Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Go, Live Your Dream."

Well, I finally saw the movie that everyone has been raving about.
It really is as cute as people are saying.
Everyone should see it.
It'll make you happy and give you warm fuzzies inside.
Oh... and the chameleon, Pascal? He's my absolute favorite. :)

Gotta love a good Disney movie-musical.
Especially the ones with Prince Charming, a princess
And Happily Ever Afters :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Beneath the Green Tree.

A snapshot of our lovely tree, on this Eve of Christmas. :) Some may notice, there aren't any presents placed on the skirt beneath our beautiful tree. Not a single one. My dad decided to start a new Christmas tradition this year. He gathered the family around the tree this evening and asked us what was missing. 

Throughout the month, we had noticed that there weren't any presents being placed under the tree. Had we made Santa's naughty list? Although that may have been a very reasonable guess, ;) we were assured that Christmas was still coming to our home. Mom told us that Daddy didn't want to put any presents under the tree until Christmas Eve.

Tonight, Dad finally explained to us his new tradition. We were reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ's birth. A beautiful tiny miracle that was born. Christ's birth was the most incredible gift ever given to the world. He came to us the night of Christmas. So my dad talked about leaving the presents hidden and keeping the space underneath the tree bare until the night of Christmas, so we could remember the greatest gift of all.

I loved the idea, and I'm thinking it will be a wonderful tradition to continue when I have a family of my own. Now when I look at the foot of the tree, I remember the sacrifice given and the love Heavenly Father has for each of us. I remember the long cold night that Mary and Joseph spent in the stable. I remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. His birth, his life, and the atonement that follows truly is the greatest Christmas gift ever given. Here's something I wrote about our new little tradition. I hope everyone has the most wonderful Christmas holiday. Much love, and to all a good night. ;)

Beneath the Green Tree.
A long time ago
In Galilee
A Bright star shown
For the world to see.

A small babe was born
In Bethlehem
And would suffer here
To atone for men.

See, before His time
The world was dim
And many people
Waited for Him.

 But under the star
He was sent to earth
And our lives would change
Because of His birth

So many would travel
From places afar
To see this babe, 
Born 'neath the star.

Twas Jesus Christ
In the manger lay,
Hence the greatest gift
Was given that day.

Now years gone by
We cherish his life
We remember his glory
And in solemn, his strife.

And every year
Many put up a tree
With a star placed on top
As was in Galilee

But under our tree
No presents will lay
For Christ wasn't born
Until Christmas day.

So gifts are still wrapped
Stowed away with care,
But until Christmas day
'Neath the tree remains bare.

We remember how empty
This world that we live in
Would be, if our Savior 
Had never been given.

Then on Christmas Night
Beneath star and tree,
Gifts are carefully laid
For the family to see.

To resemble that night
When born was God's Son
The best gift to us
That ever would come.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

It's Christmas Eve!
According to the online Santa tracker,
Santa is now riding into New York City
And is due in Utah in about four hours

This year's Christmas Eve has been wonderful.
Today I spent time with my amazing family.

We drove to Hardware Ranch
We went on a wagon ride to see the elk.
Usually they take you on rides in horse-drawn sleighs,
But there wasn't enough snow outside.
(There was more snow than there is in Riverton though!)

 We visited on the way, listened to Christmas music...
We had a delightful time.

 Then we came home, prepared the house for tomorrow,
And wrapped Christmas presents!
Daddy accidentally gave away the surprise of one of my gifts...
Now i'm excited :)

And then we watched this:

Not quite my idea of a family movie on Christmas Eve
But it was good enough. And we had fun.

 Now the kids are nestled snug in their beds...
...and I'm thinkin' I'm headed that way too.
Sweet dreams and Merry Christmas 
(In like... 20 minutes)

Much love.

magic strung on trees :)

A trip downtown to Temple Square
Is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
The city is bustling with holiday festivities,
And the temple is surrounded by bright twinkling lights.
Many people wander past the gorgeous temple in awe,
It's magnificent structure towering over the crowds
And illuminating the city in it's light and beauty.
Temple Square is the number one tourist attraction in Utah
And it's no wonder why...
Temple Square is simply beautiful.
Especially at Christmas time.

I love walking around the city in the cold night air
To see all the wonderful lights.
A holiday stroll at Temple Square
Also always reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.

As they say, it's the most wonderful time of the year.
Today I went on a little trip to Temple Square
With Mom, Brooklyn, and Trae Sorenson

I don't know what Christmas would be
 Without walking through Temple Square
To see all the pretty lights.

Happy Holidays everyone :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bestfran's Forevuh! (and some other stuff)

This Christmas break has been filled with wonderful reunions with amazing friends. Here are some pictures.

Last Thursday, I spent the evening with Chase Quinn. We've known each other since sixth grade! I had such a fun time visiting with his family. His older brother Colyn Quinn just returned home from a mission, so it was nice to see him after two years! And I've always admired Chase's parents, they are such sweet and genuine people. Chase and I made gingersnap cookies while we watched Legally Blonde the Musical... for old times' sake. Then we watched videotapes from our sixth grade "Riverton Raccoon Reports" and spent time catching up on life, visiting and laughing. It was great to see Chase and the Quinn family during this happy time of year!

Friday night, I got to see this handsome boy. Jonathan (Moose) Cooper and I have been friends throughout high school, and it was great to see him again! I went to his house to see his ADORABLE new puppies, and he and I visited with the rest of his family. They are also very wonderful people. Then Moose and I went to Jim's Family Restaurant for a late dinner, and we enjoyed catching up on life over some delicious 9pm breakfast :)

This morning I was reunited with these two gorgeous girls, Meagan Desmond and Ashley Berg. The three of us go WAY back... we've known each other since our joy school days at ages three and four. It was truly delightful to have breakfast with them this morning. I'm so happy to hear about how well their lives are going and how much we've all grown up! haha :) We enjoyed the morning, talked about our lives and caught up on everything we've missed about each other... and we got a little camera happy too! What're three best friends to do? ;)
 (We're nerds. Love you girls.)

And that doesn't even begin to describe all of my adventures with friends. Last week I went to Riverton High School and saw a handful of people I know who still attend school there. It was fun to stop by and say hi to everyone. I also went to Subway for lunch with Dylan MacDonald, and I saw Dylan again last night when He and Brittany Hathaway came over for a night of visiting and videogames. Hopefully I'll get to see even more people before I'm back up in Ogden for spring semester.

Here are some other things I've been up to this Christmas break...
I posted a picture of this darling vintage hat on my blog a while ago and I actually found one just like it! I was shopping with Mom in the mall and the moment I tried it on... I just had to purchase it. I was pretty excited.

P.S. Grandma Pack... if you're reading this post, this hat is technically from you and Grandpa for Christmas but... I couldn't wait until the end of the week to wear it. I just couldn't. 
So I'm sorry to ruin the surprise, but... Thank you!! haha, I love it! :)

Also, as an early "Merry Christmas" to myself, I got my hair colored! Instead of sticking with my usual blonde highlights, I decided to go back to a color that is similar to my natural color. Not TOO much of a difference, but it is considerably darker than before (See the picture with Chase, and then the picture with Meags and Ash) But it was fun and I like having a bit of a change. Thanks Mom and Dad!

(I know it's a goofy picture... but you get the idea, right?)

So all is well right now! Haha... It still hasn't quite registered in my mind that Christmas is this week. I still have a few things to do before the holiday. But life is great. Daddy's birthday was yesterday, and tonight the family is going to see Brooklyn as Clara in a children's production of The Nutcracker. Oh... and it finally snowed in Riverton! This makes me quite jovial. ;)

Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, drive safe and stay warm! 
Much love and Merry Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 a.m. wonderland.

Tonight, I'm back up in Ogden.
Yep, Ogden. 
I know... not quite in my agenda, but it's okay.
Things worked out.
I'll be glad to return home to Riverton tomorrow though.

But tonight was fun. I spent some time with my friend Josh Valdez. He is freaking delightful. ;) We made a delicious holiday mix at his home and listened to some tunes while we worked in the kitchen ... I love the Christmas classics. We were both singing along- Josh and I had some wonderful holiday spirit.

When we were finished making our holiday goodies (after a spontaneous trip to Wal-mart and redbox and the like...) We made extra chocolatey hot chocolate in green Christmas cups and we watched this-

(Our choice of film from said spontaneous redbox trip). Neither of us had seen it before. It was a lovely movie, Josh and I both enjoyed it. 

But it wasn't until after the film that we received our most wonderful treat yet. At three in the morning when I was on my way out, we opened the front door to a magical world of white winter. 

A heavy blanket of white lay untouched and sparkling on the cold ground. Snow flurries swirled around our faces and drifted downward in the soft glow of the streetlamps. Despite the cold that bit my nose and ears, the corners of my lips lifted from cheek to cheek in a wide grin as I lifted my head skyward to gaze at the darkness above me. From this seemingly endless expanse, a tiny bit of heaven was falling down around us.

I bid Josh farewell and slowly walked towards my little car, carefully leaving a single set of footprints behind me. Turning up the heaters of my Holly-baby, I clutched the snow-scraper and cleared off the windows and prepared to make the slow and steady drive back to my little apartment.

As I drove past WSU campus, stores, shops, and houses I marveled at the beauty of the snow falling down around me while my Christmas music softly played through the radio. There wasn't a single person in sight. The town was locked up tight... everything so serene. When I pulled into the lot outside my apartment I turned the ignition off and sat for a moment; admiring the view. When it snows, the world is quieted with a calm silence that seems almost tangible. After stopping to appreciate the beauty one last time, I finally stepped indoors and welcomed the warmth of my apartment.

Still the snow is lightly falling outside my window.
Absolutely beautiful.
Step back, take a deep breath
And realize we're living within a big, beautiful miracle called life.

It really is the simple moments like that for which I live.
And of course I couldn't retire for the night without posting about it when I arrived home. 
It really is lovely outside.
I wish I had a special somebody to dance in the snow with. ;)

Here are a couple of quotes-

"You're like that first snow flake falling to earth in a calm winter night. I can see you way off in the distance above, falling so gracefully and so delicately. You seem to stand out from all the other flakes. You're somehow independent and strong, but yet so fragile. It's so peaceful to watch and just wonder what it took for me to find you. That one in the snowstorm that makes it worth the blizzard following. You're that one snowflake that is truly from heaven and has been sent just for me."

"There comes a time in every life when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn to know the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying."
-Sarah Dessen

Goodnight world, Merry Christmas.
Much love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vintage love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas is in the air

It feels so nice to be home for holiday break. I'm not gonna lie, I love Weber State and all of my experiences there thus far. But Ogden was lacking in Christmas spirit. Majorly. Lacking. It was a busy place void of any holiday cheer. It didn't help that our little apartment didn't have ANY decorations.

So it was very refreshing to see the christmas lights glowing on the house as I pulled in the driveway Friday evening. I walked inside and my lovely collection of Nutcrackers were sitting in the living room... the tree was lit, the manger was placed on the wooden hutch, our little christmas village was displayed on the coffee table. The scent of mom's new scentsy candles drifted through the air, and Caesar was at the top of the stairs to greet me.
Home sweet home.

This weekend has been a great kick-off for the holidays. On Friday night, I went to Allred's Christmas Concert at The Rail in SLC. I love his music, and we got a free CD and hot cocoa at the concert. I've been listening to his Christmas music all weekend, and the roof of my mouth is still burnt from my hot chocolate... But it was still delicious.

Saturday morning I was woken up early (Well, only 8:30 am early...) because Brooklyn wanted me to put on her stage makeup. Brooklyn is rehearsing for a community production of The Nutcracker. During lunchtime I brought her a Subway sandwhich (her favorite).
When I walked into the building, I heard Tchaikovsky's wonderful melodies emanating from the auditorium. I was instantly filled with nostalgia. I'll always miss being in The Nutcracker. After six years of The Nutcracker consuming my holiday life, Christmas time is just not the same without it. My little sister looked darling in her costume and ringlets, and I'm excited to see her perform in a week. :)

Saturday evening Benjamin and Brooklyn were performing in their annual Christmas voice recital. I went with Mom and Dad to support them. I loved hearing all of the Christmas songs, and Benjamin and Brooklyn were fantastic. Benjamin sang "I'm Gettin Nuttin for Christmas" and Brooklyn sang "Deck the Halls with Craziness". They were both so charming. It was an hour well-spent.

Following the recital, the family went to Arctic Circle for shakes (and dinner, but what's Arctic Circle if you don't have ice cream?) After Dad finished his whole burger (which was big and messy) without spilling on himself, I managed to drip my shake (not as big or messy) down the front of my jacket. Go figure that I would be the one to do such a clutzy thing. But the ice cream was delicious. It doesn't matter how chilly it is outside... I love the stuff.

After dinner with the fam, I visited Parker O' Very. He was having a missionary farewell party (as opposed to having an openhouse after he spoke in sacrament). It ended up being more enjoyable than I expected, and I had a great time catching up with some dear high school friends.

This morning I went to Parker O' Very's farewell talk, and he did a marvelous job. Not to mention I was extremely happy to finally be singing Christmas hymns in church :) The meeting was wonderful. I got to catch up with even more friends from high school, and it was nice to see so many friendly faces.

So, only three days into the vacation, my life has already been filled with joy and holiday spirit. It's finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas ;) Festive music has been streaming through car radios, Riverton's adorable lights have been strung throughout the town, and now we're just waiting on some snow to complete the lovely holiday picture. I'm looking forward to many fun adventures while I'm away from school (Temple Square? Parties? Sleigh rides? Christmas shopping!) And I'm already enjoying every minute.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!
Much love.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

L'amore Italia

One day, I'm going to travel to Italy.
I don't know when, but one day; it will happen.

I'm going to travel to Italy
I'll stay the night at an old hotel
I'm going to eat way too much gelato,
And stroll down cobblestone streets...
I'll stuff myself full of cheesy tortellini
And dine on a heaping plate of spaghetti
I'll visit and explore all of Italy.
I'm going to marvel at the history
And take thousands of pictures.

There's an old legend...

About a gorgeous place called The Bridge of Sighs
When two lovers kiss In a gondola
Underneath the Bridge of Sighs
They are promised true love and eternal happiness

...I'm going to travel to Italy with the man of my dreams.
We'll stay the night at an old hotel
I'll eat all of his gelato,
We'll hold hands while we stroll down cobblestone streets,
We'll stuff ourselves full of cheesy tortellini
And we'll share a heaping plate of spaghetti
(Imagine Disney's Lady in the Tramp?)
We'll visit and explore all of Italy.
We'll marvel at the history
And we'll take millions of pictures.
--And of course at sunset
We'll go for a romantic ride in a gondola.
il mio unico vero amore

...Just me and my one true love.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Perfectionist.

For the life that was full of potential but never realized
Hidden amongst the heap of long-forgotten dreams
We begin down the often-traveled path of mediocrity

Losing ourselves in the awe-filled view of our mentors
Incomparable to the genius, the hero and the inventor,
We are surrounded by insurmountable beauty and brilliancy

Measuring the unreachable success of those we want to follow
Now firmly unbelieving in what we once-attempted to achieve
In frustration we look upon them with the bitter taste of jealousy

In mourning for an opportunity long-lost,
We endlessly strive to conquer our inevitable imperfections
While underestimating the influence of ourselves, the ordinary

But a sudden spark of imagination appears from some unknown
Enlightening us once more with the hope of reaching perfection
And we desperately grasp this hope with a new-found energy.

At last believing in the greatness of our full capacity
Carefully stepping around each insignificant flaw
We embrace a sudden burst of confidence in our capability

To be the creator of our own remarkable accomplishments
Hoping to play an unforgotten part in this stunning world
And yearning for a breakthrough of endless possibility

For the life that is full of potential and finally realized
Found amongst the heap of once-forgotten dreams
We begin down the golden path of self-discovery.