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?

Monday, November 19, 2012

gratitude 2

i cannot lie, i am truly, truly grateful for this break from school. and that my family is here for the break, but i'm here to talk about something different.

today i am grateful it is monday
 because monday means this:
grilled cheese and tomato soup. 

it all started last year when we hit up "mustache monday" at one of our favorite local joints, sammy's, almost every monday. if you came in reppin' a stache, you got a grilled cheese for free, and anyone without stache growing abilities could get them for a dollar. it was a great deal!
for some reason, sammy's stopped giving away free grilled cheeses to mustached men (you could never really see anj's anyway), so we decided to continue the tradition in our own way. 
 now every monday we heat up some tomato soup, usually just some classic campbell's, and we make two or three or four grilled cheesers. 

it's easy. it's tasty. it's fun.
it's one of our first little married life traditions.
and i am grateful for that.

here's to all the traditions that come with this season.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


it's a month of thanksgiving and gratitude.
although this is a little superficial, i am so grateful for a husband who is willing to take pictures of me whenever i ask him to. (and be in lots of pictures too.)

he was especially great today. after he took a bunch of pictures of my outfit and we got in the car to head to alpine, i realized my collar was totally messed up in every picture! i was (probably a little too) upset because it was getting dark, and we wouldn't be able to take more pictures later, but anj pulled over, found an artsy spot, and willingly took a few more. he is the best.

my mom found me this vintage inspired dress and i finally broke it out today. i love it!
you can't really go wrong with vintage. or teal. or glittery bows.

i am also grateful for the snow, at least for the moment, because it truly makes this valley a winter wonderland. what are you grateful for?

p.s. he matches with me too. he really is number one. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

sweet sixteen

 dear dave,

happy sixteenth birthday.

i truly do remember the day you were born like it was yesterday, probably cause jenn and i got dropped off at the trammell's for a sleepover and a party. i was so excited to finally have a brother. 
 we always took good care of you. we had a live baby doll we could dress up, stroll around, and use in our dances. we made sure you always looked good.
 and you just beat up on us from the beginning...
 just kidding. you were always great, and when we added brother number two you always looked out for him.
i can't believe you are sixteen years old. you can officially drive (CONGRATS!). you are almost seven feet tall by now! okay, probably not but it seems like every time i see you, you have grown. you've matured from my chubby little bro to a seriously handsome, smart, and athletic young man. i'm so proud of all your hard work, you eagle scout, you! i really can't believe it has been sixteen years since that sleepover at the trammell's and i can't even imagine what the next sixteen will bring.. you will do great things because you are one great guy. and i'm definitely not biased, right? thanks for being nice to everyone and always making us laugh. well, i hope you know we love you and hope you have had a fabulous birthday.

happy sixteenth!

p.s. happy sixteenth to this brother too! although i haven't seen you grow since day one, i have seen your hair grow for the past couple years and it has been pretty impressive... here's to many noogies to come. sure love you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

more halloween happenings

just continuing my list of october must-dos...

2. carve pumpkins
 i love carving pumpkins. it is probably my most favorite halloween activity. we got together with some fun, new friends from our ward to carve pumpkins for f.h.e.

this year i found these neat "wolf" pumpkins at the farmers market with my mom, meaning that they weren't fully ripened and have cool greenish patterns on them. i thought it was fitting that i carve a wolf on my pumpkin. (also fitting that it was a full moon and i was wearing my wolf wildlife tee.) andrew debated for a good while about what to carve and ended up staying pretty classic anj. jessica and dallin carved an adorable bat and moon combo. i thought they all looked great!
we're a great group!

3. listen to styx
while carving pumpkins
i'm not quite sure when this became a bodine family tradition, but it definitely is. we always rock out to these glorious tunes while scooping out that slimy goop from the inside of our pumpkins. it doesn't get better than that, right?

4. dress up
 the hit this year was definitely dressing up as napoleon and deb. it was one of those last-minute-run-to-d.i. costumes, but it turned out SO GOOD. who knew we were so much like this classic couple. we will probably rock this costume for years to come.
i also dressed up as a devil for my study of the "fantastique" french class. and as a 50's pink lady for halloween night. hooray for wearing my gunther's shirt. 

 5. make and eat halloween treats
you have to make up for not getting pillow-cases full of candy trick-or-treating, right? i made oreo truffles into spooky eyeballs for a class halloween party. they turned out great! on halloween night anj and i stopped at a halloween party and had fresh doughnuts and apple cider, yum! the next day i experimented with roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time and they worked. i made a salty batch and a cinnamon sugar batch. all three were definitely quality halloween treats.

as you can see, we had a great halloween week. those 5 things are definitely on my list for a perfect october month. what are some of your october must-dos?

p.s. we also hit up a corn maze on halloween night!
 some serious silly, spooky fun.

i love having anj to celebrate with, and i am truly looking forward to the next holiday and all the thanks that come with it. happy november!