Monday, November 16

{Happy birthday to the twins!}

I cannot believe Austin and I are 23 years old now! 22 wasn't much of a shock but I have to say that 23 has been a weird one for me.

It has been fun to evaluate where I thought I would be at this age and where I am. I am so
excited to be almost finished with school, married to my sweetheart, and about to enter the
big-wide world of adulthood! And yes, I'm aware I technically entered that world some years
ago. I am more referring to Lance getting a job and us knowing where we are going to be on a
more permanent basis. I look forward so much to what life has in store for us!

I started off the day sleeping-in and skipping all my classes :) You can't go to class on your birthday!
Next, Courtney took me to lunch to PF Changs which was delicious! Thanks Court.

And to top it all off, I headed home for a hot home-cooked meal made by my momma. We didn't get a group picture but everyone was there! Including Scott, Keaton, and Trisha who
came down from Salt Lake to celebrate with us.

I love this boy! Who better to share your birthday with? We have never been apart for our
birthdays and I hope we never are.

Austin and I got our "birthday baskets" (of course!) and we each requested our own "cake".
For those of you who don't know, we almost never have cake for birthdays at the Merrell home.
My mom is a fantastic pie-maker so we usually request peaches n cream pie. My mom always
makes 2 of them and they are gone in a blink of an eye! This year I requested pumpkin pie. Thanks mom!

Blowin out the candles! Notice that even though I am 5 minutes older than Austin,
he still got more candles than me this year. What a rip-off. :)

My sweet husband knows I have been wanting a pair of True Religions for awhile
so he bought me the cutest pair of skinny jeans for my birthday ! I absolutely love them.
My mom got me a darling shirt and necklace and the Walkers gave me a certificate for a Sushi dinner. Yum! I can't wait for that one.

What a fantastic birthday! Thank you to everyone for the phone calls, texts, and gifts.
You really helped make this birthday a special one :)


We had a fantastic Halloween full of friends, great food, and a ton of laughter. Lance and I
decided to host a dinner party this year and invited his group of good friends from high school.
It was so good to see everyone and we had a blast!

I had a great time designing these invites for the party in photoshop. With all my practice
editing photos, I have gotten to know the program quite well and was able to do these in about 10 minutes. I LOVE photoshop!

Lance and I made an Olive Garden dinner with the signature salad and dressing, zupa tuscana
soup, and the Shrimp Caprese. So yummy! I was surprised at how easy the recipes were and
they proved to be very true to the originals.

There were a great selection of costumes. I was impressed out how creative everyone was! We
had Danny and Sandy from Grease...

Emy & Jason were laundry: whites and darks! Their costumes were so stinkin cute with laundry
baskets around their waste. They had dryer sheets all over so they even smelled fantastic too!

And little boston was a homeless dude. Emy & Jason had sewn patches all over his clothes and
notice the brown-paper-bagged bottle! So clever.

Joe and Camille were medieval people. And joe had a little too much fun with his sword.

Richard found out Lance was being Peter Pan and decided to be Peter Pan's shadow!
He was following Lance around all night! I didn't get a picture of Mandy's costume but she was
Tiger Lily. She made her costume from scratch and it was so detailed and fantastic.

And the best for last! Here are Erin and Bryan as Pac-man and the ghost. We were laughing so
hard when these two arrived to the party. Bryan couldn't fit through the door with his costume on!

After dinner we exchanged white elephant gifts. Among the more coveted gifts of the night were:
Chocolate body sauce, a flip-flop fly-swatter, binoculars, and an Obama poster.
Who knew white elephant gifts could be so much fun? They were definitely the hit of the night.

For any of you who have gotten the grand tour of our new house, you know how stinkin
creepy the basement is. It looks like it's straight out of a horror movie. And Lance, wanting
to take full advantage of that, decided he should take everyone down there for some scary stories.
While a few of us cleaned up upstairs, everyone else headed to the basement. It wasn't long
before we heard a HUGE thud and screaming. Lance had strategically arranged for a huge board to fall right at the scary part of the story. :) Hopefully we didn't scare away
our guests for good?

The actual night of Halloween, Lance and I loaded up the sound system and headed to
Sandy to chaperone for Trisha's Halloween party. She had everything planned out SO well with
decorations, cute cupcakes and snacks, music, and activities. She is so good at throwing
parties! And this was even her very first one.

We had so much fun getting our groove on! And, as we all suspected, I was mistaken for a 14
year old by one of the more flirty boys at the party. Needless to say, he was quite
embarrassed when he realized I was "old".

We love you Trishy! Thanks for the fun night!