still thankful

i love holidays.
i mean, who doesn't? right?

one of the things i love about holidays is that they act as a reminder.  they all have a purpose (except halloween), and usually they remind me of what i should be doing year round. just because we dedicate july 4th to celebrate our country and our freedom doesn't mean that we can't express that love any other day! and i shouldn't wait until february 14th to shower my sweet husband with praise, kisses, and gifts. so over thanksgiving break, amidst stuffing my face and adoring my family members, i realized that i have so much to be grateful for. there are so many things i can't live without, but are never recognized.

so this is me, trying to strengthen a weaknesses. i'm sorry that i don't convey my gratitude as often as i should, but i'm making a resolution to outwardly and frequently express my thankfulness.

here are 20 things i am thankful for this week:
1. seat warmers
2. target
3. spending time with cousins in midway
4. fuzzy blankets
5. a husband who brings home cafe rio
6. the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints
7. pink finger nails
8. fun & caring professors
9. pretty sunsets
 10. this funny picture of oprah on instagram
11. 6 months of free xm radio
12. my job
13. hot chocolate
14. this insanely good looking family of mine
15. maxi dresses
16. a construction-free i15
17. pinterest recipes
18. this amazing album
(and lauren who lent it to me)
19. my iphone
20. peplum shirts


giving thanks 2012

we have had so much fun the past few days! 
thanksgiving break was exactly what i needed. i am so thankful for breaks from school... pretty sure i wouldn't survive without them.
tuesday night we drove to vegas to stay with the marx family. 
wednesday was busy busy! 
in the morning, we ran errands with kim.
i headed over to the west side of town to take care of some important business:
picking up red velvet cafe cookies
visiting my former coworkers at lakes cleaners
and a vegas trip isn't complete without a cafe rio lunch with my girls. 
kami is ready to pop any day now.
we are so excited to meet little jack!
scotty and i spent the rest of the day watching cable (someone was having withdrawals), running more errands, chatting and catching up with family, hanging out with chicks... 
and eating a wonderful dinner at outback! thanks ron & kim. 
thursday, we had so much fun getting everything ready for our thanksgiving meal. i watched kim make homemade stuffing, and we cleaned and set up the dining room.  it was great to see scotty's siblings and their families. we stuffed our faces with amazing turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, pies, cookies, and other delicious food items. 
then after dinner was over and our things were packed up, we headed off to brianhead, utah. my family and two of my aunts and their families were up there. we played games, ate way too much food, did puzzles, watched movies, snowmobiled, and went sledding. 
 (i freaking love my cousin cienna, but the following picture cracks me up)
all of that was fun, but my favorite part was probably the craft night with my mom and aunts. i love these ladies! we are always laughing together. 
cathi helped us make initials to hang on our front doors, and a christmas sign. we painted, sanded, stained, and decorated! 
here are the finished products:
i love how they turned out! 
another highlight of the weekend was a white elephant gift exchange. 
i know, i know... it's not christmas. 
but it was still a blast!
there were some pretty hilarious gifts: a chippendales puzzle, a box of doll heads, and my personal favorite - an autographed picture of scotty. 
so funny. we had such a wonderful weekend! 
we are so thankful for our families and the time that we get to spend with them. 


say what you need to say

to cancel out the ridiculous amount of happiness and warm fuzzies that have been taking over my blog recently, i thought i would post something a little more on the negative side :)
let's get back to reality. 
and reality is the fact that i have a few pet peeves driving me nuts right now.
i find it comical that they all involve other people talking.
but they are really getting to me. 

so the solutions i have thought of are as follows:
1. move to a deaf/dumb community
2. ear plugs
3. permanent ear plugs
4. never leave home
5. confess everything on my blog so i can vent it all out and move on 

... the last one seems the most beneficial.
so shut your mouth and let's get started :)
i cant stand the following:

1. when someone starts a conversation with "by the way, ..."
... excuse me? what? by what way? we weren't talking. 
"by the way" is a phrase used to indicate that the speaker is adding more information, or that the speaker is casually opening a new topic of discussion. i walked down the hall at school a few days ago and a random girl in passing approached me with "by the way, your dress is really cute." ew. don't get me wrong, i appreciated the compliment! but don't make it sound like we were mid-conversation or something. i don't even know you. 

2. when members of the LDS church say this exact phrase:
oh, please! stop being dramatic.
you have your right to bash BYU's perfectly trimmed landscape, their exceptional athletic teams, the beautiful murals in the art museum, and the bell tower that chimes church hymns. but when you say "I hate everything about BYU," you're saying you hate EVERYTHING about BYU! and BYU's board of trustees is included in "everything." so let's see... who are the members of the board of trustees? well, Thomas S. Monson is the chairman, Henry B. Eyring is the first vice chairman, Dieter F. Uchtdorf is the second vice chairman, and other board members include (but are not limited to): Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard, David A. Bednar, and Julie B. Beck. so when you say "i hate everything about BYU," you're saying you hate the prophet and some of the greatest general authorities of the church. and if this is the case, you have a lot bigger problems than rooting for the wrong basketball team.

3. the word "actually" 
yes, that's right. one little 8-letter word. 
have you ever noticed that "actually" and "ashley" can both vary from 2-4 syllables depending on where you are from? or that they both start with an "ah" sound and end with a "lee" sound? and even the middle sounds, "ch" and "sh", are undeniably similar? or that they could reside in the same spot of a sentence? 

"actually, can you come help me?" ... "ashley, can you come help me?"
"i love churros, actually." ... "i love churros, ashley." 

see how complicated my life can be? here, i will even provide photographic proof! 
i've been responding to "actually" for about 21 years now, and i am tired of the confusion. if we could eliminate this word from the english-speaking world, i would be extremely pleased. 

4. the misuse of literally.
this is annoying, but at the same time it cracks me up. i think there are a lot of people out there who aren't grasping the whole concept of "literally."  literally can be defined as "in a literal sense, as opposed to a non-literal or exaggerated sense." i mean, COME ON! you're killing me, people! my friend recently told me of a girl in church sharing an experience where she said, "I literally had to look inside myself to know what was true." really? how did you do that? a scalpel? x-ray? fascinating.
or how about "i am literally starving to death." interesting that you had enough strength to say those words considering you are on the verge of dying!

5. "nordstrom" vs. "nordstroms"
i saved the worst for last. this common mix-up heats my blood.
nordstrom, being my favorite shopping destination, is obviously very dear to my heart, and so i personally take offense when people misuse the name. i love going to nordstrom.  nordstrom's the best. nordstrom is a title, and it is singular.  if John W. Nordstrom wanted people to refer to his store as "Nordstroms" he would have named it "Nordstroms" and not "Nordstrom." So if you tell me, "I went to nordstroms today," I will either assume that an imitator has opened a new knock-off department store, or that you don't have enough respect for the store to pronounce its name correctly.  i mean, after you went to nordstroms did you go to costcos? and then to sonics for a drink?
... no. some things are just wrong. so wrong.

by the way, i am literally done with this vent session.
thanks for literally reading my biggest greatest pet peeves.


the first year stats

i promise this is my last anniversary-related post. i just thought it would be fun to talk about the entire year we have spent together, rather than just our wedding day. i came up with some statistics of our accomplishments, habits, and milestones from our year of marriage.

in the past 12 months, we...

 lived in 1 apartment
used the iron 2 times
had 3 cars
worked 4 different jobs between the two of us

went to vegas 5 times
humbly received 6 parking tickets (... maybe that was just me)
gained exactly 7 sets of married friends
reached a total of 8 nieces and nephews (#8 is still in the works!)
taught a class full of 9-year-old children in church together
cried for 10 days after we lost our wedding gift/thank you card list
hear the clock chime 11 pm and can't keep our eyes open
 had 12 months of bliss

other great stats:
we left the country 1 time
we eat pizza for dinner at least 1 time a week
we have been to 2 other sealings
our top 2 favorite movies are "rio" & "what happens in vegas"
we have taken 3 pregnancy tests (just making sure)
we have gone through 3 different printers
the longest we've spent apart was 3 whole days
we have been inside 5 temples
we have gone to get frozen yogurt ONLY 5 TIMES!
we have been to 5 different states
we consumed a 25 lb bag of rice



our actual anniversary is tomorrow.
but with leap year and what not, it's really been 365 days.
plus, tomorrow is sunday. day of rest.
so we began all of the anniversary festivities today!

sidenote: i decided the first anniversary is borderline awkward. it sets the tone for the rest of your anniversaries. if you get each other presents, it would be weird to not get each other presents the next year. right? so we explicitly stated that we will not buy each other anniversary gifts, but instead have a fun day spending quality time together.

and just because i can't buy scotty a gift doesn't mean i can't decorate a little...
i hung "12 favorite memories from 12 months of marriage" all over the apartment. they are still hanging from the ceiling... so our place is feeling a little jungle-ish. but they turned out really cute! it's amazing what a few pieces of card stock can turn into. and scotty was a good husband and bought me the most beautiful assortment of flowers! 
i should also mention that he cleaned the entire apartment while i was out this morning. what a guy! later in the afternoon, we went to the salt lake temple and did sealings. click here. not only was it a great act of service, it was so fun to reminisce and re-live our own sealing that took place a year ago. it was so special to give other people the same blessing that we were celebrating - eternal marriage! i think we might have to make sealings on our anniversary a tradition.
the sealings were scotty's idea, and benihana for dinner was my idea.
we both contribute in this relationship. 
(speaking of contributing, shout out to mom & john for giving us some anniversary loving! if you know what i mean... $$$) 
dinner was a blast. 
benihana is not just dinner, it's an experience
i think i ate more food tonight than i have all week: 
sushi, soup, salad, fried rice, shrimp, grilled zucchini & onion
... and that was all BEFORE the main entree came. 
thank heck for to-go boxes.
and to make the night even sweeter, in honor of our anniversary they spoiled us with free ice cream and this ballin picture: 
it was quite the successful night! 
scotty makes me the happiest girl in the world;
i am so blessed to be married to such a great guy. 
here's to one year down! 


this is the place

in my completely biased opinion, the las vegas temple is the prettiest. definitely my favorite. it is beautiful! so adding a bride and a handsome groom to the scenery just makes everything as beautiful as it possibly could be. agreed?
if not, let me persuade you with pictures.
here are some faves taken at the temple: 
(... i couldn't help it)
i love that place.
i am so glad that scotty and i were worthy temple recommend holders, allowing us to be sealed for "time and all eternity." we couldn't have made it without our loving parents and supportive bishopric. being married in the temple is the biggest blessing in my life, i am thankful for the covenants and promises that we made inside of it, and for the adorable pictures that we took outside.