Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We are Thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Blakely and I made collages of things we are thankful for. Blakely's kind of turned into an "I like..." collage but don't be offended if you didn't make the cuts.

Moving away from home and starting a new part of our life has given me a new appreciation for many things  as well as reaffirm my gratitude for the many blessings I have in my life. 

I am thankful for:
1.My testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knowledge of eternal families.
2. Blakely, my husband, best friend, teammate, fellow adventurer and love of my life. 
3.My education: Although my degree has not help me get a teaching job....yet, I still am grateful for the knowledge and skills I gained and the once in a lifetime experiences I had attending BYU.  
4. My Kitchen-Aid: All the quality time with myself has given me a lot of time to become more acquainted with the wonderful appliance and we have become good friends.
5. My family, particularly for my nieces and nephews. 
6. My phone: 
7: My Chacos: With the beautiful Texas fall weather, my Chacos have hardly left my feet since we moved here. They take me everywhere.
8. Being a woman:  
9.Utah scenery: Texas is the second biggest state in America but features only endless stretches of flat roads. How spectacular are the many sights of Utah!
10. Ice cream: especially for our recent discovery- Bluebell Ice Cream. YUM! I am forever thankful for the complete happiness this simple dessert can always bring me.
11.Fresh fruits and vegetables: 
12.Good Books: There is nothing better than getting wrapped up in a good book that makes you smile, laugh, and think.
13.Piano and Music: 
14. My bike: When you can rely more on your bike than your car, you know you have a good bike or at that you have an old car. I think its a combination of both but I am thankful for all the places my bike has taken me
15. Our new texas home: including our apartment, our ward, our friends, and our jobs. We are so blessed

Blakely refused to include any description of his "I like..." collage but I am thankful for his participation!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shamu!..Shamu!.. Shamu!

This post is long overdue but over Labor Day we were able to take a trip to San Antonio with Blakely's uncle, Ormonde, to visit Sea World! The night before, Ormonde's family traveled from Fort Worth and slept in our living room. We pushed back the dining room table, moved our ottoman into the bedroom and inflated multiple air mattresses. While a little snug, we were pleasantly surprised how our little one bedroom apt slept 8 people!
Heidi, Harris, Harley, Lindsey, Reese, Blakely, and Montana

The day was spent watching whales jump, seals bark, and dolphins eat. I couldn't have been more thoroughly entertained and I can't wait to go back again!
The seal is biting his bum. I laughed out loud.
They thought it was funny too.
Shamu!..Shamu!..Shamu! I was singing the song all the way home.
 Anyone who has even taken a jumping picture can attest to how difficult that is.
Feeding the dolphins is insanely overpriced but who can resist the cute dolphin face and sound? They look like they smiling and sound like they are laughing all the time!
I know we are twins. We do that some time. The picture isn't even showing our matching Chacos...Embarrassing

Rise and Shout!

The cougars are not out...:(
A couple of weeks ago Blakely and I traveled up to Fort Worth with some other families in our ward to watch the BYU vs TCU game. Sadly, despite fanatical cheers from the thousands of BYU fans that traveled hundreds of miles to see their favorite team, the cougars never did make a showing. The end score was 3-31. Yes that's right, we weren't even able to see a touchdown. Sigh.

James and Allison
 Sewell Family
The weekend was a not a complete loss though. We traveled with our friends James and Allison and were able to spend the night with Blakely's uncle and his family and enjoy a morning basketball game. We explored the Fort Worth water gardens and discovered a corvette car show. The highlight was being introduced to the little Czech Bakery in West, TX which features the most delicious pastries. My favorite, the pumpkin kolache. YUM! We had to make a stop both on the way up and the way down.

Hopefully BYU can pull it together before they play UT Austin next year. We will be there win or lose because thats what Cougars fans do, but at least next year we won't have to travel three hours to see them lose.

Festive Halloween

Blakely and I have never been very festive during the Halloween season. Since we have been married we have not ventured into a corn maze, paid to be scared in a haunted house, or even taken the time to carve a jack-o-lantern! We have also avoided even attempting to dress up for any Halloween party. This year I determined was to be different.
Now, while you can not find a corn maze for miles in this part of Texas and we are still too cheap to pay to enter a haunted house, this October we carved pumpkins, made apple pumpkin muffins, pumpkin chocolate chips muffins, pumpkin pancakes, monster eyeballs (peanut butter truffles dipped in chocolate with an M&M on top to appear like an eyeball) AND we made Halloween costumes.
For those of you who missed a live demonstration of this costume, Blakely is a car wash and I am a car...or a girl in a car. Whichever makes most sense to you.
Turns out when you don't have kids and you still don't have a job, you have some extra time on your hands to hot glue hundreds of strips of blue felt to make this ridiculous awesome. And don't worry this fancy blue car came with a UTAH license plate ( I forgot to take a picture of the back). I remember where my roots are.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This is our home. The walls are bare because we still have not put any of our pictures up. We still have our free lumpy couches and comically gigantic ottoman, and it looks like Christmas all the time because of the combination of our surprise green wall and red pillows. Despite all of this, we love our new apartment and we feel quite at home.

We are Texans

It was a sad day when we had to trade in our beautiful Delicate Arch Utah plates in exchange for these ugly Texas plates but when your registration expires there is little you can do. 

 We are officially Texans. 
We eat Texas sized portions- like this delicious chocolate glazed Texas doughnut we found at our local Round Rock Doughnut. One zillion calories of doughnut goodness!
We live with Texas creatures.All of these friends like to frequent our back porch. Luckily they have not taken the invitation to come inside...yet.
Yeah this guy is that big and scary looking and despite Blakely's many attempts to destroy his web, he keeps rebuilding his home next to our apt. 

And we follow UT football! We will forever be BYU Cougars fans but it is impossible not to catch the Longhorn spirit around here, even when they are having losing season.
We would gladly share any of these Texas  experiences to those who come visit!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Water Babies

I was trying to organize my pictures and found these from a Pineview boating trip earlier this summer. Oh how I miss having these kids around!
Annie Kate
Ashton, AnneMerie, Ellie and Haley playing King of the Tube


Henry getting ready to jump.
Julie and Abby

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AMERICA! Independence Day Fun

So I'm still trying to get caught up on summer...

Freedom Days Parade with Blakely's family
In order for us to save a spot, Blakely and I had to make a run at 4:45 AM to put down our blankets and chairs. Anything laid down before 5:00 is taken by the police. People camp out all night to make sure they get the spot we want! Clearly we're not that hardcore.
Ah Utah. I don't think I will see any temple floats in Texas.
Other fun included light saber wars, (Aaron was the universal target)
playing with my cute niece Shelby,
   and my cute nephew Daxton
and enjoying the annual firework show in Uncle Calvin and Aunt Margo's front yard. 
Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


In June we were able to take a biking trip with some friends in our ward, Jared and Stacie Gibbons.We were able to stay with Stacie's sweet parents in St George and ride a couple of different trails including  Bearclaw Poppy Trail and a trail in Snow Canyon which were both super fun even though the second trail was a tad bit out of my difficulty level. The weather was perfect until it started to downpour the last couple of miles of our second ride but I didn't really mind, it just added to the adventure. Turns out I'm still a big wuss on a bike but I'm getting there. I even go down an occasional hill now and then! :)
These pictures were taken seconds before the downpour began that lasted the last couple miles back to the car.

Blakely and I were worried about what kind of biking we would find in Texas. We already miss the Utah mountains and the many outdoor recreational opportunities they offer, but we were pleasantly surprised by the biking trail we found today. We biked around Lake Georgetown which was beautiful, and surprisingly fun and difficult. Hopefully we can find some more just like it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ashton Family Reunion in New York

This July my family ventured to New York to visit my brother Spencer where he is completing his medical residency.We spent a week in a beach house in Sodus Day along Lake Ontario where we were able to visit Niagara Falls, Palmyra, and other surrounding areas. We were all able to make it except for Joe, Ashton, and Abby. All together there were 21 of us there!
Julie, Mom, Sam, Ben, Kenzie, Blakely, Ellie, Haley, Niki, Henry, AnneMerie, Matt, Annie Kate at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls far exceeded my expectations. We paid extra to take the Cave of the Winds tour and take a ride on Maid of the Mist and they were both awesome!
Pre- Cave of the Winds Tour sporting our complimentary ponchos and sandals. 

At the bottom of hurricane deck, when we were still dry!
Post Hurricane Deck: Soaked! The ponchos didn't really help.
On board the Maid of the Mist after we left the foot of the falls. I couldn't open my eyes because there was so much mist! Crazy awesome
Luke was asleep the entire time.

We went to Palmyra to see all of the Church history sites including the Parlmyra Temple, the Sacred Grove, the Smith Farm, the printing press where the Book of Mormon was published, Hill Cumorah, and the Peter Whitmer Farm where the Church was organized. 
 In the Sacred Grove
Smith Farm
View of the Sacred Grove
Palmyra Temple
Inside the printing press

We went to an awesome children's museum in Rochester
Where we went to 123 ABC St
and were able to visit Big Bird!
and Papa Bernstein Bear!
We took a ride in Cinderella's carriage,

met an old woman who lived in a shoe had lots of kids :),
and witnessed a superhero save 3 children from falling off a high rise building!

Before the majority of the group left for home we celebrated my mom's retirement from teaching and her official graduation from school!

At the end of our trip we were able to take a beautiful hikewith Spencer's Family to Taughanock Falls and view the Ithaca Gorges. 

I am so glad we were able to spend such a great week with my nieces and nephews and siblings before we left for Texas. I will surely miss them all!