Yes that says “October” and I do realize it’s February 1st.

I haven’t done my “little things” posts for the last few months and although I’m not organized on most things in life, I do really like to keep those memories put together.  I love being able to find all the little branches of happenings from a particular month through the links in these “little things” posts.  So let’s reach back to ancient history for just a little bit to catch up!

October started with a grand 12th birthday for this girl:

 …lots about how we nailed that big day back HERE.  And twelve things I love most about her back HERE.

We love our dog.  And she loves us.  Seriously, you think she’s died and gone to heaven when any one of us gets home from anywhere.

We put up some baby pictures of the birthday girl and got a little sad with how fast time is flying.

And she, as usual, wrote some sweet thank you notes to those who made her day extra special.

I liked this quote:

 Lots of volleyball games for Claire:

(A full re-cap of Claire’s first high school volleyball season is back HERE.)

During one of those games as Dave and I were watching from the bleachers, this picture popped up on our phones from Max:

…which made our hearts pop up in our chests.  Yes, we knew it was coming, we knew he’d be picking up that ring, but somehow getting that picture made it much more real!

High school football was pretty fun…our team was really good this year and the girls had so much fun at the games.

 Fall hiking:

(Lots more pictures from that hike back HERE.)

Fall date-night with a couple of my girls:

Dave walked with us to school one day…he’s pretty fun to have along:

And it was on to fall break.  I told all the details about that back HERE, but here are a couple more things that happened simultaneously during that week-long-break from school.

We made up a family dance en route to California:

…and listened to Conference.

Meanwhile Max and Abby got to be here for conference:

(Little did Abby know she’d be getting engaged a couple hours later…or maybe she did know a little bit…)

And Elle watched with her roommates (I know she sent us a pic, but I can’t find it…)

We were here…

…when we got the big call from Max and Abby THAT THEY WERE ENGAGED!!
I wrote all about that back HERE but I have to include this cute pic once again of Max forging the road to engagement up in the mountains…carrying all the stuff for their little picnic that would end with him pulling out that ring:

Meanwhile Elle was over on her island babysitting this cute boy from our neighborhood who’s family spent the break over there:

We met up with these guys in Idaho:

(more thoughts about that “moment” up there back HERE)

 …and did three college tours on a giant road trip:

 …with Lucy as a laughing travel companion:

 …at least most of the time…

…and stops to see this gorgeousness whenever we could:

(more on those pretty road stops back HERE)

…followed by a sleepover with these guys and an engagement photoshoot:

Phew, lots of stuff in spring break, and many more details on all that stuff back HERE.

We came home and listened to the women’s broadcast we had missed while we were gone…and it was SO GOOD!

(All about that back …along with some thoughts back HERE.)

I loved Lucy’s notes from conference:

(She had to weave in a little Elphaba, you know, because she does make some pretty good decisions…)

Love this girl:

We try to go through our goal/dream books at the beginning of each month. And we’re horrible at it most of the time.  But I loved coming across some of Max’s goals that he made back when he graduated from high school:

(Love the “like Grammie” part in there.  That’s my goal too 😉

Speaking of Grammie, we started into this reading challenge from the prophet:

Grace helped put together a “senior sunrise” where anyone who wanted met at the lake early one Saturday to watch the sunrise.

We saw some gorgeous sunsets.

And I marveled at how friends get so entertained by a computer.

We had a Relief Society (for church) gathering here to try to learn some new healthy cooking techniques.  Lucy felt like she wanted to join in so she did…see her down there on the left side listening intently?

The Young Women held Evening in Excellence that was so nice, as usual…

Check out these desserts:

Love that all three of these girls get to share that great Young Women program:

Grace helped incorporate the “skate club” at school.  And they take that business very seriously.

Lucy morphed herself into a creatively colorful dog for the ward trunk-or-treat neighborhood party:

And speaking of dogs, she and Bo were over-the-moon excited that Bo got invited to a dog party:


Here’s the “pup cake” Bo got made of dog-safe ingredients:

Lucy thought it was pretty darn cool.
And Claire thought this was pretty cool herself:

The annual huge neighborhood trunk-or-treat:

Wait hold off here…am I becoming one of those people who posts more pictures of their dog than of their children!?  Ha!  But I couldn’t resist this little snuggle:

A couple friends and I drove down to a neighboring town to go to the temple:

(I love this temple, which yes, I did touch for my kids…)

…and we were supposed to do a big hike, but this is how it looked by the time we got to the trailhead:


We still had a great drive filled with such good conversation.  Love those dear friends of mine.

We carved pumpkins…once with the Activity Days girls:

(more over HERE)
…and once with our girls:

(more over HERE)

Lu and I finished this very good book:

Bo tucks Lucy in bed each night and she can hardly get enough of it.

Elle got to go to a good friend from Jerusalem’s wedding in Utah (they flew her out to do the wedding video, lucky girl!)  So my parents, Max and Abby as well as my sister’s son and his girlfriend all met up in that place to eat and talk:

I think it’s safe to say she had a grand time.

Grace and friends had fun with these wigs…

…but I was even more impressed by the hairdo underneath:

School Halloween/Fall festival:

(more about that in THIS post)

Friend “80’s Prom” themed Halloween party:

(some pretty awesome get-ups in that one…)

Claire’s friends:

Dave’s friend :)…checking the scores after a Saturday stake conference meeting…

Shoot…another Bo picture…

All the youth from church gathered here for a little youth fireside:

This was the little “model” idea I made for Elle so she could make stickers for the Turkey Trot:
(Check out how they turned out in the Turkey Trot post over HERE.)
I read my favorite book ever:

Lots of thoughts on that gem over HERE, but here’s a little glimpse of the last two at book club when I remembered to take a picture:

We talked long and deep that night about that book and the richness of the characters and the things we learned and how we applied them to our lives and our families.  It was a pretty beautiful night.

Then we wrapped up October, as always, with Halloween.

Had to take a picture of the spool of thread when we were done whipping up that dress…we barely made it!

(More on Halloween back HERE.)

And that’s a wrap.  October is in the books.

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  1. I love learning about different religions and talking with people who have tremendous passion and faith-I've even started reading the Book of Mormon to understand more! One thing I'm curious about is why it seems as if many LDS college students get married. How do they support themselves? Are they still on their own parents healthcare? Do parents just give money to help out in addition to college tuition? Thanks for your insights!

    1. Because marriage is the best!! Ha! I kid, sort of, but I think Bethany answered perfectly. We believe in the power of a family. That doesn't mean we have to get married early, of course, but when you find the right person it's pretty exciting, especially when you've learned of how beautiful a family unit can be all your life. I think everyone is so different how they deal with the financial part. Those early years when Dave and I were first married were some of the toughest financially. That struggle felt very heavy at the time, but oh, how grateful we are looking back that we got to muddle through that together and build each other doing our best to make ends meet. You can get pretty inexpensive healthcare through college (that's what we did), but there are lots of other options with HSAs and cost sharing ministries (that's what we do now, and that's what Max and Abby are looking into). I think every family and couple just works things out a little differently as far as finances go, because every situation is just so different.

      I'm happy you're reading the Book of Mormon! I hope you're enjoying it, and know that if you have any questions I'd love to help…or I'm sure there are some great missionaries in your area who would love to help too!


  2. I can’t speak for Shawni but I can speak for myself! In the Church of Jesus Christ of Layter Day Saints, we are taught that families are central to God’s purposes, and to our purpose as His children. Roles as husbands, wives, fathers and mothers are the most important work we will ever do. We are taught not to delay marriage for financial or educational reasons, but to pursue eternal marriage to a worthy person. (We are taught to date thoughtfully and purposefully first, and make a choice of companion based on our best knowledge, experiences, goals, and act on faith). For me and my husband (we were 22 and 23 when we were married), we paid for school through a combination of scholarships, government grants, and working. We both worked part time and budgeted money. We stayed on our parents insurance until we were 25 and by then had graduated and insured ourselves through work. In the Church we pay 10% of our income as tithing and I believe and have experienced many financial blessings for being frugal and always paying tithing. I believe the lean years of getting ourselves through school helped us learn to sacrifice and be grateful. Hope this helps answer your questions!

  3. P.s. sex is such a powerful thing and I think it’s very telling that it’s not even mentioned in Bethany and Shawni’s responses. Kinda like the elephant in the room being ignored.

    1. You're right, sex is a powerful thing and definitely is part of the reason people who are members of our church tend to get married earlier, but the question to me was more about the financial burdens of an early marriage.

    2. Why was my previous comment about the laws of chasity (including rules against masturbation) encouraging young people to go ahead and marry that cute/nice kid they’re dating removed? It spoke directly to the incentive to marry instead of dating that is being discussed here. Like the other commenters I was talking about general societal/religious pressures; not about any one couple.

  4. I am super interested in this discussion as well. As I am hitting "wedding season" in my friend group, I am so interested in the cultural differences in marriage timing, planning, etc! My husband and I met when we were 18 and have been together since our freshman year of college. I am not sure if this is religious or regional (we are from New England where people tend to get married much later), but it would have never crossed our mind to think about marriage until after graduation for many reasons – and I think this was common where we went to school. I felt that we still supported each other through our student years and really "grew up together". When asked how I found the "perfect match" I think those growing-together years really contributed to how compatible we are today (so Max and Abby should feel lucky they have found each other young!). We did not get married until we were 26 (around 8 years of dating!) which felt young compared to our peers but perfect for us! Now I am in medical school (did a career change) and my parents very generously pay my tuition as it is out of our budget right now but my husband supports us financially otherwise (health insurance, rent, etc). I think it is certainly possible to begin forming a "family" with someone before getting married (our parents and families certainly considered us each part of the other families before we were married) and the early dating years form just as an important, in my opinion, foundation for a marriage. We planned our wedding for after my husband's graduate school graduation as we knew it would be much easier at that time to take time off, move, and go on a honeymoon. I guess I am curious why not keep dating for a little longer if a wedding is becoming burdensome with regards to timing, volleyball, school, etc?

    1. This is a great question. I think people in our church tend to get married rather more quickly than the general population because, as someone answered perfectly in a similar question a few posts ago (back here:, we follow a law of chastity which means we wait for any sexual relations until after marriage. I think this gives a little push not to wait too long because when you decide someone is "the one" it's nice to be able to live together. In Max and Abby's case, they had to decide if the volleyball season and school and jobs would work better this semester being engaged or married. And after some serious deliberation they opted for getting married and going through all that together. And they are pretty happy with that decision:) That is not to say that others make different decisions. Everyone has their own timing to figure out. I think religion, regional, family norms, jobs, relationships, etc. all come in to play in making such a big decision and I love that we all figure it out in such different ways.

    2. That makes complete sense to me! My husband and I did live together before we were married and living together is so wonderful, so I understand wanting to be able to do so. Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I can't wait to see the professional wedding pictures from the photographer!

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