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Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Village Story

It was my first year on my own. 

I was 18. Interested in perfume, clothes, and girly stuff. 

Christmas finally came. Back then it was still a countdown. A day that couldn't come soon enough. (When exactly did that change?!--I swear the years are getting shorter, time is dwindling faster, and my list of to do's is getting longer.) 

In my (large) family, Christmas is a time to gather at Grandma and Grandpa's house. A time to get together as a family, and enjoy each others bliss while laughing our heads off, playing games, and eating the most amazing food. Each member of the family usually buys for the rest of the family, meaning the pile of presents passed out is huge. Grandma never followed the rule of one gift per person. She DID however, keep track of everything. She made sure to be fair to each person, and would sometimes buy someone a pack of gum to even things out. 

 As I sit there with Travis at my side, we're shaking, smelling, knocking, and guessing each of our presents. I'm completely confused at the number of similar sized boxes from Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma is so excited, telling me to be patient! 

We go around the circle for the first time, taking turns opening our gifts..."Ohhh-ing" and "Ahh-ing" and then it comes to me...FINALLY!!! 





I open the first box. A house made to be displayed in a Village at Christmas time. 


I mean...the thought is nice...but Christmas is over...and I'm not all that into decorating anyways. 

I smile, hoping my face is not showing what I'm thinking. "When will I ever use this?!" 

Fast forward an hour, multiple Village houses, lots of little people, and fake trees later, we proceed to eat dinner. 

Grandma (excitedly) tells me about her Village (which I can remember from the time I was very little.) She explains how she uses phone books to give it definition, and how everyone just loves it. She shows me her secret stash of fake snow (with glitter) that you "Just can't find anymore"--Grandma's favorite phrase. She tells me that she knows one day, I will put very good use to the items I got for Christmas that year. 

I don't believe her. (I was a little brat.) 

Fast forward again. 

Seven years later. 

I anxiously await the time where I can pull out the Village houses, lots of little people, and fake trees. I convince myself that even though Thanksgiving hasn't come yet, it's not TOO early to setup my traditional Village.

I will always and forever cherish these little houses. The little people who live in a world that I set up, and display. 

As the years pass, I've been around for multiple Christmases. I've received lots and lots and lots of gifts. I've had the years where there's one thing, and one thing only that I want (and get). I can think back, and it's hard to remember everything I've been given, even if it WAS the one and only thing I wanted. 

The one Christmas that stands out the most, the Christmas where I was given something very special to me, by the one person who knew me best. 

Who would have thought? 

Oh, that's right. Grandma. 

I love, and miss much.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What we've been up to...

As you can see we've been up to lots!! These are the most recent pictures from my phone. I really hope I can put all (or most) of this stuff into separate posts because we've had some huge milestones, good times, and great stories that I'd love to keep forever! Here are the pictures though. That's a huge start!

Trav, Kass, and I went to Viva Salt Lake this year with our friends Devan, Kelli, Laci, and Chris to begin our summer concert fun!! There were quite a few bands performing this year.  We were only interested in the later bands so we showed up around 6 pm to see Royal Bliss, Ed Kowalczyk (of Live!), and Fuel.  I was mainly excited about Royal Bliss (we've seen them before, and they are great!) and of course Live!! We grew up listening to their stuff, so it was such a build up knowing that we were going to see him performing live! Neither band let down, either! It was such a great way to officialy welcome summer!!

After Royal Bliss played, Kass, Laci, and I went on a mission to meet Neal, and we were totally successfull! He's a badass, and I'm so glad we got to hang out with him for a little bit!

Waiting for Live to set up!

Chillin with Neal!

Kass came out with heels and we all asked her "You're wearing heels to the show?!" Her response was "Uh..yeah..I always wear heels." --This is the result :)

Lots of graduations!! We went to 3 Graduations this year, and unfortunately missed one :(.  We're so proud of everyone who graduated!! (Auntie Tammy with her Masters in Special Education, Katie--High School, Laci--High School, and Daniel--High School).  The Graduations fun as Graduations can be I suppose! I will say that no matter how boring it is to sit and listen to talks and a million names...I still get chills every single time I hear a friend or family member Graduate! Such a wonderful feeling!

Auntie Kristine was a really great sister and planned an awesome, awesome surprise for Auntie Tammy's Graduation!  *Uncle Mike, Uncle Tom, Auntie Boop, Auntie Pam, and Bubba all came down from California to be there when Auntie Tammy walked up to get her diploma!* We had such a wonderful time, I wish we all lived closer together so we could see each other on a weekly basis!! (Love and miss you all!!)

Idaho trip to see the bestie!!

My favorite little girl turned 2!! She's getting so big!

Birthday festivities were at the park this year with a RockStar Diva theme! (So fitting!) We hung out, ate some good BBQ, and played Catch Phrase by the fire with the fam! Presley was so adorable opening her presents--Every single present brought a HUGE smile to her face!

Baby birdies!!!

Despite the poop all over the place, these little guys were adorable!! PS..don't ask me how I got the second picture so close up without zooming.  It would be embarrasing if I had to tell you that I tried to balance on the tire of my car, and in the middle of the snap fell down to the ground.  Man..our neighbors should pay for the shows that I put on almost on a daily basis!

Lovin me some nephew!

He is perfect, and beautiful, and I love this little guy!! Even when he throws up on Auntie Jess.  We're in the process of working on that one!

Photoshoots for mom!

I made my mom a block letter set that said "Mom" for Mother's Day!  The O was a heart, and I put a picture of us on it.  It turned out adorable, and our mom loved it!  We had lots of fun taking pictures, too as you can see.

The hardest part is having two sisters pick a picture to give to mom to display.  I don't suggest doing that anytime in the near future.  Word of advice and future note to self..don't give your sister an option :)


I've been steadily busy with craft projects!! I started selling on Etsy as well as a craft store near my house, and I've shipped orders out each week for the past few months!  I love it, and I started a US map where I color in each state that I've shipped to! So far I'm at 13 states!!

Fishing Trip with Grandpa!

I absolutely adore fishing, and so does my Grandpa.  He actually professionally fished for quite some time when he was younger!  We're in the process of making a video of our fishing trip.  Hopefully I'll have it ready soon to post on here! It was one of the best days I've had in a really long time, plus we caught some nice fish!! Since then, Trav have gone back to that spot, and caught some even bigger fish!! In fact, I caught my biggest trout at that (secret) spot!  (4 lbs 22 in)


It was a LOT of work this year, but we pulled through, and planted our garden! We waited way longer than last year to plant because of all of the rain we've had lately.  But Trav and I manual labored it up all day!  Our plants are much smaller this year, and we tried that black weed stopper stuff! I can't wait to not have any weeds to pull!!!


K, Vegas totally needs it's own post because I have a ton of pictures, and lots of stories!! We had a blast though!

Watching flowers bloom!

This is my first little bloomer for this year!! Yay for perennials!

New toy!

I bought the May 2011 Macbook Pro.  She is my baby, and I totally daydream about her!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I'm laying on my couch right now, and the tears are flowing. The greatest tears. Happy tears. Tears that are burning as they run down my (very!) sunburned face.

This has been one of the greatest days in a really long time.

I have so many pictures to upload from today and they'll be up really soon! I just wanted to get a few things out first.

My Grandpa called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing early this morning. Now, if you know me, you know very well that I could *never* turn down a fishing trip. I'm the girl in below 0 weather, begging the guys to stay for just a few more hours. Fishing is my passion.

Enough to where I met my Grandpa this morning at 6AM. Showered, and ready to go.

The weather was perfect. The fishing was amazing. The fish we caught today are the biggest that I've caught in a really, really long time. The company (Grandpa and I) was much needed and long overdue. I learned so much, and aspire to one day be able to fish like my Grandpa.

10 hours fishing, and we were both down to keep fishing but decided when putting one foot in front of the other was a struggle, that we could call it a day. 10 hours though. I love that my Grandpa will hang with me for 10 hours for no other reason than to fish.

If only I could talk Trav into that!


After coming home, showering, BBQing some Fish, and telling fish stories (which will come soon--with pictures--promise!) I laid down to relax and check my usual pages online. One of them being my sales at a local craft store.

Every day I log in to this site to see which crafts have sold. I've been selling out of that store since February, and so far I've had to pay booth rent every month because I'm not getting enough sales to cover commission and booth rent. (If only I was selling at this store like I am on Etsy--)

Until today.

May will officially be the first month where I can walk into Quilted Bear and say "I'm here to pick up my check, please."

What a perfect, perfect day.

Life is good.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It was the greatest sandwich ever. All 5 bites.

Hi, hello. My name is Jessica, and I'm sort of (deathly) scared of spiders. The following story is one that I can only hope I'll forget..but I know that's completely out of the question. Especially because I have evidence.

And the evidence is too funny not to share.

You see, the evidence is a sandwich all mayonaise down on the rug that I'm a freak about. Serious.


Kass and I woke up pretty early this morning, and started watching TV. Tummys started grumbling a few minutes later so we went into the kitchen to make the best sandwiches ever.

Pickles, cheese, and (the last of the) turkey. Yum!!

I grab a soda, and sit down on the *loveseat.

*Usually this is not the case. About 6 or so months ago, I went to sit on this couch and before sitting down, I simply moved the pillow to the side. Good thing I did because there was a spider in between the cushion of the couch and the pillow. Now, each time I sit on that couch, I do a spider check. Except for this time. :(

So, we're watching *The Voice*, and I say to Kass "Man, these sangwiches are delicious. Best ever!"

A few minutes later at the exact same moment, Kassi and I jump up! (We have spi-dar like cats have reflexes.)


Moments later the sandwich was flung, tears came flowing, I moved faster than I have in a long time, and I was rockin' some Olympic worthy knee touch foot stomp moves.

This lasted for a solid 5 minutes until Kassi came into the back room and said "Jess, I'm pretty sure he's a goner."


Now, the worst part of this story besides the fact that I wasted a pickle, had a spider crawling on my leg, and the mayonaise on my rug is the fact that:

*The spider is not dead, and is still somewhere in my living room.*

It's going to be a rough week avoiding that room. It's sort of a common place to hang out.

Oh, and if you're wondering about my empty tummy and turkeyless fridge, Kassi was nice enough to share her sandwich with me. :) Sisters are totally the greatest!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Takin the gloves off.

I've been laughing uncontrollaby lately. It feels like the times in High School where the teacher stares at you because you and a select few are laughing so hard, and you can't stop.

And then you look over at a friend to help calm you down, and it only makes the situation worse as you realize they are red in the face and failing to hide an outburst.

So, I should work on this. How do you work on holding in laughter? Oh, maturity? Well then...nevermind.


At least yesterday...I wasn't alone in the laughing outburst.

At work I'd done some testing with an agent. Another supervisor slides over and here ya go:

"Oh hey..she's already been tested. She's great, we just have to wait for a schedule to come up that she's able to work. There's no need to test her again."

"Oh cool...Um, is that in a report or something so I can check first before I bring them up here to test?"

"Well..not's on my "to do" list today! So, in the meantime, if you just want to tell me the name before you bring them up, I'll let you know if they've already been tested or not."

(Trying to picture a visual of my list of people to test today when "Nau"--another agent-- pops into my head.)

Me: "How about Nau?" (Pronounced "now")

", what do you mean? Make the list now?"

I said it with such force. He was a little scared. We cracked up a little. The end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Attempt at couponing...

Ahh! I'm extremely behind!! I need to finish going through my trip to New Orleans pictures and *start* going throuhg Vegas pictures!!

They will make it one day.

I promise!

In other news (as you probably know if you follow me on facebook) I've been selling things left and right lately!! It's so exciting for me. Each week I find myself in the post office, shipping something to a different part of the world. It's great!!

Finally..the purpose of this post.

I've always sort of admired the organized mommy bloggers who post about their couponing experiences. *Look!! I got 300 dollars worth of stuff, and only paid 17 dollars!* I've never really had the time or patience to even know where to begin.

I'll start reading through their *how to* and I'm usually lost within the first paragraph.

I'm not going to commit to anything crazy like that...but I'm (*we're) going to attempt it.

*Travis was so excited to show me something when I got home from work yesterday. I went to sit next to him on the couch and he said "Grab a pair of scissors!" He couldn't believe that each week, we'd been throwing away all of these coupons! It was the cutest thing. He even knew what a "manufacturer" coupon was, and I had no idea.

I think it will be sort of fun looking through all of the coupons, and cutting them out. :)

Wish us luck!! And..if you have any tips/tricks that you'd like to pass on, feel free!!

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