Giving thanks

Our thanksgiving was a wonder. We had so much fun having the Facer side of our family up here. We did our traditional thanksgiving morning shooting session. Dave is one sharp shooter (thats attractive) and i got considerably better. Added bonus - this year we didn't miss thanksgiving dinner! As we were gathered around the table and had finished our meal we all took turns saying what we are grateful for this year. Here are a couple things on my list:
• Dave. Best friend. Confidant. Companion.
• Family. McAffees and Facers. My best friends. How did I get so lucky?
• Jesus Christ, a Father in Heaven, and a Church that teaches me how to live a good life and be happy.
• Utah. For the mountains, the seasons, the people, the education, the firsts, the experiences.
• California. For the family, the ocean, the surf, the weather, the peace, and the freeing feeling of cruising down pch.

Over the break we:
Bowled (Dave got a 221!), ate 9 pies, played Harry potter trivia (the best game ever), many more games, walked along the Heber creeper railroad, watched football, Charlie Chaplin, the snowman, and a charlie brown christmas, played ping pong, released white does (no not kidding), read books, talked, and laughed. Just the way a break should be. Mellow, and fun. Can't wait for Christmas!


ventura highway, in the suuunshine.

OK not Ventura Hwy, the Alpine Loop. This day was BEAUTIFUL. On a Sunday after church I suggested to Dave that we just go for a drive up the canyon to take in all the fall colors and smells before winter hits. I am so glad we did. This will be one of my favorite memories of the whole year. I could not believe how bright the aspens were. Not many reds and oranges...just bright BRIGHT yellow everywhere we looked. They were the kind of views that actually took my breath away.

We did a little exploring, a lot of good talking, and enjoyed just being in the moment. This is what I want my life to be like all the time.



Dave and I are not the biggest fan of this holiday. I mean let's face it....I'm right with the department stores on this one...in fact, i beat them, started listening to Christmas music back in September when we had two days of a chill.  I'm sure Halloween will be more fun when we have kids that fully enjoy the sugar high.

Considering what we did last year for halloween (nothing), this year was a serious upgrade. Even if our costumes were put together the same day and weren't all that original. Saturday before halloween was spent at a halloween party hosted by the Johansens. Dave was a lumberjack and I was a tree. I sewed my own "tree" skirt and hat outta felt in about an hour, it was great. We got to play games, have great food, and carve pumpkins, all the while enjoying some good times catching up with friends. Dave and I brought Wasail, and for the foam cups we drew pictures on all of them with a halloween joke, on the bottom of the cup was the answer. It made for some small laughs.

Dave's favorite joke is a little inappropriate...but it was a crowd favorite, so here goes..."Why can't boy ghosts have babies?"

Drum roll please......

"Because they have Hollow-Weenies!"

Sorry Dad, I know.... that was a little much. So for actual Halloween we kept it mellow and went to see some bands play at Velour (a local Provo music stop). Dave was a lumberjack (see a running theme here?), and I was a hippy. Classy. We enjoyed some musical stylings by The Campaign ---band mates included Tom Hall and Jay Tibbits -- some of our really good friends we grew up. They have some sick jammies. Then came out a Prince tribute band called Funky Violet....and they were pretty funky. We loved it. Probably the best Halloween I've had in a long time.


favorite halloween memory

:: This is an embarassing one. I was about 12 and my younger sister was probably 9. We were going trick or treating with my mom and I think my aunt and cousin Tiff were there. Anyways, we're walkin up this one hill  and these two guys came towards us wearing Scream masks carrying fake axes and stuff. I get REALLY spooked by stuff like that. They can tell I'm scared so they come up to me and are all breathing heavy and saying creepy stuff. I just freeze, and crouch down in a ball. They wouldn't stop. I don't know where my mom or aunt were...but next thing I know my YOUNGER sister comes over and starts smacking these guys with her candy-filled pillowcase and yelling "Leave my sister alone!!" Haha. She was swingin' homers, that candy bag was hitting them so hard, I'm surprised it didn't rip open! Then they start heading towards her so she goes up on some random person's lawn and yells, "You can't come up here...this is PRIVATE PROPERTY!" They were probably thinking what the heck, this crazy little girl is tough. So they finally peaced out. At the time I couldn't laugh about it, I was just thankful she was there. But now looking back, it is one of the funniest memories I have of us together. Good times.

Any of you who know my sister...she's a tough one. It's funny because my sister has always been like that to me. Very protective. And she's always been stronger! She could beat me in an arm wrestle any day. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Haha, love you Shan!!!


landed it.

Well, all that finger crossing worked (and maybe some hard work and answered prayers), and I got offered a job today. Not just any job, but the one that I have been wanting for over a month now. Thanks for all the well wishes. So stoked!

And since I know I will be asked, I am going to be working for Liberty Mutual as an Executive/HR Assistant. Chee hoo!


cinnamon toast and a book

(picture: stack of books in our house that I have collected this past year)
. The family just left today :( They were up here for a wedding (Kevin & Lea) and it was so good to relax and enjoy family time this weekend. You can always count on good story telling and intense games when McAffee family gets together. We love it.
. Still on the job hunt....but I think something will come through this week. Fingers crossed.
. Currently listening to christmas music on pandora. As soon as the cold weather hits, it is suddenly all I want to listen to. What is your favorite Christmas song? One of mine is "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey (so cheesy I know, but I can't help but get so happy and dance around when I hear it).
. Christmas music cannot be listened to without some cinnamon toast and a good book.
. Dave and I just finished reading The Help last night. We are going to see the movie tonight. Reading 500+ pages together was pretty neat, and we definitely channeled the southern accent by the end. I think we are going to find another book and keep doing it. I am also right in the middle of reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I have never read any of her books, but I am really enjoying this one. I definitely have to be wide awake when I read it though because the language is so foreign to me.
. Hope all of you are doing well and getting excited for the holidays, we sure are.


alpine slides and park city

A couple weekends ago we hit up Park City. We've never been there together and we've lived here now for over a year, so it was high time we check it out. We had heard about the alpine slides from Ashley and some other people, so that was our first stop. IT WAS SO RAD. Probably the most fun I've had in a long time. I'd say its even better than a rollercoaster because you are in charge of how fast it goes. Before we took off down the slope, Dave was all like "OK Court, I'm gonna go fast, but I'll slow down sometimes so we can be next to each other." Little did he know I was totally going to fly down that hill. I kept up with Dave the whole time...leanin into the turns, gunnin it down the drops...he kept laughing cause he couldn't believe I was keepin up with him. I even caught some air down one of the drops. Go big or go home right? He did end up winning, but I think it's just cause he's bigger than I am. Haha. We will definitely be doing that again.

Then we were getting hungry so we headed over to the historic main street of Park City. It's got a bunch of old shops, saloons, and restaurants similar to what you would find back in the day. Really cute place to walk around. Dave found Franz the Bear...he's a cuddler. We ate at the Red Banjo and had some bomb Chicken and Artichoke pizza. So good, and our whole meal was FREE because it took a while to get our food. Love it.

The weather was my favorite...chilly, crisp, and some sprinkles of rain throughout the day. Being up in the mountains just as the leaves were turning to oranges and reds made for a perfectly cozy daytrip.


good night moon.

Sundance moonlight ride.
breathing in cold autumn air
seeing moonlight fall over mountain and valley
remembering a thrill of winters and snow
talking of futures and hopes and plans
feeling a tight squeeze, keeping me warm

free ride.

The other day we went on a mini trip of sorts. Hopped on Dave's bike and rode the streets...our destination ended up being Golden Spoon for some peanut butter cup goodness. On the way there I felt a little like Zooey in Yes Man. Have you seen that movie? She has a jogging+photography class where they take pictures---while jogging. Well, I was her, except on the back of a moto. Most of the pictures were blurry, so we had fun trying to figure out what the heck I was trying to get a picture of. It is some good wind-in-the-face + laugh happy therapy. Good for anyone who feels a little uptight or stressed out. Try it.


10 Things.

1. Reading The Help with Dave every night out loud. We've never read a book out loud with one another, but now I love it. It is a great way to connect at the end of the day, and sparks some good conversation.

2. Creating things. Pillows. Curtains. Quilt. Wreath. Pictures to come. I am loving my new sewing machine.

3. Job searching. Had many interviews, and many end the same..."You are overqualified." or "I think you'd get bored with this position." Seriously? I sit there and try to sell myself, all for them to turn around and tell me I probably wouldn't like the job. Come on. I just need a job. GIVE IT TO ME. Arrrgh. It will happen though.

4. Best friend Kari comes home in 1.5 days. Are you kidding me? I am so beyond excited to see that girl.

5. Conference weekend coming up, and so many fun people coming to stay. Sarah + Tyler (good friends), Clare + Steven (sister and fiance), Luke (brother), possibly Kari, Shannon (sister), Jared (cousin)...and probably others. Gonna be a hoot. Oh and conference will be amazing too. I'm SURE of it.

6. Tried out a Zumba class tonight. I looked 'a fool! Oh and it definitely helped when the Zumba instructor got all up in my face while shimmying and screaming at me "Shake it girl!!". Keep it up. Maybe it would help if I got pants that had tassels on the butt pockets like hers. Just a thought.

7. Been riding all around town on Dave's motorcycle, and loving it.

8. Not having an IPhone kinda makes me feel left out of the instagramming-craze. It's ok. I'll take some sweet pics with my point-and-shoot. Isn't that the real cool thing to do now?

9. There was a worker outside our window (one foot outside our window) chopping down a tree with a chainsaw yesterday. On a Sunday, for seven hours straight. Right during prime nap time! Oh the insanity.  

10. Finally getting better at the whole "cooking dinner thing." I used to not cook too often due to being in school and working - both of us wouldn't get home until 10 or 11 at night. So I came to the decision, since I am home for about 12 hours a day right now, that I could possibly maybe sorta squeeze in time to cook dinner. Ha, just kidding. But seriously, I have expanded my repetoire to about 10 things. Go me! When a meal turns out good, I parade around the house chanting my own made up theme song: "You did it, You cooked it, Ya Ya you cooked it!" And I don't feel ashamed. No ma'am.

+1. Speaking of cooking. I have perfected the art of baking cookies. And will admit that I made cookies more times last week then times I went to the gym. Gasp! But they were goood cookies.


Graduation : : Class of 2011

Ever have something you need to blog about and it's just hangin over your head and you feel like you can't write anything else until you write that one thing down? Yeah, well I have a ton of those things to write about: Graduation, two weeks in California, Dave's Central America adventure, etc. So even though I don't have all my pictures... here are my thoughts on graduating from Brigham Young University...(I just graduated a couple weeks ago in the August 2011 ceremony).

I actually wrote down my thoughts in my journal the week I was graduating, and I think I will share part of what I wrote, as it expresses my thoughts well.

"I think I am mostly excited to be done with this chapter of my life. I think I will always look back with fond memories of being a student at BYU. I'm sure one day I will miss it and reminise about the "good ole days." But for now, the overall feeling I have is just gratitude. College was definitely a time of growth for me. I made some great friends, learned to put myself out there and be social, how to fellowship, how to study hard and achieve my goals. I had some interesting experiences with dating throughout college that were both inspiring and crushing. I got to spend 4 1/2 months in Hawaii for school. I was able to be home at Saddleback (in California) when Dave got home from his mission. Got married! And now back at BYU. Definitely a life changing four years. ..and I wouldn't change a second of it. Not even the hard times. Those were the times that I grew the most."

College was definitely an interesting time. Out of my 4 years of college, I attended 3 different universities. Each one had unique memories, and I feel tied to each.

I started out freshman year at BYU...loved every second of it and made some really really great friends.

Sophmore year I relocated back to California due to some hard things I was going through at the time. It was a great decision that allowed me to be closer to family, and looking back now, it probably played a huge role in me being married to Dave now. I was able to be home in CA during the time that Dave came home from his mission, and being there gave us time to date and fall in love.

Later that year, we got engaged. And I spent the last half of my Junior year with Dave at BYU Hawaii. Yes...it was a dream. Being able to go to school, surf, hike to a waterfall, and watch a Hawaiian sunset with my fiance all in the same day was simply amazing.

Then senior year, and being married, took us back to BYU Provo, where we had our first memories together as husband and wife. Graduating from BYU Provo makes me feel like my college life has come full-circle. This is where I started, and this is where I get to end.

I feel really grateful that I got to be educated at two BYU locations. Getting to go to a non-church school in California, and contrasting that with BYU, really helped me appreciate the gospel and the way it changes peoples lives.

Dave and I took a philosophy class together at Saddleback (CA), where our beliefs were questioned every single day and where an answer of faith was considered an "argument killer." Even short hour-long classes were given breaks so that the jittery students could have their smoke. Let's just say it was an interesting time. Though sometimes it was rough, going to this school really helped me have a more open mind, yet also allowed me to speak up for what I believe in - because at a completely liberal school, believe me...the topic of being mormon came up just about everyday. Contrast that to BYU, where answers are sometimes expected to incorporate faith with logic. And where an honor code allows students to be taught in an environment free of drugs, cursing, and harassment for church beliefs. Just walking on the BYU campus had a completely different feel. It is at BYU where I felt more inspired and uplifted than almost anywhere else, it is so conducive to individual learning and thought.

California, Hawaii, Provo - each taught me in different ways. Out of all my classes, exams, papers and lectures...the biggest lesson I learned was a spiritual one. Sometimes our lives are directed in ways that we don't expect, or that seem hard at the time, but looking back at these four years, I can say that all of the unexpected turns and pitstops are well worth it. They are what allowed me to be where I am now - married to my love and graduated from a school I am proud of. GO COUGS!

Shout out to my parents for getting me through college: supporting, encouraging, and loving me through it all. And shout out to Dave for putting up with my senioritis. We did it!


you remind me of home

Dave is home from his two week excursion to El Salvador. He had a thrilling time complete with epic surf everyday, good visits with the people he served, and even a classic run in with a machete-waving crazy man. I think I'll have him tell the story of his adventures on here rather than me. So soon to come...Dave in the blogosphere.

After picking up my main squeeze at LAX, we hit the town and went on a fun date. We went to Laguna Beach. Dave used to work at the Thalia Surf Shop right in Laguna, a city we used to frequent a lot back in the dating days. He would ride his motorcycle to work each day, and sometimes I would get to tag along. We have so many good memories in that town, it was so fun to be back...made me crush on Dave all over again. We got into Laguna at the perfect time of day, the sun was setting and we walked along the boardwalk and over to the classic "family-picture-taking-rock-spot" over to the right...anyone who has been to Laguna knows what I'm talking about. And as usual, there were families posing away. So of course, we had our own little photo-op. Later we hit up BJ's Pizzeria for some yummy pizza and pizzookies. Pizzookies can do no wrong in my book. 

We bought tickets to see Crazy, Stupid Love at the old time Laguna theatre.

Tangent - We used to go to this theatre to watch surf movie premiers back in the day. The last time I was there was when Dave and I were dating, we went to  see The Present,  a surf film by Thomas Campbell. Ray Barbee, one of our fav. instrumental artists, was also there and we got to chat it up with him. We also saw John and Jill Facer, Jill was still prego with Dane at the time. Now all this time later, Dave and I are married, and John and Jill just had their second baby. Crazy how time flies!

Anyways, so while waiting for the movie to start we got to window shop and stroll along the beach. There is a restaurant up the hill that has live bands play. The band there that night did some covers of some of our favorite songs..one including Trouble by Coldplay. We danced and sang and and crushed like teenagers all over again. So much fun. Overall, that night was a great reunion with my dear. And a great reminder of all of the wonderful reasons I am so lucky to be married to such a hunk.

As much fun as California can be, I am so glad to be home in our little house back in Provo with Dave. Let the good times roll.


Home is wherever I'm with you

A little update, no pictures, just me. Here I am in the golden state without my golden boy. He is in Guatemala and el Salvador on a mission/surfing trip with brother Luke, and I am in California hanging out with both our families.

I graduated from college a week from Friday, that was grand. Right after the ceremony I had to say goodbye to Dave as he left for 2 and 1/2 weeks for his trip. Bittersweet day right? It's been a little test of my parasympathetic nervous system and how I calm myself down when I get emails that read "we don't know where we are gonna sleep tonight" or "this place is getting sketchier by the day" or "we got off at the wrong stop and ended up in zone 9 which is the sketchiest zone in Guatemala." comforting? Not really. He must have used the word sketchy about 15 times in that one email, and for Dave to admit something is sketchy I know its gotta be 10x worse than what I would call sketchy. They are now back in el Salvador and actually have a place to sleep at night, which makes me feel better. Overall, I know he is so so so happy and having some great experiences. That makes it all worth it to me. Can't wait to have him back though!

In the mean time I plan on keeping myself super busy with surfing, day trips, Catalina, family time, sewing on my new sewing machine (sweetest graduation gift from Dave!) and other things. Please let me know if you want to do something, for the first time in many years I have absolutely no plans!


stewart falls


Friday. Skated. Painted.

Saturday. Boating = wakesurfing & sun all day long. So so nice.

Sunday. Church. Walk with Dave.

Monday/Pioneer Day. Woke up early. Read stories about the real pioneers. Assimilation: our own pioneer hike to Stewart Falls. Seven Peaks. X-Men.

Living in California, I don't know  that I ever fully appreciated Pioneer Day...still had work and school, sometimes the ward would do a picnic. Living in Utah? Completely different experience. Provo SHUT DOWN, including school and work. We had a full three-day-weekend, it was glorious. It was a great day to be out enjoying nature...All the time I have lived in Provo I have not hiked Stewart Falls. It is a beautiful hike and the mist of the falls is so refreshing. Love Sundance, still need to go on one of those moonlight lift rides sometime.


the decemberists

Utah really does have a lot of things going for it...one of those things is the Twilight Concert Series in Salt Lake City. This concert series is free to the public and is held every thursday during the summer. This was the first of the series I have been to, and after how much fun we had I'm sure we'll be back next week. They said there were 35,000 people there last night. So things definitly got a little close and personal (please refer to the picture luke above). Luckily we got there waaayyyy to early so we were super close. We took naps in the grass we were so early.

One of our favorite bands, The Decemberists, was headlining. Couldn't miss that, especially since it was free. They were amazing live, and one of those bands that is best seen live because of their insane music skills and vocal uniqueness. They were great entertainers too and had us laughing. I don't know why you would ever expect to see crowd surfing going on at a Decembrists concert..but believe me, it happened. At least 30 people crowd surfed. Collin, the Decemberists lead, kept making comments such as: "You guys are like the crowd at a 1993 Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert." "THis is the most crowd surfing we've had at one of our concerts by like ..10." And during the middle of one of his songs he made a CHili peppers shout out by reciting "Give it away, Give it away, Give it away now." Man it was good.

The opener was also so rad. Typhoon is the name. They are about a 12 person band including 3 trumpeteers, 2 drummers with dueling drum sets, 2 violinists, 1 celloist, 3 guitar, 1 percussion girl. Honestly it was incredible. Great fun.