Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My favorite 2011 moments!

Welp...2011 has come and almost gone. I can't believe it!
Time sure does fly...especially when you're having fun.
And this year, my friends, I had a lot of fun! :)

So to celebrate 2012 comin' on its way...I shall recap some of my favorite times that went down in the year 2011. (And in chronological order no less. :)

1. The birth of my niece, Ms. Laela Carolina Barksadale. (January 2011)
I sure do love that little peanut...though she is not so little these days. That kid is walking around, saying a few words, dances, and is the cutest thing on the planet. I wish I could see her every day. This picture is us on her blessing day in AZ shortly after she was born.

2. Out with the old, in with the new. (January 2011)
So I got rear ended a few days after Christmas 2010 and since my 4Runner was not worth much anymore (to the insurance companies...not I) poor Neil was totaled out and I had to get a new car. This picture is of me with Neil on our final day together. We drove around to our favorite spots, blared some music (on his old speakers), and I told him how sorry I was I had to get rid of him. The day Neil left was seriously sad. I cried. I don't care if you think I'm pathetic. I loved Neil with all my heart and soul and whenever I see a tan 4Runner, I think back fondly and sometimes I tear up. I am grateful for my Millie girl, though. She's been good to me, especially her MUCH more efficient gas tank. I know I could not still be at New Haven if it weren't for Millie girl. So for that, I am truly thankful.
R.I.P Neil...I miss your handsome bod.

3. Jimmer-mania! (Basketball season 2011)
Everyone in the USA knows the name Jimmer! And it was so exciting to be at BYU for it! Every game was so thrilling and you could only stand there and wait for him to do something extraordinary, because he did pretty much every game! It was so great to see BYU's name all over ESPN and have professional players talk about Jimmer. I love when I have an extra reason to have school spirit...and he certainly brought it!

4. My 24th Birthday. (March 2011)
I always love my birthday, and this year did not disappoint. I had awesome friends around me, we did awesome things, and who can't help but love having a Justin Bieber cut out?! He was a nice addition to our home, even if he lurked in the shadows early in the morning and would sometimes frighten us. :)

5. Going to Santa Barbara for the first time! (March 2011)
Alex and I are just little bfs/gfs in this picture! Feels so long ago. :)
It was great to go to my future husband's home town, meet his parents, and start to join our lives together. I'm so glad we are both from paradise spots so that going home is always a pleasure!

6. Getting Engaged!!! (March 2011)
The engagement happened shortly after we returned from Santa Barbara. He even had the ring with him the whole time while we were there...that little stinker. BUT...our engagement night was a memorable one and I was SO happy to know that we were actually doing this thing! :)

7. Festival of Colors (March 2011)
I have wanted to go for SO many years now, but would always have something in the way...usually work. Thankfully they're now making more sessions of it, so that you can find a time that works for you! We went the morning after our engagement and it was SUCH an amazing way to celebrate! I can't wait for the next one...it is seriously a great event!

8. Celine Dion Concert in Vegas! (April 2011)
I have DREAMED of it my whole life and it actually came true. I actually saw Celine Dion sing...live...right in front of my eyes. Her style, her grace, her voice...ah! Everything about her was flawless. She was just how I imagined and I love her even more. It was literally a day trip, but it was worth it and I so enjoyed going with my friends to see this diva!

9. Graduating from BYU! (April 2011)
Ok, so technically I graduated in December 2010, but there was no celebration to be had until April! My family all came out and it was so nice to officially recognize all of my accomplishments while I was at BYU. I love BYU with all my heart and soul and can't imagine going to school anywhere else. It was just where I needed to be. I learned a lot secularly, spiritually, and personally. It's where I grew up. (Wait? Am I a grown up?) Graduating was definitely a reason to party it up and it was awesome being able to sit next to my bestie, Ashley Kay, for both ceremonies! I'm so happy to be done! :)

10. Gettin' our engagements on! (May 2011)
I'm SO grateful my awesome sister, Krista, is a photographer!

11. Being at home for a few weeks! (parts of June, July, & August 2011)
I love being home during summer. Beach, boats, and pool are in full swing! It was also great being with my family and just being in the paradise I call home. This happened one day: a lizard slithered in our house and I was SO terrified that all I could do was trap it under this tupperware and wait for daddio to get home. I left this sign so no one would move it!

12. Braves game! (June 2011)
So sad that it was the one and only game I could go to this season, but it's always a good time. Love those baseball boys of mine!

13. EFY! (June-July 2011)
This was my 5th year of working EFY! It is SUCH a huge part of my life. Some of my very best friends are because of EFY. Some of my most precious spiritual times are because of EFY. A lot of who I am today is because of EFY...both as a participant and worker. My last year did not disappoint! It was such a blast and I am so glad Alex was able to join me this year and see him love being a counselor. I truly am blessed to have been able to work it all these summers.

14. Palmyra EFY! (August 2011)
I am SO fortunate to have been picked to be a counselor at the special edition EFY in Palmyra, NY! It was an unforgettable experience. I was able to go to the Sacred Grove, Cumorah Hill, Fayette, the BoM printshop, the Whitmer farm, and so much more. I loved my kids and I loved that week. I want to go back so badly! Everyone should go...it's seriously amazing!

15. Got hitched! (August 2011)
'Nuff said. There's nothing like being in the sealing room of the temple knowing you're making the right decision. I love being married and I love my husband.

16. Honeymoon! (August 2011)
Honeymoons are awesome! I highly recommend them. Ours was perfect. Right on the beach, laid back, plenty of things to do, lots of relaxing, etc. Twas a sad day when it came to an end. Moral of the story...get married and go on a honeymoon! It's great! :)

17. Rascal Flatts Concert! (September 2011)
I've almost convinced my husband how awesome they are! He had a good time, not quite as good as me, but it was still a grand 'ole time! I quite enjoy going to concerts with my hubby...especially when it's Rascal Flatts.

18. Salt Lake Cemetary (October 2011)
If you're in SLC...go there! We loved seeing all of the prophets that are buried there, but Pres. Hinckley was by far the coolest. He's "our" prophet and we love him so. It's an amazing experience to stand by his grave and reflect on all he did in this world and all he did to me, personally. He's a role model and I miss him lots.

19. Santa Barbara Reception (October 2011)
Our 2nd reception was a blast! Love my family, love my friends, loved going to the L.A. temple...which is where this picture is taken.

20. Thanksgiving (November 2011)
Yes...my husband rocks. He put on this get up and I love him for it!

21. Our first Christmas! (December 2011)
Our first Christmas together as a married couple was a success! He did a good job in the present department, and so did I! :) It was so nice to have our siblings around and just have a few days to be with each other and feel of the spirit the Christmas season brings! Here's to many more Christmases!

2011 was for sure a year that will go down in history!
I mean...I got engaged, graduated BYU, AND got married all in one year!
2012 is already looking bright and I'm excited to see what the future brings for us Fosters.

How was YOUR 2011?! Do tell! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Random Christmas Thoughts.

I don't have anything profound to say.
Only fragments of thoughts strung together.
So maybe I can make them Christmas-y?

1. I've worked a lot the last few weeks. Good for the bank. Bad for seeing my hubby. I am SO excited for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be with him.

2. Karly, JJ, and the babe are here. We went and saw Santa tonight! It took over an hour to get through the line, but that's fine. Laela did really well until she looked up and saw who was holding her. The look was priceless.

3. Don't tell anyone, but I wish it would snow for Christmas.

4. I realized I am not so great at being a mom during this season. There are so many things I wanted to make, cook, bake, create, etc. and did next to none of them. Good thing I'm not a mom and my husband didn't know I had such plans to do so. (Until he reads this.)

5. Our BEAUTIFUL Christmas tree is dead. We discovered it was not taking in water. We're thinking the idiot man at the tree lot did not cut off the bottom. We sawed it off ourselves, but we think it's a lost cause since it's still wilted. It's still pretty when the lights are off though.

6. We're taking care of my friend's cat, Nahla, while she's home for Christmas. She's great until bed time. Then we hear her batting ornaments off the tree and then chasing them around or she pounces on us in bed. It is so fun coming home to a pet though! I'm grateful I married someone who likes cats.

7. I have not watched nearly enough Christmas movies. And by that I've only seen half of Elf and half of Charlie Brown Christmas. The rest of Elf, Home Alone, and Rudolph...here I come!

8. Alex and I finished the final season of "Friends." We started at season 1 shortly after we began dating and have finally finished season 10! No matter how many times I see the final episode, I cry. It's so exciting that Chandler & Monica got twins. You love that Phoebe is still quirky, even though she's married. You feel SUCH a sense of relief that Rachel and Ross are together!! You are saddened, yet excited that Chandler & Monica are moving to the suburbs. You can't help but feel sad that everyone has someone, except for Joey...what's he supposed to do?! I know, I'm ridic. I feel like they're my own friends. I love them and I love the last episode.

9. I hate fruitcake.

10. I played laser tag with my girls today at work since they don't have school right now. I chose to have them play the "Pirates of the Caribbean" soundtrack during our 30 minute battle: red vs. green. I was on the green team. My girls and I dominated 240 to the red's measly 209. The bloodbath plus Pirates booming in your soul was quite the experience. You could call it epic.

11. I really hope we make gingerbread men tomorrow.

12. I have not seen nearly enough Hallmark commercials recently. C'mon people...

13. I love my job. No seriously. Like...i LOVE it. Not many people can say that. I am a blessed chica.

14. I'm SO excited for Christmas!

15. Though I do love all Christmas music, including those classic peeps like Bing & Frank, this season has been full of Christmas selections by the Biebs, Hanson, Mindy Gledhill, & Michael Buble. Now if only Ms. Sara Bareilles would release a Christmas album, my life would be complete. She'd sit up there with Celine in my book.

16. I bought a 1000 piece puzzle of Audrey Hepburn. I canNOT wait to start that little baby so I can stare at her perfectly, delightful face.

17. I'm loving this photo I found on pinterest. It explains it perfectly. Christ is the real reason we celebrate. DUH. Even Santa knows!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The perfect Christmas combo!

What do you get when you combine Christmas spirit, best of friends, magical decorations, savory tunes, and a sugary sweet voice?!
Oh just the one and only Mindy Gledhill's Christmas House Concert at the other one and only Krista's house!
It was such a great way to kick off the week before Christmas!
The house was busting at the seams with how many people Krista jammed in her living room/dining room, which made it all the more exciting!
The opening acts set the stage and once Mindy came out, she had the whole audience eating our of her hands.
Her charm, her band, and Krista's amazing decor made the aura in the room unforgettable!
You seriously need to get all of Mindy's cds, but especially this time of year, get her Christmas album, Winter Moon. It will be the best thing for your soul.
Thank you, Krista & Kim, for hosting such an awesome concert and thank you, Mindy, for having a God given talent.
Thank you, friends and husband, for being with me at such an event.
Twas a memorable night for all! I love getting together with people I don't get to see on a daily basis anymore!
Gotta love those Holidays!
And this is my favorite picture of the evening.
I decided at the last second I wanted to be just like Mindy.
Merry Christmas y'all!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Fosters!

A few Saturdays ago, my amazing sister, Krista, with Island Belle Photography, took our Christmas card pics. Her friend let us use her cute house, I brought some lights, Krista brought her camera, Alex brought his good looks, and we were set to go. It was a super quick shoot, but we had fun and we got some good ones out of it! Here are some of my favs! I think I am officially a grown up, married person because well...we had a Christmas photo shoot for a card. It doesn't get much more grown up than that.

Thanks, Krista, for always being willing to take pictures of us! You rock.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Dark.

So I have this fear of the dark.
I cannot walk around outside at night by myself.
I cannot walk around my own apartment in the dark.
I'm much better than when I was little. I can now at least sleep in the dark. No more night lights for me! I'm a big girl now! :)

The girls at work always make fun of me because if I have to walk to my car after the sun's gone down, I make a co-worker walk with me. I just can't do it!
I just can't handle the increasingly rushing heart beat, the ears heightened to every noise, the eyes darting to and fro, the walking briskly, the feeling I want to cry...nope. No thanks. Not my cup of tea. (I hate tea.) Why put myself through that when I can just make a co-worker escort me?

Since it's winter, when I leave for work at 6:15 in the blessed a.m., it is still pitch black. This presents a problem since there are no co-workers that live at my house.
I DO have, however, a husband!
The amazing man that he is, gets up every morning I go to work, and walks me out to my car.
Once I'm ready I go in, rub his back, and wake him up.
He makes some funny faces and funny noises, but after a few minutes he is up.
He puts on his moccasins, sweatpants, and big coat and heads on out with me.
The poor kid is so groggy, but he does it without complaining.
Then I kiss his tired face goodbye and he trudges on back to our apartment.

Thank you, husband!
I now have one less thing to worry about during my day.
Take that, dark!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

O Christmas Tree!

So once upon a time, 2011 came to a close.
Seriously?! Where did this year go? But, here we are at Christmas time!
I love everything about the Christmas season: the music, the food, the decor, the movies, the parties, etc. It's just all so magical!
This is Alex's and my first Christmas as a married couple.
Not our first Christmas together, though...no no no...that happened Christmas of '08.
But I was a broken hearted, fragile, not ready for a relationship girl and he was a hard working, guitar playing to impress Kaycie, missionary guy.
I have a feeling this Christmas will be a little more fun for us. :)

We for sure had to have a tree on our first Christmas!!
I can only remember having a real tree once, due to family members being allergic.
So I do not have the type of memories where you go and pick out a tree.
I remember helping my mother pick out an artificial one at Wal-Mart and my memories include us trying to get that tree up and down out of our attic, which was always quite the task! You have to go from the shelves, to the water heater, to hoisting yourself up in the attic hole. Was definitely quite comedic at times and I have a lot of funny memories surrounding that attic!

Since neither of us are allergic, I decided we needed to go get a real tree!
I was so excited and giddy!
We aren't hard core enough to go chop one down at a tree lot up in the mountains, so we just drove to Smith's Marketplace and rummaged through their selection, which was many.
We finally came to the conclusion of what tree we wanted and bought it! They were having a little sale as well so both the tree, some ornaments, and the tree stand were all on sale!
Alex's poor hands were frozen, but he still strapped it to the top of our Element and we drove it home. Alex carried it up the stairs and once we decided where to put it and got it settled in the stand, we began to decorate.
Except for one little problem. I thought I had enough lights, but...I was wrong. We got a tad over half way up, but we were too tired to venture out that night and the next day was Sunday, so for 2-3 days, our tree looked like this:

This picture doesn't do it justice. I should've taken it at night because it looked so funny! Nonetheless, we were so proud of our Christmas tree!
Eventually I was able to run to the store and pick up another strand so we could finish our masterpiece!
Here she is:

We decided we had already spent enough on Christmas decor so we skipped the tree topper this year...perhaps next year...
I LOVE our tree! I love staring at it with all the other lights off snuggled up next to my husband.
It definitely has brought the Christmas spirit in to our home and I couldn't be more excited for Christmas day to come!
I hope your tree is up! Tis the season! :)