Saturday, December 29, 2012

christmas break days

we spent this christmas with chas' family at their parent's glorious farmhouse in fairview, ut. i've never seen hero so continuously happy and enthusiastic! she loved being at the farm. 

chas' dad had gotten the sweetest little charlie brown tree for the farm and had, of course, decorated every inch of the house with garland, lights, and nativity sets. on christmas eve, he was outside all day in a crazy snow storm building a manger inside the barn, attaching a lighted star to the roof, and placing 400 tiny candle lights inside the barn, around the manager, and up in the rafters. bless that man and his undying devotion to all things christmas! 

that night, the grandkids found little notes from the elves which eventually led everyone outside to the manager. there, we huddled around together and sang carols. it was lovely. 

then i learned, that my dear family back at home was spending their christmas evening gathered together watching dumb and dumber. sometimes it's amazing (and hilarious) how different our two families are. i love them both so much. 

on christmas morning, disaster struck and i was hit with the stomach flu. i spent the rest of the day in bed. and since being that sick anywhere other than your own house is one of the worst things ever, we decided to leave that afternoon and head back home. and then, of course, as soon as we were home i started feeling better. grrrrr! we were pretty bummed about not getting to be with chas' family for the rest of the week but decided to make the time we have, just the three of us, as enjoyable as possible. 

so we've spent the last few days sleeping in, laying about in our jammies, and making yummy food. 

yesterday, right before we ventured out for a family activity day down at city creek mall, we snapped a few pictures of me and my hero girl. it's so hard to resist that beautiful, freshly fallen snow. could you ask for a better photo backdrop?! 

while we took these pictures, hero was having the time. of. her. life! she just couldn't stop laughing and smiling! totally loving it! these pictures are coming preeeetttty close to describing how fun and full of life she is at this age. such a sweet, sweet girl! 

our no-present christmas

this year, chas and i decided to do a no-present christmas. there wasn't any huge reason behind this choice. we had just gotten out of grad school debt and neither of us were feeling the need to spend money on things we didn't really need just for the sake of buying something for christmas. and hero is still too little to know or care about christmas and presents. 

(the one exception and "real" present we did get was a piece of camera equipment for our business.) 

so we went to target, each picked out a pair of christmas jammies, and called it good. 

even though it was nice to not have to worry about braving the hoards and trying to find each other that perfect gift, i thought i would miss having something to open. but when christmas morning came, i didn't miss presents nearly as much as i thought i would. chas' sisters had gotten us some fun little stocking goodies and his mom gave us $50 worth of gold dollar coins (awesome!). so we did get a few treats AND felt like rich pirates! what more could we ask for!? 

all in all, the no-present christmas was a success. we were able to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the season, being with loved ones, and eating amazing food. i'd definitely recommend it! 

and i'm definitely excited for next year when watching hero unwrap presents will be the main event of christmas morning! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

i (phone) spy

instagramming @samajama


i've been busy soaking up every minute of our christmas break together. having chas home all day with me is amazing! i'll be back to soon to tell you more about our first christmas together as a family of three.

hope you are all enjoying some time off!

Friday, December 21, 2012

sandy hook donation sale!

hello, friends!

this morning, as i was washing dishes and wishing i could do some kind of meaningful service and giving for this christmas season, i had an idea! (does anyone else's strokes of genius happen either while doing housework or showering?)




i'm super excited about this because it provides not only myself with an opportunity to support this important cause (an event that i'm sure we've all been impacted by, one way or another), but it also allows for others to hop on the love train and give as well!

i continue to think about this tragedy every time i squeeze my little chubby girl and i hope, in a very small way, i can contribute to the healing of those devastated parents, families, and community.

merry christmas.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 months

6 1/2 months, to be exact. 

and oh my goodness! one day she haaaates tummy time and then next, i can't get her to stay on her back long enough to take more than one picture of her before she rolls over. i feel like this big girl is going to up and crawl any second! i'm definitely not ready for that! 

oh well. at least her forearms and wrists are still chubbier than anything else i've seen. 

new film! oliver & dantzel (part II)

this is the cut of the full day of this wedding- temple + reception.

ok. so i know i already got to plan TWO weddings, BUT...if i got married a third time (not happening), i would have dantzel plan EVERYTHING. this reception was seriously the funnest party ever! there was a photo booth, hot chocolate station, crepe station, and a dance party to end all dance parties- complete with the groom break dancing! it took everything i had to not just throw down the camera and jump into the mix!

and how often do you get to see a photo booth strip of an apostle (elder nelson is dantzel's grandpa) and his wife?! pretty darling.

enjoy the film!

kelly arts: films
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

new film! oliver & dantzel (part I)

on friday, we had the privilege of filming an amazing-upon-amazing wedding. this couple wanted us to do two films for them: a same-day edit of the footage from the temple grounds to show at their reception that night as well as a full wedding highlight film of the entire day.

this is the film from outside the temple. don't you love how relaxed and carefree these two were?! they were too busy photo-bombing each other's pictures to be stressed at all! oh- and bonus points if you can spot the apostle in this film!


kelly arts: films
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Monday, December 17, 2012

love for ct

on friday night, chas was putting hero down to bed. from our bedroom, i heard him start singing to our little daughter. he sang "i am a child of god" but wasn't able to finish before he got choked up. he came into our room, climbed into bed with me, and we both started crying together. he told me how as he was singing to hero, he was thinking about how much he loved her and all those parents in connecticut who, earlier that same day, had lost their own little hero.

our hearts ache for those who are suffering so deeply at this time. i cannot even fathom the kind of pain they must be feeling.

we are so grateful for our baby. every day with her is a blessing.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

snow baby

i feel like i may be falling off the blogging train a bit. i just don't have the same desire to post as often as i once did. i've stopped (at least temporarily) taking on paid sponsors and find myself thinking less and less about my blog.

honestly, it's a refreshing change.

at this point, i definitely don't want to totally stop blogging. i do still love how this blog gives me motivation (however dwindling) to take a moment to step outside with hero and take a few pictures in our neon bright dresses today, for example. and i will forever love and be grateful for the small community of friendship and support i've found in my wonderful readers.

so even though the posting may be less frequent, i'm still here and appreciate you all.

here's to a great last week before christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a handmade christmas event

here's a great way to kick off this weekend! and if chas and i weren't busy filming a wedding all day on friday, you can be i'd be here!

the lovely hostesses, claire and brittany, are offering an additional 15% off one item to anyone who blogs about the event! all you have to do is write a blog post, (include the above image, if you'd like), make sure you include a link to either claire or brittany's blog post, and then simply leave a comment on either claire or brittany's post telling them you did so! they'll gather the list of bloggers who helped spread the love. all you have to do is come to the party and claim your 15%!

*discount must be used on the night of the pop up shop, december 14, 2012.

make sure to check out claire's shop here & blog here
and see brittany's shop here & blog here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

around this duplex


i don't have time to write much for this post. i'm preheating the oven for a frozen pizza dinner and hero is having a good cry with her dad in the other room.

just thought i'd say hello to my wonderful blog friends and post a few little pictures from today.
have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the best feeling ever!

a few days ago, chas and i accomplished a HUGE goal that we've been working on for the last three years. we finished paying off allllll my student loans from grad school! i cannot tell you how blessed we feel to now be completely out of debt. we are so excited to not have to give away huge chunks of money every month and finally be able to start saving towards things like a house down payment and maybe a fun little trip to italy or something!

we don't make tons of money and the amount of loans i had was pretty sizeable. also, during this time we didn't have health insurance and paid for all of my maternity care and hero's birth completely out of pocket. if we can do it, you can do it too!

our secret?

shove every single bit of extra money towards the debt. everything.
try get by with less, put off that fun vacation, share one car, etc.
obviously, not rocket science but it really does work! and the feeling of accomplishing your goal is amazing!

Monday, December 3, 2012

new film! fugate family

one of my favorite parts of filming these families videos is getting to meet such wonderfully adorable people! the fugates were so much fun to work with and- get this- their little boy's name is ladd! love it, right?!

these guys are getting a bunch of dvd copies of their film to send to family members across the country as christmas presents. such a good idea!

kelly arts: films
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