Thanksgiving at Home

I haven't been home for Thanksgiving in 9 years, and I have missed it so much! Every year that I was in Hawaii, my friends and I would go to our ward Thanksgiving lunch (they would usually dig a pit and roast an entire pig or two!) Then we would always go surfing. (We named a place spot at Kawela Bay "Thanksgivings" because we always went there on Thanksgiving.) It was always so much fun, but I always missed my family, being home, and our traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2014!!!

This year my sisters and I are all having Christmas with our in-laws, so Thanksgiving was kind of like our Christmas celebration too. Everyone was here except Brittany & Matt. We missed them and can't wait to see them in a few weeks!!!

Wednesday evening we all met at my Mom and Dad's to make homeade donuts and put up the Christmas tree, one of our Christmas traditions. My mom makes the best donuts, the secret ingredient is mashed potatoes! They are soooo good!!! It was so much fun putting up the tree and being with my sisters! We are all really close and I love being able to spend time with them!

Jenna wore my old Halloween costume all week!

Thursday was Thanksgiving! In the morning, my Mom, Melissa, and I went and cheered Nate, Cody, & the boys on at our ward Turkey Bowl. My favorite part was just laughing at all of the old men playing so seriously. Oh, and also Nate got depantsed on accident and we all saw it.... haha so funny!!!

Brooke was working at the hospital that day, so we had decided to postpone our Thanksgiving until Friday. We met her at the hospital and had the Thanksgiving lunch there. We took up an entire huge table!! It was fun to have lunch all together and to see where she works, it is such a nice hospital!! I felt bad for some of the nurses that were missing their Thanksgiving and didn't have family there.

After lunch we went to the park and played tennis and kickball. We always play until one of the boys has a meltdown.. haha! Melis & I played a few tennis games with just the two of us, which was fun! We used to play together in college!!

On Friday, Nate and I slept in a little and then started cooking!! I was in charge of making a German chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, and a green bean casserole and Nate was making his delicious mashed potatoes. I had decided to make homeade pie crust and right as I was baking it in the oven, my mom and sisters all texted pictures of the amazing food they were making. I pulled my pie crust out of the oven, ready to snap a picture and realized it wasn't quite picture worthy.. haha! So much for trying to be a good homemaker! In the end, it worked out though and still tasted good!

Melis, Sam, and Ally came over and it was fun to show them our new house! Then we headed to Brooke's for dinner. She always decorates everything so pretty! I wish I would have taken a picture before we started eating!

We had the best thanksgiving dinner! Smoked turkey, rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homeade cranberry sauce, and sweet potato casserole. It was really the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever had!! To top it off, we had 6 pies!!!

On Saturday, all us girls met up to go shopping at Last Chance. We left early in the morning and got there a few minutes before the doors opened. I love how there is always a huge crowd there and everyone is so crazy running around in there! My sisters and I usually go there in December so this year we just switched up a month. I got such good deals!!!

Nate was so sweet and gave me a big budget, I didn't even end up spending all of it! It's funny because I am really strict on how much I/we spend on things. I am always stressing about spending to much on an item. Nate doesn't buy a ton of stuff, be he doesn't stress and is always having to tell me that I should buy something. We are the opposites with spending money traveling though. I looove traveling, big trips or little, and Nate likes to think about things a lot before deciding to buy tickets for a trip, while I am like, "Let's just buy the tickets already so I can start planning everything!!"

Anyways, I got 2 really cute pairs of boots, one black pair and one brown. Only $18 each and they are usually over $150 each! I also got a shirt, necklace,a really soft robe, and some Christmas presents for family. After shopping a few hours, we met up at Oregano's with the guys. I love that place! It took forever but was amazing, as usual, and it was fun to visit with everyone. At night, we went to a Snowflake football game that our cousin, Travis, was playing in. He did an awesome job and it was fun to watch!!

The weekend ended to soon, but we had so much fun! We did a lot in just a few days and had so much fun!!

On Saturday Nate and I helped clean our church, went to a car wash for the wrestling team Nate coaches, and then went to the Melting Pot for dinner. Then we rushed home to watch the Cultural Celebration. Our nephew Rhett was in it and it was so fun to watch. It really was amazing and so many people helped out and spent so many, many hours of service to make it so good! Yesterday we had a family brunch at our house. We made lemon poppyseed pancakes with berries, hashbrowns, eggs, and bacon! It was so fun having my family over. On Friday we are going to head to San Diego for the weekend! We feel so blessed being close by both of our families!

Lately, we have been watching a ton of HGTV shows, looking at pinterest for ideas, and looking into renovation ideas. We have already done a lot of little things to our house and it looks a lot better than when we first moved in (I don't know if that's saying much though because it was a disaster when we moved in!). I love seeing home renovations and getting ideas but I also don't like it at all sometimes. With all of the shows, the people end up with a perfect looking house and all of the pinterest pins show the most beautiful, perfect homes with white couches and millions of throw pillows and accessories. It makes me feel like I need to buy more things, and have everything completely done to perfection right away.

I have always dreamed of how my dream kitchen would look. White cabinets, gray marble countertops, a big island. Typical pinterest kitchen. After going to several different places and getting prices, we found out it would take much more than we expected to get the look we wanted. I just can't justify spending so much money on new countertops when we spent that same amount or less traveling to Belize and Guatemala and doing a million amazing things we will never forget there! I would definitely rather use the money on another trip and live with the counters how they are.

House Story

Nate and I moved from Washington to Arizona in July. A few days after we moved, we went on a 2 week trip to Belize and Guatemala.The weekend after we got back from our trip, we went out with a realtor to look at houses. We actually found one that we both liked on the 1st day! The house wasn't perfect, but it was only 2 years old, in a great neighborhood, and would be just what we wanted with a few updates. We both felt really good about it. We put in an offer the next day.

After waiting anxiously for a day and a half, we found out someone else had also put in an offer and we were in a bidding war. We put in our highest bid and hoped and prayed we would get it. We were then told if we would pay a little more, the house would be ours. It was still a good deal, so we paid a bit more and got the house!

I thought everything else would be smooth after this stressful week, but the next few weeks continued to be stressful, dealing with getting the loan and getting the owner out of the house. The owner was a kind of crazy old man who did not pay attention to deadlines. Finally, we were able to move into the house a week later than planned! It was a stressful process, but we are so happy to own our little house now!!!

When we were finally able to move into our house, we were so excited! Our move in date was supposed to be a week earlier but the old man who was in the house said he needed more time to pack. I got the keys for the house on our move in date and my sister, Brooke, and I went into the house. It was soooo dirty and there was still so much stuff inside. There were big garbage bags of old food on the floor in the kitchen and the bags were leaking out on the floor. I was so stressed because we were going to San Diego the next day and wanted everything to be clean before we left.

A few hours later, my mom and I were at the house and the old owner showed up. He said he had forgotten one thing. I showed him the huge pile of things he had left and he wanted us to keep them in the garage for a few weeks.. I said no way and my mom and I helped load most of the stuff in his car and he said that he didn't want the rest, so we could throw it away. It made me so annoyed because he acted like he was doing me a favor letting me throw everything away, and never said anything about the huge mess!

Luckily, we had bought a few appliances from him and his realtor told us to subtract $250 off for cleaning costs. We couldn't get someone to come clean it before we left for San Diego, so my mom and sister were sooo nice and helped me clean everything. (Nate was coaching at a swim meet and only saw the nice,clean house!) After a few hours of cleaning, it looked sooo much better and we went out to dinner at a really good Mexican place to celebrate!


After: (Just some of the mess)

My mom and sister were so nice to help me clean everything!

I saved the toilets for Nate, since he was at practice. They are his faaavorite (:

Little did I know, this was not the end of the drama though! We have been in our house for a little over a month now. A few nights ago I had a nightmare that the old man (old owner) came into the house and was kidnapping me. I always have the creepiest nightmares that feel so real!! Anyways, the day after that, I was home alone after work and someone rang the doorbell. I wasn't expecting anyone, so I looked through the peephole and it was the old man!!! I closed all of the shades, hid my chips and salsa that I had been eating and ran into the bedroom and locked the door. I texted Nate that the old man was at the house (you know, just so in case he kidnapped me, Nate would know what happened.. ) I was totally overreacting, but after my nightmare the night before I was just so freaked out and so afraid he was going to come into the house!

I already knew the old man was kind of crazy and out of it and I was afraid he still had a key and would come in the house. Luckily, he just rang the doorbell over and over a few times and then left. Then a few hours later, it was dark and Nate was still at work, coaching late. Someone rang the doorbell, and it was the old man again. I was so scared because now it was dark, and he kept ringing the doorbell over and over again!

I called Nate and luckily he was on his way home! He got to the house and the old man started yelling at him and causing a scene. He kept yelling that we owed him money for the appliances and that we needed to give him the money or he would take us to court. Finally he left when we said we would call the police. We called our realtor, who called his realtor and got it all sorted out. I am just glad that all the drama is over with (hopefully)!!!!

We have been doing lots of little renovations on the house! The first weekend we painted the living room, kitchen, den, and hallways a pale gray. It made such a difference! We are also going to redo the kitchen. We want to paint the cabinets white, install new countertops, install and island, and put up backsplash. We are also going to paint our bedroom. It has been so fun decorating and coming up with ideas for renovations! Hopefully everything will be done in the next few months! And then we will move onto the backyard!!

First night at our new house!!

A few pics so far:

Halloween Week

The past week went by quick. On Wednesday, Nate and I drove down to Mesa. We had dinner at Cafe Rio, of course. Then we visited my friend, Sam. Sam was one of my best friends in Hawaii. At first I thought she was stuck up (haha, I don't even know why!) but we went surfing together with another friend and instantly became good friends. Maybe because no other girls were as obsessed with surfing as us.. haha! Anyways, it was so fun to see Sam! Whenever I see Hawaii friends, it is just like we never left Hawaii.

Quick story, when Nate and I were dating I had just moved to San Diego from Hawaii one month ago, after living there for the past 7 years. I missed it sooo much and probably talked about it waaaay to much. Nate had gone to Hawaii on vacation with his family when he was in high school so I asked him if he loved it. He said, "It was ok, not that great." and kept acting like he didn't love it. I was sooo annoyed and I remember thinking, "I don't know if I can even date this guy, how can someone go to Hawaii and not completely love it?!" Late on he told me he had just acted like he didn't like Hawaii to annoy me because he thought it was so funny...!

After visiting Sam, Jordan, and her cute baby Allie, we went to a party to see my uncle Jeff on the show "Rival Survival". Jeff is an AZ Senator and was on a reality tv show on Discovery Channel with a Democratic Senator. It was fun to watch the show with lots of family and to hear Jeff talk about it. It freaked me out how many sharks were in the water while they were spearfishing!!! Crazy!!

Friday was Halloween! I think I get way to excited about holidays because the night before every holiday (or trip) I can't sleep at all because I am too excited! Then I wake up all tired and grumpy and with expectations way too high. (Poor Nate, always having to try and meet my holiday expectations..he hates it.. haha!) Work went by fast because the classes at the school I was at were doing cute Halloween activities. Then Nate and I were deciding between going to our ward Trunk or Treat of staying home and handing out candy to trick or treaters.

I had plenty of good costumes that we could have done for Trunk or Treat, the top one was Nate could be the grinch (think lots of green paint and green fur) and I could be cute Cindy Lou Who. Nate will never agree to dress up with me for some reason! The only costume he wanted to do was from the movie Lars and the Real Girl. He would be the Ryan Gosling character and I would be a plastic doll in a wheelchair...maybe next year.

Finally, we decided since this is the first time that we've lived in a house that would get trick or treaters we decided to stay home. I made some chicken pot pies shaped like pumpkins, apple cider, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. We carved a pumpkin and then we waited and waited for trick or treaters. Only like 10 came!!! Luckily my sister and her boys came over later, so I just dumped our candy in their bags. So overall, it was a bit of a disappointment. I think we just need to start having kids so they can get excited about holidays with me!!! (:

Just waiting for some trick-or-treaters...

Saturday was Kade's baptism. Nate and I accidentally though it was at a different chapel, so we barely got there in time! I lead the music, which I have never done before and did so very awkwardly.. (: Kade had the biggest smile on his face the whole time and looked so happy. It was so sweet to see him so happy and excited! Nate and I were so glad that we were able to be there!

Overall, it was a very busy but fun week!

St. George Visit

Nate and I just got back from visiting Melis, Sam, and Jenna at 1:30 am Sunday morning. We had such a fun visit, it was sad to leave! We went hiking every day and had lots of good food!

The first day we got there we went to the duck park with Melis and Jenna. Before we went Jenna told Nate, "It's ok, don't be scared of the big duck, I won't let it hurt you." Haha! She was so cute and saying the cutest stuff the whole time. We played rook at night and watched The Office.

The next day, Wednesday, we went on a hike near Melissa's house. It was really pretty and the weather was so nice! We met Sam at Cafe Rio for lunch. I felt sick because I ate a whole salad instead of sharing one like I usually do! It was soooo good though! Then we went to Sugar Cookie with Jenna. It was so cute, she kept singing "Sugar cookie, sugar cookie, we're going to sugar cookie" over and over again until we got there.

On Thursday we went hiking again and then went to see the temple. I love that temple. Visiting the St. George Temple always reminds me of when my sister, Brittany, got stuck in a bathroom there. Long story, but it was really funny! We were laughing about that! (: Then we shared a huge milkshake and onion rings from this place, The Iceburg.

At night we all went to the pumpkin patch. It was so fun! Jenna loved the witch there, Wicka Dee. We went on a hay ride, picked out pumpkins, and I made Nate go down this children's slide into some corn, his face is so funny in the picture, pure happiness.. (:

Don't take my pumpkin..or else!

Pure happiness.. haha!

Jenna thought this goat was stuck so she pulled him out of the bars. (:

Friday we went to Zions and did a really pretty hike! We had a picnic and like one minute after we started hiking again Jenna was asking where we were going to stop for another picnic, haha! When we got back from Zions, Sam and Melis made us pizza and pizzookies for dinner. The pizza was soooo good, Sam cooked it on bricks in their grill, it was really one of the best pizzas I've ever had! Now we want to get all of the stuff to make it the same! We watched Transformers 3 which was very actiony and me and melis both fell asleep almost the whole movie!

Jenna had this flower that she kept hitting Nate on the head with and accidentally hitting other people with the whole time. It was funny to watch from behind!

Saturday we went hiking at Snow Canyon. That was actually probably my favorite hike, it was so pretty and there were so many wildflowers everywhere! We hiked down into some caves. It was funny because at one part, you had to kind of rock climb down a little ledge. All of us didd it fast, but then Melis was trying to come down. She had her bum so high in the air and wouldn't bring it down, so she couldn't lower down enough. Finally, after like 10 minutes, she lowered enough to get down, haha! After hiking we had a late lunch at Wingers. They had all you can eat wings and Nate and Sam both ate at least 15! We asked the waitress how much she had seen anyone eat and she said, "You guys are pretty close, about 20 is the most." Nate was in heaven!!

Jenna came in to wake us up every morning. One time she brought us balloons and another time she woke us up by throwing a snowball(handful of cotton balls) at our heads..haha!

It seems like our trip went by so fast. We loved every minute of it! On the way home, we stopped to visit Nate's uncle and cousins and then headed home.

Flickr Images