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Life Update!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Made Bronson take a Christmas card picture with me after church. It was so windy outside indoors had to do. 

I don't want my birthday to overshadow the best news of the week.

Bronson officially accepted a position at Epic Systems near Madison, WI. We (or maybe just I) are equal parts excited and freaked out. I grew up with the mentality  I would live wherever my husband got a job and now that it's actually happening its alittle.... uhm, frightening! Funny enough, the couple that used to live in our apartment and moved out so we could move in, happen to work at the same company in Wisconsin! So at least we will know someone. And then that is about it.
 I'm really proud of Bronson. I couldn't do what he does. Or do so well in school while having a spouse that isn't. Graduation paradise is a real thing.

On Tuesday, I turned 25. Which my 7 year old self would say that is SUPER old, and now I really don't feel that old. Turns out -- when you turn 25 -- you don't all of a sudden become a professional adult. The reality is: I am STILL the same person I was at 24. I still leave clothes on the ground, dishes in the sink -- for more then one, two, and maybe three days, the laundry still remains in the dryer for a few days more than dishes. I guess I was too hopeful. Not pro-adult status yet. This weeks goal is to fold the laundry in 5 days or less. #babysteps

I also felt that the older you turn the less special your birthday gets. But my boss and co-workers were amazing at making me feel special. Last year I was a millennial and didn't work on my birthday. This year, I was an adult and did. 10 points for Emily. They had a birthday banner on my desk, brought in Shirley's sweet rolls (if you haven't tried them, they are reason enough to visit Provo, so dang good), gave me an Amazon gift card (like how did they know my most inner desires of my heart!?), a beautiful bar necklace with the longitude and latitude coordinates of my work -- sweet memorabilia gift. That morning I told Bronson I wish I had a necklace to wear, since I don't own any (none were ever minimalist enough and cheap enough) and then they gave me one. My previous boss gave me a pound of butter and a Cafe Rio gift card -- again, its like people know me so well. If we talk about what we love most then we can sum it up to: Amazon, Butter, and Cafe Rio.

That evening Bronson and I went to Zupas and saw Wonder. That movie was so good. We both LOVED it. My birthday present came early during Thanksgiving when I got my new camera, and I was able to get a new lens with some birthday $$ from the Gardners! (all the happy emojis!) Thank you to everyone who sent cards, texts, called to wish me a happy birthday.

Earlier in the week, I had breakfast with my roommates. We don't get together too often, but when we do, we naturally pick up where we left off. My one wish is that I could have meet these roommates at the beginning of my college life - rather than the last semester of my single life. I've got some fantastic bed head going on.

Bronson, Daymon and I went to the women's volleyball game two nights in a row beating American (and their mascot is the Eagles! haha!) and University of Oregon. They are going to the sweet 16!

On Sunday, I spent the afternoon taking pictures of a family in my ward and it was so windy and cold that as soon as I got home I started making an apple pie. Crust from scratch. Bronson had made a crock pot soup and we watched the Christmas Devotional. I was absolutely happy that evening. And I'm on this kick right now where I won't eat whipped cream unless its homemade. I just love it so much.




Thanksgiving in Oregon

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Our Thanksgiving holiday in Oregon was absolutely perfect (except for the hour we spent on the side of the highway when we ran out of gas). Although it was a short trip, it felt long as we spent each day soaking it up with family.

We arrived in Gresham on Wednesday afternoon and soon after the Vances, Caudles and S & T Lewises caame over for Isaac's 7th birthday party. We played lots of air hockey games until dinner.
Poor Bronson had an assignment due that night so took any chance he could to finish it. Not easy around 15ish grandkids but he didn't complain.




Thursday morning (I still can't believe I forgot about the Macy's parade!), we made our dishes for the Thanksgiving meal and started setting up Christmas decorations. Mom made a killer sweet potato casserole that easily won favorite dish -- even though there was no competition. Everyone couldn't get enough of it. I made Lion House Rolls (and so did Sydney!) and yes that was a competition. We must have done something right, because they tasted identical. After enjoying our meal, the boys played football at the park, the girls talked home renovation designs, and then we convened again for pie. After pie we had a short program where we said what we were grateful for, the grandkids performed, and mom recited "The Living Christ," which she memorized recently (even down the order of the Apostles who signed it!). After the program we watched "Instruments of War," on BYUTv.
We used my grandma Smith's china



 Earlier in the week, I spent all day Tuesday at work listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast (literally binge-listened for 7 hours) and was hooked. So on Wednesday I spent the whole driving reading the book, "Total Money Makeover,"ahhh... definitely poor planning on my part to read that right before Black Friday. As we did our shopping Friday, I kept having this Dave Ramsey little voice in my head say, "can you afford that? Do you really need it?" Luckily, I'm really good about ignoring sound advice and I still bought plenty to make my shopaholic heart happy.

We came home and finished the Christmas decorations and packed up for Astoria. The rest of the family were off to the Temple to do baptisms with the older grandkids and we made our way for Astoria.

We arrived in time for dinner, and watched a movie. Saturday we walked around Downtown Astoria (that place is cute -- but very tiny.) We saw the same people over and over again. The Gardner's win fastest family photo ever - as we pulled the outfits together in 4 mins and took the picture in 2 mins with a tripod. We set up Christmas decorations (which is secretly my favorite thing to do -- for now at least!). And watched some BYU basketball and football throughout the day.

Michelle recently had their family home video VHS tapes digitized on the computer and I'm ... whats the right word, freaking out inside. I love family home videos! And I'm not mad at all that Bronson is the oldest and by default has the most footage dedicated to him. It's been so fun to watch.

The big news of the week -- we got me a new camera! It was a combined effort of Birthday money, work bonus, and selling my old camera to help fund this one. I am LOVING it. All my family home video documenting dreams are coming true. I put together this 3 minute video of our Thanksgiving with my family. The song is from the LDS youth album this year -- which I secretly have really enjoyed the past couple of years.

Sunday -- the day we were all dreading. The day we headed back to Utah. It is so hard inside to leave family and go back to reality. I think that shows how great our family is. I feel so lucky we come from the roots we do. It's not that I don't love home with Bronson, its just an awesome feeling to be all together. Okay, I think we all relate. It didn't help that we got up at 6am and drove from 7am to midnight. I wouldn't necessarily advise it -- but it was worth it. 

PICTURE PALOOZA. 










I love the house at Christmas time!

the hallmark tree. 


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. Haha...no 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! 





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