this is where i live.

my backyard.
i love st george.
it’s funny to think i used to hate it. when we first moved there six years ago, i thought that nothing worse could happen. moving from sunny southern california to the desert of utah? who in their right mind would want to do that?! it only took me a few months to change my mind and my heart and be thankful for the place i was in. i would do it again too. i know my family and i were blessed for moving there and i know i was given many more opportunities by living there my high school years.
and it really is beautiful. it never ceases to amaze me.
it was so good to be back. even though thanksgiving and christmas aren’t very far apart, it was a much needed break. 
i love being with my family.
now it’s back to the snow. so much snow. fun facts: i left all of my makeup in st george, black water came out of my shower this morning, my phone wouldnt turn on [fixed that though, thank goodness] and i’m still sick.
but i’m happy. why? i seriously have no idea.

i call it the turturkeykey.

my thanksgiving day looked a little like this.
i call this series watching mom make stuff as i sit and do nothing.
just kidding. i did stuff. like set the table. and make the salad.
after the feast we were all pretty tired. we just sat around and talked and slept and chilled.
these children. i love.
then we decided to play some catch phrase.
 and we found out about jade’s drinking problem. classic.
we finished up the day with yahtzee, ‘scott pilgrim vs. the world’ and ‘clash of the titans’.
just another successful thanksgiving in st g.

kiss me david.

niki and i left a day early so we could make it to my baby bro’s play in time. and we did! he was so great. he was a gangster in kiss me kate and… i’m pretty sure he was the best part. love him.
here he is with my dad and niki. such a [freaking tall] goof.
please ignore the sick nastiness that is my face. i would like to take this time to blame the fact that we had just driven from provo, i was [still am] sick, i needed to shower… and the lighting. yep.
but he is so cute. since when do i come up to his chin?

take the stairs.

so i work on the third floor of my building [top floor. woot woot.] and a little bit ago i decided to always take the stairs. it takes the same amount of time as the elevator and every little bit helps, so why not, right?
anyway, i was walking up the stairs yesterday and i was thinking that the only con about taking the stairs is that i don’t get to see james [the extremely good looking and incredibly good smelling guy from the second floor with blue eyes you could swim in] a lot any more because we would pass each other with a quick but nice ‘hey’ as he got off the elevator, leaving it with his amazing cologne scent as i got on it. oh well i thought, it’s worth the extra exercise…
then. right as these thoughts were passing through my mind. i look up. and there is james, coming down the stairs.

james: [warm smile] hey
me: [smile] hey how are you
james: [still smiling] good
in my head: hahahahhahahahahahahaha oh my gosh i was just thinking about you….. it’s meant to be.

moral of the story: take the stairs.


bright spots

i love that thanksgiving is in november. at the very end.

it really is perfect timing.
right at the end of the year. when it’s crunch time. papers to be turned in. projects to be presented. finals to be studied for. and that’s just school. who even knows what it’s like in the working world. with deadlines to meet. budgets to worry about. employees to satisfy.
it’s tough. to say the very least.
but then we have this great day in the midst of it all. a day that helps us reflect on our blessings, remember what we have, what is most important to us. a day that helps us become grateful for our position in life, who we’re with and what we know. a day that brings families closer together, whether it’s physically or emotionally.
but just because there is a day dedicated to gratitude doesn’t mean that is the only time we can or should think of these things. we should develop a daily ‘gratitude attitude’, as my mom calls it. whether it’s writing in a gratitude journal or thinking of five blessings every night before you go to sleep, i encourage you to reflect, not only on this wonderful holiday, but every day to remember what you have been given and why life is quite wonderful.
my bright spots [to be continued]…
gina’s phone call at 7 am. my bed. simple prayers being answered. class getting canceled. getting to bed by 10:30. my job. all of my family. the chance to learn. the gospel. daily scripture study. my iphone [yes]. loving friends. my shoes. my nice apartment. changing weather. church activities. kindness from others. good examples. healthy meals. a fully functioning body. knowledge. love. my mac. my hair. my eyelashes. people who don’t hold back. my lds marriage and family class. pumpkin everything. music. particularly brandon flowers. the ability to go two days without showering. a love of reading. my travels. my experiences. the future. hilarious tv shows. late naps. sassy heels. scratching out everything on my to do list. making plans. teal. staying home. waking up with the sun. catching nature’s beauty. everything on last year’s list.


it’s kind of old news that i’ve started to be healthy. i decided to change my old ways of avoiding cooking and produce sections at all costs back in june. throwing out the pop tarts [one blessed s’more pop tart at a time] and bringing in the special k. trading in eggos and peanut butter with chocolate chips melting on top [seriously divine] for whole wheat everything. and i actually bought produce which was pretty much a lost cause for the last two years slash my entire life. now i feel sick if i don’t eat something fresh every week. it’s a wonder i didn’t die of scurvy or something years ago. my health conscious parents are so proud.

so even though this has been going on for almost six months, a fist pump of celebration still ensues every time i have a healthy meal. especially when i totally invented it and it totally rocks with yumminess!

so here it is. i call it super awesome healthy pasta salad of deliciousness.

so colorful! and the more color, the better. aesthetic and health wise :)
ingredients of fresh delectableness:
red bell peppers
whole wheat bow tie pasta
sharp cheddar
newman’s own balsamic vinegarette
i added rosemary for experimenting sake but i would leave it out next time.

the best is that there are no measurements. measuring things always freaks me out. ha! just do whatever your heart tells you.
seriously, so easy and so delicious! and it was even better for lunch the next day.

i feel super cool now that i have a recipe on my blog. for even better taste [in all things] go here.


i take my twist with a shout.

our ward had a t shirt decorating date, so rob and i made one for jess since it was her birthday [21!!!]
rob is really good at spray-painting hearts.
and i’m really good at writing letters.
high five, first grader ahlin.
i’m gonna miss this guy. sad face.
i’m not gonna lie. it turned out pretty legit.
p.s. i totally recommend this for a date night. so fun.