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.