Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Back in 2010: Part 1- How We Met

My sister did a series of blog posts a while back about how she and her husband met, their dating life, and then eventually marriage. I loved how she recorded the memories that are fading quickly. 

Travis and I were talking the other day, trying to remember memories from the first year we knew each other. It's getting harder to recall them! It made me sad. So I thought I would follow my sister's example and record what I can remember. I started this blog right after we got married, so I want to record what happened before. Our fourth anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, so I figured this was perfect timing.

How We Met

A little background first. Travis got back from his mission in June 2009. I was graduating high school at that time. That sounds pretty funny now that I think about it. Travis and I both went to school in September that year at BYU-Idaho, but we didn't cross paths until later. I had a missionary I was going to wait for, so my first semester was spent avoiding boys and hanging with my awesome roommates. 
January 2010 came. A new semester with some new roommates. 
One of my new roommates was the wonderful Melissa. She was the one responsible for introducing Travis into my life. Travis and his roommates were Melissa's FHE brothers back before Travis' mission. So one day, Melissa told us she invited them over to hang out. Boys coming over to our apartment? Gulp.

Travis and his roommates walked in. Travis' roommate, Brian, was super easy-going and funny.  Curtis was SUPER tall and easy to talk to. To this day the tallest person I have met. Travis, on the other hand, was shy and quiet. When he first walked in, I couldn't believe how handsome he was. A boy that looked like that was coming here? My young, naive heart couldn't take it. I was smitten. But I knew there was no chance he'd ever be interested in me. So I tucked that thought into the back of my mind.

We started off talking and playing some games. I immediately noticed Travis' laugh. It's one of those laughs that makes everyone around laugh.

You have to understand my friend Melissa. She is fantastic. And she brought me out of my shell. Melissa is outgoing, friendly, and makes everyone feel comfortable. So Melissa being her wacky self, turned on some Glee and started dancing away. 
Brian soon joined her. And then, I surprised myself. I got up and danced too. Way out of my comfort zone, I should add. I have no dancing skills, but it didn't matter. Soon everyone was dancing and being crazy. It was super fun. 

Travis didn't do much dancing. He mostly sat, watched, and laughed. Oh how I loved that laugh. 
I'm so glad my roommate Brielle was obsessed with taking pictures (and still is!). I have a lot of pictures to document the night we met.

That night was crazy. After the boys left, I was so embarrassed with my behavior. I danced crazily and probably looked ridiculous. I remember thinking if Travis had any initial interest in me, it most likely disintegrated after seeing how I acted.

Little did I know, Travis did notice me. I learned later he thought I was cute and had a great personality. He was in the middle of getting to know another girl, so he told his roommate to ask me out. When his roommate said he wasn't interested, Travis decided to take action himself.

And I was so surprised when he did. 

The story of our first date coming next.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Arkansas Getaway

For Father's Day this year, I got Travis tickets to an Arkansas Razorback game. Travis lived in Arkansas during his high school years. So Arkansas is his and his family's team. Go hogs! Since we're pretty dang poor, the tickets were for a game far into the future-November. So life went on and we patiently waited for November 22nd to come. Well the waiting paid off! This last weekend it finally came!

We dropped Hailey off at a friend's house on Friday afternoon. She loves my friend, Brielle. Hailey was basically pushing me out the door when we were leaving. She didn't even notice we were gone! It was such a blessing for me since I haven't left her for longer than a few hours at a time. We were leaving her for 30 whole hours! (Thanks Brielle and Matt!)

So Friday afternoon we set off to Arkansas. Wanna know something crazy? We didn't even turn on the radio. We seriously just talked the whole time. It was nice. 
Three and a half hours later we arrived in Rogers, Arkansas, where our hotel was for the night. It was significantly cheaper to stay about 20 minutes away from Fayetteville, where the game was. We checked into the hotel. It was a super nice room! Probably the nicest room our money has ever bought. 
 After checking in, we headed to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I've only been there once before. It's divine! Travis got this HUGE sampler of breakfast foods and I got a nice slice of ham with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Mmmmm. You hungry now? I am. 
After dinner we walked around the Cracker Barrel store. It's so fun! And it had Arkansas gear for the best price around! Travis got a nice hoodie. So fun. Then we headed back to the hotel to stay up late because we can!

The next morning we ate breakfast, got ready, checked out, and headed to Fayetteville. Game day!
The game didn't start until 2:30, so we had some time to kill. We walked around a small shopping center then headed to Whole Hog for lunch. Travis' family loved Whole Hog when they lived in Arkansas and have mentioned it quite a few times. I was excited to taste it. We got there right after it opened so we were one of the first ones seated. The food was goooood. It was fun comparing Kansas barbecue to Arkansas barbecue. They are very different, but both so tasty.
 It was hilarious sitting in Whole Hog as people started coming in. Everyone was dressed in their Arkansas gear. I felt like we were among our brothers and sisters. We just blended in. We stick out in Kansas when we wear our Arkansas gear. All we needed was an Arkansas accent. It's crazy how  significant of an accent difference there is just 3 hours down the freeway. I was hoping to pick up a bit of an accent while in Arkansas, but not this time.

After lunch we had an hour before we needed to head to the stadium. We went to the mall. They had a Razorback Shop. We spent most of our time in there dreaming of the things we wished we could buy. All we ended up getting was a small bear for Hailey.
And then.... the game! We parked a few blacks from the stadium and walked up. We got to our seats about 30 minutes before the game started. 
Our seats were one row from the very top. But it was still a blast! 

The game was AMAZING! We did not expect Arkansas to do as well as they did. We thought they would put up a good fight, but Ole Miss would pull through in the end. What happened was both unexpected and spectacular to watch.

Arkansas shut Ole Miss down. Arkansas' defense was playing better than I've ever seen. Ole Miss couldn't get anything done. Arkansas intercepted two Ole Miss touchdown opportunities in the end zone. One was followed by a 100 yard touchdown for Arkansas! Arkansas' defense built a wall of defenders around the guy with the ball. They all ran together the whole 100 yards. It was like Mighty Ducks in real life. Holy crap. The stadium was going crazy. All I could do was say, "holy crap!" repetitively while alternating fist pumps into the air. Travis was next to me screaming like a girl. It was AMAZING.
 It rained the whole time. Some moments the rain was pouring, but most of the time it was a consistent sprinkle. I feel like it added to the fun memory. It was so fun. The game ended and Arkansas won 30-0. Holy moly. 
We headed back to the car and set off for home. We had such a fun weekend! And basically I win "Best Wife of the Year" award for getting Travis and I tickets to that game. (Thanks Taylor for the suggestion!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Family's FOUR Favorite Recipes

I am not a creative person. But I'm a great copycat. For a while Travis and I were trying a new Pinterest recipe once a week. Somehow we stopped, but I did find a few favorites I want to share. They have changed our lives for the better. ;)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1. Sweet Pork Enchiladas (Cafe Rio Copycat)        
        by Creme de la Crumb

This recipe is amazing. Your mouth will cry tears of joy when the first bite meets your taste buds for the first time. The meat has a separate recipe than the enchiladas. You can find that [HERE]. The meat needs 4 hours in the crockpot. It's soooooo good. Once you have your meat, you're ready to begin.

The enchiladas really only take 15 minutes to prep, and 15 minutes to cook. It's fast! As long as you prepped your meat. 

To print the recipe click [HERE].
For the online version go [HERE].

I promise you everyone in your family will kiss your feet (your spouse may kiss your lips instead). But they will all thank you from the depth of their souls. It's that good.  Try it out.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

2. Healthy Mac & Cheese
        by Cooking ala Mel

This recipe is one of our go-tos. It's fast, simple, and HEALTHY. Yep I said it. And Hailey devours this. Don't tell her, but it has spinach in it!  Mom for the win! It also has plain greek yogurt to help flavor it. I'm not a big fan of greek yogurt, but it's perfection in this recipe. This meal is SUPER simple, And it's a much healthier substitute for the boxed mac n cheese. Oh, and did I mention it's DELICIOUS? Mmmm.

Click [HERE] to go to the healthy, kid friendly, simple, and tasty recipe.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

3. Tomato Tortellini Soup
         by Key Ingredient

Travis and I discovered this recipe last fall. It's perfect for those cold fall and winter days. It definitely warms the belly. We made is weekly last winter, and then I dreamed about it all spring and summer long. I felt elated when the weather starting cooling off this fall. Now I get my soup again! We usually eat it with crescents. BUT recently we had some kids over and had the soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. It was scrumptious. We double the amount of tortellini because Travis likes thicker soup.

Please do you and your family a favor and try this recipe. Go [HERE] for the recipe. They recently changed their website so you have to sign up for free to navigate their website (grumble grumble). But it's SOOOO worth it! Do it!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4. Lasagna Roll Ups
         by Simply Gloria

If you want to impress some company coming over, or your children, make this. It's relatively simple, and crazy delicious! It's another one of those recipes that will have your taste buds singing and dancing from happiness. It has bacon, cream cheese, alfredo sauce, chicken, sauteed onions, and so much more gloriousness rolled into lasagna noodles. We even snuck in some spinach to add veggies. 

Warning: If you try this recipe, you will be dreaming about it until you have it again.

Go [HERE] for the recipe. You will not be disappointed. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There you have it! Try at least one or two of them. They are devine. And will definitely change your life. Enjoy!

**All the images are from the original websites. I should have planned better and taken my own pictures.  I won't pretend that the pictures I used are mine, so all the credit goes to the original authors.**

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Petite Potty Trainer

I know some people think I'm crazy for starting Hailey with potty training right now. The thing is, I waited as long as I could. Hailey has been giving us the "signs" for months now. Travis and I put her on the potty here a little and there a little, but never really seriously tried to train her. She always lets us know when she needs to go #2 and hates sitting in a dirty diaper. Sooooo... after many months of ignoring her interest in potty training, we decided to face it head on.
 We were at Target picking out some big girl undies. I saw the thick, training underwear. They were pink with flowers, but Hailey wasn't interested in them in the least. I grabbed them thinking I could convince her to get excited about them. As we were browsing through the little girls' clothes section, we came across a stand that had Frozen stuff galore- including underwear! I showed Hailey and she went crazy for them. The decision was made. I was going to have to do some extra cleaning when she had an accident, but at least she was excited.
So we started. The first day we took her to the potty every thirty minutes. She had an accident two times, but went in the potty three times. I'd call that a successful first day! The next day she had one accident and two potty successes. We were on a roll! But then... dun dun dun.... the next morning, Hailey had three accidents just in the morning. She was NOT getting it. I was ready to throw in the towel. It was frustrating. We talked to Travis' mom about it and she advised us to go with the "naked method".

The naked method is just like it sounds. Keep 'em naked. They don't have anything covering them that they think they can pee in. So they get used to the idea of going in the potty. Monday morning came, and we kept her naked. It was hilarious and cute to watch her play.
 We went Monday and Tuesday with ZERO accidents (minus some poo... but that was my fault cause I took her off the potty and she wasn't done...). So it counts as ZERO! I'm a believer in the naked method.

Wednesday we decided to put clothes back on her. Success. No accidents. Holy guacamole. My big girl.
So now, today, we continue our journey. We're working on getting her to let me know when she needs to go. Every day we added 15 minutes to the break between sitting on the potty. We're up to an hour and 15 minutes between potty trips. Our journey isn't over, but I can't believe how well she's doing. When Hailey goes potty in the potty, she gets one, single smarty. That motivates her. One measly little candy. It cracks me up. But I'm grateful that she let me know she was ready and has been doing so good.

I know a lot of kids don't potty train this early, so I felt a little silly starting with Hailey. But she was so ready. I'm so proud of my big girl! And farewell diapers (at least during the day for now), you WILL NOT be missed.