Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013


This year, my awesome enrichment committee & myself were able to throw the ward Christmas party. The wheels for this started spinning months ago-- we wanted all things classic with a punch of glitz & glam. Thanks to the many talented people in our ward, Lela & I were able to plan a delicious menu, sparkly decor, and a spiritual musical program using all the resources in our ward. I can't even begin to count the musical talent we have in our ward, let alone the amazing gourmet cookies we had brought for dessert. The night was a major success thanks to the help of so many talented people. For the most part, I was running around, serving food, and cleaning up that night, so most of these photos are just of the decor, which was the brunt of my piece to the big puzzle of the party. 

Monday, December 2, 2013


I have always loved making my home inviting, warm, and full of joy. Weather it's hosting a dinner party, keeping up on cleaning, or just simply a nice dinner, I just enjoy my home. When Christmas rolls around, I can't wait to decorate and add little sparkles throughout the entire house. Since last year we were so transient because of Derek's rotations, we didn't have a "home" to decorate. Because of this, I was even more antsy to bust out all things glittery and bright. I absolutely love my decorations--the deep jewel toned ornaments, mercury glass accents, my beloved Nativity, the hand painted Santa cookie jar passed down from my grandmother, and even changing up the bedroom decor for a cozy and festive touch. I love having all the lights out and just reading by the glow of the tree and the twinkle it gives off. So, what are you waiting for? Go deck your halls!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The past three years, Derek has worked the full Thanksgiving "weekend". It's something I think a lot of wives, families, and children look forward to each year--- having their loved ones home for the holiday. For me, it just makes me more thankful for this guy. I knew long before the medical life started that holidays, heck, even Saturdays would be far from normal in our house. These are still "work" days for people in the medical profession. Derek started (his only) 2 week OB/GYN rotation this past Monday and was told to work on Thanksgiving. When he texted to tell me that he would be working that day, my response was something I have gotten very used to saying, "I figured! We can always eat leftovers at midnight!" So while I get my first round of turkey, sweet potatoes, and stuffing (Can we side track here and say that stuffing is literally manna from heaven? Okay, thanks.), this boy will be helping little turkey day babies be brought into the world. Which, is pretty dang cool if you ask me.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Something Derek and I have been very good at is always having a Saturday night date. Sometimes it's jammies and movies. Other times it's a night on the town. Sometimes, it's as simple and special as a trip to the temple. On weekends Derek is on call however, that pager from circa 1999 gets to tag along. Sometimes, it doesn't make a beep. Other times, we have just been seated for dinner and that loud, high pitched, beep, Beep, BEEP, starts going. If you ever want a full dining room of people to stop what they are doing and just stare at you, have a pager go off. After that page, it's straight to the phone and computer to read x-rays, patient medical records, and for Derek to pre-assess the patient. Last night, we were at a friends house for dinner and the pager went off. Derek thanked our friends, and was up and out the door for an emergency surgery. (That man. He is the BEST.) So, although our third wheel is just a pager, man, he sure makes an impact on a night. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


This. All of this. Right here. These people. This is why I love Thanksgiving. A time to sit and reflect on all you are truly grateful for. A wonderful and supportive family. Loving friends & cherished friendships. The beautiful city and country to live in. The green grass, changing leaves, and snow topped houses. The smells of a Sunday pot roast and potatoes. Inspirational talks, lessons, songs, and leaders at church. A date night to just sit and talk for hours and hours at dinner with your spouse. Gainful employment and an education. Curling up with a good book and cup of hot cider. I could go on and on. But man, would you just look. Look at all we have to be grateful for. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


I have always been a fan of Halloween. Something about getting dressed up just gets me excited. Add a school parade & class party with treats and games (in elementary school) and I am sold. There's just something special about that feeling of running to houses, filling your bag as high as you can, and then dumping it all out on the floor that just makes my heart happy. The past few years, it's almost as the holiday has been skipped over because of traveling or work, but this year, it was time to break that cycle and get out. Thankfully, friends invited us over for a festive dinner of chili & cornbread before we all headed to to keep an eye on 8 very excited and anxious kiddos. They live in the perfect neighborhood for trick-or-treating and we all had a great time, plus, who wouldn't love this adorable group of kiddos knocking on your door?!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Derek and I have always lived in very transient wards--Arizona was full of students, Michigan had quite a few move outs all at once, and now our wonderful San Diego ward is filled with military and law students galore. I love that there are always a slew of new people coming in, but at the same time, it's sad to see ward members leave. This month, per request of members, we held activities all about getting to know one another. We served pies and cobblers--Lela & Brittany stole my taste buds with their Apple Crisp & Pumpkin Pie-- and had great conversation about everyone's loves and talents. It was  a great evening where we all learned fun facts about each other & shared some of our own. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013


The past few days I have had that feeling of nostalgia everywhere I go. One morning it was the sun creeping over the hills by our house and that smell of wet dirt outside. That smell, man. It was the smell of early morning drives to school in Arizona where that sun was finally cool enough to enjoy. Pumping gas the other day, and looked across the lot and saw a Residence Inn. I had a flashback to last November in San Francisco when Derek and I called our little room 405 home. Where we would wake up to a free breakfast and falling leaves. Lug laundry down to the laundromat, and walk across the street to the cleaners. At work, one of my co-workers mentioned that a part had to be specially ordered from the Ford plant in Detroit. I automatically jumped to thinking about our weekend trips to Greenfield Village & the Henry Ford Museum. How we could drive 10 blocks South and be in the heart of the city, or 10 blocks North and be in farm land with farms and orchards for picking. Saturday, it was an afternoon on Coronado Island bike riding with Derek. I looked over to see that San Diego skyline and remembered just a few months ago, realizing that residency would bring us back to a city we both love so much. I am not sure why these feelings of nostalgia have been flowing lately, but I can't complain. I have had a blessed life that has lead me to so many places, people, and things I love. Fall always gets me feeling really deep and grateful. Just another reason to love this time of year. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


(last October in Denver)
Last week I woke up to that first smell of "Fall". The way I define it is that wet smell in the air that just lingers long enough to leave a memory. It was the smell I would walk to the bus stop in elementary school with. It was the smell my sister and I would brave those early, dark mornings on our way to seminary. It was the smell those crisp mornings in Rexburg when my nose would turn pink from the wind. The other morning, it was the smell of having a quick bowl of oatmeal on the patio while these city streets were still quiet. I love the way smells bring back and create memories. It's almost like this magic scrapbook we always have on hand; one that can take us back to a different place and time instantly. 

Monday, September 23, 2013


Something I love to do is play hostess. Luckily, our ward is filled with many talented women who enjoy doing the same thing, and a lot who wanted to learn more tips and tricks when doing so. We decided this would be a great activity to learn from the many talented women in our ward and make a party out of it. We invited all to participate in an hors d'oeuvre contest, and view examples of hosting ranging from centerpieces to fruit displays. Lela, as always, pulled out all the stops with our beautiful display table, which made it almost impossible to think we were in the seminary room. It was a great activity filled with fun, friends, and too many yummy foods to choose from. The winner (and one of my favorites) was Stephanie's mini chicken & waffles, which I'm still craving to this day.