Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Wedding!

Alexis and Jared were married on the 23rd of December. It was hectic, crazy, but beautiful! I'm so glad I have another brother :) I was clicking my camera like a crazy person! This one is one of my favorites (Alexis probably thought I was being silly telling her to put her flowers in her face but I knew it would be awesome!):

Max and I were able to be in the sealing room on our anniversary. How many people can say they've done that? It was pretty special to be there for Alexis and Jared on our special day/their special day :) Max kept asking me to dance during slow songs. I LOVED it. He must have loved me extra special that night. I can't wait for our next anniversary!

This Christmas season has been kind to us:
  1. My family + extended family came into town with all the wonderful little children
  2. My little sis was married and I got a new brother
  3. 2 year anniversary spent in the temple/dancing away on the reception dance floor
  4. Lots of warm savory food + sugary deliciousness overloading
  5. Beautiful California weather makes for lovely days outside
  6. And lots of traditions!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

P.S. I started a new photography blog. All photos with no text. Yay :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Verrrrrry Hungry Caterpillar

Always a sign I'm at work:


 It's not perfect, but it's in it's imperfections that make it mine. I like it. I love it. All I need is the book!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another blog?

I am thinking I'm going to create another blog for photography only.

No. Not the type of blog where I'm advertising for people to hire me to take their photos.
Puh-lease. I'm not that good. I don't even know how to work the camera confidently!

Which is a great incentive for doing this, no? The more I use this great camera I invested in, the more skills I can acquire in relation to the workings of the instrument. Not to mention, being creative in a way I haven't really explored before!


...we all know I like creativity...

So I'm trying to put together a list. 365 days of photography. Should there be a theme i.e. things I'm grateful for each day? Or a random compiled list of things I should take photographs of i.e. the Temple, Sunset, Sunrise, Family, Recreational activities, Night shots, Portraits, Landscapes, Close-ups etc... What do you think? What are your ideas?! I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I'm such a hermit. The only day of the week I am absolutely consistent with grooming my body with my face painted is Sunday. 95% the rest of the time I'm makeup-less, wearing my boots and a sweater with my hair pulled back in a pony. Not only do I dress to please, but I love being home and creating things. Or watching Parks and Rec. Or both at the same time. Dreamy. I really should get a job where I have to face people other than my family...

On to other things... Breaking Dawn? Holy crap, I'm not having a baby after seeing what Bella did. Because obviously my baby will be half human, half vampire. Yes, Max is a bloodsucker. They did a good job of making her look like the baby was literally eating her from the inside out. My body was just cringing. And thanks to being married to Max, I couldn't help but think of him during the scenes I KNEW he would have made fun of had he been present. I've heard some great commentary from that guy! ha.

On to other things... School is over this week. One final left, and I've kinda been acting like I already took it. Christmas-itis? Vacation-itis? I-want-this-class-to-be-over-itis? We all know it's not Senioritis.

On to other things... I don't think I'll reach my resolution this year of getting my black belt. DANG IT! Goal is now set three months from now. I freaking better kick myself if I can't pull it together. I know I blame school, but I could have had it by now if I wasn't full of excuses. I must really like it if I'm willing to be doing it for so long. Can't have a baby if I don't have my B.B. It's my prerequisite to starting a family. It's ok if you don't understand...

On to other things... Alexis and Jared are getting married in 16 days! Better honker down on all the wedding plans. I just finished this for them:

It's a fingerprint tree. Originally it was going to be a guestbook but now we're having it for their families and bridal party. It will be a fun art piece to display in their home.

Back to my hermiting...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving in AZ

Turkey Trot

Making the Indian Shirts.

Card games, music, laughter. Good to be together.
Family Photo Day. We were getting the babies to smile :)
 Grandpa Scott taught the Smith boys techniques to perform for everyone. I cried. Their mother cried. There's a clear appreciation for karate and dad and the kids performing their very best in my family. Or maybe we're just emotional ;) He then got Kam to throw her hands up in fighting position and Kiai (pronounced key-eye).

Caleb's hair, longer than ever and so adorable! He looked like a little surfer dude.
Sweet Macky. Cuddle bug.
The kids had a bouncy slide all week. It saved the day! They were out there for hours. And hours.
Singing to Grandma Ruthie
Alexis went through the Temple. Special to have the siblings in there together.

 I love my family and I'm so grateful to have spent a week with them! It's a rarity that we are all together under one roof. Luckily they will be coming out for Alexis' wedding this month. Oh, I love it!

Friday, November 18, 2011


It's a crazy time. School is coming to an end, wedding plans are in motion, and I'm fighting to get ready for my black belt test... It really is taking me longer than it should... But, here are a couple updates that have been exciting for me:

Welcome sweet little Violet! Born on 11/11/11. If you don't know, these two siblings made quite the entrance into this world with their birthdays. Everett was born on the 4th of July and Violet, on Memorial Day. Patriotic, yes? Auntie loves them both so much.

Erin and Owen came into town for Alexis' bridal shower Memorial Day weekend. I love that little munchkin so much, I could just eat him! He loved Max. I tell ya, nothing is sweeter than hearing Max playing with Owen and hearing Owen laugh and respond back to him. Melts my heart.

Max let me have my dream. Yes, he gave me the OK to purchase this beauty, via Amazon for a great deal! Now I know it's not the T1i, or the T2i, or the T3i... but, it's not about the body of the camera as much as it's about the lens of the camera. (So I'm told). And once I get the hang of it, I'll be able to spend those extra hundreds of dollars on better lenses. Merry Christmas to me! The point and shoot just wasn't cutting it anymore :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I hear the bells...

Well... Halloween was good while it lasted. And yes, I know Halloween does not actually arrive until tomorrow, but I'd be silly if I didn't say I've already been listening to Christmas music the past few days. We were fortunate to take our nephew, Everett, to trunk or treat this year. It's always more fun when you have a handsome little person with you. I probably laughed for a good 30-60 seconds when I saw his cute little monkey costume. Love those chubby cheeks!

 I was also finding a way to use up all that Halloween candy corn (since Halloween is over and all)... My husband and I aren't real candy corn fans. I'll have to remember NOT to buy a bag next year... Candy Corn Bark!

  1. Pretzels
  2. Oreos
  3. Candy corn
  4. Candy melts
  5. Sprinkles

  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Great for gifting... perhaps our neighbors?

Other than aching for a more appropriate season to listen to Christmas music, I've been planning my little sister's wedding. I hardly did anything for my wedding because I had wonderful women helping me out while I was in Utah... So going through it with Alexis is a bit... crazy. Did I mention they are getting married on December 23rd? That sound's familiar... Looks like Max and I started a little Christmas wedding trend :)
Utah sure does have some beautiful landscapes. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

White Bean and Chicken Soup

1 white onion, minced
(small or medium depending on how much you love onion)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
 (this stuff makes it smell divine)
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
(a little bit of spice is nice)
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 cans chicken broth
2 cans white beans (14 oz each)
2 or 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 
(i like using fresh chicken breasts, but i've read of people just using the canned version as well)
pinch of red pepper flakes
shredded monterey jack cheese 
(I'll usually just grab any bag of white cheese at the store--this time I got a bag that had 6 different white cheeses in it.)

In a big pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add cumin, oregano, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Saute for about a minute. Stir in chicken broth, beans, chicken, and the pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes for all the flavors to mix. Add a little cilantro too.

For individual bowls, add cheese and cilantro for garnish. Serve with toasted, garlic bread. mmmm.

SO good. And just from coming home, the aroma of the soup still lingers and it is fantastic. This recipe was a combination of others I had found online. The suggested portions of each ingredient always changes when I make it, sometimes I add more garlic, or less onion... Just feel it out! Soups are great because they last forever in the fridge. Soup leftovers are also great because they always taste like they were made that very day. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

To Draw Closer To God

While I wait for books at the library to become available, I'm going to devout my free reading time to this book. I bought it from the Deseret Bookstore just because of the title alone. Life is kinda crazy, and something about Church literature is just inspiring and motivating. Makes me feel lighter inside, even if it's only for the moment.

Artwork Page Updated

I've added some pictures of previous artwork I've done in the past to my Artwork Page. I know that the more I practice and develop my talent (yes, I'm saying it's a talent--I'm not being self-centered! Heavenly Father gave it to me...He told me so), the better my art will become. Hopefully I'll be willing to share it with people in a bigger way than through Blogger. This is a big step for me! I'm very private about my art because... I'm so critical of it. Alas... Enjoy!

Sometimes, you just need to take a day or two...

For yourself. 

Max is out of town and I love having just me time. Tonight, I went on a "date." Just me, myself and I. I bought new jeans and a couple of new tops, grabbed some Chipotle, and a Redbox movie... I did this art project last night. And I plan on doing some more artwork this weekend. It's cathartic.

Good for the soul, you know?

Sometimes we just need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life! Am I right or am I right? ;)