Thursday, November 29, 2012


This was the first Thanksgiving Derek and I got to spend together in Florida! It was so fun to be home and spend time with family. Buffy, Greg and Chloe came down from Atlanta and Sarah and Ryan were in town on Saturday. School has been busy for Derek so I was looking forward to letting him take a break and get some rest!

Thursday we drove up and had lunch at Aunt Nez's house. As always, we had a healthy political debate over lunch and then planned our Black Friday shopping. We ended up going shopping on Thursday night and we had all of our shopping done by 11:30pm! Mom got some awesome deals and finished all of her Christmas shopping by the end of the weekend (jealous). We just hung out with my mom and dad the rest of the day and of course we watched lots of football. Friday we hung out with the Coddington and Estes families and ate another Thanksgiving dinner. No turkey at this one... just a yummy roast thanks to my FIL. Chloe is getting so big and we had a blast playing with her and getting a glimpse into her fun personality. I wish we were closer to all of the nieces and nephew, but thankfully the whole Estes family will be up in Atlanta for Christmas so we will get a chance to see them all soon. Saturday Sarah and Ryan got back from North Florida and we ate yummy yummy cheese stakes at Little Phillies. If you are ever in Satellite Beach, go there... they are the best! After we went to Viero and shopped at the outlets and got dinner. Surprisingly Derek got more clothes than I did :) He is all decked out now with a nice professional wardrobe from Banana Republic (thanks Mom and Vickie!) We had a blast with all the families... I could have used another day or two for sure!

 Our yummy dinner with the Estes and Coddingtons
Watching some football

We drove home Saturday night and recovered from the trip on Sunday. I pulled out the Christmas decorations and our family room is nice and festive now. I got a cold over the weekend so this week has been long, but I am so glad we got to go home for the holiday! I love our families and I feel so lucky to have them so close to us. I love the holiday season and I am ready to celebrate in fashion!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about being thankful and about giving. I love the recent trend of posting something you are thankful for everyday of the month. People are using Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to express their thanks, which I just love. As I have seen this, I wondered if I could come up with 30 things I am thankful for. It reminds me of a funny experience I had as a kid. For some reason, I wanted to say a really long prayer. I would see my mom and dad pray and it seemed like they were down on their knees forever! So with the resolve of a child, I sat on my knees and started praying. I ran out of things to pray about pretty quickly and so I decided to start giving thanks for all of the animals on the earth. I went through all of the animals I could think of. Then I went to people. I remember going through my whole school class and church class. Eventually I ran out of things pray about and was surprised only a few minutes had passed (it felt like an eternity). I realize that in my busy life, I often don't take the time to stop and just be thankful for everything I have. I have so many things to be thankful for and I am grateful for a month to remember all of those things. For all of you sharing your thanks on social media, thank you for sharing what is most important and precious to you! It reminds me of the blessings I have!

 Oh and I am thankful for this kid :)

I really do love November. First, every two years there is an election of some sort. I love politics and elections, but what I love the most is seeing everything come together in an election. Even if my candidate didn't win, at least I had the chance to participate in the democratic process and witness what makes America unique. Second, I get to prepare for Christmas! I love Christmas time and November means I can clean off my Harry Connick Jr CDs and get in the Christmas spirit. We haven't really been in a position to go all out and decorate for Christmas since we have been married (mainly because we travel so much this time of year) but I still enjoy putting up my small tree and putting twinkle lights around the house. Third, there is a break from school and work! Since Derek is the eternal student (thanks babe!) these little breaks are awesome! I love having him around for a few days without the distraction of school. I get a few days off work as well so it really is one of the few weeks in the year we get to enjoy each others company without distraction.

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! I hope we all take a second after we have stuffed ourselves on yummy food to be thankful for all of the little things we have. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Young Women In Excellence

So like I mentioned in the previous post, I have had the opportunity to serve in the Young Women organization in my church. Last Sunday we had Young Women in Excellence, a yearly celebration of the girls accomplishments. It was a little stressful planning and executing, but it turned out perfect. I feel so blessed to have great councilors and young women who make all of that work worth it.

We decided to have the theme be "There's No Place Like Home" from the Wizard of Oz. We each spoke as one of the characters from the story and connected it to Personal Progress. If you don't know, Personal Progress is a program our church created that helps the young girls learn more about the scriptures and learn how to be virtuous young women. We had talks on knowledge and charity and how to get home. I think the girls really enjoyed it and in all it was a fun night. I am excited for more activities to come. Next is New Beginnings and then Girls Camp!

Derek was nice enough to come translate for me
 The main table

 The girls got slipper shaped cookies and a wand as their gift
The crew :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And We're Back

So I have been debating blogging again since we left Utah. It's hard because I feel like our life is pretty boring in comparison to so many other people I know. We work, go to school, go to church and crash when we have a break. But I also feel like I want to remember these crazy times. So many people we talk to tell us to remember these fun times and the spontaneity that we get to enjoy. So I am going to start blogging to remember these fun times. Sorry if we seem boring! I'll give you a quick recap of what we have been up to!

Since we came to Florida I have started a new job. I am a training designer and scriptwriter. Basically that means I get to listen to sales calls, figure out what we can do better, write a script for the sales people to use, and then train it. It's turned out to be a really cool job! I get to write... a lot, and I love it! I have never been a super creative person (I could never write a novel) but I really enjoy technical writing. My boss is great! She has tons of experience in sales and she has taught me so much in just the first few weeks. The company I work for actually sells Vivint so I get to help with the training on that, so I am not lost all the time. It has been a crazy road to this point, but for the first time I like my job and I am not stressed out of my mind at the same time. My mom even mentioned it the other night. She said, "you never really say much about your job... which I guess is good because that means your not complaining about it!" That pretty much sums up how I feel about it! The only down side is that I have to drive about 40 miles up 95 to Deerfield Beach for work. I hope the Focus can keep up with me!

Derek is doing great with school! He has made some good friends already and seems to really be in the groove of school. He is starting to work with a local physician who teaches him how to take patient histories and general doctoring skills. Miami has been great at giving him hands on experience. He has his third health fair of the year this weekend. The health fairs are cool because they go into under-served areas of Miami (and there are a lot) and they do basic exams for the patients. For a lot of people that is their only doctors visit of the year. He has used his Spanish a ton already and I am sure it will continue to be a blessing for him throughout school.

Lastly, we have the opportunity to be in a small ward in Little Havanna. It is a really interesting experience. Our ward is about 90% Spanish speaking but the ward and stake are bilingual. So some of the meeting is in English, some in Spanish. The people are so friendly and welcoming. We have made some great friends and we are always greeted with hugs and kisses. Derek has had the opportunity to translate, which has kept him on his toes every Sunday! I think I am the hardest person to translate for because I talk so fast lol. I am working with the Young Women and it is incredibly rewarding. I love the girls and I am so grateful I can learn from them and their solid testimonies of the gospel.

Well I think that is a pretty good start to my return to blogging! I'll leave you with a picture from our balcony of a beautiful Miami sunset