Monday, December 24

Christmas Goals

Goal 1: Not ruin Christmas by sleeping on the couch all day long 
'Cause lately I haven't done much else. I've gotten approximately 16 hours of sleep each of the last few days. I've been so tired. Yes, it's been kind of nice but it also can be incredibly boring and tiresome when I can't accomplish the things that I would like to. But overexertion is dizzying. Still, I will try to sleep a little less. 

Goal 2: Finish the gifts for both sets of parents
...I'm making them, so we shall see how that goes. I seriously need to get moving though. (We are spending Christmas alone this year so I do have a few extra days). 

Goal 3: Eat normal food 
All I've had is tons of soup, juice, and water--none of which is very filling. Unfortunately, I do not have much of an appetite lately.

Goal 4: Do more for myself
I've been very needy this last week and I know it has not been very easy on Dalin. I have not felt my best, but still I need to get some of my energy back and try to function normally. 

Goal 5: Write my Christmas letter to Dalin
We are making it a tradition. Each year on Christmas Eve, we write a letter to one another describing our favorite moments from the year, sharing our testimony, and reminding one another of our love and gratitude for the other. Our first letters to each other had amazing similarities. It just reminded me how blessed I am to have found such a kind and thoughtful husband. As quoted from one of my favorite movies, "We're both so similar!" (Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice). 

Goal 6: Make this Christmas special
Somehow, I have to make this Christmas Eve and Christmas memorable. Very likely, it will be the last and only (as well as the first) Christmas we spend alone together. We unfortunately could not make it to New Hampshire for Christmas this year (I sure have been missing my family though) and we won't be able to head up to Boise until next weekend. I am so hoping I will be feeling better at that time. Until then, I need to make this one and only Christmas alone together extra special for my sweet husband. He deserves so much and I am so, so grateful I have him. I am so happy to have him by my side forever and ever.

Goal 7: Wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
I hope everyone has a very joyful Christmas and remembers with all their hearts the true meaning. Let us all be a little kinder and a little more giving this Christmas and throughout the new year (which is coming fast!). I know that my Savior lives. I am grateful for His immense love for all mankind. I am trying to be more like Him. 

Thank you to my family and friends who are such wonderful Christ-like examples to me. I notice your actions more than you may realize. 

In case I don't get to say it to you in the next day or two, 

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Wednesday, December 19

never say goodbye

My mom flew home to New Hampshire today. Lucky her. 

Last night, she, Dalin, and I stayed in a luxurious room at the Marriott Hotel in Salt Lake City. Mom originally had an early flight out (6am!) but she was luckily able to change it to 1:30pm. Still, we spent the majority of the day at Ikea and then City Creek Mall in SLC. We only looked at temple square from afar because the cold was BONE-chilling and none of us wanted to brave it for a few pictures. 

I wasn't feeling that well, so the shopping was somewhat short-lived but we got some fun things and saw Sister Elaine S. Dalton in one of the stores. We slightly stalked her for a little while (she was in the same store so it wasn't hard) but didn't end up saying anything to her. But it was cool to see her out and about doing her Christmas shopping. 

Back at the hotel, we all relaxed and watched The Voice finale (I had really been rooting for Terry...sigh). Then we took turns showering and I got to talk to my mom for a while as Dalin took his turn. I tried not to be sad knowing she was leaving but it was hard after she took such good care of me for the whole week. I told her not to worry--Dalin would take care of me after she left. Sometimes it is nice to get a break though. 

While here, we got so many awesome projects done around the house.

We completely painted and re-seated our kitchen chairs. 

We also sanded and stained our kitchen table and one of our side tables (thankfully, Mom did most of that). 

Plus, Mom filled our kitchen with food and did lots of laundry and cleaning. It was the best. It felt spectacular to have a spotless apartment...I just need to make it last! 

It really was the best little visit for me--I only wish we had more time together. Thankfully my job gave me some good opportunities to leave work early and take a day off to be with my mother longer. 

I already can NOT wait until she comes back to visit again...hopefully soon...

Thank you so much, Mom, for your absolute thoughtfulness. You do so much for Dalin and me. I love you. You are the best. 


Monday, December 17

Endings and Beginnings

Sweet relief.

Fall semester is over! I am so incredibly relieved. Already I am somewhat dreading next semester, though I am looking forward to lots and lots of changes. I will be taking classes that focus on my English major and Dalin will be doing the same with Psychology. We both have just one religion course left.

This semester, my first at BYU, went well, though I cannot deny that I prefer BYU-Idaho immensely. There is just a very different Spirit on campus there. It is much less competitive and much more fun and interesting. Despite this, I did well for my first semester here in Provo. I received an "A" in English, Spanish, and Marriage & Family. I received an "A-" in my other English class (interestingly enough, the English class I greatly preferred), and a stinking B+ in my Doctrine & Covenants class which was probably my favorite class of the semester but graded very annoyingly. The class is based off of 6 grades:

3 quizzes ............ A+, A+, A
1 essay ............... 100
Midterm ............. B
Final ................... B

Somehow all that makes a B+ which seems kind of unfair considering I did so well on everything else in the class and attended every single class (and participated), though attendance and participation apparently play no role in determining the grade.

But I (somewhat unwillingly) digress. Christmas will be here in one week and that means a LOT of things need to be done! Like actually getting gifts for my family for example...

My mom leaves Wednesday (which I can hardly bear to think about right now...I'm pretending it's not happening) and I need to hurry and prepare Christmas gifts and make plans with Dalin since we'll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone (for the only time in our lives).

Work, school, and life are about to get significantly busier in the little Gunnell home.

But most of it, I am looking forward to ;)

Thursday, December 13

That Time My Mom Came to Utah

My Mom flew in from New Hampshire yesterday. I so wished we could have been flying out there instead, but I am just grateful she could come at all before Christmas!

I picked her up from the Salt Lake Airport around 1:30pm and we drove back to Provo.

Side note: That was the farthest our car had ever driven. 
It wasn't even that far. But our car hit 200's getting so old!  ;)

I totally cried when I saw her. I was the only weirdo standing almost directly on the "Do not cross" line where everyone who comes into Salt Lake exits and I was hopping up and down excitedly, craning my neck to see her. Her dumb plane was twenty minutes delayed which I did not realize until later as I began to wonder where the heck she was...but I was just so happy to see her. We collected her luggage and drove home chatting. 

I dropped her off at the Wilkinson Center (the Wilk) so she could browse the bookstore for an hour or two while I returned to work. When Dalin and Mom and I were all back at the apartment (which was not as clean as I would have liked), we talked and visited, Shaina and Layton came over and then we had a wonderful conversation. It was a great night and I was just so excited to have her here. We were exhausted by midnight--Mom had had to get up at 4am in New Hampshire to make her early flight and Dalin and I had gotten up at 7am (not so bad, but we're tired college students) to take Christmas pictures--so we fell asleep instantly.

Then today was great, too. Dalin and I went to work and school and my mom got to sleep in a little. When she woke up, she got right to work. She did so much laundry (I felt so bad but she insisted), and washed our dishes (which has to be done by hand), then she vacuumed, tidied up everything, and made our bed. Coming home after work was a huge surprise--it looked so wonderful. It was such a huge burden that was lifted off of me. 

Even though she did NOT have to do those things for me, I am so grateful to have my mom here to take care of us for a few days. I wish it could be longer.
Plus, we went to the mall and had a ton of fun looking at shoes, clothes, and showing her stores that we don't have in the east. Dalin has a sweet new navy down jacket that he looks SO hott in, a light denim shirt (which I have been wanting to buy for him forever...), and two v-necks (one teal, one maroon). I got some sweet shoes that I LOVE, a cute jacket that was on sale at Forever 21 (it's pinkish-purple which is a color I am not overly fond of, but I had to admit that I really liked it on), and a sparkly mint scarf. 

We got some chocolate at See's (of course)...Dalin got key lime as always, and for my mom and I we bought my new favorite, dark chocolate California peanut brittle. It is so delicious and it's the best kind of peanut brittle because you can actually bite it.

After our shopping spree (Dalin had finally had enough), we stopped by Sarah's apartment to visit with her (except, we totally have to see her again before she leaves for New Hampshire and then for her mission to Ecuador). We had a nice time talking and laughing until it felt late and we returned to the apartment to wind down.

I am so glad my mom is here. It makes me just so happy!!!!!!!!!!! I love her so much. And I do not want her to leave.

Monday, December 10

Almost There

We are almost there...and by that I mean almost done with school for the semester, thank heavens. 

There are so many things I want to probably won't accomplish while on break, but I will be grateful for the free time and extra time to rest. I am exhausted. I feel like I am running on adrenaline basically all day at work. I end up being okay but I just can't wait to have time to sleep and read and paint!!!!

Plus, Dalin and I still need to do Christmas cards...we have some ideas in mind but they are top secret as of right now. Mainly because if you are reading this, chances are pretty good you will get one. 
Not the pictures we're using, just appropriately Christmasy

I just need to find a willing photographer and possibly some props for the shoot. 

Do you have any suggestions for cute Christmas pics for us? I am obsessed with some of the ones I have seen on Pinterest. And since we lamely did not send out cards last year, I think we are a little overdue. 

More later! Gotta study and ace a final real quick... ;)

Sunday, December 9

Good Things Are Happening

Life is wonderful right now. It is always wonderful, but particularly now.

Dalin and I both are just about done with school this semester to start--that is certainly a good thing. 

But there are many other reasons life is grand. 

My mom will be here this Wednesday! She will only be here for a week but it will be lovely to have her here before Christmas and know that she can help me with gifts and housework and I can't wait to do some of the crafts from Pinterest that we love (it's gonna be so great!!!!). 

I wish Dad, Payson, Donovan, and Butterscotch could come too, but it looks like that won't be happening this year. Thanks to my job, we won't be seeing any family for Christmas (which is a huge bummer because Dalin doesn't need to work during Christmas vacation) but we are planning on visiting Dalin's parents and sisters in Boise for New Years. 

We will be driving up there for once in our new Camry! We finally got a new car! It is a 2012 silver Toyota Camry and it had--get this--40 miles on it when we got it! 40 miles EVER. I couldn't believe it. Anyway it's gorgeous and sleek and it rides smooth. And my parents first car together--also a silver Toyota Camry--was the car that they brought me and then Payson home from the hospital in. When my mom told me that, it almost made me cry. 

I am so looking forward to the end of finals...just 3 left for me and 4 for Dalin. So exciting! Lots of exciting things coming up...more news later ;)

Hope everyone is having a lovely Sabbath day! We certainly are! 

Monday, December 3

Free Christmas Shoot Giveaway? I will take that...

If you are interested in entering for a free photo shoot (and if you live in the Utah valley area), you can click on this link below!

I have only met K one time but I have stalked her work. She is a GREAT photographer. And a sweet person. Check out her website, here:

I hope I win! If not, I might just book an appointment...still need pics!!!