'twas the night before christmas...

twas the night before christmas and all through the house,
everyone was sleeping... except for me.

all i can think about is the fact that in half an hour, give or take, i will bid farewell to my teenage years. i can't believe i'm going to hit the big 2-0! it's hard to come to grips with the fact that i'm growing up. i hate it. i wish i could have stunted my growth at 18 and lived a carefree life forever. but alas, we didn't come on this earth for that. we came to grow, progress, and experience! so here i am, getting older and wiser with each passing year.

being 19 was great. i look back on this year and realize how grateful i am for my life and the people in it. i have the most amazing family and fiancee a girl could ask for.

here are some highlights of my life as a 19 year old:

-finish my first year of college. i could write a million blog posts about college, but to be quick let's just say that it was the most growing and learning i've ever done in that amount of time. with it came a lot of amazing friends, quality time with cosmo, and weird college activities.

-fail a final exam for the first time in my life
-experience my first real car accident, and get stitches for the first time. (still reaping the benefits of that. i make scotty massage my finger from time to time)

-i went on the funnest girls trip with my three best friends this summer... california! a whole weekend of pure bliss. i love my friends and i am so blessed to know them!

-i still haven't gotten too old for daily phone calls with my mom while i'm at school
i love her
-i had LOTS of family time this year! from a fun wedding this summer, to sunday dinners at home, it's always a blast. i love being in utah and having some barnes cousins at the same school as me, and westra family all over. i love going to family functions with them at birthdays or conference, or more recently the DAVID ARCHULETA concert with mo tab in salt lake.
i loved seeing afton and her new baby brother JACK.
i love coming home from school and seeing my beautiful family. we had some fun times this year! thanksgiving in arizona, shopping excursions, the classic santa picture, and we even fed some homeless people today.

-this summer kami wanted to do something "dangerous" so we went to the stratosphere. that was quite the experience! every single ride. and i didn't think i would live to tell!
-i love being at school and getting to see all of my cute byu friends. they make me dinner sometimes, and in return i take them to the cannon center. we've done lots of fun things this year: nordstrom rack, relief society broadcast in slc, secret santa exchange
-i learned the thriller dance and had a blast performing it and dressing up. i think you can watch the video of our dance here.
-i GOT ENGAGED! i still get butterflies when i think about it. i still stare at my ring and zone out because of its beautiful sparkleyness. i met the love of my life, and i can't wait to be married to him... he is everything i've ever wanted in a husband- and more!
scotty is the cutest thing ever and i can't wait to spend eternity with him.

-i got the job as a resident assistant. to compensate the past 19 years without a sister, i now have 39. these girls are beautiful. i can't describe my love for them. while they may run up and down the halls screaming at obscure hours in the night, and string floss all throughout our bathroom, and steal christmas trees from the lobby, and write "butts" or other stupid things on my whiteboard, I LOVE THEM.

they are amazing. we've been through a lot together this year. i hope to keep in contact with my cute girls for a very long time.
-i got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents this year
-i had a semester of college where i DIDN'T fail a single test- HOORAY!
-i now have a whole new family of in-laws, i love them!
-i was brunette, blonde, and black (we'll say black even though it's technically a dark brown)
-i lost a lot of weight, and have already gained most of it back from this holiday season
-i decided that i love my life and everything in it.

so with that, i'll leave you all to a merry christmas.
eat as much as you can and open presents way too fast. i know i'll be doing the same.
remember that 20 years ago, a beautiful young woman was hauling a to the hospital to give birth to me. but more importantly, remember that about 2010 years ago, another beautiful young woman was doing the same thing in a stable.
listen to this song. i love it.
merry christmas... christ lives.


how to throw the perfect christmas party

STEP 1: hang ornaments from the ceiling, cover tables with red/green butcher paper, have a christmas playlist on, hot chocolate, and lots of candy. Have a girl's amazing mother cut out and sew 50 white fleece stockings. separate ribbons, glitter, buttons, scissors, etc in buckets on the counter.

STEP 2: girls come. each one gets a blank white stocking. let the creativity begin!

STEP 3: lots and lots and lots of buttons.

STEP 4: hot glue guns are a must.

STEP 5: start cutting, gluing, tying , sprinkling, and singing.

STEP 6: finalize the stocking. walk around and admire all of the diverse creations.

STEP 7: show it off! all of the stockings turned out super cute, but here are some personal favorites
and of course i couldn't help but make my cute fiancee one.
he's never had his own stocking before... poor baby.
our stockings compliment each other.
i can't wait to hang them over our own fireplace one day :)