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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Adieu, adieu. Parting is sweet

Ok. I'm being cliche. And following the crowd. And all that other good stuff! I'm starting a new blog and ditching this one! (Although it'll still be here for sentimental reasons. I should start being a pack rat of online memories instead of the paper kind. It takes up MUCH less space.)
So. Here it is!
:) I seriously considered a lovely Halloween motif. Soon enough, friends, soon enough. ;)
(Also I promise I'm not being disrespectful to anyone through this name fun, the Snow's have a basement of snow men. It's just accentuating what you've got, right? ;) )

Sunday, July 08, 2012

It's a wonderful life

'Nough said. Right? :)
Yesterday afternoon, I had the awesome opportunity of going through the temple to be endowed. I'm truly so grateful for the gospel, and for temples and for how beautiful and wonderful the perspective that all of the above gives us. :) I'm also grateful for such supportive families who traveled to be there with me. Such an incredible experience! I'm extra super even a little bit more excited to be sealed to Matt, because I think I'm getting a deeper look at how blessed we are and how wonderful forever looks. :) Isn't it amazing to think about eternal life with people you love? Kinda makes everything else in life worth it, right? Anywho, the day was marvelous! Stupendous even :) I met Matt's aunt and uncle, and hung out with them at his uncle's condo in St. George after dinner. They have the cutest daughter(s) (and sons) (just so it's clear that I'm being fair and impartial. ;p) who has a form of autism. I'm telling you, I got the best hugs from that girl yesterday, and she even agreed to hang out with me again sometime. Also, Matt's grandma went on a mission to Germany a few years ago, and she let me pick out a table cloth from the collection she gathered from there. There were so many beautiful ones, it was so hard to pick! Really though, I was born into an amazing family (and I'm not even being biased. Ask anyone. Bartons and Heaps are awesome. :) ) but I'm also marrying into an amazing family. How lucky am I? I was joking with Matt on our drive home last night that I win because I'll get three moms and three dads after we're married. (Blonde moment: he actually gets three moms and three dads too because not only am I marrying him,  but he's marrying me right back! Crazy concept, right?) But we are super blessed and I'm super grateful, and this spiel might be from going through the temple yesterday, but I think it helps that I've been able to go to church two Sundays in a row! (I know. I sound totally inactive. Jobs are great.)
So happy Sunday, and have a marvelous week! Life is wonderful!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Welp... let's elope.


Remember how the wedding planning sounds all fun? Did you maybe see any stress in it? Because I have a story for you. One of my last Sundays in Ephraim, a girl got up to bear her testimony and somehow got onto the topic of engaged and wedding planning and such. (Which is perfectly normal and highly accepted in a singles ward setting, of course.) "I always thought that weddings would be fun and easy, and I'm here to tell you: girl's it's not all peaches and cream like we all thought!" ... No worries. Scare us all into spinsterhood. Anywho, I thought she was being dramatic, but she's not kidding! Yes, it's exciting. Yes, it's fun to plan and see things fall into place. Yes, I'm suuupper waaaayyy (practically illegally) happy to be engaged to my best friend. BUT it is a wee bit on the 'holy crap I totally understand why my hair is falling out' stressful side occasionally. Probably mostly because I have no clue what I'm doing and I'm indecisive and I'm living an hour and a half from the majority of what I need to be close to in order to get stuff done. (Thank goodness for technology and good gas mileage!) Alright, I'm getting off my soap box now. Promise. (Until I start working on figuring out how to design and order announcements again. ;p)
Speaking of thanking heavens, how many people got rain today! *raises hand*
How many people kinda wanted to run outside in it because it's a rare commodity these days? *raises other hand*. Answers to prayers, people. Answers to prayers.

Alrighty. So to further procrastinate the announcement situation... here's a sneak peek at some of the engagements! :p

 (Ok so these next two were supposed to be facing opposite directions so we could frame them and put them next to each other. All dorky like. :p Somehow we ended up facing the same way though so we're just dorky anyway.)

And by sneak peek, I meant here's a photo barf post of some dorky favorites. :)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Oh Summer :) Let's get you out of here.

So. Yellowstone was definitely a success. Despite spending like... 90% of the time in a vehicle (not my favorite part of life. Someday, I won't have to be driving everywhere all the time. It might not be til I'm 80, but someday, I will thoroughly enjoy sitting on my butt in a house rather than a bucket seat in a car.) it was a lot of fun! We live in a really beautiful world, ya know that? Even if the beauty stinks really bad. ;)
Matt was able to get work off and come with us, which was fantastic, of course. :) Seriously, having a whole week of like every waking minute together is going to make going back to work today a little on the torturous side, but it was so nice to not have to work or plan for a whole week and to just get to be on one huge date! :p We stayed in Cherene's cabin with all the small children who were stinkin cute, and stinkin hilarious! James and Miranda's daughter, Truly, gave the best hugs ever! (And I've decided that somehow two green eyed people need to be able to have a brown eyed baby. In like five years. Ish. ;) She's got THE cutest, big brown eyes ever! So adorable! Gah!)
I love our family! Hanging out with everyone for a week was seriously so much fun. :) All the giggling and story telling and tears (over Grandma's testimony and her gift to each of the grandkids- a Book Of Mormon with her and Grandpa's testimony and picture in it,) and more giggling. :) We really are so blessed! I love it!
It was nuts how much wildlife we saw, including a rather large grizzly bear! The Graf's were lucky enough to see a wolf in the park too! After spending my study time in The Pearl Of Great Price, and in Genesis on the creation, this trip was kind of extra cool, I think, because you stop and think about how incredible everything in the world is a little bit more.  I love it! Let's go see beautiful places all the time, yeah?
Anywho, my camera died and I've only been able to locate 3 of my 4 rechargeable batteries (special of me, right?) so you're gonna have to wait for the pictures. I don't even know how many good ones there are since I was either distracted, twitterpated, or more distracted. ;) I forgot it at the cabin or in the car the majority of the time and then mentally slapped myself when we'd see something GORGEOUS that I couldn't take a picture of. (Like the super green, super beautiful waterfall place.)
I'm sure someday when I find batteries and post pictures, I'll ramble some more about Yellowstone. :)
Another part of the trip (for Matt and I, anyway) was visiting with Matt's family before and after Yellowstone. We stayed in Springville Monday night with his sister, Mallorie, and his other brothers and sisters (Kade, Carson, and Miquelle) came over to hang out- which consisted of lots of story telling and lots of laughing. Ooh and some Sonic shakes. ;) They're so much fun to be around! I'm pretty much lucky to get to join them. :) They're hilarious, I doubt there's ever a dull moment at their house. :) Saturday, on our way home, Matt and I stopped in Cottonwood Heights to visit his Mom and step dad, and his Grandma Benson. :) They're so kind and down to earth, it was really fun to finally meet them! (Between my schedule, and his schedule and their schedules it's just never worked out to get together until now. Haha at least we all got to hang out before the wedding, right? ;p) His grandma was a hoot! I loved being around them, especially when they got telling stories and bustin' out the childhood pictures of Matt. You'll all be happy to know that I'm the proud new owner of one of those 'Lifetouch' bookmarks with a rather full-of-himself looking, seventh grade, picture of Matt. :) (Much to his protest. Haha, "What are you going to do with a bookmark?" "I read lots. I'll use it in my books and then whip it out and show people." :p "Right, they'll be like, 'Aw, is that your little brother?'" "Nah, it's just my fiance." "Then they'll think you're a pedophile." Haha.) Yesterday, we went to his Dad and stepmom's ward in Eagle Mountain for church, and then did some more wedding planning afterward. Sooo much family time in the last week! I've been feeling so blessed that I already have an awesome family, and that I get to adopt some more awesome family! Isn't marriage a great idea? :p I love it. His family has been so awesome and good to me- he must have threatened them to like me or something, but either way, I love it. :) They're cute. :)
Alrighty. I think I sufficiently rambled about the last week, so now I owe you guys the thought barf wedding planning stuff. :p
Right now, I'll be honest, I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I know we're getting married August 10th in the Mt. Timpanogos temple at 2 pm. We're doing a reception that evening in Eagle Mountain, and Jennifer (Matt's stepmom) used to cater weddings with her mom, so she's got chicken salad croissant sandwiches, fresh fruit, and little tarts planned for the refreshments. We're using the same table cloths and centerpieces, which are eggplant (for the tablecloth), and then these cute little illuminated frames for the centerpieces. (Compliments of Pinterest, of course.) Um, we've got the typical arch thing for the Eagle Mountain reception, well and I guess that's what it is for the Cedar one as well. The one for EM is a white picket fence-y one, and the Cedar one is wrought iron. Both way cute! Matt's aunt does wedding cakes, so we're 97% sure she's doing ours for the EM reception, which is awesome! I think it's going to be buttercream. :) We stink at being productive when we finally get to see each other since dates are more fun than planning stress, usually, so we still need to come up with a play list and pick songs for the first dance and the daddy daughter dance good stuff. (Any ideas?) Um, ooh! I've got my dress, Matt hasn't seen it yet, he kinda wanted it to be a surprise. So surprise it is! It's really pretty though! (However, I'll give you this much information. If I want to look good in it still, I've gotta quit eating everything and maybe hit the track a little more often. :p It's super pretty though. Not quite mermaid, more of a trumpet skirt style... ah I'm excited. :D) Let's see... what other wedding details do I have. Um, we've got the candy buffet ready for the Cedar reception and it looks so cute! (And tastes cute! Can things taste cute?) I love the big apothecary jars and all the different glassware, and the candy is all in purples, creams and golds. :) (Which, P.S. are my colors. I don't remember if I told you that yet. Eggplant, ivory, gold and a little black. Classy, I hope. :p) We've got cute purple cardigans for all my sisters and black pencil skirts, as well as ties for all the men in Matt's family. (It was funny naming them off to make sure we had enough ties for everyone. "Matt, Matt, Mike, Mike, Mike, Kade, Carson, Braxton, and Enoch." Mallorie's fiance (who will be her hubby by the time we get married, yeah. Matt's poor family. Two weddings in two months!) is named Matt also, and then all the dad's are Mike. Kinda ironic eh?) For the Cedar reception we're hoping we can do some 'tenting' kind of similar to Aubree and Jay's but a little different, since it goes from the outside walls up to the middle where we'll have a chandelier. Stinkin awesome, right? :D
We did our engagements a while ago, there's a few on Facebook (hopefully that link works) so as soon as we get the disk in the mail we'll get the announcements ordered and mailed out ASAP!
Bridals are on the 16th at The Capitol, and a garden near there, and I have NO idea what I'm doing with my hair. (Aubree! You need to live closer! I need your hair genius!)
The next exciting part of all this is taking out my endowments next Saturday. :) I did my interviews last night, and it was so cool to have my dad as my bishop. Needless to say we both got teary, but it was an awesome experience! I'm so excited to be able to go through the temple with my family and with Matt. The gospel really is so incredible, and so organized and so powerful. :) I'm grateful that Heavenly Father designed things so we could be as involved with His plans as we are. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. :) Anywho, enough rambling, I've gotta 'pack' (to be read as 'stuff everything into my trunk long enough to get it all back to Tropic') and get ready for work. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oh for happiness!

I just wanted you to know my insides are going a little beserk (how do you even spell that) because I get to see a handsome fellow today AND that's not all. (I know right, you didn't think it could get any better either) and we have a whole stinkin week off of work!! Holy happy days! I'm so stinkin excited!!!!!!!! :D :D

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Time flies when you're having... fun?


(Which isn't my first choice of words to describe the long distance, and work.)
Time really has gone by pretty fast looking back. Looking forward? Different story. ;)
Monday my mom and I drove to Provo for some dress appointments and the engagements. :) (Weird?!?)
I seriously love the mother daughter trips I get every once in a while! My mom is pretty much amazing, and one of my best friends. It's been funny to look back at how our relationship has changed as I've 'grown up' (which I use loosely because I'm sure I'm not even half way there. :p) Matt was able to get off work a little early Monday night, so we went on a real live date! (Rare occasion due to long distance, but we've discovered our love for technology because a face time date is better than no date at all!) We grabbed some Panda and headed for the temple/MTC park(?) to eat and catch up. No big deal, we just got kicked off by MTC security. (Or somethin like that.)
Tuesday morning my mom and I headed to Gowns by Pamela. It's kind of ridiculously fun to have a consultant come and bring all these gorgeous dresses and stick you in them, like you're a princess who needs a maid to dress her, and then proceed to tell you how beautiful you look in all of them and how a corset comes with the rental package but that you don't even need one. Yeah. That's right. I may eat like crap, but hey. I still don't need a corset! I'm golden! :p
The dress that I picked was basically the opposite of what I had thought I wanted, it's kind of funny to see how your taste changes once you try them on. I've never been very big on veils either, but I've got a rather long one of those too! (I'm so excited!) Matt and I were talking about bridals with the photographer, and I hadn't realized that he didn't want to see my dress until our wedding. (I hadn't thought he was that traditional, but it's kinda cute. :p) So he's being left home for those, but we're taking them July 16th at the State Capitol building, and a park near by there? I'm kinda super really excited! (This is so weird! I'm still only like seventeen, right? Where did time go?)
Ooh, real quick. I'm not usually on the in the picture end of a camera, so I felt so awkward being all posey and such for the engagements, but I think they'll turn out well. Matt's such a goofball! Natalie appreciated it though, I think, she kept commenting on it and having us do some silly-ish poses because 'we could pull it off'. Like running around with a blanket around our shoulders like a cape. Did I feel stupid? Borderline. She had a chalk board prop for us, and suggested that we write our last name on there... we chuckled a little and wrote "Coffin" on it and then turned it around... oh the jokes that followed. :p I'm a lucky girl! ;) Right after I wrote stuff on the chalk board, though, she told us about how she wrote cutesy father's day things on it and took pictures of her kids, but ended up photo shopping what she wrote out, and using a font instead. Think that was a hint? :p Anyway. It was kinda fun though, between Matt pulling faces every five seconds, and me feeling awkward, and her telling him to tickle me so I'd laugh... it was pretty much just the time of our lives! ;)
Anywho... I just felt the obligation to blog since I was informed that I never blog anymore (probably because between working with delightful tourists constantly and talking to Matt every spare second, I don't have time for such things! Plus I've been feeling kind of blah about my ability to write. I'm 97% positive that my blog used to be a lot more interesting than it is now, because I'm not... expressive enough? Or something? Idk. I'm feelin like a blog failure, so I avoid it at all costs. :p)
BUT! I had to relay the good news. I have a dress. And engagement photos. And a cute fiance. And a lot of the wedding party clothes. And a dress for the wedding brunch. And a cute fiance. And an awesome mom. And a cute fiance. And wonderful family! (And a cute fiance. ;) )
Ooh, but since everything was going so well, I decided to lose my wallet up North to keep things interesting. And it did! Spiked a few stress levels, instigated a wild goose chase across Utah County, and maybe even inspired a few tears. And lots of prayers.
Good thing there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, right? My social security card (which, I know, I know, should never be in your wallet but occasionally is in mine anyway) is still safely tucked away at home and I got my card cancelled and issued a new one... I'm just driving illegally for a little while without my license and maybe need to call the bank again since I realized my checkbook was in there too. And my Maverik card. And one for Maggie Moo's. (My life is over! Right?)

Please bless that Yellowstone comes up much faster than the idea of five days away sounds.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

If ya like it... well, then you put a ring on it. ;)

It's probably really outta nowhere sounding-ish, seeing how I haven't been all swoony/spill my guts about dating Matt on here very often... but...
We're Engaged!! (Not sure why I made that look all title-ish.)
Aaaand since everyone has been asking for the story, and I'm pretty much just too lazy to text it out slash call up everyone (which maybe makes me an awful person?) I'm gonna stick it on here and just send out referrals. :p
Alright... where to start? :D
Matt and I have been talking about wedding madness for a while, so I knew we were getting engaged eventually, I just wasn't sure when. He had mentioned this past week that maybe he'd take my dad and mom out for ice cream and ask their permission this Saturday, since he'd be down for Anne Marie's mission farewell. (Yes. Bribery is good. ;) ) This last week has seriously been one of the LONGEST weeks of my life! So far anyway... I'm sure there'll be a few more of those before all is said and done. Friday night I talked to Matt on the phone and felt impatient and excited and was informed that he would arrive in Hatch at 10:00 the next morning. Saturday morning came and I was up at like, six. (I'm telling you, these weekend visits are like Christmas morning!) So I read some scriptures. And ate some breakfast. And washed my hair. And did my hair. And makeup. And wandered around. And read a book. And then sat on the porch with Meg and Miss. For an hour. Matt finally showed up at 11, and I was mostly just happy to see him, but mildly flustered that he was an hour later. (He blamed his 'girl truck' for being late.) My parents pulled in a few minutes after Matt did, and they hugged everyone and then we headed to Pines for some lunch and pie! (Emphasis on PIE!)
The rest of the afternoon was filled with random hanging out and helping clean and stuff, and every time my dad and Matt would be heading somewhere they'd ask me if I wanted to come. ("I don't know, Matt, do I want to come?" *Raising eyebrows* *Verbal winks and other such "are you gonna ask my dad and want me to stay here" body language cues*) I figured Matt was just going to ask my dad next time. Or Sunday. Definitely Sunday.
That evening Matt wanted to go hike in Red Canyon and watch the sunset. Cheesy? Romantic? Good exercise? Quality time? Yes. So, off we went. While we were driving, he kept messing with the zipper of his jacket, so I was thinking, "Hey! Maybe he'll propose!" But then I remembered our conversations where he'd say things like "I've got to stop being picky and just get a ring" or something of the sort. So I quickly smothered my hopes. :p
We got to the first pull off before you go into Red Canyon and parked the car, grabbed some jackets and the camera, and started hiking toward the very top. I'm suuuper out of shape so the whole time we're going, I'm thinking "I seriously hope he can't hear me wheezing, that'd be awkward." We finally got to the top and he picked out a flat rock to sit on, until the wind got super bad, and we hopped over to a different rock. (Hopped is used lightly here. It was super steepish and there are a lot of loose rocks up there so we more like tip toed.) Matt was being kinda quiet, so I rambled a little bit, and then started snapping lots of random pictures- because in case you were wondering, Red Canyon is GORGEOUS at sunset. Matt suggested that I set the camera down and so we could move somewhere where we could stand and dance. (Cutesy, eh? We may or may not have a history of 'dancing' in random spots. Like a random Ephraim homeowner's yard, or Pinetree's parking lot, or the kitchen in Cedar...) so we start dancing... which if we're being honest was mostly like hip swaying with the hand positions of dancing. I might have been a little scared of falling up there. In the middle of our cutesy moment Matt grins at me, "Remember how I was late today?" Yes. Yes I do. "I was actually in Hatch around 10." "... What?" "I was talking with your parents..." (Cue butterflies and mild shock. This is the point where I was 97% sure that he was going to propose) "and they gave me their permission. So," gets down on one knee and whips out a little black box "Shannon, will you marry me?"
Cue some kisses and squeals and hugs and "Oh my word!"s and giggles. And, of course, a "yes!". :) And some more hugs and finally a ring :p And some more hugs and "oh my word"s and, ok ok... maybe a few smooches. And maybe a "WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!" being yelled at the top of my lungs. :p
We hiked back down and he offered to drive since I was still freaking out a little bit. :) Then lots of hugs at the cabin and more squeals and sisters trying on the ring and hugs and squeals and snuggling and happiness!
(I'm beginning to realize I really stink at story telling. Majorly. You're welcome to ask Matt about his version. Earlier today it involved me threatening his life and dangling him over the edge, and then finding a ring magically formed by the sands of time. Guess I pull some pretty convincing ultimatums. ;) )
Anywho. Here's some pictures.... Sorry I stink at story telling. It was at least seven thousand times more awesome than how I just told it. :D
We're planning on the second week of August. (hopefully!) Feel free to say some prayers about reducing stress levels and pulling this off. :) Either way we're happy and I get to marry my best friend!! :D Who is stinkin adorable.
On a random 4-wheeler ride with the twins Saturday
afternoon. :) They're super photogenic, don't you think?

At 'Old Town', being silly... as usual. 

I might love this one...

Behind view from our rock at sunset. :p

Pretend we're not undertalented at self portraits.
(Or make up words, like "undertalented".)

Do you see the teensy little cars down there? We were
up pretty high!

On our way back to the car, "I think we should take a picture!"
"Oh yeah!"
"I think that's what people do after they're engaged." :p
Good thing Matt thought of it, because I was just
floating down the hill basically.
 Ok, ladies and gents. Here's the part where I feel borderline awkward because it always drove me a little crazy to see engaged girls flaunting their ring pictures. I understand now. And of course there was always part of me who was obnoxiously curious to see the ring pictures anyway? Whatever. I love it and he did an awesome job with picking it and surprising me, and being him! :)
(Gross. We're all squishy and twitterpated. ;D )