The world is your oyster!        
 
           
         
     
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cougar Fans, It's Time.

I guess you could call this my quarter-life crisis. In the last 6-ish months, I've gotten a new job, a new house, a new license, a new passport, a new husband, and a new name. I'm *basically* a new person. And even though the world is still my oyster, I'm ready to add a new blog to that list.

You can continue to follow me here: http://theshimplelife.blogspot.com/

It'll be fun times :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Will you be my neighbor?

Closing day was last Wednesday. Move-in day was Thursday, which meant that meet-the-neighbors-day was also Thursday.

It all started when Stephen and I pulled up in front of the house just to bask in its beauty one more time before we started moving stuff in. I accidentally honked the horn.

Twice.

The second time, Neighbor #1, who had been dutifully shoveling his driveway, came up to our car.

"Everything okay?" he asked,  sounding a little annoyed.

"Yeah yeah, everything's fine!" Stephen assured him. "Sorry, she wasn't trying to honk."

#1 hesitated. "You honked twice."

"Yeah, she wasn't trying to, we weren't honking at you," Stephen said.

"Everything is good with the car?" #1 asked.

Finally he went back to his house and we got to work unpacking. It wasn't long before Neighbor #2 came along: a friendly elderly gentleman named Robin Forest (true story).

"Are they showing you the house?" he asked.

"We've already seen it," we explained. "We just bought it."

#2 lit up. He told us three times that he was glad we were moving in. He then proceeded to tell us about his old bishop in Washington, his bishop's son, a sister missionary in the bishop's son's mission, and the man that she ended up marrying. It wasn't him, and it wasn't anyone we know. But it was very nice of him to tell us, all the same.

We drove off to get more boxen. When we came back, #2 came over again with more stories! This time he also asked if we were LDS and if we knew when and where our ward met on Sunday. I thought that was very sweet of him.

As we were making another trip into the house, someone driving by slowed to a stop and rolled down their window.

"Are you guys moving in?!" called the driver.

"Yeah, we are!" we called back.

"Oh that's great, nice to meet you!" she responded. "I live next-door. It'll be nice to have neighbors again! What are your names?"

"Stephen," said Stephen.

"Heather," I said.

Pause.

"What are your names?" she said, louder.

"Stephen and Heather!" called Stephen, louder.

Pause.

"STEPHEN AND HEATHER!" yelled Craig, even louder.

Pause.

"I can't...."

"I already met them!" piped up Robin Forest from the porch next-door. "They're Stephen and...."

"I'll be coming back soon, Robin!" the lady in the car interrupted. I don't think she heard him, either. "I haven't forgotten about you, don't worry! Okay see you guys later!"

"Bye!" we called back, and she drove away.

We didn't have much time to miss her, because she came back about a half-hour later.

"Have you guys gotten dinner yet?" she asked.

"Yeah, we just ate," we told her.

"Well I thought you might be hungry, so I just brought you a little something," she said, and handed me two cases of mini-cupcakes and a loaf of sweet raspberry bread from Smith's.

I was very touched! "Ohhh, thank you..." I started to say.

She smiled and jumped in, "Yeah, I get stuff from the store all the time for free! I mean, these have just been sitting out, so they've been chilling outside, they're still good!"

"Yeah totally!" I said. Huh?

"Yeah, so, I get stuff all the time. I'll just leave things on your porch sometimes, and you'll know who it's from, and it'll be great!"

"Wow, thank you!" we said, and went inside. Looking a little closer, I discovered that the cupcakes and bread had expired on December 27th.

But a nice gesture is a nice gesture, and nice neighbors are better than mean neighbors.

(They are also better than neighbors with squeaky beds who live upstairs of you, what?)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life of Late in Pictures

I was going through the pictures on my SMART PHONE the other day and re-discovered the following pictures that tell the story of my life over the last 2 months:

This was from Stephen and my Aloha date night. We made smoothies :)
I obviously spent an exorbitant amount of money on decorations for said date night... 
This is called, my life before my smart phone. Aka, my life in the dark ages, when I either called my mom for directions at least once a week, or looked up directions on someone else's phone and then took a picture of it with my dumbphone. What a wretched existence it was. 
These are the churros that I made for an amazing Mexican (ish) Thanksgiving dinner. They turned out soooo good!
This is my student, J. He made himself into a cyborg one day for indoor recess. 
This is called, I cannot live in this frozen tundra wasteland any longer. Note the icicles on this sad, sad bicycle. That is NOT okay!
This is the "Be" Stephen and I worked on for the month of December. I was very proud of my chalk drawing and took a picture of it. I'm glad I did, because no sooner had I hung it up than Nicole backed into it and got it all over the back of her skirt. 
This is the date card I gave Stephen for our winter wonderland date night!
This was our Christmas tree this year. .........you can see why we needed a reminder to "be positive."
This is the date card I made for the present we gave to both of our parents - a date-in-a-box!  Stephen didn't know that the word "stay-cay" existed. I know I did not make it up. 
This is called, here we are at the airport and we are so excited to be up at 4:30 in the morning and about to be on our way from Indiana to Maryland!
This is the insane line for Southwest Airlines check-in. 
This is called, we did not make our plane. So we went to the Indiana Children's Museum instead! They have so many costumes you can dress up in, like these dinosaur ones. 
.....or these deep sea diver ones.....
or this turtle and butterfly option! I was thrilled. Stephen was a little embarrassed. But still a good sport!
Logan got tired. Stephen is so cute. 
Here was another embarrassing picture I asked Stephen to take. At the Indianapolis airport, there is a shop called "Forever, Heather" and I was not about to miss that golden opportunity! His hands are supposed to look like a heart. Because he hearts me. Forever. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Family that Farts Together...

2014 came. I welcomed it with the traditional kiss and sparkling apple cider, and the newly traditional lighting some gingerbread houses on fire.

Then I stayed up a little bit longer, and then, at around 1:30, I decided I was ready for bed. The husband was not. Which was fine, since I also celebrated the new year with a new phoooone, so I had plenty to entertain myself with.

I was not in bed for more than 10 minutes before the door opened and Logan marched in, then Michael, then Brandon, and then Stephen, each with their hands pressed to their mouth. They came in single file, from shortest to tallest, and the worst sounds erupted from behind all of their hands.

When they were all in, they turned to face me at the foot of the bed. It was a procession of fake flatulence, and it didn't stop there.

It got to the point where their hands weren't enough, so they got creative. Farts ripped through elbows, armpits, and each other's cheeks. I was in a surround-sound fart tunnel!

And then they started jumping on the bed! Pfffrrrrpp-ing each time they landed just inches away from my head. Bdddddtt-ing with each karate kick in the air. Thhhhrrrr-ing with their butts high. It was very alarming.

I decided this need to be recorded. "Everyone go to the foot of the bed, I need to take a picture!" I said.

But the circus would not condense itself into one picture frame. Sometimes two people stood close enough to be in a picture together, but never more than that.

"Stand still! Logan, you're not in the picture. Stephen, would you help? I just need everyone at the foot of the bed so I can take one picture!"

It was like herding cats.

Then someone fell off the bed and this is the only picture I got from the whole thing.



Just know that it was hilarious. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Good Morning, Your Dog Died.

Waking up on Christmas morning is like....well, like waking up on Christmas morning. You wake up suddenly, and the air feels fizzy, and you know that it's the beginning of the best day ever. {Or at least the best day that year...}

Waking up on the day after Christmas is like waking up the day after your dog died. And you wake up kind of slowly and then all day it kind of sinks in that your dog is never coming back, and you keep remembering your dog as you go about your day, and by the end of the day you just feel rumpled and depressed.

Christmas morning this year was just as fizzy as the Christmas mornings of other years. It started at about 8:00, when the little boys woke up.

{I wish I had pictures to share of that, but they are all in Indiana and I am not.}

Luckily, the day after Christmas this year didn't start until 11:30, and when I did wake up, it was to kisses and hugs, and when I got up after that, it was to spend an hour putting on Natalie's fancy makeup and curling my hairs with her fancy curling iron so that we could go and eat lunch at the cutest little fancy historic lunch / brunch / dessert place I have ever seen: L.S. Ayres' Tea Room.

 
 
L.S. Ayres used to be really hoppin and iconic of Indianapolis, but then Macey's bought it and shut down the restaurant, which was the L.S. Ayres Tearoom. Stephen's mom went a few times with her mom so it was a really fun memory for her, and the Indiana Museum reopened the tea room just for the month of Diciembre 2013, so all the girls got to go (me, Stephanie, Natalie, Diane, her sister Angie, and their mom, Stephen's grandma).
 
We had hot chocolate and yummy sammiches and salad and soup, and they checked our coats, and it was just really fun!  
 


You know what I really like? Whenever we go out, Diane says: "These are all my daughters," or, "Can you get a picture of me and my daughters?" I know I'm not really her daughter, but it is so sweet.
 
The plan for tonight was ice skating. But when we arrived, there was no ice on one rink, and the only sign of life was a hockey team practicing on the other rink and two very nice black guys walking around with a boombox ish thing and also wondering where the ice rink was.
 
So instead, we wandered around the square, which was all lit up for Christmas and was home to the biggest fake Christmas tree in the world.
 
This was their first date years (and years and years and years...jk...) ago!

This is a statue that somebody thought was a good idea, but the rest of the world is just confused by.

This is some guy.

This is either a nutcracker or a steadfast tin soldier.

This is where people used to ice skate, but now it's all dry and people can only dream of skating in such a perfect ambiance.

This is across the street from the real  L.S. Ayres. See that clock? That's how you know!

Not too shabby for the day after Christmas :)

Baby Jesus and a Shimp-Load of Presents

Christmas, at the Shimp home, is not just a one-day celebration. It is not even a two-day holiday.

It is a month-long festival, and when you cram all of that yuletide into the one week that your college kids are home, it becomes a week of dashing through the snow from mall to family party to classy Christmas event and back to the mall, at high speed and dragging along as many brothers and sisters as possible. Also, food.



This is us at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis. We watched the Nutcracker Ballet! Which is basically the music of my childhood, so I was in heaven the whole time. And Stephen liked it too.

We had a Christmas gift exchange for the kids on Christmas Eve. Stephen gave to Michael and Logan, and he told them he had gotten them a Hershey's bar. It was actually a rocket....that he ended up assembling on Christmas. 
Then we got our Christmas jammies!! And Stephen ruined some pictures. And so did Brandon. 

The whole family got Christmas jammies! I love this tradition!

My favorite decoration in the house was this ginormous ball of mistletoe. It is a very popular hangout with the newlywed couple and the engaged couple, and also the married-with-seven-kids couple. 

The girls and their Christmas jammies :) 


We like each other. 
 This is another tradition that they do - every year, someone hides the pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree, while everyone else waits in a different room. Then the person who finds it gets a Christmas book that they read to the whole family, and they are the one who hides the pickle the next year.

...GUESS who found the pickle this year??

Well it was me :) I promise they didn't just let me win, either. I know because there were tears.

Then I read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in my best teacher voice and it was on to the next tradition of making gingerbread houses!

 This was not a "let's build our gingerbread houses and whoever has the most fun is the winner" kind of contest. Teams were picked out 2 weeks ago. Barricades were put up between competition sites so other teams couldn't look. And we were given a time limit of 18 minutes.

So it got a little intense and some feelings got a little hurt, but in the end, three works of art sat on the table, ready to be judged.

At some point in the middle of the night (or at 6:45 in them morning), Santa came and filled up the living room with gifts!


So that's how Christmas began up in here. More pictures to come of the rest of our break :) 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shimp Home for the Holidays

This year is my first year not going home for Christmas.

.....I KNOW. Hash tag, big girl.

Instead of Baltimore lights twinkling up into my airplane window on Friday, I experienced the lights of Indianapolis for the fist time.

Then I experienced:

-some delicious cheesy bread, sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, and cold medicine
-getting tackled by little boys who quickly stopped when they realized I was not their sister
-using all of Natalie's makeup since I apparently left all of mine in Utah
-going out Christmas shopping in the middle of Indianapolis flooding

{I'm serious. I got an emergency weather alert txt telling me to stay away from potential flooding areas}

-sleeping with Stephen in the bed his parents assigned to us. Oh, with his brother in the same bed.
-the Christmas program in the Indy 1st ward, which included a fabulous special musical number and donuts after the meeting
-a Christmas dinner at an interior designer grandma's BEAUTIFUL home

-a conversation that went like this:

me: Brandon, are you taller than me now?
We stand up to measure ourselves and find that he is a good 3 inches taller.
Diane: Oh yeah, I can't keep him in the same pair of pants for more than a month! He just grows out of them so fast!

-followed by a riveting game of boys vs. girls Catchphrase

-in which I got "growing pains," and the timer was speeding up, and it was up to me to help my team guess it, and I blurted out: "Okay, this is what....Brandon keeps doing this out of his pants."

-and my team didn't guess it and instead just got really confused.

-so I said, "Diane was just telling me about it!"

-and then people just laughed instead of guessing and I had to try something else.

There's no place like home for the holidays, but there's an H on one of the stockings here, and Natalie drew me in the family picture she put in Eric's room, and I'm surrounded by people I love. Besides which, there's a huge ball of mistletoe that I can stand under whenever I want. So for my first Christmas away from home, it's going to be a pretty nice one :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Be Grateful

It shouldn't be hard to be grateful when the world is your oyster, but I'm glad for this Thanksgiving season when we all have time to specifically think about our blessings. I love that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, which can so easily turn into a season of demands.

Here are some of the things I am grateful for right now:

-zucchini squash, which is actually the best vegetable ever.

-Marjorie Pay Hinckley, a very classy lady with whom I would love to have a tea party one day. Minus the tea.

-our crockpot, which I am very obsessed with.

-neutral-colored shirts that I can wear with lots o' things.

-toilet paper rolls that you can use to make wreaths and whatever else you want basically!



-off-track time, when I get so much done and get to sleep in.

-cell phones, I do not know how people survived without them.


-wrapping paper, how much boring-er would Christmas be if you couldn't wrap presents!?

-photo books that I get for freeeee

-Stephen and my similar attitudes on fiscal matters.


-that I went to BYU and now when I'm filling out surveys I can click the "Bachelor's Degree" option instead of "Some college."

-Italian Ice.

-my ring that I don't think I'm ever going to get over.


-leggings, so I can wear whatever skirts I want and not be cold!

-that my eyebrows are blonde so I don't have to pluck them that much because no one really notices if I don't

-Stephen, who I love more and more err day.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

So Romantic

Sometimes, Stephen is very romantic.

Like when he makes up songs for me! Here is a sample: "Oooh, oooh, I love my bay-bay, I love my bay-bay, no I don't, yes I do, no I don't, yes I dooooo!"

He is still working on it.

The other day, it occurred to him that he should maybe change some of his ways. This is a direct quote from that epiphany: "Heather, I'm sorry. I should be more respectful to you. I shouldn't have thrown those dirty socks at you. And put your shoe in my pants. And I'm sorry for zombie-humping you up against the wall." [Not as bad as it sounds....]

It was very sincere. Husbands are the best.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when he actually is romantic! That's just a lot more boring for other people to read about. So you get this blog post instead.

In other news, we share clothes sometimes. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wife of the Year

You might be the wife of the year if:

1. You don't throw a fit when your birthday doesn't go as imagined. You just move your birthday to a different day, make yourself a sign, and call it good. 

2. You watch a scary movie with your husband. And then, while he sleeps soundly, totally unaffected by the horror you just submitted your minds to, and you lay there terrified and unable to sleep, you remember how much he loves his sleep and you do not wake him up. 
Do NOT watch this movie!
3. Marriage is caring is sharing. If you share the closet as well as I do, you might be the wife of the year. 
This is Stephen's side of our closet. I know, I know. It was really generous of me to give him all that space.
4. You decorate your house and it looks adorable!

......while it lasts. 
Three hours after hanging these up....
5. You definitely don't ever ask him to dress up with you for an event that no one else is dressing up for. And you don't hand him a pair of your own tights to put on in an attempt to find an appropriate costume. (And if you did, you wouldn't spend 5 minutes laughing at how hilarious he looks wearing your tights.)

(.....and even if you hypothetically did do all of that stuff, you wouldn't then ask him to put the tights back on a day later so that you could take a picture of him and put it on your blog for the enjoyment of everybody else.)


If you do / have done any of these things, you can give yourself a hearty pat on the back. You are well on your way to being wife of the year!