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Our First (or third…) Christmas

So, after a long holiday season, and a long month of being ill in January, I’m happy to update you all with our first post of 2010! It’s only two months late, and it’s mostly Christmas stuff, but you understand, don’ t you?

So here’s our Christmas in a nutshell:

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As you can see, we had a lot of fun with our first REAL Christmas Tree! Standing a noble 11′ tall, it really made our front room more cozy. Did I mention that it smelled like heaven! Although it took us almost three days to get it decorated, it lasted for a long time. We took it outside the day after New Year’s, and it was green and soft up until last week when I finally got around to throwing it away.

In the bottom left corner is our first little memory of our wedding: we purchased the the green hand-blown glass heart from a small shop in downtown San Diego on our honeymoon. Now we’ve started a tradition of buying a family ornament every year.

So, I’ve decided I don’t like wrapping gifts. In lieu of buying Maren one big present, I thought I would surprise her with many little gifts. I will never make that mistake again. Fortunately for Maren, she humored my tired, poor attempt at making things look pretty, and we both decided that would be her job from now on. (Maren says: When did I agree to that? I’m pretty sure that never happened.)

Speaking of making things look pretty, when we first got married, Maren had grand plans of hanging her stocking collection down from our banister. She did such a good job, and she topped it off with some rock candy garland. We probably should have left it up too, not a week or two later I fell down the stairs and bruised my tailbone.

And that’s a segway into the next part. For the first three weeks of January, Maren and I were both sick. We just couldn’t shake the colds, flus, and other ailments. I had two plantar warts removed with what seemed to me to be no more than a soldering iron and a razor blade. The sick was so thick you could almost feel it.

So now in our recovery phase, we were blessed last week with an extra bonus from my company. It was expected, so we’ve been planning to use it to get a better bed for a long time. My little queen was okay for just me, I mean, I could fit mostly within the boundaries of the mattress. But with both Maren and I, we’ve been having to untie ourselves from each other every morning for the last ten months. We bought a nice king bed that sits more than six inches off the ground (I’ve always been afraid of falling off!), and there is now a space between where I sleep and where Maren starts out. I find in the mornings that she migrates in my direction, but that’s okay.

Sorry for the long delay, I’ll make sure Maren gets the next post out a little sooner! (Maren says: Seriously? What is this? Someone is trying to slack off enough for me to finally give up and do it all myself….)

Maren’s New Store

So, as many people know, Maren has her own line of designer invitations. Before we got married, we had struggled a little bit with distribution methods. This is the reason that you haven’t heard from us in a while. We have been very busy putting a shop together for Maren on Etsy. Etsy is a site to sell handmade crafts and special interest items. After we moved into this area, we met a couple that we get along with really well – Zak and Beth. She has a shop on Etsy(loveseptember.etsy.com) and after talking to Beth and doing some research into the site, we found that it would be the perfect fit for Maren’s business. We’ve spent the last month trying to come up with all the graphics and supplies for us to open this shop, and we proudly announce that it’s finally here! Click the link below, or take a look in the sidebar to see it.

etsy-banner


Visit Maren’s Etsy Shop

Maren will also be presenting her goods at an event in Salt Lake at the This Is The Place Park on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6. She will be featured on their site, and has been asked to do a demonstration of how she so perfectly uses her gift wrap to make exquisite designs. Here is a link to the event site: sparktheevent.com

Also – I just thought it would be interesting to throw a link in here of a spotlight that featured Maren a few months ago. It’s a little old, but I think it’s a cool interview.

Interview with Maren

School Daze

So, as you may have read in Maren’s last post, we have been quite busy lately. After having all of our time taken up with these freelance projects, we finally got a little break. During this time, we decided that the best move for our family would be for me to go back to school and get my degree. It has been six years since I was in class, but starting tonight I’ll be working towards finishing my bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts with an emphasis in Internet Communications and Website Design. I have about 36 credits left, so I’ll hopefully burn through this in a little over a year. Wish me luck!

I’ll hopefully be making some changes to the website soon to make it more interesting, it’s a little boring right now!

Everything Will Be Alright

We haven’t written anything for a long time, mostly because we are just working all the time! So I thought we should update everyone. So here goes.

July is the month of birthdays in both of our families – 5 of our 6 nieces and nephews have birthdays in July, along with Nate’s brother, Josh, my grandma, Nate’s grandma, 2 aunts, and 2 cousins. First, we went to Deakin and Josh’s Birthday party (and saw an amazing moonrise on our way home):

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Then, the following week, we celebrated Mia, Joseph, and Christian’s birthdays at a Knight party, complete with obstacle course, all of the applicable weaponry, and one cute baby:

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Nate’s company let go half of his department, with the lion’s share of the additional work falling on his shoulders, so he’s been pretty stressed by all of that lately. I am back working at BYU in the Dance Department and also at Thanksgiving Point (lots of women = lots of drama!), in the Emporium – I work in the floral shop. Here are a few (crappy) photos I snapped with my phone’s camera of some of the arrangements I’ve done:

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I’m also still trying to do my business, and Nate and I have both been working on a number of freelance projects lately, so we’ve been pretty swamped. Here are samples of 3 of the projects we’ve been doing:

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Choosing Glory is a new book by our dear friend Lili Anderson (it goes on sale Monday at the BYU Bookstore, or it is available online through the author’s website – that Nate did – lilianderson.com) that everyone should really read. It was seriously difficult to keep myself from reading it as I was typesetting it. It’s chock full of great insights that can help all of us gain a little better perspective.

Getting used to our new ward has been pretty interesting. There are 168 children under 3 years old in the ward (!!!) and 5 nurseries. Needless to say, it’s quite a bit noisier than we’re used to. But we’re finally getting to know some people in our ward a little better and it’s starting to feel a little more normal. Nate has been called to be the Choir Director, and I’ve been called as the Gospel Principles teacher.

Right around the time of our wedding, my mom hurt her knee. She finally had knee surgery last week, so hopefully within a few weeks she’ll be pain-free and able to walk around again. Also, my dad has been really sick off and on for the past 6 months or more, but they couldn’t figure out what was causing the problems for him until about a week ago. They still don’t know the full extent of everything, but they have found cancer in his lungs and possibly also in his lymph glands. He goes in for surgery on Monday (the day after his 61st birthday) – they are going to try to remove what they can and try to figure out which tumors are malignant and which are not. We’re hoping and praying everything will be alright.

So in the midst of all of this, we heard about Peter Breinholt’s upcoming concert at the Sandy Amphitheatre. With everything going on, we just didn’t think we’d be able to make it. But I knew we needed to be there, so I surprised Nate with tickets.

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Throughout our courtship and our marriage, Peter’s song “Everything Will Be Alright” has been one of our favorites; one that has had great meaning to us. Right before our sealing in the temple, one of the workers who was helping us told us that if we would just keep holding hands and remember our covenants that “everything will be alright.” At the last minute, I secretly emailed Peter asking if there was any chance he could sing that song for us. He emailed me back and said that the band wasn’t prepared to do that song and it was too late to change the set, but that he would see if there was any way he could work it in. And, bless him, he did. He surprised Nate and sang our song for us, and it was just what we needed to hear.

So despite all of the busyness and the stress of our lives, we just wanted to let everyone know that we’re still alive and kicking—and that everything will be alright.