Monday, July 13, 2015

Land That I Love

I love the Fourth and there is always a part of me that's sad when that last firework has been lit. This year was no different because I had the BEST FOURTH. Even if it didn't include enough patriotic music--come on radio why'd you have to fail me?

There wasn't one moment of the weekend that wasn't great. Ok, maybe fighting traffic to see the Candy Bomber wasn't a highlight. But, standing with THOUSANDS of others celebrating the goodness of people and freedom was!  

I get asked all the time why the Fourth is my favorite holiday.  I try to convince them that it should be their favorite too because: FIREWORKS!!, parades, BBQ's, courage and conviction, music that stirs your soul, that spirit of '76 that makes it ok to wear red, white, and blue themed outfits for days, not having to buy presents, and, of course, the absolutely beautiful weather. Go summer nights! They may just be the best part of summer. The fact that I can indulge my inner night owl by sitting on a porch watching fireworks or enjoying a nighttime fire makes this girl very, very happy. This year everything was made better by the fact that I could celebrate all of those with this guy.

And celebrate we did. BBQ's, Bowling, and Fireworks.

Isn't throwing a party together on some sort of relationship checklist? If so, we passed with flying colors. M thought I was joking when I said we needed decorations until I showed up with my box and proceeded to deck out his backyard. It sure did look festive--sometimes I think I missed my calling in life.

A small glimpse of the BBQ.
No to toot my own horn, but I rocked bowling! I believe it because of my pre-and-post bowl dance. My family thinks it's down to luck because I am the funniest bowler (don't worry, I know it). Rocking two games can't be just luck though. :) Can't say the same for M in our last game. He almost didn't take a picture with me because he didn't want his low score noted for posterity. And here I am doing just that. My blog, my rules. He can take comfort in the fact that I don't actually remember how low his score was.

I love sitting around around laughing with some of my favorite people of all time while eating really good food. The very definition of the Sainsbury BBQ. Sainsbury gathering can be an overwhelming event as a small one easily has 50 people. No surprise I'm always am a little apprehensive when I bring people. M was a trooper in the whole "being thrown into the family madness." 

Just in case you were in doubt, I love fireworks! Give me a chair and a blanket and I could watch them for hours.  New spot this year meant firework jackpot as we could see everything from North Salt Lake to Lehi! Added bonus: rain.

And, just because I'm not obsessed enough, I got my craft on by turning a dress I purchased last year (specifically as my Fourth outfit) into a skirt AND staying up way to late making themed cookies.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

June Round-Up

Hello June! Thanks for being a good month!

Nothing says, "Happy Birthday" like trying to attack your family in laser tag. 

It may be blurry, but I LOVE the happiness in this celebration.

This guy is doing an internship with NASA this summer (smarty pants). Our drive to Houston took us first to Cedar City for a job instill and THEN to Houston in the space of 2 1/2 days. Translation. A lot of driving in a short amount of time. That part wasn't so fun. Getting to spend loads of time with him though made it all worth while.

These guys drove an hour to spend the day at the space center with me and we had so. much. fun. Everything is always better when kids are involved.

I don't really like birthday's and the reminder that I'm getting older. But, every birthday should be celebrated by sleeping in, reading at the pool, watching TV, manicures, birthday calls. Top it off with a great birthday dinner.

Lots and lots of plays. Big Fish, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Mary Poppins, Princess Academy
Mary Poppins

Big Fish

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Princess Academy
When these guys move only 5 hours away instead of 9, it's road trip time. So much fun hangin' out with them, and hearing "mamy" all day melted my heart (and the crazy heated melted the rest of me).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

May Round-Up

No longer do I have to tell people I'm working on a website, but it's not live yet. Smarter Parenting finally went live and it's gratifying to see almost two years of work available to parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents who want to improve their family life. 

With this guy by my side, I'm a fan of the opera. 

Happy birthday to a pretty wonderful sister and play buddy.

If you missed the opportunity to see this temple you missed out. It's stunning. Like "maybe I should rethink what temple I want to get married in" stunning.


I'm grateful that we are given a day to pause, remember, and thank all those that answered the call to serve. This year was the first year we had the privileged of honoring my grandmother along with my three grandpas and there was something touching about seeing her cross and flag next to my grandpa's cross and flag. God Bless America.

Monday, June 01, 2015

You Are So Beautiful

Almost I feel like I can handle almost anything--except meeting the boyfriends family for the first time. That pushed me beyond my comfort level and I found myself stressing out over the whole thing. Are they going to like me? Are we going to have anything to talk about? What if I say the wrong thing? And on and on.  All day Saturday, I prayed a silent prayer this stress would leave and that I could be myself. Oh, and that they would like me.

Minutes before meeting the family, I was heading into the store. A girl in a bright orange tank top was walking out and said four little words, "You are so beautiful." Those four words were magic. Of all the words that could be spoken to me, these were the exact words that would provide the most comfort to my soul. They were a very real and very timely reminder from a Heavenly Father that he heard all those silent prayers, but, even more He knew the words that would speak to my soul the most. Those words reminded me that I'm enough just the way I am and that all I needed to be was myself. (Cue cheesy One Direction song.)

All of us need to be reminded that we are beautiful--inside and out! I created this today to remind me, and wanted to share it with everybody.

Feel free to download the free printable here. Don't forget to post it somewhere you can see it everyday!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

April Round-Up

Can something be lovely and hard at the same time? Well, April was just that. There were some great moments--lots of them in fact. As well as it seeming to be the longest month known to mankind on account of an incredibly busy/stressed boyfriend that I never saw. Ok. Never is an exaggeration. It just felt like that.

On the plus side, I was quite productive with all those extra hours. Those clothes that needed to be mended: check. Files on my desktop organized: check. Extra hours at work: check. Hours spent picking out the perfect fabric for my summer chair redo project: check.

We celebrated two birthdays this month and they were the perfect combination of food and lots of laughter!

Nothing says happy birthday like Mexican food.
This is what happens when we get together

Mom's birthday gang!
Make a wish!
Girls Night in the Orton household consists of plays. 

Les Mis at the Orem Hale

I make stuffed animals for each of my nieces and nephews. It's turned into quiet the undertaking, but I love creating these perfectly imperfect animals.

Every once in awhile it's important to play hookey and seeing The Sound of Music on the big screen was pretty spectacular. I've seen this movie hundreds of times, but, seeing it on the big screen was almost like seeing it for the first time as I picked up new things I'd never seen before.

Favorite Easter tradition is our annual Easter Egg hunt and this year's Easter Egg hunt was epic--lots of running and a car ride or two.
Where's our clue?
Let the hunt begin!

Many hours were spent finding the perfect fabric to redo this chair and I finally found it. A tan/gray/cream linen mix. It's beautiful and even better, it matches the chair perfectly. I've never done something like this, but it's going to be great to tackle this project.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Mom, Thanks for Teaching Me

I've spent the last couple of weeks working on a Mother's Day campaign for work (which you should check out) about what Mom has taught us.

Of course, I couldn't spend all of this time without reflecting on what I've learned from my incredible mother.

From her I've learned:
To enjoy beauty.
To appreciate well made things.
To love to read.
To trust myself and my abilities.
That family will always be there for you.
To cultivate talents.
To be kind.
To read studies.
To push myself.
To love learning.
To not be afraid to fail.
To find the best deal.
To give it my best effort.
To take opportunities to serve.
To do what I say.
To laugh at myself.
To enjoy the little things.
To be grateful for traditions.
To take time for myself.
To make bread.
To chip in. 
To know and love the Gospel.

Thanks Mom!


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

March Round Up

Another month down! Yikes!

Here's what was pretty great about March

It's becoming our thing and it's kind of nice to have our thing.

Blurry Cosi Fan Tutti selfie

I paid a pretty penny for this, but how could I not? I'm still blown away by how beautiful it is and envision it becoming a family heirloom passed down from mother to daughter.

Painting by the talented Claire Trollstrup

This car has been good to me. It's finally nice to know that it's officially mine.

Crazy antic with these people make my heart happy. They truly are my biggest blessing.

Easter Dinner at Ikea

I caught up with my museum family and how I miss and love them. They are truly people I will call friends forever. I still get teary eyed thinking that it's been six months since it all ended.

And of course the absolutely stunning weather, which I failed to document.