Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Gifts

Christmas was an overall not so very Christmas-y day for me.

It is unfortunate, to say the least, that I was a perfect Grinch or more perfectly accurate Scrooge.

There were many times throughout the day where I just wanted to say "humbug" and go back to sleep and wait until the Christmas Day was over.

I woke up Christmas morning with a huge headache and a very irritable mood. I partially blame my irritable mood based on the irritable mood I was in Christmas Eve. To save hurt feelings among family I will just simply say the way I viewed Christmas Day activities was different than others, and it bothered me deeply.

My hubby and I had a long conversation before bed and I concluded that since Christmas was about love and Family I would forget what bothered me and go to sleep.

Apparently I didn't have any messengers during the night to remind me of the good things I had going for me.

I started dinner in the crock-pot which as you may have guessed I got from Pintrest. It just may become one of Dax's and my first Christmas traditions!


See how this meal is Christmas colors?
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
1.1-oz pkg.Lipton beefy onion soup mix
3 c. onion, sliced
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. water

Arrange steak in a crockpot. Sprinkle soup mix over steaks; arrange onion slices all around. Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or on high setting for 6 hours. Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. Mix together flour and water; add to slow cooker and stir until thickened. Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
The meal above is from Crokin' Moms: Crock Pot Blog
I used my moms recipe and just applied it to the crock pot method. :) My mom's recipe is below:
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
 onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Tenderize steak with the back of a knife and then brown in a skillet on both sides. Season. In an electric skillet  arrange onion slices all around, Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook at 200 degrees for 2 and 1/2 hours.  Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. . Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servin
My mom always served this meal with mashed potatoes and I think it's a perfect complement. To get the green color into this meal I did another recipe from Cassie's blog "Back to her Roots"
ooooo SOOO yummy! 
My husband and I loved these! The apple offsets the slight bitter taste to the Brussels sprouts and the bacon adds a contrast texture to the anything with bacon is it is an automatic "must try".  From Cassie's blog:
Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and like most cabbage, contain sulfur. The longer the Brussels cook, the stronger the sulfur smell and taste become. Not good eats for kids (or adults). Avoid the dreaded kid spit out by roasting these babies until they are just tender and brown.
Serves 4-6


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large tart apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a large bowl, combine sprouts, apple and bacon and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Pour olive oil mixture over sprout mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Pour out the sprout mixture in one layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, or until sprouts are tender and brown.

 Anyway, back to my Scrooge Holiday...

So I had tenderized my round steak for browning and I coated them in a little flour with salt and pepper and then added them to the hot oil in my frying pan. As they were browning I reached to get my tongs and they weren't there! I looked for a little while and in panic asked my husband where he put it (bad move on my part- never start anything with an accusation!) He said he didn't remember even washing it. 
I didn't believe him because if they weren't  where they usually were he MUST have washed them and did what he usually does: puts items away but where they don't belong. 
I grabbed a spatula and flipped my steak over. 
A light bulb went on in my husbands head. He remembered (unlike me) that we had left our tongs in the salad bowl when we went over to a friends apartment for dinner. He took it out, washed it off, handed it to me, and then went back into out bedroom.
I felt awful. 
After I finished browning I added the steak into the crock pot and went to apologize to my sweet husband who only is ever trying to help and I tried to bite his head off with my accusations. 
Like always he forgave me instantly and I still felt awful since he is so good and I am so...spoiled rotten to have him. :)
I went back to slicing some onions, adding the tomato sauce and dices, rinsing out the cans into  the mixture as well to get every pennies worth of the sauce that clung to the sides of the can. After I set the crock pot on low for 8 hours I went to get ready. 
I was having a bad hair day. 
No matter what I did with it, it turned out horrible. Tried putting it in a pony tail, tried a twisted pony tail, tried curling half of it, and ended up washing out the hair spray angrily and putting on the hat my sister had made for me for Christmas. 
For sure at this moment my husband could tell there was something wrong. 
On the ride to his families house he asked me what was wrong and I said that despite it being Christmas I was just having a bad day. 
He told me not to have a bad day. 
Huffily I said "Well I'm trying not to but nothing seems to be going right today and I already started off in a bad mood because of last night,"
Then we forgot all the presents I made his family.
We turned back to get them and continued on. 
 For the most part, in silence the rest of the way. 
His family only lives a few minutes away from our apartment, so it wasn't much of a drive. 
They had already opened all their presents and most of them were having seconds sleeps. They had breakfast all ready to dive into when we got there and my sleepy mother-in-law on her way to give me a hug scratched my forehead. 
It was actually quite humorous since she was sleepy. She only had one eye open and was swaying like a drunk person. It was probably the first time I smiled that day. 
We ate and then I gave out Dax and my presents to those who were "present". For all the brothers I gave them shirts with animals I had bleached on with a Clorox bleach pen I I forgot to take pictures of them before I gave them!) Which I got the idea also from pintrest
(Go to Dora's blog for more details: click here
They were quick and easy and super fun! 
And then for all the sisters I made them bags! Just like the one I made for myself on a previous blog post
Ronnies Outside

Ronnies Inside

Jades outside 

Jade's Inside

Tess's Outside

Tess's strap! I loved how it turned out!

I loved how all of my bags turned out! I made one for my sister Ruby and my best friend Tylene but these are my favorites by far! By Ronnie's bag I became a pro bag maker ;)

I made my sister a large queen blanket. It's green and has a soft fuzzy lining! 

After giving gifts and receiving a few I had a much more calm attitude but I also gained a headache. 

The problem I saw Christmas Eve ended up working itself out, I got to lay around all Christmas at my second home and then I got to end Christmas with the most wonderful man eating awesome food and watching the "Miracle on 34th Street."

So overall fretting over the little prickly things don't really matter but being apart of the little sweet things do. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy almost 2013! 

Where did the year go?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Hard Lesson to learn

Hey all!
On the last post I said that I was going to be more grateful and spend more meaningful time with my family during the month of Thanks and Giving. I got to about day 5. Everyday I added something new to what I already wanted to do. Examples were:
Day One: Spend More Time with family. Day one didn't work out so well seeing as the instant I woke up I got on the computer and spent most of my day on it doing a super organized outline of Dax's classes for him. It ended up being longer than expected, but on the bright side I was grateful for the gift of creativity I have been given to use.
Day Two: To be more creative. Day two was a pass and fail. I had an amazing dream the night before and ended up typing out quite a few pages. I resisted the urge to check Facebook when I was bored. I tried to spend more time with Family but unforgettably in this day-in-age everything is being transferred to electric devices: work applications, shopping, and even family time with things such as movies or video games. While all of  these the aforementioned are useful and enjoyable I just wanted to spend pure time with my family in the month of November.
Day Three: Service. Dax and I had the opportunity to watch his 3 youngest siblings while his parents went to his moms high school reunion. I had so much fun with them! We went and saw "Wreck It Ralph" which was a really cute movie and I would recommend seeing it sometime in the future! I made them super tasty  BLTs with a quick way to make Bacon that I learned from Pintrest.

Baked Bacon
 Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F if you're cooking thin, or regular-cut bacon. If you want to bake thick-cut bacon, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with sides with heavy-duty foil. Arrange the bacon on the pan, side-by side, being sure not to overlap the pieces.  to give the bacon that pretty 'ridged' look he wads and unfolds the foil first so it is wavy, then arranges the bacon on it. That gives the fat somewhere to go so the bacon isn't sitting in the fat as it cooks. This method also shapes the bacon while baking.
Bake the thin-cut bacon for 12-17 minutes for thin-cut, or until desired crispness. I myself like my bacon very crisp, so I bake it 16-18 minutes.
For thick bacon, bake for 10 minutes, then turn the bacon with tongs. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 12-17 minutes longer or until the bacon is browned.
And then you remove all the bacon from the oven and it's suggested to use paper towel to pat off any extra oil but since I baked it there wasn't a whole lot. I used extra sourdough bread, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. I made sure not to toast the bread as I like to do with most of my sandwiches since I was already going to have a nice crunch with the bacon. 
I loved making bacon this way especially for family dinner! I didn't have to cook bacon and make individual sandwiches for everybody so that there bacon wouldn't get too cold. I just cooked it all at once, already had the bread slices prepped, added the bacon, and we all got to sit together and eat!
Day Four: Stretching my Comfort Zone. Today just happened to be a Sunday. Quite a few Latter Day Saint families try to exclude electronic devices unless they are Christ centered or gospel related to keep the Sabbath day holy. Other family may not do this and that's alright as long as we are trying to keep the Sabbath a Holy Day. Dax and I have decided that this is a tradition we believe will help us stay closer to Christ on this special day of the week. Also as I have seen, by doing this, we get closer to one another and the spirit as well. Dax's family just happens to have the same tradition and so it was easier to spend quality time with them. Dax, Tess, Brent and I played the game "Scum" . I was having so much fun it was coming out my eyes. I haven't laughed that hard for a while it seemed. I was "President" at least 3 or 4 times in a row and I would make Tess and Brent laugh by the silly things I would say I would do as president. Later that evening I tried another recipe I found from Pintrest which didn't turn out as good as I would have liked. It was way too spicy. 

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

Serves 4-6
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes ( I think with the chili powder I might just eliminate this, especially for those who don't like much or any spice. It was a little too spicy, and if you happen to taste it before letting it cook and it dosn't taste spicy enough don't add more. The flavors will all be brought out as it cooks for a few hours during the day!)
2 tsp yellow mustard

Hot dog or hamburger buns

1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off most of the fat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
2. In the crock pot, combine all remaining ingredients except buns and butter. Add the ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. When beef is ready to serve, butter buns. Broil until tops are golden brown, about 1 minute.
4. Spoon the ground beef onto the buns and serve. Enjoy!
Since this Sunday was the first of the month it is what is known as "Fast Sunday". Not because Church goes by faster or anything but because of the sacrifices we are willing to make to feel the spirit more and to gain more blessings. It is also a day to share your testimony, if you wish or are prompted to do so. (To learn more about Fast Sunday/ Testimony Meeting  click here). Today I bore my testimony. I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared what I believed in in front of the whole congregation. I felt that it was what I needed to do: to share my gratitude for the savior and what he has done for me. 
Little Did I know what was to happen next...
As life always seems to go when things seem almost right and perfect in the world a storm comes. 
What I am about to share is extremely personal and may make you feel uncomfortable. If it does please fill free to stop reading or to just skip the next couple of paragraphs. 
Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, whatever you may want to call him doesn't want us to have all the most beautiful and precious things of this world. And he'll do anything to stop you from getting them. He'll even drag that old sin that you put in your closest with a big "DO NOT TOUCH" sign. That sin that you packed away carefully and signed a contract never to look at again but it will always be there every time you open the door to remind you of how much it hurt and how much you don't want to go there again. 
When you begin to improve and get closer to God doing the things he wants you to do; when you are patterning your life after Him, alarms sound off. Satan becomes frightened because your dormant attitude about the Gospel and Jesus Christ is developing. So what does he do? He goes to your closest, dusts off that sin you've sworn never to touch, cleans it up, and wraps it in a very eye catching, thought provoking package and presents it to you. 
Satan knows just as well as God the things your heart desires most. The difference: Satan distorts what is your pure desires and makes them ugly and distasteful  so that you no longer want to go there. God will bless you with a high calling encouraging you to go forth and develop.
I want children more than anything. 
I've been trying the past couple of months to eat healthier  exercise, and spiritually grow so that when the time to have kids is right I am prepared. I will be able to give them every physical and spiritual thing they need. I can teach them of the atonement and what it means to me. I can teach them right from wrong and how much Jesus loves you even if you think you don't deserve it. 
One day Satan drug out my old sin from the closest. It wasn't on a computer but on my phone. It was photographs but literature. It was the same sin, but in a different package. I have no desire to seek these things out, but with idle searching they seek you out. I was simply researching how to refurbish a hard couch into a nice fluffy couch when a headline of a story stuck out to me. There was nothing about couches and two links down was this story. 
My fault: clicking on it to satisfy my curiosity. Could there really be a story like this? Is this true?
As I read I was horrified, shocked, and disgusted, and yet I still read. 
I read a few paragraphs before I ended up closing it all and feel the dread and hopelessness seep in. 
It was about a little girl. The thing I wanted most was twisted and distorted. I felt dirty, ugly, and as though I had committed this horrendous crime myself. 
I instantly grabbed my scriptures and began reading but every two words the words of the awful story popped into my head. I had to read 3 or 4 chapters before I began to even feel slighlty better. I still felt gross. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and then I turned on the tabernacle chior and prayed and listened and prayed again. The moment Dax came home from work I burst into tears and told him everything I could at the moment. 
How could I have done this to him?
I made special covenants not only with God but with him. I could I betray him like that? Why was I not showing him the love he shows me every day? And he still showed me more. 
The sweetest words a wretched soul could here is "I forgive you" with all their heart and soul. Of course that made me feel even worse and I kept apologizing over and over, and all he did was hold me and tell me he forgave me. 
My husband is one of the most Christ-like examples I have ever met. He teaches me so many things about love and Christ. His forgiveness made it possible for me to believe that Christ could forgive me also, but could I forgive myself? 
Throughout the day I would be happy and then sad when Satan kept shoving those words into my head. 
"You won't be a good mom." He'd smirk. 
"You can't be a good mom, now. Look at what you have done."
I then asked my husband to use his priesthood to give me a blessing and that helped out the most, I believe. 
By the end of the week I had told all of my family and even the bishop. I have put that sin carefully away with the others with a big sign that says "BEWARE OF COPIES". I cannot and will not allow myself to simply "browse" the internet. Not even to look up harmless things unless someone is near me. I will not even quickly look up something on my phone without extra support. I will be aware of those copies lurking around the corner and attempt to avoid those temptations of curiosity, because as we all know the saying "curiosity killed the cat." 
Two things that I found uplifting to me during this time was the song: "Redeemer of Israel". Especially the third verse which reads: 
How long we have wanderedAs strangers in sinAnd cried in the desert for thee!Our foes have rejoicedWhen our sorrows they've seen,But Israel will shortly be free. 
Also I found on Spotify a whole album I fell deeply in love with called Hymnalisms by Stephen J. Anderson.
Here is a sample of his genius art:
I just want to leave you all with a bright note to this "Hard Lesson To Learn". There is a up for every down and a light for every darkness. Sometimes we have to fall far enough to know what we really need to get out, to know what we really need to ask for. When we do what is right then the pieces of our puzzle just begin to fit and work out. We need an example to know what are puzzle is supposed to look like, otherwise we are just trying to fit odd pieces together while getting frustrated in the process. Christ is my example followed by my sweet husband and all the other beautiful people in my life.

Dax and I now live in our own apartment which we decided to get on a sporadic job and faith. The day we were moving in our neighbor asked if he could help and began talking to my dad about how he had an awesome job that he needed to give to a really good hardworking person. If my dad knew of anyone, he was to let our neighbor know. He said "as a matter of fact I do".
Dax now has a reliable job as a medical sample courier that works well with his schooling and pays pretty well.

Oh the blessings we are promised when only we are ready to receive!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Truly Giving Thanks

 “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~ Harry Ironside
I have always believed that Holidays are more than just candy or food, or even together time with family and close friends. I've always believed it's more than just a celebration but a reminder.

Some people may get stressed about holidays or even wonder why there is only one day to celebrate and then we go on with our lives as if nothing happened.

Why only be thankful on ONE day out of the whole year?

Why only be thankful that there was a Christ born and celebrate his birth on a day he was not even born?

Why only be thankful for our blessings, be forgiven of our sins, and renew our baptismal covenants with God one day a week?

Or at least that's how it's not supposed to be.

Why even celebrate or be thankful, why go to church, if it's just another day, another project, another effort, right?

Because it REMINDS us.

How many times have we lost our keys and found them in the same exact spot we found them last time?
How many times have we told someone we were going to do something over and over and never gotten to it?
How many times do we feel foggy and discouraged when we are trying so hard to do the right thing, but it's just TOO HARD!

ALL the time.

We're human and we forget, so we need these reminders to help us remember to be thankful, to be forgiving,  to remember our Christ who died for US, to remember our covenants with God, and to remember to  
"10 Be thou ahumble; and the Lord thy God shall blead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." ( D&C 112:10)
How many of us have a book, a piece of paper, a phone calendar, or any other form to remind us to do the things that are a PRIORITY, or even every day tasks?

I believe we all have at least once.

Having these holidays on the calendar is something to look forward to every year, to prepare for it, and to be reminded that we should be thankful every day.

Lately I've been feeling foggy, disappointed, and discouraged. I've prayed to just know what to do, to have him give me something to do ANYTHING to do, just something to give me a purpose in everyday life.

There weren't any answers, so I thought. Maybe I was just too clouded to even receive the answers I was being given. It was only when I wrote in my journal and had the thought to write down everything I did have that answers began to come.  Not the answers I was hoping for, but answers to soothe my troubled mind and heart.

I needed to be more THANKFUL.

Instead of praying for what I wanted to do I need to pray and thank God for all the things I was able to do and that I had. 

I had to chance my whole course of thoughts and suddenly things became brighter and began opening up. 

There have been so many times where I'm trying hard to be good and everything appears dark and gloomy, and I wonder why. I have forgotten what makes things so hard to be good: Satan. 

Satan doesn't want me to progress, he doesn't want me to be better, he doesn't want me to be happy.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of our worries and fears that we get so lost. 

"We are familiar with the truth found in 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon: “Men are, that they might have joy.”1 I testify that much of that joy comes as we recognize that we can communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer and that those prayers will be heard and answered—perhaps not how and when we expected they would be answered, but they will be answered and by a Heavenly Father who knows and loves us perfectly and who desires our happiness." -President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
So in honor of Thanks Giving this up coming month I am going to do an experiment: I am going to limit my use of electronics to only when I absolutely need to, to spend more time being aware of the little things in my life that make it great, and to be thankful for it.

Everyday I'm going to come up with something new that I am thankful for and try to do something in return.

For example tomorrow will be:

 Number One- I am thankful for my family.

Without the temptation to play games or watch tons of movies I will be devoting time to "truly giving thanks" to have a family. I am going to attempt to spend quality time with them as much as I can throughout the whole month.

I hope this will inspire you to also be more thankful this month and by truly showing how much it means to you.

Lots of Love,



The Mafia and the Porcelain Doll

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Very Own Fairytale

Once upon a time,
 In a land not so far away, there lived a young woman. She was an ordinary looking girl, or so she thought. She was of far more precious worth than even she realized as she was the daughter of a king and queen. She could not see her father the king, but she could talk to him as often as she wanted and could feel his presence. 
One day, the young woman was distraught. She would go out and wade in the lake to wait for her prince to come but all she could get were frogs! In disgust she would head back to her home and talk to her father. 
"Father," She would say. "I am sick of all these frogs! I want a prince who can take me to your beautiful Castle and we can all be a family forever someday! If I'm going to fall in love again he better be the right one! He better want a family, he better love me second to you, father, he better be strong, especially spiritually, and he better know where his priorities are!" 
The King, although the young woman could not see him, smiled all knowingly and told his daughter to be patient, she just had to look in a different place, and her prince would be waiting there, prepared just for her, around the corner. 
A few months went by and the young woman kept wading in the lake waiting for her prince. Another frog came up to her and wanted to hold her hand. The young woman didn't know it was a frog and loved having the attention. The more she learned about the frog and his nasty habits of eating flies for dinner she knew she couldn't be in a relationship with him. She realized that it felt nice to be admired by someone but it wasn't worth the slime. 
And then it began to rain. Hard. 
In a rush the young woman began to run towards the warmth and dry home. Inside it was warm and comfortable and bright. There was a young man there whom the young woman had seen before talking to all the people of the church about the adventure he had gone on. The young woman in her heart knew she wanted to talk to him, but she was wet and cold and didn't want to embarrass  herself in front of everyone. When she had gotten into a clean dress and was dry she went back to talk to him but he was gone. The young woman went up to her sister who had told her that he was going to be in the village to teach her class all of the next week. Excited the young woman prepared for what she was going to do. But no one expected what would happen next.

The Next week...
The young woman went into the village to deposit some of her gold coins into the treasury and then be nice and pretend to go to her sisters class to walk her sister home. The young woman's real intent was to have an opportunity to talk to the mysterious young man she had seen talking to the people of the church and later in her house when she was drenched from the rain.

On her way to the village, through the trees and bright green grass, she thought about the promise her father had given her. If she would "look in a different spot there would be a man prepared just for her, right around the corner." 

Butterflies exploded in the young woman's chest and she smiled. Slowly the smile faded as a new thought came into her mind. She had been told by another friend that he had a bowed and shortened right leg and the young woman knew that, that kind of operation from the miracle  man would be very expensive. Could she live that tight? Could she live through that? Was she strong enough? 

The wind seemed to blow cold around her and her pace slowed, almost to a stop. This thought saddened her deeply and she hadn't even talked to the man yet! Suddenly her heart burned with love and in her mind came a strong thought of "yes you can! You were made for this". And that horrid thought never bothered her again. 

The young woman bound up and over the flowered hill and right into the middle of town. She deposited her gold coins and went straight to the school house. The town clock tower rung and it was only 5 minutes before the class would start! The young woman panicked! She couldn't just turn around and go home, that would take to much time! However, she could very well go in, what if the man thought she was following him? 

Of course she was, but he didn't need to know that! 

She was only supposed to be there right before class got out!

With a large breath of courage the young woman walked into the building and sat in the back to not draw too much attention to herself, and wait, until the class was over and all the other students exited the building. 

The end of class came by the ring of a bell and all the students rushed out, except one. The young woman recognized this boy from church and internally groaned. 

"He's suspicious!" She thought

"Hey, Belle. What are you doing here?" the boy asked.

"Oh you know...just walking my sister home, Simon" the young woman said quickly to try and end the conversation so he would leave, giving her plenty of room to embarrass herself in front of an audience of one. 

"Oh, that's nice." The boy said and then continued to stand there. Belle was on the verge of shooing him out when he left on his own. 

Now what? 

Belles sister exited the room to give Belle sometime but she didn't even know what to say. The man was slowly turning pages in his binder and Belle knew she better say something quick because she knew he was already aware of her awkward presence. 

There was a song she had heard once from the land of Sir. Walter Disney, and so she improvised. 

"Um," She began and the man looked up at her with is beautiful caramel eyes and her heart just about sped right out of her chest. Her palms began to sweat and the more she dragged out the unintelligent word 'um' the more stupid she felt and the more confused the man looked. 

"supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?" Belle asked only a foot or two away from the man. The mans eyebrows furrowed and Belle envisioned her face in her palm.

"Excuse me?" The man said his voice as deep as a canyon and as strong as a river. His rain kissed earth colored hair, his olive toned skin, the soft caramel eyes, and his kind deep voice were all a recipe to make her heart melt. And now she added the wrong ingredient: the pudding of stupidity. 

So to make things better she had to explain herself. 

"You know," Belle said her face feeling as though she had stuck it in a bakers oven. "In the song it says that if you don't know anything good to say to just say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and you'll sound smart anyways?" Belle attempted and the man laughed. "But that's the problem," Belle thought to herself. "You don't sound smart either way and how do you know he's even heard that song?" 

The man didn't seem to mind. 

The two talked for a little more than an hour before the man said he had to return the carriage to his mother and he left without any other knowledge then each others names and that Belle was a love stuck woman who was obsessed with the land of Disney. 

That night, much to the surprise of Belle was a letter waiting for her from the man she had met earlier that day.

Dear Miss Belle,

If you are not otherwise engaged on the week of the break for Spring I would very much enjoy your company. 
If it is of convince for you, please meet me the Monday next, in the middle of town for the Party of Spring.

Cordially signed,

Prince Adam

Excited Belle began to prepare for the party and over and over the letter played in her mind:

Prince Adam, Prince Adam, had her prince finally come?

The Party of Spring, 
Had finally arrived and Belle was anxious and nervous all at the same time. He was expecting her. Adam was expecting her. THE PRINCE WAS EXPECTING HER! Every cell of her body it seemed was under attack as she walked slowly to the village. Perhaps a little too slow for she was going to be late.

At the top of the hill overlooking the village and the valley, Belle looked down at all the lights warmly glowing, inviting her closer and out of the chill of the night.

"Here goes nothing," Belle whispered to herself before descending down into the town.

Others were already there laughing and playing games with each other. There were streamers all over in no real pattern at all. Everyone it seemed was wearing a strangely shaped hat, such as the ones worn by Sir. Walter Disney's adviser the Mad Hatter.  There was a long table in the middle of the square that was adorned with many different shaped tea pots and cups. The table had other things on it besides the tea party decorations. It had cakes and punch, cookies and milk, coffee cake and lemon bars, and a smoldering jar of what only could be homemade root beer.

Belle had always been fascinated by the new found foggy drink. The fog was cold as it came out of the top of the root beer container and it felt like air but you could see it. The fog would ooze out the top and over the sides of the container as though a witch had brewed it herself. Belle immediately went to go run her fingers across the fog when she tripped and spilled half the root beer all over the cobble stone street.

Belles face flushed red hot and she looked around. Everyone was still laughing and playing games and hadn't noticed her embarrassing and clumsy moment. Or so she thought...

When she turned back around there he was. Prince Adam.

The Prince had noticed she had spilled and had immediately come to her rescue and began to help her clean it up.

Belle was fascinated with how quick to action the Prince was with helping her and her heart oozed with affection just like the root beer had on the floor. He hardly said anything while they cleaned. Belle, out of embarrassment was the only voice by the table. He didn't make fun of her. He didn't seem bothered in anyway that she was a clown, and Belle began to realize that she was falling in love with him.

Belle and Adam stayed by the table all night talking and nothing else seemed to exist. Not even time. The sound of the people playing was hollow, as though you were listening to them from one end of a tunnel. They were a murmur against the love glassed eyes and the sound of each others voices.  Eventually the sound drowned itself completely out as everyone slowly began to leave, unaware to the two sitting with one another  wrapped into their conversation. They were instant friends, comfortable with talking about anything even though they were just barely strangers.

Belle loved talking with him and felt like she had known him much longer than a couple of days. She felt comfortably wrapped in his words as though she had a blanket draped around her shoulders. Suddenly there was a tap on her shoulder and when she turned around it was her Earthly father.

"Hi Daddy," Belle said suddenly realizing that there wasn't anyone else there and most of the lights had gone out.

"Do you know what time it is?" Her father asked with a serious expression but his tone was light and so were his eyes.

" I guess I don't." Belle replied

"It's about 2 o' clock in the morning, my dear. Come let me take you back home in the carriage," Her father said sweetly pulling his daughter up from the chair. "I'll be waiting int he carriage," Belles Father said as he winked to her.

"I guess I should go too," The Prince said shifting his weight uncomfortably. He lifted up his arms and Belle leaned a little forward.

"Maybe he is just talking with his arms," Belle thought. "Maybe he doesn't  want to give me a hug," Belle straightened and Adam put his arms down.

"That's probably a good idea," Belle said but neither of them moved.

"Um...we'll have to go to the theatre sometime to watch the play I was telling you about," Adam said making Belle feel a little confused when he put his arms up again.

"Yes, that'd be nice," Belle said unsure what to do.

"Well," Adam said clearing his throat, "Goodnight," He said lifting his arms the third time but this time he moved towards her and Belle moved towards him and they hugged.

It was only a one armed hug but it made Belles heart race.

Things just kept getting better.
Belle was excited to have Prince Adam to her house only a couple of days after their long conversation. Something just felt right about him and Belle was determined to let him go at his own speed. 
As Belle and Adam talked, Belle learned that he had never courted a girl before, and Belle wanted to make sure that he did things because he wanted to, not because they were encouraged by her in anyway. She wanted him to be comfortable and she was going to be patient. 
The doorbell suddenly rung and Belles heart leaped from her chest and began to pound against her rib cage. 
He's here! 
Belle raced down the stairs and then composed herself before seeing the prince. He was so handsome. He was wearing a magnificent fluffy coat for the chill of the lingering winter, although they had just celebrated spring. 
"Hello," he said smiling. 
"Hi," Belle practically whispered. "Would you like to go and sit in the foyer? I could have tea and snacks brought to us," 
"I would love to. Alas, I ate before I came over. Therefore the treats are not necessary." 
"Alright," Belle smiled again and led the prince to the foyer where there were beautifully embroidered couches and chairs, and a fire to take of the chill in the house. 
Belle introduced Adam to all of her family and they had a wonderful dinner later, only to return to the foyer for more conversation. 
Then things fell silent. 
It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, or a silence caused by an argument, it wasn't even a silence that was unwanted. 
It was a soft and thoughtful silence. They could be silent one with another and it didn't matter, as long as they were together everything felt right and warm. 
Belle looked over at Adam and he had his chin resting on fist, deep in thought.
"What has such a deep hold on your thoughts?" She asked and Adam didn't budge for awhile. He glanced at her and then went back to whatever it was that was making him think so hard. "Are you just trying to think of the right way to say it?" Belle asked and Adam nodded. 'He was going to tell her he loved her,' Belle thought. 'that's how it always has gone before.' The frogs would hold her hand first, then they would tell her they loved her, sometimes they would even kiss her a few times before they would...
"Would you court me?" Adam suddenly blurted out looking deep into Belles eyes. Belles heart gasped and then sighed and then cried out "YES YES YES!" However, Belles head suddenly kicked in. Maybe he didn't want a relationship, maybe he just wanted to date. 
"Well, what do you mean?" Belle asked. She wanted to be sure that she knew exactly what he was asking before she gave her answer.
"Um, never mind," Adam said nervously, looking the other way. Belles heart dropped. 'oh no!' she thought, ' I've lost my chance!'  
"No, please. I just want to understand what you meant. Did you mean you wanted to court me exclusively or non-exclusively?" 
"Exclusively." Adam answered.
"Yes. I would love to court you."
Belle and Adam elapsed into a silence again before Belle asked, "Prince Adam. Why do you want to court me?"
 "I've had it constantly probed into my brain all day. I feel like it's what I need to do. What I want to do," Adam responded with a smile after a few moments of thought. 
'this is so different then I'm used to' Belle thought ' but I love it. I believe it's what I needed, to know that he's not just another frog in disguise.'

The next day,
After church Belle took Adam home with her to spend the day and to show him her favorite old bridge that wasn't too far from her home. When they had got there the wind began to blow bitterly but they were loving every cold minute. They laughed with each other and made up stories of bridge trolls and other tall-tales. They hugged more to keep warm and Belle noticed her Prince was shivering. She encouraged that they run a little to pump their blood and as they ran their hands slid together. Both Belle and Adam stopped running and looked at each other, shocked. They smiled and held on tighter as they walked back to the carriage to take them home and out of the wind.  

Belle was worried. 
Prince Adam had invited her to then visit his family and home a few days after they were officially courting. The last serious relationship she had, had she hadn't seen much of his family and she didn't feel like she was very liked or welcomed, there. Belle drove to his house and was surprised how humble it was, being that he was a Prince and lived in one of the wealthiest communities in the city. 
His home was an antique and strangely built, but it had an overwhelming feeling of love embedded in it's very walls. It was warm just like the Prince and it was buzzing with encouragement and welcome. The princes family made Belle feel as though she were just as much apart of the family, and her nerves had instantly melted away. The prince had taken Belle to his foyer after dinner where they talked more as everyone else was falling asleep. Belle wanted more than anything to tell him how she felt. How much she loved him but didn't know how it was possible, being as they had only met about a week ago. 
"What is it that is on your mind?" The prince asked just as she was thinking about how she couldn't tell him she loved him. It was too soon. She couldn't very well lie to him now. She didn't want any of that. They had been so open and honest with each other that she wanted to keep it that way.
"Well, I'm just waiting for you to tell me first," She said and regretted it instantly. She didn't want him to tell her he loved her just because she insinuated it. Maybe lying would have been better, just this once. 
"What? That I love you?" Adam asked and Belle nodded slightly and then turned away in shame. "Because I do." He said softly and Belles heart purred affectionately. HE LOVED HER TOO!
" I didn't want to say it before now because I wanted to make sure I really and truly did love you. I didn't want it to be just three words that I said to you. I wanted them to mean something that I really feel, and they do. All of my other friends would just instantly say they loved a girl and then wouldn't court her anymore. I wanted to say I loved a girl and really mean it. I love you, Belle."
"I love you too," Belle said and every word tasted sweet as it rolled from her tongue.

Approximately a week later,
Belle and Adam were together at her home again. The couple had gone back and forth visiting each family every day and never being apart. They would talk until the early hours of the morning and have to tare themselves away from one another to go home and get rest. One night, a few weeks after meeting, they were talking in the kitchen about marriage and Belle remembered a letter she had wrote before knowing Adam. She told him it was a letter for her future husband.
"Can I read it?" the Prince asked and Belle began to feel uncomfortable.
"I was kind of hoping it'd be for his eyes only," Belle said and then thought 'well, I know I'm going to marry this prince. Why shouldn't he read it?'
"Well I guess you can read it. I'll go get it, it's in my room." Belle ran to her room to retrieve the letter. After the Prince had read it and given it back they began to talk about the possibility of them getting married.
"Belle," The prince said looking extremely troubled . " I want to marry you I do, it's just that I need to get my bowed and short leg fixed."
"Things have a way of working themselves out. If it feels right I don't think we should put it on hold. Do you want to pray about it?" Belle asked. Belle was thrilled and put out all at the same time. She remembered before she had even talked to the Prince that she was worried about his leg and being able to support him through that. She was worried if she would be strong enough for him. However just ask quickly as those fears intruded her thoughts they vanished and were replaced with a "yes, I can", and she never thought of it again. She would be there for him forever and always and she would do for him whatever she could. He was a wonderful person to her. He was an example of faith and love to her. He was her guiding star and if she could only repay him for everything he'd done for her, she'd do it. She'd do anything, even if it meant waiting longer for him.
"You're right. Yes I would love to pray with you. When would you want to get married?" Adam said curiously.
"Well, your brother is away on a journey and won't be back till August. I think family is important and I would love for everyone to be there so we could get married the beginning of September. Maybe September 3rd?"
Adam nodded and they knelt down to pray.
The feeling was amazing. His voice rang with the power of God. It was one of the many reasons she fell in love with him. He had such a strong testimony in the gospel and it shone from every bit of him and when he spoke she couldn't help but listen. Love embraced them as they prayed to know the right direction to go and after they prayed they hugged each other tightly. When they pulled apart they didn't stand from the floor. They just gazed into their eyes and then Adam hit Belle in her face...
with his lips.
He went in hard but it was the best first kiss she had ever had. And it was Adam's first kiss ever. He was extremely nervous but he had wanted to kiss her for the past few weeks but could never gain up the courage to do so. It tortured him ever time the song "Kiss the Girl" was played, so when he had the opportunity he didn't want to think to much about it and just do it. Hence the punch in the face.

The couple wanted to keep the engagement a secret,
Until Adam got a ring for Belle. They only ones they told were their close family members. That's where they found out that the 3rd of September was a holiday and so they changed their date to the 9th of September. It was better that way anyway since his birthday was on a 9th and her birthday was on a 9th. 9 was just their special number.
The official engagement was on Belles birthday on her favorite bridge when Adam had asked her if she'd be his forever. Her ring was princess cut and she really felt like a princess. He gave her a beautiful bouquet of flowers, took her out to dinner, and had somehow even made it snow. Her birthday was amazing and she was glowing all over.

September 9th 2011,
Had finally arrived. Belle had woken up earlier then the rest of her sleeping family and waited for the rooster to crow. Once he had the rest of her family was finally up and she was ready to get into her gown and go get married to her Prince.
When her hair was all done and her gown all tied up, Adam got to see her for the second time in her dress. The first time he saw her was the night before when they had gotten their wedding pictures done.
  She was going to her Father's castle and she was going to become Adam's Queen. Her Fathers castle was beautiful and peaceful and she could feel his love around her. She was so happy she couldn't cry as she knelt by her soul mate in the room where dreams really did come true and everything was bright and full of rainbows, hope, and love. She went into her father's castle as Princess Belle and came out as Queen Belle. Everything was clear and precious and she wouldn't change anything about the day.

One Year Later,
They had gone through it all, so Belle thought. They were back with her family due to the death of Belle's Grandmother whom they were helping take care of as her husband Adam recovered from his leg lengthening and straightening procedure. It was a tough year but they had grown closer in more ways than one. For their anniversary Belle had multiple plans. One was to go the traditional route and make gifts of paper. "Paper. It symbolizes the strength in paper that comes from the interlaced connection of the paper's individual threads."
She made her own tickets for a movie night, she made a paper rose (as posted on another blog post), and she wrote a poem and a summery of their first year together. She was happy with her marriage, but life was another story.
There were always people that would tell her that marriage is hard. Being newlywed she never liked that saying. 'Why should marriage be hard?' she would think. 'Life is hard, marriage makes it easy'. 
Marriage is only hard because of outside circumstances- life. Most marriage complications are over money, or jobs, other people, selfishness, etcetera. When life gives you lemons throw them out and go to what means most: your husband. He's your companion. He's your counselor, your trainer, and your beacon when life seems dark. And when you reach him kneel down together and reach out to your everything: your Heavenly Father. He's your creator, your guidance, and your peace. Your relationship was based on love and grew off faith. Don't let the world interfere with what matters most. Don't let life wedge into your most precious gifts. Let life be treated by those gifts. Let your God, your husband, and your family ease the burden that life can give and wake up every morning with the adversary upset that you have control over how your feel and how your react.

Life is HARD. Marriage makes it EASY.