Count Your Blessings Name Them One By One....

Because I feel like I haven't done anything the last 3 weeks except for study and work my butt off for school, I will take a few minutes to gush about how awesome my life is.
I am blessed to attend a wonderful University. This place is extremely affordable, located in a great little city, and strengthens my testimony every day. I love BYU-Idaho, and I am proud to be a student here! Also, I sure am glad this semester is OVER!!!
My family is wonderful. I have the best relationship with my Mom and Dad, they are so supportive, and there to help me with anything I might need. I can't wait to call my mom every few days and talk to her, just to see what she has to say, and every time I talk to my Dad I wish I could just be hanging out with him all the time. I have 3 great brothers who never cease making me laugh, and I love them for such different things, and the best sister in the entire world, not to mention the most gorgeous.....
And the other side of my family, my in-laws. Man did I dodge a bullet on that one. My Mother and Father in law are so loving and kind, I love talking to them and hearing from them. I have three amazing sister-in-laws who are all beautiful, and who have taken me in and made me feel so accepted and loved. Also three awesome brother-in-laws, though I have yet to meet one of them....But I am so grateful Ethan is coming home soon, and that I am so blessed to be married into a wonderful family that loves the gospel.
I live in a beautiful apartment! We have so much space, and room for all of our friends to be with us here. We have room for people to stay with us, and for all of our stuff, and I've tried to make it a real home and I've been blessed to be able to decorate it and make it our home for our little family. We are also blessed that it is so affordable. There is nowhere else in Rexburg that we would be able to get the room we have for the same price, and that has been such a blessing for us.
I am able to study what I want to study. I got to create my own major, and I am loving learning about culinary arts, event planning, and Marriage and family studies. These are skills I will use throughout my life, and I cannot wait to continue with this education.
I am healthy. Sometimes I may not seem like I'm very healthy. I'm always sick with a cold, or a sinus infection, or the flu, or some type of ailment, but I can survive. I am strong, and vibrant, and I am able to do everything I want to do.
We are able to do fun things! It is so awesome to be able to do pretty much whatever we want! We are blessed to be able to enjoy these activities whether it's going out to enjoy this beautiful area we live in, or going on a date once a week. We are financially able to do things that bring us closer together, and create  memories that we will always share, and more than the financial aspect, we have the time and opportunity to do these things together.
I am so blessed to have a husband who is financially conscious! The only way to get rich is to not spend your money, and my husband is great at keeping that goal for us in mind. He is so responsible, and I trust him with everything, I know he will always take such good care of me!
I love having the temple so close. Even if I do not have time to make it there every week, having that incredible and beautiful building so close keeps the Spirit close as well. It is amazing what just looking at the temple will do to brighten my day and my attitude.
We have been so blessed with the motivation to read our scriptures! This is something I have never been particularly good at, but Jared and I try to read them every day, and every time we read, I find something new. It is so interesting to have my very own priesthood holder there to answer my questions and help me understand and gain a stronger testimony.
I'm grateful for our car (well....Dwaynes car...haha) and our little red scooter, and that it hasn't been so freezing this fall and understanding professors and doing well on tests and getting good grades and staying motivated and keeping strong through my sicknesses this semester, and for our wonderful friends who keep me smiling and for my Savior and Heavenly Father.
Most of all, my sweet husband. Without him I would be lost. He helps me be the best I can be. He is my strength, and he keeps me happy. I laugh so hard every day, he is hilarious! He is so loving, and sweet, and makes me feel beautiful. He is always willing to clean the kitchen after I cook, and I appreciate that more than he knows....=]. He is the most handsome man in the entire world. He has big goals, and I know that if Jared wanted to whole world, he would get it, because he is the hardest working person I have ever met. His spirit of laughter and love fills our home and lifts me up. He keeps me down to Earth, and doesn't let me get too far off into Shannon-land. He really is the voice of reason in my head. He pushes me to be better, and is the absolute love of my life. My soul mate, my everything. There is no greater blessing in my life than to be able to fall asleep and wake up next to him every day and night. He will be the best Father and I wouldn't want to face having children with anyone else in the world. He was the answer to my prayers, and hopefully eternity will be long enough for me to express my love to him.
I love you all!


3 weeks left!

I cannot believe this semester is almost over! We are so blessed to be able to do so many things, we have such a fantastic life, and it keeps getting better and better!
These past few weeks have been full of homework. I have been trying to do a lot so I wouldn't have to stress so much for the last weeks of school. I was also able to register for next semester with my (finally) approved major, woo hoo! It's University studies, so it's a customized major, I am doing culinary arts, event planning, and marriage and family studies. So next semester is going to be another busy one...20 credits again! But its full of classes like "baking" and "wedding flowers", so I don't mind so much =]. Jared is off track next semester and he is still doing his internship, which has been doing pretty well. I already cannot wait for my 5 month break from school....
Big event of the past few weeks is Peter and Tara's Wedding! Dalby has finally become Hibbard, and Jared and I were able to attend their sealing and reception as a bridesmaid and groomsman. It was a wonderful (windy and snowy and rainy) day. The sealing was so beautiful and I'm so glad we were able to be there. It was my first sealing I've ever been to, besides my own! So it was so special. The day was going great until I had to walk about a half a mile to lunch in my 4 inch black heels...which proceeded to break....haha. But at night they had their dinner reception at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and I don't think i have ever seen a more beautifully decorated room. Tara's colors (black and purple) looked so elegant, the food was good, they had a few cute presentations of videos and speeches, and the bride and groom looked so great. We love our friends are are so happy for them!
The day after the wedding we got to fly to Denver to go to my house for Thanksgiving, and it was so great. I haven't been home since the wedding, and it was about time I saw my family! I missed them so much! We shopped, watched a heck of a lot of Harry Potter, and ate...and ate and ate and ate. It was fabulous =]. My parents are so sweet and helped us out so much, and it was pretty great to be a guest in their house (no chores, getting spoiled....). Thanksgiving was wonderful, the food was so great, and as always I loved seeing my second family The Cooks. Jared was able to shadow Thom Cook one of the days we were there. He is a salesman and was really eager to help Jared out, he is so awesome!
As I mentioned, lots of Harry Potter. I read all of the books multiple times as a kid, and absolutely loved them. I really wanted to see the new movie, but I haven't read the books or seen the other movies for years! So we all had a big Harry Potter Marathon, movies 1-6, before going to see the 7th one, and I've missed Harry Potter! I used to read so much, and since I've been in school I just don't have any time! So I've resolved to read all of the books again before the last movie comes out in July. I will MAKE myself read, because I really love it so much!
It was sad to leave beautiful Colorado, but we are now home safe and sound, and it is nice and snowy here in lovely Rexburg. Tomorrow is our 6 month anniversary (crazzyy), I can't belive it's been half a year already! Only 3 weeks until we go to North Carolina...I cannot believe it's almost Christmas! But for now I have a lot of work to do....


What is this...free time???

Holy cow, I have never been as busy as I have been the last 6 weeks....
Getting back to school and swinging 20 credits has been so exhausting, but I'm so glad I did this! Three of my credits ended last week, so I am down to 17, and loving my free time.
In the past month and a half we've had a ton of fun though. Jared and I are in a Natural disaster's class together, and we went on a big field trip for it, to learn about volcanos, and land slides all within a few hours of Rexburg, it was really fun and a gorgeous day to go. We went to west yellowstone, and big springs, and Mesa falls. I Love Idaho!
 At the beginning of October over conference weekend, Jared had a mission reunion in Salt Lake. We were able to go down and stay with Jared's great Aunt Bonnie, and go to the reunion. It was great to meet people that spent so much time with Jared as a missionary. His mission president and his wife were so nice, though it was kind of sad because since all of Jared's companions were Mexican, none of them could come to reunion. Someday we will travel to Mexico and I will meet some of them!!
We have also been very spontaneous this semester. Since we got back, Jared has been BEGGING me to go to this windcave up past Driggs, and hike around and explore. I finally gave in and we went. It was a 4 mile hike up the mountain to the cave, and we sat in there for a while, and walked around, then 4 miles down. It was so gorgeous out, and the colors were amazing. The hike was kind of hard, I was so proud of myself that I finished it! (and I only cried once...when i slipped and my foot got soaking wet in the waterfall from the cave....haha). Jared was glad that he got to see the adventurous side of his wife, and we had a lot of fun. We stopped at the cute spud drive in theater too, no where else in the world do they have huge potato figurines....

Another spontaneous act this month, the week of midterms I woke up Thursday morning, ran to the living room and told Jared I had to get out of here. We ended up going to Pocatello (yes....so far away...) for the weekend, just got a hotel, ate out, and watched scary movies all weekend. They had a pool, hot tub, and a tv, it was one of the most relaxing times of my whole life! We are totally going to start that tradition now, every semester after midterms we are going for a weekend away to recharge!

We have also been trying to get into the Halloween spirit be watching lots of scary movies and going to haunted houses. A few weeks ago we went to the famous Dr. Slaughters in Idaho Falls. We went last year too, we had only been dating like a month!! This year though, we waited in line for like 2 1/2 hours, and it was the exact same scares as last year. Needless to say, I don't think we will be returning next Halloween. Last night we went to another place, the Haunts of Hidden Hollow. This is the first year it's open, and it was all outside in this field. We got chased by a car, horses, and a man in a chainsaw. Way better than Dr. Slaughters....
Finally, the last exciting thing going on, our frisbee team! We have been doing awesome. We had 5 regular season games, and we were 3-2 (we played the two undefeated teams two weeks in a row...and lost). Now the playoffs are going on. We are in the quarterfinals, and that is on tuesday, hopefully we will win and go to the semifinals on wednesday, where we will probably play the first team that kicked our trash....and hopefully we can redeem ourselves! It's been so fun playing and improving. Last week's game we played in 23 degree weather, you have to be pretty good  to play frisbee in a winter coat and a ton of other layers =]. I'm really glad Jared talked me into joining the team, and I can't wait until next year when more of our family will be here to play with us!!

Well we go to Colorado in 3 weeks, after we go to Peter and Tara's wedding in Salt Lake, which we are very excited for. It's about time they got married....I cannot wait to go home and see my family, it's been quite a while! and I miss my dog.....


Myrtle Beach...and back to school

Ahhh the end of summer. I do have to say that I was ready to get back into the swing of things, but not before we went to amazing myrtle beach!! We left last monday, and just drove down, and got into our hotel, they upgraded us to an awesome beach view room because it was our honeymoon.
Pretty much we spent 4 days on the beach, just tanning and playing in the huge waves resulting from hurricane Earl. We also went to Medieval times, a dinner/tournament castle, where there were knights that did tournament things, and jousted, and fake fought. They fed us half a chicken, some soup, bread, and a pastry, it was really good and really fun...I just wish my camera hadn't died ten minutes before we left!! I got a few pictures on my cell phone, but they aren't very good...I will be bitter about that forever...haha
We also went to this cute place called Dusty street seafood shack and got some good shrimp and filet of fish.

On our last day there before we left we went to one of Myrtle Beach's infamous miniature golf courses, called Mayday golf, and there was a life size helicopter and biplane that were supposed to be crashed right in the course, that was so fun.

We then went back to Charlotte for our last couple of days and hung out with Jared's mom, and that was so fun, we played a lot of games and I decided I will always be bad at Trains....
We flew back here on Tuesday, and man it is so good to be home, I've missed our cute apartment! School started yesterday, and Jared and I both are juggling 20 credits, so it is a little overwhelming right now, but hopefully we will get into a nice rhythm and we can get through it with a lot of A's!


The Summer is almost gone!!

Oh man I have been so bad at blogging! It has been such a fun 6 weeks. Before we left Rexburg we had a couple of days when Jared was out of school before we left for North Carolina, and we ended up buying a moped! We got a great deal on it, and it is so cute, and so much fun, it is perfect for riding around Rexburg,  we love it! We also got moved into our new apartment, right next store to the old one, and it is great. I spent a lot of time looking on the BYUI bulletin board looking for deals on furniture, since we had been using furniture in our old apartment that belonged to the people we were leasing it from, and I found a dresser, a bookcase, a desk, and a nice dryer. It's nice living in our own place, but we only spent a few days in there before we took off.
North Carolina has been beautiful, but pretty darn hot. Jared was able to work pretty much every day doing construction and remodeling projects making very good money, and my sweet Mother-in-law sent out an email to the ladies in the ward telling them I was available for babysitting, so I was able to work quite a bit, and we have been able to save so much money!
I've really enjoyed staying with my in-laws, and getting to know them better, I really did get lucky!
Other than babysitting, I've just been hanging out, which I've gotten pretty used to over the past 5 1/2 months since I've been out of school. I've read a few books, sold some odds and ends on craigslist, and spent quite a bit of time at my sister-in-law Vanessa's pool, and hanging out with her son Mason, who I love so much! I love being an Aunt!
Last week we went up to Fontana Resort, in the smoky mountains, where the Thomas' have spent countless vacations, it was so much fun and it was absolutely beautiful. The lake there is pristine! I am so used to grimy, dirty lakes that are freezing cold, but this lake was like bathwater, and so clear, and smooth as glass. We got to kayak on the lake, and one day we rented a pontoon boat and went tubing. Another day we rafted down the Nantahala River, now it wasn't any of the class-five rapids I'm used to out west, but it was so fun, and we even almost fell out of the raft once hehe. That week was so fun, I feel like I got so much closer with everyone, and more comfortable, I really feel like part of the family now!
Now, as of today, Jared and I have been married a whole 3 months! We are really loving being newlyweds, we are so lucky and blessed to be able to do pretty much whatever we want, it is so nice not having any responsibilities! We are finally going on our real honeymoon tomorrow through next Friday, to beautiful Myrtle beach, and we can't wait!! Then when we get back, we have a few more days here, then it is back to Rexburg, and back to school, which I really am getting excited about. I miss our home!


Only a couple weeks left here...

Jared is a little sad this week, his lacrosse season is over. They had their last/championship game on Friday night, and Jared scored 5 goals!! He had a lot of fun playing, and wants to help start a league in the fall, and if they play, Jared and I are going to co-coach, because every team is required to have a girl coach, and I've sat through enough games that I know the rules pretty much backwards and forwards, and it would be so much fun!

Jared has also been really involved in the Special Olympics Council for the school this semester, and on Saturday they put on a dance for all of the local kids, so we went and helped set up everything and stayed and played games and danced, and it was so fun. Jared was so sweet to all the kids, and everyone had fun dancing with him.
This week I've been feeling pretty sick....so I haven't done much, Jared has taken care of me, and the apartment, and has been so kind to me, I am so lucky!!
Then tonight we just got back from this ropes course. It was too windy to climp the course, but we were able to swing from 30 feet in the air, it was a lot of fun. Our friend Ross went off, and something about the falling and the adrenaline made his jaw lock, and he couldnt close his mouth for like 10 minutes! We were about ready to take him to the hospital when it snapped back into place, but it was so scary!

There's Jared swinging                                                    

And me swinging!
Tonight Jared registers for classes in the fall, and I register on the 16th, we are really excited, and are coordinating our schedules well. Next week is finals, so Jared has been doing a lot of work, but the week after that we are home free! I keep having sweet dreams of waking up in North Carolina, I am so excited for it. But before we can leave we have to move all of our stuff into our new apartment, which is conveniently located right next door (literally) to us, but it is still a bit of work. I'm alright with it though, it gives me a project to do to pass the time! I can't believe I'm saying it, but I cannot wait to get back into school, I'm gong a bit stir crazy...


Fourth of July

This weekend was amazing!! We were able to go down to Salt Lake to my Grandma Bunch's house where my family was waiting. This was so awesome because I have been missing them like crazy. We met them in downtown Salt Lake and got to walk around temple square (seems like we've been there a lot lately).  We went to the HUGE new Deseret Book and walked around and took some pictures. That night we went back to Grandma's house and just hung out, and watched a movie.

Saturday my siblings and Jared and I really wanted to go swimming, it was beautiful, and we just couldn't sit around Grandma's house, so Skyler, Nicole, Lance, Jared and I took off to find Utah Lake. Well 2 minutes after leaving, the GPS just would NOT find Utah Lake, so Jared selected "Silver Sands Beach" and we thought we would explore a bit. A half an hour later we pulled up to none other that the Great Salt Lake. It reeked of dead fish/birds/bugs you name it, but we parked and headed out to the salty sea. The water wasn't actually bad, it didn't smell, only the beach did, and you could completely float on top of the water without doing anything because the salt was so dense, it was actually really fun...until we got out, the water dried, and we were all crusted over with salt....But now we can all say that we've swam in the Salt Lake, and had a ton of fun doing it =]That night we had BBQ and fireworks with most of my Dad's side of the family, so Jared got to meet a ton more people who he is now related to.

Sunday we went to visit my Mom's sister Laurie, who lives about 20 minutes from my Grandma. My Aunt and her husband Mark have been married 13 years and were told they would never have kids, when 9 months ago she showed up pregnant! She was due in 10 days, so she was about to pop, and it was so nice to see her. Well 20 minutes after our family left, her water broke! Nothing like a nice loud visit from the Bunch family to put you into labor....so she ended up having the baby just a couple hours later...a 10.11 pound baby none the less. The poor little boy (Asher) even got his arm broken on his way out, so his poor mom who has been waiting 13 years to hold her little baby can barely touch him, and they put him in a little sling!
Monday morning we left and picked up Peter and Tara from Salt Lake, and headed for Rexburg, but stopped at Willard Bay on the way. We rented a jet ski for half the day, and it was so much fun! The water was warm and the beach was pretty, and jet skiing was perfect on the choppy water. That is definitely a place to go back to, and the rental was even pretty cheap!
Now we are back in Rexburg, and I finally got my wedding pictures. Here is a public link to those ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=186824&id=515052571&l=c70678ba09 ) so I've been sifting through those, and ordering thank you cards and prints, its so crazy that it's been 5 1/2 weeks already. We also signed our contract for our apartment through the next 6 months, so I feel a lot more at ease, and like we have a home.
Next time we go to Salt lake is just in 4 weeks! We both cannot wait for North Carolina!


Our New Life!!

So it happened!! We finally got hitched!! It seemed like it would never get here, and now that it has we couldn't be happier. The wedding went absolutely perfect, after being away from my sweet Jared for 6 weeks, he made it safely out to
Colorado from Idaho, followed closely by a TON of family members from North Carolina, Utah,Nevada, Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, and a few other places. The weather was GORGEOUS, it wasn't too hot, and the wind settled down for us. Plus, I married the most handsome groom in the whole world =] I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Sweet Debbie Nilsen did my hair and it looked AWESOME. The temple was beautiful, and getting married in the afternoon was an awesome idea, I got to sleep in until 8!!
As always, my Mom amazed me with her work on the reception. All of her creativity, along with the fabulous help of the beautiful Tiffany Spencer, my wonderful wedding planner/bridal shower throwee (?) made the reception better than I could've imagined.
My lilies and roses looked awes
ome in their lantern centerpieces, and the tiffany blue
and chocolate brown adorned our yard BEAUTIFULLY!! I was so happy with the way it all turned out, it was like a fairy tale.
We now are in Idaho, Jared is going to school, and I am being a very dilligent housewife, and we are exploring everything eastern Idaho has to offer, and having a ton of fun. Our apartment was an AWESOME find, very cheap, with washer and dryer in the apt, two bedrooms, a decent sized kitchen, and a huge living area. We were so blessed to be able to find this, and we will be staying in these apartments when we return to school in the fall.