a wedding + a video!

today we are celebrating the marriage of seth and kelsey!
we are so excited to welcome kelsey into the gilbert family.
here is a little "first look" video taylor and I made for the newlyweds!

we are going to party-hardy and celebrate love all day long.
and I'll probably be celebrating a little bit over the fact that I have the next TWO WEEKS off of work. (go be a teacher, it rocks)

Happy Friday!


if you were to marry taylor gilbert...

sometimes I am overwhelmed with how wonderful my mr. is.
he is so patient and kind and bighearted.
and I don't know how I got so lucky to get to call him mine!
I never want to forget how good he is to me, so I'm dedicating a little post to him.
(complete with lots of pictures of my little dreamboat)

if you were to marry taylor ray gilbert...

+ he would give you back scratches every night--you don't even have to ask!

+ he would find new addicting iphone games every week, share them with you, and then sit with you on the couch for an hour while you compete against each other.

+he would NEVER leave the house without kissing you.

+he would talk in metaphors and big words, and be really patient when you don't understand.

+he would want to go out to eat every night (maybe if you were a better cook than me, this would be different).

+he would always answer your phone calls, and if he wasn't able to, he would always send a text saying, "Can't talk right now, but you're beautiful."

+he would notice that your laptop battery is running low and would plug it in for you--just because.

+he would invite you on nightly walks. and while on the walk, he would always make sure he's the one walking street-side.

+he would always be listening to audio books--and tell you all the plots in great detail.  his excitement and little smile are SO sweet during this.

+he would tell dramatic stories of his day that will always make you end up on the ground laughing (like when he split his pants crotch to belt line in public last week! hahahaha sooo wish I was there for that!)
+he would carry the grocery bags from the store to the car.  and if there are too many for him to carry alone, he will ALWAYS offer to carry the cold milk in winter ;)

+he would find funny youtube videos or cool music videos and tell you to stop everything you're doing to sit next to him and waste time watching them.

+he would cuddle you ALLLLL night long. there wouldn't be a night that you woke up not holding hands (or re-reaching for each other's hands). ---i am just a sucker for this, my favorite thing EVER.

+he would call you nicknames constantly--you'll be surprised when he ever uses your real name.

+he would always be willing to accompany you on shopping trips.

+he would always open your door for you.
+he would always forget his wallet.

+he would tell you you're beautiful multiple times throughout the day.

+he would talk about all of the fun "daddy" things he has planned to do with future gilbert littles.

+he would talk about dreams and future plans with you--and you would always feel comfortable knowing he will always take care of you.
+he will call out to you if you're in a different room for more than a few minutes and say, "What are you doing? I miss you!"

+he would send you funny texts throughout the day or random "I love you" "Have a great day" "You are everything to me" texts.

+he would scrape the ice off of your windshield every morning.

+he would surprise you with cute gifts.

+he would be extremelyyyyy patient with everything.  even when you are being mean & completely unreasonable, he would be on your side, support you, take the blame (when he did nothing wrong), and never, ever raise his voice or show any kind of anger (this may frustrate you when you're really upset, but afterwards you will just sit and think, "how the heck is he so GOOD to me?")

+he would always jump at opportunities to serve others.

+he would bring home flowers for you, but MORE importantly, he would send flowers randomly to women who have made a difference in his life.
+he would have a billion crafty and creative ideas--he would be your own personal pinterest.

+he would bring up constantly memories from your wedding day that would melt your heart and think, "you remember that?"

+he would be your go-to stylist, and he will always have the best opinion on outfits

+he would love you unconditionally.

if you were to marry taylor ray gilbert, you would really get a keeper.
but I'm really glad you didn't because I really like him for myself. ;)
I have felt so nostalgic lately and just so grateful for this man I share my forever with.
a big hoorah for love everywhere.
what would we do without it?



this cute china-resider came home yesterday after being gone for 6 months!
it was the happiest reunion!
I have missed her soooo much!

I was sooo giddy last night while we were waiting.
and when we finally saw her--it was just the BEST.
^mom pictures are always the sweetest^

oh, and funniest thing. 
right when taylor was snapping this picture on my phone, my countdown popped up!
perfect timing! hahaha

^we were sure to bring her some fresh dirty-diet-cokes.
did you know they don't have coke in china?

^she literally had tears while drinking. it was the best^

 regan is one of those people I don't know how I lived without.
she is just my favorite thing in the whole world.
I could talk about her forever and her cool wonderlust spirit.
but mostly, I'm just so excited that I get to see her when I go home today!
gilbert sisters finally reuuuunited!!!
it's the best feeling!
us gilberts are a pretty happy crew!
...and HOORAH for america!


the busiest weeks

these last couple of weeks have been some of the busiest ever!
and this week is no escape!
I literally have every minute planned from wake-up to 11pm.
I'm getting a little tooooo excited for christmas break--two weeks off!

last night we headed up to salt lake with some of our dearest friends to see the Christmas lights at temple square.
these are really bad iphone pictures, but eh. such is life.

afterwards we went to the yummiest chocolate dessert place and laughed our little heads off all night long.
I just looove anything christmas!
does anyone else have a christmas bucket list? ha

and I am buuuursting with excitement.
because tonight we get to go pick up our little sister, regan, from the airport!
she has been in china for six months--and I have missed her way too much!
but look how cool she is!

also, maybe one of the worst slip-ups I've made in class:
they were being extremely chatty, and so I meant to say "I'm going to start taking off points real fast!"
and on accident I said, "I'm going to start taking off pants real fast."
which led to extreme laughter and the students screaming, "mrs. gilbert, please don't take off your pants! please! and don't take mine off either!"
oh and that definitely ended up on twitter--I had a million students not from that class come ask me why I told my third period I was taking off my pants.
ohhh high school joys.

t-10 hours until I hug the cutest gilbert sister around!!!


the easiest + cutest bridal shower gift

dear dad: do not read. 
over the weekend, I went to my almost-sister-in-law's bridal shower!
I really love trying to find creative bridal shower gifts--and I think I finally created a little gift that is easy to recreate for each one I go to.
I love giving something a little "fun" for bridal showers--but it's always a gamble.
you never really know what kind of shower it's going to be.
is it going to be with aunts, and grandma's, and tea and crumpets?
or a bunch of young girls who will laugh at a slightly inappropriate gift?

and I've definitely made the mistake of bringing the WRONG gift to an aunts and grandma bridal shower. so that was fun.

anyways, I created this little gem, that I think you could possibly get away with for any type of shower.
just right on the edge of "inappropriate" and yet, still acceptable (i hope HA).
but, I guess it all depends on your grandma ;)

at my bridal shower three years ago, my cousin gave me a condom & hand sanitizer and told me to put it in my glovebox.
I decided to take that to the next level:
 ^also, please be proud of my poem! I came up with that all on my own^
the kit includes: a couple of condoms, wipes, zip-lock bags, crest toothpaste, travel toothbrush, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer.
I fit it all in a little box that could easily be put in the glove compartment ;)
this gift was less than $8 and it was a hit!

I also included this gift.
and I completely stole this from pinterest, but just modified it a little.

 ^cut a hole with an exacto-knife underneath your little note.
make sure to have the string exposed so the bride can pull.

and when she does...
 panties galore!
I safety-pinned 10 panties together and it was SO funny to have her pull them all out.
a never-ending panty line.
what we all want and need, right?
the last panty said "bride" on the bum.
which I thought was fitting. ha

You can also include other things at the bottom of the panty box to personalize it for each bride.
I put a victoria's secret giftcard and a "gift" that will remain undisclosed. but she's my almost-sister, so I couldn't help myself HA

and there you have it!
seriously the EASIEST gift that was SUCH a HIT at the shower!

I hope someone out there has a bridal shower coming up--tell me if you use it and how it goes!


stories that make me laugh

time for a good old picture dump + some fun memories that need to be documented.
+once a month, me and my five teacher friends from my first year of teaching get together.
(but only 4/6 of us are pictured above!)
and it is ALWAYS the best time.
we share such a special bond.
we were all first-year teachers, and there's something about experiencing that together that makes you automatically feel like long-lost-sisters.
we have shed wayyy too many tears, swear words, frustrations, and laughs than I could ever count.
this month, we decided to get crafty.
which is REALLY hard for me to do.
I really wish I could be good at crafts--but I can never come up with original ideas (thank goodness for pinterest!).
so when someone says to me, "here, paint this vase real cute."
I have a mini anxiety attack, look at all of my options, watch what everyone else does, and then try to mimic the best one--but still fail. HA
BUT, I was surprisingly pleased how my craft turned out this time!
big thanks to whitney for doing the last half for me because my original idea did NOT work. haha
cute, right?
just tell me it is, even if it's not.
I made taylor tell me it was cute like 20 times, just because I feel like it's the first crafty thing I'm willing to display.
I'll walk into the kitchen and say, "hey, tay, what do you think about this "NOEL" up here?"
and he'll say (as rehearsed), "oh, it's so cute, kells. you did a fantastic job! Did you make it yourself?"
me: "I sure did."
tay: "you are so crafty!"
(we've had this conversation so many times. he is so good to me. hahah)

+on black friday, taylor and I decided to go get a mattress topper.
we researched which one we wanted, and then headed to kohls to purchase!
welllll, we got home that night, and taylor read the whole "care manual" out loud (totally true to his character. I, on the other hand, toss those things aside, then when I wash it wrong and ruin it, I complain and cry. haha)
part of the care manual warned, "once the mattress topper is removed from the box, it will immediately start to expand and make it difficult to return to original packaging."
well, as soon as taylor pulled it out, I suddenly gasped and said, "taylor we are SO dumb! We got a KING sized! We have a california king!!"
taylor was mad that I didn't think of that literally five seconds earlier, but I couldn't help but laugh at the debacle we were now in.
we spent the next hour (literally) trying to roll it up and push it in the box as fast as we could.
and then taylor got "mad" at me for not weighing enough to actually be of help at trying to squeeze the foam down. it was seriously such a scene. 
oh, and here we are returning it!
look how big it is. HAHA
taylor was sooo embarrassed to take that back into the store.

^my cute date at waffle love^
this might be a "had to be there moment" but I want to write it down so I never forget.
also...dad. please stop reading. k, thanks.
one of our favorite things to do when we go out to eat is observe the couples around us and guess what "date number" they are on.
first-daters are pretty obvious to spot.
they talk louder, are more attentive, laugh louder, and are very aware of what they are doing
(we've all been there, right?)
anyways, so the other night, I said to taylor, "kind of funny how once you're married, you're perfectly content to just sit in silence."
then, with a wink, taylor said, "yeah, it doesn't really matter if the date sucks. I know I'm still getting some at the end of the night." 
I laughed so hard that I spit whipped cream all over his face.
then, with both of us unable to stop laughing, taylor said, "look at us! we're first-daters!"
seriously one of the funniest moments ever. HA

+taylor went to his brother's bachelor party this weekend.
they went to nevada...to gamble. 
and my cute taylor was so funny, because he was so uncomfortable with the whole idea.
his dad even GAVE him money to gamble with because we all knew taylor would never use his own money.
anyways, so on saturday night, taylor called me and said (all panicky), "kells, I lost everything!"
my heart dropped for a minute and I said, "what? what do you mean everything?"
"the five free dollars that the hotel gave me! I lost it all!"
HAHAH--I laughed, then tried to sympathize with him.
but everyone, high five him!
he came out positive in the end--with a whopping $18!
he has the $18 on display right now.
it's pretty cute.

ANYways, pretty happy monday is almost over!
we have a fun filled week ahead!
anyone have fun christmas-y plans?
we need some ideas!

and today is the last day to enter the $250 christmas cash give away! (see a few posts down!)
gooood luck, lovelies!


half marathon do's and dont's

on thanksgiving, I had the opportunity of running another half marathon!
I am really addicted to the feeling of crossing that finish line!

I've had a few questions about tips for your first half-marathon, and so I thought I would share a few personal suggestions!
(these are really simple tips! for more detailed, seek elsewhere ;))

#1. DO train!
there are lots of training schedules you can find online, depending on how long you have until race day.
always better to train as early as you can (especially if you're not used to running long distances!)
I've talked to a few people who had a miserable experience during their first half, and when I ask about training, they all say, "Oh, I didn't really train that well."
aaaaand there you go!
your experience does NOT have to be a negative one!
there is a way to love it at the end!
 #2. carb-up!
the day before the race, I always eat a pasta lunch or dinner.
and I really try to get as much fuel and water into my body as I can.
I reallyyyy notice a difference!

#3. eating day-of
be careful what you eat the morning of the race.
these are some of my go-to's:
bagel with peanut butter

my very first half-marathon, I read online somewhere that you should eat 2-3 hours before the race.
so I woke up at 5 and ate, and then raced at 8am.
by 9:30, I was DEAD. absolutely ZERO energy.
I felt like I was running on nothing.
well duhhhh, I hadn't eaten in over 4 hours and I had burned over 1,000 calories and still had 2 miles left!
that was soooo hard.
I've learned to just eat about an hour before race time.
that works so much better for me!
(and don't forget to get in line for that porta-potty right when you arrive!)

#4. ibuprofen
my knees get so sore after long runs (runs in the family...no pun intended ;)
and I guarantee you'll feel a little stiff a few hours after the race.
I like taking 2-3 ibuprofen with breakfast and then 2-3 more right when I get home from the race.
It really prevents the soreness and stiffness.
(also, with my really sensitive stomach, I use digestzen (doterra oil...it's a dream) right after long runs. runner constipation is THE WORST!)

#5. know the route
I like studying the race route before the race.
it's helpful for my mind to see landmarks and be able to think visually how long I have left.
(most races will also have mile markers, but I like the extra visual landmarks :))
it was also helpful, because on the thanksgiving race, I regretted wearing my sweater about 2 miles in. I knew that we would loop back to the same spot at mile 10, so I threw my jacket over a post and left it there until I returned 8 miles later! ha, and it was still there when I came back! (hence the jacket around my waist!)

#6. food/drink during the race
my first race, I was so concerned about not stopping and losing time, that when I grabbed a little water cup (usually provided along the race), I tried to drink while running.
most of the water just ended up all over my face and I choked trying to run and swallow. HA
then, my second half, I realized that if I took two seconds to stop and actually drink the water, it would probably make my time BETTER because I'd actually be refreshed and hydrated during the run!
trust me on this one! made a huge difference!
also...don't be too brave food-wise on the race.
I had never had a gu before and I decided to randomly try one when they were handing them out during the race.
and EW. should not have done that.
I felt a little sick for like half a mile.
so just be careful about what you try during the run ;)
#7. positive thinking!
it is ALL a mind game!
I am so impressed when I see like 50-year-old women, twice my size, passing me!
that is training and mindset at its finest!
when things get hard, start thinking positive.
tell yourself over and over, "I can do hard things!"

#8. ENJOY the view!
be happy and take time to enjoy the race route.
appreciate the beauty as you run.

#9. have a pre-prepared playlist or book to listen to,
If I choose to listen to a book, my preference is one that I'm already a couple hours into, so that I'm really excited to keep listening.
I really enjoy non-fiction or historical books, BUT, while running I prefer more upbeat and humorous books 
(definitely recommend "bossypants" or "is everyone hanging out without me?" PERFECT race books!!)
 #10 have someone at the finish line waiting for you!
lots of people would love to be there waiting for you!
ask friends or family to show up at the end to give their support!
it always makes things easier when you know someone is there at the end!

aaand funny story about this picture.
on my last half, I asked taylor to bring me my gatorade that I left in our fridge at home.
I reminded him a few times, and during the end of the race, all I could think of was that refreshing gatorade that would be waiting for me.
it was my motivation!
wellll, I get to the finish line, hug taylor with my sweaty self and say, "where's my gatorade?"
and he said, "i'm so sorry, I completely forgot!"
and then I kinda snapped at him and said, "taylor! you had ONE job! ONE job! I've been looking forward to that for 5 miles!"
I didn't ask taylor to bring any gatorade this time, BUT he was sure to bring a whole package of them  to avoid my wrath. HA

so there you have it! 
my simple little tips!
any of you planning to run a half anytime soon?
for your first timers, I promise it is THE BEST FEELING EVER crossing that finish line!
and it doesn't matter how many times you do it, it still feels JUST AS GOOD!

my next one is in February and I CAN'T WAIT.
and my first marathon will be in april (mostly just to get it off my bucket list. and then? never again. HA)

(see here for tips on working out consistently!)


the story of how we saw each other before we even met each other.

just over three years ago, I was packing up my college room and stumbled upon something that made me stop dead in my tracks.
I picked it up, collapsed onto my bed, and with my mouth hanging open in shock couldn't help but stare at what I was holding.

taylor and I had been engaged for just over a month.
and I had just realized that for the past two years, I had had two pictures of my future husband hanging above my bed.
^who knew I'd have such good views of both the back and front of my future husband? ;)^

I grew up with one of taylor's LDS mission companions, who sent me these two pictures, years before I ever knew who taylor was.
I hung them above my bed, along with lots of other happy pictures.
I remember looking at the "other person" (taylor) in the picture a few times, but hadn't looked at the pictures closely enough since I had started dating him.

While I was packing up and taking the pictures down from my wall, I could not BELIEVE what I was seeing!
there was my fiance! RIGHT THERE! In my room the whole time!
I immediately called taylor and told him to come over.
I showed him the pictures, and we both laughed at the irony!
Like any other girl, I had often laid in bed wondering who I would marry.
and little did I know, that my future husband was right above me the entire time!
it still kind of creeps me out. HA

maybe the funniest part of the story, is that taylor, unknowingly, also carried around a picture of his future wife (me!...duh) for two years.
the friend I knew from home gave taylor a picture of me and told him to keep it since I would be his future wife.
(this friend was VERY persistent about us meeting and dating--and thank goodness he was, because I would have never found my sweet taylor!)
taylor laughed it off, but kept the picture. 
He found a magnetic frame, stuck the picture in it, and put it on the fridge.
then throughout the rest of the mission, he carried the picture with him, hanging it from fridge to fridge.
it was a big joke with him and his mission companions.
in fact, taylor didn't even remember my name. 
instead, they called me "puppy girl" since I was holding a puppy in the picture.
^the infamous picture^
his companions would joke and say, "elder gilbert, are you going to marry puppy girl some day?"
and he would say, "you know it! just got to find out her name first..."

I remember about a year after we were married, I met one of his companions and he said, "I can't believe you married PUPPY GIRL! That story is famous back on the mission!"

how weird is it that both of us had a picture of each other years before we met or even really knew who each other were?
and better yet, the pictures were both DISPLAYED. not just thrown into a box or something.
to me, there is something so poetic about it all.

it's so interesting how life plays out.
day by day nothing seems different, but when you look back, everything has changed.
when I look back, it amazes me how things worked out just the way they were supposed to!

"whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
so I am so happy our little souls found each other!

to see more of our love story see here and here.



Christmas photos 2014

we had our annual christmas shoot done by our very favorite photographer, meredith carlson!

here are a few of my favorites!

and I couldn't help but include these next two.
taylor threw a bunch of leaves at me, and my head literally disappeared in the leaves.
not even photoshopped. HA


 and my very favorite!
because I feel like this one expresses so well how happy this guy makes me.
he is seriously one of the funniest people I know--and laughter is exactly my kind of medicine.
(for past years' photos see here and here.)

December is only 3 days in and it has already rocked.
I hope everyone is enjoying their christmas season AND don't forget to enter to win $250 for your christmas shopping (see last post!)


$250 Christmas Cash GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to be teaming up with some of the cutest girls (with darling blogs!) to give one lucky reader $250 Visa Giftcard--just in time for Christmas!
perfect for those Christmas presents OR for the perfect Christmas day outfit!
(I've already got my eye on some things! ;))

Click on the link below to enter!
goooood luck, lovelies!!

Giveaway brought to you by:

Giveaway will run for 1 WEEK and end December 9th at 11:59 PM CST!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will run for 1 WEEK and end December 9th at 11:59 PM CST!
p.s. some do's, don'ts and overall tips for running your first half marathon will be shared tomorrow!
just ran another one on thanksgiving, and I think it's time to share what I've learned!