Sunday, April 29, 2012

10 Things My Family Does To Save Money

Today we're talking money.
I recently posted on Facebook that my hubby and I paid off our car- YAY!!
It feels soooo good!
For the first time in our marriage we are completely DEBT FREE. {For now anyways...}
It really does feel good.
Anyways- I had a good friend ask how we did it.
This doesn't completely answer the question- but its a start.
{As previously posted on Newlyweds on a Budget}

10 Things My Family Does To Save Money
 and hopefully give you some ideas on ways to save too! 

1. DIY OIL CHANGE/SIMPLE CAR REPAIRS

Here is a list of car maintenance that the average Joe (or Jane) can do: 
-oil change
-brakes
-spark plugs
-tire rotation/maintenance

Let's do some math, shall we? 
Oil change at home: $17 on average
Oil Change at Lube Pro's etc: $30 on average
Savings: $52/year 
(an estimated 4 times per year or every 3,000-5,000 miles)



I didn't take the time to do the math for the brakes/spark plugs because there are a lot of variables that will go into the cost for those services- but learning to do these simple car repairs really will save lots of money. I mean- does anybody foresee a time when they won't have a car? 

2. HAIR CUTS
On average, men get their hair cut every 6-8 weeks. Around here, there are places that charge $10 for a haircut. Not bad, eh? Each year that's about $75- per male family member. 
Right now, a good pair of Wahl hair clippers cost about $35 (honestly there are several other cheaper brands too).


So for one guy- a pair of hair clippers would pay for themselves in about 6 months. 
Now, add a few little boys to your family and the savings start adding up very fast!!
Not to mention not having to bring the kiddos to the salon- which that alone makes it all worth it!

3. THRIFT STORE/RE-SALE STORES
I bet by now, most people are either die hard thrift store fans or haven't had any luck with thrift stores and would rather not waste any time on them. I'm completely biased- because I was raised thrift store shopping- so I still love it. However, now that time is more and more precious, and shopping trips have to be cut shorter and shorter (with a 20 month in tow) I have started to fall in love with re-sale stores- a.k.a. Plato's Closet. 

Unlike thrift stores- they have pretty high standards as to what they will accept, they are usually on trend, and can still give you great discounts on name brands. Yes, they are usually more expensive than thrift stores {heavy emphiasis on usually} but these types of stores usually save A LOT of time- meaning that it doesn't take me nearly any time at all to find something I like and is a decent deal. 
Another store that I have FALLEN IN LOVE with is Kid to Kid. 

It has the same idea as Plato's Closet- but it's all kids clothes! {Is anyone else APPALLED at the price of children's clothes??}
Because I am not willing to pay full price {for anything really} I make frequent trips to this store because face it- kids never.stop.growing!


4. REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE (R.R.R)
This is one of the more obvious ways to save money, but sometimes what to reduce, what to re-use, and what to recycle is the tricky part. Here is list of things I try to R.R.R:
-I use a hand towel to wash my son's face/arms/body after mealtimes. Using a paper towel/napkin each meal gets a bit excessive- especially at this messy stage!
-paper products: while I understand the ease of grabbing a papertowel/napkin etc. there are many great alternatives.
I love to find new ways to use things. I have trained myself to ask "What else can I use this for?" each time I go to get rid of something.
{I think it's the Grandma inside me!}
Here are some tutorials/other ideas to R.R.R
Cereal box turned magazine holder


Drink Carrier turned gift basket
Re-usable paper towels
Re-useable snack bags
Tons!! of other ideas via Pinterest

5. WALK
Also obvious- but with gases near or above $4 a GALLON, walking/running/biking/rollar-blading/skateboarding etc. really is the way to go. I try to limit my driving as much as possible. Basically- anywhere within 2 miles of my house- we walk. Groceries/bad weather are my exceptions. While this isn't possible for some, I think that more often than not we could all walk.
AWWWW!
My hubby bikes to work nearly every day and we have seen a considerable drop in our monthly gas usage. Thanks babe!


6.   GARAGE SALES/YARD SALES
I love garage sales.
I have found namebrand children's clothing for .25 each piece.
We got a glider/ottoman set for $15. My husband got a skill saw (with extra blades), jigsaw, and metal case for $11!
Just like with everything, you get out of it what you put it in. Meaning- yes, it is more time consuming to go to these sales, but I have found the savings to be upwards of 95% and sometimes you can even score free items. If you have not gone garage sale-ing, I would advise you do it at least once this spring/summer. A tip is to look at KSL classifieds (for Utah and surrounding states) or your local Craigslist in advance.  Look for listings that advertise things that you are looking for (i.e. decor, clothing, furniture) Often times if they leave a phone number, you can "claim" the item before the sale even starts!

7. THERMOSTAT
You would be amazed at how much you can save just by setting your thermostat lower/higher. Our winter thermostat is set at 65, and in the summer we set it at 75. Even with a 1200 square foot OLD home, we've been amazed at house little our utilities have been. It's amazing what putting on sweater or opening the window can do. Try it this month and be amazed at the savings.

8. SHOP SALES
I have been a couponer for awhile now- but when life gets busy- that is one of the first things to go (it's pretty time consuming). One thing that you can easily do to save money is shopping the sales. Before going grocery shopping each month, take 20 minutes to look through your sale ad (having some sort of meal plan is a must too!) and try and coordinate your meals with the sale items for that week. Just by doing this (no coupons involved) you can save near 30-50%. Make sure that you really try to stick to your list. Ever $3 purchase of crackers etc. adds up!

9. NETFLIX
While you may think I might suggest cancelling your Netflix subscription- I'm not. However, I do reccommend each month you think about your Netflix usage and whether it warrants the monthly fee.

Having a 20 month old, it is difficult to go out on dates. We are lucky to have friends that we swap-sit with, but most often, my hubby and I spend most of our time together at home. We have loved cuddling, making homemade popcorn or another treat, and watching a show/movie.
Redbox just raised their prices- I think they are up to about $1.30 now. I initially loved Redbox, but now am usually disappointed at their selection.
Our local theatre charges $6.25 per ticket. With the theatre price being $12.50 per couple- Netflix (unlimited viewing!) is a great deal.
We pay $8.53 each month for unlimited online streaming. We've been pleased with how many shows/movies they have. They do have other packages available if you want DVD's or any other combination.


You can jazz it up a bit and make a fort for a special date night, or just watch a show while you and the hubs folds laundry together (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this??)

10. GROUPON/LIVING SOCIAL etc.
I have been using Groupon forever. I have been pretty impressed with the products/services they feature- not to mention the prices. I do caution all Groupon etc. users to read the fine print, check the expiration dates on the coupons, and to do some research on the item's prices. I have found in a few cases- that by having a Groupon for an item I have actually spent more because often times you cannot combine a Groupon with a sale- and sometimes the sale ends up being a better deal.
Do your homework before purchasing anything! a Groupon.
Here are some sites similar to Groupon: 
Living Social
Daily Herald Deals
Zulily


There are a few other things we did in order to pay off our car, and a full post will be coming shortly.
What are your money saving tips- I'm all ears!

XOXO

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"U.S. Americans... don't have maps"

First off- if you haven't seen this Miss American Clip- go watch it now. 
{And for the next ten minutes as you watch it over and over.}
How did he keep a straight face?? Good job, Slater :) 

Anyways- I feel honored to say that I was nominated for a


Basically: 



 


     
 



Thinks my blog is "up and coming" and  worth reading so she nominated me.
Look at me- "up and coming!!"
Thanks a bunch!
It made my entire week :)

Anyways- here are the rule:


Each Nominee Should:
1. Choose five up and coming blogs to give the Liebster award to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.
5. Share five random facts about yourself!

Okay- 5 Random Facts About Me: 
1. I could be on American Idol if I wanted to- several people have told me. 
You know, for those terribly, terribly awful people that sing their heart out and you can't help but to laugh really really hard at them and to pity them at the same time. That's me.
2. I'm pretty sure I get as excited about garage sales as an avid sportsman does with the Super Bowl. 
3. My hometown has a nuclear power plant.
4. Though my home growing up was a Garden of Eden, my Grandma is a florist, and my sister is studying horticulture, I can't even grow a bowl full of wheat grass (and I tried 3 times!)
5. Ran into a tree. Flushed them down the toilet. Fell backwards laughing {twice!}, Tripped. 
All ways that I have broken a pair or pairs of glasses. 

Here are my nominees: 
1. Katherine- Comme des enfants
2. Mindee- Heaps of Love
3. Lacey- Up to Parr
4. Katelyn- What's up Fagans?

I could go ON & ON about each of these blogs. I have read them and loved them. I get giddy with each new post. Go ahead and check them out- you WON'T be disappointed :) 

Happy Wednesday!
XOXO

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Look, I made something prettier:

I don't have blogging plans.
I rarely layout what I'm going to blog about until the minute before I hop on the computer. 
Lately I feel like I've been a Debbie Downer on my blog- 
which honestly I'm fine with because I write how I feel. 
If I'm down- my posts are down.
If I'm happy- my posts are happy. 

But no matter what emotions I'm feeling- I still like to create.
To make something pretty that wasn't so pretty before. 
To use the creative side of my brain that isn't worked when I'm doing my daily routine. 
And that's exactly what I did. 


I've had this mirror for about 2 years. In my family- all of the women have "a mirror." My grandma has this gorgeous mirror in her living room, my mom has an pretty awesome mirror, and so does my sister. I however, don't have an awesome mirror. I have two "cute" mirrors but nothing like the one that I will eventually have prominately displayed in our home. :)

Anyways- so I got this pretty ugly wooden mirror and had no idea what to do with it.
Well, one of my goals this year is to finish my craft projects.

So without a plan- I just dove in. 
I painted the whole thing teal. 

I didn't like it. 
Then I thought of adding the wording. 

{I stuck the stickers down, and then painted it white inside that small section. Let the paint mostly dry, and then peel up the stickers.}

I didn't like it. 
Then, I grabbed another color- a cream/yellowish color, and painted the trim. 

Everything just clicked.
I LOVED it. 

I really really like the way it turned out. 
I can't wait to get to our new apt. and find a spot for it. 

Happy Tuesday 
XOXO



Monday, April 23, 2012

They didn't fool me!

This weekend we went to Walmart to get diapers.
{An all too often occurrence around here :) }

And I was shocked at what I saw.

The Luvs brand diapers- which we've used for almost a year now- suddenly dropped the number of diapers in the size 4 box {I believe the other sizes were affected as well}

There were some slight differences between these new boxes- but not really.
Let me show you.

{Old box}{New Box}




The diaper/box on the left is the last box of diapers we bought- probably 2 weeks ago. 
The diaper on the right was what was available this weekend. 

This is the "older" style diaper                                          This is the "newer" style diaper



It appears to me that they changed it from
"Ultra Absorbent Core" to "Super Absorbent Core".
The diapers haven't changed at.all. They aren't any thicker, they appear to be made of all the same materials, everything is the same.

Not that I thought they needed to anyway- we've never had any issues with Luvs brand diapers.

They did however go from
108 diapers down to 82 diapers- 
for the same price!!


Let me break this down for you.
2 weeks ago- we got 108/$15.97= 15 cents/diaper
Saturday we got 82/$15.97=19 cents/diaper
{You can click this link if you want to check it out for your self}

Are you kidding me??

The diaper has not changed- no matter what the packaging says. I had absolutely no warning for this change- did they think they were going to trick me? A difference of 26 diapers is 5 days of diapers for us.

Has anybody else noticed a change with their diapers/ other products lately? This is seriously aggravating. We've tried nearly all the brands of diapers and have settled on Luvs because while I prefer Huggies overall- Luvs are considerably cheaper. We are sad to see them go, but with this much of a price difference- we can't afford not to.
 My sister uses the Parent's Choice diapers from Walmarrt- and we are going to try them next. Any other diaper suggestions?

19 cents a diaper?? Really? 

Happy Monday!
I'm gonna go make a big salad and enjoy the sun. And try to not let this ruin my day :) 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

I've learned

I took getting pregnant with PK for granted. We had barely gone off BC when I found out I was pregnant. At our first appt. we had an ultrasound (which I wasn't planning on) and found out I was 8 weeks pregnant. I had already missed 2 months of pregnancy.

I complained every. single. day.

About how much my back hurt, how awful throwing up was, how terribly nausous I was all the time, how I couldn't sleep, how all I wanted to do was nothing- but I was still working and going to school and none of that stopped just because I was with child.

There was one night in particular where I forced Jed to stay up the whole night complaining and crying about how terrible my life was. About how I wasn't even sure I wanted the baby {gasp} and how I was So.Not.Ready. It never even crossed my mind about how blessed and fortunate I was to be able to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have a healthy baby.

I could go on and on and on about how ungrateful I was. It was awful. I am so ashamed.

I have since learned from that mistake.

There are so many things, so many, that can change. A ridiculous number of things have to happen in order to even get pregnant, let alone stay pregnant or even 9 months later birth a healthy baby.

I will never take this beautiful miracle for granted again. I will stop telling all of my pregnant/married friends how terrible my pregnancy was or how I hated every second of it. There is no need for that type of negativity- especially to those who are pregnant or who are trying to be. I'm sorry if you have been victim to one of my terrible rants about how terrible those 9 months were for me. I am truly sorry.

I should have talked about how exciting the ultrasound was. How I was so nervous and giddy to see his little itty bitty body inside of mine. Or about how cool it felt to float around in the pool and barely have to kick because I was so buoyant.

I should have shared my thoughts about the seconds after I gave the final push. Breathless. Crying. The happiest moment of my life. Just trying to wipe my tears so I could see him- after all that time of guessing and wondering. Would he have my eyes or Jed's? I sure hope he has Jed's. 


I should have gushed with excitement and shown how every mom gets over the tinniest little milestones.

My heart aches at how negative I've been over that small glimpse of Heaven I felt as I was housing a special body within my own.

Life throws challenges our way that we can't even comprehend.

I did take PK for granted- and now I've learned: that was a big mistake.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tid+Bits







+Basketball: Jed's company is currently having a 3on3 basketball tournament and the winning team all gets iPads. WHOA! I went to his first game- and they got walloped. I think it was 5 to 26 or something. He's having fun with it {I think?} and I'm trying not to put any pressure on him- but a free iPad would be awesome :)

+Little Buddies: We've been having Pk's BF over every day this week- and PK is sure loving it. They both love all of the same things- which makes sharing quite a chore!- but they usually play pretty well together. They really love the piano. They both would BANG play all day long! I guess they decided to take a break for a prayer?? Goofy boys.

+Yeast-free Vegan??  My sister asked us to watch the documentary "Forks over Knives." It is really good! I've learned so much about food- basically turning everything I once thought totally upside down. I've done a similar diet before (for 6 weeks) and ended up not eating enough. This time around- with my hubby and a few family members joining me- I think I can actually succeed. Here's to having more energy, fighting depression, losing weight, being an adventurous "foodie," and hopefully being able to have more children.   P.s. The documentary is on Netflix and Hulu if you are interested.

+Park-er :) PK and I have been going to our favorite Toddler park in Provo. He insists that he does everything himself. It's hard for me to step back sometimes- especially when I can see that something he's doing will not work- I'm trying to let him learn things on his own. I'm also learning to let him get dirty--- I think that's why I was given a boy. I need to learn that sticky fingers are okay :)

+Stuck And this picture is one of my all time favorite pictures. I could.not.stop.laughing. He just wouldn't let go! :)


Happy Thursday!
{Whoa! It's Thursday!?!}

XOXO




Linking up here:

Photobucket

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Doing Less=Doing More

On my quest to find "all things sweet" I think I got lost in the shuffle. There has been a lot of talk about stay-at-home mothers in the media lately. While I can honestly say I haven't always thought that being a SAH mom was that hard (I mean they do nothing all day, right?) I have since learned that is SO not the case. It is the HARDEST job in the world. 

I have been a mom for just under 2 years now and I had a pretty rocky start. I didn't have any idea what I was doing. I thought that everything would come naturally, that I would just know what to do because I'm a woman. HA. 
While there have been ups and downs in my mothering, I really have tried to do my best. I love to talk with other mothers to get ideas from them. I have read a lot of books about pregnancy, scheduling, involving the dads more, healthy toddler foods, and have recently I've been delving into disciplining books- plus I have a long list of books I still want to read. Jed and I talk a lot about our hopes for our family, about things we've done that we won't do in the future, and have made lists of things to remember to do again. 
I'm not here to brag about how great of a mom I am- actually the contrary. I think recently- even with the things that I try to do, that I have still fallen short. I do spend too much time on things that don't matter. Whether it be checking Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogging, talking on the phone, watching TV, reading books, whatever, I am spending my very precious time on things that are not eternal. I have tried to do as much of that as possible in the morning before PK wakes up, during his 2 hour nap, or in the evening. What I have realized is this. 
My mornings are crazy because I'm showering and getting ready for the day, reading my scriptures, or sleeping in. {Heavy on that last one}. The afternoon naps are my time to craft, clean up the house, do laundry, make phone calls etc. The evenings is time with my hubby, as well as making and cleaning up dinner, reading scriptures and saying prayers as a family, putting PK to bed, with a few hours to spare before I finally fall asleep. 
Basically what I am saying is that I have TOO MANY THINGS on my plate- and there are just not enough hours in a day to do them all. And frankly, I don't want to do them all. I want to get down and play cars, and blocks, make messes, go to the park, be crazy and enjoy PK 
while. I. still. can. 
"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.source
While I have been having these thoughts and promptings for a long time, I have been too selfish to vocalize them. I have had a few experiences in the past month that have taught me that when we are given promptings to do something- we had better do it. The promptings may only come a few times, and we are expected to listen. If not, we had been warned. 
There is this amazing article going around on Facebook. I'm sure many of you have read it already- but if not- it really is worth the 3 minutes to read it. But you may need some kleenex. 
"Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else." source
There have been so many times {tears are welling up as I'm admitting this to you and to myself} that I have chosen something of less importance over spending time with my son. Times where he has brought a book up to my lap and I have pushed him away so that I could get back to some emails. Times where he brings me his shoes because he so desperately wants to get outside but I really want to finish a show. Even times where he isn't feeling well and instead of letting him come up on my lap and snuggle-- he can't because the lap top is already there. 
I encourage moms especially- but everyone- to look at the 24 hours you are given each day- and really analyze how you are using them. Are there talents you could be improving, people you could be helping, babies to be played with that are being set aside for things that do. not. matter eternally? Let's all take the counsel that we've been given over and over and really try to be our best self. 
Thank you to many of you who have set great examples of this for me. Thank you for being inspiring, for giving advice, and for showing me that it can be done. Let's help each other, mmmkay? 
So if you don't see me around here as often in the future- I haven't gone anywhere. Except for maybe the park :) 
Happy Thursday
XOXO

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Smiles and Differences

These cookies make me smile! 

Look how pretty they are! 

Yesterday- with about an hour to spare- I decided to make a few batches of cookies. 
My oh-so-wonderful hubby offered to help. 

{Side note: While we have a pretty strong marriage- there are some things that do not really work for us- and we have learned. I drive. He takes the garbage out. Also, we do not cook well together.}

While I was a little hesitant about cooking with him-
 {he is a perfectionist and I'm more easy going
 ("It doesn't matter what it looks like- we're EATING it!")}
I was pleasantly surprised with how well it worked. 

Instead of sharing the recipe on the computer- Jed wrote the instructions on his white board. 

It worked out beautifully! 
We each took a mixer and left the ingredients out on the table- with the necessary measuring cups near them.  
We worked really well together- mostly because we each had our own tasks. We both started out mixing our own dough. Then as I finished my dough first (remember- he's the OOBER perfectionist) I started to roll out the cookies. Then when he finished- with his beautiful dough, 



he started on another batch of dough and I rolled out his dough. 

Then as he cleaned up (thanks babe!) I did the packaging. 

We did a red, orange, and green batch. 

So why am I sharing this quirky story with you? 
We're coming up on 3 years of being married. 
Even before we were married- we realized that we are totally different people. 
He is Mac using, spreadsheet creating, equation loving dude.
He loves to be precise- in nearly everything he does. 
His idea of a mess is a pair of shoes that have fallen over instead of being stood perfectly up. 

I am a newly converted Mac user, random list maker and looser, writing and reading type chick. 
I am a detail oriented person, but I have realized perfection is out of the question for my creations. 
My idea of a mess is when I can barely make it across the room. 
Then I decide maybe I need to pick up. 

But somehow we are madly, crazily in love. 
We have learned that being different works for us.
We actually prefer it that way. 
He is a baby person, while I'm better with toddlers. 
I cook dinner; he does the dishes. 
He is teaching me how to knit and crochet, make meaningful lists, and be musical- while I am teaching him how to be a little more easy going, more romantic, with better understanding of home decor. 

While at first our differences were frustrating, annoying, and polarizing- we have made them what brings us together- they make our day to day lives so much smoother and more enjoyable, and have even made life more fun! 


Happy Tuesday!
XOXO
Recipe found here. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Everything

Thank you all for my little rant yesterday
While I do try to be positive and hopeful- some days it is not as easy to do so. 
So thank you :) 



Today- we have some exciting news! 
I'm guest posting over at Newlyweds on a Budget as a part of her Financial Series. 
So hop on over there to check that post out.
{There are some pretty awesome pictures- you've got to go see them!}

And Welcome to all you newcomers! 
Thanks for stopping by.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

This past weekend was General Conference
BOY was it good. 
really good. 
I love being a member of a church with a living Prophet and 12 Apostles. 
We are so blessed to hear their inspired words- TWICE a year! 
Each Conference I am amazed at how specific talks seem like they were written 
with Aubrey Maye Lucas Alvey in mind. 

Here are a few of my favorites. 
President Monson: 
     "Some of you may be seeking answers to questions and challenges you are experiencing in your life. Some are struggling with disappointments or losses. Each can be enlightened and uplifted and comforted as the Spirit of the Lord is felt.
    "Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. May we continue to oppose evil wherever it is found."
Boyd K. Packer:
"Family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected. We urge our members to show devotion to their families.
"Fathers and mothers, next time you cradle a newborn child in your arms, you can have an inner vision of the mysteries and purpose of life. You will better understand why the Church is as it is and why the family is the basic organization in time and in eternity.
Cheryl A. Esplin
"Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment. These moments are spontaneous and unplanned and happen in the normal flow of family life. They come and go quickly, so we need to be alert and recognize a teaching moment when our children come to us with a question or worry, when they have problems getting along with siblings or friends, when they need to control their anger, when they make a mistake, or when they need to make a decision."
Donald L. Hallstrom:
"Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
"By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?
"I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel. We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel—the things of eternity."
My brother and his family were able to share this awesome weekend with us! Here are some pictures of our fun activities: 
Hubby makin' pizza :) YUM!
Conference Bags! We hid them and had everyone go find them :)
 Holding Samantha :)

They all fell asleep :) 

Shopping at the new City Creek Center- AMAZING!

<3

 Cheesecake Factory- my first time!
All tuckered out :)

 Went for a walk
 the new BYU path
 lil' Cougar!
Playing!
 Paleontology Museum at BYU


Thanks Aaron and Mel for making the 12 hour trip! We loved having you :)
Come again soon!

Happy Thursday!
XOXO