Monday, August 20, 2012

Hanna and her sisters

Last month I wrote about my three beautiful sisters (the three on the right in the photo above) that I grew up with, but today I want to talk about all of my "new" sisters. I hesitate to say new because I had relationships with most of them way before Chris and I decided to tie the knot. In high school the Redferns were the cool, loud family in my ward (church congregation). Chris is the fifth child inbetween the only girls in his family: Brianna and Haylea. His older brothers Steven, Brandon, and Josh were pretty much out of the house by the time my family moved to Northern California. So, I have gotten to know Haylea and Bree pretty well over the years.

The Redferns
top to bottom, left to right: Josh, Brandon, Steven, Bree, Toni, Chris, Me, Poncho, Haylea 
I met Bree when she was a senior in high school and I was a freshman. Obviously, she has gone through a lot of changes since then, but here are some of the key things about Bree that have always remained constant. She's gorgeous, fun, outgoing, crazy (a good crazy), super loud and she stands up for what she believes in. She is amazing and inspiring! There is a reason why this girl knows EVERYBODY. Not only is she a great networker, but she is so easy to love!

Haylea was only 12 when we first met, so I have been able to see her grow up not only phsyically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Over the years we have become super close friends and I am so glad I can finally call her my sister. Haylea is one of the most thoughtful and genuine people I have ever met. She is so sweet to everyone that she meets and is always looking for some way to serve others. She is great at making people feel welcomed and loved. Plus she is beautiful!

Chris and I have been so lucky to grow up with such amazing sisters. But in addition to that, Chris's brothers have married some pretty incredible women as well.

The SIL's

Lindsey, Me, Whitney, Brooke
Lindsey is the only sister-in-law who was in the family when Chris and I started dating. I vaguely remember she and Josh visiting my seminary class to tell us about their story and about eternal marriage (Chris's mom was my seminary teacher back in the day). I thought they were SO cool. I still do. Lindsey is the older sister that I never had. And to be honest, Chris and I would probably never see Josh if he hadn't married her. She is always inviting us over and making sure that we are fed and loved. What I love most about Lindsey is her creativity, passion, and desire to make time for everything and everyone. She was my biggest cheerleader while Chris was away serving his mission in Mexico and she continues to cheer us on even after we have been married a year. Love me some Linds!

Brooke and Steven got together a little before Chris's mission (4 years ago) so I got to meet her before he left and got to know her a little more while he was in Mexico. She is super adorable, creative, and so so talented. My absolute favorite thing about Brooke is her ability to notice things about you and compliment them. I have noticed this countless times, probably everytime I see her. She is so good at making people feel good about themselves and she does it with such sincerity. I wish I was more like that. I also wish we lived closer to them, she is so fun to hang out with!

Brandon and Whitney got married while Chris was on his mission. Other than at the wedding and a few holidays here and there, I didn't fully get to know her until this summer when we lived with them. Whitney is one of the most loving and patient people I have ever met. She is so easy going and it's probably impossible NOT to like her. Usually when you live with people for longer than a week you start to notice little things about them that bug you (maybe that's just me...I'm a horrible person) but I couldn't tell you one bad thing about this girl. That's a great quality to have if you ask me! I will miss her so much!

Mah Sistas
I have so many amazing sisters in my life. Not to mention the close friends who might as well be sisters. I am one lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

one year

As of Sunday, 08-05-12, we have been married for a year. Marriage has been quite the adventure and we love it. We have known each other (and each other's families) since we were in high school so there weren't too many surprises, but it has been nice to finally live and officially start our life together.

Since our anniversary was on a Sunday we wore our wedding colors to church. (Something about the combination of mustard, navy, and deep red makes me swoon.) They also happened to be the clothes we left our reception in.

Leaving the reception was one of those surreal moments where I felt like we were in a movie. I changed out of my wedding dress in the house and then headed down toward the yard under the romantic stars and strings of lights. While Chris and I filled little bags full of treats from the candy and dessert bars, most of our closest friends and family lined up to create a path toward the car. Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You (one of my faves) started playing on the speakers as we crossed the lit bridge from the lawn where the reception was held to the pathway full of people holding sparklers.
We started walking and ended running through all of the sparklers and then drove away in our neighbor's 1940's model car listening to more old romantic jazz music. (He escorted us to our car which was parked just around the corner.) It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!
Besides dressing up, we didn't do too much else to celebrate. Originally we were going to go to New York, but we obviously did that a little early instead (read about it here). So, we kept it pretty simple. After dinner with the family we went outside to sit on the dock by the lake in the backyard. We talked about the year we have had together and the goals and predictions we have for our second year together. On Monday we headed to Williamsburg and celebrated over a nice steak dinner. Doesn't get much better than that. I am so happy to be married to my sweetheart and look forward to the many, many years we will share in the future.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

BABES take two

In June Chris and I watched our twin nephews for a week by ourselves while Brandon & Whitney were away. This week was round two. Only it wasn't a whole week, and we weren't totally by ourselves. We learned a lot of things after watching them for a week and being here all summer, so it was a little easier this time around! Plus they are getting older (almost 10 months!) and their eyes are better than they used to be (see Whitney's post about their surgeries here).
Christian & Connor
Chris's other brother Steven just moved out to the East coast and his cute little family has been staying with us at Brandon's place temporarily. Brooke & Steven have adorable little kiddos. Gage is almost three and has non-stop energy. He also thinks he's Harry Potter. Kjel is 10 weeks old and is just the sweetest little angel.
Connor, Gage, Kjel, Christian
This time with the twins we were a little more confident and we ventured out of the house a few times to visit people in Williamsburg. We had so much fun, they are such sweethearts!