Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Christmas Potluck.

Can I just say how much I love the people I'm doing my student teaching with? I've laughed harder than I have in a long time at our late-night study groups and I've seriously had to kick my cooking skills up a few notches this semester to keep up with them at our amazing potlucks. You see, potlucks are kind of our thing. So, naturally, we decided to have a Christmas potluck and movie night to celebrate the end of the semester. My parents were kind enough to let me volunteer their house for our party, because let's be honest, 10+ people wouldn't have a prayer of fitting in our one-bedroom apartment. So there you have it, my first-ever Christmas potluck!

It was so much fun! I borrowed my mom's Christmas china and made centerpieces to make it extra-festive. The food everyone brought was a-maz-ing! For my contribution, I made these bacon-wrapped chicken bites I found on Pinterest, and warm artichoke dip using my mom's recipe. All of the fun Christmas decorations you see were already up. (I love how my mom decorates for Christmas, especially because it reminds me of Christmas growing up!)

After we ate (and ate and ate...) we watched the movie Freedom Writers. That movie makes me want to be the best teacher in the world! If you haven't seen it, there's this one scene where the teacher has her students make a "toast for change" at the end of the year. At the end of the movie, one of my friends busted out Martinelli's and little glasses for us to make our own toasts for the coming year! It was the perfect end to a perfect evening.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This free printable from the blog eighteen25 is making our home super festive right now. Is anyone else as excited for the new year as I am?! Maybe it's because I'm really looking forward to the New Years Eve party we're going to, or maybe it's because I'm excited to start 2012 off with a clean slate. But I really think it's because I know 2012 has a whole lot of crazy adventures and new beginnings in store for us, and I can't wait to experience all of it. I can hardly believe this is the year I'll graduate from college!

Every year around this time, D and I make New Years resolutions. This is something we've been doing together since we were dating and I really like it. We each make our own personal goals for the new year and share them with each other, and then we make a set of goals for us as a couple to accomplish in the coming year. (One year, one of our goals was to get married! It was fun to check that one off the list :). I love sitting down and talking about how we can improve our lives and strengthen our relationship together. If you haven't tried it with your significant other, we recommend it! 

Here are a few of our resolutions for the coming year:
  1. Make new traditions together.
  2. Go on more little dates.
  3. Be more active.
  4. Attend the temple once a month.

Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you keep them? What are some of your goals for 2012?

P.S. Some tips for making your resolutions this year: make sure they are specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, and that you have a time-frame in mind that you are going to accomplish them by. I'd also recommend not making more of them than you think you can keep! (I'm totally guilty of that). Write them down, and post them somewhere you'll see them often. Happy goal-setting!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Nativity

We Sorensens go all-out for the Christmas Eve nativity.
Can you tell?

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas!

I've already put away all of our Christmas decorations - can you believe it? Does that make me a Scrooge? Don't get me wrong, I love our Christmas tree (and its box, and all of the other decorations) but they were all taking up too much space over here and making me feel a little bit claustrophobic. But I can breathe now! Woo hoo! Bring on the new year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Sorry it's been a little quiet on the blog front lately. Finals week almost did me in, I had a huge teacher-test to take (I passed!), and I've been under the weather this past week. I'm so excited to finally be finished and feeling better so I can enjoy the holidays with family and friends. So, without further ado, here are a few snapshots of our holiday decor this year. I promise it's been up since December 1st :)
We hope you're all having a fantastic Christmas Eve! Now that we're home from our festivities, Daniel and I are cuddled up on the sofa watching The Polar Express together. It's super relaxing. We've got our Merry Mistletoe candle lit, and our Christmas tree is on in the corner. We're so excited to open up that pile of presents under the tree tomorrow morning! If there's a Christmas song that can sum up our relaxing Christmas Eve, it would be O Holy Night as performed by Mercy Me. It's one of my favorite Christmas songs this year (and last year, and the year before). Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas posts from last year here, here and here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

a month of mini miracles!

This is so crazy, I just have to blog about it.

D and I have been having a lot of car problems lately. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Since my last car issues post, there have been some serious (and expensive) brake issues on D's car, and some new tires plus an alignment issue on my car. So when D called me the other day to let me know his power steering had mysteriously gone about sent me over the edge. We took it to a shop to get it diagnosed and they told us how much it would cost to fix it. It much. So we drove the car home (sans power steering) to do some thinking.

This is where the miracle comes in.

I was, of course, complaining to my brother and my mom the other day about how many car issues we have had this year, and gave them the latest installment about D's poor car. My brother Tommy (who is about to win the brother-of-the-year award because of this story) reminded me that he is taking an auto shop class at Highland, and he offered to take the car there and see if they could fix it for free. We'd only have to pay for the part! I was excited. I told Tommy what was wrong so he could do some research, but what he found turned out to be even better than I imagined. While he was searching for information, he found out that there had been an unpublicized recall on several of Saturn Ion models that had the EXACT same issue that D's car had! Tommy compared the specs of D's car to those listed on the recall, called the dealership, and figured out all the details for us. The best news? Our car ended up qualifying for the recall, so they fixed the entire issue completely for free.

The way I see it, there are two morals to this story.

1. My little brother Tommy is the best person ever.

2. Miracles are real, but you can only experience them during the times when you actually need a miracle.

Lately, I've been thinking about how all of our trials are really just blessings in disguise. For example, if we hadn't had this car problem, we wouldn't have experienced a "mini miracle" that strengthened our testimonies and our faith. The things we go through, big or small, shape us into better people. We become more thankful, more prayerful, and more humble than we were before.

Other "mini miracles" from this month include:

Getting sick (twice!), and somehow not having to miss a single day of work or school. I'm also now thankful every single day that I can eat things without feeling sick, and that I can breathe out of my nose! I didn't appreciate those things enough before.

Having more homework than hours in the day, but somehow getting it finished on time. And even getting good scores! That's a miracle if I've ever seen one, but I wouldn't have experienced it if I hadn't had a ridiculous amount homework.

Buying 200ft of brown kraft paper (to wrap Christmas gifts this year) the very day before our candle incident. We needed that brown paper so badly to help us clean up the wax! I have no idea what we would have done without it. Coincidence? Nope. Mini miracle.

Waking up late on the day of an extremely important exam because my alarm didn't go off, but somehow making it to school in record time. If you live in Holladay, you know it's unheard of to leave your house at 7:17, and be parked at the U by 7:28. It hasn't happened to me again before or since.

So this month, we are grateful for mini miracles. Now that they've been on my mind lately, I keep seeing them everywhere. So look for mini miracles in your life! I'm sure you'll find more than you think :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

how to get candle wax off carpet 101

D and I (mostly me) learned something new today. Well, a couple of things, actually. First, I learned that you should never, ever leave a candle on the carpet - even if it's on a candle warmer. Second, I learned that candles can shatter from the bottom while they are on candle warmers for absolutely no reason at all. Third, I learned how to clean candle wax off of the carpet using an iron and paper bags - a skill I thought I would share with the world because it completely saved our bums today after our "candle incident."

Honestly, I have no idea how it happened. First there was a loud popping sound, then out of nowhere half of a melted candle was soaking into our bedroom carpet. Half is also not an exaggeration. Did I mention the candle was purple? It was purple.

So what does one do in a situation like that? Generally freak out in my case, and remain totally cool and calm in D's case.

M: "How on earth does that happen!??!?!!!!"
D: "I've heard of it happening before."
M: "Why didn't you tell me!??!!!?!"
D: "Because...I don't know. Do you want to google this or should I?"

So I turned to google. The first video I watched was hilarious, but not in a good way. If you watch it, picture me, completely panicked, sitting there listening to them list off the 423 supplies you will need to get the wax off the carpet. Oh, and then if it's colored wax, you will probably have to call "the professionals." Thanks for the faith.

The second site I tried told us to wait until the wax dried and scrape it off with a butter knife. Nope. That worked about as well as me staring at the wax and wishing it would go away.

After a few more failed google attempts, I let Daniel look it up while I did the only other thing I could think of. I called my mom. She only laughed at me a little bit, but she gave us some awesome ideas that turned out to be very similar to what Daniel found online. Moms know everything.

To make a long story short (too late) we spent the majority of our Tuesday evening ironing purple candle wax off the bedroom carpet with paper bags. Although everything within 10 feet of the "incident" still smells like lilacs, I am pretty impressed with how it turned out! Assuming our apartment manager doesn't read my blog, I don't think we'll lose the security deposit over this one. phew.

Here's a video of our escapades to show you what to do if you happen to spill half of a melted candle on your carpet.

Oh, and we also learned that going to get Maverick hot chocolate with our animal hats on can make even the worst evenings more bearable :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are so thankful for you.

photo from last year.

Today, we're headed to my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm bringing the rolls! I've been baking all morning, and the apartment smells absolutely heavenly. Cross your fingers that they turn out okay!

Today, I'm grateful for so many things:

Our families, because they support us in everything we do
Our jobs
The Prophet, and that he is in our ward
The Church, because it brings so much good into our lives
Our Heavenly Father, because he loves us
The Scriptures, because they guide our lives
Being able to work with children
Our apartment
The Internet
Picture messaging
Smart phones
Daniel, because he loves me and he is my very best friend
Eternal marriage
Answers to prayers
My students
Kind people
Warm clothes in the winter
Yummy food
Our health
Sickness, because it makes you appreciate being healthy that much more
Our cars
Our camera, because it documents our life together
Our sweet friends who are always there for us

We hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving filled with lots of turkey, pie, family, and relaxing!

P.S. We had pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning - it's a Jacobsen family tradition! The Sorensens have a tradition of deep frying a turkey every year. Soooo yummy! What are your Thanksgiving Day traditions?

P.P.S Last year's thankful list and our very first Thanksgiving together :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a dinner date.

This past weekend, D and I went on a fun little date to one of my favorite restaurants, The Dodo. Have you eaten there? We think it's wonderful. It's the perfect mix of casual and upscale, plus, the food is to die for.


One of my favorite things to get there for dessert is the Toll House Pie. It's basically a pie that tastes just like a chocolate chip cookie served warm with vanilla ice cream on top. It's little a slice of heaven. However, we ended up skipping the Toll House Pie in favor of another treat that we've never seen on their menu before - The Butterfinger Cheesecake. Oh. My. Gosh. Will you believe me when I say that the entire table of people next to us got up to see what we ordered when they saw our reaction? Will you also appreciate that a lady from that table offered to take a picture of us with the pie? It's all true. I have photo evidence to prove it.

Told you.

And the pie was one of the best things we've ever eaten. So if you're in need of a tasty meal in the SLC area, head over to The Dodo. We highly recommend it :).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spiritual Directory Assistance

I don't do a whole lot of spiritual posts on my blog, but when I saw this on a friend's blog, I thought it was worth posting. Just in case someone might need it. Sometimes life is really hard. We all need a little bit of "directory assistance" sometimes.
Whatever you're going through, just know that you can do it.
You aren't alone, even if it seems like it sometimes.
He is always there.
All we need to do is ask.

Monday, November 7, 2011

stages of first year teaching.

Guess where I am right now?
And it doesn't look like things are going to look up soon either, according to the graph.

By the probably think this is some fake graph I pulled off of the Internet to make myself feel better. Nope. I actually had to memorize it for an exam I had in my Classroom Management Class. 

See you in May.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 A few weeks ago, we celebrated my 22nd birthday with a wonderful mix of chinese take out, family, friends, flowers, presents, and ice cream pie. (I'm not a big fan of cake, so my mom has made me ice cream pies for my birthday ever since I was little!) It was such a fun, relaxing evening. Aren't those flowers from D so beautiful? They really reminded me of fall.

Also, can you believe I got this fortune in my fortune cookie on my birthday? What could be better?!

I really wish I had brought my camera to school on my birthday. My darling (and very sneaky) 6th graders found out it was my birthday, and they threw me my first ever surprise party! They all hid under their desks after we came back from lunch, and they jumped out and yelled "SURPRISE!" They even brought cake and presents!! My favorite part was the sweetest handmade card they presented to me after the party. It started out as just one folded piece of paper, but more kids wanted to sign it so they stapled more paper onto the back. The notes my students wrote me almost made me cry! They were all so sweet.

The next day, D and I went out to dinner at Tucanos with friends. If you haven't been, it's one of our favorites! It just so happens that I share a birthday with our friend Laird, and Emma's birthday is only one day later! 

I've known Emma since elementary school, and our husbands just so happen to be best friends too! She gave me the sweetest shout out on her blog for my birthday, so I wanted to send her a little love as well. All the pictures she posted are exactly how I remember high school, and she's in every single one. We truly have been through everything together. I love this girl so much! 

 Daniel & John
 Laird & Daniel
It was an excellent triple-birthday bash. We ate way too much meat at Tucanos, and then carved some  awesome pumpkins together. My favorite is John's white pumpkin carved like Jack Skellington - how cool is that?!

Thanks everyone for all of your sweet birthday wishes. I felt so loved! I have the best friends and family in the world!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


D and I had a fabulous Halloween this year. As you can see, we went to our parties dressed as SWAT and CSI! Yay for homemade costumes! In case you haven't gotten your costume fix yet, here are some of our fabulous friends from the ward party we went to:

From top to bottom: An army man, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell, an 80's girl and a mullet man, Puff the Magic Dragon and Batman, and some ninja children, belonging to Puff and Batman. Regrettably not pictured are a pair of awesome Waldos and a fantastic Lady Gaga. We had such a fun time! The ward party was also very nicely documented on Sydney's cute blog, in case you'd like to see more pictures!

We also carved some sweet pumpkins, of course.
Can you guess who's is who's?

How was your Halloween? What did you dress up as?

Friday, October 28, 2011

our trip to the pumpkin patch.

I'm not sure what it is about Halloween, but it's one of my very favorite holidays. Maybe it's the weather, the decorations, the colors, the candy, the parties, the dressing up, the scary movies, the haunted houses, or the pumpkins. Or maybe it's the fact that my birthday is 4 days before Halloween. Either way, this is one of my favorite times of the year!

One of our favorite Halloween traditions is visiting the pumpkin patch at Rosewood Gardens every year. It's such a fun place! Every year it's filled to the brim with Halloween decorations, hay bales, gourds, and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. There's even a cat that wanders up and down the paths!

We had a fantastic time picking out our pumpkins together at the pumpkin patch. We found some great ones and we're excited to carve them with friends tonight!

What are your favorite Halloween traditions? Do you carve pumpkins? Where do you get them?

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