My absence

I promise my final gratitude is coming. I'm just a bit a lot overwhelmed right now. My camera fell off the bed last night and broke and now we're hurrying to get it fixed before Christmas trips and Thailand, I am up at 2:30 AM finishing batches of cookies my sister and I are SUPPOSED to be making together, in between batches I'm desperately trying to figure out primary for tomorrow, I have a huge homework assignment due Monday, I have missionary packages to get sent off, we have to figure out a whole years worth of tithing before church in the morning (slackers, I know), we have to find new phone plans, switch banks, and the list goes on...and on. I may have broke down last night, and am holding back tonight. If I am alive later this week I'll post.

Some highlights of our week. Helping with Sandy cleanup, Brooklyn Bridge walk, and enjoying music and talent from family.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!
And I hope your holidays have been a little less crazy than they have over here.


Doctors and health

What would we do without doctors and modern medicine and knowledge? I wouldn't be where I am without it. I didn't grow up rushing to the doctor. My mom taught us to take care of ourself. So to this day I have a hard time getting myself to go to the doctor. I always feel like things will take care of themself. I almost feel wimpy going to the doctor. Actually, not almost. I do. And I'm not sure why.

But my husband has helped me to learn that it's ok to go to the doctor. And with my endometriosis journey, it has been so extremely helpful. Without doctors, I would not have known what was wrong and would not have been able to have my surgery.

In writing this post I've thought back on the month after my surgery. Such a rough time being apart from Derek and out of work for so long, but there were so many memories made and so many things to be grateful for. Like this cute girl...

This brings me to my next thing I'm grateful for. My health. Derek is probably rolling his eyes right about now, cause sometimes it seems like my body hates me. But I can walk. I can see. I can hear. I can taste. I can smell. I can hug. I can kiss. I have hair to do. I have eyelashes to put mascara on. I can eat on my own. I can go to the bathroom on my own. I can breathe on my own. I can laugh. So many things to be grateful for. Right now is a good time for me to be acknowledging these things, cause my body and my health have been getting me down. I have an out of place rib that 10 trips to the chiropractor can't fix, my endometriosis is coming back more and more every day, I just finished antibiotics for a UTI, and a couple other things we're still working on figuring out. Sometimes I feel defeated, and exhausted. Until I read things like THIS blog. But especially THIS post. Awesome right? I'm so healthy and strong. And so blessed.

There is so much to be grateful for.


Designing and sunsets

I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be back in school. I thought I was done forever, but the idea of design courses had been on my mind for quite some time. We were able to pull some extra loan money for me to take some courses and I'm loving it. It's always hard to leave a few minutes just after Derek gets home, but im always glad i talk myself into going. Photoshop has blown my mind. It's like a world of its own.

If you follow me on Instagram (@mandywalk), you know I'm a sucker for sunsets. I love anything nature, but when the sun paints that sky I fall in love all over again. God is good. And a fantastic artist.

Notice the sunset reflection on the buildings. Incredible. This picture doesn't do it justice.


Sisters and friends

Major picture overload and serious lovin' going on over here today.
You know you love it.

16: I'm so grateful for 4 beautiful sisters. They are all such good examples to me of what girls and women stand for.

Brynn's passion and love for things is beautiful. She feels so deeply and loves so deeply. Everyone (boys especially) that knows her falls in love with her. I admire her respect for herself. She doesn't feel like she needs to be like other people. She is her own person and that is what everyone loves so much about her. She has the most gorgeous curly hair. And that natural beauty. My goodness. One of my favorite things about "The three little girls" is they are so natural, naturally beautiful, and don't try to be like other people. They are so real, fun, have the best personalities, and are loved by everyone because of these things. We have some seriously good times when we're all together. There is never a quiet moment cause we all have too much to say to each other.

Haley is totally herself and doesn't care what anybody thinks of her. She holds strong to her values and is so good. She is the smartest thing there ever was. She loves learning, has the prettiest long blonde hair, the most precious beautiful freckles all over that cute face, and has an awesome laugh. She laughs so easily too making her too fun to be around. The older she gets, the funner she gets. We talked on the phone about the silliest nonsense the other day for quite some time and I reflected on it for quite some time. Sure love that girl.

And a perfect "blonde" picture...

Hannah is just too fun. And boy does that girl have good sense of fashion. And she definitely doesn't get it from me, because if you look even just a year back on Facebook or this blog and you will know very well that I haven't had the best fashion sense. **No need to really go look back for reference. Just believe me. We're trying to leave those days behind us. We're working on it. Hannah is the craftiest most talented little lady I've ever seen. If you have a baby girl, you must take a little looksy through all of the fun things she sells. I am dying to have a little girl to accessorize in Hannah's talent. She is also so much fun to be around. And has the loveliest longest leanest legs you've ever seen. Lucky girl. Wow, lot's of L's. She is also SO good with kids. All kids love her and are drawn to her. What a natural mommy. She'll be my number one babysitter. 

Mckenna is the best sister in law. So glad she's now stuck with me. She is so kind and fun. And so giving. She is always so nice to let me borrow things I have forgotten when we stay there. So glad to have a sister to share stuff with finally! She's my favorite singing pal. We have so much fun singing around the piano. And thanks to my MIL's piano talent we can enjoy singing together. Mckenna is a musical theatre wonder. We have had so many good laughs together. Especially thinking back to our sleepover days when Derek and I were engaged and we would stay up talking late at night. Or sometimes she'd just stay up talking and laughing to herself while I slept. ;) Funny stories behind that one. Sure love that girl and am so glad she's my sister.

I'm also so glad that all of my sisters can be such good friends. My sisters love Mckenna. We all feel like sisters and it makes me so happy. Love those girls. Some more sister pics.

After some crying :) Can't believe how young everyone looks.

So posed, but everyone all together. I'm thinking this Christmas we need to take some pictures.

Sisters + mom and Yujin.

17: I'm grateful for good friends. I don't know where I'd be without them. I went through some pretty funny stages throughout Junior High and High School. I moved to Utah mid-JH and my number one goal was to fit in and be cool. I was immediately drawn to and accepted into the "popular group" which I wouldn't say was the most uplifting group to be a part of. I finally broke away and made some uplifting, good friends. I honestly would say 9th grade was my all time favorite year of school. We had the funnest group of friends. Then we all went to high school and made new friends, but were still friends. I then transitioned through a few different groups of friends. Still "friends" with all of them but didn't stay as close as I wish I would have. It then came to be my Junior year and cliques and close groups were forming and I was more concerned about making sure everyone had a friend than I was about fitting into a certain group, until I realized how important close friends were. I became close friends with the sweetest group of girls, most of which are currently out on missions. So proud of those girls and love them all so much. Some are moms, some are business women, and most are missionaries. They are all doing such good things with their lives. I miss them all dearly, but love the time that we get to be together.

I also don't know who I'd be without my old roommates. Moving off to college, learning to live with lots of girls, working, going to school, and dating is all a lot to make someone crazy and roommates get the best worst of the craziness. They were always such good examples to me. I sure love them and am grateful for them in my life. We have so many great memories.

And of course two of my non-high school best friends in the whole world Kaitlin and Yujin. They are like my sisters and I love them dearly. I don't where I'd be without them.

High School friends weekend getaway.



Family lovin'

Day 14

I am so grateful for my family. I don't know what I would do without them. They are the craziest people I know, and I love them so much for it. There is never a dull moment. They are the only people I can be my crazy self around. We have so many inside jokes and good laughs together. I miss them, but love when they get to come visit. I love catching up over the phone and hearing about boyfriends/girlfriends, dances, tests, friend drama, and whatever else they feel like telling me. The other day they "face-timed" us to show us the snow fort they made in the backyard. Makes me so happy. Sure love my crazy family.

We're missing Ammon here. We are obviously trying to pretend he is there.

And another with us all present. Not too crazy about this picture but whatevs.

Day 15

I am grateful for such wonderful in-laws. They are so fun, loving, and feel like they have been family forever. We have so many good laughs when we're with them. They sure know how to have a good time. We have created so many fun memories with them that we'll never forget. They also have a killer sense of humor. Sure love them!

Jake was "too cool" to smile at this point in his life. :) Cutie.

If you want to know the truth, I'm excited for these gratitude posts to be over. I miss talking about what I want to talk about. I probably should have just done this on Facebook or something. Sorry y'all. Be grateful. And can you believe Thanksgiving is in a week?! How is this happening. I'm so excited.


Season of love

The colder it gets here, the more romantic it seems to get. I swear they put something in the air. I was walking around the fun seasonal shops at Bryant Park tonight and felt myself falling more in love with Derek the more I walked. Funny thing is, he wasn't even there.

After his class he met me for dinner in the park. This was our view. We had a little personal heater to keep us warm while we enjoyed a delicious burger. Such a perfect evening. My all time favorite thing to do is go to a sit down dinner with my honey. Not only because I don't have to cook, although that doesn't hurt, but because I feel so much more connected to him every time. It's such a good bonding experience. It's the only time we can really sit down with no distractions and just focus on each other. And it's a great excuse when your groceries cost almost as much as going out to eat does.

Moral of the story: I am grateful for the times we get to go out to dinner together. Love it so much.

Oh, and because I'm sure you care. We discovered my skinny jeans fit Derek better than myself.



I have so much respect for those who serve and have served our country. They sacrifice so much for us. They don't do it for money. They don't do it for fun. They do it for love and pride for our country.

I'm especially grateful for my brother and soldier. I never really comprehended American pride until my brother chose to serve in the military. 

I had never really thought to thank a soldier before until being with my brother when he is in uniform, and so many are so gracious and kind. So many thank him, pay for his food, or do a kind deed to show their gratitude. It was so extremely touching and I couldn't believe I had never thought of that before. I am now always sure to thank a soldier when I see one and I hope to be able to buy a meal, or do a kind favor for more in the future.

So grateful for him and all of those who serve and have served our country.

I can breathe

Today I'm doing days 10 & 11. I've been so excited for this post.

I am thankful that the primary program is overrrr!!!! Holy cow. I without question will appreciate our kid's primary teachers after this calling. That was so exhausting. I'm also grateful for the opportunity to be the chorister. Being the chorister is a lot of work. But it's so worth it. Those kids spirits are so innocent and sweet.

After sacrament meeting we had a party. I got to hold babies and eat fudge. Talk about the perfect primary. Two of my favorite things.

I'm also grateful to be so close to so many beautiful sites and scenery. This FDR memorial is on the bottom tip of our island. I can't wait to go back at sunset with the camera. It has an incredible view of all of manhattan and queens. I believe you could live in NYC your whole life and still not see all of the sites. 

Annnnd. For your entertainment. We get a pretty good laugh out of this.

Hope your weekend was wonderful!


The sound of music

Day 9: I am so grateful for this man's musical talent. It is one of the many things that caught my eye from way back in the day. He is so incredibly talented. I hope someday I can figure out how to share his music with you. 

One of my favorite things to do is put all things aside, and sit on the couch or sit in bed and play and sing together. It often helps us de-stress and come back to what matters most.

Day 8: I also have to get to catch up from yesterday. 

I am grateful for naps. Especially lately. I've never been much of a napper, but this week has been exhausting to say the least and I've been able to sneak in a few naps. They've been a highlight. 

Any nappers out there? Do you find the shorter the nap, the better? I've always felt like long naps only make me more tired. I like a short 20 minute nap. Not that I've done that this week, but in general I prefer shorter.

Happy Friday!



Today I'm feeling grateful that my sweetheart involves me in all of his schooling. Tonight he is so very sleepy after a long day of hard work. Isn't he cute when he sleeps?

I am so flattered when he asks if he can practice his presentation in front of me. Or if I can read through a paper. Or talk through an idea for a project with him. It makes me feel respected and valued.

I sometimes catch myself feeling jealous and wishing I could be the one in school. But I know we are a team. We couldn't do this without each other. He has worked so hard to be able to build a good future for our family. He studies so hard, is always learning, and is so determined. What 23(almost 24!!) year old has served a 2 year mission, gotten a bachelors degree, and is almost done with their Master's Degree? Smarty pants.

He is the epitome of focus, hard work, and dedication. I sure love that boy and am so grateful for his hard work and willingness to include me in all of his studies.

This is what the city looked like today. It was a complete blizzard. As beautiful as it is, I hope that those without power and homes were able to keep warm. I'm so grateful we were able to come home, turn on the heater, and snuggle up to Modern Family.

To my beloved public transportation

It's late, and I'm falling asleep, but I'm keeping my promise.

Everything I think of that I want to share requires some explanation and I need something quick tonight. So I think something that is pretty self explanatory is my gratitude of public transportation. I love it so much. I have become passionate about public transportation.

Having a car was wonderful, but I really can't say I've missed it all that much. And that is one of the beauties of this city. I am not given a chance to miss it because public transportation is so available. It makes for such a simpler sustainable life.

I was terrified of the idea of riding the gross, stinky, humid, scary, subways when we first moved here. But it is so normal now. It's just life. It's not a crazy out of the ordinary adventure. It's just the way life is. How we get around. We don't need cars. We don't need fuel to survive, and that feels great.

Disclaimer: The subways aren't scary. You get used to the smell. They are overwhelming at first, but they really do make sense once you get used to it.

Now for some public transportation visuals, for fun, and just in case you didn't know what public transportation looks like. Jk.



I'm grateful for laughing. It sounds silly, but I really am. One of my favorite things to do is watch America's Funniest Home Videos with Derek at nights and just laugh and laugh. We also enjoy watching funny Youtube videos.

Oh, and The Office.

...and Modern Family

...and Guys with Kids

...and Parks and Rec

...and Ellen

We also do our best to entertain each other all day long. Derek fully believes I could be a comedian, but I've noticed a trend. When I say something "funny" when other people are around, he is the only one laughing. And he laughs hard. It's the same the other way around too. I think he is the funniest guy around.

We keep each other entertained. Laughing is so freeing.

And now for your entertainment...

Maybe this is totally stupid, but for some reasons we laugh so hard at this video we just discovered. It's funniest the third time you watch it.

And one of my all time favorites, of course Ellen.

Her hidden pranks are my favorite. Type in Ellen hidden pranks on Youtube and you'll be there for an hour. HILARIOUS.

Ok I was going to leave it at that and then I kept thinking of other funny videos, so I hope you have lots of time on your hands. It's totally worth it.


Oh politics. Lovin' on the city. And a happy birthday!

I'm grateful the election is almost over so all of these polarizing and degrading political attitudes can be over. I am so tired of the hate and anger that politics creates in people. Can't we just love? Have opinions, and love at the same time? Or at least just be nice. Oh, and go vote. :)

Ok, for serious now. I'm grateful to live in such a beautiful city. I have grown to love this city more than I ever thought possible. When deciding to move here, I was scared it would ware me out. I thought I'd feel overwhelmed. I was scared of not feeling "home". Well I can tell you I feel home. This city has become home to both of us and we're so grateful for the opportunity to experience this city.

We've been having serious discussions on what our next step in life is going to be and where it's going to take us, and we are sad to think of the possibility of leaving this beautiful city. Whatever we decide, New York City will always hold a special place in our hearts.

And the happiest of birthdays to this beautiful lady!! I know I know, you'd think she's my sister. We hear it all the time. But really, what mother of seven kids looks this good! And she doesn't even try. It's hard to see her as a grandma. She looks like she should still be having babies of her own. She is the most selfless woman in the world. She somehow can manage everyone's crazy schedules, 2 jobs, babysitting everyone else's kids, doing every parent committee, choir committee whatevers, school fundraisers, homework, driving to and from soccer, voice lessons, doing YW volleyball, and cooking for not only her own family, but for others too. I don't even know half of the things she does in a day, but I am positive she is the busiest woman on the planet. If I ever complain of feeling overwhelmed, I feel silly doing it to my mom because she is and always will be busier than I am. A busy schedule fuels her. At Disneyland, no one can keep up with her. There are no such thing as relaxing vacations in our family. Her energy is unreal. She makes me feel like an old lady. She's so positive and has such a fun personality.

We're wishing we could be there to celebrate! Love you mom!

The only picture I could find right now of her. Sorry, I know you don't love this picture mom. But I think it's beautiful.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...