A Holly Jolly Christmas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oh Christmas, what a wonderful time of year! This Christmas Season has been one of my favorites by far. This wasn't our first Christmas as a married couple, but since last Christmas we were literally just getting home from Mexico it sure felt like it! We made sure to do this year right. We kind of went overboard on presents, definitely went overboard on sweets, and watched the Grinch at least ten times. We made gingerbread houses, played Christmas music all the way from Rexburg to Spokane, wore Christmas sweaters as often as possible, and did just about every other Christmasy thing we could think of! And I am happy to say we get to spend the Holidays with my family this year, no matter how much we miss the Muirs.

My family has a few fun Christmas traditions...one of which is none other than the acting out of the Nativity! My dad always reads the story from the scriptures while we do our best to act it out. Each year it gets more extravagant.This year I am proud to say that Kirby played a wonderful donkey, and was a great addition!

However, I think that my favorite tradition is the sister slumber party the night before Christmas. We all pile blankets and pillows into the living room and watch Christmas movies until we can't keep our eyes open anymore! This year Kirby joined in on all of the giggling and girl talk, as we fell asleep to the sound of "It's a Wonderful Life."

Christmas morning was as glorious as ever. We all turn into little kids with out eyes all aglow and can hardly contain our excitement. One of my favorite moments was when my mom and dad opened my cheesy gift. When I was a little girl we would always say "love you, sweet dreams, best friends, sleep good" every-night when they tucked me in. So I made them a sign to put in their bedroom, so it'd be like we were still saying it (see? I told you it was cheesy). But it made my mom cry so...score! Soon the tears were flowing more when she opened a new diamond wedding band! By far the best gift of the night. Anyways...here are my favorite memories from the day.

Highlights from this Christmas:
  • Acting out the nativity on Christmas Eve
  • Sisters slumber-party in the livingroom (plus Kirby)
  • Mom's new wedding band
  • Hours and hours of wrapping presents
  • New Hunter boots for...yours truly!
  • Buying Dominic a basketball hoop and seeing how excited that made him
  • Breakfast casserole
  • Kirby being forced to watch the One Direction Movie twice
  • Going to Nana's for the traditional ornament exchange
  • Making ornaments with our faces on them
  • Peppermint Pig
  • Kirby opening the guitar pedal I bought him
  • The beautiful tree at my parents
My mom's beautiful tree!

The family nativity...Mandy: Mary, Kirby: Donkey, Bailey: Sheppard, Buster: Sheep, Jessica: Joseph, Madison: Wiseman, Mom: Angel.

My most attractive lover.
seriously love him so much

Christmas morning

After the ring was opened!

The ring!

Mandy and cousin Maggie

Birthday Number 22!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Before we get into the festivities I need to say happy birthday to a very special man. I am lucky to share my birthday with Joseph Smith, the prophet that changed the world. I admire everything about him, and owe so much to him. So happy birthday Joseph Smith!

Having a birthday 2 days before Christmas can sometimes be a little difficult. Everyone is always so busy bustling around, trying to finish up preparations for Christmas day and it sometimes feels like a side-note, just something else to cross off the list. But the nice part about having my birthday during such a time, is that ever since I entered Kindergarten, I have NEVER had to worry about school interfering with my special day. And now that I am in college it only gets better, because no school means that I get to spend it with my whole family!

Being the lucky lady that I am, my day started with my mom's special crepes for breakfast and a phone call from my best friend. Later on, after presents, we headed down to the handsdown best restaurant ever...Waddells! (For those of you in the Spokane area who haven't gone there GO, you will thank me later). Anyways, it was a great day full of great food, family, and smiles all around. I am one lucky girl!

Merry Snow Day!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Merry snow day fellow Rexburgians! After an uncommonly nice fall/early winter, it now looks and feels like the Rexburg that we know and love!

While it technically was not a snow day, it sure felt like it...let me tell you why! Kirby and I normally sleep with a fan on, just to drown out any background noises. At about 6:00 this morning we woke up to dead silence, it soon became apparent that the power had gone out and left us without a fan...but that was the least of our worries. It was COLD like bitterly, unbarably cold! I heard everything from it was -40 to it was -17 degrees out this morning...whatever the truth is, it was dang cold. So we snuggled up closer, pulled the blankets up higher, and then went back to sleep.

About an hour later we got a text from the school telling us that the power was also out on campus, so classes were cancelled until 11:30. We smiled silently to ourselves and rolled back over. A couple of hours later we received another text informing us that classes had been cancelled yet again until 12:45. Hallelujah! This meant Kirb didn't have to go to a single class, and I only had to go to two of mine! While it might be freezing out, it was a nice chance to catch up on sleep. When we were finally brave enough to peel the covers off and load on the clothing layers, we joined the rest of Kirby's family in his parent's living room where a nice fire was burning. We helped set up the last of the Christmas decorations, played with the nephews, made some hot chocolate, and took advantage of our grown-up snow day.

Now...let's talk about those Rexburg roads. You think that a place that experiences so much snow and ice every winter would have a good system figured out by now. But they are far from it! Sure the plows push most of the snow off of the road. But that's literally all they do. The roads here are straight, thick ice. In some spots there are literally mounds of ice in the middle of the road that no one cares to move. Come on Rexburg, you can do better.

A Happy Late Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy day after Thanksgiving to you all, and a happy Black Friday to those of you who braved it!

What a wonderful time of year this is. While this was the first Thanksgiving I spent away from my family...ever, I was a little home sick. But it was so much fun to spend it with my in laws!

The food was amazing, as predicted, and it was so much fun to actually contribute this year. This was the first year I have actually made something of my own for the Thanksgiving feast! Kirby and I made a delicious pasta salad and stuffed chicken appetizer (as pictured below). I think that my favorite item off the Thanksgiving table this year was a german chocolate/chocolate mouse pie that my Father in law made...I ate way more than my helping of that one for sure!

We finished the night off with one of my family's favorite games...The Great Dalmuti! And I felt right at home.

My favorite quote from the day...I asked Dominic (2 year old nephew) Do you know what today is?? and he replied with "Yeah, Pie!" haha. Close enough, right?

This morning I headed down to Idaho Falls with my mother in law, sister in law Kim, and her sister Angela for some Black Friday shopping. I barely made a dent in the Christmas Shopping that needs to get done, but I definitely got a good start. Plus I think it is safe to say that I doubled our movie collection this morning.

I am thankful for so much this year, and loved having a day to focus on my gratitude and express my thanks. I live a blessed life, no doubt!

Our Roasted Garlic, Tomato, and Olive Pasta Salad and Chicken bites stuffed with cream cheese and jalopenos, wrapped in bacon! Our small contribution to the large feast!

1st Anniversary!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thoughts on the first year of Marriage:
(the celebration details are below)

  When we first got married we kept hearing from people things like... "oh the first year of marriage is the hardest" or "if you can make it through the first year you can make it through anything!" Now that we have reached that one year point all I can say is...if that is the hardest that our life is going to be then we are living a life that is better than any fairytale I have ever read!
This past year has been such an adventure and so full of excitement I would not trade it for anything! Everyday of the last year has been full of thrilling change and comfortable consistency.
Eternal marriage is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. It is so much more than the fun you have living with your best friend. It is the knowledge that everyday in this life and in the life to come you have a partner that will be there by your side through struggles and times of peace. And even in those times of struggles when they can't make things better, having them there gives you the strength to hold your head high and face whatever comes. Because no matter what happens, at the end of the day you have someone truly loves you and that is worth any struggle.
I am sure that so many women would say that they have "the best" husband. So what I am going to say is that Kirby is without a doubt, the best husband for ME. I could sit here for days and make a list of the things that I love about him, but I figured I would do things a little differently and express my gratitude for all of the little (and not so little) things that he does with me in mind. I am so thankful that...
  • He drives me to work every morning (after warming up the car and turning on my seat warmer) then drives back home to park so he can walk to class.
  • He doesn't force me to do things that are too scary for me, but helps me take a step out of my comfort zone every now and then.
  • He packs me breakfast and lunch to take with me to work...every morning.
  • He will read/listen to books with me.
  • If we are running short on hot water, he always makes sure I get to shower first. 
  • He is always quick to apologize.
  • When I am running late, even though I know it is frustrating for him, he never gets rude or impatient.
  • He often gives up what he wants to do in order to do something I want to do...without me knowing (even though I often find out later what he gave up).
  • He'll sing and dance and be silly with me because he knows that that is home for me.
  • He is a great complimentor and always knows how to make me feel great about myself.
  • He lets me cry when I need to, but also knows how to gently tell me to buck up when I need that too.
  • He wakes up with me every morning even though I have to be at work hours before he has class.
  • When I am stressed and neglecting my chores he will take over without being asked.
  • He still takes me on dates all the time.
  • He will surprise me with cute things, because he knows I love surprises and mushy stuff like that.
  • He is a great cook and makes us delicious meals all the time.
It is easy to see that I have a very special and selfless man to call my husband. His example of selfless service is one that I strive to reciprocate to the best of my ability. My life has been so blessed by his presence and I am looking forward to every moment in the rest of eternity because I know that he will be right there with me the whole time. One year with him has already changed to rest of my life. So happy anniversary to my dear Kirby Lee Muir!

How we celebrated:
Having never experienced a marriage anniversary before... I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew that Kirby had been planning something special, so I just sat in excitement waiting for the day when it would all take place. We celebrated our anniversary a day early because it fell on a Sunday. So Saturday morning we woke up, packed for the nights (I was still a little clueless) and left in our church clothes for Idaho Falls where we attended a session at the temple. I had never been to the Idaho Falls temple and I just loved it! But then I guess out of the 8 or so temples we have been through, there is not one I didn't love! Having been married in the temple it was the perfect way to kick off an anniversary and this is something I plan to make a tradition for all of our other anniversaries to come!
After the temple we headed out to grab some sushi at the very place where I finally received my ring! I would have been totally happy if the celebration had just ended there...
But my wonderful husband was not going to cut such a special day short! So he whipped out two tickets for Catching Fire...which was totally incredible! At the movie we munched on snacks from previous special occasions - sour patch kids because we ate those on our first date, honey roasted almonds in remembrance of the nuts at our wedding receptions a year before, and takis (mexican chip things) because we ate those on our honeymoon! I was in heaven...my favorite man, at a movie based on one of my favorite books, eating snacks from a few of my favorite days!
Now after the movie, we pulled up at a hotel that just looked like a regular hotel to me. So we got the key, went up to the third floor and opened the door... I about died! It looked like we had opened the door to another planet! Literally! It was incredible, I am still trying to take it all in! Everything from the floor to the ceiling and everything in between was painted and sculpted to look like we were on a mysterious planet out in space. There were stars on the ceiling that really twinkled and "craters" in the walls that acted as shelves. On the counter stood a bottle of sparkling cider with two champagne glasses, and in the corner was a jacuzzi that looked as if it had been built into a rock formation with little holes in the rocks where you could "see" the night sky.
Not only was this room incredible, but it totally fit us. As a little girl I was in love with space. Instead of a barbie or princess birthday party, I would ask for a "sun, moon, and stars" party. I would lay out on the grass with my Nana with a book of constellations searching for specific stars for hours. Then when Kirby and I started dating we would go star gazing, and make trips to the planetarium on campus. Not to mention that our very first date with just the two of us, was to  see Star Wars in 3D. (Told you that we are nerds!) So this room was literally meant for us! We had way too much fun and stayed up alllll night, then in the morning it was so hard to leave. It was as if we had been living on our very own planet for the night.
Before we left, Kirby handed me a gift bag... He seemed a little shy, or embarrassed by what was in there. After I tore out the tissue paper I found one of the sweetest gifts. It wasn't the biggest, or most expensive gift, but it was perfect. He had gotten me a necklace and a couple of dish towels...now this might seem kind of random...but to me it opened my eyes even more to what a sweetheart my husband is. The necklace is one that I had found months ago, and mentioned to him how beautiful it was as we walked by. And the dish towels I had simply seen at Target when we were shopping for a birthday present for our nephew, and I had told him how much I loved them! Both of these items I had merely mentioned, and he made the extra effort to track them down in order to make me happy. This just proved to me how much he pays attention to the little things I say.
Then when I thought the festivities were over, we got home I found my favorite flowers, your classic red roses. And the night was finished off with our wedding cake! The whole couple of days were perfect, and so much more than I need. Every day with Kirby is wonderful. He is so thoughtful and romantic and I love him so much! I can't wait to make it up to him with plans for next year!

After a session at the Idaho Falls Temple.

At the movie!

Yes, they put rose petals on our bed... the coolest bed ever that is!
Ok I just had to share this sweet sink! The water forms a whirlpool as it goes into the sink.
So in love with my present :)

Most relaxing jacuzzi ever, with the stars right above me!
The jacuzzi!
Our neighboring planets...

More wall/ceiling details.

Sparkling Cider in bed? Yes please!

The night time stars when the lights go off.


Fall Photoshoot!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My little sister Mandy lucked out with the cutest and coolest roommates! One of them is a photographer and took some fun fall couple pictures for us. Everything about the day was perfect! It wasn't as freezing as you would expect it to be in Rexburg, the sun was shining, and all the beautiful fall colors were cooperating wonderfully for us! She did such a great job. Here are some of my favorites. It was hard to choose just a few, so see what you think!

Ok...maybe not the most attractive picture of me...but there was no way I would pass up the chance to post such an adorable picture of Kirby! Seriously, how can one man be so cute!
Kirby and I are your stereotypical nerds. But that is ultimately what brought us together.
Look at his blue eyes!
This is definitely a silly one, but it makes me laugh so hard! Kirby was trying to reenact the scene from the last Harry Potter when he dances all silly in the tent with Hermione...I think we nailed it!
Kirby has the coolest collection of records. The one that is on in this picture actually has our song on it, so it means a lot to me! I love that she caught this picture.
One of my favorite moments from the day, captured perfectly. As we were lounging on the blanket the wind picked up and leaves from the tree above us dumped leaves straight on us. I was loving it!

Isn't the scenery just to die for???

Isn't she just so talented? If you are interested in seeing more of her work check out her facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/justsmileplease
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