SURPRISE!!!

On Friday night, Michael received what was quite possibly the biggest surprise of his lifetime…

A BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!

I had it all planned beforehand, and he didn't suspect a thing! At about 7:40 pm, my friend Lelia called him, "panicking" because her computer "wouldn't turn on"! She was such a good actress, tears and everything, that he left about 2 minutes after her call to go "fix" her computer.

While he was gone, our friends started pouring in! We had about 17 people total. I was so excited that I couldn't stop looking out the window for his car. Finally, at about 8:20 pm, Michael and Lelia rolled in, and we yelled "SURPRISE!!!"

I even made a cake without him knowing! It was Red Velvet, but I ran out of red food dye, so really it was "Brown Velvet". Mmmm mmm.

Where's my cake, mom?

Overall, everything went better than I could have even planned. Everyone had a really fun time, and loved my cake!

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to my buddy!!! Technically I am posting late, but life has been pretty busy, so better late than never. I am so grateful for Michael and for all that he does for me!

Sadly, seeing as his birthday fell on the first day of school, we didn't get to do too many fun things, but we still celebrated a little bit.

With a pizza!

Candy from my mom!

Indiana Jones!

And a sweater…. T-shirt!?!?

I love you buddy!!!

Celestial University

So, back home in Michael's family's branch, the Relief Society is doing a program, "Celestial University", that suggests goals to complete in a year's time. There are 5 different categories of goals: Personal Development, Homemaking, Spirituality, Family Relations, and Physical Health and Preparedness. Depending on the number of goals you complete, you can earn an "Associates (4 in each area)", "Bachelors" (7 in each), "Masters (10 in each)" and "Doctorate (14 in each)". Personally, I am pretty excited about trying this out! I have already completed a couple goals and am working on some others.

Personal Dev. goal #8: Visit a historic site. Went to Jamestown!

Homemaking goal #2: Make 6 homemade cards. Look! (the 6th one wouldn't fit in my photo…)

Homemaking goal #6: Learn the basics of sewing. I started learning to sew a few months ago, but I still need a lot of practice! Check out this cute guinea pig armchair I made yesterday!

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Homemaking goal #1: Use 6 new recipes. I've already used 2!

Chicken Alfredo with Linguine and Broccoli

And Choco-Mint Freeze!!

one lucky girl

Today, during Michael's lunch break, we went down to the Red Cross to donate blood. He gave a double donation, and I did a single, which means we might have saved about 9 lives all together, all in one day! That's like… an entire cat!

The best part of the donation process is sitting at the cantine afterward, eating cookies and talking to the elderly volunteers. Today, there was a sweet old lady who definitely had a crush on Michael! She told me, "If you hadn't found him, he'd be mine! I'm in the market for a young man!" She also asked if he had any older brothers… Sadly for her, the answer was no.

At any rate, I definitely realize what an enormous blessing Michael is to me. I don't know what I did to deserve such a faithful, smart, hard-working, handsome boy, and yet here he is.

I tried, for the first time today, to make a digital scrapbook page. Conveniently, the theme matches that of this post! Hopefully your eyes won't suffer too much looking at it…

vacation

We're home!!! This past week, we went to visit Michael's side of the family. We did so many fun activities that I really didn't want to leave!

The first thing we did upon our arrival was go to karaoke at Kevin's fiancee's family restaurant. Michael and Kevin agreed to sing Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me" earlier in the night, but once they heard their names called to actually sing it, I think they were a bit shocked!

On Saturday night, we went to Kevin and Gigi's engagement dinner at The Olive Garden. Yuuuuum.

I had my first motorcycle ride ever with my dad-in-law and LOVED it!

I also had an amazing horseback riding lesson! I learned to do things I'd never even thought of, such as stopping my seat bones in the saddle. I even did some confidence-building exercises, which proved that as long as my legs were in the proper position, I wouldn't fall out of the saddle. My instructor had me reach to touch my toes, my heel, the horse's tailhead, and the top of her bridle. I never fell! This was also my first time in an English saddle, and wow was it comfortable!

Here's Sheba. She is 27 years old and was so amazingly patient with me.

We also went to Historic Jamestown. It was interesting to learn about the foundations of our state and actually walk through replicas of both the Powhatan Indian and English militia's communities. My favorite part was the English ships, because we could actually go into them and explore!

The last big thing we did was go up to the temple for a friend's wedding. We had planned on doing some temple work as well, but believe it or not… the power was OUT! 

I had such a great time with our family! Sometimes it's great to leave all the internet and cell phones behind and just go relax… or jump in the river!

wild weekend

Aside from Michael coming home, this past weekend was incredible because my mom and brother came to visit! Apparently, our idea of "wild" is going to the park and acting like little kids. Hey, I even screamed like one when I got on a "stand-up seesaw" with my brother and he almost knocked me off!

We also blew bubbles. But don't worry, they were big-kid-sized.

My sad attempt at jumping off the swing.

Train driver. Really.

We also went to a very delicious Patisserie!

the ark

We woke up to more water spots in the ceiling, wall, and even my kitchen cabinet today.

We called maintenance again but haven't heard much news about what they plan to do.

Men have been pounding on the roof and upstairs apartment incessantly for nearly 2 days now.

If they don't hurry, we may need to start building an Ark.

(re)starting!

My sweetheart finally returned home from his 2-month internship! I know, I know, 2 months is really nothing compared to what a lot of other people go through. I respect those wives (especially those with husbands in the military) who have little to no contact with their loved one for an even longer period of time.

While he was gone, I didn't do too much cooking for myself (unless a frozen chicken patty counts?!) so I was pretty excited to make an actual meal today. I even baked him a treat!

We also had an interesting predicament happen yesterday morning. Water is leaking from our A/C vent. The maintenance men came to look at it and weren't too concerned, but it is currently STILL leaking. I guess we'll be calling them again. My nice home is falling apart! Even look for yourself.

Both pigs had a bath tonight. Juni was very offended! I tried to erase their memories with some cilantro.

Nothing like a nice cuddle in your sleeping bag after an awful bath!