12.31.2015

CHRISTMAS 2015

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year! Each year we've decided to rotate whether we stay in Utah or go up to Canada - and this year we stayed in Utah. My cousin Larissa got married over the break, so her family (who lives in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East) came out, along with my cousins in Virginia so it was a lot of fun to have all of our family together because it only happens every few years!

Larissa was the most beautiful bride. Her and her husband Josh met in my parents BYU ward down at Glenwood. What are the chances, huh?! 

We ate a lot of amazing food, went up to Temple Square to see the lights, and soaked in having all of our family together.


Elle is obsessed with any sort of light and Temple Square was no different! She does this cute thing whenever we turn on a light after walking into a dark room she yells, "Wooooaaaahhh!" It's hilarious. She did the same thing walking up to temple square with all the lights and it was my favorite moment of the whole day!


We got a few little toys for Elle for Christmas and she was in heaven! 


We ate way too much food all day long… 


This picture is of her dancing to the music on on of her new toys. Jazz hands?! It was KILLIN us!

She LOVES anything soft. She kept saying "awwww" as she cuddled with this blanket!

And it snowed close to 12 inches on Christmas DAY. I was so happy. 

We slept at our apartment since it's so close to my parents house and we knew Elle would sleep better in her own bed. When we drove up there in the morning, we couldn't make it up the hill because of how much snow there was. (one of those days I wish we had 4 wheel drive...) One of my neighbors who was LUCKILY on his 4 wheeler clearing sidewalks plowed a little path for us so we barely made it. It was a fun memory :)


We had fun sending out Christmas cards this year although I still have some on my counter needing to be mailed off. I'm the worst at that. Yikes! 

We also took Elle to the Provo Rec Center which was so much fun. Elle LOVES the water!



I am grateful for all the trials and triumphs we experienced in 2015. I love my family and couldn't have survived this year without them. As a new mom, I'm still going through a lot of "firsts" and I've made a lot of mistakes figuring things out along the way, but Elle has been so patient and loving - she is truly the light of our lives. I'm also so grateful for Tyler. He is more than I could have ever asked for in a husband and he is my best friend! I know 2016 will bring on a lot of change for our family but I'm excited to do it all with these two :)


SAN FRANCISCO

Tyler's sister Becky who got married this past summer now lives in the Bay area with her husband Scott! We LOVE Scott and Becky. When Tyler got a med school interview in the bay area it was a no-brainer that we knew we needed to plan a trip to visit them!

Our trip didn't get off to the best start because when we arrived (it was nighttime) we had major problems getting a rental car! We had already prepaid for it but when we got there they wouldn't let us pick it up because the name on the prepaid account didn't match up with the name on the ONLY debit card we brought. It was our fault but still a major bummer. Becky and Scott were in charge of their ward christmas party so they couldn't come get us for a few hours. We sat at the rental place for TWO HOURS trying to figure it out and we finally just rented ANOTHER car. UGH. What a drag, huh? Double paying is the worstttt. But don't worry, our trip got a lot better after this!

On the next day, we went to Fisherman's Warf and ate ate the famous fresh clam chowder in a fresh sourdough bowl at Boudins. I hadn't done that since I was a little girl! 


We went to Ghiradelli Square afterwards then drove down Lombard Street. 

Probably my favorite part of this day, and maybe even of the whole trip was a little walk/hike we went on called Lands End Trail. 

It was UNREAL. 

It was a path that weaved through beautiful trees and ended up on a cliff/overlook of the Golden Gate Bridge. We were all SO glad we did it. 


Pictures don't do justice for how absolutely beautiful the view was! 

The reality of trying to get a picture of Elle in front of the bridge. Oh well!

On Sunday, we went to Scott and Becky's ward and it had us convinced that we want to move there! It was a great group of people! Elle was being soooo fussy so we unfortunately spent a lot of church outside letting her walk around. Trips just throw babies off, but it was so fun to have Elle with us on this one.

Later that evening, we went to Santa Cruz and played at the beach a little. 

Elle was in HEAVEN. 

The whole drive home Tyler and I were talking about needing to plan a trip to the beach in the summer when she can actually play in the water :) It was so much fun to watch Elle have the time of her life!


While Tyler was at his interview, Becky and I went shopping and to lunch! Tyler didn't end up liking the school he interviewed at very much but in the end it was such a fun trip to visit Becky and Scott.

And finally, one of the nights (I think it was maybe our last night?) we went to an amazing Mediterranean restaurant called Dish Dash. It was the best meal of my life. (my family laughs because I use that phrase all the time but it seriously was!)


It was such a wonderful trip and we were so lucky to get to spend time with Scott and Becky and stay in their beautiful apartment! They were the most gracious hostesses. We sure love them!

12.29.2015

DIY FELT LEAF GARLAND

Apartment living means that you sometimes have to get creative with decorations! We don't have very much storage so having a lot of decorations (including a tree - so sad!) just isn't an option for us right now. This leaf garland was so much fun to make! I worked on it one day during both of Elle's naps - so about 2.5 hours - just to give you an idea of how long it took. It was super easy but some of the steps just took a little bit of time. So to anyone who thinks they didn't get the craft gene... no worries my friends, this one is for you!

I got 2/3 of a yard of a dark green felt fabric from JoAnn fabric. Then, I got 1/3 yard of a lighter green felt. I wasn't sure the two colors really matched when I bought them but I knew I wanted a little bit of dimension in the garland. If you want felt balls to resemble "holly" you can buy them at Pebbles in my Pocket in Orem for the cheapest I've ever found! This pack of 12 was $4! 

Then you'll want to cut out various leaf shapes - as many as you can! There is no stencil needed - the more original the better (but seriously, some of mine were scary looking - like didn't even look like leaves scary - and it still turned out!) To give you an idea, the larger leafs were a little smaller than my hand and just went down in size from there. 

Then, cut out an inch-wide strip of felt that is as long as you want the garland to be. I had to sew three different strands together to get it to the length I wanted. 


Once you cut them all of the leaves out, fold them in half:

Then stitch together the bottom like this:
(you can do this by hand but a sewing machine made this whole thing a lot faster!)

You can also layer a few of the leafs together, either different colors or same colors. 


Next, you'll sew the leaves onto the long strip of felt. Just a few stitches will do.


I layered them so some of them faced up, some down. I did the majority of the leaves on ONE side of the felt, but I also did about half the amount on the opposite side. It adds dimension, although I'm sure you could get away with just doing one side.

For the holly berries, I sewed groupings of three together, then stitched them onto the felt where I thought they fit best. 
To sew the berries together, I ran a needle and thread straight through all three berries, then back through the first one, creating a "triangle" which keeps all three together (am I making ANY sense?!)

Feel free to comment with any questions, but there you have it! When I made this, I wished I had a tutorial so maybe someone will find this handy! Hope you have had a very Merry Christmas!

12.03.2015

THANKSGIVING 2015

This year for Thanksgiving, we went up to Salt Lake to be with my dad's side. There are SO many people that after all of my 50 cousins started having kids, I lost track of everyone's names. But nevertheless, it was a lot of fun! After dinner, we drove down to St. George to be with Tyler's family! They flew down from Canada to celebrate American Thanksgiving with us. We rented a fun vacation home and had such a fun weekend. My favorite memory was laying in bed for hours - all 8 of us - talking and laughing. 

Tyler's mom really wanted a picture so we went on a pretty drive up Snow Canyon and all got out to snap a picture. I sure love these people!

I feel so lucky to absolutely ADORE my in-laws! They are the greatest people and I have never felt like an "in-law" to them. We have so much fun together and we are counting down until we get to see them next. 

Tyler's cousin Monica also came down with us and us girls had a good time shopping on black friday while the other half went on a hike!

Feeling so very grateful this time of year!

MEDICAL SCHOOL INTERVIEWS

It's interview season and it's been an exciting and scary time for our family! Tyler has done 3 interviews so far and has 4 to go! He interviews at the University of Utah in a couple weeks and he is most nervous about that one. The U has a really good medical school and he would get in state tuition which makes it a LOT cheaper than all of his other out-of-state options. The only issue is that it is really hard to get into. They have around 4,000 applicants, give around 500 interviews and accept 100 people. I am SO proud of him for getting an interview and I honestly believe that the Lord has a plan for us and it will all work out - we just need to have faith in His plan for us :)

His first two interviews were in the Phoenix, Arizona area. He flew out to the first one by himself but I tagged along with him on the second one for a little getaway. 

It was our first time leaving Elle (thanks to my family for watching her!) and it was hard to leave her but the little trip was SO rejuvenating and so needed! It didn't help that I came back to Elle calling my mom "mom"! Hahaha, too funny! 
We LOVE Arizona. I grew up going on little getaways here and we both totally see ourselves living here. 

We ate at the YUMMIEST places (we are foodies if you can't tell, always talking about food here haha) and went on some really fun hikes. We brought our selfie stick and I thought I was taking a bunch of pictures but when we got back to the car… there was ONE. It must've got bumped and disconnected? Sad day.

Speaking of food, we ate at our favorite place Waffle House. It's seriously SO ghetto. We always joke that it's not Waffle House unless your waitress has a few teeth missing. But it's what makes the experience so great. The pecan waffle.. don't even get me started. So good!




Next we went to Los Angeles. This trip I barely took any photos which I am now sad about but we had a BLAST! It was surprisingly warm and so we did a beach day and big surprise, ate lots of yummy food. 



I'm grateful for this crazy life we live. I'm grateful for all of the hard days of being a mom that have made these getaways all that sweeter. I'm grateful to have Tyler as my husband and support system who makes me DIE laughing daily and for all of our many blessings!