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 :)

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