Friday, February 19, 2016


I was thrilled to get me some cheap tickets to Florida in January. After Christmas and with the dark cold days in Utah, I needed to get away. It was so nice. As planned we didn't do much of anything. It rained our first morning, but then the sun came out and we went shopping. Mom and I got lost and she didn't have a phone so that gave Stella a scare, but it worked out in the end. We then headed to our Vero Beach home. We didn't get much swimming in during the trip, but it was nice and sunny most of the time. We spent our nights watching Family Feud marathons and laughing. I spent a lot of time condo shopping, mostly at Oceanique helping Dad decide if he should buy one of their amazing condos. I thought I would say no until I saw the Unfortunately, another person put more money down and it isn't ours now. But we will still be able to say "OHHH SHA NIQUE! NO YOU DIDN'T" for years to come.

We had a great time and here are just a few pictures that I took with my phone that didn't make it on Instagram.

The day we got home we were watching Family Feud and I took some pictures to share with my parents, especially since this guy was on again that none of us liked. We are still loving "The Feud" and watch it together as a family as many nights as we can.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Most people don't think of me and sports...ever. Well, little known fact: I used to be a HUGE Jazz fan. Back in the Stockton/Malone glory days I used to get WAY into the games. So much so that a loss or a win would have huge effects on my mood/life. Finally I realized that I was letting a bunch of overpaid babies decide my mood and I couldn't take it anymore and I let my love for the Jazz die a quick death. Still though, when our neighbors offered us tickets for the New Years Eve game I was totally into it and Stella was excited and we invited Papa. It was a freezing cold night, but the inside of the arena was hot with excitement! ;)

 Stella loved when it was our turn to have the blow-up stick things to distract the other team. The Jazz were ahead pretty much the whole time and with like two minutes left they were up by 20, but Stella could not and WOULD not take her eyes off of the game. "I'm so much in suspense!" she exclaimed adorably.

We WAHOOED like crazy when they won and took more pictures than we needed to. Stella loved the game and had the best time. It was a really fun way to spend New Year's Eve.


Christmas was such a fun busy time this year. I know that we should and do focus on the birth of the Savior at Christmas time, but I also think Christmas can and should be fun. And this year, I remember having some fun. First off, this year I changed my Christmas tree decorations. I loved my new tree. Unfortunately, as soon as my nephews saw it they were all "BALL!" and started to take it apart, but it still was a winner of a tree. Then finally I got myself a nativity set that I liked. I never seem to see any that I don't hate, but this one was shared on one of my deal sites and it was an amazing price and I loved it. It is cut steel. Every night I left the tiny Christmas tree lights on and it glowed and helped us remember the true spirit of Christmas.

Riley was going to take Ava and Finn to Oregon for Christmas so we had made plans to celebrate Christmas Eve morning. Stella, who tends to make herself sick when she is overly excited woke up and threw up. I wasn't sure if she was really sick or had made herself sick. After she finally calmed down and got some food in her, we realized she was fine and headed over to Ashley's. We got a late start at the party but it was still a very fun early afternoon. I love having my little nephews around to entertain us non-stop. They loved opening gifts and playing with their toys.

While at Ashley's we got an email from Steve letting us know all of the different food that would be available for dinner. I love kind of teasing him about how he does this. Even my first dinner with their family I got a very full description of all my salad dressing options and at the time I didn't even like salad dressing. I want to share the email because these kinds of emails are one of my favorite things about Steve:

We are shooting for dinner around 5:30 or so. So turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, white rolls, cracked wheat rolls, stove top stuffing, veggie plate, corn and a broccoli, cauliflower curry casserole which has gotten good reviews so far. There will be shrimp, and a selection of cocktail sauses- not hot at all, a little hot.  Cherry pie, apple pie, pumpkin pies, ice cream. 7 up, root beer, cranberry juice.

We realize that some people had to work today so we didn’t make any food assignments. However, if you feel like we’ve left anything out or  you want to bring something, go ahead.

We're also having live music.

(Sorry, Iva just read this and nixed the band)

Anyway, dinner was great. We didn't open that many gifts. But Brent and Stella and I sang our Christmas song again for everyone. We learned it in choir and we all sang different parts. I was really impressed with Stella and how well she sang her own part without any help.

Then we went home and got some cookies for Santa. Grandma and Grandpa slept over this year and that was a real treat for Stella. I love her card to Santa and how she wishes him luck.

When Stella woke me up Christmas morning it took me a moment to remember why she would be doing that, until she said: "Mom, it's Christmas! Santa came! There are lots of presents and a present in Santa wrapping paper!" She was so patient as she waited for everyone to get up and get settled. Stella was spoiled as usual, but it still didn't feel like too much. This year I insisted that gifts that I had bought myself be wrapped so Stella wasn't the only one to open gifts. I thought it might be a bit lame, but I kind of loved it and will continue to do this in future years. Since, just like pictured here, I bought my own Kindle when it went on sale and when I opened the present I was still like: Hooray!

Stella wanted dolls from the Descendants movie and a suitcase that has four wheels from Santa. She got that and then some. Because I surprised her with the American Girl doll that I had told her I would NEVER buy for her. And I did. I am a sucker for those American Girl dolls. It is kind of like giving a gift to myself. She also loved her Star Wars umbrella since she wanted everything that was Star Wars now, but I would always tell her no. She loves her new umbrella, and she needed one too.

  This year Stella really helped wrapping gifts and she started to be able to do it herself pretty well. This is a gift she wrapped for me all by herself including doing the ribbon. She loved doing the ribbon on all of our gifts. She was excited to give her daddy the mouse pad she made for him. I'm pretty sure it was Brent's favorite gift.

 We did this last year too, and now it is my favorite tradition: taking pictures of us throwing wrapping paper in the air after we are all done opening our gifts.

 I made the famous Gummow rolls and was able to use my new Taylor Swift hotpads. However, since this event, the hot pads have remained in the drawer because I am too scared to get them dirty--silly, but I just hate the idea of it!

We hung out the rest of the morning and I think I took a nap and then we got ready for everyone to come over for dinner.

We hosted dinner at our house with enchiladas, then opened a few more gifts by the Christmas tree. We also sang our song one more time so that Iva could hear it better.

Later in the evening when most people had left, Stella got out her new fancy make-up case. Grandpa Sallay kept giving her tips, especially when she wasn't really happy with how it looked. I told her it takes some practice. Grandpa's tips were along the lines of putting on make-up so that it doesn't look like you are wearing any, etc. I found the whole thing adorable and hilarious.

Stella also kept playing with her new watch from Grammy. It kept her very entertained until bedtime finally came. She put Mary Ellen in her pajamas and also wore her matching PJs. They looked so cute together. What a lucky girl our little Stella is. However, she deserves all the fun that we fit into these two days for sure.