we have a car.

and it is glorious thing, this having a car.  john let me drive it home from the dealer, and when we arrived he asked, "did you enjoy driving it on its maiden voyage?"

you bet i did.


ice cream, christmas pillowcases, and other things i love.

things i am loving lately:

christmas pillowcases from my mom.

this handsome man.

scones for lunch.

our two and a half hour nap today.
john's wonderful fried rice.
knowing that there are only 27 sleeps until christmas.



i love the holidays.  love love love.  this week was a breath of fresh air - we needed the break so badly.  on thanksgiving day, we played soccer in the morning, and then went to my dad's parents' house for a delicious dinner.  my grandma is a fabulous cook and we totally gorged.  my aunt made these cute turkeys out of candy.  {aren't they awesome?!}  and monkey ate a full turkey leg by himself.  

on friday we went to  the muppets movie with my mom's side of the family.  we were entertained by it, and who doesn't love the muppets?  we then ate homemade chinese food, and i will always uphold that my family's won-tons are way better than any take-out won-tons.  {i think john would agree}.  the weekend was full of black-friday shopping and tons of family fun.  
p.s.  have you seen new girl?  we kind of love it.  it is hilarious.  hope you had a wonderful "hanksgiving" too!


what i'd rather do than go car shopping.

i kind of dislike car shopping.  i also kind of dislike car salesmen.  i also kind of dislike car dealerships.  but most of all, i dislike that just a week before the explorer died, we were hoping and praying for it to last until april.  

let me tell you what i'd rather do than go to a car dealership:
get a root canal
break my arm
write a 20-page paper on colon cancer
eat my toenails
sing in front of 5,000 people
live in antarctica
spend a night in jail
{don't worry, there are probably many more}

my point is, being in the market for a car is exhausting.  each day, we go to two more dealerships, and look at cars we can't afford, and talk to dealers that want to pressure us into cars we can't afford {and won't give us a fair deal because they want a bigger cut of what we pay}.  we've looked at about every midsize SUV and crossover in existance from provo to north salt lake.  we've looked at new, we've looked at used. we've looked at leasing, we've looked at buying.  i've even considered fixing the explorer and trying to get more life out of it, because buying a car is terribly painful.  

in conclusion:  
don't go car shopping.  ever.
just take the bus instead.
the end.


thanksgiving morning.

to make those long boring hours waiting for turkey time to go by quickly, we all played a fun game of soccer yesterday morning.  i got schooled by the younger siblings, even ben.  it was so much fun - think we've settled upon a new wonderful neff tradition.


day of thanksgiving.

i know everyone in the blogging world is posting about what they are grateful for today.
sorry, i'm no less unique.  each year when we wind up coming towards this delicious holiday, i feel that i act like such an ungrateful person, because i rarely acknowledge the overwhelmingly kind things that people do for me.  i'd like to take this opportunity tell those that i love how much they mean to me, and how grateful i am for them.  

muti, vati - thanks for giving me life, and teaching me how to be a good person.  i am not perfect, but what good qualities i have come mostly from how you raised me.

brothers and sisters - thanks for the fun, the laughs, and the examples you are to me.  we usually get along, but sometimes we want to punch each other in the face.  thanks for not.  

uncles and aunts - you guys are goobers, and you make me laugh constantly.  i wouldn't have my pepsi addiction without all of you, and i really love my pepsi addiction, so thanks.

in laws - you guys are awesome.  thanks for accepting me and making me feel like i belong.  love you all!

john - thanks for all your patience with me this last year of marriage.  thanks for all the things you do that make me laugh.  thanks for loving me, even when i'm ridiculous.  thank you for being the kind of person i want to become.


grateful for:

changing leaves
diet pepsi
fun-size snickers
christmas music, particularly the singers unlimited
having a new craft to do
afternoon naps
giving someone a wink
for all those times i wasn't car shopping
indian corn
pink highlighters
advice from my parents
neilson's mini concrete with caramel and brownie bits
remembering last summer
long chats with john


just for funnies.

a good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. then you call up the guy and hold the burning fuse to the phone. "hear that?" you say. "that's dynamite, baby."
-  jack handey


the recipe for a perfect byu date.

the recipe for a perfect byu date:
1 cup of game-day spirit
a dash of annoyance at the quarterback
one cute, wonderful hubby
a pound of freezing cold weather
4 blankets
3 coats
a scarf
a pinch of funny photos taken by the iphone
and 2 cups of hot chocolate on the way home
mix it all together for a perfect night :)


date night with george and leslie.

date night last night consisted of car shopping {the explorer is dead}, dinner at 5 guys {my favorite}, cookies at smartcookie {a sugar overload}, and breaking dawn {a terrible but also really entertaining movie - why are we so sucked in by twilight?!}. we doubled with john's parents, who we love so much.  they are so good to us {and me} and treat me as if i was their own daughter.  they inspire me every day - just by being who they are.  they are kind to everyone and so fun to be around.  truly, i love them.  


nursing school is hard.

after my third consecutive nursing school meltdown in what seems like a mere week - and after crying as john held me in his arms - it finally hit me.  nursing school is hard. not just i-am-stretched-to-my-limits hard.  like, i-am-stretched-beyond-what-i-think-i-can-handle hard.  actually, a bachelor's degree in nursing has the guinness world record for being the hardest major you can earn.  {really!} and as i contemplated this. i thought of quitting.  oh, how many times i have desperately wanted to throw in the towel and start making babies instead.  {i hear being a mother is hard too - maybe i'd just be trading one hard thing for an equally difficult thing, with a much longer [18+ years] time commitment.... maybe not a good idea?}  but i haven't.  i have persevered beyond what i think is possible.  and sometimes, i even let my grades slip just a little - just to preserve my sanity.
but i am dry-eyed now, and thinking a lot clearer.  and i've come to a conclusion that may shock and surprise you.  {considering all the complaining i just did.}  i am blessed.  so very, very blessed.  i know that everyone else in this world deals with hard things, and my things are nothing compared to some people's things.  some people don't have food on their table each night, a wonderful family, and the gospel in their lives.  but I DO.  i have all those things.  plus the opportunity to go to school and learn, and talents that i take for granted, and a husband that i oh so dearly love.  i know that i didn't do anything to earn these wonderful blessings, but yet i have them. and if i - imperfect and silly and near-sighted as i am - have the opportunity to go to school, learn all i can, and then let the Lord guide me to what He wants me to do.... then by golly, i am going to do it.  i am going to be a nurse, so that i can use what i learn to bless the lives of others.  i've finally come to the realization that it's not for me.  and somehow, that almost makes this hard major seem a whole lot easier.


game day.

we love going to the byu games with our friends, jordan and christina.  they are amongst our closest friends.  and let's face it, they're pretty cool.  we enjoy sitting next to them while watching byu cream the other team... even if it's freezing cold outside.  at one point during the game, i made john use his arms as  a blanket over my legs in an attempt to keep them warm.  ahhhh. much better.  



via my mom's computer, from 7ish years ago
8th-grade me always knew that she was going to be a nurse.  8th-grade me had a plan for the rest of her life.

20-year-old me is somewhat uncertain.  and uncertainty, as you may have guessed, is not my specialty.  as i think about the imminent changes that will be occurring in the next year, i am afraid.  excited, but also afraid of graduating and having to look for work in this economy.  excited, but anxious about john going to school.  excited, but worried because i just don't know what is going to happen to us, and where we are going to be in five years.  and to 20-year-old me, that is a thrilling, but scary thought. very, very scary.

but i have john, and he handles the stress of these kinds of things beautifully.  so now all i have to do is close my eyes, squeeze his hand, and let him lead me on the way.


a little list... of the things i am looking forward to for the holidays.

1.  eating chex mix
2.  picking out a christmas tree
3.  getting fat and caring not about it
4.  teaching monkey the must-know thanksgiving and christmas songs
5.  reading the best christmas pageant ever with john
6.  having time to fold laundry
7.  having a reason to wear scarves, cardigans, and boots
8.  seeing the lights at temple square
9.  being patho-care tree free
10. curling up next to the fire and watching the muppet's christmas carol {seriously. i love it.}


over the weekend.

over the weekend, we stayed at my family's house and played parent.  {it's exhausting - but fun - being parents!}  we had a wonderful time, but missed mom and dad, who were in california for a wedding.  we goofed around and ate pizza.  john and sam bonded over video games {typical}.  and i enjoyed doing my homework while the puppy curled up next to me.  and yes, i made pies.  scrumptious.

overall, a very fun weekend.  thanks for inviting us, mother dear!


love this.

i love going to john's intramural games.  i was lucky to get out of pottery class early on thursday and watch him play a game of flag football.  i loved sitting on the sidelines in the freezing weather, wrapped in my mother's wedding present, talking to the other wives on the sidelines, and watching john play.  it may seem insignificant, but i love moments like this.  they make life fun and worthwhile.  so does john. seriously love that man.


hurray for november!

don't you just love fall colors?  on my freezing walk home, i saw this miraculous picture of the changing leaves against the background of the grey-white mountain mist.  isn't it  beautiful? some other fun photos from this last week:

1.  {delicious} cookies and cream chocolate milk. seriously, it's like drinking ice cream.
2.  y mountain on a saturday morning
3.  john's famous breakfast fried rice. {so scrumptious.}
4.  byu devotional from our beloved prophet
5.  more fall colors
6.  the man, the legend. brigham young.
7.  minion cupcakes from despicable me.  {i can take no credit - my aunt eden made them}
8.  umbrella city.  it was quite rainy today....

happy november!