Saturday, August 29, 2015


Our niece Lillie turned 5 in January. We were invited to a very special birthday trip to Disneyland! We had originally told Lindsay and Mackay that we couldn’t make it because we were already making two trips home in December, but when Scott came home with an unexpected Holiday bonus the plan changed. It just happened to work out that we had Lindsay and Mackay for Christmas this year so we called Mackay and decided to surprise Lindsay at JT’s homecoming. We wrapped up a couple presents for the girls and at the bottom of the gift was our flight itinerary with a big WE’RE COMING TO DISNEYLAND written on it. She had no idea, it was an awesome surprise.

The Disneyland trip came just a few days after my last day with Kneaders(a different blog post). It was a nice ease into retirement. We spent weeks preparing for Disneyland. Reading blogs and researching tips. I wanted to make the girls some princess dresses that would be comfortable for all day at the park. I made Lillie a Cinderella dress a couple years ago and modified that pattern to make the girls dresses. They turned out exactly how I wanted them, and they loved them. I counted close to ten times mothers commenting on how pretty Lillie’s dress was. Plus it wasn’t itchy and was about 1/3 the cost of an Elsa dress at the park. Major win. We were so excited we brought some Frozen themed cookies from work for the girls.

With two little girls we had a serious case of Frozen Fever. Adults included. We had mapped out how to meet Anna & Elsa first thing. We knew which line to get into and took off running as soon as they dropped the rope. We found out that we only needed to have one person to wait in line for a pass to come back and see Anna & Elsa so while Mackay stood in line we went over to Olaf’s snow play area. We went sledding and I asked Lillie if she wanted to build a snowman. Her whole face lit up. It was so magical! They give you a little buzzer for when you need to get in line to meet Olaf, ours went off and right as we were almost to the front of the line Mackay comes running in from the Anna & Elsa line just in time to meet Olaf! We knew we were rocking this.

Lillie's Snowman :) 

 Mackay got us a great time for Anna & Elsa at like 10:30. We decided to head over about 10mins early and the group before us had finished a little early. So they let us walk right back! We had a ton of unrushed time for the girls to meet them. The adults were laughing/crying/high fiving/taking pictures and videos. We were so proud of ourselves. Anna & Elsa were awesome. Charly laid down on the floor and Anna laid down with her. Elsa told Lillie how pretty her dress was and it was awesome. They hugged and twirled and wrote autographs.  Going with kids is a total game changer. I think if Scott and I had gone by ourselves it would have been cool, but watching the little girls light up catching a glimpse of the magic was incredible.

The anticipation! 

We saw Anna & Elsa!!! 

After we met Anna & Elsa we all relaxed a little bit from the schedule we had planned out. We had a really great rotation of five adults to two kids. My little sister Alyssa came with us too. Since it was January we walked onto pretty much every single ride. We did take a break from princessing and went to Marvel World for the boys. We met Thor and Captain America and swapped out adults to ride Space Mountain several times. We caught several shows and bought matching T-Shirts and hats. It was such a good trip.

Alyssa the dancer made Space Mountain a Party. 

We love Uncle Scott! 

The Ferris Wheel was definitely a favorite. I had packed a little tube of “pixie dust” (glitter) to sprinkle on the girls to make them brave on scary rides. We put some on Lillie and she tackled Space Mountain with Dad. So we didn’t know that a swinging gondola on the ferris wheel would be terrifying. Our car had 7 people in it. 5 adults. We started going around the wheel and our gondola started swinging and we all started freaking out. Lillie insisted the Dad needed some pixie dust to make him brave and we dumped the whole bottle on Mackay. It was a riot. We were laughing and screaming so hard. Naturally we did it again the next day.

It was so fun to get to be a tourist with Scott. He loves the things I love and it makes vacation a lot of fun.  It was a perfect trip.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Christmas 2014

Our first Christmas together was perfect. It was fun to combine our families traditions and come up with traditions for ourselves. December was busy. (Isn’t it always?) This years Gingerbread house was a Gingerbread carousel. It spun and everything. The Gingerbread Joy Project has been something I’ve really enjoyed creating each year. Each year I try and do something to stretch myself and this year building a moving platform and doing pulled  sugar work really pushed me. I was a little worried with it being my first year in San Antonio, and I think I needed a project to ground me. It turned out exactly like I wanted it to.

In my family we collect ornaments from all the places we visit, and Grandma McGuire hand painted an ornament for each of us every year. My collection is one of my favorite things about Christmas, and decorating the tree with memories of her is just perfect. She loved Christmas. Since I’m married now, I got to bring my collection home. We had started this tradition for our little family when we got engaged. During our engagement trip we got a Vegas ornament, and on our honeymoon we got a time turner in Harry Potter World. It seemed fitting this year that our individual ornaments represented one of the biggest changes for our family.

Moving to Texas!

Since I had to work Christmas Eve, we decided to start a few new traditions of our own and have a little Christmas just us before flying home.

Scott put together a little program of reading scriptures and playing hymns on his saxophone and then we opened our Christmas jammies.

I am the worst secret keeper when I’m excited. Which isn’t hard to do. I get excited easily. For the past few months I’ve been working on a big present for Scott and his parents. Scott’s mom had mentioned to me the weekend I met her for the first time that one day she would really really like a book of all the letters Scott sent home on his mission. When I was googling Scott before our first date to make sure he wasn’t a serial killer, the only thing I found on him was his mission website. Which had every single letter he wrote home as well as pictures. I put all the letters and pictures into a blurb blog book. He had no idea it was coming. I was so excited I made him open it on our “Christmas Eve.” He’s a real sweetheart to put up with me and being too excited to wait for morning to open presents.

We opened presents the next morning and made waffles. Scott totally surprised me. I had to make a last minute business trip to UT to get one of my stores ready for Christmas and while I was gone he went to Nordstrom all by himself! He had noticed that I usually do my makeup in the car on the way to church and he noticed that I didn’t have a makeup bag. I had a very well loved box of makeup. He went to Nordy’s and talked to a couple sales associates. (“So I know I got the right thing. It’s legit”) He got me the coolest Trish McEvoy makeup bag I’ve ever. It has binder clips in the middle so you can flip through your makeup. Great spots for brushes and very sleek looking. I realize it’s a makeup bag, but it was really sweet to see that he noticed a need and filled the need. Man, I love the guy.

Then we were off to the airport to Flagstaff! We got there with plenty of time to eat fondue and do the Nativity. We were short a few members this year so we had to get creative. We finished the night with singing Christmas carols around the piano.

Did you know Scott’s favorite Christmas song is Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer? Those first few months in Texas were an adjustment to say the least. I just don’t handle the heat very well. While we opening presents Christmas morning I looked out the window and it started to snow!!! I didn’t even look for shoes I took off running in my jammies. I love the snow. I love how clean and pretty it makes everything and makes it so cozy inside. It was a fantastic Christmas present.

We spent the 26th in Flagstaff with my family too. We drove to Sedona and went to hike West Fork. My Mom’s all time favorite hike. I had started to feel sick on Christmas and had a pretty bad fever, but with oils I was feeling good enough to hike. The hike was beautiful.

Then we went to go see Unbroken. Powerful movie, but too intense for me to see twice. The next day we went to St. George for Christmas with the Dalys! Unfortunately I kept getting sicker. No oils or medicine were putting a dent in it. I don’t really remember much of the 26th. We went to lay down for bed and I started crying. I  was texting my Mom and my symptoms were starting to get really similar to when I had CMV/Mono/Strep. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. My first Christmas with my in-laws, all of the Daly family was there, and I was embarrassed, and felt like I was ruining everyone’s Christmas. I told Scott we needed to go and how I worried everyone in the family was going to hate me for messing up everything. (rational I know.) We had returned our rental car too, so we needed to go wake up Dad and ask to borrow a car. I am so grateful that he was so in tune with what I needed. He asked me if I wanted Him and Scott to give me a blessing before we left. It was a beautiful Christmas present. Turns out I was really dehydrated and had a kidney infection. Awesome. Lots of fluids, and a prescription for steroids later, Scott took me to Taco Bell and I tried to pull myself together as we headed back to the house.

Turns out I married into an incredible family. (not shocked, but grateful) Family is an incredible thing. To feel completely at home and cared about in a new situation was such a blessing. I love my Dalys. I slept most of the next day and missed church, but I was determined to look normal for family pictures that afternoon. We took pictures and opened Christmas presents. We spent the next day sleeping and watching movies and then it was time to head home. Our flight was delayed in St. George so we would have missed our connecting flight from Salt Lake to San Antonio, so we stayed another night in St. George. Which was wonderful. Turns out everyone was just concerned that I was okay. They still like me.  (I’ve promised to work on being more rational.)

December was wonderful, we built our family traditions and strengthened our relationships with our families and made memories. Absolutely perfect.

Scott put together a montage of our Christmas adventures.