Hometown Reunion

A couple friends that I grew up with live in New York-one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. We had them over for dinner once before this summer with everybody, but we met up for dinner a couple weeks ago without Eva and it was so fun to catch up! We ate at Spice near Union Square which was delicious and such a fun atmosphere… I never get to eat at places like that anymore with Eva, so it was quite a treat.

Kelsa, Megan, and I go back to elementary school. I think 4th grade! In fact, Kelsa married her high school sweet heart who was in my second grade class (and many more classes for years to come). So, it’s really fun to meet up now and reminisce. Who would have thought we’d all be living in NYC 15 years later?

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‘N Sync Christmas

Isn’t it weird how a certain smell can make us remember something so vividly from years before? There’s this one Bath & Body Works lotion that, whenever I smell it, makes me think of the first time I was in Utah as a little kid (probably about 7 years old). We had been up in the canyon and playing in the river with some other families. I smelled like the water at the end of that day and so I put on this new lotion I had gotten in Salt Lake (it had sparkles in it) to try and mask the smell. That strawberry lotion will forever make me remember that summer day.

T.J. wore oldspice deoderant occasionally when we were dating and I finally had to tell him he couldn’t wear it again because an old boyfriend of mine wore that same scent and it immediately brought back all those memories. It’s just amazing to me though that such a small thing can trigger such a powerful memory.

And it’s not just smells. Sometimes I’ll hear a certain song and it brings me back instantly to a certain time in my life. Here are some examples, I’ll spare you all the details:

I could seriously go on and on. It’s ridiculous and really awesome how our brain connects those songs to certain memories when we listened to the songs long ago. Is any of this even making sense or am I just rambling?

The reason I  wrote this post is because tonight, T.J. went to see Catching Fire and so Eva and I had a little girls night. I turned on my ‘N Sync Christmas album and we sang and danced to all of the songs. It was perfect. And then I vividly remembered when I got the CD on Christmas Day (probably in 5th grade) and as soon as I opened it up, I put it in my boombox, and started making up a dance to this song:

I can see it in my head so perfectly. I was in my brother’s room by the bunk bed doing lots of awesome moves. And then it hit me tonight… WHERE DID TIME GO!?! I was JUST making up corny dances to ‘N Sync songs back in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, as a 9 year old and now I’m dancing in my apartment in Jersey City with my toddler. Crazy. So crazy.

The moral of the story is… 15 years later and all of those songs on that album are just as great today as the day they came out and they will forever remind me of my childhood!

Bonus for sticking around to read this post:

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Summer Flashback

I can’t believe that summer is coming to an end. Part of me feels like we didn’t do a thing, but I think that’s because it wasn’t our typical summer at Seven Peaks and going on hikes in the mountains. But as much as I have obviously missed my Utah summer and a visit to Kentucky, we actually did do a lot and I feel like I’m okay with moving on to Fall.

We spent May going to BBQs, saying bye to friends, hanging out with the little kiddos, and just soaking up those last few days all together as an extended family.


End of May, we moved out to NYC, had our first night in the city on our anniversary, and spent the first couple weeks in a hotel. We depleted our savings while we desperately searched for a place to live, but finally found a nice apartment in Jersey City, NJ.


In June, we started to explore the city, went to Coney Island, had dinners on the Hudson, spent our days at the park and splash pad, and went to DC to visit my sister and her family.


July we went on vacation with my family to Chincoteague Island, had my parents stay with us for a couple of days, did more exploring, and grew together as a little family.


Finally, August. The weather cooled down, so we spent the days at Hamilton Park and splash pad again, made a step towards adulthood by buying a used TV, explored more fun sights in NYC, had visits from Hannah and Kendra, watched the Bachelorette finale with friends, and went to a couple ward activities.


When I map it all out like that… holy cow, we really did have a great summer. But most of all, we made NJ our home. I don’t know if you remember, but the day before we moved out here, I had a quote from The Office:

“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.”

This summer, we made this crazy place our home and boy, does it feel good!

Oh yea, one last thing I did this summer was watch the finale of The Office and I’m still crying over it.

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Turning into my Mom

(Before I start: I love you mom… this is just a funny memory that has a good ending.)


Growing up I could never understand how we’d ask my mom for one thing at the grocery store and she’d come home with something similar but not exact. Regular Life instead of cinnamon. Mango juice instead of orange. Pizza blasted goldfish instead of cheddar blasted. You get the deal.

We’d always say, “Just look at the label!” But still… it always happened and I never understood.

Until this week.

It’s happened to me TWICE!

I was at Trader Joe’s in the pretzel aisle and I wanted the pretzel nuggets with the peanut butter inside. I saw a big bag and a small bag, I thought I should go for the small because goodness knows I didn’t need a big bag of those delights. So, after leaving the store, I couldn’t even wait one minute before opening up the bag. But as soon as I ate one nugget I knew it wasn’t right. I grabbed the wrong kind of pretzels even though I was in the right snack section! They were still good (sesame pretzels), but I was disappointed.

The second happened yesterday. I went to grab the new box of Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade that I bought on Monday (that’s my favorite kind and I buy it every week) when I noticed the label looked a little different. Sure enough, I bought the fruit punch flavor! I haven’t had fruit punch for years and there is definitely a reason. Yuck!

So, there you have it. Slowly but surely, I am turning into my mom. One day my kids are going to look at me with those same confused faces we gave our mom years ago. I guess what goes around, comes around… right?

Honeymoon Flashback

My friend Lelia from Life on the Homestead wrote a post about her Honeymoon, and it made me long to go back on our honeymoon in California!


We went to Disneyland… look at our Newlywed buttons they gave us!


Young love birds!


Explored Hollywood!



And we saw the Lion King-a gift from my cousins in California! We also went to the beach which is why T.J.’s face is so burned in this pic!



A Big Part of my Past

Ninth grade is when it started. My friends and I got a hold of the family video camera and got to work. We were going to make a music video. The first one was to My Boyfriend’s Back. It was such a huge hit that we did another one a couple months later. Keith Urban’s Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me never sounded/looked better than in our music video.

Through the rest of high school, we did more and more. Even reenactments of Survivor Man and some standup comedy-most of which were only appreciated by ourselves. But it was the best of times doing those videos!

Then I went to college. You’d think (or hope for my sake) I’d stop making the videos and grow up. But I couldn’t. Freshman Year, Carrie and I did a music video to Gotta Go My Own Way (typically done between a boy and a girl, but no boy would do it with me, so Carrie stepped in and we pretended that it was just our friendship ending haha).

Sophomore year, I did my last official music video. (I say official, because Eva and I make them all the time still). It was to MIA’s Paper Planes. We thought we were pretty cool. But, that mirror effect… I mean, come on! Awesome! And when Hannah pops in and out during the Chorus, I always lose it! Hilarious.

Well, now you have all the evidence you need to know I’m pretty crazy!


4th of July

Earlier this week I was thinking about where we were one year ago, two years ago, three years ago on 4th of July… I got all the way back to ten years but it got more and more vague as each year passed. I really wish I would have kept a journal or a blog regularly growing up. My mom always told me I would regret not writing, but I always hated hand writing my thoughts. Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

One year ago, I spent the 4th in Fort Thomas where I grew up and then 4th of July weekend, we were in DC surprising T.J.



Two years ago, I was pregnant, we celebrated 4th of July up at T.J.’s parents in the afternoon and then watched the fireworks with friends in Provo.


Three years ago, we were newlyweds and went camping on 4th of July weekend.


Four years ago, T.J. and I were dating and he was visiting me in Kentucky for the 4th. That trip didn’t turn out exactly how we had planned… and T.J. will never let me forget it. But that’s a blog post for another day.


Five years ago, my family and I celebrated the 4th of July at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Look how little Claire was!


Six  years ago, I had just graduated High School and my parents and I were in DC visiting my sister Mary Beth before she was to have her baby a month a later. It was really special to visit the monuments during the 4th of July.

Seven years ago… gosh, this is hard. I had just finished up my Junior year of school. I think I was just at home and took a shift at Snowie?

I think it was eight years ago when my friend Katie Chichoni was in our ward for the summer and we went to the parade together with Blair?

Nine years ago, who knows. I had finished up Freshman year so I was probably at the parade with Kelly and Blair. But I can’t remember! See, I told you… it gets more and more vague. Also, because my hard drive crashed a couple years ago, I don’t have photos from high school anymore (except for on some CDs, and I don’t feel like digging through those).

Ten years ago, my parents and I went to San Francisco for the 4th of July. It was one of those last minute trips on Travelocity so it was really cheap and really spontaneous. I think it was the first time I went on a trip with my parents without the other siblings so it was awesome. Also, this hilarious and awful story happened.


Ten years of 4th of July! This year, we will be celebrating at Chincoteague Island! Can’t wait to watch fireworks on the beach!



Three years ago, T.J. and I moved into this condo. I was kind of having a hard time because I felt like I didn’t know anyone. After several weeks of sulking, I decided I needed to make some friends. We had our first dinner party with a girl I met at church named Shawna, who’s husband was deployed, and she invited another couple-the McQuays. They turned out to be great friends in the ward and it helped me to finally put myself out there.

Through these past couple years, starting with that first dinner party, we have met so many great people. We have hosted countless dinners, game nights, girls’ nights, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, baby showers, birthday parties, surprise parties, halloween parties, cookie exchanges, relief society activities, and fire pits nights. The list seriously goes on and on. If there’s something to be celebrated, I usually had a party. But in all of those parties and times together, we have made this condo our home. It’s where we lived since we were first married. It’s where we brought our little Eva home for the first time. It’s where our family has learned and grown together.

Today I’m starting to pack. The condo has been sold and we are moving out the end of April. It truly is bittersweet because, although I’m sad to leave, we have had an incredible time in this home of ours and now are off to the next chapter in our life.

We’re still not sure what that is yet. I’m sure it will be filled with many more great memories and lots of new people. It might be an adjustment and take a bit of effort, just like that first dinner party three years ago. But it will be worth it-and I’m so excited.

It’s been a great run here, and I’m truly grateful for all of you who have been a part of it.

I guess this is what they call a bittersweet moment… That’s why I hate bittersweet chocolate. I don’t even– What’s the point of that? Why not just sweet? I mean who- who are you helping? -Michael Scott


Valentine’s Day 2012

424595_10150530016661447_1004973102_n… Time flies!


2012 in One Post



Lots of snuggling with my newbornPhoto-55-560x420


Cohen was born!



Girls Nights (Bachelor parties!) and my birthday




Easter and Traveled to Kentucky

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Miranda Sings Concert and T.J. left for his 4-month internship to NYC




Traveled to NYC to visit T.J. and then to Kentucky for 6 weeks




4th of July in KY, surprised T.J. in DC, ran a 5K, Pioneer Day

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Seven Peaks, Great nights with my GFs, Lacey stayed with me





T.J. came home!




Traveled to San Antonio for my Uncle’s 50th Anniversary, Visited family in St. George, Halloween





Funeral for Grandpa Huntsman and Thanksgiving




Christmas and Traveled to KY



What a terrific year full of travel, friends, and family! Can’t wait for all the adventures coming up this year!