Monday, December 13, 2010

Need a gift idea?

It is Christmas time which means pictures,presents, lights, trees, music, and the Spirit that comes in celebrating the birth of Christ.  Of all the things that are going on during th holiday season a big part of it is sending our family Christmas cards to update everyone on your family and for them to see how much you have changed year to year.  So this year I am attempting our first family Christmas card.  I am jumping on the Shutterfly band wagon and trying them out.  So we shall see how this goes.  They really have some amazing things.

First that have a pretty good selection of Christmas cards.  I think this one is just adorable!
They also have tons of gift ideas

Love these canvas pictures!  Personalized gifts are always the best I think!

And who doesn't love photo calendars!!!!!!!

Do you have all your christmas cards??  Maybe not?  Well, who says you have to send them out by Christmas?  You could always do it for new years or another holiday.  Dare to be different.  

Do you have all your presents done?? Or maybe have some up coming birthdays or just want to be early for mother's/father's day.  Well check out Shutterfly and make a gift that they will really love!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A look back

Every so often we cross paths with people in our lives who have really made a difference.  Many times they have  no idea how they have influenced and impacted our lives.  And it is amazing how they come at the times of great difficulty and it is a comfort to know that Lord knows us so well to send us little angels to help us get through those times.  It was just 5 years ago that I was having an incredibly difficult time in my life.  I had just returned home from my mission.  I was excited to get back into school and back into a daily routine.  Little did I know that those first few months home from my mission would be some of the hardest months of my life.

I felt so lost and confused about life.  I felt like I had fallen into a deep hole with no light and no way of getting out.  There were no stairs or ropes to help pull me out.  But the Lord, as always provided a way.  By sending me 3 angels.

I don't think that Jennifer, Gracie or Katie have any idea that they were the ones who pulled me out of that hole.  I don't think that anyone else could have done what they did.  They were my greatest set of roommates that I have ever had.  These 3 girls had been roommates before at a different complex and had just decided to try out a new place.  They had room for one more girl and were a little worried about who would fill that position and if they would fit in with them.  Luckily from the first day we became immediate friends, it might have had something to do with breaking the bar in the closet, not sure though.  (inside joke)

These girls took me in and made me feel like I had been friends with them all along.  I think that they knew I was struggling but I don't know how aware they were.  But I want them to know that they changed my life and made me such a better person.  To me that is what true friends are all about.  Every morning we got up and read our scriptures together no matter how much it took to drag Gracie out of bed.  

We took turns making dinner and always ate together.  We had apartment prayer together everyday.  And the apartment was always clean, thanks to Jennifer's' anal rules, some of which I continue to this day. (I still can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, Yuck!) It was always clean because we made a game out of it and would dance while we cleaned. 

Jennifer also taught me how to really clean a bathroom, even though to this day it is my least favorite job and I would rather pay someone to do it because it disgusts me.  Colby still rants about how amazing Jennifer is at getting a bathroom spotless.

Jennifer spent a lot of time at the bottom of the stairs.  She is quite the klutz and nearly every day, multiple times may I add, she would fall down our stairs.  Which in our particular apartment was quite dangerous because as you can see there is a stove right at the bottom.  But she was never seriously injured

Katie was always listening to me rant and rave about my life.  She is such a good listener and I really hope that she found a really good place to put that rug.  (ha ha, "it's a rug!?)

Gracie was our drama queen who was always sick.  But she has a great laugh and she created some interesting moments in our apartment.  (Crazy hair!!  Where have you been??)

These girls helped me to get back where I needed to be.  They loved me as though I had been in their circle of friends all the years they had.  Most of all they cared.  They knew when I needed a pick me up, they also knew when to literally lock me in my room till I got an assignment done. P.S. thanks for the Chocolate devotion from coldstone! 

5 years later:
4 weddings
3 children
a hand full of deployments
1 mission
a parents divorce

In the past 5 years all four of us have had our good times and our struggles, but I can honestly say that because of what they have taught me I was able to make it through mine.  I don't think that a day has gone by that I haven't thought of at least one of them.  I was fortunate to be able to attend all of their weddings but with circumstances as they are now, we are all slowly moving farther and farther away.

I hope that they all know how much I love and appreciate them.  They are amazing girls who have all accomplished so much in their lives so far.  They are all so ambitious and I cannot wait to see where life takes and them and what they accomplish along the way.


I love you guys!!!

The first two family photographs you see were done by Jennifer's sister Stephanie.  Today she has become and incredibly gifted photographer.  Please check out her blog here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You ever feel this way?

Have you ever been in a room full of people and still feel all alone?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grant's Farm

One of the many free things to do in St louis is Grant's Farm.  The Farm takes its name from our 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. In the 1850s, Grant founded and farmed a portion of the 281 acres. Today, this land is home to Grant's Farm and is preserved by the Anheuser-Busch's family.

So we made a date with a couple of our friends, Laura and Brandon and their little girl Julianna.
As part of the farm this is also where they house the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Only the finest Clydesdales become part of the Budweiser teams. The physical requirements are strict. The ideal Budweiser Clydesdale has to have the following characteristics:
  • The full-grown Clydesdale should stand 18 hands (about 6 feet) at the shoulder and weigh between 2,000 and 2,300 pounds.
  • The ideal horse is bay in color, has a blaze of white on its face, a black mane and black tail.
  • Most important, the Clydesdale will have white feathering on all four legs and feet. 

After the we saw the Clydesdale's we hopped on a tram and took a little tour of Grant's farm.  They have over 900 animals and 100 different species.

We saw long horn bulls, and I mean long horn!!


And my personal favorite.  Oreo cows!!!

They also had yaks and lots of dear.

Once off the tram we went into the goat pen.  They loved to nibble on your clothing.  But they were all so cute!  Tons of them and all different colors.

You could also buy milk and feed them, but look out if they see you have a bottle you are likely to get mauled.  Kind of how Eden reacts when she sees her bottle.

We even had to start shielding her eyes because she saw the bottles and thought she was getting fed.  I think at some point Eden kicked one of the goats.  Ooops!  

It was a really fun day!  The weather was perfect and the company was sooo fun!  We even ran into our other friends, Emily and Mike, with their boys, Krew and Sway.  It was a great day and I am glad that they boys could take a few hours away from studying and have some fun.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Long but a good story

It was just 4 years ago yesterday that I met Colby for the first time.  I was attending BYU-Idaho and I was down in Salt Lake for a field trip for one of my classes with some friends.  

Now to explain a little bit, as a missionary on temple square you serve in another mission in the United states for about 3-4 1/2 months.  I was assigned to serve in the Chicago Illinois South mission. That weekend a friend of mine who had been in my district while serving in chicago had arranged a Bon fire in Provo canyon with a bunch of people that I hadn't seen in about 3 years.  So it was kind of a mini mission reunion. So I drove up to the canyon to see everyone.  I was just hanging out at the bon fire and so excited to see everyone.  Granted there were some missionaries there that I had never met, but had heard of them.  I remember there were these really two tall guys standing by the fire so I introduced myself and we talked and that was it.  An hour or so later I was talking with one of my good friends and out of the corner of my eye I see one of those really tall guys, Johnson (because you usually just end up calling people by there last name from the mission), staring at me.  Before I know it he walks over and said, "did I hear you guys talking about BYU-Idaho?"  He proceeded to join in on our conversation which lasted a few minutes and then we were all back at the bon fire.  We are all standing around and I was standing next to Cottam (on my left) and Johnson (on my right).  It was a chilly night and Cottam is just a friendly guy and had his arm up on my shoulder as well as on the guy on his left.  So he says to Johnson, "come on Johnson, join the love."  So Johnson (Colby) puts his arm around me too.  I was for sure that we would soon bust into song and starting singing Kumbaya.  Anyway, then Johnson says, Cottam I've hugged you before but there was never a girl between us.  I kind of like it."  Ha ha real cute right??

Through out the evening we both opening admitted that we did silly things to try to always be near each other or talking to each other.    Eventually it was getting time to leave but I somehow wanted a picture of this kid.  So I pretended I was taking a picture of the entire group and this is what came out.    
(if you couldn't tell Colby is in the brown hoodie, the other tall guy in the black ended up being one of his groomsmen)

I was saying my goodbye, when I saw that Johnson had already started heading to his car.  I kept thinking, how am I going to keep in contact with this guy, I need his number or something.  So i walking incredibly fast towards his car, that from the beginning thought was obnoxious.  Little did I know that someday I would be part owner of that thing and drive my little baby around in it.

So he gave me a little side hug and said nice to meet you Marshall.  To add to the story, he thought that I was someone's friend until he heard someone call me Marshall.  Apparently, he had heard about me and knew who I was after that.

Well, he jumped in his rig and drove off.  I stood there thinking, dah, now what do I do.  

I drove my friend Cottam home and decided that if this was going to go anywhere I was going to stop doing the dumb dating games we have all done and just lay it all out on the table.  So I said, "Cottam, tell me about Johnson."  After he found out I was interested he said, "Johnson was one of the hardest working missionaries I had ever seen.  He is a great guy and you would be one lucky girl.  I approve."  Well, I was quite happy with that.  

The next night i had written in my journal.  The following is quoted from it:
"I feel the need to write in my journal tonight.  Not exactly sure why.  But I had a good weekend.  I was in Salt Lake for a school field trip originally and decided to stay for the weekend.  ...I got together with a group of missionaries that served in chicago.  It was awkward at first...but then it got better.  I usually try not to mention specific names in my journal because I don't want to waste space and time about someone who will not be in my future.  I know that may sound really stupid and almost ridiculous but it is true!  But I did meet someone this weekend who has been occupying my mind since I last saw him.  I big deal, it happens all the time to everyone.  But I really would like to get to know him better." 

When I got back to Rexburg, I was talking with my companion from Chicago who also happened to be in the MTC with him so they were friends too (she ended up being a bridesmaid).  I told her that I may have thought one of the Elder's there was attractive.  Without even asking she said..."was it Johnson?" yyeeaaaah.

Well, Colby had left for a cruise that next week and was actually dating someone else at the time.  He also knew that one of his really good friends liked me ( he ended up being a groomsman) and he didn't want to interfere with that either.  So he refused my number at first, but as he was getting on the boat he called our mutual friend back got my number.

I waited and waited, it was about 2 weeks later and 2 weeks of complaining to my roommate Sara (also was a bridesmaid) when I got a random text that said, "bet you don't know who this is texting you from a 520 area code."  

My response, "bet ya I do and can I say, It's about time!"

The rest is history!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Eventful Week

Last week we had some old friends, Parker and Jenny, from BYU-I fly in.  .  

They could only spend a couple of days with us so we tried to get it as much as we could.  We decided that we would try out "Whipt Cream."  It is a confectioners bakery and it was soooo yummy!! They have an amazing buttercream frosting.  Plus they give out free samples and have lots of choices.

 Check out their website

The first day they were here they spent at the City museum.  For those of you who know nothing about it, it is a play ground for adults.  Unfortunately, we couldn't go with them, but they had a blast and were so tired at the end of the day.  I wish I had one of their videos because it looked so awesome.

Of course we had to hit up the arch!  

Like I said, they couldn't stay long but we had a good time with them and so did Eden!

In fact we have a mobile baby!!! Boy is this an entirely different experience.  My mind is in a completely different mind set now.

Sure didn't take her long to get to the candy dish.

Also, this weekend our ward had their annual Fall Festival!  It started off with a chili cook-off and then a costume parade.  I wanted something original for Eden so we found a sweet costume.  She was a guitar and Colby the Rock star.  

And I couldn't possibly miss out on the opportunity to get Eden's picture with the Beatles!!

There was also a trunk or treat.  We kind of waited to the last minute to decorate Colby's truck but we added one new element this year and next year we already have a new plan!

The kids loved climbing up into the truck.  It was quite the hit.  We had to do some crowd control at one point.

 This picture was just too cute to pass up.  This is Lyla.  She is the daughter of our friends, Lindsay and Tyler who also goes to Logan.

Eden with a couple of the Young Women.

 We spent the end of the evening dancing!  A couple had come and taught us different square dances and Colby and I learned the Virginia Reel!  We had a good time!

 and....apparently Eden didn't think much of our dancing skills.