Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days

So my family started this tradition last year when we got the idea from my sister Nicole. She had done it the year before to a family in Smithfield and was telling all of us how awesome it was and how it was such an incredible experience for her. After looking at all of her pictures and listening to her stories, we all decided that we wanted to participate in this too. Last year we were all together for Christmas at my parent's house so we found a family in West Jordan. She was a single mom with 2 daughters and were having a lot of problems with her ex-husband and money. They weren't going to have much of a Christmas. So we did the 12 days of Christmas for them. We gave them something every day to decorate their house, do activities as a family, we gave them a lot of food on one day and of course the last day was presents for everyone, all done anonymously. It was so amazing and really brought out the true meaning of Christmas.

This year is our off year so our family won't be together, but we decided to still do the 12 days only this time, Angie found a family in Colorado that we are going to do. 2 kids that are living with their grandparents who just lost their jobs. We all pooled some money together, used our discounts at various locations to get presents, asked for donations from other places, or just flat out bought presents, clothes, hats, and gloves for them. Angie has been organizing the whole thing from Colorado and using our money to buy some things like food and clothes and keeping us updated the whole way. I'm not blogging about this to toot my family's horn and talk about how giving and awesome we are, haha, but just to remember this and express how amazing it is to see everyone working together to help out a family in need. All of my siblings are getting involved with discounts at stores and money, my parents get involved in this, 2 of my aunts helped us out and my cousin used her discount as well. Everyone realizes the true meaning of Christmas and is willing to help this family out to give them a great Christmas. It makes me love this time of year just to give and see their reaction because they are always so grateful. I'm so glad that my family does this and we get to spend Christmas focusing on someone else. I can't wait to see these 12 days happen!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Since my family is getting so big and all of the kids are married now, we take turns on holidays. One year Christmas will be our "on year" and the other year will be the in-laws turn. This year, it was my family's turn to have Thanksgiving all together. Unfortunately, I'm still crappy in the picture taking department so I only got pictures of Parker, Layla, and Zach. ha I don't know where the other kids were at this point in time but I wanted a picture of Parker on Zach's lap and then Layla was just too cute.

Thanksgiving morning we had our work Turkey Bowl. We played against the Park City store. It was fun and all but I will probably never do it again. I don't like playing against those boys and it was just getting too uptight and competitive so we just left early. Plus, we had a family turkey bowl. That was much more fun! The opening play of the game pretty much summed up the whole game. Lauren went booking it down the field, was wide open screaming at Dustin to throw her the ball with a big grin on her face, the ball went soaring through the air and they were definitely going to score until the ball went right through her hands and smacked her right in the face, knocking her flat to the ground. Oh my gosh it was hilarious! It was so much fun playing with my family because no one was being competitive and it was just laid back and funny. After that we got all ready and had dinner,which was delicious! After dinner I tried to lay down and sleep because I had to work from midnight to 10 AM for Black Friday. I tried to lay down but I couldn't fall asleep! So I just stayed up with the rest of my family and played games until I had to leave. I was exhausted at work but I slept really good as soon as I got off.

It was so much fun having my whole family in town. I'll admit, I was definitely being a Layla hog but she was just so cute that I couldn't get enough of her! I loved watching Makelle and Jackson running around playing together while Parker would join in every once in awhile and then run off and do his own thing. Those little kids are so cute and so much fun to be around. There were so many fun memories that I should have written down as soon as Thanksgiving was over (just like Kaley did) but I can't remember everything. Needless to say, it was awesome and I loved it!

Zach and Parker making the same faces

Parker with his fruit snacks. He would always run to the pantry and get these himself. I'm surprised he didn't make himself sick!

Layla and her blanket

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Sweet Husband

Warning: I'm going to be talking all lovey dovey in this post so just in case you read this, you have been warned.

Lately my anxiety had been getting to me about everything. I wasn't sure what was causing it; school, work, homework, housework, money, etc. but I was just feeling very overwhelmed and stressed out. I was feeling like I didn't have enough time to do the things I wanted to do because I had all of these things that I HAD to do. After coming home from work on one Saturday I was extremely tired. As soon as I walked in the door this note was leaning up against the wall. Needless to say, I almost started crying right then and there. On top of that, I walked in to a VERY clean apartment. It was seriously the cleanest it had been in a long time. Zach had laundry going, the bed was made, the dishes were done, the clutter corners were gone, the bathroom was clean, he had even dusted off the dresser and nightstand! Zach knew what a relief it would be to come home to a clean house so since he didn't work that day, he took the liberty of cleaning for me. After that we've both done everything we can to maintain that very clean apartment and it's been so nice. I was so grateful for him taking all day to clean for me because he knew what kind of stress I had been feeling and he was doing everything he could to help. I love him so so much and I am so lucky to have a guy like him. I don't understand why he cares about me and loves me so much but I'm not complaining. I'm just one lucky girl.

Vegas Baby

So for our 1 year anniversary we decided to celebrate it by going to Las Vegas. Zach had never been there before and it had been about 7 years since I'd been. Plus, I only went for soccer tournaments. We wanted to do something fun for our anniversary because who knows when we would get a chance to pick up and leave with just the two of us again. I do have to warn you though, we went kind of picture crazy so the majority of this post is going to be pictures.

Right when we got there we went to the temple. It was fun to see another temple and go through together but it probably wasn't the best idea to go as soon as we got in town. We had left Utah early that morning and so we were both exhausted by the time we finally got there. As embarrassing as it is to admit this, Zach and I were both struggling to stay awake during the session.

After the temple we decided that we would just walk around the city and see some of the sites. We went to Caesar's palace and saw the new Nike store (gotta represent) and saw the Mirage show and stuff. But again, we were REALLY tired so we were back in our room by like 8:45 and asleep by 9! What a boring old married couple we are already...

The next night was a bit more exciting. It was the day of our anniversary and we had bought tickets to see Criss Angel at the Luxor. I knew the guy was a weirdo from watching his show Mindfreak so he was kinda weird in his show but it was still freaking awesome! Zach and I couldn't figure out how he did anything! Zach's solution, "He must have a deal with the Devil." lol

The next day was Sunday and our last full day there so we definitely used every minute we could. We walked around on the other side of the strip, went to the M&M factory, went and rode New York New York (neither one of us had done that before), went to the Wax Museum and the Venetian, went out to eat, and went and saw Phantom of the Opera. Phantom of the Opera is Zach's favorite movie/musical so it was so fun to go see it. I had never seen it before and it was AMAZING! The stage is only for Phantom and it was just incredible. If anyone gets a chance to go see it, GO!

Zach and Jamie Foxx

Will Smith

Bradley Cooper (most recent sexiest man alive)

Criss Angel

I can see the resemblance

King of Pop

Tiger's new caddy

Hangin with Hugh Hef


Oh Gaga


Outside the Venetian

This reminded us of Hawaii

Inside the Venetian
The Palazzo fountain

Out to dinner before Phantom
Overall we had a great time. On Monday we woke up and we went to lunch (Berto's suggestion) and we decided that was the best food place we had been to. It was just a little bar at the Palace Station Hotel, where we stayed, and it was so good. Then we drove home and didn't have to fill up once, we were pretty proud of that. I decided that when in Vegas, if you can get past all the cigarette smoke, the drunk people, the crazy people, the gambling, and all the pornography that is everywhere, Vegas is actually a really cool place! ha the hotels were amazing and when we have a lot of money to go back, we decided we're going to stay at the Venetian. That was definitely our favorite.

With this being my anniversary post, I can't forget to say some things about my amazing husband. I am so lucky to be married to someone who isn't like me. ha I know that sounds weird but Zach is seriously perfect for me. He calms me down and keeps life in perspective. I know I probably drive him crazy sometimes with all of my worrying and stressing out, but he is so good to me and loves me with all of my faults. He helps me out so much and is so good to me. I don't know what I did to deserve a guy like him but man do I love him. Ofa Lahi Atu babe!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Wow it has been a VERY long time since I've blogged. I think I say that every time I update my blog and I know I'm terrible at it but hopefully once I finish school I'll be better. I saw the last time I blogged was when we were about to go to Panama, back in MAY! So this blog will be all about the trip. To save myself from a lot of typing and whoever reads this from a lot of reading, this post is mainly pictures and will be the main points of the trip.

Going to Panama was such a great experience! I had never been out of the country and to be able to go back to my husband's mission with him was awesome. Zach always told me how Panama was and what to expect, but you never know until you experience it. It was definitely a humbling experience when I met those people, saw how little they had, and yet how happy and giving they were. There were so many times when we would visit families and they would grab whatever food and drink they had to give it to us. Sometimes they even sent their kids to the store just to buy us crackers and soda because that was all they could afford. It was so humbling. So the main part of our trip was visiting people he taught or member families and seeing some sights as well. It was hard being in a place where you hardly understood what anyone was saying, but it was great just to see how the people reacted to Zach and how they instantly loved me just because I was his wife. You could see and feel the love they had for him and tried to include me in all the conversations even if I didn't understand most of it. :)

At the airport ready to go! My very first passport

One of the best families in David. They were so great

This is a typical house in panama

A beautiful garden in David. It was just two houses where these people had a beautiful garden and just let anyone walk through it. It was awesome

The other amazing family in David. Pamela and Lucy. They had one of the smallest houses I had ever seen and were some of the happiest people.

Teo. He LOVED Zach

The bishop and his wife in David


One of Zach's favorite little boys, Aaron, and this is my favorite picture!

The Panama City temple. We thought this picture didn't turn out but it kind of looks like a cool sketch so we kept it

The Panama Canal

Panama Viejo. It's the old Panama city that was destroyed by pirates so now there's just ruins. It was way cool

These were the original stairs leading up to the top of the cathedral tower

The view from the top of the tower

Casco Viejo. Another old Panama city but it wasn't destroyed. It just has a lot of cool old buildings.

A view of Panama City

This is where all the Indians would set up tables and sell their things. It was kind of like a swap meet Panama style.

Another family in San Vicente. This is one of the most dangerous areas in Panama. Zach got robbed and his companion got beat up here! So Zach made me take off my ring and duck down in the car so people wouldn't see me. Kinda scary!

The last family we visited and it was Zach's favorite family! I could see why. They were so welcoming and gave us so much! They also drove 30 minutes just so we could follow them back to the hotel because we kept getting lost!

The girl in the pink in the big family picture is Andrea. She made this for her little sister for her birthday and she gave it to me before I left. She kept sitting next to me and practiced her English with me. It was simple questions that she was learning in school but she was so cute and we communicated as best we could. She practiced her English and I practiced my really rough Spanish.

This trip is something that I will never forget. I don't know if we will ever go back, it would be nice to, but it was nice to see it at least once. I think that if we could all experience something like that it would teach us so much. Now I understand why guys who go on missions end up loving it and falling in love with the people wherever they serve. I didn't get the spiritual experience that missionaries do with baptisms and all that but at least I got to experience the people and the culture. Now I have a little place in my heart for Panama too.