4:03 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

I love October. I always have. And I am not ashamed to admit that a big part of that comes from just looking forward to my birthday. My birthday always felt magical because October is the month that fall really settles in. The weather cools down, the leaves change colors, and suddenly you're allowed to bundle up in sweaters (let's be honest, it's like wearing a blanket). My heart and stomach become so happy when pumpkin-flavored everything can reenter my life.

Living in Phoenix is the strangest thing because seasons do not exist. October creeps up on you and you do not even realize it because the thermometer still reads 95 degrees. It doesn't feel like fall, which is probably why October didn't feel the same to me this year. Fall equinox came and went, and I was still frequenting the pool like it was my job.

And then, with no autumnal warning, I turned 23. Because my parents raised me to believe that birthdays are days to celebrate, I  L O V E  birthdays. I get so excited about my birthday that I used to write the date 10/18 and turn the 0 and the 8 into little balloons. My birthday weekend was hands down the very best part of the month. And I am so happy that my anti-birthday husband played along and made it a special weekend for me.

For months I had been begging Craig to take me to Sedona almost as much as he begs me to go to Disneyland. And so we finally went. We packed overnight bags and stopped at Nook for a birthday dinner before we made the two-hour drive up to Sedona.

Sedona is an absolutely gorgeous combination of Park City and Zion National Park. In the morning we drove up through the town to hike Devil's Bridge, and we spent the rest of the afternoon on main street checking out the plein air festival and little shops there. I skipped right over all of the "foodie" places to eat and of course went for Cold Stone because hello it was my birthday, and Cold Stone never disappoints.

It was honestly the most perfect birthday because it was chock full of adventures and we completely escaped the eternal summer of Phoenix. I can't wait to go back. There are too many beautiful hikes we have yet to try.

Yesterday Phoenix welcomed November by deciding to drop down to 81 degrees. Naturally I rounded down and claimed that it was in the "high 70's", and so I took this as a sign that (hallelujah) fall has finally arrived in Arizona. Farewell, October.



10:21 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

+ I was in North Carolina when it was Craig's birthday. Worst wife award, I know. In my defense, this trip was planned before we were even engaged. And Craig wasn't exactly jumping on the planning bandwagon when it came to getting married. Anyways. I was heart broken I couldn't be there for Craig's birthday, mostly because I love spoiling him even though he's not a birthday person at all. I tried to make up for it by hiding presents for him around the house and celebrating him from afar, but I still felt bad and we were able to celebrate a week later.

+ Craig loves pizza more than anyone I know. His number one dream in life is to build a brick oven in the backyard of our future home and own a pizza stand called "Craigo's." The "big gift" that I got Craig for his birthday was that I had arranged for us to take a pizza-making class at a local culinary school. It was a BLAST. I am proud to say that Craig was a natural and his pizza was way better than mine. Keep your eyes out for Craigo's pizza stand in a few years, neighbors.

+ We moved, from Glendale to Phoenix. It was surprisingly difficult to leave our first apartment. It was practically bare and was never decorated, but I will always have very fond memories of Tresa #2130. I can still remember moving my stuff in the week before we were married and freaking out that we were actually going to live in the same quarters and share a closet (heaven forbid). I loved that apartment so much. Our new place is smaller and older, but we are in a really fun area. We moved to be closer to Craig's rotations, which are mostly near downtown Phoenix. We are consequentially near lots of shopping and yummy food and museums and it's great.

+ Friday night date night is our jam, and we almost always go out to eat. We love trying new restaurants (does that make us foodies? what's a foodie anyway?). Fortunately our new home has an A+ restaurant scene, so we set a goal to go to a new place every week, and it has probably been the best idea we've ever had. Recommendations: GrassrootsLe Grande Orange, The Stand, Tortas El Guero, & Frost Gelato.

+ One year ago on September 20, Craig proposed to me. The day snuck up on me and I didn't even realize it until, of course, it was the 21st, and I suddenly remembered how one year earlier I called Lisa to wish her a happy birthday, and at the end of the phone call she asked me if I was engaged - which was a typical (and sensitive) subject in our conversations - and I FINALLY was able to tell her YES! Best birthday present ever, right? It was so fun to reminisce about that night with Craig. I pulled out my journal entry from the night of our engagement, and it was absolutely hilarious to read out loud. I am so so thankful for my journal and all of the wonderful, hilarious memories and beautiful emotions it has captured.

And I am so so thankful that Craig chose me, and that he continues to choose me every day. 


Prince family pictures

10:21 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

The photographer used "air quotations" to refer to my "husband."

He's real I promise.




5:40 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

On the first of August I boarded a plane and headed for the Airmet home in Richmond, Virginia. Since most of the Princes no longer live in Virginia, Jennie's house is kind of the meeting place for all of us, and although it's not Herndon, it's still home when we're together. That night all five Prince Kids and my parents were together for the first time in three years. The only person missing was, of course, Doctor P, who, despite my wishful thinking, wasn't able to escape his rotations.

The very next morning we made the trek to Corolla, North Carolina, where we had rented a beach house for the week. It was a blast, complete with thousands of inside jokes and yes, even matching t-shirts. At the end of the week, my parents gathered around all of the kids and grandkids and had a heart-to-heart about family. They asked each of us what we had enjoyed most about that week, and we heard answers ranging from monopoly games, yoga, the "cousin challenge," and waves, but my mom and dad, with tears in their eyes, simply said how grateful they were to be back with all of us.

They were right. The best part of the week was being together.

The older I get, the more grateful I am for parents who taught me to love the Lord and love one another. I am so grateful for the unique relationship my family has and how close we remain, despite our distance. I attribute it all to my near-perfect parents, who devote their lives to doing what's right and teaching their kids to do the same.

Here are a few pictures of the madness (family pics to come soon):

Please note the stormy sky. The original forecast was thunderstorms ALL week! We were so happy when it cleared up after a day or two of storms. We all know that Grandma Joni's prayers literally stop the rain. 
 The self portrait wall from FHE 
(Parsons, please note that Craig's not your only hope for passing on artistic genes! Okay maybe he is...)
 Ball toss from the "cousin challenge"

 Water balloon toss from the "cousin challenge"
The world's most perfect baby, Princess Katherine


The end of second year and the boards beard

1:30 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Let's talk about boards for a second. 

This was me before boards.
 ^Please note the koala-bearing and excessive clinginess. 
Also note Craig continues studying while I crawl all over him.^

This was Craig before boards. 
^Please note the beard and the cheesy grin.^

Despite the smiles, boards were rough on both of us. Craig practically lived in the library (I'd guess he was there an average of 12 hours per day), and we had to deal with some serious stress, loneliness, and facial hair. For some reason, Craig decided it would be a good idea to grow a beard for boards. With the day he would meet my dad rapidly approaching, I decided it would be a better idea to see it go. So, being the mean wife that I am, I forced him to shave two days before his last test, the day we picked my parents from the airport.

The week after Craig finished his boards, he started rotations - his last two years of medical school. I had been looking forward to this for 8 months, because what it means is he no longer has tests every Monday, which clears up our nights and weekends to actually spend time together. This isn't the case during every rotation, but his first rotation is pediatrics, which means he has a very normal working schedule. We certainly won't have this luxury once boards return next year, but for now we are soaking in all of his free time and enjoying every minute together.

Why yes, that means that for the first time in our marriage, we can go out on weekends. We can go on dates longer than an hour. We can explore Phoenix. We can have Netflix marathons. And we can start a search for the best Mexican food in all of Arizona (we highly recommend Los Reyes de la Torta & Mango's Mexican Cafe)!

In summary, the top two reasons I was thrilled to see boards go are: (1) no more studying! and (2) no more beard!

And now that he is a professional (or at least pretending to be), I get to welcome home a clean shaven, dressed up doctor. Dreamy.

^^ First day of rotations picture, obviously ^^


Celebrating in St. George

9:31 AM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

I am bubbling with happiness. So many wonderful things have occurred recently. 

A few weeks ago we drove to Southern Utah for a Parson family "reunion" -- I say "reunion" because we're the only ones who don't live in Utah, so the rest of the Parsons get to see each other more often. We've felt pretty lonely down here in Arizona, so we were thrilled to be with family again. Our little party included hiking, repelling, swimming, corn hole, and a whole lot of good food.

I was thrilled with the timing because the Parson reunion coincided with both Craig's week off of school and also my parents' return to the United States. After three long years of serving as mission presidents in the Colombia Cali Mission, my wonderful parents finally returned to America. Craig and I were the only "Princes" at the airport to welcome them home due to the upcoming Prince reunion in the OBX in the first week in August. Having missed my wedding because of mission responsibilities, my dad FINALLY met my husband for the first time. My heart couldn't have been happier.

The good news doesn't stop there. Craig took his last boards exam on July 1, which means he is officially done with boards this year. NO MORE STUDYING, YOU GUYS! I don't have to share him with the library anymore! I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me.

With boards out of the way and my parents back on American soil, we celebrated all week long. We spent the week relaxing, helping my parents be Americans again (cell phones, Costco, excessive amounts of backseat driving for my dad - yikes), seeing movies, going to Tuacahn, visiting the St. George Temple (where we were sealed!), and eating way too much food (mostly desserts - oops).

It was only appropriate that the week culminated with the Fourth of July, fireworks and all, to welcome Mama and Papa Prince back to America. 


Marriage advice

6:17 PM Marcie Parson 4 Comments

When two people get married, everyone seems to feel like they have the responsibility to "grace" the couple with their infinite wisdom about marriage. It's a weird tradition, really, because (1) no one ever remembers what you tell them; (2) most of it won't apply to them anyway; (3) things can get reeeally awkward reeeally fast; and most importantly, (4) your marriage is not and will never be their marriage.

Most of the advice we were given went right over my head, and I don't remember 99% of it (refer to #1). However, we did get one piece of advice that will always stay with me: forget everything you were told about marriage and make it your own

How beautiful is that?

For the first few months of our marriage, I was so excited about creating our new life together. Because I was unemployed, I sat at home hunting for jobs while Craig went off to school -- and let's be honest, new jobs weren't popping up every minute. I ended up wasting my time on social media to try to figure out how to cook/decorate/be a cute housewife.

Weeks went by and I started to get discouraged that I was far from what I thought I should be. I still didn't have a job. I still didn't even know what kind of job I wanted. I still couldn't cook. I still wasn't crafty. I still hadn't hung anything up on the walls. We still didn't have furniture. I didn't do an ounce of decorating. I was stuck, all alone, in a tiny apartment with white walls, beige carpets, and beige linoleum. 

Well guess what.

Seven months later, our apartment still has bare, white walls because I still haven't hung anything up. We still don't have a lot of furniture; our kitchen table is a plastic card table, which we use with plastic folding chairs. Our small (thrift store) couch is beige, which adds a nice flair to our beige theme we've got going on. Our meals are becoming simpler and simpler, and sometimes we just have ice cream for dinner (oops). I still can't sew or cook or "DIY" anything like Pinterest told me I could. Although I finally found a job, it doesn't pay much and therefore doesn't make a dent in our student loans. 

But somehow, although I'm as far from "Pinterest perfect" as possible, my life is infinitely more magical than I imagined it could be. Every day I wake up next to an impossibly kind, loving, and encouraging human being who makes me feel like a million bucks. He spends the majority of his day working so hard to make a good future for our little family. We don't see much of each other with my long work days and his long study days, but during the one hour that our schedules happen to overlap, he lets me koala bear him way more than a normal person should. We have no money -- in fact, we have negative money -- but I've never been happier.

I may have forgotten everything we were told about marriage, but we've made it our own. As a result, I have fallen in love with this beautiful, simple stage of our life. It's real, it's ours, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Huntington Beach

7:58 PM Marcie Parson 3 Comments

About a month ago, I woke up to a text from Aubrey that said, "Want to go to SoCal June 6-8 as my nanny?"

I immediately looked at my calendar and saw that I just so happened to have that Friday off of work -- practically a miracle. My heart leaped. Getting together with my siblings is hard since we all live so far apart. Once I saw that I could actually go, things happened so fast and I suddenly had a flight to Orange County and was staying in a ritzy hotel.

No complaints here.

We spent hours at the beach and by the pools, and baby Daphne survived being trapped with her scary Aunt Marcie all day Saturday while her mama was working. It was a perfect weekend getaway from the 110 degree heat.

^^I'm a really good nanny. Kids love me. ^^

The best part? I didn't have to say a real goodbye. Usually I only see family once a year, but Summer 2014 is the Summer of the Princes. Craig and I will welcome Mama and Papa Prince back to America in two weeks. And one month later the rest of the Prince gang is meeting up at the OBX in North Carolina. We'll be together for the first time in 3 years.

I can't wait.


Bored of boards

5:04 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Studentdoctor P. has boards in one month.

Since boards are kind of a big deal and play a small part in determining the future of you and your family, this means that students must go into caves until completion of said exams. Stress levels are high and the library is your best friend.

It is a treat to have a night with my man. It's an even bigger treat to go out with my very best friend AND my man. Last weekend Lisa and Ryan came down to Arizona for a little vacation, and with perfect timing, I had two days off of work to spend with them. We spent our time in sunshine, and we even dragged Craig out of his cave to go to a Diamondbacks game.

Even though I can't pretend to know a lot about baseball and although Craig ruined every picture of the four of us, it was a perfect night to cure our boredom of boards. I'm so grateful for my these best friends of mine. And I can't wait for boards to be over.


A Vegas Tripp

12:31 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Jerusalem gave me new knowledge, new perspectives, and new lifelong friends, one of whom is the glamorous Sarah Kathryn Tripp. Born and raised in Vegas, this girl lives for anything pink, gold, glittery, or sequined. So naturally, when she got married, her wedding included all of the above.

She was absolutely gorgeous, the ultimate princess. She might as well have worn a tiara. Thank goodness she looked like such a goddess, because no one paid attention to the bridesmaid whose skirt had to be left unzipped most of the day -- apparently size 2 to River Island means "we're trying to give you an eating disorder." Unfortunately for them, nothing can keep this girl from ice cream. 

I'm so happy I was able to travel to Vegas to share this girl's special day. She found someone who loves pink, bling, and cheetah almost as much as she does, so basically they're a match made in heaven. Congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. Tripp!

The next day, I casually "ran into" Anna, my very first roommate, who is serving a mission at Temple Square. She had been temporarily assigned to Vegas for a few months and is heading back to SLC this week! We crashed the singles ward to find her and were only able to chat for the 10 minutes before church started, but it was a dream to see her again. 

Craig has finals this week (his last finals EVER!), so he wasn't able to travel with me. It was our first time apart since being married, and by the third day I was super anxious to get home. I am so happy to be back at his side again. 

So I'm needy. So what?