Meridian Idaho temple weekend

Monday, November 13, 2017

Friday morning sunrise from my bedroom window

Last week my greatest accomplishment was never pressing snooze once. Since we had an easy going relaxing weekend I felt like I actually "prepared" for the week with an organized to do list and meal plan for each day (ie: I washed, folded, AND put away all the laundry in one day. I mean, MIRACLE). I can't say a week like that will happen again but it sure felt good to be productive and organized all week long.

We got home Sunday evening from a quick but fun weekend in Idaho with Bronson's grandparents. While there we were able to tour the Meridian Temple and visit with the Gardner aunts, uncles and cousins. Every time we get together with Bronson's family I think I found the absolute best second family to have.

My favorite part of the weekend was looking at the photo albums of Bronson as a kid and all the other grandchild as babies. I just feel this deep desire to preserve family history and memories as much as I possibly can right now.

The Gardner grandparents spoiled us by taking us to Texas Roadhouse and feeding us ice-cream. Grandpa made a hot breakfast Saturday morning, and we ALL (Jessica, Daymon, Bronson and I) commented that we couldn't remember the last time we had a hot breakfast.

We were able to run into Matt and Kelsey at the Temple Open house as they were tour guides during that shift. We also saw Grandpa directing traffic while we were there too. As I walked through the instruction rooms, I thought, "I don't think I'd fall asleep if I were in this room!" They were all so beautiful. The celestial room is one to see. That chandelier weighed over 1,000 pounds and looks like it too, its stunning. The church never builds a mediocre temple, they are all phenomenal. I love being reminded of one of the reasons I love most about the gospel is the opportunity to have eternal families.

Earlier on in the week, I pulled out my Christmas wreath. Since I got it at the end of season last year on mega-clearance I wasn't able to enjoy it as much. Hence, the conflicting holidays represented at our doorstep. 

The Gardner's never let us leave empty-handed! We came home with a corner shelf, a small bench and step stool (made by Grandpa Gardner), and Grandma Gardner's first sewing desk. As well as a bag full of homemade sewn goodies from his Aunt Jalene and Grandma Gardner. #SPOILED

the beginnings of november

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The best news of the week was receiving the text message that Ivan Finn Williams was born on Friday, November 3rd in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am so proud and happy for the Williams family -- every time I hear good news lately I start bawling. Is that a thing when you nearly 25, does your biological clock just all of a sudden give you these emotions and feelings you didn't know you had?

The cutest part of all was when Hudson (4.5 years old) said to his mom, "Mom, we are so proud of you for getting that baby out" -- all on his own.

There were so many miracles that lined up for this birth that we know Heavenly Father was watching over the Williams family. We are rooting for (big) baby Ivan as he is in the PICU and hope he can go home soon.

Everything else that happened in the week seems very insignificant compared to bringing a life into this world. I kept calling my sister Meredith every day this week, just in case she had that baby that day because I wanted to say I talked to her the day she brought a baby into this world. I'm weird.

The month of October seemed to slip away like quick sand. Although I never push away the Thanksigiving and Christmas holiday away, it just seemed like October went too fast.

On Tuesday, Halloween, I chopped off my hair. I usually leave this moment for the beginning of a new year so I have a fresh start, because I guess I craved that a few months early. I'm liking it. Adjusting to it. And Bronson's just happy I'm shedding my hair about 89% less. I should mention, Halloween 2012 is when I opened up my mission call! Probably one of the first waves of the new younger sister missionaries. I went to Cafe Rio that night with my brother and sister in law, Crismon and Danielle. So, for Halloween 2017 we did the same, Bronson and I went to Cafe Rio. In 2014, while dating we went to Texas Roadhouse and then hiked the Y. In 2015, we went to Macaroni Grill, because we lived in a locked apartment complex and knew there was a 0% chance of trick-or-treaters. In 2016, I honestly can't remember, and I don't have any pictures to remind me, nor did I blog about it. But I'm just gonna guess we went out to eat...because can you sense a trend? I guess it wasn't that eventful.

Behold. The haircut.

On Wednesday, I got home and we ran to the front runner station to catch the train for the Trail Blazers and Jazz game in SLC with Daymon. We were REALLY high up, but that's because we pay $8 for our tickets.

Thursday wasn't our best day because our water heater broke. Broken water heaters is going on my list of "Things I don't love about living in an old apartment in Provo." Luckily, we don't have to pay for these replacements, but we did have to suffer two days of no hot water. I only half-complained because it meant I was off dishes-duty with no hot water. Friday, I boiled a big pot of water, and then spent an enormous amount of time waiting for it to cool down. Cups of water isn't my preferred way to shower, but luckily our manager got a new one installed Friday evening, while Bronson did hw. So it was the most glamorous Friday night.

Saturday, we spent a good chunk of our day on campus. Bronson studied for a test, and I worked on my Family Home Videos project. Yes it was a self-volunteered project but its quite the undertaking.... why do I do this to myself!? I'm ripping the DVD's, exporting smaller video clips of events and then uploading them to YouTube. I guess its my version of family history. There are few other projects I want to finish by the end of the year, so the very fast WiFi was very welcomed on campus. Besides, my heart nearly explodes with joy every time I go to campus. I love it, love it, love it.
That evening we went grocery shopping and made it home in time to turn around and go to Stake conference. The theme of conference was the Book of Mormon and our stake presidency challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by Thanksgiving.

We watched Lion -- a movie on Netflix -- a bit heart wrenching, but I would recommend it. Sunday we had Jessica over for dinner and then chatted with my family on our monthly group skype call discussing my sister in laws recent article about "if Smartphones are hijaking our spirituality."

And since I'm on this family home video kick ... here is our family home video from the end of July to the beginning of October: (make sure to make it bigger!)

october week 4

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I love pictures.... so to tell the rest of our week: more pictures.
This last Sunday we drove to American Fork and took Alice Anne's family pictures. These kids are adorable -- their sayings, their actions, their personalities, and not to mention they are just CUTE!

There are so many favorites -- its hard to pick just a handful. 

This week has been the Bronson All-star week. Since he was chosen for an on-site interview in Wisconsin on Thursday and Friday he was determined to get his 20 hour work week in three days along with all of his homework. He worked so so so so so hard. He went to bed past midnight every night and woke up by 6am just to have more hours to do everything. Most people would see this as an opportunity to not have to work for two days, but Bronson is dedicated! 

This was the first time Bronson and I have been apart since we got married. I think he handled it a bit better than I did. I lived off english muffins and walnuts and chocolate chips. I actually had to set an alarm clock and I "tried" to binge watch TV but fell asleep on the couch by 7:30 for a quick nap. It wasn't until I went to bed and all those childhood feelings of being afraid of the dark came back -- seriously!? I'm nearly 25, COME ON. And I cried and realized how great Bronson is in my life. shame. I was very consciousness to NOT text Bronson at all on Friday since I knew he was in interviews all day. I hung out with Jessica that night at the new TJ Maxx in Spanish Fork. Really considering moving there now because they have a Costco, Chick Fil A, and TJ Maxx all within 5 miles of each other. What else would I need? He finally got back at 11pm that night and got up at 5:30 the next morning to run a half marathon. I should also add, Bronson only ran once this week and had never gone above 6 miles. I was super nervous he was going to get injured but he pulled through (I mean did we doubt any less?) His goal was under 2 hours and clocked in right at 1:57! I was just thrilled I made it to the finish line by the time he did (only 5 mins early!). Bronson came home long enough to shower and go to the BYU football game -- because he lives for BYU sports. Fortunately our team is so bad this year, we made it to the stadium 2 mins to kick off and we got row 7 seats! Not bad eh!?

We counted and combined we've completely 10 races this year! 6 for Bronson, 4 for me!

Sunday we hosted a Lewis Family get together since a few aunt and uncles and cousins were in town. There is no such thing as a quiet Lewis family gathering. We had Aunt Myreel & Uncle Larry (Texas), Aunt Delon & Camille and Baby Wesley (Arizona), Logan (New York), Jasmin & Neal (UT), Delon, Harrison, Lynette & Ian and Baby Shylie (UT), Jarom & Myreel (baby due any day! UT), Annaliese (UT), Uncle Norman (my grandma's youngest and only surviving sibling, UT). It was a full house! As Uncle Norman was leaving I asked him if we were too loud and crazy (he is 90 after all!), and he replied, "Oh i just took out my hearing aids, so I found a solution." Yep... we were loud! 

october week 3

I suppose a quick recap is due.

Two weekends ago we attended my niece Kenna's youth play of Fiddler on the Roof. It was three hours -- but insanely impressive for that age group (middle and high school ages). I kept thinking to myself "these voices do not match their ages" since they had mature singing voices and yet all had braces on when they smiled.

Earlier on Saturday morning Bronson ran a 5k with Daymon. Later in the afternoon he had a job assessment, where a company he applied for proctored into his computer and they watched him code and do stuff I don't understand. It was frustrating because there were some technical problems but in the end it worked out and took 3x longer than anticipated.

Sunday, we enjoyed having our friend Brittany Knighton spend the day with us as her husband was out of town with the ballroom dance team. We made a yummy lunch and then went on an hour walk on the provo river trail. Desperately holding on to any last moments of fall before winter hits.

She also joined us later that week on Friday for dinner with Daymon. We ate pizza and played Ticket to Ride.

Lately I've felt very stagnant in my church worship -- no ones fault but my own. Since I've personally focused on trying to enrich my sabbath day observance I found one of the best ways is to serve (and that usually comes in the form of saying "YES" to assignments). On Friday night the primary president sent me a text asking me to play the piano for the primary program that was THIS Sunday. I agreed and practiced Saturday for a bit. Then in Sunday school, the teacher's husband is in the bishopric so I was on "baby-duty" while she taught. And then third hour, we were asked to sub last minute for Primary. I loved church that day.

Teaching the primary kids about missions and showing them pictures from ours.

Trying to walk as many nights after work before it gets too cold. This sunset....

Halloween package from the Gardners!

to be continued....

Beautiful fall

Friday, October 13, 2017

I spent too long trying to think of a creative way to say the mundane things: work, school, laundry, etc. And I got nothing. But in order to have something to show for another week lived heres what happened.

Last week ended on a good note -- we finally got a check in the mail we had been waiting for ... for months! We paid this company to amend our taxes (total legal, don't worry) to help us a get a better tax return. I thought of the number of shoes I could buy and Bronson thought of the number of months it'd pay for next semester tuition. Darn. This is where I would have put the high-five emoji for more shoes.

Friday I got home late from work, we grabbed some food with Jessica and Daymon and went to the homecoming game. There were no biting on nails and holding our breath kind of game. I was so cold and tired, I left half-way through and took a nap in our car. #mostlyloyalfan

Saturday morning after going to bed way to late for a losing game, we got up at 7am (which on the Weekend feels like 3am) for a life insurance health screening. Once she collected her samples, I quickly escorted her out of our house and escorted myself back to bed. Like I said, it felt like 3am.

That afternoon we went to the Homecoming Spectacular featuring Kristen Chenoworth and GENTRI. Bronson and I have for gone 4 years in a row to the Spectacular and I'm tapping my foot wondering when my loyalty discount or stamp card is coming! We (read mostly "I") love supporting the arts. The performance was UNBELIEVABLE. I wish everyone could have seen it live. Kristen was hilarious and completely commanded the stage with her charisma. The GENTRI boys made me wish they were the actors for Les Mis with their Les Mis melody arrangement. And one thing I was certain about was there are a million talented people at BYU. Like there were hundreds of BYU students performing and ALL of them were good. There was no mediocre performance.

After the spectacular we went shopping for some jeans. Bronson got lucky and found a pair of pants that happened to be mis-tagged and instead of $40 they rang up for $5.99 we will TAKE IT. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Actually, we did ask, like good honest citizens if that was correct and the cashier shrugged and said it was. It wasn't, we all know that, but we don't need to change it.

Since we were by the University mall, we stopped by the food court to the new fast-casual German Restaurant called "Rimmels." A couple from Germany happened to move into our ward a few months ago to start this restaurant. I've gotten to know Miriam pretty well since she is the choir conductor and I'm the pianist. I feel like ward choir can easily become one of those back burner callings -- where people just do it to do it, but she totally takes her calling seriously and its inspiring to see that. Her and her husband are HARD WORKERS. They've put all of their savings into this and it was fun to visit them and have them serve us. If you are in the area -- check it out! It was our first taste at German food and we are SOLD.

Pretty darn obsessed with things that smell good. And these cleaning products do. And look pretty. It's maybe the encouragement I need to clean the dishes so YOU DO YOU. 

Couldn't find my keys at 9pm to pick up Bronson. YIKES. Good thing I live in the safety county in the world. #worldrecordsetter (I've done this tooooo many times though)

After dinner, Bronson and Daymon went to the BYU women's soccer game. Sunday after church we went on a drive through the Canyon to see the leaves because we had some serious FOMO. And I guess 50% of Utah County also felt the same way -- it was busy and crowded. And originally I thought, how cool so many people have come out to experience nature and see God's creation, and then thought, nope its probably just for an instagram picture. Don't you dare think thats what my picture on instagram was about either! It's for memories sake!!!!

We came home to finish making homemade Lion house rolls (i'm pretty darn proud of them!), mashed potatoes (okay, proud of that too!), and baked a salmon for the first time! Daymon caught some fish before coming to Utah and was nice enough to share with all of us. Salmon is by far my favorite meat.

Our week has been pleasant -- and by pleasant, I mean we are trying to not let the number of job interview rejections get us down! There have been more rejections than invitations. This job thing might be a bit more difficult than I thought, but not much phases Bronson so that's good (IT PHASES ME THOUGH!).

Some things that you'll find us doing alot: Watching Designated Survivor. I hate recommending shows because I believe people never appreciate them as much as you do. But this is one show I can't stay silent about -- I've LOVED IT.  I can neither confirm nor deny whether we watched 21 episodes in one weeks time.

Listening to this podcast. It's a favorite among my sisters.

I finally got a butter dish and I'm pretty happy about it. Don't ask why I spent $14 of credit card reward money on it (I could have bought 16 sticks of butter with that $$)

This a new favorite product -- don't have kids -- but what an awesome gift for any child. You put in a childs name and gender and it creates a customized book.

Bronson's been running a few times a week and I've been walking -- he'll be running a half marathon at the end of the month and I continue to cry that my knee isn't working better.

I made my first homemade pumpkin pie this week. I went to Enrichment on Tuesday (it's been so long since i have been, I felt like an inactive coming back to church! haha I was actually alittle nervous!) and we made pie crust. So on Wednesday, I broke all healthy eating laws and made homemade pizza because Bronson has been begging for weeks. And made the pie filling too. Yep, proud of that pumpkin pie. I sat in the kitchen for an hour just to get the motivation to clean it all up. I've been telling Bronson how I need to lose weight. And then proceeded to have a piece of pie for dinner tonight. Haha... #life.

Pics from our sunday drive up the canyon. And we found snow! Yes, thats not snow and not really bad dandruff.

snow makes him happy I guess. ;) 

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