at least}, I actually tried a new recipe. Mom helped me plan and cook Easter dinner, and we made lemon herb potatoes, maple glazed carrots, and a really great broccoli salad that I can't find the recipe for. It was so simple to make: toss broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, yellow pepper, cubed cheese, and green onions in ranch dressing using your preferred quantities of each. 

I also finished reading One More Thing, which I think is my favourite book of short stories ever.   

I saw this tutorial for cloth napkins on Pinterest, and I thought, I must make these immediately! So I bought some fabric, and that's as far as I've gotten. Ah well.

... and that wraps up April! 

March Recap

I feel like I just did the recap for February! But that's probably because I wrote it super late. So here we go again, this time, for March! 

We spent all of March at home, which was nice. And now has me itching to go on a trip. 

Tyrell came to visit for a few days, which was fun. Although he spent most of his time hanging out with old mission buddies, so I didn't get to see him much. The butt. 

I finally hung up curtains in my bedroom. I am amazed at how much better the room looks. It's like we actually live here! I'd share pictures, but I haven't put laundry away in.... a few days. And I'm not going to show that on the internet. 

Halfway through March I finished reading Mrs. Hemmingway by Naomi Wood. This deserves it's own post, but I will say this: Hemmingway was a jerk, and I think his 3 (!!!) wives were more interesting than he was.

I shared some Instagram photos of my current huge craft project. Last year, I signed up for Mollie's 50 States Stitching Club, and since then, I've been slowly cranking away at it. I finally cut out the strips for the quit, and this is what I chose: 

These pictures aren't great, but that's what happens when I stay up too late crafting. 

I also started working on a new screenplay. It's coming along very slowly, but I'm just glad to be doing something I love.

And, to round out the month, here are few fun things from around the internet: 

I think that this DIY herbal foot soak is so pretty! 

Modern Mrs. Darcy put together a perfect spring reading list. Some I've read and some I haven't. It seriously has me thinking of putting together my own little list. 

This March quote is the perfect way to end this post: 

Sunday Confessions: Blogging for Me

Blogging has changed a lot since I first started writing here a looooong time ago. It used to be something that people did for fun, to keep their friends and families updated on their lives. Personal blogs used to be really big, and I loved being able to keep up with my friends and whatever they were doing. 

Then things changed.

Blogging turned into something people could make money at. Soon, instead of fun, personal posts, bloggers were writing about crafts and recipes and anything else that appealed to a wider market. Then they started hosting ads on their pages. Next came sponsored posts. And now, we are where we are. People are blogging for money, and taking high profile sponsors. Every post had to be Pinterest worthy and appeal to everyone.

And I don't like it. 

I used to love writing about the random things that happened to me. I wrote honestly about my life. So when the era of big bloggers started, I thought I'd try my hand at it. I wrote a post or two that maybe could have been popular. But I didn't like how it felt. I wasn't saying things that I really thought, I was saying things that I hoped people would like. I wasn't being true to who I was. 

So I'm changing it. 

I've started doing monthly recap blogs because I like to. Sure, I was inspired by some popular bloggers, but I genuinely like looking back through the past 4 weeks and remembering the adventures I had. I've written about goals I've set, because that's something important to me. I want to start writing blog posts about dream vacations, short stories, and just random things because that is what I find interesting. That's what I like writing about, and I don't care if it makes me popular or not.

And I don't expect it to change. 

It's clear that blogging is now it's own beast, and that there's no way to control it. I don't expect to change the world of blogging with my little stand. I'm going to keep writing for me because it's how I want to grow as a writer, not because I want a thousand followers or to become popular on Pinterest. I just want to be a better writer. And when I start listening to me, and stop writing for other people, that's when I write the best. 

February Recap

I was all set to put up a recap for February during the first few days of March. And then my computer charger died. Turns out, those things are kind of hard to come by, and it took almost a week to get a new one. And now, here we are, reading a monthly update two weeks later than planned. 

Compared to January, February was nice and relaxing. We didn't make any big trips this time, just a long weekend up to Bear Lake to visit with family.  

For Valentines, we went out to our favourite local Italian restaurant, then browsed around the bookstore. Nothing too exciting, and it was nice and quiet. I was worried everywhere would be crowded, but aside from a bit of traffic, we had no problem getting a table. 

A few weeks back, the Relief Society had a crafting activity. Ever sense, a few of us have met on Thursdays to work on projects and chat. It's been really nice, and I've been making some serious progress on my biggest craft, an embroidered quilt

My little sister came through town on her way to chase the perfect wave. Even though I only got to see her for half an hour, it was awesome to get together and share a cheeseburger. 

I didn't meet most of my monthly resolutions, which is kind of a downer. I had dinner with a friend, but Luke and I didn't get to see any of our couple friends. I also didn't try any new recipes. I didn't get around to seeing a new release movie, but I did watch two "classics", Riding in Cars with Boys and Almost Famous. Neither of which was anything like what I was expecting. Almost Famous was a bit full of itself, but was kinda fun if you're into early 90s rockers. Riding in Cars with Boys wasn't nearly as scandalous as it sounds, and was a great story about a woman who's life doesn't turn out the way she dreamed it would, but it still works out okay. 

I started reading One More Thing, which I'm loving. I'm really starting to get into short stories, and this collection was a great one to start with. 

And to finish off, some fun nonsense from around the web: 

I bought this day planner, and I love it! You know I love London themed anything.

Used books are fun, but sometimes the covers are falling apart, or creep me out a little (this Great Gatsby cover is made of nightmares), so when I get a free moment, I really want to try this tutorial for covering books in a new fabric cover. 

Because Spring, That's Why

Since I don't live on the East Coast, the weather this winter has been, to put simply, mild. Warm, even. But not quite so warm that I can pretend it's spring. And it's driving me crazy. I want to wear a light jacket and cute flats and sleep with the window open and eat ice cream outside, dang it! So here are some pretty pictures that remind of spring. 

This colour palate is so perfectly springy. Plus ice cream! And sprinkles! 

Spring seems like the best time to try out this fancy blackberry limeade, right? 

I'm really loving this simple dress. It's not very colourful, but I think the floral lace makes it count as an Easter dress.

via JCPenny

And these little bowls are perfecct for Easter candy, er, I mean fresh berries. 


I want a little English country garden so bad! Nothing seems more spring-like than that.

January Recap

Since it's already a week into February, I guess I should post my little January recap. 2015 started off with a bang as I finished the holiday season, traveled back to Provo, and then headed off to Las Vegas for a work trip. 

Back in Provo I settled in for a long, cold winter. Surprisingly, the weather has been springlike, and we spent a few afternoons in the park. In January! 

Sunday afternoon in the park with a flying machine for Luke and my new adventure 
pack-sack from Ty and Charlotte.

I've gotten back in the habit of reading, finishing Pretty is what Changes by Jessica Queller, and starting on Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. 

I watched too much Netflix, including finishing Friends, Muppets Most Wanted, and The Hobbit.

Although I put up my new years resolutions just recently, I was making progress on them before that. We spent an evening with some couple friends while we were in Vegas and I hung out with an old friend up near Salt Lake. Luke and I went on small dates each week. My favourite was when we went out for lunch on a Friday. We also went on one big date, to see BYU's musical production of The Count of Monte Cristo

And just for fun, here are a few things that I found fun and interesting: 

I bought this London planner, and I love it!

This list of things to do alone really caught my eye. Because sometimes it's nice to just be by yourself.

I'm not sure this counts, with the non-winter we've been having, but I get grumpy when I'm cold...

via Buzzfeed

My 2015 Resolutions/Goals

Last year, I never got around to recording my New Year's resolutions. I meant to, but I just never got around to it. After a few months, I told myself that I would just do a "theme word" for the year, like some of this big fancy bloggers. Borne out of necessity, my theme was "travel", since I did quite a bit of wandering. 

This year, though, I have a ton of things I want to work on. Probably more than is reasonable. But here's my goals for the year. Some of them are going well, while others are giving me something to work on right away.  

Complete this reading challenge
See a new release movie once a month 
Watch one classic movie a month 

Personal Development 
Blog at least twice a week
Finish all the projects I started in 2014 (and before, if I'm being honest)
Try one new recipe a month                   

Go on a walk every day
Do yoga three times a week
Do some type of cardio workout at least twice a week 

See friends once a month
Go on one big date with Luke once a month
Have date night once a week 
Eat breakfast together once a week

I have more, but I'm really trying to put a cap on my goals so I don't overwhelm myself and burn out by February. So yeah, that's what I'm working on for 2015. I know is kind of past the resolutions sharing part of the month, but I'd love to see what you're working on this year! 

2014 Year In Review

Last year was quite a year. From moving across the country to starting a new job, it's been an intense 12 months. 

Luke and I celebrated New Years in Provo before heading off to New York City. We had a great time exploring the Big Apple, visiting the NYPL, walking around Central Park, and seeing the sites before heading home.

We came back to Provo at the end of March. We settled in, and finally started unpacking and setting up in our new apartment. Luke geared up for spring classes, and I applied for a new job. After two successful interviews, I started working at Owlet as an office manager. It's been a huge learning experience, and I enjoy working there.

Summer was very busy, and super fun. It started with my first smartphone (and thus my first selfie) We went up to Bear Lake, then travelled on to Waterton. We made another trip back to the lake when my family came down, and all the in-laws hung out together. Basically, summer was awesome.

Fall was quiet. Luke worked hard to finish up his last undergraduate class, and I got into a good rhythm at work. I talked about hosting a Canadian thanksgiving, but that didn't happen. Instead, my parents came down at the start of November for my cousin's wedding.

The year ended in a rush as Luke finished his class and graduated!! Things got busy at work, but everything got wrapped up before we headed out to celebrate Christmas with our families.

2014 was full of lots of travel and lots of family. I can only hope for the same for 2015.

Being Back

I got sucked into the December vortex. Between year-end tasks at work, two holiday trips, and the actual holidays, time got away from me, and it's amazing I got anything done at all. But here I am, ready to go with the new year. 

I have lots of things to write about, and lots of motivation to carve out time for writing. Here's to a new year full of interesting things!