Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess Buttercup!

My sweet Natalie is celebrating a birthday today and I have not yet got the opportunity to do a blog for her on her special day so I am excited to let you know why she is one of my dearest friends.

Natalie just radiates the spirit of the Lord. The reason why is because she is so selfless and would give or do anything for anyone.

She has been to many foreign countries doing just that. Her most recent one was just a couple years ago when she went to Taiwan to teach English. She even made it on a billboard in Taiwan! (Look closely, she is in Blue on the left)

I met Natalie (like most of the greatest people I know) at EFY. Instantly I was drawn to her. I loved her. I could tell that she was real and sincere. Fun and loving. I wanted to INSTANTLY be friends with her!

In 2004 I got to work on the same BC (Building Counselor) team with her. We had so many laughs, sleepless nights and memories created during that time. I was so lucky to work side by side this spiritual, serving giant. The next year we got to be coordinators together (not at the same sessions though) and we did lots of our work to prepare for the summer together. The following summer I was working in the Midwest and able to drive over to her sessions in Buena Vista, VA and watch her at work. She really knows what she is doing and does a brilliant job!
Natalie has blessed me with so many awesome phone chats, gifts, lunches, sleepovers, problem solving, girl talk over our friendship. I am just so blessed!

Natalie became one of the 10%-ers for EFY when she married one of my other EFY buddies Kevin Peterson! What a match made in heaven, I tell you! I was so blessed to be able to go with Nat to pick out her dress. I nearly passed out from how radiant she looked in her wedding dress. The world hasn't seen too many brides as beautiful as she was! In fact, at their wedding photo shoot (following their sealing) Her and her husband were all the rave on temple square. Strangers were taking pictures of them, people were asking if it was a magazine shoot! It was a riot, it looked too perfect to be real!

Primary Children's is so lucky to have her as a nurse in the NICU. I am sure she makes a lot of very stressed out parents feel at ease.

Natalie is uber talented. She is an amazing friend, wife, scrap booker, baker, decorator, crafter, hilarious, thoughtful, service oriented, big hearted, coolest handwriting, planner, organizer, and I could keep going!Natalie, thanks for always being there for me. For caring, really caring about my needs, my feelings and my life! Thank you for living a life that is worthy of emulation! You make me strive to be a better person every time I am around you! I love you sweet Nat!
HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday!

Back for a good reason... Happy Birthday Auntie Leslie

I know, I know I have been struggling with the blogging lately. I intend to make up for lost time. And will eventually put things back in the order that they happened when I get settled here in AZ. But for now I had to take some time to do some honoring!

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows that my aunts mean the world to me!! I have such great ones. And although I haven't blogged about any yet, I thought today was a good as day as any to start!

My Aunt Leslie is a RIOT! She makes everyone comfortable, feel loved, gives the greatest non-pressuring advice, always good for a laugh, makes my favorite spaghetti on the planet, is the life of any party, loyal, loves family and celebrations and is one of the most talented seamstresses in Utah County who also runs the best Bridal shop in Utah county, (at least me and all my brides have thought so)Veronica Michaels.

When I was a teen Aunt Leslie was the highlight of all my birthday parties, ask any of my friends they would concur... yes I would invite her to my friend Birthday Parties! The nice thing about my Aunts is they aren't just my Aunts' they are my friends. I am so blessed to be able to say that!

I have so many fun memories with Lez. Some that I witnessed, others I have only heard about. But my top 3 favorite Leslie stories in order of favorite-ness would be...drum roll....

1. When she mooned the pizza delivery boy (no this was NOT on purpose) 2. One Christmas we had a family Girl's night out and made ginger bread houses. Late nights and Leslie don't go well together and she was so tired when she left that she proceeded to carry my Mom's broom out the door... we laughed till pants wetting about this one! And last but not least number 3. We were at my Grandma's house one day and someone told all of us around the kitchen table that they heard to be able to get ketchup that was nearly empty down to the bottom of the bottle that you swing your arm around in a circular motion (almost like a pitcher getting ready to pitch) and the gravity will force it down.. Leslie wanted to try it, grabbed the plastic Heinz bottle and proceeded to quickly rotate it in a circular swing and forgot to hold the top of the cap. Everyone got sprayed with ketchup including the walls and the popcorn long as I can remember the ketchup stain remained on the ceiling until the selling of the house!! hahaha

Auntie Leslie!! We love you! We celebrate you! You add such life and love to all of us! We are lucky to have you! The bride world is lucky to have you! And the Lord is lucky to use your strengths to bless so many!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my greatest friends!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessed by Christmas Craziness... 3 families, such limited time!

Who knew that being away from home could be so INSANE!! My Christmas started at 7 am when I got back onto SKYPE with my family and watch the Christmas mania begin at Pat's house!! The kids were so excited (minus Chloe who was still in comatose state!)! It was fun to see their excitement and feel the spirit of Christmas magic in the air. After talking with my family, Verna and I took the yummy egg casserole and went to The Layton's for Christmas Brunch. The family really treats me well, it is always a riot and good company! They spoiled me this year with TONS of towels, 600 thread count sheets, different kinds of jewelery pieces, lotions, and accessories. I felt very loved and blessed by their generosity!
The all time favorite part was to watch the kids get their little go-carts from their Grandparents. They were all about it, lined up, helmets on and spent loads of times racing each other up and down the drive way!! (this is a tradition. Each year they get some kind of bike thing) The Mom's even got some action with it, even to the toddler's dismay :)
Many, many laughs! I love the laughing picture I captured with Verna too!

Afterwards I took Verna home to rest and headed to The Whitings who were ANXIOUSLY AWAITING my arrival. We had a relaxing Christmas Day together. We exchanged our gifts to each other, once again I was given WAY MORE than I deserved. Monica gave me a watch making kit and after hearing my love for Cabbage Patch kids and hearing my "splash em kid" story she bought me a "Giggling with Meg" cabbage patch doll. It is seriously the cutest thing and will make me keep giggling on the hard days! Monica, Laurisa and Jos even gave me new head gear.. I am obsessed and wear all of them, all the time! We watched The Christmas Blessing and just had such a relaxing afternoon!

Following our relaxing time, I went back to pick up Verna's and we headed to Jake and Kelly's for a panini party! They were DELICIOUS! It was so fun to just sit around and get to know them all a little more. I found out that they are cousin's of the Orem High Beeson's! Small world.

Returned Verna back home, helped her get ready for bed and then headed back to the Whiting's to play the game I gave them for Christmas, Sedarahc (Reverse Charades) . All of you need this game! It is such a blast and was developed by former EFY counselors. Here is the explanation so you can see how many hours of fun you can have playing!

SEDARAHC (“suh-DARE-ic”) is indeed, charades with a twist—spelled backwards and played in reverse! Instead of the usual—one person acting out words for the team to guess, SEDARAHC spices things up so the entire team acts out words for one person to guess. It’s fast-paced, fiercely fun team competition that’s an absolute riot with large groups, families, kids, at parties or among a few close friends. You can even play it with pets (although we don’t recommend it). Carry it with you to work, to the gym, to the DMV—the possibilities of SEDARAHC breakout sessions are endless. But be warned…you’re in for big and dangerous doses of fun!

This is the kind of funny that you have when you are playing this game! Seriously, every home needs this game!More fun and laugh's to come with this game.. I guarantee it!!

All in all, I was so BLESSED this season. I got to spend time with 3 families I love. Never felt lonely, always had something fun and adventurous and then I got to come home and finish off this day in prayer of Thanksgiving to my Heavenly Father and the one that made it all possible our dear Savior Jesus Christ with whom I celebrate his birth and glorify his name.
What a celebration!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas...

This Christmas eve was completely different than ANY I have ever had and it was kind of fun to change it up a little and then end it with my family on skype.

Since I was in AZ I was able to go with the Wade Whiting family to Aunt Lynelle and Uncle Glen Jackson's house in Mesa. I am very familiar with them so it was fun to take part of this Wright family tradition! They have Mexican Fiesta Christmas Eve. Most of the siblings and cousins were there. We had yummy tamale's, quesadilla and I brought black bean salsa which was a huge hit!

We had many laughs (thanks to Richie, he is a hoot)! We had some performances by Kristin's little girl as well of The Whiting kids with the traditional "Sister's" song and Mitch and Jake gave us a fun Jack Johnson Christmas rendition. Richie, Terrie and Debbie were our crowd dancin'performers. The highlight was to have Santa come and I even got to get a updated Santa picture :) Thank you Jackson's for being so wonderful and ALWAYS hosting family parties! It was a great night!

After leaving the party we went back to the Whiting and did the traditional opening up jammies on Christmas eve tradition. We had Christmas music on and even got some more Whiting entertainment. After the opening of their PJ's I got to meet with my family on SKYPE and watch them all open the PJ's I had picked out for them and ready The Christmas Jars's book with them via SKYPE. I committed my family to work on Christmas Jar's this year and next year on Christmas eve we will choose someone to deliver the Christmas Jar too anonymously! I am so thankful for technology and that even though I am miles away, I could be a part of my family tradition and feel like I am there with them.. I miss these faces!