Saturday, December 7, 2013

Week 15 Baby Update

Hooray! Since we have finally announced the pregnancy, I can write up my first pregnancy update. I feel so lucky to be going through this amazing process and I want to document it as best I can. :)

So, here we go!

How Far Along?
I am 15 weeks and 4 days! My due date was May 28th, but I am measuring small, so to avoid disappointment, the doctor moved the due date back to June 2. 

How Am I Feeling?
Honestly, this WHOLE pregnancy has been AMAZING. I was never sick, or nauseous at all. Just a little picky with what I wanted to eat. So that was amazing (And I did throw up once, simply because I took my prenatal vitamins before I had eaten any breakfast... not a good idea) And this last week has been to different. I've been energized, and upbeat, and I totally have my complete appetite back (and then some... haha). 

How Big Is Baby? says that Baby is about 4 inches long from head to bum. And weighs about 2.5 ounces, which they say is approx. the same weight of one apple. 

In my first trimester I lost 11 pounds, so that was nice. and in the last two-ish weeks of having my appetite back I have gained 3 pounds... So from becoming pregnant I am still -8 pounds. Which is so okay with me. 

What Do I Miss?
There isn't much I can't do at this point. So I don't have much to miss. I guess I could say that I miss work. I quit nannying about 3 weeks ago, and I do miss those sweet girls. But I am happy for this new chapter in our lives. The girls have an amazing new nanny and I couldn't be happier with who took over for me. But I do miss my little ladies.

I have been blessed with an extremely healthy pregnancy, so i haven't had too many symptoms. But I have noticed a few things that can be attributed to the pregnancy. I have had some terrible migraines, but I notice that I only get them if i am not drinking enough water. So as long as i keep hydrated, i'm good. And I have had heartburn once so far. I also have super obnoxious acne. Honestly, it's not that bad, but i have had great skin for most of my life (Sidenote: I had THE WORST ACNE ever ever ever when i was younger. I got it really early. like 5th grade. and in 8th grade my parents finally got me on Accutane, soooo ever since then, my skin has been awesome to me...) but yeah so the new acne spots are definitely NOT appreciated. But to telly ou the truth, of all the horrible pregnancy symptoms I could be having, I really shouldn't complain about a few pimples on my cheeks.

In my first trimester, I only craved apples and cheese. there was one time where i was at the grocery store, and i was craving cheese SO BAD. I opened a cheese stick and ate it while I shopped and then just handed over the wrapper to pay for it... the cashier gave me the strangest look... haha. I also craved tomatoes and oranges and bananas and pretty much all fruits and veggies. My naughty craving is Top Ramen... its horrible i know... but i can't help it. I just love it!!! And I couldn't even stand any sort of meat. My poor husband had to live with pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches for the first 12 weeks because raw meat was a bad bad idea. But in the last few weeks, chicken has been okay. But mostly I am still wanting rice and pasta and bread and fruit. 

Highlights of the Week?
This week I finally think I have started to show a little bit. :) So that was really exciting... until i realized that it meant the end of wearing my normal pants... 

Alright guys, i hope you enjoyed this update! 

See ya next week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving & Family Update

Guys, I have been waiting for SO LONG to be able to write this post. I'm so excited to finally share my secret, and start writing about everything on a much more consistent basis.

I should begin by saying that this year I decided to take on the task of hosting Thanksgiving at my house! We wanted this Thanksgiving to be combined with my family and Alex's family! I am so grateful that we both adore our in laws, so the idea of having everyone under one roof was anything but scary. Our families get along wonderfully, and i just knew that the day would be filled with so much laughter and love. I'm so super lucky to have an amazing mother and mother in law who insisted on helping every step of the way, so I honestly didn't have anything to stress over.

My saint of a mother took over pretty much everything and made sure that every aspect of Thanksgiving was taken care of. Weeks ahead of time she was out shopping, up late crafting, and menu planning. She bought so many things and made sure that I didn't have a huge financial burden by hosting.

The day before Thanksgiving, my family came over around 5:30 and started helping me clean up and set up and decorate and everything else. My mom also lit our entire Christmas Tree and helped decorate it so that it would look spectacular for the following day. They decided to all spend the night so that we could be up and at 'em bright and early. It also meant less driving and more quality time, so i say that is a win-win ;)

We turned on the Christmas tunes, ordered a few pizzas and had a blast just spending time together. Alex was my hero and ran to WinCo at 9:00pm that night and faced the mobs for me and picked up a few items that I had forgotten. Bless Him!

The next morning the boys woke up and went to our wards Turkey Bowl. Ian even came out to join because of how awesome it was going to be. They were gone for a few hours and when they came home they were exhausted, which means that it was obviously a successful Turkey Bowl.

While they were gone, Mom, Grandma and I were able to stuff and prep the turkey, get casseroles put together, set the tables, make stuffing and gravy and basically everything else necessary. My mom also decided that she was going to make a tasty breakfast! She make homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls and eggs with turkey sausage!!! I'm telling you, my mother went above and beyond for me! I definitely appreciated all the helping hands that morning. It made everything go so quickly. There was always someone washing or wiping something down so my kitchen never even got that messy!

Around 11:30 the McHardy clan started showing up, and we watched the football game (which we aren't going to talk about, because my Packers got smashed...) and snacked on some pre-thanksgiving food snacks. Then my Father in Law made mashed potatoes and we were pretty much ready to go at that point!

I think we ended up eating around 3:15, which was the goal! Hooray! There is a tradition in the McHardy House on Thanksgiving where the Head of every household present says a Thanksgiving prayer specifically for their family. It is a tradition that I always loved in previous years when attending Thanksgiving at my in-laws, so I am glad that Alex decided to continue it at our dinner. My Father in Law began and said a lovely prayer, mentioning his wife, and his children, but somehow he skipped a few kids. After my dad's prayer regarding our family, my Father in Law recognized his mistake... halfway. He started to say thanks for Alex and all of his hard work. Then he was finished again and passed it on to Ian. But we were all laughing pretty hard because he had still forgotten Max! My Father in Law joked that if you aren't sitting at the table, you will get forgotten. Then quickly said thanks for Max. Once all of the McHardy siblings had been prayed for Alex said a beautiful prayer about our little family that made me cry. I'm so thankful for my wonderful husband and his loving words.

After prayers were said we broke out the food! Everything was delicious! We joked about how upsetting it is that the food takes hours, if not days to prepare and then people are done eating it within a matter of minutes! But at least that usually means that everything available was just really delicious!

The nice thing about having so many people over for dinner is that the kitchen gets cleaned up amazingly fast! After clean up we relaxed and visited, and also broke out a fun little Christmas puzzle to work on.

Pie was consumed a few hours later. My incredible Mother in Law made all the pies and every single one was beautiful and delicious! Our dear friends Mark and Hope also came and joined us for this part of the evening and I am so glad they were able to stop by!

It was a great Thanksgiving and I couldn't have asked for a better family to spend it with. But I'd have to say my favorite part of Thanksgiving was the Facebook announcement I was finally able to share!

 I knew from the second we found out that we were expecting, and that I would only be 14 weeks on Thanksgiving that this is how I wanted to announce it! I am so happy to be blessed with this little family! We definitely have SO much to be thankful for this year.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blogger Meet Up

I've never considered myself a blogger.
I don't write everyday.
or every week for that matter.
and I don't make money from what I do.
I don't have millions of followers.
I don't have amazing tutorials,
humorous anecdotes,
wonderfully delicious recipes,
or inspirational stories of hope and success.

I just have me.
my life.
and the few things that I consider to be important.

But I do,
as of last night,
have blogger friends.

and that is the best thing I could have hoped to have gained
from blogging.

Last night was the 3rd
AZ Blogger Meetup.

And instead of dreading the night,
feeling insecure,
and hoping that I would have someone to small talk with.
I was excited.
I was so looking forward to seeing these

Seriously, I feel so blessed to have been introduced
to the women that I spent time with last night.
They uplift me,
laugh with me,
listen to me,
and let me into their lives.

We spent the night at an amazingly cute boutique
in Phoenix.
Clothes Minded AZ.
There was trendy clothes,
friendly staff,
and tasty treats!

I can't think of a better setting for a girls night.

We spent the night laughing, bonding and being inspired by the
Miss Ashley from The Shine Project.
and Christian from Phenomz 
and Maggie from Angie 

They taught us that anything is possible,
and that through our blogs,
and social media our ideas can come to fruition,
and we can make a difference in this world
that is far too often filled with images
and ideas
and feelings
that are far from uplifting.
We can change that.
I can change that.

By smiling to people I pass on the street,
by sharing messages of hope and compassion on my blog,
and urging others to do the same.
By having a Christlike attitude,
by serving those around me.
And just by being me.

I can be the change.

Blogging is great.
It inspires.
It brings people together.
It sparks change.

I'm so glad that I have met the people that I have, and that they are so amazingly wonderful!
You know who you are.

Thank you!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Home Improvements

One of the best parts of home ownership is all the fun improvements you get to make. You get to take something bland, or crazy, or even downright ugly and redo it and make it your own.

When I was younger I always hated saturdays that involved more than one trip to Home Depot. But now that I have a home, The Home Depot has become a very dangerous store for Alex and I. We can just wander the isles and dream about all the things we would add to our house. And usually we give in to at least one of the projects we want to take on. Its a problem. And our wallets aren't proud of us. But,  our house sure is gettin' cute :)

One of our most recent projects was to upgrade the light fixtures in our kitchen. When we moved in we had these horrible track lights and absolutely no light over our island.

I had wanted to replace these lights from the second we moved in. But we lacked money and electric wiring skills. But recently we were able to go and pick out some new lights, and my awesome Father in Law and Brother in Law (who are both seasoned electricians) were able to come over and help us put up our lights.

We always love home improvements. I love making the decisions at the store and envisioning what it will look like at our house. All the trips are fun and exciting, but this trip to Home Depot was just a little more memorable. We had to buy a few tools and extra things to help us complete our project. One of these items being a HUGE piece of drywall. We bought it, and even asked the sales people to cut it in half for us so that we could {possibly} fit it in our Honda Civic. But when my father in law and I took the drywall out to the car, we quickly realized that there was absolutely NO WAY that it was going to fit. And so we were preparing to somehow tie the huge pieces of drywall to the roof. But as we were getting ready to lift it on top of the car, we heard someone ask us if he wanted him to haul our drywall for us in his van. We quickly told him that we live pretty far away, but thank you so much for the offer. He asked us what our crossroads are and when we told him informed us that he too lives near there and that he would be more than happy to take the drywall to our house. We were so grateful and my father in law rode with the nice stranger.

When we asked him how he new that we needed help when his van was parked 3 isles away from our car he simply said, 

"God told me. And I listened."


I hope that I can be as in tune with the Spirit as this man was. I appreciate him and his wonderful act of kindness for a few strangers.

And besides, he helped make our kitchen look a heck of a lot prettier :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nanny Diaries

So I have been meaning to get on here and write about so many different things. Some serious, some funny, some simply for my own enjoyment and remembering. But today I think should just be a generic update on life.

So, i don't know, but maybe something like 2 months ago my bosses told me that they were planning on moving and that they had found a great new house mansion in Paradise Valley. We quickly mapquested it, and i was shocked to find that my new commute was going to be approximately 55 miles each way; over 100 miles a day. Talk about stress. My bosses saw my face, and told me that we could talk about the details of the commute later, but that they definitely wanted me to continue to be their nanny.

Fast forward a few weeks. I had talked to them a lot about the commute and had decided that it was just going to be too much for me. They completely understood and said that they would hate for their worst enemy to have to make that commute, and that they would be shocked if i had actually continued to work for them. I suggested that they start looking for a new girl to take over for me. a feww weeks later and house is all packed up, they have the keys to the new mansion... and they have hired a new nanny. A girl named Sarah. They found her at a restaurant that they frequently visit. They had worked it out so that I could train her, and then she would take over for me once they moved out to the new house. Everything seemed to be going just fine. Except for the fact that nothing was fine at all. I would cry almost everyday. At work, on my way home, to my husband, to the girls, to my mom. Anyone who would listen knew how heart broken I was to be leaving the girls. I honestly felt like i was leaving a piece of my heart behind for no reason.

(Side note: Obviously i know that I will someday have to leave them to have my own family. But honestly that doesn't seem like something that is in our near future, so i hated the fact that I was going to be done working for them for seemingly no reason at all.)

Anyways, I knew that i had to come to terms with the fact that once Sarah was competent, I would be done. But she never really got competent. She was lazy all the time, forgetful and somewhat lacking in what i like to call 'street smarts'.  I could tell that  it was going to be a rough transition for everyone, but as much as I love this family, i didn't think i could make that drive everyday.

Fast forward through the training process. Its my last day, A wednesday, and i'm still feeling hesitant to leave for good. But I do. I say my teary goodbyes and promise the girls that I will be at birthdays and Christmas parties and that they can call me whenever they want. I told them how much i love them and walked out the door.

My in laws knew how upset i was by this whole scenario so they graciously invited me on their family vacation to the Grand Canyon. It was a blast and i am so blessed to have such wonderful inlaws that love me so much. We were having a great time, so i was concerned and shocked to see Dorian (my boss) calling my at 7:00 am on friday morning. I was greeted on the phone by a crying boss telling me that they NEEDED me back and that things with Sarah just were not working. Sarah had apparently left Kennon, 5 years old, alone in the pool the day before, and they had just found out that Sarah also has 5 DUI's on her driving record. All of this, mixed with the fact that she simply wasn't a good fit personality wise with the family, had made for a pretty drastic phone call.

I told Dorian not to worry, that I would be back on monday and that we can figure this whole thing out together. She said she was so grateful, told me she loved me, and hung up.

I immediately called Alex and we discussed the possibility of me making the commute to Paradise Valley everyday and all of the Pros and Cons that go along with it. And after much discussion and prayer we decided that with family this loyal and wonderful I didn't have a reason to be done just yet.

On monday when i arrived at work I was met with happy tears and a pay raise. They told me that they couldn't imagine life without me and that they wanted to do whatever they could to make it so that I would stay. I gladly accepted and told them that I always kinda had a feeling I would be back ;)

So now it has been about 3 weeks since I have been making the long commute, and honestly it isn't that bad. Sure getting up at 5:25 everyday isn't great. But the traffic isn't bad at that time so I can make it work in under 50 minutes which is way better than I anticipated. The raise helped a ton with gas money and then some! and i still get to see my babies everyday! so all in all i think things worked out the way that they should have.

I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop since i know i had mentioned before that i was leaving this job. :) but now you know, i'm just way to valuable of a nanny to lose!

I'm so so glad I get to stay with these munchkins for a little while longer!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Allie's Salmon Cakes

Okay, so I made up this awesome recipe today, and I
had a few friends ask for it, so I decided to put it up on the blog so that everyone who wants it, can enjoy it.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Allie's Salmon Cakes
14 ounces fresh salmon (about 2 normal sized fillets)
1 T olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp paprika (divided)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 cup small-diced bell pepper, any color
1/4 cup canned or frozen corn
2 tsp dried flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained
10 Ritz Crackers (or saltines, or 3/4 cup bread crumbs)
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
Grill salmon fillet, season with salt, pepper, paprika.
Once grilled, flake up all the salmon with a fork. Allow to cool.
While salmon is cooling, dice veggies. Sautee with capers, corn, parsley and more salt and pepper and paprika.
Sautee for about 15 minutes on medium low.
While veggies are sauteeing, put your rits crackers in the food processor, and grind into fine crumbs.
Combine the flaked salmon, sauteed veggies, ritz crumbs, and mayo.
Allow to chill for about 15 minutes.
Once chilled, shape mixture into 1/3 cup sized patties.
Heat T of Olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat. Add the salmon cakes, and fry on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life after workouts

SO working out is great. I always feel so awesome afterwards. But man, give it about 10 hours, and suddenly, seemingly simple actions become increasingly difficult. I have made a list of just a few things that I have had major issues doing since finishing 3 Insanity Workouts.

-Driving Manual. I have an adorable, orange Chevey Aveo. I love it so much, and one of the things that I love most about it is that it is stick shift. But Holy Canoli, have you tried to shift after Shaun T has ripped your quads to shreds? Well let me tell you, it isn't that enjoyable.

-Doing My Hair. I've done more push ups in the last 3 days than in the last 3 years and my arms are feeling it. Lifting my arms to brush and style my hair is a painful process I didn't foresee when I started my workout plan.

-Climbing The Stairs. My poor husband. I didn't think he knew he would become my official runner once my workouts started. But honestly, I can only handle going up and down the stairs once a day. So a big thank you to my sweet husband for always running up and down for me!

-Laughing. Oh my abs. Sore tummy muscles make many many things hard, but laughing is such a funny one. I'll be laughing, then it will just kinda turn into a whimper because it hurts, but then I feel pathetic so I start laughing more. Haha, it's so hilarious.

-More Workouts. I seriously have the hardest time getting myself to work out while i'm already so sore, but I just push through it, and then the next day I am even MORE sore! HA! But I figure that in a few weeks i will start to become accustom to the pain, and I will be getting stronger and stronger!

I already find myself craving the workouts. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I am finished with a work out and I am lying on the floor feeling like i might die. it's super awesome. I am changing myself. Me and me alone. I can't rely on someone else to do the work for me. If i want to see changes, I have to do the work. I am becoming more confident and more aware of myself and I can't wait to see where everything goes from here.

Here's to many more workouts and even more sore muscles!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Insanity Week 1

Well, I think I have completely lost my mind. In other words, I've gone insane.

Let me explain. So for the last few months, as many of you already know, I have been following the Weight Watchers program. It is amazing, and I will always always recommend it. It has helped me become more aware of portions, and the nutritional value of things. This reform to my everyday eating habits has been nothing but beneficial. I don't hesitate at restaurants or the grocery store when I am picking something out to eat, and I believe that that is a prime indicator of whether you are on a diet, or if you have changed your lifestyle. Before, when I would be on "diets", I would only get a salad, because I wouldn't trust myself to order a chicken sandwich and substitute the fries out for veggies. But now, I know what my body needs, and i understand that I am not confined to only having rabbit food with the dressing on the side.

In the first 2 months of being on Weight Watchers I have lost 17 pounds. And it has been the most amazing feeling. Here is a little before and after action for ya.

October 2012
November 2012

April 2013

May 2013

 Alrighty, So I don't know if you can see it, But I see in INCREDIBLE difference. I'm appalled that I ever let myself get as heavy as I was, but I am proud of myself, and all the hard work that I have put in to get to where I am today.  And as happy as I am, I would love to still lose another 30 ish pounds. I know that seems extreme. And by no means do I base my success off of a number on the scale or the number on the tag of my jeans. I believe that being happy and healthy and a kind human being is the most important thing. But I would like to see myself push myself farther than I have ever gone before.

For this reason I have decided to start the Insanity program. * nervous gulp*
If you have no idea what insanity is (or even if you do, but want a refreshing look as what kinds of hell i plan to put myself through) watch this.
I just finished my first Fit Test... and it was miserable. BUT! I did finish, and I believe that I can keep it and improve immensely.
They suggest to keep a public log of your progress so as to stay motivated (and humiliated)

So... Here is my starting picture. (no judging)
Insanity Day 1 [May 18,2013]
And here are my week 1 Fit Test Numbers

Switch Kicks-56
Power Jack-35
Power Knee-53
Power Jump-11
Globe Jump-6
Push Up Jack-4
Low Plank Oblique-21

So there you have it. I'm insane, and I want to see more results based on honest to goodness hard work. I'm excited to keep tracking my progress, and I will definitely be checking in next week :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Diary of a Primary Chorister

A few months ago I was called into the Bishop's office and was asked if I would be willing to accept the calling of Primary Chorister. My heart started beating really fast, and I wanted to say no. But I took a deep breath and instead replied that I would be happy to. I held back the tears until I got out to the car with Alex, and then I let out all the fear, and frustration and anxiety. I cried and told my sweet husband that I didn't believe I was cut out for something like this. Sure, I am musical. Sure, I like kids. But combine the two? It wasn't quite the calling I was hoping for.

I prayed for guidance, patience, and an ability to teach those precious souls in the best way possible. I prepared my first lesson, and walked into that primary room Sunday Morning with sweaty palms and a racing heart. The kids were wonderful, and eager to learn and I left that day feeling a bit better about this whole situation.

From then on, things only got better. I remembered more kids names, I understood the schedule a bit better, and I didn't feel like I was going to throw up, so that was a plus.

And then last week happened.

I planned a fun coin toss game. Basic premise: Choose a child to come and toss the coin. Heads we sing a song, Tails we did an activity to get the wiggles out. Easy enough.

The first hour, junior primary, things went great. It was a pretty normal day and I really felt the kids were learning the songs extremely well. Senior Primary filed in an hour later, and I was ready to do the same activities as I did with the little kids. All was fine and dandy, until we did an activity that got a little to rowdy. Asking forty 8-11 year olds to do 10 jumping jacks is a little insane. I laughed it off and they calmed back down so that we could sing another song. When it came time to do another activity (singing Jesus Wants me For A Sunbeam) I was wary about the reverence level, but let them sing the song anyway. That's when I see one teacher sitting the front row rolling her eyes and mouthing the words, "Oh My GOSH." I was a little taken aback, but didn't think much of it until another teacher sitting straight up says, "I can't believe you are letting them do this. It's SO irreverent."


Immediately I revert back to feeling insecure and lousy. I don't feel like I can do this calling. I stand up in front of all of these children and I try to hold back the tears. We manage to finish the lesson without having to do any more wiggle activities, and I quickly gather my things and bolt outside where the tear promptly begin to fall. I'm hyperventilating and freaking out, and that's when the primary president runs out after me to ask what is wrong. I'm still in tears and i try to explain with the most tact possible, how this sister in primary had extremely hurt my feelings and made me feel like I shouldn't be up these teaching the children. I told her how I felt like everyone was still treating me like a Young Woman instead of an equal. I told her how I easily let my feelings get hurt, and how terrible I am at hiding it. I told her how now it will be hard to hold me head high while that sister is in Primary. I explained how now I am at a loss for how to teach these children in a way that will please everyone, especially the Lord.

Luckily, our Primary president is an angel, and she reassured me that I am indeed capable, and that i can't let someone else criticize me and belittle me when I am, in fact, doing a good job.

I'm still a little hurt and apprehensive for next week when I will have to face this sister again in primary. But I am determined to learn from this experience and use it improve my understanding of other people's opinions. I am constantly trying to take less offense from the things that people around me say, and this is just another place I can practice this.

I believe that the Lord called me to Primary for a reason, and I do know that I will have an impact on those children's lives. I love being able to teach those children the simple principles of the gospel through music, and being able to bare my testimony to them every week.

I'm grateful for the power of prayer and the ability I have to cry out to my Heavenly Father and ask for his help in this learning process. I'm thankful for a loving husband who encourages me, believes in me and reassures me that I am enough.


Thursday, March 14, 2013


I figured since the fabulous Hope Douglass had already blogged about her anniversary, i might as well jump on the bandwagon, and crank out our little anniversary tale.

Two years goes by quick y'all. I mean like super speedy, blink and you'll miss it, hyperspeed. I can't believe that i've been married for 2 years... and at the same time, it's like I have only ever known Alex, and our life together. It's pretty great. Alex is great, and i'm so thankful that he puts up with me, and all my emotional weirdness.

I look forward to special celebrations all the time. I love birthdays, and holidays, and i love that I get to put anniversary on the list of things to go out and eat cake for. I love getting pampered, and not caring (too much) about our usually strict budgets, and just going out, to be with one another, celebrate the fact that you didn't kill each other over the past year, and make more super fun memories and traditions.

Our anniversary is March 4, and that was on a monday this year, so instead of taking off from work, we just decided to celebrate over the weekend. It was a marvelous idea, and we didn't waste one minute.

Saturday morning, we woke up after sleeping in (a foreign concept) and left for our all time favorite restaurant--Joe's Farmgrill. okay guys, if you haven't been here, you need to stop reading this post, and get in your car and drive out to Higley and Ray and order something delicious. srsly.

We enjoyed some marvelous green eggs and ham (personal fave) and some delicious huevos rancheros. We also splurged and got the apple fritters. I mean, calories don't count on special occasions. amiright?
One thing i love most about Joe's in the atmosphere. The people are friendly, the gardens are beautiful, and you can sit outside on a wooden picnic table and enjoy life, while staring at the huge citrus trees. It's simple and (in my opinion) super romantic and fun! We always love our time at Joe's, and i think that it will become an anniversary tradition to have breakfast there.

After our tasty meal, we headed out to Scottsdale. Another anniversary tradition that we have is shopping in Keirland Commons on our anniversary. We spend our wedding night at the Weston Keirland. So it only feels right to go back there every year and shop and enjoy the weather. a HUGE perk to being married in the beginning of march is that you are able to do so many things outside and actually enjoy yourself. I love all the fancy shops at KC, and always have fun imagining what i would buy if money was no object. We did buy a few things in Crate & Barrel. but thats just because Alex and I are both suckers for cool kitchen gadgets, and beautiful ceramic berry bowls ;) Some of our other favorite places to look in are Sur La Table, Z Gallerie, Anthropologie and Michael Kors. We always just feel so fancy and grown up when we shop down town scottsdale, and its something that we don't do very often to I always look forward to it.

Once our window shopping was over, we headed out to Salt River Fields to see a Spring Training Game. It is no secret that alex and I are obsessed with baseball, and so it was an easy choice to celebrate our anniversary with the Diamondbacks. We went to a spring training game for our first anniversary, so needless to say, it has become a tradition to go every year.

We are cheap, newly weds, and we hate to buy food inside the park since it is super overpriced. But you cant take in outside food. So i had the brilliant idea to sneak the snacks in under my shirt. and lucky for me these snacks just made me look pregnant, so we were able to have a pretend baby for about 5 minutes before i was able to go into the bathrooms and 'give birth' to these tasty snacks and keep them in my purse. Alex was horrified that i actually snuck snacks in under my shirt, but he forgave me when he realized how expensive the same bag of sunflower seeds are on the inside of the park. It was definitely a funny memory.

Something else that was really cool was that we were at the park early enough that we were able to go down to the field and meet a few of the players. We were able to get our diamondbacks hat signed by Ian kennedy and Dan Hudson tow of Arizonas best pitchers! Alex was loving it!

The game was great as usual, but we were kinda anxious to leave the park, because we had a reservation at The Melting Pot for dinner! We got changed out of our baseball garb, and got a little fancier. Something I love about eh melting pot, is how romantic it is. we requested a privacy booth, and so our little intimate table was behind our own little curtain, and we were free to be as lovey as we wanted without disgusting the others around us. Perfect for an anniversary dinner. ;)

We had a lovely time eating all the amazing things The Melting Pot has to offer, and reminiscing about the past year together. We had agreed to not exchange presents this year, but i lied, and i still got alex a present, and it was so fun to surprise him. I had bought him tickets to Opening Day (toldya we love baseball) Our seats were right behind Home base, and it was so fun to actually surprise Alex with something that he (and I) will really really enjoy.

Our anniversary celebration was a huge success, and I always love getting to spend one on one, romantic and fun times with my sweet husband. /rasies glass Here is to another fabulous year!! I love you Alex. Thank you for another year of amazing memories, growing opportunities, learning experiences, and countless reasons to love you more and more.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Wedding

Guys, i'm sorry about the delay in the story. I was out living life, and things got hectic. But I won't leave you hanging, i'll finish the love story. :)

After our engagement, things got crazy. We had to chose a wedding day, wedding colors, pick a wedding dress, and get it all done within a budget. It was stressful, but at the same time, i was super laid back about the whole thing. I didn't really care too much about huge details, because in my opinion, the only part of the wedding that really mattered was the groom. and i had him, and i knew he was the right one. So it didn't matter to me what flavor cake we had, or what flowers were added to the bouquet. I was just so excited to me marrying Alex.

I loved all the parties that were thrown in our honor. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and open houses galore! We even went up to utah and had parties up there! It was a blast. I felt so loved and supported throughout the whole process. Its such a blessing to come from a family who cares so much about each other.

I have never really been a fan of receptions, and I knew that when i got married, i just wanted to have a small intimate dinner on the day of the actual wedding. But i didn't want anyone to feel excluded from the festivities, so we had an open house. We did it the wednesday before the wedding, and it was just perfect. I wore my dress, and we had a receiving line, and it was life a mini reception, but just a lot more low key.

My reasoning for not wanting a reception is simple. I believe that the day of your sealing in the temple, that should be your main focus. and that should be what you are looking forward to. I didn't want to feel like, "oh yeah, the sealing was nice... but lets get to the real fun-the reception". So our actual wedding day was very relaxed and intimate.

our sealing was at 3:45, so we had all morning to sleep in (which i actually did... no pre wedding sleepless night for me!), and take our time getting ready. I had a hair appointment at 11, and then alex came and picked me up at 1 to go and take our bridals at the temple.

One of my favorite memories from that morning was as we were driving to the temple, i commented on how thirsty i was. and so we decided to stop at circle k and grab some Thirst busters! Everyone at the gas station was in awe that we were in our wedding garb, and we even got our drinks for free.

The sealing was intimate and perfect. I remember feeling so much love from my Heavenly Father, and I knew he was so proud of me and Alex and our decision to be married for time and all eternity in His holy temple.

After the sealing we took more photos with friends and family who were waiting for us outside, and then we headed to dinner at Tia Rosas.

Tia rosas was the most perfect setting for our little family dinner. They have a beautiful back garden, and twinkle lights everywhere, and it was just magical. Our friends had gone by earlier to set things up, and add a few personal touches to the garden, and i couldn't have been more pleased.

The food was delicious, and we ate, and drank and we were oh so merry :) After everyone had had their fill, we played a slideshow of some baby pictures of Alex and I, which is always cute, and always embarrassing... i should find some of those old pictures of alex... haha. and then we did the traditional things, like cutting the cake, having our first dance and tossing the bouquet.

It was so simple, and lovely, and the best part is that we were of on our honeymoon by 8:30 that evening.

I couldn't have asked for a better day, and i was so happy to be starting my new life with Alex.
And what better way to start your lives together than with a super extravagant trip!!

Check in later for our honeymoon recap ;)