Thursday, December 20, 2012

Faith Alone is Enough

A few days ago, there was a shooting at an elementary school. 20 children and 6 adults were killed. Absolutely horrific. As the days have passed, I have pondered a lot about this incident. I cried, I held my baby even tighter, I felt the fear of raising him in such a broken world... And I know others are pondering on this day as well. Many people may wonder why a loving Heavenly Father would allow such a tragedy to occur. It is an easy thought to have when something so cruel and unfair happens.

My thoughts about that question are these. We were sent here to this life to be tested. How can we prove ourselves if we never have an opportunity to exercise our faith? How can we serve others if no one ever needs help? How can we learn optimism and gratitude if we never experience loss?

So then some may ask, if trials are necessary in life, why are some people's lives so much harder than others? This is a question I myself have pondered many times. I get the adversity thing, and the need to exercise our agency. But it does seem like some have been dealt a much worse hand than others. Then I remembered how uniquely individual we all are. So our trials must be cut out according to that uniqueness. It would hardly be fair to give us all the same test when we all have different traits to build and different qualities to prove. And it would hardly be a test of faith if everyone else went through the exact same thing. The point is for us to build a personal relationship with God - our own testimony based on our unique experiences in this life - and to choose for ourselves how to respond to the trials we face.

My comfort in times like this is to remember that there is so much good in the world amidst all of the evil. At Christmas time especially, we see people's desires to serve come out. Families are breaking, but they are also being created. People are hurting, but so many are also being comforted and loved. Lives are being destroyed, but so many others are building their talents and having adventures. There is evil in the world, but we must not let that dismiss from our minds the fact that there is also good.

I know my logic is not enough to satisfy some people who are discouraged by this event (or others like it), and that is okay. I do not have all of the answers.  My purpose in writing this entry is that this logic is enough for me. I have accepted that my mortal brain cannot comprehend all of the mysteries of Heaven, and I will never fully understand Heavenly Father's plan while I am here. But I do fully understand that He knows his plan, and his plan is perfect. So in times when logic falters, and pain is strong, I rely solely on my faith that God lives, he knows each of us, and he loves us. When faith is all we have, we exercise it by accepting that faith alone is enough.

My prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy in any way.  May you find comfort and peace during this time of hardship.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Carson Brock Taylor

My due date was December 4th, but I had developed some too-high hopes of having the baby by Thanksgiving, so that Scott & Martha (who were in town that week) would be able to meet him. Every night that week, I went to bed slightly put out and upset that I didn't have the baby. Saturday morning, the Taylors headed back to Colorado, and I decided it was time to change my attitude. I was wanting the baby two weeks earlier than he was supposed to come, so it was silly to expect such results. I was reminded of some counsel I had heard to "do whatever we can to be happy NOW, despite your situation." So I changed my attitude and decided to be as happy as possible for the rest of my pregnancy. I took belly pictures, went to the Aggie Football game, relaxed with Brock, and went to bed less upset than I had for the past week and a half. Apparently, that's what Heavenly Father wanted me to learn... Or Carson just wanted me to be able to see the Aggies dominate their final home game ha ha ha :)

 Brock was doing homework Saturday night until about 1:45 AM. Poor kid got NO sleep. One hour later, I felt something that woke me up with a start. I shook Brock's arm and said, "Babe, I don't think I just peed..." He was so groggy and obviously confused by my weird statement, and replied, "What???" And then there was a GUSH!!! And my water broke with full force!!! So I jumped out of bed, and we frantically got things ready, sent texts to the grandparents-to-be, and headed over to the hospital at 3:30 in morning! Pretty sure we left behind a nice trail of amniotic fluid hahaha.

 When we got there, the nurses were thinking it was going to be a loooong day because even though my water was broken, I had not progressed much at all toward active labor. So for a few hours we just relaxed, watched The Office, and monitored the baby as I had contractions. Around 8 AM they put me on an epidural and started pitocin to speed up the labor process... She still predicted he wouldn't be born until between 5 and 9 PM... but, well, the pitocin worked!! I started dilating SUPER fast and about 3 1/2 hours later it was time to start pushing! We did have to be careful because the cord was wrapped around his neck, and with every contraction his heart rate dropped significantly. Thankfully, it would go right back up as soon as the contraction stopped. He was fighting hard! And we were saying many prayers that everything would be okay. Anyway, the nurse predicted a long pushing time since I had the epidural (numb as can be) and it was my first baby. Wrong again! I only pushed for half an hour and the little man was HERE!

 The on-call doctor came straight from Sacrament meeting to deliver Carson. He walked in the room in his suit and tie, ready to go! It was pretty funny. He hurried and put on the cape/gloves/etc. and at 1:06 PM my little man was born!

 He was 7 lb 3 oz, 19.5 inches long, and the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on. They placed him in my arms and I began sobbing as I held my little miracle close. Straight from heaven... it was the most incredible moment of my life. I am so in love with our son!

 We had a 48 hour stay at the hospital. This gave us some time to get to know our baby and figure out how to take care of him. I hardly ever put him down; it is just the most precious feeling in the world to snuggle with your newborn baby! And the hospital took good care of us, and Tuesday afternoon it was time to head home! We got packed up, and checked out, and once again I was overwhelmed with emotion as I felt the gratitude for my wonderful blessings as we drove home.

 I cannot believe how blessed I am. All the stress, emotions, pain, and tears of the past year became 100% worth it the moment I held my child in my arms. And as we drove home, I fell in love even more with my amazing husband and my incredible baby boy. I was so humbled and overcome with joy. I have the most incredible life and I am so beyond grateful for my many wonderful blessings. I have been a mother for 3 days, and I have loved all of it! I am so so so so blessed!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: A History

Can you believe we have already had 4 Halloween's as a married couple?  Me neither.  Way too old.  And Halloween time is when it all began for Brock and me.  Our very first date was a Halloween date and it was so fun!  3 years later, he was home and Halloween was the first day we got to see each other after his mission.  That was a very special day.  Here are the pics of all of our glorious Halloween celebrations throughout the years!

Halloween 2005:  Pumpkin Carving date!

Halloween 2008:  Welcome Home!  A marvelous weekend in Colorado and a joyful reunion after 2 long years.

Halloween 2009:   Beauty and the....  Jimmy Neutron....  with Phantom of the Opera and a Cow.  Not our cleverest costume themes hahahaha

Halloween 2010:   Jimi Hendrix and his Guitar.  Booyah.  And then we were joined by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Halloween 2011:  Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?

Halloween 2012:  Pac Man!!!

I love our tradition of dressing up with Steph and Jer!  Looking forward to next year and dressing up our cute little boy!  Woohoo!!!  Have fun and be safe trick or treating everybody! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let's think about this.

What would happen if everyone took all of the time, energy, and money they are spending on campaigns, seeking power, bashing politicians, and digging up dirt on others; and instead put that time, energy, and money into supporting our leadership and making a joint effort to improve our nation?

In a perfect world, that is what would happen.  But unfortunately, we live very far from a perfect world.  And there is no "one right answer" to all of our nation's problems.  In fact, there never will be, because in reality, one man's problem is another man's blessing.  It's the circle of life, and it's how the world works.

We have a presidential election coming up, and it is a big deal.  Four years is a long time, and President of the United States is a big position.  I understand how important this time is for our country, but I think people are being ridiculous.

It is a very close race.  There are two candidates, and there are millions of people supporting each of them.  All of these comments about people being "idiots" for even considering supporting one or the other, are false, ignorant, and cruel.  I have my reasons for the candidate that I support, but by no means do I believe that the opposing candidate is "evil" or any other (more harsh) words people are using to describe these men.

Our country is not set up so that one man can rule, reign, or take over.  It just won't happen.  So yes, the president has lots of influence, but he is not by any means all powerful; and any plan he presents will have to go through so many processes with people of differing views before any conclusion will be made as to whether or not the plan can be implemented.

So I do not believe that either candidate is capable of completely destroying or completely saving our country.  Once again, there is no right answer to everything.  But I do believe that whichever man is chosen for office will do his very best to achieve what is, in his mind, the best way to help our country.  And whichever man that is, there are millions of people in the country that stand behind him and support him.

Whatever happens, next month one of these men will become the President of the United States for the next four years.  We all have a choice to make.  We can choose to verbally slaughter our president and be bitter for years that the other man didn't win, or we can choose to respect the other half of the country who is happy with the outcome, and do what we can where we are to personally help make this country a better place.

Please exercise your right to vote.  Please exercise your right to share your opinion.  Please don't disrespect everyone around you because they have some different ideas as to what might help our country.  Everyone has different ideas.  The beauty of America is that everyone comes from a different background, and together our diversity unites us.  Let us stand together as the wonderful nation that we are, respect each other's decisions, and move forward with a resolve to do our part in individually serving our country the best that we know how.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Positive Vibes

So, here's the scoop.  I was having one of those mornings... the emotional kind.  Because, as insanely grateful as I am for this blessing in my life, sometimes Pregnancy is just downright hard!

I am huge.  I am exhausted.  My back hurts.  My head hurts.  My shoulders hurt.  My legs feel weak.  My tummy hurts.  I can never find a comfortable position to be in.  I am soooooooooo hot.  My feet feel like fire.  I am always hungry and ALWAYS thirsty.  I pee all the time.  I cry all the time.  I never have enough energy to get everything done that I want to do.  And I still have FOUR MONTHS LEFT.

So, as grateful and excited as I am, there are days (like today) when I just feel discouraged.  So, I decided to pray for strength and peace.

Almost immediately, I started having positive thoughts pop into my head.  It was like an answer to my prayers reminding me to focus on the positives of life!  I'm calling them my positive vibes to turn my frown upside down :)


-My nephew Ben is the cutest thing on the planet.  I wish I could play with him all day.  That's what I have to look forward to with this guy!  Megh and Brad's story is a ray of hope in my life.  I love them so much and am so so so grateful for them.

-Most mommas have multiple children, which means that all this crap must be worth it.

-My husband is the sweetest, most loving and caring person alive.  He loves me so much and puts up with all my crazy emotions and just comforts me, and he works so hard to take care of our family.  It boggles my mind every day how I wound up with such and incredible man to share my life with.

-My family and in-laws are so sweet and loving and supportive.  And I hate how far away they all are, but at least we have modern technology so we can be in contact instantly even if it's not face to face.

-I have such incredible friends that I love so dearly and they just brighten up my life!

-I have a piano that I can play any time I want and I love it so much.

-I have the best job in the world.  I LOVE teaching.

-We are so blessed to be financially stable enough to buy the essentials our baby will need when he is born.  That has always been a worry of mine, so we set aside money a long time ago to make sure we would be okay and I am so grateful we are.

-I have chocolate in my cupboard :)

-December will get here fast because of the holidays and baby showers and preparations.

-I got wonderful happy emails and texts from friends and family today and am so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people!

And I'm grateful for my Positive Vibes!  If we remember to focus on the blessings in our lives, we will be able to get through anything and be happy :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's a BOY!!!!!!!

So, we had our anatomy scan ultrasound yesterday.  It was incredible!  We got to look at our cute little baby for half an hour!  And here's what we learned:

- We've got a thumb sucker!!  It took FOREVER to get a clear shot of his face because his hands were in the way!  But we jiggled him around enough and actually got to watch him take his thumb in and out of his mouth!

- He is measuring perfectly average in height and weight for our due date.  (I was secretly hoping he would be measuring bigger so our due date could get bumped up early hahaha but at least he's healthy!)

- His heartbeat is 162.  It took forever to get that reading too because I kept laughing when he moved- and it kept messing up the sound!  They consider it healthy if it is between 120 and 180 so ours is dead middle!  Very healthy :)

- 2 hands, 2 feet, 4 chambers of the heart... Healthy brain, healthy spine, 3 parts to the umbilical cord, 2 kidneys, a stomach and a bladder, 2 lips, 1 nose, 2 eyes, and........

A cute little boy part!!!!!

He was being shy for a while there- legs crossed and curled up in a ball.  But finally we got a good shot and the ultra sound guy labeled it "Little Boy."  Then, right as we were finishing up, Baby Boy totally opened up and we all laughed!  Ultra Sound specialist labeled that picture "Big Boy" hahaha there was definitely no question!!!

We are so excited and grateful to have such a healthy baby boy and we cannot wait to meet him!  Everything for both him and me was in tip-top shape!!  December 4th, here we come!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Sunday!

Sometimes I just need reminders.  What to focus on, what really matters in the long run, what I am aiming toward in life... It is so easy to get off track in the jumble of life that is this world.  Here's some words of wisdom to keep my perspective in check.  Enjoy :)

- "Believe in yourselves.  Believe in your capacity to do some good in this world.  God sent us here for a purpose, and that was to improve the world in which we live.  The wonderful thing is that we can do it."                                                              
                                                                 -Gordon B. Hinckley

- "Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.  Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.  Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.  Forget the mistakes of the past and move on to the greater achievements of the future.  Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.  Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you."
                                                                 -Christian D. Larson

- "What you are is God's gift to you; what you make of yourself is your gift to God."
                                                                 -Jewish Proverb

- "I can say without hesitation that you can have a perfect brightness of hope for your future and endless joy if you press forward as righteous children of God."
                                                                 -James E. Faust

- "When you look in the dictionary for the most important could be "remember," because all of you have made covenants...our greatest need is to remember."
                                                                 -Spencer W. Kimball

- "When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.  Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities."
                                                                 -Ezra Taft Benson

- "Happiness is a grateful heart."

- "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.  Let us move forward with strong and active faith."
                                                                 -Franklin D. Roosevelt

- "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
                                                                 -Galatians 5:22-23

- "Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."

- "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can.  He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace."
                                                                -Ezra Taft Benson

On this Sabbath day, let's take a moment to "remember," be "grateful," be "content," "press forward," have "faith," "believe in ourselves," and "turn our lives over to God."  There's a recipe for a happy life :)  Happy Sunday everybody!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

We're Having a Baby!!!

So the secret is out!  We are having a baby!  A little holiday bundle of joy, due December 4th!  We are so so so grateful for this wonderful little miracle in our lives and cannot wait to be parents!  Here is what has been happening since we got the news :)

So we found out just a couple days before April Fool's Day- a great opportunity to trick our families!  Haha, but no one fell for it...  we were bad liars, so they were all just happy for us :)  But the majority of the first trimester went pretty well.  I started feeling exhausted and queasy around 8 weeks, but only threw up a couple of times.  We were a little nervous about the whole thing, but a 10 week ultra sound set our minds at ease a little bit.  Look at that cute little bugger!

And here is my belly a couple days after that ultra sound.  Happy Mother's Day!

My 11-week mark came on our 3-year anniversary.  I had a concert at Sky View that night, so we did a quick date to Cafe Rio before that, and planned a super fun trip for the following weekend.  Here's a pic of that date...

Unfortunately, that night I got really really sick.  In fact, so sick that I was prescribed nausea medicine and told to stay in bed and eat nothing but bananas, rice, toast, and sprite.  Needless to say, we didn't go on our anniversary trip that weekend.  We spent it like this instead!

In bed, eating rice and toast and bananas, and drinking lots of sprite.  Brock was very very good to me.

Hoping that after a week I would be getting better, I actually did the opposite and the day after my 12-week-mark I ended up on a late night ER visit.  Through an IV, they pounded 4 1/2 Liters of fluid in me for dehydration, and drugged me with tons of anti-nausea medicine.  It was a pretty miserable night. 

After three weeks of bed rest, I finally started to feel a little bit better.  Around 14 weeks, I was blessed with just enough energy to teach my students a couple of hours a day, and then spent the rest of the time in bed.  Each week has slowly been getting a little bit better.  I still feel exhausted all the time, but I think the nausea has FINALLY subsided!  Phew!  That was a ROUGH road!  But the thing that kept me going was this little miracle inside me...  I will never ever take that blessing for granted, no matter how tough pregnancy can be.  

Now I am almost 18 weeks and we get to find out the gender on July 19th.  We are so thrilled and grateful!  Baby has been kicking me this week and it is SO FUN to feel it!  Here is what my belly looked like on my 17 week mark.  Can the holidays come any faster?  I can't wait to meet this little cutie!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I recently heard about a school in Salt Lake City, whose principal is great, and happens to be a lesbian.  I heard that many parents found out that little fact about their principal, and took their children out of the school because of it.  That broke my heart.  And I know that this is not the only case of prejudice like this going around.  So I feel like I want to state my beliefs strongly and boldly right here.

My name is Aubrey.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I believe that the principles taught by the scriptures and prophets in this church are wonderful.  I believe in dressing modestly.  I do not smoke.  I do not drink alcohol.  I do not drink coffee.  I do not believe in sex out of wedlock.  I do not agree with acting on same-gender attractions.

I do not agree with those things, so I do not participate in those things.  But it stops there; with me not participating.  I do not look at anyone with any less value if they do participate in those things.  It does not make anyone any less of a person because they live differently than another.  I know many of those things are considered perfectly normal in this world, and maybe people think I am weird for not doing them.  Some of my very best friends in the world drink, smoke, are gay, have sex before marriage...  And I love them and look up to them as incredible people.  In many ways they are much better than me.  I would be infuriated if I found out they were being persecuted for their ways.  We are all people and we are all blessed with agency; we live here and are free to choose how we live our lives.  Much worse is the person who points the accusing finger than the person who makes his own choices and does the best he believes he can do in his life.

In our last general conference, Dieter F. Uchtdorf stated:

"The moment we judge someone else...we condemn ourselves, for none is without sin...  When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:  STOP IT!  ...  'Don't judge me because I sin differently than you'."

You can read the entirety of his talk here:  The Merciful Obtain Mercy

This is one of the principles of this church that I am the very most passionate about.  Stop judging people.  Stop feeling like it is your responsibility in any way to punish someone else for their actions, especially if they have never even wronged you.  We are all here because we all chose to come to Earth to get a body, and we are all doing the best we can with the situations and temptations and lives that we have been given.  I firmly believe that the merciful obtain mercy.  I am far from perfect, and I hope that I can obtain mercy for the things I have done wrong in my life.  I strive every day to give that mercy and love to others, and I would wish that other people are out there doing the same thing.  No one can get through this life alone, so why don't we reach out with love, and help each other, instead of ridiculing people just because they live differently than we do?

People have given their lives time and time again to give us the freedom we enjoy in this country.  Isn't it ungrateful to persecute people for living that freedom?  We should take the knowledge of good that we have, and use it to better the world we live in.  To serve, and to be kind.  Not to judge others for the way they choose to use the freedom they have been blessed with.

Stop judging, and Start loving.

That's all :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

With His Stripes

In light of this Easter weekend, I would like to share a song I wrote that bears testimony of the greatness of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  First I'll share the scripture that inspired it:

Isaiah 53:3-5

3- He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4- Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5- But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

That scripture has been a source of strength to me for many years.  It is so humbling to remember what our Savior has done for us.  We owe him everything.  Not too long ago, I was in a pretty dark place and I felt the power of the atonement as a source of wondrous healing and comfort.  I will never forget that moment.  I was reminded that we are never alone, and Jesus Christ went through everything so that he could be with us every step of our lives.

As this scripture came to my mind and I thought about that experience, I wrote this song.  It is called, "With His Stripes, We Are Healed."

I shared the lyrics and my experience with this song in more detail on my music blog:  "With His Stripes, We Are Healed"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lessons to Live By: Words of the Prophets

Did you LOVE General Conference?!  I did.  It was fabulous.  Brock and I spent the weekend in Salt Lake with the Thompson Clan and it was wonderful.  Here are some of the important lessons I learned from this session:

- To paraphrase Pres. Ucthdorf:  If you're being mean, STOP IT!  :-) 

- The Church is not synonymous to the Gospel.  It is more important to be active in the gospel, but that activity can be supported by activity in the church.

- Elder Oaks reminded us that we owe everything we have to our Savior, so we must dedicate everything we have and do to his Eternal purposes.

- I noticed a lot of themes about overcoming adversity, letting go of the past, and moving forward.  We are never alone or unloved.

- I liked Elder Scott's point about keeping our bodies healthy so we are better able to serve the Lord.  There's some motivation to exercise!  Ha ha ha :-)

- Ask yourself this question:  "What thinks Jesus of me?"  And if you don't like the answer, change it.

- President Monson's talk was a powerful reminder of why we are really here.  "We enter mortality with the power to think and to achieve. . . We were sent here with a way to return home."  I loved that.  We need to slow down and focus on what really matters in life.

Conference is such a precious gift we have.  In Primary the other day, we were talking about following the Prophet.  We gave examples of prophets such as Moses and Elijah, and talked about how the people were blessed for following their words.  We have the opportunity to listen to a prophet just like Moses and Elijah, in the comfort of our homes, every 6 months.  I think it's important to not take that precious time for granted, but to listen to the guidance that is so readily available to us.  I am so grateful to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I know that, no matter what our lives, situations, or beliefs, the words we hear from the prophets are excellent lessons to live by!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Tale of the Taylor Vehicles

That's Brutus.  The newest addition to our family :)  Car number 6 in our marriage of 2 1/2 years... ha ha ha hopefully we don't have to purchase another one for a looong while!

We started with George.  A 1994 Mazda Protege, manual transmission... so, right when I got married, I had the stress of learning to drive stick shift!  Hahaha.  A couple months later, I did this to him...

Sorry George :(

 But then we bought Billy and Bonnie!  Bonnie was a 1995 Honda Accord and she was very good to us!  And Billy was a 1994 Ford F150.  He was not quite so good to us.

So, 5 months after purchasing Billy, we saw the err in our ways, and sold him for $1000.  Yeah that's right.  Only 3 zeros there.  Bahaha.  But we bought Dundie!!!!  I am gonna miss Dundie the very most so far.  He is a 1995 Nissan pickup truck.  Tiny.  But awesome :)

Then we decided, since both of our vehicles were 15 years old, it was time to buy something that would be more reliable for us.  That we would feel comfortable driving long distances in, and would just be reliable and safe.  So we sold Bonnie and bought this beauty!

Louetta.  A 2005 Honda Accord.  Graphite Pearl is her listed color :)  Hahaha.  We bought her in December 2010, and paid her off last month!  Boo yah!  And we made it a whole year without buying another car.

But, in planning for our future, we realized that Dundie is not going to last much longer.  And while we both have a steady income in Logan, we have no guarantees of much income at all when we move for Physical Therapy School in a couple of years.  And, Dundie is only a two-seater.  No one else will fit in the car.  So, in planning for future financial stickyness, and future additions to our family, we decided it was time to buy something that will be more reliable and carry more people.

So we said a fond goodbye to Dundie.  And last night, we bought Brutus.  A 2001 Dodge Ram.  He is beautiful.

Hopefully this ends the tale of the Taylor vehicles for a while, as we plan on taking very good care of Louetta and Brutus, and keeping them for a long long time.

The End :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Will You Be My Valentine?

It's time to add mine to the cute stories posted all over blogger about Valentine's Day!  First of all, in previous years, Brock ALWAYS out-smarts me on Valentine's Day and surprises me way better than I surprise him.  So this year was going to be different- because I had the whole day off yesterday!  And he had work and school until 5!  Bwahaha.  But he still got me.  He snuck home and put roses and a box of chocolates in the kitchen when I wasn't looking!!!  It was ADORABLE.  Just look :)

But don't worry, I still had the rest of the day to get him!  So here's what I did.  I set up a scavenger hunt for him around the house to find all the Toy Story Valentines that would give him directions.  First he had to push "play" on the ipod (which had a cute playlist I made).  Then he had to go around the house, get dressed up in a nice shirt and tie I set out for him, then in the last room, he opened the door, and I was in the dress I wore to our High School Prom together, holding one of the roses he gave me, and I said, "Will You Be My Valentine?"  And gave him the last Toy Story Valentine. :)  I had set up the room so we could take cute pictures like we were at a dance, and then right on cue, my ipod playlist went to our "song"...  "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain.  So we danced, and it was wonderful  :)  Here's a couple pics...

I know, I know... it's TOTALLY cheesy.  But I decided that it's better to be cheesy and enjoy life than not be cheesy and not have any fun.  So I went all out on the cheesy factor, and I'm totally proud of it :-)  

Also, it's not over!  I got us a Heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's!  And it didn't set off the smoke alarms (like last year: see here ) because we actually have a full size oven to cook it in hahaha!  It was very delicious :)  And then we walked to Smiths in our PJ's and got a redbox, snuggled up on the cuddle bag, and watched a movie and enjoyed WAY too much chocolate and candy ha ha ha.  It was a wonderful night.  I know everyone says this, but I really do feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world. I love you Brock Taylor!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, now that I am a college graduate (booyah!), I have more time during the day to do things like, blog!  So here I am, blogging about the holidays.  A little late, but better that than never, right?

Stephanie and Jeremy Dowse (my sister and brother-in-law) came up to spend New Years with us in Logan, and it was so much fun!  We had a delicious dinner of little barbecue smokeys, pineapple, rolls, gingerbread cookies, and lots and LOTS of candy!  It was great.  We played Clue, and Dance Central for the Kinect, and watched old home videos of me and Steph as little kids, and had a total blast!

When midnight came around, we made New Years Hats and ran around outside banging pots and pans.  I swear we were the only ones in the whole neighborhood celebrating New Year's;  the whole place was totally dark and silent!  So we made even more noise, to make up the difference :)  Here's some pictures of our extravaganza!

We brought in the new year by going around in a circle and naming a memory from 2011, something we learned, and a New Year's Resolution.  We drank Martinelli's to each person's answer :)  It was a lot of fun!  My previous post, 2011 in Review , lists all of my favorite memories of 2011, and I have blogged throughout the year (namely in these 4: Walk By Faith , Love Yourself , Of Things That Matter Most , and Priorities ) about different things I have learned.  If I were to try and sum up those things I've learned into a brief statement, I would say:

We were not sent here to Earth to be perfect, nor to have perfect lives.  We were sent here to learn, prioritize, and walk by faith.  Life does not always go as planned, because we need opportunities to strengthen relationships with those we love, and to turn to God.  Heavenly Father loves us, and only He knows the true path to lead us back to Him.  It is by patience with ourselves, love towards others, and faith in Him that we can find that path and be happy.

2011 was overall a pretty tough year, but I learned so many things that I never would have otherwise, and for that, I am grateful.  Here's to new goals, new resolutions, new achievements, new starts, and wonderful friends and family.  I am so blessed.  Happy New Year everybody.  Welcome, 2012 :)

2011 in Review


- We started the New Year off on a warm beach in the beautiful, sunny Nicaragua!!!


- Skipped out on our night Natural Disasters class to celebrate Valentine's Day! (And almost burned down Aggie Village with our too-big-for-the-tiny-oven heart shaped pizza, then crashed a single people's dance!)


- Brock played in a band at a Mardi Gras party at Iron Gate Grill!

- Two words:  Mustache March.


- I had a month of awesome girl's nights!
           - Carleigh's Bachelorette Party
           - Priesthood Session = Girls night out at Chili's
           - Farewell to my Relief Society Presidency!

- We bought licenses and started to go fishing!


- I quit the Housing Office and got a job teaching private voice & piano lessons.

- We moved out of Aggie Village into a house!

- Went on a Road Trip over our Anniversary to California for Chad & Laura's wedding!


- I took a girls road trip to Colorado!

- Said Bye to Heather for her mission, and welcomed Cam to Logan!

- Started a garden!


- Family reunions!  Snowbird & Bear Lake

- Hiking, Hangin' out with Friends, Campfires, & Fireworks


- Camping Trip with the Fongs!

- Happy Birthday to us!!!


- I started Student Teaching and Brock switched his Career Path to Physical Therapy!
- TRUE AGGIE NIGHT!  We kissed on the A, then crowd-surfed off of it!
- Aggie Games and seeing the leaves change in the mountains
- Friday Night Lights... :-)


- Oliver Crow.  Scare is his middle name.

- Charlie's Birthday Bash!

- Date nights and Halloween Celebrations!  Simon the Pumpkin, the Logan Pumpkin Walk, and... Scooby Dooby Doo, Where are you??


- We became Aunt and Uncle to Benjamin Bradley Schow!!!
- I finished up my student teaching with two awesome choir concerts
- Spent a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with the Thompsons :)


- Aubrey graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education!  HOORAY!
- We had a mini Brock & Aubrey early Christmas in Logan, then spent a wonderful week in Parker, Colorado to celebrate the holidays :)
- Eleanor Snowsevelt.  Her husband, Franklin D., was built two years ago :)