March

March has been a great month.  Learned so much. I love making progress in my life.

We kicked of the month with the Les Femmes concert at the Velour.  Luna Lune killed it as usual.  Chris is now obsessed with the Blue Aces.

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Idaho Visits

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One of my favorite things that has happened this month is Chris’ flag football team.  My brothers, Adam and Zeke, and my Cousins, Devan and Mckay, and family friend, Casey Taylor, all played on a intramural flag football team at the U.  It was so fun for me to go watch them play every Thursday night.  Not to mention they won the championship game.  Chris pulled his hamstring that game and has a ginormous bruise to prove it.  Such a fun thing to do with family and friends!

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Chris’ company, Struck, does advertisements for Ski Utah, so this year we didn’t even need to buy a pass but got free passes to several ski resorts.  It was so fun to take our sister-in-law, Asia, skiing for her FIRST time! She was awesome! Gotta love spring skiing.

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Partied in St. George over my spring break with the dance studio I teach for, Razz & Rhythm Dance Academy.  Our little dancers did so awesome!
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March is also the best time of year for us because it’s when we met!!! Our first date was March 21, 2013.  Man time flies.

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My mom’s side of the family always has a family reunion in March.  The Cook family reunion this year was probably one of my favorites ever.  Each of us found a story about our Grandma and Grandpa Cook to share form someone who knew them.  We also got to listen to darling Aunt Miriam tell stories and it was amazing to hear about how beloved my grandparents were.

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Lunch at Red Iguana… Not mad.11011050_10153155215656250_7594931540474151406_n

At the beginning of March I had the best idea for Chris’ 28th birthday.  Chris’ fave thing in the world to do is laser tag.  Soooo… I planned a surprise partay at laser quest.  He had no idea! So fun. Love my twelve year old hearted boy.11130148_10153166162736250_1684115100146470868_n

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The most important thing I learned this month, is that God has a plan.  My older brother, who we call Baby Egan, was a stillborn.  My mom was only about 24 weeks pregnant when she went into labor on March 29, 1993.  Chris was born March 29, 1987.  This gives me some sort of comforting feeling that I can’t quite describe that they have the same birthdays.  It is so precious that we get to celebrate both Chris and Baby Egan on the same day. Pretty crazy the plans Heavenly Father has.  If Baby Egan would have lived I wouldn’t be here.  So grateful that I do get to be here, with the man I love, and that I can be with my brother and whole family again.  I love eternal families!!!

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The other fun thing I did this month…  I helped my cousin make her family theme for 2015.  Every year she has a different theme and frames them.  I loved the idea so Chris and I talked about what we wanted to focus on this year.  We decided that we needed to be more supportive, more kind, and more loving to each other and everyone else.  Loved how both turned out.jentheme familytheme2015

Year One: Lessons Learned

Chris & I just celebrated our ONE year anniversary.  TIME FLIES.  We definitely can’t call ourselves seasoned marriage pros, but we have learned so much in this year. As much as marriage is fun it takes a lot of effort and work.  Here are some of the things i’ve noticed and learned in that year that helped…

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In no particular order of importance… Here they are…

1.  Selflessness and service towards your spouse is KEY!

2.  Set realistic dinner goals and try to sit down and eat together.

3.  People fart.  Just give fair warning. (mostly husbands)

4.  Netflix cheating is real, DON’T DO IT.

5.  Not putting the toothpaste cap on or forgetting to put the toilet seat down can be lethal.

6.  Laundry never ends. Come up with a system to get it done in a timely manner. We are just figuring out one that works. (what am I gonna do when we have kids???)

7.  Have a specific place for important things like mail, keys, etc.

8.  Play games everywhere you go together.  (Our favorites are would you rather, heads up, and guess the movie quote.) Play games at home too. (some other favorites include nerts, cards against humanity, and ticket to ride.)

9.  The times you do FHE are worth it. (we’ve done it specifically about four times… whoops. But I was grateful when we did.)

10.  Take every opportunity to hang out with other couples.  Make married friends.

11.  Put the phone down. Just do it.

12.  The best times together are always spontaneous. (Go on a drive, get a red box, or visit a friend)

13.  Visit and hang out with your families.

14.  Plan parties and get togethers.

15.  Share each other’s burdens. (Continually communicate with your spouse with what is troubling you.  Then when they are in need of comfort you listen with genuine intent.

16.  Go on super cheap dates. (Our favorite, a maverick f’real and a round or two of Big Buck Hunter.)

17.  Attend all your church meetings and fulfill church callings. (Cannot stress this one enough.)

18.  Let your spouse have alone time.  (Hardest one for me.  I don’t generally love being alone so it is always hard for me to let Chris have time to himself, for him to think, get work done, and just have space. Yet, it’s necessary for a healthy marriage.)

19.  Read And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage Through Sexual Fulfillment.  (This book helped me leaps and bounds)

20.  Go get late night snacks. (personal fave, using the Wendy’s frosty keychain)

21. Talk kindly about your spouse and to your spouse.

22.  Go to sleep when you’re angry.

23.  Take time to clean your house together, it’s crazy rewarding.

24.  Keep the sabbath day holy,

25. Take the 5 love languages test. (Most helpful thing in someways.  Teaches you how to communicate love in a way your spouse resonates with

26.  Stay up late and laugh.

27.  Scripture study together, read talks etc. (Chris and I like to do the Companionship Inventory each week that is in the Preach My Gospel manual. It helps you as a couple to complete goals and just gives a set time each week that you can always talk about your relationship.)

28.  Read your patriarchal blessing to each other.

29.  Hold hands lots and Cuddle lots too.

30.  Constantly forgive.

31. Go on road trips.

32.  Eat really good food on occasion.

33. Go to the temple. Regularly. (Nothing helps my marriage more than going to the temple.  It reminds you of the blessings your relationship can receive and it helps you recognize and show gratitude for the blessings that have already been given by honoring your marital covenant.

34. Give the benefit of the doubt to your spouse.

35. Always kiss each other goodnight.

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5 Days

Chris was in LA for 5 days at Nickelodeon for work.  It is torture when your spouse gets to go somewhere cool WITHOUT YOU.  It brought back the sentimental yet horrible memories of Chris living in Chicago for 5 MONTHS while I was here in Salt Lake.  The hours spent face timing was incalculable and the amount of time we spent together during those months can basically be added up to barely two weeks.  Chris and I haven’t spent too much time apart since we’ve been married…  Which was a much needed break after the long distance dating.  I missed Chris the whole week while I went to school, cleaned, played words with friends, ate chick fil a, watched netflix, played casino with grandma, taught dance, edited. (watched more netflix.) I was super productive hahahaha. FINALLY, Chris came home Friday with Flowers from Jolley’s in hand and said “Can I take you out tonight?” Love that kid.

We got drinks at shivers. YUM. Then Chris decided he really wanted to go bowling.  I agreed and we headed to Olympus Hills Bowling Alley.  The reason we go to Oly hills besides the fact it is a great time is because they have our favorite arcade game: Big Buck Hunter SAFARI.  We arrive at the bowling alley excited to start the night with Big Buck Hunter.  WE LOOK EVERYWHERE.  They got rid of it.  Holding back tears Chris decided we would go to a different bowling alley.  This time we head to Sue & Rich’s.  Guess What? The coolest, most ghetto, cheap bowling alley is CLOSED. CLOOOOOSED for good! *wipes away tear* On to the next alley.  Fat Cats on 900 E. It is always packed on the weekends but the plus side… It has tons of arcade games.  We waited in line to buy a round of bowling and get our shoes for about 15 minutes.  When we got to the front of the line we both looked at each other and Chris said “Do we really wanna bowl?”  Got right out of line and headed to the arcade.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Safari version of Big Buck Hunter but the regular one did just fine.  We played a couple of games and headed home.  Quite the date night right?  I love that I can do anything with Chris and still laugh and have a good time.  That’s what your spouse should be for you.  A safe place, someone who can make any situation better.  Chris is that and more for me.

At least we got some good pictures.  Chris had my camera all week in LA and I had been craving it!!!! Here is what we got!


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Gaining a Testimony

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During my freshman year of college the change in missionary age for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was announced.  I would be eligible for a LDS mission in that coming June yet, a mission in my mind was NOT for me.  I was loving school and being a Chi Omega, I was having fun and dating.  However, after my first semester I felt kind of stuck.  I wasn’t improving and was in a way empty inside.  When going to my singles ward I never made comments in sunday school and relief society.  I missed being in primary where I knew the answers to all the questions!  I was embarrassed to give any insight when it came time for comments in class.  What did I have to offer spiritually?  At the time I was an 18 year old girl who grew up in the suburbs of Holladay and had had a privileged life.  I hadn’t experienced many hardships and didn’t have many spiritual experiences to draw from.  At church I was envious of the women who had gone on missions and knew the scriptures so well.  A mission was sounding more and more appealing and after much contemplation I talked to my Bishop and began my papers.  While diligently preparing for what I thought was going to be a mission became preparing for meeting my future husband.  I met Chris halfway through filling out my papers.  GAME CHANGER.

My life took a different path and I got married.  Before getting married to Chris I had never lived away from my home.  I lived with my parents and at  their house the gospel runs every aspect of their life.  I was reminded constantly of the importance of reading the scriptures and attending church.  Imagine yourself going from elementary school straight to college.  I left a place where I had my hand held the whole way to YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN KID.  Needless to say it’s been hard. Waking up on Sunday and not having any pressure to go to church for ALL three hours.  Being a poor couple who could use every penny, I had no person saying “Did you pay your tithing?” No one is telling me to get out of bed and onto my knees.  You get the picture.

As much as you’re twenties (I’m not even 20 yet ha, SOON) are a time of fun they should also be a period of self discovery, reflection and independence.   NOW is the time to decide what you’re priorities are and what you believe.  Alma 34:32 “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Now is the time is to gain a testimony of the things that are so easy to blow off like, tithing, scripture study, prayer, church attendance, fasting, etc.  We can’t expect for these habits to come easily, from experience I can tell you they don’t!  AT ALL.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!  I don’t anticipate that it will be any easier doing these things in my later years when I haven’t started now! Every time I do these things (As my mom would say)  I put money in my spiritual bank account and I begin to know of the truth of the doctrine by practicing it.

It may seem strange that after being married in the Salt Lake Temple  and having taken out my Endowment that I don’t have a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel.  I doubt everyday and have worries and concerns like many others.  The only thing I strongly know to be true is that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I have leaned on my parents testimony for nineteen years which is far too long. I decided that It is time to find my OWN testimony and knowledge of this Gospel.  I didn’t go on a mission and I don’t want to regret that decision.  I want to be able to share scriptures in church and have conversations with my husband on a spiritual level and feel equal. I want to help hasten the work here in downtown Salt Lake City where the need is great. Already as a wife I have grown to know my Savior more than ever before. I am reading my scriptures and praying for the will power to learn this gospel.  I want to continually be pointed towards the Lord and his Temple.

This week my testimony builder was temple attendance.

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 It is all too common to get sealed in the Temple and to rarely return to that sacred place.  Being that I live less than 5 minutes away from the beautiful Salt Lake Temple I have made it a goal to go two times a month.  I haven’t been perfect but so far it has blessed my life tremendously.  I try my best to prepare mentally before I go by taking my time and thinking positively.  The temple is a testament of God’s love for his children.  God bestows so many blessings when we follow the commandments and honor our covenants made there.  As much as going to the temple with my husband is amazing, I had the opportunity to go with my family and my 92 year old Grandma Marcia.  It is crazy that even someone like my Grandma who has been more times than she can count and worked there for many years still can learn something new from the experience. However, Marcia can’t remember the last time she had gone and participated.   SO SO grateful she was ready when we called her! She still keeps her temple recommend current.  I hope to not only live to be 92 but to also have a current temple recommend!  As I helped her get her things ready and drove her to the Jordan River Temple I could tell she was excited.  She knows that hearing God’s words and feeling the Spirit can rejuvenate the soul so tremendously.  Being with her was one of the sweetest memories I will ever have with her.  Please take the time to serve and go to the temple.  

I hope to provide posts for my readers with uplifting messages of how to strengthen your testimony through the little things. I would love to hear of your journey of finding a testimony as well!

 

“Swipe Right” leads to “I Do”

Being a tinder success story has led Chris and I to some really fun experiences.

elle-tinder-marriages-chris-janie-iiCpmd-vElle Magazine just recently posted an article about the new tinder trend. The site is not just for hook ups but for finding the love of your life.  We were one of the ten couples interviewed. Check out the article by Jo Piazza!

http://www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/tinder-dating-app-marriages

6 reactions to saying “I met my spouse on tinder”

Telling someone you met on Tinder, a social media app, or online dating site is scary, TRUST ME.  Everyone has a different opinion and reaction.  Here are some that Chris and I got when telling others we met on Tinder.

1. The people who use tinder say:

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2. Those like my parents for a short time, Tinder is EVIL!

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3. The frisky bunch say: “I don’t wanna meet my spouse but,…”

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4.  Those who are much too cool and good looking for dating apps and sites: “seriously?”

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5. Those who are elderly or technologically slow: “what’s an iPhone?”

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6.  Fellow online daters: “That’s so cool! We met on ChristianSingles.com!!!”

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We be here cause we right swiped on Tinder one day. Here’s our original Tinder photo’s that we both saw of each other that first time. 


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On the day of our wedding I tweeted at Tinder:

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That tweet ended up getting a lot of attention and even Tinder retweeted it, and reposted our picture to their Instagram. That same day we were contacted by a writer, Laura Stampler of TIME magazine:

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We did an interview with her and made it into the Feb 17 issue: (this is not the real cover)

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-Chris

North Shore

Our honeymoon was pretty close to perfect.  We stayed in a treehouse/shack sort of thing in North Shore, Hawaii.  The place was equipped with bikes, surf boards (hope you’re all thinking of Beyonce now), long boards, a small little kitchen, and darling dogs who roam the grounds.  The gentleman who owns all the shacks is the chillest surfer bro, not even exaggerating.  Such a cool set up that I would recommend to anyone!

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We loved walking and riding our bikes to all the local beaches.  Our treehouse was 5 minutes walking distance to Sunset Beach.  Watching surfers at pipeline was amazing.  Ted’s bakery and that scrumptious chocolate pie.  Kahuku Grill had delicious burgers!  So many local shrimp and food trucks.  Jumping off Laie Point was a blast and perfect for the amount of thrill I was seeking. We loved shark’s cove grill that had a great view of ha shark’s cove.

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the Royal wedding


The Holladay 25th Ward is my HOME.
H25 pride has always gone through my veins.
I am so grateful for all my primary, young women, and relief society teachers and leaders.  All of you have taught me so many amazing things from homemaking and money management to forgiveness and christlike love.  This shower showed me how loved I am by my sweet ward and neighborhood friends.  I adore, admire, and appreciate every single one of you!
 
Thank you to all who helped with my
 
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The group was outfitted with large English hats as if we were at a tea party or the races.
Our faces are superimposed onto the Royal Family wedding photo! I died!
 
No we are NOT pregnant! Just a clever joke!
 
However, the Royal couple wore a Tiara and Crown!
 
Teacups were used for our soup! so cute.
 
 I even received these cute mugs that say “Hooray for George”  Even though they are for the royal Prince George I can’t wait to use them! I am so excited to become a George!
 
Thank you for making me feel like a princess tonight!
 
 
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Y do I love U

Chris George and his ENTIRE family bleed Cougar Blue.
I mean REALLY Blue.  Both his parents and all his siblings went to BYU, his Sister, Tiffany, was a cheerleader there as well as her husband Dave, and his sister, Sadie, is currently a Cougarette.  Talk about a Y fan family.
And I’m there on my lonesome in Crimson Red just like “Go Utes.”
I’m learning to make it work.  I will always be a Utah Ute.  However, I learn to love my darling little Cougars.
So much gratitude for my sweet family friends.  So humbled to be surrounded by the most amazing and sweet people.
LOVE YOU ALL!
Day Count: 18
Foam fingers! WITH RINGS!
 
 THE yummiest thing one can ever eat.
 
The traditional “go to the country” song
 
 The most precious song.  Thank you Liz for all your love.