Moving on to Christmas

Apparently we have skipped Halloween and just moved on to the rest of the Holiday season because there was snow on the ground this morning. Also, I park near the bell tower on campus and when I was walking to work, the bells were chiming (which I actually find rather annoying, except when they play Harry Potter or when it’s Christmas), and so today it just added to the ambiance of it all. AND I made a coffee cake this morning to bring to work, and so with the smell of cinnamon in the air, snow on the ground, and bells in the background… it really is making me believe Christmas break is right around the corner!




Tomorrow is our Halloween party. You should come. It will be a lot of fun. Most of the decorations are already up. I’m planning to make a lot of cute desserts, including some spiders cookies and caramel apples. We’ve got Halloweentown AND Halloweentown 2, two great classics from the Disney channel. We will carve pumpkins (please bring your own), roast marshmallows, and have a costume contest.

Consider it a dress rehearsal for Halloween. Be there at 7 and stay until midnight. You won’t regret it.


Bob, Troll, Mrs. Doubtfire, Diamond, Jolly Green Giant…?

I love Halloween. I can’t wait for our party this weekend, but I am having the hardest time trying to figure out what costumes to wear to each of the parties we have in the next few weeks. Maybe you can give me some ideas and tell me which of the following is your favorite:

  • Troll (like the plastic dolls with a diamond belly)- tan shirt, diamond belly button, bright color shorts, spray paint my hair and make it stick straight up

  • Forever 21 mannequin- ankle boots, leggings, lots of layers, all of my jewelry, huge bow in my hair, really poofy hair and stand like a mannequin all night

  • Butterfly- make my own wings, paint my face, green tights?
  • Jolly Green Giant- I have green tights…?
  • Pocahontas- Hannah’s old outfit
  • Flower- make huge petals and put around my neck, once again, wear green tights?
  • Lion- golden outfit, face painted by T.J., and poof my hair really big
  • Bob from What about Bob- cutoffs, shirt that says “Don’t hassle me, I’m local”, loafers, and goldfish hanging around my neck in a jar, life jacket

  • Elephant- wear all gray and make trunk out of tubing
  • Leopard- wear all leopard print clothing, including my leopard print stilettos
  • Pac Woman- yellow outfit, red boots, red gloves, red bow
  • Rumplestiltskin- once again, another outfit with green tights
  • Mrs. Doubtfire- find outfit from D.I.

  • Diamond- wear all sparkles and glitter. lots of jewelry? have T.J. buy me hundreds of diamond rings and diamond lotion?

So what do you think? What are your favorites? Let me know!!!


This is Halloween, everybody make a scene!

Wow wow wow.

I came across this Vegan blog today and they had a Halloweegan Index (I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I was intrigued by the post). Here’s what I found.


To view these recipes and more, visit the Wing-It Vegan blog.

Halloween is coming

“Stirring and stirring and stirring our brew….
Woooo-oooooo, woooo-ooooo!
Stirring and stirring and stirring our brew….
Woooo-oooooo, woooo-ooooo!
Tip-toe, tip-toe, tip-toe…. BOO!”

Last night I put up my Halloween lights in the kitchen, made Halloween sugar cookies, and watched Halloweentown on the Disney Channel. The evening was complete when a storm came a’brewin’ full of lightning and thunder! I love this season!

(P.S. My mom is a music teacher for elementary school children… I miss her cute little Halloween songs!)


Missing you

I miss Christmas. I know we shouldn’t wish away time (that’s what my mom tells me, at least), but I just can’t wait for this Christmas season.

First of all, I can’t wait to see my family and Blair. I haven’t seen them since May, so by Christmas it will be 7 months. That’s the longest I have ever gone without seeing everyone. I’m very very homesick, so it will be incredibly wonderful to go back home and be with my family.

Second of all, it will be my first Christmas married. I. Am. Ecstatic. Last Christmas, T.J. were nearly engaged and so it was really hard to be away from him. But I can’t wait to wake up with him on Christmas morning.

It will also be great to do all of the Christmas activities back home with T.J. For example, going to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass with the Dorans where my Dad plays the trumpet, caroling on Christmas Day (which I hate, but will be bearable with T.J.), and spending a day downtown Cincinnati with everyone.

I also CANNOT wait to meet my new baby niece, Amelia, who will be five months by then (nuts!). And Claire will be a blast to play with, considering she precious and the coolest little three year old I know.

I am excited to listen to Christmas music, wear cute festive outfits, go to Christmas parties, make lots of Christmas goodies, watch all my favorite Christmas movies, complain about how crowded our house will be with everyone home, drink my mom’s cider, and feel the amazing hope and peace that the Christmas season brings.


Some Must Push and Some Must [Shove] – Day 2

I knew it was time to wake up when I heard the rooster cock-a-doodle-doodling. I’m not kidding.  I literally woke up to the sound of chickens!  I absolutely loved it!  It annoyed T.J. to death, but I loved the feel of being out in the country on a farm.

We headed to town to watch the Pioneer Day Parade.  The most special part of the parade was to have T.J.’s Great-Grandfather lead the parade in a horse and buggy.  He had his cute little cowboy hat on and waved to the crowd. One word: adorable.

The rest of the parade was filled with the city’s 3 wards (there is a WHOLE stake in this city of 1000!) and their different floats for Relief Societies, Primaries, and even the Stake President!  Families dressed as pioneers and pushed/pulled hand carts down the street in memory of their ancestors who made the trek across the plains.  My favorite float had their ancestry tree drawn out against the side of the truck.  Grandparents sat in the middle and were accompanied by their huge family.  Who knew a parade could be so sweet?

After the parade, we checked out the national park a few miles away with these cool rock formations called “Honeycomb Rocks.”  We weren’t dressed for exploring, so we didn’t stay too long.

For the rest of the day, we hung out with family, had a huge barbeque, ate so much sugar I thought my teeth were going to fall out immediately, and laughed till we cried while listening to the stories his Grandpa, Aunts, and Uncles told.

The town held races for the children which were pretty entertaining, but it was over a 100 degrees so I couldn’t stay outside for too long.  T.J.’s Aunt Karen also threw some games for the kids to keep all of them entertained.  We played “Name that Tune” with the adults and won an iHome for our iPod.  (Eliesa, about have of the songs you put on that CD for us were in the game, so I owe it to you.)

When the day was drawing to an end and the house was calming down a little bit, we headed to St. George to stay with Karen and her family.  They were a blast to be with, not to mention had the biggest TV I’ve ever seen, so clearly my love for them grew instantly. They also had a great pool with a hot tub, so we finished the night off with a swim and then a movie.

Well.  I’m sure you really didn’t care about what I did every waking moment this past weekend, so I apologize for these past two posts!  I really just wrote them because I’m counting my blog as writing in my journal so my mom doesn’t get at me for not writing memories down.

Anyway, thanks to T.J.’s parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents for making this weekend a great one.  It really was a dream to be a part of such a large family who all share the same values as we do.  Love you all!



Some Must Push and Some Must [Shove] – Day 1

As you may or may not know, I had been looking forward to this past weekend for quite a while.  We had been planning for on going to Enterprise, Utah (near St. George) for Pioneer Day-Weekend since May or so.

Seeing as it is my first summer in Utah, I’ve never had what some may call, a traditional Pioneer Day experience.  But let me tell ya folks, this weekend was incredible. Now, I am going to warn you, I’m going to write a lot of details, simply because I want to remember every bit of it.

Friday afternoon T.J. and I packed up the car and headed on down to the little town in the middle of nowhere.  T.J. was tired from working, so as he slept, I rocked out to my new playlist that I downloaded for the drive.  You know how some days you just want to hop in the car and drive with your windows down and music playing loud?  That’s exactly how I felt.  The last stretch of the drive from Cedar City to Enterprise was the best.  It was a scenic little route through the mountains with windy roads and a beautiful sunset.

{sidebar: a post coming shortly with the list of songs in my summer series playlist}

As soon as we got there, I fell in love with the town.  There were a bunch of old buildings that looked like they were straight from an old western movie.  Ya know what I mean? Like the classic post office building?  I don’t know how to describe it… Also, everyone kept such great care of their lawns, the houses were beautiful and whole place gave off a great “small town vibe.”

When we got to T.J.’s grandparents house, the house was filled with people.  If my family were to have that many present, it would have been a huge family reunion that had been planned out for years, but it was completely normal for all of his family. Most of them I had met but I couldn’t quite match them to the right names.  But one person I noticed immediately was his Great-Grandfather, Leland. Leland is 100 years old, soon to be 101.  He looks healthy and bright.  He always has a quaint smile on his face, although he doesn’t say too much any more.  I gave him a hug, along with T.J.’s grandpa Lyman who is a blunt. hilarious, and down-to-earth farmer.

We got there just in time to head over to the rodeo with his parents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  We listened to his Uncle Brian play with his band beforehand, which was a lot of fun to meet another member of Kelly’s (my mother-in-law’s) family.

The rodeo was a blast.  It was my first one ever.  Although I felt bad for some of the calfs that were lassoed and tied up, I was always amazed when they would just run away like nothing happened! The bull riders were so intense too.  I screamed at the top of my lungs over and over because I was so scared for the people when the bull would come after them.  What crazy person would ever want to do that?  One guy even got pretty beat up and had to be taken out by EMTs.

Probably the most fun part to watch was the chicken catch.  All the little kids tried to catch chickens that were running around the grounds.  It was hilarious to see the little boys walking away triumphantly, chicken in hand.  All night long, they held there chickens under there arms.  I saw one little girl tie a rope to her chicken’s leg.

Precious girl, poor chicken.

After the rodeo was a town dance.  A town dance. How cute is that??  I actually didn’t go though because I was so tired and knew we had a big day ahead of us on Saturday, so I hit the hay pretty early that night at Wade and Angel’s house (another one of T.J.’s Uncles).

So that ends day one of the weekend.  More to come…



T.J. and I are planning on going to Disneyland for Thanksgiving.  We just went for our Honeymoon and had an amazing time, but we hear that during the Holidays–the place is incredible.

Saving money is actually not as hard when you have a goal or incentive to work towards.  So although it stinks not to be able to buy the shoes I want right now or to eat out throughout the week, it is easier to make the sacrifice when I know Disneyland is in sight if we save!