Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Festivities

We had a wonderful Christmas. I only took pictures of Christmas morning though. Oops! On Christmas Eve, we spent the morning watching the snow fall at our house and wrapping gifts. We also watched Mickey's Christmas Carol and opened our gifts from each other before heading off to visit our families.

Then we headed over to Grandma Lively's house and had a good visit with her. After that we stopped at my Grandma Brady's house for dinner with my mom's side. In my family we have a tradition to have soup and bread bowls for dinner on Christmas Eve. I love it! We make like 4 different kinds of homemade soup and it's so yummy. Matt is not the biggest fan of soup though, so we might have to create a new tradition when we are not with either family for Christmas Eve. Maybe fondue. I love fondue!

Anyway, after dinner we headed over to Matt's parents' house and watched their traditional Christmas Eve movies of Mr. Kruger's Christmas and Nora's Christmas.

And we played Settlers til like 1 a.m. We slept over at the Lively's and got up on Christmas morning and had some yummy cinnamon rolls. One thing that I really liked is that Santa left all the presents under the tree and we all took turns opening them. At my house it's kind of like a mad dash for your pile. I liked being able to see what everyone else got.

We hung around Matt's parents' house all morning and had a fun time. Then in the afternoon we went over to my parents' house for the rest of the day. We exchanged gifts and played games and had dinner. Matt got Nathan the most hilarious game. It's the missionary version of Settlers. You build ward houses and gain converts. We about died when we saw it in the store.

It was a great Christmas.

Ever since I got married, Santa seems to like giving me a bag of chocolate chips in my stocking.

Melissa and I got these cute hats. We got a lot of great gifts.

On the day after Christmas we had the annual party at my Grandma Shepherd's house with all the extended family on my dad's side. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad we got to see most everyone. I love Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a bean!

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can post about this. :) We got to see our first picture of our little one this week! Matt was so cute at the appointment. When they were doing the ultrasound and the sonogram showed up on the screen, Matt exclaimed, "Look, there it is! It's a bean! I can see its heart!" He was so excited to actually see it. He is convinced it's a boy, of course, and wants to name it Ethan.

I am used to my doctor explaining everything she does before she does it, but since I had to change doctors because I moved, these ones are not quite the same. They just did their stuff without even telling me what was going on, so I was completely oblivious that there was anything on the screen until Matt started getting excited.

Anyway, they said everything was looking good. I have been feeling pretty good too. I've been a little more tired than normal, and I'm trying to get used to eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day because I'm finding that if I eat too much (like even my normal-sized meals before) I feel sick and if I get hungry I feel sick. But other than that, I'm really grateful that I haven't been super sick.

We are excited for Christmas. We even got our little one a cute little stocking! And I think we figured out how to make it work with all the families. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

You can click on the image to make it bigger so you can actually read it. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This weekend we went up to Temple Square to enjoy the lights. I love this tradition.

We also went to this really cool Live Nativity performance thing at Liberty Park. It was really neat. They have these little station scenes that you walk around and look at. You are led by a shepherd guide and at each station the performers do a musical number.

They had camels, donkeys, sheep, and goats.

I really liked it, and think we should make this a tradition in our family.

We also made a stop at Gardner Village to pick up a Christmas gift and I had to try on these silly hats!

Anyway, it was a great festive weekend.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Island of Misfit Toys

Can someone please tell me how to be a good married friend? Sometimes I feel like such a misfit. It seems like once you get married, it is SO hard to make friends. Or keep your old ones for that matter. It seems like people in your ward don't really want to be your friend, because they are too busy with their own families and stuff. No one from our neighborhood has even come to visit us or introduce themselves or welcome us to the neighborhood or anything. Plus, I am one of two women in my ward who does not have children. So it seems like all the other ladies get together for play groups and temple trips and stuff during the day when I am at work so they all know each other and are friends, but only because their kids are friends. And Enrichment is usually on Wednesday nights, when I have class. I know I need to be better at reaching out, but it's hard to do that when you feel like the outsider.

The other day I went visiting teaching and the lady was complaining about her kids and you could tell she was frustrated and that it was a totally bad time for us to be there, and I didn't know what to say or do. So the other lady kept telling her it was normal and stuff and I just sat there feeling awkward like I didn't belong there or have anything to contribute or help.

It's the same at work. Plus at my work, since we work with students all day, it's different. I am friends with my students, but it's not the same. And it seems like my colleagues are too busy with their own students and their own families that it seems like they are not interested in being friends. And it's also "taboo" to be friends with a male colleague at BYU. So that makes it more difficult since all the male colleagues are buddy-buddy and I am not. I do like my job, but I miss having friends at work that I can eat lunch with and do stuff with and support each other through the boring and hard times at work and share the good times with.

Like on holidays we don't have a colleague party, or do anything for anyone's birthday, or go to lunch together or anything--unless it's for the students. Which is great, the students are important and that is who we are here to serve, but when I support students all day I need someone to support me too!

We have a lot of married friends from our singles ward that are in our same "life stage", and I don't know why it's so hard to get together to do stuff with them. We try, but most of the time it doesn't work out for some reason or another. Same with a lot of the single ones too. Plus we don't want our single friends to feel awkward hanging out with married people.

I just don't know what to do, but I don't want to be a misfit anymore. Is it normal to not have friends after you're married and I just need to get used to it? I realize I am a busy person with work and school and everything, but I still want to have friends and be a good friend. What am I doing wrong?

P.S. I don't want all my friends out there to feel like I don't consider them friends by this post. I still consider everyone friends, it's just a lot different and I'm just wondering how to handle it.

P.P.S. I am very thankful to be married to my best friend. And that is the best thing I could ever ask for.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You're never too old... sit on Santa's lap!

I love my job

I work with two really great groups of students at my job. Since it is the end of the semester, we decided we needed to celebrate. They really have worked hard this semester and have accomplished a lot of wonderful things. These are my students that work in the Human Resources area. We manage all the volunteers that come through the organization.

For our celebration, we decided to go out for an authentic Thai dinner. My favorite part was that we got to sit on pillows on the floor! The food was really delicious. Matt doesn't like Thai food, so I never get to have it. I tried a lot of new things and liked them all. I loved the little rice containers where you get a rice ball and dip it in some yummy peanut sauce. It was really fun!

The other group of students that I work with are the Communications students. They manage our website, Facebook page, do a lot of PR and media relations, and just try to communicate what BYUSA is to the student body.

For our celebration we went to the Brick Oven for lunch. I love the Brick Oven!

They have also worked really hard this semester and have made some big changes of which I am so proud of them for doing. It hasn't been easy, but they have been diligent. I really work with some amazing students. I feel so grateful to have a job that I love and that I get to work with such great students. Despite the many challenges I have faced this semester at work, it really is rewarding to see the accomplishments of these students and to be a part of their lives.


I just wanted to say that I love all of our family members so much and I would love to spend Christmas with all of them if we could. We are part of seven families that are all doing stuff for Christmas that we want to be a part of. Yes, seven. (Our own family, my family, Matt's family, my mom's side, my dad's side, Matt's mom's side and Matt's dad's side.) I love them all so much and I love being with all of them. I just don't know how to be in seven places in one day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

In need of advice

I need some advice from you married folk out there. How do you split up your holidays between both your family and your spouse's family? What about the extended families? Do you try to do holidays with them too or just with the immediate families? How do you get on the same page as your siblings with their in-laws as well? Just wondering.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do you have room?

Click here if you can't see the video. One of my student's mom wrote this and it is amazing! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa Run

In all my years of attending and putting on crazy events, this is one of the best I've ever seen. I volunteered on Saturday morning at the Santa Run in Provo. It was HILARIOUS! It's a 5K race where all the runners dress as Santa, the volunteers dress like elves, and the aid stations are milk and cookies. It was awesome.

Before the race started, the race director had all the Santas do "warmups". He did this rendition of "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" that involved "boots, belly, beard and hat." There were also jumping jacks that were counted like this... "One. Ho ho ho. Two. Ho ho ho...." It was so funny.

There were about 200 runners and about 25 elves. There was music blasting along the course that involved songs like, "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Some of the Santas had stockings full of candy canes that they would throw out to the crowd as they were running. Others had silly string they would spray on everyone. One had jingle bells tied to his foot so he was "jingling all the way" and some others had stuffed their shirts so they would have a Santa belly.

Here are the milk and cookie stops. They had candy cane sticks at the aid stations too.

The race director dressed as Santa too and his van even had a sleigh hooked up to the top.

Mine and Caron's jobs were to track the runners' times as they came through the finish line. We just had to click a button every time someone came through and it would record their time. Since our job was at the end of the race we spread some Christmas cheer in the meantime by doing some elf-y heel clicks.

It was so cold. I was wearing under armor, a fleece pullover, a hoodie, my coat, and my elf shirt on top. My running tights, workout pants, and my elf pants on bottom, wool socks, 2 pair of gloves and 2 hats. Caron informed me that I looked "ridiculous" with my elf shirt on over my coat. It was worth looking ridiculous though because it was like 18 degrees out there at 6:30 a.m.

I seriously had so much fun. I wanted to actually run in the race, but the registration fee was a bit out of my budget this month, so I decided to volunteer instead. And I got a free elf costume out of the deal too! Maybe next year I will have to save up so I can actually run. But if not, being a Santa's Helper was fun too!

O Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree this year wasn't quite as adventurous as last year when we had to hold onto it from out the sunroof, but we did have a large bug fly out of it straight at Matt after we had brought it in. I love Christmas trees and they are worth all the hassle. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I just heard a lecture that quoted Ronald Reagan as saying his biggest regret was signing the Family Law Act when he was the governor of California, which basically said that no-fault divorce was now ok.

Even he realizes the importance of the family.