Dec 30, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Our little family has a lot of holiday traditions.  I love traditions.  I love that they are something that we look forward to and that they link generations to generations.  As a child I always looked forward to and relied on our family traditions, such as going to the beach every summer and making monkey bread together as a family on Christmas morning.  Since getting married Richard and I have continued many of our own families' traditions and we have also had fun starting up a few traditions for our little family!  Two of the traditions that we have started in our family are making a grateful chain for our Christmas tree and making Christmas tree pizza! 
our grateful chain around the tre
This is the first grateful chain we ever made!  We started this tradition three Christmas' ago.  We start this tradition at the beginning of November each year.  Using Christmas themed paper we cut little slips of paper.  Then throughout the month of November we start things we are grateful for on the slips of paper.  The weekend of Thanksgiving we read all the things we are grateful for and use the paper slips to make a paper chain to go around our Christmas tree!  I love this tradition and how it helps us tie gratefulness into the Christmas season.   And it really helps us focus on being grateful!  

Our second holiday tradition that we have started is making Christmas tree pizza!  This tradition actually started way back during our first Christmas.  We were hanging out with my youngest brother, Stephen, and we all decided to make homemade pizza!  After that Stephen really loved making pizza and would make it all the time.  He then came out to BYU (and we were already there) and that December we decided we would all get together and make a Christmas tree pizza!  We dye the cheese green with food coloring (looks gross but tastes fine!) and use pepperoni as ornaments on the tree. We cut the dough to resemble a Christmas tree and often do wreaths and stars too.  We then watch the movie "Elf" while we eat the pizzas!  So we did that the first year with Stephen at BYU, the next two Christmases on our own, and then this Christmas we had my two brothers, Charles and Stephen (who were home from BYU and BYU-I), over to have a Christmas tree pizza party!  We had fun making the pizzas, watching "Elf", and playing board games!  Richard and I LOVE this fun tradition and love making homemade pizza together all the time!  We can't wait to make Christmas tree pizzas with our kids!  Sometimes we like to extend this tradition to other holidays and we have been known to make turkey pizzas and jack o'lantern pizzas too! 

Charles, Stephen, and Richard being goofy.  Their usual selves.  :) 
Emily with the finished pizzas!
Finished Christmas tree pizzas!  Look kind of gross but taste so yummy!
playing board games!

Dec 22, 2011

double date

Last weekend we had a very fun double date with our dear friends, Katie and Bryan.  You can read all about it over at Katie's blog!  Click HERE to hop on over there!  Thanks to Katie and Bryan for coming over and having fun with us!  We had a fabulous time! 

Dec 16, 2011

there must be a reason.

“I believe we have all been created for greater things than we can comprehend." 
{Elder Jeffrey R. Holland}

I believe that God has a plan.  
There must be a reason.  
I have to believe that there has to be a reason that we were diagnosed with this one kind of infertility that cannot be changed through surgery or through medication.  Sometimes, because I'm crazy, I try to research treatment options that I haven't seen before.  Like maybe if I look long enough and hard enough I will find that it can be done, it has been done.  But instead I just find gems like the one that read "most obstructions of this kind can be surgically repaired...except for the one that we have."  
But I know it must all be for a reason.  
Richard and I, we're going to do great things.  
Our little family, well, we're going places.  
We'll find our babies.  
And we'll find our babies that truly need us.  
And we'll be strong for them.  
Because we'll be their family and they'll be our babies.  
Even though they may not come via maternity pants, cute ultrasounds, and hospital bags.  
But they'll come eventually.  
And their stories will be beautiful and unique, just as they will be.  
Just as our family will be.  
We'll be blessed to have a family full of many hair and eye and skin colors.  
We'll be blessed to see places and meet people that we may never have been blessed 
to see and meet before.   
We'll be blessed to change lives.  And others will be blessed to change ours.  
Our babies will be blessed to be loved by more than one family.  
And we will be blessed to bring not only babies into our family 
but also beautiful birth mothers and families. 
And so - this Christmas I will not ask myself "why not us?  when will it be us?  
why is this happening to us?   
Instead I will tell myself - "Of course, us.  We have something of divinity in us.  We were created for greater things.  Heavenly Father trusted us with this for a reason.  We were created for far more than we can understand now.  But someday we will understand.  
Someday everything will make perfect sense.  
And in that day we will be able to see the perfect reason.  

Dec 6, 2011


Our Thanksgiving decorations
Our little family on Thanksgiving
Emily had fun setting the table and making the centerpieces! 

We hosted Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever.  We had a great time!  Emily's parents came over and they brought some of their friends.  Emily made the turkey and quite a few of the sides and her mom made a few more and a pie.  Everything tasted great even though our oven was smoking the whole last hour of cooking because the turkey juices leaked all over the oven!  Oops!  But the meal was still so tasty and the company was even better!  
After eating we enjoyed playing lots of fun Wii games (lots of bowling!) and everyone had fun playing with Carly.  She loved having lots of people around to play with!  
It was a very fun Thanksgiving!  Emily decided she might like to host every year! 

Nov 21, 2011

Life Lately

November has been a busy month for us!  Richard has been busy with grad school projects and wrapping up his semester and Emily has been busy at work!  At school we have been doing all kinds of Thanksgiving projects and after the break we will be busy with Holidays Around the World projects!  All the fun projects and activities are part of what make teaching kindergarten fun though!  

We are looking forward to the little break we will have this week.  Happy Thanksgiving!  We are actually hosting Thanksgiving for the first time and we are so excited.  On Saturday we bought all our Thanksgiving groceries and now we're set to start cooking on Thursday!  Emily's parents and a few friends are coming on Thursday and we're looking forward to being hosts and to having a good time!  We then plan to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing, playing with Carly, and maybe doing a little work.  We can't wait!  We'll probably set up the Christmas tree too and start getting ready for December!  Yay!  

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

Nov 12, 2011

Today I will be thankful for today.  
For kind people. 
For healthy family members. 
For loving family members. 
For friends and neighbors.  
For Heavenly Father.  
For Carly.  
For hot chocolate and chocolate oranges.  
For pumpkin spice bagel dates with Richard.  
For love.  
For faith.  
For prayer.  
For a life that is not necessarily what I planned but good nevertheless. 

Nov 10, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

He was ketchup, I was mustard, and our little dachshund was a real hot dog.  
We were a big hit at our Church Trunk or Treat! 

birthday adventure.

This year for my birthday my (wonderful!) parents took Richard and I on a very fun adventure!  We drove through beautiful scenery to get to this fun train ride adventure.  It was a scenic fall train ride and we rode through a beautiful canyon where we got to see eagles!  It was very cool and very fun.  We had a very relaxing time and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the time with my parents.  We had some yummy snacks, saw a few eagles and even an eagle's nest!  We finished the day by going back to our house where my mom helped me plant some new pansies in my garden and we all had pizza for dinner. 
It was quite the perfect Saturday! 

Go Cougars!

Carly in her true blue gear.  All ready for the big game!

We are HUGE BYU Cougar fans.  How could we not be!?  We both went to school there, Richard's parents went to school there, and my brother goes to school there!  We love the Cougars!  We enjoyed watching the big football game (Utah vs. BYU) this year outside by our warm, toasty fire pit!  We had fun roasting marshmallows and being outside in the fall weather.  It was a fun night even though the Cougars lost the game!