Friday, February 26, 2010

Haircut Happiness!

SO.... Wednesday, I got my hair cut and more low lights... and it ended up being quite a bit darker than it was before...  I'm thinking that I basically LOVE it like this!!!
Anyone else get a cute cut lately??

Fantastic Family, Pt. 4

This is the last post about my week with the girls, I promise!!!

So, Friday morning came around, and I was feeling (ahem) a little under the weather.  Good thing I had my mama there to take care of me, huh!?!

Since I wasn't able to go to school, and the girls were flying out of Vegas early Saturday morning, we decided the smart thing to do was to go down the afternoon before.  So we did!

We stopped at the St. George Temple to show it to Claire & Erin.  It's closed for cleaning for 2 weeks, but wanted them to see it anyway!  I really think this is a gorgeous temple!  Especially when you see it against the red rock!

After our pit stop at the Temple, we headed down to Vegas.  Our first stop?  The Temple!  Yep!  That's 2 in 2 hours!!  But this time, we did go in and do baptisms, since Claire was with us (and Atlanta's closed for 2 years, so my fmaily has to drive really far to go to one)!

Can we just pause for a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Claire is??

Don't you just wish you could hate her!?!  Too bad she's so nice, and smart, and talented... Oh wait!  Those are even better reasons!

Next stop: The Stratosphere!!  Dad offered to pay for all of us to go on the rides at the top!  Mama said no.  Erin & Claire did one.  And I did both that were open!  It was SO high and SO fun!  One was like Tower of Terror up on that pointy needle part.  The other was like a revolving claw that tips you down towards the ground and then spins you out over the edge of the building.  That's the one I did by myself!  It was pretty freaky, but totally worth it!

After our adrenaline rush, we went to the Luxor to check into our room!  We chilled for a bit and then took off to show Claire the city (she'd never been).  We went to one of my favorite joints on the Strip: The Bellagio!  Why??  (Do you even have to ask?!?!)


Then we watched the fountain show!  Still pretty every time!

And then we walked back to the Luxor and got ready for bed!  The girls left early the next morning to catch their flights (they hugged me, but I was still half asleep).  And I slept in a little bit and then took off to come back home!

On my way, though, I stopped one of the 2 Starbucks in our hotel to get the perfect breakfast: hot cocoa and a chocolate croissant!

A Taste of Heaven!

I was one HAPPY girl!

The whole week was wonderful!  I loved seeing my mom and sisters!  I loved seeing cousins!  I loved sharing my new home and world with the people I love who haven't been here yet!  I loved making new memories and taking WAY too many pictures!

Ladies- Thank you for giving up your breaks to be with me!  Thanks for spending time away from home, husbands, and friends, and for spending it with me instead!  I love you!  I am greatful for you!  And I am so happy that our family will be together forever!  I can't imagine it any other way!

Fantastic Family, Pt. 3

After brunch at Denny's, we hit the road (yet again) to go back to St. George!  On the way, Claire taught me how to crochet!  She learned a couple weeks ago and is quite the excellent teacher!  (On a side note, I'm almost done with a hat/scarf/mitten set, and will be posting about it soon.) 

When we hit town, it was dinner time, so we introduced Claire to the In-famous In-N-Out. (It's more than famous!!)  She'd never been before, and it was a success!

After In-N-Out we went to see Valentine's Day.  I thought the parts that had Ashton Kutcher or Jennifer Garner (or Taylor Lautner... although I may deny that if ever asked) were good.  But on the whole, I felt like it was disjointed and didn't flow enough...  Cute enough to watch, though!

Tuesday I had to teach, but we had a fun night planned, so the day went quickly!!  First, we had dinner at Cafe Rio (Claire had also never been there).  I made her order the pork barbacoa.  SO DELICIOUS!!!

Then we went ice skating (also a first for Claire)!  I am both pleased and proud to announce that she did not fall at all!!!  I wish I could say the same of my first time on the ice!  Haha!  Evan Lysacek better switch to pairs and pick one of us as a partner!

Mom didn't want to skate (she didn't want her 14-year-old to show her up, I think)... so she was kind enough to take pictures for us!


She eventually did skate without holding on to me!

Wednesday, Claire came to school with me!  It was fun having her there!  My students loved having her too... Especially the boys, who were very quick to point out that some of them are only a year younger than her, and that they're very mature for their ages.  Yeah right!  But they haven't stopped asking about her since!

For lunch, Mama dropped us off some Jack in the Box tacos, at Dad's request.

Wednesday night, we had my branch additional Relief Society meeting for the month.  As the 1st Counselor (and the one over the meetings), I had to go early.  Claire was a good sport and went to help me!  It was Nail Night, and we both came away looking cute (and oh so girly)!

Claire's toes... I did the flowers!!!

After that, we got milkshakes with Mama and watched the Olympics.  Then, about 11pm, when Claire had gone to bed and I was working on grading, Mama decided she had to go to WalMart for something.  I was busy enough updating grades that I didn't think twice about it.  She came back 45 minutes later with a surprise... ERIN!!!  I think they both walked in and I said, "Hey Mom!  Hey Erin!  ....  ERIN?!?!?!?"  It was great!  And, of course, we felt like a picture was required to mark the occasion!

No makeup, pajamas, retainers, and all!!

It was a wonderful surprise!  I had no idea!  Erin & Justin had been traveling on their week off, but Justin had to get back to work.  So I guess Erin & Mama had planned the whole thing that day!  I can't remember the last time all of us girls (and JUST us girls) were together!  I loved it!

Fantastic Family, Pt. 2

So, after the matinee of Chase's play on Saturday, we drove down to Monroe to see some cousins on the other side, the Abbotts!

I've had the priviledge of becoming really close with this family in the past year, or so, and I love them SO much!!  Visiting them with Mama & Claire was particularly fun because Greg is Mama's oldest brother and the two of them are hilarious together!!

Sunday was Valentine's Day, and Liz (who is an AMAZING cook) made giant sugar cookies for us to decorate!!

My cousin, Shannon, got engaged a few weeks ago to Preston.  They're getting married in August, and I'm so happy for the two of them!  Getting to know him that weekend was a blast!  He is an amazing guy and will be a great husband for Shannon and a great dad for Riley!!  What a keeper!

The Happy Couple
Claire & I

We got to help my cousin, Michael, ask a girl to Prom, by decorating her room...  So fun and such a flashback!  He had all this princess stuff for her and a poster that said "I'd feel like a king if you'd be my princess at the Prom!"  Again, I say, way to go, studly cousins!!

Shannon & I got a little carried away during the decorating!
Glitter-y Goodness!!

Don't you just love this little picture??
Hey, thanks!  I took it!!!

On Monday morning, we did a pajama breakfast at Denny's!  So yummy and such great company!  Hooray for omlettes!  And for people willing to go out in public while not "properly" clothed!

Preston & Shannon
Mama, Aubrey, & Aunt Liz
Uncle Greg, Claire, & I
Michael & Preston's little brother

Abbotts, I love you!  Thanks for being related to me!!

Fantastic Family, Pt. 1

I love, love, love trips and visits, and taking a ton of pictures, but I hate how it seems to take forever to load the pics onto my computer, edit them, and then upload and blog about the details of said visits!!!  Especially when there's enough to require multiple posts (you have been warned)!

So... without further ado, here's the excitement I've had lately!!

Two weeks ago, Claire had Winter Break, and she and Mama flew out here from ATL to visit me!  We had a blast!  It was full of fun, food, and a few suprises!!

They flew in Las Vegas and drove up before school ended on Friday, the 12th.  As soon as I got home, we jumped in the car and drove up to Bountiful to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Woods Cross High School, where my cousin, Chase, played the lead (Adam)!  I LOVED that movie as a kid, and was thrilled that the musical version is also precious!

We didn't think we'd make it, since it's close to a 5 hour drive, and we didn't leave until 2:30pm, but thanks to Mama "Leadfoot" Houghtaling, we pulled into the parking lot at 6:42... 18 minutes before the show started!

Crazy Cousins!
Chase & I... isn't he such a stud!?!
Cole & I... my Valentine 2 years running!!!
Kendall came up for the weekend, which was a suprise!
Claire was embarrassed about getting too close to Chase, so we taught her a thing or two about "kissing cousins!"
Quinn is the best country-dancing partner EVER!!!

We went to the show Friday night and to the Saturday matinee!  But Saturday morning, Kendall & I went to run some errands...  at one point, I SLAMMED my foot in her car door!!!  OUCH!!

She was only a little less than supportive!
It really was so fun to get a chance to catch up with Kendall!  She is SO amazing, and as a freshman at BYU, is juggling so much!  I admire her "go-get-her"-ness and her love for those around her!

Bottom line... I LOVE THESE SMOOCHIE-WOOCHIE-CAPPELLUCCIS!!!  What a wonderful start to my week with the fam!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


How do you end up with something this ugly and painful on your knee without any clue how it got there??

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fire, Fire Burning on the 2nd Floor! Oh-oh-oh-oh!!!

So... yesterday afternoon was relatively peaceful and relaxing except when interrupted by the sounds of our building fire alarm going off.  Sarina and I left our apartment in a very calm, cool, collected manner... we even remembered to grab our laptops, purses, and scriptures on our way out!  Yay for getting things that matter!!

The alarm was really loud in our apartment... but outside, it was even LOUDER!!!

When we got outside, we called our apartment's after-hours maintenance line and 911.  And then we wait for the fire department to come!
As we waited, we saw a man run in a towel around the edge of the building, see us... and then turn around and run back...  we now officially call him Towel Boy!  It was pretty funny!

Apparently, a second story apartment on the opposite corner of the building had their sprinklers go off... no real fire... but we got to wait it out outside anyways.  We went for a walk to that side of the building and saw water gushing through the walls of the apartment and through the window of the apartment below.

Here's a little bit of the flooding (this was at the beginning... it got MUCH worse before it stopped):
When the fire department came, they finally shut off the sound and the water sprinkler.  And we got to go back inside.  They were there for about 2 1/2 hours getting the water off and cleaned out.
It was kind of exciting!  Especially since none of our stuff got wet or ruined!