Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

This semester truly has flown by.  Today is the last day of classes and finals are next week!  I still have lots to do, including two papers and two tests, but the end is approaching.

Thanksgiving was splendid in Colorado.  Despite a cough, it was a fabulous time at Carrie and Kevin's.  Oh how  I love their boys.  One of my favorite memories from this trip is Max singing "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." All of the words aren't quite clear, but it sure is beautiful and loud.  I love them and Jake.  It makes Choco and I hope for amazing kids like them.  Thanksgiving included much feasting, some Family Feud, a few puzzles, reading, relaxing, gingerbread house decorating, and even some shopping.  I also ate the best cold turkey sandwiches of my life, thanks to grandma's incredible homemade rolls.  Yummy, so good.  I believe in a little mayo, turkey, salt, cheese, and pickle on a white roll with classic Lays potato chips.  Doesn't get any better.  Carrie sure know how to throw a party.  It was great!!  It was so nice to have  a get away with my family.  I love them so much.

the beautiful set up for Thanksgiving dinner

Choco and Coco

One of the puzzles we put together

gingerbread houses!

The Lopez gingerbread house.
As you can see, we have six gummy bear children
and we are gingerbread marshmallows. :)

We are both very excited for the upcoming break.  I'm loving listening to Christmas music.  Some of my favorites are currently Jordan Bluth (such a beautiful tenor voice), and SheDaisy (classic in the Thomas household).  Yay for Christmas carols!

The Christmas First Presidency Devotional marked one year since our first date.  It was fun to reflect on an eventful and beautiful year together.  I'm so grateful we can be together forever, because I love him so much!!  I am amazed at his goodness and love.  

The devotional was so good and uplifting.  It is always good to remember where our focus should be at this time of year.  I would like to read Pres. Monson's yearly readings over the break: A Christmas Carol and The Mansion.  I truly am so grateful for Jesus Christ and this time of year we have to celebrate his birth and life and sacrifice for us.  What a blessing it is to know these truths and to have peace from our Savior.  Merry merry Christmas!

I love Christmas trees, real Christmas trees.  So, I was spoiled and we got a beautiful pine from the Home Depot.  It smells so good, like Christmas.  Our decorations include icicle lights from Amy and Jamir's wedding and left over ribbons from our wedding gifts.  It is beautiful!!  I love having it in our home.

Happy end of the semester and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving..almost.  What a beautiful holiday Thanksgiving is.  Time with family, amazing and delicious food, maybe a nap, and a movie.  What could be better?  It is also a great reminder of the need to be grateful.  Our lives are full of blessings, but sometimes it's hard to see them or remember who they come from.  I like to think that I am a grateful person, but let's be honest.  I still have so much to work on.  I, all too often, think that I have the blessings I do because of me.  I think everyone needs a little reminder that all of our blessings, everything we have in this life, comes to us from a loving Heavenly Father.

I have much cause to be grateful this year at this Thanksgiving season.  I have an amazing and loving husband, wonderful family, beautiful home, blessing of being in school, etc. etc.  I am so grateful for the Lord loving me and blessing me.  I am eternally in debt to Him.  So, let's be a bit more grateful and remember who our blessings come from.

Here's just a snip-it of my list of things I'm grateful for right now:
Choco: my wonderful, fun, handsome, and amazing husband.
My fam. Mom, Dad, Brit, Addie, and Park. Plus my extended family and in-law family.  I love them all!
The gospel
Our basement apartment home
Temple so close
Laughing everyday
Cooking and usually delicious food
An amazing ward full of wonderful people
The Provo Library, it's my guilty pleasure

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wedding, yoga, etc.

What a lovely weekend it was.  I'm grateful for weekends to spend with Choco.  This one was especially nice.  Friday, we went to our friends', Jacob and Sheliese, wedding.  The Draper temple was lovely, and it was special to be there.  The reception was that night with delicious food and some fun company.  Our table seemed to be full of kids, but we had a great time with them.

Saturday, Choco worked and I slept in.  Then I worked in the afternoon.  We had an Indian night for our date at home.  This included chicken curry, which was delicious thanks to a curry packet we bought at Buy Low.  I found this yoga DVD at the library this week.  It is partner yoga, so we did some yoga together.  It was entertaining.  Luckily no one was around to see us because we are not too skilled, but it was fun.  The twisting triangle was my least favorite move.  We did the tree pretty well and also I don't know what it is called but you basically do a wall sit back to back.  Our thighs were burning, but we were pretty good.  Overall, we laughed a lot, didn't hurt ourselves too badly, and decided yoga may not be our calling.  It was a memorable evening together.

Sunday, we finally got to do our new church calling of ward librarians.  I'm excited for it and to meet wonderful people in the ward by handing them chalk and erasers or crayons, etc.  The rest of Sunday, we just relaxed, ate some crock pot pork stew (which was my first time cooking in the crock pot and was delicious!), took a nap, ate some home-made rolls, and enjoyed being together.  I love Sundays to have some time to cook.  All together, lovely lovely weekend.  Which makes it a bit harder to come back to Monday and a busy week with lots of assignment due, but life is so good.

Thanksgiving is next week!!!  I am so excited to eat and be the fam.  So great.  And especially for cold-turkey sandwiches (my fav from the holiday).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

The holidays are coming!!  I love this festive time of year.
Halloween was relaxed and nice.  We hit Krispy Kremes for some amazing pumpkin doughnuts in the morning and then school.  For dinner, I made soup, potato chowder that was warm and pretty delicious.  We waited outside for the few trick-or-treaters to come so we could give away some of our candy.  Then just relaxed eating pumpkin cookies and watching Psych.  I know, we're not too exciting, but it was a nice first Halloween together.  We're excited to have some tots of our own to experience Halloween with.  Tomorrow is Dia de los Muertos, so we might have a little party for that.

It was a beautiful Autumn day yesterday.
Today is kind of a different story.  It is still lovely, but it has been raining all morning and there is snow on the mountains. But with my umbrella, coat, and gloves, I made it home only with wet feet.  We had the amazing blessing of going to devotional in the Marriott Center.  We had a celebrity today... President Monson!!  I love him so much.  He talked about the importance of us being a light and example to the world and those we surround.  It was inspiring and a special treat to hear from the Prophet.

So, now because it is past Halloween Choco I think will let me start listening to the occasional Christmas song!  I've been putting on all of Josh Groban's albums on shuffle, which includes Noel, his Christmas album, and Chris was complaining it wasn't even Halloween.  But now it is November so a little Christmas cheer through song is good!  I'm so excited for Thanksgiving in Colorado with the fam!!! Can't wait to see Carrie, Kev, and the boys and to party and eat and be grateful with everyone.  What a blessing to have such good family.  Speaking of that, Grandpa Bob's 90th Birthday Party is on Saturday in Pocatello!!  We're so excited to celebrate this amazing man we love.

All and all, life is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Truly Happy

For FHE this week Amy and Jamir came over.  For the lesson, we watched Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from the General Relief Society Meeting called "Forget Me Not."  It is an inspiring talk.  I love his words and message to us as women. 

Because of the talk and because I feel a need some direction with the blog, I'm changing things up a little.  I want to "discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments."  I've kept a gratitude journal before, so I am kind of going to approach writing from this perspecitve.  I do find such joy and pleasure in the everyday moments.  I want to remember and share that God is mindful of me and of each of us.  He gives us countless blessings each day.  I'm going to work on being grateful and savoring small things from everyday life given to me by Him.  I hope that I can "thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout [my] life."  I know that I am truly happy because of my faith and this gratitude and wonder in my life.  So, we'll see how it goes. 
P.S. If you didn't get the chance to listen to Pres. Uchtdorf give this talk, I would highly recommend it.  Here's my favorite section from it:

"Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.
The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy." -Pres. Uchtdorf

To begin this form of gratitude journal I would like to share 4 things that I have treasured the beauty and sweetness of these past couple of days.  They all start with a 'p'. 
My four 'P' joyful things I love:

PEARS: We have a pear tree in our backyard.  What a blessing!  I ate the most delicious pear of my life on Monday.  It was perfectly sweet and ripe and I savored every bite.  YUM.
PUMPKIN BREAD: Sunday, I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread.  It tastes like Fall, and we can't get enough of it.

PRESENTS: I love my husband.  Yesterday he surprised me with this gift. I know, it is just baking soda and powder, but it meant so much.  This is because lthe night before we were deciding on what things to buy this week for groceries.  I said I would like baking soda because I am out and what if I need (as in want) to make cookies or something?  He said maybe we should just buy it next month when we do our 'big' first of the month shopping trip.  I agreed, somewhat sadly.  At Macey's yesterday, he couldn't remember which one it was, powder or soda, so he bought them both.  He even tied them up with a beautiful purple bow.  He is so sweet. And I can make cookies now!
PROVO: It is beautiful in Autumn.  I love Fall here.  I love the trees changing colors, the crisp air, and the beautiful mountains that are now red and orange.  It is lovely to live in such a lovely place.  Plus, I get to attend BYU and learn.  I'm very blessed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lost and found sale

This past Saturday we decided to go to the BYU lost and found sale at the Wilk for a little adventure.  It did turn out to be quite the fun time.  People were a bit crazy trying to search for the best items off the tables.  They staff even gave us a list of rules before we could go into the ballroom, which included no running, etc. Apparently, people wait for hours, maybe even camp out for this sale.  We decided at 8:40 while we were just waking up that we should be there.

It was quite entertaining seeing people in action and find mode.  Also, the unique items that people lose were interesting.  People loose things from their pants to their iPods, from shoes to TVs. 
Weirdest item of the morning: a rubber snake.  Yes, we refrained from purchasing it.  But we did find some nice, cheap things.  Choco found a couple of clothing items.  I must confess I found most of my interest in books!

Who can say no to a 50 cent children's book?  Not I.  Loved our adventure and am excited for children to read the books to.  For now, I just read them aloud to my husband.  He's a trooper.

Also, just a side note. I have new hair!!  I got it cut a couple of weeks ago and I love my fresh new do.  Here's a picture from the Highland-Poky game.  We got to go home for the weekend to Pocatello to see Park play.  He is the best and such a man with his 'summer of Samson' hair.  His hair is longer than mine, which is a bit strange I must confess.
With my wonderful grandparents.
love my mom!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Camping and Conference

Last weekend we had a little adventure trying camping out for the first time together.  It was a... memorable and good learning experience. We didn't have a tent.  Sleeping in the car was not the best idea.  It was a bit uncomfortable and freezing.  That morning in trying to start the campfire, I had a little accident and singed some of my hair and right eyelash.  It was funny, but my hair smelled so terrible!  I learned to be more careful when around or starting the fire.  Overall, though it was a good weekend getaway with my hubby.  We had enormous and delicious smores, which are my favorite part of camping.

My HUGE smore with 'giant roaster' marshmallows

Messy from smores and fire

love it

our morning 'hike'. it was sunny, obviously from Choco's face.
you can also kind of see my singed hair :(

Creepy skeleton we saw while walking around.
It was lovely scenery with changing colors of the trees.
I love Autumn!

That Saturday, Tia Teresa invited me to come to dinner and the general relief society meeting with her and family.  It was fun to have a ladies night out.  The food and meeting were both so great! 

Yesterday, we had the blessing of going to Salt Lake to watch the morning and afternoon sessions in the conference center with Choco's mom and dad, Tia Laura, Marcela, and Jamir and Amy.  I love conference!  It was so good to be there.  Today, Choco and I just stayed home and watched conference here.  We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet!!  and all the other general authorities and their messages.  What a blessing to learn and refocus our lives. 

Here are some pics from the wedding day.  The Houghtons were so fabulous!  Thank you Holly :)
the Lopez family

the Thomas clan

So funny

one of my favorites

mom and daddy-o

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our Fiesta

So, Mexican Independence Day was on the 16th of September.  To celebrate this special occasion and also as our first new house introduction, we had a party on Saturday the 17th! I had a really great time.  Thanks to everyone that came.  

We had corn on a stick, just like in Nacho Libre.  It was Delicious!  Who knew a little mayo, cheese, and chili would be so amazing on corn?!  Choco also had the fabulous idea of making a beautiful Mexican flag out of watermelon, jicama, and cucumbers.

 People brought a variety of salsas and other food and Choco made guacamole.  We even had some horchata.  Overall, the food was so great.  We also made a beautiful pinata, in the shape of a house.  It was fun to sing the pinata song (or pretend to sing the words since it is in Spanish :) and watch everyone take a wack at it.  Charades followed, boys vs. girls.  It got dark quite early, so we had to bring a couple lamps out.  But we had a really good time!  Viva Mexico! 
Us in our fantastic Mexico attire. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Expressions of Love

I saw this video on Facebook today and got a little teary-eyed.  It is super sweet, 
and I'm grateful for Choco's expressions of love every day.  Let's all be a little 
better at expressing love to those that mean the most to us. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happily Settled In

Today we've been married for two weeks!  It's crazy how fast it has gone, but also feels like a long time.  I don't know, but things are going splendidly. 

School has been a bit busy already, which makes me nervous about the rest of the semester, but it is great.  I'm enjoying my classes in the El Ed program so far.  This week on Wednesday, I get to go to Park Elementary and teach P.E. to 16 kindergartners!!  I'm super nervous but excited. 

Our home, basement apartment, is perfect for us.  I love it.  Because of the kindness and generosity of so many people, it feels like home.  We have a beautifully stocked kitchen, great decor on the wall, lovely Potting Soil towels (from Jedd and Karen :), lovely bedding, amazing TV, blankets, and so many other fantastic things.  Thank you to all!!  We love and appreciate you!  Choco and are loving having a home for our little family.

Our fabulous Tia Karen!

Tonight, I made delicious chicken stir fry in an awesome wok from the Hansen family.  It was yummy!  Now Choco is working on a dresser he discovered at DI today.  He is such a worker and handy-man.  I love seeing his satisfaction in his projects.  Because of him, we have pictures on the walls, newly refurnished chairs, a great love seat, etc. etc.  Everyday I love him more and more.  I'm so grateful for his goodness and righteousness and everything that he is.  We went to the temple yesterday and got to do sealings.  I know it has only been two weeks, but it was good to be reminded of that incredible day and the covenants we've made.  Life is Beautiful!! 

Some pictures from our pre-wedding day shoot.  Thank you Holly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We had a wonderful weekend in Mexico with Choco's amazing family.  It was wonderful to meet his brother Josue who just came home from his mission.  We also got to go to Kino Beach, which was beautiful.  
I must confess that I am motivated to learn Spanish.  I'm excited for the day when I'll acutally understand everything that is going on. 

At the airport with Josue and Choco.
3 days and counting!!  I can't believe I'm getting married this week.  I'm so excited to be Mrs. Lopez!  I changed the picture on the profile.  It is a preview of the amazing pictures Holly took for us.  I know it might be kind of jumping the gun, but I loved it too much.  This week we're busy cooking food and finishing up details for the wedding.  It is going to be a party! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Big Weekend

It was an exciting and eventful weekend.  Friday morning Chris drove up from Provo because I went to the temple Friday afternoon in Idaho Falls.  It was beautiful and a special experience.  I'm so excited to go back again and again.  I love my family so much and were so grateful some of them could be there with me.  It is a huge blessing to be surrounded by some of the people you love in the house of the Lord.  What a blessing!!

I was especially excited to see my best friend Rach in the temple.  I love her.  Feels like only yesterday when we were little girls jumping on the tramp together.  I'm so grateful for her amazing example and for the blessing of such an incredible friend. 

Also, I love love love my husband-to-be.  He truly is so amazing.  I'm so lucky to be loved by him. 
Only 12 days!


After the temple, we ate a delicious lunch at Johnny Carinos.  Can you say yummy?!  I love the bread and dipping garlic and olive oil especially.  Then we ran to Macy's and Dillard's in IF, bought a pair of shoes to wear with my wedding dress faster than I have ever bought shoes before, and sped back to Pocatello.  I had a hair appointment, and Chris and I ran home to change into our attire for pictures.  Amazing Holly is our photographer.  I love her, and we had such a good time taking some pictures Friday night.  It was so exciting to wear my dress for its debut.  I forgot my new shoes in mom's car, which was silly but it ended up working just fine.  We even took some cute barefoot pictures. Chris looks fabulous in his wedding attire as well.  Pictures to come.  I'm excited to see them!  

Saturday, my amazing lady friends and family threw me a bridal shower.  It was so fun to see and chat with people.  Everyone is supportive and generous.  Thank you all!!  Delicious food + great company + cute decor + lots of women = A party!  It was so fun.  

Fabulous friends!  I was so happy they could all come!  Love you all.

Joni and Gram

I was so happy Katie could come up!  I love my cousin.
The party planners

Choco made an appearance near the end of the shower. He is so sweet and a charmer.  I love him!  I especially love
his engineer mind.  Some of his answers to questions included 70% of questions I would get correct or on the number of dates we've been on he gave Rach an equation.  My civil engineer.
 Overall it was a beautiful weekend with the people I love.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shout out to mom

Last night, we were brainstorming for an original, clever name for this blog.  My mom is the winner when she suggested Livin' la vida Lopez.  So, here's a shout out to her for her wit.  Both my parents have suggested putting "Livin' la vida Loca" on the blog, but I must confess I don't really love the song.  So, we'll avoid that song, but I love the name for the blog.  It has a little English, a little Spanish, and a fabulous name.  Suits us very well.   

While I'm on the subject of my amazing mom, I am so blessed to have such an incredible woman for my mother.  If you know mom, then you know that she is the most friendly, loving, and joyful person. I love her so much.  Right now she is super busy as she juggles planning my wedding, selling real estate, being a football mom, student teaching for seminary, etc. etc.  I have no idea how she gets everything done and how she is still sane, but she does and does it with style.  I love her so, so much!!  Thanks mommy.

Mother and daughter at the Hill Cumorah Pageant, which explains my hippie outfit with headband and all.  I'm so glad they came to support me and see the show.  We also had an incredible traveling around back east.  It was an amazing time with the fam! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Marriage and Starting a Blog

I've always thought it would be fun to start a blog when I get married. 
Now that August 27th is almost around the corner, I figure I'd like to begin.
First, let's have some introductions: I'm Maren, the soon-to-be Mrs. Lopez.  I was born and raised in Pocatello, ID, and am blessed with an amazing family.  I'm attending BYU studying elementary education. I'm happy and love life.   I also love Choco.  He will graduate with a degree in civil engineering in December.  He is the best man I know, and I love him so much. 
 I can't wait to be his wife! 
We'll see how we do with this blog thing.