count your blessings

Apparently I'm high on blogging this week. Also known as "my attempt to stay sane as life get's out of control as per the end of the semester", or something like that. It's fine. 
I've been thinking a lot about this the last few days, so I feel like I need to share. 

I may have a craptastic cold, finals are threatening to kill us (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, FINANCE), and I'm dealing with an awesome new pregnancy symptom, blessed sciatica, and we're mega sleep deprived but the blessings have been flowing this week and I'm so freaking thankful!

- We've had some pretty major car issues that have left me in tears more than once the last few weeks. I mean, who can seriously afford car repairs anyways?! So basically it's been one giant ball of stress any time we drive the stupid thing, and we were finally able to get it checked this week and GUESS THE FREAK WHAT. 
A repair that normally would have cost us thousands is still covered under warranty and we are getting the whole thing fixed for free! On top of that, we are driving a great rental car that is completely stress free, and it's just been the best little Christmas gift. 

- We've also been freaking out about the cost of leaving during Christmas break. Because we won't be available to babysit, it was going to cost us several hundred dollars to help pay for a substitute babysitter, which is money we ain't rollin in because hello. New semester. Baby. Doctor visits all the freaking time. Car. You get it. So when our friends Claira and Steven (also known as the champs of the world), said they'd be free to help us out, I may shed a tear or two of gratitude. I can't even tell you how much stress this alleviated!

- We got to take a mid-week break yesterday and have dinner with some dear friends. Let me tell you, nothing will warm your heart quicker than some NOM beef stew and endless conversation with friends you love. It was a much welcomed and much needed break!

- I'm super in love with my research methods class and I'm sad the semester is ending because my friends have been so wonderful! What started as a total armpit of a class has turned into something fun and inspirational, and it's made me work my tail off but I've really enjoyed it. I didn't see that one coming, but it's been awesome!

- Also, season 4 of White Collar is finally on Netflix and for reals I almost passed out from excitement when i found out. It's taking a lot of self control to not binge-watch, but we are enjoying and episode and a cuddle sesh here and there and it's such a treat.

- I definitely felt little boy move for the first official time today (!!!) and it's absolutely killing me. I was just sitting at work and all the sudden I felt my stomach twitch like crazy and I was all "weird I wonder if I'm dehydrated?" (NATURALLY). Then I stopped for a sec and payed closer attention. Then it happened again and I am 1000% sure it was him! Too precious.

And finally, here's a wonderful quote by President Hinckley to basically sum up all my feelings. I hope this touches you as much as it did me:

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."



Let's talk about Christmas music, because seriously it's all we listen to these days!
(Maybe I'm a freak, but it feels like a crime when we dance to reggaton instead of jingle bells in Zumba, but we don't have to go there.)
Here are some of my favorite Christmas tunes this year:

Pentatonix- Little Drummer Boy
Stop it with the chills right now! So good!

Eric Whitacre- Glow
Eric Whitacre does it again. LOVE this song. 

NSYNC- I Don't Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You
Did you know about this song?! I still love their original Christmas album, but this is just so good. You can take the girls outta the boy band (har har) but you can't take the boy band outta the girl!! Speaking of NSYNC....

NSYNC- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
I'm as obsessed with this song now as I was 15 years ago 
(ACK can you believe it's been that long?!)
Also, Christian has this thing lately where he walks around the house singing this song, but instead of singing "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas..."
he says "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna...".
I think it's hilarious. And we are idiots.

Michael Buble- All I Want For Christmas
Total theme of my life before Christian and I got engaged two years ago. Thankfully he proposed 2 days before Christmas, so I got my wish and he definitely got his ;)

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays, and especially reveling in the wonderful music!


and the best Christmas gift ever

I've already covered facebook and instagram, so might as well make it official on the ol' blog too.
(Ooooh social media)

Christian and I found out last week that we are having a BOY!!!!
I was hard core thinking it'd be a girl from the very beginning, so I was a little surprised at first but I honestly couldn't be happier. Thrilled more like it! Knowing that we will have a little mini Christian running around (hopefully with a smattering of my brothers in there) just about kills me. 
Also sorry if you think ultrasound pictures are weird. That sweet profile is just too much for me!
Baby boy, we are so excited to meet you in May!


Did you watch the Christmas Devotional on Sunday?
We actually got to physically be there, and although I'm still unthawing (it was SO COLD!), my heart is still so full of warmth.

I loved Elder Nelson's talk. Everything he had to say really resonated with me because it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. This semester, Christian and I have frequently discussed our difficulties, and my desire for them to feel a little easier. Not necessarily for them to be taken away, but for us (or mostly me) to have the capacity to bear them a little better, to feel happy and content even when things are HARD. What I didn't realize until last night, which Elder Nelson so beautifully reminded me, is that I've really been seeking peace. And the Savior is absolutely key to that. He can help us feel that peace, whether we are sick or lonely or experiencing loss or anything else in life. He is the Prince of Peace, and the only one who can truly give that to us. I've been longing for more of this in my life, so starting at the beginning of December, Christian and I started doing the most awesome advent calendar, solely for the purpose of seeking Christ more this season.
(find it here
Being short on time and money, we aren't doing anything fancy with the calendar. It's just printed and hanging on our fridge. The simplicity of it is awesome though, and although we aren't very far into it, I can already tell it's molding my heart in a way I so desperately need.
 I'm thankful for the reminder that no matter the circumstance we are in, the Savior is the Prince of Peace for EACH OF US. He is in control of our lives, and He can gives us what we need. Even if it's simply just peace. It's up to us to seek Him out and ask for it
We may be 10 days into December, but I encourage you to listen to Elder Nelson's talk, and print the calendar and use it for the 15 days until Christmas. If you are looking for a way to invite Christ more into your life this season, this is a wonderful way to do so!


bumpdate. or whatever.

How far along? 17 weeks
Weight gain: At my 14 weeks appointment, I literally hadn't gained a pound. I would bet I'm up by a pound or two at this point though. I mean, Thanksgiving right?
Sleep: Surprisingly gotten a little better now that my stomach isn't constantly churning. Still having psycho dreams, and trying to adjust to sleeping on my side (which is the WORST for this belly sleeper!).
Best moment of the week: Being able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner! Normally it all would have made me feel super nauseous, but I did surprisingly well. That was a huge blessing this week.
Weird pregnancy moment: Looking in the mirror and seeing my growing belly. It's been throwing me off for the last several weeks! Also, my underwear hardly fits and it's driving me crazy.
Movement: None yet, but I'm getting close! I'm hoping baby gives mom a nice Christmas present and moves in the next few weeks.
Cravings: Everything citrus-y, frozen stuff, huge bowls of Chex, and and as many chips as I can shove in my mouth at a time. 
Anything making you queasy? The smell of our apartment, until we got the best air freshener in the world last week. Also looking at food still grosses me out in general, but I think that's on its way out. 
What I'm looking forward to: Feeling the baby move, knowing the gender so we can work on names, planning the delivery (a little premature, right?), and just everything we've got ahead of us. I'm hoping the worst is behind me (even though I can tell I've got some nasty days of back pain ahead!), and I'm super excited to just watch my belly grown and know that it's our child. It's nutso and so exciting!


8 times grateful

This year has been a weird one. Compared to the last several, it's felt surprisingly mellow. 
I guess that is just mostly because we haven't moved at all, and I can't even remember the last time I went a whole 12 months without doing that. Anyways, as I've reflected over the year, I realize that along with NOT moving a bunch, I'm really thankful for a lot of things. In the spirit of the season, well.... 
You know what comes next. 
(Incoming cliche and frivolous gratitude list!)

1. I'm thankful for my family. When things get shaken up, as the inevitably do, family is always an anchor. Even if it's just me and Christian and our tiny bun for now! 

2. I'm thankful for the gospel. Now that I have a brother on a mission, it's really put things in perspective and reminded me how much I truly cherish it. It's the only thing that keeps me going sometimes!

3. I'm thankful for this guy. 
He's just way too cute for his own good., and I'm not even going to try to describe how grateful I am for Christian!

4. I'm thankful for good t.v. shows. There's something so awesome about getting lost in someone else's drama for an hour a week (I'm looking at you, Parenthood!). And can we all agree that Bachelor season can't get here fast enough?! I mean really.

5. I'm thankful to be pregnant. This is something I've had to remind myself of every day for the last 4 months. With every dizzy spell, trip to the toilet, episode of heart burn (this is new!), wave of exhaustion, and twinge of pain as my body continues to expand, I'm reminded that I'm CREATING A LIFE. It's truly miraculous, and I know there are a lot of people who don't get to experience this. So I'm trying to enjoy it and be as thankful as possible, barfing included. Plus, pregnancy has done wonders for the girls (moms, you feel me?!) and for my hair, so I can't complain that much ;)

6. I'm thankful for the holidays. They fill me with so much happiness and love for people. This is such a wonderful time of year! Now if it would just snow already, everything would feel right in the world.
(I will probably kick myself for saying that in 3 months but right now I look at snow and I'm like "come at me bro!". Or something like that)

7. I'm thankful for flannel sheets. Although they make our bed a little too warm, they make everything feel so cozy, which is very fitting given the season. Our little apartment feels very much like a cabin, and this time of year just begs for flannel accents. So sheets it is!

8. Finally, as my culminating "thankful", I'm thankful for nail polish. Yes. Nail polish. Nothing makes me feel quite as pulled together as a fresh manicure. And if I can't BE pulled together, I might as well feel it for 5 or 6 days at a time!

Seriously though, one thing I love about this season is being thankful for the little things. Whether it's nail polish, or flannel sheets, a tasty dinner, or that stranger who smiled at you at the store. That's what it's about. And with that....
Happy Thanksgiving y'all!


cranberry relish, or "because I love you"

I shared this recipe last year, but it's a family favorite and it's TO DIE FOR GOOD. 
So I thought I do it again, this time a little preemptively, in hopes that you will make it and love it as much as we do. I'm serious you guys. 
You NEEEEEED this in your Thanksgiving spread.
 Y'welcome in advance.

Cranberry Relish

  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 blood oranges, or navel oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, juices reserved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Place cranberries in food processor, and pulse to chop coarsely, about five pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
2. Add onion, jalapeno, lime juice, orange sections and juice, ginger, sugar, and celery; mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Just before serving, add mint and toss to combine.

This will feed 10-12 people with leftovers. Which you will want.

woes of puppyhood

Remember how our upstairs neighbors got a puppy about a month ago?
And remember how we babysit the kids part time? And remember how that also means puppysitting this  midget?

We've certainly had some adventures with the little rugrat, and yesterday was no exception. I was hanging out upstairs on the couch, not thinking much about where I was sitting because I mean it's a couch. What's usually wrong with couches? 
After about 10 minutes, I think to myself "Something feels weird. This couch feels colder than normal."
So I stand up and there's a GINORMOUS wet spot right where I had been. I turned to the littlest, who was sitting right next to me, and said "WHAT IS THAT?!"

She turned to me and said:

I removed my bathrobe, which is extra extra thick
(which was the reason why I didn't feel the wet spot earlier than I did. Also don't worry. I had pajamas on), and sure enough, there was a giant yellow-brown spot. It was most assuredly pee that I had been sitting in.

Fast-forward after church.
First thing we walk in the door and I notice a bunch of egg shells on the floor. 
"That's weird" I thought. 
So I went down to our apartment for my after-church-snacking ritual and guess the sight that greeted me. 
Oh right. 
The contents of our trash can strewn all over the floor, and the dog chewing on a yogurt container in the corner, looking guilty and satisfied. I may or may not have called her a "damn dog" or something like that. Sorry mom.

And the final story. This didn't happen yesterday, but it merits telling.
So the littlest still wears pull ups to bed, and there are plenty of mornings when they are saturated, if you know what I mean. So the other day, I walk into the kid's bedroom and see white flecks on something covering the floor. 
And to my horror, I turn and see the dog munching away on the insides of A USED PULL-UP
It was all I could do to not throw up right there on the spot.  

She's a cutie.
But I've decided that unless you want to sell your soul, if you are ever thinking about getting a puppy, you probably should just un-think about getting a puppy.

*I will probably be eating my words later because let's be real. I want nothing more than a bulldog puppy. 
But shhhhh... you didn't hear it from me.*


a public apology and other stuff

This morning, I was mentally running through the list of people who've communicated with me and expressed some desire to "catch up" and you know, the likes. Then I was mentally running through the number of people I've followed through with. 

GUYS. It's like 1. 
Out of probably 10 people. 
Which should probably make me the worst friend ever, so I just need to apologize to anyone who I've maybe half communicated with and then never followed up with. I've hardly had the mental energy for school this semester, let alone extra social engagements. One of the travesties of the first trimester drain I guess? Anyways, I'm really really tired of that being an excuse, and having to use it all the time, but I guess it's reality. I'm just a lame person okay?! I promise I love you and I promise I won't be unavailable forever!

Also, let me tell you a story. 
On Sunday morning, I woke up at 3:45 am and proceeded to puke every 20 minutes for the next 6 1/2 hours. That's approximately 20 total times. And sadly, this is not even a slight exaggeration.
After a phone call to my doctor, she confirmed my worst fear: I needed to go to the ER.
Upon which we discovered it was going to cost $1000 big ones, so we opted out of that crap (because A THOUSAND BUCKS? joke.) and went to the urgent care, where we hung out for about 2 hours while the shoved the hugest needles of my life into my hips, and did this test and that test while I sat there dying and just wishing that I could have a drink of water because my mouth felt like the Gobi Desert. Also I fell asleep in the chair at one point, and when I walked out of the office I had a huge red mark on my face which made me laugh because I already looked horrific, so why not?

Thankfully, the injections worked miracles and stopped the vomiting, and even though they made my whole body hurt like you wouldn't believe, I went home and watched movies with Christian all day while eating popsicles and gatorade and being grouchy that I always get so sick on the weekends, but also so thankful that Christian isn't grossed out by me. So that's good. 

Ah pregnancy. Such a beautiful, beautiful mess.  
And I promise I'm done talking about being sick all the time. 
Promise, promise, promise.


14 weeks

And look who finally decided to show up. 

Maybe I look like I just ate too much Taco Bell, but Christian and I have definitely noticed a difference this week. This is one of the sad realities of being tall. Baby has a lot of room to grow, and all mom has to show for it is awkward bloat and tight underwear!
(Which, by the way... THE WORST)
Also, our bathroom mirror is way too small for any sort of belly shot, so the bathroom at work it is!
Pregnancy has gotten SO much better these days. I went 4 1/2 days without throwing up this week, and I've been to the gym 4 times, so I'm calling it a win. 
 Also, we went to the doctor this morning, and baby and I are fine and dandy! I've only lost weight since this whole thing started (which I'm certainly not mad about! I'm sure I'll pack on the pounds soon enough!), and we are only a few weeks away from our gender ultrasound (EEEEEEE). Any guesses? Both our entire families think it's a girl. Minus the brothers who insist it's a boy of course.
And there's the update for you :)

Also, can I get a halle-freaking-lujah for the second trimester? Life seems so much happier now that I'm not wallowing under a blanket of calorie depletion, vomit, emotional trauma and brain fog (actually let's be real that's still there! Pregnancy brain ftw!). 
I'm so thankful that I can soak in these next few months of the holidays and colder weather, anticipate school coming to a close, and dream about a heavenly Christmas break right around the corner. 

Also I have to admit. I've been listening to Christmas music non-stop, and that certainly does a lot to improve my mood. Haters gonna hate, but I'll take any ounce of holiday-induced-happiness I can get!


telling my baby daddy

**First, I need to give a little shout out to the man featured in this post. Christian has done an amazing job taking care of me through this pregnancy thus far. I'm a very blessed girl and I can't wait to watch my sweet husband be a dad!**

Now that the sap fest is over.....
This pregnancy has been full of lots of funny things so far. 
Man, have I filed away a good barfing story or two!
(Or twelve!)

But one of my favorites is the way I broke the news to Christian. 
A little back story:
We knew that pregnancy was a very likely possibility
(let's be real, it was very strategically planned)
and being the anxious annie's we are, we bought some pregnancy tests a little prematurely. 
I took one the earliest I could, and it was negative. So we decided to wait it out for a few days before I did another one. Well, the first day of school rolled around I was feeling great. 
Chipper and happy, and abounding with energy. In fact, I spent 2 hours at the gym that morning like a boss.
(I would kill to feel that awesome again ha!)
So probably a little high on endorphins, I got home from my cycling class and was all
"HEY! Today is freaking great, why not take another pregnancy test!?"
Or something like that. 

 So I do my thing, and then I'm waiting and waiting and waiting.
And it's taking about 100% longer to emit results than my first test did, so I start freaking out because 
"I have been feeling so AWESOME, I can't possibly be pregnant can I?!"
About 3 minutes later, I walk back into the bathroom to see this.
(Sorry. Pee stick pictures are awky!)

And I immediately burst into tears. 
Obviously, I was BEYOND thrilled.
So my poor husband is already at school, hard at work in the library with NO IDEA what's going on at home. I considered waiting to tell him until we were together, or doing some cute announcement for him, or whatever...... and about 2 seconds later I decided that's the STUPIDEST THING EVER.

So I took a picture of the pregnancy test and sent it to him in an email.
(I know I know but guys I just couldn't wait!)
Followed by a frantic strand of g-chat messages, telling him to "CHECK YOUR EMAIL" of course.
So imagine. 
There's Christian, on the first day of a new semester, sitting in the library, and all the sudden he open his email to a positive pregnancy test from his wife. It's a miracle he didn't go into cardiac arrest!
And thankfully he was just as excited as I was.



Ugh. Sorry for all the drama yesterday. 
I'm feeling a little better. 
Turns out all I needed was a nap,
(Granted, an in-class nap, but hey. You can't win 'em all. Except... it was during the boringest presentation in the history of ever, so probably a good choice. ANYWAYS)
an evening of doing absolutely nothing, and a good workout.
Speaking of, let me tell you about my experience at the gym this morning. I went to a Body Combat class (basically like kickboxing mixed with karate mixed with death). At one point, as she was explaining a move, my teacher said this:

"Imagine that this is your opponent and you are holding their head to the floor and punching them over and over."

This is a class entirely of women, so I thought this was hilarious. 
But then I saw the wisdom in this statement, and I was all: "Okay. I'm pretending that my opponent is life and I am beating the crap out of it BECAUSE I'M A BOSS."

So lesson learned. If you are ever feeling exceptionally haggard, just pretend that your trials are your opponent. And you are holding their head to the ground, punching them over and over. 
And then be all "TAKE THAT, LIFE."
And I promise you will feel a little better.


bilbo said it best....

"I feel thin, sort of stretched. Like butter scraped over too much bread."

Oh man you guys. There couldn't be better words to describe my life right now. 
I must start with a disclaimer that I, and we, are thrilled with this stage we are in. Pregnancy is such a huge blessing, and I know there are many families who would give everything to be in our position. We are so so grateful for this little one growing inside of me! 

That being said, I don't think I've ever felt more worn out in my life. It's such a nasty combination of exhaustion and feeling, well, SUPER crappy all the time. (No need to sugar coat things!)
I feel like I could deal with life if those were the only things on my plate. But ever since school started, it's been a constant whirlwind of homework, and projects, and group meetings, and workatthisjob then runofftoyournextjob then runofftoyournextjob, and this test and that test, and babysit! babysit! babysit!, and don't forget to house train the puppy that's not even yours (because if YOU don't do it, no one else will!), and keep the house clean because the dishes have piled up AGAIN, and solve the latest family crisis, and teach primary, and get amazing grades OR ELSE, and apply for internships, and budget or else you'll be broke, and grocery shop but try not to puke while you look at all the food!, and don't get sick, and work on your marriage, and make sure you exercise and eat well because oh that's right you are growing another human, and don't forget to smile while you're doing it all!
I don't think all of this would be that bad if I could actually eat enough to function, and if I didn't throw up all the time and if I could actually sleep well at night and you know..... all those other basic needs.

I'm sorry to complain.
I'm just. So. Dang. Tired. 
I just need like one day where we don't have any commitments or work or homework or babysitting or family obligations or cleaning or teaching other crap that has to be done. If I could just have a tiny little break to recoup, I know I could manage much much better. 
And let's be real. This morning sickness can just high tail it outta here because it's been 8 weeks strong and I've just had it with the puking and the ick factor that comes along with everything that's not Panda Express.

I give you 100% permission to complain about anything and everything in your comments.
If it's going to be a big whiny fest, we might as well enjoy it together!!


happy happy friday

A few things.

1. I'm still just so thrilled that we have finally made our baby news public!
(Surprise surprise, if we aren't friends on facebook!)
Here I am, apparently tiny, at 12 weeks.
I'm just dying for this belly to pop already because the bloat is killing me and I want to see proof of this baby!
Also, can we talk about morning sickness for a minute? BECAUSE SERIOUSLY.
It's all day sickness, not just morning. And if you are looking for a fast way to just wreck yourself, that's it.
There will be more barfing stories to come, but let me just tell you. I threw up 5 times one day last week.

2. Today is my birthday!
One friend said it perfectly... "You've been given the best gift this year!" (referring to little nugget in my tum). And I couldn't agree more! I don't even care that I'm another year older and another year wiser. I'm just thrilled to spend the evening with my boo, and relish in the fact that I'm carrying our little one.
Also this is what my coworkers did for me.
Also my family sent me new pajamas and maternity clothes and our first round of baby outfits!
And sweet Christian continued last year's tradition of an early morning Krispy Kreme run (he's so the bomb).
So I guess birthdays are alright ;)

3. Lastly, our....... uh......... house family? People we live with?
Anyways, they got a boxer puppy this week.
(All sorts of awesome, but also not because hello. Now we have FOUR children to take care of)
She is the sweetest most precious little thing ever.
Except she's been having major withdrawals from her mom and sibs, so all she wants to do is snuggle ALL THE TIME. This was my view as I did my hair this morning:
Ahhhhhhhhh kill me with all the cute!

Anyways, life is so busy right now, and it feels like we're in a constant state of crazy. Complete with barfing of course! But things are good, and today is a good day. And I'm so thankful for that!



In the last week, I've:

- Had dreams about being given 16 million dollars, going to Aruba with Christian AND going to Hawaii with Christian. I'm sincerely hoping this means some good things are coming in our future!
(We DO get paid next week, and our Christmas break will be a tropical one of sorts. Probably my mind is just really good at exaggerating things.)

- Ate taco bell for the first time in years, and guys. 
I'm embarrassed and grossed out to admit but..... it was so so good!

- Saw my dear friend Kimber for the first time in a year and a half, and got to meet her yummy yummy baby!
Thanks for the picture, Kimmy!

- Trimmed my bangs just a smidgen too short. 
See above picture.
That's an at-home hack job for ya.

- Danced to this mashup of Thriller in Zumba.
 Let me tell you, nothing will make you more stoked about life than a class full of 40 people hooting and hollering, while blasting this song and dancing like a zombie. So happy it's Halloween next week!

- Instigated our ward's FIRST OFFICIAL trunk-or-treat. 
(I know. Half the people didn't even know what that was. I MEAN, GUYS!)
I think this is hilarious, because obviously we don't have any children to take trunk-or-treating. But I'm Halloween's biggest champion, and my determination to celebrate in every way imaginable obviously worked a little bit. Now I just need to convince everyone to turn it into a chili cookoff and I will be happy!

- I've also entered my last official week of being a 23 year old. 
I'm basically ancient. 
Also feel free to send any presents my way. Preferably items from Sephora or H&M. Gift cards also acceptable.
I mean...... what??


a tribute to my best girl

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
I want to talk about this woman right here. 
This is my beautiful mom.
She's hilarious and smart and kind and hard working and crazy and fun and one of the best people I know. 
She's also a two time breast cancer survivor.

Her and her friends on the three-day walk a few years ago.

She was diagnosed my junior year of high school, not even a year before her 40th birthday. 
She underwent an intensive round of chemotherapy followed by radiation. Immediately after she finished radiation, doctors found a second lump. 
We moved across the country, and at the same time she started another round of treatment. 
It's been almost exactly 6 years and she's still cancer free!
October is breast cancer awareness month
(As I'm sure you know. 
And I wanted to give shout out to my awesome miracle mom. 

Not only has she been through the ringer with this bout of cancer, and so many other things in her life, but she has done it like a champion! She's always been able to take care of others despite her difficulties, and she always comes out swinging and ready for the next obstacle, no matter how worn out she may be. 

Rocking the survivor stage!!

If ever there was an individual who personified resilience, it's her.
You are amazing mamma!
 I'm so happy you are still here with us!
You kicked cancer's trash, and I am so so proud to be your daughter!


missionaries, scary children and another week at the Carter house

This week has been the strangest. 
Not because of anything in particular, but you know when your schedule gets changed JUST enough to make things feel different? Yeah, that. 

Anyways, last Saturday we went and saw the dance performance Thriller, which was good but also a little too macabre for my taste. Children were dancing around with knives while dressed as Chucky at one point, so yeah. Maybe that's why I wasn't the hugest fan. 
BUT. I won the tickets (my very first giveaway entry and I won those dang tickets. Baller), so I couldn't be too mad because, well, free stuff. 

We also carved pumpkins on Monday and they are already about 50% moldy, so I feel like another round of pumpkin carving is necessary. Also we had Halloween donuts from Krispy Kreme, so that was definitely a winning night. We've also been watching the Twilight Zone every day, so I guess we are in full-on creepy Halloween mode over here.

Then Mckay came into town on Tuesday because HE WENT INTO THE MTC THIS WEEK.
(I'm still dying over this. To me, he will always be the 5 year old boy who loved pirates and trucks and only wore camo outfits)
He is such a grown up man now, and it's so fun to talk with him and truly see how prepared he is for this mission. I'm so proud to be his sister, and truthfully... I look up to him so much!

He's the cutest, and I'm so happy we got to spend time with him this week! Brazil is so lucky to have him.
(And I have to admit, I'm a little tempted to go hang out by the MTC because I miss him that much already!)
Also let's take a moment and be proud of me because even though I cried when we said goodbye, it was a surprisingly composed cry.... which I was not expecting!

Also, this morning was the craziest. 
First, I only got about 5 hours of sleep, which is bad news bears for this girl. 
(Seriously I was so mad about it when I woke up that I contemplated kicking a hole in the wall. No. I'm not kidding. In case you ever wondered if I'm grouchy when I don't sleep enough, wonder no more!
And protect your walls!!) 
Then, we had to babysit... which means getting 2 little rascals out the door for school at 2 different times, while simultaneously getting ready for the day, and making lunches, and other stuff. Also dropping Christian off on campus somewhere in the middle of it all. 
*PHEW I'm out of breath just typing that.* 
Then, I had to clean up puke for 30 straight minutes. Also, I slipped in it which seriously. The worst.
Also, I have two mammoth midterms due on Monday that are also group projects,which are simultaneously the two worst things ever. I was stressed about all this, so I bought myself Panda Express for lunch because ORANGE CHICKEN. Also, crappy chinese food just makes things better sometimes!

And one more funny note. 
Remember in my last post how I mentioned the littlest midget called Pocahontas "Poke-the-hontas"?
Well things got even funnier the other day when she called it
One thing is for sure. We are never short on laughs over here!

And so if you haven't guessed by now, today I'm feeling a little weird and slightly worn out.
But I'm so so thrilled that it's the weekend! 
They always seem to come at the perfect time, you know?


funny things about life lately

- Country dancing to Pitbull in Zumba this morning. 
Also any time during the class when someone does that weird Zumba yell. 
You're a true Zumbi if you know what I'm talking about.

- The fact that it's like 50 degrees outside, and Christian and I have been downing about 15 otter pops a day. Also we didn't do that once this summer, so I guess we are in seasonal denial?

- When the littlest told me this morning that she had watched "Poke-the-hontas" (Pocahontas, of course).
Kill me dead with cuteness. Also laughter.

- Today when I saw a truck full of pinatas. 
I want in on that!

- Mine and Christian's unspoken obsession with watching Man vs. Wild every single night. 
It goes like this:
"I'm done with my homework."
"Oh me too."
Promptly sit on the couch and watch and episode (or 4) together without having to say a word. 
That's marriage, folks. 

- This buzzfeed.
Preach it, Jim.

- Singing any song with Christian. 
It's inevitable that we both start purposely singing out of tune and dancing absurdly and just generally being foolish. It's too funny. 
Also, our poor children amiright?

Anyways, that's life at the moment. It's good and funny and weird and hard and crazy and awesome and sometimes it makes me want to poke my eyes out while simultaneously singing for joy. But I've got a sweet husband who's my best friend and we are working hard to be good together, and sometimes that's the only thing that matters. 


a happy list for a happy friday

The last week and a half has been a taxing one.
Thankfully though, there are always things to be happy about and grateful for! 

- The campout Christian and I had in our living room last night. 
Sometimes you just need to shake things up a bit and sleep on a mattress in the living room. 
Also...... YOLO.

- Also from last night.... The homework we DIDN'T do and the Ellen videos we watched instead. Followed by 2 episodes of Call the Midwife.
(Shameless plug: If you haven't seen that show yet, you need to like... yesterday
It sounds so cheesy and dumb, but it's one of the best I've ever seen. The character development is beyond amazing, and the story is surprisingly gripping. 
Even Christian likes it. 
So there you go.)

- Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit!
Also can we talk about how perfect the color of grapefruit is? 
Favorite. On every level.

- My current tradition of watching a Man vs. Wild episode every day with the munchkins we babysit. 
It's been weeks, and I'm still not sick of it. 
Also you'd think we'd be used to watching Bear Grylls eat bugs and snakes and crap.... 
But no. 
We still freak out every single time. 

- This conversation I had with my mom today:
Mom: "So I changed your ringtone from the BYU fight song to the Harry Potter theme."
Me: "That's the best!"
Mom: "I know! It makes me so happy every time you call because first, it's you calling. 
And second, Harry Potter!"
Just when I thought I couldn't love my mom any more. 

- This guy. 
He and his humor are the biggest blessings in my life. 
We could be held at gunpoint, while swimming in shark infested waters, and he would still be able to make me laugh and feel better. 
He's just the best.

- Gawking at the Halloween section in Target. 
Maaayyybe we've been checking every single week for the last month because we (re: I) have been so excited. Seriously we were freaking out over everything for like 30 straight minutes. Also started planning a Halloween Party, so that's good.
We love this season a little much over here!

So there you go.
Happy weekend all.


the time i hated pizza, also known as a throwing up story

I've been really really sick the last few weeks. 

Anyways, this is a gross story, but it's just funny, so I just have to share. 
These are my true colors guys!!!!)

So my stomach has been having some serious issues, and today was no exception. 
I was in the kitchen, and all the sudden I looked at a pizza box sitting on our counter. 
(Notice the word "looked". I didn't eat, look at, or even SMELL the pizza)
Pizza thoughts suddenly overcame my mind, and before I knew it, I was dry heaving. 
It was like a cheesy pizza man had reached out of the box and punched me straight in uvula with his pepperoni fists and then clawed at my stomach with his greasy nails, all the while breathing garlic breath of death straight into my face, burning my nose hairs completely off.
Something to that effect.

So I did what any sane, and ill, person would do.... 
I ran into the bathroom and threw up for like 10 straight minutes. 

You may think this is strange. And I may be tempted to agree with you. 
But then I am reminded of the time I threw up on the first day of 6th grade because I was so nervousexcited??
And  the time I threw up on the first day of college because I took a vitamin on an empty stomach. 
(I've learned a lot since then, thanks for asking)
And the crowning time when I threw up because I boiled an egg, cut it in half, removed the yolk, filled the hole with salt and THEN ATE IT. 
(I know. I can't even.)
I'm a champ at this barfing thing guys. 
And at the rate I'm going, I'll have another cookie-tossing story for you next week. 

So stay tuned, OBVIOUSLY. 


songs for rainy days

All this dreary weather we've been having has got me in a certain mood. 
The kind that involves listening to slow, acoustic-driven, melancholy music and sitting on my couch under a blanket while spending hours on Pinterest, I mean what?!
I really enjoy picking music to go with the seasons, and I guess that's what I've been doing. Building my autumn/rainy day playlist. 
Here are some of my favorite songs at the moment.

Punch Brothers- Soon or Never
Punch Brothers- Soon or Never
Ohhhhh this song.
The strings and banjos and harmonies just kill me. 
If you listen to any of these song, please let it be this one. 

Amos Lee- What's Been Going On
I'm married to Amos Lee's biggest fan, so we listen to a lot of that around here. 
This is one of my favorites of his.

Sara Bareilles- Islands
This album is great, but this is by far by favorite song from it. 
The chord progression is too good!

And there you have it. If you are like me and feel the need to usher in a new season with appropriate music, please indulge. This girl knows music,
(scuse me while I toot my horn, toot toot!)
and these songs are some of the best.


on making changes

I very often find myself analyzing my life, and realizing there is a lot I want to change, and it's usually fueled by the desire to change Brooke, more than circumstances or people around me.. 
Sometimes I'm unsure what exactly that change should entail. 
I think: 
"Well, I know I can be better. I just don't really know where to start."

Does this ever happen to you?

Today at work, I was listening to a wonderful talk by President Hinckley called "The Women in Our Lives". 
This passage really struck a chord with me and helped me realize something very important I can be working on, all the time! 

If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce. Argument would never be heard. Accusations would never be leveled. Angry explosions would not occur. Rather, love and concern would replace abuse and meanness.

Christian is the dearest person in my life, and I can't imagine how I would feel if I treated our relationship this way. I'm sure it would be amazing. This also got me thinking about the way I treat others around me. Certainly I can't give everyone the kind of devotion I give my husband. 
I can, however, do a better job seeing them the way the Savior does. I can do a better job loving unconditionally, being judgement free, and looking for opportunities to serve each day. 

Just some thoughts if you are feeling like you could use a bit of a personal overhaul. 
I think the world needs more of this kind of love. 


september is weird

School is in session, everything on pinterest these days is Halloween related, and we've got an apple spice air freshener in our apartment. 
And then I walk outside and it's still 9000 degrees. 

Fall won't hurry up and summer won't leave, it won't stop raining, and it's just the strangest mash-up of seasons here in Utah right now. I guess I can't complain. 
At least it's not snowing.

So speaking of school... it's been quite the eventful last few days! Christian is balancing two jobs this semester, and of course classes for both of us. Ah it never ends! We had our first official break down a few days ago, so that should mean the semester's in full swing right?

Other things: 
We watched Barefoot in the Park last weekend, and I highly recommend it.....
if you're looking for a weird movie that makes you laugh about newlywed nuances and crazy people like Jane Fonda.
(I guess "crazy " and "newlywed" go hand in hand many times, amiright?)
How's this for a glimpse into marriage?!

Also can we talk about Hobby Lobby for a minute? We ventured there for the first time ever last night and I was blown away by the awesome fall and halloween decorations... Until I saw the price tags.
I mean, $300 for a wreath!?! Is there anything even worth getting there?
Please fill me in, Hobby Lobby enthusiasts.
Because I WANT to love that place but I just can't stomach those prices!

Finally, we've had some great things go on for our family in the last few weeks. After a seemingly endless summer and several of the worst months in the history of ever, I have to say that this fall and winter are shaping up to be
And basically I'm bursting to share more. Alas, it will have to wait!
Until next time!


change and fall and school and things

School starts on Tuesday.

This is going to be the last fall semester that I have a full load of classes.
It's a strange feeling. I love school so much, but there are some days when it feels like my time here at BYU will never end. And yet here we are. 2 semesters away from just that. It's wonderful and sad all at the same time, and it's given me an even greater sense of needing and wanting to soak up literally everything as much as possible, especially during fall semester, which is my most cherished time of year. 

I've been making tons of lists lately. 
Lists of fall activities. 
Places to camp. 
Foods to eat. 
Halloween parties to plan
Mountains to climb. 
Trips to go on. 

Somehow, list making and goal setting makes me feel a lot better about life. It gives me direction and order, two things I crave, especially when life gets busy. I love starting a new school year by doing just that.
And I must say, as much as I adore summer, I've decided I adore fall even more. 

For me, the season feels like coming home. It's full of comfort and familiarity, which  happen to be two other things I desperately crave. I know that mid-semester, I'm going to loath the constant mountain of school work hanging over mine and Christian's heads, stealing away precious time. Right now however, I'm welcoming autumn with open arms

I think I'm finally ready for September, with her lingering warmth and chilly evenings, her smell that hints at an impending change. Her football games, her ability to lure me into mellow music and hot chocolate and premature Halloween decorating.

I'm ready for October, with her crunchy leaves and brisk wind. Her thrill because "Halloween is just around the corner!", and the fact that each day of the month feels magical to me. October is my favorite. 

I think I love the changing season so much because sometimes, I just crave change. And fall brings just enough of it that it leaves me feeling refreshed without simultaneously feeling the need to overhaul my whole life. 
And that's just the perfect amount of change, you know?


wellness wednesday: august music

Top 3 Favorite Workout Songs
- August Edition - 
So here's the thing.
I really really really love Latin music. I took six years of Spanish and it completely lit a fire in my heart. That's actually half the reason I love Zumba so much. It lets my Latin flair completely loose for an hour and makes me crazy happy.
Or maybe just crazy. But anyways. 
I'm about to share some Latin songs that I absolutely love, and might just light a fire in your heart too.
You've been warned.

*Also speaking of Latin things, can we just discuss how wonderful it is that Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor.
I mean, we women LOVE our suave Latin men, obviously. So I'm foreseeing the best season yet.
Viva el Bachelor!!!*

Best warm up song:
La Camisa Negra- Juanes
This is the guy who started it all.... the fuel behind my Latin-loving fire!
If this song doesn't make you want to get up and groove, well....
Git yer head checked!

Best power song:
Ave Maria- David Bisbal
How's that for a screen shot?
Seriously listen to this song, it's definitely NOT the Ave Maria you are familiar with.
Also don't be fooled by his Cher-like voice.
I don't know what that's all about, but whatever.

Best cool down song:
Flor De Campo- Don Omar
Don Omar makes some seriously great music, but this song is probably my favorite. 
Sit back, stretch and enjoy!

And there you have it. 
Now go high-tail it to a Zumba class or something. 


people of walmart

We've had some funny experiences at Walmart the last few times we were there.
Let me share them with you.

We were in Vegas a few weeks ago and scrambling to get some food the night we got there, so naturally we stopped at good ol' Wally World (which was under construction by the way. This is important)
We literally had some bagels, cream cheese and orange juice, thus expected a speedy checkout.
However, because of all the construction, there was no visible way for us to get to the registers.
So I look behind us and see this guy checking out at the jewlery counter and I'm like:
"SWEET! There's our way out!"

So I walk up behind him and basically say to the girl helping him:
"Would you mind doing ours really fast too?"
Being super nice of course.

Seriously this is the response I got:
The biggest eye roll in the history of ever, seriously I was worried they were going to fall out of her head kind of eye roll.
Aaaaaand silence.

So I turned on my sass, threw the orange juice in her face, and ran off. 

Kidding I didn't do that.
But I did get super exasperated and give her a tiny piece of my mind, right before finding another register of course.

Then, just a few days later, we were at the Walmart in Orem.
The parking lot was super packed, both with people and cars. So we're trying to hurry through, because we don't want to get stuck behind a mass of pedestrians, like any other self respecting car-driver amiright.

Well, apparently we got in some angry guy's way because 3 seconds after we drove by him,

Like straight up, balled fist, pulled out all the stops-punched our car.
So naturally I rolled down my window and yelled
"Are you kidding me?!"
*Let's not acknowledge the fact that I have unheard of amounts of sass these days*

To which he responded:

All that was going through my head was that line from kid history.
"Don't punch... our car"
Probably should have just said that and called it good. Probably I'm not going back to Walmart for a long time!

Have you ever been to Walmart and seen someone who's just absolutely lost it?
(Actually, I don't have to ask that question. I know you have.

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