Sunday, December 26, 2010

to sum it up

If i were to choose one picture to sum up our christmas this would have to be this one.





My most favorite holiday went by way too fast this year. I am playing back the month of december in my head and it seems as though its all in fast forward. There was one day, however, that we seemed to be able to press the pause button. to be able to REALLY think about Christmas. Think about our Savior. And think about the things that matter most to us.

this day was Christmas Eve.

Every year, every Christmas Eve, our family gathers together. This night is, and always will be, dedicated to our yearly Connolly Family toast. Its a night of family. A night of food. A night of laughter. A night of love. A night of toasts.

The evening started out with dinner. My dad grilled up some killer filet mignon. My mom put together some amazing sides. When our bellies were full it was time for our toast.  For those that are not familiar with the C family toast i will quickly explain. We have a toast each year. We start youngest to oldest and tell the family things that we have been grateful for over the past year. When a family member is done we all toast and take a sip of cider, and the next person goes. Its something so simple. and yet, it is something so amazing.

Its amazing to see our family over the years. To watch how it grew from 6 to now 11. To hear of the things that everyone is grateful for. To hear the changes from year to year. Its emotional. spiritual. There is never. never. a dry eye in the house.

Every year it's an amazing experience. And each year I am touched by different toasts. This year, I was very touched by the toast of a younger brother. Who never ceases to amaze me. The moment he started the family toast, i was in tears. He spoke of the thing he was most grateful for. No it wasn't his Ipad, it wasnt his friends, it wasnt his parents, it wasnt his cooler older sister. no it was none of those. This year Brett was most grateful for Benson and Grace. His niece and nephew. It was moving to watch this 16 year old, through lots of tears, express his love for these two children. He talked of the Savior. And how he now understands the love the Savior has for us...because of the love he feels for Benson and Grace. That toast will forever be engraved in my heart. Thank you little bro for your sweet spirit and for being the greatest uncle a little nephew could ask for.

As for me, I am grateful for so many things this year...

I am grateful for family. an amazing family. and amazing inlaws.

Grateful for my husband and son. the greatest joys in my life.

Grateful for my Savior. Grateful for his unconditional love.

Grateful for friends. old friends and new friends.

Grateful for our home. and our neighborhood.

Grateful for our ward. Grateful for my calling.

Grateful for Bryce's job. Grateful that I can be at home with Bens.

Grateful for a Father in Heaven, who has blessed me with all of this and so much more this year.

Happy Christmas. Happy New Year. Happy Everything. Love The Gurr Family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

best zoo lights. ever.

Maybe it was the "lion" size bag
of fresh kettle corn

Maybe it had rained all day
 so there was no one but us there.

Maybe it was our little family

Maybe it was the company

Maybe it was Benson's first time to the zoo.

Maybe it was the singing trees...
and the dancing children


maybe it was our 4 year anniversary that night..

that made it the best zoo lights. ever.

no wait. i really do think it was the kettle corn..

Monday, December 13, 2010

oh. oh. its magic.

True story. Ever since we got home from Thanksgiving Benson has been sleeping in until 9am sometimes 930! When before we were lucky when he slept in until 8 (i guess i cant complain about 8 either). But i thought and thought and thought about why the sudden change. and the only thing i can think of is his new pajamas. Grandma bought him some new jammies in St George. They are red. with dogs. flannel. and they cover his feet. they must be magical jammies. One time last week, when magic jammies were in the wash, benson wore a pair of his normal jammies. Benson woke up at eight. Mom was a little upset. Now mom is a little superstitious. Maybe its just coincidence. maybe its all in my head. But just maybe there are such things as magic pajamas. This makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yes. thats the sound Benson makes when I say "wanna take some pictures?" It really is the cutest thing. he holds his hands up to his cheeks, imitating mom holding a camera, and says sound effects like chick. chick. chick. i love it.

While we were in St George for Thanksgiving we were able to take some time for family pictures. Things have been so busy since we got home, so our pictures have kind of been on the back burner. I have been able to edit a few here and there between other shoots. So here are a few of my faves. Thank you Mom for taking the time to snap some shots of us!

the many faces of benson wells. thank you aunt kayli for singing "hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog," which produced this nonsense...


Sometimes there are shoots where I have many favorites. This shoot I had one absolute favorite. Its not posted because its on our Christmas card. Want in on a little gurr family action this year. guaranteed to warm your heart. post me your address.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sorry Bens.

Mom has been busy lately.

I'm sorry I haven't given you the attention you've been wanting.

I'm sorry i haven't taken you to the park in a few days..
Or taken you for a bike ride.

I'm sorry I've been working and not watching what your getting into.

I'm sorry you opened the door to the bathroom and played in the toilet for a while.

I'm sorry that I got scared and mad when I searched the whole house for you and then found you hiding in the closet with the sewing machine.

I'm sorry that I haven't read you books lately
I'm sorry that you have to read to yourself...old birthday cards you found in my closet.

I'm sorry that you got into the laundry room and ate the laundry soap.

I'm sorry that I keep you in pajamas probably longer than I should.

I'm sorry for being a bad mom this last week.
No matter how busy I am. There's no excuse for me not to take a break..
And play in the toilet with you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the land of disney.

It was a little warm. it was a little busy. it was a little magical. it was the best day ever.

I have waited my whole life to be able to take my children to Disneyland. This last weekend we were able to take Benson for the first time! It was a day that, i'm pretty sure, he will remember for the rest of his life :)

Here is a pic of our group. Me Bryce and Benson, Ethan (kayli's boyfriend) Kayli, Brett, Mom, and Brynn.

For those of you who don't know Brynn. Me and Kayli like to think of her as the down syndrome sister we never had. She feels like part of our family. My mom first met her when she worked at Stapley Jr high in the special needs class. Through a program called Respit my mom is able to take care of her during the weekdays when she is done with school. I love the way Benson interacts with Brynn. Almost like he knows something is special about her. He loved Brynn on this trip. At disneyland he sometimes wouldn't want anyone to hold him but her. On our way back to the hotel one night Brynn sang to Benson. She sang a  lullaby song and one of Benson's favorites "I am a child of God." I am getting teary eyed just thinking about that sweet moment.

 back to disneyland

Benson had the time of his life. He loved the rides. His favorite was the rocket ride. He thought they were airplanes which is his favorite thing right now. Poor kid started to cry when he had to get off. His next favorite thing to do was to hold onto the gate and watch the rides go by. I love how simple kids can be. Benson probably would have been the happiest little boy just by watching the rides and pointing at all the balloons as they flew by. This kid ran around disneyland until he couldnt run anymore. and then he slept. he woke up and then picked up right where he left off. 

I would love nothing more than to tell you that Benson loved Mickey Mouse. Yea, sure, he loved Mickey from a distance and wanted to run up and be his best friend. But when that big ol mickey head got close to him he freaked out. And couldn't even keep his eyes off him even for a picture.

What an awesome day I had. When I was younger I used to think the best day at Disneyland was one with no crowds, good weather, and no lines. Something changed. Somewhere down the road I got a husband and the greatest little boy a mother could ask for. And now, the best days at Disneyland, are with them. 

Bryce put together a video for Benson's first time at Disneyland...check it out.

Benson's first trip to Disneyland from Bryce Gurr on Vimeo.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Nah. Spoiled rotten is more like it. I guess thats what i get for having a husband who makes all my stinkin dreams come true. Yes, my travel trailer dream. it came true. last week. Well right now, its looks more like a nightmare than a dream come true. But with a little gurr family TLC I think one day. one day. it might look something like a dream.

Here she is. Our 1962 Shasta Travel Trailer. We went with a Shasta because its the next most popular classic travel trailer, next to airstream of course.

The outside is in pretty good shape which is the reason we purchased this one. Its gonna need some sanding and sweet new paint job. We are staying with the original z stripe which Shasta is known for. But the bottom color will be some kind of teal and the top a vintage white. I think my favorite part of this trailer is the wrap around windows on the front. classic.

Ok. now for the inside. to put it in terms you can understand. its a piece of junk. but what can you expect from a 48 year old trailer. there's rotten wood, there's graffiti, there's old cushions, there's fabric on those old cushions. itching. i'm literally itching thinking about it. kind of like when you go to the thrift store and you somehow walk out itching and sneezing, yes like that. but a little worse.

The inside is going to be completely redone. Everything is coming out. If we can, we will reuse the cabinets and wood that are in good shape.

Yes. Its gonna be alot of work. not sure what we got ourselves into. But...its going to be fun. Its going to be a fun little family project the next many months. and its going to be fun when we take Shasta on her very first campout to the beach. So stick around. and join us as we turn this ugly beast into a beauty.