Monday, January 31, 2011


Sunday was our happy, happy, happy, happy, happy 1-year anniversary! 

First of all, I still refuse to believe we've been married for a whole 12 months. Only the fastest year of my life. So crazy. Crazy like our crazy love for each other. Friday night we had dinner at the fancy schmancy restaurant we ate at our first day as a married couple. And, just like last year, I ate so much that I spent the rest of the evening pretty much nauseated. I love when I do that to myself. But sometimes so much good food is worth the belly ache afterward. This was one of those times. 

I'm sure you all already know this but I love saying it soooo...
this has been the happiest year of my life! And not just because marriage is great, because it is. But this kind of joy comes from love of self and love of Chas.

Here's to our first year together AND 
to day 1 of year 2!

 engagement pic

 Linds' amazing cakes made just for us!

 outside the Draper, UT temple

 making carbonara for Valentine's Day

 be still, my heart

our first little Avenues apartment


 wedding day kiss

our first big purchase: scootie!

 wedding day twirling hugs

 and then we discovered photobooth

 Liz's spring dance recital

 Chas' bday present to me

 California trip (Angel's baseball game)

 remember when Chas was on T.V. ?!

 family wedding "love fest" luncheon

 new glasses =

 Hires always turns our frowns upside down

 it's important to document wedding color outfit coordination

Bette: "If Chas never changed out of this outfit, I wouldn't be sad."


not an unusual Friday night scene for us

 Blue Lemon reception

  wedding cake

The beginning.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

perfectly imperfect

(Just a red velvet cupcake family night treat. I luuuuuv red velvet and this was pretty good, just a bit way too sweet. Plus, I think I'm over cupcakes. Cookies are better.)

There are things that I like and dislike about blogging. Mostly, the likes outweigh the dislikes. Blogging gives me a space to write and be creative. It connects me with people. I never started this blog with the idea that people I've never met would read what I write. I just wanted a fun way to record fleeting thoughts, important events, and anything in between. 

But sometimes the blogging dislikes, though comparatively few in number, can be quite annoying. For example, I've recently been a lot better about being more happy and satisfied with just my life, just the way it is. Cue "those blogs." You know the ones I'm talking about? The blogs that make you feel like a fairly ugly, fairly unstylish, fairly loser-ish kind of person. Like why don't ALL pictures of me and my husband look like they should be in a magazine? Why don't I live in urban coolness? Why don't I have a puppy/straight-across bangs/a gazillion perfect outfits/14,000 followers? And there's definitely more than just one of those blogs out there, my friends, and they are definitely all detrimental to my sense of what's real and what's...not me.

Cue reality, please.

Psshhh. Pahh-leeze. I love my real-human, real-life in our Salt Lake City, UT basement apartment. Ok, ok, so maybe I genuinely do want a puppy but that's because and only because Sam and puppies are like mac and cheese. I love that Chas and I are both done with school. I love that I have a Masters degree and a career. I love that I have some cute clothes but would probably choose to stay in my jammy-jams all day, if I could. I love that a fancy date for us will almost always be Hires Big H cheeseburgers and onion rings. (I actually don't love that most pictures of me don't turn out amazing but eh- there are worse things, right?) But mostly, I love that although ridiculously happy together, Chas and I aren't perfect. We have hard days at work. We have things we want so, so badly but don't have. We have things that make us weak, things that make us human.

This article is what prompted most of these thoughts. It's pretty interesting. After reading it, I felt genuinely amazed at how a happy, married life is considered so weird and foreign in today's world. But here's a reality check: we're a happy, high-functioning married couple...and...drumroll...we're not perfect. 

Don't ya just love it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I made it!

Remember how I told you that it felt hard to put into words my love for Chas' family and our time spent together over Christmas? I'm much better with pictures than I am with words. 

So I made a little movie which will hopefully do a better job of showing you all the goodness of the Kelly family.

A Very Kelly Christmas 2010 from Chas Kelly on Vimeo.
And, might I add, there's probably no better way to capture a family FULL of filmmakers than through a film...if I do say so myself. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

fun facts

A while back, I was given a "Stylish Blogger Award" from Biscuit Mcghee and Haley K. One thing that I really love about the blogging world is the sense of genuine nice-ness that so many people so willingly dish out to basically weird strangers, like myself. Both these ladies always send me lots of love and support in their sweet comments. Also, their blogs are great. So check 'em out, yo. 

 Anywho, part of receiving this award is writing 7 fun facts about yourself. Then you're supposed to pass the award onto other bloggers buuuuuut it's getting late and I'd honestly rather be snugging with Chas so I may have to take a rain check on that last part. Sawies.

But for now, here are some things you should know about both me AND Chas. (Mixin' it up.)


1. Apparently I have abnormally small pinky toes and toenails. They kinda curl downward, leaving almost no room for a nail bed. Chas lovingly refers to it as the "humpback scrinchel."

2. I have sneeze attacks. My record is over 20 in a row. Just today we counted 8. 

3. I kinda can't stand crazy passionate Utah Ute fans...especially when their hate for BYU supersedes their love for their own team. Why does college football have to be so weird and vindictive?

4. My heaven will be filled to the brim with puppies, Oregon, and Hire's Big H cheeseburgers, fry sauce, and onion rings.


1. Loves Gwen's Stefani's "Sweet Escape" and is not ashamed to admit it or sing it...very loudly. 

2. Would rather die a horrible death than have to eat Cool Whip or margarine. It's the real deal or nothin' for this boy. 

3. He makes various sound effects and giggles in his sleep. 

4. Has this magical power of always being able to pick out the best new cereals for us to try. It's truly a gift.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

hang on

Last week was rough. 

As a therapist, working every day with the saddest of sad situations, you learn really quickly how to keep a healthy amount of emotional detachment from it all. Get in and get out. But every and now and then, at least for me, there are certain things that hit hard inside. That's how last week was. 

I think it started on Wednesday and got worse on Thursday. By Friday, I couldn't hold the sadness inside me anymore. It started bubbling to the surface right after my last group. You know when you're using every single once of focus to keep the tears from running down your cheeks? With deep, deep breaths and some little prayers, I kept it together. On the ride home and then sitting with Chas in our living room, I was finally able to let it all come pouring out. I cried for a while. Luckily, this is probably only the second time I've been affected by my work like this. And thank goodness for that. I really do pride myself on being able to keep a healthy distance from all the trauma I read and hear about in my art therapy world. But I guess it turns out that I'm a human, too. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: sometimes us humans just need a good cry.

You know what else I need? A few things. And this Saturday just so happened to be chock full with lots of them.

First, as always, is this bundle of joy.

Then, add a little Ikea. We came home with a bookcase for the living room and plants for the kitchen. 

Finish off with some happy live music. We took Bette and Tess to see Guster. Is there anything better than a killer concert? Well, probably puppies. But this show was definitely up there. 

And in the words of our good friends, Guster: 

Hang on, hang on.
There's a twilight, a nighttime, and the dawn.
Who knows how long?
Just hang on. Hang on.

So thanks, Saturday. You were just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 To Do List:

Read scriptures daily. 
Attend the temple monthly. 
Continue to pay $1000 every month on my grad school loans.
Get full health insurance.
Be expecting. (Yay!)
Exercise 2 times a week. (Once it starts warming up, of course.)
Magnify church callings.
Paint simply for the love of painting.
Take life one day at a time.
Focus on gratitude and the positive.
Strengthen my faith and testimony.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

As you may or may not have already noticed, Chas is the star of this blog.

And as such, we have another post featuring our very own Charles (in charge)!


Here Chas is displaying quite nicely his very own, original painting...circa 2nd grade. My mother-in-law had it framed and surprised me with this. Seriously one of the best Christmas presents ever. And, yes, I definitely did cry when I opened it. As an art therapist, I'm a sucker for children's art in general. But baby Chas children's art?? Kill me now with cuteness.

And maybe I've semi-analyzed baby Chas' art and maybe I've made connections between the painting and Chas' personality. Ok, ok I did...6 minutes after unwrapping it.  :)  Here's what I see:

I see so much fun, bright, happy colors inside not just one, but two square containers. And that's exactly Chas- fun, bright goodness all carefully contained...twice. In other words, Chas has loads of light and happiness all contained and kept quietly inside a very gentle, very humble outside. 

Every time I see this painting displayed in our living room, I'm reminded of all that's on the inside.

Monday, January 10, 2011

little things

Little reason #48937 why I love Chas:
He makes carbonara for dinner. Chas lived in Italy for two years (serving an LDS mission) so watch out- his pasta is the rill dill.
Little reason #83959 why I love Chas:
No one looks cuter in stripes.
 Little reason #18322 why I love Chas:
Cute bum.
Let's get a close-up of those tea towels, please. 

Mother-in-law Christmas present for the win.

Also, I was in charge of Family Night tonight. There's a great little article in this month's Ensign titled, "The Grapefruit Syndrome." It's about overlooking your spouse's shortcomings and resisting the urge to criticize. So we read it and then described specific things we appreciate about each other. 

Whether they're big, little, or medium-size, there are always plenty of positives worth seeing and telling.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

goodness gracious

Dearest bloggity blog chums,

Thanks ever so much for all the lovely love notes! It's good to know there are many, many like-minded lovers of goodness out there. Down with the mean/bad/ugly, I say! 

Ya heard? Word. (As Chas would say.)

Speaking of goodness, this is my littlest bro-in-law, Parker. Seventeen going on twenty-five.
 Clark Kent much? 

This is just the teensiest taste of Parker's sense of humor: 
Always good for a laugh.

And if all that wasn't enough goodness for ya, check out Warby Parker. Super amazing glasses for super cheap. We're talking $95 vintage-inspired frames with prescription lenses. Also, like Toms, for every pair sold, a pair is given to someone in need. In fact, even Mr. Parker is rockin some Warby Parker frames himself. 
Say no more.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the good, the bad, and the cute

Remember when I took a picture of what I wore and posted it on my blog...twice? Yikes. 

Buuuuut yet again, another successful cutie outfit day! Hooray! And I do have a good excuse for doing this weirdness. Trust me.

Good excuse #1: My outfit made me happy today. 
Good excuse #2: Something very upsetting happened today and I needed a happy, positive focus.

What was so upsetting, you ask? An evaluation from one of my students last semester. Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't the first negative evaluation I've received. You can't please everyone and, no matter how hard I try, I've found that there's almost always that one student who will strongly dislike everything and anything I do. The large majority of students, however, really enjoy me as a teacher and reading through the evaluations is generally a validating and helpful experience. This time, however, I was very surprised with one student's responses. The comments were highly negative and verbally abusive. A far cry from constructive criticism, the student was insulting and demeaning. Out right hateful from start to finish.    

Even though I knew it was totally absurd, I still kinda couldn't breathe for a little bit afterward. I had to lead a group in 10 minutes and so quickly said a bunch of little sincere prayers in my heart to untie the knots forming in my tummy. How could someone be so angry and mean? I know something that extreme isn't really about me at all but really stemming from the student's own personal issues and problems but was very hurtful. 

I feel fine about it now. Truly. I went back and re-read all the glowing, positive evaluations, vented to Chas, and then quoted some of the awful lines to sister Hailey and had a good laugh.

Times like these make you realize how much you really need some rockin' army green skinnies and killer layering combos to hold on to.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kelly Christmas love fest 2010

Side note:

(I felt really good about my ensemble today. True outfit satisfaction is pretty great, no?) 

I've been meaning to write more about my Christmas break with the Kelly family. 

I've almost felt a little intimidated when it comes to writing about it. How can I adequately put in words all my feelings about those 8 days? I actually just finished recording some of the highlights of our time together but then hit delete. It's not so much about the many awesome activities we did but more of an overall feeling of gratitude, love, and fun that I'm left with. I will say this: it was one of the happiest times in my life. At one point, we all sat around the table and went through each person, one by one, telling each other all the gifts/talents/nice things we see in them. That's when I thought this is what heaven must be like. Total cry/love fest.

Chas comes from a family of 9 kids. 9 glorious kids. And I think that's what it comes down to: it's all the individual people, the relationships that made this Christmas break so warm and fuzzy. 

(Both our families at our wedding luncheon almost 1 year ago!)

It still amazes me that I ended up a part of this family. Kevin, my father-in-law, was my bishop as a teenager. One of the most optimistic, hilarious, kind men you'll ever meet. 

Khaliel, my mother-in-law, was my seminary teacher in New York. Without a doubt, starting each day being taught and loved by that woman played a huge role in me being able to survive the loneliness that was my middle school/high school experience back east. When I got divorced, Khaliel sent me great, inspirational gospel books. Years later, she was still there for me. And now she's my second mom...officially, that is. It's hard to hold back the tears when I think of the profound way this woman has touched my life, starting when I was just 12 years old. 

Then there are the sisters-in-law. Like my mother-in-law, I've considered Chas' sisters my sisters too for many, many years. I still have cards, books, and jewelry given to me over the years from my Kelly sistas.

And as for the boys, I can't tell you how much I love having brothers. They are the best brothers and it's been a delight getting to know them more and more.

Everyone's spouse is a 10. A+ quality people. Oh yeah, and every couple makes beyond adorable children (so far).

And last, but not least, is Chas. You know him. Only the best person in the universe, that's all.

So just imagine all these wonderful, wonderful people who I have loved for so long, all together, in one big, happy family, loving life and each other all the day long. That, my friends, was my Christmas break.

I'm in the middle of putting together a fun little surprise that summarizes our very Kelly Christmas time. I've always been a believer in imagery conveying so much more emotion than words could ever hope to do. Sorry words and text, you lose.