Wednesday, December 31, 2014

a new day, a new year

Being New Years Eve, I am feeling very motivated to write out my new years resolutions and then stick with them no matter what. Of course, this is something that tends to happen year after year. The end of the year nears, I think up things I need to be better at in the next year, I struggle with them throughout the whole year and then ultimately have no resolutions left that went exactly as I wanted. Last year, I didn't even have resolutions! I had just given up because it never worked in the past.

This year, I am motivated. So motivated, in fact, that I will be writing a "Resolution Update" journal entry once every month. I think this will really help me in being held accountable for the goals I set for myself and I am pretty excited about it. Although I will not be posting each of my resolutions here on the blog, I will be posting a few of them. So, without further adieu, I present...
McKenzie White's New Years Resolutions for the Year of 2015!!!
  • Exercise at least 4 days a week, make conscience & healthy food choices and strive to be healthier in order to love myself better.
    • I feel crummy when I eat poorly and have poor body image when I am not actively striving to keep my body healthy. I have always struggled with my self confidence regarding body image and would really like to improve in this area. 
  • Read the scriptures EVERY DAY. No if, and's or but's. 
    • I am so bad about reading my scriptures meaningfully everyday. I know it seems like I don't have time to do it everyday, but the truth is that I do have time to read my scriptures everyday. I really do! Plus, I love them and I love my Father in Heaven. I want to show Him and myself that I am grateful for all that I am given and will obey commandments to dutifully read my scriptures.
  • Be a better wife.
    • The past 8 months of marriage have truly showed me what matters most. I know people probably say this all the time but really, I never knew I could love someone this much. There's a country song that says, "And I thought I loved you then." I want to forgive easier, love unconditionally, let the little things go and spend more time being a better me for my husband.
  • Be a better student.
    • I am usually pretty dang hard on myself about a lot of things. My studies being probably number one on my list. In high school, I was an average student. I preformed average-slightly below average on the ACT, got an average GPA, and never have I once gotten straight A's. This is so difficult for me because I try. So. Hard. I, quite literally, have put my blood, sweat and tears into my school work since I got accepted to BYU almost 3 years ago. My GPA here at the Y has not been nearly impressive. It started out rough, with a poor GPA. But this last Fall 2014 semester, I got a 3.50 GPA. I have not been proud of myself in the academics department for quite some time but this proved to me that I can do it! This year, I want to truly work harder than I ever have before.
  • Reduce social media/internet usage.
    • Holy moly, do I struggle with this. I love Instagram and I love Pinterest and the internet. Man, this will be a hard one. But I really want to do it! I haven't quite figured out the specifics yet but I know for sure I will continue to leave my phone in the car or my bag during date nights, family dinners/events, class and church. I will also continue to forsake social media on Sundays. Any suggestions for other little ways to do this? I would love to hear them!
This year, I am determined to make one of the best years of my life. Although, this past year of 2014 has been pretty dang special too. Like actually life changing! Here are some of my favorite moments, inspired by NieNie.
Getting engaged and married to my love:

Went on the most perfect honeymoon getaway:
Moved into our first place:

Sent my little brother off on a mission:

Started a new school year as a married couple:
Watched my husband run a MARATHON!

Had some really fun visitors:

Spent our second Halloween together:

Spent our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together:

Overall, this has been one truly amazing year. I have loved the growth I have experienced as well as the growth WE have have experienced together this year. Mostly... I am excited for all the many years to come. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

christmas break goodness

Two words. Christmas. Break.

We have been here, in the bay, for a little over a week and it has been practically perfect. I have loved every minute of family time, snuggling with my husband, eating yummy food, reading Harry Potter for the first time (I know, I know. Super behind the times but I finished Sorcerer's Stone on Christmas Eve and am currently on chapter 2 of Chamber) and so many other great things. With so much going on, I have not really had time to update the blog but I really just have loved not worrying about anything but being here and now with my family.

Last Saturday, we got in around 10 a.m. and my dad picked us up from the airport. We stopped at home for a bit then we were off shortly after we arrived to head to my grandma Moser's for a little Christmas gathering. My grandma Moser lives in a little town right by the Nevada border called Portola, CA. It's population is 1,957 people (I did look that up) and I always loved visiting when I was little to the place where my dad grew up. Anyways, it was so good to see some of the Moser side of the family, as we don't see each other very often. I am one of the younger cousins on my Dad's side and I love having so many cool cousins that I can look up to (as well as awesome Aunts and Uncles). We chatted, ate good food and played a family favorite, Farkle (a.k.a. white elephant). Here is a great photo of grandma and here kids:
 And here's one of the cousins that were able to make it (missing our Shields girls! Also, I look so terrible but I am posting this for posterity's sake)

The next few days I got to see/hug good friends at church, watch BYU football and basketball, saw Night at the Museum 3 and Mockingjay and the Hobbitt, hung out with Zach's brother Chris, ate good food, went to my mom's CCR class then got sore, went to my Aunt's zumba class sore and then got more sore, ate more good food (not to mention the sweets), read HP by the tree as seen here:
and spent lots of time with my family. Christmas Eve was the day we went to Zumba and it was so fun! I love dancing around and just having fun. Mostly, I LOVE watching my mom and aunt GET DOWN with their badselves. They seriously are incredible dancers. Once my mom and I left, we had to make some last minute Christmas shopping stops before we got home. For dinner, we went to Wong's. Oh, Wong's. I feel like a part of me grew up there haha. It's a little hole in the wall type of Chinese place that my grandparents have gone to for years and where we still love to go. It's one of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions to go out to eat for dinner and it was really fun and reallllly yummy. Another of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is grandma and grandpa giving us our PJ's. It was amazing to have my Zachary with us through all the fun this year. 

Christmas day. Waking up incredibly excited, opening our stockings all together on one bed, waiting at the top of the stairs to go down one by one and then getting to open presents is all apart of the Moser family Christmas morning. I was mostly excited to watch Zach open the GPS Garmin running watch that my parents got him for Christmas and it lived up to the hype. He was so excited!! I loved it! Grandma and Grandpa, the Stones and Auntie Tamara came over for breakfast which was uhhhhmazing. Seriously, divine. We had god ol' breakfast casserole but to make it REALLY good we had homemade (fried) scones with fresh off the stove buttermilk syrup. Heavenly. For me, the best part of the entire day was getting to skype Elder Moser.
Look at that handsome smile!
It was so SO good to see him and hear his voice. He loves the work and serving the Lord and you can just see it in his face. Man, I sure miss this kid. It was weird not having him here for Christmas... Then again, it's been weird not having him here for the past 10 months. I CAN'T BELIEVE I JUST SAID 10 MONTHS! Almost a whole year. The people of Argentina are sure lucky to have him. The rest of our day was filled with family, food and fun! I sure love and am so grateful for the family I have. Especially missed on Christmas was Elder Moser and all my White family. 

The day after Christmas, mom and I went out early and shopped around. Mostly so she could get Christmas stuff on sale but also to look around and spend time together. We all went out to a late lunch/dinner at Costco (basically my favorite restaurant) before we went to see "Into The Woods". I already knew it was a musical, but my parents did not know as much. I liked it, they felt mislead by the advertisements. So basically, it went well! 

Saturday was the first day my dad had off work except for Christmas so it was really fun to have him around. We ate grade A breakfast sandwiches from Diggers, watched Harry Potter and the BYU basketball game (BOO ZAGA) and then made homemade sushi. Yes, you did indeed read "made homemade sushi". Here, look!
De-lish. Here are some "during the process" pics, before baked pics and then after. All to make you jealous... Just kidding, to make you want to come over sometime to have me make it for you.
While we were rolling..
 Before we popped 'em in the oven...
 And after. Boom. Mouth? Watering.

My mom learned to make sushi during my senior year of high school so I only got to have hers a couple times before I left for school. Needless to say, I was very happy we found time to make it while we were home. My mom is awesome.

And, today. I love Sundays. They are my favorite day of the week and have been for some time! Mostly, I started to love Sundays the most when Zach and I were dating. Since his family lives in Provo, he and his family would graciously have me for dinner every week to feed me delicious homemade meals. It was also the day Zach and I could spend together, usually without homework, and just relax and rejuvenate for the coming week. Before they were legally my family, they were my family. The fed me, let me come over like all the time and loved me before they had to. And that is really special to me. Anyways, today we went to a farewell for a family friend of ours who leaves for his mission tomorrow to enter the MTC Wednesday. He is Matt's age and they have been best friends since we were all little kids.  I was too excited to hear his talk and hug him after to take a picture.. woops! Elder Middleton will be amazing, we are so excited for him! Once we got home, we just napped:

watched Harry Potter (he's been a big part of this break, obvi) and ate really yummy quesadillas. 
Carne asada
 Zach and quesadillas 
It was really yummy! Then again, everything else we have eaten has been really, really yummy. I have probably (definitely) gained 10 pounds in a single week. But it is all in the good name of family. Excuse? Maybe. Anyways, sorry for the dump. I just really want to keep up with this blog and document our life! Zach says this post will be a "doozy", but I mean hey... What's a good life without a little doozy?!

Monday, December 15, 2014

counting down.

I love countdowns. Especially when it's right around finals and right before Christmas. Currently, I have a countdown for a few different events which include...
  • 2 finals left
  • 3 days until Zach and I have our own little Christmas- just the two of us
  • 4 days until we fly home (my home) for our #CaliforniaChristmas and get to be out there partying it up with my family for two whole weeks!
  • 10 days until Christmas! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
I tend to resort to using countdowns when my stress levels rise (finals) and all I can (finals) think about is (finals) upcoming tasks to overcome like, hm I don't know maybe, finals. I, like every other sane college student, intensely dislike finals. And I mean, I like when it's not too crazy and stressful preparing for a bunch of tests but usually it is solely studying for and preparing for a bunch of tests which is so not fun.

I am very excited for when my finals are over, but for now I can't think about that too much or I will loose all sense of focus (which obviously is already fading, as I am here writing a blog post) and dedication to my studies. (haha, yeah right.) To further prove my point, here are some fun pics of my man and I... Studying... For finals...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

some life happenings

Since Thanksgiving, we have had 2 weeks before the dreaded reality that is finals week is upon us. We are currently in our second week and I could not be more terrified. I just get so so stressed when it comes to final exams because I feel like it's a judgement day kind of thing that doesn't always capture exactly how hard I have worked or what I have actually learned and yeah just stress. Lots of stress. However, I have some awesome people in my life and things that are keeping me less stressed and more sane. Here are a few of those people/things.

Zach. & Swig.
Zach and I have a (somewhat unhealthy) love for Swig that is unlike any other. We LOVE it. Those white Styrofoam cups and purple straws create a warm fuzzy feeling in my gut and I just love it. It's really pretty bad for you to drink lots of soda, I know, but it's just so close to our house and too yummy! We like getting a "Big Al" which is a Diet Coke soda base with coconut and lime in it. We try to be good and get it Caffeine free. Some people would argue this changes the taste but it really doesn't for us. Anyways, Swig is great. And of course, Zach. He keeps me sane and balances out my stress by telling me that I need to watch another "New Girl" on Netflix. He's too good to me.

Reuniting with the best of friends.
The two beauties on the left (from left to right: Kapri and Ali) were my freshman roommates from Fall semester and they both just got back from their missions to Brazil and Arizona, respectively. I was SO SO happy and excited when we scheduled our first reunion from them being back, especially since it would be at Cafe Rio. Things got even better when we found out my roommate from Summer term of my freshmen year, Shanna, would be joining us. We had a glorious and tearful and hugging initial reaction and chatty rest of the reunion. I missed them so much and having them back was too great for words. I love these girls and look forward to our future adventures together.

Having one of the best of friends get MARRIED.
This beautiful woman, Emily Merle Ferguson Platt Jones, got married last month and I could NOT be more excited for her. She married an amazing guy, Garrett, and their personalities flatter each other in the perfect way. She looked absolutely stunning on both her wedding day and the day of her open house. Emily is one of the most genuine, kind people I have ever met. She is a friend to all and I am grateful I get to call her a good friend of my own. I am excited for our husbands to become running buddies and us to become running buddies that run really really slow. Love you, Ems. Stay golden.

Last but NOT least, Christmas. All things Christmas.
Christmas decorations. Christmas presents. Christmas Spirit. Christmas hot chocolate (that is just regular hot chocolate but it's December so Christmas hot chocolate). Christ. It is all so great. Here are some pictures of our house currently.. Correction: our tiny apartment which is why our tree is 3 ft tall.

And although Christmas anything and everything is super awesome, it is always good to have a reminder daily of the true meaning of this beloved holiday season. And to remind you of that, here is a message from my church about how "He is the gift". He is the Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift. This short video is a beautiful reminder that this Holiday season, and the one before that all the way back to the holy night of Christ's birth, is not about presents or finding the best deal. This Holiday season is about Christ, because HE is the gift. 
Merry Christmas.

happy thanksgiving! pt.2

Although a tad bit overdue, here are some pictures from our lovely Thanksgiving break I failed to add to my pt.1 Thanksgiving blog post. It was so awesome being up in the beautiful Little Cottonwood Canyon at Snowbird, the place where Zach first told me he loved me. So, obviously Snowbird has lots of meaning to us both and it is always so great getting to go back and get all those same butterflies from the first time I was invited to go when we were dating!

Seriously, so beautiful up there..

There was lots of loves for our nieces and nephews
(Simon and I totally flirting/snuggling/making googley (?) eyes at eachother)

Of course, selfies are necessary for nearly every occasion especially on our way to the pool

Thanks to Zach's sister Emily, we got some nice non-selfie photos (Thanks Emily!)

It was so fun being with almost the entire White side of the family. We had so much fun together but also really missed our Justin/Anna White family! There were lots of snacks, games and movies. It was a very nice break before the home stretch and finals. We are so blessed to have such an amazing family that we love very, very much.