Our Christmas '09

Christmas this year was super laid back and so, so nice! I got really excited so I woke Cory up earlier than planned and we started opening our presents. We got Mario Kart for Wii and a couple wheels as our combined present. I also got him Lego Star Wars for Wii, some movies, a neck massager (it's awesome!), and a digital thermometer and weather forecaster. He got me some clothes, a Utah Utes license plate cover, more home gym equipment, a small water fountain, and he made me these incredible roses out of metal:

He didn't have time to polish and paint them and he still wants to do that, but I love them either way. I'm so lucky to be married to someone so talented.

Each year we also get each other a new ornament for the tree. He picked the abominable snowman from Rudolph, and he got me a U of U ornament.

Then we headed upstairs and opened presents with his family. It was fun to know we actually could afford to get his family decent presents this year. It was a good year. We also LOVED our presents from his family. We hung out and played board games and Shirleen made a really good lunch. After a couple hours we decided to pry our butts of the couch and go open presents with my family. My parents got a new TV for their kitchen and a blue ray player so most of the afternoon consisted of watching everyone try and set them up. Then my mom made a yummy dinner and we laid around like beached whales until we decided to go home. It was a great day. I say this a lot, but spending time with family is one of my favorite things.

In light of New Years, I've been thinking really hard about making resolutions that I can achieve. I've come up with the following so far:
1. Be positive
2. Continue to pray and read scriptures with Cory every night
3. Get a 4.0
4. Place in a 5k race ( I may not make this one, but I'm going to try...)
5. Run a 10k
6. Read a classic novel
7. Read the Book of Mormon as least twice
8. Make 3 new friends
9. Pay for someone's dinner
10. Be more willing to help
11. Try my best to help people embrace the gospel

Some of them are still a little vague, but I figure specific goals would be more achievable. I'm really trying to focus on the only things that matter in life, the gospel, family, and friends. But I also threw a few in there to keep me from getting bored or to help me be more successful. I have a good feeling about this year. There's many exciting choices to be made. Goodbye 2009! :)


Keepin' it Real

I used to tell a lot of lies when I was younger so I just wanted to set the record straight:
I touched an alcoholic beverage ONCE when I was in elementary school and someone left an open beer bottle on the playground and we picked it up to take it to the Duty. Other than that, I've never consumed it or touched it since. EVER. I have never even seen real drugs except for during the D.A.R.E. programs at school, much less done any. I've been to one "party" with alcohol, and it wasn't even a party, my neighbors in college were all drinking and I was present for a short amount of time. I am going to admit I wasn't even entirely sure of the details of sex until I graduated high school. Then I was told too much. I didn't go to Utah State because it's a "party" school, I went because it was far enough away that I could move out and be on my own, and close enough I could still drive home on weekends. That, and Lisa was attending. I've had friends ever since I can remember that were inactive or that made poor choices and I've been guilty by association to many because of that. Well, I'm clean people. I'm not a rebel. And most of my trustworthy and loyal friends are NOT Mormon. I've met some great people who have respected my standards and I will always continue to do so. Record, are you straight yet?



After busting my butt all semester, I finally got my grades back. I got an A and an A- for a GPA of 3.85. YAY!! I'm pretty happy. I just need to keep the trend going, especially when I transfer to the U.


Information Overload!

I have been a major slacker with blogging lately. I'd like to say that I have an excuse, and I could use finals for some of it, but the fact is... there is no reason. So I'm about to overload you with information and updates. First off... Halloween. We had a great time. I wanted to post my two favorite pictures of the kids:
Brock was a little Monkey

And Bradlee was the most beautiful butterfly in the world:

Then life got boring...
We spent Thanksgiving in Idaho with Cory's family. It was fun hanging out with everyone. And Rhonda is such an amazing cook, everything we ate was from scratch. It was delicious! Then things got boring one more time and we dove into finals week and barely made it out alive. Then this week, we went to go see the Zoo Lights for the first time. They're pretty awesome, but it was only 10 degrees so it was flippin' cold!!!
Here we are with some lights:

Brock seems a little tired...

The awesome thing about going in the winter and at night is the cats are out and about. All the other animals have mysteriously disappeared which makes for kind of an eerie setting. However, the cats are still watch-able. We got to see the cougars (I hated typing that word... just so you know...) and they even did their cry/growl/roar thing for us. It was awesome. Then we got to play with the snow leopard cub. Cory would put his hand up to the glass and the cub would chase it and even jump up to try and catch it. It was so awesome!! I waited for 2 hours to upload a video of it but it still wasn't done. You'll have to check it out on Facebook. It was an incredible experience. Here he is with the cub, so freaking cute! It has it's paw up to Cory's hand:

Here's us again. We're loading with layers. Cory looked like he gained about 20 pounds haha!

Buddy, the adorable Eskimo:

The three tiger cubs we awesome, too. One was right up against the fence. Cory would blow in it's face and make it hiss at him. It was rad.

Brock again:

Tyler and Bradlee looking at the monkey's:

Apparently not everyone was on board for acting like a total fag in this picture... lame wads.

Here's Tory, looking pretty as always:

And apparently my Dad weighs the same as a new born elephant...

Bradlee kept worrying about Cory the whole time and would get upset when he'd walk away from us, which he does a lot. When we went into the reptile enclosure and he wasn't there, she started crying for him and went to him with arms open when he came in. It was the sweetest thing ever. Then she went around the whole place with him so he could show her the animals. He's going to be a great dad some day:

Brock checking out the animals:

So in conclusion to that episode, the Zoo Lights are fun, but go on a warmer night.

We received some awesome news yesterday. Cory got a letter in the mail that told him he was chosen for the Kennecott scholarship!!!! We're so excited!! I couldn't be happier for him :). They'll send him a check at the end of this month to pay for school and supplies, and then when the spring semester is coming to a close and he graduates, they'll contact him about working out there. We're thrilled. This could mean so many great opportunities to come :)

Also, yesterday, Cory's cousin Landon came home from his mission in Hong Kong. I'd only met him once, so going to the ariport was kind of weird, but his family was so excited and Sharon was so cute about it that I was excited for them. It'll be good to have him home and to get to know him. I want to learn more about Hong Kong, it sounds incredible!!

Lastly, for the Holiday spirit, I wanted to leave you with a little joke:

Johnny and his mom went to see Santa at the mall. When Johnny got up to Santa, he kicked him in the leg as hard as he could. Santa was irritated and said,
"What did you do that for? Do you have any idea who I am?"
Johnny replied,
"Yes, you're Santa. Do you have any idea who I am?"
"No," said Santa.
"Good, " said Johnny, and ran away.



So, I've been wanting a nativity set to put up for a while now but most of the good ones are pretty pricey. We were at walmart yesterday and they sell individual pieces of the nativity for $2 a piece. We started rummaging through the selections but we were having trouble finding a baby Jesus and Joseph that weren't black.... Yes, they offer a black nativity. Nothing against blacks in the slightest, we just wanted a nativity that was historically accurate. Anyway, we decided to hold off and go to seagul book for another gift on our list. And guess what we found? I finally got myself a cute nativity that was $15!! Yay!
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I never ceases to amaze me just how powerful music is. Last night, my mom took "Tollin" and I to see Jon Schmidt. I love his concerts. It was so enjoyable, as always. About a quarter of the way into the concert, he decided to play the Taylor Swift meets Coldplay song. It's still difficult for me to listen to Coldplay in general, much less Viva La Vida. And of course, I bawled. It was just so intense and beautiful I couldn't help but miss Adrianne so much at that moment. Even though I felt like an idiot, I was so grateful for the experience. It was weirdly therapeutic. I was so grateful for having known such an incredible person, as well as having the gift of music on this earth. It really is a passion of mine. I resolved to dedicate more time to it last night. There's a few things in life that I've neglected that I've really enjoyed that I want to pick up again. I do too much "required" work and not enough enjoyment. So I'm going to change that.

I also wanted to take a moment and list the things I'm grateful for. I know Thanksgiving is still a week away, but if I don't do it now, I probably never will; on the blog, at least...

1. I'm eternally grateful for Cory. I still am in awe of how I found such a perfect guy. He's so genuine, honest, trustworthy, loving, talented, and thoughtful. I hear "I love you" 5 or 6 times a day just before we go out the door in the mornings. He never ceases to make me laugh, calm me down when I'm angry, hold me when I'm crying, help me when I need it, or just make me feel awesome. He is my rock. He's such a shining example to me and always helps keep me on the right path. I'm so grateful for his priesthood power and his ability to use it whenever we've needed. I love his talents and work ethic. He's my best friend and my guardian angel. I love him with all my heart and soul. (sappy, but true).

2. I'm grateful for the Gospel. I love how much security and happiness it brings into the lives of those who embrace it. I love the ability to change mistakes. I love the gift of forgiveness. I'm grateful for the blessings of the temple and the sealing power that keeps families together forever. I'm grateful for the scriptures. The guidance and lessons found within their pages are priceless. I love the power of prayer and knowing that our Father in Heaven is always watching out for us. What an incredible gift. I can't imagine my life without it.

3. We're so blessed to have such wonderful families! Both Cory and I have such amazing parents who have worked so hard their whole lives so support their children and bring happiness into the home. We've never had a moment where we've felt unloved. We have incredible, caring siblings who watch out for one another. With a team like that surrounding us, we're the luckiest people on earth.

4. I'm grateful for our home and cars. We have so much more than many people on this earth. It humbles me every day to know that we've never had to suffer without the things we need before. We've always had money to pay our bills. We've always had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a warm bed to sleep in. I can't imagine complaining about that. I get so upset when I see people who are so wrapped up in greed and possessions. No ones perfect obviously, but I always have to tell myself how lucky we are that we have what we have. We've been so blessed.

5. I'm so grateful to have such wonderful friends. It's been a rough year in the friend department for me. But I can't explain the gratitude that fills my heart when I think of those who have been there for me and continue to enrich my life. I have some amazing influences to rely on. Thanks for being there and loving me for me, and teaching me so many wonderful things. I love you all!

6. I already mentioned this above, but I'm grateful for music and for my talents in the subject. I'm no Mozart, but I'm glad I can help share this gift with others.

7. I'm grateful for a strong head on my shoulders. I'm far from perfect, and certainly not a genius, but I'm happy to have my smarts and ability to think logically. Most of the time :)

8. I'm grateful for our jobs. They're a tough commodity these days so we are truly so lucky to have them. Not to mention, a job I absolutely LOVE!! It's tiring and stressful some days, but I never have to wonder what my purpose is or if I'm making a difference. I am so lucky to be able to do something I love and be surrounded with such incredible, happy children.

9. I don't understand how people can go through this life and never appreciate the nature that is around us. God has created a breathtaking world for us to enjoy. I am so grateful for that and for the chances we take to get out and forget the trivial cares of our lives.

10. I'm happy we have the opportunity to get an education. Knowledge is such an incredible power, and I'm grateful for the chance to expand on mine (Cory, as well) and use it for greater purposes. It's such a huge deal!

We have a life overflowing with blessings. I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for the countless blessings we enjoy. Life can't get much better than this! :)


Cutting Loose

I can't take it anymore. I'm kind of losing my mind and it's becoming difficult to be kind to others. I'm too weighed down by things I can't control. I'm not a valuable resource anymore. I'm done trying. Sometimes when things get messed up so bad, you need to throw away the pieces and start over. So, time to start fresh. Tomorrow is a brand new day.


Black Island Farm

Today was a lot of fun! Cory and I, my mom, Lisa, Tory, and the kids headed to Syracuse to spend the day at Black Island Farms in Syracuse. We had a ton of fun. When we first got there we hopped on the hay ride (that was missing hay...) out to a pumpkin patch to choose a pumpkin.

Once in the patch they let you loose to go pick out a pumpkin. It's a shame they didn't have a big selection...

These are the ones we chose...

Then it was back on the hayless hay ride to put the pumpkins in the car.

After dumping the pumpkins, we headed off to see what other fun things there was to do. We started at the slides made out of hay... (finally, there was hay!)

Bradlee had a blast and was brave enough to go alone.

So was Cory...

Sadly, COry had to leave to go to work, but the fun continued. The kids discovered the crooked play house...

And then the train ride that took them through the corn...

Next was the corn box. It was tricky keeping Brock from eating it.

Then the seesaw...

On to the big bouncy pumpkin. It took her 3 times to get the guts to stay inside but clearly, she loved it.
Then we ventured into the kiddie maze.

And lastly the petting zoo

And we were given a fond farewell with this site...

There was also pig racing, which was fun, but I didn't want to waste the time to upload pictures of pigs... I hope you understand. Finally we wore ourselves out and headed home. I crashed on the chair while the girls painted their pumpkins.

It was a really fun day. Even the trip back to Syracuse a second time to get Tory's lost phone was fun :). I love spending time with family.


I Have Mountain Dew, or Crab Juice

I've been concentrating on a way to deliver the fact the this week just plain sucked that isn't negative and too "Debby Downer". Since I frequent the need to vent on my blog, I was trying to throw a fast one and actually be happy. But... that's not looking promising. So folks, our week has SUCKED!! It's the suckiest kind of suck that ever sucked. GAH!!! There. Now that message has been delivered.



This past week we had our annual Moab trip. It was a lot of fun, as usual. We left Thursday morning and drove down in a caravan with Tyler and Collin. Driving through Spanish Fork Canyon was actually wonderful. The leaves were amazing! I can't remember the last time I saw such vivid reds and oranges. It was incredible. Anyway, we arrived in Moab Thursday afternoon and just hung around the camp. It was still pretty cold so we made a fire, had dinner, and enjoyed spending time with family...

Friday we woke up and decided to do Hell's Revenge. It was an all day experience, but we had a great time.

Some kid caught this giant lizard and tied his ipod headphones to it. It was enormous.

After exhausting ourselves in the car Friday, we went back to camp and enjoyed dinner. Tyler and Tory left to go spend the night in a hotel. It was their anniversary so we decided to let them have a night to themselves. We put the kids to bed then crashed ourselves. Saturday we woke up to a beautiful day. We had breakfast then set out to try Gold Bar Rim. We went as far as we were able. After a while the kids started getting fussy from being in the car for 3 days straight so we headed to a giant sand hill to play around. We all had a blast acting like goof balls. And the kids loved it, too. Saturday night was really warm so we spent hours around the campfire talking about politics and religion. I know, I know. But I realized while sitting there that I am the happiest with family. There's nothing better on this earth. I love being with them all.

Sunday the storm was heading in so we packed up in between rain spurts and headed home. It always sucks to leave Moab. That place is so awesome. But as always, we were grateful to be back in our warm beds and have running water again. It just stinks having to come back to reality and dive right back in to homework and the stresses of life. But it was an awesome vacation.

I also had an "ah ha!" moment on our trip that made me realize there are many things I need to work on. We all have faults and imperfections. Rather than focusing on and discussing the problems of others, wouldn't it be more beneficial to focus on our own? I think so. And that's my top priority now. It's time to change the way I think.