Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Temple Trip with the Families

One of the most important things to me is my family. As a middle child, I think it is embedded in my DNA to want everyone to get along and be happy. There is nothing better to me then sitting around with all of my family, talking, eating and just being together. I think I get that from my Mom. Over Christmas, I realized how much I love both of my families. I love being an aunt, a sister-in-law, a sister, a daughter and a daughter-in-law. Oh yeah and a wife ;) One of the most fortunate things is that I feel like I have another set of parents in Phil and Vickie.

Since Derek and my parents knew each other long before we ever thought about dating, it has made our lives infinitely easier. We can all go out to dinner together and it feels natural and fun. This weekend we had the chance to go to Orlando to go to the temple. This is where Derek and I were married and I love this temple so much!

My parents, Sarah and Ryan and Vickie and Phil all joined us. We drove up to Melbourne and drove over with Vickie and Phil. It was an awesome afternoon... one that I needed! Its hard to have the temple be 4 hours away! The Ft Lauderdale temple should be finished early fall this year, which will be amazing. We will only have to go about 45 minutes. Until then we are going to go to Orlando as much as our schedule allows.

After we went and got Chinese food (Have I mentioned my family loves Chinese food?) and chatted. It was great to have everyone together and having a good time. It means so much to me that we can go to the temple with our families and that we have the gospel in our lives.

Cant forget our sister picture!

It was a really great weekend. Wish we had another day to be with everyone, but now they all owe us a trip to Miami!

Christmas with the Humpherys

We started our Christmas break with my family. We went up on Saturday, the same day Mike and Kelly got in town. It had been about 6 months since I had seen Mike so it was great to all be together again! We had a really nice weekend of eating, playing games, going to church, and napping. Sunday night we all participated in a Humpherys family tradition of caroling with the missionaries. We visited several families and investigators and, thanks to Sarah, Kelly, Mike and the Elders, we sounded the best we ever have! It helps when you have a few music majors and a vocal performance major in the mix. It really makes it feel like Christmas driving around and singing Christmas songs together. We also visited our my mom's friend Rene's family. Her son Luke has down syndrome and is in love with Sarah. He macked on her all night and kept telling Ryan to get lost... pretty cute! Monday we celebrated my Dad's birthday. Since his birthday is Christmas eve, we have a fun ritual so it feels like his birthday instead of Christmas. This tradition is presents, Chinese food for lunch and a movie. We also played volleyball at the courts at the Satellite Beach library in the morning. Mike, Kelly, Derek and I were a team and we got worked.... so did our arms but it was really fun. Even Comet came along. We had an awesome lunch of Chinese food and then saw The Hobbit. Dad lucked out with his gifts... Mom got him a surround sound system because he gave up 1980's speakers this summer. That night we went to celebrate Christmas with mom's family at Rose's house. Crystal always takes the best pictures and she did great at capturing our family that night.

Here is the whole crew!

Me and grandma

Sarah and I with Crystal
Me and Derek

Sarah and Ryan had to go spend time with Ryan's family after the party so we rushed home and opened all of our gifts. We exchanged names this year and then Mom and Dad got us all gifts. My mom is the best gift giver. She always thinks of little things that we love and she makes the whole Christmas experience fun. Even as a 25 year old, I still love the excitement of opening my presents. Derek got some nice clothes to wear for when he sees patients and I got a sewing machine! I cant wait to get some practice under my belt and get better at sewing again. Mike and Kelly pulled my name and I think their gift was my favorite of this year... a Vampire Diaries shirt with Damon on the front. What more could a girl want?!?
The whole weekend was awesome. It went MUCH too fast, but it was a great time being with family and relaxing. The best part was I didn't have to get on a plane to go home! I am looking forward to many more Florida Christmases!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas with the Estes

Derek had a whole 2 weeks off school so we decided to make the most of it and spend time with family. We spent Christmas weekend with the Humpherys family (Pics and post to come). On the 26th Derek flew to Atlanta with his parents and I went back to work for two days. I flew up late on Thursday and met the whole Estes clan in Atlanta. It was the first time since our wedding the whole Estes family was together at the same time! It was an awesome weekend. 

Carrie and Dusten flew in from Washington state with Gwen and Arielle. They had tons of delays because of the winter storms  in the Northeast but the girls handled it awesome. They stayed over at Buffy's with Buffy, Greg and Chloe. Derek, Me, Vickie and Phil stayed at Steve and Wendy's (about 20 minutes away) with the twins, Layla and Luke. They were great hosts! The brothers/boys spent a lot of time together bonding and enjoying being together and us girls had the chance to take the little girls to do all sorts of fun things. My mother in law planned a plethora of fun activities for the girls and they went nuts. It was a little crazy with 6 girls all the time, but it helped that I had two extra hands to help with. 

We took the girls to Build a Bear for a party. The girl who helped us was really good with the kids and they loved it. She had the girls give their bear's heart a kiss and had them do a little good luck dance... it was really cute. 

 Vickie ordered all of the girls sleeping bags from Pottery Barn. She had them embroidered with their names and then got matching sleeping bags for their bears. She also got them matching pajamas. We had the girls go upstairs at Buffy's and then we laid out all of the sleeping bags with their PJs. They came running down the stairs and found their sleeping bags and PJs then laid around and watched a movie. It was super fun! 
Since Carrie now lives in washington, she doesn't have Publix so we had to stop in and get her favorites. She exposed me to Publix two-bite brownies and nutella... It literally changed my world. Best snack ever!
We also had the chance to have family pictures taken while we were there, It was really cold out so we ended up doing it at Steve and Wendy's house. I cant wait to see how they turned out. Here is my sneak pic of Mimi and all her grand babies. They are a ridiculously cute bunch!
Buffy, Carrie and I snuck out for a little girl time and saw Les Mis. IT WAS AMAZING!!! I loved it! I was surprised how emotional I was in it. I saw the traveling Broadway a few years back but the movie just really struck me. Anne Hathaway was killer and Hugh Jackman was a hunk. I can't believe how much talent they recruited for the film. Definitely a classic for me now. And I am glad I got to go with the girls because I am sure Derek would have thought I was a crazy person as I cried through most of it.

Even though we all went in differnt directions during the day, we all got to do dinner together each night. It was a little crazy feeding 17 people, but the chaos was fun. I love being around family and I especially love being an aunt!

We also took a trip to Lego Land. Arielle and Gwen are so funny together. Gwen is the lone blondie in the family... all of the other girls have the exact same shade of brown hair. It looks like our kids have a good change of being brunettes like their mom :) Gwen is currently obsessed with Gangham Style. I think she is partly responsible for getting that YouTube video to a billion views. She can do the dance amazingly well! We told Carrie to tape her and send it to Ellen... we were all dying laughing at her!

Here is Derek with the twins and Chloe. They all loved to jump on their Uncle Derek and have him wrestle with them. He was a trooper!

These girls were my shadows. We had so much fun primping and playing. One of the days Vickie and I loaded Tabitha, Tatum, Arielle and Layla in the mini van to go out. Vickie and I looked back to make sure we had everyone and Tatum said "You guys are so pretty." It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. Tabitha loved to come up to me and grab my cheeks and tell me she loved me. Being an aunt is the best!

I didn't realize little kids loved cameras so much but my phone was hijacked more than one over the trip and I found some pretty funny pictures. This was one of my favorites. Gwen is doing her Popeye smile. 

All in all the trip was awesome! I have the best sister-in-laws. They are amazing mothers and I love that we can all be friends. Vickie did so much to plan this trip... it really was a dream for all of us! I look forward to many more trips like this in the future. Hope you all had a great Christmas with your families!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goals and Resolutions

So I don't know about all of you, but the new year always inspires me to be better. I want to get organized and meet all these goals for myself. But pretty much every year the goals seem too lofty and impossible to reach. By February the gleam of the new year is gone and I have royally failed at my goals so I give up.

Inherently I have a short attention span. I think that is why I love selling so much. I can work with a customer and just when I got bored a new customer comes along with a new challenge and my attention is grabbed again. So, instead of fighting my nature, (I am leaving that for another year) I decided to embrace my ADD nature and set smaller, monthly goals. I found a calendar template on Publisher and set some goals.

There are some secrets on here so I don't want to spoil them for anyone reading.
Plus its fun to blur out some things... it creates a sense of mystery :)

I have stapled my budget goals to the calendar and I placed them in a sheet protector. Now I can carry my goals with me wherever I go and they seem a lot more attainable. It helps me with planning our week and not forgetting little things along the way. I don't know how well this will work but I am optimistic. Don't judge my feeble attempts to be a good housewife (aka cooking and budgeting). Derek and I have a busy year with lots of goals that will take some hard work and dedication to accomplish. I am ready to kick some butt and have a great 2013! What are you doing this year to be better? Do you set yearly/weekly/monthly goals?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

2012 was quite the year! I still can't believe that this time last year we were just getting back from Miami and we were committing to moving here. I was managing the Retention Department at Vivint and was working crazy hours. Derek was finishing undergrad and enjoying his only "easy" semester of college. Our lives are so different now! While life is equally chaotic, it seems we have learned to enjoy the chaos a little more. I am so grateful for the amazing experiences we have had over the last year that have gotten us to this point. 2012 brought challenges but was the year that propelled us into a future both Derek and I are excited about. Here is a recap, by month, of our year.

Planned our move to Miami. Derek started his last semester at BYU and I told my job we were leaving.

We went to Derek's mission (Toronto, CA) with the Petersons

Signed a lease to move to Miami, started packing and saying goodbye to friends

Derek got Lasik, Derek graduated, we drove across the country and got to stay with friends and family in Tennessee and Georgia

We celebrated our 3 year anniversary, I turned 25 and we enjoyed a month of no rent while we stayed with my parents

We moved to Miami!

We visited South Carolina with the Estes and settled into our new apartment

Sarah and Ryan visited Miami, I finished working at Vivint, Derek started medical school

I started my new job at Acquinity, I got called as Young Women's president, Derek turned 25

Visited Pennsylvania with Mom, Sarah, Betsy and Aunt Nez

Had our first Florida Thanksgiving together, Hosted YW in Excellence

Derek finish his first semester of medical school, had a Humpherys Christmas and an Estes New Year

I probably missed a thousand things, but those were some of the big events of this year. Like I said it was a crazy year! I am excited for what 2013 has to offer! More posts to come about resolutions and goals :)