January 18, 2017

26 reasons for loving you

We celebrated my husband's birthday for what felt like 2 weeks straight! It was so much fun to pamper him and make sure he knows he is loved. We started the celebrating simple by going on a hike with his family and eating cake, playing games and spending time with them. The hike was really beautiful. Elfin Forest is where we went and to be honest, I'm not sure why they call it a forest. There is nothing forest about that hike! However, it was beautiful and we were able to look out pretty far over the San Marcos/Escondido area. We went to dinner on his birthday, had my parents over the next day and spent the entire weekend out in a cabin with our friends to celebrate his and my birthday that's coming up. 

Because Ryan's birthday was so special this year with it being our first one to celebrate as a married couple, I decided I wanted to do something I've never done before. With all of the baking and cooking that I do, I've never actually decorated a cake before! I've iced a homemade cake and thrown on a few sprinkles on it and voilĂ ! You have a cake. But I've never taken the time to actually decorate a cake with fondant and making it look like something. So, I wanted to do this for Ryan's special week! If you know Ryan at all, you know that he likes sloths. The slow little creatures crack him up! That is where the inspiration came from and I've gotta say, I was really happy with the outcome. 

Working with fondant was sort of a nightmare, in my case. I put just a little too much water in my mixture but I learned for the next time. Here is the recipe I used to make homemade fondant:

Now, I guess, would be a great time to get to the point of this post! Ryan turned 26-years-old. He woke up that morning and looked at me, very concerned, and said, "In four years, I'll be thirty...". I'm so glad he still knows basic math ;) Life is going by so quickly but we're grateful for the time we have at this age to make memories and look forward to the years in our thirties, too. 

1. He is kind.
2. He loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
3. He is aware of his weaknesses and tries to be better.
4. He is strong, emotionally and physically. ;)
5. Family is the most important to him.
6. He makes me and everyone around him laugh!
7. He's so silly and is hardly every too serious.
8. His dance moves put Michael Jackson to shame. 
9. He's smart.
10. He is humble, even in situations when most people are not.
11. He only yells or shouts when he's being a goof.
12. He wants to badly to be the best person he can be.
13. He's the best at giving sincere compliments.
14. He's fair.
15. He passions that he works on & develops into skills.
16. He's helpful.
17. He has the biggest heart I know.
18. He can eat which puts my cooking to good use!
19. He's laid back and calm but not so much that he's boring.
20. If it were my world, he would win for world's best cuddler.
21. He works so hard to provide for our little family.
22. He honors and values his Priesthood.
23. He's a wise spender.
24. Instead of depending on others or his situation, he chooses to be happy.
25. He's respectful. 
26. Above all, I love who he is, what he stands for and who is becoming.

I love you Ryan Bradley! I'm so happy you chose me to spend eternity with and that I get to be there for all the happy times, hard times and every time in between.

January 1, 2017

how 2016 changed me

I've heard so many people saying how much they hated this past year but I simply cannot relate! Some of my favorite events happened in the year 2016. It was a year full of love, marriages, babies, adjustment, happiness, laughter and changes. It was a year that I will never forget for the rest of my life. The marriage to my best friend of over 4 years, took place in June. We had 7 friends/family members get married throughout the summer into the fall. We had food on the table and a house to come home to each night. That's been enough for me! 

For as long as I can remember, I hopped on the bandwagon and set resolutions for the new year. I try and try but I will always forget or justify not continuing working on them, in about February. I never last long at all! It's really sad... pathetic, really! I'm not going to sit here and write about how this year will be different because, let's be honest, it might not be. However, I can say that I'm going to continue to try!

Amidst all the beauty and magic of 2016, I still experienced a lot of heartache, trials and challenges of my own, just as everyone does. Earlier in the year, I was still living in Salt Lake City, UT, studying at LDS Business College. When Ryan returned home from his mission (the best week of my life!), he asked me to marry him and we decided that California would be the best place to start our marriage. We are close to both of our parents, Ryan had a job offer here and it would be easy for me to transfer with my job. It was the right thing to do and I will stand by that decision until we feel it's time to take our family somewhere new. 

This move created a huge adjustment period for me. I didn't necessarily want to stay in Utah but California didn't offer a whole lot for me either. I didn't have any friends out here and all of my family except one sister and my parents, live in different states. I was optimistic at first but that diminished very quickly as my routines had to change, money became tighter and tighter with each passing day and my work schedule was the opposite of my new husband's schedule. 

I very quickly slipped into a bit of depression and found it really difficult to get out of bed on the days that I wasn't scheduled to work. I didn't want to go out, or do anything at all. It was the worst I have ever experienced depression or anxiety. As luck would have it, I am so blessed to have a really amazing husband who was supportive throughout the many emotions I was experiencing. It wasn't easy for him either. He would tear up as he held me tight during the worst nights of them all. His hugs weren't the only thing that helped me during this time. He gave me a blessing of comfort with the priesthood he holds. It's been such a blessing to have that power in our home. 

Soon thereafter, I felt more confident in my job, started to make more friends and got even closer to my new sister-in-law. It didn't happen overnight or even in the matter of a few days, but rather, in weeks and months of relying on my Father in Heaven through prayer and my sweet husband for guidance and comfort. It's through my challenges that I become a better person. I've felt myself having more compassion towards others and wanting the best for them. I want so badly to be the best version of myself everyday and that comes with the constant ability to learn from my mistakes. 

 I've learned so much about myself, about the gospel of Jesus Christ and about family and marriage in 2016. What I'm most excited for in 2017 is continuing to learn through my challenges and getting closer to my husband. Each year can bring us happiness, if we allow it to. I'm excited to see what this new year brings for me as an individual and for Ryan and I as a family. May you all have a very happy and safe new year!