Thursday, July 28, 2011

Belated: Happy Birthday to ME!

So I was just going through my pictures and videos and realized I never posted anything from my birthday. 
Even though I wasn't able to spend my birthday with my lovely husband, I had some great family and friends make it special for me. I couldn't resist paying a little tribute to special people in my life.

It all started the night before my birthday getting a phone call from my family out in Russia. They decided they wanted to be super cool and wish me a happy birthday before anyone else could and not be too early. :) 
This is technically in Greece (so spoiled) but whatev
Later that night, I received a friendly text from my friend Paige (2 hours early... But not to her out in NC)
Such a babe!
I woke up that morning to a lovely phone call from Brad singing me Happy Birthday and asking me what my plans were for the day. 
Such a Hottie!
I had a full day of school ahead of me including some projects to finish for finals.  
I had some potential plans for later that night with some friends, but didn't know for sure what my plans were.
My lovely bestest big brother Zac was the SWEETEST thing and treated me to dinner that night. 
After my classes were over we met there in Provo for our dinner date.

We ate at Pizza Factory (my choice) and he totally splurged and spoiled me! 
It was such a yummy meal!
He made a point to make sure this day was extra special from me, especially since I had to spend it away from the hubbs. 
My brother Zac is such a sweetie and is always so thoughtful, genuine, and loving. I love him dearly!!!
I LOVE this picture of Zac. He is such a catch... (single too!)
After dinner I headed to Alpine for the rest of the evening. 
Nelle came over first and we spent the first little bit catching up on Bachelorette as we drank our bubbly (since I AM 21 now)... 
the Martinelli's Sparkling Cider was really a great contribution to our Bachelorette session. ;)
My lovely friends Ray, and Kats came over with a beautiful Star shaped cake, complete with cupcakes that they tried so desperately to keep in tact on their bike ride down. 
I would say it was more or less a bit of a close call with the condition of the cake but it still tasted great and was truly from the heart. :) 
Cousin Mitch and Zac joined my girlfriends and I in the festivities at my home in Alpine 
as they lit the candles, sang, and shared the cake. 
It was a fun to sit and chat with them and laugh hysterically about so many different things. We also spent a lot of the night watching a movie, but I cannot remember for the life of me what it was :s
My girlfriends spent the night and we all went our separate ways early enough in the morning to head to work, school, etc. 
It was a lovely day spent with people that are super cool and important in my life and I am so happy and blessed to know so many incredible people.
Below is actually the only thing I captured on my birthday...
Check out my candle blowing-out skills!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Belated: He's been called on a mission!

Ok, I know this is super late (like a whole month), but I wanted to post the video for family and friends. 
Little brother, Shaun, is a grown boy now and officially has his mission call. 
He was ordained an Elder shortly before my family left their branch in Moscow, Russia and will be 19 in September, and he was ready to turn in his papers. 
Shaun was on a 3 week trip: Heritage Tours when his mission call arrived. My parents sent me to pick it up at the Post Office since neither of them trusted themselves to hold onto it all day. I took it into work after picking it up and my co-workers had to keep a close eye on me as it sat on my desk all day ;)
  It was pure torture for the family to walk by it many times a day, knowing that the fate of the next two years of Shaun's life was printed inside that envelope. 
It then sat on my desk at home for almost FOUR DAYS before Shaun FINALLY got home. 
We went to pick him up in American Fork as soon as their travel buses arrived. 
The whole family came down because usually everyone will get out and mingle for a bit, take a few more pictures, exchange a few more phone numbers, etc. before heading home with their families. 
This year was Oh The Contrary!
We received 3 phone calls from Shaun on our way down, wondering where we were. As we turned down the road to pick him up, we saw that he had already left the crew, past the high school and seminary building. He was racing towards us dragging his bag behind him. 
He jumps in the car and says a brief "hi" (after not seeing any of us for 3-4 weeks) and tells us to hurry home.
He was obviously a bit anxious to open his mission call :)


I promise he is excited, he was just in a bit of shock :) 

Needless to say, we are so proud of Shauny and his personal decision to serve a mission. 
We love him SOO much!
He is SOOO excited to be serving in Europe and ok with the idea of not returning to Russia ;)
(Even tho Mom REALLY wanted him to speak Russian)
I know that Shaun's life trials, challenges, success and experience (specifically in Russia) has truly prepared him to be a great missionary.  
We are so proud of you SHAUNY!!!!

reports to the MTC: November 16th, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


As some of you may already know, I surprised my dear Bradley last week. 
My flight was originally scheduled for me to head out the night of July 7th, for the rest of the summer. However, thanks to my dad and all of his traveling for work, we were able to change my flight no problem :) Thanks Dad!
I finished up my Spring semester at BYU June 16th and passed my classes with flying colors! 
my first and probably only 4.0 at BYU  :)
My mom, dad and sister Megan came home from Russia for good that Saturday, the 18th. It was so great to have them home so quickly. It helped me to have a distraction from living alone now that I didn't have school to keep me busy. 
After spending the next week with my family, and sharing Shaun's mission call experience with him, I knew it was time for me to go be with my hubby.
So, I secretly changed my flight and carried on my daily conversations with Brad as if nothing had changed with my flight plans. 
This was a bit of a difficult decision for me to make knowing this change would cause me to miss the famous Roundy Rumble only by a couple of days. But I knew I needed and REALLY wanted to be with my hubby ASAP. So Tuesday night, after attending a Bee's game with my family, they dropped me off at the airport for my red-eye flight.

Two flight delays (2 1/2 hours a piece), and 10 hours of travel later, I made it to Roanoke, Virginia!
My cousin Shaylee came to pick me up at the airport literally two minutes away. 
We planned the surprise as we headed towards our place.

Sidenote: on our way up to Shay's room, we were waiting for the elevator to come down when we received a "Red Alert" text from our dear friend Paige, informing us that Brad was on his way down right now! 
AHHHHH! It was quite the scare.
We frantically searched for a place to hide. We grabbed all of my luggage and threw ourselves into the nearest ice machine corner, as we silently laughed, catching our breath.

Anyway, so we dropped of my luggage in Shaylee's room and headed to Paige's place to wait for Brad. Pai and Austin invited Brad over for lunch, so the plan was for him to come straight over to their place after their meeting. We waited there until Brad arrived from the meeting with Austin.

Please enjoy the snap shots capturing the special moment :)
photography done by Paige. thanks girl!
"What?!? You're Crazy!"

Yay for hugs!

Yay for Kisses!
FYI, he kissed baby Brooklyn first... cool Brad, but she IS darling; who can blame him?

Brad trying to figure out how I actually pulled this off...

Now to get the FULL effect, feel free to watch the video capturing the special moment. YAY!
thanks Shay for your great video skills!

I was SO nervous/anxious/excited to surprise him I could hardly handle it. I am TERRIBLE at keeping secrets, so I was super worried about pulling it all off. Needless to say, I was please with the successful outcome and SO thrilled to finally be reunited with my hubby. 
I love Bradley SO much and am so happy to have a bed buddy again. YAY!

Since I have been here, I have been working on catching up with my blog, finances, making our little place more of a home, and taking care of my dear hubby. I have also had the GREAT opportunity to meet and make some great lady friends with the wives out here. They truly are great!
I am looking forward to what else this adventure will bring for us in our lives together.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Memorable Visit to the Dentist

Oh the joys of going to the dentist! 
Apparently I don't take very good care of my teeth. :s
 I came home from my dental check up appointment only to find out I had three cavities :( 
I had to try to get in before the end of June to fill the cavities before our insurance changed in July.
I just thought I'd give you a good laugh to cheer you up in your Saturday morning slumber.
All three of my cavities were on the top row of teeth, two on the far left and one on the far right.
As you can see in the pictures below, I had no control over the muscles on the upper half of my mouth. 

After humoring my mom and brother Shaun with smiles so they could snap a couple of pictures... 
I started laughing right along with them.
Within about 10 seconds we were all laughing uncontrollably loud. 
We were causing quite the scene.
Unfortunately I was a still quite loopy from the laughing gas and was overwhelmed with emotion and began crying as I laughed. 

You can't really tell in this picture, but this is where I started crying.

My sister Meggy was also there getting a cavity filled, so we were both struggling to present our best smiles

Later on Meggy and I decided to treat ourselves to Sonic drinks. 
Unfortunately we may have treated ourselves a little bit early in the game. 
I had to try SO HARD to close my lips around the straw. 
The picture below is definitely an improvement from the start. 
At the beginning I had to close my lips around the straw using my other hand. 
I really am trying sooo hard, you can even see the muscles dimpling in my chin!

Remember Kids!
Brush twice and floss everyday!
and don't eat too much sugar!