January 23, 2018

Snowshoeing: MLK, Jr. Day 2018

Chatwinners go snowshoeing

It's been a while since I've gone snowshoeing, but for Christmas this (last?) year, I got snowshoes for Stephen! That meant I also got some for myself, and we decided to take them out for a trial run on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Snowshoes snowshoeing

We haven't had much snow this winter, so we had to drive a ways to even get to snow (though we did get a lovely snowstorm this past weekend!). We decided to go to the area near Snowbasin so we could visit my family in Ogden after. Our goal was to snowshoe on the Sardine Peak Trail. We got a little lost, but we still had a good time enjoying the fresh air and being outside. :)

IMG_6643 IMG_6666

Here's hoping we can get some more snowshoeing in this winter! (And yes, I wore my ski goggles to go snowshoeing. 😁  Gotta be prepared for spontaneous snowball fights! Also, built-in sun protection. 😎 )

January 21, 2018

6 months!

Today is our 6-month anniversary! I still need to do a few real posts (I say a few, because there is NO WAY I could possibly share all the photos I want to share in just one post!) about our wedding, but I didn't want today to pass by without celebrating on this blog the fact that we've been married for a whole 6 months. :)

To mark the occasion, here are six photos from our wedding day:

stephen+yándarywedding-155 stephen+yándarywedding-129 stephen+yándarywedding-116 stephen+yándarywedding-287 stephen+yándarywedding-370 stephen+yándarywedding-399

Stephen is everything I could have hoped for and more, and these past six months have been the best ones of my life. We've learned a lot and we've grown a lot. We've made some wonderful memories, and I'm excited for all that's yet to come. Happy 6-month anniversary, boo! 💕💏😍

January 12, 2018

Death of a Prophet

The leader of my church, whom we regard as God's prophet and mouthpiece on earth, passed away recently, and today was his funeral. I listened to the hour-long service online, and then I felt compelled to stand outside, waiting for his motorcade to pass. (Luckily, I work about a block away from the motorcade's route, so it was really easy to just pop out and stand on the street.)

I feel a deep love for him. I got to meet him twice, both very brief interactions. But I could feel, both in person, and any time I heard him speak at a conference, that this man truly was the prophet of God. The first time, I was 16 (I remember I was wearing a peasant blouse I loved!), and he had spoken at our regional conference at the Dee Events Center. The second time, I was a college freshman at the U. It was Christmas break (December 2002: yikes!!), and I was shopping with my family at Nordstrom. We were in the men's shoe department, when lo and behold, who should also be there but President Monson!

We were so excited to talk to him, and it was even more exciting to get to take a photo with him. I pulled out my trusty disposable camera (I seriously never left home without it!), and some nice stranger took our photo. (My dad thinks he's hilarious and pretended to be the shoe salesman helping Pres. Monson try on a pair of dress shoes. Smh, Dad. Smh.)

President monson

One thing that was really lovely about being on South Temple today is that the Cathedral of the Madeleine, which was located on the motorcade's route, rang their bells today from the time the funeral ended until after the hearse had passed. Such a lovely sign of comraderie and co-mourning from our fellow Christians. It was also really wonderful to see other people lined up on South Temple to bid our prophet goodbye. I stood next to a young mom with her four kids (all of whom appeared to be age 5 or younger!) and marveled that she had brought them out on a crisp January afternoon to see our prophet pass by. I teared up a little at the two ladies who brought white handkerchiefs and waved them as President Monson's hearse drove past. I ended up being 20 minutes late to a work meeting, but I'm grateful I had the opportunity to say goodbye. I'm a little puzzled, having not known President Monson personally beyond two passing encounters, by how tender my heart felt today. I loved our prophet and am grateful to know the line of prophets will not end with him. How truly blessed we are!

Here are some more photos from today:

waiting for President Monson's motorcade
(Note the mom of four behind me)
President and Sister Uchtdorf ride by
President and Sister Uchtdorf

President Monson <3
Our prophet <3 (aptly, in front of the Thomas S. Monson Building, which houses the Gardner Policy Institute)
God be with you 'til we meet again, dear President Monson. 💗

January 09, 2018

The Cat Game

Saturday night, we went down to Melanie's for a get-together she was hosting. And, of course, we had to bring The Cat Game. It's safe to say the game was a big hit! Especially with Melanie's cat, Willa. 😂

The Cat Game

We've played The Cat Game so far with my family (teens and adults), Stephen's family (ages 2 and up), and friends (adults), and everybody has loved it! It's basically a glorified form of Pictionary... but with cats. 😸

I bought ours on a whim at Target on Black Friday, but if you're interested in getting your own, it's still available. :) $ well spent!

January 07, 2018

Swimming Lessons

Holy moly, I started swimming lessons this weekend! I am insanely scared of water (I learned what a panic attack was after having one before swimming at Zion National Park 5.5 years ago...), but two things: 1- Stephen and I are going to Hawai'i later this year, and it seems like it'd be a lot more enjoyable if I knew how to swim, 2- it is time: it is finally time to face my fears and learn to swim!

Swimming lessons

Stephen came with me, and -- bless him! -- stayed with me through the whole class. I'm really grateful he did! Having him there helped me feel a lot more confident. The instructor was late, which was a blessing, because I was SO nervous on the car ride to the lesson, and it was nice to have a few minutes to just get used to being in the water. Stephen gave me a headstart on my lesson (he's been swimming his whole life and did swim team back in the day), and by the time the actual lesson started, I felt ready and not panicked, which was a huge step for me.

By the end of the lesson, I was able to swim the length of a lap, I practiced kicking, I learned that water will get in my ears but will eventually come out, and I started practicing how to breathe out through my nose underwater. Stephen and I stayed at the pool after class and practiced some more. He helped me learn how to swim on my back, he taught me freestyle stroke, and he helped me kick better when I was going sideways or backwards (yes, somehow I managed to move backwards while swimming).

I'm nervous but excited for the next few weeks, but I can't overstate how grateful I am for my sweet husband and for his undying support. I might've made it through the lesson without him there, but it was so much easier knowing he had my back. Wish me luck and lots of learning in the next few weeks!

Oh! Not only is my husband a great swimming support; he took me to brunch at Cracker Barrel for doing so well at my lesson! I've heard Cracker Barrel is tasty but have never gone. I wholeheartedly recommend the wild blueberry pancakes. A+

Cracker Barrel brunch