Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WATCH The Biggest Loser!!!!

Blaine & Dane - The Black Team

We are SOOOO excited for this season's Biggest Loser. We have watched it the past few years and think it is life-changing. It is awesome to see these people get healthy and happy in a matter of months. Well, this season we know 3 people on the show. Crazy, I know, but it makes watching so much more fun!!

Dane Patterson & Blaine Cotter are the BLACK team and are on Jillian's team. Dane married my friend, Carli Cotter, whom I've known most of my life. Blaine, I've known my whole life. His parents and my parents are best friends and we spent many summers in San Diego staying with Blaine and his fam. We are so excited for these guys. I know their current "Status" I guess you could say, but I don't know if I'm allowed to say anything. I can say though that a few weeks in, together, Dane & Blaine lost more weight than any other "couple" on the show. Cool huh?

The other person we know is Sione Fa (he's on the blue team which is with Bob). He's DJ'ed a few family events and married Brittany Figueroa, a long time family friend (her parents lived on my grandma's street). He is on with his cousin which we don't know, but that's okay, we're still cheering them on.

The winner of the show gets $250,000! Even then, there's a prize amongst all the people who were voted off early. They can still win $100,000!! Not too bad of a prize for second place, wouldn't you say? I just had to make sure everyone knew that these guys were on the show. They are all LDS and are wonderful people. We wish them the best of luck and can't wait to see the season premier - NEXT TUESDAY (the 6th) ON NBC!!!

To meet the guys you can visit the following links:
Blaine & Dane
Sione & Filipe


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Done and over :(

Lorin's parents got her these twin baby dolls which she loves.
Playing outside in my parents backyard Christmas day
A present my mom gave me. She knows just what I like.... baking goods & polka dots!
An autographed Glenn Beck book I got for Lo. And yes, he looks a little high... or maybe just tired. Lily must have known it was Christmas because she woke up at 5 and would not go back to bed! Believe it or not, but we were all ready for the day and done wrapping presents by 6 am! I know.... we are CRAZY!!
Christmas morning at our house. Lorin is getting out the Tickle Me Cookie Monster. Lily laughs her head off when he's on but is also deathly afraid of it.
Lily, Lo & I with Santa Christmas Eve.
Lily & Ezra (Alina's boy) = Kissing Cousins (opened mouth kissing too!)
Lily with the Blaser Fam Christmas Eve. They got her some presents which you can see she loves.
We had a high school get together Christmas Eve for breakfast. It was great seeing a lot of the old gang. In this pic is Scott, Lisa & Tyse Cole, Travis Lueck, and Mark & Dyan Bell.
Lily & I Christmas Sunday.

Like most people, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I was sooo anxious for it to come, and now it's done and over. So sad!! The only thing that I like about Christmas ending is going to the stores the day after Christmas to get all my decor, wrapping paper, tags, and more for 50% off. Yes, I was at Wal-Mart Friday morning at 6 am with my mom and sis to get some smokin' deals. It's sad I can't enjoy those items til next year, but it's so worth it when I remember that I only paid a buck for most items. I just love finding good deals, but I am still sad Christmas is over. We really had a wonderful Christmas season and I hope everyone else did as well!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The FOURTH and FINAL White Elephant Exchange

The amigos... (Our house is too small so we had it at the church).

Ali & Vaughn Fish

Derek & Rachel Jensen
Angie, Zach & Ryker Hawkins

TC turned 27! Dang, he's old!

Amber, Bailey & Brennon Adams
Des showing off her AWESOME High School musical presents
Tyson & Mandi Abaroa
Chad & Jaylynn Andersen showing off their weight belt and cowboy hat.
Lorin won this beautiful sign made by TC. Fortunately, someone stole it from him. :)

What can I say? I love white elephant exchanges! We had one with our family, one with the young womens, one with our friends in our ward, and the last one was last night with our friends from our old ward. We had so much fun getting together for this annual event! We also celebrated TC Fish's birthday last night. It was fun chatting, laughing and fighting over presents! We hope to continue to have this tradition since most people have moved from the ward. Plus, it was nice to finally get rid of the Richard Simmon's workout video that we got at last year's white elephant. I had saved that video for a whole year just so I could regift it this year. Lame, I know!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lots to do and loving it!

White Elephant with friends from the ward - Lexi Ray, Amy Brinton, & Laura Johnston
Lily is WAAAAAY into kissing right now. It's soo cute!
Our ward party had a Kiddie Corral with rocking horses, which Lily LOVED!
My high school friends decided to get together for breakfast since some were in town for Susan's funeral. It was great catching up and sharing memories of Sus!
The family white elephant exchange! The craziest gift this year... slippers made out of Kotex. I just love my crazy family. ;)

The holidays are crazy, and I LOVE THEM!! Yes, most people are stressed to the max, but I love the get togethers, the craziness of everything and all the fun we have. I still have some crafts I want to make but other than that, I'm just trying to enjoy the last week before Jolly Ol' Saint Nick comes. These pics just show some of what we've been up to these past few weeks. I am so grateful we can be spending the holidays with those we love!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My memory of Susan

We were sticking candy corns in our mouth, and apparently Sus and Jess stopped being silly before we did.

Sus is riding Shadowfax - remember that, Jess?

At my 16th bday party at the Walters.

Bahahaha. I still laugh when I look at this.

. . . .....................

We were all asked to share pics and memories of Susan that would be compiled into a memories book for Justin and her family, but I thought I would post what I submitted for the book. I had such a great time looking at pics and thinking about all the fun times we had. I would love to read what everyone else submitted as well since I probably will never see the book. I have such a bad memory so seeing some of these pics triggered a lot of our forgotten adventures, and as mentioned before, it was just so darn fun thinking about all the crazy and fun things we did with Susan. We always had so much fun together!!
Where do I begin? I've known Susan for quite awhile now. Over all these years, we grew very close and I am so happy that she has been one of my dearest friends. We have been able to share so many fun and crazy memories, which I will cherish forever. High school was just too much fun with Susan. One time we got all our friends and watched a movie out in the ball fields of the church. Sadly, the night ended with gum all over her hair, but she handled it way too well compared to the average teenage girl. We also had a so-called "war" with our guy friends and ended up being stuck down in our friend's van down a narrow back alley. That was too funny!! The dances were always so much fun with her as well. She always just wanted to have fun, and that's exactly what we did when we were with her.
The memories didn't stop once we graduated high school. Since she was at U of A and some of us at ASU, we only got to see her on the occasional weekend. Fortunately, we had all the holidays and summers with her. We were able to continue the high school tradition of eating Bruce's famous pancakes after midnight on New Years Day with our college friends. That is one of my favorite high school/college memories. We also spent time couch skiiing (long story - but oh so fun), creating a weekly email newsletter (also long story, but sooo funny), crawdad fishing, going to countless parties, and doing whatever else it took to have fun (and meet boys)! :D Everywhere we went, all my guy friends would ask about Susan. They all liked her!! I can honestly say that I think she went on more dates than anyone I've ever known. There was just so many things about her that everyone liked, and because of it she had a lot of admirers. What was so great about Susan too, was that she was so honest with all of these boys. If she wasn't interested she would just flat out tell them!! I loved it. Most girls would skirt around telling someone or would just ignore their phone calls, but not Susan. I always told her how brave I thought she was for doing it. She even helped me to be brave the night I met my future husband, Lorin.
Sus and I had gone to a party that night and we were talking to all sorts of boys when we first met Lorin and his friends. We all chatted and invited them to hang out with us after the party. We spent the rest of the night playing "hot seat" (a favorite of ours). We would just ask all sorts of questions to try and get to know the other person better. Susan would come up with the funniest and silliest questions... it was so fun playing with her. After that night, we remembered we had a Stake Girl ask Guy Dance coming up. I wanted to ask Lorin, but felt kinda silly doing it. Susan convinced me I needed to do it or else I would regret it, and she was right. I built up the courage and asked him. Long story short, we started dating a few weeks later. On the night we officially began dating, Susan kept texting me to see how it was going. She knew it would be a "make it or break it" kinda night. I called her after we had our first kiss and she just knew I was a goner after that night. She was so happy and excited for me although she knew our plans to move in together and for us to go to Europe would probably never happen. That was just like her though... putting others before herself. Fortunately, Sus was also able to meet a very special person that year, and something happened when she met him.
From the very beginning there was just something about Mr. Justin Turley that she couldn't resist. Since I had gotten married around this time, I had fallen out of the "let's hang out lots" radar. We were still able to double with them a few times, but also during this time is when Susan and I began emailing a lot more. I think she considered me her best confidant (other than her family) at the time because all of her friends were also friends with Justin. I loved this bond we were able to have because we were able to talk a lot about the Gospel, relying on the Spirit, life, and especially love. There was no doubt that Susan loved Justin very much. And we knew he loved her too. She knew she wanted to marry him, and although it may have taken him a little longer to realize it, she knew they were meant to be together. She'd pray and fast and pray some more, and in the end she always felt like Justin was her answer. Little did we all know at the time is that he really was her answer to prayer.... and her answer for peace, comfort, hope and so many more things while she went through the greatest trial of her life. Fast forward a few years, and I was so blessed to be able to go to the temple with her when she received her endowments. She was so happy to have Justin with her that day and to have him take her through the veil. She was even more happy a week later when she was sealed to him for time and all eternity. Being in that sealing room was so wonderful. Susan was beaming and Justin was as well. As they looked at each other with so much love, no one in the room could deny their devotion and unconditional love for one another. It truly was a sweet and beautiful day.
Unfortunately, since getting married, we really didn't get to spend a lot of time with Susan and Justin. After being diagnosed with cancer we knew she would be weak and not always up to having visitors. We were so happy that she called on a Friday afternoon in September and asked us to come over that night. We spent the night chatting, playing games and enjoying one another's company. I didn't know that night that that would be the last time I would see Susan alive. She seemed so strong and happy then. I left thinking she would beat the cancer. It makes me so sad to realize that she didn't. It is/was/will be hard to lose such a good friend! Susan was just so wonderful, kind, funny, beautiful and Christlike. I knew I could count on her for a shoulder to cry or just to talk to. She has taught me so many things that I will remember forever. Because of her I am going to try and live each day to the fullest, to not worry about silly and trivial things, to serve others more, to be the best friend/sister/daughter/wife/mother that I can, and to always live my life in accordance to the will of our Father in Heaven. I am so glad she is no longer in pain but sad that her mortal probation was cut short. I know Susan was just too good of a person and that her Heavenly Father needed her. She will be forever missed and will always be in my heart.
I love you Sus!!Your friend - Kristyn Ritchey Merkley

Friday, December 5, 2008

Susan Mortensen Turley - May 7, 1983 - Dec 5, 2008

I couldn't sleep...
My heart is so very full right now. My dearest friend, Susan, passed away tonight. She was diagnosed with colon cancer this summer and after a short but very hard battle, she was taken back to our Father in Heaven tonight. Susan was just married in January of this year. I was blessed with the opportunity to be at her sealing to Justin. It was a very happy day for Susan. She had been waiting awhile for that special moment, and I was so glad she finally had it. Unfortunately, despite all hope she didn't have much time with her sweet beau. If anyone knows Susan, they know she was a fighter. She ran cross country for U of A and was always competing in sports and the like. I know she thought she would be able to beat this cancer - that she could be the exception to all of the statistics, but sadly, she lost the battle. She was just too good of a person and her Heavenly Father needed her. She was such a wonderful, kind, funny, beautiful, Christlike person and she will be forever missed. She has taught me to live each day to the fullest and to serve all those around me. I am so grateful for her friendship and pray that her loving husband and family will find comfort during this very sad time. I know that through the knowledge and testimony of the plan of salvation, we can all find peace as we mourn for her loss. Please pray for her sweet Justin and loving family.

Sus - you will forever be in our hearts. I love you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Card

Yesterday, we were able to meet my siblings at the temple to take our annual family Christmas pics. Fortunately, we didn't need any pics with all the grandkids (those are so crazy and impossible to get everyone smiling!!) I had my sis take our pics, and we took their pics for them (what can I say? - I'm cheap, and don't want to pay anyone:D ). I was so happy that quite a few turned out. I think it's mostly because we have a semi-decent camera. I know everyone is getting into photography these days, and I have to admit that I am one of them. I love taking pics!!! It's so much fun!
Any who, I don't know why but I kinda stress out about christmas cards each year. I know it's not a big deal, but I guess it's just one more thing to do during the holidays. Fortunately, this year I really didn't have to stress, and I'm so glad I got one out of one hundred Christmas-to-do-things done! Phew!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We LOVE Disneyland!!!!

Lily & I
This was a hose at Goofy's house that Lily couldn't get enough of.
On the train around the park.
Our only family pic the whole time (in front of It's a Small World)
On Flik's ride at California Adventure
Lorin and I ;)
Can you tell we're happy?? It's the one place we feel totally stress-free!
Lily loved the carousel!
On the streets of New Orleans Square. Lily just didn't know what to do with herself. She just wanted to run around and soak it all in, and we don't blame her!

So, you might be wondering why we LOVE Disneyland so much, and hopefully some of these pictures show why.

Department 56!! The coolest store, and it's found in Downtown Disney. There isn't one in AZ at all! :(Funnel Cakes! You'll see from the following pics, that a lot of the reasons we love this place is because of the food you can get there. What can I say? We're hungry people. :)
Cotton Candy! Need I say more?
Fake snow (soap suds) in front of the pretty castle.
Monte Cristo sandwiches at Blue Bayou. SOOOO good!
CHURROS!! I know you can get them at Sam's Club/Costco, but at Disneyland you really don't hesitate to eat them because you're not calorie counting/dieting. It's great!
Bread bowls!!
Pirates!!! I really do not think there is a SMELL better in the world than the musty, wet smell of this ride. If they could capture that scent and put it in a bottle, I would buy it!
5 minute waits for every ride!! Who wouldn't love that? We try to go this time of year, because there is hardly any waits, the Christmas decorations are up, and the weather is awesome!!
The candy!! I think every kid in the world loves/wants these suckers!!
The fudge - Lorin's all time favorite!
Tower of Terror - my all time FAV ride at California Adventure. I scream every time. I just love that you can float in the air on this ride.
Club 33!! One of mine and Lorin's goals... This door is right next to Blue Bayou, and it's only for an elite group of people who are VERY rich and donate LOTS of $$ to Disney all the time. There's a 5 star restaurant through this door, and a bunch of rich, Disney-know-who. I just want to know what it's like... :D
The HUGE Christmas tree at the beginning of Main Street is amazing!!!
New Orleans Square looks just AWESOME this time of year!!
The Haunted Mansion is decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas attire. The whole ride has been transformed and it's all blacklight. It is sooo cool. It makes the regular Haunted Mansion very boring to ride.
Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlasters!! It's mine and Lorin's favorite ride, and Lily can ride with us. You just shoot at targets but Lorin and I are so competitive, that we just love it SOO much!!

We feel very blessed and lucky to have been able to go on this short family vacation this past week. I know a lot of parents despise Disneyland, but fortunately, Lorin and I LOVE it, and we want our kids/future kids to love it as well. There's just something about the atmosphere there that makes us so happy and worry free. Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth (for us)!