This is my newest love. Her name is Saga which means "story" in Swedish. For over a year I have wanted a dog to keep me company since Lance and I have opposite schedules. We were in an apartment so it wasn't really the right situation, but now with a good home and a backyard, we have finally been able to add to our little family. We are thrilled to have her. She is such a snuggly sweet puppy.
Here is a better picture of the quilt I made for Lance. :) It is his favorite colors! I sewed the whole thing before we got married, then never got around to quilting it until a few months ago. It is certainly made with love. I'm so glad he loves it.
Yep, that's me. And Blogger, oh how I've missed you.
First of all, why haven't I blogged? Well I've been busy.
With what you may ask? Well with getting straight A's for the last semester of my junior year at ASU, with moving into our new house, fixing things in our new house and unpacking, working full time for my mother's law firm, shooting a couple weddings for my photography business, and basically getting my life back in order from the chaos that this last semester was.
So do I have pictures for you and things to say now? DUH! I have been dying to get enough time to write a blog post lately so here it FINALLY is. And, at least until student teaching tries to drown me in August, I am hoping that I will be able to catch up and make it routine to blog again.
So here is what has been going on since I last blogged (in no particular order):
Since you been gone (yeah yeah) I had a great first married Easter with the hubs, and the family. Seriously, it was fun to string up the apartment for our Easter tradition of yarn balls and also to hide Easter eggs for each other. The most important part though, was watching the video about Christ's resurrection because that is why we love Easter so very much.
Later that day on Easter afternoon, my baby brother was baptized by my other baby brother. It was a really touching thing to see and I am so proud of Jonas for deciding to get baptized. He is so cute always wearing his CTR ring (CTR stands for Choose the Right).
I also got a nice family picture after the baptism, which I was really excited about because it's hard to get family pictures when you have a brother who is going to BYU Idaho. I love my family so much. Everyone in it is so different, but so special to me in unique ways.
Lance and I have continued our tradition of date night and temple night each week. Although it's been tough with the craziness, we have managed quite well. Frisbee golf, Olive Garden (dinner date for getting straight A's), picnic, photo shoot on train tracks date, Men in Black 3, and many other fun nights have come. One of my favorites was a date night where we made dinner together and then we had to draw each other as super heroes. It was extremely entertaining! :)
I also had a really fun date with my baby brother to the Phoenix Kids Museum. He spent the night and he noticed our little red mailbox in our kitchen and asked what it was. I informed him that it was the love box. Lance and I put notes in it for each other almost every day and then we raise the flag so the other person knows that there is mail. Jonas thought it was so cool that he left a note in it for Lance (which made me cry when I read it later). The Kids Museum was blast the next day too!
Another neat thing was that I was able to attend the Holocaust Convention for Educators for the third year in a row. It is always very eye opening, deep, and fills me with a renewed determination to teach my future children to stand up against evils in the world and never to ignore them. I so cherish the relationships that I have been able to build with the Holocaust survivors that I have met, especially Magda, who has become like another grandmother to me since I was little.
Continuing with the Holocaust theme, my father also was awarded the Shofar Zakhor award from the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association for "his work in bringing his knowledge of the Holocaust to his students and implementing the experiences of survivors and their testimonies into his classroom." He has taught me a lot about history and it's importance and when I saw him receive a standing ovation from over 70 Holocaust survivors and hundreds of other guests, I couldn't have been more proud of my dad.
I am also very excited to announce that I completed the quilt that I had been working on for Lance. :) I actually had planned to give it to him as a wedding gift, but alas, with wedding planning and finals, I didn't have time. I did manage to sew the entire quilt before we got married, but it took almost a year to find the time to actually quilt the whole thing. Now it's done, and I am very please. I'm so glad that Lance loves it!
We have also made a few trips up to Cali to see Lance's parents. One time, we went to get my rings cleaned since Lance bought them from a place in San Francisco. They looked brand new! Love it!
We also got to have a lovely lunch date at Fenton's with Lance's parents. It's always so nice to spend time with them. And who could pass up Cali weather over Arizona anyway?
My sister and brother are still hard at work with their Tae Kwon Do and Mathea is really getting close to her black belt. I'm so proud! I love practicing with them! Oh and my bestie, Sammy, turned 21! I love her so much and I am so excited that we will both graduate in a year!
I am very happy that all of my hard work from the entire year paid off and I got straight A's. All of those times where I just wanted to stay in the car with Lance and not go to class, but I fought through it, have paid off.
I also chopped my bangs once again. What can I say? I missed them! I'm happy to have them back!
For our eleventh anniversary we got to go up Cali for the bachelor party of one of Lance's best friends. Get this, Lance had two best men at his wedding and now they are both getting married to the girls of their dreams one month apart! So on the airplane on the way up to Cali (while I was sleeping in his lap) Lance made me a bouquet of napkin roses as a gift to me. I love him so much! He really is the best husband on the planet!
All news is not happy, so in sad events, we had to say goodbye to our turtles. Rocky and Little Bug had to go to a new home. Their expensive water filter broke during the time that we were getting ready to move to our house and put our down payment down. We didn't have any wiggle room to buy them a new filter and weren't sure what to do. We prayed to figure it out and soon enough a man asked us for them for his young daughters. He had the means to buy the filter and had a good home for them, so we said goodbye to our little pets who kept me company in our apartment and had been with me since before I had even met Lance. I miss them a lot.
After I finished finals, I had about a day before I really needed to pack up and get ready for the move so I took a break which included this:
Yep, pretty much love Pottermore. Too bad I haven't been on it since because I don't have time for online games. One of these days I am going to start re reading the Harry Potter books to the website like you are supposed to and see if it really is a neat experience.
My dad also took us to a big party at Dave and Busters. He sells tickets for the Phoenix Suns so occasionally they have parties with dinner and games for the sellers and their families. It was a lot of fun to play all of the games and have a delicious dinner for free. I have never in my life actually had enough tickets to get a prize larger than a tootsie roll, so I was ecstatic to win a stuffed animal with all the tickets from that night! He ate my ice cream, but I was just happy to have him.
Finally, after three months of searching and four months of playing a painful waiting game with our house, we signed the final documents and got the keys! Hallelujah! There were a lot of obstacles with the process of buying the house and we were disheartened many times, but in the end it was worth the wait. We now owned a beautiful home and were able to afford the appliances that we needed too! Can I just say that I LOVE my red appliances! Seriously we have been so blessed through this whole process to have been able to find everything that we need at prices that we can afford! (special thanks to Heavenly Father, estate sales, Craigslist, and the Sears scratch and dent store)
I realized how far I had gotten in the unpacking process when I got to the good stuff, like our magnet collection!
Soon came the first wedding for Lance's best friend, Scott, and his fiance, Jenn. We loved being there and sharing in the precious moments and good times of their wedding day. It reminded us of the promises that we had made with each other almost a year before. We loved being with all of our closest friends too and dancing the night away!
The three amigos! Dave is next in line to get married! Hooray for Dave and Katie! And congrats to Scott and Jenn!
While we were there in Vegas for the wedding (Scott and Jenn were married in the Las Vegas temple) we got to stay with Lance's sister and her family. We always have such a blast with them. Their kids have this things for jumping in the pool when it's cold and I like to watch their silly shenanigans. :) I love being an Aunt.
We also went up to the Red Rock Canyon in Vegas with Lance's sister and her husband and drove/walked around. It was beautiful to a certain extent, but I really am a green grass and flowers kinda gal. I don't appreciate the desert very much.
There were donkeys everywhere out there that would just walk right up to your car. :) They were cute, but no feeding them! There were only about a million signs to remind us about that.
We also found and old western town that we played around in and took lots of pictures in!
In other exciting news, I have been soooo excited since the Muppets movie has come out on DVD. I love it and (in case you didn't know) I collect Muppets memorabilia. Usually Muppets stuff is insanely expensive because it's so old, but because of the new movie, Disney has created a whole new line of Muppets merchandise that I am loving. Lance has gotten most of the plush Muppets and is giving them to me for special occasions. So far he has given me Kermit (for Leap Day) and Gonzo (for getting straight A's). I also got a Kermit watch which I am in love with! Who wouldn't be happy every time they looked at that watch?
Speaking of getting straight A's, my best friend, Sammy got straight A's too! To celebrate Sam, her parents, her sister, my parents, Lance, and I all went out to Macayos for a family dinner. It was so fun to be there with all of those people that I cared about. Not to mention, I hadn't gotten to see Sam in a long while because of school and moving. Sam's sister, Elayna, graduated from high school, so I got to see them all again that night and Mary (Sam's mom) made delicious graduation cupcakes for her party. They were so cute!
Then just a few weeks ago, was our one year anniversary! We needed a break from the craziness of fixing up our house and working so we went to Hawaii for three days and just relaxed. The first day, we went to the beach, window shopped on the board walk, and watched the sunset over the water.
The second day, we went to the Kona temple and it was absolutely beautiful. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our marriage than going to the temple and remembering how we were sealed in the Mesa temple.
After the temple, we went to a zoo (the only Rainforest Zoo in the US) and saw a really neat plants, birds, and animals. A peacock flirting with another peacock, a white tiger (my favorite animal) eating his dinner three feet away, and a little rainbow colored bird that fell in love with me were the highlights of the trip.
On the third day, we went to Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm to take a tour and it was the neatest thing ever! Did you know that sea horses are monogamous (only have one partner for life) and they like to always be holding tails with their partner? When they are, they change colors because they are happy. :)
Well, here's the really cool part... We got to HOLD seahorses! They wrapped their little tails around our fingers like we were a coral reef! It was seriously one of the coolest things I have been able to do! I definitely suggest that place to anyone going to the Big Island!
After the sea horse farm tour, we walked the board walk again and bought fresh fruit (mangoes and pineapple) to eat as we went. We saw bright geckos and even a sea turtle, like they just wanted to say bye to us before we had to head back to Arizona.
We ended up having a magical time and loved just having time to slow down and think about nothing but how much we love each other. Happy one year anniversary Honey!
Two weeks ago, we went back to Cali for Scott and Jenn's second reception (the one for his family and friends). It was fun to see them and Jon and Tamara as well! Their colors and decorations were simply beautiful!
Jenn is really lucky that Scott was nice to her at this second cake cutting because at the reception in Vegas, she smashed the cake in his face. She is a lucky girl!
While we were waiting in the airport to go home the next day, the solar eclipse was about to happen. Fun fact about my husband: he loves anything that deals with the sky or space. This solar eclipse was something he desperately wanted to see and what do you know? The guy next to us at our flight gate just happened to have some eclipse glasses so Lance could watch the eclipse. Talk about the happiest boy ever!
So now we are pretty much up to the present. Lance and I are working hard and fixing up our home. Unfortunately, we had a bathroom leak, air conditioning went out, and water heater broke all within two weeks, but we have too many blessings to count so I figure we have to have those trials to balance us out. Last weekend I shot the bridal shoot for this lovely couple:
They are getting married in about two weeks now and I will be the photographer on the wedding day as well! I love these two! They are so perfect for each other and I am excited that they are so close to their wedding now! Lance and I can't wait to be there for their special day.
Oh and one more event that is DEFINITELY worth mentioning:
My girl Cori was called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Indiana! I can't wait to do mission pictures for her! I am so proud of her.
Basically life is good. It always is. Sometimes it's harder than other times, but life is always good, because the one who has the power to change it all is good. I love my Heavenly Father and I have a testimony that He loves me and knows me. I see it in every day. I know that if I choose to focus on all of the good things with my energy, they are the things that will consume me and affect my very being.
Was this the longest blog post ever? Probably. But hey, I caught up! Woot woot!