Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thanks, 2010!

It's been a fun year, full of new experiences and surprises. And so, in no particular order, here are our top ten of 2010.

*Graduating - Oh, what a feeling! It's so nice that Jeffree and I have both successfully completed school. Sure, there's more to come, but having Bachelor degrees is a nice little cushion in our lives.

*Temple - working at the Temple has been an amazing experience. We've learned so much and cherished our time there. We've met wonderful people and had beautiful experiences.

*Marriage - just being with Jeffree all the time is such a neat thing. We love always being together - laughing, crying, sleeping - whatever it is, it's just better with the most wonderful man in the world.

*Apartment - As much fun as living in a one bedroom was, it's been so nice to expand our belts and breath a little more easily with so much space. Saving money on rent wasn't a bad idea either. I'm still adjusting to no internet. :)

*Biking - okay, maybe I'm weird, but Jeffree and I had so much fun biking everywhere together while it was still warm.

*Best friends - I've had the opportunity to know so many wonderful people and form and enhance such beautiful friendships.

*Vacations - not necessarily traveling somewhere, but just having a break. I love waking up with Jeffree whenever we want to, making a scrumpcious breakfast and just being together with nothing else to do. 2010 saw a lot of that... summer, fall harvest, being snowed in for a week at Thanksgiving...

*Blogging - I love being inspired by others' blogs as well as having a place for my own thoughts. It's especially cute that Jeffree always wants to read my posts. So nice to know that he, and others, care about my thoughts.

*Baby Girl Shirley - we're so excited you're on your way, and we're certain you'll be in our top ten again next year.

*Jeffree - I know I already said marriage, but Jeffree and being married to Jeffree are indeed unique things. I love watching him with others. I am delighted when friends burst out laughing at his cute little ways. I'm enthralled with his goodness, not just to me, but in everyway. He is so dedicated to living a wonderful life. Every day I am elevated by his goodness. I love you, Jeffree Dean!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And wild and sweet

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I hope everyone had the most wonderful Christmas. The Christmas eve nativity, a picture on the stairs, and breakfast after opening presents.

Being with Jeffree always makes it such a wonderful day. Listening to him play Christmas songs on the piano and guitar is one of my favorite things. Cuddling and watching Christmas movies, hot cocoa, peppermint ice cream... the list of favorite holiday past times could go on and on. We skyped with Jeffree's parents, who are serving in Florida, as well as with my sister Karin, who is serving in Kirtland, Ohio. I'm not quite ready to go back to Rexburg away from family. I'm looking forward to moving back to Utah and being closer to everyone.

Our sweet little girl got more Christmas presents than Jeffree and I. But she needs more than we do. Jeffree did feel her this past week, and he was so excited. He's already wrapped around her little finger.

I'm thankful for so many things! Mostly so grateful to have a wonderful family and to be wonderfully blessed with a warm apartment, an abundance of the necessities of life, and an enormous outpouring of love from those we hold dear.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How do you know?

Without the internet in our apartment, my blogging has certainly become rarer. But we are kind of enjoying our sojourn back to medieval times of no internet.

Baby Shirley is healthy and well, as far as we know. Baby reminds won’t let us forget about him/her and will cause quite the uproar sometimes. But I am doing well, and we feel extremely blessed.

Baby is 18 weeks and has an estimated arrival date of April 20th. I suspect baby is so excited to meet Daddy that he/she will come early. Maybe the 19th.

Baby might feel bad, because sometimes we call Baby “it”. It seems to take a lot of effort to say he/she all the time. On Monday we will no longer refer to Baby as “it,” however. That’s right! Monday we find out if little Baby Shirley is a boy or girl. But first, we want to know what you think. Here are some stats:

Jeffree’s oldest sibling is a girl.

My six oldest siblings are boys.

Of my siblings who have children, 5/6 had boys first. Jeffree’s siblings’ firsts are a 3:4 ratio, girls to boys.

My classes voted 66 boy and 44 girl, but most people I’ve asked say girl.

As far as where I'm carrying, etc, I really have no idea. I can't feel the baby yet, and I haven't noticed anything weird about my body. So, your guess is as good as mine :)

So, dear blog friends, what will it be?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We've got more than enough for two

We are so excited

at the prospect of what’s to come…

So overwhelmed

at the thought of taking care of such a precious gift…


to meet you…


of what you will be like…


to finally have you so close…

In love

with you already…

And no matter what package you come in…

We will welcome you, our little angel.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It was a graveyard smash!

A little something to celebrate the Halloween spirit... whatever that is.

Starring Jeffree Shirley

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tag, I'm it!

I’ve been tagged. I’m supposed to answer the following questions about myself:

1. When you were little, what did you always want to be when you "grew up," and how close are you to making sure that happens?

I wanted to be all sorts of things. A singer. A photographer. An author. The one that was most consistently my goal was an author. As in, I actually started writing a book once. Or twice. I guess I even wrote a bunch of song lyrics, so that goes for both singer and author.

How close am I? Well, I’m the author of this blog….

2. What is your favorite thing about your mom?

She’s tough. Like really tough. In every way. She can beat me (and all my other sisters and a few of my brothers) in an arm wrestle. She had 14 children. She loves all 14 of them. She gets up at 4 am to study the scriptures. She goes to college full time. She plans weddings, helps with babies, goes to athletic events and concerts, and still has time to answer the phone when I call her. She’s had polio, strokes, and been in a wheelchair. And she keeps on going.

I am taller than her, though. Which means she needs me in some ways. Like to reach stuff up high.

3. In 5 years, where do you see yourself? And do you really think you'll get there?

Jeffree and I will own our home. Like, completely. No more house payments. And I’ll have really adorable children. Hopefully at least 2 by then. I’m pretty sure it’ll happen. We’ve got a pretty intense “plan.”

4. When you have free-time (yes, i know, what the heck does that mean?) what do you like to do?

Read. Books, blogs, status updates. I love knowing what’s going on. I also love learning new things.

5. Name three adjectives your Husband would use to describe you.

And I quote, “Stunningly gorgeous, amazing, and hunerd.”

You might be wondering what hunerd is and if maybe it’s a typo. No, it’s no typo. And it basically means whatever Jeff wants it to mean at the time.

6. What is the strangest thing you've ever done?

Strange? Strange is an interesting word. I’m not really sure how to answer this one.

7. What are you listening to right now?

Jeffree talking to his brother on the phone. Though rumor has it I’ll soon be listening to him play songs on the guitar.

8. Why do you blog?

Because I can. And to update my family.

So there you have it, Elyse. I'm too tired to think of other questions or who to tag. But even responding to a tag is a big deal for me :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank you, Baby!

Thank you, Jeffree, for making me laugh. Every day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Till we meet at Jesus' feet

Jeffree and I got tickets to General Conference this year. Jeff had never been, so I was extra excited for him to be there. We went to the Sunday morning session. We got to enjoy Music and the Spoken Word, the words of the prophets, and the Spirit. It was AMAZING!!!

My favorite is the overwhelming Spirit I always feel when the prophet walks into the room. You don’t even have to see him to know that he is entering.

I am thankful for the opportunity to listen to a prophet’s voice!

Some of my favorites from conference:

*Favorite joke: “At this point some of you may be thinking, “That’s all very fine and good, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane? “ – Dieter F Uchtdorf

*Favorite accent – Claudio R M Costa

*Favorite word – murmur, said by the aforementioned Costa. The way he said it was way cool.

*Favorite quote – “I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot. “ –President Thomas S Monson

What a blessing it is to be led by these great men and women, to hear their words every 6 months, and to be enriched and inspired by the lives they live. Heavenly Father has placed us in such good hands.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And wait for the dawn

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow! 20 days of thanks. She only posts every week (or less). It’s gonna take months before we’re done with this blogging theme.”

That’s what I’ve thought, too.

Today I am grateful to just be with Jeffree. Like, physically in his presence. I watched parts of the Chile miner rescue today. I won’t lie and say I didn’t cry when I saw couples embrace each other and cry. They clung to each other so tightly, so gratefully. I made sure to hold extra tight to my Jeffree today.

Can you imagine? 69 days trapped underground with limited oxygen, food, and water. Not to mention the pure confinement. Not knowing if you’ll see your family again. Not knowing if you’ll get to see your children or even meet your newborn child.

I’m so grateful to have Jeffree in my arms. I’m also grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who strengthened those trapped men and their families. I’m grateful for everyone involved in the rescue process. It was inspiring to watch. I’m grateful for a political leader who openly expressed thanks to God for preserving those men. What a touching thing to witness.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I’m going there someday

There’s such a beautiful feeling when you walk in. The feeling of coming home. The feeling of being where you’re supposed to be. The feeling of being worthy. The feeling of loving God and feeling His love for you. I love the feelings I have when I go to the Temple.

When Jeffree and I were engaged, we set the goal of attending the Temple weekly as a married couple. Enormous blessings have come from that simple sacrifice of our time. We missed a week because I was sick, and going back the next week reminded me of how my soul yearns to be in the Lord’s house.

One of our friends was a Temple worker and suggested that we volunteer as well. Some of our plans for the immediate future weren't quite coming to fruition. I thought just maybe that was because Heavenly Father wanted us to have the opportunity to serve in His house.

In June we began our service as ordinance workers and a tremendous outpouring of blessings has come. Our marriage, which was already amazing, became infinitely better. My understanding of the Temple ordinances increased drastically as I worked to memorize the ordinances. I found myself pondering on the Temple and things of eternity more throughout the week, not just when we were in the Temple.

Today I feel so grateful for the opportunity to serve God in His holy House. I am grateful for the restored gospel on the earth, in it’s fullness. I am grateful for the saving ordinances I have received, and for the privilege in helping so many others partake of those sacred covenants. I am grateful for the people I've met and the beautiful smiles I see from others who come to serve. I am thankful for the order, beauty, peace, and hope found in the Temple.

I love to see the Temple.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's all around the town

It’s autumn time and I know almost everyone on earth has blogged about how much they either love or hate fall. I am about to join the ranks.

Today I’m grateful for the perfect fall day. Which was yesterday, though I’m sure many more are to come.

Jeffree and I went for a jog in the morning. The air was cool and crisp and the weather was perfect. A little disc in the park and we were all set to go. We both ended up with soaking wet shoes covered in grass, but who could complain? Especially when Jeffree washed them off for us while I took a nice shower.

Lunch was delicious pasta, a refreshing fall salad, and some cute little garlic toasts. Then on to crafting!

I went to bed the night before with determination to create some fun fall decorations. I dragged Jeffree into the scheme with me, figuring his creative genius, along with his DI shopping skills, would become most beneficial. They did indeed. We estimated that we saved about $25-30 with the items we got on sale/created ourselves. Fall d├ęcor can be pretty pricey.

I crafted away a few glorious hours while Jeffree made homemade bread. I don’t think Jeffree has ever really understood the extent to which I enjoy doing crafty things. But yesterday he got a small glimpse. When he said the blessing on dinner, he said, “and thanks that loRi had so much fun today.”

*We haven't figured out what to do with the big frame...

The perfect thunderstorm kept us from gathering pinecones at the park, but it was too beautiful to get mad at. I love the rain.

After soup and bagel melts, we topped the night off with friends, homemade bread, and hot cocoa. It was a simply lovely fall day.

And German pancakes this morning didn’t necessarily put me in a foul mood, either. Aaahhh, Fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I could get used to this

For those days when nothing else is quite as soothing...

Also for those moments when a hug from my man does help me feel better, but a little treat to top things off doesn't hurt either.

Mixing it with some of the world's other most divine treats only increases it's power. Some of the best:

1. Chocolate and peanut butter.
2. Chocolate and cinnamon bears.
3. Milk and white chocolate.
4. Chocolate and toffee.
5. Brownies and cake batter ice cream.

Oh, so yummy!

Am I sinning if I'm grateful for chocolate? I'm just trying to appreciate the finer things of life.

It's so creamy. and delicious. and inviting. and satisfying.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If I could make a livin' out of lovin' you

Inspired by a friend's blog, I've decided to dedicate my blog to "20 days of thanks." For the next 20 posts, Jeffree and I will be focusing on what we are grateful for. Here it goes...

6 days down, 169 to go! That's right, Jeffree and I started teaching last week. (and no, we are not actually counting down) We love our jobs. Some moments are more trying than others, but the fun moments definitely outweigh the bad.

*We had to wear matching (boy) shirts the first day. Not my best look :)

We're not quite used to the schedule yet. I miss sleeping in, and doing my hair seems to take longer when I'm tired. But we are so GRATEFUL to have full time jobs. We are so blessed. We both work with great teachers and have awesome classes. We couldn't ask for more than the same weekends off, a buddy at district inservice meetings, and someone who can relate to the [joys] of teaching.

The best moment of the school year was the first day (when it was finally over). It was about 5:45 when I got home. I walked in to a delicious dinner on the stove, the table was set, and romantic music was playing. He's the best, let me tell ya. I can't imagine what I'd do without him.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

We're gonna need a bigger straw

Sometimes we don't seem to have enough sugar to make lemonade out of lemons.

Sometimes life gives us lemonade - premixed, sweetened to perfection. With raspberries.

And sometimes, we are the sugar. Sent to sweeten someone's lemons. And we don't even know.

Even more rarely, that someone will tell us how timely our spoonful of sugar was. That happened to Jeffree and me.

Months ago, like almost a year, we took a few minutes out of our lives and a few dollars out of our pockets, and a little bit of creativity. We delivered a can of Country Time lemonade, some balloons and this note...


You may not have heard of this less common phrase,

“When life gives you lemons, drink lemonade.”

Proven in the old “country, time” after time,

Downing this drink makes hearts feel sublime.

It’s loaded with flavor and vitamin C,

And thus it provides “lemon” immunity.

So with great love we give you this gift,

Hoping, somehow, your spirits to lift.

It was silly, and took such little effort. Really. Tonight, our dear friend thanked us for that note. She cried when she told us that she read it everyday. She cried as she told us it made her year. And we cried, humbled to be an ingredient in her lemonade.

The world gives us lemons. Mortality gives us lemons. But a loving Father in Heaven always sends some sugar. He always makes sure that, if we are willing and ready, we have all the right ingredients to that celestial lemonade. We just have to stir a little.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Once upon a time...

Currently celebrating ONE YEAR of our Happily Ever After

Friday, July 9, 2010


Didn't know what to make for my BFF's baby shower... So, after being inspired by lil boo blue, I decided to "upcycle." An old pair of pjs, an old t-shirt, and some patriotic material turned into some cute little onesies. Yes, I am quite proud of my little creations.

Since I don't have a sewing machine yet, I did a little hand stitching. Is it normal to have abnormal growths on ones hands after hand stitching for two days?

This one was the last one to be finished and I may or may not have been "sew" tired of sewing by then that I may or may not have sewn the onesie to itself.

By far my favorite. Inspired by Jeffree's best friend Dave, who has the American Flag on everything he creates.

Now can we have a baby to make more cute little onesies?!!

I hope our little Mr. McMurry enjoys his stylish new clothes. And Jeffree hopes he's chubby :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One fine day

International Kiss Day

"The idea behind the International Kissing Day is that many people may have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing's sake, as opposed to kissing as mere social formality or prelude to other activities. Kissing can be an enjoyable experience in and of itself. It is an expression and experience of intimacy."

I'll have to admit...
we did enjoy celebrating this holiday!

Happy International Kiss Day! Enjoy!