Christmas Is Coming

I don't know if any of you knew this, but....

Christmas is on Saturday.


So. Excited.


Bite the Bullet*

So this post probably wont have a ton to do with Christmas - but I'm sure I'm bound to mention some things that pertain to the special holiday. :)

Recap Bullet List Style.

- We went to the Eclipse Christmas Concert. Everything I wanted it to be. And now I'm even more excited for Christmas.

- We had one of Braedon's family Christmas parties this past week. They do the whole 5 dollar white elephant gift exchange (that seems almost a staple of Christmas now...). One of our gifts was two pair of pink and purple thongs, some candy, and a mug that happens to be in the shape of a certain female body part (in the chest area), that has a perfectly placed hole for one to drink out of. This gift happened to be picked by a newly engaged couple. Perfect. :)

- Braedon's Uncle is having some major complications - kidney's failing, something weird with the legs that needed surgery so that the muscles wouldn't die. It all came suddenly and seemingly out of no-where. Braedon and his Grandpa went and gave him a blessing on Sunday and I was reminded once again of how wonderful it is to have a Priesthood holder in my home. Please send any extra prayers or good thoughts to Braedon's Uncle and his family, they are going to need it.

- Also on Saturday we went to a book signing of my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson. He did a Reading and a Q&A before the signing... I was too chicken to ask my question, but my brother Taylor asked it for me and it made me feel special. I feel so nerdy going to a book signing and asking questions - but secretly I love it. And honestly, he really is the coolest nerd I've ever met.

- Lately on Facebook - I've been a hiding fiend. Apparently I'm too lazy to actually delete people from my friend list, so I've resorted to just hiding them. It feels rather refreshing.

- I've really been missing dance lately (the pretty Ballet clip Kelci just showed me on youtube didn't help very much).  Braedon's work does this program where they pay for half your membership to Golds Gym, and you don't have to sign any kind of contract. We are talking about maybe signing up - and I'm not gonna lie, the main reason why I want to sign up is for the free classes... Maybe they will have a dance one? I honestly just need to get into dancing again. I misseth it. Anyone know of a place that has adult classes - for the not so advance. :)

*Did you notice the play on words!? Bullet... and I did a blog post with Bullet points! I'm so clever**.
**Don't look up the word clever in the dictionary... just trust me on this one.


Inside Out

So once upon a time I was blog stalking the wonderful Kelly onceBrownbutnow White (and her Husband's) blog. She was making some fun Christmas Decorations that she had seen from this blog.

Having been directed to the ColorMeKatie blog I soon became addicted. I loved seeing all the vibrate color in her life, all the creative things she comes up with, and her positive fun loving attitude. 

I was inspired.

I decided that I wanted to bring more color and creativity to my life, play more, and to be more positive. I especially loved the blog she wrote about her favorite coat she happened to ruin. She turned something that could have been really sad and frustrating into something fun and better! 

I loved this idea so much that I told Braedon about it (I probably told him a lot more about this blog then he wanted to hear, to be honest) and my inspiration to play more and be more positive.

Now we jump to a few days ago. Me and Braedon bought are very first Christmas Tree and put it up the day after Thanksgiving. We loved it - it was so pretty! Observe:

Sorry for the Crappy Photo - I only got a picture on my phone. Kinda sad.
Well last week we noticed that four of the branches on our Christmas Tree had gone out - apparently the whole strand of lights was bad. So we called the store that we got the tree from and they said that we could return it for full credit back. So Braedon took down all the decorations and packed up the tree. We returned it on Saturday, only to find out that all of the stores were out of this particular tree. We considered buying a different tree, but all the ones that were left were very crappy looking, and we didn't want to waste money on a tree we didn't like or on a tree we didn't feel we would want to use again next year.

So we decided to think on it and search around to see if we could find a decent tree so late in the season - if not, I had a tiny little tree that I bought when I was young that we could use for the remaining week. 

Well apparently this idea didn't sit well with Braedon. He knew that I really wanted a tree for Christmas - especially since it's our first Christmas as a family. So he kept thinking and thinking of a way to make this work when he remembered the blog that I had shown him - especially the story about the ruined coat.

And he came up with an idea.

Since, as I said in a previous post, we are moving on January 8th - we've been accumulating a lot of boxes to pack stuff in. Braedon decided that instead of getting a lame crappy tree that we wouldn't really want and would also have to find a place to store, that we would instead make our own tree - out of wrapped boxes. So we went and bough some more wrapping paper and a couple of ginormous bulbs and went to work. We wrapped up all our packing boxes and put them together with my little tree on top. I love how it turned out! Observe again:

Lighted Ribbon - Something we bought last year for like 2 bucks and didn't
even realize it wasn't regular ribbon. Bonus!

It looks even prettier and cooler in person. :)

We love it so much it might just become a tradition... we'll see how we feel next year. But I'm so glad that Braedon found a way to turn our sad tree story inside out and make it into something fun!

I'm so excited for Christmas. :)



12 Days of Christmas

So this morning, as Braedon was bellowing out the "12 Days of Christmas Song" while in the shower, it got me thinking - where did this song come come from and why the weird gifts?

So I decided to do some research, and found some interesting stuff.

Interesting Fact #1 - "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol. Although first published in England in 1780, textual evidence may indicate the song is French in origin. (source)

(That is a very old song!)

Interesting Fact #2 - Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days beforeChristmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany. (The 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th, with Epiphany on January 6th). (source)

(Does that mean I can keep singing Christmas songs until January 5th?)

Interesting Fact #3 - There is actual meaning to the gifts:

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 1, Christmas Day, December 25
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 2, December 26
Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness of God.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 3, December 27
Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 4, December 28
Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world and of Jesus Christ.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 5, December 29
Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 6, December 30
Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 7, December 31
Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 8, January 1
Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 9, January 2
Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 10, January 3
Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 11, January 4
Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Day 12, January 5
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

I honestly never knew there was any great meaning to this song and always thought it a rather silly and annoying song. Now I know that there is some pretty deep meaning to it. 

Crazy what the internet can teach ya, huh?*

*Why do I not use the internet more often when I have thoughts like "I wonder what the history of that is?" or "I have no idea what they are talking about..."? I love learning new things about Christmas that I never knew! :)



Nature's Candy

Today I am grateful for pomegranate seeds - another thing that always reminds me of Christmas. Plus it's like candy to me and I don't even have to take points off for eating it! :)

Mmmmm so good.

I'm also grateful for my awesome boss-friend*.

*I was in no way forced to post this - but I figure, brownie points are always nice. Plus now I don't have to listen to complaints of not mentioning my awesome boss in one of my blog posts**. ;)

** Just kidding Spencer.


Memories and Traditions

So I realized that when I did my 'Traditions' post that I forgot to mention one of my most favorite traditions that Braedon and I have that started from our dating years - going to the Eclipse Christmas Concert.

We've gone the past three years (with a 2 year break while Braedon was gone, of course) and to me, seeing this concert really means that Christmas is close. I've talked about Eclipse before but I honestly just love them - and seeing them live is always so fun. You can feel their spirit, joy and love for Christmas as they sing their songs.

My favorite was the year before Braedon left on his mission we came out of the concert and I was already on my Christmas high when we took our first step outside the building. Apparently it had snowed while we were at the concert because there was a good 6-8 inches already on the ground. The flakes were big, white and fluffy, and the sky was so dark in contrast. It was a perfect moment and a wonderful reminder of why I love snow so much. It's so silent, soft, and magical.

Me and Braedon already have our tickets for Friday and I am so excited to go. If you want a good Christmas CD - go get theirs. And if you want a good Christmas Concert to go to - I would highly recommend this one. :)

Have I mentioned that I love Christmas?

Cause I do.



News Flash

Sorry for the lack of post on Friday - I was distracted by food poising and completely forgot.

This post is brought to you by news in the life of Katie.

- I took the GRE on Saturday. I didn't do as well as I feel that I could have (stupid computer based test not letting me go back to questions and making me loose track of time). But I still did pretty good - at least I believe it's good enough to get accepted to the U or Y, so I'm happy. :)

- I found out that the word Noel is simply another word for Christmas. Why did it take me 22 years to think "I have no idea what 'Noel' is"? (This is my way of making this post somehow Christmas related).

- This past Friday was Braedon's grandparents 50th anniversary. They were nicely surprised with a church full of people and a reception that they never really got. Braedon and I worked on the video that was presented at the reception - containing footage of Rod (Braedon's grandpa) picking up Jeanne (Braedon's grandma) for prom, and dancing in the entry way (so freaking cute), as well as actual footage from their wedding. Both of them had no knowledge that such footage existed. Needless to say, it was a wonderful night and the long hours working on the film was totally worth it. They are proof to me that with hard work, communication, and understanding you can grow closer and closer together then ever thought possible. So cute.

- Me and Braedon are moving on January 8th. My lovely Aunt and Uncle Landlords have sold their house. But luckily we have another side apartment (like a basement apartment, but on the side?) of a lovely great aunt to go to. We feel really good about this new place - not so good about having to move all our junk again, but good all the same. :)

We'll leave it at that for now.

Loves and hugs all!



One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the traditions that come with it. So today I am going to share with you some of my favorite traditions! :)

-Putting up Decorations the Day After Thanksgiving. This is something my mom started that I am going to keep going. I love putting up the decorations the day after Thanksgiving. Something simple, but I loved spending time with my mom, listening to Christmas music, putting up decorations. It's something I hope that my children will cherish one day. :)

-Christmas parties. I love getting together with family, having fun, being happy, eating good food, exchanging lame-o 5 dollar gifts, exchanging non lame-o more then 5 dollar gifts. It's always nice to see family!

-Watching Muppet Christmas Carol. I love this movie so much. I love Muppet's so much. This movie brings back my childhood like no other movie. I used to watch this even when it wasn't Christmas. It's comforting, and I love singing a long with all the Muppet's. Also, it's got a good moral, so that's always a bonus.

-Singing. This comes in different ways, at parties, in the car, carols, with family, in church. Whatever form, I love singing Christmas songs. The more traditional songs are my favorite - O'Holy Night, Silent Night, Away in a Manger, etc. Something about singing makes me feel closer to Christ. :)

-Lights/Hot Chocolate. This is probably the only time I really love going down town (I have decided that I am so not a city girl) I love going with friends, walking around Temple Square, looking at the lights, with a cup of 7-11 Hot Chocolate in my gloved hands. I really love twinkle lights, I think they are magical. :)

-New Traditions. Traditions have to start somewhere, and I'm excited to be starting new traditions with my Braedon. We've decided that every year we want to get some type of decoration that has to deal with the Nativity scene - to help us remember what Christmas is all about. This year with money being a little tight, we didn't actually get a Nativity set, but we got an ornament with the Nativity Scene painted on it. We love it. :) I'm excited to see what decorations we will get in the upcoming years.

I'm also excited to see what traditions we will start for our family as it grows (no this is not an announcement).

Hope you all are enjoying your traditions! :)


I'm Getting There...

So for those that may not know - about 4.5 weeks ago me and Braedon started this thing called 'Game On!'. It's basically a game that involves being in control of yourself - a life awareness if you will. Each person puts in an alloted amount of money at the beginning of the game and through out the game you get points for doing certain things. The person with the most points at the end wins. Some of the things you get points for are:

Drinking 100 oz of water daily.
Sleeping for at least 7 hours a night.
Eating 3 healthy meals - try and include a fruit and a veggie.
Eating 2 healthy snacks in between meals.
Breaking a bad habit.
Creating a new good habit.
Exercise at least twenty mins a day.

So we started this game the first week of November, and the last day is New Years Eve (8 weeks total). It's been an interesting journey so far - I've had my days where I didn't have a problem getting all my points, and I've also had my days (probably more then the first) where I don't want to do anything and have to fight with myself to get up butt into gear.

As we've been doing this game a lot of times our exercise has been consisting of doing one of the P90x workouts (or depending on time, half of one of the workouts). Yesterday though we decided to mix some things up and I went to the treadmill while Braedon went to the recumbent bike. Now I haven't run in a while so I was a little nervous, but as I got going I kept pushing the '+' sign on the speed. I soon passed what I used to run at and kept going higher. My body felt wonderful! I even decided towards the end of my jog to try a sprint at 10mph. I've done these before, but never for super long. Well last night I sprinted at 10mph for over a min. It was fantastic!

Now you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with my gratitude/Christmas posts, well...

I'm getting there.

I realized last night that since I've been treating my body better, I've felt better. I was better. I could run, even sprint, and not leave feeling totally out of breath. I felt good after my workout. This has made me realize how wonderful the human body is, and how grateful I am for it.

It then brought my thoughts to Christ's birth and to God's plan to send us all to earth to receive bodies - and how amazing that is.

I love my body. I'm so thankful that I have the capabilities to run, jump, squat, and spin. I'm grateful that me and Braedon started this game. Even if neither of us win (which, I'm gonna try my hardest to not let that happen), I will be glad for the journey it's taken me on (and also glad for the 8 pounds I've lost so far), and for the appreciation it has given me for my own body. :)


Freedom to Celebrate

Blogging this much is harder then I thought it would be.

Today's Factoid:

"Christmas was illegal in England from 1647-1660. This was enforced by the then leader Oliver Cromwell who believed it was immoral to hold celebrations on one of the holiest days of the year. The celebration of Christmas was therefore a criminal offence which could lead to an individual being arrested if he or she was found guilty of condoning any revelry during the period."

Last night at a family Christmas party my Grandpa had brought up a conversation he had with one of his nurses. Recently my Grandpa had to be put on dialysis - and one day one of his nurses came up to him and asked if he knew how lucky he was. He replied with a "Well, yes, I believe I do". She then explained that where she was from (I can't remember what country he said) they didn't have dialysis - it was too expensive, even for those considered well off.

I sometimes let myself get so caught up on the little things (and even some things that may not be so little) and forget the wonderful freedoms and blessing that I enjoy ever day - like hospital care.

I'm especially grateful for the freedom of religion, that lets me worship how I want, that lets me be close to my Savior without any worry, and that lets me celebrate Christmas with wonderful friends and family. :)



Of course when I said I was going to blog daily, I meant weekdaily. :)

This weekend has been a little crazy and stressful (details may come later) but no matter whats going on I know I have the support of my wonderful family and especially my parents.

So today I dedicate my blog to my wonderful mom and dad.

You honestly are the best parents I could ever have. You are always there for me, even on short notice. You are still helping guide me and lead me and I am so grateful for that. You love me for me, you are my friends, you raised me in a way that I can respect myself and others. You taught me in the gospel, but didn't force anything on me - helping me to build my own testimony and grow into who I am today. I know with out a doubt that you are always there for me. I love you, and I know that you love me.

Thank you for all that you do.



Miracles and Blessings

Today I am grateful for little miracles and answers to prayers. I love how if you just show trust in the Lord he will always make it work out in the end. :)

Me and Braedon have had some wrenches thrown in our spokes, but somehow things are working themselves out.

Also on a side note - our apartment looks so happy and Christmasy right now. I love it. Pictures to come. :)



Today I decided to learn a little more about the word Christmas and thought I'd share a bit of information that I thought was interesting:
The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning "Christ's Mass". In Greek, the letter X (chi), is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the smililar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the mid-16th century, Hence, Xmas is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Christmas. (source)
I always thought the word Xmas took the Christ out of Christmas - apparently I was wrong, though I still prefer to say Christmas. :)

Today I am grateful for the internet and what a wonderful tool it is. I'm especially grateful for right now as it is helping me study for the GRE and learn new words like stygian, veneration, and inveterate.

It's a short one for today!

Love and hugs. :)


The Reason.

Since it's the first day of December (weird, right?) I wanted to start off the month with the reason for Christmas.

A few years ago on Christmas Eve I was going to be singing with my sister for a little performance her husband's father does ever Christmas Eve night. While we were waiting to go to the performance that didn't start till about 10:00 pm, I was sitting at their house and Billy (my brother-in-law) decided to pass the time we would watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now I know I've seen this movie before, but I'm not sure how much attention I've paid to it, before that night. That year I had been having a hard time with the Christmas season - I think it was in part because Braedon was gone and I was missing him a lot. But simply put I just hadn't felt as close to the Christmas Spirit as I usually felt in other years.

Now I know it may seem silly, but when Linus spoke the passages from Luke and finished with saying "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown" it all clicked. I needed to stop thinking so much about me - I wasn't really wrapped up in gifts, but I was wrapped up in my own feelings and in how I felt Christmas should be.

I've never really told Billy or Melissa about this - it didn't seem too important at the time, but each year since then I always think back to that night and that moment and it reminds me to remember my Savior, that he came to this earth for me, that he loves me, that I should not fear, and that I should show charity and service to others.

I will always be thankful to Billy for putting in that movie. I hope one day to own my own copy so that anytime I need that reminder I can put it in and watch it and be reminded of the simple but sweet spirit that comes with Christmas when viewed in the right way.

So with that being said, I want to share with you the verses that Linus says so sweetly and simply at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas:

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'

That is what Christmas is all about, and I am grateful for the knowledge and testimony I have of that day.