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

Looking Back On The Start of Our Eternity

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It is almost our anniversary, and what better way to prepare than sharing memories from the day that it all started...       
Getting married at the end of November means that there is a large chance of a wedding in the snow. But fate was on our side! We woke up to a beautiful November day, barely overcast with nothing frozen. I had spent the night before with my friends at a neighbors house, and woken up early to run home and get ready. After having a few people do a trial run on my hair, I decided that the best way to make sure I had it how I wanted it was to do my own. So I put my hair up, did my own make up, and set out for the Spokane LDS Temple with my parents. For those of you who do not know, a temple marriage is a little bit different than a regular ceremony. In the temple we don't walk down an isle to the wedding march, or even say any vows. A temple marriage consists of kneeling across an alter while a designated man reads special words and seals a couple together for eternity. That is the main reason for having temples here on this earth. They give us the power to create a family that is eternally together, in this life and the next rather than "to death do us part" and that blessing is one that I will always be so thankful for. 
Having only been endowed the night before the temple was still a little unfamiliar to me, and I had never witnessed a sealing before my own. Walking in to a room full of people who love you unconditionally, a room where the Spirit resides constantly, a room so white and sparkling, is something that words cannot describe. I immediately knew it would be impossible to fight back the tears. As I knelt across the alter from Kirby and listen to the words of the sealer I knew that that exact spot is where I was meant to be. The man who sealed us is one of our very very best friend's grandpa, I had spent a bit of time over at his house as a little girl, so it was so fun to have him be there. One thing that he told us in the sealing room was to never miss a day of prayer together. That advice is something that we have implemented into our lives and I am so thankful for what he said. Even if one of us is out of town we say our prayer together over the phone. This is one thing that has truly blessed our relationship. No matter how annoyed you are, if you sit down and pray together those feeling melt away.
After the sealing my mom helped me change into my wedding dress in preparation to leave the temple. The flowers we had ordered were not there yet, and I was not leaving the temple without my bouquet! So I left the brides room and just sat with Kirby in the temple. I think that the flowers being late was a hidden blessing. Not very many couples have time to just sit in their wedding clothes in the temple and think about what had just happened.
Once the flowers arrived we walked out the doors of the temple to a sea of cheers and loving faces. Talk about heart warming! Despite how nice the day was it was still freezing, but Taraka being the brilliant lady she is, had packed thick leggings for me to throw on under my dress to stay warm through the many pictures we took at the temple.

After allllll of the picture taking we  pulled up to the luncheon where I changed, and we feasted on Costa Vida (I still love the fact that we got them to cater our luncheon!) And then it was off to the reception!
After much headache we had scored a reservation at the E.J. Roberts Mansion for the reception. My family did most of the decorating while we got changed and ready for the big night of meeting and greeting! It is funny how little I actually cared about the tiny details once it actually came down to reception time. There were a lot of things that weren't exactly how I would have chosen them to be, but I was so happy and excited that nothing phased me. The reception was a blast, complete with doughnut holes, a hot chocolate bar, and caramel corn!
The mansion that hosted our reception is also a bed and breakfast, so Kirby and I scored the best room there for the night. We realized that it would be awkward to say good night to everyone and walk upstairs to our room while our family was downstairs cleaning, so we changed again and left the mansion to grab some PF Changs for dinner (I love telling people that that is where we went on our wedding night). Then came back to a quiet mansion where we went upstairs to our beautiful room.
The morning after our wedding was my new nephew's blessing in church, so Kirb and I, being the dedicated aunt and uncle that we are ;) woke up early the morning after our wedding night, to be there when no one thought we would. Before we left we went down to the dining room of the mansion where we were served an incredible three course breakfast! Then we raced to the church, both in our clothes from the night before, and me in the same make up...very classy. As we walked in the men were already forming the circle, so Kirby walked straight up to the front and nonchalantly and joined as if he was just barely walking up from his seat rather than running straight in from the parking lot.
After church was the opening of our presents up at my house, then we said good bye to my family and headed back to Rexburg for the beginning of our life together!

The main room of the mansion.

My favorite treat!

My bridesmaids (minus my sisters who were helping downstairs)  helped me get ready for the reception in the room that Kirby and I stayed in at the mansion.

Leaving the mansion.

     Because we had gotten married in the middle of a semester we waited to go on our honeymoon until it was Christmas break. This way we could get a longer vacation than just a weekend, and we could escape the Rexburg winter for the Mexico sunshine! Right after the fall semester ended we packed up and drove to Salt Lake for our flight the next morning. Having grown up in Washington, I never had the opportunity to see the Christmas lights that adorn Temple Square at Christmas time. When we pulled up to SLC we decided that we would just drive by them (because it was about 11:00 and we were sure that the gates would be closed.) But when we saw that people were still coming in and out we ran through the wet snow, excited to experience the lights up close! Christmas lights are one of my favorite things...I just about died when we stepped inside. It was soooo beautiful and bright! I was in heaven (even though my flats were soaked through.) We walked around the grounds for quite some time before returning to the truck. We spent the night at Kirby's unlce's house.

The Christmas lights at Temple Square.

So in love with it all!

     We left early in the morning for the airport. After a couple of connecting flights we were there, in Cabo San Lucas Mexico! At first it was kind of a nightmare...they wouldn't give us the rental car that we had booked in advance, and neither of us spoke Spanish. We sat outside the airport on a curb for quite some time. One thing that I remember distictly was the crazy amount of white moths that were EVERYWHERE! The walls of the airport looked like they were moving!
Eventually we took a ride from a shuttle (that was way too expensive), but we finally made it to the resort. Our room was on the top floor, at the end of the resort, so it was nice and secluded.We immediately changed into our swimming suits and went down to the pool and the beach which were right next to eachother. The sand was so beautiful, I could have layed in it for months! Once we had played until we couldn't ignore how hungry we were, we wandered in to this restaraunt just barely outside the resort...and boy are we glad we did! The fish tacos were to die for! We ended up coming back to this restaurant for just about one meal of every day that we were there! Something I still crave is the Key Lime Pie that we shared quite often...it is literally heaven in your mouth!
The rest of our days there were about the same, sleep, beach, pool, food, repeat. I remember one day we laid in bed and watched a Back to the Future marathon...not very many couples would waste their honeymoon time doing this...but that is what I love about our relationship. It has always been that way! We are nerds through and through, and can be happy doing just about anything together. Even if it does not seem that exciting to anyone else.
We started our flight back home on December 22nd, the day before my birthday. So I spent my birthday trying to sleep on the floor of LAX while the carpet cleaners roared and annoying Christmas music echoed through the empty airport. But we made it home eventually, carrying with us our luggage, new purchases, and enough memories to keep us smiling for a lifetime :)

Other memories from the honeymoon:
  • Invisible crabs: at first we didn't notice these little buggers, they were clear, baby crabs, that scurried along the beach everywhere we went!
  • Jumping Sting Rays: One day we were just laying on the beach looking at the ocean when we saw at least 10 flopping sting rays jumping out of the water!
  • Sun Poisoning: I had it so bad I had to wear a hoody on the beach a couple of times.
  • Beach Salesmen: They were all over selling everything you can imagine! One guy even tried to sell Kirby some weed haha. We did end up buying a poncho for each of us, a Mexican blanket, and a sweet clay serving plate and bowl.
  • New friends: While in the hot tub on our last night there Kirby and I met a couple from Utah. They gave us some great advice on marriage, the rode with us to the airport and payed for the cab. Timmi (the wife) got a little teary as we parted. It is incredible how quickly and easily lives can be blessed by strangers.
  • Terrified of flying: I HATE flying so so much. I fly when I have to, but I never enjoy it. I distinctly remember bawling on the flight out of Mexico because I thought we were dying.
  • Sleeping: On the second night...I think. We went to bed at about 7 and woke up at like 3...we were exhausted!
  • Scary bus: We thought about making a trip downtown...but just walking to the bus stop about gave me a heart attack so we stayed in.

This was taken at our favorite restaurant in Mexico. You can see my sun poisoning in this picture!

This is a small part of the huge pool at the resort!

The view from our balcony.

Kirby loved riding the waves there.

A gorgeous Mexican sunset. We loved hanging out on the beach around this time of night. We found this restaurant right on the beach during one of our walks and stopped for dinner.

We had a lot of fun with the sand...

Our last time on the beach...I still miss it there!

This is part of the room we stayed in.
     Sorry for the mush, but isn't that what the first year of marriage is all about?? I'm planning on staying in this "honeymoon phase" for the rest of our lives! Thanks for baring through the memories with me!
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