farewell 2012

i'm actually sad to say goodbye to 2012 because it was an amazing year for us.  the only plus is that 2013 has the potential to be even better!  but before i move on to the new year, i shall highlight some of our biggest moments in 2012.  here it goes.

we adopted DASH into our family! 
probably the best decision of 2012.  that little guy has sure brought a lot of fun into our home.  and has made us realize even more that we are NOT ready for real children.  but seriously.  we can't remember what life was like without him.

dawson conquered the LSAT
and now we are trying to decide if law school is what he really wants to do.  but whatever happens, all i can say is i am so glad that blasted thing is over!

we experienced DISNEYLAND together for the first time
and oh what an experience it was.  we went hard for 12 hrs straight.  dawson might have thought i was exaggerating when i said i love disneyland, but he soon learned otherwise. 

our first official COUPLES RETREAT
lake powell with our 6 favorite couple friends, what could be better?  nothing i tell you.  nothing bonds you closer together than roughing it for a week in powell.  if you are still friends after a week together without showering, then you are friends for life.

being a ma and pa on PIONEER TREK
how dawson convinced me to do this i still don't know.  at least i can now say that i have gone on a pioneer trek.  and that i don't plan on going on another one anytime soon.

a HAWAIIAN vacation
spear fishing, snorkeling, luaus... we are so lucky that we have been able to go to our favorite place in the world together twice now

i finally made it to PRIEST LAKE
this trip was a long time coming.  priest lake lived up to all my expectations and more.  but i should have known that any favorite place of dawson's was bound to be a favorite place of mine.

we celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary
it honestly was the best year ever.  we learned so much about each other and decided we still loved each other just as much, if not more.  i won't lie and say everything was perfect all the time and that i didn't try to sleep on the couch a few times (only to have dawson come get me and carry me back to bed in the middle of the night).  but we have become even closer and our relationship is stronger than ever.  i am so lucky to have married the most amazing man in the world.

we survived the UTES football season
while somewhat of a disappointing season, we had fun traveling to almost every away game.  and of course enjoyed a satisfying victory (three times) over the team down south.

i made it to my one year mark at my J-O-B
they say it takes at least a year to feel comfortable as a nurse on my unit, and i would have to agree with that.  gun shot wounds, broken femurs, amputated limbs, full body burns, etc.... i feel like i've seen it all, but unfortunately i'm sure i haven't.  i've also learned that i really do love my job, and i'm grateful because not everyone can say that.  and i'm also grateful because i got a "one year mark" raise! 

dawson made himself a job as a CAR SALESMAN
we went through 6 cars and 3 motorcycles this year, as dawson found himself a little hobby of flipping cars.  lucky for him i could care less what car i am driving, so i had no qualms about switching cars every other month (i do have qualms about those dang motorcycles though).  he ended year with a pretty impressive profit, and i know he will be as successful in a real job as he was in this temporary one.

and now it's onward and upward!
i know that 2013 is going to be just as great.  who knows what the future may hold, but as for now here is what is in our plans to look forward to:

our trip to CHINA in 2 weeks
dawson becoming a COLLEGE GRADUATE in may
going to PERU to visit dawson's mission
graduate school or a fulltime JOB for daw
more COUPLE TRIPS with friends
lots more time spent with FAMILY (especially nieces and nephews)
the TAYLOR SWIFT concert in june
a puppy friend for DASH perhaps? (my wishful thinking)
visiting tyler and lauren in WASHINGTON, D.C.
happily celebrating our TWO YEAR anniversary

i don't know about you, but i for one can't even wait.

a kent christmas

the christmas celebration never stops!
we were so happy to be able to watch our nieces and nephew open presents this year.
there is nothing more magical about christmas than a little kid opening a present from santa.
and it doesn't hurt that we have the absolute cutest nieces and nephew around!

it was so funny watching them open all their presents.
presley opened them all as fast as she could so she could,
while maybelle had to open and play with each present before she could move on to the next.
baby merida, barbie cruise ship (that i loved almost as much as presley), and the dress ups 
were the big hits this year and rightfully so.
the toys they have for kids these days are amazing!
i wish i could play with them all without having to feel a little embarrassed.

then came time for the adult presents!!!
diana and blair spoiled us all rotten.
ipads, snowmobiling gear, clothes, traveling gear, etc. were showered upon us.
but the real highlight of my christmas presents was this:

don't mind the blurriness, just focus on the joy

you know you are a grown up when you get excited about getting a blender!
dawson and i look up "will it blend" videos on youtube all the time,
and i have been dreaming of the time that i would one day own a blendtec.
well the time has come, and you can bet i have been blending away on a daily basis!

another great idea by diana this year was christmas bingo!
it was similar to the white elephant game where you can either open or steal someone's present.
the battle was intense and things might have gotten a little competitive...
but luckily all the gifts were amazing so we all ended up with something awesome.
it was a lot of fun and hopefully the start of a new tradition!

now christmas festivities and christmas music are over for a whole year.
but at least we will have lots of healthy blended smoothies to look forward too!


a whittingham christmas

(we were so crazy busy this christmas that i decided to divide it up into two posts)

we spent christmas eve with the whittingham side,
enjoying a christmas eve dinner at the ever classy el rancherito.
then we decided that to keep our yearly nativity reenactment to ourselves was just selfish.
so we headed over to the beehive house (and assisted living home) to put on a christmas eve show.

we've visited the beehive house on christmas eve before, but not for a very long time.
i'm pretty sure the last time we went i had braces on and baby jesus was an real baby cousin.
at first it was a little embarrassing, seeing as how we are all so grown up now...
(dawson was shocked that we keep this tradition up when most of us are 16+)
and the fact that our "costumes" are from grandma nancy's collection over the past 40 years,
but the audience loved it and i think it helped all of us remember the true meaning of christmas.
and even though mary and joseph look good with a baby, don't be expecting a real kent baby anytime soon.

we went over to grandmas nancy's after for a little cousin time
and a "practical" white elephant party which included toilet paper as one of the gifts.
(don't worry, it was unused)
and of course a few impromptu dance performances.
if you thought julie's dance skills were limited to the running man, you were sorely mistaken.

we spent the night at my parents house,
and then first thing in the morning we headed over to the kents 
so we could watch presley and maybelle open presents!
which could possibly have been the highlight of the day.

then it was BACK to my parents (we're lucky our parents live 5 minutes apart)
to open presents with the princess of the family, kylie,
who was a little upset that we had to wait til afternoon to open her presents,
but we appreciate her being so patient with us.

then the other best part of christmas (you can never have too many best parts of christmas)
was talking to elder whittingham on the phone!
unfortunately his mission president won't let them skype,
but it was wonderful to at least talk to him for a solid two hours.
he is doing great over there in new zealand,
but we are very grateful that we will be able to have him home for next christmas.

we had an amazing christmas this year,
and are so blessed that we are able to live so close to family.

and this was only half of it!!!
get ready to hear about "a kent christmas" soon...


christmas spirit

christmas is only two days away!!!

our shopping is done. 
our presents are wrapped.
christmas decorations have been made and put up.
our christmas card has been sent out.
many christmas lights have been seen.
christmas parties have been attended.
christmas movies have been watched.
and way too many christmas treats have been made and eaten.

we are more than ready, so bring on christmas eve!


what if?

a few months ago this song was a number one hit on the radio, and every time it came on dawson would turn it up a little bit.  he never said anything about it but after listening to it a few times i had to laugh because it almost describes us perfectly.  now i know the music video is incredibly cheesy, but watch it anyway and you can pretend that you are watching dawson and i (ignore the fact that we look nothing like the people in this video)

i'm not tooting my own horn and saying that dawson is lucky to have me (i'm the one who married up, helloooo. have you met my hilarious, handsome, genius husband?),
but it is just funny how so many things lee brice sings about reminds me of us.  

we both know if we had never met that daw would hit up the kfc with jeff wilson weekly.
he would most definitely golf more, and snowmobile a lot more too.  
he wouldn't know about yoga, not to mention crossfit or pilates or healthy foods.  
we all know that i'm as a big of football fan as him, but he would be a lot bigger basketball fan.  

he would be living in a bachelor pad, but it'd probably be at byu-hawaii where he was going to go to school before we decided to get engaged and ruin that plan.
every night would be a "boys night" (because i refuse to think of him going on dates)
unfortunately he still has a motorcycle right now, but it'd would be a much faster one if he was single.
and he definitely would not worry about throw pillows. or house decorations. 
or about taking a million pictures. or even know what a blog is.

i asked dawson what my life would be like if we hadn't ever got married
(even though i don't like to think about that, it is a recurring nightmare that i have), 
and this is what we came up with:

my keys would live in a continual state of lostness
i would still be in a relationship with my blackberry instead of my iphone
not to mention i would never have a charged phone
dash would not exist in my life
i would never have a warm car in the mornings before work
my clothes would not know what life inside a closet was like
i would be missing out on some of the best friends and family around
my sweats and socks would all fit me because i wouldn't have dawson's to steal
i would be the epitome of loneliness and cry myself to sleep every night

i feel like it's fairly safe to say that we are quite lucky that we found each other.


zoo lights

did we have more fun than the little kids at the zoo?
did we sneak in our own delicious hot chocolate?
did nakita ask the same person to take our picture multiple times throughout the night,
not realizing it was the same lady with horrible picture taking skills every time?
were the only animals that were awake the creepy ones?
was it absolutely freezing with the most bitter wind you've ever felt?
did we end up taking a few too many pictures?
do we feel much more festive and in the christmas spirit?
do we always have the best time with the nicols and laugh til our stomachs hurt?

and do i have the sweetest, most handsome hubby in the entire world?

i am going to have to answer a big fat YES to all of those questions.


church callings

when we first moved into the douglas ward all we wanted was a calling we could do together.
(well we really hoped we could sneak by without callings for at least a few months)
we got lucky, and only a week after we moved in, they called us to help at the bungalow.
the bungalow is a special needs home, and we would go with another couple
and conduct the meeting, pass the sacrament, and give a short lesson.
we go right after sunday school and it only takes 20 minutes so we're back for our sacrament.
before we went i was a little nervous, but as soon as we got there we loved it immediately.
they are so excited for church each week and their spirits are so sweet.
you can feel the spirit so strong during every meeting, 
and trust me, you will never leave a fast and testimony meeting there without laughing.

our regulars are: 
john, who passes the sacrament for us and tells us what he ordered at iceberg that week
debbie, who likes to wear her shoes on the wrong feet and is the best helper.
brenda, who proudly shows us her bowling card every week (she usually scores in the 100's!)
mike, who is very shy but comes and sits in the back every week and listens intently
alan, who's pants are always falling down and he drinks his coffee during the meeting
rachel, who loves all animals but especially puppies and kitties
herman, who is rachel's boyfriend and sweetly walks her back to her room each week
marilyn, who gives the same prayer every week and asks to bear her testimony every week without fail

debbie and brenda
after 4 months in the ward they decided that we needed callings in addition to the bungalow.
what can i say, i guess we're just super star ward members.
i got asked to teach the CTR 5 class in Primary.
the class had 4 boys in it to begin with, and then one boy moved and a new GIRL moved in!
they are super crazy and it is well known that i have the wildest class in primary,
but it's been a blast watching them grow up through the year though.
they've all learned to color inside the lines now!
my favorite thing to do is ask them questions and hear the answers they come up with.
it's made me realize how much influence parents have on their kids,
because you can definitely tell what has rubbed off on them from their parents from what they say.

some of my favorite quotes from the kids:
"so you're telling me the holy ghost has a sword and cuts peoples arms off?"
"the atonement is when jesus was bleeding in the forest of god."
"but i've done lots of bad stuff that i forget to repent for."
"my uncle is coming home from his mission... he's been gone so long i forgot his name."

(sometimes we have to take a break from the lesson and go run off some energy outside)
and of course they couldn't let dawson go without another calling,
so they called him to be in the young men's presidency.
it's amazing to me the he takes the same amount of time to prepare for his lessons
as i do for mine (which is about 10 minutes) because his are WAY more complicated.
he does a great job connecting with the boys though,
and i know they are as blessed to have him as a leader as he is to be able to teach them.

it's very different being in a family ward with actual callings,
instead of being in singles wards where your main calling is to socialize and find a date.
it was rough at first having to wake up and be on time for 9am church,
but i know that it has been a blessing in our lives and i couldn't be more grateful
for the gospel, the ward members, and our callings.