Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Finally took the time to sit down and catch up on our own life this morning to find that my last draft written was literally on Halloween ONE YEAR AGO. Goodness! Where on earth does the time go?? Since it’d be silly to post that draft now, with an updated post following, I’lll just make it a combination–sort of a mini year-in-review starting from last Halloween to this Halloween! Which seems perfect to me, since Halloween happens to be my favorite holiday. 🎃

October 31, 2017 – "You're a Beast, Hairy"

“These last two weeks have been some of the busiest of the semester for the two of us here in the Corey home. TOO MUCH school, but a whole lot of fun too! I’ve sort of gotten in this funk where school feels like nothing but a prison. So what do you do when you feel trapped behind bars? Play “breakout”. Haha! It’s important to take your studies seriously, but if you don’t let your hair down every so often, you’ll end up a bag of bones with a money sack in your hand. Point is, if you stop living simply to trudge through responsibilities, there won’t be a life to come back to when you’re done with it all. 

So, we took out our ponytails and had TWO Halloween parties that we went to last week!”

The most DARLING invitation we've ever received! Harry Potter party with Alec and Lydia! They really went all out...
The invitation I made for our Halloween Game Night! I thought I was clever...haha

Dave and I LOVE to dress up all “matchy-matchy” for Halloween every year, so this year we decided to go as (a very “homemade”) Belle and Beast! But of course, silly ol’ me didn’t get a picture with the two of us!! Good thing David looked too cute not to capture, so for last year, I’m afraid this is all there is. 

But as far as our game night went, it was a blast! We had a few friends over to play games and get fat on all of the sweets we had haha. Luckily, we have good friends with a good stash of games to play, because when it comes to the game-department for us we are pretty much broke. The Woods brought Salem (as in Salem witches) so it was PERFECT for Halloween. To this day it’s still one of our favorite games! 

Last year for decorations, I had to get really creative, since we had a pretty small budget. Thought I’d say it all matched our tiny first apartment quite well! I love Halloween!

David's "Beast" Costume!
Our party table set up. Yum!
A few of my fall decorations. I also had some witchy apothecary jars, and paper-cut spider webs hanging around the house.
Trash Bag Spider! He was my favorite.

Though I love to host, the real highlight of this holiday was the amazing Harry Potter party that The Russell’s worked so hard on! We threw together some Hogwart-y clothes, and walked right into a different world! They rented out the Provo Castle (which we didn’t even know existed), had a feast in the great hall, planned different HP themed activities and more! It was one of the funnest things we did that year. 

"Goodbye Old, Hello New"

After a wonderful holiday season filled with family and finals, it was time for me to say goodbye to the job I had grown to love, and the university I had learned so much from. 

To anyone around us during this time, it was no secret I desperately wanted to leave the school. Something just didn’t feel right. I struggled with this for so long; the conflict inside me stewed for months, between what I knew I needed to do for myself, and what I thought the world around me was telling me I had to do. Lo and behold, I finished my Associate’s Degree and decided (with David, of course) that I needed to search for what I really wanted to do with myself; outside of the university bubble. 

Marie was my supervisor while I designed for the UVUSA
We're still close even after being gone for almost a year!

So I pressed forward on a journey into the new year, trying nearly everything under the sun – from sculpture, printmaking, and pottery, to weaving, and embroidery and everything in between – to figure out what I liked! Turns out, I like pretty much everything! 😂  I LOVED pottery! So much, in fact, I ended up getting my own studio and selling pots at Salem Days this year! Though I still love it and want to explore more in the realm of pottery, like most everything I try, it was short-lived before even bigger things came to take its place. 

Yarn for dayz
Pumpkin tapestry just in time for Thanksgiving
My pangolin sculpture "Pax" was featured at the Annual Hogle Zoo Art Show!
My first embroidery for a friend's wedding. I loved trying this one!
"The Pottery Barn" studio!
My "wheel-mate" Erica. What a fun, spontaneous adventure!

Of course, among all of my own adventures, there are twice as many with my sweetheart and our friends! This year, we moved to a new apartment in Provo just a couple of blocks away (upstairs apartment with W/D?? Sold!), we took a weekend away to The Homestead Resort in Midway, had our annual camping trip with The Hopper’s, as well as our annual trip at Snowbird with my family! Among those, there’s always fun moments with just the two of us, never sparing a laugh every second we can get. Though, I think there is no contest with our trip out east to visit the Hopper’s while they were in North Carolina for an internship! We even got to visit some of David’s old mission spots in Virginia, between our escapades to Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and Kitty Hawk! We cannot WAIT for them to come home in December. We were also happy to celebrate our second year anniversary! Marriage really is the most rewarding thing in life. I’m so blessed to have a partner like David by my side – forever! 

Welcoming Frank into our family.
I'm blonde! Happy birthday to me, from my sweetheart
David's last first day of school! Graduation here we come!

And of course, we can’t forget last night! Halloween! David is always a good sport when it comes to my insatiable demands for a couples costume. 😂 Thanks to my family, who always gives us the rest of the world a run for its money. My grandpa’s love of Halloween costume fun lives on. ❤️

Ash + Pikachu
Qualtrics Party!
The Grandkids
Grandma Shark + Grandpa Shark
Mickey + Minnie
Farmer John + Spiderman + Little Ol' Lady + 50's Girl

It truly has been a year full of surprises. The biggest surprise of all for me was the unmistakable feeling that I needed to go back to school. This whole “stay-at-home-wife” thing was not working out, to say the least. Honestly, I wasn’t very good at it. 😂 After months of exploring different artistic avenues, discovering who I really am, what I really like, and what I really want out of my/our life, it was evident to me that something needed to change. It had been about six months since I left school–with absolutely no intention of returning–and I decided to ask Heavenly Father what He needed from me at this time. 

Granted, this is the first time I had really prayed on my own with no outside goal or motivator (i.e. check the box, etc.) in several months, and I had been reading the Book of Mormon with greater conviction than I had ever experienced in my life for just a few short months prior, so this prayer was… a bigger deal than usual. It was evident too, when I got a crystal clear, immediate answer of what I needed to do, where I needed to do it, and what would happen if I did. It was so real and so powerful, that despite my protesting,  I had to swallow my words because there was absolutely no possible way I could say “no”. So, I committed to transferring to the University of Utah to become an Architect. I couldn’t be more excited. 😊 

One Year Down, Eternity to Go

Our first 365 days as a married couple has come and gone, and our retreat down memory lane was very much needed. A few months back, we booked a night at the same Inn we stayed in on our Honeymoon in Salt Lake City, and soon we were back living one of the most romantic weekends of our life together, with all sorts of new memories we made. 

The Inn on the Hill. Our view outside the window of our room. Beautiful!

We left early on Sunday morning so we could make it to Music and the Spoken Word at the tabernacle on temple square. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was beautiful! It was so special to see them for a second time. One of my favorite things to go to, and what a great way to open the Sabbath. Afterwards, we saw the Christus before going to church in the Joseph Smith Memorial building. I have never seen a more beautiful chapel EVER!! It is amazing. 

It was so nice to have a relaxing Sunday, with no worries, just us; Taking walks and talking about our hopes and dreams, beliefs and questions, and asking each other how we can be a better spouse to one another in this next year of our marriage. Personally, that was one of my favorite parts. It was kind of a spontaneous topic we just happened upon that night, but it seemed so logical that your years of marriage should be treated sort of like the New Year: where you decide where you can improve and make goals to do so. That way, each year can be better than the one before–even if it was a great year! Especially with the news of us potentially not having children for quite a few years, it’s so important that we keep growing together, because we won’t have that “growing up” experience of children as soon as other people might. We definitely needed that time of reflection, and it brought us closer together. (Which seems hard to believe, because we are totally attached at the hip haha)

Monday was quite the adventure! After having a delicious breakfast cooked and served by the Inn (seriously, they are the best. Anyone who’s anyone should book a night there.), we headed out to see Salt Lake City in ways we hadn’t before! 

We visited the Public Library, which was not only filled with art, but is pretty much an art piece in of itself. 

Next, we visited the Lion House (Oh, have I mentioned that I am in LOVE with the old Georgian architecture of SLC??) and it was so fun! Fun to learn about some pioneer heritage of Brigham Young and his family living in that place, as well as their house servants who lived with them. 

After lunch we went to the Natural History Museum! (I like museums, but this was more for David. I always get what I want, I figured it was his turn to choose haha). 

There were dinosaurs, and stuffed animals, TONS of interactive science-y stations–like pulling the lever for water to see how deep lake Bonneville was, or building your own building to see if it would withstand a 7.9 earthquake–and seriously so much more. Oh! And Vikings!!! I LOVE viking history! Kind of a strange thing to love, but I’ve got a passion for ancient nordic architecture and art haha. It was such a good time. We were like kids in a candy store, learning and playing together. It was our adult kind of bliss. Haha!

Although our day was hard to beat, it’s no question that night was the favorite for both of us. 

David treated me to a romantic dinner at The Roof on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial building, and let me tell you, it was memorable for sure. We walk in to gorgeous live piano music playing next to the buffet. Seated by the window with a prime view of the Salt Lake temple. To my surprise, David had arranged for a bouquet of roses to be placed on my side of the table. Isn’t he the sweetest?! My heart got all fluttery! It was awesome. Then we were treated to some of the fanciest, yet delicious food we’ve ever had. And at our fingertips all night long! Don’t even get me started on the dessert table… not only were they absolutely beautiful (almost too pretty to eat), they were delicious. Because our reservation was for 5:00 pm, the shades on the windows were all down so the sun wouldn’t get in our eyes, but I so desperately wanted to see the temple and the sunset. So we took our time eating, and talking. With romance in the air, and two hours had gone by, the shades go up and we are delighted with this gorgeous sunset backdrop to The Lord’s House, front and center.

What a magical evening. I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary trip, and I am forever grateful for my sweetheart who took time out so he could give me his undivided attention for 48 hours. Bliss. 

 

#PretendProm

Most married folks would agree that date night can be a bit of a struggle; especially with life’s many distractions, like school, work, homework, etc. And we don’t even have little ones running around yet! So Dave and I kind of came to this conclusion of having “Holy Date Night”. We basically adopted the attitudes and behaviors of the Sabbath Day, but using Us as our focus rather than The Lord.

Last weekend, I took David to UVU’s Emerald Ball! It was basically the Prom we never had together, except way better because… well, because we’re married. That should be a given. Haha! A couple of perks of being the graphic designer for all of these events is 1.) I have access to all of the publicity files, and can use them as I please, and 2.) we get in free! So instead of using the money to buy tickets, I bought a dress, and a tie and shirt for David, and Bob’s your uncle WE’RE THERE.

David took me to The Wall at BYU for dinner, and we had some pretty great burgers and fries; but I’m pretty sure it’s unanimous when I say the deep fried cookie bites were by far our favorite. Deep fried cookie dough balls, with hot Nutella drizzled on top, and a scoop of BYU creamery vanilla ice cream. YUM. Should we have gained 10 lbs? Probably. Did we? THANK HEAVENS, NO.

The Wall
Bacon Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries YUM!
Deep Fried Cookie Dough Bites....

The dance was a BLAST! We felt like we were “young and dating” all over again! Even though neither of us are much of a dancer, we both love to goof off. So with our eyes fixed on each other, and not a care in the world, we looked like the biggest dorks on that dance floor. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Haha! Enjoy these fun moments I was able to capture that night. 

Succulents as a party favor?? So cute!
My green, velvet "dranket" (Dress-blanket. Hence the video to the right.)

“Keeping Date Night Holy” is one of the best things we could have discovered. Setting aside the rest of a single day to do more than just enjoy each other’s company, but to spend time of quality with just the two of us. More important than school; more important than work. Those things are temporal, but WE are Eternal. And we needed to remember to treat each other that way at least once every week. 

It’s pretty incredible the similarities to keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, if you think about it. There’s little daily things we do to keep The Lord on our minds and in our hearts, as well as with each other (dinner together, asking about their day, etc.) But there is always one special day of every week that needs our attention and devotion, for both. What a great lesson to learn. (: 

Until next time, here are a bunch of pictures and memories of this summer/fall that I haven’t had time to record stories of, but just want to stick in here for memory’s sake. 

Utah Valley Parade of Homes with my sweetheart!
It was so fun to dream together about our own future home.
More dogs... we're a fan, can ya tell?
I still don't know how that perfectly popped off.
Penguin Brothers Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Temple day
Grandpa's Casket. David got to be a pall bearer, putting his flower on top with the others.
My first time ever making apple pie
IT WAS DELICIOUS
Projects at the Davis house ALL SUMMER
David's fish Leviathon. Levi for short.
I think his name should have been Geronimo.

Our Cup Runneth Over

This week has been a DOOZY. In lots of good ways! Just a doozy of busy-ness. So sometimes it can be stressful. Ya know, the school-work-eat-sleep-repeat life I mentioned in my last post. But even as all of that is true, our cup really does runneth over. We have felt the blessings of this crazy week in all the people we were able to spend time with, and the activities we did with them. 

Riding in Grandpa's Truck.

Over this last weekend (Labor day weekend) we got to stay with Grandma & Grandpa Corey! It was a blast. When Dave & I were dating, he brought me to Delta a couple of times and reminisced about his childhood and how many wonderful memories he had made there over the years. It quickly stole my heart and became one of my favorite spots because of the many romantic moments we had out there in wide open spaces, away from the city, and in this charming small town. 

Not to mention, Grandma & Grandpa are a powerhouse couple. Even in our short time there, I learned so much about them, and from them. Even just how they lived their life together. The way the talk with each other, cook together, read together. The over all environment of the home that they’ve built together is inspiring. That, and we got to help them with chores and serve them in our own little way by helping them clear out the mounds of tree branches they had in their backyard. So like I said: our cup runneth over. 

Beautiful farmlands of Delta, as far as the eye can see...
My hardworkin' man.

Over the week, David started his first week of school in his 3rd year at BYU. Slowly but surely he is creeping to the finish line, haha. We also got to see some good friends of ours–Dallin & Becky–and watched a play together at UVU. Becky is from… well, all over haha but she’s currently living in Idaho going to BYUI right now. Dallin is a lifelong friend of mine from high school and has become near and dear to both our hearts as he’s been home from the mission. He and Becky have been dating for a couple of months now after writing on the mission, and they too are a power couple. Needless to say, they are great friends, and we love to visit as often as we can. 

We also got to visit with David’s sister Jessica this weekend and talked and laughed for hours in the park. She is a hoot and a holler; we love spending time with Jessie. And last but not least, the Ward Activity I’d been helping plan, and dinner with a couple from the ward.

Second place for us! Cute silver kisses for our "silver medal"
Kisses for Kisses! (;
The activities committee | Jessica, Syd, Kelley, Jocelyn, & Madison

The ward activity was a blast! The girls and I had spent quite a lot of time planning, and I was so proud of them. We worked together so well; and even though we are all so different, it was fun to get to know everybody. It’s actually kind of funny, because Dave and I have found since we’ve been married that I have a sort of ironic social anxiety: I crave to have social connections with people, yet I get super stressed out in large groups so I don’t want to talk to anyone haha. Luckily, things like this get me outside my comfort zone, and I get to meet lots of new people and help them have a good time. There were about 30 couples there; all of which I was in charge of at one point during the day. Herding adults is just as hard as herding kids, I tell ya! 

We had a Field Day (literally), like the ones you would do in elementary school when you were a kid: 3-legged races, potato sack races, water balloon toss, the egg and the spoon game, etc. It was so fun! I definitely learned to appreciate ward activities, having a hand in planning them. It gave me greater motivation to be involved more in the future, since I know now just how hard people work to plan to make it fun for everyone. 

Lastly, today was regional conference for us. It kind of hit me that we were going to be getting counsel from an Apostle of The Lord Jesus Christ in this meeting, so even though all I was doing was coloring in an adult coloring book on my phone to keep my hands busy, I felt that I wasn’t taking it seriously enough and I needed to put it away to listen to this true servant of God. 

Elder Gary Stevenson’s main counsel to us was urging us to develop more Christ-like attributes. He gave us three that he wanted us to focus on specifically: Humility, Obedience, and Virtue.

Humility meant giving God all of the credit; having a spirit of gratitude; thinking of others before yourself.

Obedience means knowing the doctrine and following the commandments of The Lord. This include Latter-Day scripture from the revelations of the church leaders.

Virtue is character based from high moral standards. In order to obtain this, you must gain control of your thoughts and behavior, as to become pure from the inside out. This is exactly why President Monson has urged us to read the Book of Mormon daily; and why it is the Virtue project in the YW Personal Progress book. The Book of Mormon helps us to gain a sense of importance and desire for higher moral standard, set by Jesus Christ.

I learned so much in that meeting today. I thought it’d be beneficial to record it, and maybe it can help someone else too.

Until next time! 

Through Blood, Sweat, & Tears… but mostly sweat.

Our first summer as a married couple was sure unlike the summer before – when we spent every waking (and non-waking) moment with each other on every romantic adventure imaginable. 
This summer, we were gung-ho towards the gates of success, and didn’t stop until our arms fell off! (Not really, haha.) We probably had around six side hustles started, never finished, and only one or two of which we even stuck to. 

Dave at the Puppy Barn. What a cutie!
A drawing I made for a friend who served his mission in Florida.
We painted the panelling in our living room! Another one of my crazy ideas that my sweet, patient husband helped with. Hehe
I turned 20 this year! I still feel like a kid...

From freelance graphic design, furniture-flipping, and website building, we dabbled in it all. Lot of good portfolio experience, but more than anything, it was just a big heap of good wholesome fun. We love getting to spend time together, and working on projects is one of our favorite things. I think the thing I loved most about it was every single day was productive. We don’t own a TV (personally I don’t want one ever) or have social media (hence, this blog) so time-wasters weren’t really an option. If we wanted to have fun, we went elsewhere looking for it. And it was GREAT!

Glider & sitting chair we refinished. Wish I would have gotten a "before" shot.
Also refinished this end table for refind.sydniekay.com.
Syd, looking macho with her drill she had never used before. #biggirlnow

Regardless of all of the hard work–which we really did work hard–I would wager that the majority of our sweating was actually due to the “climate” inside our basement apartment! Our biggest purchase as a married couple, besides our car, was a window A/C. It was the beginning of July. After not being able to sleep for a solid two weeks, we had hit our melting point (ha, get it?) Soooo, maybe it was sort of an impulse buy. (Never buy large ticket items if you are HALT–Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired–fun fact for ya.) But was it a “worth it” impulse buy? MOST DEFINITELY. Hands down, no question. 

No, this is not our baby. Uncle David with baby Blaire. She was born July 20, 2017. Brandon & Kim sure do make cute kids!
We lost Grandpa Davis this summer. July 22, 2017. I had the privelege of singing at his funeral, with McKenna playing the piano.

Now that we finally had a refuge to go to after a hot day of work, life became a little easier to handle (wow, we are so pampered.) But even though we didn’t watch the sunsets every evening, or go for 3:00 AM horchata runs twice a week, like we did the summer before, we made all sorts of new memories. 
Dave started his new job with Qualtrics; I learned to cook better; we went to the zoo; I finally got to take him to my “second home” in Snowbird this year! And much more. I wish I would have thought to take more pictures, but as this blog continues, I’m hoping it will remind me to document our early married years. 

The Lookout
Snowbird!
Mountain Flyer
The Peruvian Lift Tunnel
Hogle Zoo. Oh, how I love this man.

And now its off to the races of school-work-eat-sleep-repeat. Though the semester brings stress into our life more than any other time, it also brings a slew of adventures in of itself. May we continue the chain of good memories of this summer into the school year! (I am PUMPED for Halloween!! Not to mention, we’ve almost been married a WHOLE YEAR. Can hardly believe it.) Catch ya later!

Bear Lake in May.
Our cute little cabin in Hyrum.
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