Sometimes I catch myself staring at my engagement ring- in the grocery store, at church, in class, at a diamondbacks game where the lights are incredibly bright and make my ring SPARKLE... etc. When Stu and I first got engaged, I never stopped looking at it. I admit I was completely dazzled by how sparkly it is. I figured I was allowed this distraction for a few months, but here I am, still completely dazzled. My checkout lady at Safeway was staring at her ring in between customers and I asked her if she had just gotten married and she laughed and said she's been married for 3 years, she just loves looking at her ring. I guess I'm hopeless.

A few months ago, Stu and I were watching a show on discovery channel (?) and there was an old man talking about the composition of precious stones. He said that diamonds come from the explosion and scattering of star particles, where the core of giant stars are hot enough to transform the carbon into the sparkly things we women love. I don't think that's where all diamonds come from, I know they can be formed from carbon with intense heat and pressure on earth, but I choose to believe mine came from a star :) Maybe that's why I am so drawn to it...

Stuart pointed out that it's been a year since he proposed, September 26th, 2008. The day he gave me a star. When I first put saw the ring on my finger, I was a bawl baby. I was so happy! He wanted me. He loved me. With that ring, he promised me forever. And I wore it proudly, as a declaration to the world that I was his. I finally got to give Stuart his ring when we exchanged them in the Mesa Temple a few months later, I was ecstatic finally able see it on his finger.

I love what our rings mean [not just that they sparkle, although it is an added bonus]...
love. happiness. support. faith. forever.

p.s. last night as I was rushing to the checkout at the grocery store, I got cut off by an old man who had at least 30 cans of Fancy Feast and one tube of Preparation H. That's all. Hmm, nothing like a balanced diet..



meet dallas and kelsey hammond.
one of my favorite shoots.
their love for each other was sweet, tangible, and so easy to capture on camera.


tivo, we love you

I love living in the "technological age" sometimes. Yesterday was really one of those times.

reason #1:
I am a filer at work. I file. ("I'm a sailor. I sail." name that movie...) I make sense of mess and organize it for other people. It's really an *exciting job. So sometimes I like to listen to music to make it even more exciting [thank you pandora]. Yesterday I sat in my corner [whilst filing] and listened to conference talks from my phone. Seriously. It is the greatest thing ever, I have the "mormon radio" app on my iPhone and I can listen to conference talks, Ensign articles, or MoTab all to my hearts content. Or until my battery died. Amazing.

reason #2:
Stu and I love Biggest Loser and The Office. Well, we missed Loser because we decided to be studious students so as to not fail our tests this week. That's where TiVO came in. We watched both shows last night at Kev and Jodie's [while munching on a delicous dinner of carne, black beans and quinoa, homemade guac and salsa.. mmmmm] We don't have TV or TiVO, or DVR which is technically what it's really called? That's where parents come in handy :) So we watched Biggest Loser and The Office back to back and fast forwarded through all the commercials [except the funny ones], ahhh bliss.

k Loser this week was phenomenal!! I love this group of people, they are amazing and so strong. They are so ready to change their lives-to be better parents to their children, to live out their lives, to be happy. I hear a lot of stuff against this show-like "how did they ever let themselves get to that point?" or "why can't they just control themselves, why did they have to be on a tv show to help themselves?" Well I don't look at it that way. We all need help sometimes, [that's kind of the principle of the atonement] and these people are strong enough to admit it to the world and work with each other and their trainers to make themselves better-for their families, for themselves.

This last episode was by far one of my favorites. I cried a LOT. There was a part of the show that really stuck with me: Bob was working out with Shay [the biggest person who has ever been on the show, she was 470+ pounds] and he asked her why she was doing it, why she wanted this. She just said, "I want to be happy" and he told her that she deserved it. He made her say it.
"I deserve to be happy."
It was so hard for her to say, because all of her life she had heard otherwise, she had told herself otherwise. It hit me with such force [thank you hollywood directors] and just made me think... I may not be 300 lbs overweight, but sometimes I too hold myself back from being happy. It's only for short periods, but I get way too caught up about my appearance, my ineptitude at being the perfect housewife/yw leader, my serious talent in finding ways to waste time, the few extra pounds that seem to like my midsection and backside... These things tend to bring be down. Whis is so silly, because I LOVE my life, but the icky small stuff just always finds a way into my head. Bleh, I hate it. But I can't seem to help it either.

So I've decided this is my mantra this week: "I deserve to be happy."
My goal for this week is to quit stressing about the little stuff. I'm gonna be happy with myself.
[Okay, I actually didn't mean for the post to go here, but it just kind of came out. sorry sorry.]

Basically, thank you iPhone and TiVO for making my day uplifting, inspiring, and **humerous.

(*=sarcasm, **=due to The Office)


photographic testimony

I just watched the slideshow for Mark Mabrys' new photo series, Another Testament of Christ-Reflections of Christ. I know I should be studying, [i have a test in 3 hours] but I just had to share this with all of you. What an incredible talent to be able to capture your testimony and love for the Savior in just a few pictures. Maybe you remember from a while back, my sister and I were able to take part in the angel scene- it was amazing to see what he did to the images, he truly captured angelic beings with his camera. There is an open exhibit tomorrow night in Gilbert from 6-9pm (1005 N. Voyager Drive - Gilbert, AZ 85234), try to go if you can, I know it will be a great exerience.

to view the slideshow, go here:
Another Testament of Christ. By Mark Mabry.


gahh... school.

not one, not two, but THREE tests this week... thank you microbio and anatomy.

Is it sad that i'm wishing for winter break already?


loving on...

...so many things right now.

this guy.

colored tights.

hand-stamped charms.

taking pictures.

string cheese.

the hannah montana movie [surprisingly] and this song.

my toms. best shoes ever. [if only they were this color]

the temperature is dropping, slowly but surely. i can feel it.

mmmmm sleep. insert me here.
gorgeous necklace.. want. it. now.

just finished. loved it.

fabric yo-yos. can't stop making them. so addicting.

her blog. makes me laugh, think, cry... laugh. love it.

the reuinitification of these guys. love their new stuff.

so excited for this new season! go abby and coach mo!

mmmmmm luna bar.

best non-fresh squeezed o.j.

acai. so delish. but so expensive. why?
[sambazon brand is legit, stu even liked it and he's true brazilian. kind of.]

the office.

Stu and I are roadtripping it to Provo this weekend where we will be loving on some...

cougar football! of course.

college friends.

and most definitely some jdawgs. ohh yes.

have a great weekend and cheer on the cougs!


thought for today

"if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain"


Like Dress Up?

Need a costume?
A wedding/prom/bridesmaid dress?
An alteration?

My stepmom, Rebecca Willcox, is an amazing seamstress [she made my wedding dress, without a pattern], she works with costume design at the Hale Theater, and now she runs her own costume shop! She rents and sells costumes all year round and has the most fun assortment of costumes imaginable!

Visit her website here!

Perfect for Halloween or any other event! Buying or making your own costume can get expensive or frustrating... Avoid all the mess and check out what she has, you won't be disappointed!


i've been taking pictures...

... but I haven't been putting them up on the photo blog.
Here are some recent pictures, with two more shoots on the way.

[niece and nephew]

click here to see more. let me know what you think!



This day did NOT start out well...

In the morning when I left for class and almost got in a MONDO accident not even a mile away from our home! I had to swerve major to avoid getting hit and still got nicked a bit on the drivers side. I peeled for the first time in my life [which I used to think was soo cool like on fast and furious... yeah, not cool.] The other driver sped off while I pulled into a parking lot completely shaken up and crying hysterically. Stuart drove over to me just a few minutes later after hearing my mini freak out on the phone and asking me a hundred times if I was okay. [i love him] He also reminded me to say a prayer of gratitude.

All I could say was the same thing over and over again, but I felt so much calm come over me. I was still crying when Stu found me, and I was still shaking pretty bad, but it had hit me just how much I have to be grateful for.

After about fifteen minutes of a good tight hug from Stu, I felt okay. He is the greatest really. I don't know what it is, but I am instantly happier when he's around. I feel lighter, more capable, more myself, and just better. I'm sure so many of you know what I mean. I still had to go to my class, so I reluctantly got back in the car after another squeezy hug from Stu. He told me I'd be alright, just put on some feel good music and don't think about it. And although I drove a mere 35mph the rest of the way to school, I am okay.

I hate it when it takes things like this, scary things to make us see everthing in a different light. I wish I could recognize and appreciate all the wonderful things around me, all the time. I like jotting down little "gratitude lists" every once in a while, I feel so much better and tend to complain less after one of my list. So here goes:

Today I am grateful for...

-hannah montana's "party in the USA"
-traffic laws
-my Stuart, who is my version of Mr. Wonderful
-diet coke
-tight, squeezy hugs
-messages from best friends
-my family
-my Savior, my faith
-the weekend
-beautiful pictures
-cookies and milk for lunch
-the brave men and women who serve our country

Obviously there are so many more things that I am grateful for, but this is my here and now version.

life is great.


love cupcakes?

Put on one of these:
[or some other super sweet AZ Cardinals attire]

And get one of these:
for free!

They're giving out free cupcakes until 7pm at the Scottsdale store just for wearing some Cardinals stuff! Click on the link for more info. Mmmmm red velvety goodness, you get in my belly....



Dear greatest weekend ever,
Why are you over? I sometimes just wish sometimes that I could have a remote, like the one on CLICK so I could fast forward through school and the boring weekdays and slow the weekends down. Okay, I wish this a LOT. Maybe we can work out a deal?
Dear man who throws knives round for a living,
You made Stu's 4th birthday dinner bomb-dot-com. Your impressive [and FAST] julienes of zuchinni, mushrooms, and perfectly delicious steak gave us quite the show.

Stu was like a kid in a candy store, he couldn't keep his eyes off of you. I think you are his new hero.
And your onion steamy train thing was awesome! [anyone remember the office, "a benihana christmas?" seriously the greatest episode.]

We made some great friends whilst in your presence. Thank you for giving yourself an Asian last name to better fit into your surroundings. Randy Li? Riiiight.. You really had us fooled. We'll be visiting you again! [just as soon as we get another free meal for our birthday...]
Dear Kevin and Joann,
Thank you SO SO SOOO SO much for the opportunity you gave us to go to Texas and see the Cougs play! We will never forget the trip as long as we live, it was a blast! You are the greatest!
We love you!!!
Dear Texas,
We flew early Saturday morning to make it to the game you would be hosting later that night. Just let me say, you are beautiful. I wish I had taken more pictures of your gorgeousness. You were so much more green than I expected. And the houses! oh. my. gosh. Where in Arizona will you ever see house after house of beautiful red brick or stone? Gahh if I didn't hate humidity and chiggers so much, I think I might be pleading for Stuart to move us to your state. But alas, I love my Arizona.
Dear architects of the new Cowboys stadium,
We applaud you. We got to visit for the first game ever played in your creation. Hello, amazing. BYU vs Oklahoma, woot woot. Really big deal.
The stadium is HUGE!
Your jumbotron is genius. HD quality 60 yards wide. Wow.
You did great. Thank you for making our game-watching even THAT much better.
Dear BYU fans,
We did well. I am sure that at least 90% of the seats were filled with OU fans. Talk about being outnumbered.
But we held our own. It was so cool hearing everyone get crazy after the first cougar touchdown. The cheers erupted out of our little blue corner and filled the stadium. It was incredible.
I love Zoobies. and Zoobie parents. Don't you know my kids aren't leaving the house unless they're dressed like this! So adorable.
Dear Max,
Your game was ON Saturday night. Thank you for being amazing. That is all.
p.s. that last TD pass to Jacobson was brilliant. [did you know Stu and Max played together at Mountain View? Max was QB and Stu was a receiver. Basically he's famous.]

Dear Sam Bradford,
I felt kinda really sad for you when we were watching SportsCenter after the game. I heard that you are most likely out of the running for the Heisman this year since you will be out for at least 4 weeks. I do kinda hate that the win was overshadowed by your injury, but I guess you're kind of a big deal.
I am sorry. Please get better soon.
Dear Cougars,
Oh my GOSH that was an amazing game! I was seriously on the edge of my seat the WHOLE time! [okay that's not true, Stu and I were standing most of the game because we are true blue and were just too excited] But really, that was intense! So many people didn't even give us an ounce of a chance of winning this game. But you did it!
This is after the time ran out and you decided to celebrate on the field. [note the score]
Stu and I snapped a picture in all of the madness, we wanted to capture the moment forever! [note: look at the stands behind us, the OU fans started clearing out of the stadium once the the Cougs stonewalled their attempt to score one more time.]
BCS here we come!!!
I was really sad that you didn't start the game off with the Hakka, but I was overjoyed when you started gathering up to do it after the win. I LOVE the Hakka!
Such happiness.
Just in case you didn't see the score, here it is again. WAHOOOOO! No joke, this was better than Christmas for my Stu. He was sooo excited. It was an incredible game. Keep up the wins Cougs, we're looking to buy bowl tickets this year! [BYU moved up to 9th place in national rankings!]

With love and admiration,
Stu and Angie Milne

p.s. this post took FOREVER because of the stupid rounded edges on all the pictures. Never doing that again.