2011 recap

listen, i know january is practically over by now. but i just wouldn't feel right if i didn't give 2011 the send-off it deserves. 2011 was a really, really, really, fantastic year for me. probably the best one in my entire life. so many major changes! and so many firsts, which i have conveniently marked for you in the bold font. i loved 2011, i really did. it hurts me to part with that special year, but i don't really have a choice. so let us take a few minutes to reminisce on what made my 2011 great, so i can be emotionally prepared to let go.

well, the very first week of JANUARY i started the year off with my first detox, the master cleanse. it was quite the experience. felt great, changed my life, never doing it again.
i also attended my first rebel basketball game. no more description necessary.
and i got my wisdom teeth out!

in FEBRUARY, i saw the justin bieber movie for the first time. this time was in theaters with my best friend. about 200+ times followed throughout the year.
scotty and i had our first valentines day together, and he spoiled me.
FEBRUARY was topped off with a ski trip at brian head with the fam, where i tried snowboarding for the first time.
in MARCH i made my first "mature person quilt"
and went on my first motorcycle ride
a thrilling month, really.

according to my blog, camera, facebook, and calendar, the only noteworthy thing that happened in APRIL was the nordstrom half-yearly sale. which is definitely not a first for me.

i love my friends.

MAY was a month of mourning, as i suffered a very painful loss.

in JUNE, i bought my first pair of enzo's.
scotty and i took the most amazing underwater picture of all time,
and i purchased my first iphone. white. 3g. 16gb. perfect in every way. she's my bestest best friend. since day 1.
JULY was the month that ended it all. well... the harry potter series, at least. i was really sad. but nonetheless, tanner and i were at the midnight showing ready for the tears and action.
i witnessed (and partially forced) scotty's first swim in the ocean.
and he was there for me when i held my first sparkler.
i also had the pleasure of meeting the mayor for the first time!
we wear our saturday-best to go eat samples at costco.

speaking of costco, in AUGUST i got my first costco card. the day i first felt like a real woman was the day i walked into costco on my very own. (without donna sneaking me in through the exit...)
look at the pure joy on my face.

i moved into my first "real apartment" with these beautiful, beautiful ladies.
and had my first day of a new semester.

SEPTEMBER was a bittersweet month for me.
one moment im having the time of my life, chipper and showered with presents, and the next week i'm sick as a dog.
1/3th of the month was spent in the library, another 1/3th was spent sick (with my first case of pneumonia), and the last 1/3th spent sick in the library.

OCTOBER brought promising changes. i went through the temple for the first time. that was a beautiful day in my life.
i had my first bachelorette party!
that was a blast! fun weekend with all of my favorite girls.
i purchased my first blazer, featured in the above photo.
i also got my first form of birth control! hooray for being a woman.
and while this month may seem all wonderful and dandy... let us not forget this tragic night.

ahh, NOVEMBER. now we're getting to the good stuff.
i started the month off by seeing Thomas S. Monson in real life on the first!
wonderful picture quality, i know.

and then, 10 days later, i got married! for the first and last time haha.
ooo he is the cutest.

my ring doubled in size,

we went on our first honeymoon, which happened to be my first cruise and my first time leaving the country!
scotty and i moved into our first apartment!
and in more depressing news, nordstrom announced its closing of the orem store. stupid.

DECEMBER is always a pleasure!
we had our first christmas as a married couple.
got a wii!
our first christmas tree.
and i even turned 21.

what a growing year for me! I am a completely different person from who i was in 2010. i am so grateful for all of the challenges, stresses, wedding planning, and decision making that brought scotty & me to where we are today. i am so happy. 2011 was the happiest and best year of my life. i don't know what 2012 can offer to compete with all of the wonderful things that happened to me in 2011... so bring it on!


she's done it again!

ever since i can remember, i've had this special way with teachers.

almost like a teacher whisperer, if you will.

i just flash that smile and answer a few questions on the first day of school, and it's all over. the whole rest of the school year, i have them wrapped around my little fingers. i used to walk down the halls of bonanza high school waving to the principal and high-fiving the deans in the middle of class periods without a hall pass.

these skills have come to me as a precious gift, and i will not ignore their presence. i assure you that i am taking full advantage of these gifts and am putting them to good use.

i specifically remember one beautiful spring morning when i was confidently walking to my car during our closed-campus lunch hour, and watched as Dean Taylor stopped a group of kids in front of me. he got angry with them for ditching and trying to leave for lunch, and started to escort them all back into the school with threats of detention. i was a bit nervous as i kept walking to my car, headed right toward the group of students and dean taylor. but when our paths crossed, he greeted me with a "good morning, ashley!", to which i smiled and continued on my journey to sonic. mission accomplished.

and who could forget junior year english with regina? we had to memorize a section of some shakespeare play... i can't remember which one, my mind is blanking out. just like it did when i stood in front of the class and said "honestly, ms. johnson, i'll just take the F. i can't remember this poem for my life." some people laughed, and i'm sure others shook their heads. but regina looked at me with these big, brown, hopeful eyes and pleaded, "it's okay! take your time. i'm sure it will come back to you, ashley. sit down if you need to, you can try again in a few minutes." HA! okay. i go sit down and look at my notes while a few other people go. i take another turn, read 2.5 lines out of the required 15, and managed to pull out a B for that assignment. let's just say i lost some friends after that.

i could sit here for hours and bore you with many other stories of my butt-kissing successes, but tonight let me just share my most recent feat as a teacher whisperer.

picture this: it's wednesday night. i have classes from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm and want to shoot myself in the face. all morning i heard rumors of a big snow storm expected for that night... great. a 40 minute commute turns into an hour and a half in the snow... and at 9:30 pm?! not my idea of fun. suddenly i remember my teacher for the late class (6:50-9:30) commutes from salt lake, too! and she said that if there were ever bad weather conditions, she would most likely cancel class. she instructed us to keep an eye on our inboxes during the snowy days, and promised she would let us know by late afternoon. around 4:30, i still had no sign of her in my inbox. i was starting to lose hope.

i decided to take matters into my own hands with an informative email.

maybe a little cheesy, but i'm sure it hit the spot on a busy wednesday for her stressed out, principal self.
literally less than 10 minutes later, every one in the class received this email:

"evidently i am not the only one from our class who commutes from the salt lake valley."
... as if to say "i was planning on bucking up and coming to class, but now that i know i'm not the only one making the drive, we can just forget about it!"

a strength in numbers kind of deal.

it's the little heart-warming experiences like these, my friends, that assure me i can graduate from college.


my birthday boy

i feel like january has so many birthdays!
every week in jan. i have at least two of my favorite people celebrating their birthdays.
it's birthday-madness month haha.

most importantly is my dear husband's birthday on the 17th!
yes, it is on the 17th. but this year it kind of turned into a week-long birthday extravaganza.
only the best for my lover!

presents. i got him a new sweater and a man bag he has been drooling over :)
(or in his words... a "satchel")
and don't even think about judging my choice of wrapping paper!

we hung out at his favorite store, brookstone...
tried out some of their products.

ate dinner at olive garden...
they sang to him.

played wii games...
close game, close game.

i love scotty. im so glad we had this whole week to dedicate to him and his awesomeness.
and in honor of him turning 23, i would like to share the top 23 things that i love about scotty or reasons why i love him!

1. those blue eyes!
2. he loves me
3. his laugh
4. he has a strong testimony of the church
5. he listens to all of my stories
6. he pretends like i am an amazing chef
7. mr. fix it! he does all kinds of wonders around the house
8. he is tall
9. he paints the fingernails on my right hand
10. his passion for school
11. he lets me snuggle on the couch with him
12. he wants the best of the best for me
13. he's protective
14. he is a hard worker
15. he lets me drive sometimes because i'm scared to be a passenger
16. his big dreams for our future
17. he treats me to brazilian style beans/rice when i'm not in the cooking mood
18. his massages are better than a professional's
19. he invites me to his grey's anatomy marathons
20. he is always honest and loyal
21. he sings
22. he holds my hand
23. and last but not least... his sense of humor!

scotty is so funny... all the time.
i mean, look at what our sweet photographer had to put up with-

he cracks me up.

i love this guy, and i am so lucky to spend the rest of his birthdays with him for forever!
happy birthday scotty!


pretty big deal.

i know now that november has come and gone, you're probably rejoicing in the fact that my wedding is over so i will blog about something else.



bahaha. i know it was over two months ago, but i still can't get over how completely perfect it was. best day of my life, hands down! you know? so naturally, i want to keep talking about it and thinking about it and blogging about it so that i will never forget how magical it was.

speaking of magical...
our wedding was such a big deal, that even the most magical people i know sent us a wedding gift. too cute to not share.

accompanied with a "just married" pin.

this second couple isn't as magical... and i guess i wasn't as excited about them.
scotty was.
but im glad michelle & barack made a special effort to congratulate us.

straight from the white house.

i framed the disney one and it's in our living room... not sure where the president's is.
how old am i?


pinterest: real life edition

i dont know about you, but i just can't get over pinterest. im addicted. and what is so addicting about documenting hundreds of recipes and crafts that most of us girls won't even get around to recreating in real life?!

well my friends... i am trying to break that notorious stereotype and prove that i will put pinterest to good use besides passing time at red lights or in sunday school!

let me woo you with pictures of my two favorite crafts i have created over the past month or so.

#1. christmas card-holding wreath.
SO CUTE, right? (that one is not mine)
so i ordered some clothespins
spray painted them green (i learned this method of spray painting clothespins on pinterest, too! who knows what i would have done if i hadn't seen this...)
did my best to bend a wire hanger, strung them on with beads, and tied a ribbon on top.
not AS cute as the one on pinterest but hey, i think if i tried again i could perfect it.
i think my beads were a little too big haha. oh well. it served its purpose!

#2. wedding card BOOK.
i am in love with this. if you're getting married, BOOKMARK THIS right now!
it is like my favorite thing ever.

using these materials:
i converted all of these wedding cards:
into an adorable book. because let's be real, i am kind of a sap. and after i read through the wedding cards for the fourth time, scotty asked me what i planned on doing with them for the rest of our lives. keep them in a bag above my dresser? throw them away? suddenly this became a real problem in my life. i really, truly, do care about these cards. i know there are like 200 of them but every single one is so special and sentimental to me.

so when i saw this idea on pinterest i practically squealed with joy.

i tied a ribbon so i can just undo it and flip through the book, still able to read every card.
(can you blame me for trying to showcase my adorable william-sonoma jars in the background?)
now it is conveniently on a shelf in my living room, easily accessible for whenever my heart desires.
so viola! i hope i have inspired you to take your pinterest findings into real life.
good luck!