Monday, December 31, 2012

year in review

i have to say
2012 has been one for the books.
it truly has been my best year yet. 
so much fun, so much love.

here goes my year in review...
1. exactly a year ago tonight we got engaged! 2. and set a date! 3. the wedding plans started rolling and were lots of fun and lots of stress. 4. we took a trip down to st. george with the future in-laws. 5. we ate so, so, so many free grilled cheesers at sammy's. gotta love mustache monday. 6. i never imagined that snowy, cold engagements would be so perfect! 7. what's a semester without a few snow-cone runs? 8. anj and i dressed up to go to cafe rio for a valentine's day date. 8. we celebrated grandma's birthday, along with all the presidents. 9. mindy's missionary, robb, finally came home! it was a great day. 10. i addressed so many wedding announcements. 11. my great grandma turned 95 and still is a serious beauty! 12. i was showered with so much love at several bridal showers. family is the best. 13. my best cousin friend mallory and i got to be engaged together! 14. rebekah westover took my bridals. 15. anj and i hit the giants home opener! 16. i had a very special day at the oakland temple with my family and future husband. 17. more, more, more sammy's. 18. my best friend graduated from college! 19. that same night we had a rocking reception. 20 and the next day we were married for time and all eternity. 21. we honeymooned in sunny mexico. 22. and flew to idaho a week later for wedding #2, mallory and daniel! 23. a quick trip to CA for our open house 24. then we headed back to utah and packed up to move to colorado! 25. anj started work selling security systems like a pro. 26. i made my first loaf of bread. 27. my little sister j graduated from high school 28. i fulfilled a childhood dream and worked as a waitress in a fifties diner, hello juju!
27. i headed back to idaho for rainy but still perfect wedding #3, hooray for jordan and liz. 28. anj and i packed our bags again and moved to boise. 29. i turned 22 and had a red-lip birthday party. 30. we spent a fabulous week in montana with the fam. 31. we all participated in our first annual family triathlon. 32. my dad and i rode a moose. serious bonding. 33. we roadtripped to wedding number #4, katie and brett! 34. and that same weekend celebrated anj's sister avery and our new brother in law curtis for wedding #5. 35. anj and i had a blast at the idaho state fair. 36. i took a trip to portland and experienced my first bacon doughnut. 37. i loved being a part of my best friend's wedding for wedding number #6. mindy and robb were a perfect couple. 38. i had my last first day of school. 39. we hit lots of football games! 40. and started to decorate our first apartment. 41. we hiked the Y on labor day for the fourth year in a row! 42. more games! 43. more Y! 43. wedding #7 was another great one, we loved seeing how happy nate and katie are together! 44. we got to go to conference again, and spend some quality time in the presidential suite. 45. even more games. 46. we loved the beautiful fall weather. 47. having jenn up in utah with me is truly a treat. 48. we had lots of fun with friends. 49. anj flew to CA for a giant's world series game! 50. we rocked a KILLER halloween costume. 51. and carved pumpkins with friends. 51. we were ultimate girls soccer fans in rain and snow. 52. tomato soup and grilled cheese mondays became a barrett family tradition. 53. we drank lots of hot chocolate. 54. anj lost his glasses on the alpine coaster in park city. 
55. we had a wonderful thanksgiving with the hart family. 56. we went and picked out our first christmas tree. a real one! 57. and eventually we trimmed the tree. 58. i went to my last day of class. 59. and i finished strong with volleyball. i loved taking two classes with my sister. 60. we saw the lights at temple square. i missed being there with mind on her birthday. 61. we made christmas cookies. twice. 62. anj took me to a fancy dinner to celebrate graduation. and a 4.0 semester. 63. i decorated our apartment and got to set up my french nativity from our trip last year! 64. santa came early and brought us a new TV! 65. i got to sing the national anthem in the marriott center. 66. wedding #8, an old roommate of mine emily tied the knot! 67. anj and i sent out our first christmas card! 68. we received some delicious, perfect christmas pears from my family. 69. i crocheted hats for days.  70. the presents kept piling up! 71. the barretts surprised me with a wildlife stocking, i was simply overjoyed! 72. anj and i dressed up for sunday. 73. we caroled and delivered treats around the neighborhood. 74. anj and i opened our christmas pjs from grandpa and grandma hart. the fact that they arrived in time was a true miracle! 75. santa came! 76. i gave anj a five pound gummy bear. definite highlight. 77. we went hookie bobbing up at the barrett's cabin. aka sledding behind a vehicle. 78. anj turned 23 and we celebrated by going to a jazz game. 79. dreams came true and anj got a signed jersey from his fave player. 80. we got to go on the court and meet with the captains before the game. 81. i got to plan and be a part of the adam's family white elephant party. 82. we managed to fit in one more wedding, #9, ollie and amelia, before we 83. came home to CA! 84. i straightened anj's hair. he bears a strange resemblance to a certain ex-jazz player. 
85. can i just say we had some fabulous outfits this year? 

 86. we had fondue for dinner... and now the end is near! just a few more minutes and 2013 will be here. we've hit nine weddings (including our own!), moved three times, celebrated birthdays and holidays galore, started new traditions and stuck with old ones, i've graduated from college and got a real job, we've spoiled each other silly...
 and we have fallen more and more in love each day.
i know this year has been so great because i have spent it with an amazing man.
we have been so blessed this year. my heart goes out to all those in need of comfort and peace, and i hope that the new year will bring that for them. i am so grateful for the knowledge of my savior Jesus Christ and the peace i find in His sacrifice for us. 

i'm not sure if 2012 can be beat, but i am so excited to see what 2013 has in store!

here's to a new year of mads and anj in real life. 
thanks for reading, following, and hopefully always enjoying. i love you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

bucket list

 last year i auditioned to sing the national anthem at a byu sports game...
they told me they would contact me, and that was the end of that. 
or so i thought!
last week, amidst hours in the library, they called and asked me to sing at a basketball game!!! 
oh, a women's basketball game? hmm... not quite as cool, but why not!
singing the national anthem at a college game in the marriott center? definitely checking a goal off the good ole' bucket list.

so today was the day. i made sure to look extra cute.
 i was really excited, and really nervous. 
(much thanks to the cold creeping up on me via sore throat and runny nose.)
i think i practiced my starting note seventy-nine times, at least!
 the time came and i did it. all the notes came out, two a little shakier than others, but i hit the big important ones. i was nervous, but it was so fun. 
hearing my voice being carried to every corner of the marriott center? that was pretty intense. 
wait? does the marriott center have corners?

it would not have been worth it without all my fans (read: fam) who came to support me. (and basically double the number of people at the game...)
i loved having grandma and grandpa there to cheer me on, and report to my mom how it all went.
 i don't know what i would do without this guy! he made me believe i could do it despite the croaky throat, and i did it! thanks for believing in me, babe!

 what a great group! 
i missed all of my fam who couldn't be there, but i know they would've if they could've.

so, bucket list? 
i sang the national anthem at a college game today. take that!

if you want to hear it (haha) let me know...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

quality friendship.

happy birthday to my best friend.

you truly are a Magnificent friend, Impeccable in everything you do, Nifty and not gNarshty, a Disco skating champion, and Young at heart (don't be too sad about the big 2-3!)

today is the first time in four whole years that i have not celebrated with mindy-lou on her day of birth.
freshman year, mid finals week, we decided to drop everything and stay the night at the marriott in salt lake, and a glorious tradition was born! every year of college we managed to get back up to salt lake, and some of my favorite memories are from these little getaways.  

because i'm feeling a little nostalgic, because i miss this girl, and because my college experience is ending, i now present to you, in photos:

mindy and maddie, freshman year

it was truly an unforgettable year. 

happy birthday mindy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


today was a good day. a great day. a truly noteworthy day.

i had an awesome job interview.
i will get to use my major in the work place.
i got an wonderful and inexpensive manicure.
i took a final before the hour i usually wake up.
i finished my last paper.
i sold a book back that i didn't buy for $34.
i ate at the cannon center with jenn and andrew.
i practiced singing the national anthem at least twelve times.
i broke out into song in the library.
i was in an inexplicably good mood.
i discovered tasty trail mix without nuts.
i have been married to andrew for 236 days.

it's almost 12/13/12 (another very special day) so i thought i'd document a few events of 12/12/12

Sunday, December 9, 2012

silly and fun.

i thought about posting about how i just went to my last week of college classes, [for now at least]. but thinking about that makes me a little teary [really], so instead i'm going to talk about something else.

this cute blogger, Ry, nominated me for an award that is floating around the blogging world, getting lesser known blogs out and about. i am totally flattered, and pleased to announce that i have won the.... 

along with this award, i win a million dollars to spend on christmas presents. just kidding. that's not what this award is about! [it was a nice thought though.] i really am excited to get to share a little bit more about myself and nominate others... so here goes!

here are the rules:
a. list 11 things about yourself
b. answer the questions the nominee created for you
c. choose 11 (or so) of your own favorite blogs to nominate
d. create 11 questions for them (or use the previous questions)
e. let them know they've won

who decided eleven? i don't know. who is liebster? i don't know. i'm going with it...

a. about me, myself, and i 

[i wouldn't be me without he!]

  1. my last class at byu was volleyball. finishing strong i tell you. 
  2. i really love wrapping presents. especially with cute wrapping paper. if you need presents wrapped, please, stop by! 
  3. right now i am sitting on my bed next to my husband. he is doing organic chemistry homework, i am blogging. being close is the best. married life = nice.
  4. i am particularly fond of writing, and i like good grammar; however, i tend to use incomplete sentences on my blog. oops. i also don't capitalize. 
  5. i like the french christmas tradition of leaving the little baby jesus out of the nativity and hiding him until christmas. because christmas is his day of birth, and he is the real gift. 
  6. my career goal is to be a mother. i'm proud of that.
  7. we are currently using the jazz blanket that i made for andrew four years ago [freshman love] as a curtain for our bedroom window. it almost covers the whole thing.
  8. i don't listen to music as much as i used to, but song will always be the quickest way to reach my soul. 
  9. i like kisses. [not the chocolate kind.] 
  10. lately it seems that most fortunes i get, from fortune cookies, aren't actually fortunes at all.
  11. if i had the option, i would probably choose to sing christmas hymns in church all year round. especially hark the herald angels sing, that one is definitely a favorite. i really meant angels we have heard on high... does anyone else get those two confused?
do you feel like you know so much about me now? good.

b. questions from ry

1. If you could do anything and money was no matter what would you do?
travel. with my cute husband. and take a million pictures.

2. Favorite Holiday
christmas, but thanksgiving is definitely a close second. i love the focus on family during this season,i love being grateful because it makes me happy, and i love celebrating our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. 

3. What goals do you have for the next year?
i will work. support my husband. go on a fun trip. grow our food storage. continue to learn even though i won't be in school. 

4. Favorite Movie
White Christmas. music. romance. bing crosby. snow. choreography?

5. Who is your biggest role model?
i have to say my parents are tied for teaching me awesome, and different things. refer to this post. my dad is the most generous and humble. my mom is the most thoughtful and fun. i have to shout out to the new set of parents i gained through marriage, my in-laws are also amazing role models, and i am so grateful for how they truly consider me part of the family and how they raised such a wonderful man for me to marry! 

6. Who has made the biggest impact on who you are today?
Is it bad to say myself? Figuring out who i really am and what i really believe has made me who i am. i have learned so much from those around me, but i really think that i am the person that i want me to be!

7. What makes you happy?
andrew and his constant optimism. my faith in God and his eternal plan of happiness for me and my family. my family and the fun we have together. our first christmas tree. making tasty dinners and delectable treats. 

                         8. What is your favorite memory?
i've been thinking a lot about christmases gone by, and i was recently telling andrew about the time we spent christmas in belgium with my grandparents. we had just read the christmas story and were kneeling down while my grandpa offered a sweet christmas prayer. suddenly we heard "TO INFINITY... AND BEYOND!" dave had set off his new buzz lightyear toy, and we couldn't help but bust into laughter. all of us. christmas is about joy!

9. What is your favorite pastime?
thanks to my cousin-by-marriage liz i'm a crocheting fiend! 

c. some cute blogger friends 
                [or just cute bloggers i wish were my friends]
  1. mindy lou
  2. annie
  3. jessica
  4. shelby
  5. brooke
  6. carrie
  7. kellee jo
  8. kelly
 congrats on being nomitated by me.
if you've already done this, je m'excuse.

d. questions for you
  1. what is your favorite christmas tradition?
  2. what color best fits your personality?
  3. do you like mustaches?
  4. what is number one on your christmas list?
  5. n'sync or backstreet boys?
  6. what is your favorite physical trait?
  7. hot chocolate or apple cider?
  8. if you could drop everything and go anywhere, where would you go?
  9. what is your favorite movie?
  10. who is your biggest role model?
  11. what is your favorite picture? share it?
welp, have fun. i think you are great. and i think lots of other people are great too. thanks again ry! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

it's beginning to smell a lot like christmas

it's funny how the minute thanksgiving ends, christmas seems to begin. 
in fact, christmas sometimes takes over stores and homes and the radio even before we have a chance to give thanks. 

though i am definitely all about giving thanksgiving it's time to shine, i have no problem joining in the christmas spirit once thanksgiving festivities are all said and done. and i have been eagerly awaiting the chance to go hunt for a tree!

 and so i bring you..
the first annual barrett family
 picking out the perfect tree is probably my favorite part of decorating for the holidays.
the best part has to be the smell! there is nothing like the smell of a fresh cut tree. 

i heard tell of a little family-owned christmas tree lot run right out of their front yard, so we went.
it was perfect. an adorable grandpa came and greeted us and told us about all his trees and about the good old days when they used to be just fifty cents each. 

if you are looking for a tree in provo, look at Baum's, 1650 N 1250 W! they have a surprising amount of variety and sizes, all at an extremely good price. who doesn't love supporting a local business?
this little tree caught my eye when we first arrived, but you have to explore all your options! 
 i was especially excited to be picking out a tree with this guy. it is so fun to begin to create and start our very own holiday traditions. 
i loved how several of the trees had adorable pinecones, they give the trees such a woodsy feel.
 wandering through rows of christmas trees brings me such joy! 
christmas is coming: a time to be with family, give gifts of love, and remember Christ. 
we kept going back to that first tree, and after plenty of exploring we decided it was the one!
this one was a close second. 
when it fit all jolly and snug right in the backseat of our car, we knew we had picked the right one.
i really think there is some inspiration involved in this. these trees are special. 
 we did it! 
and what fun it was. i can't wait to get decorating, but until we find some ornaments and lights, 
we will enjoy the wonderful smell. 

as i said before, i truly believe these trees are a beautiful symbol of Christ during this holiday season.

"The Christmas tree is an ancient custom that exalts the value of life, because the evergreen tree remains unchanged through the harshness of winter. When gifts are arranged under the tree, it because a symbol of the tree of life, a figure of Christ, God's greatest gift to all men."

no matter what faith we belong to or what we believe in, the evergreen tree can be a symbol of hope: it continues to thrive despite winter's cold, and similarly, we can find joy in the journey even when faced with the hardest of trials. hopefully we all can find even more reason to be joyful
 during this time of the year.

i wish you all a very merry holiday season! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

turkey day

 here's a little look into our fabulous thanksgiving day...
we spent the week in park city with almost all the harts, and a wonderful week it was.
 what would thanksgiving be without turkey name place cards, pumpkin limoges boxes filled with godiva surprises, and last minute centerpieces made from leftover fruits and tableware?
 thanks to the lovely tablecloths and accessories provided by my even more lovely grandma, we set a beautiful table. 
everyone was busy, busy. we had so many helping hands.
 can't forget about the kids' table! 
(this year only a select few had the honor.)
we had quite the spread. each family brought something different and delightfully tasty to the table.
*note the pretzel jello salad... it's the house special. and there were not one, but two turkeys. the mashed potatoes didn't make it to the table. 
just two examples of those heaping thanksgiving plates, there is never enough room!
 there's nothing better than family, food, and jokes from rebecca.
 of course there was plenty of pie: pumpkin and banana cream, please!
it truly was a wonderful celebration and the perfect break. there is always so much to be grateful for, but during this time of year i am especially grateful for my family. they are the best friends and examples, and when we are together there is never a dull moment. i love my family so much, and i am so grateful for the knowledge that we can be together forever. 
(i'm biased, but we are all pretty good looking too)
 i am also so grateful for this wonderful man who happens to be my husband. i am so blessed to be able to spend each and every day and night with such a supportive, loving, hilarious guy by my side. the past seven months have been full of learning and love, and i can't wait for many, many, many more.  i loved being able to spend the holiday with my husband! 

what more could a girl ask for?