I gotta tell ya, Dave and I are coming to realize how awesome it was to be in school - - - mostly because the holiday breaks are far more substantial.  I mean, BYU is getting a whole darn THREE weeks this year for Christmas break!  Three weeks!  That's pretty awesome - those cougs are some lucky suckers if you ask me.  Luckily we saved up some of Dave's PTO and were able to steal away a few days up in Provo with the Nemrows for Christmas.  It was SO fun to be back in Utah for the first time since last spring and, in case you don't already know, I just gotta tell you:
I love Utah.

I know it's funny, but those mountains are just so lovely and picturesque.  I forgot how much I love them.  And on top of the lovely scenery we got to spend time with (almost) all the Nemrows!  It was such a treat to be a part of Sunday dinner again, if only for one week.  I've practically been craving Cindy's jello (and most of the rest of her cooking) since we left.

Speaking of food, we honestly ate non-stop from the time we rolled in to Provo to the time we rolled out.  We have so many favorite spots in that town we actually didn't have time to get to all of them, but don't worry, we hit the most important ones.

Lastly, this trip is going down in the history books for me because . . . I had my FIRST white Christmas!  And boy was it white!  It snowed lightly Christmas Eve and a little Christmas day, but we got the biggest DUMP on the 26th and I'm so glad we were there to enjoy it.  It was the best kind of snowfall - light and consistent, without any wind.  Perfect for strolling around in, without needing an umbrella.  I could have stayed outside all night enjoying how beautiful it was.  

And last, but certainly not least, we had the best time playing around with the cutest little youngsters Utah County has to offer.  Dave's sister and brother-in-law just adopted the most darling little boy and we were so glad we were there to meet him for the first time.  

All in all, it was a very successful trip, and both Dave and I were very reluctant to leave.  It does help, however, that we have New Years to look forward to with (almost) all the Toblers coming up.  We're starting to refer to it as Second Christmas around here and I'm really excited to be together, even if it's only going to be for a little more than a day.

Gosh I love the holidays - too bad they only come once a year...


snail mail

The back of our front door is starting to look like this:

And I LOVE it!  Christmas cards are one my most favorite things, and even though it's just the two of us, I couldn't resist making a simple little one for us this year:

I'd love to print them off and send one to you all with a big, fat stamp on the front, but I know that's not going to happen this year.  For now I will be content with sending out my little e-cards.

Happy Christmas!

P.S. Our e-card from last year - I definitely had more time on my hands back then...



By the end of this past week I was really ready for a nice relaxing Saturday, but that was not in the cards.  We got up early, got an oil change for our car, and ran off to the stake center to start helping set up for our ward's Christmas party.  I was put on the party planning committee for the event and we had a lot to do before the party that night.
We helped arrange tables and chairs, put out decorations, arranged service projects, put up posters, and started organizing our games for that night.  Dave and I were in charge of the night's entertainment up on the stage: Minute to Win It games.  We were a little worried if anyone would want to play, but as the evening started we soon found out that we would have no problem with that issue.  As it turns out, the kids in our ward LOVED our games and were so excited to play with us they barely touched the craft and cookie decorating centers we had set up for them.  It was a little bit of a problem, actually.
Dave MCed and I scurried around in my puff paint cardinal sweater getting supplies ready for each game.  We had a pretty great, if not exhausting, time.

After the party we came home and were just about to collapse on the couch when I remembered . . . I wanted to get a Christmas tree that night!  I grew up having a lovely real evergreen in my living room every December, but what with us going to Utah this year for Christmas, and neither of us being home for most of the day I couldn't justify us getting a real tree.  So we did the next best thing - we went to Walmart!  We spotted a lovely 6 ft artificial Wesley pine for $20, and I was pretty sure we had found the best deal in the store.  I can't tell you how ridiculously happy I am to have a tree in the house.

We strung some lights around her, found a few gold baubles to hang on her branches, and topped her with a red bow.  Then, with a crackling, merry fire blazing away (on our TV - thanks Netflix), and the lights plugged in on our new little Wesley pine we enjoyed a lovely evening talking about past Christmas memories and new traditions we want to do one day with our kids.  It was perfect.

It was worth $20 and a quick run out to Walmart.  I knew it would be.



Last weekend was the first weekend in December and I wanted us to jump in with both feet, even though yes, I have been listening to Christmas music on 103.5 since two weeks before Thanksgiving - whatever.  So to start the season off with a bang we packed a whole bucket-load of holiday celebrating into one weekend:

First we went and saw the lights at the LA temple.  I became very fond of going to Temple Square in Salt Lake to see the lights when we lived in Utah, so it's really very fun to have another temple close by that goes all out for Christmas.

And P.S. we were the ONLY people taking a stroll around the grounds.  I don't know if we just missed the crowds or it was too early in December (ahem, the 1st) for people to be thinking about seeing the lights?  I have no idea, but we had the whole place to ourselves, which was pretty fun.

After our moonlit stroll and Chipotle for dinner, we made our way down to the Pantages theatre in Hollywood to see Straight No Chasers - an a capella group that favored us with everything from Adele to Silent Night - it was a good time.  Also this was probably the first performance I've ever been to when I was completely and totally on time.  I mean we arrived before they were even letting people in the theatre.  A new accomplishment for me.

Lastly, on Saturday night we jetted down to Orange County to be with the fam and go see A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertoire.  This is one of my FAVORITE Christmas traditions and I'm so glad we currently live close enough to be able to enjoy it.

And that was our first VERY Christmasy December weekend.  We're trying to live up to that same amount of holiday cheer this weekend, and with the ward Christmas party tonight we just might be able to...more on that later.

Happy December everybody!


personal progress

As the Personal Progress leader for our ward's young women, I am in charge of Young Women in Excellence at the end of the year . . . a task that more or less stressed me out to no end this past month as the holidays started coming on and my new job was taking up so much time and this and that and the other kept coming to my attention!  But somehow we did it.  It came, it went, I spoke, and we ate cupcakes. 

That's a success in my book.

A few pictures from that night:

It was crazy, but so much fun.  Now that I've been through the ringer once I think I can maybe handle New Beginning with a bit more grace.

P.S.  I couldn't have done it without the help of these two cute girls


catch up

Sometimes life gets crazy, and when that happens . . . I don't really blog.  Much.  At all.

But I don't want to forget about Thanksgiving, so let's go back to last weekend and recap.  Wednesday night we grabbed the red eye to Columbus, Ohio and got in to our hotel at 6:30ish in the morning.  Crazy?  Yes.  Worth it.  Of course.  It's also worth mentioning that we got some great marriage advice from the friendly Delta employee who checked us in, security at LAX felt it necessary to pat down the huge bun on top of my head, and David's sinuses almost exploded when we landed in Ohio.  It was quick an eventful night.

After stumbling in to our Resident Inn, we grabbed a quick hour nap and then David headed off to the turkey bowl and the girls and I started making Thanksgiving dinner at Brendan and Megan's house.

The next day (after only a handful of hours of sleep again), Brendan and Megan showed us around some of the quaintest part of Columbus including Powell and German town, which were wonderful.  I've been a big fan of the mid-west since Christopher and Kristin moved to Indiana, but I'm officially a huge fan after this trip.  Maybe it's just because I'm missing the seasons down here in California, and I really loved getting to wear my boots, coats, and scarves again, but Ohio is pretty great.  We explored cute little boutiques, drank hot chocolate, wandered through a huge maze of a bookshelf, and took LOTS of pictures.

After a day of exploring Ohio we went to COSI, Columbus's science museum, and saw Body Works, which our boys, both in medical school, more or less geeked out over.  The rest of us thought it was pretty cool too.

And then the next morning we played a few more rounds of Carcassonne, the boys studied for their upcoming boards and midterms, and we all just enjoyed the time we had together.

And that was our weekend!  It was too fast, too tired, and too much fun.  I wish we could go back and do it all again.

Family is the best.



A few of our favorite people came in town this Sunday and we were tickled to spend the night with them eating pork tacos, talking about good times, and chasing a couple of Daschunds around the house.  I haven't seen any of my best girlfriends since this summer and I'm missing them!  I had the best luck in college to find a couple great girls to live with (until David came along of course), and I'm pretty excited for the day when we all buy a house on the same cul-de-sac and all our kids play together.
Some day . . .

Roomies for life!

P.S. I'm still figuring out Instagram - don't judge



Getting a new phone is like getting a new haircut.  At first you look in the mirror and every morning and you ask yourself why in the world you told the lady to lop off 6 inches and how on earth will I ever style these layers?  But two weeks later you end up loving it.

Right now my iphone and I are giving each other a little space.  I've been fiddling with it for the last hour plus and I'm not making much progress.  David is currently asking Siri to help us/ tell us jokes/ does she love us?  We can't figure out how to do much else.

Turns out Apple went and got ahead of me.  I used to think I was a Mac girl . . .  but I have no idea how to use this thing.  I guess that's what happened while I was happily typing away on my cordie LG env for the last 4+ years.  And I was perfectly content with it, until it decided to start turning it off when I touched it.  Kind of a problem.

I'll figure out this iphone thing soon, but tonight it's been pretty funny.  Apple ID passwords have been forgotten, lost, and remade.  Downloads have decided not to work.  And my sanity is running thin, but mostly it's resulted in us almost rolling off our chairs laughing.

It probably didn't help that we had Mirror Mirror on in the background while we were trying to figure out this mess.  I'm pretty sure it turned half of my brain to mush by the end of it.  I know it's on Netflix, but that doesn't mean you have to watch it.  Lesson learned.

Dear iphone, lets decided to be friends soon.  I'd like to have a phone that works again.  And my contact list too please, if you don't mind.

UPDATE: the contacts have been imported and I have a date with the Genius Bar this afternoon.  I think we're becoming better friends already.

Picture via Diviant Art


highlights no. 57

It's Wednesday!  Somehow it never comes soon enough for me . . . Mondays and Tuesdays I work til 8:00 and Wednesday-Friday I get off at 6:00, so you can imagine how much I look forward to the middle of the week.

This week's highlights list is short, sweet, and to the point.

the truth
some darling books

printables I will be using soon

this cake made me look twice

and everything about this video is amazing, yes I'm a sucker



the news

Noteworthy happenings from a Tuesday:

My scrubs came this weekend (which I didn't realize til this morning), so I got to wear my new pajamas to work today for the first time.  I'm pretty sure it will get annoying not having any semblance to a waist everyday, but right now it's amazing.

According to FedEx, my Iphone is in Burbank, CA right now.  The anticipation is killing me.  I can't wait to have a phone that won't turn off when I touch it anymore.

We tried a new recipe for dinner tonight for crockpot orange chicken.  It was a miss.  I'm still working on building up my stock of slow cooker recipes.  All recommendations are appreciated.

All my coworkers have adorable little puppies (more or less) - and I'm going crazy with puppy-fever.  Keep me away from Pet's Mart - I might not be able to help myself if I get to close.

It's in the 50's outside right now, and it makes me smile.

We're currently burning cinnamon spice candles at work and they smell like Christmas.  I love it.

I went on Pinterest for the first time in a least a week today!  That must be some new kind of record.

And I can't wait for next week to get here already so I can see some of my favorite friends and have the whole Tobler family together in Ohio!  It'll only be for 3 days, but we're going to milk it.


Left via Etsy
Right via Pinterest


better together

Since we already had commitments this Saturday night, I decided to surprise Dave and take him out for a date . . . morning.  It doesn't quite have the same ring as date night, but it was just as fun.  We had breakfast at a cute local place we've been wanting to try out for a while and when we arrived the line was out the door!  Definitely a good sign.  It was a chilly fall morning, for California (it was in the 50's ok?), and we easily put our names in for seats on the patio and were quickly seated - our Utah skin hasn't worn off yet!  I'm sure I'll be eating my words when we're in Ohio for Thanksgiving later this month though . . .

Honestly I'm not a huge fan of going out for breakfast in the morning  - you have to get up and look nice before you eat something!  Most of the time I'd rather eat my bowl of cereal on the couch in my PJ's, but every once in a while I don't mind.  It was rather charming eating next to all our fellow Santa Claritians, kids in their AYSO soccer uniforms, and a guy playing guitar for us in the corner.  Plus it was crisp enough outside to wear my boots!  I've been waiting to pull these babies out since September 1st.  David thinks I'm crazy, but Utah got me hooked on cold weather . . . something we're rather short on here on the west coast.  I guess that's why we pay the big bucks to live here, huh?  Lame.

Since we were eating at Egg Plantation where they offer 101 omelet options we felt obligated to try one on our first time there, even though David and I both admitted afterward that we aren't big omelet fans.   It was for the experience - next time I won't feel guilty and will just order the French toast like I wanted.  P.S. they had omelets with fillings of apples, pineapple, and honey in them!  Maybe I'll be brave and try one of those sometime.  But probably not.

For the second part of our date I took David to see Wreck It Ralph - we were probably the only people in that theatre without a toddler in tow, but it was stinkin' fun.  I love getting up and doing things in the morning and then feeling like you've been so productive by noon - Saturday was one of those days.

Cheers to a fun weekend!
Is it Friday yet . . . ?



I just made the invitations for our upcoming Young Women in Excellence program . . . and I'm kind of proud :

                                                      (front)                                                                                                                (back)

Thank you for indulging me.

I'm right in the thick of planning out this whole event and I just have to say - I have a whole new-found respect for my Young Women leaders.  This is a boatload of work!  I'm sure it will all shake out in good time, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tossing and turning a little at night thinking about all the little things that need to be done . . .

Wish me luck!  I know the 28th will be here sooner than I'm ready for it!