Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun Pictures

We took our family picture today for our Christmas cards. The girls love to get all dressed up.

Katelund took this picture of Cloey. Seriously, Cloey loves to make this face. She does it all the time for pictures.
She was so proud of herself for putting on my lipstick all by herself.

Visiting Daddy at Work

Man, he is SO HOT!!!
Apparently this is Cory's motivational quote, "Live every week like it's Shark Week". He LOVES it when Shark Week is on the Discovery Channel!!! He gets all giddy and everything. :)
The girls love to go through all of his drawers. He is so patient with them. He loves when we stop by to visit.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Weekend Alone...

On Thursday night, Cory drove the girls to Fayetteville, to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Cory went hunting with his Dad and spent time with his brother, Logan, who was visiting for the weekend also. Unfortunately, I was not able to go because I had committed months ago to be a running buddy for a Winter Wonderland Girls on the Run 5k. It is a club that you can join here in Western North Carolina while you are in Elementary and Middle School. They meet once a week after school for 16 weeks. For the first 30 minutes they teach the girls about eating healthy, exercising, and having a good attitude about their body image. The last 30 minutes they spend running in order to prepare for the big 5k race at the end of the semester. Each of the girls had to choose a running buddy to run with at the race. I am such a HUGE supporter of this program!!! I had so much fun with it!! I couldn't believe it when I got there because there was over 600 girls, their families to cheer them, and all of the running buddies. It was a really big deal! Olivia, the girl that I ran with, did such an incredible job!!! The course was not easy, but she stuck it out and we ended up finishing in about 45 minutes. I was SO PROUD of her!! I am wearing a tiara in this picture because each of the running buddies had to decorate one and wear it during the race. I wrote "Go Olivia" on mine. It was SOOO cold, it was 38 degrees, windy, and drizzling rain, but it was SO FUN!!

I have really enjoyed my time alone. I have spent a lot of time in my robe, eating chocolate, reading the last book in the Twilight series (SOOOO... GOOD), and making some Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews. I have totally boycotted cooking simply because I don't have to! :) I have lived off of cereal, fruit, and chocolate. I also went to two Christmas parties. I went to one on Friday night and as everybody left, the hostess gave us all the cutest little gifts (look at the picture above). All wrapped up cutely in a bag was a real mistletoe, candy cane flavored kisses, and a little note thanking me for coming and wishing our family a Christmas filled with lots of kisses. How cute is that??!!?? I LOVED IT!! It's been a great weekend, but I am done living the single life, I'm ready for my family to come back home!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Experimenting with my camera...

Birthday Gifts

So a couple of posts back (on my birthday), I put the picture of my wrapped gifts and Rebecca asked to see what was in them. I couldn't just post a picture of that gift, so I decided to let you see all the wonderful gifts that I got for my birthday. So here I go...

This is the most incredible stamp set ever from the best sisters in the world, Andrea and Katie. I love you both!! Thanks SO MUCH!!!
My friend Kim made these cute letter blocks for me.
My friend Carrie got me this BEAUTIFUL vase.
This is the awesome present from my mom that was wrapped up in that picture I took. THANKS MOM!!
Cute candle set from my friend Laura.
I love this! It is a misc. scrapbook supply carrying case from my mother-in-law. I really needed one of these.
Roses from my friend Marie and poinsettias from my friend Kristin.
An incredibly soft robe from my Grandma Black and she also sent me one of my Grandpa's shirts that he got from a half-marathon he ran. I REALLY wanted one of his racing t-shirts and Grandma thought I should have it since I have ran a half-marathon as well. I was SO EXCITED to get it!!!
Cory got me a beautiful new pot and pan set. I LOVE them!! I can't wait to get him a vacuum for Christmas! J/K :)

I got some wonderful gifts, but I think the greatest gift of all was from my visiting teacher. She gave me a card and on the inside she wrote, "Consider this a coupon for free babysitting every quarter all year for you and Cory to go to the temple." I had told her that all I really wanted for my birthday was to go to the temple with Cory. We don't get to go as often as I'd like since the closest temple is in South Carolina and when we go we have to find a babysitter for 7 hours!! It is kinda hard to find someone, especially when we live so far from family. Anyways, I had a wonderful birthday! Thank you all for your gift of friendship!! I love each of you!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"The Potty Sign"

I swear that my life these days revolves around wet sheets, wet panties, wet pants, extra clothes, and bathroom trips everywhere that we go. I know where every bathroom is in every store that we go to. In fact, we even have our favorite bathroom at the mall that we have to go in because it has a "tiny potty". Katelund was doing so good until Cloey started having accidents (now that I am finally brave enough to take Cloey out in panties). It is ridiculous! I have gone to the park twice this week. The first time I came home because Cloey had pooped in her pants (she REFUSED to use the porta-potty). The second time (today) we left because both girls peed in their pants. In fact, I think they planned it together just to drive me crazy!! Anyways, on the way home tonight from dropping a friend off, I pulled over in a parking lot to break up a fight between the two of them over a baby doll, and Katelund said, "Oh mommy we can go potty now." I told her that we were almost home and that she needed to hold it because it was a church not a store. She then said, "But mommy look at the potty sign in front of us, it means that we can go potty here." I looked in front of us and it was a handicapped parking sign. I started laughing SO HARD!!! It actually really does look like a potty sign. The handicap sign will just never be the same to me. :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Krista and Laura rocking it out on the Dance Revolution.
Laura playing some air hockey.
Back Row: Carrie, Laura, Krista, Me, Julie, Heather Front Row: Laura, Kim, Martha, Katie
Carrie and Julie rocking it out on the Dance Revolution and I am standing behind cheering them on. They also got some video of me doing the robot for all to see and laugh at, but I will not be posting that on here, sorry. :)

Since I spent my birthday cleaning up Cloey's throw-up and canceling the surprise party that Cory was going to throw for me, I decided to have a girls night out/birthday party last night. I invited a whole bunch of friends from my ward and my neighbor. It was so much fun!!! We met at 8:30 at Panera Bread for some hot chocolate. Then we went over to the movie theater to see the 9:20 showing of Enchanted (the cutest movie ever). The show had been changed to 10 so we went to the arcade upstairs and played air hockey and dance revolution (my favorite game ever). We had so much fun! I'm sure that other people were wondering what was going on when they watched 10 moms playing like kids, dancing, and laughing like crazy. We all LOVED the show and as we got out of the movie we couldn't believe that it was already after midnight. We were all way past our curfews. :) We all decided that we need to have girls nights at least once a month from here on out.

Some Cute Pics from the Weekend

Cory went on an overnight hunting trip with some of his boys. Much to their dismay, they came home empty handed. It was the last day of hunting season....maybe next year!?! He did look pretty cute and manly (those words really don't go together) all decked out in his camo.
How cute is this picture? Yes Austyn, it's my favorite hat ever because I think of you whenever I wear it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Three of My Favorite Things

So you know how Oprah does her "Favorite Things" show? I thought it would be fun to find out everyone else's favorite things from 2007. So I am going to start it off with three of my favorite things...

The first one is the new Josh Groban...Noel Christmas CD. I actually just got this for my birthday from one of my friends, but it is already at the top of my list. I LOVE it!! If you don't have it, you must get it (unless you don't like Josh Groban...but seriously who doesn't like him?) Every song is absolutely AMAZING, but some of my favorites are Silent Night, The First Noel (a duet with Faith Hill), Thankful, and Oh Come All Ye Faithful (sung with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). I listen to this CD all day long at home AND in the car! I don't know if you know this yet but....I LOVE IT!!
This is my Cocomotion (you can find it at Bed Bath and Beyond). It makes the best hot chocolate in the world!! You just add the hot chocolate powder and water or milk, turn on the on button and it will mix it together until it is the perfect temperature and consistency. Cory and I love to turn it on, fill up our mugs (his is a UT mug and mine is an adorable one that my mom gave me) and drink them out on the patio early in the morning as we cuddle up under a blanket together.

Katie got me two pairs of the sock pictured above for my birthday last year. They have become very important to me! They are Champs wicking/anti-moisture socks. They are the best running socks ever. Since I only have two pairs of them, I throw them in the wash all of the time with towels, kids clothes, or whatever else is washing that day. I HAVE to wear these particular socks anytime I run in a race or when I am doing a long distance run. I swear that I run better when I am wearing them. Seriously, they are magical. :)

So... there you have three of my favorite things from 2007. And now I would like to know all of your favorite things. I will be checking all of your blogs. :) Love you all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


That is what these presents have been saying to me for the past 4 days!! My mom sent my birthday present a little bit early and it has been KILLING me!!! I seriously have shaken it, felt it, held it up to the light, and everything else that I could think of to figure out what it was without opening it, no avail!!! Anyone that knows me knows that I have a really hard time keeping in surprises, in fact most people know what I'm getting them for Christmas and/or birthdays before I ever send it out to them. I can't help it....I just get so excited. One Christmas when I was a little girl, I opened all of my presents under the tree and then re-wrapped them. A couple of years ago my mother-in-law told me that it was a matter of integrity to not open presents before your birthday or Christmas. Ever since she said that, I have NOT ONCE opened a present before the specified day, but I'm not going to lie.....IT IS ABSOLUTE TORTURE!!!! So anyways, here I am on my birthday and now FINALLY I get to OPEN, OPEN, OPEN!!! YEAH!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"It came to pass..."

This morning I was in my room reading my scriptures. Cloey comes in and picks up one of my books and says, "Oh I need to read my scriptures too." She then opens up the book and begins to read. She says, "It came to pass Jesus came to the Nephites." It was so adorable.
When we read our scriptures together as a family, I often wonder if anyone, besides me, is getting anything out of them. It is good to know that after all of the fights to get them to sit still that there is some learning taking place.

....So we just had lunch and I just have to post about what Katelund said during the prayer because it was so stinkin' cute! She said, "...and please bless me that I will grow up so that I can do the dishes all by myself..." I gave a BIG AMEN to that prayer!! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Girl Just Wanna Have Fun

I LOVE having little girls!!! I love to play dress up, play mommy/baby, twirl, dance, sing and braid, piggy tail, ponytail, and curl hair! I have been curling Katelund's hair a lot lately with my hot rollers and yesterday Cloey wanted me to do her hair. It looked so adorable and so of course I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The best mom ever...

When my mom and dad came to visit in September, we went to a little restaurant in downtown Asheville called Tupilo Honey Cafe. It is the perfect place to take someone to give them a taste of Asheville because it is very organic, eccentric, and southern. Anyways, we all ordered their famous sweet potato pancakes and they were DELICIOUS (in fact, when Rachel Ray came through Asheville she raved about them as well). This last week I got a surprise in the mail from my mom. She sent me a sweet potato pancake recipe with some pecans to put over the top and then she had a little note attached that said, "Thinking of you!" How sweet is that!!! It's official...I have the best mom ever! :)

Katelund's Favorite Dress

When I was little I remember that I had a jean skirt that I ALWAYS wanted to wear. Although I'm sure it drove my mom crazy, she let me wear it anyway. Well...Katelund has decided that this dress is her favorite dress ever. Not only does she want to wear it every Sunday, but she also wants to wear it during the week. It really is not my favorite dress, and I have this weird thing about not wanting my girls to wear the same dress or skirt to church for at least a couple of months. Well, I finally gave in and this Sunday she wore the same dress that she had worn two Sundays before. It was quite a step for me. It know that it is so ridiculous that I even care because I know that nobody else does, but I guess it is just one of my quirks.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Trot, Turkey Bowl, and TURKEYS!

We had a great Thanksgiving! We started out the morning with some family traditions...Cory playing some flag football at the high school with a bunch of boys and men from the ward (while the girls cheered them on), and I went to the annual Asheville Turkey Trot 5k. It wasn't my PR (personal record), but it was still a great run. After we met back up at the house, we cooked like crazy and then went over to our friends', the Hutcheons, house. We had dinner with them and another family from our ward. Katelund and Cloey LOVE Laura and Dean. They have a lot of fun playing with the girls and vice versa. After a delicious dinner, we all went over to another family's house, the Curridens to have pie. I think there was about 7 or 8 pies to choose from. In fact, I had my new favorite pie...chocolate pecan. It was fabulous!

Before we ate, the boys all sat around watching football (GO COWBOYS!). If you look closely, you will notice Cory holding the Davis' newborn baby boy, Xander. Cory says that he was getting his baby fix out of his system, but it only made me more baby hungry just watching. :)

What cute little TURKEYS! :)
Do you think they love Laura?
Katelund loves to tease and play with Dean.

I have so much to be thankful for. My list could go on and on, but I am going to spare you the novel and just narrow it down to one thing. I am so thankful for the great plan of salvation. I am thankful to know who I am, where I came from, and where I am going. I am thankful to know that I can be with my family forever. What a wonderful gift it is to know that the work that I am doing here on earth as a mother and wife, is one with an eternal reward.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our Dinner Conversation Tonight

Me: "Katelund, would you like some more soup?"
Kate: "Yes, please."
Kate: "What does 'yes, please' mean?
Me: "It means yes I would like some more please."
Kate: "But what does it mean?"
Me: "It means being polite."
Kate: "What does being polite mean?"
Me: "It means using good manners."
Kate: "What does using good manners mean?"
Me: "It means being a good girl."
Kate: "What does a good girl mean?"
Me: "It means choosing the right."
Kate: "What does choose the right mean?"
Me: "What do you think it means?"
Kate: "Obeying like Jesus."

More Pictures from the Weekend...

This is a picture of Katie and her boyfriend, Jason. He is also in the music program at BYU.
(Left to Right). Katie, Andrea, Grandpa Braithwaite, Grandma Braithwaite, me, and Mom. Back Row is my Aunt Sheri and Uncle Richard.
My Grandpa was buried at the Orem Cemetery, right next to my brother Kelly.
Family Picture (all though it just really isn't complete without husbands and children... I guess we'll have to take a complete family picture when we're together in June...maybe even Jason will be part of it... :) .

Family Pics from the Funeral

We spent a lot of time gathering pictures, metals, and other memorabilia to display on tables for the funeral. We went through about 100 shirts that my Grandpa had gotten from the 100 + races that he ran starting from the age of 44 (6 of them were marathons).
My Aunt Amy and Uncle Steve held a family luncheon at their house before the viewing on Sunday. It was so much fun to catch up with my cousins, aunts, and uncles My Grandparents have 11 granddaughters and 3 grandsons (only 2 living). No wonder I can't have any boys...
(Above). This is a picture of all the grandkids. My twin cousins' spouses are also in the picture.
(Below). This is a picture with my Grandma, her 3 sons, 3 daughter-in-laws, and 13 grandchildren (and two grandson-in-laws).

I am thankful for... Grandpa Black!!!

Last Thursday I had the great opportunity to fly out for my Grandpa's funeral in American Fork, Utah. It was a weekend that I will never forget. I was able to be with my two sisters and my parents as we helped my Grandma do all the MANY THINGS that you have to do in order to have a funeral. I can't believe how much preparatory work is involved. It was so amazing to watch my dad reaching out to comfort and strengthen his mom in the most tender and unforgettable way. It was also so wonderful to spend some one on one time with my two incredible sisters and my dear mother.

I could go on and on describing how incredible my Grandpa was. He certainly typified what it means to lose yourselves in the service of the Lord. He lived to love and serve anyone and everyone around him. At the viewing there were about 250 + people there of whom my Grandpa had touched in some way. Then, the next day at the funeral there was probably at least 100 more that came to the viewing before the funeral. I just wish I could share the talks that were given, the stories upon stories that were told of quiet service he rendered, the countless number of friends that he had in his lifetime, his many accomplishments throughout his life, etc... Words are just not adequate enough to describe the feelings that I felt this weekend, but to summarize it all I would have to say that I left with a greater desire to be better, do more, and live my life focusing more on others. I know that my Grandpa has returned to his heavenly home with glory and honor. Grandpa, I love you! May God be with our family until we all meet again in the presence of our Lord, Savior, and King.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am thankful for...

... the New Testament student manual. I LOVE it!! The manual ("The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostle") adds so many incredible insights. It just enriches my study of the New Testament in a remarkable way. I was studying the parable of the sower (my favorite parable that Christ gave) and I came across the following poem in the student I just had to share it.

To preface the poem, the author wrote the following; It is hoped that as you contemplate these teachings of the Master, you will consider your own soil--your own heart. Could it use some softening, some deepening, some cultivation--even, perhaps, some weeding?

When gospel truth is gently sown
in my unlearned heart,
I hope it finds no hardened crust
or wayside paths apart.

Nor even drops on softer spot
with hardness just below,
Where faithless, poorly rooted sprouts
are doomed to never grow.

I pray it shall not fall in dirt
Where thorns have made their bed.
Where choking plants, 'mid worldly cares,
grow fruitless, nearly dead.

But let that seed find fertile soil
in deep and clean abode,
And drawing life, yield true and full
to Him who gently sowed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tender Mercies

Today started out to be not so good of a day. Our washer is having issues, laundry is getting stacked up, girls are fighting non-stop, another friend is moving (three of my good friends have moved this year), and I have no motivation to clean up another disaster (the girls' room). So...we left the house and spent most of the day at the park (in awe of the beauty of Asheville in the fall), I came home and one of my good friends, who I hardly ever get to see, just randomly stopped by, AND then one of my friends from Rexburg just called me out of the blue to catch up on life. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. On a day that was going downhill quickly, He allowed me to realize how much I really do love my life and how blessed I am to have so many incredible friends who uplift and strengthen me in such a miraculous way.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The best of both worlds...

This weekend was great!! I had been preparing all week for Young Women in Excellence on Saturday night, the primary program practice with a pancake breakfast on Saturday, and the primary program on Sunday. It was kinda crazy but a lot of fun!! I don't think I should post pictures of other people's children without their persmission, but I did take a picture of the name cards I made to put on the display table for YW in Excellence. I had so much fun with them. I chose a different font for every girl, one that reminded me of her. I spent way too long on it, but it was worth it. It was a wonderful night. I love being the personal progress leader! It is kinda crazy on Sundays because I have to run back and forth between Primary and YWs, but it makes it exciting, right?

The Primary Program was perfect! Last month when I was called to be in the Presidency, I had to leave my favorite calling in the whole world, primary music leader. It was so hard to watch someone else take it over with only weeks until the program, but she did a great job. Although I didn't get to lead the music, I got to sit right by the microphone and help the kids with their parts. I loved being able to see their little hands shaking and to watch how proud they were when they left the stand. Katelund did a great job on her part. She said her line by memory and she didn't act nervous at all. I was so proud of her.

My mom had given me such a great idea for sharing time. In their ward, they had put an insert into the programs for the ward members to write down positive comments to be read to the children after the program. So we did it in our ward as well. I had put a mailbox in the foyer and they just dropped them off as they left the chapel. We had such a great response. It took us about 20 minutes just to read all of the comments to the kids. It was the greatest reward possible. One mom wrote a letter specifically to her daughter to let her know how proud she was of her for being so brave, the little girl was just beaming. They all loved the attention, and I think it was a great bonding experience for the whole ward.

Layering at Two...

I told Cloey to go get dressed in something warm because it is so COLD outside. She came back with 8 shirts on!! Now I know that layering is really in style, but are you kidding me? After I laughed and took a picture, she came back a couple of minutes layer crying because she wanted my help to pull down the 9th shirt that she will be wearing today. I guess she'll be really warm.

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