Tuesday, December 29, 2015

the year in review: 2015

I want you to know this isn't the typical "end of the year" blog post. It's just a little collection of my thoughts of our year. This past year, Z + I:
  •  Celebrated our anniversary of getting engaged (January)
  • Went on our first of, hopefully, many Valentine's weekend getaway (February)
  • Enjoyed many dates and a couple weddings (March)
  • Celebrated the first anniversary of our wedding date/family birthday (April)
  • Visited our family in Washington (May)
  • Ran a half marathon together (June)
  • Enjoyed our summer nights together and went to a few RSL games (July)
  • Visited my family in California + went to Yosemite for the first time (August)
  • Had (what we thought was) our last first day of school together and enjoyed the last of our outdoor dates (September)
  • Enjoyed the family tradition of homemade donuts on Halloween (October)
  • Had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my family in the bay (November)
  • And have loved our Christmas here in Provo (December)
I wanted to recap our year, first, by thinking about just us and what our new family did. We had some pretty big milestones like completing our first year of marriage and starting another, visiting lots of family out of state and having visitors visit us, start our last year of school together and many other things. Right now in my life I consider the school year, the real year. My year starts in September and goes until the next August, then restarts all over again. Since this is my last year of school, I know that will be changing soon and I'm really, pretty excited for it. Here are the other photos from our year I wanted to share, enjoy + bring it on, 2016! I have a feeling this year, will be one to remember. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

merry christmas!


Well... Yesterday. Does anyone really write blog posts ON Christmas, I mean like other than people that are actually payed to do so? Well, not me. I was too busy enjoying my family and being cozy inside because our Christmas was a White one through and through. Get it? White because I'm a White and white because it snowed 5 inches Christmas Eve night and even more Christmas morning? No? Oh... Well, I though it was funny. Here are the pictures I actually did take Christmas. 

 ^^My super awesome sis-in-law, Anna, made me this beautiful blanket because she had made another sis-in-law of mine one like it in green for her baby and I just mentioned once that I loved it and thought it was beautiful. THEN, a few months ago she sent me a picture of this beauty getting started!! WHAT! I was beside myself with excitement. She gifted it to me Christmas morning and, ask anyone, I was just a bit excited about it! It's perfect and I love it. Thanks Anna!!
 ^^ My other super awesome sis-in-law, Emily, made me these two beauties. Her husband, Bryan, drew my name for the sibling gift swap and for the longest time I wasn't sure what I wanted for Christmas. I was really excited that Bryan drew my name because I knew if I asked for something handmade from Em, odds are she would make me something. One day, she posted a picture on Instagram of her starting another weaving (so cool, right?) and right away I knew that's what I wanted for Christmas. When I opened it and also saw the hat, I couldn't have been happier. YES, she made both and is so cool. I LOVE THEM, thanks so much, Em!
 ^^ My sweet nephew chunker baby boy, Asher. I love him. I love love love him! LOOK AT THOSE LEG ROLLS!
^^ Of course, no gift could top the time we got to skype my family and brother, Elder Moser. This was his last Christmas in the mission field as a missionary for the church and I was super emotional about it! I wasn't expecting to cry, but we all did so it was pretty inevitable. He has grown sooo much and I can't wait to fly home next month to welcome him back from his 2 year long service to the Lord. What a wonderful Christmas we had. We are so blessed.

christmas eve 2015

This year, we have spent our holiday season in Utah with Zach's family. Although I have missed my Moser/Autentico family, I have loved spending this time with the White family and have felt right at home. One tradition that carries over from my family to Zach's family, is the Christmas Eve PJ tradition which I was very happy about. When we were in California for Thanksgiving, my grandma + grandpa gave us our set of Christmas PJ's as we would not be with them. It was very kind of my grandma to think of us although we would not be with them for the Holidays. I love that sweet grandma of mine!! Anyway, one tradition in the White home is to have a big, fancy Christmas Eve dinner.

Though I didn't get any pictures of the food, it. Was. Amazing. Prime rib, linguini with shrimp, balsamic green beans and mushrooms, a salad that became my all-time favorite salad, fluffy rolls, delicious homemade juice and then lava cakes for dessert. I mean, it was something I would pay good money to experience again. Almost all of Zach's siblings + their families have been in town for the holidays (we've missed you, Bryan + Emily!) so it has been really fun when we are all together. Before dinner, we chatted, played with our nephews, and enjoyed one another's company.

One of our nephews, Simon, just turned 2 a week ago. He is so cute + fun to be around. We have loved our time with him as he + his family live on the East Coast while Z's brother, Phil, is completing a PhD in Statistics at Duke. We have missed them sorely and have really cherished our time with them. I love these shots I got of Simon that evening. Zach just adores Simon and follows him around like a lil puppy dog.

Post dinner, my jeans were feeling a bit snug and I was glad to hear my sis-in-law Anna relate to me on this subject. Zach got this cute shot of us. I love my sisters and feel so blessed to have their examples and friendships in my life!
After dinner, we all sat in the front room together while we listened to my father-in-law share a little Christmas message with us. Then, it was jammie time! Our jammies this year were SO cute. I seriously love mine and may or may not have worn them until this morning. Oops! The girls shirts say "Oh what fun" and have cute polar bears all over the bottoms while the boys got plaid bottoms and a cool mountain/geometric type top. Once we were decked out in our jammies, we listened to Monroe, Z's dad, read us Christmas books. Then the Justin/Anna White crew left to go home and go to sleep, those of us staying at the White's watched "Elf" before heading off to bed.

temple square

The Monday before Christmas, our group headed up to Salt Lake City to see the lights at Temple Square. It was a fun little trip up and back on the Frontrunner train, similar to the Bay Area's BART.

It was a fun little trip and I was happy to be able to stroll around the temple and see all the beautiful lights. We ate in the City Creek mall's food court at this super yummy sandwich place called Bocata. Zach ate there a lot when he was doing his internship at Zion's bank over the summer. I had heard so much about it that I was happy to finally see what all his raving was about! It was so worth the hype. Zach, Megan (Z's little sis) and I sat at this little 2 person table kinda away from the other table so we designated ourselves as the "kid table".

After eating, we made our way out to the beauty of the temple square. It was pretty busy as there were many people enjoying the lights. It was also very, very cold. At one point, it was like rain/sleeting and really windy so we were trying our hardest to stay warm and bundled up in our coats, scarves and sweaters!

I loved the beautiful nativity by the visitor's center and the moving picture displays inside it. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, love and gratitude for our Savior Jesus Christ + his life, example and sacrifice for us all. The pictures inside the visitor's center of Mary on the donkey and just after Christ's birth were so moving and beautiful to me. They really touched me and I am happy I was able to have a small spiritual experience that night as well as to be able to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

winter break fun

Winter break is my favorite break ever. Always has been, probably always will be. There's just this wonderful feeling after finishing school and knowing we get to celebrate Christmas so soon. I've been loving the snow and not having to go anywhere + spending time with family. It's been so wonderful. So here's a little photo dump of our Christmas break fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

viva las vegas

A while back, my dad was chatting with Zach about BYU football + if they would play in a bowl game, where it would be. My dad is a huge BYU fan and always happy to pay a bit of a pretty penny to go and watch them play. I remember one instance in particular being in high school when he took my younger brother, Matt, to the March Madness Sweet 16 tournament to watch the Cougars play. So of course when Z + dad were talking about if the bowl game was in Vegas, he began planning the trip we would all take down to cheer on our cougars. My dad and brother, Mason, flew in Friday evening and Z + I drove down Friday morning so we could have the day.

The first thing we did when we got to the city of sin? Shake Shack, baby. Shake. Shack. Ever since I heard about their brilliance + classy dressing of french fries with a cheese sauce, I knew I must partake in such goodness. I figured, "oh I will just have to wait until one day we take a trip to NYC" but nay. There was a location right there, in Vegas on the strip. Zach, of course, was willing to indulge in my cheesy dream (pun intended) and so before we walked around at all, we went and got lunch.
Yuuum. Cheesy-fried delicious, goodness. I got a single ShackBurger (basic cheeseburger) and cheese fries while Z got a double SmokeShack (a cheeseburger with yummy peppers) and regular fries. It was all sooo yummy, especially the strawberry shake. So. Delicious. I will for sure be going back there again, whenever possible. 

We then walked around on the strip a bit before checking into our airbnb which was also so great. We were first time airbnbers and I will definitely be using it again because of how well it worked out. After picking up my dad and Mason, we went to Rocco's pizza and it was seriously, so amazing. The people were so kind and generous and we thought the pizza was 9/10 good. Like near perfection. To be a 10, we pretty much have to cry tears of joy. 

The next morning, I'm not sure how we were even hungry but we went to a local breakfast/lunch eatery called "Egg Works". Being game day, we were dressed in our all out "Y" gear as were many other restaurant goers. "Go Cougars!" were exchanged heartily. I ordered a very popular dish called "Stuffed French Toast" mostly because I thought I wanted something else but changed last minute because I tend to like to try the most popular dish when I try out new places. Here it is in all it's glory:
It may have given me pre-mature heart disease but yeah, worth it. Stuffed inside the fluffy french toast was eggs, cheese and sausage. I'm beginning to think this blog should just be a food review blog because that's the majority of my posts. Oh, well! After breakfast, though it was early we made our way to the stadium where traffic was already crazy. 

We stood as close to the field as possible and watched warm ups before going to our seats (nosebleeds, but the stadium was fairly small so not too bad). 
Here is our one good but squinty-eyed picture with the four of us. 
I do not wish to relive the game yesterday so if you saw it, then you know. And if you didn't, well... Probably for the best. I enjoyed spending time with my husband, dad + brother as well as cheering for the Cougars until the very last second. I am ALWAYS proud to be a BYU Cougar fan! We were so grateful for our little trip out to Las Vegas and for my dad for all that he did for us. Thanks, dad + GO COUGARS!

Monday, December 7, 2015

thanksgiving 2015

This Thanksgiving was spent with my family in the beautiful Bay Area! It was actually a lot colder than I expected but still beautiful. We had lots of fun during the much needed break from school.

We flew out on a Tuesday evening but the weekend before we left, we got to spend a few days up at Snowbird Ski + Summer resort where Zach's family has been going for years. I have loved going ever since my very first trip in October of 2013 when Zach invited me to go after I also went with the White family to Saint George for the Marathon (another tradition of theirs). That weekend was so exciting and fun but also very special to me because it was the first time Z told me he loved me! Very special. Here is my one photo from this past trip to Snowbird where we were very lazy + loved every minute of it!

When we got in Tuesday evening, we went out to eat and then went home. The next day was spent preparing for Thanksgiving which was at our house with many family members, so it was a busy day of shopping and cleaning. One thing I saw at the grocery store that I LOVED was the Wheaties cereal box which featured Stephen Curry, the Bay Areas current idol.

My ma and I bought these super cute (matching, too, but of course) $3 sock hats from Target and I LOVE mine. I wear it a ton. Also, no trip home is complete without snuggles from my favorite dog in the world, Bentley. This was before he got groomed but he's still the cutest.

And a couple shots from Thanksgiving day with my people. We love getting to see my parents and little brother, Mason. We only had a couple instances where we got to see/be with Matt before he left on his mission so, come January when we are all reunited, I CAN'T WAIT!

Friday night, we all went to the temple as a family to do Baptisms for the dead with Samuel because it was his first time! So special and wonderful to be in this place with my family. Especially, the Oakland temple! It was always be the most special to me, as I grew up going here + where Zach and I were sealed for time and all Eternity! The next couple days were filled with family time. Saturday morning we went on a hike with my older cousin, Brynn. I have always looked up to Brynn and love her so much. I was sooo happy to be able to do fun things with her while we were home.

It's crazy right now because after we graduate in the fall (August, due to some unforeseen circumstances) we don't know if we will be living here in Utah or in another state for schooling. We are feeling blessed, thankful + excited for the Holidays even if we don't know what next year will bring!