Friday, February 27, 2009

Crafty Christy

Crafty Christy is what I determined my new name should be. Not really, but I have found that I enjoy being crafty or creative. I stumbled upon this new discovery around Christmas when I was trying to be creative with our meager Christmas decorations and when I was determining gifts for various girlfriends. Here’s what resulted:
A wreath for our front door

A centerpiece for dinner table using branches from our Christmas tree and flowers from a bouquet Chase got me

This is one of the two aprons I made that month for girlfriends. I have always loved this pattern that my mother and sister in law came up with for an apron. Isn't it fun? Ignore the fact that I had Chase model it for the picture.

Call me crazy, but I have found Pres. Uchtdorf’s words to be true when he stated at the last General Relief Society Meeting, “Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment.” Thus, to push me to continue being creative I set a New Year’s resolution to create something new each month. So far these are the fruits of my labors:

I wish I would have taken a before picture, but below you will see what use to be a recipe box. It was a rusty red color and it had rooster designs on it. I really did not see myself ever using a rooster theme in my kitchen, so I got the idea of spray painting it black and then cover it with cute paper. I like how it turned out. We now use it to hold coupons. Yes, Chase and I are coupon users so the box is pretty handy.

My in laws were introduced to the beauty that is Color Me Mine. It's a fun store full of pottery that you can paint and then they fire it for you. I went there once as a third wheel with my old buddies Emily and Peter Malinka, but it was fun to go there with Karlee, Robin, and Chase.

Chase surprised himself and actually enjoyed it.

The two of us made big mugs with our names on it to eat cereal out of. He did a Superman theme (Smallville really is a part of our lives) and I did fun stripes and colors. You'll also see below that Chase is holding a heart bowl/plate that I went and painted on my own one night while he was working for a decoration for Valentine's. I was really proud of how it turned out.

I must say though, I don't think I am the only one in my family taping into the crafty genes we were given. I would like to direct everyone's attention to my brother Brad's blog post that displays his crafting abilities in constructing Lincoln out of poultry. You'll be amazed. You reading this may have craftiness within just have to find your niche!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bring Back the 80's

So I promised I'd report on the 80's party my ward had during Valentine's week so for those of you who have been waiting for the sweet pics from that night, here they are. Our ward's Valentine's party was held at Classic Skate in Orem and we were encouraged to dress in 80's attire. Luckily Chase's mom's closet was able to supply us with clothes that she wore from the 80's!! It was sweet. I sported a liatard and leggings with puffy bangs and the side pony while Chase proudly wore short shorts and a headband. We went for the 80's workout look and I think we pulled it off pretty well. In fact, Chase's outfit was reminiscent of watching/participating in "Sweating to the Oldies" with my mom growing up.
As for pulling off grace on the rink...not so much. Neither Chase or I are very good at rollerskating. Hand me rollerblades and I'm fine, but not skates. All in all it was a pretty fun night. I mean come on, what could beat skating to "Total Eclipse of the Heart"?!

Seen above are the winners of the costume contest...I must say the Shavers were total 80's!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Most Perfect Valentine's Ever

Kari, you may think botox takes the cake as the best Valentine's ever, but I beg to differ. Don't be fooled by the romantic guestures...this day was also perfect do to the shopping spree. When are we going on our shopping spree huh? Anyway, sorry to my other readers. Had to put that in here. Anyway...

I have to take this chance to thank my hubby for a perfect Valentine's weekend. We keep deeming it such so it was sad to see it end. I surprised Chase Valentine’s morning with his favorite bagel and shmear from Einstein Bro’s Bagels—a cinnamon sugar bagel with strawberry spread—and hearts strategically placed throughout the house with things I love about him. I also gave him a black wool coat that I bought way back in January when he showed a lot of interest in it. Doesn’t he look good!
Now on to Chase’s surprises…well I have to say that weren’t necessarily surprises, cause he told me a week ahead of time (he gets so excited that he can’t keep things a secret), but I was super surprised when he told me. Chase opted to plan our festivities on Valentine’s Day since he felt guilty for neglecting to celebrate last year. Let’s just say he totally made up for it! When Chase came home from working the morning shift at the MTC we packed an overnight bag and headed towards Salt Lake. Our first stop was the Fashion Place Mall. We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory where the Gods blessed us with not having to wait a second to be seated. Can you believe that when the wait was 70 minutes long?! Don’t ask us how we were so blessed…we still can’t figure it out. Then as part of our Valentine’s Day we each had an allotted amount of money to spend at the mall. Our camera was being spastic or I would have taken a picture of all the bags we walked out with. It was my kind of shopping spree!! Next stop, we went and checked into a hotel in Salt Lake.
I loved the sitting area that the room had when you first walked in. It was nice! We ate a bit more of our lunch and then changed into nicer clothes. The biggest surprise of the night was that Chase had bought us tickets to see the King’s Singers performing with the Utah Symphony Orchestra at the Abravanel Hall. I was on cloud 9!! I have loved the King’s Singers ever since I heard them perform back in high school. Seriously I couldn’t stop smiling. The concert was outstanding.

This was a cool glass blown sculpture thingy in the lobby in commeration of the Olympics. I was fascinated with it.
Afterwards, we walked back to our hotel and finished the night with the final two episodes of season 6 of Smallville. Which for those of you that know, we started with season 1 of Smallville thanks to the Wilcoxs back in probably October and just finished season 6. I’m going through withdrawals now that we don’t have access to season 7 and season 8 is airing right now. Then the next morning we went to Music and the Spoken Word. I didn't know this, but at the end of the broadcast the MOTAB and everyone involved in the broadcast sing "Till We Meet Again" to the audience (the picture below was taken in the act of them singing to us). It was sooooo cool! I am just so grateful for a fantastic weekend with my hubby! Love you babe!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Underground Railroad for Polygamists

Now back to our previously scheduled program: Flashbacking

Another fun memory of January was traveling down to Ephraim one weekend with our friends the Fishers and Roses and staying at the first brick home ever built there. Lydia's uncle just recently bought the brick house as a side project. On Friday night we made dinner, played games, attempted to watch a movie, heard the Roses' exciting news of a baby on the way, and witnessed a secret hideout for polygamists. That's right you heard me, a polygamist hideout! Apparently some of the houses had basements with tunnels to escape to for those who were still practicing polygamy after it was outlawed by the church. Don't believe me, watch this:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Congratulations Candice!

I wanted to give a shout out to my dear friend Candice and wish her a congratulations on having her second baby this morning! It seriously feels like it was just yesterday that you got married and I was road trippin to St. George.  From the pictures sent baby Claire looks precious!  I can't wait to see her Candice.  You better believe I'll be there to visit if we move anywhere near South Carolina for law school.  Love ya girl!

Monumental Events

I would like to interrupt the flashbacks underway to report some monumental events that have recently taken place!!
Chase was getting a bit upset that I have failed to blog that HE GOT ACCEPTED TO HIS FIRST LAW SCHOOL!!!! The University of Iowa sent Chase his first acceptance letter. The dean even hand wrote on the acceptance letter, "Excellent Writing Skills"! He would like to thank my dad and brother Kurt for helping in proof reading his application. Chase also heard back from Vanderbilt and was placed on their wait list. Pretty exciting news since Vanderbilt is in the top 15 law schools of the nation!! We're crossing our fingers that he'll be offered a position at Vanderbilt since my brother Kurt and his family will be moving to Nashville this summer. Keep your fingers crossed. We still have 8 more schools to hear from.

Well done babe!!

The other exciting news I would like to report is that I did in fact win a game of "Oh Heck" with the Gunnells this past week. I usually score last or second to last in front of Nate, but for once I came out victorious, beating Chase by 2 points in the final round. You may not feel this is monumental, but it is to me!

Monday, February 16, 2009

January...a blur

Still flashingback...
So January went by really fast. I don't know if anyone else felt that way. Some of the things I can remember from that month were the following:

**Ringing in the New Year for the first time as a married couple! We had a party with some ward friends with yummy food, desserts, and games! Chase was pretty good at being the Great Dalmudi!

Us before the night's festivities!

Chase sporting the Great Dalmudi hat

Our first kiss of the New Year

**BABY GABE!!!! Chase's sister Dayna and her husband Nate brought Gabriel Nathaniel Checketts into the world on the 2nd of January. I had dibs that he would be born on the 3rd, but none of us minded that he came earlier. It was sooooo cool to be able to be there and hold him when he was just 1 hour old. He's a pretty cute kid and quiet too! He brings our niece/nephew count to 12 now.

**I also remember catching up with old friends at the start of a new year.

**I vaguely remember attending some BYU basketball games (thanks Fishers!), but what really stands out to me about January was the new addition to our home--A brand new water heater!!!! When I first lived in our condo and had my family spend the night, we quickly realized that the hot water pressure was pathetic. We discovered this when my mom went to take a shower while my sister in law was in the other water came out of my mother's shower. So we started to try to fix the problem. We were first instructed to drain the water heater to see if sediment had built up on the bottom of the water heater. After lots of water down our drain we found the pressure to still be weak. So finally after battling with the title company over our insurance (thanks Robin for going to bat for us...what a great realtor!) we had a plumber sent out to replace the water heater at the cost of $50! We now enjoy luxurious, high pressure showers. Come by and try one anytime :)

Evidence that we truly did drain our water heater!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reaching the end of December...
For Christmas we headed to Dallas, Texas. Here is our Top Ten List from the Vacation:
10. Warm weather!! Although the weather was fickle, we enjoyed a few days with the temperature in the upper 60's. It was divine.
9. Supervising my parents' movers. Yep, my parents finally left the Garland area and now live in a small city near Rockwall called Royse City. The population is just over 10,000 people, so quite a smaller community than Garland, but from what I can see it's going to be a great location for my parents. And I love their new home! So we were happy to help in their move.
8. Visiting my brother's family practice that he opened last summer and witnessing his medicial expertise first hand. Although, my brother Brad claims he's going to sue Jeff for malpractice :)
7. Shopping at San Marcos...seriously you can't beat the outlets at San Marcos!
6. Girls night at the movies...seeing Twighlight with the sister in laws! After about 15 minutes at the park we left Chase and my brothers with all the nieces and nephews. Apparently they played for hours...Chase was a bit worn out when I came home :(

What a good uncle!!!

5. Games, games, and more games. As my brother related in his blog, my family may need to retire some of our games due to the conflicts that arise when playing them. However, Chase was in heaven playing so many games over the break. Games like: Battle of the Sexes, Cranium Turbo Edition, Ticket to Ride (played 3 times in one day), Pass the Pigs, Rook, Catchphrase, and of course good old fashion video games on the Wii and Nintendo DS. Rock Band probably stole the show, but I think Chase is beginning to really love the brainy games on Nintendo DS thanks to my sister in law Karrie.

4. Finding my Christmas present at the Steve Madden store. Every girl has to have a pair of knee high boots!
3. Family reunited! At one point the whole Smith clan was together. This is a very rare occurrence with two doctors' schedules interfering all the time.
2. Having the chance to see the State Capital of Texas, the Alamo, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and a State Championship High School football game all in one day. At the beginning of our vacation we accompanied my brother Jeff and his family down to San Antonio for a State Championship football game, which their local high school in Sulphur Springs was playing in. Jeff is the doctor for the team so he promised to go to the game as a good luck charm. And the good luck charm worked...they won!! It was awesome! The highest scoring high school state championship game in Texas' history. Thank you Jeff and Kari for letting us come and for putting us up in a hotel on the Riverwalk!

The Riverwalk at night

We got in trouble at the Alamo...the local police whistled at us for having Chase on my back. You can see Chase's feelings towards the coppers.

Us front row at the game cheering on the Wildcats!

Jeff all legit on the field

1. I think our all time favorite memory of the trip was watching my nieces and nephews open up presents. Milo shooting his gun non stop; Jonathan yelling at the top of his lungs when they opened up a Wii; and all the kiddos saying over and over again "It's exactly what I asked for!" Honestly, holidays are so much more fun with kids.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Gunnell's First Annual Gingerbread Contest

Another Event in Decemeber...
This December we decided to gather some of our ward couple friends and have a good old fashion gingerbread making contest. Each couple brought their gingerbread house premade, but undecorated to my seminary building where we watched a Christmas movie projected on the big screen in my room. I had to do some serious cleansing of my room after watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". It got a bit sketchy at the end. During the movie everyone decorated their house. It was pretty intimidating to have the Wrights bring their own "tool" kit filled with decorating supplies. Their house is the close up pictured above because it really was a masterpiece.

Well done Kendra...and I guess Miles too.

But in the end we came out victorious.

We went the religious route (go figure huh?) and made our gingerbread house into the Provo Temple. I have to give Chase full credit in the construction of the graham cracker building. He did an amazing job. I was in charge of decorating. Little did we know that our judges would be bias to ours since Nate faced having his St. George temple gingerbread house go unrecognized as a youth. Justice was served after all these years in his eyes by awarding us with the "Best of Show" award. Never you worry, everyone walked away a winner. Thank you to all who joined in the fun!!
The judges...aka The Fishers

The Roses

The Simonsens (Love Boston's Hat!! Richard (as seen above) also sports it well)

The Cusacks