Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas Darling

This year was mine and Nate's first Christmas together. Last year, just a week after proposing, Nate went home to Oregon for Christmas. I missed him a lot, but I would get the biggest smile remembering that I would never again have to celebrate a Christmas without him. And I have to say, Christmas with Nate is the very best!

This year, Nate and I were blessed to celebrate three different Christmases! First, on December 23 we celebrated our own little Christmas-where Santa came early to stuff our stockings! We were both so excited to wake up and give each other the gifts we'd picked out! It was the very best Christmas of my life- and it technically wasn't even Christmas day.

That night it was off to Bend, OR where we spent the next five days celebrating Christmas with the Raus. We were blessed with beautiful snow, great food, and even better company! We were so excited to see Nate's parents, siblings, and all the nieces and nephews. It was a lovely Christmas. I'm so grateful for such wonderful in-laws who made my first Christmas away from home so happy.

On Sunday we got back to Salt Lake, and after a delicious dinner with my family we opened presents and celebrated our third Christmas with them. It was so fun to hang out with all of them, hear about their Christmas, and exchange gifts. It was hard to be away from them on Christmas for the first time in my life, but they were so kind to save some of the celebrating for when Nate and I got home. It was a wonderful night!

Lucky for us, the celebrating isn't over! 4th Christmas will be on January 13th-when this girl gets home. We saved a few presents, and the decorations are still up for that day,  and I have a feeling it will be a very exciting celebration. 

I can easily say that this was the happiest Christmas, and Christmas season of my life. It didn't have anything to do with gifts, or presents-but had everything to do with who I spent it with-Nate. I'm so glad that I get to spend all my Christmases, and all the days between, with him. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Christmastime

It's Christmastime and we couldn't be happier about it around here! We decorated a little bit early, but since then have been busy enjoying different holiday activities. We went to the Festival of Trees, we sewed a couple wonderful (if I do say so myself) stockings, we checked out the lights at Temple Square, we've wrapped presents, addressed Christmas cards, been shopping, made yummy peppermint treats and watched Christmas movies.

Yesterday marked a year since Nate proposed to me, and the magic of that time mixed with the all around happy of Christmas has made for a very wonderful holiday season so far.

Christmas is always my favorite time of year, and this year it has been even more exciting and happy-my first Christmas with Nate.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Nate and I have spent Thanksgiving together before. It was last year, in Bend. 
We had a lovely time. His family was so gracious, and kind.
However-this boy wouldn't talk marriage with me. Here he was inviting me home for a big holiday and he would give me no mention of the future.

One accidently dropped Sierra West Jewelry business card, a happy teeth brushing experience though and I knew, even though wouldn't admit it, that he wanted to marry me.

Less than three weeks later we were engaged-ring and all. 

For all those reasons I love that Thanksgiving.

Luckily-this year, our first married Thanksgiving together, was very different but just as wonderful. We spent the weekend up at my parents house, enjoyed dinner at my darling Aunt's home, watched movies, shopped on Black Friday, decorated for Christmas, and checked out the lights. It was a very peaceful, happy Thanksgiving.

And luckily, just like last year, this guy is the thing I'm most thankful for.

My first time making sweet potatoes was a success!

 The same spot where we got engaged, just shy of a year ago.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Thankful Heart

loud thunderstorms
autumn leaves that crunch
11:00am church
our primary class
cars that work
lazy Sundays
our little, perfect home on our quiet, simple street
white Christmases
our jobs
While You were Sleeping
our Nida
delicious food
vacations to look forward to, and the memory of those had
my education
Nate's education
BYU brownies
a cozy bed
clothes on my back
shoes on my feet
the life we've carved out in "post-byu" provo
friends near and far 
movie dates
love, for me and for those I love
simple acts of kindness
those darling children who made me an aunt
good books
brothers and sisters-in law
pretty things
Mom and Dad Rau, and their welcoming hearts
love letters
my loving, little sisters
hot water
cold pillows
starry nights
righteous, loving parents
general conference
beautiful music
inspiring people
the ocean
the savior, and his atonement
temples and eternal covenants
the book of mormon
a husband who is perfect for me
forehead kisses
twinkle lights
my body, and all it is capable of
that I married my best friend
a loving, caring father in heaven

Lately I've been tempted to compare-vacation days, wardrobes, financial situations, appearances-but there is no joy in that. I've found though that there is great joy in thanksgiving, in recognizing and appreciating all the many blessings that are mine. Some days I look at my life, and although very ordinary to some, it feels overwhelmingly extraordinary. I am so very blessed, and perhaps my greatest blessing is knowing where those blessings come from. God is good, and isn't it such a blessing to know that fact! He is good, kind, and knows me well enough to bless me with what I need, and things that bring me constant joy.

This is my life, and I am incredibly happy and thankful for it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An Afternoon at the Zoo

Nate's been working so hard these past few months studying for the GRE. He finally took it last week, and I couldn't let such a happy occasion pass by without a little celebrating. So, after he was done with it we took off for an afternoon at zoo.

The sun was golden, the animals were active, and the company was the very best.

There are some days where happiness overwhelms me-where I realize more fully than other days that my life is so very blessed. This was one of those days. It could only be described in one word-perfect.

Rau Halloween

In my opinion our first Halloween married called for matching costumes.
So the week of Halloween Nate and I saw online a great costume for a couple-bandits. It was easy to do-just black and white stripped shirts, black masks, and black beanies. We could totally be bandits.

One chalk spray painted t-shirt, two very poorly cut masks later and we had our costume-although my husband thought I looked more like a French person. They weren't as cute as they were online, but we only wore them to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, so they were perfect.

Nate and I spent the evening passing out candy and watching Harry Potter. We felt so grown up being on this side of the door, giving candy to the darling children of our neighborhood. I'm sure there will be plenty of Halloweens where we're walking the neighborhood taking children trick-or-treating in our future-so we really enjoyed this quiet relaxed holiday this year.... plus the extra candy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Rautumn Happenings

What this Autumn has looked like:

A tight election race, in which the Raus were VERY invested. Luckily this year election day came early and our guy won. Although we hate to see Josiah leave the White House, somebody had to take his place, and luckily the guy who won is a quality one. 

Crunchy leaves falling all over our beautiful garden. I didn't think the garden could get more beautiful, but it's kind of stunning the way the leaves fall around the bright flowers. Oh this season!

Beautiful red, orange and yellow patches of vibrate color scattered across our mountains. Oh the mountains in the fall-there are no words to do them justice.

What this Autumn has smelled like:

"Autumn Walk"-the best thing that has ever come out of Walmart

Also that fall smell mixture of fire, chill and leaves. Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about.

What this Autumn has tasted like:

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.
Parmesan Fondue.
and a whole lot of popcorn.

What this Autumn has sounded like:

A crazy amount of crickets outside our open windows
Taylor Swift's "Out of the Wood"-one of us loves to sing it at the top of lungs
Laughter. A lot of laughter.

What this Autumn has felt like:

My favorite season, spent with my favorite person has made me feel a new level of contentment, a new level of peace, and a new level of love for my husband, and of course, for Autumn.

Annual Corn Maze Adventures

The corn maze is an autumn tradition around here.
For the past six years (at least!) I've gone every year, and it probably wouldn't feel like autumn if I didn't go. 

So this year when Mom and Dad offered to take us, we were thrilled to join them (and their 50+ favorite single adults). We went through the maze, played a little ole fashioned tether ball, and even some corn bag toss! It was a perfect autumn evening.